We kicked things off on Saturday morning with a little shopping trip to start looking for my ruby eternity ring in honor of E.J. As you may recall, Eric gave me an aquamarine ring (Ellie's birthstone) to wear on my wedding ring finger to symbolize my commitment not only to him as my husband but to our entire family:
The current status of my ring finger
Now that our family has grown, I want to add a ruby ring (E.J.'s birthstone) to the mix, so we were on a hunt. Unfortunately we did not find what we were looking for, but we got the ball rolling and a very rude salesman gave us a story to bond over! So, success?
After the kids' naps that afternoon, we loaded everybody up and drove out to the beach for an early dinner at TacoLu. It was our first real (read: non-Disney buffet) dinner out as a family of four, and it went quite well! Ellie even ate a teeeeeeeeeeeny bite of the quesadilla we ordered for her, and E.J. happily munched on his precious peas we brought from home. As for me, I enjoyed three tacos: carnitas, seared tuna and bangin' shrimp, and a sangria-rita. Considering the last time we dined at TacoLu I was excessively pregnant (and desperately trying to spicy-food E.J. right out), I was quite happy to partake in some booze and seared tuna this time around!
E.J. looking like such a big boy at the restaurant!
With my girl! (Last weekend she was all about the bear mask, but this weekend she wanted to wear her Rapunzel jacket....despite the fact that it was 90 degrees outside.)
After dinner we drove over to South Beach Playground for a little fun. It's a great playground that we rarely make it out to because it's a solid half-hour drive from our house, but Ellie really had a wonderful time. She was able and willing to do so much more on the play structures this time than the last time we were there. It's always awesome to have those moments where you can quite clearly see how much she is growing up.
She's Rapunzel in her tall, tall tower!
Hot babywearing dad!
"I'm going to practice my balance."
On Sunday (actual Mother's Day), I was treated to my very first gift right off the bat: BOTH KIDS SLEPT IN TILL 8:15 A.M. A Mother's Day miracle!!!! I mean, every now and then one of them will do that, but both at once?!?! Unheard of. Plus, E.J. was only up twice overnight, and his wake-ups were over five hours apart! Holy chunk of uninterrupted sleep, Batman!
Bless my children.
Eric got out of bed first to get the kids up, and when I joined everyone I was greeted with two cards:
Is that not the cutest?
E.J. is still thinking over his answers, so he just gave his trademark smiles for each response.
How sweet is that?!
We got going with breakfast and general day preparations, and as quickly as we could manage we loaded up the car and made our way back out to the beach for a fun morning in the sun.
We were a little anxious about beach day with both kids, because two kids that small is a lot of work on any given day, and taking them to the beach just adds a lot of sand to an already excessive amount of effort. But in the end, it was worth it! We had a great time!
Ellie loved playing in the sand...
Building sand castles together
...looking for seashells....
Down by the water to hunt for shells
...and being buried by Eric.
Burying Ellie: Round One
Two buried children
Burying Ellie: Round Two
E.J., on the other hand, just wanted to crawl EVERYWHERE. This is not any different from any other day, of course, though I did have a moment of wonder about how he would take to the sand, considering this was his first time to the beach as a mobile little person. The answer to that question is: he'll take to it just fine. That kid probably crawled three miles around that beach. Luckily, it was largely empty, so we were able to give him some freedom to roam. And roam he did.
Checking things out at first
This sand dune was his Everest, and he was determined to scale it (walking stick in hand, even).
You win this one, Everest.
Just generally being the cutest thing that has ever set foot on Jacksonville Beach
Pushing sand toys along as he crawls
Climbing over buried Ellie
Waving to seagulls, because he is the sweetest.
People loved watching him, too. One woman asked to take his picture because she thought he was a doll at first, a man commented on how much he enjoyed watching E.J. crawl around, and another woman joked that E.J.'s crawl looked like a little crab. He was a hit!
Look at him posing for the paparazzi! Honestly.
Of course, he inevitably made his way to the water. He "rode the waves" a bit and did not care for that, but came back for more a bit later. That time he was a bit displeased with the temperature of the water.
Contemplating a swim
Look at his little arm clutching mine. It seems he felt safer from this vantage point.
Back in. Hates it.
Overall, I just had a really great time with my family.
Mama and babies
My far-too-grown-up Ellie
With my sweet E.J.
We spent roughly a couple hours enjoying the sun, sand and surf before we decided to pack things up. We got everybody rinsed off (two of the four of us really hated it and screamed bloody murder the whole time, though I won't mention any names), dressed in dry clothes and loaded into the car.
We had a great time!
On the way home we stopped and picked up Arby's for a picnic lunch at home on our porch. The rest of the day was spent napping and video-chatting with other important mothers in our life, then relaxing with a yummy dinner.
All in all, it was a perfect weekend with my favorite people! I'm a lucky mama!