Friday, May 30, 2008

Long Trip - part 4

Coming home...
We had a great little family vacation and it was a beautiful place to be. But I have to admit that we were all ready to come home. Not really looking forward to the long drive back - but we tried to make that as fun as possible as well.

Before we left, we got Megan good and tired with one last jaunt on the beach...

Uncle Dan.... Megan got some special treasures (aka - sea shells) for you. She's excited about your trip down next week! 7 days and couting!!!!!
Then we danced our way back home. Megan had so much fun dancing at the wedding that she would break into dancing everywhere we went. It was adorable. It was even more fun if you asked her to dance. She would do a little boogie then stick her arms out behind her (hence the picture below) and do a little turn.
She had a flower from the wedding that was her constant companion at the rest stops and playgrounds we stopped at.
It was a very long trip back - Megan didn't nap well in the car so we ended up stopping a LOT.... Finally at the Georgia welcome station near Augusta she got her dancing out and we put her in PJ's and she slept the last leg of the trip. Here's a video of her dancing at the rest area.

Yeah - it's sideways. Sorry - I keep forgetting that I can't turn the video around (or at least I don't know how) - so you'll have to sort of look at it with your head cocked to the side. But it was too cute to not post.

long trip - part 3

Are you tired of the trip yet...
sorry - a couple more chapters to go....
Finally we are at the wedding! Laura and David got married at the Elizabethan Gardens. It's a beautiful garden that overlooks the Roanoak Sound.

The beautiful bride and handsome groom...
The reception was down the street at the Booth House. It's also a beautiful outdoor location on the sound. The wind was blowing so it got pretty chilly but everyone had a great time. They had a large gazebo type shelter that was the perfect dance floor. It was the perfect place for a Daddy/Daughter dip.
Megan loved the music and danced her way around the place like a pro.
She also found that the chairs could move and she thought that was a great game to play - tip the chair and make it wiggle...
My favorite shot of the day..... Mommy, there you are!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Long Trip - Part 2

Part 2... daily life in a hotel room....
We got a hotel that was on the beach and had 2 pools - one indoor and one outdoor. After the realization of how cold the water was and how much Megan disliked the beach - we were soooo thankful for the pools.
And we loved our balcony! We had a few picnic's out there and Megan loved it. She especially loved the experience of chomping on an apple... I think it's her new favorite snack.

And since we were in Kill Devil Hills (just north of Nagshead) the "home of modern aviation"- where the Wright Brothers had their first flight - we had to go check it out.
Megan loved the open area to toddle around in... and she really really wanted to get at the models of the airplanes ---we didn't spend much time inside the museum....:^)
That smile on her face isnt' from the replica of the Wright Brothers first plane - it's from how much fun she's having playing with the rope. Who knew bars and ropes were that awesome!?
They do have a cool bronze replica that you can climb all over (with a little help from Daddy).
All that - and it's not even the weekend yet.
Part 3 to come later....

A LONG trip - Part 1

I feel like it's been forever since I've had a chance to post anything. We've had a busy couple of weeks. Last week we left for a trip to the Outer Banks for my friend Laura's wedding. It's a 10 hour trip to the Nagshead area - that's a seriously long trip to do with a toddler. My hats off to anyone who regularly has to make a car trip like that with kids. It makes our flights to MN seem very managable.

We had planned on starting the trip at Megan's bedtime last Tuesday night... about the same time we were in the basement under a tornado warning with 3 inch hail falling outside. OK, so that didn't quite go as planned. So we ended up putting Megan to bed here while we got the car packed (after the tornado threat was over) and then were able to load a sleeping baby... not that she stayed asleep the whole first half of the trip. She woke up about 3 hours into the trip and stayed awake for awhile. Then she woke up again right before we got to our hotel. So the shift from car to hotel didn't go quite as smoothly as we had planned. But we got a few hours of sleep before we headed out the next day.

The next day we coordinated driving with Megan's nap time. After a fun breakfast and an awesome stop at the NC welcome rest area (which is the best rest area I've ever been too), She took a nice long nap and woke in time to have lunch in the cool town of Plymoth NC. We got lunch and a history lesson. We found an awesome park on the river and it included a wonderful area to toddle around and a cool museum and lots of artifacts.
Once we got to our hotel we checked out the beach.

These pictures are a little misleading because Megan did NOT like the beach at first. It's very different than her previous gulf coast experiences. It was very very loud, more shelly than sandy and absolutely frigid water temps. But over the course of several days she warmed up to it and loved finding little treasures on the beach (aka - great shells).
AND - she realized it was a great place to drive her little beach car.
So fun!!!
There's more to the trip and I'll try to get on later today with part 2.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Going to Church

Do you sometimes wonder what happens in other people's cars while they are driving? Here's a fly on the wall view of our trip to church yesterday...

