Tuesday, September 12, 2017

First Day of School 2017

These two boys are off to preschool together!! Brock is going three days a week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Kade goes with him on Monday's and Wednesday's!

He's got his backpack on and he's ready to go.... back in the house!

Here's my big boy! Last year of preschool for this 44.75" giant! No more cute outfits - I'm done battling him - go ahead Brock and wear your gym shorts for your first day.

Photo op with their backpacks on and giving each other fist bumps!

 And Kade wanted to give me a fist bump!

How lucky we are that Daddy could come to drop off too! This is a really cute school - I had some reservations (I had enrolled them in the school before we even settled on our house!!!) because it was the "opposite way", but I think it's going to work out really well. It takes us less than 10 minutes to drive there and everyone is super nice. At 9AM when preschool starts, the loud church bells chime a pretty song - super cute!!

Kade was STOKED!!
And then we got to Kade's class and he realized we were leaving him there! Not so stoked.... crying and kicking his feet and the whole bit! Sorry buddy, kiss your cheek, say goodbye and hand you to the teacher!

Brock's drop-off was a breeze! We found his cubby and his name at a seat and he was off tracing his name.

What a big boy now!

And this is me for 2 days a week - I get THREE AND A HALF HOURS to do whatever I want!! But may not last for long.... part-time work is calling me!! ;)
Brent apparently forgot when I jump, I'll get taller. ;)
Last note, no tears upon pickup and I think they both really had fun. Brock really likes the fact that Kade gets to go to school too. After reading him a book later that evening, I asked him what his favorite part of the school day was. His response: "seeing Kade on the playground." AWWWWW! Hopefully he'll have some other fun parts eventually too when he makes his own friends, but I loved this brotherly moment.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Neighborhood Pool Party and a hike at Turtle Park

Our neighborhood is better than yours!! I'll say, we really lucked out picking this neighborhood - so many things about it was exactly what we were looking for! Every year, they end the pool season with a huge barbecue pot luck pool party, complete with a HUGE water slide!

Brock was in heaven!! Brock and I arrived at the pool early, so I was nominated to do the first 3 runs down the slide with Brock. After that, he was set to go ALL BY HIMSELF. He was definitely the youngest one on the slide that day.

He also didn't have much weight, so it didn't seem like he was going that fast once he got to the straight away.

An adorable movie really showcasing Brock's excitement! :)

He got lots more swimming practice in that day - perfect for swimming lessons the following day!


On our last "free day" before school started, we headed back to Crowder Park (Turtle Park) for some more playground time.

There's a little dirt path off the nice paved path and we decided to follow it! Totally a very short hike, but Brock loved pointing out all the things on the way!

We found a cool rock to climb on!

And then we found these three stacks of rocks sitting around a tree. I had just finished saying "Be careful, it will fall" and snapped the picture. That is the face of someone who touched the top of the pile and surprisingly, three rocks fell off. Oops! We put it back together before we left.

The boys found a little amphitheater and took turns doing a silly dance on stage while the other watched. Brock, of course, wouldn't let me take a picture.

We came out of the woods and took a little break on the rocking bench by the lake. The boys were very content rocking.....

...until Brock pointing out "Momma, what's that long fish right there??" Nope, wasn't a fish, that was a snake coming out of the water.  Snapped a picture for Brent and he confirmed it was a harmless corn snake.

We continued on our walk to the boardwalk to spot the turtles.

It was a really gorgeous day - not as oppressively hot as when we were there last taking professional pictures.

Lastly, a few pictures when Grandma came to visit. I think Mia was the only one looking right at me the whole time!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Eclipse-Mania: Raleigh Edition at 93% Totality

Brock working on his eclipse worksheets - a maze around the sun!
For at least three weeks prior to August 21st, Raleigh-ites have been caught up in the frenzy of the Eclipse - even if we were only slated to see 93% totality. The eclipse glasses have been sold out in the library, home improvement stores and science stores - our neighbor mentioned he even went to look for welders glasses to use to look at the sun and they had been sold out!

Brent was probably the only one more excited than me to watch this worldly phenomenon! He blocked out the three hours in the middle of the day so he could track the moon's movement.  We kept tabs on how bright the sun was at noon and then watched as it gradually got darker and darker.  The local crows were tricked into making an early run for their roosting spot just before we hit out 93% totality.

