Friday, September 19, 2014

Dear Nolan

Dear Nolan,
My dear sweet little boy, you are growing like a weed. Seriously, so fast. I haven’t done an update lately about all the amazing this you do, but where do I even begin? You are simply amazing.
You are starting to branch out a little bit more and try some new foods. Ok, I am being generous writing this post because let’s be honest if you had it your way you would eat macaroni and cheese for every meal. Every single one of them. You are still not willing to try any meat other than chicken..ok chicken nuggets. Seriously, why did I say you are branching out and eating more? I take it back, you are still extremely picky and make us want to pull our hair out at dinner time, but thankfully you throw in a few random nights where you eat everything without complaining. Those few nights keep us sane. J
You are obsessed with the ice bucket challenge. At first the ALS ice bucket challenge videos caused you to whine as if you were scared for the person getting the cold water dumped on them. All of a sudden you decided to get in on the action and started dumping all of your foam blocks on your head. Then you decided it would be even more fun to run over to your play kitchen and dump all the play food on your head. Every time you do it you say “ice bucket challenge” then dump your toys and scream “I’m wet! I’m wet!” followed by some ridiculously adorable giggles. This has filtered into the bathtub where you take a cup of water and dump it over your head and have since decided that it would be even more fun if you can dump it on mommy or daddy’s head. Not cool kid. So, basically what I am saying is that our house is covered in a mess of toys and the bathroom is usually soaking wet.
The things you say lately crack me up. I taught you a knock-knock joke which you love to tell and think is hilarious. When I ask about your day you tell me things like “Ayanna ate my raviolis!” or “I teach baby JJ to be a good boy!”. You talk nonstop. I mean you have always loved to talk, but boy you are seriously nonstop. You love to sing songs and sometimes make up your own songs to the theme of “row, row, row your boat”. No lies, every time you make up a song it is to that rhythm. You counted to 50 the other day! Thirty and Forty sound the same, but you go through both of them! I mean seriously, you are just a few months over 2 and can count to 50! You are also getting really good at counting in Spanish. You can do up to 15 easily, but always try to make it to 20! You are a little sponge and even when daddy and I think you aren’t listening, you are.
Everybody that knows you knows that you love baseball. You love the Orioles and your favorite player to watch is AJ (Adam Jones). I need to find a cheap Jones jersey for you. You find every Orioles billboard when we are in the car and scream “ORIOLES!” you usually follow it up by saying that you want to go see the Orioles. Lucky for you kiddo, we are hopefully going to see the birds extra long this season! (***Wrote this post Monday evening 9/15/14 - -since then the Orioles have won the AL East Division and are headed to the postseason! More on that night and experience to come!!!) J You study the players and copy them. I love watching you get ready to hit…you tap the plate, swing the bat around in a few circles and then bend your little knees and get in a hitting stance. It’s actually a damn good stance too. Recently, you observed the pitchers and take your hands together and are working on your leg kick. It is amazing how you watch, copy and remember. You love going to mommy and daddy’s softball games and really just love being at the field. I think we have a lot of Little League in our future and believe me that excites me.

You have a wonderful little imagination and you pretend play. You like to go to the store, buy bananas and pretend to give us each one to eat. You also like to feed teddy bear and Elmo. You always check on them to make sure they are ok. You are such a caring little boy. If I ever even say “ouch”, wince, trip or make some kind of painful face you always quickly ask “mommy, are you ok?” You my sweet child, you melt my heart.

I could honestly write a book about just how perfect you are. I mean, yes you do have a temper and you can be a little brat. It is not all rainbows and butterflies, but to me you are and always will be just so perfect. Do I wish you cleaned your toys up the first time I ask you? Absolutely. Do I wish you loved food? You bet. Do scream and whine for no reason just to test us? Most definitely. But I would not change a single thing about you, or a single second of the time we have with each other. Every night before you go to bed I rub your back and tell you that you are my favorite, and I mean it.

You are the best little boy and I love you to pieces. I hope you fall asleep in my arms many, many more times to come.




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sunset Beach, North Carolina

The past 2 summers we made every effort to get to the beach even if only for a long weekend, but this year my sister and I decided we needed to bring back our family tradition of spending a week at Sunset Beach. Our family probably hasn't been in 15 (or more) years which is just sad. We loved that little island and have so many memories there. Sunset Beach is in North Carolina, but is only about 20 miles from Myrtle Beach, SC. Alaina and I booked a house, but because we decided so late we didn't get oceanfront. The great thing about Sunset is that even if you aren't oceanfront you are still so close to the beach. We were bayside and still had a great view. The island was just as we remembered it- family friendly, quiet, soft sand, warm water, a few shops and pretty much just awaiting relaxation. We love staying in Sunset and enjoying the open beach all day. It is never too crowded and you don't have people setting up on top of one another like you get in Ocean City.

