Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Our Oklahoma Summer

Our 3 weeks in Oklahoma this summer were full of so many adventures! 

It was very HOT almost the whole time we were there, so we spent a good bit of the time in the pool! My parents pool at their new house is not built yet, but we did get to swim one last time at the old house before the salvage auction. So many memories in this pool... sad!


We also spent a few days swimming at the Hillcrest Country Club, the pool of my childhood! 
 The boys love jumping off the diving board, just like I used to!



When we weren't there, we spent a good many days swimming at Mia's house! 
Of course, we had to hit up Kiddie Park a few times! 
Sailor was hilarious riding the cars for the first time! Just like a BOSS!


We celebrated Lindsey's birthday with a family dinner and her favorite pie! 

All the siblings - minus 2!
Cousin fun - Caleb doesn't like pictures so much...
Happy Birthday, Linds!
Playing in the sprinkler in the backyard!
We're man enough to wear Brumbra's heels...
Keaton finally found some suckers to play Apples to Apples with him!
My parents had a garage sale while we were there. Keaton came up with the idea to do a lemonade and cookie stand during the garage sale. 
He made $34!!
Getting Braum's ice cream with my dad one night while the boys were at Bible school with Garrett!
Lots of pitch-playing!

We also celebrated Adrian's 5th birthday! He got a new bike!

Cousins!
Hi SJ!!
Lots of love from Mia!
As you can see, we had a fantastic time just being with family and friends, relaxing, and  spending time in my parents new house, which is awesome!

Visit from the Dennisons!

In our first week in Oklahoma, the Dennisons drove up to Bartlesville to spend the weekend with us! I'm so thankful that our kids get along so well and seem to hit it off every time we get together!
Halle and Sailor needed no time to catch up either. Matching outfits the first day...did you guys plan this?


Trying to get these two to smile at the same time was a challenge. They pretty much kept looking at us like we were crazy people.
I love Halle's expression! "give me back that truck!"
On Saturday, we took Meg's family to see the Caney Zoological Park, which never disappoints! They even had baby white tigers for the kids to pet! The kids also got to hose down the bear, feed the monkeys animal crackers, pet a kangaroo, and eat a picnic lunch in a treehouse overlooking the animals.  

Oh, and of course hold an enormous python!

 I cannot say enough good things about this zoo! Such a unique experience every time we visit.

All the boys: William, Crew, Keaton, Hudson, Mark
And the girls!
Such a fun weekend! So thankful for my parents hosting all of us!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

How we road trip

Some may say that an 18 hour road trip with 3 children does not sounds a fun time. 
They would be right. 
But, after living a 8 hour flight away from family for 4 years, it's totally doable!

Here's just a few of my tips for successful road trips with small children: 

Tip #1: Each kid gets a gallon sized ziploc with 8-10 (way more than they would have on a normal day) of their favorite snacks. This is theirs to eat all in the first hour if they want, or portion out throughout the day, whichever they choose. They are also free to barter or trade for other snacks with their brother if they choose.


Tip #2:  Pack lunches for the car! I know this takes more planning ahead, but it's worth it! This saves so much time and money on the road, and it gives us the flexibility to eat when we're hungry and ready for lunch and not...when we need gas, when the baby needs to eat, when we have to use the bathroom, etc. Plus, there are so many beautiful rest stops across middle America with clean bathrooms, picnic tables, and shade! Disclaimer: if its a 12+ hour driving day, we usually save one meal for a restaurant, just because this gives us something to look forward to at dinnertime.


My boys had never eaten at Steak and Shake. We thought we'd introduce them once we crossed the MO border!
Some sibling love at S&S. This is right before Sailor pulled a plate full of french fries off the table, smashing it all over the floor!

 Tip # 3:  Just let them watch movies and play video games. I know, I know. Rots their brains and all,  but electronics are our best friends on long trips. My boys are quiet and content, and it allows us parents to enjoy conversation and podcasts up front without constantly breaking up a fight or telling someone to stop breathing on the other someone. Yes, I know it's sad that my kids won't have the wonderful memories of the license plate game, singing "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" but... we are pretty strict with screen time at home. So if the bottomless movies and Angry Birds Epic is are what my boys look forward to when driving to OK, maybe I'm OK with that?

Tip # 4: Enjoy the ride! Pause the movie occasionally. Point out when you cross into a new state.  There are big bridges, wide rivers, beautiful corn fields, and national landmarks all without leaving the interstate! Did you know that there is a town that boast the world's largest wind chime? Another town boasts the world's largest golf tee! There are three different states that claim some portion of Abraham Lincoln's origin. Take the time to point stuff out!
We made it a little past St. Louis before looking for a hotel room. MISTAKE! There was nothing available in the greater St. Louis area. We had to drive an hour outside St. L to find a hotel!
Tip #5: If you are working on a 2+ day roadtrip, drive as far as you can on the first day! Get up early. Eat breakfast in the car. Don't stop until you MUST! We drove nearly 14 hours that first day. It was exhausting - but what a great feeling to sleep in a little, savor our comfy pillows, cartoon network, and free breakfast at the Comfort Inn, and then enjoy a considerably shorter drive the next day.

Ah, finally - our destination! It was an amazing feeling to finally pull up at my parents' new house in Bartlesville! 
Let the vacation begin!


Saturday, August 8, 2015

9 Months Old!

This girl! Nine months old.

My tiny girl, still not even 16lbs! She did move from 7% to 8% for weight and 1% to 2% for height! Progress!
 We had a very busy month full of travel and relatives and teething. I think that Sailor's personality began to emerge more this month than ever. She's much more socially aware and has perfected the coy "smile into mom's shoulder" routine. 

Yes, I'm cute, and I know it!
She's developed more likes and dislikes, and is quite effective at expressing her feelings now. Don't get me wrong, she's still my sweet girl, but she can be quite DRAMATIC at times. 
The boys play right along with all the girl drama. In fact, they LOVE it!

She's a pro at crawling now, and nothing can stop her. She's into everything! 

helping me pack
"what?"
She still loves to eat - almost anything - but has developed a distinct DISLIKE for cantaloupe, bananas, and broccoli. She also drinks from a sippy cup now, almost on her own!
Her high chair is where she tends to be the most volatile and moody. She likes food, she eats FAST, and she's not the most patient girl. She's perfected a painful raptor-like screech that she unleashes when food is not provided in a timely fashion. You know that scene from Alice in Wonderland with the Queen of Hearts? All her jumpy playing card servants are scurrying around like madmen trying to appease her, terrified that she might explode in unbridled fury and anger? That's kinda what its like being in the kitchen when I'm feeding Sailor.
Don't get me wrong... shes' still my sweet girl. But, yikes.
She's really into books now!
And dogs make her so happy! Especially Jay.
She enjoyed her first trip to Kiddie Park, even more than I thought she would. She rode around in her pink Cadillac for 2 solid minutes without a peep, like she'd been doing it for years!
She also got to spend some quality time with her BFF, Halle Kate
Fun with Mia!
She's waving "bye bye" now. She also says Uh-oh, Mama, Dada, Bubba but not always in the appropriate context. 

I think she's without a doubt going to be my brown-eyed girl. She reminds me so much of my Grandma Ruby in this picture. Still can't believe she's mine! 
love you Sailor June!