two first days of school.

when we got back to the beach, we had one day to relax and then anna was off to school. preschool, that is. she’s going to calvary and has mrs. lyon, the same teacher isaac had.

she was sooooo excited.

she picked out a rainbow dash t-shirt and a rainbow ruffle skirt for her first big day.

walking in. with her sweet backpack. (it was actually a super short “get acclimated” kind of day. but it was still the first, nonetheless.)

then, a week later, it was isaac’s turn.
(last monday).

we tested out some different first day outfit options and he decided on this green button down shirt and a bow tie. i, of course, obliged. i had to make a bow tie to match, or else he’d have to wear the same one from last year, and we couldn’t have that.

he was slightly less excited than anna, but more excited than i had anticipated.

it was also cowboy day in anna’s class, so i obviously took a million pics of her too.


the first day of second grade boy and the cowgirl.


one more of the big kid. he looks so old.

ok. so. as promised.
why we are sending isaac back to public school…

well. it has been rough around here lately. isaac has so much energy. and NEEDS to be around other kids. and hazel doesn’t sleep. seriously. ever. she’s currently on a strict regimen of three naps a day, lasting about thirty or forty minutes. and i was really struggling with everything revolving around isaac for another year. i think home schooling was great for him. but, not for our entire family right now. he takes up about 90% of my energy and attention. i wanted to be able to help out in anna’s class. and have some time with hazel. and get my life back together.

i had to take him in to be screened to re-enroll after having been homeschooled. ha. policy. it gave me a chance to chat with the school about his placement. so, this year, he is in a smaller class, with an amazing teacher, with both first and second graders. it was explained to me to be an unofficial AG class and that they selected kids who can work independently and do not have behavior issues. so far, he really likes it. i’m hopeful that this will be the best possible scenario for him, that isn’t homeschooling.

hazel and i have had a handful of nice quiet mornings so far and anna has been enjoying the slower pace around here. the pickup line is a little frustrating, but i’ll still take that to homeschooling for now.

so, that’s where we are at. i hope to homeschool again. just. not right now.

that’s all.

(oh my. i’m almost ALL caught up!).

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august miscellaneousness.

june and july rolled by fast.
and then. it was august.
and there were beach preparations.
and school preparations.
and, well, without further ado, here’s 25 pictures from auguest.

anna picked out this fantastic light up backpack for school.

park playdate. before the friends arrived. a moment of getting along.

this girl can stand. from a squat. unassisted. punk.

but she’s a terribly messy eater.

but then again, perhaps oreo cookies aren’t the easiest option for a baby.

this kid is a goofball.

as is this one.

another oreo cookie attempt. same results.

sigh. open house. (details about decision to send back in later post).

anna art: “dad holding a banana”.

hazel’s cute face. snuggler.

we got the chickens out for a bit one night.

chickensarahpowers was cautious.

but interested. hazel cried.

ike and anna and judykessinger and chickensarahpowers.

anna frolicked about with supergirl.

while cleaning, we came upon a few leftover mustache stickers that my sister got isaac for christmas. so, we tried them on. i think anna didn’t want to smile because the sticker was stiff and felt weird.

day-before-school pizza lunch.

day-before-school haircut with fantastically glam stylist from great clips. (who almost let isaac talk her into leaving him with bangs on his super short haircut). photo credit: anna.

on the first weekend of school, anna got to take home “teddy”. yay. #sarcasm. in preschool, on the weekends, she sends home the class teddy bear and you are supposed to do stuff with him and then fill out a worksheet about all the things you did with him. and draw (or take and print) a pic of your preschooler with teddy. and remember where all of teddy’s belongings are. etc. we made cookies with teddy.
(note: when isaac had to take home teddy, i couldn’t convince him to do anything with the stuffed bear. he did not care one bit about it. anna, however, played pretend with teddy. took him everywhere. changed his clothes endlessly. slept with him. and drew an awesome picture of teddy and her making cookies.)

the fruits of our labors. the buttery, sugary, chocolate-y fruits of our labors.

