Friday, July 20, 2018

Summer Break 2018: Week 5

After being away from Emmy and Boomer last weekend, I have loved being back home with them this week. 

A few highlights from this week: 
1. We had a park picnic and play date with the Beuters. Stephanie and Mark work with Boomer at Forbush, and their daughter Lyla is just a few months older than Emmy. The girls had fun, while the adults were able to talk too. 
2. I had a meeting at school on Tuesday, so Emmy and I made a trip to Pilot Mountain. It has been over a month since I have been at ESHS! During my meeting, Emmy hung out with our friends Ashley, Harrison, and Griffin. Harrison is 3, and Griffin is 10 months, so Ashley was a champ to watch all three little ones. After my meeting, we played outside for a bit before it was time to head back to Kernersville for naptime.
3. Emmy and I went to the Science Center on Wednesday. Emmy got a close-up view of the lemurs and some of the marine animals. Afterwards, we went out to lunch at Freddy's. I was proud of myself for managing a solo field trip!
4. We moved up to new shoes! We finally packed away the old pink size-3 shoes, and now we are rotating between her size-4 Nikes and a new pair of size-5 pink tennis shoes. 
5. We visited Great Gma, and Emmy liked riding on the front of her walker.
6. On Thursday, Emmy and I walked with our friends Megan and her newborn Peyton. After our walk, we had a picnic on the grass. 
7. For the second Thursday evening in a row, we went with my parents to a summer concert in the park. This one was in downtown Kernersville at the Botanical Gardens. Emmy was quite a hit with the other concert-goers as she danced and showed off in front of crowd around us.
8. We closed out the week with a pool date with the Williamses and the Joneses. Emmy and Laurel were matching in their pink and blue bathing suits, with Laurel being a little more cooperative for a photo than Emmy. 

We have settled into a sweet routine, and I am so thankful for these summer days. We are really in a groove. Usually the morning starts with Emmy waking up around 7:30AM. Compared to the school year when I have to wake her up at 6AM, this time is much more reasonable. Sometimes I will workout before Emmy wakes up, either going to the gym, going for a run around the neighborhood, or popping in a DVD. Boomer has to leave for work around 7AM, so if I opt to sleep in instead, I will bring Emmy along to the gym after she wakes up and then use the childcare room there. After Mommy's workout, we will head to our next adventure. This week was a good sample of what those adventures might be: walks with friends, the Science Center, picnics or the pool. We usually are back home by 1PM so that Emmy can nap. While Emmy naps, I will fit in some chores, shower, or (most likely) sit out on the back patio and read. After a full and fun morning with Emmy, I enjoy the quiet time for a bit. Around 3PM or 4PM, Emmy will wake up, and we will wait for Daddy to get off work. Our evenings have been spent eating dinner, taking walks, and playing in the living room. Bedtime for Emmy is around 8:30PM. As we reach the midpoint of summer, I can't help but begin to think about August and the start of the school year. I am very optimistic about the school year ahead; I don't feel any 'dread' in that regard. But I am sad to think about how our days will look very different. Being away from Emmy for 10 hours a day will be hard. I hope that the second half of the summer passes slowly! 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Summer Break 2018: Week 4

Last week was another fun week! We kicked off the week by visiting UNCG. It was great to see some of my old coworkers and walk around campus on such a beautiful day. We strolled along Spring Garden Street and stopped in to see friends in the Honors College and the Admissions Office. Then we met my old coworker, Megan, for lunch. Later that evening, we had a picnic dinner with Daddy at Harmon Park. The week also included more pools days and play dates, sweaty stroller rides, and a trip to the library for Music & Movement. After our morning outings, it is tricky to get Emmy home for a nap without her falling asleep in the car. Usually I will pull out one of her puzzles that I keep in the trunk for just this purpose, but sometimes even the puzzle can't keep her awake. Right now, I have about a 50-50 success rate at transferring her to her crib to continue her nap. If she wakes up, sometimes she will babble and play for a while before falling asleep again. Last Thursday evening, we went with Grammy and Grandpa to a summer concert in Winston-Salem. It was at the Historic Bethabara Park, and Emmy loved dancing to the music and chasing around the bubbles. We did our best to get a group picture...Grandpa's selfie skills could use a little work :) Throughout the week, we have had some big improvements with meal time. We are continuing to work on using a fork and spoon, and we have also started to use a plate more consistently, as opposed to placing the food directly on the tray of her high chair. Emmy is still not a big fan of meat, and despite my best efforts, that section of her plate remains the least touched.

