Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Brushing Teeth


Kate brings a whole new meaning to brushing her teeth. She has just cut her 14th tooth!!! She has been working on these I-teeth (canines) for a while and they have been the worst for us. She finally cut them both on top and now she is obsessed with rubbing things against them. Today, it is her hairbrush. We are not sure what the appeal of a certain item is each day, but she picks the most random things. The other day, she came walking in to the room holding a Fossil tin that a watch came in. I am really not sure where she got it, or why she thought it was cool, but she had a blast with that too. Forget all of the toys we buy or have been given, she goes for the hidden everyday objects we never thought she would care about. Once she started walking, she didn't go slow for long. This child RUNS now! She is into things in the other room before you even know she is in there. I guess this is one reason to be thankful for a smaller home.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Will Push For Stroller



Ok, so after my last post, I have been mildly obsessed with this stroller. This is the Phil and Ted's Sport stroller. You can use it as a single stroller or attach the little back seat to make it a double. The double part is actually underneath the other seat instead of next to it, so it is as narrow as a single stroller. I talked Brandon's ear off about how this is the most amazing stroller, how there are so many options (you can also get an attachment for around $25-30 for a Graco carseat), and how this will serve as an indoor and outdoor stroller. I thought that he would just ignore me as usual and laugh at my new obsession, BUT- he got hooked too!
We just happened to look on all of the sites and see how much they cost, and it was a no go. Until we looked on Ebay! I found one on Ebay with an hour left, so we stalked it and waited til the last minute to place a bid, and we won it! We got the above stroller in charcoal gray, but the best pictures of it were these red ones. Anyway, long story short... we have been joking about what will be my "pushing present" for having Blake. (The other day, I said I needed a haircut, and Brandon asked if it could be my present- NOT funny!) So, you are looking at my pushing present for having this little man, and I will just have to do the pushing a little later. I am pretty excited about getting the stroller a little early so I can play with it with Kate, and then add the extra seat in when he gets here.
Thanks for all the advice/opinions about strollers, it really helps hearing from other people. I thought this would be a long process of stroller hunting, but Ebay had a little surprise waiting on us today! Another amazing detail: when I went to check out on Ebay, I had earned a 10% off coupon that expires tomorrow, which basically paid for the shipping. I am a little shocked that all of this fell into place, considering how I have not gotten anything ready for Blake yet. I will still probably run around like a crazy person soon because I have just realized that I am so ill prepared this time around. Time flies, I guess!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thinking About Strollers

I have recently been looking into double strollers as this pregnancy is flying by, and I was hoping to solicit some advice or opinions from others. Some background info- I have a Graco travel system now that includes the car seat I will be using for Blake. I am happy with the stroller, but I wonder how much I will use a single stroller with a newborn in the carseat and a 17 month old that needs to be strapped in! That stroller does not do so well on outdoor walks, but I have a jogging stroller that handles great outside. So, here are some options I have been looking into:


This is the Dream On Me double umbrella stroller, and it is around $100. It is supposed to be "ultralight", the seats fully recline, good storage, good canopy coverage, etc. There are no snack trays, but I could easily get over that. Also, a carseat does not snap into this one.


This is the Contours Options Tandem double stroller and it is around $200-220. The seats are removable and can be placed in 7 different positions (facing each other, back to back, etc.) and fits most carseats. No snack trays, but it supposedly handles well and is easy to figure out the seating arrangements.

This is the InStep Safari double jogging stroller and is about $190-200. I like the idea of a double jogger, because I could use it inside and out, but it may be a little large for indoors. It cannot accept a carseat and has no snack trays, but I don't really use the snack trays on the jogging stroller I have now, so I should get over that!

