We have all of the Stephenson's at our house the past week and it has been such a treat to have them all here (Minus Grandpa Mike, who did try last minute to catch a flight over the weekend) Brooklyn's Uncle Jamey, Auntie Rhonda, and Cousins Michael and Marcus all came from N. Dakota last weds night. I was lucky enough to have most all the days off except Tuesday to be able to spend with them. Unfortunately Brett had to work everyday expect the weekend and even when he wasn't working he had his class to work and teach and he was still getting over his darn cold! Thursday we went to the AZ Science Center where the boys learned all sorts of new things, including how the digestion system works, complete with visual demonstration! yummy!
The Center had all sorts of exhibits for learning and such and best part was it was all air conditioned!
I think the favorite of the center for all 3 kids was the Lego exhibit. Brooklyn had fun inside the Lego Bin.
When we got back Thursday night we busted out the sprinkler toys and blow up pool for the kids to play in...which got plenty of use throughout the week.
Friday was Rhonda's Birthday and we went to Tumbleweed Park for the kids to play at right before heading to dinner at a Teppanyaki Grill.
The boys weren't quite sure how they felt about the Japanese restaurant at first, but Michael loved the Cooking "show" complete with flames and smoke and Marcus just fell in love with Phyllis the red hair waitress.
It was a priceless moment when Marcus asked Brett to go with him so they could talk with her. He's Three and a Half yrs old! Travis was right when he said he was going to be trouble :)! After dinner we headed back to the house to have cake and ice cream with Jamey and Rhonda's friends from back home that live here now. Saturday we celebrated the fourth by getting Massages and going to lunch, well at least Rhonda and I did while the boys we're in charge of the kiddos. Afterwards we had the Mantles over for a BBQ and some more outdoor fun. Marcus fell in love AGAIN with Ella and threatened to become Travis and Nicole's son-in-law. Speaking of "Sons" CONGRATS to them on their baby BOY! Nicole is due in Nov and they just found out they are having a boy. For fireworks that night we popped some popcorn, packed up the kids and drove to the Walmart Parking lot to watch the firework show at Schnepf Farm all from the back of the Armada. It was a great idea!!! We avoided the crowd and traffic had a great view of the show and we're home no more then 5 minutes after the display, kids in bed and all! Brooklyn's first firework show and she was intrigued for about 5 minutes, pointing and oohing, but then she was back climbing all over the seats and car seats. Sunday we headed over the the local pool/splash pad/waterpark. All 7 of us swam for 2 hours and it only cost $1 for ALL of us to get in! Talk about cheap and great entertainment! Brooklyn's really doing great in the water, she even let us lay her flat on her back now without protesting, in fact she thought is was hilarous getting the back of her head wet. We came home after stopping for ice cream at Sonic and spent the rest of the evening hanging out and watched the Boys movie pick Spiderwick Chronicles. Monday we met Brett for lunch by his work and then headed to Makutu's Island, a HUGE indoor playground very suitable for the boys.
Apparently Marcus didn't trust my judgement and said that it was going to suck when we pulled into the parking lot, but both Michael and Marcus had a great time!!! Climbing all through what seemed like tunnels in the ceiling and going down huge slides. They played hard for about 2 hours. Brooklyn tried keeping up with her older cousins....
but kept getting banished to the kiddie slides.
After our trip to Makutus we headed to Krispie Kreme to pick out a dozen the boys were craving and headed home for some yummy steak dinners followed by some a movie with some friends. I had to work Tuesday night so I laid low all day Tuesday so Brooklyn and I stayed home and Jamey Rhonda and the boys went to the water park and did some shopping afterwards. Sucks that I had to work their last night here, I would have much rather gone shopping and did some swimming! The highlight of the trip was watching Brooklyn bond with her cousins and Auntie and Uncle.
The first morning they were here Brooklyn picked up the video game controller for the XBOX and walked it over to Uncle Jamey who was sitting on the couch just watching TV handed the controller to Jamey, and crawled up on his lap to play with him.
