Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Beach

Last week we went to Florida on our first real family vacation.  I spent a lot of time planning everything but heading into the week I was pretty nervous on how everything would really go.  I tend to go into big family plans with these dreamy expectations, only to have them slowly shredded apart by toddlers flopping on the floor in tears, so I decided not to have many expectations this time around.  And even decided not to let the stormy weather forecast get me down ahead of time.

Lyla couldn't wait to get to the princesses at Disney World, but didn't have many feelings about the beach, which we planned for the first few days of the trip.  That is, until we got to the beach and her inner beach bum bubbled up from within.  Sure enough, when we landed it was a bit cloudy, and even rained a bit during our 2 hour drive out to the beach.  Miraculously we drove right out of the storm and had beautiful weather when we arrived at our beach cottage.  We managed a PR in family change time, getting into our bathing suits and racing to the ocean.  I ran back for my camera, afraid this would be our only good weather while we were there, and came back to these amazing little beach beauties.  They were complete naturals, burying themselves in the sand and running and diving into the waves.  It was like they'd spent every weekend at the beach, which is exactly what it made me want to do from that moment on.

We took it so easy at the beach, got groceries and ate in for every meal.  The sleeping arrangements ended up being less than ideal, with one girl still in a crib and no cribs or anything similar to be found.  But we made it work, and by that I mean I slept with Sis every night, which was an adventure every night.  But every morning they woke up in great spirits, with Lyla saying "Is it morning?!  Let's have a stack of pancakes and go to the beach!"  So that's exactly what we did.  Sunrise ocean dips and stacks of pancakes, cheerful girls and mostly good night sleeps.  AND the weather did a total 180, giving us great weather every day except the day we left, which is exactly the opposite of what the forecast had predicted.  I'm telling you, it was the dreamiest.  Everything I didn't dare hope for, and I'm really not even sure how we pulled it off.

Here are some pics from the beach! 

- K

So excited to head out to the beach for the very first time!

I spent so much time looking for the right place to stay.  It was so simple, nothing fancy, but they key was having it so close to the ocean.  It made it so easy to run in and out as the girls pleased.  It was perfect.

Our view!

If you think I was kidding about the sunrise trips to the beach, I was not.  :)

It was so beautiful, I could live in that moment forever.

Back inside for that pancake stack!  :)

We ventured out one day to the nearest pier, which was at Daytona Beach.  It was a windy day but we managed to find some rides and a super cute ice cream shop.  Rides and ice cream are pretty much the number one way to our kids' hearts.

This poor guy couldn't even see our little linebacker coming for him.  He was thisclose to being flat on the ground.

Evie chose this lollipop instead of ice cream.  Followed by tastes of all of our ice cream cones.  :)

Collecting rocks.  It's the little things.  :)

Couldn't not include one of these little guys.  We saw a million of them, and went on frequent lizard hunts.  I told Lyla how their tails would fall off if you grabbed it, so every time we'd chase one down she'd yell "Don't break their tails!!!"  :)  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Staying at Home Things - 2 1/2 Months In!

So it's been about 2 1/2 months of staying at home and it has really flown!  It's been such a good transition, I love getting to be with my girls and have really enjoyed it - mostly.  ;)  There have, of course, been some not-so-good days (This might be one of them.  PTL for naps.) 

I think the thing that has surprised me the most with this whole transition is how fast the days and weeks go.  My biggest fear was that we would be bored and run out of things to do, but that has been far from the case.  More than anything the to-do list has felt a bit overwhelming at times, and my multi-tasking ADD is at an all time high.  The things I used to get done while our nanny cared for the girls now have to get squeezed into nap time (and believe me, that 2 hour window goes far too quickly), or while the girls are awake, making those tasks range from a little daunting to nearly impossible. 

I've been even more amazed by my kids' uncanny ability to wake at the exact time I've chosen to go to bed - which is different each night - and require more attention, or somehow know that I set my alarm early to get a few things done before they wake, and without fail wake up before my alarm goes off.  Seriously, how do they do this?!  The talent is endless around here.

I've found that more than ever I have to really focus on time spent with them and not let myself get distracted by the other things I could or should be doing.  Sometimes a little playing is just good for the soul.  One of the fun things I love (and sometimes hate) doing with them is cooking.  They aren't exactly the "sit and observe" type, so occasionally we've had an extra heaping of salt or oats or whatever else they can get their hands on while I'm distracted.  I eventually wised up, and I now try to measure out ingredients before they join me so all they have to worry about is the dumping-in-a-bowl part.

A while ago we found a recipe for energy balls that we called cookie balls.  The recipe is really good and wholesome, and my kids love to make AND eat them.  It was one of our favorite recipes and Lyla would always request to make cookie balls.  Recently we found a company that has packaged up almost the exact recipe in a bag!  Eat Super Simple has pre-packaged all of the dry ingredients so all you have to do is add a few wet ingredients like peanut butter and honey.  Genius!  They are seriously tasty, and completely foolproof for little hands.  And just like the recipe we had used, are all good, wholesome ingredients.  I can't help but love a company that cares about the ingredients they use AND makes quality kid time a little less stressful.  :)

You can check out their Fuel (energy) and Milk (for breastfeeding moms) packages here.  Through April they are buy one get one half off with the code "spring".  Get some!  ;)

- K