Friday, March 30, 2018

Elise's Birthday

When we were planning out our spring break trip and I realized we'd be gone on Elise's birthday, I worried Ty would be disappointed to miss Elise on her birthday. Then realized we'd be home in time to celebrate with him that evening. Elise slept in until almost 8:00 on her birthday and then we enjoyed breakfast at our hotel. She picked a muffin and yogurt, ate most of the yogurt and just a little of the muffin and decided she wanted a waffle like Carter. She drank some cranberry juice and then switched to water. She was so excited to swim and we went straight from breakfast to the hotel pool. I was so impressed with her on this trip because she took off and swam by herself in the pool. Normally she wants to cling to me but she rocked it out all over the pool. She was so cute later explaining to Ty that she swam by kicking her legs and even demonstrated for him. The kids were really excited because their friend they had met the night before in the pool was also swimming that morning when we got to the pool. Carter had to go to the bathroom so we went back to our room and once they'd been out for a while and had gotten cold they decided they wanted to take a warm bath instead of swimming more. It worked out perfectly because we made it to the Sam Noble Museum just a little after it opened. We spent about 2 hours there looking at all the exhibits before heading out for lunch and then going to Lake Thunderbird State Park to play at the playground and hike.

We left Lake Thunderbird a little before 4:00 because Elise was exhausted. She slept most of the way home and decided she wanted Chick fil A for dinner. I had told her she could pick whatever she wanted for dinner. I called Ty to see if he wanted to meet us there since we'd be eating in Tulsa as Elise was still asleep 15 minutes out. Carter had to use the restroom so we stopped at a gas station. Elise was still asleep and when I pulled her out of her seat I discovered she had pottied in her sleep. She cried and had a hard time because she was wet and tired. I got her changed and held her for a while talking to her until she calmed down. Then we were able to meet Ty at the restaurant. Due to our stop he had to wait for us but didn't mind. Normally at Chick fil A I get a 6 piece kids meal and have the kids share but since it was Elise's birthday we let them each get their own meals. They both ate all their nuggets and everything in their fruit cups but a few apple slices so I'm glad we did. After they were done eating I went into the play area to let them play and Ty headed home to put out all of Elise's presents. We surprised her by having her Beauty and the Beast tea cart set up and ready by the dining table. She opened her presents and was super excited. When Oma, Opa, Uncie J, and Uncie Taco arrived we sang her Happy Birthday and she blew out her candles. She loved it. She had asked for a cookie cake and I found a Groupon for 50% off a cookie cake from Great American Cookies so we went all out on her cookie cake and it was delicious! Ty let Elise pick her piece of cookie first and she picked out a piece with a lot of icing. That's my girl! Before bed we did the special dropping of the confetti on the birthday girl which she loved.

I always thought it was awesome to have a birthday in the summer because it meant we were often on vacation over my birthday. It was neat that Elise's birthday fell over spring break this year. I hope that happens many more times as well! Happy Birthday, Elise Kay!!!! Such a sweet 3 year old girl!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Spring Break Trip- Day 2

Carter was so excited to go swimming he was up before 7 am digging through his bag looking for a swimsuit. I got up and helped him find his suit. Then I packed up our stuff and started packing up the kids' buddies and blankets. We've lost a buddy at a hotel before so this time as I took each buddy out of the bag (the kids packed them by themselves), I wrote down each one so in the morning as I repacked I checked each one off the list as I packed it to make sure we didn't lose any. Elise finally woke up a little before 8. Carter and I were already in our suits so I helped her put hers on and then we headed to breakfast. We were so excited it was Elise's birthday and she loved it each time I called her the birthday girl. Elise went all out at breakfast trying various things and I let her have whatever she wanted since it was her birthday! She had tried to talk me into letting her have mac and cheese for breakfast but I drew the line there. She wanted to try cranberry juice like Carter but decided she wanted water instead. Sister loves her water! The kids were thrilled when we made it to the pool and found the friend we'd made swimming the night before. The pool was again pretty cold but didn't seem as cold as the night before, maybe because I was expecting it to be really cold! Carter had to potty so we all got out and headed back to the room for him to use the restroom. It made us pretty cold but made the water feel warmer when we got back in. Then he had to go again later. That time he had to poop and while he was sitting on the potty he started crying that he was too cold to swim anymore. Elise said she wanted to go back to swim so I told Carter we would go back since it was Elise's birthday, she got to pick. After waiting even longer while Carter was still going to the bathroom Elise decided she wanted to take a warm bath rather than go back to swim. After their bath I got Elise all dressed in her birthday gear to take some pictures. She wore her crown for pictures but didn't want to wear it anymore when we were done. Then as I was loading up the luggage cart she ripped off her birthday ribbon.
Sleepy girl sleeping in!

