Science, San Diego, Sunshine, & the Sea

Last year, I had the best maternity leave ever. I honestly think fondly of that special time with the kids at those ages Returning to work last September was hard, but I’d done it before, and, also, knowing that we had a fun Fall coming up with three big holidays back-to-back-to-back helped the transition. I worried, though, how I’d feel after the first of the year with no six-month break from work and no big holidays to look forward to. There were so many fun holiday events during the past four months; now what? Well, I’m quickly realizing that now that the holidays are over, we have the opportunity to do a lot of fun things that we want to do, when we want to do them, and we aren’t pressured or under any time constraints due to upcoming holidays. For example, in December, I felt like we could only do Christmas-related activities because if we didn’t do them in December, we would completely miss out on them. But now, our weekends can be a little bit more leisurely and we can go or not go somewhere fun without worrying that now is the only time to do this! Our week days are packed with work, teaching, school, daycare, swim lessons, dance class, and Spanish class. Our weekends are typically organized with some down time, some time to complete house projects, and some fun activities. And so, here are the fun things that we’ve been up to in the new year:

Our local science center was having a gingerbread exhibit and a Lion Guard exhibit that were ending soon, so we spent a few hours seeing these exhibits and the rest of the science center one Sunday morning. A few of our neighbors also joined us.

Lion Guard Exhibit at the Discovery Cube OC

Gingerbread Exhibit at the Discovery Cube OC

Lil and Science

Daddy and Son at the Science Center

San Diego
It had been years since we were last at the San Diego Zoo and Lillian and William had never been there, so we drove down to San Diego for the day and met up with our friends, the Turners, who have zoo passes and are great tour guides to us “out-of-towners.”

Zoo Day!

Our Three Animals Looking at Animals

Watching the Panda Eat

Just the TEN of Us!

We had a few days of really hard rain (which we desperately needed!) and when the sun broke through the clouds, we got outside and enjoyed the warmth. Dan was on Saturday birthday party duty and took Vivian to Pump-It-Up (always a favorite and the location of the kids’ upcoming birthday party in April) and I took the littles to Irvine Regional Park to ride a pony, ride the train, walk around, eat ice cream, and visit the Interpretive/Nature Center.

Pump-It-Up Party

Train Ride

Pony Ride on Daryl

The kids and I had MLK Day off and we spent it at Dana Point Harbor. The majority of our time there was spent exploring and playing at the Ocean Institute. Afterwards, we ate lunch at Proud Mary’s, which is the same location where we had our post-wedding brunch over seven years ago. All three kids were amazingly well behaved during lunch and they all ate well, too. I hope someone in that crowded restaurant noticed because it will probably never happen again. I felt like someone should have been waiting for me at the door as we exited to place a medal over my head – ha! Since the kids were exceedingly well behaved, I took the girls out for ice cream before we headed home. The miracles continued when all three fell asleep in the car. I pulled into the garage and left the girls in the car with the doors open. Viv slept for a total of 45 minutes and Lil slept for 2 hours! And then William went to bed at 4pm and slept until 7am the next day (with one wakeup for a change and feeding at 4am)!

Cutest Crab Around

Ocean Institute Play Area

Another Cute Crab

Touring the Pilgrim

Windy Day by the Ocean

So far, 2019 is off to a great start!

About Carrie

I'm a Midwest transplant in SoCal...spending my time exploring, questioning, reading, writing, baking, skiing, and running.
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3 Responses to Science, San Diego, Sunshine, & the Sea

  1. Absolutely love the photo of Windy Day by the Ocean. I can’t help but smile when I see all the activities you do with your kids. I remember your ambitious bucket list of Before Children activities that you pursued relentlessly as if fearing that spontaneity would disappear once they arrived. This “After Kids” list is even more varied and fun and I am glad to see you all enjoying these many, many entertaining and loving pursuits.

    • Carrie says:

      Oh, spontaneity has mostly disappeared. The amount of detailed planning that goes into our calendar of events is staggering! Luckily, though, the fun has certainly continued “After Kids.” The real reason we had a our pre-kids list, though, was not to take advantage of spontaneity, but to do things that we knew we wouldn’t be able to do post-kids. We are glad we created and ticked activities off that list because since having kids we certainly have not climbed mountains and hiked through “grand” canyons, gone white-water rafting, gone hang-gliding, gone backpacking, and more! We are thankful for our married time together pre-kids and are now really enjoying this season in our lives with little kids. It’s very cliche, but we have been, and are, very blessed.

  2. Robini says:

    Man, this post is still full of amazing stuff, but you’re right, it does sound more relaxed. I still remember the San Diego zoo fondly, and that is SUPER impressive that all 3 kids behaved at proud Mary’s – and in the car afterwards. I agree that there’s something to be said for weekends during “ordinary time” where you’re not trying to do 80 special holiday things, and I’m jealous of all the fun stuff you seem to find in the area!

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