Monday, June 29, 2009

Random Photo

This is just a random photo from my phone. Autumn was very afraid to try to slide down the pole at the playground. After watching Billy a few times, she was ready to give it a try. This is her first successful go at it. She was so proud of herself. She has also learned how to do the monkey bars since she came to stay with us. It's so exciting to see her grow and learn!

Autumn's Preschool Graduation

Teacher Ms. Leila


Another performing shot

walking in

The pictures do not do this special event justice. She was so tickled to be wearing her dress and stockings to school. She wanted her hair done just so. Autumn was so excited and performed so well. I wish we would have taken some video. The songs, dance and recitations were darling. Autumn announced that she wants to be a chef when she grows up during her walk across the stage. She was so proud of herself. Carl took off work and brought her flowers- Autumn was pleased at this small surprise.

Camping over Memorial Day Weekend

I just managed to pull these pictures off my phone, so I thought I'd share them. This is our camping trip from over Memorial Day weekend. We had so much fun. We explored a cave, watched the trout spawning, we hiked the Backbone- 2 miles, rowed a boat, fished, everything. It was Autumn's first time. Such a good time. Wish the pictures were better.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Today's Doctor Appointment

I was surprised today at the doctor to find that I have only gained 2 lbs in the past 4 weeks. I'm also measuring at 18 weeks and the doctor says I should be 17 weeks tomorrow by his calculation. Baby was moving all over the place and finding a heartbeat was a real challenge. Found one and it was about 150- (not sure of the measurement, but number is right). As for the existing hemmorage, doc says we'll wait until 6/16 for full ultrasound to check it out. He says that it's more common than most people think and will usually go away without any trouble by 20 weeks. However, if it comes up on the ultrasound in 3 weeks it could be more serious. So, that's what I know. Baby's doing well. Hopefully the hemmorage will make itself scarce so we have no further worries.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Our Texas Vacation- Can't wait to return

We had such a good time on our Texas vacation, as I'm sure you can gather from the pictures. We are all so grateful to my dad and Gail for all they did to make our stay fun and eventful. The kids loved going swimming over and over again at the hotel pool. They think Grandpa Chuck's dog Buddy is such a winner. I wish our dog Skittles could have met him and learned to play from him. He is such a good boy. We can't wait to visit again soon. Hopefully we'll have time to fish and garage sale as the rain ruined our chance of getting those things done. I've never had rain interrupt my Texas vacation before- that was shocking. But we got lots of time to play on the computers and get all the necessary things accomplished. Thanks for a great trip Dad! I love my new maternity clothes Gail. It was great to meet you Billy and Candace. Good luck with the new baby. See you all again real soon!

San Angelo, TX - Kid's Kingdom Playground

Grandpa Chuck and Grandma Gail led us to the coolest of playgrounds when they both had to work and we were looking for a way to kill some time. This playground was expansive and had cubbies and climbing opportunities everywhere. The kids just loved it. I didn't take near as many pictures there as I would have liked. I was feeling rather sick this morning of the trip. The kids were so red in the cheeks after running around this place for over an hour. Carley proved to be quite capable climbing everywhere the boys did. Billy showed us how he can mount a high swing and get himself really going without any help. Ian was all over exploring the different places to play. It was a nice morning and though the afternoon was a scorcher, our morning had a beautiful breeze with clouds to keep it shady. Wish we had a huge playground like this one around here.

Sonora, TX - Sluicing at Sonora

While waiting for our tour at Sonora Caverns to begin, we had about 1/2 an hour to kill. We decided to buy a bag of sluicing rocks. I divided the bag up among three trays and the kids had such a great time sifting through. Billy was thrilled to find all the colored rocks unveiled by the running water. Ian's tray was a little less full of pretty finds- but he didn't seem to notice. We sneaked more in later. Carley was right behind the boys waiting anxiously for a turn. Luckily there was an adult to each child, so we kept them busy washing their rocks over and over. Then they bagged them up and went on to other discoveries. Afterward Billy found this huge bug. He was frightening looking. He didn't seem to afraid. Then we saw four hummingbirds at a feeder. Waiting for the tour took no time at all with these leisurely activities. I was a little nervous of how they would behave on the tour, but was pleasantly surprised at the listening skills and awe they showed. What a cool trip!

Sonora, TX - Sonora Caverns

So many great pictures to choose from. I'm sure I chose the wrong pics to share. This cavern is wonderfully active. There were a great number of beautiful formations. Unfortunately, it is not without it's vandalism. A 5-ft. soda straw was broken a number of years ago and within the last 5 years their trademark butterfly formation was broken. Still, it was a place worth seeing. It's hard to believe how long it has taken these beautiful things to form in this cavern. We were amazed at the dripping water and warm colors inside. And utter darkness- was breathtaking. That is truly the darkest place I've ever been. I saw this cavern about 6 or so years ago and I don't remember it being so steamy down there. It was 73 degrees, but I was sweating up a storm. All of us struggled with the near 2 mile walk. Carl carried Carley on his chest in a Snugli and I'm 16 weeks along with Ian in hand and my dad had Billy. It was exhausting. Still, I am glad my dad forked over the ridiculous admission price and we bore the heat and steep walking conditions. It was a sight to see. I'm glad to have share it with my little ones.

