San Clemente playdate and first movie

Over the weekend, the girls hung out with their friends, Maliyah and Allie, at Courtney’s Sandcastle and Sensory Garden in San Clemente. We’ve been meaning to check it out for a while– it’s an awesome playground designed to foster exploration of all the senses and is completely accessible for kids with disabilities.

The playground definitely lived up to the hype– if only we lived a little bit closer. The only downside was that it was so huge, Jake and I didn’t get to chat with the Wrights much because all of us were constantly chasing our own kids, who, predictably, wanted to play on opposite sides of the play area. #Parentsoftoddlerproblems.

First stop: the sound garden. 

Samantha plays her gong song. 
Amelia sang along to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star while playing the piano. 
The sensory garden had a little area with a variety of fresh herbs you could pick and smell/taste. S and A went straight for the mint, of course. We have a ton of mint growing in our backyard and the girls love munching on it. 

The girls spent a good amount of time at the mini tide pool pointing out starfishes, shells and the like. 
Samantha and Maliyah at the water ball fountain. 
Can’t believe Baby Allie is already walking…she’s quick, too!
Anytime Samantha sees letters or words, she starts shouting, “ABCs!! ABCs!” and doesn’t stop until we sing the song. She thought attempting to do it in sign language was hilarious. 
Samantha fell off the platform at our playground at home a few weeks ago and hit her jaw on one of the metal twisty slides on the way down. I’m used to seeing the girls fall/get scraped up, and usually don’t bat an eye, but this was one of those times that made me gasp in horror. When you can hear the SPLAT on the ground, you know it’s bad. 
She actually wasn’t too upset considering it was a hard fall, but when she started acting really tired during dinner, we decided to take her to the doctor to make sure she didn’t have a concussion. She was fine, but man, did she have a bruise! Ever since then, Samantha has been a tiny bit more cautious when climbing things (and by cautious, I mean she now actually looks for a split second where she’s going). 
Amelia protests Samantha hitching a ride with her on the dino. 
After playtime, we ate a picnic lunch with the Wrights and played on the football field. Leave it to Maliyah to bring plenty of balls for everyone to play with (that girl loves balls!)


NO photos argh!

Fine we’ll pose. But only ironically. 

But wait– there’s more… After our playdate with the Wrights, S and A stayed up way past their bedtime attending our neighbor, Isabel’s, birthday party. The girls thought the “drive-in” movie was pretty much the best thing ever (we watched Alice in Wonderland outside in their driveway).

Good thing the other 11-year-olds didn’t mind Samantha and Amelia constantly squawking about all the animals that showed up on screen (“Hop hop! Bunny! A cat! A cat!) After their initial interest in the movie wore off, the girls curled up in our arms and cuddled with us until we finally decided to put them to bed. I don’t get many chances to sit quietly and hold the girls individually these days, and sitting with Amelia just made my heart melt. She is the sweetest girl.

It was close to 9 p.m.– definitely a record late night for S and A. After tucking them in, we took the monitor outside and finished the movie with everyone. We’re excited for more movie nights this summer!

Play dates and movies– our girls are growing up!

Lots of love,


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