Monday, August 31, 2009

EdVenture with Amelia

We had a calm, relaxing morning just having breakfast and playing.  Our first plan had been to go to the zoo this morning before it got too hot.  Olivia nixed it, though, because she didn't want to risk one single second of being hot.  Instead, we decided to go to EdVenture.  Only problem was that EdVenture didn't open until noon.  So, we thought it would be fun to have an early lunch at the Mellow Mushroom and then go to the museum.  Only problem was that the Mellow Mushroom doesn't open until 1pm on Sundays - crazy!  So, we made a quick decision to go to Lizard's Thicket instead.  I had been hankering for their sweet tea and you're not my friend if you don't love their fried chicken!  Olivia declared that Lizard's Thicket is now one of her favorite restaurants in all of Columbia - she "may even choose to go there for her birthday dinner!"  Amelia was really too busy to eat and McIver didn't love it, but I had my sweet tea and Olivia ate most of Aunt Kelli's lima beans.  

After lunch, we loaded up to go to EdVenture...  Let the good times roll!

Not really sure why everyone had to get down on the floor for this picture, but at least they were all looking at the camera!
It was all good until Amelia went down the slide - it was a little dark and scary for her.
Amelia stocked up on canned goods while Olivia checked out all the water in "The Pig."  (For our Texas friends, Piggly Wiggly is one of our grocery stores.  I shop at the 'social Pig' which takes an extra long time to get through because you always run into people you know or get caught up in a conversation with the sweet lady in the deli.)
McIver on his 'very favorite kind of tractor - a John Deere.'
Taking the fire truck for a spin with Olivia.
Will built a tower out of blocks so the kids could knock it over with the bulldozer.
The newest anchors of the local news channel with their handsome weather man, Uncle Robert.
I caught Uncle Robert in the music chamber all by himself.  There were a few exhibits he had to check out before they could leave for the birthday party!
We were glad McIver put on the raincoat while he played in the water play area.
Last stop - the Butterfly Garden.  We almost let one escape but the museum worker caught in in her net and released it back inside.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Aunt Kelli & Uncle Robert Visit with Amelia

Aunt Kelli, Uncle Robert and Amelia came to Columbia yesterday to spend the night with us and go to a birthday party today.  Olivia and McIver COULD NOT WAIT to see Amelia again and show them all around their new house.  Mamoo joined us for dinner despite taking a fall earlier in the day.  (Please keep her in your prayers!)

We love that we sit in the dining room and use our nice china, silver and crystal whenever we have company.  (And, Olivia and McIver love blowing out the candles!)  Our breakfast room table is only comfortable for the four of us so we are glad to be able to spread out a little in the dining room.  Check out the lovely curtains Will hung for us since the sun was in our eyes as we sat down to eat.  Don't worry, we've already taken down the sheets!
Sweet, patient Mamoo had to listen to McIver go on and on (and on and on) about Bakugans.  That's his latest acquisition - a Trap Bakugan. 
Amelia and Olivia got squeaky clean in our big bathtub.  Amelia was showing off her 'biscuits' when I snapped this shot.  She's just too cute!
Mamoo saying goodbye to Olivia and Amelia.
Amelia's pack-n-play was set up in Olivia's room.  That was one tired little girl.  Olivia read to her and then the girls fell asleep hard.  When I woke up this morning, I heard two little girls giggling.  Olivia had gotten Amelia out of the crib and they were just about to start reading some books.  When I walked in Amelia said:  The sun says it's time to wake uuuuup!

Friday, August 28, 2009

1st Week of School

Well, we all managed to survive - and thrive - during the first full week of school.  We had routines to get in place, dress codes to learn, uniforms to pick out, lunches to be made and more.  The children are enjoying the school part of the day.  I have started dropping them off in carline in the mornings rather than walking them in.  After school, I still park and walk in to get them so that I can meet and visit with other parents - and see their teachers.  They have had chapel, spanish, PE, art, library, recess and lunch in the cafeteria.  So far, it's all good!

Getting up in the morning has gotten a little bit easier.  McIver gets a little bit of a rest period during his day so he's not as tired at bedtime as he could be.  Still takes him a little while to settle down each night.  Olivia's pretty much exhausted by the end of the day.  She does her homework easily (meaning without any fussing) right when we get home.  McIver doesn't have homework yet so his job is just to relax and stay out of her way.  Then, once we get backpacks unpacked and homework finished, they're off the play with the neighbors.

Then we call our respective children home for dinner, baths and bedtime.  I am so thankful that this first week of school went so well and that we have had such a good start to the school year.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Pop!

