Thursday, May 24, 2012

Goin' to the Lodge....

If you live in the Charlotte, NC area you've probably heard the commercial or radio ads a million times.... "goin' to the lodge.... the great wolf lodge..." Are you singing the song yet? I sang that dang jingle all day long... because we went to The Great Wolf Lodge and it was AMAZING! The kids, Daniel and I had the most fun family day (technically "afternoon") we've had in a LONG time! It was all smiles, all afternoon. I owe a sweet friend, Becca, big time for giving us her special day tickets since her precious little girl, Riley has to get tubes and can't be in the water.

Parker LOVED the water slides and was such a daredevil! He even went down the slide that was a few stories high. I was shocked! He also enjoyed the wave pool. He put on his puddle jumper and would float on his belly and let the waves carry him. We were hoping he was tall enough to do the tube rides with Daniel or I but he needs a few more inches.

Avery was so pleasant. She loves to splash in puddles and play in fountains. We were surprised with how easily she walked in the water. We had to really watch her in the wave pool because she would just keep walking even if it was over her head. Silly girl. At least she isn't afraid of the water since so much of our lives revolve around the lake, pool and ocean! 

Daniel and I had a GREAT time watching the kids have a blast but we had some adult fun too! We took turns doing the big slides and I felt like a kid again! I smiled and let loose and even "WOO HOOed" a few times! Our favorite ride was the Howlin' Tornado. If you've been there before, you know why! I rode it a few times with the sweetest girl scouts because they needed an extra rider. Each time they would sing a song through the tunnel. On our final ride, I chimed in with a little "Starships, were meant to fly" and the girls thought I was the coolest... its the little things....

The pictures aren't fantastic since I didn't want to get the camera too wet and keeping up with the kiddos around LOTS of different pools was stressful enough but I did get a few. 

You can kind of see the big orange slide on the back of this huge tower. Parker went down that slide no less than 20 times. He LOVED it which really surprised Daniel and I.

The kiddie area had 3 small slides, water shooting jet skis and an graduated entrance with fountains. This was perfect to get the kids acquainted to the water and for Avery.

Sissy loves fountains that come out of the ground to splash around in.

Happy boy going down a water slide

Daddy and his mini me taking a snack break.

Avie takes a shower every morning with Daniel or I so she loved standing under the dripping water. She even stood under the HUGE bucket that dumps water (when she was on Daniel's watch).... and we got a few disapproving looks.... one from myself but nonetheless, she loved it.

Parker at the bottom of the big slide. You could hear him yelling "Woo Hoo!" the whole ride down with his hands in the air.

Eating a cracker poolside... I love the look on her face. If only she knew how much easier it would be if she rotated the cracker.

We showered in the family showers and put the kids in their PJs. 
We were sure that both kids would crash the second we put them in the car. Boy, were we wrong. They had so much fun that they were wired. Thankfully, by the time we got home, both kids were tired and went to sleep easily. I am also barely awake! I tell you what, that was a work out! By the time I climbed the stairs to the top of the slides, my legs were hurting and I was winded!

If you're looking for a weekend getaway, I HIGHLY recommend The Great Wolf Lodge. There is lots to do around the lodge in addition to the water park like Concord Mills Mall, the speedway, tons of places to eat... a BabiesRUs (such a mom)... anyways.... it was awesome...we loved it....can't wait to go back!

Happy 1st Birthday, Avery!

I am SO behind on my blogging! I'm sorry! BUT if I'm being honest, posting daily about cleaning up a mess then turning around to see that an even bigger one has been created just isn't super fun to read about. SO... without further adieu.... Avery's 1st Birthday post (almost a month late... WHOOPS!)

Avery Madison, you're 1 year old... although I prefer "12 months" because I think it sounds younger and I'm in no rush for you to grow up. You had an "all things pink, polka dot, sweet and girly" 1st birthday party because I'm not super into themes but I am into cute, pink and girly....

We had a candy table with lots of yummy treats including these AMAZ-BALLS cake balls that Aunt Tabitha made.

You slept for the first half of your party in Mimi and Poppop's arms. It was so sweet and I know it made their trip worth it to get some Avie snuggles on your 1st birthday. Your nap also allowed me time to mingle with party guest and get all of the food out so it was perfect!
Poppop and Avery

Mimi and Avery
Grammie and Grandaddy, nana and poppi, aunt Kelly and Grandma also came to your party.
Poppi and Mommy

Grandaddy and Mommy

Grammie and Mommy

Grandma and Avie

Aunt Kelly and Avie
Aunt Kelly, nana and mommy
Your Aunt Tabitha, Uncle Dean and baby Makenna stayed with us for the weekend and helped cook and decorate for the occasion. I don't know what we would do without them!!!
Your friends, Zury and Marshall, Jayden and Jonah, Charley and Max and Bo, Khloe and Tate, cousin Jakob, and Avery and Grant also joined the festivities!
Playing on the train table

Swing set fun with Aunt Kelly

Bounce House!

