Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Adventure Continues

So after a nice restful night in our fancy pants hotel room...wait. Hotel room, with kids. Yeah, not so restful. Let's just say once it became light outside again, we ventured off on more of our adventure in paradise. By the light of day it was much easier to see the view from our room:

Alex really liked it:

And now you can see the pools in all their daytime glory:

After a yummy breakfast of cinnamon rolls we made our first stop at the beach. Where else would you go when staying at a beach resort? While Grandma, Grandpa and Cousin Fred wandered down the beach:

the kids entertained themselves in this delightful pile of sand:

Ella preferred posing on top:

While Alex preferred tunneling through it:

And of course his favorite beach time activity:

Eating it.

I was trying really hard to get a picturesque photo of Ella with the ocean behind her and she was just not cooperating.

Come on Ella. Turn around.

Fine, mom. Cheese! Are you happy?

Are we done yet?

What? You wanted me to smile?

What was that? Fishy lips?

OK, I posed, now can we be done?

She's such a goof and that's why I love her.

Now you didn't think you'd get away without a pretty beach picture did you? Here you go:

Those would be my grubby flip flops and Gods great ocean. Great pair.

And how's this for a pretty picture:

Man, he's good looking.

After the beach we headed over to where all the shops and restaurants were:

It was very quaint. However, our purpose for being there had nothing to do with shopping and everything to do with this:

ICE SKATING!!! I love ice skating. And ever since watching a Madeline that had ice skating in it Ella has been wanting to go, so of course at the first opportunity I had to take her. Seeing as we live in the south, this was the first and probably last opportunity. It was the smallest little rink ever, but perfect for the first timer. Ella was a little nervous at first, but pretty soon she and daddy were doing jumps:

I had Ella duty most of the time and Anton had Alex duty:
Alex actually hated it, but hated being left out even more. So he endured the skating just so he could be with mommy and daddy. I think he secretly learned to love it in the end. He also did consent to letting Grandma hold him for a bit so Mommy and Daddy could have a break:

We had so much fun! But after Anton and Ella took a spill together we had to call it quits. She wouldn't go back out on the ice and us adults had the sorest feet in the world.

So there you go. That's how you manage to get the beach and ice into the same day. We grabbed some lunch afterwards then headed back home. The kids were too tired and cranky to do anything else. And now we are back at home planning for the next big adventure, which will be hosting all the extended local family for a New Year's Eve party. I can't wait. Wish me luck.

I couldn't help but leave you with this. Argh! He is too cute!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Arrival of the In-Laws

Well, they are here. After traveling all day Christmas day and spending the night in a hotel, they finally made it to our house. They hadn't been here more than 5 minutes before they were already busting out gifts. Ella and Alex got the cutest jammies and blankets made by Grandma and Aunt Sarah respectively:

I love the colors on them:

Anton and I got gift cards and money, the always appreciated gift:

Anton got his dad a hat with the name of the ship that he served on when he was in the Navy:

He's worn it everywhere and I wouldn't be surprised to find him sleeping in it. He really likes it. We got Anton's mom a light to use when quilting:

She really likes quilting so hopefully it will get good use.

The next day we took Grandma and Grandpa to the Aviation Museum. They had never been before, but since we have been a million times I'll will spare you all the airplane pictures all over again and show you only two:

G&G enjoying the displays.

And Ella and Alex playing with the toys. Ella threw quite the fit when we made her leave. I'm sure people thought I was kidnapping her the way she was screaming "DADDY!!" Over and over again. Oh well.

Anton has a cousin that lives near here and he works at one of the local beach resorts. He hooked us up with a room last night so we could go and enjoy the beach close-up. It was a posh place. It had a full kitchen:

We got our own room:

And it had a fabulous view, though at night all you could see was the pools:

Ella didn't really care that we were staying in the lap of luxury. She would much rather have spent all her time playing with her new LeapPad:

At least I know she likes her present. But we did manage to drag her away for some hotel exploring. It's a tradition I have, that whenever I'm staying in a nice hotel I have to go wander all over it, from top to bottom. Sadly, since these are actually condos and not a real hotel there wasn't as much to see. But we did wander around the pools:

And out onto the beach, where since it was dark there wasn't too much to see. But I used my camera to light things up a bit.

Once we got the kids in bed, we left G-ma to make sure they didn't die in their sleep and Anton and I went and sat in the hot tub and swam in the pool. It was so nice. Then finally we headed in the general bed direction ourselves.

