Saturday, July 30, 2011

Home Sweet Home!

On Tuesday I finally tackled the kids' room and it turned out GREAT!  Brennan and Kate have to share a room for about a year until we get a chance to finish our attic.  I think they both like sharing a room- especially at night since neither child wants to sleep alone!  I was going to get bunk beds for the kids but Brennan wanted to keep his loft bed so I brought our old toddler bed down from the attic.  It is the perfect size for Kate so she can get in and out of it by herself. 

Kate's bed

Brennan's bed

The kids enjoyed a lazy day while I worked in their room.  They were a little bored by the afternoon so we took a trip to Target and Walmart to get bedding for Kate.  Of course we ended up with Hello Kitty things!  Kate was so excited... until it was bedtime and she actually had to sleep in there.  It was heartbreaking to hear her crying... but after about two hours of crying it became frustrating.  We couldn't give in though... and she FINALLY fell asleep.  Wednesday and Thursday night were a little easier and by Friday night she did GREAT!  I hope she'll continue to do so well... I truly expected our night time battles to last another week or longer!  It is nice that our house is so small and our bedrooms are so close together.  It became easier when I explained that all families sleep with a mommy and daddy in one room and the kids in another room.  She is so smart and understands English so well.  She kept asking me,  "Mommy right there?" as she pointed to my room.  She is so cute!  And sweet Brennan has slept in his own room too- which is huge for him!  He usually sleeps all over the house and has done that for the last two or three years. He truly likes that someone else is in his room!  He did "sneak" back into our room this morning around 7:00 AM... but that's not too early!  We are so happy that both of them are adjusting so well!

I spent Wednesday unpacking more things and doing laundry. By Thursday we were ready to play again!  First we had to go to Kate's doctors appointment though.  The poor little munchkin had to get three shots!  She didn't even cry though and only said "ouchy" one or two times while pointing to her arm.  She is so tough... but at the same time will cry for little things.  Brennan and I smile when she bumps her head lightly and starts to cry... she seems to have it backwards.  

After her shots we stopped by school to say hi and then ran to the pool to meet a friend and her kids for a few hours.  Jenn met us there with her six year old son (Zach) and her two year old (Eva Grace).  We swam for a few hours and then ran home so I could tutor Isaac for two hours.  While I tutored Isaac, Brennan wrote a few thank you notes and Kate played with Isaac's babysitter, Toby.  Isaac was happy to finish his work and play with Brennan!  They had a HUGE Nerf Gun Battle!  It was a lot of fun!

Brennan changed into
camouflage for the big

Isaac and Brennan

Brennan going for his walk.

Thursday night Brennan got a little frustrated and packed a bag... he ran away once when he was four and walked across the parking lot to the big rock and sat there.  He came back after five minutes.  This time when he packed his bag and walked out the door, I commented, "Brennan last time you ran away you said goodbye."  He assured me that he was NOT running away... he was just going for a walk.  I joined him for his walk and we laughed and had a great time. I think my little guy just needed some mommy and Brennan alone time.  I loved what he had packed in his bag- all four of his favorite snugglies and two water bottles filled with water.  He is so cute!  I also loved that he needed a walking stick! 

I love his backpack and
walking stick.
 On Friday we took Kate to another appointment and tutored Isaac again.  Then we took Kate to her first movie at the theatre.  We met Jennifer and her two kids (Megan and Laurel) and saw Smurfs (which was another cute movie).  Kate seemed to enjoy the movie and sat between the girls.  After the movie we went to Jennifer's house for dinner and to play.  Megan and Laurel went through their things and found a ton of Hello Kitty things for Kate!  She was so excited!  Brennan always has fun with the girls because they like to fish almost as much as he does!  We loved looking at their pictures from their last tournament where Laurel caught her first sailfish!  It was a great evening!

And now Saturday... I finally found time to catch up on the blog.  Of course I did that before vacuuming, dusting, or any other cleaning duties.  Hee hee!

I also want to mention how lucky we are... members from our church have been bringing us dinner every other day all week.long.. and will continue to do so next week too! It was so nice to return from vacation and not have to worry about cooking!  Thank you Pleasant Grove!!!

Eagle River July 22nd, 23rd, and 24th and our drive home

The girls slept in a little after their big night at the fair!  They woke up in time to play a little before we met Christine and Brock for lunch at a great Mexican Restaurant.  After lunch we had to say goodbye to Britt and her family.  Hopefully we'll see them again at Christmas!  Christine, Brock, Kate, and I went to the "beach" in Verona for a few hours while I waited for Wendy to get off of work.  They didn't allow any floaties though so Kate couldn't use her favorite swimming floatie.  She didn't swim much because of that.  It was relaxing though!  Then we had to say goodbye to Christine and Brock... all these goodbyes are so sad!

