My Baby Turned 7 {Birthday Weekend Details & Pics}

I'm in shock... my itty-bitty, teeny-weeny blue-eyed baby turned 7 yesterday. I'm pretty sure it was like less than 24 hours ago that she was born at 6lb 7oz... and had to be popped a few times to give a good scream. To this day, I think her peaceful entrance into this world and then being slapped silly could be a good reason for a little bit of that 'tude. But I digress... needless to say Kali Alysabeth has stretched this mama every-which-way but loose. Lord knows I needed it... she's my child that I routinely scream at for acting just like... ME {oops!}.

Flashback time!!!

Oh my GOODNESS!Where has the time gone!

Like, an actual real-live doll *tears*

A child after my own heart, she chose a weekend of fun activities and sight-seeing over a birthday party. I'm pretty sure we didn't save any money but I really enjoyed the opportunity just to love on my girls and explore without any crazy party planning. For me, it was a much more enjoyable experience.

On Friday, we went to Historic Westville for the day. It was awesome and kind of horrible at the same time. I believe it deserves it's own review, so I will be typing that up later. After Westville, we headed up to Atlanta. We had a free night from {always book through them!} and utilized it to get a deeply discounted rate at the Hilton Garden Inn in Downtown Atlanta. This was a beautiful hotel, in the phenomenal Marietta District. L.O.V.E. Needless to say, hubs and I will be headed back from a mom and dad only weekend sometime in the near future. Everything you could possibly want to eat, drink or do is within a block or two. Can't beat it!

We were blessed with a spectacular city-view room on the 8th floor. We went out for dinner right across the road at Max's Coal Oven Pizzeria. It was quaint and comfortable. Kali was in a big rush to go ahead and open all her gifts, so that happened right away! She had opened her "big" gift before leaving... so she and daddy could play with it... or so daddy could play with it; not sure who that was really for ;-) JK, she begged for that car after watching a video of it on amazon and has played with it obsessively since.

This is a girl who got EXACTLY what she wanted!

Anyway, Max's Pizzeria offered a gluten free crust. It was OK. I sent it back for being undercooked. They still brought it back not quite done. I spoke with them about how to get it cooked properly BEFORE putting the toppings on. I hope they take my advice because it was a great dough... I just prefer my crust cooked :-)

Our sweet waiter brought the girls some little doughnut smelling yummy-goodness since it was Kali's birthday (and his birthday as well!). We enjoyed that and went back to the room for some much-needed snuggle, rollaroundonthebedgiggling family time. That was definitely my favorite part of the trip :-)

The next morning, we were up and at em with a good breakfast at the hotel's buffet. $12.95 for adults and FREE for kids under 12. Um, yes, thank you. The girls devoured the made-to-order pancakes and I kind of over-indulged myself on freshly scrambled eggs (not those breakfast bar kind from the HIE) ;-)

We walked the big 2 minute hike over to the aquarium. I've yet to talk to anyone who has gone to both the Georgia Aquarium and Ripley's in Gatlinburg. We have, so here's the shakedown. The Cox family consensus is that Ripley's is better... but we don't know why. Maybe the "Pirate/Princess Gets in Free Day" brought in a WAY bigger crowd than we could appreciate at the GA, so that left a bit of a bad taste in our mouth; but we just all were more wowed by Ripley's.

The GA had BELUGA whales and WHALE SHARKS. Hello! It was phenomenal! The dolphin show was out of this world (other than not getting splashed when we specifically set out for the splash zone!). It was really a wonderful experience... however, there were 1,2930,19303,193023 people in that building. I'm. Not. Kidding. It was also Educator Open House day so I believe that doubled the foot traffic. There were HUGE lines in the restroom, the restrooms couldn't get cleaned quickly enough, the cafeteria was so packed you couldn't breath, there were no tables to eat at, the ice machines for drinks were even over-worked. And there was no available oxygen left in the room. You couldn't really enjoy just observing the awesome animals because you had to get out of the way of the next person {or get shoved out of the way... I'm quite sure ATL should no longer count as "the south" when it comes to manners :-/}

Anyway, we give the GA and the entire day 2 thumbs up, but it would've been unbelievable had it been less insanely crowded. After our day at the aquarium, we moseyed on back to beautiful Alabama.... with my tiny baby a full year older, but fortunately not one bit different ;-)
Surprised and excited at Max's to open her gifts!
She liked her My Little Pony!
From her new favorite movie :-)
Beautiful Big Sis
In the room... pondering deep thoughts :-)
Playing with her new stuff
So precious... sitting in her "window seat" with her daughter
aforementioned daughter
Not too shabby!
Dressed up for Pirates & Princess day!
That guy is hot ;-)
His mini-me + Her mini-me= Mini-mini-me?
Arggg Meharty!!!
2 of my favorite people
Just a couple of sharks over your head... no biggie
And a ginormous Manta Ray
"I have something on my mind...."
Pretty girls!
Japanese Spider Crab... scurrryyyy big!
Baby Beluga!
He came right up and waited for his photo op
Just chillin'... haha... punny
Wish I could give him a big kiss back!
Jellies are photogenic!
Isabella can give you a nice long introduction to the sea anemone if you'd ever like one :-)
My THREE favorite people!
Eating her birthday canoli... gone in 60 seconds!
Bye! Bye!

2013-2014 Curriculum Picks + Schedule {1st + 4th Grades}

2013-2014 Curriculum Picks + Schedule {1st + 4th Grades}

Welcome to a brief overview of our curriculum picks for 1st and 4th grade! Plus a little look into our overall day and planned schedule for 2013-2014. 

After the minor setback of having Kali wake up with a fever this morning, we were off to a decent start. I didn't take any "first day of school" pictures this morning with her feeling so poorly, but I took a few snapshots of our day...

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A Day in the Life {A Valentine's Homeschool Day}

A Day in the Life {A Valentine's Homeschool Day}

I stayed up WAY too late last night playing with my camera my hubby got me for my birthday... trying to brave the world of manual mode. I found some great little cheat sheets online. So today I became hardcore mom-parrazi and had a camera stuck in my children's face from morning to night. 

A couple of "points" I'd like to make... YES, my children do brush their hair lol. They showered and jumped right into hard-core crafting so they never combed it. YES, that's a halloween costume she is wearing (Vampira). Yes, I do dust my furniture despite what appears in these photographs. And YES my daughter taught herself how to knit today via a YouTube video (and yes, I unabashedly bragged on her!)

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