Monday, May 22, 2006
I'm back!
Oronzo & Snuggle Bug at Newport Beach, CA


I'm finally back! It feels like I've been gone a month, rather than just 3 days. Funny how that works!

Our trip to visit Oronzo's brother (to be referred to as Christian) and his family in Orange, CA went well. We arrived in CA late Thursday night and checked into the Howard Johnson hotel/motel that Oronzo's father (to be referred to as Peyton) recommended to us. Let's just say I was shocked at his recommendation and we won't be staying there ever again. It was not the most pleasant place to stay. It was clean but stark, no "extras", and it was right off the freeway so the surroundings weren't so nice. But it was literally 2 minutes from Christian's house, so at least it was close. Thankfully, we were only there to sleep each night, then we were either out sightseeing or at Christian's house during the day.

Friday Oronzo, Snuggle Bug, and I drove to Newport Beach and took a ferry to Balboa Island. The ferry ride was quick but fun. On the island, we saw many gorgeous beach front properties with flowers so enormous that I couldn't believe it. Sweet Pea, roses, and Bird of Paradise grew so lush and large that it reminded me of our trip to Hawaii.

Back at Newport Beach, we took Snuggle Bug on a merry-go-round ride and then to the beach to see the ocean. Snuggle Bug was not impressed with the ocean. In fact, he was terrified of the ocean waves (as you can see in the picture above) and refused to splash in the water with us. Once we took him up on the beach, he calmed down and had a grand time playing in the sand with some small local children that were there with their pails and shovels. Snuggle Bug was invited to join the other children and he was happy as a clam shoveling sand into pails. I guess we need to get that sandbox in our yard sooner, rather than later.

Friday afternoon we went to Christian's house and hung out with Christian's wife (to be referred to as Larissa) and their 1 year old daughter (to be referred to as Rebecca). Although Snuggle Bug is 5 months older than Rebecca, they're about the same size. Rebecca is walking, but it's that unsteady drunk walk that babies have in the beginning. The kids had fun playing nicely together while we parents sat around and chatted. It's funny but Oronzo's family views Larissa as a "high maintenance" woman, probably because she was raised in CA and likes to dress nicely and never leaves the house without makeup, but I really like her. Now that we have children the same age, my SIL and I have a lot to talk about.

The four of us took the kids out for an Italian dinner and then hung out at Christian & Larissa's house a bit more before it was time for us to head back to the hotel to put Snuggle Bug down for bed.

Saturday was the day of Rebecca's 1st birthday party. The theme was "big top circus" and Larissa did a great job decorating the back yard. There was a ball pit, a playhouse (decorated with a big tent), a bean bag toss area, horseshoes, and lots of other toys and games for the kids. Lunch was a BBQ and lots of alcohol for the adults! They even rented cotton candy and snow cone machines! There were probably 50 adults and about 25 children under 3 years old. Amazingly enough, all the kids did well! There were no major fights, tantrums, or melt downs.

The party ended around 3 o'clock but we stayed and hung out longer with Oronzo's family. Despite the fact that neither had afternoon naps, Snuggle Bug and Rebecca were like Energizer bunnies and kept going and going and going. They were having so much fun playing outside together. We stayed through dinner and then finally pulled Snuggle Bug away and took him back to the hotel to go to bed. He slept like a rock the minute he was laid in his pack-n-play! He was beat.

Yesterday, we went to mass and then out for brunch with Oronzo's family. We hung out a bit at Christian & Larissa's house after that and then Oronzo, Snuggle Bug, and I left to go back home.

It's heavenly being back in our own home-sweet-home. Last night Snuggle Bug seemed quite happy to be back in his crib and this morning he played enthusiastically with his toys, acting as if they were brand new. He also had fun chasing his kitties around.

I must say, of all of Oronzo's family, I do enjoy spending time most with Christian & Larissa. They've got the same laid back attitude and parenting style that we do. Too bad they live so far away!

It's good to be back to my blog as well. I've missed it. I didn't have time to get online even once while we were in CA. Now I'm off to go catch up on some of the other blogs I like to read!
10:41 AM
9 comments


9 Comments:
At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Jenna said...

Welcome back!! :-D I found myself missing your blog over the weekend!

And the first picture? Beautiful. I forget how old Snuggle Bug is.... remind me?

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

Hi Jenna! Wow, someone missed my blog. Cool! I still feel like such a novice at this.

Glad you liked the picture. Every now and then I manage to snap some good ones. This one was one of my favorites from this past weekend.

Snuggle Bug is just barely 17 months old. He's a bit small for his age (still in 12 month clothes) so he's mistaken for younger sometimes.

 
At 1:36 PM, Anonymous chelle said...

Welcome back!!! It was nice all weekend is CA so that had to have rocked!

Becca was totally afraid of the waves when we took her of the beach for the first time in January, but with me she would wander out a little!

It is always so cool when you can find couples that have the same parenting style as you do!

 
At 1:46 PM, Blogger Morgan said...

Welcome back! I want to take Zach to the beach, but I'm scared that he won't like it.
:)

I'm glad you had a good time and I'm glad you are back!

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger Tracey said...

Glad you guys had such a great time! Evan didn't care for the waves much, either, at about 2 years old. But he's always loved the sand!

 
At 5:17 PM, Blogger Jess said...

Welcome back! I'm so jealous you got to go to CA! We were stationed up near LA a few years go & it remains our favorite place, in our hearts. Man, can you guys throw a party!!! And I thought I did this year big for Sophia's second birthday. WHEW!
I adore the pic of Snuggle Bug holding tight to Daddy. "Keep me safe"~ Sophia tells me as she hugs me tight. More of a re-affirmation, than she's actually frightened of something. Sweet, none the less.
I'm going to put up my first Treasure Tuesday, later tonight, but I'll be back tomorrow to comment on yours! Thanks for the intro!

 
At 8:59 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Welcome back! I found myself checking in a couple times over the weekend before remembering that you were going to be gone!

Sounds like you had a nice time (despite the hotel!) with family.

LOVE the pic on the beach! So precious!

 
At 9:05 PM, Blogger Catch said...

Glad to have you back and happy that you had a safe trip! the party sounded awesome! Great pic of snuggle bug and hubby on the beach...

 
At 8:36 AM, Blogger Faith said...

Glad you're back! It sounds like you had a great time! I looooove the picture! Take the extra man out of the background, turn it to black and white and you have yourself an incredible image!!!!! Crop it off center too!

 

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Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)


(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)


Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 6)
Happy 3 Year Anniversary to us!
Treasure Tuesday 3
Loose Threads 1
Happy Mother's Day!
Kids shouldn't have to see their parents suffer.
Why do family visits stress me out?
It wasn't supposed to work this way! (Part 5)
How did this happen?!
What would you pay for an afternoon of pleasure?
























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