17 June 2014

14 month update!

I haven't done an update on Thayer since he turned a year old, and I figured it was about time since his vocabulary is starting to really grow all of a sudden!

He is so silly, and has a great sense of humor! He's adventurous, and loves danger! He and his sister were doing some crazy flips in Florida and ever since he's been trying it on various pieces of furniture. He loves water, loves hugging Mama, and gives the best kisses! He has such a fun personality and makes everyone laugh. He does this squinty face thing if you just stare at him for a bit.

Some of the words he uses regularly:
"Let's go!"
uh-uh (while shaking his head for 'no')

Pretty decent vocabulary for a 14 month old! I love this stage because it is so fast from day to day, you can see major changes, and they add words like crazy.

I may add to this post as I remember the things that I'm forgetting at this moment...which I know I am. My brain likes to do nothing better than forget. :(

15 June 2014


Every once in a while I love going to the beach. It had been a while, and I had wanted to go to Florida for quite a while. Drew promised me a trip for our 5th anniversary, which was in April. Everything worked out so perfectly for us to go, so after helping a little bit at the Elijah House Academy's graduation party (with our community group), we came home, packed up all the food I had prepared, and then went to dinner with our community group at Plaza Azteca. 
We love spending time with these people!

We started driving around 11, and thankfully Arden slept most of the night! 

Thayer had a rougher time, and I hardly slept, but we did it!
Coming over the Clearwater Causeway to Clearwater Beach
Arden copying Mama-relaxing in a lounge

Checking out the hotel's private beach across the street

Dinner our first night, and one of the only ones I photographed! Teryaki Chicken, roasted potatoes and pineapple
 While we were in the pool on one of the first days, Drew and Arden had a little episode of struggling in the water...I wasn't sure how much water was required for "secondary drowning", which I had read about and it scared me enough that we all wanted to be on the safe side. So we bought a pulse oximeter to check blood oxygen levels periodically. They were both fine, but we were a little nervous since she acted out of it when she was in the bathtub later. Normally I'm not easily worried, but I really don't like the ER and otherwise we would have no way of knowing, at least early enough.

I just can't pass up an opportunity to take a picture of a sleeping babe.

Reading Thomas with Daddy
 Walking about Clearwater is so much fun. There's so much to do and it is just beautiful. We walked to Pier 60 and let the kids play in the playground, then went out on the pier.
looking into the water from the pier-there's a reason it's called "Clearwater"

While we were out on the pier, there was a dolphin swimming around underneath!

We found this amazing little sweets shop called Kilwin's...they make their own waffle cones-the smell of them cooking was what brought us in. I'm convinced they do that on purpose :)

Thayer is such a goob! He isn't scared of much.

This boy knows how to kiss a girl. <3 :*
We also went to the Sand Key Park across the bridge next to our hotel. It was a beautiful day! I had one issue after another with trying to get the camera so I could capture a bit of our trip. I had been fairly lazy about taking pictures and at this point I decided I didn't want to miss any more! I was pretty bummed that I forgot it, so back over the bridge we went to the hotel to get it. THEN, I realized none of the cards were working; all of them said they were locked, and they were full. I was pretty bummed, but finally just grabbed a little 512 card that I had in the case. Then, of course when I got back to the beach I remembered the card but forgot to grab the camera out of the car. It was highly frustrating, but I will say I got quite a bit of exercise!

Picnic on the beach!

Thayer snuggling in for a nap in the shade 

Drew got a wretched sickness on about Tuesday...it wasn't pretty. Poor guy spent a lot of the night in the bathroom. Arden also was throwing up on her bed that night. I thought they needed a good breakfast after all that but it turns out they weren't quite ready to eat it, despite how amazing it looked. Spelt pancakes, pastured eggs, uncured bacon, and peaches.

Thayer and I enjoyed our breakfast anyway...out on the balcony.
 After breakfast, since Drew and Arden were both still wanting to lay around and not eat, Thayer and I went to Target for a few things. Someone had stolen my (new) swimsuit and I didn't have one. On our way back, I picked up Starbucks for my sickies; Drew said it sounded good, and Arden is always in the mood for a cake pop! :)

Thayer found Arden's pillow-I missed a picture of him snuggling down in it. So cute.

These two are best friends.
We ended up eating out far more than I intended--Drew being sick sorta ruined some things.

A stranger at the next table took this for us after we took one of their family for them!

Me & my beautiful girl.

swimming again!

Thayer was not thrilled to lose his freedom of movement. He spent very little time in the floatie and we spent very little time relaxing when we were at the pool. The boy flirts with danger.

The bridge to Sand Key, from our front balcony

Off to meet Winter!

She was SO EXCITED. I love this picture. She had just seen the picture of Winter and just was dancing and squealing happily, trying to hug the picture.

First glimpse of Winter, underwater!

