Monday, July 30, 2012

2012 Week 30

A couple of Tyler's favorite obsessions right now - his DS (handheld video game thing) and his basket full of stuffed animals.  You can find him with one or the other 75% of the time.  This particular morning I found him like this first thing in the morning - a nice lazy summer morning indulgence.
Audrey and the kids came to visit and we had a great weekend of fun.  Friday afternoon was pool time.
Followed by showers/baths for all.  The little ones got bubbles in the big tub so even bath time was big group fun.  Not sure why, but the boys were making tough guy faces and poses the whole time
Then in preparation for watching the opening ceremonies of the Olypics on TV we all made our own Olympic Bingo cards
And Olympic ring cupcakes (root beer flavored cupcakes!  mmmm)
Then had a great time watching the opening ceremonies.  The boys got too wild and crazy and eventually had to be put to bed, but the girls were really into it.  Too bad it lasted hours and hours - we could barely keep our eyes open to finally see the USA team announced (around 11:00).  Then we had to get to bed because the next day was a full day of fun at the beach.
The kids got to try out Maddie and Isabelle's boogie boards and loved them.  They have already put in requests for boards of their own.  I have to admit that I liked them too - it made it a lot easier to have the kids out in the deeper water with us, which is where they want to be most of the time.

Audrey also had a pop up tent, which was great, even though the day was overcast and not as horribly hot as it could have been.  It proved to be a great spot to hang out in between boughts of playing in the water.  The kids also kept busy playing in the sand. And they even found some super tiny clams (or some sort of sea creature in a shell) which they kept in a bucket for a while.
Lillian wasn't too happy when we first got to the beach (tired from a restless night, plus she didn't seem to be a fan of the ocean waves) but the beach is too fun a place not to be happy.  She really liked the sand, and as you can see - teasing Tyler was a lot of fun too!
Tyler couldn't get enough of the boogie board.  That kid has no fear and loves the water, even when it's rough and takes him under.  At one point he scared us for a few minutes as Sam was out in the water and he headed out to swim with him but when I saw Sam a few minutes later, Ty was nowhere in sight.  We quickly searched the beach and found down the way a little bit - phew!

By the time the high tide started lapping at our stuff, we were all tired and covered in sand so we packed up, hosed off as best we could and headed home.  Lily fell asleep almost as soon as we got her in the car, and Kaitlyn and Isabelle ended up napping for part of the ride home too.  Too sandy and unpresentable for eating out, we grabbed pizza on the way home for dinner.  Then spent the rest of the night watching some more of the Olympics.
We were sad that the Mouton's couldn't stay longer - we always have SO much fun.  But we also get completely worn out, so Sunday was spent recovering :)  We went down to a neighbor's bday party at the pool, which would have been more fun if we weren't sick of being in the sun and the water, and were probably one of the first to leave the party (after 2 hours of it - that's plenty, right?)

Monday, July 23, 2012

2012 Week 29

Just summer:

bike rides and walks around the neighborhood.  swimming (of course)
and a big trip to the library with the whole family (yes, even Sam got himself a book!).  The kids particularly love the library, especially now have their own library cards.

Monday, July 16, 2012

2012 Week 28

Oh what a fun (and exhausting!) week!  We spent the first couple of days getting the To Dos done - lots of orders going out this week, plus errands and shopping/ prep for a trip to Audrey's.
Audrey had planned a "sewing camp" for her girls and invited Kaitlyn to join them.  Kate was SO excited.  She had a lot of fun picking out the fabric for her projects, and even more fun at the camp.  By the end of the 3 days the girls had a whole new outfit - skirt, applique Tshirt, and headband - and a fun new bag.

Audrey had arranged for her friend to teach the girls, so while they were busy sewing we did our own thing.  Tyler and Michael played together really really well this time, with very little interference from us.  So Audrey and I spent some time working on things around her house (like final touch ups and removing the tape from our previous painting project, cleaning up the pool from a recent storm, etc) and chatting up a storm.  After the girls were done sewing we would feed them lunch, and two of the three days we ended up in the pool (the first day was too rainy) with the kids.
Thursday was a little chilly, but the kids and their friends (some extras from sewing camp) had a lot of fun.

