Friday, May 30, 2014

Days when your heart could burst

Today has been crazy and slow and fast and wonderful.
Sometimes I sit and think...tomorrow is going to be a beast and then there is this lovely surprise of a day that is the best ever.

Ben went to bed at 9:00 pm last night. He woke up at 1:00 am to go study. 1:00 am y'all. He studied and studied and studied and then took his last test of the school year. So basically he got maybe 8-10 hours of sleep in the past 3 days. Woof.

Caroline has been getting a new tooth and at this point it's probably two. Her naps have been off and she just wants me to hold her--or climb the stairs and eat dust bunnies. Who knew they were so delicious?!? So, when Caroline is sad and needy nothing gets done around the house. I have laundry to fold and a sink full of 2 days worth of dishes. There just hasn't been any time.

But today was so wonderful. Caroline and I went on the best walk. The grandma's at the park just love her. She crawled around the park and we walked around the tennis courts and watched several people playing. It was a gorgeous day and we took advantage of it. We came home and she took a nap and woke up crying and crying and crying. I scooped her up and cuddled and kissed that little girl. I threw her in her carseat and we went to jamba where I spent my mother's day coupon and to Joann's to look at elastic for headbands. The price was ridiculous and I found a steal of a deal sale on etsy on exactly what I needed. Caroline and I came home and she took a nap.

Ben came home after his test and we had a mini whoo-hoo celebration before he took a brief nap. He was so relieved. Caroline woke up and I took care of her while Ben rested. We used a coupon for dinner at Sweet Tomatoes and Caroline ate her heart out and discovered that she loves cucumbers. Then we took a walk around our favorite fountain browsed threw Nordstrom rack and came home.

Ben and Caroline splashed during bath time. There is nothing that makes this mama happier than listening to water splash everywhere. We got Caroline into her pjs and right before I put her in bed she rested her head on my chest and stroked her arm up and down my arm. She was so sweet and cuddly that I couldn't stand to put her down. I had to soak it up.

So there are dishes in the sink still and Ben is tired and Caroline, I'm sure, will not nap well tomorrow. But that's okay. Because it's summer, my husband has a brief break, we have a perfect little girl with 6.5 teeth, and life is perfect.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Winding down

My mom left on Tuesday! Ben took her to the airport after she took us to target and treated us to some exciting toothbrushes and toothpaste. She also splurged on some things for Caroline because who could resist shopping for her? Ben had his last long class for his disaster response training. He had a few really long days but I'm glad my mom was here to keep me compant.

Wednesday Caroline and I went on our walk and enjoyed staying at home and picking up. When family comes to town we focus on fun things and not laundry which somehow become a really big project. Our house is back to normal and theres so much space without an air mattress!

Our week wasn't super exciting. Ben studied a lot. Wednesday and Thursday were both late nights for him. Friday we watched the secret life of Walter Mitty and Saturday he studied all day long. Caroline and I went back to Coral Reef park to walk and swing and let her crawl around. I'm so glad that it's close and has an awesome playground. I met another mom who was really nice. Saturday night we watched Monument Men and really liked it. Ben and I both like art history, WWII, art in general, and museums so we enjoyed the story and thought it was really well done. 

Church was really good. Sacrament went by fast and our lesson went well. I finally remembered to bring asl stuff for Carlos (he's a guy in our ward that is deaf and there isn't anyone who can really communicate with him in our ward. Most Sundays I will interpret Sunday school for him). Either I forget or he wasn't there or we won't there. Plus with general conference and the temple dedication regular church hasn't been very consistent. This week he wasn't feeling good but his mom was there. She was so so so happy to have some more asl things for him. She speaks Spanish so she kept telling Ben to tell me things. She was so sweet. 

