Thursday, May 31, 2012

Slip N'Slide Fun

We pulled out the slip n'slide over Memorial Day weekend for the first time. As always it was a blast! Charlotte also got to try out her little pool for the first time and loved being in there. However, by the time we headed in for the night, she was freezing and shivering. It's still cool enough up here at night that the water is cold! It made me glad we've decided to wait a couple more weeks before doing the big pool because that water is COLD!  In the meantime we've got plenty of water toys to keep us busy and happy at home.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Big Girl Undies!

I haven't blogged about our potty training progress because, frankly, I didn't want to jinx it! I had planned to potty train Charlotte this summer, but I intended to wait until closer to the end of summer. I knew that with Harrison & Madeleine both in school full time I would be able to give Charlotte my full attention and hopefully make it go a lot faster.

It shouldn't have surprised me that my girl had other plans.

We bought a potty just to have around a few weeks ago. She really had little interest in it and I was gearing up for this being a tough thing to accomplish -- much like with Harrison. :)

Then about 2 weeks ago, she just decided one day that she wanted to use the potty. And she did.

Every time she goes, she comes out naked on the bottom and yells to me "mommy! tee tee come out! tee tee come out!" Ha! It amazes her every time! Since she was going in the potty, we went and picked out some treats for her -- skittles at first and now we've moved into pink m&ms. That's my girl. My pink loving girl.

She has been almost accident free for 2 weeks now. She's had 2 accidents, both times she told me she needed to go and I didn't take her very quickly -- once in the middle of dinner and once in her carseat. I still put a pullup on her when we go out, but as long as I put it on over her undies she stays dry and she'll even use a public potty. Gross, but convenient.

I have to add this funny thing. She calls her bottom a "peepee" which is what we call Harrison's bottom. Ha! She also pushes down on her bottom when she goes, much like she's seen brother do, I think. And, she's asked me to go standing up! Ha! I think she's just role modeling what she sees Harrison do! I've gotten a lot of laughs out of this!

And, at home she's wearing undies pretty much all the time. She's so proud of herself! We had to pick out new undies and they, of course, had to be pink. We got some cute ones at Carters and they are the softest things ever. I think she's adorable in them and I love patting that little tushie. :)

She's still not going poopoo in the potty. She goes and gets a pullup and tells me she needs to go. And, she'll only poopoo in the Toy Story Tent. I've tried putting the potty in there, but she just laughs and laughs. We'll get there. Madeleine was 2 1/2 before she was doing both in the potty and Charlotte is well on her way. There is a light at the end of the diaper tunnel -- we've been buying diapers for 8 years! Right now we're only using 2 pullups a day -- sometimes less. She's usually dry after nap, but wet in the morning. Yay!
I can't believe how big my baby is growing. There are times that I wonder if I'll ever be out of the baby phase and now that it's getting closer and closer, it seems like it's gone fast. Thankfully, she's still very attached to her paci and nightnight -- so she's still my little baby.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Last Day of 2nd Grade!

Last Thusday was Madeleine's last day of school! We've been counting down to summer for awhile and I'm not sure who was more excited -- me or her!

It's been such a good year again for Madeleine. She is quite a model student and is proud of the fact that after 3 years in school she has never gotten in trouble or had to move her color. :) I'm pretty proud of that too! She is trustworthy and responsible and has gotten some fun privledges because of that.

This year has had some challenges for her -- mostly dealing with the "unfair"ness of her having to go to school every day and Harrison still getting to stay home and play. Thankfully, that won't be an issue next year since they will both be going to school together.

She had a wonderful teacher again. I love the teachers at Madeleine's school and this year has been no exception. Mrs. Lawson went above and beyond in helping Madeleine learn and grow. She helped us work through some growing pains -- and gave suggestions that have empowered Madeleine and made her proud of how independent she's becoming. It's amazing to see how far we have some in just 3 short years. Madeleine is so comfortable at her school and full of confidence when she is there. I love to see her up there working away and playing with her friends.

She has found a good group of girl friends this year. There are 5-6 girls that she has gotten close to and I love to hear her talk at the end of the day about what they are doing or playing.

She is one smart girl! She is good in math, but loves literacy. She likes to read and is reading chapter books at lightening speed. We've moved past the books that only have 4-5 chapters into much thicker books because she was reading those beginner chapter books in a couple of hours (if that!). She also loves to write, and writes all the time. She's has several journals/diaries/notebooks that she is constantly writing in and writes stories all the time. Mrs. L told me that her writing and writing structure is advanced, maybe because she reads all the time?? I love to read her stories and have enjoyed getting to read all the things she has "published" this year that have been sent home.
I am excited to see what next year holds for her! She is growing up too too fast for me!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Harrison & Drew Day

Last week, we had Harrison's best friend Drew come and play with us one day. We've been planning this for a couple of weeks and both boys have been counting down the days! Harrison went and spent an afternoon at Drew's house on day after preschool, and since then, he's been dying to have Drew come here! I had several activities planned in case they got bored, but that never happened! They play together so often and are so used to being together that they never get bored. :)

We started our day by meeting up with the other W family at Chick Fil A for the boys to play for a bit before we brought Drew home with us. I had the most fun time listening to them talk on the way home -- they have the cutest conversations! Seriously, I laughed so hard at times!

