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2011 - Page Text Content

S: Notes for Nicholas 2011

FC: Notes for Nicholas | The Story of my Life 2011

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: Play time with Asher | January 10, 2011 | Today Nicholas had his first friend come over our house. Asher- his friend from school came over to play for the afternoon. They ate lunch together and then spent hours in the playroom. The trains and race cars were big hits. Asher really liked Nicholas’ play kitchen too. As always there were fights and tears and boys who didn’t want to share, but we fixed that problem by going to the park. They played on the swings, slides and climbed up and down the play structure. But the big hit was running in the grass! When it was time to take Asher home, they just sat in the back seat quiet and barely moved. When I dropped Asher off, Nicholas was asleep within a block. All that socializing makes a guy tired!

3: Asher turned 3 just as Nicholas was celebrating 3 years and 1 month. So, it was time to celebrate! Asher had a party filled with balloons, an art station, a music station and lots of cupcakes. It was a “Where the wild things are” themed party and Nicholas got his own copy of the book to take home. Emmett and Andy from school were also there. The boys had fun chasing each other around and playing with balloons. It was simple but perfect for 3 year-olds! | Party Time | January 14, 2011

4: PGA Tour, Here I come | January 17, 2011 | Nicholas has had his golf clubs for a month now but there hasn’t been an opportunity to use them on the links until today. We started out with some putting practice. Nicholas did fairly well. But, he’ not too much into putting- he likes to hit the ball hard. So, we went over to the pro shop and bought a bucket of 50 balls to hit on the driving range. Nicholas told me not to walk over the line- how he knows that I don’t know. I helped him set up his balls and he was chipping and driving like a pro. He connected his club to ball 49 out of 50 times! It was pretty cool to watch him hit the balls. The old men hitting balls were pretty intrigued by him. After hitting the whole bucket, we headed back to the putting area for some more practice. When it was time to head home Nicholas said, “Can we do it again?” I’m sure we’ll be back in no time.

5: Nicholas was due for an outing so I decided to head over to Berkeley to the Lawrence Hall of Science. We headed inside and within an hour we’d seen it all. So, I thought that we would just head over to San Francisco and visit the Exploratorium. We arrived and made our way though the two floors of exhibits. He loved the giant bubbles, the spinning sand, the colorful trains, light boards and man many other exhibits. One of his favorites was a basketball hoop and other was a ramp with spinning wheels you can push down. He liked all the music exhibits upstairs and enjoyed playing the xylophone. He enjoyed the hands on quality of the museum and was excited to touch everything! After about an hour all the field trip kids had left, so he was able to spend more time on each exhibit and go back to the ones he particularly enjoyed. After we had seen it all and done things multiple times, it was time to head home. It was a great trip and we will be back very soon! | Exploratorium | January 21, 2011

6: Go Bears! | January 22, 2011 | It’s that time of year again! J’s final rugby season has begun! The Bears took on Chico at Treasure Island. Nicholas was excited to see his team hit the field, especially since we were able to sit so close! He worked on perfecting his referee whistle yet again and chatted with all the fellow Bear fans. After the game we headed over to Berkeley for some Mexican food to celebrate the win. The bear’s biggest fan is ready for a spectacular season!

7: It’s Monster Jam time! Monster Jam came to Sacramento this year and Nicholas was ready for some smashing and crashing fun. This year we got “pit passes”, where we were able to go on the track and see all the trucks in person. We took pictures, touched the trucks and took in all the sights. We the show started Nicholas put on his ear phones and was ready for some fun. He was excited to see his favorites: Bounty Hunter, Grave Digger and El Torro Loco. He would wave his flag and try to make his toy truck mimic the moves. He wasn’t overly excited but for days after he was asking to go back and recalling the whole show. So, I think he really really liked it! | It's race time | January 23, 2012

8: It's rugby time! | January 29, 2011 | This week’s game was at Stanford, so we met up with Grannie and Nana for the game. When we got to the we met up with J’s girlfriend and her friends. Nicholas sat with them for the whole game. He enjoyed making friends with the girls and talking their ears off the whole game. Toward the end we headed over to the side field and played a little game of one-on-one rugby. Nicholas beat me. The bears also took the win against Stanford. After the game we headed back to Nana’s for a little visiting before going out for dinner. Nicholas enjoyed a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. We stopped at Grannie’s for a bit before heading home. Another great day filled with Rugby fun

9: It was free day at all the museums in Sacramento, so we all decided to take advantage of it and head over to the California Museum. It was filled with lots of notable California people, things and history. Nicholas enjoyed the movie on the California Aqueduct (it reminded me of the Disneyland ride- soaring over California). After we had seen it all we headed over to the California Auto Museum. Nicholas really enjoyed this place. There were several cars that resembled the movie ‘Cars’ and that was a real treat! He liked driving the model- A cars and seeing all the race cars. J and Elly joined us a the museum and then we al headed to Davis to get some frozen yogurt at Nicholas’ favorite place. He enjoyed his chocolate with sprinkles and sitting next to Elly. When we got home he enjoyed playing baseball, watching movies, and making eyes at Elly. After dinner we made s’mores on the fire pit. Nicholas enjoyed tending the fire and being with J and Elly. Although he only wanted to eat the graham crackers and not the whole s’more. Oh well. But, he wanted to stay out and sit by the fire all night. Already a fire bug at heart! | Museums & Marshmallows | February 5, 2011

10: King in the kitchen | February 10, 2011 | Nicholas loves to cook! Whenever I am making something, he grabs a chair and comes over to help. He especially likes baking. We made some cupcakes- so I let him add all the ingredients and turn on the mixer. But, I think his favorite part is licking the spoon!

11: Happy Valentine’s Day! This year was extra special! Nicholas started the morning with a valentine’s present of candy, race cars and a big card. He had pink heart pancakes for breakfast and he was decked out in his I (heart) Mom t-shirt. At school they had a party complete with valentines, pizza and cupcakes! Once at home, we finished the evening off with a movie. Nicholas still isn’t 100% sure what Valentine’s day is, but I think he likes it none the less! | Happy Valentine's Day | February 14, 2011

12: Disney Spectacular | February 20, 2011 | Disney on Ice came to town again and I got a great deal on tickets. So, I decided that it would be a fun outing for Nicholas to do with Grammie and Grandpa. They went to the show and saw all Nicholas favorite Disney characters- Mickey, Minnie, the princesses, Buzz, Woody. Nicholas even got some Mickey binoculars or other wise known as “noculars.” He enjoyed the music, dancing, skating and being with Grammie and Grandpa. Anything Disney is always great by him!

13: The time has finally come for Nicholas to take his first trip to the dentist. I choose a children’s dentist because I didn’t know what reaction he’d have to the whole experience, but he proved to be an expert! The place was rigged with all sorts of kid friends toys and movies. Each chair had it’s own TV with Toy Story 3 playing- so the visit was off to a great start. He let the hygienist clean his teeth, floss and take x-rays. He was excited about the Mc Queen stickers too. The dentist counted his teeth and gave his a great report, before giving him a lollipop, balloon and toy car. On our way to the car he was skipping the entire way. I think he had a good time. Who knew the dentist could be so fun! | Are your teeth clean? | February 21, 2011

14: Happy Birthday, Steve | March 3, 2011 | In honor of Steve’s birthday we went to a local Greek restaurant to celebrate. We all had a great time reminiscing about our Mediterranean adventure last summer and comparing the food. Nicholas enjoyed his favorite- rice and especially liked the mini water goblet they gave him to drink out of. He was “cheersing” throughout the meal! It was a great way to celebrate Steve’s birthday.

