Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Boardwalk Rides at Carolina Beach

Last week, we took in all that Carolina Beach has to offer. There is a decent boardwalk area with shops and eateries. There are also carnival rides and fireworks throughout the year. Elisabeth has been asking to get on one of those trampoline things for over a year. She finally got her heart's desire.



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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Jonah and the Whale


Sorry about the title, but I REALLY couldn't resist. Jonah drew this during his last day of summer camp. The families joined the class for the final few minutes on the last day for a presentation. We were able to see some photos that were taken during their weeklong adventure. The boys were also given the opportunity to talk about something they learned about during the week using their drawings. Jonah went to the front of the room with a dozen other SeaDawgs to share. He described his drawing beginning with the Blue Whale, "It's the largest mammal on earth."  Then he pointed out the pirate ship, Portuguese Man of War, giant squid, mommy blue whale with baby, and two divers. 

Did you know that Baleen Whales, like the Blue Whale and Humpback whale, have two blow holes and the toothed whales, like the Sperm Whale and Orca, have only one?  I only just recently found out that some whales had two "nostrils" and some had one (I was reading to Jonah at the time), but I wasn't sure which.  Now I know. So we all learned a little something this week.
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ornery SeaDawgs and Happy Feet

Happy Feet Two
Happy Feet Two
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After dropping Jonah off at camp for the big Aquarium day, Elisabeth and I had day two of mommy-daughter time. We started of our day with breakfast at Chick-fil-a, where she got to make some friends on the playground while I read a book. Afterwards we went to the Mayfair 14 Regal Cinema for the Summer Movie Express. Regal schedules family movies in the mornings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the summer. Elisabeth and I had a choice between Dolphin Tales and Happy Feet Two. We chose the latter, having already seen the first. With my Regal Card, I earned a free small popcorn which was an added bonus for Elisabeth as I was initially planning to skip it. We both had a lovely morning.


The movie ended at just the right time for us to make our way over to UNC-W to pick up Jonah. When I arrived, there were only a few SeaDawgs left who were awaiting rides. Unfortunately, one of the instructors said Jonah had some trouble "listening" today - joy, joy! After hearing the details, I found it to be yet another example of why it's perhaps not a good idea to put 20 similarly aged young boys together in one room on a regular basis - this idea could not have originated from a parent! Exalting pirates may not be helpful in such an environment either! 
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day Two of SeaDawgs: Environmentally-Conscious Pirates in the Making

Jonah is enjoying his SeaDawgs camp. Yesterday, I asked him what he learned and he said, "not to throw trash in the ocean" and he talked about learning about echo location in a [tag or Marco Polo type] game they played on the beach. Everyday, there seems to be pirate-themed activities to keep the boys (ages 5-7) interested. Today, they went to a marsh and talked about hurricanes (sinking pirate ships), pirate hideouts, and sea monsters. Jonah claims there was a mechanical sea monster attacking their boat and they fought each with real swords. He made sure to state that there was a doctor nearby in case anyone got hurt [that made me smile]. I'm skeptical about all that, but what an imagination if he's making it up!  [I hope to confirm all this at the parent presentations on the last day.]

Getting off the bus

Waiting for me to sign him out

Tomorrow is aquarium day! Jonah loves the aquarium and is very excited about it. We are both excited that he only has to take a baggy with a snack and drink tomorrow - no sunscreen rubdown in the morning and no big backpack to lug around - yay! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

First Day of Camp

We are staying in the Wilmington area this week so that Jonah can attend a summer camp at University of North Carolina - Wilmington. I found out about their MarineQuest program back in January. Today was his first day (well, half-day actually) of camp. I found myself on the verge of tears when I left him there. He has attended half-day programs like this before and went to preschool for a year when he was 3, but somehow this seemed different.

First of all, he got to sleep late and we had to be up and out by 7:20 this morning, so I was concerned he would be tired - he nearly fell asleep in the car. Secondly, there was a fairly long list of things he needed to have with him - a backpack with a change of clothes, extra pair of shoes, towel, water bottle, sunscreen, snack, jacket and hat. He's never had to keep up with so much by himself before. Lastly, I have only ever dropped him off and he's stayed at the same place until I returned. In this case, he will be traveling in a school bus to various locations - the beach, the aquarium, the marsh, etc. Seeing him get on a school bus for the first time was a poignant scene for me.