Fort Worth, TX - The Fort Worth Zoo

We met up with my cousins Daniel and Alice here. This zoo is just 1/2 an hour from their home. I was a little apprehensive about this zoo at first. We looked into the membership program, hoping the reciprocating zoos would be close to us and other future travel destinations- and lo and behold they do not reciprocate with other zoos. Wow, never heard that one before. I guess this zoo is intent on holding its own. They're doing pretty well. Our kids were amazed at their herpetorium- lizards, snakes, salamanders, newts, etc. They loved strolling from box to box and trying to find the hiding captives. The kids love zoos and this one was no exception. The crowning glory of this zoo (for the kids anyway) could be achieved on a large patio in any home (in my opinion). They allowed the kids to purchase a stick with seeds on it to feed parakeets. All of the kids loved it. They went from bird to bird offering these treats. Carley would shake off any bird that perched her stick. While Billy coaxed every bird on. Ian needed some encouragement but did love it.
This zoo also has a special Texas section. It has a petting zoo. We got to pet a real armadillo and a calf. The goats were not interested in us because they were eating the biggest popsicles I've ever seen. After this Daniel insisted we have ice cream. I wasn't hard to convince. It was super hot. Carley got ice cream all over her! Billy finished his first- no surprise there. It was great! After ice cream we caught a glimpse of a few more Texas animals (bats, coyotes, mountain lions, etc.) and then we were off. The kids were pretty tired by this point and the layout of the zoo is not conducive for a quick getaway. We had to walk the line all the way back to the front, passing all the exhibits we had already seen. My biggest suggestion for this zoo is to create a circle or spoke-like pattern to house the exhibits around. Our trip out of there, in the heat of the day, was exhausting. Billy barely made it. It was a great trip and a nice visit with our cousins- which we have been long overdue in seeing. Hoping to do it again soon.

Wichita, KS - Museum of World Treasures

All in all this museum was pretty impressive. I especially enjoyed the exhibit on the presidents (2nd floor), but was a little frustrated that because the majority of it was on loan it was not allowed to be photographed. I wish I had prepared my kids for the mummies and shrunken heads and other oddities. They just didn't understand. We'll be checking out library books to teach them more this summer though. Our focus was the dinosaurs (on the 1st floor) and they came through with flying colors in captivating and putting this kids in awe. They were big and impressive. The fossils were awesome. They loved it. When we got to the 3rd floor there was a large play area for the kids, including a castle puppet theatre, a bouncy inflatible and ride-on toys. There was also a castle with throne and dungeon. The boys loved that. I think this is a nice museum and I'm glad we made it a stop on our way to Texas.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Hooray! We leave in just one week for our Texas vacation. Boy are we ready for a vacation. Don't get me wrong- camping over Memorial Day was great- but this is long-awaited for. We're going to see my Dad and Grandma Gail. Hopefully we'll get to enjoy the Sonora Caverns or maybe the Abilene Zoo. There's sure to be swimming and fishing. On the way there we're stopping in Whitchita to visit a giant T-rex and we'll stop in Arlington to see Daniel and Alice- my sweet cousins I never get to see. I just can't wait. My replacement camera should be in the mail today and arriving early next weekend. Posts of vacation pictures are imminent. I have been using my cell phone camera and plan to print those pics out soon. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm still here

I know it's been a few weeks since I've blogged, but I am still here. A big part of the reason for my lack of recent post is because I lost my camera. It was in my purse which was stolen during my son's 6th birthday party at the bowling alley. So, I apologize but I have no recent pictures of his party, camping with the kiddos or Autumn's preschool graduation. What a bummer! Anyhow, here's a quick update.
Billy had 11 guests at his birthday party. His cake was Sonic the Hedgehog bowling. It was a lot of fun. My purse was stolen.
Memorial Day weekend we took the kids camping for 4 days and 3 nights. What a blast. We fished, hiked, boated, everything. Autumn slammed her finger in the bathroom door and lost a raisin-sized piece of flesh. The ER in Manchester x-rayed it and dressed it and called it good. There was a bone chip.
Autumn graduated from preschool. She received 2 ribbons from the field day the week before. She announced that she wants to be a chef when she grows up. Carl brought her flowers. She did great for the presentation. Mom didn't come.
All in all our last few weeks have been pretty nice. We're looking forward to our Texas trip- in a week and a half. We'll be going to visit my dad for a whole week. Autumn is going to stay with her 1st foster family during this week. We're all excited.
I'm 13 weeks pregnant and the ultrasound it registering me as 1 week ahead. Everything looks okay so far. I have only gained a few pounds. I've had some major pain and cramping, but after an increase of water it seems to be subsiding. Things are looking good for a late November arrival.
Hoping to hear how all of you are doing very soon!