Sunday, April 8, 2012

Eggstravaganza Fun!

Yesterday, we went out in the rain and cold to Blank Park Zoo's Eggstravaganza event.  Aunt Lisa and Emily came with us as well to enjoy the good times!  We arrived early and waited in line as to beat the crowd.  Even with the gross weather there were still a fair number of people out there waiting in line with us!

Once we got into the event it was really cool how many activities they had for kids and families to do.  The first thing we did was the egg hunt.  Here are some pictures of Jackson (my little model) searching for eggs...

After the hunt, we got our candy and went into the Ice Age traveling exhibit and made some crafts at the craft station.  However, it was so cold that dad and I were ready to go about an hour after we got there.  So we all went to brunch at Perkins and then went home and everyone took naps!

This morning Jackson was up at 7 a.m. looking for what the Easter Bunny left...  after we detained him until 8 we all got up and had breakfast and then the boys got to open their baskets.  Afterwards, Jackson and I were opening the blinds to the living room and E.B. left a ton of eggs scattered all over the front deck!  So the boys got their baskets and went out to collect some more eggs...

Later today we are heading to a family event for more egg hunting and lots of food!  I'm glad we are going to be on a break from all these "candy" holidays for a few months at least!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tis The Season for Bike Riding!

This weekend was all about the bike rides.  The weather was awesome (again) and we went on a family ride Saturday night.  Below are some pictures from our outing. 

Yesterday, Dad and I went for a bike ride without the kids and made it 22 miles.  Boy, were we both dead tired after that!!  I love spring/summer!  ;-)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Field Trip Chaperon

Today, I went with Jackson's class on a field trip to the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines to see Treasured Stories by Eric Carle (see description of the show at the bottom of this post).  Each Kindergarten class at Jackson's school could bring along one parent chaperon and I was the lucky parent from Jackson's class!  When I got to the school the kids were lining up in pairs and getting ready to walk outside to get on the bus.  Jackson and most of his friends were very excited because this was their first time on an actual school bus.  However, you would have thought all of the kids had never been in a car before because when it started moving they were like, "Oh wow, look it's McDonalds, look it's Taco Johns!"  It cracked me up!!

When we got to the Civic Center we had to park 4 blocks away and walk.  You would think they could figure out an easier way to drop the kids off at the door so we weren't walking through downtown but alas that was not the case.  When we got there and found our seats the kids were so cute and so very excited.  None of them had ever been to a theater like this one before and the excitement was certainly in the air.  It brought back a lot of memories for me as a kid going to the movie theatre and playing in the seats...  you know how the seats fold down and when you are small it's fun to make the seat shut on you.  LOL.  Anyway, there was a lot of that going on before the show started. 

My only heart attack moment was as we were leaving and one of Jackson's classmates let go of her partners hand and turned and walked into the street.  I grabbed her before she got too far and put her right back in line but my heart dropped!  Finally, we made it back to school all in one piece and the trip was certainly a fun experience for all of the kids!  Here are a few pictures that I took...

Jackson and his classmates riding on the bus to the Civic Center
We had to walk about 4 blocks from the bus to the Civic Center...  BLAH!
Jackson with his buddy Alexis

My favorite picture - some kids loved the show so much it put them to sleep!  LOL.

More information about the show we saw today:

Treasured Stories

Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
GRADES preK-2 • CAPACITY 1,500

Performance length: 60 minutes
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s much-anticipated new production, Treasured Stories by Eric Carle, brings together old favorites and new friends. Featuring evocative music, stunning visual effects and innovative puppetry, the triple-bill highlights three of Eric Carle’s most beloved tales. The Very Hungry Caterpillar (veteran of more than 2000 performances), is joined by a whimsical cast of adventurous animals drawn from the pages of Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? and the story of a young girls’ unusual request from Papa Please Get the Moon For Me.

