Wednesday, July 25, 2007

California or Bust

The Thomas Clan just returned from our first big family vacation. We went with my sister, Lorissa, her husband Doug, my brother-in-law Travis and two more friends, Katie and Missy, to Oceanside, California. Last Thursday night, around 6:30pm, we packed the kids up and went to meet up with the rest of the crew. We made it into Oceanside around 1:30am. The drive went off with out a hitch. The boys slept and there were no major tantrums or breakdowns. Thus making it possible to start our vacation off stress free - a little tired - but not stressed out. We stayed with a great friend, Mike Kelly. It was so great of him to open up his apartment to all of us. He lives about two blocks from the beach, where we spent the majority of our time - that is in between naps and eating. The boys loved it. Aidan took a couple naps at the beach and Jacob had so much fun playing in the sand and water. Aidan's favorite pastime - eating sand. I guess California sand is delicious, who knew. We packed up and headed back home on Monday. Cody and I decided to test the waters and drive home during the day. We left just after lunch, right before nap time in hopes of the boys sleeping a good chunk in the afternoon before stopping for dinner. We were very lucky to have two great boys! Aidan did have a few bouts of crying, but Jacob did awesome!! And he was the one I was more worried about. We made it home by 8:45pm, all in one piece and again, not stressed out. Success!! So, to sum it up - we had a really great vacation and I am not nearly as nervous about traveling with the boys. Our next adventure . . . .maybe Boston next summer . . .will we be brave enough to test out flying? You'll have to wait and see . . .

Aidan sees the ocean for the first time

Jacob tests out the water for the first time

Naps are always more relaxing on the beach

Jacob having a blast in the sand

Jacob and Mama laughing it up in the water - Jacob kept trying to put his salty hand in my mouth and thought it was hysterical

Aidan figuring out what sand is all about

Is it for exfoliating?

My cute boys playing together

Jacob playing - Aidan eating

Aidan's first taste of pizza crust - loved it!

Jacob's silly smile!

All the guys: (l-r)
Uncle Doug, Aidan, Cody, Jacob and Uncle Travis

The crew: (l-r)
Uncle Doug, Aunt Riss, Cody, Jacob, Ang, Aidan, Mike, Missy, Uncle Travis and Katie

The girls: (l-r)
Missy, Lorissa, Katie and Me

The Thomas Family

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Nothin' more relaxin' than a dip in the pool

Jacob started his first swim lessons last week. They are really water acclimation classes, just getting the kids used to the water, blowing bubbles, floating, kicking, etc. He loves it and has a great time. We go in the evening and it's a nice way to cool off at the end of the day. Here are a few pictures from last week.

Waiting for class to start

Aidan watching - wondering why he can't be in the pool and instead has to sit in the heat.
Next year he'll be in the class!

Jumping in

Crawling along the wall

Attempting to float on his back

Yeah, we went all the way under!

One happy little swimmer!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

"Have I told you lately . . .

yep, and you already know." The simple way my Pa and I let each other know we loved the other. Today, July 6, 2007, would have been Pa's 78th birthday. He passed away December 25, 2000. I miss him and think about him every day. I miss not being able to talk to him. I wish so much that he could have met his great grandsons and I know they would have loved him. I am so thankful for all of the memories I have.

  • One of my favorite memories is our Sunday night dinner ritual. Growing up, as far back as I can remember, my moms side of the family always gathered for Sunday night dinner at my Nan and Pa's house. All the way up until I left for Chicago, we ate Sunday night dinner at their house. Everyone was welcome. I had friends that loved to come and Nan and Pa always made everyone feel welcome. Pa was a great cook and always cleaned up too. I can picture him standing in the kitchen now, at the kitchen sink, towel over his shoulder, telling whoever was trying to help to get out of the kitchen, he would take care of it. When we were in grade school, after dinner Pa would pack the four grandkids into his truck and we would go get the cylinder shaped ice cream scoops from Thrifty's. It was always so much fun, especially when he would let us get double or triple scoops. (Pa always said my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I think he was right!)
  • I remember spending many nights at their house, with my sister and our cousins, Josh and Luke. My sister and I in one room and Josh and Luke in the other, each of laying on the floor, in the doorway of the rooms, whispering back and forth - like Nan and Pa couldn't hear us. We were so sneaky. I remember going to the store to buy Brachs candies, the kind you go and pick out and fill up a bag of your favorites, for our goodies for the night.
  • Pa loved to tease, especially if he got a rise out of you - which he always did with me. He used to love to wipe his whiskers against my cheeks and neck, which would drive me crazy, I hated it. He loved to tease me with that. After he met Cody, he would call him "Corey", just to tease.
  • He loved to go on bike rides with us. We'd get up early and ride to McDonald's for breakfast or just go cruise around the park. There were even a few times when he fell off his bike. He didn't care - he just laughed it off and on we would go.
  • Pa always came to whatever event we might be participating in - softball, baseball, dance, horse shows, illnesses, surgeries - he was always there.
  • Now, don't get me wrong, it wasn't always good times. Contrary to popular belief, we were not perfect children growing up. (I know, hard to believe) Pa only had to punish us once - that's all it took and we learned our lesson. When my cousin Josh and I were maybe around 5 years old or so, we were playing back in Nan and Pa's bedroom. Pa yelled back and asked what we were doing. We told him we were coloring. It wasn't a lie. He just failed to ask what we were coloring on. We had decided that their room needed a little redecorating and took black crayon to their bedroom wall, as high as we could reach. Needless to say, our bums were a little sore after Pa found out.
  • I laugh to this day thinking about our last Christmas together. I had come home late from Chicago the night before, (Pa was at the airport, despite the fact that it was 1am) and just had an air mattress in my room. Pa and I were talking about things, school, my wedding, etc. when his little dog Maggie jumped out of his lap, chasing after my cat - then came me and then Pa - like a scene out of a movie, chasing that crazy dog and cat. I know it's one of those things that "you probably had to be there" or maybe it's just a memory that I have. I don't care. I giggle every time I think about it.
  • I loved the fact that, no matter what age we were at, Pa would always reach out and pull us into his lap for a big hug. That's my last memory of him. Cody and I were leaving to see some of his family on that Christmas day and Pa pulled me into his lap for a big hug. How thankful I am for that last hug . . .
Pa, me and our cat, O.C. Luther Mae in Nov. 1979

Nan, me and Pa at NPU graduation, May 2000

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Pearly whites

Aidan is finally cutting teeth! On June 22, he cut his bottom lower left tooth, soon followed by the bottom right on the 27th. He seems to be having a little tougher time with teething than Jacob did - mainly in the middle of the night. We use Tylenol and teething tablets, but if anyone has any other great ideas, please let me know!