Saturday, September 28, 2013

we went to new mexico: day one!

Bart's brother, Bret and his family, have been living in New Mexico for a little over a year, and we miss them like crazy!  So, Bart found a conference to attend for his continued medical education in New Mexico so that he could visit them.  I decided to tag along, and, since Krew is still free to fly, he got to come with!  Sadly, the other two boys had to stay behind, since they had just started school, and because plane tickets are nearly $500 right now!
Bart went out there on Wednesday, and Krew and I headed out early Friday morning.  I was nervous about flying with an almost two-year old, so I packed my iPad, coloring books, a new activity book, cards, cars, snacks, stickers, and candy.  I was so prepared!  Well, the first flight from here to Minneapolis was less than an hour, and Krew looked out the window for 78% of the flight.  He did not need any of the distractions/entertainment/food I packed for him.  I was happy and relieved that the first leg of our trip went so smoothly.  
Then, came my most dreaded part:  a three hour lay-over with an almost two-year old!  Luckily, the Minneapolis airport is huge and we just played for hours.  One of the first things we saw was this huge Moose.  I've mentioned several times that his favorite animal right now is a moose, and he was beyond excited to see this guy!  (Notice that Krew is wearing moose pajamas too!)
 Then, some nice stranger saw me taking pictures and did the whole awkward, "Do you want me to take a picture of both of you?"  and I said yes, but what I really wanted to say was, "No thank you, because I have been traveling with my one-year old since 5:45 this morning and I'm sure I look lovely, and I don't love this moose statue as much as he does, and I don't know if you are actually going to take our picture, or if you are going to steal my camera and take it with you on your flight to who-knows-where."  But besides the glowing spot on my head, I'm actually kinda glad to have this picture.  We went inside this moose store and Krew proceeded to hug all the little moose toys, and moose shirts, and moose socks, etc. and tell them all how cute they are!
 After I peeled him away from the moose store, we found this Harley.  He loved "riding" the motorcycle, and he loved reenacting one of my favorite videos of the twins on a motorcycle when they are about this same age, which he has obviously seen a lot.

 After a quick airport breakfast, we found this cute play area.  I tried not to think about all the germs from all over the world that would be covering every inch of this play area, and just enjoyed watching him have a blast!

 Not only did we survive our long lay-over, but it was actually fun to be able to play with him like that, without worrying about all the things I should be doing.   The next flight was 2 1/2 hours, and Krew slept for the first 1 1/2 hours, woke up, watched an episode of Dinosaur Train on my iPad, had a snack, and we landed!  I couldn't have asked for our travels to go any smoother!
We had a little bit of time to kill once we got to the hotel before Bart was done at his conference, but Krew kept himself entertained, mostly by jumping in this awesome hotel crib!
Once Bart came and got us, we headed to the mall to do some shopping at the Disney Store, since there is not one any where near me and I love that store.  Then we ate at a Mexican restaurant that was super spicy (I guess it was obvious that I wasn't a local), and drove around and saw a bit of Albuquerque.  Then, we waited until Bret and Charise and the kids got to the hotel so we could meet their new baby, catch up, and play with their kids for a few minutes before we all headed to bed.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2nd graders rock!

I now have two second graders!  Ky and Kade went back to school on September 3rd.  A few days before, we got to go to the school to meet their new teacher and take our large bags full of required school supplies.  They hadn't been excited for school until they met their teacher, saw their new classroom, and saw some of their friends.  After that evening, they couldn't wait to go back to school!

 The morning of the big day came, and we got some great "first day of school" pictures in the back yard.  I can't believe how much they have changed since we first did "first day of school pictures!"



Off to class!
I know these two are going to ROCK second grade!

good-bye summer!

We sent Summer off with a bang this year!  I was so not ready to send the boys back to school.  We had such a great summer, and I didn't want it to end.  Kade and Ky spent a lot of time playing outside with friends, Krew loved all the attention he got from the two of them, and I liked having them around all the time.  So, with only a week or two left to go, I asked the twins what they wanted to make sure we did before school started.  They both replied, "Well, we want to play with Krew a lot."  Doesn't that just kill you?  I was expecting them to say they wanted to spend an entire day playing video games, or they wanted me to take them somewhere expensive and obnoxious (like Chuck E. Cheese), but instead they come up with that sweet line!  So, we did play with Krew a lot, but we also did some other fun things.  
Kade and Ky started Fall baseball just before school started. While they play baseball, Krew covers himself with plays in the dirt.  
We went to the cute little amusement park just before school started.  Kade and Ky are getting too old for the kiddie rides, but they were (mostly) happy about going on them with Krew.

Krew's favorite animal right now is a moose.  He decided this deer was a moose, and he could hardly contain his excitement while in line for the ride, and we were lucky that no one else picked the "moose" to ride.  See look at that face--complete and utter joy!  Actually this is the face he always has on a ride, but I promise he loved it!
The day before school started was Labor Day.  We took advantage of having Bart off of work and we went to the zoo!  It was quite a chilly day, but I think we all had fun anyway!

I had big plans to do a fancy back-to-school dinner the night before they started school, but one of the boys asked if we could go to Qdoba, and since I'm a sucker for their nachos, and I'm also a fan of having a night off of cooking, off we went!
The boys' favorite part about Qdoba is the million and one different drink options.  Seriously, we had to help them get a new flavor, or flavor combination a dozen times each.  But who can blame them?  P.S.  My favorite drink to get from these machines is vanilla Sprite.  If you haven't already, you must try it!  Oh, and peach Sprite is good too!
We had to take individual shots to prove that we were all there, and to show our individual personalities!

