Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Las Vegas - Part 4

Monday morning we woke up at started packing everything up. Here is how I found Brayden in the morning:
Josh took Brayden swimming one more time while Rachael and Mike went back to the outlet stores. Here's Brayden swimming in the hot tub since it was a little chilly in the pool:
I knew the ride home would not be so fun. We left around 11 and it was my task to keep the kids awake until St. George. Not easy. They were both tired and very ornery. Here's Brooklyn enjoying a sucker for the last 20 minutes of the ride.
And here she is eating her foot after the sucker. All I can say is sticky, sticky, sticky!We ate lunch in St. George then split the kids up in the two different cars. I stayed with Brooklyn and she slept for about 2 1/2 hours. Brayden slept about an hour. We finally made it home, unloaded the cars, and crashed for about three days. Luckily it was easy to put the kids back on their schedules since they were so exhausted. Overall, it was an awesome vacation but I am sure glad to be home!

Las Vegas - Part 3

Sunday was a great day. We tried to keep it simple since it was the Sabbath. In the morning we went to the outlet stores and walked around. I was proud that we didn't buy anything, although I found plenty of stuff I would have bought if it weren't Sunday (saved me lots of money :) I did, however have a few quarters so the kids could ride the truck. They loved it.Here are the kids on the way back to the car. I love that we figured out how to put both kids in just one umbrella stroller! Worked out great since I couldn't bring my big stroller.
We went back to our place so the kids could take a nap, which we all ended up doing. We had complimentary vouchers for the Brazilian grill, so we went there for dinner. Then we were able to walk part of the strip solely to entertain the kids. We went to the M&M Factory only to miss there last show by 5 minutes. Here's Brayden looking down from the top floor:
Here is our little family in fron of the race car at the M&M Factory:
We continued on to MGM Grand. This was heaven for Brayden. It was so fun to watch him interact with all the fun animals there. He loved the elephant. Here I am with him at the elephant, although the picture taker only got the ear of the elephant in the picture:
Here he is talking to the tree. I couldn't believe he actually asked it questions and had a conversation with it. Maybe my little boy has an imagination after all and thinks about things other than basketballs!
Our next stop was the Excalibur. Brayden loved that we went inside a castle. He was overwhelmed with the game area and didn't want to leave.
We let Brayden shoot the hoops and play the Wack-a-mole game. We got enough tickets for tootsie rolls and jolly ranchers - which was a perfect amount of sugar to give the kids a little more energy for the rest of the evening.

We hustled back to where our car was and stopped at the Belagio to see their water show. Of course the kids loved it. I, unfortunately, missed it because Brooklyn had dropped her binky somewhere along the way so I went back to find it. I went too far back looking for it and finally found it on my way back to the Bellagio. I'm still shocked I found it. After we met back up we rushed back to the car and headed back to put the kids to bed, play some games, and go to bed ourselves.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Las Vegas - Part 2

Saturday morning we woke up, got ready, and headed off to the strip. Josh and I went on a complimentary tour of the new Westgate Planet Hollywood hotel on the strip then met up with everyone. (Btw, we saw Rosie (Simmons) Skinner and her husband there. This is the third or fourth time we've run into them in Las Vegas for the BYU game. Random.) Here's Rachael and Brayden at the Coke Factory:
Here are the kids dancing in the middle of the walkway:
Our little family ready for the BYU game:
Brooklyn started getting really tired and in Caesars Palace she just dropped on the ground and layed down. It was really cute, but not so cute because she was really ornery by this point.
Unfortunately, Mike forgot to bring our stroller when they met us on the strip so we had to carry both kids around. That didn't help as we all got hungry and the kids were ready for their naps. We found some lunch then Josh and I took the kids back so they could nap while the rest stayed on the strip.

Saturday night was the BYU game. Everyone got ready and took off while I had the fun task of watching the kids. I was kind of in a bad mood so I decided we needed to have a lot of fun. We started out the evening golfing at the resort's putting green.

We packed up in the car and headed off, not sure where. I found a Little Caesar's but decided to keep driving knowing we'd come back to it. A few minutes later we ran into a pumpkin patch! I pulled over and we spent some time looking at pumpkins and the little rides and also playing in the maze. I let the kids pick out pumpkins and run around until we were all too hungry to stay longer. Here are the kids and their pumpkins:This is the big pumpkin in front. Brayden had to touch it before we could leave:We left and stopped for pizza on our way home. We ate and then I let the kids swim in the tub again. They stayed in about an hour before I got them ready for bed and put them to bed. It turned out to be a great night for us!

