Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Remember your room's Star Wars poster?

When we lived at the green house in Lancaster, Calif. your room was decorated with Star Wars stuff, such as the bedspread and posters. One poster that hung over your bed was a collage of famous characters and scenes from the fourth through the sixth Star Wars movies.

Sometimes I'd tease you about the characters saying "Oh look, you have a Sesame Street poster!" Then pointing to Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, I'd say "There's Ernie and Bert!" Then pointing at another character, I'd go "And there's Cookie Monster!"

At first you'd take me seriously and go, "No, no, that's not Sesame Street, it's Star Wars." Eventually you caught on that I was just foolingwith  you and would get exasperated. So then I'd stop.

At upper right is a picture of the poster. I may still have it, actually, in a tote of your stuff.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Your visit to the state of Colorado

Ridgeline, east of Vail Pass, Colorado.
Another state that you've been to is Colorado!

You were there at least two times, in September and October 2008. The first time we drove I-76 from Nebraska to I-70 into Utah. The second time we did it in reverse but at night!

Mountains cover much of Colorado, and the September trip was the first time you had have seen any so tall. When we passed by them, you'd stare out the window and point at them for me to see!

One place we stopped both times was a wayside on I-70 near Vail. The first time, you got to ramble around it, but the second time there was snow on the ground, and the temp was only a degree above zero, so you stayed in the SUV while I quick got snacks for us!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Our visit on July 26, 2013

I just wanted to let you know, Kieran, that I had a great time with you on Friday!

I am so glad that you enjoyed making cookies! Did you know that you left on Friday with flour on your cheek and frosting on your mouth? I shall have to find something new for us to bake together in a future get-together. Maybe I will bring chocolate chip cookies next time!

The light saber battle was great, too, just like old times except you are an even better fighter! Next time Darth Malevolent will defeat Jedi Zac!

I also had a great time playing with the Army men. I was sorry to hear that some of your older ones were stepped on and broken. I shall have to bring some more Army men from another set in an upcoming get-together.

Here are some pictures from our visit!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Our adventure in Lake Arrowhead

On a playground at Lake Arrowhead.
Three years today we drove up to Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains in California. The area is a big resort community where a lot of people go to escape the heat during the hot California summers.

When we first arrived, we went to a famous observatory that sits at top and edge of a mountain. After that, we drove into Lake Arrowhead and walked around the village.

In the village, you fed ducks in the lake. Then we found a playground and some kiddie carnival rides in the park. Then we spent some time a toy and book store where you got a sticker book about the DC comic superheroes.

We wrapped up the day at a 1950s-style cafe with hamburgers, fries and a chocolate malt!

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our trip!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

My email to you for July 27, 2013

Here is my email to you for Saturday, July 27, 2013, in case you do not receive it.

Hi Kieran,

How are you doing today? I sure had fun with you on Friday! I’ll write more about our time together in an upcoming letter.

What have you been doing for fun this summer (Besides getting together with your dad J)? I would love to hear about your bicycle riding, friends that you’re spending time with, and summer school. Unfortunately, I have not received an email from you in two weeks. Perhaps you could have your mother resend those emails to me.

Have you seen the Lone Ranger movie yet? I haven’t seen it, so if you have, don’t tell me what happens! But it is on my list of movies to see this summer. With all of the fun adventures we went on as pretending to be Sheriff Jack, the Deputy and the Lone Ranger, I am certain I will be thinking of you the entire time I’m watching it.

Speaking of movies, did you know that three new “Star Wars” movies are going to be made? The next one – “Star Wars VII” – is supposed to come out in 2015, just two years from now. The actors and actresses who played Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Chewbacca are supposed to be in the new movie. It should be a lot of fun to watch!

Did you know that you actually can see the desert city where “Star Wars” was filmed? It was built many years ago in Tunisia, a country in northern Africa. Many people travel there every year to walk through it. Unfortunately, it one day may be buried by an advancing sand dune, scientists say!

Monday is Grandma Bignell’s birthday. We are having a big birthday celebration with cake and presents. Your cousins Bryan and Rebekah and your Uncle Chris and Aunt Susie all will be there. We wish you were allowed to be there, too. In fact, I think I know what Grandma Bignell’s wish will be when she blows out her birthday candles.

With the arrival of the month of August, school will soon start. You must be very excited about entering first grade! When is your first day? Do you know yet who your teacher will be? What kind of school supplies will you need (Maybe the list for those supplies hasn’t come out yet, though!)? Getting school supplies and new school clothes always was one of my favorite things about the month of August while I was growing up.

