Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Open House!

Wyatt and Reese had Open House at their school last night.  They were both really excited to go in and check out their classrooms and meet their teachers.  Reese keeps saying, "Wyatt's school, I mean, my school, too."

 The place was packed, so we had to park across the street.  Wyatt and Reese are so good at following our "Parking Lot Rules."  I say it as soon as we pull in somewhere, and they know that we need to hold hands and look both ways before we cross the street.  This book is amazing (and where we ripped off the idea).
 Reese had a lot of fun playing her classroom, and she had her big brother showing her around because he was in the same class last year.  She also has Ms. Cindy, so Wyatt go to visit with his old teacher while we were in the classroom.  He really likes her, and I think he was a little sad to go to his 4 year old class.  Reese stepped right up and said hi to Ms. Cindy and even gave her a hug.  I know her teacher is probably excited because last year Wyatt's class was all boys and one girl, and this year the class is more even!  The kitchen, baby dolls and stroller will actually get played with this year.
 Wyatt's classroom was really cool, and had just the right decor for a little guy named Wyatt!  He will cover the ABC's in September and colors and shapes in October, but will spend November learning about horses, cowboys and the Wild West.  He will love it!  He has some of his friends in his class this year, and got right to playing with them!  Brian and I talked with his teacher Ms. Janette last night, and we are really excited for him to get into his Phonics book soon!  We've been working all summer on writing his letters and retaining his lessons from last year, and we're so excited to watch him grow this year!

As is tradition, we went out for ice cream after open house!
 Reese got her "usual," chocolate ice cream with Reese's Pieces (she's very fond of the name)!
 I branched out a bit and got peanut butter-banana yogurt with a little chocolate, too.  Then I added Reese's to the top - delicious!
And of course, Wyatt wanted vanilla with M&M's.  That basically sums up his food tastes - he's very vanilla!

We are so excited for school to start next week!  It's so good for Wyatt and Reese to get out and be with their friends, and also for them to get a little more time with me (and Hudson, of course) on the day that their sibling will be in school.  I think this M-W-F arrangement for Wyatt and T-Th for Reese will work out really well! I can't wait to see how much they've grown and learned at the end of the year!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


From This.
 To this.
In five seconds.
Not even kidding.

Reese's Third Birthday

I still can't believe that my sweet girl is three years old!  Of course, she's so tall that people have just assumed she was three for months, but to me, she's still my baby girl. 
 When she woke up on Thursday she said, "Today is my birthday!"  I wished her a happy birthday and she replied, "Happy Birthday, Mommy!"  We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and then we opened her presents while Daddy was still home (he stayed with us until about 10:30 that morning).

Wyatt was very excited for his sister's birthday, although it might have been because he was excited to see what was added to the family's toy collection!
 For her birthday she got a Minnie Mouse DVD,  a pair of purple Converse shoes (she loved her old ones, but they're too small now.  And these were on clearance at Target), a Melissa & Doug ice cream cone set (50% off with Michael's coupon), a Leap Frog toy and this Minnie Mouse chair.  This is the exact reason I got her the chair - she loves to sit and read, and I thought this would be perfect for her!
 After presents, we all loaded up in the van and I took the boys to my Mom and Dad to hang out while I spent some time with Reesie.  While they went to the pet store to look at animals, Reese and I went to Pots N' Paints to paint something.  It was her first experience, and she picked an ice cream cone to paint.  She was a little heavy handed with the paint, and she wanted to do everything herself, but she did a great job!
 We picked up the boys at lunch time (and this was about the time Brian called and told me that he wanted me to start looking at hotels), and came home for naps.  I made this beauty at nap time.  Not to toot my own horn here, but this cake was awesome. I used a recipe here for the cake and this one for the frosting.  I used the giant cupcake mold my sister gave me for Christmas, but the recipe didn't yield quite enough batter.  It was still yummy though, and looked pretty good!
 Waiting patiently for her cake!
 After we sand Happy Birthday, she started working on the cake, but then decided she would rather share with her baby brother (who was sitting in his chair grunting for a bite!)
I'm so glad that she had such a fun third birthday, and I know that she still had a fun weekend in Raleigh!  She still keeps telling me every five minutes that she's three years old now.  And she's so big!  I can't believe we're going to her Open House tonight!

