Tuesday, June 30, 2009


When we get home in the evening I usually bring Ryan in from the car first as Connor tends to fall asleep while Ryan is still awake. I put Ryan down, tell him that I will be right back and that I am going to get Connor. The last couple of weeks when I have come back around the corner to the entry I am met by this.

He presses his little face up against the glass and makes really funny faces. He totally cracks me up. I finally remembered to grab my camera today on my way back out so I could finally get it on film. What a cheese. :)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pool Pics

Just a few pics from the trip to the pool on Sunday.

Connor playing in the fountain in the kids pool.

The boys checking out the mushroom.

Having a snack while we packed up.
Connor chilling in the chair.

60th Anniversary

Happy 60th Anniversary Great Grannie and Great Grandaddy!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lazy Sunday

We took the boys to the pool for an afternoon swim. It is amazing that Connor is still around. The kid is going to drown. He tries to run in the water, falls down, goes under, gets fished out by one of us, and then just goes on as if nothing ever happened. He is stunned for a second as if trying to figure out what happened, but is otherwise totally unphased by it all. He also loves to touch the spray jets which invariable ends up with him under the deluge. Even if you pull him out within a few seconds he is right back under it being drowned again.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A picture is worth 1000 words

A picture really is worth 1000 words. Look at that face!! Now that's F.U.N.

We really had a blast on Saturday. We started the day off with swim lessons. Ryan was a little swimming fiend. He kicked like a manic while smiling, laughing and having a great time. To say that he has warmed up to this water excitement is the understatement of the century.

And speaking of excitement – Ryan absolutely LOVES planes. Every time he hears one he immediately points to the sky says something unintelligible as of yet, and looks around for it. So I thought it might be fun to take the boys to the Aviator Grill at Hooks Airport. Not only was the food super yummy the boys were in hog heaven watching all the planes leaving and taking off. It was such a nice day folks were coming in and going out every couple of minutes. We must have seen at least 30 planes. We even got to see a BIG jet take off. Ryan heard it long before he could see it and started looking for it and craning his head to be able to see around Daddy as much as possible.

Before we left the very nice ladies at the grill gave us some rolls to feed the ducks at the pond on our way out. There were lots of hungry baby ducks. Though when we gave the boys bread to throw they both scarfed it down instead of throwing it and then asked for more. It was too funny.

To wrap the day up we ventured downtown to check out Discovery Green Park. I saw some pictures of it on the news and thought it looked pretty cool. When we first got there none of the water features were working and I was getting a little nervous as that was the main reason we had come. We finally asked the staff and they told us that the water would come back on later. We got the boys changed and let them play on the playground until the water show started.

When we first took them over to the water fountain area they weren’t quite sure what to think. But it took them no time at all to warm up to it. They weren’t even as phased as Mommy when the water jets really took off and blasted 4-5’. As I scampered for cover (as I wasn’t wearing a swimsuit and was carrying my camera!) they just took it all in stride. Ryan hedged his bets. He moved toward the outside edge so he could make a quick getaway of necessary, but didn’t make any attempt to actually get out. Connor was so thrilled in the downpour, he just giggled louder.

Despite looking like drowned rats, they were still smiling when we left.

Friday, June 26, 2009

"Ut Oh!"

To quote one of Ryan's favorite sayings "Ut oh!!" I was getting ready to take the boys to school Friday morning when I saw a big "ut oh!" After putting Ryan's shoes on he walked to the front door which was unlocked, reached up and grabbed the lever handle, pulled it down, stepped back and opened the door. He then proceeded to look back at me, smile, and sit down and schooch like he has been taught to do to go down "big steps." He probably would have stood up and tootled right on off if I hadn't have been there to nab him.

Note to self: Invest in keyed padlock at 8ft height to keep monsters safely in cage, erm, I mean house.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Backyard Renovation

The backyard will be under renovation the next few weeks. No, it's not a pool. Not yet anyways. Or not the underground kind I should say. :) One of the first new additions arrived the Friday before we left on our trip. It's a new slide! Kevin got it assembled while we were gone. Unfortunately we got home too late last night to try it out. So today as soon as we made it home we took the boys out to see it. Ryan was especially interested in it, though his first trip up, as well as several subsequent trips he went up the slide instead of going down it. We were pretty surprised when he made it, but I suspect he has had a bit of practice at school copying the big kids.

