Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Beginning of October

James got a hold of my phone and took a selfie!

I boiled some quail eggs just to see how I liked them. They taste exactly the same as regular eggs, but you can eat them in one bite!

We had a thunderstorm come through our neighborhood with unusually high winds (a few weeks before Hurricane Matthew) and it took down a few trees. Our neighbors across the street had a tree that just snapped.

Rett walked up to it and started trying to pick it up. He was grunting and pushing and then he said, "Too heavy!" I love that he thought he could do it.

I was so surprised that Rett fell asleep on the couch early one morning after taking James to school, so I took a picture of it. Then about 30 minutes later he woke up crying with a 102 degree fever and vomited everywhere. Poor baby! He was miserable for about 24 hours, but then he was fine. No one else got sick thank goodness!

During the thunderstorm, a small snake came up to our front porch and hid behind our screen door. Anthony caught it for James and put it in a spare aquarium (Of course!) I am planning to use him at our 11 year old scout day camp for animal identification and then let him go.

Some red okra from our garden. So big!

When Hurricane Matthew was projected to hit our area, we started to get a little nervous. Since we live so close to the beach, our neighborhood is in an evacuation zone (something you don't think about when you love living close to the water!). I wasn't too concerned about damage to our home, but I was worried about how crazy every one else in town was acting and what traffic would be like if they ordered mandatory evacuations. The hurricane was projected to hit late Thursday night and during the day Friday. James still had school Wednesday, so we decided to go to my brother's in Gainesville Wednesday night. School was canceled Thursday and Friday and Anthony's work closed for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. 

All during the day Wednesday I prepped the house, packed our bags, and cleaned everything. I don't know why, but somehow it just felt better leaving everything clean :) Our landlords had hurricane shutters in the garage that already had screws placed in the exterior walls of the house, so I pulled them all out, figured out which windows they went on and put them up. We took the tortoise and the cat with us, Anthony brought all his coral to a friend's house who had a generator for his tanks, and we put a tarp over the quail and gave them extra food and water.

It barely rained in Gainesville while we were there, so we spent our two days there trying to wear the boys out. We went to the natural history museum and checked out all the exhibits. It is such a cool place! Rett really was happy, I don't know why he made that face.

They have exhibits with different ecosystems that you walk through and there are all kinds of animals around you in the display. They look so life like! This rattlesnake was hiding in the cave section. James saw it and said, "Look! A diamond rattlesnake!" Anthony couldn't have been prouder that he knew that.

Checking out the microscopes.

They have a kids play area with all kinds of educational toys, so we played there for a little while.

Hands down James' favorite part about visiting Daniel was walking his dog Henry every chance he could get. Henry is an old dog and a basset hound, which makes him pretty low key. I think he got more exercise in the two days we were there then he has had in a long time! Henry weighs more than James, so a lot of times he would be pulling James around.

Rett figured out how to climb out of his pack and play, so it was really hard to keep him in bed at night. We didn't want him to wake up James, so if he was too loud we would let him come out in the living room with us. Usually his excuse for coming out is, "I hungry Mommy!" so I gave him some crackers. He took them to the stairs and was stretched out happily watching us. This kid is so cute, it is hard to be firm with him!

Friday a lot of places were closed for the hurricane, but we still needed to get out of the house or the kids would bounce off the walls! So we started driving around and ended up showing James places we lived and worked in Gainesville. We drove past the house I grew up in from age 5 to 14. I couldn't get over how much smaller it looked. All my memories of it are from when I was little, so I think of it as being so big. It was for sale, so we got a flyer to look at the pictures of the inside. James said, "Can you believe this house is free because it is on sale? We should live in it!" I wish!

Then we drove past the house I lived in from age 14 to when I went off to college. The owners have done a lot of work to the house, including putting in a spa type pool and redoing the barn. It looked so different to me!

There was a curfew in place for our county during the hurricane and you could get in big trouble if the police caught you driving around before 8am Saturday morning. So we decided to leave Gainesville early in the morning and get back home right after the curfew lifted. There were trees down all over the neighborhood and the city was working on clearing branches off of the streets, but our house and yard looked almost exactly how we left it! We just had to clean up some pinecones and branches that blew into our yard and sweep. The power didn't come back on for another 2 days, so it was hot inside the house. Plus, no power means no tv or netflix. Torture for parents of small kids :) They helped me sweep the driveway and ran around a little bit.

The schools were closed for two more days after that since it took so long for clean up and for the power to come back on, so James has had 5 hurricane days off of school this year! They are going to have to make them up at some point. I just hope they don't cut Christmas vacation short.

Since Rett learned how to climb out of his crib, we took it down and moved him to a mattress on the floor. I'm pretty sure his room will never be clean ever again :) After a night of sleeping on the crib mattress, I ordered him a twin size. My big guy looked so cramped on that small mattress! 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

My babies

I didn't expect to feel this way, but emotionally I have had such a hard time adjusting to James going to Kindergarten. As much as he drives me crazy at home, he also fills the day with such joy and adventure and I miss him! So what do you do when you feel this way? Make an emotional video with clips of them from home videos and watch it over and over and over :)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Beginning of September

James came home from school with this cool page he colored in art class. His art teacher uses an app that prints out pages with a QR code and then after they color it, you can scan it with the app and it makes the picture 3D! Some of the different pages even make the pictures move, like a bird starts to walk when you scan it. Love his technology school, I am constantly learning something new!

