Eric is off in Jacksonville, being kept rather busy at Teach for America Institute, but I'll share more about that in a separate post later this week.
As for Ellie and me, we have...
She's serious about bird-chasing.
Made silly faces:
Red fish, blue fish.
Debuted some awesome bedhead:
You know I totally put a bow in that and made her rock it all day, right?
Spent a good bit of time hanging out by the pool, much of it in the company of my dad and sister:
Top: Ellie and her Aunt Heather understand the importance of staying hydrated; Ellie in her luxurious new car pool float, courtesy of the Target Dollar Spot
Middle: Playing in the hose with Auntie Heather; Two bathing beauties
Bottom: Swimming with Papa; Just being generally adorable
Spent a day at my mom's house, where Ellie ran around in only her accessories (beads and shoes), splashed in the fountain and learned what sound chickens make:
Left: She gets the importance of accessories to complete an outfit, now we just have to work on stressing the importance of the outfit itself.
Right: Ellie watching the chickens; Splashing in the fountain
VIDEO: Ellie tells us what sound chickens make!
Checked out my sister's latest show at Busch Gardens (Madagascar Live - Ellie was a big fan!):
Top: Heather on stage!
Bottom: Ellie got a smooch from the star of the show; Ellie and her Auntie with the penguins (Ellie's second favorite part of the show, of course)
Visited with my Aunt Kathy (who was in town from Michigan) and my grandma:
Left: Games with Great Aunt Kathy; Right: Visiting with her Great-Grandma; Splashing in the pool with Great Aunt Kathy
Endured afternoon upon afternoon of thunderstorms (keeping us inside quite a bit and making us very stir-crazy):
A few moments outside after yet another storm - just enough time to investigate this crazy pipe with water coming out of it.
Marveled at the awesome skies those thunderstorms left behind:
Top: Stormy skies; View of a funnel cloud from our backyard. One night I stood outside for about 10 minutes and saw funnel cloud after funnel cloud dropping. As soon as one went back up, another came down. I had never before seen anything like it.
Bottom: Cotton candy clouds; Gorgeous (double!) rainbow
Met up with friends at a library in Tampa to hear Tampa Bay Ray Evan Longoria read some stories to promote the "Reading with the Rays" program:
Top: Evan Longoria at the library
Bottom: Ellie is all, "do you people see this furry thing behind me?!"; Us with Raymond!
Enjoyed a weekend visit from Eric:
Sweet girl has got a hold on her daddy and she does not want to let go.
Ellie and Eric, hard at work on their laptops
Spent a nice afternoon visiting with Gramz and Toni:
Left: Smelling a flower her Great-Gramz gave her
Right: Ellie and her Nonnie, just catching some rays; Ellie making friends with Gramz's dog
Had breakfast for dinner at IHOP with my Dad (sidenote: how much of an Apple junkie am I that I totally just almost wrote that restaurant name as "iHop"?):
And spent an afternoon chasing birds and toting buckets around at the beach with my mom:
Top: "I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George." (or, if you prefer a Finding Nemo reference, "I will call him Squishy, and he will be mine, and he will be my Squishy." Take your pick.)
Bottom: Playing with Grammy; Carrying her bucket all over the place
We have been very lucky to have such wonderful friends and family to help keep us busy in Eric's absence, and I think we've been making the most of our last weeks in St. Petersburg. We still have a few more weeks to go, though, so let's see what other fun adventures they will bring!