Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lets Roll.

Last summer around this very same time we had no neighborhood pool & we had lots of construction going on our little old street so the kids were contained to playing in the driveway & in the backyard.

Fast forward 365 days, give or take a few, & my how things have changed. Every house on the block is occupied & everyone knows to watch out for the South boys. (of course, we don't allow them to play in the road without supervision--actually, they don't play out front without one of us out there with them). Not only are they able to get their bikes & scooters out and ride them in our cul-de-sac but they can now load up in their handy dandy Ford F150 & take off for the pool.

They LOVE their F150 & so do Justin and I. A friend of ours was was looking to get rid of theirs so we scooped it up for the boys. I figured it would make a great birthday present for Kaden but who was I kidding? I couldn't possibly wait 3 months before letting him see it or drive it--& we didn't. Night one, it came out.

Night two, they rode it down to the pool & they haven't looked back. Kaden, of course, is driver & Logan sits in the passenger seat fixing his mirror or changing the radio station. Every once in awhile Kaden will take off a little too quickly for his liking and he has to reach up and hold onto his hat...

Justin and I were amazed at how quickly Kaden picked everything up. He does a better job parking his truck than I do parking the suburban & his doesn't cause any damage when he may nudge a wall--can't say the same for me!

Although Kaden likes to be the one behind the wheel, he will still slide over and let someone else take a turn but you better believe his hands are right there on the wheel helping steer and he insists that they go SLOW not FAST like him. & I would agree with him, its pretty difficult to keep up when its pedal to the metal & Logan is behind the wheel.

Who would have thought that a hand-me-down gift could bring so much joy to both the kids & the parents?! I just love watching them both light up with excitement as we announce its pool time--they grab their gear, throw it in the back and jump in. Kaden backs the truck carefully out of the garage & then looks to us for the go ahead. With a nod of the head, he is off--leaving not only dust in his rearview mirror but us too.


Please note--the pool is about 3 blocks from our home. Kaden is not allowed to drive his truck their without stopping at pre-determined locations and waiting for us to catch up. He is not allowed to cross the street without us standing in the middle & watching for traffic. He doesn't drive on the main road of our subdivision, he takes it to the sidewalk. & if he doesn't listen to the rules, the keys (well, battery in this case) will be taken away. So far so good.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Open to Close

Monday was the day we took on Sea World. We were up and out of the hotel by 9 and had our tickets & were waiting in line for the doors to open. It was going to be a good day.

To our surprise, it didn't look overly crowded & then we realized that Texas was still in school--consider ourselves lucky.

Before even entering the park we had a map & had planned out our lineup of shows. First up the Sea Lions & since we had a little time to spare before the show started we decided to feed a few of the sea lions.

and then it was show time. Kaden was so excited to see the sea lions perform & the highlight of the show by far was at the end when the HUGE walrus came out and did sit ups. It was pretty darn amazing.

and the boys had two of the best seats in the house, right on their Papa Tom & Grandma Sara's laps.

After the sea lion show was over we had to bust it across the park to see the One World show which include the star of the amusement park & the whole reason we were going there--SHAMU.

But on the way there we ran into a few distractions. First up, Franklin, the ever so adorable green dude with a hardshell. I wasn't sure what the boys would think since they had never really encountered a character before but they were all about it and even went back for seconds.

Our next distraction came in the form of a HUGE water ride--Brett, Blake and Leah were ready to jump in line. Grandma Sara & I were right behind them but as we entered the line on the ride, we noticed you only needed to be 39 inches tall to ride which meant, Kaden could RIDE! I asked if he wanted to ride and he said yes. We started making our way through the weaving path (there was no line) & approached the pirate ship. He followed Grandma Sara right on in, sat down and we buckled him in. I kept explainig what we were doing as we were riding up & what was going to happen. You could tell he was a little scared because he was covering his ears but what three year old wouldn't be…

& then it happened, the drop! I am holding on for dear life while holding onto Kaden. My Mom is holding on for dear life & then holding onto Kaden too. We finally hit the bottom and the water goes everywhere & unfortunately this brought on the tears with Kaden but not for long. By the time the ride was over he was all smiles again. When asked if he had fun he said "I super, super cried Daddy." & when asked if he wanted to go again, he just shook his head no. Poor guy. Maybe Shamu would make him feel better...

Once we arrived at the One World stadium we took our seats & thankfully, Justin took over the camera and got some great shots of our dear killer whales. Not only was the show amazing but we couldn't get over how smart & intelligent they were. Its amazing to know that a few waves of the hand can send a whale across the pool, have it turn upside down & splash everyone with water using their tale. Remarkable.

