Family vacations

Being the youngest of 6 kids I have experienced a lot of family vacations. Some of them good, some of them not so good, but all of them full of memories to last a lifetime. This was just part of growing up Cross.
Now, here I am 32 years old, with three boys and providing them with the good, the bad and the ugly of family vacations.
You get 5 sisters, 1 brother, 13 cousins, 5 spouses, nana and boppa together and there is bound to be drama! It doesn't matter that we are all grown with kids of our own... We are still family, and sometimes families just don't get along. Well, in the Cross family maybe it's more than sometimes. I'm not sure I can remember the last family vacation to be drama free... Oh, that's right, there's never been one!
On the flip side, the boys are having fun and behaving despite the crazy schedule we have held these last few
weeks. They are the calm in this storm and I am so thankful for that. Luckily, they are oblivious to the palpable tension.
One more day and we can put closure on Cross family vacation 2012 and hope that 2013 brings a calmer and less hair raising get-together... If its even possible.


The Bugbee Family takes Hawaii Day 1

After a heroing 6 hour and 5 minute flight into Honolulu we checked into our "closet" with two beds and snuggled in for some sleep before our hawaiian adventures began.  Heroing?  Yes, heroing.  I now believe that anybody that survives a 6+ hour flight with a 7 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old should be deemed a hero.  Especially those that have to pack, close down the house, disperse the animals and manage to get 3 boys to the airport during rush hour to meet daddy who was flying in from LA to make it to our flight on time.

Low and behold our adventures began at 0530 the next morning... dang time change!
The boys and I got up and hit Starbucks and the beach so daddy could catch some extra z's.  One of us might as well be rested!
The boys were oddly amazed with all the birds there, most of which are pigeons.  It was as if they have never seen them in Seattle.  Pretty sure they fed their entire donut to those pesky birds.  I bet the hotel staff loved us.

Next up... a romp on the beach in our jammies.
Or in Graham's case, in his diaper.  He wasn't quite sure what to think about the sand at first.

Finally we woke up this guy and headed to the pool.

Day one was met with a steep learning curve.  The life guards at the Hale Koa are strict.  There was pretty much nothing we could do right by them... including, but not limited to, throwing the "pool football" on the pool deck.

There is no doubt you can tell where we are from.  Pretty sure, if they weren't already wearing their sunglasses, all pool goers quickly dawned them to protect their eyes from the harsh glow of our pale skin.

Maybe black and white is a better look for us on our first day.

Next up was nap time.  I have to say, despite the close corridors, the boys did great.  At nap times we wheeled Graham's archaic looking crib into the bathroom where he napped.  Alex slept out in the room and Tyler and I hung out on the deck reading and playing the iPad.  The only downside was that Tyler and I had to run downstairs to use the bathroom during that time.  But it was worth it to have two rested little boys.

Then it was off to the beach...

drinks in hand!

The Birthday Party

Well, there was no doubt we had to celebrate our little man in style.  
It was a swimmin' good time too!

Thanks to my countless hours on pinterest, I think it came together nicely.

I learned so many new things putting this party together.  My favorite of which is the use of royal icing and making fondant.  Not too bad for my first go at it!

The decorations...
It was so crazy to see all the monthly photos put together.  It really put his while year into perspective.  I just can't believe how fast it went by.

The photobooth... it's not a party without it, eh?

Graham chowed on his favorite dinner of chicken enchilada's.  It was the perfect party food as I was able to prepare it the night before and pop it in the over when I needed it.  Definitely made the party more enjoyable for me.

Cupcake time.
Graham wasn't quite sure he knew what to do with all the singing...

but he knew exactly what to do with that cupcake!

Eventually it all got a little overwhelming.  Poor little man.

Luckily, Grandma B snuggles always makes everything better.

And of course Nana and momma snuggles too.

Happy Birthday Graham.
You have blessed us in way you will never know.  Thank you for being you!

Thanks to everyone for helping us celebrate our G baby.

Maybe one day...

I will be able to say I am on top of things.  

But for now, catch up will have to do...



