Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A trip without the kids

If you're ever able to take a trip away with your husband without the kids, I highly recommend it! We went to Naples, FL for 3 nights while both of our moms stayed with the kids. We had a wonderful time together and it was very relaxing. It was so nice to sit out by the pool or beach and know that I ONLY had to be responsible for myself - I could sit back and close my eyes and not worry about my kid being too close to the water or eating sand or to hear a kid say "mom" and know that I didn't have to respond :-) I DID miss the kids greatly - it started almost immediately - as in, we were in the airport in Chicago and I cried because I saw a little boy about Jack's age sitting in a stroller with his hands in his mouth like Jack does - Brian told me I needed to get my emotions under control!
The last time we went to Naples we stayed in a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom condo because we went for a week and we had Olivia who was still taking naps, but this time we got a simple hotel room right on 5th Avenue - it was magnificent!

Hotel Lobby

Rooftop swimming pool, hot tub and sun deck

We spent two evenings out at the pier watching the fisherman and the sun set. The pier is approx 1,000 feet long and extends out into the Gulf of Mexico - it's beautiful to stand at the end of the pier and watch the sun set - or as Olivia says, "ssssssssss" (sizzles when it touches the water).

There is so much wildlife to look at from the pier - you can watch dolphins jump out of the water as close as 10 feet from where you are standing on the pier. I tried to get some pictures of them, but these are the best I could do

There are lots of fisherman on the pier as well and although I do not like to fish, it's fun to watch them. They catch them and then just throw them on the pier and let them flop around until they eventually die - it's kind of sad, I wanted to go along and kick them back into the water. Here's a little gut who wasn't so lucky!

I also didn't know that people catch stingrays and eat them. I had to take a picture of this guy who was in disguise.

There's lots of pelicans who like to hang out by the pier - this one swam right into one of the fisherman's lines and got hooked.

This apparently happens quite often, one of the other fishermen got this huge net that they lowered down into the water to pull the pelican out. A couple of guys held it down while the fisherman untangled him and got the hook out.

random picture of a bird - I liked it's Shadow

Horatio Ignatius Crustaceous Sebastian

I had to take video of him also

We sat outside and had some drinks after dinner on Saturday and people watched - we had so much fun playing silly games like "will he? or won't he?" - wondering if the next guy to walk down the street would step on a penis straw that a bachlorette party had left behind, or "thong or no thong?" everytime a girl (and sometimes guy) would walk by in white bottoms - I'm amazed at the people who don't know what to wear under their white bottoms - a white thong is not the way to go people!!! We honestly laughed until....well, I peed my pants a little - JUST A LITTLE!!!

We discovered Historical 3rd street - it's another hot spot for shopping and dining located downtown Naples - we never even knew it existed - probably a good thing since we wouldn't even be able to afford a pair of socks at one of the boutiques!

Sunday afternoon We took a jet ski out into Gulf of Mexico - I was scared to death! I figured Brian would get a little carried away and I would fall off only to be eaten by a shark - this obviously didn't happen - he was very cautious and didn't get carried away - we both stayed on the entire time. The most amazing part was a dolphin who was showing off about 50 feet from us - it kept jumping completely out of the water - like they do at the zoo!! It was amazing!!

Here's a picture of the clouds on our flight back to Chicago

This is my favorite picture. I love that our shadow is in the sand where I wrote "Shawnie 'hearts' Brian

We had an incredible time - thank you so much honey for surprising me with this little getaway - you're the best!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

