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MMiSL. Park It.

I have no idea what day we did this. It might have been the afternoon after our photo shoot. Actually, I think it was the day of the photo shoot. This park was really close to April’s dad’s house. Again, it was awesome. There’s got to be stuff just as cool in Portland or Salem. C’mon, Oregonians! Help a momma out!

1017471_569681633066_1460472514_n1014346_569681418496_718029823_nThe ladies just taking everything in. Side note, I have to say how much I love their swimsuits. I have been contemplating how I can keep them after this summer. I don’t want to cut them up for any sewing stuff, but I don’t want them just sitting in a closet either. And then Better Homes and Gardens had the answer.ย  And I can’t find a picture of it anywhere online, but they basically framed swimsuits their daughters had grown out of and put them in an upstairs hallway. And by they, I mean the people whose beautiful beach house was featured in the July issue of BGH.

1011383_569681458416_1834677939_nShe’s not a fan of getting splashed, but a little trickle of water at her feet is right up her alley.

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And Hazel barely wanted anything to do with the water. I think she was a little offended that I dare suggest she get wet at all.

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Holla! We finally have internet! I missed you all so much!!! I hope you have missed me too and have been on pins and needles waiting with anticipation to hear about the rest of our St. Louis trip. If you haven’t well then… what the hell are you doing reading my blog? Just kidding. The summer weather makes me giddy and my sense of humor gets a little weird.

 

Day three found us going over to April and Andrew’s house to hang out in the morning and go to the Disney store. April’s Disney store is so much cooler than any of the ones I’ve been to in Oregon. They have an opening ceremony with a key and stuff when the store opens, there’s a coloring station, a tunnel going through all the stuffed animals, and a mirror. A mirror that reflects the corresponding princess when you wave her crown or scepter in front of it.

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At the rate we’re going, the girls will be so Disney crazy by their third birthday (you know, the one where we’re taking them to Disneyland), that they will not be able to contain their excitement. I may be just as thrilled as they are. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, after the Disney store and some naps and some lunch, we headed over to The Magic House, St. Louis’ children’s museum. Which, again, totally kicked Portland’s children’s museum’s butt.ย  I mean, totally.

70First of all, this place is huge. It’s in this four story house that I think has some historical significance.ย 69

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49We got off to a little bit of a bumpy start since I lost my lens cap after we had been there for only five minutes and we’re not going to talk about how I almost lost Hazel.

50We spent most of our time in the toddler area and the girls had so much fun running around and exploring. We barely saw April and Andrew while we were there because the kids just went in opposite directions. Ken and I were even separated for a big chunk of time.

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52So many Hazels!

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54This was pretty cute. There was a mouse birthday party going on in this little home. It was so darling and the attention to detail was charming and wonderful. I lost count of how many times Hazel opened and closed the little door.

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Next to the toddler section they had a fake town set up. There was a bank, an electric company, a mechanic’s shop, a grocery store, a restaurant, a hospital, and a library. The girls were too young for it, but I think they enjoyed wandering around and watching the older kids do stuff.

59These were the stairs leading to the library. I don’t think I can appropriately express how much I love these stairs.

61Before we left, April dragged us up to the fourth floor to touch the electricity ball (that’s not really what it is called). This was Haley-girl and I waiting in line.

63Look how awesome her hair is!! It’s one of those electricity conductors that you touch and then your hair goes all crazy.

7259_569682092146_2011645244_nAnd Hazel with Daddy. All of the pictures of Hazel and Ken were a little blurry, but this is the one where she has a big smile, so that’s the one that wins.

The last thing we did before taking our wiped out kids back to the house for dinner, was go through the Fairy Tale exhibit they had.

65Jack and The Beanstalk Slide.

66Hazel exploring Cinderella.

I loved The Magic House. I wish we had something as cool in Portland. Sigh. I guess we’ll just have to go to St. Louis again.

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This was the day we did the photo shoot with our kids. The photo shoot that I had been planning in my mind since we bought our plane tickets. Side note: all photography credit for these goes to April. She is a professional photographer and I got to mooch off of my friend’s skills. She got some really great pictures of our kids.

25This was just a warm up picture while Ken was wrangling Haley. I love how they both look like they are ready to cut and run.

26See, April? They could totally fall in love, get married, and have big cheeked children. And then we can put this photo in their wedding slideshow.

27Bwahaha! I love this picture. Poor Caden surrounding by the mischievous H’s.

