Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Great Toddler Invasion

We had the best time on our road trip. The babies, now known as The Tods, were so good. I noticed that Jackson was particularly good and I think it's because he never had one moment of boredom the entire weekend. He and Ella played so hard. He was thrilled to have a friend at his Bibby's house. By the way, Jackson learned to say "my" and "mine" this weekend. I wonder why? He also learned "thank you" and a few other words, thanks to Ella's example. Homegirl talks in sentences!

Here's what we did:
Friday night - We had dinner at La Hacienda. Yum.
Saturday - We went to Memorial City Mall because Sunni had told us about their amazing play area and the two-story carousel. That night Janelle and I met some friends for a movie.
Sunday - We went to the Houston Zoo and saw lots of animals. Incidentally, we may have had the world's best pizza at the zoo. We made a stop at Dessert Gallery and got some cake to go. After The Tods went to bed, Janelle and I went to Target to buy a dual-screen DVD player for the car and some candy for the ride home. Let's just say that the ride home was a bit smoother than the ride there. We stayed up very late packing our suitcases. We could have gone on an international trip with all the clothes we brought.
Monday - We said goodbye to a Very Sad Bibby and a Very Sad Pappaw and headed over to Michelle's house. We got to meet Baby Jack and play with Keegan. Michelle's husband got us McDonald's for lunch. How fitting! We loaded up at naptime and started the four-hour journey home. The babies only slept one hour. Thank the Lord for the DVD player. We rolled into town at 5:30 and had to say our goodbyes. Jackson cried so hard when Ella drove away and said through tears, "Bye bye!" It was so precious and so sad!
Tuesday - My hubby gets home from his ski trip tonight. I can't wait to see him!

Here's the evidence of our mad photojournalism skills.

Ready to go!

We had to make a stop on the way to Houston. Can you guess where?


When Jackson had had enough of the car ride, he took off his shoes and socks and picked fuzz out from between his toes.

At The Houston Zoo

Janelle and her Tod.

Me and my Tod.

The Goat Whisperer.

Ella enjoyed brushing the goats' hair.

That is one intriguing animal.

The Tods looking under the fence to get the best view.

Our favorite picture of The Tods.

Amanda, Jackson, and Bibby looking at something.

Mom and Tod looking at another Mom and Tod.

Big mom, big tod.

The Tods racing up the jungle gym stairs at the zoo.

Jackson was much happier going down the slide than brushing the goats.

Jackson jumping on the bridge, catching air under his feet. Mommy holding her breath.

In the car

Guess who wanted to ride in the back every time we got in the car?

Guess who's faking it in this picture?

Guess who's not faking it here?

Ella's hat hair.

A cookie liquefied in Ella's mouth.

At the house

One Tod's favorite thing is to put water on his hair and the other Tod's most hated thing is to have water on her hair. This was an interesting time.

We like to do draw-rings.

Mexican food. What else?

The Tods dancing.

The Tods in a moment of sharing.

Ella and Bibby doing their floor exercises.

Ella imitating Bibby's stretching moves.

The Tods trying to spy The Dogs in the backyard.

Ella being adorable.

Me and both Tods. I was the luckiest person in the room.

At the mall

Janelle and Ella at the Memorial City Mall playland.

Jackson relaxin'.

Ella at the playland.

Ella climbing some cute stairs.

The Tods on a carousel.


The Tods at Keegan's house.

The Tods in a tent.

The Tods thank Bibby and Pappaw for a great weekend!


Janelle & Ella said...

AHHH!! It was SO FUN! Ella also shed some tears upon us driving away. It was a sad morning for her waking up without Jackson or Pablo. Oh my goodness. I just can't thank you and your parents enough. I love y'all!

willblogforshoes said...

Great pics! Looks like you guys had a wonderful time!

Jenna said...

absolutely precious! thanks for sharing the fun with all of us :) the tods win the lifetime award for adorableness, thats for sure!

Kevin and Christie said...

WOW!! That is an awesome post...not only the length, but the pictures. You have so much more patience than me to get all those pictures uploaded...I must be doing something wrong. Seems like you had fun...looks like it!

Dori said...


This looks like so much fun! Now that I'm a, ahem, 40 something mom of children who have long ago said goodbye to being "tods," there is so much wisdom in just having a good friend to enjoy the journey with! I didn't really have anyone like that and I honestly believe the years would have been less stressful and lonely had I had me a "Janelle and Sunni!"

Don't get me wrong, I loved every ounce of babydom and toddlerhood that I had with my babies and I'm having just as much fun now that they are 12 and 6, but there is just something about having someone to go along with you who understands! The hubster can only "get" so much, you know? We need our girlfriends, our sisters!

