September 30, 2010

Movin' On Up

Do you see that giant skyscraper in the background, towering above all the others??  As of Monday, Ryan will start his new job working on one of its 60 floors.  As I'm sure you can probably tell, that's not the Greenville skyline, Ryan's new job is in Charlotte, NC and by the end of the year that's where we will call home.

We are all very excited about this new opportunity but very sad to leave friends and family, the house we've lived in for 3 years and the state we've lived in all our lives.  Charlotte has a lot of potential though, and it helps that SC is only a short drive down I-77...

The biggest adjustment will certainly be the move, but having to see Ryan leave us every morning and go to work is going to be tough as well.  For those of you who don't know, he left his previous job earlier this summer and has been doing contract work from home for the past 3 months.  We have absolutely loved having him home with us and don't know what we're going to do when he's gone to NC all week!!  Austin has become a total daddy's boy and I'm actually worried he's going to be depressed when, for the next few months, only gets to see his daddy on the weekends.  I'm also pretty scared of becoming a single mama during the week.  Ryan helps me do so many things with the boys that it's going to be a rough adjustment I'm sure.

So, pray for us and for a smooth move...we'll need it, and if anyone is looking for a house in Greenville, just let me know!  :-)

September 28, 2010

Life's a Beach!

After a loooooong 4 hour drive, we arrived in Hilton Head, both boys borderline meltdown.  One very unsuccessful dinner later we were back home and after a very long day we were all very ready for bed.
 Austin slept great in this "too tiny" pack 'n play.  Notice the 2 pacis, blankie, glow worm and his choo choo train...these are his sleepy-time essentials!
 It's a good thing he got his rest, because this little boy played h-a-r-d all week long!
 The undertow made Austin a bit nervous...that and the fact that his feet sunk into the sand when the waves went back out.

 We had to walk about half a mile from our place to get to the beach.  Most of the time Owen fell asleep on the walk over.  He took most of his naps on the beach in fact and very few in his actual room.  I was totally jealous, napping on the beach sounded really nice...
 Austin spent most of his time on the beach playing in the sand, but took a few trips with dad into the water.

 After several days of sun, water and sand, we decided to change it up, get aboard a boat, and go on a dolphin safari.  We saw dolphins before we even left the dock!  Austin was more interested in the women aboard our boat as you can see.  Ryan told Austin to get her number...her dad promptly came and got her and took her to the other side of the boat.  I guess he wasn't ready for his 3 year old to start dating younger men...
 Ryan calls Owen our "star baby."  This is why.
 We were totally those over-protective parents who brought their own life jacket and made their child be the only one wearing one on the boat.
 I also kept Owen strapped to me in the Bjorn for most of the time since I can swim and he can't.
 Owen didn't mind one bit.  He loves being carried around in the Baby Bjorn and it gave me two free arms to try and catch dolphins on camera with as well!
 We attempted several family photo shots while on vacation but I'm sad to say that not a single picture has all four of us looking at the camera.  My kids are already immune to the camera and can find just about anything more interesting than someone shouting their names and pointing a big black camera in their faces.
 The boat ride was very interesting and we saw a lot of dolphins...
 This mama and baby dolphin were among the group and our favorite site of the day,
...but almost 2 hours on a boat can cause any toddler to go a little crazy and by the end of our trip Austin was just about done with boats and dolphins.
 After all, the sun was setting and it was getting really close to bedtime.

 Anyone who has ever met Austin knows that his favorite game is baseball.  He can be quite resourceful when he is missing his bat and ball and will use whatever he can find....that yellow shovel and bouncy ball for instance...

 Owen had the best seat in the house.  The sound of crashing waves, a cool ocean breeze, shade...otherwise, the perfect place for a nap!
 Austin is not one to hold still, however, and wanted to be up chasing birds...
 ...and running away from waves.
 Austin is so impressionable at this age and a really great mimic.  He saw an older boy grabbing handfuls of sand and throwing it in the ocean so he just had to join in!

When Owen had enough napping, he decided to get in on the action.  Turns out he's quite the beach bum himself!
My final attempt at a family picture once again didn't quite turn out the way I wanted.  Austin looks pissed, Owen is eyeing up those big rocks in front of him and a big piece of hair flew in my face at the exact moment of the picture.  This is the best out of 4 by the way...

September 27, 2010

We're Back

In case you haven't noticed, I've been absent this past week.  We took a family trip down to Hilton Head and just got back today.  I'll post more later, but for now, here's a short recap and a few pictures:
-A 4 hour drive with two kids under 2 is NOT fun
-Trying to go to a nice dinner after being in the car for 4 hours with 2 kids is NOT a good idea
-People often mistake Owen for a girl
-Austin will pretty much sleep anywhere, even in a pack 'n play that's too small for him and that he is tall enough to crawl out of
-Owen loves his doorway jumper
-Owen does NOT love his car seat
-There are not many people at the beach at the end of September even though the weather is beautiful and it's 90+ degrees everyday
-Dolphins are pretty cool
-It is really hard to drive in Hilton Head, especially at night
-Austin is quite the ladies man
-A shovel and a ball make the best beach toys
-There is no such thing as a schedule when you're on vacation

September 18, 2010

Sitting Up

My little baby boy is growing up so fast.  Just look at what he can do!

