Thursday, June 27, 2013

Water Fun

I’ll be honest, I miss the beach! And I miss our constant beach breeze while playing under the house, in the shade, in the huge sandbox. Luckily, we have a nice patio that stays shaded for most of the day and a nice private backyard. While we haven’t gotten around to building a sandbox, Alex and I did get around to buying a new hose and setting up his sprinkler ring. He was a little unsure of the cold water at first, then my water baby was back!


I’ll have you know that I was also in my bathing suit, sitting in the water, and soaking up some sun! Alex eventually gave me quite a bath – I guess I deserve it for all the water I pour on him at bath time! If you plan on visiting anytime soon, you better bring a bathing suit!

French Bread Pizza

Alex helped us make French Bread Pizza the other night. He had a lot of fun spreading the pizza sauce on the bread and eating all the baby pepperonis. He actually tried to sneak away with the bag of pepperoni and wouldn’t let us put it on the pizza! He also ate the bell pepper and tasted a mushroom (he was not impressed with the mushroom). He was so full from snacking, he only ate a few bites of the final product, but at least he declared it “nummy”!

Love this face! Hey, Daddy, look what I’m doing!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Make-Shift Train Table

Since we haven’t gotten around to making a train table for Alex, and since we don’t really have a good place to put one permanently, I’ve been saving the idea of using the coffee table as a train table for a fun indoor activity. Yesterday, Alex wasn’t in the mood to play outdoors (thank goodness – it was pretty hot and humid!) and I wasn’t in the mood to crawl around the playroom creating a new track, so I decided it was time! Here is our creation in stages:

I originally had the end of the track in the middle of the table, but Alex moved it and the danger sign to be hanging “over the water”. Hehe, I love his imagination!
Alex later decided the track wasn’t big enough, so we added on the piano bench AND added a circular track on the bottom level of the table. Alex pretends he is a crane and lifts train cars from one track to the other.

2.5 Year Check-Up

It’s actually been 3 weeks since I took Alex in for his 2.5 year well visit and to meet our new pediatrician. I can’t believe this slipped my mind! Our new doctor actually practices internal medicine and pediatrics, so he’s seen both Tim and Alex. Pretty cool! Dr. Webb will also see Baby.Next once he arrives and I’m sure I’ll see him at some point in the future. The office is half a mile down the road from Tim’s office, which is another huge bonus since I will have to take the baby to so many well visits over the next year.

But, I digress – back to Alex! No shots at this visit, and only the flu shot at his 3 year check-up! Alex was very good and excited to meet his new doctor.

Here are his 2.5 year stats!

Height: 3 feet … 46%ile … (grew 1 inch since December)

Weight: 31.5 lbs … 71%ile … (gained about 4 lbs since December)

Head: 51 cm … 88%ile (grew about 1 cm since June 2012)

Alex still loves all things that go and is a very active little boy! He definitely keeps me on my toes all day long! He has become interested in numbers and letters, and has correctly named a few, just from reading and playing games. He loves putting together puzzles, even on his tablet. It’s actually amazing to watch him play games on the tablet and iPhone; he can switch between games and play independently for 15 minutes at a time! His vocabulary has grown significantly since his 2 year check-up. He will tell you complete sentences, narrates everything he’s doing, and can follow two and three step directions (when his stubbornness doesn’t kick in). Alex constantly amazes us and we can’t wait to watch him grow as a big brother in the coming weeks!

Monday, June 24, 2013


Following the suggestion of a friend, Baby.Next sent Alex a present over the weekend. I think Alex thought I was crazy telling him the baby sent him a present, but he was happy enough to open it!


Daddy is really good at throwing it across the yard. You can also reverse the tail and throw the plane in loops. Poor Mommy needs some major help! Good thing I’m good at monster trucks, trains, and rockets, because I sure can’t make that plane fly for anything!

Ready for Baby!

Well, after a very productive weekend, I think we are ready for Baby.Next to arrive! We are probably 95% settled on a name, plans are in place for if I go into labor early (Katherine & Harper will stay with Alex til my parents can get here), and all our baby stuff is out and ready! The pack & play and swing are in the living room, the cradle is in our bedroom, and the nursery is ready!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Nesting Is In Full Swing

Baby.Next will be here in 3 weeks! I’ve scheduled a C-Section for our due date, July 11th. If I go into labor before then, I’ll decide at that time whether to do a C-Section or not.

