Monday, November 23, 2009


Here's something exciting...a set of random pictures of the boys. In truth, I have no idea how old some of these are (I'm at work and the originals are saved in dated folders on my home laptop) so let's just pretend they're a few weeks old.

This is Gagey eating a snack. I think it's cheerios. I know I took the picture because I loved the way he grabbed a handful from the bowl and shoved them in his mouth using both his hands to be sure they stayed in there.

This next one is Braeden and me at the table after dinner one night. For a snack he was eating jelly belly jelly beans. I dumped some out of the baggy and he started matching them up by color and counting the number of each. It's a little trickier than it sounds because there's more than one shade of most of the colors. We did this a few nights in a row and it never got old. For either of us.

This one is definitely a mommy-fave! Braeden brought the first pillow and blanket into the kitchen. Then Gage wanted to lay down with him and Braeden freaked out about Gage wanting to share the pillow. Mommy to the rescue with a second pillow (and the camera). Braeden, always willing to ham it up for the camera, was trying to help by turning Gagey's head to look at me. (Not the first time Bray tries to help out like this.)

OK. The jig is up. I know when I bought this little table at IKEA so I now know just how old this picture is. I could lie, and you would probably believe me because Braeden is wearing snowman PJs, but...the truth always comes out in the end, right? This was October. Middle of the month-ish.

I bought the table because I thought it would mean I would get my dining room table back. We eat our meals there, sure, but dinner is always accompanied by 12 matchbox cars, a block tower, whatever stuffed animal is the current favorite, or some other random toy. The new little table didn't have quite the desired effect, but it sure is cute to see Gagey sitting there to eat a snack.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Vacation (it's about time, right??!!)

I've had these pictures ready to go for weeks now...I've just been too lazy to post them. So I've posted a bunch of pictures and there's also a lot of links to posts from the past four years of trips. A fun walk down memory lane.

Every October we meet my parents in Virginia Beach for a long weekend. We stay at their timeshare, and we never do very much. We hang out, Braeden makes my parents read him the same seven books over and over again, we dig in the sand, sometimes we feed bread to the seagulls, we go to the aquarium (not this year), we take our picture in front of the Neptune statue...

One afternoon Mat, Dad, and Braeden went to check out the old Cape Henry Lighthouse. They had a great time learning its history and climbing to the top. Once there, Braeden told everyone who came up the story of the old lighthouse and the new one. Braeden knows I'm afraid of heights, so when he got back he cautioned me against going because I would have to climb up a ton of stairs and then a ladder to get to the top of the lighthouse. Sweet, huh?

Here's Dad and Braeden headed up the stairs to the lighthouse.

That is one happy kid!

Braeden has a couple of hats but he doesn't wear them very often. He does wear them when we're around my dad (who lives in hats!).

Each year we take a family picture at the beach. This year's was taken in front of the Neptune statue after we rode a surrey (one of those four-people bikes) from our place on 5th to the park at 31st street. It was a long ride into the wind. Luckily for us, Mat did most of the work! Gagey rode in the basket in the front (I say basket, but it's meant for babies and has a seatbelt). Braeden rode in the back between my parents. Mat did all the steering and had his fun by driving my side of the bike into the bushes lining the path. Fun for him, not so much for me.

I think you can tell from these pictures that it was cold again this year. Cold last year, cold this year. Rainy and windy too. Monday was was starting to clear up and warm up some. And Tuesday was perfect. Of course we were in the car by 10:00 headed back to Whitsett, so we were a little bitter about that.

Mom and I took Gage to a yarn store while the boys were at the lighthouse. We stopped at an Atlanta Bread Company for coffee and cupcakes on our way back. Gage loved the cupcakes, but what a mess! Saturday morning Mat ran the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K along the boardwalk. He was pretty happy with his time and running this one has inspired him to run more. (He just ran the Turkey Trot, another 5K, at Elon; is registered for the 5K portion of the NC Marathon in March 2010; and put the date for the Charlotte Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on his calendar. I know he'll run that one, too, if he can.