Well, that is all for now. I miss and love you more than anything in the world and can’t wait to see you again in just two weeks, on Friday, Aug. 9. Be a good boy, and I will write again next Saturday!



Friday, July 26, 2013

Remember reading 'Hi! Fly Guy'?

Your cousin Rebekah this week got from the library a great book that instantly made me think of you - mainly because we'd read it together long ago!

The book was called "Hi! Fly Guy," by Tedd Arnold. It's about a boy who wants a pet - but the animal he can catch is a fly! The stories tell about the adventures of the boy and the fly, usually as the boy tries to pass off the fly as his pet!

We checked out the book from the Lancaster library in Lancaster, Calif. Are there other books from the library that you remember us reading together?

Maybe you can find the book again at your local library and read it on your own!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Your visits to the state of Utah

At a wayside along I-15 in southern Utah.
Another state you've been to a couple of times is Utah. You were there twice, in September and October 2008. Both times we traveled on I-70 between the Colorado border and Cove Fort and then on I-15 between the Arizona border and Cove Fort.

The first time, we drove west in the early evening from the Colorado border. We stayed overnight in Green River, and I bought you a cool dinosaur shirt that was a little too big, but when older you wore it lots of times.

The second time, we drove east from the Arizona border. The day grew very cold as night approached and climbed into the mountains. We stopped at an Arby's near Cedar City for dinner then drove through the night into Colorado.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Remember peakbagging Throop Peak?

Pointing at the highest point
of Mount Throop.
Three years ago today, we peakbagged Throop Peak in the Angeles National Forest, California. Mount Throop peaks out at 9,138 feet, and it was our highest peak to date!

I hauled you up the mountain on my back in the child carrier. The trail was about two miles long one way, and when I'd stop to make sure I didn't lose my breath (There's less oxygen at that high of an elevation.), you'd tap me on the shoulder and say, "Go, Dad - Why are you stopping?" :)

When we neared the peak, you asked to be let out of the carrier, and you walked the last 100 feet with me! We found a rock at the the top of the peak that had been painted by someone else who had peakbagged it.

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our adventure!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our visit to Disneyland two years ago

In the band at the House of the Future in Tomorrowland.
Two years ago today we went to Disneyland together! That summer, I was living in San Diego, so we often stopped in Disney along the way from Palmdale to Encinitas.

You participated in the Jedi Academy, and around this time that summer, we had memorized the three light saber moves: "To the left the right the head"!

We then went over to the House of the Future, where you played the drums in a band! That aftenroon, we spent a good amount of time playing at the Redwood Challenge Trail in California Adventure.

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our adventure!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Your trip to the state of New Mexico

El Malpais ranger station near Grants, N.M., March 2011.
Continuing with our pictures of states you've been to, today I'd like to write about New Mexico. You were there for two days in March 2011 when we drove on I-40 across the northern part of the state from the Arizona border to Santa Rosa, N.M.

Along the way, we stopped at a national parks visitor center near Grants, N.M. They had a prairie dog colony there that you really enjoyed watching.

We also took a side trip to Crownpoint, a Navajo Indian community, and walked through their elementary school! We also stopped a truck stop outside of Albuquerque and got an ice cream cone as well as silly rubber band strings shaped like musical instruments!

Here are a whole bunch of pictures from your trip to New Mexico.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Your trips to the state of Arizona

A few days ago I wrote about the times you'd been to Oregon. I've decided to continue writing about the states you've been to with a look today at Arizona!

You were to Arizona three or four times. When about 18 months old, in September 2008, we drove through a corner of the state on the way from Las Vegas to Santa Clarita, Calif. We repeated that about month later but in reverse.

Then in March 2011, you and I drove across the northern part of the state on I-40 a couple of times over four days. We stayed both times in Flagstaff, Ariz. Along the way, we stopped at some Indian traders, where you discovered cloth handmade Navajo dolls. We got four of them, and you pretended they were they Beatles!

The picture above shows us at a fake teepee at a roadside stand near Winslow, Ariz., in late March 2011.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My email for week of July 14-20, 2013

Here is my letter to you for July 20, 2013, in case you do not receive it.

Hi Kieran,

How are you doing? I am doing fine, though I miss you very much! I did not receive your email this week – could resend it to me, please?

