Kids are heading back to school. Stores are overflowing with Halloween decorations (already! Does that seem nuts to anyone else??) But it is still high summer here and we took advantage of it today with a trip to the beach. As we drove out to Tybee I pointed out, as I always do, the fishing boats on the river and the marshes. Fletcher was very quiet for a moment, then he asked me how I ended up living in Savannah when it is so far away from NayNay’s house. The kid never ceases to surprise me. I wanted to tell him that he and his sister are NEVER allowed to move that far away from me, that they have to live in Savannah forever and don’t even THINK about moving away. But I know I can’t do that, so I stuck to the facts.
We got there early, and the sky was overcast – it was actually really nice and cool, perfect for twirling on the sand. The sun didn’t hide for long, and friends Atsuko and Mina, Nicola, Linette, Tristan and Beck soon joined us. Fletcher had a great time splashing in the water and watching some older boys catch fish in a throw net. Lola Gray prefers to dig in the sand. We had a great time – perhaps we will try to go again next week!
Wednesdays might be my favorite day of the week, because Wednesdays are library day. First there is story-time and singing (though the man who leads the singing tends to forget the words to the songs . . . ) and then there is a craft. Today we made ugly bugs, inspired by the book The Very Ugly Bug by Liz Pichon.
Then we picked out a few new books to read – Owen by Kevin Henkes and a few Dora books for Lola Gray. A new chapter book, The Chalk Box Kid by Clyde Robert Bulla for Fletcher.
Afterwards, we went across the street to Pizza Rustica for lunch with friends. Given the fact that we had 6 children under the age of 5, I thought things went amazingly smoothly!
Beck, Fletcher, Cole, Lola Gray & Mina
(Tristan didn't want his picture taken)
Lola Gray and Mina
We had great plans for a picnic at the beach this evening, but the weather didn’t play along. Oh well. Perhaps tomorrow. Instead, it seems to have been a day of crafts. Lola Gray has spent the past 2 days making birthday cards for her friend Beck Gerhardt, who is having his 2nd birthday party on Sunday. She is amazingly focused and prolific when she is working! She must have made at least 6 cards already! We did manage lunch at the park before the rain started today, and while there we made little fish purse crafts and also some really cute bird mosaics. I really wanted to take photos of them, but the kids whisked them away to their rooms before I could get the camera. Thought I would post these photos of drawings from a few days ago instead.
These 3 are drawings Lola Gray did of her Great-Grandmother Sophie while we were visiting her on Sunday. During the same time period, Fletcher very deliberately drew the picture below. He said it is a picture of an invisible man dancing to the radio. If you look closely you can see the music notes coming out of the radio.
I know I am biased, but I think they both have talent!!
Mandy Carroll posted a few of the photos from Friday’s session with the kids on her blog. And they are WONDERFUL!!! Here are just a few – click the photo to go to her blog and see even more, including an amazing super hero jump by our own Super Fletcher. Wow. I can not wait to see all the pictures!!!
No posts the past few days, as we have been on the road for a visit to Roanoke. The main reason for the trip was my Grandmother Kathleen’s 90th birthday party, with a secondary goal of having professional photographs made of all the children. The photographer, Mandy Carroll, was wonderful. She got photos of all four children individually, the two sibling groups, and all four of the cousins together (no small task to say the least!) She said she hopes to have a sneak peak at the photos on her blog in the next few days, and then all the proofs sometime after that. I am so excited to see them!!!
We also managed to squeeze in a little pool time, lots of playtime with cousins Riley and Finn (and Aunt Erin and Uncle Brendan of course!), visiting with my Grandmother Sophie, and a Salem Avalanche baseball game. We even got to visit with my cousin Luke, whom I have not seen for at least 10 years, and his wife Kirsten. It was an exhausting weekend, as all our trips seem to be, but worth every ounce of exhaustion. If only we hadn’t returned home to find rain pouring through our roof again . . . .
before . . . .