Oh yeah, and we had dinner earlier in the evening at this BBQ place that was so deliciously fabulous that I ate myself almost sick. It was sooooo good.

Tomorrow I will continue with the trip adventures, and I will leave you to ponder what kind of day could involve both beach and ice. Because that's the kind of day we had.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I can't believe that Christmas has come and gone. We've spent a busy past 3 days celebrating like crazy. On Sunday night we drove to a house near here that has over 250,000 lights over 3 acres. It was really cool. It was also really cold outside. All we needed was a little snow to make it perfect.

We only had our old cruddy camera with us, so not the best pictures. But take my word, there were a lot of lights. I also snapped a couple just for fun shots:

This was a tree made of signed CD's and lights.

And these were plastic cups with the lights shoved through them. Both really cool ideas.

We spent our Christmas Eve with our friends Andre and Tonia. We all pitched in together to make a huge and fabulous meal.

I ate so much it hurt. But it was oh so good. We had a honey glazed ham that was to die for! We all sat around afterwards just talking and watching Christmas shows on TV. And since their family was all so cute in their matching outfits I had to take a picture of them:

It was so much fun. Thanks Andre and Tonia!

We came home afterwards and finished up all the gift wrapping and helped out Santa with getting the gifts arranged. I made a deal with Ella that if Santa gave me the gifts to bring into the house, he was allowed to come to our house. She is so afraid of Santa. So after doing my part of the deal this is how it all looked:

I could sit in the dark for hours staring at lit Christmas trees. I love it. But it was after midnight at that point so we headed to bed for a long winter's nap.

The kids slept in until 8. They really don't get the whole presents thing yet. I was wide awake at 6 something debating if it was normal for a mom to wake their kids up on Christmas. I think I was more excited than them. What I wanted to see most of all was their first reaction to the presents, and I got some pretty good ones.

Ella is saying "LOOK!!" She had just spied her LeadPad and settled straight in to playing with it.

Alex also saw the LeapPad and could have cared less that he had a giant yellow Tonka truck to play with.

What a cutie!

We had gotten them a box full of band instruments, and Anton had to bust them open to keep Alex from stealing all of Ella's gifts.

He was satisfied with that. He really did want every gift Ella opened. I think he played more with Ella's Little Mermaid cell phone and Dora doll than any toys he was given. I tried so hard to get him boy toys and he still wants the girl ones. What am I to do?

After doing the Santa gifts and stockings we moved on to the second most important part of Christmas morning, breakfast.

Now my mom makes homemade cinnamon rolls every Christmas morning. However, I am completely baking dysfunctional when it comes to anything with yeast in it. So I'm all about the Pillsbury canned cinnamon rolls. Yum. Bring it on.

Then after that short intermission it was back to the ripping and tearing open of the gifts.

And this continued on for a short while. I made it a point to drag it out as long as possible. We opened all the toys and assembled everything then let the kids play for a bit. Just so the whole thing would last a bit longer. I didn't get many pictures after this point because I too was opening gifts so you will just have to picture it in your head.

My main gifts were a microwave, since Anton had broken the rotating plate in my old one and it was almost as cheap to just get a now one than replace the plate, and a day spa package to get a massage, manicure and pedicure. My hubbie is so good to me. I also got all sorts of other little things.

I got Anton running stuff. A running magazine, a running mp3 player, running headphones, running ID, etc. He's really into running. He even went running today just to try it all out.

Ella got the largest gift by far.

This was from Grandma. She absolutely loves it. She takes her LeapPad in there with her Disney Princess book and sits forever. I may have to relocate it to her bedroom though, it clashes with my living room decor.

Alex got lots of trucks and doesn't care a bit about them. Silly boy. I also got him a pound-a-peg bench, which Ella has played with more than him.

Looks like I got all the wrong toys for the wrong kids. Oh well. They share amongst themselves anyways.

Then, sadly, it all came to an end. It always ends too quickly. And you are left with this:

I love it. Christmas messes are the best. It's almost like getting gifts all over again when you are cleaning up and find something buried under all the paper. "Hey! I forgot about this one!" We ate leftovers from last night and it was just as good as having made the whole meal today, but better since I didn't have to make it! I think this whole Christmas Eve dinner is the way to go.

And now we have spent the rest of the evening playing with our new toys and getting the house ready for the arrival of the in-laws tomorrow. They will be here for 10 days. Anton is planning all sorts of wild adventures. But that will be another story.

We wish you all the very best Christmas and a wonderful rest of the holidays!