Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Millie's Spa Day

Warning: Lots of PINK in this post. Lots.

In my last post, I wrote about how I am made for resort life. Well, I am also made for spa days. I joke that "spa" is my love language. Apparently the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Millie was invited to a princess birthday party for a friend from our church here in Freeport. Since we are new in town, I was honored that Millie was one of the six girls invited. Anyway, the party was at a place called "Miss Katey's." I thought that was probably the name of someone in the church who was hosting the party. I was incorrect. Miss Katey's is a little girls' boutique, charm school, and place for birthday parties. BUT not just any birthday parties....SPA birthday parties.

We arrived right on time, and Millie was offered a robe along with Birthday Girl, Krista. They were escorted into a pink and green spa room where they spent TWO HOURS getting manicures, pedicures, mini-facials (complete with cucumbers on their eyes...which Millie kept calling pickles), hand and food massages, and make-up applications. Wow...I was a little jealous.

My Millie...a girl after my own heart...did not miss a beat. She was the first one to jump up when the ladies asked the girls if they were ready to start. At one point Millie exclaimed: "It's a princessey kind of day!"

I thought surely these 4-6 year olds would tire after a while. Well, TWO HOURS later, they finished their spa treatments and moved into the party room for a craft and cupcakes. Of course, there had to be a wardrobe change from the robes into pink tutus and white tanks that said "Miss Katey's" in sequins. It was hilarious...and so very cute.

What a fun day for my little girl to feel like a princess, celebrate Krista's birthday, and get to have fun with our new friends here in Freeport.

Millie and I...We are made for spa days.

Me and my sweet girl

First up...Millie's manicure. The lady who did it said she really enjoyed talking to Millie.
Wonder what they talked about.

Millie and Christine...one of her new friends.


Facial...she kept telling Hunter that she didn't fall asleep but she "closed her eyes and relaxed."
Rough life.

Complete with a cucumber mask.
Millie kept saying she didn't want pickles on her eyes, but cucumbers were ok.

Wardrobe change...out of robes and into tanks and tutus...working on a craft.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Today was a Great Day

Today was a great day. I needed a great day. I have had some good days here and some bad days here, but today was a great day. Two weeks ago, I was lying in the floor of my closet in the fetal position bawling and crying out: “I hate this place. I want to go home!” I have had some hard days here in the Bahamas. No, it is not all frolicking on the beach and enjoying the peace and quiet of island life…but today was…and it was great.

We spent most of the morning and into the early afternoon at Taino Beach Resort. It was wonderful. We went there for breakfast two weeks ago, but a storm rolled in while we were eating, and we were unable to enjoy the resort. If you patronize the restaurant, you can use the resort. We went back today to “cash in” on our breakfast deposit we made two weeks ago.

Our first stop (with rain coming in slowly…boo) was the pool. Found a shady spot for Will to nap, found a covered area for me to lounge and read, and Donny went exploring the pool area with the big kids. It was great. I got to relax in the shade in the middle of this beautiful resort, and it was wonderful. I am made for resorts.

The cloud cover started to clear after about an hour, so we headed to the beach. Again, wonderful. We found a shaded umbrella/hut/cabana-like area where we could park our stuff. By the time we got out to the beach, Will was ready for nap #2, so I laid out a towel, and off he went into “La La Land.” I wasn’t too far behind. The boys headed out to snorkel, Millie played happily on the beach, and after playing with Millie a little, I set up shop in a lounge chair with my book.

The beach was pretty. The water was beautiful. It was a postcard moment.

Then my postcard changed…to one of those sketchy ones you seen in a run-down beach trinket shop, because the gal in the cabana next to ours decided to tan topless. Really? The boys stayed out in the water the whole time, so there was no harm done, but I really could have done without topless Tammy. I understand that it’s culturally acceptable in some places, and that’s fine, but it does not seem to be the norm here. It’s funny. I felt like a mother hen making sure that I was ready to hop up to ask her to cover up if Donny and Hunter headed back. Unfortunately, I felt a little stressed about it, so I wasn’t as relaxed as I would like at that point. Oh well. It was still a great day.

