Instawhat: Photo Dump

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Hi there.  We’ve been busy living summer.  This here’s a photo dump of what I posted on Instagram for the end of June and most of July.  These pictures pretty much sum up our summer thus far.  See that freckle faced boy?  Poor Casper has skin just like his mommy & daddy… fair & freckled.  No amount of sun leaves a tan on him.  Not that the constant application of 55 spf helps that situation.  It does, however, help that whole skin cancer issue.  You’re welcome, Bug.

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I never thought about this when we were naming him, but I am thankful that we chose a short, easy to spell, easy to write name for our son.  He’s been able to spell Eli for months, and now he’s figuring out how to write it.  This was the first time I had him try it (though they may have practiced at school).  With the exception of the letters themselves being backwards, I was was really impressed.

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I manage a full service restaurant.  We all know that.  We also cater.  Catering is kind of my baby at work, and we went from rarely catering (like, maybe once a year) to catering events 6-8 times a year.  I love being able to cook something fresh for someone’s wedding or birthday.  I also love the challenge of making a beautiful, delicious meal in an unconventional setting… makeshift kitchen, cooking out of coolers, etc.  We have yet to cater an event where people weren’t really happy, and that makes all of the stress of the organization and timing totally worth it.  This particular wedding was at the same estate where Hubby and I got married, which made it extra special for me.  This couple’s first dance was to Jack Johnson’s “Better Together,” which happens to be the same song that Hubby & I shared our first dance to almost 7 years ago.  I was very excited about that.  Also, the couple had their first date at our restaurant, which I thought was pretty awesome.  It sideways torrential downpoured about thirty minutes before that photo was taken.  Yay for improvising & for portable sunshades!

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Hubby and I got to go golfing.  By ourselves.  We laughed a lot.  Love that man.

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Fourth of July to me is celebrating with friends and family on the beach and watching the fireworks go off over the water.  This year we were able to share the evening with our new friends from church, some of whom had never experienced the 4th the way we do it in a coastal town.  Our little boy got to play with all of his buddies… I was in heaven watching him be so excited and happy.

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After breakfast one morning, Bug said, “Mommy, let’s snuggle.”  Couldn’t say no to that.  Plus, we were both wearing our tie-dyed shirts that we made together.

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Random boat trip on the Myakka River.  We packed a lunch, cruised for a bit and just spent time together.  It was a beautiful day with my boys.

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A long time ago, when I first started blogging, I had a Pineapple Project.  A pineapple grew from a pineapple grew from a pineapple plant I had planted and I documented the process.  That first pineapple was 4 years ago.  That same plant grew another fruit the following year.  The original plant died off, leaving a pup plant, which is what pineapple plants do.  That pup finally bore fruit this year.  Usually, pineapples start growing in the summer and are ready to eat by December or so… or, at least, my last two pineapples followed that timeline.  This guy started growing in the winter (which was very warm) and was ripe by summer.  The cold snap we had in the middle of that is probably what made him a munchkin pineapple.  He was seriously tiny, but oh-so-sweet and tasty.

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We closed for three days at work to do some remodeling and maintenance work.  In three days we managed to empty the kitchen of nearly all of the equipment, re-tile the kitchen, office & dry storage areas, re-pave the parking lot, sand down and re-epoxy the bar top, paint several inside doors, paint some furniture, paint the outdoor patio floor, paint the walls in dry storage and deep clean all of the equipment and pretty much the entire inside of the restaurant.  And, proudly, the only thing that we didn’t do ourselves was the kitchen floor & the parking lot.  I wore a face mask for three days, but it was totally worth it to see the outcome.  Also, it was amazing how many customers walked across the blocked off and freshly tarred parking lot to see if we were closed.

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We went on a mini-vacation with my parents to Steinhatchee.  Steinhatchee is a really small town on a rive that leads out to the Gulf in the armpit of Florida.  I don’t mean it’s smelly… it’s just in the curve of Florida before the panhandle.  The scalloping there in the summer is awesome… you snorkel on the grass flats and pick up the most delicious little bay scallops.  We had a great long weekend, but it rained a lot so there wasn’t actually a lot of scalloping to be done.

