Friday, October 24, 2008

Growing Up

Jordyn's learned she can climb into her bed. However, not without injury....

I think it's time for a toddler bed. (Of course, I was wearing my nice white Talbots shirt. :-)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Who Wins the Prize?

I never have posted the pictures of our soccer season, so I thought I would take the time to post a few. The boys both had a fun season and enjoyed playing in the cold and rain a lot of Saturdays. It's officially over, so the boys both have a break until basketball practice starts in December.

Hayden made several goals throughout the season for his 5 & 6 year old team and had a lot of fun. Landen played for the 9 & 10 year old league. He played goalie quite a bit and came on strong on offense the second half of the season, scoring many goals himself. He was also voted MVP for his team by his coaches and teammates! He was happily surprised.... Of course, I forgot my camera when they handed out the medals. Sorry, Landen. I need to scan his portrait picture that he had made with Hayden. I'll try to do that soon.

I have many more pictures like the ones below of London, but I'm tired of waiting on them to load. Who wins the prize for having their eyes closed the most?? Hayden. Congratulations!! You win for fakest smile, too. lol

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

The London Eye

Buckingham Palace

Big Ben

Harrod's in the background

Kensington Palace (State Apartments)

We made it back from our trip to London and are back into the swing of things, once again. We all made the trip safely. I've figured out that I really despise flying. Matt and I had an engine backfire incident back a few years ago, and I thought for sure we were going down. Every since that flight, I've been petrified! I'm going to have to be drugged next time... oh wait. I have kids to tend to. Well, I guess I'll figure it out. I also learned that Jordyn will need to be drugged along with me. lol

Back to London. I'm not going to go into great detail. Honestly, I'm getting a little blogged out. We started our trip the first day in a car, onto a plane, then a train, onto a subway, toured on a bus and ended the trip in a taxi. I guess we were lacking the boat. We got to see all the famous sights - Big Ben, the London Eye (though we didn't ride it because the lines were horrific), Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Harrods & Hamley's, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Westminster Abby and more. Landen and Matt went to the London Dungeon one morning, while the two little ones and I played at the Princess Diana Memorial Park. Other than that, we stuck together. We thought the city as a whole, reminded us a lot of New York City.

I had always heard the food was very bland, but we really didn't experience that. However, we really stuck to Americanized restaurants. Landen was set he was going to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe, so that was one meal. One night we got fish and chips at a local place by our hotel and it was really good. For lunch, we picked stuff up along the way so we didn't really sit down to eat. We ended our trip at the Rainforest Cafe, which Jordyn didn't care too much for. She was petrified of the gorilla we were sat next too. I'm talking gripping my neck so hard and crying that a manager came over and asked if we were ok. I told her she didn't like the monkey (she wouldn't let me pull her away long enough to get into the high chair), so they asked if we would like to move to another table. They found one that was nice and secluded so she couldn't see any of the jungle friends around us. After that, she was fine. Whew! Halloween should be fun.

The driving on the opposite side of the road wasn't as strange as I thought it would be. Now, if we had actually been driving ourselves, maybe it would have been. The only thing that was hard about that was looking the correct way when we were trying to cross the street. I almost killed Jordyn, Landen and I one time for looking the wrong way. We also learned that they walk on the left side of stairs, etc.... we always found ourselves on the right side as hard as we tried to go left. I didn't think the driving was near as crazy as it is in Paris.

Let me see ... some of our blunders included:

1) Jordyn peed on me in the subway. Just as we got into town and were on our last leg to the hotel, she told me she needed to potty. I assured her it was ok because she had a pull up on and mommy couldn't find a potty. She was in my lap... suddenly my leg felt warm. I look down and evidently her pull up was NOT properly covering the needed place and there I sat in pee. Fun. She didn't have any other "accident" the rest of the trip and even slept through 2 nights dry!

2) We got ready to buy something and discovered we had left our money at the hotel.

3) We bought the kids a toy at Hamley's toy store. Hayden chose a boomerang, which he promptly opened and played with in our hotel room. The window was cracked, I mean maybe a couple of inches. Yep. The boomerang went out the window onto another rooftop. There was no getting to it. Of course, we made it back to the store to buy another one.

4) We tried to go to Westminster Abbey Cathedral where the coronations occur and Princess Diana's funeral was held. We got there and had just missed the last entrance time at 1:30. It didn't open again until Monday so I didn't get to see inside, to my disappointment.

5) The morning we left we were going to catch the subway, only to find out it was closed so early in the morning. According to the brochure, it was ok but we were further down the line than the brochures, or something. Anyway, we took a last minute taxi and still made our plane.

I'll probably think of more to share later. At least this is a start. I'll add a few more pictures, as well.

Westminster Abbey Cathedral

Our Hotel

Mind the Gap!!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jordyn!!

