Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sprinkles, Sprinkles Everywhere!

Doug and Jean were in town helping while we had appointments.  Cayden and Gigi made cookies one afternoon after naps.  What was Cayden's favorite part?  You guessed it... sprinkles!  LOTS of sprinkles!  I felt sprinkles on my feet for days after the cookies were made.  After running the vac over them multiple times and mopping, I think I have FINALLY gotten rid of all of those sprinkles!! 
It was definitely a memory maker, and we have the pictures to prove it!

My grandmother used to cook with me. 
I can still remember those special moments.

I love these little boy fingers.  Almost two years old!

Notice how the sprinkle bottles are full.  They were empty moments later!

That is one serious chef!

Gigi was trying to keep the sprinkles to a minimum. 
I think Cayden won that battle!

Mounds of sprinkles!

She's 4 Months...

...and weighs as much as a 9-12 month old should! I Love It!

She's weighing in at a petite 19.4 pounds which puts her in the 100th percentile.  Her length is only at the 90th percentile... tiny thing!  Her doctor told me I should feed her less often.  What!?!  I can't do that!  Matt is super concerned that we are going to have an obese baby.  Really?  Must we worry about that too!?!?

Brinley is such a sweet baby girl.  She laughs when we laugh out loud and love to smile at Cayden.
It isn't unusual for Matt and I to be laughing about something over dinner and for Brinley to chime in with her giggles like she has ANY idea of what is going on!  That, of course, causes a chain reaction.  Cayden will laugh because Brinley is laughing, etc...
Cayden likes to rub her head and then waits for our approval to tell him that he is a sweet big brother!  He smiles, she smiles.  It's sweet.  We know we have to cherish this stage. They won't always be so sweet to each other!!

We FINALLY moved her to her big girl crib!  It was kind of sad.  I have really enjoyed having her in our room.  I guess it's because she's the baby.  It could be because she's a girl.  I'm not really sure.  I miss hearing her little piggy sounds throughout the night!  What once used to keep me awake has become a reassuring sound that I miss.  The first few nights were amazing.  She slept all through the night... and then some!  The last couple nights have been harder.  I'm not sure exactly why, but we're beginning to let her cry a little.  It's SO sad!

At four months, she is incredibly strong.  She holds her head up extremely well and likes to bounce.  When she is on her tummy, she acts like she is trying to crawl!  Slow down sister!  I'm not ready for her to be mobile just yet!

Anyway- we had her shots and she still (a week later) has bumps on her legs from them.  Maybe that's why she isn't sleeping super well.
She cried with the shots, of course, but was asleep before we left the office. Sweet girl.

Cayden needed some camera time.  Cheese Ball.
(and check out those rolls on Brinley.  UGH.  I love it!)

Matt is determined to have her sit up. 
He works with her every night.  So sweet.
She is actually getting much closer! 
She can sit up (tri-pod style) and normal for a while before falling backwards.

This was the BEFORE shots picture!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

San Diego- The Final Chapter

The next couple of days in San Diego were less exhausting!  We slept in on Sunday and had breakfast in the car on our way to La Jolla.  The Bucks met us there and once again, we were all stunned with the beauty surrounding us.  The beach was totally different from the one in Del Mar.  The most noticeable difference was the seals!!  They were ALL over the beach.  At first we thought they were being protected by the law, but later Matt told us the animal activists had put up signs warning people not to bother the seals.  We wouldn't have bothered them, but we would have liked to get a little closer!!

Check out the seals in the background!!  They were all over the beach!

The seals are behind us... all sizes!
crazy animals!

The girls spent a lot of time in the strollers!
Sweet girls!

After that beach, we went to a different beach that was more kid friendly.  The kids all had a blast, but quickly turned purple (literally)!!!  Little Miss Ellie was so cold!  I think the boys were having too much fun to notice it, but we pulled the plug on the outing when we started getting concerned that they would be hospitalized if they weren't warmed up and dried off quickly.

Don't let this picture fool you... there was little (if any) hesitation when it came to running in the water!
Do they not have a temperature gauge?  The water was freezing!

...there went the shirt!

Matt found a sand dollar. (Now it's in our garage... smells great!)

We took the kids back to the hotel for naps and met back up with the Bucks at the Corvette Diner.  It was great.  We highly recommend that place to anyone visiting San Diego.  The kids were all extremely entertained.  There was a lot of singing, dancing, clapping, stomping, and the wait staff was exceptional.