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There is definitely a Hungry Howie’s on the river.  You can call in your order when you are done fishing or scalloping or whatever and then go pick it up by boat.  This made a pregnant lady very happy.

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This is how Bug spends his time in the boat.  Catching, naming, playing with and then releasing bait fish and shrimp.  It is amazing how quickly those little hands can grab a pin fish.

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While swimming at the beach house, Bug turned Aunt Millie in to an elephant.  He’s quite the magician.

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After swimming at the beach house, Bug & I went for $0.99 ice cream at our favorite farm market, Detwiler’s.  Kid takes his ice cream seriously.

What have you been up to this summer?

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Instawhat: Week of 6/16

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For the first four months of this pregnancy I was so tired that I spent every free moment napping.  Finally, about a month ago, I started exercising again.  I’ve been running once or twice a week and, man, does it feel good.  Don’t worry, I’ve been taking it super easy… alternating jogging for 5 minutes or so and then walking for a few minutes.  There is a great, wide bike trail that runs throughout our county that I take advantage of as often as I can… mostly because it is full of views just like this.

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We spent the weekend with Uncle Chris & Aunt Millie (Bug’s Godparents) and Chris’ wonderful kids Karley & Timothy.  Chris’ grandmother has a home right on the beach here in Venice, so we took advantage of the fact that she is up north for the summer.  That’s Hubby and the kids heading from the pool to the beach.  Rough life, huh?

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Buggers and Karley enjoying an awesome surf & turf dinner on the grill.

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When Hubby told the kids that he brought fireworks, they were excited.  When he told Uncle Chris, he might have jumped up and down a little bit.  Proof that boys never really grow up.  They just get big enough to use lighters all by themselves.

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Yeah fireworks on old crab traps!

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Sunday morning swim session/water gun fight.  What else would you do after breakfast?

What did you do this weekend?

Bug’s 3rd Birthday Party

Eleven days ago, my baby turned 3.  Although I’m not one of those moms that loved the baby stage, I’m still wondering where the heck my baby has gone.  Seriously.  The boy turned into a legit kid overnight.  (And I somehow slipped into my early 30s during that night… yeesh.)

We asked Bug what kind of party he wanted, and he answered with an obvious, “Superheroes!”  Last year we had Bug’s birthday party at our community pool, which was great because it’s so darn hot in June.  We totally would have done that again this year, but we may or may not have gotten in trouble last year for having beer at the pool.  I mean, it’s not like anyone was hammered… just some dads (and maybe a couple of moms) enjoying a beer or two while watching burgers cook on the grill and kids playing (supervised) in the pool.  Needless to say, we had to find somewhere else for a party.  We chose the beach.  My wonderful in-laws live in a neighborhood that has a private beach access with a grill and a little pavilion.  It’s the perfect party spot.  We used it for Bug’s 1st birthday, and I’m sure we’ll be using it again!

Party details: Bug requested a Superman cake.  With Superman on a motorcycle.  Because, you see, his friend Ben had a cake with Batman on the Batcycle, but Bug “likes Superman the best.”  I’m thinking, great, I’m going to have to find a motorcycle that a Superman figuring will fit on and superglue them together.  Luckily, at Target one day I happened across an actual Superman on a motorcycle set.  Score.  Bug’s cake (as requested) was chocolate with blue, red & yellow.  I’m pretty sure the kids’ mouths were blue for days.  I know my hands were.  Also, side note on the cake – I used a recipe that replicates Publix’s buttercream icing, because I figured it would hold up well in the heat.  It did, and it was yummy, but it was SUPER GREASY.  Like impossible to wash off of your hands without loads of Dawn greasy.  I won’t make it again unless I need a cake to sit outside for hours.  (So, probably Bug’s next birthday.)

