Wednesday, October 4, 2017

September

September was a great month for us! We had a lot of fun exploring the zoo and various parks in our area. Rob has been getting back into the daily grind of school and work and the rest of us are trying to adjust to him being gone all. the. time. 
We like to go out and explore because that way there is less time for fighting with your brother or sister, terrorizing the house, or endless whining. ;)

One of our first outings this month was to the zoo. The kids had a lot of fun in the Amazonia exhibit.




I snuck a picture of Charlotte playing with her toy phone and saying, "cheese!"
This girl is going to be trouble. She's already the queen of selfies!


For Labor Day we took a day trip to Baltimore with our friends, Fred and Sarah. I've only been to Baltimore a handful of times- most of which were to pick people up at the airport (so that doesn't really count), and once to the aquarium (which is super cool).

Sarah planned a fun day of all things Baltimore. We started off the morning by visiting a park with beautiful views of the city.



the whole family:


James desperately wanted to run down this big hill- 
it was all fun and games until they had to hike back up! 


James loved that the playground had a treasure map theme. He spent so long trying to find each picture hidden somewhere in the playground.





We stopped to break up the heat and the walking with some gelato.
Always a good idea.




We also had another visit to the zoo. We go to the zoo A LOT in the fall because it isn't as humid as the summer. We can actually make it to more than one exhibit without sweating to death. haha.


James attempting to get the sea lion to play- sometimes they will follow the ball and do flips



We have had so many beautiful sunsets from our balcony!


Church with Charlotte is pretty much 3 hours of walking the halls. Once I told her we needed to go back to class- this is her attempt at hiding from me.


We took the kids to go fly kites! Naturally James picked a Spider-man one. We found a perfect field and there was just enough wind to get it up in the air! Charlotte was great at holding (tangling) the string for James.



We visited Old Town Alexandria to feed the ducks and stop for ice cream at Ben and Jerry's.




Exploring Clemyjontri park. We have started visiting this park a lot on Fridays because we drive Rob in to work and the park isn't far from his work.




The kids and I have started a picnic and movie tradition every other Friday night when Rob is in class late. He is gone most of the week nights so it's nice to have something to look forward to at the end of the week. (Like not cooking dinner and letting the tv babysit my kids for a minute)

Charlotte reached her milestone of 18 months and finally got to start nursery! She did great, although we did receive a report that she ate a humongous snack. Which I took to mean as she probably helped a few of the other kids eat their snacks as well.



James has a REALLY hard time staying in bed at night. Pretty much since we switched him to a toddler bed a year and a half ago. We started a sticker chart and told him every time he gets 7 stickers he can go to sweet frog's (his favorite place in the world), well it took him a month, but he finally earned 7! hahaha. Heaven help us all.



More park adventures with the gang:

James started swimming lessons this month. The first week he was so excited, all the way up until he stuck his foot in the pool. He decided the water was too cold and refused to swim. We ended up going home early.


James and I have had a lot of fun doing homeschool preschool. Each week we learn a different letter. So far he has mastered S, A, M, T, and F!


Sometimes being in the city all the time starts to make us all feel a little claustrophobic. So, we decided to visit a farm not far from us, called Oxon Hill Farm. The kids loved having a wagon ride, and then feeding the chickens and the pigs.


Char loved feeding the chickens until one of them tried to get some food out of her little hand. After that she wanted nothing to do with them. haha.





James also started gymnastics this month. (we're trying to find constructive ways to burn off some of that energy!). He did better than swimming and made it through the entire class. Hopefully our luck continues.


Week 2 of swimming was a success! James finally got in the pool and even swam for a little bit without his floaties!


All snuggled up to watch general conference:


and this picture simply because it's amazing.
I love these chubby legs!


Phew! That's it for September!

What we are looking forward to:
-October! Celebrating James and Rob's birthdays
-A visit from Grammy
-Family pictures
-Cooler weather!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

August

All of a sudden I realized it was September 7! How in the world did that happen? The last few weeks have been crazy busy around here and I almost forgot to catch you up on everything we've been up to!

Charlotte has entered a huge accessory stage. She loves purses, backpacks, sunglasses, bracelets, costumes, etc. Its a rare day around this house that she doesn't beg us to clip an empty backpack on her back. She is happy as a clam and will wear it allllll day long.


