Wednesday, March 30, 2011

These two

If only I had as many great pictures of Ben and Nate as I do of Ben and Allie. 

When we lived in Simpsonville, in the most beautiful neighborhood, our back door neighbors were Kristen, Bill, and Allie.  Living there was a surreal experience for us, Gil was offered his current job, here in Columbia, just 10 days after we closed on the house in the Upstate.  Not ideal to say the least. 

The house that we bought after it was just on the market for 12 days was immediately put back up for sale.  We had high hopes-they were not realized.  Gil commuted an hour and a half each way for a little while, then we rented a house from a friend in Columbia that fall.  We decided we wanted to spend Christmas in our own house, so Gil commuted again for December.  After living back in that house, we decided not to go back to the rental, and Gil would again commute.  We never really felt like we lived there, didn't even fully unpack-which if you know us-you know that is a huge deal.  (We have been married now for 10 years and are living in the 5th house we have owned-and we are always unpacked, complete with pictures hung on the wall, within three days!)

We are still stuck with that house, almost 3 years after we purchased it.  It has been a rocky road and right now we have wonderful, responsible, caring tenants.  We hope they live there forever. 

The point of that whole tangent is-as much grief as that house has given us, one amazing thing has come out of it.  Kristen and I got to be friends because of it.  The last spring we were there, we all became the Stroller Mafia-Kendall and Jennifer made up our team and we walked the neighborhood with all the babies every afternoon.  Then just a month after we moved to our current house, Kristen and Bill moved here also.  They are just on the other side of the lake and we get to see them all the time!

So, from back door neighbors in Simpsonville, to across the water friends in Columbia.  It was just meant to be.
Kristen and I joke that those two had better get married so we can make a beautiful slideshow for their rehearsal.



A few pictures from their history together.....









So glad you two are the sweet friends that you are.

Monday, March 28, 2011


No, my fascination with chickens has not ended.  In fact-it has intensified.  I am in the process of talking my neighbor into getting some in his yard.  I think I would like to have some, but then I think I would rather Mike have some that we can come play with.  We are very lucky that Emily and Barry and the kids are right up the street, with horses and chickens for us to visit.  Even luckier that Emily got some chicks from a teacher at school and we got to go and visit 11 baby chicks a few weeks ago.  The boys and I made it out there a few times-Em, hope you aren't regretting giving me your key!!  We didn't even poke around in your fridge-and I know you always have good stuff in there!


Ben was a chicken whisperer, they really seemed to like him.


Allie’s chicken needed a blankie to keep warm.


Notice I don’t have any pictures of Nate with the chicks-he was, shall we say-chicken???

And we can’t  forget about Tough (Tuff??) and Midnight.  We loved feeding them apples and carrots.  But My, what big teeth they have!


Ben reminded me that we need to go and check on the chicks.  Now if it would only stop raining!

Hello old friend

I can't believe I am saying this now, since it is 45 and raining, but we have had some beautiful spring weather around here lately.  Rather-we had-I guess we are having a little bit more winter right now.

We took advantage last week and took a picnic out to Pine Island at the lake.  I have said it before, but it really is one of my favorite places.  It is so pretty and quiet with lots of room to run.  I love it best when we can get in the water, but playground days are pretty great too.  We spend as much time as we can there in the summer with Kristen and Allie and even had the boys' birthday party there in August.  And Bill, really-I hope you love your job because we'll all go into a deep state of depression if you ever leave!!  (Just kidding, we would probably get over it eventually).

I dusted off the camera and we headed out.  I really need to take some classes-I am not nearly living up to my camera's potential.  And I can't seem to get a picture indoors for anything-they always turn out yellow and hazy-so outside we go...

 Ben begged to take some pictures of the moms-so we let him at it.

Not bad for a 4 year old....

Now we are ready for the rain and cold to go far, far away so we can resume our normal non-shut in activities.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Great Wolf Lodge

Last Thursday we packed up the swagger wagon and headed up to the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC.  The concept is a big hotel with an indoor waterpark.  This was a mini-vacation that's been on the back burner ever since those "going to the Great Wolf" commercials starting burning themselves into our brains a year or so ago.

The place is pretty impressive when you pull up--we had no idea it would be as big as it was, and there were a lot more people there than we expected around 2:00 on a Thursday afternoon.  Here's Nate (bottom left) checking out the "little kids" area.  In true Nate form, he waited until the second day, about an hour or so before we left, to truly embrace the GWL.

While Gil and the boys went on the quest with their magic wand, Cheryl and I relaxed in the main lobby.

