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Archive for the ‘traveling’ Category

This past weekend, we traveled to Virginia to meet up with Jim’s brothers and their wives plus one nephew and another babe on the way, plus his mom, aunt, uncle and grandmother. It was nice to see everyone, especially since we won’t be traveling this holiday season due to baby #2’s arrival. There’s a picture of Molly with her cousin Wrigley that I will have to post, but I think it’s on Jim’s phone, so I’ll have to track that down.

The three of us were sharing a room and we brought blankets to create a pallet for Molly to sleep on, but as expected, she wanted none of that. She also didn’t want us to leave her when we tucked her in. You would think I would have embraced a 9 pm bedtime, but that would have only been if she had let me sleep. At one point, Jim and I were hanging on for dear life on the edges of the queen size bed while Molly sprawled horizontally across the bed.

She had a fever and what we now know is bronchitis, so her sleep was restless at best. Non-existent at worst.

On Saturday night, I thought she had fallen asleep, so I tried to slip out of the bed to get some water and visit with my brothers-and-sisters-in-law. As I was slowly sitting up, Molly slid her hand up my arm, grabbed hold of me just above the elbow and said, “Gotcha.”

I could hear the grin in her voice.

“Lay down Mom.”

And all night long, she maintained a grip on me. My arm, my shirt, even my ponytail at one point. As uncomfortable as the nights were, I loved how needed she made me feel in this time of testing boundaries and exerting independence.

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Yes, it’s Thursday.  But you still want to know what we did last weekend, right?  School is out this week, yet I’ve still managed to stay very busy finishing my Christmas shopping, meeting with a bride-to-be about Sweet Birdie’s Nest invitations, and playdates.  I also think that *all* of the cleaning I’ve neglected to do in the past four months should be done right away.

Anyway, last weekend, Jim and I went to Kiawah with some friends for the half-marathon.  Meredith and John rode down with us Friday afternoon, and after a few stops at random grocery stores, a Piggly-Wiggly t-shirt, two guard gates, and a trip down a dirt road, we finally made it to our rental home, where a yummy pasta dinner awaited us.  Meredith, Carrie, Rachelle and I ran the half-marathon in the rain on Saturday and then we spent the rest of the afternoon doing *nothing* at the house.  I’m not sure I’ve ever spent an entire day doing nothing, but it was nice.  We went to Charleston for drinks and dinner on Saturday night, turned in fairly early and headed home on Sunday morning after a visit to The Ocean Course, where the 2012 PGA Championship will be held.  Even though it was a cold, windy, and rainy, the view from the clubhouse was to die for and it was the only glimpse of the ocean I got all weekend.  It was the first weekend away from Molly (she stayed one night with Grandma and Grandpa in July but we weren’t gone very long!) and I was very emotional Friday morning before we left.  Then when I realized that we didn’t have cell service at the house, I was a wreck.  We had to get in our car and drive down the road to check in.  Of course, Molly could have cared less that we were gone, but we sure missed her and were so glad to be home when she woke up from her nap on Sunday!  {Thanks, Nana, for making sure MJ had a wonderful weekend while we were gone.  I know she enjoyed her time with you!}

When Molly woke up from her nap Sunday, we headed to Graham’s first birthday party.  Check out pictures from the party here and here.

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Lucky Molly gets to participate in the Christmas program at school twice this week.  Her class is singing “Jingle Bells.”  I can’t wait to go with Jim tomorrow to see eight toddlers attempting to sing “Jingle Bells.”  When I sing it at home, she looks at me like I’ve lost my mind, so I’m not sure she knows what she’s doing!  But, she looked awfully cute in one of her Christmas dresses this morning!  I attempted to get a few pictures of her before we went to school.  She was so sweet, laughing and dancing, until I pulled out the camera and then she started running away from me!  I’ll try to post video of tomorrow’s program over the weekend.  I’m sure it will be entertaining.

 

Let's go, Mom! We're going to be late for "skoooo."

