Monday, March 30, 2015

Train Museum

Well we tried out the Gold Coast Railroad Museum! I can't say it makes my list of must do's for several reasons but we were glad we had a little adventure on our Monday morning. There were lots of trains to go through it varying conditions for different eras. I loved the collection of old phones that were on trains as well as little trinkets for each era and what the employees would wear on certain cars. Travel really has changed a lot!

Caroline especially loved the "Thomas Tables" where there were just tables and tables of train sets to play with. I'd say on a free day in the summer this would be the perfect outing. We had the whole place to ourselves which was almost a little creepy, the workers were nice but interesting (I've watched too much "How to Get Away With Murder" and let's just say this place fit the bill), and some of the trains were super creepy--small, claustrophobic, and in a weird abandoned state. Caroline had a grand time and we really loved the old old train cards with places to sit and testing out the presidential car.

This train car was super cool and well restored. There was a section for colored people and white people. So weird to even imagine that. It was a fun little train car or two to go through.

The cool train tables--look only with these. This was a model train lovers dream!

There were these weird warehouses and these filled the front half of one. Quite the train collection.

Caroline got lost just playing and playing for about an hour

Really cool old bored

She was not having any posing

This is how we walked around the whole place. Caroline did not want to walk but I didn't want to wrestle a stroller. It just wouldn't have been worth it. I would say this place isn't super stroller friendly, to wear shoes (no flip flops) and be ready for lots of up and downs to get into the car.

Checking out the view

Old suitcases and such

Neat room

Shelves and shelves of trains

Snacking and exploring

This car was so incredible creepy.  There were beds all made up but it looked like the fabric was disintegrating. It was the  perfect place to find a ghost and I was not up for meeting one. There were little rooms to sleep and sit and the hall way was so incredibly narrow. I feel like I barely fit through it. We didn't explore too much because I was a little creeped out.

Caroline could have totally explored all day and didn't feel creeped out at all. She wanted to test out the chairs in every room.

Testing out the presidential car. A little bummed this one wasn't open to explore but apparently they are trying to restore/upgrade it. Pretty cool.
We got in our share of playing and exploring trains--especially since we've never travelled in one! One thing off of our Miami to-do list! Over all the museum was fun but run down, needed updates, also to be deep cleaned (lots of trash and odds and ends everywhere) and employees that at least looked like the loved trains ha! It was a great Monday adventure though...now onto the next!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Low Key and Glow sticks!

This week was perfect! We had a lot of action but also some down time after signing ourselves up for a little too much. We enjoyed a day or two of watching Tangled 4 times and folding laundry. Caroline is really missing Ben and so am I but we are less than a month away from being done with all this crazy studying! It's actually going by really quickly. With General Conference and Easter next weekend and my mom coming into town the following weekend we will be relaxing before we know it.

I've really been focusing on going through our closets and drawers and tossing out things before we move. Ben is in charge of his closet and clothes but I cleaned out my dresser and started working on my closet this week. Caroline has been quite the help and hasn't reversed too much of my progress. She's really into my makeup so I've been holding my breath as she crawls up onto it. I keep telling Ben he needs to invest in Sephora stock. He doesn't take me seriously...but he should. haha. The upstairs of our house is pretty much immaculate after some deep cleaning but our downstairs isn't too terribly bad either. I always feel like either one floor is together and the other is like crazy town but we are pretty much together.

Last year I just felt so overwhelmed by this whole house thing. I never had just stayed home and while I was busy with Caroline I also had a really hard time not feeling so consumed by laundry, dishes, sweeping, dusting, putting up the laundry (the real killer!), and still finding time to get somethings done for me. And since I was home all day I had lots of time to knit-pick at myself. But I finally feel like I have struck a sweet balance with it all. Last year unloading the dishes just made me want to spit and the laundry just never seemed to end and I felt so defeated. So it feels good to have a handle on things, have a clean house, have a few minutes of me time, and be able to spend my entire day with Caroline...that's the best part after all.

The biggest surprise this week was getting my new camera lens. Ben secretly ordered it and HOLY MOLY it changes everything. I wish I would have gotten a prime lens sooner. Every shot was money and since I am the zoom on this new lens it made adjusting all my settings so much less of a hassle. We went to the field by our library and I Caroline ran around, I played around with my photography assignments and took some awesome pictures of Caroline (I'm going to include them in a separate post). It was kind of a rough week taking pictures so it was nice to feel like all my skills were working. Needless to say I am making a list and Ben thinks I'm nuts but it makes all the difference in the world. Seriously.

We spent this week playing at home a lot. Caroline has been going grocery shopping, strolling with her stroller, riding her car, coloring like a pro, playdoh and cookie cutters, puzzles, and bubbles and chalk. It's been fun to play baby with her and watch her be a little mommy. She's so sweet. We made biscuits together and she's helped with dinner a few nights. We also went to the gardens with Kenzi, Luke, and Liam this week. It was a lot of fun and Caroline was super cooperative and we had girl time which was awesome. Definitely going to miss my friends when we move. We also had Caroline's first swim lesson and she loved it. I think. She didn't cry and the teacher was super impressed with her! It's a good little afternoon activity for us and I'm excited Caroline splash more and more.

