So maybe this isn’t your typical Spring Break, but for a 27-year-old accompanied with her 4-year-old and a 2-year-old daughters. . .and a little self respect about showing body parts to everyone, maybe this is the average Spring Break. We opted for a warmer climate. However, east Texas was experiencing some cold weather too and the rain followed us for about four hours. I am glad to say that Ellie’s fear of rain while she’s riding in the truck is no longer a problem otherwise I wouldn’t be able to type this email because reaching back and holding her hand like I’ve done on so many car rides would have hurt my shoulder!
We had a blast at Jackaroo and Lukachew’s house but were stuck inside all weekend. We didn’t make it to the zoo because of the rain and possibly the Spring Break crowds wouldn’t have helped the situation, but we did ride on a train followed by a visit to The Purple Cow for ice cream. I’m pretty sure once I left the 806 area code, I left all my dieting and will power and didn’t quit eating until. . .well, I let you know when I’ve finally sat down and had a talk with my stomach.
I’ve discovered that traveling with children and making good time should not be put in the same sentence. The more you push to get somewhere, the more obstacles line up in front of you. Leaving Jess’ on Monday, we stopped by the mall to play at the indoor playground. Apparently I didn’t get the memo that everyone would be taking their kids to the mall on the first day of Spring Break. Or at least all the Mama’s, the baby Daddy and her two closest friends that wouldn’t quit jumping off the play equipment designed for toddlers. Seriously. The girls still had a blast but you could tell it was a little too much for the girls. I said, “Ten more minutes,” and Emma responded with, “Can you make it five?” Ellie didn’t even make it out of the mall parking lot before she crashed for her afternoon nap and we were on our way to G-G’s house.
G-G had her hands full with one family member visiting after the other and a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old didn’t slow down my 83-year-old Grandma. She took the girls for show and tell at the coffee shop. . .aka the Dairy Queen. Grandma spent the night before calling all her friends to make sure they would be at the coffee shop in the morning because “her granddaughter Stephanie, you know the one that said her tongue was out of control when her Braum’s ice cream was melting and Papa couldn’t get the car door unlocked fast enough” was in town. And then the laughter of women recalling every funny thing I had ever said or done back as a child was remembered. Different colored socks, my hatred of squash sandwiches, vending machine sticky toys being thrown on the ceiling, Papa painting around the sticky toy stain because of the fond memory of Ole’ Steph, etc. Ahhh the good ole days.
The girls were sad to leave G-G’s house and Ellie cried when we drove away. Then we had to turn around and give G-G’s lottery ticket I left in the car and the girls got to scream bye one last time. On the road at 9:15 a.m. with a stop at the Grapevine Mills Mall to go to lunch at the Rainforest Cafe for Emma’s birthday. This is where I gripe about technology and our constant need for such luxuries. . .and possibly my inability to read directions or understand a GPS.
Our TomTom (also referred to as “Billy Bob” because we really are rednecks and renamed our GPS) managed to get me to Grapevine but then had me exiting off the highway on to the access road and then getting back on the highway and going south when I wanted and needed to go north. If you can imagine a conversation between my husband 350 miles away from me via cellphone and me in Podunkville, Texas with “Billy Bob” not running on all cylinders “speaking loudly and angrily” about the newest technology that is supposedly accurate. Dustin says what anybody would say in his position, “Steph, calm down, what do you want me to do? I can’t do anything. Just pull into a gas station and find out where you are?” Does he not know that you don’t pull over when there is a sleeping child in the car. . .a sleeping child that is not making noise because she is SLEEPING. Ellie has this keen sense that when you park your car and turn it off, she instantly wakes up. I said what any woman would say (or maybe just what I would say), “I am not pulling over in the middle of no where to ask a complete stranger where I am. I’ll just keep driving until I find something familiar.” Now that I think of it, isn’t that what a guy would say???
Anywho, we shortly found Decatur because on the right side of the road was the gas station Dustin throw up at on the way home from Galveston six years ago. And then a mile ahead on the other side of the highway is where Emma had to stand in the corner of a closed down gas station (with me standing right there too, I’m not a bad Mom) on the way to Jess’ for our San Antonio vacation three years ago. Who needs directions when you have memories? Dustin was on the phone with me and sadly because of these memories, he too knew exactly where I was.
