Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Autumn Updates

We've been busy little beavers since my last blog post!  Emerson has started kindergarten and is now all settled into her new routine.  She loves the school, her teachers and classmates.  She enjoys her after-school program, where she gets to play in a fabulous outdoor wonderland and do an abundance of craft projects (the lady who runs the place has a Masters in Fine Arts, and is so creative!)  We periodically get updates from the teacher that tell us, "Emerson can be a little bossy sometimes", or "Emerson sometimes forgets to use her inside voice."  Yup...all true.  It's so great to see her little worksheets come home, and her reading & writing skills improve.  She is gaining confidence and learning how to navigate her little world.  I love it!

We participated in the annual Walk for Education 2 weekends ago.  The school district puts this on as a fundraiser, and all of the proceeds go directly to the individual elementary schools.  At the end of the walk in downtown Chapel Hill, there was a large carnival, with games, food and inflatables.  The local high schoolers staffed many of the booths as fundraisers for their clubs and activities.  The atmosphere was so fun and we ran into several people we knew from Emerson's preschool.

Emerson's violin lessons are off to a great start.  She's doing Suzuki method, and I really like how they go about teaching music.  Lots of little pneumonics and ways to help the kids remember hand position, how to hold the bow, and rhythms.  We do individual lessons once a week, and group lessons on the weekend.  Em volunteered to do a solo last Saturday, and we were so proud of her confidence as she stood in front of the group!  She has a Halloween concert this weekend at a corn maze in Cary.  The kids get to wear their costumes to play, and are playing "spooky" versions of the music they have been learning.  Should be interesting!

We went to the pumpkin patch last weekend, and Liam quickly found out that pumpkins make very find little stools for sitting.  He kept going from pumpkin to pumpkin and squatting down for a seat.  He also enjoyed crawling over the pumpkins like an obstacle course.  Quite humorous!

Liam is talking more and more now, although it is amazing how many MORE words Emerson had at this age.  Is it a 2nd child thing?  Boy thing?  Just a different kid thing?  Anyway, he's a little helper and loves to do things for you.  He's got his routines, and is a very organized little fella.  He loves to help clean up, to go get something (like his shoes, or to put them away), and is very into sorting, stacking and knocking things down.  He absolutely understands every bit of what you say to him, but just can't always say something back to you.  His words right now are:  shoes/socks, Dadda, kitty cat, NO!, shower, flower and signing "more".  He can point to his head, eyes, ears, nose, teeth, cheeks and belly. He makes animals sounds, "woof-woof", "oooooo (for cow), and roar (for tiger...this one is totally adorable!)  He is just finally able to sit and let me read a little to him...in the past, he had no patience for this, and just flung the book across the room.  Boys are so, so different from girls!

I ran my first half-marathon this past Sunday...the Ramblin Rose in Durham.  My goal was to run the entire thing (no walking those hills!), and finish in under 2 hrs, 30 min.  I did both, with a final time of 2:26:06!  The weather was perfect, the course wound us through various beautiful neighborhoods in Durham, and Keith/kids were hanging out about a 1/2 mile from the finish line to cheer me on.  It was such a glorious & emotional feeling to cross the finish.  I was actually fairly emotional all throughout the race, which surprised me.  I have signed up to do another half in early February with my bestie, Jen.  We'll be combining this event with a girls weekend getaway on Tybee Island in Georgia.  It's about 20 min from Savannah.  Can't wait!

Our 2nd annual neighborhood Halloween party is this Saturday, and plans/prep is underway.  We finished Em's costume last night.  She decided to be a bumblebee this year.  We already had a pair of wings, and I bought a yellow tee shirt and sewed on some ribbon to make the stripes.  We created her antennae and a stinger out of pipe cleaners.  She's thrilled with the results.  Liam has a little blue moster costume, and I also found a little pirate costume last year at a consignment sale.  It's a 2T, and I figured it would be a dress up outfit for later down the road.  It totally fit him last night when I put it on him on a whim.  Weather dependent, he'll be one of those.  I was thinking of using a little black makeup on his face to make a scar and some scruff.  We'll carve our pumpkin on Saturday or Sunday, and our October festivities will be done!

Keith has enjoyed his membership at the Durham Wildlife Club, where he is able to shoot sporting clays and skeet.  He volunteers in the shop a few times a year, which allows him to go shoot when he wants.  He's learning a lot about this sport and meeting guys he really likes.    

Saturday, August 11, 2012

School shopping done!

One person in this family is WAY more ready for kindergarten to begin than the others.  Can't believe it is almost here.  She had a ball picking out her supplies.  It was bittersweet for mama.

Gosh, this is too funny not to share.

Em being silly & hamming it up.

Keith doing his best impression of Emerson.

I nearly snorted my chicken out my nose. 

Duke Gardens Outing...

Found a new spot at the gardens...they've been doing lots of construction of new little secluded spots.  Fun to explore them.

Wildlife galore today...mama duck, baby duck, ugly duck-thing, and big turtles.  It's always an adventure to see what will swim up to you.