Sweet neighbors Khloe and Tate

Kristin and Bo

Amber and handsome Marshall

Zury, Jakob and Parker playing in the sand turtle

Backyard birthday fun!
I made a banner with a picture from newborn to 12 months. It was a hit and so special. I put it in your memory box. 
I also made a slide show with 300+ pictures that scrolled throughout the night on the TV. My grandparents who mostly stayed inside really enjoyed watching it. I wish I had put happy music to it so that it didn't look so much like an "in memory" slide show. 
Since your birthday is Cinco de Mayo, it was only appropriate to have a pinata. I bought a pull string pinata since everyone is a bit young to hit a real one. It didn't work quite as I had expected and I ended up ripping it apart myself. At the end of the day, the kids got candy and that's all that mattered to them!

We served BBQ, pasta salad, baked beans, fruit and chips. You tried it all!

Harris Teeter made you a little smash cake but you weren't very interested in it. I wasn't bummed though since we had those AMAZING pictures taken by Alicia Sutton Photography a few days before! 

These little vultures children took care of your cake but made sure to save you a bite!
You enjoyed working the party crowd and were the cutest little birthday girl!

Happy 1st Birthday, Avery Madison! You are a JOY to parent. Your father and I love watching you grow and learn daily. You are inquisitive, smart and so very sweet. You have a fiery personality that you are learning to express and mommy is learning to maintain! WHEW! You are 18 pounds of pure preciousness and we feel so blessed that God gave us you!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day! I am blessed beyond measure by my mother. She is selfless, thoughtful, generous, forgiving, fun and engaging. She's a good listener, a prayer warrior, a treasured friend, a loving nana, a wonderful wife and a world class toilet scrubber. So she's pretty much amazing and I think all who know her would agree ;)

On Saturday, the kids and I met my parents and sister at Freedom Park in downtown Charlotte for a picnic. We played on the playground equipment, fed ducks and geese (and even tiny newborn ducks.... I secretly wanted to take one home), took a stroll and ran into our old neighbor! Small world! Despite wanting to claw my eyes out from allergies, we had a really great time!
Kelly, mom and Avery who was WAY more interested in the ducks.

Nana and sweet Avie

A precious Avery and allergy stricken mama.

In duck and geese heaven

Me and my pretty little girl
Poppi, Parker and a super aggressive goose

A rare photo of both kids in 1 picture! SCORE!

Sweet boy and his nana

Swinging with Aunt Kelly
After a fun morning at the park, we headed to my parents house for lunch and a boat ride. We fed MORE ducks and beached the boat on the island for a while where Avery discovered a fun hole filled with.... red clay. Here's hoping an oxy clean soak can fix her now orange bathing suit!
Parker enjoyed wading and filling his bucket with water

Avery discovering how to play with sand

The aforementioned mud hole that Avie was so fond of.
I am so glad my children enjoy being outside as much as I do! I capped off the day with a night of bunco with my neighborhood girlfriends. We played on Abby's patio that she decorated beautifully. She made cupcakes that looked like corn on cob, had flowers coming out of a watermelon, precious candles, twinkly lights.... the works. Of course I am on schedule to host next month.... I see pinterest and hobby lobby runs in my future!

Today we have done pretty much NOTHING and its been awesome. I may or may not be blogging at 4pm in my PJs. Avery was up 5 times last night and Parker was up twice. They both have allergies as well and just couldn't breathe through their snot. Daniel took the kids this morning and let me sleep in which was glorious. Parker and Avery have both been super cuddly today which has been so sweet. Daniel got me flowers, a beautiful card and a yummy drink from SBUX this morning. He's also given me a "shopping trip" to buy myself a few new outfits. I think my constant whining about feeling like I have nothing cute that fits me paid off!

Its been a wonderful but quick weekend celebrating motherhood. It's the hardest, most rewarding job. It's the only job I've EVER wanted and despite having days I'm sure that having a career would be easier, the thought passes as quickly as it came. I am SO blessed to be "mommy" to Parker and Avery.... and sometimes my 20 something year old sister ;) There is no greater blessing in life than that of motherhood.