Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bayfront Park

Today we went met some of our friends down at Bayfront Park in Sarasota.   We ran/walked the Ringling Bridge and then went to the park to eat lunch and play.  You can just see the left end of the bridge behind the condos.  The bridge is about 1 mile long from light to light and is an absolutely beautiful place to run.  They have wide pedestrian sidewalks than run along either side and there are always lots of people running, walking, and biking along it.  The bridge joins downtown Sarasota to Longboat Key.  
Bayfront Park is on a little peninsula that jets out into the bay, so the whole park is surrounded by water.  There is a walking path that goes along the entire perimeter by the water and all the docks and beautiful boats.  There is also a little restaurant and bar that you can either get to via walking through the park or dock your boat there.  They also have a nice playground, lots of picnic tables and benches, large grassy areas for the kids to run around in, and sculptures and fountains.  It really is very picturesque. 

Tyler loved collecting and throwing the shells and climbing the trees.

This is the dolphin fountain at the very end of the park.  You can see some of downtown Sarasota in the background.
Tyler decided he needed to stop for a few minutes and relax.  

Jackson and his little friend Cameron.

It is easy to tell when Jackson is about to get into something now because he has started sticking out his little tongue whenever he is about to do something or get into something.

Tyler giving his brother hugs- so cute!
Tyler and Caylee on the swing.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas at the beach

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here.  On Saturday, it was 83 degrees with a nice breeze.  So we decided to head to the beach for the day.  We went to "our" beach on Anna Maria Island.  Usually, we are among about 20 other people on the beach.  But I guess lots of other people had the same idea as us, so I think we were among at least 300 other people.  I guess we are just spoiled.  But, despite the crowds, we had a great time.  It was the first time Rich has been able to come with us to this particular beach since we usually go during the week.  Tyler loved having daddy there with us and it was nice to be able to enjoy the beach a little bit more with another pair of hands and eyes to help me watch the boys! 

Tyler loves to try and dump water on other people, but here he has dumped it on himself!

The past few times we have been to the beach, he has really gotten into building sand castles and playing in the sand.  In this picture, he is trying to bury Jackson.
And now it is Tyler's turn...

Tyler did not like Jackson sitting on top of him when he was buried in the sand.
We had a great day at the beach!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

This is a year of first's for us.  In addition to living in a new state for the first time in my life, we were on our own for Thanksgiving and now, for Christmas.  But apart from being away from our loves ones, we had a great Christmas morning.  We attempted church last night, but ended up leaving early with 2 tired boys.  But after a good night sleep, we woke up this morning to lots of presents from Santa.  Unfortunately, something is wrong with either my camera or my CF card.  I am secretly hoping for the first so that I can get a new one, but we will see!  But I did manage to retrieve a few pictures so at least we have something to remember Jackson's first Christmas!
Doesn't he look excited???

The boys got tons of toys, as usual.  The one thing that Tyler has been asking for since we started talking about Santa and presents is "Spike" the dinosaur.  So here he is unwrapping Spike.  Unfortunately, we did not unwrap it and put it together before hand, so we did not know that you had to charge the battery for 4 hours before you use it.  
This year was fun because Tyler really understood it and loved opening the presents.  I think he was a little confused though because my birthday was just a few days ago and he would hand out the presents and say "Happy Birthday" instead of Merry Christmas.
I think Jackson had fun also.  He liked to tear the paper and got excited when he saw the toys. 
One of Tyler's favorite presents was this cheap little drum set we got him at he last minute.  He is really into music and loves to have everyone play along with him.

Jackson watching every move.
It was very hard to buy things for Jackson this year because he has all of Tyler's old toys- which is a lot.  But a few of them have bit the dust, so we were able to replace those.
Tyler was such a good brother helping Jackson unwrap presents.

Tyler gave up trying to reach in and pull out things from his stocking, so his just dumped it out onto the floor.  So patient, just like his Dad!
Rich (and Tyler) got an early Christmas present- we finally got a Wii.  Tyler loves the boxing game and Rich loves the guitar hero set we got.  Tyler likes the drums, Rich gets the guitar, Jackson gets the microphone, and I am the paparatzzi taking the pictures.
Here is Tyler playing the boxing game.  He does it more like Ultimate fighting in that he kicks, runs, and jumps while he punches.  It really is a good workout! 

Just another day

I took some pictures earlier this week one morning the boys and I were home just hanging out and not rushing out anywhere.  Tyler is such a good big brother.  He LOVES to play with Jackson- although he treats him like his little puppy.  He will call him and try to get him to follow him or throw things and tell him to go get them.  It is pretty funny.
But Jack can hold his own. 

"I love my big brother!"

Whenever the boys are yelling or screaming, Macy always has to come and see what is going on.  She used to do that when Tyler was little and screamed a lot.  I don't know if it has something to do with the pitch or what, but she comes running and gets right in the middle of it all.

Tyler also likes to read stories to Jackson.  He shows him pictures and says "look Jack" and then tells him what the character is doing.  Sometimes Jackson could care less- which he is doing here.  Other times he really listens to him.  I love to watch them interact.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

As good as it gets...

Last Tuesday, we went to Selby Gardens in Sarasota.  They are known for their orchid collection (which we didn't even see) and their various other plants.  It is a beautiful location just south of the bridge to Longboat Key, overlooking the bay and the bridge.  They have a program called "Little Sprouts" that does fun, educational things for kids every other Tuesday.  This week, they had about 8 different Christmas crafts set out for the kids and a surprise visit from Santa!  Which, as you can see, did not go over so well for my kids. This is the closest either one has ever gotten and I think that is as good as it is going to get.
It is hard to tell in this picture, but if you look at Jackson's feet, he is actually flailing his arms and legs.
Santa did have pencils, which I think is the only reason Tyler even went that close.  But as you can see, he grabbed the pencil and ran.

Tyler loves to make things and play with glue and scissors.  So he had an absolute blast.

They had some very large, very hungry koi fish.  Tyler loved feeding them- I think we could have sat there for hours.
Look closely at the orange fish in the center of the picture below.  Yes, he is airborne going after the food.   He jumped up and landed with a huge splash!  The kids thought it was the greatest thing and kept trying to make him do it again.