Friday, June 26, 2009


I realize that I have fallen behind. So, this will be a update of the last week and a half.

We finished our vacation with more fun. We spent another day in Washington DC and were able to tour the White House and the Capital. While we didn't get to meet the president, we were in the building at the same time as he was. They had to close down one of the halls for a while as he passed through.

The Capital was pretty neat too. That building is pretty incredible.

More vacation pics:

With a MAGICIAN at the resort

We made it home. The first leg of our trip was pretty exciting. The flight we were supposed to be on coming out of Richmond was delayed several hours. If we were on that one, we would not have made our connection. So, they moved us to a different flight. It was supposed to have left at 1:05, but at 4:30, it was still there. The ticket agent told us we would have to run to make it on time. So we did. We didn't even get to say goodbye to Dad/Grandpa. :(
After we were ON the plane, we still didn't leave right away. We taxied away from the terminal, and then they said that we couldn't take off for 20-40 minutes. AND, the A/C was NOT working on the plane. It was HOT. And not the same kind of hot that we are used to in Phoenix. It was humid and hot. Miserable. It was just a little propeller plane, so it was very noisy too. Not a very enjoyable flight.
Thankfully, once we finally took off, it took less than an hour to get to Philadelphia. Then we had time to eat and get the kids changed into their pajamas before we had to get on the plane.
The flight was not full so we had an extra seat to put the baby on. That made a big difference. All three kids slept the whole 4 1/2 hours. It was very nice. I didn't sleep much though. Those seats aren't exactly comfortable.
We got to Phoenix at 11:00pm, but it felt like 2:00 am since we had adjusted to Eastern time. Our bags and carseats got here a day after we did. that was fun. We had to drive home with unsafe kids.

The baby has been rolling all over the place. I tried to get a video of her rolling, but for some reason, as soon as the camera comes out, the bigger kids jump in front of it. So, the only video I got is of Ady saying "Me, me! Take a picture of me!"
I'll have to try again soon.
Here are some cute/funny pictures I got of the kids:

Thursday, we went to the Arizona Museum of Natural History. The one with the dinosaurs. The Phoenix Library has a new program called the "culture pass". You can get free tickets to museums and stuff. But, they only have a limited number they give out each day. You have to be at the library right when they open and fight your way through the crowd to grab the one you want. I was trying to get the Children's Museum, but my kids weren't speedy enough and it was gone before I could get it.
We had fun looking at dinosaurs, even though we'd been there before.

Zander talked me in to buying him a fossil hunting kit. It came with a "fossil" buried in "rock", along with the tools to dig it out. It turned out to be pretty messy, so I made him take it outside. He had lots of fun playing paleontologist.

Today, I found out the Old Navy is having a sale. $5 shorts and swim suits! I'm normally not a big fan of Old Navy, but that sounded too good to pass up. Shorts are somewhat of a necessity here, and the ones I have are becoming pretty worn out. So, I dragged the kids along with me and went shopping. I ended up getting two shirts and three pairs of shorts for $25. I love a good deal!
Here's my $15 outfit: (notice the kid jumping into the picture - ignore the dirty fingerprints on the mirror)

Now you know what we've been up to for the last 10 days. Hope you've enjoyed it ;)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Washington, DC

Yesterday we spent the day in our nation's capitol. This was a brand new experience for all of us and it was VERY cool.
We left our hotel at about 6am. It took us longer than we thought to get to the city. We are staying in Virginia, and it turned out to be a 2 hour drive, especially in traffic. We planned to catch the Metro at the first station, but we couldn't find a place to park! And there were TWO very large parking structures! So, we fought the freeway traffic some more and found a nice parking lot a few metro stops in.
I really wish that Phoenix had a public transportation system that worked at well at the one in DC. It got us downtown pretty quickly, and we found that it could take us just about anywhere we wanted to go. We got all day passes so we could just hop on whenever we wanted to. (after walking to the station of course)

I was really amazed at just how BIG the National Mall is. I don't know why, but on TV it just doesn't look as HUGE as it really is. We planned on seeing it all, but it was raining most of the morning, so we tried to stay indoors.

We saw the Museum of Natural History. Zander loved seeing the dinosaurs.

We saw the Air and Space Museum. That was Brandon's favorite.

We saw the Lincoln Memorial (after the rain stopped) and the War Memorials.

The Washington Monument is VERY tall.

We walked. and walked. and walked.

We saw the temple too. But that was at the very end of the day and we were pretty
tired, so we didn't stay long.But it was very neat!

