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    Charmed Life
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    Life’s a Charm!

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Summer in Florida, Disney Magic Kingdom {Photos}

On our summer vacation in Florida, we took Matthew to Disney Magic Kingdom. This is Matthew’s very first time to Disney World. This was our effort to spend quality time with Matthew before he started school.

Last week, on Matthew first ever ‘show-and-tell’ in school, he brought with him to school a picture book about his adventures at Disney Magic Kingdom. I can honestly say that I don’t know how it went , his show-and-tell. But since we practiced days prior, I think he did well. We practiced how he was going to hold his picture book to show his teacher and classmates, and we practiced what he’s going to say about every picture.

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Summer in Florida

Summer in FloridaSummer vacation is Florida, all done! We had so much fun in Florida, at my in-laws but we are back to old, sweet home Alabama, and we are happy to be so. There is no place like home! And there is still so much to do before summer ends …

In Florida, the babies were showered with so much attention for Grandma and Grandpa, including uncles and aunt. We celebrated Father’s Days with smoked ribs, enjoyed the rides at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, visited parks, water-played , visited family and friends, water-played some more and just lounged around the house. (More photos coming soon. ) We had so much fun!

Summer in Florida

Men who love the grill!

Summer in Florida

Visiting Great Grandpa's grave.

Summer in Florida

NO fun playtime with Uncle Tom

Summer in Florida

Stroll in the park with Grandma

Summer in Florida

Water play!

Summer in Florida

Just lounging...

Summer in Florida

More water play!

Click photo for enlarged view. More photos to come.

Twice we set off the alarm at my in-laws place. I set off the smoke alarm while I was cooking one time. Hubby set of the burglar’s alarm when he was punching-in incomplete numbers. Obviously me setting off the smoke alarm was no big deal since there wasn’t actual fire, just my pot-sticks burnt, in smokes! But hubby setting off the burglar’s alarms had 2 police cars from the sheriff’s department come to the house in less than 5 minutes! Hubby explained the circumstance to the officers. While the officers were waiting until my in-laws arrived, they remained gracious that this embarrassment just turned into a funny experience. It was good to know though that my in-law’s home security system is working.

We have brought back a lot of stuffs from Florida, from toys to dishes! One of the things we brought back from Florida is a set of fine china-wares. The set even came with coordinating salt and pepper shakers, a gravy bowl, serving platters, etc. These china-wares belonged to Hubby’s Grandma Maxine and was supposedly passed over to his uncle, Uncle Jim (the uncle hubby was named after, his 2nd name anyway.) But Uncle Jim, who lives in South America and who has always thought well of his favorite nephew (hubby), had decided to pass these priceless heirloom over to hubby instead. Hubby gladly accepted!

These china-wares are NOT microwave-safe, NOT dishwasher-safe and, as I have joked, will NEVER come out of the box. We have been hunting for a china-cabinet to house these dedicates, where they will never be touched again,… I think, except if I go wild and dare to use them.

Summer in FloridaFrom Florida to Alabama (and vice versa), the trip usually takes about 8-hours! The challenges of road trips with very young children is that, it can be very unpredictable and messy.

This time around our trips included Matthew at 4-years old and Mark at 14-months old. It’s amazing that these little kiddos literally just sit there at the back seat and yet, they can get really all messy and dirty! (Sorry no photos to show!)

Also Matthew doesn’t nap and is just so restless in his booster seat and just couldn’t shut up; and Mark has the tendency to scream when bored. At most part they keep each other entertained, but otherwise, well, … it got annoying. On our trip back home, while Matthew was still annoyingly unable to shut up, what got most of Mark’s attention is a box.

Playdate at Lake Martin

It’s the year-end fun activity for the cadets, at a park to swim at Lake Martin! We can’t help ourselves but join in the fun. So we went too! We met Daddy there and the cadets, too.

All photos are taken on May 21, 2011. Click photos for larger view. Click here to view more ‘DARE Park, Lake Martin {Photos}‘.

At DARE Park, Lake Martin

Mark (13-months) with Daddy

Matthew had so much fun! Making friends, and just running along the beach and sometimes going to the water, too.
At DARE Park, Lake Martin At DARE Park, Lake Martin

At 13-months old, it’s Mark’s first time to the beach! He was testing the waters, didn’t quite like it at first but got used to it and finally enjoyed the water at his waist level. He especially like splashing the water and playing with the wet sand.

At DARE Park, Lake Martin
Mark, Testing the Water
At DARE Park, Lake Martin
Mark, Not too happy about the water.
At DARE Park, Lake Martin
Mark, Testing some more!
At DARE Park, Lake Martin
Mark with Mommy
Mark, Clutching on to dear life.
At DARE Park, Lake Martin
Mark with Jaylin
Mark, finally enjoying the water!

Special thanks …

At DARE Park, Lake Martin
How do you fit 3 car-seats at the backseat for these 3 babies?
Use a really wide truck!
Thanks to Larry for letting us use his truck.
DARE Park, Lake Martin
In the photo: Tey and Jaylin.
Thanks to Tey and Jaylin for the good time!

