The most relaxing vacation of our year…

…possibly even our the most relaxing vacation we’ve taken post children.  Yep, it was that nice.
My sister and brother in law funded an overnight stay for us in St. Louis, in return for a little favor we did for them.  It was a beautiful fall weekend and we had nowhere we had to be, no one we had to see, and no deadlines.  It was ridiculously relaxing.
We stayed at Drury Inn near the zoo, and while I’ve never considered myself the kind of girl to develop hotel chain loyalty, I am considering it now.  The price was not necessarily a steal, but when you have intense morning sickness, and are traveling with three children five and under, you really appreciate things like their 5:30 kickbacks (which on this particular night included chili, baked potatoes and hot dogs, among other things), and their very thorough breakfast which satisfied the pickiest of eaters.
With breakfast and dinner covered by the hotel, we only had to take care of lunch, which we brought along with us on the first day.   We spent most of the first day swimming, playing dominoes, and watching out the window (the kids would have been happy to spend all day doing this!).  With dinner provided, we never had to leave the hotel, and after dinner we retired to our room with bags of complimentary popcorn to watch a movie.

 

The next day we went to the zoo.  It was the most relaxed zoo trip we’d ever made, and since we were in no hurry, the kids got to spend a lot of time checking out the things that interested them most.
For Truxton, it was driving, of course!

 
We’ve had a mini obsession (compared to our hippo obsession) with naked mole rats, ever since Marme and Grandad gave us Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, for Truxton’s birthday.

Did you know that naked mole rats live in colonies, like bees or ants?  And they have a queen?  Pretty interesting little things, actually.

So of course, seeing the naked mole rats in person made quite an impression.  Even on Dan.

Hedgehogs have been another mini obsession for us, though this is mainly Kinsley’s interest.  After seeing the video below, she has asked everyone she knows who is going or has been anywhere in Europe, to try to get her a hedgehog from the forest there.  Anyway, we got to see a hedgehog there, and the girls met a little boy who’s grandfather lives in England and has a pet hedgehog – which they thought was pretty cool.
Other items of interest… fish.  Though it seemed like Sophie was the only one really interested in them.
And sand.  Trux would have been perfectly content to watch the children playing in the sand table for the entire day.  He’s so easily entertained.
to be continued…

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the rugrats

The first photos I’ve taken of the kids in a long time – and boy, am I out of practice!

It was a beautiful fall day, and the kids were feeling wild and wooly, so we sent them outside to soak up some sunshine… as you can see, they clearly need more sunshine than they’ve been getting!

Below you see a little boy who takes his passions very seriously.  He loves to drive.  When his papa is driving the family somewhere, you inevitably hear Trux calling up “I drive, Daddy?  I drive?”  This often has the potential to become a full blown fit, if his query is ignored.

Check out Sophie’s choice of outfit.  This girls adores clothes, and is usually slightly more flamboyant in her choice of attire than her mother’s comfort level allows.

This girl?  She has very strong opinions on her clothes.  She lives by a very strict set of rules.  Leaves appear to be an acceptable accessory.  Once in a while.

 She also loves her dog.  Most of the time.  Though once, when he destroyed a beloved drawing, she did mention that she wished we had gotten an outside dog.
 Me too, little girl, me too.

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