23 hours at the beach

My friend and coworker Deborah and her family went on vacation to the same resort Kiki and I took the boys to, two and four years ago. So I said I’d drive up for the night with the boys and hang out.

I got a free hotel room using rewards points, and Saturday morning, Oliver, Miles, and I hit the road. (Linus didn’t want to be in a car for that long, so he got plenty of quality time with Daddy and Ziggy.)

We got there in the early afternoon and swam and floated and ate and drank and swam some more until the evening, when the boys and I drove five minutes down the road to our hotel. We snuggled in bed and watched House Hunters Renovations and all konked out after our busy day. We hit the beach on Sunday morning, and spent a little more time in the pools, and then it was time to go home.

A short trip, but a really nice one! Next year, we definitely need to go longer!

I understand Linus wanting to stay home, but I wish he’d come. I’m in love with these pictures of Oliver and Miles. 😍 Really wish I had one of my green-haired boy!

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And some more random pics taken with my phone:

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California wrap up

I have let so much time pass, and I haven’t finished blogging about our trip to Los Angeles, so I’m just going to drop a bunch of pics in here and consider it done.

Flying there, In n Out, visit to Uncle Evan and Aunt Jennifer’s office, monthly pic (with Ellie.)

Train to the beach! Santa Monica Pier, Ferris Wheel, playing in the water.

Dave & Busters, Oliver hits the jackpot, everyone gets stuffed animals, I got a Pikachu! Trip to the park Evan and Jennifer designed.

Only one kid wanted their picture taken. Guess who?

UNIVERSAL! HARRY POTTER WORLD! SO FUN! Even with a 2 hour wait in line for the HP ride. Butterbeer. Minions. Simpsons. Donuts. Good times.

Last day, boo! Lunch at Pink’s with my friend Robyn. Trip to the Grove for ice cream and a trolley ride. More cousin time, then back on the plane to go home on the redeye.

And finally, the traditional “Uncle Evan with Ellie and the boys.” See the others here.

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First day of 3rd grade!

Here we go again.

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And in case you were wondering, they weren’t making the WordPress “w” with their fingers, but a 3 for third grade. Not sure why they didn’t want to use three fingers on one hand, but whatever. Cute.

And for funsies, the first day at their school, five years ago…

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They’ve grown a teensy bit since then. (Look at the window, to compare.)

Relatedly, I wrote this post the other day for the New Orleans Moms Blog.

The flooding in Baton Rouge

It’s hard to happily blog about stuff like our vacation and the first day of school, just ignoring the fact that 90 miles away, the world is upside down. It’s surreal and heartbreaking and too much like Katrina, minus the news coverage.

My family (as far as I know) has escaped flooding. But I’m seeing reports of friends with multiple feet of water in their house. Gutting up to the water line, fast, to avoid mold. Just like after Katrina. (At least this time people can get sooner, so their homes aren’t sitting in the wet heat, untouched.)

It’s bizarre to see the areas I’m so familiar with under water. O’Neal Lane. Denham Springs. Sherwood Forest Blvd.

I am at a loss as how to help. The options are overwhelming, and I’m not sure if we should just donate money or go buy diapers and formula or take a day off work to go to Baton Rouge and help a friend gut a house or what? All of the above? There are plenty of resources listed here, so I’ll figure something out.

In the meantime, to show how bad it really is, some photos and videos from social media…

Lovely, if hazy view of Los Angeles

Back! (with more mountain pics)

I can’t believe it’s been ten days since I last posted. It’s been an extremely busy ten days, so I’m going to start trying to catch up with posts about our trip to Los Angeles (which was fantastic.)

First up, pics from our hike from the Griffith Observatory to get a good view of the Hollywood Sign, which the boys were fascinated by (mostly because of the sheer size of it.)

We went about a mile out (and then back), and I was impressed by how much the boys enjoyed it (and how little they complained.) We got pretty high up, and the nervous mom in me was freaking out only slightly. (Can’t you tell by the look on my face in this pic?)

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The boys and I are in Los Angeles, visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and niece. We’re all loving the mild weather, and I love that Ellie made another appearance in the monthly pics.

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I really wanted to use one of the pictures I took against the hedge wall they have alongside the driveway, but this is the kind of tomfoolery I had to deal with.

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So. Sitting on the front porch, it is.