Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012 Festivities

We took Alex on many Halloween adventures this year. (Can you believe I’ve managed to keep up this blog since last Halloween – I’m proud of myself!) We started off by visiting the Fort Fisher Aquarium for their Trick-or-Treating Under the Sea. They decorate all the tanks and even dress up their scuba divers. Alex didn’t care one bit for collecting candy, but he loved darting in-between other visitors to the Aquarium and watching the fish. Doesn’t he make a great pirate? (Yes, Tim and I made this outfit ourselves!)


We also took Grandma and Grandpa Murff to the pumpkin patch with us to pick out the perfect pumpkin. Alex has been calling pumpkins “balls” all month, so you can imagine how excited he was to run around in a field full of balls!

This pumpkin looks good.

Family Photo!

Alex worked on some art while Daddy carved his masterpiece.

Mr. Pirate Pumpkin

Our neighborhood is perfect for Trick-or-Treating with a toddler. I think 10-12 houses had a light on and we probably hit 8 of them. Alex wasn’t too impressed – he actually spent the whole time on Daddy’s shoulders because he was being really shy. Once we got him home and gave him his pumpkin, he was finally impressed with the candy. He’s actually only had maybe 3 or 4 pieces of candy before now … so I cracked up laughing when he quickly learned to say the word “candy”. He also seemed to prefer Snickers. He loved to give me one to open, he’d take a bite, then give the rest to Tim or me so he could open another one.

Ready for our Trick-or-Treaters!

Hitching a ride.

Ready to get warmed up.

Loving some Snickers!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Can’t Stop Us!

We love watching USC football outside so Alex can play in the sandbox, throw balls, or paint and we can grill and be closer to the kegerator. Hurricane Sandy tried to stop us, but she’s no match for my creative husband! He hung up blankets and sheets to block the wind from our viewing area, allowing the heater to keep us warm. Check it out!

IMG_5877 IMG_5881
IMG_5883 IMG_5937

Gone Fishin’

Tim took Friday off so we could rent a 4x4 Jeep and take my parents and Alex for an adventure on the beach. You can drive on both the North and South beaches of Pleasure Island, but since our XTerra isn’t a 4x4, we don’t make it out very often. Even though the waves and wind were starting to pick up with Hurricane Sandy approaching, we still had tons of fun! Alex loved riding in the Jeep. Tim loved finally using his fishing poles he got from my parents and Great-Aunt Cyndi last Christmas. Unfortunately, he only caught two fish – one of which he had to throw back, but at least he finally got to give it a try!

First cast!

First Fish!

Alex was a little concerned for the fish.

Taking a break from the wind.

We need a jeep!

Just playing!

Cuddling with Grandma Murff.

Grandpa Murff and Alex brave the waves.

Power of Play

Alex and I played with a few other moms from our MOMS Club at Power of Play last week. Power of Play has a  bunch of indoor playgrounds, fast slides, and fun centers for kids of all ages to play in. It’s great during school hours, because we know the oldest child we might see would be a 4 or 5 year old – meaning our little ones can go crazy. This was actually the first time Alex and I played there, but I definitely see return trips in our future! Alex doesn’t usually cry when it’s time to leave, but he did this day! He had such a blast!

Climbing up …

… and up!

Yelling down the slide to be sure I’m at the bottom.

Here is comes! What a brave boy!

There is a HUGE playground towards the back of the building. By big, I mean almost the width and height of my house. Alex kept trying to conquer the first few steps so he could follow some new friends up and around. Long story short, I helped him up the steps, then stood back to watch. He played for quite a while, but then decided he didn’t actually want to come down the HUGE slides. I ended up having to crawl all the way up to show him the way down. After that, he mostly stuck with the centers … trucks, trains, and blocks of course!

IMG_5825 IMG_5828

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Little Gymnast

Today’s adventure was a trip to Carolina Gymnastics with some of Alex’s friends. We’ve actually been there several times, but I’ve never really had a chance to get any good photos or videos of Alex in action. This time, Lukas wasn’t there to chase after him the whole time, so Alex felt rather adventurous. Instead of just running around like a crazy toddler all morning, he actually did some crazy climbing and balancing. Prepare to be impressed!

Slides at Fit For Fun

As you should already know, we love visiting Fit For Fun! There is always so much to do, no matter what Alex is currently interested in. Wednesday’s visit was filled with slides and trains (of course). I had a hard time convincing him to go down the big slide, but he did visit as many little slides as he could! As long as Lukas’ dad was at the bottom of the tunnel slide he’d go down, but he wouldn’t go down for me!!

