Monday, August 27, 2012


When Isaac was about 2 years old Charlie convinced me to buy a haircutting kit so that I could give Isaac haircuts at home.  I think I tried it twice and both times were kind of a disaster.  He would not hold still and I was not confident enough in what I was doing to give him a quick or decent looking haircut.  Now that I think of it, I still have that kit... but in my book, it is SO worth the money we pay at Supercuts to have someone else do it for me.  Especially with two boys.  Now I can focus on keeping them still while a stylist can worry about giving a decent haircut!

Isaac and Luke were both looking pretty shaggy so I took them in together.  Here's the before:

Isaac is pretty good about haircuts now.  I just hand him his iPod touch and promise him a sucker afterwards if he is good.  Luke was a little more of a challenge.  I set up the DVD player with Baby Einstein, held him still in my lap and gave him the sucker during the haircut.  He actually did pretty well.

And here is the after!  I think they both look very handsome and Luke suddenly looks much older.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Isaac's 5th Birthday

Where does the time go?  Isaac turned 5 years old and I think that officially makes him a kid now, not even a toddler.  He's growing up so fast!

I asked him what kind of treat he wanted to bring to school to celebrate with his class and suggested cupcakes, cookies, brownies, etc.  But Isaac insisted that he wanted to bring fruit.  His "favorite fruit salad" as he calls it - strawberries and mangos.  So I chopped up a great big bowl full and that is what he brought.

His birthday was on a Saturday this year.  Once again we asked him if he wanted to have a party or just celebrate with our family and he chose to spend the day with us.  We managed to pack in quite a bit of fun.  First things first of course, he had to open his birthday presents.  I don't know how he always ends up with so much stuff.  I originally bought him four gifts, but then needed to add one more, and his grandparents send gifts too.

The one thing he wanted most of all this year were the Incredible Hulk "Smash Hands."  He has no idea who the Incredible Hulk is but he saw a commercial for these green foam rubber gloves and the kid wearing them smashes through brick walls, a coffee table, etc.  Isaac was absolutely convinced that he would be able to smash our furniture with his own set of Smash Hands.  I was convinced that they were a complete waste of twenty bucks and had no intention of buying them.  But a few days before his birthday when he was still talking about them Charlie convinced me that I really needed to go out and get them.  Isaac was thrilled and immediately attempted to smash our coffee table. I think he was a little disappointed that the table did not splinter into pieces (like I told him a million times!) but he still loves them regardless.

He loves the Imaginext toys right now so he got the Toy Story 3 landfill play thing, some kind of space robot, and two "fighting dinosaurs."  He also got a new bike helmet, a transformer, and play foam.

We hurried and got ready and headed out to our new favorite beach, Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach.  We always try and go early to get an easy & free parking spot on the street, have an empty beach, and a chance to explore the tide pools while the tide is out.  It was overcast and cool that morning and we had a nice relaxing time.  Luke even got to come out to the tide pools this time to explore a bit.

After lunch and Luke's nap we went to Boomer's to ride the go karts.  Isaac loves driving the kid sized go karts, and he also likes to ride with Charlie in the big kart.  Poor Luke couldn't ride on anything and was super frustrated by all of the balls that he couldn't have: the golf balls on the mini golf course, softballs in the batting cages, basketballs and even ski balls being tossed and rolled all over the place.

Charlie & Isaac played a 4-D shooting game with all sorts of animated creatures that popped out of the screen at them.  I had to laugh as Isaac kept inching further and further away from the screen.  I finally asked the attendant if I could try a pair of the glasses.  It was a pretty lighthearted game and not necessarily scary, but I could see why Isaac was feeling a little uneasy!

Luke finally got to join in (or at least hold a steering wheel) while Dad & Isaac played a racing game.

Isaac had woken up with a cough that morning but seemed to feel fine all day.  After leaving Boomer's we headed to dinner at Super Mex - Isaac's request.  By the time we got there Isaac was suddenly super sick!  He barely ate his dinner and laid down on Charlie's lap while we finished.