Winter's back end :)

She wouldn't stay behind the blue belt...she was so entranced by Winter.

Watching Nicholas perform some tricks!

 What I love about CMA is that it's not a "show" aquarium that holds captive animals for show and money...they "Rescue, Rehab & Release". The only animals they keep are those that are ineligible for release for one reason or another. They treat sick and hurt animals, most of them hurt by humans and our contraptions. There is also a lot of awareness built through CMA because it causes people to be more aware of the impact of their actions.
The house boat that was built and used for Dolphin Tale

On the boat going over to Winter's Dolphin Tale Adventure

set chairs

Daddy putting on Arden's Winter Necklace :) She was so thrilled. <3

We had to buy the movie (we had only checked it out from the Stafford Library before), and then watch it as soon as we got back to the hotel...Arden still loves it. Even more now. ;)

Thursday on our Dolphin Adventure on Little Toot! :)

A lovely Winter mural!

He's a boat man. The crew said they had never seen someone so little so comfortable out on a boat. He walked around like he owned the place, never losing his balance. 

One of the dolphins we saw...there was also a mama & baby dolphin, which was pretty awesome! Babies nurse for at least 2 years (cool!) and continue to follow their mamas for at least 7 years to learn how to survive, which is why Nicholas was ineligible for release...he is an orphan.

Apparently toward the end of the trip on Little Toot Arden was pretty sleepy. I think she would've gone to sleep if we hadn't pulled into the slip!

On our way back to the hotel after our boat ride

Late that night, a nice excursion out of our room after a 10:30 pm fire alarm...which was a false alarm. Both kids *were* sound asleep after the big day..

 This is the point at which I finally had the patience to stop and figure out why our SD cards were acting up, and I finally got one of our bigger ones to work. Of course, after most of our trip is done and I've taken far too many on my phone. Any of the ones before this from the camera were on a little 512 card...and I had to delete several duplicates to squeeze more on. I am pretty bummed that I think I deleted the best one of Drew putting on Arden's winter necklace. :(
Swimming in this absolutely lovely pool was one of our favorite things to do. 

Thayer is far too fearless. He would just come right to the edge and back in. Which is why the pink floaties.

This is what mealtimes looked like. With slightly more food on the table and floor, of course.
 Friday was another beach day! I wanted to check out the North Beach...the main beach around Pier 60 was far too crowded for us, although it was absolutely gorgeous! So after a relaxed morning, a swim before the storm, lunch and a nap, I put Arden's hair up :)
First French braid!
 and we went off to play some mini golf! This place was right by our hotel and Drew had wanted to play...so we did. We skipped a couple holes, and Arden was all over the place, but it was a good time!
"Best Daddy" award goes to.... ^^^ :)

<3 these boys rock <3

I realized after I was looking at all my pictures that it looks like I wore the same shirt the entire week. I really didn't, but the only few days Drew took pictures of me, I was wearing this shirt. I did wash it, believe me. And I did wear other clothes. :)

<3 saltwaters <3

digging in the sand with Daddy

not much cuter then children on a beautiful beach.

Stunning, she is.

He thinks he can just go out there if he feels like it. Fearless, I tell you. Cute, though.
 As we were thinking of leaving, I noticed a police vehicle down the beach a bit. We noticed a police officer running out and pulling a man out of the water. Article Link
This is as the police officer was pulling the 41 year old man (Donald) out of the water...the one that survived. The person wearing the black vest on the right is the police dragging the semi-conscious man in.

as the older man was being revived he told the police his coworker was still out there, whom he had been trying to save. (Drew found this out when he walked down there) 
*at this point I'm heartsick, and thankful for the safety of our family*

out on the water with the jet ski looking for the other guy (Ryan). This was shortly before a couple helping with the search found him straight out from us. Everyone in the water and on the beach was helping search.
 We left soon after the jet ski brought him (the young man who drowned) to the beach. None of us felt like we needed to be there, for our sake and for the privacy of those suffering.

We went to dinner at the pizza place next to our hotel. It tasted great but our hearts were heavy.

 I had wanted to watch a sunset before we left, and since it was our last night, we went back to the same beach after dinner since it was the least crowded beach we had been to, and the clouds had been less thick up north than down where we were staying.
There were still several officers and many channels out on the beach when we came back. We talked to the camera man in the foreground, and he pretty much knew the same amount we did about what happened, but he also knew it was a boss and employee that were from Georgia, staying in Tampa, who came to the beach for the day. 

My handsome guys with a gorgeous sunset!

a half-successful selfie

one more trip to Kilwin's :)

Thayer finishing off my cone

He claimed the bed as we were cleaning up to leave. What a little prince.
It was a beautiful place, a lovely, relaxing time (with the exception of the trauma on the beach and the two nights in a row that the fire alarm went off at 10 pm)...returning home has been delightful and its been great to have been rejuvenated and ready for my crazy job that is my life. These crazy kids...