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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Local Attractions ~ Part 2

Continued from: Local Attractions ~ Part 1

Then there was ANZAC Day!

In preparation of ANZAC Day, Hubby & I made homemade meat pies & I had a first attempt at ANZAC Day cookies! Meat pies were delish! 
Cookies on the other hand...a little hard :)

We attended an ANZAC Day Memorial Service which was held aboard the USS Midway Muesum in San Diego.  It was a very nice service.  A little different to the usual Aussie Dawn Service that we attend each year as it didn't start until 10am, but it was nice to have a formal event to attend in honor of the fallen ANZAC's. 

We met a bunch of great Aussies & following the memorial service we attended a reception at Buster's Beach House Grill & Lounge.  It was a little crowded, but they put on some good food, free drinks & we had great company :)  We also saw the inside of a few different pubs (as you do on ANZAC Day) in San Diego's Gaslamp District. Although, this led to a new rule for our little family....no 'shots' when Kayla is around, unless it's a shot of water of course :) It was a fun drive home for me from San Diego with Hubby in the passenger seat...after a long day out...

If you follow me on Instagram you can check out the rest of the pics there, I'm just not sure I'm 'allowed' to post any of the guys in uniform. To get an idea of the memorial service though, here's a few snapshots (without the up close & personal pics).

Even though our baby girl doesn't have any idea what ANZAC Day is about just yet, she was very well behaved during the service & put smile on some of the oldies faces with her cuteness. 
Kayla playing games across the table with her Daddy.
Following ANZAC Day, we had another BIG DAY on our calendar! Kayla's first day at Daycare!!! Well, correction....first day at Daycare without her Mummy hiding in the background :) I had taken Kayla a couple of days in the weeks leading up to her 'big day' for a short period just to get used to the surroundings & her teachers.  An easy-ing in process...more for me to get used to the idea than her I think! Haha!

Onto her first day & we both went ok with the drop off. No tears from Kayla, & no tears from me :) I had a lovely 'child-free' day out.  I spent the morning doing a spot of shopping for new clothes for Kayla...oh my goodness! I forgot how quickly you can get things done when there's no toddler hanging off of you :) However, shopping was followed by a call to my fellow Marine Wives to meet me for coffee & to keep my mind off of not having Kayla with me... It was very strange not having to put my baby girl in & out of the car, or having to carry around a bag full of nappies, snacks, drink bottles, lunch, hat & all of the other items that usually take up my nice LV knock-off handbag! I am still amazed at how many items you have to lug around for such tiny people!!!

While sitting there at Dunkin Donuts waiting for my coffee buddies (& eyeing off the scrumptious donuts & bagels!) I was secretly missing my baby girl...& it had only been a few hours! However, seeing Kayla so involved with what the other 'littlies' were doing that morning when I dropped her off was so nice.  Even nicer, was seeing her teacher Miss Inka call her over with her arms outstretched for a diaper (nappy) change & Kayla just running towards her. Adorable! I must admit...I had my doubts about how she was going to go & it didn't help that there was a little boy who was walking around crying...I just wanted to give him a BIG cuddle!!! But our little Miss Independent baby girl LOVES her Kindy! So much so, that when we arrive in the carpark, Kayla's little legs start kicking with excitement & she can't wait to get out on the playground with her friends.

The teachers took pictures of Kayla on her first day to show us how much fun she was having. I am so thankful she has such a lovely group of people taking care of her every Wednesday!
Kayla's first EVER art project at 'school' :) Learning about Zebra stripes!
Onto other days at home, & we have had plenty of tasty breakfasts, lunches & dinners out & about as a family.  Kayla enjoyed her first real American PB & J sandwich, & gigantic kids breakfasts!! Bubble baths, Elvis bubble hair-do's, handbags & a walk past a movie location from Top Gun while checking out the Thrift Stores with my M-Wives were just a few more things we did to fill in our time here in So Cal.

This is a 'clean' pic of Kayla & her first PB & J...I should've taken one at the end.
Notice her Daddy's hand there making sure she's keeping somewhat clean...
I wish he was worried about mess around the house 

just as much as he is worried about his girl getting dirty :)
Seriously! This is a kids breakfast meal at Broken Yolk! Insane or what!! ? 
Next time I'm saving some cashola & sharing with Kayla! My Dad would be proud :)
Bubble-head Elvis!
The house that the lady instructor lived in from the movie Top Gun.
Loving her new handbag!
Other spare of the moment trips we did around California was a trip to Honda Centre to watch the Anaheim Ducks! Awesome game! Great stadium...although I was close to having a panic attack when we first got to our seats that were two rows from the top! When the seats in front of you are full it's a little less scary :) 

Kayla was a little scared of this HUGE blow up hockey player.
You can see her pointing to her Mum, as if to say "Take me over there Daddy!!"
The view from our seats!
Waiting for the game to start...& holding on tight to Kayla!!

