Thursday, July 19, 2012

Catching up

So I know it's been a while, but being pregnant with twins is no joke.  You cannot imagine the amount of sleep that first trimester required!  But, now that we're past that, I'm feeling much better, being much more productive, and in general having more fun.  So here is an update on some of the things Gillian, Rusty, and I have been up to...

1.  Gilian has become quite the outdoors queen - as you'll hear more about from our week at the beach -  two of her favorite activities are playing with sidewalk chalk and bubbles.  While I don't have any good pictures of her chasing bubbles around the yard, she's way to fast for my camera, I do have some great ones of her playing with her dad.  While she gets the idea that chalk is for writing, and we highly encourage keeping it to the sidewalk, she also likes to color herself.  Notice the no shoes and scraped knees - they have also become a part of G's summer experience.

2.  Gardening has also been a lot of fun for Gillian and myself.  We have had great luck with our basil, tomatoes, and squash this year.  We planted a fig tree that is doing well, but no ripe figs yet.  Gillian has become quite the little water girl!

3.  Gillian and I have also enjoyed baking together this summer.  She helps me break eggs, pour in measured ingredients, and her favorite part "mix & mix".  Dad likes the hobby too, as he gets to eat the goodies.

4.  Our latest adventure was a week at the Outer Banks with my family.  Needless to say, with eight adults catering to her every whim, Gillian had a blast.  The twins will be quite a shock I think when they come and stay - stealing attention while they're at it.  Gillian learned several new words this past week - ocean, crane, and tube were some of her favorites.  Her mantra for the week was OUTSIDE!  While screaming the word every time she had to come inside, it was clear between the pool, the lake, the ocean, the sand, the swing, and the deck Gillian felt no need to ever come in.  She got lots of playtime with Momma Roz and Grandpa John - and Rusty and I got some great rest!  She learned how to play in the tube with dad, dig great holes in the sand, and how to feed turtles.  Shelley, Laura and I had a great time catching up too.  It was so wonderful to spend the week with family, it was hard to leave.

So, all in all, we've had a lot of fun this summer.  Gillian is growing up way to fast.  I'm so glad I have the opportunity to spend my days with her.  She is learning new words daily, is becoming quite a helper to her mom, and can always bring a smile to people's faces.  I will enjoy these next few months of it just being the three of us, but the adventure of twins is coming soon!

Friday, March 30, 2012

the "outside" cart

Now for those of you who don't know my parents - they are what we lovingly refer to as pack rats. To add on to that, they are also pickers - you know, those people who pick things up off the side of the road. While begrudgingly I will admit that they often get some pretty neat finds, I somewhat groan when they tell me they found something just right for me. So when my mom called to tell me that she had found a toy kitchen, chairs, shopping cart and baskets for Gillian, I quickly reminded her that G already had a kitchen, one from Nana and Grumpa for Christmas. Thinking I had escaped anything else coming into my house, I was slightly shocked when at their next visit, in came the baskets and shopping cart. "But you don't have these" I was reminded. Well the shopping cart was pretty dirty, so I insisted it stay in the garage, until I had a chance to clean it off.

Then Gillian found it. We were getting ready to do some yard work and G just started pushing the cart down the sidewalk. Since our first stroll, it has become a daily exercise. We push that cart down to the end of the block at least once a day. She puts sticks, pinecones, and mulch in it. Currently it has 4 of her necklaces in it, which she stops to put on and then take off every 4 feet.

So, I have learned my lesson. No need to roll my eyes at things my parents pick out of the trash - they have good taste, and seem to know what my daughter likes. No other toy gets played with EVERY day, but that shopping cart does. Ugly, dirty, and old - Gillian loves it. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Spring has Sprung

Being a beautiful warm spring, my yard looks awesome. Now it helps that for the past month I've spent on average 5 hours a week working on it, but Gillian loves to be outside and I love gardening, so its worked out great for both of us. With my irises in full bloom (Granny don't these look great! Thanks for sharing!) I thought I would take some pictures of Gillian. Only problem was right before we headed out the door G grabbed her favorite party necklaces and refused to take them off. So between chewing on the beads and playing with the flowers - I got one picture that I love. Guess I'll just have to live with the necklaces!


I think I've mentioned before, but Gillian and I are part of such a great Playgroup with our church. It is so fun to get together with other moms, have adult conversation, and watch the little ones have tons of fun.

We have done several exciting things this spring. For Valentines Day we made cure Valentines for the Dads that the kids stamped. For Mardis Gras, I made a King Cake (my first one - so good!) and we had the kids decorate masks. Gillian loves anything to do with coloring, but was not so much a fan of me putting the mask on her. We made pine cone bird feeders with peanut butter for the coming of Spring. The kids had so much fun smearing peanut butter everywhere, then dunking it in seed. And it was pretty awesome to see birds using them too! Gillian loves animals. She's learning their names and sounds, but it's always fun to see them in real life. We often go to the Durham Museum of Life and Science, which has a huge collection of farm animals and native NC wildlife, but it's always a treat to watch them at home from your own porch. So far this Spring we have seen deer, rabbits, and birds - but there's always our neighbor's dog Ike, too.

When we're not up to special projects, the kids just have a great time being together. Owen has become one of Gillian's good friends. You can see them reading together and playing in G's cart. The playgroup has truly been one of my unexpected favorite parts of being at home this year.

Helper Baby

I have been blessed with a super helpful baby. She wants to be a part of whatever I'm doing generally, so she has gotten pretty good at helping to empty the dishwasher, mixing anything together for dinner, and throwing things away. She will even pick up her toys when you ask her to (most of the time). Sometimes her helping takes on its own ingenuity - when we went to Norfolk this past weekend she helped my mom garden by taking dirt from one pot and putting it in another pot - no directions needed. Never mind that neither pot was being worked on by my mom, G just wanted to help. So when Rusty decided to wash his car it was no surprise when the girl jumped right in. She loved it - helping dad, splashing in a bucket of water, playing with bubbles - what more could a girl ask for? I just hope this helpful streak continues!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

the JOY of cousins

Gillian is blessed to have Charissa and Verity as cousins, and to have them so close by. I only wish we got to see more of Everett and that there were some cousins on my side of the family - Shelley! Recently we have had time to spend with them both in Raleigh at the Marbles Museum and in Charlotte while they were at Nana Camp. While three little girls running around is never easy to keep up with, it is so much fun to watch them play and have fun with each other. I think the following pictures mostly speak for themselves. I hope you see the joy in their faces captured on film, because they definitely love each other tremendously. I pray that they will always be a love and support to each other!

Charleston Getaway

Rusty and I had a grand escape for two days in Charleston right before New Years. Janie watched Gillian for us, which was such a treat. While I love being a mother, and missed Gillian despite only being gone two days, it was so nice to be able to spend time with just Rusty. We ate amazing food (Jestine's, SNOB & Hominy Grill were to die for!), took a boat tour to Fort Sumter (as seen behind me), visited Boone Hall Plantation, and shopped on King Street.

We also enjoyed simply walking downtown and along the Battery looking at all the amazing houses.
What a great town, steep
ed in history. While I was expecting a lot of discussion about slavery and plantation life and the Civil War, I was pleasantly surprised by how much mention there was of the Revolutionary War role the city played. The history buff in us both immensely enjoyed the experience.

We also stayed in the King George IV Bed and Breakfast (as modeled by Rusty) right downtown in one of the historic traditional style houses! We had our own parlor and balcony with our room - I felt like Southern royalty.