Sonoma

the baloney bug

Our plan after a week in San Francisco was to spend a long weekend in Sonoma.  We’d been to Napa when Adelaide was a few months old and were excited to see Sonoma.  Sometime late in our week I glanced at our flight reservations to realize our flight home was actually on Saturday, not Sunday like we’d thought.

We had to make our trip to Sonoma a little bit shorter than we’d hoped and stopped at one brewery and one winery before heading to Sausalito for the night.

Also, random side note: we chose to have a stopover on the way home in Minneapolis because we find the airport very family friendly.  One of the central terminals has a Chick Fil A right across from an amazing children’s play area.  Even if we only have a few minutes, we will stop there because it is such a win to let your toddler get some energy out halfway through your travels.

And all the parents said, “Amen”.

(I realize this sounds incredibly lame to all the childless people.)

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

California, we love you so much.  Until next time, my friend.

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Golden Gate

the baloney bug

In May we took Adelaide on her third trip to San Francisco.  While it’s one of our favorite cities, I think Adelaide and I won’t be back for a while.  Travel has increasingly become less about painting the town red and increasingly more about playgrounds and nap time.  We spent almost every day at the playground at Yerba Buena Gardens in the sandbox and on the slide.

She wouldn’t even eat the big Ghirardelli sundae I got for us to share.  I mean, what’s the point of going to San Francisco if it doesn’t involve a big brownie sundae??

Realizing that I didn’t travel cross country to go to playgrounds, I decided to cool it on the travel a bit.  We stopped by the Golden Gate Bridge one morning for more photos (see previous ones here and here ).  I love to see how she’s changed from trip to trip, and what better place than in front of one of the most famous bridges?

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the baloney bug the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug Adelaide’s face just about sums up how she feels about family photos these days.

Actually, I think it pretty well sums toddler life in general.

 

 

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New Zealand: Interislander Ferry and Marlborough

the baloney bug

Okay, okay.  One more post after today and our month in New Zealand will be wrapped up.

Jon and I have wanted to visit the famous Marlborough wine region since our first time in New Zealand eight years ago.  But time never permitted (or pregnancy), so we’d never gotten the chance.  We were determined to go on this trip, and it was basically heaven.  We took the Interislander Ferry between the North and South Islands, which we’d also never done before.  It was a beautiful and relaxing trip.  We tried to take a couple of photos on deck, but Adelaide wasn’t really feeling photogenic that afternoon.

From the ferry terminal we picked up our rental car, tried navigating a manual car on the wrong side of the road, and headed out to some vineyards.  It was seriously such a picturesque retreat for our little family of three.  So often our travel revolves around Jon’s work, so it was nice to have him all to ourselves.

We rented a cottage at the sweetest bed and breakfast, and ironically enough the cottage’s name was “Adelaide’s Barn“.  I can’t rave enough about this place.  If you ever find yourself in Marlborough (which I highly suggest), make sure you stay here.

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

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the baloney bug sneaking a taste of the grapes

I love this little girl and my sweet little family so much.  It’s simultaneously maddening and amazing to travel with her and explore things through her eyes.

And the wine certainly helps.

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New Zealand: Tongariro National Trout Centre

the baloney bug

While in Lake Taupo, we visited the Trout Centre where you can see trout in their natural environment.

And feed them.

Let’s be honest, all a two year old cares about is throwing pellets of food into the water and seeing the fish jump.  We packed a picnic lunch and walked the grounds of the reserve, feeding the fish as we went.

When we got home we enjoyed popsicles galore.  It felt so good to sit in the sun in the middle of February and indulge in an icy treat.  I’m the kind of person that starts dreading winter in the heat of summer (so right around now).  I’m already in denial that these warm summer temps will ever go away.

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Summer, please don’t leave us.

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New Zealand: Wellington

the baloney bug

We went to one of the Wellington beaches (there are too many to count) the day after Jon arrived.  Adelaide was so excited and wouldn’t let him out of her sight.  When we left the house, the weather was perfect, and by the time we got to the beach it had gotten quite chilly.  The kids still had fun digging in the sand and having a picnic on the beach.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Adelaide plopped herself down on a towel with a piece of sausage in her hand, and was just chomping away at it.

