Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pirates, Dinosaurs and Trains

Last week we went to the SC State Museum with one of Michael's friends from physical therapy and his grandmother. They were having a special exhibit there called Pirates, Privateers and Buccaneers. Michael loved it!

When we got there, we spent some time in the play area. They had puzzles, blocks, a treehouse and a NASA spaceship you could sit in. The boys and Katie played nicely in there before we headed in to the exhibit.

The exhibit had lots of life sized pirate replicas, as well as ships and cannons. One of Michael's favorite things was the cannon that he could shoot. There was a tv screen that had a boat moving across it. The object was to shoot the boats down with the cannon. Michael did very well sinking the ship. There was also an area to dress up in pirate gear, complete with eye patches. Another area had toy pirate ships that you could move across the table. Michael had fun making the pirates shoot the cannons and put the anchor down. Katie spent the time napping in her stroller while we toured the exhibit.

After we toured the exhibit and did some playing, we headed over to the dinosaur section of the museum. They had several dinosaur fossils and an area where they were restoring/preserving the bones. Michael wanted to see more bones than they had there so we may have to find a museum that focuses on dinosaurs in the near future.

We also headed upstairs to see the trains. They had toy trains on a track inside a display that would move when you pressed the button. And a big train that you could climb the stairs to board. Michael also enjoyed pulling the string to get the whistle to blow.

I had only been to the museum before for work meetings and was pleasantly surprised to find that there was quite a few things to see there. It would definitely be a place that we would return to, especially on a hot day.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Second Summer of Reading

Saturday afternoon we headed to the library with Michael. He had his summer reading log in hand and he had read the 15 required books to participate in the awards ceremony.

We went into the story room and sat down in the chairs provided for the parents. Michael sat on the floor on the quilt with the other kids while Katie tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to sit up there with him. The librarians came in and told us what we were going to be seeing.

All of the kids got up and marched through the library to music so that all the other patrons could acknowledge their accomplishments. Then we headed back into the story room. 2 books were read and the kids sang a song about the library. After that, each child was called up to the front of the room one by one. The librarian gave their age, favorite book, how many books they had read this summer and how many years they had participated in the program. Michael looked so cute as his name was called and he walked up to the podium.

After the program, we got to take a few more pictures and he received some additional prizes. They included a free skating session and a free Frosty.

Here is Michael with his medal:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Time just keeps going and going

Katie turned 16 months old on Friday. She is quite the toddler now and no longer our little baby. She is growing more and more and getting so tall.

Katie still loves to eat like there is no tomorrow. She will put as much food into her mouth as she can fit and even tries to put more in when it's already full. Over the past few weeks, I have been giving her a fork or spoon to use while eating. She does pretty well getting it to her mouth but is working on actually getting food on it. I am hoping to put an end to the throwing the food off the tray when she is done. That doesn't happen very often though because she almost always eats everything, unless she is full!

She is starting to understand what to do when you tell her to do something. I can tell her that we are getting ready to leave and she walks over to the door. When it's time for bed, I tell her to say good night to Todd and Michael and she does. Then we walk down the hall to her room and she closes the door behind us while saying "good night". It's so cute!

The diaper situation is still going on. I know that it's only a phase and will pass but it can get messy sometimes. I am tired of seeing her walk around the house with her hands down her pants, never knowing what she is going to pull out. I don't want to make a big deal about it but she has to know it's not OK to take the contents of her diaper out!

Katie is learning more and more words every day. I love to hear her talk. She has a low voice and I am always surprised to hear it coming out of her mouth. She has begun to do some counting with 5, 6, 7, and 8. Some of her new words are ball, eye, and book. She also says "choo-choo" if you start playing with trains.

I love watching her and Michael interact now. He has been being very sweet to her and lets her know what she should and should not do. He's my little helper. He also likes to pick out her clothes and let me know that he is going to show her how to use the potty when it's time. I am finally seeing them play together without there being a fight every time. Michael still asks to be left alone at times and I try to give him options that makes him feel like it's a privilege, not a right. Katie thinks he is hysterical and loves when he does things to make her laugh!

Here are a few new pics of Katie:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Blueberries, Blueberries

Yesterday morning, Katie, Michael and I went blueberry picking at a local farm with some friends. We tried to get out there early to avoid the ridiculous heat and humidity that is the definition of a Southern summer. We got there a little after 9:00 and headed out to pick some.