How has summer school been going? What kind of things are you studying? Have you finished learning about the presidents and which ones are on money? There are a lot of presidents to learn about, aren’t there?! In a previous email, I told you about my favorite president, Abraham Lincoln. Do you have a president that you like or admire more than the others?

What kind of stuff have you been doing for fun this summer? When I was a little boy your age, I lived on a farm near Elmwood, Wisconsin, and spent my summers playing outside. We had a big pile of sand that I could run my trucks and construction toys through all day long! I also liked to check out all of the animals on our farm, which were kept in different buildings. We had cows in the barn, two pigs in their own little shed, chickens in the chicken shack, and cats in our hay mow. Sometimes I also visited my best friend, Ronald, who lived next door. We thought it was amusing that both of our names started with the letters “Ro”!

Do you have plans to go to the State Fair later this summer? It doesn’t start for another month or so. It always is a lot of fun – there are carnival rides, farm animals, interesting displays, and lots of great fair food like cotton candy and corn dogs. I have not been to the State Fair in many years, and I hope you get to go since you live so close to it. The fair is held in St. Paul, and it’s much bigger than the Los Angeles County Fair that we used to go to in Pomona…you may not remember that fair, though, as the last time we went you were just three years old. Here are some pictures of it. 

Another great event in Minnesota held each summer is the Renaissance Festival. That is when people dress up like they live in the Middle Ages in England. People back then had castles, and there were knights! The festival also has lots of fun shows you can go to and neat costumes and toys you can buy. We went to a few Renaissance festivals when we lived in California; at one of them, you got a Robin Hood cap. At another one in San Diego, you dressed up in a knight costume! I hope you can go to the Renaissance Festival in Minnesota!

How is your baseball throwing and catching coming along? If you like, I will pick up a softball for us to toss to one another when we get together. The visitor center has a playground area outside that we can go to and safely throw the ball without worry about breaking windows. Just let me know!

We now get to see each other every other week, and we next get together on Friday, July 26 – that’s in just six days! I can hardly wait to see you again! I’ll bring the tote full of new stuff for us to do and with some of our old favorite standbys in it as well. Let me know in your next letter if there’s anything special toys or books that you would like me to bring.

Well, that is all for now. I love and miss you very much! I’ll see you on Friday!



Friday, July 19, 2013

Your many trips to Oregon

When we were last together putting together the U.S. puzzle map, I mentioned that you had been to Oregon a few times. You said you didn't remember going there. That's not surprising, as you were just a baby when  you went to Oregon!

I don't remember how many times you've been to Oregon, but it mainly was to Brookings for shopping trips as we lived in Crescent City, Calif., at the time. We also went a few times to Medford for shopping and the airport there; those trips took us through Grants Pass.

A couple of bigger trips we took to Oregon was to a kitchy place where fiberglass dinosaurs were dsiplayed in the forest and once to a safari camp where you could drive your car through an area with wild animals like lions and bears!

I've included a picture here of me holding you at an Oregon wayside along U.S. Hwy. 101 overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was taken in the evening during autumn 20007.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Remember our pear tree and flowers?

Pear tree, July 2010
Do you remember all of the great plants we had at the green house in Lancaster? They come to mind this morning because about this time each year the fruit on our pear tree (see photo at right) would ripen.

We never ate the fruit because that would require a lot of special care of the trees to ensure they were edible. I just liked seeing the fruits on them and the annual spring blossoms that smelled so wonderful!

We also had an apple tree in our backyard and lots of flowers (including a gigantic rose bush) in front of the house and along our backyard wall.

Here's a whole bunch of pictures of plants that blossomed during July at the green house!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The hospital where you were born

I've been going through some old photographs and came across one of the hospital where you were born! You were born at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, Calif., a minute before midnight on Feb. 23, 2007.

We lived in Crescent City, Calif., at the time with Eureka about 80 miles to the south along the coastal highway (U.S. Hwy. 101). The delivery section of the hospital was on the first floor.

There was an earthquake a few hours after you were born. It was very small, only 4.4 or so on the Richter scale, and while not doing any damage, it still rattled the walls! You slept through it!

The morning after you were born, I bought a really cool blue wrap-around for swaddling you. It had a spaceship on it!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

'Tough Little Boys' lyrics

Heard a song this morning for which I had to share the lyrics with you. It's called "Tough Little Boys" (by country music star Gary Allen) and expresses all of the feelings I have as a father for you. The song is addressed to the singer's daughter, but it's the sentiments and feelings of the song rather than the actual words that really matter the most. I love you, Kieran!

