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2010 - Page Text Content

S: Notes for Nicholas 2010

FC: Notes for Nicholas | The Story of my Life 2010

1: With everyday Nicholas begins to change, grow and develop. It is a joy to watch each day unfold. Here are just a few of the highlights.

2: Back to School | Wednesday, January 6, 2010 | Well the holiday break is finally over! Nicholas is back in school and has two new buddies to play with. On Mondays and Wednesdays he plays with Martha. Martha is a Human Development major with a Neurobiology minor and plans on going to medical school to become a doctor. He plays with Victoria on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Victoria is from San Francisco and plans on going to nursing school once she graduates this year. Nicholas jumped right back into school and wasn’t bothered at all by the fact that Kathy and Melissa were gone. He is happy to be playing with his friends Asher and Andy, and has become the talk of his class with his incredible passion for golf. He is much more uninhibited at school and likes to talk and sing more in class. I can’t wait to see how he grows and develops over the course of this quarter.

3: Nicholas is so full of energy I wanted to find a fun class for him to go to on Fridays when he doesn’t have school. I found a great Gymnastics class for 2-3 year olds that is offered through the city. He absolutely loved it! He was so excited and didn’t want to do any stretches with the group. He went from one activity to the next- running! He really enjoyed the ball pit and the huge trampoline. I think he was smiling, laughing or squealing the entire time. The class was only a half an hour and I think he would have stayed all day! He’s going to enjoy the next four months! | Gymnastics is so fun | Friday, January 8, 2010

4: Another Rugby season has begun | Saturday, January 9, 2010 | It’s hear again- Rugby season! The first game was against Humbolt State. It was a cold and cloudy day in Berkeley. J got to play for half the game and did really well. Nicholas was interested in the game when they were near outside of the field, but they were on the other side of the field most of the time (Cal scored A LOT of points!). Once he got restless we went over to the softball field, where we found some balls to play with. Nicholas liked running the bases and throwing the ball around. After the Cal win, we all went out for some Mexican food. Nicholas enjoyed his rice and beans and the blowout game.

5: It was week 2 of gym class and Nicholas was so excited! The activities were all set up differently. He enjoyed using the climbing wall and going down the slide. He was able to walk on the balance beam by himself and loved jumping on that trampoline again. He was smiling the entire time! After class we went over to the Arboretum and fed the ducks in the creek. He is fascinated with the ducks and could watch them for hours. He likes it best when they quack. After the ducks it was time to head over to the vet school and check out the horses. We brought some carrots for the five horses, and it took some coaxing to get them to come over. Finally our favorite grey horse came over for a carrot. After he had eaten two, one of the other horses came over for a bite. The other three weren’t that interested. Nicholas really enjoyed seeing the animals. He didn’t want to go home! We’ll have to come back again soon! | Gym, Ducks and Horses | Friday, January 15, 2010

6: It's raining, it's pouring... | Tuesday, January 19, 2010 | It’s been pretty rainy here! Nicholas has been getting lots of use out of his raincoat and boots. On the way to the car from school we had to walk through the Arboretum and through a down pour. Of course, Nicholas was not interested in moving quickly to the car, but wanted to run and jump in all the huge puddles. Since he was already wet, I let him have some fun! He was jumping, running and kicking the water. He liked to tilt his head back, stick out his tongue and taste the water. He came to one puddle that was about a foot deep! He really enjoyed running in that puddle...until he tripped and fell into the water. He was soaked from head to toe- but was laughing the whole time. After that, it was time to head back to the car and get home to some warm clothes. He had a great time in the rain!

7: Another fun day at gymnastics! Nicholas enjoyed running and jumping on the trampoline, but his biggest feat was climbing the ladder on his own. Once he climbed to the top he wanted to do it over and over again. I think in the entire half hour he runs and jumps the whole way...with a big smile! | Another day at the gym | Friday, February 5, 2010

8: Viva Las Vegas | Tuesday, February 9, 2010 | It’s been a few months, so it’s time to hit the airport again! I think Nicholas has racked up more airline miles than most adults! The Cal rugby team was asked to play in the Las Vegas Invitational President's weekend, so Nicholas, Nana and I hit the town a few days early for a mini vacation! It is amazing how much Nicholas’ vocabulary has grown- as we arrived at the airport he said, “Ride on an airplane!” We arrived in Las Vegas and settled into our hotel south, very south of the strip. On Wednesday, we leisurely explored “our” neck of the woods and picked up some supplies. Nicholas checked out the heated pool with his new floaties. I was surprised to see that he was a little timid. Not the same boy who was jumping off the side of the pool over the summer. But, he enjoyed swimming while holding my hands. After Nicholas had turned blue we headed back indoors and he continued his swim indoors in the two person jacuzzi tub with some warm water. After all that he was a little sleepy, but still managed to hold his eyes open to watch Shark Tale (his latest favorite). It was a great day, I mean how many people go swimming in February?!

9: Today it was time to go north and explore the famous strip! Uncle James and Grammie flew into town the night before and were ready to join us on our adventure. We headed over to the Paris hotel and walked down the block. We checked out the Miracle Mile of Shops and got some much needs trinkets (and J an over priced coffee). We checked out the Coke store and M&M store before having to take J to meet the team at the hotel. We then headed over to UNLV to meet up with Cousin Matt, who has just started school there. We went out for a late lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Nicholas was a little cranky but by the end of lunch he was talking away to Matt. After dropping Matt off we headed over to the Bellagio hotel and took in the huge Chinese New Year display. We also experienced the tallest chocolate fountain before heading over to Caesars Palace. In Caesars we checked out the shops and Nicholas loved the giant fish tank. We were having a good time until Nicholas and I were asked to leave because “us” children aren’t allowed in the gaming area! I didn’t think I looked that young! So, after that it was time for some ice cream! I wanted to check out Serendipity 3. Nicholas and I shared my favorite, “black and white” finished off with a chocolate covered strawberry. Nicholas enjoyed every bite; even the ones he took after deciding that using a spoon was too much trouble and going mouth first was more rewarding . Our bellies were full, our feet were tired and it was time to head back to the hotel to get some rest before Rugby tomorrow! | Fun on the strip | Thursday, February 11, 2010

10: Rugby in the desert | Friday, February 12, 2010 | We had finally arrived at the main event, Cal Rugby! The Las Vegas Invitational was coinciding with the USA Sevens tournament, and there were lots of rugby teams and fans about. During Cal’s first game (which J did not play in), Nicholas finished up his nap and then we hung out at the playground near the rugby fields. He enjoyed the slides, but mostly just wanted to watch the other kids. Once on the field he enjoyed throwing his little ball and playing his own game. After a field change Nicholas hung out with Grammie and Nana and watched J play against San Diego State. All was well until J had a near injury, good thing it turned out alright! After 2 wins it was time to get some dinner before settling in to watch the Olympics at the hotel. I think Nicholas feel asleep between Armenia and Australia, but hey it had been a busy day!

11: Another day, another trip to the airport to pick another person up. This time Grandpa flew in for the last rugby game. We picked him up and headed to fields. Nicholas was enjoying practicing on the sidelines until he caught a glimpse of a real rugby ball. He was upset when he couldn't play with it (it was a game ball), so one of the players gave him a practice ball to throw around. He was beyond delighted. Forget the little ball he was using, it was all about the real thing now. He passed and kicked it, adjusting himself to the larger size and weight of this amazing ball. While he was “practicing,” a player was being called into the game and was warming up next to Nicholas- he was fascinated. After he went into the game, Nicholas began to jump up and down and run in place- mimicking the warm up the player was doing. It was pretty cute to watch. Once again it was another victory, but for Nicholas it was a loss since he had to give up his rugby ball. After the game we hit up a buffet fro lunch and then it was off to the pool for a swim. That night we went down to the strip and walked around the Venetian and other close by hotels. There were so many people down there that we headed back to the hotel and watched some of the Olympics. But, before bed for good measure Nicholas had to practice his “warm ups” and throw the ball around. | Nicholas: the unofficial Cal Rugby player | Saturday, February 13, 2010

12: Love on the Hoover Dam | Sunday, February 14, 2010 | Ahh, Valentine's Day! Nicholas awoke to a few fun tokens of love left by the Love bandit. After he was dressed in his Valentine's shirt it was off to the Paris Hotel to sample the amazing buffet- too bad everyone else in Vegas had the same idea. The wait was a little brutal. Nicholas watched his DVD player until he was just too hungry and then it was a little hellish, but I tried to distract him. The wait was worth it for those strawberry and chocolate fudge crepes! After brunch it was time to do what I had been waiting for...see the Hoover Dam (I know I am a thrill seeker)! We started our drive only to have to stop twice because Nicholas got sick. Poor boy didn't feel too great! But, after a long wait and a stinky car we made it to the dam. We even entered another state and time zone, ok maybe for only 20 minutes but who cares. Nicholas wasn't too impressed with the Dam, but who could blame him after having thrown up twice. We took in the sights for a little while and then it was back on the road and off to the airport (again- I think I went to the airport 5 times). Nicholas arrived back in California having visited two new states, had some winter pool fun, and a whole lot of new memories to add to the memory bank. With all this traveling as a child, he'll probably never want to go anywhere as an adult! He’ll say he’s been everywhere! Well, then I guess I better make sure he’s been everywhere...

