Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Right now, I hear nothing but the click of the keyboard as I type. It is the strangest thing for me to be home ALONE, typing away with absolutely no background noise. While I'm sure there have been a handful of other times since Sophie was born that I've been in my house alone, there truly are not enough to recall in the past 4+ years. Usually, I'm the one heading out to get some alone time whether the kids are home with Eric, or whether I've been forunate enough to have a babysitter give me a few hours reprieve.

Today was Jack's first day of summer camp at the preschool he will attend in the fall. We decided to send him for a few weeks this summer in order to gradullay acclimate him to his new routine. Sophie started the camp a few weeks ago and I strategically held Jack back until now so he would get used to seeing her go. While I have not had any reservations about his readiness, there WAS a big knot in my stomach as I approached the carpool lane this morning. We've been talking this up for awhile, and Jack seemed to be completely exctited for this new adventure. But you just never know what's really going to happen when it's time for action. Thankfully, he was completely fine, which will shock any babysitter we've ever had since he usually throws his entire body against the door leading out to the garage when we leave. I think he found comfort in knowing his big sister and several of our neighborhood friend would also be there with him.

It's strange for me to think that this is the first of many days that I will have some time to do all of those things that I've been putting off for so long due to the busyness of life with 2 small children. It's only a few days a week, and only a few hours, but this is still way more time than I've ever had.

What, you may ask, do I plan to do with this time? Sadly, I am looking forward to cleaning out closets, organizing my photos that have been piling up for over a year, finally ironing the clothes that once filled a small laundry basket and now fill a whole closet! I'm sure I'll think of more exciting things to do with these snipits of time, but for now I'm totally content to just catch up with life a little.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Minor Victory

Today marked the beginning of a new era (well, hopefully) in the life of my non-vegetable eating little boy, Jack Balzuweit. Most of you will think this is completely silly and possibly not worthy of the blog, but seeing as how I am a dietitian and take pride in exposing my kids to a healthy diet, I can't help but get little excited over the fact that Jack FINALLY ate a cucumber slice. More than one, actually. While he has willingly tried and repeatedly rejected one vegetable after another (including cucumbers), I have continued to put them on his plate at every meal. He has been known to feign interest in vegetable crudites in order to use them as a vessel to deliver whatever "dip" is being offered. Despite his picky eating habits, he loves hummus and guacamole. We offer this regularly at our house, and while Jack favors chips for his dipping, I finally smartened up and have only given him the vegetables lately. Not only did he chew and swallow that cucumber...he even declared it as "Mmmmmm, Yummy"! While cucumbers are certainly not a dream vegetable in the eyes of a dietitian, it's a start and I am hopeful.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Good Start to Summer

We kicked off the summer with a quick jaunt to Hilton Head Island this past weekend. We were only there for 3 nights, which was quite a tease, but after several weeks of rain showers and cloudy days in Atlanta, even just a couple of sunny beach days was enough to renew our spirits and whet the appetite for the months of summer fun ahead.

We arrived Thursday evening and quickly settled into our condo just in time for Sophie and Jack to burn some energy from the drive before hitting the sack. They got to enjoy their very first sleepover, which required multiple trips into the room to remind them not to talk to each other. Sophie was sweetly playing into all of Jack's manipulative requests for water, more lullabyes and who knows what else. She really was trying to help but finally realized that it was futile and that Daddy was all business about getting them both to fall asleep.

Story Time

The following morning we hit the beach. They have both had several opportunities to enjoy the beach on a variety of trips we've taken, but this was the first time they were compatible enough to play together. It was also the first time that Eric and I could actually sit down for a few minutes and enjoy ourselves without constantly chasing them down or worrying about some of the things that go along with having toddlers on the beach. It gave us hope that it will only get easier (until the teenage years of course).

Jack was quite enthusisatic in the ocean, which was a change from the last time we were at the beach in September. After he got his feet wet and studied the pattern of the waves breaking, he sat right down and let the water rush over him. Stubborn as he sometimes is, he refused to let us hold his hand, so all I could do was just spot him from behind. We had to let him take a couple of hits from the waves to help him understand the respect the ocean commands. After the water washed over his head the first time, he was slightly stunned, but not upset. He just stood up and said "All Clean".

The real reason for our trip was to check out Eric's Mom's new home, located about 30 minutes off the island in Bluffton, South Carolina. She will be retiring there in the early fall after working for Airbus for more than 25 years. Lucky for us, she chose a beautiful place in a brand new development that has many amenities catering to young families.

After seeing Barbara's beautiful home-to-be, we headed to the pool area, the highlight of which was a lazy river which brought you under a spectacular waterfall that the kids loved. Sophie was able to independently "swim" through the river with her water wings, and as much as Jack loved it, he clung pretty tightly to one of us as we went along, opening his mouth each time we went under the waterfall. We enjoyed lunch by the pool and had a great time. We went to the beack again later that afternoon, which wasn't quite as relaxing as the first time since it was low tide with more room for Jack to run away. He kept saying "I'll be right back". I wanted to believe him of course, but you just never know, so it was an active afternoon for both of us.

Another highlight of our weekend was visiting with our friends The Kuenkels. Christa and Rainer used to live near us in Virginia, and they have a beautiful home in Hilton Head where they have moved for retirement. We spent some time at there place on Friday afternoon, and the kids were delighted to be able to feed turtles from the dock of the back yard. I've never seen so many turtles in one place. This picture is a little murky, but if you look closely, you can see a bunch.

It was great to see The Kuenkels and we look forward to more time with them since we will be visiting more often in the future. And thanks again for a delicious meal!!

If only every weekend could be like this! Our only complaint was that it was too short.