Thursday, January 29, 2015

Painting at the National Portrait Gallery

So have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE living here?! :)
The National Portrait Gallery has a different free art activity for the kids each Friday. A few weeks ago we went with our little friend Logan. Taryn's snowman started out looking great! Adding buttons, a scarf, etc...And then she decided to go more of the abstract route and created a beautiful "snowman" that covered the whole canvas paper with greys and blues. We all know the snowman was underneath somewhere! :)

It was actually really beautiful and we took it home to dry and hang up on Taryn's art wall. We will definitely be going back for more mini art classes! I loved that each child got a little canvas paper- it just made everything seem that much more "official" and you had the option of wearing an art smock too (or old dress shirt!) The teacher made a beautiful snowman to use as an example and it was amazing. I have so much appreciation for those who can creat such wonderful works of art with their own two hands. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Everyday scenes - keeping up with these girls

When the girls go to bed, Tyson and I do a final sweep of the home. It always makes me laugh to see what random places the girls toys end up! I have a ton of pictures like this one :)

When I am making dinner, Hadleigh is camped out by my feet. Lucky for me, the tupperware keeps her very occupied. Taryn usually goes for the kitchen utensils (tongs) so by the time dinner is ready, these girls have "cooked" their own dinner too.

A welcomed nap during Sacrament meeting on a Sunday. 3 o'clock church is tough!

Our little banana eater! Every day we hear, "nana?!"

Cars, animals, and ponies. I think she was making a farm. Or it was a war.

Texts to daddy saying "hi" in the middle of the day

And these two silly girls playing with Daddy and the sunglasses in the store. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

We felt like the only ones there. Huntley Meadows Park

On New Year's weekend, we discovered this beauty! Huntley Meadows Park is about a 20 min drive for us which means we went from city life to country life. Ok- not quite- but close. We LOVE where we live! You can go to big city and then find yourself basically in a forest within 30 min. It's really amazing. We felt like the only ones there that day. It was quiet, peaceful, and awe-inspiring. The pictures my make it seem blah- but it was anything but that! Yes- we want to see what Spring is like here, but winter isn't too shabby at all!

We saw so many Canadian Geese (Scott Family Bird.) If you don't know much about the Canadian geese, well, then you should do some research. Some of my favorite quick facts about these beautiful birds: They mate for life, they stay in there family groups, when flying in a "V" they honk to one another as encouragement, I could go on and on! That's why it's the Scott Family Bird. We also have a Scott family tree but maybe I will share that one when we make a special trip hopefully in the coming years :)

Taryn turned around to "shush" us when we got closer to the geese. She wanted to be sure to get a good look at them - up close and personal. 

The board walks went all over so you could get and up close and personal view of everything. There were large beaver dams further out in the water and we even saw a Great Heron bird perched on one dam.

Taryn saw a few kids with sticks and one boy poked at the ice. Taryn quickly found a stick and had so much fun poking the ice and breaking through to the water. It was pretty thick ice so it took a few pokes each time. The sound echoed through the park- making us feel again like we were the only ones there. In the picture above, Taryn was worried about falling in so she had me hold her. Earlier she was poking the thick ice from the board walk all by herself.

It's amazing how much the D.C. metropolitan area has to offer. We still have SO MUCH to see and do!  Glad we got to discover this beautiful spot and hopefully we will be able to share it with visitors (wink wink!)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The first real snow of the winter!

Taryn woke up a few weeks ago and we told her it was snowing! It was like Christmas Day all over again. This girl was jumping up and down and asked over and over again to go outside "right now!' to play in the snow. We ate breakfast and got all bundled up- which always takes forever. Taryn was so antsy. We finally made it outside and Taryn ran through the fresh snow of our courtyard. She made several loose snowballs and immediately threw them at me. She was laughing and having so much fun. Luckily this year we found an awesome pair of snow boots for super super cheap that fit her perfectly. No longer did I have to worry about her feet getting cold. Now maybe next year I will have proper gloves. But I did make sure that her gloves would last through several snow ball makings. I put those little plastic gloves you use to clean the bathroom with on her hands first so they wouldn't get wet. then I placed two layers of gloves on her. Not the best but it did the trick and she lasted 1 hour out in the snow! You can laugh at my pathetic attempts to keep her warm. Last year I did plastic bags around her feet and stuffed them into her boots (not weather proof) it worked but I'm making progress each year ;)

Hadleigh wasn't into the snow. At one point I was taking pictures and put Hadleigh standing up in the snow. She just stood so still and whimpered. Not a happy camper. She spent the rest of the time in my arms just watching Taryn play. 

Snow play is never complete without eating some!

Ok, mom, I'm done now!

Snow angels! She practiced multiple times inside our apartment before going out to the real snow. 