15: Cal Rugby had a game in San Diego, so this provided the perfect opportunity for a road trip down south. We hopped in the car with Grammie and Grandpa and made out way 600 miles south. We stopped in Burbank for lunch and had some gelato for a treat. The weather was really nice, so Nicholas changed into some shorts, a far cry from the wet rain we had been experiencing at home. After lunch it was just a couple more hours to San Diego. When we arrived at our hotel, we settled in and then decided to take advantage of the heated pool. Nicholas wasn’t too sure of the water at first, but within minutes he was squealing, laughing and splashing around the pool. After he had turned into a prune, it was time to get some dinner. We went to one of my San Diego favorites- Las Olas. It is right on the beach and has some amazing Mexican food. I think Nicholas really enjoyed it! I have never seen him eat so much. He ate almost 2 bowls of chips, an entire quesadilla and a plate of rice! Plus he was dancing to the music in his chair- I think he must be part Mexican! With a full belly it was time to back to the hotel and get some rest. Tomorrow is rugby time! | Road Trip | March 4, 2011

16: A rugby adventure | March 5, 2011 | It was a warm 79 degrees for the big game. Nicholas brought some shorts and was running around enjoying the sunshine. Cal played the San Diego State Aztecs. It was a blood bath. Cal hit the hundreds in scoring. After the game we visited with J, but he had to head back to Berkeley on the bus. With time to see the sights, we headed to one of my favorite sandwich shops and then headed to the playground right on the beach. Nicholas played in the sand, went down the slide and swings- that is until he noticed the beach and ocean. He made a bee line to the water. Within seconds he was running in and out of the waves. He made friends with another kid and they were running together; jumping and splashing in the water. With some resistance, it was time to head back to the car. He still talks about the ocean- so I think he really enjoyed it!

17: Our San Diego adventure had come to an end. It was time to drive home. To break up the drive, we arranged to stop at cousin Susie, Kal, Spencer and Muriel’s house in LA. Nicholas immediately made friends with Muriel and spent the afternoon following her around. They played games, drew and played outside. Nicholas thought Muriel’s name was Ariel, and kept calling her that. He kept asking it she was a princess-one of the movie’s he likes it The Little Mermaid. We had a fun time visiting and barbecuing in their backyard. Before we knew it, it was time to head back home. It was fun spending time with them- hopefully we will get together again soon. | Princess Muriel | March 6, 2011

18: Nicholas is 2 wheeling | March 8, 2011 | While in San Diego we went to the Navy Exchange shopping center. Grammie and Grandpa took Nicholas by the big bikes and before they knew it he had hoped on and was zipping around sporting goods! I had no idea he was even ready for a big bike- but by the looks of him racing around the store, I knew he was. So, I looked for just the right bike for him. I settled on this blue and silver bike. I put it together and before long he was racing around the neighborhood. That weekend we took the bike to Grammie and Grandpa’s house and went for a ride around the neighborhood. I had to run to keep up with him! He is already a pro!

19: Grammie’s birthday coincided with the Cal/ UC Davis rugby game, sot it was a rugby kind of birthday. Nana and Grannie came up to help celebrate and to see the game. The day was perfect weather and Nicholas enjoyed seeing everyone all together. Cal took the win, and Nicholas enjoyed running on the grass and talking up a storm to whoever would listen. After the game, J was able to come back with us for a little barbecued Mexican celebration dinner at home. Nicholas enjoyed playing with the dogs, showing off his new bike, playing baseball with Steve and bossing Nana and Grannie around. The evening was complete with cake, brownies and ice cream! Nicholas is really starting to like this whole birthday thing! | Birthday Wishes and Rugby Dreams | March 12, 2011

20: Easter Eggs Galore | March 24, 2011 | Happy Easter! Our Easter started early! We left with Grammie, Grandpa and headed down to San Mateo to go to church with Grannie and Nana. Steve and J went to the Giants game and we picked them up later. After church we had some snacks before heading back to Grannie’s. Nicholas must have thought it was his birthday! He got lots of Easter gifts- and candy! After some play time we had a small egg hunt in the back yard. He found every egg without help! The day was low key and we spent the rest of our time visiting and having dinner. By the end of the day Nicholas was hopped up on all the candy he’d had. I think he bounced everywhere he went! It was a simple day but wonderful all the same.

21: This weekend I went out of town, so Nicholas got a fun filled weekend with Grammie and Grandpa. The weekend included a trip to the UCD firehouse with some of the kids from school. They got to tour the firehouse, see all the fire engines and spray the fire hose! Nicholas eventually enjoyed getting into the driver’s seat and taking his turn “driving” the big truck. He and Grandpa held the big hose and sprayed the water across the grass. That was very exciting. After the firehouse it was time to go back for some lunch and play time. The next day, Grammie and Grandpa took Nicholas to the movies to see “Hop.” Nicholas enjoyed seeing a new movie and learning all about the Easter Bunny. After the movie they went into the backyard and planted some tomatoes in the garden boxes. Nicholas had lots of fun pushing the plants in the dirt and watering them. He enjoyed being a farmer and doing some gardening! All in all it was a great time and Nicholas enjoyed all the attention, playtime and outings. | Camp Grammie & Grandpa | April 3, 2011

22: Nicholas scores a Goal | April 12, 2011 | Nicholas scores a GOAL!! Nicholas started his first soccer class today! He is in a class with about 10 other 3-4 year olds once a week, where they practice their soccer skills with Coach Al. Like any other toddler class there are a few tears, kids running in the wrong direction and a total lack of organization- but coach al is amazing He keeps the kids engaged and is even able to teach them a few skills. Nicholas really likes the class. His pal, Andy from school is also in the class and the familiarity is helpful. The kids don’t play each other- but they enjoy each having a ball and kicking into the goal. Nicholas loves the high fives, encouraging words and especially the soccer stamp at the end! Tuesdays are a major kick!

23: It’s that time of year again, where the weather gets warmer and spring has sprung! It’s once again time for Picnic Day in Davis. This year was a perfectly sunny day and even a bit warm. Nicholas, Grandpa and I met up for some fun on campus. We headed to the food and science buildings on the other side of campus thinking the crowds would be smaller- but it turns out everyone else must have had that idea. But, we were able to go visit the test kitchens and taste some fresh baked bread and UCD olive oil. Next we had some ice cream while we toured the building. We then headed over to the large animal area. Nicholas saw lots of horses, cows and goats. He was even able to pet some baby animals. He really liked the cows. After some time there we headed back to the main part of campus for lunch. We ate over by the Frisbee Dog competition. We were able to see a good part of the show. Nicholas really enjoyed the jumping dogs and their owners. When we got home he wanted to try it with Rosco. After the show was over we headed over to the arboretum and walked around while we listened to the battle of the bands. Nicholas really enjoyed walking through the trees and hearing the music. We saw several other exhibits and toured some other buildings on campus before heading h0ome. Nicholas was asleep before we even got to the car. He really enjoyed himself. So much so that he is still talking about Frisbee dogs! | Frisbee Dogs | April 16, 2011

24: Four | April 29, 2011 | I took Nicholas over to the muni golf course in Davis to give the driving range a try. He’s been to the woodland one, but since we drive by every day, I thought it was time. We got a bucket of balls and I let Nicholas have at it. There was another boy there around age six practicing too. I think he liked that. He did his best to hit each ball and to try out each club. When all the balls were gone it was time for some putting practice. He still needs to work on his putt, but it was fun nonetheless. Now when we drive by the golf course he says, “Look, I’ve been there!”