Today we are recovering and hanging out around the resort. We will go back tomorrow for our scheduled tours of the White House and the Capital Building. We will try to see the Bureau of Engraving and Printing too.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


We are having lots of fun on our vacation. Still getting very little sleep, but I guess that is to be expected when traveling with little ones. As I type this, it is 9:30 here. The baby is back in bed for the second time (we'll see if it lasts) and the older kids are still squirming in their bed, kicking each other, giggling, doing everything BUT sleeping. what fun.

Today we explored Shenandoah National Park. It is really beautiful! There are SO many trees and plants and animals. We took the "Skyline Drive" through about a third of the park. They had a really neat visitor center that talked about the history of the park. I didn't know that the federal government took people's property from them so that they could build it. We had a picnic and went on a little nature hike. We had a great time!

Fog on the mountain -
this is what we saw for about the first hour of our drive. Pretty scary!

Climbing the tree - what fun!

The hikers

View from the top - pretty spectacular!

There were lots of pretty flowers to see!

If anyone ever gets the chance to visit out here, I would highly recommend it. I think it would be fun to spend a lot more time here!

Tomorrow we are going to Washington, DC! That was the whole purpose for this trip and we are really looking forward to it!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The art of vacationing - with children

We made it!

Vacation is already off to a great start.

(Oh, and in case you're wondering, YES we brought our laptop along on our vacation. My husband said it is because he needs to be able to tend to his farm on Farm Town. Sad.)

The first day actually went much better than I had expected. We were out the door at about 6:30am. Brandon's parents took us to the airport so that we didn't have to leave our van in a parking lot all week. Very nice of them!
It took a little bit longer to check in then we thought it would. Did you know that you have to PAY to check luggage now? Wonderful economy. They only had two of our kids listed in the system and tried to tell us we could only check 2 carseats instead of three. It turns out, the baby wasn't listed because we didn't buy a ticket for her, so once Brandon complained enough, that problem was taken care of.
Security went very smoothly. They now have a "family" line for security, which is a fantastic idea. They were very helpful and understanding to us, and we made it through in record time.
Before long, we were on the plane. I had packed a bag for each of the kids to keep them busy. Mostly snacks, toys and coloring books. It seemed to do the trick pretty well. I fed the baby as we were taking off, and she slept for the first hour or so of the flight. We played the "go see the lavatory" game several times with the big kids, and passed the baby back and forth quite a bit too. She did have a diaper mess that I was obligated to take care of. All the stewardeses were very nice and helpful.
We got to Chicago around lunch time. I had packed us a lunch, so we found a place to sit and eat, and then, we took the kids to play at the children's "museam".
It really was more of a giant playground that was airport themed. There was a big "airplane" that they could play in. They could pretend to fly it, fuel it, and even load the packages. There was also a control tower, cargo, and lots more. It was fun and kept the kids busy for quite a while.
Then, we had to walk to the other side of the airport to catch our flight to Richmond. I learned that there is a huge difference in reactions you get when you have a happy baby as opposed to an UNhappy one. When my baby was being cute and smiley, I got lots of "oh, what a cute baby" comments. But, when she started screaming as we were waiting to board, I was getting dirty looks from every direction. I could read on their faces "I hope you're not bringing THAT on the same plane as ME." How rude. ;p
I knew that she was hungry, but I didn't want to feed her until I could sit down on the plane. And once again, she fell asleep right before takeoff.
Once again, the kids were very good. I really like flying United. They have headsets that you can plug right into your armrest and listen to a variety of music channels. One of the channels was kids music, and Zander enjoyed listening to that almost the whole flight.
We arrived in Richmond a little after 9pm. My parents had gotten there several hours earlier, so they had seen some of the sites already. They met us at the airport, and we headed down the road to our resort just outside of Harrisonburg.
The drive was not very fun. The baby cried. The. Whole. Two. Hours.
We all pretty much collapsed when we arrived.
Today we just spent relaxing and recovering. We went to church and explored a little bit. It is beautiful here! It is very green. There are lots and lots of trees. We found a little museam that is only open on Sunday afternoons and is FREE. It was actually Stonewall Jackson's headquarters during the Cival War. It was interesting.
We have lots to see and do for the next few days. I'm hopeing that I can figure out how to get my baby to enjoy riding in the car more. So far, she's screamed every time. I think that maybe it's because I've been sitting next to her and she's not used to that. If she can see me, she thinks I should be holding her. We'll see if it works to change seats.
I might post some pictures tomorrow!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

We have a WINNER!

Thank you to everyone who entered my Giveaway!
I wish I could send a prize to you all!

But, there can only be ONE winner. And the Winner is...

Liz Weiss from Meal Makeover Moms!


Friday, June 12, 2009

I'm leaving, on a jet plane....