 

 

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Last week, we traveled to Ohio to be with Jim’s family for the Thanksgiving holiday.  When we started out, the weather was a balmy 80 degrees but four states and nine hours away, it was 32 degrees.  Hello, winter!  We planned to run/walk in the Turkey Trot but it was pouring rain and Molly only slept about two hours on Wednesday night, so we thought she might be too tired to run.  Ha!  Molly was a total sweetheart in the car but didn’t sleep a wink, and then she wasn’t too happy about sleeping her pack ‘n play, so Jim and I finally relented and let her sleep in the bed with us for the first time ever.  I can totally see why families do that – it’s so sweet and cozy and after hours of screaming, quiet.

Peaches got to spend quality time with her aunts and uncles and grandparents and although it took her some time to warm up, she was her usual charming self by Thursday and was even giving out hugs and high-fives on Friday.  She also got to experience some true winter weather and we had to buy her a winter coat at Target on Wednesday.  We took several jackets for her, but they just weren’t going to cut it in the Ohio wind.

Although Molly didn’t eat any turkey or yummy side dishes from Thanksgiving dinner, we did find out that she likes McDonald’s and Wendy’s chicken nuggets.  Go figure!  Jim made fun of me because I picked the fried skin off of the nuggets, and several people have pointed out that’s probably the most “real” part of them.

We drove home Saturday in time to put Molly to sleep in her own bed and she was out within minutes.  Jim and I unpacked and went to bed ourselves to prepare for Sunday – I had an 11 mile training run and we celebrated my dad’s birthday with family dinner at our favorite Sunday place, Hawthorne’s.  This week is the last week of the fall semester for me, so I’m busy with final grading and preparing the exams.  We got our Christmas tree last night and Jim managed to get the lights on it for us; we were hoping for more of a reaction for Molly but she just looked at it for a minute and then grabbed a book.  Hopefully she’ll be more interested once it’s fully decorated!

We’re looking forward to this Christmas season and seeing Molly’s reaction to the decorations, lights, and festive holiday events.  It’s so fun to watch her experience things for the first time.  Although this isn’t her first Christmas, she’s so much more aware of everything now so I’m expecting a lot of fun “firsts!”

 

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I love the life Jim and I have created, the plans and busy-ness and friends and family we enjoy spending time with, but lately we’ve been so over-commited to other things that we haven’t been making time to spend together.  Jim hates that he leaves for work before Molly wakes for the day and I hate that Jim and I both have to work after Molly goes to bed.   This weekend, we felt the need for some family time and luckily found ourselves without too many commitments, so we planned a day trip to the North Carolina mountains for Sunday.  It finally feels like fall here and so we bundled up, borrowed a backpack carrier from a neighbor, and headed to the mountains early Sunday morning.  We didn’t make it far enough up the mountain to see the snow that fell Saturday, but there was a distinct chill in the air that I loved!

We chose a short hike to a waterfall to start and although Molly didn’t love getting in the backpack carrier at first, she soon changed her mind and rode along happily.  Once we reached the falls, Molly had fun romping around in the leaves and was mesmerized by a family with school-aged children that eventually came along behind us.  Molly enjoyed her lunch on a sunny rock and then happily got back in the carrier to head back to the car.

Molly fell asleep before we even got back to the main highway, so Jim and I stopped for a quick bite to eat and then, as we were driving along I-40, we saw the signs for the After Market Sale at the Hickory Furniture Mart, so we stopped in to see if there was anything we couldn’t live without.  Much to our surprise, we walked away empty-handed.  I found several chairs I loved, but nothing that we were actually looking for.

Molly was a great car passenger and hiking partner, and we all enjoyed a perfect fall day together.  A day away can make a huge difference; I am appreciative of the time we got to spend together.

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Over the recent Labor Day weekend, we managed to squeeze in one more trip to the beach before fall arrives.  We are fortunate enough to live close to (and enjoy spending time with!) my parents and one of my sisters and her children, so we all traveled to the coast together. {We missed Whitney, but she was having her own adventure.  It just happened to be on the opposite coast.}  It IS hurricane season and it just so happened that there were numerous storms in the Atlantic the week before Labor Day, so we watched the weather all week and literally arrived at the beach just hours after Hurricane Earl passed through; lucky for us, Earl was in a hurry to move up and out, and we arrived to perfect beach weather.

