Saturday, July 25, 2009

Husband Brag

Today I co-hosted a baby shower for a dear friend and had to be gone from noon until 6 p.m. That meant Kelly and the kids were on their own for six whole hours. That was probably the longest I have been away from the house and it not overlap with bedtime. The house was a bit of a disaster when I left as I had been working on lots of prep for the baby shower - i.e. games, food, party favors, etc. (Thank heaven it was not being held at my house - THAT would have been stressful!) When I got home Kelly had picked up and vacuumed the living room, swept the kitchen, and was cooking some dinner. On top of that he had taken the kids to Target to get some different training pants for Jonah and was in potty training mode with him when I got home. Oh, oh and he bought diapers while at Target and even used coupons from my coupon binder. What a man!

As I write this, he is out having some manly, man time with a couple friends. You deserve it Sweety!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Elisabeth's 1st Birthday Party

We had about 25 people (kids and adults) here on Friday night for Elisabeth's Birthday Party. The weather was stormy earlier but cleared up about 30 minutes after people started arriving. The kids had a great time in the pools and with the water sprinkler. Jonah kind of dominated the big pool as he likes to splash a lot and the other kids weren't really into that. Serra hung with him though and Olivia got more tolerant of his splashing towards the end. Jonah definitely had a good time. Elisabeth hung out in the baby pool by herself for a while, then little Yusef joined her. He didn't like the water and started crying which upset her and she started crying. And the end of the evening, we rewarded those who stuck around with the left over fireworks from Independence Day.

For all the pictures and video from the evening go to Flickr.

Birthday Party: How do kids eat cake?

Elisabeth: Very carefully - at first.

Jonah: Icing first, of course

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Well, I can't believe it was a year ago today that we first met our little girl. Happy Birthday darling girl! We are having a big birthday party tomorrow. Pictures and details to follow. Tonight we went out to dinner and enjoyed watching her twist and dance to the music and munch french fries. I took a few pictures of her after dinner.

4th of July Camping Trip - Part 2

Jonah woke up at 7 a.m. despite the late evening. It was still quite cold so Kelly roused himself and took Jonah to go get more firewood. Meanwhile, Elisabeth and I cuddle with every blanket we have on top of us. Kelly returned to get breakfast going and I got up and sat by the fire. We had a nice breakfast and freshened up (no showers at this campground), cleaned up breakfast dishes, got the dogs situated, and tidied up the site. By the time we did all that it was nearly 11 a.m. (all food related items must be tucked back in the car due to bear issues).

We drove to a trail head that would get us to the first waterfall overlook at Linville Falls. We strapped Elisabeth to Kelly, while Jonah walked the whole way, nearly half a mile, by himself.

Jonah managed to make it there and back on his own two legs. He started asking to be carried the last 100 ft which was a bit steep. I motivated him with the thought of candy and that seemed to be all he needed.
From there we went down the road to Linville Caverns. It was fairly inexpensive and Jonah enjoyed the stream inside stocked with trout as well as the total darkness when they turned out the lights.
Afterwards, we took a leisurely drive back the campsite and drove a little longer to allow both kids a chance to fall asleep in the car. Some friends of ours were in the area and despite horrible phone signals we managed to tell them where our campsite was located. We had a nice afternoon visit with Amy and Tom. The kids continued to sleep in the car almost that whole time. It was Great! That two hours was the nicest of the trip, just getting to hang out at the camp with friends and a break from the kiddos. Here's a picture of Elisabeth trying to wake up and our visitors. The dogs love Tom and they were on their best behavior for him.

When Amy and Tom departed, we got things ready and left for Spruce Pine for fireworks. I had been told the celebrations would start downtown at 5pm. Well at 6pm it looked like a ghost town except that I spotted a firetruck across the river on a ball field and firemen with augers. We found our way over there and hung out at the park right next to where they were setting up the fireworks. The kids got to play while we waited for dark.
We walked across the river to the street pictured in my last post and got some ice cream and then decided to relocate the car and watch the fireworks from a parking area there. The fireworks started about 9:30 and went for a full 30 minutes. They were right over us. It goes in the family record books as one of our best Fireworks viewing ever. Kudos to the town of Spruce Pine. This was Elisabeth's first fireworks and she did not like the loudness at first. She sat in Daddy's lap while he held her ears, but by the end she was cooing after every blast. Jonah got bored after the first 15 minutes and started asking for food and drink.
Back at the campground the night was much warmer than the previous nights. The kids went to bed easier and we all slept well if not long. The next morning started off nice but turned drizzly so once again we had to pack up the tent in the rain. At least it wasn't pouring like our last camping trip. We took a leisurely route toward I-40 and drove along the shore of Lake James. We stopped for lunch in Marion and then made it home by 5 pm Sunday.
Taking a break at a rest area

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

4th of July Camping Trip - Part 1

We wanted to "get away" over the holiday weekend, but found ourselves struggling to decide how best to do that. We wanted it to actually feel relaxing (it's all relative when you have two little kids), and not "break the bank." We finally decided a few days before the 4th that camping seemed the least stressful option. The vet kennel that we usually use was booked due to our late planning, so we had to take the dogs with us too. We managed to get the car loaded by 8 a.m. Friday morning including the car topper. We had breakfast on the road and ended up making it to the Linville Falls campground off of the the Blue Ridge Parkway by 12:30. We made it just in time, as there were only a couple of first come first serve sites still available. It turns out that one of the remaining spots was perfect for us - fairly flat and grassy and right next to the restrooms. Our spot was in the open sun, but we got a canopy in anticipation of rain. Here's a picture of our setup:

Once we got the camp set up, we made some lunch and just hung out for a bit. Jonah loves hanging out in the tent and throwing the bedding around and jumping on the air mattress - which drive mommy a little crazy! At least I didn't bother putting the sheets on.

