Thursday, April 28, 2011

Little Fuzzies and A Comb Over

Unlike Parker, Andrew was born with little baby hairs....tiny little blonde fuzzies all over his head that make his big noggin look bald. Parker, on the other hand, was born with a full head of dark hair- that quickly became a dark comb-over which made Parker look like a little man way too soon! What made me think of this? Every night, while I'm sitting in Andrew's room, rocking him before bed and feeding him, these are the things that run through my I'm looking down at Andrew's little fuzzies on his head....and I find myself thinking about all of the ways that my boys are alike and the many ways that they are different.

I think their difference in hair is kind of symbolic of their personalities. Parker has always been fast- growing up too fast for his own good, learning things quicker than the other kids, and he's always looked older than he really is. While Andrew is taking his time (I am so happy about this)and he looks like a baby (which I love about him), he isn't rushing to do new things, Andrew is slow and sweet, and I have a feeling this is how his personality will be throughout life.

I can't help but wonder how these little guys of mine will shape up- what will their personality be like in 3 years...when Andrew is Parker's age and Parker is finishing up his first year of Kindergarden. What will they be like in 5 years or even 10 years! In 10 years, my Parker will be a teenager! Then I tell myself...."whoa, slow down momma!" I am enjoying every bit of both of these boys and I am so glad they are different and so blessed because I get the best of both worlds of both of my little boys!!

So, from little fuzzies to the comb over, my boys are each their own and they are both so special and sweet to me!

And...just for fun, here's a recent picture of Andrew and a picture of Parker at the same age!


And, Parker...

Even though they are both very different- aren't they just the cutest, sweetest boys you've ever laid eyes on?!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

I's Friday, Good Friday, for that matter and I haven't had a single post to the blog all week! Our lives have gone crazy this week and we are really living life right now!!! So, although this isn't an official post.....I wanted to let all of our family and friends know that the boys are doing great! Andrew turned 5 months old last week (I started that post, but I need to put the photos in) and Parker seems to be growing as fast as all of the weeds in the empty lot next to our house!!

We had a "Great" Friday and we are all looking forward to Easter weekend celebrations!! Because we will be spending this weekend and next weekend celebrating Easter with our families, we took some time on Wednesday evening to dye some Easter eggs as a family and get some goodies ready for this weekend. I can't wait for tomorrow, when we will spend Easter out at the Farm with my mom, step-dad, sister (and possibly Lee), Lance, Kasey, Cooper, and Cameron....having fun outside! I also can't wait for Sunday morning when we will find out what the Easter bunny has brought us and we'll all pile into the car (SUV) and head to DeSoto for the day! I love attending church in DeSoto on is where Brandon and I were married....and I love entering that church. I also love the way my mind works in reflecting on the Easter holiday in the church. I am also excited for next Sunday, when we will go to Topeka to celebrate with more family- seeing Aunt Dani, Aunt Lauryn, Uncle Jon, and of course, Grandpa Mike and Grandma Debbie! you can see we are truly busy, busy, busy, and this is my excuse for not having any exciting posts on the blog lately! Stay tuned....I've got a lot of photos from the past few weeks and a lot running through my mind to post!

Happy Easter! Oh, and Happy Earth Day, Earth- We love you!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"What Are They In To?"

Yesterday we were hanging out at the OU softball/baseball fields enjoying watching the Lady Braves and Braves play....Parker and his friends were running around throwing balls, climbing on practice nets, and running down hills, while Andrew was peacfully perched on my lap taking in the scene. I was gabbing away with some of the other moms when one of the coaches wives (who also has two little boys) asked me, "So, what is Parker in to these days?" This question got my mind reeling and I thought it would be fun to document what the boys are in to right now! Here is a "Top Ten" of what my boys are "in to."

I'll start with Andrew....

1. Andrew absolutely loves his brother- anything that Parker is doing, Andrew will watch and giggle at. And, Parker loves to make him laugh!

2. Anytime Andrew is fussy, if we put him in his exersaucer, he automatically lights up and starts jumping and playing with his exersaucer toys. Now...I have a friend (Lilli) that once told me that when she nannied, they called the exersaucer "the circle of neglect" because they could put the kids in it and leave them there while they were off doing other things. Well, I totally agree and what a lifesaver it is!! It's a good thing Andrew is "in to" the exersaucer!

3. My youngest son has always loved his play gym! Maybe because it was his first Christmas gift from him Mom and Dad or maybe because whenever he is on it, Parker somehow squeezes in to join him....whatever the reason, he kicks and flails his arms and makes a happy monkey face every time he plays on it!

