Monday, July 31, 2017

Keeping Busy

With a little over a month left of summer vacation I'm feeling like I need to keep these kids extra busy. There's still so much to do and I know they'll be back to school before I know it! I've been wanting to teach them a new game so I pulled out Life, one of my bigger kids fave's from when they were younger. When I chose it I thought they'd be about the right age for it but honestly, they're a bit young. Oddly enough they both really enjoyed it, especially Harper!

After we'd played a round (Dakota didn't quite make it to the end, she was tired and a bit emotional about her car not being in front of everyone else's.) I pulled out a slip and slide we used once before and then put away and forgot about. As you'll see in the video, they couldn't quit figure out how to run and slide on it. I tried to get Tony to show them when he got home but he wasn't into it either. Maybe we'll try again when some of their friends are over...

Dakota got these cute how to draw books for her birthday: It's Fun to Draw Princesses and Ballerina's and It's Fun to Draw Fairies and Mermaids and she finally sat down to try them out. 

I thought she did great for her first time! So, as you can see, I've been keeping the kids busy for the most part. There are times when I'm just not in the mood to entertain and that seems to be when these two get into trouble. They've been doing a lot of bickering back and forth and a little hitting has been going on as well. The other day I'd had enough of it and had them sit at the table and write "I will not hit" 5 times each. It didn't work but it did afford me a few minutes of quiet!


Angelina Ballerina, Class 5

Last week's ballet class went as smooth as butter. I reminded Dakota again about how the class would run and when she saw how it was working exactly as I'd told her, she was fine. She's probably going to be one of those people who hates surprises...I'm almost willing to bet on it.

We were supposed to meet Tony and Harper for ice cream after her class but Harper changed his mind and wanted to stay home to play a game with Tony instead. I had already mentioned it to Dakota though and she was not about to miss out on some promised ice cream! She decided she really liked chocolate chip ice cream when she had it on vacation and told me she REALLY wanted to go to a store that sold that kind! Off to Dunkin' we went!

Zoe and Brandon's First TownHouse

The first thing we did on Sunday morning was make a Costco run. We had like zero food and it was getting dire, so off we went. We drove home, unloaded the groceries and then got back into the car and drove 30 minutes to Zoe and Brandon's new place.

They closed on their new townhouse while we were on vacation and had been busy moving everything while we'd been driving home on Saturday. (We planned our vacation about 2 weeks before they found out there settlement date!) They were able to snag an end unit town that has a wooded lot next to them and a small driveway. It's really nice and a great size starter home. It has a lot of upgrades but could certainly use more and as time goes on I see them adding their personal touches to improve the place.

I didn't take many pictures because everything was still pretty much in boxes and all over the place since they'd literally moved in the day before but I'll make sure to get some when things are a little more put together. While we were there we did our best to help with that day's task which was organizing the kitchen. It's always a chore to figure out what fits where when you move into a new place and this new kitchen seems to have less room than the old one so there's some work to be done. Tony hung a curtain rod over the sliders in the kitchen and Zoe got her curtains hung and we all did our best to unload boxes and figure out where to put things...

When we'd done what we could and Zoe and Brandon were pooped out we headed over to the IKEA that is about 5 minutes from their house to get some idea's for the new place. We decided to go ahead and eat dinner as well because it was getting late and we were going to have to head back home. 

I'm looking forward to going back once they're a little more settled and taking more pictures; hopefully on the next day Zoe's off work. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017


We left Myrtle around 8:30 am or so and made it home around 5:30 pm. The drive wasn't horrible but, as usual, we were held up in traffic sometime after Richmond.

We were a bit shocked when we walked into the house to find that the air conditioner had quit working at some point. The temperature in the house was a horrible 94 degrees and I as ready to cry. Tony tried a few things to get it up and running again but when he wasn't able to fix the issue we found a company that did emergency HVAC work and they came out a few hours later. The guy was here for quite awhile and was able to get it back up and running for us but it sure cost a pretty penny. It cost as much to fix the ac as it had to stay in our hotel for a week on vacation. Sickening.

It took the house a good 12 hours to completely cool and it was perfect in the morning when we got out of bed and I was very thankful for that! Home sweet home!

Vacay, Day 6

I woke up super depressed on our last day of vacation. We'd had such a great week and I wasn't even slightly bored of the ocean. We headed out and I made sure to get pictures of the kids playing and enjoying their time out there. (Landon refused to get out of bed and come down to the beach so he's not in any of the photo's.) 

While sitting in the shallow water I watched as a little clam dug it's way into the sand. I quickly dug it up and showed the kids how it looked like an ordinary shell but if you let the waves wash over it the clam would come out a bit and dig it's way into the sand. They were fascinated and spent a long time looking for clams and watching them dig into the sand. It was a great activity and lesson for the last day at the ocean. 

