Charlie, Evie and Ford

Charlie, Evie and Ford

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Clint had a much-anticipated week off and we headed to Navarre, Florida to spend the week with Meg, Graeme and Walter at Graeme's family's condo there.  It was an amazing week that we will remember forever.  To start, the condo is incredible.  It is a beautiful, four-bedroom place with floor to ceiling windows all around the living room.  Not only that, Graeme's mom has it stocked with cribs, a high chair, toys, books, beach toys and everything else you could want for a week at the beach with kids.  Second, we had built-in entertainment in the form of Meg, Graeme, and Walter.  My kids have always loved these three people, but we really bonded on this trip.  Charlie and Meg ran around everywhere together, and my typically shy Evie completely fell in love with Graeme.  Every time she saw him come in to a room, she would run toward him screaming. :)  Both kids adore Walter, which is a good thing with Charlie and a bad thing with Evie.  Charlie expresses his love by patting Walter on the back, bringing him toys, and talking to him while he did tummy time (one day, I saw C laying next to W on the floor patting his back and saying "I love you, Walter!").  Evie expresses her love by climbing on top of him in his walker and continually pointing out (i.e., poking) his eyes.  Poor guy was nearly blinded a couple of times, but was such a good sport about it!  

I am already missing the beach way of life.  We went to the beach and the pool twice a day, and the adults ate, read and played games while the kids napped during the day and slept at night.  We also managed to fit in a little running and tennis.  A perfect combination! :) 

Here are Charlie and Evie eagerly awaiting our flight.  Unfortunately for our fellow passengers, Evie's eagerness to get on the plane did not translate to great behavior once she was there. :(  I think she needs a bit of work before her next flight!

Here is the view from the condo.  The beach was so beautiful!  Once Charlie saw it, he was desperate to get down there.
These two were SO excited about the sand, water, and shells.  Evie was a little unsure about the sand at first, but she quickly got used to it and loved playing in the sand.  Charlie was never unsure--just obsessed the whole time!

Meg and Charlie loved playing in the waves.  That fun was hampered a bit on the first day when Meg tripped and fell right on top of Charlie, burying his face in the water for a few seconds.  He recovered quickly, but the experience was seared in his memory.  Later, when I wanted to take him in the water, he needed a bit of assurance, asking me, "Just Meggies fall in the water, right?  Not Mommies and Daddies?"  Another time, when Clint was walking out in the water, I heard Charlie frantically screaming, "Daddy, come back!" I asked him what was wrong and he said, "Daddy's going to fall down like Meggie!"  Every night since we have been back, he has prayed for God to help Meggie not fall down. :)  Despite all the talk, however, he thoroughly enjoyed the ocean (especially "surfing" on a raft just past the waves).

The little builders had lots of help.
We inherited this giant hole from some other beach visitors.  Charlie and Evie thought we had hit the jackpot!

I had to work to get Evie down to the water, but by the end of the trip, she was starting to enjoy it. :)

Walter was the sweetest little beach visitor.  I really cannot believe his good temperament; he was happy just relaxing down on the beach while everyone played.  He is the perfect baby!
These two weren't quite as interested in relaxing...

Sweet Meggie found this wading pool for the kids to play in.  Evie liked this wave-free, very safe water option. :)  Filling it up was just as fun as swimming in it!

Charlie's favorite activity was "falling off the cliffs."
Graeme came up with the idea of making "sand stairs" on the cliffs.  Charlie was in heaven.
I love this picture--sweet Evie always wants to do JUST what Charlie is doing, even if she's not quite sure what the end game is. :)

Clint, looking a bit stern. :)
It was so chilly there on our first day.  It didn't seem to bother the kids a bit, but they were both so happy when I wrapped them up in their towels at the end of the day!

