Sunday, August 15, 2010

St. Louis Trip

My Mom took the kids and I to St. Louis for the Schneider Family Reunion (my Grandpa's family) back in July. It was a special birthday treat, and we had such an amazing time filled with special memories that will last a life time. It was bittersweet as the last time we took a trip for the reunion all together was actually Greyson's first trip ever and Grandma (my Mom's Mom) was still alive. She passed away very unexpectedly just 4 short days before Hannah was born. I have so many memories from that trip, and I wanted to kind of recreate and build upon that with Hannah along for the ride.

Waiting to board our flight. We HAD to get Hannah a little travel backpack so she could be like Greyson. It was a GREAT investment, and she was thoroughly thrilled.

Boarding the plane
We went to this great place called the Magic House where they have TONS of fun kid stuff to do like work in a grocery store
Serve up ice cream
Work on cars
Hannah decided she needed to get her hands dirty :-)

The basement of the place was set up to recreate all of the different scenes from Huckleberry Finn. Here is Greyson ringing the riverboat bell. He LOVED this!

The ONLY shot of him in the Huck Finn hat. It was not a popular item, but of course I had to get a photo in it.
Hannah was equally thrilled with it
Working the electrical plant. Run for your lives!

He loved counting money and "filling out deposits" at the bank
Catching fish
Playing house
We saved the water for last, and it was a HUGE hit. They (and both of us) were SOAKED!
She of course had to hoard all of the little cups

The Schneider family reunion was held in the basement of the old high school (Alton High School on the border of Hartford and Alton, Illinois) where my Grandma and Grandpa actually went. It's not the school anymore, but it was so neat to see life come full circle with my kids playing on the playground (a new one). Hannah and I swinging on the bench swing.
On the way back to St. Louis from Hartford we took a wrong turn and ended up driving right by the Arch. Greyson was totally amazed by it so we thought we'd just take a detour and see what happened. We thought we would just drive by it since it was late afternoon and no one had napped, but we drove by a line of carriages waiting for riders. Greyson decided it looked like fun so we went for it. It was PERFECT!

Greyson loved "Chuckie" the horse.
We decided to push our luck even further by driving to this awesome park in the middle of downtown St. Louis. It was literally like a whole city block with fountains, sculptures, a huge digital TV screen, flowers and more. We don't have anything like it here, and I was SO envious of it. I wish we had something that neat here in Dallas, and it was FREE!

Greyson was in love with this "piano on the ground"
The fountains went on FOREVER. They had more fountains that went into big pools that the kids could swim in as well.
The kids could climb and touch all of the sculptures. It was perfect for exploring.
I thought this picture was funny since you can see my Mom, Hannah, and I on the big video screen while we take this picture of Greyson lol.
Hannah and I walking back to our car through the streets of St. Louis. What a great memory :-).

We took the kids to the Butterfly House, and it was a huge hit.

Hannah was beside herself with glee.
She picked up this flower and was just inspecting it.
Greyson had to get down on the ground so he could be at one with the butterflies. Some kids would run through there and go from one butterfly to another but not our little boy. He found one or two that he liked, and he just copped a squat right there on the path so he could enjoy them thoroughly.
The butterfly bench.
He was so interested in the exhibits where they showed different bugs and such.
After all that quiet exploring we decided to walk across the parking lot to the park so the kids could let off some steam. We could not get them to stop swinging to save our lives. We were pushing them for what seemed like a life time, and it felt like it was a billion degrees out while breathing through a wet blanket .
We attempted to stop pushing them with the hopes that they would be done, but this was their response. Life was OVER!
Joy again!

