Saturday, July 30, 2011

Game Ranch.

We're going to squeeze every inch of fun we can out of the summer.

And because work doesn't officially start until Monday, we gathered up our little family and headed out to the Yellow River Game Ranch this morning.  The Game Ranch has been on our "Summer of Fun" list for the last couple of months, but once we started talking about making the trip over, the kids begged and begged to wait for a day when Ben could go with us.

And that day was today.

Bless his sweet Dade County husband had never, ever been to the Game Ranch.  He made sure he came well prepared to remember the trip for a long, long time (and to complete his homework assignment for the photography class he's taking).

We had a BLAST.  The Game Ranch is always tons of fun, but today might have been one of our best trips ever.  Minus the heat, of course.  All of the animals were up and moving about (we saw the bears playing with each other, one bear scratching his back against a pole, the coyotes running around like crazy dogs, the buffalo all up next to the get the picture), and they were all hungry, which always makes things better.

We were well prepared with tons of food.  Babe had a great time feeding the deer and petting the rabbits.  Harris loved the deer, too, but his favorite part is always feeding the squirrels.  Today was no exception.  It's crazy how close they're willing to come for a little peanut action!

For some reason, homegirl was petrified of the roosters.  Her fear was rather unfortunate, seeing as how roosters and chickens pretty much have free roam of the place.  She would literally see one, scream, and freeze.  She was fine if she was holding someone's hand, but if she was all on her own, it was not good. 

That's my girl.

Even with the roosters, though, we managed to have a fantastic time. 

Oh, summer...please don't end.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


But who's counting, anyway?

And actually, because we'll be scheduling a c-section at least a week early, we're past the halfway point.

Emmy, of course, looked absolutely perfect to us today.  We did learn that her little cord is wrapped around the upper part of one of her legs, but after a little bit of time and a can of Coke we were able to determine that the cord isn't restricting her leg movement, so the doctor said it's nothing to freak out about.  It does earn us another ultrasound at our next visit, four weeks from now, so I'm not complaining too much.

I'm mostly just trying to give this sweet new baby the blog love she deserves.  She's already swimming in real love from the four of us...

Are You Ready for Your Trophies?!?!?!?


I'm so, so proud of my sweet soccer players this season!



And the best coach in the universe:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sam Sam!

Our sweet nephew, Samuel, celebrated his first birthday on Saturday with his very own Chick-fil-A party.  Cody made sure the sign out front read, "Happy Birthday, Sam," and we enjoyed spending time with friends and family watching that sweet boy make a mess out of his smash cake.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Sam!  We love you bunches!!

Laser Show Spectacular.

Last Friday night, as a follow-up to our Summer of Fun finale, Ben, Harris, Hadley, and I hooked up with the Lockharts and headed down to Stone Mountain to take in the Laser Show.

I love the Laser Show, and I'm so, so glad to know that Harry and Babe enjoy it just as much as I do.  After swinging by Chick-fil-A for a pre-show dinner, we headed out to the lawn where the kiddos had a great time running around like crazy, dancing, sweating, enjoying their cotton candy "treat," and decorating themselves with glow-in-the-dark bracelets that Kim had the foresight to bring.

Babe is a redneck at heart, I think.  Every time she heard applause from anyone around us, she would let out a "WOOOOOO!" and clap her hands like crazy.  It was awesome.  The fireworks were also a huge hit with her.  My sweet boy Harry enjoyed singing along to the songs he knew, cheering for the Bulldogs images on the mountain, and watching the "fireballs" explode.

Thanks, Lockharts, for celebrating the end of summer with us!  I already can't wait until next year!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Brownie and Pinky.

Today was it.  The Summer of Fun 2011 Finale.  We still have a fun family outing planned for tonight, and we'll definitely do something special to commemorate the beginning of school, but for the most part, it's over.

While next week is still technically summer vacation, I'll be headed to the office for a few days and the kids will be away from home, so for our final outing before work officially begins, we chose to head out to the mall and get creative at Build-a-Bear.

You'd have thought we'd gone to Disney World.

We left the mall with Brownie, a stuffed dachshund, and Pinky, more commonly known as Hello Kitty.  Our new friends accompanied us to lunch at Johnny's and are even sharing beds with the proud new owners at nap time.

Harry and Babe, I have loved every second of summer spent with you, from simply snuggling in the bed watching Mickey Mouse all the way to heading to Florida for a fun-filled beach vacation.  You are two of the funniest kids I've had the pleasure of spending time with, and I can't wait until June rolls around again.  I love you!!!

Medal Winner.

My sweet Harry played his little heart out at soccer on Wednesday night.  We were short a couple of players, so he pretty much played the whole game...and very literally gave it everything he had.

Babe did a decent job, too.  She warmed up well and even played a little bit, but she was not a big fan of the orange soccer ball used to actually play the game.  She prefers the white.

The Meddlers didn't pull out the win, but Harris brought home a much-deserved medal. 

There's a lot to be said for earning recognition for hard work.  I couldn't be prouder of my little guy!

Spice Girls.

It's no secret:  I LOVED high school.

And these girls are part of the reason why:

Spice Girls Forever!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Zoo Atlanta.

The kids and I had the best time exploring the zoo yesterday.  In many ways, this has been one of my favorite summers diaper bags to tote around, no kiddos to carry, no feedings every two hours...and while I'm excited knowing that next summer is going to bring all of that with Emmy, I'm also soaking up every second I can of "big kid" fun with Harry and Babe.

And it's been fun.  I really, really like hanging out with my kids.