We've also watched our fair share of Tangled...which I love and Caroline sings the songs with me. One night this week our neighbor was having some sort of carpentry work done, loud saws and hammering made it impossible to even think about putting Caroline in bed. I dragged out bath time with a glow-stick bath--it was awesome! and then since they were working we went down stairs to watch Tangled. I asked her if she would like to watch the princess and horsey movie and she exclaimed "OKAYYYYY!" and went downstairs. She was so tickled to do something fun and different from her normal routine. Seriously tempted to do that at least one more time while Ben is studying.

Ben stayed super late on Friday so Saturday he could come home and I could go to the General Women's Meeting. It was awesome! I loved the messages about the family that were shared and it really helped set the tone for Easter and General Conference. It was also super nice to get to chat afterwards about some fun things to do and see here in Miami and Florida in general. On Sunday's we are all so busy with babies and church callings that we never get to talk and find out tips and tricks of places to go.

Goof

We are wearing down a track in our little home

Caroline was doing all sorts of circus acts on my back. Rolling, tight rope walking, and having a grand ole' time.

Brushing teeth

She looooves the glow-sticks. We may or may not have ordered a huge pack of them on amazon for easter--they were cheaper than the dollar store!

She's already teasing the boys. Luke is the best buddy!

We've spent lots of time with our playdoh.

She's a pro!

This was "hiding"...haha...made me laugh!

Putting together puzzles Caroline's way.

Typing a letter

Church has never been more fun!


Running in the field plus chips!

Okay so some pictures are with my kit lens and some with the new lens. I couldn't be more pleased with how sharp the new lens is, how easy it is to use, and how cute my models are. Basically this is just for me to document things. AND I am excited to start up a few photo a day challenges once this class is done.

That smile and those blue eyes.
Something salty! By the way this salsa is divine in case you can't make it to Costco and hate committing to those large tubs. 3 or 4 bucks at Target and this salsa is the bomb.

New lens. Look at her go! Thank you clouds for covering the sun. It made it easier for me...now onto light!

She loves wresting with her daddy


Picking grass. Also, it isn't really spring time here in Florida which I kind of miss that feel. But those blossoming trees make it at least look like spring! So pretty. Miss my Texas azalea's!

Caroline is the funniest flower smeller

She puts it right up to her nose

And scrunches her nose up

And does that funny thing with her lips. 

climbing.

Daredevil.

This guy. He was my model. ;) at the park close to us on Sunday morning.

Swinging in the air! Ben is the sweetest daddy.

Look at those flowers about to bloom.

One of my fav's! She is a yoga pro already!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Afternoon with Caroline

After Caroline's nap today we just played in her room and our room and ran up and down our little hallway. I decided I should pull out my camera and play around...I haven't really this week. Caroline especially loved getting her hands on the camera and taking some pictures of her own. She's a super serious photographer and a quick study. It's pretty funny to watch her because she tries so hard to put the heavy camera up to her eyes before hunching over, looking through the camera, and saying "cheese!". Plus there are so many knobs and buttons its the perfect toy, right?! Here's a glimpse into the afternoon.


Unfolding laundry is the best!

The "I'm not guilty" face. Ohhh I love that little girl.

Reading and where are emoji's when I need them...that bow in her hair hahaha and so sweet.

Reading

We are getting rid of those binkies soon...hopefully. But they sure make it easier to take pictures haha.

Coming for the camera!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Good Stuff and Headaches

Overscheduling is a total thing. We had so much many plans that quickly snowballed into too many plans. We did as much as we could and stayed super busy while Ben was studying. Caroline was totally worn out by Friday and so was I. This week is a little more lax and since it is Spring Break for schools here we are opting out of zoo trips and other things to skip the crowds...saving things for next week!

The funnest thing was checking out the Splash Pad at Pinecrest Gardens. We met Julia, Peter, and Lila and splashed all morning! There were two families that came in and out but we basically had the whole area to ourselves. Caroline was in heaven and unlike the zoo splash pad that rotates what is splashing with water--this splash pad was continuous and totally worth the 5 bucks. We just watched the kiddos splashing and spent the whole morning there. It was perfect.

I am still plugging along with my photo class. I'm definitely learning and taking less pictures because I'm getting things right the first or fourth shot rather than like the tenth shot. It's really nice things are still pretty challenging and there are a lot of bad pictures but I'm excited to keep working on it. I've already found a photo challenge that lasts a month--there are prompts and tips for shooting--that I'm going to do once the class is over so I keep on taking pictures and I don't lose what I learn. Caroline is a hard subject to photograph because she runs and Ben is a challenge because he hates pictures ha! So I'm needing a "model" for this week to do some lighting things with and such.

