Quick Note to Friends and Family:

I use this blog to highlight some of the bigger things in our life - holidays, adventures, cute photos, etc. So, it may be a few weeks in between updates. If you want details about the day to day stuff, be sure to check out my 365 blog. (link should be on the sidebar) I update it every Friday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pool Party

School's out and summer has begun!

There is Miss Kate on her last day of 1st grade.

And what better way to start the summer than a pool party with friends?! The kids and I spent last Friday and Saturday at Audrey's house and most of that time was in their pool. We had an absolute blast!

Lulu hung out by the pool too...

just in case someone was in the mood to squirt her. She couldn't get enough of that and the kids thought it was funny.

I only took out the camera 2 or 3 times, but got lots and lots of fun photos. Enjoy

At first Tyler was a bit wary of the water, but in no time he was going off the slide and diving board all by himself. I think doubling up on the life jacket and floaty made him feel more safe because he pretty much insisted on this combo the whole time.

And he had a buddy. Isabelle designated herself as Tyler's "lifeguard" and followed him around most of the time. It was cute.

Kaitlyn on the other hand had no fear (a complete switch from both of their usual personalities) and loved going off the diving board and slide.
We went through lots and lots of OtterPops and a giant container of Cheese Puffs.

And there's that cute baby! Lillian took two really long naps and missed out on most of the swimming. But the time she was in the pool she seemed to really enjoy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring Break - Battleship and Aquarium

We didn't spend all our time at the beach (although Kaitlyn may have liked to). Thursday the weather was rainy and very very windy so we went to the Battleship Museum. The USS North Carolina is permanently docked right there in/near Wilmington and it was very interesting to explore.

Tyler loved the guns and the airplane that was parked on the deck.

Kaitlyn liked hearing how everything worked and what all the different rooms were used for. It was amazing to think about how many people they packed into that space (big as it may seem from the outside) and how self-sufficient they were while out at sea.

However, the battleship only held the kids' interest for about 90 minutes then we were a bit at loose ends as to how to entertain ourselves. We even went so far as to wander around ToysRUs with the kids for an hour. The sun came out for a little bit and we did spend some time in the pool at the hotel, although it wasn't as fun as it could have been. Sam and I got sunburned the first day so the cold pool was too cold and the hot tub was too hot. I spent the whole time with my feet in the hot tub watching the kids go back and forth from it to the pool.
Eventually we took a walk on the boardwalk and ended up down at the pier, where we felt like we were going to get blown away by the wind. Tyler insisted on holding hands or being held the entire time we were out there because seeing the ocean through the gaps in the boards we were walking on really made him nervous.

Friday turned out to be a fantastic day, weather-wise, as well as being my favorite day of the trip. We hit the beach first thing and stayed there until 1:00 or so. After showering we grabbed a late lunch then went to the Aquarium at Fort Fisher. It was great. Not a huge space, but what they had done with it was great.

The indoor displays were so pretty. The kids' favorite thing were all the box turtles that seemed to be everywhere. They also had a few alligators, including an albino one.
Kaitlyn thought the touch tank was great. She was daring enough to touch everything while Tyler held back and just looked. Not surprising - he may be the daring one when it comes to most things but usually holds back when it comes to animals and Kaitlyn is the one that wants to touch them.

Even though it was fake and alligators are probably his most favorite animal, this one scared Tyler. We couldn't get him to quit hiding his face on my shoulder for the photo.

This is my favorite photo of the day (amazing since I only had my phone with me and was taking pictures just with it). This big tank with the fish and the sharks was great.

They also had a garden outside with statues and a pond with more turtles.

On the way back from the aquarium we stopped at the breakwater/beach area and spent some time finding shells. Then we dropped the car at the hotel and wandered down the beach again, having a fantastic seafood dinner (for Sam and myself that is, the kids don't eat that stuff though Kaitlyn did try one bite of crab. She also the clam and mussel shells were fascinating and we let her take one of each home) near the pier before heading inside for the night.

By Saturday morning I think we were all about ready to head home. We spent a few hours at the beach in the morning, then plopped our sand-covered selves in the car, grabbed McD's in the drive through and headed home.

It was a very nice vacation and a fun way to spend Spring Break.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring Break at the Beach!

Living this close to the beach for the first time ever, of course that's where we decided to go for Spring Break. Love it!
There are quite a few beaches that are within 2-3 hours of our house and I'm sure we'll take the time to explore them all. This time we chose Carolina Beach/Kure Beach near Wilmington. We left Wednesday morning and spent a total of 3 nights in a hotel right off the beach. It was so nice to be able to walk out the door and straight to the beach and we spent a good chunk of time there every day.
The first day was overcast but it was still plenty of fun on the beach. The kids loved playing in the waves.

We also built a sandcastle every day, protecting it from Mr Destructo (that's Tyler lately) as we went. We even built him "smash castles" as we went, but by the end of every day we'd give in and let him totally destroy the castle. Kaitlyn spent a lot of time collecting shells, both to take home and to decorate the castles with.

We would know it was time to head back to the room when Tyler would lay down on his towel and not want to get up.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring Photos

My mom and Rhonda went shopping together and bought these cute outfits for the kids for Easter. I wanted to show off their cuteness to the Gmas so of course I insisted on a photo session. Urgh. What's the best way to torture myself? A planned photo session with your kids, that's how. First I had to talk it all up to Kaitlyn and get her excited about giving Grandma cute photos. So she got dressed ok, as long as I promised she could change afterward. Then I wrestled Tyler into the shirt he thought was too scratchy. Cut out the tag for him and promised him too that he would be able to change after photos. Went back to find he had changed his clothes and had to wrestle him back into the shirt AGAIN - this time around it was much harder. Got them both in the car and Tyler is happily reconciled to exploring a new park, even if he does have to let Mom take photos. Kaitlyn on the other hand has decided she really doesn't want to wear the dress and pouts the whole way there then I can't get a smile out of her of any sort. So what do I do? Oh I try and try to be funny, bribe her, make promises and so on. It's even more frustrating because Tyler is being great and I'm afraid if she takes too long to cooperate I"ll lose him too. Eventually I get angry and make her cry. Yup. I have Bad Mom moments sometimes. More often than I'll ever want to admit to. But I reined myself back and went back to the forced happiness. We had a few races across the park together. I even sat there and had them pull faces with me. And this is what I got:

UGH! Eventually though Kaitlyn did come around. PHEW!!!!

Enjoy the photos

Awwww, there's my best girl

And my favorite little guy