Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Visit to Utah Part 2: Cousin Time

One of the big perks of visiting Utah is the time the boys get to spend with their cousins! Talmage has 2 cousins within 2 months of his age, round 2 of kids was spread out only a little more. So there are 6 kids age 3 and under who have a fabulous time playing outside at my parents' house!

My parents have been doing some work in their yard, so when we visited there was a very large mound of dirt the kids loved playing on.

This was so cute. Peter reached down to help Talmage up to the top...

and both boys crashed down to the bottom! (Sorry about the lighting, but we were just glad to catch it on camera!)

We also tried to have another cousin photo shoot. The kids were (unintentionally) wearing matching colors, the weather was perfect for pictures, and we thought it would be great. Too bad I didn't realize until after the fact that Wesley had grabbed the lens prior to the shoot and left a big fingerprint right on it. This resulted in a blurry spot in every single picture we took! Sad. My kids were also very uncooperative, which made for some interesting shots. (Hey, with 6 kids 3 and under what can you expect?) They're cute anyway.

I love how everyone was on board with the hugging idea except Wesley.

The wagon ride across the street was more fun than cramming onto a bench, apparently.

We also had a fun time spending a night at my sister's house with her kids, but I managed to let the camera batteries die, so no pictures. The boys certainly love their cousins!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Trip to Utah Part 1: The Best Little Travelers

At the beginning of April we had the wonderful opportunity to visit family in Utah again! We had a buddy pass that had to be used this year, and since I would not be able to fly in my third trimester of pregnancy and after the baby is born we will have 4 paid passengers (since Wesley will turn 2 shortly thereafter), we thought it best to seize the opportunity while Sam was at a conference in Washington, D.C.

I was a little bit nervous about traveling alone again with the boys. They have done so well in the past, but Wesley is extremely active--much more so than he was last August, which was the last time I flew with them. But I am continually amazed at what awesome travelers my boys are! We have been so blessed time and time again in that regard.

On our first flight, Wesley did this from about 10 minutes after takeoff until we were descending.

And Talmage did this. I wasn't worried at all about Talmage, because since he doesn't get to watch movies much he is totally absorbed in them when we turn them on. So between a few DVDs and some good snacks, he was set for the trip. The boys were so amazing that I even caught a little nap on our way to Denver!

Our layover in Denver was about 2 1/2 hours, which was another thing I was slightly worried about. But once again, the boys did great. We grabbed some lunch, made some bathroom breaks, and walked around a bit. Talmage finished his movie while we waited for the plane.

And happy Wesley wandered around the seats and excitedly watched all the airplanes.

Our flight to Denver was just as nice, especially since it only lasted about an hour. The boys loved watching the airplanes before we took off.

And the flight was only half full! Wesley even got to have his own seat next to me, and a kind flight attendant even read him a book while we flew!

I was even more nervous about the return flight. We had been in Utah for more than a week and the boys were exhausted from all of the fun we'd been having. And then we found out our return flight was leaving at just after 6 am! Add to that the fact that Wesley was up screaming for hours the night before, and I was one concerned Mama. I woke the boys up around 3:30 am. Talmage just sleepily muttered, "Why?" I totally agreed with him. :) 

Security was having problems and was incredibly backed up, so we barely made it onto the plane, and Wesley was out again before we even took off. He slept until we got to Phoenix (during which time I got to grab another nap!), and then after a short layover we were on our way to Houston. This time the battery on the laptop ran out and both boys were extremely tired thanks to our early morning, but didn't want to nap, so things were a bit trickier. I definitely had my hands full trying to keep them happy, but we were able to avoid any meltdowns and we made it back to Houston by lunchtime! All 3 of us had nice long naps after we got home. All in all, I couldn't be more pleased with how well they did as we traveled. How many people can say they got to take naps while flying with a 3 year old and an 18 month old? They are troopers.

And I'm getting the hang of traveling with kids, too! At one point we wandered around for an hour with one large suitcase, 1 small suitcase, 2 backpacks, a stroller, a carseat, and both boys. It was definitely a balancing act. :) We had a great visit in Utah--details to come!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tender Moments

I will readily admit, sometimes life gets hectic with my two little ones, and some days I want to pull my hair out with exasperation. But these are some of the sweet, tender moments that make my heart skip a beat and fill me with what Sam affectionately calls "those Mommy feelings." Moments like these make me pause and wonder how life ever got to be so blissful. They are tender mercies in the form of tender moments.

Talmage has been so sweet lately to occupy Wesley when he is crabby and I am trying to get ready or make dinner. On this day I sent them out of the bathroom where I was getting ready, feeling slightly frustrated as they were opening all the cabinets and emptying them, climbing into the sink, yanking on me, standing on the toilet, etc. I closed the door for a moment to gather my wits about me, and when I opened it Talmage was reading Wesley a story. Wesley was so intent on every word! After a couple of stories, Talmage offered to play tag with Wesley. The pair ran around for a while before they went outside and Talmage "read" Wesley another book--this time a beginner chapter book that he quoted almost word-for-word to Wesley! I love this picture for so many reasons.

Potato bugs provide continual excitement in our home. Talmage loves finding them outside, and scenes like this are very common--he and Wesley both pore over bugs and study them intently together.

We made a fort on the couch one day, and I snapped this picture before I put the front blanket on. The huge grins on their faces melt my heart!

And sporting their long overdue fresh haircuts, a little cuddle time together is always sweet.
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