Sunrise, sunset, sunrise…
Liam shows Paige the finer points of sand shoveling:
Baby Girl’s got style!
Three cheers for BOGO Walgreens shades!
It’s just almost more than I can stand!
This is not a fluke. Baby Girl loves anything that rolls. She’s trying desperately to learn how to kick before she learns how to walk. She just added to her vocabulary with (you guessed it) the word ‘ball.’ Matt’s trying to decide if she should be a top professional soccer player or President of the World. I can’t make this stuff up.
You don’t think she’s Matt’s daughter, do you?
Contemplating her navel (and where it might possibly have gone):
Happy girl, happy yogurt container:
Happy yogurt container = impromptu beach golf tee
I still can’t believe she kept those glasses on the *entire* time we were at the beach that morning.
Contemplating her next move:
One of the few shots from the entire vacation of these three in the same frame:
Anybody have a quarter?
Liam gets a little help with castle-building from Granddaddy. Paige contemplates the most efficient way to destroy a sandcastle.
Sharing shells with Mo:
Matt: How big a moat do you want me to dig?
Liam: This big!
Paige and two of her admirers:
Tall and small:
These are the best examples I have to show the enormous clumps of sand around her mouth. Clumps that pale by comparison to the ones that actually made it *into* her mouth. Really.
Filling the moat:
Physically restraining Paige in the name of moat preservation:
Building a castle that’s just right for smashing:
Taking a dip:
Riding the waves with Daddy:
Another attempt at a few pictures of the three of them…Liam’s face tells the story:
Paige’s body continues the story:
Paige fleshes out the story (and by flesh I mean flesh wound — on her brother’s face.).
Even more to come!
On our next late afternoon trip to the beach Matt brought the kite and attempted to fly it with Liam. The wind wasn’t completely cooperative and the string ended up in a tangled heap, but the journey is what matters and it was a fun trip getting to that point.
Matt did manage to get it off the ground:
Liam races over to have his turn as soon as he realizes that there has been successful liftoff:
Before we released Paige I took advantage of the situation and got a quick shot of the two of us:
Father and son:
Liam takes his turn at the controls:
Paige entertains herself (and Gran) with the beach chairs:
Little boy, big shades:
Making the necessary “cool guy” adjustments:
Paige admires his work:
Off she goes (again)!
Notice how we keep getting closer and closer and closer to the water? We learned our lesson from the previous visit and everyone was dressed for both sand *and* water this time. Very wise decision.
“Check it out, Mama!”
Love. Love. Love.
This was the portion of the afternoon where Gran worked furiously to keep Paige from drowning while I was busy taking pictures…
Gran got quite a workout:
See that look on Paige’s face? Unadulterated exultation, fists clenched, ready to wind up and go again? Yeah. That wasn’t a fluke.
After she took a taste of sand salad with saltwater dressing…
Almost two weeks later and my body and my house have still not recovered from this trip, but looking at these pictures makes me want to do it all again tomorrow!
Late afternoon at the beach is wonderful. It’s cooler, the UV index is generally low enough to skip the sunscreen, the hoards of people have gone inside for dinner, and the lighting is fabulous. I hope that Baby Girl’s schedule next year allows for more visits during this time of day. I’m already looking forward to it!
Paige is excited!
I tried to get some good shots of me and my baby girl in front of the sea oats…
She looks like she’s having so much fun…or she’s completely over the Mama kisses…whichever…
Let me just tell you how much she wanted to be held at this point…
…although she obliged Gran for a few shots anyway:
For a few moments, at least…
This is what happens when you take the world’s cutest baby girl and add in the world’s most beautiful sand…
…and then throw in a camera-wielding Mama with an itchy trigger finger…
I vehemently defend my camera-wielding and back it up with occasional shots like this one:
He enjoyed himself just as much as Paige did, it was just that he was moving so fast the *entire* time that it was difficult for me to capture…
Big brother, little sister.
Liam successfully continues his campaign to make sure he’s never looking in the general direction of the camera (in a pleasant way) at the same time Paige is doing so…
Family photo attempts:
Photo attempt of Liam and Matt #1 (AKA pre-bribe):
Photo attempt of Liam and Matt #2 (AKA immediately post-bribe):
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why you should never underestimate the power of a well-timed bribe as a tool in your parenting arsenal:
Remember how I likened Paige-at-the-beach to a sea turtle returning home? Yeah, I wasn’t kidding about that…
Aaaaaannnnnd, she’s off (again)!
And so is he…
There they go!
Momentary funny-face break:
Oh, how this baby loves sand!
“What’s that, Mama? You say you need insane amounts of adorable?”
“I can do that!”
Yes, Baby Girl. You sure can.
Too much. It’s just too much.
With Gran and Granddaddy:
I love this one:
Gran should consider herself lucky that her hair wasn’t thinning before we tried this because Paige put in her best effort to change that…
I tried to get a shot of Liam and Granddaddy, but this is the best I could capture…
Just wait until you see the next late afternoon series!
Liam made a lot of swimming progress during our trip. He started out hesitantly in a floatation vest. In a matter of days he was enthusiastically jumping off the side in water wings, floating on his own all over the pool, and kicking his way to whatever he wanted to do. He had a ball. Here are a few pictures:
His early jumping form was basically stepping off the edge towards Matt:
But the end result was the same:
No matter his form, he was having a blast!
Before the launch:
Post-launch (notice the look on his face–that’s not a photography fluke–there were no more launches…):
The boy loves a good noodle:
Thumbs up from Mister Shark:
Grin from Mister “Cool Guy” Shark:
It looks like there’ll be some drives to Decatur in our future next summer for a little pool time…
Me and my babies:
I love the look on both Liam and Pok’s faces in this one:
Photobomb, Liam style:
Such a nut…
And he wasn’t trying to push Paige down this time!