Kaitlyn's favorite part is always the diving board.  She really wasn't ready to quit swimming the first day when all the rest of the kids had had enough.
Tyler took his first big jump off the diving board (without a life jacket) - no fear, no hesitation.

Audrey's girls are on a swimming team this summer and we went to one of their meets.  Kaitlyn was "crazy jealous" the entire time.  She wanted to be in the water swimming with the rest of them so badly - it almost made her cry at first (though part of her being so emotional was from being so tired from all the fun and staying up late).  So I promised her we would see if we can find a swim team around here for her for next year and that we would swim more at Audrey's the next day, then she sat on my lap (we left the little kids at home with a babysitter) while we watched the girls race.  They did a great job, and you can tell they've learned a lot with this swim team and I'm sure something like that would be great for Kate if we can find it.
Friday the sewing ran late so all the girls could finish up their projects.  Then we spent a good long time in the pool (it was a perfect day for it, thankfully), before having dinner, cleaning up the massive amount of toys and other messes (the kids had built a big fort for sleeping in the girls' room), then heading home.
Tyler fell asleep not 10 minutes after we left Audrey's.  And Kaitlyn slept until after 10 AM (something she never does) the next day.  And I'm still worn out.  Lots of fun and late nights are exhausting - but totally worth it!

Monday, July 9, 2012

2012 Week 27

4th of July

Despite not making plans of any kind, it turned out to be a pretty good (and full) day.  We took the kids out for a walk/bike ride first thing in the morning before it got too hot.  And when it quickly warmed up we took the kids to the pool.

We timed leaving the pool pretty well as a big storm hit not all that long after we were back home.  And when I say big, I mean big and crazy and loud.  The lightning was hitting so closely that we not only unplugged anything expensive, but we turned off the breaker to the house.
The kids were a bit scared and used their stuffed animals for comfort.  Kaitlyn only needed her dog, Crazy, but Tyler brought down a whole army of stuffed friends.  We all sat around the dining table and played card games until the storm was over and we could turn the power back on.  Even with all the power off, one of the flashes hit so close the power surge caused the smoke detectors to squeal a couple of times.
Luckily the storm moved on well before we wanted to head to the base to catch some of the festivities there.  They had a whole line up of different bands playing all day.
When we arrived Gloriana was on the stage (I'm told that's a resonably famous country group).  There were tons of people but we found a spot reasonably close to the stage.  Little did we know that was not the main stage, which was set up across the field and used for the rest of the performances that night.  So hearing and seeing what was going on was a bit hard.  But we were mainly there to wait for the fireworks so we stayed in place and tried to enjoy ourselves.
The kids got funnel cake and lemonade and thought that part was great.

During the flag ceremony

And Kaitlyn waiting for the fireworks.  Tyler fell asleep about half an hour before the fireworks began and though we woke him up to see the fireworks, I'm not sure if he managed to keep his eyes open for much of the show.  Kaitlyn thought it was great though, and they did put on a decent fireworks show.
Sam had the rest of the week off work so Thursday we headed to the beach.  (Wrightsville Beach)
The kids really love the waves and the water. 
We were all pretty tired that day (of course - busy day the day before and the late night) so when rain started to threaten after we had been there about 3 hours we packed up and headed home.
We pulled into the driveway just as the rain really let loose and really rushed to get showered and everything put away so we could unplug everything and turn the power off again.  The rain storm was just as crazy as the day before - crazier even as we got some big chunks of hail too.  They hit hard and heavy, but never last long.

