Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer Days with my crew

We're already into our third week of summer and I'm already feeling like fall will be here before I know it! Gosh, I love the sun and warm grass so much--why can't I just enjoy it and not feel like it's only going to inevitably come to a very dark, very cold end?
Our days mostly consist of park days, grilling, eating dinner in the grass, swimming in our filthy wading pool, being bath-worthy daily, the occasional (okay, once) Mariner's game, and watching Miss Piper grow up big and beautiful right before our very eyes. 

Ever have one of those moments when your near 3 year old, while watching her older brother zoom around on his big-boy bike, turns to you and says, "Mom, I need a Scout bike", and you realize, "Oh, crap, you don't have a bike!"? So over the weekend, Craigslist bestowed her with just about the cutest little pink bike a girl could hope for. 

This last picture is a big deal. HUGE. If I could turn the sound in this picture, the explosion of self-accomplishing joy and confidence resulting in Jude screaming at the top of his lungs--"Woo-hoo! I can do this!!"--in celebration of being able to finally swing all by himself--it was one of those parenting moments you dream of. 

Nothing brings siblings closer together than swimming in each other's pee and drool. 

Day 1 of art class with daddy! On a stress scale from 0-10, Adam was probably a Monica, but I think they had a good time. Jude learned how to use less paint and smaller brush strokes, and Adam learned that watching your children's uncontrollable curiousity with acrylic paint won't destroy anything except maybe his hairline. 

Those faces post hot dog, nachos, ice cream and something called a "tiger brownie." Our faces in the morning were less cheery. 

She's already 10 months old! And Scouty turns three next month! *tears*

Hope you're all enjoy your summers so far! 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Fourth of July '17!

This past Fourth was a beautiful day in the PNW! 
We Stevens were feeling more like our normal selves, and instead of hunkering down and basically doing nothing until dinner-time, we decided to make the day as much of a good ole' American time as possible. 
After our ward's 8AM pancake breakfast and flag ceremony, we headed over to the Bothell Parade, which was just about the best small-time parade I've ever been to. Jude was especially blown away by the parade of Corvettes, and he even worked up the courage to beat out some of the other (greedy) children for the candy being thrown at them. My Jude is so sweet and doesn't like to push and shove, but that day this mama told him it was okay for the sake of sugar. Scout was afraid of the whole situation for most of the time, but warmed up at the end to the idea of people throwing Skittles at at her. 

Those Corvettes, man. 

Oh, Scouty, the 4th if just not your holiday. It's okay, you can have
Halloween. There's way more candy anyway. 
After the parade we maneuvered our way around the other 50 parades going on nearby to try to get to a freaking Jimmy Johns (ended up going 10 miles out of our way, but WORTH IT), and then parked it over at Waverly Beach Park for the afternoon, which if you east-siders haven't been to, we highly recommend. I figured that since the high was only in the mid-70's that swimming would be a stretch, but Jude and Nana were completely unfazed and had a great time in the water together while Scout played on the playscape and Piper pillaged everyone's food. For how much that girl eats, the babe is not chubby enough. Definitely doesn't get those genes from me. 

Just look at that handsome little water bug.

Everyone took quick little naps on the way home, and then we ate fried chicken and mac & cheese for dinner and played with our new snails. I'm a firm believer that pets are fantastic for children, but gosh, the snail infatuation needs to be over. Can't tell you how many extremely slow snails have somehow gone missing in my house and then reappeared still alive a week later. And Jude insists on taking them everywhere. But it is pretty cute when they come of out their shells and he takes them for rides on his pull-back cars. Probably gives them the thrill of their short little lives. 

We then finished the day by staying up late and blowing up whatever we could find. Scout was terrified this year of the fireworks, and coped by snuggling with grandpa on the couch and watching Sarah and Duck to drown out the war zone going on in our neighborhood--can't tell you how many car alarms went off--and by the way, if your kids haven't seen that show yet, we highly recommend it. Sadly, Jude got so into the fireworks that he forgot to put his shoes back on and ended up stepping on one that was still hot and got a second-degree burn. But otherwise, it was a top-notch day.

I love our country and those in my family and those not who've sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms. 
America, you're just the best. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Remember When

The sun is finally poking through out here in Seattle and the kids and I feel reborn. 
Seriously, letting the kids loose at the park mirrored some sort of jail break or the hysteria at Walmart on Black Friday. Scout couldn't stop screaming, "Hi!" at everyone she passed or maniacally laughing throughout the playscape, while Jude ran his skinny little legs ragged and came home each day with a pound of sand in each shoe. 
So I'm proud to say that we took full advantage of each sunny day and it was an exciting preview for this upcoming summer.

Seattle: The winter was brutal. Please make sure the summer epic. 

To recap this encouraging week, I'm remembering when... hour before bedtime, Scout demonstrated expert problem-solving skills when she was exhausted, not ready to go inside, and quietly grabbed a blanket and fell asleep outside...

...the kids spent half the day as little spider monkeys under the most beautiful flower bush in the world that we're lucky enough to have in our front yard...

...a friend in our ward helped Adam get his motorcycle running after not being used all winter and Jude was brave enough to go for his first ride--and Scout decided she was brave enough to just wear the helmet. "It's too loud, daddy"...

.....Jude and Scout engaged in yet another 20-minute cuddle sesh... tonight, Scout was too tired to make it to her bed and landed on my lap instead...

...and then in how just a few short hours my sweet Piper will be eight months old and how both completely impossible and never more believable that seems. She is a beautiful force in our home and I daresay she will be so for the world. I love her--and all of them--with my whole heart.

Here's to hoping this week is as killer as this last! 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Jude's 6th Birthday!

My sweet boy is six!
Honestly, after the kids turn one, subsequent birthdays don't usually phase me. But something about this one--with Jude losing his first tooth only a few weeks prior and the resulting ever-so-slight lisp, the current way his hair is sitting, his voice that I swear has deepened a few notches within the last month, all making him seem like this majorly big kid now--has me teary-eyed. 

You have always been unanimously described by people who know you best as a sweetheart. You are good and kind and funny and endlessly curious. You are the absolute best big brother and I love, admire and adore you so very much.

Happy birthday, sweet, sweet boy! 

On Saturday afternoon we had just a few little buddies over for a Lego party! The boys made their own Lego cars to race down a ramp Mr. Adam Mark Stevens is very proud to have made with his very own, very manly hands, had pizza for lunch, shot Nerf guns at some really fancy plastic cups, and finished with cake and presents! In between, the boys dug in the dirt, hit trees with random objects, shot Nerf pellets at each other--it was like herding the most well-trained group of cats and I love them all so much. 
They and their enthusiasm stole my heart (every last one of them wore their Lego crowns with PRIDE) and if my pizza bill wouldn't quadruple in the process I'd honestly have them over every day. 
Here are a bunch of photos from the party! Thanks to all who came and for all of your awesome gifts! (You all seriously have the coolest kids!)

Getting caught snacking before the guests arrive. She's not as startled as she looks. She really has no shame in being sneaky. #idowhatiwant

Game faces ON.

"Don't mind me, I've just got my own cars to race." Scout had no intentions of being left out at any time. 

Also, her overalls are so gloriously stretchy and I want a pair for myself sooooo badly. 

Just look at this handsome crew! 

Yes, Scout, I see you over there too. "CHEEEEEESE!!!!!"

And only one minor injury = success! 

Taking a break to play in the dirt. 

The only thing going through my mind was all the episodes of AFV we've watched with people walking with their lit cakes and falling on their faces. *please don't eat it please don't eat it*

YAY! Happy birthday, Jude Dude! We love you so very much! 
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