Thursday, August 17, 2017

Rats and Rory and yes, this post is Random


Want to hear a disgusting story about a weird smell in my house that kept getting worse and worse and then today when my Orkin man came over was discovered to be two decomposing rats in my attic? No, you don't? OK, fine.

In other news, my tear ducts are working just fine after finishing the seventh and final season of Gilmore Girls tonight. I'm already mini crisis-ing about my babies growing older and leaving the roost and then Rory goes off on a bus with Barack and I'm hard-core sobbing. It's hard to find a series that feels like family but this one definitely does. How have I lived without it?! Other shows I crush over? This is Us, duh. And oldies like White Collar and Psych. I miss Shawn and Gus!

As if the rat situation wasn't enough nastiness for one household we've had the barfs. Or more specifically, the girls have had the barfs. Cora and Quinn are waking up at all hours of the night and crying all hours of the day and just when I think they're both feeling better they both seriously freak out. And I went off sugar this week so clearly the timing is perfect. Or maybe I might die.

Tonight I was filling out emergency cards for the boys' school and it had me thinking about two years ago this week when we moved to LA from NYC and immediately drove to the school to enroll T in first grade. I had not a friend to my name and when the secretary said it was mandatory to include an emergency contact, I cried and wrote my Mom's name down (and then spent weeks praying that nothing bad happened, because what was she going to do from 300 miles north?) But tonight, I had a handful of fine friends to choose from when I was writing down names and my heart felt so much peace and gratitude. I am home, and I love it here.

Except for the rats.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

It started and ended with the beach.

Our last week of Summer vacation that is. Tears, tears, sadness and tears because the kids went back to school yesterday and the best Summer break we've ever had is officially over. I totally thought by the end of this crazy summer I'd be ready for them to go back to school but I'm pretty heart-sick about my buddies being gone all day again...and the crazy schedule we're welcoming back.

Luckily the last week of Summer was a total success and as mentioned in the title, started and ended with days spent boogie boarding and castle making at the beach (with lots of fun in between). Uncle Chase and Aunt Meghan were staying with us that week so they were along for the ride and even though our fridge broke, we had sick babies and our packages were stolen from the front steps it was a rocking week.

Summer, we loved you more than you'll ever know. School year, bring it!




Uncle Chase's sand castle skills are unmatched, and the kids couldn't get enough! They'd build and build and build and then Quinn would smash the heck out of it and smile ear to ear!

The Autry Museum was awesome, but our stay was short-lived because of a fever for poor Hunter. 


These three loved panning for gold, T could have done this all afternoon!

Meghan asked me to braid her hair and it was so fun, especially after only braiding Quinny's little locks for so long!


Our Wednesday night BBQ was even awesomer than normal this week thanks to this water slide and bouncy house. The kids were in HEAVEN!

Cora started doing this recently and I laughed so hard that she knew she had me wrapped, the little yogi! Now she does it all the time and looks at me and smiles extra big. SOOOOOO cute!








Our last Friday beach day of the Summer was a little overcast, had perfect waves for boarding, showed us a huge school of dolphins and basically was amazing in every way...especially when this little sister decided that she LOVED the waves and ran in and out of them all day. I love the beach, I love our Summers and more than anything I love this crew. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mammoth and Manzanar

One of our favorite parts of this vacation was license plate spotting. On the drive from Los Angeles to Tahoe on that very first day we started a list, hoping we would find a license plate from every state but mostly just interested to see how many we could spot. After logging nearly 1200 miles and ending up at the nicest resort in Mammoth Lake two weeks later we were only two states short of the 50 nifty--Delaware and Kentucky. Crazy, right? I was most surprised that we found Hawaii and Alaska, actually multiple of both, and that it took us sooooo long to find Michigan, we didn't see it until Yosemite.

I'd like to say we found D&K on our way back to LA, but we're still searching for those babies. What we did find on our way home however was a little piece of history tucked off Highway 395. Sadly, I didn't even know Manzanar existed before this trip. I knew that Japanese-Americans had been put into exile camps during World War II but I guess I hadn't given much thought as to where they were...or even considered that they still existed (as a museum, clearly not as a camp).

