Posts Tagged ‘milestones’

One Week Old

We’ve achieved a handful of small accomplishments this week, but mostly we’ve just loved on little Maisie.

(Isn’t this mermaid tail, made by my dear friend Jordan, the sweetest?! She has been gifted additional tails to grow into as well – perfect for our monthly photos!)


  • We had our first family outings: pediatrician appointment, Saturday farmers market, church and a Target run today, and a family walk with the dogs (although I think I overexerted myself and am now couch-bound for the immediate future).
  • We have been showered with gifts, meals, cards and messages from colleagues, family members, neighbors, church families and countless friends. We feel the love, folks! Thank you.


  • Won the hearts of her family members.
  • Slept – she sleeps SO MUCH with the exception between 9 p.m-1 a.m. when she’s alert and wants to cluster feed.
  • Met her quota of feedings and diaper changes according to hospital recommendations.

Jake has to be close at all times.


  • Received an A+ rating from Steven on his eager and helpful performance as a big brother.
  • Jumped into and swam in the deep end of the pool.
  • Made several notable wise decisions and is adjusting to a baby sibling better than expected.


  • Waited on me 24/7, but didn’t make me feel like an invalid.
  • Surprised me with our wedding cake for our 11th anniversary.
  • Successfully made Maisie sleep or poop while holding her, every time.


  • Dropped 15 of the 30 lbs gained!
  • Identified two of Maisie’s cries based on the Dunstan Baby Language (“neh” = hunger; “eh” = gassy).
  • Survived the beginning pains of breastfeeding – though she and I still have a lot to accomplish before it’s second nature and doesn’t hurt like whoa.

The morning after the first night at home: still alive!

Wesley is still on Cloud 9 about his new sister. He has enjoyed having visitors come to see Maisie because he gets to show her off and then play with friends. The last couple days have been more difficult for him as he realizes that we can’t give him all of our attention anymore. He’s not jealous, but he’s having trouble being independent and finding his own fun without getting himself into trouble.

However, he loves to snuggle in close when I’m nursing, and he talks about his future with Maisie. He is incredibly tender toward her, and he is empathetic about my body’s healing – offering to reach something and asking how I’m feeling.

Wes: Maisie! Maisie! Oh, look, I made her smile!
Me: She is looking for you; she knows your voice.
Wes: Do you think she likes me more than you?
Me: I think she likes us both.
Wes: Yeah, you’re the one feeding her. I just can’t believe she’s actually here!
Me: Me neither, Buddy. She’s pretty great, isn’t she?
Wes: I just love her so much that I could cry!
Me: Oh, me, too, Bud.
Wes: Look, we’re both crying now!

We are so thankful for this little surprise person. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17

Posted: August 19th, 2018
Categories: Leah
Tags: , ,
Comments: No Comments.

A Summer of Firsts, or It’s Good to be 5

Much has happened in the last 8+ weeks, including several first-time experiences for our growing kid. As my mom has said in response to Wesley’s reports, “it’s pretty good to be five.”

First (Minor) Celebrity Encounter
27797142723_96e0d03001_kWe participated in the summer reading program at our local library, and one of the prizes Wesley earned was a voucher for tickets to an Indianapolis Indians game. Library Night happened to be held on his actual birthday, and we scored some front-row free seats right behind the bullpen for the opposing team.

The pitcher sitting directly in front of Wes was Elvis Araujo (Lehigh Valley IronPigs / Phillies). He kept glancing back and winking at our fidgety son. It might have been the “I’m 5 Today” sticker badge that looked very worn from the day’s activities, or it might have just been because he’s a nice guy: Mr. Araujo turned around, smiled, and gave Wes the baseball he was practicing with. Wes lit up.

Wes ended up getting too unruly and fidgety for our cool seats, so we packed up our Monday Night Dollar Menu hotdogs, popcorn and cracker jack and headed to the lawn seats to stretch out.

Instead of watching the game, Wes ran around and threw his new baseball, and eventually Steven joined in. Their game of catch was so wild that they lost the baseball to the fenced in area around the scoreboard – which eventually featured Wes in lights for his birthday!

It took some coaxing via social media to get a staff member to help us retrieve the baseball and turn Wesley’s frown into an exhausted birthday smile.

