Monday, July 19, 2010

I am relieved to say that Annabelle is done with her pacifiers!   Yes, I am aware of the fact that 3 1/2 years old  (okay, almost 4) is a ridiculous age to still have a pacie, however, the truth is I let her keep them that long so that you would feel better about how early you made your kids give them up.  All three of my kids took them until they were almost four years old.  Heck, we bribed Adam with a bike to get rid of his!  (no training wheels either) I  tried to reserve them for the bed and car alone and was successful in doing that for the boys, but, I have been lazier with Annabelle and she has been more insistent for them.  In fact, her pacie-use worsened over the past year and their were plenty of times where she had them at the grocery store or other places in town. 
A friend told me  they wouldn't let her daughter have gum until she gave up the pacie, so  I decided it might give Annabelle a little motivation if I took something away versus a bribe.   I told her that I found out children can't have gum if they still use a pacie.   She loves gum and always asks Seth for a piece as soon as she sees him in the evenings after work.   She took the news alright and never questioned or got upset about it.  For the next few days, I made sure to buy the boys gum when we were out and by the third day, she decided she was ready.  She threw them in the trashcan and got her piece of gum. 

I would love to say that was the end of the story, but alas, it had only begun. By mid afternoon, she had changed her mind, and by that evening, she was almost hysterical.  I couldn't go back though, and we have pushed through a long, long week of hours of crying to sleep and then waking up again in the middle of the night to cry some more.  (which made me remember the awful times of waking up with a newborn and being thankful not to have one)  With both boys, I was surprised at how easy it was to wean them, but Annabelle has proven to be the scenario I envisioned and dreaded.I have learned a that it is very important for her to be physically exhausted from the day, yet not to let her stay up too late as that makes the crying last longer.  She has taken to sleeping in her closet but hasn't woken up during the night since the first couple of nights.  Yeah, things are better now and soon those little devilish things will be a distant memory for us all.

As I was taking a picture of her sleeping in the closet the other night, I came out to find Caleb sprawled out asleep in the hallway.  He sleepwalks often and ends up in a different room often.  You can still see a couple of the fake tattoos that have stayed on.   

Can't forget little Adam who is peacefully sleeping in his bed too.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Waterfalls and Birthdays

Caleb turned nine years old yesterday.  Crazy, huh?   
How could I have a nine year old?  
I suppose everyone feels that way when their oldest child has a birthday.  
Caleb decided he would like to celebrate by hiking to a waterfall with friends and family.  So yesterday afternoon we all met up and caravaned down to Old Fort to hike to Catawba Falls.  Caleb was so excited and talked non-stop on the ride there with Mimi and Granddaddy.  They were making jokes about needing some duct tape to shut him up when we arrived.  

Can you see Annabelle's fake tattoos in this photo?  They looked awful and hilarious.....we put a ring of flowers around her belly button, one around her arm and a couple on her lower back.  She thought they looked awesome.  The boys had them on their chests, arms and backs but were embarrassed and kept their shirts on during the party.  I will try to get a picture so you can see them later. 
The falls were gorgeous and we all loved climbing on them and playing in the pools.

The "party"  was easy but successful because Caleb had a wonderful time.  I just asked everyone to bring a water bottle for themselves and then packed some snacks and cookies.  We all hiked in together, played at the falls for a couple hours and then left in a couple of shifts for home.  Caleb opened a present from Mimi and Granddaddy on the way there and then a few more on the way home. 

 Last Tuesday, Uncle Jonathan joined us for a hike up to "Skinny Dip Falls" (that is the name of the falls but no one really skinny dips there anymore.....or at least they weren't that day)  We were considering them for the party that weekend but decided Catawba Falls would be better for the littler kids.  These falls are deeper and have a very cool rock where you can jump to the pool below. 
Check out this picture.
I didn't even realise how deceiving the angle was until a friend commented on facebook, but it looks like the water is MUCH further down than it is in reality.  

Here I am getting ready to jump into the frigid water.  We couldn't convince the boys to jump from the higher rock.......another reason we decided on Catawba.
a very cool and strange tree on the trail.  Why in the heck did it grow like that?!

A few more pool pictures:
The boys played with these buckets for hours the other day. 