So, we’ve finally gotten our act together – Tim painted the pink nursery last week, I’m unpacking, washing and organizing everything, and Alex is our quality control manager:


Minus the toys all over the place, doesn’t it look great! We love the colors and find the room to be very peaceful. Alex has even given up the rocking chair and let us create a fun reading nook in his room. We are almost ready for baby!


Alex & His Alligator

Remember this little cutie? Alex was about 3.5 weeks old in this picture:


My how times have changed, and how babies grow into big boys! Alex still loves his mama alligator and baby alligator – he actually will not get into bed without checking that both are in bed with him. He also sleeps with the mama alligator as if she were a body pillow:


I can’t wait to take pictures of my two little boys with the alligators!

Father’s Day 2013

Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing Dads in our family!

Tim’s Father’s Day was pretty low key. He slept in, played with Alex, and did a bit of yard work. Check out the new and improved patio play area – weeds are gone, new pine straw is out, tiki torches are filled, and the fire pit was moved to allow for maximum play space!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Aunt Kelsey Graduates!

Congratulations to Aunt Kelsey for graduating from White Knoll High School last weekend! I first met Kelsey in the fall of her 4th grade year – when she was 9 years old! So of course, I feel really old thinking of her as a graduate, and even older once I realized the students I taught my first year will be graduating next year! Wow!

Amber and Kelsey Tgiving 2006
Kelsey and me in the fall of 2006, about 2 years after we first met! (I couldn’t find an older pic.)

Even though Alex and I did not attend the commencement ceremony (read the previous post about the SC State Museum), we were able to meet up with the whole family immediately afterwards. We took some great family pics!

Alex and Kelsey
Aunt Kelsey and the next Strunck high school graduate!
Amber & Kelsey
Strunck siblings
If only it weren’t blurry … and if only I weren’t so short!

SC State Museum

Last Saturday, Aunt Kelsey graduated from high school! While I would have loved to sit with the Strunck family for the commencement ceremony, we knew Alex would not find it very interesting. Instead, the two of us ventured off to the SC State Museum. I would have taken him to EdVenture Children’s Museum, but we were on a tight schedule, and I knew it’d be easier to get him to leave the State Museum. You always have to be one step ahead of these toddlers!

Checking out some pretty big cannons.
Alex really enjoyed the hands-on exhibits.
Even though only 1 of the 5 trains worked, the model trains were a huge hit!
The dinosaur dig was also tons of fun!

Monday, June 3, 2013

4 Generations of Struncks

Papa Art brought Great-Papa and Great-Baba Strunck up to visit over the weekend. Great-Papa and Great-Baba brought treasures from their attic = Lionel and HO train sets from Papa Art’s childhood! Alex was so excited (and so was Tim – he has lots of plans for these train sets)! While our house was filled with Strunck males, we also took a 4 Generations photo. I can’t wait to take another one after Baby.Next arrives!

Checking out the goods
I love this one – Alex and Daddy both engrossed in their new toys!
Great-Grandpa and Tim on the couch and Alex and Grandpa standing up – 4 generations!

UNCC Botanical Gardens

Alex and I took a field trip to the UNCC Botanical Gardens last week with a local play group. First of all, let me say UNCC is massive and beautiful! Definitely worth checking out for anyone looking for some higher education!

The campus runs a greenhouse and gardens that are free for the community to tour. Since our group was mostly made up of children a good bit younger than Alex, we didn’t do much hiking in their forest, but we did enjoy the gardens!

Alex showing Liam the fish in the pond.
Pointing out the dinosaur in the greenhouse – he was super impressed!
Admiring the view with his little twin, Rowan.

Frogs, Snakes, Lizards & Birds Oh My!

We are very lucky to be in another house with a great yard! I was afraid I’d miss all the shade from our Wilmington house, but luckily our yard in Charlotte is beautifully landscaped with several mature trees. Alex and I are able to spend lots of time outside – and we have discovered several animals outside with us!

Daddy caught a toad for Alex’s water table.
The toad did eventually escape!
Baby birds in a really neat nest in one of my hanging plants. We also have a nest below our mail box.

I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture of the lizard and I’m not brave enough to take a picture of the rat snake in the shed. Alex and Tim check on the snake every day, though! Oh, we also have bunnies in the yard next store and tons of squirrels (they’re currently mad at us since our bird feeders are empty). Pretty cool for city life!