"Tough Little Boys"

 Well I never once
 Backed down from a punch
 Well I'd take it square on the chin
 Well I found out fast
 A bully's just that
 You've got to stand up to him
 So I didn't cry when I got a black eye
 As bad as it hurt, I just grinned
 But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
 They turn into big babies again.

Scared me to death
When you took your first steps
And I'd fall everytime you fell down
Your first day of school, I cried like a fool
And I followed your school bus to town
Well I didn't cry, when Old Yeller died
At least not in front of my friends
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again

Well I'm a grown man
And as strong as I am
Sometimes its hard to believe
That one little girl, with little blonde curls
Could totally terrify me
If you were to ask
My wife would just laugh
She'd say "I know all about men
How when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again"

Well I know one day, I'll give you away
And I'm gonna stand there and smile
And when I get home, and I'm all alone
Well, I'll sit in your room for a while
Well I didn't cry when Old Yeller died
At least not in front of my friends
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again
When tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again.

Monday, July 15, 2013

I found 'Star Trek:TAS' comic books!

I'm so very excited, Kieran - I found some neat "Star Trek" comic books that are written just for boys your age. They are based on the "Star Trek" characters as shown in the "Star Trek" cartoons (also known as "Star Trek: The Animated Series")!

One of them is a version of "Yesteryear," the spiode in which Mr. Spock is shown as a little boy who's 7 years old! That was probably your favorite "Star Trek" cartoon episode when you were a preschooler.

I shall read through the other comic books - which are all posted online - to see which ones you might like best. Then I will have to print them out and bind somehow into a folder for you!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Your love of great water fountains

June 26, 2009, in Ojai, Calif.
It seems that wherever I go, something there reminds me of you! Yesterday I was at a concert where there were water fountains - and lots of kids were playing in them just like you used to do!

While you found any water fountain fun to slash in when a toddler and a preschooler, two of them come to mind.

One was in Ojai, Calif., behind the arcade area. The fountain had a flower pattern in the middle of it and the water came right up to the lip, where it flowed over into a basin below.

The other was in Downtown Disneyland. The fountain was shaped like a flower petal and shot water upward like a geyser. You always wanted me to take you over to it so you watch it!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My email to you for week of July 6-13

Here is my email to you for the week of July 6-13, 2013, in case you do not receive it:

Hi Kieran,

How are you today? Hope you are doing well. I had so much fun with you yesterday! I’ve also attached the photos of our time together as I promised.

I am so glad you liked the “Star Trek” guys and the Enterprise. Having them take the pod to an alien planet and explore it, just like we used to play, was a good time. There are other “Star Trek” pod characters we can get, so I will look for them in stores and bring some along the next time we get together.

Putting together and playing with the Lone Ranger Legos was fun, too. There are a whole bunch of Lone Ranger Lego sets, so I will look for them as well. We have to find one with Tonto, the Lone Ranger’s faithful companion. I sure hope you get to see the movie soon.

You have really gotten fast – Catching you was really difficult when we played football! I am so proud of you that you working on your baseball and soccer skills and getting better at them. When you were younger, we had a T-ball set, and you were very good at hitting the ball. You had very strong arms and could hit the ball a long ways! You also could throw a great spiral with the football. Always focus on and master the fundamentals, and you’ll do really well playing any game.

You’ve also are really learning the states! I was amazed at how many of them you remembered when we put together the puzzle. Would you also like to learn where the countries of the world are, since you asked about Greece? I shall have to find a world map puzzle for us.

The air rockets that you shot off at school sound like a great class project. How high did your air rocket go? I once had a model rocket that looked like the Enterprise from “Star Trek.” It went about 40 feet in the air. When you are older, we will have to shoot off some model rockets at Grandpa and Grandma Bignell’s farm.

The “Snackin’ Safari” game with the elephant springs sure was neat, wasn’t it? Getting the food cards to stick to the suction cup is difficult to do, isn’t it? I think the game might better if the elephant trunk and the cars had magnets on them instead, don’t you?

Have you tried on the new shirt yet? It’s pretty cool how it says “California Lifeguards Association” on it! Since the Long Beach T-shirt I got you was a little big, this time I got you one that was a size smaller – I hope it fits!

