Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Showering Jo and Lily

On Saturday, Bre and I hosted a shower for Jo. We actually had to talk her into allowing us to give her a shower. She felt like she already had everything she needed. She's really considerate and modest like that. I guess she didn't want anyone to feel like that had to spend money on her with the economy being what it is. Anyway, we convinced her that it wasn't just about the gifts. We really wanted to celebrate Lily and put that way, how could she refuse?? So we compromised with the Diapers and Wipes theme and just a few guests. We made pink punch, brownies with pink icing and lots of other yummy food. The paper products and decorations were pink and white. Bre brought a gorgeous bouquet of Lily's to honor the little one we were celebrating. Jo was overwhelmed with the amount of diapers and wipes she received and surprised with the other gifts we couldn't help but sneak in. It was such a fun afternoon with the girls!
And everyone knows I hate to get "mushy" but I have to say that I adore my bonus sister. My brother married someone who is even more beautiful on the inside than she is on the outside. She is such a great example of what a mom and wife should be. More importantly, she strives so hard to be who God wants her to be. She is an awesome listener, a great friend. I have never met anyone who is less judgemental or more full of joy than my JoJo.
Anyway, here are a few pics from our fun day in honor of Jo and Lily...
Jo showing off some of the cute, girly outfits for Lily. Hand-me-down's are great but a girl's gotta have clothes of her own, right!?

More fun stuff for Ms. Lily. I love how expressive Jo is!
Jo with Bre, Me, Mom, Nana, Mamaw Hodge and Bailey. (Bay loves her JoJo sooo much. She was Jo's practice baby before she started having her own.) :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

While they're sleeping...

It's funny how your perspective changes when your kids are sleeping. I love them more than anything. I would die for them in a second, but I believe in being honest. And honestly, they can REALLY drive me crazy! But then I'll finally get them to sleep and look down at their little faces and think "Was I too hard on him/her today?" or "Maybe I shouldn't have made such a big deal about that."
This morning Presley ended up in our bed at around 5 am, which is very unusual for her. So I wrapped my arms around her warm little body and snuggled in close. I'm lying there inhaling her apple shampoo, mixed with a hint of passy breath (Yes people, she still sleeps with a pacifier! She's my baby! What can I say??) Anyway, all of the sudden it hits me...when was the last time we had a really good cuddle? Did I tell them I loved them enough yesterday? Did I give them enough hugs? Did I raise my voice too much? Do they know how proud they make me? Was cleaning the bathroom really more important than playing Lego's with them?
It's so easy to think those things when they're asleep and quiet and all...angelic. But then they wake up...and the fights over toys start and the screaming, and temper tantrums and the "I don't want pizza for lunch!" And all you can think is "Lord-please just help me make it to bedtime so I can remember how sweet they really are and why I do this everyday!!
And the cycle continues...!!!
Well, I guess that's why God makes the little ones sleep as much as they do. Just another of the many things I thank Him for everyday. :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Daddy and their Daddy

I woke up at 4 AM on Father's Day to the loudest snoring I've ever heard. And his mouth was basically on my ear. I tried nudging Bry so he would roll over. Normally, when that fails I hold his nose or smack him or kick him out of bed but hey, it's father's day. I'm not totally heartless. Unfortunately, I couldn't go back to sleep so I got up, got ready and waited until it was time to meet my Dad and Bre for breakfast. (Bubba couldn't make it this time.)
We've never done this with Dad before, we usually go see him for dinner or something. But we've had so much fun on Mother's Day we thought we would try it out with Dad. I am so glad that we did. I honestly don't remember the last time that I had a conversation with Dad without 15 kids running around us. I think he was a little overwhelmed with how much Bre and I talk and how much we pick on each other. He asked if anyone ever compared us to a 2 man comedy show (or in our case 2 woman). Anyway, we had a lot of fun and I really hope this becomes a tradition just like the mom's day breakfast has.
Bre, Me and our Poopsie (That's a little nickname that Bub came up with a long time ago. I'm sure Dad loves it.)
Me and my Daddy (He actually has a great smile with really cute dimples. He just rarely shows it off in pictures. :)
Bre and Dad
This is a pretty accurate picture. She has never been intimidated by him. I think she is the only person in the whole world who isn't!! :)
Bubs called and interrupted OUR breakfast with Dad to tell him Happy Father's Day. Of course Bre and I had lots of fun picking on them both about it. :)
When I got home from breakfast the kids were ready to give Bry his cards and gifts. Bailey picked out her own card and also gave him Coolwater cologne. Yum. My favorite. :) Luke and Presley gave him a card and a gift certificate to Massage Envy. Afterwards, we went to Benihana's for lunch and then spent the rest of the day swimming. Mom and D came over for a swim too. It was such a good day. I hope Bry enjoyed it as much as I did.
Bailey and Daddy
Luke and Daddy (L's smile doesn't look fake at all does it?) :)
Presley and Daddy. Such a Daddy's girl!
After the kids gave Bry his stuff, I gave him a card and a huge cinnamon roll with tons of icing on it from Perkins. This is exactly how the kids reacted! Poor Daddy. He was so sweet and cut it in to four pieces and shared with his babies. That's what being a great Daddy is all about I guess.