The trip back! Hannah was pretty good during the flight excpet for the last 20 minutes during the descent. She was going NUTS, and everyone kept staring at me and mouthing "I'm so sorry." I was tearing up, because it seemed like she was in utter despair. It made me think that a 12 hour car ride may be a better idea for our next trip.
Back at Love Field with all of our luggage. Hannah crashed out hard in the last few minutes of the flight, and she didn't wake up until we got home. She was so worn out from all of the crying.
It's official. I have like a thousand more pictures for this post, but they are on my Mom's camera. She is traveling constantly so I'll post now with the hopes of adding the pics of some of our other St. Louis adventures later. I am too far behind to keep waiting.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Fun

I cannot believe that summer is coming to an end. It has truly flown by at lightening speed, but we have had so much fun this year. The kids are both in LOVE with swimming, and Greyson is now a big boy swimmer. He can swim from one end of the pool to the other, and we are so incredibly proud. Hannah has taken to "diving" into any open water with no fear of the consequences. This has proven to be dangerous and has lead to some injuries as of late. It has been at or above 100 for what seems like at least a month so the only way to survive is to stay wet. We have been living at Rosemeade, my parent's, or friend's pools to survive. I cannot imagine our lives without swimming in it. Here are some of our latest adventures...enjoy!

This is one of Hannah's new "tricks" in the pool. She LOVES to float on her back with her floaties, and then she holds her legs as if she is birthing a child or something. It's HILARIOUS and quite lady-like if I do say so myself :-). She is SO silly!

The girl has a fashion sense all her own, and she is ADAMANT about her choices.
Playing together in the pool...we're not having fun or anything ;-). Greyson is such a pro these days. He is currently learning to dive for sunken treasure (ie - rings and such at the bottom of the pool). He's a fish, and I'm SO glad!
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's.....HANNAH! She loves for me to throw as high as I can and let her go under water afterwards. She's CRAZY!
Another fashion choice by our resident fashionista. She has a style all her own. All I can say is at least she is wearing panties instead of big boys.
Going potty! She doesn't really actually go, but she LOVES to sit, get the TP, and wipe. Then she enjoys washing her hands and making a big mess. It's all part of the fun. Funny story - we went swimming at a friend's house the other day since we are pool-sitting. Hannah was wearing a one-piece swimsuit that has a little skirt around it. She gets out of the pool, walks over to the bushes, lifts the skirt portion of her bathing suit, and stands there looking at the fence. She then stops, and tells us "I potty!" HILARIOUS! The girl has seen one too many boys peeing standing up, and she is confused. We'll have to work on that, but it's pretty difficult when we are swimming all of the time, and there is a lot of outdoor peeing going on lol.
A while back we went to an museum in Addison that houses old aircraft by the airport. We got to go with Greyson's buddy Liam. Carolyn, Pat, Liam, Eli, Hannah, Greyson, and I decided we would go first thing in the morning since the museum does not have A/C. We had such a great time, and the boys loved seeing all of the cool planes. Of course I made them pose for annoying photos along with way.