The field was pretty big and we were given our own row to pick them in. The row went down at least a 1/4 mile. We all spread out and the kids picked up some good berries. Michael and his friend went to the end of the row and were having a contest to see who could pick the most blueberries. They were so busy talking about who would pick more that they didn't end up picking very many at all.

Katie rode in the backpack carrier and was content as she could be. I would pick berries and hand them up to her to eat. This made her very happy! She even tried to pick some berries off of the taller bushes. Having her in the pack kept me from having to run up and down the rows chasing her.

It was so much fun and I think we may go again before the season is over. The berries were so fresh and sweet. We plan to make a cake today and then will most likely eat the rest of the berries as a snack.

I only took a few pictures since I had two kids and was trying to pick the berries. Here is one of Michael picking and one of the finished product:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fun with Friends

On Sunday, we had a get-together for Susan and Nathan, a friend and her son, who were visiting from Colorado. We had about 20 people, which included 3 babies and 5 kids from age 1-9. It was a nice turnout.

Usually when Susan comes to visit, we get together at a restaurant. It always seems like there are so many people for her to see and barely enough time. Add kids into the mix and you may be lucky to get through your meal. This time, Todd and I offered to have a BBQ. This way, the kids could play outside and the adults could watch while spending time catching up. We ate, drank and ate some more.

The weather threatened to ruin the afternoon but thankfully the rain held off until that night. That was great because a bunch of kids cooped up in the house could be disastrous. They played in the sandbox, the playhouse and just in the yard.

It was nice to see Susan and Nathan and be able to catch up a little bit. Her mother-in-law Wanda was our photographer for the afternoon/evening, which left us one less thing to worry about. It seems like we get together and are so busy talking that we forget to take pictures. She took many combinations of pictures and will be sending us copies of them.

Here are a few pictures that I got on my camera:

Susan, Todd and I

Susan, Karen, Stephanie and Michelle

Monday, July 12, 2010

Playhouse in Progress - Part V

The playhouse has been 90% complete for a while now. The kids can play in the sandbox and we have had makeshift stairs for Michael to go into the playhouse itself.

Last weekend Todd stained the outer walls of the playhouse a cedar color, along with the outside of the sandbox. This weekend, Todd wanted to build the stairs. He was having a bit of a hard time finding some that would reach as high as the playhouse. So he decided to build a rock climbing wall to get up into the playhouse. It looks great. He also added a steering wheel on the porch as a finishing touch.

Here are a few pictures of the updated progress:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Diaper Dilemma

For the past few weeks, Katie has been waking up with a soaking wet diaper just about every morning. At first, I thought that it was time to move up to the next size so I tried that. When that didn't solve the problem, I put one diaper on the right way and a second diaper on top of that backwards. Still didn't work. I tried waterproof pants and putting a onesie on her underneath her PJs. No success there.

The reason that none of these solutions work is because Katie is constantly sticking her hand down the front of her diaper and pushing it down. When this happens, the diaper is not providing enough coverage and the leaking results. At least we have 2 of the ultimate crib sheets that I can rotate as they have to be changed every day.

I keep hoping that she will stop this habit and try not to pay much attention to it. But it's hard when she keeps wetting her clothes. It's kind of funny in a way because this is something that I would expect a boy to do. I don't really think of girls putting their hands down their pants. I know that she is just curious but I am wondering when she will grow out of this phase. In the meantime, I guess I will just be washing sheets every day!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July in pictures

We had a pretty low key weekend here. We decided to stay home for the long holiday weekend. We spent some time at the pool with the kids. We had some nice family time. We had good dinners and even better desserts. We did some yard work. Todd painted the playhouse.

Here are a few photo highlights of the weekend:

Katie was exhausted after eating

4th of July attire

Sipos men

The boys watching fireworks

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Final Cake Project

Last night was the final cake decorating class. These past four weeks I have had a lot of fun. I learned a lot of techniques to bake cakes better and make awesome icing for decorating. Now it's just time to practice!

I had to make a cake and put icing on it before we got to class. I used this recipe but didn't have the right cake pan so I improvised. I made a 2 layer cake with blueberry filling. I decided to decorate it with balloons and a bead border for Michael. I wanted to put one more thing on it and the instructor suggested a clown and showed me how to make the body with icing.

I brought the cake home and showed it to Michael this morning. He thanked me for making such a beautiful cake for him. He sure knows how to make me feel good about myself!

Not only did I learn a thing or two about cake decorating but I also met quite a few nice women. We plan to get together at the end of July to have a cake party to practice our techniques. Hopefully I will get to take another class sometime in the future!