Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Paige's Baptism

Can't believe this has really happened!!  
How did my little girl grow up and turn 8?

Paige Brookelynn Vincent was baptized by her father on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010

Paige was lucky to share the day with two of her little friends, Madelyn Dobbins (on her right) and Julia Zeyer (on her left).  These little girls were so cute and SO excited!!  Paige was the last of the three to be baptized that day.

After Paige got out of the water, I met her at the top of the font stairs and took her into the dressing room.  She started giggling and squealed to me, "I can't believe I really just got BAPTIZED!!"  Paige had chosen her Grandpa Terry to give the opening prayer and her Aunt Valerie to give a talk on the Holy Ghost (who both did an amazing job!!)  She asked Grandpa Lynn to be a witness and also asked her cousin Brady, who she looks up to and just adores.

Paige with her "twin cousin", Katherine
Paige invited SO many guests and friends to watch her!  She wanted to share it with everyone she knew!!  After the ordinance, we invited all her friends over for a hot-dog barbeque.  It turned out great and she was just thrilled to be "Queen for the day".

Paige was super excited to be able to pick out her own set of scriptures and have her name put on them.  Unfortunately, they spelled her name wrong the first time, so they ended up replacing the first set with a much nicer, more expensive set because they didn't have the ones she had originally picked.
It is a tradition of Grandma and Grandpa Vincent to give each of their grandchildren a comforter when they get baptized to represent the Holy Ghost.  Aunt Valerie found this white fluffy one that truly warms you right up!  Looks like Paige isn't the only one that loves it!  Sadly for Bode, this is the last time he will ever be allowed to snuggle under it since he drooled chocolate and big sister has forbid him to ever touch it again.

We are so proud of our little Paige-a-Roo! 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bode Vincent-VanGogh

It appears that Bode may have a future in art.  One might think that by documenting and photographing such a display that I encourage this behavior, or even tolerate it.  That is not the case.  This is simply a test of "one day I might think this was cute".  Today is not that day!
Sadly, this is not the first time Bode has tried to "express himself" in the art world.  His displays have been found several times in the past month or so.  You would think that big sisters would learn to put their markers away, especially after mommy has thrown so many of them away!  Bode's "works of art" have been found in purple on the entryway tile, royal blue on the living room wall and my bedroom door, pink on the toilet seat, red on the antique white buffet, black Sharpie on the basement fireplace, and today pink in his bedroom.  All markers have been disposed of in such a dramatic manner that the girls think they have "struck it rich" since I offered them a quarter for every marker they could bring me to chuck in the trash.  $11.75 later (plus the cost of 3 Mr. Clean Magic Erasers) I think we can FINALLY put this era to rest. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Big changes for the Bod-ster

As sweet as Bode has always been, he has always been a sickly little boy.  It seems like he was prone to catching every little bug and it would take him weeks to get over.  At one of his recent sick visits, another doctor in the practice asked me if I was concerned about him being developmentally delayed.  I hadn't really thought much of it until that point.  To me, he was just perfect just the way he was!  But I scheduled an appointment with his regular doctor to discuss it.  I talked to Dr. Lash about how Bode didn't talk and I was concerned about him snoring.  Sleeping next to Bode had actually made me wonder on several occasions if he had apnea like his daddy.  Bode has had a positive strep test 5 times since Christmas so Dr. Lash sent us to an ENT to rule out tonsils before we jumped into sleep disorders.  I "self-chose" Dr. Garner Meads.  He was in my stake growing up and had taken Paige's tonsils out when she was just a few months older than Bode.  I was told that tonsillectomy's are no longer common in children under 3 or 30 lbs. due to scar tissue later in life that created problems.  But, he told me that Bode's adenoids were huge and needed to come out and that his ears needed tubes.  There is a fluid behind your ears that helps with balance and hearing.  Bode's was at a dead stand-still.  Dr. Meads told me that Bode wasn't talking because he wasn't hearing!  I was crushed!!  How was a mommy supposed to know her baby couldn't hear if he responded to my voice?  He rephrased...Bode couldn't hear clear sounds.  To him, everything sounded like it was underwater. 

