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Busy Busy Busy

Sorry for slacking a little, okay a lot, but I finally have the new design. Thanks so much to my sister, Mrs. L of ACreativeBride for the help and hard work! Since my last update, we've been quite busy.
We spent the first week in August in Nags Head, soaking up sand, sun, and squishy things. Reagan had a blast playing all week with her best bud, Mr. T. They collected shells and jellyfish, played in the water and sand, and wore themselves out each day. Maren also had a gal pal to play with there, although I'm not sure if I would exactly describe what they did as play. In the usual toddler style, there were arguments about sand buckets, shovels, and chairs. Even the sea water was in contention at times. As a group, the eight of us took a trip to explore the Wright Brothers Memorial. Anyone care to guess who I discovered working there? A long-time family friend I had not seen in more than 10 years. There was kite flying, seafood eating, pirate ship exploration, sand sea turtle creating. Our last full day there, we were joined by Tee and Gran. The kids had a blast squeezing in grandparent time and hated to see them go. We had such beautiful weather down there, it was so difficult to return home to our daily routine.
As you may well know, we've been living in our house for over two years now. I finally have a decorating bug and have been hanging photos and framed pieces on our walls. I'm not much in the design department, so I've been struggling with where to put our favorites. Now that I've begun, I can't stop! I keep coming up with new little projects I want to accomplish. My latest was simply changing out the old hardware on Red's dressers. Her furniture is a passed down set from when Gran was a young girl, so it has wonderful sentimental value, but THOSE DRAWER PULLS HAD TO GO. It was time to find something new and fresh. Now, if only I had all the furniture in one room. Oh well, a project for another day.
(Okay, photos of that stuff just aren't happening. Maybe next time.)

What are the kids up to, you ask?
Reagan has just recently had her hair cut again and looks completely adorable. She has started classes with her preschool group at daycare and comes home each night with homework. What? Homework for a 4 year old? Or is it homework for two 34 year olds? Either way, she is learning to write her name and her letters. She has long been able to recognize her letters along with their sounds, but writing them is a whole new ball game. I think she's doing well. She appears to have her first crush. There is one little boy she MUST hug before leaving each day. I'm still not sure how I feel about that. She just finished swimming lessons and we are all happy with her progress. She now swims underwater to a nearby destination...more in a doggie style fashion...but she's getting there. She's also getting much more comfortable floating on her back and has perfected her belly flop. She's a riot! It's great to see the progress she has made this summer in both ability and pleasure in the water.
Maren's personality is starting to shine through a little more. She has developed a love for bugs, or rather squashing bugs, like no little girl I have ever seen. A favorite game these days includes stomping on ants on our front walk. Her move into the toddler room at daycare went very well. She didn't miss a beat with the nap schedule and eats like a champ. Funny, she doesn't do those things here at home. She also plays (fairly) well with others and appears to be an overall happy child. At home, she prefers to live like an Egyptian queen and be carried everywhere. She can throw a tantrum like you have never seen (seriously, Reagan didn't do this) and you know she's done it right when it ends with her nose bleeding. And I thought Reagan was our drama queen, wow! On the up side, she expresses her wishes more with words like: outside, mine, snack, and up. Her hair is now long enough for pig tails but I rarely make them because she has to sit patiently during the process. What 17 month old sits still for very long? The real question is how fast can I fix her hair? I think she may have a few more teeth, but I'm not completely sure. Have you ever tried to get into a toddler's mouth to count teeth? They bite.
Tidbit from the Past: I had our first full family portraits done last September. I'm just now framing them to finally hang. Between my parents, Reagan said Tee's name first...Maren said Gran's. When Reagan first tried to say Murphy's name, it came out sounding like Mur-hee. Keith still calls the dog that at times.