Happy Birthday, Pop!  

Saturday, August 22, 2009

McIver's Morning Routine

McIver - not so into the morning routine, or the taking pictures of the morning routine.  Mr. Grouchy was EXHAUSTED after a day and a half of school, PLUS a birthday party at Leapin' Lizards on Thursday afternoon.  He was not so easy to wake up on Friday morning.  Here's McIver's morning routine...

Eat Breakfast (after this shot, I left him alone to eat while I cleaned up the kitchen)
Now, THIS is more like it - Eat Breakfast
Brush Teeth (The rest of these pictures were taken by Olivia.)
Brush Hair

Get Dressed
Help Make the Bed (keep in mind, this is from Olivia's vantage point - maybe we need to work on centering the shot)
After the morning routine is complete, there's time to play.
We had a great ride to school on Friday morning.  We were stopped by the train on the very first day of school (we had left early so we weren't late).  Then on Thursday morning, we thought we were getting pulled over  for speeding (which we weren't).  The Sheriff pulled over the three cars in front of us and I thought she was waving for me to pull over, too.  There wasn't anymore room, so I pulled to the front of the three cars.  She walked up to us, as my heart raced, and told me that she didn't mean for me to stop and that we could go on our merry way.  

So, on Friday morning, McIver started saying that he wondered what would happen on the way to school that day.  It started a whole funny story that we each took turns adding onto.

McIver: What if we got a flat tire on our way to school today?
Olivia:  And, then the tow truck had to take us to school.
McIver:  But the tow truck ran out of gas.
Me:  So we took a helicopter to school.
McIver:  But the helicopter started to crash.
Olivia:  So we parachuted out of it.
McIver:  And, we landed in the swampy swamp on the way to school.
Me:  When we got out, we were covered in yucky green slime.
Olivia:  And the guard wouldn't let us in the gate because she didn't recognize us.
McIver:  So we shook our bodies like Murphy when he gets out of the lake. And then the guard was covered in slime, too.

We were all laughing and giggling and just having the best time.  It was a great start to a Friday school day!

Olivia's Morning Routine

So, in the interest of smooth mornings and being ready to walk out the door with both kids dressed and ready for school, we took some pictures of our 'morning routine' yesterday.  Once we get the prints, Olivia and McIver are each going to put their pictures in order on a piece of posterboard and decorate it.  Olivia was really into the whole idea - here's her morning routine (notice the smiles in her pictures) ...

Eat Breakfast
Brush Teeth
Brush Hair
Make Bed

Get dressed, even shoes! (still can't get the picture to rotate)

We also have a breakfast list - every Monday, we have X; every Tuesday, we have Y; every Wednesday, we have Z; etc. so that I'm not playing the part of short-order cook every morning and the kids know what to expect in the morning.  That was a HUGE help last year and seems to be working for us again this year.  

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We All Scream for Ice Cream

We started a little 1st Day of School tradition when Olivia started kindergarten in Houston - a trip to the yogurt shop on the first and last days of school.  (We also go plenty of times in between, but these trips are particularly special because they can order pretty much whatever they want - no limits from Mom or Dad.)  Anyway, the yogurt shop in Houston closed so we went to the Marble Slab which was within walking distance.  Tonight's visit was another hit!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

McIver's run-in with Carter

Kelli and Robert were kind enough to take Olivia and McIver home with them after church on Sunday so that Will and I could try to score some furniture deals in Myrtle Beach.  Apparently, it was a no-win situation on all parts.  

Carter, their 3 year old yellow lab, bounded into the house and landed on McIver.  McIver ended up with a little puncture and a few claw marks on his cheek.  He was fine by the time we got home and was a good sport while Will cleaned up the wound with a giant Q-tip and a steri-strip.

(I couldn't get this picture to rotate for the life of me.)
Rest assured, McIver is fine and, to be perfectly honest, a little proud of his injury.  It has given him plenty of fodder over the last few days to make even more conversation with anyone who will listen (the lady at the farm stand where we stopped on our way home from the beach, the deli manager at The Pig, the store manger at The Pig, our neighbor, the lady who checked us out at Lowes and Home Depot and more...).

Meeting Jenna

Jennifer and Jay brought their girls over to GranGran's house to make the introduction and have dinner with us.  We were all enamored with Jenna who ended up sleeping most of the evening.  

JuliAnna was a little bit of a ham during the night.  She danced and sang and played with Olivia.
Olivia was THRILLED to have the chance to hold Jenna.  That made her whole weekend!

