Beach Day

Addy had two requests when she came to California.

The first was to visit the beach.

PopPop and Auntie Rach took the girls there today

for a bit of boogie boarding and giant kite flying,

so that box is checked.

No picture of our new beach tent, but I'm told it worked very well.

And Addy's second request? That's tomorrow's story.



So It Begins

We've got a big adventure planned on Wednesday, but we first needed to gather all the players.

We picked Leia up early this morning - note the new hardware she acquired yesterday -

then headed south, where we found this one hanging out at the airport with her mom. Our future Mars astronaut has landed in SoCal!

The rest of the day was spent doing family stuff -

playing dress-up,

calculating how long until 9-year-old Addy is taller than Auntie Rie-Rie (I'm betting Addy reaches that milestone before her November birthday),

and holding JRo.


and lots

of holding

and loving

on JRo.

I don't think she minded too much.



Bread Makin'

I asked the girls if they wanted to help me make bread today and Leia's response was, "Why? Let's just buy it."
Yeah, no. 
My inspiration was this tutorial for bread-in-a-bag.

And it was every bit as big a mess as you probably think it was.
And twice as much fun.
The girls enjoyed measuring the ingredients and "pounding" on the sealed bags. But their eyes about bugged out of their heads when I threw flour on the (freshly scrubbed) counter, tossed their dough on top and said 'have fun'.
And just about the time they got bored, it was time for the bread to 'rest'. Ten minutes later, they were raring to go for the next part. 
I wasn't expecting much, but even with my misreading of the recipe (hey, if 2 cups of flour is good, 3 must be better, right??),  the bread was delicious. 
So much so, that Pop and I sweet-talked Leia into leaving one of her loaves here for us to enjoy. 
Leanne was, um no - mine are going home with me!
Yumm! Next up? Ice cream in a bag!


Princess 1, 2, 3

It's been a bit warm here - high 80's and 90's, which is fairly unusual for us. Today the baby grands hung out with PopPop in our only air conditioned room. He doesn't seem to mind, does he??
It was also Leia's first time holding her new cousin. Leia thinks she's a baby-holding pro since she has a new brother who's 4 months older than Jaclyn. Grandma stayed close by, just the same. 
Princess JRo, checking out her kingdom. 
She was awake and alert for several hours this afternoon. Hopefully, that means she'll sleep more tonight (her mom has fingers crossed!)


It's Spoilin' Time

Little Bits came for her first extended visit to granma's house today.

Although she clearly prefers her granma*, PopPop demanded - and received - equal time.


*Not really - she's an equal opportunity snuggler. And still sooo tiny at under 7 pounds.



Sharks and Butterflies

Today's quest was to visit the butterfly exhibit at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum.
We've been here before (when Leanne was a teeny tiny little thing, and with Naia who claimed she was scared of the butterflies), 
and toured the exhibit in Denver with Addy, 
but it's always fun to admire the colors and delicacy of the flutterbys  
and their special garden. (more butterfly pictures at the end of this post . . . )
The museum has added several new kid's areas - touch, smell, play, color - which the girls loved. We'll definitely be back again soon.

And since we were already in Santa Barbara . . .
and the Sea Center Museum on the wharf was included in our membership . . . .
and the girls didn't have enough toys already . . . .
we stopped by for a quick visit with the jellyfish. 
This is one of my favorite museums.

I love the hands-on approach 
and the enthusiasm of the college-age docents. 

And petting a tiger shark is just cool, I don't care how old you are.  

Just a few of the 116 pictures I took of butterflies today . . . 
Painted Lady (?)
Zebra Longwing


Julia Longwing

Polydamas Swallowtail

Common Buckeye (?)