Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Gavinator

It has been wonderful spending so much time with my little man this summer.  We were on the go all summer long and Gavin kept up, never complaining.  There were 5 days when we slowed down to spend some time working on something very important.

Our biggest goal this summer was to potty train this very strong willed child.  I think we attempted 2 other times and failed, but this time we had no choice but to see this process through.  Lets just say we got an "F" on the reward chart, stickers, candy and ice cream (he thought it was all silly).  I finally realized it was time to dive in boot camp style and we stripped this boy of all his clothes and made him go naked for 5 days straight.  I am THANKFUL to report that it worked and Gavin is 99.7% potty trained, even waking up with dry diapers most mornings.   There is an occasional "poop" accident, but that has only happened twice since we returned from Disney.

Gavin is so super smart and we are proud of all the big boy things he has managed to accomplish this summer from potty training to sleeping in a big boy bed.  His vocabulary continues to grow everyday and his imagination is out of this world for a three year old.  One of my very favorite things to do is sit back and listen to him pretend with his big sister, it is truly amazing how he gets into character and is able to creative play.  

Thank you for a wonderful and productive summer Gavin Thomas.  We are so proud and love you more than life.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Loose Tooth

Guess who is going to be making a visit to our house soon?  The TOOTH FAIRY and we have a little girl who is beyond excited.   Today when I got home from work (yep back on contract yesterday), a very happy little 5 year old met me at the door telling me her tooth was loose.  She is so excited to enter kindergarten missing a tooth.

Emma has been telling us for a year that she has a loose tooth, it seems to be a right of passage for her.  Needless to say her bottom tooth is pretty loose and should be coming out within the next week.  I made her promise that she would not make it come out unless me and her Daddy were home to be a part of the big event (ha ha). 

The girl has talked my ear off for the past 4 hours about this loose tooth, how teeth fall out, what you do after it falls out, the tooth fairy, how she hopes to keep the tooth forever, how little the tooth is, the tooth fairy sneaking in her room and the $6.00 she is going to get (no clue where she came up with that number).

Emma is an old soul and this evening she said, "Mom, when I found out my tooth was loose I went in the bathroom and I was so happy that tears just started rolling down my face."  So stinking cute and no doubt in my mind she had her own private "loose tooth" celebration today.  I love this kid and I think she is going to be cute as can be with a missing tooth.   Don't worry, as soon as it happens Mommy will have her camera in hand to capture the milestone.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hyatt & Zoomagination

We stayed at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort which was literally 5 minutes from Sea World.   The resort was packed with stuff for the kiddos to do and lots for us to enjoy too.

We all enjoyed floating in the lazy river, well Emma enjoyed swimming it the whole time. The girl never got in a tube the entire time, she had a blast swimming and splashing us with her Shamu kicks.

We missed spending a week on the beach this summer, so this little beach on the side of the lazy river will have to hold us over until we make our way back to a white sandy beach.

No ice chest allowed by the pools or river at the Hyatt, so Mommy made this redneck ice chest out of a ziploc bag and it got the job done just fine.

Little man loves the sand and the beach.  Daddy helped them make some sandcastles, trenches filled with water and other sand sculptures.  We have to watch this little rascal because he loves to fill both of his hands up with sand and throw it as far as he can, not worrying about who he hits along the way.

A night in Texas would not be complete without roasting s'mores on an open campfire, now would it?  Gavin loves to just shove the marshmallows and chocolate in his mouth.

The resort brought in a program called Zoomagination while we were there and it was awesome, we were a fingertip away and even got to touch some of the animals.  This sloth was awesome.

I think this might be the first time in my life I have even seen a real porcupine and he was the cutest thing ever.  They walked him around on this leash like a dog and he had so much personality.

This 4 month old warthog was as cute as could be too.  He would run around, scoot on the ground looking for peanuts, stop and let us pet him and take off again. We also got to see a macaw and a wallaby, all of these are rescue animals that live on a resort in San Antonio.

The kids also enjoyed ping pong, the fish tanks, tether ball, the playground, ice cream, movie on the lawn (5 minutes of Megamind), yummy food and much more on our little getaway. We are all so thankful we were able to squeeze this trip into our summer before it comes to an end.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sea World 2012

We just got home from a quick little getaway to the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and a trip to Sea World.  Before summer arrived I made a list of 28 things we wanted to do while Mommy was off and I am proud to say we have done 23/28, along with a few extras that did not make the original list.  We will get the others accomplished in the weeks before school starts.

