Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lions And Tigers And Bears, Oh My!

Today was Emily's first trip to the Memphis Zoo. After church we headed downtown. As you can see from this big guy, it was hot! After a quick lunch we toured Cat Country. Most of the big cats were hiding in the shade like this lion so it was hard for Emily to see them.

But Emily did get to see this Mountain Lion who was wandering around, no doubt looking for water. We quickly moved through Cat Country and on to the Animal Nursery where they keep the barnyard animals. We saw cow, sheep, pigs, and little horses. It was great because you could get right up to those animals so Emily was able to see them and even pet a few.

Below is a quick family photo, thanks to the nice stranger who was able to get Emily to wave at the camera. And of course, thanks to MeMaw who taught her how to wave in the first place. If you look really closely over my right shoulder you can see the gorilla.

It was so cool to see Emily react to all the animals. In the picture below she was checking out the Gorilla up close and personal. Well, not too close!

Emily really liked the waterfalls. They had them all over the zoo and they made a loud noise that seem to interest my little girl. I think it was just so hot that she wanted to jump in!

Behind us are the ropes that the monkeys were swinging around on. As you can see, not much swinging was taking place. Most of the monkeys were hiding in the shade. But Dave was making his monkey sounds and Emily thought he was funny.

After 2 hours she was still smiling! What a happy girl. We were able to soak her hat in the water fountain to keep her cool. And we even fed her a little of our slushy which she liked very much.

By far, the coolest exhibit at the zoo is the Northwest Passage. That is where they keep the polar bears. The two female polar bears had just been fed and were super active. It was AWESOME! No where else can an 8 month old be face to face with a giant polar bear. Check out these pictures. He is looking right at her!

Look at those paws! They are bigger than Emily's head!

After a while Emily hitched a ride on Daddy's shoulders. She was babbling the whole time she was up there. I think she liked being in charge. Or maybe she just liked chewing on his hat.

We couldn't leave the zoo without getting a picture with the elephants. Roll Tide!

On our way out we stopped in the fountain to cool off. Emily liked getting her feet wet, and so did mommy!

After a long day we were pooped! Emily had a bottle and we all took a nap. We had so much fun. Next year we are going to get a family pass so was can go all the time. Maybe you can come too!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rainbow Butt

Happy Friday friends! Today I am going back to my blogging roots; I am going to talk about my sweet Emily. We have a few updates to share. Next weekend Emily will be 8 months old! Can you believe it? 8 months old! Wow, how time flies. For awhile now she has been able to sit up all by herself for long periods of time. Se has several toys that can keep her attention like the monkey Dave and I got her on our crusie. If you squeeze it, it makes a monkey sound and she thinks it's hilarious.

She is sort of crawling. I say "sort of" because she mostly army crawls. She can get up on all fours and move one knee forward, but when she tries to move her hands she usually flops back down to her tummy then promptly uses her arms to propell herself forward on her tummy. She pretty quick too! It won't be long before she's crawling everywhere. Just check out this video of her cousins showing her how to crawl.

And now she can even pull herself up to standing!!! I just saw that one for the first time this morning. Bye-Bye bumper pads. We don't need her using them to climb out of her crib. Speaking of her crib, I'd like to show you all what I get to see first thing every morning. Below is what I like to refer to as "Rainbow Butt." These colorful PJs are my favorite. And although we put her to sleep on her back like the good doctors recommend, she always manages to flip herself over during the night and wake up on her tummy with her butt as far up in the air as possible. It's quite adorable. Tomorrow is her first trip to the zoo! You know there will be pictures of that! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

4 years and counting!

This is a long post. The cliff note version: We had fun. I missed Emily. It rained. I am old. It rained some more. The boat almost tipped over. We're back safe. For more details read on.

Woah! What a week. May 21st Dave and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary! Yeah! Each year we don't buy gifts for each other, instead we take a vacation somewhere together. This year we took a cruise with our good friends Jeremy and Lindsey (who celebrated their 2 year anniversary on May 19th). The cruise was on Carnival's oldest ship, the Holiday and was originally destined to cruise from Mobile, AL to Cancun and Calica Mexico. Thanks to the Ole' swine flu, we were redirected to Key West, FL and Freeport, Bahamas. I was thrilled because I had been to Mexico before, but had never been to Key West or the Bahamas. Our sweet Emily stayed with MeMaw and Pop in Montevallo.

