Friday, August 31, 2012
For her 4th birthday, our friend Caroline had a Superhero party. Josh desperately wanted to be Spiderman but we cajoled him into being the Incredible Hulk while Emma went dressed as Batgirl. We certainly felt safe at the party with all the Superheroes in attendance and Caroline's Mom and Dad did a great job planning some games and ensuring that the kids and adults alike had a great time.
When Great Grandma came to visit, she brought a new sprinkler for the kids. We broke it out one night after dinner to hopefully tire them out and get some relief from the summer heat. Both kids initially complained about how cold the water was but eventually came around and had some fun. It probably only felt cold compared to the pool, which had felt like bath water.
We had visits from all the grandparents at one point over the summer much to Emma and Josh's great delight. I think they got spoiled a bit. We did manage to get in a little outside time with Bo and Gram even though it was late July and hot, hot, hot. On a side note, I don't think I have mentioned how much Josh loves basketball and he has gotten really good at dribbling the ball. The other night I counted at least 28 bounces and he was the one that picked the ball up to stop. He can also dribble switching back and forth between his right and left hands.
We decided to split the trip home into two days as well, which worked out much better for the kids. Since we didn't have a 9 hour drive ahead of us, we took our time leaving Thursday morning. We got out to the beach one more time and then gave the kids a little more time in the pool. We also decided to stop at the USS Alabama in Mobile. By the time we stopped there, Josh was spiraling down a little since he was tired. Unfortunately, in order to buy tickets to get on the battleship, you have to go into the gift shop where Josh had a major meltdown because he wanted some toy or the other. Thankfully we pushed forward and once we got onto the battleship, he came around and really enjoyed checking it out. They also have a hangar with numerous planes and helicopters and a submarine to tour. Summer vacation 2012 was a raging success!
We got treated to an air show on Wednesday morning of our vacation. The Blue Angels were practicing for an upcoming air show right over the water for at least 45 minutes to an hour. Brad was in heaven. The kids thought it was a little loud so they spent most of their time watching from inside the room at the window.
Our days on vacation pretty much followed the same theme, spend some time on the beach, spend some time in the pool, eat some lunch, get some rest, spend some time in the pool, eat dinner, get some sleep and repeat. The hotel we stayed at is great for kids and even better than the previous year. This time around, there was a mermaid there every afternoon and she always ended her time by doing mermaid makeovers. The pirates were also there a couple of times and while Josh was excited about them in theory, he majorly choked when it came time for a photo op. There was also more dining options than I remembered the previous year and thankfully the kids did great with walking a little distance. Another new feature was the 360 directly across from our hotel that we rode one night after dinner. The kids loved going around and getting the whole view of the beach.
After the first day, Emma ditched the swim belt and Josh traded out her old purple/hot pink swim vest for the belt. They both did a great job and came a long way towards swimming on their own.
Even though they didn't want to walk out into the ocean by themselves, both Emma and Josh were much more willing to go out into the water with us holding them this year.