This next series of pictures I am going to have printed and save for when the girls are at each other’s necks and going on and on about how they hate their sister. I will whip these out and go off about how they don’t and about how your sister is the one person in the world who understands you the best (after yo momma) and will stand by you through thick and thin. If your sister doesn’t have your back, how can you expect anyone else to? Right, Kathleen? ๐Ÿ™‚

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Can you even stand the cuteness? My sister has probably hyperventilated herself into a coma on the floor because she hasn’t seen the girls in about a month. Do you love how in the first two photos they have their bodies in the same position? They are so different and so their own person all the time and then there will be these flashes of twinness that I just adore.

32Isn’t Caden such a little man?

33Those eyes. She will make some poor man (or woman) swoon with those eyes.

34I love the nose wrinkles!

35This picture takes my breath away.

36Haley the protector and Hazel the caretaker.

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39This was our backdrop.

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You guys all remember how much I love zoos? Specifically, how much I love taking the girls to the Oregon Zoo? Well, the St. Louis Zoo kicks the Oregon Zoo’s ass. In so many ways!

3First of all, it’s gigantic. The Oregon Zoo is 64 acres.ย  The St. Louis Zoo is 89 acres. We only saw a fraction of it. A fraction of a fraction of it.

4Caden is so much better at waiting than the girls. If the stroller pauses for a second they are straining against their restraints, ready to get out and run around. He sits patiently.

5Another cool thing is that the St. Louis Zoo is free to get into. They charge for special exhibits and going on the train and the children’s zoo, but the main part of the zoo is free. Because of naps, we only got to be there for about 2 hours and April and I have already started talking about us going back when the kids are 4 or 5 and no longer napping and we can spend all day at the zoo.

6Ken and I had to grab food as soon as we got there because we hadn’t had breakfast yet. And I had barely had any coffee. We met April and Andrew at their house and then followed them to the zoo. I figured it was a 30 minute drive to their house, we would pass a coffee shop on the way there. Not. A. Single. One! This is why I can’t live out of the Northwest. Living in Portland has turned me into the biggest coffee/wine/beer snob. It’s ruined me for the rest of the country. Like on our honeymoon in the Bahamas, when the only coffee I could get was instant and the only beer was Bud Lite or Busch. *shudder*. It killed the beauty of the Bahamas for me just a little bit. Where was I? Oh, so we grabbed something to eat real quick and were compelled harassed into sharing our french fries with the junior set.

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8And that, my friends, is a giant anteater. Without a doubt, that is the coolest thing I have ever seen. Isn’t nature so awesome? That something that funky looking exists?

9And his pal, the capybara, which is the largest rodent in the world. It’s a rodent the size of my mom’s labrador. This spawned an entire conversation about how people who live in other parts of the world are so much tougher than Americans because they have inordinately huge rodents, insects, flying things. Cause seriously, if you put someone from Australia in a room with a hissing cockroach, they would probably just kill the thing or shrug it off, no big deal. You put me in a room with a hissing cockroach and I will be clawing my fingernails off trying to get as far away from it as possible.

10Daddies and babies. Melts my heart.

11Okay, so the really cool thing about this tank (that I don’t have a picture of) is off in the corner, right next to the freaking glass, were 4 hippos, piled on top of each other, taking a nap. It was beyond cool. But do the H’s care about the hippos? Nope. They just want to sit and stare at the fish. It took me three tries to lure them away from the fish so we could go see the rest of the zoo. Not that I really blame them. I had lofty ambitions of being marine biologist when I was little. Until I realized that there was more to the job than playing with dolphins all day.

12Ken brought this up, but the coolest thing about this zoo is that visitor cannot see the cages. All you see is the habitat. It makes me believe the animals are actually happy in captivity. Don’t pop my bubble. Just take your pointy stick of reality and keep on walking.

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Not even bright sunlight will make them keep their sunglasses on.

The rest of these pictures were taken in the children’s zoo which had interactive center, a petting zoo, a playground, and a splash pad.

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15She was so hot and tired, but she was such a trouper. And she did have fun, I just happened to catch her in an in-between moment.

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There was a cow next to the donkeys and Hazel and I spent a very long time discussing the difference between the two. Basically, “hee haw” and “moo”.

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See the two girls standing in the back of the picture? That was the landing zone for a slide tunnel. There were two entrances, but one was blocked off and the otter exhibit was closed. April was telling me that, apparently, the blocked off slide goes through the otter exhibit. Like under the freaking water! Can you imagine? That is going on my bucket list!

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24Aaaaand then they were done.