Our two kiddos love staying in hotels, so Gavin was super excited when we arrived.  There are certain things we allow our kids to do away that are not allowed at home and their very favorite is jumping on the bed!  They were pretty surprised we were taking off for the weekend, we did not tell them until the day we left.

We love Sea World along with all the animals and shows.  We arrived right at opening time, so the park was empty at first which was super nice.  We were able to knock out the entire kids section in record time of about 30 minutes.

Emma and Gavin always get a map when we go somewhere and they have gotten pretty darn good at helping us find where things are throughout the parks.

You would think these kids and their parents would be sick of theme parks by now, right?  Hardly, Daddy has been online for the past week dreaming of a trip to Disneyland soon.

Every little girl needs a purple pony and she found the perfect one to take her on a ride.  Curtis always enjoys the carousel with them because they make me sick.

Perhaps he gets to enjoy lots of rides because Mommy is the makeshift photographer, but I do not mind at all.

I have always loved the Beluga Whales and I can not wait till Emma turns 7 years old and is tall enough for us to swim with them.  I do not know who is more excited about this upcoming adventure me or her.

Who doesn't love Shamu?  We also got to see Takara and her baby Sakari perform during the show.  We loved seeing the baby with her Mommy, she is a smart cookie to be so young.  Every time we go Emma swears she is going to swim with one of these guys soon.  We finally had to explain to her why the trainers are not allowed in the water with them anymore and I think she was shocked.  I miss the days when they would swim, dance around and play with them in the water.  There was always something super special about seeing the bond they had with the trainers up close and personal.

I dream of the day we can travel to Alaska and see killer whales in their own habitat.  No doubt Sea World takes great care of these guys, but they are confined to such a small space and that part makes me a little sad. 

I am so glad we took off on this last minute getaway and got to spend some quality family time with one another relaxing before it is time for Mommy to head back to work next week.

My sweet girl and her Daddy, she happens to think he is a pretty special guy too.  Our animal fun did not stop when we left Sea World, we got to enjoy some interesting furry friends back at the Hyatt.

One last thing, where else in the world do 200+ people (at one time) stop at a convenient store named after a beaver, on the side of a highway, leave with a bag of junk, spend a ton of money, buy food out of a case that has flies in it (without complaining), sample jerky and look for the green light to find an empty restroom?  Only in TEXAS my friends, only in TEXAS!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Friendships + H20 = Fun

We took advantage of the sunshine yesterday and had a play date with some of our favorite friends, Brook, Luke, Baby Cynlee, Cassi, CoCo and NaeNae.

Emma, Brook and Luke had big fun jumping off the rocks together, while Gavin cheered them on.  I love Brookie's face in this picture.

Baby Cynlee is 10 months old and these girls did not want to share her with each other.  She is getting a brother or sister in January, so we all went around the pool yesterday and declared team boy or girl.

Gavin enjoying his Popsicle after his 3rd foot accident of the day (ha ha).  He had to wear one of Mr. Travis caps because I forgot his (Cassi was shocked it fit).

Brook and Emma are such great friends and are so super sweet to each other.  It is fun to watch them play and grow together, these two have been friends since birth and I hope they will always remain big buddies.

The boys were excited when Cassi broke the airplanes with water guns out.  These just might be the coolest floats  I have ever seen.  CoCo was sweet enough to hold them in place while I took their picture.  I am hoping it is a boy she adds to the mix soon, yep I was on team boy but my gut thinks it's a girl.

Just look where we found these two rascals later in the afternoon.  We knew they were awfully quite but we did not expect to see them laid up in Brook's bed eating Cheetos.  They are a mess on their own, but together they are a SUPER mess.

I was pretty shocked when it was time to go and Brook agreed to come home with us.  She even packed an overnight bag getting Emma's hopes up that she might have a sleepover.  We spent the evening eating ice cream, driving by all 3 kids schools, playing dress up, playing school, playing Dr. and eating dinner.  Brook came to me about 7:30 and said she was ready to go home, Emma was sad but she certainly understood.  This was a HUGE step for sweet Brook and we are so proud of her for coming home with us and can not wait to do it again.  