The great things about Dads...

1. They say things like "Pull my finger" and "Wow! Great burp! That was at least an 8!"
2. They teach you that bodily functions are hilarious and they demonstrate often!
3. They can put the fear of God in you, but they will also do the same to the kid who's been bullying you.
4.They get so much joy from embarrassing you and do it so often that there's not much left that will make you blush.
5. They teach you things like how to drive a stick shift, change your oil and tires, oh and how to make a really good spit wad.
6. From Dad, you learn words that you've never heard and interesting ways to use them in sentences.
7. They think the fact that you are laughing when they tickle you, means that they should continue to do so until you can no longer breathe and your face turns blue.
8. There are those times when you get yourself into a sticky situation and you just know they are going to be sooo mad! But then every once in a while they surprise you by calmly helping you through it and giving you a hug when it's over.
9. They make up funny songs and goofy dances that crack you up when you're 5 but make you cringe and roll your eyes when your 15.
10. Dads are the best at killing spiders, checking for monsters under the bed, fixing things that we break, always knowing where the TV remote is (and heaven help you if you lose it!), being able to fall asleep in the middle of a sentence-sitting straight up and also knowing exactly when to take the kids out for a little drive because Mommy needs some serious alone time before her head explodes!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dolphins, turtles and shells, oh my!

Normally on a beach vacation we end up doing nothing but playing at the beach. I have no problem with that. But this time Bre talked us into signing up for a "dolphin cruise". I am so glad that she did. It ended up being so much fun that the time went by way too fast and we didn't want the day to end.
We packed lunches and all of our beach gear and boarded the boat at around noon. The kids were happy just being able to ride in the boat. Then the dolphins started popping up and showing off and they got really excited!
They took us to this little secluded beach where we were able to snorkel for a while. I've never snorkeled before so I was so excited when I actually found a sand dollar. There were a couple of people who found starfish. Anyway, then they took us around to the other side of the island where there was a cool lighthouse, some old ruins and lots of huge turtles that fascinated the kids. We spent so much time playing in the ocean and looking for shells (which there were millions of!) that we lost track of time and were late returning to the boat! That would be just our luck to be stranded on a beach with all of those kids!
I think everyone of us was sunburned, even with the 70 SPF sunscreen! We were exhausted and smelly but it was such an awesome day! I am going to try to make a point of doing something like that from now on when we visit the beach.
Luke and Bry watching for dolphins.

Bay and Aus on the boat.

Presley has turned out to be such a beach babe. She loves everything about the beach and the ocean!
Brando and Bre- she used those long arms to make sure she was in some of the pics! I need to do that more often!
My other beach babe. :)
Luke terrorizing the birds. :) They wanted to run right up to the huge turtles that we saw but we were afraid they might snap at them. These kids have no fear, which scares me to death sometimes!

Even on vacation....

Just because you are on vacation doesn't mean that you get to stop being a mom. The day we arrived at our beach condo we realized that we needed to do some laundry or we were going to run out of clothes. We also needed to do some grocery shopping because we were going to be eating breakfast and lunch at the condo.
By the time we checked in, took the kids to the beach for a few minutes and ate dinner it was probably around 8 pm. Anyone who knows me realizes that my brain switches off at around 8:30, if not before. I am not a night owl. My sister on the other hand can somehow stay awake for 3-4 days in a row. Go figure. Regardless of my sleep deprivation, a mom has to do what a mom has to do. So Bre and I set off to find the nearest laundromat and grocery store. Luckily, the laundromat was only a few doors down from our condo. Unluckily, it had no air conditioning and both the front and back doors were open. The back door opened to an empty parking lot. During the day, this probably wouldn't have been a big deal. At night, Freakin' scary!
We got our laundry going and sat on the folding table (we didn't notice until later the big sign that reads "Please do not sit on the folding table!") and settled in for a long, hot, sweaty wait. For some reason we both had on our comfy track pants. By the time we left they were rolled up past our knees, our hair was damp with sweat and sticking out all over and our deodorant had long since failed us!
Anyway, Bre faced one door and I faced the other and we just prayed that some psycho beach bum didn't come in and try to stuff us into a dryer! It's amazing how paranoid you become when you are exhausted. Every time I would move my eyes toward the door Bre would jerk around to see what I was looking at and vice versa. It's also amazing how everything becomes the most hilarious thing you've ever heard! We were laughing our butts off the whole time and I couldn't tell you now what was so funny!
After our clothes were finally washed and dried we started folding them and realized that the machines were crappy. Most of our whites had some weird yellow stains on them and a couple of our shirts were shrunk. I pulled out one of Bry's and said "Oh my gosh! It looks like it belongs to an oompa loompa!" Of course, this started another round of hysterical laughter and ended with Bre on one side of the shirt and me on the other trying to stretch it back to size before Bry saw it! When we finally got to the closest grocery store we realized that it had closed like 10 minutes before. I called Bry and he asked the hotel clerks and they sent us to another store that was further away and they informed us that it closed in around 45 minutes! I don't think I have ever shopped for groceries so fast! Who doesn't have a grocery store open past 11 pm??
Oh well, just another adventure in the life of a Mom!

