Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I want to marry him or put him in my pocket forever...not sure which.

Couldn't you just eat that face? KILLS ME, every day. We've got a little co-op playgroup going this year for Xander and 5 other 2 year olds. 2 hours, twice a week. I wanted him to have the opportunity to socialize with other little boys so that he can relate to them when he starts school eventually. I don't think having 3 sisters really prepares a guy for the way little boys interact.
Today was his first day. He was super excited by the only non-girly backpack that I was able to scrounge up in this house. I just wanted him to have something to carry some pullups, wipes, and a change of clothes in. He thinks he's hot stuff. I did not expect that old Mickey Mouse backpack to receive such a positive reaction. He wore it around all morning waiting to leave.

Leia under the weather last week. This illness incidentally ended up being a case of strep throat which has landed all 6 of us on antibiotics after all 4 kids tested positive yesterday. Xander was the only one with a fever yesterday but after he tested positive the Dr said we needed to bring all the girls in. They had no fevers or symptoms but their tests all came back positive. I had a sore throat/fever last Monday and everyone had varying levels of mild to moderate sickness over the last week. I guess that makes me patient zero in the strep train of this family. Sorry guys.So glad for morning preschool because sometimes in the afternoons this happens.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to School 2010

Today is the big day! Bella officially made a face that indicated that she didn't want me to follow her to the door of her classroom today. Not cool. But I guess it was going to happen sooner or later. I got about 10 feet from the door and she gave me the dismissal arm wave.
Getting the bike tires all pumped up for their first ride in awhile. It is funny that our bikes never get used in the summer. The winter, spring and fall...those are bike riding seasons in Texas.
Yes I was the mom-a-razzi taking photos while riding my bike. I managed to control myself once we actually got to school. Except for this shot below of Juli, reunited with her kindergarten BFF. As usual her facial expression is not really conveying how happy she was about this exciting circumstance. Trust me, she was pumped about it.
1 hour down...6 to go! It's going to be a LONG day. The first day back always feels like they are gone for an eternity.

Slip & Slide

The kids spent a long afternoon slipping and sliding all over the yard at the end of last week. It's too bad they don't make 4 lane Slip and Slides. Not that my backyard could handle anymore water during these incidents.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


After years of being in various stages of horror...the cabinets are "doors" away from being finished. I know someone who will be very disappointed when the doors go on. Daddy got a new router (the old one wouldn't take the door making bits) and the fancy door making bits for his birthday. What do you think the chances are that Xander is going to be dumping out the contents of the cabinets and climbing inside them after the doors go on? I say 95%.

Tex Leia

Sometime last week Leia loaded up her Pictureka game into her cowgirl hat and brought it into my bedroom to play with me. How could you say no to this face? Laundry or no laundry? If the face wasn't cute enough, the hat and backwards shirt combination would have gotten me. She looks like some kind of Pictureka hustler, and she takes winning very, VERY seriously. So you had better throw the game, and make it seem realistic or she will be very disappointed.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 6: Eureka MO to Houston TX

Day 6 was consumed entirely with driving home. The only 2 exciting things that happened were 1. Xander immediately stopped throwing up as soon as we got in the car, and 2. We escaped a horrible, horrible accident.

So Xander had been throwing up every 30-45 minutes all night long, up until the moment we were walking out of the hotel and I was literally holding him over the sink so he could vomit as we went out the door. Somehow he didn't throw up again all day until 6pm. We got out of the car to get some Subway and he threw up all over the sidewalk. It was a mini-van miracle. That incidentally was the last time he threw up. He was fine afterward.

We were driving on a small 2 lane highway near the Missouri/Arkansas border when a small truck driving the other way inexplicably slammed on its breaks just as it was passing us. I don't know if the driver fell asleep or blew out a tire or what. But they slammed on their breaks as they passed us going the other way, then spun around several times down the center of the 2 lane road right behind us. We looked in the rear view/turned our heads just in time to see the truck pulling a large trailer behind us swerve to attempt to avoid an accident. He swerved right off the side causing the trailer to fly off into the ditch, roll over several times with wood pallets or something exploding off in all directions while the trailer detached from the truck...which slammed directly into the little truck that had started the whole thing by spinning around in circles down the center of the road. It was awful, like you would see in a movie. I tried to look up the accident when we got home convinced that it was impossible that someone wasn't badly injured or killed, but couldn't find any information on it. I'll probably wonder about that forever. The accident was right at the end of a construction area full of workers and right in front of a farmhouse, so since we had no medical background, there didn't seem to be any logical reason to stop with all the people right at the scene. So, the point is...we got lucky. I hope not to see anything like that again, ever.

