May 17, 2012

Dancing Baby

The boys both love to feel the baby kicking/moving.  Porter is really patient with waiting to feel it, although sometimes he gets distracted by the tv and doesn't realize what he is feeling.  Gabe doesn't have any patience for it at all, but when he sees Porter's hand on my stomach, he races over to feel too... for about ten seconds.  He always gets this excited look on his face and says, "I felt it!" even though he didn't feel anything.  Silly boy. Last night she was moving around quite a lot, so both boys got to feel her.  So sweet.


Porter always has homework from preschool, so of course Gabe wants to have homework too.
So we got a little preschool book that he does pages from.  It is pretty easy and he breezes through the pages.  Every now and then, there is a page like this one.  Cracks me up.  It had a cut out that Gabe folded for his toothbrush and the assignment was to brush the hippo's teeth.  It tickled his funny bone and he loved it.  I loved watching him love it. I don't think a hippo ever had cleaner teeth; he was at the counter for a full 30 minutes just singing and brushing.

Baby Project

Now that everything has been moved into the baby's room, there are just a few finishing touches that it needed.  One was a side table for the rocking chair.  I looked around at second hand stored and online, but couldn't find anything I liked at a price I was willing to pay.  Then I went to a couple antique stores, thinking maybe I could find something like an old cabinet door we could turn into a table.  At the last stop of the day, I spied a table.  $20.  Right on the money for my budget.  I went to get it out from under all the other antiques laying on top of it only to discover it had been covered with permanent marker over the top surface.  That was why it had such a low price. (Even the cheap partical board ones I looked at were more than twice that)  Since it was unfinished wood, I knew a little sanding would take care of that, so it was no problem. 

I wish I had taken a before picture, but forgot.  Adam helped me sand it down and then once I had done a little hand sanding, I went and grabbed our varnish.  A coat of sealer/varnish and it looks great. Its still has the natural wood look, but will be safe from any other markers. :) The board on the table behind in the picture fits into the bottom so it has a little basket to put things in.  I love it.  It will be great for holding books, a drink, wipes, diapers, burp cloths, etc. All the many things that are great to have handy while rocking/feeding a baby.

Farewell Dinner

Our last night, they did a big dinner for everyone. 

As it started they called in our 'hosts' who were a mardigras type band.
The drums were SO loud.  It was really neat, but really loud.

Outside the dining hall, they had a bunch of carnival games we could play for prizes.
Our kids have enjoyed all the little trinkets we won. :)

Golf was probably one of the funnest games there. 
Although I did really enjoy flinging crabs/lobsters. :)

They had a band and dancing late into the night. 
We stayed for a little while, but we are old people and went to
bed pretty early.

It was such a great vacation and very good motivation to try and qualify to get it again next year.
Adam does so great at his job and works so hard.  I am so proud of him and how he takes care of his family.  This was a great reward for all his hard work.

Day Four

Day four we went on an air boat tour of the Everglades.  It was pretty overcast with a good chance of rain, so we didn't know what we would see, but it kept it from being too hot, so that was a plus.

Peacock in the parking lot.

Just starting out. 

So beautiful and full of lilies.

View from the front of the boat.  We were the second row. 
Those black plastic bags are the life jackets.  Not that they would do
any good in four foot deep alligator infested waters....

Because it is an air boat, we could float over just about anything, and did.

This is the only view of a wild alligator we got.

Yup, that is it.  With it being colder from rain and overcast,
all the alligators go deeper in the water and are a lot harder to find.
This alligator was out because it had been in a fight and was injured.
Our tour guide said it had already been previously injured and was losing
a limb because of it.  You can see one or two white spots on the hide
where his injuries are.
As he got finished telling us about how unhappy this alligator probably was, he turned to look behind us and said we weren't going to be happy in a minute either.  We barely had a chance to turn around and look before a torrential downpour descended.  It was that quick.  They had given us rain ponchos and we didn't even have time to put the hoods up before we were drenched all the way to the skin.  It was that heavy a rain.  It wasn't cold, but it was incredible how fast and furious it came.  We ended up coming back a little early from the tour, and wouldn't you know it, by the time we pulled back in to the dock, it had mostly stopped.

Here were are after.  I had been wearing a skirt that I had to literally wring the water out of.  Adam had on thicker cargo shorts that had absorbed so much water he felt like he was sitting in a puddle the whole rest of the time.  We had an hour bus ride back too, so it was just a little uncomfortable. :)

The resident peacock, guarding the small animal preserve.

I didn't realize I caught this bird flying by until I downloaded the pictures. 

