Monday, September 28, 2015

Cooper Visits the Bahamas (Cat Island)

Last September we packed up the Little Prince and headed to the Bahamas with Pops and MommyShawna! Our original plan was to stay a week on tiny Cat Island, but the best laid plans occasionally unravel so we ended up spending a few days in Atlantis. (notice how you don't hear anybody complaining) I'm breaking the trip into two posts just so it isn't complete picture overload! Without further ado, we're off to Cat Island!

We spent the morning hopping from one airport to the next until we finally arrived in the Bahamas! We had a layover that was just long enough to catch a cab and grab a bite to eat before heading over to Cat Island so we took advantage of that opportunity and enjoyed a great lunch overlooking the ocean! Cooper was mesmerized by the bright blue water - he marched straight past our table and went to check it out.

After filling our bellies we went back to the airport and caught this cute little hopper over to Cat Island! I sure am lucky to get to travel with two handsome jet-setters!

This trip was different than our usual beach trip because we let Pops call the shots and he wanted to see and do something different! His goal was to avoid anything super touristy - enter Cat Island! This little tiny island was definitely off the beaten path, so much so that there was hardly a path at all! We flew into a one room airport and met a guy who would take us to the house we had rented for the week. On the way to the house, he let us stop at the one grocery store on the island which they had opened just for our arrival. It was a surprisingly well stocked store and we grabbed everything we needed for the first few days and headed on to a "restaurant" to grab a quick dinner. Why the quotations around "restaurant" you ask? Well, this wasn't your average beachside restaurant… This place, and we quickly realized almost every other eating establishment on the island, was a three walled shack. There was no going inside, you just walked up to the side that didn't have a wall and ordered and then they cooked it on a teeny-tiny grill/skillet/whatever they had and handed it to you and you were on your own to find a place to sit and eat. Pops loved it… the rest of us weren't quite as enthusiastic.

When we got to the house, our driver unloaded all our belongings onto the porch and left before we could barely get in the door… Once we stepped in the door we learned why… The house was filthy. Not like floors needed to be swept dirty, I'm talking I'm-not-getting-in-that-bed because every sheet, comforter and pillow is disgusting. {You're welcome for sparing you from seeing all those pictures!} So, long story short, we spent two nights there (fully clothed in a really hot bed trying not to touch anything with our bare skin) and then we caught a flight back to the main island and spent a luxurious few days with all the tourists in Atlantis! Haha! We love an adventure!

Cooper was not a big fan of the sand at first. He wasn't too sure about the fact that it moved when he walked on it and stuck to him… Oh, he did not like it on his hands! But then after just a few minutes of acclimating to the new texture and feel, he decided it was great fun after all! And then before we could stop him he had an entire mouth full!

Thankfully our little house was literally walk ten steps to the ocean so we enjoyed spending the day chasing giant crabs on the porch and playing in the sand and waves. Pops and Daddy went scuba diving and caught us some yummy lobsters and grouper for dinner! MommyShawna did such an awesome job cooking us an incredibly yummy dinner - I wouldn't have even known where to start on that one!

The best part of our visit to Cat Island was having our very own beach - it was so wonderful to not have to hustle out to find a beach chair at the crack of dawn or worry if you were offending anyone by letting your son run wild while being completely naked! He was so happy! We started with a diaper but it got heavy fast...

We spent one day driving all over the island. We hiked to the highest point in the Bahamas - Mount Alvernia (or Como Hill as the locals call it) - a whopping 206 feet above sea level! On top of the hill was a teeny-tiny church and even more teeny-tiny house where a Catholic priest built a hermitage. It was a fun little side stop!

We finished our evening on a crazy beautiful beach on the east end of the island. The sand was a magical shade of pale pink and the water was the perfect temperature. I was particularly fond of the a GIANT tree that was covered in a multitude of bright colored buoys! More importantly, Cooper was so happy! He could run for a day and we could still see him. He could throw all the sand he wanted. He could crawl until the waves took him completely out. He could play football with Pops and Daddy. He could run and jump waves with Mommy. Oh, it was a little boy's perfect way to top off a fun day and a really good end to our stay on Cat Island!