The part about getting somewhere quick and having offspring with you made the final part of our Spring Break trip last from 9:15 a.m. to 6:55 p.m. Besides the malfunction of “Billy Bob,” the trip was alot of fun and didn’t seem like it took that long. Granted when you’re getting out of the car every few hours to eat, drink, pee, repeat. . .
Emma’s favorite part on the trip home was a tie between the Rainforest Cafe people singing Happy Birthday to her and later that afternoon peeing on the side of the road. I know, it takes a lot to please my little girl.
Ellie’s favorite part was singing “I Got Spots” from the nine hours of Blue’s Clues DVD entitled Blue’s Got a Baby Brother I listened to. Did I mention nine hours? There were a lot of other options, but the girls opted for Blue’s Clues and Camp Rock. . .I know, I know everyone’s jotting down when the next road trip is so you can come with us. Enjoy the pictures!
A smile and a little bit of Gatorade to start out the six hour trip to Aunt Jessie’s house. . .life is good.
What a great way to start out the trip!
I think this was my sixth or seventh attempt at a good picture. And then I kept looking at my eye liner and was rethinking my make-up routine. . .ohhh the wonders of being a woman. . .
The kiddos enjoying a little Rockband. Even toddlers know how to rock!! Seriously, being my offspring was there any doubt?
Band Bio: Ellie “You Want A Piece Of This??” the drummer for the Simow band likes walking beside the stroller with her teddy and binkie, Sprite in a cup with a straw and Schlotzsky’s Wisconsin Cheese Soup. Turn offs include being told no, not getting to buckle her own seat belt and having to wear shoes (Papa do you remember our past theatrical performances known as the Gibnks?).
Band Bio: Emma “I’ll Take That As A Personal Challenge” lead singer of Simow enjoys hot cocoa with pink marshmallows, setting the table for dinner and hairdillys (the more the better). Her dislikes are sourcream, sweet pickles and taking a nap on Sundays.
Jackaroo, Emmernoodle, Ellie Bellie and Lukachew anxiously awaiting the train. . .a possible some better nicknames from their mothers. . .
Emma on the train. . .she takes the best pictures.
Luke and Jess
Ellie was like a little bird and I was tempted to act as though I was regurgitating the popcorn like the Mama bird would do, but then again I didn’t think the people behind me would understand my humor.
Can you tell by Ellie’s cheeks it was a little cold and windy?
Jack and silly Emma
The older kids dressing up the youngest. . .boy do I remember how cruel older cousins can be. Yah, I’m talking to you. . .there’s probably about seven of you I could name. . .it’s tough being the baby.
The mall had little tables and chairs for the kids, so I got to eat lunch by myself while the girls dined together on Sonic and “Daddy Chicken” aka Chick-fil-A. Their Daddy always get Chick-fil-A if we’re ever out at the mall, so they call it Daddy Chicken.
Ellie looks a little too at home behind bars. She’s got that, “Dear God, I promise not to do this again if you get me out of here” look.
This is a side effect to eating Fun Dip. Her teeth were a little green too.
Emma’s favorite thing to do at G-G’s house. . .the dishes. G-G lets her help out with drying the dishes as well as picking up leaves in the back yard. Someone should inform G-G of child labor laws. . .just a thought.
Mama: “Where’s Ellie? Peek-a-boo! Where’s Ellie?”
Ellie: “Go away.”
Grandma had everyone over for a fish fry since I was in town. The irony of this, I don’t eat fish or fried food. Now that I think of it, ever since I started bringing the girls down to Grandma’s house, we’ve always had a fish fry. As stated above, I had left my area code a few days before, so fried foods were now part of my daily diet. This is my cousin’s Danny “Cousin Steve’s” boys Braxton and Grayson. The little cousins were finding acorns for the squirrels. . .and then finding a bird bath to throw the acorns in.
