Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ladies and gentlemen

Last weekend, we made our second annual trip to Atlanta for the circus. It was like deja vu, except this year we had to pay for Benton's ticket and we had an extra baby to carry. 

Ringling Brothers once again put on a great show and kept us all entertained. Even Parker enjoyed herself. It was her first time riding Marta and that really piqued her curiosity. Benton loved the train just as much as last year (comparison picture below).

2012                                                          2013

During the pre-show, we got front row seats to see an elephant dunk a basketball and paint a picture. Benton stood silently through the whole thing. He stood even more silently when the clowns came out for a dance party. He is apparently not interested in large group activities. 

Once we got to our seats Benton got a little more lively. He loved the horses, the motorcycles and the tigers. Parker stared at every light and clapped along to the music. 

Circus tattoo

Somehow we made it out of there without Benton asking us for anything. I thought for sure there were going to be tears if we denied him a sword or $20 bag of cotton candy. But I underestimated him and he didn't make a single demand, much to his parents' great pleasure. 

I recently had an idea for a family goal for 2013. We are going to attempt to adopt a family tradition for each month of the year. Looks like the circus will be our February tradition. By the way, if you buy tickets for the 2014 circus before March 12, you can get 50% off your tickets with the offer code: AMAZE. You're welcome.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Spotlight: the baby

For posterity's sake, I want to post an update on all things baby girl. Bear with me while I document what she's doing now and I'll even throw in some cute pictures.

Parker Naomi will be 8 months old on Saturday. I can't seem to remember a time before she was glued to my hip. She is definitely a mama's girl and likes me way more than anyone else in my house likes me.

She's starting to mellow out more as she gets older. Just a month or so ago she wouldn't go 10 minutes without crying to be held, but now she'll entertain herself a lot longer. She also really enjoys people watching.

Admiring her picture on the iPad
She has two teeth (bottom middle) but still doesn't have hair. She will smile at anyone but only Benton can make her laugh. She will roll across the room but only sits up on her own for a minute or two without falling over. She falls asleep on her own at night but still usually wakes up twice.

We're slowly starting to try solid foods. She hasn't been very interested in anything. She did tear apart a Ritz cracker the other day and that seemed to go well. With any luck, we can spend a minimal amount of time on spoon feeding and move right on to finger foods once she's a little more dexterous.

Her favorite toys are an empty wipes package (the crinkly refill kind) and an owl rattle. She says "mama", claps her hands, chews on her tongue and sings along with music.

Playing with her friend, Avery
Parker is curious, sensitive, affectionate, talkative, dramatic and beautiful. She has brought much joy to our family and we are all in love with this sweet baby girl. It's so exciting for me to watch her and Benton's relationship grow and develop. She is one precious little sister.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mini beach vacation

Last weekend, the kids and I were able to tag along with Brack to Jekyll Island for a teaching conference. It was a wonderful time to get away and enjoy some warmer weather, sandy beaches and complimentary continental breakfast.

Right after we checked in Thursday afternoon, we headed straight to the beach. We let Benton run around on the sand and chase birds to his heart's content. He loved every second of it and was very upset when we had to go back to the hotel room to change clothes after he face planted in the water.

We got to sit in on some of Brack's participatory sessions. PE teachers sure know how to have fun! Benton got to learn some line dances and some tennis ball games with his dad. We may have a future educator on our hands.

On Friday, we let Brack stick to his workshops while the kids and I visited the turtles at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Educational and entertaining.

After that we explored more of the island. We climbed trees, ate some fudge, chased more birds and walked to the pier. Here's a picture of the kids and then a picture of Benton under the same tree two years ago. [No picture from last year because we left him at home with the grandparents.]

One of our favorite parts of the island is the beautiful Driftwood Beach. The last photo is of me and Parker [in utero] in this spot last year.

If you live in Georgia and haven't visited the coast, it's definitely worth a trip! We hope this will continue to be an annual tradition for us.