Camping round two

Friday, October 17, 2014

Our second camping trip of the year was a one-night ordeal, but honestly, I was glad it wasn't longer. We decided to just drive up to Idaho Falls and see what it looked like up there, and pick a spot on the spot. Bogdan had this idea that there was lots of camping up there. Well, we drove past one legitimate spot (some people were just parked next to the river and the highway of course, with no campfire since there's no burning fires outside of designated spots in Idaho in the summer) and when we got to Idaho City, we explored a little and asked about camping nearby. The guy looked at us funny like no one ever comes up to camp and told us we could camp on the high school field. thanks. We booked it back to the one open spot we had seen and snagged it before anyone else could. It wasn't very woodsy, and I like woodsy. That's my biggest complaint. Our neighbors were in plain view and it wasn't very cozy or private, but we still got the camping experience, so I'm happy. It was next to a creek, so the girls and I walked down to it and dipped our legs in the water while Bogdan and Ben went looking for firewood. 

Isn't this shot so telling of childhood? Mila is playing with her eyes and Olivia is hanging off a chair. I SO remember those days from my childhood--plenty of boredom and doing weird things to pass the time. I happen to think boredom is healthy for children.

Naomi is out of the cage we call our house, so she's pretty happy.

Look at all that love! And Naomi doesn't even mind.

I know I take way too many pictures of Naomi and not enough of the other kids, but she is always doing all these cute things, like holding on to the generator because it's vibrating or playing with the hitch. She loves that thing.

Slow, cool mornings around the campfires as a family are becoming a favorite of mine. Everyone is well-rested and calm and the sun is shining. The start of a fresh new day...

Naomi decided she had had enough sleep at 6 am and proceeded to fall back asleep in my arms a couple hours later. She must have wanted to enjoy the campfire before the whole world was up, and then she couldn't quite make it....that fire was good for getting her back to sleep though!

It's not camping if there aren't any s'mores.

A new hot springs pool/spa opened up a couple years back in Idaho Falls and we finally got to check it out on our camping trip. We packed up the RV and spent the rest of the day soaking and relaxing. It was really pretty up there, being right next to the trees, but I found it a bit uppity for my taste. We happened to be there on family day, which was perfect, but still we seemed to be in the way and they came over to tell us Naomi can't have a sippy cup of water because there are no outside beverages, and children under eight can't be in the hot tub because it's too hot (which I can understand I guess, except the other hot springs pool we go to has no such rules and everyone is fine), and they came over when Naomi was walking across their leather couch in the lobby. I kind of just wanted to take my bunch home so we wouldn't be in anyone's way.

I think a date day would be awesome there, however. They have lots of lounge chairs, with a row of them shaded from the sun, they bring food right to your chair, they offer massages, and they have a sauna that I want to try when we don't have kids in tow.


Olivia turns six

This little girl of mine turned 6 this summer! I find it so fun how much kids love birthdays, and frankly, I love them just as much. Why not take a day every year to celebrate yourself?! I always find people odd who don't make a big deal of their birthday, and downplay it like it's nothing. What?! It's the day you came into this world! Aren't you happy you exist? I know I am! :)

On Olivia's actual birthday we celebrated on our own, with grandparents coming over in the evening for birthday cake. She wanted to go to the pool, which was easy enough to do. First she had pancakes with candles in them, which she loved of course. Then we picked up her cousin Noah and headed to Whole Foods to pick up a birthday cake and have lunch there as well. When we got back home, Olivia opened her gifts from Bogdan and I and we headed to the pool. She loved her day, and that's all that matters to me! I love giving them a day they will remember all year long.

She requested that Bla Bla bear for her birthday as a mate for her bunny, and her request was granted! This may be them kissing and getting married, I'm not sure. Their relationship is the real deal, people. And on Christmas they are having a baby (she's getting a mini Bla Bla doll)! I don't know why my girls are so obsessed with these dolls, but they are. It's pretty cute.

Check out the look on her face! Her other request was granted--she got a Rapunzel wig! Beware all you moms out there, though--once we took the braid out the hair got hopelessly tangled and it looks like a horrid mess now, not a pretty Rapunzel wig. Olivia never wears it--boo. The 'hair' it's made out of is just super cheap and sticky so it tangles instantly and can't really be brushed out. I really despise toys that aren't made to last and actually be played with...grrr. Also, there's Naomi in her swim diaper running amuck with a pair of Olivia's underwear. Nbd.

Mila testing out the new pretzel float.

Adele and her mom joined us at the pool.

We had to get a few shots in of us with our birthday girl.

