Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some Big News

I have a bit of an announcement to make here on the blog, though many of you already know what's going on. We have recently put our house here in Richmond on the market, with the intention of moving to Dallas.

This was an incredibly hard decision to make, as we love Richmond. Absolutely love it. We love living here, love our family and friends that live here (or near) and love the house that we've fixed up here.

While there are going to be many wonderful things about living in Dallas (namely, family and friends who are there!) as a city, it is probably not our #1 choice as a place to live, so we did hesitate on going. We've just gotten used to a town that is much smaller than Dallas and having been on the East Coast for most of our married life, it feels like home now.  Richmond in particular feels like home.

But in the end, we had to make the decision that was best for us as a family, and at this point in time, moving to Dallas is what's best.

Brad's job is mainly based in Dallas, whenever he is not at the client site. We discussed moving when he first took the job, but we weren't sure how much time would be in the office vs. on the road. Now we feel like we have a better picture of that and that living in Dallas will mean he'll be home a lot more. Also, at the time, Charlie was a newborn, and I'm pretty sure I would have had a nervous breakdown trying to move back then!

Brad really loves his job, but it has meant a lot of sacrifice since Charlie was born and being away for milestones and things like that. It's also been hard on us as a couple to spend that much time apart. We are all really looking forward to having more time together as a family after the move. Well, Charlie hasn't been able to articulate that, but I think it's a safe assumption, considering how much he loves his daddy. :)

So our house is on the market and we are waiting to see what happens. The market here is terrible, so this may take a while. Fortunately, we are not under a lot of pressure to be in Dallas by any certain date, so we can be patient and find the right buyer. As much as I love this house, I feel like I'm trying to find a new home for my dog or something.

It's also giving us plenty of time to enjoy things and see our friends and family and really appreciate it. We've been blessed beyond measure while living here and are blessed further to have so many wonderful people welcoming us to Dallas. I know we'll feel right at home and have plenty of help getting settled and adjusted.

For now, however, we're just in a holding pattern. When there's more news, such as it's time to actually go, I'll let you know. But for now, we're just going to enjoy this last autumn here in Richmond. Fall in Virginia is beautiful and I plan to make the most of it!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

London Bound

Brad found out yesterday that his next project is in London. And he had to leave today! So he booked travel and packed last night and left this afternoon. It was kind of sad because we've had him home a bunch in the past month and got used to having him around. 

Charlie's been talking about Daddy and airplane all night and asking where he is. We dropped Brad off at the airport this afternoon and Charlie got upset when Brad didn't get back in the car with us. He loves his daddy.

Brad doesn't know much about the logistics of how this project is going to work yet, so we are kind of in wait and see mode right now. He's not sure how long he'll be over there, how often he can come home, what the hours will be like, etc. 

If he's over there for more than a few weeks, he will switch from the hotel to a flat. Instead of coming home, I think Charlie and I are going to go over there and stay with him for a week and a half or so. I'm very excited about this since I've never been to London. Also, our former neighbors here in Richmond now live in London and it would be a blast to get to spend time with them. 

I'm trying to focus on the exciting aspect of all of this and not worry about the unknown part. We had some fun plans this weekend that I'm now going to do on my own. The Junior League has their big Touch a Truck event, where the kids can go and see all sorts of trucks and machines up close. And Sunday we had planned to go to Ashland Berry Farm and pick pumpkins with a bunch of our neighbors. 

I'm sad Brad has to miss all that - especially the trucks. That's kind of his thing with Charlie. He's taken Charlie to a bunch of the area fire stations to see the fire trucks up close and they've stopped by construction sites so Charlie can see the diggers and dump trucks. Charlie talks about it for days afterwards. 

We're also not sure if Brad is going to have to miss Halloween, which would stink. Halloween on our street is so much fun. Tons of kids and lots of block parties going on. Charlie is going to be a puppy dog this year. :)

And I'm not even thinking about if this project extends to Thanksgiving or Christmas. See, this is me not thinking about it. At all. 