We picked Wendy up to drive back to Eagle River.  She did all the driving, which was a nice break for me!  Her husband, Dan, drove up separately and brought their two cute dogs.   Kate and I were so excited to see Brennan!  He had a great time at grandma and grandpa's house!  We enjoyed another relaxing weekend.  We thought we'd go tubing down the Wisconsin River on Saturday because it's been our tradition to do that since Brennan was one year old, but the weather wasn't cooperating so we decided to go to the movies instead.  Wendy, Dan, Brennan, and I went to see Zookeeper.  It really was a cute movie!  Kate stayed to play with grandma.  When grandpa came home from work, Kate snuggled on his lap and took a long nap.  It was so cute! 

On Sunday I packed up the car one last time and Wendy drove us to Madison where we took a fishing break. It was a sad goodbye to Wendy and Dan.  Kate cried for about fifteen minutes and just kept saying, "Wendy, Wendy...".  Brennan was so sweet trying to comfort her.  He told her he used to cry all the time when he said goodbye too.  He also commented that he was such a softy that he cried one time when his mom went to the grocery store.  he went on to tell her that we'll see everyone again soon.  It was so sweet!

We were sad to leave Wisconsin but excited to see Leah and her family again.  We drove the two and half hours to Aurora, Illinois.  It was neat that Leah's house was our first stop and our last stop of our great vacation!

We got on the road a little before 10:00 AM on Monday.  I thought I'd drive half way and then get a hotel... well we just kept driving... and driving... and ended up driving the entire 14 and a half hours in one day!  We arrived back in Raleigh at 2:00 AM Tuesday morning.  The kids were amazing travelers!  Brennan kept encouraging me to get home... he was so excited to see daddy and Zamboni!

Brock helping Kate to the water

Future prom dates?

Brennan loves Leo
(Wendy and Dan's dog)

Grandma with her dog Walker

Kate taking a nap
on grandpa's lap.

Grandma and Grandpa and their two
grand kids.

Taking a fishing break in Madison

 It was so nice to sleep in my own bed!  The kids enjoyed sleeping their last night in our room too... Tuesday night they had to return to their own room... which made them sad.  It has been a wonderful seven weeks!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Madison and Oregon, Wisconsin July 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd

Kate's first haircut in America.
Thanks Christine!
Dave, Kate, and I said goodbye to Brennan and headed to Madison so Dave could catch his flight back to Raleigh.  After we took him to the airport, Kate and I headed to Christine's house for dinner and haircuts.  She trimmed Kate's bangs and cut my hair too.  I wished we lived closer and could always go to our favorite hairdresser!  After haircuts we headed to Britt and Erik's house again.  Kate was so happy to sleep in the princess room and play with all of Brie Brie's toys!  She was also very happy to see baby Alyssa again!
Three beautiful girls
 It was so hot outside on Tuesday that we decided to take the girls to the play area in West Towne Mall.  Kate was so happy to see Wendy again when she met us there. We shopped a little, ate lunch, and let the girls play.  We also checked out a few places to possibly get Kate's ears pierced, but we were not impressed with the workers at all!  While we were shopping at a kiosk, the worker overheard us and said she pierces ears at the East Towne Mall.  We talked with her for awhile and she said she'd go early on Wednesday so there would be two workers that could pierce both ears at the same time!  It was meant to be...  Wednesday will be the big ear piercing day!

Lunch at West Towne Mall
Madison, WI

Walking to the play area with Aunt Wendy

Taking a break from all the playing
for ice cream.

Posing on the stage
at Barnes and Noble

Dancing on the stage...

More dancing...

Fun in the slip and slide

After playing at West Towne and then going to Barnes and Noble (which was a big hit with Kate) we headed back to the house.  The girls played in the slip and slide and little pool and had so much fun!  Brielle is such a good teacher and so patient.  Kate is so lucky to have so many good friends that share and help her. 

We're missing Brennan but he sounds like he's having a great time at Camp Grandma and Grandpa.  We can't wait to see him on Friday night though!

Having a slumber party is so
much fun!

