I was busy this Christmas! Every year I intend to make hand-made gifts and resist the buying frenzy from big-box stores. This is the first year I actually got passed the "intention" part of it, and got some real sewing done. Here are a few of the shirts I made.
I'm thinking about opening an etsy shop to sell custom tee's, and save up for an upcoming trip to Costa Rica. Until then, if anybody wants to buy one, e-mail me at amy . taylor 2 @ comcast.net (no spaces). I think I will sell them for $15/each for the "letter tees" and $20 for the "Mom" tee (hand-sewing takes more time!). Matching barrette - $2.
Day 5 (Tuesday). Packed up at the Pismo RV Resort Campground in the morning. While I showered and packed, Luke took the kids to the campground mini golf, but it sucked and the kids were fighting. We pulled out of camp around 12:00, and drove about 20 minutes before we realized neither of us packed the stroller.
Turned around and went back for it, to discover Zeke had pushed it to a neighboring campsite, and parked it at the door of a really nice motorhome. Maybe he was trying to upgrade? Sorry dude, you're stuck with us and the old, seen-better-days trailer.
We drove to LA, hoping to spend a little time with our friends Monica & Trevor who had a new baby boy 6 weeks ago.
Visit was nice, we spent a good amount of time trying to figure out where we could park the trailer close to Knott's Berry Farm so we could be close in the morning. In the end we decided to just stay parked in front of their house and drive the hour in the morning.
Day 6 (Wednesday).
KBF didn't open until 10:00am, and we were told we would hit less traffic if we left between 9:00 and 9:30. We were pretty on schedule with only a slight hold-up when Zeke got locked in the trailer bathroom. After trying to stick some pointy objects into the lock, Luke finally decided to remove the handle on the door. Zeke was freed, and we were on the road.
We circled the park a bit trying to find the RV parking, and finally got in the gates at about 11:00. Right off the bat Luke & Dane hit a roller coaster (the only one Dane was tall enough to ride - but a real roller coaster none-the-less).
Genevieve, Zeke and I went off to explore (for what turned out to be about an hour) while we waited. Zeke was having tantrum after tantrum, and was being a little hellion to tell the truth. By the time we met back up with Luke & Dane, I was about done for the day. Zeke is definitely a 2-parent kid.
We had a good day, the highlight being the log ride. The kids loved it. Zeke tolerated it the first 3 times or so, then was pissed the last 2.
The big surprise of the day was when we were eating dinner. Genevieve saw another roller coaster. A big one. The kind that goes upside down about 4 times. I would say similat to the Demon at Great America. She said she wanted to ride it. I told her she wasn't tall enough. She ran over and measured herself, and she was an inch or 2 too short. She insisted that she was tall enough.
Finally I told her, she could wait in line and see what the ride operator said. Luke was off buying food during all this, and I had the 2 boys, so I couldn't go with her. About 10 minutes pass, and she still wasn't back. Luke came back so I ran up the exit to see where she was. Well she was in front of the line, ready to go. I couldn't believe it. This tiny little 6 year old about to ride her first real roller coaster (and a doozy at that!), and she was going to do it by herself. I still can't believe the confidence she had. So I took off running to join her. I enjoy roller coasters less the older I get, and I had no desire to do this one. But I couldn't let her do this by herself. So we did it together. And she was hooked. We've got ourselves a little adrenalin junkie.
The last couple hours at the park there were virtually no lines, so we got to ride a bunch of rides. Minus the outrageously over-priced food, I think the park is a good bang for your buck for a family like ours. We didn't budget for Disneyland, and you can't do Disney in one day. KBF was a great fit. I'm sure it was a highlight of our vacation for our kids.
After we left the park at almost 10pm, we drove a couple hours south to park at our friends (the Berry's) house in San Diego.
Day 6 (Wednesday). We woke at the Berry's, and enjoyed a leisurely morning catching up. As leisurely as it can be with 8 kids running around. Yes eight. You might remember the Berry's from my other blog, where I explained how they were adopting 5 year old Ugandan twins. So the Berry's had their (now) 5 kids, and us with our 3. Actually for 8 kids, it wasn't that chaotic. We all went to Coronado beach, where it was altogether too windy and not nearly warm enough for a beach day. Somehow we still manage to get burned. I was a bad bad mommy who brought, but completely forgot to apply the sunblock.
We came back, showered, and unsuccessfully tried to get Zeke to take a nap. We had plans with to get together with a friend of mine form college for dinner, but she completely flaked on me. So we yet again imposed on the Berry's and they were gracious enough to feed us =). It was a sweet time that I'm glad we didn't miss. We got to look at some photo books that Brian made from their 2 trips to Uganda, and Becky & Billy (the twins) were right there getting so excited about the pictures. They have been here 2 months, and know soooo much english. Apparently they came over with quite a bit, and are picking up the rest at a rapid rate. In fact, we couldn't get them to speak Lugandan to us at all. Anyhow, all the Berry kids are absolutely adorable, and we are really enjoying our time with the whole family. Tomorrow we are going to the San Diego Zoo, and it will be the twins first time. Should be exciting!
Okay, done for now. The only new trailer news is that when Luke plugged us into the Berry's extension cord, he got shocked when he touched the outside of the trailer. We were plugged in all night, and he got a pretty big shock this morning. That one is much scarier than a leaky roof or even a flat tire. So um, yah, say a little prayer that we don't get electrocuted in this heap. =)
We're on a road trip. All 5 of us. 9 days. One truck. One trailer. Tight quarters.
But we're trying to build memories on a budget, so this is what it looks like.
When we pulled Grandpa Bob's trailer out of the storage lot last week we got a flat tire 1 block from the yard. Luke put on the spare, then later that week took the tire in for replacement. That's when we found out that while the tires didn't look too bad, they were in fact 13 years old. So we replaced them all. Except the spare.
