Monday, June 29, 2009

Shopping Fun!

While the guys played golf this afternoon, the girls went shopping at Rosemary Beach, right down the road from where we're staying.

Strolling with Gigi
So many choices in The Sugar Shack...
Lollipop, Lollipop, Oh Lolly, lolly, lolly...
Cindy in front of the local PO
Katie Anne with all her prizes, including her new swim baby.
Taking a break - it is so hot!

Swimming Pool Morning

Some pictures of the pool this morning...

And a video of the little swimming, spinning fish!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Sunshine Kitchen

After the beach, it was time for a yummy breakfast! The Sunshine Kitchen is a cute little restaurant at Rosemary Beach ... we had yummy omelet roll-ups, pancakes, and sinful cinnamon rolls!

First Beach Morning

This morning, we headed out to the beach nice and early to play and build sandcastles. The beach is gorgeous - it has been a long time since we've been to the Gulf, and I'd forgotten how white and pristine the beaches are! Katie Anne, Saunders, my dad, my mom, and I had a great time sitting in the sand, making sand castles and sand animals and walls and towers.

Katie Anne was scared of the actual waves... there's a strong undertow right now, and she said, "That water's coming to get me! It going to take me away!" There's also a lot of little green seaweed floating in the water right now, which didn't scare my mom or Saunders away, but kept the other three of us out of the ocean. She might change her mind once she's here a few more days. It's fine with me if she doesn't want to get in - I love the beach, but not necessarily getting in the ocean, so I'm more than happy to build sandcastles all day. She's getting plenty of swimming in the pool, too - what a little fish! I haven't taken any pictures at the pool yet.

Here's some pictures of this morning's adventures!

Beach Vacation, Here We Come!

On Saturday morning, our little family headed out towards Florida and a week's vacation at the beach! We have been looking forward to our trip for weeks! Katie Anne kept saying, "I going to the beach! I going on bay-cation! I going to build sandcastles!" It took a ton of work on poor Mommy's part (whew- list making, washing, packing, grocery shopping, washing, packing, errand running, washing, packing, last minute ziploc-bagging toiletries, more packing... all week long!), but we were pretty much packed up by Katie Anne's bedtime on Friday.

Katie Anne greatly mourned the loss of Abby and Ginger on Friday afternoon because we aren't taking them on vacation this year. She cried and cried and cried after they left with VJ, and she quietly whispered night-night to them as we were tucking her in - pitiful! They didn't want to come, though. Trust me - they hate the sand, bark at every little unfamiliar condo noise, and they have a much better time being pampered and spoiled at Doc and VJ's house! VJ is going to check on the other little animals (Chloe and Cosmo) during the week, so Katie Anne and I just had to clean out their cages, fill their bowls and water bottles, and give them lots of yummy cilantro and carrot treats on Friday night.

On Saturday morning, Saunders loaded up the car while I got Katie Anne up and at 'em, and we were ready to roll at about 8:00 am. We decided to break the trip (which was supposed to be about 6 hours and 30 minutes, but wound up being almost 8 hours of actual car time with all the traffic included) into three sections... a pre-breakfast section, a pre-lunch section, and a post-lunch section - which hopefully would include a KA naptime as well. We were armed with several "toddler trip tools and tricks", including: the DVD player with all KA's old favorite movies and four new library DVD rentals, a big jug of half apple juice/half water, Baby Amanda and her diaper bag full of goodies, and eight little "surprise bags" that I had packed. I picked out a bunch of small toys from the Dollar General, including little mermaids, squeezy frogs, Winnie the Pooh plastic figurines, and more. I divided those into eight ziploc bags, and included a different little snack (some Goldfish, marshmellows, fruit snacks, rice cakes, cereal, etc) and a different board book (some of her favorites from home and five new ones from the library) for entertainment. I highly recommend this strategy... Katie Anne did AMAZINGLY well on the trip. There were really no complaints from her from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm!!!

Also - BIG Mommy BRAG coming up right here - Katie Anne stayed dry for the whole trip! I put her in an overnight Pull-Up before we left because I wasn't sure she could do it... and I figured she'd sleep and have an accident during the afternoon. However, she arrived in Florida wearing the same Pull-Up she'd put on at home, perfect and pristine! She went to the potty during the three stops we made, and she told us once more at about 3:30 pm that she had to go, so we pulled over and let her go in her potty, which we'd brought with us. What a great potty-trainee! We are SO proud of our big girl!

We drove first to The OK Cafe in Atlanta for breakfast, which put us about an hour into our drive. We had a delicious breakfast... Cheese toast for KA, French toast for Saunders, and a cheese omelet and grits for me.

Then, it was back on the road for more driving. We made it to Montgomery, Alabama where we stopped at Chic-fil-A at Katie Anne's request for lunch. It wasn't such a great stop... too many rude big kids in the small indoor playground, even though there was a clearly posted sign stating "3 and Under Only". Katie Anne cried and cried when they wouldn't let her crawl through the tunnels or down through the slide, and I had to climb up in the tunnels to get her out. I went all "teacher" (as Saunders says) on the kids, and Saunders complained to the manager, and we left. So, no pictures.