On Wednesday Wendy met me at The Ultimate Hair Salon to pick up Kate.  I had the entire afternoon to myself!  Christine was working at the Salon so she colored my hair, waxed my eyebrows, gave me a mini pedicure, and a paraffin hand treatment.  It was so nice!!!  Christine charged me the least amount possible and it was fun to spend a few hours with her talking a bit more!  Thanks Christine!  I really wished I could come back in eight weeks for a color touch up! 

After my relaxing two hours I had a little time to shop at one of my favorite stores- Kohl's!  I bought Kate a pair of pajamas that came with a matching pair for her doll.  I also bought a few shirts for myself.  I then headed to the mall to look for shorts for Kate to wear under her dresses and just to browse. I fell in love with everything at Gymboree but had great willpower!  I may need to start looking for some deals online!   I found two pair of shorts in another store and then headed over to Piercing Pagoda.  Wendy and Kate were there within seconds and then Britt, Brielle, and Alyssa showed up.  Cheerful and upbeat Amanda also came within seconds and we were ready to pick out earrings.

Getting ready to have her
ears pierced at East Towne
Mall- Piercing Pagoda.
 Kate decided to sit on Aunt Wendy's lap and was very calm.  She assured us she wanted it done.  Brielle was a great cheerleader! Since she was one year old when she got hers pierced, she was the expert! 

We were so lucky to find
Amanda who came in early
just to pierce the girls' ears.

Amanda and the assistant were great! They counted one... two... and it was done!  Kate didn't even flinch or cry at all!  I was hoping that since she didn't cry when she got her TB test done in China that she wouldn't cry for this either.  I was so happy to be right! 

And now it's Alyssa's turn
 Since Kate did so well, Britt decided to have Alyssa's done as well.  Alyssa did great too and only cried for a tiny bit.  Both girls looked so cute!

All done!  Both girls did GREAT!

 We all have
our ears pierced.

After ear piercing and taking a ton of pictures the girls wanted to play in the little play area.  They are so cute together!

Look no hands! 

East Towne play area

Look at their pretty earrings!

The carousel was a hit at
Ella's Deli. 
 After playing for awhile we all headed to Ella's Deli to eat dinner and go on the carousel.  Kate was nervous about the carousel but Wendy and Brielle were able to talk her into going on a horse.  She LOVED it but insisted on holding on very tight to Wendy.  Her smile was huge and I wish I could have captured her excitement in pictures!

Kate thought it was very
cool that her pajamas match
her doll's pajamas.

Snuggly lazy mornings are the best!

Alyssa enjoying some
cereal- still wearing more than
she's eating though.

 On Thursday we enjoyed a lazy morning before heading to the Dane County Fair.  It was "cheap" day and the weather was cooperative at about 85 degrees.  All rides were $1.25, free parking, free face painting, and free entertainment!  I LOVE the Dane County Fair!  This might have to become a new tradition!  Wendy joined us for the evening too!

 Highlights from the evening:
* The rides!  Kate was unsure at first but soon got into it and wanted to go on everything!  Brielle was a great friend and would get a worker if she thought Kate needed help getting up or down. She is so sweet!
* The petting area!  There were so many cute animals to hold and pet.  Brielle was brave enough to hold several of them but Kate preferred just looking and wouldn't pet any of them.  She didn't need the safety of her stroller though so she's getting more comfortable around different animals.
*  The bouncy area!  Brielle helped Kate get through the maze and then another girl took Kate and helped her up the slide.  This thirteen year old girl, Kelsey, was just there to play but ended up helping Kate navigate the bouncy area many times!  Each time Kate got faster and was able to climb the ladder part better and better!  I love Kate's determination!  Kelsey was so sweet!
*  The tight roping show!  All I can say is "Wow!"  They were the eighth generation to perform on the tightrope.  We saw three generations performing together- the youngest being eight year old Isabella.
*  The hypnotist show!  Wendy volunteered to go on stage and try to be hypnotized.  It worked for her but she snapped out of it after about five minutes.  She said it was so cool and so weird.  At one point, he put them to sleep and she leaned so far forward she slumped to the floor!  She wants to try it again!  It was a great show and very entertaining.  The kids watched the entire hour!
                  We didn't leave the fair until after 10:00 PM!  What a fun night!

The three little pigs were there!

Great friends from long ago!  After
not living here for 12 years, I
never expected to run into people
I knew! 

Sweet Kelsey helped Kate
a lot.  She was just a sweet
girl that was also there to play.

Thanks Kelsey!

The future star!

Kate has Hello Kitty
on her arm.

Kate was finally talked into it,
but wanted it on her arm.

Waiting for the next ride.
Brielle really took care of

It was a perfect night!