After such a wonderful morning in Chattanooga we were in high spirits back on the road again... for about 4 hours. Josh had been having some sinus pressure and we were masking it with lots of dayquil and sudafed, but it just wouldn't go away. We had to stop a few times to let the kids experience a taste of freedom at various WalMarts and fast food joints. Noah sang us songs. It might sound like he's saying that Old MacDonald had a "boobie", but he is trying to say "movie". Noah doesn't do F's and V's.
The last couple hours of our car ride Josh was trying to sleep off his cold while I drove on towards Saint Louis. We got in at around 9pm, hungry and tired... sick of sitting. The room was decent looking. One king size bed and tons of floor space. It was FREEZING though. Most hotel rooms are when you first walk into them, just shrug it off. We cranked up the heat and ordered room service, "we're out of that... we're not making that right now... we're out of that too... ok it will be up in about 30 minutes".
The boys got their bath and ran around like crazy. The room was still freezing. Too busy to care. Room service is here! They messed up Josh's order. Reorder.
No table (crap)... TRISTAN! put that back!
Noah put your milk up high so your brother doesn't get it! (and Mommy takes one bite)
I will open your applesauce. Hang on a second. (and Mommy takes one bite)
Tristan YUCKY! don't put your food on the floor! (and Mommy takes one bite)
Just eat your food, ok. No more playing. Just eat. (and Mommy takes one bite)
Watch the movie and eat your food. (this is why I order food that's already cold haha)
OK let's try this. Eat on this and keep your food away from the yucky floor. (one more bite)
It's still freezing in here! I think I can feel a breeze. (inhale the food while you can!!)
Josh's order is here.
Josh eats. We're all tired and want to sleep so we just crawl into bed. The weather channel says a storm is rolling in and we can hear it whipping around outside. The windchill is ten below here. Then we feel it. An actual draft is blowing into the room from all around the crappiest window known to man. I think it used to be a sliding glass door, but they closed it up and threw a piece of metal on the bottom. I can place my hand on the side of the heater and make a frost handprint. Everything is frosty and our bed is right next to the window. We're not about to pack everything back up and move rooms. I doubt any other room would somehow be missing this same rigged-up crap window anyway.
Middle of the night the storm is in full swing and Tristan has somehow managed to toss himself out of his sweatshirt so he wakes up freezing. He wakes up again an hour later, freezing... his feet are like little ice cubes (more socks!). Josh is knocked out on cold meds. Noah is sleeping horizontal across the pillows. I am just shoving things under the window to try and minimalize the air flow. All the extra pillows and chairs are shoved against the freezer, which improved the situation a tad I'm sure. I finally fell asleep at around 3 I think. We were up by 7 and wanted the heck out of there. I am trying to find things to do in Saint Louis via the free wi-fi, but the free wi-fi isn't working because someone has hacked into it and caused me to get an error message. Thank you trend micro internet security. Let's go!
I complained to the desk clerk about the room and she placated me:
"You should have told me about it last night. We would have switched rooms, especially since you have little ones"
oh really... so you have rooms without windows?
"No but the seal in that one might be bad. I will tell maintenance to check it out."
It's not the seal. The entire area around the window is freezing because there is absolutely no insulation. All that stands between us and the outside in a thin piece of metal. It's not the seal.
"Wow... yeah. I will let maintenance know."
I want you to come feel this room. Seriously. I can put my hand on the heater and make a handprint. You can't charge over $100 for a room like this. I don't think you should rent this out to anyone.
"You're right I will put a note on it. How about some free breakfast vouchers?"
You don't have free breakfast?!
"I can give you some vouchers"
OK fine. Thank you.
Turns out the vouchers are really coupons, good for $2 off an adult breakfast, which is worse than the free breakfast we had yesterday at the NICE Holiday Inn. Wow only $5.99 for crummy breakfast. Graciass. I want to strangle someone. No one apparently works here though so we should just leave. Trying to leave, but can't check out because no one is working except for the one dumb desk clerk who has been here since we got in last night. Nice to hear all the other guests in the lobby complaining about the freezing, drafty rooms... and watch the dumb clerk pretend it's the first time she's ever heard this complaint. I see the maids coming by, speaking Spanish and even they are complaining about the drafty rooms and how the customers are angry.
