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.