Hanging out waiting for instructions - I had already said my goodbye's

I saw him trying to make friends with the bigger kid next to him
Getting on a "school bus" for the first time ever

That being said, I think Jonah and I were both excited this morning especially after seeing the schedule for the week with topics covering all the things he's interested in. He is attending the Sea Dawgs camp, which is for boys only. The topics for the week include whale and dolphin identification, squid propulsion, pirate hideouts, scrimshaws, a treasure hunt, and fish identification among other things.

Well, I'll be picking him up in a little while. I'm praying he had a good time and will be motivated to get to bed and be well rested for tomorrow.
 
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Berry Picking

Yesterday, the kids and I drove with our friend Amy Mangum out to Dr. Young's Pond Berry Farm in Angier, NC.  It was about a 40 minute drive from East Raleigh down I-40 to 210. We had so much fun.

We picked a number of blackberries from the thornless plants - maybe 1/3 bucket full. Jonah didn't really like how the overripe blackberries stained his hands. He and Elisabeth kept begging to go to blueberry bushes. So forth we went. The blueberry bushes were small but just the right size for the kids. And they were beautiful. (Sorry for the lack of my own pictures - I was more into enjoying myself than documenting it on this trip.) There was something about seeing all the fruit on the bushes of varying ripeness that was just lovely. It made me want to go grow something (besides the sunflower plants in my front yard). We had our blueberry pail filled about 3/4 of the way when we decided we should call it quits.
English: Blackberries (Rubus), ripe and unripe...
English: Blackberries (Rubus), ripe and unripe on a bush. Possibly a garden hybrid cultivar. Ukraine, the Crimea. Русский: Ежевика спелая и незрелая. Возможно, культивируемый сорт. Украина, Крым. Français : Mûres (Rubus), mures et vertes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I paid about $13 for all the berries and we have been enjoying them immensely. I made the mistake of leaving the blueberries out after breakfast this morning and Jonah ate half of what was left in the container. He really likes blueberries!
English:
English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After our berry picking, we drove into Angier and had a picnic at their downtown park, Jack Marley Park. The park had a great covered picnic shelter and two playgrounds. The weather was perfect, the company was the best, and fun was had by all.

We'll be going again soon at the rate these blueberries are disappearing!
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Friday, June 08, 2012

Elisabeth Rose Meets Daisy

When cute and cute get together, all hearts are in trouble. We stopped
by our friend/neighbor's house who just adopted a chihuahua and
dachshund mix puppy. The squeals of delight as the puppy licked her
face were almost to much for this staunch "no pets" mamma. I have told
her she can have a hamster when she's older - it won't be as cute for
sure but who can stand this much cute around all the time anyway? My
heart would be constantly mush and I'd never get anything done just
watching the two of them together.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Jonah Sing's His Heart

Cover of "Pirates of the Caribbean - The ...
Cover via Amazon
"I want to watch,
Pirates of the Caribbean,
But my mom says no,
and my dad says no,
They say I have to be ol-der,
but I don't know why,
I'm not scared of no sea creatures
I guess it's because of the skeletons
I want to watch,
Pirates of the Caribbean
Now! Now! Now!
But they say I have to be 10."

This is the essence of the song Jonah was singing in the car the other day. The actual song was much longer than the above. However, he said every word but perhaps in different verses. I managed to get my phone recording the tale end as he repeated portions of it - unfortunately I missed recording the most orderly part of the song.

Jonah is in to pirates these days which is an off-shoot of his love of squids. He saw a preview of Pirates of the Caribbean somewhere and he knows there is a giant Kraken that attacks a ship. As a result, he really wants to watch the movie. Kelly and I have seen the first three of the four movies: Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest, and At World's End. We didn't bother watching the last one, On Stranger Tides, as we felt the sequels got progressively worse. We really liked the first one but we don't feel like all the ghost imagery is appropriate for Jonah at this time. The second one, Dead Man's Chest, is the one with the Kraken scene. Honestly I can't remember it very well - the second and third have melded in my mind - but my sense is there are things in that one that he's not ready for yet either. Besides, you have to watch them in order right?

Therefore, Jonah has eloquently expressed his disappointment in song.


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Monday, June 04, 2012

Head Stand

Jonah has improved over the last few weeks at gymnastics class.