Monday, May 23, 2011

52nd annual Castroville Artichoke Festival

I was going to give Joel a hair cut this morning and Ethan somehow broke the clippers so the blade would not adjust. Anyway, it was stuck on a short clip. Joel let Ethan have the clippers and start cutting his hair. He of course started on the top. Joel's hair cut was short. The kids love feeling his head with his super short hair. It's cute.

We're at the 52nd annual Artichoke Festival in Castroville. The Artichoke capitol of the world, so they say. Castroville is about 35 minutes from Santa Cruz. It's only 5 minutes from Moss Landing, a fantastic place to pick up fresh produce right out of the fields. We always stop for fresh strawberries and herbs.

And, it's time for the parade to begin. Castroville had a small town Nebraska feel to it. So did the parade. The kids loved it. Especially when candy was thrown from the floats. It brings back fun memories from my childhood.

The Artichoke King and Queen float

Lots and lots of old cars. Some were on hydraulics, which always got Joel and Ethan's attention.

And there is always some time for some daddy wrestling

This lady was covered in plastic store bags with a sign to recycle used bags.

This camper had a huge artichoke on top with a little train track going around it.

And taking a potty break in the bushes

Everyone got a kick out of the guy riding a cow in the parade

So after the parade we headed straight for a birthday party for a girl in Ethan's class at school. Unfortunately he fell asleep in the car on our way and missed half of the party. Joel and I felt like snoozing too. It was cute when Ethan woke up. He looked around in wonderment and then jumped up and ran to go play.

Evie had a blast. It has been a lot of fun to have both kids at all the parties. The grades share recess so both of them know each other's class really well.

This is the gym that we will most likely start the kids gymnastics classes in the fall. It was a nice chance to see it before we sign them up.

And it's cake time. The birthday girl (Scarlett) is across from Evie with straight brown hair and a pink tutu on. The rest of our evening was perfectly relaxing. We also had a birthday party Saturday so it felt like a busy weekend that went by way too fast.

The SC Boardwalk

Evie has been asking if we can go back to the boardwalk since we met Nic and baby Ewan there a few weeks ago. I let them get dippin dots for a treat when we went and I was sure they just wanted to go back because they assumed they would get them again. They loved the rides, the people watching, the bustling energy of the place and of course they remembered the dippin dots. :)

So when I went to the boardwalk with the kids when Nic was here they rode this ride with out me. Not even a question from the staff member. She just loaded them up and away they went. Well, today I was told I had to go with them because they were too small to go on their own. This is my least favorite kind of just goes in circles forward and backward and made me feel nauseous for hours after we got off. The kids loved it of course.

The kids were so cute on this race track ride. The car would go slow on the straights and whip the kids around the corners of the track. Here they are, mellow in the straights....

And here they are loving life as the car whipped them around the corner...

We didn't know that there would be a concert by James Durbin from American Idol. The band was doing their sound check and the beach was crowded with gobs of fans so we thought the concert was close and we might get to hear James sing but we found out that the concert was still two hours away and none of us had it in us to wait.

Instead we got dippin dots and had a nice break watching the carousel. I think Joel and I may have even taken a small nap with our eyes open.

And our last ride before heading home.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kyra's birthday party

Since the kids started school we have been to 6 birthday parties. It has actually been a lot of fun seeing the kids outside of the school setting and meeting other parents. We have also seen a lot of fun new places to bring the kids back to. We went to a princes party at a park where a real Cinderella sang and told her story. Evie was of course in heaven. We have also been to swim and gymnastic parties, etc. Both kids have been able to go to all the parties except this one. It wasn't really the kind of party to bring Ethan to and it was fun to have some time with just Evie. This party was at Wix. We made candles and soaps. It was a fun idea for a party and a great time with Evie. Evie of course loved Kyra's cake too.

Evie and the little girls from her pre-K class listening to the directions on how to make the candles.

After the girls chopped up the wax they chose they put it into these molds. The instructor put hot wax and a sent in the molds. The kids gathered around to watch. It was pretty cool.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happy Hollow again

The kids had so much fun at Happy Hallow park and zoo the last time we went exchanged our day tickets for a season pass. The kids don't have school on Tuesdays or Thursdays. I love not rushing in the mornings and taking our day for fun outings like Happy Hallow.

The kids are secretly watching the meerkats did their tunnels.

Evie is uncovering a large dinosaur skeleton

Surprisingly we didn't make it to some of the areas last time we were here so this time Evie wanted to make sure we saw the crooked house. Unfortunately it was boarded up. It looked just a little too crooked.

We caught a little puppet show. It was a bit silly but the kids were totally into it. This fox gave his blanket to a rock and then decided to take it back when he got cold, since the rock was just a rock and didn't need it. The rock wound up rolling over the fox and squishing him flat...the moral of the story...once you give you don't take back...

Last time we were here the line for the roller coaster was too long so we didn't do it. This time there were no lines so we did it again and again and again. At one point we went 5 times in a row. Evie was brave and rode by herself. I had to ride with Ethan because he just met the height requirement. Sometimes Evie rode with another parent and sometimes solo. She is excited to be in the front row.

At first Ethan wasn't brave enough to raise his hands even with his big sister doing it in front of him but the last time we went he kept his hands up the whole time.

Evie is so sweet to Ethan. Here she is stepping aside to make sure he went first up the steps and that he made it to the top. She is a good big sister.

It's moments like this when it hits me that Evie will soon be too big for these rides. She still totally loves playing but she is almost too tall to go on these kiddie rides.

And this is our stint of 5 times in a row on the roller coaster. I was happy to go but also happy when they were ready to do something else. There is a short video at the end of this post.

Ethan and mommy
Evie behind Ethan and I. She got to ride with someone this time.

The kids got to share a Popsicle on our walk to the exit. They really share so well. We got one of those types of Popsicles with two sticks in it and cut it in half. They never fuss for more or for something different - they were just stoked there was a stick for each of them.

And...Danny the dragon was there to tell us goodbye.

We stopped to get a few birthday presents on our way home. Ethan really wants this motorcycle for himself. He held it on his lap the whole way home. Hopefully that's a good sign the little boy it's for will love it too. Ethan is totally sacked. The kids played hard.

And Evie, who never naps said "mom, I'm pretty tired. I think I'll take a nap". And she fell right asleep. She and Ethan both transferred to their beds and slept for another hour after we got home. I love it when they play hard. It was a fun day for all of us. (except daddy. hopefully he can come next time)

VIDEO: Evie and Ethan on the roller coaster. Evie held her hands up every time but Ethan was more nervous until the last ride we did. Evie is sitting in front of Ethan and I with her hands up. I wish I could have seen her face. I'm sure it was a huge smile.