Olivia's 1st day of 2nd Grade

Olivia had a great first day of school!  She fell asleep pretty easily last night despite how excited she was.  She was up before the alarm and went through her 'morning list' easily and on time.

Obligatory 1st day of school picture on the front porch.
Showing off her backpack - even though it's not new.  We learned our lesson the hard way.  I let Olivia pick out the less-expensive Disney Princesses backpack for kindergarten which didn't even last the whole year.  So, we bucked up and ordered the pricier backpack from Lands End which has paid off.  She has used it since mid-kindergarten and I don't see any signs of it falling apart any time soon.  So, instead of buying a new backpack every year, we let the kids pick out a new lunch kit.  Olivia surprised me this year by not choosing Hannah Montana.  Instead, she went with a blue lunch kit with little flowers and a matching water bottle.  (You can see McIver in the background; he was 'over' the photo shoot this morning!)
We went to the new student orientation for Lower School yesterday.  Olivia was able to meet her teachers, and their class pet,  Riley the Golden Retriever.  She loved having both teachers all to herself and had a chance to get used to a new routine - like signing in on the Smart Board each morning.  It's like a computer-savvy dry-erase board, I think.
Olivia found her seat, started her morning work, posed for a quick picture and then politely told me that I could 'go now.'  I was so proud of her for maintaining her excitement for the start of school and not being all clingy which is totally what I expected.  I guess she really is my big girl!
I'm also happy to report that she was still excited about school when I picked her up.  She and McIver were talking over each other on the ride home after school.  Even though it was a Noon Dismissal day, they covered a lot of ground in their respective classes.  Olivia was super-excited to tell me that I had homework from her teacher - she just thought that was hilarious!

McIver's 1st Day of Kindergarten

McIver popped right out of bed this morning just like he 'pinky swore' to me that he would last night.  He was so excited that it took him a while to fall asleep.  I was shocked that he woke up so easily.  We had to do some reminding for him to get through his 'morning list' (downstairs for breakfast, then back upstairs to brush teeth and hair, get dressed and make up the bed).

He was eager to have his picture made with his backpack on the front porch.  (That eagerness didn't last long, though, as you'll see in a picture with Olivia sporting her backpack.)
I started to get nervous a few times throughout the morning at home because McIver waffled back and forth between really excited about school and a little hesitant and anxious.  I drew a little heart on the inside of his hand and gave him a kiss there so he could hold his hand up to his cheek and get a kiss from Mom anytime he missed me during the day.  It totally worked!  Of course, once he got in the classroom, he was just fine.  He found his picture on the door, his new cubby and then the "feathered friends."
When I got to his classroom to pick him up at noon, the first thing his teacher said was, "Wow.  He IS a talker.  We're going to be working on that!"  McIver, unfazed, was busy working on this puzzle/pyramid and didn't even bother to get up when he saw me waiting for him.
I had a hard time locating Olivia in the 1st-day-after-school-pick-up confusion.  McIver was patient while I visited with some old and new friends and tried to hunt her down.  He had taken two of his favorite books to school and just sat down to read them until I found Olivia.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Myrtle Beach

Went to Myrtle Beach last weekend to meet the newest cousin, Jenna.  Friday afternoon we met Jay & JuliAnna and Robert & Amelia at the beach.  This was the most time that Olivia and McIver have spent on the beach in ages.  They had a great time playing with their cousins and riding the waves.

Amelia & McIver digging a lake in the tidal pool.
Sweet Amelia was playing hard despite missing (or just not taking!) her nap.  She had a great time as long as she was able to do what SHE wanted (who wouldn't!?).
McIver spent a great deal of time collecting oysters.
JuliAnna climbed the 'mountain' and was so pleased with herself.
Olivia taking her turn on top of the mountain.

Moving In

Click here to see a few pictures of 'the move.'

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I couldn't believe that the girls woke up before 7 this morning after staying up so late last night.  But, they did.  Since it was still pouring rain, we had breakfast and went to EdVenture, the children's museum here in town.  
EdVenture has a giant, 40-ft tall boy named Eddie that the kids can climb in.  Here are the girls inside his skull.  There were lightning flashes which is why Julia's making a scared face - she wasn't actually scared.  McIver, on the other hand, would not go in there without me for the first 10 minutes.

Playing the giant Operation game is serious business.
Olivia loved the moped in "Timbuktu."
McIver may have a new aspiration - WeatherMan.  He loved standing in front of the South Carolina map and telling the weather, but he loved seeing himself on the flatscreen even better.