two babies at the beach.

We took the boys to the beach a couple weeks ago and snapped some fun pictures of Ben’s first trip to the ocean. (Charlie’s 1 millionth trip) Ben slept the whole time in my handy ring sling, and in newborn life – that’s considered a success. Charlie on the other hand, tried to throw himself into the water, eat sand and wave at everyone he saw. We’re so lucky that we can take weekend trips to the beach in just a five minute car ride!

A first trip to the splash pad.

While everyone up north is reveling in the beauty that is SPRING after a long and cold winter, this weekend in Florida felt like summer. I think it’s here to stay. I’m not mad about it. Yet. Talk to me again in July and I may be singing a different tune.

Winter is just the best season here, but summer has its perks too. Ice cold beer on the patio. Popsicles. Trips to the beach every weekend. Evening walks to the water. Packing away every pair of jeans until September (I can’t even bear to look at pants in the summer).

And best of all, I have the whole summer off with my two boys to look forward to.

Now that Charlie is running around like a banshee and knowing his love of all things water related, we thought it was high time for a visit to the splash pad. Nearly all the local parks around us have one, so when he woke up from his nap on Sunday we threw on his swimmies, packed the kids in the car and drove five minutes up the road.

He was by far the youngest but also the most delighted person there. Mike wore his trunks to help the little man stay safe with all the big kids running around. He fell once, flat on his face, and had a big red mark on his eyebrow to prove it. He cried for a minute, got a snuggle hug from Mike and then wiggled out of his arms to go back to the water.

Ben and I were snug with the baby k’tan in the shade of a palm tree while the boys ran circles.

I have a feeling we’ll end up here lots of weekends this summer. We love our trips to the beach, but coming home without sand was pretty nice too.

the friday post – vol. 15

It’s December! Finally, or already? I can’t decide. Either way I’ve been looking forward to this month for weeks and I’m so happy it’s finally here. Days of decorating, hot chocolate, cookies, and cheery music are here! We opened the first of our advent calendar boxes this morning and are headed downtown tonight for dinner and the Christmas tree lighting!

I was not ready to go back to school this week after our weeklong thanksgiving break. Charlie is going through a traumatic transition to the toddler room at daycare so nights have been touchy and mornings reluctant. He’ll get used to it all in good time, but the extra tears have been pulling at my heartstrings.

Our house is feeling awfully cramped lately with Charlie’s toys everywhere and only more to come. I feel like my nesting is kicking in hard this weekend. I’ve already cleaned the bathroom and have plans to rearrange bookshelves to accommodate some toy baskets. It’s been driving me batty to have everything out! Updates to come.

I made Chex mix last weekend which always makes it feel like the holiday season to me. My mom always had a tin of Chex around for holiday munching and I’m loving the salty snack at home and taking in a baggie for school. We have tons of Chex leftover so I’m making mike’s holiday favorite next – puppy chow.

And the weather has been perfect lately. Charlie only wants to be outside after school and has figured out how to open the door. Good thing we keep it locked!

What are you up to this weekend? Something nice I hope. Make some sweet memories this weekend friends!

the friday post – vol. 14

It was an eventful week at our house. Charlie’s birthday, a dinner out for Mike’s work last night, the Halloween dance at school for me another night, and Charlie’s one year check up complete with shots. Phew.

I’m also starting to feel very pregnant this week at 25 weeks. We go in on Monday morning for our anatomy ultrasound, so we’ll find out if this baby is a boy or a girl! I remember feeling like Christmas was coming early when we had our ultrasound with Charlie, and I’m starting to feel that tingle of anticipation that I had last year.

I can’t believe it’s Halloween next week!! We still haven’t gotten Charlie a Halloween costume, but he’s been wearing his little pumpkin outfit nonstop. Such a crowd-pleaser when we go out and about. This weekend we must get him something, or else he may have to be the paper bag prince.

In our entertainment news, I’ve been obsessed with listening to this podcast called Homecoming. It’s a fiction podcast, so it’s kind of a combination of feeling like you’re listening to an audio book and a tv show. So good. I’m saving the last episode for my drive home today after school.

