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The kids have really enjoyed the Christmas season so far. Yesterday we made our annual trek to see Santa.
We had to wait two hours, but the kids were amazingly patient and had a good interaction with St. Nick. Colston gave him a sweet, huge hug and petted his beard. Addy asked her long awaited question about whether or not Rudolph was real and was glad to hear that not only was he real- but that he had been playing in the snow last night.
I’ve included a few shots of us decorating our tree here as well. Hope you and your family have a relaxing and meaningful Christmas!
We also partook in the final day of October festivities, complete with pumpkin mutilation, cookie making and candy collecting.
Just finished downloading some Christmas pictures to my computer and I realized that we had a bunch of pictures from the fall that have never seen the light of day. Thought I’d post some here before Christmas officially arrived.
Back in October we took the kids to a local farm for a few hours of fall fun- corn mazing, atv riding, hay bale scaling, etc. Here’s the pictoral proof:
There’s no one else I’d rather share life with and have as the mother to my kids. Thanks honey for all you do for us and all the good you bring into our lives.
We love you! Happy Mother’s Day!!
One of the things you do when you have young kids is celebrate holidays that you might not otherwise.
Like St. Patrick’s Day for example.
The day started with a green foods party at Addy’s preschool. With the aid of a dash of food coloring, we contributed Rice Krispy treats with an emerald hue.
For dinner we popped into Chick-Fil-A. Unbeknown to us it was “Family Night” and they were having their own St. Patty’s shindig. The kids got shamrock flocked hats, decorated iced cookies with green sprinkles, applied a shamrock tattoo and met the Chick-Fil-A cow.
Colston was afraid of the cow, but managed to compose himself for this shot. Can’t blame him, I was a bit creeped out too.
But the really big deal happened today. Addy was prowling around our back yard and bounded in with this:
Yep- that’s a natural 4 leaf clover.
Addy told Jen it would bring our family good luck.
Lets hope so.
…of “I Spy” tonight.
We were grabbing a bite at Barry’s Cafe- one of our standby local joints.
There’s a general rule that when you are waiting on food with small children, time will pass at 1/10th of the normal speed and your children will be 7.8x more impatient than usual.
Now I’m not a math whiz, but I can tell you that those numbers = parents doing whatever they can to keep their kids entertained.
This is where Barry’s gives parents a helping hand. Barry (the owner) has a heart for emergency service personnel. In addition to offering them discounts and donating plenty of food in that direction, Barry’s walls are PLASTERED with everything firefighter- hats, coats, signs, posters, badges, patches, hoses, axes, etc.
For a parent who needs to employ the “I Spy” delay tactic, Barry’s decor is a gift.
Tonight Addy and I played several rounds. We both chose and guessed various colors on multiple objects all round the room.
And then I announced, “I spy something blue”.
At this point for some reason Jen jumped in and decided to play too. She and Addy cycled through various guesses. I helped them rule out whole categories (it isn’t on anyone’s clothes….it isn’t on any of the signs or badges….etc.). I gave them hints about geography. About size.
And I still stumped them.
Despite declarations by both mother and daughter that, “We never surrender!”, they finally caved and asked me to tell them what they couldn’t guess.
Often people win “I Spy” by choosing some minuscule item that isn’t easily spotted. I went the other way.
What did I see that was blue?
And the food arrived.
What could be better than that?
Today we undertook one of the most trying activities for an extended family- the family portrait.
6 adults and 4 kids (ages 4 mos, 19 mos, 2 yrs 9 mos & 4 yrs 4 mos) got dressed up, waited an extra 20 minutes for our appointment and somehow got everyone still enough at the same time to take a few good shots. All in all the whole ordeal lasted an hour and a half.
Whew- that’s over. At least for another year.
Here are a few of the results:
“Raleigh is a great place to live if you have kids and enjoy the outdoors.”
Numerous folks told us this when we moved here. Our first 9 months as Triangle residents have given us plenty of chances to confirm it for ourselves. Yesterday we spent a couple of hours at Pullen Park, an older, established park near NC State’s campus. New rec areas may have the best and most advanced play equipment, but Pullen has a few things that no other park in town is likely to match.
For example, there are beautiful, mature trees and shrubs. It is easy to imagine multiple generations of families looking at the same landscaping. Also, the paths in the park are made from pavers. My mother-in-law noted that today this many pavers would cost a million bucks. No wonder they put down mulch paths in the new parks.
Then there are the amenities: a refurbished carousel built in 1911, a gas-powered train that circles the entire park, kiddie boats (like at the fair), and paddle boats. The first three cost $1 per ride for everyone over a year old. Paddle boats rent by the hour.
If you live in the Raleigh area, what’s your favorite park/outdoor activity?
For the last couple of weeks we’ve been waiting for our new niece to be born “at any minute”. (Imagine how her poor mother felt!) Finally on Sunday we got “the call” and Jen and Addy commandeered my Kia and blazed towards Nashville to welcome Isley Balm into the family and onto the planet.
Which meant that Colston & Daddy stayed behind, held down the homestead, bonded- and tried and survive until Mommy got back. All in all we spent 4 days and 3 nights together.
Hanging with the boy on my own for an extended period of time was actually easier than I expected it to be. It was nice to be able to give Colston so much attention and to catch up with how he is changing and growing. We wrestled, cuddled, read books and chased. We played on the swingset and I bathed Colston for the first time. Yes, you read that right. To this point Jen has been in charge of Colston’s grooming and I’ve taken care of Addy. I got to witness Colston’s propensity to throw a fit and rain down a few tears if you deny him something that his little brain is fixated on. I also learned that dinner is MUCH quieter with just the guys. Not only are Jen and I not trying to have a conversation with Addyson interrupting, but Colston isn’t grunting and whining for every next bite.
The girls came home last night and of course we’re glad to have them back where they belong. But us guys might just need some more time together in the future.
Last week we got a call from a family member telling us that they had ordered us a housewarming gift and that it would be arriving within the week. “Nice“, we thought.
Then on Saturday we got a call from Circuit City telling us that we’d have a delivery coming that afternoon. “Hmmmmm, this is getting interesting“, we thought.
Finally, the truck pulled up and the Circuit City guys brought in our gift.
This is undoubtedly the best housewarming gift ever.
If you’ve been meaning to send us something, you’d better step your game up.
And to that now legendary family member, we’re speechless and grateful.