Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Potato Heads are for the Birds

I LOVE that Alex has placed his Mr. Potato Heads in the window sill the past 2 days to watch the birds eat at his feeders. He has even played with them, then placed them back on the sill, telling me they’re watching the birdies eat.


Discovery Place Kids

Alex and I ventured off to the Discovery Place Kids Museum in Huntersville today. We’ve been once before with Tim, but that was on a Saturday, and it was really crowded! I was hoping for a smaller crowd today … but I forgot about field trips! I never looked forward to field trips when I was teaching, and boy was I glad to be out of the classroom after seeing the teachers trying to reign their kids back in today. Thank goodness Alex and I arrived around lunch time, meaning the students were only there for 45 minutes or so before leaving. Once they left, Alex seemed much more comfortable, and we were able to stay another 2 hours before realizing how hungry we were.

Here are some pictures of the fun:

Alex remembered the water table from last time and headed straight for it when we arrived.

The 2 story brick factory was quite a hit again. Alex’s favorite part is moving the wagon around and collecting (foam) bricks to put back on the conveyor belts.

The moveable ramps and curves are a lot of fun. Alex just loves to use someone else’s setup, roll the ball, and say, “whee!”

The airport exhibit was a big hit this visit. Alex especially loved rolling the suitcase through the security check point.

After the school groups left, I let him tackle the climbing tower. Last time, I went up with him, but since I’m much more pregnant, and the museum was much less crowded, I told him he was on his own. I love how he would always look for me and give me a big grin!

Even with his big head, he had a hard time balancing his hat while driving the (real) fire truck.

Now that Alex enjoys pretend play, especially with play kitchens and play food, he loved the grocery store. Being a responsible adult, I tried picking up some of the chaos left behind by the school groups, so Alex decided to help “pick up”. He may not have a future as a grocery stocker …

Alex and I just added windshield wiper fluid to the Altima the other day … think he remembered?

This makes me want our boat back … until I remember how miserable it is to boat while preggers!

We had a lot of fun, and now he’s taking a nice long nap. Thank goodness, because I’m exhausted, too!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Alex Pollock

That was Tim’s name for Alex after I sent him a ton of pictures of Alex painting with his new easel from Grandma and Grandpa Murff … or since I’m renaming people today … GaPa and BaBa.

GaPa and BaBa gave Alex an easel with chalk, markers, finger paint, and all the necessary supplies for Christmas. Since we were starting to pack the Wilmington house at that point, we decided to leave the easel in Spartanburg and have them bring it to Charlotte once we were ready. Between boxes all over the house and BaBa’s surgery, we just got the easel to Charlotte. Since our Easter Egg Hunt was cancelled due to the cold weather, I decided it was time to be brave and break out the paint.

An hour and 4 paintings later, I’d say it was a success!

We started with just finger painting, but Alex kept asking me to clean his fingers …

… so I grabbed some corks to use as stamps. Alex LOVED that idea.

Once he was bored of the corks, we used Q-Tips. I love his look of concentration here.

I asked him to let me paint his hand so we could make handprints. Obviously, I don’t have pictures, since I was painting my hand … but that’s ok since he decided to spend the next 15 minutes painting his own hand and making more prints!

Back to more finger painting! Now maybe he’ll let me start doing some cute foot and hand print art!

He’s asking me to FaceTime BaBa again so he can show her his hand prints.

Waiting for BaBa to answer – he can’t wait for her to watch him paint!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Romp N’ Roll

Today was our 2nd visit to a little gym called Romp N’ Roll. We attended a class that mixes music/dancing with a little bit of gym instruction. The first class we attended was a few weeks ago, and Alex did a great job! He loved the music session of the class and just generally explored the gym during the 2nd part of class.

Today was a Terrible Twos version of the same class. While he was excited and interested in the class, once we were in the gym, Alex had no desire to participate with the other students. I think the class is a little confusing to him, since they switch back and forth between music and gym several times, and apparently, Alex was most excited about gym today. Instead of returning to the front for a few songs, Alex stayed here and screamed for me to stay with him!


He did finally get excited once the musical instruments came out. Check out his perch during one of the last songs. At least he’s making progress back towards the front of the room!


The teachers encourage free play and exploration, which is good – otherwise I would have had to carry a tantrum throwing two-year-old back into the lobby. Next week, we’ll be trying the gym only class, and I think it will be a success:


Wish me luck!

Just Because

I wish I could be inside Alex’s head for a day. I just have no idea where he gets his ideas from sometimes. Before bed last night, he got on the floor and “crashed” his truck on top of him. Of course, the ice cream he had 30 minutes before that could be to blame for that one.


Then today, I opened up the back door so we could play in the yard, and he disappeared into the playroom. Next thing I know, he’s standing in the back yard like this:


My days are always interesting, that’s for sure!

St. Patty’s & a Birthday

On Saturday the 16th, all of Charlotte celebrated my birthday! Well, that’s what I tell myself when St. Patty’s Day celebrations fall on the same day as my birthday. Since it was sunny and in the 70’s, we skipped the parade and ventured off to the National Whitewater Center's Green River Revival. Aunt Beth and Uncle Eric came up to join in the fun, and Miss Katherine and Mr. Harper met us there. We enjoyed some yummy tacos, live music, and lots of sunshine. Obviously, I didn’t get to partake in any beer, but there was an amazing draft selection! I was jealous! Alex had tons of fun climbing the rocks, checking out the Subarus on display, and playing with new friends. The NWC is beautiful, and we can’t wait to go back on a less crowded day to hike some of their trails.

