Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017!

The solar eclipse everyone had been talking about for months finally came, and I found myself very ill prepared for the event. 

We were supposed to be in 90+ visibility, so I naively thought that was good enough and I'd somehow come across a pair of glasses to use in order to view it. And if not, then it was close enough to totality that once the moon was over the sun, I'd still be able to look...right? LOLOLOL no. 

Brooklyn had moved back from Rhode Island a few days before and she was planning on coming over to help me make 100 cookies that I somehow volunteered to help make for an upcoming wedding in the neighborhood. haha

Anyway, she got to our house and we started to make the cookies and talked non-stop about the eclipse that we clearly couldn't see. Ryan kept texting me about how his work had two pairs of glasses to share with everyone at the office. He assured me it wasn't that cool anyway, but it didn't help me feel better about missing something so extraordinary! 

Brooklyn and I kept looking outside and seeing that it indeed was getting dimmer out. Then I realized that we were out of sugar haha, so we all loaded up and headed to walmart really quick. While we were there, I sheepishly asked a worker if they might possibly have any glasses still for sale. She said they had been sold out for over a week haha...badoi. 

Once it was peak time for the eclipse, Brooklyn and I were disappointed to see that the sun seemed just as bright as ever and that there was no difference to the naked eye. We watched as the group home across the street was sharing a pair of glasses and debated whether we should ask to take a peak. We chickened out and just enjoyed seeing the crescent shadows on the ground instead. 

We tried to explain to the girls and even put a live video of the eclipse in totality, but they were quite unimpressed...and I didn't blame them, because the video didn't even have commentary of music or anything. So pretty boring. 

But it was still a fun afternoon having Brooklyn over and making a bunch of cookies and just missing out on the event together. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Paw Patrol "Pawty"!

My friend's daughter, Evelyn, invited us to come to her 4th birthday party with a paw patrol theme! I didn't tell the girls until the day of, and they were so excited! Evelyn's house is so fun by itself, but add in some party games and food, and they were in heaven. Ryan wasn't feeling up to it, so I took the girls myself. 

They each chose a puppy mask. My girls haven't ever seen the Paw Patrol show, but Norah got a puzzle with all the dogs on from Jeanne for Christmas and she has since figured out the girl dog's name. So of course, that's her favorite haha. 

Jocelyn had so many cute decorations and activities for all the kids.

Pin the badge on the vest!

Jocelyn played music and had the kids dance and then freeze once she paused the music. Norah was busy coloring, but Lucy was getting into it. haha

We spread a tablecloth on the ground and all the kids ate their snacks, then we headed outside for some piΓ±ata whacking! 

All the kids took turns, but didn't do much damage even after a couple of rounds. 

Evelyn's expressions were all so cute!

The piΓ±ata finally broke open! Norah's face is too cute in this photo! She was so excited!

It was a tough job keeping track of how much candy all the girls were eating, so I confiscated their treat bags and held them until we got home. 

It was so nice having fun activities planned for the day, especially since I didn't have to prepare them myself! haha

Friday, August 4, 2017

Coeur d'Alene, Spokane, Rexburg Trip

After a really long, hard drive to Coeur d'Alene last year, with Jane crying nearly the whole way, I told Ryan there was no way we were doing that again. But a couple months ago, I was looking through photos of our trip last year, and mentioned to Ryan how fun it was. So he got excited and said we should go again. I was feeling anxious and stressed the whole time leading up to it. But I was also starting to get excited too!
We started a rule a few years ago that whenever we leave on a trip, the house has to be really clean before taking off, because there's nothing worse than coming home from a vacation to a messy house. So the evening before we left, we were scrambling to clean and pack since we had been busy most of the day celebrating Pioneer Day. 
And despite my urges for Ryan to just pack his suitcase that night, he insisted he could do it really fast in the morning. So on Tuesday, we woke up early and loaded up. As I was chopping up fruit to bring on the car ride, Ryan was taking his sweet time packing his suitcase. Haha (not funny at the time). πŸ™„πŸ˜‰
30 minutes into our trip, Jane had already leaked through her diaper all on the car seat haha. We had the same problem X 10 last year with Lucy. 

The sky was beautiful during our rest stop. 

