Babymoon for Baby #2 in Ojai

When I was pregnant with Vivian, we traveled a lot. But that was normal for us. So, I can’t really pinpoint one trip and say “oh, this was our babymoon.” While pregnant, we took trips to New England, Miami, and NYC, among other places like Morro Bay, Las Vegas, Big Bear, and Northern California. All of those trips included amazing meals, adventure, quiet time together, and relaxation (some with spa activities!). This time around, though, it’s different. Yes, we still travel a lot, but always with Vivian. That makes for fun family trips, but not for relaxing and romantic trips. I’d argue that a babymoon is definitely needed more for pregnancies after your first born child.

So, for baby #2, we planned a very relaxing weekend getaway to Ojai when I was 23 weeks pregnant. My mom flew in from Ohio to watch Vivian and we set off on (my first) two consecutive nights away from Vivian. When we first arrived in Ojai, we ate lunch at Osteria Monte Grappa in downtown and then we checked into the luxurious Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. We relaxed, watched a movie on TV, read, and watched the sunset’s “pink moment” from our hotel room. Then we ate an amazing dinner at The Oak Grill, complete with good wine (for Dan), an appetizer, main course, dessert/coffee, and good and uninterrupted conversation.

Baby Ojai

Ojai Baby

On Day #2, we slept in and Dan got us coffee from Jimmy’s Pub onsite. Then we went into town and shopped at the Certified Farmer’s Market and downtown shops, walked through Libbey Park, and went wine tasting at The Ojai Vineyard and The Vine. We finally made our way back to the resort and to the spa! We spent the rest of the afternoon getting spa treatments (a warm Himalayan hot stone massage for Dan and a moisturizing facial for me), relaxing, reading (me), and watching the NFL championship games (Dan). We concluded our day with another amazing meal at Olivella, again complete with good wine (for Dan), appetizers, multiple courses, and dessert/coffee/port.

Wine Tasting at The Ojai Vineyard

Wine Tasting at The Ojai Vineyard

Spa Ojai

Spa Ojai

On Day #3, we again slept in and drank coffee from Jimmy’s Pub. Before checking out, we walked around the resort to take in all the quietude and beauty one last time.

Pixie Pool at The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Pixie Pool at The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Checking Out at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Checking Out of the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

After leaving the resort, we drove up through the Los Padres National Forest to go on a short (approx. 1 mile) hike to Rose Valley Falls, which, sadly, wasn’t flowing that much since El Nino has yet to produce any serious rainfall amounts in coastal SoCal. The hike was easy and tranquil, though.

Rose Valley Falls

Rose Valley Falls

On our way back towards town, we stopped at the USA’s smallest (nonoperational) post office in Wheeler Springs.

USA's Smallest Post Office in Wheeler Springs

USA’s Smallest Post Office in Wheeler Springs

We tried to go olive oil tasting at the Ojai Olive Oil Company, but we were 13 minutes late arriving at their tasting room (boo!). Next trip!

Upon arriving home, we hugged our baby, who had missed us very much (although she had a ton of fun with her Nana). We also were treated to a freshly mown lawn, clean living room windows/screens, and the smell of homemade chocolate cupcakes baking in the oven!

In conclusion, we loved our babymoon for baby #2 and look forward to going on another quiet and relaxing trip…in another two years – ha!

Posted in Baby, Drinking, Eating, Hiking, Sightseeing, Travel, Wine Tasting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Borrego Trail at Baker Ranch

Our new community recently opened a 1-mile fitness trail (the Borrego Trail) and we took time last weekend to go on a family walk on it. Dan, Vivian, and Snoopy had walked it on NYE, but I hadn’t yet had a chance to explore it. When you add in the distance that we walked to get to and from the trail and our house, we walked about 3 miles.

Vivian did really well riding in her stroller, walking, and playing on the fitness equipment – right up until we veered off the fitness trail and back onto the streets. Then, she was in hysterics because I wouldn’t carry her. The fun abruptly stopped. Luckily, after walking with her screaming in her stroller for about 1/2 mile, Dan was finally able to get her to calm down and stop crying. She’s quite the mama’s girl right now and although this mama loves her baby so very much, this mama is also pregnant and tired and not coordinated enough to walk uphill, push a stroller, and hold a heavy toddler on her hip.

Despite the crying episode, we all had a great time and look forward to many more walks, runs, and bike rides on this trail in the future.

At the Borrego Trail Entrance

At the Borrego Trail Entrance

Walking...

Walking…

Walking...

Walking…

Pausing with Her Blanket

Pausing with Her Blanket

Stroller Ride with Mama

Stroller Ride with Mama

Not Quite Tall Enough

Not Quite Tall Enough

Exercising with Daddy

Exercising with Daddy

Playing on the Fitness Equipment

Playing on the Fitness Equipment

Playing on the Fitness Equipment

Playing on the Fitness Equipment

Daddy Working His Abs

Daddy Working His Abs

Posted in Baby, Hiking | Tagged , | 3 Comments

San Juan Loop Trail Hike

Most years (see here and here), we begin afresh with a hike on or around New Year’s Day. We didn’t go on a New Year’s hike in 2013 (I’m not sure what we did that year!) and we definitely didn’t go on one last year when Vivian was 8 months old, but this year presented the perfect opportunity and weather to go on one – so, we did! Our friends, the Bullocks, joined us, and we all (doggies included) hiked 3.1 miles on the San Juan Loop Trail in the Cleveland National Forest. It took us just under 2 hours to complete the hike since our 2-year-old and 1-year-old girls wanted to hike on their own a lot (which was great and a nice change of pace from Vivian wanting to be held by me all.of.the.time).

