Monday, August 18, 2014

Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks

Yes, I did promise a follow-up in my last post about our trip home through Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Apologies for my tardiness - it's been a full summer.

We drove from Boise to Idaho Falls, spent the night, then drove into Grand Teton National Park the next morning. We spent the day, then drove to Grant Village in Yellowstone for a couple of nights (beware the clouds of mosquitoes!!) before driving back out through Grand Teton and heading to Denver. We saw some beautiful, beautiful country.

The full photo album is here, which many of you have already seen (those on Facebook, that is). For those who haven't yet seen it, you can check out the link above, and here are some favorites:

Entering the Grand Tetons - spectacular, just spectacular 

Swim Beach at Colter Bay on Jackson Lake - the kids loved throwing rocks from the beach into the water 

Proper gear must be worn for the most effective rock throwing, you know 

 Our little nap basecamp at Jackson Lake

At Lewis Falls in Yellowstone National Park

Sean does a good natural "Home Alone" impersonation when something impresses him (accompanied by a "WOW!), which Old Faithful certainly did 

Tired girl taking a break outside the General Store near Old Faithful 

Taking the thermal tour around the Old Faithful area of Yellowstone 

The thermal pools and springs were just magnificent... 

...not to mention the super-cool bacteria 

Road trip, part 2: Next time, the kids drive! 

We drove around after the thermal tour so the kids could nap, and 3...2...1... 


A close encounter with a bison (not a buffalo, for the record - those only live in Africa)...

...and an elk 

 More rock throwing at Jackson Lake before we said goodbye to the Grand Tetons

Claire doing her "homework" to earn her junior ranger badge on the ride home

We had a wonderful trip, but it's great to be home. School starts in a week, so it's almost back to normal!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Family time in Idaho for the 4th

[ Versión en español abajo ]

We spent a wonderful week in Idaho with my family to celebrate my 40th birthday and Independence Day. It's been roughly 20 years since I've spent my birthday in Boise, so it was great to be there with lots of family. For my big day I was treated to lunch, bought an outfit and new makeup, and had pedicures with my Mom, Claire, my sister, and my niece, then there were TWO parties - an open house on the 3rd to see other family and friends, then a 4th of July party at my sister's house. All-in-all I felt very pampered and loved.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

Nana had a pair of toy glasses that Sean adored and wore for hours on end - we couldn't decide if he was more Seanny Potter or Ralphie from "A Christmas Story," but it was way cute 

He also discovered a new love for the piano - especially playing with cousin McKenna - check out this video of his first piano concert here 

La familia Forman

Cousin McKenna brought along a couple of friends from her dance team, and the bigger girls promised the little girls they would put dance make up on them, which Claire loved 

The almost finished product (oh dear...)

Sean wanted in on the action, too, and gave himself a good stage 5-o'clock shadow

Then, of course, both kids returned the favor on a very tolerant McKenna 

Sean painted cousin Kendall's face, too, so she wouldn't be left out 

On the morning of the 4th we went to Boise's Independence Day Parade, which I haven't been to since 1988. We all had a blast! 

This was Sean's first parade and he was fascinated - he and McKenna were checking out a high-unicycle rider/juggler at this moment 

Claire hasn't been to many parades, either... Her favorite part was watching one of her cousins march, followed by the mass quantities of free candy thrown by parade participants 

Nana and all her grandbabies - this was the first trip they had all been together (Sean wasn't born last time we saw them) 

Lots of cute cousin love 

Mom and daughters - it was so wonderful to spend time with them! 

What's the 4th of July without watermelon?! This was Sean's first 4th in the U.S. and he thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Two of my loves 

"Happy birthday to me..." (Blowing assistance by Claire) 

My angel babies 

Graham and the kids made me a "40 Reasons Why We Love You" print to hang in our new house. I love it! Here are the 40 Reasons (composed by both Graham and the kids):
  1. You let us play on the iPad.
  2. You make us smile.
  3. You make us feel good about ourselves.
  4. Your beauty and loving personality.
  5. You give us hugs.
  6. You are warm.
  7. You are kind.
  8. You are sensitive.
  9. You are generous.
  10. You are thoughtful, usually.
  11. You are patient, mostly.
  12. You are loving, always.
  13. We love how understanding you are.
  14. You teach us new things.
  15. We love spending time with you.
  16. We miss you when you’re not with us.
  17. You forgive us when we make mistakes.
  18. We love to travel with you.
  19. You like adventure.
  20. You like trying new things with us.
  21. You do nice things for us.
  22. You give us dessert.
  23. We love that you care for us even if you’re not feeling well.
  24. You tell us you love us multiple times a day and it never gets old.
  25. We love your big heart.
  26. You are faithful and honest.
  27. You encourage us.
  28. You try hard for us.
  29. You are always available no matter how busy or tired you are.
  30. You are an expert on the computer.
  31. You comfort us when we are scared.
  32. You are loyal to us and everyone and everything that matters to you.
  33. We love the way you try to help others.
  34. We love the sweet gifts you give to us.
  35. You are really good at making eggs and pancakes.
  36. You are willing to do the work it takes for a successful marriage and family.
  37. You can multi-task with the best of them.
  38. You teach us to be better people.
  39. Whenever we need a hand, you’re always willing to lend yours.
  40. We need a wife and mommy and you’re a perfect fit!  
Sean giving Nana some love (with more makeup on) 

The kids loved their first Pop-Its 

Sean was captivated by the fireworks, although when they were too loud he would take my hands and put them over his ears. "Fi-works, BOOM! Up in the sky..." 

