Cruisin’ Together

We just finished a 4 day Cruise on the Carnival Triumph and it was very relaxing. My pants are definitely tighter and my skin is a little darker.  I do still feel like I’m on a boat, though. I am hoping that feeling goes away soon or I might be walking down the halls at work in a zig-zag tomorrow. Grayson stayed with his Gran while we were gone. We figured it would be too tough to have a little one onboard. There were lots of toddlers around, which made it that much harder as the days went on. After a few days, everything started to look like this…


If you do plan on tropical cruisin’, here are a few things I learned:

  • Pack smart & light.
    • You WILL NOT need that extra pair of dress shoes so just leave them at home.
    • The formal dinner (if you have one) is only as formal as you want it to be. You would be fine in a nice sun dress.
    • One swimsuit can be worn the entire time…no kidding. Just rinse and dry overnight.
    • If you plan on going on excursions, bring some tennis shoes.
    • Sunscreen is important. It will cost you $15 on the boat.
    • Over-the-counter medications {like Advil, etc.} will also cost you $15 on the boat.
    • You will want some warm clothing, like light sweaters or cardigans, for cool nights.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to and from the ship.
    • Don’t book your flights too close to departure/arrival times for your cruise. You don’t want to have to rush to or from the airport.
    • If you are with an anxious travel companion, this will save you {and your partner} from a giant headache.
  • Choose the flexible dinner dining option.
    • The dining rooms have the best food on the boat. You are going to want to eat dinner there even if you’re not hungry. If you book the flexible dining option, you are less likely to fall into a food coma from eating a big lunch and dinner too close together.
    • You’ll also get to meet some new people (this is not a good option for people who aren’t comfortable eating with people they don’t know). The hostess will seat you as you come in. We met some great ladies from Texas during breakfast one morning.
  • Throw your diet out {and insecurities} out the window…or off the balcony.
    • Food is available 24 hours a day. You don’t have to eat 24 hours a day if you don’t want to, but give yourself a few days to just enjoy it. Before you know it, you’ll be back on solid ground, enjoying a healthy meal regimen. Cruising is a great chance to try new things.
    • Remember that everyone is there to have a good time. Celebrate new friends, good food, and expensive drinks for a few days! Life’s too short to worry about anything while you’re on a boat in the warm sun. Enjoy it all!
  • Don’t waste your money on the cheesy pictures.
    • They are too expensive! When you get home, contact your favorite local photographer {i.e. ErinVelez Photography} and get some photos taken. You’ll get three times the number of pictures for the same price and they won’t be in front of a fake beach background in your formal attire. Weird.
    • It is okay to say “No Thank You” when someone asks you to step in front of a camera on a cruise ship.
  • Get a Dramamine patch.
    • Sometimes the boat rocks a little. Sometimes the boat rocks a lot. If you’ve never been on a ship before, you won’t know if you get sea-sick until you are. It’s not worth the risk. You can get the patch from your doctor. The pills work, but they will make you sleepy.
  • Buy the Wine Package
    • I think that I’ve already mentioned that drinks are expensive. You might get free food, but cruise lines are making their money back by the price they charge for drinks. If you’re a wine drinker, get the wine package. You will save money.
    • Our wine package included 5 bottles. We chose to get champagne during the day for two of our bottles. Just mix in some OJ {free} or some lemonade {also free} and you have some cheap cocktails while you lay out on the lido deck.




The Out-takes

The Chalkboard Project was much easier when “he-who-should-be-known-as-Hurricane-Grayson” was not mobile. Our photo shoots have gotten much more difficult interesting as he’s become better at getting around. Today’s shoot was probably the most challenging to date.  The out-takes were too funny not to share.

I Love Waffles!

We had just finished pancakes on Christmas morning and were talking about getting a waffle maker for next year. Who doesn’t love waffles? Gray got very excited about the prospect of having waffles next year. Unfortunately, he is not so excited about having to eat his veggies.

Single Digits

31 Weeks

I can’t remember much these days, but I do remember being 9 Weeks Pregnant.  Now, we only have 9 Weeks left and it doesn’t feel like it is even possible that time has gone by this quickly.  I still remember the day that we found out.

It was in the middle of the Snowpocalypse in February.  I was sitting on the couch of our first house, trying to stay warm and occupied (there are only so many days you can spend inside before you go a little stir-crazy).  Carey was out in the backyard, on a ladder, in two feet of snow.  He was attempting to figure out if our chimney was really separating from the house as the inspector’s report had said.  Not a fun time of our lives.

We had gone through our first round of fertility treatments earlier in the month and were just waiting to hear back from the doctor with the results from the blood test.  Stevie called and told me that the results were positive…and Carey was too far away to grab right away! So I grabbed my handy iPhone, typed a note, and held it up to the window…

He came running into the house covered in snow and got a big, tear-filled hug.  We were speechless for a while.  After a year of trying, we were in disbelief that it had actually happened.  We were going to be parents. That still sounds strange.

The last four weeks have been eventful.  We had our first baby shower, thrown by three of the greatest friends a girl could ask for (Kara, Susan, and Lauren).  Even though I couldn’t enjoy the margarita machine, I had a great time.

We ate way too much food, spent time with our best friends, and tried to change diapers as pairs.  When you have lots of competitive people in the room who have had a few margaritas, that game gets interesting…and loud.

This is my sister-in-law, Amy.  She is due 3 weeks after me.  No, I’m not joking.

The winners of the tandem diaper-changing challenge were Jessica and Randy.  I’m convinced that it is because they’ve had the most practice.

A few days after the shower, the mamaRoo arrived on our doorstep, courtesy of the hostesses with the mostesses.  If you have not yet seen the mamaRoo, you’re in for a treat. It is the Star Trek version of a baby swing, complete with 5 motion settings and a plug-in for your iPhone.  I believe it was used by Captain Janeway herself.  Notice the music in the video.  Grayson will be listening to the Transformers score before he is even old enough to see the movie.

Carey has been reading Shel Silverstein poems to Gray every night when we get into bed. It is fun to see how he starts rolling around at the sound of his dad’s voice.  To wrap up this long post, I will leave you with one of my new favorite SS poems…


If I could only see the scale,

I’m sure that it would state

That I’ve lost ounces…maybe pounds

Or even tons of weight.

“You’d better eat some pancakes-

You’re skinny as a rail.”

I’m sure that’s what the scale would say…

If I could see the scale.

Too Hot in the Hot Tub

Gonna’ make ya sweat-a!

Eddie Murphy isn’t the only one trying to dodge the heat these days.  Our four-legged friends are doing everything they can to get some relief.  Yesterday was a little cooler around here (only 95°), but it is supposed to get back to the triple digits today.

Usually, the pups want to play with the Kong or frisbee when I get home from work every day.  Lately, they scoot inside every chance they get and find a cool spot to relax for the evening.  Here are a couple of their favorite spots.

Zain cools off in the shower.

Nalla relaxes under the farmhouse table.

Not everyone hates the hot weather, though.  Marley seems to be loving it in this highly inappropriate (even for a cat) pose.

Marley sunbathes on the deck.

I want to be a fat house cat in my next life.