Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Beach Party

Last Saturday, we enjoyed having some family members up for the girls' birthday party.  Unfortunately, we had just gotten over a week of sickness (more flu/cold), but were able to get better and deep clean/sanitize the house to have people over.  Abby decided she wanted a beach theme, so we had a lunch with beach picnic-y kinds of food, sand buckets with snacks in them, flip flop lights, and wall decorations.  My mom made cupcakes, which we decorated with blue frosting and crushed nilla wafers for sand/ocean water, with teddy grahams on beach towels or floaties.  Both of my grandmas were able to come, as well as my aunt Lori and uncle Jon, my aunt Mara, and my parents/sister.  A small crew, but we had fun catching up.  We love time with family!

Norah is 3!

Norah had her golden birthday on March 3rd!  Unfortunately/fortunately, Abby was home sick with the flu, which meant I was able to stay home with both girls.  Norah wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and pizza for supper, which we still did despite the fact that we were all crossing our fingers that everyone else wouldn't catch the flu.  Norah ended up with it the next day, but at least wasn't sick on her actual birthday!  We just went in today for her 3-year checkup, and she's weighing in at 26 pounds, 9 ounces (10th percentile) and her height is exactly 3 feet (25th percentile).  She continues to be our little peanut, but she is definitely a big personality in a little body.  You will often find her singing and making up songs, reading, making sure everything is put away and organized, or trying to play with Abby's toys.  Norah still loves fruit the best, and has especially become a fan of making fruit smoothies.  She loves going to ECFE on Wednesdays, but still hasn't warmed up to going to Sunday School without me there, too.  It's been fun to see Norah pick up on new vocabulary and say some of the funniest things.  We are so blessed with Norah!

Last month, I asked Norah a few "interview" questions so we could document what Norah likes best at age 3.  Here goes:

Favorite color:  red
Favorite movie:  101 Dalmations (probably since we were watching that at the time...:)
Favorite TV show:  Sofia the First
Favorite food:  mac and cheese
Favorite drink:  milk
Thing she likes to do with Mommy:  play with her
Thing she likes to do with Daddy:  read a book with Daddy
Thing she likes to do with Abby:  sit with her

Florida trip

At the end of January, we enjoyed a relaxing trip to Anna Maria Island, Florida, with my family.  My parents rented a house a block away from the beach, and we were just an hour and a half drive from Disney World, so it was perfect!  The girls were excited for the plane ride, and it went really well.  We were lucky to get a newer plane with free entertainment on each seat, so the girls were able to choose their own movies to watch.

We soaked up as much sun and warmth as possible while in Florida!  Even though the weather was cooler by Florida standards, it felt amazing to us!  The girls loved digging in the sand at the beach and looking for shells.  I loved sitting in the sun and reading at the beach during naptime.  The house had a backyard pool, and if the sun was in the right spot, it (sort of) felt good enough to go for a swim--we did that twice.

On one of the cooler days, we went on a tour of a fruit farm.  Along the tour, they also had a little mini petting zoo/rehab facility for animals, so the girls were able to pet and see some interesting animals.  We all loved the fruit and fresh-squeezed juice/lemonade samples in the store inside!  We also had a yummy lunch there.

Early Tuesday morning, Dave, Abby, Norah, and I got up and drove to Orlando.  We spent the day at the Magic Kingdom.  Unfortunately, we didn't discover until lunch time (and after waiting in line for 2 hours to see Anna and Elsa) that Greg had hooked us up with unlimited Fast Passes...meaning we could have Fast Passed the 2-hour Anna/Elsa line...  Oh, well!  Once we figured that out, it was a game changer--we could just walk on to any ride or to any character.  We were able to do and see so much!  Another bonus that day was that after the fireworks, they announced that they'd be keeping the park open an extra hour.  It was a long and busy day, but we all had so much fun.  Abby even went on a few roller coasters...her least favorite being Space Mountain, which was her first ride of the day, too...she was not a fan!  She did go on the Seven Dwarfs mine ride twice, though!

We spent the night at the All-Star Music Resort, where they had put us in a suite, even though we had paid for a regular room...another bonus!  It was a quick night, though, and we were up and ready for Hollywood Studios on Wednesday.  We enjoyed all of the shows and multiple rides on Toy Story Mania that day.

When we got back to Anna Maria Island, my brother, Greg and aunt/uncle had arrived.  We enjoyed the next several days with them, spending more time at the beach (where we saw our first dolphin, just swimming along the shore), visiting a few shops, and donuts at the cute little donut shop in town where you choose your toppings.  We took an excursion on a boat with my dad and sister, where we chased after several dolphins and stopped at a a few sandbars to find starfish and other sea creatures.  We were able to bring back some starfish, sand dollars, and some really neat shells that we found.

The week went fast, but we packed a lot in and were still able to relax and enjoy the nice weather.  We are so thankful for this wonderful trip!