Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Taylor!

Today we went to Allison's house to help her move some furniture. Afterwards we went to Pappasitos with Taylor's family and then to Taylor's parent's house. Taylor got a few nice shirts and they gave Brady this cool astronaut outfit (Taylor's birthday was 7/27 and Brady's birthday is tomorrow, 8/1). Brady still wants to say Astros-not, but he's getting better. We've spent the evening showing him videos of space shuttles taking off (repeatedly). He really likes counting down to lift off.
We've been getting Brady to do the Gig 'em thumb for a lot of pictures lately. It's not as easy as it used to be to force a smile out of him, while in front of a camera... almost as if he's getting a little bit shy on me.
Brady didn't really understand the concept of what an astronaut was at the time, but he felt pretty proud of himself in the suit. I don't know if we'll be able to get him out of it before bed time.
Anna Belle was being sweet for her Grandma. I think she's teething right now. She's been uncharacteristically fussy. I can't say it's been really bad, but she's had 1 - 2 hour spells of being uncomfortable / discontent.
This picture was from Thursday night, when we had the Dachs over to celebrate Taylor's birthday. Brady helped me bake Daddy's lemon cake while we stayed home (on our first day back from vacation). I need to learn to not get my picture taken with anything strapless.
I've only been a stay at HOME mom for 4 days, even though my last day of work was July 8th. I've mostly been on vacation. I have really enjoyed spending more time with the kids.
I think God makes every age as lovable as it is challenging. Brady pushes the limits, but it absolutely melts my heart at how frequently he says, "I love you Mommy," and gives me a hug (avg. 10 times a day). He manages to say it at the most tender moments, and it almost brings tears to my eyes. I also like to see that Brady and Anna Belle spend more time with one another. Brady sweetly checks on and talks sweetly to his sister, and she seems to simply adore him. God has truly blessed our family.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Last Trip Post

For the last leg of our trip, we stayed at a dude ranch in Woodland Park, just north of Colorado Springs. Brady got to ride Star for 30 whole minutes; he was in heaven.
Gig 'em : )
We went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo which was really beautiful. Feeding the giraffes was really fun.
We also scheduled a special "encounter" with a hippo. We got to visit the area where the food is prepared and have a special tour with the zoo keeper. Brady was thrilled, but a little apprehensive.
video
We also spent an afternoon at the "North Pole" near Pikes Peak. My mom has pictures of her and her brother at the North Pole when they were about Brady's age. We went on a Monday, so the lines were really short and Brady got to ride a lot of the time with no lines. He had a ball!
Brady loved riding these little cars with Papa. The photo below shows a picture of the giant Santa slide; the close up photo is above.
Grammy mostly sat with Anna Belle in the shade. The altitude was really getting to all of us (except Brady), so we all spent our share of the time recovering in the shade and drinking water.
This little guy loves motorcycles.
The trip home was better than I had expected. We left the ranch at 2:45 AM and drove straight back to Houston. We arrived home around 9:30 PM. Both of the kids did really well, considering their ages. We really had a great trip, but we're all glad to be home and reunited with Daddy : )

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Denver's Downtown Aquarium

Here are a few pictures of Anna Belle at Mammaw's house. Mammaw, Aunt Deb and my Mama have been a tremendous help in keeping my sweet little Anna Belle happy. She's enjoyed playing with the blocks in the photo, but not quite as much as Brady has enjoyed them.
We had lunch at the Aquarium in Denver. I thought it would be just like the one in Houston, but it was actually a lot nicer. It was a cross between the Downtown Houston Aquarium and the Moody Gardens Aquarium. Brady got a dessert for being a good boy through the meal.
During our meal, they started to play "Kiss the Girl" from "The Little Mermaid". Suddenly, we started to see mermaids swimming in the giant fish tank and waving at the guests. It was pretty magical. I thought taking pictures of strangers would seem a bit creepy, so I don't have any photos to share.
Brady and Uncle Tim watching the Colorado River Otters. Brady's had a lot of fun playing with his Uncle Tim.
3 otters at play
Anna Belle's been a little under the weather. I've noticed that the more Astragalus I can get her to take, the better off she seems to be. I tried my best this morning to get her to take the water and astragalus via a bottle, but she really doesn't like it. Our dinner tonight was served with toast and honey. I mixed the astragalus with a little honey and let Anna Belle suck the mixture off my finger, which she LOVED! Hopefully her congestion clears up soon!

