August 27, 2014

Fourth Anniversary




Since I was so close to having our baby, we didn't plan anything big for our anniversary this year.  But we did decide that some fancy dining would be fun so we went downtown to an Italian place called Asiago's and boy was it DELICIOUS. I have actually seen a Groupon for this restaurant for forever and always wanted to try it, based on a couple people who said it's great, so we got $40 worth of food for $20!  We never get dessert at restaurants but their dessert menu looked so good we decided to skip the appetizers and splurge on dessert - SO glad we did!


Devin got a yummy "marscapone lime tart" and I got a layered ice cream cake that Cold Stone makes exclusively for this restaurant.  That outer shiny chocolate layer is called "ganache".  There were a lot of italian food words on their menu and Devin and I had fun deciphering what everything was. I'm a total foodie so I was having a blast recognizing and learning new food words. 

Downtown Boise is a really neat place. SO clean, there's a total hipster vibe - lots of "granolas", people with dogs, bicyclists, etc.  We decided to eat outside because it wasn't TOO hot of a night and it was fun to get a better city experience - there was a bike bar that rode down our street a couple times.  It's like a bar except everyone sitting at the bar is pedaling while drinking, making the "vehicle" move and someone in front steering it where to go.  It was pretty funny to watch.  I also love all the interesting buildings - in some places there is a really old looking stone or brick building right attached to a tall, shiny, modern looking building. Then there were some fun looking old cars right outside where we were eating.  It was such a beautiful night to be together, enjoying the most delicious food, and talking about our lives without any interruption! 



And a big thanks to Devin's brother Garrett for watching Ava while we went.  It was so nice of him, considering it was his last night in Boise (or so we all thought) after spending the whole summer with us doing an internship here.  It's a good thing we didn't end up planning an overnight get away because I went into labor early the next morning! 

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August 21, 2014

Bringing Home Baby




This experience of having a baby has been so entirely different than when we had Ava. The biggest difference being that we got to leave the hospital just over 24 hrs after having him, opposed to 6 days later and staying at the hospital that whole time.  I've also recovered extremely well and faster than I imagined - being able to walk around tin the evening of the day I had him.

I'm also bringing a baby home to another child who isn't far from baby herself!  That transition has also been smoother than expected but that is also HUGE thanks to Devin's mom who has been here to give Ava lots of attention and taking her out of the house to do fun things  (and much more).  However, I still feel this overwhelming sense of needing to show Ava my love  more than ever.  I felt during this pregnancy that my patience with her had gone downhill so fast and only expected it to get worse with a new baby added to the mix. But when we came home with Owen I felt this overwhelming sense of love and need and desire to be patient with her, knowing that  patience might be all it takes for her to feel loved right now while sharing my time. She has been especially sensitive to anyone wanting to try and take her away from me, so I'm trying to let her be with me and the baby at the same time as much as possible so she knows it's not one or the other.



I knew Ava would be sweet with Owen because of how much she has shown a LOVE for babies in the last little while. But I didn't realize HOW sweet and careful she really could be.  It doesn't freak me out to have her near him, she just gets really close to him and either gives kisses or strokes his head or touches and labels body parts that she knows, and she seems to understand that eyes are off limits.  Every time she comes home from doing anything she immediately asks to know where the baby is, for now I think she wants to make sure he's staying in our family :)

 
 This pic was taken after our second night home.  He stayed swaddled all night and only woke up twice to eat, it was great!

Owen took a binky on the first day as well as latched on and has been nursing really well. Both of these things have made night time pretty good with him, as long as he is swaddled - he is so good at sneaking his little hands out and waking himself up!  The hard part has been trying to get to him in time before Ava wakes up to his cries. So far she only slept through the night once since he's been home-but she was waking up at least once in the night before we had him too - that's been a difficult thing to figure out.  We're going to try another night of him sleeping in the crib in his room and if it's problematic with Ava again then we'll prob nice him to a pack and play in our bathroom or something.  As far as my sleeping goes, having Devin's mom here has been great because she'll get up with Ava and take her for a walk or to the nearby playground while I sleep in because Owen usually sleeps until after 9 and that has helped me SO much., at least during this first week while my body is still repairing and recovering.


