Saturday, May 29, 2010

And we must go home!


Our true checkout is on Saturday, May 29. And if it wasn't for Seth and I both having commitments on Sunday, we totally could of stayed a day or two longer. However, we must go home and get back into reality of our every day working lives! For the return trip we decided on playing all day Friday and leave at sunset Friday evening. This way we could drive all night and get home early afternoon. The kids seem to do great when they can sleep most of the time! And it truly worked in our favor! The kids slept most the 19 hour car ride. The only time Dane really cried was the first 30 minutes we were in the car, then the rest of the ride he slept. And the few hours he was awake, he smiled and played! Every year I say it's going to be our last year to drive 'peacefully.' And every year I am amazed at the ease of the car rides. We safely made it back to Indianapolis around 4pm! We are all truly fortunate we can log so many miles each year to and from Florida without any major problems! This was the first time I can rememember that it was actually kind of nice to get back home! And I can ONLY say this because we were gone for two weeks, and in this time we were all able to relax and feel like we were truly on vacation. I don't think we'll ever be able to go away for less than two weeks again, it was very, very nice.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


The kiddos just don't get any better than this! It's amazing just how wonderful these kids are! You'd think after nearly two weeks of being away from home they'd be bored, fighting, or just in general cranky. I can't say they are angels 24/7, however, they are playing so well toegether. They have their own little games and such that entertain them. Also this week (a first) their have been several other people at the Kona Beach Club. Their are a couple kids Myles and Elliott have enjoyed playing with. One is a little girl a year older than Myles, and it's so funny they play together and leave Elliott out of their games (not necessarily on purpose, it just happens that way). Usuallly when we stay at the Kona, we are the only family in the pool, so this week we shared with at least four or five other families! The nice thing is we have a ton of water toys to share with everyone! We bring water floats, squirt guns, other fun water toys like diving rings, goggles and more. Today we enjoyed the pool and beach and then for dinner we headed to Nervous Nellies. This restaurant overlooks the harbor which is full of boats and such. Their were peirs weaving in and out of boat docks! We enjoyed good food and each other! We then made it home for a night swim! I can't believe this is the first one of the two weeks. The kids enjoy swimming after the sun goes down since it means they do not have to apply sunscreen. By this time of the week we've gone through at least six or seven containers of sunscreen. So needless to say, they've had an application or two!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Who would of thought....

videoIt is amazing to me just how much Dane loved the ocean! He enjoyed crawling towards the waves, walking into the water, and even sitting and letting the waves splash his little face! Enjoy the quick video of Dane enjoying the ocean!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010



Another great day at the beach... but can there really be a bad day! Enjoy the candid photos of us all! I wish the photos could talk! Even though Dane may share how his mother is not going to win the mother of the year award! Poor guy fell off the pull out sofa and chipped a tooth! Yes, I will be reminded of this moment until he loses his baby teeth! I was not there to cathc him! He's enjoyed sitting on the puyll out sofa all week with Myles and Elliott. This time Elliott jumped off and had to go potty, but she told Myles to watch Dane. And what was Myles doing, playing his DSi. So, when I heard the crash I came in to get Dane and Myles then recognized Dane fell off! Poor Guy, he sure enough busted his tooh, at least it was minimal and did not involve a trip to the dr.! However, his smile is forever broken.....Doesn't seem to bother Dane much! We did end the day with dinner at the Lani Kai, Myles favorite restaruant. He (like the rest of us) enjoy the top of the hotel veiw! We get to sit on gliders and over look the Gulf, it's beautiful! We did get to enjoy the beautiful sunset, too. And on our way back we barely missed the quick down pour, and we were ablt to get to another restaurant just in time. We ordered a drink and by the time we were finished the rain stopped and then we enjoyed a nice cool walk home on the beach!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Highlights of the day... Seth caught dinner (a Grouper), but too bad the zipper didn't close all the way on the live net, and it swam away! Seth and Dad took the kayak out in the morning for a few hours and fished.We all enjoyed a wonderful day at the beach and pool. We ended the night with a friendly game of Apples to Apples! Oh, and I must add, Elliott is swimming regularly across the pool without any help or swim aids! Yeah for Elliott.

