Monday, 15 June 2015

Mom, We're Just a Couple of Crazy Kids

When the kids have been acting a little zany lately Cosette just tells me "Mom, we are just a couple of crazy kids". The first time she told me that I laughed so hard. She has told me that when I have gone in their room after bedtime and they are still awake, and when they have made a mess building lego castles, and when they are racing each other around the apartment both proclaiming "I won" at the finish line. And when I think about it, yeah life with kids is a little bit crazy. But it is the best kind of crazy there is.  These photos are from a night when they told me they were just a couple of crazy kids. I do not know what we did that day, except laundry because it is in the background of these photos, but I will always remember the happiness that was exuding from these kiddos and the happiness that filled me on the inside being a part of this.

And this face just cracks me up.

 Lyndon's hours pretty much since the new year begun have been really intense. Me and the kiddos have been on our own most of the time. And if I was not dealing with the pregnancy exhaustion everything would be almost a piece of cake. This stage of life with the kids is really busy, really, really busy.  But it has been really fun! I'm so grateful that I have had more energy this pregnancy, because with Lyndon's hours and my active kiddos it is a miracle I am not pulling my hair out and crying all the time. I do pretty much collapse on the couch at the end of the day, but it is usually with a smile. Life with them is so great. The mundane everyday tasks have to be done, but these two manage to spice those things up. It is great knowing that I have a purpose in life, to be there mother, take care of them, teach them, help them become the best person they can be. Sometimes I lose perspective on that. 

I have probably written this a lot, but the day I became a mother was the best day of my life. I had never felt so fulfilled and so much love as I did that very first day of my daughter's life. That first year of her life was really hard battling mono, combined with the lack of sleep a newborn brings, and with the enormous life changing event becoming a parent is. There was a lot of mental, physical, and emotional things going on during that time, it was overwhelming. Even with all those trials that first year had it is also one of the most treasured times of my life. It was the first time in my life that I felt fulfilled with what I was doing. It was over the top fulfillment that I had never experienced before. I was so at peace with everything. It was beautiful. I had never felt that way in school or working before I was married or had kids. I write this to remind myself for those days when these two are truly crazy kidd and everything seems so overwhelming I want to crawl into bed and draw the covers over my head. What I am doing now is worth it. I will never regret the choices I have made regarding motherhood. I would regret not doing what I am doing now. I am not getting paid buckets of gold, people walking down the street might yell or passive aggressively tell me how I am a terrible parent, or my kids are suffering because they are not wearing a hat, but none of that matters. Gold is nice, but I'd rather have it in the form of jewelry. Those people don't know me, so what they say does not matter. And people we have hats, but that does not mean the kid will wear them! My writing kind of went in a more serious direction than this funny anecdote about my children telling me they are just crazy kids, but I mean every word I am writing. 

I am grateful for this time on my own with the kids because we have grown very close. We have become the bestest buds, the three musketeers! I treasure all this time I get with them. They are only little once, and I can deal with these crazy kids because they are only going to be kids for a little while. This funny little phrase Cosette says to me reminds me how joyous being their mother is. I love them, my two crazy kids.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Summer Strawberry Picking

We were ambitious the day we went to the Lightscapes and went strawberry picking that afternoon. It was a little early in the season to go, but it was the only time this season we would be able to go. We went to a different PYO farm this year than we have in the past. The farm was called Fishkill Farms. It is organic ecological farming type place. They did a wonderful job with their strawberries. The field was extremely well kept and all the strawberries were in pristine condition. I have never seen strawberries look so good when strawberry picking. The rows were covered in straw which was great for us, because the kids wanted to sit down and eat as many berries as possible. And I could sit my pregnant self down and pick strawberries without exerting myself too much. It was really hot that day so we I was plum tuckered out at the end. 
Henry's second favorite part of the farm after eating as many strawberries as he could was checking out the chicken coop. 

