green thumbs up in here

They built me a garden for Mother’s Day! <insert one million heart eye emojis here>   Tanner just happens to be the master gifter. Which is actually really sad because I am terrible at giving gifts, and even though it’s not a competition–if it were, I’d be losing. Big big big time. Tanner is always creative and surprises me with something I didn’t ask for, and didn’t even know I wanted, but always totally love. It’s great.

So, Mother’s Day weekend, I came home one day to find his car parked on our lawn with the back of it full of bags of soil and 2X4’s. I’d had plans to find some corner of the lawn and plant a couple tomato plants & maybe a zucchini, but now I have 2 raised garden beds full of corn, strawberries, snap peas, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, basil, spinach, lettuce, and green peppers!

As if that wasn’t enough, he also planted 3 blueberry bushes, and two PEACH TREES.  I have peach trees! And two trellis things for rows of raspberries that we’ll plant this weekend. Also, a couple of months ago, we got 5 blackberry starters from a neighbor and planted them all along one fence. She told us, the first year you might get a few berries, the second year you’ll get a bunch, and the third year, you’ll have so many you wont know what to do with them all. Yes please! Oh and then he also came home with a cantaloupe plant and a watermelon plant. We might have gone a tiny bit overboard. . . now that I’m writing it all down it sounds like kind of a lot.

We have little sprouts popping up all over the vegetable beds, and all the other plants are doing great. I’m so excited to start eating fresh fruits and veggies out of our garden! Now we just wait and pray that all the Missouri creatures and critters don’t eat everything we planted. Speaking of which, we were starting to wonder when the cicadas show up since we haven’t heard any yet and last year, it was seriously the worst part about Kansas City–the deafening roar of cicadas all night every night. Well, Tanner looked it up and apparently this year, a special once-every-17-years variety of particularly onerous and plentiful cicadas are going to be serenading us soon. Any day now. Hooray.

On a vaguely yard related note, the house next door to us has been empty since we moved in and has been up for sale the last month or so. Part of me was really excited for neighbors and hoping for some little kids for mine to play with, but part of me was dreading some weirdo who mowed their lawn in the early mornings, or wanted to chat for hours every time we walk outside–we’ve had a lot of backyard privacy and a chatty Kathy could really kill that for us ya know? But the house sold to this really nice single mom with two little kids ages 6 and 1 1/2, and she seems very normal. Score!

                  Ta-da!

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St. Louis Spring Break

News flash–when you’re in medical school you don’t have very much free time. Like, make that almost no free time. Having an entire weekend off almost never happens (most of his tests fall on Monday’s. Because they hate us.) so when Tanner had one entire week for spring sandwiched in between two weekends–10 whole entire days where he didn’t have to study!!!! It was the greatest. It’s always tricky for me to plan our time off because tanner is so exhausted he kind of wants to sit around and be lazy, and I’m so sick of being around home that I want to go go go all day doing things around the city that are hard without a second parent. Sometimes we end up bummed we wasted the time sitting around doing nothing and sometimes we’re so tired by the end we wish we would have relaxed more. It’s an intricate balance, but let it be known that spring break 2015–we nailed it! Probably because we finally had enough time for both! First things first, we had a date night–one of our best yet– to see Death Cab for Cutie at the Midland theatre. Date night is one of those things I could go on for days how important I think it is to make time for and get out together frequently without your kids, but for some reason it is the hardest thing in the world to just DO. To find a babysitter, coordinate schedules, plan something to do that doesn’t break the bank, is seasonally appropriate, won’t take too much of tanners study time, blah blah blah, so… Remember how I blogged about going to the ballet in October? That was our last date. Unless you count the week before this (which I do) where we went to target (sans children) and bought new pillows and electric toothbrush heads.    The midland theatre is a really old cool historic theatre (think like where Abe Lincoln was shot, fancy chandeliers, an abundance of cherubs and intricate details) that’s been converted into a concert venue. Such a cool venue and so much fun!! We’ve both loved and followed death cab since high school and they put on such a great live show. Bravo Ben, bravo.       Then there was Donut King movie night (big hero 6)     I don’t let drew watch tv, so I turned him around, but he’s doing everything he can to have a peek!    Many naps   That one day of freezing, windy outdoor church   And then we headed to St. Louis for 3 nights! And as excited as we were, you’d think we were planning a 3 week European tour! One thing I’ve looked forward to with moving to Kansas City is getting to know and explore places that I otherwise probably wouldn’t. Neither Kansas City nor St. Louis are exactly vacation destinations, and if I didn’t live here I likely would never visit them, but they have turned out to be really cool cities.

The first day we meant to go to the Arch and then do a tour of the Budweiser Brewery factory (St.Louis is like their world headquarters) which is supposed to be really cool, but our gps took us to a bar instead (oops!) and by that time we’d missed the last tour so we snapped a photo by the arch (this is as close as we got) and went to this basilica instead.IMG_1211 IMG_1402 IMG_1403 IMG_1406

There were tons of neighborhoods with just the cutest historic homes–totally my style. I could have just walked the streets all day looking at houses and been happy as can be.

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The next day we went to what’s called the City Museum. The pictures don’t do it justice at all, it was sooo so rad. It was basically this big warehouse building that was once abandoned and someone really creative teamed up with lots of other creative people to transform it into a play zone using all recycled materials. It’s like a labyrinth of stairways, tunnels, bridges and slides. Everywhere you went, you could crawl into a hole and not have any idea where it led. A climber’s paradise and a claustrophobic persons hell. It had one of the best free play art zones I’ve ever seen, with an office in the corner of it covered in amazing very intricate snowflakes with a sign letting you know that the snowflake lady inside was also a storyteller (Kicking myself for not getting a picture of it) I hung out with her for a while and she told me the history of the building and where some of the items had come from– like the wall of the art room that was covered in old hostess cupcake tins. It had ball pits, treehouses, a big fish tank, a little circus show, it was just so dang cool. We were so impressed and had such a great time. When we got there, there were BUSLOADS of high school kids there which was a nightmare, but we hung out in the toddler zone where they weren’t allowed for a couple hours and then they all left and the whole place was pretty much deserted and we got it all to ourselves. I would very much NOT recommend bringing a toddler there, but camryn was just old enough (and brave enough!) to be able to do everything.

A bunch of the walls were covered like this and they were amazing!! I decided I need a typeset letter collectionIMG_1430

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This is the outside of the “museum” from up high where we’re climbing.  Everything you see (including the plane) can be climbed on, through, or around! It looked insane when it was all full of high school kids.           

The next day was the botanical gardens. The weather was perfect. If you ask me, the main event were the billions of azaleas blooming, for tanner it was the labyrinth boxwood gardens and this old gardener’s cottage he was obsessed with, and for camryn, the kid zone market area with more plastic food than she’s likely to ever see again.

A+. Solid day.

      IMG_1493  IMG_1496  azealeas for days!IMG_1347  IMG_1373IMG_1378  IMG_1382  Oh and the hosta plants! The hosta garden was the coolest! I have a thing for plant names, and I love whenever I’m at gardens to look at the signs with the names, they’re always so cool. There were hundreds of variety of hosta plants, from Blue Lady to Emerald Tiara, Maui Buttercups to Golden Spades. I loved it. But maybe I’m just a plant nerd.   And Drew is just perfect little champion baby of the world who just goes along with whatever and rarely makes a fuss about it. Food was Sauce on the Side Calzones –twice (Tanner got the Duke, it was amazing), exceptional hotel breakfast fare, famous Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, and Anthonino’s Taverna.IMG_1315 IMG_1416  IMG_1423 IMG_1516 IMG_1391

We took Camryn to the hotel pool a couple times and the whole way there and back she’d tell everyone on the way about the pool with LOTS OF WATER!!!IMG_1417

Last day was the St. Louis Zoo, which is hands down the best zoo I’ve ever been to (and free!) What made it so cool was the design of the enclosures made it feel like you were really close to the animals. They were rarely behind a cage, but instead, there would just be a really deep dropping off ditch in between you and the animals. It made it way easier to see them and it was close up, instead of a lot of zoos where everything is behind glass, bars, and/or really far away. Besides that, a lot of their animals were really different unusual species that I’d never seen before, and quite a few of the animals had new little babies and it was adorable. Perfect weather, and again, awesome day!

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sea lion exhibitIMG_1544 IMG_1548 IMG_1553 IMG_1562

That weekend after we got back, I went garage sale hopping, West Bottoms antique browsing with a friend, and to a goodbye party dinner at the park for some of our second year friends who are moving soon. Isn’t this a good looking group!? They are all actually 2nd years and are kind enough to let my little 1st year family crash their party. Somehow we ended up friends with most of the 2nd years and not very many 1st years. I am really really going to miss those of you who are moving!!

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And then spring break ended and now we’re all sad, lonely, stressed, and sleep deprived. Hahaha just kidding. Except only a little bit.

If you made it this far, I’m impressed! And if you didn’t see it on Facebook, here’s the fun movie that Tanner made of our trip!

It’s spring break, it’s spring break, it’s spring break!!! We are having just the best time that could be possibly had over here. Naps are happening, much junk food is being consumed, I’m reading an actual real life book, we even took what I’m going to call our first legit family vacation–because it wasn’t to a National Park, and it wasn’t with our families. It was a riot I tell you. More on that later, but for now what I have for you is just a shameless photo dump for my family on recent Staples happenings!

One day she randomly found the tennis rackets and insisted we bring them to the park even though her hand eye coordination needs to make a few leaps and bounds before that makes any sense at all. IMG_0483 Adorable wrap from a friends etsy shop HEREIMG_0485

Drew is growing up wwaaaaay faster than Camryn did, and who ever knew that I would be such a baby person? Newborn babies in particular. The newer the better. Like day one is the absolute pinnacle of motherhood if you ask me–all those wrinkles. Gahh! I mean, chub is great, but WRINKLES?? come on. Drew is all chubbed out and don’t get me wrong, I still love the kid, but I pretty much die and stare and get really obnoxious and baby hungry every time I see a newborn. Which is ridiculous, I know, since I have a 6 month old. But don’t worry, last time around, toddlerdom proved an excellent cure for baby hunger.

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Camryn loves cleaning the floors with me.  “MOM. I’ll be your sprayer and you be my mopper.”   (That’s not windex, it’s hardwood floor cleaner, just in case you were worried)IMG_1141 IMG_0548

He’s totally a perfect baby.  IMG_0565 IMG_0590 IMG_0632 IMG_0607 IMG_0649

One of like 3 times this entire winter that we went outside.  IMG_0655 IMG_0674 IMG_0685

Bear just soaking in the sunshine. She’s probably been in this family long enough to deserve a blog post, right? For now, let’s just say I don’t hate having a dog, but I also don’t absolutely adore her. We’re on pretty neutral terms she and I. IMG_0714 IMG_0737 IMG_0768

So, he’s hard pressed to smile if you haven’t noticed, but this is one of my favorite pictures of Drew.  Daddy earned a big smile.IMG_0878 IMG_0952 IMG_0957 IMG_0970 IMG_1047

oh and the mirror makes him smile.  He loves looking in the mirror. IMG_1074

If anyone had told me how much I was going to love Kansas City, I wouldn’t have believed them, but it’s pretty much a poor stay at home mom’s dream–there is soooo much free crap to do around here with kids.  Exhibit A–the gymnastics gym.

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Visiting the Federal Reserve with dad on a day off. IMG_0832

and the Crown Center IMG_0835

and Fritz’s train restaurantIMG_0866

and Kaleidescope with GrammyIMG_1041 IMG_1046

the Wonderscope MuseumIMG_1092 IMG_1101 IMG_1102 IMG_1120 IMG_1125Whenever someone asks, “Do you think he looks like you or like Tanner?” I say “He looks like Camryn.” IMG_1160 IMG_1163

I thought the curls were on their way out, but on humid days, they’re back in full force!IMG_1173 IMG_1178 IMG_1236 IMG_1267

Easter egg hunt with our friend Isaac who could take a posing lesson from Camryn right?IMG_1151 IMG_1138 IMG_1142

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5 monthsIMG_1198 IMG_1210 IMG_1277

A sweet neighbor cut these for us from her flower bed on our way home from a walk one day. I LOVE fresh flowers on my table!

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went to the Kansas City Zoo with a bunch of med school wife friends. 4 out of 5 of us were nursing, which meant we’d pretty much stop at every animal for one of the babies to feed and it was a perfect, slow, and relaxing time. One of these girls had a one month old, and another had a 10 day old!! And they’re just at the zoo for 6 hours like it ain’t no thing. I was thoroughly impressed.  Maybe next time around, I’ll remember their examples and try to take my next one on at least a walk before their half birthday. (True story, we were taking a family walk the day Drew turned 4 months old and I realized it was his first one.  oops!)IMG_1314 IMG_1321 IMG_1328 IMG_1364 IMG_1361

mmmm.IMG_1358

And that’s a wrap.

P.s. for mom and dad— here’s a video of Camryn reading herself “King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub” and a really old one of Drew (but none of you have met him, so what’s the difference?)