Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another Trip

This past week, Sam and I had to go to Boston on a business trip for a week and Sam's parents, once again, were so generous to keep them both the whole week. They had a fabulous time and got to do all of the things that Mommy and Daddy don't normally let them do. Needless to say, they have had a hard time this week getting back to Our rules, but we're getting there.

When we got home Sunday afternoon, the girls were so excited to see us, and the feelings were mutual! We missed them so much! Anyway, that night while at the dinner table, we were telling them both how much they had grown while we were gone. Anna really did mature a lot while we were gone. She is trying to be so big. Maybe I will try again on the potty training? oh, maybe not! Then I looked at MM and told her "I think you have grown, like, a whole foot!" Yes, I realize that the "like" is very confusing to an almost 5 year old! Well, she starts laughing and tells me, "Mom, I don't look like a foot!" How funny! We laughed forever about that one.

Last night, while playing with the puppy in the backyard, MM had been playing with the puppy's tennis ball. She was throwing it up as high as she could and then letting it hit whereever it landed. Well, you guessed it, one of those times she threw it in the air and WHAM! right on the forehead! Again, we laughed forever on that one. I mean, what are the chances of a 5 year old throwing a ball high in the air and (while watching it the whole way down) it smacking you right in the head!


Our Family Prayers and Yoga

I have a few funny stories that I have forgotten to tell on the blog this summer and I'm afraid I'm going to forget them, so here goes. . .

Back earlier in the summer, Mary Mac spent the night at the lake house with Sam's brother and his wife and girls. That night, our neices were saying their prayers and they told MM it was her turn. She proceeds to tell them and my SIL that her parents would not LET her say her prayers! What?!!! Well, to preface this "story" of hers, the night before we had forgotten to say her prayers, so in an effort to postpone bedtime, she hollers down the stairs (an hour later, no less) that we forgot her prayers. Sam hollers back at her that she can just say them herself and does not need us to do it. Now, back to the lake house. . .Isabella (our oldest neice) is so upset and worried that we won't "LET" MM her prayers. Of course, my SIL thinks it is hilarious and cannot wait to tell us the story. Fast forward to the next night. . .I am determined to make it an obvious point of saying our prayers and MM helping me so that she will "know how to" next time if we are not there. So I begin, "Now I lay me down to sleep. . . " I get to the part where you say "If I should die before I wake" and MM sits straight up in her bed, eyes wide open, with a death-grip (no pun intended) on my arm - "Mom, I don't want to DIE!" I almost fell off the bed laughing so hard. I realize that was probably not the best reaction, but after telling her it was just part of the prayer and that I would improvise (with the part about the angels instead), she was ok with it and is now learning the prayer all by herself! Yea - mission accomplished!

YOGA, you ask? What does this have to do with prayers? Well, we are in the process of potty training Anna and she is just NOT HAVING IT! She told us she really just wants to stay a baby and not tee-tee on the potty. Who can blame her?! Anyway, one night I was just determined to get her to go on the potty ONLY because she had been dry since her nap and all afternoon. Perfect chance to have a little "success" since I know she was about to pop! So I sit her on the potty while MM is taking a bath. We sit there and sit there and sit there for 45 minutes!I have tried everything I can think of and I could see it on her face when she was about to start "going" and then she would tense up and start whining. It was like the sensation was just freaking her out. Then the Aha moment - what can I do to help her relax? YOGA!!! Picture this, me on the floor, Anna on the potty, breathing deep breaths with our arms going up and down like a bird. In my attempts to help her relax, I then start saying (while breathing our), "Let the tee-tee out!" She got a total kick out this AND it WORKED! Well, I should say it only worked that one night - NO success since then. But, it has provided her teachers and our friends countless laughs and giggles! Oh my, Anna! What will we do with you girl?


Friday, August 07, 2009

Baby Collins #3. . .