The ride to rexburg went pretty well, and there was minimal crying from Jane, but LOTS of whining for treat after treat after treat. I couldn't read a single sentence in my book without someone yelling for another thing they wanted. 
We got to Richard and Jeanne's house and the girls were so excited. As we pulled up, Ryan and I both just wanted to stay and not have to drive up to Coeur d'Alene. We took Jane in to try and get her to nap, and she did not like the fact we were trying to lay her down in a dark closet by herself. She screamed and cried until I payed her down and rubbed her legs until she drifted off, though it only lasted 30 minutes. 
My old roommate, Sam, moved close to rexburg just the weekend before, so she came over with her kids and we let them play at a park while we talked. I haven't seen her since before her twins were born, so it was fun to have all the kids play together. 

As soon as Lucy walked up with wet pants (she seriously never has accidents these days), we took it as our cue to go. 
We played a little longer at Richard and Jeanne's house, and broke out the watermelon for a snack, which the little ones loved. 

I wanted to get a picture of us with all our kids, and this was the best we got. It just shows real life as moms haha. 

After Sam left, we went out to dinner at the Hickory. Last time we went I remember feeling really full and bloated, but it was so yummy this time. We ordered the girls some mac n cheese, and despite it being terrible, Lucy ate her own and Norah's. Haha. Everyone tried it and agreed it tasted gross, though Jeanne just couldn't stop tasting it and then commenting how bad it was haha. 

We went home and started getting the girls ready for bed. Since Ryan's grandma has been living with Richard and Jeanne all summer, we had to decide if we wanted to keep Lucy in one room and just let Norah sleep in the living room and then transfer her after she fell asleep, or try to get them to sleep in the same room. If you see how room sharif has gone in the past, you'll understand our trepidation haha. 
But since they had both skipped naps, we decided to try it out again. Ryan brought our video monitor and when Lucy sat up in bed a couple of times, I just told her through the monitor to lay back down, and then they were out. Jane, on the other hand, was still not happy about the sleeping arrangements, and screamed. 
Ryan's dad, always has some sort of cool project going on, and this time he had a VR game set up downstairs, so we listened for the girls while trying out the rock climbing game. It was really fun and it actually felt very real. 

I ended the night playing cards with Jeanne, Carol (Ryan's grandma), and Nick, and then headed to bed early. 

I wasn't really looking forward to our long drive, but I wanted to start out early, so we packed everything up and got on the road by 9:30. We had driven at least 20 minutes when Ryan's mom called and said that the pair of shorts Ryan had ordered (but soon realized wouldn't arrive in time) had, in fact, arrived. So Jeanne sent nick out to meet us halfway and deliver them, despite my being very clear that I did NOT want to go back at that point. I felt so angry that we had to turn around and add extra time to the girls being in their car seats. 

We drove about ten minutes and pulled off to play at a park until Nick got there. Ryan kept assuring me that it really wasn't adding that much, but I didn't believe him until nick pulled in right when we got there. 
And then I saw the shorts that Ryan had ordered. Haha. Oh geez. When I asked him, "how do you know they are even going to fit?" He said, "even if they didn't, I would never tell you and just wear them for the rest of my life, so you wouldn't be mad that we turned around for nothing." Haha

We played, and then I got this cute picture of Lucy, so I felt much better. 

We got on the road again, And then the crying began. 

I gave out a few treats and refused any more because I wanted to read just a little. 

We pulled off in Butte and got some lunch, hoping that full bellies would mean naps all around. 

The roles reversed this time around. Last year, Lucy would randomly yell or scream-sing, causing everyone to jolt awake, but this year Jane wanted to have a go. Lucy dozed off, but Jane was hollering and then crying because she was so overtired, but so uncomfortable. Then Lucy woke up, and Norah took a turn at napping trough the screaming. Then as soon as Norah woke up, Jane's eyelids finally started dropping. I gave Norah and Lucy whatever they wanted so they would stay quiet while Jane slept. 

We made it to the 50,000 silver dollar gift shop just after Jane woke and stopped to get gas and take a break. Right as we pulled up, Norah immediately noticed someone walking out with an ice cream cone, and pleaded for us to get some. She had been so good the entire trip, I couldn't refuse. 

Ryan went off to take photos of the 50,000 and I stayed with the girls, watching them eat their ice creams. 