Bear with me while I dote on my little girl. She's 2 today. T W O. 2. How did that happen so quickly? Time flies when your having fun??

Most of you know I wanted a girl so badly. I never thought it would be an issue when I was growing up. I just thought I would have a boy and a girl and that would be that. It didn't occur to me until I was married that the possibility of having a little girl may not happen. After all, I married into an all boy family. :-) When I had Landen, I truely thought he was going to be a girl. I even felt a little disappointment after I found out he was a boy. Isn't that terrible of me? Awful, I know. I can't imagine not having such 2 cute and adorable little boys running around my house. They are everything to me. After suffering through 3 miscarriages post Landen, I soon learned that I was lucky to have any baby at all and it was truely a gift from God that he blessed us with.

I also knew growing up (ok dreamed) that I would have 3 children. I grew up with 3, so I'm sure that's why I imagined that. After two boys, I really had to decide did I REALLY want a 3rd baby? Even if it was another boy? The answer... yes. I did. I've always loved babies and I have several friends with 3 boys. So, I figured I might as well join the group and have 3 boys of my own.

Fast forward to ultrasound day. My sister in law did one a little early since she's a radiologist. Nice, I know! She looked and looked after I plopped on the table and told her to show me the "pecker." hee hee. She laughed and looked and looked. She even got someone else to look because I don't believe she believed it herself. She couldn't find one. It was a GIRL! I sat in disbelief as she and I went to eat lunch. I couldn't even eat I was so excited and a little skeptical because it was so early. When I dropped her back off at work, she said... "You want to go look again?!" So, off we went. Yep. No boy parts had grown over lunch. G I R L.

I was giddy with excitement and have been every since that day. I would have loved another little boy too, I know. But, a girl in the house was going to mean baby dolls and pink clothes. A change from trucks and hotwheels. Who are we kidding, she is probably going to be a tomboy with 2 brothers, I know. But, until she begins to choose for herself she will wear bows and cute little dresses. I'm obsessed with bows and she FINALLY has enough hair that it actually NEEDS to be brushed a little bit.

Jordyn you are all I had ever hoped for. Your brothers absolutely love and adore you. They are so good with you. You love to crawl into Landen's lap and let him nurture you. Though, you and Hayden have a bit of a love/hate relationship. You LOVE your daddy and want to be at his side at all times. I think your daddy's heart melts a little more each time you give him a hug and a kiss. He never thought he would have a little girl, either.

We celebrated yesterday with just a little party of our family. I debated about inviting a few and just decided you would probably be happier without all the hoopla. Maybe next year we'll invite a couple of friends. She loved opening her presents and took her time as she had to play with each one along the way.

Happy Birthday, Jordyn. We love you and I look forward to the many years to come with you. You are my angel (even when you may act like the devil... just kidding.)

Thank you, God for our 3 healthy children. Forgive me for when I forget that.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Paris, The Conclusion

I really don't think I have much else to say about our findings in Paris. The last day consisted of us waking up and heading back to the Champs Elysee for some souvenir shopping. We also found another quaint little cafe and enjoyed some delicious French Onion Soup. It was the best soup I've ever had in my whole life!

We headed back to the Eiffel Tower for a few last pictures and then decided to walk toward the Statue of Liberty. It was a little further than we thought on foot, but we eventually made it there and took a few pictures. There weren't many tourists around this area... it was pretty much us and a few locals. The Statue of Liberty is smaller than the NY version, but other than that it looked pretty identical.

We made it back home about 8:00 pm that night. Terri, it was a memory I will never forget with you. I'm so glad we did it, even if we are both broke now! Thanks for a good time. I love ya! If you have a sister, plan a weekend get away with her. It doesn't have to be to Paris (though it was nice!) There's nothing like good ole' sister time.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Paris Trip, Day 2

I'm trying to get all this posted because Jordyn's birthday is next week, I want to post soccer pictures at some point and we are heading to London in a week so I'll have even more to share!

Day 2: Let me see what I can remember. First and foremost, we slept in. Yep! We slept until 8:20 I think. It was the first time in a LONG time that I was in bed at my leisure and could get up when I wanted, so I took advantage. We got ready and were on our way by about 9:30. First stop was the Eiffel Tower. I've posted many pictures of it before so I'll refrain on this post. The sun was in our way that morning so we had to return for more pictures later anyway.

We then headed on foot to the Champs Elysee and ate at Lauderee. It was delicious! Thanks for the recommendation, Jill. I enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast and Terri got a sandwich. It was so much fun sitting in that little cafe and watching people while enjoying our food. Hot chocolate came with my breakfast, and can I just say it was a pure chocolate bar melted into a cup.R I C H, but delicious. I had to share it with Terri because I couldn't finish it. This was one of my favorite things we did. We also indulged in some macaroons later in the day, which I highly recommend.

