Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cousin Time

We just LOVE cousin time!!!  For the adults, it is so nice to sit back and watch all of the kids play together!  When we get together is it like there has been NO time in between visits despite the actual time; weeks or months.  The kids jump right into playing together and know eachother's games.  It takes them a bit longer to warm up to the adults but that is probably because they don't spend much time with us when we are all together!! : )
For the most part, you can find all 4 of them playing together.  It is usually the older 2 leading the game and the younger 2 following trying to keep up or enjoying being bossed around!  They spent a lot of time this weekend playing "puppy".  We had lots of puppies crawling around the house!
They also spent a lot of time in Lucy's room laying together in her bed reading books!!!  It was cute to walk in on the telling a story about what was on the page they were reading.  They would read to themselves or read to the little kids!  So cute!  I have to say that Owen and Lucy slept together every night and it was great!!!  I think they loved camping out!
We also spent a lot of time outside despite the Austin heat!!!  Here at Barton Springs we kept cool in the very cold water!!!  We did NO swimming... to cold, but we did some wading and sitting!
 Two peas in a pod!!!  These two are so cute together!!!
I love watching them all interact.  They all watch out for the others.  They pair up many different ways; Girls and boys, older and younger, siblings, or all together!  So cute!!!  I love when we are walking and they all just hold hands!
Not only did they do a lot of playing, they did some baking with Aunt Holly!!!
 And Addyson made sure she got her chance to get her hands dirty!!
I'm glad Aunt Holly has the patience to work with the kids in the kitchen.  They always want to help me but I don't always have the time or patience these days but I really want them to help make the food and learn how to cook.... something I wish I did more of as a kid.  So, for now, I'll let the cook with Aunt Holly and hopefully when our lives slow down we can do more cooking together at home!
The Austin Brewsters have a big garden in the backyard that the kids loved playing and digging in!!!  Addyson picked tomatoes until she couldn't eat another one!  The kids loved going through the "green bean tunnel" and digging for potatoes!!!!  Makes me wish we had planted a bigger garden this year but not knowing if we were moving and when we didn't want to put too much effort into something we weren't going to be able to enjoy.  I hope the kids got their fill while we were here!!!
And after digging in the dirt Addyson helped Simon wash his feet off!!!  She is SO helpful and is going to be a great mommy's helper when baby gets here!
While there was lots of playing outside, there was also lots of resting and cooling off inside!!!!  Look at this naked cousins!!!  So cute!
The kids were also good at sharing!!!  Owen shared his special birthday ice cream with Simon and Addyson!  Sweet boy!!!!  We sure did enjoy all of our cousin time and look forward to our next visit!

Monday, June 27, 2011

5 Minutes with Owen (4 years)

  •  What is your full name? Kurtis Owen Brewster
  • How old are you? Three no, Four!
  • When is your birthday? In June... 22nd?... no June 27
  • What is your favorite color? Red, Purple, and Brown
  • What is your favorite thing to watch on tv? Dora  (This was on during the interview for Addyson.  I think he likes Backyardigans, sports shows, and fishing shows)
  • What's your favorite thing to eat?Grilled Cheese
  • What is your favorite restaurant?  Taco Place (Flying Burrito)
  • What is your favorite fruit?  Grapes
  • What is your favorite snack? Cheese stick
  • What is your favorite vegetable?  Salad
  • What is your favorite thing to do? Play  (he LOVES to play Razorback football which means he runs around our couch throwing the football and singing the cheer song and he is big into playing baseball, soccer, and tennis and we have to do it like the big guys do!)
  • What is your favorite toy?  My puppy (Red Dog)
  • What is your favorite thing to play with? Play Golf (with his golf set inside)
  • Who is your favorite friend? Jacob
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?  Football player
  • What are your dogs' names? Addyson's dog is Sammy and my dog's name is Skippy (even though Sammy passed a couple of months ago he still says that Sammy is Addyson's dog)
  • What is your favorite animal? a monkey
  • What is your favorite word? I don't know
  • What is your favorite thing to say?(shrug)
  • What is your favorite song?  Razorback Song (Fight Song)
  • What is your favorite number? 4
  • What is your favorite letter?2 (didn't what to hear that 2 wasn't a letter...)
  • Are you a boy or girl? boy
  • Are you sad or happy? happy
  • Where do you live? here
  • Where does mommy live? here
  • Where does daddy live? here
  • Where does daddy work? I don't know
  • Who is your favorite person? Opa and Nina 
  • Is there anything else you want to tell me?I want to play outside
  • Do you have a brother or sister? 2 sisters (he now says I have a baby girl in my belly)
  • What is her name? I don't know the baby's name and her name is Addyson
  • What kind of fan are you?  I'm a Razorback fan!
  • Where do you go to school?  Bible School (for the summer they had a vacation bible school so that's what he calls it now)
  • Anything else?That's all
  • Was this fun?Ya.

