Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tales from the lake: boating, waterskiing & tubing

The lake is my happy place and some of my favorite memories involve cousins, ski boats and lazy summer days on Lake Sardis. There are three lakes within an hour drive of us and they are all beautiful. Lake Jocassee feeds Lake Keowee which then feeds Hartwell. So even though it wasn't a hot day, the water was warm since it's sat for awhile in Jocassee. Ryan and I have canoed on Jocassee, and Jennie and I went stand up paddle boarding at Keowee our first summer of residency, but there's nothing quite so nice as cruising around the lake on a ski boat. Our friends, Kati and Wil, upgraded their sailboat for a ski boat last fall. Last weekend our babies' and work schedules finally aligned so that we were all able to go out.

We quickly decided it was way more fun to have friends with a boat than to actually be in charge of the boat! We had an absolute blast and I skied for the first time in nearly three years! I hope I never go that long without water skiing again. The weather was slightly overcast which was perfect with three small people on board. We stayed way longer than originally planned.


Duncan and his buddy Austen waiting to load up. We've moved Duncan to a bigger car seat in my car, but his old one is still in Ryan's. The carrier is awfully convenient at times!

Keowee is one of three mountain lakes in our area. It's the biggest and just beautiful nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are amazing lake houses surrounding the water. 









I jump at any chance to water ski. I'm proud to say that I go up on my first attempt both times I tried. I am incredibly sore and can't believe I used to could ski all afternoon and not be sore (and it not be at all painful even over rough water!).

Caroline tubed with Ryan and she was incredibly brave. She smiled the whole time and never seemed to get scared! 

Ryan talked me into tubing and I was scared silly -- mainly because his goal was to flip us. Ryan drove the boat while Kati and Wil tubed and then he took just Wil for a loop and tried to get him off. Wil never came off, but said he was going to be feeling it for at least a week. 


Duncan took a great nap on the boat. Nothing like being rocked to sleep!

Love my boat babies and so glad they seemed to love the boat. Life's just better at the lake!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My Old Dress & Duncan's First Haircut

Duncan's therapy schedule has changed a bit so Caroline and I now have two hours early on Friday morning to amuse ourselves downtown. Which is never a problem! We hit up the Starbucks in the Aloft Hotel, visited the rescue puppy in the lobby and then enjoyed our drinks on the patio. It's always crowded in the evenings, but we had it all to ourselves along with a great view of downtown.


Later that morning we met Ryan in the park for a picnic in Cleveland Park.


Friday evening we headed back downtown for NOMA square for the Main Street Fridays concert. This week it was a jazz band called Brown Sugar. They were fabulous, and Caroline loved watching all the kiddos at the children's area.

She's wearing one of my old dresses! Mammy made the dress and Net did the cross-stitching. I wish I had a picture of me wearing it! Isn't she just darling?



We ended the night at Oak Blue Kitchen and decided it's our new favorite happy hour spot. And the best barbecue we've had here!

Saturday morning Ryan convinced me that Duncan really needed a haircut. I have not wanted to cut his hair because boys always seems to look like little boys and not babies once they get that first cut. But he was approaching shaggy sheep dog status so I gave in. We went to Pigtails and Crewcuts and they definitely knew how to handle a crying baby. He screamed bloody murder through most of the experience. We started off sitting in a little fire engine truck but realized after about two seconds there was no way that was going to work! 


And the end result after a bath...


The hair dresser assured me she had tamed his cowlick, but it was sticking straight up again the next morning!

We ate lunch out at Zoe's and then headed back to our neighborhood for the Northgate Salon's market. There were a few vendors and farmer's selling peaches. Caroline and Tommy found this giant puddle to be more interesting than anything that was for sale!

That afternoon the sky looked like this...scary!


 We took it easy Saturday night and let Caroline stay up a little later than normal.  


Sweetest little snuggle bug! 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Five for Friday

We are full on in summertime mode around here and loving every minute of it. The rain has kept us from the pool this week, but we've been able to get out and enjoy the sun when it's come out! And my yard is loving all the rain. Here's some pictures from our week, if you're interested...

1. Fun at the zoo with my favorite two...

Monday morning we hit up the was Caroline's first time for us and her to spend more time out of the stroller than in it. Towards the end she was asking for a ride - always a good sign that naptime will be nice and long!


I'm in love with Duncan's little outfit here. Net calls it a 'mighty mite' basically little shorts with suspenders and a white Peter Pan collared shirt. After looking at these pictures, I do believe D man needs a haircut. We have that on our weekend to-do list. My only hesitation is that I've heard once a boy gets his first hair cut he looks like a little boy and not a baby?!?


2. Books, books, books...We signed up for the summer reading program, checked out the toilet training kit (full of books, dvds and a parents' guide to potty training) and finally made it back to Bouncing Babies at the library. The program takes a break in May and Tuesday morning was our first chance to go since then. It was amazing to see how much better Duncan is sitting up than the last time we went. I left him several times and walked across the room to get Caroline or talk to a friend and he just stayed sitting up and playing with the other crawlers/scooters. He was really watching exactly how that crawling thing was happening.


