Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Our Trip to SeaWorld!...(the one where she posted too many pictures)

This past weekend, Michael and I took the boys on their very first family vacation with just the four of us. Most of Ben and Drew's little buddies have flown before, but Michael and I have been a little nervous about taking them on a plane. Visions of the possible melt-down at any given moment with no place to escape to filled our heads. But, from the very start of the journey till the very end, these boys were as good as gold! We were both so proud!! They did awesome on the plane, hotel, in restaurants, and at every turn in between. Here's our trip in pictures with a few stories too...
Watching the planes coming and going in the Nashville airport:I don't have any pictures from the plane ride itself due to the fact that the camera-lady was busy entertaining the munchkins, but they were great, and we made it safe and sound, only to discover that it was POURING in Orlando. Great. The only incident during the flight was that toward the end, Ben said "Mommy, I want to go to sleep in your lap". Given the good moods and excitement of the day already, I thought that was a little weird. But he climbed up, and fell right to sleep. And it was around 10:00 in the morning. By the time he woke up, he was blazing hot with a fever. Fantastic. But we got some medicine in him, got the fever down (which stayed until around midnight that night), and he woke up the next morning back to himself and ready to see Shamu. Thankfully it was just a 12 hour fever virus that Drew escaped until we got home. We braved the rain, and headed out to Universals Studio's Board Walk area for some exploring and food. We ate at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, chosen because of the indoor volcano that erupts every hour and Pirates that make you swords out of balloons. We thought it'd be a hit. And it was with Drew. But Ben was a little overwhelmed, and he and I headed for safety in the gift shop. Here are Daddy and Drew having a good sword fight during dinner.

The adventure really begins: Here we are at the entrance to the SeaWorld Park. Sorry about the foggy was really humid there after the rain the day before.After renting the obligatory stroller and figuring our best park-route-strategy, we made it to feed the stingrays. Here Daddy shows Ben how to hold the sardine just right so that they take it, and don't mistakenly try to suck one of your fingers down. He and I swam with and fed stingrays when we went to the Caymans a few years ago, so this was fun to show them how to do it.Next up, this really cool aquarium that housed sharks, jellyfish and all other kinds of fish swimming above, beneath, and around us. With many many other stops in between, we had to make time to see the famous whale. Here the boys and I are outside of Shamu Stadium. And stadium it is! It packs in TONS of people, and honestly I was a bit surprised at how many people were at each of the shows since the park never really felt too crowded.

The boys' expressions during the shows were priceless and they clapped and cheered for everything. It had been many years since either Michael or I had been, and it was so fun to experience it through their eyes. We stayed at the park for as long as we could, given the fact that they both still need at least two hours or more of nap per day. So we left around 2:30, and had them down for naps in our room by 3. We woke them up and took them to dinner at Downtown Disney and let them pick out a few things in the Disney store, eat ice cream sundaes till they (we) were ready to pop, and explore. Just a little teaser to see what they would think about the real thing.....

Holding up their Mickey suckers for me to seeBuilding and then racing Lego cars outside of the Lego store with DaddyMesmerized by the Lego Family (built entirely out of, you guessed it, Legos)And that was a pretty full day. Saturday morning we took our time getting up and ready and then headed over to see our good friends, John and Holly and their kids Anniston, Grady and Wiley. John and Michael were good friends in college, was in our wedding, and Holly and I were instantly friends from the time we met years ago. They are just so special to us, though we just don't see them as much as we'd like. Here Ben and Drew join Buzz Lightyear (Grady) and Spiderman (his neighbor) for some superhero snacks (colorful sno-cones).I hate that this picture didn't turn out very well, but here are the boys with their boys all decked out in UT orange for gameday. John has a tradition that I'm pretty sure hasn't been broken and makes UT shaped, orange colored pancakes every gameday. So we all watched the game together, ate lots of good gameday food, and cheered on the team. We stayed all day long, with the boys even napping in John and Holly's bed and didn't want the day to end...even after we all had dinner together (that's 4 adults and 5 kids) in a restaurant. Our time together was just not enough, and over way too soon. We sure do wish they'd move up here!!!

But we headed back and packed up and headed back to the airport. Here the boys tell Goofy and Mickey goodbye one last time.It was a quick trip, but we jam-packed lots of fun into just a few days. This one will definitely be hard to beat. But when it goes as smoothly as this one did, we'll be sure to try!

Thanks for checking in on us!!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Getting Back in the Groove of Things

It seems I've fallen off the blogging wagon again. Not on purpose at all, but just because we've been staying busy. I'm still getting used to this new school schedule. This summer we had our weekly and daily routine down pat. We got into a good rhythm, and it really worked well for us. But don't you know that just as soon as you get good at something, it all goes and changes. So true. So, now I'm adjusting to finding a new rhythm. We'll get there. But in the meantime [grandparents], bear with me while I'm slacking on the updates! ;)

Here's what's been going on with my guys:

They are both obsessed with direction. Like, "what buh-wection are we going, Mommy?", "Are we going to the wight or the weft?", "That car up there isn't going the same buh-wection as me. He's going stwaight." And so on and so on. If you ask them to raise their right hand, they can both do it correctly. ....but you have to ask which one is right before we ask which one is left, or else they get a little confused. ;) hey, we're working on it.

Do you remember the old "aren't you glad i didn't say banana?" knock-knock joke? Well, they also have recently discovered knock-knock jokes, which they think are the funniest thing EVER. And truly, I'm not sure there ever has been anything as funny as listening to them tell a joke to each other or anyone else. We laugh so hard our stomachs hurt. Here's how it usually goes:

Ben: knock knock (complete with hand motions, knocking)
Drew: who's dere?
Ben: owange.
Drew: Aren't you glad I a nana?

Followed by immediate uproarious laughter as if they really do get the punch line. Which is then cause for even more laughter since we next ask them "do you get it?" And then they think that the words "get it" is the joke. Even more screams. It's just hilarious.

They are still helping me cook almost every day at least a little. Its usually messy, but they sure do feel so proud when they sit down to eat something that they know they helped with. And I love giving them that feeling of responsibility and pride in themselves. The other day Drew was still napping and Ben wanted to help me finish getting dinner ready to go into the oven. So we pulled the chair up and I let him stir away. He looked over and saw the bag of flour sitting there, and reached his hand in and said "oooooh, I wike sugar, Mommy." So I gently said "Ben, that's not sugar. That's not going to taste good, and you don't need to eat that." To which he says, "No, it is sugar. I need some." Seeing that this battle wasn't worth fighting about, I just said "okay, but you're not going to like it." So he sticks his whole hand in the bag of flour, pulls out an enormous fist full and shoves it into his mouth and all on his face. He chews and swallows with this awful look on his face, and I said "it's not very good is it? Maybe we should've listened to Mommy, huh?" And he looks up at me, all covered in flour and confused/grossed out look on his face, and said "See? I DO wike it." Priceless.

That's it from our world these days. Here are a few pictures of our last days of summer...maybe the best one of my life. Enjoy!
Impromptu playtime in the sprinkler

Playing in the pool in the backyard

At the Day With Thomas the Tank Engine in Nashville (they even got to ride a real life-sized Thomas!...a very big deal in our house!)