Thursday, November 20, 2014

Merritt's 1st Birthday Party

Can you believe that Merritt is already one year old?!

We had a small, family birthday party at home for her, and it was really nice and relaxing.  We had some photos of her around the house, and I made a photo garland for the mantel with her monthly photos.

We had barbecue and the fixings, and Merritt seemed to enjoy most of the food.  We are so happy to have a kid who likes to eat!  Jason and I bought her a tea set with a picnic basket, so we used that as the centerpiece for the table. 

We made cupcakes and little gingham bow toppers.  It's the little things that make me happy.

Merritt didn't really know what to do with the cupcake.  It was her first taste of cake, and I'm not sure she loved it.  She'll come around though.

She was so excited about the presents, even though I really think that she was just excited about the ribbons.  You've got to love this age!

It was a wonderful way to celebrate the first year of our sweet, little girl!  It was a great day.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

1st Day of Kindergarten

At the end of August, Sims started Kindergarten.  This was a huge transition for him, since he had been going to the same daycare/Pre-K for 5 years.  We knew no one who was going to his elementary school with him.  But he was so brave.  I asked him one morning if he was nervous or worried about starting kindergarten, and he said, "No!  I'm excited!"  I was way more nervous than he was, but I didn't let him know.

First Day of Kindergarten, showing off his new lunch box

Jason and I both dropped him off on his first day.  It was much tougher on me than I expected.  But he has done so well!

Walking to the school

His teacher told us that he is very outgoing and had made lots of friends during the first week.  We know that Sims can be shy at first, but once he feels comfortable, he can be quite outgoing.  We were so happy to hear that he felt comfortable enough to be outgoing!

We are all transitioning to our new norm of homework, packing lunches and no afternoon naps.  It's a whole new world of PTA meetings, field trips and fundraisers.  We are all learning how to navigate it.  So far, so good.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Mountains

Before Sims started kindergarten, we decided that we needed to go on a vacation with just the 4 of us.  We couldn't go on a big trip, but we were able to carve out a long weekend.  We decided to go to the mountains.  We went back to West Jefferson, where we had visited a couple of years ago, and we rented a house on the north fork of the New River.

It was a rainy weekend, but we had lots of time in between the rain to have fun on the river and around town.  The house had a view of a horse farm and the river, and it was very idyllic.  We loved eating and hanging out on the covered porch, listening to the river and enjoying the surroundings.

The river was really cold, but we still had fun in it.  Jason and Sims fished, and Merritt and I watched.  We saw lots of wildlife, including deer, herons and even a red-spotted newt.

Sims learned how to cast his fishing rod all by himself.  Jason even got it on video.

We went into town to go the farmers market and visit the Ashe County Cheese Store.  Sims was really excited about watching them make cheese.  This had been a highlight for him on our first visit.

It was such a relaxing trip, which is exactly what we all needed before the craziness of a new school year.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

First Round of Golf

Sims finally got the chance to play a round of golf with Jason.  In July, Jason took a day off of work for the 2 of them to hang out and play 9 holes.  Sims loves to go to the driving range and to play miniature golf, but he hadn't gotten the chance to actually play golf.   He had waited a long time for this chance!

He loved it, of course!  He even got to ride in a golf cart, which was the icing on the cake for him.  He also liked pulling the pins before putting.

And he played really well!  He got 2 bogeys and hit the ball onto the green from the tee on 2 holes.  He sank two 10-12 ft. putts.  He really showed off his mad skillz, which was not surprising to us.  We are always impressed with his golf talent.  And if you don't believe me, here is a video of the second time he hit the ball onto the green from the tee box.

He was so proud of himself, which he should be!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Merritt at 10 Months

The months are ticking by fast!  It's hard to believe that it's already time to start planning Merritt's first birthday party.

At 9 months, Merritt started to do the traditional crawl that I wasn't sure she would ever do.  She no longer does the army crawl at all.  She even started cruising around this month.

