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Friday, June 01, 2007

Back From An Escape To Nowhere...

We just returned from a wonderfully relaxing week on the beach in Alligator Point. (Thanks Lyndall and Bolling!) No TV, no phone, no internet, no shoes, and (almost) no car rides. Just the family and Nonni and the beach. It was breezy every day and a perfect way to start off the summer.

Roughing it in Nowhere...

On our drive up, Carina had an epiphany...somewhere in between Dante telling her what whales say ("wooooo") and what dolphins say (a VERY loud squeak)...Carina starts yelling and signing "DAAAA", which means "duck!" in her language. It was super silly. She was holding up her birthday duck in one hand, trying to make the sign of a duck quacking with the other and yelling "DAAAAA". Dante couldn't stop giggling. She also mastered "uh oh" by the end of the week. She is working on signing milk, but has realized that whining says it faster.

It became clearer to me on this vacation that Dante is just not a super active kid. I cannot tell you how many times Mom read the Dora book, but I am sure she was going to have nightmares soon about the Mucky Mud Puddles, the Spooky Forest and the Big Red Chicken! (Although, even if we read the same books over and over, it was still really relaxing to cuddle with him in the hammock and read books.) He would play on the beach for a little while, but then he was content to go inside and play with his books and toys. There was an outside shower that we could all fit in and rinse off after the beach, so he was always asking to go in the "very very big shower" - it was pretty silly.

We found a cool kite the last couple of days and we all really had fun with that.

We didn't do much swimming, just wave jumping, because the water was pretty rough most days. Luckily the water is really shallow there, so we didn't have to hold him the whole time. When the tide went out in the late afternoon, we would always take both kids and play around in the water. Carina was like a little sea turtle, as soon as you would put her down, she just crawled as fast as she could towards the water. One day we were on a sandbar and she was just crawling right into the waves!

I realized that men and women must definitely think differently, or at least Chris and I do. We were building sandcastles in the perfect white sand that is there, and I was making sure it looked cool, while Chris was busy working his side job in hydrology making sure all the water coming in would flow properly to avoid damaging the castle. We ended up out there one night until quite late watching the slow destruction of the castle as the tide came in. He perfected his craft by the last day. Dante typically chose my castle to be the one he jumped on.

On our last full day there, we went to run some errands and to go see the Potter. (Been to Sopchoppy, Met the Potter) We told Dante what we were going to do and it became a little mantra he kept repeating. "Go inside, take a very, very big shower, eat lunch, go to the potters." We never even told him what a potter was, but he was very excited about it. The potter in Sopchoppy has a farm and some chickens that Dante checked out. We visited him 2 years ago and found Dante's photo on the wall from our last visit.

My goal on this trip was to finish a book and catch up on some magazines. Well, I read through almost 2 books and 2 magazines! That never happens around here anymore! We also had a chance to catch up with my Aunt Laura, Uncle Allen, and cousin Michela. They live in Tallahassee and also have a house out near where we were staying. All the girls escaped to Apalachicola for an afternoon and then they all came over for dinner one evening. It was great to see them. Dante took no time at all to snuggle right into Laura's lap and have her read to him. He even enlisted Michela into the Dora reading too! (We brought a bunch of other books, but he seemed to have fixated on this book that has 7 Dora stories in it. And the way he would ask you to read "Dora's Chiwwy(Chilly) Day?" was pretty irresistible.)

Our attempts at potty training made big strides this week. Towards the end of the time there, we just started having Dante walk around naked. Every so often, I would ask him if he wanted to pee off the deck. He would go out and everytime - he peed! He never told us himself, but it was a big step for him to recognize and try out peeing standing up - with his new and improved flow. Tonight, after dinner, I told him we were going to go sit on the potty and took off his diaper. The next thing I know he is in the bathroom, peeing in his potty all by himself! Let's just hope we can keep the momentum going this time!

Dante really had a great time, but by the last day he started to ask about going to "Dante's home". He was very happy to get home last night and excited to tell all his friends at school about his trip.

I could have stayed all summer long myself, but eventually I would probably wonder what else was going on in the world. or maybe not....


  • Fabulous post and wonderful pictures. You have the most breath-taking

    So wonderful to hear Dante is doing well and making such strides. I'm blessed everyday to be a part of your life, even if only thru Cyberspace.

    Thanks to KIP for turning me on to your story many months ago so I could be a small part of the journey.

    By Blogger Cheryl, at 12:26 PM  

  • Wow Jen, incredible place and it must have been an incredible time for you as a family. I'm so happy you all got to go up there! The kids are beautiful, just like their parents!


    By Blogger Kip, at 3:13 PM  

  • Hey ya'll its Michela and Laura! Love the pictures of ya'll and the kids crawling in the sand. Hope you enjoyed your visit and we'll see you soon!!:)
    Much love and peace

    The harrod family

    By Anonymous Michela, at 4:27 PM  

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