Monthly Archives: July 2013

Texas: Callie (and Uncle Jeff and Aunt Liz)

The kids love going to see Uncle Jeff and Aunt Liz because they have Callie and a pool. Finn would not leave that sweet dog alone and at one point Mia was in the pool and actually said “this is why we came to your house.” Nothing like the brutal honesty of a 4 year old. Lova ya, buuuuut…love your pool more.

I have to admit, it was really nice to be out there. We didn’t have to fight the crowds and there was this big shallow area that was perfect for the kids. Finn especially loved it. He just stayed in that area for most of the time playing with his sea plane and some other pool toys. Besides, how often do you get to sit back and watch a dog relax in a floatie? Callie loved that thing.

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Believe it or not, we did not go see them for their pool. We actually like them, no matter where they live. They had just moved to a new place and at first we weren’t sure exactly if we had the right house, but then we saw this outside the front door.

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I saw the flashing lights and knew that was totally something Jeff would do. Kids loved it. If this were a movie where dogs talk, Callie would be saying “Oh boy, you know it’s not good when the flashing lights come out…you know it’s got to be little humans coming into the house. Help.” She probably needed therapy after we left, poor thing.

Aunt Liz wasn’t home the night we got there, so the next day we got to make welcome home posters too. Jeff went and got a bunch of fun foam stickers and markers so the kids could make their signs.

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Finn had an interesting method:

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Can you say two year old boy?

They love having their bodies traced, but Uncle Jeff takes the fun to a whole new level by holding them up high in front of the sign.

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Jeff played tour guide while we were there. One of the places we went was this nursery near his house that has animals. There was such a variety of plants and it was such a beautiful place to walk around in. But the animals clearly stole the show.

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Don’t let the blanket fool you. It was hot. But it was also close to nap time so i think he was feeling conflicted at first. He shed the blanket really fast.

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Finally, an animal that doesn’t have a fence around it so I can pet it!

One evening we went for a walk.

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Finn really wanted to walk Callie.

Later, he walked Uncle Jeff.

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I love this picture of the kids. They love being together and even when they watch TV, they want to be right next to each other…

And then, it was time to go home. Why do trips fly by so quickly? Unfortunately, the trip home was not going to be quick. It was already going to be about a 9.5 hour trip but as we were pulling out of their driveway, a check engine light came on. Great.

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$500 and 5 hours later, we were finally back on the road. [Finn was very concerned that our car was in that place and freaked out when he saw the mechanic get in it at the end to go test drive it. He really thought the guy was taking our car…]

As if the money and the added travel time wasn’t bad enough, this was across the parking lot…

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But even though I do not often choose to go to that place, it really was a good place to kill a bunch of time. And as I’m blogging this, Mia saw the pictures again and said “Thank you for taking us there. I was so excited.” Well, ok then….but no real driving for either of you for a while. IMG_0260   IMG_0264

We got back in our car, with little pretend drivers safely buckled in their seats and had a good trip home. It was nice to be home but are looking forward to going back. Even if there isn’t a pool….

Texas: Cousins (and Aunt and Uncle)

It’s always so fun when Mia and Finn can hang out with their cousins. I wish we lived closer so they could see them more often. Mia remembered them and was very excited about seeing Luke, Jonah and Cody. Finn didn’t remember them from last time but he was in boy house heaven. Poor kid is surrounded by a lot of girls in our group of friends and in other cousin circles so he was understandably upset when it was time to leave. At one point during the day we left to go to the park and play. When we came back, both kids got out of the car, ran into the house and immediately started playing again. I think they felt right at home!

This picture isn’t great, but I wanted to capture Jonah and Mia playing in the room without disturbing them.

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Jonah was so sweet to play with both Mia and Finn.

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And there’s just something about a big kid that is a magnet for Mia and Finn…

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Luke is pretty popular among the 4 and under crowd.

(But not so much with the over 30 crowd as he kept beating us to a pulp at ping pong…)

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They really were all great with each other and for the number of children in a confined space there was a minimal amount of drama.

Well, except for this…

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but you already knew about that (but really, it’s just too good not to put up here again).

But yes, they played nicely and they sat quietly and watched a movie so the parents could enjoy visiting:

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The boys also shared all their stuff so well. We know that’s not always easy.

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Two of the favorite things the kids found. Finn played with those viewmasters forever. So much so that it’s on my list of things to get him. When you find something that parks him in a room for a while you get it. Trust me. And Mia rode around on that scooter forever at the park. In a skirt and shiny sandals, of course.

While Mia was “scootering” around, Finn was playing on the playground…

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with a soccer ball. Never mind that some of those ladders already make me nervous, but add a soccer ball into the mix and I’m a mess. That kid is giving me gray hairs.

We were there on the 4th of July.  You can see how excited the kids are about that.

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Some day we’ll have good pictures. Right?

They were excited about going to see fireworks, though.

The guys played ball while we waited:

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And Mia just sat back and relaxed.

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When did she start sitting like a big girl?!

Family picture at the fireworks.

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Thanks for such a great visit, guys! We miss you already!

Texas: Children’s Museum

On one of the days in Texas, Grandma and Grandpa treated us to a trip to the Children’s Museum. It was so nice. The kids had a great time and we had fun along with them, especially when since we got to hang out in the a/c and avoid high temps. It was just announced about a month ago that we’ll be getting a Children’s Museum in our area. We have to wait until 2015, but we’re excited that will be an option for us so close to home.

The first thing we saw was a big multi-level train track that you could push buttons to make the trains go. Both kids loved this, but Finn in particular was fascinated. He kept wanting to go back to that train and then stayed there walking around the display following the train.

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The transportation room was a big hit.

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That little kitchen had our exact same counter tops. That was weird. Glad my cabinets aren’t that short at home.

They had a huge tea room and a room with dress up clothes from around the world. Every little girl’s dream.

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Finn tested levers and how the difficulty changes depending on the length. Must be a guy thing to be fascinated by that. He stayed at that thing for a really long time.

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Finn had a great time in the music room (Mia did too but it was about this time that my camera ran out of battery so picture taking got a little more complicated).

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I remember thinking it would be so cool to play one of these.

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The sound booth. Playing percussion. Nice and loud. He loved it, of course.

Mia pulling a giant bubble around herself.

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Outside they had nine buildings dating from the 1890s that were moved to the museum grounds. About half were the peek in kind, but the other half actually let you go in and walk around. Mia slipped into the teacher role a little too easily, if you know what I mean. She immediately walked up there and started her lesson, making sure her students (Grandma and Grandpa) were following along in the right book. Fortunately, the lesson was short and she dismissed to recess pretty quickly.

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I love Finn’s face in this one.

It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon. Thanks for taking us, Grandma and Grandpa!