Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Family Trip to Los Cabos, Mexico

[ Versión en español abajo ]

For my mom and stepfather's 70th birthdays this year, Mom's three girls and their families took them on a week-long vacation to Mexico. We've never traveled like this as a group before (there were 14 of us!) and we had a BLAST. We stayed in between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo (closer to the latter) in an amazing villa that had room for all of us and then some.

Here are some highlights from our trip:

Our villa contact greeted us with margaritas and chips and salsa - great way to start a vacation!

The view from our villa - we were one row off the ocean

The pool and hot tub were huge hits - a great deal of time was spent here every day

It made such a nice place to play and relax, and Sean's swimming really improved during the week (his favorite was doing "Hammonballs" from "The Sandlot" [ video here ] - it's supposed to be more cannonball shaped)

Some of the aforementioned relaxing...

We celebrated Father's Day Mexican-style with all our awesome dads

This was the private beach behind our villa - not great for swimming, but a fun place to play in the surf, take a walk, or look for shells (which Claire loved)

Oh, and beach soccer, of course...

I spent much of the time taking pictures, which is something I truly enjoy

Our newly 4-year-old boy (love this shot)

Our villa was near "One & Only Palmilla," so we spent a day at Playa Palmilla - it was almost entirely just us and a few locals, which was awesome

There were two roped-off swimming areas and the surf was relatively gentle - we were all a bit toasty by the end of the day, even with lots of sunscreen

Sean's favorite game was running from the surf

Claire liked to let it come up and get her wet and enjoyed burying herself in the sand

Sean tried boogie boarding with Daddy but wasn't a big fan

Claire tried a different approach with her cousins, but also wasn't a big fan

La familia Forman en la playa

Both kids enjoyed getting to know their cousins better, and they picked up a few app tips while they were at it

Claire floating and chilling in the pool

Our second local beach was Playa Chileno, which is where all the surf/scuba/kayak expeditions come - we didn't spend as much time there (it was HOT!!), but a pirate ship came by that Sean thought was REALLY cool

Since we were all together, we took family pictures on the beach behind our house (not too bad for an auto-timed shot)

Us with Nana and Grandpa Joe

Nana and Grandpa with all the grandkids, ages 4-19

Mom and the sisters

Just the sisters

My niece was so excited that we would have braces on at the same time - she got hers on about a week before, I hopefully will have mine off by the end of the year

Our bunnies

Just the grandkids - so cute! The had such a fun time together...

A rare shot of just the two of us

Sunset on our private beach

We had to spend one touristy day in Cabo San Lucas - this is looking back at the Médano Beach from our tour boat at Land's End - it was a zoo! We staked a claim at Billygan's and stayed there much of the day (yellow umbrellas)

Our glass-bottomed boat tour to see the famous arch

Sean enjoying the boat tour with Uncle Scott

The arch! The waves were too choppy for us to land on Lover's Beach (apparently right next to Divorce Beach)

There were tons of sea lions near the arch, known locally as "sea wolves" (lobos del mar)

The kids bought bracelets with their names on them from a beach vendor who made them on the spot (impressive!)

For our final day in Cabo we did a dolphin swim - we weren't allowed to take pictures and it was super expensive to buy any, but it was an amazing experience petting and riding Metzli, an 8-year-old female dolphin

En español:

Para el 70ª cumpleaños de mi mama y mi padrastro, viajamos de Los Cabos, México por una semana. Hubo 14 de nosotros – las familias de las hijas de mi mamá. Nunca hemos viajados en un grupo antes, y pasamos un tiempo maravilloso. Nos quedamos entre de Cabo San Lucas y San José del Cabo (más cerca del segundo) en un villa increíble que tenía espacio por todos nosotros y más. 

Pasamos mucho tiempo en la piscina, el jacuzzi, y en las playas. Visitamos el Arco y incluso nadamos con los delfines.

¡Fueron unas vacaciones perfecto!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sean Turns 4!

Our Sean is four years old! He woke up on the morning of his birthday and said, "Mommy, I'm almost FIVE - I'm almost in KINDERGARTEN!" Slow down, little guy...

Sean through the years - he's getting so big!

This year he wanted his birthday party at Greenway Park and chose the theme green, which has always been his favorite color (although he now also likes orange and blue). It started as Star Wars, but then switched to green at the party store, then ended as green AND Star Wars for his cupcakes since there were no green toppers available. We had a nice afternoon with close friends and our local family.

That's a lot of green!

