July 12, 2015

Family Road Trip 2015

Posted in Family news/Updates at 10:52 am by Mel

We just got back from our first family road trip making the trek all the way to Elizabeth City, NC to visit our newest family member- Vivian Ann Murphy -who made her debut on June 30th weighing in at 8 lb 9 oz and was 20 inches long!  Both baby and mom are well and hanging at home.

We hit the road on Tuesday morning (July 7th) at 5:30 am with the the kids, Dave and I in one car, and Rod and Mabel in another car.  The kids did surprisingly well on the way down, with not too many stops – maybe 5 or so.  Ajax ended up riding with Rod for almost 1/2 the trip.  We had walkie talkies in each car and Ajax found it fun to give us periodic updates with things he found interesting on the drive.  Noomi was pretty entertained with a pack of stickers and spent a good deal of time filling up a blank white book with Dollar Store stickers.  We made it to Elizabeth City around 10:30 pm after one full day of driving with minimal melt downs.

On Wednesday, we hung around the house visiting family and snuggling the baby.  Uncle Tim filled up a small baby pool and the kids had a blast playing in the water in the backyard.  It was crazy hot, hovering in the high 90s/low 100s.  We did a tour around Elizabeth City and got ice cream and overall just had fun visiting.  Baby Vivian seems to be one of those magical babies that sleep a ton and are generally very content!  She was the cutest little baby with a tuft of sandy hair.

On Thursday, we took the kids to the beach – the Outer Banks (or OBX).  We made it to the beach around 9:30 am and it was already ridiculously hot (I think the weather topped out at 104).  Aunt Lisa came with us and having three adults to keep track of the kids was much appreciated.   Ajax and Noomi absolutely loved loved the ocean.

Ajax spent the entire day running in the surf and collecting sea shells (we now have 3 big ziplock bags of shells).  A few waves knocked him down, but that didn’t even phase him.  He wasn’t bothered by the salt water and only a few times wiped his eyes with a towel.  I could barely get Ajax to come out of the water and had to force him to take breaks to drink water and get a new layer of sunscreen.

Noomi spent the first few hours playing in the sand and building castles.  She wanted nothing to do with the water and for the longest time refused to even get her feet wet, forcing Lisa and I to hold her.  Toward the end of the day, however, she realized she loved the water and then we couldn’t get her out.  She held onto our hands and loved standing in the waves.  For the past 2 weeks there have been an unprecedented number of shark attacks along the NC coast so no one went out past their knees… except for Mr. Dave.  We didn’t see any sharks, but saw a bunch of dolphins and that was pretty cool.

We headed home around 3:30 and got cleaned up and then had a second birthday party for Noomi, as well as a combo party for Grandpa Rod!  Noomi got very shy when everyone was singing happy birthday, but was very excited to open her presents.

On Friday we hit the road for home around 10 or 11 am after breakfast and more baby snuggles.  It was pretty rough getting through the Newport News, VA area as traffic was very congested.  We ended up stopping in Winchester, VA for the night and got a hotel room.  We made sure the hotel had a pool and took the kids swimming. Unfortunately, the pool was so chemically that Ajax started coughing and coughing and after 20 minutes I called an end to swimming and we got showered up and went out to dinner.  After dinner we let the kids lay in bed and watch cartoons before bed and they thought that was pretty cool.  Both kids zonked out and then we were up and on the road by 7 am.

Overall, the drive was pretty smooth and I really can’t complain.  Both kids were obviously antsy and things began falling apart when we were about 20 minutes from home, but overall not too bad!  I had spent a ton of time on Pinterest preparing to the trip and I’m glad that I did.  This was the most organized road trip we’ve ever taken and the car is still cleaner than it was last week.

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Fourth of July 2015

Posted in Family news/Updates at 9:34 am by Mel

So I’m going to back-track a bit and try to recreate this post from the Fourth of July which I didn’t publish due to a computer glitch and for some odd reason didn’t even save.  Argh.

Over the holiday weekend we did yard work, straightened the house and did general packing/prepping for our trip.   On Friday night (the 3rd) we took the kids into town for the fireworks, which were lovely and the perfect length for the kiddos (about 20-30 min).  Ajax was a little nervous leading up to the show (as he’s still a bit skittish around loud noises), but both kids ended up loving them with lots of Ohhs and Ahhs.

On Saturday, my parents came over and we did an early birthday party for Noomi.  For dinner Noomi requested spaghetti with meatballs.  She also did not want a cake, but requested cake cookies – like I had made for the baby shower.  Ajax was very confused on why someone would chose spaghetti for their birthday meal and not chicken nuggets and mac/cheese – which has been his standing requested birthday meal.  We also did sprinkle pancakes for breakfast and both kids loved those.  My parents also brought over a little blow up pool which the kids loved and played in all weekend.