Back in the Groove

First, we made it back safely last Friday from our spring break vacation!  We ended up not stopped at the House On The Rock after I looked a little closer at their website and determined that some areas would not be good for a stroller.  So let's be honest, I was not about to carry a 30 lb. toddler everywhere!  LOL.  ;-)

This past weekend we had our first family bike ride!  Jackson did not feel comfortable enough to ride without his training wheels, so we put them back on.  The weather was so nice and Water Works Park and Gray's Lake were packed with people.  I think Peyton liked being in the trailer behind my bike all by himself (last year we typically put both boys in the trailer).  We kept running into people we knew at the park and that was fun.  Sometimes I forget how small the southside of Des Moines really is!

Yesterday was my very first day as a working daddy (or working girl as dad keeps calling me).  LOL.  The day was fun as we all tried out our new Monday, Thursday and Friday (the days I'm working) routine with my mom coming over to watch Peyton, Jackson and I leaving for school, and me heading to work.  The day went by fast and I met a lot of new people!  They even took me out to lunch for my first day - very nice!  At the end of the day it felt good to stop what I was doing and pass it along to someone else and leave.  After working in some many jobs where I wore so many different hats and had the responsibility to get it all done...  I'm really gonna like this part-time gig!!  ;-)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Water Park Fun!

Today we went to a water park at a local resort that Aunt Heather and Judah were staying at.  Yes, while we were off on vacation here in the Dells, our friend Aunt Heather just happened to be here in the same area for spring break as well!  Too funny!  At her resort, they had a fun pool area with a water slide and lots of fun inter-actives for the kiddies.  They even had a HUGE outdoor hot tub that was like 5 hot tubs in one!  Here are some pictures we took this morning...

Look at Daddy and Jackson posing for the camera - Notice Jackson little hip!  LOL.  ;-)

Dad and Peyton watching as Daddy and Jackson went down the water slide.
Daddy and Jackson jumping up out of the water after coming down the slide.
Later tonight, we are heading back to Buffalo Phil's for dinner with toy train delivery with Aunt Heather, her mom, aunt, and Judah.  And then we head back home tomorrow.  This week sure went by very quickly!  I think we are going to try to see House On The Rock on our way back to Iowa.  ;-)

The Madison Children's Museum

Yesterday we drove to Madison, WI and visited the Madison Children's Museum.  Most of you will remember that I worked at a Children's Museum for 6 years in North Carolina, so I love to go check out what other places have done for their local communities. If you have not been to this Museum before, you really should check it out.  VERY fun building (it's on a triangle shaped block) and I LOVED what they did with this old historic building.  The best part was the rooftop outdoor garden exhibit.  Here are some pictures that we took of Peyton and Jackson playing in their water exhibit. 

Peyton threw the biggest fit when we decided to move on to another exhibit area!  He LOVED the water!  But then we found the building area, the large hamster wheel that Jackson and I ran inside, the art studio, and the rooftop garden. 

We had a great time and look forward to visiting the Madison Children's Museum again in the future!

Just because this made me laugh... the other day when we stopped at Wal-mart here in the Dells, we found these wonderful cheese hats.  LOL.  So when in Wisconsin, do as they do...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Look Dad, No Training Wheels!

Dad and I had talked prior to our spring break trip that this would be a great time for Jackson to practice riding his bike.  Last year we didn't get as much practice in as we would have liked.  So the day before we left for the Dells, I pulled Jackson's bike from the shed to take with us and it was all dirty with spider webs and such on it. So I gave Jackson a wet rag and asked him to go clean it. Seconds later he comes running in the house crying because there is a spider on his bike. So I go outside with him, kill the spider, but still when I go to hand him the rag he goes hysterical. After a few deep breaths and a drink of water he cleaned the bike. For a little boy who loves to be outside I hope he gets over this fear of ALL bugs soon!

Today we took his training wheels off of his bike and he's doing really good with riding his bike.  Here is a video I took of him and Dad in the yard behind our vacation condo.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break in the Dells...

Why are the Wisconsin Dells called the Dells?  When I googled (is that a word?) to see if I could find an answer it brought up info about an R&B group.  LMAO!  If you know why, post a comment to this post!