It’s done. The big girl bed went into Lola Gray’s room today. And it is a BIG bed. Much taller than I remember it being, actually. This is the bed I slept in for most of my youth (Fletcher has one of the twins that were my first bed) right up until the time that Raymond and I got married. It looked a bit dated, but I gave it a coat of fresh, soft white paint and I think it fits perfectly into her room. I did manage to finish the quilt (though in these photos I had yet to do the binding) and while it is far, far, far from perfect, I think it came out nicely. I kept the fabric we used for Lola’s windows in the old house (also on her crib skirt) and used it for the quilt, along with coordinating fabrics. The yellow is actually left over from the inside of Fletcher’s bumper pads in his crib! I like the idea of giving those fabrics new life in the new big girl room. Lola Gray may not be as sentimental as I, but those memories are important to me and I like having something physical to hold onto.
. . . and after!
She was, of course, THRILLED with her new bed. It is really high, so we had to bring in the foot stool from the bathroom so that she can climb in and out by herself. She napped in the big bed this afternoon without any tumbles, but I am still nervous. Will have to make sure to pack lots of pillows around her tonight!
snug as a bug in the new big girl bed
I was a little worried about Fletcher’s reaction to Lola Gray’s new bed. I distinctly remember when my sister Erin got her big bed. While I had a set of very simple, sturdy twin beds, Erin got a big, dark wood, fancy double bed with a CANOPY. Can you picture the green eyed monster seizing my 8 year-old self with a big fat “no fair!!!” Either my son has a nature less prone to jealousy than I, or perhaps it is just a difference between boys and girls, but he seems to be taking it all in stride. He did say that he thinks he needs to have a sleep-over in Lola’s bed, and I said I thought we could work that out at some point. Next on the agenda needs to be some sprucing up of Fletcher’s bed – perhaps a new coat of paint and definitely a new quilt. One of these days we will need to get him a bigger bed I suppose – or maybe reunite the 2 twin beds – but for now I think everyone is happy.
Tonight is Lola Gray’s last night in her crib, the crib she has slept in every night for two and a half years. I have such mixed feelings about it. She is becoming such a big girl, and it is definitely time for her to have a big girl bed. And she is sooooooo excited about it. And I am excited for her. But I can’t believe my tiny little baby girl is so grown up. This first photo is the day we brought her home from the hospital, all wrapped up and snug as a bug. The second photo is cousin Riley peeking in on Lola Gray when she was a week or 2 old. No more babies for us. Time to pass the crib along to Annie for the next Gaddy baby. I’m really sad to see it go. But tomorrow will be the first day in the big girl bed, and plenty of exciting things will come along with that.
I’ve been crabby today. Too much to do, too hot to be outside, kids too wild to stay inside. I’ve been working on the quilt for Lola Gray’s new big girl bed. The mattress is being delivered on Tuesday, and I really wanted to have the quilt ready by then. It is not going well. I keep trying to remind myself that perfection is not the most important part of this . . . . but as I am ripping out seams and cursing myself for thinking I could do this it is a little hard to keep focused on the bigger picture.
Also, Lola Gray has a cold and I am really worried that it is going to get worse before we go to Virginia next week. She is out of sorts, and has fallen a LOT today. When we were leaving the house to go to the park, she ran into the kitchen table and split open her lip, then fell down the front steps. (Did I mention we are having professional photographs taken in Virginia?)
We did manage to have a nice picnic lunch in the park. We stretched out on the blanket for a while and watched the sun coming through the trees – it is so nice to have a shady park to play in! But it was too hot to stay out for long, even in the shade.
Fortunately, I made 2 huge batches of empanadas yesterday, so dinner is ready to go. I’m glad, because standing in front of a hot stove just might push me over the edge today!
Audrey Kirk had her 4th birthday party this evening at Tybee. It could not have been a more perfect setting, and after days and days of rain the weather cooperated beautifully.
Fletcher & Audrey
Lola & Francie
Lounging on the beach
Lindsay & Frances
The kids find a crab on the beach