We did finally get him to try out the steps and while they are a pretty good height up both boys were able to go up them without too much trouble. Before long they even tried to go back down the steps, too. Unfortunately that resulted in both our first and second falls off the slide - one each starting with Connor. Thank goodness though that they both pretty much just popped back up and went on with what they were doing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 4

We spent most of our last day packing and playing around the house. We had breakfast and even convinced Ryan to try some scrambled eggs. He wasn't a huge fan of them, but because they came from my plate he ate some.
The boys really enjoyed Grannie's welcome banner, too. They liked to point out the animals. Ryan particularly liked the lion. He would point to it and "roar."

The boys also had a good time in the backyard chasing golf balls. Connor got absolutely filty crawling under stuff to retrieve his ball. Ryan was a really good "big brother." He would get Connor's ball and bring it back to him. He is getting really good at sharing. He will take Connor his sippy of water, and will share toys with him most of the time. It's really sweet.

We flew back late in the afternoon. Kevin wasn't able to meet us at the gate so I managed both rolling bags, the stroller, the car seat, and the gigantic diaper bag all by myself. I was pretty exhausted by the time we made it out of security. All in all the flights worked out really well. Luckily the boys were really great for the most part. Good enough to convice me that maybe we will try it again someday. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 3

The boys were kind enough to sleep in until 7:15. After breakfast we got ready and packed up the car for a trip to Balmorhea to go swimming with the fish. After a rough lunch stop in Pecos we made it to Balmorhea. The pool there was even nicer, and much larger than I remembered. We got everyone changed into their suits and headed into the water. While I was sweating buckets out in the heat of the hot June afternoon sun in the desert the water was a shockingly cool temperature. Though after being in for a while it wasn’t too bad. Ryan and I had a great time chasing one of his shoes. He reached for it with his little legs kicking like crazy. After a while we traded off. Connor preferred to hold on tight trying to draw as much body warmth from me as he could to bring some warmth back to his blue practically chattering little lips. Poor kid – who knew you could get hypothermia in the middle of the desert in June when the temperature outside was a blistering 95. We got out for a while and got him warmed back up. Ryan and Grannie wandered around picking up rocks, tripping over roots and of course snacking. There is no doubt about it - Ryan’s absolute favorite past time is eating. We went back in for one last swim before heading out. Getting back in the second time was almost as bad as getting in the first.

We took a slightly different way back home sending us past some beautiful drifting sand dunes between Imperial and Monahans. We pulled the boys out to play in the sand for a few minutes. Connor ended up getting sand in his eyes and was a pretty unhappy camper. Ryan had a great time.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 2

Happy Father's Day!

We had made plans the night before to take Great Grandaddy out to lunch in celebration of Father’s Day. Unfortunately the morning didn’t start off quite as expected laying our best laid plans to waste. Connor wasn’t feeling particularly well so he went down for an early nap. Grannie and Ryan went out for a walk. I have no idea how far they went but she must have really tuckered him out because when he got back we put him down for a nap, too, and they both slept for an unheard of 3 hours straight. Luckily it gave me plenty of time to make a quick card for Great Granddaddy for Father’s Day.

After lunch Ryan gave the wrinkled card to Great Granddaddy, and he opened his gifts. The boys played around the house for a while. Connor who had perked up some still wasn’t feeling too well and was acting sleepy so I decided to put him down for a 2nd nap. Ryan came in the room with me and tried to crawl into the pack-n-play where he sleeps. I put him in thinking he would be screaming to get out within seconds. Instead he layed down and rolled over to go to sleep. I was really shocked. They slept for another almost 2 hours. Mommy took a really nice nap, too.

