On May 23, 2013 Riley had his first (of hopefully many) graduations! He graduated from the 2 year old daycare program at Children's Premier Academy. The program was so cute as each class got up to sing a few of their favorite songs. Riley did great and we have a hilarious rendition of "Tooty Ta" song with his tongue stuck out, knees together, elbows back, bottom in the air and thumbs up! Riley has such fond memories of his friends and teachers at CPA and has talked about them several times this summer since he's been home.
What says summer better than biting into a big, juicy watermelon!! This is one of Riley's favorite treats...and Maggie's too (though she gets hers already cut up in bite-size pieces). I love how the juice will just run right down Riley's arm and all over his face and he keeps chomping away!
So in our down time during the summer, Maggie has grown especially attached to her monkey lovey. She grabs it every night to sleep with and then loves to play with it in the mornings. She'll just sit in her crib when she wakes up and shake it (it's a rattle too). She is so calm in the mornings and never cries or fusses at all. Once up though, she is all ready for play! She has discovered an early love for shoes and tries to put them on her feet every chance she gets. Meanwhile, Riley finds running around the couch literally 100 times as the best way to get his energy out and calm down before bed. Here's a shot of him in mid-run! Crazy kid!!
The last week of June we headed to Indiana for our annual Camp Nan and Pap. Here's a picture of Riley and Lucy riding Sally the Horse at one of the local grocery stores. All the parents headed out on Friday to go to Brown County where we had rented a cabin with a hot tub, pool, horseshoe pit, pool table, and fire pit. We had a great time (once we got over the slight bump in the road with Ben's bumper accident). The kids completely had a blast with the Teddy Bear theme for this year. They went on a bear hunt, had a teddy bear picnic, made campfire pictures, teddy bear magnets, and ate all kinds of yummy foods and snacks. What an awesome opportunity to have the kids become closer as cousins and the parents to have a chance to bond and relax together as well. Now, Nan and Pap are going to need a vacation after keeping 5 campers so busy and happy! :)
This summer, Chris and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. Grandmama and Papa kept the kids for us while we went to a movie (The Great Gatsby) and dinner at Miro Spanish Grille. We've had a few cookouts with neighbors (like for the 4th of July) and gotten together for several playdates. I've been busy working on developing lessons for my music program that I started to help make ends since I will be an official stay at home mom this year! Hooray!
I'm looking forward to seeing more of these candid moments more often---where Maggie loves to copy everything that big brother "Ra Ra" is doing and she likes to tease (like biting on her spoon and not giving it back). It has always been one of my dreams to stay home like my mom did with us. And even if it's only for a year or two (depending on how finances go), I know it'll be some of the best times together! Of course, we'll still save some fun for dad when he gets home and on weekends too.
For example, I bet we'll still be able to find some time to take the family to the zoo. We took this trip with Grandmama's help on July 19th. Riley got to ride the train in the petting zoo area and the carousel, but his main highlight of the day was feeding the giraffe! He has no fear at all and laughs and smiles the whole time! It helps that these giraffes are so gentle with the kids and their long, rough tongues only like to curl around the $2/handful lettuce that they let you purchase and not their actual hands. Maggie was more awake this time, but by the end of the 2 hours she could hardly keep her eyes open. She's starting to learn some of the animal sounds and loves to hear Daddy do the elephant noise as she throws her arm up to pretend it's a trunk. And she mimics the monkey sound after hearing it too.
At the end of July, we had a Taylor family trip to the beach. We got a good deal on a condo in North Myrtle and though it was a tight squeeze to get all of us in, we managed. We got out of the condo Friday night to go play a round of mini-golf. Mom and I played as a team and switched off carrying Maggie and still managed to get the lowest score! Woo hoo!
Here's my sweet girl sharing a smile with Papa. She's going through a bit of a clingy stage and it took her a few days to warm up again, but she really does love her extended family!
How's this for a candid? Joel got a little creative with my suggestion that we all wear blue and white for a big family picture. Unfortunately, this shirt didn't make the final cut! :)
Here we are at the Flying Fish in Barefoot Landing. They had an excellent selection of seafood and the kids loved catching the fish from the kitchen area.
We didn't get the perfect family picture with everyone smiling and the light just right, but I must admit I've got a pretty perfect family! I have had such a wonderful time this summer and of course, knowing that I have a little more quality time ahead and don't have to rush back to school in 2 weeks is going to make the end of this summer just a little bit sweeter.