Saturday, May 22, 2010



You'd think by this time the kiddos are bored with each other or maybe even swimming in the pool and the beach routine! No such thing, here! The kids are just as eager each morning to head out as they were the day before! It's wonderful to share such fun activities with the kids. Today, however, we must say good bye to Uncle Ben and his crew as they had to fly back to Connecticut. It was wonderful how the kids blended together and had a fantastic week at the beach! Amazingly no time outs, fits, sharing problems amongst the group! They all genuinely had a GREAT time together! The kids are super excited that they get to stay another week! And so are we!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Week Gone By....


Wow, it has been a week since we got to Florida! This brings new meaning to 'time flies when you are having fun!' Normally this is the day of the week we all get a little grumpy or unhappy.... this is because this is 'usually' the day we need to pack up and plan for our return trip home. However, no grumpy moods today! This marks the beginning of our second week of vacation! Yes, that's right, two weeks. I have never taken this long of vacation, and I may not ever be able to take a trip less than two weeks. We don't lead busy lives in which our days are jam-packed at home! However, it is so nice to have Seth around all day every day to help the kids while on vacation! And he doesn't really need to help, as Myles and Elliott are self sufficient (minus applying sunscreen)! He just needs to play - which is fun for him, too. He also makes a great hand to Dane, too. Like this morning, Dane decided to get up before 6am, and Seth took him for a walk on the beach. They saw dolhpins, manatee and fish jumping in the water. Today was our last full day with my brother and his kids! They really enjoyed themselves this week, and they've played really well together! I'm so thrilled they were able to join us. I'm nervous that the rest of the week the kids will be sad not having their playmates. Oh wait, they still have us (and Grandma and Grandpa). Elliott was so happy this evening as we adventured out for dinner. And surprisingly, with six kids and six adults the dinner went smooth! Oh, I must add that Dane was napping during most of dinner! He woke up just in time to eat a few bites. After dinner the kids were able to catch the rest of the show in Times Square that had a disappearing act in the end. The kids were amazed at the illusions.AT the end of the night, Myles and Elliott went to Robbie's condo for a sleep over, that just made their night!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Great Florida Day



It was a hot one today! The clouds passed (even though it was cloudy yesterday it was still sunny) and the sun was out ALL day! We set up at the beach in the morning, and it didn't take too long before we were hot and ready to swim! It's the back and forth between the pool and beach that keep it fun and different for the kids! At the beach the kids were able to add onto their huge castles. In the pool they swim and swim and swim some more! I'm impressed at Robbie's ability to keep up with Myles and they are two years different in age - Robbie is just as strong in the water as Myles! Elliott enjoys the pool, too!And Dane is a tough one to keep out of pool, too! When he's in, he loves to be in the water! He won't go in a floatie, you have to hold him. Seth threw him up today and he loved it. Dane really loves the ocean and crawling towards the sea. My kiddos are beach goers for sure! It's nice to share the same pleasures!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Same thing different day!




It's truly amazing how you can do the same thing everyday on vacation and it doesn't get boring or old! Today was an overcast day, which meant slight cloud cover and the sun could shine totally through. It was still bright, warm and pleasant to be outside! Today was a great beach day. The kids had an awesome time building a fort on the beach. With the help of Seth (who I think enjoys building sand castles as much as the kids) and Uncle Ben helped create a huge base for the kids. Dane of course enjoyed the waves crashing on his little body. He's getting braver by cralling towards the ocean rather than away! It's nice that Dane likes to play in the sand, it's a little bit of down time for the parent watching him! In the pool Dane likes to climb in and out and in and out and he shows no fear. The few times he's put his face in, he actaully seems to like it! We had another great day of sunshine, pool, beach and time together! We ended the day with a trip to get ice cream,which was a favorite for all the kiddos!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fort Myers Beach Top 10



Fort Myers Beach Top 10
10) A forecast with rain, usually means the inland or off shore is getting rain. In the 'off' chance it does rain, it's probably time to head in for a break from the sun!
9) Swimming in the pool never gets old.
8) If you are worried about what you look in a bikini, sit on the beach, watch the next couple to walk by and within a few minutes, you'll feel great about the way you look!
7) The sand is a natural playground!
6) You could possibly go an entire week without wearing shoes (or if you are Seth,not take a shower)!
5) Happy hour could last all day if you want!
4) It's so nice not having to do anything or be anywhere!
3) Daddy is home all day everyday on vacation!
2) Sunscreen becomes the new moisturizer.
1) Spending quality time playing, swimming, enjoying the beach, looking for shells, and hanging out with the family!

