Monday, October 27, 2014

Fun Around Town

Going back in time to do a little catch up here.  Like before Florida and before I started in on the fall bucket list of fun.

The Little Gym

I couldn't pass up this Houston Mom's Blog play date!  Much closer than the last one we traveled to AND Chick-Fil-A was the snack sponsor.  The play date consisted of an hour long Little Gym class (we attended the 3 and under group) followed by a Chick-Fil-A lunch and a craft!  They started out on the timid side when the class began and were quite clingy during the Mommy & Me part (in our case it was Mommy/whoever Mommy convinced to tag along & Me), but they warmed up as the class got going.  The boys really got into it and enjoyed the inflatable jumping, bar swinging, balance beam, and climbing on whatever they could.  Allison was clingy to us unless the teacher was with her one-on-one.  Then all of a sudden she could do what was asked.  Caroline stuck to herself and did what she wanted to do.  She particularly liked this one apparatus she could climb and slide down.

Of course they all dug into the lunch and really liked their first tasted of Chick-Fil-A lemonade.  The craft was a little much for my crew, so they just colored instead.  And if you know my crew, you know they LOVE to color.  We ended the play date by picking up our favors: stuffed Chick-Fil-A cows and coupons!!  This event was so worth the $5/kid!!

Bad Pants

Another fun event!  This one is near and dear to our hearts as it supports the Texas Children's Hospital NICU.  Their big fundraiser each year is the Bad Pants Open Golf Tournament.  Leading up to it, they have hosted a Bad Pants Fashion Show in the past.  We participated in the fashion show last year.  This year they changed it up a bit: Bad Pants Day!  Rather than a fashion show highlighting the NICU graduates, they honored the NICU nurses with a break in their schedule.  We were honored to be the featured family and it just happened to be on the 2 year anniversary of Leah coming home from the NICU!  

We donned our bad pants (the kids' pants were gifts from Dave's Thai coworkers when we visited last spring), gathered up our entourage, and headed for the hospital.  They were so sweet to provide toys for the kids and lunch for everyone.  We had a great time playing and visiting with our old nurses and doctors.  No one could believe how big they have gotten!  Hopefully they keep inviting us back :)

Birthday Parties

We were able to attend 2 birthday parties recently.  The kiddos are sort of kind of getting the concept.  But really I think they just get excited to eat lots of cake.  

The first party was at a fantastic park.  They loved the playground and the play doh and coloring stations.  Then ELMO showed up!  Ben and Levi were fascinated, while Andrew and Allison were spooked, and Caroline was off doing Caroline things.  Typical.  After Elmo photo ops, it was cake time.  They wasted no time digging in!  They had a great time and it was hard getting them to leave!

The second party was a Frozen themed swimming party.  You better believe the second Caroline saw that pool she was getting in it.  Andrew was right behind her.  I just keep those 2 in floaties when water is nearby.  Actually, all 6 got in the pool at some point!  They had a blast swimming and of course dug into the cake and snacks.  We left with an invitation to come back anytime, so I guess they were fairly well behaved.  Again, another fun party they did not want to leave!  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Color Fun Fest 5K

It's no secret that I'm a runner.  And it's no secret that I can't wait to get my kids involved in the running community (2 more years to Kids K domination).  One type of event is definitely on my bucket list: a Color Run!  I see pics of my friends doing these all of the time and they look like a blast!  But, unfortunately for me, the kids are too young and my schedule's too crazy for me to attempt a Color 5K just yet.  BUT, that doesn't mean you have to miss out!!

The Color Fun Fest 5k is coming to Houston Saturday November 1st at the Sam Houston Race Park!!!

So... What's the Color Fun Fest?

An amazing adventure of an event!  You run through 4 color stations on a 5k course to finish looking like a human rainbow.  Next up is the post race party!  And more color!  Color fire extinguishers and the EPICOLORTOSS (imagine simultaneous color packets thrown throughout the crowd all at the same time!) will happen.  

Why do this?

Color Fun Fest 2014 has partnered with Free Arts for Abused Children to be the primary beneficiary charity.  This organization helps children with adverse pasts overcome their past through creativity and expression.  How great is that?!  There are also several local charities involved in the event as well. And all ages are welcome!  Truly a family fun event.

