Archive for the 'Vacations' Category

Weekend in Dallas, Part 3



Again, the twins slept like rocks and woke up “late” (i.e., 7 AM) this morning.

Amanda had bought the twins their favorite breakfast — Eggos and bananas — and we had a somewhat leisurely morning. We quickly packed-up and headed over to Chalna’s house for a planned morning playdate.

This was the twins very first playdate, and I think they loved having a new house and toys to explore. For the most part, the three of them (Colin, Kate, and Carson) played separately, but it was fun seeing them all together. I was surprised that Colin (and any 1-year old for that matter) was so gracious having these unknown twins come into his domain to play with his stuff, but he didn’t mind a bit.

Colin has WAY cooler toys than the twins, and I need to get more age-appropriate toys for them soon. They still have rattles and other true baby toys still in their toy bin. I feel bad about it. No wonder they get bored.

While the kiddos played, us grown-ups (me, Mark, Chalna & Jeremy) got to visit. It was nice to be in a child-proof house and not have to worry about the twins finding something dangerous. I REALLY want Chalna, Jeremy and Colin to come down to Austin for a weekend soon. Jeremy (a non-Texan) has never been to Austin, and that’s just simply sinful. My secret fantasy is that they come down for a visit and Jeremy falls in love with Austin and decides he just can’t take Dallas anymore and he moves the family down here. HaHa…okay, not very likely, but I can still hope. 🙂

We got on the road at 11 AM, and the twins were sleeping in the car before we even got out of their neighborhood. Once again, they slept halfway home and then woke up unhappy. Kate — who had been a doll baby all weekend — was a bear on the ride home. I spent a good chunk of the time on sitting on my knees facing backwards in the front seat trying to do anything to keep her from fussing and cursing under my breath how badly I want a car with a built-in DVD player. The Wiggles or Bunnytown really would have come in handy for that final 150 miles.

The kiddos were thrilled to be back home. They were so happy, wild and hyper. They just had to inspect all of their toys, and they went room-to-room just looking round. Carson was especially glad to be home. He was practically bursting with joy and happiness.

What a great weekend. We must do it again soon!

 Kate helping herself to Colin’s wagon of toys.


Weekend in Dallas, Part 2


We hung out at my friend Amanda’s house for about 3 hours before heading out to Colin’s birthday party.

Amanda and I have been very good friends since our days as little hell raisers in junior high Catholic School. I wish I would have had more time to hang out with her, but it was a hectic weekend. I hope she didn’t feel like she was just ‘Hotel de Amanda.’ I keep begging her to come down to Austin, and I know she is coming in early November to go to a Kathy Griffin show with me.

Colin’s 1st birthday party was awesome. It was held at Colin’s grandmother’s beautiful house…that had a patio and view I would kill for! It was so nice. I must say that Chalna planned everything perfectly. Usually there is always a major mishap at kiddie parties, but not at this one. Every thing looked wonderful, everything tasted wonderful, and everyone had a good time.

And she timed it right. We made the mistake of having the twins’ 1st birthday party at 1 PM (i.e., nap time). So Kate slept through half of her own party, and then woke up a groggy head who wasn’t too pleased to wake up to find a bunch of people in her house taking her photo. Lesson learned. Colin’s party was at 4 PM…brilliant.

One of the highlights for me was getting to see Chalna’s mom. Her mom was my senior AP Honors English teacher in high school, and I absolutely loved her. She was the one and only teacher that truly made a lasting impact on my life. She was supportive, she encouraged my writing, she was a mentor. I’ve often thought of her through the years, and it was awesome getting to see her again.

Carson was…well…a bit of a nightmare at the party. He was painfully shy and held onto Mark for dear life. At times (when other people weren’t around), he warmed up a little and played with some of Colin’s gifts. In this regard, Kate and Carson are polar opposites. Kate was a social butterfly, and I’m not totally convinced that she understood the party wasn’t for her. The girl never meets a stranger.


The birthday boy, Colin, chowing down on his birthday cake.

 Mark and Kate at the party. I love this photo of them.

 When the birthday boy wasn’t looking, Kate took his cool new car out for a “spin.”

Kate & Carson checking out all of Colin’s new toys.

 The kiddie dining section. Kate, Hunter, and birthday boy Colin festing on some hot dog and chips. Carson was sitting on Mark’s lap and didn’t want to join the group.

Weekend in Dallas, Part 1


We took our time getting packed and loaded Friday morning for our big trip up to Dallas. Usually we are rushed and that leads to tension and silly little fights as a result of stress, so this time we just went at our own pace and it was much better. We tried to time it so we would leave right before the twins’ 11 AM nap time so they would hopefully sleep most of the ride up to Dallas. That worked until we hit Waco (about halfway through our drive) when we needed to stop for gas and lunch.

