Monday, February 20, 2017

Uncle Foo Foo Visits

Foo foo. It's what Belén calls him and it's adorable.

Actually, we all call him that now...

It was such a treat to have Philip come up and visit us over Shae's birthday weekend. He had never been to Ithaca before, and even though the heart of the winter isn't the greatest time to show off Ithaca, we still tried our best. Thankfully, the Saturday he was here almost hit the 40s, so it wasn't too terribly miserable while getting out to explore. We took him to Taughannock Falls State Park which has a very nice kid friendly hike to a waterfall. The kids were so excited to be outside (it's just been sooo windy and frigid that I haven't wanted to spend more than 2 seconds outside as of late. Poor kids!) They loved walking through the snow and making and throwing snowballs throughout the entire hike.

Even in the winter, Ithaca is gorges.

 On Sunday (Shae's actual birthday) we kept things pretty low key. I tried to be extra loving with him since it was his day and played Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus with him twice (which is saying something b/c it is easily my least favorite game to play with him, so convincing me to play it once is a feat in and of itself). 

We gave him our presents, which his sister seemed to be a bit more excited about than he was...
 He opened his awesome package from Aunt Amelia which he loved. He immediately put the calendar on his wall and asks us everyday when it will be the day he can flip it to the Hulk page (er, March).
I found this big box of Mega Blocks at the thrift store for $10 a few months back and it has been hiding in our closet every since. I was planning to give it to Belén for her birthday since it seemed more age appropriate, but we have other plans for her now, so we gave it to Shae and I'm so glad we did! He has really been in to building things with them and even snuck away while the TV was on (!!!) the other day to play with them.
Monday was FREEZING and windy and did I mention FREEZING? But we wanted to show Philip Cornell, and we might have been crazy, but we did. We went to the chimes concert and then tried to go to the Art Museum to see the cool laser display, but it was closed which Shae thought was just so rude of them to be closed, as did I.
 Chowing down on fruit snacks while waiting for the stairs of the Bell Tower to open.
On Monday night Philip got to see the beautiful religion building on campus (Anabel Taylor Hall) as he went to FHE and I went to a little Galentine's party with some ladies from our branch while waiting for him. Before Philip left on Tuesday morning, we ate heart shaped pancakes in honor of love day and then went to Ithaca Falls while waiting to pick up Shae from Joy School. We had such a fun time hanging out with him!

Loved these pictures that Philip got of this cute girl.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Birthday Numero 4

Shae knows his birthday comes soon after Christmas and New Years, so we've counting down to this day for quite some time now. We were both very excited for Friday to arrive so that we could get everything ready for the party the next day. It was really fun doing all the prep work with him. His excitement was contagious. 

He was easily convinced when I mentioned having a Paw Patrol party a few weeks ago. Once he got it in his head, it was all he talked about. Here he is getting the Marshall fire house ready for one of the games. 

Frosting the cake!
 He loved choosing a few of his pups and sticking them on the cake. 

 We found this Pin the Badge on Skye game on Nick Jr.'s web-site (thank goodness, b/c I was going to try and free hand a pin the tail on the pup and I doubt it would have been pretty). 
We let Shae invite four friends since he was turning four.  He chose to invite his three Joy School friends (Naomi, Liesel, and Eppie) and his church buddy Ayden. Shae also sent an invite to Philip and we were all so excited when he said he would come! The party was pretty much a glorified Joy School. We started off with a little craft, decorating goodie bags with paw patrol pictures. 

We then moved on to making pup-sicles (paw patrol stick puppets).
 Darin played a little impromptu balloon in the air game with the kids while I cleaned up the crafts.

 Getting ready to play Pin the Badge on Skye. I should have known from the below picture that the little stinker could see through the eye mask, but I guess I was busy taking pictures or something...
 Nailed it. 
 As did she :).

 Moving on to put out the fires on Philip's house! (Shae said it was his house...)

 Then our final activity was the Pup Pup Boogie Dance Off. We did different dance moves for each pup while jamming out. 
 While the kids ate their Hot Pups I read a few Paw Patrol books that we got from the library. 
 Then on to presents! I just loved how excited he was when his friends walked in with gifts. He said, "SHE brought a gift TOO!" His excitement was just so tender, I love that he wasn't expecting anything from anyone and to see how happy his friend's thoughtfulness made him. 
 Reading his card from Eppie.
 He loved this activity book that he received. Along with the Captain America that Ayden got him, the car/boat from Philip, the light saber/map puzzle from Grandma, the quarters and Cars stickers from Ibu, and the science experiments from Naomi. 

It was such a fun day to celebrate this sweet boy. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I just realized that I never posted the rest of our break pictures! (ie: the period where Darin was gone and we were still taking pictures, because all we've been doing since he's been back is hugging and loving between his bathroom trips that is...the transition back to America did not do anything good for his belly...). 

We were so lucky to have 5 days with Anna when we got back to PA. Love this girl so so so much.

While in PA we met up with Philip and one of the boys that he nannies to bowl and then...DUCK DONUTS! Darin and I discovered that there was a Duck Donuts close to my parents last fall but hadn't had an opportunity to go yet. We made sure to go this visit. These donuts have a special place in our heart from when we lived in Williamsburg. So fun to see it expand throughout the east coast.

 Love his sweet face, full on enjoying that amazing donut. I want more right now!
 Perks to sleeping in the same room with the kids for a week: seeing the fun positions they get themselves in to. Waking up every couple of hours with them was definitely an unperk. (They really struggled those first two weeks back after being in the west. They seemed to have devised a plan so that at least one of them was up every hour. Good times). 
 It's always fun to see the kid's reaction to our apartment/toys/their room when we get back home after being away for so long. Shae ran around saying, "I love my room! I love my toys! I love my pillow! I love my bed!" etc. etc. etc. Of course the first thing to come out, the stuffed animal/pillow pile. Always. 
 She was happy to have hummus back in her life. 
 Shae and I taking an early morning selfie to send to daddy before he went to sleep a world (and day) away from us. The flash was pretty bright, so this is what he got. 
 As much as I love to have the whole bed to myself, it was fun having Shae sleep with me for the last week of Darin's trip. I tried to put him in his bed a few times, but he somehow always ended up back in bed with me (granted, he had been sleeping with an adult in the room with him for the past month, so it was understandable). 

How to pass the week by when all you can think about is how many days are left till seeing daddy:

 Shae was at Joy School when we went up to Syracuse to get Darin. It was a bummer he wasn't there to greet him, but I'm also glad that me and Belén got some daddy time first. We arrived at the waiting area right as Darin was walking out. Belén saw him first and pushed herself right out of my arms and ran full speed to him yelling "daddy!" the whole way. My heart melted. It was the sweetest and then she gave him the BEST BIGGEST bear hug. Oh that girl loves her daddy. All I got was a picture of her letting go of the bear hug, but still a WONDERFUL moment (for so many reasons!)
 The kids can finally stop climbing other people's dads (seriously, anytime Shae saw a man the last week of Darin's trip, he would start to climb them or try to wrestle them, it was pretty awkward at a friend's bday party to look over and see some kid's dad--that we don't know--holding Shae while he caressed his face...). They now have their jungle gym/wrestle buddy back! And all is right in the world again.
And if there are no new blog posts for awhile it's because all we will be doing is this:

Potty training! (and eating lots of hummus because that is how we do) All of last week that is what we did and for the next weeks and months and years to come. That little toilet ring around her bum, ha! Wish us luck!