He had requested a Boston Cream Cake for his birthday cake and I decided to make it rather than buy one this time.  We squeezed a little smile out of him for a picture but he didn't want to eat any cake.

Poor kid was really feeling more like this:

Isaac is a very dramatic cougher.  He was up all night coughing to the point of making himself throw-up.  Not such a great way to end a birthday, but we did have a fun day.

Here's a few fun facts about Isaac at age 5:
  • Loves playing the monster truck racing game on the iPad
  • His favorite foods are strawberries & mangos, slider hamburgers, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, bean & cheese burritos, granny smith apples (with no skin), Oreos, banana bread, and Diet Coke 
  • Has a tough time sharing with Luke but has fun tickling and wrestling with him
  • Calls Charlie "Mr. Attitude" and tells us that he's "About to lose it!" when he gets mad
  • Some of his favorite toys are his Imaginext trucks, which he calls "poyers" because they are "dangerous"
  • His favorite TV show is Robot & Monster on Nickelodeon 
  • In karate he has a yellow belt with one black stripe 
  • He loves to be in the water and will spend hours floating around in the pool
  • Every commercial he sees has him totally convinced that we need to run out and buy something. He especially loves to tell me about cleaning products that will "blast out the stains!" 

We love this kid.  He can be a little crazy at times but he is full of fun and imagination and personality and we love him!  Happy Birthday Isaac!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Company Picnic

Charlie has been working at DKB (Zyliss) for about a year and a half now.  This year the company decided to invite the employee's families to the company picnic.  It was held at the Irvine Regional Park on a very hot day in August.

The woman who planned the event was smart to have a dozen or so of these plastic spray bottles filled with water.  The kids - especially Isaac - loved running around squirting each other with water to cool off.

There was a bounce house for the kids to jump in and several games & races for everyone to participate in.  Isaac really loved watching the Olympics this summer so he was thrilled to earn a couple of his own gold medals.  He wasn't very successful with the egg/spoon race, but he was a good little jumper in the potato sack race.

Charlie participated in the hula hoop contest and took an impressive third place.

I stayed on the sidelines to act as photographer and to keep an eye on Luke who was busy doing his two favorite things: climbing (the fence) and throwing (handfuls of rocks).

After lunch and all of the games, we were free to go enjoy some of the other activities at the park.  The train ride that goes around the whole park is probably the biggest attraction there and both boys enjoyed it.  Isaac really wanted to stick his hands out and touch the wheels.  Really Isaac?  And Luke thought it was fun to stand up on the seat while we were driving (with Mom holding onto him of course).

There were horse rides with little miniature ponies for the smaller kids but Isaac was big enough to ride the taller horses (maybe they were ponies too though?).  A guide took him out on a trail and they got trotting at a pretty decent pace.  Afterwards Isaac told us it was his favorite part of the whole day.

Back to School

Since this is technically Isaac's third year of pre-school, I wasn't feeling like it was such a big deal when he started up the new year.  But the night before Charlie chided me for not even buying Isaac a new school outfit.  And then I didn't really even get a good first day of school photo of him.  Okay, so maybe I am a terrible mother!

Here he is writing his name tag for the first day.  Handwriting is tough for him and his letters are very big - so he used two name tags and made a "puzzle."  

He is in a year round "On My Way to K" program, and it is a mainstream class.  He is doing really well so far despite the fact that his teacher left after just a few weeks to go teach at a different school.  Since they started at the beginning of August he already has fall break coming up next week!

One of his favorite things is the "homework" - which involves keeping a reading log of all the books we read together (we've been making trips to the local library to stock up), and playing on a website called that has all kinds of letter and spelling games.  He thinks it's pretty cool to get to use mom's computer.

Happy Birthday Charlie

Charlie had to spend his 35th birthday in all day meetings at work.  Boo!  But when he got home that evening we got to celebrate.  Isaac is always a great helper when it comes to opening gifts.

