Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A blog entry!

I'm thinking I should start this thing back up.  Ethan is in kindergarten now and Blythe is in 2nd grade.  Brynn goes to preschool 2 mornings a week (yep....only TWO.MORNINGS.A.WEEK).  She's pretty good though.  Still takes a nap pretty regularly and if not, plays well by herself.  She's also a pretty awesome stroller rider and loves taking walks with me (where I walk and push her in the stroller and she lays back and smells her "bubba" (blanket), which is comforting to her and strange all at the same time).

This morning I had Ethan's teacher conference, which went well.  Love his teacher.  She and her husband both went to NC State, which obviously makes them cool from the get go. Ethan is doing fabulously.  He's a very smart little boy and I've been noticing a lot recently how quickly he picks things up.  He's good at writing and she has him working on writing whole sentences instead of just words, which he does very well at.  LOVE looking at his work and seeing how he sounds things out.  Apparently most of the class (including Ethan) are pretty adamant that "tree" starts with "ch".  You don't think about that until you say it out loud and well, it is hard to tell the difference between "tr" and "ch".  Also "dream"...they think it starts with "j".

I had Blythe's teacher conference last week and she too is doing well.  Better than I expected I guess.  Just always a little too chatty.  She's easily distracted which is why I thought she was just doing okay, but she appears to be a fast learner too as she picks it all up amongst her socializing and distractions.  Her teacher said for testing (like EOG tests and such) she'll just put Blythe in a corner where she can't see anyone else and then she'll be fine.  Ha.

As for activities, Ethan just finished baseball for the Fall season and will be moving on to basketball starting in January.  He'll do a bit of indoor soccer in the interim because he is always wanting to do something!  He's actually also playing in a little golf tournament this weekend (his first ever).  Blythe is swimming, swimming, swimming.  She swims year-round for the Titans.  Her group is all 7-8 year olds.  She's probably the slowest one in her group, but most of them are 8, so maybe she'll catch up.  For now she really likes her friends in the group, so she likes going to practice.  Having fun is what it's all about (or that's what I keep reminding myself of).  She also wants to do art, so I just signed her up for an art class as well.  Looks like we now have something every day of the week, so I'm officially a taxi driver.

Brynn can't be left out of activities, so she is in gymnastics once a week and now just started her first swimming lessons.  She can swim though and taught herself over the summer.  Now it's on to learning strokes.  She is an amazing student and sits still and listens.  As compared to Blythe who has always been overly social and easily distracted :)  However Brynn is 3, so you never know what you're going to get from her.

I still suck at taking pictures (keep telling myself when I get an iphone (January 29 I am eligible for an upgrade), then I will take more pictures.  Guess we will see.  Thank goodness I at least have an ipad and some bored children who occasionally take pictures themselves, so I can check my photo stream and see what I have.  So here it is...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday field trips

I'm starting to figure this new part-time preschool/part-time work/full-time stay-at-home mom thing out.  It's busy, but being home with 2 kids is WAY easier than being home with 3 all summer.  Especially since one of those 2 kids still naps every day.  The only down side is, she naps every day.  Which means Ethan and I are here.  At home.  Every.single.afternoon.  I think he's already starting to get bored.  I need to come up with more things for him to do.  Problem is that with 3 kids at home all summer, I got NOTHING done around the house, so now I have a list forever long, and I'm trying to tackle a lot of it each afternoon.  He gets bored  after a while.

But Ethan only goes to school 4 mornings a week.  So that leaves us with 1 day a week we can actually go somewhere.  So Mondays are our field trips days.  Note that Brynn goes to school Tuesday and Thursday mornings, so she's also with us for our Monday excursions.

For whatever reason though, lots of places are closed on Mondays.  Marbles, Museum of Life and Science, etc.  But I want to take advantage of the nice weather while we have it so we can save those indoor excursions for later.