As I write this, I am watching the Bachelorette and settling in after being at the beach with all the girls. It was so fun relaxing, eating junk food, catching up, having our feet in the sand, walking along the beach, and just being together. It had been a few years since we had gone to the beach, and we were all so excited to resurrect the tradition once again. While Mommy was away, Boomer was solo with Emmy. He did baths, fixed meals, and even fit in a trip to the grocery store. He really is Super Dad! He had a little bit of help from the grandparents. Over the weekend, he took Emmy to Star. They splashed around in the pool, and Emmy was even brave enough to jump off the side! Emmy also loved pretending in the play kitchen set and visiting the chickens. Today, when Boomer had to go back to work, Emmy spent the day with Grammy, reading books and generally being spoiled, until I got home. It feels good to be home again, but only for a few days. The Bakewell Beach Week is very soon! 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Summer Break 2018: Week 3

For the first time this summer, we stayed home in Kernersville for the week and had lots of local adventures! Before I get to our week, I wanted to share a few of the milestones I've observed with Emmy. With the extra time I've been spending with her, I've been able to see just how much she is growing and changing. She is giving kisses on request, generally leaning in and offering her cheek. She will also blow kisses or hold out her hand for you to kiss it. She has really started to master the 'b' sound and can say "bye-bye", "Bobby", "boo-boo", "bump", and "bird." She loves pointing out birds when she sees them and also says 'bird' when she hears one chirping outside. She continues to show some awareness of bodily functions, with gesturing toward her diaper and saying 'poo-poo.' It is usually after I have said it or when we are in the process of changing her; she has not yet initiated it or let us know without being prompted. She can point at people when asked who someone is, which is a fun game to play when we are together with family. She is also showing some improvement with using utensils during meals. It's easiest to let her practice when we are at home, in the familiar environment of our kitchen and her high chair; on-the-go is a little more difficult. My hope is by the end of the summer, she will have mastered using a fork and spoon so that in the morning before daycare, she can feed herself her own breakfast. I think this is a realistic goal given where she is right now. 

During the school year, there is maybe one thing to write about each week, perhaps one event on the weekend. The summer has been quite different; we are making fun memories every day, and I feel like each day is deserving of its own post. We are still fitting in naptime, and I am trying to hold to a reasonable bedtime (around 8:30PM, which is a little later than during the school year). Between snacks, meals, and diaper changes, we are filling every minute that we can. Last blog post was a little long, so in an attempt to shorten the remainder of my summer posts, I am going to follow what my sister does on her blog: a quick overview and then lots of photos. As the little sister, I've copied her a lot in the past (Thanks, sis!) She is the reason I started my blog in the first place, and I'm so glad that I did! Already I feel memories fading, and I am so thankful to be able to look back at my writing. Here is a re-cap of Summer Break 2018 Week 3:

