Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The start of summer

We've been having a lot of fun in the last month. We've been to the beach twice, gone out to lunch with Great Grandma, went to a baseball game, went to the Ft. Fisher aquarium, and tried to relax as school came to an end.

Jake is running everywhere and is into everything. He loves to touch, open, turn, and explore. He wants to do everything his big sisters do. He liked the beach, just not when it was nap time. He liked to play in the wet sand, so a bucket half full of sand and half of water was his favorite thing. Sitting in the waves was fun too, but not as much fun as being picked up to 'jump' over the waves as they came in.

As usual the girls wanted to be in the water as much as possible. But they liked to do different things out of the water, too. Sam liked to go for walks with Mommy and Nana to collect seashells while Catherine liked to help Daddy build sand castles.

At the aquarium the girls had a great time and Jake really liked looking at the fish, too. Catherine was brave enough to touch a sting ray in the touch tank and after a little coaxing Samantha was brave enough to take her picture in the megalodon jaws. Catherine showed her climbing skills on the playground and we had a great time.

This is Jake's sweet ride for the pool. Cool and shady.

At home we all help water the plants, even Jake. Our garden is doing great! The peas are almost ready, tomatoes are still green but huge, and we're still waiting for the zucchini to grow. We catch a lot of lightning bugs, well, Catherine does. Samantha is too afraid of bugs so the closest she'll get is to hold a  leaf with a lightning bug on it. Jake's favorite new game is to hide on one side of the wall while you are on the other side, and then surprise you. He laughs and laughs!

At Nana and Grandpa's house (not just Nana's house!) they learned how to dance like a prince and princess, making Nana and Grandpa laugh and almost cry. Catherine helped make pizza and Grandpa cooked it on the grill in the rain. We had lunch with Great Grandma, too. Catherine had calamari and loved it. Samantha had a lot of fun playing with the little piece of dough they gave her. It was the inspiration for pizza that night. Catherine and Great Grandma also shared their love of puzzles.

Meeting Sid the science Kid and Super Why at the baseball game. More fun stuff to come, so keep checking in.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Jake is 1!

From this (born 6 lbs 12 oz and 20 inches long)

To this (23 lbs 12 ounces and 29.5 inches)

We've learned so much about our handsome little man in this last year and love him more and more every day. He makes us laugh, he's positive and bright and smart. He figures out all sorts of problems, which usually creates more problems for the rest of us. He loves to get dirty and always finds dirt to grab and throw on the ground, or carpet, and then stick in his mouth if you aren't fast enough. 

He's walking and standing up on his own, started the week before he turned one. He kind of says 'bye bye' and 'down', and he knows who everyone is, even if he can only say 'mommom' and 'dada'. He eats everything and shares with the dog. Jake also loves his little elephant lovey and we are too afraid to see if he'll sleep without it. We'll probably go without the paci first this summer and then see how brave we get. He doesn't use either during the day unless he sees it, so we keep them out of sight, but when it is time for bed he needs those 2 things and the sound machine on 'train'. Works like a charm.

He knows where the camera is and where the ladies are. He is a flirt and a charmer with a smile that disarms you and you can't help but smile back.  You know there is a little bit of a devil behind it and yet you don't care. And he knows that, too. He loves to play games and explore.

So from those first few weeks... the first few months,

…from a skinny baby who wasn't eating well...

…to a super chunk healthy little man...

…we are so blessed to have Jake in our lives...

…and can't wait to see how he grows...

…and what new adventures we will share together.

Happy Birthday Jake!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Easter break

My 3 beautiful kids in front of the beautiful tulips and flowers at Duke Gardens. It doesn't get any better than this. Easter break was wonderful. We went to Duke Gardens to see the tulips twice, went to see our new nephew Shiloh, built a vegetable garden, and went to the zoo.

But first, an update on the kids. Jake still isn't walking but he is crawling at lightning speed and getting into everything. He claps and waves and tries to say 'bye bye' and point to himself when you ask him 'who's Jake?'.  He's so smart that even though we have used bungee cords to keep the bakeware and tupperware off limits so he doesn't strew it all over the kitchen floor, he reaches through the cabinet with the pots and pans that we can't seal off and gets the tupperware anyway. At least this way he doesn't make as big a mess as he could.

Catherine is such a little problem solver! She automatically finds a solutions from a new angle like it is second nature. She can't reach the door handle to pull it open so she pushes the door next to it to grab the edge. She throws feed into the goose pen to help her cousin get the goose back to where it belongs (instead of chasing us and biting me and Sam).  She loves her brother and is a big help with him, keeping him smiling and finding things to keep him occupied (and away from her stuff).

Our sweet Samantha finds the joy in everything! Everything is her favorite and new and beautiful and exciting. She also misses everyone and everything the second we leave. She told Dave she missed her cousins and we hadn't even gotten in the car yet ;-) She still sings all the time, especially in the bathroom for some reason. My mom taught her the words to "Oh my darlin' Clementine" which she pronounces "Clementahn".  We still have no idea where her southern accent comes from. Not even our sitters have talked like she does, throwing extra syllables in everywhere she can.

A nice lady offered to take our picture!

On Easter Sunday the girls had a blast looking for eggs in the yard.

And Jake looked very debonaire in his 'jaunty chapeau'.

Jake and Nana

Spinning in their beautiful dresses!

Our crazy kids with their crazy grandparents, nothing could be a more true picture of our life and we love it.

In a dinosaur egg at the zoo, 2 movie stars and 'farmer Jake'.

A little Marilyn moment for miss Catherine.

We had a very close encounter with the chimpanzees at the zoo, it was great! She played peek a boo and blew kisses to the kids until she had to go break up a fight between 2 little chimpanzees.

Catherine is becoming quite the little photographer with the camera she got for Christmas. Here are a few of her best shots at Duke Gardens and the NC zoo. I did not edit these in any way, not even cropped. Not bad for a 4 year old, right?

A rhino red with mud.

The momma breaking up the fight.

The mommy and daddy lion with 4 cubs.