So last Monday we went to the Black Creek Greenway here in Cary.  I rode my bike with Brynn in the bike seat and Ethan rode his bike.  Fortunately the trail is pretty flat, though not quite flat enough in some parts for his little bike with training wheels.  We still had a good time and then hit up the park across from where we parked (Godbold Park).

Yesterday we decided to try new things and new places.  First up - Waffle House.  None of my kids have ever been to Waffle House.  Although I'm a fan, Braden isn't, so we don't ever go.  Ethan wolfed down his waffle, so I'd say he liked it.  Since it wasn't raining and the kids had energy to burn, we tried out a new park.  Method Road Park.  It's a little bit in the ghetto, but the playground is nice and new so it was pretty fun.  Not enough to keep their attention for all that long though.

So next was Walnut Street Park.  Another park less than 10 minutes from our house that we hadn't tried.  This one was way cool.  All kinds of neat climbing structures and spinning things that they loved.  And we went on a short nature hike to look for bugs.

A quick stop to Target for 2 needed things and that concluded our Monday field trip for yesterday.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Week in Phone Photos

Woo hoo!  I took enough pictures in a week for a post! Barely.  Maybe I'll figure out how to get back into blogging.  At least I finally got a haircut/color yesterday for the first time since May 1 (i.e. pre-stay at home mom era).  Goodbye grays!

1. Ethan before his first day of pre-school.  Which, by the way, he LOVES (thanks to the fact that his class is 65% boys so they can do lots of fun boy stuff)
2. Ethan before his t-ball practice (after he got his new t-ball team hat).  They are the "Mudhens" and he is #3.  Go Mudhens!
3. These sunglasses aren't too big, are they?
4. Blythe attended her friend Macey's gymnastics birthday party.  Ta Da!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First day of school

Backdating this baby since I'm so terrible at keeping up with anything these days (yet somehow I find time to aimlessly surf the web looking for awesome things to do while wasting precious moments of time that we could be doing said awesome things....it's a vicious cycle).

Anyhoo, Blythe is now in FIRST GRADE!  That's like, so old.  She has Ms. Rose who is new to the school and literally moved here from Florida the week before school started.  In the picture above is Blythe's neighborhood friend Chambers who started kindergarten this year.  Unfortunately none of Blythe's close friends from last year are in her class, but she makes friends fairly easily.  Still, she doesn't rant and rave about anyone in her class nor does she ask to do anything with any of them after school.  So this might be an "off year" for her.  First grade homework blows.  She has 6 math worksheets per week to get done.  Fortunately, she has no problems with math, so I make her do all six in one sitting so we get that out of the way.  Then she has a minimum of 20 minutes of reading per day and then an assignment about what she just read (so no waiting until bedtime to do the reading).  Nope - supposed to have a "nice, quiet place away from distractions".  Uh...that such place does not exist in my house.  Trust me, I would have found it myself by now if it did.  So we do the best we can. Miraculously Blythe IS learning how to read.  Learning very quickly actually.  Probably has more to do with the 2 hours per day at school she spends on reading than on the 20 minutes per day at home.  But I think we're helping her.  Maybe.  But it's not like I can tell her, "okay, go read for 20 minutes".  No - either Braden or I have to be right next to her helping her through it. But it will pay off (right?) because someday soon she'll be able to read her own homework assignments and work through them with just a little help.

Ethan LOVES school.  His class is made up of 6 girls and 10 boys.  Finally he can play cars and ride bikes and scooters, etc with other boys!  He's in heaven!  And he quickly made a best friend who has been to our house after school and Ethan has been to his house.  His mom has helped me a lot actually which I am very grateful for.  Unfortunately they just moved here over the summer and they don't know yet if this is a temporary move or a permanent one.  I'm hoping permanent, but we shall see.  Ethan goes to school Tuesday through Friday from 9:30-12:30.  When they get out of school, they run around on the grass outside of school for 30-45 minutes while the moms get a bit of social time.  On the 3 days each week that Ethan doesn't have school, he asks me if he can go to school.  I'm so happy he loves school.

Brynn is indifferent about school.  She goes only Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30-12:30.  She doesn't complain about school, but doesn't talk much about it either.  She never talks about any of the kids in her class, but she does sing the songs she is learning.  She talks A LOT about Benny (Ethan's new best friend).  She is in love with Benny.  "Benny hold my hand today" she'll say.  "I go to Benny house" "I ride in Benny car". Etc etc.  It's very cute actually.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Aren't my kids beautiful?

Fun with photo booth!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer of 2012

Wow, what a terrible blogger I have been!  A month and a half of no blogs.  I kept thinking, "I need to add a blog entry about this", but alas, it just didn't happen.  So now I'll have to try my best to (relatively) quickly recap the summer in one blog post and hope that I'll be able to get back on track when school starts and we get into a schedule again.  This summer has been difficult for blogging because I have no down time during the day.  While Brynn is napping, I try to keep Blythe and Ethan from killing each other and simultaneously waking Brynn up.  That means I try to squeeze in some hours for my part-time job late at night.  And we ran our first swim camps this summer which was way more work than I anticipated.

Blythe starts 1st grade on August 27 and Brynn and Ethan start preschool the following week, so looking forward to a little time to myself and a nice, structured schedule :)

Not sure if I can even remember back that far, but I guess I last left off sometime while Braden was away at Olympic Trials.  While none of his swimmers made the Olympics (because it's REALLY freaking hard to make it), they did have a good showing. And I was able to recover from my hernia surgery while hanging at my parents house for a while.  We were all home for July 4th and spent the day at the pool (imagine that!) but didn't make it to many fireworks.  We roamed our neighborhood looking for some, but only came across a few small ones.

July 15-19 was our overnight swim camp, which was so much work, but a big success.  There are definitely things we'll improve upon for next year, but I think most of our campers will go home and tell their friends and come back next year, which is what we definitely want to happen!  Of course, planning for next year's camps has already started.  At least we're ahead of the game from where we were this past year, so maybe it won't be quite as crazy.

Considering we now live only 2 hours from the ocean, it would be a cryin' shame if we didn't make it to the beach at SOME point over the summer.  So we were able to join the Freel's and crash their beach house for 2.5 days at the beach.  Blythe and Ashley played like they see each other every day as did Ethan and Luke.  It was SO nice!  We went to Ocean Isle, which I hadn't been to in 20 years and I really like the beach.  Not too overdeveloped, but still enough to do.  Wish we could have stayed the whole week!

But we had to get back, because shortly after Braden and I were celebrating our 10 year anniversary!  Where have those 10 years gone?  So much has happened in those 10 years....we move to Chicago, then to Tennessee, then to Virginia, and finally back to Raleigh.  We had 3 kids.  Braden went through many jobs, but finally ended with his dream job!  I somehow managed to stay with the same company the whole time.  It's been a ride and we wanted to celebrate.  So we booked a room at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville and dropped the kids with my parents.  We stayed only 1 night, but it was a nice getaway (though we weren't all that fond of the hotel itself).  We headed back to my parents to pick up my sister because my parents left on a 3 week vacation (must be nice...ha!).

The following weekend, Braden, Doug, and Ethan headed out to Cashiers on a boys weekend with a purpose.  The purpose - to pick up the boat we purchased from Braden's dad.  Woohoo...getting a boat!  We had everything ready....bought a tube, got insurance, got ski ropes, life jackets, reserved storage space.  Unfortunately we've had problem after problem in the short time we've owned the boat so I have yet to even step foot on it.  Hoping that all changes in just a few hours when we take it back out to test the latest fix.  Fingers crossed!  I grew up on a lake with a boat, so I love boats and would love to pass down to my kids all the fun that boats can be.  It's a small jet boat, so if we have friends out we need to have some people hang at the beach, but Jordan Lake (where we will keep it) is perfect for that.

Because we were getting the boat, we decided to use Braden's week off on a STAYcation and we'd play on the boat all week.  Unfortunately the boat gods had other plans and it went to the shop.  We desperately wanted some sort of family vacation, so we made an impromptu visit to Washington DC since the kids had never been.  And when I say impromptu, I mean I booked a hotel at 9:30pm the night before and we left at 9am the next day.  It was the most spontaneous thing I've ever done!  The kids were pretty impressed with DC and we had a good time.  We walked from our hotel to the White House, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial.  The next day we took the Metro and went to the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History museum.  The kids said they liked the Air and Space museum the most, but I think they actually liked the revolving door at the hotel the most and seeing lots of taxis.

So that pretty much leads me to now as far as highlights of the summer are concerned.  We've had a lot of fun and we've done a lot of other things as well.  Picked out most the places to go from the one jar and still have lots of "things to do at home" from the other jar that we'll save and we can do anytime we are bored.

We went to Marbles, The NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Durham Life and Science museum, Monkey Joe's, Defy Gravity (a place with ALL trampolines), Pullen Park, lots of other parks, Build-a-Bear, Jordan Lake, our pool (a lot), Doug and Lynette's pool, the library, Krispy Kreme, the puppet theater, etc.

Blythe did a week of swim camp and a week of art camp.  Ethan did a week of soccer camp and is doing a tennis mini-camp this week.  They both did a 1 day art camp together, which they will do again one day next week.

It's been a jam packed summer and lots of fun, but I'm ready for school to start.  And gymnastics.  And t-ball.  And ready to play on the boat :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Week in Pictures

I'm almost done with this week and just getting around to posting LAST week's pictures.  Not only that, but I didn't even have enough to use the 6 pic layout (let along the 9 pic layout).  Why?  Because I was holed up in bed or walking around like a slow elderly person for most of the week.  I had surgery to correct a double abdominal hernia (gotten when pregnant with Blythe and with Ethan).  I figured I'd be hurting pretty bad for a couple of days and then just be sore.  Instead, I was pretty worthless for 3 full days and then halfway worthless after that.  So here are the pics I managed to get:

1. We did manage to go out for my birthday last Friday.  We had sushi with Doug and Lynette and WOW!  we ate a lot of sushi!
2. We made it out to Pullen Park for Blythe's ballet family appreciation day.  Blythe headed straight for the face painting.
3. One of the cards drawn from the "Mom...I'm BORED!" jar was "Make puppets".  So here they are.  Ethan has an angry puppet.  Blythe's is...a dog?  A nun?  A brunette?
4. Another of the cards from the "Mom....I'm BORED!" jar...."Put on a circus".  Yes, Blythe is wearing a size 18 month tiger costume.  And yes, Blythe did her own face painting (and belly painting.  and hand painting.  and feet painting.).  Need to remember to hide the face paint. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Week in Pictures

Sorry no other blog posts this week.  We held our first ever Wolfpack Swim Camp this past week, so we were busy with that!  It was a 9am-12pm day camp.  Blythe participated in the camp and Ethan did the Wolfpack Soccer Camp at the same time.  Brynn "helped" me with the camp (or whatever the opposite of "help" is).

Going down each column:
1. Ethan in his soccer camp
2. A picture of a camper at our swim camp
3. Blythe playing a game at swim camp
4. Ethan wanted to wear his NC State swim cap at Doug and Lynette's pool while going down the slide or off the diving board.
5.  Theme this week was supposed to be "camping", but short of painting some camping stuff on plates on Monday, we didn't do anything else camping-related
6. Blythe and Ethan as ninjas (underwear ninjas, that is)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Week in Pictures

Yay me!  I had over 9 pictures to choose from!

1. Someone made a ginormous sand castle in the middle of Moore Square in downtown Raleigh.  Ethan tried to knock it down, but it was hard as a rock.
2. For our SPORTS themed week, we played some tennis.  Ethan was in love and carried the tennis racket around all week.  He's now signed up for a mini tennis camp in July and he can't wait!
3. A beautiful day for a trip to Pullen Park and a picnic.  Kids of course rode the boats.
4. My summer saving grace.  Before summer started, I thought up lots (like well over a hundred) of things for the kids to do.  The first jar says "Mom....I'm BORED!".  It has things the kids can do at home when they are bored.  Beware though...some are chores!  Blythe found that out on Friday with a "Dust the house" coupon.  The second jar says "Oh, the Places You'll Go!".  This one has all kinds of ideas on places we can go.  First coupon of the summer was on Friday..."Pullen Park".
5. Took Brynn and Ethan to Marbles.  They are in the pirate ship here.  Walk the plank Matey!
6.  Blythe with her safety patrol friend Ellen on her last day of kindergarten.
7.  Brynn on the slide at Godbold Park after we played tennis.
8.  Hey look!  I'm actually in a picture!  Carousel at Pullen.
9.  It's Rapunzel, Spiderman, and sidekick Bogie.  Every now and then Bogie likes being with the kids and doesn't growl at them.  He's weird like that.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The end of kindergarten

The end of kindergarten for my for my first child at least.

Got this idea on Pinterest.  Hopefully I'll remember to do it each year for each of my kids.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Blythe's ballet recital

Last Saturday Blythe had her much anticipated ballet recital.  Much anticipated not because she was super excited about it, but because she was ready to be done with ballet.  It wasn't that she hated ballet.  She really liked it for about 6 months or so.  It's just that she had never done anything longer than 2 months prior to this and ballet was a 9 month commitment.  That's a long time for a 5 and  6 year old!

I do think she had fun at the recital though.  What girl doesn't like getting dressed up and putting on makeup?  The fact that she had to perform in front of thousands dozens of people, didn't seem to phase her.

Here she is all dolled up

And here is the video of her first dance.

I don't think she'll do it again next year, but at the moment we don't really know what she'll want to do next year.  Guess we'll wait and see!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Week in pictures

Okay, I already failed at the picture thing last week because:
1. I took no pictures of Blythe (will make up for it with a post on her dance recital)
2. I didn't even take 9 pictures, so different layout required.

Going down first column first:
1. Can't even see Brynn's teeth because they are covered in Cheetos
2. Actually Blythe is in this picture and so is Ethan.  It's their swim team photo.
3. Brynn sat outside by herself for at least 30 minutes painting her hands and then making handprints on a paper
4. First day of potty training!
5.  Ethan finally participated in a swim team practice (he's still only done the one)
6. Grams reading to Ethan and Brynn during our trip to Cashiers

Friday, June 1, 2012

No more diapers!

Well, at least during the day.  Brynn has been potty training this week.  She's been very interested in the potty recently, so I wanted to capitalize and thought this week was good since Blythe is still in school (so I only have to ignore 1 kid while we potty train).  Our theme this week has been "Transportation-Wheels" but I guess should have been "poopy and tee tee".  Ethan has played with his cars a lot by himself, so I guess that counts, right?

We started as soon as we got back from Cashiers on Monday.  I had been taking her potty all weekend, though still had her in diapers (didn't want to actually make the move until the 5 hour car trip was over).  We went out to Outback for dinner on Monday (because we had a gift certificate).  Even without potty training, Brynn is not good at restaurants, so we rarely go.  She went through 2 pair of undies while there.

So Tuesday was officially the first full day.  And she had ZERO accidents!  Granted we were home most of the day and she was pantless most of the day, but she even stayed dry through naptime.  Wow!

Wednesday was almost as good.  She even pooped on the potty in the morning, though I wouldn't say she was a fan of that new process.  She did not stay dry through naptime and then a little while after, peed on the floor, but stopped and told me she had to go potty.  So not bad, though still pantless most of the day.

Yesterday was pretty good.  Again wet during nap, but otherwise did great.  Wore undies most of the day and was telling me when she had to go.  I could tell she needed to poop, but just didn't want to.

Today she did great again!  We went to the Sesame Street Live show this morning and she held it for hours but stayed dry and told me all day when she needed to go.  However, I knew she REALLY needed to poop, but just wouldn't do it.  I started calling her the "Girl who cried poop" because she kept telling me, we kept going to the potty, and then nothing.  Probably happened 100 times over yesterday and today. After a while she was in pain.  Didn't want to push, but didn't want to get off the potty.  We sat like this for at least half an hour.

She was back in underpants later and took the opportunity while neither Braden or I were in the room to poop in her pants.  It was ginormous and probably took a lot of pushing.  So that's still a work in progress.  What was impressive though was that she didn't wet herself through all that pushing.  Instead she waited until I cleaned her up then told me she had to go and then peed on the potty.  So I think we're already there on #1!  Very impressed with my baby.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Week in pictures

1. Blythe and Ethan riding the caterpiller ride at the "Got to be NC" Festival at the fairgrounds.  Ethan said this was his favorite ride.
2. Ethan after a (semi-successful) trip to Walmart.  Hey - he's still smiling, so can't be that bad.
3. Grams and Peep chillin in a raft on Lake Keowee during our trip to Cashiers
4. Juni wears a toddler size 5 shoe and a 2T shirt (in case you need to know)
5. Art!  Painting the plates used to hold the paint.
6. Before they painted the plates, we painted pig noses.  Aren't they the cutest little pigs?
7. The boats at Pullen Park
8.  Happy Birthday to Brynn!  Ready to open some presents!
9.  Look at my sandy hands!  Sand castle building at Lake Keowee.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Brynn is 2!

Hard to believe, but my baby is 2 years old.  She should be starting her terrible 2 tantrums any day now.  Kidding actually, she started those suckers at least 3 months ago.

Sorry, Brynn, but maybe because you are the 3rd child, or maybe just the circumstances this year, but you didn't really get a party.  We had Doug, Lynette, Ada, and Harper over on Brynn's birthday.  Ethan, Ada, and Brynn helped me bake a cake earlier in the day that we decorated with sprinkles.  We had no balloons. No streamers.  No theme.  Just some cake and some leftover birthday napkins from Blythe's party.  I did buy ice cream, but forgot to get it out for everyone to eat.  But she's 2 and she doesn't care.  The only part she cares about is singing Happy Birthday and blowing out the candles.  And she gets to do that 3 times for her birthday. Because we spent last weekend with Grams and Peep and they got cupcakes and we sang Happy Birthday.  This Wednesday we'll celebrate with Gommy, Poppa, and Laura.  So it's all good.

At 2, Brynn is not such an easy child.  She still gets pissed if I try to leave her sight.  Put her in her high chair with some food while I try to run into the office to check email?  Nope.  Pisses her off.  I'm hoping this subsides in the near future.  Maybe now that I'm home with her all day, she'll get sick of seeing me all the time.  Although, I'd say she's quite the fan of the new arrangement.  And she's been pretty good too.  Most things I say (like "Want to take a nap?") get answered with "Tay" (her version of "K").  She's talking up a storm these days and even has several sentences that she says.  Of course, sometimes I'm the only one who can understand her.  Like when she says "Deedan es fi-in".  Translation - Ethan is crying.  She's got the whole punch buggy routine down.  "Mommy!  Pu Muggy!  Gimme ya hand"  Then she hits me on the hand.

At the doctor, she was 26 pounds and 36 inches tall.  Pretty sure that 36 inches is off though by at least an inch.  They weren't exactly scientific about it.  She wears size 6 shoe and 2T clothes.  So far this season she loves the baby pool, but not a fan of the big pool.  I'm sure she'll get over that quickly.

We also started potty training today as soon as we got back from our trip.  She went probably 2-3 hours without peeing at all then went through 2 pairs of underwear.  She did pee in the potty though right before bedtime, so that was a success!   Should be a fun week around here.

So, happy birthday to Brynn!