We headed from the beach to the supermarket to get fun beverages for the family. In the States my post-beach routine is to get a Slurpee from 7-11. Since that is not possible here, we went to the market, I took the kids in, and they got to choose their very own 20oz. bottle (a very special treat in our family). Millie chose Grape Fanta, and Hunter chose Strawberry Fanta. I, of course, got a Diet Coke and got Donny a Ginger Ale. It was fun to let the kids pick whatever they wanted. An added treat on this very great day.

Once home, we declared no naps and let the kids watch a movie. They chose a “Tom and Jerry” video (they LOVE Tom and Jerry), we put Will down, and I headed to the grocery. Not my favorite part of the day but oh so much better when I’ve been relaxing resort-style all morning.

We had dinner together. The kids are in bed, and here I am blogging. Thankful for days like today. I have had some hard days and some good days. Today was a great day.

Really sweet...but they never hold hands like this.

Hunter found a tiny frog at the pool.

Beach Buddies

Donny and Hunter heading out to snorkel

Trying to make it into more pics.
Hunter was the only one willing to pose with me today. Sweet him.

Under our "umbrella" - Will napping on the left, Donny and the kids out in the ocean, and my lounge chair awaiting me...aaaaahhhhh.

The view from my chair. Aaaaaahhhhhh. What a great day.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

William Oliver - 6 Months Old

July 2, 2011 - 6 months old

Six months. Still so in love. Even now just thinking about what to type about Will I am getting teary-eyed. Each of my children is so very special to me. My journey with Will has left me the most exposed. It took this third child to break me of my thoughts that I have it all together. Cause I don’t…and I thought I did with Hunter and Millie. If you are reading this and knew me when Hunter and Millie were babies, I’m sorry if I seemed like I knew everything and had it all together. I don’t.

Will is such a sweetheart at six months. I am taking him next week to have him weighed, but I think he is doing well in terms of nursing and growing. I haven’t been truly confident of his nursing/weight gain one single day of these six months, but our pediatrician has always said he is right where he should be. I haven’t been supplementing with anything in this last month, so his weight check next week should tell me if all is well…which I really, really hope (and think) it is.

Just over a week ago Will found his toes. It’s one of my favorite baby discoveries. I think it’s so funny when they get amused with themselves, and right now his toes amuse him. He can reach and grab most any toy we dangle in front of him. He's not a big fan of tummy time. He doesn’t complain. He just assumes the sleep position. That’s how Hunter and Millie were too, so he’ll get around to hanging out on his belly eventually.

Will is still nursing during the day about every 3 hours. That is VERY different from my experience with Hunter and Millie. By 6 months, they were eating every four hours and eating 5 times per day. Will eats every three hours and gets about 6 (sometimes 7 feedings) per day. He doesn’t always wake up to eat, so he could probably go longer between feedings, but I have been questioning my milk supply, so I have been feeding him more frequently during the day to make sure he is getting enough. He has had a hard time falling asleep at night since we moved to the Bahamas, and I have figured out that nursing him to sleep almost always helps. Yes, you read it, I have been (on occasion) nursing him to sleep (gasp)…even if it’s not time to eat (double gasp). And if he wakes up in the middle of the night (which thankfully has decreased in frequency since we got here), I get up to nurse him. There’s not much he’s crying out these days. He’s my third. We’ve had a rough go of it, and I would rather help soothe him with cuddles and nursing rather than letting him cry it out. Will I pay for it down the road? I really don’t think so, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I really could sit and stare at him all day. His eyes are so big and beautiful. His smiles and noises are thrilling. I still feel like I could burst.