The girls were so happy with their cones, especially Jane. Lucy and Norah let me taste their ice creams, but Jane just smiled and said, "No" whenever I asked her. Norah kept letting me lick hers over and over again because she felt bad that Jane wouldn't share with me. I grabbed a fork and stole a little chunk off of Jane's cone...and she had a major meltdown. She started sobbing and wouldn't be consoled in any way. 
Oops. 😬🀷

We had lots of movies to choose from for the girls to watch during the drive, but it wasn't until we put on Annie that all crying ceased and eyes glazed over. Haha. 
The last bit of the drive wasn't bad, and we finally made it to Cathy and Jim's house on Lake Coeur d'Alene at 6pm, after traveling for almost 9 hours. 
The girls immediately raced to the play boat and whooped and hollered as they got all their wiggles out. 

After dinner, we went down to the dock to take a little boat ride. We grabbed life jackets for the girls to wear, so as soon as we made it down to the bottom of the hill, Norah dashed down to the beach area and immediately started stripping off all her clothes. She was standing in her underwear before we noticed. Haha poor girl was just so excited to go swimming, she didn't realize we were waiting until the morning. 

The boat ride was fun for the girls. They loved going down the stairs and checking out the bed. 

Jim even let Norah and Lucy each have a whirl at steering the boat. 

The sky was so beautiful!

Jane wanted free reign to walk around the boat, but it was kind of wobbly, and we didn't want her to go overboard! ;)

After we put the girls to bed, Ryan and I chatted with Cathy and Jim until we were about to turn into pumpkins. 

After breakfast, and lounging around, the girls could not wait any longer to go down to the lake and swim. So we loaded up on the golf cart and drove down (a favorite part for the girls)

The girls loved lapping around the little shallow area and swallowing too much lake water. 

 I was turning over a kayak, when a tiny little frog jumped out and so we took turns petting him and probably just traumatizing him over all, just like last year. He was so cute, I was sad to let him go, but once I set him down, he seriously sat there for hours without moving. 

The girls loved the kayaks, even though we didn't go very far. It was hard to commit to paddling hard with two toddlers in my lap. Or maybe that's just my excuse for being so weak. 😬

Jane's little sandy nose is so endearing.

She found the frog again and tried to get at him. Haha

The shower evened out all the fun they were having. Since there was no bathtub in the basement, we forced the girls to shower, which meant lots of screaming and crying. Ryan stood in the shower while I handed him one screaming toddler after another. Lucy was the only one who got used to it after a few minutes.

Just before nap time, Ryan's friends, Sam and Sydney came to visit. Norah buried her head behind our legs and suddenly became mute. When I took her downstairs to lay down, she said, "mom, I didn't talk because I don't know those people like you and daddy." 😊 I told her I didn't really know them either so we would help each other, which she was happy about. 
Once the girls were up, they warmed right up to Sam and Sydney and then wouldn't stop chatting haha. Norah kept begging to go back down to the lake, and so when Sydney asked if she wanted them to leave so we could swim, Norah agreed Haha. So once they took off, we suited up once again and headed to the beach. 

Jane was completely content just playing in the sand, and trying to throw sand all over me. Ryan stood in the water while Norah and Lucy brought the paddle board to him, climbed on, and had him push them to the beach. He did this for at least an hour, and they never tired of it. 

Lucy's sweet curls still surprise me all the time. I just love them.

Cathy came down to the beach for a bit and then had Norah walk back up with her to prep dinner. She said  she would just rinse Norah off for us. So when we got back up, Norah told us that Cathy gave her a bath in her big bath tub in the master bathroom. Haha she was so happy she got to skip out on the shower. 
After dinner, Ryan and I played some cards and games with Cathy and Jim until bedtime. 

We packed up and drove to Spokane for the day to see Ryan's friends. We first drove to his neighborhood to pick up his friend, Landon, and waited for Ryan's aunts, Kathy and Audrey, to come see us for a minute and tour Ryan's childhood home. His parents just sold it, so we went through before it is finalized. It was fun to see where he lived. 

Once we said goodbye to Kathy and Audrey, we had lunch and then went to Theresa's house (Ryan's friend, Steve's mom) to put the girls down for naps. I was so exhausted and fell asleep too. 😬
Once the girls were up, we loaded up the car yet again to drive into the South Hill and visit Sam again and see his new house that he and Sydney just bought. We only stayed for a bit, and I felt bad that the girls were strapped in the car nearly all day, with no time to get wiggles out. So we went back to Steve's mom's house to eat dinner and then go swimming! 

This is what the girls were waiting for all day. Jane wasn't too thrilled to be in the water, and to be up past bedtime, but Norah and Lucy loved the little floater boats and noodles they could sit in and hang on. 

I realized I forgot my camera at the other house, so I just used the GoPro Ryan's dad let me borrow to test out in the water.