After Shamu it was time to see the dolphin show which not only had a few different types of dolphins but also had synchronizing swimmers & macaws. I thought the show was entertaining, the boys, well they were just HUNGRY & it didn't even matter what I was handing them, they were scarfing it down.

The day was going by quickly. We did a little fishing on our own, visted the fish aquiarium to see the sharks and sting rays, we saw the dolphin pool & we did a little shopping. Kaden not only got himself a stuffed animal he named Sea World, appropriate but he got his little brother one too--how sweet is he?!?

By this time the boys were getting a little restless and tired. We needed them to take a nap & as if on queue, Logie closed his little eyes & out he went. While he slept, I became the cool aunt. Brett, Blake & I went on the BIG rollercoasters. Now I LOVED rollercoasters when I was in highschool but you quickly forget how jerky they can be but that didn't stop us. & thankfully, no one puked!

After we got off the final rollercoaster we went on one last ride, Rio Loco. Kaden was barely tall enough to ride this ride and wasn't quite sure about it until Justin said he was going to go. He stepped right up and on we went for a little riverboat ride. He smiled a little more on this ride but still rode with his hands over his ears, for the most part. Towards the very end of the ride came the BIG waterfall & with a little prayer answered it avoided Kaden, for the msot part. We weren't able to excape without getting drenched but after walking around the park for 7 hours in 94 degree weather, we welcomed it.

All in all it was a great day at Sea World & it was so nice to be able to spend & create memories with our family. I couldn't have been more proud of our biggest little guy for taking on the huge BIG KID rides & for Logie being such a trooper all day long. They both did pretty great considering it was a LONG 7 hours at the park, from open to close.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Going further SOUTH.

After our short stay in Dallas for the Royals game we got back up the next morning and we hit the road. Next stop San Antonio or at least that was what we were hoping but 20 minutes into the drive the phones start ringing and Bretters already has to stop for a potty break--at least it wasn't my kid!

We figured that it would be best for us all to just go on our own way, we would get there about the same time but no need for everyone to be pulling over each time. & what do you know, we all pulled in about the same time--after realizing that the address we initially had wasn't the right one. One may be surprised to learn that mixing up North and South might make a little bit of difference. & your probably thinking, how could Kayla do that, she is really organized & would have had this mapped out to the second? Well, I sat back for once & handed over reigns to the lead car--my dad & you know what, in the end we got there. It was only a 5 minutes difference than if we would have had the right address & it was pretty nice not to have to worry about it all.

Instead of worrying about where we were going, I was tasked with keeping our two boys happy. Lucky for me, Justin had bought a couple suckers so my job was pretty easy for this leg of the trip & "mommy" was still something I answered too.

We arrived in San Antonio a little after one & we all decided to eat lunch on the road so we were ready to go when we got there. The hotel was nice enough to let us check in early and worked with us to get us all on the same floor & right next to each other. We played a little musical room--the Siebert-Hamm crew ended up in our room, we took janet's room and she got the room next to ours with a king bed that we could connect with. mom and dad were just across the hall & the boys knew exactly where they could find their sour worms. each morning when they woke up they instantly said they wanted to go to Papa Tom's & Grandma Sara's room & now we know why! They were being bribed--and when it comes to my parents bribing the kids, I could care less. Pretty sure they each had about 20 suckers while we were there.

After we were all settled we headed down to the River Walk. First stop the Alamo. & I would just like to thank my BIL for the history lesson. I knew the Alamo was important but I didn't realize what a HUGE role & a pivotal role it played in the Texas Revolution. Those men (all of them) gave their life to allow for their fellow soldiers a little more time to train & prepare for their victorious fight ending the Texas Revolution.

My parents with the grandkids. Only missing Miss Maddie.
Us & Grammy 
Jennifer and the kids. Rob was off somewhere looking at guns & ammo.  

My sister & my niece, Leah--aka mini-jennifer. 

After our tour of the Alamo we witnessed a very intense exchange of words and a little spitting between two individuals. One individual was expressing his faith in a manner that another was not comfortable with & of course we just had to watch. Just as punches were about to be thrown--a cop rode in on his bike and broke it up. Which might have been a good thing, after all we were in Texas & I am pretty sure people down there are VERY pro guns. Now that the exchange had been diffused, we decided to walk alongside the River Walk on our way back to our hotel. We got a little ways down & decided to pop in for a little mexican food. It was eh-okay. The service wasn't any better. But my mom's prickly pear margarita was the BOMB & I spent the rest of the trip trying to locate another but had no such luck...

