We just got back from Bakersfield last night and were so happy to be back home. We loved the trip, as we always do, but getting home for us is the best.

The four days we were there, I swear Dianna progressed a bunch. Being around so many kids, I knew she'd learn to stand up for herself. So she learned how to say, "No" and "Stop!" Pretty funny. But in that same time, she's also become much faster and I would venture to say that she can run now. Something awesome about our family in California is that they have a HUGE backyard, which our little girl thoroughly enjoyed. It was just nice to sit back and let her play with the many, many toys they had back there. No worrying about a pool or rocks, both of which we have in our completely unusable but large backyard.

I was also surprised at how easy she made it to put her to sleep. She is really becoming a big kid now and I guess I'm still in denial about it. This past weekend has convinced me that 1) she's ready for a big girl bed and 2) she's ready to start potty training. Oh boy. Dianna took to Anthony, her cousin who is a year and a half her senior. One day, Tony saw her after a bath and said, "Baby Dianna looks coot."

That same day Dianna gave him a bunch of kisses after dinner. I think Tony kept a safe distance from her after that!

While there, we enjoyed going to Camelot--a family place with go-karts, mini golfing, water bumper rides, etc. We spent an entire afternoon there, and Steve and Michelle had Dianna for that time. We got back to see adorable pictures of Dianna falling asleep with Steve on their trampoline.

Another day, we had a little camp fire where we played the story game. To our family, the story game is played with one person starting off a random story that comes to their mind. After setting up a general scene, the next person continues the story and it just keeps going around the circle. The rest of the weekend, we kept bringing up the ridiculous story we had created in side jokes.

Our last day was Easter Sunday, which was spent going to church, Easter brunching, and Easter egg hunting.

To our one-and-a-half year old, Easter egg hunting is all about putting the eggs in her basket then dumping them all and starting again, all while singing the clean-up song to herself. Michelle got a kick out of it every time Dianna started up the song again.

We had to leave right after the egg hunting, but there was an air of, "Ya know we're only a gas tank away..." With a baby on the way and due to arrive this summer, I'm not so sure we can come again this year. But the Mr. and I actually think about them whenever we do have time off. We'll have to take them up on the offer soon!

Easter Prep

I don't have much time today since the Mr. and I are hurrying this way and that trying to get ready to leave to Bakersfield for our annual Easter celebrations there. We really, really love coming home to a perfectly clean house with fresh sheets in the bedrooms and no dishes in the dishwasher. Needless to say, cleaning of all sorts has been in our repertoire for the past two days.

This is the first year that we'll be going to see our cousins on the Mr.'s side without his parents as they're going through a separation. While it is weird and a change, it's for the best and keeps a semblance of normalcy for my young brother-in-law, John. During long trips, our family likes to listen to audiobooks. So to prepare John, we've had him listening to Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. Not much of a reader by any stretch, we hoped he would like that the male protagonist is his age.

In the spirit of all the grandparents being away from their little girl on Easter, yesterday we set it up so that both Poppy and Grammy (the Mr.'s parents) got to spend some time with Dianna. They seemed to really enjoy themselves. According to the Mr., both of them were all smiles from the few hours they got with our little one. Poppy just got a few new toys for Dianna and she apparently loved her todder-sized stroller. You can see the handles to it just peeking behind her head.

Tonight will be my parents' turn. Then tomorrow, we leave early in the morning on our adventure!
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