Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Comparison Shots

Since we have been to Marco the past few years, it has been fun to compare the shots from previous years. My external hard drive kicked the bucket before I was able to retrieve any of my old pics off it (thankfully they are all printed out and in albums), but here are some from last year and this year (plus a couple that I was able to manipulate from my blog post from this trip last year. See, we even have the perfunctory "shot in perfect grass that never turns out remotely how you want it" shot: (click on these to enlarge)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And yet more from Marco

The trip was great...a little short for Abby and myself, but just about perfect for the rest of the clan. After 2 days, the "other three" were exhausted and ready to head home...I think Abby and I could have stayed another week or two or forty. Nate tolerated this trip a whole lot better than he did last year. It wasn't nearly as hot, since it stormed off and on every afternoon, and the oxygen really did make a huge difference. We kept him off O2 for a little over an hour that first evening so I could take some pictures and we could swim in the pool (too many people to keep his O2 on in the pool), and it was quite evident after a while that he needed the oxygen. He was retracting deeper than I have seen in a long time and from every place you could possibly retract...add in a little shaking each time he would take a breath and bluish lips, and I was a little freaked out. Jay immediately took back up to the room and put him back on his O2 and he improved after a while.
The rest of the time out, we made sure to take his tanks where ever we went. Every 20 minutes or so, we would get him out and put his cannula on for about 10 minutes. He was so good to sit there and rest each and every time. After about 10 mins, he was breathing easier and ready to head back again. At the beach, he kept it on most of the time. He lasted so much longer outside when it was on, as his breathing wasn't nearly as labored.
The next 2 pics are perfect examples of how different of a look you can get in a picture just by adjusting where you stand. This was one evening close to sunset...Nate and Abby picking up shells:
This was taken just a few minutes later on that same evening...right before we headed back towards the hotel. The sun was behind me while taking this shot...a completely different look to the one above, though they were taken merely minutes apart:
Emma hated the beach. The sand, the salt, the fish...she was a big ole' complaining machine the moment she realized we were headed to the beach instead of the pool. I bribed her one morning, telling her that I would turn her into a mermaid if she stopped complaining. Being the princess that she truly is, she obliged. My little mermaid:
She did, however, love the pool! She was all about the slide, once she realized that she could take her floaty down with her. Even though she has been doing awesome swimming underwater by herself lately, she was still a bit freaked out to let that floaty too far out of her sight.
Abby loved the beach this year, which gave me incredible hope that I may have indeed raised a beach bum to hang out with each summer. One afternoon while Emma and Nate were sleeping (Jay also despises the beach, so he gladly offered to stay with them in the room), Abby and I went down to the beach and sat in the water for 2 hours reading the first book of Harry Potter. We also caught coquinas and sand fleas and found some gorgeous shells. It was truly a lot of fun hanging out together.
My favorite times were the evenings, since those were when we would go back to the beach and take pictures. I have loved doing this every year...dress the kids up and then let them get wet and dirty while I snap away. I love this one of Abby helping Nate wash the sand off his hands:
Emma singing to the world:
Em playing in the water:
And of course, another one from the last night...the girls and I always stay and watch the sunset on out last night at Marco and reflect on the fun few days. I love these times with them:

