Monday, April 30, 2012

Oregon Trip

Well, it's been a wee bit longer than the weekly posts I previously had promised. I try really hard not to sit in front of a computer while the boys are awake, so that limits my blogging time to after bedtime and during nap time. Lately, it seems there have been plenty of other things on the list of "needs to be done" that have taken precedence over blogging in those free times. Excuses, excuses.

Anyway, we headed up to visit my parents this month for my Dad's birthday on the 14th. Loved being up there, and loved the time we got to spend with them. It's never long enough. The boys (or should I say, my little screaming banshee named Collin) did much better on this car trip than previous trips, which made the 12 hour drive at least more bearable. It also didn't hurt to have Auntie Jenn along. She  entertained, changed movies, found snackies (and drinks), entertained some more, and found the many thrown paci's Collin had hurled throughout the car. Auntie Jenn Jenn...we owe you one!

It was also fun this time around to spend some time in Portland. Christi and Tyler have lived up there since they were married in August, but it was my first trip up since then, so it was fun to be able to see and spend a night at their house (which was so cute!). Poor Ty Ty and Christi though. Their beautiful, very un-child proofed home was invaded by a almost 4 and almost 2 year old who made sure to show them each and every area that will need to be child proofed or changed whenever they decide to have babies. *wink*

While we were there, we also made a trip to the Portland Children's Museum. We had been once before when Collin was a baby, but it was fun to have both boys be able to enjoy it this time around. Some hightlights:

-The light up Peg Board:
All of those lights were little colored pegs that could be taken in and out of the board. The boys thought they were pretty neat.

-The light up board with magnetic blocks:

Collin and Poppi

 -The Face Painting Station:
I wasn't sure the boys would be into this, but Drew ate it up!

 -The Dig Pit:

-The "Veterinarian's Office":

This was new since our last visit and was probably Collin's favorite room. Each of the stuffed animals had a collar and leash. He found this little dog and drug it all over the "office". He had and ear to ear grin the entire time. Can you say child after his Momma's heart?? :)

-The Grocery Store:
The fake food in the store looked and felt real in fact, that I struggled to keep it out of Collin's chompers! Every time I turned around he had a different piece of food in his mouth. And of course, I just kept imagining how many other kids' hands had touched all of that. Thank goodness for hardy immune systems!

Make note, this is where the boys' fascination with shopping carts started...

-And of course, the Water Room:

Collin and Lala 

This was only a small portion of the water room. They had so many cool things! Drew was willing to wear the smocks they provide, so he ended up a little drier than Collin, who of course, refused one.

The rest of our time we spent at Lala and Poppi's house playing and hanging out. Although we did seek to go a few places, the boys are honestly the most happy just getting to hang out at my parents' house where they play all day and night with Lala, Poppi and Auntie Kell.

So remember that shopping cart fascination I mentioned earlier? Apparently all of the shopping cart shenanagins at the children's museum kick started some sort of shopping cart lovin' for our boys. My parents have always had this little shopping cart at their house, but aside from occasionally filling it with toys, the boys haven't given it much time. This time however, they figured out how to race around the house with one of them in it (BIG fun!). Collin would climb into the basket and sit whining, getting louder and louder, until eventually Drew would hear him and come to his rescue and the fun would begin! At least once a day, they spent time squealing and racing up and down the hallway and throughout the rest of the house like little maniacs. (I should have grabbed a picture of this mid-action, but unfortunately the only one I got, they look pretty mellow). It screamed "accident waiting to happen", but the trade off was pure little kid bliss for the boys. Fortunately for me, both of them came out unscathed.

Like I said, the whole point of the trip was to visit for my Dad's birthday, so Friday night we had a big birthday shindig with plenty of food, friends, and of course, German Chocolate Cake!
Happy Birthday to the best Poppi!! And yay for a good excuse to eat cake!!

And of course, if there are candles to be blown out, Drew is more than willing to help out!