Owen at 3 days old and Owen at 6 days old
 We took our first outing last night as a family to The Village to watch the fountain light show, let Ava run around, enjoy the BEAUTIFUL weather and got some frozen yogurt. We just kept Owen covered up and he slept the whole time. I'm interested to see how we do this weekend with Devin's mom gone - she's probably wondering how we're going to do it because she's been doing so much! Haha she's been cooking and cleaning and doing laundry and playing and shopping and listening and all that we could ask for! We're so very grateful.
  I'm excited to have my mom come next week too when I'll hopefully be feeling even better, she hasn't seen our house and hasn't seen Ava since she was just one!

 Owen really has been a very mellow baby and we  just love watching him change a little but every day!
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August 19, 2014

He's Here!


OWEN JAMES HARPER
is here!





And we love him!

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August 8, 2014

Morning at the Zoo!





I was planning on taking Ava to the zoo this week since she is obsessed with animals and we haven't been since she was too little to even know.  It worked out perfectly that Devin's mom has been here this week and was able to come with!








Feeding the goats was obviously a hit, Ava had no apprehension in sticking her fingers right up to their mouths.  Right after we went into the butterfly house - SUCH a cool exhibit the Boise Zoo has!  You walk in this greenhouse and there are just butterflies flying and landing all around (and on) you! They have fruit out on plates in various places and beautiful flowers everywhere too. 





 
It was so fun for Ava to finally see animals in real life that she's only seen in books and videos.  She didn't get as excited with oohs and ahs as I thought she would.  For example, our first stop was the monkeys and there was a monkey right up at the fenced wall, sitting eating a corn on the cob.  She just locked her eyes on him, smiled, and kept saying "food".  I think she has just familiarized herself with animals so much that they were as real and fun to watch as she expected they'd be!
    I'm glad I didn't have to take her alone either - she actually did really well to sit in her stroller most of the time but it was still nice to have another non-pregnant, able bodied pair of arms to lift her up and see things - thanks for joining us, Laura! Pin It

July 26, 2014

Family Reunion 2014










DAY 2 
Morning Scavenger Hunt/Backyard Fun






Devin playing favorite uncle - pushing swings, being pitcher, taking kids on motorcycle rides, etc.
 
RIVER DAY







Ava was a crack up covered in sand, even coming out her nose! This sandy area across from the dock was a perfect place to set up and let the kids play while people took turns going out on the boat.  AND the jet skis that they rented for the day - such a great idea! All the guys took turns on the stand up one, but I think Marissa schooled them all :)







^^Umm...have you guys tried this stuff from Costco? ADDICTING. So glad Laura stocked up 3 bags of it for the weekend!




DAY 3
Morning Carnival Games/Water Balloons/Pinata



^^Heather kicked off the carnival with a fishing game that had fun prizes! Ava and Wynn carried their little baby bottles around all day :)








Our game was a race track that Devin built out of some piping from Home Depot.  I think kids were playing with it all day long, thanks to the large stash of cars that Neil and Laura have. 



Marissa did some really cute t-shirt painting with the kids and her pinata was tough! All the kids got to try twice and then we let Ike give it some good whacks - the other kids would scream and laugh every time he hit it because it would make such a loud cracking sound and he was really giving it his all! 

I don't have pics of this but Devin and David filled up tons of water balloons that we used to play water balloon volleyball.  Even Lily and Ivy were a great team and got it over the net every time!  So much planning went into this weekend and we couldn't be more grateful for the time we had to spend with everyone and how gracious Devin's parents are to all of us.  Thanks for a great time, everyone!
 

Some things not pictured:
-Neil and Laura watching the kids all Thursday afternoon while the girls went to lunch and worked on projects at Marissa's - THANK YOU!
-The kids waking up and being in swimsuits every morning by 8 am (most of them awake by 7 am and running upstairs to wake up grandma and grandpa)
-All the boys diving off the dock with goggles to look for truck keys that were dropped in the river (never found)
-The YUMMY smoked turkey that Devin made for our dinner rotation. Best thing we've made in our smoker so far. 
-A fun game of Family Feud that Marissa put together. Resulted in naming Heather the worst driver in the family, Devin most likely to try and get out of doing chores, talking about crazy neighbors with weird collections, and recalling all kinds of childhood memories.  Talane and I are always in awe of how different these kids' lives were and all their crazy stories of growing up in small town Idaho. It sure made them hard workers though and it shows in their character and love for one another.


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