Nose to nose on the grass...followed quickly by tackle on the grass.

Love that big smile.  He's so close to walking, but still hesitant to let go of something.  Soon, very soon.

Major renovations to the koi pond...big fish in there, and they follow you as you walk by.  Cool or creepy?

I think we've snapped a photo of her doing this every year of her life in the exact same spot.  
We do love the gardens!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Long Overdue!

Yes, I am aware that I am dreadfully out of date on this blog!  Will attempt to remedy that and try to post more regularly again...sometimes, life just gets in the way of blogging!

Let's see...where to begin?

Keith and I ran a 5K together a couple weekends ago.  I am a *slow* runner (about an 11:45 min mile, yes, I know, I'm slow!) and Keith has much longer legs than I do (and a background of cross country running in school).  His faster pace made me run a bit faster than usual, and we finished by crossing the finish line holding hands!  It was a fun event to do together, and got us both pumped up for future 5K's.  I am planning to run a half-marathon in October in Durham...Ramblin Rose Anyone care to join me?  I've signed up for a running group via a running store in Carrboro later this month that is specifically designed to help us slow runner types train for a half in the fall.  Wish me luck!

 Emerson had her preschool graduation ceremony in early June.  It was about the cutest thing I've seen all year.  They recited the poem "I Cannot Go to School Today", and then sang a song, "The Future's So Bright, I've Gotta Wear Shades"....adorable!  She was so proud of herself, and is officially ready for kindergarten adventures.  We've now purchased a new book bag and lunch bag, and will be shopping for her school supplies before we know it!  She starts the end of August!

We traveled to Indiana for a quick visit with family in early June.  It was Liam's first flying adventure, and I'd say he did pretty well.  He got another ear infection on our last night there, with a high fever of 104.  We made it home, and were able to see the pediatrician that afternoon.  He bought himself a trip to the ENT, and an appt for tubes after testing moderate to severe hearing loss due to fluid behind the ear drums (surgery done 7.10.12...let's keep our fingers crossed!)

Beading with Uncle Josh

Hanging with GG (who is 96!)

Chillin' with Grammy & her corgi

Grandpa's beard is fun to pull!

We just returned from a trip to Colorado for a family reunion on Keith's side.  Every 3 years, we all meet somewhere in the US, and this time, it was Rocky Mountain National Park/Estes Park, CO.  It was gorgeous, and we really enjoyed time in nature, with family, and exploring a new area of the country together.  We can easily see ourselves returning to the YMCA of the Rockies for another family trip with the kids are a bit older.  Lots to see & do there!

Fishing for trout

Art at the YMCA...mosaic box with "mountains"

Animal Explorers!

You are singing along, right?

Denver Zoo

Those are the highlights of our summer so far.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Just because I love these...

Birthday Boy...a little late

Liam celebrated his first birthday on May 3!  This year has really flown by, and has been marked with so many physical changes in this little guy!  He has quadrupled his weight in these first 12 months, is jabbering a lot, wants to feed himself, crawls faster than a speeding bullet and loves balls, sissy, mom/dad and diced ham.  He didn't think birthday cake was too bad either.

Beach Trip

We took a short, 3 day weekend last week to Topsail Beach.  Stayed in a little one-bedroom condo which had an ocean front balcony and direct access to the beach.  Life was lovely last weekend, minus a little blip when Liam had a temp of 105 with a bilateral ear infection (again!)  Once we got some pink meds on board, we were able to resume our beach time!  Liam loved the sand & surf!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Fun

We had a good Easter weekend, spending it at the Smith Mountain Lake State Park in Virginia.  We rented a cabin with Stacy, Greg & Abby.  The weather was fantastic, and we enjoyed an Egg Hunt at the Discovery Center at the State Park, hikes around the lake, and cousin time.  The girls played together and entertained Liam.  They were able to dye & decorate eggs, have a mini-Egg Hunt outside our cabin on Easter morning, and do some Easter crafts.  We really enjoyed the park, and think we will make the trek up to SML again.  It was about a 2.5 hr drive for us, and the lake is very large.  In the summer, you can rent all manner of boats/canoes/kayaks, etc.  There are activities scheduled throughout the year, and the cabins were really nice.  Excellent find!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Liam's Word List @ 10 months

Liam is quickly learning words, and it is clear that he understands much of what we say to him.  He can sign "more" (vigorously in some cases!), and has started mimicking his sister's actions.  They have started playing copy-cat games, which usually results in a fit of giggles from both of them.  This week, Liam said "ni-ni" and waved good night to Daddy before heading up to bed.  He can say Da-Da, Ma-Ma, ba-ba and bye-bye.  He's working on "kitty", and I swear he said Je-Je when I asked him if he was ready to go see Jeffrey.  When I ask where his belly is when I am changing his diaper, he loves to slap his tummy to make a funny sound.  His little personality is so sweet & fun.  He is usually all smiles and has a great sense of humor.  10 months is a fun, fun age!