She has pretty great aim. She kept saying, "Mom…don't throw a snow ball at me!!!" in the most teasing voice ever. Don't worry, I made sure to help her out ;)

Not so sure about this snow stuff. I took a very similar picture of Taryn in the snow while we lived in Bologna. Actually, going through those old pictures, I am shocked at how many pictures I have of those two girls doing almost the same thing or looked so much like each other. 

Because we had planned to not drive the car that day I wanted to get the majority of the snow off as it started to die down so it wouldn't be frozen by the time I left for work at night. Taryn thought it was so fun to help me brush off the car and she did a great job too. 

After an hour she had started crying and wanted to go back in, saying she was done with the snow. She asked for hot chocolate so she could warm up and I was happy to provide her some with lunch. About we week later it snowed again but it was even lighter. Taryn woke up for the day and looked outside the window. When she saw the snow, she had the grumpiest face on and turned to Tyson and me saying, "Ugh!!! Why did it snow again! I don't want the snow!!!" hahah! And that is why investing in good snow gear is not worth it for us. She has a good run at it and now she's done. She hates not being able to play at the parks everyday. But I will just remember how happy she was to play in her first real snow of the winter, because it's pretty awesome to see that much excitement in a little child.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A moment to catch our breath, now back to it all

Our girls only clubhouse at the park. 
Taryn was super excited about the fact that it was JUST for girls. Though she really loves the little boys her age that she gets to play with! 

These girls were so bundled up! It was a very chilly day but we were happy to be outside! We brought our lunches the girls did very well at eating though they were big puff balls. But hey, they were super warm!!!!! (Hadleigh's gloves were taken off so she could hold her food by herself)

I asked the girls to look at the camera and instead they snuggled. I'll take that any day.

 Hadleigh has gotten into this habit of batting at people's faces. Taryn has been the victim of some scratches from her baby sister but yet, they still give each other multiple hugs during the day. Really, I never knew that the copy cat stage for siblings could start so young. Hadleigh wants to do everything Taryn does, or have everything that Taryn has. Down to the same color of balloon to sitting on the couch when Taryn is. It's adorable and sometimes frustrating but I'm happy that Hadleigh already looks up to her big sister. 

I think Hadleigh looks a lot like I did as a baby right here. 

This poor little girl had a few sicknesses (minor- yeah!) over the holidays and to top it off, she fell and hit her lip, separating the connective tissue between the upper lip and gum. Thankfully when we called the doctor a few days later when it just kept bleeding- dude... the mouth bleeds a whole lot!- they said it will heal and grow back. And it has! How crazy awesome are our bodies! She made it through those little sicknesses and still gained weight for her 15 month appointment. 
Oh ya!

The snow has pretty much melted and we will be back to park going weather by the end of the week which makes me so happy! I'm happy that life slowed down a bit over the holidays so we could all catch our breath and spend a lot of quality time together. Now, things are gradually picking up and I'm looking forward to getting back into it all. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Small children, small problems. The perfect, un-perfect day.

These two sweeties! 
The other day we had a day of playing in the snow and then staying inside and keeping warm.  I thought at the end of the day that it had been a perfect day. But it wasn't perfect by any means. There were a few great tantrums/meltdowns and a short lived nap
(and one sleep deprived mama!- who am I kidding, we've all been sleep deprived lately!)

I was surprised how much I had loved the "home day" though.  Maybe it's because we've been out and about a lot lately trying to do as much as we can while it was still 40-50 degrees. Because I knew as soon as those pesky 20 degree or below temps snuck in- with that wind- oh that blistery wind!- we would be inside a lot more. 

It was one of those "chill" days where you just go with the flow, nothing but breakfast, lunch and dinner times to navigate through. I know these simple days are coming to an end soon so I'll be grateful for these days I still get to have with my girls before they get older. 

And maybe I will start being grateful that my children's tantrums/meltdowns are related to small small problems in the grand scheme of things ( having to clean up toys, getting dressed for the day, sharing) because as they get older, their problems get bigger and more challenging too. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Beginning the New Year 2015

To start out our New Year's Day, we headed to the giant soccer fields across the street per request from Taryn. We played for awhile (though it was a little cold at first!) and also spent time at the park. It felt great to get out and get active for the first day of the new year :)
(Poor Hadleigh- she didn't want to pose for the picture.)

When we hoped in the car, Hadleigh reached out for Taryn's hand while calling for her with little noises. Taryn reached across the little divide and they held hands. It was a sweet moment for Tyson and I as we buckled the girls in their seats. They continued to hold hands for a bit on our drive :)

Haute Dogs & Fries!
So yummy! I know lots of people don't like hot dogs for lots of reasons but I have to say that a good hot dog makes me happy! We've been looking forward to trying this place out for awhile now and no time is better than Holiday vacation time! There were so many different choices, we know we will be back for more! 
Tys-The NY Reuben B- The District "D.C." Dog