This is the Schwinn Free Wheeler and is around $230. It is supposed to be easy to fold, swivel wheel lets you get through tight spaces, and has a big canopy to shield the sun. The description says it has a parent tray and child tray, but I don't see one in the picture. I am really not even a runner, but I love to be able to take walks/trying to jog on any ground without bouncing the kids out of their seats.
I hope someone who has 2 kids or more, or knows something about people who cart 2 or more kids around reads this and can give me advice. I keep thinking that once I have Blake, it will be cold outside, so I will not be taking him all over the place that soon. Also, how many places will I be staying long enough to need the double stroller, or will I be alone and having to handle them on my own instead of someone strolling Kate in one with Blake in his own stroller. I could go over this again and again in my head. Any suggestions of other strollers are welcome too! There are some great ones out there (some with great big price tags).

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Recent Favorites

This is in response to a few recent blogs I have read about favorite baby items. All of these are recent favorites (6 months until now), newborn favorites are a whole new post!

First of all- Infant Motrin! Teething has been made much easier with this stuff! Kate gets some before bedtime and it lasts 8 hours (where Tylenol only lasts 4-6 hours), so we have had good nights even with those horrible teething days.

This is the Britax Roundabout convertible seat. We got this when Kate was 7 or 8 months old. She is pretty tall and her feet were hitting the back seat in her infant seat. This is one of the smallest infant/toddler seats, and it only holds up to 40 pounds (I think), but Kate is not a chunky girl, and I figured by the time she weighs 40 pounds, she will be waving to me from the carpool line and will be old enough for a booster seat. Also, there are velcro tabs on the sides of the seat that hold the straps back while you put them in the seat and a padded piece of fabric between the buckle and the baby in case it is hot. This has been a great seat both rear facing and forward. It reclines, so we have used that when Kate takes naps in the car- very nice not to see her head flop from side to side!

This is a Baby Einstein book, she actually has this one, but there are plenty to choose from. I don't know if they are any better than other books, but Kate seems to like them. They always have strange images (half cartoon, half reality), but it really catches her attention. Kate likes to turn the pages and talk, like she is reading to someone.

This is the Fisher Price Learn and Grow Baby Piano. It has a counting/colors setting, a pre-set song setting, and a real piano setting. We love to watch Kate as she thinks she is playing a whole song by playing just one button. I also love the height of these toys, because they helped her to get her strength while standing, also there are activities all the way around which helped her to walk.

This is the Playskool Ball Popper. Kate got this for Christmas and enjoyed it then, but she has completely rediscovered it now! She squeals and waves her arms when she turns it on and the balls start flying out. It used to be annoying to keep up with the balls, but now she loves to run around and get all of the strays. This keeps her entertained longer than anything else right now.


Finally, this is the Vtech Touch and Teach book. There is a magnet attached to the base and it reads outloud through the pages. Kate definitely has not figured this out completely, but she sure loves to turn the toy on and off and hear the song, and also hit the magnet around different spots to hear all the words. This one should be fun for a while!
Anyway, I just thought I would share some recent favorites and pretty soon I will post a few of my favorite things to get for Blake. I already have thought of a few things I would have loved with Kate and will definitely need for him. Hope this isn't completely boring, just wanted to list these so even I can remember next time around!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Feeling Comforted

I worked this past Sunday, and had several interesting comments made from other employees or parents of babies I was taking care of. Some of the compliments were annoying, like "Oh you look bigger than just around 25 weeks!" or "I guess you get bigger with the second one," etc. Those I just laughed about and chalked up to rudeness. But, I did have someone say to me, "You are going to have your hands so full, why would you ever want kids that close?" and "You guys are crazy, don't you know you are not going to make it through this?" First of all, YES, people really say such things. Second of all, I have been praying lately that God would just remind me that other people's opinions do not matter. And third of all, it is a little late for their advice to change things.
On my way to work that morning, I had heard a song on the radio that really brought tears to my eyes thinking about being a parent. I am drawing a blank to the name of the artist, but maybe some of you have heard it before. Some of the lyrics are:

If you say go, we will go
If you say wait, we will wait.
If you say step out on the water
and they say it can't be done.
We will fix our eyes on you and we will come.

Your ways are higher than our ways
And the plans that you have laid are good and true.
If you call us to the fire
You will not withdraw your hand.
We will gaze into the flames and look for you.

There is a beautiful version on Youtube with a clip from the movie, "End of the Spear," (which is also great) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbTFa9px9Lc.