That kid.

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New Zealand: Playgrounds

the baloney bug

We went to some seriously incredible playgrounds while we were in New Zealand.  Adelaide is adventurous (to say the least) and is not afraid to climb high and swing fast.  I’d never seen some of the pieces of equipment, and we often found ourselves having even more fun than the kids.

While we were there Adelaide also found her sense of fashion.

Um, the socks and the shoes were all her.

The rainbow sunglasses were on rain or shine.

She also magically learned her colors while we were in New Zealand.  One day she just knew them.  Every single one.  She started trying to say her name for the first time, and magically poop potty trained herself.  Every single poo was in the toilet.

Then we got home and she was like “Nah, I’m good, just change my diaper.”

I’m letting her take the reins with potty training and have been trying not to push it.  We just started a rewards system when she goes on the potty, but so far she’d rather forfeit the rewards and go in her diaper.

Le sigh.

She is very opinionated about what she wears.  I definitely thought I would have more time to pick out her clothes, but now when I shop for her I find myself thinking, “Is this her style?  Is this something she’ll like?”

Basically if it’s pink and has a heart on it, she’ll like it.

She’s incredibly opinionated about her shoes, often times shoving her foot in a shoe she’s long since outgrown.  Last week she found a pair of shoes that I bought on sale at the end of the season, still too big for her feet, but insisted on wearing them.  By the end of the hour she had red marks on her feet from where they were rubbing, but she still insisted on wearing them.  Luckily I had planned ahead and brought her comfy shoes to switch into, which she finally and reluctantly agreed to wear.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

I joke that our very opinionated child is the classic first born.

And classic only child.

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New Zealand: Wellington Botanic Garden

the baloney bug

In February Adelaide, my mom and I boarded a plane for New Zealand.  And then we boarded two more.  Twenty four hours, a trip across the International Dateline and into the Southern Hemisphere, and viola!  We were there.

The longest of our 3 flights (13 hours between LA and Auckland) was surprisingly easy.  It left about midnight our time, and by that time Adelaide was exhausted.  She fell asleep soon after we took off and woke up a good 9 hours later.

We were in NZ the entire month, strategically planning to spend the coldest month here during the warmest month there.

And hot damn, it worked.  Do you know how much snow the East Coast got??  I was not sad to miss that.

Jon was able to join us for the last two weeks of the trip, and we were just a tiny bit glad to see him.

My sister now has two daughters, Siena who (at the time) was 2.5 years and Savannah who was 4 months.  Adelaide was straight up smitten by her cousins.  She idolized Siena and adored Savannah.  Savannah was the first baby Adelaide’s ever really been around, and she couldn’t get enough.

She wanted to “hold” Savannah, give her kisses, hug her (um, crush her), touch her toes, help put on her shoes, give her toys.  She loved the baby.  She couldn’t say Savannah, so she would scream “BABY” in her face.

Over.

And over.

Even now, months later, when Adelaide is upset and nothing will calm her, I’ll ask her if she wants to see a video of Siena and Savannah, and instantly she’s agreeable.  I just love how she loves them.

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the baloney bug

Is that a mom who has everything under control, or what?  I was so impressed with how Merridith seemed to seamlessly transition from one kid to two.  I know it didn’t happen quite like that, but she made it look easy.

She had a fun play date or story time or adventure planned for us every day.

And got us back in time for nap.

On the one day we were cutting it close and Adelaide was falling asleep in the car, Merridith managed to keep her awake until we got home.  Even I had given up on nap that day, so I was certainly thankful for my supermom sister saving the day.
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the baloney bug

the baloney bug We certainly aren’t close geographically, but I’m so glad for technology keeping us close.  That Adelaide gets to see and talk to her cousins, share milestones and birthday celebrations.

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Disney

the baloney bug

 

I’ve obviously been a little bit MIA from the blog world for a while (um, months?) and honestly just keep it alive because it’s the easiest way for me to document our lives for myself and my family.  Jon edits all the photos that get posted here, and he’s been swamped.