But hey, a trip to London would be pretty cool, so we'll just make some different kinds of memories! Crossed fingers we get to go.... 

Pain in the Asthma

Poor Charlie. He got his dad's crappy lungs. But he also got his beautiful eyes, so I guess you can't win them all.

Since I went and jinxed myself a couple of weeks ago at Charlie's 2 1/2 year check up and told the pediatrician that it's just amazing, but Charlie hasn't been sick in close to a year (!!) Charlie is of course now sick. From allergies to bronchitis in no time at all.

He had a runny nose and a little cough all weekend. He went to preschool on Monday and they called me to pick him up early. He was wheezing a bit and it just kept getting worse all day. I gave him a breathing treatment and we headed in to the doctor late in the day.

Where we waited for almost AN HOUR. I was pretty ticked. Charlie was having more and more trouble breathing and finally I lost it with the girl at the check in desk when I no longer wanted to hear that they had no idea when he'd be called back but they are working as fast as they can. In my opinion, if you don't have time to see that many people, don't make so many dang appointments.

I told her my son was having trouble breathing and we either needed to be seen right then or I was taking him home for another breathing treatment. She snapped at me that I could have told her that earlier. A nurse heard the exchange and got us back there and Charlie a breathing treatment immediately.

For some reason Charlie is scared of the doctor right now and freaks out about taking any medicine or having to do a breathing treatment. Scared of things he didn't used to be scared of and that don't hurt. I can't figure it out. He screamed and cried the entire appointment. It. was. exhausting.

Because our doctor couldn't determine through all the screaming whether Charlie had any fluid in his lungs, we had to go to the hospital and get an x-ray. So that was time consuming and by this point we were both hungry and Charlie was exhausted. Brad came up to the hospital and met us, which helped a ton. He brought snacks and had more energy for carrying Charlie than I did. Charlie was asleep in my lap when he got there.

Charlie did great for the x-ray, didn't cry at all. It was a bit hard to keep him standing still and the guy doing the x-ray seemed to either think 2 year olds are more capable of understanding instructions or that Charlie was older than 2. It was almost funny - he was genuinely baffled why Charlie wouldn't stand in exactly the position he wanted him to and stay still.

The doctor called later and there was no fluid in the lungs and it looked like all asthma stuff and some bronchitis. We are doing breathing treatments every 4 hours and go back tomorrow so Charlie can be evaluated again.

Now that he's breathing better and I'm not so terrified, I don't think I'll jump all over the receptionist again. Still, she should watch herself because I can go from zero to Mama Bear in no time. Obviously.

I think the thing that shocked me the most yesterday was Charlie turning down food because he was too tired. Those were his exact words - Too Tired Mommy. Charlie is never one to turn down food. At least, not the food we were offering to make up for his pain and suffering.

He went to bed right when we got back and slept fine last night. He's been wheezing some today and seemed to have a fever this morning, but it subsided by lunch time and we even played outside for a little while this afternoon in between monsoons.

I'm relieved all the hospital stuff happened before Brad left town today. Just having another person there last night made it feel so much better than doing it alone. So yeah, Brad has left town now and gets to miss all this breathing treatment fun! But crazy details around that is for another post!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Meet Person


This is Person. That is his name... Person. He is a PlayMobil (sp?) fireman and Charlie's most prized possession.

Charlie used to have another little guy just like it, that his Didi gave him from an old box of toys in her attic. He came everywhere with us for a while, until a fateful trip to Lowe's, where he was left somewhere in the Lawn & Garden section.

Then one day, Charlie and Daddy had one of their outings and went to this cute toy store down the road and got a new one. And that was the day Person came home to live with us.

He has a fire fighter hat on, which Charlie will point out to you after you have been introduced to Person. All of his other accessories have been lost. Poor Person no longer has an axe or hose to fight fires with. Just a hat.