They started jumping off the side of the pool into Steve's arms over and over. Lucy began to jump off without even looking if Steve was ready, and went under a few times. But she didn't care. This whole time, Lucy kept saying that she didn't like Steve, so we thought maybe he was in her good graces now that he was playing with them and catching them in the water, but nope. She kept insisting she didn't like him. Haha

Jane was content just sitting on the side, petting the dog. 

All too soon, it was time to go back to Theresa's house for bed. Ryan and Steve played video games while I worked on my computer. 

I woke up to a completely empty house. Halfway through my breakfast, I heard shrieks as the girls walked in with special process drinks and muffins from a coffee stand where Shayla works. We packed up the van again and drove back to Cathy and Jim's house for a day at the lake. 

Jane without a high chair means mess everywhere.

As soon as we got there, we went straight down to the lake and played all morning. This was the best part of the trip. Cathy spent the morning with us and we played in the water, rode the jet skis, and tried to balance on the paddle boards. 

Ryan and I first took Lucy and Jane out on the jet skis, but Ryan felt like his wasn't working properly, so we just went out on mine, and Lucy was loving it. She kept yelling, "Faster! Faster!" I tried to take Norah out, but as soon as I started moving away from the dock, she urged me to slow down. She kept saying, "Slow down! Slow down!" We basically turned right around and she didn't mind one bit getting off. 
Ryan and I played on the paddle board, and it was so fun swimming in the lake, when I'm used to just sitting in the shallow end of the pool while I watch the girls. 

After naps was another round of lake time. I woke Lucy from her nap so she was snuggly and sleepy still. 😍

Steve and Sam came out and visited with Ryan while the rest of us just played in the water. 

Family photo at the beach.

With so many exhausting days in the water and sun, the girls were so mellow during dinner prep. Cathy provided coloring books and they were content coloring and just playing in the living room. 

We ended the night with more games after the girls were in bed and had fun chatting with Cathy and Jim. 

Norah and Lucy woke up just after 4:30am, talking and being loud, which woke Jane. Ryan spent the rest of the morning laying with Jane, trying to calm her down and get her back to sleep, while I lasted between Norah and Lucy and got poked and prodded by Lucy. Since we decided to leave a day earlier than we initially planned, we were wanting to get back to Rexburg as early as possible, so by the time 6:45 rolled around, I was so exhausted. 

Norah kept me entertained while we finished breakfast and Ryan packed the car. haha

It was so good to stay with Cathy and Jim and we're so grateful to them for hosting us!

We made it out the door before 7:30, and since Jane had been up so early, it meant she fell asleep early on during the car ride. 

The ride back went much much smoother than the way there. 
Lucy was singing "Hit the Road Jack" but then sort of stopped once I started recording. We were driving through a fog of skunk smell and Norah kept complaining about it during the video. You can see how pale she looks in the video. Right after I stopped recording, she said she felt like she had to throw up. So I grabbed our little cooler and jumped in the back with her just in time. We pulled off at a gas station and cleaned out the cooler and were right back on our way. It was such a minor inconvenience and Norah was so good about being calm and making it all in the cooler, probably because she's had lots of practice before. :(

We stopped for bagels once Norah felt better, and the girls loved eating them, which helped them not be so cranky crank. 
We stopped in Dillon, Montana, to stretch our legs and find a park to play at. There was a cute little museum, but it was closed.

So we found a park with some really high swings that the girls loved.

It was so nice to pull into Rexburg and be done with the longest leg of the trip. Even though I had been sitting so long, I still felt exhausted and had no energy. Lethargy begets lethargy. So after settling in for a little bit, we decided to go to Nature Park and burn off some energy. 

The ducks barreled over to us as soon as we got out of the car, and Norah begged for someone to hold her. Jane wasn't bothered by the ducks at all and just darted through the crowd as she pleased. 

We let the girls enjoy the playground and then went home for pie and bed time.

We decided kind of last minute to go to the Idaho Falls Zoo and it really is such a great little zoo! Nearly the entire zoo is shaded, and there weren't very many people there, so it was perfect as we walked through and enjoyed the animals. Jane loved her freedom as she walked around and squealed at all the animals, while Lucy wanted to get a ride in the stroller we brought for Jane. It was the perfect set up for us to keep tabs on Lucy, who is our wild card. Haha

I loved reading the fun facts for each animal, and the petting zoo was actually a big hit! I thought Norah would freak out about being around roaming goats, but she calmed down once the goats layed down. And then they all took turns brushing. 