Monday, August 29, 2011

We're Home!...and our Time in Raleigh

We're home! Thanks for checking in on us :). We left Raleigh first thing yesterday, and got home around noon.  Thanks to texts and Facebook, I was able to keep in touch with our neighbors, so I knew that our house was fine (our neighbor went outside and surveyed our damage several times during the storm - we seriously have the BEST neighbors), and that we only lost power for a minute on Saturday night!  I had every intention of updating the blog last night - and then we actually lost power around 3 yesterday.  Seriously, yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day (minus the extreme heat), and we had no power .  It came back on around 7:30, but by then the kids and I had "evacuated" to my parents house!

We had a really great time in Raleigh on Saturday!  Apparently Hudson is a big fan of air conditioners.

We went to Marbles Kids Museum first thing Saturday morning.  Brian and I are big believers in getting places as soon as they open because it's the best way to avoid crowds.  Oh yeah, and our kids wake up with the sun anyway, so we might as well get out and enjoy the day!  There was so much for the kids to do there, and they just loved it.  We were going to take them to our Children's Museum a few months ago, but it was being renovated.  Now that it's reopened, we'll probably go again soon.  I used to love it when I was little!
 Wyatt and Reesie working at the "Vet's office."
 They had a little area set up for little guys to crawl around.  Hudson absolutely loved it.  There were things for him to roll on and play on, and they also had this fish tank in the wall.  He loved watching the fish!
 Cooking dinner together
 Who doesn't love playing in water?  Reese actually snuck back here after we left this section.  And when I went to get her she was soaked.  Got to love three year olds!
Releasing the anchor 
 They LOVED this section.  You could "make" the pizza (toppings, put it in the "oven", put it in the box, and then get on the bike to deliver it).

But Wyatt was in heaven when we got to the "sports" section.  We stumbled upon this set up-
 He could skate around in his socks and play hockey.  He just loved it so much.  He is talking about it constantly!  He said he was a real hockey player because he had real equipment!

After we left the children's museum we drove to Durham to check out the campus at Duke. Brian is a Duke basketball fan and wanted to drive to take a look.  If it had been a nice day, we probably would have gone to the gardens, but it was definitely rainy (and it was also move in day for the students)!  We met up with Allison and the kids at the local Toys R Us because they left the Outer Banks and ended up in Raleigh, too!  By the end of the day we were all exhausted and ended up in bed by 9! 

This week is going to be super busy for us!  I'll probably blog about Reese's birthday later today because we have Open House tomorrow, Doctor's appointments for Reese and Hudson, and Wyatt's first soccer practice of the season on Wednesday!  Not to mention the fact that school actually starts next Tuesday, and there is a ton to do to get ready (starting with a 4 year old boy who desperately needs a haircut)!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Irene Evacuation

I'm going to add that I am writing this on two hours of sleep - so if it seems out of whack - it just might be :)

Reese had a great birthday yesterday, which I'm sure I will blog about tomorrow (or maybe when we get power back home!), but I wanted to give an update about our Irene Evacuation!

Yesterday Brian decided that he would really feel more comfortable if we left home, instead of waiting out the storm.  He called me and asked me if I could please do a little research about places to stay in case we decided that leaving was best. During nap time I made Reese's cake, loaded our back yard and front yard belongings into the garage, and found us a hotel.
 The kids checked out their room assignments for this year while I took flower pots inside!

I booked reservations for us about an hour and a half away from home, even though they were still going to be under a tropical storm watch.  Last night after Reese's birthday dinner and cake and ice cream, Brian went back to the park to shut it down (never a fun job) and I got started getting the 5 of us ready to go!  I was up until 4:30 this morning, woke up at 6:30, and then started loading the van!  I am sooo exhausted, but part of the problem was getting us packed (so much stuff.  And I didn't want to leave some of my food behind), and the other issue was cleaning.  I just do not want to go home to a dirty house with no power!
 So happy that Reese got her Mobigo and case for her birthday!  She has been playing non stop since we got on the road!
 All of the local Navy ships were sent out to sea, but we passed this caravan while we were on our way to Raleigh this morning!  We decided that we'd rather go a little more inland to get away from the storm and cancelled our other reservations!
 Best street name ever!