Since the weather was way warmer than I had expected it to be while we were visiting, the boys found plenty of time to dig in my parent's planter beds, run around naked in the backyard, soak in the sun, and play in the water as well. 
Although they claimed they were "helping" my Dad with his garden, the boys managed to convince him to turn the hose on so they could play in the water. The water was cold, but the boys never care. They played with the hose until the patio area and ground cover were flooded and Poppi shut the water off. Even then, they had him fill up big buckets with water and then continued to play in those. They were both drenched when it was all said and done. Drenched, happy campers!

Anyway, like I said. Tons of fun while we were there! Thanks Lala and Poppi! We love you and miss you already!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Aaaaand we're back. Again.

Well, I had good intentions of starting where I left off and posting all of the things we've been doing between when the great laptop disaster occurred and now, but the reality of that is there are a million pictures that have been taken in that time period and sorting through them all to get them ready to post is a daunting task. Daunting. As in, will probably be something that occurs sporadically between current posts for the next few months.

Be that what it may, this week we enjoyed the huge treat of my grandma, Nammy, coming to visit us. I cannot emphasize enough how excited I was to have her here and be able to spend some time with her! She brought all sorts of books and Easter goodies for the boys (which they loved), and two kinds of "Nammy Tapioca" for me and Jenn. Now the Tapioca might not seem like such a big deal to any of you....but you've never had "Nammy Tapioca". I'm telling you, there is magic in her little baking fingers because it doesn't matter what the rest of us do to make it the way she does, it never, ever, turns out the same. Her Tapioca is slumber parties, play dates, and well loved time spent at Nammy and Grampy's house served up in a bowl. Such nostalgia. I loved that she took the time not only to make it, but to put it on ice and drive it all the way up here. It's just one of the many, many reasons why we happen to think she is the best! Anyway, I don't get to visit with her as often as I would like since she lives in San Diego, so it was nice to be able to spend two full and uninterrupted days together here.

The boys have been asking to go to the Zoo a lot recently and we originally had planned to spend the morning there on the day that Nammy was driving up to our house. We ended up having a slow morning and decided to instead visit the Zoo the following day with Nammy and I'm so glad we did! The boys had all sorts of fun dragging Nammy here, there, and everywhere around the Zoo to show her all of their favorites exhibits (plus some!), and I dare say that Nammy enjoyed herself too. :)

We have visited our little Zoo enough times that we could probably navigate our way through it with our eyes closed. However, Drew still insists on having a map to show us where to go each and every time we visit.

Checking out the Sea Lions. They are getting a new exhibit to live in pretty soon and we're anxious to see it!

We almost always stop to feed the giraffes if we're in the Zoo at the times they allow you to feed them. The boys definitely love it, but secretly us big kids love it too!

The not-so-little baby giraffe

The petting Zoo with Nammy

Auntie Jenn and the world's ugliest sheep

Collin's favorite exhibit

This little guy was a Burrowing Owl (Nammy, correct me if I'm not remembering that right). I thought it was a baby, but the lady told me that it was actually full grown at that size.

Auntie Jenn, Drewski and Nammy looking at the owl.

Checking out the crocodile....Drew's favorite exhibit

This little tractor sits by the construction site for the new Sea Lions exhibit. The boys love this in they both make a beeline for it every time we even remotely pass that area.

Life is rough when you're one and a half. Jenn happened to catch this one with her phone and I can't help but giggle when I see it. Look at that pouty lip!

On a totally different note, Nathan's parents gave me tickets to go see Lady Antebellum for my birthday back in January. They came into town last week and Nathan and I were spoiled not only with a date night, but also with great seats and a two other artists that I didn't realize would be there (Thompson Square and Darius Rucker). 

Lady A

Lady Antebellum and Thompson Square together

Thank you so much Doug and Kathleen, we had such a fun time!

Ok, so now that I've resolved myself to catching up slowly over time instead of all at once, you should be hearing from us more often (weekly again, I hope)!