First, was my extra-special gift from Andrew and my parents... a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer! This thing is incredible! It weighs probably 20 lbs and is so fun to use! I can't wait to break it out for the thanksgiving feast later this week! =)The boys also got me a Snuggie (the blanket with sleeves!). Joshua was so excited to give it to me, I'm still amazed that he was able to keep the lip zipped until I opened my presents!
The real celebration was this past weekend. Because we weren't able to go to Sea World when we were in San Diego last month, we planned to go back to San Diego for my birthday. All week leading up to the trip, Andrew and I were living in this constant state of mild paranoia over one of the boys getting sick and putting the kibosh on our trip. We were pumping them full of vitamins and orange juice, and thankfully everyone had a clean bill of health for our fun weekend! We headed out early on Friday morning, and had another enjoyable time in the car, rolling into San Diego about 1:00.
Ben didn't make it too far into his book!
Our first stop was Imperial Beach, south of San Diego, about 3 miles from Mexico, as we had heard it was a good place to find sand dollars and starfish. We walked along the beach for a bit... well, everyone but Ben, who had apparently gotten his fill of the beach on our last trip. He refused to walk and turned into the biggest cuddle bug and just wanted to "hide in Mommy's hair."
Josh had a blast finding more seashells, which were much bigger on this beach. The best find of the day went to Daddy... a giant sand dollar! When we stopped for lunch at a little local cafe, even a local was impressed with our find!
After lunch we went back up to San Diego and walked around Seaport Village, and over to the USS Midway. We didn't take the tour of the Midway, as the boys are still a little young for that, but they did like seeing the big ship with airplanes and helicopters on it.
That evening we went to check into our hotel, which was the same hotel we stayed at last month. When Andrew went inside to check in, he learned that we were the "Guest of the Day" which means we got a free upgrade to a 2 bedroom/2 bath suite! There was even a sign being displayed in the lobby with my name on it (which Andrew snagged for me). It was so cool!
Joshua was super excited to have his very own bedroom instead of sleeping on the fold out couch like he normally does. It was a $200 per night room that we got for $129 per night. Happy birthday to me!
The following morning was Sea World Day! Unfortunately, because of the time change (CA is 1 hour behind us right now) and the fact that the boys aren't used to sharing a room, Ben decided to wake Joshua up at about 5:00 a.m. Thanks a lot! Because of the awakening he wasn't quite ready for, he was a little, shall we say, grumpy in the morning. But we finally got him to snap out of it and had a fantastic day at Sea World! We got there just as the park opened, and were probably about the 3rd family through the gate. We got to see dolphins up close, feed some sea lions, and watch the Shamu show, the Pets Rule show and the Clyde and Seymour show. We even got to see Elmo, Burt, Ernie, Zoe and Cookie Monster sing and dance for us, which I think Ben could have watched all day!
Riding the flying Elmo fish ride in the Sesame Street Bay of Play
We had informed Joshua ahead of time that the Sesame Street characters would be there and that he could meet them. As soon as he learned this, he informed me that he was going to bring Cookie Monster some cookies that we had made (with my mixer, of course!). The night before we left he had painstakingly, and completley on his own, selected two cookies for Cookie Monster and put them in a Ziploc sandwich bag. I was told to make sure we remembered to put them in a safe place, and he even made sure we had them before we left the house Friday morning! Anyway, when his chance finally came to give Cookie Monster his cookies, he mustered up all of his courage and gave Cookie Monster his baggie of cookies. Cookie Monster was SO happy to have cookies! He started blowing Joshua kisses and then grabbed him and gave him a huge hug.
Joshua is in there somewhere!
Joshua was so beside himself excited that he could make Cookie Monster so happy. What a sweet little spirit he has! I think this was my favorite part of our day!
We stayed at Sea World for pretty much the whole time the park was open. We did it without naps (except that Ben pooped out right before Clyde and Seymour started)...
and without a stroller, which proved to be the best thing to do (and I think that if we can Sea World without a stroller, it is definitely time for the strollers to go and give us back our closet space!).
In all the excitement, we were concerned that our trip would send Ben on a detour away from his potty training. How wrong we were! He actually did SO good while we were gone. We brought his potty chair with us, and were unashamed to lug it into the stalls in public restrooms, or even park him on the passenger seat of the car along our way.
At one point he actually asked us to take off his diaper so he could poop in the potty! Hooray! But because he no longer wants to USE his diaper, the trip home got a little interesting. When we stopped in Yuma (our first stop after leaving San Diego) I checked Ben's diaper and he was dry, which I saw as a huge victory! We took his potty chair into the bathroom and he went potty no problem. Then after having lunch and getting back on the road, he started crying that he needed to go potty. We were in the middle of absolutely no where, without even a random exit to pull off into. We tried to tell him to just use his diaper (how's that for sending mixed messages!) but he really didn't want to do that. We ended up stopping three times between Yuma and home to try to get him to use the potty (the last time being off of some random off ramp next to the train tracks. I didn't have my camera, so I'll have to paint you a mental picture... Ben sitting on his little potty chair in the gravel in the middle of nowhere, with a train zooming by about 100 feet away from us. Would have made a great photo for a punk album cover or something!). One of our stops was in Dateland, which gave Andrew a chance to try a "world famous" Date Shake.
Although the drive home was a little hectic and frustrating at times, we made it in one piece and were so happy to be home!
So my 30th birthday was pretty awesome! Thank you, Andrew, Josh and Ben for making it a special time for me, and thanks to everyone for your birthday wishes! Now, off to 31!