Friday, August 31, 2012

Last Days of Summer

Ask anyone who's talked to me during the month of August, and they would probably think that I couldn't wait for Sept 4th to roll around. The beginning of school. I thought I heard the angels sing.

However, today, I don't want it to end. Just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore, I am feeling like I don't want to let them go. I don't want to walk them into their rooms. I don't want the lazy mornings to swap out with crazier, rushed mornings. Charlotte is starting with soccer and choir this Fall and I know that our weeks will begin to fly by at a much faster pace. I'm excited about that, watching her find her niche, discover what she likes. However, it means we're moving further and further away from baby and closer to kid. This was the last summer before she becomes a real kid with real school to worry about.

We have had a great time this summer hanging out. Swimming, playing, reading, painting, coloring. We have taken lots of walks. Talked about lots of things. Had wonderful trips to the beach. Spent time with grandparents. Charlotte became a proficient swimmer this year. Max even began to "swim" without a floaty. Things relaxed. We all relaxed.

We spent this last day of summer break at the Old Fourth Ward park. We had not been here before. It was AWESOME. There are fountains on one side and a playground on the other. I believe half of Charlotte's school ended up coming out to play today. The kids had a fabulous time running from one thing to another. A perfect way to wrap up a wonderful summer.








Another accomplishment this summer - she made it all the way across on the monkey bars! I'm not sure I've ever seen her so proud of herself.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

P is for Painting


It took me longer to clean up the mess than it did for the kids to paint...

Monday, August 27, 2012

O is for Ocean



We spent last week between two different beaches. The first half of the week we joined my parents in Tybee. They rented the same wonderful condo the rented two years ago. We jumped at the invitation to join them for a few days. Judd went down with us on Saturday morning and stayed through Sunday. Early Monday morning I woke up to take him to the airport so he could fly back to work.


We had a wonderful time spending the mornings and afternoons on the beach with some naps in between back at the condo. The weather was overcast and it rained on us at a few points, but overall the weather was really nice. We built numerous sand castles and pools. Judd helped Charlotte learn to boogie board. We walked on the beach, played in the tidal pools, caught hermit crabs, and dug up lots of clams. We ate ice cream every night. We swam in the pool. Mom, Charlotte, and I were able to sneak away for a couple hours and shop in Savannah. Everything a trip to the beach should be!

I packed up the kids on Wednesday afternoon and headed back to Atlanta. They both slept the first two hours of the trip! Exhausted. We stopped for a quick snack in Macon and made it home in the early evening.

Thursday afternoon we packed up again and hopped on a plane to the Panama City Airport. We met Judd's parents in Seacrest Beach for a weekend on the Gulf. Judd's co-worker got married on Saturday in Rosemary Beach, so we made decided to make a weekend of it.

We enjoyed the beautiful pool in the complex. It was a huge pool made up of about 4 or 5 little pools. It was a short walk to the beach. The complex had a free golf cart service that would take you to the beach and back to your condo's door. It was a fabulous place to spend the weekend.

Again, there was lots of pool time, beach time, and ice cream.

The kids were so good throughout the week. They woke up a lot earlier than usual, and got a lot less sleep, but they did great. It might help that they were spoiled by grandparents all week too! We felt lucky to see both sets of our parents this week and get to share the beach with them. I can't think of a better way to wrap up the summer.

Now we have a week to get ready to start school!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The long weeks of August

It feels as though everyone in the world went back to school this week. Not us, though, oh no, not us. We are still in the throws of summer. Long hot days figuring out how to manage Charlotte and her impossible projects. Figuring out how to keep Max from screaming as few screams as possible during the day. They don't go to school until after labor day - 3 weeks from today, in fact.

We have been staying busy, though. We attended a puppet show with the Dawsons today, had a dentist appointment yesterday, and filling in gaps with play dates.

I have been making an effort to work on my attitude. As I talk to the other mothers and listen about their carefree mornings without kids, leisurely walking through Target sipping Starbucks, I try to stay calm. I think about how I am grateful to have this time with them. It is fleeting - we only really get 18 summers with them after all, right? It is her last summer to have these extra weeks - I'm really trying to keep a smile on my face and soak it up. I do think she's ready to go back. I think she's kinda sick of me, really. There's been a lot of back talk and yelling lately.

