Monday, January 9, 2012

Logan and Cindy come to Visit!

This weekend, we had a set of visitors -- Logan and Cindy! This is Stacy's old roommate from college, and a great friend.

Over the weekend, and boys and the girls got to play outside with some GREAT weather, and just generally be kids. Mom got to hang out and talk with someone with something called "Adult Conversation". Sometimes I wonder what this is.

It was a great weekend, and I think everyone had a good time. Just a good time to enjoy company and the nice weather!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mom & Dad: March - Dec 2011

Ah. The patriarch and the matriarch. Let's start with the latter!

Besides being the true "head of the household", Mom has started playing handbells at the local church, where she also helps out with PMO (Parent's Morning Out) at times. She had been lending some of her Graphic Design handiwork to come up with a logo for the shirts and bags that the group has been using, as well! Furthermore, Mom is back to doing some contract work for The Durham Visitor's and Convention Bureau, where she was formerly the Direct Of Marking and Communication. Currently, Mom has been doing a superb job raising two wonderful (and well mannered!) children, which frankly, takes more patience than I would ever have. All day, she organizes trips, plans activities, plays, cleans, resupplies, and does... every day. If there is ever a heart to a family, it is a lot of the time the Mom's and she has my total respect, and an open budget to do what she can with what we have.

I am impressed (as always)!

Then, the Dad. Notable events that have happened have been few. Mostly, I have moved out of racing, for the time being. I have sold the last "race car" that I had, and I am putting all my effort into my health, and into the family for a while. Playing lots of indoor soccer. Then, in September, I had an MCL 2 injury that still has me on the sidelines. However, it has been a great time to hang out with the family more, and make out schedules a little less hectic. I have enjoyed it, and I think I might be taking a step back for a little while longer to just be more of a Family Dad.

Overall, I think this has been a great year. We have started working on the house (which forced us to start working on it ;) ) and we are starting to develop into a family of four similar, yet unique, individuals. These are good times, and now that we are ending the 'baby' portion of the family, expect more updates, and hopefully with more pictures!

Remember to check the link on the side for the Shutterfly pictures, as words might not always appear here, but new pictures always will!

- Dad

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Herring House Updates: March - Dec 2011

Herring House - ah the place where we all live, and lately, where we all work.

In an effort to actually update the house and repair some items in the house, we have been busy working in this house that we love.

Since we have kids and dogs, we are not to the point where we are ready for a living area overhaul. So, to make the downstairs a little more exciting, we threw in some new rugs! It gave the room a little more plushness that we all needed. We will see show long we can keep the dog fuzz off the floors, but I am betting on `not long`. :)

Then we had The Great Oven Failure of 2011! This means, that the oven we had, a GE Profile, just failed on us. These are the types of occasions where you get to go back in time and see what previous owners did. Well, we got to see the 27" Drop-in oven we had was hard wired to a breaker. Then, we got to see the "handy work" that one person previously can do with a hammer to dry wall.

We attempted to fix the model we had - no dice. They quit making parts for out model. We attempted to buy a updated replacement... but they were about two times more expensive, with less features, than the equivalent free standing models. Ugh. In all, to be efficient as possible, we cut out the drop-in space, moved the counters down, removed the HULKING microwave hood for just a hood.

To replace these items, we got a free standing convection Oven, a good residential BROAN hood (connected to the exterior vent, mind you), and a free standing 1.1 cu inch microwave. In all, the same cost for all that work as just getting a terrible 27" updated model replacement for the oven we didn't like to begin with.

Also on the list was some "updating" of the house. Stacy and I are not really fans of gold. I am sure in the pantheon of house updates, they all go from Gold --> Antique --> Silver/Brushed Steel and back again in the span of 40-50 years. However, it was our houses' time for less gold, and more silver/Antique. To keep our house spruced up, but without breaking the kids piggy banks', we just updated some light fixtures, light switch panels, electrical box plates, and put CFLs all through out the house. Also, since we had a ceiling fan fail, we replaced it with a Westminster unit, and it is really a quality piece. I think we were both surprised at the great construction and quality. I highly recommend looking at their fans, which can be found at our new favorite store (that I should buy some stock in), Lowes.

The Herring Family has some more painting and HUGE projects on the horizon. Of them, we will be getting City Sewer and Water around May, so wish us luck! After that, only one more BIG project (Heat pump) and then some more niggly projects I have wanted to do for a while (replace rotting wood/masonite on the house).

Let's see if I can keep this updated, and let you see the progress!

- Dad

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sarah: March - Dec 2011

Sarah... ah.. much has changed in the past 9 months. We have gained the ability to play on the iPad. We walk, run and climb on everything. We now talk in mostly complete sentences, of which I hear "nnnnn...nnnn...Mahna Mahna", which means "Dad, play Mahna Mahna on YouTube". And, finally, we are starting to enter the terrible Twos and still teething. :(

Speaking of which, we are developing a personality of our own now, as well. We like Mahna Mahna as our favorite song. Sarah LOVES to bounce and dance... and fall. She will jump and fall off of any and everything. Also, she loves to explore. And by explore, I mean we can climb up, on, over anything in our way. Doors? Not a problem. Locks? Getting there.