The rain took a break for a couple hours and we noticed quite a bit of damage around the neighborhood.  Our house was fine, but more than one neighbor was missing sections of their fence or gate, including one that had an entire side of their wooden fence blown down and another that had the vinyl ripped off 7 sections in a row.  There were some chairs and garbage cans and different things blown to different houses and of course plenty of sticks and leaves all over the place.  We took a walk around the neighborhood to see how everything fared and discovered the pool area in disarray.  All of the umbrella tables were tipped over (with one through the fence and another dangerously close to the glass doors on the clubhouse) and chairs were blown and scattered, with a couple taking a dip in the almost over-full pool.
Friday I headed to Audrey's to help her with a big painting project.  The kids stayed home with Sam (and from what I hear they had a great time) and she got a babysitter for her kids and we painted all day long, taking a break at dinner time to pick up more paint and go out to dinner.  (and mmmm dinner was good - she convinced me to try shrimp and grits and her fav southern style restaurant and I was very happy she did.)  Plus we stopped for frozen yogurt to eat once we finished our painting for the night - a fantastic reward.  I think we made it to bed around midnight.  Saturday morning we did touch ups and removed the tape.  I helped her move some furniture around then headed home after lunch.  Kaitlyn was just finishing up at a birthday party for a neighbor friend, then we all went to the pool.  It was hot hot hot and the pool was pretty warm itself.  I was so tired I almost fell asleep on a lounger (and that's pretty tired - I hate naps).   We all needed Sunday to rest and recover from all the fun.  In fact, I'm not sure that was enough - I'm still tired!

Monday, July 2, 2012

2012 Week 26

Kaitlyn was excited to find that our little blueberry bush finally had berries!  It didn't grow much last year and we were afraid the birds had eaten all of them already this year.  But look - a fully ripened berry!  Kaitlyn of course had to pick it and eat it, but she did show her brother first.  There are 4 or 5 other berries that may ripen up later.
We're having a heat wave - ick ick ick.  Trying to stay inside as much as possible this week. Making sure the kids get outside for at least one lap around the loop on their bikes before it gets too hot.  And spending some time in the pool when we get cabin fever.  We spent more than 4 hours straight in the pool on Saturday.  We had it to ourselves almost that entire time and it was SO nice.
Milestones aren't just for the big things like a first step or losing a tooth.  This week we were so excited that Tyler (very willing I might add) tried and LIKED salad!  Woohoo!
That's an almost-empty bag of mini carrots in his hand.  The carrots and the salad got the two thumbs up.  He also tried and liked onion rings and requested them for dinner again. 
I had my own moment to try new things this week as well.  We're on a health food kick and the last couple times in the store Sam has wanted to try the turkey burgers.  Ew! I'm not a found of ground anything.  But I can't ask the kids to do something I wouldn't do so I finally agreed.  I tried to give myself every advantage I could, insisting that Sam use the rib rub spices I like, adding plenty of flavor masking things like pickles, onions, and mustard, and eating it in a mini-slider portion.  Then I told myself "be brave dragon" (laughingly, as this is what Tyler says over and over every time I put sunscreen on him.  He thinks the sunscreen is too cold but I've told him he can't complain or whine when I put it on him anymore so instead he says that) and bit in.  Phew.  Not too bad.  Not gonna be anything I ask for, but I can manage it if I need to.  Good to know I'm as brave as my kids :P  Kaitlyn tried it with me, but didn't like it.  She did say she'd be willing to try "real" hamburgers though.  That's progress.
I've got to admire my kids and their creative thinking and ingenuity.  Tyler has a free subscription to a Lego magazine and each one has a section with photos of kids and their creations.  The kids decided they wanted to be in the magazine too.  So the other day they come downstairs with this and insist I take a photo so we can send it in.  It's supposed to be spaghetti.  The yello square is the plate. :)
Another big milestone for Tyler - floating on his back!  He's never been relaxed enough in the pool to get even close to floating on his own, although he's getting pretty good at other parts of swimming.   It's been our rule that Tyler can only go in the deep end of the pool if Sam or myself is actually in the pool with him.  So Sam told Tyler that if he learned to float on his back on his own, and could maintain it for 20 seconds, then we would change the rule and he could be in the deep end as long as we were watching, even if we weren't in the water.  It's all about motivation right?  Tyler was so determined to get to swim by himself that he worked on the floating over and over and over.  In less than 5 minutes he had it figured out and in less than half an hour he had our permission to swim in the deep end without us.