The day before our departure it rained. That's when we discovered that the back of the trailer had a leak. When Luke got up there to caulk the "spot", he discovered there was actually a huge rotting "portion" of the roof. Thanks to Luke and his dad the roof was repaired, and all was well.
Day 1 (Friday). We thought we would head out of town around noon on Friday, catch the Good Friday service at church, and get on the road. I think we actually pulled out of town at 5:00pm. No service at church, and Jack in the Box on the road, just trying to put on a few miles. We ended up at Big Sur Campground. Did I mention we didn't make reservations anywhere? Yes, we know it's a holiday week. But we're like that. Sometimes. Fly by the seat of our trailer. Luckily we got a spot - although a little pricier than we had hoped.
Luke took the kids for a little hike in the morning and let me sleep in. I hadn't slept very well the night before. Maybe it was the bed. Oh yeah, this is funny. The last time we used the trailer we were a family of 4. Genevieve was about 3, and Dane was 15 months or so. Luke and I took the full-size bed in the"bedroom" (I use that term loosely), and we put Genevieve on the couch with a little bed rail, and set up a pack'n play next to her for Dane. That whole trip we apparently never pulled out the couch into an actual bed. So we didn't know that it was actually what Luke calls a "California Twin" Maybe a hair wider than a twin. I'm pretty sure it is the same width as a twin, only shorter, so it appears it's wider. Anyhow, we assumed the bed made into a full, and only discovered the teeny tiny bed after we had tucked all 3 kiddos into the full-size bed in the "bedroom".
So we laughed. And laughed. And laughed some more. Then we each hugged our corner of the bed, and tried to get some sleep.
Day 2 (Saturday). Only a few miles out of Big Sur, we hear a clunk - clunk - clunk..... outside. Luke pulls over to find that all 4 (5?) lugnuts on one of the new tires on the trailer are tearing up the rim. So he jacks it up and puts the spare on (you know, the one tire we didn't replace). And we spend the rest of the day looking for a tire shop. Nobody has that rim in stock, so we have them take the new tire off the ruined rim, and put it on the rim of the spare (old) tire.
Following this? We are on our way, however we don't have a spare now, and we still have to find someone who carries that rim.
Along the coast we see a beach with tons of sea lions on shore. The kids really enjoyed watching them, but it was super duper windy, so we didn't stay long.
After being told there's "no room at the inn" at a couple campgrounds, we end up at Morro Strand State Beach Campground in Morro Bay. Picture an asphault parking lot 'sort-of' on the beach - with no hookups, or campground showers =). We have a shower, but don't know how fast our holding tank will fill up. This place was kind of depressing. But the kids were tired of being in the truck, and we told them we weren't going to move for a whole day. So we dyed some eggs and called it a night.
Day 3. (Easter Sunday) The Easter Bunny came. The kids were thrilled with their meager easter baskets, and we broke the news to them that we were in fact "moving" that day. We hid eggs, and while they were hunting, we quickly got the trailer hooked up and ready to move.
We promised we were just driving a tiny bit. We ended up at Pismo Beach at a nice campground, and to the kids delight we snagged a campsite next door to a little playground.
The campground is on the beach, but unfortunately when we got over there it was crazy windy and chilly. We were told it is like this every afternoon. Later we walked downtown, watched the surfers from the pier,
ate at a yummy BBQ joint (can' t remember the name), and finished off the evening with some self-serve yogurt & toppings.
Zeke was seriously delirious as he only had about a 20 minute nap for the whole day (not from lack of trying). Luke and I retired to our teeny tiny bed, only to have Zeke come paddling out of his room and insist on sleeping with us. Yes, that meant that Genevieve and Dane were living large in the full-size bed, while the 3 of us were all cozy in our "California Twin". I finally got up and slept with Genevieve and Dane with my feet hanging off the bed (we had put them in the bed sideways so they would all fit). Another night of less than average sleep.
Do I sound negative? I don't mean to. We are having a good time. It's just been somewhat of a comedy of errors. And this trailer has proven too small (and too old!) for our family of 5.
Day 4 (Monday). Are we already on day 4? Wow. We are still at Pismo Beach.
We decided to have a day where we are not moving. Although the beach is much to be desired here, the kids seem to enjoy being here (they love the playground and meeting all the kids who come to frequent it all day long). Right now Zeke is going on a 3 1/2 hour nap (hallelujah!). The kids are starting to complain that they're bored. We are heading south tomorrow, although not sure where. We're thinking of doing Knott's Berry Farm (because it's relatively inexpensive, and can be done in one day). But camping/RV options don't look great in LA, so we'll see. Would love to find a nice campground with a great beach. Have spent quite sometime looking for that, and have come up dry. I can find nice campground/poor beach access, great beach/parking lot campground. And nothing is close to KBF. We are willing to skip KBF if we can find a great beach destination. But between here and San Diego nothing looks great. Can you believe that? I had no idea.
Okay, off to get ready to do something when the baby wakes up. And yes, at 21 months he's still my baby. And probably always will be.
******Unfortunately no pictures until we return =(. I grabbed the wrong cord for my camera.
Our little Dane Luke is turning 5, and wants to ring in his birthday Star Wars style.
So we are knee-deep in Darth Vadar, r2d2, light sabers, and jedi training prep. Should be a yoda fun. Get it? Yoda, instead of loada, or load of....
I crack myself up.
My homemade stand-up in progress. In this picture I haven't attached it to the cardboard yet. I have to say I think it turned out really cool. It's probably 6 ft tall. I found a program that lets you turn any high res picture into a poster that you can print out in 8.5 X 11 sheets and put together like a puzzle.