The drive should take 8 hours, but if you leave at 8:30am like we did you are looking at an 11.5 hour drive! All the kiddos were little champs though! We stopped for lunch and ate outside to let the kids run free in the grass for a solid 30 minutes. Aside from stopping for lunch we had maybe one gas stop and a restroom stop.

We spent every day at the beach :) It was glorious. Nolan was obsessed with playing baseball the entire time (as he does at home). We had people walking by on the beach that would stop to ask how old he is and people asking if we have put him on YouTube. It is so normal to us that he can hit off of pitching so well that we forget it is not normal for a child that just turned 2 to have such great eye hand coordination. But after all, he has technically been doing it since he was 1. ;) Nolan was very hesitant with the ocean and waves at first, but after a few days he was jumping the waves and laying in the water playing all by himself! By the end of the week Ryan and Nolan were pretty much over the beach, but the rest of us stayed out as late as we could. My dad came with us and got to spend the week enjoying his grandchildren. We only ate out a few times because we were spending long days at the beach and then coming home and cooking. By evening the kids were always spent from being in the sun all day.

We did go to Myrtle Beach one evening. We went to Broadway at the Beach and ate at Sweet Carolina's BBQ restaurant for dinner. Yum. Hayden and Lincoln went on a few rides and Nolan was pretty much obsessed with mini golf. Seriously, he played 3x that week. The last day he convinced Hayden and Lincoln that they should all play mini golf, and so that is what we did.

We had a wonderful week spent with the family. I can not wait to go back again next year!

And now a look (and way too many pictures) from our vacation:

I'd say the car is packed. Can you find Nolan?


Our home for the week.

So excited that we made it to the beach!

Late night grocery shopping and couponing.
Day #1 at the beach. We had thunderstorms Sunday morning and didn't go to the beach until after nap time. The minute we got there he started playing baseball.
Digging in the sand.
I love watching these 3 play together. I love that they are so close with one another.
My angel babies :)
Hayden May
Nolan James
Lincoln Pierce
My boys, my heart.
Oh, the wagon.
Taking a walk to go get a movie and some shaved ice!
The 1 minute they all cooperated in the wagon.
Beach Day #2!
He didn't miss a nap all week.
Mondays nap
Out cold.
So big.
It's August kiddo...
And then the mini golf obsession started :)
World's best auntie!
Cheese! (Hayden photobomb)
Our favorite spot for the week..shaved ice!
Pop Pop and Linc!
Hayden acted as though she had her own real-life baby doll for the week.
Beach life.
Tuesdays nap.
This looks a little
Attempting boogie boarding ;)
My man.
Me and hubby
I think this is still Tuesday's nap and we had a storm coming in behind us!
Hayden was obsessed with seeing sunsets at Sunset beach :)
Picture from our back balcony
Wednesday was the day....
...he conquered his fear of the ocean!
Jumping waves!
Cheese :)
I could stare at these faces all day.
Loving the ocean!
I told you she is the best.
We made "drippy castles" everyday.
I mean seriously.
This amazed me!
Jumping waves on his own ;)
My attempt at a picture with all the kiddos.
Me and sissy boo
Seriously everyday this went on...for long periods of time.
Wednesdays nap
He didn't budge when we switched
My handsome little one
Oh, these two.
Alaina and I thought it would be a fun idea to have a photo shoot...Only we suck at taking pictures.
Silhouette attempt: Lainy and Nols.
Me and Nols
Beach yoga
Follow the leader?
Thursdays nap is underway
Pop Pop and his grandkids
Myrtle Beach
I was amazed that Lincoln liked shrimp.
The child is currently trying to play imaginary baseball in this picture. He has his hands back ready to pretend to hit my pretend pitch. Can you say obsessed?
Lincoln observing just how big some of the rides are...
The big kids did the rides
The little one chose mini golf.
I think we left Myrtle Beach that night around 10pm and Lincoln lasted the car ride back to the beach house, but these 2 only lasted 30 seconds.
And then Nolan convinced Hayden and Lincoln to mini golf on Friday afternoon
First milkshake "it's cooooolllldddd" and then he wouldn't drink anymore.
Fridays nap
Last time at the beach
This grump went back to the house with daddy
And we stayed out until the sun went down building this giant volcano
Based on all the pictures, you can tell we were proud
Front porch view
Going home is boring...
But being reunited with Chuggy bear is exciting!!
Vacation 2014.