It worked out well that the eclipse occurred right at naptime! Kade rested inside while the rest of the family enjoyed it from our front walk.

The glasses totally made it. Yes, we could feel the temperature drop and we could visibly see a difference in how bright it was, but to actually look up at the sun (even through the clouds!) and see that it was blocked, was super cool! Good call on ordering those glasses a month ago, Brent!

I hope Brock remembers this day and how cool it was to witness this amazing event.

Here's a video about 6 minutes before our maximum totality (of 93%).

A little odd, but tried taking a picture through the eclipse glasses - you can just about make out the crescent of the sun in the middle of the shot!

No dogs' eyes were harmed during the eclipse event. ;)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Swimming & Lake with the Dogs

We love our lessons with Mr. Eric! It seems to work out several times that our group lesson turns in to a private lesson and we love that too!

This first video was taken at the very beginning of Brock's lesson - you can see he had mastered arms stretched out as he kicked to propel himself to the other side.

And then, just a short 30 minutes later, Brock's teacher added the arm strokes that go with it! Scooping apples to put them in your pocket is how he refers to it. I think Brock did really well putting it all together (for the first time)!

It definitely shows when we go out on the lake!

Of course, we have to start with our very nutritional Bojangles breakfast.

This time we decided to take Diesel and Oscar with us! We all enjoyed their company this trip! We ALL took a swim out to shore (sorry, no pictures - we forgot our GoPro). First, I headed out there with Kade and Brock on a float - roughly 80 feet from the boat. I stayed on land to call the dogs so they knew which way to start swimming and Brent lifted them up to put them in the water. Oscar is a great swimmer and made his way to me pretty quickly. We were a little worried about Diesel, so Brent ended up snapping his adult lifejacket around Diesel to help his buoyancy. He was wide-eyed when he started doggie-paddling and apparently overdid himself with his hind legs when he reached land. His back legs were spent and could barely hold himself up. We were a little worried that he did something really bad, but after an hour, he was good as new. Yup, our almost 10 year old, 93 pound husky is just a little out of shape.

More snacks and drinks to fuel us up!

Then Brent and I took turns jumping off the boat. Brock has been quite concerned about the depth of the water - obviously if you can't see the bottom, someone telling you it's 8 feet could just as well be 80 feet! Next summer, I am sure he'll be much more confident and adventurous!

Go Brent!!

We were all exhausted after that boat trip. Time for Kade's nap and Brock's first lesson with Othello. He lasted longer than I thought he would.... but we were not able to finish the game. It is designed for ages 8 and up!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How to keep boys busy?

Now that Brock is four, the summer completely opened up to him for summer camps! He was enrolled in three Vacation Bible Schools, two FULL-day weeks at Mega-gym, and one three-day outdoor camp with the Town of Apex at a nearby park. I had to entertain a two year old solo for many of those days!

 So..... let's go to a park and stomp on bugs!

It's interesting to see Kade's behavior when Brock isn't around. He is very confident with big brother - even sometimes moreso than big brother.... but when big brother isn't around, a little shyness emerges. He's not as prone to go venture out to the playground with the other big kids without Brock. For example, this particular day, he found his happy place climbing on a fence away from the other children.

Finally, I wore Kade out! Barbara, Brent's mother, tells me that her father slept like this all the time - with his hands behind his head. I find Kade in this position constantly!

Brock BEGS to go to the pool almost every day. He LOVES the water. This particular day was pretty awesome - we walked down to the pool while Kade napped (and Brent worked). Brock knows how to swim well enough (and is cautious enough to stay in the shallow end) that I was able to catch up on a little reading!

I can see future (loooooong in the future) pool days where I don't have to constantly have eyes on them and read and tan to my heart's desire!!

My silly Brock!

And then there's those other days that we use the babysitter on the wall.....

Time for some sugar? Yes!
Eat that blue and red candy-coated sugar cookie!!

Brock and I completed one Pinterest-worthy craft this summer! Pineapple pinecones! We have PLENTY of pinecones to do LOTS of fall crafts!

We painted four pinecones a bright yellow! (Brock was very particular about picking four nice pinecones from our backyard - several that I thought were perfectly fine were not good enough for him!)

Next step, Brock rolled the green leaves with a plastic straw.

I think they turned out pretty neat! Perhaps next time we'll use something better/brighter than yellow finger-paint. ;)

They make a cute summer display on our front table! Good job Brock!!