Water Kid

Sim was playing around with some of the video footage we shot using our new GoPro HD Hero 960 video camera (which we took turns wearing on the head strap around Great Wolf Lodge) and made this “movie trailer” using iMovie. It is pure awesomeness. Behold:

The Great Wolf Surprise

We started out our trip to Seattle with our traditional picture on the hotel bed.

Then took a few minutes to admire the view…

And enjoy our little family in our beautiful hotel room.

While we were in Seattle, we made our way through a list of things we HAD to do. Visit our friends, Ryan, Ciara, and Juniper. See the Space Needle/Wheedle on the Needle. And of course, eat the homemade donuts at Lola. Once we finished those items, we were free to continue on with Phase Two of our little mini vacation. We told Ana we were heading home. Along the way, I said I needed to stop and use the bathroom. When we pulled over, this is what happened:

Yep. We planned a one night stay at the Great Wolf Lodge.

So we got to do another hotel bed picture.

Then the girls were ready to hit the pool.

Ana was super excited because she grew since the last time we visited GWL and she could go on more of the areas in the water park. Like the Big Foot Pass obstacle course…

and riding the family-size raft down the River Canyon Run.

I think Ana’s favorite thing was swimming around in the giant wave pool.

Hadley had a great time watching all the chaos of the water park.

Then we saved some time to play MagiQuest.

While Hadley snoozed in the Baby Bjorn.

Eventually all good things come to an end and we had to leave. But we had another amazing time at Great Wolf Lodge and cannot wait to go back again! You can see all the pictures here and here.

The Newest Karate Kid

Last week Ana had her first “Lil Dragon” karate class. She has been obsessed with karate ever since we made the mistake of letting her watch The Karate Kid (I have to give it to her, Ralph Macchio can be very persuasive.) She kept talking about karate so when I found the class in the THPRD summer activities guide I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for her to give it a try.

We signed up for the class with Ayden and Owen, who are also obsessed with martial arts (though I suspect, it has less to do with Ralph Macchio).

The teacher allowed us to stay in and watch the first class so we got to observe the “Lil Dragons” in action.

They started warming up with drills.

(My sweet girl reminding me she loves me by blowing me a kiss.)

They did some kicks.

Then did some jumps.

And wrapped up with some stretches.

Ana had a fun time and keeps asking when she gets to go back to class again. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the session progresses. You can see all the pictures here.

A Letter: Seven Months

Dear Hadley,
Today you turn seven months old. It has been such a busy and exciting month for you. You have had so many milestones, firsts, and things going on, that it is almost hard to know where to begin. All I know is that it has been so much fun watching you conquer the world around you.

I guess if I had to start somewhere, the big news this month is that you started solid food. You are an amazing eater. Regardless of what we are feeding you or how much you like it (Carrots are your favorite. Peas are not.) you will always open your mouth for another bite. You even manage to (mostly) keep your hands out of the way, so you stay relatively clean as you eat your meals (which delights me to no end). You don’t like to play with your food. To you, meal time is NOT play time. You get down to business and I could not be happier about it.

You have also finally mastered sitting up, and you now do it like a pro. Unless you get overly excited about something or you get knocked over by one of our animals (or a “helpful” older sister), I can pretty much guarantee when I set you down in a seated position, you will be in the same spot when I return.

However, if I set you down on your tummy, all bets are off! You have started scooting…backwards. It frustrates you to no end that you try and try AND TRY to move forward but you are constantly stuck in reverse. A lot of the time this results in you getting stuck under various pieces of furniture.

A few weeks ago we took you to the beach for the first time. Not just to the coast (where a lot of our family lives) but to the actual BEACH. Sand and all. It was a pretty nice day so we decided to venture out and let you take it all in. We set you down and you immediately reached down with both hands and ran your fingers through the sand. Before we knew it, you were covering your legs with sand and wiggling around in delight.

Almost as shocking as your reaction to sand, was your reaction to grass. When we set you down directly on the lawn for the first time instead of recoiling in shock at the spiky new texture, you reached down with both hands and grabbed it by the fistfuls. It was everything we could do to keep you from tearing all the grass right out of the ground! It never ceases to amaze me how fearless you are of new things. Nothing takes you by surprise and very rarely does anything even bother you.

In the same trip to the beach, we let you sit up in the stroller for the very first time. During our Stroller Strides classes, I still have you snuggled in to your car seat in the stroller (so you are more secure AND so you are more likely to fall asleep), but for this adventure we wanted you to be alert and able to see everything around you. You didn’t seem to care too much about this new seating arrangement… you were more concerned with the array of straps and buckles you had yet to taste.

Another very exciting thing happened this month: your Grandpa Larry held you for the very first time. This may seem like an odd thing to have happen seven months into your life, but my Dad isn’t too keen on holding the little babies (he says that is what Grandma’s are for) but he has a great time rough-housing with his grandchildren once they are a little less, uh, fragile. So when he swooped down and picked you up off the couch the other day, it broke my heart just a little bit to acknowledge how quickly you are growing up.

With your ever increasing physical abilities and interests in the world around you, the options to keep you entertained are expanding all the time. While we were playing outside the other day you were eying our Cozy Coupe. I looked at it, looked and you, and thought, “Why not?” So I plopped you inside the car and watched your eyes go wide with delight when within a matter of minutes you were not only sitting up in the car, but you started moving it (backwards, of course!) with your tiny feet. Have I told you lately that you are still suppose to be a baby? Because I am not ready for you to be a KID just yet.

Ana is also thoroughly enjoying that you can do more things so she can FINALLY play with you. Right now she is finding the most success playing food related games (restaurant, tea party, etc.) because everything she gives you goes straight into your mouth. She is much more accepting of this fact when you are shoving a plate or cup into your mouth rather than one of her La La Loopsy dolls.

It has been such a fabulous month with you. I love watching you experience things for the first time. I love the way you smile every time you see me. And I even love it when you cry when I set you down because I know that it is just your way of telling me that you love me and you need me. I know that I may not always be the most important person in your world, but at this moment I am and for that I am eternally grateful.

All my love,