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Tennessee and It's Aquarium

on
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

This past weekend for Fathers Day we went up the road to Chattanooga for a night to see the sights, eat some good food, and spend time together as a family (see previous post for our Sunday fun there). We loaded up Saturday morning (including all the stuff you need to travel with a 7 week old) and headed north. We of course had to stop at the Tennessee state line to document Clara's entry into a second new state (Florida was the first...more on that later). She is doing good on her travel bucket list in her short little life so far. 


Perry really loves fish, whales, and other critters of the water so we knew he would love the aquarium. And of course he did. We have been before but not in quite a while. We all had fun playing together, looking at all the animals and enjoying an attraction that was indoors and in air conditioning away from the summer heat. For a moment we had flirted with the idea of going to a zoo instead for the weekend but quickly came to our (climate controlled loving) senses.


Perry's favorite animals of the day were the penguins (what he said he was most looking forward to on our way there), sharks, lion fish, and sea dragons. Walking around the aquarium we were impressed by his knowledge of all things sea creatures. Thank you Disney for Octonauts. 

We successfully caught a butterfly on our hands and Perry got to touch a live snake. He has a relatively new interest in all things creepy crawly (spiders, snakes, etc) but has a healthy dose of fear too. We were shocked when he walked right up to that snake and touched it. Only after he clarified that it was not poisonous with the handler of course. He is turning into such a big kid.


Clara did a lot of hanging out in her stroller snoozing, but did enjoy getting out and looking at the fish some. And I can't forget to give a shout out (or a head shake) to the man in the aquarium elevator that looked at her (dressed as seen below) and called her a boy. Seriously...bow...fluffy bubble smocked outfit? Oy.


Between the aquarium, the creative discovery children's museum and all the amazing food we ate it was an awesome Fathers Day weekend away. We often forget how close we are to Chattanooga when we are thinking of places to go for a weekend and we need to get up there more often than we do.

Chattanooga Creative Discovery Museum

on
Monday, June 19, 2017

This past Sunday we spent the day playing at the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga, TN. It was awesome. We thought that Perry might be at the perfect age for this kind of thing...and boy were we right. He seriously loved every single minute of it...running from exhibit to exhibit and interacting with all the different activities.

We got there right at 10 am when they opened. We were literally the first people they let in and it afforded us a chance to stay one step ahead of the crowds that descended as the day went on which was really nice. 

There was a really neat indoor playground right as we went in that had drawn Perry's eye from the street...but our cautious little boy much preferred the interactive educational exhibits to climbing to heights and and sliding down which was a-ok by me. 

The first stop was a water play area that was a lot more than just fun...Perry got to play with water flow making different patterns with movable channel walls and a lock/gate system. Pretty sure he could have stayed here all day.


Next stop was the dinosaur room where there was a big sand pit with buried dinosaur bones to find. They even had cute little vests and tools for kids to use to make them really feel the part of a paleontologist. Our dinosaur loving boy was in heaven. Pretty sure he could have stayed in here all day too.


But we encouraged him along. There was a pretend doctor room, an art room, a music room, and makers room where Perry worked on his engineering skills putting little cubes together that have different actions to make a system. One color gave power, another gave a sensor, and another did an action. And so on and so on. He loved manipulating it and making it do different things...adding a cube to go slower, faster, reverse. His engineer granddaddy and my mom would be so proud. :)


There was also a big Eric Carle exhibit upstairs where he played in grass like a caterpillar, made a spider web, and decorated a butterflies wing. 


In the music area there was a cool room that you could move around in that created visuals of you moving up on a big screen. It was fun to be crazy and see what the screen would do. Pictures don't exactly do it justice...but you get the picture. It was fun.


If you find yourself in or near Chattanooga with kiddos I highly recommend you check out the Creative Discovery Museum. It is awesome!

Meanwhile Clara was a trooper and enjoyed the sights and sounds. And worked on her smile. :)


Wordless Wednesday

on
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend

on
Sunday, June 4, 2017

A look back at our busy but fun memorial day weekend. The weekend kicked off with a fun and impromptu dinner with friends at Buena Vista. Nothing says Memorial Day like Mexican food right?!? Our friends Brittany and Erik were there with their little girl Kinsey who is just about 6 weeks older than Clara. They had a riveting play date as you can see from the picture below. lol. Sharing in their favorite activity together...napping.