Whatever. We're only 4 hours from Gma and Gpa N's house. I don't even want to do anything in Saint Louis now. I just want to GO! So, everyone... if you're ever in Saint Louis, MO and you decide that the Holiday Inn Select looks like a nice place to crash, think again. Never ever go there EVER. Find a Drury Inn or something. They have free hot breakfast, warm rooms, and wi-fi that actually functions. Holiday Inn Express is better and cheaper. Weird, I know. It's about 20 below outside and our winter coats are buried in suitcases still because up until here it was 60 degrees. Bizarre! Poor sick Josh braves the freezing temps to search for our buried treasures. At least the sun is out :)
Finally off to Leavenworth, KS. to see Gma and Gpa N.! YAY! :D
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Posted by Allison Burnett at 9:22 PM
I am uploading 2 videos to youtube. One of Tris and Noah running around at the train station and one of Ruby Falls... maybe I'll load one of our walk through the cave too. Keep an eye out :)
Posted by Allison Burnett at 3:26 PM
Our first stop on our way to the great midwest was Chattanooga, Tennessee. We arrived at night, got a decent hotel room, and tried to get some sleep so we could start out early. Chattanooga is surrounded by gorgeous mountains and lakes and the people there are really helpful and polite. It is also home to Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls, and the Incline Railway. Our day began with a little rain and fog, but what we had planned didn't require nice weather. It reminded us of our Christmas in Germany 2 years ago :)
I've always wanted to hike through a cool cave with stalactites and stalagmites sticking out everywhere. Ruby Falls definitely did not disappoint! The hike through the cave was a photographers dream... seriously. I think this was one of the coolest places I've ever been. We just kept saying the rest of our trip how awesome it was. There was a photographer on the way in that took a family photo for us that we ended up buying because it was adorable :) Josh and I really enjoy visiting places that are natural or historical. No offense to theme parks, but there's something to be said for natural wonders like this cave and the waterfall hidden inside. Noah loved it. Tristan loved it... especially any blue light since he knew there would be water nearby.
There were some crazy rock formations... turtles, chandeliers, elephant feet, bacon, potato chips, wings, even a donkey's butt! I took tons of other pics and uploaded them all to flickr (on the sidebar) if anyone is interested. The waterfall was amazing and I believe also a record-breaker. I was busy taking pictures so I didn't catch a lot of the history. Josh was filling me in though and from what I heard it was very interesting. Noah's favorite part was the waterfall, but if you ask the tourguide (who asked Noah) he doesn't like caves, only trains. I guess Noah was thinking ahead haha :)
After we emerged from the bowels of Lookout Mountain we were able to climb back to the top and check out the view. On a clear day you can see seven states from its peak, but it was foggy the day we went so it was more like looking down on Sleepy Hollow, which was still pretty cool.
From there we ventured off to the Incline Railway. The Incline rides up and down Lookout Mountain and at one point is a 72 degree angle! Noah really enjoyed it... Tristan was hungry and tired by this point so it was a little rough on the way down as he squirmed and whined. Luckily we stopped for a bit at the bottom and the boys got to run around before the climb back up. We got about 25ft up the mountain when the rain got the best of the motor and stalled out. We were waiting for 40 minutes for the mechanic to show up and fix the dang train. The whole time Tristan was screaming and crying for everyone in the train to hear. They finally got it running again and refunded our tickets (after Josh had a few choice words for management). Frankly I'm offended they weren't waiting with refunds and apologies for everyone when we got back to the top. Customer service is pretty self-explanatory, people!
After all that excitement we grabbed some lunch and got back on the road. Tristan fell asleep immediately :) Next stop, Saint Louis Missouri! Here's a preview for you ::ACHOO:: :P
Posted by Allison Burnett at 2:16 PM
First of all... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!! I hope you had a great day!