I went to relief society but Ben and I left to get our temple recommends renewed. They were out of English recommends so ours are in Spanish. How Miami are we?! Ben went to get his and I discovered a huuuuge dirty diaper. So I went and changed Caroline and then wandered the halls with her. A woman scooped her up in the hall and played and talked with her. The lady was from Egypt and she had a very cool accent. Caroline loved her! It was fun to watch them play. The lady told me she was feeling sad but that Caroline totally changed her day. She was really sweet. I love our ward and Miami because of people like that. We went home and Caroline took a nap and so did I. Oh! I also made banana bread! I don't really have a favorite recipe for banana bread...I hate how dense it can be but I think I've found a favorite. It's from kitchen confidence by Kelsey Nixon. Ben and I are both enjoying cooking through her cookbook. 

Ben and I facetimed my mom and the Van fam. We love seeing Joey and even though Caroline was melting because it was past bathtime he was so sweet. We miss being so close to them but love hearing about what's going on at home. 

Ben wasn't feeling too good but was really restless so we watched the season finale of Bones. I don't think that helped his situation because it was so intense and we don't know what's going to happen to booth and Brennan. It was a treat. We don't normally watch tv on Sundays but when Ben is feeling a little under the weather exceptions have to be made, I guess. :) 

This week Ben has two tests and then he is almost done! So we are at the end of our year one marathon!!! I'm glad that he is going to have some time off--it's his last summer! 

Caroline has been super cuddly


She was determined to bear crawl to the soccer ball

Sweet Success!

Thursday I made a triple batch of scones and Ben was the best helper!

Stair climbing

Blurry photos of this girl moving so fast

Coral Reef Park

Add caption

Looking so sweet before getting very messy!

She knows how to let me know when it is time to go!

Relaxing after a swim


Helping herself

Heartbroken over something

Boogie wipes everywhere

Being such a good listener at church

Being so reverent during Elders Quorum

What a girl!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

When Grams Comes To Town!

I love visitors...especially of the grandparent variety! My mom found a deal on plane tickets and flew out to visit us this past week. To say we have loved having her out here is an understatement. I've tackled some projects, Ben has been able to do a 25 hour training for his capstone-ish project, and Caroline loves all of the extra attention. 

Last Monday we prepped for mymom to get here. Ben came home early and the house was mostly guest ready so I decided we needed a little beach day. We went to the lagoonish beach close to our house. It was windy, which made coming out of the water a little cold. Caroline was not a fan of that. We enjoyed a nice walk around the beach area...there's a paved trail. Once we got home we took naps and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon together. We went back to Coral Reef Park and discovered it's awesome walking trail! It's a new favorite. We also went to the playground area and it was awesome! Different sections are designated for the big kids and the little kids. Caroline went down the slide a few times before we left for home. She doesn't quite get the magic of it yet but since her daddy thinks it's fun, she does too. 

Tuesday my mom flew in. We went to get her and stopped at chick fil a for lunch. Caroline looooves her chicken...we get the grilled chicken there since they fry it in peanut oil (still avoiding that!). We came home and Caroline napped. Ben grilled chicken for dinner and we went to the pool to splash. My mom loved watch Caroline and her bubbles during bath time...maybe a little too much because she got bubbles in her eyes but it was sure fun. 

Wednesday was zoo day! We were the first people in the zoo! We went to our favorite section...the giraffes. My mom loves the zoo and since Caroline now likes sippy cups we were able to stay for longer. We beat all of the field trip groups and had the whole place to ourselves...isn't that magical? A zoo all to ourselves. We watched them feed a lot of the animals or prep their habitats before they were let out (monkeys, bears, rhinos). My mom said it was way better than the Houston zoo and a lot bigger. I hadn't been to the Houston zoo but I figured the miami one was a lot better. We came home and napped. Caroline climbed stairs most of the's her new favorite thing. Ben and I went on a date! Whoo-hoo!!! We drove to Sonic in Homestead. It's a 30 minute drive and we enjoyed shakes and a heat game from our mirrors (they have a bar area with TVs). It was so nice and relaxing and I got to spend time with my favorite guy. 

Thursday we played with Caroline and ran errands to target and Joann's. Ben had a training for disaster response from 5-9 and we didn't really see him at all. I botched some pizza dough...I always think I can do things from memory but I can't. I thought it was awful but Ben and mom didn't mind. Ben came home late and didn't see Caroline all day. It was hard on him. We made cookies for him to take to school the next day to make things a little better. 