For our farewell hurrah we went to Pirate's Voyage. The kids totally loved when we celebrated Harper's birthday at Medieval Times last year so I figured they'd enjoy this too. The idea is the same except they swapped knights for pirates and princesses for mermaids. For an extra $20 kids can become "part of the show" and have their faces painted into pirates or mermaids and you better believe Dakota was all over that! (Harper hates having his face painted so he declined.) 

I must admit that I am not a huge fan of either place. I just find the shows to be incredibly boring and I can't keep my attention on what's going on. The food at the Pirate show was pretty good (similar to medieval times but better prepared) but there is no way I could ever eat it all. They give you bread, soup, half a roasted chicken, Pulled BBQ pork, corn on the cob, half a baked potato and some sort of apple dessert. I was right about the kids though and they did enjoy the show. There were a few scary parts but for the most part it was just a lot of singing and dancing and aerial performances. It was a good way to end the evening and our week of vacation, but knowing what I do now, I'd have preferred to spend the last minutes of our time out at the beach. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Vacay, Day 5

Remember that mermaid bathing suit Landon picked up for Dakota's belated birthday gift? Well, here she is in all her mermaid glory...

And, here's her cute older brother headed out for another spin on his boogie board:

We discovered some sand crabs and the kids loved catching them and watching burrow under the sand.

I found some beach photo ideas on Pinterest and while I could hardly get anyone to cooperate, I did manage to get a couple:

We couldn't ever seem to go to the beach and then just go back to our room, we always had to stop at the pools first.

We didnt' feel like going back to the boardwalk for dinner that night so my dad found and chose a nearby steak house that had good reviews. It was called Chuck's Steak House and holy crap was it good! The atmosphere in there is so relaxing and almost makes you forget your even at the beach and not at some swanky mountain resort. The food was terrific and our waiter was awesome. While you're waiting for your meal, make sure you try the cheese and crackers they have available. We'd never had port wine cheese before but we'll absolutely need to have it again! 

I don't feel like any beach vacation is complete without a game of mini golf so we made sure to fit that in after dinner that night. We had seen the Jungle Safari golf place before and it looked fun so that's where we went. It was a fierce game and everyone playing (mom and I watched) got at least 1 hole in one. Papa got 5, Landon 3, Tony 3, Harper 3 and Dakota 1. Papa won this one but he better be ready next time...

Isaac Louis Wallington

While we were on vacation I got a text from Jeff that Kiersten had had the baby! He was about three weeks early so it was quite a surprise, but he's here and what a cutie pie! He came into the world July 19th at 12:35 am and weighed in at a teensy 5 pounds 15 ounces! He was just a wee little thing!

This little baby boy means that I am officially a Grandma! (That's SOO weird!) Congratulations to Kiersten and Jeff and I cannot even begin to tell you how sad I am that I'm not there to meet this precious little baby already. 

Vacay, Day 4

Finally! Blue skies and sunshine! That's our little set up there to the left. Umbrella, rolling cart with beach toys, towels, sunblock, boogie boards and skim board. We didn't need anything else and if we did it only took about 2 minutes to go to the room to get it. Simple and perfect.

Every morning we were there we'd head out sometime after 9 am. The tide was very low then and there are these great tide pools to play in. The water in those pools would be so warm by early afternoon that it was like sitting in a warm bath. The kids caught fish in their pails and played other made up games with other vacationing was so relaxing! The kids and Tony would go out and play in the waves when the mood struck and we'd gather shells and whatever critters we could get a hold of. When we'd get tired of the sand we'd head to the pools. Vacationing just doesn't get better. Mom and dad joined us for a little bit too and while the ocean may not be my mom's favorite, she certainly seemed to enjoy herself!

My dad went out with Landon to watch him practice skim boarding. There were some good skims (not sure what you call them) and some falls, but I think Landon did get a little better. 

My mom and I went back to the room and made lunch for everyone and then we all had a picnic. 

After lunch it was time for the pool. We did some floating around in the lazy river and we ordered a couple Caribbean Cooler buckets. They were quite tasty! The kids got some Italian ices and they couldn't have been happier!

I let Landon choose where we should try for dinner that night and he chose Extreme Pizza that was down at Broadway on the Beach. I think it may have been the best pizza I've ever had. Luckily we have one coming soon to our area soon!

It was still a bit early after dinner so we walked over to the Backstage Mirror Maze. It was fun but the price is a bit extreme for what it is. Before entering they give you a pair of plastic gloves so that you won't leave fingerprints all over the glass but let me tell you, I saw lots of people run smack into a mirror. So, there may not be fingerprints but there's probably quite a few face prints! It's super disorientating in there, especially with the flashing lights and sometimes complete dark!

When we finally made it out of the maze we walked around the shops for a bit. Harper found a hilarious mask, Dakota found a mermaid bathing suit and we all found Kilwin's where we ate some amazing ice cream. (Landon was super sweet and bought the mermaid suit for Dakota as a late birthday gift. She was over the moon excited!) 

Dance, 9/18/18

Dakota had her second dance class last night. Her class this year is at least twice the size as last year and it's harder to get videos...