Friday, October 24, 2008

2 year photos


Today is UF's homecoming so Chris had the day off. While the hospital doesn't close for homecoming, I went ahead and tood the day off and we were going to go to the parade.

Before the parade we took Will to get his second year pictures taken. It defiantly went better than last year! Mostly because we went on a week day and it was not nearly as crowded. We tried to get Will's photo taken in his Gator gear with a football and everything, but Will kept wanting to throw the football, so that shot never quite worked out. We did get some nice family Gator shots.

Unfortunately the rest of the days plans didn't quite work out. It was a dreary, rainy day so we elected to not go to the parade.






Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Will!


For Will's second birthday we went to Seaworld with Grandma and Grandpa. We had a great time. First things first, we went to see the Shamu show. We had seen it when we came to Sea World but the show was still amazing. There is just something about watching a giant killer whale jump up propelling a person on it's nose. Or in this case three whales! The whales also did some tricks that we didn't see at the previous show. Will was enthralled, you can seen his intense concentration in this picture.







After the show we headed down to the under water viewing area to see more Shamu. There were very few people down in the viewing area so we were able to let Will run around free. Shamu would swim by fairly regularly and Will would just wait for him to come back by. "Oooh look, Shamu!" It was very exciting. It was pretty amazing for me to watch this giant whale swim by my little boy. The size difference is pretty amazing.







We had lunch at the Spice Mill Cafe. Since it was Will's birthday, we got him a Shamu cookie. It was very cute and he seemed to enjoy it. Mom and Dad took a bite and really have to say it was about the worst cookie ever. Ah well, you can't win them all.






I think we may have walked all over the park. We saw polar bears, beluga whales, penguins, puffins, orcas, clydesdale horses (it is a Busch theme park) and a bunch of other critters. In addition to seeing S
hamu, we also went to go see the Sesame Street Halloween show. Will thought that was pretty darn cool as well. It had Elmo and the Count, how can you miss. We also got him a Shamu puppet that makes a squeaking noise. It was his birthday after all.



Shortly after we saw the Sesame Street show we had all about had it. Will was starting to get cranky and to be honest, so was I! So we said goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa and headed home. I'm not sure that we made it out of the Sea World parking lot before he fell asleep! I think he had a great birthday.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

At Play

Just a few pictures of Will at play. I really adore the sprinkler shot. He was playing with the sprinkler in the front yard this past week.

The other pictures are from the Alachua playground. We were there today goofing around. Will is really getting agile and adept at climbing.






Jack Graduates!



Jack graduated this past Friday. Congrats Jack! We are so proud of you. This is where I should have a nice picture of Jack with his diploma but instead I just have a photo of the TV screen with the graduation information as the camera batteries died after taking this photo.

Ah well, such is life. The important thing is that Jack received his Associate of Science degree. Way to go!

Baptism and Birthday

This past weekend we had Will baptized at Holy Trinity Church. The church does baptisms on set Sundays so we scheduled his baptism for September 28th. Since this date was so close to his birthday we decided to combine his baptism celebration with his second birthday celebration. The baptism itself went well. During the service, we were able to distract Will with smiley face stickers. Will walked up and down our pew, which was thankfully all family, and gave us all a smiley face.
He did pretty well during the actual baptism as well. He didn't want to be held by the priest, so I held him. He was pretty shocked when the water splashed his head. The look on his face was quite priceless. After he got over the shock, he was not happy that his head was wet. He kept saying, "head wet, head wet, head wet." You'd think we never bathed him or something. Towards the end of the service, Will was getting very sleepy. You can see him sleeping on Chris' shoulder in the baptism picture.



Chris' parents and brother Billy came up for the occasion. We also had quite a bit of my Florida family. In addition we had some friends of ours and two of Will's buddies from day care, Harrison and Chris. It was quite a full house. I think we had around 30 people in our little house. Fortunately, we have a screen for our car port and are able to turn it into a screen porch when the extra space is needed.






The party went very well. Will most defiantly had a good time. He now really enjoys being the center of attention. I think he liked having his friends over and it seemed to go pretty well. Will did have a hard time when the boys were going through his toy box. He kept telling them "mine". Chris referred before we had an almost two year old melt down and suggested that the boys might like to draw with chalk. This worked out quite well as there is enough chalk for everyone.




We, of course, had cake, ice cream and presents. Well, I actually made cup cakes. Believe it or not, I don't own any cake pans. Neither Chris nor I are big cake fans, we prefer cheesecake and pie, so I've never felt a huge need to own cake pans. However, I do have a cup cake pan, mostly to make muffins, but hey, no reason you can't use the pan for it's original intention.






I made 36 muffins and arranged them on the silver tray from GiGi's (Will's GiGi, not mine :)silver tea service. It was fun to get to use such a lovely piece and it made a lovely presentation. Will could have cared less about the presentation, he just wanted a cup cake. Since he is the birthday boy, what Will wanted, Will got. In retrospect, it became clear that Will really didn't want the whole cup cake, just the icing. Next year, I think I will just serve a giant bowl of icing. Will would love it!






