Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ella Bean

A rainy day and Ella getting off the bus at 4pm isn’t too conducive to taking advantage of that great light that floods my family room in the early afternoon.  But, I really wanted to post a picture of Ella Bean (especially to document those sweet top front teeth…who knows how much longer they’ll be around) so we took a couple of minutes for a couple of pictures.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. I’m new to this whole ten random thoughts to post on a Tuesday thing, but my friend Jill does a great job with this week after week so I thought I’d give it a try.

2. The other night I noticed one of the mushrooms I was slicing had an odd shape.  When I pointed it out to the kids (now, this to me is a classic example of the difference between a little girl and a little boy), Ella said sweetly while batting her eyes, “Aah, it looks like a heart.”  Jack, on the other hand, said in his best Beavis impression (no, he has not seen that show, but you get the idea), “Huh huh, it looks like buns.”  Yeah, well, he has a point.

3.  Ella had her follow-up appointment for her arm last Wednesday.  A new x-ray showed no evidence of new bone formation (no fracture healing) which indicates that this was not our first broken bone.  She did a pretty good job “straining” her elbow, though, and has spent this past week trying to get her arm to straighten fully again and heal the bruises.  Tonight is her first night back at gymnastics, so we’re hoping she’s well enough to try cartwheels again (just not off any chairs).

4.  Speaking of cartwheels off of chairs, new details came to light last week about the aforementioned injury to Ella’s elbow.  Apparently, the supposed chair that Ella did her cartwheel off of was precariously placed on a couch.  When Ella told the 2nd-grader who lives next door to us this story he just nodded and said, “Yup, it was a dare”, as if it all sounded perfectly logical.

5.  Ella has joined a Girl Scouts Daisy troop this year and I’m sure you’ll be seeing many posts to come regarding GS activities.  They have several exciting events planned for the girls, in addition to earning their petals and badges, including a pumpkin patch visit, walking in a holiday parade, a mother-daughter tea, a father-daughter dance, cookie sales (mmm…yummy thin mints…you know you want to order from us :) ), and a day trip to a Girl Scout camp.  Ella knows at least half of the girls in her troop already, and I know several of the moms, so it should be a good time for both of us.

6.  One of Ella’s beautiful, perfect top front teeth is wiggly.  It might be a month or more until it’s gone, but I already feel sad about its impending loss.  I know I’ll love that gap-toothed grin, but her smile right now is just so sweet there’s no doubt I’ll miss it, too.

7.  My friend Jill always manages to slip in a cool or rare insect shot.  So, Jill, I see your luna moth and raise you a tomato horn worm with wasp cocoons on his back.  Seriously, we found two of these tragic souls on our tomato plants when we returned from Jacqui’s wedding.  All of the heartless gardeners who posted about this worm (had to do the google to figure out what the heck these were) said to let nature take its course so that the wasps can hatch and go off and kill more tomato-destroying worms.  We had to watch this unfold for the next week out of our breakfast nook window and I admittedly felt sad for the little guys (the baby wasps literally eat their way out), but Ella comfortingly said to me, “Mommy, it’s the circle of life.”  And so it is.

8.  With Papa’s help last week, Jack finally got his 177-piece Star Wars speeder built that Uncle Chris and Aunt Chrissy gave him for his birthday.  Thanks, Papa!  You are a very patient man…especially considering how Jack had managed to sneak in pieces from another kit and misplace ones from this kit.


9.  Jack’s TK teacher told me at carpool pickup last Friday that they love having Jack in their class.  He’s doing very well and quite often they point him out to show the other kids how they should be acting.  Way to go, Jack!  Keep it up, buddy.  We’re proud of you.

10.  I love this face.  I think I might start doing all of my photo shoots in my family room in the early afternoon.  Apparently we get awesome light there.  Just had to capture this sweet face in it.  I’m a sucker for those eyes and never manage to stay upset with this little punk for long.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ramblin’ Rose Charlotte

post by guest blogger, Jonathan

The husband’s perspective: [Yesterday] morning, Trish ran her first sprint triathlon with best friend and training partner Brooke.  Shannon, Brooke’s sister-in-law, and a couple of other ladies from the neighborhood also joined in on the fun at the Ramblin’ Rose Triathlon.  Love that Charlotte ladies are so athletic—never expected to run into so many friends at such a big-time event. 