After dinner we all enjoyed his yummy Boston Cream cake.  I really enjoy making cakes from scratch but Charlie didn't want to be faced with too many left overs so he chose to have a smaller cake from the bakery instead.  Isaac loved it and immediately decided that he wanted "Boston cake" for his birthday too.  I love these photos of my four boys.

A few nights later we went with some friends to the Guadalajara Grill in Baldwin Park for Charlie's birthday dinner.  This place is the real deal for an authentic Mexican experience.  They have a live mariachi show that plays on stage after dinner.  It's the perfect atmosphere for our boys because it is loud!  We are always the only white people in the whole restaurant and I always forget that everyone else dresses up at this place.  There are lots of people celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and quinceaneras so some of them really deck themselves out.  It is fun!

I wish I had taken better pictures but Luke was not being very cooperative that night so I was mostly focused on keeping him somewhat quiet and in a seat until the music started.  Then he was free to run around and dance.

Happy Birthday to Charlie!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Visitors! Janelle & Carly

Last weekend we were lucky to have Janelle & Carly come visit us for a few days.  Chris (Charlie's twin brother) and Karl (Charlie's dad) are off on a two week long fishing trip in Alaska right now, so the trip to California was the ladies turn for a fun getaway.

It is always fun to have visitors because it's a good reason for us to get out and do a few extra fun things that we might not otherwise do on a typical weekend.  We crammed a lot into just a few days.

Food is always an important part of any kind of Wood family get together.  I cooked a few meals at home, but we also had a whole list of restaurants that we needed to visit.  First on the list was The Lime Truck.  They won the Food Network's Great Food Truck Race in 2011and since Janelle watched the show she has been wanting to try the food at this truck.  We haven't had much luck tracking them down on her previous visits, but this time it worked out.

Carly and I both had the sweet & spicy steak tacos, which were spicy but yummy.  Janelle had the carnitas fries, Charlie had the crab ceviche, and Isaac had the grilled cheese sliders which turned out to be a little too gourmet for his taste so Aunt Carly bought him some fries from the Fresh Fries truck.  We also ordered some fresh squeezed flavored lemonades and Luke surprised me by taking his first sips from a straw.

The Anaheim Ducks had a booth set up right next to the food trucks.  The guy working there took a liking to Isaac.  He helped him shoot a few pucks into the blow-up goal box and gave him some sun glasses.  Later he came back over and gave him a hat and some chapstick too.  Isaac thought it was pretty cool and said he wants to learn to play hockey.

Next on the list was Bonzai Bowls in Costa Mesa.  These bowls are all the rage right now.  Our friend who recommended it to us told us that the place is always packed, and that's exactly what we found when we arrived.  The bowls are an interesting concept. They are basically a thick smoothie but with a mix of granola, fresh fruit, coconut, etc on top.  Isaac's even had bee pollen on top which we all agreed was interesting to taste, but too strong to eat much of.  Anyway, the standout feature of the bowls is that they contain acai berries which are a popular superfood with all kinds of health benefits.  

I ordered the Maui Sunrise which has coconut milk, pineapple juice, acai, bananas, strawberries, and mango with granola, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, coconut shreds and honey on top.  It was tasty and surprisingly filling.  At first I was feeding Luke bites on my spoon but he eventually made his way onto my lap and got ahold of the straw.  He was loving it and it was so cute to watch his little pucker face sucking away.  

I was surprised to learn that Carly hadn't tried a Sprinkle's cupcake yet, so of course we had to make a stop there.  

We also wanted to take Carly & Janelle to Mick's Karma Bar.  I had the Karma baja style with sour cream, pepper jack cheese, and pico de gallo and it was so so good.  We also got strawberry basil lemonade, and with Luke's newly discovered straw sipping skills, he was a happy boy.  Isaac made friends with some little girls he met there and had fun playing around in all of the sculptures.  