Earlier in the month we visited a local fair. I can't even remember the last time I went to a fair, but we had so much fun! The kids loved seeing all of the animals and riding on the rides.

How cute are these piglets?! They were so tiny and I am in love.




Charlotte loves carousels. Anytime she sees one (which I swear is everywhere we go! Why are there so many carousels in this world?!) she begs and begs until we pay some obscene amount of money and let her ride on it.


We also took a ride on the ferris wheel. I'm not one for heights, but the view was beautiful.



I think James' favorite ride was the swings. He was quite pleased that he was big enough to ride on his own. Every time he came back around he would wave at us!


As the weather starts to cool (slightly) down, we find ourselves at the zoo at least once a week. The kids love seeing all of the animals and I just love the crisp air of fall. (or maybe I just love the lack of humidity...)

Spot the tiny cheetah:


A rare moment of toddler snuggles. I had to document because this girl is ALWAYS on the go. Her new favorite thing is to sing the song from the Cat and the Hat. "Here we go go go go go on an adventure!" Basically the only part she knows is go go go go, but it fits her personality perfectly. I'll take all the rare cuddles I can get!


We visited the Udvar-Hazy Museum. I know we go to a lot of the same places over and over again, but they are just that good. We always learn something new, see new things, and find new adventures. 


Some poor college student who was manning this space suit made the mistake of asking James if he had any questions. Anyone who knows James knows that he ALWAYS has questions. That kid couldn't answer his questions fast enough! haha.


If you haven't ever been to the Udvar-Hazy center, 1. You should go. 2. This shows you how absolutely gigantic this place is. Spot the tiny Charlotte:


Co-Pilots:


Rob and I got to go on a date to the temple. Even though the temple isn't that far away from us (45 mins) it is so hard to find a time when Rob is home for 4 hours in a row (during waking hours) and we have someone willing to watch our tiny crazies!


More accessories for Charlotte:




We visited the Postal Museum. I've been here more times than I can count, but James loves it and it's usually pretty empty. Apparently our mail system doesn't appeal to tourists. Odd. 


We stopped at Union Station on the way home to show James what the "big trains" (basically anything that isn't a metro) look like. This was about two minutes before we all got in trouble for being on the platform by a very scary guard lady.


And like the rest of the country, James and I watched the Solar Eclipse. I wasn't sure how much he would see or understand but the minute he put his glasses on he said,
"Wow mom! I can see the moon!"
It was a cool experience and so fun attempting to explain science to him. He also made sure pooh bear had his glasses on. 



This picture sums up all of my days:
crazy kids, huge messes, and lots of smiles


We explored a new park next to the National Cathedral. It was great for James' age. He even tried a zip line for the first time. Char wasn't that impressed with it and was mad I wouldn't let her go on the zip line.




We enjoyed our last few days at the pool before it closed for fall:




And we said goodbye to daddy as he started an LLM program at George Washington University. It was a hard decision for us to make and we went back and forth so many times, but we feel this is a great opportunity for him. He is getting his LLM in Government Contracts. He has continued to work part time as well. Its so hard going back to school when we thought we were done, but life is always full of surprises around here.


August was the month of parks! We explored a new park in Old Town Alexandria as well as the Wizard of Oz Park in Maryland. It was a bit of a drive but so worth it! The playground was amazing and the kids loved the little farm next to it.





Phew! That's all for this month!

A bit of a Crohn's update: (since everyone always asks)
I am doing well! I continue to use my medication (a shot I give myself in my stomach every 8 weeks) and my doctor keeps a close eye on me. We do lots and lots (and LOTS) of blood work to check that my body is responding well and all of my organs are still working. I guess that's important. She says she is really impressed with how things are going, and I know it is all because of the prayers of our family and friends. I had a DXA scan last week to check my bone density. Osteoporosis is apparently something we have to keep an eye on, especially because of my heavy steroid use last year during my flare. I also have another colonoscopy coming up in November, so I'll keep you all updated on the results! I feel extremely blessed to be healthy and strong.

What we are looking forward to:
-fall weather and less humidity!
-a visit from Grammy in October
-Halloween!