Monday, June 28, 2010

More from Marco

Friday, June 25, 2010

Last day first

We always try to fit in as much as possible on our last morning at Marco...breakfast, pool time, beach, building of the coolest sand castle ever before Destructo-Nateman stomps it down, more pool time...all before the dreaded 11:00am check-out time. We failed in our last-day aspirations yesterday and only made it to the pool for about an hour, mainly because we spent the first half of the morning running each kid back and forth to the toilet. It seems that chlorine is a better stimulant than coffee, bran muffins and prunes combined.Jay had a meeting yesterday morning (Have I mentioned that we go down to Marco each summer because of a conference Jay attends? I love his job sometimes!), so I tackled all three munchkins by myself in the family pool. Positioning myself in the middle of the Y-shaped pool, I was able to keep all 3 of my eyes on all 3 kids in different directions. Abby, the little fish we seemed to birth, was almost impossible to watch since she spent a majority of her time underwater. Emma had removed her floaty-ring to try to impress her new friends with her cool swimming techniques she had learned in her swimming lessons...and by lessons, she totally means all the times we give her a nudge towards the wall and hope she makes it without choking down too much water. They have indeed been the cheapest swimming lessons around, and she is doing purdy darn good. My third eye was fixed on Nafey magic, who was donning some cool arm floaties that were too small for him and barely kept his mouth above the water line. Good thing he liked the cool trinkets in the "walk-in" portion of the pool.Vacation with 3 small kids is not truly the type of vacation most think about when envisioning true west and wewaxation. But there I was, standing mid-pool in water about belly-button height, resting my freshly bronzed shoulders against the rocky pool decorations. Oh, who am I kidding...I'm a red head by trade...resting my freshly lobster-red shoulders against the rocky boulders lining that part of the pool. I was soaking it all up, trying to pull out every last bit of satisfaction and joy in that last morning, when something moving ever so slightly under my chin caught my attention. It was that precise moment when the realization hit me that the moving object was a dear padded thingamajig that made permanent home in my bathing suit top. It has a partner padding which was still tucked nicely in his "slot", but this little guy, well he was trying to make an exit into the world to see what he could see. Upon further inspection, I realized that the only reason the little guy could start to fall out was due to the fact that my bathing suit was completely wrong side in tags and seams and strings and whatever else hanging out as well. Slinking down into the water to chin-depth, all I could was laugh it off. Half way because of embarrassment, but half way because in true fashion, my favorite few days at Marco did indeed end in a memorable way this year.It was a blast as usual, and went by entirely too fast this year. The youngest two were ready to head home, but I think Abby and I needed a couple more days. I'll post pics over the next few days...there were tons of them, so it will take a few days to sort through them all.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Well, I had planned on editing some cool photos while I was here, but I forgot my little thingamajigger that loads my pictures from my camera to the computer. Good thing I brought a couple of books to take the place of computer'll be a true vacation now. We are in the land of my favorite place on earth this week...Marco Island. I believe this is our 5th summer here, and each year just gets better and better. The kid have been talking about this place all year long and are so excited to finally be here again. I have honestly never seen them so rambunctious as they were when we got here. Nathan is doing amazing...after a good long while of being in some sort of exhaustion funk, he seemed to snap out of it last week and is doing amazing. We realized tonight that we can't leave him too long off his oxygen, as we saw some of the worst breathing we have seen in ages from him this evening. But he is really doing great and loving every minute of being here. This truly is one of the greatest places. Be back this weekend with lots of pics...promise.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Who needs a swimming pool?

Don't underestimate the enjoyment of our post-summertime thundershowers...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summertime fun

We had no problems getting the summertime off to a start. After a quick lesson on the new rules and chores of the summer, the girls have willingly done the extra work each day in hopes that they will be rewarded with their first ever "allowance". Emma has big plans to purchase the gaudy Dora tennis shoes she saw the other day because they light up, and in the words of the little princess "people can see me at night when I wear them, and they will think that I'm beautiful." Abby doesn't care as much about the beauty thing...she wants to buy a zhu-zhu pet since her mother has obviously deprived her of this really cool new toy that every kid wants but never plays with once it is out of the box.
The girls are at vacation bible school at the methodist church up the street this week. It is a huge vbs, and the girls are having so much fun! It's the same place where Emma will be attending preschool next year, so she has been saying all week that she is going to school. When I went to pick her up in her classroom today, she had camped out in one of the teacher's laps and was just having a ball. Both girls have come home singing cute little songs and talking about how much fun they are having with their friends. And I have to say that it has been so very nice to have a quiet house for 3 hours each morning while Nate is sleeping and the girls are away. I had no idea how much I could get done when I wasn't constantly being interrupted to get something for someone.
We've been doing our share of swimming. It's been wicked hot this week, so the pool is the only way to go if you want to go outside...
...except if you have t-ball practice. Abby's playing t-ball with the big boys this year, as softball doesn't start around these parts until they are 7. She is 1 of 2 girls on their team, but she is friends with a couple of the boys. She's a bit of a tomboy, that girl.
Practice was cut drastically short (meaning, they basically got to run and practice the art of throwing) because of some nasty lightning in the vicinity. Welcome to Florida, where pop-up storms are some of the greatest things in the summertime. Since it is a christian-based organization, they ended practice with a prayer...I love this picture:
I was quite glad that practice was called off because it was hotter than a tick on a coon dog's back...or something like that. We stayed around for a few more minutes watching a couple of friends finish up their practices, and Nafey boy was mesmerized by it all. He kept asking me "Where's my bat?"...referring to a yellow bat he carries around all the time to knock his sisters upside their noggins. He loves that bat and kept telling me that he needed to bring it so he could play with the boys. His language has just exploded lately, and it has been so much fun to hear him say these long drawn out sentences explaining what is going on in his head. I hope he can really play someday.
The kids loved playing with their friends and taking turns falling off the bleachers. It took me back almost 20 years when we would spend countless hours at the ball fields playing and watching games as kids. Man, those were fun times. I have so many memories of those ball fields and concession stands...of eating as many of those smartie-type suckers as I could buy and climbing on the red dirt pile by the t-ball field. Its funny thinking that the girls are now creating their own memories by doing this same kind of stuff. It's been a great week! Truly, an awesome start to a fun-filled summer.

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