First Chewing Gum
My sister started a tradition with my niece and nephews: once they turned five, they had access to big-kid perks – bubble gum and soda. Why not ride on the band wagon? We aren’t big soda/coke/pop drinkers in this house, and Wes wasn’t impressed with sparkling water. But THIS:

First Booster Seat

His Diono car seat is built to last up to 100 lbs, and it’s solid. Supposedly you can remove the 5-point harness straps by following the manual diagram, but I ended up having to CUT it off because it was so sturdy. Whoops. Guess it’s a good thing we’re not backtracking!

It’s a small change, but he does feel big. I mean, look at the size of him!

First Time Off Training Wheels
He and Steven practiced off and on for a week. It started with, “I think I want to take off the training wheels,” and accelerated from there. We can now take our evening walks with the bike (although it does require a little more time because of the occasional fall).

We finally invested in knee and elbow pads to address some of those battle wounds.

First Bad Haircut
Two failed attempts to get an appointment at our typical kids’ haircut place resulted in a last-minute rush to a cheap salon near our house that doesn’t specialize in kids’ cuts. I figured they’d know what I meant by “all-around trim” when glancing at Wesley’s moppy hair. While he was hamming it up with the stylist (I was pretty entertained by overhearing his offbeat humor and engaging conversation), I waited in the designated area. Truthfully, when combed and wet, it looked fine. We paid and left for home.

At dinner, his hair started to dry and looked…moppy. Steven said, “Did ya get a haircut? Because it looks the same.” At first I thought he was joking that we should go back to fix it. Being the apologist, I tried to find an excuse for the stylist but was unsuccessful. Steven went outside to finish yard work, and Wes and I went back to the salon 30 minutes before it closed.

They were surprised to see us. I asked them to trim it shorter, and they did. A LOT shorter. Wes continued to be snarky with the stylist, but there was a slight panicky tone in his voice: “What are you doing?” “What does my hair look like?!”

In what seemed like ages, he hopped down from the chair. He had the 5-year-old decency to wait until we were in the parking lot to announce “that was the worst haircut ever.” I thought he was still on his joke-kick, but nope. He really hated it.

I started to chuckle about the last few hours. “It’s only hair; it will grow back, Bud.” I couldn’t stop giggling. Once home, Steven got in on the fun-tease, and while still slightly annoyed, Wes started to laugh back. He had so many hair snippings all over him that a shower before bedtime was necessary. Bubbles everywhere; family laughter; short, short hair.

IMG_4350 IMG_4349

First Tennis Lesson

When t-ball lessons ended, we asked Wes if he wanted to try a new sport this fall. “Maybe tennis!”

His answer thrilled Steven, so I found an opening with the area National Junior Tennis League. I mentioned the affordable cost to our Reynolds friends, and they signed up Beatrice! They had their first lesson last weekend, and it was pretty adorable.

Wes now wants to play tennis with Steven nearly every evening on the street in front of our house.

First Goodbye, Hello, New School
IMG_4342Because his Prep-K class at a different school doesn’t start until the end of August, we are in a weird limbo period. At his current preschool/daycare, the kids transitioned classrooms, so he had to say goodbye to his favorite teacher, Miss Kelly, and join a temporary class (Sunflowers!) for a couple weeks.

Earlier this year, Steven and I made the decision to wait for Kindergarten. He’s probably very ready for Kindergarten based on his daily experience in the classroom, but we felt like it was a unanimous hesitation, and why push it? He’s our only kid!

The same private school I attended as a kid offers a Prep-K class for those in his age bracket – in fact, the age cut off for Kindergarten is 5 by June 30 (his bday is in July). This means he won’t be the only 5-year-old in his class! We’re excited to experience a “real” school environment this year – complete with breaks, after school care and lunchboxes.

He attended a practice Round Up Day earlier this week to visit classrooms, the library and meet teachers. Another few orientations are down the pipe line (is it normal to receive emails nearly every other day from schools as a new family?!), and then class officially starts in 2 weeks. He can’t wait.


With all these other “firsts,” I’m kinda glad I don’t have to adjust to Kindergarten Mom just yet.

Posted: August 10th, 2016
Categories: Leah
Tags: , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Hi, I’m the mother of a 2-year-old

553411_10101310920726358_640745322_nI have been a blogging slacker. I blame it all on the fact that Wes is now two. Not that he’s super busy or a maniac or keeps us up all night, but – I am enjoying him as a little person. Watching him learn new words and begin to understand his world is fascinating.