Hopefully this week I can order a new lens too! I did super well on teacherspayteachers...well, superwell does not mean I suddenly got rich...haha...but it is enough for a cheaper prime lens...it's all picked out and ready to go...I just have to commit to buying it! I never spend big money so it's weird to finally do something like that. I'm still working on a few projects with my store and having fun with it. Even though I'm out of the classroom it's so easy to think of things--maybe even easier because I'm not caught up with the busy-ness and chaos of the school year. As always, I'm making things that I always wanted, needed for students, and would totally use if I were still teaching. It's fun helping teachers and helping out our meager med school budget as well.

We took a spontaneous trip to the gardens this week and man has it gotten got. I didn't bring the stroller and Caroline and I just had fun wandering. She took the lead sometimes and I took it the others. It was a fun quick trip and the volunteers just doted on her. She's going to be the most confident child ever because of how much attention she gets from people--I'm totally okay with it too! She's already has so much more confidence and fearlessness in her than I have ever had!

We did our regular parks, a Target trip, Spencer came home from his mission, we played with neighbors, Trader Joe's, and a birthday party too. Ben comes home for dinner so we get to see him then which is really treasured time. He's home for about an hour and it always goes by too quickly. It's super nice to be able to finish up dinner while he plays with Caroline and gets the mail. It's a lot of studying but he's on track and feeling good about what he's doing and how he is studying. We saw him Saturday because UM is a great place to take pictures but Caroline only wanted me to hold her...which makes picture taking impossible. He played with her and splashed in the fountains for 10 minutes so I could finish my homework assignment. It was perfect timing because he needed a break and Caroline loved her daddy time.

Caroline is just so much fun. She is recently really into makeup--specifically my makeup. I have an old set of brushes Caroline has been playing with and another Easter Bunny (aka Grams) has already remedied the situation...so come on Easter! Also, Caroline has been a bottomless pit recently. She could eat all day long...I can't keep up with it. She seriously ate 2 whole apples for snacks, plus crackers, carrots, 2 cheese sticks, a gogo and lots of water and she is eating BIG meals. I feel like I am in the story "A Very Hungry CAROLINE"and at the end of the day her tummy is tight. I'm hoping it's just a growth spurt otherwise she is totally addicted to food haha. Caroline is also standing on a stool to brush her teeth and it is soooo much better for me. She is very entertained by her own shenanigans rather than throwing water all over the place...and she is actually brushing her teeth. Another exciting thing was Sacrament went smoothly this week and Caroline knew it was time to be finished and announced it by saying bye bye! and blowing kisses to the people around us at 2:07. It was so funny and we worked really hard to keep her entertained.

The hardest thing this week were HEADACHES. The first was our neighbors dog. On Monday he barked the entire day--6:30 am to 8:00 pm nonstop and I just though maybe they were having company but usually she always let's us know and profusely apologized before and after. It's really no big deal, a little annoying, but no big deal. However, this huge lab barked for 6:30 am-8:00 pm every everyday. I was seriously on edge and dying because he's super loud (a big lab dog) and with the balconies and everything it created the perfect acoustics so there is not a room in our house that is quiet. I went out on our balcony and she had a whole setup--tent, couch, food, and water out for him so he could stay out there all day. By Thursday I was dying because the bog never stopped and I was so on edge.. Like never stopped. So I talked to security and found out I was the last neighbor to ask about what was going on. Anyways, he sent in a complaint and I did too (I felt so bad but my sanity and Caroline's ability to sleep was on the line). Anyways, someone talked to her and the dog has been inside like normal! Thank goodness or else I would really be itching to move out of here.

I had just talked about bad migraines with a friend and BAM I totally got one. Like couldn't eat and couldn't take meds because I couldn't keep anything down. I know Caroline had a blast because there were shoes, clothes, toilet paper, and crumbs all over our house while I was completely out of it. There was a stomping ground of ritz crackers and all sorts of crazy things that happened. I'm glad she had fun and that by that night I was totally fine. I was super grateful that the dog wasn't barking otherwise I'm pretty sure we would have had to go to a hotel because it was such a sensitive and bad migraine. Ben sent me to bed, brought home dinner, and we postponed watching a late night movie (Theory of Everything...which was oh gosh brilliant) until Sunday.

She's not afraid of dirt.

Blue eyed babe

The best shopper.

Lucky girl


Loving Molly

All I heard was "Mama! Stuck!" and she was fluttering her legs like this and then she "unstuck them" what a girl.

Cleaning our muffin liners because we eat lots of muffins...and by we...I mean CAROLINE

Snacking at the bus stop 

We tried out this new park that was kind of a bust because all C wanted to do was swim in the totally accessible to a toddler water.

New brushing teeth system

So reverent haha

A mini Minnie Pearl

Helping mom take pictures

Splash, splash!

Hiding.

Exploring. Not focused but the chairs are cool

Pretty flowers

Chihily.

People on the tram were waving to her...as she was trying to escape.

Flower close-up

Butterfly love
Before the splash

Backyard drawing.

Daddy chasing her on Sunday