I forgot how long Hockey Games go for...
so when Kayla started to get restless she made up her own game to keep herself occupied :) 

"Where's Kayla?" 
"There she is!" 
Hubby & I joke that this kid is like a bird! Cover her up when she's grumpy or noisy 
& she'll quieten down pretty quick!
We had a great family night out at the Mighty Ducks game!! 
We also had a great evening getting to know some of our new neighbours Christine & Michael.  We had a fun time across the road at our local enjoying some drinks & warmth around the fire pit while swapping stories about our 'home' countries, bands, surfing, scuba diving & our very close day spa that Christine & I are still yet to check out!!
Family pic at the local!
Kayla enjoying her mac & cheese while we wait for our neighbours to arrive :)

All of this time spent at home called for some time to start planning our next trip away!!! Coming up was our trip to the East Coast for hubby's Army Week in Washington DC. One thing we did learn from our previous trip to Las Vegas was that Kayla's monkey covered umbrella stroller that she loved so much was a pain in the ass to push along for extended periods of time! I ended up with bruised palms from not having padded handles & the cheap wheels kept getting caught.  So off to the baby store to purchase a replacement...who would've thought it would be so hard to decide!!!!?

Seriously...do we really need this many options to overwhelm us newbie parents on something as simple as a stroller?! Anyyyyhow...Just incase you were wondering, we decided on the Mac Claren! 
Our opinion so far... Awesome choice! 
That's it for now with the local attractions & what our little trio got up to after Las Vegas! Now for the super-duper fun times & off to the East Coast!!! NYC here I come!

xoxo T

Local Attractions ~ Part 1

In between our trip to Las Vegas & our trip to the East Coast we had some time 'laying low' around San Diego.  It was so nice to take time to see some local sights & make memories in our new home...as well as sleep in our own bed! With my own contoured pillow!! How I miss it when I'm gone :)

Playing around with hair-do's :)
Someone stole my iPad & decided to shop for Disney Princess items while enjoying her snack.
Cheap parents! Kayla's cubby house! Kayla & I did spend an afternoon colouring it in together to make it look pretty.   Hubby & I used it as a test run to see if it was worth buying a proper one :) Which we did!
We went shopping for Kayla's first bike.
She LOVED the look of this motorised Viper...maybe for her 2nd Birthday?!
This is what she ended up with! It's no Viper, but it's a sweet ride!
A radio flyer bike. Very American!
We went to see the San Diego Baseball Team play in SD with our good friend Chris.  I as always, missed some good things in the game just from looking away at the wrong time. Seems to always happen to me!! Dave & Kel, if you're reading this, you know ALL about it after our SF Giants Game!! More on that story later :) It was a great way to spend a Sunday arvo & nice to be close to home for the weekend.
Starr, Hubby & Kayla! 
I'm sure Kayla's look on her face is for Starr.  She is a little wary of any men paying her attention.
Let's hope that sticks around into her twenties...or thirties! :)
Having fun at the Ball Game!
Seeing our baby girl developing into her own little person while we are home is very cute too. There are no tourist sites to rush off & see. Nothing to distract us from having one on one time with our little girl.  Watching Kayla each day is a like a little holiday in itself for me.  There's always so much for me to take in with her learning new things. She really makes us laugh a lot :)

"Am I cool or what?!" Our little biker girl after her bike ride to the beach.  She is loving her new Radio Flyer Trike.  Around the time of snapping these pics, Kayla also learnt how to say 'Cheese' when getting her picture taken :)

We had some great sunny days while we were home too, so we made the most of it!! A few beach trips with my little girl & some beautiful sights along the way too.  With the weather warming up I think it's time I get a maid so that Kayla & I can spend every spare moment playing in the sand & enjoying the beautiful California lifestyle!

On a walk down to the beach with Kayla we saw 16 pelicans in a row!
It was a record up until our recent beach trip where there were 40+!!! 

Having time at home allowed me to catch up with some friends I hadn't seen in a little while. Love hanging out with my new Marine Wives! Always an enjoyable time out.  In the pic below, we had just been to lunch down at the end of the Oceanside Pier & had to walk back through a HUGE swarm of bees!!!!!!! It was a little scary! I'm sure we would have looked funny walking back along the pier with baby blankets over our heads, but it's a good thing we had our baby gear with us otherwise I think I would have been stuck there for a while :)
Fellow Marine Wives - L to R: Rebecca & little Elaine, ME, Micah & Kayla.

Kayla all ready for another trip to the beach!

