Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall Day With The Fellas

First of all, can I just say how absolutely amazing this weather is?!  I sure wish it would just stay like this - sunny and low 70s!  We had such a fun morning.  And aren't you impressed that I am blogging same day activities?? :)
We got Sissy off to school this morning and then came home to play for a little while and feed Ryan before heading out!  I wanted to get a picture of the boys before we left and this was how it started.  As in unsuccessful.
 Ryan had a blowout that required a diaper and outfit change, so then we tried again.  And I got one of BOTH BOYS SMILING AND LOOKING! Wow.  Just wow.  Love it!
 And we were off to our first stop: the zoo!  Jack requested we see cows, giraffes, and snakes.  I am happy to report we saw two of the three - plus some other good ones!  Here he is with the giraffes!
 Love this of him checking them out!
 Before he got back in the stroller, of course he found a puddle to stomp in!
 Then we went to meet Daddy for a picnic near his office!  Jack loved his new choo choo lunchbox :)  And there was so much fun stuff to see!  For the boy that loves things that go, it was amazing - we saw 18 wheeler, dumptrucks, school buses, trolleys, ambulance, helicopter, bulldozer, airplanes, motorcycles, and of course regular cars and trucks!  He was in awe of it all!
 And of course the plane and train at the actual park - they were right next to us!
 He was so excited that he didn't want to eat - so he had fruit snacks and Yoo Hoo - I figured he will eat if he's hungry :)
 This guy slept through most of the fun!
 And I got a picture of just me and Jack! So fun :)  And see that gentleman in the background?  HE was playing the guitar along with various songs for tips.  Well the first song he did was Pharell Williams' "Happy" - we call that Jack's song!  He just lights up when it comes on.  And Jack's face when he started was priceless...and he ran and jumped and danced and clapped the entire song - all with the best smile on his face and laughing and giggling.  It was just perfect :)
Now Jack is napping and I am off to play with Ryan :) Once Katie gets home, we will be heading to a playground ASAP! 


Monday, September 22, 2014

Happy Fall!

Happy First Day of Fall!  Katie has been SO excited about the first day of fall - I had to write "Happy Fall!" on her calendar so she could countdown the days.  In fact, she got frustrated with me this morning because her outfit "wasn't fall colors"....she said she needed to wear red and orange to celebrate fall! HA! She finally just went with it and didn't complain too much :)  Here she is before we walked down to the bus stop!
 And this one was hilarious this morning.  He was hiding from Brad - and every time Brad would growl at him, he would laugh and laugh!  I can just hear the laughter every time I look at this picture!
 And this booger was up early this morning.  That could be due to the fact that he ate 6 times yesterday (rather than the normal 7) since he went longer between feedings!  A growing boy has got to eat, I guess!
 And after we got Katie off to school and Jack dropped off at preschool, The Roc and I had some fun time together on the floor!  He is SO close to rolling over and I think he knows it!  He has fun and gets so close and then just gets frustrated because he can't get everything coordinated at the same time to get all the way over.  Soon enough it will happen :)  I love this picture of us! 
 And this morning we headed to church for a Moms' Coffee and project!  We made these adorable pumpkins - this is how mine turned out!  It was fun to see some familiar mommas and meet new ones!  And the breakfast food was delicious.
Afterwards, we headed to Target to pick up some groceries.  Busy Monday!  We are about to go pick Jack up and then get home to get Katie off the bus, get changed, wait on Daddy to get home, and then Katie and I will head out to soccer practice!  Mondays are crazy around here!  But at least it is starting to feel a little like fall!  Now, time to get the fall wreath up, mums and pumpkins on the front porch, and a good recipe for chili!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Matchy Matchy Bros

I saw this cute boys outfit last spring and thought it would be cute to get a matching set for the boys.  I finally put them in it and got a couple of pictures!  I love the set - bright colors, cute design...and Jack loved the boat! 
Jack has loved giving Ryan "tisses" and "sugs" (that would be kisses and hugs - any "h" sound is usually a "s" sound with Jack these days) and wants to do love on him all the time.  He has also learned "baby talk" and it is hilarious when he talks to Ryan like that!  He also loves showing Ryan off to friends and family and even strangers!
Here Jack is giving Baby a tiss!
 And I think Ryan's expression here is priceless...he may have been scared for his life with Jack squeezing him and smothering him in tisses!
 There's a sweet baby smile!  And double chin :)
 Jack was on the move!  And a train in each hand!
 And that's the back of the outfit - love that pocket!!
 And the boys are loaded up and ready to head down to the bus stop!  Jack is obsessed with buses thanks to Sissy riding one everyday!
 Later that day, Jack got really quiet.  I came to check on him and found him sitting and looking at a book all on his own.  I sure am glad to see a bookworm side to him!  He is such a fun, sweet guy!  Active, but sweet :)
Actually, at Katie's soccer practice yesterday, Jack was playing with one of the soccer balls and dribbled it (better than Katie does, honestly) across the entire practice space!  And he was doing throw ins to Brad, who would kick it back to him...and then do it all over again!  It will be neat to see if he enjoys playing sports as he gets older - looks like he may have some athletic tendencies!  Only time will tell!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Unexpected Moment

Katie got home from school and we jumped into the car to go to a local store in order for me to get fingerprinted.  I needed to have this done in order to volunteer at school - including being able to go on field trips with Katie and her class.

