Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Summer Recap

I can hardly believe that summer is coming to an end and fall is right around the corner. Time flies and my blog has been a bit neglected! What can I say though? With a baby, a toddler, a husband home all summer, and a maternity leave to savor, I've had many other things occupying my time.

Now that school has started for Matt, my maternity leave has ended and I'm back at work (sniff, sniff), projects around the house are done, and the landscaping is complete (for now anyways...our funds are depleted!), I can use a bit of my 3 hours of heaven nap time to get some blogging done.

During my pregnancy with Mollie there were times that I was really struggling with "Mommy Guilt", if you will. I don't know if I can really call it guilt though, as I'm not guilty about giving Matthew a little sister, a playmate, hopefully a best friend for life. Maybe fear? But I still questioned how I could ever love another baby as much as I loved Matthew. I felt guilty thinking about splitting my time between a new baby and my 14 month old. I thought Matthew would feel neglected and maybe become angry with me. If I'm being completely honest, I felt like he didn't have enough time as an only child.

It's funny though because God knew exactly what we would need and His timing is always perfect! How amazing it was to be able to spend 3 months of summer vacation surrounded by the love and support of my husband and family! Matt was home all summer and we were able to make the transition to a family of 4 together.  What a blessing! ALL of my "mom fears" and uncertainties of becoming a mommy of two were immediately put to rest!

My love for my children multiplied and instead of being divided is now shared two-fold. I am reassured by the fact that Matthew and Mollie will grow up never knowing another way. The only thing they will know is having each other, and hopefully feeling the love of their Mommy, Daddy, families and Heavenly Father! I sometimes feel overwhelmed at the amount of love that I have for my children and the joy that they give me, and my prayer is that I can show them that love and joy every day,

Long story short, everything that I worried about was for naught, and we had one amazing summer together as a family. So here's a quick (okay, maybe not so quick...there's a ton of pictures) recap of our summer!

After Matt was out of school, we started our summer off by a trip to the Woodland Park Zoo.

Matthew LOVED the animals. We got to see so many of them while they were awake, active.

We had such a fun day at the zoo! My parents got us a zoo pass, so we have been able to enjoy many adventures there. Having a pass is great especially with little kids. We can go for a couple of hours and leave before Matthew gets too tired and cranky!

Mollie met her great grandparents, Papa Lefty and Grandma Betty.

At the end of June, we were all very surprised to find out that Matt's dad would be needing open heart surgery. The surgery was very successful, and he has recovered quickly- praise God!

We spent lots of lazy mornings at home. Both Matthew and Mollie enjoy cuddling and watching a "show" (TV show) when they wake up!

We went to Landon's 4th birthday party!

This boy loves his Daddy...his Daddy is pretty smitten with him too.
Matthew taking a swing at his very first pinata!

We enjoyed an afternoon exploring the Edmonds Beach. Matthew loved the water and the waves. Matt was literally having to hold him back from walking right into the water. One time he escaped and was ankle deep in the ocean, shoes and socks still on!

Nothing better then family time!
Matthew loved playing with the rocks and sand.
My sweet baby girl!
Couldn't do it without this man!
Mollie enjoying a little snooze on the beach. What a life!

We ended our day at the beach by playing at the playground.
We spent a morning jumping in bouncy houses and soaring down slides at Jump, Rattle & Roll.
Matthew was pretty apprehensive about all the big bouncy houses. He liked going down the slides, but his favorite part was driving this toy school bus! We had a very fun time, but I'm looking forward to going back when Matthew is a little older, and a bit more adventurous.
(Does this picture not look just like Caleb (Matthew's cousin) when he was a little boy?!?)

Mollie was with us, but spent the entire time napping in her stroller...she is such an easy baby to take places!

We spent countless hours playing and working in our backyard. We finally built a fence, got some landscaping, a small swing set and lots of outdoor toys for Matthew!
 Matthew loved helping Daddy...

...and getting completely covered in dirt!

Matthew loves playing in his sandbox. While he has learned that we don't eat the sand, he has yet to learn that we probably shouldn't dump sand on our head and down our diaper! Good thing he loves bath time.

Another day we took checked out Funtasia Fun Center...Matthew didn't think it was too fun, however.
I thought that Matthew would love climbing up the slides, in the tunnels and through the obstacle course...

....but, not so much! He kept going over to the Exit and saying "Bye-bye!" 

Matt enjoyed himself!
After a fail in the play area, we thought we would buy some tokens and play some games...

...but almost every game ended in tears! What can I say? With kids, you win some and you lose some. We lost. Better luck next trip!
On the 4th of July, we had a BBQ with Matt's family, and spent the night watching fireworks around Lake Stevens. It was a beautiful day! I thought we would get some pictures of Matthew and Mollie together, but she was clearly not having it! These days, I am lucky to get a good picture of both my kids we usually just opt to take them separate for now!

 Sweet little Emalynn. How stinking cute is that dress??

 Matthew loves to play in the water fountain at Papa and Grandma's house If we ever can't find Matthew and his partner in crime, Joshua, they can almost always be found splashing in the fountain..or putting rocks, dirt or anything else that they aren't supposed to be putting in the fountain, into the fountain!

My pride and joy!

Happy 4th of July!

