When my parents were here for Memorial Day, Mom, Charlotte and I went to Home Depot and picked out some flowers to spruce up the back patio and front porch. Mom thought that it would be a good idea to get Charlotte a little tomato plant as well. I was pretty sure that I would kill it before a tomato ever appeared.
However, for the first time in my adult life, I have actually kept plants alive. All of the flowers that we planted have done really well. I have enjoyed having them bloom and grow, it has been fun to watch.
Charlotte's "mato" plant (she leaves off the "to") has had green tomatoes on it for what seems like FOREVER. We keep watching to see if they turn red, but they just stay green. Well, we came back from the beach to discover a red "mato"!
Today she just had to eat it. And as any good photographer mom does, I captured the first bite. Maybe it was still too green inside? Not sure, but she ended up eating the whole thing.
We need to get some better stakes to keep it from falling over. (when I told Char this, she asked if they were hungry) We have about 20 little green grape tomatoes growing, so I'm hoping that they'll all turn red shortly!
We are back from our wonderful week at the beach. A few months ago, my parents asked us if we wanted to join them at the beach. They had rented a condo and had extra room. I didn't have to be asked twice! The beach is my favorite place in the world.
Judd drove Charlotte and I down to Tybee on Monday evening. Then, he flew back on Tuesday morning to Atlanta to work Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday afternoon he flew back to Savannah to spend the rest of the week with us.
Each day looked the same: beach in the morning, swim in the pool, lunch, nap, back to the beach in the afternoon, pool, showers/baths, and dinner. After dinner, ice cream was consumed 3 out of the 5 nights there. We ate in the condo for most meals, which is fabulous to be able to do when you have a toddler. Judd and I snuck out one night for a dinner by ourselves. We all went out to dinner at the Crab Shack the last night there. Charlotte went to bed LATE every night. She was able to sleep in her very own double bed every night and did really well in that big bed all by herself.
I won't say that Charlotte LOVED the beach, but she spent quite a bit of time down there digging in the sand and floating in the water. She just wasn't so sure of the ocean. She is definately a pool girl.
This trip got me very excited about future family trips to the beach. I wish my sisters and their families had been able to come on this trip. I can't wait until we are all there with all of our kids running around.
6:00 PM: Decide to go out to dinner to celebrate Daddy's birthday, before we eat our yummy chocolate cake.
6:05 PM: Charlotte comes into my room while I change. She spies my silver sparkly belt that I bought for a Halloween costume one year. She demands that I put it around her waste.
6:07 PM: Judd inquires whether or not she is wearing that belt to dinner. I reply, "Probably". (she wears it to dinner)
6:10 PM: I tell Charlotte to pick out some shoes, she picks out her red flip flops that don't at all go with her light pink shirt and shorts.
7:15 PM: We return home and I ask Charlotte if she wants to play outside for a few minutes. She says that she would like to ride her bike, but she needs her "helmet". We don't actually have a helmet for her yet, so I get her new sunhat that she can pretend is a helmet.
7:18 PM: She sees her yellow rain boots, decides she needs to have just one on the wrong foot. Kicks off her flip flop and puts the left boot on her right foot.
7:19 PM: I can't stand it, I just have to go inside and get my camera to document this outfit.
7:25 PM: She decides to "drive her car to work"
7:26 PM: But first, she has to give Daddy a hug goodbye.
So now you know why my child looks the way she does if you happen to see us out in public and she looks like this.
Judd hit the road again yesterday afternoon to go to North Georgia for a Guys Weekend with his friends. He needed to go to spend time with the guys, but the timing couldn't have been much worse since he just got home from a long trip late Wed night.
I took Charlotte over to Piedmont Park this morning for an outing. We have been going to the same parks lately, and I thought it would be a nice change. We walked around, we played, and we stopped at the Farmer's Market for a snack. (They have a "Green Market" every Saturday morning at the park)
She is getting so big!
Who wants some ice cream????
"Mommy, we are going to get a snack after I swing!"
Not quite a year ago, I was given the cook book "Baked" from a friend. I have made a few recipes from the book and they have all turned out fabulous. I asked Judd what he wanted for his birthday - chocolate cake, cupcakes, or cobbler. When he said he wanted chocolate cake, I knew just what I would make - the Root Beer Bundt Cake from the Baked Cook Book.
It is really easy and REALLY, REALLY yummy. Charlotte and I got to work on it yesterday. We mixed up the cake around lunch time and iced it after her nap.
