Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Leo Carrillo Ranch (aka the Peacock Park)

I moved to San Diego county in 2009. Wow, 5 years - I just need to let that sink in for a second!

At that time I began hanging out with the boys and tromping up and down the coast. I've always liked kids, so it was fun and natural to explore the world around us. When the chiquita came along my perimeter got astoundingly smaller, we still ventured out, but it was always more close to home. Now thats she's a whopping 2 and a half that perimeter is expanding again! Internal happy dance!

Funny thing is: one of our favorite new spots? 5 minutes away. Yep. Right down the street and we only discovered it recently. That's the way it goes sometimes.

It's actually my own fault. I had heard a friend talking about the "peacock park" for a while, but we were always so wrapped up in schedule that we never checked it out. Finally we made plans to meet there for lunch one day. Since then it has joined our weekly routine. Leeloo loves it and always asks to go.

Leo Carrillo Historic Ranch is just up the street from us in Carlsbad, CA. From the main road you wouldn't know that such a charming place was just down the drive. The city has converted the ranch into a historic site, with a little museum, and lots of memorabilia from Leo Carrillo who played the Cisco Kid. The kiddos don't notice any of that - what they like are the peacocks. So many peacocks!

Our first visit we wandered into a little picnic area awaiting our friends. In moments we were surrounded. They are not people shy at all, and I have to constantly remind the chiquita that they are not animals to pet.

I'm so happy we found this place. It's perfect for picnics or just for a little walk. Yay peacock park!

Our first visit:


And since then, we go quite often.

Friday, June 20, 2014


  Last week was very hot. I'm originally from Arizona, so I know hot. Summers in southern AZ exceed 100ยบ most days, and while oppressive, you make due (and stay indoors). SoCal has great temps, but it only has to be in the high 80's to seem warm to me. My theory is that the moisture in the air somehow magnifies the intensity of the heat. Last week it was in the high 90's, almost unbearable. It was also super windy. Not a good combination of conditions.

  Tuesday afternoon, D came home and turned on the news. This is fairly uncommon for him to do considering the kids have homework and usually the TV doesn't get turned on until they are all asleep (that is if we don't fall asleep with them). He turned on the news and that's when I realized that heat plus wind can equal fire in this part of the world. Big, quick, raging fire.

  The Bernardo fire was far from us but close to D's work. Also close to where a lot of our friends live. They evacuated the area fairly quickly (5,000 homes) and we watched as the fire raged across golf courses and through all the dry grass and bushes that grace our unlandscaped hills (oh yes, this is technically a desert). The danger seemed to pass quickly, fire crews secured most of the area by that evening and no structures were lost. D went to work the next day without hesitation.

  Then another weird thing happened on his way to work. He called me after dropping the boys off at school and was kinda in a tizzy. A pine tree had fallen across four lanes of traffic and he had to swerve to miss it. Technically he didn't miss it, he drove over the top of it, but he and our youngest son were ok. The truck next to him was smashed to bits. No one was injured, but I kept thinking, 1, 2, what's the 3rd thing? Why do things happen in threes? Am I an old wife believing in these tales?

  Leeloo and I went to a friends house that morning to have some kiddie pool fun. The kids were cooling off when we noticed a column of smoke rising towards the west of us. Then we heard sirens.  The column was large enough for all of us to get on our phones and try to assess the situation. Luckily one of our neighbors is a Fire Chief nearby. I immediately sent him a text and he informed me that there were two fires: the first was about 4 miles away in Carlsbad and the other north of us in Fallbrook. He assured me that many fighters were on the scene and that everything was ok. The sirens didn't stop though. And before leaving I called D to see if I needed to pick the kids up from school (which was closer to the fire). A pick up was already coordinated and he was also grabbing the Fire Chief's son - that seemed like a bad sign.

Lots of fun pre-smoke. 

The smoke on the way home.

  By one the kids were home. The news was on and we were following intently. More little fires were popping up all around us, but the biggest one was what they were calling the Poinsettia fire. 15,000 people were evacuated. The City of Carlsbad declared a state of emergency. We watched as newscasters stood by and narrated homes burning. A new fire began east of us and the boys sat down too, hoping to see T's dad on the news.  I remember being in crisis situations when I was little - mostly floods in AZ - and it was always way more exciting than scary. Maybe it's because you still have the safety of your parents. But I could definitely feel the buzz from the boys,  they were jumping around the house and texting friends about who saw or knew what.