Water Park

Being in Austin, TX makes me wish we were moving there!!!  So many nice little perks I wish we had in Fayetteville.  One of those was the abundance of free splash pads that were shaded!!!  The kids ran and ran and had so much fun and I didn't worry one but.  These two cousins have SO much fun together!! They take off hand in hand and don't have a care in the world!
Addyson, on the other hand, wasn't a huge fan of the splash pad in the beginning!  She did NOT like being splashed.  I walked her out to this spot and left her and she was not happy.  She wasn't sure how to dodge all of the water drops to get to "freedom".
Poor thing, I didn't know it was going to be that bad.  Thankfully there was a nice quiet spot in the shade that had a little water spout where she could practice pouring.... a favorite activity of hers.  Once she was in this little spot she was as happy as could be.  I remember Owen at this age didn't like to be splashed either.  I'm sure this time next year she'll be running with the big kids!
Simon soon spotted Addyson having fun pouring and went to join her!  I love how the cousins pair up and mix the pairs up and everyone just gets along.  Please tell me it will stay this way!!!!!! : )
We were super lucky that Baby Oliver and his parents moved to Austin earlier in the week so we got to meet him for the first time and hang out with him for a few days and get to know him!  It was great!  Oliver's mommy is Aunt Lisa, Holly's sister.  Lisa and I had a talk yesterday wondering how exactly were we related and what would our kids call each other and the adults.  I saw we are all family, of course I am the queen of extended/multiple families, and I love the idea of having another set of loving adults to be a part of our kids' lives and an extra cousin (or two) to play with!  So, through marriage, we have a new cousin in the family and the kids love him!!!!  Addyson asks for "baby ovier", it is SO sweet!!!!
After playing hard in the water it was time for a snack before we loaded up these tired kids in the car to take them home for a rest!!!  What a great morning!!!  Again, makes me wish we lived in Austin.... maybe one day! : )

Birthday Celebration

Owen is one lucky kid, I swear he has been celebrating his birthday for a month now!!!  After his party in May (a little over a month ago) it took me forever to convince him he was still 3.  In his mind, he had his party so he MUST be 4!!!  Now we are on the road for his birthday and Brad will be gone on his actual birthday so he got to open presents from his dad on Sunday, spent Monday celebrating with his cousins, and I'm sure when we get home there will be gifts and my mom will take him out for his special day!!!  If he is like me, he's lovin' this!!!  I love it when my birthday celebration lasts days, weeks, up to a month long!!! : )
Owen asked for a belt and a watch for his birthday so he could be like his dad!!!  How sweet is that!!!  So Brad gave him a belt and a catfish (to go with his super large bass fish from Grandma and Grandpa Brewster).  He had fun opening his gifts with help from his sister and cousins and then we had to say "good-bye" to daddy to had a morning flight out.
 Happy Birthday, Owen!!!  Daddy loves you!
Owen wore his belt all day!!!  It was really cute because the belt is super big.  I bought it without him there and wasn't sure on his size.  I know Brad can put an extra hole in it but there was no time for that before he left that morning.  No worries, it didn't slow Owen down one bit despite how far it sticks out... can you see it?
On his actual birthday we had a fun day planned!!!  First stop was doughnuts!!!!  I knew he would be excited!  We ate at Shipley's doughnuts which I think is just in Texas.  They were yummy!!!!  There he opened his gifts from me; a Razorback visor and camera!
Next we headed to a splash pad with cousins Lucy, Simon, and Oliver!!!  We also met some of Lucy's friends there so there was a good group of kids to play with!!!  Austin is so lucky to have splash pads all around and I think they are all free!!!!
What a perfect morning for my big birthday boy!!!
To wrap up our great day we headed to Chewy's for dinner!!!  It is not Flying Burrito but a close second!  Taco and dippy followed by ice cream for dessert was all this birthday boy needed!!!!
Happy Birthday Owen!!!!  Mommy loves you SO much!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Crawfish

