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Monday, August 18, 2014

Abby's first gymnastics meet

Way back when Abby was 4 she played one summer of soccer. She had fun but it was hot, she got bored… pretty typical for a 4 year old. We took a break until kinder year and then we enrolled her in a rec gymnastics class. Well a year and 1/2 later she was invited to try out and join the team when she takes gymnastics. So for the last several months she's been loving learning new skills that she didn't do in the rec classes and routines for the different skills. I never thought I'd be diving into the world of gymnastics. I always envisioned having the girls do ballet like I had but Abby just didn't seem to enjoy it as much because she'd rather be bouncing around when we did the Ballet Gloria up at our Church. 

This past weekend we finally got a chance to see all that Abby's been working on with her very first gymnastics meet. It was an early morning (and a long day with my other obligations!) and we arrived at the meet a little after 8am. Warm-ups started at 9. She looked all grown up and not a baby any more in her team gear and her hair all pulled back. (Thanks for another mom her braid looked much better than when I usually do it for mock meets!) 
 Her squad was first on bars and I was so proud of Abby - she did fantastic!

 Then beam - not her strongest event but she still did great!
 And vault.
 Everyone got a goodie bag and medal in addition to their achievement ribbons based on their scores.
 Abby was so excited a couple of the senior girls whom Abby LOVES came to watch them.
 And now to do it all again this weekend for meet #2.

I'm so happy Abby has found something she really enjoys doing and such a supportive team. It seems like the girls all enjoy each others company and especially how the big girls seem to look after the littles.

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Thursday, August 07, 2014

I'm loving it

So today I asked Micah what his favorite part of the beach vacation was….. his response? "McDonalds"  yes his answer was the stop at McDonalds for lunch on the drive over…. because he got a toy. Happy Meal #4 of his life obviously ranked very highly in his mind. 

However despite the fact that McD ranks higher in Micah's mind that we are having a terrific time at the beach!  Today we spent some time boogie boarding when we had a few more waves. 

And Lexie became a fan of bobbing or jumping the waves with Gigi and Pops. 

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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Sand crab catching

Most of our beach vacation consists of building sand castles, bobbing in the water and just enjoying the beach. We don't usually go out and do the other 'touristy' things around to do because we'd rather enjoy the beach.  Ya'll should all know by know that my kids love catching little critters - at Gigi's house this summer it was frogs. At the beach - it's tiny sand crabs. 

After dinner and the sun started to set we headed out to the beach. 
 Flash lights are extremely helpful for this adventure - but the flashlights on the iPhones also work well - just don't drop it in the water!
 Once it's dark the little tiny crabs start to come out and crawl on the beach. If you are quick you can scoop them right up. Some folks bring buckets and catch a bunch but we just really wanted to see them.
 Abby was quickly a pro at scooping up the sand to catch the little crab in her hand.
 They were tiny little things - this little guy was hardly bigger than the tip of Abby's finger.
 We caught and let go quite a few different little crabs on our walk around the beach.
If you bring a bucket you'll also need a net of some sort for a lid because they can crawl out, but you can just hold them carefully in your hands. Though you have to close your hand quickly and don't leave too big a hole because they'll crawl or fall right out!

What are your favorite things to do on the beach? If you go to the beach, do you stay and just hit the beach or do you venture out and do other things as well? 

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Monday, August 04, 2014

Beach week!

Sand in our toes, a nice salty beach air blowing in our hair. I've missed this place as we skipped last year! We arrived at the beach on Saturday and have been enjoying the sand and the waves ever since. Who needs any of the other places to see in Destin when you have the beach practically out the front door? 

Day one was a little cool in the morning with cloud cover but that didn't stop Abby and Micah from playing in the water. Lexie was content as could be to dig in the sand until it warmed up. 
The water here is absolutely beautiful! In previous years there has been a sandbar further out into the water that you had to swim out to get to, this year it's in nice and close so Micah and Lexie have lots of room to play before the water is too deep. 
A favorite activity is of course castle building - or in Abby's case hermit-crab home building. The soft white sand is of course perfect for this. Between the clear water and the super soft sand - it's the reason we drive so far to the beach instead of hitting a beach closer to home. 
 (Is Coppertone looking for a new model? I think Micah would excel at that gig!) 
 Sandy baby toes - so sweet. Lexie was tentative at first but today she really love the sand and the water.
So far the water has been super calm as well - great for playing, floating and splashing around in. Especially for Lexie who isn't as comfortable getting her face splashed. 

Abby worked so hard at building her hermit crab home that she didn't even notice the sand on her nose. 

And what better what to protect sweet baby cheeks than a bonnet? And check out those sweet beach curls! 
 Lexie of course loves the beach snacks as well ;)
Happy Monday ya'll. I hope your week started off as well as ours. We'll be here enjoying the sand, surf and time with Gigi and Pops. :) 

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Saturday, August 02, 2014

Abby turns 8

Wait hold up… no way is my first baby just turned 8. I tried to tell her she couldn't get any older but she wouldn't believe me. As the littles and I are heading off to the beach (yes!!!) we celebrated Abby's birthday as a family a couple days early since Beau has work obligations and won't be joining us.

Per our tradition Abby picked what she wanted us to have for dinner - her choice: spaghetti and meatballs. Then we celebrated with a cake of her choosing. She wanted a cookie cake - but not just one cookie cake - one for at home and one to bring to celebrate with her team at gymnastics practice tomorrow. After dinner, we sang happy birthday to Abby and she blew out her candles. 