Beach vacations are grand because you really don't have a whole lot to do! And with busy lives at home with school, work, and so on, it is nice to have this time to relax. While I don't necessarily have to work (my work is my scrapbooking business and that's not even close to work), however, I do run a household of five people! So, even for me, it is nice to relax on vacation! Even though on this trip we are eating dinner in, which means cleaning up and doing dishes. Yet, should we go out, it would mean chasing Dane! It's all about choosing your battles! We are so fortunate to have a wonderful condo that even spending time inside is great! We are staying on a third floor unit (which the level only stinks during packing and unpacking), and our screened balcony is great to sip coffee, eat lunch or just enjoy the scenery! A few time this week Dane has napped outside in his stroller, which this has been nice because it's allowed me to stay outside longer! Myles and Elliott have been swimming fools, and today they were all swimming champions. Elliott is swimming longer distances without her swim bubble. Both kids are enjoying the time with Robbie. Oh and of course it is super fun when Uncle Ben or Daddy are swimming, throwing, and playing in the pool. Today the kids put in at least an eight hour day of swimming. It's amazing how well they play after using all their energy all day long! Tonight was a treat for the kids, Robbie got to sleep over. So they all three slept peacefully on the huge pull out sofa.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I got my toes in the water, bottom in the sand, not a worry in the world,


a cold beer in my hand... Life is good,today! This seems to be our motto for the week! These are lyrics from the Zac Brown Band. And it's so perfect for vacation! This is song you can play and reminisce of vacation days! It brings up the emotion and feelings of letting yourself go and being on vacation, embracing that life is good today! While our morning didn't start out so good, it did get better as the day went on! We did find a Family dr. just down the beach that took walk ins (and our insurance!)! Dane's prognosis was a double ear infection, red throat and wheezing lungs! Poor guy! Life is not so good for Dane at the moment with fevers reaching 102! However, antiobiotics, motrin, tylenol and ear drops will surely make his day better!We did leave the big two with the grandparents ( a huge plus on going on vacation with them!) with their sunscreen and swim suites on! This way they didn't have to delay their morning! We finally go back just in time for lunch and afternoon swimming! The beach is slowly becoming a family favorite. It is much easier to contain Dane in the sand than the pool. Which we are overjoyed he LOVES the pool. We did get a blow up boat and Dane enjoyed floating in the pool in the boat! Myles and Elliott enjoyed swimming in the waves again. Myles enjoys the ocean a bit more than Elliott, he loves catching waves and riding them into the beach. He's also getting brave and walking out above his waste (makes me nervous and his Daddy happy). Oh, I must mention today is Seth's 32nd birthday! He was a little bummed in the beginning with Dane's ailment. He is such a good father, he said he can't enjoy his day knowing one of his children is sick. He even made the comment that 'what are we getting ourselves into.' He is refering the the emotional toll of parenting that you never expect! This lead to a great conversation about how we must embrace the good moments that will carry us through the bad moments! The rest of the day consisted of Coronas, sunshine, swimming, sandcastles, and an evening trip to Times Square for ice cream! It's all about the simple things!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New meaning to a bad day on vacation is better than a good day at home!


Even bad days on vacation can be better than good days at home. Why would you ask this, it’s because there is something about the sounds of the beach, ambience, and the simple fact you are on vacation that can make bad days better! Today was not a great day for Dane! Poor guy spiked a fever in the afternoon, so this meant planning a visit to the dr. in the morning. Most likely he has another ear infection! Poor guy. You’d never know he was sick, as he was playful, smiling and rather content - jut hot! We did find out he likes stroller rides down the beach and within minutes of the ride, he is fast asleep for his naps. As for the rest of us today was great. We did have to battle with a few swirling rain showers tainted with thunder. No sooner than we’d pack up to head in the condo, things would clear up! Myles and Robbie found their new love in the ocean and boogie boards! They enjoyed the off shore thunderstorms since it meant rougher seas on shore! The gulf typically has little waves, however, today the kiddos could ride them in. Even Elliott enjoyed hoping on her board and floating into shore. When it came time for dinner, Elliott was ready to go out to eat. Poor thing, just doesn’t understand that it’d be more hassle than fun to take out the 12 of us (5 in my brothers crew, my five, and my parents) to try and eat a lovely dinner! We did eat another nice dinner in. Of course the downside to eating diner in the condo is you have to clean up. So, I’d like to use the anology my brother learned from a TV show…. “I’m just a housewife on business travel!” That line is so true to a certain point….. Unless you go all-inclusive there are some home like chores you cannot escape from! However, It’s not so bad to clean up dinner and afterwards explore the beach or let the kids swim!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Super Sunny Saturday



