Thursday, July 19, 2012

Eight Years Old!

Today is Gabriel's eighth birthday, and we could not be prouder of the boy he has become.  The thing we think has changed the most in this past year is his kindness.  He finds ways to help all of us, no matter what we're doing.  He will jump up to help us when asked, even if he is in the middle of an epic Ninjago battle.  He shows us that he loves us and understands that we love him more than everything put together.  He is mischievous and funny, but still respects us and always wants to do his best as a son and, as of recently, as a big brother.  

We celebrated him today by taking him to the aquarium (I took him, along with Bun and Wowo - Daddy had to work) and then to Texas Roadhouse for steak and Cold Stone Creamery for dessert.  Here are photos:

wearing his shark tour badge

his size compared to various rays

the top of the Ocean Voyager tank - we had a private tour by Janan

One of the whale sharks swimming right by us - the biggest type of fish in the world

Natural sunlight, along with lots of heat lamps, keeps the Tropical Diver exhibit water warm.

This was set up for a couple touring today - the middle one has a giant pearl and the words, "Will you marry me?" on the inside.  We saw them, and we could tell that the girl had no idea at all what the boy was about to do!

This beluga whale loves to jump up on the wall over and over - a playful girl!

the chocolate chip starfish - and a very hungry boy

At the coral reef exhibit, Oliver couldn't stop looking at the water and fish above.

a very loving big brother

Ollie wanted to grab this frog so bad - he kept trying and trying!

Oliver watching a whale shark

This might be my favorite photo of the day - see his reflection?

He was transfixed by all of the fish and the interplay of light and water in the tunnel.

G and his adoring family

The waitstaff sang to him at dinner and brought him dessert.  He and his Ninjago minifigures felt very special!

Happy, happy birthday to our first baby boy!  May this year be the most awesomest and Ninjagorific ever!

Five Months Old!

Yesterday, we celebrated Oliver's five-month birthday.  He is growing so quickly!  He can now sit up and is vocalizing with more variety.  He has gone from being attached to Mommy to being his big brother's shadow.  He has become an "easy" baby, not that he ever wasn't.  He makes us all happy in so many ways, and it has been a quick and wonderful five months since he was born.

Key Largo 2012, Part II

On our second full day in Key Largo, Emily and the Miguels got a room at the Marriott, so we went over there for some fun.  It was a cloudy, drizzly day, but that didn't slow us down!  Here are some pics from that part of our trip: 

The boys went out first.  It was Matt's and Gabriel's first time on a jet ski.

While the boys were out, I took Ollie for his first swing on a hammock.

Here is the challenge...

...and the race!

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to show the boys how it's done.

But then Emily, the real expert, showed me how to do it!

Matt got pretty daring and started doing donuts.

Here is what a good time looks like!

Our sweet little sleepyhead.

Ollie's first time in a pool.

"Splishy splashy!  Splishy splashy!"

Time with the godfather.

Here are all of the kids in the shirts I made them.  Don't they look cute?

Silly buds.

On Wednesday, we went to Miami to check out the scene.  Tropical storm Debby was rolling in, so we didn't jump in the ocean, but we did have a great time anyway.

We visited South Beach.

It was a huge beach and would have been perfect on a warmer day.

The boys really enjoyed the windy beach.

Oliver's first time putting his toes in the sand.

Little toesies in the sand for the first time!

G looking for skipping rocks.

Daddy and Baby.

The champion rock skipper in action.

My first two loves.

A happy, frolicking boy.

Some cool art deco architecture.

"Muscle men" on the beach.

What a cool place for a playground!

Miami Ink

Can you spot the parking garage?

We try to have one cultural experience on every vacation, and this was one of the best:  eating fritas on Calle Ocho, in Little Havana.

We saw this place on a television show and were so glad we went.  We knew it was the real deal when we had to order in Spanish!

The famous Eighth Street.
I will post the conclusion to our vacation photos soon, but first there will be an interlude to celebrate two very special boys.