Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kitten Update

The kittens are growing and getting cuter by the day! The mama cat is very comfortable with us now and doesn't mind us reaching under the shed to grab the kittens. If we are holding the kittens, she will still come up to us to be petted, which I take as a good sign. They have their eyes open and are just starting to get curious about us. When the mama comes out to eat or to visit, they will crawl to the opening and look around. We were finally able to get all of them out at the same time! (Usually we can only reach a few and the others stay too far back)

There are five kittens total and they are a Manx mix, which is a breed of cat that is born without a tail. We were able to figure out who the dad cat is, because he is a striped Manx that hangs around our neighbor's house. See any resemblance?
 There are three striped kittens: one without a tail, one with a nubby half tail, and one with a full tail. The one with the full tail and white paws is my favorite, he is just so darn cute!! There is also a white kitten with light grey stripes on its legs and ears and no tail. He is James' favorite. Whenever we go out there, he always asks if he can hold the white one in his lap. Last, there is an all black kitten with a full tail.
 The mama cat came over while we had all the kittens out and decided to sit on them. I think it was her way of making sure they were safe :)
The kittens have a really bad flea problem. These huge, fat fleas are all over them, especially on their bellies and their legs. We've read that fleas can kill kittens by causing them to be anemic, so we are trying to figure out the best way to help them. Yesterday we gave all but one of them a quick bath with Dawn and a brushing with the flea comb, but today the fleas were back just as bad. Anthony talked to a woman he knows at the humane society and she said she would get us some topical flea treatments for them. Until she gets it to us, we started dusting them with brewer's yeast. Supposedly it is an irritant for the fleas and after they lick it off, it makes their blood unappetizing. I guess we will have to see!

Grandma comes to visit

My mom came to visit for a few weeks and we had a blast! We took James to get his first haircut at a salon. Normally I would cut it, but he puts up such a fuss that I decided it would be worth the money to have someone else do it and not have yet another battle that day (we are going through a rough 3 year old rebellion stage).

He did really well! He listened to her directions on when to move his head and he stayed still for most of it:
 Showing off his new look:
 After looking his hair over, I found a lot of missed spots of different lengths, so I don't think we will be doing this again. Even though it is a pain, it ends up looking much better and more even when I do it with the clippers.

We took a trip to the pirate ship park and found that the new splash pad was open! I brought a towel just in case, but James didn't have any swim things on. He was fine with just his shorts :) He was cold and shivering, but he didn't want to leave.

 The concrete was painted without any non-slip materials added to it, so it was very slippery. James fell at least 3 times, and that was even while he was walking slowly. A few days after we went, I saw a notice online that they closed it down indefinitely because of how many kids were falling. It was such bad planning! They spent so much time and effort into building it and only days after opening they had to close it down. Such a shame.

James wanted to ride his bike to the fire station in our neighborhood. It is a long bike ride for him, but he insisted that he wouldn't get tired. He was right! I put Rett in the sling and we walked the entire 1.3 miles there. They were out on a call when we got there, so we sat and waited for a few minutes in case they came back. Luckily for us, they did! They invited James right over to see the fire trucks. He was star struck! This kid who literally talks nonstop from the moment he gets up, could barely eek a word out in front of the firefighter.
 On the way home I asked James if he wanted to be a firefighter when he grows up. He said that when he gets bigger, his shirt will turn into a firefighter shirt, his pants will turn into firefighter pants, and his bike helmet will turn into a firefighter helmet. So, I guess the answer is yes :)

Friday morning we finally got to check out the new Chuck-e-Cheese that just opened in January. I had no idea that it was going to be so much fun! James had the time of his life!! I told him in the morning that we were going to go somewhere fun as a surprise, and after we went he couldn't stop talking about the "fun surprise".

He loved all the games and wanted to do each and every one. We didn't bring much cash on us, so we ended up only spending about $5 between the quarters and the dollar bills we had in our wallets. I couldn't believe how affordable it was!
 Anthony tried to show him how his running wheel worked, but James did not want to get in it!
 We got there right as they opened and one of he workers was going around testing all of the machines, so we started to follow him around to get all of the tickets he was leaving behind. He had to fix this simulator and when he left, he smiled at James and said, "free ride!". Anthony and James jumped on and they loved it! It was definitely one of the favorites.

 Flying the spaceship:

 This one was one of my favorites to watch James do. He loved it so much!! It was a pretend popcorn bucket that you move around to try to catch falling balls. James would scream and move the bucket back and forth yelling, "This is so much fun!!" and "This is crazy!!". After a few minutes he just combined the two and now his new phrase is, "This is so much crazy!!"