As everyone knows, traveling with children can create some interesting memories…A few of my favorites include:

1)  We allowed plenty of time for travel (we were with FOUR kids, ages 13 months to seven) and ended up arriving at the marina in time to catch an earlier ferry, so we hustled to get the cars unloaded and everyone onto the same ferry.  Beverly and I had Addison and Molly in strollers, and being some of the last people to board the ferry, there weren’t many places for us to go.  So, we ended up in the front of the boat.  Remember that hurricane that just moved out?  It wasn’t until we were soaked that we remembered the water might be a little rough because of the category four storm that had passed through a mere ten hours before.  And, we also remembered sitting there once before and getting similar results; fortunately, the boys thought it was a grand adventure and the girls didn’t mind too much.  Beverly and I were the ones that were the most disappointed:  we had both straightened our hair that morning.  Go figure.  It was at this point in the trip that my dear husband reminded us that we were creating memories.

2)  Addison and Molly were troopers on the beach, and Jackson and Benjamin were having a blast building forts, digging holes, and casting fishing nets.  Beverly, my mom, and I even got to sit down some.  Well, my mom didn’t really get to sit down, but that’s what Nana’s do, right?!  There was a lovely breeze from the east and the temperature was ideal.  There was just one pesky problem:  Horse flies.  They were literally attacking us and Molly was none too happy about being annihilated by the  horse flies.  On the first day, the wind calmed down and the horse flies subsided.  But on Sunday, while Beverly, my mom, and I were dancing and hopping to prevent the pests from landing on our ankles, Molly was getting her fair share of bites.  At this point, I had two choices:  1- continue to subject my daughter to the sting of the horse flies or 2- take her in even though we’d been on the beach for less than an hour.  So, I did what any good mother would do when faced with a similar dilemma:  I covered my baby in Deet.

And although there are many more memories to share (Nana on a rollout bed?  Only for a camp-out with her grandsons!), I’ll leave you with two final thoughts:

1)  Babies love Goldfish crackers.  And Pop-tarts.  And they can survive an entire weekend on a diet of Goldfish and Pop-tarts.

2)  Waitresses don’t think it’s funny when you order a beer at dinner and your husband jokingly orders one for the baby.  I mean, seriously?

I love that Molly has so many opportunities to make memories with her cousins!  I hope it’s always as fun as this past weekend was.  Thanks for a great time, everyone!

{picture courtesy of Beverly}

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Molly enjoyed her first trip to the beach – sunset dinners on the beach, rejuvenating spa treatments (sand exfoliation, anyone?), and lots of entertainment from her cousins and aunts and uncles.  Molly had fun playing in the sand and ocean, and with Addison, Benjamin, and Jackson.  She even learned a few neat tricks.

"Hmm...I wonder what's up there?"

"Hey, Addi, is this how you do it?"

Three guesses where Molly’s favorite new place is to hang out at home?  That’s right, the stairs!

We had a great vacation and were lucky enough to see both sets of grandparents, my nephews and niece, and both of my sisters and their husbands.

Doesn't it look like she's saying, "This is SO fun, guys!"

The only thing I would change?  Don’t get your wisdom teeth extracted the week before vacation!

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It’s so crazy to think that a year ago, Jim and I were waiting on our baby’s arrival.  My due date had come and gone, I had gone shopping to dampen my disappointment that I was still waiting to meet my bundle of joy, we were still trying to figure out a name for our sweet daughter, and we walked to Dairy Queen and Red Box every night, hoping the heat and the exercise would induce labor.

As Molly’s first birthday approaches, I am remembering the excitement and anxiety of waiting for her.  I was so emotional:  tired of being pregnant; excited to meet my daughter; and scared of labor and actually bringing my baby home to take care of her.  This year, this week brings birthday gift shopping, last minute party planning, and enjoying the last week of my baby’s “baby-ness.”  She is already a toddler in so many ways, but I am denying this fact this week.

She is my baby and always will be.

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We are enjoying the last of our beach vacation this weekend, so check back next week for pictures of my beach baby.

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