Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Child Swap

My friend Missy and I have put a new spin on the Wife Swap drama and are switching kids two days a week. Missy came up with the idea because we both needed at least one day of childcare and this provided a free option. So far it's working out great, and the girls are definitely loving it! She takes Grace Louise for the day on Monday, and has her kids at home as well, and I take Joanna all day on Wednesdays.

I have been desperate for a child-free day that I can work on paperwork and such for Jimmy's business, grade papers for my classes, pay bills, etc. This arrangement provides a great environment for Grace Louise to be away from home and gives me some time to get these kinds of things done more efficiently. Plus, Grace Louise and I love having Joanna over :-)

Pics from our first week...
Craft time! Making bracelets. Grace Louise is a pro at beading so she took over Joanna's craft... Joanna doesn't seem to mind much. She just wants to wear the finished product!

Sweet friends taking a break for a hug.

Swinging at Uncle Dave's. We also picked oranges, played in the sandbox, and went for a reckless drive in the Gator Jeep!

Joanna's first fishing trip. We feed our fish at the dock everyday and catch a few while we're at it. Joanna thought fishing was fantastic, until she realized the fish actually moved. After that, she was through...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

State Fair

This weekend we had a fun family day at the State Fair, just the three of us... and didn't take the first picture! It was kind of freeing, actually, to not have the pressure of capturing great photos. For my fellow picture crazy mamas, I highly recommend purposely leaving the camera at home every now and then in order to fully enjoy the moments with your family.

This was actually Grace Louise's second trip to the State Fair. We went last year with Jimmy's parents and she LOVED it! I was hoping to experience more rides with her this year, but that didn't happen... she either chickened out last minute or didn't meet the height minimum. We did take one $5 train ride (that I thought would never end)! We also enjoyed yummy fair food... I recommend the Sobo noodles and fresh veggie vendor for lunch so that you feel less guilty about indulging in truly delicious fair treats, like Amish donuts, cinnamon rolls, or funnel cake! Yum!

Grace Louise was most interested in the seeing the animals, so we spent most of our time in the livestock tents. This child is crazy about animals! The whole ride to Tampa, she talked about Layla the cow, (from the Polk County Youth Fair), and despite us telling her she wouldn't, she was sure she would see Layla again at the State Fair. Jimmy told her, "No baby, Layla won't be at this fair." She simply replied, "I think she will." What a mess!

Even though we didn't get any pictures this weekend, I did snap a few at the Youth Fair a couple of weeks ago...

Enjoying the hog sale with Uncle Chris.
Watching LouLou sell her piggy.
We arrived around the check in time for rabbits and poultry. The exhibitors waiting in line were so good to Grace Louise, letting her pet their animals.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Children's Museum

This post in down-right ancient. Mom and I took Grace Louise to the Children's Museum of the Highlands in Sebring in December... and I'm just getting these pics posted! I thought about leaving them out all together, but when I came across them last night, I was reminded what a fun outing this was and couldn't leave it out of my "scrapbook"! I highly recommend this place for kids. I'm thinking a future birthday party here would be spectacular!

Grace Louise was in heaven! She has a very active imagination and particularly enjoyed grocery shopping in the little "Publix".

Seniorita Waitress taking our lunch order at the Global Cafe! She did such a great job, asking, "What would you like to eat?"

Moving on to the theatre and puppet show!
As you can see, we ALL had fun playing dress up!

Making big bubbles in the water center!

Checking out the camera and forecasting the weather :-)
Seeing Grace Louise play in this environment really opened my eyes to how much she is picking up from me on a daily basis. Letting our kids simply live our lives with us (the best part of being a stay at home mom) is invaluable for their development. Grocery shopping, going to the post office, running errands, etc. teaches life and social skills even at a young age.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lake Beach

Either the Florida summer is starting early, or winter never really came. We are experiencing higher than normal temperatures, which means outdoor fun is limitless, but, honestly, this is totally messing with my mind. I find myself basking in the sun thinking for sure that it is the beginning of summer. I just can't believe we still have a potentially cold February and March ahead, followed by a rainy April before the heat really kicks up in May. Heck, Grace Louise and I have even been enjoying our lake beach! Jimmy caught us out one day, me in my bathing suit, sitting in a lounge chair, reading a book, Grace Louise splashing in the lake shore. He accused me of having my seasons mixed up. Nevertheless, we're taking it as it comes...

Pants on the ground, pants on the ground...

Looking for shells

This sweet girl loves the lake and playing in the sand. Could do it for hours...