Sunday, June 25, 2017

Family Shenanigans

A few weekends back we went down to PA to visit the fam while Ammon was home. It worked out well since Darin had a conference then and tickets out of DC were cheaper than up here. So we took him down to DC and then spent a few days with my family before going back down to DC to grab him. 

After the kids and I dropped him off on a Thursday morning, we drove to the Hagerstown Discovery Station which was on our way back to PA (and free thanks to our Science Center membership!) Here's a few pics from our visit:

 This girl was just the cutest with all these tools. I could watch her play all day long.

 Shae was SO excited that they had so much stuff that he has learned about in the Magic Tree House books (Dinosaurs, Civil War, Titanic, the Moon).

We met up with Philip and the boys he watches on Friday and went to Colonel Denning State Park. We went here once a few years back too and just love it. It is such a beautiful park and the water and sand is just right for the kids. It was FULL of tadpoles when we were there which was crazy. Shae was a bit hesitant to get in because he didn't want to step on them, which was hard to not do since they were everywhere! We also found a few salamanders and snakes!

 Proud of my sand castle that no one wanted to help me build.

On Saturday we headed back down to DC since Darin's flight would be coming in that evening. My parents and Ammon went down too so that we could all go to the National Zoo together before picking him up.

Deep thoughts about the clementines.

 A few of our McNiven friends went with us and Belén really attached herself to a few of the boys.

 Watching the armadillos. They were so fast and so fun to watch run around!
 These guys were putting on a show as well.
 Checkin' out the crocodile with grandma.
 Down by the sea lions there was a fun area that would spew out water every 2 minutes that the kids could get their feet wet in. 

After the zoo my parents took the kids back home while I waited at the airport for Darin's 8 o'clock flight to come. We reunited and caught up over a late night date of Cafe Rio in Fredrick...the real reason we had him fly out of Dulles :).

Monday, June 19, 2017

Life Lately--May Edition

The kids each picked out a flower to plant and Darin and I are trying our hand at cilantro, basil, and tomatoes. We'll see how this first ever gardening on a balcony attempt goes for us. Just hoping Belén doesn't destroy them TOO quickly.

 Playing "sleeping."
 This girl idolizes Shae's bestie Eppie. She has all the coolest dress up clothes and Belén just eats it up.
 While watching a show one day Shae said, "Don't worry Belén, I'll protect you," then put his arm around her.
 We went through a good bit of molar teething at the beginning of May which led to LOTs of tantrums for a usually very pleasant and happy toddler girl. Here she is losing it after our branch closing social. She peed her pants and we didn't have spare pants to put her in and she was not happy about it. 
I don't remember the reason for this meltdown, I just remember it was a good one. And I'm pretty sure that I had one too at some point during this day. The purple paint on the dress is bringing back bad memories for me...
After taking Belén's picture, Shae of course needed his own attention. "Take my picture too, please?"
 You just never know what you might find when you open the kid's door at night.
 We did a white elephant style book swap for our last book club in April and I got The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I had already been purging things like crazy in our home since I'm just so tired of the clutter and junk, and trying to figure out how to organize things in our small space, so this couldn't have been timed any better. I loved the book. My biggest take away was about knowing when something has fulfilled it's purpose, for example, kids art work, birthday cards, etc. Those random things that we feel like we have to hold on to, but we don't! I have read the thank you card, it has fulfilled it's purpose, no need to keep it forever. This is the same with clothes we buy, but then later realize we don't really like or they don't fit us as well as we thought. No need to hang on to it in hopes that one day we will like it, it has fulfilled it's purpose in helping us understand our tastes better. Even if it is a gift! It is okay to get rid of something that someone gave you if you don't really like it or will never use it. It has fulfilled it's purpose of someone remembering and loving you, but if you don't like it, don't keep it! Loved that idea.

These were the very last few bags I got rid of, but there were oooohhh so many more. Loved going through all the kids stuff and getting rid of all the little random annoying toys and stuffed animals that they have inherited from random places. Getting rid of stuff is oh so refreshing.
 Just another walk through the woods.

 They wanted to color the entire bridge.
 Belén’s first dental appointment.

 Had to go back and watch a video that I took of the below because I couldn't even remember what happened to Belén’s eye! (And this is why I have a memory just keeps getting worst). For the record, she put a blanket over her head and walked right in to the corner of a chair and gave herself a little black eye.
 Poor Shae caught a nasty bug early in May. He woke up one day at like 6:15 and when I came out at 7, he was already back asleep on the couch. I should have known something was wrong because of that, but just thought, "Well he did get up kind of early."
When he did finally wake up at 9:30, he was not himself AT ALL. I have never seen him this sick before. He literally stayed on the couch the ENTIRE day. He had a fever and threw up a few times.

After reading him a few books mid-day I told him that I needed to put Belén down for her nap and would be back in a few minutes to take a nap with him on the couch. He couldn't even make it the 10 minutes I was gone putting her down. I came back out to this:
 It sure was hard to see him so sick, but so sweet to cuddle with him and watch movies all day. Luckily he was much better the next day.
 Said goodbye to my sweet Paraguayan friend Alia. Her family was here for the semester while her husband did some school. They are just the sweetest family. I'm so blessed that I got to hang out with her so much, and practice my Spanish! What an amazing blessing to meet someone from Paraguay since that is one of the countries Darin is studying and we have a trip planned there in August! Can't wait to meet up with them down there!
Stole these pictures from her instagram...saying our final goodbye, the night before they left.
A morning trip to show off Buttermilk Falls.
We picked Darin up at lunch time, between the two portions of his comp exam to give him a little break and hopefully recharge his writing batteries and spirits :). Luckily his test was on a Tuesday which is dollar slice day at Papa Johns, so of course we hit that up.

Belén stole Shae's Unique crown that he made in Joy School that morning. Later in the week, Darin sat down and made one with her because she kept wanting to wear his.

 Daddy was too stressed to take pics with us...j/k j/k...he was inside getting the pizza :)

 Poppy hair! (from Trolls). Also, I just love her quirky little smile, how she squints that left eye.
 "I want trolls hair too. I'm Branch"

Some of my favorite Shae quotes from the past month or two:

S: Mommy, I love you.
Me: Well then, you should marry me.
S: No no no mommy, when I have my OWN mommy, then I will marry her, I can't marry you. 
(Pretty funny to see him try and navigate the words wife, mommy, parent, similar, yet, so different).

I also love seeing him try to figure out temperature. How he says, "Don't put it in the freezer, it will melt!" Or, "Let's put it in the fridge to warm up." Or, "Let's go stand in the shade so that we can warm up." 

Having a conversation about how I really like 4 year old Shae and he asks me, "What about the other numbers?" and then he says, "Do you think we can be 100!? Then answers his own question, "No, because then we would be TOO big and we would crash into Jesus! ...and the Holy Ghost because we would be so big!."

I took cookies to a RS activity we had (A Women's Health Presentation that I was so excited to organize and have my PT come to!). Shae was very concerned that there wouldn't be any leftovers for him (even though he already had one while we were making them). I told him if there were, he could have one the next day. In the middle of the night he came in to my room, woke me up, and asked if there was a leftover cookie. I said there was. He went back to sleep. The first thing he says to me in the morning, "Can I have my cookie now?" 

S: Mom, maybe someday you can have more babies and feed them milk from those thingys.
Me: What thingys?
S: Those UP thingys on your body. I'll show you.
He lifts his shirt and points at HIS thingys. 
I died. SO FUNNY.