Wednesday, July 20, 2011

She's 4!

How did my little girl get so big? Kate turned 4 on July 17th! She had a great birthday. Since David was working nights on Kate's birthday we just had a little family party for her on her actual birthday. She requested her favorite dinner...chicken wrap ups, she opened up a few presents and had cake #1! It was a nice relaxing day. Kate's favorite gift was by far the hand crafted wooden bunk beds and high chair that the Ebert family passed on to her! Her dolls are in heaven and so is she!

Kate insisted on having a friend birthday party this year and since she has never officially had one we obeyed. It was to be a Strawberry Shortcake party and I think we pleased her. I had to order everything online and it arrived the night before the party! We had a strawberry pinata, played pin the strawberry on Strawberry Shortcake, ring toss and freeze dance. We had pizza, strawberry fanta and chips for lunch. Her cake was of course strawberry and the ice cream...strawberry. What more could a little girl want? It wore me out!

After the party was over, Kate and I headed to the doctor for her 4 year physical. She was an angel! She got 4 shots and didn't even flinch. In fact, she smiled while two nurses simultaneously gave her shots in both legs! And boy was she excited to get those 4 Dora stickers afterwards. And can you believe that we actually have a child on the growth chart? She is 39 1/4" tall (39th%) and weighs 32 pounds (24%). She just may outdo both of her brothers! We love you Kate. You are one of a kind!

Jacob's Favorite Spot!

Jacob is no longer my little was great while it lasted and yes I know it lasted a long time! He is changing so fast! He has moved on from army crawling to his hands and knees. And when he is on the wood floor he does one awesome bear crawl. He can pull himself up to stand now and even crawls up to the 5th of 6th stair! He will finally drink from a sippy cup and put food in his mouth. He empties the trash on a regular basis and attempts to get to the toilet on a daily basis. He spits at me when he eats and throws everything. He plays fetch with himself all day! Nearly every time we are in the basement he heads to his favorite spot....the treadmill. He crawls on it and just sits there! I'm not sure why, but he loves it. Maybe he has a running career in his future? He can be on the opposite side of the basement when you head upstairs for a minute and inevitably when you come downstairs there he is on that treadmill! I think the slight elevation makes him feel powerful!

Just a couple of random pictures & a few of my favorite things about Baltimore!
Beautiful flowering bushes...

And our new summer pool membership...

Our 3rd Crab Feast! July 9, 2011

David's residency program hosts an annual radiology crab feast in July to welcome all the new residents. Although the kids will not eat the crabs (neither will I) they look forward to this day every year. They have an endless supply of root beer, they love to see the crabs dumped on the table and this year they really got into hitting the crabs with the mallet. Things were going great until David's program director walked over to say hello to the kids. Jacob picked up a mallet and keeping in tradition with his usual behavior he threw it before I could stop him. And of course it hit her. I prayed it didn't stain her shirt! After the dinner we enjoyed a little walk around the harbor. Only one more crab feast to go....hard to believe!

Independence Day!

We started off our Independence day with our church's pancake breakfast. They were blueberry pancakes with strawberries and whip, white and blue! We came home and gave Jacob a nap before we headed off to Washington D.C. for the 4th festivities. We drove to the metro station and rode the train into the city. Once in D.C., we headed to Capitol hill where Amanda picked out and reserved a spot for the Capitol concert and fireworks show. The rest of us headed to the Natural History Museum for a quick stroll. It was incredibly crowded (which wasn't hard to believe) and it was almost impossible to even walk through it. After a short while, we met up again with Amanda and waited for the concert to begin. There were some pretty impressive people on the concert lineup....Josh Groban, Steve Martin, Jordan Sparks, Kelli O'hara, Matthew Morrison, Jimmy Smits and the National Symphony Orchestra. While waiting, we had McDonalds for dinner and took lots of short walks. Jacob was amazing and made lots of new friends with those sitting nearby. A couple even asked to take pictures with him. The concert was great and the fireworks incredible. It was so neat to see them behind the Washington Monument. After the show, things were a tad crazy getting back to the metro and waiting until there was room to ride it home. But, we eventually made it and the kids were incredible. It will be a fourth of July we will always remember. We thank Jae and Amanda for coming to Maryland and getting us there. I am confident we would have never done it otherwise!

Cunningham Falls and Antietam: July 2, 2011

David's brother Jae flew into Baltimore for the long fourth of July weekend. On Saturday, we journeyed to Cunningham Falls for an afternoon 3 mile hike. Although it was a hot day, the shade from all of the trees made our hike quite enjoyable. The kids did great. David carried Jacob in a backpack and I ended up giving Kate a piggyback ride on the return trip. Kate loved using her hiking stick...even when I was carrying her! The falls were pretty, but mostly it was just nice to enjoy nature and get some exercise.
At the top of the trail there was a nice little nature center that the kids enjoyed. Amanda got some cute pictures!

After our hike we ventured on to Sharpsburg, MD to the Antietam battlefield (the bloodiest single day of the Civil Way). As a teenager, Amanda's family visited Antietam for their traditional concert and fireworks show. It was a great night, although we had to park more than 2 miles away. I was grateful David was smart enough to bring the double stroller. We enjoyed listening to the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and watched some great fireworks. I was nervous that Jacob would be scared, but he ended up being the least scared of the three! It made for a long day and a late night, but definitely well worth it.

Washington D.C.: June 28, 2011

Ben, Kate, Jacob and I ventured to Washington D.C. for the first time thanks to Amanda, my sister-in-law. She and her kids made the incredibly long trek from Texas to visit us....and of course all the sites we are near. The kids were so excited to have their cousins visit. It had been a long time coming for them! During our day in D.C., we successfully navigated the Metro and were able to first see the Library of Congress. It was beautiful. Ben was quite disappointed that they did not have kids books that he could check out!

Next, we walked to the Supreme Court Building. Unfortunately they were in session so we were not able to go inside, but we did take some photos on the outside.

Amanda was able to get tickets for a Capitol tour which we did next. I really enjoyed that and again marvelled at the beauty of the Capitol. My favorite part of the tour was viewing the dome. It was incredible. I was hard to believe that the Statue of Liberty could fit inside the dome and the painting on the top was larger than 4,000 square feet.

We really enjoyed D.C. but, it definitely wore us out! It was like going through airport security every time we went inside a building. Although I understood the importance, it was tough to do with 3 little kids. Next time....I'm bringing David! This is a picture of us on the metro on the way home. Kate was wiped out and I wasn't too far behind!

3's Preschool Graduation: May 26, 2011!

Kate had a wonderful year of preschool. She is definitely a social butterfly so this was no surprise! She was so excited to get her bug kit (she remembered Ben getting one the year before). She was very insistent that she would be getting one. I informed her that she wouldn't be getting one, but what do I know? She did!

Kate loved all of her little friends, but John was her favorite.

Kate can't wait to be in the 4's class next year. Who wouldn' the 4's class you get to be the trash helper!

Kindergarten Graduation: June 14, 2011!

Ben loved every second of Kindergarten. He was spoiled with a brand new school and he absolutely loved his teacher, Mrs. Cox.

I teared up at the graduation ceremony when the kids sang, "The World is a Rainbow." They were all wearing tie dye shirts they had each made. I wasn't expecting to cry, but somehow I wasn't surprised! Ben learned and grew so much this past year! We were all surprised to see David show up at the last minute. It took great effort for him to be there. Ben was so excited when he spotted him in the crowd.

And of course, whats Kindergarten without your first crush? This is Olivia and I have to admit I was proud of Ben's choice. I thought she was the cutest too.