Sunday, September 11, 2016

9 Cups of Cheese

Ben is done with his crazy rotation. We hardly accomplished anything this weekend because we simply needed to catch our breath from this past month. So glad that we all made it through this past month and super proud of Ben for all of his hard work--because it paid off!

Monday, Ben had off! Which was a nice surprise. We had plans to go to a cool park and beach by the intercoastal with Bobby and Whitney but the parking lot (which was a big one) was totally full by the time we got there. We went to Riviera Beach which was really nice. The waves were absolutely crazy and the current was really strong so there wasn't much swimming because the waves would knock us down. There were tons of seashells and when the waves would roll out it would make the coolest sound--like a wind chime...it was really neat. 

We finished up "Goodnight Gorilla" this week and it was really fun! There are two projects that we didn't get to a pasta craft and some water balloons but we might hit those this week. We are starting the "Very Hungry Caterpillar" and we have already started watching our caterpillars get really fat! We are hoping for butterflies before we leave for Utah--and I think we will get lucky enough to see them. Caroline has been watching them all weekend.

We went to Michael's this week to get a few things for Tot School and we picked up this really cool lifecycle of a butterfly set and Caroline stopped some random grandma in the store and told her all about how "hungry pillars (caterpillars) go into coons (cocoons) and the become A BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY". The lady was so sweet and just talked to Caroline for a good five minutes all about butterflies and very hungry caterpillars. It was a sweet moment. Caroline really does not know a stranger at all. I love her confidence and that she is pretty fearless.

This week was #strugglebus for Caroline. She's really struggling with hitting so we are practicing being sweet and not hitting. She repeats alllll the time "mama, I am being sweet!". It's pretty funny but hopefully this week is better--because I want to do fun things ha!

The best score this week was driving by the dumpster and finding a water table! It's supposed to be part sand and part water--but forget that! We filled it up with water a few times this week and played when it wasn't raining! The perfect little activity that isn't swimming but still lots of water fun! We had been wanted a water table but the don't-want-to-move-it struggle always sets in...so this was a great find.

We hit up the alligator boardwalk and the zoo this week. No gators were seen but it was a fun walk down one of the boardwalks we hadn't been to in a while. The zoo was totally awesome this week though! The tigers were out--which we haven't seen! Burambi was super into listening to Caroline. She stayed right by the fence and Caroline just talked to her and offered her chex squares. ha! Caroline talked about the tiger all week and how tigers have black stripes! We are all so educated about that now ;). Then we went to splash and there was a little girl Caroline's age. Her mom was standing with an apple and Caroline went right up to her and she let Caroline eat their apple! It was so funny! She was really sweet and they were visiting from Europe and she thought Caroline was a RIOT. It was fun chatting with her and talking about things to do close by AND watching our girls enjoy the splash pad. 

Friday Ben had SO much work to do so he went in even earlier. The residents kind of piled a bunch of their work on him so he was really eager to show them up...ha! He was home by 10 am after completing like 9 charts and some discharge papers. We desperately needed to go grocery shopping and hit up Costco for basics and then the regular grocery store. Now we have so much food ha! I look in the fridge and don't know what to choose! AND grocery shopping with a toddler should be an olympic sport. Ben napped while Caroline and I went swimming with friends. 

AND then came the nine cups of cheese. This is totally silly but there's a cookbook that I had been wanting. I've read alll about it and after totally knocking out some goals I ordered it and Ben and I are spending the next month picking things to cook for date night. It's Cravings by Chrissy Teigen. Totally recommend but it's Chrissy Teigen so you know what you're going to get. I love her and think she's hilarious (even though some people might not;). OFF the WALL delicious recipes and we have like 30 that we want to try ASAP. Anyways, we decided on Mac and Cheese and Stovetop Pork Chops. Both were amazing and a lot simpler than I thought--even though it took two dishloads for our kitchen to recover. Probably the best mac of my life--better than LUBY's and quite possible my Aunt Kathleen's Mac and Cheese--even though they are both totally different. What mac and cheese dreams are made of. AND the stovetop pork chops with breading made from stovetop stuffing all crushed up was delicious and genius (because hello, stuffing has all the seasoning in it!) AND I love brining meats! ha! If only I had a fancy kitchen, a maid to do my dishes, and all the time in the world. Longest paragraph and it's about food hahahaha! We were really excited to try a few new things.