Anyway, thinking about these lyrics reminded me that nothing is too much to handle. Not that I think we were "told" to have another child, but we are thrilled to death that we are. And we believe that if God has brought us this far, He will carry us to the end. Even if I did have my own "foolproof" plan of how to handle 2 kids, His ways are higher than mine! I have learned to trust God more than ever after having Kate, and I have seen that His plans are good and true!
I have a friend at work who absolutely did NOT want kids, but she and her husband ended up pregnant and she was not too excited about it at first. I saw her Sunday for the first time back at work since she had her baby, and I asked her if it was better than she had imagined. It was so neat to look at her face light up as she told me that she loves him more than she ever knew she could (sleepless nights and all). I think parenthood is a calling, whether you "feel" it from childhood or from the day you find out you are having a child. And there is always uneasiness about being called to a task. Am I equipped to do this? Am I sure I want to do this? Can I handle this emotionally, physically, etc.? This song was such a reminder that God loves us and does not ask us to bear more than we can handle. I could not be more excited to see how He does use this time in our lives. I would like to say that I will always be able to sit and rest in Him and not worry about a thing, but I know I need constant reminding of His perfect plans for me and that He will not withdraw His hand from me! We are going to step out on the water and we will come! I just wanted to share how having some lyrics stuck in my head has comforted me and redirected me back to being thankful for the opportunity to love another sweet child!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lazy Days


Bathtime! The other night, Brandon pulled Kate's soapy hair into a mohawk and it is crazy to see how long it is getting. I don't know why the picture is so hazy, but it was cute, so I had to post it. We have loved having Brandon home so much the past few weeks- bathtime is Kate's favorite time of the day because her Daddy does the bath (it is getting a little harder for me to bend over and play with duckies these days).

I just snapped this picture the other night because her hair has been doing a little flip in the back. Her hair is so thin and straight, so I don't think this means she will have curly hair, but it is a cute curl while it lasts! One of our grandparents' asked us recently if we were going to cut her hair or give her bangs, but I am so glad she finally has hair that I am leaving it alone. I do put the front in bows so it is not in her face though. I thought girls didn't get haircuts for awhile, maybe I am wrong.

This was a picture of Kate just lounging the other day when Brandon kept her. She looks so calm here, but Brandon said she was all over the place this day. She loves her big chair! She climbs right on it and scoots back with her toys. Also, climbing in and out of it has taught her how to climb onto and off of the couch now. Just today, I put something on the couch that I didn't want her to get into, so she just climbed onto the couch and got to it herself!
This past week, Brandon has gotten home at lunchtime everyday, so I have had a great time running errands by myself and doing fun things too! I did work Wednesday, so I was productive for at least one day. Other than that, we have been cooking dinner together, doing random stuff around the house, and we finally safety-locked our cabinets and drawers in the kitchen and bathroom. Yesterday, my mom and sister and I went to see Mamma Mia in the morning and went to lunch afterwards. I thought it was so cute, but you have to like musicals to enjoy it. They do just bust into songs when they should be having a conversation, so that took me a while to get into it. I am just not used to musicals as movies. It was very good and a fun girls' day! We have enjoyed our lazy Saturday today too- we got up and went for a long walk to a nearby nature trail with exercise stations all over it. We would walk and stop for Brandon to do the exercise stations (and I would rest), and then we fed the fish with some old bread. Kate enjoyed the scenery and we just enjoyed getting outside. We were all a little exhausted after it, so we watched a movie while Kate napped. All of this to say, I am really enjoying how Brandon's 4th year is going so far... he is HOME! We have not seen him this much every day in a while. I need to enjoy it while it lasts!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Man Upstairs