On the way, Katie started telling me about her day.  This is somewhat unusual - she usually wants a snack and gets distracted playing with Jack once she hits the door.  Maybe we should ride around in the car after school more often so she will give me more details? :)

All of a sudden, she said, "We learned another drill today at school, Momma!"  I knew they had a fire drill.  So that would be one type.  A second type is a bus drill.  And then she said, "So we have three kinds of drills now!  We have fire drills, bus drills, and this new one!"  I then asked her what the new one was.  I 100% expected her to say a tornado drill and then proceed to tell me about sitting in the hall against a wall with her head down and covered.

Boy, was I wrong.  And boy was I unprepared.

She said, "It is a drill where my teacher locks the classroom door and turns out the lights.  And then we go into the cubby room and turn the lights out.  And we get in our cubby.  We take our backpack off the hook and stand in our cubby and put the backpack in our lap.  And you know what the drill is for?  It is if there is a stranger.  If someone is around and they don't have a visitor sticker.  And we get in our cubby and hide.  It is kind of like playing hide and seek.  So, I guess it is a hide and seek drill!"

No words.  For at least 30 seconds.  Just tears.  And I have no clue why.  I know these are real life issues.  The first thing I thought about was Sandy Hook and the families that dropped their children off that morning or put them on a bus and then didn't get them back into their arms later in the day.

I also realized that this was a day that chipped away at Katie's innocence.  I assume they went through the drill.  And it was likely explained in this manner to the kids so that they understood what it was for as best as their little minds could comprehend.

I cried.  And it wasn't just a tearing up.  I literally had tears streaming down my cheeks.  It makes me tear up to even think about this.  What if Katie (or Jack or Ryan in the future) is faced with a situation where they really have to put this "hide and seek drill" into practice?  I pray that her teacher is calm and orderly and soothing and hugs them.  I pray that the school staff is adequately trained.  I pray that my children will remain calm and do as they are told.  But most of all.  Most of all I pray we never face that situation.

Things have changed so much since I was a student.  Fingerprinted to volunteer?! Seriously?! Of course I want to be involved so I will do what it takes.  I just hate that we live in a society where that is necessary.  And all the rules to eat lunch with your child. Man, oh, man.  You sign in at the office and get a sticker and they keep your keys so you can't leave without checking out.  And you can't stand out in the lobby area of the school.  You have to stay in the office until you see your child's class walking toward the cafeteria.  I so appreciate the levels of safety and all of that since Katie is there more than she is at home (waking hours) during the week.  I just wish we didn't have to go to those extremes.

And tonight?  I gave her extra hugs.  I am so thrilled that she loves kindergarten and her teacher and her new friends.  But I tear up each time I see her innocence chipped away.  I want her to keep that sense of wonder for as long as she possibly can.  That belief that everyone does good.  But I also want her to be real and realistic.  So here we are.  Learning about and practicing the "hide and seek drill"....

I know this post rambled a bit.  But I just can't get this out of my mind.  And hearing Katie rehash it when she talked to Brad just made me realize that I am going to do all I can to help her see and remember all of the positives in the world while also "keeping it real."


Daddy Date

A couple of weeks, Brad and Katie went on a Daddy Date to their favorite place - Chuy's!  That is where they always go...but it had been a while since they went on a date!  Here they are before they headed out...such a great picture!
 And Jack wanted in on the picture too - he sure loves his Sissy!
After they ate, they went to get an oil change and got a treat at Sonic while the car was worked on.  Sounds pretty similar to my date nights with Brad - except we usually end up at Target :)
While they were out, I took the boys and picked up Sonic.  We ate it at home and then played in the backyard!  So fun :)
I love that Brad and Katie have that special tradition.  Brad and I are already trying to figure out something special we can each do with Jack now that he is getting old enough to enjoy special one on one time!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bluebird Benefit: Where There's A Will, There's A Way

