Thursday, July 30, 2020


I’ve had such a good time up in Maryland but I have been mentally hammered down with school decision making for this upcoming year.  

First Grady - 
His school/daycare was starting back August 4th hence why I came up here this week versus next.  Well I arrive here last Thursday and get a call from the director of his school that says his classroom doesn’t have the teachers until mid September because of various reasons. Okay fine, I can deal with that since I’ve done it since March.  She told me who they were and my friend’s daughter had these teachers last year and they’re amazing!  So, easy decision to wait it out and honestly, I would have waited for any teacher. We are in weird times and the least I could do is have patience. But still, not what I was expecting. He is much harder to have home with me while I work because of his age. I do have two other babysitters that will still be here and not off to college thankfully!  

Then Wednesday I get another call from the director that says they have a spot for him to start Tuesday and it was likely with a certain teacher etc. I was stoked.  But then another teacher called me to set up our meet the teacher meeting and I just knew after one conversation it wasn’t the right fit.  And this is coming from someone who thinks this school and ALL of its teachers hung the moon.  So clearly something was going on. Anyway, on Thursday, after a lot of (likely unnecessary) stress on my part they were able to move him to ANOTHER room that starts on Tuesday.  I felt terrible about the whole thing but my mom group of moms from the same school really encouraged me to do what I knew would be best for Grady. Along with some other folks. Anyway, he is set now. I think.  Kevin is going to the school meeting tomorrow for further details!

Molly Anne - 
I know this is semi controversial and I honestly do not feel like I have to validate our reasons to anyone.  But I want to look back here and have it written down so I remember what this was like. And also maybe it helps someone else going through a similar situation?

This is the deal - we live in a county outside of Charlotte. They announced a couple of weeks ago that they would be doing one day a week in person and the rest of the days of the week virtual. We happened to have her well visit the next day and I spoke to her pediatrician about it...he works at a large practice in Charlotte. He told me every pediatrician in their group thinks schools should be open for in person every day and he would send his children. I trust him implicitly and that’s all I needed.  He had said the same for Grady needing to get back to school. I also listened to Molly Anne’s very first pediatrician’s podcasts and news specials and she agreed. It was a no brainer to me at this point that she needed to be in school.  

So here are the facts - 
- she was registered for Kindergarten in February and attended the orientation and has been soooo excited. 
- she has a late birthday in the “everyone in Charlotte holds their kids back” world. Literally it’s a thing here.
- no one knows when Covid will be better and everyone’s life is back to normal. 

Back in early July, I put Molly Anne on the wait list for Kindergarten at the school she had been for two years and where Grady will be. I knew they’d be in person with no masks in the classroom. 

Then we found out what our county was doing so we researched some private schools just in case.  We talked to a lot of people. We then decided that we didn’t want her going to a private school for one year then moving back to public. Kevin was the one that brought this up and I completely agreed. There were some other issues we had with private too. Cut off dates for admission and paying for private but then going remote too. Nothing was guaranteed. So private school was kind of out for us. 

Then when the director called me about Grady last week I asked her about opening more Kindergarten classes and she told me they wouldn’t be.  So that was out. Then I emailed the admissions lady and she told me there was a TK spot open. This is where I was off the ledge of sanity and could not figure out what to do!  

From Friday until Tuesday Kevin and I talked and I talked to friends. And my parents. And teachers. And Molly Anne’s old teachers. And more friends. And educators I trust implicitly.  

Ultimately, Kevin and I decided she was going to Kindergarten at our nearby elementary school and we were going to stick it out with one day a week in person and the rest remote.  

