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Happy birthday to my husband!  It is only fitting that I post our trip to Ann Arbor to visit the University of Michigan, his alma mater, on his birthday.  Unlike our trip to MSU, we had fantastic weather at Ann Arbor.  The skies were blue and the weather was pleasant.  We spent the day visiting North Campus where all the geeky majors were, including Engineering, Mr. BAW's major.  Then we drove to Central Campus and walked through the beautiful part of campus.  

As usual, the kids had tons of fun running and playing on campus.  The highlight of the day was running through the Wave Field.  It was design by Maya Lin, the woman who also designed the Vietnam Memorial in DC.  Buzz also got to go into his very first college library.  As we (the adults) were taking turns going into the Law library to peek at the gorgeous interior, Buzz insisted that he wants to see it too.  I told him that the library is a place for reading and learning and that he can not go in unless he does not make a peep!  So he promised me that he would not make a sound.  Amazingly, Buzz kept his promise and I even got to snap a picture of him in the library.  Overall, we all had a wonderful day.
  
Father and son at the Big House!


Ok, I did ask Buzz to point to the sign.  
This is where I would've spent my time if I had been a student there.


Grandpa helping Ahgoo run across the Wave Field.


I'm sure I'll be crying like a baby the day I drop my girl off to college.


The Law School, the lawyers get all the good buildings!


Grandma and Ahgoo enjoying some play time together.


Buzz promised me he wouldn't speak if I took him into the Law Library.  He kept his promise.


Off to classes!


A giant "swing" for Buzz!


Some details of the architecture.


A little glimps of student life.


The Graduate Library.
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Posted Aug 27, 2013


Most people might find it odd that I love to visit universities.  I especially love to take my kids because there are lots of places they can run without worrying about cars.  On this particular trip to Michigan, I was very excited that we had planned on not one, but two university visits!  Mr. BAW's family is a house divided when it comes to their loyalty to schools.  He went to the University of Michigan while his mother and brother are alumni of Michigan State University.  We decided to take a tour of both campuses since I had never been to MSU.  However, on the day of our MSU trip, we were hit by rain, the only rainy day of our trip!  So sadly, we did not get to walk around campus like I would have loved to do.  I didn't get any pictures of the kids nor Sparty!  

But all was not lost, we did manage to make a pit stop at the MSU Dairy Store, perhaps the most important place on campus if you are a student there!  My MIL was a student in the Nutrition Dept and she told us that the products at the Dairy Store is very natural and delicious.  She was telling us the truth!  The ice cream is absolutely delicious!  We got ourselves out of the rain and into a tiny little creamery and I was surprised by the huge flavor selection!  After trying a few flavors, one blew my mind, sweet corn!  That's what I ended up getting, see picture below.  The sweetness of the sweet corn ice cream tasted completely natural.  It is true that the corn in this part of the country is sweeter!  If you ever find yourself on the campus of MSU, the Dairy Store is a must visit!  We'll be going back next time for a real walking tour of the campus and another ice cream run. :-)
  
Sweet corn ice cream!! Yum.

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Posted Aug 25, 2013


The highlight of our trip home to Michigan this year is the trip out to Harsens Island to ride on Grandpa's boat!!  My FIL has had his boat for years but this is this is our first time ever on his boat and it was awesome.   We even got to go on a tiny ferry to get over to Harsens Island.  The weather couldn't have been any nicer, as you can see from the blue skies in the pictures below.  My FIL took us out for a spin around Lake St. Clair.  The only unexpected glitch was Ahgoo's life jacket.  Since she's still so tiny, even the infant life jacket was too big on her.  She HATED wearing it and was kind of grumpy during the boat ride.  

After the ride, we docked the boat and grilled up some steaks and hot dogs and had dinner by the docks.  The kids had a blast playing on the large grass area. Ahgoo was a happy camper once she got to take her life jacket off.  With the longer days, we were able to enjoy ourselves without having to worry about the mosquitoes coming out, since they only start to come out at dusk.  However, just to be cautious (I am a mosquitoe's favorite meal) we all did use a repellent.  We used Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Picaridin on the kids because it doesn't contain DEET.  None of us got bitten and a fun time was had by all!  
  
The young Captain!  Don't worry, he was sitting on Grandpa's lap!


Ahgoo sporting her life jacket, before her grumpiness started.


Beautiful lakeside homes along Lake St. Clair.


The weather was perfect for a boat ride!


This is the life, dockside lounging.  Grandpa's boat is the one with the blue canopy.


Brothers and cousins!  Grandpa's in the back setting up the grill.


The boys had a blast running around goofing off.


View of Lake St. Clair from the ferry.
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Posted Aug 19, 2013


This is the first year I've visited my in-laws in the summer time.  I've only been to their house in the winter in past years.  So this was my first real opportunity to see how green Michigan is!  This is of course due to the abundance of rainfall.  However, we were super lucky that it only rained one day during our week-long trip there!  My in-laws live in a private residential golf course.  So their backyard is open to the expansive golf course.  We took advantage of the nice weather and Mr. BAW took me on a little hike through their backyard (extending onto the golf course.)  Enjoy the pictures, it is as beautiful as the pictures show.
  
The backyard.  Our kids had a great time playing out there.  Especially Ahgoo, she walked all over!


The neighbors.


There's even a river running through their backyard.


I can only imagine how much Toby would love going for a walk here!
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Posted Aug 18, 2013


We did it, we survived our first flight as a family of four!  Ahgoo rode her very first air plane ride.  We took a trip to Michigan to visit my In-laws for some quality grandparents time for the kids.  The flights were about 4.5 hours long.  I still can't quite decide whether morning flights are better or evening flights are better.  Since my kids are both much happier people in the morning, I've always tend to favor doing important things in the morning.  But on this trip, our morning flight (California to Michigan) was not as nice as the evening flight (return trip.)   So let's jump right into the good, the bad, and the ugly of flying with two toddlers!