We put Matthew to sleep over at Grandma & Papa's house, and just woke him up when we left. Since he went to bed before the fireworks started, we decided to light a couple of sparklers when we got home. He was fascinated by them, but since it was after 11pm we made it short & sweet and got him back to bed!

We live about a 10 minute walk away from Willis Tucker Park, so we spent lots of afternoons playing at the park and splash pad. Matthew loved running through the fountains...can't believe he is growing up so fast!

 One day we went down to Seattle and walked around Greenlake. We played at the park and Matthew went swimming. The water was COLD but this kid couldn't get enough. I didn't take very many pictures but by the time we left, his shirt was off and he was in the water up to his armpits!

On Thursday evenings in the summer, Willis Tucker Park sponsors movie nights at the park. They bring in a huge inflatable movie screen, and have bouncy houses, food, the book mobile, live music and lots of fun activities for kids. The movie doesn't start until way past Matthew's bedtime, but we headed up to the park to hang out and check out the festivities with my parents.

I see alot of summer nights spent here once our kids get a little older!

Love my parents more then words can say! They are a pair of pretty exceptional grandparents!

Matt and my dad spent some summer mornings golfing. Grammy, myself and the kids headed to Cherry park to play and feed the ducks. Matthew was thrilled and loved throwing bread to the ducks, but he really wanted to jump right in the water with the ducks!

 Quite an adventurous Grammy!

We spent lots of afternoons playing in Grandpa and Grammy's backyard, splashing in the pool, mowing the lawn, picking flowers, playing in Grandpa's boat & learning how to play hide and seek.

As July ended, we enjoyed another day at the zoo with my parents!

 Matthew loved climbing on the rocks. He is becoming much more adventurous and curious!

First time riding on a Merry-go-Round. He loved it! As soon as the ride was over, he started to sign "more" and was saying "Peese!" (please)

We capped July off by spending our first night away from both kids! Matt and I spent the night at a hotel in Seattle, and went to the American Idol concert. Matt got me tickets for Mother's Day, and I had been looking forward to the concert all summer. The concert was a blast, although we did notice that the majority of the people there were teenage girls and their moms!

Matthew and Mollie spent the night at Grammy and Grandpa's house. We used to discipline Matthew by putting him in timeout in our Pack-and-play. It upset him so much to be put in there. At Grammy and Grandpa's house, he also sleeps in a pack-and-play! He had such a hard time sleeping at their house, and I think that he thought every time he had to go to sleep there, he was being put in timeout. He would have a hard time going to sleep and would wake up early, very upset. Matthew is a great sleeper, so this was very unusual. The night that we were away, he was awake and upset by 5:00am, had blueberry pancakes by 6:00am, and a trip to the park at 7:00am. When I called to check in at 8:00am, Grammy, Grandpa & Matthew were all exhausted! Thankfully, Mollie slept great.
Since then, we have stopped using the pack-and-play as a timeout, and it has made the world of difference! He will now take naps, and sleeps like a champ in the pack-and-play...guess we should have changed earlier. Sorry for the rough night Grammy and Grandpa...we loved our night away!

All summer long I had been looking forward to our trip to Colorado to visit Adam & Willow! The beginning of August, we packed up and braved our first airplane ride with both kids. Thankfully, we had my parents and Bami along to help!

Matthew loved watching the airplanes as they passed by.
Mollie did amazing on her first airplane ride. I nursed and bundled her up just before we boarded the plane. I handed her off to Grammy, and she she slept for almost the entire trip. I nursed her again just before we landed and she was all set, ready to go meet her Uncle Adam and Aunt Willow!

 This little guy honestly did really well, although he was a busy little boy! We came prepared with a diaper bag loaded with snacks, games and toys.

First time taking a bath in the kitchen sink!

Matthew and Adam & Willow's dog, Clay, loved cooling off in the pool

Matthew giving Clay a hug. (He hugs with his head!)
Spiking the football

Playing at the park!

Uncle Adam, Aunt Willow and all their nieces and nephews...and Clay!
Grandpa was reading a story to Matthew and Clay decided that he wanted to join in too!
We enjoyed a yummy breakfast
"Flying" in the park during the Louisville Farmers Market

Colorado Rockies baseball game

Loveland Pass. Elevation 11,990 feet. The air is seriously thin up there!

Gondola ride. Such amazing scenery!

Kisses for sissy!
Seriously this kid is growing up right before my eyes

Daddy and Matthew sharing a piece of pizza before boarding the airplane to come home.
We had SUCH a wonderful visit with Uncle Adam and Aunt Willow.
Thank you so much for your hospitality, company, and showing us around Colorado!
We love you both so much and are going to miss you!
 Our last adventure of the summer was a trip to a Kangaroo Farm. Matthew got to "pat pat" a kangaroo...
 ...and feed a lama.

My Dad and Matt got kisses from these guys. My mom and I kindly passed :)

Matthew's favorite part of his trip to the kangaroo farm? The swing. Go figure!
In true Northwest fashion, a summer wouldn't be complete without BBQ's, and evenings spent enjoying the company of great friends and family.
We were sad to see our summer come to an end, but are excited about what this upcoming school year holds! I couldn't have asked for a more perfect summer full of wonderful memories and time with my family. But I gotta say, I'm so excited for cooler weather, and crisp fall mornings!