Enjoy the journey, friend!

kim said...

Cute, cuuute pix!! Love "the Tods" nickname...so fitting! I laughed so hard when you quoted that under the elephant pix...too funny! Looks like you guys had a great time!

Maggie said...

I just have to appreciate the time it took with blogger to upload that many pics for us successfully. Wow. Better woman than me! I just can't imagine being at the zoo with "Bibby"..."OH! It's! Is that...!"

Whew...I'd be wearing a wig.

Fran said...

Amanda....I caught myself just smiling away at each picture and even letting a little laugh out with each one. These are truly priceless days!!! I love the picture of Jackson loving on your momma at the restaurant. Its just so sweet.

Thank you for sharing with us. I'm glad your trip was awesome and you are back home safely. And...
I'm glad hubs is coming home too.

Welcome back!

Three Fold Cord said...

What a wonderful time. You can tell on all of your faces that it was such a good getaway. Even if you had to spend the extra moolaw for a DVD player. I know, from experience , it was well worth it.
I also love the exercise routine with Bibby. My mom does Pilates and they get down on the floor with her and we just ache from laughter.
Oh and one more thing "Big Tod little tod"...LOVE IT.

Erin said...

Those pictures are precious! Road trips are the best!

Landon Andrew said...

Great pictures. They are so precious. You look great Amanda. :-)

Deidre said...

Adorable kiddos! Sounds like a great weekend. Jackson and his first slumber party :) Thanks for sharing.

CrownLaidDown said...

Wow...I feel like I just had a wonderful meal with a yummy dessert and Vanilla Latte with all the wonderful captured moments.

One caption I'd add is that, "Of course Bibby takes a nap on Sunday afternoon. Doesn't everyone?"

Enjoy having your Curt home tonight! Yay!

PS You need to read part one of my post today...no job, but God's doin' some mighty big wonders!

Fonda said...

Looks like a great time was had by all!

Kelly said...

Oh my goodness! This looks like a fabulous weekend- what fun! So many great pictures and memories. Just one question... I noticed that when the tods were dancing they were missing their praise banners:-)
(I loved hearing your Mom tell the story at one of her conferences of learning about her soon to be grandbaby!)

Darlene R. said...

Great pictures! Stories are so much better with pictures. It looks like you all had such a good time.

I think the Tods wore Bibby out! And I love the "Jackson Relaxin'" pic. Oh, and the Draw-rings--heehee.

It is so much fun to have a friendship like that. Yeah for you and Janelle and the Tods!

boomama said...

I smiled the whole way through this. My heart may explode from all the cuteness. And for a split second I thought your mama was wearing leg warmers in the stretching picture, and it near 'bout made my day.

Big Mama said...

Oh, the Houston Zoo. There is no zoo that is better in my opinion.

I'm so glad y'all had a great time!

Prairie Rose said...

Awww, looks like a great weekend!

jeni said...

That looked like so much fun! What a blessing to have such a great family and friends! :)

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

The dancing tods were so funny, they made me laugh out loud!

Thanks for sharing these with us!

Now I'm craving some mexican food.....


Emmy : ) said...

So precious! Thanks for sharing! : )

Nancy Mon said...

Sounds like you had a great time in H-town. Memorial City has something to love for everyone in the family.

There is something about Ella that reminds me of my niece Megan when she was that age. Seeing these pictures gave me good memories of when Megan was little. In fact, Megan turned 16 today...oops, I better be a good Auntie and call her. Then assure her, the gift is on the way.

Thanks for sharing your fun time. I need to go see Michelle and the boys soon. I miss her and she is just across town.

Mommy Dot Com said...

What a great time you must have had. It was fun just reading about it and I love the pictures.

Jen said...

Oooh Amanda! I am ALL about that La Hacienda goodness! YUMMY! We had our wedding reception right next door at Northwest Forest. Your pictures are wonderful, I'm so glad ya'll had fun.

Have a great day!


Toknowhim said...

Wow, you two did take some great pictures... I like the ones of your gang zonked out in the back seat, and of the water being splashed over Jackson's head. Your little one exudes (is that a word?) joy Amanda... It is always written all over his cute little face. Pure joy!!! So glad you had a great time, and have a great reunion with your hubby. Blessings...

Abby said...

*no road trip is complete without starbucks (shoot, no normal ride in the car is quite complete without it)
*the goat whisperer....i am still on the floor rolling
*your hair=amazing in the carousel picture
*and the cookie picture did me in...

kudos to your photojournalism skills...i am mucho impressed

Marla Taviano said...

What a happy, happy time for all of you!

I love the tod stage (with all its challenges). My youngest just turned 2, and she is a boatload of fun.

Lurve the drawrings!

How sad that they cried when they left each other!