Details please...

When: Saturday November 1st  between 2-10pm.  The day run is at 5pm and the night run is at 7pm.  That means you have 2 options to fit in your schedule!

Where: Sam Houston Race Park 
              7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West
              Houston, Texas 77064

And here's the best part...

If you use the discount code PERKINSPACK tickets are only $25!!!
So go register right now!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Beach Babies

I have deemed 2014 the year of travel for the Perkins family.  We have taken more trips (solo and as a family) this year than any other year since Dave and I were married.  Still a couple more after Florida, but you'll just have to wait to hear about those!

I won the trip to St. Pete's Beach, Florida from the Unstoppable Mom contest on the Live with Kelly & Michael Show back in March.  I chose to take the trip in September in order to space out our family trips and miss the big crowds since school was back in session.  I only had a couple of weeks between Montana and Florida, and as the Florida trip date approached, I wasn't very excited about it.  The thought of packing everything and doing another long road trip was wearing me out.  But, plans had been made, so I packed.

There was no way Dave and I were taking our 6 toddlers to the beach alone.  His mom rode with us in the van and my parents flew to Tampa and met us there.  We all had separate rooms at the hotel which was much nicer than in NYC when we were crammed in the same space.  We made the drive in just under 16 hours.  Like Colorado, we did it all in one day.  Unlike Colorado, the kids were about as well behaved as could be expected.  The big boys were fully entertained by trucks driving by and the rest were entertained with music and snacks and books.  They are only 2, so of course there was whining, but a tolerable amount.  The drive home was equivalent to the drive there- a success in my book.

We stayed at the Trade Winds Resort in St. Pete's Beach, FL.  They were very accommodating and I highly recommend it for a family vacation.  Lots to do for all ages!  Being there at the end of September was great.  It wasn't crowded at all- we often had the pool to ourselves and plenty of room on the beach and no wait at restaurants.  It did rain almost everyday, but only during nap times or the evening, so it never spoiled our plans.

Everyday we did the same thing, but it was perfect!  We spent the first part of the morning on the beach then switched to the kiddie pool area.  We either had a picnic lunch by the pool or ate in the room and put kids to nap.  The kids slept great the whole week.  I had intentions of doing activities on my own during naps, but I chose to just relax instead.  After naps we either went back to the pool or explored the grounds.  There was mini golf, a walking path, pedal boats, and lots of space for chase and hide and seek.  The resort had a designated dog play and walk area; it was marked by painted paw prints that looked like Blue's Clues.  So, of course we had to play "Blue's Clues" one day by finding all of the "clues" on the path.  The kids loved it!

We generally just got food to go and ate in the room, but one night Dave and I had a dinner date, and another night we took the kids to their first real restaurant meal!  With 5 adults it wasn't difficult to keep everyone under control, and the kids really did just fine.  Dave and I enjoyed our couple of hours away too.

It came as no surprise that everyone loved the pool area.  By the end of the week, Caroline and Andrew were jumping to us in the water and floating around on their own (wearing Puddle Jumpers).  The beach went fairly well.  Caroline loved everything about it- even the 2 story tall inflatable slide!  She begged to get on the slide and we eventually gave in and I held her the whole time.  Ben loved being buried in the sand- even more than Caroline!  Andrew liked the lounge chairs, but we did get him in the water the last day.  Allison and Levi varied upon the day, but we did get them in the water before the trip was over.  They all loved hunting for seashells and digging in the sand and destroying Daddy's sandcastles.  Another big hit was the balcony.  They spent lots of time watching for animals (i.e. seagulls, fish, and swans in the pond below our room).

The one thing that was NOT a hit was the elevator.  The first time they walked on just fine, looked a little nervous when the door closed, and then completely freaked out when it started moving!  I'm talking total meltdowns x 5.  Leah was fine as she's used to elevators.  A couple of days in everyone had adjusted but Andrew.  He would cry the entire time up until the last day and a half.  He graduated to quietly whimpering.

All in all we had a great trip!!  Definitely plan to do another beach trip in the future- but we'll pick a closer beach :)