 I was on high alert. I have been in floods, hurricanes and earthquakes, but this was my first crisis situation as a parent. I was stressed but I was ready. It was scary but it was also a Wednesday. Leeloo was napping and I was helping our oldest with his Greek Mythology project (due on Friday). We worked through the afternoon until D popped in and asked if he could speak to me. It was important. Uh oh.

  He took me onto our patio, and there was a brand new cloud of smoke. Directly behind us. The air smelled like camp fire.

The view from our patio. 

  At that point the Poinsettia fire was about five miles west of us, and the new fire, eventually called the Cocos fire was five miles east of us. There are some fairly major roads that separated the Poinsettia fire from us, the Cocos fire was just a few dry ravines and hillsides away.

  I was worried, but D assured me that it was still far enough away. We had to drop the boys off to their biomom so we all piled in the car and watched the smoke more intently as we drove about 5 minutes away. Luckily they were headed out of town to go camping so we didn't haver to worry about them. There was an ominous feeling in the air and I began to receive texts that our friends who lived up the road were being evacuated. I scanned the news but soon realized that Twitter was my best bet for information. The whole trip took about 15 minutes, but in that time our street was barricaded and police cars were positioned to keep people out. 

On the way to drop the boys off. 

Barricades being put up.
  There are three parallel streets that lead into our neighborhood. Luckily we beat the barricades on the last street so we could get home. I was happy that D, the chiquita and I were together, but we didn't have anything with us. The mandatory evacuations were still a mile out of our perimeter, so we went home to start packing. At that point D was still convinced that we didn't have to go. He's seen many a fire growing up here and didn't feel the threat was immediate. As the smoke filled the air the sky took on an eerie orange glow, ash started falling around us.

  I posted updates on social media and many people (mostly my mother), were telling us to flee. It was dinner time, and since 2 year olds don't know much about crisis, we had to break for food. I felt so out of sorts. I had no idea how or what to pack. Clothes? Sentimental items? Strictly necessities?

Out the window we heard a plane. A huge DC-10 super tanker was overhead. D was convinced that this would end any more spread.

  Around 7pm we got our first evacuation notice. It was voluntary, but we decided it was a good idea (I think D was just trying to ease my mind). Our friends in Cardiff opened their house to us and we headed that way. I packed a couple of changes of clothes and a bag of toys and such for Leeloo. I also grabbed my ruby ring (a gift from my father) and a photo album that has all my childhood pictures. 

  As we were driving away the smoke was heavier and darker. 

Our last view from the patio.

You can see blue sky but it was dark enough to need lights.

The smoke filled sunset.

The view from afar.
It was almost 8pm by the time we made it to our friend's home. They had also taken in a Carlsbad woman and her 3 year old son. When we arrived they had just put their 3 month old daughter to bed. At that point the governor had declared a state of emergency in San Diego County. Nine fires had burned a total of 9,000 acres.

The closest the fire was 4 miles (about 5 min) from where we lived.

It was a relief to be out of danger, but a whole new other stress to be in house with a sleeping infant and two excited toddlers. I spent an hour trying to simultaneously talk to the adults about the fires, entertain two children and keep noise levels at a whisper. Even screen time couldn't calm them down. Around nine I locked Leeloo and I in the den (where we were camping out - and thankfully the only room with AC) and tried to ease her towards sleep. She stayed up until almost eleven that night. I was exhausted and had to finally call D in to help (he was glued to the iPad and fire updates). The three of us cuddled on the floor and slept.

Thursday morning we woke up super early and I sent D out for bagels. He came back and reported that the smoke had cleared. He texted our Fire Chief friend and learned that the fires were mostly contained. We ate breakfast and chatted and discussed returning home. The kids and the world seemed calmer. D had a planned golf trip that day and was debating if he should cancel. We decided to drive up to our neighborhood and assess the situation.

Kids enjoying breakfast together totally unaware of fires.
On the drive over the sky was fairly clear. The evacuations in Carlsbad had been lifted and traffic didn't seem that bad. The barricades were still up on our street, but we easily found a way in and drove passed our apartment into our little community. There were several people out and walking their dogs or standing an chatting. There was another barricade that was manned by police and D stopped to ask what was happening. The cop explained that they were containing the fires but no one was allowed north of his barricade (about a mile east of our place). We went home and we decided it was ok to for D to leave. Many of our friends were staying at hotels and they all were going to the beach. Leeloo and I decided to join them - scariness behind us.

