Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Birthday Week!

Bruce and Oliver have birthdays within two days of each other, so we ate a lot of cake that week. The festivities started on Tuesday with Bruce's birthday and the traditional ginger chocolate cake. That would be TEN candles up there.
Thursday was Oliver's birthday. We invited Phoebe's best bud (who also happens to be Oliver's best bud) to come over after school and help us celebrate. We played with balloons and did some finger painting.
 We decorated chocolate cupcakes. I didn't put much effort into Oliver's cake: he isn't a big fan. He put all those marshmallows and M&Ms onto the cupcake and then took them all off one-by-one and ate them. He didn't even touch the frosting. He is officially TWO now and only terrible sometimes.
 On Saturday Bruce had his birthday party. We invaded the park next door and did the usual: games, lunch, pinata and cupcakes. This year Bruce wanted to have a water gun fight.
Even though it was in the low-to-mid-60s, the kids didn't mind. Fun was had by all.

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Boston Temple

Our ward's Primary organized a little get-together on the Boston Temple grounds. They had a few activities, family pictures, and a picnic.
Phoebe decided that she wanted more than just a family picture, so now I have a few dozen photos of her posed next to trees, flowers, handrails, etc. Awesome.

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Sistah Time!

My sister got a ticket to Boston for her Mother's Day gift, so it was like an awesome gift for me too! Thanks Andy! Karyn brought Baby Cora along. She and Oliver really loved on each other sometimes, and really did not at other times. I think Oliver has that perky-in-the-morning Raymond Gene. She liked to take things a bit slower.
We had four wonderful days together and we used every moment! We went to Harvard Yard (that's the library above), walked around the North End, checked out Longfellow's house where General Washington stayed, got treats at Mike's Pastries, went to a few parks and playgrounds, got fresh fish at Legal Sea Food, sampled ice cream at Toscanini's....
Oliver and Cora sometimes got sick of being cooped up in strollers, so when we could we let them roam. Here they are roaming at the Copp's Hill Burying Ground in the North End.

Karyn and the babies and I went for a whale watch one day.
Our boat followed five humpback whales. Karyn got much better pictures of them. Pictures don't do whales justice though; it's hard to see just how huge they are when they are swimming in a big ocean. If you ever get the chance to go on a whale watch, do it. So cool!

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Family hikes

 Just about every weekend that Scott isn't working, we are out hiking somewhere. A few weekends ago we went to the Fells on the Crystal Spring Trail. It was not long or hard, so the kids loved it.
 They also loved eating Scott's peanut butter M&Ms on the hike. Oliver decided that he is not a big fan of the hiking backpack anymore, so he walked much of the way and kept up as long as there was an M&M in front of him.
 This trail goes by a public park, which we had to stop at. Of course.
 We also hiked in the Arnold Arboretum this month. We avoided it on Mother's Day because it gets crowded, but went a week later and had all the lilacs to ourselves.
 Bruce swiped the camera and snapped a few selfies and other pictures... this one.
 On Memorial Day we decided to hike Mount Monadnock. It is the most frequently hiked mountain in New England, so we went to see what all the hype was about. 
 We went for a 5+ mile loop. Scott, Bruce, and Oliver hiked ahead and Phoebe and I poked around at her pace (sloooow). Phoebe collected rocks, sticks, and leaves to show her kindergarten class. She took lots of pretzel breaks.
 And when we got to a rough spot on the trail, she always chose the harder route. "I'm seeking out challenge," she said. "Seek out challenge" is one of her school's core habits of mind and they must be publishing that well.
We eventually made it to the top, had some lunch, and then headed down.
Once again, the boys hiked ahead and Phoebe and I trudged along. At one point Phoebe said she had to go to the bathroom. I informed her that the closest bathrooms were 1.5 miles away so she either had to hold it that long or go in the bushes. She refused to go in the bushes. Five minutes later, she got tearful: "I have to go to the bathroom!" She peed her pants a minute later - while a couple hiked past us and giggled. She screamed and cried for the last 1.5 miles, which took about an hour. We eventually made it to the car, drove to the closest Wal-Mart, and bought a new outfit of her choosing (a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pajama set). She was pretty thrilled about getting new threads, so she better not pee her pants next time just to get a new outfit.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

The Month of May

I went a whole month without blogging. I think it is a sign that we are officially over-scheduled, but we are not changing a thing here. Here is what I did in the month of May:
1. Registered for a fall marathon.
2. Planted our tiny garden plot - mostly with tomatoes, peas, and lettuce.
3. Survived our annual condo owners' meeting. I keep waiting for someone to vote me out, but alas I am still president.
4. Got a new dishwasher. And installed it after watching many YouTube videos in slow motion.
5. Had breakfast in bed for Mother's Day.
6. Hosted my sister for a few amazing days. We ate lots of good food and checked out cool historic stuff and took lots of photos, to be posted much later.
7. Celebrated Bruce's and Oliver's birthdays with lots of cake and a party too.
8. Attended Bruce's piano recital.
9. Babysat a few kids. It was almost easier to have five in the house than just three.
10. Organized and donated at a blood drive. I almost passed out the next morning on the run; my running partner was kind enough to slog with me straight home after that.
11. Attended a women's conference and listened to Stephanie Nielsen and Jeffrey R. Holland speak.
12. Got this lovely family photo taken on the Boston Temple grounds. Thank you Sarah Hill!

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