Sunday, January 17, 2010

nice day at the park

a couple days before christmas all the big people's decided to go snow boarding. i couldnt go cause at the moment i was still technically pregnant. man if i had known that i could have gone without messing anything up (it was already done for) i sooo would have loved to go! but anyways.....i stayed home with my kiddos and decided we needed to do somethin fun too. we ran a couple errands doing some very very last minute christmas present shoppin then decided to grab some mcdonalds and do a picnic at the park. taylor got pooped out shopping so she stayed with nana and took a nap. uncle mike even rode his bike to the park and hung out with us.
we like this park cause its just around the corner from my moms house and its hardly ever crowded. it has lots of clean safe fun toys for landen and lots of benches for me to sit and watch him from.
he managed to make a little friend and enjoyed running around with him. we had a fun day together :)

and finally CHIRSTMAS!!!!

christmas with our families is always a few days worth of events. this year we went down to joe's family a week before christmas so we could be back home to visit bud as long as possible. we went and saw christmas lights together and had a nice family dinner for uncle nicks birthday too. but of course the highlight of the visit was exchanging gifts. christmas is so fun with small kids that are soo innocent and excited to open toys.
landens latest toy favorites have been the toy story characters. he loves loves loves buzz lightyear and enjoys woody too. so alot of his gifts were the toy story theme this year. who knows what next years requests will be :)
taylor was easy to please with a baby doll and some cute outfits and a few other baby toys. most of the time she just wants to be involved in whatever her big brother is doing.
poor joe didnt get to unwrap any of his own gifts cause landen wanted to "help". joe LOVES to open presents and to get suprises, but he was a great sport and let landen open nearly ever one of his gifts.
after christmas with the brooks side of the family we were headed home to do christmas morning at our own house. we put out cookies and water (landen didnt want to give him milk) and some baby carrots out on the lawn for the reindeer too.
christmas morning was soo much fun with the two kids. landen was so excited for taylor to get her gifts and he would just talk to her about how fun her things were going to be.
no clue who's present this is being upwrapped, but not superised at all to see that landen is the one doing the unwrapping!
taylor knows how to close all these little doors, but still hasnt figured out how to do all the different knobs to open em back up. guess it'll take a while :)
santa brought taylor some cheerios in her stocking. landen had to open em up for taylor and let her have her treat. gee thanx landen :) gotta love the mess huh!

after christmas at home we still had three more houses to go to! we were in for a very long but fun day!
first up was Nana's house (my mom). we had a ton of people crammed in her not so big living room. and with presents and wrapping paper goin everywhere it was a miracle we all made it out alive.
next up was my grandmas house. she lives on the total opposite side of town as everyone else so thats about a half hour drive. everyone went back to their houses from nana's house and the babies took naps and the grown ups took showers and got dressed. all landen wanted to do was play with this new toys.
he wanted to ride in uncle buds truck to get to grandma's house and suprise suprise he fell asleep on the way over there. took him a while to wake back up to do more presents.
the babies were tryin to be so helpful and open out stocking box of household goodies.
we had a big huge christmas dinner at grandma's house and had a great time with family. after her house we all went back home to let the babies take another nap and then off to grandpa's house (my dads)
the big boys all got these cool indoor remote control hellicopters and landen got a spider man helicopter toy too. he totally felt like he was one of the big kids!
as you can tell we had a huge and tiring and exciting and wonderful christmas. every year our families do way too much for us and we are so grateful for everything they do. we try to teach landen the true meaning of christmas but it sure is fun watching his open all his gifts. its cute tho, cause if you ask him about christmas he knows to tell you that we are celebrating Jesus' birthday. :)

landens first REAL beach trip

so landen has gone to the beach several times but he always refuses to touch the water. he will want to put on his swim suit and take his sand toys and he plops down in the sand and never budges. so we didnt think anything of it when grandpa watched taylor at the house while she was napping and we hopped in his little electric car (that has no windows and no doors, more like a street legal golf cart) and headed down the road to check out the beach, we didnt even pack extra clothes or towels.
landen stepped foot onto the sand and as expected plopped down. joe decided to walk around the rocks and look for giant star fish while i watched landen dig. landen wanted to join dad and walked over towards the edge of the water where the rocks shoot up. landen actually touched the wet sand with his feet and just got braver and braver.
he has NEVER let the waves his his ankles ever until then! we werent there very long, but he somehow managed to get soaking wet from his toes all the way to his ears.
luckily grandpa's car had some extra beach towels in the little trunk compartment for emergencies. we wrapped landen up and buckled him into his carseat and headed home. poor guy was freezing cold covered in sand and tired but he sure had fun!