“Ready? Go!”

“Hi Mama, Daddy.”

“Lucy, potty!”

“ABCDEFG. H. Poo, ick, J.”

We had his two-year-old check up last week. At nearly 30 lbs and 60th percentile for height, he has/had just about 30 words and 60 unidentified phrases/indecipherable mumbling in his vocabulary. Actually, this current week he has been mimicking almost everything we say to him. I think he’s mastered 30-60 words overnight. His ridiculous hair is probably also 30-60″ long, on that note.

So, during my blogging absence, I was featured in the Indianapolis Star regarding my milestone celebration. It was also on, if you can believe it. (Click here for article.)


Steven became VP of Marketing at Bloomerang, and has been a killer asset to the team there.

Mom and Dad’s new-to-them pontoon boat was finally launched into the water. After the dam broke during the Flood of 2008, their lake has been waterless every summer until now. We have enjoyed being on the water in the “but” (Wes’ word for boat).

1012165_10101284422489038_222051207_n photo(1)

And July has been a month of celebrating. We hosted a birthday party for family and neighbor friends in the park (by the way, great idea. You don’t have to clean your own house!) and went swimming.

9233438523_bb567ff1d0 9236249110_e1496b92b7

A week later, we spent the morning at the Indianapolis Zoo. The Indianapolis Symphonic Orchestra played a concert in the park one evening. Wes loved listening to the live music and picked up on when each movement ended (he cheered and clapped loudly).

And on his actual birthday, we met his bestie Beatrice and mom Julia at Saxony Lake in Fishers. It was great fun.

9318638350_654d40f1b9 9318617566_a0c6475914

Birthday dinner was breakfast with lots of fruit and sausage, his favorites. Uncle Tyson joined us.

9318540294_617d0e6043 9318511172_81fcb84700

I just love the above photos. He really seemed to understand that the day was to celebrate him, and he had this amazing look of sincere delight. Precious.

And the next night we ventured over to the Indianapolis Speedrome for the first time. Cars. Loud noises. Vrrrrroooom. It was pretty much a little boy’s heaven.

164966_10101312658608628_1133049576_n photo

He looks so serious in these photos. Soon after, he was cheering and waving his arms like the flag holders.

There’s actually way too many good photos to post from the last few months. Wes is always mumbling something funny or getting off balance or attempting something new. He’s like a walking photo opportunity.

I just love our little guy. He has provided so much happiness in our household, and it’s made me love Steven in a completely new way. He’s a fantastic dad. He makes a great trampoline and rough-and-tumble partner for little limbs. He’ll read a million books to Wes in one sitting and produce a thousand toddler giggles with his silly antics. I’m smitten with our family.

Forgive me while I enjoy a few more summer weeks of possible blogging hiatus with this crazy toddler kid.

Posted: July 28th, 2013
Categories: Leah
Tags: , , , , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.

30 for 30

220px-30_for_30_Volume_I_logoOver the last few months, Steven’s been watching multiple ESPN documentaries from the 30 for 30 series on Netflix. I figured it was as good of title as any for chronicling 30 stories – or in my case, observations and thoughts going forward – after my 30th birthday last week.

People have asked me if I feel any different, and besides the fact that I have been sick with a flu-like virus all week long, I really don’t. However, it got me to thinking about this milestone birthday year, where I am, where I’ve been and what the future looks like. I guess I better backtrack and say, yes, I might feel a little different, but it’s a feeling of anticipation and not of “age.”

I’ve never really thought of 30 as old, but I have been mindful of the history of Jesus. He was 30 when he started his three-year ministry, and I’ve looked up to this age as a landmark year to start a new decade off on the right foot. Good timing, too, because we just finished a sermon series on modeling Jesus and making every effort to live like him. To further prove a point, I received my annual birthday letter from Mr. Dan Stroup last week, and wouldn’t you know that’s exactly what he wrote about? Mr. Stroup was my middle school teacher. He is an amazing man for many reasons, but thankfully CBS Evening News picked up on one reason and aired this little segment a few weeks ago. I’m pleased to be among his 2,800 former students that receive a birthday letter every year.

So, where’s the list? The full list is written in my personal journal, but I’ll share three (which is a dividend of 30!). I don’t want people to get the impression that my life is all bells and whistles and everything is perfect. If you’ve read my blog much at all, you’ve seen my struggles with certain issues, and they affect many of my decisions and thoughts. Turning 30 is a pretty good reason to adjust some of those thoughts toward a straighter path.

