Saturday, September 28, 2013

Apple Orchard

A few weeks ago, our preschool co-op did a week on seeds.  The kids had a cantaloupe and an apple for their snack, and we saved the seeds to put in plastic bags.  We took the plastic bags home and taped them to our windows so that the kids could see how the seeds would use the sunshine and water to sprout.  They loved it.  Our field trip that week was apple picking at a nearby orchard.  The kids had a great time picking apples, and then we all enjoyed a picnic lunch on the porch of the little apple shop.

I love how Evelyn is munching away at an apple in this photo.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Evelyn's First Night Away (Kid Free Evening!)

A couple days ago, it was Jason's birthday.  To give us a child-free night out, my parents had all three kids spend the night at their new home.  Grandma and Grandad have bought a new home and moved out of their rental house.  It's only about 15 minutes from us, and the kids are very excited about "Grandma's new house."  Miles and Vivienne have spent the night in my parents' rental home, but not in the new house yet.  And Evelyn had never spent the night away from us.  But now Evelyn is weaned and very, very consistently sleeping through the night, so we figured she would be just fine.

Their night at Grandma and Grandad's went very well.  The big kids slept in a big bed together for the first time (a queen-sized bed instead of the twin beds we have at home), which I think is just adorable.  And Evelyn slept all night in her pack n play without a peep. 

Jason and I celebrated his birthday by going for a run together (which we never get to do).  After that, we checked out a new (to us) restaurant, Dalat.  It's a Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall in Raleigh and it is very good.  I found a dish there that I loved from a restaurant in Alhambra (Los Angeles) that I haven't had in a very long time.  Jason enjoyed a Thai tea with boba (which I only took 2 sips of, which required a great deal of restraint, let me tell you). 

Jason's birthday gift this year was registration for us both to the Tobacco Road Half Marathon in March.  I'm looking forward to running another half marathon, because I haven't done that since we lived in California (7 years ago - how did that much time pass???).  We'll see how fast I can run a post-baby (or post-three-babies?) half marathon.

It was awesome to "sleep in" (aka get up at 7 am) and relax in the morning.  The kids absolutely loved their night at Grandma's, of course, and didn't want to leave.  It was a win-win for everybody, except for maybe Grandma and Grandad who probably needed a good nap the next day!

Thanks for a baby-free night, Mom and Dad!  And happy birthday to my sweet, hard-working husband!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weaning Evelyn

Evelyn is now weaned.  She probably stopped nursing completely about 4 weeks ago.  It has been a long, slow taper, and she was clearly losing interest.  If it had been up to me, she would have nursed for a lot longer, but that's not the way it worked out.  She may be my last baby, so it is sad to think that I may not nurse again.  It's such an intensely intimate and magical thing, and I definitely miss it.  But it also comes with a new freedom that is welcome.  I kind of feel like I have been nursing or pregnant for about 4 years now, so it's nice to have a little more independence.  Maybe Jason and I will have to get away for a weekend sometime soon - finally!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Potty Training Miles

Well, we're getting there.  Miles and Vivienne are doing much better with the potty training.  Vivienne took to it first, and then Miles followed a month or so after.  We still use diapers or pull-ups for naps and at night, but our days are in "big kid underwear".  The kids are doing pretty well using the potty, but we definitely still have accidents.  Some days they do great and then other days it just feels like I'm cleaning urine off of the carpets and furniture all day, which is exhausting and frustrating.  I would say the kids use the potty about 80% of the time.  We're getting there slowly but surely. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Space Shuttles

Miles and Vivienne (especially Miles) have found a new favorite show:  watching the space shuttle launch over and over and over on YouTube.  I have to say that the aerospace engineer inside me thinks this is pretty darn nifty.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Screened Porch

Jason and I have wanted a screened porch since we started looking for a house to buy in Cary in 2008.  This year, we finally bit the bullet and built it.  This was quite a decision for us, because we are usually very frugal (like making our own detergent frugal and cloth diapering three kids frugal and saving my egg boiling water to dump on my plants after it cools frugal).  But we are so, so glad we did it.  It's a beautiful addition to our home, and we are finding ourselves living out there.  I don't think we have eaten a single meal inside our house since the porch was finished.  It is also the preferred location for the kids to play and for our craft time.  This space is probably going to be the most used space in our home besides our kitchen.

Our first meal on the porch was without Daddy, because he was in San Jose for work (have I mentioned that he has a new job?). 

