Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I love these little stinkers.

Evan turned 5 months old on Monday. He's such a stud. Lucas is a good big brother. He loves to make Evan laugh and smile. Sometimes I catch him being really sweet to Evan and it makes my heart overflow with joy. Sometimes I catch him sitting or jumping on Evan and it makes my heart explode in a wrath of anger. I love them.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

To this dad:
Thanks, Baby, for being such an awesome daddy. Our kids are lucky to have such a cool dad who can balance them on his feet, hold them in the air with ease, and be the funniest dad they know. Thanks for being mine, too.

And to these dads:

Thanks for having two incredibly attractive kids who could grow up, fall in love, and make more incredibly attractive people to populate the earth. We love you with all our hearts. (And thanks for being such good dads, too, and for marrying our moms).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bump in the Night

The other night around 2am:
Lucas: "Daddy!"
Ben went in to check on him: "What's up buddy?"
Lucas: "May I please have some fruit snacks?"
Ben: "Lucas, it's 2 in the morning. Go to bed."

Last night around 3am:
Lucas: "Daddy. Daaaaaaddy!"
Ben goes in to check on him. I see the light switch on.
A few minutes later Ben comes back to bed.
Apparently Lucas thought a bird pooped on his bed. I don't know if he had a dream or if he woke up and thought there was a bird in his room. He's such a silly boy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sober in Margaritaville

Warning - this is long, but this is my journal.... so sorry.
Click HERE for all pictures.
I should probably preface by saying that the whole reason this trip came to pass is because my sister, Lisa, was attending a conference there - Dermatology for the non-Dermatologist. So, she got to learn all about weird skin issues, biopsies, etc, while I got burned to a crisp. (Hopefully I won't have to use her skills someday). So, after she worked hard all day, we provided her entertainment in the evening. I hope she had half as much fun as we did!

As we pulled into Key West we had a cranky kid and hungry, crying baby. We picked up our keys to the condo from the management company and headed in search of our new pad. We were pleased to find a lovely condo with lots of space, clean floors, two nice bedrooms, beautifully manicured grounds (notice the orchids in the tree), and a wonderful pool.

We headed out to see the beach and swim a bit. The beaches in Key West aren't the best for swimming because they are naturally rocky - they actually bring sand in from the Bahamas. We enjoyed our little walk, though, then came to the conclusion that the pool really was the place to be! After all, you get to swim in nice clean water, sit on a chair in the shade, and you have a beautiful view of the ocean. We swam until almost 8:00 then showered and headed to dinner at 9:00! We had the yummiest pizza at Upper Crust and just as we were heading home, my mom and Lisa pulled into town.
We met them at the condo with a very excited boy and stayed up too late for our morning plans!
We had reservations for a Glass Bottom boat tour at 9:00 Wednesday morning. Lucas was so excited to go on a boat, as were Ben and I. We hopped on our boat with our captain, Jenn, and headed waaaay out in the water in search for dolphins. (Evan fell asleep within a few minutes, life jacket and all). As we headed out, it was really neat to see the difference the water depth and plant life have on the appearance of the water. The really pretty turquoise water is the result of the sandy bottom, no plants. The dolphins were in one of these areas with a depth of about 10 feet. They like it there because the fish have nowhere to hide and there aren't any predators. We managed to see several different groups of dolphins. Some came right up close to the boat and we saw one jump out of the water several times just like he was in a show at Sea World. Captain Jenn said he was most likely angry or trying to get something off of his body.

After we watched the dolphins for about 30 minutes we headed to the reef to do some snorkeling. Evan was still sound asleep and Lucas decided to get in the water, too. He held onto me or Ben while we looked around. We saw lots of rays, pretty fish, and huge tarpons. When we were just about done, Evan woke up so I headed back to the boat. Lucas enjoyed jumping off the back of the boat to Lisa for a while and we eventually headed back to Key West. When we got back to the dock, Lucas was near tears because he had to go potty so bad. He wasn't a fan of trying to go off the boat in the ocean, so Ben carried him and ran to the bathroom.

Lisa had to start her conference that afternoon, so she, Mom, and Lucas headed home while Ben and I ran to the grocery store with Evan. We all hung around the condo most of the afternoon and evening. Ben and Lisa did go on a key lime pie run to Kermit's before bed.
Thursday morning Lisa went to her conference at 8:00 leaving the rest of us to explore Key West in the heat while she learned all about weird skin issues. We went to lunch and then the Butterfly Museum. We saw a lot of pretty butterflies and they landed on some people, but not on us. Just as beautiful as the butterflies were the beautiful plants they had. It was enough to make you want to move there!

After the museum we were all exhausted. We headed home and managed some naps. We met up with Lisa at her conference hotel and looked around the beautiful grounds before heading to dinner at B.O.'s Fishwagon. This place was crazy.... Kind of like the ocean threw up on a fish stand, but in an artistic way, not a gross dead fish way.

We ate our fishy food whilst trying not to sweat (vowing to wear much less clothing the next day), then headed on a walk around the docks then over to Mallory Square, where they have nightly shows at sunset - magicians, fire dancers, etc. We were late, but managed to see a guy chain himself up in a straitjacket and get out - he also managed to teach Lucas a few new swear words. Lucas laughed at all his naughty jokes even though he didn't understand them at all. After him we saw a fire dancer. He was precious and didn't teach Lucas any bad words. Evan cried most of the time because he was hot and exhausted and hated all the applause. I tried to keep him away from the crowd and he eventually fell asleep.
We were all ready for bed time when it rolled around, especially poor little sweaty Evan. I mentioned it was hot, right?
Friday Lisa got to practice sewing on pig feet while we spent the morning at the pool and just wasted time. In the afternoon we decided to head to Ft. Zachary State Park, but as we were pulling up Lisa called and told us she got out early, so we went to get her. Meanwhile we decided not to pay to go to the state park after we found out it was mostly for swimming. Apparently Ft. Zachary is where the best beaches are on the island. I wish we would have planned better and gone Friday morning... Oh well. We weren't ready for such an adventure, so we headed downtown instead.
That night we ate dinner at Hogs Breath, picked up a pie at Blonde Giraffe, and headed home to swim some more before bed. We decided that the Blonde Giraffe pie beat out the Kermit's pie.