Bode, just hours after surgery
We scheduled surgery as soon as possible, which was the following week.  June 25, we took my sweet boy in to have his adenoids removed at the South Towne Surgical Center.  The girls had spent the night at Aunt Marnie's so they could sleep since we had to check in at 5:30.  It went beautifully!  They were completely done within 40 minutes and we were able to just sit with BoBo while he woke up.  Dr. Meads told us that his adenoids were blocking more than half of his airway and were hiding severe infection underneath them.  He was put on antibiotics to kill that and we were told to let him rest for the day and he could eat and play when he was ready.  After picking up the girls, Bode and I went in to bed for a long nap, considering I had come straight from work to Bode's surgery.  He and I slept nicely for several hours before he wanted to get up and play.  They weren't kidding about kids bouncing right back from surgery!  That evening Bode played outside in the backyard with the girls and wanted Cheetos for dinner.  He was very tired the next several days and would nap for 4-5 hours every afternoon, but never acted like he was in pain.  Little trooper!
It has been several weeks since Bode's surgery, and his post-op appointment went well.  It took a second round of antibiotics to kill all the infection left behind from his adenoids, but he is one healthy, happy boy now!  We could almost instantly see a difference in him.  He has started saying a few words: Mom, Da-Da, Ba-Ba (bottle), HOT (every time we get in the car), help, more, and of course...ball.
Shortly into his recovery, I decided that the poor little guy had suffered enough and but his beautiful locks off!  With the heat of the summer, a full head of long hair was just making Bode sweat.  My cute hairdresser, CoriAnn was super excited to give him a makeover.  I know nothing about boy hair, so I gave her free reign.  It took a little getting used to.  He just looked like such a big boy!  But I absolutely LOVE it!
Bode is such a little comedian and has such a sweet little laugh!  He has his cute little quirks that we just love!  For example, he has to have his Dora pillow right in the middle of Steve's and mine, BUT our pillows are not allowed to touch his, and if anyone lays on his pillow, he pushes them right off.  He likes to be tucked in with his blue polka-dot snuggle blankie, which he will search out if it's not there.  He holds his binky in one hand while he drinks his bottle and does a quick change and hands the bottle off to you when he is done.  Bode is truly the product of two big sisters because he loves to push babies in the doll stroller and always wants to play with the shopping cart outside.  But yet, he is all boy in that he has quite a throwing arm, and LOVES to play with cars, trucks, trains and BALLS!  He will make "choo choo" sounds and wants to throw ANYTHING round.  I took him grocery shopping with me last week and the first thing he saw was a display of grapes.  He instantly pointed and asked for some "balls".  With a face like that, what mom would say no?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Where the Wild Things Are...

Wow, this seems like a long time ago!! I have always tried to avoid going to the cemetery right on Memorial Day, but this year we had to make an exception. Actually, I have been avoiding it all together since my favorite one-or-a-kind burger place, Eat A Burger, went out of business on my mom's birthday in January. That has always been a pick-me-up after visiting my mom's grave. But this year, we met my dad and Terry for french toast at Kneader's and then headed off to the cemetery. My dad decided to join us! Who knew it would be such a party there!
Yes, it was terribly crowded, and yes, parking was a nightmare, but there was also a HUGE Memorial Day celebration! There were hot dogs and soda, a bagpiper (Steve was in Heaven) and a face painter! The girls absolutely LOVED it! This lady was so fantastic and so quick!!
And just LOOK at the great creations she made out of my two little animals!
(And yes...I got her number!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Dancing Ladies!

