Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Branson Vacation: Day 2 -- Silver Dollar City

We woke up bright and early to head to Silver Dollar City.  I had done a little bit of prep work before we took Ledger to the park and we headed straight for the kids area -- the "Grand Exposition".  They have a really cool kids measuring station where kids are officially measured and given a colored wristband that denotes their height (and Mom's cell phone number just in case) and a list of rides that they can ride.
Unfortunately, we hadn't pre-measured Ledger and we found out that he was actually about an inch and a half short of 36 inches.  Whoops.  As it turns out... there aren't very many rides for kids under 36 inches.  First, we took Ledger on the Flooded Mine ride, where you're given laser guns and slowly float through the ride shooting targets.  He thought the animatronic people were a little scary, but he did OK.

Next, we boarded the SDC train -- one of Ledger's very favorite things.  He loves a choo-choo. :)  This particular train is "robbed" by a couple of backwoods train robbers.  It's good fun.

Later, we hit the Half Dollar Hollar, the newest kids area in SDC.  Grammie helped Ledger build-a-monkey.  Ledger especially liked stomping on the pedal to fill his monkey with fluff.  We also rode the Carousel and played in the treehouse.

We did actually find a little time to ride a few adult rides, including the wild river ride with Jaime and Chris and the awesome acceleration coaster called Powder Keg.

By the afternoon, Ledger was just too overstimulated to fall asleep in our stroller at SDC.  We made the difficult decision to head back to the hotel and try to get our little guy to nap.  He was asleep in his car seat before we even got out of the parking lot.  :)

In the evening, we woke Ledger up and hit the Landing for a late dinner.  We ate at Texas Land & Cattle -- YUM!!  Afterwards, an 80s cover band was playing an open-air concert at the Landing fountain.  They were pretty awesome and Ledger absolutely loved dancing to the music!!  Everyone around us kept telling us how adorable our little boy is.  (As if we didn't already know!)

Branson Vacation 2011: Day 1

This weekend, we took an awesome trip to Branson, Missouri with Grammie and Papa Michel and Chris and Jaime Vanderbeck.  We had a fantastic time!!  It'll probably take me a few blogs to tell you all about it.

We left early on Thursday morning and actually headed out of town on time (gasp!).  We got to Kansas City by 10:30 a.m. and walked around the Legends shopping area to stretch our legs and take a break from the car.  Ledger especially loved playing in the fountain.  You can see a video of it here.  Uncle Josh joined us for lunch.  It was pretty awesome of Josh to drive all the way out there just to hang out with Ledger and eat with us.  We tried to eat at the "T Rex" restaurant, but the giant animatronic dinosaurs scared the crap out of Ledger.  We ended up leaving after we had already been seated and ordered drinks because he just couldn't handle it.  So, we ate at Five Guys and we loved the burgers and fries.  YUM! :)
Ledger was pretty terrified by the dinosaurs.
We arrived in Branson and were greeted by Grammie and Grandpa.  They reserved us an amazing room at the Hilton on Branson Landing. We got ourselves settled just in time for Jaime and Chris to arrive and for us all to make our way to dinner at Shorty Smalls restaurant.  Of course, Ledger had to stop at the playground at the mall on the way to dinner.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bubble Bath!!!

Last night we had our FIRST bubble bath ever!  Ledger really loved playing with the bubbles, but didn't like when the bubbles got in his face and eyes.  We got some good pictures though.... so, enjoy.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Two In a Row

OK, I know it's probably pretty premature to be blogging about this... but Ledger has BIG news!  He has peed in the potty TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW!!!  The first time, most of the pee went all over mommy (of course).  But the second time, he even pointed his pee-pee into the potty!!  Way to go son!!

P.S. - This isn't a recent picture  He now has a potty seat on the potty with a step for him to climb up there.

Touch a Truck

Chris took Ledger to the Touch a Truck event this week.  Ledger got to see some of his favorite vehicles up close and personal.  He was a little nervous at first -- but then he loosened up and just enjoyed himself.  He got to push the buttons and make the sirens go in the police cars.  He explored the front and back of a fire truck and ambulance.  He even got to climb on top of a giant bucket truck! :)

A big city bucket truck

Driving the fire truck.