Development and trait-wise, Sarah is different than her older sister. She still has blonde hair and blue eyes (like Dad did), and has not shown a hand dominance. All of her teeth are still working their ways in. Sarah is always happy and bubbly until she is not, but generally, that means there is a real problem or I am really hurt. Sarah can do anything the big kids can do, and if not, she will try until she does it. She seems to have been latching onto what Megan learns, and is trying to learn at the same rate. She comes up with DOOZIES of words that we didn't realize she had learned. Also, she likes to say ":sniff sniff: Daddy Scchmeeells". :\

As for activities, the main one that Dad gets to see is the integrating of two separate and different personalities working together. Sarah and Megan are similar, and also very different. Sarah will take on things much bigger than her, and takes a knock and generally keeps on going. Older sister is a bit more of a rules lawyer, and sets up games and rules for everyone to follow. Sarah just falls along and tries to have fun.

All is well as we move into the New Year, and here's to more updates... and some more photos in Dad's Photostream so he can put more images into posts. :\

- Dad

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Megan: March - Dec 2011

Ah. So it is time to catch up.

Let's see. Megan. She is no longer playing any formalized ball sports. Mostly, she loves dressing up now, playing word games and puzzles, and is figuring out how to be a big sister. She is now regularly attending PMO at a local Lutheran church and is developing some childhood friends. Cannon seems to be in the running for the name I hear the most, right next to Nathan.

Toy-wise, there are a lot of toys. Surprisingly, many of these are books or puzzles. Lots of drawing and penciling. Most of this happens on the desk setup for her and Sarah.

Personality, we are the drama-queen. If I think about it, this is definitely something that she gets from Dad, and something we both have to constantly work on. Favorite color - purple, without a doubt. Handedness - Right. Hair - Long and messy without a natural part. Eyes - Blue. Coordination - Unsure.

Overally, Megan is turning into a very polite young lady, and seems to be a kid, which is great. However, both her and her sister use surprisingly grown-up (complex) words at times, which is always very strange to hear for me. :)

Still, all seems to be going well in the life of Megan, and The Parents will get back to making these monthly, instead of yearly, updates.

Now, back to dancing, playing, dressing up, and listening to Megan's "fantastical" stories!

- Dad

Monday, March 28, 2011

Little Kicker

Megan loves to play soccer with Dad, so we enrolled her in a soccer program this winter. She enjoyed the class and it gave her a chance to spend some quality time with Dad. This weekend, she completed the class and there was a little award ceremony at the end where she received a "shiny medal" (as Megan calls it). Sarah and I went too, to cheer her on and take some pictures!

Even Sarah got in on the soccer action...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trying to catch up

Yes, I'm behind. But here's a little of what's been going on with us lately.

The Birthday:

Megan turned 3 at the beginning of the month! THREE!! Can you believe it? We've had a grand time celebrating all month long. We've been to Marbles Kids' Museum and Monkey Joe's and eaten a lot of cake. As we were putting the candles on her cake, she said, "Mommy, put my 3 on and light it up!" She just gets cuter with age!

(Please look past the hair in the last picture. By the end of the day it takes on a life of its own.)

Happy Third Birthday, Megan!!!

The Wedding:

On March 5, Uncle Kevin (Brian's bother) and Aunt Vicky got married! Megan was the flower girl and the whole event was just wonderful! Megan was very deliberate (and cute) in her flower distribution as she walked down the aisle. And she and Sarah both had a blast dancing to the music. But the highlight of the evening for Megan (and probably all of us) was the delicious wedding cake! When it came time to cut the cake Megan said something along the lines of, "Finally! I've been waiting for the cake ALL DAY!!" Congrats, Kevin and Vicky! Thanks for letting us be a part of your amazing day!


Sarah just turned 10 months! Whoa...that's almost a year old. It's been a fast and fun year. Sarah is into everything. She's been crawling since 6 months and standing, cruising and climbing since not too long after learning to crawl. She's been taking little steps here and there, but last night, she officially walked! Yay, Sarah!!

She's also saying a few words, mostly "Hi" and "Bye" as she waves to everything and everyone. Her growth continues to be in the 90-95th percentiles for height and she's already into some 18-month clothes. She's also just about to outgrow her car seat, so it's time for us to install the bigger one. Her appetite is quite healthy as well - she loves any finger/table food and mostly eats what we eat. Recently, she's started feeding herself with a spoon. Here current tooth count is 2 on the bottom with at least one if not two top teeth breaking through soon.

Her hair is still pretty short and no matter how much pink I dress her in, everyone always thinks she's a boy. It is rather amusing, though, to see people's reactions when they ask what his name is and I reply, "Sarah."

I'll do my best to resume updates to the blog, and thanks to our readers who still check our blog for occasional signs of life. As Brian posted earlier, you can always check out our photos to see what we're up to! Happy Spring!!!