Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Great RV Trip-Carlsbad Caverns

A couple of weeks ago, our six pack loaded up just about everything in our house that wasn't nailed down and started the 16 day and 4300 mile round trip trek to Lake Charles, Florida. Besides the obvious {and numerous} reasons for not wanting to fly with four children, four and under, Jer and I thought why not let some people from other states comment on the number and ages of our children make some memories and take our brood to see some cities and sights that they might not otherwise get to {like Breaux Bridge, LA!}. So after months of Googling the best tourist traps, the greasiest hole-in-the-wall diners, and least ex-convict ridden RV parks, we grabbed the coffee pot and a whole lotta gas money and hit the road. First stop...Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad, NM.
The first night found us tired, hungry, and with the intent of "boondocking" or camping for free in a Wal-Mart parking lot. 

That lasted about 2.4 seconds.

Besides sounding like the Indy 500 right outside our door, the parking lot was bright as mid-day and it was about 82 degrees inside our RV. Insert crying  wife children and Jer decided to high tail it out of there and to the nearest spot with 30 watt hook ups. Best $42.00 investment ever. Turns out a little air conditioning and electricity makes everyone feel a little less...hysterical.
Seeing how once one person turns over in their bed, the entire RV is up, we hit the trail bright and early. Believe it or not, this was actually my number one pick for our trip! I love the caverns and I couldn't wait to take the boys...until we hit about this point in the hike. Small, wiggly, clumsy offspring < big, black gaping hole.
Turns out the Lord had more in store for me at this little stop than some stalactites and stalagmites.
But once we were inside, it was an absolute treat to share with the boys that the same God who heard my prayers for our family's safety on our way down, was the One who carved this vast cave by telling each drop of water where to go. 
 For the majority, anyway. 
Despite the copious amounts of sweaty, "Don't you dare let go!" hand holding, the boys loved the cave and hiked the ENTIRE thing. Although, I think the postcards from the gift shop were equally exhilarating! 
And because they just did so well...geode's and icee's for all.

Grasshopper learning the art of slow icee slurping. Can you say, brainfreeze?

Next stop...San Antonio, Texas!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our Gracie Girl, Seven Months Old

Oh my girl! What a month you've had! You traveled through five states, lived in an RV for two and half weeks, dipped your feet in the ocean, and got your first bug. 
 You watched {and slept through} the Saint's game at The Superdome, Moby-ed your way through the Blue Bell factory, went on a swamp tour complete with wild alligators, navigated the USS Alabama, and even had a taste of a beignet from Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter. 
You napped on the sugar beaches of Destin, Florida, checked out The Alamo, and got kissed on by your family 2000 miles away at your 2nd cousin's I-DO! You danced under a disco ball, witnessed a Texas thunderstorm, and nursed on a boat in the bayou. But the biggest feat of all, darlin, is that in your seventh month you managed to sqeeeeeeeze your way into bed with your daddy and I every.single.night.of.our.vacation.

16 whole days, Dolly. 

Now one night would have been a home run for one of you Sloan babies. But you, my sweets, you simply knocked it out of the park.
This month, you cut two more teeth {the top but not the middle two} which absolutely makes me turn inside out each time I see your gaping grin. And even though yours is the fourth gummy smile I've seen give way to pearly whites, I'm still amazed just like it's the first. The fact that yours is coming in a little backwards doesn't hurt the cause either.
You've also started crawling, pitching a fit when you get your diaper changed, and feeding yourself all sorts of goodies that you find on the floor. {Can you say fruit stickers?}Your brothers think you are the most hysterical thing EVER and their favorite is when you gag on a new food. Seriously, dinner time could double as the comedy hour around here. But really they do love you. Abe lives to make you laugh, Judah {despite spankings} can't resist picking you up {I hode it!} and Ben looooooves to sound the alarm when something runs amuck. Your bases are covered, girl, whether you like it or not.
  This month you have gotten really good at mimicking sounds although your favorite is still growling and boy am I hearing a lot of, "Ma Ma Ma's." And have I mentioned you're loud?  

You love finger foods, your paci, and the jumper but you LOVE your brothers toys. You cry when we leave you alone in the room, still wake up sometimes twice a night to nurse and have *nearly* outgrown your car seat. You're also good motivation behind waiting on the Christmas tree :)

We love you to the moon and back, little girl. 

You're our Gracie Girl and your seven months old.