(Please ignore the clutter on the counters - as we are heading out I try to leave 'man food' with easy access so there is no question about what easy meal options there are - overboard? Maybe but it makes it simple for him as he would rather not have to search for what is easy to cook when we are away even though he probably does cook more meals when he is home in time to cook) 

And of course there were presents. I think from the look on her face that she was maybe a little bit excited about this present. (Daddy was too by the way!) 
 She received her first Pokemon DS game for her gameboy. Oh boy…. I really don't get where the fascination came from and it came on quickly but man they love Pokemon lately.

Then we headed out for our evening walk with Diesel and of course the kids immediately asked (as is their usual habit) to get their scooters. Waiting in the garage was Abby's last present…. a new electric scooter.  
Oh man she was thrilled! (And super silly about it!) 
It almost goes with out saying that our evening walk went a little faster! Micah did amazing at keeping up with her for not having a motor on his scooter! I'm thinking from the looks on her face that she had a great birthday. I still can't believe she is already  8. 

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

5 'must-haves' for your new pup (besides food!)

(Disclosure: Affiliate links usedCrate & Bed / Collar & Leash  / Toys: Kong Nature's Miracle Spray / Training treats

It's been a long time since either Beau or I have had a puppy. I was in junior high the last time I had a 'real' puppy and Beau was about that age as well. Honey almost doesn't count as a puppy because she was between 4-5 months old and was pretty much trained, house-broken and didn't play with toys. So I came up with my 5 must-haves for the puppy stage so far.

1. A crate - this is a serious must have. Crate training aids in house-breaking, gives the pup a safe spot to call their own. (Diesel already is comfortable to go lay in his with the door open when he wants a break or a place to lay down and chew his toys) It also gives you a safe spot to leave your pup when you leave the house or just when you can't keep a 100% eye on them so you don't come back to chewed up furniture and potty accidents in your den. We also use the crate as a time-out spot when the pup and children start winding each other up and they need a break from each other (a spot for the pups time out not to put the children in!) We also have a crate mat to put inside the crate to give him something comfy to lay down on.

2. A collar and leash - mostly a no-brainer. This collar is just adorable though! We also just purchased a gentle leader for Diesel that will eliminate his pulling. He isn't too bad now but he's soon to outweigh most of the family so this will be a big deal later and I want to prevent him from learning bad habits.

3. Toys! My favorite saying is "a tired puppy is a good puppy." Plus you want to give your pup a safe option of something to chew on that isn't your furniture or shoes. The first week Diesel would try to chew on whatever he could get his mouth on, we'd quickly re-direct him to a toy and praise him for chewing on his own toy. I love these kongs because you can fill them with a treat and they'll keep the pup's attention for longer. Other good options - a squeaker toy, ropes, dog bones and balls to play fetch with.

4. A spray cleaner - because there will be a few accidents no matter how good ya'll both are.

5. Treats - I love the treats in the mini-size because they are perfect for training so you aren't giving him a huge treat each time your pup sits when you tell him too or having to tear a larger treat into small pieces.

Of course you also need food and water/food dishes but I figured that went without saying.

What are things you found you couldn't have done without at the puppy stage?

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Diesel the Daniff

Losing Honey was hard… for Beau and I she'd been with us for a long time - since before we were married. The kids had never known not having a dog. Even when Honey wasn't playful, she was there for a good cuddle or being near by while the kids were playing outside. One of the first things out of Abby's mouth after hearing the news about Honey, "was when can we get another puppy?" (But that's not totally new as she would ask about getting a new puppy before that and any time we would see pet adoptions) Beau didn't think he was ready but the home sure felt empty.  I, meanwhile, was contemplating something different, a lapdog that could easily travel with us, live inside without taking up half the room.

Then the neighbor came home from his friends with a litter of Great Dane/Mastiff pups. He knowing the news about our mastiff and Beau's feelings on big dogs - of course texted Beau about them.  Beau woke me up from naptime (yes I took a nap with Lexie since Beau was working from home) holding a little ball of fluff. Well little is a relative term here I supposed.  (My aunt nearly nailed in on the head pointing out a Cavalier telling my mom that's what I would want but Beau wouldn't go for it as he would want a big dog)

And thus we had a new member of the family. Meet Diesel the Daniff.

He's a clutzy, handful of a pup but the kids and Beau love him regardless. He's not a huge fan of car rides but we've taken him to the dog park and Petsmart a couple times for socialization.
 Daddy let him get up on the couch… Mean mommy put a stop on this - dogs who are going to be bigger than me don't get to take up residence on the couch! Check out those paws! He'll be bigger than Micah by the end of the month for sure!

He's now 14 weeks old and probably about 25 lbs. (Update: He was 31lbs at his last appt) He's going to be a huge! The first picture up top was the week we got him and this is this week. He's already over doubled in size.

He's a goofball, with spurts of energy but still many naps as he's growing so much. He is growing so much we can't get him to look like he has any meat on his bones because he gets bigger before he can get fatter. He likes to play 'soccer,' and sometimes fetch, treats (especially puppy ice cream) and is building up some stamina to make it on a walk around the block. The first walk he wound up in the bottom of the stroller because he got tired and it was only a mile loop or so.

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