Monday, July 30, 2012

Trying To Keep Up

Has it really been over a week since I've updated this thang?!  We have just been so busy, busy.  I do believe that Saturday night was our FIRST meal together as a family at our own dining room table in 4 weeks.  No lie.  I hate that.  Two weeks of evening swimming lessons, a week of vacation {where we ate a lot of food together, just not at home, at our table}, and then a week of VBS {where they, thankfully, made us dinner every night}, made it impossible for me to make a meal and gather everyone to sit at the table and eat it.

Also, it's been hot.  And, to be honest, I don't want to cook.  There, I said it.  For that reason, I'm glad we've been busy.

But, I'm so thankful for our calm weekend at home.

I took Parker on Friday to get his 5 year immunizations - all four of them.  OUCH!

My Parker-Man is brave.  He got right up in the chair and looked at me like, 'Hey, no's just a little pinch, right mom?!'  Yep, that's right.  Until you see the size of the needles.  Not to mention there's FOUR of them.  My brave boy quickly turned into a puddle of tears as I picked him up, held him tight, and the kind nurse gave him one, two, three, four shots in his little legs.  He screamed and cried out 'Momma!' and it broke my heart.

Then it was over.  And, we got ice cream.  And, we played with Aunt Dani {Aunt Dani fixes everything}.

Then, it happened.  I've never had a child get sick from shots before.  He got a fever, was extremely tired, didn't want to eat, felt sick to his stomach, and he slept and slept and slept.  So, we got just what we needed - a day at home.

We did a lot of this.

We snuggled, ate snacks, watched movies, took naps, and I loved it.

And then on Sunday, Parker perked up enough to go to church, but he wasn't perky enough to get up in front of an audience and perform his VBS songs.  This was strange.  I've never had the kid that didn't want to perform.  You all remember Parker's first school performance, right?!

Meanwhile, Andrew's been growing, growing, growing.  No matter how hard I try, I can't get him to slow down.  He's big now.  He can run and run and run.  And, he's fast.  He is sweet and crazy and incredibly cute.  I mean really, look at him.  He's also smart.  He is sneaky.  And, he loves to eat cookies.  While running through the house, giggling.

Something else Andrew loves, his brother.  And, this weekend when Parker wasn't feeling well, Andrew stepped right up to help take care of his Big Bubba.  Don't even try to call Parker, 'Parker' around Andrew.  He'll correct you.  Parker is officially, Bubba.

Oh yeah, Andrew also loves climbing in boxes, so while Parker was snuggled up in my bed, I caught Andrew doing this.

He is a goofball.

I am tired of these dog days of summer.  I'm ready for fall.  I'm ready for our routine to get back in its' groove.  I'm ready for cooler weather and football games, and the first day of school, and all of the fun that comes with our fall season - birthdays, anniversaries, holidays.  While I'm cherishing these super busy summer days, I'm literally getting burnt out.  But, I wouldn't trade it - swimming lessons, family vacations, boys who are active and loving life - this is what we've always dreamed of.  Watching these boys of mine grow up busy and active is amazing!

Happy Monday my friends!  I wish you all a wonderful week!

{I know my week will be wonderful - my friend Joy starts working with me at the University this week and I can't wait!!}

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Family Vacation

Okay, so I wrote this in the car...yesterday...but, the MiFi was waaaaaay too slow to put any photos in. So, here I am, in between mounds of laundry, in the sweltering Kansas heat, watching Big Brother {so much to catch up on}, and finally uploading photos into this post.  We had a great vacation!

We're in the car.  On our way home from our annual trek out west to Colorado.  The boys are in the backseat watching Mickey's Storybook Adventures for the second time today.  Bella is snoozed out in the way back.  Brandon is driving and checking our fuel economy {to see how we're doing pulling the camper across Kansas}, and I am chowin' down on some Junior Mints and watching the outside thermostat rise higher and higher the closer we get to Kansas.

Only 92 miles to go to our next destination: Goodland, KS.  The KOA there has to be the best I've ever seen {okay, it's the only KOA campground I've ever been to} - swimming and miniature golf have quickly become the boy's two favorite things to do and they can't wait to get to Goodland to do just that.  Well, that and eat some Mexican food.

We've had a wonderful vacation.  A vacation filled with mountain climbing, time with family, hikes, fishing, rock throwing, playing on playgrounds, bowling, visiting a fish hatchery, an archaeology dig, and we had time just being together as a family.  We've had some delicious food, seen the most beautiful scenery, and we've spent countless hours having fun and making memories.

{Turquoise Lake}

Every year we head out to the Wild West {or Colorado}.  This year our final destination was Leadville, CO - a small mining town about an hour and a half west of Colorado Springs.

{Wading at Turquoise Lake}

{Andrew loved wearing his boots and wading out in the water.  He was soaked afterward and went back to the campground in only his diaper.}

{Beautiful day for taking photos.}

{Brandon's parents and the dogs.}

{Me and my Parkey Poo walking down to the lake.}

We stayed at a small campground for our first long adventure in the camper and I have to admit that I loved it.  We love the outdoors.

