Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend…

We had a great Memorial Day weekend. We are so blessed and thankful to live in a free country protected by so many brave service men and women, especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Memorial Day is always a great kick-off for the summer, and this year was no exception.

We tagged along to the beach with my in-laws and had a great time. We’ve had so much going on this year, that this was the first weekend we’ve even been yet and I don’t know who was more excited DW or Annabelle.

We were packed and ready to go as soon as Devin got off work Friday afternoon. AB packed her new “Ariel Mermaid” playset, and I laughed so hard at her and Mames playing with it on the way. AB was “Ursula” and she would say (in a really creepy voice) “I’m Urrrrrsssssuuuuullllaaaaa…. Give me your voice!!!”  Then Mames would take Ariel and hit Ursula with it. It was so funny to watch them. I can’t wait to see how they play together over the next few years. 1 

We stopped for dinner on the way and of course made a quick stop by the Super Target when we made it to Port Orange. It’s impossible for me to go straight to the condo without stopping by there first. :)

We made it to the beach in time to see the full moon over the water and it was gorgeous.

AB woke up at 6:45 on Saturday morning – that NEVER happens. (It’s EARLY for her, if she’s up at 8:30)—She was so excited to be at the beach. DW & Pappy worked on a few little projects before we headed down to the water though, because that’s just what they do. They’re always working on or fixing something. None of us complain though, because who likes broken things? :) 

We slathered the girls down in sunscreen, loaded down like pack mules and picked a spot on the beach. DSCN4971

Mamie wasn’t a fan of the sand at first. (I remember AB & Cooper being the same way for a little while… they all went through the “eat the beach sand” phase, followed the next summer by “hate the beach sand” phase and then finally turned into beach babies… Mamie warmed up to it after a while, so I am sure by the end of the summer she’ll be beach bum, too).

We played in the sand,DSCN4933 in the waves DSCN4965

DSCN4939and then AB was ready to jump in the pool. 2

She made a friend in the pool, named Cain. He was such a cutie and he was highly impressed that she was four years old, just like him, and could swim on her own. He had the best time throwing his pool toys as far as he could and getting her to swim out to get them. I don’t know if we should be concerned that all the little friends she’s been making lately are little boys! :) DSCN4985



I was highly impressed with her swimming, too, and its official, at 4 years old, she already swims better than her momma. DSCN5016She swam ALL DAY LONG… either in the pool or in the ocean.

We went to the pier for dinner that night at Joe’s Crab Shack. AB slept the whole way there, and the whole time before our food came out. She was exhausted from all that sun and and swimming.

Nobody enjoys food more than Mamie. 3

After dinner, we walked down the boardwalk4 and AB got a balloon animal – she picked a parrot, but named him “seahorse.” ???

The night was still early, so we decided to go to the dog track. AB loved it when we went last summer with my mom and aunts – she was so excited to go back. I seriously LOVE it, too. It’s hard for me to even believe that I like it as much as I do. But all three times I’ve been have been such a hoot.

When we got there, we noticed all kinds of Batman decorations and soon found out that a dog named “Batman” was having his birthday and was also retiring that night. batmanThey went all out and Batman even had his own birthday table set up with balloons, posters, pictures and you could even get a button to wear. (Which AB did). :)7

She also got to pet a (retired) racing dog…5 (I am so not a pet person, but our girls love them…I’m sure when they get older we’re going to have to bite the bullet and get them a (outside) dog or something…or maybe just a fish… :)

We had a few minutes before the races started, which was good for reading up on the dogs in the program and making our picks.27 We all have different theories when it comes to picking, but apparently Pappy’s was the best, since he won the most that night. He did make one VERY WRONG pick though, when he changed the dog Nie-Nie had picked for the very first race. She made her choice, but he didn’t think it looked good, and so he changed her number when he went to make the bets. Turns out, the dog she had picked WON!!! He’ll never live it down.26 We tested my brother, Beau’s, theory on picking the dog that shoo-shoos. It worked a couple times, too.