After naptime we took the boys to the park. We had stopped by the park the day before to check it out and it was underwater. Had the boys been a little older it would have been a kids play dream - a really cool water park. I was a little surprised that it had dried out completely overnight. We sat in the shade and had a snacktime picnic before heading off to play. As usual once we got to the playground the boys were more interested in the "non-toys" than the real ones. The boys really had fun playing with the tiny little rocks on the playground. After some prodding we did actually manage to get them up onto the play equipment where they found the chimes. They made quite a racket and danced along. Ryan had a good time sliding down one of the slides, too.

Continuing our tradition of the night before the boys got their 2nd bath in as many days as Connor managed to smear quite a lot of mac and cheese in his hair at lunch time. This time, Grannie got to be the guest bedtime story reader.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 1

After a stop by Taco Villa of course we took the boys by the house got them fed, unloaded the car, and put them down for their nap. When they woke up we jumped in the Lincoln teleporter and 10 minutes later arrived at Stonehenge. With an admonishment not to knock any of the rocks over we let the boys explore the ruins. After snacks I let Ryan stomp in a tiny little water puddle left by rare storms passing by that morning. Not to be outdone Grannie took Connor over to a much larger pool and let him splash until he looked like a happy drown rat. Ryan took a turn too before it was over.

We walked from Stonehenge to the duck pond. Didn’t know there was a duck pond near Stonehenge? Well, there is. And there were ducks and geese. Despite “duck” being one of the boys most consistent words they seemed less than interested in the ducks than the water, and for Ryan at least a particularly interesting switch from a bush which he used to sweep the area. After a minor run in with campus police over some shady, but slightly illegal parking – it was a family trip after all, and no family trip is complete without a run in with the law these days – we decided to call it a day and head home.

Great Grannie and Grandaddy came over just in time to watch the boys eat dinner, and run around before baths and bedtime. Great Grannie even got to the be the guest storytime reader.

What's that in the sky?

It was 5:30AM on Saturday and yes, that’s the alarm clock that was going off. No it wasn’t an accident. And no I don’t mean the baby “alarm.” It was the high pitched chirping of my alarm clock – a sound I haven’t heard in probably 16 months. I haven’t even bothered to set it in longer than I can remember. So why did the alarm going off at such an ungodly hour? Because we had to get up early for our flight. That’s right. Flight. And why, yes, I do believe I lost my mind. And you haven’t even heard the best part yet.

The boys and I were going to fly to Odessa. Just the 3 of us. Our first flight ever. What’s the worst that can wrong? HA! Famous last words. First, we left the house a few minutes late by my standards, and hours too early by Kevin’s. Once we were in the maze at the airport we accidentally took the scenic route while looking for the entrance to the parking garage setting us back a few more minutes. Then we arrived at the check in and requested a gate pass for Kevin. We were told that per FAA rules a crazy woman traveling with twin 15 month olds, a stroller, a carseat, two carry on bags, and a giant diaper bag did not qualify for gate pass assistance. Before I booked the trip I had called the airlines and was assured that Kevin could come all the way to the gate with us so that I could get all the bags on, get the carseat installed and then come back and get the boys. Not giving up we talked to the supervisor who after sticking to the no party line was finally swayed by a growing scene, crying children, a mountain of luggage and a mom about to have a nervous breakdown in front of his check in.

We then made our way to the security line. The one good thing about traveling with small children in a stroller is that you get to go down the express line. So despite there being a growing list created by a man unable to find his drivers’ license we sped to the front of line. In addition to all the luggage going on the belt and through xray the kids shoes had to come off, the kids had to come out of the stroller, and the stroller had to be folded up and run through, too. Kevin took the kids while I fed the xray machine all our luggage. I even remembered to pull out my laptop and the giant ziploc bag already assembled with enough creams, tonics, and medication to land us on the watch list if we weren’t already on it. After a relatively peaceful and uneventful trip through security we got everything reassembled and made our way to the gate with 2 minutes to spare before the noted boarding time on our tickets.