25: Since Nicholas had such a great time planting tomatoes with Grandpa, I thought it would be nice to plant one at home. After church we went to the hardware store and picked up two plants and some dirt. When we got home, I found two pots and Nicholas filled them with dirt. He then carefully planted each plant and watering them. I think his favorite part was watering! Before I knew it he was drenched and spraying Rosco with the hose. They amused themselves for a good hour after that with the hose. He can now add “farmer” to his list of accomplishments! | Nicholas' Garden | May 1, 2011

26: Rugby Quarter Finals | May 7, 2011 | J’s final rugby season is coming to an end. The last hometown game was today at St. Mary’s College. Cal played Life University in the quarter finals and has advanced to the semifinals in CO next weekend. We arrived early and ate lunch on the field. Nicholas brought his rugby ball with him, so he was practicing alongside the Cal Bears. The game was a nail biter at times, but Cal pulled ahead and is one step closer to the national championships. After the game we went out for dinner and celebrated the win.

27: It seems like just yesterday that J started college at Cal. Nicholas’ has spent his whole existence with “J in Berkeley.” But, 5 years has come and gone and now it’s graduation time! We headed down to pick Nana and Grannie up and then were off to brave Berkeley. It was raining and there were people everywhere- not the best mixture in Berkeley. But, fortunately we found parking without killing anyone (although we did go down a one way street the wrong way)! We found our seats and settled in for a long graduation- 3 hours! Nicholas and I had to take some trips out in the lobby to run up and down the stairs, but we did get to see J make his long walk across the stage. After the ceremony we made our way to Spanger’s for a celebratory dinner. A few of J’s friends joined us in the fun. Nicholas was pooped at the end of a very busy day- so we took off early. Congrats to a job well done! | The newest Cal Alumni | May 16, 2011

28: Rolly Suitcase---Professional traveler | May 19, 2011 | Nicholas the adventurer is off once again! Destination: Utah: “life Elevated.” J’s rugby team championships were in Utah this year, and of course we couldn’t miss that! The whole family hit the airport and was off to Utah. Nicholas was very excited to bring his rolly suitcase full of toys, books and videos. Since Nicholas is such a seasoned traveler, the flight was a breeze. He enjoyed reading books, looking out the window, napping, playing cars, and didn’t even seem to be bothered by the fact that dvd player was out of battery. We arrived in Salt Lake late in the evening and went straight to the hotel. Tomorrow: seeing what “life elevated” really means.

29: Our first full day in Utah! We decided to head off to Park City. The weather was rainy in Salt Lake and as soon as we hit the mountains it turned to snow. Nicholas was very excited about the snow! Well, until we got out of the car and he realized how cold it really was outside. Once in town, we parked and began walking down the main street. We stopped in shops, took photos and tried to keep warm. Steve and Nicholas threw snow balls at one another along the way. Nicholas even saw a fire engine parked on the street- he was thrilled! We ate lunch at a pub on the edge of town and Nicholas practiced his best snowboarding moves while we waited. After lunch we hit a few more shops and Nicholas took a nap. After I had bought every fleece and jacket in the store we headed back to Salt Lake for the evening. We rested at the hotel, ate dinner and settled in for the night. Tomorrow: Game day | Park City | May 20, 2011

30: Taffy, Buffalo and a big win | May 21, 2011 | Today was packed with adventure, excitement and tasty treats. We started out in Salt Lake, where we visited a local candy shop. We had to get some salt water taffy while we were in Salt Lake. And boy was it delicious! So light and fluffy!After the quick taffy trip, we were off to Antelope Island State Park just north of the city. As we entered the park, a digital sign read: “Biting gnats very bad on Island.” It couldn’t be that bad right?! We got out at the first trail stop for a hike among the red rocks. As soon as we got out the gnats surround each us. As we began moving, they seemed to dissipate. We hiked among the rocks over to the shore. Nicholas really enjoyed hiking and climbing. We all must have looked like fools- constantly waving our arms around our heads. When we couldn’t take it any longer we got back in the car and drove around the remainder of the island. We did see some buffalo roaming the open land- this was really exciting- but we couldn’t keep the windows open for too long because of the gnats. After we had seen the island, we headed back into the city and headed over to the stadium for the big game. The game was in the MLS soccer stadium and was packed. It was neat seeing replays on the jumbotron and hearing J’s name over the loud speaker. It was a tense, action packed game; but fortunately the Bears took home the championship over BYU. There were a lot of unhappy Utah fans. The handful of Cal fans rejoiced in the big win! After the game we headed over to an ice cream parlor for a late night, celebratory, ice cream sundae. It was J’s last game with Cal and our last Cal rugby game (with him on the team anyways)- bittersweet!

31: Our last adventure was one I was looking forward to: Bingham Cooper Mine. It was drizzling and a little foggy as we headed up the hill to the mine. When we got to the top, we saw an incredible view of, basically a stacked hole in the ground. It was really amazing to see how big it was. It was hard to keep the vastness in perspective. They had a replica of one of the truck tires on the grounds, and that is when you really got a sense at how big everything was. There was a little museum about the process of mining, with artifacts. Nicholas and I really enjoyed it. Nicholas was into the replicas of the construction trucks. It was really really cool! We had some Greek food (all the while remembering last year’s cruise) and then headed off to the airport. Nicholas was ready- rolly back pack with fully charged dvd player in tow. By the end of our short visit to Utah, I had discovered that the sign lied. It should be “life deflated.” Not that we didn’t do cool things and see some great sites- but Utah didn’t live up to the hype. We did have a really good time, but I guess some places can’t compare to California! | Mining Canyon | May 22, 2011

32: Wii that was fun | May 26, 2011 | Nicholas and I headed up to the Lake for some pre-Memorial Day fun. Lindsey was visiting from Washington and Nana was already up at the Lake early. Our first night we spent hours perfecting our moves on the Wii. Nicholas even got in on the action. We played golf, bowling , Frisbee and several other awesome games. Of course, Nicholas always wanted to play golf. He is amazing at the drives and chips- but when it comes to putting well, let’s just say his score triples! After staying up until 10:30pm playing wii, I had to pry him off of it and put him to bed. Of course he was asleep within 3 seconds. Probably dreaming of Mario kart, Frisbee dogs and, of course golf!