This really is my favorite time of year. Not only is the weather FINALLY starting to warm up, but the girls have their spring dance recital!!
I think it's that overwhelming sense of pride I get as a mother when I see my little girls on stage, looking SO beautiful, performing something they have worked so hard on. I just LOVE it!
This year, Paige took a jazz/tumbling class. Although she is a really good dancer, I think she prefers the tumbling. She is getting "quite bendy" as she tells me.
Paige met her cute friend Camry in kindergarten last year. They have such a fun time playing together, but with the new school opening in our area, Camry moved to the new school for first grade. Luckily, she wanted to take dance with Paige so they still got to see each other once a week!
Claire took ballet/tap this year. I have been so impressed with how quickly she picks up on things in class and when she performs she is never the girl watching everyone else. She knows her moves!
Claire is in the same class with her friend Ali. I don't know if they love taking dance together so much as the tradition of our families going to kids night at Chick-A-Fila after class almost every week. Poor Claire had a rough recital day this year. There she was on stage in her cute little foam curlers for dress rehearsal practicing the finale when she started to feel sick. She stood up, turned around and went running for Paige. Suddenly I hear Miss Tiffany in the microphone yelling my name. "Brooke Vincent...Brooke Vincent!! She's puking!!!" So with all the grace an overweight mother could muster, I ran to the stage and since the stairs were flooded with dancing girls I jumped onto it, pulling myself up with my enormous butt high in the air. AHHH...a mother's love. Poor Claire had handfuls of vomit, dripping onto her feet and all over the stage. After a little cleanup (and a Coke slurpee on the way home) she was fine. Claire took a long nap that afternoon and was ready to roll by recital time.
Just LOVE these girls!! They danced so well, and looked so amazingly beautiful!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Another Golden Start...

We have another graduate from Miss Kathy's Golden Start preschool! My baby girl had her last day last month and was so excited to show us what she learned at her graduation program.

Granted it was the same program as when Paige graduated, but it was equally as special to me to watch Claire sing and dance on stage. I love Miss Kathy's rendition of the Three Little Pigs and in their nursery rhyme portion Claire got to play Old Mother Hubbard with her little friend Ella as her dog that didn't get a bone.
No graduation program would be complete without self-portrait's adorning the theatre and a slide show of the great year they had!
Thank you Miss Kathy! We are so grateful for everything you have taught our sweet girls. Can't wait until Bode's turn! But for now, we will just count the days until kindergarten!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Formal Night

Our last formal night on the ship was by far better than the first. Probably because no one was sick! During the past week, we had become very close with our waiter, Cupid from St. Vincent. Earlier in the week I had asked him if Creme Brulee was on the menu again during the cruise. We had it on the first night and I had been dreaming of it ever since! Tonight he showed up with a special surprise...Creme Brulee for everyone!! I couldn't have been happier! I actually think Steve got up and hugged him!
Kirk, however, was not so appreciative of the dessert. So, Steve began making jokes to Cupid about throwing Kirk overboard. He must have thought Steve was incredibly funny because he kept bringing other staff over, telling Steve to tell them about the "splash in the night".

Throughout the cruise, I was set on getting just one good picture of the two of us. Since it really has been since our engagement pictures over 10 years ago. So I dragged Steve to every photographer on the ship. I'm sure to Carnival's joy, we found several!! I think we spent more on pictures than tips!
Steve and I are so grateful to be able to spend the week together. It was so nice to get away and remember each other a little bit, since that seems to get lost in the shuffle of kids and daily life. And it was even better to have such great friends to share it with!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Last Stop...St. Maarten

