Wednesday, June 22, 2016

More track out fun!

Lake Wheeler x 2:

One afternoon for Jason's first paddle boat ride! He did great!

Then one morning for breakfast at the kids' request. We had fun!


Yates Mill Park x 2:

One afternoon we discovered this local gem we have driven past a lot of times. It's the last working mill in Wake County, while 200 years ago there were more 72! It was awesome--the museum had lots of interactives to explain the history and science of the mill, the trail around the lake was pretty, and the water and mill were cool to see! Leo wanted to get inside the mill so much that...

We returned on a weekend for a tour! The kids had fun seeing the gears and pulleys working, and Nicholas and I did, too! I wish we had taken Mom and Grandma here when they visited in the fall. Maybe next time!

Pullen park:

The magnolias were blooming and smelled so sweet when the kids were playing under the canopy of their "secret tree!" We had fun, as usual, walking around the lake, playing in the playground, riding rides, and eating loco-pops!


A friend's birthday party:

Olivia got to go to a friend's birthday party at a riding stable. She had blast riding and seeing the stable, but it makes me so happy that she gets to do this every time we visit Indiana! Lucky!

The garden about a two weeks ago:

Lots of cherry tomatoes ripe now in the back, strawberries and cucumber in the middle, lots of herbs in the front, and Mom's beans with a sad trellis on the left side. The cilantro went to seed and was super woody. Second year in a row for cilantro fail. :(

My $3 worth of zinnia seeds bring me at least $300 worth of joy!


Yummy herbs!

Swimming lessons:

Leo took a week long swim lesson boot camp the first week of June and did so well! He learned to swim with his head under water!! He is so excited this year to swim in the big pool, go down the slide, and dive for toys!!

Olivia joined him once a week for swim lessons after she finished school, and is also learning a lot--taking side breaths, the correct way to do back and breast stroke, and just gaining endurance.



Getting older:

Jason is getting older and having stronger opinions, as you can see from the tantrum photos below! We've started some time outs for undesirable behavior like drawing on the walls! But Jason is usually quick to recover, which is a great quality!

Jason isn't too upset about having to clean up his mess. Funny how they want to help when that aren't very good at helping!

Jason loves play doh and markers!


Pool, pool, water!

We spend a lot of time at the pool--with friends, on our own, with Daddy, and at swim practice!



















Happy Father's Day 2016

Happy Father's Day to Nicholas!! We are SO lucky to have him loving and taking care of us. I don't often give credit to the pressures he faces being the primary breadwinner, but I know it isn't always easy to carry that load. And since we have moved to NC his work life balance has been able to be so much better! Everyday he makes time for the kids--often making dinner and cleaning it up, too, taking Olivia to swim practice or meets, or watching the boys so I can. He does the fun things like playing imagination games with the kids, catching them come off the pool slide, and playing soccer with them. He also doesn't shy away from discipline, keeping his eye on the fact that we are trying to raise good people. Nicholas encourages our kids and is interested in what they have to tell him. They are lucky. We are lucky. He is lucky. We love you, Nicholas!


And a shout out to my dad, whose efforts I recognize more and more as my kids grow. He always took us to plays and musicals, we took vacations to the lake and the beach multiple times a year, he paid tuition for catholic school for four kids (double gulp), he was starter at our high school track meets, volunteered at our swim meets, threw Christmas parties and pool parties. I know know how much work and planning this took! And, he let me get a puppy when I was 16! Thanks, Dad!


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Swim meets!

I am so proud of Olivia!! She has been working so hard on her swimming through swim practice and lessons, and also working on her confidence at being around people she isn't familiar with and doing new things. On Saturday morning at 7:30, Olivia had her first Mock meet. Nicholas stayed home with the boys, and I volunteered to be a timer. So Olivia was much on her own. She did great!! No false starts and she listened and swam well!!

Mock meet on Saturday:

Last night was her first real swim meet! Nicholas took her and I stayed home with the boys. They checked in at 5 and didn't get home until 10!! Intense!!! Olivia did great in every regard! She had fun, was heat winner in freestyle and back stroke, and didn't get disqualified in breast stroke, which she is just learning! The coaches try to make it fun, and last night's theme was "Light Up the Night!" Bless Nicholas for taking her!! Summer swimming is intense--practice two nights a week plus Saturday morning and meets on Tuesday night. I'm not sure how this is going to work once Olivia tracks back in!!

Swim meet yesterday:





Freestyle:


Backstroke:




Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Olivia's finished with kindergarten!!

Wow, what a year!! From tears and having a hard time being away from Mom and Dad, to wearing a locket with our pictures in it, to wanting to go to school each day, to being confident even when she had a substitute, Olivia grew up SO MUCH this year! She learned a lot, too, and we couldn't be prouder of our sweet girl, who got the "Sweetest Friend" award at her end-of-year program. We'll miss Kindergarten!!


A sample of what the kids learned:

Olivia and her teacher, Mrs. Long:


Olivia and her assistant teacher, Ms. Smallwood:


On her final day of Kindergarten! She's grown!



And just to show how much she has grown:









Friday, June 3, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Yay for long weekends!! We started our's watching a new movie for movie night! This is a big deal in a house that did not watch movies at all until two years ago when the kids discovered Cars. They watched that exclusively until Mutti bought them Cars II six months later. Fast forward another year and we added Lion King. We watched The Sword in the Stone two weeks ago and now Ice Age II. My kids are so sensitive to "not niceness." I'm so glad we are branching out!! We read the books first and then try the movie. It's working!

Saturday morning Olivia had swim practice for an hour practicing diving in mostly.


Then that afternoon the pool opened! The kids loved it, as usual!


On Sunday, we went to the zoo in the rain. Great decision since the animals were active and the crowds were low! I My favorite part was seeing the polar bear playing with a big barrel, throwing it in the water, and then jumping in after it! So cool!

And some lion sighting...

And some water play in the kid's zone

That night I felt horrible. It turned out that trying to wean Jason is hard work. I had mastitis. Thankfully, my doctor gave me antibiotics over the phone and Nicholas let me nap a lot Monday morning. Still we hit the pool on Monday and Olivia had a play date! Fun weekend!