Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Birthday...

Trenton Michael

Born: Tuesday, October 27, 2015

At: 11:00am

Weight: 7lbs 15oz

Length: 22.5 inches

Status: Our adorable little man is finally here, eight days after his due date! Mama was in pre-labor for five LONG days before his arrival. He is a precious boy with adorable little dimples and loved immensely by his parents and two adoring sisters. He spent three days in the NICU after birth due to breathing issues, but is doing well now and came home today, October 30th, 2015. We are all so in love, our family is complete.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Goblin Gardens Pumpkin Patch Trip - Bastiao Farms, Sacramento

First trip to Goblin Gardens Pumpkin Patch, Sacramento

Alina driving the John Deere tractor, this would have made
her Great Grandpa Crothers so 
proud during his farming days

Plenty of great selections in the pumpkin patch

Fun day at Bastiao Farms, they especially loved the seesaw

Little goblins at Goblin Gardens

Alina by the Haunted Barn, the paintings here are great!

Inside the haunted town of Goblin Gardens

We took our first trip to a new pumpkin patch for mommy's birthday this year. We visited Goblin Gardens Pumpkin Patch at Bastiao Farms in Sacramento. This pumpkin patch is the perfect place to go if you only want to spend an hour or two on activities and get some great photo opportunities along the way. With mama being hugely pregnant (38 weeks) and pretty uncomfortable walking long distances, I enjoyed our trip here as the pumpkin patch is relatively small, but there were still plenty of activities to entertain the kids. The admission here is pricier than other pumpkin patches we've visited, but the kids had the best time here despite the sweltering 90+ degree Sacramento Valley it fall yet, seriously!? 

Goblin Gardens Pumpkin Patch has a cool mini town area for the kids and they loved playing and exploring inside. Also, most of the buildings here are adorned with great paintings, which make for fantastic photos. They also have small hay and corn mazes, hay rides and a train ride through the corn field with costumed ghouls who jump out and surprise everyone on board. The hay pyramid here was one of the tallest we've seen yet. Dad, of course, helped the girls scale it...success! All in all, it was a fun/overly hot day. We went home with a few large pumpkins which will eventually be turned to jack-o-lanterns before Halloween. Mama had a fun birthday this year, though a part of me wished all my walking that day would have jump-started labor. I am over being pregnant and ready to meet our little man.

The fun kids town at Goblin Gardens Pumpkin Patch

Alina exiting the saloon 

Everyone ready for a very fun hay ride

Alina and Daddy, all smiles before the hay ride

They scaled their tallest hay maze yet

Smiles and waves from the top

Goodbye Goblin Gardens pumpkin patch!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October Costume Capers

October costume capers at the Halloween store

Itchy & Scratchy mask fun, yep they're BIG Simpsons fans!

One of our favorite things about pre-Halloween season is our visits to Halloween stores for what's been affectionately dubbed as "October costume capers". While the girls search for their official costumes they make sure to try on all the other fun masks, hats, and silly wares before finalizing their decisions. This has become an annual family tradition and I notice that with each passing year our October Halloween costume trips grow in frequency. The girls crack me up with their silliness and while they are building up their bravery around all the scary Halloween animatronic invaders, I have to admit to being amused by their tiptoeing around the "press here" pads on the floors and slyly finding ways to occupy themselves in the costume rows to avoid watching these creepy displays. Bottom line - they are both Halloween lovers in the making and in a few years they will likely be tormenting/scaring their little brother during Halloween store visits. Poor guy.

After a very fun search, they finally settled on their costumes. Elise is going to be a vampire this year, her first scary costume choice ever, which deserves celebration! Alina is going with two costumes this year to fit her dual personalities, as sweet and pretty princess Cinderella by day (for her preschool parade) and as a cute yet deadly little vampire by night (for actual trick-or-treat). Hopefully baby boy will arrive before Halloween to join in on the fun!

More costume fun with friends plus brave Alina

Masquerade masks never get old

Elise the tiger, and introducing Demonic Alien Baby, 
Evil Clown Baby's new partner in crime

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Happy October Birthday Mama!

Beautiful birthday flowers from dad & the girls

Happy Birthday Mama!