The first hour we were at home they spent playing BeyBlades-- Drew had brought some of his and he and Harrison battled for the longest time. Then we broke out the playdoh and that kept them happily entertained for another hour. They were making ice cream and opened an ice cream store -- with me as their customer. My choices were quite exciting: worm ice cream, snake ice cream and dirt-cream. :) Those boys!
 They had lunch while I put Charlotte down for her nap. Harrison had picked out pizza lunchable for them earlier in the week, because he told me they were Drew's favorite. After lunch we headed outside to ride bikes and play ball while Charlotte settled down for her nap. It was HOT that day and we cooled off with some popsicles!

 After more bikes and helping me water the garden, we came back inside to "rest" for a bit before getting Madeleine. We popped some popcorn and watched some Tom and Jerry and I thought they'd be quite content for awhile -- only, after 20 minutes they were back to playing superheros!
We picked up Madeleine that afternoon and headed to meet up with AJ, Adam and Titus at Boingo Bounce to end our fun day! They were all pretty tired by the time the day was over, but it was oh-so-fun!

I'm so thankful that Harrison has such a great friend in Drew. They played all afternoon and never, not even once, squabbled. They are so sweet together and I loved listening to their laughter coming out of the playroom. They have the same silly sense of humor (and potty-humor) and they always have such fun together!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

First Haircut!

Yesterday I finally took the plunge and Charlotte got her first haircut! In the past 2 years, 4 months and 1 day, I have not even snipped a tiny bit off her hair. She's had the most beautiful curls and I love them! I knew that cutting her hair would mean snipping off those curls, but her hair was getting more and more uneven and stringy, so I it was time. We went to a kids haircut place and she did great! She sat happily in the airplane chair and ate her sucker the entire time. She got quite a kick out of looking at her self in the big mirror. :)

This is the before. 
 And the after.
 She still has some flip to her hair and it looks a lot better. They cut a lot off of her hair and it's so thick now. But, she looks so much bigger!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Last Day of Preschool

Last Tuesday was Harrison's last day of preschool. It's so hard to believe that this year is over and we are quickly approaching kindergarten! Harrison has had a great year and has made such good friends and, thankfully, he'll still see them at church each week. He's grown up this year and I have no doubts that he is ready to start "real" school. It's been a drive to take and pick him up from our church preschool, since we don't live super-close, but I'm convinced that we made the right choice by putting him there this year. He's been with his friends and has had wonderful teachers!

Last day of preschool!

 The last day was quite a fun one! They played outside and then got to swim and slide in the blow up water slide/pool! He was so tired when I picked him up! But, before we could leave we had to snap a few pictures with some of his best friends!

Harrison and Drew. 
 Drew, Bennett and Harrison
 Cooper and Harrison
 We also had to take a picture with our awesome teachers! This is Harrison with Mrs. Rachel (Cooper's mom).
 And, this is Harrison with Mrs. Julie. He just fell in love with Julie this year. He talks about her all the time at home and talks to her every time we see her at church. Harrison likes most anyone, but he is pretty particular about who he loves -- and he loves JulieShe will always have a special place in my heart because of how much she means to Harrison.
It's been a great year and we are excited about a fun summer! Harrison was quick to tell Madeleine that afternoon that he's already on summer vacation! Ha! Right now, I'm trying to enjoy these last few days of what has been our "norm" for the past 3 years -- having him at home with me, while Madeleine is at school, knowing that when summer is over and school starts back, he'll be going with her.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Favorite Things

There are a few things I'm loving these days. First found a new favorite scent -- Paris from B&B Works. The kids got this for me for mothers day and it smells sooo yummy!

I have been waiting months for straweberry seaon to get here so I could make strawberry pie! I think it's my favorite pie and the kids like it too, so it's going to be appearing often at our table. :) I have a wonderful recipe (that works for peaches too -- just wait till July) and have already made us one pie. It's fruit so that means it's healthy, right?!?

I'm loving my new favorite CD -- Anchor by Mindy Gledhill. Madeleine and I spend most of our car time singing our hearts out to this! It's great to finally find some music that's appropriate for her to listen to as well. :) It's pretty much always in my CD player. Thanks, Sugar, for the suggestion!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Celebrating a Life Well Lived

Last weekend we met up with my dad's family to celebrate the life of my Granny. This could have been a time of sadness, but instead it was a time of joy because she was free of suffering and finally home. I have to admit, it was actually a great weekend. There were times of sadness, but had Granny been able to be there, she would have had such a wonderful time. We were all together, our whole family, which always means fun, we ate some fantastic mexican food which she loved and it was just the perfect way to honor her.

There we some things that really struck home with me -- things that I saw or heard that weekend and I want to remember them.

