Gulf Shores

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall is in full force and I am loving the changing winds and leaves.  The chill in the air is incredible (and great for running) but leaves me missing the hot summer sun just a smidge.  What I am really missing is the beach.  We took a family vacation to the beach back in August and oh my, we had a great time!

I learned something about Gulf Shores during the last week of August, it is toddlerville USA.  Yep, everywhere you look (cue Full House theme song) there are babies and toddlers.  This means if you don't want to hear breakdowns on the beach or don't want to eat dinner next to some nap-deprived, sun bleached sweeties I would plan my trip for a different week.  We went to the beach with my parents, we will call them Meme and Grumpa.  It was awesome being at the beach with them because it left me alone at least once with just the beach and my book and  Steve and I were able to go down to the hot tub at night by ourselves a couple times.  We also found out that said toddler's (and preschoolers) parents brought a set of grandparents along too.  We found ourselves in the hot tub with other parents who were excited to be downstairs in the cool beach air while the bedtime battles were raging upstairs.

There were a few discoveries on this trip: Steve really likes Limearitas, as does my dad.  Isla can't stand the sand, she didn't even want her feet in it.  This is difficult at the beach.  Cian did not want to go anywhere near the ocean and wanted to spend all his time at the pool.  I mean I love the pool but there is nothing like the ocean breeze.  Running on sand is like running in quicksand, and I don't mean it makes you quick.  There is a certain serenity about being at the beach and putting all your daily responsibilities aside for a week.

The good news is that Isla warmed up to the sand and would finally sit on it on a beach towel.  For most of the week she wanted to be sitting right on top of you on a chair.  Cian also warmed up to the ocean on our last day there and loved running around and diving into the water.

I did go on a couple runs there, one was an excruciating three mile run on the sand. While it was beautiful to watch the sun come up on the ocean it was difficult to keep my feel from sliding down into the sand and I was constantly playing a game of dodge the craters.

The most amazing thing about being on vacation was just spending time with my family and truly enjoying them each moment of the day for an entire week.

This was Cian's "pirate ship" bed.  He loved it but wanted someone to sleep in there with him every night

Sometimes vacation doesn't bring what we want it to

Our chairs for the week

It did storm quite a bit while we were there but that couldn't stop our fun!

I loved that the trash chutes said rubbish.  I said it in a British accent every time I saw one

baby foot + alligator

Isla loved napping by the water

Playing with Grumpa

Put Put Night

Cian won of course

listening together

I miss this

enjoying a strawberry on the beach

nap time for both kids!

We stopped by the giant shark on our way out and he tried to eat us!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

On August 28 Cian went to his first day of preschool.  He was so excited and so ready to be in school like a big boy.  I should tell you that my son is a genius.  I mean, don't all moms think that?  But really, I do think little Cian is smart and I was excited for him to start preschool and to focus on letters, numbers, counting and all the amazing things he is learning.  We were sad to leave the sitters who have kept Cian and Isla but excited about starting at Swing N' Play Preschool.
Since starting Cian has learned to write and spell him name, learned a lot of letters, can count to 100 (sometimes) by 10's and much more.  He is an expert on bats and other animals and gets really excited to get up and go to school.  I love the zest for learning that he has and I pray that it doesn't diminish (too much) as he gets older.

I know we haven't gotten to Kindergarten yet but I felt like going to preschool was like taking a new step in our lives.  My baby wasn't a toddler anymore, and hadn't been for quite some time, but this made it truly official. He is a preschooler.  A jumping, running, learning, thriving preschooler with a mind of his own and likes and dislikes.  I no longer get to choose the theme for his birthday parties or what movies we watch or his Halloween costumes, he is making decisions.  He doesn't want me in the bathroom with him when he goes potty, and sometimes he asks me to leave his room when he is playing.  (Dear God, when did I get a teenager?)  I love to see him be so independent but I am holding onto the nights when he comes and crawls in bed with me.  I am clinging to reading him books, bedtime prayers and singing "homeback" (Golden Slumbers) to him.

Cian Matthew, hold on to your silliness and zest for life and learning!  Mommy is so proud of you!

Isla is 11 months old

Monday, October 15, 2012

As we approach my little girl's first birthday I realize two things, a. that I still have a lot of crafting to do for her party and I have yet again gone overboard and b. that I should tell you what she has been up to in month 11 before we move from babyhood to toddlerville.

My little Isla is a sweet, sassy, knows what she wants kind of girl.  She is cuddly but do not, and I repeat, do not take a toy away from her or you are going to hear about it.  I love it that her little personality is coming through more and more and she is showing us who she is.


  • You are mommy's sweet girl.  You are definitely still a mommy's girl and you sometimes follow me around crying until I pick you up.
  • You have started giving big sloppy kisses.  You come at everyone with your mouth wide open and your tongue sticking out. 
  • You pull yourself up and stand at things like tables and couches.  I can tell that you want to go from the table to the couch but just haven't decided how.  You will let go and stand by yourself then look over at the couch then go back to the table because the space between is just too large. 
  • You still push off with your right foot when you crawl and you can get around pretty fast!
  • You get mad, I mean m-a-d when we take something from you that you are playing with.  You have this loud screech that you do when you realize you are not getting your way.  You might be small but you will be heard
  • You weigh about 16.5 pounds.  I know this because you had the beginning of an ear infection and we had to take you to the doctor.  Don't worry, we caught it in time.
  • You can still wear some 3-6 month clothes but we have moved you up to 6-9 month clothes now.  Yep, tiny little gal.
  • You can drink really well out of a sippy cup and I really don't think you will miss your bottle in a few weeks when we take it away.
  • You are kind of over the whole baby food thing.  What is on other people's plates is  much more enticing.  You feel like a big girl when you get to snack with the rest of the family.  We let you eat out of your puff container and you just get this big smile on your face.
  • You are starting to like to play with toys.  You love to put things in containers and taking them out. Your favorite right now is a little purse that has a mirror, keys, bracelet and cell phone.  You really like the phone.
  • As of now, you are still toothless. It looks like the front two may come down any minute but for now you still have a sweet, sweet toothless grin.
I am so excited watching you grow up.  The last eleven months have absolutely flown by and I know the next eleven plus years will.  I pray for you nightly that you will shine like the sun and that you will be a light in your life.  I pray that you will see the gift's God gave you and that you will pursue them.  I pray you will be kind and loving and you will always make people feel loved and welcome.  I can't wait to watch you grow up, but please slow it down a little bit.  I love you.


Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground