Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tralee's First Camel Ride. . . well, her first anything ride.

Just a few months ago we couldn't get Tralee to ride on ANY animal on the carousal, and those were fake animals In the past, she has flat-out refused pony rides, and the pony rides were on tiny, short, little ponies. So, when she asked to ride on the camel yesterday at the Cleveland Zoo, Jim and I were skeptical, especially since camel rides were a whopping four big ones! But, we decided to buy a ticket anyway.

We were amazed when Tralee proudly marched up the stand, ticket in hand, and waited for her turn to ride. I kept thinking, "Ok, when is she going to refuse to get on?" I waited for her to announce, "No! I don't want to ride!" But these words never left her mouth. I watched--jaw-open--as my little three-year-old climbed upon a VERY high camel, held on to the harness, and took her first ride on ANYTHING. I worried that maybe she would loose her cool after it started walking, and would want down. I knew Jim had the same worries as I heard him say, "Hold on tight Tralee!" We were wrong again. Tralee loved the whole experience. I laughed right out loud as she regally rode the humpity beast around the track.

I have to admit, I was a little teary-eyed with pride. Tralee looked so cute up there.

It was totally worth four dollars!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Million Pictures from WI. . . and now I'm done!!

Here are the last of the photos from our Wisconsin trip. Since there are so many photos. . . I'll keep the jibjab to a minimum:
Myself, Aunt Mary (Dad's sister), and cousin Kevin at Aunt Mary's house on Sunday afternoon

My brother Jimmy, and his wife Amy. My brother and I are both brown-eyed. We both married blue eyed people. All of our offspring take after the brown-eyed side of the family. Our spouses DNA can't compete. We're all wondering if there will ever be any blue-eyed cousins in the future. . . probably not.

And now. . . Grammy Char-Char photos with each grandchild. Taken from oldest to youngest.
Haylee and Grandma

Brady and Grandma

Tralee and Grandma

Hunter and Grandma

Uncle Mike and Hunter watching golf at Uncle Mike and Aunt Mary's house

The next few photos were our attempt to get cousin shots. . . we failed miserably. Tralee was a stinker who refused to sit still for photos. The pictures below were the best ones. Also. . . notice my Aunt Mary's beautiful yard!

After visiting at Aunt Mary's house, we made our way over to my brother's house. He also has a nice big yard in Fox Point. Tralee had a blast playing with her cousins here. They have a swing set and EVERYTHING!!!
Nana relaxing while watching the little ones run about

Group shot

The best group shot I could get with Tralee in it. . . she's such a little goose!!

Hunter and Haylee helping Grammy Char-Char in the garden at Jimmy and Amy's house

Brady and Hunter. . . the boy cousins

Uncle Jimmy and Hunter at Nana's

Amy, Haylee, Brady, Grammy Char-Char, and Hunter. We took Hunter for a walk to get him to fall asleep. Worked like a charm!!

Tralee playin' on her cousins' swing set in the yard

Lastly. . . a gorgeous HUGE willow tree in my brother's yard. Tralee's at the bottom of the photo. . . just to give you an idea how huge this tree is.

Done with Wisconsin photos! HOORAY!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Jim's Back!!!!

I'll get back to posting Wisconsin pics later. . . I just wanted to post how happy I am that Jim's back with us! We couldn't be happier to have our husband and father back again. There were several moments over the last month that I felt as if a part of me was missing. Especially when dealing with the kids. Jim knows me better than I know myself. He knows when I'm about to lose my cool. He knows when to step in and offer me relief so I can gain control again. He knows when to make me laugh, and when to ask, "what can I do?" He knows my every mood, look, and tone. I've missed having him around reading my thoughts before I speak them, taking over with the babies when I need a moment to myself, and making me laugh at his outrageous and stupid jokes that (more often than not) only I find funny.

