Wednesday, June 27, 2012

3 months of Brotherly bonding!

Jacob is 3 months old today! I don't have any official "stats" on him today since we don't go to the doctor until next month.

I thought instead I would share a few brother bonding pictures.

Quinn is really becoming a great big brother! He is so loving with Jacob....hugging him, kissing him, and wanting to hold him. Jacob can't keep his eyes off his brother! I hope this is a bond that will stay with my boys for life!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A little bit makes for big fun!

I wanted something fun for Quinn to be able to play with on hot days this summer. A neighbor friend told me about something called water beads. These are actually meant to be a decorative way to keep flowers fresh, but they have made for some fun play days.

These beads are super tiny at first. They are in the little packages.

You put the beads in a bowl and add a lot of water. The beads absorb the water and swell up. It takes about 6 hours or so for the beads to get to their full size. We added the water after breakfast and checked on them throughout the day. After nap time, they were ready! Because they are water-filled, they are able to keep the plants fresh, but it makes for some fun for a little boy!

Quinn absolutely loves his water beads. I give him several bowls, measuring cups and spoons, and he just has a blast. As the water begins to evaporate out, the beads begin to shrink, but adding water swells them right back to normal size. 

Even Daddy got in on the fun after a hard day's work!

These packs of beads only cost about $2 at Walmart, but the fun it has brought us has been priceless!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Doggie Dates

Our next door neighbor's sister and boyfriend came to visit them again, and Dixie got to have another doggie date with her friend Glider.

I couldn't catch any decent shots of the two dogs running around. They are so fast and my pictures all came out blurry.  I did manage to catch some cute shots of the ending. These two have so much fun together but they can certainly wear each other out!

And by the end of the evening, Dixie looked like this.

Dixie loves her play dates!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Making Muffin Memories

I am finally home for Summer Break. Quinn has already been enjoying time away from school, having both Nana and Grandma/Grandpa stay at his house and spending time with Aunt Dawn. Now the boys and I can enjoy some time together for several weeks before we start the process all over again.

I thought for our first day together, I would make Quinn muffins for breakfast.

The one thing I will always ALWAYS remember about Quinn's childhood is that for the longest time (and even now to an extent) he believed that muffins were really cupcakes!  When he moved up to the 2 year old class at his old daycare, parents started bringing cupcakes for their child's birthday. After several of these days within a month or so, I happened to make muffins one morning for breakfast. Quinn saw them and said "Oh Mommy, thank you for da cupcake!"

Muffin? Cupcake?

What's the difference?  Just a layer of frosting!

Quinn has been asking to help in the kitchen more often, and I finally remembered to take a picture or two.  (Please excuse the messy kitchen!!)

Quinn's a pretty tall boy for his age, but he still has to have the step stool.  He helps by getting 2 spoons (so we can each stir), and getting the milk out of the refrigerator. He also helps me pour the milk.

And now the reason for two spoons.  It's not because Quinn doesn't know how to share.

It's because of what he does while I'm still stirring!

He always wants to "lip" it, aka (lick it).

And just as a disclaimer, no eggs were harmed in the making of these muffins!  Trust me, I've had salmonella related food poisoning due to bad chicken and it was terrible for me as an adult. There is no way I would inflict that on my child due to bad eggs.  (Although I can't tell you the amount of raw cake batter, cookie dough, etc I "helped" my mom with over the years and I never once got sick from it.)

Muffin Memories are what life is made of!

"Aunt Camp" with Aunt Dawn

Buddy has 3 sisters. Kristel lives in the eastern part of NC, about 5 minutes from where his parents live. Fran lives in Ohio. The oldest sister, Dawn, is now living not very far from us in NC. In fact, we can be at her house in about a half hour or so! We are loving having family nearby.

I had to go back to work the last two weeks of the school year, so Dawn offered to help. She came up one day to our house, and then my last three work days, she brought Quinn to her house to spend a few days with her. She called it "Aunt Camp", and boy did she keep him busy! Here are some pictures of his time with Aunt Dawn.

There was homemade play dough.

Coloring books and "Screen Time" on the computer.

Aunt Dawn teaches preschool, so she had made Quinn an Alphabet book, with sections for each letter. She bought him his own scissors so he could practice cutting (his one "needs improvement") and practice his letters.

He got to be the "little brother" with his older, teenage cousins Tre and Ethan. They played board games with him and showed him some skills on the basketball court.

