Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thank you, Lord.

Thank you, Lord, for two healthy, sweet, energetic boys. Thank you, God, for a supportive, loving, hardworking husband. Thank you for loving parents. Thank you for my sister that's also a best friend. For a best friend who is now a mommy, too. And ever-present friends and family.

Thank you for the blessed, blessed opportunity - gift - of watching these two boys grow up before my very eyes.

May we always remember to be thankful. To count our blessings. And remember all the moments.

1: Elias, 13 months
2: Asher, 12 months

Monday, March 4, 2013

A swing set for the Kroboth boys

This is the story of how Rusty and Kira moved a giant swing set into our backyard.

Our neighborhood has started using Next Door as our online community gathering place. So, when Rusty and I decided we needed a swing set for the boys, I headed to our online board and posted that we were in the market for a used playground and inquired if anyone was selling theirs. And sure enough, four houses down, a nice neighbor offered his for a great price. Rusty and I jumped on that bargain and were so thankful that we didn't have to stalk craigslist for weeks looking for a decent deal.

Fast forward to yesterday. We took our trailer and scooted on down with Rusty's tool box and set to work figuring out how we were going to tackle this. We took off the slide. Then the swing bar. And then used our hand truck to move the rest all in one piece. We are both bruised up and sore. And I'm sure the neighbors were amused with our comedic performance.

But my boys have a swing set. And if these pictures are any indication, they love it! Looking forward to many memories (and dirt pies and scraped knees) with our new-to-us play set!

"No, Mom! Don't take pictures."

Steering the ship.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Happy First Birthday to Elias!

"If you really {mustache} I'm ONE!"

My baby boy is technically no longer a baby. He's one year old! So weird how times seems to fly and yet not fly at the same time.

I want to write something really powerful to somehow express my overwhelming love for this kid. But, right now, I think I'm going to just keep it short and sweet.

An update on E: We are still nursing. He's eating anything and everything we put in front of him (as long as he can feed it to himself). And he's using some words regularly: Momma, Dada, Nini, five (yes, as in the number), uh-oh, bye bye, hey. We're still working on Ash-er or broth-er.

He has mastered the art of the wave, and is quite proud of himself for it. He's not walking, because he can get where he needs to be ridiculously fast in his high-speed crawl mode. He is, though, climbing on top of tables, scaling walls and making his way up entire flights of stairs.

Most of all, when I think of Elias, I think of those dimples and the way he crinkles his nose when he grins. And he's always grinning. He's a happy baby. A busy, busy, wild and fearless baby. Er, I mean toddler.

My sweet crinkle-nosed Elias. Man I love that kid.

For his birthday, Rusty and I talked about having a big party versus doing something as a family. It's been for-ev-er since we've gotten away on a trip, so I suggested going to Myrtle Beach to a resort with an indoor pool for a weekend. I thought we needed to get out of town and spend time just the four of us. And what better excuse than my littlest man's birthday?

So, I did what I always do and ventured to Vacation Rentals by Owner and looked up condos in the Myrtle Beach area with indoor water parks. I stumbled upon Dunes Village - at rates about a third of what you'd pay if you booked directly with the resort. I then did what I always do next and check out the reviews of the resort on Trip Advisor. Not only did I find great reviews, but the resort was a Travelers Choice winner in 2012 for Families. So, we booked it through the owner of a two-bedroom condo. After packing up our entire house (two pack and plays, monitors, swimwear, beach towels, clothes, birthday supplies, food, booster seat, stroller, etc. etc.) we arrived.

We told Asher we were going to a water park and he seemed to know what that meant. We explained we had to go on a long ride to get there. Once we arrived, we walked down to the 'water perk' and he exclaimed, "Oh, this is wonnnnn-der-ful."


Friday night, we played in the water park in our tower (there are two towers of the resort, and two water parks). It wasn't very busy, and we floated around the really nice and long lazy river. There were cool foam cars the entire family could float on, and a neat entry point for small kids to make their way into the river. Asher went down one of the water slides with Rusty. All was well. We soon realized that we should have packed our floats, though, since we were both tired of toting toddlers in our arms the. entire. time. One trip to Food Lion solved that.

Saturday, boy, the place was packed. But, we had our floats and Elias was in heaven. He just loved the water. He'd stretch out in the float and kick and squeal. Asher was still unsure about the water. I somehow managed to get him to put on his puddle jumper life vest arm-swimmy thingie and get into the water. Cue the hallelujah chorus! He quickly realized he was safe, floating and could swim. And swim he did. Back and forth and all around.

Both of the water parks had great toddler areas. Our tower had a really large pool just for toddlers with water about eight inches deep and one of those entry areas that's built like a beach. The boys could go in and out at their leisure. There were squirting contraptions and pails of water that spilled over and walls of water to walk through. So much to explore.

The other tower (after a cold, fast walk between the buildings which sucked) had an even bigger toddler area, but without the pool itself. There was a submarine with about two inches of water in it at all times. Buttons, wheels, water squirting. Another wall of water and a giant bucket that spilled over and created a wave every few minutes or so. There were adult water slides in this park, and those spilled over into the toddler area.

There was lots of space and Elias figured out how to crab walk himself around all of it. Asher at this point was begging to swim more, so we plunked the birthday boy back into his baby float and joined Asher for his lap swimming.

It was great. Everyone slept well. Elias went to bed each night without a problem (which Asher would not do at this age). Asher needed some help settling and asked when we were going back home once bedtime rolled around. He referred to the condo as 'someone's old house' and started to get the gist of the whole packing up and traveling routine by the time we were preparing to leave.

(Whoops! This has turned into more of a review of a trip than I intended. But you know, it was so great and so family friendly. I highly recommend to anyone that's looking for an off-season getaway. Oceanfront, reasonable rates (through the owners) and so much water park fun.)

My sweet baby celebrated turning one like a champ. Loving the pools. Loving the traveling. Loving his brother. And just taking it all in stride. He's a keeper.

Happy birthday, Elias Leigh! We love you! We love you! WE LOVE YOU!

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