Monday, December 11, 2017

Gingerbread Houses, Disney on Ice, & Visiting Santa

Aunt Beverly and Grandma bought us a gingerbread house to decorate - what a big hit this was!

Brock loved making patterns and squeezing the green and red icing on the house. At one point he commented "Momma, this is even better than tablet!" That is a HUGE compliment!

Decorating the little gingerbread man

What a fun activity with my big guy while the little one napped!

Then it was time for Brock to write his first letter to Santa! He has really come so far this school year with his penmanship!

He needed a bit of help with the letter - he dictated while I wrote. He got frustrated with his picture - it was supposed to be a chocolate coin. He was very proud of his letter after it was all done!

Later that night, we picked up Grandma for our big event - Disney on Ice at the PNC Arena (where the Carolina Hurricanes play!).

Awesome seats that night! And I was so glad I brought my big heavy coat - gave Kade a little cushion to sit on! Grandma was so smart to order cheap glowsticks/wands from Amazon Prime so we didn't have to pay $25+ for the light-up spinny things they were selling! Good call Grandma!

The best part was watching Brock and Kade's reactions to all the characters, singing and dancing. Brock was singing along and tapping his feet.

Such happy smiles! Thank you Grandma for taking us!

Yup..... still working on this letter to Santa. Three days after we wrote the letter, we addressed the envelope. 

The gingerbread was such a big hit, I picked up another kit from Trader Joe's. This was a little more hands-on than the Costco kit where everything was ready to go..... I had to actually add ingredients to make the frosting AND put the house all together. First world problems, I know, but harder to do with four hands grabbing everything!

Much smaller house also meant less candies to decorate with. The boys had fun working on it together, but it confirmed my original decision to let Brock work on the big one himself - Kade was not quite ready for this project.

Finally, we ended our week with our visit to see Santa! All the way there, we prepped the boys on what to say, trying to get them excited... and not anxious. We decided to head to Crabtree Valley Mall to see the Santa there. (I miss Bellevue Square!) At least they set Santa up right next to the play area - the boys played while Brent held our place in line. Finally, it was our turn!

Poor Kade was very hesitant about sitting next to this complete stranger. I sat him down and he was just not having it. So sorry, but these are the memories we are capturing! ;) He's such a poop though - as soon as I picked him up, he was completely over it and even said "Good bye Santa" as I carried him away.

Brock on the other hand was amazing. He was quiet, but answered all of Santa's questions. Nodded his head when Santa asked him if he'd been good. He told Santa that his brother wanted presents (which is what Kade had said in the car) and then told him he wanted chocolate coins for himself. He even smiled for the picture!

It's so good to see him enjoying this holiday and getting so excited about Christmas. And he's doing a great job getting Kade excited! I should also mention the Elf on the Shelf has been making his rounds since Thanksgiving and Brock LOVES searching for him. Brent has taken on the duty to help the elf find a new hiding spot every night and I think it's adorable.

14 days until Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

The weekend before Thanksgiving, Brian, Nancy & Maddox drove up from Charlotte to visit! We were finally able to take that cousins picture with all three boys! (You wouldn't believe how many outtakes there were....)

Since our tree died on us last year (which was perfect timing so we didn't have to move it), we were in the market for a new fake tree this year! The "pretend trees" (as we're calling it to Brock) really look so much better - and offer the option to change from white LED lights to colored LED lights, which is a bit of a battle in our home.

The night before Thanksgiving, my co-chef started feeling a little sick. But he was resilient and still managed to fulfill his turkey-frying duty, with the help of Diesel, of course.

We all were excited to enjoy our first Thanksgiving in our new home and in our new dining room. We can all spread out with that big table! (I decided to move my seat next to Brent to make it easier to pass things - Ha!)

Brock was such a big boy - he even ate off our china!

Kade got a step up to the reindeer kids plates - a much bigger, flat plate without sections.

The following day we all drove down to Charlotte to visit Brian and Nancy and family!