Person comes with us on all our errands and to the park. He showers with Charlie and sleeps in his bed.  He was left at the mall once last week, but as soon as I heard Mommy! Person! from the backseat, I knew we'd be turning around and going back to find Person. He was sitting on the seat of the coin operated pink bus near the food court that Charlie likes to pretend to drive.

Person has also been lost within our own house. It is quite tragic when Person is missing. Charlie asks for him constantly and is worried when he's not around. I guess some toddlers like blankets or stuffed animals. Ours likes Person.

Silly Mommy, who grew up with sisters, called Person a Lego at first. The learning curve from all sisters to having a son can be so steep at times.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our 9th (gulp) Anniversary!


Nine years ago Brad and I got married. It feels like I was just writing this post about our eighth anniversary! Time is whipping by. Kind of like our wedding day did, which felt about 10 minutes (don't get me wrong - exhausting minutes) long. We haven't been back to the Melrose Hotel in a while, but maybe we can hit up the Library Bar the next time we're in Dallas together.

The day after our wedding, we left for 10 days in Hawaii, which are some of the happiest memories in my life. So when I remember our wedding, I also remember our honeymoon. Brad planned out all these fun activities for each day, like horseback riding and helicopter tours, and we had long, romantic dinners and stayed at the most beautiful hotels. Hawaii is just everything you expect it to be. It's stunningly beautiful. 

The picture above, obviously, is from Hawaii. Because why post a recent photo when there are ones available where we look so young and well rested??
I'm more appreciative of Brad then ever these days because I love having him to enjoy Charlie with. He is the other person who is as obsessed with every little thing that Charlie does (well, besides you Mom - ha!) and we spend quite a bit of time discussing how awesome Charlie is. We are that stereotypical couple that finally gets a night off to go out to dinner, and then spends the entire time talking about their kid. 

After 9 years of marriage, I can say it's comforting, really, to be around someone who has known me for so long and been through so many of the same things. He knows all the little cracks and crevices of my personality. The nitty gritty. And we can laugh about things from years ago as easily as something from last week. 

I also have to give him props because he is such a good dad to Charlie. It is easy to love him more each time I see him with Charlie because he just loves him so much. He is adamant about doing what is best for him and protecting him. It makes my heart swell when I hear him talk about Charlie. Our adjustment period to being parents took a long time because Brad had to be away so much for work, but we are in a very good place now and finally feel like we have this parenting thing figured out. Well, mostly. :)

And my last bit of bragging, I promise - how supportive Brad was when I had my melanoma scare this summer and how supportive he continues to be when I get scared about the future or self conscious about this big ol' scar on my face. Even with a lot of stressful things going on with work for him, he was very calm and reassuring and helpful so I could get through both surgeries and only need to worry about getting better. I felt very blessed.

So anyways, as we like to joke, we've made it 9 years and not killed each other. Yet. I'd say that's worth celebrating! Happy Anniversary Brad!

Here's what happens....

When I try and make a video of Charlie. And why I don't post them more often! He's a moving target really. :)

video

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Charlie's First Day of Preschool


Yesterday was a big day around here - Charlie started his first day of preschool! He is attending at St. Mary's Episcopal School, which is at our church. He is in the two year old class that attends Monday and Wednesdays. The class is mostly girls! But there is one other little boy, who is also a big talker, and I think he and Charlie will hit it off pretty well.

Preschool starts a tad earlier than we are used to getting anywhere on a given day, so I actually had to wake Charlie up yesterday to go. He was very excited about preschool, so didn't seem to mind... until we had to shut off Yo Gabba Gabba to get in the car. Then it was meltdown city.


Since Brad is in town this week, he got to go with us, and was helping me try to calm Charlie down as we were leaving. Obviously, my visions of cute pictures outside our house were obliterated by the ticked off toddler. Brad said some kind of soothing statement to Charlie and Charlie held one finger up to his lips and said SHH! Daddy! He does that when he doesn't like what we are telling him - he shushes  us!!

