Saturday, July 31, 2010

To The Beach


Mom W. and I took the boys to the beach today. Mom and Aunt Teri ventured outdoors for a bit of yardwork, but the boys and I didn't do much at all around the house, but watch tv and just hang out all day.

So the highlight of our day was driving out to Fort DeSoto to have a little swim and watch the sunset. Chris had a meltdown when we got to the picnic area, he was afraid of the seagulls; he didn't want them to eat his dinner...or him. He clung to us for dear life. But then we walked around Fort DeSoto, used by us in the Spanish American War in 1898. We walked around on top and found a great place for us to hit the beach.

Once we told him we were going to swim at the beach, Chris got very excited. Getting out in the ocean with Grandma was even better!

I just love watching the sun go plop into the sea. And though there were some clouds, it was still just gorgeous.

Once they got over their initial apprehension, the boys loved being out in the water. Me Too!

The boys loved the ocean. They loved watching the waves come in, and Chris loved jumping with them.

The only way we could talk Chris into leaving was when Grandma promised him to let him 'wash' his feet off one last time before we left.

And next time we'll take Daddy. We miss him.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Little of the Wildlife


Top 5 wildlife encounters from today.

1. Sandhill Cranes - Right in the front yard next door, picking nits I guess. They seem to love yards. We saw some in Grandma and Grandpa's neighborhood on Tuesday morning, but found these guys walking by this morning as we left to go swimming at Cameron's.

2. Black Saddlebag Dragonfly (yeah I looked it up) - This dragonfly was hanging out on the grasses behind the pool. There were a few of them flying about, having a good time.

3. The Wild ChristopherMatthew Fish - Somebody LOVES swimming with this Floaty Swimsuit. And that eyebrow thing reminds me of someone I know. ;)

4. Grandmas Gone Wild - Aunt Teri with Cameron, and Chris and Sam with their Grandma Willman.

5. Weimeraner Stub - Sam was going bonkers for Cavit (Cousin Cathy and Jack's weimeraner) and his tail stub this afternoon. He kept trying to grab it, and giggling. And when the dog would sit down, Sam would just pat his back, but keep eyeing that back end waiting for something to happen. I SO want a weimeraner. They won't let me smuggle him back in my suitcase though.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Into The Gardens


Today we took the kids to Busch Gardens.

Cousin Cathy recommended going after naps so that the temperature would be cooler. Well, we didn't get there until 5. But she also recommended using the Valet Parking, which saved us lots of time and inconvenience with kids and strollers. Overall the kids did great. It cooled down to 88 by the time we went in, and only went down from there. It's more Zoo than Disney's Animal Kingdom. Just walking in there were more animals, some just planted along the path. The kids really liked the flamingos. There were LOTS of them, happy, pink, and standing on one foot. In the background you can also see an albino peacock.

Turns out Sesame Street characters make appearances there. They just opened an area, the Sesame Street Safari. It was so cute. Right when we walked in, we just missed the end of the show, and the kids were able to meet Cookie Monster, Zoe, and Abby Cadabby. Chris's jaw just dropped. Sam was more apprehensive.

We also got to meet Big Bird and Elmo, but the only pictures you could get with them were the ones that we had to pay for and for 15$ each, we weren't that interested. After looking at the Pamphlet and the website, Chris declared that he wanted to see Elmo and ride Air Grover. Air Grover was a roller coaster, and somehow Chris talked Grandma into taking him over to see if he met the height requirement, next thing we know, Grandma's riding the coaster.

From there we Chris wanted to climb Elmo's Tree House and play in Cookie's Canopy, a three story clubhouse, with paths across made of netting. Cousins Cathy and Jack took Chris and Cameron up. Sam was too little, and my hip was acting up, I was not about to take Sam up there. That was ok, Sam was ok to have some fish crackers and wait for the kids to come by and wave at us all.

Then we rode the Whirlibird, a small egg shaped Ferris wheel that pointed outwards. The boys liked this one too. These boys love rides!

Afterwards we took a little break in one of the sprinkler areas. We only took off our shoes, and dipped our tootsies in. And doing just that for a few quick minutes cooled us off immensely! Mine are the orange ones....nothing says vacation in Florida like crazy toenail polish. ;)

We fully intended to ride the train throught the 'Serengeti', a kind of safari. But instead we did the log flume, even Chris and Cameron rode. The age limit was 2, and I just didn't feel comfy letting Sam go, good thing, he would've had to sit and not see a thing, the walls of the flume were too high for him, but Cameron is the size of a 2 year old; she and Chris did Great!
Afterwards, we were hungry, so we got some BBQ and by the time that was done, somehow it was dark, nearly closing time, and we were in the back of the park. We started to take the 'shortcut' out, but it was closed off, making us the LAST people out of the back of the park. Suddenly as we passed the train station (for the 4th time without riding it) an employee asked us if we'd like a ride to the front of the park. Um Yeah! So we rode the train. There were lights on it, and music pumped in, and it was pretty cool. Sam was just hypnotized.