Here are some key reasons:
1.  Kevin really felt strongly that going back to TK would be holding her back. Literally, holding Molly Anne back from advancing. Kevin doesn’t speak up much and usually leaves this stuff up to me because he knows I’m a freak about it all. But when Kevin speaks up, I listen. And he always has good thoughts on things. And typically always solves my hardest problems!!
2.  Sending her back to her old school with her friends was comfortable for all of us, but was it the right decision for her?  Sometimes we have to go out of our comfort zone. 
3.  We want her to graduate with the class of 2033. I don’t want this stupid virus to dictate her next 12 years and for her to be behind where she should be. Look, I get it. Everyone is going to be changed by this virus but I want to do everything in my power to make life normal for my kids.  
4.  Another option we had was for her to do TK then go straight to 1st grade.  North Carolina is one of 6 states to not require Kindergarten but knowing my luck, they’d change the law next year. So this decided it for us because for her to graduate in 2033 then going to the elementary school for Kindergarten was the only sure way this would happen. 
5.  Molly Anne has always wanted to be a big kid. She has always played with older kids. She doesn’t venture to the younger side as much. She needs the challenge of older influences. She does well with that I think. This sorta reverts back to #1 above. 
6.  We LOVE the principal at the elementary school and I know he’s going to do everything in his power to have an amazing school year. I actually spoke to him on the phone yesterday and he is so good.  I feel comfortable with Molly Anne being there with him. 
7.  I know Kindergarten is supposed to be a special year and all of that. And I know that’s not going to be the case this year. But it’s not for anyone or any grade. It’s just how it is. And I’m fine with that. And Molly Anne has been in school/daycare her whole life. She’s fine. It will be special. She picked out a new backpack to get and we went to Target and bought school supplies!  She loved it. And it also helps that she has nothing to compare it to so it’ll be normal for her. 
8.  We don’t know what next year will bring. I can tell you one thing - if we had held her back this year and then next August it’s the same deal, I would be not a happy camper!!  I won’t be first in line for a vaccine and I haven’t heard of anyone that would be. So how does this dramatically get better other than time?!  And how do we predict that?  
9.  Fortunately I did not let the fact that we do need childcare get in the way of doing what’s best for Molly Anne. Yes, we are two working parents and I’m eternally thankful for my flexible job and amazing company. But at the end of the day, we want what’s best for Molly Anne. Would it have been easy for me to send her back to the same school where Grady is (one drop off and one pick up) with full time childcare for her?  Yes!  Taking that out of the equation, was it right?  No. I don’t think so at least. I’m confident in our decision but who knows what it’s all going to end up looking like. The unknown is so hard for the planner in me and I know for a lot of my friends too!!

So yeah, I hope we made the right decision and after weighing pros and cons of it all, I feel good about it.

How do we plan to keep her socialized? 

- lots of activities: gymnastics, swimming, maybe tennis, set playdates. Being intentional about socialization. 

How do we plan to do school with her all day?
- well this is a wait and see. Supposedly it can all be on demand if need be but I do think the live instruction is crucial on her remote days.  I need to get a better handle on actual time that will be required. They say 4-5 hours per day but I can’t truly know this until we get into it. We have an amazing babysitter that is going to help us on a set schedule once we figure out what that looks like. 
- it also depends what my work is doing and how often we are supposed to be at the office.  And if I’m traveling again. A lot of unknowns that I’m taking day by day. 

Anyway, this is our story. Everyone has a different story and reason for what they do. At the end of the day you gotta do what’s best for you and your family. There is no right answer. It’s some crazy times friends and you can only do what you can do!  You do you and don’t judge!  We are all doing the best we can. 

Beach Day

On Tuesday I thought it’d be a great idea to head to the beach with both kids by myself ha. Where we went is about an hour drive from my parents.  I packed our cooler, a beach bag and off we went by 7:45am. 

In general it was super fun but a few things occurred.  The diaper situation complicated things a tiny bit. He can’t ride the hour in the car in a swim diaper so I had to change him at our parking spot on the front end and back end of our beach day. Not a huge deal but sandy kids are a mess!  And he took a nose dive in this black tiny gravel parking lot while I was changing Molly Anne quickly. He didn’t care about the fall but he was covered in black gook head to toe. You can’t make stuff like this up!  And the only other issue was how hot the sand was on the way back to the car and how much stuff (plus Grady because he couldn’t walk in the hot sand) I was carrying. I couldn’t run like usual and it didn’t make for some pleasant moments but we made it.  I needed real shoes on, not flops!  Just wanted y’all to know, it wasn’t as these perfect pictures make it look!