Plans this weekend include the beach, laundry, a clean house and long walks around the neighborhood to check out everyone’s Halloween decorations.

the friday post – vol. 12

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Ahhhhh Friday! And ONE WEEK LEFT OF SCHOOL! I could not be more thrilled. I had my last classes in the library today (movie week!), and it feels good. Even if you work a “regular” job, I’m sure you’re celebrating this Friday especially because hello long weekend! We don’t have anything special planned which will make it feel even more relaxing.

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It’s been so rainy lately that we have these sweet little mushrooms popping up all over the garden! The rain has been fantastic for my herbs and the grass, but not great for our enjoyment of the great outdoors. It’s raining as I write this and I’m feeling like this weekend may be a cozy and peaceful one with pitter pattering on our rooftop.

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I made Ina’s chicken parmesan this week with a side of garlic bread from my loaf of no-knead bread. It was especially good. Mike emphatically stands that it’s not really chicken parmesan because it doesn’t have a red sauce. He thinks it’s really just a salad with breaded chicken which is totally fair. But still delicious. I had this recipe on the menu this week for my *new* recipe, but we didn’t get around to it because of a few extra after school events! It’s getting shifted to next week and I’m still excited about it.

It’s officially rosé wine season, and I have jumped right on the bandwagon with my whole heart. So refreshing! Such an easy summer bevvie! I want to try this recipe for rosé sangria which sounds amazing. I may just have to host a happy hour so I can try it. 🙂

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Everything is blooming around us right now! Trees, flowers, bushes! I don’t know why, but I feel like I’m noticing all of it especially much this year. We had our jasmine vine on the front porch in bloom a couple weeks ago, and now it’s the roses. What’s next, I don’t know!

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I’m so looking forward to a quiet weekend at home with my two boys (plus Wendy) , lots of snuggling, too many belly laughs, and happy hours every night. 🙂 What are you looking forward to this weekend? Something wonderful, I hope!

xx, em

the friday post – vol. 10

5eb46899-4e41-4a1a-8bf3-3ff09e3ea87dIt’s Friday! We’ve had our dear friends and their little girl in town this week so we’ve gone over to their Airbnb for dinner one night and had them over to our house for another. It’s kind of made the week fly by in a daze of Cuban food, extra glasses of wine and fancy macaroons from the Island. Whenever we have visitors I find myself getting little caught up in their vacation, forgetting that I actually have to work the next day. Oops!

a57e4196-e353-4a55-84ff-4b54d83533e1At school the kids at school are getting more defiant and restless, clearly ready for summer. It’s making days a little more difficult. Let’s be honest, I’m ready for summer too and it’s making me more difficult. But the good news is that there are only four weeks left of school, today is the last day of testing and I can officially be in serious countdown mode now. Our first ripe mango dropped the other day and it’s just the first sign of the seasons changing in Florida. Hot, sticky summer is on its way!

0867d0f1-8e00-461d-bc57-5c1b1e9dcd77Speaking of summer, Charlie is suddenly in need of a new sunhat. His little bucket hat is basically just balancing on top of his head (I swear it fit last week, and this week – it doesn’t!) I found an adorable free pattern with instructions for a baby sun bonnet the other day. I haven’t broken out the sewing machine in months and am feeling the itch for a good diy. I even have enough fabric at home already. I’ll let you guys know how (or if) it goes!

03d0a89e-4fee-4828-acea-3df7fe2e79c5I made these hilariously big banana muffins that I have been munching on for snacks all week. I’ve always used Betty Crocker’s recipe for my banana bread. It’s very forgiving, and I’ve never had it turn out badly. Anyone have a good quick bread recipe though? I love trying new ones. I’m on my last muffin, so I picked up ingredients for muesli at the store to make a big batch up for weekday breakfasts. I’ll share the recipe next week. 🙂

7e4cac0e-61b2-4f28-97d2-57a27c565cf3Our friends are in town for the weekend too, so we’ll be bopping around with them pretending like we’re tourists. Mikey also has a couple work events to go to (boo hiss!). It may be one of those weekends that just breezes right by and we’ll ask ourselves, “Monday, already, really??”

the friday post – vol. 9

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I totally jumped the gun yesterday morning and ripped off my April calendar at school. Technically, May doesn’t come until next Tuesday, but I don’t care gosh darn it! I’m ready to see the light at the end of the tunnel – aka SUMMER BREAK! I just needed to see that little square that says “LAST DAY OF SCHOOL”. I asked my sister (also a teacher) last week if it was too early to start getting excited for summer, and she said yes. I’m totally going against her though and getting excited anyway. Testing ends next week, and then all the fun end-of-year celebrations begin – book fair, field days, movie celebrations, field trips, graduation. It’s going to be fun and so fast, you guys.

