Tuesday, September 30, 2008

on the road again...

this time to austin, texas. well, actually 40 minutes outside of austin to the hyatt lost pines resort. we had a blast!!! i know you must be thinking, "did those people really go on another trip?" yes we really did load up the car, this time with the double stroller strapped to the roof of the explorer and headed south on 35. this adventure was a business trip for mark. he attended a conference at this resort and decided since we had been away from the kids that it would be fun for us all to come along. we also invited my mom, nana, to come and help me during the day with the kids. i wasn't so sure that i could handle a 2.75 year old and a 4 month old at the pool alone. by having "nanny nana" there it also allowed mark and i to go dinner at night, which was so fun. the resort was super family friendly and so much fun.

our trip began on thursday morning. the car was packed and we hit the road. the kids did a great job in the car. we stopped in waco for lunch and then continued south to austin. we arrived and quickly settled in. mark and olivia went to check out the pool while i went searching for a wal-mart because i forgot to pack diapers and wipes for baby jack. what was i thinking?!?

the next 3 days were filled with lots of time at the pool or "the beach" as olivia called it because there was sand and a beach entrance to the awsome pool. most of the pool was 2.5 feet deep so olivia could walk around the whole thing all by herself. there was also a long lazy river that we took several trips around. olivia's favorite thing was to "bake" with the sand toys and the water.

jack also enjoyed napping by the pool and hanging out under the umbrella. he and nana had some good qualitiy time while i was in the water with o.

besides the great pool the resort had all sorts of fun FREE activities for us to do throughout our stay. we roasted smores, olivia got her face facepainted, we road bikes, watched butterflies in the butterfly meadow, searched for hummingbirds or "honeybirds" if you are olivia in the hummingbird garden, played on the playground, and learned about texas animals. we even got to pet a few live ones.

that is a real snake!! olivia is scared of dogs, but not snakes. what?? we also pet a turtle and a baby alligator.

it was a memorable trip. we wished that mark was able to play with us more, but he thought the conference was well worth the trip. it was a really great weekend. thank you again to my sweet mom for coming along and helping out soooo much. i just hope we can find some excuse to go back someday.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

what happens in vegas,

stays in vegas. just kidding!! here is the recap of our AWESOME trip with my fam...
after days of preparing both myself and the kids, we dropped olivia off at school and headed to the airport. we met my mom, dad, and brother and the vacation began. the flight was good, on time, and all our bags got there. we got took a short cab ride to our hotel, Wynn. it is by far the most beautiful hotel on the las vegas strip.

this is the MASSIVE waterfall into the "lake of dreams" at the wynn. so beautiful. i hear there is a neat light show every night, but we missed that some how.

this was our view from our room. it was beautiful at night with all the lights.

just staying at this amazing hotel would have been enough, but my generous parents treated us to incredible meals, vegas shows, and some gambling of couse! we ate well, very well at several restruants at the wynn, il mulino, and a french restruant at the palms. and i hear that some great wine was enjoyed as well (i'm not a fan wine, so i wouldn't know). we also went to two shows- blue man group and danny gans. both were very entertaining. blue man group was random, amazing, bizzar, and facinating. danny gans in a one man show. he does musical impersonations. i will admit that it sounded a little cheesy to me, but it was great!! very vegas and very entertaining.

sean and mom at blue man group. we were given crape paper and asked to decorate ourselves.

sean and i walking around some casino, i think it was palazzo?

mark and i in the lobby of the wynn waiting to check-in.

there were some nice restful moments as well, mom and i were able to hang out by the pool and relax one afternoon while the boys played in a poker tournament. i was able to have lunch and drinks with my childhood best friend, meredith and her husband. so great spend time with her. we also spent time walking around looking at all the sites since it was sean's first trip to vegas.

this was an unforgettable trip. such great food, luxury accomidations, a few good hands of video poker, lots of walking, but precious time with my FABULOUS family was the best part. thanks mom and dad! where are we going next?? can we bring the kids next time??

i can't believe it...

jack is 4 months old!!

it seems like just yesterday that i was lying in the hospital counting the days until i would finally meet him, yet i can barely remember life without him. he is a perfect addition to our little family. this week we went to the doctor for his 4 month check up and shots (4 of them, so sad!). some things remain constant, like the spit-up, loving the swing, the occasional "shower" during a diaper change, thumb sucking, and that he loves having lots of attention. but with all those expected things, the past four months have brought lots of changes. jack now weighs 13 lbs 8 oz (25%). that seems kind of small to me, but since he doesn't keep much in his tummy i guess that is good. he is 25.5 inches (60%) and his head is 16.75 inches (60%). he is making more sounds and trying to mimic anyone who will "talk" to him. he is trying to roll over, but hasn't quite mastered it. (that is our assignment before he goes back at 6 months.) he is holding up his head well and loves to sit up in the bumbo seat. we are changing formula once again to try and get a handle on all this spitting up. as soon as we figure things out with the formula jack will start rice cereal. look for pictures of that experience soon.
i am overwhelmed when i think about how blessed i am. the lord is so good to me and my sweet children are a daily reminder of that. the last four months have been filled with so many emotions and so much excitement. i pray the next 4 days, weeks, months, and years will be more of the same, with less spit up and laundry! :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

we're baa-ack!!!