Everyone getting settled into our hotel room. 
 Here is the Raleigh sky tonight.  There is an outer band that is hitting us right now (some strong winds, but nothing too terrible), and the clouds were awesome.  The storm should pass through our neck of the woods tomorrow afternoon and into the evening, so please keep us in your thoughts!  I'm getting updates from my parents and my neighbors who stayed behind.  I just couldn't ride out this storm and let it terrify the kids.  The weather channel just reported that it is weakening slightly, but then went back to covering the storm hitting New York.  Which irritates me because New York isn't the only place that is going to get hit.  But whatever, we're fine here and we're looking forward to getting back home on Sunday!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!!

Here's a picture of our sweet, funny, loving, smart, beautiful little miracle at 10:07 this morning!
She is loving her new Minnie Mouse chair! 

Her birthday - although, reading all of August gives you her whole story.
Turning 1 - so much of her personality was already evident!
Turning 2 - she has certainly gotten a lot of hair this year!

I'll post a birthday recap later - but wanted to share her picture from when she "officially" turned three!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Haircut

When you're born with a full head of hair, you're usually ready for a haircut pretty early in life!  Hudson's hair has gotten so long, and the funny thing is that it was three colors - really dark on the ends, redder in the middle, and then lighter at the roots.  It took a lot of convincing on my part to get Brian to agree to this!  We are both still contemplating taking a trip to Disney World this fall, and he was thinking we could wait until we got there to get Hudson's haircut like we did with Wyatt!

But I was thinking it was time!  So on Brian's day off on Monday, Hudson and I dropped Daddy and the big kids off at Chuck E Cheese for some fun (I. can't. stand. that. place.) and we went to Pigtails & Crewcuts to get his haircut!  Hudson was great while we waited patiently for Ms. Sholanda to be available to cut his hair, and then he sat in the chair very nicely!
 Look at all his little baby hairs on the fire engine!
 Love this look!
 But for the most part - this is what he did the whole time!  He was so good, I just had to slip him some yogurt melts every few minutes.
We got the "first haircut package" that included his name and some of his little baby hairs!  Brian thought "My First Haircut" Mickey ears would be cooler, but that's an awfully long drive for a haircut!  I can't believe how big he looks now!

Anyway, I've got to go - I'm compiling my "final shopping list" before Irene hurls herself at us this weekend (it's amazing how much more seriously you take this stuff when you're a parent and a homeowner), and we also need to pick up a few things for Miss Reesie's 3rd birthday tomorrow!  I can't believe that she's turning three!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mother Nature!

Is crazy this year!  First we visited Florida on one of the coldest weeks they've ever experienced.  Then we had a crazy snowstorm that kept us locked inside for a week.  We've been bracing (and shopping) for Hurricane Irene to possibly make her approach on Sunday (which prompted me to reschedule Reese's birthday party for a different day), and this afternoon we had an earthquake!

I never, ever, ever, ever, thought that we would get an earthquake in Virginia - but I guess I was wrong!  I was sitting on the couch celebrating the fact that all three kids were taking naps at the same time - and then the couch started to shake!  I quickly turned around because I thought that Wyatt had woken up from his nap and was pushing on the couch. He wasn't there, so I went back to folding laundry (and maybe watching Patrick Dempsey Grey's Anatomy at the same time).  But the couch kept shaking.  And I stood up and the whole house was shaking!  Apparently we got a 5.8 earthquake.

The quake was over pretty quickly, but I ran upstairs to check on Hudson - he was fine, so I let him keep sleeping - it didn't bother the other kids either!  I went outside to "check the damage," but fortunately there was none.  Now we just have to worry about Irene making landfall! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Too Much Beauty and the Beast?