After one of the races, we saw where you could go in and actually view the dogs before the race. That was fun to see… The handlers bring them in and put their jerseys on them in this room…8

After the second race, “Batman” came out for his retirement recognition and then they served cake. 9Note the lady serving cake was wearing a Batman t-shirt. I’ve decided that my calling in life might be working at the dog track and planning the dogs’ retirement and birthday parties. :)

I got a piece for the girls to share – it was the only way we could get Mamie back in her stroller. :)25

We stayed for the first five races and then called it a night. 10

Sunday we woke up to another beautiful day. DSCN5056We had breakfast on the pier and even saw a school of stingrays swimming below. DSCN5039


We followed our normal routine of the beach first and then the pool…



Mames loved the little ledge on the pool and wanted to spend most of her pool time hanging out there…


A picture with the camera timer is always funny to try to get… But we managed to finally get one (even if it is a little blurry) :)


I took Mamie up around lunch time and got her fed and laid down for a nap and then had some lunch myself… My FIL had gotten me my recent favorite find, 12so I figured that would be the PERFECT lunch. I was right, too. It was the BEST served in a styro-foam cup and eaten on the balcony! :) The rest of the crew stayed on the beach through lunch and got some food from the snack trailer. I enjoyed a magazine on the balcony while listening to the waves crash back and forth. Perfection.

Mames woke up long enough to get about another 45 minutes of playing on the beach in before it was time to pack up and head home.

Monday morning we swam at Pappy & Nie-Nie’s house…(its always a plus to have neighbors with a pool) :)13

Mames is totally warming up to the swimming thing- I think she’s going to be just fine this summer! :)






Afternoon naps at home were the next item on the agenda.

For dinner, we headed to Grammy & Pop’s for steaks. 16We spent the evening watching the girls play on the back porch.


Mames would play outside all day long if she could.


She was living it up getting to have her own juice box. 19She proved, though, she’s definitely not ready to have one inside. :) The girls always think they have to take a bath at Grammy & Pop’s before we come home. I will admit it’s pretty sweet watching them splash and play in the same tub that I did when I was a kid. Plus Grammy’s way more fun at bath time than I am… she blows bubbles for them to pop and lets them drag out EVERY tub-toy they have. Mean-Momma is all business most nights at bath time. :)

We headed home after their bath, and both the girls enjoyed their animal crackers on the drive back.23 Pop had gotten them both a box. 20These were my favorite when I was a kid and I’m happy to say my girls love them, too. :)

We’re all looking forward to a great summer!!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Disney–One more Time…

We had one day left on our Disney tickets and with the expiration date coming soon, we decided to take an overnight girls trip to see Mickey.

Mom, AB, Maybree and I headed for Orlando last Sunday morning. We had reservations for a room at Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort. DSCN1077We’ve not ever stayed at this resort, and I’d read that it had a great pool and was the only one to have a splash area for toddlers, so we decided to book our room there.

The girls were given pirate balloons when we checked in – 522the resort was totally speaking their love language. AB loves a pirate these days and both the girls love balloons! It was a sweet gift, too, that the three balloons tied up behind the cast member helping us were purple, pink and orange. (Purple is AB’s favorite color, and pink is Maybree’s (according to AB) and orange was Cooper’s favorite). :)  1

Our room was in the Aruba part of the resort and the buildings were purple and pink. How perfect for a girls trip!

The grounds on the resort were gorgeous – lots of tropical lush flowers, a man made pond and beach area and birds everywhere. DSCN0755



We even saw this duck and Mamie fed him a snack…


The kid pool was located in Caribbean Cay which was a short walk from our room. DSCN0760

When we got to our room that morning, we changed and headed for the pool. DSCN0762

Grammy & AB

It was a pirate theme and the girls loved it. The splash part was fun for Maybree and AB, both. DSCN0764

DSCN0765There were two small slides that AB enjoyed and Mames even started liking it toward the end. DSCN0766She isn’t a big fan on the water yet. DSCN0784Bless her heart, it’s going to be a LOOOONG summer for her if she doesn’t warm up to swimming soon. :)