We were sad to leave the Corvette Diner because that was our last outing in San Diego.
The next morning we woke up and headed to the airport.  This time the plane ride home was uneventful and boring.  (Just the way we like it!!!)  Cayden actually stayed in our aisle the whole time, and we rarely heard much out of him.  Again- just the way we like it.  :)

We spent the rest of our day sleeping!!  The kids slept until almost 6:30 that evening!!  We were shocked, but thankful! 

A BIG Thank You to the Bucks because without their buddy passes, we wouldn't have gone to San Diego.  We will treasure the memories of this trip forever!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

San Diego- Part Two

Day Two- The San Diego Zoo
I have wanted to go to the San Diego Zoo for YEARS!!  When the Bucks first invited us on this trip, I felt like a little kid who was about to see Disney World for the first time.  It didn't disappoint. 

The zoo is huge and has all kinds of super neat features.  We started off by taking a bus tour of the zoo.  Cayden loved the two-story bus.  Instead of adoring the cool animals we pointed out to him, he waved to all of the people walking below us.  We tried several times to show him the bears, elephants, lions, etc... but he continued to wave at the people. I don't think we really caught his attention until we were able to actually feed the giraffe!  That was awesome (for me)!   I think he was kind of freaked out by that huge purple tongue! 

Thomas & Cayden
The boys were SO good!!!

We stopped for lunch at the zoo and received a call from my dad saying that someone had found my phone and called him because he was labeled as "dad" in my phone book.  Praise the Lord!  She found it under the bench where we suspected Cayden left it and took it to her house. We called her and made arrangements to pick my phone up. What a blessing! (Come to find out... when we got home, we had a message on our home phone from a man who also found my phone and called our house!  He said he was leaving it there in case we returned to look for it.  Someone also called my mom's cell phone.  I'm telling you... those people were SO nice!!)

The zoo day was pretty smooth until Cayden face-planted during lunch because he was jumping off of a curb.  Matt and I had just discussed the danger involved (after watching Thomas fall and hurt himself), but Matt felt that it was important that he learn how to jump and assured me that boys need to do things that are a little dangerous. Moments later, he fell head first and to this moment- still has a bruise on his forehead.  It actually wasn't as bad of a knot as I first thought it would be.  Sadly, he has had worse, but you just hate it when they hit their heads!  That was a major bummer as well.

Minutes later (and I literally mean 5 minutes later)...I lost my wallet at a vendor's stand.  That's Major Bummer # who knows.  I lost count!
Fortunately, the good Lord was watching over me and it was still there when we went back to look for it. 
By this time, Matt was removing all valuables from my care.  It was becomming increasingly apparent that I was no longer capable of taking care of my things!  Seriously! He said I would lose my head if it wasn't attached to my body!

We rode a sky taxi across the zoo twice.  Cayden absolutely loved this.  It would have been even better if we had known it was only one-way.  We left our strollers at the entrance, so we ended up carrying our kids until we were ready to take the taxi back.  Somehow I ended up carrying Cayden while Matt carried Brinley.  What was I thinking?!?

The Bucks were in the cart ahead of us.

The zoo sadly came to an end, but it was definitely time.  We all had a great time.  The kids were fantastic, but totally exhausted by the time we left.

Check out the gorilla above Matt's right shoulder!

SO Sleepy!!!
We went back to the beach at Del Mar to get my phone and then we ended the evening at a local pizza place that was recommended to us by friends.  It was delicious.

Again, we dropped into our beds and slept like babies.  What a fun and beautiful day!

San Diego- Part One

First, I must say that San Diego is GORGEOUS!!!  Matt and I are in love and extremely impressed with the people there!  They are all so nice.  Just a quick (okay, probably not so quick) run-down of our first family vacation with all four of us!  We really did have a great time.  I'm not going to lie though...  It is hard traveling with little kids.  It is So incredibly different than before.  Although I wouldn't trade these memories for anything, I am looking forward to the day that traveling together becomes something that is relaxing again!