boys have a penis, girls have a vagina

...and that's only the beginning!
Now that Jack is approaching 8 months, I am so amazed at the differences between boys and girls, and at such an early age.  Olivia was always such a dainty little girl - - not so with Jack!  He was slow to start eating foods, but it didn't take him long to get used to it and he's gone from fighting to eat a few bites to requiring 3 to 4 meals in addition to breastfeeding.  Olivia was eating at this age, but not as much as Jack and definitely not as fast as Jack - - he can devour a container of food in about 7.9 seconds.  The food has to be shoveled in so quickly that you hardly have time to get the next spoonful before hearing some kind of noise from the kid.  There's nothing that this boy won't eat - Olivia was eating stage 2 baby food still well after a year because she hated the texture of table food or stage 3 baby food - Jack will eat baby food, but he would prefer to eat whatever we are eating.  He's eating things like lasagna, chicken Marsala, spaghetti, refried beans and pizza in addition to pieces of fruit and veggies...basically anything that can be mashed up or cut into small pieces and he can put it away!
Another difference is vocal.  Olivia started babbling as a baby and never shut-up.  She was forming sentences fairly early, developed an incredible vocabulary and can now give definitions to words I had no idea she even knew.  Jack has been babbling a little more in the last week, but he would rather sit around and grunt - - typical male, huh?
Then there comes the difference in play...give the boy a toy and he will find something to bang it against in order to make the loudest noise possible - I don't remember Olivia being so aggressive with her toys.
He's definitely got a soft side though.  Pick him up and you will probably get an immediate snuggle, but if not you can simply ask for a "hugguz" and he will snuggle up for a hug and pucker up and he'll go in for the wonderful open-mouth slobbery kisses.  He's also a little flirt - he'll follow any cute girl with his eyes and give a flirty little grin when they acknowledge him - - he's just like his daddy!
I feel so blessed to have two incredible kids and I am enjoying them so much.  I love to see all their similarities and differences and I'm sure it will only get better with time.  Looking at the two of them also makes me think of Jesse and wonder what he would have been like - he would have been 3 this summer - him and Jack would probably be teaming up to terrorize their big sister - they'd be eating dirt and playing with worms - I have a feeling they'd be best buds!  

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter 2009

We had an awesome Easter weekend "planned" this year.  I say "planned" because it didn't pan out to be as anticipated.  I went to Indy on Thursday with the kids and stayed two nights.  My parents church had their Easter Cantata Friday night that we went was one of the best ones I have been to.  Saturday morning we were back at my parents church for a spring festival that included a bible lesson, craft time, face painting, snacks and an Easter egg hunt.  

This is Makiah (my cousin's daughter), Olivia and Marissa (my niece)

We came back home on Saturday in time for the Saturday night service at our church where Brian and I both sang in the Easter chorus.  After church we decorated eggs, made the Easter story cookies and went to bed...until about 2 AM when Olivia woke up sick - we got her cleaned up only to be back up at 4 AM with sick again.  The night before I had put her hair in curlers for Easter Sunday and the only thing she was worried about after getting sick was the curlers in her hair.  She nearly had a panic attack when Brian mentioned getting in the bath at 2 AM - I had to assure her that her curlers would stay in and we wouldn't get them wet!  Such the girly-girl!  Brian went ahead and went to church Sunday morning so he could sing at both services and I stayed home with the kids.  When the kids woke up, they found their Easter baskets that the Easter bunny had hid in the house...I anticipated Olivia helping Jack find his, but Jack actually found his own!  It was hid under his little activity thing - I layed him on the floor and went to find the camera and he rolled over to it and pulled it out!  Olivia woke up a little later and seemed to be just fine.  She wanted her curlers out and then was off to find her Easter basket.  After being awake for about 30 minutes she wanted to lay in our bed and color.  I thought that she might have eaten something that made her sick, but we soon found out that it was the stomach it's Tuesday and the poor thing is still sick.  

Jack was too quick and I didn't get a pic of him pulling his Easter basket out...he was so proud of himself!!

Olivia said that Jesus must have told the Easter bunny that she wanted blendy pens
She hasn't been out of bed since this pic - except to go to the bathroom and sit at the table with us last night for a few minutes.

I don't think she has realized yet that she didn't get to wear her bubble skirt that we had made for Easter - we'll save it for her preschool graduation in May :-)

So, the weekend didn't go as planned, but at least we were able to celebrate the Easter a couple times prior to the actual day.  This year was the first year that Olivia really comprehended the true meaning of Easter and was able to tell US the Easter story and what Jesus did for us - - there's nothing that brings me greater joy than to hear her shout out "I believe" when I read John 3:16 to her.