The Good - Cheerios.  Thank you Lester Borchardt for inventing this amazing food!  I kept both ducks in line while we waited at the terminal for our flight.  Both kids were sitting nicely by the window awaiting their allotment of two cheerios per serving.  The key is to dole it out slowly, two or three cheerios at a time to keep them occupied.  I don't know what they put in the cheerios but kids love them like bees to honey!

The Other Good - Electronics.  Specifically, the Kindle and/or ipad.  We loaded a few movies onto the Kindle and it kept Buzz occupied through the entire flight out to Michigan.  He also watched a couple of movies for 3/4 of the flight home until he fell asleep in the last hour.  Unfortunately, Ahgoo is still too young to care about movies.

The Final Good - Baby sling.  I use the Ergo to carry Ahgoo everywhere, from the car to the airport shuttle, throught security check point, and finally to our seats on the plane.  This way, I was able to push Buzz in a little umbrella stroller while Mr. BAW carried all our luggages.  

The Bad - Schedule delays due to flight delays, parking issues, and traffic jams.  Although our flights were not delayed we encountered other issues.  When we drove to our usual parking service at LAX, all the spaces were taken!  We did not want to valet park for a week!  Thankfully, the attendant was kind enough to direct us to some reserved spots.  But that still ate into some of our schedule margin.  So we ended up getting to our gate right as they started boarding.  I was hoping to let the kids run around the terminal to tire them out before boarding the flight.  But that didn't happen and we paid that price for it on that flight.  Ahgoo threw a 40-minute tantrum due to exhaustion.  I took a screaming Ahgoo to the back galley kitchen with all the flight attendants as they were eating lunch.  There were other mothers of toddlers on board and they all gave me sympathetic looks while a few older women came up to me to offer me some unsolicited advice.  But in the end, Ahgoo tired herself out and fell asleep in my arms.  I was finally able to go back to my seat for the last hour of the flight.

The Ugly - Delta check-in counter.  The service counters at Delta Airlines in Detroit were terrible.  Since we're traveling with a toddler without a ticket, we were told to wait in a particular line by a Delta staff.  But that particular line was servicing a difficult group and we literally waited for half an hour!  A few other folks in line were getting pretty angry as well.  When we asked another staff they just shrug their shoulders and walked away.  I took things into my own hands and went to check in in another line, which worked but didn't get us done any faster.  Thank goodness we did have schedule margin.  Delta Detroit, you're terrible.
  
Final thoughts, getting 3 seats was a blessing for us.  We pulled up all the arm rests and Buzz and Ahgoo were able to stretch out and lie down when they agot tired.  Don't forget to bring all the necessary accessories for your baby to sleep.  For Ahgoo, I brought her pacifier and bed sheet on the flight back and she slept the entire flight home.  Bringing her bedsheet was critical to her sleep, it made her feel at home (I didn't have it with us on the flight to Michigan, thus her meltdown!)  Lastly, bring lots of snacks!  Oh, and rather than buying milk at a store inside the airport, I just brought a empty sippy cup on the flight and asked for the complementary milk for the kids.  And most importantly, have the right attitude.  My sister-in-law had the worst flight ever.  One time, she flew with her 2 year old and her 8 year old.  Well, her older son ended up with air sickness and threw up all over her.  She had to endure sitting in vomit for the rest of the flight.  So if I come off the plane poop and vomit-free, then it's a good flight!  :-)
  
Ahgoo's first flight ever!


Eating their cheerios nicely together!


Eagerly awaiting to board our flight.

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Posted Aug 17, 2013


Last month, as part of our 4th of July long weekend activities, we took the kids to the Moorpark Teaching Zoo in Moorpark College.  Although we took the kids to the San Diego Zoo last year, we found that they are still too young to really appreciate a full size zoo.  In fact, Buzz got scared of the large preditors and didn't even want to see any lions or tigers.  He is also very scared of any lizzards or snakes.  But in my onilne search for things for toddlers to do, I stumbled upon this cute little zoo run by the students of Moorpark College.  This is where the students train to become zoo keepers and zoologists.  Admissions is cheap, kids under 2 are free so we didn't have to pay for Ahgoo.  

Keep in mind that this is a very small "zoo."  It's more of a rescue center.  But they did have one lion, a couple of monkeys, and some exotic birds and even a bald eagle.  But what they did have really surprised me.  They actually have a hyena, and he was huge!  I've always thought that they were wolf-size.  But this one was more like the size of a lion!  They also have a 95 year old tortoise and a giant pot-belly pig.  

The best part about the zoo is that they have a cute little show with a couple of cute animals, my favorite was the beaver.  I also love that the students working there are allowed to randomly bring out animals for show and tell.  They brought out a huge python, which I didn't get to see because Buzz refused to go near it.  They also brought out a couple of parrots, one of which rode on a truck!  Of course Buzz loved it and had to follow him down the road.  Overall, if your kids are younger than 5, this is a good place to bring them.  There are no crowds and it's cheap.  For older kids, they may enjoy the LA zoo a little more.
  
Waiting for the animal show to start.  It did get more crowded when the show started.


I'm the height of a donkey...what does that say about me??


These guys won't be flying anytime soon.


One of the young zoo trainees with a 75 year old parrot!


Buzz was facinated by the truck-driving parrot and followed it for a long time!
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Posted Aug 5, 2013





















































































































































































































































































































































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