Natalie giving Em her bottle. Such a good cousin!
Emily with her cousins Natalie and Hayden being silly!

Day 1

Monday morning, after 100 kisses and hugs, I finally let go of my sweet girl and got into the car to drive to Mobile. I missed Emily terribly and the weather was sucky, but I kept thinking both would get better. WRONG! We dropped Jeremy and Lindsey off at the boat and then had lunch in Mobile with our good friends Lawren and Bret before we left. It was so good to see them and Lawren suggested a great place for lunch, A Spot of Tea. If you are ever in Mobile I highly suggest it. Lawren was so sweet to drive us to the boat. We got there in plenty of time. We left Mobile under a warm, but cloudy sky. Our rooms were nice with a view of muddy Mobile Bay. After a fruity cocktail with a pink umbrella I was ready to cruise. The ride Monday night was REALLY bumpy, but we enjoyed the late night, adults only comedy show. It was really funny! Then we hit the casino for a short while then back to our cabin.

Dave in our cabin. He is so excited!
Muddy Mobile Bay. Ahhhh! But I can still see sunshine.

Dave and I with our before dinner drinks on the Promenade Deck. Yes, I know his eyes are closed, but there were few pictures with them open.

Our friends Jeremy and Lindsey toasting a great evening. This was before they got seasick!

Dave was trying to seduce me with his slick moves. I am sad to say, it worked.
The boys...well, being boys. Please notice the poor guy in the background
who desperately wants to be in the picture. He looks so sad!

Day 2
Tuesday was a "Fun Day At Sea" at least according to the Carnival Capers (daily bulletin). The weather was yucky and I read a lot that day. All in all I finished the first book plus half of the second book in the Twilight series. It started to feel like I was having an affair with Edward Cullen while on my anniversary trip with my husband. It was a hard to put the book down especially since it was rainy outside. Tuesday's redeeming factor was that it was Formal night. The Captain of the boat hosted a cocktail reception before dinner (I still think if he had been driving the boat instead of sipping cocktails that it wouldn't have been so bumpy!). The menu that night featured prime rib and lobster tail. I think we embarrassed ourselves with how much we ate. But that lobster was delicious! And the chocolate melting cake.....ummmm...DIVINE! After dinner we went to the show which was a musical throughout the decades. It was pretty entertaining. The dancers did a great job.

Dave and I at the Captain's Pre-Dinner cocktail hour.

Group shot before dinner Tuesday night. Happy Anniversary Jeremy and Lindsey!

This is me with my "Manhattan." It looked so cute in this little glass with a cherry in it. IT WAS BAD! Very, very bad. It is basically straight whiskey with a shot of bourbon. Thanks Dave for not telling me until after my first sip. Ugh!

This is Kallayanee, our waitress. She was awesome! She had a different trick for us each night. Below she is trying to make Dave finish all of his shrimp. Lord knows, he's wasting away!

Lindsey and the chocolate melting cake! Um, Linds, there something on your chin! :)

We took formal pictures that night and Lindsey was too short to fit in the frame. So the photographer had her stand on this little step stool. So cute!

Day 3 (Key West, FL)

Wednesday morning we docked at 6am in Key West, FL. Not one to waste a minute of vacation, Dave and I were off the boat by 6:15am, That's right folks, AM! It was really nice though, because the streets were quiet and the town was just waking up. We walked around for a few hours and just checked out some of the neat old houses. The weather was looking a little better so we decided to go kayaking. It was pretty cool. We kayaked through the Mangrove trees (not Mango trees like Dave kept calling them). We saw sea cucumbers, sponges, iguanas, spider crabs (not my favorite animal of the day) and turtle crabs. It was sunny and warm and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Then we had lunch at BO's Fish shack with Jeremy and Lindsey. It had lots of character! Then Dave and I rented a scooter and drove around the island. It is only 2 miles by 4 miles so it was easy to get around. We visited the southern most point in the US and saw the beaches. Then back to the boat! Wednesday night after dinner there was a comedy show and a juggling act. It was not as good as the musical act the previous night, but there was not much else to do at 10pm on a boat.