DARE Park, Lake Martin {Photos}

Photos taken on May 21, 2011 at DARE Park (Lake Martin)
Click photo for larger view.

Online in Florida

I hear there’s a heat wave going on this summer. Friends and family all over are complaining about the 100ish-degrees-F summer heat. Thank goodness, we are here in my in-laws house with a working airconditioner. Our home in Alabama has a malfunctioning AC. It’s in a on-again-off-again condition, eventhough it’s brand new and newly installed. So the day before we left for our trip to Florida, our AC was off! So with all the packing and moving about to get our stuffs to the car, the house became so hot, it’s hotter inside than outside!

So we are here in Florida! Our trip went well – shorter than our trip to Delaware. I spent half the trip at the backseat with the babies. This time the babies and me, all three of us, can now fit in at the backseat. We took out the big carseat that Matthew was using. He has been promoted to use the less space-consuming ‘Big Kid Booster Seat’.

We have just been relaxing here in Florida. But since we arrived here in Florida, Baby Mark has been more cranky and irritable than usual … must be heat! Or must be that he turned 3-months old, that he decided he needs more attention than usual.

We have a few plans laid out. We will be visiting some relatives to have them meet Baby Mark for the first time.

We also plan on taking Matthew to Disney World for the first time. Disney World should be exciting for him since he now knows Mickey Mouse and the other Disney characters. Baby Mark will just have to stay home with Grandma when we go to Disney World, so he won’t be baked in the sun!

Also we will be attending hubby’s high school reunion. This should be fun. Hubby have been looking forward to this since he missed the reunion they had five years ago.

Our Trip to Delaware


Our road trip to and from Delaware was easier than anticipated. I anticipated a troublesome road trip. After all, we have a restless toddler and a baby on board. But they actually made our trips more interesting and amusing. We’ve learned that Baby Mark can cry for 10 minutes straight and then falls asleep; and that Matthew can now hold his urge to go potty(pee) but never fails to remind us every 30 seconds.

The road trip between Alabama and Delaware is about 15-16 hours but we made it about 36 hours. We took our time, stopped every 3-4 hours for breastfeeding and snacks and meals, and we stopped for the night wherever we were.

Summer 2010 in Delaware

By the Pool


It was sort-of a family reunion on hubby’s side. His niece Amber graduated high school and we were there for her graduation party along with my in-laws.

Baby Mark had so much attention towards him too. Everyone seems to marvel at his cuteness, that they seems to genuinely like taking care of him. And Baby Mark don’t seem to mind as well. He is always a happy baby and enjoys all the attention he gets. While, Matthew got all the playtime he wants – riding at lawn mower, running around the pool,… he was just all over. Hubby and I enjoyed the week-long party, lounging in my sister-in-law’s place and hanging by the pool. And we enjoyed everyone’s company and help with Baby Mark and Matthew.It was definitely a nice vacation.

Pregnancy Update, Week 24

A few concerns has been brought up about the baby during his last ultrasound. My OB found a choroid plexus cyst at the baby’s brain. This cyst is not at all fatal nor could cause any developmental problems. I was assured by my OB that a lot of babies are born with this cyst, have no problems whatsoever, and they lived to be normal adults. However, the concern has been that this condition has an association to a particular kind of chromosomal defect.

A few weeks back, we went to Birmingham, Alabama for a specialized targeted ultrasound. Our prayers have been answered when the specialist could not find that cyst anymore at that particular location! We were told that it could have been not a cyst in the first place but just an accumulation of fluid, or if it was a cyst, it is normal and more common to disappear a few weeks further into the pregnancy. Furthermore, everything else was checked and there has been no signs of any problems with the baby. He appears to be developing well and all vital organs look good and measure well. And yes, he is still a boy.

Yesterday was 24th week routine visit to the doctor. My doctor too assured us that everything about the baby looks good – still measuring well, heartbeat great, etc.! As for the mommy, except for the going-to-the-bathroom and getting-hungry all the time problems. Everything is well and fabulous!

Both of  us got by through the Christmas holidays with no problems – except of course when I over-ate salad and was puking during the night when the baby was kicking so hard to my stomach, or that, during the trips between Alabama and Florida, we had to stop a lot of times for potty break not for Matthew but for me; Or also during the trips, I had to endure all the kickings in all direction while I am staple to the seat and couldn’t change position to get comfortable…

Fairs and Affairs in Delaware

Aunt Sheila, Daddy and Matthew, 26 July 2008 in Delaware. Click to enlarge photo.

Aunt Sheila, Daddy and Matthew
26 July 2008, Delaware

Matthew, Amber and Andy, 24 July 2008. Click to enlarge photo.

Grandparents and Grandkids
24 July 2008, Delaware

Daddy and Matthew, 23 July 2008. Click to enlarge photo.

Daddy and Matthew
23 July 2008, Delaware

Mommy and Matthew at Delaware State Fair, 24 July 2008. Click to enlarge photo.