The days are coming to a close where I could hope for Megan to take a short nap in the car on the way to church. We usually go early because Tom has to be at church early for choir - and I can drive around a bit to get Megan to fall asleep. She needs a little 30 minute nap to make it through Sunday school and Church (which is inconviently timed to be smack in the middle of her morning nap). This week we went to church with my parents for a special 20th year celebration. Our family were charter members of this church plant and my parents are still involved there. So we headed out to Snellville and knew that Megan would get a good nap on the way... yeah - not so much!

I just know we aren't ready for a 1 nap schedule. Megan will sleep almost 2 hours at each of her naps... So I don't know what our sunday's will look like if she stops taking that car nap.

I'll try to post some more things later today. Tomorrow we are starting the switch from Charter to At&T so we know that our phone and internet may be a little wacky during the transition.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Baby Gwyneth is Home

What an amazing story.... I've posted several updates and prayer requests for Tricia and Gwyneth as they battled for thier lives. It brings tears to my eyes to know that after such a struggle. Tricia is home with her husband, Nathan, and breathing with new lungs. AND today, Tricia and Nathan got to bring their baby home. Gwyneth is 18 weeks old and weighs 4 lbs and 10oz is 16 inches long. Thanks for your prayers for this sweet family. Hit the link to CFHusband and see pictures of them at home for the first time with Gwyneth.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Before the rains came...

It's been a beautiful week and Megan and I have had a chance to get out and explore. Megan's been doing some of her own exploring this week and suddenly decided she wanted to be in charge of the spoon. It's not all the time - but when she has it, she's been doing pretty good.

You are probably thinking - what the heck are you giving her that's blue???? Someone suggested freezing the gogurt portable yogurt sticks to help with teething... didn't really work for us. So we have the rest in the frig. Megan goes straight for them. They are soooo messy that I can't let her suck on them (as is directed) so ours goes into a bowl.

After all our food adventures we needed some time in the great outdoors..... There's a great park not too far from us (Riverside Park) and Megan loved it. The last time we were there she was just a little non-mobile tyke. Oh this trip was sooo different.

She loved the big dinosaur bouncy things (do those things actually have a name?)
And who knew that a bunch of chains would make her so happy. You see all the slides in the background... we spent LOTS of time on those!

But it'll be interesting the day she figures out how to climb the dino stairs...

Later that day we had dinner with our Natalie and then headed to yet another park right by the house. Megan enticed Natalie to bounce with her on one of those nameless bouncy things.

Today the rain m0ved in so ourside adventures were put on hold. But we got creative...more on that another day.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The matching cousins

Not that I'm biased or anything... but are these not the cutest little girls!!!!

And are they not in the cutest little matching dresses!!!!
I made the dresses so that the girl cousins (Anna & Megan) could match when we go to the beach in July. It's fun to be a silly mommy and silly aunt.

Amy, sewing is fun!
And... they have the cutest pre-smocked fabric like this on sale at Hancock Fabrics this week.... so Megan will be getting another sundress for the summer!

sand table update

Just an FYI to some of the people that emailed me about the table and asked where I got it.... That sand table (2 posts down) is on sale this week at Toys R Us.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Big Accomplishment

3rd post of the day - keep reading (Thank goodness for long naps)
Look at this cutie pie.... can you guess the big accomplishment??????

OK - give up?
It's really not about Megan's big accomplishment...
It's my big accomplishment....

I finally finished making 2 matching dresses. One for Megan and one for her cousin, Anna. Megan is modeling the finished product! That was the front - here's the back...
Is it not so cute - I'm very proud of the matching dresses. I can't wait to see Anna in hers - hopefully she'll like it as much as Megan does. My friend Amy has spured me on to tap into my inner seamstress....... It's been a lot of fun and I have lots more fun plans like it in the future.

Seriously, to copy what Amy has said in the past - it is so easy - anyone could do it!
No joke - it's one piece of material - one seam and a hem and then attach the ribbon straps. The straps were the hardest part. I can't wait to make another one!

More Outdoor Fun

2nd post of the day - keep reading
So - I'm thinking this may be a rough summer. By rough - I mean HOT! This weekend we enjoyed some warm temps but nice breezes as well. It was so warm this past week that I broke down and got Megan a water table. Since we are under water restrictions, I figured it was the best outdoor toy that I could invest in.

I've been scouring Craigs List and consignment stores and sales for one, but had no luck. Finally a good Toys R Us coupon was too much to pass up. So..... I unveiled it on Saturday so that Megan could play while Tom and I tried to get some outdoor work done. She had a great time and I know it'll be an on-going hit this summer! I just have to work on getting her to understand that she's not supposed to drink the water, or pour it down her shirt.

