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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fun for 50 Cents

He spent his Sunday morning completely enthralled in his newest toy...

A set of cheapo Tinker Toys...

Purchased for two quarters...

Whilst yardsaling on Saturday...

He really wanted a deflated UK basketball.  Which I bought (also for 50 cents). 

But, since Mama knows best, and I insisted we buy these too, I would say that it was a win-win for all involved :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hi! Hi!

Who was I to think that summer was going to be laid back and relaxing?  Pshaw.  Totally anything but. 

{And I'm pretty sure totally anything but is not a sentence, but I am determined not to backspace as it saves me time :) }

School is coming real soon, so I've been blogging a lot over at The Inspired Apple. If you've found this blog recently and are looking for teaching-related posts, I blog exclusively about school there.

In other news, after almost two months of sleeping in our bedroom, Becks is *finally* in his big boy room!  It's not even close to being done, but when you've had to hurdle a pack-n-play to get in bed every night it doesn't matter that the toe strip isn't in place in his new room yet.  He can still totally sleep there. 

I don't know how many of you live in older homes or have lived through renovations, but it's exhausting!  There is always something to do.  And if you've followed me for any length of time, you probably know that we've been renovating nonstop since January of this year.  That's seven straight months of DIYing, dust, displaced furniture, and the occasional disagreement ;)  I'm pretty sure that somehow spells S-T-R-E-S-S or maybe C-R-A-Z-Y.

I have some great thrift finds to share {soon-ish}, so stop in soon :)

Happy Tuesday!

Three-year-olds are a trip! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Charleston: The Extended Version

{This is going to be long and picture-laden, but the documentation is more for my benefit!}

We scheduled this trip back in April, excited about taking Becks on a vacation with just us (something we'd never done before) and having the opportunity to take him on a plane (again, something he'd never done).  I'm glad we scheduled and paid for it way in advance because I was totally feeling the pressure of grad school last week combined with the pressing urge to get back to my classroom to prepare for the start of school next month. Admittedly, I was feeling pretty back-out-ish. 
But, last Saturday, we arrived at the airport a good two hours in advance so that we could make sure we got through security and to our gate in plenty of time.   We were totally "that" family - carting a stroller, carseat, and multiple carry-ons around the airport.  Fortunately, Beck was so enchanted with the airport and the bagel stand, we knew it would be an easy wait. 
At least that's what we thought during the first two hours. 
Our flight was delayed and delayed again.  And then it was delayed some more.  We spent FOUR HOURS in the airport awaiting our re-routed flight.  We were also one of the last to board once the plane was there, and while the carseat was a brilliant idea for keeping Becks seated and comfortable during the flights, it was a big ol' pain to carrying through the terminal and hook securely in the plane seats. 
Becks *loved* the plane rides.  He giggled during take off and told us how "fun" the turbulence was.  My biggest concern was making sure he didn't kick the passenger in front of him!
Once we arrived in Charleston - four hours after the time were supposed to initially be there - it was POURING.  Not just a little drizzle, but literally dumping buckets from the sky.
And did I mention our luggage didn't make it?  That was just the cherry on top of our very long day. 
So, there we were in Charleston, four hours late, experiencing a monsoon, drenched, and without a change of clothes.  The positive attitude I usually carry was lost somewhere in Charlotte when we caught our connecting flight.  The only saving grace was the glass of Riesling B found for me at the hotel bar, combined with a delicious (albeit late) dinner from The Kickin' Chicken.  Oh my YUM.  And that was only the start of my spiral into all things southern and delicious.  Because once I started Saturday night, I didn't stop eating until we departed on Wednesday when I had a super delish mini-pizza in the airport. 
It also bears mentioning that our luggage didn't arrive until 3:30pm the Sunday, so we spent one stinky day touring the city in our once-rainy-then-sweaty clothes we wore on the plane.  Because Charleston turned into a sunshiney sauna the whole rest of the trip. 
Lucky for our smelly selves, we happened upon an *amazing* public fountain where Becks spent a good hour or so splashing around.  So much fun. 

We also treated him to gelato for lunch.  Because who doesn't eat sweets for lunch on vacation?
Our hotel - The King Charles Inn on Meeting Street - was all kinds of awesome.  Our accommodations were great and the staff was helpful.  They had a pack-n-play waiting for us when we arrived with brand new sheets and all.  I was so impressed.  They also had cocktail hour every night where you could get complimentary hors d'oeuvres and happy hour priced drinks.  A sweet tea mint julep for this Kentucky girl?  Count me in.  Becks was smitten with the free cheese, crackers, and grapes.  It was like they were catering to his specific three-year-old palette.  We attended every night we were there. 
For dinner that night we ate at Jestine's (meatloaf for me and B, a peanut butter and banana sandwich for Becks), and then toured the fire department across the street.  A successful first day (minus the missing luggage). 