It was about this point in our walk that Rob decided we were headed in the wrong direction & this time, it was me who was navigating. Majority ruled & we decided to turn around & after taking two strollers up and down a few stairs we made it back to the road. After walking about 1/2 a mile or so everyone realized that I did in fact have us on the right track and we just spent the last 15 or so minutes walking in the WRONG direction. I think Rob just wanted to show us a little more of San Antonio and ALL that it has to offer. And if you are reading this Rob, sorry, I couldn't help but tell the story--its not often I get to be right!

Finally we reached the hotel & we all, well the kids, put on their suits and we headed to the pool. It was so nice having Brett, Leah & Blake around. They played and swam with the kids and this mom (& dad) didn't have to get in once. We just sat back with a cocktail in hand and enjoyed listening to the kids laugh with their cousins.

There wasn't any question about where you could find the boys over the next couple hours--they were all about the water until Papa Tom brought out the popcorn & then that was it for one of them. Off to Justin's lap he went & we didn't hear another peep out of him until the popcorn was gone. So which South boy was it?

Sir Logan but then again, did you really need to think hard about that one? The kid LOVES to eat. 

Day one in San Antonio was another success but it was off to bed early so that we could be at Sea World the moment it opened…

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Baseball Tour Twenty Thirteen.

Immediately after our 2011 Baseball Tour wrapped up we started throwing out destinations for our next road trip. We decided that we would need to skip 2012 due to a number of smaller trips and our beach vacation but we couldn't let it go another year…

A few of the ballparks that we were tossing around were the Colorado Rockies, the Chicago Cubs,  the  Chicago White Sox but in the end we decided to go with the Texas Rangers in Arlington. It was a great decision because not only were we able to visit a new ballpark with the boys but we also got to watch them take on our beloved Royals & we WON in 10 innings! It was a great day…

We started out on our adventure on Friday around lunchtime. We picked the boys up, headed to Grammy's & then down I49 we went---by the way, so weird to call it that and not 71! We arrived at my mom & dad's only to learn that the air was out in the house & it was HOT or at least it was for me. A short while later Uncle Zack & Aunt Lindsey arrived with a walking Miss Maddie to celebrate Uncle Zack's 30th birthday--talk about making one feel old!

We had decided that since it was a 3 o'clock Saturday game that we would just get up early on Saturday--4 o'clock early--and take off for Bella Vista. That's right we had a pitstop, we were picking my sister & Rob and the kiddos so they could join the adventure too. So there we were 12 people in three cars making our way to Dallas.

Five & a half hours later we finally arrived in Dallas for lunch. & since my dad was with us he had it all planned out, just like our last baseball tour. He had scoured the internet looking for a Diner, Drive-in & Dives restaurant & he hit the jackpot. We visited Hard Eight BBQ, a BBQ joint where you tell them what you want & how much of it you want, they cut it right there in front of you & then you weigh it to see what damage you have done.

After some delicious grub we headed to the hotel to check in & off to the ballpark we went. Luckily we were able to find a hotel that was close enough for us to enjoy a short walk to the field. As we approached the ballpark I noticed what seemed to be a lot of Royal's Fans & then it dawned on me, the Rangers wear blue too. 

As we were heading into the ballpark we noticed that the rain clouds had moved in & were getting ready to dump on us. Fortunately our seats were close enough to a covered picnic area for us to let the boys run around until the game officially began…

And right as we made our way to our seats, the Star Spangled Banner came on. We stood alongside the Ranger's fans with our hand over our hearts & gave tribute to American & all those who have fought or are fighting for this great nation. & it made this mommy so proud to see Mr. Logie following suit, he stood there for the entire song with his hand right over his heart.

The ballpark was just as beautiful as the weather was that day & the company, well that was the best part. It only took a matter of a couple innings and both Kaden & Logan had made "friends" or at least that is what Kaden was calling Blake & Leah--guess he isn't really old enough to understand cousin.

The whole gang lasted the entire game. We were able to walk out of the Rangers ballpark with a big W on our side and big smiles on our faces as we thanked the Rangers fans for their hospitality. & I should note that the fans & the attendants were the nicest people we ran into on our entire trip. We had a wonderful attendant who stored our stroller for us, gave the boys free water & made sure that we knew about the secret picnic area when the rain started to fall. I could have wrapped him up, stuck him in my pocket & brought him back with us, thats how great he was.

Once the game was over & we were back to our hotel we decided to walk next door to Joe's Crab Shack for some dinner. We walked in just in time--ten minutes after we arrived it was over an hour wait & we got the best seat in the house--right next to the playground to let the boys run and play. We needed these boys worn out as much as possible because the next morning we were off on another road trip & this time we headed further south. San Antonio south. 

Thank you Dallas for the great memories & thank you Royals for giving us the cherry on top to our 2013 Baseball Tour--A WIN!