Thursday, March 26, 2015

Viva Las Vegas!

For the second half of spring break, we did something we hadn't done in a while and not once since Ellie was born...we went away without the kids!  Ma-mas came to stay with the kids for two nights and three days so the parents could visit Las Vegas! (Neither of us had experienced it as adults before.)  We met some long-time good friends of ours there and had so much fun!  We walked the Strip many, many times, gambled just a little, ate and drank quite a bit, and saw a Cirque Du Soleil show.  We explored Fremont Street and enjoyed our hotel.  We brought home a pink piggy bank for Penny, a mini Statue of Liberty for Cooper, and funny stories of general Las Vegas craziness. (The $300.00 steak, "You Gotta Have Faith", the mohawk guy, and the like.) I hope we get to make the adult getaway an annual thing!
The Strip through our hotel room window.
We arrived in Vegas at 6:30 a.m!  We couldn't check in and our friends hadn't arrived yet.  What else were we to do?
Truly I'm not much of a gambler, but I did enjoy the experience.  My big winnings for the weekend...
Komodo dragon at the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef.  Took this guy's picture because he looked like he was smiling.
We visited Fremont Street, or "the old strip."  Very cool and seemingly more authentic than the strip.  (We weren't impressed that you could eat at a Chili's or an Outback on the strip.)
Picture sent to me via Ma-Mas on our first morning away.  We had a blast and came back relaxed and refreshed...but we missed these faces terribly!  I think they had fun...we came home to painted rocks, new dry-erase board drawings, and homemade cake with sprinkles.  (We chose Spring break to leave the kids because we thought it would be easier on Ma-mas if she didn't have to worry about getting three kids to school, dance class, soccer practice, etc. and got to just chill out at home.  They stayed busy though!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

15 Months Old!

In just a few months our little baby Ellie has transformed into a toddler!  In January she started walking...and I mean walking!  In just one weekend she went from having taken a few tentative steps to almost running all over the house.  By February she was walking all over house with some kind of toy in hand and opening all the cabinet doors.  Now she has figured out that she LOVES to be outside and would spend an hour or more walking up and down the driveway if I let her.  She has really reached that "fun" age where constant movement, playing, and discovery are the name of the game.  Some other facts about our big girl are:
  • She weighs 21.7 lbs and is 30.25 inches long.  She had a well-baby checkup this morning and received three shots.  Her health and development are good but she did not enjoy the visit.  As soon as we started to take her clothes off she started screaming!  I guess she's old enough now to remember her last visit and how it wasn't fun! Poor baby! 
  • She sleeps very well and on a consistent schedule.  She has dropped from two naps to one, but it's a good one!  A lot of the time I have to wake her after two and half to three hours so we can go pick up her brother and sister from school!
  • She eats well...when you feed her her favorite foods!  She loves yogurt, eggs, bacon, applesauce, any kind of cracker, toast, chicken nuggets, raw carrots, celery, cucumber, apples and french fries.  Mama is constantly giving her new foods to try and sometimes she eats them but mostly she feeds them to the dog.  We just keep on trying though.  Surprising to Mama is her unwillingness to eat what I thought were baby staples like pasta and most fruits.  Luckily she has decided she likes baby food that comes in a pouch so we are able to get some vegetables down her!
  • Ellie still loves to drink from a straw but tolerates a spouted sippy cup too.  She enjoys water, drinkable yogurt, and almond milk. (Can't tolerate cow's milk, just like her siblings couldn't at this age.)
  • Ellie loves to baby-jabber all day while playing.  She loves to point at things and say "ah?" as if to ask what it is.  She has learned to do this when she sees something she wants.  She likes to say "ball" and "an" (fan).  She can point to Daddy, Mama, Cooper, Penny, and Brewster when you ask her too but really doesn't see the need in naming us.
  • She can find her nose, ears, belly button, and feet. 
  • Ellie likes to dance!  She will not only bust into her moves when she hears music, she seems really intrigued when we watch Penny dance at her class.  We can say, "Do the chip (or whatever snack we are holding) dance!" and she will!
  • Ellie loves to be outside and goes crazy when she sees the chickens!  When it is time to go back inside, she throws a fit! 
  • The art of throwing a fit is still being perfected, but she is well on her way!  She has figured out how to throw herself on the floor in such a way that gets her point across but doesn't hurt. (We are wondering if she is going to fall into big sister's footsteps and start the "terrible" twos early.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring Break 2015!

We had a fabulous spring break!  Even though the week started out with less than spring like weather, we made the most of every day.  We got to sleep in (a.k.a. we were awake but we didn't have to rush off to be anywhere), NOT do homework or be on a schedule.  It was glorious, but now we are all yearning for summer!  (11 more weeks of school to go!)

First up, we spent the weekend at the lake house, which was fun since it had been a VERY long time since we had done that.  On Saturday we made the drive to Austin for a friend's birthday party at  Chuck E. Cheese.  All the kids had fun even if Penny was wary of the pizza (rightly so) and "that mouse."  The other notable thing of the trip was that Cooper very sweetly let Penny use most of their game tickets to buy a princess figurine.  All he wanted was some Nerds candy.  (Have I ever mentioned how much I adore that boy??)
On Monday the kids and I braved the awful rainy weather to see a movie.  We saw Paddington, which was really cute.  The real victory was all THREE kids were as good as gold.  Ok so I didn't get a picture of this day...I was lugging a squirmy baby, a purse full of stowaway water bottles and baby snacks, and an umbrella, and shepherding two kids out of the rain and into the movie theatre.  Yet I didn't "have my hands full."  We were just in the moment and it was awesome!
Tuesday was the BEST day! We finally gave in to Cooper's pleading and went to Fiesta Texas!  Cooper was scared of all the rides at first, but once we talked him into riding one that had a big drop, he was hooked.  He then proceeded to ride every ride he wanted twice.  First with Daddy, then with Mama.  
Penny was very particular about what she would ride, but I know this girl had fun too.  We rode the carousel twice just for her and got her some ice cream dippin' dots.  Plus she was wearing a pink dress that day so all was right in the world.
Little Ellie didn't get to ride much but was such a good sport.  She even took an hour nap in the stroller!  Here she is having her first experience with dippin' dots.  
Super Penny!  At the end of the day, we divided and conquered...Daddy and Cooper went to ride the train (again) and Penny, Ellie, and Mama went to find something else to do.  Penny finally decided to ride the airplane ride, but couldn't because she was too little!  Luckily I was able to smooth over her disappointment by spotting a "every player wins a prize" booth.  You mean I pay $5.00 and my kid is guaranteed a pink super hero cape?  Done and done!

And that in a nutshell was the first half of Spring Break.  For the second half, Ma-Mas came to town and stayed with the kids for two nights so Mama and Daddy could enjoy a long-awaited getaway.  That is a whole other post.  Happy Spring everyone!