Monday, September 28, 2009

11 Months

and it begins...

the planning of a 1 year old birthday party!

I'm so excited I could just scream. Ok, not necessarily because my baby will soon be one *tear*, but because he is getting too cute for words. In that case, I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

He loves to stand around his toy bin and pull everything out...

But thankfully he's learned a new hobby, helping mommy clean! Maybe he'll learn how to put his toys back in the bin pretty soon. :)

Loading the dishwasher...or should I say unloading the dishwasher. He likes to pull stuff out, even if it's dirty. Yucky!

Folding towels...

And cleaning out my purse. Thanks baby, that was much needed!

And of course, opening every drawer/door in the house.

And finding new places to climb in to...who would have thought a lazy susan?

Happy 11 months baby boy--my toothless, mohawked, dimpled cheeks, bundle of joy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tampa, Part II


So glad to be back on my feet again. The flight home was much less exciting than the first (praise the Lord!) and we made it on time. Our week was extremely uneventful and that is exactly what we were in need of. AJ and I made our way to the pool nearly every day for a few hours while Ari took his nap. We would have taken him more often but their rules are strict. He wasn't allowed to float in his floatee thing but instead had to have a life vest on. Since we had never seen one of those before for his age, they provided us with the smallest one they had. He was less than thrilled to have to wear it, and to be honest he would have drowned if we left him in it. So, no baby tan this time.

We took many rides on the golf cart. I think Ari is all ready to drive!

Here we took a pit stop to look at the manatee mailbox. My grandparents said these people dress them up for every occasion. I guess this was "grilling out" themed. They even had a grill with food on it and a cooler with drinks next to the mailbox! Oh to be retired...

We went over to see the sunset one night. This was as close to the beach as we got. Since Ari is mobile I think an attempt to lay at the beach would have been difficult.

Ari's favorite place to hang out...

Ari's new favorite toy from grandma and grandpa. Thanks! Throughout the week he learned how to push all the buttons and honk the horn.

Dancing to the music...

Clapping his hands...

Honking the horn...

And then passed out. This was our last ride before we had to go. I think Ari had as much fun as we did.

Thanks grandma and grandpa for such a fun time! We look forward to all the card games when we see you again!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tampa, Part I

Saturday was an interesting start to our vacation. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:35 am, requiring us to be up by 4 am in order to get there in plenty of time.

A little early, but no big deal.

Checking our baggage took longer than we anticipated, so we were debating on whether we'd have enough time to grab some breakfast before we hit security. We decided to stop by Patachou On the Fly and when we got done realized we needed to book it. I don't know if you've visited the new airport yet, but it is quite impressive. However, all of the main places to eat are before you go through security. So stopping to grab something could be quite risky.

Then we get to security where it took a good 15-20 minutes to get through. I think AJ went through the body scanner 5 times and we had two bags gone through and inspected. Things get so complicated when traveling with a baby! They make you break down your stroller and even have that sent through the scanner on the conveyer. Anyway, at that point we start to realize we are quickly approaching our deadline. It just so happens that our gate is the last one all the way down the wing at the very end.

AJ starts running. I am carrying Ari, the diaper bag, and my purse so it is pretty much impossible for me to go any faster than I already was. We finally get to the gate and the lady was just shutting the door to the loading area. She informs AJ we have just missed our flight.

What?! Seriously? What does this mean? Can't they just open it back up, I can see our plane!

She tells AJ we were supposed to arrive 10 minutes prior to our flight leaving and we were there 5 minutes prior.

How can that be?! If security had not taken so stinkin' long we would have been there in plenty of time!

At this point we are in major shock and come to the realization that our 2 hour flight plan had just been thrown down the toilet because of a difference of a few minutes. Our alternate plan was then to catch a few more flights and arrive in Tampa around 5pm. 5pm! Nine hours later than we anticipated! It might not have seemed like a big deal if it was just AJ and I, but trying to juggle multiple flights and a 12 hour traveling day with a baby is quite drastic.

This was all seemingly a bad nightmare that you never think could happen to you. So after our minor freak out we just started praying. We are told to go wait while they load another plane.

As we wait we can see our plane from our seats and just watch it out the wall of windows. The plane starts going away and then starts to come back. The lady informs us that there is a chance we could still get on it.

We slightly freak out again and then continue to pray. HARD.

The plane's engine needed some scans ran on it, so they came back to the loading dock to do so. It never crossed my mind that the plane might be having issues...I just wanted to get on it! She informs us we can get on.

That was the fastest prayer answered I could recall! I about cried. Then said another prayer.

There was another couple who had arrived just before us that missed the plane as well. They were already rerouted to another flight and had actually left. That probably would have happened to us if we didn't arrive at the time we did.

We get on and have to scramble to find two seats near each other. Some people rearrange and we end up both getting aisle seats next to each other. I am slightly terrified of flying, or more specifically the take off, and was very happy that I didn't end up next to all strangers or the window seat.

I couldn't say enough prayers at this time.

The pilot says they are finishing up the final tests on the engine. The engine!? Did I not just say I am slightly terrified of flying? Now I start to question our decision.

We go on our way and take off. The worst part of it all. I close my eyes and just start saying all the memory verses I know, white-knuckling it all the way. I couldn't recall one verse in particular to use so I frantically started saying them all. All I really remember is taking a peak at the people around me and thinking that they have so many things to distract them from what was going on. Which were all the normal distractions people use in their every day lives. Ipods, Iphones, music, tv, nonsense chatting...

And then I came to it. The verse I needed.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Phil 4:6-7

We finally get through the take off stage and things finally calm down for us. We end up arriving around 9:30 with an hours worth of driving left.

While we drove I still couldn't grasp why I was so fearful and full of anxiety. God had never left my side and I needed to realize that ahead of time. This will be a lesson learned for when we have to fly back. (Although I will appreciate any prayers you may have for that!)

Enough jabbering and on to some pictures!

Walking through the airport...Ari checking everything out.

He finally passed out on the plane after being up since 4am...

His new and exciting toy that my grandparents got for him...what is even better is that they found it for 99 cents! Gotta love the bargains...

A trip to monkey island...

And the little monkeys on the island...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


My friend Heidi let me watch her kids for a few hours this past weekend. Surprisingly, they wanted me to keep taking their pictures! If you have visited her blog before, you would know that it isn't always the case. Even though my camera doesn't do it justice, they were too adorable and I couldn't resist. Here's to my efforts.

Giving lots of kisses...

All three together...waiting any day now for the fourth! I think this picture just sums it up. :)

My friend Andre was in town as well and came by to see us. Ari had so much fun!

And then there's this guy...

He came over for some reason on Friday and just wouldn't leave!! Haha, ok so not really. We invited his family over and it was so much fun we didn't want them to leave. It just happened to be everyone's bedtime and figured it was time to give our ears a rest from all the loud noises that came from our children.

J-dub sporting his youngest child, who just happens to be six weeks younger than Ari. They should be good buds.