Legoland and the aquarium

While we were down celebrating christmas with joes family we decided to stop by legoland and the little aquarium next door to it. this past summer we bought season passes to go but this is actually the first time we were all able to go together. landen had a great time riding the rides and visiting with his cousins and auntie april and grandpa. i was rather suprised at how many little rides they actually have there. i know they are just about as expensive as disneyland but never knew if it was close to as fun. id say if you have a small kid thats at least 3yrs old then they would love it. anything younger and they cant really ride much. anything older than maybe 13-14 and id say it might be too babyish for them. they dont really have alot of bigger kid rides.
this is the smaller cars ride they have. there is one for older kids where the track is huge and its like a little town with stop signs and intersections and the whole bit. but for landen this was awesome. kinda like the disneyland autopia ride but without the thing between the tires so you dont crash and the kid actually gets to be the driver all by themself!! he rode this one a few times in a row!
grandpa was even a good sport to ride a few rides with landen.
this is like a kiddie version of freefall at magic mountain. it pulls the row of seats up pretty high and then lets it freefall for a second and then bounces you back up and drops you a few more times. i totally thought landen would be scared but he absolutely loved it! he just laughed and laughed the entire time!
this one you drive this jetski lookin thing and it actually goes over water. i think its supposed to be a water ride where other people get you wet, but the boys were lucky and stayed dry.
this was by far his favorite ride of the day. just one of those big huge slides where you sit on a mat to go down. we were there during mid week so it was pretty empty so he would just slide down and turn around and climb right back up and do it over and over again. legoland is only about 5 minutes from the in-laws so i figure we will keep the season passes and go back lots of times!
this is how long of a day we had! for those of you who know taylor the idea of her falling asleep and cuddling you at the same time just isnt in the picture. but i was so happy to be able to capture it on camera with her falling asleep for the very first time cuddling her daddy. he loved it too!
the aquarium is nothing fancy just lookin thru glass at fish but landen enjoyed it. he knew some of them from our fish tank and most of the ones from Finding Nemo.
it is nice cause all the viewing windows are pretty low so the kids get a perfect view. i think inside this one was some sea horses. he recognized them from pinocchio.
he was especially excited to get to touch a starfish. the two starfish we have in our tank hide pretty much all the time, so we're just lucky to get to see them!
and my happy little girl cruisin in the double stroller daddy is pushin. she is soo much more content that landen was at this age. i totally remember carrying him and pushing around an empty stroller when he was a baby. and she just takes her seat and enjoys the view!

christmas cookies

it is pretty often around here that we make cookies. landen loves to put colored frosting and sprinkles on sugar cookies. this time we had our neighbor friend Lacey and her mom come over and help us decorate some. they even brought over a bunch of christmas shaped cookie cutters. we made a big huge mess but had a big amount of fun!
they each had to have their own knife to spread the frosting because it is IMPOSSIBLE for a three year old to frost a cookie without licking the knife. we nearly made it through the whole adventure without spreading germs but of course the wrong knives got licked and put back into the frosting. oh well, no one was sick and we all love each other :)
didnt they do a great job!!

a little of this, a little of that

one of the joys of christmas with a three year old is they have no concept of the dollar value of gifts. that doesnt mean you get him something expensive and expect them to love it soo much more, but it means they can get something that costs $2.50 and it can be their very best favorite gift! one of his favorites this year was his shaving kit. he actually got two of them, but i have the second one packed away to bust out in a few months for a new exciting thing to do. he thinks he needs to shave every day just like his dad. joe showed him what to do, and he was hooked. he actually does a pretty good job. of course ive never tried to shave my face before, but he looks like he'll do good when the time comes. by then the razor will be a blade rather than just rubber tho.

i totally dont remember them having shaving kits to teach my how to shave my legs way back in the day. might have saved me some pain!even tho today is actually the day im doing all these blog updates, most of the pictures and stories go back over the last couple months. rather than trying to rack my brain about which event came first and puttin em all in that order, im just postin em as they come. today was one of those lazy sundays and we didnt go to my dads for dinner cause they are all outta town. the boys watched football after church then played a little wii. taylor was major messy eating dinner so i just took her shirt off and let her play while i made dinner for the grownups and attempted to clean my never ending mess of a kitchen. but to sum our day up after church. this is pretty much what we all did:
taylor discovered that a few of the cupboards dont have those annoying baby latches on them and she can actually open them and play. this one on the bottom is fairly safe, mostly just bendy straws.
the critters all laid around and enjoyed being warm and dry. today was the first day of what the weather channel says will be lots and lots of rain. thats all it shows for the next ten days at least!
the boys sat on the couch and played the wiil. since landen got indiana jones and batman lego for christmas thats ALL he ever wants to do. we limit him and only allow him to play when one of us can play with him which means taylor has to either be down for the night or taking a nap.
taylor also discovered that its fun to climb around on upside down things. like landens little lightning mcqueen chair for example
and cosmo just had to look cute :)

santa barbara cont.

