Friday, July 24, 2009

Mama I'm Comin' Home

So this summer we were super excited to head home for a couple of weeks - Andy Elliott, one of Jeff's friends since pretty much the dawn of time was getting married to the wonderful and perfect match for him, Katie and Jeff was part of the bridal party! Now, the wedding was excitement enough, but add to that the fact that for two whole nights IN A ROW (yes, italics and all caps, that's just how exciting it was) we were kid free (thanks to Gramma, Papa, Auntie Christy and Agrix) and it's a wonder we ever came back! This is everything that happened on that trip besides Kale's 1st birthday party.

Packing and getting ready is hard work enough, add to that packing for not only yourself but 2 kids and 2 dogs and it's madness. Haley was just helping out. If only the kids could have just traveled this way - throw them in suitcases and then into the trailer (just kidding, but only kind of... 2 days in a car and I would have thought long and hard about it).

Kale, thinking he could fit in his suitcase too. BTW, lately, this kid is never wearing pants! What's up with that?!

On the road Kale is talking on his double foot phone. He thought this was too funny, and so did we.

Let me tell you, when traveling on a budget with a family of 4 and 2 dogs, God Bless KOA! We spent $35ish and got a really great Kabin (yes, since it's K-O-A, it's a Kabin), complete with a bunk bed, queen sized bed and a bathroom not too far away. The best part? If the kids screamed in the middle of the night, or the dogs barked, we were pretty much off in our own little place. Perfect! And the beds were actually comfortable! We did this on the way there and on the way home.

I'm pretty sure now that I look at this picture that it's upside down, but it's uploaded now and you get the idea so it stays. Kale passed out in his pack and play in the Kabin.

Haley passed out on the lower bunk of the Kabin. One day I'm going to blog about all of the crazy ways that Haley has fallen asleep. We must have 100 pictures of Haley sleeping in all kinds of silly positions - the kid is a nut, even when she's sleeping.

Jeff and Haley hanging out on the porch swing in front of our Kabin.

Kale, awake on his 1st birthday - too bad the poor guy had to spend it in a car, but is that not the cutest groggy face in the world?

They even had a Haley sized broom to sweep in the Kabin - she was all too happy to help out.

Once we made it to Gramma & Papa's house we did a lot of swimming in the hot tub...
...and the pool, where they ate Popsicles (thank goodness the weather was nice while we were out there).

Haley (in the cutest pj's ever) helped to clean Gramma's sink. It's her new favorite activity and a great way for her to keep occupied for about 20 minutes (like forever with a 2 year old).

Both of the kids could have spent all day in the backyard swinging in the maple tree. I could have too I think.

The kids spent a lot of time jumping on the trampoline too. Kale really liked to hang out by the exit and on the ladder (this is one of the rare times he was actually in the trampoline).

Haley got to go on her first fishing trip with Daddy and Papa. They caught something like 6 fishies and she had fun till one got too close. You'll notice her "Ga-Ga" in the picture, that wasn't her only comfort item on the boat. This trip back she decided that she was going to potty train so her potty also got to go with in the boat.
Haley got to spend some time with GG (Great Grandma). Now every night when we say our prayers, we say "and bless GG" and Haley says "I love her!" in the sweetest voice. GG really made an impression and they had so much fun hanging out and going through her knitting and sewing basket.
We were really happy to be able to be out there for the 4th of July so I got the family the whole Old Navy set up. It was great. But of the 6 or so pictures we took with our camera, this was the best one... guess this is how it will be for a while.
We spent part of the 4th up at the Knoll's house and got to spend some time with our Best Friends Sonny and Krystal and their new baby (and Kale's pre-determined BFF) Luca. We know that Luca and Kale are going to be best friends because their going to be the only kids their age that will be the size they are (these boys are beefy).

Like I said before, the whole reason for this trip out was for Andy & Katie's wedding. I'd love to tell you that I have tons of pictures of everyone at the wedding, including the bride and groom, but I left that up to the photographers. Mainly, our camera got busted out not long after the drinking commenced, and with no kids in sight for 2 nights, there was some partying goin' down!
Let me tell you, these crazy kids know how to throw a wedding. Katie's family has a ranch a stone's throw from the Snake Rive in Patterson, WA. They brought us down there, let us throw a trailer up in their pasture and stumble home to it in the wee hours after really great time. They had "The Erection Part Deux" (complete with Coug flags up on top) put up to hold the reception under and it was beautifully decorated (for those of you that don't know the Elliott's "The Erection Part One" would be at the farm in Kent - you can see the barn when flying over in an airplane - I know first hand).
Jeff was most impressed with the father of the bride's keg-a-rator trailer. He said, "you know it's a good party when you run out of beer and you had 10 kegs!" Anyway, it was a privilege to be a part of this really special occasion and as you'll see from the kooky pictures below, we had a great time!
So two things about this picture. First, I'm so excited to finally be a part of one of Krystal's notorious self portraits - these things are legendary! Second, things are going down hill fast. You'll know this because I look high (promise just drunk - count my teeth) and Jeff is walking around with an unlit cigar and an unusual vacant look on his face.