Anyway, here we are spending the week of spring break in Wisconsin (home of cheese... curds, I guess).  Why not go someplace more exciting with warmer weather you might ask, because we have a timeshare and this was a fun option we had within driving distance, that's why! ;-)  So this past Friday, I packed up the car and the kids and we drove 5 1/2 hours from Des Moines to the Wisconsin Dells.  Daniel was in Chicago for work this past week and drove up to meet us here.  At first I was a little scared of the idea of driving by myself with the kids on a trip like this as I have never done it before without Dad.  Anyway, it went very well as Peyton and Jackson watched movies and ate their snacks I brought and the drive went by very quickly!  The resort is nice, we are in a two-story, two-bedroom unit with a small lake nearby, playground, and activity center with a fitness center, swimming pool, and arcade.

Here are some pictures we took yesterday while checking out the playground...

On our first day here, we hit the Tanger Outlet stores where I got three new pairs of Crocs and right next door we found a fun restaurant called Buffalo Phil's Pizza and Grille.  They have toys trains next to the tables and the trains carry your food and drinks to the table!  Such a ingenious idea!

It was a lot of fun and Jackson (who LOVES trains) was in heaven!  I swear the boy barely ate because he couldn't stop watching the trains.  He even asked the waitress if they could change out the locomotive so he could see other trains go!  ;-)

Today we planned to go to the Wis Dells Parkway and walk around but it was raining.  Maybe tomorrow we will do that.  I want to go to the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum and Wizard Quest. We are planning a trip to the pool at the resort later today, a trip to the Madison Children's Museum later this week, and perhaps House On The Rock on our way home on Friday!  So far it has been a very nice and relaxing vacation for all of us!  More soon!

A job for Daddy!

It's official, I'm returning to work next week.  I've found a flexible part-time job working for a local non-profit three days a week.  My background is in non-profit so I'm so happy to find something that meets my experience and interest.  While I'm very excited to get back into the workforce, I'm also sad that 18 months has gone by so quickly for me as a stay-at-home daddy.  But in a lot of ways, I'll still be a stay-at-home daddy two days a week and on weekends!  Luckily, my mom (Nana) has agreed to watch Peyton for us at our house while I'm working so Peyton will be in his familiar daily environment and probably won't even notice that I'm gone!  LOL.  ;-)

Baby Signing Time!

I LOVE Baby Signing Time! It is amazing to me how well Peyton has caught on to signing when he wants "more milk" or to "eat."  His vocabulary has improved as well and he is saying more words like, "No, ball, more, Nana, and thank you." There are four volumes in the baby signing time series and we have just moved on to volume 3.  We are going to learn words like day, sun, tree, good night, etc.  I'm excited.  Plus, we just got CD's for the car to listen to all of the songs from all of the DVD's!  I'm probably more excited than Peyton because I'm singing these songs all the time now!

Below is my new favorite picture of Peyton signing for "more" and getting very pissed off at Daddy because I don't know what he wants "more" of!  LOL.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A break for Daddy (and Dad)...

For the past two week, Daniel and I have been in Las Vegas! Yes, you read that right, TWO weeks! I tagged along for a mini vacation while Daniel was there on some work related business.  It was nice to get away and spend some quality time with Daniel, spend some time alone working out or reading, and even cheating on my diet!  :-)  We walked up and down the Vegas strip, saw the show Le Reve (The Dream), and went to the Grand Canyon!  Here is a picture of me and Daniel at the canyon.  It was AMAZING!

The entire trip to Las Vegas was an awesome trip but the best part was coming home to Jackson and Peyton!!

Jackson did a pretty good job while we were gone.  He stayed in his routine for the most part while we were gone and had some great days at school.  Talking to him on the phone and even Skype was a bit frustrating at times.  I have a new appreciation for how Daniel (Dad) feels when talking to Jackson when he's out of town.  Regardless, he was sure excited to see us when we got home and that made both of us feel so good!  Here is a cute picture I took of him the day after we got home where he celebrated Dr. Seuss' Birthday at school!

I think Peyton grew even taller while we were gone and the first thing I did when I got home was ran out to buy some 2T clothes for our big boy!  Look at him sporting his new jammies and cute Angry Birds shirt!