13: Nicholas has been very busy at school! He has been on countless Duck walks in the UCD Arboretum, participated in creating art: sculpture, painting, sand art, play dough and has started cooking- baking pretzels, making cookies and pizzas. The kids have learned new songs and games, and Nicholas especially likes the parachute. Nicholas’ vocabulary has increased immensely and I can now understand most of what he says. The other day on the way to school I was asking his some questions about school. This is what he said: Mommy: Who is your friend at school? Nicholas: Asher and Andy Mommy: What do you like to do with Victoria? Nicholas: Play fire engines Mommy: What do you like to do with Martha? Nicholas: Eat snack Mommy: What is your favorite song to sing at school? Nicholas: Slippery Fish Mommy: What else do you like to do at school? Nicholas: Run, jump, dig, see Asher, golf Nicholas knows what he likes and now we can finally understand him! Yay! He loves to golf and is a big sports fan. He talks about Asher all the time and we think he’s his best friend. He likes to play ball with Rosco (Yay for me!) and really likes the golf channel. Who knows what he’ll say the next time I ask him his likes and dislikes! | Nicholas' Interview | Monday, March 8, 2010

14: The Irish Soccer Star | Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | Nicholas has a few weeks off from school for student finals and spring break. So, yesterday and today we took walk down to the soccer fields near our house. Nicholas was really taken with the large goals and was eager to get on the field. He did really well at running the ball up and down the field on his own and then defending the ball against me. We have to work on passing, but for being 2 I think he’s doing great. His favorite things to do was to yell “GOALLLL!” as he shot the ball into the net. Now he is always asking, “soccer game? soccer game?” I am sure we will be visiting that field a lot. Hopefully we can find a toddler league for him soon! I can just hear it now....“Kelly scores a goal, Kelly scores a goal!”

15: Well, it was another exciting rugby filled weekend. We headed over to Berkeley for Cal’s last home game against St. Mary’s. It was a packed game and one full of action. Nicholas really enjoyed watching the “crashing” and all of the exciting plays. He really enjoyed people watching and traveling back and forth on the bleachers. The game ended with another Cal win. Nicholas enjoyed saying “Go Bears” and keeps asking when the next game is! | Roll on you bears | Saturday, March 20, 2010

16: Steve's barber shop | Sunday, March 21, 2010 | Nicholas’ hair was getting a bit long and the price of kids haircuts are a bit much so I decided to give it a whirl. I set Nicholas in front of the TV with a movie and gave him a bowl of M&M’s (hoping this would keep him manageable). I got out the clippers and set to work on his little head. Unfortunately he wiggled a bit too much when I was trimming his ears it came out a bit uneven. After a week or so of growth, Steve stepped in to even things out. This time we did double duty and I held his face while Steve cut. He wasn’t too thrilled with all of it, but it turned out a lot better than I could do on my own. Now, he looks like a little boy. But, we’ll see if he let's us cut his hair next time...the promise of M&M’s might not be enough!

17: During Nicholas’ spring break Grammie also had a few days off, so I scheduled my second oral surgery during this time. While I was having my gums sliced and diced, Nicholas spent the time with Grammie. I was able to recover and get some much needed down time while they lived it up on the town. Nicholas showed Grammie all around the parks in town and discovered that he is not a fan of swings. They went on driving trips around town and even went down the toy aisle in Target. Nicholas was spoiled with monster trucks and toy cars. They went out to lunch and watched movies. Nicholas showed Grammie all his gymnastics skills and even took her to meet his best friend, Asher! After almost a week of nonstop fun and excitement, he was not ready to go back to reality with me. He can’t wait until his next mommy vacation! | Fun with Grammie | Friday, March 26, 2010

18: A little vino?! | Saturday, March 27, 2010 | We were all in for a treat when Uncle Ron came out from New Jersey for a conference and had some free time to come for a visit. Grannie and James were able to come up for the visit as well. After a morning visit, we decided to do one of Ron’s favorite things and check out the local wineries. We headed over to Clarksburg, where Nicholas check out his first winery. Although he didn’t sample any beverages, he did have some cheese. His favorite was the Brie on crackers. After a little snack, while everyone else sampled the wine, we headed over to an antique car on the grounds of the winery. Nicholas was not too sure at first but soon enough he was sitting in the driver’s seat and making driving noises. He enjoyed it so much he didn’t want to leave. After our wine tasting we went to a local Mexican restaurant where Nicholas filled his belly with all of his favorites- tacos, beans and rice. It was a day filled with good food, good times and lots of family fun!

19: Easter started early this year! We had to get up early to drive to San Mateo so we could all go to church with Grannie. After the service they had an egg hunt for the kids. Nicholas enjoyed hunting for eggs and filling his basket. After church we headed over to Grannie’s where we met Nana and Grannie’s friend, Andrea. We visited and ate lunch. Nicholas enjoyed playing ball in the grass and sneaking chocolate candies at every chance he could find. I think he ate more chocolate than anything else. Grannie and Nana each got him a nice easter basket filled with goodies. Nicholas is really starting to enjoy holidays- eating lots of candy and doing whatever he wants! | Easter Chocolates | Sunday, April 4, 2010

20: Nicholas' best friend | Friday, April 16, 2010 | After a fun time at gymnastics, we headed over to central park in Davis to meet up with Asher and his dad. The boys had lots of fun running from playground to playground, kicking the ball around and shadowing each other’s every move. Nicholas even showed Asher how to play golf and Asher gave Nicholas a run for his money with his awesome soccer moves! After some play time and a few snacks we headed over to the fire department. We were able to look at the big fire engines and they each received a fire hat. Asher sat in the truck and pretended to drive, but Nicholas was a little more hesitant about the whole thing. After the fire engines it was time to say bye to Asher as he got on the bus for his ride home. It’s so fun playing with our best friend!

21: Spring was in full bloom on this year’s picnic day. The sun was shining, the skies were blue and it was even a bit warm. We headed to campus early, only to find that it was already packed with people. Grammie, Grandpa, James, Nicholas and I started out the day at the fire and police station. Nicholas was mesmerized by the shinny red trucks and had fun taking a picture as a policeman. Everywhere we went seemed to be flooded with people and there were lines to all the big attractions. But, we headed toward Hart hall- home to Grammie and Nicholas’ (his school’s) department. They had lots of fun stuff for kids, even though he was a little too young for most of it. But, he did have fun with bubbles and even got to pet a blue tongued lizard. After the fun there we headed over the the UCD Rugby Alumni game. Steve was playing in the game and we had fun watching him play. He made some great plays and seemed to still have some major skills. Nicholas did enjoy riding on the “tractor” while watching the game. After the game we headed back to the main part of campus and checked out the animals. We even toured the slaughter house. We finished off the day with the Doxie Derby and a cruise through downtown’s massive crowds for some frozen yogurt. Nicholas’ first picnic day was a fun filled adventure filled with lots of excitement, but next year we might avoid the crowds and sit it out! | UCD Picnic Day | Saturday, April 17, 2010

22: My little sous chef | Wednesday, April 21, 2010 | He’s a golf prodigy, a baseball star, a Cal Bear rugby student, football kicker, soccer goalie, UCD scholar and now he can add sous chef to his repertoire. Today I decided to bake some cookies and mid way through Nicholas wanted to “cook” and “mix.” So, I set him on the chair with his apron and he helped put the flour, salt and baking soda into the bowl and then mixed it with his spoon. He was able to keep most of it in the bowl...until he wanted to help “scoop” like an excavator. So, he used his spoon to scoop the flour into the mixer...and only spilled a little on the floor. I was pretty impressed by his ability to follow directions and then execute them. When it was time to put the chocolate chips in, I turned my back to get the scissors and he had just enough time to grab the spoon and jam it in his mouth. He was then excused from his duty as sous chef and sat at the table licking the spoon. It was a fun little project and I think Nicholas liked it, or at least all he kept saying was, “mmmm, good!”

23: Nicholas and I played hooky from school and headed to downtown Sacramento for a Mommy and Me day at Raley Field. The minor league team, the River Cats play here and they opened their field to kids under 6 with their parents. Nicholas wasn’t too sure what to make of it all at first, but he did get a chance to run the bases and hit a baseball. He mainly wanted to play with the footballs and soccer balls that scattered the field. He had no problem inserting himself in other kids games and making friends. He even captured the attention of a local photographer and ended up in his article for the SF Examiner. Although it rained a bit, that didn’t spoil the fun we had. | River Cats with Mommy | Wednesday, April 28, 2010

24: Rugby Playoffs 2010: Day 1 | Friday, April 30, 2010 | Here we are again...Nicholas’ 3rd Rugby playoffs at Stanford. The Bears faced off against Arkansas State. The bears were predictably victorious over the Red Wolves. Nicholas enjoyed getting close the players...despite being scolded by stadium staff. He spent his time between watching Cars on his dvd player and checking the game out. Although he talked about it all day, so I guess it made an impact. He enjoyed the kicking and seeing his favorite player: #3 in the scrum. He is undoubtedly one of the biggest littlest rugby fans!