AB wanted to go down the slide in the big pool, so she did that a few times. DSCN0772I was nervous at first, because normally this would have totally been DW’s department. But, I got in and waited for her at the bottom of the slide. DSCN0774I was so proud of her – she’d go down the slide and as soon as she hit the water, she would swim the edge.  DSCN0790


We went back and forth a couple times between the splash zone and the big pool. On our last trip to the splash area, AB made a friend. His name was Jackson and he came over and asked if she wanted to play catch with him. (He had a little game with a ball and some nets). DSCN0799It was so cute, especially when Mamie went over to see what was going on…


After a couple hours of playing in the water, we took the girls to get some lunch. 3

We had planned to hit Magic Kingdom for the afternoon and stay until closing. We got back to our room, changed and the minute we got ready to walk out, the bottom fell out and it started pouring. We debated what to do and decided to still take the bus to the park instead of driving ourselves. But to keep us from getting soaked on the walk to the buses, we drove to the stop. We waited and waited and waited and finally a Magic Kingdom bus came by. We were pushing it to make it for the afternoon parade and on our last bus stop, when there were two scooters that had to be anchored down, we knew we wouldn’t make it on time. The bus dropped us off at the Magic Kingdom at 3:05 and the parade was scheduled to start at 3:00, so we knew we had missed it.

When we walked in to the park, we noticed that people were still standing on the street corners, so I asked one of the cast members if we’d missed the parade. Turns out, they started the parade that day on the opposite side of the park (because of the rain) and we had in fact, made it in plenty of time to get a great spot and see it!!!  We had NO ONE standing beside us, it was the craziest thing.DSCN0817 Usually there are people shoulder to shoulder and we had about eight feet beside us of open space. We had a few minutes before the parade started, and Mamie had already spotted the “bwoons” so Mom went to get her one. DSCN0816Only a grandmother would think it’s not only a good idea to buy the monster size balloon in the first place, but also to get it the minute you get into the park. :) 

The parade was as great as always and it was fun to see it from a different spot this time. DSCN0848

DSCN0820 Mames loved it so much this time. She would just laugh and wave and get so excited. DSCN0846I thought she was going to jump out of my mom’s arms when she saw Mickey & Minnie!

A few friends stopped for high-fives, hugs and even some nose rubs…










AB blew all the princesses kisses and even one to the Beast. He saw her and acted like he caught it and then drew her a heart with his hands. So sweet!! DSCN0864

After the parade, we made our way into Fantasyland. We knew we wouldn’t ride everything, but there were a few things that AB wanted to do, all of which were in Fantasyland. (The great thing about having gone twice already this year, is that we’ve already done it all, and this time, we could just do a few things at a relaxed pace). Our first stop was to get some FastPasses for the Under the Sea ride – then we hit Mickey’s Phillar Magic  3-D Show because AB has a big love for some 3-D glasses. Mamie enjoyed it, too. 4

We rode the Carousel next. DSCN0869This was Maybree’s first time riding it and she was a doll. She sat up there and held on like she was five years old. DSCN0868She was so serious about it and you could tell she was so proud of herself. So sweet. DSCN0878

Up next was Under the Sea- which has quickly become one of our favorites. 5

We got fastpasses for the BarnStormer next and got in the standby line to ride Dumbo. There was a 20 minute wait, and it had started to sprinkle, so we thought under Dumbo’s big top would be the perfect place to wait out the rain. The new wait area is so fun for the kids.DSCN0890 They give you a pager when you go in and then page you when it’s your turn to ride. DSCN0894While you wait, the kids get to play on lots of fun play equipment and it’s all in the air condition (amen). DSCN0896