She loves her monkey, which is in her lap in these pictures.  It is by far her favorite toy or stuffed animal.  Her face lights up when she sees it, and when she gets a hold of it, she hugs it so tightly.  She and Sims have the same monkey, which may be why she loves hers so much.  She loves anything that is Sims'.  We even bought an extra monkey to have on hand, just in case something happens to one of them.

By 9 months, we had also gotten to the point where we couldn't put the month sticker on her belly anymore.  She immediately ripped it off of her.  Hence, the sticker on the chair.

Now at 10 months, she is cruising around like a champ. 

She is incredibly quick and gets into everything!  You really can't turn your back on her for an instant.

She is getting good at eating puffs and peas by herself.  Many of them end up on the floor, but she will get more to her mouth than on the floor!  I've noticed that she seems to prefer veggies to fruit.

Of course, she still loves to suck her thumb.  What a cutie-patootie!

On a side note, the dress that Merritt is wearing in her 10 month pictures was made by her great grandmother (Jason's father's mother) for her Aunt Tina.  Isn't it adorable?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Isle of Palms

For my family's beach trip this year, we decided to go somewhere different than normal.  Alex got a boat this past fall, and he was itching for us to go to a beach where there is a lot of stuff to do on the boat.  So we decided on Isle of Palms, SC.

We stayed in a beautiful home in Wild Dunes on the Intracoastal Waterway, and the view was fantastic!

We got there for Father's Day, so we celebrated by riding the boat to one of the restaurants on Shem Creek.  (I happened to be reading Shem Creek by Dorthea Benton Frank at the time, so I was excited to see this area in person.)

We also spent a day in Charleston.  On the way, we stopped at the U.S.S. Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, and Jason, Sims, Alex and Isla took a short tour of the aircraft carrier.

I think that this may have been the highlight of the entire trip for Sims!  He keeps talking about it and the planes that they saw.  He and Jason have even starting watching short documentaries on the U.S.S. Yorktown, and Sims loves them!

Jason and Sims, also, got to fish a bit on our dock.  The only things they caught were baby sharks!  That was pretty exciting though.  Needless to say, we didn't do any swimming off the dock.

We spent the rest of the week enjoying the boat and the beach.  We rode the boat to Capers Island and Bulls Island.  And we got to see a Horseshoe crab, which I had never seen alive in the wild before.

Merritt rode on the boat for the first time and had her first sippy cup.  She was not a fan of the life preserver, but who would be?  The thing is massive for such a little baby.  We quickly learned that as long as she had her sippy cup of water, she was happy.  She would just close her eyes and take a little snooze.

It was a great week.  It had been many years since I had been down in the lowcountry, and I had forgotten how much I love it there.  I see more trips there in our future!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Interview with Sims - Age 5

The other night I interviewed Sims with the same questions that I have asked in the past (here and here) and a couple of new ones.  Here it goes:

Maggie: What is your name?
Sims: Sims.

Maggie: How old are you?
Sims: 5.

Maggie: What color is your hair?
Sims: White.

Maggie: What color are your eyes?
Sims: I don't know.  I can't see them.

Maggie: What is your favorite food?
Sims: Grilled cheeses.

Maggie: What is your favorite song?
Sims: E-I-Yo. (I assume he was referring to this.)

Maggie: What is your favorite treat?
Sims: Candy and ice cream and pie and marshmallows and sweet potatoes.

Maggie: What is your favorite animal?
Sims: Giraffes.  Is that your favorite animal?

Maggie: What is your favorite book?
Sims: I don't know.  Dusty? (Referring to one of his books based on the Planes movie.)

Maggie: What is your favorite store?
Sims: Toy store. Our favorite toy store.

Maggie: What do you like to do with Daddy?
Sims: Go to the park.

Maggie: What do you like to do with Mama?
Sims: Go to our favorite toy store.

