Monday, June 20, 2016


Thunderstorms can be scary…but if you're a certain almost 4 ½ yr old the thought of a thunderstorm is VERY different than the reality of a thunderstorm.
I picked the monkey up from school in my car, I had been out and by the time I got home it was time to pick him up and the clouds in the sky were dark. Since we didn't walk we didn't stop at the park on the way home – I told him if it wasn't raining we might be able to go after I fed the munchkin…so home we went.

On a typical day the monkey has a great day at school, then he comes home and loses his mind!! That day was a typical day. After informing me he was going to keep his shoes on since we were going right back out, then standing in the doorway talking loudly about keeping his shoes on about how he wanted to go to the park right now because “I think my friends are there” (and naming off all his friends from school who we never see at the park, not his friends who we do see at the park!!), I finally told him to go play outside and we could go when I was done. So out the door he went slamming the door behind him.

Within 3 minutes I heard thunder. Within 8 min I saw one of my neighbors walking past our living room window. In another minute I heard loud banging on the kitchen door so I got up to check it out. Guess who was at the kitchen door, nope not our neighbor, it was the monkey - eyes wide in his head and saying "Mommy, I need someone with me...the thunder is scaring me." Curious, I had to find out the whole story so I asked "Why was Mr. Ken over at our house? Was he coming over to ask us something or did you catch him when he was outside?" (If there is ever a neighbor outside the Monkey always ambushes them!) And here's what my little boy said. He got scared when he heard the thunder but he knew he wasn't suppose to disturb the Munchkin while she was eating (which was why I sent him outside) and so instead of ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door to come in - he went to our neighbors house to tell them he was scared and locked out of the house (remember, he slammed the door on his way out...and our door is one that automatcially locks when shut). So our neighbor came over to help him get back in, the only thing is the Monkey told him he couldn't ring the doorbell or knock on the door either! So that greatly limited Mr. Ken's ability to help, but he did make sure the monkey got to the back of the house - when I suppose he had told him he could go in that way. Hence the loud pounding on the kitchen door! (I was internally laughing as I tried to keep a straight face because he was doing his best to not disturb the Munchkin...and he really did think that pounding loudly - to be heard - on the kitchen door wouldn't disturb her like knocking on or ringing the bell on the front door.)

I then explained, as I gave him a huge hug, that if he is ever locked out, and especially if he's scared he is ALWAYS suppose to knock or ring the doorbell.

I haven't seen our neighbor in a few days - so I haven't heard his side of the story - but I'm sure he was thinking "Those crazy Americans!" I hope he was laughing at the whole situation though, because we sure were...well not the Monkey, but you know.

How big is a 9 Month old supposed to be?!

Grandma at the playground with her 2 grandkids: "How old is your youngest?"
Me: "She's 9 1/2 months."
Grandma: "WOW!! She's really big for 9 1/2 months!"
Me: "...thanks?..."
My internal dialogue was something like this "Really?! She's in 9 mo clothing so I thought she was typical in size." And then "If you think she's big you should've seen her older brother! She's only in the 50th percentile and he was in the 90th percentile..." Followed by "How big is a 9 month old supposed to be? And really why are you even saying that? It doesn't further our conversation, it just ends it...and actually makes it kinda weird now, I mean there's nothing I can possibly say after that, and honestly, I really don't care if you consider her big for a 9 month old. All I care about is that she's happy, healthy, and growing. To me she seems little for 9 months, but really that's probably only because she's not as big as her brother was at 9 months."
The next part of the conversation was about how the 2nd child always does stuff faster than the first...I listened and nodded along because I couldn't really agree since the Munchkin is a lot slower to do stuff than the Monkey was (she's more on a "typical baby" schedule) - he was in a rush, while she's just enjoying life as it comes her way! I'm hoping that as she gets older the laid back personality will stay...she's not completely laid back - but just much more than the monkey ever was...