Sunday we went over to Ben and Stephanie's house in Chesapeake for lunch with her parents (Mat's godparents), Don and Debbie, and Mat's parents. Their house is great, and Stephanie made a ton of fantastic food including macaroni and cheese and hot dogs for the boys. She also made this amazing chocolate eclair dessert. Speaking of which, she gave me the recipe and I really ought to make it to bring to work one day. Monday night, Mat and I went back to Chesapeake to have dinner with Ben and Steph (minus kids and parents). We were so excited to go to a Thai place (and to spend more time with the two of them!). We hardly ever get's a pretty tough sell with Braeden. They'll be headed to California in February or March (Ben's in the Navy), so it was really great to spend this time with them.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Hamming it up

We had a lot of rain this weekend and Mat realized water was backing up into our crawl space. He spent a few hours outside Sunday afternoon digging a trench to divert the water downhill into the easement between our property and our back neighbor's. He also got into a snit with the neighbor, but no one wants to hear about that...

After his nap, Braeden watched some football with me and ate cheez-its. And when he got bored I suggested he go out on the deck and watch Mat work. It was in the low 50s and sprinkling so I worried he would be too cold in his light jacket. I got down my winter stuff bag and found a very soft scarf I had crocheted years ago. I knew he would like the feel of it around his neck. He insisted on mittens. I know we have gloves for him but I couldn't find them, so he's wearing mine instead.

When I tried to take a picture of him just smiling for the camera, he refused. He insisted on a new pose for each picture and who was I to refuse!!

I love the half-smile he's giving me in this one. He knows how cute he is so he's trying to play it coy.

A little blurry because he's moving. He really wanted me to catch him standing on one foot but his balance isn't that great. (He gets that from me!)

I saved the best for last...this one is my favorite!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween preview

This morning as I was getting ready to leave, Braeden told me when he grows up he wants to work at UNCG so he can stay with me. He didn't like that I was leaving him. I just thought that was the sweetest thing he could say. I had to go back and give him another big hug. No wonder I can't ever make it to work on time in the mornings!

Friday his class is having a Halloween party. The kids can come in costumes if they want. Or as Braeden told me, they have to come in costume. I didn't want him messing up his fireman costume he'll wear Saturday night, so I thought up a couple other ideas...costumes I could easily create with what we already had in the house. I thought my first idea was perfect. Braeden should be a surfer. He can wear his swimmy trunks, a tee shirt, sunglasses, flip flops, and carry his kickboard as a pretend surfboard. Well, apparently you don't wear swimmy trunks to school unless it's pool day. Huh. Guess he told me. My second idea was that he go as NY Giants player. He's got the shirt and a Giants football. I figure he can wear sweatpants. And I was thinking of finding some way to make the black marks under his eyes. He loved this idea, so Friday Braeden will be a Giants guy (his words).

He told me yesterday that Makena's mom doesn't want her getting her real costume dirty either, so she'll be a cheerleader Friday. I love how nicely their costumes will go together. Not that the Giants have cheerleaders...thank goodness! The other upshot to his costume idea is that his teacher is a big Cowboys fan. And sticking it to a Cowboys fan always puts a smile on my face!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sing me a song

Braeden's teachers have been teaching them a lot of songs lately. One of them is more like a cheer. For his day care. It's adorable. And he gets a lot of pleasure performing it for us.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


So I didn't manage to get a picture of Braeden in his medal but I did want to tell you about the conversation he and Mat had over dinner last night.

Braeden started asking Mat questions about planets. It started with Mars and Mat explaining that it would take months to get there. Braeden knows Mars is a red planet, thanks to a Backyardigans episode. That episode has a great song, Boinga, that Alicia Keys sings. I'm not at all ashamed to admit it makes me want to dance right along with Uniqua, Pablo, and Austin!

(The video quality isn't great but I wanted you to see the dancing!)

After they got done talking about Mars, Braeden asked about other planets. Mat went through the list...amazingly, he still remembers the order of the planets, something we learned in elementary school. And he also knows that somewhere along the line scientists changed the pronunciation of Uranus to stop people from cracking so many jokes. No more Pluto and now it's Ur-a-nus...this just feels weird to me.

So as Mat's rattling off the list of planets, Braeden brings up the purple planet. Mat seemed confused, so Braeden explained that Dora and Boots visited the purple planet in an episode of Dora the Explorer. :)

Mat took it all in stride and explained that he didn't know about the purple planet but that Neptune was blue. And then he explained to Braeden how it got its name. He asked Bray what else he knew that was called Neptune. Braeden immediately named the Neptune statue in Virginia Beach. And he also remembered there's a King Neptune in Spongebob. He and Mat talked about how Neptune is the king of the sea. And Mat asked him what color is the ocean. Braeden replied blue, and he realized that's why the blue planet was named Neptune.