Most weekends that we are home we like to kill time (usually around Kayla's grumpy early evening time) by going for a long afternoon walk through the campgrounds that are situated along the beach across the road from our block.  I love it when there's a super busy period & there's people lounging around their campsites, kids riding their bikes & making new friends, the smell of campfires & BBQs.  It reminds me of my time growing up & camping with my family every school holidays. Happy times! We have also enjoyed some lazy afternoons over at our 'local' sipping on my fave Carlsbad Sunset cocktails while watching some amazing sunsets! I think they almost top Darwin's Sunsets....almost :)

To be continued....

See: Local Attractions ~ Part 2

xoxo T

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Vegas Baby!!! Oh I mean...Vegas with a BABY!

So I think I completely jinxed Hubby & I in my previous blog posts when I said we have the “most well travelled baby in the whole world”.  We decided to drive out ot Las Vegas the weekend after Easter to catch up with some old Newcastle RAAF friends of ours who were visiting from Australia.  The drive out started ok with Kayla happily watching some new DVDs we purchased for her.  I don't know how parents did car trips without these fandangled things years ago!!! Anyhow, that's when the tantrums started…but we got through it with some snacks, telling her to look at things outside her window....& a switch to more dvds!!! Lifesaver :)

Things got much better once we were out of the car.  When we arrived in Vegas all Kayla could say was 'WOW'! So cute watching her take in all the lights, the rollercoaster & the masses of people on the streets. We checked in to our hotel & were happy to have a separate lounge room for Kayla to sleep in, as opposed to the walk-in closets or hallway entrances she was used to on our last trip! Great parenting!! 

Kayla mesmerised by my colourful Mummy drink & her Daddy's boot cup!
Our first steps on the Strip in Vegas as a family. Look at Kayla's WOW face!!
CHEERS to the Weekend! 
Once we were settled in we were off for a walk down the strip, with baby in tow! I never thought that Vegas & a baby would gel well with each other but I was suprised to see how much Kayla loved it.  A huge amount of entertainment everywhere she looked.  Good thing she didn't take much notice of the 'flickers' on the strip & what they were handing out.  For those who don't know what 'flickers' are, they're people standing in a line, usually about 10 in a row, flicking small business card type things that have promos for Stippers or clubs on them.  Most showing pics of topless women with tiny stars on their bits.  So I am not sure how we would go hiding our child from those types of things once she's a little older to take notice of it.  Anyhow, our first stop was to get Mummy a tasty Margarita & Daddy his cheap beer & walk up to Treasure Island to get some dinner.

A little obsessed with throwing pennies into any form of water feature now :)
There was even more entertainment for Kayla seeing the people doing line dancing inside the restaurant/bar at Treasure Island.  We tried to get a spot to see the Pirate Ship show but it was way too busy.  Dinner was really nice & the waitresses were very friendly.  Kayla thought that her Daddy's drink in a big cowboy boot was pretty awesome & was insisting that we keep 'cheers-ing' each time we took a sip. Very cute moment.

We finished dinner & then headed off to meet up with our long lost friends.  After a drink with them & a quick catch up, Hubby walked our little munchkin & I back to our hotel so we could get our Zzz's.  After the trip out to Vegas that we had, I was more than happy for hubby to go out & party it up in Vegas while I slept in our SUPER comfy bed all to myself...yes...I've changed...depending on how my day goes with a toddler I'm either keen to party or keen to sleep...mostly it's the sleep that wins :)

Great to see our Newy Crew again! Miss you guys & the old days xo
The following day was spent with a trip to the roof top pool enjoying the sunshine.  A walk to see some sights & for those who know my Hubby well, we had to stop at Hooters in Vegas for lunch.  Out of all of the Hooters Restaurants that we've tried, I think this one would have to be on the bottom of our list.  The food didn't taste fresh at all.  A little disappointing considering it was located within a Hooters Hotel in Vega, so you'd assume they'd get it right as their main restaurant.  Anyhow, Hubby was happy he got his hot wings & added another Hooters Restaurant location to his list! I think he's now done a fair amount of the USA chains as well as Australia & Singapore.  Just a little obsessed.  Good thing they market it as a 'family restaurant' hey?! :)

Kindness of strangers. A man offered to take our family picture for us.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Vegas!
Once we were finished at lunch, we all went home for an afternoon nap after the previous late night.  When we woke well rested we were off to check out some more sights.  A walk through the Bellagio to see the beautiful garden & massive Swan & a stop off at the Paris Casino to taste some pastries were some of the highlights. We were hoping to show Kayla the Tigers at the MGM so we wandered over there...unfortunately we missed it...by almost 4mths :) Whoops! Luckily she didn't know any different & was over excited with checking out the Rainforest Cafe Gift Store with all of their stuffed animals, the huge aquarium, & the big snappy crocodile. We also stopped at the M&M Store which amazes me every time with the delicious rainbow wall of chocolate! Loved their free taste testing :)

