Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

The first weekend in October we took a trip out to Reedley to visit Hillcrest Pumpkin Patch. Mommy loves the fall and was just a little excited:) This was our second year going to this particular place and it will definitely be an annual tradition! This year Mimi and Papa joined us; we had a ton of fun!!!

This picture is particularly precious because last year Elyse sat in the bin with the "small" pumpkins. This year she stood next to the "medium" pumpkins! It is amazing how fast she has grown!
This year:

Last year: for comparisons sake :)

This might have been Elyse's favorite place at the patch! Our little country bumpkin! Or, it was at least a close second (to the trains, of course)!

Here is Elyse giving a pumpkin a hug! <3

While picking up this one she says, "heavy"!!! LOL

Gorgeous Girl!

When Elyse found her perfect pumpkin, she knew it instantly! And by her smile, we knew too! In fact, she loved the "mini pumpkins" so much that Papa bought her 4!

Picking out fall decorations (wheat and corn) for the house with Mimi!

Family pic

Waiting for the train! She loooved watching the little train go round and round!

There it is!

Riding the real train!
Elyse, Mimi, and Papa

And one more stop to drive another tractor- this time a big one!
Elyse and Daddy!

We finished our day with a yummy dinner at a little Italian restaurant in Reedley! Elyse and her mini "pum-kicks" could not be separated! More on painting and carving later!

Friday, August 12, 2011

San Diego

The evening of Elyse's last swim lesson, we packed up the car and headed to sunny San Diego for the weekend! We went to visit some of our favorite people, Sam and Kyle and their little girl Afton! They moved from Fresno to San Diego 3 years ago and we have missed them everyday since they left. But, as much as we would rather have them here, we sure do enjoy going to visit them!!!

Elyse and Afton are just 5 months apart. These girls have loved each other from the moment they met. They both LIGHT UP every time they see each other! Each time seems to be more fun than the last as they are both now pretty mobile!

While we were there the weather was great, as usual! So, we got out a lot: walks, the farmers market, picnics in the park and at the beach, and the mommies even got away for a pedicure and a little shopping (lucky us)!

Here are the girls during our picnic in the park; they even got to feed the ducks!

Elyse, Afton, and Auntie Kyle

Elyse with Uncle Sam

We went to the beach twice while we were there (well, the daddies went a little more)! On the first day the weather was pretty cool... a little too cold for Elyse!

Notice the lack of expression on her face.

She just wanted to snuggle with daddy!

But, by our second trip to the beach the weather had warmed up, and so did Elyse!!!
We started out slow this time, and Elyse and Afton played in the sand for a while.

Which she LOVED!

After both girls were good and dirty inside and out (from eating the sand) we decided to hit the water!

This time was a whole different experience.

She absolutely loved it!

And couldn't get enough!

The funny thing is, Elyse's love for the beach has been slow-growing! Last fall we went to Pismo and she screamed when we let her toes touch the sand. This spring, she ate the sand like it was birthday cake, but wouldn't go near the water. This trip she eventually wanted to lay in the waves!

Again, notice all her facial expressions!

This trip I was having too much fun taking pictures and playing with my camera settings that I forgot to get in any of the pictures. But just for fun, here are some pictures of our trip to San Diego last summer!

Afton (2 mos.) and Elyse (7 mos.)

Not surprisingly, we were sad to leave, but we can't wait to go back and visit again!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Swim Lessons

The Monday we got home from Bass Lake Elyse started her first swim lessons! As you know, Karl's family loves the water and we know Elyse will be around it a lot. We want her to learn to swim young so she is safe and enjoys it! This year Elyse was part of a mommy and me class so I was in the pool with her along with many other mommies and babies. Our friend taught the class and she is fabulous! We went 4 days a week for 2 weeks.

The class starts and ends with singing: This is the Way We Wash Our Hands, If You're Happy and You Know It, etc. Without a doubt this was Elyse's favorite part. Second to that was all the attention and praise she received after each "swim". In fact, when most of the babies were SCREAMING the first week, Elyse would come up quiet and look around to see who was watching her. The funny part is, by the second week the other babies were loving it and Elyse decided she didn't like it anymore. She didn't cry, but she sure fought me to come up! Overall, she certainly learned to hold her breath and kick and her feet well. She also doesn't mind water on her face anymore (which comes in handy while washing her hair in the bath). So, I call it a win! And, I can't wait until swim lessons again next year!

Here we are attempting to smile for the camera before we go for a "swim".

I would talk to her before and excitedly tell her that she was gonna go for a swim and I wanted her to kick her feet and look for my toes.

Next I would gently lay her down in the water and let go.

Pretty quickly her little body would start to go vertical; I guess this is natural since that is how they walk. So, I would have to reach in and tip her (guide her shoulders down) so that her body remained horizontal.

Here are some under-water pics. See what I mean about the vertical!

In all fairness, this wasn't a true swim; it was just for the purpose of pictures, but you know what I mean.

Elyse swimming!

And coming up!

After each "swim" she got lots and lots of love and praise!

Now this part she got excited about! She would yell "YAY!" and clap her hands together, followed by looking around to see if anyone else saw her!!!

In between swims we hung out on the steps where Elyse could play with the lady bug and other "anmals" (animals). She loved this too!

Here is a group pic with all of the babies and mommies.

Here is our attempt at a group pic of just the babies.

Here is Elyse drying off and relaxing with one of her besties "Ri-Ri" (Riley)!

On the last day of swim Elyse had a little audience. Of course daddy came to watch along with Mimi and Aunty Amy with her nephew Kase. Papa didn't make it quite in time, but he got to see her afterwards!

Elyse was always pretty hungry after swim. After the last day, to celebrate the completion of her first swim lessons, Elyse and I went to McDonalds with Aunty Amy and Kase. This was her VERY FIRST time at McDonalds, and her very first HAPPY MEAL. I figured it was an appropriate way to celebrate! I'm really not sure if she liked eating the chicken nuggets or playing more!!!

But she did both very happily!

I am so proud of my little swimmer! Good job E!!!