It was an early morning—Trish got up at 5:00am to check-in and set up her transition station, and the kids and I left the house not too far after at 7:30am.  But it was all worth it to see Trish and her friends tear up the 250-yard swim, 9-mile bike, and 2-mile run course.  Swimmers started in one of two pools every 10 seconds, and both Trish and Brooke passed several competitors before they were out of the pool and off to the biking leg of the race.  Ella and Jack were really into watching their Mom swim.  They met her at the end of each lane, cheering their hearts out.  With a little running around, we were also able to see her finish the biking and meet her at the end of the run and race.

We’re all very proud of Trish for her training efforts over the past few months [weeks] and her incredible performance today (finishing in the top third!).  It made it all that more special to have Brooke with her during her first race to coach her through the process and help her prepare for the big day.  We appreciated your expertise!

The kids’ perspective:

· “My mommy did a good job.  She was very fast, especially in the swimming.” (Ella) 

· “She did really good at swimming, biking, and running.  And I love her.” (Jack) 

This picture melts my heart.  My kids are so, so sweet.  And so is my husband for getting up so early, bringing the kids, snapping these shots, and documenting the day.  :)

Brooke’s an inspiration.  I couldn’t/wouldn’t have done it without her!

My cheering squad was up front at the swim.   

Me, Brooke, and Brooke’s sister-in-law Shannon post-race

Thanks to the husbands and kids for all of your support!

I Heart Faces: Chalk

After the first 25 days of September bringing 0.0 inches of rain, we are thankful for finally getting a few days of at least drizzle. This does mean, however, no outdoor chalk (in fact the Halloween pictures my kids have already drawn are washing away). Had to dig through the archives to find something for this week’s challenge. It didn’t take long for me to remember an adventure we had with friends at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia this time last year. This visit to the zoo included our first time to make the tram ride with the kids over to the Botanical Gardens (it never even occurred to me the kids might have fun running around the gardens). While exploring, we found a kids’ play garden with a neat weathered chalkboard. My kindergartener Ella and her good friend, first-grader Miles (pictured), quickly became teachers to all of the little brothers, instructing them in the letters of the alphabet.

Check out all of the other cool chalk entries at I ♥ Faces!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nonni and Papa Visit

Nonni and Papa came to visit this past weekend and we had such a fun, nice, relaxing time with them that I only managed to get my camera out once. Jonathan and I went out one night while my parents hung out with the kids, my mom and I went to a fashion show event sponsored by the Junior League of Charlotte while Jonathan and my dad grilled out with the kids, my parents and I had some q.t. while Ella and Jack were at school on Monday, and my parents met Ella at school on Tuesday for lunch (probably the highlight of her year). The only time we came close to all going out at once (we were minus Jonathan as he was away on business) was when my parents treated Ella, Jack, and me to a froyo treat at Yoforia. Talk about yum. Ella and Jack weren’t too interested in the fruit toppings (although, they promised to add two strawberries or raspberries next time) and Ella actually asked quizzically, “Why do you guys keep saying yogurt?”, but, even they knew this was a treat and enjoyed every last bite.

Thanks for the nice visit, Nonni and Papa! We enjoyed having you here and hope you had a fun time, too! Jack wants to thank Nonni for the card games and Papa for playing football with him. Ella is still gushing over your lunchtime visit. And, we truly appreciate the babysitting. We love you guys! Thanks again.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sneak Peek

Feel like I’m revealing some big secret, but I would like to go ahead and share Ella’s and Jack’s Halloween costumes for this year to thank some very special people. Thank you to Great Grandmom and Great Grandpop, and their dear friend Mary Jane, for the money you gave Ella and Jack at the wedding. We went shopping at Target and apparently what they wanted most to spend your generous gifts on were brand spankin’ new Halloween costumes. Superhero is the theme of the year—Jack chose the Captain America costume and Ella chose Supergirl (amazingly over all of the Barbie fairy and princess costumes). Needless to say, they l.o.v.e. them. Thank you for making all of this fun possible!