33: The Saturday before Memorial Day means one thing and one thing only: Parade day! Everyone had finally arrived at the Lake and we had one full house! Grammie, Grandpa, Steve, J, Lindsey, Nana, Nicholas and Mommy.We headed down Main street on a cold and rainy day (well, sprinkling). Nicholas was set this year- this being his 4th Memorial Day Parade. He knew the drill- stand in the street gutter, make sure you are away from candy stealing big kids and wait for the candy to come flying directly toward you. It was a slow start- but by the end of the parade, Mommy had two bulging pockets and Nicholas had a lolly pop in him mouth! We did manage to stay dry, but once we got back we knew it was going to be a cold boat ride. J braved the icy water for a wave board run, but Steve didn’t dare.After some fun, games, and food, we all headed over to the movies for an afternoon flick.We decided to see Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D. Nicholas seemed to like it and managed to keep his glasses on the entire time. But, when asked what his favorite part was, he replied, “I saw Lightning McQueen on Cars 2!!” His favorite part was the preview...go figure! | Americana at its best | May 28, 2011

34: Icy Waters and Sunny Skies | May 29, 2011 | Our final day proved to be warmer and sunnier. Perfect boating weather, right? Maybe to an untrained eye. Though the weather did look beautiful out, those waters were not warmer than ice cubes in the freezer. J, being the warm blooded man he is, braved the water for the love of water sports. Nicholas thought he’d don his life vest and jump in for a swim too. After a foot in the lake he was done. I think he turned blue just from his foot being in the water. We did a loop around the lake and went back to the house. Nicholas enjoyed riding his scooter around the front yard with Grandpa. The rest of us played games and watched sports on TV. It’s too bad that the pool was too cold, but maybe next time. But, who could really complain?! There was good food, family fun, games galore, boat rides and water fun. It was another successful Memorial Day Extravaganza!

35: After weeks of practicing his pitching, bating, a fielding , Nicholas was ready to hit the ball park. The whole clan was there: Grammie, Grandpa, Steve, J, Mommy and Elly. We headed into Oakland for the Battle of the Bay between the Giants (and the crowd goes wild) and the A’s. Nicholas is no ball park newby- this is his 4th ball park in his 3 1/2 years. Our seats were in a pretty complicated area, and apparently none of the workers had even heard of that section- but after searching the entire stadium we found our seats. Our seats were great- but the usually temperate weather was like a death ray of heat! I had to run to the gift shop for some sun screen. I took a moment to look around, but then came to my senses and realized that this was an A’s shop and we are Giants’ fans (and the crowd goes wild)! After Nich was greased up, things got better. We watched the Giants disappoint in another loss, resulting in a Battle of the Bay sweep for the A’s. After we headed out of the ball park, we headed into Berkeley for some lessons on bad driving and amazing Italian at Gypsy’s. After a quick power nap, Nich was ready to practice his baseball moves on Besser fields (aka Grammie & Grandpa’s). Does this love of all things baseball mean a future tour of Midwestern ball parks, or perhaps the Louisville Slugger factory?! Only time will tell | Take me out to the ball game | June 20, 2011

36: Lake Fun | June 27, 2011 | This weekend was the perfect time for a visit to the Lake. the sun was shinning and the water was extra clear and refreshing. Grammie, Grandpa, J, Elly and Mommy joined Nana at the lake for the weekend. We went swimming, played baseball, went scootering, played games and watched movies. We also went on boat rides, and partook in all the lake has to offer. Nicholas tried the knee board again. Mommy and Nicholas did it together at first, and then Nicholas tried by himself. He was going strong and went pretty far. For only being 3, this was pretty awesome! He can add knee boarder to his resume!

37: Independence Day means one thing in this family- The annual family picnic at the Pickle’s. This year the “4th” was on the 3rd. We drove to Cupertino and meet up with Grannie, The Abramson’s, the Pickle’s, the Clark’s and a bunch of other various families. Nicholas immediately made Muriel his best friend. They played and played. She would boss him around and then he’d boss her around. I don’t think I saw too much of him because they were so busy! We had a great barbecue dinner and finished it off with Bob’s famous homemade ice cream. Of course everyone had to take a turn at the crank. Nicholas was no stranger to this, and jumped right in. The sad thing about the “4th” being on the 3rd is no fireworks. Oh well, maybe tomorrow. | Pickle Picnic | July 3, 2011

38: Fireworks in the park | July 4, 2011 | Chris came to visit, and we all went to Central Park in Davis to watch the fireworks. Nicholas got a whirley light up toy that he really enjoyed.

39: Just when you thought we couldn’t brain wash Nicholas enough with Cal stuff, it was time to start swimming lessons. Uncle J worked at the Cal Swim camp over the summer and acquired an extra swim cap. Nicholas, of course, had the wear it to swim lessons. He worked on his back float, front float, gliding and putting his head in the water. He is getting better at that- although he doesn’t like water in his ears. On the way home, we talked about professional swimmers. He was really into “swimming racers.” Who knows, maybe someday he’ll be a “racer.” | Future Cal Swimmer | July 5, 2011

40: More rugby | July 17, 2011 | Just when you thought rugby was over there’s another game! J made the All-American team- so this meant another 3 games throughout California. We went to the game at Stanford. The whole family was there (minus Steve- but he was texting so I think that counts). After a sad loss to New Zealand we headed out for a celebratory dinner. So, now rugby is officially over...or so we think.

41: After the rugby game, Nicholas and I stayed with Grannie at her house for a little visit. We went to church with her and then had some awesome pancakes. We did a little shopping. Nicholas picked out some shirts and a few toys (of course). Mommy B got some clothes too (yay!). After lots of shopping, it was time to go back to Grannie’s for a little rest and playtime. Nichols and Grannie played a little badminton in the backyard and played some catch too. I think he would have stayed out there all day if we’d let him. We had some dinner and then finished off the night with more play and a little tv. The next day it was time to head home- so we decided to take Bart and the train! This was really exciting! Nicholas really enjoyed the train- he was up high and could see everything! Grammie picked us up and that was exciting for him too. I think he really enjoyed the whole train experience! I think we’ll have to do this again! | Nicholas' Garden | July 18, 2011

42: Rugby Quarter Finals | July 19, 2011 | I heard a strange knock at the door and asked Nicholas to check it out. There was a note for him on the front step from Finn McMissile! It said that Lightning McQueen and Mater were missing and he needed Nicholas’ help. Nicholas was then sent on a Cars 2 scavenger hunt around the house. After meeting up with Holley, Francesco, Chick, Grem, Guido and Luigi, he found McQueen and Mater had been frozen by Miles Axlerod (that car never gives up). Nicholas had to figure out how to save them from the ice! He said that we need to “bam” them with the hammer. He donned some protective eye wear and then “bammed” away! After saving his two friends, Finn meet up with Nich and made him an honorary secret agent! Good thing Nich’s around, a ton of little kids would have been very unhappy had he not saved them!

43: Every since Nicholas was born I’ve been waiting to take him to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Today was the day. We drove down with J to beautiful Monterey in the morning and was hit with the cool salty sea air. It was wonderful! We took in all that the aquarium had to offer. We saw jelly fish, sea horses, otters, sharks, etc, etc. Nicholas really enjoyed the feeding tank and seeing all the fish swimming through the big open water. But, his favorite parts were all the touch stations and splash areas. This boys loves water! i really enjoyed all the colorful tanks and just being in Monterey. After the aquarium we had to hit up Pizza my Heart. I think I was there twice a week when I was pregnant. Sadly Nicholas fell asleep and slept through the whole experience. Next we drove over to the coast and went along 17-mile drive. We stopped at the beach to dip our toes and climb on the rocks. Nicholas thought the water was way too cold, but that they rocks were fun to climb on. Before we knew it, it was time to go home. We said good-bye to the salty sea air! | Fish, surf and pizza my heart | July 20 2011

44: Day out with Nana | July 21, 2011 | It was time for a day with Nana! After we went to the aquarium, we headed to San Mateo for a visit with Nana. We spent the day shopping- although we couldn’t really find what we were looking for. But, Nicholas did find some toys he wanted (of course). We then went to an amazing hamburger restaurant. Nicholas was a dream just playing with his cars, and even eating!! After a fun day, it was then time head back into the heat of Woodland.

