Thursday, October 8, 2015

"Free" and a Half

Last week, Ellie turned "free and a half." We celebrated her half-birthday with a little half birthday cake and the special Disney birthday song my mom used to sing to my sister and me on our half birthdays when we were kids. Ellie picked out her cake flavor and frosting and was so excited to enjoy it! E.J. didn't hate it, either.

The half-birthday girl!

Blowing out her three and a half candles

E.J. is game for this tradition!

I know, half birthdays are somewhat silly to celebrate. But those six extra months mean a lot to kids, don't they? That "and a half" is very important! Ellie is already eager to tell you that she'll be "four for my birthday!" Plus, you know, it's an extra occasion for cake!

Happy Half-Birthday, Ellie-Girl!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The World Golf Hall of Fame

A couple weekends ago, we took advantage of Free Museum Day and made the drive down to St. Augustine to check out the World Golf Hall of Fame. We have been there a couple of times before, but this was E.J.'s first visit. We didn't stay very long, but we had a nice time!

Eric and the kids outside the Golf Hall of Fame!

She's such a natural.

Off to do some museum-ing

The kids especially loved the little putting courses within the museum. Ellie loved having a chance to golf, and E.J. loved having a chance to wander all over the place with a golf ball in each hand.

Ellie and Eric doing some putting

The journey to an E.J. Wa.ters Grand Slam starts right here.

Life's simple pleasures.

Happy golfers!

We explored the exhibits a little more...

Statue of Ben Hogan's swing

Wannamaker trophy replica

U.S. Open Trophy

Masters Trophy

The Claret Jug

Silver-plated scorecards for a U.S. Open champion

Gary Player's Green Jacket

View of the grounds from the trophy room

...then Eric tried his hand at the Challenge Green.


Then, it was back to Jacksonville! It was a nice outing in St. Augustine!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fun at Papa's House

I've already shared all the fun out-of-house activities we enjoyed during our recent trips to St. Petersburg, but we had a great time just hanging out at Papa's house, too.

We had lots of fun in the pool:

We played with all the outdoor toys, including the "kitchen" and golf clubs:

E.J. really enjoyed having Papa around to hold him all the time:

Heather and I drank some wine:

And Aunt Heather and Ellie cuddled and watched Rapunzel together:

The kids played with balloons we brought home from Charlie's party:

We practiced our piano:

And Eric and I managed to get out to Hooters for a little date night to watch some Gator football (thanks, Dad!):

So, a pretty successful couple of weekends at Papa's house!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

60 Years!

Today is my mom's 60th birthday! She is en route to California for a very fun trip, including visits to Jazzercise headquarters and a taping of The Price Is Right, among other things.

So, today we're wishing her safe travels and a great birthday celebration on the west coast to kick off what will certainly be a wonderful new decade! Happy birthday, Mom/Grammy! We love you!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, Achilles!

Achilles doesn't get nearly the blog love that he used to back in our pre-kid days, and frankly, in real life I spend a lot of time hollering at him to get out from underfoot...that is, when he ventures out from hiding (his often unsuccessful attempt at staying out of E.J.'s path of destruction). Poor little guy! I'm sure he longs for child-free NYC street festivals and long afternoons at the dog park, but our lives have changed quite a bit in all these years he's been a part of our family.

But, today is his 12th "birthday," or, the 11th anniversary of his adoption. And, we couldn't let the day go unnoticed. Ellie is especially excited about birthdays these days, so she helped me select a special treat for him at Target last week, and tonight we had a little mini party for him. We sang to him and she very kindly helped him extinguish his candle, then we all ate species-appropriate birthday party food. A good time was had by all.

He is ready for that plate of birthday treats!

Ellie stepping in to help with the candle!

Happy birthday, old man!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Little Bird

My little Ellie bird, flying along Venice Beach.

Friday, September 25, 2015

E.J.'s First Rays Game

The Sunday following Charlie's party, we decided to seize the opportunity to finally get E.J. to his very first Tampa Bay Rays game. It was also his first game in a Major League Baseball stadium! Considering his big sister saw her first Rays game at a mere four months old, and had visited five MLB stadiums by the time she was his age (14.5 months), I would say E.J. has some catching up to do. (For the record, in addition to Tropicana Field, Ellie has also seen games played in Cleveland, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Cincinnati - plus four others in utero!).

It was a 1:00 p.m. game on Sunday against the Orioles, and it was Family Fun Day which meant the kids each received a Rays beanie, and there were lots of fun activities for the kids throughout the concourse. My dad and sister joined us for the fun, too!

Ready for some fun!

Ellie and Eric outside the stadium

Let's do this!

The one kids' activity we really wanted to do was have Topps baseball cards made for each of them. I promised Ellie ice cream if she smiled nice for the picture, and this is what I got:

Neither of them was particularly gung-ho about this plan.

And, this is what she got:

Mmm hmm.

So. Yeah. I think one of us got the short end of the stick there. And the other one got sprinkles.

We found our seats so Ellie could sit and eat her ice cream, and Heather went off in search of more food (french fries for E.J.!). We watched a couple innings from our seats, and E.J. loved it! He enthusiastically clapped whenever anyone else did (which meant he also cheered for the Orioles, which is an issue we'll address, but you know, baby steps). He also ate french fries by the fistful and climbed all over the seats. It was good times for him.

E.J. adores his Papa, and the fact that we were able to stay in our seats as long as we did was probably in large part thanks to E.J.'s willingness to just kick it on Papa's lap for a while.

Ellie sharing her ice cream and E.J. peeking around all, "Hey guys, whatcha eatin'?"

He's a happy boy!

Just your average unicorn, casually watching a baseball game

How many people does it take to protect E.J. from certain peril at a baseball game?

French fries!

Clapping and cheering!

Silly selfies!

Ellie and Aunt Heather sharing a laugh

Be still my heart! Father and son at their first MLB game together.

When the kids started getting a little too fidgety, we set out back to the concourse to find more things to do. We wandered around a bit, with the ultimate destination of the rays touch tank in mind, but alas, the line was epically long so we weren't able to see the rays. Next time!

Happy baby!

Run home, Ellie!

The whole gang

And then we called it a day. We had to get back to my dad's house to load up our stuff and hit the road back to Jacksonville so we could get in at a reasonable hour for dinner and bedtime. We had a great afternoon at the ballpark, though, and we look forward to many more games together as a family!

The end of a fun afternoon!