Contentedness – I’ve touched a little on this before, but it’s something I’m daily striving for. This falls in basically every area of my life right now: family planning, our house, cars, vacation, jobs… I do love my life, but there’s always something more that would just “make it better,” you know? A house with a second floor would be great for those rough nights with Wes, but we’ve learned to avoid the squeaky wood planks in the floor. A nicer car would be great and would last us for years (I’d really like a Subaru Outback), but we’ve appreciated that we currently don’t have a car payment. And while I’m ready to talk Kid #2, Steven isn’t interested to venture into a family of four. I’m learning that our family unit is pretty great as it is. One of my aunts said once, “when you’re aching for a new baby, hold the ones you have tighter.” I think about these words often, and I’ll tell you, it helps.

Generosity – Sure, we tithe and give to those who ask, but I can do more. One example: I’ve kept all of Wes’ baby things with the thought that we might use them again. I guess it’s still possible, but my attitude of clingyness has been pretty horrible. I failed to lend out my maternity clothes to a coworker, and I felt terrible about it her whole pregnancy. I mean, I borrowed tons of maternity clothes and have accepted hand-me-down toys and clothes for Wes from others, so why not do the same? I’m slowly giving away Wesley’s outgrown things, and I’m doing a much better job of not attaching memories to everything. What’s the point in giving if you don’t do it lovingly?

Hospitality – Before we became parents, we had people over all the time. YouTube parties were a hit, and we’d have nearly 50 people in our little house. I was much better at keeping house at that time, and I’ve gotten busy and lazy. I am embarrassed to have people over, as I have little confidence in the cleanliness of all surfaces and of my cooking and baking skills. I think Pinterest has derailed me. There’s no way I can keep up, but you know what? People probably don’t care all that much. I feel like we’ve lost connections with some of our friends over the years, and I want to repair what I can, develop deeper relationships and form new ones. My parents have a solid group of friends that have been close for over 30 years. I want that. And I want that for Wes, too.

Lots to think about in the next ten years, but I’m ready.

Posted: May 18th, 2013
Categories: Leah
Tags: ,
Comments: No Comments.

Chicago with Love (and some signs)

The three of us took a post-Valentine’s Day mini vacation to Chicago for the weekend. It almost didn’t happen, but I’m glad it did. Some time away with our little family always seems to allow Wes to hit some major milestones.

The plan was to leave midday on Friday, but we had a rough Thursday night and ended up at the pediatrician the following morning with another double ear infection. (That’s four in 6 months, for those of you counting.) Saturday morning’s departure wasn’t so bad – it was one less day of figuring out nap schedules away from home – and we enjoyed a happy-go-lucky kid, especially since we gained an hour driving north.

If you drive along 65 around the Lafayette area, you’ll pass miles of wind turbines. Wes was awestruck with the alien-looking things, and, in reference, he kept signing “star,” which I believe is a pretty close description. We picked up the train to head into Chicago, and again, Wes was amazed to see, hear and ride a real-life train. You better believe he signed “train” and yelled “WHOA” pretty much the entire 45 minute trip. I’m not ashamed to say that my beaming pride was evident as people oohed and aaahed over my adorable son.

After checking into the hotel, we took a quick walk around Magnificent Mile before settling in for naptime. Thankfully the excitement from the morning worked its magic, and Wes knocked out cold within minutes. Steven followed suit. So I got to read in an overly comfortable bed above Chicago while the boys rested. And you know what? One of the absolute best things about 4-star hotels are the hot showers and the complimentary toiletries. Their sleeping allowed me to test out the mini spa treatments in fancy packaging and actually wash my hair.

From the 9th floor of our hotel, Wes loved to watch the cars and busses (and sign accordingly) pass by. He was ecstatic when we hopped on a bus to the LEGO store and later the John Hancock Observatory. (PS – The Observatory is cheaper than Willis/Sears Tower, the lines are totally manageable, there’s a cafe at the top and the views are just as good, if not better.) Stroller riding is fun to an extent, but a wiggly toddler needs to wiggle, and that he did – 100 floors up. We got some meager photos, but the trip was super fun. I didn’t understand until later today, but the incoherent sign that Wes performed all that evening was “night.” Duh. We were up there and looking over all the lights of the city as the sun set.