Ben and Gil had about a hundred races down this pair of slides plus another one where they had to go head-first.  Gil wanted me to point out that it appears he won this particular race.

 They had several slides, a wave pool, and a big water "house" that had a wide variety of water features--including one of those 1000-gallon buckets you see at most water parks that dumps every few minutes.  Ben joined the 8-10 year-old jetsetters by lying on his stomach and taking the full force of the water.  They also had a regular pool with basketball goals and this cool ropes course with floating "lilypads".

Taking a break from the "magiton" (Nate-speak for "magic wand").  There were several treasure chests and pictures on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors that you could wave the wand in front of to complete a quest.  We didn't have the book (you're supposed to do them in a certain order), but it was still fun.
 "Story time" at 8pm, where all the kids wear their pajamas to the main lobby for a story and to meet the weird girl-wolf mascot.  Cool idea but definitely a candidate for the "Don't Believe the Hype" award.
All in all, pretty cool place and I'd recommend checking it out.  We only stayed one night but they let you use the water park facilities until 8pm the next day if you want.  We stuck around until a little after lunch, hit the Concord Mills about a mile away, and headed home.  Good times!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Around here

I can't sit at the computer for too long thanks to my wonky back.  Hopefully that will all be fixed up soon by Mr. ChiropractorFriend.  So just a few observations from around here.

*Ben continues to scare me with his mad smarts.  Broken record alert, but that kid is really good at number stuff.  Obviously it comes from his Dad.  Obviously.  The other night I was telling him a when I was little story-requested every night at bedtime from Mom or Dad- this was a ten year old Mommy story.  I told him about something I did when I was ten, that I stopped when I was twelve.  Without taking a breath he says, so, when you had two years left, huh?  I know, it doesn't sound too impressive-but for a 4 year old it's pretty cool, y'all (think I've been watching too much fake Miley Cyrus on SNL?)

*Ben and Nate have made up this game where Ben is Nate's baby.  It always involves Ben telling Nate he has stinky pants and Nate immediately runs for wipes and a diaper to change his baby.  Funny and a little disturbing all rolled into one.

*Peanut butter and jelly is the new obsession around here.  We had one at 10:30 this morning, and another might be coming up soon.

*The boys and I are working through a Spring Cleaning list.  And it's intense.  So far we have only picked the fun stuff.  I love the organizing and purging, but HATE the actual cleaning.  I feel like I am not good at it and it just gets dirty again so fast.  Can you say lazy?  Say it with me, L-A-Z-Y.

*Nate has been mega-napping lately.  He was a pretty consistent two hour guy, now he is stretching it out closer to three-and I wake him up most days.  I hope this is growth spurt sleeping and not getting sick sleeping.

*I feel so renewed as a Mom after attending a Power of Moms retreat.  Like Sally, my partner in crime, I am working on some posts to try to process what I came away with.  The main idea I left the retreat with was to be deliberate.  More later.

*Since my retreat, I feel like I have been a much calmer mom. 

More of this...

And less of this...

Think I could pull off Glenda's dress?  It would look good at the park and grocery store, don't you think?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Taste the rainbow

Man, am I ever a copycat???  I saw this and just couldn't resist making some that very night.  (and also being jealous of Marie's beautiful pictures)

After dinner, we made our own little rainbows.  It was fun to mix the colors and layer them, but if we do it again, I am going to try for some "whiter" pudding.  Our vanilla pudding was pretty yellow, so some of our colors were not as great as they could have been.

Imagine this

Some of our favorite toys around here are from the Imaginext line from Fisher Price.  I think I love them because they are the closest thing I'm going to get to a dollhouse around here (but don't tell the wee ones).  Really, though-they each have so many features-and not a one of them requires batteries!!!

The guys that go in each one are interchangeable-so the Batman guys can go on a space mission, or the astronauts can go out for a little cruise on the aircraft carrier.  All of these toys have little places you can put the guys feet, and it causes some reaction-a door opens or an elevator rises. 

There are also many moving parts, but they are mostly all permanently attached.  And the Batman cave folds closed and has a handle.  Swoon.  My love for self contained toys has no boundaries.

I just realized this sounds like an ad, but I guess it's more of a gift suggestion.  If you have sweet little monsters, or need a gift for one-consider Imaginext.


Really, I mean,  really????

Today's sippy cup round up yielded these, yes ALL of these.  Some upstairs (each boy takes one up at naptime and one at bedtime, and never bring them back down).  A few were in the car in the various bags that live out there and get taken into places.

But really-REALLY?????  There are seriously only two small children that live in this house-and I'm pretty sure about 6 cups came downstairs just the day before.