When it was time for her to go Emma thought she was going to pack her bag and go spend the night with Brook, but we already knew Brook had big plans to go hog hunting this morning with her Daddy.  Clearly Emma would be devastated if she ever saw anyone kill a hog or any animal for that matter (ha ha). 

It was hilarious to over hear them talk yesterday.  At one point Brook said that her Daddy killed deer and Emma asked, "even the mommy deer".  "Yep", Brook said and Emma just proceeded to tell her how horrible it was.  Funnier than that was when I heard them playing in Emma's room and Emma told Brook not to spray some perfume because she would have an Asthma attack, Brook replied, "Oh my God does that mean you will die?"   Oh the innocence of a child, I love it and I love them.   

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gavin does Disney

Gavin was a T.R.O.O.P.E.R at Disney and honestly he had more energy than all of us combined.   This boy seldom rode in the stroller and was often begging to get out and walk run.  Often times he would dive out of the stroller and sometimes face first when something caught his attention. 

Here are my honest thoughts on Disney.  I do not think you are ever to YOUNG or to OLD to go to Disney, however it is work and it is not always relaxing.  Happens to be the most magical and best vacation we have EVER done with our kids (and we have done it twice, 11 months apart & we are ready to go back right now) BOTH times was as magical as the other.  As long as you go prepared with a plan, have a positive attitude, a pocket full of patience, understand that you are going to have to wait in lines,  know that it is pricey...then you will have the best time ever. Just my thoughts for the day for what it is worth.

One of Gavin's favorite characters at the park was this policeman.  He went up to him and asked to take a picture and hold his flashlight.  Gavin loves police officers and usually approaches them when we are out and about.  I honestly think he made this man's day and vice versa.

This right here is pretty much how this boy made his way around 4 different amusement parks, downtown Disney and our resort throughout our 7 day stay.  He always had a smile on his face and was always on the go, which meant me and Daddy were always on the go too.  I will take this any day over a whiny, complaining kid BUT he wore us smooth out at the end of every single day.

This is just one of the things that helped us make it through and gave us a sugar high to keep up with the Gavinator!

Yep, he consumed lots of sugar too which just gave him more energy to run, scream, jump and chase birds and he did alot of bird chasing.

Look at this sweet girl all dressed up as Snow White waiting for the parade to get started.  She helped me eat that caramel apple, oh and by the way Disney has the BEST sweet treats in all the world!

Waiting on the parade to start, we got to Main Street super early this night so we could get a front row seat right in front of the Castle (so worth the wait if you are willing to beat the crowd and wait it out).  We use this as a time to sit down, relax, get some yummy treats and people watch.

Gavin uses it as a time to entertain the crowd, dance, make silly faces and run around like a wild man.  All the while we keep the stroller pulled right up to the curb so the kiddos can just jump in, relax and have a front row spot when the parade gets started (so so worth it, I promise!)

I love all the faces of Gavin in these pictures, he was laughing hysterically in this picture and had just told everyone in line that there was a mermaid in the water.  Funny thing is, other little kids could be heard asking their parents if there is really a mermaid in the water (ha ha).  This boys imagination is unbelievable and it is constantly working ninety miles an hour.

It is pretty easy to see that The Frazier Four LOVE Disney and it is a vacation that we would be willing to take yearly and never get sick of it, if it were not so pricey.   We have decided that our next trip will be to Disneyland for lots of reasons, but most importantly so we can see Carsland (we can not stop thinking or dreaming about it).  We are so thankful that our kids do Disney well and are troopers, both of them!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Triple A's = Triple Fun

We took advantage of a little bit of sunshine today and had a swim date with Ashlyn, Addison and Ally at their house.  Unfortunately I did not pull my camera out until it was time to leave because I was enjoying the cold pool and conversations with them.   I love these girls, but it blows my mind how big they have gotten and how mature they have become.  Each of them have the most sensitive hearts, are so honest and love my kiddos.

Just realized I only got a picture of Addy-belle, uh oh I am already accused of this one being my favorite so I might be in trouble for this post.   Can you tell that Gavin is not the touchy, lovey, hugger like his big sister?  If you get loving from this kid it is going to be on his terms or your getting the cold shoulder (ha ha). 

After a fun day of swimming and pizza, we headed out to the snow cone stand for a yummy cold treat.  We had lots of good laughs at the snow cone stand provided to us by Emma and Gavin, so much that Addy nearly wet her pants from laughing so hard.  I sure wish I would have gotten a picture of all 5 of the kids together, but they have all learned to run from me when I pull my camera out (especially RaRa in her moo moo, you looked like Aunt Billy Jean with the fly swat - twine thirty).