Tomorrow I'm taking Peyton for his 18 month check-up!  I bet he's 30 lbs!  So this morning we all ran out  and got our haircut.  Peyton got his cut really short and it looks adorable (look at how bushy it was though).

Last, my 36th Birthday is coming up on Tuesday and since Dad is going to be out of town this week we celebrated my birthday today.  I got some awesome new clothes and some gift cards!  It was very nice.   The best part was my special surprise PRINCESS birthday cake.  Boy, was Jackson jealous of my cake!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Where is God?

The other night as Daniel and I were tucking Jackson into bed he started asking a lot of questions about God and heaven.  He wanted to know why we could not see heaven when we look up at the sky and why does God punish bad people...  all questions that we have thought about at one time or another.  I found the exchange to be so sweet and innocent as he was searching for answers to some difficult questions.  Both dad and I believe that Jackson and Peyton need to find their own beliefs, whatever those may be, but we are not forcing our beliefs on them.  We are sharing what we believe, but with the idea that faith is what guides us to our own beliefs.

So this brings me to my questions for my followers... have your children asked questions about God and how have you handled those?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Party!

Jackson's class had a Valentine's Day party last Friday and made special gifts for both dad and daddy plus he got loaded up on sugary treats!  I was feeling a bit under the weather (got the stomach bug that's been going around and a fever so I was out for 5 days with that).  Anyway, Daniel went to help out with the party in my absence and took these pictures of the festivities...

Last night both Jackson and I made a really nice Valentine's Day card for dad (who is out of town this week and will not get it under Friday when he gets home).  The card will go with some other things we bought for dad earlier in the day that we can't wait to give him!  We had a good time eating chocolate, talking, and coloring pictures on the card.  We don't do that nearly enough, mainly because I'm usually wrapped up in stuff with Peyton, but I think we are going to do more crafty things like that in the future!  :-)

We are all very excited that Mamaw arrives in town tomorrow night for 2 1/2 weeks and will be staying with the boys while dad and I go on a mini-vacation to Las Vegas!!  I can't wait!  More details on that coming soon!!

UPDATE:  When to the eye doctor today and I have 20/20 vision and the doctor has released me from his care unless I have any problems!  YEA!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Yesterday we got a couple of inches of snow in Des Moines (unlike the 20 inches of snow Denver got - YIKES) and it was very cute to watch Peyton stare out the window taking it all in...

We all spent a fun, lazy morning together after Dad had been out of town all week for work.  Peyton even took advantage of the time making his own seat by dumping out all of his toys from a basket and sitting in the basket.  The Big Bad Wolf's dream come true?  LOL.

Jackson and I braved the snow later in the afternoon and ran to the grocery store.  I was surprised that it wasn't as packed as I thought it might have been.  When we were all done and standing at the check-out, Jackson and I started to put the groceries on the belt and I noticed that the jug of milk appeared to be leaking a little bit.  This is the second time I've picked up a leaking jug of milk at Wal-mart.  What the up with that??  Anyway, the girl took the milk and slide it across the scanned before I could even say it was leaking and milk went everywhere.  WHOOPS!  LOL. 

Dad made an awesome dinner for us with homemade french fries and baked chicken.  It was really yummy!  Peyton kept signing for "more" french fries!  Sometimes I wish I had a video camera attached to my hand all of the time to catch moments like that!

Today, we are having another lazy day not wanting to do much of anything.  Jackson and I did manage to get the front sidewalk shoveled!  I fried some bacon, made some oatmeal and toast and we had a big Sunday breakfast.  Afterwards when I was cleaning up the kitchen, Dad was busy responding to some work emails and Jackson was getting dressed so I went to check on Peyton...

There is something about Iowa Public Television cartoons that gets his attention!  LOL.  This week we are keeping track of all our TV watching for the Nielsen Ratings and I laughed as I put down that our 1 year old was watching TV all by himself!  That doesn't happen very often! 

As the rest of the world is getting super excited to watch the Super Bowl today, Dad and I are more excited about watching the Super Bowl Half-time show with Madonna!  I think this cartoon pretty much sums it up for us both!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday everyone!