Las Vegas - Part 1

A couple of years ago Josh and I got a vacation package through work but never used it. Since it was expiring we decided to kill two birds with one stone and go to Las Vegas for our family vacation the same weekend as the BYU game. (Anyone surprised?!) We left Thursday night and drove to St. George. We invited Josh's sister, Rachael, to come help with the kids. Josh's brother, Michael, was a last minute add-on so we ended up driving two cars. It ended up being better because we split up the kids so they wouldn't wake each other up like they've done in the past. We made it to St. George at about 11. I had a list of cheap hotels and while we were driving my mom looked up the reviews on them all and we decided to stay at the Econo Lodge. We were on our way when I saw the Economy Lodge and thought I must've written it down wrong so we pulled in to check it out as I then saw the Econo Lodge across the street. N-e way, I asked to see one of their rooms and it was perfect. Very old and prison like, but it had two rooms, a kitchen, and tv room instead of just one room with two beds. He gave it to us for $50 instead of $70. We put the kids to bed and watched some tv while Rachael went and visited her old roommates.
Friday we woke up, well the kids woke us all up, and headed to the outlet stores so I could do some shopping. I keep scoring awesome deals on the kids' clothes for next summer - everything for $1-$3!!! Smartest thing I've started doing, btw. After shopping we went to the Pizza Factory for lunch. Then it was off to Las Vegas. We times it perfectly and the kids slept the entire ride to Vegas. We stayed in the Westgate Resort, which is beautiful and luxurious. Of course I forgot to take pictures of our suite, but here's the outside:
In the master bedroom there was a huge jetted tub. It really was just a shallow hot tub it was that big. The first thing I did was throw all the pillows in it and the kids played in there for quite
some time. Here's Brooklyn still a little sleepy:

After we unpacked we hung out at our suite, played at the playground, checked out the other ammentities, and relaxed. We found a Walmart nearby and went and grabbed some food to make so we wouldn't have to eat out so much. When we got back we quickly fed the kids and headed for the pool. We did a quick swim and sat in the hot tub, then it was back to get the kids ready for bed. We put them in our tub to warm them up and realized this was going to be the hit of the weekend. Without any toys they swam and played in the tub for too long. I finally had to pull them out so we could put them to bed.

Adam and his sister Katie joined us late Friday night. We relaxed, ate, and watched tv all night!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fun Night Out

Last night Josh had his final baseball game. We wanted to go, but they kept playing until they lost (up to three games.) Since it was pretty chilly we hung out with my mom instead. We went over to the mall and let the kids play in the Dinosaur Land for about 45 minutes. My mom had free dinners at Souper Salad so we went there for dinner - with both kids under three they ate for free! My kind of eating out! It was such a fantastic night. Thanks mom for hanging out with us!!!
Brayden has FINALLY started letting me take pictures of him again. For a while he has been running away as soon as I get the camera out. Now he'll say cheese and let me snap a few before running off.

Major Milestone

In most families riding in these little cars/trucks is a reward. For us it's a milestone. You see, Brayden has been scared to death of them for years. Every time we see them he will run, hop in, and play but starts screaming if we even suggest putting money in it to start it. (Maybe it was the Big Bird airplane he sat in when he was little. When I put a quarter in it Big Bird started singing SO loud even I jumped a little bit. Apparently he remembers...)

N-e way, about a year ago I started carrying a little bag of quarters in our diaper bag so I was always prepared if he wanted to take the plunge and ride one of these things. Well...the other day it happened! We went to Kmart (which I ended up scoring some fantastic deals on summer clothes for next year) and low and behold they had a car sitting out front. Naturally Brayden ran and started driving it. I asked if I could put money in it and he said yes!!! This has NEVER happened before! So I quickly threw in two quarters before he could change his mind and he LOVED it! He wanted to do it again - I couldn't believe it! However, we were in a hurry so I told him next time if he is a good boy we can do it again. Talk about a major breakthrough! Maybe I'll get to start using this as a reward now!

Dad's Baseball Games

Every Tuesday night for the past couple of months Josh has been playing baseball on a league through his work. When he plays at one of the early times, we are able to go with him watch. The kids love playing on the grass with the other kids. Here they are playing: Here's Josh taking care of 2nd base:
Since it's the playoffs in their league, if they won this game they played again. They did win, however the kids were getting restless and it was really windy so we decided to walk across the street and visit PetSmart. It was fun looking at all the animals. We found a dollar bill on the sidewalk, so I let the kids pick out a sucker for the walk back. I took our umbrella stroller instead of the double stroller, so on the way back when Brayden decided he hated the wind and was done walking, I had to get creative. I figured out a way for Brayden to stand/sit while Brooklyn sat at his feet. It worked great and they were really cute.
And of course Brayden had to run all the bases when the game was over. He is such a little athlete!