Saturday, October 5, 2013

Church with a toddler

Church with a 16 month old is less about spirituality and more about survival. Before having a baby I have been less than empathetic to parents with screaming children in public places. I think I was given a so,e-what difficult baby to teach me to have more apathy and appreciation for parents. Baby Stephen is a good baby, just a wild one. He is strong-willed, energetic, and when he does throw a tantrum he really knows how to throw his weight around. Trying to keep him quiet and confined to the church pew is an impossible feat. We usually go on a stroll around our church during the second hour to give him time to cool down after running circles in the church gym during sacrament meeting. While he is not the easiest baby I sure do love him and enjoy his wild and silly personality. 

UC Berkeley

A few weeks ago Baby Stephen and I went to UC Berkeley to meet up with Daddy Stephen. It is crazy how fast our time here in Berkeley has passed. This is Stephen's last year at Cal and while I'm happy that he will be graduating, I'm sad that we may be leaving the Bay Area. 
We did some shopping for Cal gear. Baby Stephen did well despite not having a nap. 

Walking around telegraph 

My darling child

Sather gate

Alameda beach

One of our favorite places to enjoy the bay-area's Indian summer is alameda beach! Baby Stephen loves splashing in the water, playing I'm the sand, and watching the birds. Baby Stephen could spend the whole day at the beach. It's a great way to keep him occupied. There aren't really waves at alameda beach and the water is relatively warm so baby Stephen has no problem walking waist-deep in the water. He would probably like to go further if I let him. 
Playing with sand toys

Roxanne and Cute baby Eliza

Beach friends, Kate, Nolan, Roxanne, and Eliza 

Too bright mom!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

lake tahoe

Since dave was busy working during the week, we didn't see him a ton, but we are lucky we got to spend the weekend with him in lake tahoe. we stayed in the marriott timber lodge in south lake tahoe. the hotel has a great location right next to the heavenly gondola, a bunch of restaurants, the lake, and a great state park for hiking. we only stayed one night, but made the most of our time. 
dave and the stephens in front of the heavenly gondola.  these flowers are amazing!  and yes, im that annoying person who makes people pose for pictures.
gorgeous lake tahoe, the water was so clear and it is surrounded by mountains and pine trees!  we went paddle boarding for the first time.  it was fun.
baby stephen found a great place to swing!
we went on a hike and gave baby stephen a stick to keep him occupied.  he then stuck the stick down his throat.
stephen with his parents!  you cant tell, but the lake is in the background.
jane looking out into emerald bay.
my two favorite boys.
dave and jane
i love having this guy on my back.  i just wish he wasnt so big and heavy!
cascade lake

the stewarts visit!

we love having family visit.  some of our favorite visitors are stephen's parents, dave and jane.  they have been to visit us more times than anyone else.  this time, they stayed for a week.  while stephen's dad was busy working in the city, jane came out with us.  we had a ton of fun going to the zoo, beach, monterey bay aquarium, carmel, and of course, going out to eat.  
 jane and baby stephen at the san francisco zoo.  he loved the goats!
 this baby is 1/2 cowboy so i thought it was fitting to put him on a saddle.
 with my little guy and some flamingos.
 we loved the zoo! it is right buy highway one along the coast.  there were beautiful cyprus trees and native plants in a lot of the exhibits.  i loved these things, whatever they are.
 baby stevo at baker beach.  it was chilly and windy, but we loved the postcard-like setting.  we even saw dolphins in the bay!
 the sand was so nice!
 baby stephen loved watching the waves come in!
 we drove down to monterey for the day.  the monterey bay aquarium is one of my favorite places to visit!  we had memberships last year and I think we have been there around five times.  baby stephen really loved watching the fishes.  he got sad whenever we took him away from one aquarium and moved him to the next.
 he really liked this little cubby thing.  he was standing there watching the fishes and shaking his booty.
 amazing jellyfish
 we loved the beach at carmel.  the sand was so soft and nice.

 we went to a giants game with stephen's dad!
garlic fries from att park! my favorite.
we love where we live and it is so fun to have people come and explore with us!

berkeley parks

getting outside is a trusted and true way to maintain sanity with a baby.  pent up energy and a small apartment can make for a headache for both mom and babe, so we try to leave the house twice a day.  usually we stay around our place because we have three parks in walking distance, but we also love to meet up with friends.  
 here are roxanne and eliza at Cordornices park.  this park is one of my favorites because it has lots of shade and lots of baby swings.  it is also across the street from the berkeley rose garden which has a beautiful view of the bay.
 here is baby stephen at the park inside my apartment complex.  this park is not my fave because the black bouncy floor gets really hot during the day so baby stephen cannot crawl on it.
 here are baby nolan, baby eliza, and baby stephen at live oak park.  i've only been there once, but i really like the shadyness and the little stream that goes through the park.
 baby stephen loved the ducks and geese at the berkeley aquatic park.  this park is beautiful.  it is along a track of water filled with ducks and geese.  the play ground is really awesome, and there are a bunch of cyprus trees (my fav.)
 i had to post this picture of baby stephen at totland!  this is a great park because it has shade, sand, and best of all, tons of abandoned toys!  baby stephen can entertain himself here for hours.

 baby stephen loves blake garden in kennsington!  this park is owned by UC Berkeley and does not have a playground, but it is a great place to feed some koi fish or lay out in the grass and enjoy the views of the bay.
 here is another picture of baby stephen at totland, pushing an abandoned toy.
baby stephen's favorite activity at parks is swinging in the swing.  the swing makes him relaxed, sleepy, and sometimes silly.  since he isnt walking, i will hold his hands while he walks around the park. if he spots a swing he will walk over to it and stand there getting really excited.  if i don't put him in or if i try to take him away from the swing he gets sad.  i dont blame him, i would love to have someone push me in a swing. 

fourth of july

the fourth of july is one of my favorite holidays.  i love the fireworks, food, and spending time with family and friends.  we were really sad that we couldn't make it to stephen's stewart family reunion at their ranch in wyoming, but we definitely had a good time here in berkeley.  

We started the day off by going to the fourth of july parade in alameda.  Well, just me, the stephens did not join us because daddy stephen didn't think baby stephen would enjoy it.  So I tagged along with the Gray's.  I love doing small-towny things like going to parades.  some of my favorites from the parade include a giant shopping cart with people in it, mexican cowboys on horses, and sikh dancers/sword fighters??.  I love that it showcased all the diversity in the bay area.  

After the parade we went over to the Reeder's house for a bbq.  we had delicious food and then baby stephen dipped into the kiddie pool and then had a great time in the sandbox. 

We headed over to the Call's roof after the bbq and watched fireworks go off all across the bay area.  we could see them in oakland, san francisco, sausalito, richmond, and berkeley.  

Although we didnt get to spend the fourth with family, we are really lucky to have such great friends here in the bay area!
 with roxanne and baby eliza post-parade.
 baby stephen loving the sandbox at the reeder's
 waiting for the fireoworks that mo lit to go off. turns out they were just large party poppers.  apparently you cant buy anything with a fuse in berkeley.
 patriotic family.
baby stephen loved the reeder's dog bowie!