Sean at 4:
  • Sean likes things to be done right, and is very particular about his name. If you call him something other than Sean or Seannie, he pushes back. Someone at his school said, "Bye, handsome!" recently as he was leaving. He got a very serious look on his face and said, "I'm not handsome, I'm Sean."
  • He loves to read and is starting to recognize words and be able to sound things out. His last teacher thought we should put him in kindergarten this coming year since he knows all his letters and their sounds, numbers, colors, and shapes in both English and Spanish. He's just too young for that (he'll be young for his grade as a June birthday, anyway), but he's definitely a sharp kid. Here's a video of him reading "I Love My New Toy" by Mo Willems.
  • Sean is a very verbal boy. He loves to tell stories and just talk to people - I caught a video of a story he recently told at bedtime after we had taken the Train to the Plane.
  • He's still a big sports kid and loves to play soccer, tennis, baseball, basketball, swim, ski, and play anything on Kinect Sports (skiing is his favorite). He and Claire also love to dance to the Kinect - here's a video of them dancing to one of their favorite songs.

More about our boy:

He still adores music. He takes piano lessons [ recital story here ] and is also really interested in learning the guitar...

...but is fascinated by other instruments as well.

Electronics are still a huge favorite - computers, tablets, cameras, buttons, timers...you name it.

He was SUPER excited to learn to ski this year...

...and can't wait to do it again next year. He regularly asks, "Mommy, when it's snowy out, can we go skiing?"

He's more aware of how he looks these days and likes to do his hair "fancy." 

 He loves to travel and is always up for an adventure, especially on an airplane.

He also still loves trains, both real ones...

...and toy.

 He loves to pretend to talk on the phone, especially in hotels. "Hi, this is Sean. I'd like a pizza, please. Okay, bye."

 Sean is always up for going to the park.

 Slides are a big favorite...

 ...as is jumping. If there's nothing to jump ON, he just hops around.

 He has both a strider bike and a bike with training wheels (thanks to a cousin), but seems to prefer the training wheels.

He also loves to swim (and tends to put his goggles on upside down). He can jump in and swim to the side by himself now, and can partially swim underwater. He still needs close supervision in the pool, but is turning into quite a little fish!

In May, Sean moved up from the littler-kid preschool class to the bigger-kid preschool class (still Spanish immersion). He loved Ms. Pily and Ms. Patty, his old teachers, but he loves his new teacher, too, which makes us happy. It helps that he got to move up with his best friend, Stella, who apparently wouldn't move up without him.

Sean got a new big-kid car seat for his birthday and is SO excited! (It's easier for Mommy and Daddy, too...!) 

 As you'll read below, Sean's favorite vegetable is stalks of romaine lettuce. He just likes the middle part and eats it like celery. He also loves carrots, cucumber, and avocado, and usually is happy to eat any fruit or vegetable we give him.

 Cameras are also a favorite - he recently discovered taking selfies with cousin Kendall's phone.

 Sean's a big helper boy and likes to assist with whatever we're doing, from fixing the patio stones...

...to making dinner.

 He still adores Claire...

 ...especially being silly with her.

 He's fascinated by his shadow and loves to dance with it. 

 Sean is a super-loving kid who is quick to give a hug or kiss. He randomly says, "Mommy, I love you..." and just melts my heart.

25 Age 4 Questions
(interviewed June 14, 2016 - most answers his, commentary by Mommy)

  1. Color:  Green*
  2. Fruit:  Watermelon* and Strawberries
  3. Vegetables:  Romaine Heart Stalks (he eats them like celery)
  4. Breakfast food:  Chocolate Bread* and Waffles with Syrup
  5. Lunch food:  Mac and Cheese*
  6. Snack:  Chewy Granola Bars*
  7. Dinner food:  Cheese Pizza* and Shrimp
  8. Drink:  Izze soda
  9. Dessert:  Popsicles
  10. Candy:  M&Ms
  11. Ice cream flavor: Chocolate
  12. Animals:  Monkeys*
  13. Song/music:  “Habia un Sapo” (Spanish children’s song - translation here), but loves all music
  14. Book:  Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton (but loves all her books)
  15. TV show:  Peg + Cat
  16. Movie:  (Doesn’t really have one – mainly wants shows)
  17. Outfit:  Denver Broncos Super Bowl shirt with basketball shorts
  18. Toy:  Train set (from a big cousin)
  19. Thing to take to bed at night:  Monkey Lovey*
  20. Game: Xbox Kinect Skiing
  21. Thing to do outside:  Play soccer
  22. School subject:  Play with magnets
  23. Sports:  Soccer* and Tennis
  24. Backpack/lunchbox theme:  Planes* (backpack, no lunchbox)
  25. Best friend:  Stella H.
*Same as age 3

And for your amusement, the Forman Babies at age 4:





Happy birthday, Seannie-Sean - we love you!