Friday, September 26, 2014

What else we've been doing (in pictures)

The kids LOVE Marbles, the kids' museum in Raleigh. And they love it even more when I take them after school so that the crowd is small! Here are two trips of pictures...the latter from "Twilight Thursday" when the museum stays open a bit later and Daddy joined us.

Their two favorite exhibits are the power exhibit (sponsored by Nicholas's company ABB) and...

the exercise exhibit! Leo was literally on that surfboard for fifteen minutes straight!

I see a toolbench in our future for Leo!

Playing hockey with Dad since Mom is too fat!

Every morning, Leo helps me pack everyone's lunch. This morning, he said, "I want a wholesome lunch," and proceeded to put holes in his bread. That kid!

We walk the 3/4 mile to the park next to us in the afternoon when the weather is good and I am feeling well enough. Olivia just conquered the rock climbing recently!

Leo and I often go to a playground on our own on the days when Olivia is in school and he isn't. I think he likes the Mommy time, but he misses Sis, too!

This is Olivia drawing Daddy's work. Ha!

We met Daddy at the mall this week for lunch. They had a little play area the kids enjoyed! It was kind of strange, I thought!

Nicholas came home from work early yesterday because he went in so early, and played soccer with the kids at the afore-mentioned park.

In the afternoons, Olivia often gets into her pajamas for "quiet time" and doesn't take them off. I know this is because she dresses so fancily to school that she is uncomfortable when she gets home, but she would never admit that to me! We've been doing a little Halloween decorating! (See the painted magnets in the foreground. The kids proceeded to stamp all over themselves, of course!)

Plus, we had to bake a "Halloween cake" the next day. Olivia was proud of her design!

And I wish I had taken a video, but the kids are getting along SO WELL! And coming up with THE FUNNIEST activities! They often are astronauts and play in the top bunk of Leo's bed, they play baby in our bedroom, and here they are having a Halloween dance contest while I was making dinner! Ha!

A big shout out to Mutti for the Halloween decorations!! Olivia LOVES opening that box! When I got this kitchen towel out, Leo shouted, "Look! Astronauts!!" Ha!

Oh, these days are going by fast!

Beach weekend!!

We hit the beach last weekend for first time since our move! Despite very windy weather and cloudy skies, we had a blast! Olivia woke up Monday morning and told me she was "Beach know like home sick but for the beach!" Ha! Here's how the weekend unfolded:

Everyone said it is about an hour and a half to the beach, and we chose the closest one: Carolina Beach near Wilmington, but the drive ended up taking more like three and a half hours due to traffic and stops. So, we didn't get there until around dinner time on Friday evening. We told the kids we could put our feet in the water...but that, of course, let to getting shorts wet and they wanted to take them off. It's good to be a two year old or a four year old when that is still acceptable!

We ate in, enjoyed the condo, and played board games that were there--Cars Monopoly and Candy Land. We went to bed early and got up early. The kids slept better than I expected, but not as well as I had hoped! We hit the beach early because it was threatening rain. They loved building sand castles and the sand was perfect for it. Of course, they liked building sand castles for different reasons!

We went back in for breakfast and then back out before lunch for more running in the ocean--there really wasn't much swimming--finding shells, and building sand castles. Then we went to the aquarium (NC Fort Fisher, which was just a few miles from our hotel)...partly because I couldn't get Leo to take a nap and we needed a distraction. He wasn't in the best of moods...

 until we found the playground!

The butterflies in the butterfly house loved Nicholas! Olivia loved that stop, too! I ushered Leo out to the car, where he did take a nap. He slept so well that I took him from the car to the tenth floor of our building without waking him! Score!

While Leo and I napped, Nicholas and Olivia hit the indoor pool. Then we headed back to the beach one more time after dinner. It never did rain (much) and we got to see a wedding on the beach. The bride was very gracious about us building sand castles near her pictures!

Sunday morning, of course, the sun came out! It was glorious!! And it made us all want to stay another night! 

While Leo and I waited for Nicholas and Olivia to wake, we did puzzles (the second picture is Leo's "silly face"), read books, and ...

Surfed! There were some guys surfing in the ocean, so Leo had to emulate!

 The kids and I hit the beach one more time while Nicholas got us packed up to go. That was the best beach part of the trip--the wind had died down, the water felt good, and we got as close to swimming as we could--all the way in jumping over waves! Ahh! It was fun and made me nostalgic for the beach with my Dad from way back when!

We had so much fun! The kids had a blast! Thanks, Nicholas, for taking us and being a great sport even though the beach isn't really your thing! Until next year.... (I guess we will see how Baby is...)

Monday, September 15, 2014

The playroom (by IKEA)

Nicholas put together and mounted everything from IKEA that I picked up a week and a half ago. Check it out! Looking good! I LOVE the bench/desks and the cabinets. I wish we would have bought a blue-fronted drawer, but that thing is perfect for holding games and puzzles. The bins on the wall make great places to organized other toys. I am stoked for the transformation! The little pink kitchen is going to a good home soon, so there will be room for Santa to bring a toolbench!

Next up: get the office stuff out of baby's room and get baby's room ready!