Monday, September 16, 2013


Evelyn is starting to use words more often.  She still is mostly babbling and chattering away in her baby gibberish, but she occasionally will give a reasonably clear "mama", "dada", "grandad", or "dog."  I'm also pretty sure that she has a word for "bird" but I haven't heard her say "bird" clearly yet.

She is recently much more interested in waving and she loves to "twinkle her stars" (open and close her hands) when we sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" (or any other song, for that matter).  It's pretty stinkin' adorable.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Goodbye, Summer 2013!

We just got back from our last trip to Holden Beach this summer.  This time, Grandma and Grandad came along with us, and we had a blast.  Miles and Vivienne seem to love the beach more and more as they get older, and Evelyn also seems to enjoy the sand and surf (though for not quite as long as her older siblings).

As soon as we arrived, we headed for the sand.  The kids were eager to dig in their toes.  Evelyn had a blast, crawling all over the beach, plopping her hands in the sand and water, stopping occasionally to hand me a sea shell and then crawling some more.  She covered quite a bit of ground that first day.

And because we didn't get a single photo of me on the last trip, Jason took this one.  It proves that I do indeed participate in my family's vacations.

Evelyn was looking just darling in her beautiful swimsuit from Grandma. 

Grandad brought along some binoculars for the kids to use, and they were completely enamored with them.  They didn't part with their "noculars" for quite a while, even insisting that they sleep with them on their bedside table.

Daddy got down to business with the shovel and dug out three islands for the kids, complete with a trench that opened it up to the waves.  They were very much stuck in a "destruction" mode, however, so we didn't get too elaborate with the sand creations this time.  Next time, I think a proper castle is probably in order.

Miles was most often seen with sand flying in the air (preferably away from by-standers, though this was not always the case, much to my dismay).  You will notice in the shot below that you can see the sand flying off the scoop.

And Evelyn did plenty of her own sand slinging.  She also tasted quite a bit of sand.  Nothing says "comfort" like a sandy thumb.  Yuck.

We also took the ferry across to the Fort Fisher Aquarium.  It's a nice little aquarium that is perfect for young kids with small attention spans.  Also, our membership there gets us into the zoo for free as well - a great deal for us.  On the boat ride home, we also fed the birds off the back of the ferry - always a hit.

Evelyn decided that she wanted to keep Grandad's Boeing baseball cap.  I have to say that it probably looks a little better on her (no offense, Dad).

One evening after a long day of beach play, Miles and Jason stayed out on the beach for about an extra hour.  Miles loved tossing the frisbee back and forth with Daddy, and then he said that he wanted to sit out in the water.  And so they did.

We were lucky enough to see the volunteers close out a sea turtle nest, so the kids experienced this yet again.  They aren't even 4 years old and they have seen tons of sea turtles making their way out into the big blue.  (You can see the roped off sections in the background below as we waited for the turtles to start their big adventure.)

This is our attempt at a family photo.  You will notice that you cannot actually see the faces of any of our children.

Daddy also dug some very deep holes for the kids to play in. 

On this trip, we discovered a new fun activity - boogie boarding! 

Who would have known that a 3-year-old would like to boogie board, but Miles really got into it.  Jason would set him up on the board and push him in front of a wave, and Miles would ride the wave to the sand (only 10 feet or so, but I was still impressed).  He loved it.  He kept saying,"Again!  Again!"

They also loved it when we pulled them along the surf on their boards.  Vivienne would try this out, but she was too nervous to try the solo boarding on the waves on this trip.  Maybe next time.

We took one afternoon to go to Calabash for some awesome southern fried seafood.  Captain Nance's never disappoints.  Afterward, we stopped at St. Nick Nacks, a gift and Christmas shop.  The kids were completely in awe of the Christmas wonder that awaited us inside.  They kept saying, "It's so beautiful!" and "Look!  Look!"  Luckily they have no concept of just how far away Christmas really is.

We also enjoyed plenty of sweet treats on this trip.  Miles and Vivienne devoured (and painted themselves with) countless ice cream cones.

And I close with another family photo with only one child screaming and the other two protesting the picture a little more quietly.  Hey, we're all in the same frame.  I'll take it.

Goodbye, summer 2013!  Now on to pumpkins and turkeys and trees!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Birthday Height/Weight Stats

I am really behind this time on posting the stats from the kids' yearly check-ups.  Here is how everyone is stacking up:

Height:  38.5 (76%)
Weight:  36.8 (90%)
BP:  86/54 (They do blood pressure now!?!  My kids are growing up.)

Height:  35.95 (25%)
Weight:  29.6 (39%)
BP:  78/47

Height:  30.25 (78%)
Weight:  21 lb 1 oz (66%)
HC:  18 in (68%)