Thursday, January 29

Sweet Daisy is 4

More on birthday festivities later...but Happy 4th Birthday Daisy! You are such a sweet girl. I am so thankful God gave you to me.

(I wanted to do a "look back in time" post but with my current computer's not happening.)

Daisy at 4...talkative, friendly, includes everyone, has a love/hate relationship with Isaac (mostly love!), loves the Princesses and Barbie, loves PINK, loves olives, hates having her hair brushed, asks LOTS of questions, reminds me of things I need to do, helps around the house, loves to read books, enjoys school, is easy going, LOVES to dress up and change clothes, loves TV, hates bedtime, likes to sing, LOVES her Daddy, seeks approval, still sucks the 2 fingers on her right hand, straps herself into her car seat, misses Sofia, loves puzzles and games, great eater, terrible smacker of her food, laughs often, likes to help make supper, likes to play in the yard, loves to play with her babies...and she is a FABULOUS 4 year old! Those of you who know Daisy can agree...she is the sweetest! :) I am not biased one bit!

Thanks for enduring the cheese! :) I can't believe I have a 4 year old!

Wednesday, January 28

Trip to see the Cacti

Despite my great fear of BHS's (Big Hairy Spiders) I decided to make the trek to Arizona with my hubby for some time away. :) Daniel and I got to escape for 5 whole days! It was awesome!!! Daniel and Dr Goldie attended a conference at the Desert Ridge Resort while Gloria Goldie and I relaxed. :) What a deal, huh? It was wonderful to spend time with the Goldies and get to know them better. And it was such a nice change to be sans kids. Not cutting up food, or buckling seatbelts, or packing diaper bags...just adults, caring for ourselves. :)

A huge thanks to my in-laws!!! Buddy and Maurine came to keep our kiddos for a WHOLE week! AMAZING. The kids had a blast! (Pics from their adventures in a future post) Because we have such loving grandparents on both sides, we often speak of "grandparent detox" when we are no longer with them. We get spoiled with their help and the kids get spoiled with well...everything. :) Daisy asked me at 8 am the morning that they (BePops and Mimimo) were leaving, "MOM! I am bored! What are we going to do today?" When she had been used to 2 play slaves at her fingertips providing 2 outings to various Orlando sites per day (no BIG know playgrounds, playplaces...etc). :) How fun is that??? Daisy and Isaac LOVED it. I joke about the spoiling. We are so blessed. We were so happy to have them loving the heck out of our children while we were gone. :) It was such a huge blessing to know someone else was watching the kids that wanted to be with them as much as we do. We would have it no other way. We just wish it could happen more often if we all lived a little closer. :(

Back to the we are at a steak house on our first night there. It was a modern decor, 80's music playin', high class steak house. Never seen anything like it!

All 4 nights we were there Gloria had made reservations for dinner. It was so nice to go to dinner and enjoy the meal with adults. We tried all different kinds of foods. We took our time. We ate outside at one place called Lon's. There were fires lit in fireplaces and fire pits. There were those heater stands so it wasn't too chilly. It was a clear night, you could see the was beautiful! We ate by lantern light. It was so fun! I enjoyed dessert EVERY NIGHT (don't worry I did exercise while I was there)... Every night, every restaurant: creme brulee. I love that stuff. It was awesome at every place. :)

(above: Dan at Lon's.)

The Goldies at Lon's

Gloria and I ventured out to shop one morning to Old Town. It was lots of neat shops to browse. A nightmare for moms with stollers...but heaven for me on this trip. :) We took this with a timer. (and just for the record, although it may look like it I am NOT wearing black denim above)

I took this pic of some art in Sedona, AZ. Not that I want one of these in my house...but that this is how I must look to my kids sometimes on a bad day. This face really says it all. It's the answer to so many questions. I feel this way the most when I am being asked the same question 9,000 times. I wanna turn around and flash this face. Or when we have finally gotten the kids down, this is what Dan sees when I plop on the couch. Eeeewww. Not cute. Sorry Dan. (Sorry for the inaccuracy of this ears are not pierced. But if my hair were down...this is what it would look like. I can have quite the onion head. :) HA!)
These pics (one above and below) are the rock formations in Sedona. BEAUTIFUL!

