Texas Trip

I am documenting this trip for posterity’s sake because it was equal parts super fun and equal parts stressful. I obviously need to learn to just chill, but as a planner by nature and someone who gets overly anxious if the kids are off schedule for too many days, made for an interesting trip! (Notice I didn’t say vacation ;).)

We set off on Sunday on a 5 hour road trip from Tulsa to Tyler, TX for Tommy’s cousin’s wedding. The kids both did remarkably well in the car considering Emmy hasn’t traveled more than an hour and a half in a car seat since she was 8 weeks old and this was Holden’s first trip.  I had packed all kinds of puzzles, sticker books, magnets, etc. for Emmy, but those lost their appeal by about minute 46. So we broke out the iPad and she was a happy camper. Holden got a little fussy when he was hungry, but I fed him and we stopped for lunch and everyone was happy again. Emmy took a nap after lunch and then was back to watching back-to-back Peppa’s and Peppa games on the iPad. She had absolutely zero interest in the other games I loaded. She only wanted the Peppa ones. Can you guess her favorite show? 

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We got to Tyler and went to the wedding, which was interesting with a toddler. She wanted to run and play, so the reception she played on the deck and after dinner, the girl danced and danced and danced. I think it was seriously one of the highlights of her two years.  She had a blast!! Holden had an equally nice time. He is such an easy going baby and it absolutely cracked me up when people would ask if they could hold him and thirty minutes later he was still being passed around the table. Both kids made it until 10:30 and we clearly have a party animal on our hands because Emmy could have kept going!

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We finally got back to the hotel around in bed around 11.  Emmy was soooooo excited to sleep in a big girl bed (she’s still in a crib). And that lasted about 2.2 seconds. First she wanted daddy to sleep with her, then she wanted mommy. We finally got her to sleep and then, of course, Holden woke up at 12:30, which woke Emmy up. There was subsequent crying from Emmy saying she wanted to go home. Then at 1:15 I needed to go to the bathroom, which led to Emmy falling out of bed and more screaming and crying. Sigh. I held her and slept with her on top of me. At about 3:00 a.m., certain she was surely asleep, I moved her lightly so that I could turn over, which then resulted in screaming, crying and wanting to go home. At this point, I was super frustrated and about ready to pack my bags and go home. I think when Emmy told me she was ready to go home, I told her that it was fine with me and we would be packing up to go home tomorrow. Ha. Mom of the year. Once she calmed down, we all got to sleep in until 6:30 when Holden woke for the day. Good times.

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After breakfast, we packed up and made the trip from Tyler to Grapevine, TX to go to Great Wolf Lodge. After waiting in line FOREVER and not being able to check into our rooms, we managed to at least get a pass to go to the water park. Emmy had the time of her life. She seriously played without stopping (I mean not even to eat or drink) for five straight hours. She had the best time. We ordered a pizza and I put her in Holden’s pack n play and went out to Target to buy another one so that they would both have a pack n play to sleep in. This situation worked much better and they both slept with minimal interruptions. (Emmy was up through the night wanting water since she hadn’t gotten enough during the day, but otherwise went right back to sleep.)

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Day 3 we spent at the waterpark and Emmy had an equally great time. Holden wasn’t a huge fan of the water, but was content to sit and look around. Emmy tried water slides and loved the wave pool and lazy river. After her nap, she woke up with what might have been a night terror and she couldn’t calm down until she had her mind set on ice cream. Apparently that seems to help everyone. For dinner that night we went to a Hibachi grill, which she HATED! Can you believe? I thought for sure she would love to see them cook in front of her, but when they did the first fire on the grill, it went downhill quickly. She later told me she was afraid of getting burned. I have probably passed my anxious nature on to her. Poor, sweet girl. She rallied, though, when the chefs left and she was able to eat in peace.  Ha!

The following day we went to eat at the rainforest café.  She luckily wasn’t scared of the thunderstorms that happen every 20 minutes inside. She also had a BLAST at legoland, which she and Tommy did together. We moved locations that evening and went to a house we rented in Garland, TX.

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On the only sunny day of our trip, we went to the Dallas zoo. Emmy’s two requests were to see the carousel and train. The train ended up being not on a track, but she couldn’t tell the difference and really liked the dinosaurs. Her favorite part of the zoo was the children’s area where she was able to feed the koi and pet the horses.

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On our last day, the guys went to Top Golf in the morning while the girls took the kids to the park. Then the afternoon the girls went shopping and the guys watched the kids. Before going, Emmy really needed a nap and had a total meltdown. I think she was scared I wasn’t coming back. Poor girl. Later she told me, “you’re back.” She was staying with Tommy, but I think being somewhere unfamiliar was hard for her to get that she wasn’t staying there without me. She has still been a little clingy ever since we returned, too, and it has been three weeks. I took Holden with me and in the chaos, forgot the diaper bag. And guess where he will only go to the bathroom? His car seat. Ha. Fortunately, my sister-in-law had one diaper in the car and Ikea has the most amazing family restrooms. I was also able to meet up with my cousin and her three boys there! She was so sweet to come and visit.

On our way back to Tulsa we met up with my other cousin and kids and had a great time catching up with them! We are so excited for them to come and visit us this summer. The kids did great in the car and both napped.

Moral of the story: We need to get out more or we will not be traveling again until they are 12 – ha!


  1. Wow that was exhausting just to read! But it's memories, right? :)

  2. Wow! That was quite a trip!! I think everyone must have been exhausted after that! Yes, I do think you need more practice on traveling - how about a trip to Shreveport?! The air mattress that you suggested a year ago would be good for your traveling. I bought one after you suggested it, and the children love it!! (It is the same size as a crib mattress, and it has raised, inflated sides to encourage them not to get out of it.) It is called the Intex Kidz Travel Bed Set, and it will accommodate children up to 48 inches. Another item I have is called the Travel N Trundle, and it is about the size of a sleeping bag when it is rolled up. Then you can put it on top of a hotel bed because it has raised sides. Or you could put pool noodles under the sheets so they won't roll out of the "big" bed. Alex and Parker loved visiting with your kiddos, and they can't wait to visit you in Tulsa. Love you, Aunt Angie

  3. Well, I'm impressed. Traveling with little ones IS stressful! But why didn't the hotel just give you a crib to use, so you wouldn't have to go buy another PnP?? Glad to hear Emmy liked Great Wolf Lodge- I really want to take Evie sometime!

  4. Definitely not a vacation with the littles! Glad it was a mostly successful trip. And I'm getting berk the peppa apps stat!


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