We took this trip to Disney over Thanksgiving weekend.  It was literally 2 days after we signed the contract on our house, so in the midst of a trip to Disney we were getting approved for a mortgage, having the house property surveyed, etc etc.  A little bit stressful.

Then you know, we bought a house, moved into a house and spend every spare second tending to said house.  Oh and a toddler.  And dog.

Now that it’s summer, ohmygod, the gardens.  They’re gorgeous but I have no idea what the heck I’m doing.  I’m constantly googling and youtubing and texting my mom questions.

Jon’s also been traveling more than ever.  He’s been gone more weeks and weekends than he’s been home.  So now that we’re on a little vacation we can finally catch up on pictures… of other vacations.

While in Orlando, our friends Matt and Jessica hosted us.  They had recently moved from New York to Orlando and were amazing hosts.  Over our long weekend they took us to Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom.

We started letting Adelaide watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse a few weeks before our trip to get her excited.  Our main goal for the trip was to meet Minnie, which we accomplished on our last day there.  We met Donald first, and she was TERRIFIED of him.  Then we worked our way up to meeting Goofy and Daisy and finally Minnie.  She was tentative, but excited.
the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

She would have spent all day in the “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” playground if she could.  I remember playing in that same park as a kid.  Ah, memories.

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the baloney bug With Uncle Matt looking at the monkeys at Animal Kingdom.

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the baloney bug Um, can you tell from my hair that it was just a little bit humid?

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

hugs for Daisy

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Thanks so much to our friends for being such amazing hosts.  I’ll be back to the blog in hopefully less than six months with my next post.

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Merry Christmas

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Well, meeting Santa didn’t exactly go smoothly.  We’ve been talking about Santa for the last month, saying “ho ho ho” everytime we see his image and talking about how he brings us gifts.  We finally got out to Bloomingdales to see St. Nick over the weekend and Adelaide waited on line like a champ.  The second it was her turn she just lost it.  There was no way she was going to get close to that guy.

Not even a cookie would help.

We tried.  Better luck next year?

Let us always remember that He is the reason we gather to celebrate.  That the true gift does not come wrapped in a box or with a bow.  Wishing you all a lovely holiday surrounded by those that you love.

Merry Christmas.

(You can see last year’s Santa pictures here.)

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Behind the Scenes 2014

the baloney bug

I think this year’s card might just be my favorite one yet.  We were a bit intimidated at the thought of trying to get a toddler and a dog to cooperate, but give them a cookie and some cream cheese and you’ve got a sure fire way to keep their attention.

I’ve been tossing around ideas for a kitchen scene for a while, and Jon was never on board.  When I suggested that he could be in the background pouring some booze into his coffee, he was suddenly a lot more interested.  I figured my favorite cards have always been the ones where something funny has been happening (Jon tied up in the Christmas lights and Brady pulling Jon down the street), so we went with it.  The original idea was for us to be dressed up in suit/tie/sparkles but last minute ditched the idea for pajamas.

Adelaide sat on her mark the entire time, happily gobbling down two very large chocolate chip cookies that we made earlier in the week.  I was running back and forth putting cream cheese on the island so Brady would jump up and lick it.  We had to take a small break to get him a step stool, because he was too short to really be seen in most of the photos.

This was our first year using lights.  We don’t get great lighting in our apartment, so Jon brought home some strobe lights to light the set.  I wish we had taken a photo of the entire setup, but it was too hectic to even think about it.  My friend Ashley came over to stand behind the camera and to get Adelaide’s attention, which was crazy helpful.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

^^I swear he wasn’t about to bite her.  Adelaide spent a good amount of the shoot trying to snuggle Brady.  She loves him so much.  Seriously, she just loves her dog.  Brady is so good with her, especially when she’s sneaking him food.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

The final image was actually 3 photographs (Adelaide and me + Brady + Jon).

I guess there are some benefits to being married to a photo geek.

(PS. You can see all of our past Christmas cards here.)

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