Once Jane started trying to pick up the tiny poop pebbles and feed them to the goats, we washed our hands and moved on.

We left the zoo and grabbed some Mexican food, then headed home for some late naps. 

As soon as naps were over, the girls were thrilled to learn we were heading to the swimming pool. 

We started out in the lazy river, but as soon as Norah saw that there was water squirting over the river, she had a mini melt down. I convinced her to come in the water with me and I would protect her from the shower of water.

The lazy river wasn't as big of a hit as the kiddie area was. It was funny to watch Norah because she was so hesitant about the spraying water over the river, but she would splash and jump in the water without any care.

Jane was loving splashing the water and walking all over by herself.

Leaving the pool was not popular with the girls, and we had to run them down...a couple times, actually. Once we were able to convince them to go to the car, we went home for dinner and got ready for bed. On the car ride home, Jeanne and I were talking about going to see a movie either that night or the following, depending on the time. Norah overheard us making plans and said that we should take her and Lucy and Jane too. I stopped talking about it for a few minutes because I didn't want her to feel left out, but then as we pulled in, Jeanne brought it up again and Norah said, "Mom, you shouldn't say the questions about the movie so loud, otherwise we'll hear it and want to come too." Haha

We decided on a movie for the following night, so I played cards with Jeanne and Carol again while eating way too many treats.

Ryan went golfing with his dad in the morning while I took the girls to the park to meet Anna, a friend from college, and play. We chatted for just a bit before she had to go, but I realized I forgot to get a picture of us together. :(

After nap time, we suited up again and headed to the splash pad. It was the best splash pad I've ever seen! They had a full on jungle gym with water slides and then water fountains surrounding it. Norah and Lucy were both hesitant about going through the stream of water. They kept scooting up close to it, then getting too scared and running back to me. 

Stalling having the run through the water by taking a break with drinks from Grandma Jeanne.

I finally told them that they could either play and have fun or we could just go back to the house. Lucy would have gone, but since Norah was nervous, it was making Lucy feel nervous about going too. Finally Lucy had enough and snuck through the shower of water. She went down the slide and was so proud of herself! After that, she wasn't bothered by it at all and was having such a fun time. Norah really wanted to have fun and play too, but she was just too scared to walk through the water pouring over the stairs. I was feeling frustrated because I knew she would have so much fun if she would just go, but she began to cry and was just too afraid. I wasn't expecting the splash pad to be like this, so I wasn't wearing a suit, otherwise I would have taken her myself. But I saw an older girl helping her younger brother and finally asked her if she wouldn't mind helping Norah through the first part. As soon as they walked toward the stairs, the water shut off for a minute and Norah bounded through before it came back on again. haha she is one lucky duck. Once the water came back on, the older girl kept helping Norah up the stairs and then Norah would wait for her at the bottom until they could walk hand-in-hand again. After a few times, I watched as Norah waited for the girl, but decided she would just try on her own. She carefully walked by herself and covered her head. She made it through and then screamed at me, "Mom! I did it all by myself!" I was so proud and so happy that she and Lucy both could have a fun time. The kept running together, hugging each other at the top, and laughing as they slid down the slide together.

Norah ran over to me after the very first time and gave me a thumbs up for being so brave. Jane wanted in on the picture too. :)

I figured Jane wouldn't really play in the water either since she doesn't love squirting water, but they also had a little kiddie part with tiny water fountains for babies. After waiting a long time, just wandering around the sides, she went with me to the fountain and ended up getting soaked. It was really such a fun time watching all the girls enjoy the water and get over their fear of being splashed.

I could have stayed much longer, but we needed to eat dinner and then get to our movie, so we loaded up and then headed to get pizza!

Jeanne and I went together to see Love, Kennedy at the cheap theater. It was really sweet and fun to get out together.

We played cards again and laughed when Jeanne decided to be nice and not "go out" so I could have one more turn since I was so far behind them both, but then I ended up pulling two cards that I needed and won the game instead haha. oops! πŸ€·πŸ˜‹

We packed up Wednesday and left back to Utah. As soon as we pulled into our driveway, Lucy began crying when she realized we were home and not going to Grandma Jeanne's house. haha poor girl. Glad she loves visiting Rexburg so much. 😊 It was so fun seeing friends and family, and I'm glad we spent extra time in Rexburg doing whatever we felt like doing!