Make My Tummy Go Gooey! (Aka the post with 1000 pictures)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a fear of heights. I remember climbing along rooftops with my father as he was building houses when I was really young, but since about 4 or 5 years old, heights and I do not get along. As a kid, we went to carnivals when they came to town and have been on roller coasters at Disneyland and never had a problem as long as we didn’t go on anything that went upside down. Upon having minions, however, I get the gooey-tummy syndrome whenever they get up on something too high. In our house, the kiddos love to climb on some crazy playground structure, find me, then holler, “Hey mom! Is your tummy gooey when I do this?!” Meanwhile they are balancing on one leg, faking they are falling, or otherwise tempting fate and trying to plummet to their demise! My shudder and having to look away makes everyone just roll with laughter.

Before the tummy gooey fun, we had a preschool field trip to the sea lab at Fort Casey:

“Pirate” Keith showing the kids the random sea creatures….this was a sea cucumber that “spits out of it’s bum”. When he described this, the kids roared with laughter. Gotta love anything toilet humor related.
Hannah touches a sea star. She was a little more hesitant the bigger the creatures got!
I can’t remember what this thing was called, but the longer he held it, the 50+ legs kept clinging tighter and tighter to his hand! Yikes!
The sea urchin wasn’t quite as pokey as she thought it would be!
Jake was not touching ANY of it! Ha! I don’t blame him! This particular creature was a spiny crab…and let’s face it, crabs are just spiders of the sea. Just say no to spiders; sea or otherwise!

After the preschool adventure, the kids decide they want to return to the beach and do some more exploring. So after a quick lunch at home – we head back to Ft. Casey!

By the big gun. Hannah kept wondering if it was going to shoot bullets.
Running all over the fort
Here’s where the gooey tummy starts….It’s about an 8 foot drop. To my stomach, it might as well have been a 50 ft. drop! I must have said, “Back up from the ledge” in a strained voice about 100 times!
Ooh look Mom! A place where I can plummet to my death! Shall I jump?
Follow Jake the leader. He’s never been here before, but he’s showing us the ropes!
This place is just cool. Had to take some randoms
Please mom! Let me fall down and break my face!
OOH! Let’s explore these dark and cavernous spaces! I bet they have spiders to creep mom out! Yay!


Is it just me or is it a mom thing? All I can picture is him falling off the side of those dang stairs?!
I really don’t need to ever buy these kids toys. They were so content for HOURS out here just climbing and exploring.
King of the world!
Squeamy tummy continues….at least this time she’s holding a hand rail!
Yeah, you can get down now. Really. Now.

I don’t want to pass my fears on to my kiddos. I don’t tell them what I’m really thinking and feeling (My hands get clammy, I start to sweat, feel the need to pee, all combined with a deep gut-churning nausea.) What I do say is, “Watch your step!” “Ooh, that is cool!” and “Where to next?!” praying that they are ready to climb down.

Eventually we made our way to the beach. Ahhh, sea level. That’s my kind of “height”!



I’m sure it’s true for many people, but it’s astonishing to me the effect the ocean has on my kids. The minute we get near the ocean, they just get calm. They mellow. They don’t fight. We all just relax….
Checking out the seagulls….taking it all in.
Drawing in the sand.
There’s always room for everyone at the beach!
This was one of my favorite pictures of the day. She’s mellow, exploring, and completely enamored by the rocks and waves.
Back up the hill to the lighthouse!

The lighthouse….here’s where my worst fears come alive!

There it is! But we must climb rocks first!
Every. Single. Rock.
The lighthouse! Oooh! Stairs. I bet these will make her tummy flip flop!
The last portion is more of a ladder and less of a staircase. Wearing flip-flops, she fell right after I snapped this shot. I dropped everything and caught her. I thought I was going to die.

(While reviewing all these pictures, they just don’t do the reality justice. Not only did the ocean seem more vibrant, the sky bluer, the water sparkled, etc. than the photos show, the heights were definitely higher.)

Basically I think that when we give birth, they must install some kind of protective-freak-out-device that OVER-reacts when any possibility of danger arises. Even the slightest chance that someone may stub a toe and a little warning bell goes off. Ladders in lighthouses make me feel like a national emergency alert system is going off in my body!

Despite the heights and my physical reactions of their impending doom, the day was simply magnificent. The weather was perfect, they were great, and we were all up for an adventure. I consider myself lucky that as antsy as the hubs and I are, these two crazies love exploring the world with us!




We woke up (yes “we”- they migrated during the night) this morning to a phone call from Eric. That is always nice, but it happened to be a rare occasion where Hannah was still sacked at 6:30 and Jake might have been cajoled into playing quietly in his room for 15-20 minutes. The phone rang and we were up!

After chatting with Daddy, getting breakfast, spilling milk, spilling Kix, taking someone else’s Kix, having a time out, deciding on a cut up apple instead – no wait, make that pancakes…we make it into the living room to “play” for a bit while I attempt to fold the 37 loads of laundry that have piled up that stubbornly refuse to fold themselves!

I say attempt to fold for a reason. Hannah loves to “help” with the laundry. It is pretty funny to watch as she lays out a kitchen towel just so, making sure the corners are all straight, then she rolls them up real fast into a crumpled ball and piles it on the other folded towels. Then we get the excitement of the sheets. Basically she sits on the floor with a sheet on her head and I sing a rousing rendition of “Where is Hannah!? Where is Hannah!? I don’t know… I don’t know”. And of course not to be out done by little sister, Jacob abandons whatever he is doing to take the sheet off of Hannah and put it on himself, much to her dismay. Now we are breaking up kid quarrel #2, 30 minutes into our day.