Friday Ben had a little bit of school and was able to come home early. We went and did a session at the temple! It was so fun and relaxing. I love the temple...especially when it isn't crazy packed and busy. The building was even more beautiful and Ben and I loved that we were able to go together. We stopped at Burger King for drinks...the temple makes me thirsty and we headed home to see our sweet Caroline. We were so grateful to have the best kind of babysitter but really missed her. We talked about her the whole way home and how much we love being parents to that little girl. 

Saturday I had a huge headache! My mom and I went to this awesome nail polish place and got lots of fun colors for really really cheap. We went to a resale shop but my head was hurting do bad that we just left. Ben was at a training and my mom took care of Caroline while I rested. I hate headaches. Ben came home and we had planned to go out to eat at a place kind of far away but opted to go to BJS and stay closer to home. It was a treat but we had the worst waitress ever. She was flaky and extremely slow. Ben left and took Caroline on a walk outside and she asked if my mom and I wanted dessert. Uh, no! Duh lady! It was slightly comical how much of a bad waitress she was. We walked around the falls and came home. 

Sunday, I spoke in sacrament meeting. I still wasn't feeling great but it went well. Ben had a great Sunday school lesson prepared and my mom
Played with Caroline the entire time. Relief society was in Spanish and the translator was new so it was really hard to understand what was being discussed. It was nice to enjoy being in relief society though. We had nice Sunday naps and took Caroline on a walk. 

Monday was our beach day! We went to Key Biscayne and enjoyed the north Crandon beach. Ben skipped lecture (he sometimes prefers to watch them later and speed them up) and we went. It's not a super manicured beach but the water is blue and the sand is nice. Caroline loved the water and the sand. It was really relaxing and watching her crawl around was the best entertainment. 

Before Ben came home I tackled cleaning our room. It was the last room to get unpacked and has always been so disorganized. We only sleep in there and feel like it's a lot of throw and go...which we will have to change.  We've worked on it here and there but it really required a lot of time. It was one of those projects that once it gets started it needed to get done. My mom watched Caroline while I organized and cleaned for over two hours. Everything has a place and is together. It feels so good! I'm still struggling to decide if I want to put anything else on the walls...we are moving in a year and I hate to put another whole on the walls that we will have to puddy. What a dilemma. Thanks to my mom! I couldn't have gotten it done with out her watching c. 

Also on Monday Ben still had his training in the evening so after we got home he showered and then headed out. Mom and I napped and once Caroline woke up we played. Then we decided Caroline needed some out of the house time so we went to pink berry and coral reef park. Caroline got to swing on her for the first time. It was magic!!! The videos and the pictures don't accurately capture how much she loved it. And she held on. The entire time. Her hands didn't even move. It was so sweet. We came home and did bAthtime with the babe and she went down easy. Ben came home and he watched psych and mom and I read. I'm really liking's fluffy and full of giddy girly goodness. 

We had a great week and we are really going to miss my mom and Caroline is going to miss having a backseat buddy in the car. Aren't grandmas the best? 

Grams and Caroline at the park


Helping with laundry

Dad's hat!

The Relief Society Tornado--hold onto your head sets!

Caroline being Caroline

Grams tickling the girls toes

Sonic Date Night!

Too cute

Climbing the stairs!

The Zoo!

A ride in the batmobile!

Grams and C at the Zoo


Free ice cream!...before the line was ridiculous

Park day

Beach day!

Not sure about wind and water

We are working on both keeping our eyes open at the same time

Monday, May 12, 2014


Last week we celebrated Cinco de Mayo and Caroline's nine month birthday with white chicken enchiladas, Mexican rice, and salad with cafe rio-esque dressing. It was delicious! I spent a lot of time in the kitchen but Ben played with Caroline and definitely enjoyed the end product. I've made them before but swore the last time I made the enchiladas I wouldn't make them again unless I was married...lucky Ben! We relaxed because he had just finished his massive test and enjoyed a siesta fiesta to catch on some much needed rest. 