He's still quite wobbly and can only sit for a minute or two at a time, but he's getting better at it and really seems to like this new position!  At least when he's sitting, he's not continuously rolling all over the place.  That tiny little fellow can't hold still for a moment nowadays.  I'm surely going to have my work cut out for me when he learns to crawl...

September 14, 2010

More Zoo

I know I just blogged about a zoo trip, and I try not to blog about every little thing we do, but we went back to the zoo yesterday and it was such an extraordinary trip that I just have to document it!

The weather was beautiful and the boys took good long naps so we decided to spend the afternoon at Cleveland Park and the Greenville Zoo.  We actually didn't make it into the zoo until about 4pm (they close at 5) so we just went around hitting the bigger exhibits and enjoying the fact that we had the place to ourselves.

We walked past the elephants and turtle pond first and Austin spotted a black swan swimming around.  He kept saying "black duck, quack, quack, duck say quack quack!"  We tried explaining it was a swan, but Austin insisted it was a black duck.

We moved on.

Our first interesting sight was a Kookabura catching and then consuming his dinner, a poor helpless mouse.  A little horrifying, I know, but very interesting.  I won't go into details...

A few exhibits later we decided to peek in on the jaguar.  We've been to this zoo a handful of times and have never gotten a close look at the jaguar as it always seems to hide in the back under some trees.  We expected the same thing this trip, but as soon as we got to the glass, the jaguar started coming right at us!  I think we all sort of jumped a bit but then watched intently as it paced back and forth for a good 15 minutes in front of us.  Austin kept calling him a enough...

Next was the Orangutan exhibit, one of my favorites.  Again, as soon as we walked up, the mama Orangutan came running over to the glass and sat down right in front of us!  She sat there and stared at us with her big brown eyes for several minutes.  Then, her little baby rolled down the hill (so cute!), came over to the glass, gave his mama a kiss and then began to nurse.  It was simply an amazing thing to witness!

Before we left, we quickly visited the farm animals and saw the goats, chickens and a big black pig...another animal we always seem to miss.

Please excuse the poor picture quality of the photos I'm posting, I somehow lost the battery charger to my Canon Rebel and of course the battery is now dead.  New charger is on the way, thank goodness, I really miss my Rebel!!!

The exact moment Austin spotted the "black duck."

A very satisfied Kookabura

Here comes the jaguar!

Austin loved watching the "Tiger" pace back and forth
"And now you go this way..."

Mama Orangutan

Baby Orangutan

Big black pig...

And here's my own little monkey.
So mad this picture is blurry, another reason I really miss my good camera.

September 13, 2010

Riding Double

Ok, I was totally against a double stroller at first, I admit it.  They're big and bulky, hard to maneuver and I never thought Austin would ride in a stroller again once we started pulling him around in the wagon and letting him walk.

I am happy to say, I was sooooo wrong.

We got our EasyWalker Duo a few weeks ago and I LOVE IT!  It is bigger than a regular stroller, but it actually rides better than our other strollers and folds and unfolds easier too.  I never would have imagined!  Austin and Owen both love riding in it together and it makes going out with both of them a lot easier.

I was apprehensive at first to take both boys out by myself, but since we've had this stroller, things have become so much easier.  I now enjoy taking them on walks and trips to the mall and zoo and I don't need an extra pair of hands.  I do keep the backpack leash and Baby Bjorn in the stroller in case of meltdown, but have not yet had to use it.

Last week I took the boys to the mall by myself for lunch and to play on the playground (how awesome is it that our mall has a playground in the middle of it?).  After playing all morning it was time to pack up and go back home for naps.  Austin was still going full steam and I knew it was going to be a battle to get him to leave.  I told him he had five more minutes and then started strapping Owen back in the stroller.  Believe it or not, Austin walked right over to me and hopped on in himself!  He let me strap him in and we were off.

A million thanks to the duo for that!!

September 11, 2010

Clemson v. PC

We just got back from another great gameday in Clemson.  We had a fun time and even though both boys were super tired after a late night out last night, they did great!  This was likely our last game with both boys in attendance, though.  I've probably only seen about 20 minutes of actual football over the past 2 games, but it was worth it to have them both there.  From here on out, however, the games are bigger and more important, and darnit...I wanna see some football!

Austin's buddy, Tyler, sat with us for this game and the boys had fun playing cars together.  We also sat next to Clemson great, Perry Tuttle.  Last game we ran into President Barker and another Clemson great, Michael Dean Perry (brother to "The Refrigerator" Perry).  I love that these guys still come out to support their Tigers!

Here are the pictures from our day:

Daddy and his boys!

Tyler and his dad, Ben!

Owen awake...

...Owen asleep!

Boys and their cars.

Look who else was getting tired...

...nothing a Dum Dum can't solve!

The three little boys!

Our little Clemson family!


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