It was kinda rainy while we were there...but look what we got to see! Praise the Lord! I felt like God gave us this blessing in the rainy day. How cool is the double rainbow? :)
I took this pic cause I have always thought this is what God would "look like" if I could survive his presence long enough to see or talk to him....a super eye-aching bright light in the clouds. :)

The yucca plant (unsure of the spelling) is hard core...literally. Dan tried to "brush by" this sucker and almost lost a leg! The "leaves" are hard as a rock and have pointy needles on the end. Very useful for Native Americans in the past...very harmful to tourists trying to get a better view of the mountains.

So we went to the hot tub one night and it was full of people. Oh well. We were entertained by a Canadian Orthodontist and his staff. Their accents were funny enough...but they were drunk as skunks (I say that ONLY cause it rhymes...I have not witnessed a drunk skunk). One of the highlights was the Orthodontist himself deciding to get in. But he didn't have his suit. However, in his drunken mind, his Calvin Klein tighty whities fit the off came the pants in front of us ALL and in he came! His staff was super nice and talked about how awkward work on Monday would be! Good times....

Above was one of my FAV parts. We ate at this authentic Mexican restaurant called Los Olivos. SO GOOD and such a cool atmosphere. Loved it and the chips and salsa.

One afternoon we read outside by the fire/pools/lazy river/gold course. It was so nice and relaxing. I was reading my usual travel magazine People. What trip is not complete without knowing what country Brangelina will get their next kid from? Or what Obama's girls were doing on the night of his inauguration? VERY important info...on vacation. :) Now I know much more about what went into selecting Michelle's attire for the BIG day than her husband's foreign policies. (Bummer. Mainly cause the latter would be a boring read. And not for vacation. :)) But she did look smashing, I must say. :)

We really enjoyed Arizona. It's the perfect place to own a house and not have to worry about the yard (only sand, rocks and cacti!). The temperature was great. So now maybe I will pull for the Cardinals in the Super Bowl. They are the underdogs anyway. And as a Bama fan, I am used to pulling for underdogs. :)

Saturday, January 17


As most of you know...I love to dance. Though, as a mom of 2 and approaching 30 there are not many opportunites for me to dance. At Publix? no. At the playground? no. At the pediatricians office? no. At MOPS? nah. In the car? yes, in my seat...I do that often. Ask Daisy. But I can't count that. I do also break it down in the kitchen while fixin' lunch or dinner since I got an iPod dock from Dan for Christmas! (Thanks babe! I love it!!!) But it's not enough. I don't mean I want to take classes and learn to tap dance. I also don't think I have a hidden skill needing discovery. I just wanna have fun! I just mean I like to dance like you would at a wedding or know...silly and fun. Anywho...thank goodness for Zumba! I have found an outlet.

I remember reading a post on Tesneys blog this time last year about Zumba and how much she loved it. I was curious and certainly talked into it as I read her post. But I didn't have access to a class at the time. But when we moved we joined the local YMCA here in Orlando and it offered Zumba classes. (If you don't know, it's a Latin Dance Class for aerobic exercise.) I would pass by the big window and look into the Zumba class PACKED with women (and some men) of all shapes, sizes and ages breakin' it down to latin music...and wished I was in there. Daisy would always dance when we passed cause the music was so loud she couldn't help herself. :)

Initally, I was intimidated. What if I looked dumb? What if I couldn't do the moves? One day a mom (Andrea) of one of Daisys friends in preschool said she was going to the Zumba class after she dropped off her child (Dean). I decided to give it a try with her. IT WAS SO FUN. Let me just say that my fears melted immediately as I watched a sweet VERY elderly couple shuffle in to the very full class, stand in the middle of the masses and shake and groove best they could for the whole hour. Whoever had reservations about their skills were given new hope as they watched these people. And we all realised that it's about moving around and having fun while exercising...than looking cool or doing it right.

