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We love when Tami, Toby, and the boys come to visit.  This time Luca was especially excited as he and Isaiah battled a roaring t-rex with a samurai sword, claw grabber, and bow and arrows.  No need to worry they had oxygen masks and a megaphone in case things took a turn for the worst.

This time unlike other visits we actually had a chance to take a picture of the kids and families.

Kids pic

 Kids pic behind the scenes

Family pic

Family pic behind the scenes

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Penguins

We went to the zoo yesterday with our good friends Tami and Toby. The penguin exhibit was the most intriguing – those were the silliest penguins we’ve ever seen!

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First, we need a Christmas tree. Better get all bundled up – it’s cold out there!

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Helping Daddy pick out a good tree

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Watching the tree get wrapped up from inside the cabin

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Pretty big tree!

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Time to decorate

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Yup, looks good from under here too!

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Don’t forget the wreath! Seems like a pretty good fit.

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Snuggle break on the couch

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Next on the agenda: Christmas cookies!

First round with Auntie Kimmy and Uncle Kyan

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Second round with good friends Tate and Riley

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Who says the icing has to be ON the cookie…

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Autumn tried to participate but didn’t quite make it

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Attention spans are all used up. Time to go relax.

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And get the sillies out!

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Tami, Toby and Isaiah came by for a visit today!

Cooking up some treats for the grown ups Dump trucks!

Cutie Isaiah

Our beautiful families posing for a photo Our beautiful families in their natural states

 

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LA Trip

Kitty Luca and I decided to take a week trip back to LA.  We love many things about Portland, but also miss many of the people and parts of LA we came to love over the years.  I was mostly looking forward to visiting a few friends, dining at my favorite local spots, sane driving speeds/drivers, and the sunshine!  Kitty was definitely most excited about seeing her friends, their babies, and all the families in LA.

Instead of flying we decided to make it a family road trip.  We bought a new Subaru Outback a few months ago and equipped it with a Thule box for snowboarding, camping, and family trips.  We packed it up and headed out. Kitty had the great idea of putting tons of Luca’s books on one side of Luca’s carseat with an empty box on the other side.  As he flipped through and finished Gruffalo, Bear Hunt, Nursery Rhymes, and his other 50+ books in stow he would take them and deposit them into the empty box.  When we stopped at a rest area we would swap boxes and start all over again.  We also took a moment to run around.

We stopped in Benicia on the way down and again on the way back up to visit with my Uncle Eric, Auntie Judy, and twins Enid and Eliza. Luca loved all their musical instruments, their backyard view of trains and boats, football cards,  and their dog Harley… but most of all he loved their blackberries!

In Pasadena!! I got a big smile on my face as we crossed the 210 into Pasadena.  We headed over to the Paseo and Islands to have my favorite Kilauea Burger.  They were having their annual chalk art festival. Luca loved the art, music, and people watching.

Swim time at the hotel



We met up with Kristine and Luca’s first girlfriend, Leah, for brunch the next morning

They played

He took her on a plane ride

They walked over to the swings

Then it was time for goodbyes

We had dinner at C&Os in Marina del Rey with Kitty’s USC friends and their families

The next day we headed over to Katie and Tom’s for a pool party

On to the Santa Monica pier for a picnic with food from Heirloom.  Luca loved loved loved the beach.  He built sand castles, chased seagulls, and played with his dad in the waves.

We stopped by to visit with all the families from our old condo on Magnolia Ave

DISNEYLAND!!! For those of you who have been to Disneyland with me you’ll know this stop was more for me than Luca, but he had a good time too.  One of my friends from UO who has been living in LA for years works at Disney and hooked us up with free tickets.  Thanks again Barry! Luca has not stopped talking about four things.  1) Holding Mickey’s hand 2) High-five with Tigger 3) Fireworks 4) Pirates scary (my bad).

As soon as the Pirates of the Caribbean ride started and the talking skull warned Luca of what was to come he signed and exclaimed All Done! We told him anytime a pirate scared him to stick his tongue out at him and call him silly. That seemed to do the trick.  Afterwards it was time for Churro and a break with mom.

“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!”

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Party Time

Today was Henry’s birthday.  Henry is the first son of one of our long time friends Fry and his wife Colleen. The party was at the Fulton Park Community Center.  There was a big open space in the gym with toys, cars, balls, planes, and all kinds of instruments of chaos.  Luca seriously enjoyed himself and had a lot of fun.

Snack time!!

This picture pretty much sums up Luca at this party.  Can you find him??

At one point Luca disappeared and neither Kitty nor I knew where he went.  I saw some stairs and ran over. Someone had walked down them and found the fountain.

OUTSIDE!! TIME!!  There was a playground outside that the kids and family headed out to after cake.

Time for some teeter totter with Henry

Like fathers like sons

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Luca Keeping Busy

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It’s fun to watch as Luca develops his personality and individual likes/dislikes. There are a few things besides his mommy, bananas, and the outdoors that Luca really likes. Apparently Luca has developed an affinity for American Idol, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and dancing.

So it was no surprise that during our recent trip to Iowa and Illinois to our friend Sally’s wedding that Luca took to the dance floor when Lady Gaga began playing. When Kitty tried to take him away he became upset and would run back. For awhile he was in our arms or standing on the sidelines, but at some point he decided to turn it up to 11. Luca took to the center of the dance floor and proceeded with his latest dance moves.

Come on now wave your arms in the air, now mini dip mini dip, big dip… now standup straight, stomp your feet, and strrrreeeeetchhhhh… you’ve got it… you’re doing the Luca Lee. This routine did not go unnoticed and soon Luca was in the center of a dance circle getting down. As some people took turns dancing with him he upped his game. The best part was when everyone in the circle was clapping and Luca threw his arms into the air, everyone gave out a cheer and followed his lead… then just as he had everyone wanting more he walked off the floor.

I was pretty busy chasing him around the dance floor but I grabbed a few seconds of video.

We had a wonderful time at the wedding and enjoyed our first trip to the Midwest.  Besides seeing so many friends…

we got to see the Mississippi river, experience a Midwest thunder and lightening storm, visit the John Deer Pavilion and eat at Cracker Barrel.

The trip home was over 7 hours with 3 layovers. How do you keep a 16 month old entertained?

Now repeat 800 times… literally!

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Libby’s Birthday

A few weeks ago we got together with a few friends and family members to celebrate my sister Libby’s birthday. Luca decided to take a quick romp through the front yard before the party got started.

Then we were off to have a yummy sushi lunch followed by an afternoon of ice skating at the mall.  Luca showed Grammie the way to the skating rink.

Luca did a great job keeping tabs on everyone from the sidelines. He even figured out how to put the cap on his water bottle, and spent several minutes showing his great aunt Jenny Lou how good he was at it.

Luca and I headed home early so he could catch a few z’s before the post-skating festivities began. After a good power nap he was ready to rejoin the party.

Luca shares a birthday moment with Auntie Libby:

After being such a good helper with opening Auntie’s presents and eating everyone else’s ice cream sundaes, Luca decided to learn another new skill for the day – stacking blocks! He and Dad spent lots of time practicing.

To top off the day, there was nothing else to do but join the impromptu dance party that had sprung up in our living room.

At some point Luca decided he’d had enough dancing for the night and began crawling toward his room.

You all carry on, I’ll just go ahead and put myself to bed. Goodnight!

 

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Play Date

Luca recently got to enjoy a visit from his friend Jax, who was born just two weeks after Luca’s birthday. While they still didn’t exactly play together, they certainly played alongside each other for the whole day.

The refrigerator is, of course, always a star attraction, and Luca and Jax wasted no time in sifting through its contents and emptying it out.

After all that intense playing a water break was definitely in store. And of course water always tastes better when it’s from someone else’s sippy cup.

And to finish off the day, an epic climb up the stairs. With identical expressions of mischief of course.

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