Ledger thinks he needs to put on his seat belt in every car.

The tires are bigger than Ledger is.

Ledger driving the tricked out police Camaro.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Catch up...

Emily blatantly pointed out that I have not done a very good job blogging about the little changes around here.  So let me play a little catch up.

1. Ledger moved into his big boy room with a twin-sized bed.  I'd planned to post pictures of his room when it was complete, but we didn't have time to do the decorating we wanted to do.  Right now his room is very plain, but he has room to play.

2. We had to cut down two trees in our backyard because they died.  I have no idea why they died, but I was worried that the big dead tree would blow into our house with all of the recent winds.  I was sad to see the trees go, but relieved of the worry.  Our yard looks very naked without them.

3. We had professional pictures taken of Ledger for his 2nd birthday.  Tony Guzman took some wonderful pictures -- despite the fact that Ledger was not feeling very cooperative at all.  Actually, Tony did a great job of capturing his orneriness.  Here is a little sampling of our photo session.  For all of the pics, click here.

I will try to do a better job of blogging about what's going on here... the big stuff and the little stuff. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saturday at "The Fest"

Saturday morning started out bright and early with the whole family participating in the Festival Five two-mile walk.  This was the first year that Ledger was old enough to race in the 50-yard dash.  We had so much fun!!

Click on the picture to view the video.

After the race, we cleaned up and headed back to the festival.  Aunt Jaime and uncle Chris Vanderbeck met us there and took Ledger for a little while.  He sure loves his Uncle V.  After a big morning, Ledger was exhausted and we had to head home for nap break.  Saturday afternoon, we went back to the festival and enjoyed more (!) food, music, and Ledger played on the playground with Jaime and Chris.  Ledger played with Grady, Gavin, and Faith through the evening.  Daddy and the Vanderbecks went to the evening concert in the bicentennial center, George Clinton and the Parliment Funkadelic.  Ledger and Mommy stayed at the park until the last act started and then we bid the river festival adieu until next year.
Daddy & Ledger having festival fun.
Ledger with Oma & Dooda.
Prince Ledger with prince Grady.

Aunt Jaime and Uncle V with Ledger.

Ledger, Gavin, and Grady dance to the music.

Friday at "The Fest"

That's right, the annual Smoky Hill River Festival was this weekend.  The 2011 festival will be remembered for it's incredibly perfect weather.  On Friday morning, we showed up to the festival at 8:45 and waited in line for the opening of the gates.  Next year I am going to try to get this craziness on video -- but basically imagine the great American land rushes on a smaller scale.  We sent our two fastest runners to scout out a good spot under shade tree. The rest of us dragged our wagons, coolers, and blankets as fast as we could travel to stake out a big territory with our folding chairs.  This year, we got an incredible spot and we were set up at the park nice and early.  When the festival fired up, we headed over to the kids' tent to watch a musical act.  They had automatic bubble blowers going and I was sure Ledger would love it.  I was wrong -- the noise was too much for him to handle.  So we relocated to the kids' craft tent where Ledger thoroughly enjoyed using stamps, stringing beads, and eating the Froot Loops at the edible necklace station.
Faith and Ledger waiting patiently for the Festival to start.

Faith liked the bubbles... Ledger didn't.

Ledger loved the Froot Loop necklace.

After we were settled back into our circle, we started looking for food -- which is the best part of river fest.  I had the fried soba noodles, but they were only "okay".  Chris had a bodacious burrito and (of course) fried pickles!  Ledger played the part of a seagull and "sampled" everyone else's food.
Ledger samples some nachos.

Ledger samples some fried pickles -- he loved 'em, just like his daddy....

... and aunt Emily too.
Click on the picture above to see a video of Ledger (and others) dancing at the Festival.

We cruised through the crafts displays and then we had to head home to take a nap-time break, but we came back for evening festivities.  The weather was absolutely perfect -- 72 degrees with a little breeze.  There has never been festival with weather this perfect.  Ledger had a great time playing with Faith and Isaac.  The music was good and the final act for the night was Joe's Pet Project, a band founded by some Salina South alumni -- so I was excited to stay and hear them play.  We didn't get to stay through the whole show, since it was waaay past Ledger's bed time, but we still had a great time.