Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Big Brother Sims

Sims' transition to being a big brother has been pretty seamless.  There have been no signs of jealousy or disappointment in the fact that his baby sister can't play with him.  He has actually been excited about having Merritt here, and he loves her so much!

When he came to the hospital to meet her, he got to hold her in a chair.  We were all surprised at how long he wanted to hold her.  He watched her and touched her tiny nose and ears.  She was asleep the whole time.  Well Sims wanted to see her eyes, so he opened one of them himself and told everyone, "She has blue eyes."  He was so cute and gentle with her.

We often hear him say, "I love Baby Girl," or "I love Merritt Elizabeth."  (He likes to call her by her full name.)

Recently, he's started saying, "She's my favorite girl," and "She's my best friend."

He loves to give her hugs and kisses and try to comfort her when she cries.  He's also become quite protective of her.  When my mom was holding her, he told her to "be careful with her."

Sims is such a sweet, big brother, and we are so proud of him.  I am so happy that he loves her this much!

Monday, November 4, 2013

She's Here!

I can't believe she's already a month old!

Merritt Elizabeth was born on October 3 at 10:23 in the evening.  She weighed 7 lbs. 5 oz. and was 20 inches long.  Since then she has been growing (and eating) like crazy.

So far Merritt has been a pretty easy baby.  She sleeps well at night, even though she goes to sleep really late (around 11:00 - midnight).  I remember that Sims did the same thing, but I can't remember when he began going to sleep at a more normal time (for old people like me who like to go to sleep early).

She's generally very happy, except during her witching hour, which is around 9:30-10:30 at night.  Jason luckily found her kryptonite though - the bathroom fan.  It will calm her really quickly, but it's not much fun for us to hang out in the bathroom for long periods of time.  I'm not going to complain.  Hanging out in the bathroom is better than a crying baby.

Sims has adjusted amazing well.  He is the best big brother imaginable!

I assure you that many more pictures are coming.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Last Trip as a Family of Three

A few weeks ago, we went on our last mini vacation as a family of three.  (No more travel for me until after Baby Girl arrives.)  We wanted some special time with Sims before the craziness of having a newborn is added to the family.  We let Sims choose where he wanted to go, and he chose Great Wolf Lodge.  He had been talking about our last visit there, which was a year and a half ago, a lot recently, so we weren't surprised when he said he wanted to go there. 

This time we only stayed one night, but we got there early to take full advantage of the 2 days of the water park.  We had a lot of fun going from one pool to the other, and Sims didn't mind being sprayed with water as much as he was last time.  Before we left, he even got brave enough to go down one of the slides from the treehouse area, which was the largest size slide he could go on due to his height.  I don't think he loved the slide that much, but he is already talking about going down it again on our next visit!  We were very proud of his courage to go down it!

Sims loved the room about as much as the water park.  He was so excited to be able to sleep in a bunk bed in a "tent".  He is still talking about the trip and planning what he is going to do on our next visit.  He loves this place!  It was wonderful having some special family time, and I'm happy that Sims got to go somewhere he was so excited about visiting!  That was the purpose, after all.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sims' 4th Birthday

I know that I'm 2 months past due with these pictures, but better late than never.  Sims' actual birthday was pretty low-key, since it was in the middle of the week.  He got to choose what we had for dinner (pizza), then we took his new bike out for a ride. 

He was so excited to get his first bike.  He had been talking about wanting one for quite a while, so we figured his birthday was the perfect time to finally get it!  He loves his pirate bike that he picked out.

A few days later, we had a space themed science party for him at the neatest place, Science Fun For Everyone.  All the kids and adults seemed to like it.  I think Jason even wants to have his birthday party there.

The kids played with hydrophobic sand, made "alien sneeze" (slime), and launched rockets into the air.  All of the kids wore lab coats, which made it even better!

Sims helping with the Mentos in Coke experiment
His wonderful reaction to the result
Sims came home with a goody bag full of great stuff, including a lab coat, goggles and a tornado tube.  He plays with the tornado tube a lot!  He loves that he can make a tornado.  I think his party was a success!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fishing for the First Time

Sims has been talking about going fishing for a while now.  He even told his teachers at school that his daddy took him fishing at a lake, and he had this long detailed story about it, which had no truth to it.  That was when I realized that this kid needed a fishing rod!  We got him one before the Ocracoke trip, so he got to fish for the first time in Silver Lake on Ocracoke.  He was so excited!

Jason bought some squid for bait, and the boys had a lot of fun sitting at the dock and waiting and waiting and waiting for a bite.

I was amazed with Sims' patience.  He seemed so happy just to have a fishing rod in his hand.  Finally, his patience was rewarded!

He caught a pinfish!  Now he has a true story to tell.  Wait!  Does anyone tell true stories when it comes to fishing?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Independence Day

We were lucky to spend the week of Independence Day in one of our favorite locations...

This year we had my family along for the Ocracoke trip, since we won't all be able to make a beach trip in late September this year due to Baby Girl's arrival.  We were so excited to show off our favorite island to all of them!  I didn't take many pictures during the week.  It rained a lot for the first few days, but we got a chance to go to the beach every day.  I did take photos on July 4th though.  Many, many photos...

We started off the day by going to the beach, but we made sure that we were back in time for the parade.  This is my all-time favorite parade because there is nothing commercial about it.  You won't see any typical parade floats.  Locals and visitors just decorate their trucks and golf carts and throw candy to the kids.  Small time fun at its best!

