Monday, June 30, 2014

An update on the bunny

Lots has been changing around here. James is impressing me every single day with his memory, skills, loyalty and learning to read (!!) but today I want to write an update on Juliet.

Lots has changed in this little girl's life since I last updated when she turned two. Soon after her second birthday we took down the crib rail on her crib and gave her a big girls bed. And soon after that we got rid of the crib all together, and the glider chair too (sob!) and transitioned her to a mattress on the the floor. She has done amazingly. Never getting up at night and staying in bed in the morning until I come and get her. Recently naps have been iffy but right after we transitioned her, which was about two months ago, her naps lengthened a touch and she started to wake up happy instead of scared.

Also, she's potty trained! She has been pooping in the potty for ages (before she was two) but wasn't staying dry otherwise. Finally about a month ago I just bit the bullet and started putting her in underpants. Sure, there were quite a few accidents but within a few days she had it. Now she will have an accident from time to time, but it is becoming more and more rare. And, although she is still in diapers for naps and bed, she is waking up dry more often than not.

Because of all these big girl accomplishments I decided that she may be ready to be done with the binky too. I understand, the older they get, the harder it sometimes is to wean from the pacifier. James didn't have a problem with it (but he was three), so I was hopeful for my girl.

I cut the tip off of her binky and when she discovered it we told her it was broken and threw it away just like we did for James. Then the crying started. We were strong. She finally fell asleep without it on night one but woke up multiple times throughout the night. Day two was horrible (no nap and even worse nighttime sleep). By day three I was exhausted, she was exhausted and I caved. I gave it back to her. I suppose we'll try again when she's three. Oh my does she love it so.

This girl of ours makes us laugh so much daily. She dances and sings made up songs all day long ("sometimes happy! sometimes not happy!") and has the silliest moves known to man. I adore her and all she has to say. The other day I gave her a little Corolle doll catalogue and she sat there in complete awe turning each page slowly whispering "wooooow" with each new turn. I was darling to say the least.

Oh snuggle bunny, how I love her. I love that when I lie next to her at night and sing her two favorite songs ("Sunshine" and "Happy Birthday") she always asks to "nuggle whole time" afterwards. I think she'd be happy if I snuggled her till morning. And that is one of the million things I adore about her.

And these crazy moves I'm talking about? Yea, no idea where she came up with these.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cherries in the backyard

On the North side of our property there is a neighbor's overhanging cherry tree that was ripe with fruit. The robins adore cherries and every day I watched them devour them happily while I stood on the ground longingly.

Saturday morning arrived and everyone was grumpy and hot. Nothing sounded fun, so we ended up staying home (rare for a weekend morning). Finally I convinced E to pull the ladder out of the garage so I could pick a few.

A few turned into a handful and a handful soon turned into me requesting the bucket.

The kids were in heaven. We let them take turns climb the ladder and pick as many as they could reach.

And once the branches were bare and the bucket was full we plopped down in the shade and taught them out to get the pits out themselves.

Somehow handful after handful of cherries in their bellies cheered everyone up. Such a perfect way to celebrate the first official day of summer.

Juliet's dress was once mine. It is among my favorite things she owns. Luckily, all the cherry juice spills came right out. Phew.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Father's Day picnic 2014

When contemplating what to do this year to spoil E for Father's Day I was coming up at a loss. Only a week ago we were having brunch and spending the entire day in the pool and eating out every night. I was a little vacationed out, actually.

I thought and thought, and finally decided to do one of our all time favorite things, picnic at Red Butte Garden. Many years we take a special picnic for Mother's Day, but this year Mother's Day weekend felt like winter. (Remember the snow?!). So for Mother's Day we stayed indoors.
But Father's Day we were graced with PERFECT weather. Actually a cold front was moving in, so the skies were crystal clear blue and there was the slightest cool breeze. And sun. Lots of sunshine, but not in the slightest bit hot. Perfection.

