Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic fever

Do you have Olympic fever??

I sure do!
Especially since it is in MY city. And most of it happening in my part of town! Right outside my window! Literally!

The Olympics certainly has intensified my readiness to go back to London. Especially to be reunited with my hubby. Thank goodness for FaceTime. The girls for sure have been counting down the days to London as well.

To be honest, at first I didn't really care for the Olympics. I wasn't going to any of the events and the planning and preparing for the games was causing disruptions all through out London. I just couldn't imagine what it was going to do to London during the games! Tim and I were trying to find a way to be gone during those weeks but it never came through. Now I'm glad we will be around for it all.

Absence does make the heart grow fonder. Oddly enough, watching the famous London sights on TV from the U.S. has extracted out feelings I only heard I would have upon moving back to the states. I'm sure going to miss London...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Steamboat Springs

3 out of 4 of Tim's sisters have semi recently all moved to Colorado. Because of that, last year my in-laws stayed a week with the whole family at Steamboat Springs for the first time in addition to the week of the beach house. We were really sad again to miss this trip too last summer. Luckily, they decided to do it again this year which is another reason why I stayed behind with the girls.

From LA to Denver we go!

Another plane ride for us, and a few hours in the car to our destination. (I wonder how many flights my kids have already been on in their short little lifetime. I'd be curious on the insane amount!) Our villas in Steamboat had a small rocky waterfall which occupied all the grandkids first thing and every night after that. Kids can throw rocks for hours. Chess was another game that entertained the grandkids in the hotel game room. Who knew? Marisa learned from her cousin Weston how to play while in the car and now she is hooked.

I know I exaggerate and joke a lot about me hating nature, but it was really beautiful scenery around us. Green mountains, vast plains, and full rainbows graced my eyes everyday. I like nature from a far.

Although animals are a different story. Natalie didn't fancy the horses either as she said to me, "Those horses are really stinky."

One of the days we went into town to walk around the small, yet cute, little streets of Steamboat. Very American, Wild West town.

Marisa could not contain herself when we walked into F.M. Light & Sons, the famous store in Steamboat Springs. At least 30 signs from Denver to Steamboat suggest drivers to come visit. So we gotta right!? Marisa did not hesitate to try on pink boots, a pink horse, a pink gun, and a pink hat. I couldn't stop her! We just kept laughing and I took this picture of her all properly decked out.

Made in the U.S.A.

Alpine sliding was definitely on the agenda for us. The girls have never been on one and I couldn't wait to see and hear their reactions. Of course, Marisa was a little nervous and scared and Natalie was all smiles. But once we got going, Marisa, who was with me, was squealing with delight the entire time! We went fast the whole way. Natalie went full speed with Grandma next to us. It was so fun the girls wanted to go again. So we did!

Another day we spent most of the day at Steamboat Lake State Park. Sun, water, sand/dirt, toys...what us Harts do best! What's nice about having so many cousins is that there is more than one cousin your age. Here is the almost, or just barely, 3 year old group.

And even though you have cousins your age, they all play well together. The girls love their oldest cousin Haylie and Haylie is so awesome with them. Such a sweet young lady. I want my girls to grow up to be like her. Marisa sure cried when it came time to say good-bye to her. We sure miss living next to her and her family back in OC.

This picture cracks me up. Almost a minute after taking this picture she yells out, "MOM! CAN I HAVE A BAG OF CHEETOS?" hahaha She wanted to eat cheetos while she lazily relaxed, floating on the raft. "SURE THING, SWEETHEART!"

Hiking is not in my blood, but it is on my husband's side. I gladly stayed behind with my MIL and 7 of the youngest grandkids while the rest of the group hiked one morning. We met up with them a few hours later at the top via gondola ride. My kinda hiking.

I thought this picture was funny. It sums up our growing family and family vacations together.
Grandpa with how many grandkids in a hot tub?? There is your ambiance, Grandpa!

During our 2nd week in Denver we spent it hopping from one sister-in-law's house to another. Thanks Kari, Carin, and Janna for letting us crash at your homes and showing us around CO. The girls and I loved it!