Last but not least, we had to go to the Nordstrom Cafe.  We had planned to go on Friday, but then realized it was the start of the Anniversary sale and thought it would be better to wait until Monday.  Monday turned out to be a busy day, but Nordstrom cake was a priority so we made sure to squeeze it in.  Of course the salads there are delicious (I always get the one with grilled chicken, mixed berries, and crumbled bleu cheese) but our real reason for going is the cake.  Janelle loves the lemon coconut, which is fantastic, but my favorite is the Boston cream.  Janelle remembered that last time we went I shared my piece with Isaac and he ate almost all of it, so this time she insisted on buying him his own.  And sure enough, he ate almost every bite!

But we actually did do a lot more than just eat all weekend long.  Carly had never been to a Major League Baseball game and wanted to go, so on Friday night we took her to an Angel's game.  Janelle was so nice to stay home with Luke.  It would have been impossible to bring him to the game.  He is just not the type of baby that will sit on your lap for 3 hours.  We'd be lucky if he sat for 3 minutes.

Anyway, Charlie, Isaac, Carly & I went to see the Angel's vs. the Braves.  It was a great game!  The Angel's had several home runs (which they set off fireworks for each time) and won the game.  It was also Big Bang Friday so there was a really fantastic firework show at the end of the night.  We all had a lot of fun.

We also made a couple of trips to the beach.  Charlie found a gorgeous little cove called Crescent Bay down in Laguna Beach.  We got there early both mornings, so we had free parking on the street and a nearly empty beach (until the junior life guard camp showed up on Monday morning).

The rocks on the south side of the bay are full of tide pools and home to all kinds of little sea creatures.  There was a guy at the pools feeding the crabs and he showed Isaac how to do it.  The rocks closest to the water were covered in muscles, and by crushing their shells you could harvest plenty of crab food.  I was thankful that Aunt Carly took the job of muscle smashing.

This was really pretty cool.  At first glance you might not notice the crabs hiding in the rocks because their shells easily camouflage with the dark rocks.  The pools are lined with sea anemone and then there are a bunch of tiny little fish hiding in there too.  When you look closely, and toss in some muscle meat you can see all of them come to life.

The crabs would do their signature sideways crawl over to the chunks of shell, grab them with their claws and then sneak back into their hiding spots.  We saw a few crabs sneak over and steal the muscle shells away from other crabs.  And if a tossed piece happened to land on one of the anemones, they'd come to life and suck it right in.  It was fascinating to watch.

Luke got to have his share of fun at the beach too.  He was content to sit and play in the sand for a long while, but eventually he was ready to go check out the ocean.  And he loved it!  It was a cloudy morning and the water was chilly, but Luke was undeterred.  He loved wading into the surf and watching as the waves rolled in and splashed all around him.  When the water got too high I'd lift him up and swing his little legs up in the air while he giggled and squealed in delight.

When I eventually set him down back up on the dry sand, he took off in a sprinting crawl back towards the ocean.  I was a little surprised because Isaac has always been timid around the ocean.  Apparently Luke does not share that same hesitation.

Isaac wasn't interested in playing in the water, but he had a great time up on the sand.  He loved having Aunt Carly to play with.  They found a starfish, and dug tunnels and giant holes in the sand.

It was such a fun weekend!  We also did lots of shopping, went on evening walks around the lake, and had fun sitting around and talking.  Isaac was so sad when it was time for them to leave.  All the way to the airport he kept begging them to stay, and then cried half the way home.  Hopefully we'll be seeing them again soon!

This picture is super blurry, but it was the only one I got of all six of us together
As an added bonus that weekend, we also had some friends come over to visit.  Paul, Amy & Clara were in town to go to Disneyland and they stopped by for Sunday morning breakfast before they had to drive back home.  It was fun to chat and catch up and to watch the babies play together.  Clara is just a few weeks older than Luke and it was cute to watch them interact.