1. We kicked off the week with a play date with a new friend, Michelle. She is one of Boomer's coworkers at Forbush, and she has a son, Levi, who was born within a few days of Emmy.
2. Megan turned 35 in June, and we had a belated celebration at Fire & Sticks Japanese Steakhouse. Maddox made quite a mess feeding himself shrimp sauce, which has led to me being the butt of a joke about wipes. When my family is together, it usually means inside jokes and picking on each other! 
3. We had a fun pool day at the YMCA with the cousins, Grammy, and the Williamses.
4. Emmy and I did some evening swimming with Caro and Carrie while Caro was house sitting. After swimming for a bit, we had a picnic dinner on the porch.
5. On Wednesday, we celebrated July 4th with a spontaneous trip back to Lake Tillery. Grammy, Emmy, and I made a day trip of it, and the cousins posed together in their patriotic attire.
6. Emmy and I had another lake day on Thursday with the Williamses. Sarah and Josh have a boat, and we went out on Belews Lake. We sure are spoiled to have so many connections to keep cool on these hot summer days!
7. While Boomer had a writing day on Friday, Emmy and I went to the Greensboro Science Center with Aunt M, Grammy, and the cousins. Emmy loved the new color maze and the slide in the kids' play zone; she wasn't so crazy about the peacock.
8. That evening, Boomer and I had a double date with our friends Jared and Ashley. Jared was just recently named the principal of my school! I am very excited to work with him, and of course that means he and Boomer have a lot to talk about as high school principals. We went to the Dash game and had unlimited food, drinks, and desserts in the Flow Founder's Club - what a treat! While we were on our date, Emmy had a sleepover at Grammy and Grandpa's. On Saturday morning, when we met up for breakfast at Cagney's, Emmy had the cutest pigtails. Grammy had some fun getting her all dolled up.
9. Saturday was overcast in the low 70s and was unusually cool. We had a park play date with Daddy!
10. We got burgers at Miller's Restaurant - one of the items on the Summer To-Do List. Miller's was featured in Our State magazine and is in Mocksville, about 45 minutes away. Boomer offhandedly mentioned going, and so we did! We got the recommended pimento cheeseburger, and it was delicious.
11. Thanks to free tickets from a golf tournament that my Dad played in, we went to Wet & Wild Emerald Pointe. With the ages of our crew, we enjoyed the smaller attractions, like the wave pool, splash pad, and lazy river. Thank you, Grandpa, for a fun day!
Well, this post is still a pretty long one. Hopefully next week I can be more brief! We are having so much fun that there's so much to write about! I have to include one more picture -- with the sticky, hot temperatures, the sunscreen, and chlorine, every night has been a bath night this week. Emmy has gone back-and-forth on her feelings about bath time, but right now, she likes it so much that she doesn't want to get out! She often tries to hoard her toys in protest :)

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Summer Break 2018: Week 2

I don't think we could fit one more thing into the month of June! We finished up the school year, took a family vacation across the country, had a girls' road trip home to Morganton, and had several other fun summer activities. A few things that I haven't written about yet from Week 1: on the first Friday of the summer back in mid-June, Boomer and I went on a matinee movie date while Emmy was at her last day of daycare. It felt a little strange not having our little girl with us, but it was a fun way to spend the day with just Boomer. Boomer really wanted to see the latest Marvel Comics movie, Infinity War, and so we splurged and went to the theater in Winston with the fancy reclining seats and unlimited butter. Boomer has been watching all of the Marvel movies and was very excited about this latest one. Although he knew a lot more about what was going on than I did, it was entertaining enough that I enjoyed it, too. Plus, did I mention UNLIMITED BUTTER?!

We have also visited Great Gma Nancy a couple of times. Emmy loves playing with the stuffed animals Gma keeps there especially for her. She can entertain herself for quite awhile between the stuffed animals, her shoes, and the small calculator that Gma lets her pound on.
Emmy continues to love to read. Every night, we read several books before bedtime. Some of her favorites are: Each Peach Pear Plum, The Magic Bunny, and Sophie la Girafe: First Words. Even though I practically have these three memorized, I love that Emmy enjoys looking at and reading books. She already seems to know how to hold a book correctly and how to turn the pages. She also repeats words back to me like "Mommy", "baba" (banana) and "quack, quack." I love before bedtime when she cuddles in next to me to read our nightly stories. We have settled into a special routine at night where we will pray together as a family, then she will tell Boomer "bye bye", and we begin to read. When left unattended during the day, she loves to pull every book off the shelf. It's a relatively harmless game she plays, so I go along with it!
On Saturday, the 16th, we went to a Dash game with the Houstons and the Williamses. A few highlights: Megan scrambled for a foul ball for Zander, who was ready with his glove to catch one. Also, Luke was selected to deliver water to the umpires, and Laurel participated in the toddler race. Towards the end of the game, we managed to pose for a group picture - a rare feat for 6 adults and 5 small children! 

