As soon as Braden got out of school the first day, Friday, we loaded in the car and headed to St. Louis for one final road trip of the summer!
We try very hard not to travel into bedtime, but this time it couldn't be helped. Poor Braden passed out before we rolled into town, so only Mason was greeted by all the lights of the city and got to say "Hello St. Louis....where is it?"
Saturday morning we hit the zoo! Mason's second visit to the St. Louis zoo was a lot more exciting for him, thanks to Baby Einstein videos he is very familiar with the animals we got to see (bears, zebra, giraffe, lion, monkey, alligator, elephant, tiger, and cantaloupe or what you may call antelope)
Daddy pointing out the tigers
Mom talking about the boa snake crawling right towards where we were
It was a lazy day for the lions, the large male barely moved except to twich his ears at flies.
Braden was the one to spot the female lion relaxing in the tree above the male.
Blake got a great shot of the giraffes in the background, just below where Mason's arms are. He will deny it, but he has a great eye for photography! Who's artsy fartsy now!
Mason didn't quite make it back to the hotel for nap, he crashed in the car. As Blake was dropping us off at the front door, Pop was helping Nan and Rhyan unload. Mason woke up and with his little power nap, he was not going back down.
Blake took them for a swim in the pool, while I walked a few blocks over for a little recreational shopping (major score on Braden some school clothes for next year!) By the time I got back, Mason was cranky, and very much needed to nap while Blake and Pop took the "big boys" to ride the Metro. That's what Braden asked to do the entire drive. Nice when you can entertain so cheaply!
Needless to say, Mason's late nap kept us from seeing the first pitch with the rest of the gang, but our hotel was just across the street, so it was no big deal for us to walk over and join them!
This was Rhyan's first and Braden's sixth trip to Busch Stadium. I think these two really enjoyed each other's company!
Mason with a mouthful of water...at home we usually ahve to hold his nose to get him to swallow it!
This is Mason's FIRST Cardinal shirt that was not passed down to him! It is his very own. Blake took him for a potty break and came back with it!
The night ended with us eating chocolate ice cream in our hotel lobby, until almost 10 p.m. Grandparents are such a bad influence!
On Sarturday, we had the pleasure of accompanying our dear friends, The Arbuckles, to KC for a weekend of Royals baseball. Sabrina treated the "big" boys to an afternoon at Power Play; arcade, go carts, bumper cars, laser tag, etc. Then we met at the hotel and literally caravaned to the game.
As we tried to get a memorable shot of the boys headed into the stadium, Braden had to sneeze!
Mason said the sun was "too bright!"
Not only did we have the pleasure of attending the game, we got a private tour of the administrative offices, from Will's uncle Mike!
Blake was drooling just a little bit over this portion of the tour. Uncle Mike and our dear friend, Will's dad, and brother to Uncle Mike, Mark.
On the way to The Center this morning, Braden asked me how many extra fun things he'd done this week. As we ticked them off, I realized if we could come up with 12 things for one week, his summer was very full and hopefully very fun! I have to confess, my first summer vacation as a Mom has been one of the best!
Braden kicked off his summer with a back yard birthday bash, inviting no less than 40 kids, most of them showed up!
In the same weekend, Nana and Papa came to visit, not only to celebrate his birthday, but also to watch his performance in the YMCA Spring Dance Show. He loved the Tough Boys Hip Hop class so much he wants to do it again!
We met our good friends, Lexie and Jackson Harris in Bentonville for a day at the Jump Zone and then brought cousin Hannah back with us for a short visit.
Before it got so hot, there was lots of backyard play time and a few cookouts with friends and neighbors.
Blake took both boys to meet Tyler, Dean, Cameron and Pop for an evening of baseball in Springdale. They all enjoyed the Naturals from one of the air conditioned boxes.
Chloe came back with the guys for a week.
Mason turned 2, which called for yet another birthday celebration. Braden helped me make Mason's eggless birthday cake.
Braden played his final season of T-ball. He got to experience pitcher, first base, third base and catcher.
First experience with Silver Dollar City, with Will and Sabrina. Favorite ride of the day, American Plunge. Liked it so much we had to ride it twice!
First of hopefully more sleepovers with Suzie! Suzie watched the boys overnight while Blake and I attended a Cardinals vs Royals game with another couple.
Many afternoons of harvesting mint and tomatoes from the garden.
Taking Mason fishing for the first time at Mr. Brock's pond.
Participated in the 4th of July neighborhood parade.
Played his first double header.
Fireworks at the Arbuckle's.
Swimmer's ear infection followed by 5 shots within 3 days.
Split chin, could have used stitches but the doctor chose tape instead (thank goodness)!
His last session of Tot Lot. Next summer it's Boredom Busters!
Six weeks of Wacky Wednesdays at the church
Spent his first full week without Mom! Blake took excellent care of the boys while I went to Pittsburgh for a conference.
First trip to the river.
Silver Dollar City...again, this time with family and Mason in tow. No American Plunge this time but he did ride Thunderation!
Lost his first top tooth.
Learned to tie his shoes.
This was the summer of the diving board! Once we were finally cleared to swim again, Braden gained enough confidence to go off the diving board at Crestwood, then the Rhodes' pool, then the Aquatic Center!
Weekly summer movies. Hit and miss story time at the library. Lots of time at the pool.
Marathon Thomas Train tracks from his bedroom through the kitchen to the dining room.
Even on the days we weren't running somewhere, I seldom heard "I'm bored" come out of this kid's mouth!
Car pool is over, and now we walk home from school everyday. Recycling Mason: Here's a booger, Momma, put it in recycling.
Frozen Custard Please Last night Braden and I attended the Playground Party hosted by The Center. On our way I promised Braden we could get some "concrete" from Freddy's (local ice cream/burger joint) which is frozen custard. Even though it was 30 minutes past his bedtime when we left the party, he had not forgotten: Braden: Mom, can I have a brick? I mean a sidewalk? Mom:What? Braden: You know, you said after the party..... Mom:(cracking up) Oh, you mean concrete? From Freddy's?
Salad in the Water Last night for dinner I fixed a refreshing pitcher of ice water with mint and lemon balm from our garden. Mason pointed to it from his high chair and declared: Mason: Salad in the water! Dollar Vacation During Braden's Birthday Lunch on the porch I asked River if she was getting excited about their family trip to Branson. River:Oh Yeah! We even get to go to Silver Dollar City! Braden: Oh Yeah, my Mom takes me to Dollar Tree! Obviously Braden has no idea what SDC is or that the Dollar Tree doesn't quite compare, but as long as it's a big deal to him. . . .we will keep going!
The Substitooth When I picked Braden up on Friday, his teacher wasn't there, but he had a substitute. This happened one other time, when Ms. Vacca had a toothache. I asked Braden who is substitute was, and he said "Nothing" Me:Was Ms. Vacca here, today? Braden: No, we had 3 different teachers. Me: Who was that man? Was he your substitute? Braden: No, Ms. Vacca was sick today, so he helped us do our work. Me: I know, Braden, that is called a substitute teacher. Braden: I thought it was a substitooth, like Ms. Vacca had before.
Hello to all! We are going to attempt to provide you with an endless source of pictures, video and stories to ooh and aaah at until your heart is content. As Braden reminds Blake every morning as he leaves for work "don't be boring" we will try not to be boring! We thought life was interesting with Braden, now that we've added Mason to the mix we've learned new levels of parenthood!