I had the greatest time listening to the two of them talk about planets, both real and imagined. I love that Mat never talks down to Braeden and is always interested in teaching him something real.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Braeden got an adorable medal at school the other day for being the first kid in his class to know his address and his phone number. We already knew he was a smarty-pants and now we have proof!

I'll try to post a picture later.

Friday, September 11, 2009

All the goings on

Braeden went to a birthday party for one of his friends at a park in downtown Burlington. The park has a bunch of Braeden-sized rides and a train that goes through a tunnel and over bridges.

Here's Braeden with his friend, Zander, on the cars.

Braeden loved the cars! And once he figured out how to work the horn, he honked his way through the entire ride.

He liked the boats but definitely not as much as the cars!

The carousel was the last thing we did before the party ended. He wasn't quite sure he wanted to ride on it at first, but when everyone else went he decided to go too. But he was sure he didn't want to ride one of the horses that went up and down!

He had so much fun that we took him back the next weekend when Mat's parents were in town. I love the little kid birthday parties and hate them all at the same time. This was, hands-down, one of the best. The food was simple (Chick-fil-A nuggets, grapes, those puffy, crunchy cheese balls, and juice boxes) plus a cake. The kids got to go on the rides for about an hour and a half before we met up in the gazebo for food, cake, and presents. The presents weren't out of hand, and most of the family saved their presents for a more private setting. I decided to make the little girl a backpack. I had fun shopping for girly fabric and finding just the right design for her backpack.

If I did it again (and I'm pretty sure I will), I'll make a lined backpack instead of unlined and find something better to use for the straps. But this one got the job done. And pretty cutely too!

Braeden and I also went to Will's second birthday at the Science Center. Gage had an ear infection and some kind of skin thing. The doctor thought it might be a case of hand, foot and mouth. Not serious but it is contagious. And the poor kid was pretty pathetic--temperature, not eating well, itching. So Mat and Gage stayed home. Braeden had a great time at the party petting the animals (who knew chinchillas were so soft??!!), using the animal tracks stamps, eating the most beautiful multi-colored cupcakes, and celebrating Will! For Will, I wanted to give him something very, very special so I knit him a vest.

I actually knit one for Gage earlier in the summer and kept it off the blog because I knew right away that I wanted to do one for Will. And I really wanted to surprise Emily with it.

For Gage's, I had bought this brown wool cotton yarn in November with no idea what to do with it. I found the vest pattern this spring and realized I had the perfect yarn already. How often does that happen? Since Gagey's turned out so well, I knew I would knit one for Will. And then I took a big chance and asked Braeden if he wanted one. Not suprisingly he said yes. In red. The big question is, will he wear it? Stay tuned.

For Will and Braeden's vests, I got to buy a brand of yarn I'd been dying to try. Their vests are made from organic cotton. Will's is a beautiful shade of green called basil which I thought would go perfectly with his big brown eyes and white blond hair.

What else? Braeden had a case of fifth disease. We noticed it Sunday evening, but it really looked like he had wind burn or maybe a little sun burn from the pool that afternoon. When Mat took him into day care the next morning, they said it looked like fifth. Then they told him some of the other kids in his room had it. I was pissed that they wouldn't tell the parents that or put up a note on the day care door to explain it to parents. It bugs me that they told Mat about the other kids after they noticed it in Braeden. Fortunately fifth is a mild rash that never progressed past the barely noticeable stage. Braeden liked to tell people he had the disease. He was pretty proud of himself.

I absolutely adore this picture of Braeden! He was watching Mat use the pressure washer on our back deck. He wanted to help but he wasn't sure he wanted to get too close to the spray. I just love that face!!

Braeden and I went to Southern Season a few weekends ago. I needed to pick up a few things for a package and we needed a few things from Trader Joe's (just down the street). Braeden and I had brunch at the Weathervane, the restaurant at Southern Season. He had chocolate chip pancakes and milk I had a breakfast quesadilla and a mocha. Weathervane is kind of fancy and kind of not. It was fun taking him someplace like that. We usually just eat at our local, favorite Mexican place (in a strip mall). I like that he and I can go out together somewhere nice (with cloth napkins) and eat together. We sat up at the bar on tall stools. He loved it!

Check out Gagey's blog because I updated that one too!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


While Mat and Braeden were in NY, Gage and I had an unexpected visitor. I went out one night to water which means slipping between the front porch and the bushes to hook up the hose to the spigot. Pretty easy, once I got the hang of the so-called quick connect. But before I even got to that point, I had to contend with something else entirely.