No- I don't mean God... literally, I am writing about the man that lives upstairs from us. I just need to vent the frustration I have been having for a while. We have lived in our condo since the summer of 2005, and had the same girl living upstairs until a few months ago. She was the perfect neighbor! She stayed at her boyfriend's place all the time and only came home randomly to grab more clothes or something. She did have a very annoying dog, but the dog stayed where she stayed so we didn't have to worry about her either. Our condos have a lot of character (AKA- very old) and have some creaky hardwood floors and very thin walls. You can hear the toilet flushing in the condo above you, you know when they get out of bed in the morning, and you can hear the dog running around and clicking it's nails on the floors, etc. Plus- since having Kate, I have become quite a light sleeper! I guess I never realized how great we had it when the girl lived here... because the new man is totally different!
Some background info- Joe is in his early 60s and just recently went through a divorce, and he is enjoying his freedom to come home when he wants and listen to his music as loud as he wants, and he even got himself a puppy for some companionship. I really felt sorry for him when he first got here as I imagined life going from marriage with 2 kids in a house, to a quiet condo with no one around. BUT- I have slowly lost compassion as he makes himself more and more at home here. He likes Pink Floyd music in case you are wondering... Brandon can tell me what songs are playing because it is so loud from upstairs. And the puppy he got... a golden retriever! Those nail-clickings and jumping off the bed sounds are a lot louder for a golden retriever! And, I can hear every word his bedroom television plays. I can tell you that he watches Fox 6 news, and I can even tell when the newscasters change stories. Also, since Joe moved here, all of the neighbors with dogs seem to gather right outside of our window with all the dogs and their wine and they just chat and drink for hours. I know a few are teachers out for the summer, and a few are students who are up late anyway, but it is still my front yard! I just feel like even though these condos look like college dorms, they are homes and should be respected by all of the neighbors.
I have kept my mouth shut for months, and I try my hardest to stay pretty quiet in our place. Luckily, Kate has never been a big cryer, so I haven't had to shush her too much. And I am always a volume nazi with the tv or radio. I also make sure if we have company over to watch sports or a movie, that we are talking/cheering/listening to movies at a reasonable volume. Pregnancy alone makes me not sleep so well since I am up twice a night to go to the bathroom, and I always think any noise I hear is Kate waking up, so I can't sleep at all! I lay there thinking "shut up, go to bed, I only have 3 more hours til Kate gets up," etc. and I have run out of patience. A few weeks ago, a group of 4 or 5 people were gathered outside our bedroom window in the next yard over and they were drinking, talking, and playing with dogs at MIDNIGHT! Who wants to be outside playing with a dog at midnight? I could hear every word they were saying, and I finally got mad enough to go tell them to take their party somewhere else. I just told them it was midnight and that I could hear every word they were saying. They were very nice about it and I haven't had a problem with them again. But, I think the reason they annoyed me so bad was started by JOE! While they were out talking, he had techno music blaring from his bedroom. One of the girls apologized a few days later, and we laughed and talked about it for a while. She lives in the condo across the hall from us, and she said that she hears Joe's tv/music too- so she understood my frustration and wasn't mad at me at all for telling them to be quiet. She said they just didn't realize that it was midnight or that they were so loud
Next incident- a few nights ago, I got up to go to the bathroom and heard Joe's tv turned up very loud, and I couldn't go back to sleep for at least another hour and a half. So, I finally worked up the nerve to go knock on his door and ask him to turn it down. I knocked twice, looked out to the parking lot and his car was not even there, so I went to my place and wrote him a note and left it on his door. I just told him that it was 1:30 AM and that I came to ask him to turn his volume down, but that he wasn't home, and if he is leaving to please turn down (or off) his tv so we don't have to hear it. Around 2 or 2:30, I heard him come home and then the noise stopped. However, even when his tv is not loud or he is just living his normal life- I hate living below someone! I don't like to know exactly when he gets up, or when he is doing pushups on his bedroom floor (sometimes I even count to 20 in my head when he is doing them). I just had to vent about this because it frustrates me every single day! What is even more annoying is that Brandon can hear the noise, but he can turn over and go right to sleep. How am I supposed to survive the rest of this pregnancy and having a newborn with this loud neighbor?? Blake is going to be in our room for the first few months, so maybe it will be payback time for Joe! Am I overreacting or would anybody else (who is pregnant and has a 1 year old that wears her out) be this annoyed?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Great Birthday



