Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Charleston

In my description of what we did in Charleston, I totally forgot to mention the visit to the firehouse Friday. They had a few new trucks we looked at, but Braeden really enjoyed playing on the old truck. When we got there, the firemen were playing basketball behind the station. They were glad to show Braeden the trucks and talk to Mat about how the older ones operated. I was happy to shoot my first video with my new flip! My birthday present from mom and dad...thanks, guys! I love it!

Monday, March 30, 2009


So I was afraid to talk about this before we left (exposing too much detail online and all), but now I can tell you all about our weekend away in Charleston. Mat had a student accepted to a conference hosted at the College of Charleston. As the advisor, he had to go along. And when he mentioned it a couple months ago, I leaped at the idea of going along with him. We LOVE Charleston! The idea of spending a weekend there sounded so good.

We left Friday morning and arrived around 2:00 after stopping for lunch at Chick-fil-a somewhere in SC. We were able to check into the hotel, the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. The previous times we've been to Charleston, we've stayed downtown. But those were work trips; this time we were footing the bill for the hotel. The worst part about staying in Mt. Pleasant is that you have to drive into the city and park the car somewhere if you want to do anything. And parking is so expensive! But it was nice to get out of the city at the end of the day and it's hard to beat the view.

Our first stop in Charleston was at a local yarn shop, Knit. Mat and Gage went down to the CoC bookstore and Braeden and I visited Knit. The yarn on the left is going to be a pair of socks. The yarn on the right could be a washcloth. I haven't made up my mind.

After Knit, we went to the Market. Mat wanted to go in a shop filled with flags, history books, etc. He took Braeden this time, and Gage and I wandered the length of the market looking at all the stuff, most of it crap. Then we met up and went to dinner at A.W. Shuck's, a place we ate at last time.

Gage slept in the pack-n-play and Braeden had his own bed in the room. To get them both to sleep, we turned off the lights and I climbed into bed with Braeden to snuggle. Mat went back into the city with a couple of the students to walk around. We all ended up falling asleep. At 8:30!

Saturday morning, Mat went off to the conference and we got to play. We went to the aquarium first. Right inside the front door, they have this big tank with fish and a turtle. On our first trip to the aquarium, Braeden was fascinated by the tank and that turtle. This time around, he was more interested in the remote-controlled sub that was inside. Besides, he was a little more interested in seeing the sharks this time around.

The newest display at the aquarium is a tank of penguins. They were so cute! And they loved the kids standing on the ledge in front of the tank. They would swim up to the glass and tap on it.

Braeden liked the penguins but his favorite part of the trip was the boat they had set up for the kids to play on. He loved driving the boat. It was tough to get him to leave but it was time for lunch.

We drove into the city and had lunch at a deli on King Street. Braeden liked eating a grilled cheese sandwich and eat potato chips. He also liked helping me with Gage, picking up Gagey's sippy cup and admonishing Gage not to throw his food. I love that he likes to help like that. We went back to the hotel and I managed to get both boys down for a short nap, just over an hour.

Then we went outside to the hotel's "beach". The hotel is on the harbor so there's not a real beach, but they have sand.

Braeden loves playing in the sand. Gage liked it too. He wasn't really sure about it, so he tried eating it at first.

Braeden wanted to take pictures of the sand, so I handed over the camera. This was his second time taking his own pictures. I posted the first batch to facebook but haven't put them on here yet. I'll add that to my to do list. Anyway, here's his picture of the sand.

I love those toes!!

I wanted to take them to the real beach, but the wind was blowing so hard and they were predicting thunderstorms. I was afraid we'd get caught in it, so I didn't want to stray too far from the hotel. When it got too much for me, I brought the boys back inside and we watched cartoons and ate goldfish. When it was time, we met Mat downtown for dinner. We didn't really have a plan, but we ended up at our favorite Charleston restaurant, Basil. Amazing Thai food! We ate there twice the last time we were in Charleston. The boys did great! They ate a bunch of rice and shared an order of chicken satay. And since Braeden was so good in the restaurant, I promised him a treat. Fortunately, Cupcake was still open so we slipped in just before closing and ate cupcakes! So good.

Sunday we got up, packed everything up, checked out of the hotel, and drove into Mt. Pleasant to find a diner for breakfast. Then we were on the road home again.

Great weekend!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Too cute

Braeden learned how to do the crab walk on the Tumblebus and he was showing off for us the other night. I convinced Mat to show off his walk, and the next thing I know he was giving Braeden a ride around the house!

This next video is actually a couple weeks old...I had such a hard time loading the video of Gage outside playing with the gutter that I waited a while to upload this one to youtube. Amazingly enough, these two videos loaded in just a few minutes!

Braeden always helps Mat put away the paper towels and toilet paper we buy at Costco. It looks like they have a new little helper!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Swedish Invasion

Early this morning Emily, Jenny, and I left our husbands and boys at home to drive to Charlotte to visit our brand-new IKEA. We had such a great time! There was a little drama as we sat down to eat our swedish meatballs (yum!), but we really did have fun.

The IKEA is HUGE! We got there just after it opened, but there were already a ton of cars in the parking lot. And a whole host of people in red shirts directing traffic. It seemed crazy, but I've never had an easier time parking and shopping.

When we bought the house, I ordered some of our furniture online from IKEA--our entertainment center, bookcase, and dining room table and chairs. I love everything, and it was so easy to get the stuff over the internet. But it was nothing like shopping at one of their stores. I couldn't believe how much stuff they had. And it was all so cheap. 99 cents for a toilet bowl brush (Emily and Jenny bought those), 79 cents for a vase (Jenny bought one), and 99 cents for a potholder (we all bought that one)! We all got some great stuff...Emily wanted a table and chairs for Will and she got a really cute set. I can't wait to see him sitting there drawing pictures or eating ritz crackers. :)

I was looking for bedside tables but didn't see anything I really had to have. But I did buy a great bench, a cool vase, and a tray. And no, that vase isn't going to live that permanently. In this house, one of the boys would break it in about 12 seconds! The bench might not even stay there...but I love it, so wherever it goes, I'll be happy.

But the greatest thing I bought today was a tent for Braeden. He loves turning my couch and chair with all the pillows and blankets into a fort. I thought the tent would make a perfect fort. And I thought it might save me from having to constantly pick up the pillows and blankets. :)

I LOVE this photo of Braeden. And he loves his tent. He ate his snack and drank his juice in it this afternoon. You can close the flaps with velcro. I would close the flaps then he would run out and grab a toy and ask me to close them again. I'm so glad he loves it as much as I thought he would!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Mat blogs

Funny story…

For some time now, we have known that Bray and his classmates “say their blessings” before lunch each day. I think it bothers Melissa a little, but I think it’s cool because I think Bray should grow up to be humble and thankful for the things he has, regardless of whether it is in a religious context or not.

It seems that last week, Ms. Ann (one of Bray’s teachers) asked each child in the class who they were thanking for their blessings. As you can imagine (this is NC remember), there was a fair share of answers involving “the Lord”, “God”, “Jesus”, and the like.

Then they came to our little Bray. To whom does he ascribe his blessings? Barack Obama! No kidding.

His teachers thought that was the funniest thing ever. They both pulled me aside first thing Tuesday morning to tell me, and they were both laughing hysterically when they relayed the story.