Hannah is still in love with Eli
A cool tank...
Checking out the engine.
And the tires...
Her first big girl ponytail. It started to fall, and she still needs a little longer hair so it will work but it sure was cute! Unfortunately, this was also the night of my birthday celebration at Rosemeade with family where she threw up all over right after we finished singing Happy Birthday. It's certainly not a memory I will forget. Poor little was the beginning of a tough few days.
While Hannah was sick, she actually fell asleep next to me in bed. This is how we used to sleep when she was a baby so it was pretty wonderful, and I had to get James to take a picture. It's sad, but I kind of cherish when the kids are sick and extra snuggly. It makes my heart melt...
One of Hannah's other exciting tricks. She is obsessed with turning the oven light on, gasping, yelling for Mommy or Daddy, and then waiting for us to gasp in return. She is just so proud of herself EVERY TIME! Good thing it's cute every time, too. Notice the big girl panties again...we're working on getting rid of the big boys :-).
Greyson and Hannah are getting so close. They LOVE playing together, watching TV together, snuggling together, hugging each other, etc. The other day, Greyson was bugging Hannah, and she kept coming out and whining to me. I told him that he needed to be sweet to her so that she would want to keep playing with him. Then he took her hand, and said, "It's ok, Hannah...I'm right here. Come on and hold my hand. We can go play in my room." It was such a tender moment, and I don't want to forget it. There are also lots of battles so the sweet memories are important to remember. That same day he asked her if she wanted to dance and they held hands and slow danced in his room. I tried to get pics, but of course they stopped right when I got it out. I tried to just enjoy the moment :-).
Hannah LOVES all babies it seems. She sleeps with six dolls, and she loves to carry around one particular baby in her play infant carrier. She even carries a diaper bag. Please do not pay attention to that baby that fell on the floor lol. It's slippery :-).
James was one fab husband, and he surprised me with tickets to see Lady Gaga with Tammy! We had such a great time, and it was huge treat. It is not something I will ever forget, and I am so thankful to have such an amazing husband and father :-). Thanks to Tammy for helping put it together as well. I know she was instrumental in getting it all planned as she always ya!
The party festivities continued with a Girls Night Out to Cantina Laredo a few days later. My 32nd birthday seemed like a cause for celebration. Here's Tammy, Kim, Lindsey, Amanda, Hannah, Heather, and Eren joining in on the fun!
My FAB dessert!
Hannah's first big girl pig tails. Again, it was cute, but it fell pretty quickly. She still needs longer hair, but I am just getting SO excited about fixing it all of the time. I really can't wait for her to sit still and actually let me do fun things to it instead of making me pin her down. Beauty has a price I guess ;-).
The current preferred TV watching position. The kids love to cuddle with Daddy in the evening and relax.
My resident handyman doing some remodeling on his club house. He told me it needed some work so he grabbed his power tools and went after it. He has such a vivid imagination, and we're really enjoying his creativity. He comes up with these elaborate scenarios, and he tries to include Hannah and the rest of us in his pursuits :-).
We got to go to the Dallas World Aquarium for our friend Hayden's 3rd birthday. We joined Hayden, Pierce, Kim, Nate, Barb, Chalna, and Colin for a fun filled morning. Here is the birthday boy!
Hannah and I in the rainforest. Hannah kept trying to get the "Cheep-cheeps!" She loves birdies these days.
Pierce was telling Hannah ALL about them. It was ADORABLE!
Greyson getting a good look at the animals.
Hannah decided she would help herself to some of PJ's snacks. It's a good thing he didn't mind lol.

They loved looking at the turtles.
The walk up fish tank was so neat. The kids were all mesmerized!

Hannah thought that maybe PJ was thirsty so she decided to serve him herself. It was SO stinkin' cute. They kept having these little conversations all morning.
On the way home from a playdate, Hannah crashed HARD with her bottle still in her mouth. I did manage to catch this shot while driving (maybe we were at a stop light - sure!).

We headed to a fun place called Paradise Pond with our Mommies group. Here is Brandon, Greyson, and Jack having a crash up grocery cart derby. It was too funny!
Brandon and Greyson lookind in the silly mirrors.
Hannah found these two lions just like one we have at home and started growling immediately.
My knight in shining armor.
She wanted to be Thomas of course
Then she decided to be a princess and picked out this ensemble

Greyson decided the boa looked WAY better on him lol.

Hannah and Brooke were having a great time in the bounce house.
Her hat fettish continues...
She also has a new obsession with her life jacket. She brings it to me ALL the time and says, "This! This! This!" until I put it on. It's a daily occurrence.
Greyson went to a fun summer camp for a few days where they worked on art projects and played. He had a great time, but I think his favorite part was definitely his lunch. He came home every day and told me about what was in it..."Cookies Mommy! I had COOKIES!" It was too funny. I kept trying to explain to him that I was the one that made his lunch, but it didn't seem to matter.
In closing, I would like to show you my view most of the time these days. Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!

We've had a great time so far, and we are not ready for preschool to start. We are going to keep swimming for as long as is humanly possible before we have to get back into a schedule. Until next time...