We got him in his car seat with his favorite type of granola bar. Brad made the mistake of making a second soothing statement to Charlie and got the granola bar flung at him. This all seemed a bit much to take before coffee in the morning! I guess it was likewise a bit much for Charlie before he was done with his TV show!

Charlie cheered up a little bit when we got to the church parking lot and agreed to a few pictures. Something else happened and he started to get upset again, but I can't remember what. At any rate, we got inside the school and to his classroom and it was like a switch was turned on. Suddenly he was in a great mood and ran in to start playing. We talked to the teacher for a few minutes and left.


When I went a couple of hours later (preschool is just for 2 hours this week and then the 3 next week, to get them adjusted) to pick him up, he was still playing and having a great time. They said he had a good day and never stopped moving. That sounds like my Charlie! He didn't really want to leave, but we all promised him he could come back in a couple of days.

When we got home I tried to get him to eat lunch, but he was still too excited. All the sudden he just crashed and asked me if he could go to sleep. Um, sure, no problem! He took a nice long nap and woke up in a great mood, still talking about preschool.

I'm trying to get his schedule adjusted so that he's waking up a little bit earlier each day and going to bed a bit earlier too. I think once it's the norm to wake up earlier, it won't be quite as hard to get him out the door. His second day is tomorrow and I'm predicting another good day!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Two and a Half Years of Charlie


Oh my goodness our baby is all grown up! Well, not completely. He still believes I can kiss away his boo boos. And while I love that, I hope when he's a true grown up, that's not the case. Ha.

It really hit me how much Charlie has changed when I looked at some photos from just a year ago. Gone is the baby chub and arrived is the huge vocabulary. It's fun to hear everything he's thinking. He's such a talker, I'm completely informed at all times. He also loves to bust out in song - usually something from a TV show he likes. Mostly Yo Gabba Gabba and Caillou (ugh).

As you can see, I did manage to snag a chair pic this time. It's been a while since he'd sit still in the chair! That's another big difference these days - we can ask Charlie to do something and most of the time he'll actually do it! Before recently, I couldn't even tell if he'd heard what I said. Our neighbor's 18 month old is doing that now and while I watched it this morning, it made me realize it's another way Charlie has grown up.

And of course, there's the height. This kid is growing like a weed - all up and no out! I have to cinch his pants as tight as they'll go in order to have them long enough for him. He's wearing 2Ts, but in some things, it's going to be time to move to 3Ts soon. I was shocked to bring home PJ's from Baby Gap in 2T and they were too short. Luckily Charlie's Nana lives near a Gap outlet and was able to send some in 3T! Most of the time, he won't wear the one piece Hanna Anderssons PJ's anymore - for some reason he's staging a boycott. I guess one piece PJ's are for babies. Sniff.

Charlie's taken on his father's affinity for vegetables. Meaning none whatsoever. I try and I try (with both of them, actually), hiding veggies in foods he otherwise likes - pasta and pizza, etc. - but he'll pick them out or refuse to eat it all together. In fact, most nights, he won't eat what I cook. If that's the case, then he just doesn't eat much. I'm trying not to get in the habit of cooking him his own dinner and I want him to eat grown up food. So I guess we're in a bit of a stand off.

Ever since taking him off bottles, Charlie won't drink milk. Like, at all. We got excited once at a friend's house, when he drank the Horizon milk in a box, but he won't touch the stuff now. Fortunately, he will eat yogurt and cheese (and ice cream!) so I can get calcium in him some way. He loves those Stonyfield yogurt smoothies. It kills me how expensive they are, but not enough to make homemade smoothies.

We are very lucky and Charlie is still an excellent sleeper. He consistently sleeps 12 hours at night and will take a nap about 60% of the time for 2 to 3 hours. He still needs the nap, but for some reason - maybe overtiredness? - he won't go to sleep. I can tell he needs it because he's such a grouch if he doesn't get it! But we've been very fortunate with how well he sleeps overall, so I have nothing to complain about.