I made superhero capes for all of the kids, with a special E cape for Bug.  We had little party favor bags with Thank You cards attached, little waters for the kiddos with cute labels and an Eli banner.  I designed the graphics, so if you’re looking for Superhero Party labels and whatnot, email me and I’ll hook you up (thebakerbee@hotmail.com).  All in all, the details looked awesome and the capes were a huge hit.

Funny how we have a party at the beach and nobody actually went down to the beach.  The ids were having so much fun playing in the kiddie pool and in the shower that they never even made it to the sand.  Which, in actuality, was just fine because it kept everyone in the same area.

We grilled burgers & dogs and had cake, of course.  Don’t worry, Bug got to finish his.  I mentioned in an earlier post that it rained for over a week here in SW Florida.  On Bug’s birthday, it rained at our house (several miles east of the beach) off an on all day.  We get to the beach and no rain.  We saw lots of gray clouds, but they floated on past us.  It started raining about 15 minutes or so after the festivities were pretty much done.  It was perfect timing.

My favorite part of Bug’s party was the pinata.  I was mostly impressed with how a group of 2-5 year olds took turns and cheered each other on.  Nobody cried.  Nobody fought.  Everybody shared.  Each kid got  a turn before it busted open.  It was amazing.  Plus, the kids’ faces are priceless.

All in all, Bug had a pretty awesome birthday.  He got to play with his friends (this is his sweet buddy Isaac… Bug pretty much idolizes him) and we got to play with our friends, too.  I guess we never really grow up, huh?

Instawhat Week of 6/9

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Bugger’s 3rd birthday was last Sunday… woot!  We had a superhero party at the beach and had a grand ole time.  There will be an actual, for real post on the party later this week.  This is Bug wearing his pinata as a hat.  It is also my new favorite picture ever.  Silly boy.

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Summer in Florida means that it is bright & sunny in the mornings and early afternoon with a rain shower rolling in around 4:00 or so.  Then it clears up for sunset.  Generally speaking.  Not this year.  Well, at least not for the last week of May and the first week of June.  Thanks to Tropical Storm Andrea, we had something like 10 straight days of grey skies and rain, rain, rain.  It felt like we were in Seattle, just way warmer.  It was depressing.  Bug and I spent some time playing in puddles because playing inside was no longer fun after so many days!

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The upside of all that rain was 1) maybe the water table was raised enough to where we won’t have any water restrictions this summer and 2) my rain lilies are SO HAPPY.

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Peanut butter jelly face!  This is how my son eats (and has always eaten) his sandwiches: he separates the two pieces of bread, scrapes all of the peanut butter off and eats it, scrapes all the jelly off and eats it and then eats each piece of bread.  This makes for a messy lunch.  And, also, a long lunch.

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This wasn’t on my Instagram feed this week, but on my work’s.  Strawberry Napolean.  I’m sharing it here as a sneak peak for my next recipe post.  I’m photographing it at work today, so hopefully I’ll have it posted next week!  Talk about perfect summer dessert.  This, folks, is it.

2012 Vacation #2: Maggie Valley

Every year, Hubby’s Nana rents the same cabin in Maggie Valley, North Carolina and just about the whole family (14 of us this year!) shows up for a family reunion.  Every year it’s awesome.  (Here’s the recap from last year, if you’re interested!)  We went on this vacation an entire month ago, but I am just now getting around to posting about it.  Whoopsies.  Story of my life.

This year, Hubby & I opted to drive up rather than fly.  Now that Buggy is 2, he’s not free anymore.  No thank you to $900 to fly.  In comparison (and in Casey math), driving seemed almost free.  You can see pictures from our adventure up here.  Yay for Instagram.  Anywho, we arrived around lunch time on a Wednesday and within an hour or so we were on the golf course.  We play this fantastic little course that used to be super crappy.  The “clubhouse” is still a total shack, but the course was actually in really good shape this year.  They even added sand traps.  Huge ones.  They let us play a sixsome and don’t care what Scary Uncle Adam wears.  We love this place.  Hubby, Adam and I got to play again Thursday morning, as well.