By the way, the picture quality is horrible because we didn't think to bring our cameras on our little adventure. So, we had to take these with my camera phone.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Downtown Disney

On Wednesday, we packed up the cars and got ready to head to St. Pete Beach. Brando has never seen the ocean so Bre really wanted to make that part of our trip. And personally, I never pass up the chance to go to the beach. :)
But first we stopped in at Downtown Disney so the kids could visit the Lego store. We had lots of fun there and also shopping for a few souvenirs. We had lunch at the new restaurant there, T-Rex, which was a big hit with the kids! Then we were off to the beach...
Brando, Aus and Peyton in front of a Lego dinosaur!
Look loved this Transformer made from Lego's.
Bay picking out some Lego's.
Bay and Aus watching their Lego cars race.
Presley LOVED her first set of Mickey ears! She did not want to take them off for anything!
Our group eating at T-Rex. Oddly enough we had one whole section of the restaurant to ourselves. Wonder why they did that??
Yep, he really is doing that.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Always the entertainer....

About halfway through our day at Islands of Adventure the sky opened up and let loose! We ducked under the nearest shelter, which was a little overhang outside the Cat in the Hat ride. We were squeezed into this little area with about 40 other people for at least 30 minutes. I couldn't believe how hard it was raining! For a while we entertained ourselves by watching all of the goofballs who decided to run through the "hurricane" and ended up slipping, sliding and falling. I swear we watched at least 20 people bust their butts!
Then Peyton says "Hey Ange, you got 20 bucks on you?" Always suspicious of Peyton, I answer "Uuuuum yeah, why?" He says " For 20 bucks, I'll go out there in the rain in front of everyone and do the truffle shuffle." Now, not only are there about 40 people under our little shelter but there are also people squished into small areas all around us. Not to mention the people walking, running and slipping by. Could I resist this? No, I could not!
I pulled out the $20 and told him it was his, IF he let Bry call everyone's attention to him first, Bre videotaped it and he had to shuffle his truffle for at least 30 seconds! We had a deal!!
Needless to say that everyone in the surrounding area were laughing their butts off as this big goof walks out in the middle of the rain, lifts his shirt and commences to jiggle his belly all around! I am still trying to figure out how to get the video on here so that everyone can enjoy that little moment as much as I did!
I have to say, it was probably the best $20 that I spent on the trip. It also kept everyone from thinking about the rain for a few minutes, which was, in the end, what our entertainer was trying to do!
Oh, and for those of you who lived under a rock in the 80's and don't know what the truffle shuffle is, check out this video...

Islands of Adventure

I was so exhausted from the first two days of the trip that I couldn't tell you if the hotel beds were comfortable or not. I probably could have slept in a dumpster and wouldn't have known the difference! Even so, the alarm clock went off bright and early for another fun-filled day of rides, lines, sunscreen, etc.
I have to say, if it were up to me, we would probably skip Disney World and go straight for Islands of Adventure. I love Disney, really I do, but it is soooo crowded and the rides at IOA are awesome. Anyway, that is where we went on Tuesday. We all had so much fun on the rides. There are several water rides and we were thoroughly soaked!
I guess since I get so much enjoyment from telling other people's embarrassing stories I must tell one of my own. I'm cringing as I type...
So, like I said, we are soaked from head to toe after riding 3 water rides in a row and we head off for one of many potty breaks. After placing one of the little paper potty protectors on the seat I proceed to do my business. When I stand up I realize that because of the fact that I was soaked the paper is stuck to my legs and my bottom. I try to peel it off but instead of coming off in one piece, it starts tearing in little strips. And because it takes forever to get all of the little strips off, the paper starts drying to my skin. Ever tried paper mache? Well, it hardens..fast! I got off as much as I could and then just gave up. I walked out of the bathroom and everyone was like "Where have you been!?" Of course, I just had to tell them. It was too good of a story to not share. Needless to say my family had a really good laugh at my expense due to my paper mache'd bottom! Especially when Peyton noticed that I still had some stuck to my leg! The great thing about my fam though is that there isn't much that can embarrass you. You would never survive around us if you couldn't take the heat. :)
Me and my fam in front of the Hulk ride. Bry and Peyton were the only ones to brave that one.
My kiddos at the Dr. Seuss spray park. They love this area!
Bre's fam plus Bay. We called her Bre's adopted daughter all week. They were in the Jurassic Park area for kids. You can't tell but Bre is completely soaked. They had an area where you could have water wars. It's addictive. I gave up before she did though. She was DRENCHED!
Presley had so much fun in the Dr. Seuss play area!
I love how Presley and Luke are posing in this one! I think Bay was over the pics by this point. :)
Bay bought this visor for herself. I love it. She is so proud of the fact that she has a weird family. Most kids would be embarrassed at her age but she totally embraces our craziness. :)
Peyton being...well, Peyton. We had fun with all of the little comic strip bubbles!