Friday, July 3, 2015

Why I Never Get Anything Done

On any given day, if you were to walk into my house, you could expect to find quite a mess. There will probably be a fire truck blocking the hall, rain boots, tennis shoes, and saddles will be strewn about, multiple bags with varying degrees of my life can be found lining the doorway. My floors are swept at least once, if not multiple times a day, but you couldn't tell it because pieces of lunch and snack time are strewn all over my kitchen and dinning room. There are piles of books here and there, lots of play food from various pretend meals laying on the floor. There are usually baskets of clothes, dirty, clean, and folded waiting for the next step of the process. And don't even think about taking a peek into my bedroom, which is always last on the list to be pulled together.

I often start my day with visions of getting everything organized, cleaned, and put away. Then something wonderful happens. I feel little hands on my legs or he climbs up into my lap, with the sweetest little face he says, "Cuddoo me Mamma. Holda me Mamma. Singa me mamma. Lova me mamma." One or more of these cute requests and my plan is shot. I find myself sitting where I was with one or two little boys, blonde heads on my shoulder, and a heart spilling over with love.

 The only time I use the selfie mode on my phone is to take pictures of these perfect cuddling moments that I want to remember forever!

Little Rowan is getting quite smart about it. When push comes to shove and I have absolutely have to do something, say cooking dinner, Rowan says, "Cuddoo me a little bit first!" Smart boy, but usually ends with him on the counter, as close as humanly possible to me, while I'm trying to cook dinner.
I'm not sure when Rowan became such a cuddlier. As a little baby, and as recently as about six months ago, he had little desire to cuddle. Now he needs lots of hugs, kisses, and cuddles all the time. Our night time routine has been greatly extended as of late with little Rowan needing lots of cuddles, lots of songs, and really having a hard time laying down by himself.


And that is the beautiful struggle I find myself in. If I had all the money in the world I would have someone clean my house, do my laundry, and cook our meals so I could spend all of my days cuddling, singing, and playing with my sweet boys. I know that the time in which they want me to cuddle them is going to end soon. They will be big kids before I know it, most likely not wanting a lot to do with me in the years to come. The idea of hours of cuddles with soon be a distant memory. So for right now I try to not let the mess of my house bother me, I soak up every minute that there is a little blonde head on my shoulder. It is my greatest joy!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Family Vacation 2015: St. Louis Zoo

Thursday evening I got no sleep as the lightening crashed and the thunder roared in St. Louis. I was up all night looking at a radar covered in red and green, trying to figure out how I was going to break the news to Zane that we weren't going to be able to go to the zoo on Friday. It rained all night and into the morning, I worked on alternate plans, and tried to think of ways we could at least sneak in to see the penguins and polar bears in the midst of a huge thunder storm. And then, as we were leaving the store after buying ponchos, the clouds broke, and the sun shone on our zoo wishes.

We went ahead with our original plans and it was one of my favorite zoo days ever!! There were a few sprinkles at the beginning, but nothing that our $0.97 ponchos couldn't handle. We spent a solid three hours seeing all of our favorite animal friends. We went through the new elephant trails and saw all the new bear exhibits. We didn't get to see the Hippos, but we did get to see scuba divers cleaning up the hippo poop, which was just as interesting. Turns out a lot of cleaning goes on at the zoo on drizzly, cloudy mornings. All the animals were out and playing in the cool June weather.

Of course the Wamser clan met us there and everyone was so excited to be together again. I miss them dearly!
 Best buds!

 While we waited for Michelle we took Jangle into the bug house to see some creepy critters.
 The new bear exhibit was lots of fun and the bears were out playing in the rain.

 Family photos with the elephants is a must!

Once we had been through River's Edge we met up with Aunt Trina and her kids. Then it was time for the main event, penguins and polar bears! The penguins never disappoint. The pure joy on Zane's face when he sees the Rockhoppers, and as he gets splashed by stinky penguin water, is worth all the struggles to get there. He absolutely loves it and I love seeing him so supremely happy. This trip he had Jangle with him, who needed lots of photos with the penguins. I think our family photo with the penguins might just make the Christmas card this year, is completely sums up our life.

 In his St. Louis Zoo penguin shirt, in front of the penguins, BEST.DAY.EVER!

The brand new polar bear exhibit is right outside of the penguins and thanks to the cloudy/drizzly day there were no lines. Kali was out and playing in his big habitat and Zane could not believe he got to see a real life polar bear, "just like in the Arctic." The exhibit is huge and lovely, so glad we got to see it.

From there we headed to the carousel then on through the chimpanzee exhibit, where everyone was out and running about. The sea lions were all swimming, except the one who was napping underwater.

