Sunday, December 3, 2017

Last few boxes!!!

We finally emptied out our storage unit and brought back the last 4 boxes into our apartment.  The one that Charlie decorated made it for sure!
The apartment is still so messy with half of the living and dining space taken up:
Sometimes I feel like I am so close and then other days I just want to curl up on the couch and look the other way. And I can't hide in the bedroom either because there is stuff all over the floor in the bedrooms too!
At least the cheapy book shelf is still standing, although the shelves look like that are shagging in the middle???!
The boys will be out of school in 2 weeks (Dec 15).  I will definitely want to try and do as much as I can between now and then so I can enjoy my vacation as well!  

Recent happenings

On our bike ride recently, we discovered a rock pier.  Photo op!
Since it's just me and the boys, we don't get too far:
Yes, the boys do really love the sand, especially Graham.  Can you tell???!
The view back towards the Pointe:
And obviously roller-blades are not meant to look like this!  Thankfully I didn't have too much further to go, to catch up with the boys on their bicycles.  And also so glad I didn't fall over when the roller-blades finally fell apart:
Might think about a new pair for Christmas??? Although I did see a guy on an electric skateboard today though.  Definitely less effort to catch up with the boys.  Ha ha!
And speaking of Christmas, the trees are up in some of the shopping plazas,  This is a pretty one:
The boys are happy that Mommy is baking again.  Bobby asked me why and I said because the berries were on sale :-)
And yes, I get to use my fancy ceramic pie bird vent.  I did end up putting the pie back in the oven for a few more minutes as it did seem a little undercook at the time the photo was taken.

Wish I could have saved this mochi ice-cream/dessert though! It is sold frozen and I put it out to thaw for a few minutes.  Obviously completely forgot about it!  I couldn't waste it so I did spoon up as much of that melted vanilla ice cream as I could.
And no, I did not lick the plate, although I did think about it :-P

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

This year we were actually driving to Phoenix on Thanksgiving Day itself.  Bobby has been having to work long hours and also the weekends too but thankfully was able to get away at the last minute. We loaded up the minivan again with more things (this is my way of down-sizing :-) and off we go!  We spot some smoke but thankfully it is not along the I-10 freeway:
We arrive Phoenix around 4:30pm and our neighbor actually invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner but we opted to meet up with them on Friday.  Instead, I had packed up our leftover lasagna and that was our Thanksgiving dinner!  Everyone except Graham enjoyed dinner.  Graham was being very picky about the ricotta cheese.  He is so sensitive to change!  He can even taste the different between the regular Ritz cracker vs the wheat one, which I bought my mistake.  Little stinker!

The next day, we head over to Lowe's to pick up a few things.  The boys never get tired of sitting on the mowers:
When we get home, I turn on the water hose to clean up an outdoor mat and the boys enjoy spraying each other for a bit.  In the end, Charlie comes in to watch a DVD:
And Graham continues to sit in a little toddler tub and plays on his own.  He is like Ferdinand the Bull. Ha ha!
Day-after Thanksgiving dinner was great with our neighbor. The apple and pumpkin pie were YUMMY!!!

It is a really short trip and we are heading back to LA after 2 nights.  But first, the boys enjoy some "Daddy's phone" time on the couch:
We leave Phoenix at around 10:30am and despite gaining the hour back, we only arrive home after 6pm.  Phew!!!  Traffic started waaaaay back in Palm Springs! Couldn't believe the amount of holiday traffic.  We even had to wait in line at the gas station.  Didn't have to do that since Abu Dhabi! The only consolation was the nice sunset on the way into LA.
We definitely have to leave earlier from Phoenix next time!

Friday, December 1, 2017

New bicycles!!!