45: One of our last hurrahs before moving was to hit up the San Francisco Zoo. Grammie, Grandpa, Nicholas and Mommy B (Nich has decided that this is now my name), all drove to San Francisco for some zoo fun. Mommy B forgot her camera and left her phone in the car- so sadly no pictures! We saw lots of different animals (even one named Nolis). Nicholas like the giraffes, but did not enjoy the spider exhibit! All the animals were really active and playful. The gorilla exhibit was my favorite. After an afternoon of animals and animal behavior on Nicholas’ part, we headed out for a bite to eat. We ended up in Berkeley at Jupiter’s . We had pizza and then it was time to head home. We definitely left our hearts in San Francisco. | San Francisco Zoo | July 23, 2011

46: I am strong | July 28, 2011 | The day has finally come, where it’s time to pack up the truck. We started packing today, and Nicholas spent the afternoon playing with friends in Davis. After Grammie took him to swimming lessons, he was able to dive in and “help.” After carrying a few heavy boxes, he’d declare, “I’m strong!” and flex his muscle. He picked up some pretty heavy boxes- so he was right!

47: After lots of packing and prepping, the time has come to road trip across the good US of A to Indiana. We loaded into the car and truck and headed out. Our first stop was Tahoe for some Mickey D’s breakfast (thanks Grannie). After being fed, we headed back on the road where we discovered three very important things- 1: Heytell is the best iphone ap for road trips (think walkie talkie) 2: Mom is way too into her trucker name 3: Nevada is not exactly fun or exciting (think Radiator Spring without Lightning McQueen). So, after a long hot day of driving we arrive in Wendover, NV. Our campsite iswell not as we envisioned it, but it has wifi- so I guess that makes up for it, and it’s only one night. We’ve survived our first day. Blue Hornet and Yellow Bee signing off. | Calling blue hornet, this is yellow bee | Jul 29, 2011

48: Wide open spaces | July 30, 2011 | Day 2 on the great Road Trip of 2011 brought us another two states closer. We started the day in Wendover, NV and crossed into Utah. We drove across the Salt Flats and saw lots of salt and wide open spaces. We also saw the “Tree of life” out in the middle. It was a nice break from the otherwise unchanging landscape. Once we hit Salt Lake, we arrived just in time for lunch at the Red Iguana for some “killer” Mexican food. It was so good- worth coming back for! After lunch, we hit the road again and headed toward Wyoming. The landscape was really nice in the north up through Wyoming. Nicholas decided to take a long nap and was asleep when we headed into Wyoming. Rosco had to get out and take advantage of the Wyoming photo op. Once in Wyoming we drove for hours without any sign of civilization- except a small town or gas station here and there. It was pretty amazing to see so much untouched land. About two thirds into the day’s drive we stopped at Little America. It was a well marketed truck stop with 50 cent soft serve cones. We stopped for some ice cream and a little break, then it was back on the road straight toward Laramie, Wy. We finally arrive in Laramie that evening with just enough light to set up our camp. The sky was filled with stars and much clearer. We had a camp fire and some s’mores to round out the night, then it was off to bed.

49: After an awesome night’s sleep, we were up early and ready to hit the pavement once again. We had our first road trip blunder- a dead battery. Good thing I had jumper cables! Once the car was up and running, we were off to Cheyenne. We stopped at the state capital to take in a few sites. Cheyenne is a pretty good mix of Lakeport and Woodland with a little Old Town Sacramento mixed in. We stopped at the historic train depot that had been turned into some shops and a museum. We then headed out on main street to check out the novelty and western wear shops. There wasn’t too much to look through- so before we knew it we were done with Cheyenne. A little lunch and then it was time to hit the open road toward South Dakota. South Dakota proved to have a much prettier landscape and was far more remote. We spent much of the day winding our way through fields, hills, forests and deserts with little around us and no cell service (and pretty much of our electronics were running on empty). I guess this is why relying on gps isn’t such a great idea- but we made it to our destination all right. Our campsite was right next to Mount Rushmore, and had lots of fun things to do- too bad we didn’t have time to take advantage of it all. We went to get some pizza for dinner. Just when we were saying how we should go camping again it started raining- hard. We all ended up wet in one of the tents with pizza and wings in the middle. Rosco was huddled in the corner shaking because of the thunder/lightning and drooling because of the wings in front of him. We all agreed that cruising is so much better! Where’s that lido deck when you need it?! | Totally Unplugged | July 31, 2011

50: On the Open Road | August 2, 2011 | The rest of the road trip was a big blur. We started in South Dakota and stopped off at Mount Rushmore for a little “sight seeing.” It was much smaller than we all envisioned it- or that it was further away and appeared much smaller. After our brief stop, we we’re off. The next two day consisted of over 1,000 miles of driving! We listened to lots of music, some great podcasts, stopped at some interesting road stops and drove. We finally arrived in Illinois and slept in a bed for the first time in 5 days. I discovered a few things as we traveled through 3 states in two days: -South Dakota’s Wall Drug either has great marketing or by the time you reach the center of SD you need a break from driving -Iowa has very aggressive drivers -The “Obama Money” is being used to fix every highway in the Midwest. -Indiana is so much further away than I thought! Tomorrow we’ll be in Indiana!

51: Here we are Indiana! Nicholas and I got to see our house for the first time today. It seems to have everything we will need and isn’t a dump so that’s nice. We spent the day unloading and sweating it out in the humidity. In the evening we took a little tour of our new city, and started the adjustment process. It’s been a long trip, but it will be a while before we can say, “Ahhh, We’re home.” | We've arrives | August 3, 2011

52: Time to fly | August 6, 2011 | The time has come to fly- both literally and metaphorically. Grammie and Grandpa had to get on a plane and head back to Woodland. We’ve had a great trip, and couldn’t have done it without their help and support. We both appreciate all they have done for us over the last couple of years. This move and new adventure wouldn’t have been possible without the two of them. Our success is completely because of what they’ve done for us. And for that I will be eternally grateful. It’s time to fly!

53: J got to stick around for a few extra days. We decided to check out Chicago and start to explore the city. We started by hitting an awesome taqueria for lunch in a questionable area (I guess that is how you know it’s good). Next the stars aligned and we found a free parking spot on the street a couple blocks from public transit. We had an Austin Powers moment (a billion point turn), but we made it happen. We rode the L train downtown, were we went to Millennium Park. At the park is a huge reflective bean. it was pretty cool, and much bigger than I thought it would be. We then walked around Michigan avenue. We checked out the shops, got some Garett’s popcorn and just explored. That evening we headed back on the L toward Wrigley Field. We got some great Cubs tickets, and Nicholas got to see his 5th baseball park. It was also kids give away night too- so that was cool. The Cubs sadly lost to the Nationals, but it was fun to be in the park. Nicholas kept saying, “Let’s go Giants” so I don’t think he understood they were a different team. Or maybe he was just expressing his baseball preference. It was a great day in the big city! | Chicago | August 9, 2011

54: Columbia Park and Zoo | August 14, 2011 | The last two weeks have been busy and exhausting. We took some time to unpack and get comfortable in our new place. Nicholas had a chance to play with all his toys, play outside and just relax. We went to the movies and saw the Smurfs too. On Sunday we decided to check out Columbian Park in Lafayette. There are some great playgrounds, a water park and a “zoo.” We checked out the free zoo and went to the playground. The zoo was pretty good, all things considered. There were monkeys, meerkats, wallabies and lots of barn yard animals. It was fun though, and it’s nice it is so close. Nicholas played on all the playgrounds and made sure he tried everything! It was pretty warm out, but that didn’t stop him. It was a great chance for him to get all his energy out!

