Thursday, September 30, 2010

Olivia's Birthday Party

Olivia invited 5 friends to spend the night at the lake last Saturday to celebrate her birthday.  They had a great time riding the jet skis, tubing, dancing and dressing up and just being silly.

The weather Saturday was perfect for all water activities.

How many noodles does it take to hold up 4 little girls?

They decorated pillowcases to take home.  Olivia's had peace signs all over them.  One of the girls couldn't make it to the party so they all chipped in to decorate one for her.

Dinner is served!

Olivia and I were quite proud of the iPod cake we made and decorated together.

McIver thought it tasted pretty good, too.

Woke up to rain on Sunday morning but that didn't stop these girls.  They still swam in the lake and wanted to ride on the tube.  The jet skis had been put away already, but we pulled them behind the pontoon boat.  

They said being pulled behind the boat was even more fun.  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall Baseball

McIver got to play catcher for one inning in his 2nd game last week.   He had already been hit by two wild pitches when he was batting, but he didn't seem at all nervous about playing catcher.  Maybe because of all the gear.  Anyway, he was just too cute all decked out.

Don't worry, I wasn't distracting him from an actual play, the batter is on his way to the dug-out because we (finally) got three outs.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Children's Hospital Field Trip

The entire first grade went on a field trip to Palmetto Children's Hospital last Tuesday.  I skipped out on my tennis clinic so that I could join them.  They had a great set-up:  7 stations for groups of children to rotate through, including a lab, the emergency room, x-ray and more.  McIver loved it!

They started off all together hearing about dental health.

First stop:  x-ray

Favorite stop:  the ambulance

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall Baseball

McIver had the choice of either playing soccer or fall baseball this year.  He chose baseball.  The jury's still out on whether or not he's all that into it.  The good thing about Fall Ball is that it's pretty laid-back and lasts only 4-6 weeks.  Players are randomly assigned to a team and have the chance to play every position.  They follow actual baseball rules more than in tee-ball.  Unlike tee-ball, if they're tagged out at a base, they're out.  If a fly ball is caught, the batter is out.  The coaches do all the pitching and each player is allowed five (or maybe seven) pitches, unless they swing - three strikes and they're out.

McIver at bat during the first game.  He had a good hit, but needs to learn to watch the first base coach instead of watching his ball.  If he had been running faster, he could have had a base hit.

Getting ready to head to the field.

Last Day with the Netherys

Finally, on Sunday morning, we were able to take Shannon & Reagan out on the lake.

Reagan was happy to go first with Olivia.

Shannon was a bit more hesitant, but ended up having a great time on the tube and the jet ski.

Of course, we also had to go for a boat ride to the Rusty Anchor.

One last picture at the airport.  We hated to see them leave, but know that we'll see them again when we head to Houston for a visit in November.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nethery Visit

Friday, we had lunch at Groucho's, a Columbia landmark, and then walked over to TicToc Candy Shop.  Houston has plenty of fun candy shops, so this was just a fun treat.

We spent the rest of the day on Friday at home catching up and playing.  Olivia was happy to introduce Shannon and Reagan to our neighbors.  Once Will got home from work, Blakely and I finalized our plans for a Mom's Night Out.  We had planned to go to Cellar on Greene for a glass of wine and then head next door to Mr. Friendly's for dinner.  Turns out that Mr. Friendly's was super-crowded because it was Parents' Weekend at USC.  So, we sat at the bar at COG and chatted up the bartender who introduced us to some fun wines.  Dinner at COG was surprisingly delicious - I thought it was just a wine bar, but everything on the menu looked so good that it was hard to choose.  We ended up with their tuna nachos, warm carb-parmesan dip and lobster mac & cheese.

McIver and Shannon entertained themselves in the dirt at Olivia's 1st soccer game.

Let's just say it's still a good thing that our girls just play for fun and don't seem to really care about winning.

We had a little change of plans on Saturday because we weren't able to get back up to the lake as planned.  Everyone was happy with a trip to EdVenture...

The art room kept everyone occupied for a good long time.

They all loved running around and climbing in Eddie.

We also had a surprise trip to the Krispy Kreme doughnut factory.  Smiles all around!

The only shot of Blakely and me all weekend.

Dinner on Saturday night at The Mellow Mushroom was great fun.  USC was playing Furman Saturday night so we were able to just walk right in and get a table.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

9th Birthday SURPRISE!!!

Olivia had NO idea that the Netherys were coming to visit for her birthday.  I picked the kids up from school on Thursday afternoon and we headed home to have lunch, pack up the car and head to the lake. Will and I had convinced Olivia that they were going to share their 'birthday dinner' at the Rusty Anchor and that we would spend Thursday night at the lake.  Little did they know we had a stop to make first.  The only comment was that it was taking longer than usual to get to the lake.

Waiting in the cell phone lot.  They weren't even all that concerned yet that we were at the airport.

SURPRISE!!!  Olivia couldn't get out of the car fast enough.

I caught this shot of the kids hanging out on the dock and catching up.  Oh, to be a fly on the wall.

Fun on the boat.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Birthday!

Olivia was up with the sun on her birthday.  I didn't even have time to decorate her room like I did last year because she was up so early.

But, Houston the Elf DID make an appearance.  He's holding a little sign wishing Olivia a Happy Birthday.  He also left a note on the bathroom mirror so she knew to look for him.