4. The fish-mobile was a hand-me-down from Parker and whenever it's dark and we turn on the fish-mobile, there is silence from both Andrew and Parker. Mezmorized....

5. Bottle. Milk (formula). Andrew loves his bottle- he is definitely "in to" his bottle!

6. I know I can always get a giggle out of Andrew if I give him millions of kisses on his chubby little neck and cheeks!! This is a favorite of mine too- I get to give him smooches and hear him giggle!

7. Andrew is definitely "in to" sitting on Brandon's lap with dad's arm around him. He'll sit there, so content, for hours...watching basketball, playing on the iPad, and just listening to conversation.

8. Every time our Bella Girl walks by Andrew, he follows her and smiles. He is "in to" his Bella Girl...and she is "in to" him. Going into his room whenever he is sleeping (and if she hears the slightest noise from his room, she is the first one in there).

9. Bath time! Andrew loves to be in the bathtub, espcially if Parker is in there with him- silly boys!

10. Being Outdoors!!! Oh my do my boys like to be outside! I am so happy that the weather has changed and we can now spend countless hours play, play, playing outside!! Andrew loves to feel the breeze on his face and he loves to watch the neighborhood kids run around, squealing with delight as the chase, throw balls, draw with chalk, and ride their bikes!! So fun!

Now for Parker's top ten (this was harder because there are so many things that my busy 3.5 year old is "in to").

1. Being Outside! We have so much fun outdoors, here's why: Our neighborhood is full of kids- 14 (plus a few more around the block) of them to be exact! We are always out in the driveway running from house to house to play with each other's toys. We have so much fun in the Spring and Summer time, we couldn't ask for a better neighborhood!! We also have a new play set which gives all of the neighborhood boys a place to play pirate ship, build things, explore, etc. Parker is really "in to" being outside doing anything!

2. I know that camping isn't really a thing, so much, but it is definitely something that Parker is "in to." Every now and then Parker will wake up in the morning and tell me that he's been dreaming about camping....he also will talk about camping before falling asleep- about camping trips we've been on and camping trips we have yet to take (He'll say, "Mom, you do know that Andrew has never been camping?!"). He talks about his cousins going with him, Bella being there, cooking marshmallows on the campfire, and yes, even going #2 outdoors while camping (he is a boy, afterall!). We've been on a few camping trips, but I see a lot more in our future!

3. Games and Puzzles!! This winter (you know, the one where we were snowed in for days and days) Parker really got into games and puzzles and it seemed like every time I went to the store, I was picking up a new game or puzzle to do to make the long winter days a little more fun. Here are a few of Parker's favorites: Zingo, Candyland, United States floor puzzle, ABC floor puzzle, UNO Farm Game, and name a few. Here lately the United States puzzle has been his absolute favorite and he even made up a song to sing while we're doing it and I find myself singing it now, "Nited States, Nited States, 1, 2, 3, 4..." Repeated over and over and over again.

4. I got Brandon an iPad 2 for his birthday and when Parker found out we were getting Dad a new iPad, I told him that now we could share the old one...his response, "Mom, I think I would rather have the new one!" So, even though (in my opinion), the old iPad and the new iPad are completely alike, Parker insists on using the new one to play the games that he loves. Parker (and Brandon) are "in to" the new iPad 2. Here are some of Parker's favorite games (and if any of you have a 3 year old and an iPad, I highly recommend these games when you have something that you absolutely need to get done- like feed a 4 month old- and you need to occupy your 3 year old): The Goo Game, Gravity (both of these games are way over my head), Angry Birds, The Ball Game (I'm not sure that is what this is really called), Super Why, and Tozzle.

5. One of the things I've loved the most about being a parent is finding a timeless toy that my kids will love as much as I did when I was a kid (or, in most cases, when Brandon was a kid...being as I have two boys). One toy that Parker is "in to" that is something that both Brandon and I loved as kids is LEGOS! We have so many legos! Tubs and tubs of legos! And, when they are all dumped out in the play room....Parker has the most fun because that is when he can build super tall towers, bridges, and other funny things that his huge imagination comes up with!!

6. I never thought I'd be the kind of mom that loved having Play-Doh in the house. But, Play-Doh has become a friend of mine...and something that Parker is definitely "in to." Play-Doh is the special toy in our house. It's something we get to do when Parker asks nicely and when he is being extra good. Play-Doh has become a bargaining tool for me. Play-Doh (and Play-Doh accessories) has become something that can be a surprise from the store...that isn't way overpriced and expensive. And, because Parker is so "in to" Play-Doh, we have a tub kept in the play room that is just for Play-Doh and Play-Doh accessories. Yes, Parker is "in to" Play-Doh!