25: Day 2: Cal vs. BYU We meet up with the whole family for a day of Cal cheer. Nana, Grannie, Uncle Dave, Cousin Greg, friend Larry, Grammie and Grandpa all filled the stands in support of Cal. The game started a bit later (and close to his normal bed time), so he was not as interested as yesterday- in really anything. He did enjoy lap swapping with all family members and of course getting super close to the fence to take in the action. But, towards the end he was exhausted and just had to lay down on the ground. After the win, Nicholas enjoyed hitting the field not to see the players but to check out the tractor and crane on the other side of the fence where they were doing work. What could be better than tractors and rugby?! | Victory is won | Saturday, May 1, 2010

26: I love my Mommy | Sunday, May 9, 2010 | It was a joy filled Mother’s Day. Nicholas climbed in bed with me, not too early and even was dry (hallelujah)! We headed down to Mount Hermon in the Santa Cruz mountains for a Mother’s Day lunch with Nana and Grannie. Nicholas enjoyed the jell-o and running around the beautiful setting. Mount Hermon holds a special place in our entire family’s heart and brings back memories whenever we are there. Just being there is always a blessing. It was exciting to share that with Nicholas- even if he doesn’t quite understand how special it is yet. He had fun running with J and playing with Steve. When we headed back to Nana’s he watched Bolt with Steve, while Grammie, Nana and I got our Phase 10 fix on. What a perfect day....and better yet I got this great picture!

27: Field Trip Friday! Tyto’s dad (from Nicholas’ class) organized a bus ride around Davis on what was intended to be a double decker bus. Although it was just a regular bus...the kids loved it. Nicholas was very hesitant. about riding the bus and clung to me the majority of the time. But I am sure he enjoyed it because he still talks about it and asks about bus rides every time we see a bus in Davis. Before boarding the bus the kids ran on the grass squealing with joy and drawing with chalk on the sidewalk. Nicholas and Asher paled around and even got Parker’s sister, Taylor (age 4) involved. Nicholas loves older kids! It was a fun change to our usual Friday routine! Next time we’ll hit up the double decker bus. | Friday, May 14, 2010 | The wheels on the bus

28: Monster Trucks... bad to the bone | Sunday, May 16, 2010 | One of Nicholas’ favorite toys to play with are these Hot Wheel monster trucks Grammie found. Little did we know that the toys actually match up with real Monster trucks that race in venues around the country. I searched the site and found out they were coming to Salinas - the only Northern CA stop this we decided to go. Grammie, Grandpa, Nicholas and I headed down for an adventure. We had no idea what to expect and were met with a noise louder than anyone could have expected (good thing I brought ear muffs just in case)! Nicholas wasn’t scared, but really enjoyed watching all the trucks race, crash, spin and do tricks around the track. He was super excited to see his favorite truck- Grave Digger and clutched his little toy the whole time. He waved his Grave Digger flag like all the other kids did and liked pointing out the trucks he knew. Since the show all he wants to watch on TV is Monster truck racing and every time he sees a truck that matched his toys he gets REALLY excited and yells, “the same, see the same!!!” and holds the truck up to the TV. I never thought that I would be watching Monster trucks, but ya know what?! It was the best to see his face light up and be so excited about it. Who knows what else we will be doing next!

29: For our family, we know summer is here when it’s time for our annual Memorial Day trip to Clear Lake. We headed up to Lakeport for some family fun with Grammie, Grandpa, J, Steve, Nana and Uncle Dave. The first thing on the weekend itinerary was the parade down main street. We grabbed a spot towards the end of the route and got ready for patriotic fun. We saw Uncle Sam dressed to the nines in his sparkly outfit, lots of motorcycles and race cars, lots of politicians and even some horses. Nicholas really liked the floats that threw out candy. At first he wasn’t sure, but soon enough he was waving and trying to get the candy. He also enjoyed eating some! His favorite part was the traditional firetruck display that marked the end of the parade. There were three firetrucks flashing their lights and playing their loud sirens. The last one had a ladder, and Nicholas was really into that one! After the parade we walked around the craft fair before heading back to the house for lunch. Nicholas and I hit the pool, while the guys went on the boat. It was a chilly 58 degrees in the pool, but that didn’t stop Nicholas! Although he spent more time on the pool deck than in the water! I don’t blame him it was cold!! Before long, it was time to go back to the house and rest before dinner. Nicholas enjoyed playing golf, monster trucks and ball! It was a great start to a fun weekend. | Chilly Willy | Saturday, May 29, 2010

30: Baby boat, baby boat | Sunday, May 30, 2010 | It wouldn’t be Memorial Day without some time on the lake! We all got on the boat and got ready for some tubing and wake boarding. We convinced Nicholas that it would be fun to ride on the “baby boat.” He wasn’t afraid and was even acting excited! I rode with him and at first he wasn’t sure what to make of it, but soon enough he was chatting away. He liked to “go fast” and was even giving J they thumbs up/go faster sign! After the ride, Steve and J did some riding, and then Nicholas and I finished off with the last ride. Later in the day Steve had taught Nicholas to chant, “Baby boat, baby boat...” and he was going around singing it. When we went out again, Nicholas kept chanting it and saying “go fast!” So, I guess the little adventurer that he is, really enjoyed the boat, tube and all the fun it offered! Wait until he is older, I’m going to have to watch this kid!

31: Last Friday after gymnastics we met Emmett and Asher at the park, but ran into Tyto and his dad. Tyto had a cool three wheel scooter that he was quite the pro on. Nicholas has a regular scooter meant for an older child that he can’t really use. I had never seen a toddler/preschool scooter before. So, I decided to research it and see where they sell them. I found out they weren’t that expensive, so while at the Lake I went and picked up a lime green one. He was pretty excited about the scooter and was already a wiz on it. Grandpa made up a “race course” and he would scoot around it and then cheer for himself! When we got home we strapped on his helmet and hit the streets. He is pretty good and really loves it! Thanks to Tyto, Nicholas is a scootering champ! | Green Machine | Monday, May 31, 2010

32: A bitter sweet end to toddlerhood | Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Nicholas ended his first year of school today. He got a really cool portfolio of his work and all the things he learn and did at school. We had to say goodbye to many of his friends and to the wonderful staff and caregivers. We had to say goodbye to Martha and Victoria, after two amazing quarters. And we also have to say goodbye to Julia and Head teacher, Stephanie (after a year of fun!). Nicholas has been so blessed with all of his caregivers and is going to miss interacting with them each day. Thank you to each one of you! It has been wonderful getting to know each of you. This marks the end of Nicholas’ time in the toddler program and come September he will officially be a preschooler!

33: I was driving around town last week and I heard a commercial for Sesame Street, Live! and that it would be in Sacramento this weekend. I checked into tickets and got a pair for Nicholas and I. We met up with Nicholas’ friend from school, Emmett and his mom. The four of his arrived at Arco arena and found our (awesome) seats. Nicholas was really into the singing and dancing. He was amazed and really didn’t say much or move. The show was great! All the characters were there and the costumes were really cool. Nicholas liked when Ernie and Bert were the captains of a ship and sailed the seas. When it was all over I asked Nicholas, “Who was your favorite?” “Zoe” “Zoe, was your favorite?!” “Yeeeaaaahhhhhh...” That orange little monster has carved out a piece of Nicholas’ hear. He sure loves her! It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait until our next show. I’m thinking Disney on Ice?! | Zoe, yeah | Friday, June 18, 2010

34: Father's Day Baseball! | Saturday, June 19, 2010 | For Father’s day this year we decided to all (minus J since he’s in NYC) go to the River Cats game. The game was in the evening, so after arriving we headed over to get our hot dog and garlic fries. Nicholas enjoyed watching the game, for the most part on Grandpa’s knee. Nicholas even participated in doing the “wave” as it went around the field. The River Cat’s were wining until the end and then the Utah Bee’s caught us, so the last couple innings were nail biters! But, the River Cat’s pulled through and won the game. After the game we had a fireworks show and then it was off to the car. It was a great way to spend Father’s Day!!

35: Emmett’s birthday is just 2 days after Christmas, so his parents decided to throw his parties during the summer so he could truly enjoy them. So, with that Nicholas was invited to his very first birthday party! It took place at a park in Davis. Nicholas was very excited about the bounce house and spent a lot of time jumping. When he wasn’t jumping, he was pushing trucks in the sand or playing with the other kids. I had to go to a meeting, so Nicholas’ school care giver, Victoria came to watch him. When he saw her he squealed with glee! He played and ate pizza with Victoria and then got to ride the bus back to her house. It was a very exciting day and he fell asleep after half a block! His favorite phrase is now, “Happy Birthday!” | Happy (half) Birthday, Emmet | Wednesday, June 23, 2010

36: Of to the Mediterranean | Friday, June 25, 2010 | So, here we go again....another year (and some) has gone by and Nicholas is off again! We are getting some more stamps on in our passports and hitting the Mediterranean. We left out of San Francisco, so we drove down to Nana’s and met up with the rest of the family. Nana, Steve, Grammie, Grandpa and the Wilkinson cousin: Lindsey, Eric and Mark, all hoped in the van and headed to the airport. It was a long day of travel! Our first flight was 10 hours to London and then we had another 2-hour flight to Barcelona. Of course, we can’t travel without a few snafus. Nana and Grandpa’s luggage was lost and Nicholas’ stroller was nowhere to be found. By the time we reached our hotel we were all exhausted! But, there was no time to rest because we had to meet up with J (who traveled ahead a couple of days) and Dave & Mac (who are also on vacation). After some visiting we headed out for dinner where we all had some kind of wood fired pizza. It was finally time to sleep, and neither Nicholas nor I had a problem falling asleep.

