Friday, June 7, 2013

Chance made us sisters. Hearts made us friends.

My best friend, Jen, came for a MUCH needed visit this past weekend to visit with me and Mr. Howard, but mostly to snuggle with the kids. The kids call her Auntie Jen and while she isn't my blood sister, ever since that day in 2001 when we joined a sorority together, she has been my sister. I saw this quote about sorority sisters and I think it fits us well. "Chance made us sisters. Hearts made us friends."

On Friday, May 31st, she came to work with me (our very last student day) and then afterwards we went to dinner and drinks with work friends! We stopped by the mall after that to pick up something and then came home and watched a movie.

On Saturday we went to Six Flags because when we drove down to San Diego a few weeks ago, we drove past the big Six Flags in Valencia and Connor kept asking us if he could go on a roller coaster. So when Susan gave us free tickets to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, we knew that Connor would be SO excited. We also knew that it would be perfect because they have animals and rides at this one and that is right up Connor's alley. We timed it with Jen's visit and decided to make a day of it. We left Aiden and Izzy back (Aiden stayed with my mom and Izzy went to a party with my sister), because we knew they wouldn't do well with no naps all day. I think next year will be the perfect year for them and I can't wait to take them

We went and got haircuts on our way to my moms, so by the time we got on the road, it was around 10:30. Connor fell asleep in the car on the way (thankfully!) and took about a 40 minute nap. I think this was our saving grace for our trip!

The very first thing we did when we arrived at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom was go on a rollercoaster called Roadrunner. Connor and I went on it together!
The next ride he went on, and HIS VERY FIRST RIDE BY HIMSELF, was Yosemite Sam's Flight School. I know this might sound crazy to someone who doesn't have kids, but my Mama Heart was pounding. I wanted him to have fun and I saw everything through his eyes (the loud buzz, the shaking of the ride...) and I just didn't want him to freak out. Thankfully, of course, he was fine and LOVED it. Oh my goodness. He was SO excited!
Air Penguins was a helicopter ride Connor went on all by himself!
We also saw a fun dolphin show called "Drench," which is a fun family show with four dolphins. Connor was mesmerized. I kept looking over at him to see him FULLY engaged - just watching the dolphins do their tricks. Occasionally he'd open his mouth and gasp or giggle and get so excited.
 We also went down and got to watch the dolphins in their tank. It was so much fun to see them close up! Connor got a little scared of them when they'd come up close to him, but once he realized they couldn't get him, he was thrilled to pieces.
Because we had three adults, Jen and I were able to go on a big ride together and then hubby and I were able to go on a ride together - which was fun!
 This was Mr. Howard's favorite ride by far! A Jeep Ride:
 Here's Connor and me at lunch:
 Mr. Howard, Jen, and Connor in the shark tank:
And another:
 My little family (minus a few):
 Connor did SO well. I really cannot stress that enough. It's so refreshing to see what a sweet, well-mannered little boy he has become - because at home, when he's fighting with his siblings and throwing temper tantrums and yelling or using unkind words, it's easy to feel like we're never going to get out of the toddler phase. But, watching him at the park - reminded me that he is SUCH a good boy. He is sweet and kind, says "Mama thank you for taking me here," and "thank you for the hamburger, Daddy. It was yummy." He listened and explored and constantly wanted to hold the map so he could "plan where to go next." Here he was with the map spread out on the ground - asking me where we were, so he could plan out where to go. Such a crack up. How does he even know what a map is? I'm pretty sure this is the first time he's ever seen one (we use mapquest or my GPS in my car)!
We walked a lot and occasionally it got too hot for him and Daddy helped carry him!
 Daddy, Mama, and Connor
 Jen and Me
We had such a great time at Six Flags!

My sister, Katie, was so gracious in taking Isabella with her to the birthday party. Here are the pictures she posted on instagram of Aiden and Isabella Lynn. There are more pictures of Izzy because she went with my sister. Aiden stayed with my mom and Nana didn't take any photos of him, but he wasn't any less loved. Aiden and my mom went to the grocery store and played a lot!
Top left: Isabella and Katie. Top Right: Isabella in front of a Kirkpatrick picture my mom had sitting out. Bottom left: Izzy and Alex (the little boy whose birthday party they went to). Bottom left: Aiden and Isabella Lynn in front of the picture.

We are so lucky they are so loved by my family and that they want to spend individual time with each of them.

And because this post isn't long enough already. Geesh. Here's a comparison photo from when we took Connor to Six Flags in 2010.

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