First, I was amazed that her 3 living siblings traveled to be at her funeral. They are all older -- in their late 80s or 90s and two of them traveled by plane to be there. What a bond. I see so many siblings these days that drift apart, but not this family. They traveled all that way just to honor her. That impressed me. What a family bond their parents gave them and it made me look closely at my children and take a second look at how I am trying to give that to them. It is part of my family legacy -- my parents helped my sister and I to cultivate that strong bond as children and teenagers and it remains today. I want to give that to my children because family is so important. I hope that years from now my children are still as close to each other as they are today.

Secondly, I was again reminded of the amazing life that my granny led. She was a faithful christian all of her days. It inspired me. She was a mother who raised 2 faithful children. I'm not sure I could think of a more impressive legacy to leave behind. Expept maybe to know that those children in turn raised 5 faithful grandchildren. That reminded me that what I am doing right now is possibly one of the most important things I will ever do with my life. And, looking at Granny's life I know now it can be done, and done well.

I also learned this weekend that I have a good bit more of my granny in me than I had ever thought. I have always thought that my sister was more "hamilton" than me. She has Granny's artistic ability and sense of humor. And, while I can only wish that I had inherited her wit, I certainly did relate to the picture my dad painted of her down on her hands and knees cleaning their home and taking pride in her work as a wife and mother. And, now I know that I can thank her for being as emotional as I am, especially when it comes to my children. They bring tears to my eyes almost daily.

These past few weeks have left me thinking a lot about legacy, which is another post all in itself. But, for now I know that Granny left quite a legacy. She was a preachers wife, involved in their church(es) and continued that involvement after pop pop died. She taught Bible classes and spoke at women's retreats. She led an inspiring life. It's not hard to me to imagine her in heaven right now. I can see her surrounded by her family, all the people that she loved. And, in her arms I can just see my big sister that she is getting to meet for the first time. That makes me smile.

And, while Granny has gone home, there are still reminders of her here. I see it in my Madeleine's love of art and artisic ability -- she certainly didn't get that from me. :) And, Harrison has most certainly inherited her wit, bless his heart. I can't help but think how much she would have enjoyed him!

Yes, last weekend was special. It was a time of remembering and looking heavenward.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mexican Fiesta

I had planned for us to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year, but things didn't quite go as planned. I want to write about last weekend, but, honestly, I'm still trying to figure out just what I want to say.

We ended up turning our Cinco de Mayo party into a Mexican Fiesta. The weather has been so nice and the kids started the evening by playing in the sprinkler -- which quickly turned into a water hose fight. It really doesn't matter since they were out there having lots of fun!

 Harrison got creative and used his shield to fight off the water.

 Little one wasn't so sure what to think about all this!
 Matt was such a trooper for doing all this! Every May he has the worst allergies, but only for a month. The wind was blowing this day and he was sneezing like crazy. So, he devised his no-sneeze remedy -- he plugged up his nose with tissue. We all thought he was NUTS, but it worked!

For our fiesta dinner we had quesadillas, rice and chips and queso. I picked up some fun stuff at the dollar store to make it more festive -- tablecloth, sombreros and fun glasses. :) It was quite a hit! The kids LOVED eating outside and thought the fiesta was so fun. They are already asking to do it again. I see some new lawn furniture in our future. :)

 We ended dinner with Mexican flag cupcakes. Such a great way to spend an evening outside making memories.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I'm not sure that I know how to start this, but I have some thoughts that I want to get down and remember about our life right now. It's a little random, but I'm writing this for me, not anyone else.

For awhile now, I've been in such a content, happy, place. I know that not everyone has this, and it hasn't always been this way for me, but I'm there now.

I wake up and greet each day, fresh and new and ready to tackle whatever it brings. I look forward to things that are coming up, but am busy enough that times doesn't drag on as I'm waiting. My days are full from the moment I wake up until the moment that I fall into bed -- exhausted -- at the end of the day. Certainly, there are moments that aren't fun, but even during those moments I know that I am doing something worthwhile. I'm happy with our little family, happy with our role at church, happy with matt's job. I've let go of thinking that we are like "everyone else" right  now and just accepted that we have the challenges that we have with Matt's work/school situation. We are doing the best that we can. I think that one of the biggest things that helped me relax and let go, came from some very wise words from an elder at our church. He told us that right now, our job is to take care of each other, our kids, and do the best we can with the rest. Hearing that from someone that we love and respect somehow just took root in my heart and helped me to let go of some worry and realize that it's ok to say no to things in order to better take care of our family.

Right now, I'm living my dream. It isn't a perfect dream. Instead it is full of stick countertops, loud children, constant exhaustion. But, it's also filled with laughter, silliness, teaching and those awesome moments when I see my children learn and grow. And, I am so thankful that I have a husband that supports and encourages this dream. Life is good.

Sure, there are things that I might change if I could. There are some uncertainties right now -- what will Matt's job be next year? What will we do in 2 years when Ph.D school is over? Should we add to our family?

But, I guess I've (finally) come to the place where I know that it will all work out and we will be ok no matter what. Maybe that's what contentment looks like. I've always been a worrier and a planner. I have a list for everything. My house is organized. I function best like this -- but I'm learning that life isn't like a list. It's constantly changing and being able to find contentment in any and all situation is hard, but I'm getting there.