Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Walk on the Wild Side

We've been enjoying our summer vacation up north - the weather has been a nice change and a relief from the heat we left behind in Houston. Now if I still lived here, it would totally be a different story I would NOT be happy - its been pretty cool and there has been rain off and on a few days - but like I said, its been a nice change from what we were having in Houston before we left. But I do feel for the people that live here - the winters are long and cold so this summer hasn't been the most enjoyable - by summer standards anyway.

We've been keeping busy visiting with family and friends and shopping and just doing whatever we feel like on any given day. Its been very enjoyable and relaxing.

Yesterday we ventured to the Metro Toronto was definitely an adventure. Luckily I had some backup with me to help with Brooklynn - 2 of my dearest friends, Katrine & Marija came with us and experienced first hand the joys of a crazy 20 month old toddler. We all had a blast seeing all the different animals and all the walking - I forgot how many paths were uphill in that place..definitely got my workout. Lets just say I am really out of shape and leave it at that.

Our first stop was the Children's zoo......we tried to get a pic of Brookie on a Saber Tooth Tiger but she really wanted no part of it...I guess the teeth were kind of scary even if they were fake.

We had more luck with the huge turtles...
She loved sliding on them like a slide.

Our next stop was this year's special exhibit - the Stingrays.....
We actually got to stick our hands in the huge tank and touch
them as they swam was pretty neat.

Here we are just scoping out the
situation with the stingrays....we
still weren't too sure about sticking
our hands in there with them....

Seeing how its done.....Katrine was
the first brave one to put her hand
in the water....

Look at the size of these things - they are
pretty freaky looking....we finally did end up
touching them. They are SLIMEY things!!!

Enjoying the view with Marija

Of course we walked around and saw all your
other standard zoo animals....Brookie loved
watching the giraffes with Katrine...

We found one of the most amazing
fish tanks...Brooklynn was fascinated.

There were thousands of these was incredible - the pics
don't do it justice...

Family Time

Last weekend we got the chance to go up to my oldest brother, Ray's house for a visit. I got to see my nephew, Nathaniel - wow - has he grown or what? We definitely have some tall kids in our family...hahaha. We had a really nice time visiting and Brookie and Nathaniel had a blast. It was nice to see them interacting this year - last year was a little different. I think Nathaniel was a little intimidated last year b/c Brooklynn was still a baby (8 months) but not this year - they were playing together and being crazy together - it was so cute. Our plan is to go back up the weekend that Andy & Andrew get into town so we can all visit together. Andy & Andrew haven't seen Ray and Nathaniel since Christmas 2004 so its been a while.

I got some cute pics of the 2 cousins playing together this year - definitely not a dull moment with these 2 wild ones (ok.... MY wild one) running around. Nathaniel shared all his toys so nicely with Brooklynn - she especially loved his train track table in his room....definitely increased her fascinations with trains that much more.

Brookie loved playing with Sheba...she was
so good with her - luckily her personality
is more like Rocky and not Daisy - Brooklynn
was climbing all over her....she didn't know
what to do with such a big dog.

Enjoying a goldfish snack together...

Getting in a little computer time

Trying out a new ride...

Somehow I think this new ride only has room
for 1....but they can try right?

The front flower garden was gorgeous...I have
never seen flowers like this - and they were
HUGE!!! We can definitely see who has the
'Green Thumb' in our family - definitely
is not me...hahaha!

Brookie loved the flowers too

Looking for a dragonfly....Brookie wasn't
too sure about searching for it, so she kept
her distance.....just in case.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

1725 Miles....

And we are here (actually we got here on Sunday)....and we lived to tell about it.... ;)

The trip went better than I could have imagined - Brooklynn was amazing - especially on day 2 & 3. She was also pretty good on day 1 - just a big adjustment for her to sit in a car all day and not be running around like usual. It was also a change for her to actually sleep in her carseat - she usually stays awake for car rides - only occasionally falls asleep when she is completely exhausted. So day 1 was a change for her - but she still did really well considering. My car's DVD player finally got put to use after 3 years and it was a lifesaver...I think my brother and me are forever brainwashed with Dora, Diego, and The Wonder Pets....but hey - whatever worked to keep Brookie happy. We all know when Brookie is happy - everyone is happy (especially while confined in a car) hahahahaha.

The trip itself also went well - there were some long days. Day 1 took about 12 hours including our stops. Day 2 was about the same and Day 3 was a little shorter with only a 9.5 hour drive. We started each day on the road about 4:30am so there were some early wake up calls but it definitely made the day go by much faster. Day 3 we didnt get on the road until 9:30am and the day just dragged on forever.

