Saturday, January 17, 2015

Whatcha' Been Doing? [Fall Edition]

We love fall around here. Great weather + pretty leaves + Husker football. What's not to love.

By fall, we had figured out a few more things about having 2 under 2, one of which was how to snap more pictures in day-to-day life. You're welcome. [Or, sorry.]

Worth mentioning (at least for my personal record):
We let Addie play with coins and recycled containers. This was a favorite activity for a couple weeks.
Addie painted a small pumpkin in lieu of carving. Prettier and easier. She talked about this afterward for weeks.
Emma loves that fish on the exersaucer.
Ben took Addie on their first date to Burger King for breakfast. She had french toast sticks and her favorite part was dipping them in syrup. Ben noted that he opened the full container of syrup & handed it over only to watch Addie try to plunge the entire french toast stick in the tiny container, overflowing the syrup all over. He said next time, he would do the dipping.
Addie started to want to pick her clothes and hair accessories - see headband picture.
Addie and Lanie (cousin) are becoming very sweet friends. It has been so much fun to watch them grow closer the last 6 months.
Ben sent me flowers randomly one day. I was on cloud 9!
Reading on the potty is a fun pre-potty training activity.
Washing dishes is another favorite in this house - not sure why we own toys.

A fall trip to Chicago included...

#2under2 - kids fly free :) 

A visit to Grandad's office.

visiting grandma cathy's house means extra mommy & addie time because mommy is off chore duty!

Off to walk the dog - "see ya later!"

a fun train day - take the train two stops to the next town over  ...

...where there is a TRAIN RESTAURANT! The food is delivered on a toy train :)
This day was heaven for my choo choo train lovin' girl.  

Emma thought the whole train thing was overrated. And overwhelming.

hip hip hooray - three cheers for Grandma Cathy

and finally, my favorite part of this fall - a trip to California with my main man 10 days after our return from Chicago. Please notice we look much more excited and less tired on this plane selfie than we did on the family selfie with 2 kids on our laps. Hm.

First up: a day in wine country :) 

one of the cooler things we saw was dry ice poured on the fermenting grapes. 

we snuck a peek (and a pic!) where the important fancy wine tasters get to taste their wine. we don't qualify. 

After a day in Sonoma (we stayed here inexpensively - it was nice and a great location!), we drove down the pacific coast towards Palo Alto, where my brother and his new bride live. 
We parked at this random stop off where there were a lot of cars, but no people. A sign of either a hidden trail or an axe murderer. Or both. We hiked down the trail, pretending to be outdoorsy.

Ben climbed up here against my wishes.

We snapped this pic with the timer function on my camera. I love this man! 

We picked up a hitch hiker who was there at this stop. It wasn't our best decision making, but in our defense, when Ben asked her if she was going to kill us, she said "no." I decided not to take her picture anyway.

My brother showed us around his company's new digs, in downtown Palo Alto where rooftop decks are the norm. 

We went to a Stanford game, thanks for the tickets, hudl!

And then we headed home - relaxed and refreshed.

One of those things no one tells you about before you have kids is there is a crazy aftermath & recovery period after traveling, whether or not your kids go with you. It usually involves some version of lots of tears, piles of clothes everywhere, and extreme clingyness. 

Shortly after our return, Halloween popped up. It was WAY fun with kids. It didn't take the toddlers long to figure out trick-or-treating was fun.

These cute pumpkins had hats but they didn't last long. 

It doesn't get any cuter than this, my friends. 

I debated about including Thanksgiving in this post. It is SO DANG LONG already. If you are still reading, kudos! We must be related?
72 attempts at a family pic, and this is the best. Could be worse :) 

Last year, we drove from Cambridge to Charlottesville to spend Thanksgiving with Ben's sister, her husband, and our niece. Elsie and I were both newly pregnant and not feeling so hot. 
But we made 5 different pies anyway. We couldn't decide which was the most Thanksgiving-y: pumpkin, apple, cherry, french silk, or pecan. So we made them all. With homemade crust! 

This year, we continued the tradition, but in Omaha, and with way more efficiency, and only 3 types. We were only assigned pumpkin, pecan, and french silk. Elsie drew the short straw and had to start the homemade crust while I made the pecan pie filling. We had just been poking fun at Alex (my brother-in-law) for getting a giant tub of lard when pie crust only calls for a little. She left her bowl unattended to flour the table for rolling out the crust. I poured myself a cup of corn syrup to add to the pecan pie filling, and absent mindedly dumped the whole thing into her bowl of pie crust mixture! I was about to start stirring when she gasped "hey that's my pie crust!" We burst out laughing, and were thankful Al had bought an entire tub of lard, since I had ruined the first batch of pie crust. 

The girls were happy to get some time with their Great Great Grandma Elaine. [That's not a typo, folks!]

Whew. Happy Fall (3 months later). That's a wrap!
Will you dare join me tomorrow for December?

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