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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

I took my kids to the pool yesterday

 I took my kids to the pool yesterday. 

They were all surprisingly cooperative as I ran stroke clinics and made them swim laps and tread water and things like that. We also worked on our stride entry, a method of entering the pool from the side while keeping your head above water so you can keep your eyes on the victim.

"Wait...there's a victim?!" Rachel gasped.

"Yeah, like....a drowning victim."

"Well, that really raises the stakes!"

I suppose it does. 

We practiced entering the water with a stride entry and a pool noodle (which isn't really a life-saving device, but we didn't want to get out the pool's rescue rings since they're only for true emergencies) to rescue each other while we took turns pretending to drown. We practiced our surface dives. 

We practiced a lot of things. And then Phoebe woke up from her poolside nap and began commanding my attention.

Happy 7th birthday to Zoë

 It's true! It's true! We have a seven-year-old on our hands and she's wonderful!

Here's Zoë standing in front of our new birthday tree(s):

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Zoë's non-party

"I found my invitation to Zoë's birthday party," our little neighbour told me when I stepped out on to the porch to look a worm Alexander had found. It had been uprooted and drawn to the surface by the drizzly—at times downright downpour-ish—weather.

It was a quizzical-looking thing, with a distinctive hammerhead. Knowing it's invasive, I went back inside to get some salt. While I was gone, Alexander and the neighbour chopped the worm in half, which is cool because they reproduce via asexual fragmentation so now we essentially had two hammerhead worms on our hands. No matter. I scooped it into a plastic baggie and added some salt. Poor dear(s). 

"I found my invitation to Zoë's birthday party," our little neighbour repeated, waving a rather soggy, rather empty piece of paper in my face. 

"You must be mistaken," I told her. "I haven't planned a party for Zoë this year."

We'd considered baking cupcakes and setting up a table in the cul-de-sac for neighbours to stop by and grab and somehow convince Zoë that that is a party. But...it was raining...so we didn't. 

"Don't you love her?"

"Oh, I love her immensely. I just didn't plan a birthday party for her."

Our neighbour, an only child, considered the mathematics of this.

"But I have this invitation..." she insisted.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Stoney-Baynard Plantation Ruins (May 12)

This was an interesting, but very quick, stop that we probably won't be repeating. We found it touted as the "creepiest hike in your state," so naturally Rachel wanted to visit it. Supposedly the ruins are haunted by Baynard (who won the estate in a poker game), himself. But we didn't see any ghosts and the hike was more like a walk (and not even a long walk, at that). It was interesting to see the tabby block ruins and read about the history of the place, but we really only spent a few minutes there (which was especially disappointing because although the site itself is on the list of national historic sites, it's only accessible by a private road and there's a $9 toll per vehicle, which we did not know about beforehand—and it had to be paid in cash). 

So, anyway, it was neat...but not $18 (tolls for two cars) neat.

Here's everyone reading a plaque in front of the big house:



Sunset on the beach (May 11)

I literally don't understand the order these pictures uploaded in. They are all completely out of order. Suffice it to say, we headed down to the beach for a sunset stroll on May 11, knowing it would really be our last chance to do so (we had storms in the forecast for May 12, our last "play day").

I'm going to try to put things in order the best I can.

Here's Zoë and Andrew strolling down the boardwalk together:

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Beach Day 2 (May 11)

Our second sunny day at the beach was much the same as the first, except that we made better use of the shuttle and Andrew only had one meeting in the morning so he was able to join us a lot sooner.

This day really turned into our sand castle day. I think we were all still a little worn out (and sunburned) from playing so hard the day before, though we did eventually get in and do a lot of swimming and boogie boarding. Even Grandpa tried his hand at boogie boarding!

Here's Zoë dancing on the sand:

 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Unraveling

Phoebe and Zoë are working on sharing a room. Sometimes it goes wonderfully and other times it can be a little rough. 

Yesterday was a little rough.

Phoebe woke up around 4:00 in the morning (by my guess) and because Zoë left her fairy lights on when she went to sleep, the room was fairly light. So instead of immediately calling out for me, Phoebe seems to have done a little bit of playing first. 

That's normal for babies to do in the middle of the night and really would be fine, except that by the time I heard Phoebe it was around 4:30 and she was wide awake. And Zoë's music was on—"Rewrite the Stars" on repeat forever. Her volume was rather low, though, and she appeared to be sound asleep. 

I crawled into Phoebe's bed to feed her (she's on the bottom bunk—which is just about floor-level—rather than a crib) and she just...was wide awake. I mean, she was happy to nurse, but she was obviously very ready to start the day.

I also kept hearing the distinct sound of pages turning. 

So I climbed out of Phoebe's bed to peek at Zoë, who appeared to be fast asleep again, but was now suspiciously holding a book.

I climbed back into bed with Phoebe to finish giving her what was apparently going to be her breakfast. And then we got up. 

I grabbed her, I grabbed my book, and we headed downstairs to hang out quietly while the rest of the house slept. She played. I read. And then...Zoë walked downstairs to join us. 

Zoë played with Phoebe and I read until around 6:30 when Phoebe began to act like she was ready to go back to bed or take a nap or whatever. I wasn't sure what to call it, but I was happy she wanted more sleep because I did as well. 

"It looks like Phoebe's ready to go back to bed," I said. "So I'm going to go lie down with her. What are you going to do?"

"Oh, I'll figure it out!" Zoë sang out. 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Beach Day 1 (May 10)

We had some balmy weather on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 10 and 11), so we spent those two days at the beach. Unfortunately, those were also Andrew's busiest "work" days, so I was glad to have Grandpa around to help me get the kids down to the beach. One of Andrew's students needed to defend their dissertation one of the days (somewhat important, I suppose) and then he had a couple other meetings that he couldn't miss. Not much of a "vacation" for him, I suppose.

Grandpa, on the other hand, forgot his "electronics bag" at home, so his laptop was left sitting all alone in his living room the whole week...along with all of Grandpa's toiletries. 

Good thing they have stores in Hilton Head!

Anyway, on our way down to the beach we stumbled across an alligator sunning itself (as I mentioned in an earlier post). Here are a few more pictures of that little surprise:


Thursday, May 19, 2022

Savannah (May 9)

Our last stop of the day was a quick progressive dinner in downtown Savannah. Honestly, Savannah is one of those places you could wander around in all day and not get bored. The architecture is charming; it's dotted with public squares and there's the riverwalk and all sorts of interesting things to see. But, we charged through following Andrew. 

I said something about how "my dogs are woofing" because we ended up walking about 10 miles on that Monday and I carried Phoebe for most of it, either in the sling or the backpack, as shown here, with my hair pulled up under Andrew's baseball hat to keep Phoebe from yanking on it (she would not ride in the backpack while he was wearing it, but was happy to do so while I was wearing it).

Andrew and Rachel both looked at me like I was crazy. We don't have any dogs. And there was no woofing.

"This is an idiom," I said.

They'd never heard of it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Oatland Island

Our next stop was Oatland Island Wildlife Center, which is run by the Savannah-Chattham county school district (something I thought was pretty cool). We had wanted to go last year because our neighbours highly recommended it, but I think it was closed due to COVID. 

Here's our group standing in front of the visitor's center, which was once the retirement home (?) for the Order of Railway Conductors. There wasn't much for us to do in the visitor's center, but I imagine there are classrooms and things for school groups to use. There were certainly other areas of the center that appeared to be geared toward school groups (such as the sugar cane processing area).