happy birthday united states!

Monday, July 30, 2012

For my favorite holiday this year (the fourth of July) we kept it pretty low key with a grill-out dinner at home with some sparklers and snappers in the backyard.  Thanks to pinterest, we practiced safety with our sparkler use and our whole family got the benefit of listening to me belt out the national anthem and America the Beautiful on repeat.  They love me, hah.

My Mum, Uch, and Kevin all came over since we were hoping to catch a glimpse of all sorts of fireworks in surrounding areas from atop our mountain, but alas it didn't go as planned.  We sure heard a lot of fireworks, but didn't get to see more than a few flashes of them.  We made good use of our night together though by putting on rave-worthy sparkler shows and a fairly impressive A Capella version of Katy Perry's Firework.

To cap the evening off, we enjoyed an ice cream sandwich (with red,white,&blue sprinkles) cake topped with a sparkler candle.  Booboo led us all in 'Happy Birthday to America,' and I got teary-eyed about how lucky my babies are to grow up in the land of free and the home of the brave.

Since we live on top of our little mountain between two airports and near the military base, we have 6 or 7 helicopters fly over head daily (that's not including the parade of airplanes that pass us by), it is a daily reminder to me of how grateful I am that my kids call this place home.  My babies hear those choppers and lift their little faces to the sky to smile and wave.  I know there are children in other parts of the world that hear that same noise and run or hide out of fear of danger.  The sight of my kids smiling and waving with no fear, only excitement, at the sound of those helicopters every single day reminds me to be grateful that this is the place we call home.

And because Dierks says it best - Happy Birthday, America.

June 2012 superlatives

Saturday, July 28, 2012

This summer is cruising right on by, isn't it?  It's already the end of July and I haven't even offered up my snazzy June superlatives, aka the lazy girl's way of wrapping up our months.  No matter how late, here we go!

Best ab work out from laughing: Scf weekend with my sisters, Gemmi, and my mumma. 

Fullest belly:  Gemma's, as she got her first taste with some baby food

Best efficiency upgrade:  double baths on bath night.  We've been tossing both kids in the bath together instead of trying to get through separate bathing sessions.  Luckily, Gemma's baby tub leaves enough room for Booboo to sit too, or sometimes we just use the Bumbo.  (warning:  Bumbos are not for the bath.)

Best Daddy in the whole world:  Ours!  and our grandpaps (Chum & Pappy Butch), all of who we celebrated for Father's day this month.

Best Room Re-design:  Combining Greyson & Gemma's bedrooms.  It has helped take care of our monster problems (mostly) and it has freed up the other bedroom to act as a guest room/home office.  

Most liberal edits to a song's lyrics:  Greyson helping Gemma sing Patty Cake.  His lyrics are:  "Patty Cake, Bakers Man, roll it, Park it in the G, put it in Kevin for Greyson, and Mumma, and Gemmi!"

Best out of town visitors:  The Jurichs, who came home from Nebraska for their baby shower on Father's day.  Mikey was one of the groomsmen in our wedding and is still one of Brandon's best friends.  We got to spend some time with them at the shower, and then again the following day when they stopped by for dinner and baby talk.  (update:  They had their first baby, a boy, Colton Michael, yesterday - July 26.  Happy Birthday, baby Colton.  We are sending our love & kisses to NE!)

Mikey, Brandon, Gemmi, and Tyler.  High school friends:)
'So wrong, but it feels so right' award:  Greasy, horribly-bad-for-you vendor food at Thunder in the Valley.  We caught dinner and lunch there.   

America's Next Top Model:  Trixie when she stepped into my cloud photo shoot session for a full on glamour shot.  She's kind of a diva.

Best way to distract a toddler when waiting for your food at the restaurant threatens disaster:  pretend live news broadcasts recorded on my iphone.

Cutest hipster:  Gemma Rose in her I heart NY onesie and slouchie hat.  She's kind of too cool for me.

Best mini-vacation:  Our weekend with the Hubbards in Baltimore.  We visited the National aquarium, stopped by Federal Hill park, and caught up on some quality family time.  

Little Scientist Award:  Greyson, when I caught him in front of the dryer trying to figure out how the drum light turns on and off.

Jack & Jill Award:  as in 'rolls down the hill' - Gemma Rose, who learned to roll over.  Ugh oh, its the start of mobility, which means we're in trouble.  She also gets the Santa's elf award as she's started showing an interest in toys.

Cutest duo:  Grey and Gemmi as they are really starting to to take an interest in each other.  Grey wants to get in on playtime with Gemma.  And sometimes just pulls up his chair to 'watch her play.'  

Cutest Duo - First runner up:  Greyson & his first crush Karpy.  Grey has always had a little thing for Karpy, since the day they first met when he was only seven weeks old. 

June 2010
June 2012

Overall, June was a great month for us, but it went by so quickly!  Where is this summer getting to?!

Road trip to Balty and the National Aquarium

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In late June, the Studers took a road trip (woohoo, toddler and baby road trip!) to Baltimore to visit some of our favorite friends Allison & Matt.  It has been on our list to visit the National aquarium and Al&Matt are moving even farther south this summer - so we knew we wanted to get down to visit before they left.  

I started the road trip in the backseat to keep screaming and whining at a minimum.  We started out fairly happy (maybe Gemmi most happy of all? HAH), partially due to the grande iced drinks from Starbucks (us) and partially due to my obnoxious enthusiastic renditions of 5 little monkeys (kids).  

The kids fell asleep after about 40 minutes, so B and I got some quiet grown up time (and I got to move back into the front seat, yippee!) for the rest of the trip.  Friday night was pretty low key as Matt was just coming home from traveling for work and our family generally goes to bed before 10p every night.  Chatting, catching up, and noming on blueberry muffins that Al made just because they are Grey's favorite (she's seriously the best) was just what we needed after our road trip. 

On Saturday, we took our crew took a stroll through inner harbor over to the National aquarium.  

note:  this picture was taken before entering the aquarium - strollers are not allowed, be forewarned
The aquarium was awesome and laid out in a really easy way to meander through the different exhibits without everyone getting bunched up in one place.  There was information and pictures everywhere you looked.  Grey was old enough now to be able to see all of the different creatures, so it was fun watching his little brain growing.  Gemmi slept for a good part of the first couple exhibits, but then was up and wiggling around anytime she saw something move in the tanks.  

We each had our favorites.  Dadda liked the sloth in the rainforest exhibit.  Mumma liked taking self-portraits in inappropriate places (like in people's way, oops!), Greyson liked the stingrays ("ray rays"), and Gemmi liked the anemones. 

After spending the day learning and being amazed, we got some grub at Bubba Gump's Shrimp and headed back to the house for naps.  Besides a late night facetime with Kate and two visits to Federal Hill park- we spent the rest of the weekend lounging and laughing over good drinks and comfort food, which happens to be just the kind of visiting we love best.

When Grey was a tiny baby, we said his first crush was Karp because of the way he stared at her.  Pretty sure she still holds that title after our mini-vacation.

...but that's okay because I'm pretty sure 'Mac' is Grey's new favorite friend.  

Thank you Hubbards for the awesome visit and mini-vacation.  With all the busy summer stuff and work stuff we've had going on, we really needed this family time. 

Thank you guys for giving us such a fun and relaxing weekend - We love you!