Helping Nana vacuum the trailer (note the Costa Rican soccer jersey - we enjoyed watching two of the CR World Cup games while on the road and are very proud of the team) 

Beautiful cousins at the park 

Graham and his mini-me 

Our kids love playing on bike racks for some reason... 

Bye-bye Boise - thanks for the great visit! I love that Claire is now a road trip reader... (And has been eating up my old Family Circus books.) 

On the way back home we stopped by Shosone Falls (near Twin Falls, ID, where Nana went to high school) and took in the "Niagra of the West" - they're really spectacular!

We were even above a rainbow... Apparently this is NOT the falls at their peak capacity, but they were still impressive.

"Look! Wadder!" 

We also visited nearby Dierkes Lake, which looked like a fantastic place to swim and spend the afternoon. We'll have to spend some time there next time we pass through.

We took an extra couple of days on our way home and visited a couple of national parks, coming soon in a separate blog post...

En español:

Pasamos un tiempo buenísimo en Idaho con mi familia para celebrar mi 40º cumpleaños y el Día de la Independencia de los EEUU. Ha sido más o menos 20 años desde pasé mi cumpleaños en Boise, entonces estaba muy bien estar allá con mucha familia. Para mi día grande mi mama, Claire, mi hermana, y mi sobrina me regalaban un almuerzo, maquillaje y ropa nuevos, y teníamos pedicuras, luego estaban DOS fiestas – una casa abierta en el 3º para visitar con otra familia y amigos, y luego una fiesta del 4º de julio en la casa de mi hermana. En todo, me sentí mimado y amado.

Cuando salimos a Boise, visitamos Shoshone Falls (cerca de Twin Falls, Idaho, donde mi mama asistió colegio) y vimos la “Niagra de la oeste” - ¡están espectaculares! Tomamos unos pocos días más en el viaje a nuestro hogar para visitar dos parques nacionales (va a ser otro poste del blog)…

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sean at 2: The Photo Shoot

[ Versión en español abajo ]

I was finally able to catch both kids in a good mood on a day with good weather, so yay, pictures!! Here is Mr. Sean at 2, with a guest appearance by Miss Almost-7-Year-Old:

This was within a few seconds - they were so cute together I made it into a series

I took Sean to the doctor the week after his birthday - he's a super-healthy little dude, with little being the operative word. Like his sister, he just runs on the smaller side, but that's his curve, and he's healthy as can be. This was his first appointment in the U.S., and the first time we met our new pediatrician, who is delightful. Sean weighs 23.7 lbs (6th percentile) and is 33" tall (21st percentile), with a head circumference of 19" (39th percentile). He's finally off formula and onto whole milk, too. So happy to have a healthy kid!

Mr. Healthy Boy doing one of his favorite activities: jumping ("Mama, mump? Mump?")

A few more recent pictures:

We took chocolate cupcakes to school for his actual birthday - they were a big hit with the birthday boy

Claire's last day of kindergarten was also on Sean's birthday - this is her first day vs her last day - different school, different country, same cute girl!

 "Ai-pane!" - he loves loves LOVES spotting airplanes and even has a stool by his window to do so

As with any little brother of a big sister, Sean thinks trying on big sis's shoes and clothes is WAY fun

Sean learned to smack mosquitoes ("Mack, deedos") outside at school, and takes his job very seriously. [Video here] At about the :45 mark you can also hear his little, "Heh, I'm amused" chuckle. "Tss, heh."

Sean loves to draw and practice writing his name

 ¡Vamos Costa Rica! We're so excited to watch la Sele in the World Cup! (The U.S., too, but we don't have shirts for their team yet...)

The new obsession: playing the glockenspiel, or "Pah-no" as Sean insists on calling it 

Sean's school grew plants, and he's very proud of his "mant" - he likes to take it for walks in the toy stroller 

Graham has dubbed Sean "Rum Tum Tugger" - for those of you familiar with the musical "Cats," he's the cat who always wants the exact opposite of what's being offered. For example, pasta is usually no good in his bowl - he wants to eat it from Mama's plate. [video of the song here] Must mean he's two...

And finally, for your amusement, another installment of the Forman Babies, age two:





(I think Sean and Claire win in the cheek department over Graham and me, but we all have some serious family cheek... =) )

En español:

Por fin, yo tomé algunas fotos de Sean (y Claire también) con dos años. (Están arriba.)

Sean visitó la doctora en los Estados por primera vez, y es súper-saludable.  Él es pequeño, pero es normal para él. Él pesa 10.75 kg (6º percentil), tiene 83.82 cm en altura (21º percentil), y su cabeza es 48.3 cm (39º percentil). Ahora él bebe leche entero en vez de la formula. ¡Estamos súper contentos tener un niño tan saludable!

Hay una comparación de todos nosotros con dos años arriba, y más fotos también.