Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Time

We made our annual trip to our favorite local pumpkin patch last weekend. It's about a 45 drive from our house, but it's worth every minute of the trip. We lucked out with a perfect weather day (mid 70's and sunny) and only a moderate sized crowd. The day was a big hit with the kids and definitely a tradition we'll continue.

We began our day by feeding the ducks, swans, goats, donkeys, and roosters. Both kids were particularly amused by the goats and donkeys. Macey laughed every time one of them made a "baaaa" sound. She wasn't amused, however, when I told her that she couldn't feed them her goldfish crackers.

The corn house was a definite favorite. We spent a good 20 minutes playing in there. The only drawback: corn was falling out of our clothes for the rest of the day.

The train ride was an absolute must.  Both kids enjoyed the ride, but Macey was particularly mesmerized by the fact that she was riding on a choo choo. Her smile (pictured below) was a permanent fixture on her face during the ride.

There were some other activities that the kids loved that aren't pictured (my phone battery died during the visit). Those included: a long tunnel slide, a hay maze, pig races, and a tractor ride.
Both kids were excited to pick out their own pumpkins. Camden chose a green one and Macey chose a small orange one.
Now, we count down the days until Halloween!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ten Years.

Matt and I celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary on October 9th. Ten years is such a milestone anniversary. Matt and I were married young (at 23 and 24 years old). We've experienced so much together in the last ten years of marriage-- buying two houses, adopting pets, the stress of infertility, traveling to the Bahamas, Jamaica, Key West, and Vegas, our first positive pregnancy test, the birth of Camden, becoming a family of three, the deaths of loved ones, my transition to being a stay-at-home mom, another positive pregnancy test, the birth of Macey, and the completion of our family of four. There have been highs and lows, good times and bad, challenges and triumphs. Over the past 10 years, we've built a life that I couldn't be more proud of and thankful for. Here's to the next 10 years!

Disclaimer: Matt & I were married before digital wedding photography (how's that to make you feel old?!) and my scanner is broken. So, these are pictures of pictures-- hence the less than stellar quality.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Interview with Camden (at almost five!)

Check out our latest interview below, folks. I can't wait to look back on how his answers change over the years.
Transcript of our interview:
How old are you? Four.
How old are you going to be on your next birthday? Five.
What is your favorite TV show?  Paw Patrol. I just told you that.
What is one thing you like about yourself?  Playing baseball.
What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner?  Pizza.
What is your favorite color?  Umm, blue. And white.
Who is your best friend?  Jacob, Alex, Will, Daniel, Lainey, and Eli.
What is your favorite song?  Itsy Bitsy Spider
What do you like best about mommy?  That you play baseball in the backyard with me.
What do you like best about Daddy? That he's a coach.
What’s your favorite thing about school?  Mmm...playing.
What is your favorite video game? Bomberman. (Breaks into spontaneous cheer)
What’s your favorite thing to play with Macey? Play Nintendo. (Then he clarifies that Macey doesn't actually play Nintendo, but she pretends by holding a controller.)
What do you like best about your teachers?  That they teach me things I don't know.
What are their names? Miss Linda and Miss Cindy
When do you think your bed time should be?  Umm, nine o'clock.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside? Mmm, go down the slide on the hill.
What do you like most about baseball? That I hit a coach's pitch.
What do you want to be when you grow up?  A policeman.
How many kids do you think you’ll have? I already said two.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Gymnastics, Day One

Let's just say that day one of Macey's gymnastics class didn't go quite as I expected. I had an idea that it might not go as smoothly as I hoped when we were waiting for her teacher in the lobby area. Macey was peering through the windows and was ecstatic to see the foam pit filled with big beach balls.

"Balls! Playground!" she screamed over and over again, while trying frantically to open the door to the gym.

That was a fun fifteen minute wait.

Once we got inside and class began, I could see right away that she was the youngest kid in the class and the only new kid in the class. When she was asked to sit on her star, she obliged-- briefly. Then she decided it would be much more fun to run around and pick up everyone else's stars off the ground.

Next up: the foam pit. I breathed a sigh of relief when we moved on to this activity because she was so excited to get in there. A few minutes later, I started hearing, "May May stuck! May May stuck!" Now, in her defense, it is kind of tough to climb out of those pits!

Moving on the obstacle course. She enjoyed jumping and climbing through various obstacles, but she did not enjoy waiting her turn. What two year old does? While she's used to taking turns with Camden, she is NOT used to waiting her turn while six other kids go in front of her. While we waited, I spent a lot of time chasing her around the gym so she didn't interrupt other classes.

On a positive note, the trampoline was a big hit. So was the goodbye song that we danced to at the end of class. When I asked her if she had fun on the way home, she gave me an enthusiastic, "Yes!"

I'll be honest: about halfway through class, I told myself we wouldn't be back until Macey was older and could follow directions. However, I talked to the teacher after class and she told me that every new student starts this way and that Macey will get used to the structure. Here's hoping that's true and she wasn't just trying to make me feel better!

I think we'll give it another go next week. She seemed to enjoy herself, even if she exhausted her mama.

Monday, September 29, 2014

These days: a kid update

There are countless times in a week (and sometimes in a day) when one of the kids says or does something and I think, I really should be documenting this stuff.

Sometimes I'll grab a post-it note and jot down random words, hoping that my scribbling will help jog my memory about a particular moment. Other times, I file the story away mentally, promising myself I'll write it down later.

So, in the spirit of keeping that promise to myself, here are some random stories, thoughts, and information about Camden at almost 5 years old and Macey at just over 2 years old.