Vivian and Bella - Daycare Buddies and Fast Friends

Vivian and Bella – Daycare Buddies and Fast Friends

The Whole Group

The Whole Group

The Five Chamberses:-)

The Five Chamberses:-)

After our hike, we ate lunch on the patio at Rancho Capistrano Winery in San Juan Capistrano. And then we went home and napped!

Posted in Baby, Hiking, Snoopy | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ringing in 2016 Family Style

The days of going out and partying on New Year’s Eve are long gone (although, we were never really big into NYE parties anyways). Now, we’re much happier staying in and celebrating with friends, which is exactly what we did this year. We were invited over to our neighbor’s/friend’s house and so we joined a few other neighbors/friends and their small children and watched the Times Square ball drop at 9pm EST. Vivian had a blast playing with all the other kiddos (especially her daycare buddy, Cooper) and we enjoyed the adult conversation – all just a few steps from our own home-sweet-home. Have I mentioned before how much we love our new community, Baker Ranch, and our new neighbors?!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Most of the NYE Gang

Most of the NYE Gang

Vivian and Cooper - She Loves Him!

Vivian and Cooper – She Adores Him!

On the first day of 2016, we attempted to take a walk around our community (well, we did walk, just not where we wanted to, which was the Borrego Trail, because Vivian was being a pill). In the evening, after naps, we went to the Irvine Spectrum Center where Vivian spent over an hour playing on their play structure. We finally peeled her off of it go get dinner and watch the Disney Holiday Magical Light show in the Edwards Courtyard near the theaters.

Playground Fun

Playground Fun

Daddy and Daughter at the Disney Light Show

Daddy and Daughter at the Disney Light Show

Watching Mickey Mouse During the Light Show

Watching Mickey Mouse During the Light Show

I won’t sugar our first outings of the new year, though – they were exhausting! Vivian was so clingy to me and refused to ride in her stroller (without screaming) or be held by Dan or walk on her own. She only wanted Mama. And when I was too tired to carry her and she began screaming, she would not calm down. It certainly wasn’t all party hats, playtime, and Disney magic…

Regardless, 2016 is set up to be a great year. We’re excited about the arrival of Baby Girl Chambers #2 and all the fun that that will entail! So, welcome 2016!

Posted in Baby, Holidays | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

And New Baby Makes 4

Yup, we’re going to have another baby! Another baby GIRL, in fact! I’m now already halfway through this second pregnancy and we are all excited to welcome a new daughter/sister into our family on or around May 17, 2016. Our two girls will be 25 months apart and we’re looking forward to them becoming fast friends.

2016 is going to be a busy, crazy year, but when is life not full and active?! So, here we go with round 2. We can’t wait to meet you, Sweet Baby Girl #2!

Chambers-21

Big Sister to the Best Baby Sister

Big Sis to a Little Miss

Big Sis to a Little Miss

Family of 3+1

Family of 3+1

LOVE

LOVE

Big Sister

Big Sister

I'm a Big Sister

I’m a Big Sister

Ultrasound Love

Ultrasound Love

10 Week Ultrasound Pic at 11 Week Photo Shoot

10 Week Ultrasound Pic at 11 Week Photo Shoot

Posted in Baby | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Snow Day in Orange County

Our wonderful new community hosts the best events for its residents. Earlier this week, they brought in snow and dumped it in one of the parks for our California kiddos to experience some winter fun.

Vivian had been in the snow once before – last Christmas in New York (she also saw snow in Chicago this past Thanksgiving, but it was waaaay too cold to play in!). She wasn’t sure what to make of the snow this year. She enjoyed walking around on it and touching it, but I don’t think she knew what else to do with it. So, she ate a cookie in it.

Mmmm....Cookies in Snow!

Mmmm….Cookies in Snow!

She absolutely loved the free cookies and playing in the playground.

Playground Fun

Playground Fun

And she and I had fun on a one-horse wagon ride around the park with Indy, the pony.

Pony Wagon Ride

Pony Wagon Ride

Vivian saw the cast of Frozen (she loves Frozen, which Dan recently introduced to her, but did not like seeing the characters up close – it was like seeing Santa all over again!).

Frozen!

Frozen!

She also loooooved sledding! Both Dan and I took her down the little sledding hill and she even went down twice all by herself.

Sledding with Daddy

Sledding with Daddy

We all had a fun time playing in the snow in our own backyard and ended the evening with a family snowman photo.

Snowman!

Snowman!

