Wednesday, October 26, 2011


As with all second children, I have not done as well documenting each of Johnny's milestones so here a list (mostly for me to remember later) of some of the things he is doing now.....

Things Johnny is Saying:

Johnny's turn (when he see Emma doing ANYTHING) (when he wants to do something himself and doesn't want help)

Hiya!! (play fighting)

Aww Man (at very appropriate times)

Memaa (this is what he calls is so sweet)

fee...fee (this means he needs to go pee pee)

Hide (he still LOVES to hide and is really good at it)

Orange (this is his favorite color and if you ask him what color something is he will insist it is orange and laugh knowing it isn't)

Five Mo Minute (while holding up one finger when I tell him it is time to go)

Go Home (when he wants us to go away)

No Tan Tu Memma (No thank you Emma)

My Memma (to anyone that talks to Emma)

Funny things he Does:

Hits the ball and runs bases no matter where we are.

Gets in a runners stance at random moments then takes off running.

He has started going number two in the toilet and with each plop he will say...."football" or "baseball" based on the size and shape

Wants french toast for breakfast EVERY morning

Refuses to give kisses and is more adamant the more that you want one...sometimes we trick him and ask for one when he gets distracted...then you get the sweetest kiss...then he realizes he has been tricked and wipes it away with a smirk on his face.

Happy Hallow

One of the places we kept hearing that we needed to visit was Happy Hallow in San Jose. This is pretty much an amusement park made just for preschoolers. It has the kiddie rides, a small zoo and a large play area. The even greater thing is that we get in free with our NC Zoo pass!

Here is a roller coaster that both kids rode and LOVED.

Johnny was too short for the ride but we had just happened to have picked his hair out that day and the people in charge of the ride weren't really sure what to do with it. He was just tall enough with his afro to be let in...

We had a very fun day (we have already been back) and I think we will make many more trips to Happy Hallow this year.

New Friends

When we found out that we were moving to Palo Alto good friends of ours from college put us in contact with their friends, the Davis family, to help us figure out where we should live and help us get settled in. Paula, Glen, Dana and Xander have been life savers for us. They invited us over for dinner our first night in town, helped us move in, and have become great friends. Not only are they an awesome family, the kids get along well and I think Paula and I have either talked or hung out at least every other day since we moved here. Here is a picture of us at Sprinkles taking advantage of a free cupcake....

I know that I am going to have to find more friends soon but for now I am VERY thankful to have my one friend in town. Not sure if you read my blog Paula but if so....thanks for everything!

"Fear the Tree"

For those of you that are sports fans I am sure that you already knew this but Stanford University's mascot is a tree. A Cardinal to be exact. This actually fits the personality of the school exactly. Who needs a tough mascot when you go to Stanford? A tree will do.....

A couple of weeks ago we attended our first Stanford football game. The kids loved the crowds and watched most of the game. I think this is the only game we will make it to this year as they are sold out of the cheap seats but we look forward to next season and are ready with our Stanford gear to cheer the Cardinal on!

Above is my attempt to get a picture of our family at the game. Johnny was not cooperating so he gets a picture posted of him picking his nose.

We all went to the Stanford bookstore and got to pick out a shirt for the game. Emma picked pink...of course...

And Johnny picked a football player and insisted on taking his football to the game.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Santa Cruz

Our next day trip had to be to the beach. The beaches on the San Francisco coast are beautiful. The closest large beach area is Santa Cruz. It has a big boardwalk with a ferris wheel and lots of other stuff to do at the beach but we passed on the crowds and went to the state park to see the tide pools instead.

The kids loved looking in the tide pools and putting their fingers in the sea anemones.

Emma told Johnny all about how to touch the sea life though he was perfectly happy just watching.

And of course, they loved playing in the waves. Though the water was freezing (yes we definitely miss the warm Atlantic ocean) the kids still had fun being chased by the ocean.

And got nice and sandy in the process....

Had to include this picture of Johnny. This is what he does no matter where we go..RUNS!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

End of Summer Fun

One of the things that has made our move easier is having a pool. When we need to get out, we put on our suits, take a five minute walk, and we are at the pool. Emma can now swim on her own across the pool and John has even taught her to do a crawl stroke. Johnny jumps in with no fear and floats until someone helps him up.

Since swimming during the day isn't enough for our kiddos, one evening we headed to Stanford and let them walk around in a fountain. Apparantly there is no rule against this on campus so it is a common sight to see kids cooling off with their feet in the water. It is just more fun when you can walk around in water that seems like it should be off limits. It is also more fun when it is paired with a Jamba Juice!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The City

We decided our first trip exploring the area needed to be to "the city". This is how everyone in the Peninsula area refers to San Francisco. You can drive to the city in less than an hour but we wanted our first trip to be by train so we rode the Caltrain.

The kids LOVED the train. It takes about 45 minutes to get there on a normal train, 30 minutes on an express train.

We didn't have any agenda for the day so we got off the train and started walking. We walked down to the Ferry Station and walked around the farmers market and then walked down to Fisherman's Wharf. It was a beautiful day and there were a lot of street performers and vendors everywhere. We ate lunch on Pier 39 which is full of restaurants and shops.

Alcatraz from a distance....(yes....we did go home and watch "The Rock" that night)
Then we decided to keep walking and walked up to Giradelli Square. At this point we had walked almost four miles so we took a break and let the kids take a nap in the stroller while we enjoyed a hot chocolate from the Giradelli shop.

We were going to take a trolly ride but the lines were long and it didn't take us back where we came so we decided to save it for our next trip.

Once the kids woke up we headed back down to the water to catch a cable car back up to where the train station would take us home.

We quickly discovered that the cable cars are packed at 4 in the afternoon and there was no way a family of four and a huge stroller were going to fit. So we started walking again. By the end of the day we had walked almost 8 miles. Our feet were sore for the next week but it was well worth it. We really enjoyed San Francisco and are looking forward to our next visit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Stanford is Bike Friendly" is an Understatement

When John came out for his interview, he came back and told me everyone he met rode bikes. I thought...ok, I can see how a flat area with good weather would have a lot of bike riders but surely everyone doesn't ride bikes; what are we in the 50's?. I have been proven wrong. Everyone from the ages of 5 - 85 rides bikes. It is a reasonable way to get around in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and around Stanford's campus. There are bike lanes everywhere and drivers are very pedestrian and bike aware. Here is a photo of the kids saying goodbye to John on his way to work.

We are a one car family now and John rides to work, rain or shine (though to be fair...the shine is almost all the time). Stanford's campus is so big that it would take the students too long to get from one class to another on foot so everyone gets a bike to get around. Crossing a bike path at Stanford is kind of like crossing a street. You look both ways and stay put during traffic times (between classes) or you might get run over. We are loving this new way of life. For some reason, an outing is just better when you can walk or ride there. We have not yet invested in a way to pull the kids behind us so for now we are a one bike family. But I predict that I will not be able to resist the trend and will be searching craigslist for a bike trailer in the near future.