We waited, and waited, and waited some more. Almost 15 minutes after the posted boarding time a gate attendant finally showed up and as advised I told her that I was traveling alone with the boys and would like to board early to have the opportunity to get everything settled. So just seconds before she announced general boarding she waved me up and gave me gate check tags for my bags then started general boarding. By the time we got everything tagged and I headed off with the luggage and car seat there were at least 10-15 passengers in front of me. I did finally manage to get on and relatively quickly got the car seat strapped in and headed back for the boys. One of the airlines folks had kidnapped the babies and was heading my direction. Kevin was peeking through the security door (and probably being yelled at by the attendant for doing so). After taking possession of the boys I started back towards the door that led to our plane out on the tarmac. Kevin came running back out and sent boarding passes flying through the air. This time I could hear the attendant yelling at him that he couldn’t go out there. One of the staff brought the passes out to us and we started up again. A few seconds later Kevin comes running back out, well into the no admittance area yelling my name being chased by the gate attendant yelling once again that he could not go in there. I had forgotten to give him the car keys. Oops. Car keys swapped we made our way to the plane. I managed to get both boys out, and holding them got the stroller folded up and handed off to the airline personnel. We then made our way up the stairs and onto the plane, down the narrow aisle sideways and all the way back to our seats. I plopped Ryan down in the car seat and began trying to strap him in. Before I managed it the plane pushed away from the boarding area. I quick put my seat belt on, handed Connor off to a passenger catty corner to me and figured out the problems with Ryan’s seat and managed to get him strapped in and Connor returned to me just before we started our final taxi and turn on the way to takeoff.

The flight itself was pleasantly uneventful. Thankfully the dire warnings repeated by the flight attendant and captain about this being a very bumpy flight with turbulence all the way, and especially on the way down proved to be mostly untrue. The boys read their new books, threw them, and laughed and giggled at each other’s shenanigans. When the beverage service came by the flight attendant gave them pretzels. They had a good time crinkling the packages and shaking them. As we started our descent I handed Ryan a cloth diaper to play peek a boo with. He took it as a blanket instead and decided to take a nap. Connor followed shortly there after. After the plane landed I packed everything back up. I strapped Connor in the seat next to me while stuffing everything back in the bag, and unstrapping Ryan. They both sat in the seat while I unhooked the car seat and gave it to a very nice woman who volunteered to help us get all our stuff off the plane. Then I grabbed the boys and the bag and headed out. When we got to the ramp they had the stroller unfolded and waiting on us. The flight crew helped pull our bags up the walkway and Grannie was waiting at the gate. Mission accomplished. We survived.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The neighborhood pool

I had been wanting to take the boys to the neighborhood pool for a while now, but had decided that we should wait until swim lessons started so we didn't traumatize them to the point where there was no way they would get in the pool before then. So now that lessons started, and in compliance with our homework to practice or swimming skills before the next class we dutifully went to the pool after lunch. Such a hardship. :)

Our main pool has a pretty awesome setup. There is a big "adult" pool with lanes for swimming laps, a double decker shallow baby pool with a fountain, a kids swim area, and a giant kids play area with a water annihilation fortress, slide, water blasters, waterfall mushroom and more.

I thought that around noon time would be a good time to go to the pool assuming that lots of people would leave the pool for lunch, small kids would go home to nap, and we would have the place to ourselves. Apparently lots of other people had the same idea. :) We ran into several of our neighbors including one of the guys in Kevin's group. Similar to our experience of Saturday Connor gleefully took off into the pool and proceeded to wander around the kids play area checking everything out. Not even the accidental dunkings he took when he tripped damped his enthusiasm. Ryan was not nearly as thrilled. He preferred hit and run wave splashing from the beach entry and checking out one of the drip areas of the water fortress to actually being in the kids pool. Stalking other people's snacks, had he actually been allowed to have any, would have been a bigger highlight for him.

Before long we got kicked out of the pool for "adult swim time" which seems completely silly getting kicked out of the kids play area for, but I think it is more of a break for the lifeguards than anything else. After it was over we took the boys into the adult pool to swim around for a little while. Ryan had fun chasing after his floating hat. I would toss it a ways in front of us and we would go after it. He kept eyeing a floating soaker ball some other kids were playing with nearby as well. Next time we will have to remember to bring something like that, too.