Probably because they say stuff like this on the drive to the zoo:

Harris:  "Mom, who is Elvis again?"
Me:  "Remember, Elvis is the king of pop." (Except I realize he's the king of rock and roll.  MJ is the king of pop.)
Hadley:  "Oh, yeah.  Elvis is the king of your daddy."  (We call my dad Pop.)

Or this, when we get to the zoo: 

Me:  "Alright, I have to use the bathroom before we start checking out the animals.  So everyone's coming in the stall with me because there are lots of people in the zoo bathroom."  I herd everyone into the large stall and begin to pee.
Harris:  "That is so disgusting.  Mom!  That is so disgusting.  Just tell me when you're finished."  And he turns around to face the corner.

I love them.

And they loved the zoo.  We sweated our little booties off, and Harry informed he was "out of energy" by the time we were finsished, but we spent an incredible three hours getting our money's worth.

Favorites included the bird exhibit,

the petting zoo,

and the Horties! (elephants), pandas, gorillas, and mole rats.

We also had fun on the carousel,

the zoo train (here's my attempt at a pic of all three of us),

and the playgrounds.

We snacked our way through the park and finished up our day out with a trip to The Varsity.  Both kids played "Varisty" all the way home by asking me over and over and over again, "Mommy, whaddya have?"  It took Babe a quick minute to get the hang of it, she began by asking:  "Mommy, what you want?" She figured it out, though, with some help from her brother.

Our Summer of Fun 2011 is wrapping up, which means I'll probably be headed into a depression sometime in the next ten days.  Not really.  What it does mean is that I'll start to put my thinking cap on and attempt to figure out a way where we'll be able to maximize time and continue our fun adventures during the school year, all while working, tackling kindergarten homework, and trying really, really hard to cook some semi-healthy dinners at home.

Quality time is totally my love language. :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beach. Friday.

Friday morning started off a little overcast, but we headed to the beach anyway.  The weather ended up being perfect, and we made the most of our last day of vacay.

Granti brought along some extra pancakes to feed the birds, so Harry and Babe spent some time doing just that before moving on to their standard beach fun of running back and forth in the waves, building sand castles and roads, exploring the deeper parts of the ocean with Ben, and generally having a blast in the sand and surf.

Harris had a great time getting buried in the much so that he asked Ben to do it over and over again.

He gladly obliged.

Around high noon, we headed to the pool.  Harris achieved his goal for the week and swam, on his own, from one of the far ends of the pool to the other.  It was awesome, and I could kick myself for not taking any pictures!!!  He was so, so excited, and Ben and I were so, so proud.  We couldn't wipe the smiles off of our faces.

Because he worked so hard and gave it his all, Ben told Harry he wanted to get him a special treat.  Harris requested a couple of Hot Wheels cars he'd spotted at the antiques store earlier in the week (they were from 1994 or something like that...), so the whole family showered up and headed out to grab lunch at Sandy Bottoms, swing by the antique store for the Hot Wheels, and check out a couple of other local stores simply for fun.

After browsing our little hearts out, we headed back for nap time before showering up and getting ready for our final night on the town.

We saved one of our favorite places, Brett's Waterway Cafe, for last.  The food is delicious and the location, right at the marina in the heart of downtown, is great, too.  We took a few family photos before stuffing our faces with shrimp.

Babe, of course, was over the moon excited about the "Rosie" (pink) shrimp.

It was a great end to a great week.

The kiddos chose to head back to the pool after dinner for one more night swim...they had to soak up as much jumping, throwing, and diving as their little bodies could take.

We all slept well, and we all left the next morning already looking forward to next year's trip.

There's simply nothing like uninterrupted family time.  Especially at the beach.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beach. Thursday.

Granti, Ben, the kids, and I started the morning, per our routine, at the beach.  We had a great time!  Babe absolutely loves running back and forth from the sand to the water and spent tons of time pretending that she was either a) a teacher or b) participating in a parade. 

Harris spent most of his time playing with his sand truck and building sand castles, but he also figured out that he could stand up out in the "big softie waves."  I could hear him and Ben laughing from the shore.

When it got close to high noon, Granti headed indoors and our little family headed to the pool.  Harris earned himself a coke with dinner because he was able to retrieve his diving stick from 5 foot deep water!!!!  We were so proud and celebrated like crazy.  We headed out to Pompeo's for dinner once everyone was rested and dressed so my sweet boy could get his well earned treat.

It's been a couple of years since we've eaten at Pompeo's, but after last night's dinner, it's safe to say the place has earned itself a permanent spot on the vacation rotation.  It was absolutely delicious.

We headed to CVS for a quick M&M pick-up after dinner, and then simply hung around the condo until bedtime.  Granti bought Harry and Babe new toys while at CVS (a car wash for Harris and a fanny pack with pretend make-up for Babe), so the kids played around for a little bit while Auntie and DB got ready for the Harry Potter premiere.

Babe even lucked out and got a manicure and pedicure before bed!

There was a little talk at dinner of Granti being willing to try a different beach next summer, but Ben quickly put a stop to that.  He did, after all, buy an "AI" sticker for the truck.

We love this place.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Beach. Wednesday.

I'd say we've developed a routine.

Beach (and a bike ride for Ben).






On Ben's recommendation, we chose Barbara Jean's.  It was AWESOME.  Delicious crab cakes, great vegetables, yummy fresh bread, and heavenly chocolate stuff.

After dinner, we grabbed our flashlights and headed out on the beach for a nature walk.

We spotted two large turtles in the sand dunes/nature area right beside our condo, quite a few sand crabs on the beach (much to the delight of the kids!), a couple of deer in the sand dunes/nature area on our way home, and tons and tons and tons of frogs.

I'm going to cry when we have to leave.