Saturday Night at the Ranch

tumbleweed ranch mom blogger phoenix
tumbleweed ranch 4

 

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We wanted to try a new park so we took the kids to Chandler to play at Tumbleweed Park. As we were driving into the park, we saw a sign for “Tumbleweed Ranch.” Intrigued, we decided to take a peek. It was the cutest little spot! The photographer in me got so excited because this place is a gold mine for photo opts.

There are two historic farm houses on the ranch, along with rustic trucks, wagon wheels and even some roosters! Behind the ranch we saw a ton of trees with …  oranges? Well, I thought they were oranges. The kids thought they were lemons and Ryan thought they were grapefruits. You can tell how much we know about that.

I’m going to photograph two family holiday shoots here because I just fell in love with the charm of the location. It’s directly across from the park so right after the kids went and played. Yes, you’ll notice Kelsey is wearing boots, a tank top and earmuffs. If you guess that she dressed herself, you would be right! I love it though. Earmuffs and sunglasses. A style all her own.

Topgolf and a night out with friends

Top Golf 2

Do you have Topgolf where you live? It’s this really cool concept. It reminds me of bowling; you rent a “bay” and take turns hitting the golf ball into a few different holes. Each ball has a chip inside so the scores are accurately calculated by how you hit it. No previous golf skills are required. Phew.

The Top Golf we went to is three stories high. I’m a little anxious around heights, but we made it work. The food was good (albeit bar food) and the service was excellent. But more importantly than that was the incredible company.

You see, these are six people very near and dear to our hearts. Between us, we have 9 kids. NINE! And we have watched each other go through so many ups, downs, highs and lows. We’re pretty much like family. When Ryan and I called them a few weeks ago and demanded we get babysitters and actually see each other outside of one of our kids birthday parties, they all eagerly made it happen.

Top Golf

Top Golf

Top Golf 4

Top Golf 5

Top golf 7

JenandBarker

TopGolf

What a great night out with friends! Everyone needs nights like these to really re-charge and re-connect with the people who have your back through anything. Oh, I forgot to mention the best part … Ryan and I won the last game!

Sunday at The Phoenix Zoo

the phoenix zoo - many hats of a mom blogger

Ryan and I took our three little monkeys to the Phoenix Zoo this weekend. The weather was A-MAZING and is was so great to get out of the house and do something as a familyI put on my running shoes for the first time in forever and off we went.

We got into the Zoo one hour before it opened and it felt like we had the entire park to ourselves. Literally, we only saw about 10 people until about 9am. Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, I saw a Starbucks sign! You guys, the Zoo finally offers Starbucks brewed coffee. The “Jungle Java” shop opens at 8:30am so I patiently waited. Dear Zoo – don’t make a girl wait 30 minutes. Start selling coffee right when you open. Kthx.

Baby Nolan was perfect. He slept for the first hour then got up to eat, then went back down. I’m telling you … he’s a dream. We spent 3 hours at this place and he didn’t even fuss once. All of the kids did great. Funny story: As Ryan and Kelsey were walking towards the petting zoo area they ended up about 20 feet in front of us. Colton shouted, “Hey guys. Wait for us. WE ARE FAMILY!” It was hilarious. Where do these kids pick up these things?

Kelsey only pouted one time (she’s my child, after all) but, unlike me as a child, her pouting sessions only last about 5 minutes and then she’s over it. Seeing the lions was a huge hit for the kids (and us too!). It was like every animal was out and about on this morning.

Here are some pictures from our day.

the phoenix zoo - many hats of a mom blogger

the phoenix zoo - many hats of a mom blogger

phoenix zoo mom blogger

phoenix zoo mom blogger

the phoenix zoo mom blogger

The cutest little farmer I ever did see.

the phoenix zoo mom blogger

the phoenix zoo mom blogger

the phoenix zoo mom blogger

It took all of Ryan and my willpower not to devour this pretzel. The kids were eating it so slowly, it was torture! We survived though – however, I’m still thinking about it … and that cheese.

phoenix zoo

the phoenix zoo mom blogger

Starbucks for the win!

phoenix zoo many hats of a mom blog

The Phoenix Zoo - Many Hats of a Mom Blog

phoenix zoo mom blogger

phoenix zoo mom blogger

Six weeks old and such a snuggler.

phoenix zoo many hats of a mom blog

This moment was so cute. Ryan was coming back with my coffee when suddenly Colton shouted, “Monster!” and took off running towards Ryan with this stick.

phoenix zoo many hats of a mom blog

Kelsey was bummed that she didn’t have a stroller so Ryan carried her like this for a bit. This man of mine is everything.

And that’s a wrap!

Desert Morning Walk. Think the liked it?

Instead of Saturday morning cartoons, I took the kids on a walk this morning. By the looks on their faces, I think they really enjoyed it. Then, we came home and got ready for swim, gym and soccer. Can you tell it’s going to be a great day in the Cross house?

arizona kids - desert morning walk
“Mom, do we have to do this?”

arizona kids - desert morning walk
“Fine, but I’m not smiling.”

arizona kids - desert morning walk
“And I’m only smiling because you promised me a doughnut.”

Happy Saturday, friends. 