Stephanie said...

So cute!! Great pictures.

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

I am so glad y'all (ya'll? I still don't know!) had so much fun.

Are there any arranged marriage plans in the works for Jackson & Ella by chance?

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Fun weekend.

Great captions.

Loved: Goat Whisperer, Who's NOT Faking, Bath Was Interesting Time.

Made me laugh. Quietly. To self.

(Nursing baby. One-fingered typing. Does it show?!?)

Teresa said...

Totally Cute!! Thanks for sharing... you did great work with your camera this weekend!! :)

Tammie said...

Aw, Manda...the pictures are adorable! And that new fine ride looked awfully cute with you and your friend perched up on the side! And yes, I did notice those awesome kicks you have on too! The pointy-toe...it speaks my love language!

Can't wait to see you at Lis' wedding!

Until then, Love you ♥

Cinde said...

Oh what fun and what great photos! Thanks for sharing. I'll bet Bibby is cherishing every one of those Tod fingerprints on her backdoor!

Amanda said...

I would be a terrible person if I did not confess right now that 99% of those pictures were taken by Janelle. My camera battery died right after we got to Houston and I forgot the charger. Dern.

LeslieW. said...

Man, that looks like so much fun! I am so glad y'all were blessed with such a great trip! I, too, love the 'tods' catchphrase...I may be stealing that one. Love it.

Laura said...

Great pics and the hair looks great too. Glad your trip was great.

Anonymous said...

it's funny, b/c when you said
"guess where we stopped on the way to houston" i immediately guessed the starbucks in huntsville. that is a beacon in the night on that annoyingly long drive.

Hi! I'm Michelle said...

Hi Amanda, I've just come across your blog and have been lurking for a few days. Wanted to say hello, introduce my presence here, and let you know you have officially made me homesick!! I was raised in that La Hacienda (and in Molina's) and Memorial City is my old stomping grounds. :) My mom still lives in Memorial and I don't get home as often as I should.

I love your photos and love the Tods! That's a crack up! :)

Kathleen in TX said...

Those are some SERIOUSLY mad photojournalism skills!! What a fun trip! The Tods are adorable! (I love the name Ella BTW).

Kathleen in TX said...

Didn't see your "confession" till now. Still great pics! (from another one fingered typer)

Breathing His Joy said...

What a fun trip home and what a great way to spend the weekend - family, friends, and fun! :) The tods are just too precious!

Ashton said...

I love coming to your blogsite and seeing Jackson growing, you, your Mom (whereas may not get see these other photos on LPM blogspot) It is fun for me, thank you for sharing. allison

Ginger said...

Looks like everyone had a blast...you may need a vacation from your vacation...lol!

Cindy said...

SO sweet! Those pics make my uterus cry for more tods. My hubs doesn't agree. Dern.

Kristen said...

Thanks for sharing all the wonderful pictures. Those tods are so stinkin' cute! Looks like a fun weekend away.

Dionna said...

Love the pics. Glad you got to have such a great girl's getaway!

Serah said...

What a fun trip! It makes me want to call up some girlfriends and their kids and go somewhere! Thanks so much for sharing pics from your trip.

We'll be looking forward to your latest adventures!

Hillary said...

What a fabulous weekend and fabulous pictures! Those two are sooo cute! I love that Jackson cried when he had to say good bye to Ella. Not b/c I enjoy watching kids cry but that's just too sweet!

Lynn said...

You have mad skillz for sure. I loved seeing all the pics of your weekend. Looks like a good time was had by all -praise God!

Sister Lynn

Allison said...

What a fun trip! I can't wait to visit the zoo again!

Becca said...

Precious! Looks like you and Janelle had so much fun! Love ya'll!

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

So fun! I LOVE the ones of Bibby faking and asleep. Car naps are the best.

Amy said...

Oh my goodness! what cute pics...I saw the link on Janelle's page (hi, i'm amy, janelle's college friend, nice to meet you.) can i just say: if Ella's hat head pic doesn't look just like Heath Hartfield, I don't know what does! So funny! jackson and ella make a good pair. i hope their best buds forever!

The Williams said...

I sounds, and looks, like you had an absolute blast.

alittlewater said...

wow! such joy. i mean there are not enough words to describe how fun this trip appears! jackson and ella are so adorable. i can't wait to take roadtrips with friends and our tods someday!

sim said...

you guys actually make road-tripping with lil' ones look fun. maybe i'll pack the munchkins up...nah, i'll live vicariously through those pics.

debra said...

How Fun!

The tods seemed like they were having a ball...I think the moms did too.

Rebecca said...

Oh gracious, I love love love those pictures! The Tods, thats a hoot! Thank you for bringing a smile to my face on a cold cloudy day.