I'll post more about his homecoming later. . . right now I'm off to help Jim and Tralee catch fireflies. It's good to have him back!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wisconsin Road Trip: Part One

My mom and I were feeling brave, so we ventured the eight hour road trip from Ohio to Wisconsin to visit my family in Milwaukee. I'm glad we did. The time on the road getting there and getting back wasn't my favorite, but everything in between was quite lovely. There were far too many photos taken, so I'm splitting up our Wisconsin trip in two posts.

The picture below was taken within the first few hours. It was before the storm hit. . . literally. We had to pull off the road somewhere in Indiana because we were in the middle of some serious weather. Lightening all around us, wind blowing our car all over the road, rain so hard we couldn't see where we were driving, and thunder booming so loud we couldn't hear anything else.
After all the excitement on the road, we finally made it to my Nana's condo around 2am. On the road we dealt with screaming uncomfortable Hunter, taking the wrong route so we were on the road an extra hour, bad weather, and getting lost in road construction only twenty minutes away from our destination. All I wanted was to climb into bed and not move for the next few hours. I didn't bother brushing my teeth, or getting into my pajamas. I think I literally crashed onto the hide-a-bed with Tralee and Hunter and didn't move until morning when the kids started rolling over me.

We had a FULL day on Saturday. First Tralee was able to see her cousins, something she talked about non-stop while she was awake in the car. My mom and I heard at least a hundred times on the drive to Wisconsin, "Mommy, Mommy Char-Char, I'm going to see my cousins! I'm going to see Haylee and Brady!" Tralee couldn't wait. The first cousin activity was a Primary Church activity at somebody's house. There were lots of sporty games to play in a large yard, and all the kids had fun.

We went back to Nana's for a yummy lunch, and afterwards Grammy Char Char, Amy, Haylee, Brady, Tralee, Hunter, and myself went to the splash fountain at Bayshore mall.

When everyone was as wet as they wanted to be, we made our next stop at a park. After playing at the park, we made our way to Nana's. Nana prepared a wonderful meal (as always) for us, and we let the kids play while the adults visited.

Actually. . . my big brother Jimmy watched my kids for me so my mom, Amy, and I could run some errands after dinner. It was only running errands, and it was only for an hour, but it felt GOOD to be around adults for a bit. I love my kids. . . but sometimes it's nice to step away for a bit and have some adult conversation with no interruptions.

We ended our day eating Kopps frozen custard. YUM!!!!!!!!!

Stay tuned for more photos to sum up our Wisconsin trip.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Frogs and Sharks

Grammy Char Char couldn't resist getting this froggy swimming pool for her grand babies. Tralee and Hunter have had a lot of fun in it so far.

On Monday the 14th, we took the kids to the library. The library around here has a weekly program for kids ages three and up. First they read a story, then they do a little craft that has to do with the story. This week's was about sharks. During story time the parents are encouraged to leave and then come back for craft time. Dropping Tralee off in her little Dora backpack (which she refused to take off) was my first glimpse of what it might be like when I drop her off for her first day of school (something that's approaching way faster than I want). She looked too cute sitting there with all the other kids. She wasn't scared or sad at all.
While Tralee was enjoying story time, I perused the book shelves and Grandma played with Hunter. All the books on my list were already checked out, or not in this library's catalog. I guess I need to expand my list to include books in this library. My mom had more luck and found a few books on tape we're going to listen to on our road trip to Milwaukee this weekend.
Here is Grammy Char Char helping Tralee with the shark craft. Tralee wanted to do everything by herself. She kept pushing me away saying, "Mommy, go away! Go away! I do it by myself!" I glanced around watching other parents and their children peacefully doing their shark craft together, while Tralee and I were having issues. She is Miss Independent! Do any other parents who read this have a super stubborn independent child? Any pointers? I finally told Tralee to do it by herself, knowing full well she would eventually require help. After a few minutes of struggling she said, "Mommy HELP!" I asked her to ask nicely and she repeated, "Mommy help. . . please." It went a little better after this.
The finished product was this fantastic shark hat. Also, check out Hunter's face below. It looks like he's giving me an evil eye.

I have no clever ways to end this post. . . I'm tired. So. . . frogs and sharks. There you go.