 

 

Breakfast in Downtown Gilbert

downtown gilbert - phoenix mom blogger
mom blogger
mom blogger
mom blogger phoenix

Liberty market bar
mom blogger

liberty market gilbert az
liberty market family

Table for five!” – I’ve been waiting to say that for 10 months. Unfortunately for me, Liberty Market in downtown Gilbert is seat yourself. Doh. But we did venture out to breakfast as a party of five for the first time today. Nolan did amazing.

Well, he didn’t cry. He did have a blow out though and ten minutes after we sat down, I found myself walking swiftly to the bathroom with a baby in my arms and poop on my jeans asking the first employee I could find “Please tell me there is a baby changing table in the bathroom!” There was. Thankfully. Some restaurants don’t have changing tables, which drives me insane. This one did, so we were in the clear.

We played, “I spy” at the breakfast table. It was so cute because Colton would say, “I spy a black tee shirt on dad.” Kelsey and I would laugh and laugh. He started getting the hang of it though – for his next turn he said, “I spy a pink shirt.” So, that’s closer.

After breakfast, we walked around downtown Gilbert for a bit. The area has so much history and charm. Most of the restaurants are new, but they really blend into the historic neighborhood nicely. The kids found a splash pad directly under the Gilbert water tower. I’d say that was the highlight of their morning.

And, ours too! As Ryan and I were able to use the water tower to our advantage. “If you don’t sit nicely and use your manners at breakfast, you can’t go play in the water.” It worked like a charm.

A fun morning with a really fun group of people. My people.

mom blogger arizona

downtown Gilbert AZ mom blogger
downtown Gilbert AZ mom blogger
many hats of a mom - phoenix blogger
many hats of a mom - phoenix blogger

downtown Gilbert AZ mom blogger

Downtown Gilbert family

While the other two kids were busy playing in the water, I looked over and saw Ryan looking ever-so-closely at baby Nolan. I’m with Ryan on this one … I could stare at Nolan all day too.

downtown Gilbert AZ mom blogger

I don’t know about you, but I’d say Colton is really enjoying himself here. Ah, yes – two. year. olds.

downtown Gilbert AZ mom blogger

Look at him looking around! He is getting so aware. For only five weeks old, he is sure looking so much older. We love you little man, so much! You’re such a chill baby.

joy ride downtown gilbert - mom blogger arizona

many hats of a mom blogger - downtown gilbert

many hats of a mom blogger - downtown gilbert

Hello, there fall. We actually feel like we found you today. Pumpkins, cool morning air and people wearing sweaters. Although, we’re still in shorts but we’ll consider this progress.

My First Time Taking Three Kids Out

I was feeling adventurous this morning and so, while my husband planted winter grass (yes, that’s a thing in Arizona), I took my kids (all of them!) to the Farmer’s Market. That’s right. I took three kids, by myself, for an outing. To my surprise, the kids were awesome. No tantrums. No running off. No accidents. Nada. Just an awesome morning at the market. With coffee as my fuel, we even hit up the park afterwards. I came home expecting a gold medal but Ryan was still mowing the yard. Perhaps my medal will show up later.

Here are some pictures from the market.

sunday farmers market - many hats of a mom blog
sunday farmers market - many hats of a mom blog

Colton ran behind Kelsey to tickle her so she would smile at the camera (his idea) – it was the cutest thing. See how his arm barely reaches around her. Ha.

Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog

Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog

Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog

Farmers Market Mom Blogger

Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog
Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog

Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog

Farmers Market - Many Hats of a Mom Blog

Nolan’s back there in the stroller. Colton is not amused in this photo but I just had to have proof that I officially took three kids out. It’s one of those mommy milestones that you have to document. When Kelsey & Colton get old enough to read this blog, I just want to thank them for making this a great morning for me. Let’s face it: I’m a rookie at taking three kids anywhere so this could have been disastrous. We hope you’re having a great Sunday too.

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Ker Plunk! What’s Old is New Again

ker plunk kids toys

ker plunk game for kids
ker plunk game for kids
ker plunk game for kids
ker plunk kids toys

Do you remember Ker Plunk? I saw it at Target yesterday and had to have it. I loved this game as a kid. Kelsey and I spent all morning battling over a few marbles. For the record, this child is really good at this game. Her strategy? She only pulls out the “Christmas colored sticks” – so essentially, I’m stuck with all the yellows while she gets to choose between the red and green sticks. Hey, that might be the key to the game because she won nearly every time. She got a little feisty and confident after a few wins.

This girl. That boy.

Sunday started a little rocky. Colton got his arm stuck in the freezer drawer (I’ll have to take a picture of the handle to explain it better) looking for an ice cream sandwich. I immediately panicked because he was crying and his arm was turning red. Then some weird instinct took over and I grabbed a bottle of mayonnaise and used it to wiggle his arm free. That’s how our morning started – knee-deep in mayonnaise.

Then the kids decided they didn’t want to go to church and Colton literally kicked and screamed the entire way there. Miraculously, the tantrum ended (as they do) and both kids turned their attitudes around. We ran some errands after church and even picked out some toys at the toy store. On our way out of the store I spotted one of these old school toys – where you put 50 cents in and the thing “rocks” while playing some horrible song. It rocks so incredibly slow, but the kids didn’t mind. In fact, we even got some smiles out of it! Money well spent.

many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog