saying goodbye- starting a new chapter...

Today was very hard for me. We said goodbye to all the wonderful teachers at Penelope's current preschool. Penelope made them cards and we gave them flowers. On Friday she will start a new year in the ladybug class at Little Angels. It was a very hard decision for me to move her because we had grown attached to the staff at her sweet little school, but when a spot opened up for us at Little Angels I knew that was where she should be. It was the first school I toured where I had the feeling that "this is the one!" Only problem was you have to be two by September to start, and since Pen has a birthday in November that meant she had to wait another year. With baby Violet on the way I knew I wanted to start her somewhere before the arrival of her new little sis so it wouldn't stress her out anymore than she could handle. Long story short for the past year this school has taken care of my baby two days a week. She has had fun adventures to the sea center, natural history museum, zoo etc. Her teachers, Ms Jennifer, "Di-Di's" (aka Brandi), Sarah, Britney and Jessica have all been there to kiss boo-boos, play chase, encourage her, snuggle her, teach her and make her feel safe. Penelope has blossomed so much this past year. She has grown into such an  inquisitive, confident, happy little girl. 
Thank you Learning Den, we love you!

When she graduated from the toddler classroom "Green Turtles" her teachers made me this awesome scrapbook documenting the entire year. This is something I know I will cherish forever.
 Pics of the pages are below:

celebrating her birthday

Halloween at Lane Farms

Penelope and bud Weston at the zoo

I went with her on both of these trips- natural history museum and a bus tour

note from her teacher

sea center

Smokey the Bear Visit

teddy bear picnic

note from her teacher

So during the summer James and I took Pen for a couple visits to Little Angels so she could get familiar with the teachers and the room. On one such visit her bud Kenzie was there. Too bad they won't be in the same class though. They have different schedules. 
painting on the outside art wall
circle time

I'm sure Penelope will love Little Angels. She can't stop talking about it. Its been tough because they have been closed for three weeks and she keeps asking to go. Her teachers sent her a postcard in the mail and when I read it to her she smiled and started dancing. I think that's a good sign. 
Well, Friday is her first day so fingers crossed she has a blast!
wish us luck!



This summer was the hottest I can remember in Santa Barbara. It was actually the perfect beach summer. You would think we would have beat it down to the beach every day, but with kiddos it is so much work. Heck, even just by myself its work- packing up the gear, lugging it down to the beach, lugging it back and then cleaning off all that sand! Well needless to say with kids its even worse. But hey they do love it once they get there and I have to admit so do I. Here are a couple of beach pics because the year would not be complete without them. -- and here's to hoping next year we can get a lot more beach time in!


A perfect summer day

On August 18 we had a really fun family day out.
It all started with breakfast at Stella Mare's. From there we took a nice long walk around the bird refuge on up Cabrillo boulevard- making little stops along the way to visit some parks. It was a really nice warm day so we made our way over to the shaved ice cart for the girls while mommy and daddy beat the heat and copped a quick seat at Municipal Winemakers in the funk zone. We also thought we'd play tourist, and take a quick surrey ride with the kids. Then we made the hike back to Grandpa's house so we could hit the pool and cool off before having dinner at Eladio's right in front of the beach walk. What a perfect day from start to finish. One of those I just had to write about. It was one of those days when I really really really appreciate living in Santa Barbara. Our kids are so lucky. I was kicking down crawfish holes in my backyard and watching re-runs of the Brady Bunch in my air conditioning when I was their age. he he

one of our "park stops" at the carousel of course!

surrey ride, local's discount, whoop-whoop!

one of those rare brunches where both Violet and Penelope were more than content to stay in their seats, bliss!

shaved ice and wine! Now that's how I like to cool down!


Violet Mae turns 10 months!

So I realize these are a little late but I have had a busy summer and am still playing catch up with the blog! In just three short days my little baby turns 11 months (sniff, sniff). But this post is dedicated to all the fun things she did in her 9 month of life. On August 16th Violet Mae turned 10 months. At 9 months, 15 days old she started scaling the furniture. I predict she will take her first steps around her birthday. Here is a snapshot of month 9 of Violet Mae's life.
We love you little V!

asleep at her second home, the YMCA kids korner!

my mini-me

oceanside family vaca

trying to jump off the Santa Monica ferris wheel,  James almost lost his lunch watching her

playing with cousin Lilja on my bday


Family trip Oceanside August 2012

In August we went on a family vacation with James's dad, brother and sister. We stayed right across the street from the Oceanside pier. The surfing was great for James and Patrick, and the boardwalk was fun for the kids. Lots of parks and food vendors. We even made smores at one of the bonfires on the beach. 
On the way home we spent the day in Santa Monica riding the carousel and the ferris wheel. The girls love it. Check out the pics!
Wild Animal Safari park

bad influence Grandpa!

James showing his stuff on the rings in Santa Monica