Ellie found a bike that looked kind of like hers at home. She hopped in the back and then Braxton got in the front. Can you tell who didn’t get a seat?
Emma, I’m not sure what Ellie is doing and Braxton
Alas, Princess Emma got a turn on the bicycle and all the world is right again.
“Mama, I holdin’ baby!!!”
Emma holding her cousin Grayson and Grayson thinking, “Who are these people?”
Breakfast at G-G’s house: scrambled eggs, buttered toast and bacon.
I hope they don’t get used to this.
Every summer I spent at Grandma and Papa’s house, I always went to the toy store and got paints (usually neon and the carpet staining kind). This tradition was carried on to the next generation.
The girls working on their sun catchers.
A dedicated Ellie perfects her technique of mixing every color and getting a portion of that paint to the object she is in fact painting. Ellie’s motto: “Who says a gold fish has to be gold?”
Concentration keeps Emma’s steady hand from painting outside the line and keeping the bold colors from mixing together. Emma’s motto: “ELLIE!!! QUIT MIXING THE COLORS!!!”
See, Mama can find a corner anywhere. . .even at G-G’s house.
Ellie left off where she did the last time she was at G-G’s house. Wherever G-G was, Ellie was right behind her, or underneath her.
The girls climbed up in G-G’s bed after dinner to watch Benji. It was on one of those black rectangular devices that you put in a machine and have to manually push a button to fast forward and reverse to your desired spot in the movie. . .I think it was called a VCR? I know, the girls were confused too.
G-G and Emma right before we left and right after I told G-G to turn off the heater while I loading up the Tahoe. I think my exact words were “I’m burning up old woman, turn off that heater!!!” Maybe not those exact words, but she did turn it down to 78 degrees.
Ellie, G-G and Emma. G-G had a few new bruises courtesy of you guessed it my little bull in a china closet, Ellie. Ellie wanted to climb up in G-G’s lap all by herself so I can only imagine what that did to G-G and her pace maker!
Hey, I was there! I was in three pictures out of 143 pictures of our Spring Break.
Excellent product placement yet again. Emma at the Rainforest Cafe for her birthday lunch.
This was Ellie’s “This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, but that bobcat looking at me just made me poop my pants” face.
We were right next to a giant tree that had a giant butterfly about the size of Ellie. I don’t know why a 2-year-old would be a little freaked out by the realistic jungle animals?!?
This is the said bobcat that kept moving its head and looking at Ellie. Every 10 minutes all the animals would go nuts and start growling and moving around and I swear Ellie did a little excited scream and then looked at the bobcat to make sure he hadn’t made it any closer to our table.
Ellie still staring at the bobcat. This cracked me up! Emma called her Daddy and told him, “There’s monkeys and elephants, and lions and fish and disco balls and butterflies.” Disco balls? There was a giant rotating world in the middle of the restaurant and Emma thought it was a disco ball. How she knows what a disco ball is still puzzles me a little?!?
Emma the monkey eating her banana.
Yep, I’m 5-years-old.
Happy, slurp, Birth, slurp, day, slurp, Em, slurp, ma, slurp, lick.
In theory this is really cool. . .until you put an adult size rear on top of those really cool bar stools and then your adult size rear is in fact the same size if not larger than the animal you are sitting on. Cute picture of the girls though!
Ellie, Emma and the overpriced recognizable frog “CHI-CHI.” I was the parent telling the girls before we went into the restaurant, “You can look at the stuff, but we’re not buying anything.” And my awesome girls didn’t throw any fits like some of the other kids did. I love my well behaved kids!
Lizard want a flower? I’m pretty sure Emma wants to work at the Rainforest Cafe when she grows up!
Ellie’s feeding her elephant balloon animal to the lizard and Emma kept trying to touch the lizard’s tongue with hers.
Ellie and her “Ellie”phant.
My little monkey Emma
Enjoying a little play time at the rest stop on the way home.
One last slide before we return to the real world. No more playing all day, watching movies whenever or demands of drinks and foods whenever. . .wait a second, that sounds like a typical Monday thru Sunday if you ask me?