After settling in a spot, one of the first things Alex did was steal my shoes and walk around in them.

You can see the river after it was dyed green, Alex’s dinosaur skull and crossbones hat, and his drool. We were surprised he wore his hat for so long.

Alex was obsessed with the Subarus!

Alex tackling his new friend. Too bad she isn’t old enough to baby-sit! The played frisbee with him, let him knock her over with a hula hoop, then let him tackle her. That was a nice break!

Amber and Kat
Katherine and I take a quick photo break.

Green River Revival
Awesome shot of the river taken by Katherine’s soon-to-be-hubby, Harper.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Patient Kovu?

Anyone who knows Kovu knows he hasn’t always been impressed by Alex. While he’s always been careful not to hurt him, he generally tries to stay away from him … unless Alex is giving him food. From one of the first times Kovu had the chance to inspect Alex, we could almost see him wondering what in the world had come into his life and moved him to the bottom of the Totem Pole.

Is it a puppy or a baby?
Is this a puppy or a human?

That’s why these next two pictures are so amazing. I almost wonder if he knows another Strunck boy is on the way and that he might as well give up? Either way, this was a big moment!

We don’t know what possessed him to walk over there and sit on Kovu …

… but he sure was excited that his plan finally worked out!

Tractor Heaven!

My parents are in the process of building a stone patio, bar, and fire pit overlooking the river by their house. This is going to be quite an undertaking! Lucky for Alex, phase 1 of the plan involved Grandpa renting a tractor. Lucky for Alex again, we only live an hour and a half away from my parents, so we were able to visit for the day and watch all the fun.

The tractor arrived while Alex was napping, so his first look was through a window. He was so excited to find out Grandpa was driving a tractor! He was much more subdued once we were on the porch … I think the noise was a little intimidating at first.

Alex had tons of fun playing with his tractor and dump truck while enjoying the show.

While scooping up more dirt, Grandpa jumped out of the tractor to do some measuring. Alex took the opportunity to start inspecting the tractor up close.

I think he’s ready to take a shift.

The dirt piles seemed to be almost as exciting as the tractor.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Another Big Boy Hair Cut

I think this is the shortest I’ve had my big boy’s hair cut. Thankfully, you can still see lots of curls, but the bleached blonde from last summer is all gone. Of course, considering how much Alex loves playing in our yard, I don’t think it’ll take too long for his locks to lighten up. Here are pictures from yesterday’s trip to the salon, Snip-Its, and today’s adventure at a play place called Kidz Play Here.

Tim was so amazed at how willingly Alex sat in the chair for his hair cut. Of course, there was a tv for him to watch, which always turns him into a zombie.

Proud of his hard work setting up “lunch” for his Mommy. Check out his darker, shorter curls.

At least his curls still look lighter with the sun shining on them.

What a fun train table!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Truck, Crash, Whee!

Have I already told you how obsessed Alex has become with “crashes” of any kind? It may be with trucks, trains, cars, chicken nuggets, our heads … anything and everything must eventually crash! So, Tim and Alex have invented a new way to crash his big truck:


I actually had to come back to this post and add a photo from this evening. This is probably Alex’s biggest crash yet! Don’t you just love it?


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Play-Doh Fun

Aunt Beth and Uncle Eric gave Alex a bunch of Play-Doh for Christmas, but with our move, we haven’t had the chance to break it out. Tuesday’s rainy day seemed like the perfect time, and boy am I glad I pulled it out! Alex and I sat at the kitchen table with the Play-Doh for almost an hour and a half! That’s amazing for a two-year-old! And … every time I’m busy in the kitchen, he tries to pull it all back out for more play. This boy is a Play-Doh-aholic!

Please excuse the crazy hair! Tim bathed Alex the night before and slicked his hair straight back, meaning he had a crazy hair day! Plus, he is way over due for a haircut … hopefully that’ll happen in the next week.

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Running the Bases

On Monday, Alex and I ventured out to yet another park. We are still trying to find the perfect playgrounds and parks in the area. Alex had a blast – it was chilly, but sunny – so we were there with a few other kids his age who played chase with him. He was in heaven! Later, we followed a family and their dog down to the baseball fields, ran the bases (backwards), and found a baseball to bring home. It was great to get outside for a change!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Can’t Touch This

While hunting good dancing music for a very hyper Alex, we ended up watching old music videos on YouTube. MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” was quite a hit …

Cooking With Mommy

Alex has started taking an interest in my activities in the kitchen. Since I want him to grow up knowing how to cook healthy meals and to have an appreciation for good food, I’ve decided to find little ways for him to help around the kitchen. So far, he’s helped me dump cans of beans and corn in the colander for chili, “helped” me dice veggies, and helps unload the dishwasher. I plan on getting braver and letting him help more often – I just need to embrace the mess that will come along, too!

Alex is using a butter knife to “help” dice carrots.

After dumping/rinsing cans of corn and beans in a colander for chili, Alex couldn’t get enough – I ended up letting him play another twenty minutes with a bowl, the cans, and some more water.

Getting fancy with his water play.