Last Saturday night was an absolutely amazing night!  The dad of a friend of mine from high school saw that my brother was raising money for this high-tech bed that will turn him at night (so that he can sleep and be painfree...and his caregivers can get some sleep as well) and offered to coordinate a benefit at The Bluebird Café!  It had been a few months in the making, and man oh man was it worth the wait! 
Four different songwriters were in the round and went around and performed some of their songs that had become hits with various country artists.  And The Bluebird is such an intimate experience anyway - I think there were 101 people there last weekend.  My cheeks hurt from smiling so much.  And the whole feel of the room was amazing! 
They started off the show reading something about Will that my mom put together so that the audience that just showed up on a random Saturday night knew what they were getting themselves into.  And then they said to throw money as the audience felt led.  So throughout the entire show, money was being thrown to the middle of the room.  All for this bed for Will.  And various people made donations.  And there were several items auctioned off.  And it was the most fun we had all had in quite some time!
Here I am with Will waiting to go in.  Excuse his half-shut eyes.  The dude NEVER keeps his eyes open in pictures with me!
 We tried again inside and had a little bit better luck!
 And this was on each table...the only thing that was different was that Shane McAnally was sick, so JT Harding participated instead!
 And I do believe I have a similar picture from when we were in probably 8th grade or so.  Oh these guys.  Andrew, Justin, Beau, and myself.  So much fun to see them!  And a huge thanks to Justin and his dad for putting this all together.  And for Andrew kicking in some $$$ for Justin to take his shirt off and dance around the room.  I am sure the folks that just showed up had no idea they would be apart of that experience! HA!  And I got to meet Justin's fiancée too - such a sweetheart!
 And the songwriters set up and performing in the middle...
 And the "rain money" - this was all wadded up piled of cash to go towards Will's bed!  I know it took my mom a few hours to count it because it was folded into paper airplanes, wadded up teeny tiny, etc.  The generosity of that evening left my whole family speechless...
 And a picture with Brad in front of the iconic Bluebird Café!
I was talking to a woman who happened to be one of the songwriters' mother-in-law after the show and she told me she had been going to various venues to see him play for more than 16 years.  And of all the shows she had seen, this was the  most amazing.  That she had never been in a room that felt so magical and in the moment and entertaining.  And I couldn't have said it better myself. 
If you want to learn more about Will's bed and his effort to raise money, visit the website {here}!
And here is the piece that Justin read about Will at the beginning of the show...
Nashville’s own Will Ferrell bears a striking resemblance to the renowned comedic genius in several notable ways - - - his amazing smile, good looks, and sense of humor.  But, in truth, he is far more akin to his most admired genius, Stephen Hawkings.  He is an insatiable techie genius in all things computer.  He has been recognized all of his life for his academic achievements, community service, odds-defying accomplishments, and WILLPOWER!
Our 26-year-old Will Ferrell graduated National Honor Society from Hillsboro High School, served as a Warner Park intern, was named one of The Tennessean’s “Top 40 Under 40” at age 16, received a newly established youth award from Nashville’s Mayor Purcell, and served on an influential committee for Mayors Purcell and Dean for six years.  He has raised funds for local, national, and international causes, sponsored friends on mission trips, and donated refurbished computer equipment to outreach ministries and individuals in need.  He has achieved five levels of computer certification since high school.  His ten-year-old home-based technology project WILLPOWER was recently renamed WILLPOWER and More since his focus is ever broadening. He has been the subject of mini documentaries, print media, and local newscasts.
Did I mention that he just happens to have severe quadriplegia cerebral palsy?
Will was born very prematurely and his initial prognosis was not encouraging.  He has spent his whole life proving the naysayers wrong.  His profound faith, loving community of support, and focus on making a difference in the lives of others, make him extraordinary.  He is WILLPOWER and More. 


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Second Soccer Season Kickoff

Katie is playing soccer again this season and is with the same team again - so fun!  Except now we are in the U-7 we play on a bigger field and have goalies!  And something else that's different? Well, let's just say you can call me Coach Mommy Extraordinaire now - ha!  Yes, I agreed to help coach this season and it is a blast! Since I played for about 10 years, it is nice to get back into it in a different way (though it definitely makes me miss playing)!
Here is Katie before her first practice!  It was a big day - it was the same day as her first full day of kindergarten and riding the bus.  To say she was tired by bedtime is an understatement!
She posed like this and asked for a picture.  Not sure what she was trying to show off...
And of course the signature silly face picture!
And then she actually let me take one at the field! She was decked out and ready to go!  And we have a new ball this season - her other one wouldn't stay pumped up!
And then after a few practices, it was game day this past Saturday!  Their colors are white and black and they are still called the Raptors!
 Showing off her name on the back - and she is #10 this season!
 And then she wanted a shot of just her uniform :)
 And what are pictures without a silly face, right?!
 Ready to jump in the car and head to the field for warm up and the game!
 Love this one - Katie and Coach Momma!
 Man she looks so grown up these days.  Slow down, time!
 And an action shot of her passing the ball to Brad.  Pretty impressive...and I love her ponytail :)
I can tell that she has better ball control this season (which really didn't take much to be honest).  And she absolutely loves playing goalie!  Maybe we found her spot!  She has made some awesome saves...and most of the time using her feet and shins!  She gets disappointed if a ball slips past her.  But she says she really likes playing goalie - and when she talks about it, she lights up!  I think most of it is because she doesn't have to run :) That's my girl! HA!