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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dallas

For the second half of our spring break, we drove down to Dallas for a few days. Dallas is our next closest big city, so it's a great place to get away to without having to travel too far. Our kids love staying in hotels with swimming pools, so sometimes that's all it takes to have a great vacation. But we tried to get around and do some other fun things while we were there, too.

The only time I got my camera out the whole trip was when we went to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Our passes to the science museum in OKC are part of a network that lets us get into other museums all over the country as well. I was excited to see that the brand new Perot museum was part of that network. Unfortunately, we arrived at the same time as about 20 buses full of field trippers, so the place was packed. But we still had a good time and got to see some fun stuff. I especially enjoyed the sports hall that focused on the science of sports.


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I tried to get a picture of the kids showing me the turtles they made, but this was the best I could get. I promise they were having fun, despite the looks of incredible boredom and apathy on their faces.

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This is a blooper picture, but I just had to put it up here because it makes me smile.

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Aside from the museum, we visited Ikea (of course!), the Cowboys stadium (just the outside, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a Groupon to take the tour), and Legoland Discovery Center. Thanks to some recommendations, we ate at La Madeleine, Twisted Root Burger (crazy hamburgers like alligator and buffalo), and Del Taco. Yeah, I know, Del Taco isn't exactly a Dallas local joint, but we stopped there for a quick dinner and Logan and Savannah fell in love with their bean and cheese burritos. I indulged them and we went back a second time because who can pass up on an $0.89 lunch?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Red Rock Canyon

Just for the record, education-related jobs have the best holidays. I love that Jeff has all the same holidays as the kids. For spring break this year, we planned some getaways to a few nearby spots and had so much fun. We started with a camping trip to Red Rock Canyon. I had always thought Utah and Arizona had dibs on all the red rock in the country, but I have since learned that Oklahoma has its fair share of red dirt and rocks. Our camping friends, the Stuarts and Waggoners, introduced us to this location. It's a small canyon cut into the middle of a typical flat Midwest field. You drive a short ways down a steep hill and suddenly it's as though you've left Oklahoma and entered the southwest. Our campsite was great-- sheltered with a big area for the kids to play and a fun wall to scale.


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I've mentioned in the past these awesome VW buses that our friends have, but last time we camped I failed to get a picture. I am super jealous of them, especially when it comes time to set up and take down camp. We get along just fine though in our gigantic 10-man tent.

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Each of the kids took a turn climbing up the wall. At the top of the rim you could see rope marks from rappellers. I guess we're not the only ones who thought it was a good wall to climb.

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For the most part, Izzy was content to sit and watch.

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Sometimes her friend, Avery, would come and join her. Avery is right between Savannah and Isabelle in age and they both adore her. We are so lucky to have such great friends.

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We took a short hike to the top of the rim overlooking our campsite. Our tent is just behind us and down about 30 feet.

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We had so much fun camping with these guys! Ever since that weekend I've been trying to convince Jeff to buy a pop-up camper so we can go more often without it feeling like such an event. Still unsuccessful on that front, but we'll see what happens...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The big day/weekend

Isabelle's birthday celebration spanned an entire weekend. We started off with a trip to a gym that has a fun play place next to their floors and beams and bars. It took Izzy a little bit to warm up to the place, and once she did I couldn't find Logan and Savannah anywhere. I started climbing through the tunnels trying to find them, and finally found them staring out at the gymnasts. Logan eventually got bored and went back to playing, but Savannah stayed watching until it was time to go. I signed her up for gymnastics the next week.


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That night we sang and had cake. Unfortunately, Logan came down with a bug and missed most of the fun. I wanted to try something different and bake cake in ice cream cones, but like most birthday cakes I've made, they were less than impressive.

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Isabelle was having a hard time blowing out her candles, so I pushed the plate a little bit closer to her to help her out. Unfortunately, she learned forward at the same time I pushed the plate and I unknowingly singed her hair! I didn't even notice until Jeff started stuttering and grabbing Izzy to pull her back. Oh goodness! I could fill a book with my idiotic parenting moments such as this!

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The next morning was Isabelle's actual birthday, and we started it with a Blue's Clues treasure hunt to find her presents. She woke up crankier than sin and completely missed the concept that this was supposed to be fun. Eventually we made it to the laundry room, where (with the help of her brother and sister) she discovered the washer full of presents. Even then she was still a wreck. It wasn't until she actually started opening the presents and appreciated what was inside of them that she finally lightened up and enjoyed her day.

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A birthday tradition in our home is popping money-filled balloons, one for each year. Isabelle jumped right in and didn't even flinch when the balloon popped.

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Two will be an interesting age for this one, I have no doubt of that. We are truly blessed to have Isabelle in our family.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Trampoline hair

I've already mentioned our new backyard toy, but I seriously can't get over how much the kiddos enjoy the trampoline. Hopefully it survives it's first tornado season! We can't wait until summertime sleepovers and sprinklers under the mat on hot days. In the meantime, we get a kick out of the static.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Baby's first picture

Warning: this post is not for those who are freaked out by creepy ultrasound pictures.