When I was unraveling some of the hose from the hose reel I looked over at the bush and saw him.

He wasn't making any noise at all, and he didn't move. He just sat there staring at me. So I sat there staring at him. And all I could think was if I moved he would freak out and fly at my face. Yeah, I can be irrational sometimes.

Anyway, after I looked at him for a while I noticed these little tufts on his head and realized he was definitely a baby. That's when I really started to worry. About him. Had he fallen from a nest? Was he abandoned by his parents? Did he get lost or separated from his family? And then I was thinking I wish Braeden was here to see the baby bird. I really worried about him late that night when the thunder and lightning started. We got an inch and a quarter of rain that night and I stressed that the poor little guy would drown or something. I went looking for him early the next morning and didn't see him. I worried for a minute but then I noticed him on the next bush. Phew. He was safe.

I was glad I had taken a few pictures when a coworker suggested I call a wildlife rehab person I had found online. We were joking about me not knowing what to feed him or if I even should feed him. The woman I spoke with asked that I send her a picture and check to see if he was still there when I got home. He wasn't, but she e-mailed me back to say that he was a fledgling, a toddler bird who was learning to fly. She explained they learn to fly from the ground and are taught by their parents to take cover in bushes. And she told me he's a mockingbird. I'm so glad he found my shrubs to hang out in while he taught himself to fly.

In other are a few pictures of my two boys hanging out.

Look at that smile!!

And here are my boys playing with the hungry hippo. Gagey climbs in and sits (a little awkwardly) and Braeden pushes him up and down the house. It's incredibly sweet and cute. This is a game they both love!

Monday, June 29, 2009


A few pictures...

Here's Gagey in the other diaper I tie-dyed with Emily.

On the Saturday before Father's Day we went to Trader Joe's in Chapel Hill. Mat definitely wasn't impressed, but Braeden and I had a good time. They had a bunch of different kinds of cookies--chocolate animal crackers, regular animal crackers, cookies shaped like cats--but Braeden picked out these cinnamon cookies shaped like letters. I wasn't very excited about them when we bought them, but wow! They were so good! We ate them every night after dinner until they were gone. Braeden loved that I spelled out his name. I love seeing both kids' hands in the picture reaching for more cookies.

This one is just classic...this is what Braeden wears to the pool! He made his visor at school by glueing foam letters and animals on a plastic visor from some conference or something. Flip flops, sunglasses, last year's swimmy trunks (because this year's 4T pair are too big!), and an old tee shirt. Is he stylin' or what??

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Braeden being Braeden

Remember the Danimals Crush Cups story? Well, here's some video of Braeden crushing things in the living room. Of course he's just wearing his underwear because that's all he's wearing in all of the pictures I take.

When he asked if we would buy him the yogurt, I wanted to run right out and buy them for him. How could you say no to that oh-so-earnest face?? We did, but it was tough. :)

So this next video...I hardly know what to say. Braeden showed me how he could put a can under the lid of the tub we store his play food in then jump on one end of it to shoot something that was resting on the other end high up in the air. Mat would have just said a fulcrum, but why use one word when you can use 25?!

Did you catch that he learned how to do this from watching Shrek?? Cute, right?

And yes. Just the underwear again. :)

Monday, June 08, 2009


Braeden and I were snuggling in my bed tonight. He decided I should fall asleep and he would be my rooster who woke me up. He cock-a-doodle-dooed and I pretended to hit the snooze button. He didn't like that I ignored my wake-up call.

He looked at me and said, "I crush you!"

I burst out laughing and asked him where he'd heard that.

Danimals crush cup commercial!

And that only made me laugh harder. You see that commercial is on some nights when we're watching Spongebob or Penguins of Madagascar (my new favorite cartoon!). Braeden even made the little finger crushing motion and scrunched his mouth up like the boys do on the commercial.

Once he knew I thought it was so funny, he couldn't stop doing it. He crushed the chandelier, the clock, the TV, his name it, he crushed it!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


The day care held a graduation ceremony for the four-year-old class last week. They'll be headed to kindergarten next year. Braeden's class did the opening ceremony and sang two songs before the four-year-olds processed in wearing their white caps and gowns.

For the opening ceremony, Braeden's class walked in down the center aisle of the church each carrying a small American flag. They lined up along the front and said the pledge of allegiance. Then they chant USA a few times and cheer. It's pretty cute even for cynical old me.