Reese loves Beauty and the Beast.  It's probably her favorite Disney movie!  Over the last few weeks she has been asking me a ton of questions about why Belle's Papa goes into the forest.  Why does he want to go to the science fair?  Why doesn't he run away?  Why is the Beast so mean?  Are there wolves in every forest?

We went to the park yesterday with friends.  About halfway through the adventure Reese decided she needed to use the restroom.  Shannon and I just decided that she would walk the boys around the walking trail (through some trees) and I would meet her after we walked the other way to get to the bathroom. 

We got the bathroom with no problems.  When we came out and started to meet up with everyone else, my little girl froze.  Why?

Because she didn't want to walk through the forest of course!  What if there were wolves, or the Beast?
She wouldn't budge from her spot by the restrooms.  Fortunately Shannon came out with Wyatt and her kids right about this time, so I didn't have to push her to walk through them. 

But I really think she's missing the point of the movie.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tides Games

It's no secret that everyone in this house loves baseball (even Reesie has developed a pretty good swing in the last week!).  We like to go to as many Tides games as possible, and we definitely try to make it to at least one game when the Yankees' minor league team is in town.  When Ryne Sandberg became the manager of the Phillies' minor league team, we knew that we would be heading to one (or two) of those games as well!

When Brian was a kid, he spent a lot of his summers watching Cubs games on WGN.  The first summer that he remembers having cable was 1984 - which was Ryne Sandberg's MVP year.  The Cubs only played day games then (Wrigley Field didn't have lights), so he watched every game.  And he became a major fan.  He likes the Cubs (he refers to them as his "National League team" for that reason), but he is a huge fan of Sandberg.  In fact, the year that we got engaged was the year that Ryne got into the Hall of Fame - and I got Brian an autographed bat for Christmas (I had a feeling I was going to be getting a nice present that year - and I did! Ha!).

So when the Cubs shafted him out of their Manager job last summer, he went to work for the Phillies (which I will not state my opinion on because I have absolutely nothing nice to say about them!).  The Iron Pigs play in the Tides division, and they came to town last week!

Brian and I went to the game on Tuesday night with his parents.  We got the seats from one of the local radio station owners (through Brian's work), and we sat right behind the Tides' dugout.  Like, I propped my feet on the dugout all night!

Harbor Park is probably one of the nicest minor league facilities anywhere.  I remember going to the second game there with my family when I was younger!  Here is the view from our seats...

 One of the coolest things about the park is that it is literally surrounded by the river (so you can take a ferry there), there are trains that run behind the park during the game, and it is right in the flight path of the local airport - so you can see boats, planes and trains from the stadium (and of course you can take your car or the local light rail system, as well).
 Brian headed over to see if he could get an autograph - and he probably could have if he'd gotten there two minutes earlier.  He is a master of getting autographs - probably because of all his spring training trips!  I told him he can go again next year because it's been a few years, but if he goes, he better take Wyatt!
 Coming out for a pitching change

The Iron Pigs won the game that night - while we were on our way home!  They were 5 runs down at the top of the ninth, so we left - and they scored 6 runs.

On Wednesday night Brian and his dad took Wyatt to the game.  Brian told Wyatt that morning that they were going to the game, and it was all he talked about all day!  He knows who Ryne Sandberg is because he plays with an old action figure of Brian's all the time.  He kept saying, "Mommy, I can't believe that Daddy is taking me to see Ryne Sandberg tonight!"  When they got to the game and saw him Wyatt said, "Daddy, what happened to Ryne Sandberg's hair?  His hair is supposed to be brown, but it's gray!"

This time they got seats on the third base line, right next to the Iron Pigs dugout.   
 They were also right behind home plate, and Wyatt practiced his swing every time the pitcher threw the ball!
At the end of the game, one of the players threw a ball to some little boys sitting nearby, and the boys gave the ball to Wyatt!  He was so excited!  He came home and came running in the house to tell me all about it (and I was asleep).  The Iron Pigs lost the game to the Tides, but Wyatt didn't mind because he roots for the Tides at the games (even when they're playing the Yankees).  I don't think he understands that the team is actually full of Orioles players!  He had such a good time at the game, and I know that it was fun for Brian to share the experience with his little guy!