Thursday, July 7, 2016

Fourth of July Weekend

We've been here 3 weeks and I haven't posted anything about Ann Arbor yet! We are really enjoying it here. There is so much to do with kids which has been great. Darin's classes weren't exactly what he expected, but he is still enjoying them and learning (and catching up with our good buddy Nicky from Williamsburg who is here too which was so exciting to find out!)

Crazy that we only have a week and a few days left before heading out on the next part of our trip.
Fourth of July was pretty chill. We don't have any friends or family here, so it was just our little family celebrating together (which was great and all...but you know how a holiday is the perfect excuse to hang out with people, so I was missing people, just a bit). We still had fun.

Darin got out of class early on Friday so we packed up a little picnic dinner and headed out to a splash pad that we had heard about in Plymouth, MI (about 20 minutes outside Ann Arbor). It was such a fun little park! The splash pad was SO cool (Darin and I were wishing we had brought our swim suits too), there was an awesome playground, sand pits, and a little train to play on AND it was free!

Shae stayed at this thing most of the time he was playing. He really liked shooting people, but did not like being shot (go figure).

Shae trying to convince me to run through the water even though I didn't have my bathing suit.

Showing me how it's done.

Leading me over.

He stood by and watched while Belén ran through with me.

She made a friend with a water gun and thought it was the coolest thing.

After playing in the water the kids headed over to the train to play for a bit before we sat down to eat.

Then we checked out the super huge, super cool playground.

Nice shot Darin!
Those thighs!

I took these two of Belén in the sand pit a few days later when the kids and I went back on a scorcher of a day. She laid in the sand like this for quite awhile making sand angels (on her belly). 

On the day of the 4th we woke up and went to the ward pancake breakfast, which was quite impressive. All I expected were pancakes, but they went all out with bacon, sausage, eggs, milk, and juice. Very nice.

After the breakfast we took the kids to the dollar summer movie (How to Train Your Dragon 2). I've been wanting to take the kids to a dollar movie but have been scared to take them by myself because I anticipated Belén NOT sitting for the movie and wasn't sure if I'd have to leave with her (which would mean Shae would have to leave which would mean epic tantrum--I do all I can to avoid those). This was a good test with both parents there and it is safe to say that I will NOT be taking both kids to the movies by least not until next summer when Belén is a little older.

After naps we made ourselves a simple little 4th of July dinner. We all wrapped mini pigs in blankets (piggie rolls as Shae called them) together and then ate them with roasted squash, corn, and watermelon and a blueberry cobbler for dessert. After cleaning up and letting our food settle a bit we went outside to the pool at our apartment complex (which has been SO nice to have!)

We were given this swim jacket by a friend and it is the best. It has allowed me to take the kids to the pool alone because Shae can totally swim around with it on and I can focus on keeping Belén alive.

Although, someone at the pool let us borrow their baby floaty for Belén for a bit and that made things even easier. Gonna need to get one of those.

Although she seemed to prefer to be out of it...independent, wild, and free. 

We didn't stay up late to watch fireworks which is the first time I think I have ever done that (besides my mission where the 4th of July was not celebrated). It was kind of a bummer and we talked about keeping the kids up but Shae has just been super difficult with angry fits lately and neither of us had the energy to deal with it late into the night, or early the next morning. I did step out of the apartment for a few minutes and could see some fireworks off in the distance, through the trees, so I feel like I was still able to get the 4th of July feel that I was looking for (definitely HEARD it...all through the night). And instead we stayed up late watching West Wing, how much more American does TV get than that?

Hope everyone else had a good 4th!

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