Saturday, March 31, 2012

Rolling Over

I placed Owen on his stomach and found him on his back... three times
I was never the one to catch him in the act though; Ben got the privledge of seeing it this weekend.
Owen David, 3½
I just wanna squeeze him!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Great Grandpa's Birthday

The MAIN reason for coming home this spring (besides showing off Owen for the 1st time)
was to celebrate my Grandpa's 89th birthday.  EVERYONE came in for this event
(literally, from coast to coast) and since we were all together, we got professional pictures taken at a studio in Columbia.
an impromptu photo at Steve & Dawn's house

Ben has dubbed Steve & Dawn's house as "the fun house" as there a pond for fishing, a basketball court, a big screen TV, a pool table, a hot tub, as well as lots of open space with terrific views.
 the boys showing off guns & doing some target practice
 Kyle taking a swim in the (chilly!) pond
 Ben & Ed (background) fishing
 Stephenie entertaining Kaden
 (aunt) Dawn rocking Owen
 everyone on the deck
 Kyle posing for a picture while grandpa sleeps... and yes, that's a longhorn mounted on the wall...
Kyle helping Kaden ride grandpa
 Uncle Ed with Owen
 What are you lookin' at?!
 (cousin) David with his daughter, Lydia
 Miss Lydia
the beautiful view that makes me want to move home...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Warrenton, Missouri

A trip through central Missouri can't be complete without a trip to Shakespeare's Pizza in Columbia.  Kyle treated us to lunch & then proceeded to make Kaden shriek with laughter. 
Good thing we came at the tail end of lunch and the restaurant was near empty because they were a major scene.  :)
Kaden's "big giant" slice of pepperoni

Besides the scenery, one of the best things about going to mom's house is letting Kaden run free around her yard and not worring about having a busy street nearby.
Over the week, we went for several walks up the "big giant" hill to the
main lake in mom's neighborhood.
 Watching the neighbor boys fish and the Canada geese out on the island.
Another great thing about going to Warrenton to see mom is that Jennifer & Jeff live there too.  Although we live states apart, we still get to see each other several times a year and pick up right where we left off.  On the first visit, I brought Mr. Owen with me while Kaden napped and stayed with mom.  I had only planned to stay a couple of hours but once the two of us get talking, there's no stopping... so... 9 hours later... it finally dawned on me that I should probably get home and let
Jeff go to bed.
Showing off our new boys.
Owen, 3 months & Brady, 1 month

Both Ava & Kaden enjoying a "potty sucker" the next day; I don't think I need to explain this one...
Luckily both kids figured out the potty training thing just in time for their bothers' arrival.

Because we didn't get to talk enough the previous day, we went back to Jennifer's while mom worked.  This time Kaden got to come along. It was fun to see Kaden actually interact & play with Ava on this trip instead of watching the two of them parallel play as in the past few trips. 
And then I couldn't bring myself to leave at naptime so Kaden snoozed next to Ava in the girls' pink bed.
napping buddies

No matter where it is, going to a park will be a hit with Kaden. 
Mom, Owen, Kaden and I met Drew and checked out the new equipment at the pool park. 
This big, yellow slide has been here since I was in jr. high.
 I thought he might be wary of this BIG slide.  I thought wrong.
He had slid all the way down before I got over there.
 Grandma Cook joining the fun

 Relaxing on mom's porch swing
Kyle joining us in Warrenton along with his roommate, Tamra.

I absolutely love getting to hang out with Kyle.  Just like Kaden getting to go to the park, being around Kyle is a guaranteed good time.  Even running with Kyle is more enjoyable. 

On Thursday morning, Kyle, (Owen) and I walked around the loop and hung out in St. Louis before Ben’s flight arrived. 
 elated to see daddy again
 instructing daddy how to color

Two of Ben’s favorite things to do are playing golf & going fly fishing. 
Lucky for him, he got to do BOTH in Warrenton as I had hauled his golf clubs in the back of our little car when we left the weekend before.  The rain held off both afternoons he played and it was a nice change to play on actual greens with challenging hills.
Jennifer came by mom's house before we left and we all went for a walk to the lake to see Ben fishing.
 Bailey joining our group after a full day of kindergarten.
 The three amigos: Kaden, Ava, and Bailey
Kaden giving Ava a hug.
going to see daddy
 Bailey reeling in Ben's fish
touching the fish; Ava not sure what to think

It was a great trip to Warrenton and I didn't think we stayed long enough.  Maybe we can stay a full week or longer this summer.  Lots more to do now that Kaden is getting bigger.

Monday, March 19, 2012

California, Missouri

Before the crack of dawn... more like 5:15 a.m., Kaden came strolling into our bedroom with a magazine announcing that he was "Ready to go to brampa's house," and wanted to "Ride a tractor!"
My typical response would have been "It's VERY dark outside.  Go back to bed!"
but my alarm was supposed to go off at 6 and I figured everyone would finally drift back to sleep just in time for the alarm to go off again. 

Ben saw the three of us off and we were able to get to Weatherford, OK (about 3 hours)
before our first stop for breakfast.  If the kids weren't with me, I would have seriously pulled over to take a power nap.  I considered it a couple of times as I was driving in the dark, but I knew it would be pointless, making my drive even longer. 

Kaden with his Puzzle Buzz & a grizzled looking mommy

  Then, after almost 11½ hours of driving, we finally got that tractor ride with grandpa!
TWO days in a row!
Patiently waiting for grandpa to pick him up the next morning.

As usual, I couldn't get over how green everything was and how beautiful hills and trees are.
View of the farm in the distance. Dad's house near the big red shed.

chilled out Owen
I am so proud of this boy and how he did on the marathon car ride. 
Owen, you have proved yourself a worthy travel companion!
devouring a piece of grandpa's birthday cake

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Not quite in the Himalayan sense but otherwise the same idea — a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world. Mary's villa in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Ever since Mary invited us to come at Christmastime, I had been looking forward to this spring break trip.  (Literally, ever since Christmas.)  Although we were somewhat second-guessing our decision to fly with TWO small children as we were in the Albuquerque airport, we had a wonderful time once we landed in Phoenix.
Kaden with he & Owen's little suitcase in the Phoenix airport

Highlights from our Scottsdale trip: 
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Golf.   Ben brought his clubs on this trip and played for two days at both Indian Bend & Continental Golf courses. 

  • I mentally prepared myself to go for a long run and I, Kristin Dow, did a 10.2-mile run!   I think a lot of it had to do with the breathtaking beautiful scenery to keep my mind occupied as well as the fact that outside temperature was perfect & there wasn't ANY wind/dirt blowing.
  • Kaden & I went swimming at the Las Villas pool. I think we BOTH enjoyed the "hot pool" more than the regular pool.
Kaden's new frog floatie
  • Great food! (Mary's cooking, Frank & Lupe's)
Kaden eating his quesadilla that he ordered at Frank & Lupe's Restaurant. 
Creamy Poblano Chicken Enchiladas... Best enchiladas I've ever had... possibly ever.
  • Hanging out with Mary & Doug
Kaden found a new nap buddy and took his naps with both Mary & Doug in their bed.
  • A trip to the Phoenix Zoo.  We all really enjoyed this particular morning. 
  • I discovered a new way to wear Owen in my Moby wrap (facing out).
Looking at the giraffes in the distance. 
baboon enclosure
climbing on top of the bighorn sheep
  • NO set adjenda; we did whatever we felt like doing and it was relaxing.
 Brothers in the bed
No, I don't want your nuk!  Thanks though...

The next time we plan a trip to see Mary & Doug, we are definitely going to stay longer