55: Nicholas started his first day of Preschool today. He is a preschool Veteran, after 2 years at the UC Davis CCFS. His new preschool has lots of fun things: ball room, sand room, dress-up room, 2 outside playgrounds, indoor/outdoor tracks with bikes, a classroom loaded with lots of fun things and adjacent outside area, and the pice de résistance: swimming lessons!Swimming was defiantly the best part of the day! He’s had a pretty easy transition into his new school, and I am excited to see him grow this year. I also had my first day on campus, with orientation. By the end of the day I was in information overload! But, I think we are both excited about all the things to come! | Preschool Veteran | August 15, 2011

56: Boilermaker Special | August 18, 2011 | My grad department had a welcome picnic at a local park for all students and their families. This is normally not my thing, but when several people told me that the Boilermaker Special was going to be there I was sold. The Boilermaker Special is Purdue’s mascot- a train. After dinner, we were told we could take a ride on the train. Nicholas didn’t seem to excited. He was more concerned with the fact that the train had wheels and wasn’t going to be driving on a track. But, non the less we climbed aboard. I was thinking it was going to be a short ride around Happy Hallow park and then back for the next group to take a turn., boy was I wrong! We rode in the open air car all around West Lafayette and then onto campus. Our ride was about 30 minutes, and we got a fantastic tour. Nicholas enjoyed the sites and the train whistle (he had to model it the whole way home). After our ride, Nicholas got to play on playground and I got to meet some new people. It turned out to be a really fun evening.

57: After a week of orientations, new preschool activities and hanging out at home; we decided to take a trip to Indianapolis. We decided to go shopping in Indy for some clothes shopping and a Costco run. I expected the worse- no kid likes to go shopping unless it’s for toys. I was blown away- Nicholas has never, ever acted so well behaved in his life! Well, maybe when he’s sleeping. He sat in his stroller without a complaint all day. After I had gotten my pants and seen every store in Indy, it was time for Toys ‘r us. I hate this store! It is sensory overload- so many colors, lights, noises, and too many options! Nicholas, of course wanted to check out all the huge toys with lights and sound that were far too expensive and annoying for me to buy. After far too long we finally narrowed down his choices to one theme: Cars 2. After another 30 minutes he (I) decided on an airplane from the movie. He was more than happy with that choice. Although I was hoping he’d choose this great Captain America mask! | The best boy ever | August 20, 2011

58: Are we having fun yet? | August 28, 2011 | Every morning on the way to school, Nicholas and I pass Happy Hallow park. You can’t see much from the street we’re on, but read that there are hiking trails within the park. So, I decided we should check it out. It was pretty hot and humid, but it sounded like a good idea at the time. We started down the trail and what we found was reminiscent of Mount Hermon. Narrow trails, thick forest, wooden bridges and stairs, and lots of shade. We made our way across the park and found a playground. By this time, Nich had had it with the whole hiking adventure. He cried and whined the entire time at the playground. So, I decide it was time to head home (since we had to walk the entire park again). What started out as a good idea, quickly became a hysterical nightmare. Nicholas cried the entire (yes the entire) way back to the car. On the drive home, I vowed never to do that again! The next day on the way to school, we passed by the park. Nicholas couldn’t stop talking about how he went on a hike and that is was so fun (oh really?! We’re you on the same hike?). He not only talked about it the entire ride to school, but carried on about it for two whole days. Apparently he liked it, crying and all!

59: It’s football time! There is something special about the excitement that football brings to a college campus. At Purdue, the day before a home game the players and coaches walk from West Lafayette to Lafayette on the Pedestrian bridge. The bridge is lined with fans and the players mingle with the crowd. I thought it might be neat to check out. The players were escorted by the city police to the bridge (Nich like the sirens). Nicholas was mesmerized by the players, but wouldn’t get close to them. He liked watching “Purdue Pete” but only from afar. But, the biggest attraction there were the cheerleaders. I don’t know if it was the pretty girls or the shiny pom-poms, but he was more interested in them. But, he would only gaze from afar. He did keep asking where number 3 was! | Boiler Bridge Walk | September 2, 2011

60: Children's Museum Fun | September 3, 2011 | Since this was our first Labor Day not headed to the Lake, we decided to head to Indy for some fun. We went to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. It was really hot, so this was a great way to stay cool. Nicholas enjoyed going through all 4 floors where he could run, touch and play. There were dinosaurs, trains, construction vehicles and even a carousel. His last experience with a carousel wasn’t pretty, so when I asked if he wanted to go I was surprised when he said yes. I guess a few months have made a difference, because he loved it! He wanted to go again- and this time go on a horse that went up and down! He really liked it! We also saw a planetarium show featuring Elmo, but his favorite part by far was the trains. He would have stayed all day playing with the Thomas wooden train set (yes- exactly like the one he has at home) if I’d let him! We got a pass so we could come back again soon and play with those wooden trains!

61: After a very quick 6 weeks on our own, Grandpa came for a visit. On Friday, Nicholas spent the afternoon with Grandpa while I was at school. They had lunch and went to Happy Hallow Park for some playtime fun. On Saturday we took a trip to Indy and went to the Indianapolis Race car Museum. It was smaller than we originally thought, but it was really cool to see all the indy cars on display. Nicholas enjoyed seeing the race cars, but liked the one he could sit in best! They had some cars on the track, so it was neat to see them actually in action. After the museum we headed over to the Children’s Museum for some more fun. They had a new exhibit with lots of aquariums full of live frogs from around the world. But, Nicholas’ favorite place was in the construction area. He enjoyed the construction trucks and water tables. Before we headed out, we stopped at the shop where he picked out two Thomas the train books. When Sunday finally came it was time for Grandpa to head home. Nicholas really enjoyed all the play time and it was a nice break from the business of school. | A visit from Grandpa | September 20, 2011

62: 5 little pumpkins | October 1, 2011 | October is not complete without a trip to the pumpkin patch! I heard about a place close by on the radio and we decided to check it out. We headed to the corn maze first. Nicholas enjoyed going through the smaller mazes, but quickly got bored. So, we headed over to the pedal cars. He could have stayed there all day! But, I did manage to pull him away so we could take a ride on the tractor to the pumpkin patch. He really enjoyed this! When we got to the pumpkin patch, Nicholas took control of the wagon and we were off to pick our pumpkins. Nicholas wanted 5- so that is what we got. I was kind of afraid at the cost of 5 pumpkins, but we ended up spending just six dollars! What a bargain! Before heading home Nicholas shot the corn cannon. A cob of corn was pushed into a metal tube and when he pressed the red button it shot across the corn field. He loved it! Fall has definitely come but now that we have pumpkins it is official.

