Saturday, August 8, 2009

Guest Blogger - A SOAL First

I had begun the arduous task of choosing photos from the remainder of "Rey and Chicks + Six" that had not yet been blogged about when lo and behold! Just the post I was composing game across my Google Reader via "The Other Chick's" blog. So, a little cut and past of some HTML, I have saved about 12 hours of my life (not kidding, between my pics and Amber's pics [and we are picture takin' fools], there were gazillions of shots to weed through and upload) and we have our very first ever guest blogger -- my dear friend Amber, a.k.a. A.N. G-walt.

Without further ado, the crazy 18 day trip that took her and her clan across four states, to three houses, towards two chipped teeth, and starred one very happy brood of children. : )


We are home and man alive, things are back to the "usual" here.

Savannah was either sick or had a reaction to the Prevnar vaccine she received on Wednesday. She has not received a vaccine yet that hasn't given her a fever. This time she hung out at 101.2 and slept like an angel for me for a 5 hour nap.

Siennah too has been sick pulling one of her famous high-fever middle-of-the-night-vomiting maneuvers this time accompanied by diarrhea. Hopefully she is on the mend.
It has made for a tiring return to normal life...

Mostly because it was a tiring vacation

None-the-less I feel that my "out-look-on-life-batteries" have been recharged.

Normally I'd be pretty crabby after a week of travel, laundry, appointments and sick kids but I've managed to stay pretty upbeat.

It would be an understatement to say that we enjoyed our three weeks in the sunshine state.

We had a first class BLAST!

Our time there is already fading into rich memories...

We enjoyed a relaxing stay at Aunt Rita and Sandra's where I managed to nap, run and get two hot baths...that's about as close to a spa resort as it gets. The children could not get enough of their amazing lanai and pool:

Savannah slept rock-solid in the perfect darkness of the walk-in closet:

We hung out with Aunts, Uncle and cousins:

On Sunday evening we moved over to Lucinda's house in Fort Myers. Brian flew back to Charlotte early the next morning and then on to Long Island for work a few days later.
Meanwhile the children and I had a great time with Miss Cindy, Aidan and Rylan.
Boy howdy did we eat a lot on vacation! Cheese cake, chocolate chip cookies, Mcflurries, nachos, and freezy pops were among the treats facilitating the need for all the darn exercise. Oh and there was some healthier fare like this yum-o dinner:

Feeding the children at picnic tables was ingenious:

We jumped for Joy at this great gym in Cape Coral:

We worked on getting Savannah walking:

Some things never change! Lucinda's toe touches are still as as awesome as they were in our high school cheerleading days:

We took the children to Red Robin for lunch:

Lila loved her mac and cheese:

The boys watched a movie:

(Can't miss Sebastian)

While the girls got silly:

We dined numerous occasions at Il Primo and Cici's Pizza:

We went bike riding:

We played some fierce games of tennis on Wii, from which I was just as sore as from Lucinda's Step Class:

We enjoyed the pool in the evening:

We played in jump houses:

We visited with dear old friends like the Macchia's, Sheri , Maria and the Thiels:

After our week in Ft. Myers we moved over the Naples for our bi-annual M-Nez -G-walt summer soiree. We were tired before we even got started:

We had our traditional back yard bath:

We spent much time stuffing food into children's mouths:

We built sandcastles by the dozens:

Ashley (and Lucinda) sold me on the iPhone:

We swam in the gulf:

Savannah ate about a pound of sand (because she will eat anything):

We were tired again:

We had the hair brained idea to sew six capes for our children all because they fought over the very cool batman cape:

We had the even more hair brained idea of taking the kids to have a group photo done in their capes:

We had a special girls only shopping trip and dinner at Calistoga:

We rocked the positive behavior motivation:

We used Rey's Griddle...a lot:

We got a kick out of these bathing beauties:

We constantly fed these babies insatiable appetites:

We love these kids:

Even if they do wake up from their nap moody:

Both Cole and Siennah managed to chip their teeth and as a result got special one-on-one trips to the dentists with their respective Mommy:

Cole was quite proud of his Dora toy he got for being a brave boy:

We came up with ingenious ways to occupy the children, like coloring:

We danced to Laurie Berkner. Here are the Dinosaurs, marching, marching...

We roared:

Siennah learned to swim:

Savannah wore couture. When in Naples...:

We picnicked by Keri's pool:

We had the yummiest salad:

We played in the sprinklers:

We played with the hose:

We held tired teething babies (a lot):

We did Keri's spin class:

And Zumba with the children:

We gave one arm and one leg to Regal Cinema to take the big kids to the movies. Where between four kids we killed a giant tub of pop-corn and a bucket o' coke:

We stayed up doing crossword puzzles and sipping a smirnoff ice until Brian's safe arrival after midnight. We rejoiced that we had one more adult to man the charges.
We went to yoga class together in the morning:

We beat the daily rain to the pool:

We had quite possibly the funnest night of our lives since entering the realm of responsible parenthood. Made possible thanks to this lady right here, no-nonsense Nanny Pam:

Seeing as how were leaving 6 children in her charge we tried to make things as easy for Nanny Pam as possible.

We labeled the children, their tooth brushes and sleeping quarters:

Nanny Pam managed to entertain our darlings for an hour and then put them to bed so that we could enjoy dinner and martinis at the Keg for that...

We toasted "To Nanny Pam!":

We had an excellent driver:

and then on to The Pub:

We were quite happy to be reunited after 2 weeks apart:

We were a tad inebriated:

and yet...We were all up and in 8:15 a.m. Spin class:

We looked like a Honda dealership:

Siennah and Cole played Mommy and Daddy all week:

If they end up getting married, would these not be the cutest pics to show at their wedding?:

Lila girl loved playing with make-up:

We improvised:

We had a picnic dinner with Publix subs:

We chased the waves:

We took photos (lots):

We got one decent family picture:

We spent a good bit of time wrangling these boys:

We did some kitchen remodeling (because..."why not?"):

We ate our traditional Carvel ice cream cake complete with delicious crunchies. I want one :

We celebrated Savannah's bithday with pink petti-skirt photos:

We had a cupcake themed party:

Complete with giant cupcake for the birthday girl:

We had also had bruschetta and buffalo chicken dip, fruit salad, burgers beer and PB&J for the kiddies:

We reconected with old friends:

We sang. Savannah ate:

My favorite are the mittens of pink frosting:

Savannah was not the only one enjoying the cupcakes:

Savannah went stright into the tub:

I snuck in a photo session for my beautiful friend Jen and her baby Loren:

We marveled at how much our Sweet Peas have grown:

And how our broods have expanded:

Did I mention we were tired?:

Ok, too many pictures. But hey, that's whittled down from 1,798 of them,
so that's pretty good if you ask me! ;)

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