Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ithaca Children's Garden

I'm trying to get caught up on all these old posts. Christmas/Winter break has really put me behind in life (and the fact that we were all sick for about a month of the break). 

About a week or so before the semester ended, we took a little trip to the Ithaca Children's Garden downtown. We weren't seeing much of Darin at this point, but he snuck away with us for an hour which was so nice. The pictures are really grey, but the weather was so nice the day we went. We couldn't believe that we were sitting outside without coats mid-December in Ithaca.

The garden wasn't anything fancy, quite the opposite in fact. It felt like a bunch of junk thrown around an area for kids to check out. Junk is treasure to a child's heart. Shae loved climbing around on old tires and piles of pallets. I didn't take too many pictures because I forgot the camera, but got a few with my phone.

Here are a few from the music area:

And some of the other random areas:

There wasn't much for Belén to do at the garden besides wiggle around in the stroller wanting to get out. There was a park right next to it so we stopped there afterwards. She had a blast playing on the playground. She's just getting so big! (And this was a month and a half ago).

Needless to say, this was a much needed outing with daddy. Now that we've had a long fun break with him, back to school today it is.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Snow Day

It has been a suuuuuper mild winter for us thus far. We've actually been quite jealous of all the snow pictures we've seen from our Utah/Idaho friends (especially on Christmas! We enjoyed a 65 degree Christmas out here). And now with everything we are hearing this weekend about snowmageddon, which is hitting my family in PA and where I grew up in MD pretty hard, I've got snow on the mind.

The past two weeks we have finally started to get a bit of snow, and the temperatures have plummeted to highs in the 20s, rather than the 60s. One observation we have made with the snow out here is that it's just kind of in the air. Kind of like how 100% humidity felt in Williamsburg, there was just a constant mist in the air...that's how it's felt here, but with snow. 

Even though it wasn't much, we got enough last week to finally whip out our sleds and go out and play.

These two had a blast.

They probably would have stayed out all afternoon, while Belén and I waited in the warm car, if our sled hadn't been destroyed after a few runs down the hill.

I guess we didn't pick a very good hill...there was a big ditch all along the bottom of the hill that didn't seem to like us much.

Belén seemed indifferent about the snow.

She was much happier once we were back inside.

For a bit anyways, I can't get enough of her pouty face...

This kid just had a blast... much so that he crashed on daddy while watching a movie not too long after.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Dicken's Village

Daddy and Shae inside of their tunnel fort. Belén just couldn't figure out how to get inside.


We heard from multiple friends that Dicken's Village is a must while living in Ithaca. There is a cute little town called Skaneateles about an hour away from us that turns into an adorable Christmas village with everything Dickens themed, even people walking around in character, including Father Christmas. From the moment I heard about this, I could not stop thinking about how badly I wanted to go. Darin was SO busy those first few weeks of December with finals and papers and what not. He turned in his last paper the morning of the 15th, we were leaving the next day for VA, but I HAD to see Dicken's Village, so the afternoon of the 15th we went. I was so excited! Until we arrived and realized that all of the Dicken's characters/activities only took place on the weekends! Sad! I apparently missed that memo somewhere on the website... We still had a fun time walking around the town (which really is so so cute) and went and saw Father Chirstmas' chair. We snuck a little candy cane on the chair and told Shae that he left it there for him since he was expecting to see him.

We checked out the Sherwood Inn where there were little Christmas scenes to see, as well as a nice big Christmas tree.

Outside, there was a little Christmas tree at the end of the dock so we ran out there, chasing all the seagulls away and hopping around their droppings all over the end of the dock. (Shae was pretty disturbed by it and was so worried about it getting on his feet).

We didn't stay outside too long since it was chilly right by the lake. We found the library and hung out there for a bit and then got some hot chocolate and biscotti and left. 

We had actually been in search of a copy of episode III of Star Wars to watch that evening but our local libraries did not have it. We checked in Skaneateles and they didn't have it. We passed a library in a little town called Moravia on the drive home and stopped there (while the kids snoozed in the car) just to check, and sure enough, they had it! So the trip wasn't a total waste after all (not that it would have been if we hadn't found Star Wars, we just felt that our trip was more justified after finding it).

Good thing we'll be here for a few more years. We'll make sure to check the days/times extra carefully next year :).

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

10 Months

"I am SO done with this photo shoot. Get me out of this little dress."

