Saturday, September 24, 2011

Our First Family Vacation

The first week in September, Christian, Grace, and I went on our very first vacation as a family. The plan was to take a cruise to Bermuda that embarked and disembarked out of New York City. An important lesson was learned. That lesson was simply, do not travel the Atlantic Ocean on a cruise ship during the peak months of hurricane season. Due to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Katia our trip was re-routed from Bermuda to the Bahamas. (We learned of our new itinerary from a lovely elderly couple that was having lunch at the table next to us on the ship as we were leaving port.) Regardless of the shift in plans we still enjoyed our vacation together as a family. Here is Grace in the car on the way to NYC on day one of her first big trip. A BIG thank you to my father-in-law John, who drove us to the port, and knew all the city streets like the back of his hand to avoid over an hour delay in highway traffic. As the ship left port, Grace LOVED the party that was going on poolside. Everywhere we went Grace drew a crowd. By the end of the week at sea more than half the crew members on the boat knew Grace and welcomed her by name. She loved her new found celebrity status.

The first stop the boat made was in Florida, however it was a rainy day, and we felt that Grace was too young to appreciate Disney, Epcot, Sea World, or the Kennedy Space Center. (Not to mention what the cost was to spend what would be only half a day there! Sheesh!) So we hung out on the boat and just relaxed for the day.

Our next stop was in the Bahamas on a private island owned by the cruise line. The ship dropped anchor while still out at sea, and we climbed aboard a little tender boat that was lowered down and took us right to the island for a fun day of swimming, snorkeling, and napping on the beach.Here's our little set up on the beach. We brought our own little pop-up beach-tent for Grace. Below is the video of Gracie's very first time in ocean.

Christian rented snorkeling gear for the day so he swam out towards the coral reef and saw all kinds of brightly colored tropical fish and sting rays. He said it was amazing.My Dad gave Grace the Tinkerbell beach towel. Super cute.It was extremely humid, not to mention unbearably hot! Gracie did very well considering the temperatures, but we couldn't resist snapping a photo of our sleeping beauty with her cute button nose all covered in beads of sweat.Here we are back on the ship just lounging in the shade. (I was one proud Momma to have Grace fully enjoy her first day at the beach, and return without an ounce of sunburn. I'll pat myself on the back for that one.)

Oh no! The ship was taken over by pirates! Actually this was in Nassau, Bahama at a T-shirt shop. I just thought it would be cute to put these guys in the blog, seeing as how we were at sea.
Speaking of the sea....
And SEE our adorable Gracie. Gotta love those crystal clear sea-blue eyes!
Hanging out on the streets of Nassau.
The pool deck of the ship.
Christian snapped this photo. I thought it was very sweet.
There we are!
Christian was at the spa and I couldn't find a pen to leave him a note as to where Grace and I went, so the "MacGyver" in me went into my toiletry bag to leave him a message in our room so that he might be able to find us. I thought it was pretty clever. (The lunch cafe was on the 12th floor)
This photo was taken from the back of the ship where one could see our wake.
The name of our ship and where we went.
Gracie the super cutie!
Back at the NYC port. A little sun-kissed, and oodles of family love.
We're already in talks for our next family vacation. I wonder where we'll go??? Hmmmm, we'll all just have to wait and see... or is that sea?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Grace's first solids

Christian and I have put off starting solids with Grace because we knew we would be taking our family vacation the first week of Sept. (Still working on the photos from that, the family vacation blog should be posted fairly soon.) and we didn't want to break the newly established pattern of eating. Plus, my goal is to make all of Grace's food at home, using organic fruits and veggies whenever possible.

I'll admit that being a first time Mommy, I was nervous about changing the feeding routine. I've read articles, and books, and listened to mothers who have gone through this momentous step with their little ones all in an effort to empower myself and feel more ready to begin feeding foods other than breastmilk to my daughter. I have to laugh at myself because Grace soared through this milestone, as she has with each and every milestone to date, with flying colors.

Please enjoy the video of Grace eating her first solid, butternut squash. (It's a longer video, over 6 minutes, so please don't feel a need to watch the whole thing, and I apologize in advance for the atrocious sound when I blow my nose. I'm a little under the weather.)