Thursday, November 29, 2012

Port One

We opted to take a few minutes to look around.
It was rainy off and on, super windy and a little chilly.

We didn't stay long.

The view from the boat.

Had we opted to go into town or to the beach, we would have had to board a bus that takes you down this incredibly long road,

so long that we could barely see land on the other side.
The road just seemed to disappear.  

After boarding, we decided on an afternoon at the pool while the boat was virtually deserted.
It was rather nice.

It was so chilly outside, that we quickly found the hot chocolate as soon as we finished swimming.
I showed Addie how to stir the hot chocolate and she immediately took her job very seriously.
She stirred and stirred and stirred.
She was so proud of herself!

Look at her little fingers!
They are so red from her holding onto the stirrer so hard!
She was very dedicated!
We waited so long for her to finish her hot chocolate, that we finally decided to let her just take it back to the room 
(it was freezing and we needed a hot shower!).

She must have stirred the one cup for more than half an hour, but we did manage to make it to the room without her being covered in the drink she worked so hard to make perfect!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I received the picture and email below from the Little Monkey's teacher today.
I am so proud of my Little Monkey!

Okay, so, you saw the adorable picture of Addie walking down the hall to share her writing with her class- PRECIOUS!
She walked straight into the classroom and sat on the rug to share- no prompting!

Mrs. Morris told the class as a whole, “if you are sharing today, put your journal behind your back.” - Addie did it with no prompt!

Then Mrs. Morris said, “Addie are you ready to share?”  She said yes, stood up, handed her journal to Mrs. Morris and climbed onto the stool in front of the Smartboard – all with NO prompting and no assistance!

She read her journal entry, “I like to swim.” She turned around and asked, “What did you hear?”- no prompting!!

She said, “more about” (what would you like to know more about?) and called on friends- no prompting!

She said thank you to their responses with again, no prompting.

THEN…when someone asked her, “Do you like to swim in the water?”  She said, “Yes, POOL, thank you!”-no prompt!

Then to top it all off…the icing on the cake…she stepped down off the stool in front of the Smartboard independently!!! She didn’t ask for help…she didn’t want help!   It took her a couple seconds to get up the courage but SHE DID IT!!!! 

We were all about to cry!  Sooooo proud of her and how persistent she is!

Picture of the Day!

The Little Monkey LOVED the show! 

 She danced until the very end!

She was so enthralled with the lights and music!
By the way, that is melted ice, not drool, oozing down her chin.

November 18, 2012

Hall Monitor

After dinner, we headed out for a casual "family friendly" show.
Or...that's what we thought.
It didn't quite turn out the way we expected and it wasn't quite Broadway caliber awesomeness, but we had a fantastic time
there were no hall monitors to be found.
Otherwise, we could have been in big, big trouble.

I'm sure blocking the entire hall is against some emergency something code.

That's right.
Try to cut in line to get on the elevator and see what happens.
He'll go Ninja on you.

Help me.
Class and grace - right here.
I am so proud.

November 18, 2012

A Mouthful of Pure Elegance

You would have thought we hadn't fed the Little Monkey in a while. 
As soon as bread was placed on her plate, nothing else mattered.

If only you saw the video version of this picture.
There was a whole team of people behind the camera trying to get the Monkey to put the bread down or at the very least, just look at the camera!

We thought we were getting closer...

but one after the other abandoned my efforts.

Moving on.

Monkus refused to look at the camera for everyone, so I felt a little less wounded.

J-Rod and Gabi.

My brother was compliant with picture taking.

Even my husband played along after a while.

After dessert was served, the music and fun began.

I wonder exactly how much sugar was in the tea...he was a nut.

By the end of the evening, Monkus had finished my lesson on how to drink from a glass, and was showing off her skills to everyone!
She was all about drinking from a Big Girl Glass!
I imagine I will have some very proud therapists out there when they see this!

After dinner, we returned to our room long enough to change clothes.
Monkey was thrilled to find the elephant...and...the chocolate waiting for us her. 

November 18, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Preparing for Dinner

I think it was the motion of the boat that made Addie have no desire to be up and walking around. 
She demanded to be in her stroller as much as possible. 
She was content and calm snuggled in her stroller and any time she wasn't in her stroller, she would try to put herself in and then would tell me, "walk". 
 As long as I was walking around the boat, pushing her in her stroller, she was a happy Little Monkey.
(That is the best, cheap little fold up stroller I have ever seen!  I got my money's worth a hundred times over!)

She enjoyed the view from the glass elevators.