On Sunday, we packed and did some last minuted shopping for our North Carolina trip.  Rod came down to babysit on Monday so that we could all get an early start on Tuesday.  Oh Ajax also lost another tooth!  He is now missing his two front teeth and is speaking with a slight lisp.

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June 28, 2015

Weekend round up and one major ruling from SCOTUS

Posted in Family news/Updates at 8:36 pm by Mel

This was a pretty quiet weekend.

It rained nonstop on Saturday.  I mean nonstop, cold and rain.  So everyone was stuck inside and honestly we were all a bit stir crazy.  On Sunday, the weather was still cool for June, but at least it was sunny.   The kids were able to ride bikes and play with the hose and water table.  I thought it was to cold for water play, but they both seemed to have fun.  Though Ajax and Noomi do play well together, they are currently going through what I am sure will be a 10-12 year period of sibling bickering and general annoying.  Their fighting is driving David and I bananas, lol.

During dinner tonight Noomi became obsessed with Ajax’s red straw (even though she had her own purple straw).  She kept pleading with him throughout dinner to please give it to her.  Then she began demanding he give it to her.  When I told her to use her words she said, Ajax please… I love that straw!  On and on.  Then after she finished her dinner she got down from her chair, and walked around the table to sit on my lap (next to Ajax).  Then she started up again, please Ajax, I love it, please can I have that straw.  I must admit that I could barely control my laughing, so of course Ajax started laughing which made Noomi mad.  She became so mad that she lunged across the table and tried to grab the straw knocking Ajax’s glass of water over.  That made me laugh harder, which wasn’t very mature, but she was being extremely dramatic.

On a non-kiddo note, on Friday the U.S. Supreme Court held that marriage is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution and that this protection extends to same-sex couples.   This is a very exciting decision and a step in the right direction!

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June 20, 2015

Family Fun Run

Posted in Family news/Updates at 5:55 pm by Mel

Today we headed over to Hawk Island Park in Lansing for a 5K family fun run hosted by my work.  This was our first 5K and Ajax was very excited as we’ve been talking about doing a race this summer.  We had to head out kind of early as the race started at 9 am.  We met up with my sister and her boyfriend who had agreed to run with us.  Well, by run I mean – the guys ended up walking the whole thing with Noomi (she rode most of the way on Dave’s shoulders) and  Emily, Ajax, and I ran some and walked some.  Overall, it was a ton of fun and the kids really enjoyed it!

After the run we took the kids to the playground and then to the splash pad where they played for about 2 hours.  After the water park we ate a picnic lunch and then ran to the grocery store before heading home.  When we got home Noomi took a short nap while Ajax and I worked outside cutting the grass and weed wacking.  We rounded out our day with pizza and a movie.  Both kids agreed that the race and splash pad were their favorite parts of the day.

On the potty training front, Noomi in underwear full time (except at night we’re still doing a pull up, though last night she was in undies and did just fine) and is doing pretty darn well.  While playing at the water park, she came running to me declaring she had to go potty.  I scooped her up and ran to the bathroom yelling – we’re potty training!  Outta the way!!  Every parent there understood.

Ajax has also enjoyed his first week of summer camp and acts like an old pro at this point.  He knows all the kids and the teachers and the routine.  On Thursday they went to Binder Park zoo.  How cool is that?  We’re debating whether or not to transition Noomi over to the Williamston preschool in the fall when school starts back up so that both kids are centrally located.  We’ll see how it goes.

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June 15, 2015

Ready for summer

Posted in Family news/Updates at 9:00 am by Mel

Well last week Wednesday was Ajax’s last day of school!  We now have a First Grader in the house and goodness is he excited.  Ajax had a great last week of school, though Dave said he had to move his clip on the last day.  Though in all fairness, I’m sure all the kids had to move their clip as it was most likely quite chaotic.  Ajax also had his last T Ball game of the season and he did excellent.  Grandpa Gordy came up for it and then afterwards we all went out for ice cream.

Both Noomi and Ajax had fun at the baby shower on Saturday and are starting to understand we’ll have a new baby in the family! Noomi was a bit confused over where the baby was, but I think it’ll be wonderful that her and Vivian will be so close in age.

On Sunday, my folks came over to babysit and Dave and I went on a double date, with my sister, Emily, and her boyfriend, Adrian.  We had an excellent time – we did dinner and a movie (Mad Max Fury Road).  The grandparents and kids also had a blast.  Apparently they went to Chucky Cheese and then came home and rode bikes around and around the cul-de-sac.  I believe this was their first time at Chucky Cheese, as I didn’t even realize there was one in Lansing.

Both kids are pretty beat, so we tried to do an early bed time.  Dave received a promotion at work, which is wonderful, but also means he has to drive into town four days per week.  It’ll be hard, but we’ll make it work.