so, we had a chicken incident. they got locked out by the kids one night and we came out to find them sleeping on the stairs. when we attempted to move them, we found that one had laid an egg. which is odd, bc they usually lay them in the mid morning to early afternoon. i’ll spare the biology lesson. when we went to pick it up, we realized it didn’t have a shell. at least not a full formed one. it was squishy and papery. in the morning, we “cracked” (peeled?) it open to show the kids.

hazel, happily sporting her run dmc tee.

anna the artist. specializes in rainbows.

anna had school pictures in her second week of school. i asked her to show me how she smiled and this is what i got. so, should make for some wonderful pics.

and that mostly brings me up to date.
well. except for this weekend. and the first day of school post.
blogging is sooo hard.

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family beach trip. the grand finale.

the last day!

back out to the beach. to soak up as much sun, salt water and sand as possible.

isaac quickly found a group of boys to hang with. and they were JERKS.
at one point, he came back and asked if he could take off his life vest to show them that he could swim without it (he can’t). i made him keep it on because i’m super mean and he headed back out with them. then, i noticed they moved way way down the beach. (side note: they were 9, 9 and 11. ike is 7.) so, he was playing with them still and then he came running towards us and said, “dad, is mom calling me?” derek told him that i wasn’t and he said “because my new friends said they thought they heard my mom calling me.” i wanted to go over and throat punch every last one of the little jerks. now, i know first hand, that isaac can be annoying. but, it still made me sad. there were a couple of other kids closer by and we explained that those kids weren’t being nice and he should try to meet the other kids. he did and they played the rest of the time. and i spent the rest of the morning thinking about going out to the other kids and dunking them.

anyhow. back to beach fun.

it was friday. and there were zillions of beach folks.

anna was hard at work for her last day.

and hazel was everywhere. i tried to keep her under umbrella as much as possible because it was scorching hot and we didn’t have the rash guard (or more accurately, the matching bottoms to the rash guard and i’m so vain). and it’s so hard to re-apply sunblock to a wet, sandy, slippery little baby. and yes. she ate some sea shells.


another beach nap for hazel. i need a beach at my house.

everyday, for the entire week, this guy was out building some seriously intricate castles. he wasn’t very friendly though. so we steered clear. they took ALL DAY. we could look out in the evening and see him still hard at work. i think derek took a pic of a finished one. i’ll try to post when i get to one of those massive update posts that covers two weeks of the lives of us five.

our castle looked ridiculous in comparison.

the boy. i have so few pics of him, because a) he’s less agreeable to the paparazzi and b) he spent most of his time way out in the ocean. and i don’t want my iphone to be at the bottom of the sea.

hazel. and our castle. :)

we had debated all week about whether or not to go to an all you can eat seafood buffet. they are super expensive. and the kids don’t eat much. and the kids also do not usually cooperate in restaurants. but, we had a coupon. and we ate a late breakfast, so on the last day, we made the call to go to an early dinner at this place. so much crab legs.

when we came back, i kept hazel in the room and packed and packed. and derek took the big kids out for a bit more beach. and took this pic for me. :).

we packed the car. went to bed. and that was that.
(and by that was that, i mean, we drove the long stupid long drive home all day the next day).

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fam beach trip. beach and carnival.

thursday and friday of our beach trip were beeee-autiful.
so off to the beach we went.

we lost hazel’s swim suit bottoms in laundry. derek suggested she just wear the rash guard with a swim diaper. i reminded him that she needed to look top notch for instagrams and blogs… so, we dusted off anna’s old suit and hazel rocked it. while eating sand.

ocean gazer. (and still a sand eater).

on the go. she has this one legged crawl that she has become quite efficient at. so, her sand trails were awesome. her right foot and hands making all the prints and her left leg leaving a long drag mark. she would take off on long adventures, entertaining all of the folks around us.

derek dug a hole for anna to hang out in.

water collector.

hazel took a short nap at the beach. a pleasant surprise.

while she napped, i sipped a fruity drink that derek delivered.

after our good long morning at the beach, we decided to try the little carnival type place at north myrtle. it was packed out because of some live music and people in golf carts, but we had fun. well. maybe not hazel. who was just along for the ride. and lost her paci about 13 minutes in.

isaac rode the scrambler. by himself. crazy. he tried to act bored and disinterested, but he couldn’t contain it for long and began smiling and giggling.

and of course, i can’t help but take pics of the ferris wheel. which neither kid wanted to ride. :(

after a few rides, we decided to divide and conquer. because isaac refused to ride kiddie rides and anna was getting super bored watching him on big kid rides. i took anna. :). we tested out each kiddie ride.

