Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The End

Day seven, Saturday

Once we all got up and moving we pretty much started packing and cleaning. For some reason, Mom had woken up sick in the night and was still not doing so hot that morning. (we now think she had heat exhaustion) We had til noon to be out, and it took dang close to that to get all 15 of us packed and out the door! One last thing that we wanted to make sure happened before we left was to take group pictures. I can't believe that we were all actually able to be there the whole time together, what with all the crazy schedules everyone has. So it needed to be documented! Much less, we wanted some good pics of all Nana's grandkids! Since I have joined the family almost 4 years ago, she has gone from 2 grandkids to 6!! Picture taking time was quite a feat, but we actually came away with some good ones.

Just before heading out of town, we stopped at the beach one last time for our annual family picture. Every year that we have been to the beach Christiaan and I have picked out together a frame and made sure to take a family picture. Then we hit the road! This time I gave mom the front seat since her tummy was still betraying her somewhat, despite the fact that I had doped her up with no less than one Ranitidine, two Pepto, a few swipes of essential oils, and Candice donated a Dramamine to the cause. As is typical for the return trip home, we had gathered significantly more than we came with, so our close quarters were bordering on sardine status. I literally was sitting on my own pillow and stuffed all the others around the kids, which meant I had to unstuff the backseat every time we stopped!

On the way home, we stopped for lunch at Rudy's just before we reached Houston, then needed a bathroom break and diaper change stop just north of Houston, and then stopped for beef jerky at Woody's Smokehouse in a town who's name escaped me. Had I been able to see out the windows, I might have noticed it. :) We pulled into our driveway sometime around 6pm, where I had mixed feelings about being home again.

What a fantastic trip we had! I know how stupid and cliché that sounds, but its the truth. I am grateful for our extended family, grateful for all the time we got to spend together, grateful that my mom got to come and had a great time too, and for so many other things I could keep listing. I can't imagine being part of a family that I didn't enjoy being with, or that didn't accept me. Which I know is a lot sometimes, HA!! I hope that they all feel the same way! And that we can keep going on vacations every year. Its not a glamorous cruise or trip across the ocean, but the quality time we get on these trips is worth more happiness than any of those could bring! I've been seriously missing the beach, Galveston, fun outings, an excuse to day drink (HA!), and our family that we rarely get to see, so so much!!  Thanks to everyone for such great memories!

A few last jumps on the bed

D and Jaden doing some last minute playing

The man that owns the house came to mow while we were packing up. Elan spent a good while staring out the window at him saying TRACTOR in that distinctive deep voice of his!

Nana's grands

A bunch of Romero's

Jason, Edna, Juju, Jazzy, and Jaden

Brandon, Candice, and Elan

Seriously, these guys are a mess! They are also both pretty obsessed with their older cousin Juju, who I am sure probably got tired of being followed/chased by them. Funny fact: Although Carter is a little over 3 and Elan will be 2 in October, they are only one pound different and wear pretty much the same size clothes and shoes. Essentially Carter is a shrimp(albeit a tough one) and Elan is what we refer to my mom's family as a big'un.

Nana loves her some Delaney!

Mom looks really dang good for someone who as recently as a half hour prior to this picture may or may not have tossed her cookies. May I add though, do you see where my humidity induced hair frizz comes from? She was frustrated with her hair the whole trip!

Poor little black eye!

Our house! That window sticking out was a window seat in our bedroom. The porch wrapped around 2 sides of the house with a picnic table and several lounge chairs around. The downstairs patio had an outdoor shower, two hammocks, a porch swing, and another picnic table and several more lounge chairs. It was pretty perfect. And the owner told us that they are planning on finishing out another bedroom and bathroom downstairs by next summer! We loved this house!

Saying goodbyes....I guess Carter is REALLY going to miss Elan!

Juju loves

The downstairs patio

Daddy's girl.

Sweet Jazz! Check out her totally natural ombre shading in her hair! The coloring of her hair is gorgeous!

Juju is a baby whisperer

Beach picture

Just a little in-car entertainment

Ignore the mouth full of grapes

She did this pretty much the whole drive

A little late with the goggles.....

Ribbit needed a pair too.....

Monday, July 29, 2013

Part three

Day five, Thursday

Edna, Jazzy, and Juju had plans to meet their friends at Schlitterbaun, Brandon, Candice, Debra, and Jason decided to do some things in town, and so we decided to go to the beach. Christiaan first took Mom and Carter to look for some shells at the end of the pass, which was not too far down the road. After they returned and Delaney woke up from her nap, we went to the beach.  Except when we pulled in there were all kinds of emergency vehicles and personnel walking around. Eventually we got out and Mom asked one of the EMT's if it was ok to be there, as in did we need to watch for a body to wash ashore or something, and he assured her that they had a man in distress but everything was fine. So we set up camp using the new beach tent that we had purchased. Let me tell you, that thing was well worth the $20!! I would have paid much more for it! Delaney took a nice nap in the shade.