This girl is obsessed with Bailey!!! I even have to put Bailey in our room in her kennel while I try to feed Kate because she tries to hand her all of her food. She follows her around the house and lets her lick all over (which I hate), she just wants to be near Bailey. Maybe this is what new babies do with older kids, but a dog?! Bailey is the world's laziest dog, she lays in her kennel or on the couch ALL day long. But she is getting exercise trying to run away from Kate. By the way, Kate can climb onto and off of the couch now, so she just follows Bailey right up onto the couch. Scary!
Anyway, my birthday was last Friday and we ended up having a great day. I woke up to Brandon getting Kate out of bed and fixing me regular and chocolate chip waffles-yum! (Remember that Brandon's boards were on Saturday, so I was not expecting to even lay eyes on him that day.) Melanie took me to lunch (with Kate) at California Pizza Kitchen, and we had a blast! We got to do a few minutes of shopping afterward, but we just enjoyed hanging out. Kate decided that she would take a morning nap, but not an afternoon nap. I got stuck in traffic from a wreck for 30 minutes after our lunch get-together, and I guess I put her down so late that it threw her off, so she never went to sleep! Then, my family took me to Cheesecake Factory for dinner and we just passed Kate around the table when she got whiny and she just saw a new face and got over it. We had the world's worst waiter, but the manager more than made up for it! The waiter was dripping sweat and was so flustered that he forgot to bring us bread, refills, and even forgot to put one order in. We were just laughing because we knew how stressed he was, and we weren't mad- but the manager came and made up for it by bringing extras! He took care of all of our cheesecakes and coffee, and he even brought Kate a bowl of ice cream too! We got a good laugh out of the night, and it really was a great way to spend my birthday! I forgot to mention that when I got home from lunch, Brandon had gone to get me flowers, so he made up for not being able to go to dinner that night!
Then, on Saturday morning, Kelly and I went and got some new makeup from Trish McEvoy (my very favorite thing) while Mom listened out for Kate during her nap. That afternoon, Mom and I went to the mall and got some great new maternity clothes while Dad listened out for Kate during her nap! And then, we met up with Brandon after he was done with his test and he took me out to Bonefish Grill and then to see Made of Honor at the $1 theater. Mom and Dad kept Kate overnight- and it was so nice to sleep in til 9 on Sunday! It was amazing how refreshed I felt with only a few hours away! I do love Kate more than ever, but I still need a break every now and then! That was the best gift of all! But- some other amazing gifts are a smocking pleater from Brandon so I can start smocking my own dresses for Kate (and outfits for Blake) and smocking lessons from my mom! I will keep you updated on the progress there!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gross, Gross, Gross!

Second post in one day, but it had to be written while it was fresh on my mind!
This is not for someone with a weak stomach or who is about to eat!

Tonight, I made a delicious dinner of creamy pork chops (a new recipe that turned out great... a little long, but I may post it) and fresh steamed broccoli, along with some homemade sour cream biscuits (I will put the recipe at the end of the post). I washed the broccoli really well because I got it from Aldi (a discount grocery store in Birmingham that I felt shady buying produce from) and put it in the steamer basket on the stove. We sit down to a nice dinner and I am enjoying every bite until I go for another bite of broccoli... my fork almost dug right into a WORM!!! Somehow, this sucker was wedged up in the floret (the tree) and didn't like being steamed, so it had wiggled out some and was hanging onto my plate. YUCK! I almost threw up in my mouth, so I handed my plate to Brandon so he could inspect it to make sure it wasn't some normal part of the broccoli- nope, just a worm! I obviously could not eat anymore, and I was so so so glad that I had not made this for other people. I am about to take a friend dinner as she just had a baby, and thankfully I didn't make this for her. I am so disappointed in my Aldi produce- I gave it a chance, and it failed! Back to just buying milk and boxed goods there (I am not giving up completely because their milk is just $1.99 a gallon). I thought of posting a picture of this incident, but I gagged again, so you will just have to live with a lovely mental picture! This reminds me of the time we opened a box of Jiffy cornbread and a fly flew out of the paper package inside- that was another YUCK dinner night! Is there a way to super wash broccoli all up in the florets because that nasty creature was way up in there! I guess for now, it is back to bags of frozen broccoli... so sad! Sorry for the grossness!

