Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring is here!

The weather is generally nice here year around, but it can be chilly for a week or two at a time in the winter. That being said, the weather has been fantastic here lately. Like 70ish and sunny with scattered clouds, every day. I'm not complaining. I love this kind of weather and wish that Louisiana would follow suit. I can't tell you how many March days I've suffered through in my lifetime, so let's not even discuss July. Ick. I think I deserve San Diego (as does anyone who has ever spend a summer in the deep south), so I'm unapologetic to all of my friends back home who will be suffering through another humid summer soon. Sorry pals, I'll be glad to host you when you visit. :)

We are starting to have more flowers blooming and more creatures out and about. The bunnies are out in full force again in the back yard. Gray and Fletch have an equal amount of interest. Gray likes to say 'Bunny!' and Fletch likes to chase them out of the yard. At which time Gray will say 'Gone. Gone.' in his saddest voice. When we moved in baby bunnies where everywhere, so I'm waiting on another baby bunny explosion any time. They are so cute so I don't mind them munching on our grass, plus Gray thinks they are fantastic.  
Back yard bunny viewing. Fletch hopped up to get a view too. 
One of our backyard bunnies.
We have been spending more time outside too. Gray is getting old enough that he no longer eats everything he can pick up, so we are starting to trust him a little more. He loves to take his rocket outside and run around on the tiles pushing it. It must be one of the more entertaining things to do because he literally does it every time we go outside. He also enjoys picking flowers and smelling them. We can't figure out where he learned it, but it's precious. 
Stopping to smell the flowers.
With all of the good, the bad comes too. The Marine Corps changes from the woodland camies/flight suits to the desert camies/flight suits. That means I won't be seeing this beauty (uniform pictured below) until next year. I am totally in love with the woodland camies because they are way cuter (which should hold some weight with the USMC but apparently it doesn't) plus the desert flight suits are a nightmare to keep clean. I mean, who wears tan and rolls around in grease all day? Maybe they aren't rolling in it, but the helicopters leak hydraulic fluid not to mention pilots crawl all over the 'bird' (including over and under) to pre-flight the helicopter before every flight. 

Oh the woes of laundry! Such is life. 

Let me add that the desert camies aren't as hard to keep clean as the flight suit, but Josh never wears camies (like the picture below) unless he has duty or some form of meeting. He pretty much wears a flight suit every day. The end.
The last of the woodland camies until next year.
After lunch with Dada at the O-Club. 
Welcome Spring! I've missed you!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Gray's 1st Circus!

I heard about a circus on base a few weeks ago, so I excitedly asked Josh to pick up some tickets and make sure he didn't get duty that day! Once the big day arrived, Gray and I drove down to Miramar and met Josh outside the tent. I had never been to a circus in a 'big top' so I was pretty excited about getting in and letting Gray experience the circus. Once we walked in, we knew we had spend more money on these tickets than we should have and I almost regretted taking Gray to this shady circus as his first experience. 

Nevertheless, we were there. We had the tickets in hand. We were going in. 

There was one ring in the center and the only animals were dogs and ponies. The concession stand people also happened to be the talent. It wasn't looking good. The show started and Gray was in love. Near the end of the show, a magician (who was also the ringmaster) came out with a live bunny. Gray has come to love our backyard bunnies (and says 'gone gone' when they hop out of the yard), so he was devastated when the bunny disappeared. We thought we were going to have to leave before the circus was over, because he actually cried about it. He composed himself and we were there until the end. We got him a balloon, so Gray has never been happier. Overall Gray thought it was one of the best days of 2011!
About to enter the big top!
Waiting on the show to begin. 
You are impressed. Aren't you?
Gray got this balloon at intermission.
He proceeded to look through it at everything until the bunny came out. 
Very interested in the bunny trick.




The circus was in no way comparable to the Shriner's Circus in Monroe, LA. I grew up going to that circus, because my Dad was a Shriner. His club ran the cotton candy booth. I can't tell you how many times we (as a family) went home covered in pink cotton candy remnant, from the top of Dad's hat to the bottom of Mom's heels. It was great fun for all of us and I can assure you that the Thomas family all slept well that entire weekend (we would help with every show from Friday evening to Sunday evening)!  

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wild Animal Park

Last week I took Gray to the Wild Animal Park with a friend and her kiddos. I highly recommend the park to everyone who is into that kind of thing. The Wild Animal Park is considerably more fantastic than the zoo because there are way fewer people, it's more shady therefore it's cooler in the summer, less hilly (which is not as much fun as you may think with a stroller), and closer to my house therefore I don't have to deal with the traffic that comes with being so close to downtown. Gray and I both give it an A+. 
This guy was huge and apparently weighs between 3-4 pounds. 
Checking out the ducks.


