Sunday, May 27, 2012

Landscaping Ideas

Let's face it, the Disney parks and resorts are beautiful! The landscaping may not be the biggest part of the parks compared to the rides, shops and characters, but it plays a huge role in overall feel. Everything is so well manicured and clean! In May, Epcot has a lawn and garden show right in the park. This year, I took along my camera for some ideas!

Colin chasing a butterfly in the Butterfly Garden

Who wouldn't want one of these? Outdoor teepee guarded by climbing Confederate Jasmine

Everything you need for salsa - tomato plants, onion, cilantro and tomatillo in ONE container!

Awesome container gardens! Salsa, Soup and Salad containers
Another great idea for kids - a tunnel made up of bamboo plants tied together 

Mother's Day present idea? Birdhouse made from a used milk carton
For our backyard: tall trees surrounded by close-growing ferns and a few bushes. Simple but very green!
Currently, our backyard is a large piece of square green with not a lot going on but some weeds! We plan to incorporate a few of these ideas, as well as a new patio, to make it a little more inviting. A nice place to sit back with some sweet tea and watch the kiddos play!

WDW 2012 - At the Resort

For our last day in Disney, we decided to skip the park and spend the day exploring the resort. We spent some time at both pools and a little time at the beach. It was the BEST day that we had while on vacation. Very relaxing and fun. Couldn't ask for a better way to spend Mother's Day!

Momma + Boys

Colin outside of the Wilderness Lodge

Getting ready to go for a boat ride with Dadda

Something that Chris has wanted to do since he was a little by was to take the mini-powerboats out on the water. All of the resorts on this lake, which connects to Magic Kingdom, have these boats available and you can see them as you are taking the monorail or ferry to and from Magic Kingdom. Well this year, he finally was able to do that! Colin rode along side him and pretended the other boats were pirate ships :) What an imagination, that one! They had a blast. And I got some quiet, alone time to catch up on some reading poolside!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

WDW 2012

I think Chris and I were a little too optimistic about what we could handle with two kids, one just 7 weeks old, at Disney World. This trip was a LOT of work for us. A lot of juggling lines, tired kids with just one stroller, and a nursing schedule. By the time we got the hang of it, it was time to leave! I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked, especially since it was this little man's first official trip:

But we did manage to make it over to Epcot (not really a stretch since it's Chris' favorite park) to take a picture with Mickey! No trip would be complete without that.

We did all of the usual - Buzz Lightyear Space Rangers, it's a small world (Salem's rode too!), Pirates of the Caribbean, etc. There is a new ride in Magic Kingdom called Barnstormer and it was great! Like a pint-size roller coaster. Colin was a little hesitant after the first hill, then he was 'wee-ing' all the way through and rode it again with his Dadda! The next time we come, he should be tall enough to ride Space Mountain and Splash Mountain and all of those goodies.

We also ventured to Hollywood Studios for the first time. However, we got there a bit late. All of the shows were done for the day - except for the Little Mermaid and the Muppets, so we did both of those. And he liked them a lot. However, we missed the Disney Junior show, which he really would have liked, and we missed an opportunity to take pictures with Buzz and Woody! I about cried. I had no idea how great this area of the park was for kids! I am so sad that we did not find it sooner. We did go on the new Buzz Lightyear ride (a 90 minute wait for most of the night!) but next visit we will be sure to spend more time in Hollywood Studios to really enjoy it! I'm sure it will become one of our favorite spots!

WDW 2012 - Vero Beach

For the first leg of our trip we stopped at Vero Beach for a little time in the sun :) Well, Chris and Colin spent a lot of time in the sun. Salem is still too young for sunscreen, so we spent a lot of time in the shade:

We shared a cabana on the beach and watched Dadda and Colin hit the waves and play in the sand. 

Colin had a blast at the beach! It was a very quiet beach so he had a ton of room to roam and a storm brought in just the right amount of waves. Perfect beach day!

The resort also had a great pool area for the kiddos, complete with a pirate ship! Colin climbed right up and said 'Yo Ho Ho!'. It may be the best kids' pool I've ever seen.

Colin bravely went down this slide TWICE! Chris waited for him at the bottom and we made sure he wore a life vest. It seems that he has forgotten how to swim since last summer. Good thing we will be spending a lot of time at the pool this summer :)

Dadda & Salem in matching outfits
We were pretty pleased with the resort. It was small and quiet. The restaurants on the resort were actually pretty good. We had GREAT seafood both nights which is all I wanted! It would be worth another stop someday. But we had bigger plans for this trip- on to Disney World!

Another Year Down...

This week Colin had his end of the school year luau at Little Red. These moments are a little bittersweet for me- he's getting older and smarter, which is awesome, but he's also GETTING OLDER, which makes me sad! I didn't cry this year but that could be because I know he's going to be in the same class again next year :)

Either way, we are SO proud of our little man! The class sang their ABC's for us, counted to 20, sang the days of the week and months of the years songs, and then counted to 10 in both Spanish and German! We didn't even know that he new Spanish! Kind of. He sort of lip-syncs his way through those two. But still, very impressive indeed! The highlight of the night was watching the kiddos 'dance' and 'hula' to Blue Hawaii. That video is a keeper. Kind of like our little man...

With Teacher Tina

With Teacher Stephanie

With his Momma

And guess who won the award as Mr. Smiles?