yes, this bowlin family is finally back in our sweet little house at least for a few days. we had a great time in las vegas with my family. i will post more about that later, but this past weekend we made a trip to amarillo, texas to visit mark's grandparents and extended family. mark's dad was born and raised in amarillo and his family (his parents, brother, sister, nieces, and their families) still live there or very close. we are the furthest way and don't get to see them that often so our trips are always special. we planned this trip about a month ago so that we could visit and introduce jack everitt to everyone, especially granny (danny's mom) since jack shares her maiden name, everitt. (yes, that is where that spelling with an "i" comes from.) over the last several weeks granny's health has been failing and she is ready to go and be with jesus in heaven, so this trip became even more important and special. selfishly i am glad the lord was not quite ready for her to come home because we needed to see her at least one more time. it was an incredible weekend and one that i will cherish for a lifetime. my sister-in-law wrote a BEAUTIFUL blog about the weekend, her thoughts, and the wisdom that granny has shared. if you have time, it is worth reading. i left this weekend with so many of the same thoughts, but also thanking god once again for all the blessing of my bowlin family that i am so lucky to have married into. here are a few pictures of granny with the kids (olivia, abby, kingsley, and jack)...

granny with 4 of her 7 great grandchildren.

jack everitt bowlin with his granny

Thursday, September 11, 2008

am i crazy????

i think so. i do it to myself, for some reason i let ANYONE talk me into ANYTHING. i think what really happens is that i don't ever want to miss out on the fun, but by doing so, i create chaos in my life. so as i sit here typing this blog (which is so important) i am overwhelmed thinking about all that will take place in the next few days before i leave on vacation with my family. friday, playdate with friends. friday afternoon we will leave for waco for the 3rd baylor game in 3 weekends (that's one every weekend since the season began, and yes we must go, remember we are true and faithful fans). we will stay the night with some friends so we are not traveling on I-35 with the crazy truck drivers and it is just fun to stay with our friends, brad and mary. saturday at some point we will journey back to dallas, that is if my husband does not convince me to stay one more night and just drive in sunday morning. so on sunday we will all be getting ready for the week. mark and I are heading to las vegas with my family (the blanchettes). so fun, yes, but we have to get there before the fun begins. well, at least to the airport on monday morning. this is an adult only trip, as any vegas trip should be, at least that is my opinion. so that means not only do i have to pack my suitcase, help with mark's wardrobe selections, but i have to get my 2 kids ready to spend part of the week with B and part with aunt chrissie. that means my to-do list is out of control!!! laundry, laundry, and more laundry, clean the house, updating the family notebook (this has all the detailed instructions, important phone numbers, doctor info, etc. so it is important), grocery store, go to the dry cleaners, and the list goes on. so, this will be the last you will hear from me for awhile. i will put on a happy face while out in public, but if you were a fly on the wall in my house you will see a crazy woman. i will update the blog when we get back. i will share pictures from the trip and any fun that my kids have while i am away.

some times you want to go where everybody knows your name...

and for us that is AMIGOS. a friend of mine told me about this little mexican resturant in our neighborhood 3 years ago. mark and i gave it a try and we have been going at least once a week since then. the food is great, but the people are the best!! it is a precious hispanic family that owns and operates it. somehow they are all related, at least i think so! we are always greeted by name, with a smile, and never have to place a drink order because they all just know! olivia has literally grown up there. going there was her "first outing" as a 7 day old infant. i figured it was safe since it is small and they are like family. the waiters love olivia and try and teach her spanish. she is actually learning. she now says, "gracias" and "de nada." i think dora the explorer and diego might be helping too! jack too made his first visit at 7 days old. did i mention the food is great!! i thought i might list the bowlin top 10 most ordered items (margaritas not included):

#10- Adrian's Plate
#9- Tex-Mex Platter
#8- Crispy Tacos
#7- Carnitas Tacos
#6- Carmones Diablo
#5- Pasta Pablano
#4- Tamales
#3- Amigos Pancakes (brunch on saturday and sunday)
#2- kid's chicken taco
#1- homade ranch dressing

oh, i also should say that the salsa is homemade and they give you this yummy tostada FREE before your meal. they even make a special one for the kids.