Checking out the huge butterfly deco's flying up high.
Checking out the beautiful garden display in the Bellagio along with a Butterfly Exhibit!
Kayla checking out the snapping crocodile at the Rainforest Cafe Store
Sampling at the M&M Store!
A delicious sweets store we came across...unfortunately we had already tasted pastries from elsewhere
just before we saw these...Have to go back!!
Out little trio had a great time in Vegas & even though it was a very short stay, it was nice to see some familiar faces & hear some Aussie accents :)  The trip home....not so great.  It could be a whole other story altogether...But I'll fill you in quickly. 

Kayla seemed super hungry in our drive home, so we would give her some snacks when she asked for them (by asking for them, I mean her going ‘ugh ugh’ and pointing to the front where she knew I had her lunch box full of goodies.  She was happy with her homemade healthy egg & banana pancakes.  Then she had a cup of my homemade granola, as well as a fruit pack!!  This is all within a 4hr time period & extremely slow traffic...so we thought it was justified :) That was until…I heard a whinge from the back seat, turned around to find Kayla spewing a yellow river down her front.  Nice! We pull over & get her cleaned up, all whilst Mummy was gagging (I don't handle spewy smells very well for a Mother).

She calmed down after her sickness & the rest of the trip wasn't too bad (apart from the lingering smell).  Once we arrived home I had to strip & wash the carseat & air out the car! Joy!! Exactly what I want to be doing after a trip away.

But that’s not all. When we got home, she didn’t feel like eating anything for dinner but went to the fridge later & pointed at a fruit pack. I was worried she would be going to bed hungry (I know…what the?) so I gave it to her. We sent her to bed in her cute lil Winnie the Pooh PJ’s we just bought her from Disney Store Outlet in Santa Barbara last weekend.  Kissed her goodnight.  Checked on her before we went to bed ourselves, & then came the morning...

Jase went to check on her before getting ready for work that morning & that's when I get woken up to... ‘Tahn! She’s vomited everywhere!!!’ Happy Monday!!! The cot (& Kayla) are covered in a similar yellow lava from the day before. And boy did it stink! So it was bath time for Kayla & laundry time for her entire bed set! Thank goodness for those cot air wraps as it contained it all from spewing out the sides of her cot.  Needless to say, that Kayla & I had a lazy day around the house after this… she fell asleep on me twice throughout the day, which I completely lapped up every moment of! She’s growing so quickly now that I have to make the most of those precious baby moments.

Luckily, Kayla seemed better by that evening & was back to her usual eating-everything-in-site self by dinner time.  Although, I was nervous about giving her egg & banana pancakes & any granola seen as I had seen what it looked like after she tried to digest it the day before! TMI? Nah... :)

I thought that was the end of our exploding moments for awhile...I thought wrong...

Tuesday came around & after being housebound the day before I decided we should venture out of the house & be productive.  We went to visit her new daycare & meet the teacher that will be caring for Kayla once we enrolled her & also went to check out a pilates studio for myself & their child minding facility. We had a lovely Mummy & Daughter lunch date at our fave Panera Bread, followed by a spot of shopping for a lovely new kettle & tea-for-one mug at Sur La Table. I love that store!!! Everything cooking, baking & coffee all rolled into one!! Back to the car to unload our goodies…& then the smell hits me as I’m getting Kayla out of her pram…. A lovely exploded nappy to deal with & all through the pram!!!! I took a pic of it & sent it to Jase at work :) Lovely wife.  That’s what he gets for making a comment about my new profession (a stay at home mum) & saying that he would love it as you ‘just’ get to play with Kayla all day & read books! Ha!!! That'll teach him....although, it would have taught him a lesson more if it happened on his watch while I was no where to be seen to clean it up.  So, just when I thought I had finished my loads & loads of washing spew...then it was time to go & pull apart the pram & wash of a load of poop…Yay!

Our unwell little girl on the way home after 'the incident' with no pants on because
 Mummy had cleaned out the car after the other 'incident'.
Following this, Hubby was sick....& then it was my turn! Turns out that maybe Kayla didn't have an illness from over-eating in the car on the trip back & that she may have picked up a stomach bug from Vegas & kindly packed it, & brought it home with her to share with her Mummy & Daddy! Nice! The good thing, was that we all played tag team with the illness & there was still one parent functioning to have energy to deal with a toddler :)  We all finally recovered by the time the next weekend came around... I don't think a toddler understands the whole, 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas'! 

xoxo T