We got the car all loaded up and then headed to the Sam Noble Museum. We made it there just after they opened so our timing was again perfect. Since it was spring break they had some special activities going on. We saw a gorilla just inside the entrance so I asked the kids to take a picture for Opa. The university's mascot where he works is a gorilla. Elise was too scared to stand by it but Carter did. They had a touch and feel area set up and the kids enjoyed that. Elise kept poking where the stuffed bird's eyes should have been, no surprises there. We enjoyed the first room and then Carter wanted to go upstairs. We got to see a prairie area. Elise's favorite part was an interactive touch screen computer book where you could see the different animals in the scene and click to listen to the sounds they make. I helped her find them in the scene after looking at them in the book. There was also a cave you could look at and Carter was excited to see troglobites. Then from the second floor Carter could see the apatosaurus so he wanted to go back down to see it. They had a pentaceratops whose 10.5 foot skull holds the Guiness World Record for the largest skull ever found. I didn't even know a pentaceratops existed and was pretty amazed by it. While we were down there Carter saw people riding a glass sided elevator up to the 2nd floor and it looked like you could get a really good view of the apatosaurus from there. Carter wanted to make the mask craft they had set out and then we explored a little more. Elise wanted a snack so we went out to the front to eat oranges as you weren't allowed to have food in the museum. While we were out there we saw an insect petting zoo set up. It was the same one we'd seen once at the Philbrook Museum and Carter had loved. We went in and Carter just loved the Possum Beetle. He kept showing people how it pretended to be dead which was funny! Before leaving we went in to ride the elevator. We saw that the elevators were named dinovators which I thought was cute. We rode the dinovator that said eye to eye and were right at eye level of the dinosaur's skull. Those are the pictures I got so the apatosaurus looks small but that was taken from the 2nd floor. We also rode the belly of the beast dinovator. Then we went back in to see the apatosaurus once more before leaving. I loved reading about the baby apatosaurus, it was fascinating! I couldn't believe how small it was! We got to hold a toe fossil and it was so heavy! In the gift shop the kids each picked a dinosaur digging kit. Since they were just $3.50 a piece and we'd saved so much money by not eating out I let them get them. Carter was so excited about it, he wanted to do it right outside the museum so we dug on them for a while before leaving.
Carter with the gorilla for Opa.

Elise with the interactive book.

I tried to get a picture with the pentaceratops skull but it was so tall, I couldn't get the entire skull in the picture.
Carter holding the toe fossil.

Carter standing by the apatosaurus skeleton, you can see the baby apatosaurus in the background.

Looking at the apatosaurus skeleton from the 2nd floor dinovator.

Digging for dinosaur bones.

We once again ate lunchables in the car as we drove. We went to an art museum I'd found online before our trip which was free but all the parking was permit parking on OU's campus. I didn't want to deal with paying to park so we just headed to Lake Thunderbird State Park instead of going to the museum. We made it to the visitor's center and got out to get a map. I knew there was a nature center and I thought it would be fun to visit. As I was looking at the map I turned to find Elise holding onto a pole while squatting down with her pants around her ankles going potty on the cement. I told her she should have told me she needed to potty as there was a restroom right inside the building. I was a little embarrassed she had pottied there but at least she wasn't visible from inside the visitor's center. We used the restroom, picked up a sticker for our passport, and then got directions to the playground and nature center which happened to be on the other side of the lake. As the kids played on the playground I read through the state park passport and realized for every 6 state parks you visit you get to send in a page to get a special state park medallion. I was bummed that we had visited 2 state parks the day before and had only picked up one sticker since I was planning on the kids sharing a passport. Now that I know how they work I want to get a second passport for Elise. I'm thinking we'll for sure visit Gloss Mountain State Park again because we'll drive past it to get to a couple state parks we haven't been to. I'm not sure if we'll go to Alabaster Caverns State Park again but they do camping inside the cave so we may go ahead and visit again to do that. Carter made some friends on the playground which is pretty typical for him. He talked his friends into going on a hike with us and we went down to a path that lead to the edge of the lake where there was sand. The kids enjoyed playing in the sand. It was getting close to 4:00 so I gave them about 5 more minutes to play in the sand after our hike and then we headed out.

Elise had to pull her shirt up so she could lay with her belly against the sand.

In the car I put Carter's tablet by him again with the same instructions as the day before. Elise kept talking and Carter told Elise to be quiet because he wanted to sleep. He kept pretending to be asleep to get her to be quiet. I thought he must be tired and may take a nap on the way home. Then I realized he was just trying to trick Elise into falling asleep because the moment she was asleep his eyes popped open and he grabbed his tablet, such a tricky boy! Elise napped the entire way back to Tulsa and snuggled with her Owlette doll Oma and Opa got her for her birthday. When we got home we celebrated Elise's birthday with daddy. Oma and Opa had come to help Thomas work on his house since Opa was on spring break so they came over with Jeremy and Thomas to celebrate too. Both kids slept in some the next day because they were worn out from our trip! It was a wonderful trip and we had so much fun. I got so excited about the state park passport I sat down and found all the state parks on our Oklahoma map and circled them. I listed out state parks that are close together so we could visit them during the same trip and I'm researching each one and making notes about the features of each park so we know the best time to visit. Some will be best for summertime since the main attraction is a lake with swimming opportunities. I already know which one we will visit next on a day trip. I also marked different waterfalls to visit since Elise enjoys waterfalls so much. I'm already looking forward to our next state park visit!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

Elise and Kyra were wearing matching colors.
Worm storytime at the Botanic Garden.

Their favorite part of the Botanic Garden, petting the cat!
Looking at the bison at Prairie State Park.

Getting to touch fake poop.
Going on a short hike at the park.
They had recently burned the prairie so everything could grow back.

Elise held onto Opa's ears during her shoulder ride.

Oma and Opa made Carter his own room at their house but Elise insisted on sleeping in bed with him.
Ready for an Easter egg hunt.

Holding hands!

Dressed handsome and ready for the wedding.
Elise wouldn't take a picture with Carter so I snuck her in the background.

Having a party at Oma and Opa's house.

Sleeping with Otty and Baby Otty.

New matching leggings! Elise would only take a picture if she could stand on her scooter.

Elise had to give Harper hugs when we got home.

Messy Art Club at the library, dying Easter eggs.

Showing off their finished eggs.

Reading books while eating breakfast.