The best birthday view; cake and our sweet girls

Mama enjoyed a very fun birthday this year doing all her favorite October activities surrounded by the best people she knows; the fam! Being 38 weeks pregnant with baby boy somewhat limited the amount of walking I was able to do, but we still managed to fulfill my birthday request of visiting a pumpkin patch and decorating for Halloween. October is my favorite time of year, although the weather is still very warm here in the Sacramento Valley and we were sweating at the pumpkin patch. Despite the heat, we all had a fantastic time and took lots of photos (stay tuned for another post to come). Dad and the girls spoiled mama with beautiful flowers, a special birthday cake and helped deck out the house for Halloween. After the house was Halloween ready, the girls enjoyed creating a haunted gingerbread house and lighting candles to get into the spooky October spirit. We sat and told stories by candlelight and discussed how excited we all are for baby brother to arrive. We sure hope he gets here before Halloween, so we can dress him up and he can enjoy his very first holiday!

Early Halloween fun creating a haunted gingerbread house

Basking in candlelight after decorating for Halloween

LOVE these October flowers

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Maternity Photo Session - Baby Boy's First Photos

Maternity photoshoot - Baby boy is due in October!

These two are going to make the best big sisters

Baby brother's big debut is just over a month away, and we are all so excited for his arrival in mid October. I was happy to get a chance to do my first maternity photoshoot, as I never did any when I was pregnant with the girls. I was so tiny with the girls, and even though we took some photos I really wish that I did a maternity session like this. I'm grateful to have a wonderful and talented best friend, Christy, who took these beautiful photos. We will cherish these memories for years to come and I especially love seeing the genuine smiles and excitement on the girls faces. They are on pins and needles waiting for the arrival of their sweet little brother and my belly has received plenty of love and kisses over these past several months. He moves like crazy now and loves when his big sisters talk to him and give hugs (well actually, that's a maybe...he usually kicks when they smother my stomach). We are so eager to meet this little man and see his sweet personality unfold. The countdown to October 19th is on!

Obligatory belly shot, he's a squirmy fella

The little man's first photo

Alina showering baby brother with love

Thursday, September 17, 2015

25th Annual Chalk it Up Festival - Sacramento

At the 25th Annual Chalk it Up Festival in Sacramento

Chalk art Beatles portraits

The girls picking out their favorite chalk works of art

Elise has become a hula hoop pro

Admiring and creating art of their own

Alina's watercolor

We spent our Labor Day weekend at the 25th Annual Chalk it Up Festival in Fremont Park Sacramento. This was our first Chalk it Up experience and we loved it! The festival is all free and the artists were great. Some were very impressive in terms of what they were able to create using chalk as a medium. The girls loved cruising by the sidewalks and picking out their favorite artwork. There was also a kids area where they were able to embrace their inner artists and draw and paint with watercolors. It was a very fun way to spend Labor Day weekend!

A very talented chalk artist creating a 3 dimensional piece

It was fun to watch this one in progress

A few of the more vibrant displays

Amazing likeness

Star Wars and more chalk art fun

Beautiful black and white chalk art piece

Winged heart

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Crazy Hair Day & Pink Princess Rides

Elise rockin' the rainbow hair for the day

Sometimes you just gotta embrace the wild side! Elise finally achieved her dream of rockin' rainbow colored hair during crazy hair day at school while Alina found her perfect princess dream vehicle at Toys-R-Us. These two girly girls make me smile.

Alina in her dream pink princess ride

Monday, August 31, 2015

Elise's First Day of First Grade

Another big milestone in the bag! Elise began her first day of first grade on August 19, 2015, and I am so proud of our girl. She is so open to change and new experiences and even though she's a bit shy, she always give me the look as if to say, "mom, I got this". I was a very shy kid and more than likely cried and was anxious on my first day of school up until 4th grade, so I'm happy that she has so much confidence and I hope it's something that she continues to embrace until she's grown. She had a great first day and was happy to be in class with one of her Kindergarten friends as well!

Excited for her first day of 1st grade!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Alina's 4th Birthday - Sleeping Beauty Party!

Alina's 4th birthday - Sleeping Beauty party fun!

The very happy birthday girl

Sleeping Beauty party food and dessert table

Bounce house/water slide fun with little friends

Alina and Annie, best little pals

The little beauty

Food fit for a princess

She loved her Sleeping Beauty birthday cake

Making a wish

Party guests and sweet treats
Bright flowers and Sleeping Beauty figurines

Big smiles from the birthday girl

Littlest party guest, baby Cousin Brett

Opening her presents

Sweet birthday girl after a very fun day!