On Saturday we leave for the beach for a week. Half of the week at Tybee, the other half at Seacrest beach. Really looking forward to it!

Here's a peak at what 7PM looks like at our house. Dinner is done. Children have been bathed. They relax and watch a show. Max goes to bed after the first show. Charlotte insists on staying up later than Max, so she usually watches another show before bed. By 8PM, they are usually both tucked in. It's a lovely time of day!



Sunday, August 12, 2012


I turned 33 years of age sometime yesterday evening. Come to think of it, at the time I came into this world 33 years ago, I was probably bathing the two babies that I brought into this world. I thought a lot about my mom yesterday and what she thinking about. Wondering if, even after 33 years, she still thinks about the day I was born. I'm almost positive she does.

Judd and I had a wonderful night out compliments of Judd's parents on Friday evening. We did some shopping and had a delicious dinner at our favorite place. His parents spent the night with us that night and entertained our children while visiting with us on Saturday.

On Saturday, my birthday, we took Charlotte to her first soccer experience - U-6 assessments. I had so much fun watching her run after the ball in her shin guards and cleats. Her blonde curls curling around her forehead, sweat dripping down her face. She did fabulous and I was so proud she was mine.

In the afternoon we spent some time celebrating my next door neighbor's little girl's two year old birthday. She shares a birthday with me and her name is Charlotte. She has curly red hair and is very cute. But, what I will remember from that party was the card that "big" Charlotte made for "baby" Charlotte. She drew the Charlottes holding hands - one had blonde hair, the other had curly red hair. There was so much detail in the drawing.

After that party, we headed to a party I could call my own. Erin, Dave, Ella, and Emma made dinner for us. We fed the kids, bathed them and got movies started. Then, Erin, Dave, Judd and I were able to eat dinner without interruption. It was delicious.

Judd and I took the kids home, tucked them in bed and ended the evening with an episode of Mad Men.

A wonderful 33rd birthday.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Train Table

Max LOVES a train table. When we were up visiting my parents a few weeks ago, it seemed everywhere we went had a train table. Max would spend as much time as we would let him pushing trains around, connecting them, looking at them, etc. Of course, since they were store displays, all of those train tables were amazing. Decked out in all of the Thomas trains and accessories.

Yesterday I took our neighbor's son to Toys R Us to pick out a new Lego set. In exchange for this Lego set, he was going to give Max his train table. He has outgrown it and needs to put a desk in his room instead.

We set up the train table in Max's room. He has had the best time with it. A certain big sister has been seen up there quite a bit as well. This morning they had all of the "sheds" set up to hold all of the trains when they were done hauling their loads.

Charlotte eventually got tired of it and left. She came downstairs. Then we heard in a little almost 2 year old voice, "OHHHH NOOOOO". Charlotte went running back up and fixed the bridge that fell. She came back downstairs. As soon as she came into the kitchen, we heard, "OHHHH NOOOOO". Back up the stairs she went and fixed the track. This happened about 5 more times. Finally she said, "Ugh, this train table!!".

I was able to score some Thomas train accessories and cars on clearance at my parent's house. So, I'm holding out until his birthday to add to the track.




L, M, & N

Any suggestions for "O"? I'm kinda stuck. I don't really want to do a food...




Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Co-op Camp

Last Spring I approached a couple of moms at Charlotte's school about putting together a Co-op Camp this Summer. They all seemed interested, so we have been sending emails back and forth planning for this week.

There are 5 moms and their kids participating. The plan is that we each take a day to "teach" the kids about a particular theme. So each person takes a day, but then you send your kid(s) to the other houses the rest of the week. Since the Olympics are happening this week, we decided on that for the theme. Then, we each took a different country that is participating in the Olympics. I chose England.

I picked the first day to have the kids over to my house. I wanted to have that part over with! The morning went great. Honestly, Max was the hardest one to manage. The kids were excited just to be together, so they mostly just ran around the house playing. I had some crafts planned, but they didn't really want to do them. They did make a Union Jack flag out of some strips of construction paper that I pre-cut. But one of the kids told me, "I don't really like arts and crafts".