If there is one thing the Brewsters like to do it is eat!!!  We LOVE to go out to eat!!!  One of the perks of traveling is we get to eat at different places and try different things!!!  It is especially nice when we are traveling for work since all of our expenses are not out of our pocket!!!
When we travel I love to use my iPhone app called Yelp!!!  It has been SO helpful and has led us to many great places!!!  Tonight, however, we were looking for one place but ended up stumbling across this seafood place that was serving crawfish!!!  Brad did a u-turn once he saw the sign and pulled right in!!!
These two Brewster boys can do a hurtin' on some crawfish!!!  Maybe Owen does have a little Cajun in his blood since he was born in Louisiana!!! : )  The two of them have a great system where Owen pulls of the head and Brad shells the tails.
And in a matter of no time they can have 3 pounds of crawfish shucked and eaten!!!  The only evidence they leave behind are slimy hands covered in crawfish guts and red seasoning!!!!  Don't worry, they share.  I eat a piece or two and Addyson has 4 or 5 pieces but we mainly stick to shrimp and let the boys go at it.
To treat the ladies we stopped for ice cream at the Ben and Jerry's store just down the street!!!
It's not like it wasn't a treat for Owen, that boy can polish off a bowl of chocolate ice cream quicker than most!
But it was an extra special treat for this pregnant momma and sweet sister!!!
It was good to the last drop!!!
Nights like this, I love being on the road with Brad and having good family times together!

Road Trippin'

Our road trip schedule looks a little something like this over the next two weeks:
Monday leave for Oklahoma City and spend the night
Tuesday spend the day in OKC and leave at 2 to head for Houston with 2 tired kids that were WAY past nap time.  Arrive in Houston about 9:30pm
Wednesday-Thursday spend the days in Houston, most of it at the hotel pool while Brad works
Friday pack up and head to Austin at nap time.
Saturday-Tuesday spend time in Austin with family.
(Sunday- Brad left for Kansas for business while I stayed in Austin with the kids)
Wednesday I took the kids to Georgetown to spend the night with the Brewster grandparents while I headed back to Houston to meet Brad who flew in that morning.
Thursday the Brewsters bring the kids to Houston
Friday we spend the day in Houston swimming and shopping
Saturday we loaded up and headed home and got home around 8pm.
If you count our time at the river just a day before we left town we spent one night at our house in the past 2.5 weeks!!!  Crazy!!!  How do we do it???  For one, it is really all we know.  When Owen was 5 days old we packed him up and drove from southern Louisiana to NW Arkansas to move, a two day trip.  When he was 10 days old I was in a wedding in Eureka Springs and stayed in a hotel over the weekend.  When he was a month old I was in another wedding in Alabama where he took his first airplane trip to get there and we spent a long weekend.  And he has been traveling ever since.  Life wasn't AS crazy with Addyson but we did load her up in the car around a month old for a super long road trip.  So, when we load up the kids pretty much know they are in for a long journey!
Because it is what they know they are pretty laid back and go with the flow.  They play silly games together, we look for things out the window, they play with toys, watch movies, and sing songs.  Rarely are there meltdowns.
We also try to be really aware of their moods and try not to push them.  If we know we have a long stretch of a drive we try to break it up and give them goodies, like ice cream, along the way!!!!  If we are on the verge of a meltdown we will give them each a dollar to hang on to for our next stop where they can pick out something.  We try not to always stop for food so our trip doesn't turn into a binge fest!  We'll stop at Target (or some store or mall) and let them stretch their legs while shopping the dollar bin!!!  Owen had been looking for a net every since Kiptyn ate his last one so he scored BIG when we found one along our way!!!!  New toys always help provide hours of entertainment!!!
Finally, we try very hard to schedule trips around nap time!!!  Notice most of the time we'll leave around nap time so the kids will sleep a huge chunk of time!!!  It works wonders!!!  We use to only be able to go about 5-6 hours stretches a day and we have been able to up that to about 9-10 hours a day!!!  I wonder how new baby will do with all of our road trippin'.  I bet like the others, it will be all s/he knows so s/he'll just go with the flow!!!  It will help having 2 older siblings to help entertain!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Peaceful