Good-bye summer!  See you next year (oh, and hurry!)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

we finally went camping!

Bart and I went camping a few times before we had any kids, and Kade and Ky and I went camping with my family once several years ago, but that is the extent of our camping experience as a family.  We have been saying that we should take our boys camping every summer for the past five summers.  Well, at the end of August, we finally did it!
We found a cute little campground about 15 minutes away from home (we are super adventurous!), that wasn't very crowded, had flushing toilets, and was perfect for our little family's first outing.  We loaded up both vehicles full of stuff we were sure we needed, a lot of which we had to borrow from others, and headed out first thing in the morning.
 We set up camp first thing (no easy task with three little boys, the youngest of which has no problem wandering into the trees and away from mom and dad--over and over)!  Then, once we had things set up, we headed out on our day excursion.
Our first stop was this awesome little beach.  We didn't stop to play in the water, but we'll have to make a trip there just for that purpose sometime, because it looked like fun!
 We did spend some time there throwing rocks in the water, (or "going bloop," as Krew calls it).

 The kids also had fun climbing on the rocks, trying to see how far out in the water they could go by stepping on the rocks, and not getting wet.  The rocky shore was perfect for this, because there were lots of rock ridges that we could walk on among the smaller pools of water.

 Next, we headed to a gorgeous state park.  Our first stop once we were there was this awesome lookout tower.  I could not believe how many steps we had to climb (and how exhausting it was carrying a 30 pound child all the way up them), but the few at the top was well worth it.  At least I thought so.  I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who enjoyed being up there.  It was a little high and scary for everyone else!

 Next, we took our bikes out for a ride.  The first trail we tried riding on, at the recommendation of some people we talked to by the tower, was not a trail, but a busy, winding, steep road.  It was hard enough to help keep the kids from riding into the road and avoiding the cars, but at one point our bike ride got super scary.  We came upon a steep, twisty, downhill slope, and I think it was too much for Ky to try to think about staying to the side so he didn't get hit by cars, and try to manage the steep slope (which is something they are certainly not used to in our nearly-flat neighborhood).  Anyway, instead of using his brakes, he took his feet off the pedals to try to slow down, which only made him go faster.  I saw him speeding up, and as he was weaving side to side, I wasn't sure if he was going to lose control in front of the cars that were going down the hill.  Instead, he went the other way, and crashed into a rock wall.  He crashed quite hard, and slammed his (helmet-covered) head into the wall.  Watching the crash, I was sure he would have a broken bone, or a deep cut, or a broken bike, or something serious.  I could not believe it when he stood up and said, "I'm okay!"  He was quite shaken up (as were the rest of us), and it took some time for us all to calm down.  We looked him over and saw that he only had a few very minor scratches, and that his helmet had saved him from serious injury.  Also, the wall saved him from serious injury as we could now see that on the other side of the wall was a very large drop-off. Also,most significantly, I'm positive that the prayer we said as a family that morning, when we asked Heavenly Father to keep us safe, saved Ky from serious injury. We walked our bikes back the way we came, and luckily found a much better trail to ride on.
 Despite us all being a little shaken up, we had a great bike ride!  Krew kept talking about Ky's crash, and I did everything I could to help him know that we were all okay.  Finally, Krew perked up and started singing songs, and pointing out all the broken trees that he could see.  It was perfect!
 When we got back to camp, we started cooking dinner, played in the hammock, played in the dirt and Kade and Ky rode their bikes around the campground.  I wish I had a picture of our delicious tin-foil dinners.  They were by far the yummiest, fanciest ones I have ever had.  I was worried about how they would turn out, since I've never had to be the one in charge of cooking them before, but they turned out great!
 At night, I gave the boys these light-up sticks to wear around their necks so that they wouldn't get lost in the dark.  Well, they turned out to be great toys as well!
 We all survived the night!  Actually, everyone slept better than I expected.  Kade and Ky chatted in their tent for quite a bit before they finally settled down, but they slept through the night no problem!  Krew was super hyper at bed time, and thought the pack-n-play was a really fun place to be, but once he settled down, he slept great, only waking up once, and then going right back to sleep.  Our air mattress apparently had a hole, and we ended up sleeping basically on the ground.  It started raining at about 5:00, and we hadn't put on the rain flies because it was a hot night, and the forecast was for 0% chance of rain.  Well, it rained pretty hard for about 15 minutes.  Long enough for me to go out in it, find the rain flies in the car, set them both up, and get back in the tent.  Then it stopped.  We were able to stay pretty dry, but it was really difficult to go back to sleep after that.  Oh well!
We spent the next morning making and eating pancakes, packing up and riding our bikes all over the campground.  I have to show this adorable picture of Krew because 1) His face is to die for, and 2) It shows his new awesome bike seat.  Bart and I saw this seat at Play It Again Sports when we were there looking for something else.  Once we realized what it was, we knew that we had to give it a try.  Krew loves it!  It's so much better than the bike trailer we had been using.  It's more fun for Krew, he can see more, and he and I can interact while we ride.  He now asks to go for bike rides all the time, and we have been going out several times a week ever since we bought this.  Too bad we didn't have it sooner!
 Once we finished packing up, we headed to the playground near the campground and let the kids play for a while.

Once everyone was sufficiently dirty and worn out, we got in our cars and headed home for a shower!
We were so glad that we finally made it out camping, even if it is a lot of work.  Hopefully we can go again next summer too!