We're back from our 2 week adventure to the midwest. I got caught up on everyone's blogs and I'm glad you all had wonderful Christmases. I hope you won't mind me not commenting on every entry because I am much too lazy for that right now ;)
I am downloading all the pictures and I still have to edit and resize, upload the keepers to flickr! on a new set, upload any good videos to youtube. Not to mention all the fun real world things I have to do like unpack. Luckily the boys will be busy playing with their mountain of new toys from everyone. They made out like bandits yet again... and not from us, which was nice since we needed the funds for our road trip. YAY! Everything worked out really well and we had a wonderful visit with everyone and a lot of fun getting to our destinations.
I will be updating!! I've been writing the blog entries in my head the whole trip hahaha. Come back soon :D
Posted by Allison Burnett at 12:42 AM
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Vita uploaded a few hilarious videos of Noah pretending to play his rock guitar with his rock band (which consisted of all the characters from Spongebob). Good entertainment if anyone wants to partake in the joy ;) Also of note, Noah's been saying "Oh BARNACLES!" when something makes him mad, which is great. Thanks, Spongebob!
Posted by Allison Burnett at 1:56 PM
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I tried all day today to get a good picture of Noah and Tristan, both smiling. IMPOSSIBLE! I tried different props and locations. I would say it was Tristan's fault... and it mostly was, but Noah was just as hyper and uncooperative. I had fun trying, though! I just don't think any of the shots are good enough for a Christmas present... well maybe one of the reading ones. I haven't decided yet, but I am running out of time! I am going to try again tomorrow. Here are some of the cuter ones, along with a few funny moments from today :) I am uploading a video of Noah reading "Brown Bear, Brown Bear..." to Tris right now. Look for it on the sidebar!
Posted by Allison Burnett at 10:33 PM
Monday, December 15, 2008
We went to Josh's battalion Christmas party tonight and Santa was there taking free pictures. He had a real beard and everything! Unfortunately the print quality is... well "free" so it didn't scan too well, but I'm very happy with it regardless. I had just pointed at Josh, who was behind the camera guy so that Tris would at least look up as he was howling... that explains the one weird levitating hand.
Here's a pic Noah had taken with Santa at the mall. There was no way Tristan was getting anywhere near him that day and I wasn't looking photogenic enough to include myself.
Posted by Allison Burnett at 10:56 PM
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Tristan is officially 15mos old (as of yesterday). He's becoming his own little person more every day. There are major differences between he and Noah. I know they look a lot alike, but they are so different. When Noah was 15mos he was interested in blocks and other mechanical type things. I have videos of him building block towers at this age. I think Tristan could possibly do it, but he's absolutely not interested yet. Instead he wants books. He follows me around with books all day long. He will sit there and let me read to him forever. Noah would NEVER sit that long... he still doesn't, actually haha. Tristan is interested in relationships... relationships of objects to other objects, people to other people. He likes to know how things work together, how they interact and react. He's definitely not as obsessive as Noah, but just as demanding! And he does NOT forget something just because you put it away or left. Tris cried for 30 minutes because he wanted to ride the escalator up and down at Sears. I finally told Josh to just take him over there and he immediately was fine (until we left and he had to stop). Must be his long attention span ;)
Tris very recently started being interested in object manipulation. He will put balls in bins and phones in pots, keys in the trash. With Noah it was EVERYTHING in the trash and constant object manipulation all the time. He was also already using a spoon. Tristan is more interested in the dog and his brother. What can he do to make Noah laugh or yell. Where is Mommy? Why isn't Daddy home yet? He has an internal clock for 5pm when Daddy gets home (that cries when it goes off if he's not home yet). He goes to the front door and cries. He goes to our bedroom door and cries. Tristan already plays hide-and-go-seek with us. Noah didn't understand the concept at all and still has trouble focusing and listening to instructions. I think the main difference between my boys is Noah is an engineer and Tristan is a sociologist :) They're both very smart!