Day 1- Departure Day (Brinley's first plane ride)
We woke Cayden up early in order to catch our flight out. Cayden was crying because he was so tired, so Matt brought out the matches. (Yes- we bribed our son with fire!) This changed Cayden's mood instantly.  He loves blowing out matches (thanks to Papa)! As Cayden blew out the flame, he used his nose and burned the tip.  Ouch!  Major Bummer #1. 
Ashley was kind enough to offer to take us to the airport.  She actually drove us to the airport for Cayden's first plane ride too!  It's tradition! They took a later flight, and it was probably good.  They would not have wanted to be seen with us!  I'm sure we looked like a circus.

At the airport, I lost my driver's license...but didn't know it.  Major Bummer #2. Yes! I am that stupid- and it gets worse.
We boarded the plane after a custodian chased me down and handed me my license.  She recognized me from my picture.  Oh Wow.  Praise God!
We borrowed our neighbor's DVD player because ours was discarded by Matt. Being the most prepared person that I am, I plugged it in the night before and there was a green light next to the word "charging." I thought that green meant it was good to go, so I unplugged it.  Wrong!!!  About 10 minutes into the flight, ELMO ran out of batteries.  Major Bummber #3. 

We spent the next two and a half hours trying to entertain Cayden in a seat by stuffing him with all kinds of food.  Apparently he got a little too much with his last twizzler and puked ALL over me and him.  Major Bummer #4.
After FINALLY arriving to San Diego, we were getting our rental car and had Cayden sitting in the stroller.  (Bad idea to ask a toddler to sit in a stroller after being stuck on an airplane for three hours.)  I was strolling along the car aisle checking out the rides when Cayden squirmed out and ended up face-planting on the concrete.  You'd think I would learn, but we put him back in the stroller and did a repeat.  This time he really hit hard and ended up with a huge bruise and bloody elbow and forearm.  Major Bummer #5.

Believe it or not, we still thought we were having fun!  Little did we know the fun would only get more and more intense!! Ashley called me Thursday and said we had hotel problems, so we ended up finding a smoking hot deal at a Doubletree Resort on a golf course.  It was awesome.  I requested early check-in because our kids desperately need to take naps.  Check-in was at 3:00, and they told me they would have our room ready by 12:30.  Perfect!  We ended up getting there early, but had to waste time because our room was NOT ready at 12:00.  Major Bummer #6 was that it wasn't actually ready until 2:45.  Yes- you heard it right... 15 minutes early.  You have GOT to be kidding me!!  So how did we spend our time?  We ate at In N Out Burger, played with the phones at Best Buy and played with all of the animals at Pet's Mart.

We were so annoyed, and the kids were literally crying in their sleep by the time we finally got in our room.
3:00 Cali time = 5:00 Texas time = no naps for the Culli kids. 
So what do you do with SUPER cranky kids in Cali?  You go to the beach, of course!!
The beach was amazing.  The flowers were gorgeous, and the waves were huge!  There were tons of surfers, random rabbits hopping along, and lots of smooth black rocks along the shores. The only hard thing was actually getting down to the beach.  We were on a local beach and you literally had to rock climb to get down to the beach.  That was what the locals did, so when in Rome....  We tried.  At one point, I asked Matt if he thought we were going to die.  I was holding Brinley and slipping down this super steep and narrow slope.  Cayden was crying because I kept saying we weren't going to make it, and he REALLY wanted to see the rabbit that was about 20 feet below us on the beach.  Somehow, we made it back up the slope and down a different slope without killing ourselves. The water was freezing, but that didn't stop Cayden.  He was having the time of his life! "Bubbles!!! Water!!! Rabbit!!!"  Brinley was freezing, but she was still a really good trooper. 

Joe Cool at the hot tub before we left for the beach...

Seriously gorgeous flowers everywhere!!!
The water is about 50 feet below them.
This is the beginning of our journey down. 
This is the slope we tried to go down....  bad idea!
(sorry the picture is sideways)

This is showing what we just attempted to climb down...  How do they do it with surf boards and wet?
This was the second and much safer path down.

On our way back up, we stopped to talk to a lady who lived on the beach.  Meanwhile, Cayden amused himself by digging in the backpack.  It wasn't until later that night when we realized that Cayden had taken my cell phone out of the bag and left it on the bench where we were talking to that nice lady!!  Major Bummer #7!!  We spent the next few minutes cancelling my cell phone.  We were just thankful he didn't take our wallets out or our camera.  We finished the evening by showering and eating at In N Out Burger AGAIN before falling into bed.

God promises new mercies each morning.  We were really looking forward to receiving them!