California '11 part 1

I've decided that instead of doing one long, huge, detailed description of my California trip, I will break it into parts. One a day, hopefully. That way no one will get bored reading it, and it will provide lots of posts. :)

Quick background: Every year, for probably the last 35 years, long before I was born, my parents have taken my family to the beach. Sometimes for 1 week, sometimes for 2 weeks, sometimes for 3. My parents grew up in Escondido, so they grew up on the beach, and they instilled that into their kids. Now, once a year we go to San Diego to hang out at the beach for a week.

Really. Just the beach. ALL day. Every day. And we love it. All of us. Spouses have to get used to it. But they all do, and now, with all of us kids grown up, with kids of our own, it's even more fun.

Is there anything cuter than a dad with his kid walking to the water? Lanie loved the water. LOVED it.

See Lanie with her goggles? I'll tell more about that later.

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Can you just smell the organization??

It's funny, Brandon and I are always talking about the fact that I lOVE organizing, but I'm not a great cleaner. He thinks it's weird because they should be one in the same. But for some reason it's not that way with me. Oh well. I'm working on my cleaning habits, one by one, and I promise I'm getting better. :)

Anywho, welcome to my recent project. I have 12 boxes of girls' clothes. Yup, 12. They are pictured below. I've been running out of space and boxes for quite some time now, AND the boxes aren't sturdy enough, AND I feel like they were too small, therefore requiring more boxes and more space, AND I'm not having a girl next so they will be in storage for a while until one of the 'Proffitts' have a girl (hint hint Margs, haha), etc. So... I decided to fix things.

Walmart is having a sale on their storage totes ($4.88 for the 18-gal beauties you will see below. GO GET SOME), so I picked up 14. Some for my girl clothes, some for Christmas decorations, etc. I WILL find a purpose for all of them, believe me.

Okay, so here's the before... You will see some are beat up from being in storage and they didn't hold up well.
After. Yes, I have an entire storage bin for little girl shoes. Funny though, I don't have any socks. They don't store well. One always gets lost...

Aren't they beautiful? These are perfectly sturdy and weather proof, and they work so much better. One bin for each age group, and I have room for everything now.

AND, I'm recycling the 2 sturdier boxes for Boy clothes. I already have a box for 0-3 month boy clothes, thanks to Michelle W. for giving me clothes. I also took out the plain white onesies for 0-3 and 3-6 months I had for girls. I'm a onesie kinda mom, so I know I'll be using those.

I feel like I'm ready for a boy now. I love organizing!
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Vegas, Baby!

In case you didn't know, Brandon works for Cisco. His whole job revolves around registration for one conference, every summer. That means two things- he gets SUPER busy around May/June, and he goes to the conference for that week. This year it was in Vegas. Next year it's in San Diego. Woo Hoo! You better believe I'm going to that next year.

Anyway, depending on how old my kids are and how easy I think it will be, I will take the kids along and hang out in Vegas in his usually awesome hotel room for the week. You have to keep one thing in mind- Brandon works 16-18 hour days while he's on location, so he's basically useless as far as helping me with the kids. So, it's like vacationing by myself with the kids. I get to see him at night, but the girls barely even know he's there. They're asleep when he leaves, and they're asleep when he gets back.

Back to the good stuff. So, Brandon left Thursday for Vegas, we left Friday afternoon. We drove the 5 1/2 hours or so and ended up at THEHotel at Mandalay Bay. The room was amazing, as usual. It was about 750 square feet, with huge bathroom (that's where Lanie slept, in the packnplay), and a separate living room (that's where Lexi slept).

Here's what we did, in a nutshell, with just a few pics. I forgot my camera most of the time, AGAIN. My schedule consists of two time-tables. Before naps and after naps. You better believe we went back to the hotel room for naps every day. Let me preface this by saying... I don't like Vegas. At least the strip, anyway. It's icky. And hot. And terrible for kids. The end.

Morning- Grocery shopping. I brought a cooler for food, so I didn't have the kids eat out for every meal. And there are no microwaves, so I had to be... creative. It worked out alright. I ended up buying canned dinners, etc. because those could be heated up in hot water in the sink.

Pool- Now here's my beef with the pool. Mandalay Bay has this awesome wave pool/beach area that I was telling Lexi about an entire week before we got there. WHEN we got there, they had a rule that no one below 48" was allowed in that pool. Seriously? They said it was a safety hazard.

Dear Mandalay Bay,
That rule is absolutely ridiculous. If you have ever had kids, you will realize that this is the safest pool for them. Descending water, descending depth.

So, we went into the regular pools. Fun, but a little Dumb.

