Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Perry Turns One

A company I do reviews for sent me a box of Ritter Sport chocolates and I made a Wall-e for Perry's birthday party.
We ended up not having a party because I've been getting migraines and didn't feel up to planning and hosting anything.
Perry didn't mind. He was happy to have a present. His brothers wrapped it for him.
After some coaxing, he eventually got it open. We picked up this Mickey sound puzzle from a neighbor a while back and saved it for Perry's birthday.
Taste-testing it.
Then we celebrated the big day with a trip to the pediatrician.
Perry getting himself ready for his appointment. 
I brought Scott in for a late 5-year checkup and Buzz was just tagging along. We were reading this Olivia book and they asked me what the picture of "tutu" was. Clearly we're lagging in the dance and dress-up department.
During his nap, the boys helped me make pudding. We put crushed Oreos so they'd be dirt cups for the Wall-e theme that I planned before deciding not to do anything.
Perry didn't care about a party or presents or even people, he loved the pudding. John's parents came over for dinner and a pudding cup.
My mom and sister came by the next day, then my dad the day after that. He loved spreading out the celebrating because it meant more chocolate for him.
Perry is a sweet and easy going little guy. His brothers dote on him. None of us can get enough of him. He brings our family so much joy and we're so grateful he's ours.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

March I

Scott pushed Perry and Jonah in the swing at the park. Jonah's getting too big to share, but he loves being with Perry.
Jonah also climbed up the ladder to the upper slides by himself. He's bravely overcoming his fear of heights.
Jonah feeding Perry a yogurt.
Scott's hair was getting shaggy and even though I like it longer, it needed to be cut. He gets too hot and sweaty every day as it is, so I knew the summer would be bad. He hurt his nose in a bike spill. I don't know how he managed to only scrape his nose, but I'm grateful he had his helmet on and it wasn't worse.
After the cut. He looks much older, especially with his NASA badge. He put it on and told me, "Okay, love you, bye, I'm going to work!"
Meanwhile, he spent his afternoon with a flag sticker book. At this rate he'll fit right in at John's job.
Perry started dropping his water or food off of his tray, then the boys pick it up for him and he does it again. I don't participate in this game, but he has gotten my mom to play several times.
Jonah is so excited when he hears Perry wake up. He wants to play immediately. Perry isn't always ready right away.
He started jumping on his trampoline. He was just standing on it before, but now he does little baby jumping and it's really cute.
He found the ipad.
Always chewing something. I got this stroller from our neighbor for our walks because it handles better than the compact one, but isn't as huge as our double. I dissembled and scrubbed it and it came out looking brand new.
We go for walks most nights, so it's already getting lots of use.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Last 2 Days in Iceland

Perry spent a lot of night hours awake. Without a baby-safe room to let him do his own thing, it was harder for us to rest. (He actually broke a lamp in the living room, but the owners were gracious and forgiving, they didn't even accept our offers to replace it.) In the morning he tried to find Grandma, who was in her room.
Once his brothers woke up, John took them all out to do their favorite thing: play in the snow.
We are going to try to take them to Tahoe next winter. Much closer and less expensive, same outcome as far as the boys are concerned.
John read that the best hot chocolate in Reykjavik is from C is for Cookie, so we had to try it out. We had lunch there and it was good, but the hot chocolate was absolutely heavenly. We agreed it was the best in the city, but we'd need a side-by-side comparison to determine if it or the Geysir one was the best in Iceland.
The lady working there gave us the name of the chocolate product they used, so we went to the store to track some down to bring home and try for ourselves. Along the way we saw people coming over to this truck and taking away whole cases of toilet paper. I asked someone what it was for and she just said school. 
The houses in the down town area were colorful, clean and cute.
Scott in front of one of the churches.
The night before we went to see the Northern Lights and John and Karen saw them while I was in the car with the boys. This was our last night and last chance, so we went back to Thingvellir early and camped out. 
After almost 2 hours of waiting (the boys watched a whole movie on the ipad in the car), the lights came out.
They were beautiful and amazing and totally worth the whole trip and the long, cold wait. I don't know if surreal is the right word, but it's hard to explain what it was like to see the lights in person. A total dream come true for me, because it's been on my bucket list since I watched Balto probably 20 years ago. Seeing them in pictures or video aren't comparable.
The lights changed and moved for about a half hour. We didn't know before this trip that the solar activity is unpredictable and have to be paired with a clear night and a sky removed from the city. We feel really lucky that we were able to see them!
We went back home and had our last night of Perry-sharing-our-room sleep. Then John bought more food from the bakery for breakfast and snacks for the trip home while I packed us up. On our way out the next morning, we stopped for gas and Karen posted some mail.
We drove to the Bridge America-Europe near the airport.
We were in both continents at once.
It wasn't too cold here, but extremely windy. Jonah and Perry had red, chapped faces for a couple days after. Oops, sorry babies.
There was another mishap at the airport, where they wouldn't take my tax rebate form because the store receipt wasn't itemized and I thought I lost the credit card I gave them, but it had fallen in the stroller seat. I felt like the Iceland airport experiences were so stressful and sandwiched an otherwise really enjoyable trip that showed us a polite people in a lovely country. It didn't help that we weren't excited about the long flight home.
It ended up going really smoothly. Perry crawled around a bit and they had the cool seatbelts that attach to ours for him again. The boys watched a show, colored, ate, and played "calculator" on Karen's tablet. Scott was the only one who didn't sleep on the flight out and on the way home he crashed hard just in the last hour. It did not look comfortable.
We loved Iceland and are anxious to go back in the summer months for what we expect will be a different experience, especially once the boys are a little older. We were exhausted and ready to be home, but enjoyed exploring a new place that filled our travel hunger for a little while. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Southern Trip