If the Founding Fathers Were Surfers

Blackbeard is a requirement in Ocracoke.

After dinner, we headed to the square dance.  Sims loved dancing on the sidelines,

but Isla wanted to be a part of the circle dance.  You can tell she loved every minute of it!

It was a great day and week!  I'm so happy that my family could join us this year!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Sims!

It's hard to believe, but Sims is 4 years old today. 

In his element on the miniature golf course in Calabash this weekend

He was woken up this morning by Jason and I singing "Happy Birthday" (very badly) to him.  He was all smiles.  Tonight, he gets to choose dinner (pizza, I think), then we're headed to the greenway to try out his new bike.  He is so excited! 

How did he get to be this big?!  Four years old sounds so old! 

Happy birthday, Sims!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Big News

We've got some news, and Sims would like to share it with you.

He is going to be a big brother!  The due date is October 4. 

From the moment we told Sims the news, he said that he wanted a sister.  And we found out last week that he is getting what he wants.  It's a girl!  We are super excited for all of the big changes ahead!

Monday, April 29, 2013


Okay, I know that I am a month behind on posting this, but better late than never.  I've got a lot of catch up to do on the blog, and the best place to start is Easter.

We stayed at home Easter weekend and dyed eggs on Saturday.  Actually, Jason and I did most of the egg dying.  Sims ended up not feeling so great after we got everything set up, so he only dyed one or two of them. 

We woke up early on Easter to find that the Easter Bunny had visited.

Even though Sims looks mad or scary in this picture (this is what happens when I tell him to smile at the camera), he was actually very happy to finally get real golf clubs and golf gloves. He had been asking for real clubs for months!  He got one right-handed club and glove and one left-handed club and glove.  He seems to hit both ways, and the Easter Bunny didn't know which one to get.  (We have now determined that he is a lefty, when it comes to golf.) 

Sims wore his very first suit to church, and he loved being dressed like his daddy.  After church, we went to Mom and Smith's house for a big dinner. 

Then we spent the rest of the afternoon playing games and watching Sims play golf for hours.  It took him a while to get used to how heavy the real clubs are, but even a blister didn't stop him.  We have never seen him spend this much time doing anything! 


It was a wonderful, relaxing Easter day!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Homestead

Over President's Day weekend, we spent a couple of days at The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA.  The goal was to see some snow, and we were willing to drive 5 hours to see it.  We filled our days there with so many activities that we were all exhausted when we got home.

The day we got there, it was about 25 degrees in the heat of the day, with a howling wind (and no snow.  The picture above was from the day we left.)  So we spent that day exploring inside.  We found rooms set up with corn hole and a giant chess board.  We played family bingo and just walked around this huge resort.  We had dinner in the Commonwealth Room, which was a big buffet that reminded us a lot of the Blue Ridge Dining Room at the Grove Park Inn.  In other words, it was a darn good buffet!

We woke up the next morning and went swimming in the indoor pool.  The pool looked like a larger version of the indoor pool at my summer camp growing up, which was likely built around the same time as this pool (around the turn of last century).  It brought back so many great memories of camp!

After that, it was time to go to the ski slopes.  We weren't planning to ski, since we didn't have enough time to do everything.  But we wanted to see snow, even if it was manmade.  Luckily the weather was much warmer than the previous day (a balmy 45 degrees), so it was easy to bundle up and stay warm.  We had lunch at the ski lodge (outside!), and then we enjoyed the snow.

Sims loved sliding in the snow and watching people ski.  When the kids came out for their group lesson, he got really interested in wanting to ski.  Next year we will have to take him skiing! 

Next up was ice skating!  This was Sims' first time ice skating, so it took him a little bit to get the hang of it.  By the end, he was actually skating by himself!

Yes, those are people swimming in the pool in the background!
Sims would skate around the rink once, then he would come off the ice and take a break while Jason skated around the rink once.  I'm not sure if Sims really needed to rest.  It seemed more like he was fascinated by the wooden boxes you put your skates on to tie them up.  Then he would say, "I'm gonna go help the Hurricanes," and off he would go skating.  This boy sure loves his hockey!  Now, he at least understands how hard hockey is.

After that, it was time for a break and afternoon tea in the lobby.  I loved all the lounging areas around the resort.  They were tucked in all sorts of places.  You could find some as busy or as quiet as you wanted.

Then we got ready for a hayride around the property.  We were the only ones who signed up for the hayride, so it was like we were on a personal tour.  We rode up to the ski lodge and made smores by the fire.

We discovered that Sims doesn't really like smores.  He's not a fan of the marshmallows.  But he does love the chocolate and graham crackers!  Then we headed to dinner at Sam Snead's Tavern.  Needless to say, after dinner we headed to bed!  It had been a big day.

The next morning, we woke up to snow!  We were excited to get out there and play.  We went downstairs and bought a sled and headed out.

We were happy to get our snow fix!  Then it was time for us to go home, but not before having lunch at the Casino Restaurant.  Sims ate quickly and took a nap in the restaurant, while we finished.  It was an exhausting couple of days, but it was so worth the trip.  Jason and I are even talking about trying to go again.  We might need to stay a least one more day to warrant the 5 hour drive though.  That was tough!