After golf & lunch on Thursday, we went on the Death Hike.  Really, it was a hike of the unknown to go see some elk.  We’ve wanted to do this hike for a couple of years now and just never got it together.  It’s a 7 mile stretch through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that ends in the Cataloochee Valley.  It was one of those hikes that we brought extra food & water just in case the trails were so crappy that we got lost.  Turns out, the trails were fantastic and it only took us about 3 and a half hours.  One lady told us it was going to take 8… she obviously underestimated our athletic abilities.  The hike was seriously beautiful and ended in the valley, which is where the elk in the area graze each evening.  Pretty incredible.

On Friday, we took our annual tubing trip down Deep Creek.  This is my favorite part of the trip.  White water tubing is SO. MUCH. FUN.  Plus, the little kiddos can play in the river while us big kiddos go down the rapids.  This year was especially awesome, though, because Bug is big enough to go down the little rapids.  So, after the big kids went down the larger section, Hubby, Scary Uncle Adam and Cousin Kelly took Bug down a short little section.  He loved it, obvi.  Plus, since he isn’t napping twice a day like he was last year, we were able to stay and have a picnic lunch.  Bug thought it was super cool to eat lunch in a tube.  It took cookies to lure him out.

On last year’s Maggie Valley, Bug got to meet his second cousin Joshua, who is the son of one of Hubby’s cousins and is three months younger than Bug.  This year, Joshua and his family couldn’t make it.  However, another of Hubby’s cousins has a son who is three weeks older than Bug… and they DID get to come this year.  Bug had a blast playing with his second cousin Cohen.  There was a lot of monkeys jumping on beds with these two goofballs.

A highlight of this year’s trip that was a new adventure for all of us was Santa’s Land.  This fantastic theme park opened in 1966 and I am pretty darn sure that it hasn’t changed.  There are all of these old rides that look like they belong in an antique state fair museum.  Like, way cooler and sturdier than any state fair ride that you see today.  Cohen & Bug had so much fun riding the boat ride and the race cars and the helicopter and the carousel.  Santa’s Land also has a mini-zoo with baby bears and a couple of monkeys and some other random animals, like kangaroos.  And, of course, Santa is there.  Bug was oddly enthusiastic about Santa.  He actually wanted to sit on his lap and had a pretty good little conversation with the man.  Cohen = notsomuch.  Sadly, I have no pictures of that.  **Side note – apparently this Santa was the Santa at Sarasota Square Mall for 6 years.  This is our mall.  He’s like a snowbird Santa.  North Carolina in the summers at Santa’s Land and Florida in the winter at shopping malls.  Who knew there were jobs for Santa in the summer.**

The true gem of Santa’s Land is the Rudicoaster.  Get it?  The Rudolph Roller Coaster?  Ha.  As you can see, Hubby, Scary Uncle Adam and Graham (Cohen’s momma) had a hell of a time on the creakiest, bounciest roller coaster ever.  They rode it to see if the little ones would be okay on it.  The little ones decidedly would not have been ok.

Ahhh, the time the babies almost died.  A certain family member who shall remain nameless on the internets (and no, surprisingly, it wasn’t Scary Uncle Adam) backed the car that was holding BOTH babies into a small trench, causing the tires to get stuck and spin out. All of a sudden the car jolts, slides and pops onto three wheels.  The fathers of the babies bolt out of their vehicles as fast as I have ever seen humans move and got the babies out while Uncle Adam jumped on the back of the trench car to get the wheel back on the ground.  I should mention that those trees?  Yeah, they are rooted quite a ways down a mountain.  Meaning if the car rolled, it would have rolled down a mountain.  To get the car out of the small trench, we hooked up a tow strap, which Scary Uncle Adam brought along “just in case,” to our Element, which we lovingly call the Toaster.  The Toaster has all-wheel drive, which has come in handy more than once in the 6 years that we’ve owned it.  Anywho, kind of humorous that the 4-cylinder Honda saved the GMC SUV.  Go Toaster!