Since I've been staying home, though, his bedtime and wake-up time have both been getting gradually later. We are going to have to move them both up, though, because he starts preschool next week and will have to get up earlier! I guess with Brad out of town during the week, I rarely have a reason to get him to bed any earlier. We just play and have fun and then he sleeps in in the morning.

About a month ago, Charlie didn't want to take a bath anymore and has decided he wants to take a shower! Part of me likes it because it's so easy, but another part of me misses playing with him in the tub. After he figured out how to turn on the water and switch it from the faucet to the shower, though, it was all over. I guess because he sees Brad and me shower, he wants to do the same. Now I have a huge bucket of bath toys I guess I need to pack away. Sniff.

No movement really on the potty training front. I bought a training seat for the toilet and he'll sit on it occasionally, but it hasn't clicked yet. He didn't really want anything to do with the training potty - I guess because (again) he wants to do what we do. From what I've read, he's showing some signs of being ready, but not all of them. I'm fine waiting until he's ready. I think it will be easier than trying to force it when he's not. The pediatrician gave me some tips and I'll probably check out some books from the library. Unless he shows signs earlier, I think I'll wait until after the holidays to work on it, so we can really focus without distraction.

The pediatrician also gave me a bunch of suggestions on the discipline front - I guess a lot of parents ask, so she just offers them up regardless. But honestly, we don't really need them. Charlie is really a very good kid most of the time. He is so loving and has a very sweet and giving heart. It is rare when he knowingly misbehaves. The challenge with Charlie isn't disobedience, it's his curiosity! Give him a room of 1,000 safe things and 1 dangerous, and he will zone in on the dangerous item in 10 seconds flat! It's like an innate sense! Into everything, that child.

Charlie's starting to show a lot of interest in playing with balls and learning about different sports. If there's a sport on TV, he yells it out, no matter where we are! He even watched some of the US Open with us! If it's the females playing tennis, he's very certain that's Aunt Clare on TV! He says it quite matter-of-factly. Oh, there's Clare on TV again!

He loves his little play golf clubs, soccer ball, basketball and football. He wants to play catch a lot these days and is getting better about actually catching it. Today we were playing with some neighbors who have a toy lacrosse set and Charlie picked up the stick and seemed to immediately know how to use it to throw the ball. He had a great time with it. He also loves running around with a tennis racket and trying to hit tennis balls. Here in a couple of years, he's going to be ready for lessons from his Aunt Clare - and Uncle Bruce too!

Charlie is still fascinated with trucks, trains, diggers, airplanes and helicopters. We talk about the fire trucks each time we drive past the station. We've had a lot of big trucks around the neighborhood cleaning up from Hurricane Irene and it's been fun watching Charlie's fascination when he sees them. There is nothing cooler than a big, big truck. I think he might be a fire fighter for Halloween, but I'm not sure yet if he'll wear the hat.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some things, but that's all I can think of right now for an update. Here are a few more recent pictures of Charlie. In the first, we are riding the train at Short Pump mall. The second is Charlie making a few calls from the phone in Pottery Barn. He was so loud, everyone heard and the sales associates were cracking up in the background. And the last photo is just us walking around at Deep Run park.




Next update - 2 and 3/4 years?? Or 3 years?? I can't remember my intervals right now. Still can't believe I'm going to have a 3 year old....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Charlie's 2.5 Year Check Up


We had our hastily scheduled check up for Charlie this morning - due to me not realizing we had to go back at 2.5 years. I thought we were in the clear until age 3. I had to get the appointment in so they could fill out Charlie's state health form to start preschool next week. 

Here are the stats - 

Height: 37 inches, 70th percentile (that is 2 inches since March!)
Weight: 28.5 pounds, 25th percentile

He just needed one shot, his flu shot. The nurse was the quickest I've ever seen and had an unwrapped lollipop to hand him immediately afterwards, so there no tears for that part. 

We saw a pediatrician we don't normally see, but I like her. She was who we saw when Charlie had pneumonia a year ago. She had some kind of intern with her, some guy that is rotating among the pediatricians in the practice. 