i thank you julie w. for introducing me to the best mexican resturant around. i love the people, the location, the patio on nice evenings, and the fact that they do all the cooking and cleaning for me at least once a week!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

trampolines, balance beams, tumbling, oh my!

tap and ballet shoes have been replaced (at least for the fall semester) with trampolines, balance beams, bars, tumbling, and a huge pit of foam! olivia loved dance class the summer, but we decided to try something new for the fall. we are doing gymnastics with her cousin kingsley. she loves it!! i was a little nervous that my reserved, cautious, and nervous toddler would just sit back and watch everyone run, jump, balance, and bounce around. i was so wrong! she participates in everything and is often running to be the first in line. what??? she is still not so sure about swinging on the rope solo, but she will do it with her aunt. i'll take it! it has been so fun to watch her take more risks and have so much fun doing it. now all that said, this does not mean she is coordinated. i am not thinking we are headed to the olympics as a gymnist, but we are having a blast!!

they love the bouncy floor. maybe one of the reasons why they both call gymnastics, "jump, jump."

sweet cousins. kingsley and olivia.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

tea for two

olivia was so excited to have her friend lilli and her baby sister, lola come and spend the day with us. those who read the blog often might remember lilli most from the ballet blog. anyway, misty, lilli and lola's mommy, is a sweet friend of mine and she needed a day to get some things done in her house so i offered to have her girls for the day. we were all excited to have them come over. as soon and the girls arrived olivia could not contain herself. she was torn between following lola around on her hands and knees or showing off EVERY toy in her room to lilli. about 15 minutes the "newness" wore off and everyone was settling in and feeling comfortable. lola was sleepy and went to take a long nap. jack was hanging out in the swing (still his favorite spot). so lilli and olivia were off!! they tore into the babies and the play kitchen. they were busy shopping for groceries and playing house. the best part of my day was spying on them and over hearing their conversations. they are too funny! pretty much they just repeat all the "bad things" that we say as moms. for example, "baby obey me right now! do you understand!?!" or "if you don't obey your mommy you are going to get a spankin' on your hiny!!" hilarious and humbling at the same time. olivia had requested that she and lilli have a tea party at some point during the day. so after a little while i invited the girls into the kitchen to help me make "pink cupcakes" for their tea party. they were the best helpers. they took turns pouring in the ingredients. several hours later the cupcakes were cooled, iced, and we were ready for our tea party. the girls decorated their cupcakes with MILLIONS of sprinkles or "sprinklers" as olivia calles them and drank "tea" (warm water) out of REAL teacups. here are the girls enjoying cupcakes "tea for two" a their tea party...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

the first day of preschool in review...

olivia started preschool on september 3. she has been going to "mothers day out" for several years, but now she is old enough to be in preschool. we went to meet the teacher the day before her first offical day of school. she was very confused as to why she could not stay longer and why i was at school with her, so she at drop off the next day she walked right in and waved good-bye. this being the first time i have done drop off because i used to work on her school days, did not go so smoothly for me. i was not emotional, just a bit scattered. i didn't prepare as much the night before because in my head i was going to have plenty of time the next morning, wrong!!! i must have forgotten that i now have a baby that has to also be fed, held, changed, and make it in the car with us. so due to my poor planning, we were rushing out the door, quickly snapping pictures to capture the occasion, and speeding to school. we did make it on time so i was thinking all was well, but nooooo! when we got there i realized i forgot the two special items for the first day the teacher requested- a family picture and olivia's favorite stuffed animal- larry the lion. i had to explain to olivia that i forgot these items and i was so sorry. she patted my sholder and said, "it's ok mommy. i will be alright." then turned around and ran to sit down at the table to begin her artwork. at that moment, i let out a sigh of relief and thought, i have the best 2.75 year old ever! how did i get so lucky today?! notice i thought today.
as expected her first day was great! she created picnic art with stamps and stickers, loved eating out of her new lunch box, played on the playground with her cousin kingsley, sang songs, and took a good nap- at least that is what she has told me. i am confident that we are going to have another great year, and i am hoping that i will get better at this morning routine.

the only good pic i was able to capture- olivia with her school bag all packed, well minus a few items that i forgot.