And this happened before we had barely made it out of the parking space.

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969246_569263286436_1268881008_nI don’t know what you’re talking about. Of course, I didn’t cave and buy the girls new stuffed animals in the zoo gift shop. Not after talking about how we need to downsize and kids don’t actually need that many toys. I wouldn’t be a total hypocrite like that.

How’s that sarcasm font working for you?

 

 

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I forgot to include these pictures in yesterdays post! I can blame that on the move, right? And on not enough coffee. Ever. Like, in the history of the world.

Once we arrived in St. Louis, my friend, April, came to pick us up with her little boy. April and her hubby, Andrew, really went above and beyond for us. Not only were they letting us use one of their cars (so we didn’t have to rent one), but they also had two extra carseats, pack n’ plays, and April’s dad let us stay at his house while he went and stayed at his girlfriend’s. Best friend on the entire planet!

The only downside of staying at her dad’s house? He doesn’t believe in curtains. Andrew was kind enough to put up some curtains for us.

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Tin foil curtains, that is. Hee hee. It speaks to my inner white trashiness. But it worked. Most mornings it helped the girls sleep in until 7:30 or 8 St. Louis time. Which, granted, is 5:30-6 Oregon time, but at least it wasn’t 6am St. Louis time, which was really what we were trying to avoid.

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The three BFFs got to work playing together right away! Caden gave Haley lots of kisses, pretty much all weekend, much to his Mommy’s disappointment. She has dreams of Caden and Hazel falling in love, getting married, and having lots of big cheeked babies. ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s still time, April, there’s still time.

We had hot dogs, hamburgers, and broccoli for dinner and beer. Lots and lots of beer after traveling for 7 hours with two toddlers and getting up at 2am.ย  But we were there!

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We officially move on Friday! As in, Friday night will be our first night sleeping in the new house! And the internet company won’t be able to come out to get us hooked up until NEXT Friday.ย  AHHHH! A full week without internet. I don’t know – I mean, I may die. I may just pull all my hair out of my head and die. Thank GOD, I caved and bought a DVD of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes. I mean, can you imagine a full week with no Mickey?!?! It’s how I’m able to make dinner in the evening without two cranky babies following me around everywhere. I’m going to try to write as many posts as I can in the next day or so. I don’t want to leave you guys hanging too long. ๐Ÿ™‚

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What’s that? Oh, nothing. That’s just what time we were waking up to go to the airport. Actually, I had been up since 2 because Haley was having some sleep issues. I cannot wait until she’s at the age when she can just turn on a flashlight and read in her bed when she has a hard time sleeping. When I woke Hazel up at 3:30 to leave, she cried and pouted and made it known that she didn’t like being woken in the middle of the night. Me either, baby.

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They thought the airplane was pretty neat. I had been hanging on to a couple of pacifiers just for this trip. They don’t actually use them, but I feel like they are still too young to give suckers during take off and landing and I didn’t know what else to do except give them the stupid pacifiers.

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Haley wasn’t going to argue with me.

We quickly went from the last two pictures, to this:

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This is the only upside to a crack-of-dawn flight. They were asleep within 30 minutes of take-off. Hazel slept for 45 minutes of a 2 hour and 15 minute flight and Haley slept the. entire. time. Hallelujah!

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945577_569263151706_1735797738_nWe got into Phoenix and had about an hour and a half layover. The girls were obsessed with the moving sidewalks. We could have just done that the entire time and the girls would have been set.

So, here’s the thing about flying with twins. Since the girls are under two, we opted to go the lap baby route so we could save some bucks. You know when you’re on a plane and the flight attendants and droning on and on about the safety stuff and about those oxygen masks? Well, there are only 4 oxygen masks above every set of 3 seats. What does that mean? That means that two parents with two lap babies are not able to sit together if it’s a full flight. I know. We lucked out on the first flight, it wasn’t full at all. The second flight was very full. We both grabbed window seats with Hazel and me in front of Ken and Haley. It was okay, but it was cramped and the second flight was harder to keep Hazel entertained because she wanted to move around. She did fall asleep about half way through the 2 hour and 45 minute flight and slept until we touched down on the tarmac. Haley on the other hand, didn’t fall asleep until the plane started it’s decent into St. Louis.

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But they did awesome. And next time we are buying a third seat so that we have that wiggle room. And the fire fighter sitting next to me has earned a huge karmic thank you for letting Hazel play with her watch and not wringing my neck after listening to Duck and Goose Find A Pumpkin 100 times.

 

 

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