I thought that would be a great (and funny) lead in to this post today. Admit it, how many of you gasped and thought, "Oh my goodness! After her last post about taking a break from diapers and babies?!" Ha Ha - joke's on you! Scroll down for pictures of our newest addition . . . Sophie. We just picked her up yesterday afternoon and I don't think her big puppy paws have touched the floor for more than 30 seconds since we have been home. Mary Mac is in awe of her and will not let her out of her sight. Anna, you ask? Well, let's just say it is going to take some getting used to for her. It is evident that she is not in favor of being a middle child at this point. She has always been timid of dogs and Sam has been on me about getting a pet/puppy for the girls so that Anna would hoefully get over this fear of four legged friends! We shall see! Sophie is the sweetest puppy and so cute. If you couldn't tell, she is a Blue Weimeraner. My family had one when I was in high school and my parents had to give her up several years ago due to her age and declining health, so this new puppy is bitter sweet for my parents, but (I think) they have already fallen in love with her. I know we certainly have fallen in love!


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

StingRay City

As Cayman myths go, 7 years of good luck for kissing a stingray on the nose! Let's hope it works!

Nurse Shark (we did not actually see this one, it was a picture that our guide had taken earlier in the same location that we were snorkeling.
Green Morey Eel
As promised, picture from StingRay City in Grand Cayman. Yes, iguanas run around the island as commonly as we see dogs and cats and birds. It was really cool and the pictures turned out great too. When we first got in the water with the stingrays, you could hear people (mainly women) screaming like little girls. We quickly realized why they were screaming. Although these animals are very large, they can sneak up on you so easily. You will be standing there and then all of a sudden you feel this soft slimy thing brush against your legs from behind you out of nowhere. It is crazy feeling, but so awesome! In an attempt to cool our Croc Hunter fears, our guide held on up and put the stinger barb in his mouth to prove that they were not dangerous and that the only reason Steve Irwin was killed by one was that he was holding it from behind (where the barb is) and the camerman was in front of it. The stingray was trying to get away from both of them and swatted its tale and the barb caught the Croc Hunter right in the heart and he pulled it out which left a nice whole in his heart.
Now that everyone is jealous of our adventures. . . go ahead and book a trip. . .well worth it!


Back to School

The girls started back to school for the new year this week. Mary Mac (due to her October birthday) still had one more year of preschool. I have mixed feelings about this. The group of kids starting kindergarten this year are so cute and fun and I would love for her to be with them, but on the otherhand, I am soooo not ready to have a child old enough to be in kindergarten. I think with one more year, I will be ready. . .maybe! ;) Please notice that I was able to talk MM into wearing a dress. Unfortunately, it's one of those cute dresses that most little girls want to wear at this age, but it is a dress no less! At this point, I am not being picky. My mom bought this for her while we were out of town last week and we have laughed because this is the only one of many, many dresses that she has loved and wanted to wear. . .it comes straight off the K-Mart racks with the label Nickelodeon - iCarly! Yes, it is an iCarly dress, but at least it's a dress.
Anna, on the other hand, would rather wear a dress everyday and loves being "cute." It is amazing that just by moving her into a "big girl" room at school how much that has changed her. She actually tee-tee'd on the potty last night!! Yea! We have been putting her on the potty every night before her bath for months and no success - ever! They are already working on it in her class too, so hopefully we are on the road to having a diaper-less house!!!! Oh I cannot wait - no diapers to buy, no diapers to change (esp poopy), no wipes, no diaper pails (oh the horrendous smell). Aaahhhh! Should we be thinking about baby #3? OH, NO!!!! I am really looking forward to a break from diapers - almost 5 consecutive years!
A funny Anna story. . . Sam and I went to get her out of bed yesterday morning before school and Sam was loving on her in her bed and tickling and kissing her neck. I laughed and said, "Look Anna, you got chill bumps on your legs!" She immediately sat up and looked at her legs and started wiping them and saying, "Shoo 'chipmunks', go away!" So funny, Sam and I laughed so hard. Chipmunks?
Oh, I almost forgot about a MM story. Before we went on our trip, I was getting MM dressed for the day and she had a total melt down fit over the clothes I was making her put on. And it was only a pair of cotton capri play pants and a sleeveless swing top - not too fancy, huh? Well, not according to her. All she could get out of her mouth was that she did not want people telling her that she looked CUTE!!!!! Can you believe this child? UGH! I mean, who wouldn't love someone, anyone, telling you you looked cute? She said, " Mom, people are come by my class and say, 'Mary Mac, you look so cute' and I don't want them to!" What do ya do? Sorry, my dear child, but you were born with great genes and you will always be CUTE! Well, at least in our opinion!
And just a random picture from this last weekend at the lake. We took a break from riding on the boat and took a dip in the water. MM loves jumping (doing a canonball, or so she says) off the boat, swimming around to the ladder, then doing it all over again. Anna is not so fond of the water, so this is pretty much where she stays in the water - on me or Sam. Hey, Rachel, that green life jacket is the one I was talking about, but it's not a great picture of it.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Cruisin' Pictures

