Friday, May 25, 2012

Morning in Baltimore

We were so excited to have Liz and Frank spend a weekend in Baltimore so that we could come spend a morning with them.  They are moving soon to far, far away London, and we are so sad they will no longer be within driving distance, so we were grateful to have another chance to spend some time with them before they go.
Me and Dal-pal! Such a good little kiddo (who, as I write this, is sadly suffering from pink eye in both eyes, a cold, and incoming teeth...he's a total trooper).

Leah and her Uncle Frank

Dallin and Aunt Liz
This random park was very interactive, with xylophones to play, homophones etched in the brick sidewalk, and a plant-covered pathway.  Leah loved it!

We mainly just hung out in Baltimore's inner harbor, exploring a small park (where all the pictures are taken), eating lunch at Noodles and Company and, of course, visiting the candy shop (where they sell ginormous packages of candy!).  Nothing super exciting, but it was a perfect morning and we enjoyed time with family so much.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Go Bye-bye!"

"Go bye-bye" is what I hear all day every day.  Even if we have JUST come in from being outside, Leah immediately begins talking about going bye-bye again...either that or she asks for Elmo (Sesame Street is her new favorite show).

Sometimes when we come in from a walk or from running an errand, Leah likes to take her time coming into the house, and as long as she stays where I can see her, I often let her hang out in the front yard for awhile.  This is what she chose to do with her extra alone time in the front yard the other day (pictures were taken through the front screen door)...Leah rarely stops, so seeing her sitting on the front steps holding her baby for a few moments was a sweet sight.  
You just wonder what "complexities" in her world she could be pondering.

Uh-oh!  She caught us... 
...and she's off again.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bedtime singing

While I was getting Dallin ready for bed tonight, Leah started singing and dancing...and didn't stop.  Before we pulled out a camera, she had already been going for a good five minutes, so we weren't sure if she'd continue once we started filming her.  But she did...I don't think what we caught on camera is as entertaining as what we saw beforehand, but it still gives a good glimpse into this girl's creativity.  The moves aren't amazing, but her stamina is pretty impressive...and I do quite like her karate-esque movements (or is it tai chi?) she does somewhere towards the middle of the whole thing.

P.S. It's hardly noticeable in the video, but Dallin was loving Leah's dancing...especially when she fell on the floor. You can hear a few excited squeals and giggles throughout the video.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Changing it up

After a couple years of deliberation, I finally got up the courage to make the switch.

Cloth diapers.

By the looks of things, Dallin's pretty happy with the change.

I'll let you know how it goes! (I think they're pretty stinkin' cute on him!)

Side note: moments after this picture was taken, he tried to scale the piano.  I'm going to have to keep a close eye on this one...he tries to do many things that he really shouldn't and he has multiple scrapes and bumps to prove it.

Leah's wearing them, too...I wish I had a video of the first time we put them on her.  For some reason it took her a little bit to walk normally again...she walked around like she'd been riding a horse all day.  I worried that they were uncomfortable for her, but she seems fine now...she must have just been getting used to the new feel.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Maryland Days

The University of Maryland has an annual celebration called "Maryland Days" where each department features a different "attraction" - usually some sort of learning experience or activity pertinent to their field of study (at least that's what I understood it to be).  It was pretty cold, so we didn't last long.  We were about a mile from the car when (simultaneously) Leah threw a tantrum and the rain started falling....we couldn't get back to the car and head home fast enough.  

But before all that happened, we managed to hit a sing-along for a few minutes, followed by a chance to take a picture with a horse.  They dressed Leah and Dallin up in bandanas and cowboy hats and put them on a saddle.  It was near impossible to get them both to look at the camera at the same time, and they kept grabbing each other's hats and bandanas, so our few seconds in the saddle were pretty chaotic but...yeah.  That's generally the story of our lives with a 10 month old and 22 month old.

When Dallin started to eat the hat, we knew our time with the horse was up!

DC Temple

A couple Sundays ago, there was a talk given in Sacrament Meeting based on this talk by Sister Esplin from General Conference.  So when I woke up Monday morning and realized we had nothing planned that morning but definitely needed to get out of the house, I felt inspired to take Leah and Dallin to the Washington DC Temple Visitor's Center.  Aside from the fit Leah threw when it was time to get in the car to go back home, it was a wonderful experience for the three of us.

One of the first people we saw when we entered the visitor's center was a sister missionary currently serving in our ward.  Leah immediately ran up and gave her a hug.  The sister then gave Leah a little card with a picture of the Savior on it and then led us over to the statue of the Savior where we spent a few minutes.  Leah rarely will say "Jesus" (she's said it a few times on various occasions), but she can identify Him, and it was a beautiful experience for me to see Leah standing at the feet of Christ looking up into His face.  I am anxious to teach her and Dallin about their Savior and to give them every opportunity to come to know, love, and follow Him.

While in the Visitors' Center, we also watched this video:

After spending a few more minutes in the Visitors' Center, we headed out for a walk around the temple. 

"Are you coming, Mom?"

Dancing along the way

"Hurry up!"

This is where Dave proposed to me 3 years ago.

We took one of the "nature walk" paths behind the temple and discovered that once you start out on one, you're either in it for the long haul or you have to turn around and go back the way you came.  So we stuck with it for the long haul.  It turned out to be closer to a hike than walk, which made it difficult with a toddler and a stroller, but we made it!  Here's Leah sharing her "shishies" with Dallin along the way.  

Taking a break...she was quite the trooper

The "walk" ended with a very, very steep ascent - again, no small feat for the three of us, but it was a beautiful morning and a lovely walk, so I couldn't complain.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Choo choo!

While Dave was away taking his professional exam, Leah, Dallin and I explored a new mall and found a new "adventure"...a train ride!  Leah loved it ("choo choo" was said quite frequently throughout the ride) - as well as the freedom I gave her to run around the nearly empty mall afterward!

Poor Dallin looks a little miserable...he was still pretty sick in this picture

Bunnyland at Butler's Orchard

The day before Easter we checked out "Bunnyland" at a nearby farm, featuring all things Easter (except, ironically, bunnies...unless you're talking to Frank who swears he saw some in a cage near the other animals).  It was a fun little activity for us to experience with Leah and worth the little drive.
The hayride
Me and my boy

Happy as always (he started to come down with something later that day and it turned out to be RSV...such a little trooper)

We hung out in this little corral of hula hoops and bouncy balls for a bit (and, admittedly, it looks like the cage in the background probably houses maybe they were there)

Leah didn't get too into the Easter Egg hunt...she tried to open a couple of the eggs and found them taped shut and lost interest. I don't blame her.

Playing on the wooden train playset

They had tons of these ride-on tractors.  Leah loved "driving" one but she's a little too small to pedal...her Uncle Frank was so nice to help her out. 
I think this was Leah's favorite activity.  We went down twice, but she probably would have done it more if we had let her.

Frank decided to try it out with Dallin

He had virtually no reaction...I think it might have been because he wasn't feeling well though.  But it looks like Frank enjoyed it!

She's most likely point out the chick's eye right here.

Back at the Easter egg hunt, Leah gave up looking in the grass and started poking around in the scarecrow's pants.  

To our surprise, she found an egg in the pocket!  Smart, Leah!
A huge thanks to Liz and Frank who made it possible for us to do this...Easter weekend was so much more fun for us with you there!