Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Family Time in Orlando

On the train at the zoo
During our Christmas trip to Florida, the kids got to spend some good quality time with all their grandparents. I was very thankful we able to make time for everyone.

We visited the Central Florida Zoo with Grandma Darlyne on Tuesday. We were all impressed with the herpeterium which housed a King Cobra among other slithering serpents. We all ended the trip with a ride on the kiddy train.  Our membership to the NC Zoo got us all in free - gotta love that!

Wednesday, we met Grandma Theresa (their great grandmother) in Altamonte where we watched a marionette puppet show of the Little Drummer Boy. This was a first for me and I really enjoyed it. Kudos to Pinocchio's Marionette Theatre at the Altamonte Mall for providing such a classic, yet unique venue for kids.

Marionettes on Stage

Checking out the T-rex
The next afternoon, Boompah joined us for a trip to the Orlando Science Center. Again we got in free there with our membership to the Durham Museum of Life and SciencesHere is Jonah playing at being a meteorologist. They had several life size castings of dinosaur skeletons and one animatronic T-rex. All four of us stepped into a hurricane tunnel - I couldn't stop giggling during this, but Elisabeth was more than ready to exit the experience.

The day after Christmas, we went with Grandma Theresa to see her mom, Grandma Margaret - the kids great-great-grandmother.

Four of five generations
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Cypress Grove Park

Cypress Grove Estate
On our second day in Florida, Kelly had to fly to Brooklyn on business. The kids and I hung out and rested in the morning and then took some lunch over to Cypress Grove Park. This park has become my favorite place to take the kids when we are in town. It is very close to Kelly's Dad's house and makes for a great escape from the traffic and hubbub that characterizes South Orlando. This was also one of Kelly's preferred jogging destinations when he was in high school.  The park was fairly new then, and he remembers many of the trees being newly planted at that time. Besides winding walking trails, there is a great playground with swings as well as a beautiful estate house and grounds. On the shore of Lake Jessamine, it no doubt makes a picturesque backdrop for weddings and parties. In our case, the kids simply enjoyed smashing the acorns on the sidewalk out front. (Which is what they were doing when I snapped the picture above with my phone.) Everywhere a live oak stood deceptively dripping with Spanish moss, there was in fact a sea of acorns. A sea of fun in the eyes of preschoolers and spectacle of beauty and joy for a mom.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ice Skating in Winter Park

On our first full day in Florida, we went ice skating in Winter Park. (Kelly and I were married just down the street at the Winter Park Country Club. We passed by the building by chance on the way to the ice skating venue.) Kelly's mom told us about "Winter in the Park" weeks ago and suggested we go. Jonah attempted the ice but only lasted about 10 seconds. He wasn't able to even balance enough to stand, which freaked him out.  It was pretty much a repeat of Gatlinburg a year ago. So he went to spectate with Grandma Darlyne, Rick and sister, while me and Dad continued around the ice. I ended up hugging the wall a few times while Kelly skated circles around me. Like a dork, I fell and hit my knees hard and cut my hand open on a chunky bracelet I was wearing. Kelly came swiftly to my rescue - my Hero. Once I was comfortably bandaged and off the ice, he went back for more. He either has an aptitude for it or all that roller blading experience from college gave him an advantage.  Here's some video.




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Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Babies

Playing in Elisabeth's crib. It looks nice and calm - but I assure
you it's a noisy affair.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas with Kids


We had a little Christmas celebration with our church fellowship yesterday during which I let the kids open their presents from Mom & Dad.  For Elisabeth, I got a little high chair for all her babies and both she and Jonah have been playing with it since then.  Jonah got a light up, rotating mock aquarium.  They've been moving it around and turning it on and off and pulling up their chairs and the baby doll high chair as if it's a movie to watch.  So cute...  They've been throughly enjoying the other gifts they received yesterday carrying them all around in bags and playing with them.  Christmas with kids is so much fun!  There's no greater gift than children!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Our Trip to NYC: In Review

I have had this post in my mind since getting back from New York and finally getting all of our pictures downloaded from all of our devices - a quick reference guide to our trip that puts blog posts and pictures in chronological order.  So here goes:


WEEK 1
Monday, October 4th: Blog Post #1  Blog Post #2
Tuesday, October 5th: Blog Post #1 Blog Post #2 - Photos
Wednesday, October 6th: Blog Post - Photos
Thursday, October 7th: Blog Post - Photos
Friday, October 8th: Blog Post #1 Blog Post #2 Blog Post #3 - Photos
Saturday, October 9th: Blog Post - Photos
Sunday, October 10th: Blog Post #1 Blog Post #2 - Photos

WEEK 2
Monday, October 11th: Blog Post - Photos
Tuesday, October 12th: Blog Post - Photos
Wednesday, October 13th: Blog Post - Photos
Thursday, October 14th: Blog Post - Photos
Friday, October 15th: Blog Post - Photos
Saturday, October 16th: Blog Post - Photos
Sunday, October 17th: Blog Post#1 Blog Post #2 - Photos

WEEK 3
Monday, October 18th: Blog Post - Photos
Tuesday, October 19th: Blog Post - Photos
Wednesday, October 20th: Blog Post - Photos
Thursday, October 21st: Blog Post - Photos

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Impromptu Singing & Dancing

This lopsided video is my attempt at trying to catch Elisabeth in the middle of singing and dancing without interrupting - gotta love the lyrics - "I love my mommy and daddy and Jonah."