We only wished we could've seen animals. The only ones we saw were Zebras that had a spotlight on them. Even still it was an awesome ending to our evening. We may just have to go back!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting Artsy


Today was a more relaxing day, we only traveled back and forth between Aunt Teri's and Cousin Cathy's houses, about 15 minutes apart. But we did it a couple times. Aunt Teri watches her granddaughter Cameron, who loves the boys. I couldn't help falling in love with their dog, Cavit. He's a Weimeraner. And he's So Pretty. I just wanted to go all William Wegman on him. So I tried, but there was a fair bit of human cuteness that was distracting me too.

Cameron is infatuated with Sam, she just wants to touch him. NICELY, we yell, so that instead of beating him, she pats him, rubs him. But Chris put her to work. She's 6 weeks older than Sam, and Chris has her pushing him! Sheesh.

We took the kids shopping, had some bagels for lunch, and returned for naps. Our afternoon swim plans were cancelled by Chris's timeouts and a lovely afternoon summer storm. Afterwards, we went to dinner at Outback, where Sam fussed until my last resort, a bottle of water FINALLY soothed him. (I can't wait until he can say/sign Drink, to let me know he's thirsty, we left a Mess in our wake of thing I tried to use to calm Sam.) On our way home, the sunset peeped around the clouds. It was Very Cool. Yeah I rolled down the window and started taking pictures as we drove. Chris asked if I was going to drop the camera or my glasses. I didn't though.

This Palm Tree is in Aunt Teri's front yard...Ahhh Sunset.

The Sunset put a calm over me that had not existed all afternoon. But I can take some tantrums and some fuss for God to give me a show like that!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

From Here to There


Last night, we flew into Orlando and drove almost an hour to Eric's Grandparent's house. They live in a double wide neighborhood in Haines City, FL. We were able to get an empty trailor to stay in last night.
This morning, we all took Grandpa's Golf Cart to the neighborhood pool.

You never saw a boy more excited to learn to drive than Chris. We let him sit between us and "help" steer, and turn the key on and off. He wanted to put his feet on the pedals SO BADLY. But Grandpa is a stickler for road rules, and he would have not allowed it. Honest, we didn't let him do the pedals...just the wheel. ;)

And we hit the pool. At 10 a.m. It was 92 outside already, and probably just under that in the water. It was Super. I could've stayed in there all day.

Chris remembered how to do the Dog Paddle once he discovered the bouying magic of pool noodles. He started on the steps and SWAM all the way out to the middle of the pool. He's getting really strong legs swimming.

My Favorite Picture of the Day: Sam cuddled up in his towel, waiting happily for us to dry off to head back home.

Then we had lunch with Grandma and Grandpa. Chris got a new treat from Grandma, a medical kit. So Chris decided to check out his Great Grandma...apparently she just needed a bunch of shots. ;)

We went back to the trailor (we called it the hotel for Chris) Or at tried to...Chris didn't want to, I dozed a bit, and Sam might have, but we were awakened by Chris playing with the blinds. OK, he wasn't going to sleep. As he was doing Potty Time, Sam walked into the hall by the bathroom and threw up...repeatedly. And I'm a sympathetic puker. I had to pull Chris off the potty to puke in it. That was new. Hope he's not traumatized for life. We're running on the theory that Sam drank too much poolwater, because after a bath, he felt Fine.

So we drove out the Tampa area to crash with Eric's aunt Teri. And to meet the boys' second cousin Cameron. They had a great time with each other, running around the house, chasing, giggling, and not quite sharing toys.

I love the drive out there, because we got to see orange groves (not with Oranges on them though) and trees dripping with Spanish Moss. Like this one. I may have to stop and snap some pics later this week.

But we had priorities, we HAD to have sushi for dinner. Aunt Teri and Cousin Cathy and her husband Jack have been on the hunt for perfect sushi in the Tampa area. So we went, and It Was Good. We all got a cheesy pic taken of all of us. To have Sushi with them was on my list of 3 things I wanted to do on this trip.

That and sit and chat with Grandma and Grandpa Chambers, and see the kids play together. Um, we did all that today. I can go home now, but we've still got over another week!

Taking Off


Coming at you now, live from FLORIDA!!! I know, only we would be crazy to go to Florida at the end of July. Yup. Eric was sweet enough to take us to the airport, he got a gate pass, and was able to help me through security. Wonderful! And when we landed it was hot and humid, but not too bad, then again it was sunset.

Only I would be crazy enough to fly alone with the boys, Sam on my lap, and Chris next to me. They did ok. The ran through my gammit of toys and snacks. And I forgot to fill up my empty water bottles after going through the security.
I can't say it was a good flight, it wasn't really. But the people around didn't complain...much.