Clear skies and happy day.
The beach was great as always. It reminded that we don't just live in an inferno. I ran into an old friend and my mom came by to say hello. By the time we were ready to head home the sky was turning dark again. There were new black columns of smoke towards the east. I got an alert that the evacuation was now mandatory. Leeloo needed her nap so I headed back to Cardiff. 

Once again she was too excited to sleep. I was too stressed to try to manage her. A house with a baby is decidedly different than a house with a toddler. Glass unaffixed countertops and open outlets, bookshelves and heavy silver decorations, an unattainable level of silence expected for the chiquita. I was grateful that our friends opened their doors, but I needed a different option.

The friend I saw at the beach had offered her house up to us. She has six year old twins. I called her up almost immediately and asked if we could stay. She said yes and I was relieved. 

I stopped at the grocery store on the way. There are so many things that I have in tow for Leeloo that I don't realize I need access to. The biggest being snacks. I bought a cooler bag and filled it with small things for her to eat. At this point I was skeptical of when we could finally head home.

As soon as we got to M's house a weight lifted up. The kids immediately clicked and were playing. It was so nice to be invited to a house that was chaotic and loud and messy and filled with laughter. M made dinner and gave me a glass of wine. The kids played and we hung out - for the first time I didn't talk about fires or watch the news. 
Blurry pic, but you can see the fun being had.

I did have to venture home though. That morning, when we thought everything was ok, I had unpacked some things. Important things like Leeloo's antibiotics from her ear infection the week before. I also wanted to grab the iGuy - because who knew when we would be cleared and screen time can be a great occupier.

I drove to our neighborhood and parked alongside the main thoroughfare. There were cars lined up and down the streets in every direction away from the barricades. I hiked up the road, and down the road, and up the road (because San Diego is hilly) and had flashes of all the apocalyptic movies I've ever seen. There were a few other people making the hike, with backpacks and such, but mostly everything was empty and still. The ground had white tufts of ash everywhere. The air was still filled with a burning scent, but the air was clearer. I filled a backpack and had more supplies in tow. On the way back to my car I saw a pregnant woman huffing uphill reminding me that things can always be more challenging. The whole trip took about an hour, on my drive home I saw more smoke to the north of us. It was unrelenting. 

When I got back to M's the kids were curled on the couch with a movie. Leeloo was so comfortable and I realized it was the first time I had left her with anyone other than my parents. We took a short walk to see if we could pinpoint the new smoke, but we couldn't see anything. By the time we got in the chiquita was already saying "Night night mami". When I took her to bed, she was asleep in minutes. I went back downstairs, had more wine and totally vented with M. We hung out and stayed up too late and it was much needed. I couldn't stop thanking her for her generosity and hospitality.

Happy cartoon breakfast.
Friday morning we decided to try to meet friends at the beach again. M had a day filled with errands and birthdays but they were gonna try to head to the beach as well. It was one of those mornings when you take two steps forward and three steps back. By ten the kids were dressed, but M and I were still wandering in our pj's (maybe the wine had something to do with that). It might have been closer to eleven by the time we were all packed up and headed out. Leeloo was so sad to say goodbye to the kids - I had to reassure her that we would see them in a bit. By the time we were on the road she was already asking for food again. It was another hot day and I was realizing that the beach may not have been the best plan. Even though we were in our suits I opted for a restaurant instead. I had a hot and hungry two year old that was already tired from the excitement of playing all morning. It was at this moment that I felt the most displaced and helpless. We ate and then headed back towards Cardiff. 

By the time we got there Leeloo was so exhausted that she fell asleep on the couch. She laid there for hours. 

The day before I had heard an announcement on the radio that certain downtown hotels were offering evacuation rates. I had an appointment downtown on Saturday morning, so it was convenient to head that way. I called and booked a room for Friday night anticipating another homeless day. My mom was also with us that weekend so it was nice to know we'd all have beds.

During the chiquita's epic nap I left her with my mom and decided to get some more supplies. I headed to CVS and then to TJ Max because I had been wearing dirty clothes. 