Our last stop...We had no plans for our day in St. Maarten. Our friends, Kirk and Teresa, are scuba certified, so they had planned to go an a two-tank dive. Alan, Amanda, Steve and I planned to do some shopping and head to the beach! The cruise port there was kind of weird. It let you off in a very small shopping center, but to get to the main part of the island, you had to ride a water taxi. They loaded us in like sardines and they were blaring a steel drum song about "Welcome to St. Maarten." It reminded me a lot of Will Smith's "Beinvenido a Miami!" Once on the water taxi, Steve tried to clean his sunglasses on his shirt and overestimated his strength, snapping the frame and popping out the lens. He was not happy, but once again, I was laughing at him! Luckily for him, we found a sun visor as we stepped of the boat and wandered until we found a drug store to buy some super glue. The locals there were VERY pushy. This one guy kept following us around just begging us to rent some ATV's from him to ride around the island. We had heard from our waitress in Orlando to NEVER let the salespeople put jewelry on you. Once it was on, you just bought it. As we were shopping, we walked past a jewelry store where a man and woman were talking with their friends at the door saying, "I just thought they were trying it on me for size, but I just bought a $8000 diamond bracelet!" So, I guess it is true!
At this point in our trip, Steve had caught the bug that had been floating around. He was not feeling great, so we laid low today. We rode a CRAZY taxi van to the other side of the island to Orient Beach. It was beautiful...the water was turquoise blue and perfectly warm, the sand was white and soft on your feet. We hadn't intended on swimming at a nude beach, but there were a few there who were topless that definitely shouldn't have been! It was here that we saw more banana hammocks than we ever care to again in our lives! Since I don't believe in photographing myself in my swimwear (maybe in another 50 lbs!) this is all we one we know is in the water here, but this is where we spent the afternoon! Before we met our taxi to head back, we decided we were starving and stopped at a little restaurant on the beach. We didn't realize that since we were on the French side of the island, all the prices were in Euros. We ended up with a $6 bottle of water!! Life is expensive on the beach! We thought we were living it up by ordering calamari and cheeseburgers, but apparently not since halfway through our meal, a waited walked over to a little well next to us, picked out a fresh lobster and took it, LIVE, to some one's table. I guess they agreed that it was "the one" they wanted for lunch, took a few pictures of it, and sent it back to be cooked up!
Once we left St. Maarten, we had 2 days at sea. If you have been on a cruise, you know that the food is spectacular! I casually mentioned to our maitre'd one night that I would LOVE to see their kitchen. I guess he liked us, because he told us if we kept the information on the down low, we could sneak into a kitchen tour the next morning that was just for Platinum guests! Seeing the kitchen really was one of the highlights of the trip! It was amazing to me! They told us that they actually stock the ship with 2 weeks worth of food, just in case something happened and we got stuck at sea. They had one big board with pictures of all their menus. Then they separated it into sections where each dish was prepared. Each section had a list of menu items, directions on preparation, and photos so they could make the display attractive to the eye...because the food is equally as beautiful as it is delicious!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Another Day in Paradise...St. Thomas

Our next stop was in St. Thomas. The hottest island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. No, seriously...we melted off the ship to get to that island! Not thinking about the heat, Steve got off the ship in a dark T-shirt. After about 10 minutes of that, we began our search for a lighter color shirt for him to keep off a little bit of heat.
After shopping with Alan and Manda most of the morning, we had to split off for our various excursions, but not without taking in a little bit of the local wildlife. Steve wandered right up to this giant iguana, thinking it was some sort of statue, but when it moved, it scared the crud right out of poor Steve-O. I seriously can't remember the last time I have seen Steve move so fast or jump so high, and he got no sympathy from us...we were laughing too hard!

After our "iguana encounter" we stumbled upon this funny little photo spot. It was almost like you stepped into a box to have your picture taken. The sea creatures certainly aren't realistic (I don't even know if that's the look they were going for) but it turned out to be one of my favorite pictures of us.
Alan and Amanda went off to their excursion of the Coral Gardens, while Steve and I met Kirk and Teresa for the "BOSS" adventure! This really was the primary reason we went on this cruise. Steve and I had gotten hooked on the Travel Channel and found this great excursion and honestly based our cruise choice on which ship would take us there.
(the view from our little boat)
We boarded a small charter boat that would take us to the small island where we were going to go underwater. While on the boat, I was chosen to be the "model" on how to use the scooter. BOSS (Breathing Observation Submersible Scooter) is basically a jet ski with a bubble on it that is pumped full of oxygen for you to put your head in. It works like turning a bowl upside down and putting it underwater...some physics law that I don't understand will not fill the bowl full of water. We were divided into 4 groups, and ours went first.
It was truly amazing!! You only freak out for a minute before your brain tells your body that you can still breathe, even though you are underwater. Trained scuba divers took us down and we were to follow them around. The first thing we saw was a stingray!! So awesome!! We got down about 8 feet and puttered around after the divers for about 20 minutes. The divers had a bottle full of food for the fish that they would squeeze and fish would swarm you! They would swim so close to you that they sometimes brushed against you, which really freaked me out! But at least our diver got some great shots of Steve and I in our BOSS helmets. I'm the one with the fish tail right over my face, and Steve is hiding right behind that striped fish.
I thought I would be so disappointed when our turn on the scooters was over, but we had the next hour or so to snorkel while the rest of our group went on the scooters. I think we preferred snorkeling over the scooters. It was so relaxing to just float in the ocean, watching the fish swim and hear nothing but your own breathing.
We had been told that we "had" to ride the tram up to Paradise Point. Unfortunately, none of our friends wanted to join us. So, Steve and I took the ride and loved it! The scenery was amazing...especially once you got to the top. There was a great little bar up there where we ordered Pina Coladas and the best beer battered cheese fries we have ever had.
Tonight was the one night we were sorry that we had booked early dining. Our meal was served at 6pm and we didn't get back on the ship until almost 7. But of course, only an idiot would go hungry on a cruise! It gave Steve and Alan a chance to try out the sushi bar before we headed to the Panini Grill on the back of the ship. We turned in early tonight...the combination of sun and water wore us right out. But we enjoyed the perfect end to a perfect day...Room Service...grilled cheese, PB&J's and cookies & milk on the balcony.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nassau, Bahamas

