Thursday, August 14, 2008

Louisa Turns One!

Louisa actually turned one while we were still on vacation, so we celebrated when we got back. She didn't seem to mind. She was pretty fascinated with the whole event, especially blowing out the candle. Axel, of course, was excited about it too, since he is really into birthdays these days. It seems that he believes we arbitrarily assign birthdays to any day, and can't understand why we haven't decided that it is his special dayyet. The other day he looked at me very sadly and said, "mommy, where my birthday?"

Is she more excited about the wrapping paper or the present?

I was probably more excited about the dress than her, but who is a one year old birthday party really for?

She loved eating the cake. We have discovered that Louisa has a real sweet tooth! I can't wait to teach her about chocolate.

Axel finally got a big boy bed! He was so excited about it, he actually wanted to go to sleep the first few days. It took a week or so for Axel and Lulu to get used to sleeping in the same room, but they are pretty good about it now. They have learned that they just have to go to sleep, no matter what the other one is doing. Axel likes to take on the big brother role and we often hear him yelling, "Lulu go to sleep!"

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Still Catching up: Our First Family Vacation

For our first official family vacation we rented a beach house in Northern California near Mendicino for about a week. We really had a wonderful time, although not as relaxing as Taylor had hoped, it was certainly memorable. The drive up along the coast was really amazing. When we got to the beach house it was in tiny town, very remote area, and took in some of the most amazing landscape anywhere.

One of our favorite things we did was ride the Skunk Train out of Ft. Bragg. It was about a 3 hour trip through the most beautiful redwood forest. At the stopping point we all got out and had BBQ before heading back. It was a really great way to experience the redwoods riding in an open car-the smell was amazing! Axel, of course, loved every minute and still talks about it all the time.

We spent some time at the beach, although cooler than Southern California, it was still an adventure with all the driftwood, sand crabs, sea weed, and tide pools. Lulu the beach baby loved crawling around in the sand.

We found some incredible places to hike along the coast.

Hiking in a Redwood forest was lots of fun, until Axel got too restless in the backpack and we let him get out and walk. I think a snail would beat his pace, soooo distracted by every little thing!

One of our favorite things about the beach house was the small pack of wild donkeys that lived in the field behind the house. They would come right up to the fence in the evenings, they were very tame and fun to watch. We saw quite a bit of wildlife around the house, deer, rabbits, a skunk, and a herd of sheep with big curved horns.

We also had a fun day visiting the very quaint town of Mendicino. The next few pictures were taken while exploring the bluffs at the edge of town.

Off-roading in the stroller!

The beach was beautiful, cold and stormy.

We took 3 days driving back and visited family along the way. First we stayed with Taylor's Aunt and Uncle Kim and Carl outside San Francisco, then we visited his Grandma Pat, and finally Kirt and Renee in San Louis Obispo. It was really great to see everyone!