3. I'm always up for bringing a little whimsy our everyday lives. I've had an indoor fairy garden for years, but it got moved to the workshop after Caroline was born and I let the plants die. So I've been saving some supplies for a raining day project with hopes of attracting a fairy back into our home. (For you literal readers out there, yes, this is grandmother once asked me exactly where I got the fairy!) My children are way too young to get this activity - it was totally just for my own self-entertainment. I've loved the idea of fairy houses since Sis and I were looking at colleges and we stayed with a family friend whose daughter was all into fairies. We couldn't believe we hadn't even thought to be into fairies because we were so imaginative in our play worlds growing up. And then some friends in Belhaven actually built little fairy houses into their bookshelves (see pictures here). I totally geeked out about this the first time we were at their house for a Christmas party. I have no idea what our "forever" house will look like, but I'm certain it will have hidden fairy houses.




4. Each summer at the end of June Dr. Troupe and his wife throw a 'thank-you' party for all the ped and med-peds residents. He's one of only two pediatric neurosurgeons in the state (the other is in Charleston) so he always makes a point of saying that without amazing residents he could never have a night off. They are incredibly nice people and actually lived in Mississippi when he was in either medical or residency. We look forward to the party every year and this year it struck me how different our family is than the first one we attended four years ago!  


5. I've absolutely loved my new-to-me Insta Mini camera. I love a printed picture and this just reminds me of childhood and summer. Net had a Polarid camera when I was little and I remember receiving very strict instructions on not touching the picture while it developed. You no longer have to shake the picture during development and it's printed on smudge-free paper, but I can't help but shake each one out!


Hope you have a great weekend! 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Caroline @ 20 Months

Technically, Caroline turned 21 months this week, but I've been working on this post for over a month now! That itself is a testament to how busy these days are - I seem to be going all the time and yet get almost nothing checked off my to-do list. But these days are so sweet, and I want to make sure to record them. A few months ago at Caroline's 18-month wellness visit her pediatrician warned me that children are the most dangerous to themselves between 18 and 24 months. They have new physical abilities, but have not been hurt enough yet to be cautious. This has come so true for us recently. In the last few days she's fallen off the sofa, pushed through the baby gate to fall off the porch unto the concrete, climbed up on the table and fallen off as I was trying to get her down (while not letting Duncan drown in the sink), slammed her fingers in drawers and run into walls, people and the dog.

Fortunely, she's not had more than a few bumps and bruises and is always quick to be smiling again. Her bright smile and joyful spirit light up our little world. Caroline has the happiest, sweetest, most joyful spirit of any child I've ever known. She rarely has trouble sleeping, but when she does and I go in the check on her she'll say, "rock a minute" and it just melts my heart. She'll just flatten herself on my chest and cling to me. We rock for way more than a minute. I just soak it up and can hardly make myself put her down.

She's never been one to love holding hands while walking (I think it's a balance thing), but recently she'll come up to me and say "hand mama" and grab my hand.

Caroline's verbal skills have just exploded in the last couple of weeks. She now talks all. day. long. She's the sweetest thing and if I say we're about to put on Caroline's shoes she immediately asks, "Bubba's shoes" like put shoes on Bubba too. She is quick to offer him all food off her plate and loves to "help" him hold his bottle.

She has the most adventurous spirit! The water fall at the Family Reunion was fascinating to her.

Always (or just about almost!) smiling. She loves the sun, the pool, the splash and the snacks that seem to always happen at the pool.

I have a Corkcircle water bottle that DeeDee gave me last summer. I carry it around everywhere and Caroline knows it's Mama's wa-wa. The other night she kept bringing it to me (unasked) and would say, "say tank-ou." Everytime I'd put it down, she'd hand it right back to me with "say tank-ou"  I may have said that a time or two to her!'

After a few weeks this morphed into "tank ew, Car-ro-line" at any and everything she hands us. And also has started saying, "Good job, Car-ro-line."

She always wants to try what Ryan or I are drinking and she'll say, "One sip" following immediately by "one sip." If it's something like Coke she'll attempt to drain the glass without coming up for air!

She is so coordinated and can do the steps going into the backyard by herself. She's obsessed with as she calls it, "go see Pepe" and so if I leave the back door open she'll go outside and see Pepe and try to give him water. She's figured out how to push the little gate to the dogs' part of the backyard so that she can slip through. (Obviously I wrote this before Pepe died...she's just about quite asking for him but has told me several times that Pepe's sleeping).

She still gives kisses by knocking foreheads. Duncan in the umbrella stroller is at just the perfect height for lots of kisses!

She plays so well by herself and is, overall, so gentle with Duncan. Although when she does get rough he loves it. She's know gotten into peek-a-boo with him when they are in their highchairs. I'll hand her the dishrag to wipe off with and she immediately starts holding it over her face and saying, "where's Caroline"...."there she is." Duncan cracks up everytime. Or she'll start going "peek-a-boo."

She's starting to get picky with eating, but she's so concerned that Duncan is eating something she is not that she'll ask for "one bite" and then realize she does like it. So she's finally eating most vegetables again! The other day I got her to drink a Naked Juice Green Power Booster drink by acting like I liked it. It was so hard to drink and say, "yuummm...mama's juice." She took one sip and wrinkled her nose and pursed her lips. Ryan about fell over he was laughing so hard. But she drank the whole dang cup!

Caroline loves her people. She absolutely loves Ollie (followed closely by his mama, aka Mama Shoe) and she got so excited last week when we met Hop at the playground. We are fortunate that on our street there are four girls within a few months of Caroline and Duncan. Duncan needs a guy friend on the street!

She loves to listen to me talk on the phone, but prefers Facetime. She loves to see her grandparents and great-grandparents and gets super excited to see her cousins. When my phone rings, she'll say, "DeeDee?" and usually that's right! Every time we see a train she calls in Uncle Thomas' train. It's hard to believe we are closer to two than to one.