Thursday, May 30, 2013


Yes, that's right. Oliver has traveled to 3 different states within a two month period! And the latest adventure was done all on his own. Nana Karen came up to Kansas and took Oliver back to the Oklahoma prairie with her. This was Oliver's first trip away from home without his mom or dad around. He did great! Six hours one way in a car is no joke, but Nana reports he did fabulously. He even spent a day longer than scheduled down in Oklahoma, as Nana and he were supposed to come back to Kansas on Monday, May 20th. THE May 20th. As in, Moore Tornado May 20th! The risk of severe weather was too much for me to stomach that day, so I told them to stay put. I am so relieved they listened, as their travel route involved going directly through the area hit! I didn't get many pics from this solo visit, save for a nice one Pa-Pa Ken sent of a tarantula Oliver found right in front of their front door one morning. Apparently, tarantulas are regular visitors to Nana and Pa-Pa's. Err, I'll be staying in Kansas awhile, I do think!
O with Great-Grandmother Dorothy and Great-Granddaddy Ken

Other recent notes include the purchase of a water slide on steroids for the backyard. I'm not sure why I thought this should be a necessary purchase, but man, it just screams fun. Fingers crossed it doesn't rip any time soon. Oliver and Noah Clothier have tested it out, and they give it two thumbs way up! Charlie Griffith will get his turn on it this weekend.

And, last but not least, I am finally posting a video of Oliver during a swimming lesson. He really does almost have it all figured out. And his grin from ear to ear has totally captivated his instructor. Every time they have a lesson, she tells me how cute he is and how happy it makes her to see him enjoy the water so much.

The BIG 3rd Birthday Party is NEXT Saturday! I can't believe it. Stay tuned for those details!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Indiana (and a little bit of Ohio)!

Continuing with our tour of mid-western/fly-over states in 2013, we recently went to Indiana to visit Matt's side of the family. Grammy Melanie is from Union City which borders Indiana and Ohio, and Grandpa Jerry is from Columbus, IN. Here is my attempt to capture the trip in photos. I missed out on getting pics with everyone we saw, and we saw ALOT of family! Cousins, aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles, great great-aunts, and great-grandmas oh my! Oliver had a blast and now thinks that pretty much anyone he sees must be related to him and warrants a beeline for a hug (it's a little unfortunate for some that he is directly at crotch-level right now)! :)
Outside of the Maid-Rite restaurant in Greenville, OH (Why yes, that IS gum.)

Great Uncle Don (he and Great Aunt Cindy brought O some great gifts)

Great Grandma Mangas (look at how tough she is - banged up and still entertaining 3 year olds.)

Grammy and Banjo. Sorry for the doggie private parts!

Who knew such fun was waiting in store at Great Great Aunt Ginny's House?! 

Stickball with the Coles men.

Awesome indoor play area in Columbus, IN

Sweet cousin Leigh. She's a doll and Oliver LOVED her!

Great Grandma Coles gets a smile.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I am sorry that I am perpetually 2 weeks behind in blogland (at least). It makes it really hard to remember all the good stuff to tell you! I will try to hit the highlights of our very first family vacation! (Vacation just for fun anyways - not traveling to see family).

We picked April for our trip to the Omaha Zoo, b/c, well, we wanted to make sure we went before it got too hot. Well, we definitely beat the heat! It was freezing! As all of spring has been! But, that was really okay, b/c it turns out the Zoo has a ton of indoor exhibits. We stayed at a Holiday Inn downtown that had an indoor water park. It was perfect for entertaining an almost-three year old!

Things we learned on this trip:
1. The Omaha Zoo is great! But you know what, for its size and price, the Topeka Zoo is pretty great too!
2. Oliver still needs naps.
3. Nebraskans are big. Like, just big in general - height, stature, girth. I mean, I know there's alot of cornfields there, but jeez.
4. Oliver will sleep in a sofa bed all by himself just fine. All through the night!
5. The aquarium at the zoo is AWESOME! Favorite thing.
6. IMAX 3D movies are entertaining for about 20 minutes (of 40) to an almost-three year old - at least when the movie is about butterfly migration.
7. Oliver does not like root beer (weirdo).
8. Omaha's Old Town area was really nice and had lots of restaurants and bars that looked nice.
9. Don't go out to eat in Omaha's Old Town area on prom night.
10. I love family vacations!