Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Photo 4.26.13

Don't tell Mom, but I make a mess so I can use the broom

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

To Do: Spring Break 2013

Here's the play-by-play for the Ervin's wild and crazy Spring Break in Florida 2013!

(because when you think of the Ervins, I'm sure you think of WILD & CRAZY!)


The vacation all started off with simply good timing--Our flight left Bloomington late afternoon.  We stopped in Morton on the way for a hearty meal at Cracker Barrel.  (That's a treat since we don't have one in Peoria!).  And it's not a vacation unless you have Cracker Barrel at least once, right?

We had no idea what to expect considering this was our first flight with a child in tow.  Oh, the old days were so easy!  Mama came with a bag packed with toys (a lot of new $1 store  toys) and lots of special snacks...including dum dums and m&ms.  We got to the airport 2 hours early and let that kid run, run, run!  

Parker enjoyed watching the airport crew and the planes 1 plane that came in.  But mostly, he just flirted and stared at everyone in his sight.  Oh the looks he gave if they happened to be holding a phone or for heaven's sake--an Ipad!

His 1st Flight can go do in history as being a success!  He was glued to the window during takeoff and it wasn't probably 10 minutes before this....

He slept nearly the whole way!  Woke up for last 20 minutes--enough time to stack some blocks and play peek-a-boo with the lady in front of us.

Since it was St. Patty's Day--our lucky green shirts really must have been lucky!

We made it to Orlando!


My sister, Sharolyn, and her family just happened to be visiting my mom (And her "Special Friend", David) in Ft. Myers the same week. We had planned our trip so Matt could go to his annual Spring Training ball game.  Well, and because if you know us, you know we love Florida!

So we all drove 2-3 hours away from our starting point and met in Jupiter (near Ft. Lauderdale) at the Cardinal's stadium.  It was the first time we had been to this ball park.  

(Clearly I didn't get the hat message)

We had perfect weather!  And of course, everyone was excited to see Parker.  (And surely Matt & I too!)

And even better, the Cardinals Won.  (I think.  I had lots of people watching to do...and a toddler).  

(Photo taken by Nathan)

Speaking of people watching, these two sisters were sitting in front of us.  Our husbands fear that they may represent the future for me and my sister!

Sharolyn's kids were on a mission to get autographs.  (A great perk to Spring Training games).  But you know there is always crazies around and they didn't get as many autographs as they had hoped.  But...these three cuties were the only kids allowed to get on the field after the game for a quick photo opp.  Score!

So if you have only been in Florida for 1 day and if you find out that the ocean is just a few miles go searching for it.  Hint the word searching!  Searching for a public beach access I should say.  But we did find a hotel with a private access that worked and Parker put his feet in the sand for the first time.

Minutes before we nearly got drenched in rain :)

It was off to dinner then a long drive back to Orlando.


Hmm...where do I start.  Let's just say that we took this trip mainly because we Matt got talked into coming to a timeshare presentation.  We already own a timeshare in Orlando (Wanna buy it?  No, I'm serious.  Wanna buy it?).

It was supposed to be 1 hour.  We had Parker with surely we could have them ready for us to leave in 30 minutes MAX.  That was our plan.  We were there 5 hours.  Don't ask.

Afterwards, we spent the rest of the gorgeous day walking around Downtown Disney.

Parker needed to get out of that stroller.  So we drove over to the Disney town, Celebration.  (If you haven't been there, you need to check it out.  It's like a real Wysteria Lane!)

He ran and ran then we hit Target and ice cream.  You have to have lots of ice cream if (A) you married Dippin' Merv, and (B) you are in Florida.


It's hard for us bargain seekers to pass up an outlet mall.  Especially when you packed thinking you were leaving on Thursday, but on the way to the airport, decided to just take the Sunday flight back.  What were we in a hurry to get back for??  

Only problem.  Our 1 checked bag had a limit of 40 lbs.  It weighed in at 39.25lbs.  So...kind of makes shopping a bust.

So does this...

Every time we went inside a story--the tears came.  Wait, I doubt there were tears.  More like pouting, whines, yells, kicking, etc.

So after that fun excursion, we hopped back into our mini-van (probably Matt's highlight of the trip) for yet another roadtrip.  

3 hours later we arrived at Grandma Flamm's place in the senior community.  Her and David were on their way to their ice cream social so we tagged along.  Parker brought about lots of attention, as you could imagine.  


It's just something we have to do.  If you go to Ft. Myers, you have to go to Sanibel & Captiva Islands too.  They are just too beautiful to miss!  And if you go to Captiva, you have to eat at least one meal at The Mucky Duck.  (I'm sure there are lots of great restaurants, but in all the years of going there, I've only been to the Mucky Duck).  And this year we got t-shirts to prove it.  (Yes, making us closer to that 40 lbs limit!)

Here's the bonus to lunch with your niece & nephew...

Oh yeah.  I'm across the table and my kid is not only sitting, but smiling!  Ah....heaven!

So the rest of the day goes like this.  And I truly mean the rest of the day.  Like the next 7 hours.

