Sunday, September 25, 2011

Settling In

I still can't believe my family no longer lives in North Carolina. Some mornings I wake up thinking what are me and my boys going to get into today in J'ville?

We've been in Florida for 2 weeks and are slowly settling in. We have moved to a place where we know NOBODY. I take that back. We know 3 people. Jacob's aunt, but I don't think she knows we are living here yet....... And a good friend of ours Paul and his girlfriend Tabitha. Some people might read this and think awww that's so sad to not have a lot of friends or family nearby and before this move I would have been one of those people.

Since being here I have truly realized that family is everything. We literally only have each other right now. No playmates for Matthew, no playdates for Nicholas, no golfing buddies for Jacob and no moms night out with the girls for me. And you know what? WE. ARE. SURVIVING:) Matthew and Nicholas have been playing together better than ever, my husband and I have simply enjoyed spending more time together and our family as a whole is benefiting from all this......................togetherness.

I know, I know, how cheesy could I get. Many other military families probably know exactly what I'm talking about. You have to pull together, adapt, help each other adjust.

In addition to unpacking, cleaning a nasty house we moved into, making initial appointments with our PCM, researching and touring preschools, here are a few other things we've been up to.

The Aquarium

In my previous post there was a picture of Matthew looking at a brochure with whales, sharks, dolphins, fish, etc. Yeah....Sea World wasn't exactly on the budget for this month but how about the aquarium? Thank goodness he's still so little that he doesn't know the difference. A fish is a fish is a fish no matter where that fish is.

The aquarium here is fantastic! They have a whole open atrium area where yes there are fish tanks but ducks, owls, birds, just fly around. If you get pooped on or bit oh well. Along with the atrium there are 3 floors of fish tanks, sting ray tanks, sharks and all the other things you expect to find at an aquarium.

(Inspiration for Jabba the Hutt?)

(Did this make anyone else think of the human heart?)

Eventually we made it to the sharks tank. Matthew was in heaven.

Oh he was in heaven alright. Until we walked outside. Then he was in hog heaven!

That is water playground #1. There are water fountains all over the pirate ship and there is even a small water slide off to the side.

Now we know to bring his swim trunks. And that's not it. Water playground #2.

Hold on all you mom and dads, there's more. Oh yes it gets better! After 4 hours of atriums, fish feedings, shark tanks, rounding your kids up, dodging strollers, kids running into you, tracking down your camera bag that you left heck knows where, and waiting forever in lines for elevators because you have a stroller, there is a little something for you...........

Full service bar baby. And as you stand in line, feeling guilty for wanting that margarita, you look around. The bar is as crowded as downtown Raleigh, Charlotte, or Greenville on a Friday/Saturday night. You look to the dad next to you and he says, man we love this place but after 4 hours it drives you to drink. But you're not really paying attention because in your mind your thinking

2012 tax returns = membership to the aquarium.


Lowry Park Zoo

We've been trying to pick a different adventure each weekend and Lord knows there is enough around here to keep us entertained for awhile. So our next stop, Lowry Park Zoo.

I'm glad that Matthew and Nicholas' first zoo experience was a great one. Obviously Nicholas, my 15 month old, didn't really care one way or another but Matthew absolutely loved it.

The highlight for me was watching the penguins. Of everything the zoo had to offer, alligators, snakes, elephants, giraffes, manatees........I liked the penguins. We even arrived just in time to watch the zookeeper feed them. Which by the way I never knew they had to hand feed each and every penguin twice a day while someone records the amount. Learn something new everyday.

And of all the things the zoo had to offer what do you think my boys loved the most?

Drum roll please..........

The playground. But it's one helluva playground. A huge treehouse jungle thingy that kept Matthew and Nicholas entertained for over an hour. At this point in our trip rain storms kept rolling in and we had to keep seeking shelter in whatever building was in sight. During one rain shower we ran to a shelter that turned out to be a bat atrium. Folks, I'm not sure what type of bat was hanging from the ceiling but they were big, ugly, and I totally understand why they are in horror stories.....(insert spine shiver and goosebumps here).........

All in all we were able to burn over 5 hours at the zoo. You know at the end of a trip if one kid can't keep up while walking

and the other kid looks like this

that you've had one successful day =)



Oh don't laugh. Bowling was the first family outing we had once we got here. It's serious, cut throat competition in this house and you better be able to keep up. There are no girlie, half hearted rolls coming from this momma. And I must say momma is on a winning streak. Yeah baby!!

And finally Matthew has graduated from bowling with a ramp to rolling it on his own. You go big boy!

Five years ago I was getting all dolled up, pregaming with my girls, and getting ready for a hot night on the town. But now, nothing can compete with spending a Friday night at the bowling alley with my family and kicking my husbands butt.

Down Time

Like any other family, during the work week we stay pretty low key. Chores need to be done, daddy is tired from work, and soon Matthew will be going to bed early. Usually he hangs out with me until all hours of the night and on a few occasions early in the morning. But preschool starts soon and he's going to have to get used to going to bed at a decent time. So after dinner and before bathtime we have been sending evenings playing in the backyard. And let me tell you. It's sooooooooo nice to have a backyard with grass. Oh the little things in life! Our last house had nothing but pine trees in the back which meant nothing but dirt. Anytime a kid went outside they had to have a bath immediately afterwards. But now, the kids can come in and out as they please=) Let me say it again. I love grass!

And our favorite thing to do out there?

Look at the concentration on his face! It's serious business with his brother being on the back. We've had a couple of oh no moments when Matthew slams on the gas or break but as you can see from the picture daddy's always on point for the catch. But Nicholas has no fear and is just so happy he gets to play with the big boys on the big boy toys.

That goofy grin gets me everytime.

Inbetween all the Cavanaugh shenanigans going on we still have a ton of boxes to unpack......a ton! Who knew you could collect so much crap in so little time. But truthfully this is the fun part.

Turning a house

Into a home =)

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