By the time we had enough beach for the day, everyone else was making their way back, so I took Carter with all the kids to the pool. Christiaan and the guys took the boat out until dark, and we all got cleaned up and waited for him to get back. As soon as he did, we jumped into the truck and flew into town to check out Pleasure Pier at night. This was another must-do on my list for the week, since it wasn't open the last trip there! The kids were exhausted and we forgot the stroller, but it was a neat and quick experience. It kinda stinks that you have to pay $10 a person just to walk on the pier, plus pay per ride, so I don't know that we will do it again until the kids are big enough to do more rides. Carter only wanted to ride a truck ride that just went in circles, and for some stupid reason he wasn't tall enough to ride alone. Even though it was essentially stationary, you had to be 42 in for it, yet only had to be 36 in. to drive the mini bumper cars or do a ride that physically went up into the air. Whatever. So, guess who got to ride with him....Momma of course!

I'd like to take a moment to make a PSA.....while at the beach, I generally don't wear make up, and my hair is uncontrollable in most forms, therefore looking like I have been electrocuted. So please excuse my appearance in many of these pictures.
Off the bed. Again.

Elan wanted to play Connect Four too

Elan was practicing photography

Like father, like son!!

"Sumscreem" is always a huge battle. Especially when it comes to his face. So, that morning I said, fine, do it yourself!! Except umm, not quite.

Walking to find shells

Looked like a crime scene at the beach

She thought she was big stuff sitting in Brother's seat!

Shaking it

Borrowing GranPam's chair

The water truly is her happy place!

Mom again

Naptime! Luckily the sound machine choice we use is the ocean, so it was easy for her to crash

While she napped, GranPam and Carter hunted for treasure. After digging up some bottle caps, Christiaan buried some pennies when Carter wasn't looking for them to find. It totally made his day!

And his buried treasure. Four bottle caps and four pennies.

Pleasure Pier at night from the sea wall

Naturally, he wanted cotton candy. He kept saying "hot'n candy is my favwite!"

Day six, Friday

Despite getting in late the night before, Christiaan got up early with his brothers and headed out to fish.  He was actually somewhat successful this time though! We found out from a few locals that fishing had been slow the last few weeks. Bummer, since we caught so much last trip! While the guys were fishing, Candice and I took the boys to the beach. Debra and Jazzy met us there after going looking for shells. We noticed a couple dead jellyfish washed up and buried them, then Juju got stung on his wrist a little bit. We couldn't convince him to pee on it to make it better. HA!! Then Candice got stung on the back of her leg, and when Elan suddenly began to cry and hold his toe, we assumed it was yet another jellyfish and decided we were done with the beach. Bummer, since it was the last opportunity to swim! The guys came back soon after we did, and after eating lunch and cleaning up Christiaan and mom and I decided to go into town to take Carter to make a Build A Bear at the Rainforest Café. He chose to make a frog which he named Ribbit. Creative. Mom took him on the little water ride they have, which he LOVED!!

After a quick trip to Murdoch's to finish up our souvenir shopping, we met the rest of the group at Tortuga for dinner. The food was delicious! I had stuffed avocado, with veggies, fish, and shrimp on top of it. The kids were bonkers though, like as in they both screamed and were crazy people. Thank God that we(as in me and Candice) had already decided that all of us women deserved a girls night out! After dropping all the kids and men back at the house, me, Candice, Kristi, and Debra went to a place down the way called Woody's. Mom opted to stay back, and Edna, ahem, over imbibed a bit too much before we left, so she stayed back too. The place was really cool, right over the water, but was dead for a Friday night! Guess its not the busy night. It was so nice though to get to hang out with just them. I am still the newbie in the family, so I got to hear a lot of stories and stuff from them that my quiet husband has never talked about. I am so lucky to have in-laws that I love to be around! We will have to make sure we get a girls night on every trip now!

The boys

Double trouble! We joked that it was good that we live four hours apart, because if these two spent much time together, they'd be up to no good!!

Meanwhile on the fishing boat....yes that would be SHARK that my hubby caught!! He caught two actually, he says they are bonnet head sharks.

AND he caught this nasty looking sting ray! EW!! Look at how veiny it is!!! He caught a couple of fish that were big enough to eat, which he promptly cleaned and fried for lunch.

Carter passed out while waiting for me to get showered and ready

Stuffing Ribbit

Giving him a bath. He even held up his feet to dry them off. What a mess.

GranPam bought Ribbit a souvenir shirt.

"Mom!! It's waining in this place!!!" Yes son, its the RAINforest Café...

D loved the fish. Oh, and we forgot the damn stroller again. Thank God for the Moby wrap!!

BAHAHAHAHA!!!! Rasta baby

Back at Murdoch's

Pleasure Pier in the day time

Monkey see, monkey do. Candice thanked us for our son teaching Elan that there were holes in the side of his head.

We told them it was Debra's birthday! HAHAHA!! Which, technically is August 1, and we won't all be able to celebrate with her, so it works!

Everyone had to try on the sombrero!