When I got back to Cardiff, Leeloo woke up and we drove to the hotel. On our way I got the email that we could return home. I made the decision to continue driving away from the fires and escape into some comfort for the night. We stayed at the Westgate hotel downtown. We had a view of the city and the sea, and we ordered room service. 

Enjoying the bed.

Window view.

Walking around. 


The next morning we packed up yet again and picked up breakfast to eat at Balboa park (where my meeting was). I left the chiquita with her abuelita while I did a photography shoot and then we visited the Science Center. It was so nice to not be rushing from one place to another. It was also nice knowing that home was the next stop and D would be back from his trip that evening (side note: he kept in contact the whole time we were away and I assured him that we were ok and that he didn't need to come home prematurely).
Enjoying the Science Center.

Playing shadows with her abuelita. 

Light bugs!

Bubbles are always a hit.
First non-sphryical balloon.

That afternoon we drove home. It was so nice to be able to do that. Our home, our things, our comfort. Leeloo loved her room and was so very happy to see her belongings again. The next day we went to the Farmer's Market and all seemed in order again. The fires were scary but they were more of an inconvenience than anything. We were lucky to have amazing friends that opened their doors to us. One night in a hotel was fun, but I know people that tried to entertain multiple children in one room for days. I can't imagine that let alone the lives of refugees that have been displaced for years and sometimes forever. With each day I gain more appreciation for this life that I have been granted. I kiss my children and am happy to have comfort and love.

Farmer's Market on Sunday. Back to normality.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sick Day

When Leeloo was a baby, any cold meant some crankiness, but mostly lots of rest. A toddler sick day is a completely different ball game. We are on our third day of fever, cough and runny nose and my mantra has been: Patience and love. I have taken lots of moments just repeating those words.

6 am - She came into bed with me to cuddle some more.

6:30 - She wanders out to the living room with her brothers, but doesn't want to be there without me, so she comes back and starts yelling "Wake up mami!".

6:45 She's at the pantry asking for cereal. Her oldest brother pours her a bowl which she's very excited about. Until he adds a dash of milk. Then she doesn't want it.

She then asks for a banana. I slice it so she can share with her other brother. She gets mad and stands in the corner pouting.

I get coffee (because I'm sick too and haven't had much rest). Luckily the boys can make their own simple breakfasts this morning. Patience and love, patience and love.

She decides she wants to eat and pulls me over to the fridge. "Ice cream mami! Ice cream!" When I say no she goes back to pout in her corner. Big brother wants to comfort her but I tell him to let her work it out.

7:05 - She's asks for a granola bar. I say yes.  Pure happiness. "Yum yummy mami!"

I get her clothes (while reminding her bothers to brush their teeth and make their beds). She doesn't want to get dressed. She runs into her room to watch herself cry in the mirror. Patience and love.

I get dressed and she runs into my room to find me. I have to remind her not to roll in bed with food (I'm sure I'm sleeping with granola tonight).

I act super excited to change my clothes and then say, "Yay! It's your turn!", thankfully she bounds after me.

Dress on, pants on, socks, shoes, hair brushed, we are ready to go!

I clean up breakfast, and make sure the boys are all ready for school, when I hear "No! Ripley no!" She runs out of her room giggling, big brother in hot pursuit. He looks frustrated and hands me her shoes. "Ugh! She didn't even listen to me! I told her no and she did it anyway!" Little does he realize that I have already played out this scenario with him dozens of times over the years.

7:20 - The first knock on the door. It's Wednesday, our turn to carpool. Leeloo sees her brothers put on their shoes and she's now fully willing to comply. Socks and shoes on.

7:21 - She's at the door jumping. "Let's go, let's go, let's gooooo!"

Instead of explaining that we need to wait for more people, we all go out front, and the boys play catch with her (for some reason a basketball and a kickball are headed to school today - I don't even ask). She giggles and throws and chases. Definitely the highlight of her morning. Finally the last passenger arrives and we all pile in the car.

She climbs into her carseat and we head off to middle school.

We get to the parking lot and the first three kids climb out. When she realizes that she's not going too she bursts into tears. "Noooooooo! Me too! Up! Caillou (what she calls her oldest brother)!!!). I soothe her and tell her that her other brother is staying and she starts to calm down. Between the sniffles and sobs she says "ok. ok" and pats the seat next to her for him to sit down. Patience and love.

Her brother cleans her nose and we head towards the elementary school. When we get there he kisses her goodbye and instead of a full breakdown she quietly whimpers his name. I soothe her again. Patience and love.