{Wayne, Elaine, Matt, Kari, Haylie, Cade, Weston, Tanner, Ryder, Trent, Carin, Abby, Brynn, Leah, Shea, Lilly, Luke, Janna, Stone, Rusty, Van, Sawyer, Tanya, Marisa, and Natalie. (Missing: Tim, Mike, and Sara) And there are two more babies on the way!}

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

16 1/2 weeks

I'm in trouble. This is the biggest I have ever been at this stage in any of my pregnancies!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

a first

I guess there is a first for everything.
Earlier yesterday as I was sitting on the porch watching the girls jump on the trampoline I was thinking to myself that I really hope we don't have any injuries that require hospitalization while we are in the U.S. We obviously have travel insurance, but I just didn't want to complicate my life with insurance issues overseas and with my hubby back in London already, etc. etc.

Not even an hour later as I was giving the girls a bath, it happens. Marisa slips in the tub and hits her chin causing yes, the very thing I was trying to avoid, an open gash which needed stitches.

I felt like the worst. mother. in the world. I know, I know, it wasn't my fault. It wasn't even her fault. Accidents happen. But I just kept thinking to myself, "Her face! Her beautiful little face is going to be scarred!"

Poor little thing was such a trooper during a 2 hour wait in urgent care, plus the pain of a needle, getting 4 stitches, waiting for her medication at the pharmacy and finally going to bed close to midnight. Not how I envisioned our Monday night.

Marisa was scared and cried a lot during the numbing because of the big needle, but she honestly was so brave and I'm so proud of her. Luckily the scar will be right under her chin and most likely not going to be noticeable. I'm sorry baby girl. I love you.

Monday, July 9, 2012

18th Annual Hart Beach House

We hated that we missed out on the beach house last year. It is a definite highlight of every summer. We didn't want to repeat our disappointment this year so we headed back all the way to sunny California! (Although we did bring a little bit of London weather with us, boo.) The only difference was the rain.

The girls were fantastic the entire travel time. Such tiny troopers. They were pretty darn exhausted upon arrival but we couldn't go to bed until we ate dinner.  Our first American meal upon entering the beach house - Macaroni and Cheese. And it was good.

The girls adjusted a lot more quickly to the major time zone change this time around compared to us arriving to London from the states a little over a year ago. We did have a 3:30 am cereal eating party in our bedroom the first night though.
I was expecting to experience a little more reverse culture shock than I did but I guess the major shock comes upon actually moving back??

Here are a few things that "shocked" me:
-When I heard Spanish it was with a Mexican accent not a Spanish one.
-Every one is SO happy.
-Refills and large portions at restaurants.
-People in OC really are SO good looking.

It was fun to reintroduce and introduce the girls to American food. Most of the reintroducing was for Marisa and most of the introducing was for Natalie. I would always say to them, "Welcome to America" after every introduction.

(And I must add that it felt so great to be in the U.S. for the 4th of July. I couldn't be any more proud than I am at this moment to be an American.)

This was by far the easiest beach house year for us so far. Both our girls were old enough to need very little attention. They busily and happily played from the second they woke up to the second they zonked out at night. It was nice to be reunited with our natural environment again. Beach, sun, and sunscreen. (I love the smell of sunscreen.) Marisa stayed true to her water bug self and Natalie was my little sand crab most of the time.

Early morning breakfast at Seaside Donuts with Grandpa every single morning for a week is one of the many beach house traditions. My girls would rush out of bed, quickly put on sandals, and run out along with the other grandkids to find Grandpa and walk to the shop. What a fun childhood memory!
Oh yeah, and I mustn't forget the 2 pm snow cone run every afternoon with Grandpa too!

Natalie never falls asleep just anywhere, no matter how tired she is. Her personality just won't let her miss out on anything. Life is too exciting! Jet-lag is a different story...

One of the most popular games we play on the beach would be baseball. The whole family...

With this pregnancy I have had major American food cravings and Ruby's was one of them. Luckily, probably twice during beach house week we eat at Ruby's for breakfast. Dee-lish. Huevos Rancheros for me and silver dollar pancakes for the girls!  The mile walk along the beach to Balboa Pier is worth the end result.

Another major craving is the Crab Cooker. Need I say more? Salt water taffy for the hubs and girls while we wait!

Natalie instantly became a Cheetos addict on first taste. All she needed was her pink chair and a bag of cheetos in hand. I don't blame her. They are my fav too.

Tim could only stay in America for one week and off he left already back to London. We are here for a few more weeks of family fun time which is what I wanted for the girls. Lots of cousin time. Being away from family for so long sucks...


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