When I took McIver to Target to buy a gift for Olivia, he just knew she would love this giant turquoise body pillow.  And, he was even more excited when he discovered the bright orange clearance tag and realized he'd only have to spend $4!  Olivia and her buddy Kate have cleared out the little attic room right off of Olivia's bedroom to make it a hang out.  It's about a million degrees in there, but McIver thought they'd like to be able to prop up on the pillow while they listen to music.

Speaking of music, Olivia also received a new iHome for her iPod.  She has been 'borrowing' Will's docking station for about 3 months and he's glad to have it back.  Her new dock can change colors so she was pretty excited about that.

Apparently, turquoise is the new black.  Olivia was VERY excited about her new jacket from Nanoo and Pop.  Nanoo was careful to double-check with me that "ibiza blue" was really the color she wanted.  Looks like she's a fan!

After breakfast, the kids went outside to play with Tex and wait for carpool.   Looks like Tex is thinking about cake!

Will didn't have surgery until late morning, so he was able to be home for all of the morning celebrating.

The kids have a half-day of school today.  I'll pick them up from school at noon, then we'll grab a quick bite to eat before heading to the airport for Olivia's biggest birthday surprise.  The Netherys are coming from Houston to spend a long weekend with us.  She has NO IDEA!!!  We're going to spend tonight at the lake and then come back to town for the rest of the weekend.  I'm so excited for all of us!

Happy 9th Birthday, Olivia!!!

Olivia's birthday celebration(s) started yesterday by sharing a cookie cake with her class at school.  She was very specific in her request for blue and purple writing.  Next year, she'll be even more specific and request 'not quite so much icing.'  Apparently, she's too old for this much icing now that she's 9!

She was a little shy while her class sang Happy Birthday to her.  It's so fun to be in the classroom now because she's a whole lot less concerned with being with me and more interested in hanging out with her friends.

I also spotted the galaxy that she created.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Visit with Mamoo, GranGran and GranDaddy

GranGran and GranDaddy came to Columbia last Friday for the USC v. UGA football game.  Will, McIver and I went to Mamoo's house to have dinner with them.  (Olivia was spending the night with a friend.)
McIver loved reading I Can Fly! by Mo Willems to Mamoo and GranGran.

GranDaddy's birthday was last Thursday so we also celebrated with him.  We found a Gamecock birthday cake.  He got a kick out of McIver's version of the birthday song.

Houston the Elf

Dear Houston,

Can you hide on me and McIver's b-day.  In case you forget mine is September 16th.  McIver's is October 16th.  

Circle yes or no for me.

Circle yes or no for McIver.

Love, Olivia Merritt

PS:  I learned how to write my name in cersive.

PS2: Dose Selena Gomez (an actress on a Disney show) have an elf?

He didn't respond the first night so she left the letter in the fireplace the next night to see if he might be able to find it more easily.

He replied to the letter!  I'm sure having the letter in the fireplace made all the difference.  Houston said he would try to come and hide for their birthdays, but reminded Olivia that he's very busy with Santa these days.  He also told her that Selena's elf's name is Ralph and also showed her that he can sign his own name in cursive, too.  She was thrilled to hear back from him and took the letter to school to show her friends.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fall Ball

McIver had his first practice today with his fall baseball team, The Nationals.  Last week, he and Will got out in the yard to get in gear and practice.

In this shot, it looks like McIver needs to work on his aim a little bit, but he's actually getting pretty good and getting the ball all the way to Will.

He kept his eye on the ball and watched it all the way into his glove.

Aside from being 132 degrees outside today, Will said the practice went relatively well.  They did not know anyone else on the team - several schools are represented.  Fall Ball is the first time that the coaches pitch.  Last season, in t-ball, the coach pitches three times and, if the player doesn't hit the ball, they get to bat off the tee.  McIver will play on this team for Fall Ball and then have an actual try-out in the spring.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm NOT Gonna Do It!!!!

"I'm NOT going to eat it (the one bite of spinach) and you can't make me!  You're the meanest mom in the whole world!  My taste buds just don't like it.  It's all Olivia's fault because she ate hers and now I have to eat mine, but I'm not going to!  I don't care if it will make me strong!  When will my taste buds grow up?  You're so mean!"

And on, and on.

(I realize you can't see the spinach on his plate and may think he has already tried it.  Nope - he tried to hide it in a bite of chicken pie, but then still couldn't bring himself to put the bite into his mouth.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day Weekend 2010

Friday Night:
Pool Closing Party - Lots of friends, food, water slides - Friend spent the night

Day at the Lake

Mattie & Olivia - I had to give Mattie's dad directions to our house by water.  Their place is all the way across the lake, near the dam, so it was not an easy feat.  But, he made it - thanks to the giant oak tree at the end of the island and a speed boat that happened to cruise past our cove at just the right moment.

Rode jetskis over to Mattie's family's lake house for the afternoon.  They had a big crowd, but McIver and Mac, Mattie's brother, were the only boys.  They had a great time playing together (and collecting tons of rocks).

Just a few of the umpteen girls (seriously, there were at least 10 little girls!).

Kit rode home with us and spent the night at the lake.


Will was on call and had a pretty rough morning of rounds but he managed to get out on the water for a little while.

Olivia relaxing.

Tex LOVES boat rides.

McIver and Tex on the boat - we tried to go to the Rusty Anchor to hang out and listen to the music, but it was so packed there was just nowhere to dock.