8 am - With my fingers crossed I head towards the store. I have a feeling it's gonna be ugly, but I have no choice. We need things like Kleenex and toilet paper.

I never come to Target this early so I'm happy to see the parking lot so empty. Right away she wants to be carried. 35 pounds and a big bag of plenty, combined with being sick - I got this. I grabbed a cart and headed straight towards Starbucks. At this point I am not above bribery. We buy a muffin and a coffee for me She sits in the cart and she has about 2 full minutes of contentment. Until her muffin starts to crumble. I take off the top and hand it to her and she begins to cry. I hand her the wrapper and she screams. I improvise and crumble The muffin into the paper bag it came in and grab a spoon. Spoons are her favorite utensil these days, so once again she calms down.

I tackle my list at full speed, weaving around the obstacle course of staff and restocking carts (a good reason not to come early), and only stop to pick up missed muffin bits. Around 4 items in, Leeloo drops her spoon. I pick it up, but that was enough to remind her that she was in the cart and not walking. "Up mama, up!". Not only can she unclip the seat harness, but she doesn't wait before she stands and tries to step out of the cart. I get there in time but - patience and love, patience and love!

She decides that she's not going into the toothpaste aisle with me and crumbles into child's pose. I grab my item and help her up and shuffle her along. I don't know if she's scared by all the staff and carts about but she refuses to go into the next aisle as well and starts to back away slowly. I debate if I can grab something quickly but she ups her speed and then turns around and breaks into full run. Ugh!

I leave the cart (phone, wallet, keys and all) and run in hot pursuit. It doesn't take me long
to whisk her up, but I have to now wrestle her back into the cart somehow. Full on wails. I get a couple solidarity smiles from women and a man says, "Wow someone's not happy!", I smile and explain that she doesn't feel well.

Smartphone to the rescue! I start a movie and she starts to cam down yet again. Patience and love. Patience and love.

Kleenex is next and it's located int the back corner of the store. No streaming. No movie. "Mommy help!" My plan has backfired. More tears. "Up mami! Uppppppp!". She wraps her arounds around my neck and I hold her in a way that the cart can help support her weight while I push. 2 more things.

I quickly finish up. She rests her head on my shoulder and mumbles "night night, night night". Off to the cashier.

I have to put her down to load the items onto the checkout area. Once again she curls into child's pose. I manage to pay and load the bags back into the cart without incident.

I carry her to the car and decide to load her in first. I get her in the backseat and look up to see that the cart has careened downhill and now is sideways against a bumper and a sign, coffee dripping everywhere. I lift the cart up and load the bags without even addressing the coffee. I put the cart away and climb into the backseat to put the chiquita in her car seat.

She's smiling at something she has in her hand. "Balloon mom! Yay!". Because a deflated balloon is exactly what you want your 2 year old to play with. "Please mommy!" Not thinking I blow the balloon up just a little and hand it back to her. Definitely not what she had in mind. Tears all the way home accompanied by an unintelligible wail.

8:45 am - we get home. I carry in the dripping wet bags and slowly usher her along as she stops to take off her shoes, look at snails and curl into child's pose one more time.

We get in the house. Bags go on the counter. I sit on the couch. She climbs into my lap and falls fast asleep. Patience and love.

I think two things:

1- It's not even 9 am yet.

2- Today is so much better than yesterday.

Patience and love. :-)

Monday, April 21, 2014


Holidays make me so giddy now. It's weird. I guess my lack of enthusiasm stemmed from young adult aloofness. But, my family always came together at holidays and made it fun for us, so I guess it shouldn't surprise me at all that I wanna do the same for the chiquita. 
Our Easter came in three parts this year.