Hopefully the Pokémon cards also will help your set that you have. I’m afraid I don’t much about Pokémon – maybe you can explain more about it to me next time!

Well, that is all for now. We next get together on Friday, July 26, and I can’t wait to see you! I love you and miss you very much; I think about you every day!



Friday, July 12, 2013

We now get to visit every other week!

I am very excited about visiting with you today, Kieran! Beginning today, we get to see one another every other Friday!

I will bring some more "Star Trek" characters as you asked for last time, as well as some of our older toys and games and books that we have. And of course I'll bring some surprises, too!

Grandma Bignell also plans to bake some stuff for you, too, though I'm not certain what she has planned.

I also will be sure to ask you what you interested in to help guide my future purchases for us when we get together in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Your love for 'Green Eggs and Ham'

One of the books you loved to have me read to you when you were a preschooler was "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss. You'd laugh with glee at the pictures and loved the rhymes - the latter so much that we'd sometimes repeat them to one another out of the blue.

I'd walk past you and say something, "I am Sam. Sam I am!" You'd get a big smile on your face and respond, "That Sam-I-Am, that Sam-I-Am, I do not like that Sam-I-Am!"

Or you might ask me if I liked something, and I'd say back, "I do not like them in a house. I do not like them with a mouse!"

The book got you interested in all kinds of other Dr. Seuss titles when you were five years old!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Happy birthday to Beatles' Ringo!

Beatles tribute band at Bugstock on March 25, 2012,
at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, Calif. 
Did you know that Sunday (July 7) was Ringo's birthday? He turned 73!

Ringo was you favorite Beatle when you were a preschooler. You always asked to hear his songs when we listened to Beatles CDs in the car or Jeep. "Boys" was one song you always had to hear!

One of the Sunday morning radio programs we used to listen to in the car when in San Diego did a special show about Ringo this weekend. It brought back lots of sweet memories of you!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Our trip to Disneyland two years ago today

On the teacups ride at Disneyland, July 9, 2011.
Two years today, we went to Disneyland together!

The day began as it usually did with our weekend visits that summer/autumn. I picked you up Saturday morning, we had breakfast ont he way at the Burger King in Little Rock, and then drove to Disneyland!

While at the park, we spent some time in Fantasyland, then you participated in the Jedi Academy. You also got to be the pirate helper during storytime at the House of the Future in Tomorrowland. They read "Peter Pan."

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our adventure!

Monday, July 8, 2013

You're on or in books in libraries!

Did you know that you can be found in a library?

Four of my books are now in Wisconsin libraries, and three of them mention you in some way! Two of my hiking books have your picture on the cover (and one of those have a while bunch of pictures of you in it). Another hiking book, as well as the two I just mentioned, are dedicated to you.

The books  (I boldfaced the ones that mention you) available for borrowing at west-central Wisconsin public libraries are:
>>“Headin’ to the Cabin: Day Hiking Trails of Northwest Wisconsin” – Frederic, Rice Lake, River Falls
>>“Hikes with Tykes: A Practical Guide to Day Hiking with Kids” – River Falls
>>“Hikes with Tykes: Games and Activities” – River Falls
>>“Windmill: A Novel” – River Falls

You can check out the books through interlibrary loan if it’s one of the 50-plus public libraries that are part of the MORE consortium in western Wisconsin. Here's a link to the library site!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Recall your Imaginext boat toy?

Do you remember your cool Imaginext ocean boat toy? We had lots of fun playing with that when you were a preschooler.

We'd clear off the glass-topped coffee table in the living room and pretend it was the surface of the ocean. Then we set a jungle playset you had at one end and have our boat sail toward it. Sometimes we used the ocean animals that came with the boat (and that we'd aquired elsewhere) and have them attack the boat!

The boat came with a cool submersible that we could put the crew in. We'd also use a boat from a Peter Pan set of toys you had and have our crew row it to the island.

There also were addditional guys who went with the boat that we bought.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

My letter to you for June 30-July 5, 2013

Here is my letter from July 6, 2013, just in case you do not receive it.

Hi Kieran,

How are you doing? I’m doing fine, though I miss you like crazy! I hope you’re having a good summer. It’s almost half over with – can you believe that?