Then, it was the post-lunch portion of the trip. Katie Anne slept for about an hour, and then she just vegged out and watched a 45-minute "Dora Saves the Mermaids" in a total almost-asleep stupor. So, we got a lot of driving done during that time. We stopped for a quick potty break about three hours after lunch. (Saunders made fun of me because I've lost my famed "teacher bladder", but I've gotten used to going to the restroom so often with a potty-training toddler that I can't drive forever without stopping anymore!) We got caught in a lot of traffic crossing from Alabama into Florida, and that was really annoying... so close, and yet so far away!

Finally, we arrived at our condo in Sea Crest Beach. It is SO nice! There's a pretty, bright big kitchen/living room/dining room combination, three and a half baths, three balconies, and four bedrooms - one for my parents, us, Greg and Jillian, and Katie Anne... and it has a big girl bed in it! We've been building this up and talking about it for about a week, and she was really excited. When we walked in, she first checked out the view of the pool (she's such a fish), then she ran from room to room to find her big girl bed! Luckily, the polka dot bed she wanted was the one we intended for her to use... and she couldn't wait to lay down in it! Here she is, at approximately 5:00 pm, all ready for bed and tucked in!

(The picture doesn't show the inflatable bed bolster that I ordered from One Step Ahead for side rail purposes, which we put on the bed before she really went to sleep.) So far, sleeping in it has been excellent... we brought a Pack 'N Play from the McWhorters, but we haven't needed it. She slept in the big girl bed last night without a peep, and just took a two and a half hour nap in it this afternoon. So, that means we're ready for the big girl room makeover when we get home! Potty training, big girl beds... what a growing-up summer!

Lots more vacation pictures to come!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

I had a super-great twenty-eight!
I had a very busy but also very fun day.
Here's the events of my 28th birthday,
summarized in a series of photos!

First, Katie Anne and I went to breakfast with my Dad...

Thanks for inviting me along on "Breakfast with Granddad" time!

Then, it was off to the day spa for pampering. See the post below for my review...

Next, it was errands... Cartersville WalMart for vacation supplies. Boo, I hate our WalMart. But, vacation planning must go on!

Errands... Next it was Payless, because some little woman has outgrown yet another pair of sandals. Toddler size 8, here we come!

Errands... Off to Belk to pick up a white shirt for our beach photo shoot, and maybe a few other clearance items! Hey, it is my birthday... and I got a great dress for $7.98, formerly $72!

Then I got a haircut, which I didn't get a great picture of at the time because I was by myself (and because it was just Great Clips, and they don't really fix it), but you can see it in the pictures below. I really just wanted about 2 inches cut off (which I got), but the lady wanted to put in some layers by my face, so I said go for it. It is just hair, after all. It looks pretty good, but I have to get used to how to style it. I haven't had long bangs in quite a while, and they're kind of getting in my face a little bit.

Then it was off to pick Katie Anne up at daycare, go home and get ready, and head out to eat with Saunders and Katie Anne!

We went to Hearth and Harvest for a delicious dinner. Saunders had the chicken pasta, I had chicken breast with mashed potatoes (and I've got a great pile of leftovers in the fridge for lunch), and we split a fried ravioli appetizer.

Katie Anne grubbed down some fried chicken fingers and mac-n-cheese!

Opening my card...

Big chocolate bar!

We love to do the "surprise face" when we're opening presents!

Checking out my new Troll beads!

Katie Anne is fascinated by them...

I love my bracelet! Happy 28th Birthday to Me!

Greenleaf Day Spa - A Birthday Treat!

A spa gift certificate from Greenleaf Day Spa ... $345
A drop-in day at day care ... $30
Spending three hours of your birthday in a fluffy white robe being pampered ... priceless
Today, I got to spend three hours of my birthday at Greenleaf Day Spa. It was beyond fabulous... Saunders and Katie Anne gave me the "Take the Day Off" spa package for Mother's Day, which included a one hour massage, a one hour facial, a body polish, and a hand and foot treatment. I used the massage and facial earlier in the summer, and I thought I'd schedule the polish and hand/foot treatments for today as a birthday treat.
First, I had the Body Polish with Papaya Salt Scrub. This was in-freaking-credible. I'd never had this done before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. It's just like a massage, but with incredible exfoliation benefits to boot! First, I got a full body rub down with the salt and papaya mixture, which smells wonderful. Then, I got all wrapped up in a fluffy robe and slippers and walked down to the bathroom, which the technician had a hot and steamy shower going. I washed all the salt mixture off, and then it was back to the massage room for a thirty-minute massage with moisturizers. My skin feels incredibly soft and smooth! I would highly recommend it, and I think I'd rather have this than a regular massage simply because it is kind of like getting two services for the price of one. (Modest mouse, beware... this is a fully in-the-buff experience.)