One day they went to a children's museum with a cowboy exhibit. I guess Quinn found a cowboy hat at Aunt Dawn's house because he wore it at breakfast, and throughout most of the day.

There was also sidewalk chalk drawings.....

And getting spoiled....

Quinn loved his time at his Aunt Dawn's house!  The next morning when he woke up he said "Mommy I'm so sad. I miss my Aunt Dawn so much!!!"

Luckily, since Aunt Dawn lives close by (and has invited us to her pool) I'm sure we will get to visit with her a lot more!  Thanks again Dawn for helping me out! Means more than you will ever know!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Just when I thought I knew everything about her.....

I've always said that my Mom is my best girl friend. We have been peas in a pod for a long time now. Growing up as an only child, Mom and I always did tons of things together. My dad had to work out of town a lot....quite a sacrifice on his part, as he easily could have moved us Mom and I were always together.  And by spending time together, we've had many conversations about all topics under the sun.

So I thought I knew just about everything there is to know about my mom, like....

How she met my dad while at a square dance....and yes she had the puffy skirt dresses to go with it!

How ticklish her feet are...she will literally kick you if necessary!

How she once got a really bad spanking because she pushed her sister's head (my Aunt Linda) under the bathtub water.

How she used to wait at the end of her street for her uncle who drove the ice cream truck to come home, and she and her cousins would ride home on the sides of his truck.

How she cleaned the entire house and watched her brother (my Uncle Jim) play baseball the day before I was born.

How I was born on my actual due date and the anesthesia knocked her out so much she practically missed me being born!

The time when she was having back problems and literally couldn't move out of bed, Dad was out of town working, and I had to do all the grocery shopping by myself.

How she never missed a single one of my performances when I was in marching band in high school...she went to EVERY.SINGLE. football game, parade, competition, etc.

I could keep going, but you get the picture.

And then I discovered something new....Mom has never eaten chicken wings!

Until tonight!

Love ya Momma!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ladder Truck Training

Every Monday night since October 2004, Buddy has faithfully gone to our fire station for weekly training. Since I joined the department in May of 2006, I have also attended every training except for the times I was on medical leave for my two pregnancies. But even then, I still attended the business meeting held on the first Monday of the month and the EMT training each month to keep my license current. Even on nights when I couldn't participate, I still went and watched or did something non-physical.

This week was one of those nights I was glad I came to observe, because our guys trained with a ladder truck. One of our stations that we run assist calls with recently obtained a ladder truck. This happens to be the station that several of our guys (including our chief) work at when they aren't working at our station, so they decided our guys needed to become familiar with this truck.

Our station also recently got a new engine truck.  This is the new Engine 215.

Here is the ladder truck we trained with.  Personally I think all fire trucks should be shiny and red, but this truck is pretty sweet.

Quinn and Jacob came along with me. 

These are some of our fire fighters learning in the bucket of the ladder truck. Chris, the guy on the far left is one of our Captains, but he also works full-time at the other fire department, so he knows the ladder truck well. Buddy is second from the right, in the red helmet.

Buddy in action.

Chris took all of our guys up in the bucket and extended the ladder as much as it would go.  Buddy is in the bucket for both of these pictures.

Quinn, Jacob and I left after Buddy had his turn, but not before Quinn had a chance to explore the fire trucks.

Being a member of the fire department is quite a commitment, knowing that every Monday night is spoken for. It's never something I thought I would ever do, but I am so grateful I have become a part of "The Brotherhood"!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Handy Buddy has a helper!

I've said for years that when it comes time to have repairs done or projects created, I don't need a handy man.  I've got my Handy Buddy.  He has saved our dryer from birds. He has re-done some chairs and built a deck for one of his older coworkers. He built Quinn a sandbox. Most recently he's changed out our kitchen faucet, but Jacob was having a "hold me" day, so I didn't get any pictures of that project. He's done more things than I have time to post about.

Since Buddy works in the construction industry as his career, he knows not only how to complete the job, he also knows how to manage the job.  And a good project manager knows the sure-fire way to have a successful project is to have an excellent assistant!

We recently were able to add a storage building to our backyard.  As the "manager", Buddy opted to have the building professionally installed...mostly due to his crazy schedule the week it arrived. (He easily could have built it himself). Part of the requirements for the installer's warranty was to make sure it had a good coat of paint. Buddy decided to do this part himself, and he did the smart thing and found himself an assistant!

**Special thanks to my mom for taking these pictures!!**