Is summer school fun? When you last wrote, you mentioned you were learning about the presidents. Which president do you think is the best? One of my favorite presidents is Abraham Lincoln. He led the country during a war. But he is more famous for being honest. He always kept his word and promises. For example, one day he was running his store when he realized that he’d not given a customer all of her change, so he ran outside and gave it to her as she was walking away down the street. He could have kept the money, and the customer probably never would have known. But, as you know from school, one always should be honest. Do you know which bill Abraham Lincoln’s face is on?

How is your bicycle riding coming along? I bet you can ride it really well! Do you get to ride you bicycle in the park? I have a bicycle joke for you:

A man was standing on the street when a bicyclist collided with him, knocking him down.

“Boy, you’re really lucky,” the bicyclist said to the man.

“That really hurt!” said the man. “What do you mean I was lucky?”

“I usually drive a bus,” the bicyclist said.

Did you get to see the fireworks on the Fourth of July? I am going to see the fireworks tonight (Saturday) in Hudson. It is Booster Days here, and there is a big festival. The fireworks are held over Lake St. Croix. I wish you could be with me for the festival and fireworks.

Have you seen any movies this summer? I’ve been to “Star Trek” and “Man of Steel” (the Superman movie). I remember when you were three years old, and I told you the tale of how Superman came to Earth and grew up to become a superhero. When I finished, you said, “Wow – that’s a pretty good story!” I also want to see “The Lone Ranger” movie. What movies would you like to see?

I am still trying to work it out so we can see each other every other week. This could begin as soon as Friday (July 12) if other people involved in this decision agree to it. I am looking forward to being able to see you more often.

Well, that is all for now. I miss and love you very much. Hopefully, I will see you on Friday!



Friday, July 5, 2013

Playing on pirate ships at parks

Pirate ship at the Maritime Museum
in San Diego.
A few days ago I was in Cumberland, Wis., to give a book reading, and while driving past the park there, saw a cool looking pirate ship among the playground equipment. That immediately made me think of you!

Pirate ships often were a staple of our playgrounds. There was one at the City Park in Lancaster, Calif., though the one in Cumberland looked cooler as it looked more like an actual ship.

Often when we played on the regular playground equipment, we'd pretend it was a pirate ship. One memory that really comes to mind is us doing that at Cottonwood Creek Park in Encinitas.

And of course there was the pirate ship inside a sailing ship at the Maritime Museum in San Diego! That had a helm and a pulley to lift cargo on and off the ship.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fourth of July visit to Moonlight Beach

Moonlight Beach, July 4, 2011
Two years today, we spent the morning of the Fourth of July at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, Calif. At the time, I only lived in San Diego about a half-mile from the beach.

I had to bring you back to your mother that afternoon, so I let you pick what we should do for our last few hours together. You said, "The beach!"

We made sand castles and of course went into the ocean for a bit! You had these cut sunglasses and blue swim clothes that you looked so handsome in - you wer turning all of the girls' heads!

Here's a bunch of pictures from our adventure!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Our first visit ever to the San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo playground
Two years ago today, I took you to the San Diego Zoo for the first time. It was a real workout for me - the trails through its lush displays and exhibits went up and down steep canyon sides, and I was pushing you in the stroller the whole way!

You loved the playground area and wanted to spend most of our time there! They had these fun nets to climb up and through, and I remember you losing your show a few times on them.

My camera also "broke" there - the battery lid wouldn't close properly, which meant there was no power to take pictures! While you played on the nets, I was able to bend the lid back in shape so that it worked. After that, though, I had tape my camera's battery compartment shut!

Here's a whole bunch of pictures from our adventure!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Recall your Imaginext space station?

Do you remember your cool Imaginext space station toy? It looked like a futuristic space base built into the side of a red rock formation on an alien planet.

The station had multiple rooms and platforms. One was a cool door that opened to the outside so the astronauts could leave the station. Another looked to be a sickbay-like area.

We had lots of accessories to go with the space station, like space buggies and alien monsters. Often we staged big battles between the alien monsters and the astronauts.

You had lots of different space toys, including rockets and space shuttles. But this one by far was your favorite!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Rcall your Imaginext dump truck?

Do you remember your Imaginext dump truck? I believe you got it for your first birthday and picked it out all on your own when at the Target store in Santa Clarita.

By pushing a button, the bed of the dump truck would rise. We'd put blocks in it and watch them fall out when your truck arrived at the pretend construction site.

The truck also came with a couple of construction worker guys. I think you actually like the guys better than the truck! They had shovels and other neat hand tools. We often used those guys with our firemen and space station soldiers when playing with our other Imaginext toys!