I was moved as we learned about the history of these camps and found myself crying as I imagined what it must have been like for these innocent people to be put behind bars. I was especially emotional when I learned about the orphanage full of children who had lost both parents in the camp, but also those who were taken from their loving foster or adoptive families because they were 1/16th or more Japanese.

Going to museums like this and learning about challenging moments in history is so useful because it gives us a great opportunity to talk over tough subjects with the kids. It helps us teach them about war, about racism but maybe more importantly about love, acceptance and compassion. They had a lot of questions and frankly so did we, so we talked them out together. I'm so grateful that we finished off this marathon trip on such an important note.

But first, they swam:

Big pool, all to themselves.




Rub a dub dub, three Wigs in a (hot) tub.

This little girl has got the resort life down pat!

My people at Manzanar.

There were portraits of people who lived in the camp and their thoughts about life then and life since and I found them so inspiring and touching. I wish I could have taken pictures and shared all of them with you.

THIS! This was my take-away from the museum. 

Replicas of the barracks where the Japanese Americans lived, it was humbling to walk inside and see the conditions.

We drove through the property, visited the gorgeous and iconic cemetery and then made our way back home. This may well have been the best vacation of our lil Wig life, and I was grateful for every moment of it.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Yosemite

If you want to see my jaw literally dragging on the floor you should watch me walk, or drive, or bus, or hike, or basically do anything through Yosemite. And what is the cause of my scuffed little chin? 

This:


and this:


and oh my goodness, this:


and those trees and that water, gosh this:


See what I mean? This place is absolutely marvelous!

I was Everett's age the last time I was in Yosemite and while I remembered loving it I was not prepared for how awe-struck the adult me would be and how magnificent it really is. Someday Everett will probably feel the same, except for instead of remembering how much he loved our trip together he'll remember how "dis was da wowst twip evo!"

Yes, I'm pretty sure most of our conversations with Ever Knight went something like this:

Ev: I hate hiking.
Me: Ev, we're not hiking. We're literally just walking through a field of wild flowers.
Ev: WELL DEN I HATE WALKING!

Yes, he's our golden child when it comes to physical activities!

Joking aside though, I had SUCH a great time in Yosemite. We did a couple teeny hikes and a few good walks and it was just enough for our little family--this time at least. We took the free bus around the whole valley floor and then on our drive to Mammoth that afternoon/evening we saw Tuolumne Meadows which was more gorgeous than I ever imagined. Even the boys decided to put down their Pokemon in favor of looking at the fields full of deer, snow-covered peaks and incredible valley views. That's saying something for sure!

Yosemite, our first meet and greet was a rousing success. Let's get together again soon, m'kay?

The funnest girl I know by a long shot. This girl is becoming more three everyday and I really think it's looking good on her. More adventure, more reason, more sweetness and still just the right amount of fierce. We love our Quinny-Cat!

How fun that Chase, Meghan and Hunter were able to come party with us in Yosemite. They were moving to LA with a pit stop at our place so they joined in on a few more days of vaca with us. 



There's always got to be one and our one almost always is our third!



Where he leads, we will follow, anywhere, that he tells us to. (Alternate captions: currently binge-watching Gilmore Girls or We chased Chase really high).


No stick left behind.

Both Chase and James thought I was pretty irresponsible for letting T do this and maybe I was,  or maybe I'm the coolest Mom ever and he learned lessons that will serve him for his whole life. You know, because how not to fall off a ten-foot high log beam is a life skill.

All the heart eyes for half dome. Oh yeah, and for my family too!




Uncle Chase spotted a fish in the current and was giving the boys a good look. 


This hike was not a walk in a field of flowers and Everett sure let us know it. There were a few more hills than even we were expecting and finally I told Ever that he needed to really pay attention to everything so that when he had kids someday he'd be able to tell them every detail of the horrible hike his parents made him do at 6 years old. He loved this idea, and mostly loved to count all the ways this hike "was howiffic!" It started to pour right as we reached the Vernal Falls footbridge and even he couldn't help but smile when T starting singing, "Summer rain, Summer rain" to the tune of Purple Rain. Thank you Mother Nature, there might just be a silver lining to the story told to my future grandkids after all!