Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vacation Recap

We've been back from vacation for a week and a half. Its always good to be home. Going on vacation and coming home is a lot of work. We had perfect weather- it never rained during waking hours. The heat was a little oppresive. Mid 90's and heat index over 100. All 17 of us seemed to have a blast playing in the pool and digging in the sand. Most stayed healthy. All stayed happy. Our meeting times in the morning were full of great discussion, biblical teaching, fellowship, and personal development. Paul and I were able to have great discussions on where our little family is headed: our relationship, us as parents, Izzy as a woman of God, our baby girl (we're so close to naming her!), Paul's business, housing, etc. Here are some pictures from our week away.

If you are looking for a kid friendly all inclusive resort in the Riviera Maya part of Mexico. You have to check out the Barcelo Maya Colonial. It is where we stayed. The staff and rooms were very accomodating to kids of all ages. They had a great kids club area for activities. Also, there was a large lagoon with about 10 waterslides and fountains and waterfalls. It was only about a foot and half deep so it was the perfect playground for most of the kids. We found a great deal through our travel agent. Round trip flight, transportation from airport, 7 days, 7 nights, food, drinks, activities for $800 an adult. Kids were cheaper, but I don't remember by how much.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Things I Love Thursday- My Toddler's Leash

Yes, I'm a terrible mother. I put my 3 year old on my leash. So leave all the bad comments you want about what a terrible thing this is. I will simply ignore them. I know what is best for me and my child- you don't- so get over it.

I love my 'toddler leash'. It has rarely gotten use- but as we vacationed last week I found I LOVE this thing.

The leash I'm talking about are those cute little monkey or dog backpacks you can get at pretty much any store that sells kids stuff (I got mine at Tar.get or Mei.jer). Check it out here. Ok, so maybe harness is a better word. I originally purchased the leash/harness last spring as an option for my then 2.5 year old to get around without me worrying about where she was. She was starting to outgrow the idea of being in a stroller all the time- wanting to walk around stores and places like the zoo. I mainly had her wear it when 1) I didn't want to be worried about teaching the lesson of staying close to mommy (like at the zoo) and 2) When the games of hide and seek in the clearance racks got really annoying (and slightly worrisome).

I only used it a few times here at home as we went out and about. For the most part, I tried to just teach Izzy that she needed to stay close to mommy or hold onto the shopping cart or whatever.

Well last week we went on a glorious vacation to Mexico with Paul's immediate family and another family- like 15 people all together. It was great. I had made the decision to not bring a stroller with us. Izzy hardly uses them, especially for short spurts of time. She loves walking around and exploring. It was an annoying bulky thing that I could just leave home (being 29 weeks pregnant and travelling made me very space and bulk conscientious). My only concern was what to do during those unpredictable lines at the ticket counter, security, customs, and immigration. You never know what you are going to find- long lines with crazy amount of jet lagged tourists or short and sweet breeze right through. I decided the monkey would be the best option. I didn't want to take a chance at her disobeying me by not staying close (An international airport is not the time or the place to learn that lesson). I wanted her to be free to move, but only so far. And she wasn't confined to a stroller that we would have to push around and lug everywhere.

I love my little monkey leash.

We hit major long lines in Cancun airport. It took us 2 hours to get through customs and immigration- standing in those long windy zig zag lines. On our way out of the country we had another long 45 minute wait at the ticket counter. Izzy (and all the other kids we brought with us) did phenomenally. She never complained. Never acted out. She had freedom to walk around and visit with her cousins. She could sit and rest on a suitcase or on her daddy's shoulder's when she got tired. But I always knew right where she was. No risk getting lost the tangled web of people.

It was peaceful (as peaceful as 2 hour long waits in a stuffy airport terminal can be). I didn't worry. I didn't have to push a stroller around and through security (do you know the pain that is? you have to fold it all up, discard anything you have in the stroller so it can fit through the x-ray machine, then load it up again...its a pain).

I love my monkey leash. I recommend it to anyone travelling with a kid aged 2-5 or so. No stroller bulk. No worries.

Yeah, you get some weird comments and looks because you do have your child on a leash. But, safety is worth it, right!?

Friday, October 9, 2009

If you need me...

If you need me in the next week, I will be here....
Enjoying a non-alcoholic one of these....
While home prepares for the first signs of this...

Have a happy week y'all!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The coming week...

This past week has brought some changes and the coming week has a lot to look forward to. I'm gosh darn tired that I can hardly think straight, but here it goes.

-Grandpa Morgan was back in the hospital with an arterial bleed in the back of his throat. He has now been taken off the blood thinners that were for his heart stints. His condition has downgraded quite a bit in the past week and the family is now looking into some hospice or around the clock nursing care. Cancer is a roller coaster ride- and we are unsure if there will be a climb back up at this point or if we will continue in a descent.

-Bible Study at church is officially underway and I love my group so far! We are large (14 women) but very diverse which brings great discussion. We are studying the book of Matthew.

-Riah (my nephew) had his 5th birthday. So much to celebrate there.

-We are finally flea free!!! No bites for over a week!

-We are still house hunting and it is taking its toll. We are not in a hugely motivated position, so it allows us to be 'picky' about what we want, but I'm beginning to wonder if we'll find it. People are stupid and have their homes so way over priced its not even funny. I know our area has had one of the lowest declines in home values in the state- but that doesn't mean it has appreciated 10 grand in 2 years! Yikes!

-Naptime is back! Izzy only misses 1-2 naps a week now. I'm glad it was a phase. I have needed the extra rest the past week or so.

-God has sent us at least 2 if not 3 purchase agreements in the past week! Go God!

Now what we have in the coming week-

-Hopefully we will be leaving on Saturday morning for a much needed vacation. We are planning on travelling with Paul's immediate family plus another family (like 15 people in all) to Mexico to an all inclusive resort. Plans are still ok, but may change at the last moment with the whole Grandpa factor. Selfishly, I will simply cry if we do not get to go simply because we need this vacation so bad and our window of opportunity is small with baby coming soon. Paul and I need this. Izzy needs her daddy away from work just to play.

-A week from today I will be in my 3rd trimester- where did the first two go? Yikes! 28 weeks- means meeting our yet to be named daughter in 11 weeks. Whoa. Talk about a reality check!

I think that's all. I'm pooped. Izzy's (hopefully) down for a nap. I think I either hear my floors calling for a mop or my pillow. We'll see who cries louder.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Things I Love Thursday: Flexible Cutting Boards

Today I want to share my love for my flexible cutting boards (also called chopping mats). I happened to stumble across a set of three at our local dollar tree- and fell in love! These cutting boards take up like zero room in a drawer or cupboard, work just as well at preventing scratches and dents on my countertop, and are so much easier to use than a regular old cutting board.

I love that I can scoop up the leftover mess of some cutting (broccoli stems, carrot peels, potato eyes) and send them right to the trash. I can equally scoop up any cut items into a bowl or crock pot or pan with ease as seen in this photo I found online:

I also like to lay these mats out when I'm trimming chicken or seasoning other meat because it keeps the raw meat off my counter or off a more porous board. My chopping mats are dishwasher safe. The chopping mats I got at the dollar store lasted about a year and a half- a pretty decent investment and I used them every day and always put them in the dishwasher (to get all that yucky bacteria off). I replaced my dollar tree ones with a pack of 4 from bed bath and you know where. This set is high quality, a little thicker, fun colors, and still only about $1 a mat. I have been using them for about 6 months now and they are fabulous. I love my flexible cutting boards!

To see other things people love check out the Diaper Diaries and share something you love too! (You can even win free hostess cupcakes today!!!)