Friday night the 2nd we enjoyed dinner here at our little Loma Linda pad. The kids were SO excited to have their family come. It had been a few weeks since their uncles, aunt and cousins were here, so having more familiar faces was exciting! Saturday we got up early and went to visit the kids great-grandma Evie and great-great-grandma Connie in Temecula. Gabriella and I had visited their home there in March, so we were very excited to show off the amazing vineyards and gardens on the property to everyone else! Saturday night, my mom and sister got me out of lock-down and we went to Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamango to have dinner and see ECLIPSE! FINALLY! I was way overdue to see it and loved every minute of it... :)
Sunday the 4th, I put my mom and sister to work. I have been super excited to make a house meal for the main Ronald McDonald House, and with them being here I had the help and they wanted to help me give back as well. We went over at about 1130a and began cooking! We made build-your-own taco salads and/or nachos and beans, and poke cake for dessert. Paul brought the kids over and ate on the patio so they could be a part of it as well without exposing Gabriella to people. As much as everyone thanked us, we thanked them back. It was an honor to cook for the house, and for all the other parents I all too much related to.
After the lunch, we came back to freshen up and grabbed some dinner. We headed to Redlands to watch fireworks on a side street, and it was SO much fun! 4th of July in Phoenix is just downright hot. In the last 12 July's I have been in AZ, I had yet to enjoy a fireworks event outside of a pool and truly enjoy myself because it is just so darned hot in the evenings. But here it was gorgeous and I definitely did not take it for granted! MAYBE 70 degrees and everyone was outside lighting fireworks, cooking out or just enjoying the weather. We sat on a residential curb (away from germie people of course) and lit some fireworks of our own and then enjoyed the show which was probably the best display I've seen outside Disneyland! It was a fun night with some major fun times...
Monday, the inevitable happened and they all returned home to Arizona, but not before a yummy breakfast. It was great having them all here for the weekend and the kids had a ton of fun. It was probably the most active they had been in one weekend since we came to California 7 weeks prior! After the family left, and considering some of the suggestions on things to do from our Doc, we jumped on an impulsive idea to go to the beach, and I'm so glad we did. With Gabriella, her medications make her prone to burning in the sun, but with an overcast sky, 100spf sunblock and our $5 beach umbrellas we got at Old Navy last year, Gabriella was able to enjoy the beach and build some sand castles! The best part was it was an entire day together and cost us no money... which you gotta love.
We went with Daddy to Anaheim on Wednesday the 7th since he works out of their office one day a week. We decided to brave it and go into Disneyland for a calm night of fireworks (a benefit of being Annual Passholders- MUST keep saving our pennies to renew this fall!). Gabriella asks multiple times every day to go to Disneyland now that he heart is better, and we have been avoiding it due to germs. We had a talk with the kids before we went, and they agreed to our terms. We got into the park at about 530p, grabbed a bench infront of the castle, Paul went to get us some dinner and we sat and ate and enjoyed the music and people for a few hours until the 930p fireworks. Being on the bench, people steered clear of us and parked on the ground in front of us. No one was behind us to worry about, and I felt a lot better than I would about being in the park! She kept her mask on the whole time except to eat, and I am SO proud of her responsibility in her mask and keeping her hands clean.... she's such a big girl! We enjoyed the fireworks (something that never gets old to us) and sat while the crowds cleared before we left and headed 'home' Inland. When she hits her 3month mark and is ok'd through the doctors, we will attempt to go and ride rides in our final weeks accessible to Disneyland before going home to Arizona! The love my kids have for Disneyland makes me SO proud.... lol.
Saturday we decided to go back to the beach. I am loving how much there is to do in California without paying. We packed lunch and snacks and spent an AMAZING afternoon on the beach playing in the sand and waves. We went to a beach we have never been to south of Laguna Beach and the sand was softer than any other sand I've seen on the west coast. The kids had so much fun playing in holes and looking for treasures.
I can't even begin to describe how amazing it is to see Gabriella with SO much life in her. She feels fantastic and it is evident in her activity. She is more confident in herself also, with her words coming back and her understanding of the responsibility she has with her heart. I find myself, even though we are obsessed with germs and cleanliness, able to truly relax and enjoy what we are doing and not having that fear in the back of my head of her heart suddenly stopping that I lived with for a year.
Here are some pics of the first 10 days of July!