Monday, August 30, 2010

La la la la...

Looking back on last week I realize just how good of a week it was. It just was. We had fun, we went places, we did things, we had fun. Of course, we had our moments, we always do, but overall it was a fun week.

We were anticipating a couple of fun outings over the weekend, including a visit to see Elmo. My friend Lee Ann mentioned they were taking Ivory to Pump it Up to have dinner with Elmo so we made a reservation for Addie and met up. Pump it Up is one of those inflatable jumping places for kids designed to (hopefully) wear kids out and usher them into a peaceful nap and/or night's sleep. They were hosting a night with Elmo including jump time, pizza, goodie bags and photo ops with Elmo. I wasn't sure how Addie would respond to the life-sized Elmo but I wanted to find out. When he's little and safe behind a tv screen she is good to go. When he's big, red and furry and standing right in front of her, well, now that's another story. In fact, she was more excited to see Ivory than she was to see Elmo. In the car I tried explaining to her where we were going and she kept repeating, "Ivory? Ivory?" Forget about Elmo!

Elmo greeted us when we arrived to sign in. Addie didn't cry, she didn't squirm, but she wasn't too keen on getting too close. Even when I touched him and high fived him she was still wary.
Then, we entered the jump zone. We were early (a first!) so there weren't many people there when we arrived. I took Addie's shoes off and put her socks on. Socks? Socks! She was a little preoccupied with the socks at first, trying to take them off. Apparently she is quite the Floridian - no socks!

I was able to distract her with some of the toys they had, which were more interesting to her than the actual bounce houses. She wasn't too thrilled with being jostled around by her jumping mom. Later on she warmed up and jumped and rolled and enjoyed the slides but by far her favorite things were the little house and the car. She was a bit of a car hog and was none too happy when she saw other kids driving her car.

Elmo came in and out while the kids were playing, sliding down the slides, dancing with the kids and generally just hanging out. Addie was still more interested in the toys than she was Elmo, but she would observe from afar.

After the jumping and the running and the dancing we filed in to have pizza. She looked like such a big girl sitting at the table with the other kids, yet she was probably one of the youngest there. Elmo came in for photos and as I knew it would be a gamble I figured he was there, we were there, it was worth a try.

Totally worth it.

After the kids had fun Jason, Lee Ann and I decided it was time we needed some sustenance so we gathered our brood and headed to Chick-Fil-A. Addie and Ivory had a table to themselves and I got to share a booth with sweet Micah.

Oh, it was a good night. It is fun to take Addie to these things and to see how she interacts with other kids she doesn't know, to see how she responds to new experiences. Maybe one day she'll give Elmo a hug!

I am thankful for a good week!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

There once was a girl who had a little curl...

Monday it was the park and the "doats." Tuesday it was the beach. This morning, armed with bubbles, Play-doh and sidewalk chalk it was our porch and yard. Tomorrow, a possible trip to Panama City.

When we head out and about I try to plan to do it in the morning so that we'll be back in time for lunch and then a nap. It's worked out pretty well, especially with my attempts to push back Addie's nap time.

Each day I figured each of these outings/activities would offer at least an hour of occupation and would result in long, restful naps for Addie. I wasn't too far off with the latter, but the hour of occupation left a little to be desired. I think, at most, Addie was distracted for about 45 minutes. Past that, she was done. I blame the heat for some of it and the busy in my girl for the rest of it.

At the park she fed the goats, walked around a bit, had a short ride in the swing and was finished. We topped it off by swinging at home, which lasted a little longer. At the beach she chased birds, watched the waves, dug in the sand, threw sand, ate sand and waved hello to passersby. Then, she was done. Today she scribbled over what I wrote on the ground, dumped bubbles on the porch, doused herself with a bucket full of water, threw rocks into the yard and took a ride in the swing. Then, she was ready to go in for water and to see Daddy.

People have told me that Addie is a busy girl. Of course I know that, but being with her all day, every day, it is just a way of life for us. It isn't until someone else who has been around her or babysat her or until I have days like this week when I'm picking the uttermost parts of my brain to come up with things for us to do that it really sinks in - Addie is busy.

I don't know that I'd want her to be idle. I know her energy is good, her inquisitive mind is healthy and normal, and while she does know how to play by herself I think some days she simply exercises her inner explorer...a lot.

Tonight she fell asleep alongside her purse, doll and standard two pacifiers. No way was I going to take her purse from her. At least, not while she was awake. That's the other thing - I can't seem to do much right these days. If we have a metal utensil, she wants to give up her plastic spoon or fork and take ours. If I break off a piece of cookie/cracker/etc. for her, she wants the bigger piece. In general, if I have something she wants and ask her if she wants it, she inevitably says "no" and then cries and runs away as if I am keeping it from her when, in reality, I'm waiting for her to come get it. "No" is a favorite word of hers and at times we're at a loss when it comes to knowing what she wants/is asking for/is upset about.

Addie is still sweet, no doubt about it, and I get that all of this is run of the mill behavior for an almost 18 month old little girl. I'm not begrudging where we are right now but maybe I am a little surprised at how strong willed she already seems. I'm sure one day I will wish for the days when our battles consisted of keeping snacks in their cup rather than on the floor, refraining from turning the television on and off over and over again and pulling things off shelves that aren't meant for little girls to play with.