An Adventure in Columbia

Last week, coming off of the long Labor Day weekend, we were looking at yet another long weekend—the big kids had the Thursday and Friday off after Labor Day for Teacher workdays—so Brooke, Beth, and I decided to plan a little overnight adventure for the kids to Columbia. As we drove out of town with two carloads full of seven rambunctious kids I think all the mommies were wondering if this was such a good idea afterall. But, the pictures no doubt show what a fun couple of days we had and what a great bonding experience it was for us all. On Thursday we drove down in the afternoon and headed straight for the Riverbanks Zoo. The kids literally sprinted through the zoo but we still managed to see some firsts at this fave day trip of ours—the hyenas and baboons were out, the tiger was playfully roaring, and the penguins were being fed and swimming all around. After our fun, albeit short, visit at the zoo we headed in to town for some pizza followed by ice cream (the mommies were pulling out all the stops!). We have Jonathan and Mike to thank for the plush adjoining rooms at a Marriott hotel รก la points (the small silver lining of all of their travel??) where we managed to have one bed-jumping, pillow-fighting room full of kids and one peaceful one for moms. The great friends, front lawn, aforementioned bouncy beds, and breakfast buffet feast (I think the kids tried one of everything) were apparently so entertaining that we never even had to mention the hotel’s indoor pool. On Friday, after Beth’s hubby picked up her and her kids for a family trip to Charleston, Brooke and I took our crew over to Edventure, an awesome children’s museum in Columbia. We spent about 5 hours there and I think we could’ve managed a few more. The kids had a ball. Needless to say, it was a very quiet drive home—Ella and Jack were wiped out!

{With 7 kids in a picture, I think you have about 7 seconds to get a shot before 1 or all of them are over it.}

{Playing out on the front lawn of the hotel on Friday morning. I love Griffin in this series—everyone’s so glad, including him, that he’s a big part of the action.}

{Ella, Jack, and I then joined Brooke and her 3 boys for a day at Edventure. In the lobby of the museum sits a 3-story tall boy (the kids call him Josh) who has a jungle gym inside of him. The kids can climb through his face (seeing his brain, eyes, and teeth), down through his heart and then through his digestive system (stomach, intestines, and all). Griffin was a little uncertain about the boy but the other kids all loved playing in him.}

{Love this. I was taking a picture of Ella just standing there and Miles came up impromptu and put his arm around her for the picture. Such sweet pals.}

{A favorite pastime was moving the food in Josh’s stomach up to his mouth—here they’re climbing up with a giant carrot.}

{After “Josh” we moved on to the BodyWorks exhibit where the kids learned about the circulatory, skeletal, and digestive systems. Ella and Miles enjoyed the giant game of Operation.}

{I think you can actually see all 8 of us in the picture to the right (we were happy to have Brooke’s mom join us for the day, too). The kids are fascinated here watching food travel down “Miles’” esophagus into his stomach.}

{Next we headed over to the World of Work exhibit, which was so much fun and so interesting to the kids it took us through until our late lunch.}

{This is when I wish I had video on my camera—it was hilarious to watch the little firefighters come down the pole one after another after another. I swear it was like a scene out of The Little Rascals, total slapstick comedy.}

{Jack’s self-proclaimed favorite part of the day was “shopping”. He liked to throw the big t-bones and cakes into his cart. Ella preferred to be the check-out girl.}

{I swear all 5 kids are actually in these photos. Jack and Noah decided to contribute their arms.}

{Definitely the biggest water table I’ve ever seen.}

{The Blue Man group taught us about sound waves. All he needs is some paint and Jack would be set to join the troupe.}

{Off to Timbuktu—these kids didn’t stop all day…}



{We had a great adventure in Columbia!}