After discovering how much fun the splash pad was for James, we were determined to find another one. A friend told me about a public splash pad at a park in South Daytona that is much bigger and isn't slippery. After soccer pictures Saturday morning we decided to check it out and it was great! James had so much fun running around in the water and playing with the kids there. Next time we will have to bring water toys, all the other kids had some and we had a few disagreements when James wanted to play with them :)
The last full day my mom was here, we got take out from a local seafood place and ate a picnic at a local park that has a small beach. I put the umbrella up so that we could have some shade, and James immediately started exploring. After lunch, my mom stayed with Rett in the shade while James and I collected hermit crabs and snails in our buckets. I would point them out in the water and James would run up with the bucket yelling, "Ohhh yeahhhh! Lemme get 'em!". Rett enjoyed himself too, he got to gnaw on my mom's dill pickle spear and he didn't even make a face! I guess we can add pickles to the list of things he likes :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ft. Lauderdale Temple Open House

This past weekend Anthony had his last Saturday off of work for awhile since he will be changing his schedule back to every Saturday, so we decided to celebrate with a road trip to Ft. Lauderdale for the last day of the temple open house! A lot of our friends from our ward had already gone and said that it was a great experience and James loves to point at any and every church steeple and say, "Look, it's a temple!". We thought this would be a good opportunity to show him what a temple really looks like! Since my mom was in town, we took her car and traded off driving.

The plan was to go real early in the morning and get a morning tour and then turn around and come right back. We woke up at 3:30am so that we could get showered and the car loaded up. Once we transferred the kids to their car seats, we pulled out of our driveway at 4:30am. It was dark and rainy for most of the drive :( After about an hour and a half of driving in some heavy rain, all of a sudden we saw what looked like a stick hit our windshield and my mom (who was driving) couldn't see! Thankfully, no one was behind us and we were able to pull over to the side of the road. It turns out her windshield wiper blade flew off and without it, the rain made it impossible to see where she was going. We were right next to a rest area, so we inched our way to the exit and parked. Anthony got out in the rain and switched the blade from the passenger side to the driver side, leaving the passenger side sticking straight up so that it wouldn't scratch the windshield. I checked my phone for the closest Wal-Mart and found one 30 minutes away. We got back on the road and after only a few minutes we hear from the backseat, "Mommy, I gotta go potty!". We took the first exit we could find and ended up having to go miles down the road to get to the nearest gas station. After that short detour, we got back on the road and made our way to Wal-Mart. Everyone went into the store while I stayed in the car and nursed Rett. It was still raining!! After we got the new blade on and got back on the road, we were an hour and a half behind schedule :(

Thankfully it soon stopped raining and the weather perked up. I was going to be devastated if we drove all that way and didn't get any good pictures of the temple because of the weather!

Finally, some sun!

When we arrived at the temple, they showed us to an air-conditioned tent where they play a 12 minute video about the history and purpose of temples. At the 10 minute mark, James looks at Anthony and says, "I have to go potty!". He got up to take him, but by the time Anthony asked for directions to the bathrooms, James couldn't hold it any more :( They spent about 15 minutes in the bathroom getting cleaned up and changing his underwear. Can you tell that this was our first road trip since he has been potty trained? :)

After our bathroom detour, we got back in line for the tour. The line looked long, but moved pretty quickly:
 As we got closer to the front doors, there was a tunnel of volunteers on each side of the walkway, ready to put shoe covers on your feet for you. I wasn't sure if James would get upset about this, so we have been talking about how cool and fun the shoe covers are for a few days. He thought they were so funny!
 The tour was great, there were so many people there that we were trying not to step on each other in each room. We loved seeing all the different details and the beautiful decor. James especially loved the "sparkly lights" in the celestial room and the mirrors in the sealing rooms. (The pictures are from the official press release since they didn't allow cameras inside)
At the end of the tour, they lead you to another air conditioned tent where you can fill out comment cards and ask missionaries any questions you have about the temple or about the church. They only had very brief explanations inside during the tour, to keep the noise level down and the tours moving quickly.

Time for family pictures!
 James was looking around, eyes wide open, and when he saw someone was taking a picture, he immediately closed his eyes tight. Little stinker!

 James taking pictures of himself:

 Trying to get a picture of all of us with the temple in the background. You can see a tiny bit of Rett's head in the corner :)
 Another attempt:
 Look at my little squish! This baby was sooooo good during the trip. He slept or sat quietly in his car seat almost the entire time! He only started crying the last 30 minutes before we got home, which was after 8 hours in the car, not including the time spent at the temple. Am I a spoiled mama or what?
 Anthony saw some old friends from his ward in Rockledge where he grew up, so he took James to the fountain while I got some solo shots of Rett. He didn't like being put down, but how could I resist?
The trip home was thankfully uneventful and we pulled into our driveway around 3pm, so it was a little less than 12 hours for the entire trip. We definitely don't want to do a car trip like that again any time soon, but we are so glad that we did it. James loves to talk about the temple now and gets so excited when he sees pictures, especially of the "golden Moroni" :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Everett at 7 Months

Our munchkin is 7 months old!! He is the happiest baby, I can't get over how sweet and cuddly his is!
He is sitting up so well and loves to grab any and everything he can reach. He can be deceptively fast!
How can you resist these cheeks??
He had to grab the camera!
His favorite thing to do is to sit and watch James play while he chews on one of his toys. He can sit that way for over an hour!
After initially loving solid foods, he went a few weeks of not wanting to try anything. He would open his mouth once for whatever I was feeding him, and then refuse to open up any more. Recently he seems to have changed his mind and really likes pears, squash, sweet potatoes, and peas. He definitely likes my homemade baby food better than store bought. Such a discerning palate already!
He still is getting up once a night to nurse, but I don't usually mind it. It just means more snuggle time with my cutie! Seriously, I have to stop myself from squeezing him sometimes, I love every inch of him!