Owen's 3rd birthday was our excuse (as if we need one) for heading up there but in all reality, my hubs had only seen his brother once in the last 9 months. And, due to all our home remodeling, he hadn't left town since May. We were absurdly excited to get out of dodge.
Owen's party was held at a former school gym turned community center. Lots of cool stuff for the kids...and adults.
Hoops. (And Uncle M's yo-yo hoop-jumping skills.)
He took a turn for the better when his Train Cake made an appearance.
We missed Samuel Fisher's first birthday, but apparently he wasn't into his cake. Not this time.
Hazel hung out, mostly in my arms.
:: I mentioned I had been doing some sewing...here's Juniper modeling the apron we made for Owen. And by "we", I mean she helped draw out the pattern, or at least color it pink.
The slick thing about this apron--an idea I borrowed from a store-bought one--is that the neck and waist strap are one piece and quickly adjust to any size.
^(I know. I couldn't find a cool car or train print, so I had to go with dinosaurs and cowboys.)^
Also, did some hand-sewing.
I've been wanting to make this fishing set from the book, Creative Play for Your Toddler. After my first two nuclear-disaster-looking fish, my man--the perpetual biologist--stepped in and we got more species-specific.
The pole is just a stick-and-string with a magnet attached to the end. It takes a good deal of coordination to "hook" the metal washer with the magnet and I thought the set might still be too advanced for Owen. Not so. He's a pro angler. (Sorry, no photos.)
:: A trip to Montana wouldn't be complete (in winter) without a stop at the hot springs. I love taking photos at these springs...all the steamy goodness. But. With each adult occupied with a not-entirely-independent-in-the-water kid, getting an arm free for photography gets challenging. My husband snapped these before noticing Juniper's hair floating to the top of the pool and her little legs kicking, but not getting underneath her body. We heaved her up, she cried. She was a little spooked and so were we. She didn't inhale water and once the scariness wore off, she was back at it. Sometimes, swimming lessons pay off.
:: I like to daydream that I can play the mandolin. Truth is, I haven't played much since Juniper was born. Aunt D, on the other hand, is a pro fiddler. I asked her to play for Juniper. She played, then got out Owen's mini violin.
^Juniper didn't "play" anything, but she sure enjoyed holding it!^
:: Sam. He's a ham. A happy kid, full of pride. You could almost eat those chubby little limbs.
^She loves pockets.^
:: We've been home for almost a week, simmering in a bubbly cauldron of snot, fiery throats and stinging lungs. Juniper has taken the brunt of it, dragging her feet and moaning a constant, high-pitched, aaeeeeeuuuuhhh. If her throat and lungs feel anything like mine, I can empathize. Hazel is her usual cheerful self as long as we keep the snot sucked out of her nose. The great part about sickness: holding your feverish toddler as she naps in your lap (I soaked it up while I could). And, throwing all household rules out the window. Yesterday we made a nest in front of the computer and streamed more children's videos than a reasonable, god-fearing adult could normally handle. Today, we went outside. Slowly, we are clawing our way out of this cave of maladies.