The next morning we gathered our growing collection of wet swimsuits and headed to the itty-bitty airport to catch our flight back to the main island and to beautiful Atlantis! Cat Island might not have been exactly what we had planned, but we made the most of it! It's always good to try something new even if it isn't perfect! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Cooper Catch Up: September 2014

Blake (2 years 11months), Cooper (1 year), Henry (8 months) & Creede (7 months)

September was another fun month! September might be my favorite month because it's still warm enough to play at the lake, but it's starting to cool off just enough to enjoy being outdoors without being submerged in water and, well, there is football so that's a major plus! Here's a little recap of our adventures in September 2014!

We bought Cooper a ski suit, made him try it on and then enjoyed a solid twenty minutes of laughter while he walked around looking like a cartoon character.

Cooper became a busy body! He stopped shooting baskets and started getting his foot stuck in them! He learned to climb stairs (First time up and down - September 10th), much to everyone's horror! Little man climbs straight to the top and then slowly works his way back down… and then straight back to the top! He found the tupperware drawer and destroyed it. Welcome to the world of having a toddler.

We cheered on the Vian Wolverines and our not-so-little cousin, Denver! We were so thrilled to get to be home to enjoy Denver's senior year of high school and be his full time fan club members! It also brings our hearts great joy to  sit in a those purple bleachers surrounded by our family and an entire herd of little future Wolverines! We've got great hopes and expectations for the future of Vian Public Schools!

Cooper became HELPFUL! On September 11th, he took his own diaper to the trash - a step in the right direction to all my dreams of a clean, OCD child coming true! If only I could have convinced him to not bring anything back from out of the trash can…

Days at Circle A playing with the cousins are some of our favorite! We love getting to take advantage of the wonderful weather by going on jeep rides. I love the pictures of our boys holding their baby boys - that's a jeep load of dreams coming true! Cooper very sweetly waved at me from the backseat and I melted… I know a day will come when he doesn't look back for me so I soak up every glance I can get! 

Pops took us on a little adventure to see the caves that Cooper's great-grandfather had plans to some day turn into a restaurant. It was my first time to visit the caves and it was so nice to get to see some of my Papa's handiwork. Cooper loved climbing the big rocks!

We spent another Saturday in Norman watching our Sooners beat the Tennessee Volunteers! Cooper was a great little sports fan and even made the big screen!

On September 20th Cooper and I participated in our very first 5K with Lyndsey, Henry and MommyShawna! We weren't exactly in it to win it, but we sure had lots of fun and were excited to help support a local event!

Did I mention Cooper grew like a foot this month - I swear someone told him he turned one and he instantly got a foot taller! One day I went to check on him after he went down for a nap and couldn't believe my eyes, he looked so long!! 

Cooper celebrated Coach's birthday with barbecue and the perfect Cooper-sized ice cream! 

Cooper's Aunt Callie opened her very own fabulous store, Morning Sky Boutique! (Go follow her on Facebook - you'll fall in love!) We put Cooper to work sweeping floors - he's a HUGE fan of brooms! Super random, but he will find a broom and spend the next thirty minutes doing his very best to sweep away any dust or dirt he can find. Cooper enjoyed getting to play with his big cousin Zoe while we tried to help finish up some last minute details for opening day!

Pops, Daddy and Cooper went fishing a few times. Oh, how happy this makes Pops!! Cooper is still not quite tall enough to be able to get out of the boat on his own so this is the best babysitting tool you've ever seen! He loves running from the front to the back of the boat to check out what the boys are reeling in… And oh, to touch a fish provokes an endless supply of giggles! These special memories are some that we will cherish forever.

Our little family took a quick vacation to the Bahamas! I'll post all the details and a ton of adorable pictures in a separate post!

We got home from our trip right in time to cap off the month with a few days getting ready for fall. The pumpkins and an entire collection of fun fall books made their grand debut! 

That was our month in a nutshell! Here's to hoping September 2015 was half as much fun as September 2014!