The last night of our trip was spent at Smokey Shadows Lodge eating a delicious family-style dinner (tomato pie & all) and playing guitar and just hanging out.  One of my mother-in-law’s family members used to own the lodge back in the day, so the family has been going there for a very long time.  Great Nana loves that we can all be somewhere and experience something that our parents did as children.  You know, that whole generational thing.  Truth be told, we think it’s pretty amazing as well.  Four generations in that picture up there!

So, that was our second vacation this summer.  All I can really say is that I can’t wait to go back next year!

Hurricane Day… Kind Of

Yesterday was a hurricane day.  Growing up in Florida, I’ve been through a lot of hurricane days, with yesterday being the most anti-climactic that I can remember.  Thanks, Isaac, for a whole lotta nothin’.  **Side note – I say that, but in reality, obviously, I am thankful for nothing when it comes to hurricanes.  At least we have the chance to prepare for natural disasters, and I would much rather prepare and have nothing come of it than not be able to prepare at all.  And, of course, my thoughts and prayers are with those who were actually affected by Hurricane Isaac.**  This particular hurricane day was determined all the way back on Saturday with the county calling of school for Monday.  48 hours is a long time in hurricane land.  Way back on Saturday, we were still in the “cone of uncertainty.”  By Sunday morning, right about the same time Walmart ran out of water, we were no longer in said cone.  Yet, schools and government offices were still to be closed… which pretty much still made everybody think that there was some serious imminent danger headed our way.

We did some minor stuff at home in case we got heavy winds, like putting the potted plants in the garage and moving the patio furniture up against the house.  At work, we pulled all of the patio furniture inside just in case.  By Sunday afternoon it was pretty clear that we didn’t need to put hurricane shutters up.  It was pretty windy & rainy Sunday night, but nothing too crazy.  All of that meant that, this morning, I got to put all of the patio furniture at work back outside.  I was standing out on the patio, moving tables and chairs at 9:00 with the sun beating down on me.  Sure felt like a hurricane day.  Not.  And, other than bands of rain and wind every hour or so, the only reason it felt like a hurricane day was due to the ghost town feeling around town.  Not many cars on the roads, not many people out for lunch, not many businesses open.  Needless to say, I was happy to cut out of work a little early and spend some time with my family… my family that didn’t have school or work and therefore pretty much just got a free pass to play all day.

The best thing about Hurricane Isaac (or Tropical Storm Isaac as it was when it passed near-ish to our area) was the surf.  You see, we live on the southwest coast of Florida.  When a tropical system comes into the gulf, we have the potential to get really good surf, which doesn’t happen that often on our side of the state.  However, if a storm is too close to the coast, the surf is to choppy and rough and therefore sucky.  Hubby, being a surfer, went from being hopeful that we were going to get a storm to slightly depressed that it was going to be too close for good surf to super excited that it had moved far enough west.  If you know any surfers, especially in Florida, then you know that they are probably the only people that really look forward to hurricane season.  And, yes, Hubby woke up at 6:30 this morning and hit the water at sunrise.

Though I didn’t mind being at work, I was bummed that I couldn’t spend the day on the beach with him.  Hurricane days out on the beach are some of my favorite memories.  It is gray and windy and rainy, but also very warm and balmy and sticky.  As the storm surge comes in, the beach starts to disappear and things just look so… different.  And beautiful.  The waves start out small in the morning and grow exponentially until the wind gets on it too much and the waves get blown out.  The quickness of it all is what makes hurricane swells so different from regular swells.  It is such a peaceful and humbling feeling to be sitting on a surfboard in the rain.