7. As with most typical boys, Parker is "in to" Hot Wheels cars. Parker has a race track and a suitcase full of race cars- big cars, little cars, loud cars, you name it, boys like cars! With the second Cars movie coming out soon (and with the addition of another boy to our family), I know this is a collection that is going to grow and grow. The best part about Hot Wheels is that Brandon still has a few race tracks and cars from when he was a kid that they get out and play with sometimes. These are Parker's favorites and I love how excited he gets when Brandon pulls out the taped up 1979 Hot Wheels race track from the basement. I hope someday, Parker will be able to do the same for his boys and that they will be as "in to" racing Hot Wheels as Parker is!

8. For Christmas one gift Parker got was a set of explorer stuff (from Santa). And, out of everything that Parker got for Christmas, the explorer stuff (and his umbrella) are some of his favorite things. Parker is "in to" exploring....whether he's out at the farm looking for snakes, bugs, and frogs, or if he's in the basement with a bug catcher full of plastic bugs (and fish and whatever else he can find), Parker has his backpack full of his explorer things and he loves to look for stuff! Binoculars, bug catcher, compass, creature grabber, and a field guide fill his backpack and go with him whenever he is exploring!

9. Since the weather has become nicer (well, for about a week it was nice), Parker has had a chance to get out and show us what outdoor games he's "in to" this year. Parker has always been really good at soccer and this year he is really showing his skills! With his soccer ball in tow, he will make his way to whatever house we're playing at for the evening outdoors and he'll play, play, play with that soccer ball all evening long! And, because he is a boy and boys typically love sports...Parker is also "in to" golf (with his own real clubs from Aunt Lauryn), basketball, and baseball.

10. There's nothing Parker is "in to" more than his brother, and his Bella Girl. Parker always wants to be near both of them...making Andrew giggle with delight and snuggling up close to Bella as he sleeps are two of his favorite things to do. Parker is not only "in to" Andrew and Bella, but I think he's "in love" with both of them too! are a few things that my boys are currently "in to." Thank you, Vonnie, I'm so glad you asked!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Mother's Prayer (By Tina Fey)

Thank you Courtney, for posting this on your facebook is both funny and true. And, because I haven't posted anything for a while on the blog (let's face it...a working mother of two doesn't have much time for the blog anymore), I thought this would be perfect for today:

A Mother's Prayer (By Tina Fey)
**You can replace the daughter part, with son in my case.

“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,”she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Waking Up Happy

Do you ever have mornings where you wake up and you FEEL like it's going to be a wonderful day? And....on the flip side, do you ever wake up feeling groggy, grouchy, and wishing you could crawl back in bed and sleep for a few more hours? As a (new) mom (for the 2nd time), I know that sleep is a rarity and I am definitely lacking in the sleep department, but lately I've been waking up in the mornings (for the 2nd or 3rd time....often the first "wake up call" comes at 2:00 am, then another at 4:00 am, and maybe one more at 6:00 am), feeling completely ready for my day! This hasn't always been true for me and Brandon can agree with that!

But, here in the past week I've added one more ritual to my morning routine-

I am the first one in my house to "get up" for the day...usually around 5:45 am...and I have been just barely crawling out of bed and walking groggily into the bathroom to start my shower. But, throughout the past week or so, I've done something before that. I've given myself a pep talk and here's what I tell myself:

"I am going to smile more today. This morning we are not going to be rushed before heading out the door and I am going to LOVE every minute of my time with my family before I leave for work. I am going to remember my blessings and whenever I get frustrated, I will look at pictures of my boys and stay grounded and peaceful. Today I am going to be nice....especially to my husband who does so much for his family and who I love so much (so why don't I always act like it?). I am going to laugh and read and share my story with others. I will be productive, but still take time out of my day to read to my kids, play games, and get some fresh air. Today I will smile more and feel good about everything that I do."

Maybe it's my pep talk, maybe it's the beautiful weather we've been having, or maybe it's because right now I feel on top of the world excited because of my beautiful little family....but, I feel good. Today I feel blessed and happy. Today I was excited to get up and get the day started...not tired or run down, but excited for what the day had in store for me! It all begins with waking up happy! (I've noticed too that if Mom is happy, everyone is happy!)

And...who wouldn't be happy waking up to these boy's smiles every morning!!