When we first arrived at the campground, it was cold and rainy.  We immediately put on our pants and sweatshirts and enjoyed the cold weather!  It was such a change from this crazy Kansas heat.

{Our campground was right by Sugar Loaf Peak.  We called it Parker and Andrew's mountain because every day we would hike up and look for new treasures.}

I love having my own things and not a stinky hotel room.  I love the way our camper has the look and feel of home.  We have our own food.  Our own pillows, sheets, stuffed animals, blankies, closets with our clothes neatly hung, drawers full of our socks, undies, and pj' suitcases.  I love being able to stop wherever we like and just hang out, make dinner {lunch or breakfast}, and just be a family.  No stress.

Okay, enough about why I love the camper.

 {Playing in the 'sand box' or the tent site next to Brandon's parent's campsite.}

 {Going on a hike at the fish hatchery.}

 While our trip out west was anything but wild, we enjoyed our time by relaxing in the mountains and doing things our kids enjoy - while keeping it super simple.

Warning: There are a lot of photos in this next part.  Not organized in the least bit.  But, they are fun to look at!

Parker experienced bowling for the first time.  Not to mention that he was bowling at the highest bowling alley in the US - at 10,500 feet!  This boy has some super cool bowling moves.

On the other hand, Andrew could care less about bowling.  Although he did allow me to get a photo of Brandon's best side.  Andrew would rather run around like a crazy man through the bowling alley.  Luckily we were the only people who wanted to bowl in the mountains that day!

{This is one of many campfires we had throughout the week.  Brandon was popping popcorn and Parker was anxiously wanting it to be done.} 

My sweet boy. 

{This kid can eat some chocolate.  Every time I turned around, I was catching him with a Hershey bar. }

{Fun in the mountains with Aunt April.  We enjoyed spending time with our family!}

 {Parker and Andrew really enjoyed playing with each other this year.  I love to watch their brother bond grow with every day that passes.  They are in love.}

 {Andrew loved everything about the mountains!}

{So did Parker.}

{Hiking up Parker and Andrew's mountain with Grandma Robbie and Aunt April.}

Grandpa Mike and Uncle Jon even joined us for a few days!

{One of my favorite photos...}

{Another one of my favorites.}

{Me and some pretty silly boys.}

Parker and Brandon caught a rainbow trout!  Parker got to hold the net while Brandon reeled it in.

While our trip out west was anything but wild, we enjoyed our time by relaxing in the mountains and doing things our kids enjoy - while keeping it super simple.

{At the Leadville Fish Hatchery.}

Parker and Andrew continue to amaze us everyday.  Don't get me wrong, w had our moments on the trip...moments where we argued and had more than enough of each other, but even now, after traveling more than 1000 miles in the car, these boys are quiet, watching their movie and playing with their new Buzz and Woody dolls.

They are so much fun and have become the most wonderful little people I've ever met.

{Love, love, love these two photos!}

As we head home, we all feel a little lighter, more refreshed and ready to take on our daily lives like super heros.

Thank you Colorado, for once again, providing us with fresh mountain air, memories we'll always remember, and a vacation that was perfect for our family.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Brooke is pulling the camper!

I think it has been a couple of years since I've hijacked Brooke's blog. When we started it, I made more posts than her. Though mine were mostly photos, videos, or one liners. Brooke is much more creative than I am. But right now, she is not in a place to blog, or stop me from blogging on her behalf! So here she is, getting behind the wheel of our Armada with the Wildwood in tow. We're heading out from Goodland, and momma is taking the first leg. Flat and straight and not much traffic. She was nervous, but I told her that she birthed two kids, this should be pretty easy.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Vacation Starts...NOW!

Okay, so we've had quite an amazing summer.  We've had many days off, spent many hours with the boys...swimming, camping, driving to and from VBS, swimming lessons, friend's houses, we've played for hours outside, danced in the rain, blasted some fireworks, but our summer wouldn't be complete without our annual trek to the mountains.

Today was our first official day 'off'.  Off from the every day hustle and bustle....a day spent relaxing, packing, and getting all geared up for our first long road trip with the camper.

I tried something new this year...putting each of the boy's outfits in a Ziploc so that, if by some chance their dad dresses them or they decide to dress themselves - I can only wish - they will be dressed in what I intended for them to wear while on vacation {not a black shirt with black shorts....grey shirt with grey shorts...for some reason, Parker thinks that your clothes have to literally match to 'match'}.

To kick off vacation, the boys received something they've been working hard for.  They've slept in their own beds, taken out the recycling, given Bella her food, helped me do the laundry, been 'good' listeners, and they've filled out their chore charts in the hopes that they'd get something really cool.

It's always nice to have something new to play with in the car.

And, this Momma hopes that their new 'real' Buzz and Woody toys will keep them occupied for more than five minutes in the car.

Parker said: "Mom, these are the real toys!  Where did you get these?!"

And, Andrew...well, Andrew slept with Woody.  What is it with my baby boy and sleeping with things...hats, blankets, a Woody doll?

Tomorrow morning {bright and early} with a car packed with snacks, games, toys, movies, two iPad's, two little guys, and a dog, we will head out West to the mountains we love so much.  Life couldn't get any better than that.