That look above is priceless. I'm so glad Olivia was so graciously given to us from a Father who loves us so much. She is a sweetheart and has such a fun, goofy side to her that is different from Ben and Mila. She likes to giggle at random funny things, and likes to be silly, even raunchy (in a kid way of course). She loves telling stories, and her stories often drag on and on and on until I forgot what she was talking about in the first place. I am always reminding her that she needs to figure out what she's trying to tell me because I have things to do. She could honestly never stop talking if you let her.

She needs me to tuck her in at night or she gets upset. As long as I come in and give her a hug and kiss and tell her, "I love you, good night, bye," she's good. She is a creature of habit and gets attached to things and people. She had a hard time when she started kindergarten because she missed her preschool teacher, and now that she's in first grade, she misses her kindergarten teacher. She still misses her old room back when Naomi's room was hers, and still mentions it from time to time. She misses old clothes and gets sad if she sees them because they don't fit anymore. She loves her friends and gets super attached to them. If they upset her, she gets so sad because she feels that bond really strongly and doesn't understand why they would want to be mean to her.

Her heart is tender and easily bruised, so I always have to remind myself to have patience with her and give her more of my undivided attention. She is still super slow in everything she does, so getting ready for school in the morning is always a challenge, as well as meals (she'll just sit there and stare off into space or stare at someone unless you remind her to take another bite). She must have a lot going on in her head, so maybe someday she'll be a writer or something. She never rushes anything and is slow in her actions, but she's so creative when she's doing art and so smart at school. We are so grateful for this blonde beauty of ours!


Double birthday

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Looking back at these pictures from this summer, I am reminded again of all the deliciousness of those hot summer days! I am already starting to miss them. At the time, the heat felt unbearable, and an outdoor birthday party in 100+ degree temps was not appealing at all, but now it seems nice. Oh, the wishing for the grass on the other side of the fence...

One of my favorite things to do is spend time with friends and family. It really is what's most important. Those memories will last a lifetime, and will still be around when any possession or accomplishment just isn't relevant anymore. My niece and nephew were born a couple weeks (and three years) apart and so they celebrate their birthdays together every year.

Natalia always manages to make all her parties and get-togethers special in some way. If it has her name on it, I always know I will enjoy myself. So along with the pizza they had delicious salads and sides and dessert, because it's not a party without the dessert. My job was cupcakes for the birthday girl and boy, so the morning of the party was spent baking those bad boys. The highlight of the day for the kids (besides the pinata) was of course the water balloon fight. It provided a little respite from the unrelenting heat and who doesn't love anything involving water when it's hot? I'm taking notes for next year's parties.


Independence day

Monday, October 13, 2014

I feel like I spend all my fourth of July's cooped up in the house, cleaning and cooking and baking all day. This year was more of the same as we were having family over to our house for the evening. No one else we know really makes plans, thus we usually end up being the ones hosting. This year I tried not to go overboard on the menu so I could enjoy the holiday myself and focused mostly on the pecan pies I wanted to try my hand at.

I ended up baking them too long since I had omitted the corn syrup and didn't adjust the baking time down, but they were still really delicious. I will be making them again for sure. The picture above is my pie crust all ready to be filled. And no, that is not a bean pie--those were to weigh the pie dough down so it wouldn't bubble in the oven. My sister Natalia made a beautiful AND delicious rhubarb pie and my mom made her signature berry cake, so we were pretty set on the dessert front I would say!

After burgers we took some pictures in the yard while waiting for it to get dark outside. After putting our fireworks together and making another last-minute fireworks run, we had more than enough for a fun night of shooting them off. Some friends ended up coming over for the fireworks as well, so it was definitely festive at our house that night. I was dreading getting Naomi to fall asleep and stay asleep because last year had been so bad, but she did amazing and slept right through everything. It was definitely a welcome surprise, and I got to relax and enjoy the show. Our neighborhood tends to get really loud on July 4th. With lots of kids at basically each house down the street, the street is lined with families setting off their loot all evening and into the night. It's all for the kids, you know...

What, you thought Naomi would cooperate for pictures? It's not her style, and she's gonna do it her way! These next shots just make me sigh...

Isn't it funny how M and O are so still and smiley in each shot? They know to stay still and keep looking at the camera so when Naomi settles down, I can get the shot. Ben is kind of all over the place usually, but they are just holding those smiles through it all...such troopers, ha ha! Naomi was trying to stay upset, but Natalia threw her up in the air a few times, and it worked long enough to cheer her up for a few decent shots. She's walking off but at least there aren't any tears, so I'll call that a success. Independence day with an independent child. :)

I can't believe last year I was pacing my dark bedroom with a tiny, swaddled lump in my arms, praying the booms outside our window would subside soon so she could finally drift off to sleep, and here she is just one short year later, exercising her rights and giving us a good dose of her personality. All in all, it was a good, good day celebrating this country we live in and enjoy every single day.