Tristan got to paint for the first time today. He still loves to mouth everything he gets his hands on so I was waiting. He had a good time and got nice and "painty". They both painted on the same paper, but at different times. I wasn't up for a HUGE mess. I was cool with two little ones though :) Next time I think it will be better to let them both paint at the same time because Noah was going to explode, trying to hold back all his big brother helpfulness. He wanted to show Tristan how to hold the brush and fingerpaint and make footprints. Tris probably would have liked it better too if Noah had been painting with him. This was a project for Christmas though so I needed specific things to happen.
Noah had a wonderful time painting (as always). He painted a snowman and our family portrait. He also made a lot of footprints and handprints all over the place. He thought it was sooooo funny that he was sliding around in the paint, falling on his butt. I thought it was funny too :) I love these huge rolls of brown paper. If anyone wants to know they're at hardware stores in the paint section! They're also great for wrapping packages to ship.
I found Noah all curled up like this the other night. It was so precious :) He's such a cuddler! Trsitan isn't much for cuddling at all, but Noah is all over me all the time to give hugs and kisses. He says "I love you" about 500 times a day. It doesn't get old :) Noah and I had a little one-on-one time today after Tristan went to bed. We made some chocolate chip cookies for Daddy... since he's working all weekend. We're also going to make him some banana creme pies (his favorite). Noah mixed everything himself. He is pretty good with our little hand mixer! After that he wasn't interested in anything but licking the batter off the mixer so I was able to drop the cookies onto the sheets myself (a welcomed change).
This week is going to be pretty lonely for me so I have planned a few things with myself and the boys. Among the fun times I will also be trying to get us ready for our roadtrip. Josh has to stay at the barracks for 3 nights (on a cot) to assure smooth sailing while the trainees head out for Christmas Exodus. He also worked all weekend. He's at work right now. I think I've seen him awake for maybe one hour total all weekend. At least he will be home tomorrow on recovery until 6. I miss him. The 3 month TDY is going to be rough.
Posted by Allison Burnett at 11:06 PM
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
HOORAY!!! I found a little boy CPK at the "rich people" Target :) I guess they shop at the better stores hahaha. And he was much cheaper than the $42 they're asking on Amazon! I don't like his outfit too much, but Tristan won't care. He saw him and was squealing and poking the box. I'm glad Josh was with me because he could see how badly Tristan actually wants a baby :) ANYWAY... gotta help with bathtime. Thanks, everyone!
OK I'm back. ALSOOOOOO!!!!! Tristan did his first real sign today! He did "all done" at dinner and then he smiled all huge and clapped for himself (with the rest of us). Way to go, Tris! Almost 15mos old and already doing some sign language :) I expect he will start with more very soon since he got so much positive reinforcement from the 3 of us.
Posted by Allison Burnett at 8:50 PM
OK I am looking like crazy for a boy cabbage patch kid newborn doll (not one of those huge ones with the humongous yarn fro). Everyone is sold out! Seriously?! I thought the 80's were over :P I guess all the 80's parents like myself are just as interested in CPK as they were back in the 80's. So, if anyone can find one that's actually available please let me know! I tried bidding on this one, but I got to like $12.50 (plus $8 S&H so I stopped).
Look how cute these are! NONE of them are actually in stock. I checked Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, KB, Toys-R-Us, the actual CPK site, KMart, Amazon, Ebay. I am going to try the "rich people" Target later to see if maybe they have more available.
Posted by Allison Burnett at 4:26 PM
Josh and I are already thinking about our New Year's resolutions and have agreed on one to do as a couple. NO MORE CREDIT CARDS (and pay off what we have now)!
It's sad, really. We paid them all off with the money we made from selling the house a year ago. Then we got into this new house and wanted new stuff so we charged a bunch of things we don't need. Now we're in debt again. Not as bad as before, but still. If we didn't have all these credit card payments we wouldn't be struggling at all. So, no more buying things unless we actually have the money (barring emergencies). Now I have to come up with a modest plan for paying these dumb things off. Luckily Josh gets a raise in January, the tax return will be here in a few months, and hopefully this bonus repayment from the Air Force will finally happen. All going to bills!
