Monday, October 31, 2011

A new low

My boys reached a new level of destruction today, one that I hope they don't top for many many years (or ever). I picked Bennett up from preschool, ran inside and left the boys in the van (I turned the engine off, thinking I was avoiding the worst they could possibly do in 3 minutes) to grab the library DVD's so we could return them and came back out in the garage to find this:

There's some kind of carseat safety latch that's mounted on the ceiling by the back windshield. Bennett had grabbed it, pulled it all the way to Dawson in the opposite corner, who then let it go and sent the metal buckle ricocheting off the windshield. So what was that mess your kids made today that left you grumbling and complaining??? Not so bad anymore, huh?

Part 3

The last 3 days we had on the island were really cold. So we got creative and found some fun things to do. There was a great children's museum so we spent a few hours there one morning. The boys had a lot of fun.

The many faces of Bennett:

And thankfully we had an indoor pool at our hotel so we spent a lot of time there, too:

This evening was cool and very windy but it was a pretty area with a really cool playground:

And even though it was really cold, we had to get our toes in the sand one last time:

It was a really great vacation and I'd highly recommend it for young families if you just want something low key and relatively relaxing. A couple weeks earlier in the year would have been perfect (and maybe having a grand-parent along to help with the monster man!).

Jon was a champion on the way home and drove the 20 hours straight through. We happened upon this random petting zoo right next to a gas station on the drive home--the perfect spot to stretch our legs.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Part 2

The reason we chose Hilton Head was because I was reading a Parenting magazine article that listed the 10 most family friendly beaches (can't remember if it was US or worldwide) and a beach on Hilton Head came in at #2. I checked our timeshare book and told Jon to check into booking a resort that was just a couple miles away. The first 3 days there were gorgeous weather- mid to upper 70's. So we hit the beach on those days. And the article was definitely right. It was an awesome beach for the kids. You can see in the pictures where the waves are breaking way off the shore--that was a sand bar. So they could walk all the way out to that point and at low tide it wasn't even ankle deep on the sand bar. The ocean was cool at this point in the year but still tolerable.

Also, you can see in these next two pics that at low tide, there was a little river of ocean water that was left way up on the shore. So we set up our chairs near that because I knew Dawson would love playing in that shallow water. It was so fun. Plus the sand there was like powdered sugar. We've been to tons of beaches in the Caribbean that weren't nearly that nice.

The live sand dollar we found and Bennett's awesome ocean do:

We also spotted a few jelly fish, found a live star fish that was missing a few limbs and Jon saw a sting ray.
The other fun part about the island is that its very marshy with tons of little ponds everywhere. We had 3 alligator sightings that week! (and yes, I was just as excited as the boys. Ok...more excited). The first one was about 3 feet long. We watched it for a long time swim under a little bridge we were on and were all excited when it came and snapped up a dragon fly. Then the next day during a timeshare presentation (yes...a vacation with my husband is not complete without a couple of those! But we got $150 in cash at each one so we couldn't pass it up) we saw this guy!!! :

On the video, when you hear me scream, he chomped a big turtle down in one gulp:

He was literally 10 feet long. It was the coolest animal encounter we've experienced in the wild. The rest of the week, anytime we passed a pond, Dawson would say, "A-gator in there? Maybe!"

And then we found this little guy whom we named, "Big Eyes" for obvious reasons. We took him back to our hotel and got a bug cage for him but after a couple days he was near death so we released him.

More to come...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Part 1

Just so you don't give up on my blog altogether, I'll probably post our vacation in bits and pieces as I have time. We got back this past Saturday morning after 2 nights with my parents in TN and a week on Hilton Head Island, SC. So here's the first little bit--the full day we spent with my parents. It was such a strange feeling arriving at their house and piling out of the car, knowing we were there for a visit. We've lived in the same city my whole married life so this is taking some getting used to for all of us! I was most looking forward to my mom's cooking and she didn't disappoint :) Pumpkin pancakes and all the bacon I could eat for Breakfast 1 and then homemade biscuits with honey, scrambled eggs and fried ham for Breakfast 2. A couple days later at our hotel, Bennett says out of the blue, "That was a great breakfast". I was thinking, you mean that lumpy microwave oatmeal we all ate this morning?? And then I said, "oh, you mean at Nonny's house?" "Yeah. That was a lot of things."

We crammed in as much as we could. First, a nice long hike through the woods, then to their (current) favorite BBQ place for lunch. Naptime for Dawson and a brief shopping browsing trip for me & my mom while Bennett and Jon braved the chilly pool for a quick dip. Then we all went to the cool park near their house and back home for dinner.

It was so great to spend time with them again and Dawson did not want to leave my dad out of his sight! He says his name, Grandad, with the funniest inflection, I wish you could hear it on here. Whenever he wasn't around, he'd walk through their house calling for him.

Its hard thinking that we probably won't see them again until Christmas (we were considering meeting up with them in Georgia for Thanksgiving but the prospect of another 15 hr trip so soon does not sound appealing). Unless my mom can't stand another minute away and drives up here before then ;)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Baby Update

Big news this week, on the baby front, in case you're not on Facebook. Apparently my plans were not God's plans because we found out #3 is indeed another boy. Shocking to take in but I'm slowly adjusting to the idea. I just never (ever ever ever) in a million years pictured myself as a mom of all boys (as this is going to be the last one). Honestly, I still can't believe it. But of course I'm thankful for a healthy baby and its nice to have the complete family picture in our heads. And to be very honest, I'm thankful for a time where I'm having to trust God completely with our future, like never before. I literally had to make a decision in my head and then say it out loud, "I trust you, God." It might sound dramatic, but for the last 20 or so years, when I imagined being a mom, I pictured a baby girl. So I had to grieve for that idea. Jon's probably thanking God for saving our bank account, because I guarantee Baby Gap would have known me on a first name basis, had it been a girl ;)

I'm still feeling great and have been blessed with very easy pregnancies. (My poor sister-in-law, Bria, who's pregnant with her first and due 4 or 5 weeks after me is still throwing up multiple times a day. So I'm always shocked and grateful I don't have to go through any of that!)

Really, the hardest part of this one is lugging 30lb Dawson around. It wipes me out if I have to hold him for very long.

Its flying by and I'm looking forward to holding a new baby in my arms again. I enjoyed that phase SO much with Dawson and I'm just trying to soak in every bit of this precious pregnancy (as I've been reminded so much lately by my friends' losses that a healthy pregnancy is not to be taken for granted!)