We got home late Saturday night from our beach trip/reunion in Florida.  All I can say about it at the moment is that we survived.  Survived both Brandon & I getting colds, a stomach bug, a teething baby who wouldn’t sleep past 6am, some tears, 22 hrs of driving… needless to say, we were so grateful when we pulled into our driveway!  It wasn’t all terrible; there were some really great parts too.  But don’t ask us to go anywhere else for a while.  We are homebodies for now, and we like it that way.

We left last Friday and drove to Cocoa, FL to spend the night with Brandon’s Aunt Susan.


We had so much fun with Aunt Susan! We toured the “soapatorium” where she makes all of the organic soaps she sells in her shop. It smells divine! She cooked a delicious dinner, then we went out on her dock and showed Charlie the Indian River. Someone may even have taught my eleven month old how to play pool before bed! And, thanks to these amazing shutters on the outside of her house that completely black out the inside, our whole family slept in until 9! Best morning ever. On our way over to the Gulf Coast (where we were spending the rest of the week), we stopped and had fish sandwiches at Houston’s. Brandon has never been happier. OK, I was happy too… they are really good fish sandwiches!

I didn’t take a ton of photos, but here are some from the dock:
The first of many, many photos where you see you Charlie.. and my legs. Haha, I need to do some toning or something.





When we got to the houses on Anna Maria Island, there was a lot of settling in, unpacking, stocking up the fridge, and running around the pool in a diaper. It just depends who you are.

The pools were pretty amazing.

They both looked like this… gorgeous, with a rock waterfall, a little table under a tiki hut, and the perfect shallow area where a certain little one could walk around.

Hmm, I may have had a few complaints, but looking back at these pictures it looks like paradise!  It was gorgeous.  And its always great to spend some time with family!  Maybe I do miss Florida, just a little.

{I have a lot more photos to share, including about a hundred of Charlie playing in the sand, but those will have to wait until tomorrow.  I hear someone waking from their nap in the next room!}


zoo and playground

At the beginning of the summer, I had a sudden burst of energy (slash bravery!) and decided to take Charlie to the zoo.  It went surprisingly well, but I was exhausted for two days after we got back!  I don’t think we will try it again for a while, because although he did well, he also didn’t particularly care about the animals. He loved watching all the other people though!  As my mom said- I could have taken him to the mall.  He would have been just as happy. (haha.)  I didn’t get many pictures because any time he was out of his stroller I had to be right there with him.  There is a giant metal/plastic bee at the enterance to one of the exhibits, and he loved that.  He also liked the aviary; we had a good vantage point and he saw lots of colorful birds.  The zookeepers were in there doing a feeding, so it was a very active time.  Here’s my few photos from the day:








Giant bee.  Frankly, I thought it was a little creepy.  He loved it.


We have been visiting the playground pretty frequently this summer.  Brandon took a bunch of pictures the last time we were all there together:

They had just laid new mulch; Charlie wanted to show it off.








Indulge me… Brandon and I are working on a wall of frames for our dining room, and have been going through lots of old photos/prints to find interesting stuff to frame.  Sweet little baby belly, itsy bitsy toes… this one is going up for sure.
Charlie 2 months

Not sure how it happened that this little guy will be a year old in a few weeks. We decided on a pool party and the invitations say something about how this year went by in a “flash”. So true and that little “theme” gives me an excuse to decorate with all sorts of Charlie photos… since we have thousands of those 🙂

11 months

Some updates about little man at 11 months:

First airplane travel this month!  He was a champ, through it all. 

Talking!  He said “gog” (dog) for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and can also say “uh-oh” and “go”.  Brandon is working on “giggle” since he says some jibberish that sounds sort of like that.  “Uh-oh” is my favorite, especially when he purposefully drops something on the ground and then looks up at you and says uh-oh!


Walking!  He’s been doing this for a while but he gets steadier every week.  Now we usually feel comfortable letting him walk around on his own; we follow him when he’s outside or when he’s really tired (because he stumbles like a drunken sailor when he’s tired).  He’s pretty small for his age so people are always very surprised to see him struting around!

Playing!   He has started playing more with the shape sorter and blocks: he likes to bang them together and put blocks in/take them out of the box.  He used to love books but now they don’t seem to hold his interest for very long.  I hope this is just a stage, because nothing entertains him for very long these days!  Sometimes he will hold a book and turn the pages.  Usually its upside down- so cute.  Brandon will crawl around “chasing” him on the floor, give him Big Hugs (a sort of game they have that makes Charlie grin… now if Brandon even says “big hug” Charlie breaks out in a huge smile!) 

(His favorite new toy- a basting brush? He likes anything from the kitchen. Future chef, prehaps?)

Sleeping! So well, probably because of all the walking & playing!

(Ignore the ridiculously bad, blurry photo. FOUR pacis, and I bet he tried them all out. He’s so silly.)

Eating!  We discovered the magic of the puree pouches while we were traveling.  Charlie had them a few times before, but they were really convenient while we were gone.  He can feed himself and they have fruit, veggie, grain combinations so its probably healthier than some of the things he gets for lunch.  We love the Earth’s Best ones.  We’ve also found soy milk yogurt (since he seems to have a skin reaction to anything made with cow’s milk), and sorbet as a treat.  Gourmet! 

Next month is the big first birthday!  I’m so excited.  We are thinking pool party, maybe with a red balloon theme.  Probably the first of many pool birthday parties, what else can you do in August??



So much to see outside! He wants to tell me all about it.


He really loves being outdoors… even when it feels hotter than the surface of the sun. Brandon and I try to let him run around out there in the early evenings. Some mornings Charlie & I have outside playtime, but he’s been sleeping later (yay!) so its a short window of time before it is way too hot. No matter what time of day I still bring out the push toy, his first love, but he has a new crush on the stroller. It rolls pretty easy and he’s a strong little kid, but he still looks funny pushing that big thing.


He still lets us “help” when he’s pushing uphill, although I’m sure that will change soon. He’s getting more insistent, and even though he doesn’t say many words, he can let you know how he wants things to go! Or, more often- that he does not want to share! Funny little guy.

Grampa’s birthday {and more water table fun}

The water table is great fun… its at Grammy & Grampa’s house, so he doesn’t see it everyday.  When we pull it out, he loves it!






Doesn’t that look like fun?  A good way to spend your grampa’s birthday…




Yup, Charlie likes to try to stick his fingers in your mouth.


And he still puts everything he can find into his own mouth.


The answer to, “Charlie, how much trouble do you cause?”
“Just this much mama”


“OK, sometimes its THIS much”

“But I’m so stinkin’ cute”



(Thinks he can handle the stairs like a big boy)

It’s never too early to learn how to grill. Take lessons from the master.

In case Grammy was wondering what happened to her flowers.

There’s a good-lookin’ baby in that window!



Grampa, I want YOU to have a great birthday!

And I’m going to watch you blow out those candles, so I can see how its done…

because the next birthday is MINE!