37: So here we are on our first stop- Barcelona! We decided to walk around the city and take in the sites on our own. We walked over to the Sagrada Familia (church) designed by Antoni Gaudi. I really liked the crucifixion story depicted on one side and the tree of life and nativity on the other side. After walking all over town for a bit longer we headed back to the hotel. Nana, Grammie and Grandpa stayed back, and us “kids” headed out on the metro down to the La Rambla. We walked along the streets and took in the street performers, walked into shops and people watched. At the end we say the Christopher Columbus Monument pointing towards the New World. By then it was time to head back to the metro and get back to the hotel. We then boarded our bus and drove to the port, where we found our ship: Celebrity Century. We immediately noticed some differences from our usual, Princess Cruises, one being a smaller ship. We settled in and ate a late lunch before checking out the boat. By the time we unpacked, it was already time to have dinner. Nicholas took a ride on his trunki to the dining room where he dined on a cheeseburger and chocolate milk- hey we’re on vacation! After dinner we saw our first show and Nicholas fell asleep as soon as the room grew dark. It was a very long couple of days and we were all ready to get some rest and spend our next day at sea...relaxing! | Barcelona and the high seas | Sunday, June 27, 2010

38: Look at me move! | Monday, June 28, 2010 | Our day at sea started out very leisurely! Lindsey, Nicholas and I slept in....way in! When we finally got up, it was time for lunch. We started in the dining room but Nicholas and I ended up eating in our room. He wasn’t ready to be well behaved and quiet in the dining room. After lunch we all gathered in the Card Room for some Mexican train, but everyone was really tired and wasn’t enjoying it- so almost everyone went back to their rooms for a little siesta before dinner- Nicholas included. It was formal night in the dining room, so Nicholas donned his dress pants, vest and tie and headed out for something good to eat. He dined on pizza and some orange sorbet (all while watching Toy Story 2). After dinner it was time for a show- A touch of Broadway. Nicholas really enjoyed the show, but halfway through he thought he could do better, so he got down on the floor and showed off his moves. He is now practicing the moves he learned during the show. After that it was time for bed- it was tough getting Nicholas to sleep after such an exciting show!

39: Some Gelato, please | Monday, June 28, 2010 | Today we walked on Sicilian soil and stopped in Messina, Italy. The boat pulled into the port rather late (around 10 am) and so we were able to sit on our balconies and watch the landscape change. After breakfast it was time to disembark and get on our tour. We took a bus ride to the neighboring town of Taormina. This little village was exactly what I pictured in my mind. It was very picturesque and quaint. We walked along the cobble stoned Corso Umberto I, where we passed little shops, gelaterias and cafes. We made our way to Duomo Square, where we sat by the fountain and then looked inside the Norman Cathedral. As we made our way toward the Greek Theatre where we say the smallest alley I’ve ever seen. I’d say it was no more than 2 feet wide! When we finally reached the Greek theatre, it was a site! The theatre was built by the Greeks in the 3rd century B.C. The theatre was in pretty good condition and many of the old stones were still visible. We took in the gorgeous views and took lots of pictures. On our way back to our bus we got some gelato and granitas. We also did a little shopping before heading back to Messina. Once we returned, we walked down to the astronomical clock where we watched the clock’s figures move during the quarterly intervals. On the way back to the ship we stopped at a grocery store. This is one of my favorite things to do. I think you get a real sense of how people live when you go into a local grocery store. While in the store, NIcholas saw a little girl and said ‘hi.’ When she didn’t say anything I said that she speaks Italian and doesn’t say ‘hi’ that way. She says, ‘Ciao.’ So the next time he say her he said ‘Ciao’ and waved! We got some bread and salami and walked back to the ship.

40: Is that a shark?! | Wednesday, June 30, 2010 | It was another leisurely day at sea. We crossed a time zone, so we lost an hour and because of that we woke up very late. Nicholas was raring to go, so we head off to the buffet for some food. But, of course he was full of energy- I never realized how hard it is to carry two trays and make sure that he doesn’t run someone over! So, because of that we ditched the buffet and went to find someone who could help out. We were in luck, because after a little searching we found Grammie, Grandpa and Nana. They were able to watch Nicholas while I got us something to eat. On my way back I picked up Steve and J. We all headed to the “card room” where we met the cousins for a game of Mexican train. We had two tables and Nicholas watched a movie while we played. After the game we headed back to the room for a rest before dinner. Nicholas played with his cars, read books and then threw his small basketball and football over board. “Oh no! Sharks eat my ball!!” After that we ditched the room for a short swim before dinner. We ate dinner in the dining room and then watched an a cappella group sing. Nicholas enjoyed the first two songs, saying “Me song. Twinkle Twinkle” after each one. But, during the third song he got sleepy and fell asleep. After the set we headed off to bed, all the while listening to the ocean as we drifted off to sleep.

41: Greece, Greece, Greece! This is one of the stops I was most looking forward to! Mykonos was picture perfect- all white buildings with blue doors, water that resembled every shade of blue, golden beaches, narrow cobblestone streets- it lived up to my expectations! We decided not to do a tour and just leisurely take in the city. We just walked the streets taking in the ambiance. We stopped in small shops and took pictures of some of the hundreds of churches on the island. We walked to the top of a hill to where the Windmills of Chora were. We got fantastic views of the Aegean Sea and the rest of the village. After taking in the view and checking out the windmills we stopped at a local beach and put our feet in the sea. Nicholas and J took full advantage and went swimming. Of course, Nicholas did not want to get out. But, we had more to see! One of the interesting things was the transportation given the size of the streets. Some of the larger streets were as wide as a car, but most were far narrower. But, that didn’t stop cars, scooters, motorcycles, etc from driving through the streets! For lunch we stopped at a restaurant overlooking the sea. Grammie and Nana got “Greek salads”- but they did not have any lettuce...just cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and feta. I had a chicken kabob and Grandpa, Steve and J had a gyro. The tzatziki was the best I’ve ever had! I think we licked the plates! After some more shopping we headed back to the boat for a rest and another swim in the pool. Nicholas spent some time with Grammie & Grandpa in their room before dinner. After another dining room dinner we once again saw the a cappella group. Nicholas decided that he wanted to dance along with them. So, he was entertaining the crowds with his dancing moves! After that he had pretty much had it and proceeded to cry, so with that is was time for bed! | Every shade of blue | Wednesday, June 30, 2010

42: Genuine fake- isn't that an oxymoron | Friday, July 2, 2010 | We awoke early this morning to find that we had arrived in Turkey. We had an early tour, so we had breakfast on our veranda. Nicholas was not too thrilled with the early morning...and was pretty cranky all morning. Plus, to make matters worse I forgot my cruise pass in my room and had to climb the stairs and get it- all the while rushing so that I didn’t miss the bus. Thankfully we arrived on time and our bus left for Ephesus. As we left Kusadasi and drove the 30 minutes to the archeological site, our guide pointed out the local sites and gave us lots of interesting facts. Once at the site we walked through the ruins and saw: the Library of Celsius, Basilica of St. John, and the Gate of Augustus. The ruins were incredible. The intricate designs that were carved into the marble were in excellent condition despite all the years under dirt. It was pretty hot and we were lucky that our tour was in the morning. After our time in the ruins, we returned to Kusadasi and went through the Grand Bazaar. The Bazaar was filled with souvenirs shops and “genuine fake” items like: purses, shoes, watches, sunglasses, etc. This bazaar reminded me of some of the shops in Mexico and the Caribbean. The shop owners were a little too eager to have you spend your money and it was pretty high pressure. Despite that we still got a few items to remind us of Turkey. After our shopping we headed back to the ship for lunch and then Room 8048 all took a long rest. We all awoke to the ship pulling away from the dock and just in time to get ready for dinner. After another excellent meal, it was time for the a cappella show and then a ‘60s dance show in the main theatre. Nicholas enjoyed mimicking the moves, but got tired (and we didn’t really understand the references) so we headed back our room to get ready for Athens tomorrow.