As naptime rolled around we drug the boys out of the pool, got them dried off and changed and started packing up. At one point after I had gotten both boys dressed and Kevin was wandering around with Connor Ryan made a mad dash for the open door to the mens bathroom and made it inside before I could catch up with him so I barged in shouting "Knock, knock, coming in! Sorry!" Ryan thought it was pretty funny.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

50 years

Kevin's parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday as well. There was a big party at Kevin's brothers house. Lots of good food, good friends, and good times.

Swim Lessons

The boys had their first swim lesson Saturday morning. Connor LOVED the pool and splashed and giggled like a madman. Ryan was a little less enthused. It took him 10 or 15 minutes or so to warm up to the idea of the water. Wish I had some pics of their 1st class, but unfortunately it required all hands on deck - 1 parent per child - in the pool and paying attention as not to drown them accidentally. :) Kevin was a little apprehensive about being the only dad in the class before we arrived, but as it turns out there was a dad in the class before us, one in our class other than Kevin of course, and 3 in the class after us.

So what do 15 month olds learn at swim lessons? They practiced getting ready to go underwater (We are going to drown you now. Ready? 1, 2, 3. WHEE!!!). They practiced being on their tummies, hands out in front of them, and moving through the water (Ring around the Rosie, don't dunk your nosey). They practiced getting to the edge of the pool and pulling themselves out (elbow, elbow, belly up, knees, knees, all out!) Connor is one strong little cookie. He was able to practically pull himself out of the pool all by himself. Then they practiced getting back into the pool (humpty dumpty sat on a wall, humpty dumpty jumped in the pool). In and out, in and out. So when that's all they want to do when they get older at least we know where it came from. :) Then they practiced flipping over on their backs, pushing off the wall (BLAST OFF!!) and floating around. Ryan and Connor really loved that part. Connor even demonstrated for the class. Then it was circle time. We sang the Barney theme song. No really. I am so not making that part up. And last but not least crawling out of the steps to the pool. And wouldn't you know the instructor had to eat her words about making all the kids get out by themselves on the very first kid. We were closest to the stairs so we were the first ones out. Unfortunately as the instructor was trying to get the boys to stand up on the stairs and crawl out they wanted to practice blast off and absolutely refused to do anything but try to push backwards off the stairs. She finally had to just hand them out. Maybe next time... :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

A visit from the tooth fairy

Boy has it been a busy month around here as far as teeth are concerned. At the beginning of the month Ryan had 8 teeth, and Connor trailed behind with just 4. In the last month though the boys have been teething fiends though they seem to have taken it mostly in stride. I have started a “new tooth” post at least half a dozen times, but each time I count I get a different number. And no, it’s not my Aggie math. So I decided to wait until I came up with the same number a couple of days in a row. So here we are… Care to take a gander where the final count stands? I know I wouldn’t have guessed anywhere near this many. Drum roll please…. Ryan with 12 (up 4) and Connor with 10 (up 6).

All 4 of Ryan’s molars have broken the skin, and all but 1 of them are pretty much in. Connor had a molar pop through, and little tell tale bumps of another, but still no sign of the missing front 4. As another molar started swelling hinting at its future appearance we finally saw a tiny little slit of one his missing top front teeth. And a day or so later the same tooth on the other side came through about the same time the 3rd molar showed us the first little white pearls. The 4th molar is starting to show and sure to make it’s appearance any day now. Those 2 front bottom teeth are still suspiciously absent. If history is any indication, given his propensity to go months without a tooth to suddenly sprout them all in one giant spurt I am sure they will be making an appearance shortly.

I will try to get some pictures of all those pearly whites in the next few days for show and tell.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Better Late than Never

A few pics from last Sunday. Kevin took these with his cell phone. I am actually pretty surprised with the quality given that they came from the phone.

The boys checking out the doves.

Ryan - Sliding.

Connor - Decisions, decisions.

Ryan - Walking through the tunnel.

"Gotcha!" Returning the escapee to the playground.

Connor - Oh so many choices.


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