This girl? She's a ham. I never direct her for these photos, she loves the camera and turns on her silliest antics when she sees it directed her way.
These two love bugs. James takes his big brother job very seriously. He gets in trouble a lot (a lot!) at home for trying to boss Juliet around and manage her every move. And when we are out he makes sure nobody wrongs her. We went to a jump house this week and after a bigger girl stepped on her hand James took it upon himself to chase her, threaten her and scream at her ("DON'T HURT MY SISTER!"). Frustrating and endearing at once.
These two have the best forced smiles. :)
My beauty in the garden. Vintage dress was mine when I was a baby. She wore it a year ago (in this post) and wore it at the Garden as a tunic with shorts underneath.
We popped them on the moose statue and they both thought it was the funniest thing they've ever done. Real laughing photos are like a photographer's dream. LOVE!
Father's Day portrait with his girl.

I didn't get many proper photos of dinner because the light was kinda wonky. We sat in the sun enjoying the warmth and ate soft cheeses, baguette, raspberries, hard salami, olives, crackers, and tiramisu. It was pretty much the best.
Each and every month I claim whatever is in bloom as my favorite. March it's daffodils, April it's tulips, May it's peonies and June is all about the roses.
I love roses.
Father's Day portrait with his boy.
What a perfectly lovely night. The rest of Father's Day weekend was spent throwing rocks into the remaining deep puddles at Temple Quarry Tail, making homemade omelets, and having a wonderful picnic with E's family at Wheeler Farm. This weekend we celebrate my dad with steak and s'mores. Best ever.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Picnic Basket {Then & Now}

We had the loveliest picnic on Saturday to celebrate Father's Day. I will do a full post with tons of photos, but for now, a little then and now.

Juliet, 3 months

Juliet, 7 months

Juliet, 15 months

Juliet, 28 months 
PS- scroll down for the last of our Park City posts.

Last Day of Park City

We didn't have big plans for our last day in Park City, but because my Dad had the condo the entire week, we didn't need to check out early, so we used the entire last day on vacation mode. And then when it was all over, we were only thirty minutes from home! Perfect!

That morning we wanted to enjoy the pool one last time and decided to invite over E's sister and brother-in-law and the kid's cousin Emilia. They live near Park City, so it made sense to have a visit with them while up there.

James was so excited to show Emilia all the waterfalls. He does everything in his power to take very good care of his little cousin. It's pretty much the sweetest ever. 

Juliet and I wore our matching suits a lot while up there and got so many sweet comments on how cute we looked. I agree she was the cutest girl there.
James was intent on showing Emilia what a cool waterfall this was. She grinned at him from ear to ear.
After we were all totally waterlogged we went up to our room and made lunch with Chelsea, Joe and Emilia. It was such a lovely way to spend lunch on a Tuesday. Soon after we decided we'd had enough of the pool and needed something else. Juliet was begging to go on the chair lift again. Begging. So we decided to go on the Alpine Slide again.
This time, with experience under our belt, we all went faster. James and E were teamed up again and Juliet absolutely adored every second. I swear she could have done it a dozen more times and been totally happy.
Instead of trying to nap either of them again we got the brilliant idea to take a little drive in the mountains. Right past Park City is my cabin, so after we'd loaded into the car I said "let's just go to the cabin and play in the meadow!"

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time you know that I absolutely love "our" meadow at the cabin. LOVE. It may be up there in my top three favorite places in the entire wold (Balzano Italy and Kyoto Japan are my other two favorites).
With my lack of frog catching success the day before, I knew I needed to step up my game and catch a frog for the kids in the meadow (I've been known to catch dozens!). As soon as we got there I didn't catch one, but two sweet frogs! I wanted a photo with Juliet holding them, because James said "no way" but this was the best I got. E placed the frogs in her hands and the hopped away, back into the marshy meadow and were gone in a flash. Oh well, next time.
I was intent on catching another one but never seemed to find them. It was so funny, there I was in the water, and the mud having a great time and neither kid wanted to join me. Who are these people?!