Since Brent still wasn't feeling well, he decided to make it a day trip. Brock and Brent returned home to find a very bad Diesel and a mess to clean up. Bad husky. Apparently he's spoiled with Brent working from home - no long days to wait for someone to let him out.

Anyway, Kade scored some bonding time with baby Maddox.

Kade really liked Maddox's play toy. He wanted to help Maddox play the music - he'd take his foot to press the keys. I told him to do it gently once and he seemed to understand why.

Sweet cousins!

Halloween 2017

Okay.... only slightly late on this blog post... ;)

Anyway - here's our Halloween 2017! Brock apparently had to undress to work on this big pumpkin.

Trying on our superhero costumes. Brock was very upset that he couldn't be Batman 3 years in a row. I told him he could if he WANTED to, but he couldn't wear THAT Batman outfit - he's too big now!

We were invited to a Halloween party and Brent even dressed up!!
Cleopatra, Superman, Pumpkin, & Chipper Jones
Guess who was the little trend-setter? Kade climbed up on the ledge for the fireplace (didn't love this idea) and started jumping off/dancing to the music. Eventually ALL the big kids started doing it too!

Our orange display on the front steps!

My "creation". :)

Finally it was Halloween night! I told Kade to practice ringing the doorbell once at our house!

The boys starting their walk around the neighborhood. I was super impressed by Kade - I think he managed 8 or so houses before he came home. Brock and Brent stayed out a little longer - and brought Diesel for the walk. Diesel's favorite holiday!

Brock looking over his bounty! (While Kade was enjoying his!)

Who wore it better? :)
Brock 2014 (21 months) / Kade 2017 (28 months)

Monday, November 6, 2017

NC State Fair 2017

Thursday is one of my "days off," so I decided to take the boys to the fair that day. It was also Free Can Day (bring in 5 cans for donation and you receive a free entry ticket) - I may have to research which day is the best in the future!

After walking around for a bit to get my bearings, we headed to the Old Time area and stopped for some fresh apple cider. $3 a cup means we all share one cup Brock! The sun was in Kade's eyes (my Seattle babies). :(

We explored the rabbit exhibit and Brock pointed excitedly to this "Cow Rabbit". He even asked to take a picture with it!

And this is for my WA friends - that right there is tobacco! Yup, proud North Carolinians we are. ;)

Brotherly love - Kade was trying to get Brock to hold his hand.

While waiting in line for some french fries, I turned to find Starbucks and Chick-Fil-A were also in attendance!

The fries were really good hot, but as they cooled down, they were ehh. One plate for fries, one plate for our ketchup please!

After checking out the blue ribbon pumpkin, we headed over to check out the baby animals. One section of baby chicks under the heat lamp and behind the cardboard wall were eggs just hatching!

As promised, we headed to the kiddie ride section to find out most rides were 36" and up! Poor Kade was definitely under that measurement!! What to do, what to do.... and then we found just three rides that were 32" and up! Thank goodness! Brock would not ride without Kade so he went on all those rides as well. Hopefully next year Kade will be able to ride on the "big ones."

Video of them going around and around and around....

Look at that smile on Kade! They seem to both have that smirky smile.... I wonder where they got it from.....

Ride Two.... tractors.

Ride Three..... Jeeps!

Finish our morning with a lovely ice cream covered with sprinkles!!

It looked so tasty with all those rainbow sprinkles! ...... but as you can imagine....and as I knew would happen one of these days..... one of those ice cream cones found its way to the ground and we had one very unhappy little boy.
No picture was taken of the carnage, but Brock's ice cream met its demise on the grass, ice cream side down. I tried to recover the cone and slopped some of Kade's very large ice cream (that he had no business eating all of) to cover the damage, but unfortunately the mood was irreversible. That ended our very happy and busy day at the fair.

Thank you to Papa for purchasing our tickets - the boys loved seeing all the animals, exhibits and rides. And we really did have a great time up to the ice cream event. Perhaps next time we'll be able to stay a little longer!