Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fun Times with New Friends

This Saturday we had plans to meet blogger friends Troy, Rachel and Daniel and Norm, Karyn and Ilya at Round Hill Farm, a local pumpkin farm, for the standard pumpkin farm activities including a petting zoo, hayride, pumpkin patch, and probably many other activities I don't even know about. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate and due to large amounts of rain we regrouped and went to the Virginia Discovery Museum in Charlottesville.

I was really looking forward to getting the little guys together and spending time with the parents. We had met Troy, Rachel and Daniel while we were in Moscow on our first trip, right before they returned to the states. And, Karyn's blog has long been one of my favorites. It was really nice to get everyone together, see the boys interact, and swap stories with other families who have been through many of the same or similar experiences. I felt extra lucky because both families have been back longer than us so I was able to get alot of advice, particularly about day care and the transition to day care, which is very much on my mind these days.

The Virginia Discovery Museum was really great. There were many activities for the little guys and they all really loved it. Nick was a bit overwhelmed at first, but it didn't take long for him to get comfortable and start exploring. It was hard to get him to leave a few of the stations! I think Nick's favorite part of the museum was the room with the Pirate Ship and slide.

After the museum we stopped for a quick lunch and then everyone headed home. We had a wonderful day with new friends and look forward to future outings!

I am including some pictures from the museum. It was hard to get a good one of all 3 boys together, they are soooo fast, I think I have one.

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Love Fall in Virginia

Fall in Virginia is so beautiful, I love it! This is the best time of year (in my opinion) and I feel so lucky to be able to enjoy it at home with Nick! I think Nick loves it too. It has taken a turn toward the chilly lately (finally) and Nick loves being outside. Its so cute, he will want to go outside first thing in the morning when we let Abby out and he doesn't understand why he can't go out and play at 7am in the 40-50 degree weather.

Two weekends ago we attended a birthday party for Nick's friend Emma. This party was at the Little Gym. The party format was very similar to the Romp and Roll party with high school kids leading the festivities and music, jumping, climbing, balls and balloons. I think Nick loosened up earlier at this party (than the first one) and he really loved the jumpy bouncy thing when they turned on the bubble machine and played music. He hasn't really figured out jumping yet, but he's trying. He also had pizza, again, and also ice cream cake. It was his first encounter with ice cream, and he loved it. Good thing because I love ice cream too.
Bill's parents visited that weekend as well, and this time Nick warmed up to both Bill and Francine much more quickly which I was very happy about. Nick is still slightly standoffish at first but after 10 or 15 minutes he relaxes and starts interacting more and more.
Nick had his 18 month check up one week ago Monday and he did great. He gained a pound and grew almost an inch since our last appointment. He freaked out again when the stethoscope came out. I don't know what it is, he cried harder when the doc listened to his heart than when he got his immunizations. There was an intern with the doctor during the checkup and even though Nick wouldn't smile at our doctor, he kept catching the eye of the intern and smiling, it was pretty funny. And, no surprise but Nick is cutting at least 4 new teeth right now, which is why there are wet spots in all the pictures of him! I can't wait until this round of teething is over!

We got some great news last week regarding day care, we were able to secure a spot at my first choice spot! I am so happy and relieved. In the end, I realized I wasn't sure about my second choice, and although I really like the place where the little boy tried to take Nicks Lightning McQueen shoe off, it wasn't very convenient for us. One more thing I can mark off the list. I go back to work in about 4 weeks and didn't want to be up in the air too much longer.

On Thursday last week Nick met my Dad and Gretel (my stepmom). They live in Richmond for half the year and just returned. It was wonderful to see them and Nick interact. True to form, Nick was a bit shy at first but by the end of the visit was trying to give Gretel Ritz cheese sandwiches. He also dressed up in his extra special pirate outfit that Grandma Francine gave him. Very cute!

This past weekend we had our neighborhood Fall Festival. They do a fabulous job with this and I think as Nick gets older it will only become better and better for him. The petting zoo was the highlight, for sure. Nick actually touched the baby goats, bunny rabbits and horse! YAY! He also picked out a pumpkin to take home. But, of course, the camera battery died after about 5 pictures in the petting zoo so we have none of the pumpkin. Whoops!

And, now for a few random pictures!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Life Got Away from Me

So I've taken a little break from blogging. I had to because I was so far behind on the regular, day to day things that need to be done. Between the week at the beach and the stomach virus (I'm almost recovered :-) I had let things "slide" a bit. I feel much better now as I have spent this week focusing on catching up.