This was Josh's revelation. He's suddenly more frugal than me (and that's saying something). I think it had a lot to do with the car. He looked at the bills with me and finally saw what I have to work with every month and it sparked something. I welcome the support. It's hard to be the only one unwilling to spend money ;) I'm a pushover for my man, but now he's in on it so we should be able to accomplish this pretty quickly.
I guess it's time to start thinking of personal resolutions as well.
Posted by Allison Burnett at 8:23 AM
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
We have been looking for a used car to replace my old Saturn for a little over a month now. We had very specific wants and needs that didn't seem to exist altogether in one car. It was a lot of stressful searching and number crunching... even a few fights. Then all of a sudden we happened upon this little number.
It's a Suzuki Reno... never heard of it? me neither. It looks a lot like the VW Golf. I checked all the reviews on it and everything and I was satisfied. It's a 2007 with only 20K miles on it, still under factory warranty until it hits 100,000 and we got it with total tax, tag, title for under 10k. They also threw in free oil changes for the next 3 years at the dealership! YAY! This is Josh's first car he's ever been able to purchase that's NEW. I consider 2007 to still be new :) He's so happy to finally have a nice car. My Saturn is BEAT UP! I drove that car into the ground and it's been driven by so many people who all did the same. It's been a great car and still works. After over 130,000 miles together it's just time to move on. That was my very first car too, might I add. This has been a majority of my stress (not really Christmas). We just have had a lot on our plate lately. If we weren't able to replace the Saturn before we left for Christmas than Josh would not have been able to come home and visit for the 3 months he'll be gone. He's only going to be 3 hours away, but the Saturn would not have handled all that driving very well. So things worked out great.
Now for more fun stuff! Noah has been obsessively combing his hair lately. He has a specific hair-do that he loves. I call it dippity doo hair, which he hates (but giggles about). I bought him a pack of combs and he has to have one in every bathroom, and usually has one in his pocket during the day. He looks like an extra from "Grease". He would probably love that movie too hahaha. He tells me a good 20 times a day that I messed up his hair doing something. I gave him another haircut, but was a kind soul and left him lots up top so he can still be stylish. I actually think it's pretty cute and fashion forward (for a 4yr old). He's such a goofball.
Posted by Allison Burnett at 7:52 PM
Sunday, December 07, 2008
OK so here's my 17wk belly picture. I noticed this time I bought a lot of pink and girly clothes. With Tristan I bought a lot of blues and greens. Not on purpose! I didn't notice until I got home. I just wanted pink, and I normally HATE pink. People who know me well know how much I usually despise pink. I'm wearing 2 shirts because I was heading out to see Josh play soccer and it was cold out.
Here are my boys during bathtime. I took a video, which I will not post online for all the world to see... cuz they're naked. But, I'll describe the cuteness :) Tristan will copy everything Noah does in the tub. Their favorite thing to do right now is kick their feet to splash around and make waves.
Posted by Allison Burnett at 8:40 PM
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
I finally got some winter maternity clothes... on clearance! I even got some really cute pants for less than $6!!! I ended up with 7 shirts, a maternity cardigan, and 2 pairs of pants for a mere $70. Not stinkin' bad!!! Thank you, Target!! It's not often you can find maternity clothes on clearance that are the actual season we're currently in. So, Merry early Christmas to me :) I no longer feel like a fat person hiding behind big Wal-Mart tee shirts. I am now a cute pregnant person ;) I will have pics of the belly up soon. It got big pretty fast.
Posted by Allison Burnett at 8:43 PM
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I just thought I'd mention that the baby has been kicking hard the past few days. REALLY hard yesterday. I have been feeling flutters for a couple weeks, but yesterday Josh was able to feel a kick from the outside for the first time. It always makes me giggle :) I finally feel pregnant! My tummy suddenly popped out, which means I need to buy some maternity clothes so I can stop looking like a slob hahaha. Maybe I'll do that today. I also had a dream last night that I gave birth to my little girl on a football field. I guess I couldn't wait any longer? haha I remember crossing my legs to try and stop her from coming which is always funny and stupid lol. YEAH, that'll work! My mom and Josh were there. I saw her face and she's gorgeous and I love her already (watch her be a him)... I'll love him too! She came out and I said "it's a girl. look at her! she looks like a girl!" and I didn't even check "the parts" to make sure. Then Josh said "Are you sure? Did you look?" so I finally did... and I was right, she was. My Mom was just there to cry I think lol. She just kicked me again. I am so sure it's a girl this time. I was so sure my boys were boys. Maybe I am right again!