Let’s talk about the good stuff!!

My friend from work in Charlotte grew up going to Fenwick and her family has a house there. Her Dad was extremely kind to offer their resident parking pass so I literally parked right by the dune to go to the beach. This was amazingggg with all of the stuff I had to carry!  

Molly Anne and Grady had a blast!  Grady was terrified of the ocean but this beach is honestly very rough and it’s intimidating. Molly Anne wouldn’t go in very far either. Mainly because I wouldn’t let her but she was scared of it too. It drops off suddenly and the waves were huge on this day.  I feel like South Carolina beaches are wide and gentle so they’re good for younger kids!  Grady loved the ocean there so I think it was just how intimidating it was this time!  But Grady LOVED the unlimited sandbox here!!  Molly Anne stayed by the water most of the time and jumped into the waves as they came up!  

Of course we parked our stuff on the beach right by the lifeguard stand because why not.  These pictures are a tiny bit deceiving because I took most of them when we first got there and not many people were on the beach yet.  It did fill up but never too close for comfort. Of course the group next to us, the daughter goes to school in Charlotte and loves to babysit. She played with Molly Anne for the longest time!  So when Alexa comes back to school she definitely will have to come over and watch them!  

We stayed on the beach for four hours!!!  It was really a good time and I’m glad we did it. The thought crossed my mind to take them back today but there’s no way. It wore all of us out and we want to hang with my parents a bit longer. 

Ok I’ll stop typing. Here are the pictures!

Molly Anne really wanted a picture with a lifeguard so this worked out!

The view from Alex’s parents house!

Of course we stopped for ice cream!  This time at Kohrs Brothers. 

That’s called Beach Tired!

Relaxing back at Nannie and Poppa’s.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Maryland This Week

We are having a fun week in Maryland with my parents! 

Saturday night we had crab cakes, corn and tomatoes. The crab came right off the boat in Crisfield, MD.  Dad cooks corn like this. 2 minutes per cob. He does chop off the bottom so it’s flat in the microwave and it makes pealing the husk easier. It’s perfect!

Molly Anne are most of her crab cake. Grady ate some of it. But I’m just glad they had it!  Always good to try new foods.  Well Molly Anne has had crab many times and Grady has some last year too but you know. 

Sprinkle a little old bay on ya corn!

Loveable little Grady. He’s so loving these days. He always wants a big group hug!

Sunday we drove over to Assateague to see the wild horses!  We saw a bunch and it made Molly Anne’s day!  They were just like Spirit - wild and free!

Then we stopped by the outside window of Dumsers and grabbed ice cream to eat in the car.  We drove around Ocean City and checked things out. It was semi crowded but not like it usually would be.  We weren’t stepping foot on that boardwalk or on any rides though. No way!

Back hanging out in the street talking to neighbors and playing. What we grew up doing ha!  My parents borrowed a bike for Molly Anne from a local bike shop so she’d have one to ride while she’s been home. Let me tell y’all - she has put some miles on that thing!!  My parents live on a culdesac street so she goes down to the culdesac and back!  She thinks she’s a big girl doing that by herself. Of course my parents know everyone that lives down there so it’s safe don’t y’all worry. I brought Grady’s favorite scooter (plasma car!) with us so he has been cruising around the streets too. Flying down my parents driveway as fast as possible and getting a head start by beginning in their garage. Crazy boy!!  

Sunday night Dad picked up crabs from Old Mill for take out and we had them after the kids went to bed!  I love picking crabs!!  We always have fun doing that together!  No one gets it unless you grew up doing it!

Monday we kinda just hung around the house messing around. We played outside a ton. After nap, we headed over to our church’s playground and played with my friend Ashley’s girls!  They happened to be here from Raleigh at the same time as us.  Ashley and I grew up together.  So this was a big treat to get together!  

And it was a big treat because neither of our kids had been on a playground since March because they’re still closed in North Carolina! 

I’ve never had to bathe my kids twice but I did after this little playground date!  They had a BLAST!