Anyways, it was a super fun date night! We cooked and watched ROOM which didn't freak me out like I thought it was. It was an incredibly sad but extremely sweet story. Not for everyone but we were glad we watched it. AND because Ben took a nap he didn't fall asleep this week! ha!

Saturday there was a baptism and then we had stake conference. Ben wen't to priesthood while Caroline and I went on an ice cream date. Then we switched for the adult session. Today's session was really good and Caroline was so good through the whole thing--partially because Kari and Bengt were sitting right next to us--and we had a huge row which was awesome. It was realllly nice to be done with church by noon.

Ready for a new week, a new rotation, and possssssibly a trip to disneyworld--we've missed it so!

Goodnight Gorilla Adventures. The Africa Blowdryer Paint was my favorite project--and Caroline's was making banana sandwiches!

Baby Ray LOVE!

At the beach--spy that crazy wave in the background.

Snapchatted the entire book to Savanna

This girl cracks me up "hey mom. look at me!!!"


She was so excited to get this!!! And then I hid it for the entire week



Pretty awesomely free little water table!

When Ben is shopping with us...how does this happen?

More food. This was awesome and mom sent us a box of fun spices from this cool spice shop to try out. 



Tiger Talk

Caroline maing friends


Cheesy noodles!



These are soooo good! Costco is my favorite place to try new things!

The MAC

To watch football--he will do anything.







Busy Fast

This week was fast! We were busy starting our new Tot School Book "Goodnight Gorilla" and had lots of fun this week focusing on all things zoo animals. The highlight was making banana sandwiches because Caroline got to use a plastic knife and cut the banana herself and placed them between two vanilla wafers. That translated into us doing a lot more cooking together this week. She helps a few times a week but there was a part of each meal this week that she helped with. One night I put together a big salad and Caroline put it all together after I had everything chopped up. The newest food she's eaten is mac and cheese and ramen this week--ha! Caroline hasn't ever really eaten noodles but after making mac and cheese this week she is hooked!!

Ben came home earlier than usual one day and then we cleared out our office closet and organized it...there is so much room in there now! We a room a week the next few weeks. It's been a really good week for Ben. The doctor that he is working with LOVES him and wants him to stay in Miami! We are tinkering with the idea and possibility of staying and how we could make it work. Ben really likes who he has worked with and knows that Miami offers a lot of experiences that he wouldn't get other places. The financials are really the only thing holding us back from Miami--and the fact that we are farther away from family. BUT both Ben's parents and my mom do enjoy that we live somewhere with beaches. So it's been weird to really think about the possibility of staying. It's a long ways off, a few interviews away, but it's something that on our brains.

This has been a weird week for me. I had a headache earlier this week and then Saturday morning I woke up with one that totally had me sick. I hardly slept at all. Ben was home this weekend so he took Caroline to Costco and stocked up on a few necessities (brown bars and cheese and bread) and then played with her all morning. It was the best thing. 

I was worried for our sweet neighbors. Their water line to their fridge has been leaking water for a while but it just became apparent with their cabinets and mold growing on a wall that was covered by bookshelves. Basically they have an entire wall and row of cabinets that needs to be replaced...however their landlord doesn't want to fix it and wants to sell the unit. Which is super strange since they haven't had any other problems. She's having a baby in one month and her husband is finished with residency in June--so even finding a place would be hard to live because they wouldn't need a very long lease. It's basically awful timing and we are really hoping that everything works out for them. Housing woes are the worst!

Caroline has been so. much. fun. this week. Well, she always is! But she has sooo much personality and it's hard to contain how much we love her. Ben has had a lot of time with her this week. 

So far this new week has been good to us and while Ben will definitely miss going into Jackson he is excited for a normal wake up time...and having two afternoons a week off! I'm excited about that too!







Who knew a broken piggy bank could be so fun?!