43: Today I was able to check off another site on the 7 wonders list! My dream is to go see all 7 wonders of the world. Our tour left early for the Acropolis in Athens. Yesterday several of our stray pieces of luggage came. One being the stroller, so mistakenly I opted for it rather than the baby backpack. Man alive! We climbed to the Acropolis and then walked around the ruins all the while making sure Nicholas didn’t run into the restricted area or off a cliff! Plus, it was HOT! It was worth it, but you had to work for it nonetheless. After taking in the views and looking at the 5th century (b.c.) buildings we boarded our couch and went on a city tour. It was nice to escape the heat for a bit. Our guide did let us stop at the Panathinion stadium, which was constructed in 1896 for the first Olympics. It is where the torch handoff still takes place. The whole stadium is made of marble- it was an amazing site! After our tour, we got some free time to explore the city- this was the part of the day where the stroller was nice to have! We started in Plaka- the older part of the city with narrow cobblestone streets. After some shopping we stopped for lunch at a restaurant and got some delicious Gyros...chicken favorite! The tzatziki was amazing! We then walked over to the Parliament building to watch the changing of the guard with Greek traditional dress. While we took our pictures, Nicholas was eating his pita and feeding it to the pigeons. Everything was fun and exciting until one brave pigeon decided to jump on Nicholas’ arm. This freaked him out and he started screaming, so we stopped feeding them at that point! After that we were all very tired and sweating like mad! We walked through the National Gardens to get some shade and then stopped at a cafe for something cold! Once we finished our ice cream, coffee and waters we head out to Hadrian’s Arch that was built in the 2nd century. After that it was time to get back on our bus (after a quick shopping trip) and get back to the ship. When we arrive back at the ship it was time for our usual- rest, dinner, a cappella group, late show and then to bed! Now we are off to Italy!! | To stroller or not to stroller | Saturday, July 3, 2010

44: Rest & Relaxation | Sunday, July 4, 2010 | Happy 4th of July! What a strange way to celebrate- in the middle of the Mediterranean! We had a day at sea and were able to relax a bit...or at least that is what I was hoping for. Well, Nicholas decided that was not his idea of patriotic fun...he woke up at 5:45am! So, we got some breakfast and by the time we were done Grammie & Grandpa were up and we did a hand off. I went to get some sleep and they went to the pool, played cars, hung out with “Lindsby” (Lindsey) and ate in the dining room. After lunch we convened in the “Card Room” for our championship dominoes game. I’d like to say I won...but I didn’t even come close, actually I was one of the losers! Oh well- it was still fun. Nicholas fell asleep during the game and we all got to play in peace. It was formal night, so we had to get ready for dinner early so we could get our formal portraits done! Then we finished off the night with dinner a show and some ship walking. We are all rested and ready for our day in Sorrento!

45: Bonjourno from Italia! Today we arrived in Salerno, Italy. The Besser’s and Nana boarded our couch for our first stop on our tour. We drove from Salermo past the Almafi coast to a small farm outside of Serrento. The farm was a small family farm that gave demonstrations and tours. We walked through their lemon and olive groves and took in the intimate homes setting. Next, we were given a demonstration on how buffalo mozzarella is made by Maria (the lady of the farm). Then we got to taste! We each got a plate filled with cheese, salami, olives, tomatoes; all drizzled with olive oil (and all homemade). We were also given some wine and lemoncilleo tastings. With our bellies full we headed back to our bus and headed off to town of Sorrento. The town was another picturesque town filled with small shops, cobblestone streets, gelaterias and lemons...lemons everywhere! There were small lemons, giant lemons, lemon plate, lemon candy and even lemon toys! We did a little shopping (of course) and got some souvenirs (with a few lemons on them too). We then found a gelateria and got the best ice cream of my life! I had the orange chocolate with candied orange peel. It was amazing! I will be dreaming of it until my next visit. After, what seemed like a blink of an eye it was time to get back on our couch and drove to Pompeii. We arrive to take in the ruins of Pompeii. It was amazing seeing streets and streets of preserved buildings, frescos, artifacts, and even people. Nicholas enjoyed the ruins because he was able to walk around. It was pretty dirty, so by the end of the tour he was in great need of a shower! With that it was time to head back to the ship- with all of us completely exhausted | Lemons, lemons and more lemons | Monday, July 5, 2010

46: Are we having fun yet?! | Tuesday, July 6, 2010 | Today we went to Rome. It was literally everyones breaking point- complete with extreme heat, irritability and getting lost. We started the day at the Vatican and tried to make our way to the museum. Grammie was almost accosted by a foreigner who was hogging the street, I had to use my famous “Disneyland push and shove” method to get through the crowds on the street and when we got into the museum we all understood why you don’t go to Europe, let alone the Vatican, during the summer! After going through the museum, we walked the streets sweating buckets and constantly searching for hidden street signs. After a small high note of pizza and pasta for lunch we reached the pinnacle of our trip by getting lost on the way back to the train station. We walked countless cobblestone streets, drank bottles and bottles of water, yelled at each other on more than one occasion, climbed a mountain (got in a great view and saw a cool fountain as a bonus), and finished it off walking single file down a road that resembled I-5! We did get to the train on time, but just barely. We probably looked like we had just been through a war! Once we got back on the boat we skipped the dining room and ate at the buffet. Nicholas, Lindsey, Grammie and I went for a quick swim and then we all went to our rooms early for some rest and separation. Hopefully tomorrow we will like each other again!!

47: It was a two-stop day. We first stopped in Pisa where we walked into the square and got a great view of the leaning tower. It was early in the day so the crowds were light and the heat hadn't set in. We all took lots of pictures "holding" up the tower. After an hour it was time to board the bus for our 90-minute drive into Florence. The Tuscan landscapes were beautiful- full of sunflowers, vineyards and villas on hills, although most of us took naps and missed the majority of it. Nevertheless we arrived in Florence and went strait to Piazza dei Santa Croce with the Basilica of Santa Croce. Once freed by our guide, we walked to Piazza della Signoria, where we got a glimpse of a copy of David. We also saw Loggia dei Lanzi and the Fountain of Neptune. In the same area we stopped for an Italian lunch- complete with pizza. But I'd have to say that the pizza in the US is better, or at least comparable. After lunch we roamed the streets, stopped in shops and took in the architecture. We made our way to the Ponte Vecchio Bridge, where we took a little break. It was incredibly hot and we all were melting in the sun, plus I got a huge blister. But, before long we were off again. We walked all around the city center and made our way back to our meeting point. This is where I discovered Nicholas had chucked one of his croc sandals while we were walking! I wasn't too happy. We waited for our bus on the steps of the cathedral and then before we knew it we were back on the bus. Before leaving the city we drove through a nice area filled with mansions and checked out the view from the top of a hill. On the way back everyone got their second nap in. We returned to the ship just in time to change for dinner. After another excellent meal, Nicholas went to watch Toy Story with Grandpa, and Grammie, Nana and I went to play cards. We finished our night's entertainment at the same time, and all retired to our rooms for the night. Arrivederci Italy, bonjour France!! | Tuscany kind of looks like Woodland | Wednesday, July 7, 2010

48: The French Seaside | Thursday, July 8, 2010 | We had an interesting start to the day... Nicholas awoke me from a nightmare only to hit me in the face with his head. The result was a bloody, fat lip. Next he spilled his milk on my breakfast and then proceeded to break my sunglasses. The boat docked about a half an hour to an hour late, making our already short day in France even shorter. Once we got off the boat and boarded our bus we made our way to the French Rivera town of Cassis. It was a beautiful seaside village that reminded me of Carmel. There were lots of small boutiques, narrow streets and amazing views of the harbor and sea. One thing that was surprising was how little English was spoken. In every place we've been to we have been able to get by on English and the locals spoke excellent English. But, here in France there was no English only French. My high school French only got me so far! After our guide gave us lots of interesting facts about the area, we were set free to roam. We found a small park filled with shade, ponds and a playground. Nicholas enjoyed playing on the equipment with the other local children. Of course we had to find a grocery store in Cassis and get some drinks to go with our fresh baked bread. After we had walked some, shopped some and eaten some it was time to go. We boarded our bus for a quick stop to take in the view and then drove back to the ship. We all had some lunch and then went back to the room to pack up our stuff. Nicholas watched toy story for the millionth time. We finished off the day with our final dinner in the dining room and a show in the theatre. Good bye France and celebrity cruises! Tomorrow we arrive in Spain and begin our long journey home!!

49: All good things must come to an end, I guess. We awoke in Barcelona this morning very early, only to sit in the bus for 40 minutes waiting to get to the airport. Once we got there we had to wait in a ridiculously long line to check in and then only had 20 minutes or so to get to our gate. This should have been a sign. After our 2-hour flight into London we began the long process of rechecking in, going through security again and riding several shuttles to get to our gate. We had 2 hours and were the last ones on the plane. I was starving!! The flight was as any long flights are. Nicholas did really well sleeping and watching movies. No crying or screaming- which was amazing considering the fact that he's had relatively no sleep and very little to eat! We arrived in SF and said our goodbyes and waited for Dad to bring the car around. After we loaded up we stopped at our favorite, Toto’s for pizza before heading home. All of us were exhausted!!! Nicholas and I went to bed right away! The time has gone fast and we've survived traveling Europe. It has been fantastic! We have trinkets, a few extra pounds and tons of memories! | Back to the states | Friday, July 9, 2010

50: Hot day of Swimming | Friday, July 16, 2010 | What is a better activity on a hot day than a day at the pool? We went over to Davis and spent 3 hours swimming in two pools and splashing in the splash zone. Last time we went to the pool, Nicholas did not like the splash zone, but this time was different story. He loved the spraying water and spent most of the time running through the different areas. He also enjoyed the zero entry pool and swimming with his floaties in the big pool. After 3 hours of water fun, he was exhausted! This water baby can’t get enough and would have stayed all day!

