Thursday, March 30, 2017

Daddy's Day Off

Sterling is finished with second year! Monday he took his test and found out he passed and was SO ready for a break. He requested driving up to West Palm to check out where we'll live in three or so months. Spend some time dreaming about the future we were a little too nervous to dream about before :) and since our new van has a dvd player so the two hour drive (four hours round trip) seemed like an ok idea, we headed out! It actually was REALLY fun. There are a thousand places we have talked about living (in West Palm Beach, in Palm Beach, in Boynton Beach, in Delray Beach, in Wellington, etc.) but we didn't have a very good idea of what driving distances to West Palm were actually like. We're pretty set on Delray Beach now and had been given a great elementary school recommendation, so with nothing else to go on--we mapquested the elementary school and just drove around the surrounding area! Haha! We found a beautiful park to eat sandwiches at and we kept remarking how QUIET it felt! It was DEFINITELY a suburbia, and not the Miami kind. It was heaven. 

The kids also had just filled up their "Love Jar" (saying 'I'd love to!' instead of whining when they are asked to do something) and the reward was ice cream you got to put toppings on. So we found a froyo type place and the kids were very, very happy. Will had more toppings than ice cream, but I think he was very happy with the arrangement, haha! We got home much too late, and probably should've stopped talking about baby names BEFORE the heated convo, but all is well (I think we have a name now, actually) and we made it home.

Sterling took the entire next day to just enjoy family time. Ruthie had school and since she has Spring Break coming up we decided to send her to school and take another family day when she has school off and maybe do something a little bigger at that time. We went on a morning walk after school drop off. Did dishes, ya know, the usual. Then after picking Ruth up at noon we headed straight to the zoo with our lunches and swimsuits packed. 

We have been to the zoo...a lot. I love it. Especially in the winter time. It's gorgeous and quiet and when we go on weekday mornings it's not very busy so my kids can run and jump and run and jump endlessly without me having to constantly be on their case. It's a win/win. Plus, having two playgrounds and three splash pads make it so you never get tired of going because you can do something different every single time. BUT Sterling has only gone to the zoo about four times total. So he was excited to go, and to add to the fun we decided to do a few things that we have NEVER done at our zoo in our almost three years of membership (!). First, we rented a bike. Since we've seen all the animals and stopped at all the lookout caves and everything, we thought it would be nice (and help beat the heat, it's been sooooo hot lately!) to just ride around the zoo. The kids were delighted and I thought it was great since Sterling told me to take it easy and pretty much pedaled the entire family around the over three miles of zoo. It was awesome. And it only cost us just over $20 so it was a fun splurge!
I looked up from my sandwich and saw Will's arm around Molly. SOOOO cute!

 The second thing we splurged on was $5 to feed the giraffes. I have always told the kids 'maybe sometime when dad is with us' and it's just never happened. This was WAAAAY more fun than I had anticipated, and I'm really glad we took the opportunity! Also, I thought it was more expensive, but it wasn't, haha.

I like how the giraffe is looking right at me. 
They have such long tongues!

To prove I was there! And 26 weeks pregnant. I just had an extra ultrasound because I was measuring small (for the fourth time, haha) which is a little crazy to me because I feel HUGE. Not huge as in I can't manage huge, but just--do I really have THREE MONTHS LEFT huge?!!? I swear I was this big at 8/9 months with Ruthie.

I added this picture because this guy is my favorite animal lately. It's hard to scale from the picture, but he is HUUUUUUUGE and those antlers? They twist and go up and up and up---I've never seen an animal with SUCH LONG antlers. It's pretty regal.

We ditched the bike when our two hours were up and headed for the splash pad. It's been hitting the 90s lately and I guess all you need is that extra five degrees to really make it feel like full-on summer has hit. People are hitting up their pools now (ours just closed for three weeks of renovation....couldn't do that in the FIVE last months of winter?!?!?!) and the splash pad was a necessity.

Will plays with this little water gun pretty much exclusively when we go to this splash pad. Also-how threadbare can a rash guard get and still be spf 50? haha. This rash guard is size 18 months. It has just stretched with him but it is still Will's favorite!

Will conned Sterling into getting a $3 frisbee when we went to campus to get a new decal for our new van.