(they are all just a different thing to ride on while it slowly revolves approximately 300 times.)

derek took isaac to the bigger rides. like bumper cars.

anna did go for the smaller, enclosed in a cage version of the ferris wheel.

ike and the dragon (or alligator?) rollercoaster.

isaac and anna both on the dragongator rollercoaster.

night shot of the ferris wheel. i can’t help myself.

anna had a rough time towards the end. she wanted to do one of the little (rickety) fun houses. isaac took off ahead and she tried to take off just as fast. and then this happened…

but she hopped up and dusted herself off and gave it another go (with the help of the ride attendant). there was also some mayhem at the giant slide. isaac didn’t want to go. but she grabbed a burlap sack and trudged up to the top (even though she might have been just a little shy of the height requirement… the ride attendant really didn’t seem to care about rules schmools).
on the way down, she somehow managed to flip over onto her stomach. she then stopped herself. and everyone started heading toward her to help, but she resituated and resumed her ride. at the bottom, we pointed her to the gate and while we waited, we started talking to isaac and consoling a bored and cranky hazel. after a minute or two, i turned around and anna was standing in the same spot, crying. she didn’t see the gate and was freaking out because she couldn’t get back to us. :(. and it was so loud, that we didn’t hear her. special thanks to all the parents of other kids who just stood there and did nothing. jerks. we got her out. dusted her off. and she went again. crazy kid.

anyhoooo. at this point, we’d all pretty much had it and we went home. only one more day!!

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family beach trip. no sand day.

i’m never going to finish all of these posts.

this is wednesday of our trip, i think.
we opted to not go to the beach. cleaning sand off three little people gets tiring. and we needed a break.

so, off to the pool.

then back to the room for freezie pops.


then, we thought mini golf would be a good idea. this year, we opted for the pirate themed course.

isaac teeing off.

anna taking lessons.

hazel and i just looked on.

short game.

backhand shot. oh wait. it’s golf. not hockey.

ok. so it was 900 degrees out. so, we faded fast. and hazel was grumpy.

after mini golf, we decided to try hamburger joe’s for an early dinner. we had gone last year, only to discover that it was quite a hot spot, and there was nowhere to park for miles. this year, we parked directly in front. next to the door. rockstar.

the kids wanted to sit at the counter. it was a super fun place.

and i obviously got a burger. and it was delicious. and we will for sure go back.

anyhoooo… back to the room. where anna drew a “robot bird with rainbow wings”. and i love it.

and then wednesday was done.

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family beach trip. pirates voyage day.

(i’m in a race to get the beach trip all blogged before the first day of school…)

i don’t even know what day i’m on. tuesday, i think. because that’s the day we went to pirates voyage.

but, we started out the day at the beach. obviously.
obligatory baby eating sand photo.

anna digging photo.

isaac made a friend. and even though he was a bit older, he didn’t seem to mind hanging with ike.

he was so excited. we ran into the same kiddo at the pool a few times and they played there too. (we had a less delightful beach friend experience later in the week).

hazel and a giant bucket of water. and the world’s best cheesy smile.

the title of this pic on instagram was “anna builds castles and hazel eats them.” and that’s pretty much what went down.

derek dug hazel her own little pool.

but she wasn’t interested and headed off to explore.

we had a short morning at the beach, so we could rest up for our big evening at pirates voyage!! it was just me and the two older kids. we figured there was no sense paying for another adult ticket just so someone could hold hazel.

i tried to get a good pic of us. selfie style.

and then i attempted to capture just the two knuckleheads. to no avail. they were goofy. and uncooperative. and the light was bad.

the show. if you look carefully, you’ll see a sea lion balancing on one fin. crazy.

i didn’t get many good pics inside. the light was bad. i was overwhelmed with helping the kids with their food. watching. wiping hands and faces. consoling scared kids. etc. and so on.

but we did score some pirate swords, and almost managed a decent pic outside.

it was pretty fun. it would have been nice to have had derek there. i think hazel could have managed. maybe next year…

the end.