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Here are some pictures from Ajax’s last day of school and last T Ball game –

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June 14, 2015

How to give a baby shower by Skype

Posted in Family news/Updates at 8:25 pm by Mel

On Saturday we celebrated my wonderful sister-in-law’s pregnancy in Michigan and she sat comfortably at her home in North Carolina.  To add to this tech savvy shower, we also piped in family from northern Michigan who couldn’t make it down.  How cool is that?  To say that the family is excited to meet baby Vivian would be an understatement and we certainly weren’t going to let the distance deter us from throwing a baby shower!

Thursday and Friday were spent cleaning, shopping, and cooking (thanks to my sister Em who helped with the cooking!).  Pinterest lent quite a few adorable ideas- for example the ritz crackers with ice cream, the pink cookies, and chicken salad sandwiches.   Dara and Denise came down early on Saturday with a bunch more food and helped get everything ready.   Everyone had a great time and the kids ran wild outside.  We didn’t end up doing a game, but that ended up working out fine, since we were conferencing three different households and at times the audio wasn’t the best.

Before the shower we sent down gifts and had Theresa open them for us to watch.  Then we had the kids at our shower open up the gifts and show Theresa on the Skype.  It was also neat that Theresa could take the laptop around and give us all a tour of the nursery and baby gear set up and ready to go.

Overall, I think it was a great success and best of all, a way where we could all see and interact with one another over such a great distance, sharing the excitement of getting ready for the baby!

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June 7, 2015

Weekend roundup

Posted in Family news/Updates at 8:03 pm by Mel

This weekend flew right by in an instant!

On Saturday my dear friend Heather came over with her two children.  They drove over from Kalamazoo and we had such fun catching up and watching the kids play.  Alright, mostly we sat and talked and the kids seemed to entertain themselves, lol.  We did take the to the park, but other than that they just ran wild around the house and in the backyard and continued digging holes.  After they left Ajax and Noomi were so tired and Dave and I put them to bed by 7 pm.

On Sunday, we did yard work and Noomi went to play with a neighbor friend for a bit.  We rushed to get the work done as a storm started to roll in.  The storm, however, held off and it only ended up raining and thundering a bit.  We then bummed around the house – we did laundry, cleaned, and other generic Sunday tasks around the house.  I made an awesome dinner of Bean and Bacon soup, along with Olive Garden style bread sticks.  It was a wonderful meal.

Here Noomi was wearing her tiara while helping me make bread sticks for dinner.

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June 4, 2015

First “girlfriend”

Posted in Family news/Updates at 8:40 pm by Mel

Today when Dave got home with Ajax I asked how he did during T ball and Dave reported that he did very well, but was tired.  He said that after the game, a little girl named Paige on his team began chanting that Ajax was her boyfriend.  She then grabbed Ajax around the neck and gave him a kiss, all while he struggled to get away, declaring that he was not her girlfriend.  I asked Ajax about the incident, but he refused to acknowledge it and ignored the question.  Isn’t he too young for this?

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May 31, 2015

Weekends, potty, rain and gardens

Posted in Family news/Updates at 4:03 pm by Mel

What an odd weekend.  On Saturday, it was 85 hot and humid and rainy.  Even in the rain the kids and I got our garden in, as Dave was under the weather.   The kids were quite helpful and excited to get the garden in.  We planted tomatoes, green peppers, and green beans.  We also have cucumbers and snap peas started in the house, which we plan on transplanting soon. The kids then zipped around the neighborhood a bit on their bikes, with me jogging to keep up with Noomi.  At that point the rain forced us back into the house.  I took Ajax up to the store where he purchased a new Lego set.  It cost $30 and he’s been saving up for it for months.   He was very proud to pay for it himself.    It was a truck and trailer with a boat that floats.

On Sunday, the weather fell to the 40s and it’s been raining nonstop.  It’s a gross day, so we’ve hung indoors and done pretty much nothing. When Noomi woke up from her nap Dave and Ajax were downstairs playing Minecraft and Noomi immediately declared that she too wants to play Minecraft, so the three of them have been downstairs for a while and I’ve been enjoying my quiet time watching 30 Rock reruns.

On the potty front – we’re still having highs and lows with the training.  Noomi still does not understand that – I gotta go feeling, but we’re still working on it.

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May 28, 2015

Potty update

Posted in Family news/Updates at 9:50 pm by Mel

Well today Noomi did not have one accident.  She woke up dry and went all day using the potty!  We were so proud and Noomi was pretty excited.  During dinner she turned to me and said,  my tummy hurts.  I immediately swooped her up and raced her to the bathroom to poo.  Noomi, I said, that’s the poop feeling, lol.  We’ve been trying to get her to connect the feeling with using the toilet.   Exciting times right here people.

This morning Noomi insisted on bringing her giant bear with her in the car, as well as Ajax’s duck.  It was so big it covered the car seat.

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