Thursday, June 28, 2007

The final beach post

I need to finish posting, before I forget anything else about what we did while we were there!

I was admonished for neglecting to mention that on Wednesday night while we were out partying, my parents had a "pajama party" with the kids, and took these adorable pictures.

See Mom? When you complain? Then I post pictures of you in your nightie!

Thursday morning was spent trying to organize a trip to see the wild horses that roam the beach in Carova (north of Corolla, just south of Virginia Beach). We planned to fit everyone in our MDX, and Mom and Dad's MDX, and do it ourselves, but when we got to the place that had said they would sell us a map and some info, the guy strongly suggested against it, and Dad and I thought it was best not to risk getting stuck in the sand. (The next day we found out that the one tow-truck that rescues cars trapped in the sand charges you $125 just to pull you out of where you are currently stuck, not to tow you back to a road, so if you get stuck again? He charges you another $125. And another. And another. What a racket!) We made lots of phone calls comparing prices, and trying to see who could fit us all in one vehicle. Thought we had the best price lined up for the next day, and then while eating some tasty pizza, finally found a flyer for the place we wound up using.

Then we went to the Currituck Wildlife Museum (free!), where Ben got to practice saying "DUCK!" approximately 1 million times (they had a decoy exhibit, that it was hard to drag him away from). We discovered that they have a calendar with tons of free lectures/story times/learning opportunities for both kids and adults, so next year we will have to stop by there early on to look at the calendar and work some of that into our non-schedule. It also has some lovely outdoor areas that we didn't have a whole lot of time to explore.

Promptly after arriving home, Mom, Cindy, and I left for our lovely pedicures. We had a great time, and Cindy and I decided that we will definitely return to the same place next year. Mom liked it because it was next door to a quilt shop. She's incorrigible. We also stopped on the way back to the house to take advantage of being kid-free do some shopping. While we were gone the kids napped and flew kites. I'm sure the men were exhausted.

We discovered at dinner that night that Claire loves lobster. She got Uncle Brandon's share, and maybe a little more.

Friday morning Mom, Dad, and Brandon headed back to their respective homes, and we got ready for our wild horse tour. Claire and Ryan were very excited about getting to ride on "a bus! A BLUE bus! Will it pick us up at the house?" First we stopped so Brian could replace his sandals with some stylish Reef flip-flops. Then lunch which was very tasty, but rather over-priced. Finally we climbed aboard the big blue (non-air-conditioned) bus for our adventure.

When we first pulled onto the beach there were a whole bunch of dolphins swimming around close to shore. The kids thought that was pretty neat. Then we rode for a while without seeing a whole lot. Finally, we spotted the first group of horses. There were four of them, walking together as all of the vehicles slowed to take pictures.

Then we took a detour through the area out there where the houses are built, as Ryan needed to use the bathroom, and the driver lived out there, so he knew a place we could go. The detour took quite a while, and we heard a lot about the politics of the area from the driver as we rode. This portion of the trip served to put Claire and Ryan to sleep, which was not at all a bad thing.

When we hit the beach again to head back to the road we passed two more groups of horses. I believe that one of them was the original ones that we had seen, but somewhere along the way one of the group had disbanded. All in all, it was definitely worth it to do at least once.

Then we headed back to the house for some fun in the pool, one last walk on the beach, a simple dinner (burgers), and then lots of cleaning, sorting and packing after the kids had baths and were in bed.

Saturday morning we finished the cleaning and packing, and it was time to head home. Good bye, beach! See you next year!

Thursday's Theme - Begin

I can't imagine something more significant than the beginning of perhaps the most challenging, and most rewarding thing I have ever tried to do. This is Claire just moments after she was born. My beginning as a mother.

Visit Tracey over at Picture This, to see more beginnings (links are in the comments).

Sunday, June 24, 2007

so sweet I'm getting a toothache

Right now Claire and Ben are sitting together on the family room floor. Claire was trying to convince Ben to have a tea party.

"Wanna have a tea party? C'mon, buddy. Wanna have a tea party wif me?"

He ignored her, holding a book open in his lap and pointing at the pictures.


Finally she gave in.

"Oh, bear. Oh, sand. Oh, truck"

Ben pointed


"That's right, buddy! Bear!"

Now they're taking hands holding the book so she can point to things for him and tell him what's in the picture, and what the colors are while he stares in fascination.

"Oh, there's a blue star. That's a blue star, ok? It matches your jammies."

We must be doing something right.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday's Theme - Glee

This is my first time participating in this photo sharing started by Tracey over at Picture This. Take a look at the links in the comments over at Tracey's post to find more photos showing glee.

Just look at how much fun he is having - throwing sand, eating sand, getting messy, and noone is telling him to stop. Hooray for the beach!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

back to our regularly scheduled (HA!) blogging

So the first full day at the beach -Sunday - it rained. Lot sof rain. It was windy and wet. So we found a bowling alley in Nags Head and headed down after lunch. The adults played on one lane, and Claire and Ryan played on the other. I deeply regret that we didn't have a camera because a) the kids were adorable (especially Ben sitting on the racks with all of the bowling balls), and b) I won. Yes. I beat all of the other adults. And I threw two gutter balls on my first frame. Claire actually rolled one ball so slowly down the lane that when it bumped into a pin, it stopped. And the pin didn't fall down. It was that slow. It was a fun way to kill a little time.

Monday was beautiful. After breakfast we got ready to head to the beach. Don had purchased a nice tent type thing to set up to provide us with some shade, which was really nice, though it only lasted through two being set up two times before too many of the poles were messed up. Claire and Ryan headed for the water immediately, and loved jumping the waves, and running up and down the beach. Ben let the water hit his feet, and then it got up almost to his knees and he was done, so he spent the rest of the time playing in the sand.