The second day we were there we ate breakfast at Toast, and then decided to rent a car to drive to the beach.  Money well spent.  {I really wish I would have taken a pic of the snazzy little Kia Rio we zoomed around town in.  Not ideal for the ginormous carseat, but great on gas mileage!} 
Breakfast at Toast.
We had no idea where we were going other than across the bridge.  We made it to Sullivan's Island, found a parking spot on a side street that appeared to lead to the beach, and spent the next several hours oceanside.  In short: Becks *LOVED* it.  And, if we ever return to South Carolina, I can promise you we will stay in a beach town close to the ocean.  Live and learn. 

Dinner that night was at Hyman's for seafood and this is where I decided I would subsist on shrimp and grits alone forever and ever amen.  Seriously amazing. 
Before dinner at Hyman's.  B's souvenirs were a Charleston pirate tee and that foam sword. He loved it so much that he fell asleep holding it that night.  See below!

Just throwin' this one in there since we didn't get any other shots together!!!
On day three, we visited the market, ate a whole bunch, and revisited the fountain.

We came home last Wednesday and our flights back were perfect (Becks even slept on the last one!). 

Overall, here's the DL:

beachtowns I'm used to visiting - ignorance on my part, I realize.  I would LOVE to go back with B or another couple - sans kiddos, of course!  Also, if there's a cooler season to visit in, I'd totally go then :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Charleston Recap: Quick Version

This is the quick Charleston recap, as we just flew in and I don't have time to shuffle through 200 pictures for this post.  Also, my pantry and fridge desperately need to be restocked or we're having Mich Ultras and swiss cheese for dinner.  Hence, list form:

1.  Flying was a major hassle. 

2.  This girl could live on grits and sweet tea.  Oh. My. YUM.

3.  Bathing suits should be brought whenever you're out and about in Charleston, as you never know when you might happen upon a public fountain.

4.  The heat was insane.  {I know, y'all warned me!}

5.  Our hotel was all kinds of awesome.

6.  Hymans, Jestines, Toast, Barbara Jeans, and the Chucktown Tavern all proved to be winners.

7.  We never made it to Kaminsky's.  Boo.

8.  The southern hospitality was out of control. 

9.  Major kudos to the downtown Charleston Fire Department for the free tour.  You guys rock!

10.  Next time: Sullivan's Island.  {Or somewhere closer to the beach!}

Will be back with more deets later :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

All Cracked Up.

It's summer.  It's hot.  And my wardrobe must function accordingly.

I loooooove sundresses (and, really, all dresses for that matter), and long for the months when I can wear a dress without leggings.   They're so fun and feminine and unrestricting.  If Becks wasn't {still} sleeping in our bedroom right now, I'd take a picture of my closet and you'd see dress upon dress upon dress.  You'd also see that I am a lousy housekeeper and an even worse launderer.

Also, there's another reason I love dresses during the summer.  I HATE SHORTS.

I hate them. So much so that I haven't purchased an actual pair of "real" shorts (i.e. not Sofee cheerleading shorts) in years.  I've tried to like them, I really have.  I try them on in the stores and then immediately think These are so dang uncomfortable!  and peel them right off.  When I was little, I once described a wedgie to my mom as being "all cracked up." And, that right there pretty much accurately describes the main reason I avoid shorts. They consistently leave me feeling all cracked up

Further, and I never imagined I'd say this, but all the shorts out right now (mainly the ones at Target) are *so* stinkin' short!  {This coming from the girl who couldn't get short-enough-shorts in highschool...and probably college.  Ahem.}   It doesn't help that I'm borderline behemoth (5'10"ish) either, so shorts are even shorter on me. For the record, I've tried shorts from Banana, GAP, and Ann Taylor, too.  No dice.

But, you see, I have all these super cute tops that I might compromise the feeling of cracked-up-edness for, but they cannot be super-duper-show-your-heiney-short. 

So, where on Earth is everyone buying shorts from these days? 

{Y'all were so helpful in directing me to all the hot spots in Charleston, that I'm for certain you can help me out here, too!!!!  Thanks so much, btw!!!!!}

PS.  I was going to add an image to this post, but Googling "booty shorts" turned up less than appropriate results.  Happy Friday :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Recommendations, please?

Sometime this summer we are visiting the state represented by the little flag above.  Charleston, to be specific. I've never been and would *love* to know where you recommend to go or what we should do while we're there!  Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)

Also, suggestions for flying with a three-year-old and carting a carseat through the airport.  Because you can imagine how much fun that's going to be. 

Muchos gracias!