Summer Break Week 1 wrapped up with a pool date with Katie and Grant. Grant and Emmy are only 4 months apart and are doing a lot of the same things right now. It is so fun seeing them together. This was my first time trying out the life-jacket with Emmy. Within only a few minutes of being in the kiddie pool, Emmy lost her footing and went back into the water like a baptism. She was a little hesitant to be in the water after that, so we sat on the edge and splashed with our feet. In the last picture, you see the tired faces of two toddlers ready for nap time.
Summer Break Week 2 kicked off with the Tour de Morganton. When we returned to Kernersville, on Tuesday we had our friends Michelle, Brian, and their little girl Stella over for dinner. Emmy watched Stella carefully as she played with her toys. She surprisingly even allowed Stella to play with Bobby!
On Wednesday, we went to the movies with Megan, Zander, and Maddox. There are several local theaters doing 'summer kids series' with discounted ticket prices and mid-morning showtimes. For only $1, we went to the Palladium in High Point to see How to Train Your Dragon 2. Nevermind that none of us have seen the first one, or that Megan and Zander have already seen this same movie! This was Emmy's first movie, and although I would have been hesitant to pay real movie prices, it seemed worth the dollar, even if I spent the whole movie in the lobby. While Emmy looked at the screen from time to time, she also liked climbing on the seats, moving the small lap tables, and eating the snacks I packed for her. She was mostly still enough that I could follow along with the plot of the movie -- I count that as a success!
On Thursday, we met the Williamses and the Houstons (minus Zack) for what I hope will be the first of many pool days at the YMCA. The moms got in a workout first while the kiddos were in the child watch room. Then we spent some time at the pool and splash pad. Emmy and I stayed at the splash pad the whole time; it is the perfect amount of water for us! She didn't venture far from the edge and mostly liked playing with the fountain that sprayed water. We have already planned to meet again Tuesday for another pool date.
That evening, Sarah and I went to Raleigh for a quick visit with Jen. We went out to dinner at a place called Parkside Restaurant (I highly recommend the chicken-and-waffle sandwich!). On Friday morning, we leisurely woke up and then got in a workout. We usually do some form of exercise when we are together, whether it's a run, a cardio class, or a workout video. We then visited Amy and met her brand-new, only-a-week-old baby boy, James. It is always a special treat to see these girls! It's hard to believe that it has almost been 10 years since we were in school together at Wake Forest. We are planning another get-together in August when Christina is back in NC. Big shout-out to Boomer for watching Emmy for this week's trip and again next month so Mommy can have some girl time!  :)

After I got home from Raleigh, it was back in the car to head to the lake. We finished out Summer Break Week 2 with an early July 4th celebration with the Kennedys. It was a small crew this time: Granny, Paw Paw, Carlin, and Carlin's boyfriend, Matt. We went on several boat rides, which Emmy has definitely come to enjoy. Unlike in the past, she didn't protest when we put on her life jacket (which can be a bit restricting). She especially loved sitting with Granny while we were on the boat. She would be squirmy with Boomer or me, but she would go right to Granny and then usually fall asleep. When not on the boat, Emmy was splashing around in her baby pool or stacking blocks and figurines on the porch. She played hard both days and has a little bit of a sun tan to show for it, despite Mommy's best efforts to keep her lathered in sun screen! Our girl is becoming a little water baby! 
Week 3 will find the Kennedys staying put in Kernersville. Even so, we have a lot of fun adventures planned - stay tuned!