I have met some ladies who regularly attend when I do. We have formed a Zumba sisterhood of sorts. One lady told me that she loves to watch me cause the WHOLE time I have a huge smile on my face. Do you know why??? Cause initially, my body was moving...but it was nothin' like the teachers. And I laugh easily anyway...but this was just hilarity all over the place. I mean I thought I had enough "skill" to keep up or do the moves but just not as cool as her (the teacher). My pride took a little hit as I jiggled, flung limbs, and cha-cha'ed thru the first class. (Not too mention that some of these eh-hmmm moves look better on certain body styles....lets just say those women with full bosom and full backsides..not so much saggy.). And having said that...I am not confident enough in my skills to laugh at others yet...cause I am one of them. BUT sometimes is SO funny to see people who are not even CLOSE to making the same motions as the teacher...but man are they into it. HA. Sometimes we get into this chimmey and tail shaking thing and we have to turn in a circle. This presents 2 problems....1. 3 major movements at once. I need to work up! and 2. Everyone gets to check everyone else out as we rotate! I can no longer hide in the back. The teacher is a real whipper snapper, always wanting us to shake it more, make more latin calling noises or whip our heads around with more umpf. She does tons of belly dancer-ish moves and pelvic motions that are just down right HILARIOUS!

I have thought of MANY MANY of my friends while taking this class. I wish everyone could take this class with me! :) And even though I may leave some one out who I have enjoyed a jig with many times I have to take this opportunity to give some shout outs! Dan (you could do it, and would have fun yelling all the "ey, ey, ey" and breakin' it down with me!), Rachel Warren (like the hip hop class we took...but latin!), Naph (you would LOVE it), Julie, Lolo, Critty, Sarah (just like old times in the dorm), Buh (just like the skating rink...hahahaha), Courtney S (you would be laughing your head off with me...getting the ab work out of a life time), Julie (my dancin' to the tapes in the Larkie!), Scott (I owe some of my latest skills to you), Mom and Dad (for the coordination and athletic ability you gave me to not be the worst one in the class), Debbie Miller (this would be heaven for you), Glenda (surely you have some salsa in that little body of yours?), kelly wagner (skip the to Zumba!), Sonya (girl, I know you could do it and your arms would be buffer than most mens again!), Aunt Jan (you've always danced with me when the opportunity came up...wish you could come to this class with me!), Schepp (think Vanilla Ice, Latin style), Brittany L (like riding in the little red rodeo!), all my Tanglewood friends (why didnt you teach me this while I lived there??), Jones fam wedding line dancers (this would be a new level for us...but if Dave came...we would all leave with a six pack!). If I have left you out....leave a comment cause honestly....I know I would love to do the class with you too, or atleast think of you and smile as I attempt to live la vida loca in that class. :)

Tuesday, January 13

Animal Kingdom with Kelly and Kristen

One of the perks of living in Orlando is knowing people who work at Disney. Do you know what that equals? Free park admission! Woohoo! Friends from Gainesville, Kelly Wagner and Kristen Sario were coming to Orlando for the Disney Marathon. Kelly's hubby, Phil, was running and Kristen, whose second daughter will be ONE this month was running it (uh-mazing!.). They came into town on Thursday (in time to watch the Gators win ANOTHER national championship) and were going to be in town till Sunday (race day).