This alligator was raised at the preserve.  He is fifty years old and about 10 feet long.
The tour guide stood in the water right next to him while he talked about him.  But he did say, even with 5 years of working with that same alligator, there is no trust there.  If that alligator felt threatened in any way, he would attack.  Its not like other animals that you could grow a trust with and they would know you and trust you and not harm you. 

The tour guide wasn't actually part of our tour and we didn't find out until later that most of the other people from our group never got to see the preserve because they had stayed out on the everglades and hadn't had time at the end.  We lucked out in my opinion.  Although it would have been cool to see other wild alligators, nobody else got to hold any, and we did.  We got to tag along for a tour in the preserve for another group and part of it was holding baby alligators.  They were about four-five feet long and this guy said that is about the limit of being able to handle them before they get too strong and quick.  He cleaned a couple off and put a bit of electrical tape on the snout so they couldn't snap at us.  They have incredible down force in their bite, but the muscles for opening their mouths are weak, so a little tape and they were good to go.

Holding the first one.  The skin felt so cool.  Just like a pair of boots. :)

As Adam took it for his turn, it whipped around a little bit.

But Adam showed it who was boss. :)

I got to hold a second one that was just a bit larger.
  It seemed like it was posing for all the pictures.
What a great day.

Here is a little video of the air boat ride.  It was so loud, they gave us ear plugs,
 for which we were very grateful

May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend

Saturday morning, we went out to a couple garage sales and the farmer's market.  A nice family morning.  On our way home I got to thinking that I wanted to put together a blanket for the baby.  Anyone who knows my Mom knows she is the person to go to when making a blanket or quilt.  Not only does she have all the equipment and space to do it, she has all the skills and talents to make whatever you are working on great.  So, I decided on an impromptu trip to Idaho to spend the afternoon with my Mom.  Luckily she and Dad happened to be home, so Porter came with me to spend the afternoon with his Grandpa.

I am sure my Mom could have used a day or rest for her Mother's Day weekend, but she jumped in to helping me with my project with no complaints and the blankets turned out terrific.  Porter and Grandpa had a great time; he's still talking about how much fun he had, and all in all, it was a pretty great Mother's Day weekend for me.

So, the blankets.   I had found a great diaper bag on Etsy here.  A big thank you goes to my fabulous SIL for offering to get it for me and the baby. :)  I love the bright pattern of the material and got to thinking that a blanket with that same material would be great.  I found one on Etsy, but for just a small (tiny really) receiving blanket it was going to be $35 plus shipping.  To get it made in a bigger size was going to be over $50.  Not going to happen.  So, I scoured the internet to try and find the material, but couldn't find it.  I looked at JoAnn's in town and didn't have any luck either.  Finally, before going to another store, I looked up Hobby Lobby online to see what their material selection was.  Bingo! 

Luck was with me when I went as it was 30% off.  Woohoo!  So, off I went back to JoAnn's to use my 50% off coupons to get some minky fabric and blanket binding.   I already had some batting, so for enough materials to make two good size baby blankets, I only spent. $30.  If I had ordered two this size on Etsy I would have spent well over $100.  I love it when I can save that kind of money. :)    The reason I did two is that anyone who has kids that attach to blankies/lovies can tell you, losing one can be a disaster when bedtime comes.  It also helps to have a sub when you need to have them in the wash.
So Mom helped me put them together and aside from one little measuring mistake - whoops/my fault, everything turned out amazing.  And Mom even had a great idea for tacking them periodically in the flowers so the minkywouldn't stretch out with use.  What a great idea and a nifty trick of her machine. :)   My Dad wasn't convinced they looked too much like baby blankets, but I love how bright they are.  And the minky is so soft.  I just love them!  Thanks Mom for taking one of your few days off to spend some time with me and help me out with my project. :)  I love you!


May 10, 2012

Pregnancy Rant

I am interupting the narrative of our vacation to rant about something that bothers me.  If you don't want to hear my rant, read on anyway, lest you be the one to say the wrong thing to me at the wrong time and bear the brunt of my straw that broke the camel's back blow up/nervous break down.

When I was just a couple days shy of having Porter, I went with a friend to get a pedicure.  We were talking about the baby and our plans, when a lady in the salon; a complete stranger, leaned over with shock on her face to say, "You're pregnant?!"  Um, yes, yes I am.  9 months in fact, thank you very much for your less than tactful comment. 