Of course we had to make our way up the hill through the snake house, by the lions, tigers, and zebras before calling it day. Rowan had no fear putting his head up against the glass beside a boa constrictor, but don't get him near a dog, silly boy.


Before we left it was time to get the last penguin in Zane's penguin set, a St. Louis Zoo Humbolt Penguin. He has been patiently waiting since our last trip for this guy so he could have one of each kind of penguin from the St. Louis Zoo. He knew just which one he wanted and quickly named him Gru because he had a long nose like Gru from Despicable me. Rowan was persuaded into getting a polar bear, instead of yet another penguin for our house. It was bitter sweet walking back to our car as I knew how much Zane would miss his penguin friends. We had lunch at one of our St. Louis favorites, Rigazzi's, with the Wamsers before saying our sad good byes and heading on down the road.

 Gru and Jangle were fast friends.
Happiness is new stuffed penguin!
We stopped by Allie's house for a brief hello and good bye there as well. Miss my St. Louis friends oh so much!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Family Vacation 2015: Getting to the Magic House

We are back from our trip and had so much fun I think I'll share the highlights in a few different blogs. First up, our eventful trip to St. Louis and Magic House fun.

The trip did not start off on a good foot. We got into the car only to realize that we did not have a splitter so both DVD players could be plugged in, a must have when you have to boys. So we started off with a trip to Wal-Mart. While Zach did the shopping the boys and I headed back home to pick up things we had forgotten at the house. On a normal day these set backs would be annoying, but not a big deal. On this day we were on a tight schedule, we had plans to make it to St. Louis before the Magic House closed at 5:30pm and our start put us a solid forty minutes behind.

The trip went downhill from there. In an attempt to make up time we decided to eat lunch in the car. We drove through Braums for burgers and shakes. Shakes, being a huge mistake. Rowan got his shake everywhere while Zane downed his in no time. Moments later I heard the worst sound possible on a road trip, the sounds of Zane throwing up everything he had eaten and ALL of the chocolate shake. Zane's body's response to anything is to throw up, so I knew he wasn't sick, just too much food, followed by way too much shake.

Luckily the nearest gas station had a hose hocked up outside, something I don't think I've ever seen and I'm pretty sure my guardian angel hooked up for us while we were on the way there. We took out the entire car seat, hosed it, Zane, and Mooly down in the parking lot. The entire time we were cleaning the car and Zane off Rowan was screaming bloody murder because he was still in the car, missing the vomit clean up fun!!! Once we were all clean I went inside to get water and towels only to find out this particular gas station only took cash. No time for another stop, so we powered on, hot and dehydrated. We were definitely behind schedule, but still determined to have Magic House Fun before we slept. We pulled into Kirkwood at 3:30pm, with two solid hours left before the Magic House closed! Success!

We hadn't been back to the Magic House since we left, which means the last time Zane was there he was probably three and a half and Rowan couldn't even walk. Zane and I use to go to the Magic House, just him and I, a lot before Rowan was born. Once I had Rowan the logistics of not loosing a three year old, while carrying a baby became much more difficult and we didn't go very many more time. So most of my memories there are of little toddler Zane and I on quite afternoons or when someone had come to visit.

This trip I came with a toddler, exploring all the two year old things, but I also came with a big kid. Zane remembered where things were and knew all the things he wanted to do. He towered over the car, which he use to stand on his tip toes to try to fix. He could fish by himself and wondered around without getting lost, as I stood in awe at how much he has grown since we were last there. It still feels like home, so it's hard to believe how long we have been gone.

 We saw all our favorite, sans the babies, who five year old Zane declared "for girls," much to mommy's dismay. Zane noticed everything that had changed and I noticed all the things he could do now that he couldn't before. He went down all the big slides, pulled a bubble up around him in the bubble room, made his hair stand on end upstairs, and the biggest things of all he climbed up and down the bean stalk numerous times. The bean stalk was always off limits before because I didn't want to have to go in after my lost three year old, Zane conquered it with ease and was oh so proud of himself. There was a new exhibit about China, complete with a Panda Hospital, straight from my childhood. The boys dug in the rocks and ended our day outside in the big play house with the garden. We had a wonderful time and I'm so glad we went through all the craziness to make it there.




Then we headed to the hotel to get ready for dinner with friends. It was great to catch up with some of my oldest friends from St. Louis at Deweys. Then we headed back to the hotel for a late night swim. Zane met a little boy who was five years old and had a stripe just like him. It was the first time he had seen another kid with a stripe and he thought it was pretty cool stuff.

Nothing more fun than a good hotel selfie!!

Jangle came along on our trip and was Zane's bed mate at the hotel.