22 November 2011

Road Trip

Warning: The Max part doesn't come until later. The first part of this post is about Max's mom and dad.

For the first time in over three years, Paul and I embarked on a road trip sans little man. The occassion? Stephen King, Paul's favorite author, is doing nationwide appearances to promote his new book, 11/22/63. As a belated 40th birthday celebration, I decided Paul needed to make a check off of his bucket list and see SK in person.

On 11/10/11, we dropped Max off at my mom's in Wichita, and we headed down I-35 to Dallas, TX, for an Evening with Stephen King.

Paul actually ended up smiling for the entire hour.
It was pretty cool.

We also got first edition autographed copies of 11/22/63 with our tickets. Sweet. My impressions of Stephen: he's really tall, he's really funny, he's very much a Democrat, and I may want to read all of his books now.

It was a great show - totally worth the 9 hours of driving. We followed up with visit to City Tavern, enjoyed a country band and had a drink or two.
Pretty happy after his encounter with the King.

Friday, we started with a visit to the Dallas World Aquarium, pretty cool, had a Whataburger, then headed north back to Oklahoma. We stopped on the way at the Windstar Casino and made a side trip to the Turner Falls Park area before spending the night in Norman.

Giant Crocs.

Manatees - so cute!

Even though it was 11/11/11, we did not win at the casino.

Turner Falls.

Little embattlement to the right of the falls. Need to research.
Mandatory self portrait.

In Norman, we visited a local Italian restaurant, Othello's, hit up a bar, then got to sleep early. The next day, we visited the OKC Memorial and hit Bricktown for lunch before going to Wichita to reunite with the man.

Little did we know, Max was just fine without us. He got to party a lot with his cousin Dexter, and we all got to have some dinner together before we headed back to Kansas City.

The following is what happened when we tried to get Max and Dex to pose together.

The most hilarious picture ever.

That's Max's "cheese" face for pictures. Beauty, eh?

Max is trying to tickle Uncle Rob.
 The boys excaped to play with toys. They seemed to like that much more than posing for pictures.

Cute! But you can tell, it'll be trouble one day.

Must've been a really important conversation here.

So it was all a big success. Max got quality time with Grandpa Joe and Grandma Cathy, whom we owe lots of thanks for watching him, more time with Benny, Jamie, and Dexter, and Paul and I got a vacation. Win-win.

And, in honor of the holiday, Happy Thanksgiving from Max and his friend Annie - a couple of real turkeys.

20 November 2011

Party Rock is in the House Tonight

Yep - this is how we do it on Friday nights. Big Time!

Indoctrinating, I mean, practicing...

Yeah - we go big or we go home. Oh wait, we're usually at home. We go big, anyhow.

08 November 2011

October Fun with Aunts and Uncles: Part Two

Subtitle: Uncle Rob, Hero of the Rails

From the time I can first remember anything, one thing I do remember is my older brother Rob playing with trains.

In our first house, he had a small layout on plywood that could be hidden away under his bed. At our second house, Rob had a whole room with an elevated layout. He started collecting my grandfather's old train things. He joined a model railroading club. We got him a t-shirt that said Railroad Robert. 

When Rob got older, he'd take me downtown to the Wichita train club, buy me a can of pop, and let me explore the giant layouts while he and his friends built and ran trains. He even took me train chasing a couple of times with his friend Stacy. These are good memories for me. I hope they are for Rob, too!

Now, he works for the Union Pacific. And maybe the trains aren't as cool and magical for him as they once were. But I think Max is helping with that.

For the past couple of years, Max has really developed an interest in trains. He loves Thomas (actually playing with him, not watching the cartoon so much), he loves going to Train Town, a model train layout, at the mall, and he LOVES his special events with Uncle Rob.

This year, we had the second annual visit to Peppermint Park for the C&H Railroad open house. Last year, Max liked it, but he was a little hesitant. Sara's nephew, Fisher, was too small to know what was going on. But this year, the boys really loved it.

Max by one of the engines.

For his first ride, he wanted to be
with Uncle Rob.

Getting the ticket punched!

Off they go!

Hi guys!

Fisher (Sara's nephew) and Max waiting their turn.

Tracks going by an old depot.

Here comes Max, Rob,and Paul
behind the steam engine!

Rob, contributing to the Thomas collection.

Max, pretty excited about it!

Thanking Aunt Sara and showing her his loot.
The other fun part of the day is that Santa visits the park as well. It was Max's first chance of the year to get his order in to the big man. As you can tell, he was very serious about all of it.

Quite the serious conversation here.

The entire day is just tons of fun, and I'm so glad that Rob gets to share it with Max.

And holy cow, I do believe I'm finally caught up. Just in time for the holidays!

06 November 2011

October Fun with Aunts and Uncles: Part One

The last weekend in October has become a really fun one in the past few years. Bill Self has his Ladies Night Out, and then next day, we visit the C&H Railroad in Tecumseh, KS with Uncle Rob and Aunt Sara - two great annual traditions.

For part one, we'll talk about Bill Self's Ladies Night. This year, Kelly and Phil came back so that Kelly and I could go for a night of basketball, food, fun, and loving with Bill Self. Good times.

Justin Wesley, my favorite. And he remembered
me from last year. Yeah - we're close like that.

Kelly with T-Rob, the bod.

Kelly, getting her game on.

Me, taking some pointers from Danny.

Danny Manning. Yes, he is awesome. Still.

Baby Jay, Crazy Coach Hinson, and Coach Townsend.

Larry Brown, championship coach, with me. Sweet.

Bill Self, also a championship coach (that's how we roll at
KU), with me and Kelly. Photo credit: Cindy Self.

Best of all though, Max got to visit with his aunt and uncle for fun times!
Riding Kelly.

Trying to ride the other way.
I think Phil enjoyed watching Kelly get tortured.

Playing with a little pop cap toy. Kid was obsessed.

Morning donut. Yummy.

So much fun!