Monday, October 25, 2010

The Beach Boys

Is there anything better than an afternoon at the beach? Not in my book. We went to Cocoa Beach today- about an hour drive from our hotel. Well worth it. After we got there and had lunch at Denny's (I know- blech. But we had a VERY unhappy baby again and were desperate! Actually wasn't too bad.) we spent about two hours playing in the sand and surf. It was perfect weather and there were big waves today so it was really fun. Bennett loved it. I couldn't get over how brave he was, walking right into waves that were literally knocking him over under the water and he'd come up laughing and keep going! This really shouldn't surprise was just amazing to watch him out there, trying to keep up with his daddy. Dawson was happy too crawling around in the sand, although he couldn't resist grabbing handfuls of the wet sand and sticking it into his mouth. We thought after about the tenth time getting a mouthful of grit, he'd get the idea, but nope. I guess it looked like chocolate pudding or something to him and he couldn't resist it.
These two pictures crack me up. I love how in the first one, Jon just told him to point at the camera and they took the same stance and facial expression. So cute :)
Tomorrow: DISNEY!!! :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

And the fun begins. It felt so amazing to get here yesterday and be able to change out of jeans and long sleeves and break out the shorts and tank tops again. We spent today listening to a timeshare presentation (Jon and I always try to go to one or two of these on vacation because the incentives they give you are well worth it!), a trip to the grocery store, a little time by the pool and then we rode the monorail around the hotels at Disney. A fun, free activity for Bennett --and Caitlin...she was giddy to be that close to Disneyworld! And during a quick stop at Target on the way home, we ran into a friend from Des Moines. Love those ironic moments that God seems to line up just to make us smile :)

Our hotel has an amazing pool area with water slides and fountains. Bennett loved it.
The hexapus:
Aaaah, bliss:
On the monorail:
Tomorrow: beach!!

The storm before the calm...

Vacation Day 1: Most of you know I enjoy roadtrips for two reasons- all the reading and sleeping I want to do in one day. Unfortunately I didn't get to do much of either on our way down to Orlando. Dawson's bottom molars chose this week to immerge so a happy camper he was not. He would let out screams every few seconds if he wasn't either being fed or talked directly to. I spent about 75% of the drive turned around backwards in my seat. Caitlin (our babysitter extraordinaire for the week) on the other hand spent 90% of the drive fast asleep in the back seat. She only woke for meals and a couple bathroom breaks. It blew our minds the screaming from Dawson she managed to sleep through...and made me jealous. Maybe I'll have to take the backseat on the way home.
Parenting tip: We saw a sign for Chick-fil-A we were going to stop at for lunch on day two but it was still 20 minutes away. Of course Bennett announced at that moment that he had to go to the bathroom- bad. We didn't want to stop then since we were going to stop again so soon. (And we weren't about to teach him the pee-in-a-bottle trick yet. I know my son...he would definitely try that any time he found an empty bottle). So, I grabbed a diaper, held it over him, and voila! Instant potty. It worked so brilliantly. I may just keep diapers stocked on car trips long after our kids are potty trained.
A few moments of quiet:

Friday, October 8, 2010


Since I can no longer deny the fact that we're in full fledged fall, my blog desperately needed a seasonal makeover. Dawson's sunny bum just wasn't cutting it anymore. Unfortunately I don't have any cute fall photos of my kiddos yet, so this oldie but goodie will have to do :) We'll be getting new family pics soon by Elizabeth!
And in vacation news, I just found out yesterday that we'll definitely get to go to Disney for a day when we're in Orlando at the end of the month. I have an uncle who works there and is able to get us in for free! I'm so excited. Also, we're bringing along our favorite babysitter, Caitlin, as a nanny for the week. So we're actually going to be able to enjoy ourselves have a little time away from the kids :) Plus, we won't have to take Dawson to Disney. We only have a one-day pass so we're going to cram in as much as we can! We'll probably try to hit Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom in the same day.
We're using our timeshare to stay here. I'm thrilled we get to stay at such a fun place. Any tips of other fun and cheap stuff to do while we're there would be greatly appreciated!

Friday, October 1, 2010

No Fear

I've been thinking more and more about the differences in children and how unique they all are. My firstborn is fearless. He was obviously born this way, but I think we've parented him in a way to encourage it too. We were at an awesome Apple Orchard yesterday with our moms group and they had several fun activities for the kids- a huge jumping pillow, a slide and a huge corn pool. My son certainly didn't need any encouragement going down the huge slide on his own. I wasn't even at the top with him when he did! He just spread out his burlap sack and away he went, with the wind in his curls. There were several kids who were very apprehensive and took some persuading (or refused altogether).
Forgot my camera. Thankfully a few other moms took some for me. Check out my sister's blog for more cute orchard pics.

The jumping pillow (like a giant blob, buried half way underground):
Bennett laughed with delight when we were home and getting ready for a bath and we found a rogue corn kernel in his underwear :)

We could have done this all day (if there was a ski lift to take us back up the hill):

I've been thankful for this aspect of his personality lately, now that he's a little older and not so prone to wander. In particular at preschool; there certainly aren't any tears or clinginess at drop-off. I don't even get a good-bye. He runs in, finds his name and joins the group of three-year olds on their carpet squares around the teacher's feet without a glance back. It makes me grateful for that when I hear the same little boy crying (loudly) every time his mom drops him off, or even more heart-breaking, the little blond girl, whimpering to her mommy, "I don't want to be at preschool today."
But his fearlessness definitely has its disadvantages as well. I remember when he was about 22 months old, we were with a group of moms playing at a playground in our old neighborhood. Bennett found the one and only mud puddle around and sunk in it up to his little ankles. A mom, who's son was about 10 months older than Bennett, said, "Carter has never done that! He would be too scared to wander that far from me to get into that kind of mess!"
And oh, the wandering. Last summer, when he was two, was spent chasing him down every time we were in an open area. Of course he wouldn't just come back to his momma when called (or threatened). So I would have to chase after him. And it can be especially bad at church. Jon and I are usually both involved with setup and tear-down at church (or just generally distracted talking to people with absolutely no clue what shenanigans our child is getting into). Of course Bennett follows the big kids outside (or just wanders out there alone)...or into the bathroom, where he's not nearly old enough to make responsible choices. I can't tell you how many times an older child has come up to me at church, telling me "Bennett's playing in the toilet" (or the worst time..."Bennett stuck his head in the toilet!").
I love our brave boy, though. I'd much rather be trying to reign him in sometimes, than always pushing him out of the nest, telling him he could fly if he just tried. I'm grateful he inherited this part of my personality and thankful my parents encouraged it in me, as well. I'm sure my mom was cringing when she'd see me follow my brother to the tops of trees when I was still so tiny. I remember the cheers I got after I water-skied around Lake Geneva when I was only seven- because I wasn't afraid to try. And the laughs from my brother and his friend when they convinced me to go first jumping off the roof of our garage onto our trampoline.
I know there will be many injuries in our future and I'm sure I'll be fighting the urge to yell, "get down! That's too dangerous!" or "Stop that! You might get hurt". But hopefully in the moment I'll remember one of my dad's favorite sayings, "risks are for kids!" and encourage his inner Evil Kenevil. I can't wait for all the adventures he'll have. And I'm quite certain that his little brother will be right be his side.