Graham Baby,

Tomorrow you are one.  
8765 hours old
356 days old
52 weeks old
12 months old
... haw can that possibly be?
When I think back over the last year I feel happy, proud, accomplished and, oh so full of love.  You have brought so much to our family in your short year of life.  You have taught us love, unconditional love.  A love that transcends all.  You have taught us acceptance.  Acceptance for those that are perfect in their own way.  You have taught us strength.  Through taping, molding, and surgery you remained the happiest baby I have ever met.   We have said it before and we will say it again...
Baby G, you were meant for us.
Watching you grow and learn is, well, sad (I'll be honest).  But at the same time it is so much fun.  You worship your brothers and take in their every move.  Everyday you are doing something new just from watching them.  Your new tricks of the week are waving bye bye, of which you do with so much enthusiasm.  Bottom spinning, who knows where you learned that, but it makes us laugh.  Shaking you booty anytime you hear music.  I especially love this one.  Oh, and my favorite one, discipling Alex.  Frequently I am holding you while doing so and you decide to join in with some loud babbling of your own.
You are a momma's boy.  Way more than the other two.  Believe me, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I can't get enough of your snuggles.  Night times are usually spent rocking in the your chair, nursing and then reading followed by cuddles with your head on my chest while I smell your sweet little head.  I could do this forever, literally.  Each night I hold you just a little bit longer knowing that these snuggles won't last forever, despite my endless prayers that they will.
On the go.  If there is one thing to describe you, that would be it.  Always on the go.  You are crazy busy.   Your favorite "toys" are the cupboards, the fireplace and the outlets.  And my are you persistent!  Very little will get your attention off something that you are intent on playing with.  You are not a fan of "no".  Matter of fact, I am pretty sure you think it means, "sure Graham, go for it".  Whenever you are told no you politely look whom ever may be saying it in the eye, shake your sweet little head and the promptly go back to whatever it was you were doing.  Walking is not quite on the horizon, thank goodness.  You are content with crawling, of which you do with such speed.  
You poor little guy, are being hit with a slew of teeth.  You are working on number five and six and with how fussy you have been, I am sure there are more to follow soon.  As it appears at this point, you are missing one little eye tooth on the left.  But only time will tell, maybe it's hiding out.  I am anxious to visit craniofacial so they can see how well you are doing.
Food... you love it.  Most of the time.  When all else fails you will always take a baby food squishy.  Fruits and veggies on their own don't seem to be your favorite, but you will eat enchiladas, steak and peanut butter and jelly until you are stuffed full, then you will eat some more.  Cottage cheese is also a staple.  Dinners at Nana and Boppa's are usually finished with a special treat (usually bites of ice cream) from Aunt NeNe.  You bee line for her when it's that time.
Sleep, I won't go there.  Some nights you sleep, others you wake up once and then there are those nights you wake up 3 times.  You are smart enough now too that you refuse to go back to sleep until you nurse.  Your momma is one big sucker, that's for sure.  Like all things with you though, I am savoring each and every moment (even at 3 am) because this too shall end.
Graham, there are no words to describe our love for you.  Thank you for being you.  Thank you for being a part of our family.  Thank you for letting me wake up every morning to your smiling face.  Thank you for for teaching us what true, unconditional love is.  You are amazing, beautiful, loving and funny... and you are only one.  We are blessed to be your family.
I love you baby G,



Wow is all I can say.  Life has gotten busier than I ever thought it would.  Every waking moment is spent preparing meals, cleaning the house, changing diapers, doing laundry, kissing boo-boo's, settling arguments, cleaning some more, driving from one activity to the next, having play dates, grocery shopping, folding clothes, working, breastfeeding... you get the point, I could go on forever.  It's getting to me.  Our lives are so busy I feel like I am missing out on these days.  I feel like they are getting away from me and I am never going to get them back.  My baby is going to be one in less than a week and I can't quite tell you where the last year has gone.  I want it to stop.  I want to hold my little baby and soak in every moment.  I want to be able to snuggle Alex without thinking about all the things I need to be doing. I want to toss the ball with Tyler without feeling guilty that there is laundry that needs to be folded.  I just want time to stop.  
I fear that I will look back at these days and wish that I could have done more with my boys.  That I would have worried less about the future and more about the present.  That I would have enjoyed every moment more.  Am I the only one that worries about this?  Each night I hold on to Graham, sleeping in my arms, just a moment longer because I know that these days I will never get back.  Yet, it never seems to be enough.  Once I lay his sleepy head in his bed I think to myself, I should have held him longer.  
I know, I am certifiable.  My husband reminds me daily.  But, this is what my life is about.  For as long as I can remember I have dreamt about getting married and having babies.  Yeah, being a nurse and working with babies is just an added bonus.  But what do I do when I no longer have a baby?  Because, inevitably, that day will come.  I love my boys and I know as they grow and we reach new territory I will enjoy it, but right now it scares me.  Right now it makes me sad.  I have always thought of myself as a "baby person".  Well, I guess I am going to have to learn to just be a "boy person".