Tuesday, August 10, 2010

......leaps and bounds....

.....I always put my girls to bed individually.... time for just she and I....whether that she is Elsie or Callie, it's me and my girl basking in the last few minutes of talk, lovin' or humming a quiet tune....

......when I put them both down tonight, just three bedtimes back from our two week vacation, it dawned on me that they both have grown up immensely this summer....Callie and I tucked her baby dolls in to her crib before she nose dived toward her mattress to be with her beloved babies.....she strokes their heads, offers them kisses, cradles them....she fully understands how to love and watching her grasp and master the emotion of compassion has been endearing.....

......and after Callie was down, Elsie and I, both ready for bedtime, split a peach for a late night snack and had a chat.....just she and I sitting at her big girl table nestled next to our window, enjoying one of the summer treats that make summer special....our talk went something like this, what do you want to do tomorrow?.....ummm, Mahee, I don't like your PJs.....why don't you like my PJs?.....because this big window shows me it's still daytime and it's not time to go to bed yet.....agh, daylight savings and the difficulties it can bring an 830 bedtime....my observant little negotiator has been in full force and is exerting independence each day....she is moving away from toddlerhood at lightning speed and not only through her speech, but her feelings and observations spell out little girl....

......our tests to feel out these waters of graduating toddlerhood have also proved true...after a full weekend at Bambi's house while Mommy and Daddy played with friends in West Palm Beach, she hopped in a minivan with her aunt, uncle and cousin Chase to meet up with us in Islandmorada.....
.......the three babes did beautifully; it was my brother I was worried about.....


....after four plus hours in a minivan with three kids under three, he was thrilled to see us.....I couldn't resist having the camera ready for the instant he arrived at our destination.....
.......and although he did the driving and navigating, any Momma reading this knows it was my dear sister in law, Erica, who did the entertaining, snack distribution, story time, bribing, diaper changing and potty breaks at pit stops....Erica, you are an angel.....


......and I think as much as everyone of us was excited about being in the Keys, it was a sad goodbye at Bambi's house pre-roadtrip.....it was the first time since Christmas that the three cousins had been together with my Mom and their time together was magical.....



.....thank you, Mom, Kirk and Erica for giving such sweet memories to the three kids and for being so selfless so Stefan and I could spend our weekend with friends....we love you guys.....

.....but one adventure lead to the next and Kirk and I planned a night at The Cheeca Lodge in Islandmorada as a transition between spending time with my Mom and heading down to Key West to spend time with my Dad.....it was a haven for all of us....




.....another opportunity for my oldest sprite to spread her wings and fly....


.....although Daddy would say not so fast....


.....he'll be the one to provide guidance on the journey....


...and for Callie too....


.....and when two cousins get the chance to experience the joy and solitude of the open ocean, then baby Chase is allowed the opportunity too....

.....even if he used the oar as a teether....


....but it was a festive, fun and relaxing pit stop.....one filled with memories that closed the chapter at my Mom's and began the Key West adventure with my Dad...a chance for one of my brothers and his family to spend with me and mine....our childhood memories of sibling love, rivalry and bonds now being married with watching sisters, sons and cousins that belong to us....


....and it only feels like yesterday that both of my brothers and me would sit in front of the tv complaining about folding laundry.....or when I would raid their adolescent birthday parties as a high school hotshot and tell them they were all geeks.....or when we would dish out pepperment stick ice cream with my grandmother, who always gave us an extra scoop when my Mom wasn't looking....all of the routine, the funny laughs, the fighting, the being a sibling under one roof phase of life all flew by so fast.....

.....so tonight when I realized that both of my girls have taken their growth and maturity into overdrive, it simply makes me want to drink in the moments with them until I'm full and immobile....it gives me motivation to place pictures together and tie in the memories from our most recent trip and family vacation, just to look back and appreciate all of God's blessings....memories to look back on that will inspire me in the future to capture even more of our times together and cherish them as they are....


......so I will....savor every moment...

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