Maggie: Who are your friends?
Sims: Macy, Emily, Emre, Ela, Talia, Merritt and Graham (our cat).

Maggie: What is your favorite thing to do outside?
Sims: Play golf on a real golf course.

Maggie: What is your favorite thing to play inside?
Sims: Games like Ruckus.

Maggie: What is your favorite bedtime story?
Sims: All of them.

Maggie: What is your favorite thing to do when you wake up?
Sims: Eat chocolate cereal.

Maggie: What is your favorite shirt?
Sims: This shirt (pointing to the Wells Fargo Championship shirt that he was wearing.)

Maggie: What are your favorite shoes?
Sims: My normal tennis shoes.  The ones that have the bright green stripes.

Maggie: What is your favorite snack?
Sims: Animal crackers and jelly beans.  (Seriously?  Jelly beans for a snack?  When did that happen?)

Maggie: What is your favorite way to help around the house?
Sims: Do chores.  That's the best thing, right?

Maggie: What is your favorite place to go?
Sims: To the toy store.  Our favorite toy store.

Maggie: What is your favorite toy?
Sims: Dusty and all of my planes and all my toys and my Legos and my small Legos.

Maggie: What is your favorite way to play with Merritt?
Sims: Give her her favorite monkey.

Maggie: What is your favorite color?
Sims: Green, blue and black.

Maggie: What is your favorite vegetable to eat?
Sims: Grape tomatoes.  (I don't think he has ever tried grape tomatoes.  We are growing some in our backyard, and he promised that he would try them when they are ripe.)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pre-K Graduation

Last month, Sims graduated from Pre-K, and his school had a big graduation ceremony for his class.  He was adamant that Merritt needed to be there, so we got her out of her class for the ceremony.  (He loves his sister so much!) 

The kids wore graduation gowns and mortar boards, and they sang and danced.  It was great!  They sang "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades", Kool and the Gang's "Celebration", and "Wind Beneath My Wings".

Each child stood up in front of the large group and said what they want to be when they grow up.  I was so proud of how brave Sims was!  While some of the kids needed help because they just couldn't stand and talk in front of such a large crowd, Sims had no trouble at all.  He said, "My name is Sims, and when I grow up, I want to be a scuba diver because I like to go under the water."  He had told me the day before that he was going to say that he wanted to be a builder.  When I asked him afterward why he didn't say that, he said, "I want to be a lot of things."

It was such a cute and sweet ceremony.  It's hard to believe that he will be a Kindergartener next month!  He has been at the same school since he was 12 weeks old and has known some of his classmates since then, so this is a big change for him.  He's ready for it though, and he is so excited.  We are excited for him, too.

And boy, are we proud!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Merritt at 8 months

It's been a while since I've done a Merritt update.  A lot has changed since I updated about her months ago!  She has learned so much and is busy learning more.  She is now 8 and a half months old!

At about 6 and a half months, she began to sit on her own and quickly became a master at that.

At 7 months she started to do an army crawl to get around.  This may not seem like a very efficient way of moving, but she is fast!  She has crawled the "normal" way a few times, but she quickly goes back to the army crawl.  At this point, I don't think she will every do the traditional crawl.  She is very happy with the army crawl!

Now at 8 months, she is pulling up to stand.  She is working so hard on this and is doing a great job.  She is even trying to stand up without the help of anything.  She's not quite there yet.  That will take a bit more time.

She loves to play peek-a-boo and be tickled.  She will just cackle!  I even caught Sims and Merritt playing together this weekend.  They were both laughing so much!  Merritt was on one side of the coffee table, and Sims was playing something like peek-a-boo on the other side with him going from one side of the coffee table to the other.  She would move around and try to catch him.  They were having so much fun.  I tried to get the camera to record it, but, of course, it was over before I could get the camera ready.  I felt like I was seeing a glimpse into the future with both of them playing together.  It was a wonderful sight to see!

We are so thankful for this happy baby!