We came in for lunch (Zero's subs) and spent some afternoon time in the pool. Mom and Dad arrived, and got settled in. Fortunately the new gas grill for the house got delivered in time for Brian to cook some delicious steaks for dinner.

Tuesday morning we spent some more time at the beach, and then we headed to Timbuck II for a little shopping and ice cream. After a nap, Claire took her first ever bike ride (thanks for the bike cousin Ryan!).

She had a blast, and did a great job.

Wednesday was a low-key day. Some beach, some pool, and (hooray!) a night out for the parents. Mom and Dad watched the kids, and let us go out to dinner and for a few drinks with Don, Cindy, and Brandon. We ate at a great restaurant in Timbuck II, and then to a really cheezy bar (because Brandon thought the hostess was cute). Then back home so the boys could play pool, and Cindy and I could fall asleep on the couches.

Ugh. I am tired, and so that's all for tonight. You can see a lot more pictures here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fun at the beach

After arriving at the beach house on Saturday, unpacking the cars, and making a list and sending the boys to the store, Cindy took Claire and Ryan to explore the beach. They played "Red Light, Green Light" with the waves, looked at shells, and generally had a blast. Here they are coming back from their first adventure.

Hi mom!

Our view from the deck.

Then we headed out to the deck with all three kids so they could play with bubbles. Claire and Ryan had a blast blowing bubbles at Ben with the cool motorized bubble blowers that Aunt Cindy brought.

Our vacation was off to a great start!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Claire's Birthday

Claire's birthday started pretty early. We got her out of bed, dressed her before she was awake enough to protest or express an opinion about what she was wearing, and then popped her in the car. For much of the first half hour of the ride we kept hearing from the backseat, "It's my birthday. Because I'm 3 now. Because I'm not 2 anymore. It's my birthday. Because I'm 3 now..."

The first part of our trip was fairly quick. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel a little over an hour away to have a birthday breakfast with Nonno, Nonni, Uncle David, and Grandma.

(photo credit: Dad)
Claire checks out some of her presents from Mommy and Daddy
(all stuff to keep her busy in the car)

(photo credit: Dad)
modeling her new Dora hair scarf

(photo credit: Dad)
admiring the Dora truck - thanks Grandma!

(photo credit: Dad)
Thanks everyone! I love birthdays!

Then we got back in the car, drove another couple of hours, and stopped in Williamsburg for lunch where we met up with Uncle Don, Aunt Cindy, and Ryan. After lunch and a brief running around time for the kids, everyone piled back in the cars, and we were off to the beach. The trip was uneventful, and there wasn't really a whole lot of traffic.

After waiting a bit to get the keys to the house we got there, settled in, and sent the boys to the store to get a few essentials (like a birthday cake and candles) and dinner. After dinner it was time for cake!

Mmmm - strawberry! Good choice, Daddy.

Getting help from Ryan to blow out the candles.


Ben thinks it's delicious.

We got Claire a scooter which came complete with helmet. Once she opened that she had to wear it to open all the rest of her presents. It's always important to be safe!

Look at me! I'm ready to go.

Claire had a fantastic birthday. She loved being at the beach, and getting to see so much family on her special day. She was a very happy little girl.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Thanks to Ben and his early risings I was lucky (or not?) enough to see the sunrise most mornings. On two days Dad generously got Ben up for me, so I got to sleep in a little, but he took pictures, too so here are a weeks worth of sunrises. Being in a beachfront house has its benefits, and watching the sunrise over the Atlantic is one of them.

Sunday - no sun, only rain

Monday - Not a good sunrise photo, but my first shot of the day


Wednesday (photo credit: Dad)

Thursday (photo credit - Dad)

Friday from beach (photo credit: Dad)

Friday from house

Saturday - our last morning

Saturday, June 09, 2007

We are home!

Is there a point where vacations will be restful again? When I will return home and not be exhausted? This feeling may have something to do with Ben's 4:30 AM wake-up this morning. Then he just whined until 5:45 when I finally got him out of the crib. I am tired, and he has been napping for over two hours. Thanks a lot, kid.

We had a fabulous time. Claire is truly a beach girl, and I think that next year she will be clamoring for Brian to take her out into the deep water. She loved every aspect of the beach, and just couldn't get enough of it. She told us on the ride home, when Brian asked if she wanted to go back next year, that she would like to go back to the beach on Friday. Good luck, kid. I am still waiting for the outcry when she realizes that it's back to the real world. The world where Aunt Cindy isn't here everyday, and she has to settle for holding my hand, or sitting beside me, or having me read her stories. What a letdown that is going to be.

Pictures and more details will come once I have time to sort through them properly. (Time? What is that? I know not of what I speak.) Suffice it to say, a good time was had by all, and we were all disappointed to have to leave today.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Yes, I'm a delinquent.

I've been a very bad blogger. I have no good excuses.

Tomorrow is Claire's birthday, so hopefully I'll have a birthday post up. We're headed to the beach tomorrow morning, too, so that should be good fodder for pictures.

In the meantime, a few snippets.

A conversation with Ben this afternoon:

B: Das bice is dot.

Me: Oh really?

B: Dat. Dat in dat in mb mb.

Me: I see.

B: DAS! Mm dat. Da das. Daaaa daaa daa daa. Daa die, daa daaaaaaa.

Me: Is that your book?

B: Dook. (book) Dada. Dada. Da dis.


And another funny Claire-ism - she says astronaut instead of restaurant. "We go to an astronaut now?"