The Happiest Baby on the Block

Oh, Walker. What a happy baby you are. How did we get so lucky? I was so worried my second born would be collicky or fussy, compared to our angel first born (Jace), but he has proven to be quite the opposite.  Aside from still getting up once a night, he is so happy, and always smiling. Even when he wakes up  in the middle of night he’s smiling at you. He smiles way more than Jace did. It’s so cool to see how different your children are, and I’ve seen it so much with Walker. He’s slightly more quiet than Jace was, more observant. Unless it’s the day he’s had shots at the doctor, or a bad poopy in the diaper, you’ll find him smiling, staring into your eyes, and touching your face. And boy does he laugh!! Huge, baby belly laughs! And always at Jace! And I just know he’s going to be walking before one. This boy is quiet, but active. He’ll be across the room before you can even glance! Walker, thanks for being so happy. I think it might be because I let you sleep in my bed though! hehe Happy 6 months my not so little Walkman! Stop outgrowing everything you wear you big boy! We love you so much it hurts. And we love how your sweetness is contagious.

Activities for Kids, Aptos, Family

Sunset walks on Fridays

Well, it’s been 3 months now since we’ve moved back to California. For some reason it feels like longer than that, but still 3 months, all the same. Although this gorgeous weather has been making it easy to remember the good things about living the coastal life, I think we’ve had a hard time adjusting. I’m working from home now and Rob is home with the kids all day. Temporary I know, but still hard when I have to be “on” at work to get projects done and sit in on conference calls, etc. and the kids are crying or screaming or the TV is blaring. It’s been hard for me to turn Mom off and work on. But, bless Rob’s heart, he’s doing the best he can to keep the kiddos occupied and engaged, and every morning we have our morning meeting upstairs in the office to talk about the day’s schedule so he knows when to get the boys out of the house. At the same time, Jace is very clingy to Rob and desperate for friends again, so we’re anxious for him to start preschool around here to get back into some kind of routine where he can build up his independence again. And Mr. Walker is in that delicious baby stage where he’s more alert and awake and wants to be active with Jace, so even more to think about, on both Rob and I’s part (especially with all the bite-size toys and legos around here!). This work home life is truly a blessing, we just need to get better at it. And I know Rob will eventually go back to work once he finds something that suites him, but for now, we’ll just have to juggle the every day and support each other in getting balance and some alone time, where we can turn the attention back to ourselves and hit the gym, or the mani salon, or just wind down together on a Friday night after the long work week with a sunset walk on the beach. Nothing is more enjoyable than skipping rocks into calm waves, smelling that ocean air and seeing Jace run up and down the beach with the sunset in back view. That little one has so much energy, which is part of the reason we’re so spent by the end of every day! We do thank God for this chance right now to keep the boys home and not in daycare, and need to remember to simply enjoy it before schedules kick in again and late night movie loft nights aren’t an every day thing. For now, I’m going to enjoy the craziness because it lets me have lunch with my family every day and snuggle Walker when he wakes up from his naps. I also think these sunsets walks need to officially become a weekly ritual, to help us reflect on the week and the gift of each day we’re given.

Activities for Kids, Halloween, Santa Cruz

At the pumpkin patch

Happy fall, friends. You could definitely say we’re falling in over here. My kiddos are still too young for scary movies and most other Halloween things, but picking out and carving pumpkins is finally fun! Last weekend we went up to Rodoni Farms .. [remember our first trip there with baby Jace? :**(( ..] and picked out our pumpkins. Jace took it very seriously and was on a mission to the find the biggest one possible. And Rodoni doesn’t disappoint. They’re located on a massive hill overlooking the ocean, with rows and rows of every kind of pumpkin imaginable, and size! They also have a fun corn maze, face painting and other kid-friendly obstacles.

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Me in this moment

Do you ever feel like you suck at life? No? Just me? Well that’s how I feel.  And right now, in this moment, all I want is to get better at it. To be more patient with my 3-year old. To be more supportive of my spouse. To be a better friend. To be a better daughter. To be kinder to myself. To work harder at my day job. But sometimes, I feel like I can’t give any more of my self. They said parenting was hard, but gosh, some days, I really have to reach deep. The first book I ever received about parenting said that having children would be the greatest gift from God.  That children would challenge you and make you question things. Make you stronger and build your character. Help you see the purest of hearts from the womb and test your love. That children would teach you patience and selflessness and humility like no other experience. And in this moment, I totally agree. I’m tired and definitely tried. By the end of the day, I feel dead. I fear I look very haggard. I really do. Alone time doesn’t kick in until 9:30 at night, once the kids are asleep, and if I haven’t passed out putting them to sleep, I usually spend the time eating a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich or putting away my laundry that’s been clean and sitting in piles in my small bedroom for 3 weeks. And even more, when Jace wipes his chocolate-smeared mouth on my clean shirt, or fights me to put on his pajamas, or tells me he hates me, or that he wants Daddy after I just made him cheesy scrambled eggs with avo, his favorite, I want to throw in the towel.  But gosh darn it, I won’t! Because you know what Cheryl? He’s human. Just like you.  This is God telling me to work harder. To be stronger. To woman up. To be the kind of person I want my son to grow up to be – calm and collected. And above all, a happy person, because life is good dang it! I’ll stay up later to clean if I need to, and put off my bikini wax another month so I can buy him a $40 Guardians of the Galaxy toy set. My self might be sort of unrecognizable in the moment, but dang it, that kid is a part of me and I freaking love him. And his pure heart gets me every time. Just like tonight, when he wanted all the neighbors and lookers driving by to look at his freshly carved pumpkin, all lit up in the dark on our front porch. He even invited people back to our house to see it after buying tealights at the local grocer. When he looks at us and says, “I have an idea”, I about want to cry in that moment. He’s so good, I just need to see it more. He truly is a gift.

Activities for Kids, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!

We found Jace’s new favorite place last week – the BOARDWALK! Tuesday night was Retro night, with old school prices for rides (only $1.50!). I couldn’t remember if there were enough rides for Jace’s size, but to my surprise there were a lot! And many we could accompany him on, like the log ride – which we rode twice. Such a blast!!!! We found Jace didn’t want to ride any rides by himself .. so we ended up searching for the ones we could do together. My favorite might have been the ferris wheel as I went a little crazy with the photos, haha. I also like my alone time with my little boy ;) Walker did pretty good, too. We splurged on corn dogs, sweet potato fries and fried oreos for me! As you can see, the weather was great. I see us getting season tickets next summer for sure, and might even take my parents next week over Labor Day. This place really gives you all the feels. The beach, the screams .. the smell of fried food. It’s just like a movie. Brings back lots of great memories and I can’t wait for Jace to make his own memories here with his friends.

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