Charlie was initially excited to see them, due in most part to the Caillou episode where they go to see the doctor, but boy did his tune change once she started examining him. Screaming bloody murder. It was awesome. 

After the examination, Charlie went with the nurse while I went in to meet with the doctor and.. whoever that other guy was. That's the way they always have done it at our practice and for the most part Charlie is a good sport about hanging out with the nurses. 

The office portion took forever because the doctor was explaining everything to the intern. This visit included an autism risk screening questionnaire. They also measured head circumference because apparently kids with autism have bigger heads? Dunno. 

We also talked about diet, discipline and potty training. It was all very interesting. Meanwhile, I could hear Charlie out in main area, helping the nurse show other patients to their examination rooms. He had a great time and gave her a hug when we left. 

We go back at 3 years. Ack! I'm going to have a 3 year old in a few months!! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Teasing

For a few months now, Charlie has been teasing his daddy. For some reason, that is something he reserves just for him. Charlie doesn't tease me, but he will tease Brad any chance he gets! I have to admit, teasing Brad is really fun.


It started with Charlie telling Brad "Bye!' out of nowhere whenever Brad got back in town on Friday. And Brad would dramatically reply "No! I'm home now! I'm not going anywhere!" and Charlie would laugh hysterically and say it again.

Then the teasing moved on to Charlie telling Brad that Bobo (our dog) was a horse. I have NO idea where that came from. But Charlie would tell Brad, quite happily, that "Bobo's a Horse!" - and Brad would again tell him dramatically NO! Bobo is NOT a horse! This would go back and forth for quite a while.

After a bit, Charlie changed the script and would concede that "Bobo's a big dog" after a few rounds. I think we need to get Charlie around an actual horse, since Bobo is nowhere near as big.

Today the teasing took a new turn. Now, in order to get a big reaction out of Daddy, Charlie has started calling him Brad or Bradford. It's hilarious. Juice Brad! Bradford? Where are you? I guess imitating me, though I can't remember the last time I asked Brad for juice. Wine maybe, but I'm not a big juice drinker.

I'm so curious to see where the next round of this ribbing takes us. Charlie has certainly shown his sense of humor early on!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Nana!

Today is my mom's (Charlie's Nana's) birthday! Since she loves a good Charlie video (actually ANY Charlie video), I decided to record him singing the Happy Birthday song from Sprout. Of course, getting him to do things on camera is always a little bit of a challenge, so we have two takes, both of which are a little hit or miss.

As a bonus feature, this video includes Charlie's rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. You know, before he remembers we're talking about birthdays here!

video

You'll have to forgive him, but he realized mid-video on this next one that his hands were sticky from the peanut butter and jelly I caved and made him after he refused to eat the pasta and broccoli I made  for dinner. The "talent" can be so finicky. 

video


Happy Birthday Mom! Hope it's a wonderful day! We love you!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Gulf Shores Trip

I'm so glad we didn't go to Gulf Shores this weekend, what with Hurricane Lee dumping all that rain on Alabama. Instead we went during LAST weekend's hurricane, Irene, which was dumping rain on Virginia. Still waiting to hear about NEXT weekend's hurricane, Katia, and whether it's coming this way.

But anyways. We had a great time on our trip, mostly because of the very fun group of friends we went with. It was fun to get away and have some time with just the three of us and some time to visit with friends we don't see as often as we wish.

The drive was probably a tad too long to just go to the beach for a few days, but we made it fun by stopping somewhere pretty on the way down and back. In both directions, we stayed in Opelika, AL, which is near Auburn University. The hotel is on the Robert Trent Jones Golf trail and it was beautiful out there. On the way down, we even got there in time to have a nice dinner outside as the sun set.

Charlie did great on the drive for the most part. He is a bit of a challenge to keep busy, but he was usually happy if I climbed in the back seat and sat next to him. We spent plenty of time wherever we stopped for lunch or dinner so he could play and get some energy out. Overall, I think he was a real trooper on the trip.