63: Time for another visit! Grammie and Grandpa came for an extended visit! Thursday they picked Nicholas up from school in the afternoon and took him to the park. He had lots of fun showing them around Lafayette and telling them all the new things he has learned. On Friday, I took time off from school and we all headed to Chicago for some sight seeing. We took a tour on a red double-decker bus. It was neat seeing the city from up high and not having to worry about traffic. The tour guides gave some great narration and interesting facts about the city. In the afternoon we got some yummy Garrett’s popcorn. I liked the caramel, but Nich enjoyed the cheese. He was covered in it, so I am sure he enjoyed himself. Nicholas really likes “tall buildings” and the city atmosphere, so he was pretty excited the entire time. Before heading home we ate at a great Italian cafe. Nich enjoyed his meatball! He had such a big day and was asleep with minutes of heading home! I am sure he was dreaming of “tall buildings.” | Tall Buildings | October 7, 2011

64: A slugger in Kentucky | October 8, 2011 | Nicholas and I are always up for a little adventure, so we all decided to head into Kentucky for a little trip. Louisville is about three hours from Lafayette, and we were all excited about exploring this new area. We started with the Louisville slugger museum in the heart of downtown. It was really interesting! They had lots of baseball memorabilia and the actual bat factory. We saw the entire process of how a bat is made, and even saw some of the professionals bats. At the end of out visit we all received a mini bat. I also got Nich his own personalized bat. We all really enjoyed the experience. We decided to head back for some rest and some swimming. Nicholas really enjoyed the pool. He jumped off the side of the pool for the first time since he was 18 months and had no fear. He practiced a few times, but was soon running and jumping in. He even attempted a cannon ball! After some dinner- we all settled in for the night after a great day.

65: We couldn’t go to Kentucky without hitting up Churchill downs where they have the Kentucky derby. The week before Nich and I watched “Secretariat” so we’d be well-versed on our race horse history. We went on a short tour of the grounds and then headed in to the museum. It was really cool! They had lots of interactive exhibits and memorabilia. Nich liked the horses game where we could “race” each other. We did some mock betting- and of course Nich won the most money! There was even a fake horse that he could get on and ride. He was able to put in real jockey clothes and pretend. He loved it! We all did. After we had spent far longer then we expected inside, it was time to head back into Indiana. Once home, Secretariat was on TV again- so we all watched it. Now Nich thinks he’s a horseman and likes to pretend his scooter is his horse! | Go Secretariat Go | October 9, 2011

66: Stevie B | October 15, 2011 | October must be the month for visitors! Steve was at a training in Illinois, so he headed into Indiana for a short visit. Nich loved showing him around Lafayette and his room. he enjoyed bossing him around and playing lots of toys. On Sunday we went to Triple XXX for burgers and then later Steve and Nich watched the football game for a bit and had some play fun. It was nice because I got some work done without too many distractions! It was great that Steve was able to come and see where we live and hang out- even if it was a short visit.

67: Lafayette has a free zoo in town with a pretty good selection of animals. The zoo closed for the season several weeks ago, but there last hurrah is the annual Boo at the Zoo! Chris was visiting during this time, so he attend the event with us. Nich dressed up in his halloween costume- Super Why! There were games, pumpkin carving, prizes, candy, animals, face painting, rides and lots of fun. We had fun playing the carnival games- although we always had to have him pack up when he was to throw any object because he brings the heat! The volunteers were impressed with his fast pitch! He rode all the rides and enjoyed the boats the best. It was a little cold, so he didn’t do too much of the pumpkin carving but I sure got my hands dirty. Anytime he can wear his costume is always exciting! Can’t wait until next year. | Boo at the zoo | October 21, 2011

68: Legos and Tall buildings | October 22, 2011 | I had read about a Lego discovery center in Chicago online, and thought this would be the perfect Saturday adventure while Chris was visiting. We made the trek into Chicago and were pretty tired after the car ride. But, Nicholas perked up after stepping inside the museum. there were legos everywhere! Places to explore and build and lots of fun to be had! After lunch we began to explore. Nicholas seemed to really enjoy the race track. He was able to build a race car with his Dad and they raced it down a track (pinewood derby style). He spent about an hour just doing that. I think he would have enjoyed spending even more time racing. We rode some of the ride and looked at all the cool giant Lego figures. Before heading home Mommy B bought him a small airplane Lego and Dad bought Nicholas the race car he’d been playing with. Nicholas and I will have to go back soon!

69: Nicholas takes a karate class that is offered as an extra curricular at his preschool. Today he participated in a promotion ceremony from white belt to yellow. It was pretty cool to see all the things he gets to do in this class. The kids learn two life skills each session. This session was confidence and courtesy. His teacher, Sensi Steve asked the group, ” What does courtesy mean?” The kids raised their hands and Nich was called on. He said, “it means to have good manners.” It was pretty awesome because we haven’t been talking about the life skills at home, so it means he is remembering what he is learning in class. After watching them do some kicks, hits and punches it was time for each kid to be promoted. To do so they have to break a board using a specific techniques that corresponds to the color of their belt. White means breaking the board with your foot (kick). Nicholas was up first. He looked at the board and said, “Board, I am going to break you in half!” After a few tries he kicked and it broke into two. He was really proud of himself. the final part of the ceremony was when Sensi Steve took off his white belt and replace it with a yellow one. While doing that he talked about all the things Nicholas was doing well. He did such a great job and it was so fun to see everything he’s learned! | Keyah | October 27, 2011

70: Falling Leaves | October 30, 2011 | Although the weather already seems so cold, I know it’s just the beginning and because of that we try to get out as much as possible before the snow comes. Nich and I decided to take a little hike at Happy Hallow park. It’s been a while since we’ve been there together and it is really beautiful. The leaves are different shades of reds, oranges and yellows. We hiked along the winding paths over to the playground. Of course Nicholas made a friend. They found a giant tree pod as big as a softball and were rolling it down the slides. He was having a great time! After several hours it was getting cooler and looked like rain, so we hiked back to the car. Nicholas turned it into a raceand guess who won?! Nicholas of course!

71: Halloween has finally come! I asked his teacher where to go trick or treating since our street doesn’t have a lot of kids and I knew most lights would be off. She said the mall was handing out candy. I thought this was a great idea- it wouldn’t be cold, we’d be done before 7, it was perfect. While walking through JC Penny’s I was horrified to see it decorated for Christmas. We finally got inside the mall and I was horrified again! There was a loop of people around the perimeter moving slower than a line at Disneyland! Each store had a worker handing out one candy to each kid. After 5 minutes we left. We ended up going over to a neighborhood near Nich’s school. It was like we’d stepped into a movie. Kids running down the street with Mom and Dad. Parents sitting on the porches asking each kid what their costumes were as they handed out candy. I guess that’s the Midwest for you. It didn’t take Nich long to discover that he loved Halloween! He practically skipped to each house in excitement. His Super Why! costume was a big hit and he loved the attention! I think his bag was full after 15 minutes! After hitting up several blocks it was dark and getting cold, so with his very full bag we headed home. After a candy check he happily ate his tootsie roll then it was off to bed. But not before him telling me he needed to brush his teeth! A little brainwashing at school today? | It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Super Why | October 31, 2011

72: Silly Safari | November 5, 2011 | At school, Nicholas got a flyer for a Silly Safari show at the theater in downtown Lafayette (we actually go to church in the same location- so Nicholas was really excited about that). I thought it would be fun to check it out. The show featured a variety of animals and we heard lots of facts about the animals. A few kids from school were also there, and they all seemed to be really excited about seeing each other outside of their normal setting.We saw animals like: an owl, snakes, an armadillo, spiders, and a giant great Dane named, Ellie. Nicholas really liked her. At the end of the show all the kids were able to line up and pet some of the animals. Nicholas liked looking at them, but wasn’t too interested in petting anything other than the dog. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon!