Sweet Will, I love you more than I can say. Six months ago right now I was gathering things to head to the hospital not really believing that it was time for you to come. God, in his sovereignty and grace, knew that it was time. He knew that I needed to be broken and have my heart exposed in ways that could only come with you surprising us with an early arrival. I hold you tighter and snuggle with you longer because of our surprising journey. I was going to call it “not normal,” but it has been God’s normal for us. You and your timing was God’s very best for us. As we enter an uncertain time for our family and Daddy seeking a pastoral call, I pray I will draw on what I have learned from God’s timing and plan with you to know that God’s timing and plan for us with this new stage of life will be perfect. I am so thankful I have you to hold everyday as a reminder of his good plans. I love you, dear Will. My heart overflows and words cannot express. I have been surprised by how much love I could feel for you. Happy six months. They have been six of the hardest and sweetest months I have known, and I treasure every moment of your sweet life.

January 2, 2011 - 5 weeks, 1 day early...

...perfect in God's timing.

April 2, 2011 - 3 months old

July 2, 2011 - Hunter - 6 1/2, Will - 6 months, Millie - 4

What a blessing you are to your Mommy. I love you so much.

Bahamian Soccer Camp

(Written on Thursday, June 30, 2011)

Hunter began soccer camp on Monday. It is a Bahamian camp led by a traveling British group. We didn’t hear about it until last Saturday, talked with Hunter about it on Sunday, and sent him on Monday. It lasts from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. He’s never done any one activity like that for such a long stretch of time, so we were curious as to how he would like it and handle it. He’s done great! He has made some friends (which is great, because he is the only boy his age at church), so I am looking forward to getting a few phone numbers from those families to try to get the boys together once camp is over. I think he has enjoyed the independence. Even today, on day 4, I still wanted to hug him a little longer before he headed across the field to start the day with his team. I could tell that he was trying to humor me but was also ready for me to go (sniff, sniff).

One of the great benefits of soccer camp has been the quality time I have had with Millie (and Will) this week. While Will has napped, Millie and I have had a great time doing her nails, letting her paint with a new art set, making lunch for Daddy, going to the beach…and just enjoying the car rides to and from camp. Donny had the morning off today, so we took her and Will out for lunch at KFC and then to explore the city a little. It was a fun time enjoying our little girl in ways that you just can’t when siblings are competing for attention.

(continued writing this morning, Saturday, July 2, 2011)

I have been having a hard time finding a groove here in Freeport. The days are hot, and there is not much indoor fun to be had here. Since we did not bring a lot of toys with us from home, the kids get bored easily. My creativity is certainly being tested. Soccer camp came at a great time. It forced me into a daily routine, and it forced me to get into town on a daily basis where I could learn the city and the grocery stores a little better. I even got my gas tank filled (which is different…they have gas attendants that do it for you). I also found a few unexpected sales at the stores which, of course, thrilled my deal seeking heart.

It has been a good week. VBS at church awaits us next week. I will be thankful for another week of a routine. I also look forward to quiet mornings with Will.

I am really proud of Hunter. This was a big week which could have been really hard for him. He had a great attitude all week. He told us all about learning how to dribble and kick the ball better. He enjoyed lunches of pizza, hot dogs, and chicken and rice (random). He got to drink lots of punch and other sugary drinks we normally don't let him drink in such large quantities (very proud he got to have his own bottles of them). He was sure to tell me when he chose to play soccer with the big kids rather than take a break to go swim. He confidently ran across the field on that first morning to join the group of 6-18 year olds. My little boy still needs me...but not as much as he used to...and he'll need me even less as he grows. I know he'll always need me...but he is growing up. I love watching it, and it makes me sad at the same time. Lord, grow my boy into a man who loves you and others. Help him be strong and caring, know right and do it, and rely on you for everything. Amen.

Ready for his first day.

Day 2 - Of course, I had to get a pic in the blue uniform

While Hunter was gone, Millie enjoyed painting...

and getting her nails done...

and going on a date to KFC with Mommy, Daddy and Will.

Hunter with his new friend, Carson.

Hunter and Coach Mary...a great coach for him!