Post-vacation Recovery

Weekly Happenings: We’ve pretty much been in recovery mode since we got home from vacation. Vacation as a child and vacation as a parent are TOTALLY different, haha. We spent most of the week just lazing around the house (well, Paul had to go to work). We had a few play dates to fill up the time, which were fun.

The Weekly Weather: warm, humid, and pollen everywhere, haha. We did have a couple of good rainstorms come through, which greened everything up nicely.

What Paul’s Been Up To: He’s officially done with school! I’m so, so proud of all the hard work he put into it. Not only did he complete his degree while working full-time, but he maintained excellent grades while doing so. Not to mention still finding time to maintain the house, yards, and spending time with me and the kids.

What Sarah’s Been Up To: My main task seems to have been working on getting the kids back on our time zone, haha. I did get to go to my monthly book club meeting, which was a nice break. One funny thing that happened: one morning, IΒ noticed a burrowed hole (about an inch in diameter) in the larger of my two succulent pots. I brushed the dirt back into the hole and told myself I would watch it to see if the hole reappeared. It didn’t, so I figured whatever had made it had moved on. A couple days later, I noticed more loose soil in the same pot (easy to notice since my succulent pots have a layer of gravel on top). I went to brush it away and noticed a section of it…undulate. At that point, I got Paul (because, well, it could be friend or foe, haha). He discovered one of the huge toads that have been living in our yard in there. That thing was about the size of my fist! Paul gave it a temporary home in our larger planter until it could move back into the yard somewhere.

What Joseph’s Been Up To: He’s been enjoying soaking in the last few bits of summer. He goes back to school in a little over a week. He’s excited to meet his new teacher and see all his school friends again.

What Abigail’s Been Up To: She’s been up to (and into) everything! She loves to give hugs (and even says, “awwww”, when she does so), has added more words to her vocabulary, and seems to have even added a couple phrases. Once, she said, “I go ni-ni” (I go night-night) and she says “Der-oo-go” (there you go) on a daily basis. She also has a very clear “no” (haha). It’s crazy to think that she’ll be two in just a few months!

This Week in Pictures:

“Playing” a game together.
When did he get so tall?!
The toad that had taken up residence in my succulent.
Paul dug a hole in this planter for it to use as a burrow (after he had carefully extracted it from my succulent pot). It stayed there for a bit and then moved on.
She was walking all over the house like this, haha.
She LOVES lift-the-flap books.
A perfect example of one of our lazy summer early evenings. I needed to get dinner made, so I turned on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
It’s been 8 months since I’ve gotten rid of all the nonstick cookware in my house. I enjoy my stainless steel pots, but I LOVE my cast iron.
Park fun.
Joseph found a cool painted rock at the park. He re-hid it so another kid could have the fun of finding it.
I spent most of the time at the park chasing this one around. She was so excited to get out amongst the trees.
My Little Bear always “wants something to put on.”
Paul took some time today to trim our trees.
They needed to be trimmed and he said he was tired of having to duck under them when mowing (and still getting poked even though he ducked). They look so good!




NOT a Picture-less Post

I’m breaking from my normal format here because this post is essentially going to just be a ton of pictures. We just got back from visiting with family and friends in California. We had fun at some amusement parks, ate out (way too much, haha), and had a grand old time. We’re home now and trying to get back into our routine (especially the baby who decided to get onto California time just in time for us to get back home…). Included are a handful of pictures from right before we left as well. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Before vacation:

One o’clock church proves that sleep is NOT only for the weak. πŸ™‚
Zoo fun. We sure love our little zoo!
I wonder if that miniature mongoose could smell his popcorn? πŸ˜‰
Checking out the rocks…er, I mean hippos.
Jaguar sighting!
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the picture of sheer determination. Please note that her sleep sack is still fully zipped up, haha.
Sweet baby girl!
A boy and his Squirtle. We missed out on the pay-your-age day for Build-a-Bear (getting there 45 minutes before opening was way too late, apparently), but were able to use a nice coupon they sent everyone (to make up for the fiasco, I assume).

Hotel Shenanigans (we stopped halfway between home and our Californian destination):

Eating a bedtime snack while watching TV. Daddy and Bubba were swimming in the hotel pool.
Discovering the hotel cupboards don’t have safety latches…

Knott’s Berry Farm:

That red speck in the center is Joseph’s hat. πŸ™‚ This is probably one of his favorite rides.
He likes these swings, too.
These trucks were pretty fun.
Just chillin’.
Driving with both steering wheels is the way to go!
Stopping to take a quick picture with his sister.
Munchin’ on snacks while Bubba rides rides.
Abigail got a chance to ride a few rides, too (see her itty-bitty head on the other side of me?).
It was fun to get to meet up with Paul’s brother and his family.
Abigail loved this ride! It went around as well as up and down.
It took some searching (and a tip from an employee), but we found Abigail a Woodstock.

