Monday, October 30, 2017


Forest turned four today! We have survived the terrible twos and the trying threes and now are welcoming the 'fabulous fours' with open arms. This past year has been remarkable in terms of development, the last 6 months especially. There were a few worrisome months in there where we fretted over his social skills, but as time goes by, we feel re-assured that it's a personality issue rather than a developmental one. His new school has been wonderful and though his teachers describe him as quiet, bashful and introverted, they also remark on how empathetic, easy-going, and thoughtful he is. They say he is observant and cautious, but once he gets engrossed in an activity, all that self-consciousness melts away. He's a stickler for rules and as always, thrives when he has clear boundaries and knows what to expect. At home and when he's comfortable, he quickly comes out of his shell and becomes the most energetic and boisterous kid in the room. Who knew a four year old could have so many layers? 

Here are just a few stats at this moment in time:

Height: 43 inches (94%)
Weight: 41 lbs (89%)
Favorite color: blue
Favorite toy: Train tracks
Favorite Movie: Cars and Planes 
Favorite TV show: Daniel Tiger and Bob the Builder
Favorite Book: I'm a Frog by Mo Willems
Favorite song: Nancy Mulligan by Ed Sheeran
Best friends: Cousin Andrew, Duck Andrew (preschool, this is his phrasing and how he distinguishes them), Nolan, Dylan and Quinn
Favorite place: The ice cream shop (chiller bee)
Activities: Gymnastics, Awanas, BSF
 Happy birthday, gorgeous angel! Watching you grow is our favorite thing.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Riviera Maya Family Vacay

It feels a little bit weird to be writing about our family vacation to Mexico in hindsight because we've literally been planning this for years. My parents are members of the Karisima resort group which gives them discounted access to resorts all over the world. Their favorite spot is the Riviera Maya area, which I can't complain about since it's less than a 2 hour flight from Houston. Honestly, we couldn't drive to 95% of Texas in the time it takes to fly to Mexico so it's a super easy trip to paradise. 

The resort we stayed at was Generations Riviera Maya which is nextdoor to El Dorado Casitas and Royale resorts. 

While the adults all had access to the three resorts, Generations was the only kid-friendly site so Forest was stuck there. Fortunately, they had a Kid's Club where we could drop him off, and he absolutely loved it which gave us a lot of freedom. Seriously, each morning we'd ask if he wanted to go to the beach or swimming or to Kid's Club and he chose Kid's Club every single time. On our final day, we asked what his favorite part of Mexico was and he said, you guessed it, Kid's Club. He's already too cool to hang out with his parents all day.

The only negative was that the resort was very loud and had more of a party atmosphere than a family-friendly vibe.  

The music was bumping from naptime til way past bedtime which made it stressful with our still napping, early-bedtime guy. Fortunately my parents had an apartment suite with a wall separating the party pool from the living room, and they graciously allowed Forest to sleep in there so that he could get his much needed rest. It worked because he took some serious 'wammer-jammer' naps (his term) and even slept in most mornings. Thanks for allowing that sleeping arrangement, Mom and Dad! It really saved the trip for us!

As it happened, the stars all aligned in our schedules to go to Mexico the week of my mom and I's birthdays so we had a big celebration, including a private bar-b-que dinner on the pier over looking the ocean. My birthday consisted of a sunrise run, a few hours on the beach with Forest before a couples massage with Jonathan and a private dinner with my family. 

It kind of set the bar high for all subsequent birthdays.... It was also Texas month at the resort (#texasforever) so we got to attend special events like a beach side bar-b-que and two wine pairing meals hosted by two Texan chefs. 

We also had an excursion to Tulum one morning, which was great, but SUPER hot and a little much for a 3 year old. 

We had such a fun trip and can't wait to go back. Our tenth anniversary is coming up next year so maybe we can convince some grandparents to watch our rugrat while we return to Mexico again! 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Florida Vibes

When Jonathan left for Angola this time around, Forest and I hit the road the same morning to head to Pensacola, FL for some time with my family.
10 hours solo driving with a 3 year old. Piece of cake (as long as he has the ipad and chocolate milk.)

 Turned out there was going to be some overlap with both my sister and my brother visiting my parents, so we figured we'd join the party too! And then when people heard we would all be there, extended family like my grandpa, two aunts and a cousin also headed to Florida so it ended up being quite the affair. 

With Jonathan's schedule, I've noticed that Forest transitions better if we travel right before or right after Jonathan leaves. Something about getting him out of a routine makes him less likely to have behavioral issues due to daddy leaving. I guess it just takes the focus off of it happening for both of us. 

Anyhoos, we had a great time in Florida and I loved getting to see Forest bond with his cousins. 

My sister's son Andrew is the closest cousin in age to Forest (4 weeks apart) and they definitely bonded.  We call them the twins. They played like best friends and fought like brothers. 

Within a few hours, Forest had shed all of his shy tendencies and jumped right in with my sister's gaggle of boys and he had such a blast. 

It was nice for me not to have to entertain him for once! Other than refereeing occasionally, I mostly just got to sit back and watch them play. It was the first time I thought: hmmmm....maybe having two kids is easier than having one in some ways. Especially two the same age!

Also, with Forest solidly knowing how to swim and with his newfound maturity (in which by some miracle he actually obeys me sometimes), this was the most relaxing trip to the beach I've had since birthing him. Usually he's basically on suicide watch as he takes every moment of my distraction to try to sprint into the ocean waves. We also saw a shark (one of 2 shark sightings during the week) from the beach which helped to curb his fearlessness of darting into the surf. 

It was a great trip and we can't wait to go back, but next time, I think we'll fly.