When they finished up, his class was supposed to walk to the other side of the church to sit together. I was near the front on the end where Braeden could see me. As they got ready to walk to their seats I heard Braeden ask his teacher if he could go sit with me. So sweet.

The three four-year-old classes got up individually next to do little skits they'd been practicing. They were so cute to watch. Some of the kids loved being on stage and were very confident with their parts, some shouted whatever they were supposed to say, but there was one little girl who refused to speak. She wouldn't take the microphone either; she just stood there with her head down the whole time.

When they finished their skits, they headed in the back to put on their caps and gowns and Braeden's class came back out to sing their songs. They were lined up in the colors of a rainbow. Braeden was orange. We couldn't find a plain shirt so I bought one that could be turned inside out. Apparently his teacher didn't like that idea and gave Mat a hard time about it. This is the same teacher we struggled with when Braeden was a baby in her room. Whatever.

I think I did an amazing job with the video considering I was crying throughout the songs. Seeing Braeden up there singing so confidently and looking so happy just made my heart burst with pride. These are the moments when I realize he's not a baby anymore.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


Friday morning I took Braeden to the dentist. We tried to get x-rays of his teeth but he couldn't hold the film in his mouth. Every time the hygienist got it situated, he would push it away with his tongue or start coughing. I'm sure it was uncomfortable for him and he doesn't understand how to sit still with it in his mouth and just wait it out. Personally, I don't see what the big deal is. Apparently we'll try again at his next appointment in November.

Other than the x-rays, his appointment went well. He had no plaque on his teeth, so we can feel good about the brushing we do twice a day. The dentist said we might have to worry about the fact that there's no space between his bottom teeth. He said sometimes no space between baby teeth means when the permanent teeth come in there won't be enough room and he'll need braces to straighten them. It's not worth worrying about it now, although Mat did joke we should start the orthodontics saving account now. :)

When we finally got out of the dentist office, I took Braeden to school. I thought I would just peek in the window of the door at Gage. The kids were getting ready for lunch, so they were climbing on a small stool in front of the little sink to wash their hands. I was so excited to watch Gage, so I was glad to see he was next in line. He climbed right up on the stool and stuck his hands under the water. His teacher was helping another kid dry his hands, so he waited for her with his hands in the water. She turned back to him and squirted soap in his hands, then helped him wash his hands. When she let go of him, he put his hands back under the water until she helped him down from the stool and dried his hands off.

It was adorable! And it made me wish we had a sink that was about two feet off the ground so Gagey could wash his hands at home too.

Then she told him to get in his chair. He walked right over and climbed into his chair to wait for lunch. And that's when he saw me. He stared at me for about a minute before getting up and walking towards the door. When I opened it to go in, he got this huge smile on his face and ran to me. Normally I would worry about interrupting his day and then leaving him there, but it was okay Friday because I could leave him eating lunch.

These photos are from last weekend. My friend from Rhinebeck, Misty, and I went to the herb festival sponsored by the Women's Center and we took Braeden with us. I loved his outfit and thought he looked so cute, so I had to take a picture. It was a little dark in the kitchen, so it didn't come out that well. But he's still adorable!

I bought basil, parsley, and rosemary at the herb festival. We dropped Braeden off at home, then Misty and I went to Chapel Hill. We had lunch at Weathervane, shopped at Trader Joe's, and 10,000 Villages then came back home. It was a great day. And so much fun to spend time with someone I've known my whole life. It's funny how nice it is to have someone like that when you live so far away from where you grew up. We always end up talking about people we know--what they're doing now or something funny we remember about them from 10 (or more) years ago.

Then there's cutie-pie Gage in a one-piece from Carter's. I bought two sets of these and would love to go back for two or three more! He looks so cute in them.

And this is a little washcloth I knit for Braeden. It's a little hard to tell in the photo, but it has a VW bug on it. There's a little heart on the door of the bug and at the top it says Beebeeep. I'm not sure Braeden really sees the car design, but he loves that I knit him a washcloth to play with in the tub. And that's enough for me!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just a regular day

Mat had to attend a function for one of his students after work today, so I got to pick the boys up from day care. I LOVE doing that! When we got home, I made scrambled eggs for dinner. The three of us love them, and Braeden thinks it's fun to eat them for dinner. I've always loved breakfast dinner, so I'm happy to pass that along.

After dinner, Braeden played with play-doh for a while. At one point, Gagey walked over to the front door and started whining. When I asked Braeden if he wanted to go outside to play, he was thrilled!

