The Beach {Brady Bucket List}

The summer fun continues and Chicago weather has not disappointed us.  It has been in the 90’s every day this week; brilliant sunshine has given all of our skin a glow, and the wind. Goodness, the windy city it living up to its reputation this week.

I grew up around the water. I am not sure I know why or how, but I know that I was in the water my entire childhood- swimming lessons, lazy afternoons with my parents at our public pool, parties at the waterpark and then working as a lifeguard for almost my entire teen years and early twenties.  Vacations in our household always revolved around water whether it was in Florida, Lake of the Ozarks or the Caribbean.   And for whatever reason, I still love the water.  When we lived on Lake Shore Drive, the best thing about our building was the amazing pool we had on our second floor and having Lake Michigan in our front yard.  Fortunately for me my kids love it too. Taking a bath is a favorite activity in our house daily.   
Notice Cate being her typical busy self trying to grab at Brady. Brady usually cares but was cooperating for this shot. 
Sibling love 

Brady has been talking about the beach for months. I am not sure how it even started. Maybe from watching Mickey Mouse but honestly one day he just kept telling me he wanted to go to the beach.  That is where his trucks go when he runs them across our kitchen floor.  He asks me daily if we are “going to beach to play in the sand”? The proof that he loves the beach is in his shoes when he comes home for school. Sand in every crevice of his socks and shoes from the playground at his daycare.  He plays in it at any opportunity. If we go to a park that has a sand pit, he finds it.    

We ventured to Foster Avenue Beach. We had to take a lot of stuff since it was in the high 90’s.  A cooler full of water, fruit and snacks, a beach bag full of toys, towels, sheets, a stroller to get the stuff and him there and sunscreen.  The toughest part of the day was getting to and from the beach. 

Once we got there, he was in heaven. Seriously, in sand heaven.  He immediately started digging and throwing sand.  
He filled his buckets, patted the sand, he dumped the buckets, and did this cycle all over again. He even ventured in to the water.  He realized it was shallow and got daring enough to sit in it since I did.  The water was pleasantly warm and the beach was packed.  We used buckets and dump trucks and shovels and cups.  We poured water in to holes that we dug, we stepped in the holes, we buried our feet and  just enjoyed the morning.  He would “plop” sand on my legs as I sat at the water’s edge and every time he did it, he smiled. 

Look at his monster feet at 2.5  
We had sand in every crevice and found some on the kitchen floor and his bedroom floor when I was putting him to bed last night. I think that is just what I needed to know that our beach day was a success.  


Present- Mother’s Day

I want to remember this weekend. I want to place the stories, the smiles and the small moments somewhere deep inside my long term memory so that when sad, dark times are consuming me I will have this weekend to pull out from my secret hiding place deep in my memory and I will smile. I will remember how good and full I feel and how easy it was.  It was that good of a weekend because I was present.
There is something about a girl and her mama. I am talking about my own mama. Thanks to my husband (with help from his parents) I spent 24 glorious hours with my mama on Michigan Avenue. I have never been away from my kids alone since I had them. I have only spent one night away from Cate and four from Brady.  We shopped ’til we dropped but really when we returned to our hotel room we had very little in the way of purchases. We were cold and wet because that is Chicago in May.  But we conversations that never staled.  I am not sure we ever stopped talking.  We talked about simple things like what to wear to the three wedding Glenn and I have in June to big life things like wills and death, marriage, and life with kids and how much it changes your views. And when the time came for us to part this Sunday morning,  we realized we forgot to talk about things like calendars and wedding dates and vacations.  We ate pizza, drank wine, and fell back in to this easy routine. As I pulled away in a cab, I was lost in my own thoughts about how we became so close and how she is me, my better half and I am her and only hoping to be half the mother she is to me.  And it dawned on me that between the naps and bottles and drool that I have a special little girl and I am her mama, nothing more and nothing less.  And there is not much more you can want. 

And when I did return home, my babies were there with the man I adore.  There is something so raw when you watch the man you love with the children your created together.  He softens when they need him. We did the simple things like eat lunch and change diapers, all the cliché things that you do on Mother’s Day like plant flowers, exchange cards and play outside and some pretty special things.

I wanted to plant in the wagon…that did not go over well.
“I want to hug you.”

“Brady, you want to hug Cate?”

“Yes please. I want to hug Cate.”

“You can hug her anytime you want.”

And as his arms wrapped around her, I was present watching them interact. I watched him kiss her unprompted. Later, as I pushed er stroller, I caught myself imagining the future they have together as brother and sister.  I wonder if they realize that in that one simple moment, I was present and felt so full and yet moments later consumed with hope for what’s to come.

He’s not a baby or toddler any more. He is a a little boy who just loves all three of us like it is his job. 

And as the day wound down we landed in a familiar place…our bed.  Tonight as Brady was being his silly self and Cate was laughing at him while Glenn and I protected heads from taking shots from flying feet and knees, I caught myself as the breeze came in our windows thinking that today I was present.  I was present with my husband and my kids all day.  I never told my kids to wait a minute, the whining didn’t bother me and when I put both kids to bed I watched both of them for an extra minute to remember what they looked like today on a day when I present. Today, I was just a mama. 
A day where I didn’t worry about the teaching assignments I need to confirm for next year or the closets that have not been changed out for summer or that groceries and laundry were left for a day. 

And even as life got more interesting tonight (a secret for later), I found myself just thinking about today and how lucky I feel my mama and I got some much needed girl time and my sweet girl and I did too. Doesn’t hurt that these two guys were around all day either.

So this Mother’s Day weekend may have come to an end but I took some conversations, some looks, moments and pictures to make sure I remember. Happy Tuesday Friends!