And then we grilled. Because when daddy has time for dinner, it seems to be our tradition now. And there is nothing like grilled brats. (Except grilled brats eaten with my mom's homemade applesauce. Sterling and I miss it so much we spent the entire meal figuring out when would be a good time to have a canning day. Because we need that in our lives, haha.)  It was a beautiful day of sunshine and fun. And, of course, a few tantrums and meltdowns. But since there were no naps, they really were awesome. I wish every day was a daddy day! Unfortunately, that night Sterling and I mapped out his study for eight weeks for Step 1 Boards (he has to pass to move on in med school) which is a little disjointed since he has four weeks, then masters classes for a month, then four more weeks....but just mapping out those eight weeks made Sterling ready to jump right back into studying. And...we are back to 12 hour study days. At least he's home for dinner at nights now! And this morning he took Ruth to school while I did the blood glucose test at the OB--so lots of perks to just studying and no actual classes right now! I'll take it! Plus, we are looking forward to a great General Conference weekend. Life is good right now and we are so grateful for everyone's prayers and thoughts on our behalf this last stressful semester. We are sooooo happy it is behind us!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Phone Pics

Most of you have all seen these photos on instagram, but I'll share them here on this blog anyway. :)
We love family bike rides! This was a few weeks ago for FHE. We have a lovely canal behind our complex (which we saw a manatee in and an alligator in just in the past two weeks!!!) and it is just perfect for walks and bike rides. Will is the man and rides his bike all the time when I push the stroller in the morning. But Ruthie is usually at school, plus she needed some extra work "starting" without training wheels, so having daddy along was perfect!

Our library system is not my favorite, but they do have some great things going for them. We used to LOVE story time (before I had school drop off at nine and can't ever wait around an hour for it to start) and they also do this fantasy theater that we have gone to a couple of times and have just absolutely loved. This one was just SUCH a good show. My mom came to visit right after we'd seen it and my kids told her about it for at least twenty minutes after I brought it up. They were still so excited about the show! It was seriously so hilarious though, Ruth laughed and laughed and laughed.

Oh hey Mister Alligator. And no, I did not get any closer to get a better picture. And all I had with me was my phone. Mom was there, she can tell you it was an alligator in our backyard!!!
Sterling brought these home one night and my life has been forever changed. Chocolate made me throw up during this pregnancy, and now it gives me heartburn, but oh man. Heartburn is definitely worth this.

Sunday naps and BLTS (minus the bread, lettuce, and tomato for Molly HAAHAA)

Free DQ cone day!

Molly doesn't sleep. Ever. Sometimes I cave and rock her to sleep. She's pretty cute.

And this is pretty much we do all afternoon every day. Play at our complex park. Lately Ruth and Will have started carrying a bucket and shovel over to the park with them (I refuse to carry nine thousand things and we always have to have water because it is already hot, so I carry the water.) and it is pretty cute to see them dig and 'cook' and make fairy houses and all sorts of things. Also, I think this picture was supposed to be of both of them swinging on their bellies. That is another thing I get tired of, pushing kids on swings! I usually push them for awhile and then tell them they have to kick or ride on their bellies. Ruth can kick really well. Will gives up and rides on his belly, but he gets going really high! It's impressive haha.
In other, actually really big news, STERLING OFFICIALLY PASSED SECOND YEAR AND IS MOVING ON TO THIRD YEAR! Since this is longer-than-the-average-student in coming, we are SOOOO ready. Bring it on Step 1 Boards, we are just so thrilled to be finished second year we can't even fully cope with the massive stress of boards yet--we're just in some honeymoon middle stage haha! It feels soooooooo good. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Killian Ward Campout

First, a picture of our lovely old van. We loved you so much. We are sorry you got cancer and that you would've cost too much to save. We'd be more sad if we weren't so thrilled about our new van. We had hoped you would get us through med school, but alas, it was not to be. Here's crossing our fingers that our new van gets us through residency!
Molly galloping along with that kitty under her arm is my favorite. There were lots of real kitties around--stray cats are one of Miami's specialties--and I was a little paranoid and may have talked about shooting them with bb guns. To be fair, we have a rabies warning in our area right now, and I have not been thrilled about it.
Our ward had a campout. Those of us that are from places with 'real' the mountains...far away from a nature, we were all a little skeptical. And those of us in the ward who don't have those fond memories, didn't want to camp. Haha. So it was a pretty small group. BUT--even if a rooster and a garbage truck woke us up obscenely early, it was SO MUCH FUN!!!

Playing red light, green light.

Lots of people played volleyball. Sterling and I wanted to join in but Sterling was sick (had just got on antibiotics) and our kids weren't quite big enough to join in.

Starting the fire for the fireside and s'mores!

Then all five of us (six, one lady reminded me) snuggled into our three man tent and told some AWESOME stories (with some bugle horn sounds that may have been picked up by all the scouting tents around us, oops, haha!). Will told a story about a little duck-a-ling who hatched out of it's egg and followed its mama to the river. Where it drowned. Then was eaten by an alligator. Then was burped out (so much laughter ensued the story halted for a time) and happily went on its way. Good story, Will, good story. Once everyone fell asleep, we actually all slept through the night and the weather was perfection--it cooled down so that we could actually sleep comfortably outside without dying of heat. The kids are already asking when we can go camping again!