The harbor in Key West at 6:30am

One of the beautiful homes on the island.

By 9am we were getting ready to go kayaking! Just look at those blue skies!

After Kayaking we grabbed a beer at the bar.

After lunch it was time to grab our scooter and... well... scoot!
The beaches at the southern tip of the US. Beautiful!
The house at the southern most tip of the US.

A pier at the southern most tip of the US as seen from my scooter.

Dinner Wednesday night. You can see I got a little sun that day!

Dave and Jeremy with their cigars! It was a little windy outside.

Good thing Dave's mom didn't see this picture until we were safely at home. He almost blew off the side of the boat.

At least I was smart enough to hold on for dear life!

Ok, this picture deserves a story. This is one of the party hostess on the ship. While Lindsey and I were checking out her cool slip on white Keds, fanny pack, tall white socks, and rainbow suspenders we got hit on by a high school senior. The picture quality is terrible because we were on the top deck looking down. I made a comment about the song playing because I heard it at every party my freshman year in college. Well, Mr. Barely 18 next to us chimed in that they played that same song at his 8th grade Valentine's Day Dance! As I was wallowing in misery complaining about how old I was, he piped up and said, "Ya, but you are hot old people, but not cougars or anything like that." I swear, I thought I was going to die laughing.

Dave and I (us old people) shared a dance of our own. Then we had to go to bed because we were old and tired.

Day 4 (Freeport, Bahamas)

Or so we thought. Thursday was our 4 year anniversary and we were going to spend it in the Bahamas. Again we decided to get up at the crack of dawn to spend as much time as possible in the Bahamas. Well, by 6:30 am the cruise director came over the loud speaker to tell us that the winds were too strong and we could not safely dock in the Bahamas! Total bummer! The only good part was that I got to go back to sleep. It was also sunny that day because the strong winds blew all the clouds away. So we laid by the pool, went down the water slide, and I caught up with my good buddy Edward Cullen and the rest of the vampire family. The irony was not lost on me that I was reading a book about vampires while on a cruise to the Bahamas. After some sun we got ready for dinner. The early morning high winds should have given us an inkling as to how the evening would progress. During dinner our ship kept tipping to the starboard side (how's that for ship lingo!) Well, after several slight tips, our boat took a major dive to the starboard side so far that all the plates and glasses in the dining room came crashing down. All the food on the waiter's carts came crashing to the floor spilling all over everyone. It was like a scene out of The Poseidon Adventures. Needless to say Dave and I went straight back to our cabin that night to hide.

Thursday night before dinner with Mr. Carnival himself. "Don't touch the funnel!"

Dave and I at dinner before the world came crashing down.

Day 5

This was our last day at sea, thank God! By this time I was missing my little girl more than words can convey and after the tipping incident the night before I was just ready to be home. It was another rainy day so I spent the day with Edward and Bella (Twilight reference). We did play cards and spent some time in the casino. But for the most part we just waited for dinner. As usual, dinner was delicious. Friday night was another great musical performance this time with Extreme Country. It was a fun show and the dancers were great! Then after that show we went exploring. The rain was so crazy! It was lightning and windy and raining. I took some video that I will post later. Then we went to the late night adult comedy show. Again, it was terrific!

Dinner Friday night. This Momma was ready to be home.

This funny looking gent was our Matre' De. He played a mean trick on us. He told everyone that because the weather was so bad we couldn't dock in Mobile in the morning and that we were being rerouted to Jamaica. Of course everyone in the dining room was cheering except me. I was literally in tears!

This is video of one of Kallayanee's tricks. It is pretty funny! Lindsey makes Jeremy look bad.

And so that is the story of our vacation. We got back to find that our sweet baby girl leanred how to wave "Bye-bye" while we were gone. She is also scooting around like a pro. If I had it to do over again I think 5 days was a little too long. For those new mommas and mommas to be out there, I would recomend starting with a weekend away instead of a whole week. And it would have been nice to be close enought to come home if I wanted to and not completly out of reach. I know that Dave and I need time for just us and so I am glad that we went, but i think 2-3 days the first time would have been a wiser choice. But I did have a fabulous time and want to publically thank my husband for being being the greatest husband and daddy in the world! I love you baby!