What is this a picture of?  It is a picture of my precious two kids sleeping peacefully side-by-side in a hotel bed!  Snuggled up together with their baby/dog, blanket, and pillow pet sleeping peacefully because they know their daddy is in the next room and will be there when they wake up.  That's has to be a great feeling!
I think we will all sleep peacefully tonight knowing we are all together!  Brad has been gone so much these past couple of months that it has really started to take its toll on the kids and I.... and I'm sure Brad too.  We have been lucky this past week to have him home because he took time off when my parents were here. We got really use to having him around!!!  He was scheduled to be on the road these next 2 weeks and we thought it would be best if the kids and I went with!  This is the perk of NOT being in school!!!  I have missed these days of traveling with Brad!  It might seem like a lot to pack up the kids and live out of a suitcase for days to weeks at a time but it is what we know and love!  For us, it means having daddy around at night to tuck us in and being able to kiss daddy bye bye before he goes to work.  It also means quality time together where we can talk about how things are going and what we want for our family!  We have been living in such a limbo with a house for sale and baby on the way and Brad has been gone so much we haven't been able to sit down and make decisions.  Raising two kids alone while trying to show a house has really put me into a "blue funk".  It probably wouldn't be so bad but being pregnant has added an extra stress.  It is hard to do all of the house work alone while caring for two kids with a huge belly!  Added to the physical stress is emotional stress of all of the unknowns.  Will we sell our house?  If so, when?  Where will this baby be born?  When will Brad travel less?  The list goes on and on.  At least on the road I can escape some of the realities of life and live in the moment on the road and have the extra help of having Brad around, both physically and emotionally!!!  I think I have finally learned that I have a plate that can get too full!!!!  Now, I've realized, my plate if overflowing!!!
No worries though, hours of driving provides for LOTS of quality time to talk about life!!! : )  I have full confidence that we will be able to answer some, if not most, of our unknowns while we are together for two weeks and that makes me super excited!  So, tonight we'll sleep peacefully in Oklahoma City and wake up together to eat a continental breakfast before daddy runs off to work.  While daddy is at work I'll pack up our stuff so we can head to Houston for the next leg of our trip!  It is a crazy life on the road but a peaceful one!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