Gray is trying to share his paci with this bird. 
This kid loves to drive. 
Seriously. He loves to drive. 
Macaws in the aviary show. 
I love it when he sits on the car.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tourist.

We have done a lot of San Diego sightseeing in the last several months. Katie (a friend), Gray, and I went down to Old Town San Diego a month or so ago. I think it could be a great place for kids to learn tons of info about the people living during the early days of San Diego. We went a little too late in the afternoon to see everything, but it was a neat place. I may need to return to see a few more things. 
Old Town San Diego
One Saturday several weeks ago, we went to the Poway Farmer's Market. It was pretty fantastic. I'd heard from a friend that there was a train just across the street from the market. We had to take Gray and let him ride it since he loves trains. He was pretty pumped once he saw the train. The train was small, so we had to wait in line for a few minutes while one group of people rode before us. Gray did not enjoy it when the train left the station without him. He proceeded to throw a huge fit (with real tears). It was pretty comical. When he finally got on the train, he said 'choo choo' and did the arm motion over and over. It was adorable. Does he have to grow up? 
Poway Farmer's Market
We also drove up to Mt. Soledad while trying to find a random restaurant. The map on the iPhone tends to make decisions for you by saying "You don't really want to go there. Do you? Let me suggest this place."It generally makes me really angry because I'm way off course by the time I realize the iPhone is leading me astray, but in this case the memorial was so close to where we were it was easy to talk Josh into a detour. The view from Mt. Soledad is AMAZING and memorial was pretty impressive. Afterward, I navigated us to the original destination without the help of the iPhone.  

This memorial has been in the national headlines recently, because some people don't like that a religious symbol is on public land. This cross has been the center of litigation for over 20 years. That seems to be a lot of wasted money on both sides, but no one asked me. If it finally comes to removing the cross/memorial, I wanted to see it in person before that time arrives. I like it and hope it stays because it really is an amazing memorial.  
Mt. Soledad Memorial
A better view of the whole memorial borrowed from Google images.
There are tons of plaques with veteran's photos and information  all around the base of the memorial. 
Last weekend Josh's squadron received a 96 (or a 4 day weekend in civilian terms) as a reward of sorts for having no alcohol incidents for a certain period of time (about 3-4 months). During the last 96 the squadron received, Josh and I were on a boat headed for Mexico. We thought we should spend this one exploring California. 

We originally planned to head north to San Francisco, but after checking the schedule the plans changed. Josh had been scheduled for a huge flight the day he went back to work. Due to the amount of time he would need to study and flight plan, we cancelled the San Fran idea and planned to spend the weekend together at home. We drove down to Coronado to eat lunch at the Hotel Del, walk along the beach, and do some window shopping. The hotel is iconic in San Diego and we both thought we needed to have brunch/lunch down there before we moved on to the next place. The food was good (we had the worst waitress on the planet) and the weather was beautiful. 

Turns out, Josh had an emergency situation crop up within the squadron over the weekend, so we would have probably been cutting our trip short and coming home if we had gone to San Francisco anyway. I guess things really do happen for a reason. 
Hotel Del Coronado
Gray and Dada enjoying the "island."
Coronado Island with Point Loma in the background.
I finally finished looking through the 101 Things To Do In San Diego magazine I picked up a few months ago, and now I have a new list of must-do things in San Diego. I included a deep sea fishing trip, Legoland, a day at the Del Mar horse races (we missed them last season), Anza Borrego Desert, several local missions, the Bernardo Winery and Orfila Vineyards, a harbor tour, the California Surf Museum, Catilina Island, and at least one summer concert on the list.  Maybe we can do all of that plus see the rest of the museums at Balboa Park and drive to Northern California for some more sightseeing.  

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Birthday Party!

I've been frantically planning Gray's 2nd birthday party and I realized yesterday the big day is less than two weeks away!

I still need to:
-buy cups
-find table cloths
-pick up a few extra favors
-make Gray's party shirt
-buy favor bags and put them together
-search for some bits and pieces for the decorations
-finish the birthday banner (95% completed, but I ran out of binding)
-put Gray's gift together (this may be something Josh wants to tackle)
-get the food/cake (the only thing that will wait til last minute)

Yikes. I have a lot to do before this party!