Tomorrow morning, bright and EARLY, we will head out to start our VACATION!
We are flying from Phoenix to Richmond, VA where we will spend a week seeing the sights, including Washington, DC! We are pretty excited, but I'm not sure how it will be with the kids.
I have bags packed for them with things that I HOPE will keep them busy on the trip. Some new toys, coloring books, and lots and lots of FOOD (because that's the best way to entertain my children).
My fear is that they will go through everything in like and hour. But, what can you do?

We have a THREE hour layover in Chicago. That's a long time for kids. We decided to try to find something to do while we were waiting. My husband thought that we might be able to make the trip to the Sears Tower, but after doing some research, it would be hard to guarantee that we'd make it back in time for our next flight. Plus, it sounds like it would involve a lot of waiting in line, which is something we'd like to avoid.
So, I did some more research and came across a website for a Children's Museum INSIDE the Chicago Airport. It is all about aviation and designed for kids under 8 years old. PERFECT!
So, I'm very hopeful that it will keep them busy during our layover.

We don't get to Richmond until about 9pm. Even with the time difference, I have a feeling it's going to be a VERY long day!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Summer Time Fun

We started swimming lessons this week. The pool is really nice, but the kids were a little disappointed that there is no water slide like there is at the pool we've gone to in the past. But, there is a nice shady area for me to sit at watch. They even have misters to keep it cool.
My friend Hillari signed her kids up for classes at the same time as mine, so it's fun to have them there. Her baby is older than mine though, so she gets to do the mommy and me class. Ainzlee won't be able to join in the fun until she is six months old in July, so for now, we just sit and watch.

It's not too bad though. Ainzlee's usually pretty happy if I just put a towel down for her to lay on and give her a few toys to play with. I've started bringing a book to read. I don't get to just sit and read very often! It's nice to have that time to myself.

We found out that the school right around the corner offers the Summer Food Service Program. Free lunch for the kids! It does cost $2.50 for adults, which isn't too bad, but I think I'll try to pack a lunch to take for myself.
After lunch on Thursday, we decided to go to the splash park at Tempe Town Lake. It was fun, but VERY crowded. It was a little stressful trying to keep track of all the kids. Thankfully, since Hillari was with me, we could work together a bit. We'd switch off for potty breaks and if the kids wanted to go to two different places. (Big kids and little kids usually).

This is shaping out to be a very fun, but very busy summer!

Friday, June 5, 2009


It's been a while since I've had a giveaway and I thought now would be a great time!
Don't forget about the Customer Appreciation Event! Get 15% off your order at! Use coupon code "THANKYOU".
What is a Zady®ball?

A Zady®ball is designed with babies in mind. They are soft to hold and cuddle, and have lots of strings to grab and rub.

Lots of babies have a "lovey" and many times the item they pick has something for them to rub - whether it's the corner of a blanket or the nose on a teddy bear. The knotted ends of the strings are great to fulfill baby's need for something to rub!

Why Babies love them:
  1. Easy to grab and hold on to from a very young age
  2. Good for teething
  3. Soft to cuddle
  4. Knotted ends are very soothing to rub
  5. Makes a great lovey
Why Toddlers love them:
  1. Once a lovey, always a lovey
  2. Soft to cuddle (everyone loves soft things!)
  3. Easy to throw and catch, especially when you are just learning how
Why Mommies love them:
  1. Babies love them and we love our babies!
  2. Easy to clean, just throw in the wash!
  3. Safe!
  4. Soft enough that you don't have to worry about things breaking or anyone getting hurt when it is thrown around

Enter to win one of my most popular items - Baby Hoots the Owl!

To enter:
First Entry - REQUIRED

Come back here and tell me which one is your favorite (besides Baby Hoots).
Don't forget to leave your email address or your entry will be deleted!

Additional Entries: (leave a comment for each)
1. Follow my blog
2. Become a fan on Facebook
3. Follow me on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway. Leave a link to your tweet!
4. Blog about this giveaway. Leave a link to your post!


More giveaways here:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Which is which?

Several people have commented recently that Ainzlee looks just like Ady did when she was a baby.
So, I thought I'd go back and look at Ady's baby pictures and compare. While they aren't Exactly the same, there are several similarities.

See if you can figure out which one is which:


(My kids just guessed - Zander got most of them right. Ady said all of them were Ainzlee. There are three of each.)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Customer Appreciation Event

The EtsyBaby Team is having it's Second Annual Customer Appreciation Event!
This is the perfect time to get some GREAT deals on all kinds of handmade goodies for your baby - and to stock up on baby shower gifts!

I'm using this opportunity to say "THANK YOU" to my customers!
From now until June 12, receive 15% off your order!

On Etsy - Include "EtsyBaby" in notes to seller. Wait for a revised paypal invoice.
On - use coupon code "THANKYOU".

Happy Shopping!