(To see images larger, simply click on the image, and it should enlarge).

The kids were up early (as expected) and ready to head to the pool. I was able to enjoy one of my favorite parts of vacation, enjoying my coffee on our oversized porch! It's the simple things that make vacations so enjoyable! It's the same kind of coffee I drink at home, but somehow with the sounds of the waves crashing and the ocean view and the smell of salt water makes it so much more enjoyable! We were 'sunscreened' and ready to head to the pool by 8am! I did find this awesome spray on sunscreen that seems to be working! My past experiences with the spray on lotion, is my kids tend to burn! So thrilled to find this one, as it is spray and go! Applying lotion is the worst part of vacation for me since I now have four bodies (one being me of course) to apply sunscreen! We added some blow up toys to our pool fun today (thank you to Grandma and Grandpa for packing all the fun toys for the kiddos to enjoy). Myles enjoys diving into the deep end to search for items on the floor. Elliott enjoys playing with an adult, and she is beginning to swim strongly without any bubble or floatie! I think by the end of the week, she won't even want the bubble unless she's tired! This afternoon my brother and his crew joined us. So now we are a clan of six adults and six children (kids ranging from 1 yr - 8 yrs-old). Needless to say we overrun the pool! It was so great to see the cousins, as it's been nearly a year since we've seen them. My brother and his family live in Connecticut. They've joined us once before on vacation, but's it's been a few years ago. So we were thrilled they decided to join us again! The kids have been looking forward to having their cousins to play with in the pool and beach! They played for a bit, then it was up for dinner time. We are taking the easy route for dinners this week since with the combined families we would be dining out with 12 (and with one of them being Dane, that's no fun). We go the take n bake pizzas from Wal Mart, which are very tasty and easy! Then we all headed down to the beach. The evening time is great to search for ocean life. The tide was going out and you can find lots of great sea life in the tide pools. Seth found a sea urchin, Robbie found a starfish and Grandpa found a crab in which he liked scaring everyone with! He got me good... he had the crab on a shovel and put in near Dane, it made me scream! It was so nice to see everyone enjoying the exploring! Dane had no worries crawling and walking around the wet sand, it appeared as if he enjoyed being head to toe in we sand! Then it was up to the condo for the night time routine. Myles and Elliott enjoy their new sleeping arrangements - the pull out sofa! As a family we usually share a King Size bed, but out group is getting to large that we now have to spilt up into sleeping in separate beds! Dane likes to sleep horizontal so that makes it tough to add multiple children! At least Myles and Elliott can share the sofa, and they won't mind the lack of comfort! The resilience of kids is wonderful!

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Great Beginning to our 9th trip to the beach