Two parents without kids - look out! Oh, and yet another appearance by the unlit cigar and lots of my teeth. Hey we were having fun (and for record this is the first time since May of 2006 I was neither pregnant nor breasfeeding). I remember doing the dollar dance and telling Andy not to spin me too much because it wouldn't take much to drop me on my ass! Or something like that anyway.

A rare picture of the two of us, and we actually look presentable. Love it, I should find a frame.

Oh... the night took a turn now I have the unlit cigar (and a really devilish look on my face). Look out! I started to drink a lot of water not long after that.
And I guess this is the picture we leave you with for this vacation. We had a wonderful time hanging out with friends and family, Happy Birthday to Kale, Congratulation to Andy and Katie and Thank God we're back home in Colorado again! Could we do this again next year?

Kale's 1st Birthday!

This year we were on the road home to Seattle for Kale's actual first birthday so we celebrated it a day later up at Grandma Linda's house on the Party Deck! It was a great day, except for the weather and everyone had a really fun time watching Kale attack his cake.

We ordered one of these for Haley's first birthday so it was only natural that we'd get one for Kale. The lady on the phone was all "WHAT is his name? How do you spell that?" and I'm all "Kale, K-A-L-E, like the lettuce"

The birthday man rockin' the hat like it's his job, but on your first birthday, it pretty much is.

The Party Deck, mind you this is only about a quarter of it. You really can't grasp how big this thing is through pictures. It was perfect! Grandma Linda really should rent this thing out and hold events at her house.

The 1st Birthday Throne. Clean, waiting and ready to be destroyed by cake!

The Dude-a-Man and his real cake. The Albertson's in Auburn totally jacked this thing up - they did it up to match his napkin, then found my totally awesome picture in the envelope. Rather than scraping the frosting up the just laid the picture over the bright green frosting. By the time I went to pick it up the frosting had bled through the picture. They had to re-print and re-lay the picture so there ended up being 2 layers of that nasty edible picture stuff there - oh well, we just scraped it off ourselves and you'd never know to look at the pictures.

His first handfuls into the cake. We thought this is what we would get with Haley (I don't know why, she's such a bird when it comes to eating - maybe we were hoping).

This kid dove in by the fistfuls! He loved it (although it's not like he's ever met a food he didn't like)! I think his first experience with birthday cake is exactly what every kid should do and look like. Perfection!

You'll notice in the top left side of this picture, there is just one small piece of cake - he wasn't about to let anything his the floor! It was just that spotless when we finished. I think he may have dropped that for my benefit - I had just got the camera to take a picture of the spotless mat.

It wasn't long after the cake infused eye rubbing that we decided to cut him off. Something about having cake in your eye makes you cranky I guess. Either that or the sugar shock had finally set in. He might be my son, but he's got some tolerance building to do when it comes to sugar (or more importantly chocolate).

The official video of Kale's first dive into cake. Beware, it's a 10 minute flick. I don't really know why I included this - all of our family (the only people that I believe would actually want to see a 10 minute video of my kid eating cake) were there. However near the beginning there is a description/discussion of the most delicious bacon I've ever made or ate (it's like bacon flavored candy).

The aftermath - good thing Grandma Linda has a bathroom at her party site - we needed it big time. This kid was a MESS!

The handsomest guy to ever rock a Mohawk (don't know what his face is about, but I love it).

Now it's on to present opening! We had so many people show up to celebrate with us (especially considering we did this on Father's Day) that we were just in awe. Oh, and we opened presents for like 45 minutes - Good Lord!

I think this is the coolest backpack! It has a dinosaur face on the back and he looks so stinkin' cute carrying it around! It's become his new diaper bag for now and as much as I want him to stay my little boy - I can't wait for him to wear it off to preschool!

Grandma and Papa got him this sweet ride, so now he can quit hanging out on his sisters pink and purple one!

And this is the ride home. We didn't make it down Grandma Linda's driveway before he was OUT cold. Can't say I blame the guy, we were all pretty tired. Oh, and we went to the doc the next day only to find out the poor little man had an ear infection the whole time (you'd never have known by his behavior though, such a trooper). Thank you so much to everyone who came, it really was a special day.