Mommy and Matthew
Delaware State Fair, 24 July 2008

Grandma and Matthew at Delaware State Fair, 24 July 2008. Click to enlarge photo.

Grandma and Matthew
Delaware State Fair, 24 July 2008

[Click here to view more photos.]

Our days in delaware were filled with fun, relaxation and good company. It was only three long days but they definitely count as a few of our most enjoyable days during this summer. Dear hubby met his sister Sheila after long years. The last time he saw her, she was still single. Now her eldest is 16 years old. So it was his first time to meet his niece Amber and nephew Andy. Well, it was the first time our families met. They were great host. They welcomed us into their lovely home.

We spent most of the time by their pool under the sun! Matthew has finally overcome his fear of the water. He did cry at first but seeing so many familiar faces around him by the pool calmed him down. He finally got comfortable at the water, playing with his cousins and laughing all the time.

Also, we were lucky that our visit coincided with the week of the Delaware State Fair. They took us to the fair where, thanks to his Aunt Sheila, Matthew enjoyed a few rides. There were issues regarding his height and age in some of the rides, but the fair-staffer couldn’t stop a grandma, an aunt and a mom wanting to give a baby a good time.

Dear hubby and I also got a few hours break. Sheila and Grandma took Matthew with her kids to the playground, giving me and dear hubby a chance to just relax and enjoy.

We left Delaware with burnt skin and heavy hearts. Delaware was our last stop for our Michigan-Delaware Trip. Our summer vacation was near ending.

[Click here to view more photos.]

Related Post:

Trip to Upper Michigan

It was a chilly foggy Friday morning, chillier than the previous mornings in Michigan. We got up really early for the long drive to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We had been staying for quite sometime at Grandma Maxine’s house at West Branch at Lower Peninsula. It was the day we are going to explore the rest of Michigan.

<Click here to read more.>

Alabama Bound But Back in Florida

Since we came back to Florida from our Michigan-Delaware vacation, we had been so busy! I mentioned that we were preparing to travel again and we did! But first we bought a new car, new celfons and a navigation system.

Photo taken on July 28, 2008

Photo taken on July 28, 2008

Dear hubby is so pleased with his black Saturn Vue that took him to his new job at a military boarding school in Alabama. With the new car, dear hubby drove from Florida to Alabama, while Mom-IL, Matthew and I followed him in my Mom-IL’s car. We arrived Alabama on Sunday and got a nice view of his place of work and the place we are going to live in. The apartment is obviously small, with only 1-bedroom, a living area, a kitchen and garage. We will be cramped in a place built for a single person,  but it’s rent and utilities free including cable! And more than that, dear hubby doesn’t need to drive to work since the apartment is within the school campus! I thought it’s a good starting point.

Photo taken on August 4, 2008

Matthew at the School Ground
Photo taken on August 4, 2008

Last Monday, it was dear hubby’s first day at work. On the same day, MomIL, Matthew and I cruised around the area. We found 2 big cities, Opelika and Auburn, just about 20 miles away. We also found probably the biggest University I have ever seen – Auburn University! We took our time exploring Opelika-Auburn area to seek out shopping possibilities, which didn’t come thin, and a few camping sites and attractions.

I have prepared myself that we will be living in the middle of nowhere since
the military school is located in a rural area. However I am so pleased that the nearby cities are well developed and packed. Auburn area is even the highest ranking metro in the State of Alabama.

We are definitely Alabama bound but Matthew and I came back in Florida. We arrived earlier today. Of course, dear hubby had to stay in Alabama. Our household stuffs and furnitures have not arrived Alabama yet, so we decided that Matthew and I would come back here in Florida. We’ll wait in Florida for our stuffs to arrive. And then, we’ll travel back to Alabama.

In the meantime, I will be busy preparing for Matthew’s birthday. He’s turning 2-years old on August 14.

Back in Florida

After three weeks of our continued vacation – to Michigan and Delaware, we are back in Florida.

We went to Michigan and spent less than two weeks there. Then last Tuesday (22 July), we went to Delaware to visit dear hubby’s sister Sheila and her family. (They had not seen each other for 18 years.) Last Saturday morning, our vacation has come to near end. We started our long drive back to Florida, passing by Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia. We did stop at KOA Campground in Florence, South Carolina and spent Saturday night there.

We had so much fun both in Michigan and in Delaware (which I will be blogging about in my next posts).

Heavy rains and a few lightnings welcomed us in Florida, but we are quite relieved that we have arrived home safely from almost 2-days of road travel from Delaware.

The next days we will be busy, cleaning up … and preparing for our next travel. *wink, wink, V(-_*)V

Frankenmuth, Michigan’s Little Bavaria

When we arrived Michigan on 7 July, our first destination was at Frankenmuth. It’s one of Michigan’s tourist spot famously known as “Michigan’s Little Bavaria” for it’s Bavarian(German)-themed shops and attractions. We spent three fun days there. [Click here to read more.]