Sweet friends!!

Mom of course got a Smith Island cake for us to enjoy. Grady is a fan!!  Molly Anne is obsessed and is at the point of expecting it when we come here now!  They always have something written on it and this year it was, “We love you all so much!”

Grady is also a big fan of Poppa!  Poppa poppa poppa!

Tuesday I took the kids to the beach!  Stay tuned for that recap!

Friday, July 24, 2020

A Lot of Things!

1.  Julia has been SO amazing to have this summer.  The kids have loved having her play with them.  She never minds all of the messy painting and tie dye projects.  She literally made my life so much easier.  We are thankful to have gotten so much time with her.  Now she's off to Nantucket for two weeks then back to school at Carolina.  We can't wait to see her when she comes home for the holidays!

2.  Molly Anne did a tennis clinic at our club on Tuesday for a couple of hours and had a blast!  Her racket - 21"!

3.  Grady's going through a little something because every night we've put him to bed this week he has just wailed when we leave.  It's SO sad.  We comfort him etc but at some point you have to shut the door and he needs to go to sleep.  He's overtired at that point and there's nothing more I can do.  It's killed me but I stand outside the door and within 15 seconds of me closing the door, he lays down. His fish pajamas here.

4.  Molly Anne's last day of swim team was Wednesday!  She learned so much and can swim right across that pool!  She looked forward to going every morning!  So thankful our neighborhood through a practice season together a few days a week for the children!

5.  One of their other babysitters, Sam, brought Molly Anne a unicorn sleeping bag for her birthday!  Isn't that the sweetest thing ever?!  Molly Anne LOVES it!

6.  He has been playing with this little pig toy all week and he is so cute dancing to the song that it plays!  He dances and giggles!

7.  Another big thing this week - we flipped Grady's carseat around!  It was time.  I know we should all sit rear facing in a car and yada yada and I'm semi on board with all of that.  But our carseat only goes to a max weight of 40 pounds rear facing and Grady is almost there.  And he's over two years old.  So I turned him around!  And I did it Wednesday for a little test run to get the straps all perfect etc.  Because on Wednesday, we went on a roadtrip...hence the timing of turning him around!

8. He looks so grown up!

9.  Yesterday we left the house around 5:30 am and headed north to visit my parents for a bit!  Kevin couldn't come because we were going for so long and usually he'd fly up for the weekend in between or to ride both ways with us.  But not this time because we can't fly right now.  Well we can, but don't feel like it's a smart move with seeing my 70 year old (I mean young!!) parents! 

My parents ended up meeting us halfway for some reason.  They thought it'd be helpful to have another adult so I could run into to go to the bathroom.  Seriously parents of the year right!?!  We had made one stop by ourselves at a Hampton Inn in South Hill.  The car was very cool and I parked under the canopy so Mills stayed cool.  We jetted into the lobby masked so we could use the bathroom then we ran back out.  I had packed PB&J sandwiches and lots of other snacks.  Otherwise they watched a lot of DVDs and we drove on up!  Since my parents joined us, we stopped at Stingrays for a soft shell crab sandwich.  Anyone had one from there?!!

Molly Anne took care of Mills!  He didn't want to lay on the hot asphalt!  We didn't want his paws to be too hot!  ;)

Grady had plenty of attention of course!

10.  Grady went bananas like he had done every night this past week and he climbed out of the pack and play.  So I put the mattress on the floor and got him to fall asleep there.  I'll save the details of how I got him to stay in that bed but it wasn't pretty.  But he needed to sleep SO badly after only a 30 minute nap on the trip up.  He slept like a rock until 8am and went right down for his nap today.  He was tired!

11.  This morning we played outside.  My parents are borrowing a bike from the bike shop for her this week.  Isn't that so nice?!  I brought Grady's favorite scooter too.  

12.  Then we went blueberry picking at a local farm. 

They both had fun with this and little Grady was a good picker!

13.  During Grady's nap I went for a run.  It was HOT.  But it's very flat here so that was a treat. 

Hope everyone has a fun weekend!