We're watching the first Harry Potter with Mammaw right now; she's never seen it before?! I think we're more excited than she is : ) Brady keeps reciting whatever scene is up next. He watches this movie before bed each night, so he's seen it a few hundred times.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday

Brady loves walking the dogs with Tim, around Mammaw's neighborhood.
Here's a photo of her house.
For dinner, we went to White Fence with the Johnson family. We were tickled that all the Johnson children and grandchildren could attend.
They had live music while we waited for a table (they had a 90 minute wait).
We could sit and play checkers while Brady was in the neighboring video game room.
My cute little cowboy with his stick horse.
After the delicious family style dinner, Brady got to get a "persent". He got a cool little car, his favorite.
The property had all sorts of fun stuff, from a petting zoo (which we didn't visit), pretty gazebos, little creeks with stepping stones and this fun jungle gym area. I love this picture with my little cuddle bug. Especially without Taylor with us, Brady has become more jealous of my time with Anna Belle.
My mom and I dubbed Kimmy the baby whisperer.
This was the cutest little tree house ever.
Oinking like a pig...
Brady laughed and giggled most of the night away on this tire swing. He loved when the swing would hit the neighboring support posts.
Sydney and Taylor
I didn't take quite as many pictures of my baby girl. Anna Belle is still a little under the weather, but she's in good spirits. She hates the saline nasal spray and the astragalus I give her via a bottle, but it really helps her breathe easier. Hopefully she's past the worst of it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Trip continued...

Taylor and I ordered our dining room set from furniturebuzz.com 9 weeks ago; it was supposed to take 4 - 6 weeks for delivery. To save $300 compared to a local furniture store, Taylor had to assemble the furniture himself and we had to wait a few months for the furniture. The furniture was delivered on Wednesday afternoon, and yesterday Taylor sent me this photo. I can't wait to see it in person!
We went to the Butterfly Pavilion today. The pavilion was very humid; it was like walking into Houston weather. I've never been anywhere quite like it. It felt kind of magical to have exotic butterflies fluttering all around.

Brady liked the little play area the most. He stared in awe and laughed as kids ran the zip line. He also ran laps around the perimeter; a great way to burn some of that pent up energy from the long drive up here. Grammy got Brady this cool 18 wheeler full of bugs. Why would there be bugs so huge in comparison to the 18 wheeler? ... very Jurassic Park.
They also had some sea life. Brady liked looking at the lobster. Can you see Anna Belle in the photo below? It's like "Where's Waldo".
Tomorrow evening we're going to visit with Bob & Peggy (Papa's high school friends) and their children and grand children. On Sunday, I think we're going to head to Estes Park. On Monday we leave Mammaw's house and check into the historic Triple B Ranch.

As the trip progresses, we all miss Daddy more and more. We had hoped he could fly up for the last half of the trip, but that didn't work out. I think Taylor was giddy / pre-occupied the first few days alone, but it's hard to be apart this long. My family has been really helpful with the kids, but kids this age are still quite needy of their mama. When I'm on my last ounce of energy, I try to remember that these precious moments won't last long.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

24

We have had a crazy 24 hours! Last night we had the family over for dinner. I got to meet the rest of David's growing family, which was really a treat. We took a picture to commemorate this rare occasion.
Last night, Brady kept taking off his swimsuit, prancing around yelling, "It's showtime!" Since going to the circus, this is one of his new favorite sayings.
At 6:00am, Papa, Grammy, Brady, Anna Belle and I got on the road en route to Colorado. We stopped to visit the Pattersons on the way. Cathy let Brady ride one of their horses, Sunny. He LOVED it; thank you so much Cathy! Brady asked to go back and visit you all day.
Grammy and Papa took turns driving while I stayed in the back seat with the kids. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the kids did in the car today; 9 hours is a lot for anyone.
We ate dinner at the Big Texan and checked into a hotel for the night. Brady napped all day and just ate a huge lollipop, so I think we'll be up for awhile.
Isn't this the machine that Tom Hanks had in "Big"?
Tomorrow, after about 7 - 8 hours of driving, we should reach Mammaw's house in Denver!