Mini Golf fun (Abigail and I hung out at Grandma’s):

In front of the castle.
I love these goofballs!

Sea World:

Trying to stay cool.
Watching the harbor seals swim around.
Abigail and Joseph loved getting right up next to the glass.
In the polar bear cave.
Sea turtles!
Abigail would shriek with happiness and do really fast knee-bends (her version of jumping) whenever one would swim by.
It was such a great experience getting to see them so close.

Family fun:

My sweet Tara (her husband was married to my sister before she passed away, but she, my brother-in-law, and their children still come visit whenever there’s any family in town, which I love) brought some of her kiddos to visit. Here’s her oldest daughter and her youngest along with Abigail.
Grandma’s backyard is fun to run around in!
Especially when there are cousins!
Grass is fun when there aren’t any fire ants! πŸ˜‰
Playing is exhausting!

Family fun:

Tasting Grandma’s popsicle.
Trading Pokemon.

Mall fun:

“Driving along in my automobile…”
She doesn’t look excited in this shot, but she did enjoy cruisin’ the mall in this cart.
Showing me his completed LEGO creation that we got him while at the mall (Abigail got a Donald Duck plush to add to her growing collection of Mickey Mouse clubhouse friends).

More fun stuff (we met up with the people Paul lived with for a short time after his mission and they brought stuff for the kids; I love that we are still in contact with these people who were such a blessing in our lives, and I’m so grateful they treat us and our kiddos like family):

Abigail got a backpack (sorry for the “action shot…life with a toddler) that came with a spot to hold a…
…Minnie Mouse!
Joseph got a cool set of Star Wars figures as well as a Star Wars shirt (he had to wait until I washed it before he could wear it).

And last but not least, more family fun before heading home:

Playing with Lincoln Logs like drumsticks.
She was fascinated by the fact that the Lincoln Logs could make sounds, haha.
Snugglin’ with Grandma.
Getting ready to race cars with Uncle Aaron.

Oh…I almost forgot:

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to survive living in Arizona. o.0

Sleep is for the Weak

Weekly Happenings: This week was a pretty average one filled with errand running, playing, schoolwork, work, chores, and so-on. Nothing really out of the ordinary happened, so I think I’ll just leave it at that.

The Weekly Weather: Not much has changed from last week (other than no crazy rain or thunderstorms): hot, humid sunny days.

What Paul’s Been Up To: He’s been starting to wrap up final projects, papers, and the like. Just one more week and he’s done! His allergies (or maybe a small cold) morphed into a sinus infection, but after a trip to urgent care for a steroid shot, some OTC sinus medication, and a bit of extra rest, he’s starting to feel better.

What Sarah’s Been Up To: Mainly my same-old, same-old: keeping the kids happy, the house {relatively} neat and orderly, and having a bit of fun in the mix (my monthly book club meeting was this week).

What Joseph’s Been Up To: He continues to soak up summer vacation. I’m glad he gets some down time before heading back to school at the end of next month.

What Abigail’s Been Up To: Now we get to the reason behind this week’s title. She has been fighting sleep like it’s nobody’s business. It has come in the form of one super early wake-up call (we’re talking 3:45 A.M., y’all) and pitching monstrous fits at nap time and bedtime. A couple nights in a row we got her to go to bed happily by making it look like Joseph was going to bed also (one of those nights Joseph decided to put his pajamas on over his clothes since he wasn’t quite ready for pajamas yet). This is a challenging stage of life to be sure.

This Week in Pictures:

She was rather excited that her pilfered item lit up.
In an attempt to tame the mullet, I tried for a pony tail. She’s almost there, ha.
I put her shoes on her only to find that they were rather tight. When shopping for new ones, I decided I’d let her choose between this pair and a much more neutral pair. I’m not really surprised she went with these. As soon as we got home she wanted them on.
She’s really into stacking right now.
This is what happens when you pitch such a fit about taking a nap that Mom lets you skip it…I put her in here for snack time and walked away. About ten minutes later, I heard snoring. Yup…
I pulled out the old doll stroller that a friend had given Joseph when he was around this same age. After she had properly self-accessorized (I am NOT taking credit for this particular combination of clothing), she was ready to take it for a spin.
The next day she decided to take her doll for a ride.
I wanted to find a tray that might fit the travel booster seat we already have, but when I started searching, this thing popped up. I couldn’t believe how compact it was.
It folds out into a nice-sized seat and the tray is a decent size as well.
It even came with straps to secure it to a larger chair. When it’s all folded up it fits into that black bag (even the tray). The stuff they have these days…
Working on hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills while snacking…she would pop one into her mouth and then while she was chewing she’d put the others into the canister and then take them back out.
Bringing another car to add to the pile in my lap.