Sunday, November 27, 2016

So much stuff part 1



So much has happened I have to write it down before I forget.  First off Harry is getting around so much. He loves to play fetch and to chase balls around the house as he pushes and hits them around.  He took his first steps on Saturday the 12th of November and is taking the cutest baby steps everywhere now.  He puts his hands up in the air and walks like a little ginger bread man with a cowboy gait.  It is so adorable and so fun to watch him experiment and get more confident.  He also likes to point at everything and is very good at feeding himself now.  He jabbers so much.  He says no no dada and is so emotive.  He has also said mommy, daddy, and I think that he said hello.  He gets so happy and so sad.  Still not amazing at sleeping but so alive and he crawls into everything and onto everything. We call him "spider baby" and the "swiper" because he moves so fast and knocks things across the room before we even realize that he is reaching out for anything.   He drags everything everywhere like the chair so that he can climb onto something.  He loves to run along the side of the little riding cars.  He has been running before he could walk because he is fearless.  He took a tumble down the stairs which was horrifying but he wants to go down them even more now and runs to them straight thing.  I think he is an adrenaline junkie. This year has been a wild ride with lots to do and Julian starting school.  Here he is on the first day:

and probably the second day,

He loves school and it is so fun to watch as he soaks up everything like a sponge.  He is still always building legos, but also has been having so much fun learning to read and practicing his math skills.  He loves to sing all the songs that he learns in kindergarten and sings them around the house.  We often find him singing.  Gretchen has been getting so big.  She is almost four and loves doing everything that Julian does, as well as many art projects at home.  She loves to draw (on everything;) and she is just getting so big.  She loves to do "homework" with Julian and has learned all of her letters and is trying to write as well as Julian.  She loves going to kindergarten for Julian's class parties and just goes and does what the other kids are doing.  I feel like she got so big so fast and can't believe that she is going to be four next month.  


So apart from these kids getting so much bigger, we have had a lot of stuff to do.  The first eight months of the year felt like nose to the grind busy with no days off from work and lots of extra stuff to fill in all of our nights and weekends (not fun stuff) but then we had a deluge of vacations and activities that don't look like they are going to slow down anytime soon.  We may not be the best planners and should have paced ourselves better but we really cannot think very well at all with the mix of sleep deprivation and whatever else is going on that is sapping those brain cells like crazy.  Any who we did some fun summer stuff like make jam from the black berries, strawberries, and raspberries in our garden and visited the Dino museum. The kids also slept on the floor every night in their sleeping bags, played outside a ton, and had a limeade sale at our yard sale.



We also took a fun trip to bear lake and camped over the weekend in Idaho sometime in July and had an amazing time with friends.  It was so beautiful and so warm.

Then we went camping for four days which with three kids and one of them being Harrison was not the most restful weekend but we had fun hanging out with family and eating yummy camp food.


We also enjoyed the weather cooling down a bit and took an after school hike up to Silver Lake. It was ridiculously pretty up there and the kids loved looking for wild life.  They came prepared, maybe a little too prepared...




I was starting to give up hope of ever relaxing with three kids in my life again and then we went for a week down to California at the end of September.  It was sooo fun! We took Aaron's parents to all of our favorite spots and stayed in a cute place on the Balboa Peninsula.  We ate amazing food, swam at our favorite beaches, had so much fun at Disneyland, and just had a great time. 

First we went to downtown Disney to race some lego cars and to eat some yummy food.



Then we went to Disneyland and met up with my brother Tony.  We had so much fun with all of us there.  It really is one of the happiest places on earth;)


This pic is so funny. The kids are so afraid of the whale at the beginning of the storybook ride and my brother was waiting with Harry while we were on the teacups and from where we were it looked like the whale was about to eat him.  The kids were like "NOOO, TONY!!! The whale!! Look out!!" He couldn't tell that they were screaming for him to get to safety but it still made for a pretty fun picture;)

After DL we went on a whale watching tour.  We saw tons of dolphins and hung out with a  humpback whale for about a half an hour.  Those things are so huge and it was a little intimidating for the kids but we thought it was magical to be out there in the middle of the ocean seeing this beautiful majestic animal. It was just so special and the ride was fun too.  Here we are waiting and then riding.
 
There's the whale,
After that it was go to the beach, eat yummy food, go to the beach, eat yummy food, rinse, wash, repeat...
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves playing in the sand, the ocean, and trying yummy restaurants, as well as eating treats from the local bakery.  I ate the yummiest sandwich ever at the Beachcomber at Crystal Cove.  The BEST! We love the beach and had such a wonderful time sharing all of our favorite places with Aaron's parents!  Aaron and his dad killed it on the boogie boards! They were so fun to watch.  





We started the trip with a stop to see the "cuzies" in St. George and finished our trip with a visit to Aaron's great uncle and then we made our way home.  Three days later Aaron left for a business trip to New Orleans and Harry and I flew out the next day to meet him there.  Apart from the lack of sleep from very early flights we LOVED our time in New Orleans.  It is the coolest city I have ever visited in my entire life.  I have wished to see it since I was little girl and it did not disappoint.  I was so afraid of flying with Harry by myself but he was a champ on the plane and the life of the party for the rest of the time we were there:)  As soon as we got to our hotel the two of us took off to explore the city and then made our way to Aaron's convention.  We went that night to a big 80s themed party at the Rock n Bowl which in case your wondering is an extremely appropriate place to take an eleven month old baby...
After that we took a tour of the city and had some beignets at Cafe Du Monde.  The next day we just wandered around the French Quarter and enjoyed everything.  It was like Disneyland for adults and we had such a good time.  It felt so surreal standing by the Mississippi river.  
Here's some 80s convention stuff, um a Dolorian... How cool is that!

  One thing I learned on this trip is that people love babies so much.  So many people said hi and chatted with Harry.  


The people that stand still and pose to make money here are so nice, they always say hi to you.
Joan of Arc, my hero!!!
The Mississippi River!



Amazing Pecan Pie!! Wish I had a picture of the pralines.  My favorite New Orleans treat!
A steam boat on  the Mississippi River with a band playing jazz music!
And then our flight back home,
After we got back from our trip we got ready for our next vacation.  We went to St. George the next week over UEA with Aaron's family to spend some time together and to enjoy the great outdoors.  The weather was lovely and we had so much fun hiking, swimming, spending time playing with cousins, and we even had a ladies morning out while our hubbies took the kids to the sand dunes.  It was such a wonderful mix of family togetherness with lots of other fun things too:0  And the kids LOVE their mountains! 






On on aside, I finished a Star Wars quilt for Julian in some of my downtime as a sort of starting school and being all grown up gift.  He loves it and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.