When we were in college, we used to come home for hurricane swells and spend the whole day out on the beach.  We’d get out there as soon as it was light out.  I’d surf with the boys until the waves got too big for me.  The current moves really quickly with storm swells, so there was a lot of drifting past the best break and then walking back up the beach to do it all over again, the storm surge creeping up higher and higher with every drift.  I’d sit on the beach and just watch the boys doing what they love best.  I’d watch the rain and the wind and the way it moved things around.  Or, I’d nap in the back of the Toaster (our beloved Honda Element).  Oh, how I love sandy beach naps in the Toaster.  We’d grab some lunch at whichever beachside restaurant had the balls to stay open and hit the water again until the waves were too blown out or the rain was too hard or the wind was too dangerous.  I loved those days… with the salt sticking to my skin and my hair.

Fishin’ in Boca

I was all set to label this post as being Bug’s first fishing trip.  But then I remembered that we took him fishing last year.  Except for he didn’t actually fish… he just played in the pack-n-play in the boat.  Not that he really fished this time, either, but at least he was there and more involved than a year ago.

You see, Hubby & I love to fish.  I hadn’t been fishing in FOREVER and every time lately that Hubby has gotten to go, I haven’t been able to join him.  So, we carved out some time on a random Sunday a couple of weeks ago and took our little boat down to Boca Grande.  It was awesome.  We got up super early (and by that I mean 6:30… which is super early for me) and fished for a couple of hours before stopping at a cute little place on the water for brunch.  Buggy mostly just played in the boat, but he did fish a little bit with his Cars pole and helped me reel my line in.  He also got to touch the fish that we caught.

For awhile, when he was younger, Bug was very antsy in the boat.  He didn’t want to sit still while we were moving fast, which made it pretty much a pain to take him out on the water.  Now, though, he loves to sit on your lap while we are zipping around, which is SO much easier and so much fun.  He also likes to wear Daddy’s hat over his face (he can see through the little holes up top & thinks it’s hilarious).

Surfer Boy

I would like to start by saying that yesterday was the first time we’d seen the sun in almost a week.  The clouds started last Thursday, followed by 5 straight days of nothing but wind and rain.  Thank you, Tropical Storm Debby.  Now, if you live in Washington or, say, Alaska, you might be used to not seeing the sun for 5 days.  Spending pretty much my whole life in Florida, I am NOT okay with no sunshine.  Yesterday’s sun (and accompanying heat) was welcome.

Tropical Storm Debby not only threw wind and rain our direction, but also waves.  Hubby is a surfer and got to spend the entire day Sunday surfing some of the best waves the west coast of Florida has seen in quite some time.  Saturday, the waves were smaller, but still pretty well formed, so we decided to take Bug for his first surf session.

We started by having him sit on a board while Hubby & I swam & pulled the board to the sand bar… where the little waves were breaking.  The plan was for Hubby to push him into a wave & for me to be on the receiving end should he fall.  2 problems with this plan: 1) Bug was not excited about being on the board by himself and 2) the tide was so high that I could barely stand on the sand bar… treading water for an hour was NOT going to happen.  We didn’t want him to be scared of the situation, and I didn’t want to drown, so we ended up going back to shore with me swimming and Hubby paddling on the board with Bug on front.  He paddled Bug around for a while and tried to have him stand on the board for a minute.

After a little break, we decided to take him out with 2 boards… Hubby & Bug on one and then me on another.  This worked out SO much better!  Hubby & Bug caught one decent wave, and Buggy loved every bit of the 6 second thrill ride.  I was on the inside, waiting to dive off and grab him if fell off (don’t worry, he had a life vest on, too).  He did fall off a couple of times, but each time he wanted to get right back on and do it again.  There was a lot of excited squealing going on.

Bug’s first surf session was a huge success.  It was also a dream come true for Hubby.  Surfing is Hubby’s one true passion.  To the point of all plans will be cancelled if there is surf… with the exception of childbirth.  Ever since we found out I was pregnant, you could just see him playing a video in his mind of taking his kid surfing for the first time.  God help any child of ours who doesn’t like water.

“I’mma go surfin” is now the new favorite phrase in our house.

When did you first share your passions with your children?  When did they first participate?