In the process, she had her first taste of root beer, ate many, many chocolate chips, and could not keep her fingers out of he frosting. Baking with a 2.5 year old is pretty challenging. You have to just know that you are going to be cleaning up a much bigger mess than you would have normally made, and at one point I was so distracted by her that I almost put baking powder in rather than baking soda. But, she loves helping, so it is worth it in the end. (I think)
Here's the recipe - just click to enlarge, then print!
Judd's back! whew. Charlotte and I are both happy to have the man back in our lives.
They say that it takes a village to raise a child. Whoever "they" are. I'm really starting to believe this. But, I'm sure whoever "they" are also meant that it takes a village to support the mother of that child.
Judd's trip, while long, went by fast for me. We were invited over to two different friend's houses for dinner, had two over night visitors, other great distractions like play dates, and the lovely Jen that took Charlotte for the afternoon last Sunday.
I didn't feel alone - I knew there were people I could call. I feel very lucky to have the friends & family that I do - they are wonderful, thoughtful people.
So, thank you everyone that helped us out. I hope you will let me return the favor when you need it!
It is no secret that Charlotte loves all things music. She finds "drums" throughout the day on many different surfaces. She loves to sing. But, she loves to play the "gintar" most of all.
Up until 2 days ago, she had this tiny guitar that she would carry around and play. It belongs with a Little People campfire toy set, so you can imagine how small it is - it barely stretches across the palm of my hand. Charlotte doesn't care how little it is, or that the strings don't move, she holds it up to her chest and pretends to strum.
2 days ago she discovered our Guitar Hero guitar hidden in the ottoman. She couldn't wait to put it on. Yesterday, after one of 2 naps she's taken in the past week (another topic for another post) , she "played" along with an entire Wiggles video - for about 45 minutes! I think Judd and I are going to be on the lookout for a toddler sized guitar so she doesn't have to carry around the big Guitar Hero guitar with the cord dragging along behind.
You are half a world away, but we are thinking of you today. Charlotte made you a card (show in the video), she writes suprisingly well for a 2 year old. We love you lots and can't wait to see you. Happy, Happy Birthday.
Yesterday afternoon Aunt Emily and Lilly arrived to spend the night with Charlotte and I. Charlotte screamed and ran around the house for the first 15 minutes or so - she was SO excited to see her big cousin Lilly. They played together while Emily and I chatted.
We got our bathing suits on and drove to the pool only to be greeted by some thunder. We went back to the house for an hour to let the thunder pass. Back to the pool we went and swam in the drizzle. We didn't mind - you are getting wet anyway, right? After swimming we had "cheeseboogers" at Five Guys followed by ice cream from Bruster's for dessert.
There was more playing and swimming this morning - it all began earlier than Lilly would have liked.
It was a great visit and we both had such a good time. Charlotte napped for almost two hours after they left - the first nap in 3 days! Lilly was a wonderful big cousin and I feel so lucky to have a sister-in-law that I enjoy spending time with. Thanks for making the trip guys!
Monday we broke down and purchased a new refrigerator. We felt it was only a matter of time until the one we had gave out. It came with the house, which we bought 7 years ago, and we don't know how long it has been in this house. But it looks OLD. It was to the point where it looked dirty no matter how much you cleaned it. We also wanted to go ahead and get one before the old one died - I wanted to be able to pick the one I wanted and not be at the mercy of inventory, etc.
The new one isn't top of the line, but it sure is a big step up for us. The water and ice maker actually work!! Can you believe that this will be the first time in our married life that we have a working ice maker? How have we survived? :) (My sensitive teeth and I have been just fine sans ice - but I know my southern husband has been missing it)
A couple of things I learned in the process of buying this fridge:
1. Did you know you can cash in Delta SkyMiles for gift cards? One of the places you can get a gift card for your SkyMiles is Lands End. Did you know you can use Lands End gift cards at Sears? It's pretty cool. We ended up cashing in our SkyMiles for $600 - money we could use towards the purchase of the refrigerator.
2. If you have a working second fridge, Georgia Power will come pick it up for you and give you $35. Our pick up date isn't until 7/31 - so it takes a while, but not a big deal since we can just leave it in the garage until then.
Edited to Add: I didn't know this was such a point of contention. Yes, I refrigerate my peanut butter. It tells me to.