We have been staying pretty busy lately. Nick and I have started a class called Music Together, which is basically a time when we get together with other parents and children and we sing, play instruments and dance around. I think I've mentioned before that Nick loves music, so I thought this would be the perfect activity for us. Not to mention, every other toddler parent I know had suggested it, so it was very highly recommended. We have now been to 3 sessions and Nick seems to relax more and more each time. It has been interesting to see how he reacts to the class. I will say it hasn't been the "hit" that I hoped for, but I also think he is still adjusting. He does like the music, but seems more interested in the other children and watches them intently. Yesterday he participated more than he had in the previous weeks, he actually played the instruments while the music was going on (as opposed to simply holding an instrument and watching the other kids). One nice thing about the program is that they gave us 2 CDs with the music, and a book with all the words and suggestions for playing along with the songs at home. We listen to them at least once a day, which I think is helping him.

Last weekend Nick went to his first birthday party for his friend Brayden. We were a little apprehensive about how it might go for him. The party was held at a place called Romp and Roll, which is like a kids gym with soft structures to climb on, a trampoline and a moon walk kind of thing (I don't know all the names of the stuff). Anyway, the party was led by the workers who appeared to be high school girls. They were very good with the kids and kept things moving along. There was random play time with lots of balloons, balls, the climbing stuff, and music in the background, then there would be a break where they would bring the kids together for some singing, then more play, then they took a break for pizza and cake. It was Nicks first pizza and he really enjoyed it. Its so cute when he eats something he likes he makes an "MMMM" noise that is adorable. After the break there was more play time then at the end they turned down the lights, put on the music and cranked up the bubble machine. This was Nicks favorite part of the party and I could kick myself for being too slow about getting my camera to capture the look on his face when he saw all the bubbles. It was priceless. I think we should get one of those machines and do this at home, he loved it. He just kind of walked around in circles looking up and trying to catch the bubbles, too cute. Nick had a great time at the party and we enjoyed it as well!

Last week Nick and I visited a place called Meadow Farm with our friend Arlett. I had no idea this place existed and it was very cool and free! It has a farm with lots of farm animals, a playground and a duck pond. We spent most of the time checking out the farm animals, some of which we were able to get really close to! We saw chickens, a turkey, sheep, horses and cows. The sheep were just grazing out in the middle of the grass in front of the farm house and Nick wanted to touch one really bad. He would walk toward them, they would all take off, trying to get away from him, and this just made him more intent on "catching" them. Finally, one of the sheep stood its ground and didn't flee when he walked toward it. At the last moment when Nick reached out to touch it, it moved away from him. Needless to say, Nick wasn't happy when I directed him away from chasing the sheep around. He probably would have done it all day had I let him.

I'm going to close with a few pictures of Nick enjoying some of his newest skills such as feeding himself and going up and down the stairs. Have a great weekend all!

Mastering the Spoon

Working on Going Up and Down the Stairs

On the Move

Getting ready for a big Construction Project

Thursday, October 2, 2008


There is a game of tag going around bloggerland and I've just been tagged by my buddy April! So here goes with 6 random facts about me.

1. I grew up in Champaign, Illinois; located in Central Illinois, smack in the middle of farm country. I was ready to get out of dodge by the time I went to college in Virginia, but now I can appreciate what a great place it was to grow up.

2. I had really bad hair in highschool, culminating in a breathtaking mullet my senior year. The hair lives in infamy in both my parents homes, displayed with all the family photos. I cringe every time I see it.

3. I really despise shopping. I am more of a figure out what you want, find out where you can buy it, go buy it, kind of gal.

4. My favorite food is Pizza. I could eat it every day of my life if I had to.

5. My birthday is this Sunday and yesterday Bill asked me how I wanted to spend it and I couldn't answer him.

6. While living in Seattle I climbed Mount St. Helens with 4 of my male co-workers. They totally suckered me into this telling me that it was a regular day hike. 5 hours later, of what felt like walking up steep stairs on snow and ice, I reached the summit. I view that climb as the most challenging physical activity I have ever done.

Now I've got to tag 6 people, so here are the rules!

1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random facts about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged.
6. Let the taggers know when your entry is up.

I am tagging:

1) Krista
2) Carey
3) Becky
4) Brandy
5) Sarah
6) Jane

Have fun!