Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fourth of July 2017

Yes, I do realize that the 4th of July was a solid 2 weeks ago. 

But, we did a lot of fun stuff that I wanted to document, so better late than never, right?! 

Our 4th of July festivities started on July 1, when we went to see the fireworks!

Both kids were totally mesmerized watching from the back of our car.

The day before the 4th we decided to go pick blueberries with our friends! 

Unfortunately, the blueberries weren't available to be picked the day we went, but blackberries we picked blackberries instead!

Lucas LOVED the blackberries!

Everyone was really cooperative when it came time to take a group pic.

Lucas and Cooper ate the grass by the handful, while Ella and Mackenzie ran away from the random cat that was running around (you can barely see it in the picture's a white dot, ha).

We ended our time with, what else?! Strawberry slushies!!!

On the actual 4th of July, we decorated our wagon for the neighborhood parade!

Ella's hat 😂 Long story, but Trav found it in his closet, haha. 

Anyway, we paraded through our neighborhood, with the fire truck, up to the pool! 

Once at the pool, we had lots of fun swimming with toys that weren't ours...

...and eating! 

After everyone took an amazing nap, we watched the hot dog eating contest (I'm pretty sure Trav DVR-ed it 😳). Lucas was very inspired!

We also made s'mores...

...did sparklers...

...and we even let Ella stay up late to watch the fireworks on TV. She did not sleep in the next morning, of course.

Ok, so the next 2 things happened after the 4th of July, but are still worth writing about! 
On July 5, Ella finally got brave enough for her very first haircut!!!

She was so proud of herself. 

Lucas also got a trim, but wasn't as excited about it.

The next day, we went to the sunflower fields! If you are in the Charlotte area, here is a map with where exactly they are! We live in South Charlotte, and it took us about 45 minutes to get not too far away.

It's always a hot, sweaty, muddy mess...but I feel like this year it wasn't quite as hot, sweaty or muddy as it's been in the past! 

Next up, our Vegas trip!!! Then I will be all caught up! :) 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Five on Friday

Happy Friday, friends!

1. Ella just finished another fun week of YMCA camp...this time was swim camp! She had an absolute BLAST!

Lucas and I went up to the Y to swim with some friends yesterday. I kind of thought maybe we wouldn't see Ella since the pool is so big and they aren't even in the pool the whole time?! But, of course her little group walked right into the splash pad where we were! She looked like she had seen a ghost when she saw me! It was a fun surprise! 

This boy just loves the water...maybe next summer he can do swim camp, too!

2. You all know I am not a big reader...I just don't have time! But since I had a lot of time to myself on the cross-country plane rides I took last week (and some time to do more reading by myself at the pool, since I wasn't chasing 2 kids around!), I thought I'd share the 2 books I read!

First, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World. I had been wanting to read this book for a while, and the author had several good points. A lot of it was a little too conservative/religious-based for me personally, but overall I found myself nodding and saying "YES!" in my head quite a bit. It was a little more geared towards raising middle/high schoolers though, so I may need to re-read in a few years when my kids are asking for iPhones! :) 

Big Little Lies...I couldn't get into this book at all at first, but by the end I couldn't put it down. I definitely need to watch the show now!

3. Amazon Prime Day...did you score anything?! I was on an airplane for a good half of the day, so the only thing I managed to get were these sandals for Ella next summer! 

I never have good luck with Prime Day...what is the secret (besides, not being on an airplane of course)?!

4. What I did have good luck with (kind of) this week was the Nordstrom sale. I just can't be a blogger without mentioning the Nordstrom sale, right?! I am like you and am sick of hearing about this dang sale, but I do enjoy seeing what other people bought/want to buy, so I thought I'd share what I picked up yesterday!

Since the Nordstrom website kept messing up, I accidentally ordered that striped shirt and the Natives I'm already not really liking the maxi dress or red sweater, so those may get returned when I see how they actually look on me. I kept trying to delete them from my shopping bag but they wouldn't go away! So I felt like it was a sign I needed to get them I guess. We will see what all I end up keeping. 

5. Ugh, another shopping post! I'm sorry guys!!!! 
But, the new line of Shrimp and Grits Kids just launched this week, and how stinking cute are these models?!

I want everything!!!!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Beach Week

Well hello, friends! I am back after an unintentional 2 week break from the blog! Fourth of July being on a Tuesday threw me all out of whack, and then Trav and I went on a little trip that I will tell you about in another post! 

So anyway, I wanted to catch you up on some of the fun things I've been doing with Ella during Lucas's morning naps! Before all of the holiday/vacation chaos, we did a whole bunch of beach-themed activities! 

First things first, here are some of the ocean books we read throughout the week:

Our first educational activity was the ocean animal count and clip cards!

It took Ella a few tries to figure out the clothespins, but she loved this game! I think next time, I may just use a bingo chip instead of a clothespin. 

We also got out my old teaching stuff (I used to have an ocean theme in my classroom) and made patterns with some fish cutouts!

We also worked on her fine-motor skills (which we definitely need to continue working on, in a major way!) by doing this tracing page

Ella LOVED making this octopus, by putting sticky dots on his tentacles. 

I also let her color the octopus when she was done with the stickers :)

For our last educational activity, I got a big thing of shells from Target and had Ella sort them into big and small.

For our art activities, we made:

...a paper plate Rainbow Fish (I adapted the idea from here. We used dot markers instead of paint/stamps/circle sequins, and pieces of aluminum foil for the Rainbow Fish's shiny scales.)...

(This one was kind of a disaster. Ella just kept rubbing the ball around instead of stamping it. Luckily, once we added his eyes, mouth and fins, he looked alright.)

...and last but not least, a paper bag jellyfish!

Our snack was my extremely lazy version of this. The fish sprinkles conveniently came on top of the tub of bright blue frosting. 

Finally, we played this little game on our screened in porch.

There are so many ways to modify this. First, I just had Ella go around to each animal and we practice saying their names and what they did. 

Once she was comfortable with the animal names, I would tell her to go to a certain color. ("Go stand on the animal that is on yellow paper..."). Then I would tell her to go to an animal that started with a certain letter. We tried rhyming ("Go to the animal that rhymes with 'grab'") but that was a little too hard for her (and me, to think of something that rhymes with dolphin!). 

All in all another fun thematic week for Ella, me and my old teaching supplies! :)