HOW DID SHE KNOW!!!!!! She knew the way to win his heart....INCREDIBLE how smart and intuitive our chickie is!
So despite all the fun things that we got to do and see this week we did manage to log in plenty of Xbox hours for the Stephenson boys and now girlie..... No trip is complete without that! I have to say it was sad to say goodbye to them this afternoon. I really love having family in town especially since we don't have any that live locally. The house was very empty and boring when we got home. I miss the chitter chatter of the boys and the constant bustle. I loved seeing how Marcus and Michael and have grown so much since last October when they were here. They are great kids and Brooklyn is sooo lucky to have such great older cousins to look up to. It's awesome to see how Brooklyn will eventually grow too that and great to pick Jamey and Rhonda's brain on the upcoming milestones and stages Brooklyn has yet to get too. I loved that Brooklyn was well cared for by Rhonda and Jamey and I love even more that I got to sleep in a couple hours in the morning and that I had fight Rhonda on who was going to GET to change Brooklyn's Diaper (trust me I didn't put up a good fight!!) They really need to consider having just one more baby! Thank you guys for visiting and letting us (well at least me) catch up on some much needed sleep! I'm refreshed to start my 4 day stretch of work this weekend! Thanks for putting up and being so understanding with our "illnesses!" PLEASE come visit again soon or you'll be seeing us at your door step!!!
In terms of Brooklyn.....
Brooklyn's finally working her way off the bottle. I know it's a little later then I had originally hoped, but with her being sick after we got back from our trip I didn't want her to go without Milk while trying to ween. After finally figuring out that she prefer cups with straws rather then sippy cups it's been so far so good. I think the hardest part is just not giving into her and going cold turkey. So I'm packing away the bottles and nipples and if she just doesn't drink her milk, oh well, she eventually will. OH why does she have to grow up so fast?!
She's mastering her sign language skills and Auntie Rhonda was really great about teaching her the sign fof "milk" and she's been great about using "more"! Once she got "more" down teaching her "milk" seemed so stinking easy! I am excited to start teaching her others. Our next goal is to ween her from her puppy binkie. And we are talking about taking her out of the crib into a real bed.
I hope to get that done before she's 18 months. We'll see. We've got a while to really stress about that. I'm okay with her just being 13 months and doing what a 13month old should be doing. I'd rather not think of her being 18 months!
Her hair is slowly growing....we're able to get some decent pig tails, but Brett still insists she looks like Old School Jim Carey from his back in the day In living color skits.
In terms of Brett and I....
Brett is starting to finally get over the illness that has taken over our household. I am not looking foward to the weekend and my 4 day stretch of work. Oh well. I had 8 days off last week and then just got back from our Florida vacation no more then 3 weeks ago! I can't complain. And speaking of vacations we just booked our next flight for this Sept! NYC!!!! Now we just have to plan what to do while we are there. Any suggestions? We are going in celebration for my 30th birthday which is in Nov (boooo whooo!) but traveling there over Brett's Birthday in Sept. Going there in November just didn't work out for us so Sept will have to do. It's a bitter sweet excitement I have about going because we won't be taking Brooklyn and that will be the 1st time that I would be away from her. My mom is planning on coming here for the week to watch her. UGhhh, I know I am going to cry leaving her even though I know she is in good hands!
I finally think I got our sitter situation handled! I am keeping my fingers crossed that the one we found works out. I know day cares have their perks with socialization and all that, but I'm just not ready for it. I'm not ready for the germs and colds and bites and pinches from the other kids. Athough I know she should be exposed and that kiddos can learn things, other then biting and pinching, quickly from watching others. But why when we only need someone to watch her one day a week since I am able to watch her the rest of the time. I think she'll turn out fine if she continues to socialize with just Deuce and I :-). I just have to do more Playdates!!!!!!
So that's what we have been up to the last week.... Tah Tah for now!