All the long days were definitely worth it though - the weather here is AMAZING!!!! Its been about 70-75 degrees and partly sunny so it is a very welcomed break from the scorching heat we left behind in Houston. Then of course, seeing my family and friends after a year is definitely worth any drive. We are having a nice time visiting with everyone - especially since we are up here for an extended vacation this time - much more relaxed and laid back - not so rushed and crazy like my past trips have been. We are looking forward to when our family is all back together at the end of July when Andy & Andrew fly up to visit. We will get to spend a week all together up here being tourists before we have to start our drive back home.

Thats pretty much all that is going on for now. Here are a few pics from our drive up....enjoy!

This was at one of our reststops on
Day 1 - Brooklynn wanted her turn
to help drive.

Waking up at 4am is ROUGH!!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And We're Off......

So tomorrow is the BIG day....we are heading out on our road trip - all 1730 miles of it......and thats just to get up there. I'm hoping it goes well so when it comes time to do it all again in August to come home, we know what to expect.

Here is our theme song for our trip - it plays on Noggin all the time and Brookie starts dancing and giggling when she hears it...I thought it was pretty fitting.....Uncle Michael isn't as

I told him I'm going to download it and play it in the car every morning when we start out on our next part of the trip...hahaha....

Anyway...its been a busy week getting everything in order - spending way too much money on getting my car in tip top shape for the drive. It was a real eye opener what it costs to maintain a car - esp since I normally get rid of mine after a couple of years so I usually avoid having to replace all the tires and doing various maintenance things on it - I can't believe I have had my car for almost 3 years and I'm not itching to trade it in for something different....its a new record for me :)

This was also my first week since I left my job.....its been.....nice. I don't think its really sunk in yet - just feels like I am off on vacation. I'm guessing it wont hit me until we return in August from our trip.

Not much else has been going on - just packing and getting our stuff ready - its pretty difficult to know what to pack for this trip. Its been in the 60's in Toronto but it can get pretty hot and sticky I have pretty much had to pack every season of clothing for Brookie - pants/ jackets/ long sleeves/ shorts/ tshirts/sandals/tennis name it. It was tricky finding cooler weather clothes for her that still fit. Her pants that my mom had folded up and hemmed in the winter are going to have to be let down to be worn now. Good thing her clothes are small b/c we would have needed a U-Haul for her clothes otherwise hahaha.

We plan to load the car up tonight so that we can just get up and go in the morning - our plan is to leave tomorrow at 4am and make it to Memphis for the first overnight stop. Day 2 consists of driving from Memphis to Indianapolis and then Day 3 we arrive in Toronto sometime in the afternoon. I am really excited - its been a whole year since we were last there.....its sad that the time between each trip is getting longer and longer. I used to get up there many times a year - sometimes even for just a long weekend......can't imagine that now. are some pics from the last few weeks. Brooklynn is in the stage now where she wants to copy EVERYTHING you do and be just like you...its really cute. Here she is looking like she is about to head out the door and go shopping with her purse in one hand and cell phone in the other and wearing my flip

Brooklynn has also gotten into playing with baby dolls - she loves carrying them around and acting like they are real babies - its so cute. Her favorite doll right now is her Cabbage Patch Kid - any doubt that this girl is mine?!?!?! hahaha

She likes to have her swaddled up to
carry around...

Here she is sitting on the floor rocking
back and forth trying to soothe her baby
and even says shhhhhh like a Mommy

She takes her on walks in her stroller...

She puts her baby down to nap and
then pats her on the back to get her
to go to sleep just like they do for her
at daycare....

I had to laugh when I saw how this pic
turned out - it reminds me of how moms
feel when their baby just won't stop
crying and they've tried everything...

Now it's time for Brookie to relax and
be 'babied' by her Mommy...

This girl LOVED corn on the cob - she
had a feast with it....

And finally - all proud that she ate like
a big girl like the rest of us....

Anyway....I need to go get all my stuff packed since it won't pack I better get going.... Not sure when I will get to post again but I am going to try so Andy can see his baby girl while she is out of town.....

One last thing....Andy - I know you read this blog too so I just wanted to thank you so much for letting me bring Brookie with me for such a long time. This trip is so important to me and means the world to me; knowing that I get to share our beautiful daughter with our family and friends in Toronto - you're amazing and I love you....we're gonna miss you and can't wait until you and Andrew fly up there at the end of July and visit everyone with us :)

And we're off.....wish us luck ;)