Thank you Triple A's & my  BFF for giving us a break from all the rain/cabin fever, any day with you guys is a day filled with unpredictable laughs and fun.  Most of all I am thankful that the Lemoine's have shared all THREE of their girls with me for the past 16 years, they are perfection!

Looking forward to a week filled with play dates, great friends and hopefully Mr. Sunshine.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Big Changes, Big Boy

We made BIG changes in our house today for our BIG boy.   Gavin is 3 years 4 months old and we have put this day off long enough, so after Church today Daddy got busy converting his crib.

My heart was a little sad to watch this crib being disassembled since both my babies have slept in it.  There were no issues with Gavin sleeping in his crib and he has never tried to climb out of it, but we thought it was time. 

We talked to Gavin about turning his bed into a BIG BOY bed and he was on board and seemed excited.  He even went in and helped Daddy take the bed apart, vacuum the dust off the slats, and get it ready for his big night.

We all went in his room to tell him night night and pray with him.  Emma was super excited and so proud of Gavin, she just kept saying she could not believe he was sleeping in a big bed. 

I talked to Gavin and told him he could not get out of his bed until the sun came up and if he needed anything he needed to call Mommy or Daddy.  Honestly, we have put this off for so long because we felt like he would roam the house at night and might try to go outside.  After talking to him this witty little boy looked at me and said, "I get up now Mommy, the sun is up outside." Gotta love that boy and he was right, the sun was up outside.

Little man, you have been in your room for about an hour and I have checked on you once.   You are sound asleep, your head under the sheet and you are snoring loudly. 

Looks like you were ready for that big change and a big boy bed. We are so proud of you and love you so much!  I can not wait to hug you, high five you and celebrate with you in the morning when you wake up.  Way to go G-man!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Theatre Camp

Emma just finished up a week at musical theatre camp at our Performing Arts Center Downtown.   After seeing several live plays, she asked to go to acting class and we found this one back in March that seemed to be the perfect fit.

This little girl was so excited about going to camp and I was a little shocked that she just jumped out of the car on Day 1 and went straight on in with a smile on her face.   The kids worked on a mini musical of Lion King all week along with learning stage positions, vocal techniques and other basics theatre skills.

Emma came running out the first day with her script highlighted and she had been assigned lines to play the hyena, Shenzi.  By Day 2 she knew all of her lines and ran around here singing the Circle of Life nonstop.

We got to watch their performance and all the kids were super cute.  About 1/3 of them recalled their lines without being reminded and did a great job.  The others remembered their lines after a little prompting and all spoke so loud and clear.  They were also responsible for learning 7 different songs, the hand motions and dances that went with each.

Emma and Lauren had a BLAST and did an amazing job.  There is not a SHY bone in either of their little bodies and they both love the spotlight.  I got a little nervous about Emma going to camp, so we invited Lauren to come along with us and I am so glad we did (something nice about pairs, right?).  Emma is already looking forward to attending camp next summer and has promised Lauren that she is coming with us.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Buddy & Me

Emma is attending theatre camp this week downtown at our performing arts center, so little man and I have 4 playdates planned.  Yesterday was the first day of camp, so my buddy and me made our way to a park.  

We ran, climbed, jumped, chased birds, ate snow cones, walked under the oak trees, talked about life, looked at the splash pad, giggled, watched helicopters, held hands and decided we needed to return with our swimsuits for some more fun.

Of course this boy never ran out of energy and I never took my eyes off of him because the park is surrounded by 4 busy streets.

I love how STINKY and SWEATY little boys get after being outside for 5 minutes, that wet puppy smell.

This boy explored every piece of playground equipment the park had to offer today and imagined that he was climbing a mountain.

Anytime Gavin is outdoors he always has his eye on the birds.  He dreams of catching a bird one day and was almost successful in Garner when he stumbled upon one with a hurt wing.

He brought his helicopter and red car with him to the park and enjoyed letting them both roll down this play structure.

Look at that sweaty little red face enjoying a snow cone in an effort to cool off on this hot summer day.  I can't wait to spend 3 more days alone with you Gavin Thomas.

We returned to the splash pad the very next day and it was BIG fun, oh the joy of a little BOY!