Tuesday we had plans to go see the Wynwood Walls in downtown after Ben has a short letting at school but he was still burnt out from studying so much that we just stayed at home. I love it when my husband doesn't have to study! We relaxed at home and took Caroline to the pool which always makes for a fun day. We also took Caroline in for her 9 month check up but since there were no shots it was fairly uneventful. She got to play with her favorite she loved this doctors visit. 

After her doctors appointment we went I Kohl's and I found a dress. I've been feeling like I have nothing to wear on Sundays and we had a gift card so the dress only cost us 5 bucks...what a deal! We walked around the fountains and got some ice cream. Caroline discovered how delicious ice cream was and Ben discovered what a mistake it was because he had to share with her. It was so funny because she knew to lick the ice cream rather than shove the cone in her mouth. 

Wednesday we went on a walk and then went to Zumba at our ward building. Haha. I hadn't done Zumba in so long and I almost died. Katy was so fun and intense.  Caroline liked crawling around the gym, licking the walls, watching the other kids, and stealing iPads while the other kiddos weren't using them. I was a little nervous because she was obsessed with the stacks of chairs and could just see them falling on her. I think I'll try to go when Ben is home and can watch her...that might make things easier.

Thursday was pretty low key. I had one of those blah days and didn't get much done...I just was exhausted and dizzy all day. Caroline and I just played at home and relaxed. 

Friday Ben had a long day but when he came home we went to Red Robin for dinner. We went on a nice walk around the falls and C looooved the water. We ran into this nice couple and found out that they were my visiting teachee's in laws. She had told me they were coming in town and they caught up to us and introduced them to us. It was pretty funny. Ben and I caught up on Bones that night and rested. 

Saturday Ben spent all day with us! It was perfect! We want swimming got se stuff done around the house and We made cinnamon rolls for our Sunday school kids. Ben finished up Mother's Day preparations and Caroline went to bed early. I skyped with Jessica and picked a new book for our mini book club. We are reading Edenbrook...which reminds me I need to order it. 

Sunday was the best day ever! Ben always tells me what a wonderful mom I am but it was nice to be a little spoiled (well, spoiled more than usual). Ben made breakfast...sausage and eggs and blackberry almond muffins (don't be too too jealous...I made the muffins on Saturday). He also surprised me with swim goggles...we had been sharing and Ree Drummond's new Charlie book. Inside the book was a sweet handwritten note, five Jamba giftcards and a groupon for rocks that of our favorite Miami places. It was a treat! Church was great and our class told us all about the cultural celebration and they were a big fan of the cinnamon rolls. We came home and I got my Mother's Day's all I wanted and Ben fixed Italian chicken for dinner. Yum! We facetimed my mom and skyped with Cathy and missionary Spencer. It was so fun and our day was full and sweet. 

Caroline news: she now take two hour and half or two hours naps every day. Halle-awesome-lujah. I am making up for lost time!!! Also she sleeps thought the night. It is awesome and I can get so much more done during the day!!!  Like cleaning and projects for nice. Caroline goes up and down one step for ten minutes or more at a time. It is so funny. She's still obsessed with DVDs and rearranging furniture. She did flip a chair on her but it basically landed on her butt. She wasn't hurt at all but it did scare her. She is obsessed with cords and shaking her baby gate. This week she discovered a stuffed puppy in her room and it makes her so so happy to play with it. She says "mamama" a lot when she wants me so that has been really funny to hear. Also, she decided she likes sippy cups! Another awesome thing that will work on making her more independent. She loves to laugh and make us laugh,which in turn, makes us laugh even more. She's just our curious girl that we love more and more each day. 
Obsessed with my purse! 

Cinco de Mayo deliciousness

One of Caroline's favorite nurses! They are so sweet with her!


Watching Ben swim

The ice cream face

Playing during Zumba

Self Serve Snacks

We got a package from Tammy with some super cute new outfits! 

My favorite guy

I think we have more fun with the bubble gun than Caroline does during bathtime

Mother's Day surprises all wrapped up and secretive 

A surprise just for me!

We let her out of the bumbo and she thought it was so fun!

Do what we do best