I forgot to mention that on our way to the Champs Elysee, we passed right by the tunnel that Princess Diana was in her fatal wreck. I had wanted to find this and had been near it before, but never stopped and realized it was the actual tunnel - Pont De l'Alma.

Afterwards, we headed to the Louvre. It is enormous on the outside, and even bigger once you get in that place! I am not much of a museum lover, but I really wanted to see the Mona Lisa. We headed inside, and went straight to it. Afterward, I just followed Terri wherever she wanted to go because she loves this stuff. Are we really sisters? Yes. Apparently, we are. Anyway, she would have LOVED to stay longer, but the descriptions were not written in English so this sped up the tour significantly. We walked in that place for 2 1/2 straight hours and still did not see it all. I enjoyed it a little more than I thought I would and I tried not to rush her too much. Her story will probably be different... :) Oh, and I tripped and about made a huge scene in there! I almost fell into some glass... I'm talking, it was NOT a graceful shake it off trip. It was a clumsy stumble over an elevated surface that I about killed myself on and other people laughed! As did I.

As far as the Mona Lisa, I had been told it was very small. So, I expected a tiny painting on the wall - like an 8x10 or something. I was happily surprised when we got there because it was bigger than I anticipated. It hung alone on a wall in the middle of the room. Of course, people were everywhere and you had to fight your way up for a better look. We kind of stayed back and took what pictures we could.

After the Louvre, we headed to Notre Dame. We were both exhausted at this point from all the walking. We snipped at each other a time or two, but never got too angry with each other. After a coke for each of us we both perked up and went on well into the evening. I had been to Notre Dame, but not gone inside. The line was always very long, however this day it wasn't too bad and it moved quickly. Once we got inside, it was beautiful but looked very similar to the cathedrals in Trier and Koln that I have posted before. Nonetheless, I was happy to go inside and we enjoyed sitting in the cathedral for a little R and R.

We stopped at a few shops after this and were on a quest to find Terri's Hard Rock Cafe Paris pin. She has a collection and was determined to get one in Paris. Whew. She better enjoy that pin! Along our way, we found a whole new shopping district full of the locals. We then found the "china town" of Paris. It was dark by this point and we had to get the GPS out of our bag for some help. Our journey was interesting and I'll just leave it at that. We eventually got to Hard Rock and then found the Opra House which was right down the street. It was beautiful! We just happened to catch a glimpse of it on our way to Hard Rock so that was an added bonus to our pin quest.

We got back to the hotel around 10:30 that night and crashed... that bed never felt so good! One more day to post.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Paris Trip, Day 1

I know I've posted pictures of Paris on a few other occasions, so I'm going to try and post only the "new" sights I got to experience, along with a few others. Terri and I headed out in our car on Day 1 around 7:00 am. Terri didn't have her international drivers license (which I bothered her about the whole time) so the driving was all left up to me. Yes, I drove in Paris and we survived. If you have been to Paris, you are probably impressed. Those of you who haven't, just trust me when I say the driving is CRAZY. They don't believe in lanes, they just go... it's not my style, but I did it! We even got gas along the way, all by ourselves.

Anyway, we arrived in Paris, checked in our hotel and were off to Versailles by about 1:30.
As you know, the Palace of Versailles was where Marie Antoinette and Louis XIV dwelled. It took us about a 30 - 45 minutes train ride (including stops) to get to Versailles. We only ran into one obstacle on this leg of the journey. We failed to get our RER (train) ticket, because it let us use our Paris Subway ticket to get onto the train. However, when we got off our ticket wouldn't register so we held everyone behind us up, while purchasing the correct ticket and heading on our way. There was a man standing there with tickets, so obviously this is a usual occurrence or they wouldn't devote one employee solely to this task.

I went ahead and did a slide show of the Palace. I really don't feel like the pictures capture the true elegance of the Palace. This place was ENORMOUS and GORGEOUS. It consists of the actual Palace, then grounds in the back which lead to the Kings Estate and Queens Estate where they retreated to be away from the people of the palace. It was about a 30 minute walk from the Palace to the Estates, and of course you had to purchase separate tickets for each or one huge pass for the entire estate. The appearance of the front of the Palace was a little disappointing as they were doing construction and had fake pictures for the missing parts along with all the construction equipment. But, once we got inside it was nothing but pure elegance. I can't imagine living my every day life there. Wow.

One last thing that was a little distracting inside was the Jeff Koonz art exhibit. His "art" which I showed a few pictures of was over the entire palace. It really distracted from the rooms and our pictures, but we made the best of it. I just don't get "Art" sometimes.

Here's the slideshow. Let me know if you have any questions! Also, be checking Terri's blog (on the sidebar) as I'm sure she'll post much more of the history than I care to.