Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Chattanooga Nature Center

After the zoo, we still had a whole afternoon of time to fill. We tried to go to Ruby Falls, but it was so crowded when we got there. It was about an hour plus wait just to get down into the cave, so we decided that with two antsy kids, that we would save that activity for another time. I was kind of bummed that we couldn't do it. That is one of my favorite places to go in Chattanooga. We didn't go earlier because I honestly didn't think they would let us take such young children on - I learned to do a little bit better research next time! Since we had some time to kill, we went to the Chattanooga Nature Center. It is a trail through the woods that leads up to a wildlife conservancy area. They had some wolves their, a bald eagle, a hawk, some owls, and a bobcat. Mikayla particularly liked the bald eagle. She had just purchased a bald eagle at the zoo (even though we didn't see any there...) and her eagle was on our adventure with us. She liked comparing her eagle with the real one.
Mikayla with her eagle.
The had a tree house there that was literally built around the trees. It was pretty neat to see.

A picture of Gavin just being cute! After the hike through the woods, you can drive through their "botanical gardens." I put this in quotation marks, because it just seemed to be a drive through the woods and near the river. It was very pretty, but I wouldn't exactly call it a botanical garden. We did get to see a blue heron on the river which was pretty neat.

As you can see, we had alot of fun on our mini-vacation. We learned some things about traveling with multiple children, that should hopefully help us in the future. Mikayla had alot of fun playing in the indoor pool. She even got a little brave (in my opinion a little too much) about trying to swim without her floaties. She's getting better everyday with that skill. I can't believe how fast she is growing up! I am really glad that we had this time together as a family - it was a wonderful weekend!

The Chattanooga Zoo

Saturday morning, we went to the Chattanooga Zoo. It is much smaller than Zoo Atlanta, but they had some neat exhibits. It also starting sprinkling just after we got there, but we still had a nice time. Luckily, the kids didn't seem to mind being a little wet.Originally, we thought this was a gorilla, but it was in fact a chimp. Mikayla like watching them walk all around.
This is was a snow leopard that kept staring at Mikayla. I was very thankful that their was a large piece of glass between him and my little girl!

This monkey came right up to the glass and played with Mikayla a little bit. It was so fun to watch.
In this exhibit, the cougar had a little perch within the viewing area that he was sitting in when we got there. It was pretty cool to be so close to such a big cat.
Mikayla had some more fun getting to dress up at the zoo!
We ended the day with a carousel ride. I kept trying to get Mikayla to sit on one of the animals that went up and down, but she wanted to sit on the tree frog. She had alot of fun going around and around.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Children's Discovery Museum

After the Aquarium on Friday, it was raining pretty heavily, so we decided to go to the Children's Discovery Museum. It is basically a big place for kids to learn things in a play environment. We had so much fun their and the kids really liked being able to get out and have fun. I wish we lived closer, because this place would be some place I would frequent.
In this area, Mikayla got to be a paleontologist and look for dinosaur bones. She loved having the opportunity to play in the sand. They had a whole area of musical instruments. This was in the "wind instrument room" Pressing on the black bellows, made music come out of the pipes, similar to a pipe organ.
Mikayla loved this. You could stand in front of the camera and your image was put on the screen with some fun graphics and colors. Mikayla just danced all over and loved seeing herself up on the big screen, especially doing such silly things.
Mikayla playing the drums.

They had an infant play area. I let Gavin crawl around here for awhile, while Jeremy and Mikayla went and revisited some of her favorite areas. He loved being able to crawl freely instead of in the confines of our hotel room. I also discovered that he does have the ability to crawl up the stairs.
He was quite enamoured with the baby in the mirror. He kept kissing that cute little baby!
This picture turned out so cute. Looking at it made me very thankful to just be taking home one of those babies.
I just love this cute little smile!!!
This is a picture of Mikayla popping the huge bubble that had just surrounded her.

Tennessee Aquarium

On Friday, we went to the Tennessee Aquarium. Jeremy and I have been a couple times, but it had been along time. They have made some great improvements, and we throuroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was very nice to not have to deal with the huge crowds that we have always experienced at the Georgia Aquarium. They have some fancier exhibits at the Georgia Aquarium, but when dealing with two kids, I really enjoyed have to navigate through fewer people to see things.
They had a butterfly garden at the aquarium, which as you can tell was a big hit with Mikayla. This one had a broken wing. Mikayla was able to put her finger underneath it and it stepped onto her. She was so excited to hold a butterfly.
This is a Gavin doing what he did most of the time we were on vacation. He just hung out in his stroller and sucked on his shoes. He was a champ during our whole vacation, especially when you consider the complete lack of a schedule.
The biggest change at the aquarium was their new shark exhibit. Mikayla really liked seeing all of his teeth.

Mikayla and I in the seahorse exhibit. They had some displays of some seahorses with some pretty amazing camoflauge disguises. Mikayla kept asking why they were wearing leaves.
This was a place where you could step into a plastic bubble that was in the tank. Mikayla was pointing at "Nemo."
Mikayla tried to be brave and touch a stingray. She instead decided to just splash the water a little bit.
I had to throw in this picture of these turtles. Look how long their necks are!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

We're in "Chance-a-newga!"