Shelly said...

The dancing photo...ohhh the dancing photo!!!!!

Mel said...

That is ONE MASSIVE POST! I bet the server was groaning at your photojournalism skills! How else would you document such a fabulous weekend though? Great photos. I could comment on every one, but then my comment would match your post in length. I will say that the bath photo made me LOL really hard!

Vicki Courtney said...

oh my goodness! these pics are so cute! how much longer must I wait for a grandchild?!!

hey, head's up--I just posted an urgent request from shaunti feldhahn (author) on my blog. since you have contact w/ students, I thought you might know of a mother/daughter that might fit her need. check it out!

Tina said...

Hi Amanda,
I just wanted to let you know that I found you through Alicia and have enjoyed reading your blog. Your little boy is so cute!

Charity said...

I have laughed until tears rolled down my face! Looks like you guys had a blast! It is great when the "tods" can wear each other out!

Love the pics of them dancing! Hilarious!

We have the exact same Pablo! Landon can't sleep without it! I have already had to wash it and sew it back up in a few places! Wish I had bought a back up! Ha!

Cheri-Beri said...

Very adorable. I will tell you that portable DVD players are God's gift to humanity. We have had ours for YEARS and thankfully the kids will watch the same thing. It has saved us much heartache on the road and in the skies!!

God bless you :-)

Anonymous said...

Love those pics and documentary! What a blast! We invested in a dual DVD at Christmas for the back seat on those long (and boring) drives from OKC to Dallas where the fam lives and it was the best. investment. EVAH!! We'll need it for the drive to Gulf Shores this spring!! What did our parent's ever do??
Laughed out loud at the goat whisperer caption!
Amy in OK

connorcolesmom said...

That looks and sounds like so much fun!!
I just love the pictures. I can't choose a favorite b/c they are all so cute.
What a great time with friends and family :)
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

something kept nagging at me after you mentioned the tea-drinking.....i remembered another mention of tea drinking (probably because i brought you some cherry preserves for the stale toast}Guess what it was jan 23 of 2007...and look at all the sister's now sharing tea with you!!!!!

Anonymous said...

...and i saw this posted on the 23rd at lpm...but thought i'd post comment directly to you!!!!

The Henrie Family said...

This makes me want to plan a road trip! Thanks for sharing your adventures.

Anonymous said...

I must say, your Mom looks awesome for being a "Bibby"!!! And she makes it look so great. When my time comes to be a grandma (a I have a while to go yet, I hope)I want to look fantastic too! Your pics make me want to take some kind of road trip with my kids!
Christine in Illinois,
(Mom to Ana (10) & Zoe (4))

Lindsee said...

I hope Janelle just loved La Hacienda! It is delightful for it's mexican! :)

Looks like y'all had an absolute blast! Love it.

The Tods?! Could they be any cuter?? I think not.

And seriously! Y'all really were at the Starbucks in Huntsville, weren't you! Thats my Starbucks!! I am just so thankful to the city of Huntsville for FINALLY putting one in!

Okay, long enough comment. And now I have officially commented on every blog about the weekend.


Naami said...

looks like such a fun trip. You are a wonderful mum. Your blog is such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing with us...

Taylor said...

Amanda! too much fun. and way too cute. it looks like you all had a blast.

Your jeans in the "begin road trip" picture are adorable--can't go wrong with the always-flattering-wide-leg-trouser-jeans. :)

oh, and my very own blog is slowly, but surely "in the works." i hope you're havin' a great day!

<3 Taylor

The Barfuss Family said...

Oh this post made me so happy! Thanks for sharing such precious memories.

And - I think that bath time picture is totally frame worthy! Love it. :)

Kristen said...

as if you really needed one more affirmation that you posted the cutest pictures and your commentary devine, but still i have to say, my favorite was "Me with The Tods, I was the luckiest girl in the room."

There is no truer statement tha that.
Thanks for sharing.

Linda said...

I love road trips! What a blast you all had.
Amanda your hair looks very beautiful :)
Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

Amy T said...

Awesome pics! And girl, that picture of you on the carousel? Beautiful! And your hair looked spectacular! I'm sure your mom shed a few tears of her own. What a fun weekend! Ok, I think that's enough exclamation points. Thanks for sharing. Those kiddos are getting so big. (I so wanted to put an exclamation point there, but I restrained) What a beautiful couple they make. :)

MamaCass said...

These pictures are so great. Jackson and Ella are too sweet together!

Katie said...

Oh my goodness, girl! Now this IS what you call mad journalism. Those Tods must be bored out of their minds now that they're back home and away from each other!

BTW- Ella imitating your mom's stretches- hilarious. Surely even funnier in person.