Part 1:
The first was a neighborhood celebration in Stepford, Bunnypalooza. It sounded like a fun idea and the girlie was so very excited. View the excitement:

Running to the park to see the Easter Bunny (which to my knowledge, she has no real concept of).
I actually love our community and I'm thankful that there are events like this. However, I always come away a little (a lot) disappointed. Some insight:
The little one ran from the car (a block away), and into the event field, filled with gusto. There was a crowd, and jumpy castle things, and people she knew, and tents!, oh tents!, and more jumpy castles and-- yes, excitement. 
I--as a mother, looked past the bright and shiny, and saw the crowds, and the lines. I tried to steer Leeloo towards the open craft tent - but no, she saw the great big (with slide and climbing log) bounce house.
"That mommy!"
So we went into line. And we waited. And she ran about. And came back and we waited. And she ran to the front of the line and I coaxed her back and we waited. And she tried to pull me to the front of the line, but I convinced her to hold our ground, and we waited. And about 20 minutes later (two toddler lifetimes), we were next. 
This was a big bouncy castle, like the penthouse version. I sized up all the kids in front of us and they looked around Leeloo's size, so I felt ok about it. She pulled off her socks and shoes and clambered up the bouncy slope into the abyss. 
This is where my mommy vision went into 5 second slow motion cycle: She's in...she's smiling...she's balancing...I can jockey for position and see her clearly...she looks unsure...she sees me...she smiles...she's balancing... she's jumping!...she's giggling!...she's so happy...she's - what?
There was a blur of blond and then a grunt. Leeloo was down and an 8-yr old little girl pushed herself up off of her and bounced away. My girlie is tough. She has brothers that knock her about constantly so she can take a whollup. This time, she froze, assessed the damage, made eye contact with me and said "ow, mami, ow head", then started to cry. She made her way out, wailing. I held her and moved away from the castle, trying to soothe her, but really it just made her even more upset. She was holding her head in pain but so sad that she wasn't back in  the castle. I suppose I should be grateful for her resolve, but at that point I was not gonna shove her back into the melee. More upset.
Eventually (after ten minutes or so of her crying and cuddling and running back to the line and cuddling and pleading for more), I bribed her with a cookie. 
The egg hunt for 1-2 year olds happened simultaneous to her meltdown. So once I calmed her down they were on to the 3-5 year hunt. The hunt was in a small fenced yard--maybe 50'x50'--with only one side opened. There was no real "hiding" of the eggs, just groups lying on the ground. In front of the one open side there were parent and kids and older siblings lined up ready to go. When they finally gave the hunt order it was chaos. At first we couldn't get passed the parents standing and watching, the we couldn't make it around the kids getting the eggs, so in desperation I picked the girlie up and like a running back tried to take her to our goal--an untouched egg-filled corner. With great maneuvering we got there, but as soon as I set her down the eggs were gone, mostly picked up by older siblings who were "helping". We left with an empty basket.

After that I decided to abandon Bunnypalooza and head down towards the playground. Eventually all her little friends made it there and she had a great time with them, but it took an hour or so of me watching them to let the frustration subside.

Part 2:

The second egg hunt we attended was much smaller. The day before Easter our complex decided to do there own little hunt. We bounded down and waited for the doors to open.

Waiting with Wawa.
When we got in, Ripley got to meet an Easter bunny (I will not say "the" Easter bunny because the costume was one of the creepiest I've ever seen).

After meeting creepy bunny she had to wait again. I'm all about teaching my daughter patience - but seriously, there is only so much you can ask a 2 year old to endure.

The second egg hunt happened in a much smaller area. But the chiquita was still no match for the older kids. Her abuelita and I managed to steer her towards one egg but that was all. Luckily she didn't really think that she was missing anything. Especially since the hunt was at the pool. I let her put her feet in, but she was all in (fully dressed), in minutes. Time to start swim lessons again!

Part 3:
Easter Sunday.

The day started with her basket:
Contents: Coloring books, a birdhouse, box full of "jewels" and small little things.

Her first jewelry box.
Best matchbox car ever.
Grandpa joined us for Easter morning.

After eggs we got dressed and put all our things together to head to the park where we invited all her friends for a picnic. All week my mom and I worked to make small gifts for the kids. We ended up with super cute chickies and sock bunnies. 

Little felt chicks in eggs. 
Sock bunnies from my own recycled socks.
Ripley loves her little bunny.
The park was wonderful. We have a small circle of families that we do a lot of things with. All of our kids are the same ages and they see each other many times throughout the week. The kids play so well together and the parents are all very nice and genuine. We are lucky to have a good circle.

Our picnic was fairly simple. We had snacks, bubbles, little paper airplanes, sidewalk chalk, and our own egg hunt. The night before I went out and bought more eggs, determined that the kids would not be left wanting. I admit now that I went a little overboard, and I'm ok with it.

Michaels had the best bubble wand.
Flying a paper kite with her Uncle.

Happy memories.