Clothes eventually got folded, workout was worked out, more kid quarrels ensued. I take a shower and get dressed-only to find Hannah needs a DESPERATE diaper change and thank goodness I didn’t take the time to shave my legs or she would have had it EVERYWHERE. Pooptastrophy averted.

We pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at the playground before preschool. I use the term “enjoy” loosely. Both minions sat at the counter while I made their lunches.

Me: “Hannah, do you want peanut butter and jelly?”
Hannah: Nodding, “Yes!”
Me: “Jacob, just peanut butter, no jelly, right?”
Jacob: “right!”

Okay… So sandwiches made, string cheeses, cantaloupe, cucumber slices from our garden, homemade ranch dip in the cute little containers, some pretzels and off to the park we go. We open our lunch boxes to eat after playing for a bit.

Jake: Whining and picking at the sandwich “I don’t like peanut butter!”

I felt like cracking my skull on a brick wall.  Long story long, he ate 4 big bites, and ate the rest of his lunch so I’m gonna count that as a win.

Drop him off at preschool and off Hannah and I go to the grocery to grab just a couple of quick items and then head home.  Hannah is crying that she wants to go the playland (the genius play area at the grocery store where they watch your kids for an hour while you shop!) Okay, I think – she gets to play, I’ll pick up the 3 things we need and we’ll be on our way.

Not so much. As soon as I lifted her out of the cart she cried that she didn’t want to go. No biggie. Back in the cart, we’ll do the shopping together. She THEN cries THROUGH THE ENTIRE STORE that she wants to go back to playland.

Again the desire to crack my head on a hard surface arises.

We finally make it home, I get her now hiccuping, crying self laid down for a nap, and I have to wake her up 30 minutes later to pick Jake up from preschool.  When I put her in the car, she wakes up and without missing a beat, starts crying yet again for the grocery playland.

More cracking of head thoughts.

Upon arrival to pick him up, Jake is happily playing trains. I ask him if he is ready to go after chatting with the teachers a bit. One of the teachers gets down next to him and says “Are you ready to go Alligator?”

He responds by blowing bubbles at her and states loudly “don’t call me that!”

Can I just die now? I really don’t know when I’ve ever been more proud. Then after collecting all his art projects from the day that have all of a sudden been scattered on the floor, he heads for the door around the corner. I have Hannah on my hip, still wigging out about the grocery store, picking up papers all over, while simultaneously attempting to respond to someone’s question. Papers now collected, I round the corner to see Jake in full melt down mode, being held away from the door by the preschool director.

I instantly feel sorry for her. I get down and attempt (unsuccessfully) to get him out of his tantrum, not to mention the middle of the door way. Other parents are trying to get through. Can you say hot mess? With Hannah still on one hip, I bend down and hoist Jake on my other. (Have I mentioned I grow HUGE KIDS? Good thing I work out!)

By the time we make it to the car, all three of us are in tears.

It is now 8pm. The kids are bathed, tucked in bed and sleeping soundly. My house (completely destroyed this morning) is now back in order and I am having a beer and toasting (aka, fervently praying) that tomorrow will be better than today.


Welcome To Preschool!

The first day of preschool!!! Wahoo! Jacob was excited to start school, however was NOT excited about me trying to take pictures of him. (And you’ll have to indulge me a bit – most of this is for Eric as I can only email him about 2 pictures at a time – much easier to just get it all into one blog post!)
Packing his backpack!


Immediately following this shot, he told me not to take anymore pictures. Get used to it Bubba! It’s my right as your Mama!
This was his “First Day of School” shot. Neat. And so Jacob! LOL!
He was definitely more into playing with rocks and “ignoring” me until it was time to go.


I was a bit nervous (shocking, I know!) just hoping he would do well and have fun. But I was having a decent hair day so that helped! 🙂
The class is decorated adorably!


Jake spotted some cars and a track right away and was hooked!




Mixin’ it up in the “sand” box (it’s actually rice!)


This little boy to the left is also named Jake. He will go by Jake and my son will go by Jacob in class. I chatted with his mom and come to find out – our Jakes were wearing the same jeans and same navy blue polo shirts!! It was a crack up! And on top of that – we discovered that we actually knew each other from when I was in the high school youth group at Church! Small World!



They have this cool loft with pillows and soft quilts and a book shelf for when you just “need some quiet time”! It made me want to go back to school! I can smell the fresh notebook paper and school supplies now…..ahhhhh
Okay, maybe that’s just me. I still have a weird affinity for office supply products.


Story time!


Jacob listened so well! And when Teacher Barb asked questions, he piped right up and answered….had me in stitches – I think he thought she was talking solely to him! What a riot!




He kept inching closer and closer.





…then had to be told to sit down so others could see. HA! So funny!



LINE UP!! (I noticed he cut a few times!)


And of course they have a little playground area that is 3/4 covered so even on cloudy/rainy days, the kids can get some fresh air!


It is set up so well! I can’t wait for Hannah to start next fall!


And Jacob’s favorite! It was a ‘sand’ pit with a digger and a ton of dump trucks and excavators and all things CONSTRUCTION!!!


Lining up again to go back in….


And at the end of each day they say a prayer! It was adorable!  These teachers are AMAZING and so gifted at what they do.
And he crashed after lunch! Poor guy! It was a BIG day!
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