Today we took a quick trip to Shedd Aquarium. We did have a couple meltdowns prior to seeing any fish, but once we did, Wes was in heaven. He couldn’t get enough. And no matter if it was a snake, eel or stingray. They were all signed as “fish.” He was beside himself with excitement, and I couldn’t help but laugh at him.

A few pieces of advice about Shedd – GO EARLY. We arrived just an hour after it open and the lines were already long. Also, BRING A STROLLER. Even if your child ends up walking the whole trip, having a stroller or wheelchair automatically puts you in the “accessible line,” which is at least 1/3 shorter. For real. And if you bring a 19-month-old? Skip all the extra exhibits and just pay the $8 general admission. You’re saving yourself at least $30 each, and in our case, Wes was done after an hour.

So I know this post is heavy with sign language talk. Maybe you are on the fence about whether to introduce it to your kids. Or maybe you think it’s a damper on language development. Or maybe you just don’t even know that it’s a trend! I was hesitant to keep at it because I’m pretty terrible with follow-through, but it’s worked really well for us. I didn’t know just how well until we came home tonight. Wesley was getting ready for bed and carried on an entire conversation with me with his grunts, few words and limited signs. Without any prompting from me, he signed “fish,” “train,” “bus,” “star” and “car” over and over again. Heavy emphasis on the train. He remembered the whole weekend’s events and wanted to tell me about it!

Some kids are talking more fluently than Wes at his age, but this is the way he is able to communicate right now, and his little face just lights up that he CAN, and that I understand. It’s now a two-way conversation. And golly, if it takes a trip to Chicago to figure this out, well, where to next week?!

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 7.34.52 PM

Posted: February 17th, 2013
Categories: Leah
Tags: , , , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Christmas Break

This past week has been nearly perfect. Wesley is such a great kid when we’re all home, all day, every day, and I’m sure his mood is helped now that he’s (finally) finished teething. I’m spending my afternoon similar to the last several ones – lounging, snacking and a whole lot of cuddling – with some Gilmore Girls and Wii U thrown in there somewhere.

Our Ashbaugh family Christmas was a large one. It was the first time in several years that all the aunts, uncles, cousins and great grandkids were able to make it. Minus one spouse, we were a party of 33. It was truly special to have the nearly entire family together, and I know my grandparents loved it all.

Photo 1 (11)

Steven brought the Wii U to the extravaganza, and I’m pretty sure my favorite part of the day was my 2.5-year-old nephew’s attempts to contribute to the 5-person game, only to get stuck in a corner and announce periodically, “I just scored!” What a fun day.

Christmas Eve is always spent with my parents and my sister’s family. The kids are getting old enough to really get excited about the presents under the tree, and that makes Christmas all the more fun and special. We lost Elli to impatience halfway through our Christmas brunch, so the rest of the day was spent sipping coffee, eating biscotti and enjoying each other’s company. Perfect.

Photo 2 (7) Photo 3 (4)

Christmas Eve service was beautiful. However, I spent more than half of the service in the hallway due to Wes’ discouragement that the ceiling fan was, in fact, not spinning. He was adorable in his red tie.

Photo 4 (2)

We were lucky to have a laid back, quiet Christmas morning. Wes opened a few presents after we got coffee and actually woke up. By 1o am, we were in the car and heading to Ohio for Christmas Day with the Shattucks. I always enjoy the ride over on Christmas day because it was then that we made phone calls to family and friends with news of our engagement in 2006. It’s fun to reminisce.

Shattuck Christmas is always crazy with loooooots of presents and wrapping paper and chaos and then everyone veges out for the remainder of the day. We snack on clam dip, sausage dip and cookies all day long. It’s just wonderful. Wes followed Pa around the house all afternoon, pointing out the various clocks in their house. While Wes was entertained, I got to play with my silly little niece, who was fascinated with taking goofy photos of ourselves.

Photo 5 (1)

We headed home that night because BLIZZARD 2012 was headed to Indy. The next morning we woke up to only about an inch of snow, but it accumulated as we began hibernating for the next two days. We left the house only to shovel/play in the snow (of which Wes is not a big fan)…

…and to check out Christmas at the Zoo, which was amazing. The newly fallen snow made a beautiful backdrop to all the lights and animals at night. It is definitely worth doing again next year.