For now, I will be thankful for those battles and will enjoy our outings, no matter how short or long they are. Here's to wistfully hoping cooler weather arrives soon!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Help my brother & sister-in-law win!

My brother and his wife have entered their home into a contest being held by one of my personal favorites, CB2.

You can vote for them by going here. Their entry is called "All in the (Creative) Family." If the link doesn't work you can find them by searching that title.

The prize is pretty great - $10,000 card for CB2 and a private photo shoot. As designers themselves, this would be an awesome contest for them to win!

Thanks for your help!

P.S. You can vote until September 15, but why wait? ;)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Little Miss

When we left the house this morning for the park, this is how Addie looked:

Last night when we left for church she grabbed her purse before we headed out the door and she did the same this morning. If I say so myself, I thought it was incredibly cute. Even cuter is when she puts her purse or anything with a strap, for that matter, over her arm and you tell her how pretty she is. Her reaction is priceless.

Addie is catching on to so much these days. It makes me realize how much she is picking up and how Sabian and I can influence her and teach her in so many ways. It makes me not want to be lazy about those opportunities!

Oh, and her tie dyed shirt...a couple of months ago I got it in my mind that I wanted to tie dye. I bought a kit and let it sit for a couple of weeks before I did anything about it. As I read the directions I realized I needed more than just one little white t-shirt, as the three bottles in the kit would offer a lot of dye. I grabbed a couple of white onesies and a pair of Sabian's underwear (that he has yet to discover!) and went to work. The t-shirt turned out not bad and one of the onesies was exactly what I wanted, while the other was a mess due to my feeble effort to think outside the box. The underwear made me laugh out loud. Hey, I needed to use the extra dye - that's my excuse. I don't know why I have it in my brain that I want to dye more, I mean, how much tie dye can a little girl own? But, maybe it is because the artistic/creative/crafty bones in my body are few and this is an easy, fun thing to do that even if you mess up, doesn't look too messed up. Perfect!

I am thankful for my girl. I know I am thankful for her a lot but, I just am!

Concert on the beach

I realize that living near the beach has its advantages. I try not to take it for granted but I am sure I do.

Saturday night we piled into the church bus and headed to Panama City Beach to check out Chris Tomlin in concert. Not only was the concert right on the beach but it was free, a nice breeze was blowing and we were able to take in a beautiful sunset all at the same time. Thanks, BP, not for spilling oil into our gulf, but for giving money to PCB to host a weekend of concerts. And thanks, PCB, for choosing to bring in Christian artists. I thought that was pretty cool.

At times, Addie was more interested in what the kids around us were doing. Go figure.

When the concert ended I made a mad dash for Carter's (the concert was right across the street from an outdoor shopping mall) and snagged some deals for Addie. I'm so ready for fall weather and fall clothes!

I am thankful for a good night out with our kids and that the rain stopped long enough for us to enjoy the show.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Crooked Path

Us Chaneys have an unofficial list of sorts. A list of things we want to do, places we want to see here in Florida. It's nothing glamorous, mostly just spots we have heard of that we'd like to see. Some are beach spots that people have told us about, including the place we visited yesterday.

A few friends have told us about an area of beach called Crooked Island and while we have no boat to get us out to the island, we did want to see what we could explore sans boat. This is what we found:

We saw a total of five people while we were out there. We were there to just check the place out and let Addie run around and we felt totally secluded.

One of Addie's favorite beach activities is to cover our feet in sand. She brings us a handful of sand, drops it on our feet and says, "Thank you!"

Addie waved to all the birds and chased them as far as she could.

We also discovered a coconut and a washed up stingray waiting to catch a wave back out into the surf.

And of course there was the sand. There's always the sand. We never leave home without a change of clothes and a towel.

I'm thankful for the fun nooks and crannies we can visit around here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

More Illinoisans invade the beach

Just when all seemed bleak and dreary, when all of our friends and family were canceling their trips to the beach due to the oil scare, things got a little brighter.

I already posted about the pleasant surprise we received when we heard my friend Missy was still coming to the beach. Then, just a few weeks ago I received a text from Wheels, a college student who was part of our youth group in Illinois. She and her family were planning an impromptu trip to Panama City Beach and were wondering if we could get together.

Last week we met for dinner and then a stroll/night crab catching on the beach. Since Wheels is now dating Jon, another former youth group member, we were also able to catch up with him. It was so good to see all of them and as always, Addie enjoyed playing with new friends, even if she did cry at first when Wheels jumped in the car with us ;) .

We are always thankful for visits from friends and family. It is always good to get a taste of home.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lickity Split

A marathon ride for a sprint home, that's what we did over the weekend.

Home is always good but it is hard when it is such a short trip. Addie made it through in high spirits and is no longer feeling under the weather. I think it was the flowers her dad bought for her to help her feel better (she loves flowers).

Highlights from the trip:

The picture above proves we didn't find any relief from the heat in the Midwest.

I'm thankful for the quick trip. Good to get out of town, good to see familiar faces. Hopefully next time it will be longer!