I did not have any intention of finding out the gender of our baby, but my plans were thwarted when this image came on the screen at my 19-week ultrasound:


That's right folks, apparently we are having neither a boy nor a girl, but a baby LION. At least that was Isabelle's interpretation. As soon as she saw that shot, she would not stop roaring and pointing to the screen saying, "Lion!" The doctor thought it was hilarious and kept egging her on.


Joking aside, everything looked great at our ultrasound, which is something I don't take for granted anymore. Baby is growing well (maybe a little too well... the doctor has already told me to come back closer to my due date to measure again) and all the important parts are accounted for. I made the decision before I was ever pregnant that I didn't want to know the gender of my next baby. There's something about having the declaration of "It's a ____!" coming paired with a squirmy, crying baby that I just really want to experience. I'll admit, I'm being weird this pregnancy about a lot of things. If this is the last baby we have, I don't want to have any regrets. Poor Jeff doesn't get it at all, but it's just something I have to do.

Since I didn't make a formal announcement on the blog, here are the details of this pregnancy. I am due September 7. I do not plan to be induced this time so it's possible (and probably likely) the baby will come later than that. This has been my best pregnancy yet and I feel GREAT. I have hardly been sick at all and I am still exercising regularly. Last weekend I ran a half-marathon and aside from a little bit slower time, I didn't notice anything different from when I usually run. I did have to give up my marathon plans (for now) because my hips would get sore on long runs, but I haven't even had a lot of issues with that lately. We are all pretty excited for this new baby, even if we're not really sure where we're going to put him/her. Probably in a pack-n-play in our room. Oh well, nesting is overrated anyway, right?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Has it really been 2 years?

On March 10, Isabelle turned two. For the next 6 weeks, our kids were ages 2, 4, and 6. Guess it's time for another one, don't you think? (That's not actually what this post is about, but I sneaked in a subtle announcement unintentionally in our Hawaii post, not remembering that there are people who read my blog that hadn't already heard our announcement on Facebook. I didn't mean to be so cryptic. Yes, we are expecting another baby in early September. I will elaborate more in another post sometime if I ever get caught up!)

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Isabelle is a little fireball. She is so funny and sweet, but she is also very bossy and independent. She wants to do everything herself, and often makes us late because she takes so long getting herself in the car. (It's worth it, though, not to deal with the tantrum that comes if I do it for her.)

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For Christmas we got a new trampoline. The older kids took to it right away, but Isabelle was extremely hesitant. For weeks she wouldn't have anything to do with it, then one day I forced her to come out while the other kids were at school so just she and I could play. Since then it is her favorite toy. We've debated whether to get a trampoline for years, but now that we finally made the leap I don't think we'll ever go back. Everybody loves it and I never have any mom-guilt about letting them spend hours out there.

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Isabelle loves electronic devices. (What kid of this generation doesn't?) My old iPhone is now her "phone call." I only have two movies with digital copies on my phone, so she is constantly watching either Toy Story 3 or Up, but mostly Toy Story 3. When Toy Story ends and the credits start rolling "Hay un Amiga en Mi," without fail Izzy will come running into the living room, iPhone or iPad in tow, to dance her heart out.

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Isabelle has a mother's heart. Unlike Savannah, who never had much interest in baby dolls, Izzy is never without one. We go through twice as many baby wipes as we should since her dolls are frequently stinky. I am curious to see how she is going to do with a real live baby at home.

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Isabelle loves to color with her brother and sister. She is completely incapable of using markers without getting them all over her hands, arms, face, and clothes.

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A few other funny things about Isabelle. She calls me "Mama." I have no idea where that came from since neither of the other kids do. She loves croutons. If I have a salad, she will come pick all my croutons off and eat them. She is obsessed with Barbie movies. She hates having her hair done, but will tell me "my hair's so long" when it gets in her eyes and let me clip it back. Speaking of hair, this kid has an interesting combination of Jeff's and my hair. Her hair is straight and fine like Jeff's, but she has a lot of it (like mine). It has challenged my hair styling abilities to know what to do with it. Straight hair is a complete unknown to me.

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I love this little girl and have cherished this year in which she and I have had so much one-on-one time together. She has so many good characteristics, and the challenging ones will become her strengths when she's older. I can't wait to see what life has in store for her.

Weight: 26.5 lbs (50%)
Height 33 inches (29%)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Valentine's

The older my kids get, the more involved they want to be in holidays and such. Valentine's Day was no exception. The week before their class parties, they picked out some homemade valentines from Pinterest and I took them to Hobby Lobby to round up supplies. Every day they would bug me to print out their templates to they could make their valentines. Finally I got my act together and we spent an afternoon putting everything together. I really did very little to help, and was pretty proud of the job they did.

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I remember having Logan sit down and sign all his valentines at Savannah's age. It took us three days because (a) he was a slow writer and (2) he had a very short attention span. Naturally, I was dreading having Savannah sign her name on 20 butterflies. To my surprise, she took hardly any time at all to finish. I feel bad that I don't spend as much time with her as well as I did with Logan (working on reading and writing and such), but her teachers at school are doing great things with her and she is continually surprising me with what she is capable of. Now if only we could eliminate bathroom accidents and whining...

Other than making valentines for school, our holiday was pretty low key. Since Jeff and I had just come off a week long trip with just the two of us, we decided not to go out for Valentine's Day. But spending the day home with all my favorite valentines was a pretty good trade.