The next day we trekked down to the southern part of the island.
The first stop was Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach.
It was still windy and cold, but the sun was out and felt delightful. It wasn't that different from going to our beach in Santa Cruz during the winter.
There were Basalt Columns to explore.

Perry was toasty warm and cozy and awake during daylight hours, hooray!

They all liked having rocks to climb.

Jonah was happy playing in the black sand.
There are signs all over warning not to put your back to the waves because they come up quickly and kill tourists. John risked it for a picture since I was watching closely.
There were natural bridges in the background just like home, too.
We found a little cave area
with either a wedding couple or models.
Happily perched 
We even found someone to take a picture of all of us together.
Having Perry up high made me nervous and I was worrying about the boys going too close to the water or the tide coming in with nowhere for us to go.
 It was nice that the kids could play and get wiggles out, but I was ready to go back to the main beach area.
The walk back out to the car was beautiful. The clear, blue skies made for a lovely day.
Scott discovered rock jumping and entertained himself for a while.
Perry ate his way through the next stretch of driving. We saw so many turf houses, including little ones built into hills that looked like hobbit holes.
We stopped for a yummy lunch at a quaint restaurant called Sudur-vik. We tried another hot chocolate, which was delicious, but not Geysir level. We were wondering if we'd set an impossible bar, perhaps our memories raising it above its own level even.
Jonah played downstairs with John while I took Scott to the bathroom before we left.
Then we went to Solheimajokull glacier, which Perry napped through.
It was a bit of a walk out to the glacier because it's been melting since they built the parking lot.
It would normally be a regular walk for the boys, not even steep, but Jonah was melting down. 
I prodded them along a little at a time and it took a long time, but we made it.

You can only go out on the glacier in a group with the proper gear.
John wants to try it some time. I'm good looking from the base of it.
Jonah was too tired to walk back. 
I encouraged, bribed, tried to race, threatened, all my tactics, and nothing was working.
John and Karen enjoyed a beautiful view on their leisurely walk back to the car.
Meanwhile, I found the motivation that worked: ice. I let them try bites of snow from the side of the path. It made Jonah walk to the next spot that had ice on the hill so I could find another clean piece for them to eat. It did the trick and we caught up.
The drive out was incredibly sparkly, so John ran over to see what it was. Glitter. Someone dumped glitter in the stream of water.
A short drive later we were at Skogafoss.
It was COLD. I'm guessing from the mist, but I couldn't keep the boys happy for a second. They both wanted to get back in the car, but I dragged them over and said we'd just stay for a minute.
Until I told them they could throw a rock in the water.
Karen and John went out to see the waterfall up close.
They came back soaked and frozen, meanwhile the boys were still happily rock throwing. We let them play for a long time and had to drag them away when we left.
At the next falls, Seljalandsfoss, we just left the boys in the car with Karen to thaw out.
John and I walked around for a few minutes. It was awesome to be kid-free and really enjoy the experience uninterrupted.
We saw so many great places and even with some crabby moments from tired kids, we loved this day.