This one is out of focus — but the look on her face is just so quintessentially Paige that I couldn’t leave it out…
Aaaaannnnnd, she’s off!
Sometimes you just gotta dance…
…and sometimes you just gotta run.
And run until you’re just a blur to the camera lens.
And if you’re Paige? Sometimes you just gotta hide under the table.
This is the look of sheer concentration she gets when she’s trying to figure out how to destroy something she’s never destroyed before:
And this is the sheepish look that comes after whatever she wants to destroy has been removed from her reach:
Playing Busytown with Gran:
I’m really hoping to have this series finished before Paige’s birthday but I’m not making any promises!
Liam is very excited about Sylvie’s birthday party today. Here is a conversation we just had about it:
Shannon: In a couple of hours we’re going to go to Sylvie’s birthday party. Won’t that be fun?!
Liam: Oh yes, Mama! I’m so excited! Hey Mama?
Liam: I think that maybe if Sylvie has some birthday cake I might have a piece. Would that be okay?
Shannon: Of course. But you never know if there’ll be cake before you get there. They might do something different.
Liam: Oh, Mama. If there’s no cake then it can’t be Sylvie’s birthday. There can’t be a birthday without cake!
Shannon: Well–you and Paige will have cake at your parties but sometimes other people do things differently and that’s okay, too.
Liam: Well…there really can’t be a birthday party without cake. If PJ doesn’t have one for Sylvie we’ll just have to go get her one at the store, okay? Also, Mama? There can’t be a birthday party without balloons. What if PJ doesn’t have any balloons for Sylvie? Then we’ll have to go get balloons, too! I think we need to go to the store, Mama. We need to go to the store to get cake and balloons. Just in case. I really need to make sure Sylvie’s party is *very* special. Okay, Mama? How does that sound?
Shannon: I think we can be sure that PJ has made sure Sylvie’s party will be special, Liam. I don’t think we need to worry about that.
Liam: But Mama? Sometimes Mamas are very busy and PJ might be very busy and she might need some help from Mister Liam. Sure. She surely might.
Shannon: Very wise, Liam. Very wise, indeed.
I can’t believe it’s been a year since I was sitting in a Virginia hotel room, like a beached whale, anxiously awaiting news of Sylvie’s arrival. Happy, happy, happy birthday, sweet Sylvie Faye!
Paige took to the beach like a fish to water (pun intended). Liam’s first trip to the beach in 2008 included a short venture out onto the sand where he looked very confused by the lack of footing and eventually ate sand and cried. Paige’s reaction was the opposite of that (except the eating sand part). It was like she was a turtle returning to the sea.
Here are the only pictures of either of my children in the beach tent that I felt very strongly that we would need. Oh well…
As soon as Paige finished posing and ventured outside the tent she was off to the races…
Liam shows his sister the finer points of sand play:
So much sand, so little time:
There is a very good reason that I took 8,342 pictures of Paige on this trip:
Need I say more?
Liam works on his swing:
Our son can make a train out of absolutely anything…
…and it doesn’t hurt to have a Daddy who encourages him.
With a face like this…
…how can you expect me to edit what I post?
Aaaaannnnnd, she’s in.
And here’s where I got the (clearly insane) idea to try to get a picture of Matt and our children. In the same frame. Looking at or near the camera. With at least an air of pleasantness. The pictures speak for themselves.
At this point even Paige is saying “Really, Mama? Truly?”
Aaaaaannnnnd, we’re done.
Getting ready for a trip out into the Gulf:
You don’t think Liam’s ready to go, do you?
Daddy and daughter:
And the crazy part? There’s SO much more to come.
I wasn’t able to post pictures from our trip while we were still there because the internet connection was slow and spotty. I took somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500 pictures over the course of 12 days so there are many posts to come. Here we go!
Baby Girl was *very* happy to be out of her carseat. She made sure that we understood the extent of her displeasure while we were in the car but thankfully she also made sure she showed us the extent of her elation when we were out of the car. Until she refused to nap well for a week or so…then we had to roll the tide of her fragile emotional state…but I digress.
“Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Daddy?”
Liam gets a little Mo love:
There’s not much better than that!
Paige joins in:
Paige loved the Coke bottles almost as much as her brother did:
The Hunchback of Siesta Key:
Liam shows Paige how to break it down:
After Liam’s first day in the pool he showed us his (what proved to be continuing) extreme displeasure for remaining dressed after finishing a swim. Thankfully we had his hooded towel. After a brief discussion about the difference between private and public places as they relate to private parts, he was ready to show off his duds:
He took the “cover your private parts” admonition quite seriously…or he was making sure everything was still there…whichever…
Brief Mama hug break:
Inspecting Paige’s toy with Pok:
This little piggy…
“Oh, Daddy. I especially like your use of lines in this piece. Very compelling.”
Paige shows Liam what she thinks about him getting in her face:
Paige has a little quality time with Mo (and her buttons):
A girl and her Gran:
Mmmmm, paper towel roll…
Liam shares with Pok the finer points of Magna Doodle operation:
I’m not entirely sure what was happening here, but I’m certain that both involved parties were having fun…
During the trip Paige perfected her hands-free toy transportation method:
Tickle time with Granddaddy:
Mo and Pok gave Liam what is now his favorite game: Busytown.
Checking it out with Pok:
Next it was Paige’s turn to open her happy from Mo and Pok:
The tissue paper was a big hit:
And so were the wobblers inside:
Nom, nom, nom…
Water wobbler goggles:
Paige gets suited up for the first time:
She likes her suit, but she loves her feet:
She’s ready for the beach:
And if you think these shots are adorable, just wait for the next installment of the SK2011 series: Paige’s first day at the beach. Stay tuned!