51: There was much anticipation on Nicholas part for the new Toy Story movie. Recently he’s been watching 1 & 2 on video. He has even started pretending to be Buzz and Woody. He is especially fond of Rex, the dinosaur too. We went to a theatre in Sacramento and had the place pretty much to ourselves. Grammie & Grandpa came with us to watch the movie. Nicholas sat through the whole thing and really enjoyed the movie. He now wants to watch “Toy Story 3” every day...but he settles for 1 & 2 (#2 is his favorite). He can’t wait to get it on video! | It's movie time | Saturday, July 17, 2010

52: A day at the State Fair | Wednesday, July 28, 2010 | It’s State Fair time. I thought it would be fun to take Nicholas to see the animals. Little did I know that there would be so many fun things for Nicholas to do. The first thing we saw was a real fire engine. Nicholas went crazy. He sat in it, drove, talked on the radio and would have spent all day in there if I’d let him. After about 30 minutes I managed to get him over to the Dinosaur exhibit with animatronics Dinosaurs. He really liked them and wasn’t scared by any of the “roaring” or sharp teeth. We then headed to the best exhibit put on by UC Davis. It was farm theme with real plants, tractors, farm animals and water exhibits. Nicholas liked the tractors- of course! We checked out cows, pigs, goats, chickens, rabbits and other furry creatures. On our way to the indoor exhibit hall, Nicholas got an Icee treat and then it was off to an exhibit about animation. Nicholas was ecstatic to see a huge Buzz Lightyear and Toy Story 3 cut out. After that is was one more trip back to the fire engines and then it was time to go home. It was a day packed with fun.

53: We went up to Lakeport for the week with Grammie, Grandpa and uncle J. We took the boat out into the lake and this time we had the kneeboard. Nicholas wanted a turn so him and I held the rope and rode the wake. He wanted to go on the water skateboard again. We “parked” for a while and took a swim in the lake before it got a little too warm. We then headed back for lunch and some swimming in the pool. The pool was packed with kids and Nicholas enjoyed swimming all over the pool. He saw some big kids jumping off the diving board and thought he’d give it a try, but every time he got up there he turned around and got back down. I guess jumping in just isn’t his thing this year. But, I’m sure next summer he will be jumping and swimming like crazy! | Water Skateboard time | Saturday, July 31, 2010

54: Airplanes | Friday, August 6, 2010 | Nicholas and I went on an outing with Nicholas’s friend Asher and his dad, Bill. Bill thought it would be fun to go to the Davis Airport and see if we could check out a plane. Not only did the kids see a plane but they let them get inside and “drive”. I think this was the highlight for a few days. We saw planes land and take off too. After the airplanes we checked out some sheep and horses at the UC Davis Vet Med Center. Nicholas’ favorite grey horse was there. He greeted us and enjoyed some nose petting. The boys loved it! It is so amazing to have all these fun things right in the heart of Davis!

55: Today we saw the “real” Thomas the tank Engine. Grammie, Grandpa, Uncle J and us went to Roaring Camp Railroad in Felton, CA and rode the rails with Thomas leading the pack. We went on a train ride through the Santa Cruz Mountains among the redwoods. We saw Thomas and got to take pictures. There were lots of things to do. Nicholas got a “Thomas” tattoo, played with bubbles and the best part was the bounce house! He loved it- I think he wants one in our back yard! After an afternoon filled with Thomas fun we met Steve at a coffee shop in Scotts Valley for refreshment and a rest. Nicholas got in a catnap too. We then headed over to Santa Cruz where we had the most amazing Greek dinner and then headed for Marianne’s for the most amazing ice cream! It was truly a great day with lots of fun memories all around | Day out with Thomas | Saturday, August 7, 2010

56: Art Class | Tuesday, August 10, 2010 | Nicholas is taking an art class and a music class through the city of Davis. And although he does participate (with LOTS of coaxing) some we have discovered that he is sports guy and not an art guy. So, I think we will try to stick to more activities with movement!

57: After our trip to see Thomas and Nicholas’ love of the bounce house, I thought it was time to visit this place I had heard about: Bounce U. It is a facility in Sacramento that has bounce houses/obstacle courses inside. There are 2 rooms and you get to spend 35 minutes in each one. The first room has air guns that shot foam balls in an enclosed area. Nicholas loved it. I think we spent most of the time in that part of the room. When it was time to switch they had big bouncy houses with basketball and other fun things inside. He loved the jumping. It was a great activity and pretty cheap.... too bad it wasn’t closer. But regardless, I think we’ll be bouncing back over there soon. | Bounce U | Thursday, August 12, 2010

58: Bye bye bout | Friday, August 13, 2010 | So today was the day to say good-bye to his bout (pacifier). I explained to him that another baby was in need of them and since he was a big boy that we should send them to him. So, he colored him a picture and wrote a nice note and then we put them inside a packing envelope and “sent” them to the little baby in need. At naptime he asked for it, but I reminded him of sending them to the baby and he was over it. So, hopefully he will make a smooth transition. He is becoming such a big boy! Next task- perfecting potty training!

59: This weekend we headed up to Tahoe and down the Truckee river for some rafting fun. We loaded up our raft with lunch and Grammie, Grandpa, Steve, Nicholas and I. We floated down the river and took in the cool weather and beautiful sites. Nicholas really enjoyed it. He kept wanting to paddle and get in the water. He actually did get in the water a couple of times, but it was pretty cold so it was short lived. Nicholas talks about the “baby boat” all the time and is looking forward to his next river adventure! | Rip roaring rapids | Sunday, August 22, 2010

60: Lions, tigers and Giraffes oh my! | Thursday, August 26, 2010 | Emmett, his mom and little brother invited Nicholas and I to the Sacramento Zoo with them. It had been about 5 years since I was at this zoo and not much has changed. After spending a lot of time at the San Diego zoo last summer, I was disappointed with the lack of animals. But, they did have an awesome giraffe exhibit with 3 giraffes that were very active while we were there. We also saw a baby tiger and Nicholas got nose to nose with her.

61: I saw a sign on the side of the road for a bounce place in West Sac. So, we invited Emmett (from Nicholas school) and his mom to go with us. We went to open play where the boys jumped, ran, climbed and squealed with joy for 2 hours. Nicholas really liked the giant slide and quickly figured out how to climb the ladder to get to the top. But, i think that his favorite part was the toddler size potty and sink in the bathroom. He was very proud of himself when he used it! The $5 entry fee provided more than it’s worth in fun and excitement! | Bounce, bounce! | Wednesday, September 1, 2010

62: A trip down memory lane | Thursday, September 2, 2010 | I have decided to put all of Nicholas’ blogs into a book. So, I have been organizing them and retyping the ones that I lost when my computer crashed (good thing I printed them all!). It has been a very rough 3 years, but after going through more posts than I care to count, I’ve realized how many great things have happened. Nicholas and I have had some amazing adventures and I am so grateful that I decided to write it all down. I think that the good outweighs the bad and that as of now I have a very happy and amazing little boy. I’ve had some help along the way (and for that I will be eternally grateful), had some bad days, but through it all I don’t take any of this for granted and am beyond grateful that I am the one that gets to spend each day with Nicholas.

63: Another summer comes to an end. We went up to Lakeport for the weekend to celebrate Labor Day and the official end of summer. Uncle Dave and Auntie Mac joined Nana, Grandpa, Grammie, Steve, J and Mommy. Nicholas enjoyed all his usual activities: boating, swimming, going on the tube, golfing and seeing the family. Nicholas made friends with everyone at the pool (especially the ladies!) and practiced his swimming. He enjoyed showing off his golf swing and chatting it up with everyone that passed by. Another summer comes to happy end. | Swimming, golfing & boating | Saturday, September 4, 2010

64: Let's MOVE! | Saturday, September 11, 2010 | Nicholas headed to San Francisco to attend his 3rd Alzheimer's walk in remembrance of Papa. We met up with Nana, Uncle Dave, Auntie Mac and Nana’s group of friends. We walked along the Embarcadero and around AT&T park. Grammie, Grandpa, Steve and I enjoyed the great weather and the fantastic views. Nicholas mostly rode in his stroller, but got out occasionally to walk a little. Once the Alzheimer’s walk was completed it was time to get moving- over to Berkeley for Cal football game. Uncle J and the Cal Rugby team was going to be recognized during half time. So, we squeezed into the stands and braved the heat. It was loud and hot! And to top it off we had a group of nerds in front of us high fiving every three it was hard to see what was going on. Nicholas liked when the team ran out onto the field at the beginning. By half time everyone was dehydrated and sun burned! But, we did get to see Uncle J on the jumbotron...twice! So, I guess it was worth it. After the 3rd quarter we decided to leave and head out for dinner. The bears did eventually win and we had a pizza dinner to celebrate. Now, we I ask Nicholas about Cal football he says: “Cal Bears- it was too hot!”

