Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Little Brother

No, not that kind of little brother.

However, our family did recently grow by one:

Meet Willie - the little man's new little brother.

See, our family began to grow just about 2 short months before my husband and I got married. Yes, that's right, we had an illegitimate puppy. Our first West Highland Terrier, Casper.

My husband bought Casper for me the very first weekend I relocated to be with him, shortly before we got married.

Fast forward 10 years. Casper is of course still with us, just a little slower. The old man has begun to slow more over the years and especially this past year he has seemed to show his age more.

I had been hounding the husband for the past 10 years for another puppy - I always thought dogs were better in pairs.

Of course I am a dog lover.

When the little man came along the usual "no" response changed to "we have all the puppies we need right now" as he would shoot a gaze toward the little man.

And he was right.

But now the little man isn't so little.

And our house isn't so little.

And Casper isn't so little.

However, I was still shocked when the husband came home one Sunday and showed me a photo on his cell phone of a little white ball of fluff and asked me if I felt like taking a drive to go see the little fluff ball in person.

Of course I said yes.

So, the next day, our family piled into our car after work/preschool and took a drive. When we arrived there were two little balls of fluff to choose from.

While the husband and I were deciding which one to take home, one particular ball of fluff took an interest in the little man. The little man giggled and took off running. The ball of fluff quickly followed after.

As we watched the little man and the ball of fluff chase each other around a tree we couldn't help but smile. I looked down at the other fluff ball who was by my feet.

"I don't know, I think they both look pretty good, which one do you think?" I asked the husband.

The husband looked over at the game of chase that was still ensuing around a big old oak tree.

"Well that's pretty cute," he said, pointing to the little man and the puppy. "I don't see how we can't take the one that likes to play chase with him.

"Besides," he said. "Sometimes we don't choose them, sometimes they choose us."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Toot-Toot Boat

My absence lately has been because our family recently went on a great adventure on the high seas. Our family joined much of the extended family including my parents, my husband's parents, both of my brother-in-laws and their wives/girlfriends and my lovely nieces. It was a great celebration in honor of my mother-in-law's birthday, who wanted nothing more than to have her entire family with her for her birthday.

So, after much anticipation and endless months of waiting, our family boarded Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas for a one-week adventure on the high seas. Our adventures took us to Labadee, Haiti; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico.

We had been preparing the little man for this adventure for months. We showed him photos of our "toot-toot boat" and explained to him how big it was. We told him about all of the new, exotic things he would see and told him about the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean. He admired his passport and asked daily if today was the day we went to the toot-toot boat.

But none of that prepared him for just how big the toot-toot boat really was and how much fun he really would have.

Our first port of call was the beautiful island of Haiti. We splashed in the warm water and lounged on the white sand beach. We hunted for crabs near the rocks on shore and saw spiky sea urchins. We later lounged beneath the palm trees while the little man and his cousin played in the water and hiked up to the Dragon Rock - a rock formation that when the waves crash into it, make a noise that sounds like a dragon is snoring just below.

Our second port was the green island of Jamaica. We went into town and marveled at all of the local vendors and their colorful crafts. The little man sampled some fresh ice cream and took in the sights of town.

Our third port took us to Grand Cayman where we found a pirate ship full of pirates. We boarded the Vallhalla and the little man enjoyed an afternoon of pirating, which included taking a pirate's oath, swabbing the deck and of course, firing some cannons. When the ship dropped anchor in the bay, Mommy then walked the plank, much to the little man's delight (once Mommy surfaced from beneath the water, that is.)

Our final port of call was Cozumel, Mexico, which included one final trip to the beach. The little man and I built sandcastles on the soft sandy beach while Daddy and the others found some grown-up fun on jet skis. Unfortunately, the clouds rolled in and cut our day a bit short - but not before the little man and I built a great sandcastle decorated with seashells.

On the last day, the little man sadly protested as we made our way off the boat.

"I want to stay on the toot-toot boat," he said. "It's fun here."

"I know, but we have to share the toot-toot with the other people, it's their turn to go on the boat now," I said.

"I don't wanna go," the little man protested once more.

"Neither do I, little man," I said. "But we'll be back."

"Bye-bye toot-toot boat," the little man said as we made our way off the gangplank. "I'll see you again soon."

{Our ship docked in beautiful Haiti}

{The little man's favorite part of the ship - his "high bed."}

{Our family in Haiti}

{Balloon Fun in Cozumel}

{Floating with Daddy}

{Sharing a laugh with his cousin}

{Becoming a little cheese connoisseur}

{And then dancing the night away}

{Grand Cayman brought us to this pirate ship}

{Where the little man got to take the pirate oath}

{Taking the oath with other novice pirates}

{And then like any good pirate, he swabbed the deck}

{Little Pirate}

{Cannons are cool}

{Did I mention that cannons are cool?}

{Hugging his new friend, Sharkey the Whale}