Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Family Swim Time

We have been so blessed to live by family.  In California we lived within a few miles from my older brother and his adorable family.  Now we live within a few miles of our Aunt, Uncle, and cousins.  It has been such a comfort with all the changes to know that we are so close to family if there are any problems or concerns.  We have loved hanging out with them on the weekends and have been thoroughly spoiled by their yummy cooking and super fun pool.

Here is just a glimpse at one of our afternoons hanging out with the Lovegren family...

 Like I mentioned before, we are truly blessed to be so close to such an incredible family.

Museum of Discovery and Science

Dallas and I decided that every weekend we were going to go on a family adventure.  This was of course before he was sent to Sweden for the past five weeks.  So our first (and sadly only) adventure weekend we've had since moving to south Florida was exploring the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale.  
I am so excited for Dallas to get home in the next few hours so we can plan our next big family adventure!

The Museum of Discovery and Science was pretty cool.  I kept thinking "Daxton is going to love this when he gets a bit older."  As it was, he still thoroughly enjoyed exploring everything, but the teacher in me knew he wasn't comprehending.  That's fine though, exposure, exposure, exposure, is my motto as a mommy.
My boys at the entrance.
Daxton could have watched the different gears and balls circling around the two story clock for hours.  He was not happy when I turned him to face me for a picture.

We started our exploration in the ecosystems of Florida section.  Daxton loved the lower windows that were exactly his height.  He was able to watch sea turtles, horseshoe crabs, and fish all without being held up high.  Perfect for a very independent toddler.
There was also a cool little aquarium for us to walk through.  He loved the leopard shark and colorful fish.

It was nice to give the camera over to Dallas and actually be in some of the pictures.  I have found myself (especially over the last month) looking back through our adventures and realizing I'm always behind the camera.  Daxton's going to look back through them all and wonder where his mommy is.

Daddy teaching Daxton about gears...

Don't worry, Dallas was standing right next to him, but look at how strong our little man is!  He balanced on that little slant for a few minutes trying to reach the small Cayman exhibit.  He's got some serious calves on him for sure.

Everything was interactive and hands on, which Daxton loved.  They had exhibits on recycling and living "green" where Daxton spent forever playing in the fake truck.

Another cool exhibit was all about different types of weather found in Florida.  Below we were learning about wind and clouds.

There was also a hurricane simulator that you could stand in that blew up to 60 mile an hour winds.  Daxton loved it until it got faster than 20mph, then he wanted out.

The big hit was the lightening ball.  Daxton was totally mesmerized watching the bolt connect with his hands.

There were also workers that would occasionally bring around different animals you could pet and interact with.  Daxton showed no fear as they brought around the snake.  He was pretty sad when they took it away.

Another fun exhibit area focused on fossils and prehistoric Florida.  Daxton loved digging in the sand for fossils and playing among the teeth of the megalodon.

Looking down on the train tracks near the entrance from the second floor.  I wonder all the time what my little guy is thinking.  He is so inquisitive and curious.

To finish our adventure, we spent awhile exploring the hands on play area for toddlers and younger children.  Daxton thought the bubbles daddy was making were pretty cool.
Working on solving puzzles and games...
He's so focused when he studies something.

Proof that both mommy and daddy are a bit pathetic when it comes to documenting our son's life...a camera from both angles!

My bestie
I sure do love this man and can't believe that it's been five years already.  Time sure has flown...we've got the gray hair to prove it!


The day before mom left at the beginning of September, we decided to drive through the Everglades over to the gulf coast and the city of Naples.  Naples is a gorgeous beach town with several beautiful vacation homes.  It also has a really cute zoo with all sorts of animals, a boat safari tour around the monkey islands, and a gorgeous botanical garden.  Mom and Dallas were super sweet to walk around in the stifling humidity and rain with me!

I sure do love my Dallas.
What an incredible husband he is and what an incredible journey we are on!

Daxton had the most fun playing in the dirt and sand along the walkways.  He couldn't have cared less about the alligator feeding on the other side of that fence!

Looking across at the different islands all inhabited by different apes.

Walking through some of the botanical gardens in the warm rain.  I am so in love with Spanish moss, although I learned to stay clear of it since it is full of chiggars.
Daxton loved walking with his daddy.

We were able to take turns feeding the giraffe different pieces of lettuce.  While I was holding him, Daxton even was brave enough to hold the lettuce on his own.  We were all shocked at how long the giraffe's tongue was!

Look at that tongue!!

What a brave little boy!!
I was so proud of our little man and his lack of fear interacting with animals. 

Walking through more botanical gardens.  I loved the rows of palm trees along the path.

I wish I could get across how hot and humid it was.  We were literally dripping sweat to the point that it was running in our eyes.  Poor Daxton got so annoyed with sweat dripping around his hairline, but I love when those curls start to show.

The most fun has been watching our little guy become a toddler.  He is such an inquisitive boy and loves more than anything to run, doesn't matter where, just run.

Hanging out with Daddy...two peas in a pod.

Doesn't get much better than this adorable smile!

After spending the morning at the Naples Zoo, we grabbed lunch at Cheesecake Factory, and then headed to the beach.  It was my first time seeing the gulf coast, let alone swimming in it.  All I can say is it was stunning.  I just wish the pictures could do it justice.

As we were setting up our beach camp, we quickly noticed a rather large storm cloud moving our way.  We swam for a bit but were soon forced to run for cover when the lightening started.

Daxton LOVED playing in the rain.  He sat out in the beach chair with rain pouring down his face until Dallas got back from swimming in the storm.  A boy from my own heart for sure!
Trying to catch the raindrops in his mouth...

Nothing like swimming in the ocean in the middle of a warm rainstorm.

Sadly the rain didn't let up, so we packed up our soggy things and selves.  We got cleaned up, showered, and then began the drive back through the everglades to the east coast of Florida.
Even though we were totally rained out of both the zoo and beach, we still had a great day and can't wait to return to the gulf coast.

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