Charlotte announced that she was going to make a "card for Granddad" today while I was packing our lunches for the pool. I wasn't paying much attention to her, I could just hear her coloring, cutting, and stickering away. About 10 minutes later I looked over to see Spongebob on her nose and ears. Then she came over and put a Spongebob on my nose too.
Grandad, your card looks like a big piece of trash - but I'm sure you'll think it's art. The best part was - she was thinking of you this morning. So was I when I realized Spongebob was still stuck to my nose as we pulled out of the driveway.
PS. Meghan - I hope you are enjoying Charlotte's wardrobe - she picked this outfit this morning all by herself.
I'm sitting here at 6:54 AM on July 4th typing a blog post. Today would have been my 9th Peachtree. I love running the Peachtree. It is such an awesome energy. This year, though, I decided not to run it 6 months pregnant and out of shape.
Instead, I'm enjoying a few quiet moments by myself with my cup of coffee before the day gets going. Not sure what is in store for us today. We stretched Charlotte's limits yesterday, so I'm not sure if we'll make it to fireworks tonight or not. I hope all of you have a wonderful day.
Yesterday was a fantastic day for us. Judd and I woke up wanting to "do something". The forecast was awesome, and we knew it would be a great day to be outside. We ended up deciding to pack up and head to Anna Ruby Falls and Helen, GA - we would see where the day took us.
On the way up we stopped at Jaemor Farms to pick up some peaches and blackberries. Judd and I drooled over the peach ice cream, but it was only 10:30 AM and I didn't want Charlotte's system to have that much sugar yet. So, we got back in the car and kept going.
The traffic into Helen was pretty bad, but we ended up getting to Anna Ruby Falls around lunch time. We had a picnic by the stream, cleaned up, and went to the base of the trail. Charlotte rode on Judd's shoulders the half mile up to the falls. When we got to the top I said, "You OK?" (directed at Judd) and Charlotte replied, "I OK, I not tired." There was something about the fact that Judd carried one child while I carried the other that made me so happy at that moment. It's like the baby was already there with us somehow.
After hiking back down (Charlotte actually walked the whole way by herself), we drove over to the beach at Unicoi State Park. Charlotte and I changed into our bathing suits and we all played at the lake's beach for an hour or so. It was about 3 pm at this time and Charlotte hadn't even thought about a nap. It didn't seem to phase her, though, she was in a great mood.
15 minutes into the car ride home, she got really quiet in the back seat. We looked back there and she was completely out.
As Judd and I got closer and closer to Jaemor Farms, we talked about quickly stopping for a peach ice cream cone. The decision was made, we were going to go for it while she was asleep. I crept out of the car and ran in to get us each an ice cream cone. I just knew she was going to be awake by the time I got back to the car - but she wasn't! Judd and I ate our cones (they were awesome!) as we drove. We kept giggling about it - that we were eating these ice cream cones, and Char would be SO upset if she knew about it. I told him that if she woke up we had to quickly throw them out the window. He mentioned that she'll probably wake up and sniff the air and say, "wait a minute, it smells like ice cream in here!" It just made us wonder about how many times our parents did stuff like that - or maybe they wouldn't do something that mean?
We got back to the house, rested for a while, then went to a friend's house for a outdoor movie night. It was a good time, but the movie didn't start until it was dark enough - around 8:30 pm. For Charlotte, this was getting late when she didn't have a good nap earlier in the day. Needless to say, a complete meltdown ensued when we told her it was time to go home. She stayed close to that meltdown state until she finally passed out around 9:15 pm.
So, we probably pushed her limits a little far yesterday. But, the day was SO much fun. I loved taking a day trip with our little family. I love the memories that we made and how happy we were together. Charlotte is to a point where these days are possible - sure there was a meltdown at the end of the day, but I think even she would agree that it was worth it to have the freedom from a schedule for a day.
Charlotte and I headed up to Suwanee to play with Allison and Marshall in the fountains at Suwanee Town Center. The weather was cloudy and it drizzles most of the time we were there. That didn't stop Charlotte - she had a BLAST. She loved running through the fountains and ran for about 15 minutes straight.
Mr. Marshall wasn't so sure about it all when we got there - but waded in towards the end. He preferred showing Charlotte how he could play golf and mow the lawn. Allison set up a spot for us to have a picnic lunch and brought a couple of Marshall's toys with her - golf clubs and a lawn mower.
As always, it was great to see them and catch up with the Dawson's. Next time we'll try to pick a day when 4 bus loads of day campers aren't simultaneously unloaded into the fountains!