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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Toothless Wonder

Ella finally lost her second front tooth!

Great Wolf Lodge

We stayed one night at the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City. (Brandi has more pictures posted over at her blog.) The Great Wolf Lodge is a theme hotel with a water park inside. Our room was perfect; we had a Kids Cabin, so the kids had their own little area with bunk beds and TV.

The water park was ideal for Ella and Emilia; Ella could ride water slides while Emilia played in the zero entry baby pool. The kids had a blast. Kenzie drove over in the snow to play at the water park, which was great, because it gave us one more person to chase the kids around. I thought the water park was fun, but I thought the air temperature could have been a little warmer. They say it's in the 80s, but I got a little chilly sometimes. The fitness room, on the other hand, was far too warm. I wound up taking off my shirt and jogging on the treadmill in my sports front of a wall of mirrors...not a pretty sight.

Staying at the GWL is more expensive than a regular hotel (we shared a room, and our total was about $500, or $250 per family, for one night.) I still think this is cheaper than a comparable hotel room plus water park tickets though. In other words, I think it's cheaper to stay at the GWL than to stay at a hotel and go to a separate water park. And at the GWL, you get a lot more time to play than you would at a water park. Our rooms would have been cheaper had it not been Spring Break (in fact, we'd originally scheduled two nights back in February but got snowed out), but Spring Break certainly is convenient. (For everyone...we heard there were 1200 guests in the hotel that weekend. Even though there were a lot of people, we didn't really have to wait in long lines for anything.)

I don't think I'd want to stay longer than one night because it would be easy to spend a lot of money. In addition to the water park, the GWL has two spas (kid and adult), two gift shops (including one with Vera Bradley), a coffee shop, a restaurant, an arcade, fake tattoos, and MagiQuest, an interactive game that sends you on various challenges. We managed to resist most of this, but if we'd been there longer, it would have been harder to say no.

I do have to say that the food prices were reasonable. The restaurant prices were good (although the service wasn't great), and the coffee shop prices were actually pretty cheap ($1.75 for a tall Starbucks latte).

It was fun, and I would go there again. We're planning to stay at the Radisson in Albuquerque this summer, which just added a water park. The hotel doesn't appear to have all the singing animals found at the GWL, but the prices are much, much cheaper, so I'll be interested to see how it compares.

Spring Break

We had a busy, busy Spring Break. We stayed home the first few days, cleaning house and hanging out with friends. On Tuesday, I had a doctor's appointment in Dodge City, and we headed to Hays from there. Our friends the Howies and the Plogers met up with us on Thursday. The kids went to Pottery Works while we browsed downtown Hays and drank green beer at Gella's/Liquid Bread.

On Thursday, we drove to Topeka, where we met up with my friend Kenzie and visited the state capitol, where her boyfriend Dustin works. The building is undergoing renovation, so we didn't to see a lot, but Ella was still thoroughly impressed. The guy working the souvenir kiosk "hooked her up" with lots of postcards, Kansas trivia cards, and presidential info. Here are pictures of the girls sitting at the governor's ceremonial desk (taken on Kenzie's phone as I had left mine in the car).

After visiting the capitol, we drove to Lawrence, where we explored Mass Street and ate Indian food for supper. (I thought it was delicious, Ryan and Ella tolerated it, and Emilia eats anything.) The next morning we visited the KU campus (even though Ella says she plans to attend FHSU or KSU) and drove to KC. We shopped at the Legends shopping center and met up with Brandi, Josh, Anya and Ally to eat supper at the T-Rex Cafe. I once again forgot my camera, so I don't have any pictures of the restaurant. It's fun, but the food was mediocre and the service was terrible. (Dessert at Cold Stone Creamery made up for it, though.) If we go there again, I might just take the girls in to look around at the T-Rex Cafe and then eat elsewhere.

It was beautiful when we got to KC, but the weather changed early afternoon. That evening it started raining, and then it started snowing! I hadn't really paid too much attention to the weather forecasts predicting snow because it seems like they've predicted snow every weekend this winter, and it's rarely materialized. I figured if it did snow, it would just be flurries--no big deal. But there was a lot of snow--like six inches. Luckily, we spent the rest of our weekend at the Great Wolf Lodge. It was kind of strange to be swimming and look out the window at falling snow.

I actually did take pictures at the Great Wolf Lodge, so I'll put them up in a separate post. On Sunday, we loaded up to head home. We made a number of stops, so it took us a while to get home, but Emilia was thankfully a very good traveler.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I promise I will update the blog this weekend...I'm still recovering from Spring Break. I do have pictures of our trip to post, but until then, mosey on over to Brandi's blog for pictures of the Great Wolf Lodge.

Monday, March 15, 2010


To motivate myself to finally get in shape and lose the last few pounds of baby weight, I've been training for a 5K using the Couch to 5K training program. (I'll finish up Week 7 tomorrow, and I'm totally proud of myself for being able to run 2.5 miles without stopping, albeit very slowly.)

I became a fan of Couch to 5K on Facebook, so I get daily links to various fitness articles. The link today was 10 Ways to Lose Those Last Few Pounds, which seemed totally up my alley. Some of the advice seems pretty reasonable, like avoiding unnecessary calories at breakfast and avoiding fried foods. But the second tip totally baffled me:

2. 20 Minutes a Day
Regardless of your current workout routine, try finding an additional 20 minutes a day. It might mean waking up earlier or staying at the gym an extra half-hour. Assuming you arent a regular runner, take this time to jog two miles. It should only take between 15 and 20 minutes. This is a short-enough distance to minimize the likelihood of shin splints or other running-related injuries for the uninitiated (though always exercise with caution--and a good pair of shoes).

Jogging this short distance six days a week, you will log nearly two marathons a month. Try telling anyone you wont lose a few pounds running a marathon every two weeks!

Okay, so running two miles a day is a work-out for me. I'm sure I would lose weight if I added another two miles to my work-out, but if I were in good enough shape that I could add 20 minutes of running to my exercise routine without risking injury, I wouldn't need to lose any more weight. And who can jog 2 miles in 15 to 20 minutes? I'd call that pace running.

So clearly I am not the intended audience for this article, but seriously, who is? And to the author of this piece--have you ever heard of an apostrophe?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Why I Love My Big Sister

By Emilia Burrows

She lets me play with her electronics.

and read her books.

She lets me wear her pajamas

(even when I look like a rapper).

She lets me wear her boots

and hat and vest.

And she gives me donuts when Mommy won't.

I love my big sister Ella. And she tolerates me.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

All About Emilia

Full name: Emilia Genevieve Burrows

17 months

Also known as
Emilia Bedelia, Babykins, Little Baby Naughty Pants, Stinky Britches, Sugar Booger, Booger Boo


Hats, shoes, and coats
Yogurt, shredded cheese, and chocolate
Cell phones
Sitting in chairs
Writing (preferably with permanent marker)


When her pants ride up so that skin is exposed between her shoes and the bottom of her pants

Playing outside
Wearing other people’s shoes
Keeping up with the big kids
Getting into trouble

Special skills:

Knowing when anyone in a tri-county area has candy

All About Ella

Full name: Ella Katherine Burrows

Age 7

Also known as Ella Bella, Ellaboo, Monkey Mo, Whiney Hiney, Poopsie Rotten Bottom, Babykins



Rules, policies, and procedures


Justice for Girls

Nintendo DS

Hannah Montana


Fruits and vegetables


Jumping on the trampoline

Riding bikes

Dreaming of cell phones

Trying on 72 outfits and leaving them in a pile on her closet floor

Special talents:

Creating drama