Just for fun, here are some pictures of Andrew enjoying his exersaucer!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Good Feeling

Don't you love it when something you've worked and worked on comes together as something amazing for other people? Don't you especially love it when those people are kids? Now, I am involved in many Boards, Committees, Chamber Task Forces, etc, but nothing compares to the feeling I get when I am doing something spectacular for kids. On Saturday, it all came together...a group of four of us that sit on the Ottawa Chamber Events and Promotions Committee put it on. The 2nd Annual Franklin County Family Fun Fest was just that- FUN! Now, I'm not just talking about fun for a few people in the community, but fun for almost 300 people! And, not just some people, it was fun for families, and most importantly, KIDS!

These kids had an AWESOME time- bouncing in the moonwalk, playing the "gamewalk", getting gooey with Fear Factor, making an Easter Craft to take home, getting an animal balloon from Grampa Pokey, competing with their friends on two Wii's, hula hooping, jump roping, relay racing, eating pizza, winning prizes, and just hanging out with their families!

Now, I'll admit...this is some work. On Saturday morning, I didn't want to get up early, I was kind of dreading working at this all day and wishing I could just take my kids and enjoy it, but in the end, it was worth it all to see how much these families enjoyed it.

Everything I've mentioned above was donated in one way or another, and did I mention that every child left with a gift and a medal for participation? We gave away a Nintendo DS, and iPod Touch, a 32 inch TV, a Weber Grill, many gift cards, coupons, games, and much more! The smiles on the kid's faces were priceless!!!

This was open to everyone in our community and the admittance was the donation of a toiletry item to the Franklin County Leadership Class project- A Fresh Start for Franklin County. Did you know that most family assistance programs don't give out toiletry items? Most family assistance programs only give out food to families in need, not toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, laundry detergent, etc. So, this was one way to gather items for "A Fresh Start for Franklin County." (Did I mention how proud I am of my community for all of the good things we are doing for others in the community?)

Not only did I get to see other kids enjoying the Family Fun Fest- I saw how it impacted my own family. Parker especially loved the balloons and so did Andrew! Parker ate pizza, hula hooped (or tried to hula hoop), colored, laughed, and left feeling special. Events like this are amazing in what they provide for kids!!

It truly is a good feeling to know that I've done something for the lives of so many people in my community. That is why I volunteer on so many boards and committee's in my community- to make a difference. What a good feeling!

I was so busy running around on Saturday, making sure everything was going as planned, that I only took this one photo. The boys were loving it!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Fun Weekend!!

There's no doubt that this weekend was fabulous! Great weather, happy kids, fun with family and friends, and more!

On Friday night we had a great night AT HOME! We had a simple dinner and tried (for the first time) to give Andrew bananas! He didn't know what to think and most of the nanners didn't go in his mouth, but we had fun trying to get him to get excited about them!!

We knew it was coming....the builders called to tell us they were coming on Saturday morning....we didn't tell Parker and wanted it to be a super surprise for him! So, on Saturday morning around 8:00 am when the builders got there...Brandon met them outside and took them around back. Parker asked me where Dad was going. I told him, "Dad is going outside to talk with a guy that's going to do some work in the back yard." Parker thought about it for a minute and then looked at me with the biggest eyes and the biggest grin and said, "Mom, are they going to put in my play set??!!" I couldn't lie to that sweet, little face, so I told him!

This picture tells it all, but Parker sat at his bedroom window, watching the guys outside the entire morning! Luckily we left for the day or I think he would have watched them all day!!

On Saturday we went to DeSoto to hang out with Grandma, Papa, Morgan, Avery, and Emma (Grandma and Papa's new dog). We went to Avery's soccer game and had fun watching her score a goal and seeing how proud she was of her sport!! Parker and Morgan had fun playing a little soccer of their own. It was a beautiful afternoon and we had a great time with family!!

On Saturday evening, Parker and Andrew got to hang out with their cousins some more while Brandon and I got to go to dinner with some of our best friends- Justin and Julie. We went to Lawrence, walked around downtown, ate at Genovese, and even went for frozen yogurt afterwards. I love going to Lawrence to walk around downtown...although there are some funny folks around town....we always have a great time, especially when we're with Justin and Jules!

Sunday was another fun day of family!! When Parker woke up, the first thing he wanted to do was go outside and see the new play set! So, at 8 am, we were out sliding, swinging, playing pirates, climbing, and laughing!!

We were only out for about an hour and then it was time to head to Topeka to visit great grandparents, grandparent, aunts, and uncles!

We played, played, played and then it was time to head home...we always find that the best time to "head home" is at nap time, so Parker and Andrew both got a good nap in and when we got home it was time to play again!!

We texted all of the neighbor boys and invited everyone to come over and break in the new play set!

The boys had so much fun playing and we even had a little picnic outside! If today was anything like this summer is going to be, I can't wait for the months to come!! Now....if we could only find time to do that pesky yard work!

I hope everyone had a fun weekend!!