Photo 7 (1)

Since we’ve been spending so much time with Wes, we’ve noticed a few things. 1) He’s walking EVERYWHERE. He is getting fearless, and it’s totally unlike him. Now he’s even trying to climb stairs! 2) He eats far better if he’s sans tray in his high chair – sitting at the table. He’s pretty big stuff. 3) Transitioning from a 2-hour nap to a one-hour nap is happening whether we like it or not. 4) Grapes are like candy.

Steven and I do not go back to work until after New Year’s Day, so the rest of the week’s plans remain unplanned. Just soaking up family time and spending an afternoon here and there with friends is pretty much the best vacation ever.

Posted: December 30th, 2012
Categories: Leah
Tags: , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Wes Walks the Line

Big news in the Shattuck house! Our cautious little guy has been taking a few steps here and there for several weeks, but just in the last few days has he been walking/toddling as much as crawling. So proud. And many, many thanks to Nicole, Wes’ First Steps PT! This is gonna be fun.

I caught him in action tonight. Complete with a face plant.

Posted: December 10th, 2012
Categories: Leah
Tags: , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

First Haircut

I do love Wes’ curls and mangy locks, but we’re having family pictures taken next week. Judging by the borderline craziness of his hair in this school picture,

(I know, right? Cutest kid ever.) I decided – on a whim – to get his “ears lowered” today. He did as well as can be expected. Mildly tormented, sure, but overall good times.

I would’ve loved to get my haircut here. You get to sit in a race car with a personal TV screen showing cartoons.

And even though there were a few tears, everything is perfect with a balloon! I go back tomorrow to pick up his official certificate and photo to document the occasion. My dapper little guy.


Posted: November 19th, 2012
Categories: Leah
Tags: , , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.

As told by Wes: 15 months

It started out rough. These hard white things kept appearing in my mouth. They’re like really really hard and tasteless crackers that won’t go away and you can’t ever swallow them. And man, do they hurt. And the more they kept showing up, the less I could sleep. I felt like a walking zombie.

Mom got pretty exhausted by me, I know. But seriously, nothing else sounded appetizing except Cheerios. And so what if I’m snotty? It’s gonna just keep coming, so it really doesn’t make sense to wipe off my face all the time.

But it got better. I started sleeping better again, too. And I had time to focus my energy on moving these stumps of legs again. All these adults think it’s so great when I do this thing where I move one leg in front of the other. It’s tough, but man, do I ever get lots of smiles and laughs! I’m pretty close to trying it without hanging on to one of them.

I even figured out a way to get around for the time being.

The adults also like it if I try to repeat words to them. Seems it help, too, because they’re giving me the things I want. Finally. So I’m telling them about the motion of a ball in different reference frames, how clocks work, the history of the model car and so forth. It seems to make them happy.

And last weekend, we went to a farm that was growing a strange kind of orange ball. We ended up taking home 3 of them of various sizes, but they’re still sitting on the front porch. I don’t understand the point of the phototaking with these things, but it was still a fun day with the ‘rents.

Seems to me each month that passes gets easier to live with Mom & Dad. They’re pretty cool, I guess.

Posted: October 18th, 2012
Categories: Leah
Tags: , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Shattuck Vacation Part 2

Land’s End

It’s Thursday night. While I’m itching to snuggle with Jake and Lucy at home, I’m glad we have one more full day at Hilton Head. It’s been fantastic. I love the southern end of the island we’ve made home for the last several days. We’ve talked with locals and frequent fliers every time we’re outside. The people are friendly, and well, they like to steal smiles from Wes. Who doesn’t?

Apparently we chose wisely because two different couples (mind you, we’ve only seen empty-nesters, retirees and groups of long-time friends during this week) have told us that it took them several trips and several years to “settle” in Land’s End and South Beach. And once they found it, they haven’t looked back. And it’s no wonder – Sea Pines in general is absolutely gorgeous, but there’s also something charming about the end-of-the-road. You get as private of a public beach as possible, surrounded by green marshes and dolphin families in the Sound. It’s a gentler part of Hilton Head.

And then there’s the fun of the Marina next door. We’ve gotten ice cream nearly every night, swam at the pool half a dozen times and talked with the parrots living in the courtyard.