Afternoon- The 'castle,' as the girls so affectionately call it. Excalibur. They had an arcade in the basement that they had fun in.Sunday-
Morning- Church. Always fun to go to a different ward.
Afternoon- Temple. It's about a 35 minute drive, and the girls had a lot of fun. They were in a particularly 'posy' mood, so here are a few pictures.

This one cracks me up, because they were all smily, and then right before I took the shot, Lanie saw an airplane. She got a bit distracted... P.S. Can you see me in the reflection? :)
Morning- Pool. That was an almost daily occurance.
Afternoon- The M&M store. That was pretty close to our hotel, and the girls had a blast. The store shows a free 10 minute 3D movie every 30 minutes or so, and the girls LOVED that.

Morning- Gym. There's a Gold's Gym about 20 minutes outside of the strip, and it was air-conditioned and free. So we went there a couple times. The girls liked it because the Daycare only had 4 kids, and they're used to 50 at the one in Utah.
Afternoon- The free lion show at the MGM Grand. They loved this one too. The rest of these pics are taken with my Blackberry, so they're not great...
Morning- Pool
Afternoon- Shark aquarium at Mandalay Bay. This is the only event I paid for that whole week, and only because the girls were free. :)Here's a pic in front of the crocodile...

Morning- Gym
Afternoon- Pool. Brandon's conference was done that afternoon, so he came out to the pool too. The girls had a blast with Daddy. This was the only time the whole week that Brandon left the inside of the hotel. Sad, huh? :(

THE BEST PART OF THE WEEK- Brandon got done every night around 8 or 8:30, so each night we would go out to dinner together. The girls went down around 7, and they were sound asleep by then, so we would call one cell phone, keep it in the room, and take the other cell with us. It's our 'cell monitor' system. We kept to the restaurants in our hotel, so we were close by. Call us bad parents, but it gave us the opportunity to be together, and it gave the kids an opportunity to sleep.

Anyway, it was like having a date with my hubbie EVERY NIGHT! Do you know how often he has church business in the evenings when we're at home? We had 7 nights, uninterrupted conversation during dinner! It was fabulous. It helped me remember how much I love my husband. Gosh, we were cracking up laughing half the time. We had so much fun, and ate some awesome food. If you are ever in Vegas, you HAVE to try Border Grill at Mandalay Bay. SO GOOD. Honestly. It was my favorite part by far.

Anyway, that was our week. Fun, but I'm always tired when we get back.
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4th of July

We had a blast on Monday. We started off with a morning at the pool, though it was overcast. The girls loved the pool as usual, but I didn't bring the camera. Just picture the videos I've already posted...

Anyway, after naps, we did some nail painting with the girls...
And could you get any cuter? Lanie was being a stinker about getting her to smile for the camera, so Brandon was making her laugh, and then I called her name. This picture was then born. I just might have to frame it. She's just about the cutest 2 year old ever!
Then Lane FINALLY started smiling on her own...
My two cuties!
Lexi was so excited to see the fireworks that night. We had so much fun with real and kind-of family at the fireworks. Of course it started raining, but we had our huge beach umbrella in the car, so we put it to good use. :) This pic cracks me up... all the faces are hilarious. Namely Brandon's...

They love Uncle Tyler!
My sweetie. Lexi was being such a good girl, and I am so enjoying her personality and age.
Of course there's a funny face picture. Gotta put that in there. :)

The girls didn't love the noise, but loved the fireworks. It was a late night, but a good night. Thank you, everyone, for hanging out with us!
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One word- fearless.

One day at the pool, Lanie was doing so well kicking and getting around with her floaties on that I decided to see how she would do without the floaties. Bad idea. She's a monster now. She LOVES swimming! As soon as either Brandon or I am in the pool, she wants those floaties off and she wants to SWIM!

These videos were taken a few days ago, and even in those few days she has gotten much better at the whole swimming thing.

There are 2 videos, only about 30 seconds long, but I couldn't decide between the two because they are so cute. You will see how excited and happy she is to be swimming like a big girl.

Lexi's 'incident'

Last week we had a BBQ at our complex. All was well until Lexi skinned her knee. It didn't even bleed.

Oh my goodness, you would think the world had ended based off of her reaction. She started freaking out, so I took her and Lanie home to get her cleaned off.

That made her even more upset. I wanted to put a band-aid on it because, seriously, she was limping around like she had a broken leg. I figured the band-aid would protect it and she wouldn't be so traumatized. Here's the video I took after I put the band-aid on. I really hope she never gets seriously injured...

It's about a minute and a half long.