Sour Cream Biscuits (not low fat, but delicious!)
1 cup self-rising flour
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup sour cream
Mix these together and drop into either a 6 regular muffin tin or a 12 mini muffin tin and bake at 450 for 15 minutes.
These taste so good and rich, they almost taste like a not-so-sweet shortbread.
Hope you enjoy!

Something Wrong With These Pictures...


Kate wandered into our room and this is where I found her! Thank God Bailey did not get territorial with her in her domain! Can you see Bailey pulling her head away and looking at me like, "Get her out of here!"?

Kate's hair was funny first thing in the morning, so I thought I would post this one too. I pulled Kate out and told her "No, No!" and tried to keep her away, but there is just something that fascinates her with Bailey's kennel. I just wonder what is so exciting about a metal kennel? Maybe it is the fact that she is not allowed in there. She doesn't even do anything when she is in there but sit and stare out... weird kid, huh?
I guess the "No, No" discussion did not work, because here she was the next day! This time Bailey got out of the kennel and whimpered as if to say, "Mine" like an older child.
Bailey has really done some adjusting this last year with Kate in our lives- she wasn't so fond of her at first. Then she really just ignored Kate. But now that Kate chases her around and constantley "pets" Bailey, she really doesn't like her around... much less in her kennel!
Anyway, Kate is apparently going on nap strike around here! She has been acting so tired, so I put her down around 10 in the morning, but she only sleeps 45 minutes to an hour. Then, she is so tired around 2, but when I put her down, she just grunts and whines the entire time. Yesterday, she never even fell asleep during her afternoon nap. This is NOT ok with me! I am trying to figure out if this means that she is trying to go to one nap a day or if she is just so tired that she fights it the whole time. She was so tired last night that she feel asleep for a second drinking her milk before bedtime, and that has not happened in a long time! She went to bed early last night, because I was about to have a breakdown if I didn't have a minute without her too. When Brandon got home last night, he luckily just fixed us some dinner and let me have a minute to put my feet up! I am hoping that this nap strike ends soon, or that I can figure out the once a day nap and get it going. It just seems like she will be the most tired and whiny kid around if we wait til later to go to sleep! Any advice from other moms?

Monday, July 7, 2008

July 4th


This is Kate on the 4th last year. She was 5 weeks old and NOT enjoying the water! But, she did get a nice nap on my mom on the hammock.

And this was Kate this year on the 4th! She played in the pool all day long and loved it! Notice that her sunscreen works very well... she stayed the same color through the whole beach trip and several more days outside at the pool. And this year, she wouldn't stay still long enough to rest in the hammock! You can't really see how festive she was, but her dress was blue and white and her hairbow was red. Thankfully she still lets me dress her up in cheesy holiday wear!

My parents watched Kate while we went to watch the fireworks with Logan and Courtney and Melanie and Matt (and Melanie's mom and Matt's parents). This was the ladies' tailgate and the boys were on the back of Logan's truck. We had a wonderful view of the fireworks and we had a great time!

I think we were laughing that we could not get a good picture of both of us together... this was the best we could do! At least this captured the mood though!
On Saturday, my parents watched Kate again so Brandon and I could go to the movies (which we hadn't done in a year) and we had a blast. There is just something about getting away, even for a few hours, and coming back refreshed. I need to start taking my parents up on their offers more often to babysit!