73: Nicholas started a basketball class today at the local YMCA. There is about 20 kids and 3 coaches. The coaches split the kids up into groups and they do drills. They practice shooting, passing, dribbling, running, stretching, etc. and then they switch. I think he’s the youngest in the class, but he’s the fastest! They do a relays and sprinting to warm up and he is always the first one to reach the other side of the gym. It’s nice that he can do an activity outside of school, and try a new sport too! | He shoots, he scores | November 10, 2011

74: Tractors and Turkey | November 24, 2011 | For Thanksgiving this year it was too expensive to go back to California, so my friend, Adrie was nice enough to invite us to her family’s farm for the holiday. She’s from a small town about 2 hours south-west of Lafayette. We went a day early so we could check out he farm and meet her family. Adrie has two nieces and Nicholas immediately made friends with Lulu (whose 5). Adrie’s dad and niece, Charley (she’s 8) took Nicholas on a real tractor ride. He really enjoyed this! he had no qualms about jumping into the cab he even got to drive a little bit! After the tractor ride we went over to Lulu and Charley’s farm a mile down the road. They have lots of animals like sheep, horses, cows, pigs, chickens and two dogs. Nicholas even got to sit on a mini horse. Nicholas and Lu spent the rest of the day bossing each other around and playing. We spent the night and on Thanksgiving we watched the Macy’s parade on tv, and then met the rest of their extended family. We had fun meeting everyone and tasting all the Indiana traditions (like ham on Thanksgiving and homemade noodles (kind of like chicken and dumplings). That evening we headed home. We arrived just in time for a virtual meal in California. It was nice to be a part of their holiday even though we were so far away.

75: Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time for Christmas! We spent the day putting up lights and decorating the house. I even put a little tree up in the play room just for Nicholas to decorate. I think he enjoyed having his own tree with all his favorite ornaments! He really likes seeing the house changeI think because he knows that it means it’s almost his birthday and Christmas. | It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas | November 25, 2011

76: Celebration, come on | December 1, 2011 | December is like the marathon of events for us- birthdays and everything Christmas! So, today we started the celebration with the advent calendar I made for Nicholas a couple of years ago. Everyday he gets a small toy or candy as we count down to Christmas. This is great way to kick off this exciting month!

77: Tonight we went to the circus in Indianapolis. Nicholas really enjoyed all the sites. There were clowns, animals, acrobats and even a man who was shot across the room through a cannon. I enjoyed seeing all the elephants, and Nicholas liked the giant clown car. It was an exciting experience! | Elephants, clowns and a flying man | December 2, 2011

78: Purdue Christmas Show | December 3, 2011 | Today we went to the 78th Annual Purdue Christmas show on campus. The show had some light acting but mostly showcased music and dancing. One part in the show that I enjoyed was a group that rang bells. It was really neat. Nicholas didn’t seem to enjoy it too much. He spent more time on the floor than actually watching. I was kind of surprised because he usually likes things like this. But, then again I kept thinking that Nana, Grannie, Mom and Dad would have really liked it. After the show, we headed o the Memorial Union to Pappy’s for lunch. Pappy’s is an old fashioned soda fountain on campus. Nicholas and I had burgers, fries and ice cream.he liked this part of it.

79: I know what you’re thinking what a packed weekend! Yes, it has been very busy!! Today was the Lafayette Christmas Parade in downtown. This parade was very much like the Memorial Day Parade in Lakeport just Christmas- Complete with the Shiners riding mini cars! The only bummer was it was raining and really cold. We lasted about half way through and then Nicholas had to use the bathroom so we just went home. It turned out OK, because it was a l-o-n-g parade and we at least got to see Mrs. Clause. Maybe next year we will see the whole thing (and bring an umbrella, gloves and chairs)! | Christmas Parade | December 4, 2011

80: A Disney World Birthday Adventure | December 12, 2011 | This year we decided to have another Disney-tacular Birthday extravaganza! Nicholas and I headed down to Orlando to Disney World for a short birthday celebration. Since I was turning 30 (and Nich 4), I wanted to do something to celebrate. We headed out of Indy early (too early) and arrived in Orlando around noon. I decided that we should head to the beach. We made our way to Cocoa Beach, FL, and we spent the afternoon swimming in the ocean. Nicholas had a great time experiencing the sand and surf. We actually went to the same beach that I went to when we went to Florida in high school. After the beach, we headed to Downtown Disney and ate at a Dinosaur themed restaurant. The inside of the restaurant was really neat. There was a cave, a forest, an aquarium and a volcano. We ate in the forest and watched he animitronic dinos as we ate. Nicholas really loved it. We went to the Magic Kingdom on Saturday. Nicholas wanted to go on the Jungle Cruise first. After that we hit up all the rides- especially the Speedway. I think we went on that at least ten times. On Sunday we went to the Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. It started raining in the evening, but this was great because it was deserted. We put on our rain jackets and went again. That evening, Nicholas was so tired that he fell asleep before we even left the park! On Monday we ate pancakes and ice cream and then went to Downtown Disney again. Nicholas was able to celebrate being 4 with a chocolate sundae! Hey, it’s his birthday so ice cream at breakfast is Ok, right?! We then headed back to Indy that night. It was an amazing birthday. I am so glad that we took the trip. We had a great time together and got to do everything we wanted to do! What a great day(s)!!

81: Nicholas had his preschool birthday celebration today. I got some special Mickey Mouse cupcakes. We also bought some small prizes and made goodie bags for all the kids in his class. They sang him ‘Happy Birthday’ and he got to wear his crown. He Was so excited to celebrate being 4 with his friends! | School Birthday Party | December 13, 2011

82: Clara, Fritz and Sugar Plum Fairies | December 17, 2011 | One of my favorite things at Christmas is seeing the Nutcracker. I really wanted to get tickets this year. I did some searching and found a ballet school in Indy that put on a performance. It took place at the Scottish Rite Center in downtown, and it is an amazing building! I wasn’t too sure if Nicholas would be ok because it was long and he didn’t like the Purdue Christmas show but I already had tickets so we went. Low and beholdNicholas loved it (and of course I did too). Our tickets were pretty close, so I think that helped. He enjoyed the dancing and costumes. The Snow Queen was really good. I am so glad that he enjoyed itespecially since I love it so much. I can’t wait until next year!

83: Christmas in Woodland proved to be a highlight for Nicholas and I. We spent two weeks in California spending time with family. We attended Bayside for their Christmas Eve service, I got to see my friends, Nicholas got lots of Grammie and Grandpa time, there was presents galore, a trip to the “tall buildings” of San Francisco and an overall great time! Steve, J, Nich and I headed over to Marin and were able to hike through the woods and beach. Nicholas was able to put his toes in the pacific (the Pacific and the Atlantic in the month of December)! It was great spending time just the 4 of us. We really enjoyed our time in California and can’t wait to go back. | Christmas in Woodland | December 25, 2011

84: "Oh the places you'll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.

85: And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all." | 2011

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  • By: Erin B.
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  • Title: 2011
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  • Started: over 7 years ago
  • Updated: almost 6 years ago