Perhaps next year we’ll take Vivian to a real snowy destination (and enroll her in her first ski lessons!).

Posted in Baby | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Bay Area Christmas

For Vivian’s second Christmas, we flew up to Oakland to spend the holiday with Dan’s parents and brother. This was Vivian’s 8th set of plane flights in 2015 (2 to Ohio, 2 to Oakland, 2 to Colorado, 1 to Seattle, and 1 to Hawaii). She’s flown more than any other toddler I know this year (and more than most adults that I know)! Because she is still under 2 and is considered a “lap infant,” she flies for free. That will end in April 2016, though. So, for now, we fly as much as possible with her, knowing that our airplane travel will slow down in the later half of 2016 when we actually have to pay for a seat for her! Last year, we spent Thanksgiving at Dan’s parents’ and Christmas at my parents’ and this year we reversed it. We hope that our parents appreciated our effort to see them over the holidays because we are not anticipating traveling for the holidays next year! We envision spending our 2016 holidays at our new home in California, with our little family of four (more on that soon!).

Before I share the details of our time in the Bay Area, let me back track and share a few pictures of our fun leading up to Christmas. First, of course, we had to visit Santa, who Vivian still does not like. She thinks she likes him – until she sees him. She barely tolerated this family photo with Santa at our clubhouse in Baker Ranch:

Scary Santa

Scary Santa

As we did last year during the holiday season, we again went to Disneyland this year. I think that this was Vivian’s fifth  trip to Disneyland and she was, of course, the most interactive with the park during this trip. We rode new and old rides, watched a parade in California Adventure, and even saw Mickey, only leaving the park when it started pouring rain at the end of the day when we were all exhausted.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

Mickey Mouse!

Mickey Mouse!

We also went to many parties (birthday, going away, and Christmas) in December and went out for a special dinner in the Dana Point Harbor during their annual Boat Parade of Lights. We bought our first family Christmas tree and decorated the interior of our house. Finally, after all that fun, we left SoCal for NorCal to spend our actual Christmas holiday with family.

We arrived on Tues., Dec. 22, and spent our first evening together after dinner looking at the lights at famous Deacon Dave’s.

Seeing Nearly 500,000 Lights at Deacon Dave's

Seeing Nearly 500,000 Lights at Deacon Dave’s

On Wednesday, Dan and I took Vivian into San Francisco to explore the city as tourists. Vivian had been into the city once before to meet a friend for dinner, but this was her first time seeing the sights. Dan and I got to see some new (to us) sights, too, like the Ferry Building and Exploratorium.

First Stop in the City: The Ferry Building

First Stop in the City: The Ferry Building

Spinning at the Exploratorium

Spinning at the Exploratorium

Seeing Sound Waves in Water at the Exploratorium

Seeing Sound Waves in Water at the Exploratorium

Overlooking the Bay at the Exploratorium

Overlooking the Bay (and the Bay Bridge) at the Exploratorium

We spent the entire afternoon at the Exploratorium and Vivian had a blast, well, exploring! Afterwards, we walked down to Pier 39 and ate a wonderful seafood dinner at a table right next to a window overlooking the water and city – such great views!

Eating Calamari at Dinner

Eating Calamari at Dinner

Then, we kept on walking…to Fisherman’s Warf and then Ghiradelli Square. In total, we walked 2.5 miles along the waterfront. From there, we took the cable car (and a shuttle bus, due to traffic) to Union Square to see the decorated tree and storefronts before finally taking BART back towards Livermore.

NIghttime Cable Car Ride

Nighttime Cable Car Ride

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day relaxing! We visited friends, went to mass, and participated in the annual cul-de-sac tradition of lighting luminaries. But mostly, we stayed close to home base and enjoyed our time with loved ones.

Visiting Friends

Visiting Friends

Christmas Eve Luminaries

Christmas Eve Luminaries

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Rolling Out Dough for Cutout Cookies

Rolling Out Dough for Cutout Cookies

Playing with New Presents

Playing with New Presents

Family Photo on Christmas

Family Photo on Christmas

The day after Christmas, we ventured 2 hours south to Monterey. Dan has fond memories of visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium as a child and was anxious to take Vivian there. After we arrived, we ate lunch, walked down Cannery Row, and then joined the masses to see the sealife inside the famous aquarium. We all had a blast at the aquarium and it was so fun to see Vivian get so excited about everything (fishies! fishies! fishies!).

Cannery Row

Cannery Row

Nemo!

Nemo!

Family Photo at the Aquarium

Family Photo at the Aquarium

Before leaving to fly home on Sunday, Dec. 27, Dan and I finally got away by ourselves for 1 1/2 hours and ate brunch together. Then we took one last Three-Generation Chambers Family Photo with a fussy baby who just wanted her Mama.

Vivian's Christmas Barnyard Quilt Made by Grandma

Vivian’s Christmas Barnyard Quilt Made by Grandma

Whew! Another jam-packed, fun, memorable trip as a family of three. Sure, Vivian won’t remember anything, but we will, and we will always treasure these memories that we are making now.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Posted in Baby, Holidays, Sightseeing, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment