Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Night Stroll

Tonight we went on a beautiful stroll with Richard, Brendan and D at Turning Point Park along the Genesee River. We enjoyed the beautiful weather, wildlife, views and company!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

2nd time in 7 Days

Today in Primary, Matthew and I were giving a pretty awesome lesson about Jesus' healing power. We started off the lesson by bringing a bag full of cool things that a doctor uses to help us when we are sick. This bag included a stethoscope and a blood pressure cuff...needless to say we had the children's attention!

Then all of that attention went in another direction. E was sitting in the Moby Wrap on my lap and she started making her famous grunting noises. Matthew and I heard them, looked at each other and chuckled a little to ourselves. Then she did it again and all of the laughing stopped. At that moment I actually saw the poop shoot out the side of her diaper directly onto my skirt! The primary kids all looked at me and E and began to inform me that "The baby pooped on you!" Luckily I was wearing a longer skirt so I was able to gather it up and hold in the mess until I got to the restroom. It took the rest of the wipes in the bag to get things mostly cleaned up. There was poop everywhere. The majority was on my skirt but it also go on the Moby Wrap, my shirt, my underwear and of course all over E's outfit. The only place it didn't seem to get was in the diaper! I felt disgusting even after cleaning it up and luckily there was only 10 minutes left of church so I told Matthew I was waiting in the car for him.

I'm pretty sure all the primary children remembered from that lesson was that my baby pooped on me! As for me, I went straight home and showered and have since been contemplating bringing an extra set of clothes for me everywhere I go just like I do for E.

Oh yeah, this is the 2nd time in 7 days that she has had a major blowout on me. Read here for the 1st one!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

100 - E Takes Boston

This past Sunday was my first Mother's Day as a Mom! It also happened to be the 100th Mother's Day in our country which I thought was neat. Matthew and E spoiled me with a theme of goodies. First I was treated to breakfast in bed which consisted of yummy cinnamon rolls and milk. Then I found a card and big box of Nutty Bars waiting for me in the living room. As if that wasn't enough, Matthew then gave me a bag of Reese's Pieces. If I didn't know any better I'd think he was trying to fatten me up, but I think it's because he knows how much I love peanut butter snacks!

After church we spent the rest of our Mother's Day traveling to Boston for a few days of fun with our good friends Alex and Liz! It was a nice drive and because we left so late in the afternoon there was hardly any traffic and E slept most of the way (we only had to stop for one feeding and then she slept for the rest of the night).

We had quite a list of things we wanted to do while in Boston, but Monday was a slow start because the parking situation in Boston is somewhat undesirable. There is free parking on the street in front of  Alex and Liz's apartment, but every Monday morning they have a street sweeper come by so no one is aloud to park there and the only other parking available is 2-hour parking. So, we had to hang out at the apartment for the morning until the street sweeping was complete and then hurry to grab a spot in front of the apartment before they were all taken up (that's the other thing about parking in Boston, there aren't enough spots for everyone).

Matthew in his "Dads Against Daughters Dating" shirt that my Dad gave him and Liz, E and I waiting for the train in our cool shades

Once we got a spot we headed to the train right outside the Clark's place and headed for downtown Boston! The first adventure on our list was the Boston Library and then Boston Commons to the start of Freedom Trail.
These are the two statues outside of the Boston Library. One represents Art and the other represents Science.

Along our walk towards Boston Commons we saw the Tortoise and the Hare...E had to have a ride!

The start of the Freedom Trail at Boston Commons (America's oldest public park). The entire trail is marked by either a painted red line or red bricks.

I am proud to say that we were able to walk the entirety of the trail in one day (it's not a long walk, but there is a lot to see). I am sad to say that because we got started so late in the day we weren't able to go inside any of the sites because they were closed before we got there. But we purchased a tour pamphlet that was full of a lot of great information and facts that we read along the way.

The "New" State House (more than 2 centuries old)

"Shaw/54th Regiment Memorial"- A memorial to interracial cooperation

The Park Street Church is were America's first Sunday School was founded. It was also the site of  William Lloyd Garrison's first public anti-slavery address as well as were the song "My Country 'tis of Thee" was sung publicly for the first time.

Before our trip, I asked our good friend Keyra (who has been to Boston and also loves food and travel) what we should do and what we should eat. She insisted that we must have lobster of some sort and a few other friends specifically said to grab a lobster roll, so we stopped at the Beantown Pub to try a lobster roll and grab a break from the heat. Neither Matthew nor I had tried a lobster roll before so we were both a little surprised that it was served cold, but I thought it was great nonetheless!

E wasn't quite ready for a feeding, but she did look warm and possibly thirsty so I tried giving her a little water from my straw. She didn't seem to like it too much, but I think it was because it was a little too cold.

Granary Burial Ground
The remains of more famous people are buried in this cemetery than any other small graveyard in America, including:

Paul Revere

John Hancock

Victims of the Boston Massacre

and Samuel Adams

King's Chapel was built on a seized portion of this burial ground in 1687 after King James II ordered the establishment of an Anglican parish in Boston and no Puritan would sell suitable land to the Anglicans.

King's Chapel Burying Ground itself, is Boston's first and oldest burying place, first used just a few months after the town was settled.

Mary Chilton was the first Pilgrim to touch land in America

Elizabeth Pain was the inspiration for the character Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlett Letter

Site of the first public school with a statue of the Latin school's most famous drop out, Benjamin Franklin, nearby

This is the site marker of the Old Corner Bookstore; one of Boston's oldest surviving structures, was once the literary capital of America were the greatest authors of American history regularly gathered, including: Longfellow, Hawthorne, Emerson and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Now it is home to a fast-food burrito parlor.

The Old South Meeting House; shrine of the American Revolution where Boston citizens met time and time again to demand their rights from British officials.

The Old State House is the oldest public building still standing in the Eastern United States. It was once a site to many historic sciences including the Boston Massacre. It is now a museum that houses exhibits about the town's role in the American Revolution.

Faneuil Hall; Boston's town meting hall was where the colonists first dared to speak publicly
 against British rule.

We took a detour along our route to grab some cannoli and other pastries at Mike's Pastry. We decided that we would save these to share with Alex when we got back to the apartment since he had to work and couldn't join us. Matthew and I also grabbed some gelato to help us cool down!

Paul Revere's House: Boston's oldest structure and where Paul Revere set off on his Midnight ride.

The Old North Church: The steeple is where Revere used signal lanterns to warn the country of the British troops' march. "One, if by land, and two, if by sea"

By the time we got to the Copp's Hill Burial Ground it was closed, but we still learned from our handy dandy guide book. Sometimes called "Corpse Hill," Copp's Hill is the North End's oldest landmark and unlike the other two burial grounds we explored, it does not have many if any famous people. It was however, home of Puritan windmills and the British soldiers' campground in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

We also missed out on taking a tour of the USS Constitution. Invincible in war, "Old Ironsides," is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.

Liz was impressed by my ability to feed E and walk at the same time...the Moby Wrap helped with that!

When we got to Bunker Hill we sat for a little while enjoying the weather and trying to decide if we wanted Alex to come pick us up or make us dinner. We ultimately decided he should start dinner while we took the train back.

As we were walking towards the train station Matthew and I noticed that E was making some grunting noises and rumblings below. I usually give her about 15 minutes before changing her because if I don't I end up changing several diapers. We got to the train station and had about a 4 minute wait before the next train would be there. As we were waiting I looked down and saw poop running down E's left leg and onto my shorts; we didn't catch the next train! There was no time to think or search for a bathroom to change her in, we just pulled out the changing pad and changed her right on the ground. Luckily it didn't get on me too bad, but it was all over E's leg and clothes so we did a full clothing change and a sink bath when we got back to the Clark's apartment.

Beautiful view of downtown Boston

For dinner Alex made a vegetable stir fry of sorts. There was steamed broccoli, brown rice, fried tofu and this yummy eggplant and onion mixture. It was delicious! After our yummy and healthy dinner we gorged ourselves on the cannoli and other pastries. There was a definite theme for our day...Lobster. We bought a lobster magnet and ate a lobster roll as well as a pastry called lobster tail. What can I say, we love lobster! I have to say my favorite pastry of the night was the cannoli Matthew and I bought. The pastry was different than a typical cannoli; it was made of almond slivers and honey. It was hands down, the best cannoli I have ever had!

Matthew with the most amazing cannoli and our sweet lobster tail

We bent the rules when putting these grams together. The challenge was to get all of our names and the word goat as many times as possible.

We slept in a bit on Tuesday and took a little longer than anticipated getting out the door because two men became distracted by some Banana Grams. Alex was able to get work off so we decided to drive down to Plymouth Rock. Did you know there are actually several spellings of the word Plymouth including: Plimoth, Plymoth, Plimouth and Plymouth. It is because not many of the settlers could read or write so they all spelled it differently in their records.

At first Matthew and the Clarks weren't that impressed by Plymouth, but then I reminded them that the "rock" that is used is only a symbol of the region in which they landed not the actual rock they landed on. There were several things to do in Plymouth, but because of all the other things we wanted  to get to we had to only pick one. We decided to take a tour of the Mayflower II, which is a replica of the Mayflower. Interestingly, it has sailed the same route as the Mayflower using the same system the Mayflower used (no motors or other advanced techniques/tools).

Shooting small cannons and deciding which pulley made work easiest

The tour guides on the ship really made it great. Two of the "sailors" stayed in period character while giving us facts including how people of the time would speak and dress. The third guide wasn't a character, but he was very informative and gave us great details about what the conditions were like for the passengers and the views of the captain. The captain was hired for the trip and paid to bring these people over, just like any other cargo, but when they arrived in the bitter cold he wasn't going to just kick them off the ship to die, so he lost a lot of money because of the extra time he had to spend in the "New World."

After Plymouth we decided to drive until E was hungry and then stop a an interesting place to eat. We ended up at an Italian/pizza chain, but it was good! It took us longer to eat than we intended so instead of going to Salem we decided to try to get to the USS Constitution (a ship on the Freedom Trail) so we could take a tour (a boat theme was emerging).

We got to the ship 15 minutes before they closed, so I was a little frustrated and thought we were wasting our time going with such little time, but I'm glad we did. It was free so we weren't loosing anything and it is a beautiful ship. Much different from the Mayflower. We didn't get nearly the tour or facts, but to see a ship from that time period was cool.

Before heading back to the apartment for the evening we stopped and grabbed some Boston Cream Pie and other pastries of course! Another theme was popping up during our trip...pastries!

Wednesday morning Liz was kind enough to watch E while Matthew and I went to a session at the Boston Temple. This was the first time we were able to do a session together since E was born. I also was able to see the 2nd new movie (a new movie for the endowment was released something like July of last year and a second sometime earlier this year) that Matthew had previously seen one time he went to the temple while I stayed home with E. It was a very well done version. I loved the acting and the different pauses and emphasis that was given to the words and phrases. The different versions help me to recognize how significant pauses, tone and emphasis are in creating the meaning of our language.

One thing I really enjoyed about the Boston Temple was the cool spire. I think it definitely had an old New England feel about it. Another thing I enjoyed was learning that the Boston Temple was the 100th Temple to go into operation and that the theme of the temple is "The Tree of Life". If you look at the symbols and the decorations from carpeting to drapes and details on doors and furniture it definitely has a tree theme going on!

After we returned from the temple, Liz, Matthew, E and I headed to Salem, MA to explore/learn more about the Salem Witch Trials. We had enough time to go to the "Witch House", which is the only house from the time period that is still standing, and one of the several museums (we decided to go to the one with a dungeon).

Matthew had a close encounter with ET and we learned that Alexander Graham Bell lived in Salem

There were al lot of interesting facts and history about the time surrounding the Witch Trials

This is exposed original foundation of the Witch House

The following are a few of the facts we learned from the Witch House:

The Witch Museum (and dungeon):

After the tours we went to the memorial for the 24 persons whose lives were lost during the witch trials and then walked over to the port to see the harbor and the lighthouses. Unfortunately these lighthouses were only the tiny guys, but it was still picturesque. Then we headed back to the apartment to enjoy some lentil loaf (vegetarian meatloaf) that Alex made as well as celebrate E's 100th day of life by eating some delicious vegan almond butter fudge.

We had a great trip and are grateful to the Clarks for their hospitality and friendship!

On our way home on Thursday, we stopped in Syracuse to have lunch with our friend Nathan P at a Thai restaurant call Orange Mango. They have this great lunch deal that includes an appetizer, soup or salad and entree for just ten bucks! The food was yummy and the company was 100% fantastic!