We finally bought some new bikes for the boys.  Well, we meant to only buy a new one for Graham as we had to sell his when we left Abu Dhabi.  But of course Charlie really wanted one too!
What is with this kid and Captain America!?! Ha ha... even with a matching helmet.  We lose Bobby and Graham as they take off first after we park but we finally spot them on the ramp:
Not sure if you can see them but Graham and Bobby are all the way at the top of the ramp.  And Bobby obviously didn't read the sign as I see him letting Graham ride his bike down. YIKES!!! Thankfully they soon discover it is too steep. Phew!

And the boys are off!
Unfortunately, neither Bobby nor I have a bike and so we would take turns running with them.  Talk about a good workout!  Okay.... your turn honey!!!
Bobby and I eventually got smart after a couple of runs.  He would be on one end and I would be on the other end.  Ha!
All good for the boys!!!
Photo bomb!
Bobby is click-happy with his new work iPhone :-)
Pretending to fall over the edge!
What a lovely sunset!  We stay for a bit longer to throw ball.  Graham and Charlie also have new baseball mitts. Christmas definitely came early for them!
The boys and their trees!!!
We are probably going to stick to the beach for a bit for cycling.  We went to trail the other day and there were lots of hills.  Graham really struggled going up the hill and then we wondered if he really did need a fancy bike with gears.  The dirt/gravel trail around that same area probably didn't help either. He had a couple of bad falls and thankfully no broken bones! Poor guy looks so sad here when he got home :-(
And thankfully Graham was ready to get back on his bike the next day!  Charlie is still using a bike with training wheels but I have plans on getting him back on the balance bike.  There is a slight downhill by school :-P

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

"Walking" not hiking

I told the boys we would go hiking but after being on flat ground for most of the day, Charlie cried when we got to the car and said, that's not hiking, that's walking!!!

Guess you can be the judge of our "walk" then.  And oh, thankfully we didn't see any of these:
Okay, so it is relatively flat:
Graham cracked up when he read the last line. Ha!
 Lovely view of Catalina Island across the way:
I still haven't figured out this loop yet.  Hmmmm......
So after the hike that was downgraded to a walk, we head out for a real hike (perhaps?) a few days later.  Graham puts on his homemade "hat" from school:
Amazing how the hat is staying on. It is actually quite windy:
More than halfway down the hill.  Charlie is careful with his steps:
What a cute and interesting surprise when we get down to the rocks.  It's a "rock-man" looking out into the ocean?!?
Charlie is trying to maneuver along the rocks:
Graham is throwing rocks into the ocean:
The boys build their rock pile - something we have been doing a lot here!
Happy Graham and Charlie!
After a while, we head back up the hill.  It is actually quite the hike!
Phew!!! And then, there was the steep slope when you made the turn.  I am trying to catch my breathe by now and legs are burning a bit.  Talk about being out of shape!
Now, this definitely qualifies as a hike! :-)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Beach time!

We have been doing a lot of beach time here.  Mostly on Fridays, after school - so that way I don't have to worry about getting the boys fed, bathed, and ready for school the next day.

Graham and Charlie LOVE the sand!
The pier at Manhattan Beach:
Interesting shells (?) on the pillars of the pier:
We had to take a photo with the Life Guard's truck :-)
The boys actually wanted to take a photo on this signage.  MB for Manhattan Beach.  Too cute!
And on another occasion, we are scoping out what we now call "Crepe Street" beach.  Well, our favorite crepe restaurant is not far from this beach and somehow, it stuck - or at least it's the easiest way to tell Bobby where we are!
Big and aggressive waves!
Graham did actually go into the water and was taken down a couple times by the waves. He is definitely keeping a good eye on it!
Charlie is struggling with the seaweeds littered on the sand and also in the ocean.  It's funny how they "pop" when you step on the ones that are filled with water:
Charlie is definitely keeping his distance away from the seaweed! :-D
We have spotted some dolphins at this beach.  So cool!!!
Selfie time!  Graham did this selfie all by himself:
And Charlie did this selfie of himself. Ha ha!
Did I also mention that there is a gelato place along the same street as the crepe?  Well, that has also been one of our favorite stops:
Both Graham and Charlie are definitely living life to its fullest in California!