charlotte | luca is TWO.

on the weekend of luca's birthday, i took the whole day off on friday and monday. friday, so that i could get up early and be there around lunch time (versus driving after a half day at work doing probably nothing, and arriving later in the night). monday, so that i could stay in charlotte all day sunday, which was luca's actual birthday.

we mostly ran errands on friday, and i don't know who suggested it, but someone thought it would be funny if we took selfies everywhere we went. we also thought it would be funny if i tried to sit in the front of the shopping cart, like where you would put your toddler. this is probably one of those things you had to be there for, but i will tell you that for those who were there, we were cry-laughing it was so funny.

at one point, H commented that we didn't really need a selfie stick because i have what she referred to as "go go gadget arms." we took many selfies over the weekend, and i was always the designated selfie-taker. because of my go go gadget arms. although i like to think i just know how to take a proper selfie, where everyone fits in the frame.

also, my second attempt at sitting in the children's part of a grocery cart was a success (photo above) and the night ended with froyo, so basically i think we're doing life right.


on saturday, we celebrated luca's birthday by going to the zoo.

here he is, on the left, living life on his last day being a one year old by shoving an entire chocolate munchkin in his mouth because YOLO.

i'm not actually sure at which point i took that photo on the right but i'm guessing it wasn't post-munchkin because his mouth looks clean, but HIS FACE. i cannot get enough of it, and is perhaps why i held the camera so close.

the carousel was my favorite part of the whole day.

first, his level of excitement about the whole thing was unreal. i mean, he was STOKED.

second, i walked around with him, asking which animal he wanted to sit on, and he kept saying no to each of them. (indecisive, just like auntie sarah.) then, when i finally just picked the zebra, he wouldn't let go of me. he LOVES the carousel, or so i'd only heard at this point, but he was afraid of it? eventually i said, "let's just try it." and put him on, and that was apparently all he needed.

third, watching anyone love anything as much as he loved that carousel ride is the best thing. so much joy.

the thing about this photo on the left is that it's terrible, but THERE WERE TURTLES and can i just tell you i almost walked through a spider web WITH AN ENORMOUS SPIDER IN IT without even realizing it, just to take this photo? so yes, i am posting it, because it's significant.

on the right is the photo abby took because she's better than i am.

H and T were taking selfies with the giraffe in the background so i thought i'd give it a try and this is what i got. it kills me. what is even happening here?

luca did not enjoy the aquarium portion of the zoo, but this is a neat photo, mostly because you can't tell how tight his grip was or that our faces are close because i was saying "it's okay! it's okay!" i have no photos of the other portion of the inside exhibits because they mostly involved snakes or rats or other gross animals. he LOVED those parts, because of course he did.

post-zoo. hot and sweaty and sleepy.

something that's not pictured, that i want to remember, is walking out after our long and exciting day. i was holding him with both arms, his head resting on my chest, and we were both that kind of hot and sweaty where you really don't want to be touching anyone or anything, but he was letting me hold him, in a moment that was particularly miserable in the heat, on a day where he was being particularly picky about who he wanted to hold him, and i felt like i had won a prize.

i was trying to capture what was going on in the back seat on the way home. luca was lounging, as always, with his foot up on my shoulder, and H had her eyes closed. she opened them right as i took the picture.

we obviously stopped for ice cream on the way home, and judging by this photo, luca did not enjoy the experience at all.


i bought him a toy record player for his birthday and his parents bought him a motorcycle that does wheelies. guess which one he liked more?

(don't feel bad. there WAS a short dance party to the music from the record player before he sat down and used it as a foot stool. it was very brief, but it did happen.)

these people are my favorite. every time we are together, they never fail to make me laugh until my stomach hurts.

none of these last three photos are really that great, but they're all okay in that way where, when you see them all in a row, by the time you get to the third one, with H, you can kind of appreciate how well it turned out. right? we tried.

the best thing about your brother dating one of your best friends is that she comes to visit for special family occasions like your nephew's birthday.

the worst part is that you end up in situations like this one.


i totally love being sandwiched between these two on the love seat.