We were lucky enough to have Brad home for Father's Day... I think it was because he asked for a few days off while my parents were here and it just carried over.  I'll take it!  I think he has missed Mother's Day the past couple of years!  Since we had a busy couple of days and are scheduled to leave tomorrow for his work we spent today pretty low key.  After church we went to Penguin Ed's for breakfast and the kids gave him his gifts.  I handed them to Owen under the table and he was super excited to give his card to his daddy!!!
Owen, tell me 5 things you love about daddy.
1) I love him
2) I love him to fly me like an airplane
3) I love to sword fight with him.
4) I like to ride on a train with dada
5) I like to sit beside him!
6) I like to see daddy fish.
Owen addressed the envelope by himself!!!  He was super proud.  He is just now getting into writing things and it is really cute.  The "d" has an extra line on it because I was trying to help him backwards and I told him to put it on the wrong side.. oops!
Addyson colored an envelope for him too!!!
Addyson, tell me 5 things you love about daddy.
1) Hugs
2) I don't know mommy... guess it is hard for a 2 year old to think up things on the spot!! : )
I love how she said "Hugs" right away!!!  She does love to hug her daddy!!!  I love when Brad walks in the door and she goes running to him at full speed ahead giggling the whole way and throws herself on him with her arms wide open!!!  So hugs to her probably means that daddy is home and that is what she love about daddy!!!
This year all of the moms were neglected... sorry moms!  For some reason I didn't get around to getting cards in the mail.  However, I made up with it for the cards to the dads!!!  I made personal cards for each dad with pictures of them and the kids on Snapfish.  They turned out great!!!  I got pictures of Brad with the kids throughout the year!!!  For me, it was so fun looking at how everyone has changed throughout the year and remembering a lot of our memories!!!
Finally, I had to think of a gift for Brad.  We try not to spend a whole lot of money, we've always said that memories are worth more so we try to save up for a trip instead of a bunch of gifts that clutter up the house.  I also thought about the billions of pictures I have just sitting in my computer and how am I ever going to display them all.  I came up with the idea to make a book of all of the fishing trips Brad and the kids have taken.  It turned out great!!!!  The kids enjoyed the book just as much as Brad did!!!  I think Owen has looked at that book 10 times today with a big smile on his face!!!  The perfect gift for my little fishing team... well besides an all expenses paid deep sea fishing trip.... I'll save that for another year!!! : )

Happy Father's Day Brad!!!  We love you so much and appreciate all you do for our family!!!  Here's to another great year of Fatherhood and all of the many changes we have coming up!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Momma's Girl

Every now and then, for a fleeting moment, she is a momma's girl!!! : )

Last Day at the River

We got here yesterday afternoon and my parents will leave tomorrow morning so I was worried about having enough time at the river BUT when you spend ALL day there a couple of days feels like a month of relaxing!!!
We have had so many great laughs!!!!  It has been nice to have Brad home for a couple of days in a row to share in these laughs!!!  Just what all of us needed!!!  Addyson definitely is a daddy's girl and likes to be "with him" most of the time!!!  This time together is helping fill her "daddy's love cup"!!!
The kids have gotten a lot of use out of their birthday gifts; swimsuits, water wings, and glasses!!!  We are soaking in the river in style!!! : )
The time together with Opa and Nina is also priceless!!!  I always get sad their last day, I never want them to leave.  Nina makes fun of me because I try to pin them down on their next visit before they even leave.  And true to my nature, I used this relaxing time by the water to try to talk her into coming for a month when baby is born!!!  I'm not hopeful she will come that long but I have already started working on her and planning their next trip!!!  I can't believe that the next time we are all together our lives will be SO different!  Me, a mom of 3.  Brad, a dad of 3!  Addyson, a big sister!  Owen, a big brother to 2!  And Opa and Nina grandparents to a new baby!!!
While the boys spent hours and hours fishing, Addyson spent time hamming it up!!!  She insisted that we switch, she got to wear my glasses and I had to wear her tiny hat and glasses!!!  Problem was, she thought it was so funny she didn't want to trade back!
And of course my little camera star insisted we take a self picture!!!
After naps, we headed to Eureka Springs for a dinner in town and to walk the shops!  To our surprise, the stores close at 6 (some stay open to 7 but that is rare).  Oops, we didn't leave the cottage until after 5.  I wish we had known that!  So, we didn't get much shopping done (probably for the better) and the Mexican restaurant we wanted to eat at was closed.  We ended up eating at a terrible Italian place BUT the outside atmosphere was great and we were all together so it was fun!!!  The food, once we got it, was good too... can you tell?!?!  What a great last day with my parents!!  Can't wait for their next trip!!! ; )