The boys played with cars...

rode bikes...

scared mommy by climbing on the bike in a death-defying way...

looked cute...

in matching jackets...

and posed with my Mother's Day dogwood that's starting to bloom...

A perfect night!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Charleston

In my description of what we did in Charleston, I totally forgot to mention the visit to the firehouse Friday. They had a few new trucks we looked at, but Braeden really enjoyed playing on the old truck. When we got there, the firemen were playing basketball behind the station. They were glad to show Braeden the trucks and talk to Mat about how the older ones operated. I was happy to shoot my first video with my new flip! My birthday present from mom and dad...thanks, guys! I love it!

Monday, March 30, 2009


So I was afraid to talk about this before we left (exposing too much detail online and all), but now I can tell you all about our weekend away in Charleston. Mat had a student accepted to a conference hosted at the College of Charleston. As the advisor, he had to go along. And when he mentioned it a couple months ago, I leaped at the idea of going along with him. We LOVE Charleston! The idea of spending a weekend there sounded so good.

We left Friday morning and arrived around 2:00 after stopping for lunch at Chick-fil-a somewhere in SC. We were able to check into the hotel, the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. The previous times we've been to Charleston, we've stayed downtown. But those were work trips; this time we were footing the bill for the hotel. The worst part about staying in Mt. Pleasant is that you have to drive into the city and park the car somewhere if you want to do anything. And parking is so expensive! But it was nice to get out of the city at the end of the day and it's hard to beat the view.

Our first stop in Charleston was at a local yarn shop, Knit. Mat and Gage went down to the CoC bookstore and Braeden and I visited Knit. The yarn on the left is going to be a pair of socks. The yarn on the right could be a washcloth. I haven't made up my mind.

After Knit, we went to the Market. Mat wanted to go in a shop filled with flags, history books, etc. He took Braeden this time, and Gage and I wandered the length of the market looking at all the stuff, most of it crap. Then we met up and went to dinner at A.W. Shuck's, a place we ate at last time.

Gage slept in the pack-n-play and Braeden had his own bed in the room. To get them both to sleep, we turned off the lights and I climbed into bed with Braeden to snuggle. Mat went back into the city with a couple of the students to walk around. We all ended up falling asleep. At 8:30!

Saturday morning, Mat went off to the conference and we got to play. We went to the aquarium first. Right inside the front door, they have this big tank with fish and a turtle. On our first trip to the aquarium, Braeden was fascinated by the tank and that turtle. This time around, he was more interested in the remote-controlled sub that was inside. Besides, he was a little more interested in seeing the sharks this time around.

The newest display at the aquarium is a tank of penguins. They were so cute! And they loved the kids standing on the ledge in front of the tank. They would swim up to the glass and tap on it.

Braeden liked the penguins but his favorite part of the trip was the boat they had set up for the kids to play on. He loved driving the boat. It was tough to get him to leave but it was time for lunch.

We drove into the city and had lunch at a deli on King Street. Braeden liked eating a grilled cheese sandwich and eat potato chips. He also liked helping me with Gage, picking up Gagey's sippy cup and admonishing Gage not to throw his food. I love that he likes to help like that. We went back to the hotel and I managed to get both boys down for a short nap, just over an hour.

Then we went outside to the hotel's "beach". The hotel is on the harbor so there's not a real beach, but they have sand.

Braeden loves playing in the sand. Gage liked it too. He wasn't really sure about it, so he tried eating it at first.

Braeden wanted to take pictures of the sand, so I handed over the camera. This was his second time taking his own pictures. I posted the first batch to facebook but haven't put them on here yet. I'll add that to my to do list. Anyway, here's his picture of the sand.

I love those toes!!

I wanted to take them to the real beach, but the wind was blowing so hard and they were predicting thunderstorms. I was afraid we'd get caught in it, so I didn't want to stray too far from the hotel. When it got too much for me, I brought the boys back inside and we watched cartoons and ate goldfish. When it was time, we met Mat downtown for dinner. We didn't really have a plan, but we ended up at our favorite Charleston restaurant, Basil. Amazing Thai food! We ate there twice the last time we were in Charleston. The boys did great! They ate a bunch of rice and shared an order of chicken satay. And since Braeden was so good in the restaurant, I promised him a treat. Fortunately, Cupcake was still open so we slipped in just before closing and ate cupcakes! So good.

Sunday we got up, packed everything up, checked out of the hotel, and drove into Mt. Pleasant to find a diner for breakfast. Then we were on the road home again.

Great weekend!