Sam and I had a wonderful time on our cruise last week. Thanks to my parents and Sam's parents for keeping all of our kids so that we could have some much appreciated time together. Sam and I were talking the other night about how much that trip really brought us back closer together as a couple. It is so hard with 2 little ones to keep your marriage at the front and center of our lives, not to mention our relationship with God, and work, and all of the other distractions that we live with on a daily basis. This trip just really reminded me of why I love my wonderful husband so much and appreciate our bond with each other. I would love to make this an annual event - maybe not to the extent of a cruise, but at least a trip to the beach or somewhere close. It was good for Sam and I and even better for our girls to see that connection between mom and dad rekindled. We missed the girls soooo much and could not wait to see them, but had to wait until Friday morning because we could not get an earlier flight out and then we had weather delays in Atlanta. Friday was the first morning in a long time that I can remember waking up early and being so anxious for the girls to wake up - I even committed the #1 mom sin - I woke a sleeping baby! Gasp!! I just couldn't wait any longer to see Anna and hear her sweet little voice. I swear, though, that she missed saying our names so much that week that she made up for lost time. I think she talked ALL.DAY.LONG!
Sam and I enjoyed relaxing on the boat and got plenty of sun. We went to Sting Ray City and snorkeling on a coral reef in Grand Cayman. We rode 4-wheelers through the Cozumel jungle and Mayan Ruins and got nasty dirty. We shopped - we both bought really nice watches in Grand Cayman for much less than here in the states. We made an effort to do all types of adventurous things that we normally would not have done with kids and succeeded 100%. It was so much fun and Sam's sister and BIL could not believe that I was that brave and adventurous - they obviously didn't know me in my younger days! One of the best compliments was when we were boarding the boat, a man commented that we looked like we were a glwoing couple that were celebrating our honeymoon! Huh? Do we look that young or are people just waiting so long to get married these days? We had lots of laughs and lots of rest and relaxation. Here are a few pictures from our trip. Hope you enjoy. BTW, don't the helmets and goggles make us look like part of Hitler's army? And, yes, that is dirt covering us from head to toe! I'll post pictures from StingRay City when I remember to bring the disk with me to work.


Swinging with Daddy

I don't know how anyone else feels, but for some reason, I have been so much slower in pushing encouraging Anna to do some of the things that I could not wait for Mary Mac to do, such as swing in a real swing. She is totally content with being our baby and is quick to tell you that she loves being a baby. So the other night, we were out swinging and decided it was time for Anna to be a big girl -as far as swinging goes! She loved it! And Mary Mac has really taken on the role of such an encouraging big sister. She just cheers Anna on and gets so excited when she does something "Big." Here she is swinging her big girl swing. And check out MM hair below - too funny! The last picture is of all of them swinging together, and Sam in the Baby Swing!