Let's just say Sam had an up-the-back diaper explosion, and Chris earned 4, maybe 5 timeouts for yelling, kicking, and persistantly trying to unbuckle himself. Good Times. But Mom, my MIL, met me just outside the security gate, to help with the boys. And Grandpa picked us up in his awesome Town and Country minivan, for a minivan it was a sweet ride!

Sunday, July 25, 2010



Today my niece Annie turned 2! We welcomed her over to our house for a bit of Festivity. You know me, I can't resist little girls. I just have to take advantage of every chance I get to spoil little girls and smother them in pretty pink frufru. My sister is kind enough to let me.

The Girls: Lisa and Annie, just turned 2, and Charlie, almost 3 months.

Annie posing in her new "dress". I couldn't resist getting her this tutu'd swimsuit. It's a Swimsuit, it's a tutu, it's a Swimsuit AND a Tutu! I had to have it! IT'S SO FLUFFY! And Annie looked so precious in it!

There was a theme for her birthday, I got her a swimsuit, and a coverup, and a sprinkler ball. Well, Lisa thought this insane heat called for immediate use of all of the above. So we did. Annie and Chris just went bonkers playing in the water. There were three little spigots, and when they'd roll the ball, the water would spritz and mist everywhere. Not too shabby for a hot and humid day, but not so groovy while trying to take pictures. ;)

Lisa helped the birthday girl take a ride on the Sprinkler Ball.

Annie loved the feeling of the water on her feet. Pure Joy.

Wet cousins. Sam was not a fan of the sprinkler ball. He wanted to play with chalk instead. Chalk and water do not mix, the kids didn't seem to believe us.

When Annie and the kids came inside for supper, she put on her cover up, her other "dress" and she just loved wearing the hood, and playing around in it. I thought she looked like Dakota Fanning. Spooky. (No, not scary Twilight Dakota, but young I am Sam Dakota.)

So our little family put together a birthday cake for Annie. Eric baked it, I iced it, and Chris and I 'decorated' it. Chris chose the colors, but I think he thinks all girls should have Pink Cake. I let him add the color to the icing, and he went a little more red than pink. But Annie Loved It!

She got all smiley, bashful, kickey, and even more smiley when we started singing to her.

She could've gone all bonkers with her cake, but she ate with her fork. So at the ripe age of 2, she'sbecoming quite the young lady.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ultimate Swim Day


Top Ten Pictures from today, our last day at Chris and Sam's swim class.

1. First, a historic occasion. The Lifeguard didn't have to get him into Time Out to get him on his back, he fought, but he eventually did it. Given how much he fights us on this, I'm so glad he was good for his teachers. He even went underwater voluntarily too!And they were able to cross it off his list of swim skills!

2. It was Sam's last class today too, and Sam was having a great time jumping in with Daddy.

3. Look at that happy face. He got the toy by "swimming" for it, putting his face into the water and reaching. He wouldn't let go. Though we're still not sure if he isn't just drinking all the water.

4. Daddy got Both Boys on the slide. Chris has only wanted to do the Frog Slide this summer, and today Daddy was able to get both boys on the blue slide together. More swim history being made. :)

5. Chris enjoyed his so much, he went around a couple of times! Look at that Cheese having a great time at Swim Class!

6. After swim class ended at 10:30, we had a bit of time to kill before the place officially opened. We had planned on a picnic lunch with all our friends, and doing some more swimming, with siblings and parents all together. I had to laugh about the boys and these terrycloth shirts. Sam gets cold easily, so after class, he was chilly. I put his on. Normally, I carry them with me, but the kids don't want to wear them. Chris wanted when it was 95 degrees outside, not when it was 75 at the beginning of his swim class. But they looked so cute together. Love this, but it makes me a bit sad, that it's the end of the swim class season for the boys.

7. After eating lunch outside, we were HOT and Ready to get back into the pool. I didn't mind at all submerging totally. Chris thought it would be fun to ride me like a pony. Well, underwater is about the only way my back would take that, so he did, around and around the pool. And what was right for Chris and I, was right for Emily and Mike. Giddy 'up!

8. See where Chris is? He's at the bottom of the waterslide. Yup. He Did It! He told me he wanted to go ride the waterslide, and by the time I got my camera and was returning to take a picture, he was already spurting out the bottom. He didn't like getting shot down into a deeper pool than where we went on vacation, he got wetter this way. He said he had fun, but he didn't do it again. Though all the Mommies and Daddies rode on the Big Waterslide!

10. Sam started to get a little Punchy. Pink Cheeked and Punchy. He was funny when he got tired. He tried to curl up on my chest, even though it was still in the water. Yeah, He didn't even make it home before he was out.

9. Chris catching his very last couple drops of water and rays of sun as we pack up to go home. We had a good time, and everyone was so very tired.

Still Am.