Snow Day

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We’ve had some snow here in England this weekend.

And it has not gone past my attention that Southern California is back in the 80s this week.

In fact, I’ve really enjoyed looking at all the sunny photos of everyone playing at the beach. It’s given me something to look at as I walk around the house wearing ten sweatshirts at once.

But instead of posting a photo of me wearing ten sweatshirts, I thought I’d post a few photos I took of us playing in the snow.

Because, when all is said and done, it was actually fun.

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For twenty minutes at least.

After that, my toes go numb.

And frozen toes are no fun at all.

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Back in Blighty

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Well, we’re back.

Back in England.

And I’m missing California and all my family and friends.

A lot.

But what better way to work through my sadness than by catching up on this blog that I have been neglecting these last few weeks while I was having way too much fun in California?

I’ve been asking around and I think the best way to approach this it to work through some of our adventures we went on while in California, one at a time. That way it won’t be photo overload, though let me just say, I took a lot of pictures.

A lot.

But I know the family loves seeing them and it makes me less sad, so there you have it.

And to start it all off, here are some photos from a trip we took down to the California Science Centre in Los Angeles.

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Josh is still obsessed with anything with wheels, so it was great to see him running around so excited.

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We had tickets to see the space shuttle Endeavour and I had spent the week prior talking all about the shuttle to Josh, showing him videos of it taking off and making its final flight over California.

And while I think Josh enjoyed it, he seemed a bit daunted by how big it was. He just kept saying “it’s very big” and “can we go to the toy shop?”

Oh well.

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We did end up going to the toy shop afterwards and bought Josh a miniature space shuttle, which he loved, and of course, managed to break after all of about ten minutes playing with it.

Nothing that a little glue won’t fix.

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It was such a wonderful museum though, with far more interactive exhibits for children than any museum we’ve been to in London.

We’ll definitely be going back again.

Maybe not for the space shuttle.

But definitely for the fish.

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The fish were a big hit.

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Merry Christmas

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Christmas is almost here and it’s been amazing to see it through Josh’s two year old eyes this year.

The lights. Gifts. Cookies. Santa.

It’s all been so exciting for Josh.

Especially the cookies.

The other night we decided to buy one of the kits from Trader Joe’s and made Josh’s very first gingerbread house.

He was so excited making it and anyone who comes to visit is dragged over for a tour of the gingerbread house, whether they want one or not.

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I really love these photos because they show how much he enjoyed making the gingerbread house with his Daddy.

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And of course, eating the decorations when he thought no one was looking.

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Merry Christmas!

Learning to Run

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I apologise in advance if this blog post is bragging.

It could have so easily gone the other way though.

Back in August when I turned the big 3-0, I made a birthday promise to myself, mainly promising not to complain as much about living in England.

For the record, I think I have been a lot better, getting out with Josh and exploring the countryside a bit more.

In my birthday promise, I also said I would like to start running more; a promise I easily forgot when the cold weather and rain came.

But thankfully my sister reads the blog and she didn’t forget.

In fact, as a birthday gift, she signed us up for a 5k.

And as much as the thought of running three miles made me feel nauseous, this last weekend we did it.

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And you know what?

I felt really good about it.

I think it helps that I had my wonderful sister to run with.

And let’s face it, it’s much nicer to run along the beach in 60 degree weather than in frosty England.

I mean, look at the view.

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So thank you Erin for the wonderful gift and making sure I actually followed through on something.

You’re an amazing sister!

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Let me know if we’re on for that half marathon next Christmas.

I’ll easily need the whole year to train for that.

The Little Sand Storm

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We’re here!

Josh and I, and all of our passports, have safely made it to California.

And just so he knows someday, Josh was the BEST little traveler.

For the whole 11 hour flight, complete with turbulence which meant he had to stay buckled in his seat the last four hours, he was an angel. And even though he didn’t sleep a wink the entire flight, we had no tantrums; he was easygoing, listened to me and was just an all around awesome little travel buddy.

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So thank you Josh.

I’ll have to try and remember this for when, on the return flight, inevitably it will all go horribly wrong and I will be tearing my hair out with a screaming two year old.

Then again, Tim will be there next time to hand off to, so perhaps it’s not so bleak after all.

But, as I said, we are here in California; jet lagged and enjoying the sunshine.

And since Josh continues to insist upon getting up at ungodly hours of the morning (one day it was 1:30am), we have gone out several days to the beach already, taking some early morning strolls.

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Josh hasn’t really been around the ocean much, so I expected him to be a bit more hesitant walking near the water.

But he surprised me and did just the opposite, rolling around in the sand, reminding me very much of his Aunt Erin when she was little.

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He just loved running around and throwing sand up into the air, rolling around in it, rubbing it onto his clothes.

This kid loves sand.

One surfer passing by laughed seeing Josh playing and called him a little sand storm.

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I think I’d rather have a sand storm than a snow storm any day….

A Beach in Winter

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Things have been fairly hectic around here lately.

Christmas is just around the corner and the holiday baking is in full force. Between decorating sugar cookies and icing the gingerbread men, it’s easy to forget that Josh and I leave for California this weekend!

Yup, sunshine here we come! Or rain; I think it’s raining in California.

Either way, it has to be warmer than England. It was minus five last night with snow supposedly on the way.

Also, we have had some wonderful visitors staying with us the last few days.

That’s right; Laura and Elle are back with us and what better way to celebrate the cold weather and being in Europe than three Californians taking a trip to the beach.

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We drove down to Brighton and played in the sand rocks, which Josh especially loved throwing around.

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Josh was thrown up in the air, his favourite, by Elle.

Elle is one strong lady.

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I think Tim is the only other person I’ve seen able to throw him that high.

We went for a walk out on the pier.

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On the pier, Josh, Laura and Elle had their very first Brighton rock from Brighton’s best rock shop, though I think they all probably say that.

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Best shop or not, it was pretty yummy.

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So, even though we weren’t in California, we had a great day.

Eating Brighton rock and watching an amazing sunset.

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We’ll be seeing you very soon California!

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Salt Dough Ornaments

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I’ve been trying to get Josh to help me in the kitchen recently.

Sometimes it’s a good idea.

Other times, it’s not.

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Despite not actually getting anything in the bowl, Josh loves helping out and he really enjoyed making this salt dough recipe that we found here.

Salt dough seems like the perfect recipe for little hands as it only has three ingredients; salt, flour and water.

And then there’s all the fun of rolling it out and cutting it into shapes.

Or big lumps of shapes in Josh’s case.

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During one rainy day several weeks back, we went ahead and made the dough, cut out some shapes using cookie cutters and baked them.

I’ve been saving them for a cold and rainy day to use as a fun, little activity to do with Josh.

Today turned out to be that day.

So, nice and warm inside, we got to work painting some of the ornaments.

Josh especially liked the fish.

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I decided to try and make something to hang in Josh’s room and used some of the stars and a map of the USA.

I painted the map white and the stars red, white and blue.

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Then, using some string, I threaded the ornaments onto the string.

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It turned out better than I thought it would and I’m thinking that tomorrow would be good day to hang it up in Josh’s room and talk to him about Thanksgiving being celebrated back in America.

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Though he’d probably be just as happy hanging the fish up instead.

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone!