Monday, December 3, 2012

2012 Week 48

Took Kaitlyn to the allergist this week.  We're still trying to figure out her allergy/asthma issues.  They decided to do the skin test while we were there.  Kaitlyn was scared about what that involved but was a trooper and did great.  That test was negative for any allergies though so now we are pursuing the asthma angle and have started her on a new inhaler for daily meds.
When looking at the calendar with Audrey we didn't have many options for a get together before Christmas.  So we decided to get the kids out of school early on Friday and meet at the zoo.  It was great!  The weather was perfect, we had the place almost entirely to ourselves, the kids were very engaged and having a lot of fun (instead of trying to rush us from one exhibit to another as they usually do), and the animals were very active.  We got to see the new baby gorilla and the baby giraffe.  And the 9 month old chimp was such fun to watch!  She was climbing trees and swinging from vines and all kinds of things.  We spent a good 15 minutes or so just watching her.
We had about 2 1/2 hours there until it closed, then we all went out for milkshakes before heading home.  I was really glad we pulled off the spur-of-the-moment outing - it was so worth it!
Every year we have Christmas Elves visit us for the month of December so they can report back to Santa if the kids are naughty or nice.  They showed up right on schedule and were soon up to some crazy elf tricks - like wrapping the toilet in wrapping paper!

Monday, November 26, 2012

2012 Week 47

Thanksgiving!  Let's face it, that was what this week was all about.  Prep and planning, parties at school (poor Tyler was sick on Monday and had to miss their cute little play/singing performance - I need to get a video of him giving us his own little show in full costume), cleaning, etc.
As usual when it comes to big events, Sam did most of the cooking with a little help from the kids and I took care of all the behind the scenes stuff like shopping and getting the house ready, table set, etc.  We had invited Stacia, Nate and their kids over for dinner and had a great time.  I think we will all look forward to more celebrations together now that they live nearby.

In our house, the day after Thanksgiving is set aside for pulling out the Christmas decorations and putting up the tree.  That's when we know the holidays have truly begun and we can start listening to Christmas music :)  It's one of my favorite traditions.

I was amused by how excited the kids were to find the Santa hats in one of the boxes.  They wore them a lot that day and Tyler in particular keeps one on his bed and put it on quite often since then.  Ty was also excited for their "secret hideaway" - which translates to that little corner of space behind the couch in the corner that is only there when the tree is up and the love seat gets pushed aside.  The kids love to take blankets and books and their handheld video games back there and hang out.

Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 Week 46

So proud of the kids and their accomplisments at school this week.  The school held their end of term awards assemblies and both of my little smarties did well.  Tyler received awards for reading and perfect attendance.  Kaitlyn also got perfect attendance as well as awards in PE and computers, Principal's List (All A's - kind of like high honor roll) and her long awaited Cougar Character Star.  She has been wanting to win that award since her first awards ceremony here when she found out they get a medal.  I'm not sure what the criteria is for it, but they only award one per class per term.

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 Week 44

Another full, eventful, busy fun week!
We didn't find time to carve pumpkins until the night before Halloween, but when we did we made a whole event out of it.  Mummy wrapped hot dogs and spiced apple cider for dinner.  It was Red Ribbon Week at school - thus the pjs as it had been pajama dress up day.
Ewww pumpkin guts!  Sam usually tries to avoid helping with this part and he was headed out to the garage to work on drying racks but my phone kept ringing so he took pity on the kids and helped out.  I didn't have to touch a single pumpkin gut myself :)  But I did help - or more acurately do it all - Tyler with his "fire face" pumpkin.

Kaitlyn did most of her cleaning out, template transfer and carving herself though Sam and I did help out after we finished our turns with Tyler's pumpkin.

Halloween!  The school doesn't like the kids to dress up for Halloween, but they did designate it as "what you want to be when you grow up" dress up day for Red Ribbon Week so the kids picked their costumes accordingly.  Tyler was quick to decide on a cowboy (which we fully approved as it meant we didn't have to go shopping) and Kaitlyn surprised us by suggesting a rodeo queen, then really got into the idea when she figured out she could wear Grandma's tiara on her hat.
We did go to Target last week and get her some boots as she had grown out of her pink cowboy boots.  These are westernish but also work for every day, which is great because she loves them and wears them to school all the time.

I'm glad I took most of the "good" photos the day they dressed up for the birthday party as on Halloween itself we ended up a bit rushed.  Sam had night fire and was sad to miss out and I wasn't looking forward to walking around with the kids on my own.  So when the first set of neighbor/friends knocked on the door I was quick to ask if they would wait a minute so we could walk around with them.  We lit the pumpkins, set out a bucket of candy on the porch, distributed glow bracelets to the crew and headed out quickly.  The whole neighborhood was out and about at the same time and before long it was one giant party, with some other friends tagging along with us and running into everyone else as we went along.

We have enough houses in our neighborhood that after an hour of trick or treating the kids had full bags and enough candy to last them a month, or more.

Saturday was the second craft show for Jessie and me (postponed due to weather - a big hurricane hit further up the coast - from the weekend before) and it went pretty well.  Sam had to work so the kids spent the day with a neighbor (and we all missed out on the wedding we were originally planning to attend) while Jessie and I made a few sales, enjoyed the great weather, and had a good time visiting with people and making friends with the vendors in nearby booths.

Oh and let's not forget the other big event of the week, even though we weren't there to experience it.  Czar and Robin had their baby Halloween night!  They named her Roxanne Zelda.  She was a bit early and tiny, weighing in at 4 1/2 pounds and immediately making me nostalgic for my own super tiny, early, October baby girl.  I couldn't resist pulling out one of Kaitlyn's preemie hats to check the size and whipping up a tiny hat to send to them.  (no idea why the photo posted sideways here and I can't get it to turn around)

Monday, October 29, 2012

2012 Week 43

First eggnog of the season!  Sam in particular was excited to spot some in the grocery store.
We also got our fireplace hooked up (finally!  Why did we wait 2 years?!) and have loved using it.  We have also started family reading time a few nights every week, usually stretched out in front of the fire.  We take turns reading (our first pick was my old copy of Alice in Wonderland), even Tyler who will sit by me while I read and read any of his sight words that we come across.
Family reading time with the first night of eggnog was fun, but also a mistake as the kids were excited and fidgety and some eggnog got knocked over and now we have a yellow stain in the middle of the living room *sigh*
Sam and I have really been taking advantage of his random days off (he gets them every once in a while in an (pitiful) attempt to make up for some of the times he has to work straight through the weekends) and going out on Day Dates.  This week is was a trip on the motorcycle to explore downtown Fayetteville where we walked around a litle bit, had lunch at a restaurant we hadn't tried yet (another benefit of the day date - no crowds and the freedom to eat at places we wouldn't want to try with the kids), did a little window shopping, then stopped at a frozen yogurt place for dessert.  I really love days like that.
The next day I had another fun activity planned.  Audrey's schedule and mine finally meshed and we were able to meet for some shopping and lunch.  We met at an Outlet Mall that neither of us had explored before and that was fun - and successful.  I was in need of new jeans (how great that mine are too big, right?!) and we found some great inexpensive choices very easily, plus some other fun stuff to buy.
That day was a very full day because I had also scheduled myself to take some family photos for a friend at Raven Rock.  Actually it turned into two sessions as we got started way too late and we ended up with icky photos due to not enough light.  But it was fun seeing them, and having a picnic in the dark afterward (Sam had night fire but the kids were with me).  Take two happened a couple days later this time closer to their house (we thought) in downtown.  Luckily a neighbor had suggested a park there and it was a great location.  I had a lot of fun taking their photos and I think we ended up with a lot of really good ones - phew!

The kids were invited to a birthday party here in the neighborhood on Saturday - a costume birthday party.  Here's a sneak peek at their Halloween costumes.  Care to venture a guess what they were?

Monday, October 22, 2012

2012 Week 42

Tyler lost his second tooth, once again due to biting into an apple :)  This is pretty exciting stuff for a 5 year old.
It's been a busy week, so we decided to get in some good family fun time on the weekend and took the kids to a corn maze.

The bonus this year is that both kids are now old enough that the corn maze kept their interest the entire time - no complaining they were tired or needing snacks or wanting to be carried! Instead we all took turns being the leader and found all 10 checkpoints in a record (for us) 30 minutes. Actually the kids found them - when it was my turn with the flag it took me forever to find a checkpoint while the kids seems to unerringly know which way to turn

Sam insisted that we hadn't had enough time wandering around the corn, so we spent another 20 minutes getting ourselves "lost" again before exploring the other activities.

There were animals to see and feed, bouncy houses, tractors and piles of hay to climb on, etc etc. I think Kaitlyn's favorite was this sledge-hammer thing. She went back to it at least 5 times, getting to within one mark of the top by the end of her last turn.

We didn't forget the obligatory "hay" ride - a nice little break to sit and enjoy the scenery.

Monday, October 15, 2012

2012 Week 41

This week is all about the birthdays.  I had a very happy birthday on Monday.  Everyone had the day off.  The kids and Sam made breakfast and we finished painting the new shelves in the pantry - love them!  They also snuck out and bought me flowers.  And Sam made a very nice dinner for us all.
The rest of the week is a bit of a blur with normal stuff and party prep for Kaitlyn's birthday.

Hat Day on Friday!  Followed up by Kaitlyn's first big slumber party.  10 little girls, excited, hyper, happy, LOUD little girls.  They had a blast.

Kaitlyn's requested theme was a dance party, with rainbow colors.

And dance they did.  The music was on practically non-stop with them just dancing, playing a few dance games, putting on "shows," the limbo, and we even turned off the lights and did some dancing with glow sticks.

Sam and Tyler went out to dinner on their own but got back in time for cake.  Then at 9:00 everyone spread out their sleeping bags and we turned on the movies.  Too bad half of them were too excited to settle down.  Between one thing or another I pretty much got no sleep that night.

But everyone woke up happy in the morning.  And Kaitlyn had the best time, which is all that matters.
She was quite the little hostess too.  It was kind of fun watching her direct things without hurting feelings or walking on anyone.  She made sure the ones that were a bit scared of staying somewhere different had a place right by her to sleep and woke up with her friend that was having asthma/coughing problems almost every time I did.

Sunday was her actual birthday.  We set up a balloon avalanche behind her door the night before so she was greated with it as soon as she opened her door.  She thought that was great.  Sam had to work all weekend, so it was a bit hard for her to wait most of the day to open her presents, but I think she had a good day anyway.  She had her gifts from her friends and the books she had opened from us in the morning.  Once her dad got home, she ripped right into the gifts.  Then I made her do a little photo shoot while Sam lit the fire in the firepit.  Kaitlyn's request for dinner that night was to roast marshmallows and hot dogs - which I thought was a great idea.  It felt very festive, but didn't require a lot of prep or effort.

Isn't she pretty?!
And smores are just as yummy as cake - maybe even more so when they are made with home made marshmallows!
Happy Birthday to my Kaitlyn. I can't believe she's 9 years old!