65: Chris bought Nicholas this power wheels jeep during the summer, and I thought he was finally ready to try it out. After several hours of assembly and a whole day of battery charging, it was ready for Nicholas to go off roading. Nicholas drove it around Grammie and Grandpa’s neighborhood- mostly in the street. As soon as he saw the dirt he immediately drove that way. He has trouble with the steering, but hopefully that will get better. He really likes it and with a little more practice, can’t wait to have a passenger! | I'm Nicholas I'm 2 ....and I can drive! | Saturday, September 12, 2010

66: Funderland fun | Wednesday, September 15, 2010 | Nicholas’ friend Emmett invited him to Funderland in Sacramento near the Zoo. It is a carnival type park with rides for young kids. Nicholas went on this octopus ride and just wouldn’t have any more. He got scared and they had to stop the ride so he could get off. I thought it was going to be a major bust until we found the cars. He timidly got on that and rode around the track. By the time he had done one loop he was hooked. [We had a pass] so he just keep going and going...I think he rode it for an hour straight! He eventually would get on the train and rode that with Emmett...but his heart was with the cars. He had a good time, but I think we’ll wait a few years before going back.

67: It’s September and that means it’s time for the Annual Cement Boat Picnic in Aptos. We headed to the beach and I was happy to find cold, foggy weather! Nicholas enjoyed mingling with all the family- especially Carol. He dug in the sand, played ball with Steve and ate more than he’s ever eaten in his life! Steve showed Nicholas the water facet and after that he spent the rest of the day drenched in water! After lunch he ran out of steam and took a nap in the car. This year proved to be another great day at the beach! | Annual Cement Boat Picnic | Saturday, September 18, 2010

68: Candy time | Monday, September 20, 2010 | School starts next week, so Nicholas and his friends decided to have a last hurrah before it’s time to get back to business. Asher and his dad, Bill, Emmett and his mom, Megan and Nicholas and I went to Fairfield to the Jelly Belly factory. Nicholas enjoyed seeing the machines and robots working in the factory. He especially liked tasting all of the different stages of jelly bellies. We both enjoyed the sample bar where we could taste any jelly belly we wanted! We got some candy to take home and then we all headed over to the Nut tree so the kids could check out the rides and train. The train wasn’t running but they had fun just sitting on the riding cars. We had all this fun and it was all free! Even better!!

69: After a week of extreme heat we had a day where we could actually go outside. Nicholas wanted to eat his lunch outside, so I set up a blanket and he had a picnic. I made him a “Rosco proof” lunch and he was set. He loved it! I think we’ll be doing this more often. | Let's have a picnic! | Tuesday, September 21, 2010

70: Birthday wishes in the City | Saturday, September 25, 2010 | Uncle J celebrated his 22nd birthday yesterday and we met up with him in San Francisco to celebrate with a belated birthday dinner. We stopped at Grannie’s house for a a little visit first (everyone but Steve was there- he had other plans). We went to a fantastic italian restaurant. On the way there Nicholas fell asleep and managed to sleep through dinner. He woke up just as we were getting ready to get out and take a walk. We walked along the Embarcadero and through the ferry building. It was a really clear night and we took in amazing views of the Bay Bridge. We had a great time and J had a great birthday celebration.

71: It’s that time of year again- school time! Nicholas is officially in preschool. This year things are similar to the toddler room, but there are a few differences. There are more kids (14) and less adults. The kids don’t have individual care givers but move more fluidly between them all, giving them the opportunity to form relationships with them all. The classroom has more zones and more options for activities. The playground is where both preschool rooms have outside time together and it is an huge, amazing space! Nicholas enjoys the songs, animal yoga and the loft that they have in the room. He still hides when he goes into the classroom, but that doesn’t last long. | 1st day of Red Room Preschool | Tuesday, September 28, 2010

72: Playtime with Dad | Monday, October 11, 2010 | Chris decided to stop by for a couple days to visit Nicholas. He came by in the late afternoon afternoon after nap for some playtime. They played Thomas trains, race cars and airplanes. After some toy fun, Nicholas showed him the backyard. They played soccer, basketball and then played some baseball (Nicholas’ favorite at the moment). They also spent time at build-a-bear, eating out and playing mini golf.

73: A little art and culture | Monday, October 11, 2010 | To celebrate Grannie’s birthday, she came up to Woodland for the weekend. Grammie, Grandpa, Nicholas, Grannie and I decided to all go to the Crocker Art Museum. It had just opened it’s new wing and had a new Wayne Thiebaud exhibit we were all dying to see. Nicholas seemed to enjoy some of the sculptures, but for the most part he wasn’t impressed! He’s not really an art kind of guy. But, luckily my phone kept him occupied for a little while and then Grammie was able to keep him busy for a little while after that. Before any major meltdowns happened, we had had our fill and left the museum for a little lunch. As usual, Nicholas wasn’t into lunch and was ready to get home. So, the trip wasn’t really his cup of tea...but at least he got a little culture in!

74: Mud, pumpkins, tractors- oh my! | Sunday, October 17, 2010 | Since Grannie was visiting we had decided to save our pumpkin patch trip for this weekend. Unfortunately, there was a major storm passing though and it was raining. But, we decided to brave it anyway. Grannie, Grammie, Grandpa, Nicholas and I made our way to Cool Patch in Dixon. Luckily the rain was more off than on, although it was very muddy. Nicholas enjoyed pointing out all the pumpkins, riding in the wagon and running up and down the muddy paths. I helped him choose a bright orange pumpkin that was the perfect shape and size. He carried it to the wagon and plopped it down. He then had to pull the wagon for a while. It was all pumpkin this and pumpkin that until he saw the giant green tractor. He then had to climb up and “drive.” Of course he didn’t want to get down or move. He was in tractor heaven! Eventually we were able to coax him down and he found some wooden rocking horses to ride while Grammie paid for the pumpkins.

75: So, when I heard on the radio that “Disney on Ice” was coming I knew I had to take Nicholas! We went to an early afternoon show and luckily Nicholas had seen most of the characters featured. There was the Lion King, the Little Mermaid, Lilo & Stich, Peter Pan & Tink, and of course Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Donald and Goofy. Nicholas was mesmerized! He is enjoying watching The Little Mermaid (on VHS) at Grammie & Grandpa’s house lately, so that was a big hit. I really enjoyed the Peter Pan part of the show. Nicholas brought the light up toy I bought him when we went to Sesame Street Live, so he liked holding that up and making it spin and light up like all the other kids. | Disney on Ice! | Friday, October 29, 2010

76: Trick or treat trail | Friday, October 29, 2010 | Halloween was just around the corner and the businesses of downtown Davis hosted a safe trick-or-treat trail. Nicholas and met up with his best friend, Asher and his family. Asher was a race car driver. Nicholas decided that a Master’s Golf champion was more his style, and I dressed up at his caddy. He even had a golf bag to put his candy in. We headed downtown and walked the crowded streets from shop to shop getting candy. Nicholas had perfected his “Trick-or-treat” by the end of the road. It was great seeing all the kids of Davis dressed up- there were some pretty original costumes. Although only a handful of people really knew what Nicholas was dressed up as. He managed to fill up his golf bag with lots and lots of candy!

77: To celebrate grandpa’s birthday we headed to San Francisco for a walk around and a little lunch. There was a harvest festival being held in the ferry building, so we decided to check it out. Unfortunately it was raining pretty hard which brought all the people in doors, making it very crowded! It was like Disneyland during the peak of summer! Nicholas and I had to find little corners to wait in because there was no way a stroller was getting into stores! But, that was ok- we played with his cars and had snacks. J came down from Berkeley and then Steve met us for lunch at Gordan Birsch. Nicholas has some macaroni and a side of rice. He loved the rice! | Happy Birthday, Grandpa and Hello puppies! | Saturday, October 30, 2010

78: Halloween fun! | Sunday, October 31, 2010 | So, the time had come to officially go trick-or-treating! We were at Grammie & Grandpa’s so we just went around their neighborhood. Nicholas was loaded down with candy. I think he filled his bag in just 2 blocks! After two or three houses he had the gig down, saying “Ok, let’s go to the next house!” and “light’s off- next house!” He enjoyed seeing all the pumpkins and decorations. We didn’t see a lot of kids, but once we got back home he was able to help had out candy.

79: Well, Nicholas has been in official preschool for just over a month now and boy has he grown! They have had three units in the “dramatic play” area: House, Doctor’s office and construction site. The doctor’s office was a BIG hit! He enjoyed dressing up and curing ailments. This last unit has provided many opportunities to build. He enjoys making ramps for his race cars. I have noticed that during circle time he now sings and participates in the motions (last year he rarely did) and he even sings the songs at home. | Preschool Update | Thursday, November 4, 2010

80: Once upon a time... | Friday, November 5, 2010 | Nicholas and I made our way over to Fairytale town in Sacramento today. Nicholas’ friend, Emmett’s family has a pass and they invited us to tag along. This time, Nicholas seemed old enough to really appreciate the fairytale themed park. He liked going down the slide in the old women’s show, riding on the “Little Engine that could”, and sitting in Cinderella's carriage. We also saw the three little pigs, Peter rabbit, the three billy goats and lots of other animals. Nicholas had a good time and lived happily ever after.