Well, we made it to Chattanooga today. Jeremy and I decided we needed a little family getaway, so we made the two hour drive north just inside Tennessee. The whole way up there, Mikayla kept asking if we were in "Chance-a-newga" yet. It was pretty cute!

When we first got here, we decided to visit Rock City. Rock City is this large area, nestled in the mountains, full of rock paths, flower beds and beautful sights. Mikayla really enjoyed herself and Gavin seemed to just be in awe of everything.

This is a picture of "mushroom rock" - I thought it looked pretty neat.
The infamous Rock City birdhouse.
This is the view from "Lover's Leap" It says that you can see seven states from the vantage point.

They had several of these set up throughout the peak of the mountain. Mikayla enjoyed playing dressup!
This is fat man's squeeze - thankfully we all fit - Gavin liked touching the side of the rock.
This is a picture of the swinging bridge that we just walked over. It didn't look that bad initially, but half way over I started getting very nervous, but at that point, you just had to finish. I'm sitting there thinking, that the most important people in my life are suspended far above the ground and are fully dependant on mom and dad for their safety. We made it though!!
Family portrait - Mikayla is definitely our little cheese ball!

We are having a great time. Our hotel has a heated indoor pool, which we all had fun visiting last night. Sleeping in a hotel room with two kids is challenging, but we are surviving. Today we are visiting the Tennessee Aquarium and either the Children's Museum or the zoo. We'll be sure to post picture soon!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Our new patio set

We have been wanting to get a new patio set for quite some time. We had hand-me-down set, but the chairs were starting to fall apart and we only had two functional ones. I was at Kroger the other day and saw this set. It was originally $300 and it was marked down to $180. We are very happy with it. We are grilling out tonight and eating outside. Mikayla is very excited. (so are we!)

Play Ball!

Well, the soccer portion of Mikayla's camp is over, so this week we started t-ball. I've decided that Mikayla has no natural athletic ability, but she does have alot of fun (that's all that matters, right?)
Here is Mikayla running the bases. She had a tendency to run them in a zig, zag pattern. It was cute.
Mikayla loved hitting the ball. She hit the tee and the air, more often than the ball, though.
After she batted, she was so excited. She ran towards me and kept saying, "I batted, I batted!" I love her excitement and enthusiasm.

I'm sitting up now!

Gavin is sitting up in the bath tub which he absolutely loves. Mikayla also likes it. She loves having him in the tub with her and being able to play with him. I would have included a pic of the two of them together, but I didn't have any cute, modest ones ;-) .

With him sitting up, I get a lot more wet now. He loves to splash the water, over and over and over and over.....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Toddler's Mind

Mikayla says the cutest things, lately.

Today, we had Sunday dinner at my parent's house. We were eating corn on the cob. Mikayla was so excited to be eating "corn with handles." As she was eating the corn, she started getting upset. I asked her what was wrong and she waid that she needed more corn because she didn't want to eat the "feathers" (the leftover husks after biting off the corn). It was pretty cute.

Later, when we were getting ready to go home, she asked me for some cookies. She had been a really good eater all day, so I decided that she could have some. I gave her a little 100 calorie pack of chocolate cookies and she proceeded to exclaim that "cookies are good for my body". Amen, Mikayla!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A fun page
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I'm just a love machine

My sister took this cute pic of Gavin today. He was crawling around and his shirt came unbuttoned. He looked like a little Italian lover. All he needs is a little chest hair.

It has been a busy couple of weeks for Gavin. In the past two weeks he has...
Cut two teeth (sorry for the sideways pic - Blogger keeps inserting it like this),

Mastered crawling,
sat up, and
learned to pull himself up.
It scares me how fast he has accomplished all of these things. We have spent this week installing gates, checking that all outlets are covered and other babyproofing tasks. I have a feeling this guy will be quite the climber and love getting into things!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Fourth of July. We had a very long, busy, and fun day.

We first started our day at our church's annual picnic. Jeremy was at work, but I took both of the kids myself. It was a very toasty morning. I was thankful to be there and not running in the Peachtree Road Race downtown.

Mikayla had alot of fun playing on the playground at the picnic. It's nice to not have to keep a constant eye on her anymore, just a close one ;-).
After all of the morning festivities, we headed down to my parent's home and spent the day with them. My mother prepared a wonderful barbecue dinner and we had alot of our extended family come. We had a great time with everyone. After dinner, we packed up the kids and headed down into Alpharetta for their fireworks show. I have been going to Wills Park to watch the fireworks show there since I was a little girl. I am so glad to continue the tradition with my own children.
My mom found this child size camping chair last year on clearance at The Home Depot. Mikayla loved having her own chair that was just her size.

Look at Gavin's blue, blue eyes. He started out the night hanging out in the stroller, but that didn't last very long.
Mommy with her silly little girl.
The whole family. Can you tell that Jeremy absolutely LOVES to take pictures. I am can usually get him to sit for at least one on holidays to commerate the day, but that is about it.
I found these glow necklaces at Big Lots a couple of weeks ago. They were a big hit.
Gavin had a great time hanging out with my dad.
Mikayla was actually a little frightened of the fireworks this year. Nothing awful, but she definitely didn't like the loud noises. I was suprised by this, because she has never had a problem before. Gavin did great! He was fussy/tired leading up to the start of the show, but once they started, he sat quietly in my lap in awe of the light show in front of him.
I hope that everyoone had as wonderful a time as we did!