Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Mini-Vacation

Realizing we are quite short on time and money before our third little one arrives, we decided to plan a last minute getaway to St. Louis this past weekend. We got away on Sunday morning and arrived at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House right after lunch. This place was amazing! As soon as we walked into the conservatory, butterflies were flying all around us. Of course my camera lens fogged up right away since it was so much warmer in there, but after being patient and finally wiping it off carefully I was able to get some great pictures of the beautiful creatures!

When we were finished exploring the inside of the Butterfly House, we headed out to walk around the garden. Although it must have been too cold for butterflies to enjoy the garden, we had fun walking around and looking at all the pretty flowers and plants....and the girls were able to burn off some much needed energy built up from the drive. There was also a wonderful, HUGE playground just near the Butterfly House that we took advantage of for quite a while. Both girls played and played until they crashed in the van on the way back to our hotel.

We made it to our hotel around 4 and you would have thought Addie had never experienced a hotel before! She was SUPER excited about our room and couldn't believe we were going to get to sleep there! I wish I could have caught it all on video, walking around showing us and telling us about every little detail of the room :)

We headed to the zoo in the morning and it was VERY cold (well for the middle of May anyway!). Good thing I packed pants and jackets for the girls....but Chris and I were out of luck when it came to jackets :( We survived! We had a great time wandering around looking at all the animals. The penguins were my favorite and we even got to see them eating their breakfast and listen to the keeper answer lots of questions. Lydia's favorite part was the elephants because she's really into saying "elphanenenenent" right now and it just cracks us up every time! Addie says her favorite part was the goat petting yard, probably because it was the last thing we saw/did and she actually got to pet and brush them :) So despite our wish for sweatshirts, we had a fun day at the zoo!

We decided to go to one of my family's favorite Italian restaurants on The Hill, Cunetto House of Pasta. We had taken Addie there with my parents when she was about 15 months old, so we figured we'd give it a try with TWO girls this time. I'm pretty sure none of the restaurants in that area are super kid-friendly, but we were quite sick of McDonald's and went out on a limb here. Of course when we got there, Addie had fallen asleep so Chris had to carry her in and sit with her limp body on his lap for the first half of dinner. The food was great, at least from what I remember. The experience.....well, let's just say eating out at a nice restaurant has changed quite a bit for us since having children. When one child says she has to potty....the second one continuously yells POTTY or sometimes even POOPY at the top of her lungs until she gets her turn to check out yet another non-child friendly public restroom. And I must say I have mastered the art of taking an 18 month old potty and putting her diaper back on her standing up in a very tight stall WITHOUT letting her touch anything....something only a Mommy could do (sorry Dads). Chris and I were dying laughing the whole car ride back to the hotel....I'm SO glad we can have a sense of humor about it, rather than getting upset and thinking that our children "ruined" dinner :)

We all slept very well that night.......and headed back home the next day. Short and sweet, but a great time away having fun, laughing, NOT whining or melting down, and enjoying each other!

Enjoy the slideshow:

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Strawberry Pickin'

Life has been keeping us busy, especially with our house on the market and trying to keep two little ones happy. We are all doing wonderful (even baby #3) and enjoying springtime around here!

Last Friday, we ventured out to the strawberry pickin' patch with some friends and had a blast! This was a first for us and the girls and I really enjoyed it. I was a little worried about tackling the picking with both my rascals WITHOUT Daddy there to help, but they both did GREAT and I don't think any strawberry plants were ripped from the ground by the littlest rascal ;)

The rascal, working hard

You CANNOT go pickin' without a little taste here and there ;)

She truly was a good little picker

Big Sis finding the perfect berry

All the girls at the patch

When we got home, I had a VERY busy afternoon preparing all 8 lbs. 11 oz. of our strawberries :) We had strawberry shortcake for dessert that evening and I made plenty of strawberry freezer jam, which we had on our waffles the next morning. Mmmmmm, can't get enough of that stuff! I froze some of the berries, but I don't think they'll stay in the freezer for long because the girls and I are huge fans of smoothies for breakfast and I'm sure they'll get used quickly! This was a super fun experience and I'm sure it will be a yearly thing for us from now on. I never knew how much fun it would be to pick our very own strawberries :)