81: Thanksgiving has come! This year we had Thanksgiving here in Woodland, so we had time to watch the Macy’s parade and take Rosco for a thanksgiving day run at the dog park, before heading over to Grammie and Grandpa’s for the rest of the festivities. | Family, Friends, Football & Turkey | Thursday, November 25, 2010

82: Yule tide cheer | Monday, November 29, 2010 | Now that Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is in full fling. Our lights our on the house and now it’s time to decorate the house. I always loved putting up the tree and other decorations as a kid, and I think I was more excited to get everything out than Nicholas. We got a small tree (so Nicholas doesn’t play with it everyday) and I pulled out all his ornaments. Nicholas really enjoyed seeing all the ornaments that he’s already accumulated. He like playing with the John Deer tractor the best, but also liked all the Disney ones. We also put up some of our travel ornaments too. Nicholas especially liked the little Christmas tree I put in his room. He seems really excited for Christmas. The house is all Christmasy and we’re ready for the season to begin!

83: Last year I hand made Nicholas an advent calendar. So, today we began the countdown to Christmas. Each day has a little trinket in the pocket that he get to uncover. Today we began with a matchbox car- he loved it! He seems to really like it, but the count down to his birthday is overshadowing Christmas a bit. He’s more excited about being 3 and “having a birthday party”, and Christmas is on the back burner for a bit. | The count down begins | Wednesday, December 1, 2010

84: A plane, a plane! | Saturday, December 4, 2010 | Grammie & Grandpa spent the weekend on their own, so Nicholas and I went to the California Aerospace Museum in Sacramento. I saw a billboard around town for it and didn’t really know what to expect, but it turned out to be really cool. There was about 25 real airplanes and helicopters outside for us to look at, and 3 that we could go inside. Nicholas was beyond ecstatic. He could have sat in the planes for hours! He liked pretending to be the pilot and “flying” us all over the place. After several hours of looking around we walked to a spaceship themed playground next to the museum. Nicholas enjoyed playing there and eating lunch. It was a cool place and I am sure we will be back soon!

85: Now that Nicholas is almost 3 I thought it was time for him to try ice skating. We headed to a place I found in Roseville. This skating place was perfect for beginners! Nicholas got some tiny skates and we headed inside the cold rink. They had a “bucket method” for new learners- where they had plastic buckets turned upside down and stacked on top on one another. He held on to the top of the bucket and pushed it around. He was able to practice skating while not having to work on balance. He was doing really well and really really enjoyed it! He talked about all day!! It was a great experience and we will have to go again soon. | An icy adventure | Wednesday, December 8, 2010

86: Up, up and away | Thursday, December 9, 2010 | Nicholas has been asking since we got back from our last trip when we are going to the airport. Well, the time has finally come. We were ready to embark on our birthday extravaganza weekend in Southern California. Nicholas really liked going to the airport- from getting our tickets to going through security to sitting at the gate, he loved it all! He is obsessed with airplanes and airports right now, so I think he thought this was his birthday treat! Little did he know what was to come....

87: For Mommy and Nicholas birthday we headed to Disneyland for a mini vacation. I wanted to take advantage of not having to pay an entrance fee for Nicholas (once you’re 3 you have to fork out the big bucks), so we went the two days before his big day. We spent our first day at Disneyland. J and Steve were our fast pass tour guides. They had the day scheduled out and it was great to know when we needed to go to each ride! We went on It’s a Small World, autopia, Indiana Jones, and Buzz Lightyear, just to name a few. Nicholas, hands down loved the Autopia and driving the race cars. In total he went on it 6 times. We had some world class corn dogs while watch the holiday parade. Nicholas really liked seeing all the characters- especially Ariel from the Little Mermaid. He really likes her right now. | The happiest place on earth | Friday, December 10, 2010

88: A birthday adventure in California | Saturday, December 11, 2010 | Happy Birthday, Mommy! While in Disneyland today we celebrated Nicholas’ birthday too. We both got birthday buttons and lots of birthday wishes. We started the day in California Adventure, and it was packed! We waited for the Toy Story ride and although it was a 45 minute wait, it was worth it! We checked out the Grizzly run water ride a few times and spent the first half of the day hitting up other rides and seeing the characters. Nicholas posed with Jessie from Toy Story and saw Mater and Lightning McQueen- which he really liked! After we’d had our fill, we headed back over to Disneyland for lunch near Big Thunder Railroad. We went on the jungle cruise, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and the Autopia...again. By the time we headed over to the haunted house, Nicholas was fading and within seconds of sitting down on the ride he was asleep for the night. Before heading out we hit up Splash Mountain (all the water rides have no wait at night!) and did a little shopping. It was a great birthday at Disney!

89: Nicholas is 3! Finally! Nicholas seemed to be 2 for forever! Nicholas awoke to find presents to open and was excited to play with his new toys. We headed to Knott’s Berry Farm (a family favorite) for breakfast. Nicholas had a waffle with his birthday candle inside. He enjoyed the “birthday party!” After his party we headed out to Hollywood, where we toured the grounds of the Griffith Observatory. Nicholas was enjoying himself until he took a face plant into the sidewalk and cut his head. After that his birthday wasn’t so happy for a while. But, that was cured when we headed to Diddy Riese for some ice cream sandwiches. | Terrifically Three | Sunday, December 12, 2010

90: Snow! | Thursday, December 16, 2010 | A winter storm was about to hit Northern California, so before that happened I wanted to take Nicholas to the snow. He has never been to the snow before and it was time to remedy that. We got a sled, snow clothes and researched where to go. We left fairly early and drove east to Truckee. I was a little nervous because we didn’t see snow on the ground until just before our destination, but as we headed to the top of the mountain it all came into view.

91: It’s been several years since we’ve seen the Scrooge (A Christmas Carol) play in Belmont, so this year seemed to be the perfect time. Nicholas has never been to the play, or even a play for that matter. But, he has seen cruise productions, movies, disney on ice and has been to church so I thought he’d do fine. We met Grannie and Nana at the theatre. Nicholas wasn’t too sure at first, but once the people started to sing and dance he was mesmerized. He seemed to enjoy the first part of the play and by the second part he was on his way to sleep. After the play was over we headed out to eat at our favorite local barbecue joint. Nicholas enjoyed a cheeseburger and juice. After dinner, we headed back home as it rained. All this Christmas cheer is tiring at times! Nicholas was ready for bed the moment we got home! | A Scrooge Christmas | Saturday, December 18, 2010

92: Choo choo the sugar train | Monday, December 20, 2010 | I bought Nicholas a train gingerbread kit (a play on a gingerbread house kit) and tonight was the night to put it together. I used icing to put it all together and then he added more candy and icing to the train. I think he ate more candy (or sucked on it) than what ended up on the train. Plus, I wasn’t too smart for leaving in on the counter after we had finished- every time I left the room and came back he had his fingers in it and candy in his mouth!

93: Nicholas was invited to decorate Christmas cookies with some friends at a neighboring church. The kids got to roll out the dough and cut the cookies out. But, Nicholas was more interested in getting flour all over himself and then running laps around the fellowship hall. He was so excited to see his friends, Asher, Emmett and Parker. I cut some cookies out for him and he was able to ice them...but he was more into eating the icing. We did manage to take home one complete cookie, and some extra dough for later! | Cookies for Santa | Tuesday, December 21, 2010

94: Christmas eve excitement | Friday, December 24, 2010 | Christmas is almost upon us! For our Christmas Eve celebration we started with the Christmas Eve service at church. Nicholas was asleep at the beginning, but he awoke to lots of singing and Christmas spectacular. He enjoyed the children’s choir and all the music. His favorite part was holding the candle during the candle lighting at the end. After church we headed to Grammie’s and Grandpa’s for some traditional Chinese food and then to open some presents (a little early). Nicholas was excited to open all his gifts. He got some cars, candy, a educational game system and his favorite- a harmonica. After the excitement had died down just a bit we headed home. Nicholas set out his cookies for santa and snuggled in for a long winter’s night.

95: Christmas started just as every other morning does- early. Nicholas was so excited to see all his gifts and was a little overwhelmed. This year was the second Christmas (the first being right after he was born) where we had Christmas morning by ourselves. | The best Christmas, ever | Saturday, December 25, 2010

96: More presents?! | Sunday, December 26, 2010 | We spent the night at Nana’s on Christmas and in the morning we headed over to Grannie’s for breakfast and more Christmas presents! Nicholas got some more cars (good thing he loves them!) and some great pajamas. It was a nice day, so we headed over to San Mateo park to walk around a bit and Nicholas got a chance to play at the playground. That evening we headed over to Berkeley to have some dinner and to drop J off at his place. Nicholas was excited to get back and play with all those new toys!

98: "Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing!"

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  • By: Erin B.
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  • Title: 2010
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  • Started: over 7 years ago
  • Updated: about 5 years ago