"Whether we are doing circle time or he is off playing with his friends, Colin always has a smile on his face. We love his genuine friendliness and happy outlook. Thanks, Colin, we love your smiles." - Teacher Tina

Little Man, we are so proud of you and all that you have accomplished! You are growing into a bright, fun-loving, young man right before our eyes. We pray that you never lose your child-like spirit and, of course, your cute smile! We LOVE you OH so much! - Momma and Dadda

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Salem::2 Months

TWO Months

 Gained 4 lbs. since birth and is in the 50 percentile for height and 25 percentile for weight

1st trip to Disney World + the beach

LOVES UC fight songs!

Likes to take showers

Happy baby

Big fan of his big brother

Has to be wrapped a special way to sleep at night (6 to 7 hours at that) :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A First Trip to the Dentist

Yesterday Colin had his first dentist appointment! We may have been a little late- don't judge. But he was cavity-free and Dr. Walden said his teeth look great so no harm, no foul!

Doesn't he look so small in that chair?!!

Boy was a champ! He sat still through the entire appointment. It may have helped that a new Disney (or Nick?) Jr. show was on for him to watch :) Either way, he handled it was the the greatest of ease! He did show some hesitation when she tried to polish his teeth but quickly warmed up to the weird toothbrush-thingy and let the hygienist do her job! Way to go little man! Woot woot for clean teeth!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Like a Child

There's just something about Disney World that is special. Growing up, I was privileged to visit quite a few times. And I went once as a college student for cheerleading. This will make my second trip as a parent and I can say, without a doubt, it is so much better to experience it with your kids! To see it through their eyes, to experience the happiness alongside them. Disney does an amazing job of bringing that out.

We haven't even stepped lot in a park yet and already I can get excited by Colin's excitement. And I am not alone either. On the way down, we stopped at a rest area so I could feed Salem. Chris and Colin started playing baseball with just pine cones and a stick. An older man walking by just stopped and watched and smiled. 'You got quite a ball player there,' he said and then made his wife watch a few pitches alongside him. I could literally see him walking down memory lane. Just from a few minutes of watching Colin in passing.

 And again today, I watched Chris and Colin play in the waves as I fed Salem under the cabana (common theme here, haha) and again a passerby stopped for a few moments to watch them. And smiled. And it made me smile, too.

I am so thankful that my son was able to bring a smile to these strangers' faces. Just by simply doing what he does best- just being a kid and living life to the fullest!

WDW 2012 - Day 1

I wasn't planning on posting about the trip down to Florida, however, our short stay in Atlanta proved to be an eventful one! Straight out of an episode of 'When Vacations Attack!'. Okay, slight exaggeration, but at the time it seemed like it was.

Fresh air + exercise after being in a car since 5:30 am = brilliant!
Strolling through the ghetto and then getting caught in a monsoon with a six week old- not so brilliant.

We were huddled under a tent in the park waiting for our burgers to be served while the heavens literally opened up on us. It went from beautiful, sunny day to flash flooding just in the minutes we were waiting for our order. With no sign of it letting up and the air getting cooler, we decided to grab our burgers to-go and make a dash for it. With a six week old. Parents-of-the-year. By God's grace, no one got sick and no one got hurt. And our marriage survived :) But please don't let this be a sign of things to come!

From what we did see of the city, I would like to make another trip in the near future and stay just a bit longer. Maybe to hit up a few of these places:

Westside Provisions District - specifically Yeah! Burger, West Egg Cafe and Room + Board,

Inman Park - Atlant's first planned suburb and loads of historical character,

HD1, King of Pops, and maybe World of Coca-Cola, just because.

In the meantime, please pray that put vacation does not get the best of us!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Allergy Recheck 2012

We found out about Colin's allergies in June 2009 after his first allergy panel testing. He gets rechecked every year to see if there are any changes - better or worse. This will be his fourth round of panel testing and I realized that I have never taken my camera to document the process! Here's a little sneak peak:

The picture on the left is right after the initial pricks. They tested for Egg Yolks,  Egg Whites, Wheat, Soy and Control (and I'm not sure what the last one was for because we avoided Peanut altogether the year). The picture on the right shows the flare ups after a few minutes of waiting. All but the control site showed a reaction. No changes to his allergies this year so we will keep avoiding those foods as usual!

To keep him busy during the waiting time, we brought along Legos (his new fav) and BOB books- these things are awesome, by the way! Colin can already read books 1 & 2 on his own. 

And we had this little pumpkin to entertain us! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Salem::1 Month

I saw this idea on Pinterest from this site and decided to give it a go! Over the first year I will collect little details and pictures on the 21st of each month and put them all together in the end. Maybe in a book? That may be a bit too ambitious...

 Salem Joseph - 1 Month

9 lbs.

Started smiling and cooing

LOVES bathtime

Probably thinks his name is 'You're alright/okay, Salem'

Can't live without his paci

Went to Fort Wayne to visit the family

Likes car rides & cuddling with his Momma!

Salem Joseph

Yes, he will be six weeks old tomorrow, but better late then never, right?

Without further ado...


Weight: 6 lbs. 11 oz. 

Length: 19 3/4 inches 

Salem arrived on March 21st, 2012 at 4:24 in the morning after a little more than TWO short hours of labor (Chris and I have decided against a third for fear that it will arrive at home, hehe).

We are SO happy to have him join our little family. We may be a little bleary-eyed and short-tempered these days (please forgive us, we are TIRED) but we are happy!

Colin has stepped into the role of big brother with the greatest of ease. We were warned throughout the pregnancy to be ware of the jealous, older sibling, but given Colin's easy demeanor we always doubted this notion. And we were right! He's in love with his little brother, his 'baby', and we cannot wait to see them grow up together! We've been incredibly blessed.

 Now if we could just be blessed with a full night of sleep :)