Saturday morning Ben and I had to pack up to leave. Mom and Lisa didn't leave until Sunday. We pulled out at about 11:20 and made it to Ft. Lauderdale to return our car and be some of the last passengers to board the plane. Ben sat with Lucas and I took a crying, hungry, poopy-diapered baby to the back row. Our vacation ended when we landed in Austin at 7:00. Clay was kind enough to pick us up at the airport and we headed home...

We had a great time in Key West. It was so nice to get away and be with my boys, as well as my mom and sister. Thanks Lisa for inviting us to come stay with you. It was really awesome! I have been thinking fondly about our trip every day this week as I battle the monotony of real life, a bored little boy, and the usual post-vacation blues when you realize that you are the lone adult during the day and that your family is once again far away.

During our time away, I couldn't help but think about what was happening a year ago... Last May we had our car accident. A week later Lij and Logan came out for Memorial Day. We headed to Hamilton Pool with them. On the drive I started to feel sick. Really sick. When we got there I didn't know if I would be able to survive because of what I thought was the sulfur smell... it turned out to be a gassy boy. That drive was when I realized I had Evan in my belly. A couple days later I was in a parking lot after buying a pregnancy test with Jeana. I got a phone call from Ben informing me that Lij took a tumble off a 50 foot cliff when he was hiking with the Young Men. Our sweet Lij suffered broken ribs, a collapsed lung, broken wrists, and a long hospital stay in front of him. Along with the broken bones, he knocked something in place helping him figure out that Hilaree was the one. In February they were married.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

2 Days in Ft. Lauderdale

It's time I update you on our trip. We left the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. I had to speak in church that day, so we left right after my talk, which went pretty well.
We went home to finish up packing so we could leave at 12:30. Promptly Ben and I collided in the kitchen resulting in a glass jar of chocolate hazelnut goodness crashing to the floor. Then Lucas had aiming problems in the bathroom resulting in wet tile, and finally Evan had a blowout on our bed, which severely disturbed Ben so he took the sheets off to pre-treat them. It was awesome, but we managed to make it to the airport on time, without tears.

We got to Ft. Lauderdale and picked out our rental car. As we were trying to figure out where to drive Lucas threw a fit because he wanted his very own map, which we eventually provided thanks to the Alamo lady. We checked in to our crappy hotel on the beach and made a quick dash for dinner. Ft. Lauderdale was packed because it was a holiday weekend. There were a lot of annoying people cruising around (check out the guy in the blue boxers sagging his pants) and I was brought to the realization that I'm getting old... or maturing, I guess. I am not amused by the stupid t-shirts sold in the beach shops, and was offended by the g-strings hanging in the window for my 3-year-old to see. (But, we may or may not have been amused by the shirt that said, "Please tell your boobs to stop staring at my eyes."I won't tell you what the g-strings said.)
Anyhow, we ate at a loud restaurant/bar that night. Lucas licked the ketchup bottle... or was it the salt shaker? He then had the time of his life playing in the waves in his clothes as the sun was setting. He had a great time falling, running, and falling again. I was nervous because it was dark and noisy, and I'm a little crazy.

We tucked our kids in bed by 10:00 - Lucas in the crappier of the two beds and Evan on a folded up bedspread on the floor by the mini-fridge. I couldn't sleep that night. My pillow felt more like a sandbag and I started thinking about the abundance of filth in the room, eventually imagining my body being nibbled by bed bugs. I was happy when Evan finally awoke at 7:00 so I could take him out until Lucas woke up.

That morning we headed to a grocery store to buy lunch food and then head to the beach. At the beach Lucas dug, built a sand castle, and played for all of 30 minutes. Then we decided to hit the pool at the hotel. It was much easier there. Ben and Evan enjoyed a nice nap together in the warm breeze and Lucas enjoyed a little girl and her Ariel, Sebastian, and Flounder toys. We went on a drive up the A1A to some cute neighborhoods so the kids would sleep. Our attempt at naps for ourselves were halted by a crying baby, then a screaming kid.

For dinner we ate at Oasis Cafe, where they have swing tables. It was fun. We tried to stay out late as to avoid the grossness awaiting us in our hotel room. We even ate gelato at a swanky cafe in the Hilton.

I think I got a bit more sleep that night, but took Evan out in the morning once again to discover that it was raining. We survived, though, and enjoyed the tranquility of the early morning beach, then the early morning pool, then the early morning crane working next door. At 9:00 the boys were awake and came to see the crane with me. It provided Lucas with some much needed entertainment as we packed to hit the road to Key West.

We checked out at 11:00 and headed South for what we thought would be a 3 hour drive, but really took us about 5 hours. It was really pretty, though, driving through all the keys. Evan slept almost the whole trip and Lucas was a really good boy and managed a nap, too. We pulled into the property management company just as they were getting ready to close for the day. Thus began our adventures in Key West...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

We're Back.

It's so great to feel the sand in your toes.

More from our fantastic trip to Key West soon...