There is one thing that you absolutely cannot do to Carson — wake him when he is sleeping. There will be all kinds of hell to pay, and that’s exactly what we got. He fussed, cried, refused to sit in the high-chair at the restaurant in Waco. He made a scene and Mark could barely eat his lunch. This entire weekend Carson only wanted Mark. Not me. He would fuss and toss around as if I were a stranger if I tried to hold him.

So, we weren’t off to a good start with Mr. Carson, and I can’t really say it improved after that.

We finally made it to Dallas, and checked into a hotel near his mom’s house. We had decided not to stay with at his mom’s house because (a) it’s a full house anyway, and (b) we thought the twins would do better with just us at night. We we rested, showered, and just decompressed after the long drive while waiting for his mom to get off from work. Once again, it was nice not to be rushed. We had time to get the Pack-n-Plays set up and the twins also had a chance to relax in the new environment before being whisked off again.

We had a great time at Mark’s mom’s house. We got to see his mom, his nephew Dakota, his sister (briefly), his brother-in-law (briefly), his niece, and his great-niece. I loved watching the twins interact with Dorothy (Mark’s mom). Kate immediately went to her (and everyone for that matter), and put on a cute show of laughing, dancing, and talking. Dorothy made us dinner, and we enjoyed just being able to visit with everyone.

The kiddos crashed in the car on the way back to the hotel, and slept until 7 AM the next day. (These are the kids that usually grace us with their presence at 5:30 AM, so this was a treat for us.) We headed back over to Mark’s mom’s house early in the morning for breakfast and more time together. We left around noon and drove across the metroplex to my friend Amanda’s house.

Mark, Carson, Dorothy & Kate

Kate with her cousin Dakota clapping and yelling “yay!” She loves to cheer!

 Cousin Dakota (14 yrs old), Kate and Mr. Fuss Pot Carson. Dakota was our ring bearer at our wedding. I can’t believe how fast he has grown-up!

Kate with her grandma (“Madame”) Dorothy. I think they have the same shaped eyes.

Houston Trip with Miss Flash Face

Out of the two babies, Carson has always been more cooperative in the photography arena. It’s hard for Kate to stay still for that long, and she just generally doesn’t seem to like having her picture taken.

Well, now she is doing what I call flash face. She has figured out that when I auto focus the camera a white light with shine (the red eye thingie) and immediately after that the flash will go off. The girls hates the flash!

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

Exhibit D

Even though it can be a bit frustrating when I am trying to get a photo of her, it cracks me up.

Kate and I got back from Houston this evening. It was a nice, but rather unproductive trip. A good chunk of the stuff my mom wanted me to unpack for her was still in storage, so I didn’t do a lot of what I came to Houston to do. Instead, we went shopping!

We also had dinner Saturday night with my step-brother (well, he isn’t technically my step-brother…it’s a somewhat interwoven, complicated thing, but I’ve always considered him my step-brother) and his family (wife Joyce and two cute little boys, Ryan and Adam) brought a delicious Mexican birthday dinner over to my mom’s new townhouse. It was fun seeing how much bigger the boys (and Adam especially) had gotten since I last saw them in April.

Today we had lunch with my Uncle Tommy and Aunt Angie. Tommy is my dad’s brother, and my only connection to that side of the family. Now that my dad is gone, I think it is so important to keep our family together. They are like another doting set of grandparents for the twins. Whether he knows it or not, Uncle Tommy is going to have to step into the grandfather role with the twins since my dad and Mark’s dad both died before they were even born.

Kate was perfect on this trip. Not a moment of fussiness — though she was getting a bit bored on the ride home. She loved my mom’s massive living room. It has to be at least 4 times as big as ours. Kate spent most of the weekend laughing, practice crawling, and learning to wave bye-bye.

Mark said Carson also had a good weekend. They went out grocery shopping together, and he slept through the night both nights!

I didn’t take many photos this weekend, but here are two…

My mom blowing out the candles on the birthday cake Joyce & Allen brought over.

My mom and Kate in front of her swanky new townhouse. 🙂

Big Fun in Big D

First of all, isn’t Kate just as cute as a button?

We got back this afternoon from our weekend trip up to Dallas to visit Mark’s family. With the exception of his mom, this was the first time the rest of his clan had seen the twins in person. Here are some photo highlights…

There is Mr. Carson with his cousin (Mark’s niece) Erica.

Mr. Carson with his cousin (Mark’s nephew), Dakota. Dakota was the ring bearer in our wedding, and we can’t get over how much he has grown and changed since we last saw him in July 2006. He has gone from a boy to a teenager. Dakota was great with the twins, he even taught Carson how to sit unsupported — it’s a miracle!