And that brings our summer 2010 insane summer road trip to an end. Hopefully I haven't lost you all by forcing you to read a day by day accounting of our entire trip. But honestly, if I don't write it out here, all of these things would be lost in time. This is the only place I write things down. Hope you're still awake! Next up...the kids go back to school Monday!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 5: Chicago IL to Eureka MO

Very early on the morning of day 5, we left our hotel in Chicago and made the 5 hour drive down to our last stopping point...Eureka MO. It was chosen because it would break up the too long drive home and have something worth stopping at, Six Flags St Louis. We arrived about 20 minutes after the park opened, so we did well with our timing.
Xander and Bella on the big Ferris Wheel. The expression on his face says, "It's going to go where!"
It turned out that Xander was EXACTLY 36 inches tall. This is his first big kid ride that required a 36 inch height. The first of many that day. He enjoyed most of them, despite his best Daniel Jr. serious face.
Daniel and the girls on the big swings.
Xander learns how to do a thumbs up. So cute.
Juli and Leia riding with a little girl who was too small to ride alone, but her parent was too tall to ride with her. This teacup ride had a 36"-52" only height restriction.
Super hero sisters.
The Riddler starts to get sleepy.Capes and Carousels.
After the park closed we headed across the street to our hotel. Around midnight Xander started vomiting, and did not stop all night long. Every 45 minutes he would wake up and throw up, then fall immediately back to sleep. It wasn't exactly the good night's sleep I was hoping for before our 14 hour trek home to Houston. But, it was a fun day, and we can be thankful that the stomach virus hit on the last night of our trip when all the fun was finished!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 4: Chicago IL

On Day 4 we took the kids to our beloved Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. It was fun, but crazy crowded. We attempted to do the IMAX Flight movie with all the kids. Xander was very fidgety, but we made it through and as usual, he fell asleep near the end of the 45 minute movie.
There were quite a few new things since our last visit 8 years ago. Since Bella was a toddler and Julianne was an embryo last time, they didn't remember any of it anyway.
That's Daniel's face, if you couldn't tell.This really cool rotating thing was some kind of demonstration of the science of Avalanche. It was huge (hard to tell the scale from the picture), and you could turn it at whatever speed you wanted. Bella was turning it while I took this picture.

Everyone was enamored with the baby chick hatchery. Leia kept asking me to make sure I got a picture "of all the little cheeps".

Tornado making device. We saw a smaller version of this in the Dallas Museum in January. This one was way better.
Leia and Jules posing by a train.
Daddy and Xander racing. Everyone took a turn driving and skiing on these games.

We went back to Grandma's house to visit for a little while longer after we left the museum. Grandma and Leia resumed their game from the previous day playing guessing games with a bunch of fake plastic berries that the kids fished out of a display bowl. Leia was REALLY into it.We headed out of Grandma's around 6:30pm, picked up some Italian beef sandwiches and hot dogs, and went back to our hotel for a good night's sleep. We had to be up and out of the hotel at 5:30am for the next leg of our journey. I snuck out while Daniel was getting the kids to bed to pick up more snacks/drinks (we were running low), and attempt to find a pair of tennis shoes. No luck on the shoes. I also got stuck in the grocery store forever trying to find natural fruit snacks or fruit leather or something, or any other healthy snacks for the car. I ended up with fruit cups, cheese sticks, and not much else to show for my 45 minutes in the store. Either the grocery store there was trying really hard to hide the good snacks, or they didn't have them. It was frustrating. Note to self, stock up on all your favorite snacks before you leave home. Grocery stores do not carry the same products everywhere. I got back to the hotel around 10pm, which ended the Chicago leg of our adventure.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 3: Nauvoo IL to Chicago IL

We started this day with a 9am wagon ride tour through the historic area of Nauvoo. Here the kids are getting a close up view of the horses before we get started.

No sooner had we gotten started on our tour, when a tire blew out on our wagon, spooking the horses and nearly causing a runaway incident. The elderly (very experienced) missionaries who were driving managed to get them under control. They said it was the closest they'd ever come to having a runaway wagon tour, and they were very grateful that we had the older calmer horses, because the other pair may not have stopped until they got to the river. I guess we're just lucky, lol.
I love this picture, even though Bella clearly has no idea that I'm taking it. You may have to click on it if you want to read the quote.
We walked down this path (the kids are walking backwards for fun) while we waited 15 minutes for our wagon to be repaired and sent back to get us. We saw some adorable oxen, and read all the plaques along the path.

View of the Nauvoo Temple from our wagon tour.
The kids spent a long time playing in this play area with cabins, pioneer costumes, old fashioned toys and games, etc.
Bella attempts to walk on little stilts.
This child has never met an object that he didn't feel compelled to climb onto...then jump off of.
Xander playing with daddy.
After we finished up our Nauvoo adventure, we got in the car and headed to Chicago to meet/see Great Grandma Dorothy.
Homeboy never met a plum he didn't devour. They are hands down his favorite fruit.Making new friends with his beloved Monkey and Cow in tow.
Family pictures are self explanatory. :)We had dinner at Grandma's house and visited, then headed back to our hotel for the night. It was a long day. We slept like rocks.