Emily came with us to the Raquetclub pool last week. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

If anyone asks what we have been doing this summer, I just say swimming.  A friend called me up a few weeks ago and asked if I would be interested in picking up a couple of classes at another gym in town.  I immediately declined and told her my schedule was full.  She said, "Are you sure, because you would be able to use their outdoor pool?"  to which I  replied without hesitation, "In that case, yes, I can fit something in somewhere."  So, currently I am on the sub list at the Racquet Club and we have been enjoying their newly remodeled pool a few times a week.

The best part of that pool is IT HAS A DIVING BOARD! 

Annabelle is much more comfortable in the pool now than she was at the beach.   She may even be swimming on her own in a month or so!  She loves to go back and forth from the baby pool to the big pool. 

Don't let the goggles fool you!  She wears them for fashion purposes alone because she still won't put her face under water.  We are working on that though.  

I love watching them flip off the diving board and have to jump in myself a few times as well through the afternoon. 

The boys are all about dunking one another.  We have two specific rules:  One dunk at a time and no holding the other under.  They spend HOURS wrestling and dunking in the pool.   It must be a boy thing cause I hate watching it.  I just don't get it. 

These are a few photos from last Thursday and Friday.  We hung out with friends in the field behind the Pisgah Brewery and then watched the fireworks display after.

My kids love Jen's dog, Abby!  Adam spent the entire evening walking her around the field and playing with her.  I know, I know, we need to get them a dog...... 

Caleb gave Annalee a few piggyback rides.  Lauren (her mother) and I have noticed that she is quite taken with him.   Sure she is a little young to be into boys, but at least she has good taste!

The kids playing on the new stage in the field . 
I can't wait to see some music played there!

Look closely at this picture and you will notice that Caleb and Adam are both wearing handcuffs.  Josh, Annalee's dad, is a police officer and let them get in his car, turn on the lights and siren and then play with the cuffs.  They were impressed. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

We have been going strong for the last few days celebrating Independence Day weekend. FIVE cookouts, 2 sets of huge fireworks and 2 sets of small backyard fireworks, sack races and parades, plus some swimming made for a full weekend and exhausted kids.....and parents! Seriously, it was helpful to list all of those things because I was getting worried about how tired I felt teaching class on Monday!

Anyhow, back to the weekend. These pictures are from Saturday when we went to a picnic at Seth's friend, Vann's, farm. He grows hops, blueberries, and has a butterfly house. Seth has been going over to help him and glean farming knowledge. I have been meaning to post about Seth's love of gardening and farming.......I will get to it soon. We picked a bunch of sweet red raspberries in the woods behind the house. yummy!

playing in the creek before class at the gym:

Here are a couple of pictures from the church picnic:

Sunday afternoon, we finally got to meet Lia Bobilya! The kids were all so excited to sit and hold her and asked me when we would have another baby. I had to break the sad news to them that our family is complete and we would have to enjoy other babies instead. I got to hold her for a couple of hours which was heavenly. Goodness, I love babies!
Annabelle and Lillyanne played so well together. Look closely and you will see that Annabelle has on a pair of Ms. Ami's high heels. They loved trying all of the shoes on the shelf in the garage. Annabelle calls this her "America dress" and was ecstatic to see Lillyanne wearing one as well.
Pretending to ride the 4 wheeler with Grady.
Eli thinks he is 7 years old when the boys are around and keeps up with them well. They all have a mutual love for one another. Caleb was adamant that Eli and Mr. Dana be able to come to his upcoming birthday party. I love how he is looking at them in this picture!
They set off a few small smoke bomb fireworks.
Later they all played on our lot in the seat cut where our eventual house will stand. Sometimes I find it hard not to get anxious and annoyed when we are over at their house because I want so much to be living next door!
This is Myles. He reminds us a lot of Caleb at that age. Don't you just want to squeeze him!?

We got home just in time to watch our neighborhood fireworks show which I am convinced is as big as the downtown display. I have no idea where the fellows bought the fireworks but am positive it was not in this state! They were AWESOME! I was surprised that Annabelle wasn't scared of them at all. I thought we might have to watch them from a distance, but nope, we were right in the midst of it all and felt the fallout (or whatever it is called) hit our faces a time or two.