i didnt realize that i had some other great stories and pictures to talk about during our santa barbara trip. and i have no idea if its possible to go back and edit an entry after ive already posted it. so we'll just add another one on top :)
while we were walking around on the pier some of the guys noticed a lonely pelican hanging out on the fence. now my brother and his friends are not the brightest bulbs around, but they do tend to bring a good time wherever they are. they all thought it would be a good idea to go introduce themselves to the bird. not sure if they gave him a name or not, but here he is meeting the gang.
i dont remember who's idea this was or which of the guys got close first, but it was scary! they totally were petting him and he was just chillin there. PS- do not attempt this at home!
we found this super cute hat while we were out walking thru the shops. landen just had to put it on and test it out and to my suprise he actually let me take a picture of it. soo cute huh!?!another kinda funny thing we saw was these blankets laid out off the edge of the pier. i guess bums would make these up and people walking by are supposed to throw coins into their buckets, and then at the end of the day they come collect their winnings. doesnt sound like a bad idea to me. maybe ill bring a sign and blanket next time we go. set it up in the morning, go play in the sand and waves, walk around the shops then come collect my money before the ride home LOL this first one says "Just plain hungry" and has it all set up like a dining place.

you cant tell from this picture, but all the other blankets are huge. like at least bigger than the size of a beach towel. this poor guy has this tiny little hand towel laid out. it was soo hard to even read the sign. but it does say "I know those other guys have bigger blankets, but im new at this". guess he was hoping to earn some sympathy points and get extra cash.

December catch up

during the month of december joe had quite a bit of vacation saved up from the year. and with his company you cant carry it over to the next year so you either use it or loose it. so we got to spend alot of time together as a family during the holidays. after the rush of christmas and visiting lots of family, we decided to take landen to play his first game of mini golf. i wasnt sure if landen holding a golf club would be dangerous or not, but he did really well!
we had to show him how to stand and how to slowly put the ball, but he had it down in no time. the course was really wet and had lots of puddles from a previous rain. but good thing he wore his rainboots!
he was kinda sad when he realized that his body wouldnt fit into the little mini buildings. we tried to explain to him that the ball would go in one hole and come out down below, but he just didnt grasp that concept. lol
we were also lucky enough for the month of december to have my brother Buddy and his girlfriend Chelsea stay with us for three weeks. Bud is in the air force and has been living in Texas for the last three and a half years. he tries to come home and visit about every six months and some visits are longer than others. but this was by far the best visit for us! they got to stay at our house so we got to see them and hang out all the time. landen hasnt spent much time with his uncle bud, but he LOVES playing with him.
while they were in town we did lots of fun stuff. of course they were also here for christmas, but i think that needs a blog entry all to itself. one great day while they were here, we all got in the car and drove down to santa barbara to enjoy some NICE california weather. the guys all built a really cool lookin sand castle, the babies played in the sand (taylor tried to eat it lots of times) and the girls enjoyed walking around all the shops when the tide started comin in. it was crazy to think we were all wearin shorts at the beach while back in texas it was snowing cats and dogs!
not exactly sure what compelled her to continuously eat the sand, but apparently it tasted very good. if i turned my back on her for one second she would have a mouthful. she was even lucky enough to find the primo of all hidden treasures in the sand beach, a USED CIGARETTE! yeah thats right, had to pull that one out of her mouth too!! EWWWWyou can kinda see the beginning of the mondo sand castle in the back on this picture. but i was just trying to capture dad and landen playin in the sand with the buckets. the water was waaaay to cold for landen to play in, but he still wanted to wear his water clothes and played in the sand and chased birds.

totally random, but better late than never

k so i finally got taylor to bed (she was having a very not normal meltdown tonight when i put her to bed. and now the boys are playing indiana jones lego on the wii so i thought id try to do a couple quick blog updates. i am FINALLY uploading some pictures from our TWO cameras (yeah i found the one that i nearly swore the carpet guys stole). i dont even know how far back some of these pictures will be, and guarantee they will be in no order what-so-ever, but at least they will be on here right :)
first up i found some super cute pics of my sisters baby Austin. i guess a while back i babysat him and he's the type of baby that always wants to be carried around. so i think at the time taylor was sleeping so i stuck him in the sling and just went about doing my stuff. he looks waaay different now cause these are like 4 months ago, but he was soo cute and bald!
he also loves to play in the bouncy chair. you just stick him in and he goes to town forever! his little legs are gunna be soo buff!!!
and do avoid too much craziness, ill do separate blog entries for the different types of pics i find on the new camera. gotta upload them now :)