Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Folly Beach and Charleston, South Carolina

Last week Reese and I had the opportunity to skip town for a few days and join my in-laws for a mini getaway to South Carolina.  Unfortunately this is a very busy time for Tom at work so he was unable to join.  I was a bit nervous about taking a 13 month old on her first flight alone, but she did just great.  I spent an embarrassing amount of time reading tips and tricks for traveling with a toddler to make sure I was as prepared as I could be and it was as easy on Reese as possible.  Overall, aside from Delta continuing to be my least favorite airline, everything went as smoothly as I could have hoped for.
Ergo carrier and golfish...required for a successful jaunt through security.

 While the mini and I flew, my in-laws drove down separately (I drew the line at a 10 hour car ride with my car seat detesting child...no fun for anyone) and they were able to take the car seat and a few other items that were too big of a pain to travel with.  This helped immensely!!  Our condo was in Folly Beach, about 20 minutes outside of Charleston.  I had never been to the area before and just loved it.  Here are some pictures from our travels, if you'd like to see.

Early morning walk on the pier...perks to traveling with children is you're up for the sun rise!

Our morning coffee stop...Black Magic

If you're ever in Folly go to Taco Boy...and eat ALL the tacos!  I heard their margs were worth writing home about too.

One thing I have learned in my 13 months as a parent is that whatever expectations you have, just throw them out the window.  I really thought Reese would go nuts over the beach considering how much she loves anything having to do with water.  So as soon as she woke up on our first morning we made our way to a foggy and windy beach for a little picnic breakfast (Lara bar and banana...so fancy!).   I carried Reese along the sand and stopped to lower her feet.  No go.  She practically hiked her little knees up to her ears.  This shouldn't be too surprising considering her love/hate relationship with grass but it was entertaining at least.  She had a similar sentiment toward the ocean....no thanks guys.   But as long as she could admire it safely perched in her mama's arms she did just fine!


Not one to be deterred (all I wanted was ONE picture of my baby enjoying the beach), we headed back to the beach on our last morning, determined to get a few good pics on the beach.  At least I can say I got a few and she seemed to tolerate it (maybe even enjoy it?) a bit more.

my sweet girl

The rest of our brief trip was spent eating seafood, taking long walks, going for dips in the pool, and doing a little shopping and sightseeing in Charleston.  I haven't been one to mess with our daily routine too much (hello....first time mom) but I was so proud of Reese and how she just rolled with it every day.  She handled restaurants as well as could be expected and overall continued to be nothing but a joy.   Although we only spent a day in Charleston I would absolutely love to go back with Tom and spend some time there.  I feel like most of my time and attention was keeping my toddler entertained/safe/fed/happy/cool/contained, etc...so I didn't get to absorb too much of the city...not to mention it was crazy hot and crowded.  Charleston is definitely on my list of cities to visit again after this.
collage images via

One lesson learned on this trip was that a vacation with a toddler is not actually a vacation...who knew?!   All kidding aside, we missed Tom like crazy and although we enjoyed the new experience we were happy to be home.  Not happy to have brought a cold back with us, but what can you do.

One thing I will definitely do differently next time is take a buffer day off in between travel and going back to work.  We got home Wednesday night just in time to hug Tom and put the munchkin to bed and the sitter came bright and early the next day so I could go to work.  Not my best idea, but it was the only way I could fit it all in.  Now where to go on our next adventure?  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What We've Been Up To!

Things have been pretty chill around these parts lately (likely to have jinxed us...naturally) and we had an all around great time this past weekend.  We're all gearing up for a bit of travel this month so it was nice to have a weekend to ourselves.  We laid low on Friday night and began our Saturday with respective workouts (run for him, spin class for me).  After R woke up from her nap we took advantage of the mild weather and headed to Findlay Market.  All summer I've been meaning to go but it just never materialized.  So happy we were able to squeeze in a trip!
We wandered around, picked up a few goodies and stopped in the Biergarten to rehydrate.  R enjoyed my water and Larabar and Tom went for gold with a tall beer.

Spontaneous monkey hug from your baby RIGHT as a picture is being taken?  Pure gold.
After we finished up we made the short drive over to the Celtic Festival at Washington Park.  Overall, I gotta say this festival was weak.  But you could buy, and walk around with, beer in public and adorable little dance troups were dancing to Irish music, so it was a good way to spend an hour.  And wouldn't you know, R lost her mind over the music and dancing.  Guess she is half Irish after all :)

Banging on dad's head to the beat of the music!
Sadly the day ended with a pretty ugly Michigan loss, but you can't win them all.  In other news, Authenic Weather App is the most hilarious weather app there is.  Accurate, not so much, but funny...indeed.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Thank You, Friday

I'm so happy it's Friday and I'm on the heels of a fun weekend with my little family.  This week was a bit of a doozy with Monday being a holiday, baby being sick and general stressful happenings at work.  BUT, the week is winding down and it's supposed to be in the low 70's this weekend...who can complain about that?  In the midst of an otherwise kind of yuck week, Reese and I made it to the park for a picnic on Wednesday.  We soaked up the mild weather (which was nice because it is now as hot as the face of the sun) and enjoyed a relatively free reign of the playground.  This kiddo has no fear...something she definitely got from her dad.

