Back to School

Last Sunday we had a "back to school feast" for Jilly.  We were all pretty tired from our busy weekend (baseball game and Philadelphia) so there was no cute family motto but I did use our fancy china and made a quick tissue paper flower centerpiece.  I let Jilly choose the menu and we had grilled chicken, couscous, watermelon, strawberries, and snicker apple salad.  My friend has made snicker apple salad a couple times this summer for different get-togethers and Jilly LOVES it and kept begging me to make it.  It's green apples and chopped up snickers bars with a vanilla pudding/cool whip dressing so basically dessert disguised as a salad.  We talked about the new school year and Jillian said she was excited "to meet new friends, meet her teacher, and wear her new clothes."  Sounds about right.

On Monday we took one last trip to the Zoo with the Wilsons.  

That night was "Sneak a Peek at your Seat" night at school.  We got to see Jillian's classroom and meet her new teacher.  Jilly was really excited, and it felt so weird for me to be back in an elementary school, but as a parent this time!  We stopped at Subway, Jilly's favorite, on the way home.

Tuesday was our last glorious day of summer and so we went to Annie's Playground, one of our favorite parks, with some friends.  After this hot steamy summer it was finally a really pleasant day.  

Wednesday was the first day of school, but they do gradual entry for kindergarteners so I went with Jilly for just part of the day in the afternoon.  I filled out a lot of paperwork and Jilly got a little tour of the school.  For some reason I came home feeling very overwhelmed and sick about kindergarten in general.  That night was dollar waffle cone night so we went with Bryan after work.  He's been so patient with my constant panic attacks about kindergarten and so good at helping us celebrate this week.  

Jillian didn't have any school on Thursday, the other half of the class was going for their orientation day with parents.  All summer we had been wanting to meet up with Bryan for lunch and this was the day it finally worked out.  Now that he works downtown it's a little trickier to get down there but there are some fun places to eat close to his office.  (And I'm just now realizing that this week was all about special food treats.)  

Friday was the big day!  Jillian got to ride the bus and go to school all by herself.  I was a complete wreck, crying all morning.  I'm just so sad that she'll be gone for so much of the day now!  I could tell she was nervous, but Jillian was very brave and also so excited.  She put on her new dress and the new locket we gave her and we loaded up her backpack.  When we went out to take pictures I was only getting a nervous smile from Jilly til I employed Mattie to make funny faces and then I got the famous Jilly grin.  When the bus came Jilly climbed right on and sat by our sweet neighbor who's in second grade.  A few minutes after the bus left Mattie told me "I miss my sister."  I missed her too.

My friend Natalie also has a kindergartener and she was just as sad as I was so she invited a few of our friends over for a morning dessert party.  I should have taken a picture of the spread- we had cheesecake, oreos, chocolate croissants, chocolate cookies, shortbread cookies, and a delicious peach dessert.  It was fun to be together and we ate a ridiculous amount of desserts at 9:30 in the morning.  After that I went to a lunch the school sponsored for kindergarten parents.  I felt so much more comfortable at the school than I had on Wednesday; they answered questions and I got to meet a lot of the other parents which was nice.  Friday was a half day for the kindergarteners so right after the lunch at 1 we got to bring our kids home- hooray!  Jilly seemed a little dazed from all the newness but said she had a good day.  That night Bryan went camping with the young men so we had a cozy girls' movie night with mac n cheese, apples, and popcorn for dinner.  It was nice to have a chill night at home after all the excitement of the week.  

I'm still not thrilled about kindergarten- I hate how much of the day she'll be gone and I'm sad that we'll have school governing our schedule for the next 20 years.  But, I love to see how excited Jillian is and I know she'll learn and grow so much.  And, I have to admit, I will enjoy having just Mattie at home, at least for these next six weeks!