A little later, we decided to take a drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway in hopes the kids would go to sleep. We also wanted to scope out some local 4th of July Celebrations for the following day. The kids fell asleep as expected and we decided to check out this little town called Spruce Pine. In true mommy fashion, I packed warm clothes for the kids but not for myself, so we stopped at the local Walmart for a cheap jacket and asked about the local celebrations while inside. We drove into the old part of town to check it out.
Historic Spruce Pine
We enjoyed a leisurely drive back to camp along the parkway.

Back at the campground, Jonah and daddy went to a ranger program on snakes while me and Elisabeth hung out at camp and started dinner. The temperature through the day was perfect. It was sunny, breezy and cool. By the time the sun started setting, it was getting chilly. After dinner, Kelly got a fire going and then we ate some s'mores. Delicious!

We had a great day, but the night was difficult to say the least. Bedtime is hard when camping in a tent - Jonah doesn't want to go to bed and Elisabeth is used to white noise which I decided not to bring. On top of that she starting cutting a tooth. So we didn't get to bed until after midnight and we didn't sleep soundly due to the baby and it was really cold. We found out later it got down into the 40's. Kelly chivalrously gave me his only long sleeve shirt (he did have long underwear though) and we both still froze. I also kept worrying about Jonah who kept wriggling his way out of his sleeping bag. If he would just stay in there, I knew He at least would stay warm.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cow Appreciation Day - Moo!

Friday, July 10th was Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-a. This meant that if you came dressed as a cow you would receive free food. Depending on the degree of your commitment you would receive either a free entree or a free meal. Well, we all like Chick-fil-a for it's food and play area, so I thought we should try to participate. I used my limited creative skills and managed to have the time to make three cow costumes.


I was pleasantly surprised by my beloved husband, as he was willing and even enthusiastic about wearing the cow shirt and hat. (Although, he did complain about the noxious fumes from the markers I had to use on his and Jonah's shirts.) He even made himself a clip on tail. (Look closely at the picture above.) I guess we showed considerable effort as we ended up getting all of our food for free. I wasn't dressed, but had the cow hat on and I was holding Elisabeth which seemed enough to warrant a free meal for me as well. For the record, some cashiers were a bit more strict than others.


We also invited our friends Tyson & Gina and Tom & Amy to join us. It's always more fun with friends. (BTW, both couples are expecting their first child - so they got to see a glimpse of their future.)


Free Food, Fun and Friends - what more could you ask for on a Friday evening.

Click here to see more pictures.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma Theresa!

Today is Kelly's Grandma's birthday, so last night Kelly decided we should record a video for her. So we gather around his computer to record us all singing Happy Birthday and such. We were proud of it at first since Jonah actually sang, sort of, and Elisabeth talked, but then Kelly found the sound to be too low:

So we tried again. Everyone did pretty well this second time as well (Jonah sang even better), but somehow the video got cut off so none of Elisabeth's talking got included:

So by this 3rd and final take the kids were over it. Jonah didn't sing at all and then nearly attacked his sister who is really waning by this point:

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Bed Down

Well Elisabeth is crawling all over the place and has started standing up on her own. She stood up in the packnplay for the first time this weekend. And last night she stood up in the tub. She has stood up using the coffee table a few times now too. As a result, Kelly lowered the mattress in her crib this week. Speaking of lowered beds, Jonah has all the sudden decided he likes sleeping on the floor instead of his bed. He started that a couple nights before we went camping and has continued to do so this week. I still haven't figured that one out.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Father's Day Trip to Wilmington

We finally got all of our pictures from Father's day downloaded from both camera's. We drove to Wilmington and toured the Battleship North Carolina. I was really impressed by this mini-city. Back then it was all men and it was a good thing - no privacy in the bathroom. The sleeping arrangments seemed to be an afterthought, with most servicemen sleeping where they worked. If you were the doctor you slept in your office. If you worked in the communications area you slept there along with your coworkers. Etc. The bunks were stacked 5 and 6 high with 2 feet between each bunk. Here is a picture of Jonah sitting on one of the bunk frames.

It would take lots of typing for me to describe all the interesting things about this tour. Let's just say for a civilian like me it was all new and very interesting. It makes me wonder how a modern battleship would compare in it's design and layout especially considering the addition of women in the military. If you are in Wilmington, I highly recommend the tour. There are narrow stairs and lots of climbing up and down, but you can bypass the engine room and other areas and not have to endure that. We didn't skip anything and had to carry Elisabeth below decks and Jonah climbed up and down most of the steps with some hand holding from Mom. Plan to allocate 2-3 hours if you walk the whole tour and read a lot of the interpretive signs.
After that, we picked up some food and went to the beach. The water was perfect, but the wind covered our belongings with sand, so we pretty much just got in the water for a few minutes then left. Elisabeth loved the water. It was only her second time in the water.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Elisabeth is crawling!

Well, it's official. Elisabeth is crawling. She has been scooting around on her butt for quite some time, but now she's getting around on her hands a knees a bit. Here is a clip of her one day last week doing her pre-crawling exercises.