25 August 2016

19 August 2016

Damon's second birthday party

Did you wonder if Damon had his second birthday? Once again, I'm slow on the draw. So here is his birthday in review...finally!




On Damon's actual birthday, the four of us went out for pizza and frozen yogurt at our favorite local shop. Then Damon opened his presents from Avery, Mommy, and Daddy.





Believe it or not, Damon didn't have an IU hat. So Daddy knew just what to give Damon for his birthday.




Daddy also knew it was high time for Damon to have his first pair of Nike tennis shoes.





 Avery chose two construction trucks for Damon because he loves anything with wheels!




Damon's big gift was a balance bike. This is a different way of teaching kids to ride a bike. They learn to balance first (as young as 18 months!) then comes the easy part of pedaling and breaking. Both Chris and I had heard good things about balance bikes. And since Avery still has training wheels on her two-wheeler, we figured we could try a balance bike with Damon





He was very eager to ride his new orange bike and wear his matching orange helmet. Since his birthday, he has gotten more comfortable with the bike. We'll see how this goes!




On the Sunday after Damon's birthday, the grandparents and Aunt Karen joined us for a little party. As I mentioned before, Damon loves cars and trucks. So I was leaning toward having some type of vehicular theme for the party. Then when Grandma Hromada surprised Damon with a personlalized birthday shirt featuring a dump truck, I knew we had to go with a construction theme!






Decorating was easy! One roll of caution tape, some black and yellow accessories, and plenty of construction toys from Damon's personal collection was all we needed to make the house look festive.




I purchased these construction toys just for the cake. The "dirt" is crushed Oreo cookies.




All of the food also fit in the construction theme.

Wrecking Balls – cheese balls
Nuts and Bolts – Chex Mix
Measuring Tape – bubble gum
Rope Knots Salad – pasta salad
Traffic Cones – Bugles snacks
Build Your Own Burger station
Tools – silverware






Damon didn't need any help opening his presents. He knew just what to do! Though I don't know who was more excited about his toys – Daddy or Damon!












Here Damon is trying to show two fingers, in case you don't know how old he is.









Happy (very belated) birthday to our sweet little boy!


18 August 2016

17 August 2016

Avery's official second grade picture

Avery has been in school for just two weeks. She's already had her picture taken, and she's already hit up her grandparents for the first school fundraiser of the year. They don't waste any time at her school!

Unfortunately, this isn't the exact hairdo she had when she left home. But at least it still looks good. I love all of the gaps in her teeth. Those make for great school pictures. Avery got her new glasses the day after this picture was taken. I was so bummed that her fall picture didn't include her glasses. So we may have to break down and buy the spring picture this year!


11 August 2016

09 August 2016

Seeing things with a new perspective

Just when I thought Avery couldn't be anymore like me, she recently was diagnosed with astigmatism...just like dear old Mom. Back at her yearly well-child exam, Avery's doctor suggested that she get a complete eye exam. Right before school started, she finally had that exam. And the doctor said she'd need glasses for the astigmatism. It seems she has a mild case right now, so let's hope it doesn't get any worse.

After nearly fainting at the huge price tag on glasses at the doctor's office and simply being overwhelmed with the situation, I decided it was best to shop around a bit. We found that we could buy two pairs of glasses for less than half of the price at the doctor's office. Score! So we bought these two pairs:




A pink wire-rimmed pair for everyday wear...




...and a thicker turquoise pair for being more active.

I struggled with this milestone. For me, the bullying at school started after I got glasses. And it simply wasn't cool to wear glasses back then. But now glasses look so much more fashionable, and so many kids have them so there's not a stigma attached to glasses anymore.

On the other hand, Avery thinks it's pretty cool to have glasses just like some of her friends.

My only concern now is making sure she takes care of the glasses and doesn't break them!


07 August 2016

Marco Island: A restaurant recap

Here is a list of the restaurants we visited on vacation. This list will help us remember our favorite places the next time we visit Marco Island!

Thursday, June 16
Dinner – Island Pizza and Pasta Company

Friday, June 17
Lunch – Doreen's Cup of Joe
Dinner – The Crazy Flamingo
Dessert – Sweet Annie's

Saturday, June 18
Dinner – Nacho Mama's
Dessert – Bebe's

Sunday, June 19
Dinner – The Old Marco Lodge

Monday, June 20
Breakfast – NeNe's Kitchen
Dinner – SpeakEasy
Dessert – Sweet Annie's

Tuesday, June 21
Dinner – Sand Bar

Wednesday, June 22
Dinner – Margarita's
Dessert – Orange Leaf

Thursday, June 23
Breakfast – Breakfast Plus
Dinner – Snook Inn

Friday, June 24
Dinner – Konrad's
Dessert – Sweet Annie's


06 August 2016

Marco Island: A video recap

Damon's first time in the ocean wasn't very thrilling for him.




Eventually, he started having more fun. He even survived a little misstep.




He learned two new words, "beach" and "ocean."




Finally, he got more than just his feet wet in the water.




Avery is a fish, just like her daddy. She loves swimming in the pool, and the ocean is no different.




Damon had only a few visits to Mommaw and Poppaw's pool before vacation. So we weren't sure what he'd think of the pool at the vacation house. Well, he surprised us by jumping off the side countless times! I'm sure he will become a fish just like Avery.




Damon loved floating in the pool, thanks to his awesome swimjacket!


05 August 2016

Marco Island: A photo recap

Now that our family vacation is almost two months old, I guess it's time to do a recap here on the blog.

Back in June, Grandma and Grandpa Hromada, Aunt Karen, and the four of us Clarks traveled to Marco Island, Fla. Chris and I have been here twice; Karen and Avery came with us the second time. It was time for Grandma and Grandpa to see the place. We stay in the house owned by my mom's cousin (and previously owned by her uncle).

We love the slow, relaxing pace of Marco Island. Most mornings we went to the beach. The afternoons were full of naps, reading, and swimming in the pool. And after the kids went to bed, we adults played card games. And we ate every time in between. All of that is what a vacation is all about!







At first, Damon wasn't too keen on the beach and the ocean. He didn't like the sand on his feet. But by the end of the trip, he loved splashing in the water and playing in the sand.

















Watch for our next post, which will be full of videos at the beach.









I think I speak for everyone when I say that we had a very fun and relaxing family vacation!