Summer Bucket List

We spent our last full week of summer checking off our summer list, getting ready for school, and having lots of fun.  First was dental appointments and haircuts for the girls.  Both girls are in the No Cavities Club and Mattie got an awesome prize since she had given up her pacifier since our last visit.  The girls did a great job during their haircuts too.  It was Jilly's first cut in a year and Mattie's first ever so it's really nice that they both finally have fresh ends.  We stopped at Sonic for Happy Hour slushes and a cherry limeade on the way home, something I'd been wanting to do all summer!

We met up with Katie and Joey at Ikea for lunch and shopping one day.

And we got down all the baby clothes from the attic; I can't believe how tiny they are!  The girls are so, so excited for their little sister and they loved getting out their old clothes for her.

I finished painting the girls' bunk beds and Bryan got them all set up!  Mattie is still adjusting to sleeping in the bed (specifically the sleeping part) but luckily the crib is still vacant so she can sleep in there when she's having a hard time going to sleep and keeping Jilly up.

The Wilsons had the best idea to ride the light rail up to Chick fil A for lunch one day.  We hadn't ever been on the light rail and we always love Chick fil A so it was a real treat.

And Friday was Mormon Night at the Orioles game, it was so fun to be there with so many of our friends.  Mattie begged us for cotton candy but it turns out none of us really like it that much, haha.  And we made it to the end of the game and got to see fireworks!  Mattie was so exhausted, she fell asleep in Bryan's arms as we walked back to the car.

If I'm being honest, I really wore myself out these past couple weeks.  I hate not being able to do everything I want to do so I've ended most days exhausted and very sore.  It didn't help that Bryan was super busy at work all last week and wasn't around very much at all.  It's probably a good thing though because I'm finally looking forward to Jilly being in school and having things slow down a bit!  We still have a few things to check off on our Summer Bucket list and we have plans to do most of them in September, but I've come to grips that we're not going to do everything (like riding a roller coaster?  Not happening.  It has been WAY too hot to go to an amusement park.)  We had a very full and fun summer and I think I'm finally ready to move on into fall.


Brotherly Love

We've been so excited to go to the Open House for the Philadelphia Temple.  We hadn't really figured out our August plans so I put off getting tickets (it's free, but they ask you to reserve a time) then one day a couple weeks ago I was talking to a friend about it and decided I needed to come right home and get tickets.  When I got online there were exactly four tickets left on a Saturday all month and it was the day and time that we were hoping to go.  What luck!

We left first thing Saturday morning and got there early enough to walk around for a bit and see a few sites- the Rocky steps at the Museum of Art, a fountain (can't remember the name), a beautiful library, and the Academy of Natural Sciences.  At 11 we walked over to the temple for our tour.  It was so fun to take our girls through the temple.  And this temple is gorgeous- I especially loved all the colonial architecture and the girls of course loved the sparkly chandeliers.  

After the temple we were starving and there's really only one option for lunch in Philly; we went to Pat's for cheesesteaks.  You have to learn the correct way to order then you have to order fast or they will yell at you (I may be speaking from experience.)  I ordered "one without provolone" which means one sandwich, without onions, provolone cheese.  Our sandwiches were delicious and gone way too fast.  Geno's is another famous place that is right across the street so we decided we needed the full experience and got one more sandwich from Geno's to share.  This time we got "one with whiz" which means with onions and cheese whiz.  The thought of the cheese whiz kind of grossed me out, but it really didn't taste bad.  While Bryan was in line getting our sandwich Mattie fell off the bench right on her head.  It made a loud thunk and I was really worried about her for a few minutes.  But she perked up and benefitted from a nice cold sip of my Coke.  Check out how sweaty her hair was, it was SO SO SO hot!

At this point we were pretty tired (did I mention it was hot?) so we kind of did a quick driving tour of Philly.  We drove by the liberty bell and Independence Hall and waved, we'll definitely have to go back another day to really see the historic sites.  We ended our day at Dilworth Park, where the Love statue is located as well as City Hall and a splash pad.  The girls had a great time splashing around for a bit then slept the whole two-hour drive home.  It was a fun day, and especially great to go inside the temple all together. 


