Staycation, Part 1

Woo-hoo!  Staycation is finally here.  The boys were so excited for yesterday to get here, and so were we.

We started our afternoon at The Infield, where we mini-golfed, rode bumper boats, and drove go-karts.  It was SO much fun to be a part of making a year-long dream come true for Bennett, what with the great go-kart disappointment of 2008.

here he is, tall enough to ride this year!

here he is, tall enough to ride this year!

can you see his smile?

can you see his smile?

luke was beaming, too!

luke was beaming, too!

surprisingly, he was pretty content like this.

surprisingly, he was pretty content like this.

After that we headed to dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory in the Valley (I’m kind of opposed to a location other than the cool downtown building, but since the boys wouldn’t know the difference, I got over it and we went to the one we were closer to), a place we thought would be a hit with the kids…and it was!  Even Mr. Picky Eater ate his applesauce and grilled cheese sandwich.  We got to sit in the trolley car, which the boys thought was great.

yum!

yum!

brotherly love?

brotherly love?

We pricelined (verb!) a hotel, and got a nice one for cheap, so we stayed at the Marriott West near Maryville’s campus.  We did some swimming, and then everyone crashed in our room around 9.  Oh, everyone but me.  Because Luke forgot his Illini hat at The Infield, so I drove the 40 minute round trip to get it for him.  Matt was willing to just count it as a loss, but Luke Duke loves that hat…

So I got back to the hotel around 9:45, and there was a strange conglomeration of old people singing “This Land is My Land” in the swanky lobby area.  Bizarre.  They were with a conference (of what, I dunno…folk singers??) that started on Monday, but crazy.  Anyway, I was so pleased to walk into my room and find everyone asleep!  And they all stayed that way until 6:30 this morning, when miracle of miracles, Jack Henry was not the first to wake up (probable reason for that coming later in this post).

First stop of the day was the Zoo! Matt, Luke and Bennett started at the stingrays, which JH and I skipped, and then we moved on to sea lions, prairie dogs, the Red Rocks area with zebras and giraffes (where Bennett had a meltdown because he’d walked SO. FAR.), the bird cage (AAACKK! I hate that place. I tried not to look around too much. Totally conquering my fears.), a train ride, the River’s Edge with elephants and hippos, some lunch, and the insectarium. We called it a day after that and headed home for naps.

checking out the giraffes, one of our favorites!

checking out the giraffes, one of our favorites!

in what i'm sure will become a tradition, bennett stopped and picked a fake hippo's nose on the way into the exhibit.  sadly, this was my idea.

in what i'm sure will become a tradition, bennett stopped and picked a fake hippo's nose on the way into the exhibit. sadly, this was my idea.

pointing out the fish to dad...seriously, those eyelashes!

pointing out the fish to dad...seriously, those eyelashes!

jack henry isn't very good at smiling for the camera!  but a cute one anyway.

jack henry isn't very good at smiling for the camera! but a cute one anyway.

the boys got airbrushed tattoos...they think they're pretty cool.

the boys got airbrushed tattoos...they think they're pretty cool.

pretty much every time we leave, we take this picture.  because i feel like we have to.

pretty much every time we leave, we take this picture. because i feel like we have to.

2 of 3 napped (not Bennett…grrr), and after that we headed to Chesterfield Mall, where Luke wanted to try this thing where you get strapped into a harness with bungee cords attached and jump on this trampoline. It was, um, scarier than he thought it might be. Priceless looks on his face throughout. We followed that with dinner at California Pizza Kitchen, and some of my friends will not believe me when I say it was not my idea. Swear.  Luke wanted to go, and we had a gift card, so YAY!!  My new favorite is the Pear and Gorgonzola.  It’s amazing.

However, it was at CPK that I discovered a little something that will put a glitch in our Tuesday plans: Jack Henry has another ear infection.

jack henry got extra snuggles at dinner when i realized his ear was draining.  i'm not sure if you can tell in this picture, but i am like jamaica-dark tan right now.  for me, at least.

he got extra snuggles at dinner when i realized his ear was draining. i'm not sure if you can tell in this picture, but i am like jamaica-dark tan right now. for me, at least. sadly, i'm not joking.

we even let the big boy drink out of a non-sippy cup with straw, which he loved!

we even let the big boy drink out of a non-sippy cup with straw, which he loved!

This time, it’s his left (right was infected on July 4th), and while I think his tubes are working, I just hate this for him.  Honestly, he was really good today, so he must not have been in too much pain.  He and I will head to the pediatrician in the morning while the other boys and Matt start our day’s plans, and we’ll just meet them when we can.  Bummer.  But I’m totally keeping this in perspective…reading about other really sick kiddos will do that for you (not only have I been keeping up with Stellan’s story, but someone I knew in college has a little girl who is having some major health issues right now, too, and I just read her whole story today. Whew.).

8 responses to “Staycation, Part 1

  1. I don’t even know where to start–this all looks & sounds like so much fun! When I enlarged the photos, the looks on both boys’ faces while riding in the go-carts is priceless! Really, all the pics were great; every pic of Jack Henry just makes me shake my head at how big he is and how he’s starting to blend in w/ the big boys!

    I really hope JH’s ear gets better fast–poor thing. Also hope you get in & out of the ped’s office quickly so you can get on w/ the next fun day!

    Nicole, I seriously don’t know if I’ve ever seen you this tan!

  2. What a fun day!! I can’t wait to talk to the boys & get their prospective on everything 🙂

  3. Gotta admit, I’ve got a picture at home of my finger in the hippo’s nose as well! Mine in one nostril and my friend’s in the other. We were 24; there is no excuse!

    But then there is the picture of me picking the nose of the cow at the science center. I was 24 then also.

    Oh, and lest I forget the picture of me picking my own 26 year old nose…Ha! Just kidding! (Sorry for any visuals!)

    Enjoy the rest of your fun!

  4. Poor Jack. At least he wasn’t miserable. Looks like a very fun staycation otherwise!

    (Bennett looks so tired in that pic of the 3 boys. I’m surprised he was the one that didn’t nap.)

  5. OH TOO FUN! Paige’s response to the fake hippo nose-picking? “Eew.”

  6. Great photos! Looks like you are having a wonderful time.

  7. Hey, we were at the zoo the same day! For the same time… all morning til just after lunch! It was a good day for it 🙂
    Looks like a great staycation for you guys!!

  8. This looks like the start of a great vacation. What a fun idea!
    Bummer about JH’s ears. I’m learning that our three kiddos are very much alike. Hannah get ear infections ALL THE TIME. Before getting tubes in April at 11 months old she had had 7 infections and a few of those were double infections. Since the tubes, she has had 4 infections. Last Monday she started on the the drops for 5 days and the oral antibiotic for 20 days! Like JH she takes it so well. Ugh–when will this end for them?

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