The breeze sent leaves flying and that's always fun for Megan.
And her little convertible is NEVER far away when we are outside. She's fascinated by the wheels. Perhaps we have a little future mechanic on our hands!

The Mall

This weekend we met up with some friends - Kevin, Robyn, and Kenny - for a casual dinner out and some playtime at the mall for the kiddos. I've found that one of the best places to go with Megan is Steak and Shake.
Some out there may be thinking crazy - but seriously, she's always entertained by the bright colors and people and it's got lots of walking room for a roaming toddler. I'm amazed at how many families are there. AND... if you are trying to teach your child to drink from a straw (megan would never really drink out of a sippy cup) it's the best place for them to learn... they have the best milk shakes and that's how Megan learned to use a straw. Yes, I realize I won't get the parent of the year award for that one!

Afterwards we headed to the mall for some firsts.... First escalator ride - she loved it! She wanted to ride up and down over and over again (thanks Dad!)
First time Daddy got to try to keep up with her in the "soft play space". All I have to say is - there were some BIG kids in there and the lady with the balloon needed to not be hitting the balloon around. Yes, Megan thought that was GREAT... but it also caused her to be the bottom layer of someone else's landing zone. Overall it was fun - and fun to see Tom chasing her while I got to chat and be social.
It was our first playdate with Kenny. Outside they got to check out the vegetation - you know, that's Megan's favorite thing.

I'll try to post more later - if our internet is actually fixed.... we'll see.

Friday, May 9, 2008

A week in Review

What a week..... it's been full of fun and frustration.

Fun with Megan and friends!

Frustration with Charter. Every single day this week we've had technicians out here (or failing to show for an appt.). Every single day I've spent at least an hour on the phone with them. It's been sooo irritating. Today was no different - technician was here at 9 - nothing worked, when he left - nothing worked still. Basically he said, "I have no clue what's wrong. I can't find any indication as to why you have no phone or internet. I'm totally stumped and you are up a creek. So I'll send a street line crew out later (by the way, they've only been here 3 times in the past 2 weeks) because it has to be something to do with the street line (by the way, they swear the street line is fine and it's a house issue). So........ we are debundling with Charter and going back to AT&T for phone and internet. Until they get it all fixed up.... I have to deal with randomly having no phone or internet for most of the day. But right now - it's up and running and Megan is napping so I'm back in touch with the world! :^)

That was the frustration part... here are some highlights of the fun parts of the week (when we weren't stuck inside waiting for a technician).

If you need something to occupy some time - like to keep a baby from getting fussy when it's almost bedtime, or to "reset" a fussy baby, or just because you wonder what they'll do .... try stickers!
Megan loves to try to get all the stickers we put on her. She now knows right were to go to get some stickers (left overs from my teaching days) and she'll bring them to us so that she can play the "sticker game". It's fun to watch her get so serious about getting the stickers.
One day we were outside waiting for the charter person (imagine that) and Megan got ahold of the phone. Thankfully we had no service at that point anyway. (then why is the phone outside? because randomly it will suddenly start working and if I miss the computerized call, they'll cancel my appt.). Megan knows to pick up a phone and say "eh yo". It's hard to take the phone away when you realize she's having a conversation with someone she thinks is on the other end (usually Daddy).
No week is complete with a trip to the park. We actually hit 3 parks this week - but only once did I have my camera. I have to say, I'm a little concerned about the summer. It was only in the lower 80's this week and on this park trip, Megan got so fussy because she was so hot. Oh dear!
We spent a lot of time outside... I think that will be the case for the next few months. Megan loves to explore and is really doing well with her walking - which is no small feat in the grass. All her little friends seem to be sick right now and thankfully we've somehow managed to escape illness... I pray that will continue!

This week we also met up with some friends at a Kindermusik demo that my friend Ashley was holding. I have some fun fun pictures of that but someone is waking up so that will have to be another post - when ever the internet is up this weekend.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Redneck Popsicle Lover

I love this little girl... she is so amusing! Ok, she's also a hand full - but still amusing!

It was such a great day out. It's nice and warm, but there is a great breeze! Megan LOVES feeling the wind blowing! Note the little scream of joy that you just know she's letting out - and the leaf that stuck to her forehead. All that happiness from a gust of wind!! (she why she's so amusing!)

After we played outside awhile I got out some popsicles I just bought. Megan is teething again.... ugh.... and I thought maybe they would with how much her gums seem to be bothering her. Of course I'm no fool... the white shirt had to come off. So my little redneck sat in the front yard topless eathing her popsicle. They are little mini popsicles and she can actually hold them by the stick. She LOVED them....

