Monday, July 14, 2014

Birthday #6

For Ethan's 6th birthday we decided to forgo a big party (even though he asked multiple times to have some friends over) and just keep it nice and simple.  I figure as the boys get older and have more friends, that'll be the time to have bigger parties....right?

The cake was a construction theme per request and the venue was lovely Lake Lenexa.  Grandpa and Grandma made the trip up for the day and even brought fishing poles!  Alec ended up quite the fisherman, I think Grandpa might have a buddy to join him in a few years.  Ethan liked it, but only if he caught something.  :)

After hanging out at the park we packed up and came home for a small BBQ and cake.  Nana came over to help celebrate, too.  Ethan was over the moon with all the gifts he received and was even more excited to spend some of his birthday money as soon as humanly possible.

As for growing another year older, all I can say is...holy moly, it flies by!  I wouldn't change one single thing about either of these two guys, I'm one lucky lady to have them as my very own.  Happy 6th Ethan!

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Tae Kwon Do

Ethan has been asking to try karate for the past year, so finally just before his birthday we decided to let him do a trial month of Tae Kwon Do.  He was so excited and anxious to get a uniform and belt, that might have been the main reason he wanted to join!

So he participated in a month of classes and has absolutely loved every single minute of it.  For Ethan, that's a success.  He likes a lot of things, but doesn't hold interest in them for long after the newness wears off...with the exception of Legos.  Nick and I knew tae kwon do would be good for him though, there's much more that goes into it than just kicks and punches.  They teach kids from a very young age about respect, confidence, patience, strength and more.  Ethan has truly soaked it up and talks about class often.

They all start out with a white belt and progress within each belt color by earning different colored stripes for mastering certain things: combinations; forms; chores; house rules, etc.  So far he has earned 3 strips on his white belt.


I'm sure there'll be more pictures to come!  HiaaaYaaaa!!

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Parks and Play in Pictures

The word on the street is that school starts in one month, which will be here before I know it so we're trying to squeeze in some old fashioned play time before that day comes.  The kids are perfectly happy doing long as Nick or I are right there alongside them.  Here are a few things we've been up to the past month.

Ethan has 4 days of practice at the Soccer Complex hosted by The Sporting this year.  He's quite proud of his new soccer shoes.

This summer should be named "Summer of the Park" as Nick and I have made it our mission to explore Johnson county and all it's great parks and trails.  So far we've visited roughly 5 or 6 of them and still have more on our list.  We generally pack up the kids' bikes and a picnic lunch and make a day out of it.  Good clean fun, huh!?

Kill Creek Lake

Lake Lenexa (I promise there's a lake here, guess I just didn't get a picture of it!)

Ernie Miller Nature Center Trails

Mill Creek Steamway

It was unseasonably cool today (mid-70's) and rainy so I let Alec play in it.  Ethan was away at Summer Camp so he and I had a great time cooling off.  He was set on finding worms but we had no luck.

Alec also had a summer camp today for 3 hours at the Olathe community center, here he is playing on the playground.  He was a little apprehensive when I told him I was just dropping him off but must have quickly gotten over it as he was all smiles when I picked him up.

Pool time!

Ethan gave the sidewalk a high five with his adorable little face the other day and has a couple battle wounds to show it.  If you think he looks bad, you should see what he did to the concrete! :)

Alec went from running people over (on accident) to driving the Jeep like a pro!  He cruises all over the backyard now just like his big brother does.

 The four of us went to Prairie Fire in Overland park for lunch a couple weekends ago, it's a nice area to just hang out for a bit.  

Alec loves rollie pollies...and told Nick the other day "Since you and mom won't let us haf a cat or e-ver a dog then I guess we'll haf to have a wolly-polly."  Sounds great Alec!

Lastly, a couple of my girlfriends and I got together for a night out recently.  We laugh so hard when we're together that I think it adds an extra 5 years to our life expectancy!

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

STL Weekend

On a bit of a whim we decided to pack the boys up for a weekend in St. Louis recently.  And I'm happy to report that everything went really good!  The boys behaved, no speeding tickets, everyone slept well, the weather cooperated and we only lost one child.  Success!!

After checking into our lovely hotel, Embassy Suites in downtown, we headed out for a stroll near the famous Arch.  My mom and I had already taken the boys up there last year so we decided to just enjoy the view from down below.  It was such a nice day and everyone was out enjoying it because it was Memorial Day weekend.  After more sightseeing we headed back to the hotel for some swimming (the boys' favorite part) and then out to dinner at a great mexican restaurant, Rosalita's.  Nick dared Alec to ask the waitress if she was single, and of course he did because he had no idea what that meant!  It was pretty cute though and seemed to make her day.

Ethan wanted the picture to look like he was flying...looks pretty legit.

Nick let Ethan fill out the customer copy of our restaurant ticket, he left the waitress a $100 tip! Big Spender!

The next morning we had time to kill before The City Museum opened, so we drove around Forest Park.  So many things are in that park; the zoo, a boathouse, the planetarium, a museum, ball fields, golf course and I'm sure a bunch of other things I didn't see.  It's a lovely big place.

Then on to the Museum, the highlight of our trip.  No where on their website did it say to dress as though you were going to be climbing in and out of tunnels and caves and tree houses the size of your average 10 year old.  But thank goodness my mom gave me some common sense, I wore my gym clothes and am happy I did!  It was a workout!

First, if you've never been here before, the first floor (there's 4 of them, not including 2 outdoor roof areas) is all tubes, tunnels, mazes, caves, under/over/between spaces that you must crawl, or suck in a squeeze, through.  It's nuts, but kind of fun.  Had it not been a holiday weekend and not so crowed, maybe you could've let your kids just climb free, but the tubes and tunnels were endless and zigged this way and that and you were bound to lose a child no matter what.

The outside area was just as crazy, so many wire tubes to crawl up and in.  Two airplane were suspended in mid-air, joined by metal walkways.  An old school bus is literally hanging over the edge of the roof, you can climb into the bus and look down (though I suggest not looking down as it makes me dizzy just thinking of it!).  There was even a ferris wheel on the roof, but we didn't go because someone didn't have a good feeling about it and it wasn't me this time.

Do you see him?

Ethan and Nick climbed to the tippy top of the rooftop.

Alas, my last story about the Museum is about losing one of the kids, temporarily...we were ending our day when Ethan declared he'd climb up one more skinny twisty metal spiral tube, he was imagining he'd climb up it then easily turn around and climb right back down to meet his smiling family.  As you can probably image, he climbed up and so did about 489 other little sweaty kids.  After a few minutes Nick and I knew we'd have a lost child on our hands, so he went one way in search of him and Alec and I stayed in the spot I told Ethan I'd be.  It wasn't too long before I heard a familiar cry and turned to see my sweaty little boy being helped by a bigger boy running in my direction.  Ethan hugged me tight and I thanked the other boy for helping my lost son.  Through the choppy breaths and warm tears he explained that no one would let him back down the tube (they should clearly post ONE WAY ONLY signs, ha!) and he couldn't find his way back, but that a boy saw him struggling and offered to help.  I told him he was ok now and wasn't it nice of that boy to help.  My heart didn't race nor did I  panic because I knew he was just stuck up inside the intestines of a robot, but I also knew that what goes in must come out (eventually) and it all ended just as well as it began.

That evening the boys did some more swimming and then we went to a great little pizza restaurant called Pi, right across from our hotel.  It was a great end to a quick weekend getaway with the family.

Helping me with the luggage and so sad to be leaving the hotel (heltel, as Alec calls it).

Chocolate Cookie Car ride home.

Mr. Happy Pants

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