Lastly we opened presents. Will was a very lucky little guy and received some awesome presents. He was really thrilled with everything (and I'm not making this up!). His Nana and Poppa gave him a basket ball hoop, and Grandma and Grandpa gave him an alphabet brief case (sounds strange but is very cool!). He also received lots of books, puzzles, clothes, a soccer goal, base ball and bat, a sit and spin, golf gator game, a gator shape sorter, lots of cars and a ramp for them to run down. He has spent the last week just running back and forth between all of these exciting items.






His loving parents gave him a bike with no pedals. Yes, it is true, a bike with no pedals. The idea is that the little ones push themselves along with their feet. This apparently helps them learn balance to be able to ride a regular bike without training wheels. I'm not sure if this will actually work or not, Chris and I just thought the bike was really neat. I'll keep you posted if this actually speeds his learning to ride a regular bike.
Life is good.

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens


Another trip with Nana, Poppa and Uncle Bobo. This time to the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. In this picture, Will thought the shadow of the banana tree leaves looked like a gator. He would say "Look! Gator! Chomp, chomp. Bite Will! Chomp, chomp." Already he is a very inventive guy with an active imagination. We are in such big trouble!





Jump!


Will is turning in to quite the jumper. He loves to hop around and jump off curbs. Here he is leaping around St. Augustine.


Ahhh, it is the little things in life :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

St. Augustine



Chris took the crew over to St. Augustine during their visit. I had to work this day but everyone seemed to have a nice time. Will managed to relieve everyone of their change at the fountain. If half his wishes come true he will be one lucky boy. They also visited the fort at St. Augustine, did some shopping and drove by the haunted lighthouse.






Nana and Poppa Visit



This past week Chris' parents, Will's Nana and Poppa and Uncle Bobo came to visit. We really enjoyed their visit. While I had to go to work for some of the trip, Chris and Will took the week off. We all went to the Butterfly Garden and while I was at work, trips to St. Augustine, Kanapaha Botanical Garden and to Apopka.









This entry has the photos from the Butterfly Garden. More photos to follow on the other trips.

Georgia

Chris' sister, Colleen, came down to Georgia with her crew to visit her in laws the weekend after Fay hit. I think she ended up driving through some of Fay as the tropical storm headed up the coast.


Fortunately it stopped raining in time for her daughter, Sarah's birthday party. Chris, Will and I drove up to help Sarah celebrate. Colleen's in laws live in a rural area of Georgia and have chickens and horses.


As I've mentioned before, Will loves animals so he was in animal heaven. He got to chase the chickens with Sarah (if you look closely at the first picture, you can see the chickens running for their lives!) and pet the horses.

He was really enthralled with the horses and kept running back to see them. I think he would have climbed over the fence and rode off into the sunset on one of the horses if he could have!



Fay had kindly dumped a ton of rain in Georgia so the yard had several large puddles. It took Will no time to run through the puddles with much glee. I think we went through all of the back up clothing changes before the trip was done. We all really enjoyed the trip but I think Will had the best time. Between the chickens, horses and puddles it was toddler heaven.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fay

Fay came through Gainesville this August. Fortunately, she mostly just rained on us (which we needed) so it was kind of like a snow day. Chris and I woke up and immediately checked to see if Alachua County schools were closed (if the schools are closed then so is day care). Chris got to stay home with Will and I headed off to work. The boys had a good time. You can see the chalk drawing of Florida and the hurricane. They then met one of Will's friends from school at the indoor mall playground. The two boys had a blast running around. The last picture is of Will at home Polar Bowling. Chris would set up the bowling pin animals and Will would knock them down.

While all of this was a good time, Will was really ready to head back to day care come Monday and Chris and I were quite content to head back to work.

Chicago


I made my annual trip to a conference in Chicago. This really is one of the perks of my job. Not only do I get to go to my favorite city but I get a free plane ticket to see some of my favorite family (not the only favorites, of course! :) After my conference is over, Chris and Will flew up to join me and we went to stay with my Aunt Doris.

Happily the weather was beautiful in Chicago. It was a wonderful relief from the hot, humid Florida weather. We enjoyed spending time out on Doris' back porch. This picture is of Will sitting on the back stoop. He thought it was a big deal to sit on the step. Go figure :)



We all had a wonderful time visiting with all of the Chicago family. Will loved all of the attention. We got to visit with just about everyone. We even got to have dinner at my Nana's place. That was just about perfect in Will's opinion, he got tons of attention from the other diners and ice cream for dessert. We also did some serious relaxing, as you can see.






We also made a trip to Brookfield Zoo. Will loves animals so we thought he would enjoy the zoo and we were right. Our first stop was the Children's Zoo. It was an enclosed section with a petting zoo, chickens, cows, ducks and even some reindeer. Since it was enclosed we let Will run around on his own. He was beside himself. He kept ooohing and ahhing, so much so that I thought he might hyperventilate! Around every corner was a delightful surprise.








While the Children's zoo was defiantly the highlight, we also enjoyed seeing the dolphin show and riding the train around the zoo. Then Auntie and I hit the gift shop while the men hit the pretzel vendor. Finally as we were leaving, Chris took a picture of Will and I with the Brookfield Zoo lion. This really meant alot to me because many years ago (going on 20!) Jack and I did the same pose on the Brookfield lions. Jack was a little older than Will for the first photo but the love is the same.