Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Getaway to Omaha

***Can't figure out the problem with the 3 videos in this post, but I solemnly swear to try my best to fix it, so come back later to check them out!***


Nick and I planned a very last minute trip to Omaha with the boys this past holiday weekend.  We've never been there and it's a short 3 hour drive so we decided it would be a perfect little getaway for us all.  We only stayed one night so we kept the activities to a minimum, which was the best way to go.  

After we arrived to Omaha we headed to the Strategic Air and Space Museum (thanks for the suggestions, Lisa!!).  The boys enjoyed everything in there and Nick and I thought it was pretty neat as well.  It was nearly impossible to take a picture of the aircrafts inside the building because they were HUGE.  The history inside that place is unbelievable, it would have been great to read about things a little more in depth but with two young boys wanting to go-go-go...that was hard to do.



Scared astronaut

Disgruntled astronaut

Contemplative astronaut

We all got to try a freeze-dried ice cream sandwich that the astronauts eat in space.  I thought it'd be gross, but it actually tasted like the real thing.  The boys gobbled it up too.

Missile command center




After the Space museum, we drove across the street to Mahoney State Park.  It was getting late in the day so we just drove through to check it out.  Such a great park!  We even thought about renting out of their cabins in the future.  

They did have an observation tower there and Ethan was excited to climb to the top.  We made it three-fourths the way up at which point 2 of the 3 boys had had enough of the steps.  In their defense, it was windy and the tower was actually swaying.  Ahem, Nick.

Mahoney State Park

Toboggan Sled Hills

After the park we headed to our hotel, but not before a quick detour.  Nick enjoys Warren Buffet and knew he lived in a modest home somewhere Omaha.  So a quick google search lead us to his address in a beautiful neighborhood, literally just down the street from our hotel. Apparently he's worth over $53 billion dollars (can you imagine?!) and yet still lives well below his means and visits his local McDonald's often.  I snapped this horrible picture from the car, neither of us wanted to embarrass ourselves by getting out.


We stayed at Element Hotel in Midtown Crossing.  It was a great little area with little shops and plenty of restaurants.  They were setting up for a big yoga class in the big grassy area,  there were hundreds of people there so it was great for a little bit of people watching.
You can't see it well in this picture above, but they are both holding a little toy airplane and helicopter they got from the Space museum.  The best ten dollars spent! They played with these pretty much the rest of the trip and are both asleep with them right now.

Snack time!

This is a random picture out our hotel window, but check out that tornado siren.  See how close it is? Well, that thing went off at 1:30AM.  Talk about LOUD.  Luckily though, we stayed safe and no tornadoes were spotted.

To kill some time, Nick took the boys out to explore the hotel.  They loved it.  The best part was that they were in their pj's and they thought Nick was pretty cool to let them run around like that.   He showed me these videos when they returned.

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After a stormy morning we arrived at the Omaha Zoo.  We'd heard great things about it and were not disappointed.  The boys couldn't really tell me their favorite part, but Nick liked the gorillas best and I thought the new Dinosaur Alive exhibit was excellent.  We're used to the Wichita Zoo, which is great too, but in my opinion this one was much better.  And the best part was it was all so close together, not a ton of walking.




Ethan had his "T-Rex hands" out and ready the entire time.  He also roared at everything and everybody.  I'm sure other guests loved that.


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This picture of the t-rex doesn't do it justice, but the one below it does.


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 I didn't take many pictures inside the aquarium because of the dark lighting, but this aquarium was
one of the best I'd ever been to. 



Awesome jungle, not so awesome picture.




Aren't they handsome?


Alec was pretending to be a zoo worker and was telling me all about the soft necks of horses as he sat on this baby giraffe. ?!!?!?

And one final picture of Ethan giving me his best smile.

Hopefully this is the first of many short weekend getaways for our family.  We aren't very good about getting out of the state but as the kids get a little older, it seems to be getting easier traveling with them. We'll see how far we venture out next time!

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Poop? Check. Pump? Check.

Two things are happening in our house, and both of them make my job as a mother that much easier. Let me explain!

If you're squeamish then look away now.  Skip to the video at the very bottom, it's not gross at all.
Too late, you looked didn't you?


That's right, he pooped in his potty and we took a picture of the whole thing.  We're proud of poop, it's worth TWO jelly beans, you know.  Alec is doing a fantastic job potty training, I really thought that since Ethan was a breeze then I'd pay for it when Alec's time came.  But he proved me wrong.  He's a professional pee-er and pooper.  His jelly beans are almost gone but he seems just as excited to get hugs and high fives for using the toilet.  Yea!!

Another development as of a day ago is shown in this awesome video:




That's right, he can pump his little legs all on his own while I sit on my duff.  It took some time but he finally got the feel for it.  Now I'll work on the husband and see if he can get the feel for the dishwasher.  I might be out of a job before long.  Good thing Nick has one lined up for me later this year (more on that some other time!)


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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Batman



"What? Did I hear someone call for Batman?  Here I am."                       


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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

St. Louis Weekend Getaway

My mom joined the boys and me for a quick trip to St. Louis a couple weekends ago.  Wouldn't you know, the one weekend in May we picked was a weekend it snowed here all the way to St. Louis. Sick joke, mother nature.  But we braved the snow and rain and still had a really good time despite the sogginess.

The car ride was just under five hours on the way up, we had numerous pit stops for this and that, and it was snowing or raining the entire way.  But we made our way to The Magic House for the afternoon.  This place was everything I'd hoped.  They had a little bit of everything for kids to do....a weather room, construction area (Ethan's favorite), presidential room, play market, bank, fishing, post office, vet, and much much more.  The entire place actually has two separate wings and I completely forgot about the second wing, then remembered right as we were finishing up.  So we stayed a bit longer to check that out, too.


Jack and the Beanstalk (Alec wouldn't do it, but Ethan loved climbing)

Alec might have a future as a meteorologist!?

Grandma and Alec learning about sunlight heat.

Ethan talking to the Mayor of St. Louis


President E. Naparstek

President A. Naparstek



This construction area was really neat.  They had a two-story "house" that was partially finished with instructions on how to continue.  Ethan spent a long time here while Alec and Grandma were inside the planning room making up blueprints. 









You can't make it out, but Ethan in up on the second story of this house fitting PVC pipes inside the walls and laying tile flooring.  I hope he learned a thing or two, I've got a few projects in mind for our house.
He ran the hot and cold water lines to the bathtub then laid down some red tile to match.

All of these pictures are from just one half of the place, my phone's battery died as we went into the other side.  So no pictures unless Grandma took some.  But the other side was where they got to "fish", work at a vet's office, grocery shop, rob a bank and play in a large water display.  What a fun place, we'll definitely try to return the next time we visit.

The next day was cool with a few sprinkles but we managed to go to the Arch and the St. Louis Zoo before we headed home.  

This picture sums up Alec's attitude once we reached the top of the arch, ha!



Grandma and Ethan at the top!

What a cool view

Alec was done and Ethan was putting on his pout face just for show.


We moved on to the St. Louis Zoo next.  We didn't stay long as we needed to head back home.  But we were able to see a few animals.  Didn't take many pictures here.





Til next time, St. Louis!


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