We played out in the col-de-sac for a while. It was a cloudy day and not too hot. I also mixed up some chalk paint. They had a good time squirting and painting with that.

They started to get hungry, so we came in and decorated some Olympic ring sugar cookies. They each picked a color and spread the icing around. Then, we put them together to make the Olympic rings. As you can imagine, this activity was a hit. They ate their cookies, along with some peaches, for snack.

We tried to do a water balloon fight, but I couldn't get the balloons filled up fast enough and they lost interest while waiting. I should have filled them the night before.

They ended up playing their own game of Princesses and Knights which involved chasing each other around the house.

After two days, I think we would deem the week successful so far. It will be interesting to see how Friday goes!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

K is for Kiss


Muddy Buddies

Yesterday, after a snack of popsicles, we were just hanging out in the backyard. I filled up the water table and they were helping water the plants. I was surfing the web on my iPhone. Life was good.

I heard some quiet giggles and realized that I hadn't heard any fighting for a while. Rarely a good sign. I looked over and saw my children covered in mud. Charlotte had decided to dig some of the red clay up and then pour a bunch of water all over it. Max sat right down and played in it. Luckily they were already pretty much naked. I removed their shirts after they got popsicle all over them. I figured it could hurt, and they were having fun, so I ran in and got the camera.





I turned the hose back on and filled up our little pool. After some splashing around the two little piggies were cleaned off and able to come inside.

Lemonade Stand


Charlotte comes up with a lot of "projects" each day. At least 4 or 5 a day. Some of them, she pulls out paper, tape, glue, and scissors and manages to do them all on her own. Others involve a lot of help from me. Some of them take her at least 5 minutes to explain and are just kind of impossible. She doesn't like it when I tell her "no" or "not today" and it turns into a 15 minute negotiation about what we can do.

She had been talking about a lemonade stand all summer. I told her when we were visiting my parents that we would be able to do one when we got back home. I knew that we had a few weeks in August with NOTHING to do and maybe I could stretch out the preparations to fill a couple of days.

Last Monday she created her sign. We chose the price point for the cookies and lemonade. We colored it. Then, she cut out "streamers" from construction paper to glue to the top. It looked great. We also did our grocery shopping.

Tuesday we decided was the day. We thought about what time would be good. She wanted to do the morning, but I told her that the afternoon would probably be better. People would be on their way home from work and there is usually a lot of traffic outside of our house then. After some discussion, she concurred.

We began squeezing the lemons. According to my lemonade recipe, we needed three cups of lemon juice. We squeezed about 23 lemons and had two and a half cups. We were out of lemons. We made a trip to the Dekalb Farmer's Market and found bottles of already freshly squeezed lemon juice for 20% off. Score! Back home we made our simple syrup on the stove and then mixed it all together. After a quick taste test, and adding some water, we decided it was good.

When Max went down for his nap, Charlotte and I pulled the mixer out and made some chocolate chip cookies.

From about 1-4:30 she asked me no less than 500 times if it was time to set it up. I posted to Facebook and texted friends asking them to stop by if they were in the area. She was so excited about it, I didn't want it to be a big disappointment.

Finally it was time. We set everything up at the corner. It was HOT. She came up with a little jingle to lure the customers in. Something about, "come get it now! holy cow!" It didn't take long to get our first customer. Our wonderful neighbors all came out and bought a cookie and a glass of lemonade. A couple of them came back to buy more cookies. Soon we had our big rush. Friends stopped by, random people stopped by, about an hour and a half into it, we sold out of cookies. She ended up making $50!


She had a great time. She had a cooler of ice. She would scoop the ice out into the cups and pour the lemonade all by herself. She took it very seriously. Max just kinda ran around the front yard drinking lemonade. I think he had a cup for each cup someone bought. We were all very sweaty and hot afterwards, but it was definitely worth the effort.

Since a 4 year old doesn't need $50, she has decided to tithe to the church. Then, we talked about it, and she decided to buy some packs of school supplies for kids that can't afford them. She did spend a little of it on herself and bought a recorder (which in retrospect was a terrible parenting decision).

She's already planning next year's lemonade stand.