Tuesday, April 24, 2012



When you walk out of our front door at this time of year, you cannot help but smell the honeysuckle that run the length of our side yard. It is one of my favorite smells, honeysuckle. I associate it with my grandmother. She had them in her backyard. She was the one to show me how to suck the sweet liquid out of the middle. For whatever reason, it is one of those memories that is more vivid than others - it has stuck with me.

I taught Charlotte how to drink the drip of liquid out of the honeysuckles last year. This year, she learned again. I'm fairly certain that the honeysuckle in our yard are laced with some sort of addictive drug. She can't seem to get enough of them. She has filled up cups and cups with the flowers. I have had at least one cup of wilting honeysuckles sitting in my fridge for a couple of days now. She says she is going to eat them for snack.


Maybe it is something to do with a primeval need to forage for food?



Never quite sure if she has enough.


Maybe I can find some recipes on Pinterest that use honeysuckle?

By the way, this is what happens to a photographer's child...they become unable to smile normally for the camera.



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Maxwell v1.5

Little Dude hit the 18 month mark today. Each day he seems to grow more and more into a full blown toddler and not so much a baby. Sometimes I look at him and it takes my breath away by how big he seems.

Oh, he makes us laugh.



Don't ask me what is going on with his hair...it's how he emerged from his crib after his nap.

I don't have any stats for him and I won't for a few more weeks. I doubled booked us tomorrow afternoon with Charlotte's first swim lesson and Max's appointment. By the time I called to move his appointment, they were booked up for a few weeks.

Beach Day 3 & 4

We woke up on Monday and after the clouds started to clear we headed over to Jacob's Aquatic Center in Key Largo. We had the place practically to ourselves. They have what is basically a playground stuck in a pool of water. When the "turn it on" water squirts out everywhere and it looks like a lot of fun. However, the water was FREEZING. And it was probably in the mid 70's with a little breeze. This is how Max looked after a run through it.


Charlotte didn't seem to mind.



We stayed for a lot longer than I thought we would. There were two other pools that were heated. We swam in those for a while. Judd and I even braved the high dive - much to Charlotte's entertainment. About lunch time we packed up and headed to the condo. Then it was lunch and lots of rest.


These two got along so well while we were gone!

After naps - which we all took! - we got ready to go back to the beach.

Charlotte and I made some "pools" in the sand. Max was pretty happy to play and splash in these little pools. He also had a great time flinging seaweed around and making his sister scream when it got near her.




That night we went out to eat. We picked a place on the water. The kids were so good. The restaurant had live music. After Charlotte and Max were done eating, they made their own dance floor and danced and danced. One grandmotherly lady befriended them and gave them a new bottle of bubbles from her car. I think she was missing her own grandkids.

Tuesday morning Judd went out to get our coffee and almond croissants - he found this awesome French bakery. Charlotte and I went for one last swim while Max took a morning nap. We then packed everything up, cleaned everything up, and made our way back to the Miami airport. We stopped along the way at Alabama Jack's for lunch. Our trip back home was great except for the 10 minutes of shear screaming out of Max during the flight.

Overall, as I've stated, the trip was wonderful. Judd and I have high hopes of traveling more and more with these kids and with experiences like this one, it makes me think it might actually happen!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beach Day 1 & 2

We all got up and headed to the airport early Saturday morning. We got to the gate with a few minutes to spare, so Judd took us up to the Delta Sky Club. That's the way to travel - chocolate muffins before the flight! The flight was, thankfully, uneventful and we made it to Miami. Of course Max didn't fall asleep until the last 5 minutes of the flight.


We picked up our car and headed out to Key Largo.

Our first stop was for lunch at a disgusting Wendy's - then it was off to get Strawberry Key Lime milkshakes at our favorite fruit stand. Charlotte and Max enjoyed their shakes.



We wandered around the "petting zoo" looking at all of the goats, donkeys, turtles, turkeys, and other various animals. After a close call with some duck poop, we loaded back into the car to go to the condo.

Both of the kids fell asleep during the ride, so I jumped out at the grocery store and stocked us up for the night while they slept.

We dumped our stuff in the condo, changed, and headed to the pool. The breeze was pretty chilly. When you were in the pool, it was fine, but if you got out wet, you were cold. Max doesn't like to be cold, so he wanted to leave. After he slipped and hit his head hard on the concrete we cut the pool trip short. We walked a bit and checked out the rest of the complex. We opted to head back for baths, early dinner, and early bed.

Thankfully Max slept well in the pack 'n play and Charlotte did well in a room by herself. She slept on a twin bed without a rail. (she sleeps with a rail on her bed at home. She sleeps all over the place at night and falls out without one.) The next morning we asked her if she fell off of her bed. She just shrugged her shoulders and said, "Yep, twice, but I just got back up and went back to sleep."