Kristen and her hubby, Kevin, have worked at Disney for several years. They have done puppeteering, characters (which they hated), and dancing and so on. Kevin was also Albert (Gator mascot). Kristen currently does the Snow Queen in the Main Street parade at Disney. The bottom line here is if you work for Disney, you get the HOOK UP. We got in Animal Kingdom for free with them. And then for lunch we got 50% OFF. All 3 families ate lunch for 36 dollars. Unbelievable. We even got dessert! :) Anywho...the tickets you get when you get in with "Cast Members" are one day park hoppers. So later that day, Daisy and I went to Magic Kingdom for a little while too. Daisy had a blast with Reid and Riley (Kelly's kids) and Ella (Kristen's daughter). THANKS A MILLION to Kristen and Kevin for inviting us! And for teaching us the valuable lesson...that Disney is NO place for toddlers. Isaac, my apparently now very STRONG WILLED toddler (stop laughing Mom!) had several meltdowns while we were there. So when he and Dan left at guilt was felt. :) (more on Isaac, his tantrums and his screaming in a separate post.)

Dan breaking it down with the African Dancer on the street in Animal Kingdom. He was the best guy volunteer BY FAR. That's MY man. :)
Jungle book characters...Buddy, we thought of you! :)

(new camera function that I love!)
Kelly and Riley in Dino Land (not sure if that's the actual name...but there were lots of dinosaurs).

This is the whole group:Kelly and Riley, Kevin and London, Kristen, and Daniel
Riley and Reid watching Dan shake it with the dancers.

below: Riley and "Daisy Jones" as she calls her. So cute.
So I gotta get my act together with this new camera. It gives little to no warning it's about to die. Mid day it died on me. Kelly is going to hook me up with some of hers. :)

Sunday, January 11

More delays on pics...

So our desktop computer has been working pretty slowly for a while. We took it into Data Doctors and they are attempting to "fix" it. I am kind of a nervous wreck cause they also have my 2 external hard drives with ALL MY PRECIOUS MEMORIES (no, not the fragile, fat-headed, tear-shaped eyes, pastel-colored figurines sold in christian bookstores in the early 90' pics of my children) on them.
(But seriously, raise your hand if you had a Precious Moments anything. I had a bible. It was cute, but it was KJV. It might as well have been a chinese dictonary for the amount I could understand it as a third grader...but hey, as long as it had P.M. in it I loved it.)
Dan has reassured me on multiple occasions (since Friday) that they are computer experts and know more than we do. I hope he is "oops" and its all gone. Nightmare! Anywho...all that to say, I can't upload pics or access the pics I have uploaded until I get it back. SO sit tight! When I do get it back it will be picture and post central on this blog! :)

I may post just some random thoughts (sans pics) during this "intertestamental period" of sorts of pics from the blog. :)

Wednesday, January 7

Christmas at our house in Orlando

(this is out of order...Columbus post goes first...its posted below this one...don't miss it!)

Here are just a few pics of Santa coming. He came early to our house out of convenience to us. :) Daisy's fav gift was her stuffed rat from IKEA that she named "Cheese. :) And Isaac liked his car. (He says "car" all the time!) Dan and I struggled over how much to spend on our kids for several reasons...
1. They are so young and hardly even get it. One gift from the Dollar Store would thrill them.
2. We don't want to spoil them.
3. We don't wanna set a precidence of this AMAZING day every year that will only get more expensive as they get older.
4. They love my pots and pans more than their toys.
5. There are better ways to spend money. :) Like on a new kitchen for me...hahaha...just kidding...kinda.
6. They are going to be getting tons of loot from family anyway.
Anyone else deal with this? What are your philosphies? Set a price limit? One big gift and some little? whats in the stockings? Please share....

Christmas in Columbus: the good and the bad

We traveled to Columbus, GA for Christmas this year. The travel time in the car with our precious children was awful...but well worth it when we got there. :) When we arrived the house was all decorated, the candles were lit, the Nutcracker was playing on TV, the tree was trimmed, stockings hung up, the toys set up to be played with and desserts made to eat! It was GREAT! That night we went to a live nativity at a near by church. Daisy really enjoyed it.
(BTW---We missed the Caulleys and Joneses (Dave and Eryn) but had a blast with Buddy, Maurine, Chris and Sarah.)

