Speer Family Blog

With so many of our family and friends living far from us (or is it that we live far from you?), this is our way of keeping you in the loop of the memorable moments of our family! This blog will keep you up-to-date on all of our zany thoughts and experiences, as well as provide you with a plethora of pictures of our handsome sons Luke William and Zealand Gabriel Beck!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Brothers, Teething and the Beach


So we're really getting used to going to the beach with the boys every week.  A couple of weeks ago we decided to try it even with sprinkling rain coming down on the short drive.  Once we got there, a few clouds lingered, but we had an enjoyable morning...actually probably even better than having to worry about the blazing sun beating down on us.  We've also realized that mornings work out perfect for our little family.  We arrive at the beach, we've only been to Isle of Palms so far, around 10am.  Easy parking and we're on the beach in two minutes.  This last time we even remembered to bring our little beach tent in case Z wanted to nap.  Both boys love the water...and the sand!  Just 2 weeks until our week long beach vacation with my parents in Myrtle.  We can't wait!

In other news, we are teething here.  Zealand's bottom two front teeth just broke through.  He handled it like a champ, but now the top two are working their way in.  Which seems to me that it's a little rougher on him.  Poor guy!  And there is rumor of the two-year molars hitting our other toddler friends and from what I can tell in the few instances I'm able to glance in Luke's mouth, he could be getting them any day...or week. 

An update in the potty training world.  Well, not really any news news.  He's doing great, he can go almost a whole day (while we are at home) without an accident, though he does seek help when it's time to pull down his undies.  Speaking of undies...how cute are little toddler underwear?! 

We are officially members of the South Carolina Aquarium and Children's Museum.  Got a great discount to become members of both and because I have two under two, it was a steal!  Now we have a place to go when it's too hot or rainy to be at one of the many fabulous Charleston parks.  We found one park last week, Wannamaker in North Charleston, that is about 5 minutes from our house and has a sprinkler area that both boys were quite fond of.  This park also has a dog park area and we're going to bring daddy-o and our dear doggies next time!

Yesterday we discovered the park at Charles Towne Landing.  It has a little zoo and a fun ship to explore.  Zac had the day off and the weather was gorgeous...and so was the park!  We took some good shots here.

The most fun of all even while we're getting to know our new town, is watching these boys grow as brothers.  Each day that Zealand is becoming more alert and interactive, the more Luke spends "playing" with him...and for him!  They have an after meal routine where Luke plays peek-a-boo by running around his chair, hiding behind him, then jumping out at him. 
 He cracks up, then Zealand cracks up...and on it goes!  When I get busy with cleaning or something, I'll ask Luke to go dance for Z and he'll go and do what it takes to make his lil bro laugh.  He's even starting to show concern when he can't find his brother (like when he is in our room taking a nap).  So precious!  We're so excited to watch as their bonding continues!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Palm Trees, Choo-Choos and I Love You!

Daddy and the boys in the hotel pool
Luke at Riverfront Park
We are officially proud and happy residents of South Carolina! After a joyous phone call from his new boss, Zac was given 2 weeks notice to move to Charleston so he could begin his new Tommy Bahama adventure as manager of the downtown store, elegantly located in the Charleston Place Hotel.

Luke hugging his froggy after
we found him while unpacking
Like I said, we had two weeks notice. That means, two weeks to pack up an entire house, find renters for our house in Maryland (anyone interested in buying???), and make the drive down south. On Thursday, July 22nd we began the journey by making the 2 hour drive from Easton to Magna and Papa's house in Manassas, VA. Along the way, me driving with the boys and Bailey in the back...Zac driving with Yukon, we were on DC's beltway and saw a dude get flipped off his motorcycle just 3 cars in front of me. We both had to slam on our brakes and thankfully he was wearing a helmet and seemed to be alright, considering. We were happy to get to my parents house an hour later and enjoyed our first relaxing afternoon in 14 days (unless you count the 14 afternoons before he heard the news that we were waiting and wondering about the position). My mom made a delicious dinner that night and my brother Stephen came over to say his "see you laters". Though we won't be 2 hours from them anymore, we're hoping my parents move here soon and maybe then my bro will too ;) Then we'd be close to most of our family since most of Zac's family lives in North Myrtle and Myrtle. The boys miss their Papa and Magna very much, but thanks to Skype, until they live here and aside from our week vacation in September, we'll all be able to see one another.

Playground at our apt complex
That Friday, we arrived in North Myrtle and introduced our little Zealand to Zac's parents, Ama and Poppy. It was nice to see them after about 10 months. That night we spent our first night, all of us, in a hotel. We didn'tknow at that point we'd have 12 more nights of all 7 of us in a 1 BR hotel. :) 7 being me, Zac, Luke, Zealand, our dogs Bailey and Yukon and our fish Al. OH yeah! So after a short visit with Zac's sis and her family and our good friends, we drove the hour and a half to Mt. Pleasant...our final leg of the drive. We checked in at the Marriott Residence Inn at the Isle of Palms Connector very happy to see a pool lined with palms!

Zac's company paid for our meals during our stay, which turned out to be 12 days! But have you tried to go out to dinner with a toddler lately? Not too excited to sit longer than 10 minutes, we tried everything to entertain him and keep him occupied and happy though we did decide to get take out a few nights. We were excited though to see Jersey Mike's just a block from our hotel and Mellow Mushroom up the street. We also celebrated our 3rd anniversary while staying there and made it out to Longhorn Steakhouse where we did enjoy nice steaks and I had a glass of wine. With Luke's fascination with knives, this was a good destination to keep him somewhat entertained.
the boys on a stroller ride in downtown
Charleston a block from daddy's work
Charleston Place Hotel
Zac started his first day on the job that Monday and through the following week we spent some time looking at apartments, eating out and swimming in the pool. We found the perfect apartment at Audubon Park in Hanahan, SC which is just on the edge of N. Charleston. While crossing our fingers that ourhome in MD sells sooner than later, that will determine the actual length of our residence here, though we did sign a year's lease.

Tommy Bahama Charleston
Luke and Daddy at apt pool
Massive grill and picnic area at apt pool
Since we've been here, I think it's been 2 1/2 weeks in our very sunny, clean, 3rd floor apartment, we've been really happy about our new lives! The pool is literally just down our stairs and there is a playground across from us. To my delight, or so I thought, there is a railroad track just down the street. I thought this would be great fun for the boys to see. Hmmm, didn't take into account the trains that ran in the middle of the night and why do those horns seem louder then? If you remember me talking about that crazy siren we always had to listen to in Easton, but at least the horns don't last 2 minutes. And the boys have yet to wake from it. Also, for those of you who knew about the lack of stores and shopping we had in Easton, you'll be happy to know I live minutes from Ross, Marshalls, Barnes and Noble, Babies R Us, a mall (I have yet to go in, but am excited) and a Carrabbas!
Zealand after beach trip

Luke after beach trip
We've taken the boys to their first Charleston beach day last Tuesday. Luke has been becoming an expert fish thanks to his floaty outfit in the pool, and we know he loves water, so we knew he'd be excited to see the ocean since he was just 10 months during our last beach trip. He did love it and even little Z sat in the sand and enjoyed the waves that would come up around him. We're excited to know this was our first family beach day of many...especially since I'm not working and we can actually enjoy Zac's days off now!

View of pool from our stairs
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With our new diggs, our new schedule and our sweet boys just growing each day, we are so happy with what we have and we feel so blessed! It's exciting to wonder what life will be like in a year...in five...in 16...and it's cool to know we'll be here in Charleston! Welcome Home!
Entrance to Audubon