Thursday, June 2, 2016

York Adventure Day 2: The City

The only way to start your adventure days are with a bowl of cereal followed by ice cream! Let me explain...I was a tad hungry when I woke up. Everyone else ate a very filling meal at the burger joint but since I'm limited in what I can have I had the burger patty and a vinegar slaw - both were delicious - but I could've probably eaten 3 plates of them because I was just a tad hungry after not eating any lunch. So when we went shopping I bought ice cream - it was a non-dairy almond ice cream that if you ever come across you should buy and devour!
Seriously people - it's ah-maze-ing. I was going to eat some of it that night when we got back to our apt, but because the Munchkin was exhausted and starving I instead took care of her and when she went to bed, so did I...okay the reason being that she wouldn't go to bed unless I held her - little stinker! So I had this ice cream and I had to eat it by Sunday when we left - and it was the Monkey and I ate some for breakfast! He was just a tad excited he got ice cream for breakfast!! But I've now decided it's definitely a great way to start the day if you're starving and you need a little pick-me-up!
Our adventure started soon after - we decided we'd walk the old city walls. The Monkey warned us to be careful, and after daddy pretended to fall the Monkey decided to try too - only this was as close as he'd get to the edge!
On the other side of the wall was - the train station!!
Photo shoot time! We were all together!!
We found a playground and stopped to play before continuing on our walk. The wall did come to an end so we went exploring off the wall - and we came across Clifford's we went to check it out!
The geese wanted to check it out too! (There were Geese and Ducks with their babies all over the city!)
We walked all the way up, but when asked if he wanted to climb more steps he looked at us like we were crazy and said "No, let's go down and see something else." And so that's the story of Clifford's Tower! (Great story huh...LOL)
We walked through The Shambles and continued on to York Minster - stopping to grab lunch on our walk.
It's enormous and absolutely beautiful from the outside!
We didn't go inside - we thought we'd save it for the next morning - it was getting to be nap time and that's not the time to take Owen into a church!
So instead we walked/ran around the outside and played statues...
We looked around the rest of the square outside the church...York, after all was once part of the Roman Empire!
This place is just a tad old!
And then we captured a child before he went too crazy!! It was back to the apartment for a nap...
And after the nap we ventured out and went on a Riverboat cruise! Where else would your cruise start but here:
It's not always easy getting a picture where everyone looks at the camera, but it seems to be easy to get one where no one looks at the camera! 
This one's a little better!
Of course 15 min into the boat ride one of those cute kids said "When is this over?! I'm ready to get off now." and that was the same kid who had asked/begged to go on a boat ride! But hey, at least he didn't throw a fit the entire ride and he did pretty good staying entertained looking at  and for things on the riverbank.
WHAT?! 2 family pictures on the same day?! I know - we live life on the edge!!
After the boat ride we decided to do an early dinner at a place we had found earlier in the day - Drakes Fisheries where they had gluten free (and everything else free) fish and chips!! It was Owen's 1st fried fish and boy was it the right place to try it from - it was SO GOOD! Seriously, if you're ever in York you have to stop by - so good! The fish was fresh and super crunchy, and no skin on it either (which 1/2 the time over here fried fish is served with the skin on). He liked it, but he wasn't super hungry so he didn't eat much - he didn't even eat that many chips, which means he definitely wasn't hungry!
We walked around town some more after eating...went back by York Minster, but it had just closed, so we ran around and played some more and met an American family who currently lives in Cambridge but was up visiting friends - small world!
Day 2 was a successful day - meaning we all had fun exploring, very few tantrums/meltdowns, ate some good food, and even though it was overcast the majority of the day - it didn't rain!! Oh and we walked 7 miles - good thing I take Owen on a 5 mi walk at least twice a week - it sure helps on the long walking adventure days!

York Adventure Day 1: Yorkshire Wildlife Park

All packed up and ready to go!
This past weekend we took our long holiday weekend and went on an adventure to York! (I call trips with kids "adventures" or "expeditions" instead of "vacations", because, well you have a couple kids and go away on a trip - it's not so much a vacation but it definitely is an adventure or expedition!) On our drive up we received a not-so-lovely call from our rental agency informing us that our lease would not be renewed and we had 60 days to vacate the property. Yeah, that's exactly how we wanted to start our trip...not. Happy Holidays to us! We decided we were still going to have a good trip and we'd just start looking for places to see if we found anything, while also looking to see what other jobs are out and about in this big world of ours, because honestly  - a move is a move. Since we have to move we might as well look at all our that's what we're currently doing...

But back to our trip - we decided to make a stop at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park - which had some huge exhibits, but wasn't a huge park...
There were still areas that were being worked on - more exhibits to come and expanding the already large ones they had...
The Munchkin's favorite part of the park
The mommy Wallaby's and their babies (joey's)
The Monkey's favorite part of the Wallaby exhibit.
I'd like to point out that Polar Bears look a lot  bigger when they are not "frolicking" in the water...this guy was HUGE - his paws were the size of the Monkey's head (a 4 yr olds head people!!).
Just part of the Polar Bear exhibit
There were also giraffe's, wild hogs, leopards, and birds and owls - I just didn't get pictures of all of them...
But the time to leave finally came and off to the car to continue our drive to York!
Someday I want to live on this street...
After another short drive we arrived in the city of York - and we were welcomed with a bit of traffic (okay, buses. Lots and lots of buses).
We found our apt and it was in the perfect location - a 5 min walk to the city center! (We like to rent through airb&b, because then we can have 2 bedrooms and we're not all stuck going to be at 7p or everyone staying up late and then the monkey being super tired and cranky the next day because he'll still wake up at 6am.) After unloading the car - Rusty realized he had packed everything except his bag (and with 2 kids it feels like you do bring everything) - which incidentally had all our toiletries in it! We decided to grab dinner at a burger joint before heading off to the store - we hadn't had lunch so we were all a little hungry, and shopping on an empty stomach with 2 kids is never a good idea! 

We ended day one shopping for toiletries and clothes for Rusty and looking for houses. I guess it's a good thing to set the standards for "adventures" low - because it can only get better then...right? Right!