Monthly Archives: October 2011

Big train, little train

This week we finally had some beautiful fall weather so we made the most of it by riding trains. On Wednesday, we met up with the Staheli’s and took the TRE commuter train into downtown Fort Worth to visit the Water Gardens.

The kids picked up every acorn they saw . . . it was A LOT of acorns!

Raine, Carter, Elyse, and William.

On Friday, we met up with the Kinzler’s and Lira’s to ride the Forest Park Miniature Railroad.

Carter, Raine, and Ophelia.

I didn’t get many photos on this outing. I guess I was too busy enjoying the scenery — or maybe I was just too busy making sure nobody fell out!

REAL camping

We finally made it on a family camp-out! Granted, we didn’t leave early enough to be able to cook dinner before dark, so we stopped at Dairy Queen in Rhome on our way to the campground. And granted, Daddy sat in the corner of that Dairy Queen talking on the phone to his VP, trying to “save the world.” But we slept in a tent, and that’s what counts!

We camped at Black Creek Reservoir, in the LBJ National Grasslands. It was a beautiful location.

Daddy taught Raine how to fish, while Carter played in the water with sticks and I did my best to spoil all his fun, i.e. keep him from getting wet.

The campground had a playground that the kids made good use of.

“Okay Raine, go and I will catch you.”

These kids are such great friends. They each have a little camp chair of their own, but they wanted to share one as they snacked. Carter looked so uncomfortable, but I couldn’t convince him to sit anywhere else, he wanted to be right next to Raine.

This was Carter’s first camping trip, so we really didn’t know how he would do. So how did he do? TERRIBLE! Sometime between 1:00 and 3:00 a.m. he woke up screaming. Anything I did just made him cry harder. He didn’t want anything to do with anything. I wondered if it was a night terror or something.

He woke up everyone in the campground. Including this little monkey, who decided that she needed to go on a nature walk before she could go back to sleep — good thing there was a full moon.

But what is camping without a little sleep deprivation anyway!?!!

This, that, and some stats

First of all, Raine and Carter each had a well-baby checkup today so here are their stats:

Age: 36 mos
Weight: 37 lb 1 oz, 90-95th %ile
Height: 41 in, way above the 97th %ile (For comparison, this is the 75th %ile for a four-year-old. If she continues on this curve, the charts say she will be 5’10” as an adult — the perfect height if I say so myself! :)

Age: 15 mos
Weight: 23 lb 7 oz, 25-50th %ile
Height: 32.75 in, 90-95th %ile

Now for the “this-and-that.” These are random tidbits that I wanted to record, but that weren’t sufficient for their own post.

Money management
Several weeks ago, I decided it was time to start teaching Raine about money. I wanted her to appreciate the money she spends and experience how it is earned. When we go to the zoo — three or four times a month — she usually wants to either feed the birds, ride the train, or ride the carousel. Each of these activities costs one dollar. This seemed like the perfect situation to teach her the value of money. I decided to give her a dime for every chore she does. Then when we go to the zoo, she can exchange her dimes for a dollar to use as she wishes. She needs eleven dimes to receive a dollar — one for tithing and ten for the dollar — and if she doesn’t have that many then she doesn’t get to do anything at the zoo. If she has enough for two dollars then she can either do two activities or save one for later. It has been a real fun experience so far and has taught her several good life lessons. As a side note, I also make her keep her dollar in her pocket and purchase her ticket or bird-feed by herself. She is developing a lot of self-confidence from the experience.

Scaredy cat
Carter has so much personality these days. His facial expressions are priceless — especially when he does his scrunchy-nose face — and his mannerisms always make us laugh. There is one thing, however, that I shouldn’t laugh at but do and that is how big of a chicken he is. He really is a scaredy cat. He is terrified of the garage when the light isn’t on. He is terrified of the gorillas at the zoo. In fact, he is terrified of ANY animal at the zoo if it moves too much. He turns around and runs screaming in the opposite direction. It is comical to watch and I can’t help but laugh. Hopefully he outgrows it soon!

Other notes about Carter
Carter has developed a love of books. His favorite is “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” He loves to completely empty the bookshelf onto the floor before selecting a book, then he will carry it over to me and back his little self up to my lap (or at least close to it) before plopping down. When he wants to read he expects me to drop everything and read to him . . . if I don’t do it he yells at me until I do!

Another thing about Carter is that he is ALWAYS making noise. He is either singing to himself, babbling, humming, or whining. It reminds me of my Grandpa McKay who was always humming — not a tune, but more of a rhythm of life.

Dallas Arboretum with Cousin Alexa

My cousin Shannan and her daughter Alexa drove up from Houston Sunday night to spend Columbus Day with us. We went to the Dallas Arboretum to see all the pumpkins. It was so much fun to spend the day with them!

Raine and Alexa had fun exploring the pumpkin houses.

Carter had fun sitting on the pumpkins. Just look how proud he is of himself!

I had to smile this morning when Raine walked out to the car after getting herself ready. She had on her tutu, hot-pink “racing goggles,” bracelets, purse, cell phone, and princess shoes. We convinced her to leave everything except the tutu in the car. Sometimes I forget just how much of a girly-girl she is! Ironically, this girl went from prissily dancing in her tutu on top of a pile of hay bales to telling me that she wanted to pee behind a bush instead of finding a restroom — never a dull moment.

The kids loved all the little houses in “Texas Town.” Carter found this chair in one of the huts and sat there playing peek-a-boo with a little girl who was passing through. She liked him so much that she gave him a few hugs before she left — she couldn’t have been older than four, it was too cute.

Here we are heading west in our covered wagon.

Raine spinning circles on the huge, green lawn.

Carter sitting on another pumpkin.

Everyone was worn out by the time we left. Carter fell asleep in the backpack while the girls shared the stroller. Raine’s eyes say it all!

Camping . . . the easy way

We have been trying to take a camping trip FOREVER but life keeps getting in the way. This weekend was another one of those failed attempts. However, Raine’s little heart was set on going camping and she was not to be disappointed. So DJ set up the tent in the backyard and took her “camping.” It was great! We laid on our backs watching the stars, Raine got eaten alive by some voracious bug, and then she fell asleep and DJ carried her into the house and put her in bed. All of the fun, none of the dirt or lack of sleep!