Seven on Sunday

1. Nana sent this dress to Jilly and I think she totally looks like a kindergartener.  She told me today "I'm mostly excited for kindergarten, but just a little bit scared."  I of course didn't tell her that I'm mostly sad about kindergarten but just a little bit excited.  One more full week of summer bliss.

2. I made the mistake of grabbing a Junie B. Jones audiobook at the library and now my girls are obsessed.  And Junie B. is terribly annoying if you're over the age of 5.  One of my top goals this week is to get to the library and get a new audiobook for them.  Also, new books for me because I've been in a terrible sad reading slump this summer.  Boo.

3. "One day you girls will choose your ice cream based on flavor instead of color" - Bryan 

4. I love Mattie's Olympics commentary.  While watching gymnastics "I like the fourth of July girls" and during beach volleyball "I can see those girls' red undies!"

5. Speaking of Olympics, Bryan made another Brazilian dessert- Pudim, which is Brazilian flan and tastes delicious.

6.  We're sloooowly ticking away at our "Things to do before baby" list.  Slowly mostly because there are too many fun things to do in the summer and we have plenty of time left.  We're about 90% done with all our bedroom makeovers and for some reason we're really struggling with that last 10%.  I need to channel my inner Joanna Gaines.

7. We took a little day trip yesterday to Rehoboth Beach.  We underestimated traffic and left later than we'd meant to so it was a LONG drive but still a fun day together.  We played in the water and built sand castles and ended the day on the boardwalk with beach fries and pizza.  I grew up going to Rehoboth Beach with my family but hadn't been back in over 10 years.  It was so fun to take my girls and to eat my favorite french fries on the planet. 


More Summer Fun

We've been wanting to try out the dragon paddle boats in the harbor and since there is a strict 4 person rule (and no babies under 2) we knew we needed to go this summer.  One Friday night we headed downtown.  We stopped at a pizza place Bryan's coworkers had recommended (delicious pizza, but I think next time we'd get takeout, it wasn't in the nicest part of town) then we took a fun little ride on the paddle boat.  I snapped this funny picture of Mattie; she really did have fun, but I think she was getting tired.

Fun at home:  Mattie with a baby in her tummy, Bryan made the girls a boat from an Amazon box, and early morning scooter rides (before it gets too hot for me!)

Bryan and I met my parents, Katie and Neal, and Leslie at the temple one night.  It was really great to be there all together, and the temple is closed for cleaning from now until the end of September so this was our last time going for a while.  

We have the best babysitter ever, it's so wonderful to be able to leave and know the girls are well taken care of and so happy.  She did this scavenger hunt with the girls and they had a dance party, played dress-up, and she let them do her hair (so nice!)  It helps that she has four brothers, so I think she enjoys some girl time at our house.

A visit to the aquarium and Shake Shack with friends.  Lauren is also having a baby girl this fall.

Mattie fell asleep in the car on the way home from the aquarium but we really needed to stop at the grocery store.  I couldn't get her to wake up so I grabbed the picnic blanket from our trunk and let her sleep in the cart.  

A fun and quick visit from Gigi, Leslie, and Bethany.  We went down to Washington D.C. and visited the National Museum of American History (the girls LOVED the first ladies' dresses) and the United States Botanical Garden.  My Supermom pushed both girls in the stroller with two flat tires.  

The girls slept the whole way home from D.C. which was good because we had promised to take them to watch Zootopia at a nearby mall that does outdoor movies.  They both made it through the movie and I was exhausted when we finally tucked the girls into bed at 10:45.

On Saturday morning I went to a baby shower and Bryan took the girls to a birthday party.  When I met them at the birthday party I found that Bryan and Jilly had decided to be twinners!

On Saturday evening we took dinner to a park that had a river to play in.  

We went to the splash pad in the harbor with some new friends.  Within about 2 minutes of meeting each other these girls were holding hands walking through the city.  Five-year-olds are the best.

Bryan made a Brazilian treat called brigadeiro in honor of the Olympics.  It was delicious and we love cheering on the USA.