Tonight, I met up with a few friends from the ward who are all visit taught by the same women.  A fun little get together to do Visiting Teaching all at once.  One of the women I hadn't seen in a while. We sat chatting for a while, and then, as I sat in front of her with my belly competing for room between my lap and my chest, she hears that I am pregnant, and she has the same reaction.  "Wow, you are pregnant?!  I had no idea!"

I don't know how smaller pregnant women feel.  I have always been plus size when pregnant, so I can't speak to their reaction to comments like that. Maybe for a smaller woman, it makes her feel like she is still tiny and not showing yet.  For myself, it wreaks havoc on my self esteem.  8-9 months along and you can't believe I am pregnant means to me that you just think I am getting fatter.  Gee, thanks for that. 

You may be totally shocked to hear that someone is pregnant.  You may truly just think that she is gaining some weight.  I have no problem with you thinking that, but saying it, or saying something that shows you think it, is not going to go over well.  Just about every pregnant woman I have known struggles with feeling attractive.  The farther along they are, the more they struggle.   It doesn't take much to knock her self esteem down.  Already feeling fat and ungainly, no one needs to hear that someone else thinks that too. 

 So what should you say?  Maybe something like, "Oh, I thought maybe, but I didn't want to say anything".  Even if you really had no idea, that is better than the previous comments.  Or just, "Congratulations!" or "That's great!"   Congratulating someone rarely has negative connotations, nor is it easily misinterpreted by a hormonally raging pregnant woman who is just waiting to hear someone confirm her worst fears before she hides herself in her room for the remainder of her gestation.

Phew, ok, end of rant.  I feel better.

May 09, 2012

Day Three

Headed out for our Catamaran ride.  Pelican at the docks.

View from the catamaran

 View from our seats of the sail

Pirate ship.  There were many Black Pearl references bandied about.

After our sail, we came into a little area by Peanut Island where we could swim/snorkel. 
There was a slide off the back.

And a trampoline off the side. 

 It proved pretty difficult to get on as it was only anchored on one side. 

 Someone had to hold it on one side while anyone climbed on.


 And then bounced off...
He hit pretty hard.  Later I thought he was sunburned,
but it turned out it was just from hitting the water.

 Peanut Island, famous for JFK's bunker.

Day Two

So, day two.  Adam had meetings in the morning, so this is how I spent my free time.
Lounging at one of the many pools with a great ocean view and a book.

Heading over for lunch on the lawn, waiting for Adam to come find me.

There wasn't much shade, so I was glad I had gotten there early to get what little there was.

One portion of the hotel from the outside.

That night, we went on a dinner cruise with some of the other Century link people.
There were so many yachts.

More yachts. The one farthest back in this picture, I believe, is the one we went on. 4 floors. Big

Enjoying some dessert after dinner.

My camera doesn't do night shots very well.  (It probably does, but I haven't figured it out)
This is a view of the shore.

Just one of the floors for dancing/mingling.

May 07, 2012

First Day

So, the first day of our trip.  We were very excited to get there and get relaxing. :)  
Adam at the airport in Palm Beach, Florida.
They had people waiting there for us and shuttled everyone over in buses.  It was nice that there were a couple others from Adam's work that were able to go, so we knew some people there.

First look into the hotel lobby.
The hotel is over a hundred years old.  The Asters and the Vanderbuilts used to stay there.  It had a fire about fifty years ago and they restored everything, with just changes to things like plumbing, for which we were grateful. :)

The Lobby hallway.

The Inner courtyard. We were greeted with welcome gifts; a beach bag with towels and water bottles.

When we got to our room we discovered this bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries.  The card next to it had someone else's name on it.  Since there were about 300 people in our group from across the nation, we just assumed that they mixed up the cards and that everyone got this nice little treat and didn't think anything more about it.  How nice of them, right?  The card said thanks for all your hard work, and wasn't signed.  So we ate the delicious strawberries.  It wasn't until we got back together with everyone else that we discovered, no, no everyone else did not get wine and strawberries in their room. Whoops...  Guess we should have called the front desk to confirm.  The wine obviously sat there all week.  Wonder if housekeeping got a treat after we left?

Our hotel room.  We couldn't wait to sink in for a nice long sleep, uninterrupted by an early morning wake up call from the kids.

For some reason I didn't grab my camera when we went down to the lawn for dinner.  That's right, dinner on the lawn, overlooking the ocean.  It was amazing.  After, we walked the beach, got wetter than planned (I had a good time watching those who were caught unaware by the waves), and found some seashells to take back to the kids.  The water was so warm and it was a gorgeous night.  Couldn't have asked for a better welcome to our vacation.