Evie liked the beach, but she LOVED the pool.
Every time we would walk toward the pool, she would start shouting "yay! yay! yay!"  And although I wasn't sure whether it was smart to have an 18-month-old in the hot tub, Evie didn't give us much of a choice--we couldn't keep her out of it!  Here she is leading the way up to the boardwalk to the pool.
Another pool shark, all ready for his swim. :)  How could you resist this guy??
Relaxing and watching the action.
Graeme worked a bit toward the beginning of the week, and didn't spend as much time in the water on the first day as the rest of us.  After Charlie suggested that Graeme's favorite thing on Day 1 was "sitting" (compared to "jumping in the sand" for Charlie), Graeme decided to turn it up a notch.  On Day 2, he went wild in the pool, and Charlie was thrilled with his new playmate.  Here is Charlie excitedly watching Graeme, who was running, trying to land on top of a raft in the pool, and making a very large splash in the process. :)
After Foggy's stellar performance in the pool on Day 2, Charlie was determined to get him in the water again.  When he came down to the pool the next afternoon holding Walter, Charlie quickly began begging him to hand Walter over to someone else and come swim.  When asking nicely didn't work, Charlie began speaking very sternly to him.  He quickly saw that was a nonstarter so he changed tactics again, telling Graeme, "I think Walter wants Meggie to hold him."  Graeme said he was good, so Charlie tried a new method.  He jumped into the hot tub and asked Meggie whether she wanted to hold Walter.  She gave a fairly noncommittal "sure," and Charlie figured that was good enough.  He went back to Graeme and said, "Meggie really wants to hold Walter."  Sweet Graeme finally figured Charlie had done enough negotiating and jumped in. :)

Clint and Evie.
Charlie especially loves jumping to people, and did it over and over.  He was so funny because every time, right before he jumped, he would ask whoever was about to catch him, "Are you very close?"  And no matter where you were standing, if you said "yes," he would happily jump.  You could stand 6 feet from the side and tell him you were "very close" and he would jump to you all day.  He's so trusting!  
Here is Clint and a very relaxed Charlie:  
Evie and Aunt Meggie.
We loved the hot tub!  The small size gave Charlie and Evie so much confidence, and they were swimming all over the place.  Charlie jumped in and swam back and forth the hot tub the entire time, and Evie did quite a bit of swimming herself.  She was pretty fearless--she would dive right under water, "swim" to one of us, and pop up smiling!

Pool side tummy time is the very best kind. :)
We had so much fun playing around the condo as well.  Walter just cracks me up in his walker--it turns him into such an independent little guy.  Here he is chatting with Charlie...
...and playing with Evie.  These two have a strange magnetic attraction to each other, which usually ended in Evie desperately trying to point out Walter's eyes.  Walter was lucky to end the trip with both of them intact!
Walter went for a few wild rides. :)
For some reason, Walter loved getting the kids' feet.  Here is Charlie, generously offering his up to W to play with. :)
SOO happy with his big find! :)
Evie wasn't quite so generous with her feet.  But I think she did share a few blueberries!
The big balcony was another favorite place to hang out, especially in the cool, beautiful evenings.  We loved to check out the weather, the beach flags, and look for porpoises and sharks (we saw a big bunch of the former and luckily, none of the latter).

Evie, doing a little light reading (and not minding that the book is upside-down).
Charlie loved to look down at the beach and talk about all the people down there--what their names were (which he accepted without question when we made them up), what they were doing, what they were saying, etc.  He spotted some rough-looking men standing in the surf one night and he wanted Meg to tell him all about what those "big boys" were doing, and why their mommies were letting them stay on the beach at bedtime.  I suspect that their their mommies weren't anywhere in the vicinity! :)

Evie loves Uncle Foggy!
We fed Walter some applesauce and bananas on the trip, and his reactions were pretty hilarious.  Somehow, he choked some down, but he did not look like he enjoyed himself. :)
More playtime...and an awesome example of the fabulous beach hair we were all sporting.

Charlie was lucky enough to get to watch a "kid show" while the grown-ups ate dinner one night.  He was so pleased with this arrangement.  Here are Foggy, Charlie, and Walter getting the movie started (W is desperately hoping that no one notices him).  Don't you love Foggy and Charlie's genuine smiles?
Nighty-night, boys!
Every time the kids slept, the grown-ups played games.  We played Blockus, Scrabble, Trivial, and Settlers of Catan.  I think I'm the only one who never won a game, but I had so much fun.  I'm so glad Meg and Graeme got us back in the habit of playing games again!
When we returned to Dallas, we were talking about the trip and I asked Charlie what he missed most about the beach.  He responded, "that big shovel that Graeme gave me!"  Another time, when we were talking about Walter, I said, "I love that Walter."  Charlie quickly responded, "I love that condo."  I'm not sure these are the deepest thoughts ever, but you've got to love his honesty!

Charlie has also done a lot of talking about the shells we found, as seen below.  You have never seen anyone so proud to show these off to his class--I am so thankful for his sweet teachers and classmates, who were as excited as he was about his shells. :)

Thank you Reins for such an incredible, fun trip.  We will remember it forever!

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