IMG_5749 IMG_5752
IMG_5758 IMG_5757

After checking out the slides, we went inside to play with the train table. It was fun watching Alex and the 4 other boys from the MOMS Club oohhing and awwing over Thomas. The boys were all born within 3 months of each other and are all in the midst of the crazy train obsession stage.


Check out the long train Alex was sending down the hill!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Wilmington Railroad Museum

Since we are officially in the middle of Alex’s train obsession, we took him to the Wilmington Railroad Museum last weekend. The museum was hosting a model train expo, so it seemed like a great opportunity to take him to see both real and model trains.

As soon as Alex got out of the car, he heard a train whistle and asked, “choo-chool?” He was so excited to walk into the first room of the museum and see model trains chugging everywhere he looked! He was a little shy at first, wanting to be held, but eventually he was running from room to room in excitement. The model room was my favorite! They had tons of elaborate models set up with “challenges”. Model train enthusiasts volunteer at the museum and teach you how to control the trains and help you complete these challenges. Fun!


I love how you can see his mouth saying “choo-choo”!


Entranced by the trains circling the tracks.


Alex was a little intimidated inside the old steam engine.

Blowing raspberries and telling me he’s ready to step off the caboose.

The “wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man” was almost as interesting as the model trains!

After drooling over trains for a while (Tim did his fair share of drooling!), we took Alex for a walk on the Riverwalk and hunted down a place for lunch. Alex still loves walking on sidewalks and following paths – so he did a great job walking the Riverwalk and watching for boats! By the time we made it back to our car, Alex was exhausted! I think he was asleep before we pulled out of the parking lot.


Taking a little break and admiring the view.


A view of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge

Our First Baby-Sitter

Tim and I don’t have the opportunity to get out much without Alex. We always say we want to go on a “date night” when we have family in town to watch Alex, but we usually don’t go out alone since we like hanging out with family when they visit. So, we decided to bite the bullet and call a baby-sitter who was very highly recommended by a friend of mine. Success!! Alex LOVES Miss Christina!

Tim and I went out on a short date Friday night to give Alex time to get used to Miss Christina since we’ll be using her again Saturday for the Lighthouse Beer and Wine Festival (our very belated anniversary celebration). We just hopped over to Carolina Beach to visit a few places we haven’t been before since we always have a toddler in tow. We had a blast!


First stop was the Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar … the tiki bar is on an old pier over the ocean.


Second stop was the Seawitch for delicious mahi tacos and live music under the stars.


Third stop was Tim’s favorite – they have a walk-in cooler (which is actually a refrigerated 18 wheeler) filled with an amazing amount of beers!


The Fat Pelican, or beer paradise, has a fun, eclectic feel to it! We’ll definitely have to come here again – we only had about half an hour before heading home for our curfew.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Big Mouth Alex

I’ve been really bad about taking pictures of our guests recently. We recently had another full house – Grandpa and Grandma Murff and Great-Aunt Mary were here for two nights. G&G Murff traveled to Raleigh to help GA Mary move into her new apartment from Burlington, Vermont. Welcome back to the south!! Since they were close by, they took a quick 2 night trip down to visit us. Luckily, GA Mary captured this great picture of Alex stuffing a donut in his mouth. Isn’t it precious?

yummy donut

Desperate Parenthood

Alex was napping, Daddy and I were decorating the porch for Halloween, and we wanted frozen margaritas. What are parents to do?

Put the blender on the porch, of course!


Two Boys and Lots of Donuts!

Our friend, Sara, went into labor Saturday night, so I spent the night with her son, Lukas. He and Alex are best friends, so I brought him over to our house in the morning for donuts and to play. We had many adventures with our two toddler boys who are only 6 weeks apart!!

All of our fingers were too sticky after eating donuts for pictures, but these boys definitely enjoyed them!! Daddy couldn’t get over how quickly Alex and Lukas would come running to “share” the donut with him. They are like two little vultures. We did eat some healthy food later – a banana, pear, and some cheerios.


Then, Alex showed Lukas his secret stash of colored pencils.


Later, they pitter-pattered into Alex’s room. Lukas checked out the crib, while Alex read a story.

IMG_5676 IMG_5677

Before I knew it, Alex wanted to play in the crib too! I’m so glad these boys are such cute and fun friends! Congrats to big brother Lukas! New sister Daisy is a lucky girl!

2 boys in the crib