Mr. Carson with his 2nd cousin Brooke (Erica’s daughter). She is as cute as a bug too even though she only wants to eat donuts for lunch! 🙂

So, I know you are thinking…‘But Shannon, where are the photos of Miss Kate?’

Well, as usual, she did a good deal of sleeping. Mark’s mom (Dorothy) has the magic touch with Kate. Every time Dorothy held her, Miss Kate would be snoring within minutes!

I guess I should explain that photo a bit. The long standing joke is that Dorothy ALWAYS has her eyes closed in photos. Honestly, I don’t have a single photo from our wedding with her in it and her eyes open. So Mark was telling her to open her eyes open like a crazy person; see above.

And then Erica decided to assist by holding up her eye lids; see below.

Anyway, we had a great time. Dorothy cooked a wonderful roast, and we had some good family time. We also got to meet our new brother-in-law, Bob, for the first time. Mark’s sister Tammy remarried this past summer, and this was our first chance to meet the newest member of the clan. I didn’t get a photo of them with the twins, so here is a wedding photo. (I’m jealous they got married in Hawaii. I’m trying to convince Mark that we need to renew our vows on our 10th anniversary on a beautiful beach somewhere.)

Last night we met up with my good friend Amanda who lives in Ft. Worth for dinner at Humperdink’s (a sports bar & grill that Mark and I used to go to when we lived in Dallas). The last time she saw the twins was in the NICU a week after they were born. Afterwards, we went out to see her new house that she bought this summer. Her pad was gorgeous and spotless. After seeing her house, I truly realized how badly I need to step-up my house cleaning efforts.

We didn’t get a photo of her with the twins either because they fell asleep in the car going over to her house. 😦  But here is a silly photo of a hyper Kate outside of Humperdinks…

It was too short of a visit. We could spend a full week in Dallas and still not see all of our friends there. We need to plan something again soon.

The twins did pretty good on the trip. Carson is a car sleeper; Kate is becoming an insomniac (except when I pull out the camera, of course). Neither got fussy, and given the amount of travel, new people, new places, etc., they did fantastic.

Girls’ Weekend in Houston


Kate with her Granny Dianne in Houston

Kate was absolutely perfect on our little trip to Houston. She slept the entire way there and back! Not one single time did she fuss or have a melt down while at my mom’s house. We had a great time. We took Kate shopping and out-to-eat. We even got to visit with Uncle Tommy and Aunt Angie who I don’t see very often.

Mark had a hard time with Carson on Friday night. Mark says Carson was crying a lot, wouldn’t go to bed, and was missing me. Aww! ( After that, they had a nice boys weekend…they watched the NFL Hall of Fame induction, they played video games, and they even watched Bonds tie Aaron’s record. This was the first time Mark had one of the babies alone for any length of time. I came home to a dirty kitchen, but a happy Carson. )

It was SO MUCH EASIER with just one baby. This was sort of a what-would-it-be-like-with-just-one-baby weekend and it was a piece of cake. Feeding, transporting, shopping, going out to eat, bathing, putting to bed, dressing, changing, etc…everything was easier and faster with just Kate with me for the weekend. Of course, I’m not surprised. Naturally it would be easier with just one baby, but there is no such thing as a singleton weekend because I thought about and missed Mr. Carson the entire time. It was a horrible longing for him…especially when Mark was telling me he was crying and missing his mama. (I am sure triplet moms would laugh at me and think life with just twins would be a cake walk.)

We bought Kate a Noggin Nest for her to sleep on and lay on while she is on the floor. The flatness on the back of her head looks pretty bad, so I hope this works. I am also going to force her to do more tummy time even though she hates it.

Kate’s First Solo Weekend

This may be the craziest idea my mother has ever had, BUT Kate and I are going to Houston for the weekend. We are leaving late this afternoon. My mom wants to have a “girls weekend” with her daughter and granddaughter. Plus, it would be good for Mark to have some alone time with Carson. This will be the first time the twins have ever been separated, and I’m not sure how they will do. I’m a little nervous about the 4 hour drive to Houston with Kate. It’s a coin toss on whether or not she will scream the entire way there. I’m even more nervous about the fact that she hasn’t taken a good nap yet today. Only little two 20 minutes cat naps. Not a good sign. The girl NEEDS her naps.

I guess in a way I will get my first taste of what it would be like with a singleton. It’s just weird for me to separate them. I am going to miss my Carson. Who will I cuddle with first thing in the morning?

Perhaps next month I will take Carson alone with me to Houston. That would be fun too.

December 2018
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