Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our Favorite Museum

Maggie asks me almost every day to go to the this museum where we are members. It is a fantastic place where we have spent hours upon hours this summer. Her favorite parts of the museum are the animals. She especially loves the donkey, owls, and beaver (who we've named "Benny"). Yes, an odd bunch! Joe loves it too! With so much space to walk indoors and outdoors and so much to offer, it's the one place I can easily take both kids and know we'll have a great time. We spent the morning there today and I caught a few quick pictures:

Here's Maggie so excited to see Benny.
Saying Hi to the owl.
This gator came right up to the glass and showed us his teeth...yikes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Arts & Crafts

We've been doing quite a bit of arts and crafts lately with the heat and boredom of August. Maggie's favorite thing to do is watercolor painting. We're constantly having to buy new paint because she uses up all of the purple. Joe is also starting to color with crayons some! And, as a bonus, he doesn't immediately put them in his mouth! Here are some pics from today:
She asks me to draw things and them paints them in.
Here are some of Maggie's projects. She did these cutout and painted shapes with me. Then she made "Rainbow Dreams" and "Maggie's Farm" with Mark. Ummmm, can you tell who has the creative spirit in our household?? I'm trying to be more of a right-brain person, but it's tough for an engineer turned stay-home-Mom! : )

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Down by the river...

We took the kiddos for a little dip at the Eno River State Park in Durham this morning. The shade and water kept us nice and cool from the blistering temps. It was a really short hike from the parking lot to this spot on the river. Maggie loved the little hike, climbing on all the rocks, and throwing stones in the river. Joe was just along for the ride. And, for once Dulcie got to come along too!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Annual Wright Family Beach Trip

We recently got back from my family's annual beach trip to N. Litchfield Beach, SC. Before leaving, I came across some old photos of beach trips in years past which I had scanned. This is one of the most famous family beach photos! I believe it was taken by Doug's friend James Pittard in 1980 or 1981??? Should you ever visit the Statue of Liberty, you can look us up and find this photo!

My family has been going to N. Litchfield Beach to vacation in the summer for many, many years (I'm thinking at least 40??). My parents discovered the area when they drove along the coast looking for the ideal beach to spend their vacation. In the early years, we (well, maybe not me, but certainly some of my family) camped quite a bit at Huntington Beach State Park (just North of N. Litchfield). Then, we started staying in a small rental house at the South end of the beach named "Restabit". Sadly, there aren't too many "old" houses in N. Litchfield that haven't been knocked down and replaced with gigantic double decker mansions. But, Restabit is one of them! I was pretty young when we stayed at Restabit and therefore, don't have too many memories, but I always drive by and check it out every year when we go to the beach, as if it were an old house I grew up in. Here are a couple of pictures in front of Restabit. There is certainly a lot more development around it, but the house itself doesn't look much different today.

Mom at Restabit.
I may be all wrong but I think this is Mom w/Sarah and Dad with Jamie, Mary Kate, Pam, & Bill.
Most years, one of us was allowed to bring a friend to the beach....friends grew into girlfriends, boyfriends, and now spouses and children. This year, the children outnumbered adults! Needless to say, we no longer all fit in one house (well, we could probably fit in one of those double deckers, but they, um, just don't feel like a beach house). So, we divide ourselves among two houses, one of which is Nana & Pop's beach house "The Cove". There have been so many traditions that have come and gone over the years...playing at Pirate's Cove, crabbing at Huntington, ghost walks at Atalaya, scavenger hunts, and soccer matches, but the beach itself remains very much the same. And, it is fun to see our kids fall in love with it just as we did! I look forward to this beach trip every year and am thankful to my parents for starting such an awesome tradition!

This year was great, however we really missed those who were not able to join us. There were two clans of cousins - the little ones (7 kids age 5 and under) and the teens/almost teens (4 girls age 10-14). Maggie and Joe both loved the beach, but hanging with their cousins was the highlight of their week! Joe was the perfect little beach baby. By the end of the week he was crawling into the waves fearlessly over and over again. Maggie loved dancing around on the beach, ahem, usually but not always with clothes on. She learned some of her first wrestling moves, thanks to cousin Will! It was a fun and relaxing trip for us! Last but not least, some photos:

Sunday, August 2, 2009

First things first: Joe's 1st Birthday!

The summer has gotten away from me, so now it's time to play blog catchup. What better post to start with than the biggest event around our house this summer...Joe's 1st birthday!!! This past year may have been crazy and hectic, but we couldn't imagine a more perfect addition to our family. When people ask me what Joe is like, I tell them he's "charming". I don't think there is a word that describes him better. Joe had two birthday celebrations; one on his actual birthday with just us and another a couple of days later with family. The first cake run didn't quite pan out as we'd hoped, so we're glad he had a second shot at it! Without further ado, here's to you Baby Joe!

Birthday #1: Mark surprised the family and took a vacation day from work (yahoo!!!!)! We took the kids for a ride in Joe's new red wagon. He loves ducks so we took him to Lake Lynn to feed the duckies. Maggie loved the wagon ride as much as her baby brother.

Here they are saying Hi to the duckies!
When we got home we had cupcakes! Here's the story behind all of the tears...Joe gets very anxious if he sees Mark or I getting food prepped for him. He can't stand the anxiety of waiting for food, I suppose. So, on this day we made the mistake of prepping the cupcake in front of him. Poor little guy was overwrought by the time it was ready.
Then we plopped it on his tray and he just sat there poking and staring at for a few minutes. It was big and unfamiliar and he was not in the mood to figure something new out.
Finally we gave him some help getting going. He enjoyed the cake but not with his usual gusto. There was a lot of stress over something so delicious. Nothing like a birthday boy with big tears in his eyes! We couldn't help but laugh a little!
Birthday #2: Thank goodness for a second round at cake! We had a birthday party celebration for Joe a couple days later with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. He was the perfect birthday boy, wearing his hat without protest, and loving his balloons.

He loved having some buddies at the party...Maggie.
& Will.
This time we did it right and there were no big tears of anticipation with the cake.
He didn't mess around, just picked up the whole piece and shoved it in!
He knew everyone was laughing at him, but he just kept going. He barely came up for air.
I kept joking that it looked like he was teething on the cake.
Round 2 was definitely a success!
We LOVE you Joe-bo! May you forever charm us with your sweet smile!