Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gatlinburg weekend

Our weekend trip to Gatlinburg, TN
Unfortunately our camera was lost after the first day so we lost our pictures of the Ripley's Aquarium and the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum.
Other than that, the weekend was wonderful. The kids had a great time and Nathan only asked to go to the beach once (he thinks vacation = beach).
Our hotel was right along the creek/river that runs through Gatlinburg. It was beautiful (not exactly a beach) and the kids enjoyed playing on the rocks and watching the ducks and fish in the water.

We spent one day up the mountain at a little village called Ober Gatlinburg. During the winter months this is a popular ski destination, but there is still a lot to do when the weather is warm. We rode the chair lifts up the mountain and rode the mountain slide back to the bottom. There was a kiddie playground, swinging chair ride, water boat ride, carousel and a wildlife rescue/zoo.

Daddy and Norah on the chair lift ride

Nathan's bear friends
Daddy and Nathan on the chair lift
Norah loved the pool at the hotel

Cute pix

Strawberry pickin at Huber's

Huber's Orchard and Winery is about 20 minutes from Louisville. We love going there for their fresh produce, wine and fun activities for the kids. This past week they had just opened the u-pick strawberry season. The kids love fresh strawberries so we thought it would be a fun activity for them and yield some nice snacks for the whole family. Because of the rainy weather, the strawberries this year are huge and delicious. We could have picked boxes and boxes of strawberries and not made a dent in the number of berries on the bushes. We had to restrain ourselves because we cannot eat enough before they go bad. As it is, we got a pretty big box and have been eating strawberries at breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past week (we still have more in the box). Nathan and Norah loved picking their own berries. After a quick tutorial on which berries were ripe and which were not, they did great. Although, quite a few berries were eaten straight off the bush (shhhh...don't tell Mr. Huber).

While on the farm, we visited the Family Farm Park where they have lots of fun activities for the kids and a petting zoo. Both kids enjoyed feeding the animals and were begging for food at every new animal display until we ran out of quarters. Norah's favorite were the bunnies (because they were smaller than her) and Nathan liked the pony.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The love affair is over

Norah had a love affair with her Paci. If I am to be completely honest, I encouraged this bond because it made things so much easier. She rarely used her Paci outside of her bed for naps and night-time, but that was enough for her to develop an unbreakable bond.
Since she is approaching 2 and getting a mouthful of teeth, it was time to wean her off of her Paci for good. I was dreading the event. I knew she would cry and throw a fit for her beloved Paci. She was going to have a hard time sleeping, which would mean I would have a hard time sleeping. It was going to be bad.
I read tips online about getting rid of the Paci, I asked friends who had gone through similar situations. The consensus was to cut it out cold turkey; she would have a rough couple of nights, but be fine after 3 days. I was skeptical about the 3-day prediction since she was so attached, but we went ahead with the plan.
May 1st was the first night (no significance to the date). This first night was awful. Norah cried and asked for Paci for a full hour after bedtime. At times she was hysterical. I would occasionally go in to soothe her, but it didn't seem to help. She finally fell asleep out of sheer exhaustion. The next day she was cranky, moody and tired.
Night 2 was a repeat of the first, but she only cried for about 15 minutes. Night 3 there was a little whimpering, but otherwise she was fine. She did ask for Paci a few times but we told her it was gone, "Paci went bye-bye" and she seemed to be okay with that. By the 4th night there was no crying, no asking for Paci and she went to bed without a fuss. I can't believe it really only took 3 nights, but it's true.
Below are a few Paci pictures which show the beginning of the love affair up until the last week before Paci was gone forever.

Humble beginnings

Sleeping with Paci

Who let you have Paci outside of bed?

The last night with Paci

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Caged Animals

We were brave and took 4 kids to the zoo, just Jeff and me. They were ages 7, 4, 4 and 1. We were quite a rambunctious group, but everyone had fun.

Caged Animals
Lily Stacy (4), Nathan (4), Evan Stacy (7) and Norah (1)

AWANA Awards

For the past year Nathan as been going to AWANA at church on Wednesday nights. He participates in their Cubbies program for preschoolers ages 3-4. They have fun activities, snacks, bible stories and learn memory verses. He has been very good at memorizing his verse each week. He even finished his whole book in this first year.
At the end of the year (school year), they had an awards program where they featured each class and they recited a few verses and sang a few songs for the parents/families. Nathan's class recited 2 verses, said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang their Cubbies theme song.

(Sorry for the blurry pictures, the lighting was bad and we were not very close to the stage)

Friday, May 6, 2011

KY Derby Pegasus Parade

Nathan and Norah's school has a lot of activities during Derby week for the kids to participate in.
Monday: decorating jockey silks
Tuesday: Air Show with paper airplanes
Wednesday: KY Derby with stick horses and Diaper Derby for the infants/toddlers
Thursday: Pegasus parade through the hospital
Friday: Chow Wagon

Nathan's class dressed as "Thunder Fireworks" (see the hat)
Norah's class was Millionaire's Row
After work and school, we headed downtown for the real Pegasus Parade (one of our favorite Derby events). It was a beautiful day, quite a reprieve from the cold and rain for the past several days and weeks. There was a large crowd so we had to stand 3-4 people deep but we still had a great view. Thanks to the city's green efforts of installing artistic bike racks on the sidewalks, we had a "seat" on one of the bike racks and were quite comfortable.
It took a while after the parade official started for it to get to us, but once it did, the kids really enjoyed all the horses, floats and big character balloons.

Watching all the parade actionSweet siblings sitting together
Norah and daddy at the parade
(she is not sleeping, although she is very tired)