When it was our turn to “fly,” Mames rode with Grammy…DSCN0904

My co-pilot for Dumbo isn’t big on “co” – she likes to run the controls. :)DSCN0903


and she likes to go UPPPPP… which made for a good view to see Mames & Grammy…


After Dumbo, the rain was getting ready to start up again, so we decided to eat dinner. We’ve been wanting to eat at Pinocchio's Village Haus because it’s the restaurant that overlooks the “It’s a Small World” ride. It was pretty full when we got in line to order and all of the window seats were taken (dern), but by the time we ordered and got our food, the absolute best spot (the one in the window right above the “It’s a Small World” river opened up and we got to sit there! 6

The girls LOVED it. DSCN0915They waved at every boat that went by and had the best time watching all the people. DSCN0912

Enchanted Tales with Belle was next. There was a 40 minute wait, but AB really wanted to do it, so we didn’t mind. While we were waiting, she told us she hoped she got to play, “Chip” during the story. When it was finally our turn, we made it in. The castmember started passing out parts and AB got chosen to play…CHIP!!! DSCN0924So fun. (I always say this, but I really do feel like Disney just always works out for us! Part of the magic, I guess!) :) We were so excited that she got to be who she had hoped for!

She did a great job with her part DSCN0940and Mamie sat and watched the show like such a big girl! DSCN0939

When the “cast” was introduced and went up to receive their gift from Belle, AB told her that she had a yellow dress just like hers. DSCN0953It was so sweet. DSCN0952

After the story time and introductions of the actors, one of the cast members came over and got Maybree and took her up to see Belle. She was so cute. DSCN0960

The rain had stopped (we seriously dodged it all afternoon – and not once did we or our strollers get wet!) and we decided to get on the train and ride a little. DSCN0965Mamie hadn’t had a nap all day and it was after 6:00. We knew we still had a long night ahead of us if we were going to stay for the light parade and fireworks, so we rode the train all the way around the park. Mamie was out before the conductor could blow the whistle.DSCN0966

After the train ride, Grammy sat with sleeping Mamie and AB and I rode the Buzz Light-year ride. We haven’t ever done this one, and AB wanted to do it. collage

After Buzz, we made our way to the castle to get a spot for the light parade. DSCN0968It was already started to get crowded, but we managed to get a good spot. We got some snacks and settled in to wait…

We’ve never stayed late enough for the girls to see the light parade (or on the day’s we’ve stayed late, they haven’t had it), so AB was really excited. DSCN0983

She loved it! She was so fun to watch it with because she would get so excited and tell me which float was coming up next…


ImageAfter the parade, we got some seats on some benches and waited for the fireworks.Image1 I took AB a little close to the castle to see Tinkerbelle when she flew down and she LOVED it. It was such a sweet moment.

After the fireworks, we waited for the crowd to die down and then made our way out of the park, too. DSCN1001

It was such a fun day, but we were all glad to get back to our room and get our jammies on! DSCN1004

Everyone slept great and woke up Monday morning ready for more fun!

We decided to hit the pool again for a couple hours before we had to check out.

We made a stop at the playground first, though…



We were at the pool before the slides even opened! AB was swimming and Mamie was loving the zero entry pool. DSCN1044

DSCN1049When the life guards came out at 10:00 to turn on the slides, they announced that the pool had been over taken by pirates the night before! AB spotted the pirate on top of the fort and the lifeguard had all the kids yell, “Arrrrrggghhh!” to scare him down. DSCN1058He came down the slide with his sword and swam across the pool. AB loved it. Disney has so many fun touches and details that make everything else incomparable.

AB went down the big slide that the pirate had been on, but it didn’t end very well… she got turned around coming down and bumped her head.

We stuck to the smaller side in the big pool for the rest of our time…which she loved! :)



We checked out of the hotel and headed for Downtown Disney. AB had some money burning a hole in her pocket!24 She picked out a couple things, including this Disney Park Food play set… I thought it was so cute, too!

The girls got charms for their Disney bracelets, too. AB got a Tinkerbell charm since she got to see Tink fly out of the castle before the fireworks for the first time. Maybree got a Belle charm, since she had her picture taken with her for the first time this trip.

After some lunch, we headed back home. We really had the best time and it was like everything just kept working out for us. I love trips like that!! 23