After sleeping horribly while in Virginia (where we all shared a room and Shae woke up every hour), Belén slept through the night three nights in a row at my parents house! (She slept alone in the little sewing room which definitely helped). It was glorious. The days she didn't sleep 100% through the night, she just woke up once and would sleep until 7:30/8 a.m. It was so nice of her. If only Shae had been that nice... Coming home I had high hopes that she would continue to sleep through the night, but alas, sharing a room with Shae just makes that a bit difficult. She is better now at sleeping through his noise and tends to only wake up once, which we can handle.

Really good with taking two naps a day. She has needed a bit more help falling asleep for naps this month which was weird, but she seems to be coming out of that phase and doesn't need us to rub her back until she falls asleep anymore.

The rough sleep for naps might have been due to the three new teeth she got this month. Two more on top and one on the bottom for a total of seven teeth.

She had fun with all her "new toys" this month, aka: ornaments (they quickly moved higher and higher up on the tree).

First Christmas!

We do most things with one sock on and one sock off these days.

Her favorite books seem to be Brown Bear Brown Bear, Peek-A-Boo Animals, and Doggies by Sandra Boynton (she loves all the different dog noises!). She giggles ridiculously when I make a cat sound in her ear while reading Brown Bear. She also got very excited about the cats at my parents house. You could tell she was enthralled by them and scared of them at the same time. 

It's hard to say what her favorite foods are. She eats anything and everything that we put in front of her. She had a couple bites of her first sweets this month. A bite of cookie and some Pokys that were in our stockings. She was a fan.

 Mastered the art of sippy cup drinking. 

She had a week where she was sick with nasty goopey eyes. It never seemed like full on pink eye to me, maybe the beginning of it (which I seem to have now too, boo). We took her to the doctors and got her some eye drops and it cleared up quickly, but her eyes were so red for a few days.
Still kind of red here, but so much better
 She would stay in the bathtub forever if we let her, or stand by the bathtub while Shae bathes forever, if we'd let her. Can we just talk about naked babies for a sec? They're the greatest.

Enjoyed her first museum this month (post to come later).

She started saying mamamamamamama. Definitely doesn't mean mama, but cute nonetheless. Her usual noises still consist of deep growls and deep malicious sounding laughs.

She loves to help me with my stretches (just trying to fix those pelvic floor muscles a bit...and watch The Chew at the same time).

Her personality is shining through everyday and we just love it. We both say, "She is just the best." "She is just the cutest." "She is just the greatest." or something of that nature at least 20 times a day, because she really is!

Happy 10 Months Baylina Ballarina. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Our Visit to the Burg

Before Christmas, we took a quick trip down to Williamsburg to see some friends...and eat some good food. We stayed with the Lukes for a couple of days where these boys fought like they always do, but had some cute moments too.

These girls made messes of all the bookshelves, and Belén pulled a little side table down and broke a vase, which I still feel really bad about...

 And we had some great adult catch up time with these crazies.


We just won't even talk about the BYU game which was one of the main reasons we went down when we did...

We then stayed with the Meldrums for a few days. These two. I just love them. I babysat little Fla-la for quite some time while living in Williamsburg so this girl has a special place in my heart. Plus she was Shae's first "real" friend. It was so fun to see them interact and communicate and see that they hadn't completely forgotten each other after a few months of not seeing each other. (Excuse the weird foggy pictures).

On Sunday we visited our favorite Spanish Branch. We walked in and this girl immediately got swept out of our arms. We didn't get her back until we were leaving the building.
 My kids just love the Richeys. 

The Three Musketeers back together.

Of course we couldn't leave Williamsburg without enjoying some of our favorite restaurants. We made sure to stop at Nawab and El Sabrason (Pupusas!). So so good.

We had high hopes of spending the day in Washington D.C. on our way to my parents house. It ended up being a pretty rainy day and we were all exhausted from staying up late with our friends and sleeping in one room where our children missed the memo that we were supposed to be SLEEPING and that 5 a.m. was not an appropriate hour to wake up. So, sadly, we scratched our DC plans (which was good since it took us 7 hours to get to my parents due to traffic), we'll have other opportunities. We did take a pit stop at the temple to see all the Christmas trees and nativities...and let the kids loose for a bit.

 We're hoping to spend some time in both of these countries (Indonesia and Paraguay) in the coming years so it was fun to find their nativities. 

 And of course I just love Argentina for obvious reasons.

I also really loved Tanzania and Thailand. 

I tried...
 She's impossible these days.

 And cute.