Ready to get some strawberries!
Henry got really excited when he saw the tractor. This boy loves this cars, trucks, planes, trains, and basically anything that goes.
Better picture of the field and I can never take too many photos of my handsome boys.
Our green sand bucket made the journey with us. It wasn't meant to come, but Henry took it to the car with us and then Cosette wanted to use it strawberry picking. She filled it up past the top.
Henry was our strawberry muncher that day.
These strawberries were seriously the most beautiful ones I have seen. They reminded us of the ones we got in England. English strawberries are the best.
He worked for his snack. His box was not full at all. There were like two strawberries in there and then he ate them. 
This kid could not get enough strawberries. 
I love this picture of my beautiful girl. 
We came away with seven pounds of delicious berries and some good family memories. We made some of traditional strawberry jam, tried out a quinoa strawberry caprese salad (my new favorite), and a white chocolate strawberry charlotte cake. White chocolate is the best chocolate pairing with strawberries, in my opinion.
We like this tradition of ours. It helps us feel close to mother nature, which we don't always get that living in the concrete jungle. Any excuse to eat a strawberry is a good one in mine, Cosette, and Henry's opinion. They are our favorite.

Other strawberry picking post here.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Things We Have Done Way Back in 2011

I found a couple of posts the other day that I wrote during our time in Cambridge and shortly before Cosette was born. I have no idea why I never published them, but for family history purposes I am sharing them now. These are events that took place May/June 2011. I was eight months pregnant with Cosette and Lyndon was finishing his masters program in Cambridge. Enjoy this first blast from the past. 

We really took advantage of our last term spent in Cambridge. Both of us were keeping busy with school. I finished two of my three independent study courses and Lyndon completed his dissertation. We were living in a different part of the city so we visited some of the colleges that were closer to us. Lyndon found this really nice used bookstore in the city centre. We have gotten a start on our library with a beautifully illustrated copy of Wind in the Willows and original fairy tales plus a couple more. The night we decided to attend evensong at King's College happened to be the requiem mass for Henry VI. It was not the traditional evensong and the master of the college presided over the mass. 

Lyndon signed me up for a chocolate making class for Mother's Day at one of the local chocolate shops, Chocolat Chocolat. I learned so much! We got to taste all sort of different single origin chocolates as well as some interesting flavors like lavender and rose. My favorite chocolate flavor sample we tried was a milk chocolate caramel with sea salt. It was divine! After tasting all that chocolate I can say that my favorite chocolate is 72% dark Peruvian, so good. We also learned how to make truffles. The proprietor of the shop taught the class. She was trained in France and taught us the French way of truffle making. It was the best present I could have ever given. Thank you Lyndon!
We did a lot of punting. We were invited to go punting with a friend and his children and we also got a group together and went punting up to Grandchester.
King's College.

Wren Library.

St. John's from the Cam River. 
Punting to Grandchester was a lot of fun. Many of Cambridge's many famous writers would go up the way to Grandchester. It is easy to understand why they would go up that way. It is so beautiful and peaceful. It would be very easy to draw inspiration from the beautiful scenery. Lyndon punted the whole way to Grandchester. There is one point on the trip where we had to carry the punt across a path to another part of the river. That was a little bit of a challenge but we made it! 
Lyndon is the punting master!

The sight of King's College Chapel never gets old.
The Mathematical Bridge. Cambridge has great bridges. 

The ducks are used to people and being fed by them so every time we passed a group of ducks they would start swimming towards our punt.
Ducklings! Probably the cutest thing we will ever see.
The beautiful English countryside. 

The girls in the group.

Dan riding his bike across the field to meet us.

I had my first punting experience too. I consider it was a success because I did not fall into the river! 

Pubs are not only for those who want to drink. We met up with some friends and had an excellent time. I wish we had gone out to a few more pubs. Black currant lemonade is delicious.  
I was invited to visit Gilwell Park with a couple of friends. It is an activity center and campsite for Boy Scouts in the England. I jumped at the opportunity to go because my Dad is Scoutmaster of a troop and is scouting obsessed. I documented my outing and tried to get as much information about Gilwell to tell him all about it. 
A bison pic for Bethany. 
Like in normal English fashion the weather was terrible that day. Rain, rain, all day long.

Georgeous flower. I love the pop of red.

I took this picture for Lyndon to use as a model for our future home we hope to build one day. 
A totem pole with all the locations of the world jamborees and how far they are from this point.
Chile for Lyndon.
Tokyo for my family.

I thought this picture was beautiful and a lovely depiction of the service that Boy Scouts provide.
Robert Baden-Powell, Chief Scout of the Boy Scouts Association.
Sunday walk along the backs. It is so beautiful and peaceful back there. 

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