Posted by Allison Burnett at 11:45 AM
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
My best friend Karrie's brother Kasey passed away on Sunday. He went to sleep and just never woke up. He was engaged to be married, she's pregnant with a little boy and due on Kasey's birthday. I feel so awful for their family. This happened the weekend after the Bubba Run, which is a memorial celebration for their other brother Bubba who passed away 4 years ago. How much more are they going to have to endure? I sure am not feeling bad for us because we're "broke" at Christmas anymore. We have each other. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends. I've met Kasey and he was a great guy. He and Bubba are together again.
Posted by Allison Burnett at 8:27 PM
Monday, December 01, 2008
Well it's officially the month of Christmas, which means Josh and I really need to get our butts a-shoppin. Bah humbug. That's why I love Thanksgiving... no presents, no expectations, just food and family. Speaking of which our T-day was awesome. The trip was really easy with the new van and the boys were angels. It didn't take much gas to get there so the cost didn't bankrupt us! It was great to see everyone and I was pretty busy cooking. My turkey turned out amazing! I didn't take very many pictures at all. Everyone else was taking so many so I just enjoyed visiting and cooking. We got back on Sunday in time to get Josh's cousin Lindsey from the airport. Unfortunately her flight got delayed so bad in Atlanta that Josh had to go get her out there instead of the local airport. It was only a 2 hour drive, and he was happy to do it, but it was annoying for both of them. Poor Lindsey was so stressed with her travel that she's feeling pretty ill today. Hopefully tomorrow she'll feel better! Tristan, Noah and I were happy to have the extra time to clean before she got here :)
So yeah... it's December. I can't say I am looking forward to Christmas. I AM looking forward to seeing more family. I just hate gifts. I hate watching people open mine or them watching me open theirs. It's stressful for me. I don't like to be forced to be generous. I think I would be a whole lot less stressed if money wasn't so tight right now. But anyway... our first day of December was quite enjoyable.
We spent very little time outside, but we did go out for a bit. I tried to get out of taking them, but Tristan threw a fit at the door and brought me his shoes. It was cold and muddy from all the rain we had here over the past week. They had a good time though. My boys love being outside... I wonder who they get that from ;)
After Tristan wakes from his nap at around 2 every day we have music playtime until Daddy comes home at around 5. I turn off the TV's and we stay upstairs and make huge messes while we listen to fun music. Today's selection was Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music :) Noah drew a really cool picture of he and I in a car, even drew the road and the tires. I will post all the details on notes on the pic in flickr. You'll be able to see it in the little slideshow on the sidebar... just click. I'm excited that his art is starting to look like the object he intended to draw!
Tristan is starting to bite now. He bit my knee and I said "OUCH NOOOO!!! STOP IT!!" and he thought that was hilarious so he did it again, and that's when I snapped the picture. He was carrying Noah's baby around all nice and then suddenly started trying to bite her hair out. He's an odd child. I hope he doesn't try this with his real baby sister ;) Yeah I said sister (still keeping my hopes up!).
I was hanging out on Noah's bed because it's the best place to get shots of the kids while they play. Noah got the brilliant idea to swing over me by hanging on the top bunk. I kept screaming "AHHHHH!!!" and he would tell me "watch I not going to hurt you. stop yelling!". It was kinda funny. I had to make him stop though because I didn't want him to land on my baby bump. So THEN he got Nougat the ginormous horse and threw him at me. We got into a little tickle fight and Tristan joined in on the Mama beat-down. I got a little video clip of it :) I am uploading it to youtube right now so look for it in the sidebar.
And that was our day!
Posted by Allison Burnett at 9:44 PM