(and one more btw---my camera started acting up and I have no pics yet. Sarah and Maurine took some great ones...and they are ordered but not in my hands yet!)
We went the Callaway Gardens lights (and ate a fried Milky Way!), shopped a bit, played at Monkey Joes and ate a ton of great food. :) Christmas dinner was YUMMY. We played games at night after the kids went down. We also viewed a HILARIOUS dvd of Ellen Degeneres. The girls had a shopping day and the boys had a ...well...random fun day (go carts, arcade, golf,...). It was all super good times for everyone. :)
(above is Chris...the OBAMA lover...trying to be funny and make a statement on this already AWESOME table at Callaway.)

Well super good times until...Daisy WOULD NOT stop complaining about her "bottom itching" /stop reaching down her pants and Isaac was super fussy and refused to nap. End result a few days later? After a few sleepless nights, lots o' fever, one sleepless nap, 2 1/2 hours , juicy coughs, fussing, and some chest rattling, waiting in a disease ridden, stinky waiting room about 20 ft/20 ft, meeting interesting people while waiting who seemed to know this situation well --telling us the Drs were "quacks" (but yet still bring their precious child back to the "quack"), ISAAC was diagnosed with a double ear infection and an upper respiratory infection. Poor guy. Then the antibiotics were NASTY and caused LOVELY diarrhea giving him a rash. really great! Cause the next day when the complaining of the "bottom itching" was still going FULL FORCE I did a more thorough inspection as Melanie Jones RN and found PINWORM. So now hopefully Isaac's diarrhea would be so acidic it would kill any little worms he had (if any).
BACK to Daisy...for those of you who aren't familiar...Pinworms are tiny little white worms (like sewing thread size) that live in the intestines and come wiggling out of the anus...causing some serious itching!!! You usually pick these up from playing in the dirt and ingesting it some how. We had played in the Sea World sandbox recently. Plus, my two sweet babies suck their fingers...we could have gotten it from anywhere...cause their little hands are everywhere...and then right back in their mouths. YUCK. And you have to treat Pinworm like lice or pink eye...contagious!!! So we were washing sheets, towels, and HANDS like crazy. She was itching and scratching every time I turned we were handwashing about that often too!
- we go to Walgreens to get some over the counter liquid stuff to take for Pinworm. It was quite the hassle for Buddy trying to tell the pharmacy tech how much to give us based on weight (she was NOT good at simple math...scary!) ...cause you wanna know the funny part? We all have take it just in case. And by "all" I mean Buddy, Maurine, Dan, Me, Daisy, Sarah and Chris. Isaac lucked out being too young. We all raised our dose and toasted "to Pinworms" and sent it down the hatch. :) Another fun surprise was when we got home...just after we dosed Daisy...she vomited. And just after we cleaned that up, including a bath...she did it again. And once in the middle of the night...she did it again. And we were leaving the next day to drive 6 and 1/2 hours home. We kept Daisy from throwing up for a while on the way home but she did eventually barf in the car. Poor Dais. Sick and itching. Poor Isaac. Puny with diarrhea and he hates the car. Poor Dan and I...we almost divorced over that trip (you laugh, but all this was not too funny until like YESTERDAY.)

SO my old faithful camera died. It has served me well. I have used the heck outta this thing. It's 4 years old. I can't even bring myself to get rid of it! But the flash was driving me was time for a new one. Good bye old friend! I will miss you (but not your flash!).

Again for the best pics of the Christmas time with the Joneses...see Sarah (was jones) Nicholsons blog.

So that was our Christmas! We got home and then a few days later my parents came to town! But that's another post!

Monday, January 5

While you wait...

hey everyone! hope the holidays were good times for you all! I am having some delays in blogging since my camera didn't want to behave over the holidays. BUT here is a site that can fill you in on what we did...and it's super funny too. ;) Dan's sister, Sarah, and her hubby have a blog now. SO FUNNY! :)