May was a good month, and it went quickly. There was a lot of fun stuff to do around Jacksonville, as you have seen. But here are a few more May happenings that have not yet been shared:
I went to a "Mom's Night Out" at Pure Barre San Marco, which included a Pure Barre trial class followed by cocktails, appetizers from a local restaurant and giveaways. Unfortunately, I did not win anything except epic soreness for like two days because that workout is no joke. I wish we had the budget for regular classes because I'm pretty sure I'd be chiseled in like two weeks. But, alas. Regardless, it was a sort of reinvigorating night out by myself, and after my workout and glass of red wine I stopped to watch the sunset over the river on my walk home. Not too shabby, my friends.
I also got crafty! Ellie, E.J. and I made a tote bag for my mom for Mother's Day, and I made both a patriotic wreath for our front door and a new Rapunzel dress (with matching clip!) for Ellie.
Tote bag for my mom! The butterfly is E.J.'s footprints, the flowers are Ellie's hands, and the bee/ladybugs are my fingerprints.
Our festive front door!
Ellie in her new dress
The weather has been quickly spiraling towards that suffocating Florida summer humidity, but there have been some really beautiful evenings still sprinkled in there, and on those days we have been sure to take advantage with some late afternoon walks.
Beautiful evening along the river
Ellie going for a run at Friendship Park
E.J. loves watching Ellie run, and laughs when she runs over to him!
Last weekend Eric had his official Teach for America Alumni Induction, marking the end of his stint with Teach For America (already!). From there he drove straight down to St. Pete for his sister Kelley's reception in celebration of her March wedding to Cathy. In addition, Eric was able to golf with his dad and spend some good quality time with his mom and Gramz. Overall it was a really nice day spent with family.
Kelley and Cathy!
Cathy, Kelley and Gramz
While Eric was out, I had a rare night all to myself (well, after I got all the kids in bed, of course). I chose to spend it drinking my fair share (...at least) of wine and getting myself hooked on "Orange is the New Black."
My glass of red and Piper Chapman
As for the kids, Ellie has continued to be obsessed with Rapunzel.
The fandom is strong with this one.
She also earned herself a new Sofia the First dress, crown and amulet by being potty trained. Yes, my friends, I think it's safe to put that in writing. She still wears Pull-Ups at naptime and diapers at night, but the rest of the time, she's straight-up big-girl-style. I wasn't sure this day would ever come but I am so proud.
She was so pleased.
In less proud parenting news, Ellie has developed a severe fear of the bath and I don't know why. Really it's just that she hates rinsing her hair, but that snowballs into hatred of the bath in general. I don't know why bathtime hair-rinsing is the stuff nightmares are made of while things like sprinklers, swimming pools and splash parks are a-okay, but hey, I'm not three years old. Dreading the bathtime spectacle this weekend, I mom-hacked it and invited Ellie outside to play in her kiddie pool where I sneak-attack shampooed her and rinsed her off with the hose. And nobody got hysterical! So, win! (But seriously, if any of you moms out there have any better ideas for handling this issue, please email me!)
Right before I tricked her into a swimming pool bath
E.J.'s eating improved dramatically, as did his napping skills (excuse me, I'm knocking on every wooden thing in my home now).
He also continues to make sure I get in my daily heart attacks by climbing on everything and basically wreaking general havoc. That child will not rest until EVERYTHING IS THROWN ON THE GROUND SO HELP HIM.
Here is my baby trying to climb out a window.
Here is my baby using his carseat as a stepladder so he can pull all the books off the shelf.
Here is my baby buried under a pile of photobooks that he pulled off the shelf. AGAIN.
Here is my baby risking life and limb to pull all the DVDs off the shelf. AGAIN.
Here is my baby standing at the coffee table, chewing on the babyproofing strip he just pulled off the table. Prior to this photo his middle finger was also extended. He was giving me the finger both literally and figuratively simultaneously.
E.J. also got into a bit of mischief at the library.
Chasing him through the stacks
E.J. also helped me vote—his first time at the polls! (Ellie helped Eric vote, but this was not her first time. She was in the booth with me for the presidential election in 2012!)
That is one fine, upstanding American baby!
He also was still for a second. Once.
Relish this moment.
And, of course, we made our monthly trip to the zoo, though we barely made it in under the wire this time (we went the last day of May)! It was a fun trip, including a giraffe feeding and our first experience in the zoo splash pad, which went quite well. Ellie started out not wanting any part of it, then agreed to go through the water if I held her, then if I held her hand, and by the end she was running off away from me while I sat on the sidelines. Such is life.
Feeding our giraffe friend
E.J. smiles for a gorilla statue
Splash pad time!
Look at these cute faces!
And that, my friends, was May!