Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday, Carolina!

Carolina turned two yesterday! She had a sweet little day except that she was a little under the weather.

We started her morning off with her birthday bucket and a birthday song. She wasn't shy about her song--just a little confused, I think. She immediately got into her bucket which had some of her favorite things. She got Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird figurines, an Elmo book, a birthday play outfit, a birthday dress, a birthday gown and some foam letters and numbers for the tub. She wasn't too impressed with the clothes (maybe next year!) but she loved her Sesame Street stuff and her letters/numbers.

She came out to the living room to her big birthday surprise-- a see saw! It's the perfect size for her and Clay but it took her a little while to warm up. She finally got on it and she and Clay got going and boom! she fell forward and hit her face. Oops.

It took her a long time to calm down from her fall but we got settled and ate a breakfast taco birthday breakfast (complete with candle/song). She was still pretty whiny as the morning went on so we could tell she was feeling a little yucky.

We went to the Purple Cow for lunch and she continued to act puny while we were there. She laid her head on Nana's shoulder the whole time we ate lunch and barely touched her strawberry ice cream for dessert. As nice as it was to have a quiet lunch, we all missed her normal wild restaurant diner self (especially on her birthday!).

We were supposed to head to the Nature and Science Museum after lunch but we were worried that Carolina wouldn't be up to it. We had a quick change of plans and headed to the "Animal Museum" instead (AKA Petland).

The kids both had a great time there and it was the perfect place for our little animal lover on her birthday. We played with a puppy, pet rabbits and all the other little creatures they have. She loved it!

We came home and the kids went down for naps and I started on her cake creation. I was very unsure about what kind on cake to make but at the last minute I found one I liked and it worked out well.

We did our (younger years) birthday tradition with a small party and Aunt Rebecca came over and joined us. Since Carolina's such a homebody, we grilled fajitas and did fun sides.

After dinner, Carolina got to eat her Sesame Street cake (she recognized all of the characters--thank goodness!) and open all of her presents and she caught us by surprise. She was really into the gifts and couldn't wait to open another one.

Some of her gifts this year were a latches board, a Cinderella costume, a princess book with sounds, a magnetic wooden dress-up doll, a membership to the Nature and Science Museum, some new CD's and a counting piggy bank. She loves them all!

We ended our night with a drive around looking for Halloween decorations and it was the perfect end to the perfect 2nd birthday!

Two Little Pumpkins

Friday, October 22, 2010

Grapefest 2010

Back in Mid-September, we heard that Grapefest was happening and I thought it would be a cute little outing for the kids. Luckily, Anita was willing to extend her visit for a few hours to give me a hand and we had such a great time!

We went early in the morning and there was an area (totally free!) that had a huge sandbox, an area with 20 or so tricycles to ride, a petting zoo, tables with crayons and tables with playdough and blocks. It was so nice and completely uncrowded.

Clay immediately went for the block table and Carolina went and sat down right next to him--so sweet.

Clay loved playing on the bikes and Carolina liked playing at the playdough table with Nana. We switched kids back and forth and hit all the areas. It was morning so the weather was still pretty mild and they had stations set up with water. Everything was in close proximity and the kids had a blast moving from one play place to another.

Clay was a little wild in the petting zoo and tried to chase the rabbits around. I think they reminded him of our cat, Landry, and he just wanted to sit and hold one. That didn't happen. I had to put my foot down though when he tried to pick up the miniature goat. Oops.

Carolina wanted to stay in the petting zoo area for a good part of the time but everywhere we went she would stand at the fence and watch all of the rides. She was so eager to ride something (which came as absolutely no surprise to me given the adventure queen that she is).

Finally, when we had played in the play area for a while we decided to go try out some rides. Nana got us some tickets for the carousel and we watched as it went around, excited for our turn. When it finally came to our turn, Carolina was NOT having it. Anita had tried taking her on and when she wouldn't stop kicking and screaming, I tried too. Needless to say, Carolina and I watched from the sidelines and she was more than happy with that.

We decided to pick another ride and see if she would do okay on that. Clay picked some bears (reminiscent of the spinning tea cups) and I tried to take her in there. Again, lots of kicking and screaming. I guess it turns out she's not so adventurous after all! Oh well, I was excited to ride since I've always loved rides and I was talking big about how they never make me sick. Well, that was before 72 turns inside of an enclosed bear. I didn't lose my lunch but I did feel like I was on that ride for the next two days or so. Clay loved every second.

We let Clay ride on some airplanes and he loved those too (no such luck with little sister).

Finally, we decided to let Carolina pick a ride she would like to go on. She chose some cars that didn't actually leave the ground. We got up to her turn in line and the ticket man said she was too short. Bummer.

After our adventures on the rides, Anita and I decided it was time for some air conditioning. We had lunch at a cute little Italian restaurant that also had some awesome gelato.

Grapefest definitely exceeded my expectations and I'm so glad we went- and I'm so glad Nana got to share it, too!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Memory Work

Clay is doing Awanas this year and has to memorize verses each week. Clay is super auditory (like his daddy) and picks up on stuff he hears really fast so I knew this stuff wouldn't be a big deal. It's turned out to be a lot more work than I thought! Here's some examples of us going over his verses:

Me: "Say "Everything He did was very good.""
Clay: "Eberything He didn't do wasn't berry good."
(No matter how many times we went over it, our little turkey wouldn't cooperate. That was week one so you can imagine why Mike and I were a little nervous about taking him to class!)

This was tonight's:
Me: "Okay Clay say "Mine eyes have seen his salvation."
Clay: "Mine eyes have seen his decorations....Mama, are we going to have ornaments this year??"

Sometimes we get distracted but overall, he's done pretty well!

First Pumpkin Patch of 2010

Clay LOVES fall and all things fall. He loves scarecrows, pumpkin, hay bales and he gets so excited to see it all. Carolina is learning but we've tried to train her right (her first outing was a pumpkin patch at 6 days old).

Knowing how into it Clay is, it's made me sad that we were so busy that we hadn't had time to do a pumpkin patch but we have also been up to a lot of other fun things (more blogs on that later!). So today was our first time to a pumpkin patch this year.

We had some errands to run and I knew there was a small one that we had passed in the area so we planned to make a stop. I thought when we passed the pumpkin patch before that I had seen a BBQ restaurant right next to it so it was kind of funny when we got there today and the "restaurant" was actually a trailer with barbeque pits behind it. Mike and I like living on the edge (ha!) so we tried it out.

We ate some lunch and watched the kids play in the pumpkins. There were a couple of bounce houses and lots of hay bales with pumpkins for sale and the kids thought it was awesome. Mike and I loved it because we were the only people there and it was totally low key.

It was such a fun way to kick off our pumpkin season! We're looking forward to many more!