What really amazed me was the streams of melted popsicle flowing down her tummy. I had to get a true redneck shot so you could see the final result of the popsicle break.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Outing with Friends

The past week or so I've had a hard time blogging. We've had some computer issues. Actually our computer is just fine... It's Charter that I really dispise! I can say that now that I've had it out with several Charter employees. And supposedly they are on their way here for an appt. sometime between 3-5pm.... of course they just totally ignored the fact that the appt was actually scheduled for yesterday for between 1-4. When at 5:15 I called to say - hey what's up? They told me that it might be 8pm before they came. GREAT! So at 8:45pm when I called back after having cancelled all my plans for the day.... seeing the issue I have! At any rate, we'll see if they actually show up. No matter - the internet is mysteriously up and running, the phone somehow got a dialtone while I was out today (No tone this morning) and we are about to quit Charter. :^)

At any rate - I had to catch up on some fun time with friends.

Last week some of Tom's friends came to town from Fargo. Mr. Brian kept Megan entertained with pictures of his boys.

We met up with Will and Tressa last week and had a fun outing to Chick-fil-a. It was fun as usual and Will and Megan got to have some fun in the play area.

While we were there, we ran into Robyn and Kenny. Kenny kept Megan very entertained in the tunnels.

And once we got home - it's always fun to go play with the boys next door. Hunter and Megan love to play in their fire truck. It's always fun to watch Hunter and Mandell take care of Megan. She truly is the girl next door.
We had dinner with them yesterday (Megan and I - tom was at the court house praying to not get put on a jury - yipee, he didn't) and I have some fun pictures to post later (if the internet is still working).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tanglewood Farms

It's a beautiful day and the outdoors was beckoning to us....

Sooooooo..... an impromptu field trip was in order. Megan has been in a good mood and I've wanted to check out this local farm stocked with minature animals. I wanted to organize a big playdate there but I also wanted to make sure it's appropriate for everyone's kids. You just never know. I have to say, Tanglewood Farms was so fun. Megan woke up from her nap and we decided to hit the road. The cool thing is that it's only about 15-20 minutes from our house. Our friends Ann and Nate decided to meet us there for our impromptu outing, which made it even more fun!!

Tanglewood is truly a petting zoo for small ones. The animals are minatures and most of them that the kids can get to are also babies. Megan LOVED all the animals that were smaller than she was. She refered to most of them as doggies - but hey, she's got the concept. The animals that were her size or a little bigger - she wasn't so fond out. These pygmy goats were the favorite of both Megan and Nate. We could've stayed in their pen for the entire visit.
Megan stayed on her feet most of the time... until one little goat jumped up on her and knocked her down. But Megan wasn't stunned (I think it scared me more than her) and she just sat and petted more goats.

After we saw all the animals, they had a great shady picnic area with lots of places for kids to explore. For the older kids they have a cool fort you can climb into. Megan wanted so bad to figure out that ladder - thankfully she didn't!

Our trip started with pony rides. Ann and I didn't think our kiddos could do it because it's not like they can stay on by themselves - but we got to walk with them and hold them on. They loved it. Here's little Nate. The entire time we were there, if Megan saw the horses through the fences, she went wild. She loved the horses! I guess she takes after her mom (for whoever doesn't know, I grew up with horses - each member of my family had a horse - my horse was a Quarter Horse named Beau.)
Although I didn't get a good picture of Megan on her real pony ride, she wanted to show that she's a natural in the saddle! I can just hear her in a few years..... "Daddy, can I have a horse?" (That's how it started with my family - I took horseback riding lessons and suddenly we owned 4 horses and went on family trail rides... I'll have to find some of those pictures to post).

So... for all my friend who are thinking of checking it out... here are my thoughts (aka - pros and cons)...... It was super fun. Bring lots of wet wipes. Take advantage of the covered picnic area (near the entrance by the ponies). I would say that if your kids aren't walking yet - it may be a little overwhelming. The down side of that is that kids under 1 are free and by the time they are walking you have to pay full price to get in. I went with the idea that I didn't know if we'd be there for 20 minutes or 2 hours. We stayed for almost 2 hours. The stroller was somewhat useless and cumbersome because we didn't take it in the animal pens and we were in there most of the time. But it was good to have at lunch because Megan was contained and she had a tray to eat off of. If I were to do it again - I'd bring it and park it in the front eating area and not even try to wheel it around the place. Yell if you go - we'd meet you there. It's not a cheap outing (if your kids are over 1) but it was fun! I also wouldn't go on a hot day!!!!! It's not shaded and it was hot and it was only 78 when we were there.