Thursday, August 27, 2015

American Girl Place

Today we decided to go to the new American Girl Place in Scottsdale. 

 I have always been an avid fan of American Girl. I remember staring longingly at the black and white picture in the back of the Meet Samantha book, of the 3 dolls available and just wishing and wishing for the Samantha doll.  My parents gave her to me for Christmas when I was 8 and after that I carefully saved my money for years and years and slowly bought the original six historical dolls. (They were only $82 back then - now $115) Then I realized that they were just going to keep making new ones and I was getting a little old to be buying dolls so I called it quits and hoped that someday I would have a little girl who would enjoy them. Because I was older they were mostly on display and are in perfect condition still.
So, we go with my mom and I made it very clear to the girls that we weren't buying anything.  I let the girls pick a doll to take with us and they were excited. We thought maybe we'd get an ice cream at the bistro in the store.   
What a joke this place was!  All it is is a store with a billion displays of hundreds of dollars worth of dolls and their accessories.  The place was tiny and unless you were going to drop a few hundred dollars on some new clothes and accessories there was nothing to actually "do". They did have a doll salon where you could pay $15-$20 to have someone style your dolls hair or pierce their ears.  What!?  We went to the bistro that must sit about 17 people total and asked if we could get on ice cream to share but they were booked until 2pm and if you wanted lunch they were booked through October.  We were there for about 25 minutes and were done.  I enjoyed looking at the new dolls.  It brought back fond memories of how excited I was when I finally had enough money to buy one and opening that box for the first time.  
After today I decided that the girls aren't old enough to handle my dolls and they are put away.  Well, Claire would be fine but Joy wreaked havoc on Samantha.  Claire wants to get one of the ones that looks like her.  I think she has a long wait though - she was already saving for a volleyball and goggles and now a $115 doll!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Beach Vacation

Last week we escaped the record heat and enjoyed the beaches in California.   My parents were planning on going to visit old friends and as a little get away for their 35th wedding anniversary,  we were planning to go at some point during the summer so we decided to combine our trips and we went together.   We couldn't have asked for better weather!
We stayed in a hotel a few miles off the coast and drove to a different beach each day.
 The first day we drove, dropped off our stuff at the hotel and went to Huntington Beach.
 The next day we went to Balboa Island.   The girls enjoyed the ferry ride
 but walking around the island was not much fun for them and it was really hot.
There was a ferris wheel in the Balboa Fun Zone so we patiently waited til it opened and took the girls on their very first ferris wheel ride.
Waiting and sharing an icee so nicely!
They loved it.   Even Paige wasn't scared.
 Later we walked on to the pier just to say that we did.
and headed to Corona Del Mar beach.  The entire trip Claire was constantly in the water, either jumping waves or boogie boarding.
Literally ALL DAY.
The younger two loved the sandy beach - although Paige was very brave and got in the water often.

 Josh and I decided to walk up to a lookout point with the girls but Claire didn't want to come.  
She stayed on the beach with Nana and Poppy and played volleyball,
and met a "special friend".  He boogie boarded with her the rest of the day.  He was a nice little boy.  
 Claire wanted to come back to this beach the next day because she thought he might be back.
We went to Huntington instead but we were in further up the coast this time and water was not so good for little kids.  The waves were strong and breaking right at the shore.   The girls played on the shore flew kites and napped. 

The last day we were all sad to have to leave.  We only stayed at the beach for a few hours.

We had so much fun and the girls were so good on this trip!  Paige is a champ.  She is definitely making up for her first year of terror.   We couldn't have asked for a better toddler.  We were mostly worried that Joy would be whiny and fragile, but we stuck with her gluten free diet the entire time and she was great!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Joy is 4!

Today my precious Joy turned 4!

Last night at dinner she said. "When I am 4 tomorrow then I will know everything! Right?" 
(Well, she doesn't know how to smile in pictures)

This poor girl has been waiting to turn 4 for the past 8 months.  She was super excited to get a big girl bike.  - It was in great shape at Goodwill for only $10.00, I couldn't resist.  She also can't wait to go to the beach!  Hopefully now that she is 4 she won't be so afraid of the ocean.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Pool with Cousins

Last week we got to go up to Anthem to visit cousins TJ and Josiah.  Norah came too but had to go home early.  

We spent the morning playing at TJ's house and getting horrible group pictures of the six cousins.  Horrible.

Then we went to a splash park but it got boring fast and it was SO hot out.   So we went to the Anthem Community Pool and had a blast!  
Claire loved the slides
 and got her first chance to go off a real diving board. 
  She was even brave enough to try the high dive - but only once. 
The little kids enjoyed the shallow pool and ran around in it most of the time.

Josiah enjoyed the water. 

But he did not enjoy Claire trying to feed him.
 He's a cool guy.