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Mike and I (and Charlie) went out for a rare weeknight dinner out last night at one of our favorite local spots, a little diner called Howley’s. We had a beer each and split cottage chip nachos on the back patio and it made it feel like the weekend had already begun. Let me tell you, I didn’t mind that one bit.

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I’ve been brainstorming a lot about this little spot on the internet (testing season leaves lots of time for thinking) and about what direction I’d like to go with it now that I’ve been posting for a little while. I updated some of my categories to be more useful and to make things more findable. I also did a little header update and some changes on my post formatting. I’ve been using it as kind of an online journal, which I love and want to keep doing. It’s so nice to be able to have one spot where all of our happenings and life history can be found, especially things with Charlie as he grows. But I also want to include more posts with thoughts on parenting, working motherhood, interesting books & articles, housekeeping, our favorite things, organization, etc. Maybe even a  little bit of baby and mama fashion? (lookin’ at you – one piece swimsuit) So look for more of a variety of posts coming soon! I’m excited for this space to become more practical for me and you, if you happen to be interested in any of those things. I think it may even help make me be more proactive and reflective about parenthood and our lifestyle as Charlie (and future babies!) get older.

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What are you up to this weekend? If you’re up north, I hear it’s starting to get warm out, finally! Mike’s dad sent a photo of his mom mowing the lawn, and the grass just looked so incredibly green. I miss many things about the midwest – but thinking about the carpets of grass during spring and summer is very touching to me for whatever reason. Grass (a generous term) is not like that in Florida.

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We have tickets to a baseball game on Sunday afternoon, so that might be our big outing for the weekend. Charlie’s had a yucky cough all week (along with all the other kids in his classroom, we’re told) so we’re going to lay low and get that baby back to 100%. Happy weekend, all!

xx, em

a slow sunday.

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It was 4pm and it felt like we hadn’t done a thing all day. Charlie took a half hour long afternoon nap, then an extra half hour nap in my arms after that, and another half hour after that when I finally set him back down in his crib, shaking out the pins and needles in my arms. I banged around the house, halfheartedly trying to wake him up, peering out at the clouds trying to determine the likelihood of rain.

The sky had looked threatening all day, and I remembered the humid wind barreling toward us on our morning, post-church run that morning. A storm was coming. The urge to cozy up together on the couch was strong, but I also had the urge to see the waves. It had been a couple weeks, and we were due.

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I finally heard a whimper during my overly enthusiastic search for beach towels in the closet right next to his room. On went his trunks, swim shirt, and into the car seat he went. The intracoastal was dark and choppy as we crossed the bridge to our little local beach, making us think that we may be too close to the storm to stay.

The waves were rough but not too big. A yellow flag waved, warning about riptides. As we got to the water the sand pitched down to the water in a steep dip making a little ledge to walk down to the ocean edge. We set our chairs up on the packed sand below the ledge and left our bag on a chair. The wind whipped around us, bending the palm trees on the boardwalk. I felt my hair turning into a birds nest. Charlie’s hat kept blowing off so I finally tucked it in our bag. We wouldn’t be out long.

Charlie stared out at the waves, unsmiling. Did he like it? Was it scary? Was the water too cold? Every time we come to the beach, he’s just a little bit bigger, a little bit older. What if he doesn’t like it this time? We let him stand in the sand and the waves came in covering him to his knees. Mike grabbed a handful of seaweed for him to feel. He grabbed a handful of sand and tried to bring it to his mouth, Mike stopping him just in time. I crouched down to rinse his hands with seawater, laughing as my shorts got soaked by a wave. We’re pretty sure he still likes it.

We didn’t stay long. Just long enough to call it an adventure. We’ll be back again next week. The storm came later that night, rattling the windows and bringing down palm fronds, tiny unripe mangos and bougainvillea blooms all over the neighborhood. I’m glad it held off for our afternoon. The slow end to a weekend that went by far too fast.