Wow, it's truly amazing that for 1000 miles of driving, it could go as smooth as it does each year! I tell myself before each trip 'this may be the last year we can do this.' We pack Grandpa's suburban to the brim and then some! Yes, it is very obvious where we are heading by the outside looks of the vehicle. We have a two person kayak strapped to the top; a small trailer attached to the back (at least it's not on wheels, it's really just an 2x6ft extension)with beach chairs and toys; and several other bags tucked in places you couldn’t even imagine! Oh, and I must add there are six of us packed into the Suburban, too (Grandma and Grandpa Mathews, Seth, Me, and the three kids Myles, Elliott and Dane). Dane was a little fussy at 7pm Thursday evening when we first got to Grandparents and headed out, but that was about it till the end of the trip! The only resistance Dane had was each time he was placed in the car seat after each time he got out! But that was eased with a chocolate chip cookie or some other trip! And of course he let us know right away when he filled his pants! Elliott went to sleep in the car (finally) at about 9pm and slept until 8am the next day! And she was even out in between driver changes and potty stops! Myles, on the other hand, enjoyed driving through Atlanta at 2am and playing his DSI all night! He did take a few cat naps here and there! Dane enjoyed the same sleeping patterns as Elliott, actually, he slept about 15 of the 19 hours in the car! We left Indiana around 7 pm and got to Ft Myers Beach around 2 pm the next day! And as soon as we piled out of the car, Elliott exclaims ‘Ft Myers Beach, I love you!’ It was priceless! We quickly unpacked the car, put our swim suits on, applied generous portions of sunscreen and headed down to the pool! Myles immediately headed to the deep end with goggles on and jumped in! Elliott put on her bubble and goggles and jumped in happily, too! You’d never know these kids spent the last several hours in a car. Dane readily went into the pool, too! He loved splashing (thank goodness). I know Dane loves baths, but this was his first trip into the pool and he lOVED it! We went out to the beach for a little while, Dane immediately crawled in the sand and loved it, too. He even embraced the ocean with open arms! Then after an afternoon of beach fun, we headed in for dinner.
Elliott was anxious for ice cream, so we went out for ice cream. Even though we did see a ‘scary’ pirate, and Elliott no l onger wanted ice cream! She instead opted for Skittles on the pier! Then it was back to the condo and early to bed! We were all exhausted!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Last Day of School





Wow, what a busy, busy day! Today was both children's last day of school. Myles was actually set to get out the following Wednesday, however, with the option of taking a two week vacation we decided to let Myles miss the last few days! This day was a super busy day. It began with a morning full of the normal getting four people ready (Dane, Elliott, Myles and myself). Then taking Elliott to preschool. Shopping for last minute vacation items, then lunch with Elliott at her school. And bringing her bike! It was cute to watch the ten preschoolers riding all around on their bikes. Then it was back home, last minute packing, and getting things together. I was able to pawn Elliott off at her little friend Gianna's house! So that was nice. And since I knew my 'patience level' was reaching the maximum, I asked another neighbor to watch Dane for an hour so I could go to Myles class and host an ice cream party for twenty-something 2nd graders (thank you to Katie for allowing this to happen)! Then after school we went home and anxiouslly awaited the arrival of Seth so we could begin our trip to Florida! The jammed packed day sure made it go super fast for all of us!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I RUN THIS TOWN!





Okay, so not really.... it's more like 'I walked this town!' However, there was a really adorable running shirt with the saying 'I run this town.' And by the photos, it's proof that I started and ended the Mini Marathon! My neighbor, Kristen, shown above, was talking about walking the Mini Marathon (13 miles). And I made a comment saying that sounded like a good time, and she replied with 'We have an extra ticket.' So after thinking about it for a few days, setting my odemeter to track just how far it is to walk 13 miles, I decdied to give it a shot. And you know what, I've never, ever walked any amount of distance. My husband had not faith in my 'making it.' However, I decided to give it a shot (even though when I saw on my odometer that 13 miles is exactly what it takes for me to get to the grocery store and back, and that made me kind of nervous)! Well, needless to say, come Saturday, May 8th, I did it! Yes, I walked 13.something miles, and it felt great! It was fun watching the bands, other runners, taking a stroll around the Indy 500 track, and knowing I completed a daunting task! Some people say that marathons are addicting. I don't think I'll make running/walking marathons a frequent event! However, I am happy that I completed this one! Okay, so I was very, very sore the next few days. I thought my hips were going to fall out of their sockets. I found a new icy hot patch that worked great! The messy icy/hot was attached to a patch that I could simply stick on, and it was GREAT!

Friday, May 7, 2010

VIP Day at School



Okay, so I was second choice as VIP as Myles guest! Seth was the first choice, but couldn't get the time off work! At least I got to enjoy eating lunch adn visiting Myles on the playground with his friends! I'm thrilled Myles admires his father enough to choose him as his VIP (very important person)! It is wonderful the joy and enthusiasm Myles shows when I visit his classroom! You'd think I was the president walking into his class! And it doesn't matter that 20 something other c hildren had thier VIP's, too. Myles was overjoyed to have his mother (even though I was second choice)! Myles did enjoy having Elliott and Dane come, too. Elliott had a great time playing on the playgorund with Myles friends!