At the Dominican Republic airport, we surprisingly departed the plane on the tarmack, and walked to the airport. The humidity and sticky heat hit us immediately. We couldn't wait for the ocean breeze.
This was our room to the left and Pat & Kristy's. We were the closest to the ocean, but you couldn't walk right out onto the beach. However, the breeze from the beach was great, especially when we would sit outside at night and play cards after the kids went to bed. It was also nice having our rooms next to each other because when the kids napped, we took turns as couples doing something fun for an hour each day while the other two stayed back and listened for the kids.
The grounds were very well kept.
This was the first night we went to dinner together. If you look closely, you can see Charlotte's new favorite shirt.
Here is a better picture of her shirt and Jefferson's too.
Charlotte getting her first look at the ocean this year. It was alright for a little bit, and then a wave hit her, barely splashed her face. I think some salt must have gotten in her eye because she wasn't too happy. Then, when we sat her on the beach, she didn't like that too much, especially when a ball from a soccer game came and hit her in the head (it didn't knock her over). It could have hit one of the 4 people around her, but instead it chose her. I think that also created some negative feelings about the beach. The picture below is how she acted when we took her to the beach any other time.... She would cling to Chris as if it were life or death...funny. So we spent a lot of time in the pool with her.
Jefferson also had a great time in the pool. He was much more daring than Charlotte, putting his head in the water and jumping from the side of the pool into Pat's arms.
After dinner one evening...
They had water aerobics every day at 12:00. It was pretty interesting to people watch here. People are not shy about their bodies at all, or what their bodies are doing while doing aerobics.
We didn't have the opportunity to use Charlotte's walker every day, as when we finally put her down for a nap after being in the pool, she was zonked, and then when she got up, we usually got ready for dinner. But, this day, we found some time and she had a blast.
I love this layed back pose.
There was a beautiful tree in front of our room with gorgeous red blossoms. We thought it made for a cute picture for Charlotte this year (especially since we knew we wouldn't get a good beach one).
Chris' Grandma and her son, Brian from North Carollina
I love these pictures of Chris and Charlotte. They have such a special bond together and you can just see how much she loves her Daddy. In the picture below, she is rubbing noses, a new thing we taught her.
We made a point to get a picture with Aunt Kim this night because before Charlotte was born, she gave me this dress at my baby shower when we didn't know if we were having a boy or girl. I am so glad Charlotte has gotten to wear it.
It was Grandma Clara's Birthday on July 30th. We usually plan the trip around her birthday.
This was the night we went to the Oriental Restaurant. They had the best food by far.
And finally, at the airport once again. The day before we left, we got a note saying that the Dominican Republic was going on strike and we would have to leave our resort at 4:20 AM because the roads would be closed for traffic between 5:30 AM and 5 PM. We were a bit nervous and frustrated since our flight didn't leave for Miami until 2:20 PM. That means we spent 8 hours in the Dominican airport with 2 toddlers! Wow, we did it, but it was sure a long day. We got up at 2:30 AM St. Louis time and got home finally at 10:30 PM. I have never been so excited to be back in the US!
One last picture of Sharlie, lookin' cute.
Well...this isn't Charlotte. And I guess if you haven't figured it out yet, I guess I'll just let you all know that Charlotte's t-shirt said "Sister to BEE". This would be her younger sibling a couple of weeks ago. So far everything is going well, and the heartbeat was strong at 156. We have waited to tell everyone because on our trip we surprised Chris' family that both Charlotte and Jeff are going to be big brithers and sisters. Kristy is about 1 1/2 weeks ahead of me so we are in this together. Chris and I are hoping for the best and staying optimistic. We would love any prayers for our new little one especially for his/her health as we know that a healthy baby is so such a gift. Some of you may think we are brave, and some of you may be shocked or scared, but just know that we have faith. And we know that no matter what, God is with us. We wanted a family and we feel that we shouldn't let fear stand in the way of that. Faith is stronger.
We will keep you posted on ultrasounds, etc. We get a target ultrasound done between 14-16 weeks and again between 18-20 weeks. Hopefully, we will be able to see all of the major anatomy at those ultrasounds (especially the cerebellum) and put our minds at ease. I am 9 1/2 weeks today, with a due date somewhere around March 5th. Let's hope we get there this time!!!