Blake update- I went to the doctor this morning and he is measuring perfectly and I am moving along nicely! The first girl couldn't find his heartbeat but I could feel him kicking me the whole time, so I wasn't worried. But, they sent in another nurse and she found him right away. I think he just moves so much that we couldn't catch him! I hadn't been to the doctor in around 6 weeks because we were out of town and then they were closed for the 4th when we got back... so when I stepped on the scale, I was a little thrown off by the 7 pound jump since the last visit. I told myself that my necklace and earrings and shoes were SO heavy and that next time I will not wear these! However, Dr. Ross made me feel so much better and told me that I was fine and it had really been around a pound a week, and that I was probably catching up for not gaining a lot in the beginning. Still- Weight jumps are always overwhelming and I am regretting all of the junk I ate on vacation and over the 4th weekend!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Back From The Beach

We just got back from a LONG stretch at the beach. It was not the normal beach vacation! We were supposed to stay from June 21-27 in my grandparents' condo, but it flooded from the condo above us. SO- we stayed with industrial fans and a giant dehumidifier in the middle of the condo for the first week. NOT FUN, and NOT conducive to sleep for a one year old! It wasn't that much of a vacation when we were spending a lot of the day waiting for workmen to arrive, or calling insurance agencies to make sure they would cover the damage. Also, Brandon was supposed to have plenty of study time, but the work inside the condo cut a good chunk of that out.
We would take Kate out first thing in the morning, come in for a nap, go out again after lunch, come in for a nap, and then go out to dinner. We were still able to enjoy the beach and pool and some delicious food, but the sleeping arrangements were not ideal! Originally, Brandon and I stayed in the master bedroom with Kate's pack-n-play in the closet (not as scary as it sounds), and my mom stayed in the other bedroom. BUT- the flood poured water through the ceilings of the master bedroom and bathroom and we couldn't stay in there anymore. My mom offered her room to us and she took the fold out couch bed (also NOT comfortable). Even if it the beds had been comfortable, you still had to listen to machines going all night and the temperature was upper 70s from all of the machine motors going!
My grandparents have another condo in the same building that was rented until Friday, so after it opened up, my mom and dad headed that way for some peace and quiet! My dad was only there for a few days, so he and my mom spent the weekend staying there while we went to visit Brandon's grandparents in Geneva for the weekend. Brandon and my dad left on Sunday, but Mom, Kate and I stuck around for a little relaxation until yesterday. All in all, we really did enjoy ourselves, and I was very thankful for the time we had there! With Brandon's schedule, we have no idea when we will have another family vacation. I loved him being there to play in the sand with Kate (I don't love the sand) and he sat up in the condo studying while I was able to lay by the pool and read!
Oh yeah- another highlight- the Children's Place Outlet had an AMAZING sale and I went nuts over the $1.99 rack. Kate got several pairs of pajamas and some sweaters and pants for the winter. I got Blake some pajamas, pants, shirts, sweaters, booties, etc. I don't know why I was freaking out that this child has nothing so far... we have some time left! I just always feel bad now when I buy Kate something to wear and not anything for him (he isn't even here yet). I am just trying to start off being fair! :)

Kate loved to jump waves with her daddy! The water was clear and beautiful for the first few days, but a storm came and washed in seaweed and lots of jellyfish... so we played on the very edge of the water!

Kate turned against the wind and we caught this awesome picture of her hairdo! Her hair is so light that she doesn't look like she has a lot of hair, but you can see it when it is standing straight up!

She loved walking on the beach- it was very hard to stay sturdy in the sand though. She is practically running on solid ground now, so it was funny to see her a little wobbly again!

"YUCK- sand doesn't taste like I thought!"

She loved the raft because she could just chill out and watch everyone. I passed on my people-watching skills to her! This hat stayed on for about 7.8 seconds!

Hanging out in the corner! I laughed at the stares that we got when people saw Big Momma with her tiny toddler... people would ask, "how old is she?" and then casually "and how long until the next one?"

Ready for dinner! She would walk/run around the condo, but these shoes slowed her down for a second so I could get her picture. She loved the space to move around!

This was a fun day on the beach. Kate got a little grumpy with sand in her suit and in her mouth the day before this picture, so we just took a baby pool down to the beach and put a little water in it and some toys... she was a happy camper! It was a lot easier to keep her clean! I now understand why families with several kids just set up a giant tent and leave it there all week- it is a hassle to take everything down and back up after just 30 minutes of playing! I thought it was a hassle this time, and next year I will have another child to carry along with all the gear! We are glad to be home and Brandon doesn't go back to work til Monday so we are enjoying a little more vacation time at home!