Our first stop was in Nassau, Bahamas. Unfortunately, we were only scheduled to be there for 5 hours. This worked out for me, because I woke up that morning sick as could be! But I had been looking forward to cruising for 10 months, and dang it, I was going to the Bahamas!! So, doped up on Tylenol, we headed off the ship.
It had been advertised that we were traveling on Carnival's largest "megaliner". But when we pulled up next to Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, we felt like we were sailing on a dingy! Now, THAT is one massive ship! The good news for us was, in talking to some of the people on it, they said it was TOO big and they would never sail on it again.
Our first stop was a recommendation from our new friend, Karla, from the wing place in Orlando. She told us for $10 we HAD to go on a horse and buggy tour. They loaded us all into one little buggy, (I am literally sitting in Amanda's lap here) took a few pictures, and then told us it was illegal to have so many people in a buggy.
So, Steve and I got into our own buggy and went away on our tour. It lasted about 20 minutes, and was kind of fun, we just could barely hear our tour guide. Any time I would catch something he said, I would have to turn to tell Steve, and then miss the next part. Probably wouldn't do it again, but I wouldn't say it was a total waste either.

Since we weren't there for long, we didn't book any excursions in Bahamas. Instead we went to the infamous Straw Market, which is a glorified Tijuana. They sell everything there from watches and belts, to knock-off designer purses and T-shirts. Of course, they specialize in "straw items" so we had to barter some cute flip-flop purses for the girls and had them embroider their names on them for us. We also scored some pretty cool coconut shell turtles and then went off in search of a drug store because by this time, my Tylenol was wearing right off! I remember coming here with my family when I was little and always drinking Bahamas Goombay Punch from a can. When I saw it at the drugstore, we just had to get some! However, it was not NEARLY as good as I remembered...what I wouldn't have given to trade it for a Diet Coke. It was like drinking pure corn syrup! Steve was a trooper and downed the whole can, but I didn't feel well enough to fake it. Sorry, babe! We stopped at a little restaurant for some lunch where we ordered Conch Chowder (which Steve really liked) and Bahamian Fried Chicken, which was no different than American fried chicken...just really dry. At that point, we were ready to call it a day and headed back to the ship.
Nassau, Bahamas is known for its Atlantis Resort. It is a huge beach resort with fancy aquariums and water parks, but just to walk through was over $100 per person. So we passed on that, but stopped for one quick photo.

Unfortunately, the rest of the day was a blur for me. The medication I took made me feel better, but it also knocked me out for the afternoon. So, while I napped, Steve went wandering the ship and woke me up in time to get ready for our first formal night. I got all dressed up in my new formal dress that I won on E-Bay, got my hair all curled up, and insisted that we have pictures taken before dinner. (But, they did NOT turn out cute at all, and for $24 a piece, I was NOT about to bring one home as a just take my word for it...We looked HOT!) I made it to the table, and wouldn't you know it, it was prime rib and lobster night. I ordered my prime rib, still not feeling great, and tried to smile while we waited for our food. Our sweet little Maria, our assistant waitress, came around with the bread basket and that was all it took for me. I looked at Steve with tears in my eyes, told him I was sorry, and ran for my room. My formal night ended in my room, with my poor Steve, eating dinner dateless. He did return and report (later, when it was safe to talk about food) that it was the BEST lobster he had ever had, but even better was the shrimp that came with it. I was disappointed, but hoped to get better FAST! So, after a little more Tylenol, we went out to Karaoke and hit the sack pretty early, glad there was a sea day ahead of us to give me some time to rest!