2012 Vacation #1: Captiva!

I have a brother.  I don’t think I’ve ever written about him here because, well, I just don’t get to see him all that often.  He’s pretty awesome, though.  He lives in a suburb of Chicago with his beautiful wife & their 6 year old twin boys.  Up until the twins were born, we went on a family vacation every year.  Note that I said up until the twins were born.  We haven’t been on a family vacation in over SIX years, people.  It doesn’t help that I work for my family, which means that it is near impossible for my Dad & I to take time off at the same time.  But, this year, we decided it had been way too long and we got to spend an entire week together!  My bro & his family was here for a week and our parents took the whole family to Captiva Island for the last few days.  We used to vacation here as kids, and when we were there in August for my cousin’s wedding, we though it would be a great place to spend some time as a family.

We started out by spending a couple of days here in town, just hanging out at my pool and at Mom & Dad’s house.  Somehow, in spending like 6 straight days together, we only managed to get ONE family picture.  That’s what happens when there are small children running around.

The cousins all had an absolute blast playing together.  We spent lots of time out on the beach building some serious sandcastles.

And then, in true little boy style, destroying them.

We spent each morning swimming and relaxing on the beach…

We spent each afternoon swimming in the pool and eating ice cream.  I didn’t get a single picture of Bug swimming.  Why?  Because he spends all of his swimming time underwater these days, but since he hasn’t quite figured out yet that he has to come up for air, somebody (me) has to have a hand on him AT ALL TIMES.

We brought our boat down with us and Hubby & Papa took the twins on their first fishing trip one evening.  They were super excited to tell us that they learned how to “launch” (cast).  They didn’t catch anything, but Papa & Hubby did, and they got to help reel the fishy fishies in.

The last night, Grandma & Papa babysat and Hubby, my brother, my sister-in-law and I all got to go out on the town.  We went to Tween Waters Inn, which is a place where my uncle’s band played like 20 years ago, to watch some live music and a have a couple of adult beverages.  There are pictures from that evening, but let’s just say that I’m not allowed to post them.  It was wonderful to spend so much time with my brother & his family… and to watch Bug interact with his cousins.  He wanted to emulate everything that the big boys did, and they were so good about letting him play with them.  Family vacation are the best.

Are you planning any family vacations this summer?

Beach Days Are Here Again

I know I have posted about the beach before.  Like here. And here.  Oh, and here & here.  Trust me, this won’t be the last time either.  If you’re new here, let me fill you in on something.  We live in a beach town in southwest Florida.  You know, the part of the country where it got below 40 like twice all winter.  The part of the country that allowed Bug & I to swim IN THE OCEAN on March 1st.  It’s pretty much summer here already.  Crazy town.  I love it.

So far this month, we’ve been to the beach twice and the pool twice and the splash pad downtown twice.  My kid WILL be tan by the end of the summer, darnit.  I say this, but it won’t happen.  Have you seen my kid?  Ghost-baby-Casper-white all around.  It doesn’t help that we load him up with the 70 spf and make him wear a rash guard most of the time.  Hubby and I are both fair-skinned frecklies (especially Hubs), so we pretty much wrote off our kid being tan before he was even conceived.  We also wrote him our of any sports where you have to be bigger than 5′ 9″ and 150 pounds.  Poor guy.  Soccer & surfing are pretty much his only hopes.

Anywho, back to the beach.  We kind of have a good beach routine down.  We play up in the sand first.  I get Bug a bucket full of water and we get the sand wet and make sand castles (and destroy them, obvi).

Then, we head down to the water’s edge and dig in the wet sand there a little bit.  Sometimes we pick up sand and throw it around… but never at people… because we don’t throw sand at people, Eli. Then, Bug makes a beeline for the water.  He’ll straight up run right in until his head is underwater.  Who cares that he can’t swim yet?  Not Bug!  Who cares that the water is still pretty darn chilly?  Not Bug!  Who cares that Momma LOATHES cold water?  Not Bug!

Is it beach/pool/splash pad weather where you are?