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family beach trip. bear building day.

monday was a little drizzly and overcast, so we headed out to broadway at the beach for a little shopping and dining and walking around. and whining. :)

here’s the walking. some rock candy soothed the whining.

we were hoping to do magicquest with isaac and build-a-bear with anna. but, once were in build-a-bear, isaac was certain he needed a bear. so, an expensive stuffed animal for each kid…

anna chose to make a my little pony. shocker.

overseeing the stuffing process.

isaac chose a captain america bear. he was a bit more particular about the stuffing content.

not interested in building of bears.

they had to do some sort of stitching up and putting in the heart ritual. weird.

then, some baths.

then, the picking out of clothes. painful. in the end, the pony only could really wear pony accessories, so anna was happy to just pick out applejack’s saddle and a hat. isaac chose a captain america suit. and armor. obviously. not much imagination for my kiddos.

then, we headed out.
and in the car, this kid was this cute:

when we got home, we hit the pool for a bit.

and then anna and i went out to the beach.

she just lounged in her tube.


and then. we were done.
and it was bedtime.
and this happened.


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family beach trip. sunday funday.

our first full day at the beach was also derek’s birthday. and hazel’s eight month birthday. are the months called birthdays? anyhoooo…

here’s the big eight month old at the beach…
(here’s what’s happening in her world these days: she’s pulling up. cruising. standing on her own for a bit. pushing around a walker toy. she’s snuggly and funny. her favorite sound to make is a zombie growlie sound. still a terrible horrible no good very bad sleeper. she’s up a few times in the night. and takes 30 minute naps. the key to my sanity is acceptance. and coffee. she loves isaac. and the jumperoo. and the beach.)

ok. back to the beach.

last year, isaac and anna LOVED digging and sand and sand castles and such. this year, there wasn’t much of it.


they loved playing with the inner tubes. we only brought them out the first day, mostly because it was pretty windy, but maybe partially because we already have so much to carry.




this kid.

for dinner, derek picked up about 400 chicken wings in various flavors from buffalo wild wings. for his birthday. and then the first whole day was in the books.

the end.

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end of summer beach trip, day one.

we are now almost fully recovered, so i can begin posting about out it…
our end of summer family trip to north myrtle beach.
usually, we go right after school is out. in june. but, last year, when we were selecting dates, and i was miserably pregnant and heartburny, we thought that postponing as long as possible would be better. then, the sweet bundle of joy we would have would be much more content and durable. :) and, mobile. grrrr.

so, last saturday, we loaded up the minivan and headed out.

hazel is a gangsta. (she slept much of the way, thankfully.)

and the older two even got along famously. (for the only time in the trip).

and it rained and poured most of the way. i think that’s why hazel slept well.

we were SOOOO close, when we opted to forego the traditional route jammed with beach traffic and take some side roads. and then. this spinning bridge happened. and it took

anyhoooooo… we finally arrived. and settled in. on the fourth floor. which stressed me out at first, but it was an end unit. and “deluxe”. so it was a million times nicer than the ones we’ve stayed in before. and it was next to the elevator and the trash and recycling, adding a bit of convenience for us. and the view was nice. here, it’s overcast, but this is it…

once we were settled, we suited up and hit the beach.

it was a little chilly, but that doesn’t matter when you’re seven and four.

or one day shy of eight months old.

then, we rested up for our seven days of beach relaxation. (bwahahahahahaha. yeah right.)

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raise your hand if you think kristin boone is fantastic

kristin boone took pictures of hazel.
they’re awesome.






and one of anna. :)

if you click on any of them, you will go to my flickr account and you can see them all.

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