We ate some breakfast, rested, and headed over to Harry Harris State Park. It is only about a mile away and has the perfect beach for little kids. It is a tiny beach with a jetty protecting the swimming area. Charlotte could walk out about 30 yards and just have water up to her waist. Max loved walking around the sand, digging, and messing up whatever his sister was building. There is also a little playground and swings. We spent some time there and then went back to the condo for lunch.

After naps/rest, we went to Robby's to feed the tarpon. You get a bucket of yucky, slimy fish, and feed these massive tarpon from the docks. It is a lot of fun. Charlotte even got brave enough to lay down on the dock and hang a fish over the side. The tarpon will actually jump out of the water to get the fish. Luckily, Charlotte just dropped hers in, so I didn't have to worry about her hand being in a tarpon's mouth.





Again, on the way back, these two just couldn't handle the excitement.


We made a few more stops on the way back up the Keys to our condo. We fed the kids and put them to bed. Then, Judd and I constructed a peaceful date night on the couch with pizza and a movie.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Key Largo

We made it safely back home from our trip to the Keys. Other than a 10 minute full out scream fit by Max on the flight home and slightly chillier weather than planned the trip exceeded all expectations. More to come. Judd and I are tired and ready for a vacation.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Sunday

So I didn't get to this post on Monday when I thought I would. I was given a few new projects with work and those take precedence I'm afraid. Don't worry, the cuteness you're about to see is worth the wait :)

Sunday morning started early as usual with Max waking up well before dawn. He and I made our way downstairs. After a few minutes he noticed his Easter basket. He ate a piece of chocolate, then wanted to eat the entire basket worth. (which wasn't much!). I wouldn't let him, so he woke everyone else up with the screaming. The Easter Bunny brought a hula hoop for Charlotte - along with some chocolate - and she was excited. She has been asking for a hula hoop for a while. Although, I did hear her say when she was done looking through her basket, "huh, just a few stuff". Some days I just can't win.

We all got dressed and went to the early service at church. The service was very nice. Max screamed his way through the nursery and ended up in the children's ministries office to help them with "projects". I'm not sure when his screaming days will be over, but I'm hoping it's just around the corner. It makes for stressful Sunday mornings.

After church we headed to the backyard for some photo ops.



VERY rare eye contact, smile for the camera action.


Be still my heart.


Had to include the hula hoop of course!


While Judd was smoking our ham on the Big Green Egg, we put together the sides for Easter lunch. Once those were finished, we moved on to bunny cake making and egg dyeing.



After a wonderful Easter lunch most of us took naps. Charlotte and I slept for almost an hour and a half - unheard of around here! It was wonderful. Mom and I took the kids up to the park while Judd and my dad watched the Masters. Dad ended up meeting us up at the park a little later.

After dinner, Mom and I surprised Max and Charlotte with a trip to the "ice cream store". This was Max's first real ice cream cone. To say he loved it would be an understatement. Charlotte was a pro and ate hers without a drip.




It was a wonderful Easter.

My parents left on Monday. We were really sad to see them go. Now it is back to reality after Spring Break. It won't last long, though - we are headed to the Keys on Saturday!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pancakes & Easter Eggs

Spring Break was last week for Charlotte. The beginning of the week was very laid back, just relaxing, doing MANY puzzles, playing, going to parks, just hanging out. Thursday was the big day - the arrival of Grammie and Granddad. We picked them up at the airport and I'm not sure Charlotte has been detached from my mom for more than 10 minutes since then.

Friday morning my parents took the kids to the park and to lunch while Judd and I cleaned out the disaster area that had become our garage. Since the kitchen renovation, it has progressively gotten worse - the point we could just pull the cars in, but that was it. We worked pretty hard and got everything put away, given away, or thrown away. It feels awesome to have a clean garage! Friday afternoon we went to a neighborhood Easter Egg hunt.

Saturday morning we woke up and went to the church pancake breakfast and Easter Egg hunt. Charlotte was pretty excited about the egg hunt. This is really the first year she has totally understood the strategy of the egg hunts and could get there fast enough to get lots of eggs. We ate our pancakes, got pictures with the Easter bunny, and not-so-patiently waited around for the hunt to start.



We made our way over to our designated egg hunt area. However, Max and I were one of the last ones to enter the area and the hunt had already started. Poor Max didn't get to find a single egg. Judd and Charlotte somehow were at the front of the pack and Charlotte was able to participate. Charlotte very sweetly shared a few of her eggs with Max. My mom was pretty disgusted that Max didn't get a single egg and Charlotte had to share, so she went over to another egg hunt area and nabbed some eggs for Charlotte. One of the eggs happened to be a golden egg. Charlotte was thrilled and pretty impressed with her Grammie.



We hung out on the playground and ate candy for a long time after the hunt.



We went home, ate lunch and relaxed. Then mom, Charlotte, and I headed out to shop for a while. Judd and I were able to sneak out for a dinner by ourselves last night.

We had a lovely Easter today, more on that tomorrow...