There were two little girls for him to play with when we got there and Charlie referred to them as "the kids." This didn't sit too well with the older girl, who turns 5 soon. She is not a kid! Whenever Charlie would cool it with the "kid" garbage for a bit, she seemed to really warm up to him! Charlie got very attached to these two little girls. He would get upset every time we got in the car, not realizing we were all going to the same place for dinner or whatever. Charlie sure does love the kids.

All three kids seemed to enjoy playing on the beach. Charlie shocked us all by just running and jumping in the water a few times. Fortunately there was always an adult nearby. The first time he did it, I hadn't even had time to set down my stuff before I had to run in after him! I will be signing him up for swimming lessons VERY soon.

Charlie seems to think he can swim already. Whenever Brad or I would take him out in the water, he would push on our arms and tell us to let go. Uhhh, and THEN what Charlie??


Gulf Shores as a vacation destination is pretty nice. The sand is white, there are plenty of places to go out to eat, there's an outlet mall about 5 miles away and other attractions to keep everyone busy.

I do have to say, though, if you have ever been to the Florida panhandle for vacation (Seaside, Santa Rosa, etc.) you will most likely be disappointed in the water at Gulf Shores. It is more murky and Texas Gulf-like. Not the clear emerald color that they have in Florida. The houses and the town are not as quaint and cute as Florida beach towns either. I hate to be a beach snob. But I am.

Gulf Shores is called the Redneck Riviera. I'm not entirely sure why, as the beaches were almost empty last weekend. If they are typically populated with rednecks, I can't vouch for that. I guess the beach was empty because school has already started in a lot of places in the South. Or maybe because it was so stinking hot. I mean, painfully hot. Like none of us wanted to back on the beach the 3rd day. Well, except the kids. And they got vetoed.

On Saturday morning, the moms headed out to the outlet mall and the dads took the kids to ride go carts, play games, ride rides and go out to lunch. It sounds like they had a really fun time! Charlie is still talking about it. Each time Brad would call from Dallas this week, Charlie would talk about the go carts. I think it's been a refreshing change from discussing the lawnmower and weed eater. 

Charlie and his little friend Rhyan even rode this airplane ride all by themselves! I was really impressed when I saw the pictures. Neither of them seems the least bit scared! And the planes went up in the air and everything.

I found some killer stuff at the outlets and was pretty excited. There were no crowds, great sales and things weren't really picked over at all. I found a cute denim jacket and some leopard print flats, among other things. Of course, when Charlie found out I'd been shopping, I got "the look" from him. 

Mom, I thought we had discussed you leaving me for any reason. 

We ended up leaving the beach about 12 hours early. Brad and I were anxious to get back and take stock of the house after the hurricane passed through. The two girls had a rough car trip on the way down so their parents all decided to break it up into two chunks.

While we were packing things up, Charlie spied a beach toy golf set that Rhyan's dad had bought her and he threw an absolute fit that he couldn't open it. So because Brad and I are a couple of suckers, we stopped at a tourist trap shop and got him one on our way out of town. He held on to it the whole ride in the car that night and even wheeled his plastic golf bag into the Marriott that night.

The next morning, before we started our final leg home, he and Brad played some plastic golf out in front of the hotel. A small group that was there for a wedding stopped and watched and got such a kick out of Charlie and his clubs. He takes his golf very seriously. Brad's best friend Sam asked him right before we left, Charlie, are you going to be the next Tiger Woods? And Charlie told him yes.

Speaking of Sam, besides "the kids", Sam was Charlie's favorite person on the trip. Every time he saw him, he'd say "Hi Sammy!" just like Brad calls him. It was really cute. It's like he just knows that's his dad's best friend and he's going to be close to him too. He gave Sam a big hug before we left and it was so sweet.


We're hoping to head back to the beach next summer since Charlie loved it so much. Or maybe in the spring when it's not as hot. I'll still have to huddle under an umbrella because of the whole melanoma thing, but it is so worth it to see Charlie having so much fun.