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Another First for the Kids - 1st Parade

The weekend before Thanksgiving, we took the kids to the Raleigh holiday parade.  Jonah has been learning about band music in his Kindermusik class and I really wanted him to see some marching bands.  Honestly, I was very underwhelmed.  It seems like I have been to some small town parades that had better floats and a diversity of entries - but maybe I'm just getting old and jaded. The highlights were the Turkish society and all the guys dressed up as Star Wars characters.  If you mention the parade to Elisabeth, she will say her favorite was the firetruck at the end.

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More pictures here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jonah's 1st Dentist Appt

We took Jonah in for his first dental checkup today. He did great!
Here he's watching a Spiderman cartoon - 21st century dentistry! He
has a permanent tooth already. Typically kids are 6 years old when
they get those not four, but he has consistently gotten his teeth
early. I wonder if this means he will loose baby teeth early? The
dentist said to be on the lookout!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Good Day for the Zoo

It was a bit nippy, but the animals seem to like it.  We saw more action from certain animals than any other time we have visited.  The red wolves were roaming and active.  The big lion was roaring his lonely song.  We saw the giraffes galloping.  And the most exciting thing was when a big chimp jumped off the glass right in front of us chasing off another chimp - thank God for 3 panes of glass.

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Tons more pictures here

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

DSC_4732Image by planetdavis23 via Flickr
In my experience, it's the wives and mothers that are the driving force behind holiday traditions (unless it involves hunting and fishing).  And this mommy likes putting up the Christmas tree Thanksgiving weekend.  The kids were anxious to get things decorated this year too after seeing Christmas trees up at a local Chick-fil-a and my Chiropractor the day after Halloween.  They did really well hanging the ornaments on the tree.  I enjoyed having a prelit tree this year - much less chaos and time.  (I purchased it at our own garage sell earlier in the year - thanks again Patty - prelit is definitely the way to go!)



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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving with the Althaus'

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We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with some extended family members.  The first time in probably seven years that I haven't cooked - thanks again Patty. We introduced the Althaus family to Settlers of Catan - Kelly won - AGAIN!  Since the kids were dressed up I tried to stage some pictures.  You can see all of my failed attempts here.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Jonah came up to me at Marbles Museum yesterday with this fake turkey and said, "Happy Thanksgiving."  I made him say it again for you all.  To all our friends, family and blog followers - we hope you have a joyous Thanksgiving holiday.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Hike in Umstead

For Livi - The Nutcracker Storytime Ballet

On Friday, I took the kids to a special story time at the Cameron Village Library. Representatives from the Raleigh City Ballet were on hand to read the Nutcracker story and perform parts of the story from their upcoming show to be held at North Carolina State's Stewart Theatre on December 10th and 11th.  Click here for more information and tickets.

Our friend Livi couldn't  join us so I spliced together some video for her.


My kids did really well sitting through the whole thing.  Elisabeth almost missed the beginning due to an impromptu nap. Afterwards the instructor attempted to lead the attendees in some dance moves. Elisabeth really liked the spinning and jumping but especially the spinning - I think she made herself dizzy and time or two.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Her First Braid

A lousy attempt on mommy's part but hopefully it will keep her hair
from becoming a tangled mess by morning.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Scares and Scars of a Paleontologist

He got hit in the face with a shovel (accidentally) while digging for
fossils at the museum.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A Beautiful Carousel Ride

One of my favorite moments during our time in New York occurred the day I took the kids to Prospect Park.  We rode the carousel and it was the first time I was able to participate with my children and ride instead of standing and holding on to someone.  I captured the moment on video and I love, love, love the way the video captures the moment and takes me right back there. And in this day and age of technology you can go with:



The first couple of times I tried uploading this video to YouTube the play time was cut in half (the video speed was increased).  When I attempted to enlist Kelly's input on why it was doing that he responded, "Not sure. But it looks cool that way though."  So if you want a bit more humorous perspective watch this version.
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Monday, November 01, 2010

My Little Florence Nightingale

I began to get a clue something was up when Jonah didn't want to get out of the car at the grocery store and said, "Mommy, I want to go home and take a nap."  Then he nearly turned down the free cookie inside and kept laying his head on his sister who was next to him in the cart.  We got home mid-afternoon after being out a few hours and Jonah went straight for the bean bag to watch TV. After Curious George ended, he fell asleep.  Definitely fighting off an illness.  Elisabeth kept trying to cover him up with a blanket and give him snacks before he dozed off.  Then after he woke up and settled on the couch, she kept telling him to get up and tried to pull his pillow away.  She misses her playmate I suppose.  Later Kelly opened his office door and she went in to tell him, "Jonah sick."  I gave him some tylenol and his fever is down.  We'll see how he fares tomorrow.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat

This was the first year that the kids went Trick or Treating.  I have to say, if we didn't live in an apartment complex, I'm not sure we would have gone.  Management took out the guess work by giving out door hangers to put on your door if you were interested in giving out candy.  I was only planning to take them to five or six doors, but we joined the family next door and ended up going to several more.  Elisabeth got to choose between being a fairy princess or a dinosaur. (She chose the princess a few days ago for the apartment Halloween party.)  Jonah had Kung Fu guy and a Storm Trooper to choose from and the Storm Trooper won out yet again.  We have gotten a lot of mileage out of that costume.  He wore it last year at Halloween and we used it as decoration for his "Star Wars" themed birthday parties.

Before
Jonah telling Elisabeth what we're doing
My little dinosaur
Elisabeth with the Neighbor girl Lila
The mask didn't stay on long - made it hard to walk
So cute!
I just like this picture!
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