We took some pictures on the beach.

Parker watched the birds.  (Thank heavens for all the birds in Florida!)

And Parker played on the chair or sat in my lap--cause no way were his feet touching sand!

And then we waited.  And waited.  And waited....

(Yes, it got chilly)

But was time for the sunset!  

And 2 minutes later we were in the car!


It's hard not to love a Friday.  But Friday's on the beach are even better!  Especially when the weather was just perfect!

Lesson learned...this day, Parker donned his fancy shmancy clearance sand shoes...which were totally worth the $5!  Sand was no issue.  

Whew!  He loved the beach!  (Does he really have a choice?)

And lucky for us, he wasn't a big fan of the ice-cold water.  He liked to look at it, but would rather scope out other people's toys in the sand.  And of course, he loved every minute with Nathan and Natalie!

He wasn't real impressed with the dolphin that was close to shore either, but the rest of us were!

At maybe the best part...the kid who refused to ever sleep in public...did just that

Oh my goodness!  I don't get this very often!


Sharolyn and her family headed out early that morning for their drive back to St. Louis.  Matt and I decided to go ahead and make our drive back to the Orlando area.

We ended up stopping by Siesta Key Beach to check it out since it's often rated as the #1 beach in the US.  Let's just say it took us longer to find a parking spot than we were there.
It's known for it's super white, fine sand.  Yep.  It was cool.  (We took this picture knowing that on this day our feet were in the sand, but the next day, they would be in snow!)  Please note the tan line on my left foot.  Impressive!

But go figure...the view wasn't so amazing that day.  We think it was mist, but it looked like smoke or fog.  

And without his cousins, Parker threw some sand then called it done.

So back in the car we went.  Parker has been on plenty of road trips in his little life span.  He does pretty good.  Here's a snipit of our time together.  This boy loves Peek-a-Boo.  Any time. Anywhere.

We ended up staying in Stanford, FL since our flight was leaving there.  I had read online that their downtown area was nice so we headed there to eat dinner outside.

Our dinner wasn't amazing, but Parker was in heaven.  Not only could he eat outside, but there was a Beer & Dog festival a block away so I'm not exaggerating when I say that every table had at least 1 dog.  The waiters even brought dog bowls to each table.

Back to the hotel we went. We had to figure out how we could cram more things into our carry-on so we didn't go over 40 lbs.


Because our flight wasn't until 3:00p.m.,  we ventured to the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford for the morning.  

It was nice.  Not very big but big enough for our guy.

After the zoo, we enjoyed one last meal outside.

And then it was time for the real fun.

We got to the airport at 1:00pm, hoping that Parker could again run, run, and run some more so that not only would he be physically exhausted, but considering it was also past his normal nap time--he definitely would sleep on the plane.

Good plan.

It didn't work.

No flights were leaving. None were arriving.

There were bad thunderstorms and tornadoes in the state.

Parker could care less about chasing his ball.  He had discovered steps and the baggage carousel and the doors that went outside.  He ran and ran and ran some more.  Just as planned.  But...instead of 3:00, the flight had been bumped to 6:00.

Remember, our kid won't sleep in public.  But when you are desperate, you are desperate.

The bag for the car seat had wheels so a few trips around the airport in his car seat and we got this:

And this is when our picture taking stopped.  The fun was over.

Note: About this time, we got a text saying that my sister's family had already made it home.

We did finally get on a plane at 6:00p.m.  There seemed to be problem after problem.  But somewhere around 10:30p.m., we had exited the plane, finally got our luggage, and where ready to head home in beautiful Illinois.  Illinois that was covered in about 6" of snow!  Fresh snow!  Like we know the landing gear was down for a long time before our plane ever hit the runway.  Like, it was a bad idea to look out the window to see the white-out conditions.  Like maybe one of the scariest landings ever.  But surprisingly, it was amazingly smooth!  The drive home was ugly with only 1 lane barely open, cars in ditches, etc.  But we made it home safe and sound!!

And looking back, I'm ready to do it again!!  The trip to Florida that is.

P.S.--Our bad weighed in at 41 lbs.  They let it slide :)

Note: My sister. Sharolyn, gets credit for taking some of these photos.  But if you think they are good, just pretend I took all of them.

Monday, April 15, 2013

To Do: Put on His Pants

To say that Parker likes to climb is an understatement.

Today alone I caught him with 3 new climbing adventures.  (And yes, I grabbed the camera.  No child was the capturing of these photos.  Yep, I bet we will be in the Emergency Room before age 2).  And maybe we should note that ironically all 3 times, he had his pants off.

First--His walking on the couch (one of his favorite hobbies), led him to standing on the coffee table.  That right leg later went up on the back of the couch cushion.  Photo taking stopped.

It wasn't probably 20 minutes later, when I saw this:

He clearly knows where we hide his paci.

Then tonight was this:

Clearly our "no! no!" isn't working.  He usually climbs up, looks at us with a devilishly looking smile, then shakes his finger and tells us "no, no, no, no"--one of his favorite new words!

Tomorrow, his pants are staying on!  Problem solved!