Piper constantly wanted to hang upside down, and she totally pegged Henta as the one to give her what she wanted.
In the next set of pictures, well, you'll see for yourself. No one really looks their best. But it had stopped raining! The sun was out and it was gorgeous outside, the perfect zoo day.
Such big girls. I can't believe how old Ivy and Stella are now. It blows my mind. I remember very clearly my first meeting with both of them on their birth-days. Those memories feel like yesterday. But here the girls are, five- and six-years-old.
This is our really awesome family portrait, minus the guys. Yes, Rae Ann is flashing the camera. And I love Piper's little forehead showing in the stroller. No idea why Mom's nose is so cold.
Ivy was super annoyed any time I took a picture that involved her. She'd get ticked. Rae Ann gave her a little talk, and at the next picture opportunity (aka this one), she stuck it out, but this was the look I got. She kills me.
At the rain's end and the sun's beginning, all the animals came out of hiding. They were romping and playing and calling to each other. It was so fun, and a very memorable zoo experience - usually it's weirdly quiet among the animals.
We had a blast! It was such a nice trip, and a wonderful way to celebrate Ivy's birthday. She is such a character...I love that little girl.
Nate's aunt and uncle left town for a little while and asked if we'd like to stay in their house while they were away. I immediately said no, while Nate immediately said yes. All I could think about was all the food prepping, clothes packing, and general upheaval moving my family of four for a week would require.
So I was wrong. Christie (Nate's aunt) explained what her invitation included; I changed my mind and said heck yes. We took a little staycation. It was marvelous!
Miss Hazel B. as we packed.
The girls stayed in a room on the second floor that had it's own bathroom. Good thing, too - the first morning in the house, I discovered that Piper had pooped through her jammies and Hazel had found access to her poop...and so she had played with it. Straight into the tub they went. This is Piper's most winning smile, a smile that says, "Mom, what a long morning so far. Now where's my food..."
Hazel was absolutely delighted to sit at a real table. Any time we'd talk about food, she'd start jumping up and down, shouting, "We can eat TOGETHER!"
I spent all my time in this kitchen. Gorgeous. Perfection. I baked my way through a week of staycation.
My old friend Lindsay visited us one morning - she discovered that Christie is the proud owner of a Vitamix. I had no idea what she was talking about. And then Lindsay pulled out the recipe book. Oh hello. It's what began my baking frenzy.
I baked to my heart's content. Most of the loaves and muffins I froze - easy 4a.m breakfast when I have to work. Easy snacks for Hazel. Speaking of Hazel, she was amazed at the space of the main level. She ran from room to room screaming her heart out every day. We did all sorts of nutsy things that we can't really get away with at home. I baked. Hazel screamed. Constantly. We're pretty easy to please.
We were so grateful to Nate's family, who enabled us to stretch our legs for a few days. It reminded me how much I like to cook, and how easy it is to keep up on dishes when the washer is right there rather than a hike away with 40 pounds of dishes to carry. Our last day at the house, I baked three dinners. I was determined to not do anything except adjust when we returned home.
Hazel really did lose her center during that trip. She forgot all sorts of rules/boundaries. Coming home has been rough. Ten days later and we're still struggling to adjust completely. Our staycation just made me so much more excited to have our own space. I will cry and cry (what's new) when that day finally comes. As for right now, I have no updates on the progress of things. I'm as in the dark as you...I wish that wasn't the case!