Although my work only takes me away from home about 25 hours a week, I almost work full time when you add in all of the work I do from home and the size and complexity of my caseload.  I'm unbelievably grateful for the arrangement we've worked out and I'm keenly aware that it would not work without the support of Tom, our families, and a great babysitter.  And for the most part I find I'm able to manage it all fairly smoothly with organization and proper time management (particularly during R's sleeping hours!)  But this week I definitely felt the pull a little more.  R has been having a hard time when I leave for work (she calms down within a few minutes of my departure), but after while the pulls of her arms clenched around my neck and those tears of hers can get to me.  I definitely cried for the better part of my drive into work this morning, even though I KNOW the pros of me working far outweigh the cons for our family.  I probably haven't done that since the months following my maternity leave, but sometimes the guilt gets the better of me.  There are plenty of moms that have it much harder than I do, but from time to time I worry about how it might affect R.  But on the flip side, I don't think I'm cut out to stay home full time either (big props to SAHMs!)  I worked hard from my degrees and professional licensures and I'm hopeful that these sacrifices that we're making now mean I will be able to continue my place in the workforce once R , and her <hypothetical> future sibling, are school age.

ANYWAY...that went off on a whole other tangent than planned :)  

Sunday is DAY 30...WOO HOO...of my Whole30.   I'm pretty proud of myself for sticking to the commitment I made last month.  Weight aside, I feel like I've re-evaluated my relationship with food and have explored many of the emotions around why I ate the things I ate.  That in and of itself is a success to me, but the changes I have seen in my body are just icing on the cake (pun intended...mmmm cake.)  I plan to do a recap of my experience and thoughts on incorporating this into my life from now on.

Until then, enjoy these pics of my big kid!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Labor Day Weekend and Kicking off September!

We had a very laid back weekend that was just what the doctor ordered.  Unfortunately it wrapped up with R getting sick but overall we had a lot of time together so there's not much to complain about.  Fridays are one of my long days in the office so by Friday night we pretty much collapse on the couch after we put R to bed and I log on to work and try to wrap everything up that I couldn't get to during the day.  Tom had an early morning run planned so we hit the hay pretty early.

Tom's aunt and uncle were visiting from DC this weekend so we spent most of Saturday hanging out with them at my in-law's house watching the Michigan season opener.  Wouldn't you know I have zero pictures of this?  Fail.   After R's afternoon nap we ran to the mall to take advantage of the Labor Day sales while Tom watched a bit of football.
Aunt Jill requested a pic of R so we obliged...from the Gap dressing room.

Later that night I met up with some girlfriends for dinner and had some much needed adult/girl talk.  And most importantly...I had dinner out and stuck to Whole30...go me.   I opted for Kobe beef skewers and mushrooms and just asked for them to omit the butter...easy.   I'm sure I raised a few "is she pregnant?" eye brows with my water sipping but I assure you, I'm not.

Sunday started off with brunch with R and a couple of my girlfriends (again, no pictures) and Tom spent some more time with his visiting family.  I was pretty proud of myself for sticking to Whole30 again (veggie frittata, hold the cheese) when the smell of toast of pancakes almost made me cave!  We regrouped later in the day and ran some errands.

R's favorite way to grocery shop.

Monday was the official start of September (woohoo!) but I gotta say, this is the first summer in a long time that I haven't been pining for fall.  Maybe it's because we've had a fairly mild summer and we were actually able to enjoy being outside, but I'm pleasantly content with it not quite being fall yet.  And can we just put a moratorium on the pumpkin spice lattes until it's at least below 80 degrees outside?

Anyway, R woke up with a slight fever on Monday so we scraped brunch plans with my parents in lieu of them coming over with Chipotle.  We had a fun visit and I'm so grateful that R gets to see both sets of grandparents so often.  After her afternoon nap she seemed on the mend so we hit a few more Labor Day sales and were able to stock up on some work wardrobe essentials in record time.

Do you see a theme here?  No wonder she hates riding in her stroller when it is just the two of us!

R woke up on Tuesday with a bit of a higher fever so I cancelled my morning and stayed home with her.  Her fever was gone by late morning so her sitter came over and I headed into work for a few hours.  I have a feeling this is Hand Foot Mouth, yet again, but we'll know for sure by the end of the day I suppose.

When you don't feel good mom's "30 minutes of screen time" rule goes out the window.

Here's to a short work week, my last week of Whole30, and the unofficial start of fall!