James was excited to go off exploring with Daddy.
Juliet often sticks with me on the weekends. James is so insistent on being on a "daddy date" that I get this little love. I don't mind. She's a great little buddy and much more willing to pose for photos than her brother.
This kid and his big sticks. He's loved big sticks since he was 18 months old. Now he begs to bring them home, and we always say yes. Needless to say, we have quite a stick collection in our backyard.
Finally got her in!

Soon we had two kids having total and complete meltdowns. James was begging for a nap. "I don't want to play, I want a nap in the dark!" he cried. So we packed up the over tired kids and headed back to the hotel for some tv time while E and I packed up our belongings.
Luckily some tv down time did the trick and the kids were up for one last vacation meal on the way home. Both E and I love Squatters and everyone (even the kids) happily ate a big meal before heading home for bed. And these fish tacos?! Can we discuss the perfectness of this meal?!
She fell asleep two minutes into the car ride home, and although woke up when we tried to get her out, fell back asleep, in her clothes only minutes later in her bed. What a perfect ending to a perfect mini vacation.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The best day of our Park City trip!

To make our Park City vacation feel like the real deal, E took Monday and Tuesday off of work to extend the weekend. On Monday morning we woke up and ate and didn't head to the pool. Instead we piled into the car and drove about 45 minutes out to the Uinta Mountains.
The Uintas are the highest mountains in Utah and someplace E and I really love. Getting to them from Salt Lake City takes well over an hour, but from Park City it was luckily under an hour.

A spot I've been dying to take James for over a year was this place, Provo Falls. I saw a similar shot of these falls on my brother's IG a year ago and have been wanting to take my waterfall loving boy ever since.
The Provo River Falls isn't one enormous fall, instead it's about six or eight mini falls. Many are connected by a dozen feet of calm water, or a couple hundred feet. Again and again the river fell. The strong current and lots of side streams (you can see one below) made it absolutely mesmerizing.
This boy was HAPPY beyond measure.

Morning light in the Uintas had be captivated. Remember I backpacked in the Uintas when I was pregnant with James? This is the first time I've been back. Five years. Pretty sad.
Waterfall family photo. Look at the water!

Riverside picnic. Or maybe I should be more specific. Top of waterfall picnic, which is the best place to be.
This girl was less than impressed with the water, more impressed by trying to hike away from us at top speed. 
After we finished up with Provo Falls we found a secluded Uinta lake and got out again to explore.
Juliet picked wildflowers.
And got soaked.
Don't fall down baby girl!
The meadow was absolutely lovely, filled with wet marshy mud and thousands of wildflowers. The new Keens are thanks to my Dad, he noticed I was hiking in flip flops on our outings with kids because I wanted to get in the water. New Keens are the best birthday gift ever.
iPhone Panorama. You may need to click it to see E and Juliet.
Golden mushroom found in the woods.
And our little waterfall loving boy found another waterfall to enchant him.
We heard frogs (and one thing I LOVE is catching frogs) so into the water I went. I discovered that the shallow lake was... quite warm! I I was able to convince my hesitant kid to join me in there.
Love this shot. This is how I often look with the kids five days a week while E's at work. Juliet grumpy and too tired to walk so she's on my shoulders sulking. James somewhere nearby (or not so near) with a stick that he's found.
Again we went back to the hotel after our extremely fun morning and tried to nap the kids. AGAIN James fell right asleep and Juliet pinched E's nose and pulled his eyelashes for two hours. We decided on Park City Main Street for dinner, hoping Juliet would hold out. She looks exhausted, doesn't she?
Our first date 15+ years ago was on Main Street. That day when we were only high school seniors, we ate at Main Street Pizza and Noodle. It didn't disappoint, and everyone, even the kids, slicked their plates clean.
A visit to the Main Street chocolate shop after dinner is always a must.
The kids chose their first ever rock candies, and were clearly thrilled with their choices. James said "this is the biggest sharpest lollipop ever!"
My fella.
Goodnight Main Street! We are off to bed. Well, at least Juliet is, I decided to take James down to the pool. Nothing better than swimming past his bedtime and having a s'more to finish off the night.

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