E. R. Baby made the trip too!!!
E.R. Baby was already properly dressed for dinner and didn't require an outfit change.

Once we got to dinner, I told Monkey that I wanted to take a picture of her Baby.
She handed Baby over to Chris and then held Baby's hand while she had her picture taken.
All the while, she told the Baby, "Shhh, it's okay Baby!".

Arctic Waters

It's November.
We expected it.
The water in the big pool on the very, very top of the boat was freezing.
We suffered through until the smaller, heated, pool was vacated.
Honestly, the temperature of the water didn't matter, the kids were having a great time!

Blowing kisses to her Daddy!

Having so much fun!

I will admit that standing on the balcony and knowing that the sea depth was over 4000 feet made me a little queasy.  
According to my husband, I need to stop reading CNN.

After our swim (in the pools), the men folk headed out, while Addie and I went to explore.
We stumbled upon a "Build a Bear" in progress and a stash of Baby Doll Clothes that absolutely made Addie's night!
Our first encounter was rather conservative, I helped the Little Monkey choose three new outfits for her Baby.
After making our purchases, we found a window seat and helped Baby change into something a little more appropriate.

The Little Monkey was such a proud Little Mommy!

Calm seas.
Thank you for your prayers!


Right before we arrived at port, we were driving through downtown when Addie caught sight of a flock of pigeons taking flight.

She was so excited and yelled, "Momma, look!  Ducks!"!

Such a sweet girl!

Bon Voyage!

We were exhausted!
I was working off a full two hours of sleep, then spent seven hours in the car before arriving at port.

We had just arrived and Addie was taking it all in.
I told Chris that just in case Addie hit meltdown and the point of no return, that I at least wanted one picture with her.

We both look amazing
and yes,
that is a half naked baby.

We left her pants at home.

We had a suite with a balcony, so we wasted no time checking it out.
Julien - wasted no time torturing Addie and making her scream for him to come outside!.

She thought he was hilarious!

Leaving port.
Julien was thrilled!

November 17, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It Started Back in April

...or really, well before April, but was finalized in April.

~Heading back in time for just a moment~~~  
When I was growing up, my parents made a point of taking us on two week vacations each summer.  
My parents took us to Canada, New York, California, seemed like they took us everywhere, which means that I only have one state left to cross off my list before I have visited all 50 States.
While we were spending summers at The Grand Canyon, Disney Land and the mountains, all my friends would spend their summers at Gulf Shores or a beach somewhere in Alabama or Florida.
There were times when I was a tad jealous because I seriously thought I was missing out on something least, that is how it sounded.
It wasn't until 2005 that I visited Gulf Shores for the first time.
It made me appreciate all the long car rides we went on as kids even more than I already did.

So, it's not like we never traveled past the borders of the Mississippi or anything.
My siblings and I have had varying opportunities for intercontinental travel, and travel beyond the contiguous 48 States, some more than others, but the one thing 
that my Mom hadn't gotten around to doing was going on a cruise.
We started talking about a cruise to Alaska.
Then Mom got sicker.
Alaska wasn't so much of an immediate option, so Plan B to cross off a bucket list request for my Mom was put into place.
Back in April when Mom was sedated and pretty darn sick, while we were sitting at her bedside, we pulled up cruise lines in close proximity to us 
my brother took it from there.

He wasted no time getting everything scheduled
and we just kept hoping that Mom would be well enough to make it to the cruise.

We were all just beside ourselves with relief and joy when Mom made it onto the ship - regardless of her non-compliance with picture taking.

Mom can add a little check mark beside one more thing on her proverbial bucket list and we can rest easier knowing that she enjoyed the experience.

I have some less than thrilling pictures coming soon - but you all know me - I can take a boring picture and turn it into a novel that will make you want to throw your computer out a four story window.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy 14th Birthday Julien!

At 9:23 tonight, Julien will officially turn 14.


His 1st Birthday seems so much closer in my memories.

As does so many other memories...

His first haircut.

His first surgery.

His love of the zoo.

His first Alabama snow.

His first soccer team.

Our endless trips to Oak Mountain.

His first trip to Disney World.

Seeing his excitement over the prospect of being a big brother - his 8th Birthday!

His 9th Birthday!

His 10th Birthday!

Julien - celebrating his 11th Birthday!

and then, I can't figure out how we got from 12

to 13

and all the way to 14 so fast.

Due to our hectic week, with us just arriving home from vacation and Julien going away for the weekend, we haven't made official birthday plans yet.

We have already had THE birthday cake, so the party is yet to come.

I am blessed to have Julien.
He is absolutely amazing and I am so thankful that I was chosen to be his mother!
...and I am so thankful that God chose Julien to be Addie's brother.
No one else could love Addie as much as Julien does.

Happy 14th Birthday Julien!