Cruise pointing

Earlier this week we ventured to Harbour Town, which is the postcard focal point of the island. The small red and white lighthouse is – there’s really no other way to describe it otherwise – cute, and the marina surrounding it is clean, classic and fun. We took a dolphin cruise from Harbour Town and counted nearly 20 different dolphin! Did you know that whales are considered dolphins? And that every dolphin has a dorsel fin as unique as a person’s face? In the words of our cruise tour guide, “Aaaaabsolutely!”

Wes has been the center of attention during our stay. Everyone comes up to us and asks us questions about his age, how he likes the beach, etc. One little adorable boy, about 5 or 6, fell in love with Wes during the cruise. The two played peek-a-boo for a half hour or more. Wes squealed and brought smiles to all around. The little boy’s family hung around us, asked us similar questions about Wes and we enjoyed some friendly conversation. After the boy and his family left to walk around the boat, Steven turned to me and said, “You know who that was, don’t you?” No, of course I didn’t.

Apparently Steven saw a facebook photo posted by The Salty Dog (you know, the world-famous restaurant down the road from where we’re staying) the night before of a few staff posing with former Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson. Sure enough, he and his family ended up on the SAME DOLPHIN CRUISE as us. And that little boy? YUP. Kevin Richardson’s SON PLAYED WITH WES. And I TALKED WITH KEVIN RICHARDSON without realizing who he was. Of course the dolphins weren’t nearly as intriguing as our discovery during the rest of the cruise. We spent the last half hour trying to get discreet photos of the “landscape” with him in the background. I won. I get the prize. I won’t post the photo publicly to be nice to his sweet family, but you better believe Steven posted it on his facebook wall.

Yay, friends!

Yesterday we headed to Charleston to visit with my longtime girlfriend and two kids. They have lived in the Charleston area for several years now, and I haven’t been able to visit. It really didn’t make sense NOT to see them since we were so close in proximity, so we made arrangements to meet in Mt. Pleasant and take the ferry to Fort Sumter. Her 3-year-old, Liam, wasn’t so interested in the ferry trip itself, but once we got to the fort, he was enthralled. His reaction to everything was priceless! I’ve never seen a kid get so excited about an old sword or a cannon. At each plaque containing several paragraphs of historical moments from that spot, he’d ask Angie to tell him what happened. He and his little sister warmed up quickly to Steven, and we all had a fun day despite 3 tired children without naps!

Sea Pines Forest Preserve

Today we took a brief walk through the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. Beautiful, cool place. We spotted an alligator, several turtles and many other interesting creatures while among the big old winding trees and marshy pools. The pesky mosquitos got the better of us, however, and we didn’t get to stay as long as we’d hoped. When Wes is older, it will be great to go deep into the preserve to scout out birds and reptiles.

We’ve noticed that Wes seems to thrive best in a home-life environment. Meaning, he’s not so good in public anymore. He’s still a sweet kid and will usually give lots of smiles to strangers, but at home he’s happy, giggling and pleasant. He naps and goes to bed well when given this time to roam the floor and play independently. In fact, he’s adapted so well to this villa (we spend the whole morning at home each day), that he’s learned new “tricks!”

  • The morning we left for vacation he started pulling himself up to stand. He was still shaky at the beginning of the week, but now he confidently pulls himself up wherever he can!
  • Until today, Wes would complain and be scared when he pulled himself up and got “stuck.” We’d have to him him sit back down. Now he is up and down and crawling around everywhere.
  • Wes’ signing has been sloooooow to say the least. He knows and understands signs, but he barely showed any interest in communicating back. Today he’s happily signing “milk,” but that seems to be all the time now, haha.
  • He is also pointing at everything he deems interesting. He’s been doing this for a few weeks now, but there’s been so many new things for him to discover this week that he’s been a pointing machine.

Of course,  I’ve also thought that perhaps his advancements this week could be because he’s been around his 2 favorite people 24/7 for days. He likes this. He loves our praises and asks for more. Monday will be hard for all of us as we get back into reality swings. But despite Wes’ crankiness (he’s got yet another cold and yet another bad diaper rash) today, this week has provided an excellent backdrop for a relaxing vacation.

To view the rest of our vacation photos, click here.

Now to finish the last 20% of the last book of the Game of Thrones trilogy before my library Kindle copy expires tomorrow!

Posted: September 7th, 2012
Categories: Leah
Tags: , , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

© 2018 | The Shattucks | Leah Shattuck | Steven Shattuck | Indianapolis, IN