Rett playing outside on a rainy day. He loved it!

Anthony's car jack broke while he was changing the oil in our cars (thankfully not while he was under the car!) so he ordered a new one online. When it came in the mail, James was soooo excited to test it out and see how it exactly it worked. So they got his toy ATV from the porch and jacked it up. James got underneath it and started looking at it seriously, pretending to be mechanic. He looked at us and said, "Weeeellll, it looks like nothing is wrong. I guess you need a new engine." We died laughing!! It was perfect, exactly what we expect most mechanics to say.

The chicks are growing so fast, we don't even think of them as chicks anymore. Here is a close up of them growing in their adult feathers. They looked so ragged!

Now they look more normal, just like small adults. We went ahead and moved them into the big cage on our back porch with the other ones. We put up a wire divider to separate the two groups so that they can get used to each other. If we just combined them right away, they would fight and hurt each other. Once they get to be about the same size as the adults, we can take away the divider. We had better luck this time with gender, we ended up with only one boy! The white one we can't tell until it is fully grown and either starts laying eggs or crowing, but we definitely have four more girls to add to our group. That means in about 3 weeks we will start getting 6 eggs a day from them, which comes out to about the equivalent of 10 chicken eggs a week for our family.

The boys were sitting putting their shoes on before leaving the house and they were leaning on each other, it was adorable! Of course, by the time I got my camera out Rett stood up and James was pulling on his leg trying to get him to sit down again.

We took a walk on the beach and the boys had so much fun chasing crabs and playing in the sand. They ran down this sand hill and then Rett couldn't get back up, so James was trying to pull him out. Considering they basically weigh the same amount, James didn't really get anywhere but it was sweet of him to try.

One of the sand crabs:

I seriously want to squish him all the time. So stinkin' cute!

I asked James to show me his crab catching face.

"Swimming" in the sand:

It started to drizzle a little bit, so James and Rett were running around playing in the water that was dripping off of the pavilions. I didn't care one bit that they were getting sandy or wet. I just kept thinking, "Get that energy out!!"

Family trip to McDonalds:

My red Okra is doing so well! I wish I had planted more of them, I can't get enough of it. I could seriously eat it every day.

Rett's hair was getting so difficult to manage, so I buckled down and gave him a haircut. He hated every minute of it. I wish I knew how to cut hair with scissors, because I think he was just scared of the clippers. Maybe next time I will take him to a hair salon. I miss his curls, but he doesn't sweat nearly as much now so I think he feels better with shorter hair.

We took a walk around the neighborhood and he decided to give every stop sign a kiss. Build that immunity!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Rett turns 3!

My baby is 3!! I don't think I can ever stop calling him my baby though :) We celebrated a week early since my mom was in town. In the morning he was excited for presents, so we let him open one: a motorized train set. He was a little bit scared of the train noise that it made, but James was happy to demonstrate it for him.

For his birthday we decided to spend the day at the zoo, see the animals and ride the train. Rett was very excited about our plans! For days before he would randomly say, "Go to the zoo?" I finally had to tell him that the animals were asleep so that he would stop asking.

We loved checking out the new meerkat exhibit! They had a fun little cave that has tunnels for the meerkats and the boys could climb in and watch them up close as they use the tunnels.

We were so excited to see a grown up version of our little tortoise! The zoo has the same breed of tortoise as our little "turtle". See how big they get?

Rett was also really excited to get to feed the deer. He was too scared to actually put his hand out, so he would just get it close and then drop it. But he loved watching everyone else do it!

The otters were feeling playful and kept following everyone's hands and doing flips in the water.

We fed the lorikeets and the cockatiels. The lorikeets were kind of vicious! As soon as we walked in, they swarmed us and started biting at our hands trying to get at the nectar cups we were holding. James got kind of scared but I couldn't move because 3 of them were on me at the same time! The cockatiels were much more calm.

After the train ride, we got to feed the giraffes. Rett was too scared to hold out his lettuce leaf, he kept dropping it on the ground in front of her.

After playing on the playground and checking out the petting area, we took a nice break in the air conditioned kids area.

After we got home it was time for pizza and birthday cake! When I asked Rett what kind of cake he wanted, he said, "Uhhh, a shark cake!!!" He said that every time I asked him until he said, "Uhhh, a car cake!!" So I did both :)

We got the relighting candles that light again after you blow them out, so they both got to keep blowing the candles out for a long time.

Present time!!! Rett loves playing with all of James' hot wheels cars, so we got him a box of 50 just for him. He still likes playing with James' though. I guess it is more fun when it isn't yours.

A tiny wooden house that has different keys and doorbells for each door.

A wooden parking garage for all of his cars to park on!

He also got a birthday card in the mail from primary with a shiny dollar coin in it. Which he used to buy a hot wheels car at the store (go figure!).

Happy Birthday our sweet, funny, lovable Rett!