After the body polish, I moved to another room for the hand and foot treatment. I got to lay back and relax with a lavender eye mask over my eyes while my hands and feet were exfoliated, masked, wrapped in warm towels to soften, moisturized, and massaged. What a fabulous way to spend a few hours of your life! It was just total relaxation - no distractions, no chores, no to-do list... just soft music, low lights, and someone rubbing my feet. Fabulous! This would be a great treatment to try if you're a little nervous about the whole spa thing... they've got the "Shy Package", which includes the hand and foot treatments for $100 on their website.

The thing I love about Greenleaf is that the think of all the details ... low lights, natural paint colors, "spa voices" (aka quiet talking), instrumental music ... cool air conditioning, warm blankets, cold ice water in little glasses ... fluffy soft robes, steamy towels straight out of the towel warmer, hot showers with loofahs and organic body wash. You put all your clothes and things in a basket, and they move them room-to-room for you, so you don't even have to think about anything. No one talks during your services. It is totally calm and peaceful, and it is such a nice break from all the white noise that's constantly "on" during every other day.

I think this is the best Mother's Day gift Saunders and Katie Anne have given me. I loved my family necklace from my first Mother's Day with a diamond for me, one for Saunders, and a pink sapphire for Katie Anne. I can't wait to add more sapphires as we have kids. I love the perfume from last year - it smells wonderful, and I've almost used all of it in just a year. However, I have to say the spa day is the best because it is so hard for me to really relax and just be still, and this really helps me to do it. I feel so refreshed, and I highly recommend it!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Funny, Funny, Funny

I'm way behind on my scrapbooking, so I'm using the blog as a sort of short-cut documenting tool to remember things until I get around to scrapping them. Here are some funny recent Katie Anne stories...

Funny story #1: A few weeks ago, when we were eating dinner, Katie Anne was ready to be excused from the table. She wanted to go play a game that had mistakenly come up in conversation the minute we sat down, and she just couldn't get the idea out of her head. She hadn't eaten any of her food, so we told her she could get down if she ate a bite or two of each thing on her plate. She she, "I not want a bite of all these fings (aka things)." So, we offered her the option of eating all of one thing on her plate (she had peas, corn, and Hamburger Helper Beef Stroganoff). She said, "Okay, I eat my corn." So, Saunders and I started to clear the table, and I noticed her clearing out the "corn section" of her plate. She was busily stuffing the corn into the Hamburger Helper and under the peas with her spoon. I drew Saunders's attention to it, and he started cracking up. We could not believe that she had the thought of being so covert all on her own at barely two years old, and I thought surely she did not know what she was doing... wrong!

Suddenly, she called out, "I eat all my corn! Mmmm... all gone! It in my tummy!"
I replied, "Really? You ate it all?"
She answers, "Yep. It in my tummy! (rubs her tummy) It was soooo good!"
I said, "Well then, what's that?" (pointing to the corn in the Hamburger Helper)
Katie Anne says, incredulously, "Mommy, that not corn - that beef!"
I said, "What about this one?" (pointing to the corn in the peas)
Katie Anne answers, "Mommy, that not corn - that peas!"

By this point, Saunders is busting out laughing and trying to hide it behind his hand... I told him, "I don't think we should laugh at what is actually a lie," even though it was totally hilarious.

So, I asked her, "Katie Anne, did you really eat your corn? Is that the truth or a lie?"
She answered so honestly, "That is a lie. I push my corn in there. I not really eat it."

Old enough to know better, but still too young to care ...

Funny Story #2: Yesterday, on the way to our free movie showing of Horton Hears a Who (she was entranced by the little unidentified yellow animal character named Katie, by the way), Katie Anne was eating raisins. All of a sudden, she calls out from the back seat, "Oh no, Mommy! I stick raisin in my nose!" Her face looked totally shocked.

I shrieked, "What?! You did what?!" and immediately pull the car over into the nearest gas station, jump out, and run around to her side to try and get the raisin out before it turns into an emergency room visit.

When I opened her door, she was busting out laughing. She said, "Mommy, I just jokin' wif you! I not really put raisins in my nose!" And she made her little close-eyed, crinkly nosed yuck face.

The humor of a two-year-old!

Funny Story #3: More of a quote really... tonight at dinner, when we were ordering, she looks right at the waitress and says, "Excuse me, I has a question."

The waitress says, "Um, okay."

I say to Katie Anne, "What kind of question?"

She answers with a very serious expression on her face, "A baby question." Then, she busts out laughing like that's the funniest gag ever pulled on a server!

Crazy little person!

Funny Story #4: This actually happened earlier this week, but I'm putting it last because it just goes to show what she thinks about herself. Let's just say she fully believes in her momma's favorite line in college after a few too many beverages: "I love myself!"

While we were walking around the block with the dogs one evening after dinner, Katie Anne said, "I so funny. I make people laugh."

I asked her, "What do you do to make people laugh?"

She answered, "I tell great jokes."

I could tell many funny stories of things she says and does daily, but I just want to make sure these are some I don't forget!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Scrub, Snip, & Clip

Abby and Ginger got a much-needed grooming today. I got up and had them at PetSmart literally at the crack of dawn to get a shampoo, hair cut, nail trimming, teeth brushing, and ear cleaning. They look super and smell great!



So Much Better!