Baby K Maternity

Baby K Maternity

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Shark Valley

We finally took Connor to Shark Valley last weekend! Not to be confused with Alligator Alley, though we did do that last weekend as well to celebrate Colton's first birthday. My family has been taking trips to this unique location for as long as I can remember. We would either pick MLK weekend or Presidents' Day weekend to make the trek, because it was still "cool" outside, and it made for a special memory. I remember when I was so little that they would tie a rope to my bike and to either mom or dad's bike to help me make the entire trip. When you are talking about a 14 mile trip bike ride into the everglades, you must have good hydration, great company, and a camera. 

Here is the gang at the beginning of our trip, before we were exhausted, before the sunburns (for some), and before naptime! Let's be honest, I think I was the only one exhausted by the end, and wanting the nap (and a shower). I think Aunt Kaitlyn would have gone another few miles, she was in the lead at the end for a while.

Here is a Mama gator with her babies. Papa, may or may not have wanted to catch one to show Connor up close, but we were very careful not to "molest" the alligators. 

Typically when we are traveling along the road the gators stay on the side blissfully bathing in the sun. On the trip however we encountered quite a few alligators that were up and walking around. WOAH! The reason this bike trip is relatively safe is because alligators don't eat very much in the winter months. They are usually very dormant and lethargic. Maybe it's the rain we've been having, but these gators were active. When we came up to this one he just got up and started walking to the middle of the pathway. Can you say roadblock? I love Tim's face when it started walking towards them. It just decided to lay down and take up some space. We let him have it. Connor still remembers this gator. He kept his ipod with him during the ride, and would insist on taking pictures of the different alligators as we came upon them. It was adorable! This alligator on the other hand wasn't so much.

At the end of the 7 mile ride into the everglades is a nice little tower to walk up and witness a panoramic view of the river of grass. There are always a bunch of gators hanging out down here. This is also were we rest and picnic. There is a way to loop around the valley, but the other half of the ride isn't as exciting so we always take the same 7 mile path back. Typically not stopping to take as many pictures because really at this point all you can think of is a little bit of air conditioning and an ice cold diet coke! Connor loved it! He had a great seat up high on the back of Daddy's bike and thought it was hysterical to lean from side to side to try and throw off Daddy's balance. 

 I always get the same question...why is it called Shark Valley? So I did a little research on them internets and this is what I found: "The name of Shark Valley does cause some confusion. With the Everglades being a ‘river of grass’ it is extremely flat, you wouldn’t think this area is in a valley, but it is. An elevation change of just 1ft here makes a big difference, so Shark Valley is in a very wide, very gradual, low-lying valley. The Shark reference comes from the Shark River. The mouth of this river is at the Gulf of Mexico, and the Shark River Slough is the main source of fresh water for this part of the Everglades."

It was such a nice family activity, and simple enough that I know we can now include this in our list of fun activities to do on special weekends. I'm glad my parents did it with me, and I know Connor will have fond memories of it when he is older.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


"Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets." ~Yogi Berra

We have officially entered a new phase of our lives. T-Ball!!! Connor has been ready for quite some time. Truthfully he practically came out of the womb ready. I'm not sure he had much of a choice with whether or not he would get into baseball one day, but the to be honest, he's naturally gifted at sports and it was the perfect outlet for his talent. We anxiously awaited until he was old enough, and signed him up for a league that accepted 3 year olds. He loves it! He knows that when he wakes up Saturday mornings he's going to go meet his friends and play some ball. He looks like a professional the way he adjusts his hat and walks tall in his cleats. Connor already could hit the ball, but now enjoys being out in the field "baseball ready" and running the bases. Daddy signed up to be a coach and is so great with all of the kids! He makes sure to always be at third base to high five Connor when he hits a grand slam.

A few weeks ago Connor received the team medal for sportsmanship. He is our little encourager and is constantly telling his teammates "good job" and "way to go". He was so thrilled with his medal he wore it all weekend long; to FirstWest and even church Sunday morning. Everywhere he went he had to show people his medal and tell them about what a good boy he is. We were so proud of him to be sure, and it was even more special because Daddy got to give him the medal. 

They also just recently took their team pictures, and I am waiting as patiently as I can for his official baseball cards to come in the mail. 

He has so much fun while he's playing, and if we weren't sure we now know he loves to climb fences. 

There is always a smile on his face as he rounds the bases and the joy on his face is wonderful! It solidifies that this was the right decision for him. We always end the game with a milkshake or a snowcone, and it has become a little tradition. Papa is as big of a cheerleader as I am and hasn't missed a single game. Even when Grandma can't make it, Papa is there to watch our MVP. 

I hope this is only the beginning for Connor's love of sports and activity. I thought it was funny that his team name is "The Avengers" and he probably couldn't tell you who a single character is, but he sure knows who the Red Sox are. I love that this is an activity of heart,determination, and skill, and one that he can bond with his daddy over. 

"The Babe": Remember kid, there's heroes and there's legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die, follow your heart kid, and you'll never go wrong.