olivia's teacher is super great and has created a website to post pictures, blog about the happenings, etc. if you would like to check it out click HERE and email for the password. i must be respect the privacy of all the other kiddos in her class.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

another reason i love waco, texas

no i don't love david koresh, but i truly love waco, texas. i love waco because it was my college home for 4 years, it is a place where my bowlin family comes together, it the place i became engaged, it is still home for some of my best friends, and i love that it is a place where so many of my most precious memories were born. this past weekend i discovered yet another reason to love this city in the heart of texas, the mayborn children's museum. after attending our first baylor game we stayed in waco for the night with our friends, the herridges. the next day we wanted to spend some more time with them, but with 3 kids we needed to find a "child friendly activity" for the day. we decided on the mayborn children's museum. it is on the baylor campus and one of the only places on campus i have never visited, until now. it is AWESOME!!! i know that dallas probably has something just a great, but the fact that it was not over crowded and just the right size made it such a great experience. i don't think i will bore everyone with the details of all the things we did, i will just show you a bunch of pictures and encourage you if you are ever in waco, texas to stop by and visit.

brad and grant playing at the water table.

olivia and grant controlling the trains. they loved pushing all the buttons and watching the trains move through the waco landmarks.

"filler up!" the transportation discovery room was so much fun!

mark and olivia in the music discovery room. they were playing "twinkle, twinkle little star." well, mark was playing and olivia was adding her own special touch!!

cute jack! he tagged along for the ride.

olivia making coffee for everyone in the pioneer discovery room.

the native american room was one of our favorites. mark and olivia loved the drums! i think the entire museum could hear them.

olivia making corn meal, just like the native americans did.

olivia exploring the different cultures of the world. she loved the clogs!!

i also got in on the multicultural dress up game. why am i posting this? oh well!

see! it was so much fun! can't wait to go back! yeah for waco!! by the way, the baylor bear exhibit is really neat and the cameron park zoo is great too!

Friday, September 5, 2008

sic em bears!!!

even though the baylor bears are not the best football team in the big 12, well lets be honest they might be the worst, we are true baylor fans! baylor football season is something we always look forward to each fall. we go to EVERY home game. olivia loves it (thankfully because i don't think she would have another option). she proudly sings "that good ole baylor line" and the "fight song." she knows more of the words that most baylor alum- seriously!! she watches the game and loves half time when the band plays. her least favorite part of the experience are the "big booms" (fireworks) when the bears score a touchdown. fortunately for her, yet unfortunately for the team and fans, those don't happen that often. so if you are unaware baylor football season has begun. it started last thursday night, so we loaded up the car and headed down I-35 to baylor university. it was jack's first game. he did great. he watched a little football, took a nap, drank a bottle, watched a few more plays, and then slept a little bit more. we are so glad that our kids seem to enjoy going to the game as much a we do. i think the neatest part of going to the game is knowing that mark's family has been sitting in the same seats, supporting the bears, and loving baylor for 3 generations.

look close- i think jack is making a "bear claw."

olivia with pop (mark's dad). thanks pop for providing great seats and such precious memories for our family.

oh, in case you were wondering... the bears lost! oh well, we will be back this saturday for more!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

labor day weekend at the lake

as you have noticed long weekend equals trip to the lake for our family, and labor day weekend was no different. we had the chance to spend time with both my family and mark's family. i will say once again what a blessing it is that both our families have lakehouses and they are so close. it is so great because it allows us to spend quality time with both. we did the normal lake things- playing on jet skis, swimming, boating, eating, relaxing, etc. i think my favorite part of the weekend was sarah (my sister in law) and i inviting our bible study friends to the lake for the day on saturday. we (the moms) get together on a regular basis, but we don't often get to be together with our entire families. on saturday their were lots of kids, 15 to be exact. they ranged in age from 5 and the youngest 3 months (jack). there were also dads, moms, 2 water slides, plenty of life jackets, sunscreen, hot dogs, hamburgers, and tons of yummy food. we had so much fun being together. in true olivia fashion, she did not really warm up to the idea of having so many kids around for a couple of hours, but eventually she came around and had fun.

don't let this picture fool you. olivia is wet, but not with lake water, just a small wading pool.

here she is "swimming."

jack playing with his daddy while relaxing on the hammock.

it was a really fun weekend. we missed those who couldn't make it. i hope we can all get together again soon!

i'm coming back i promise!!!

you would think that since i am no longer teaching that i would have more time, but that is just not so, at least not lately!!! i feel like the last couple of weeks have been so busy and fun and the blog had to move to the bottom of the priority list- bummer!! i am missing my blog and have been neglecting it so i just wanted to make a quick post to say i have BIG plans to post again soon. there is lots to catch everyone (my 10 sweet friends that read) up on. so come back soon. i will be blogging about our the first baylor football game, labor day weekend at the lake, olivia's first day of school, gymnastics, and i am sure there is something else i am forgetting. thanks for keeping up with the "juicy details" of our life and we hope to be back on track really soon!