Sunday we had a family cookout complete with burgers, hot dogs, and time at the pool. The big kids splashed and played and enjoyed the Eckley kids' new pool floats. Perry had no idea he was the youngest kid out there...he can hold his own with the big kids. The littlest one was wearing her bathing suit...but didn't go in the pool. She preferred a lazy nap in the shade.



Then Monday we went over to Aunt T's porch to have a patriotic gathering with her, Aunt Kay and my Daddy (aka Papaw). We ate tons of food and visited a while. It was great to catch up with all of them. Perry and Clara were looking sharp in their red, white and blue. 



On the way home back over the mountain we were able to stop by Mommyteen and PawPaws for a few minutes to visit with them and let them meet their newest great grand. Embarrassingly it took us this long to make that happen...sorry about that Mommyteen!


It was a good weekend! Thankful not just for a day off of work for Daddy and extra reasons to have parties and eat hot dogs. Thankful for the men and women who paid the ultimate price so that we can do all those things and more...and live in a place where we are free!

One. Month. Old.

on
Saturday, June 3, 2017

Clara, 

You have been on this earth one whole month now. It doesn't seem possible it has been that long...the moments, days, and weeks are passing all too quickly. You are changing and growing every day...sometimes literally 2 ounces in one day and we are trying to savor every bit of your baby-hood.

You are such a sweet and good baby. You love to eat and sleep most of all, but are beginning to be awake a little more and look around. We have settled into a pretty good little routine of feeding times and you are consistently up just once at night between 10 pm and 7 am, usually around 2:30 am or so. You eat and go right back to sleep so it is really not so bad at all. And momma doesn't mind middle of the night snuggles.

As of your actual one month birthday you were weight in at 8 lb 10 oz. Not sure on length as we don't see the pediatrician again until your two month mark. Your hair is strawberry blonde. We think. Really depending on the day and lighting it ranges from very blonde to pretty red. Time will tell what it ends up. Your eyes are still very blue.

We try to do some "tummy time" every day. You tolerate it for a while usually...sometimes it just puts you right to sleep. You like your swing, but only if you are swinging fast...maybe you will be our less cautious child. :)

This month has been spent trying to get into a good solid routine and a lot of time at home with some excursions to stores, restaurants, starbucks, etc. Mommy will do a post here soon with some looks at all the fun we have had the last few weeks. Next month is sure to have even more adventures including your first toe dip in the ocean!

Your big brother loves you and is a good helper taking care of you. He makes sure everyone who comes near you washes their hands first!

We love you so much sweet girl! Happy one-month birthday!

~Mommy and Daddy

...and a little glimpse at real life...photographing a one month old is not easy.

Dedicated On Her Due Date

on
Thursday, May 18, 2017
May 14, 2017

Mothers Day. Clara's actual due date. And the day she actually got dedicated to the Lord at church...as a nearly 3 week old.

It was a sweet, albiet exhausting, day of celebration for our sweet little girl and for all the mothers in our lives. It was our first Sunday back at church since having Clara and it was great to see all our friends again and have a lot of family there with us.

We got to dedicate Clara to the Lord and affirm our commitment to teaching her about Jesus and encouraging her to find faith in Him. For her verse we picked Proverbs 3:3 - "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart." That really is our prayer for Clara as she grows up that God's love and faithfulness will be her constant.




Perry was dedicated on Mothers Day as well several years ago, but he was a few months old rather than a few weeks and I was more equipped to actually host a luncheon at our house after service for family and friends. That was not going to happen this year.

Instead we invited family and friends to join us for brunch at the Hampton Cove golf course where none of us had to do any form of cooking or cleaning or hosting. It was great. 

After lunch we attempted some family pictures which is where the day began to unravel a bit (note to self take pictures first next time) when Clara was hungry and crying and Perry fell and skinned his knee and was crying. Alas. We got some better family pictures a little later that afternoon at home once we all had some much needed rest time.



I can't forget to mention that it was Mothers Day and my people showered me with fun presents (chocolate, bath balls, and books...what else does a new mommy need) and breakfast.

I love these two kiddos with all my heart and I am so blessed to be their mother.

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