  • Your Little League games are so fun to watch. You have such a great attitude. You struck out last week for the first time, and you took it like a champ. I worried about how you'd rebound from the strike out. Turns out, you're a resilient little guy. You play hard. Even when you're in the outfield and not getting much action, you keep your eye on the ball. You give every at bat and every defensive play your best effort. I am so proud of you.
  • Your favorite joke right now is, "I'm going to hide under there." You can't help but snicker quietly to yourself while you wait for the inevitable "Under where?" response. And then you can barely get out your punchline in between fits of laughter: "I just made you say underwear!" Oh, (almost) 5 year old humor-- gotta love it.
  • You're completely obsessed with video games. Right now, your favorite is Bomber Man. We limit your screen time, but even when you're not playing, you're still living in a video game world. I love to listen as you quietly discuss levels and bad guys and strategies for defeat with yourself.
  • You are doing wonderfully in school. It's so different this year; there's more real work and structure. They're preparing you for kindergarten and you're taking it in stride. You look forward to going each day.
  • You talk a lot. And you ask a lot of questions. I don't think you ever run out of things to say and I love to listen as you try to figure out the world around you. You ask questions about everything from God to the Ghostbusters movie (and no- we haven't let you see that movie yet).

Playing catcher. That equipment he's wearing weighs almost as much as he does.


  • One of my favorite things you're saying right now is, "I'm sowwy." Sometimes you use it appropriately, like if you accidentally hurt your brother. The other day, your clumsy mom fell while walking up the stairs. I said, "Ouch!" and you yelled, "I'm sowwy, Mommy!" from downstairs. Also, when I apologize to you for something, you say, "It's otay, Mommy."
  • You are still totally pacifier obsessed. I'll be honest: I kind of slacked off on the weaning process when we transitioned you to your toddler bed. It seemed like a lot of change all at once. Now that you're (mostly) adjusted to your new bed, I should really start working on the paci wean again. But I'll admit that I will miss hearing you say, "Cat sassy? Pwease, Mommy." (Your pacifiers have ridiculously large stuffed animals attached to the end of them. Your current favorite is your cat paci.)
  • You've mastered jumping and you do it repeatedly. You're quite pleased with your new accomplishment.
  • You do the funniest little snort/smile combination when you're being silly (or when you want attention, because you know it makes everyone laugh).
  • Another attention getter? Your fake sneeze that's followed by a ridiculously precious, "Escoooose me."
The famous snort/smile. (Watching bro play baseball with Nonnie, who is Matt's mom.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's Wednesday, but it's not wordless

Right now, I am:
Enjoying this fall weather, minus the rain. Camden had a baseball game last night in the cold, wet rain. The kids handled it like little troopers. Macey and I huddled under a blanket in the dugout. But the Stars won their first game! Not that they care. I doubt very many (any?) of them could tell you what the score was. And that's exactly how it should be with kids at this age.

Reading my daily plans on my She Reads Truth app. I heard about this app from Diana over at Diana Wrote and found that it was the perfect thing for me. I so want to find a church that's right for us when the kids are a little older, but in the meantime, these short daily Bible verses and commentary that's in relatable terms are just what I need right now.

Cooking really good chili in the crockpot! I was so excited. My dinner rotation is getting really old and I was in desperate need for some new recipes. After my first new recipe attempt was a total bomb (sweet and sour chicken in the crockpot- it was just downright gross), I didn't have the highest expectations for my first attempt at chili. But it was excellent!

Excited about Macey starting gymnastics in two weeks! When I registered her for class, they told me to make sure she has her hair pulled back each week. That made me laugh. One day my girl will have hair that can be pulled back! In the meantime, I'm excited to see her in adorable leotards doing what she does best: running around and flipping with endless energy.

Anticipating our family Disney Trip early next year! This will be the kids' first time at Disney, and my first time there since I was seven years old. I have no idea what to expect, but I can't wait. We will be going with my parents and my sister and her family.

Watching Nashville. Yay for the return of the fall TV lineup!

Deciding what the kids are going to be for Halloween. Macey has been saying "I'm a bee. Buzzz." a lot lately, so I'm having visions of her in a cute little black and yellow bee costume with wings. Camden, on the other hand, has no idea what he wants to be. Most costumes for 4-5 year old boys are of the superhero variety, and that's just not Camden's thing. He has suggested an Angry Bird and a bat (but not Batman), so stay tuned.

A little photo dump from the week:
Scaling "mountains" in the neighborhood. That tiny figure at the top is a very proud Camden.

After we reach the top, we must slide down. Side note: I found a small piece of glass right after I took this picture. Mountain scaling and sliding was abruptly halted.

I'd like to title this section: My Wild Child at the Playground
Exhibit one: Doesn't that face just sum everything up?

Exhibit Two: Debating the most adventurous way she can go down this slide. Because sliding down the traditional way is boring and thus unacceptable.
Decision made: A full-on sprint was the winner!
And school time:
This week we worked on graphing how many of each color baby dinosaur we had...

...we also did some story sequencing.
And I've started to display some sight words around the house. He enjoys looking for those each day and "reading" the words to me. (Those are supposed to be apples. Macey calls them hearts. I've never called myself artsy. Or crafty.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Random life updates

If you're looking for a cohesive post with a central subject, click away now. Now that you've been forewarned, here are my random thoughts/life updates for the night:

  • Know what makes me feel old? Having a kid that punctuates the end of every sentence with "dude". Wasn't it just yesterday that I was celebrating his first babbles? And now he's talking like a 14-year old skater boy. I have to admit, it makes me smile every time he says it though, because I know he picked it up from one of his older cousins, and I love the way he admires them.
  • The switch to the toddler bed has made the past month-ish interesting. Overall, she's done well (with the exception of a rough first week). She still has her off nights every once in a while, but mostly, she stays in her bed. Nap time has become entertaining though. Most days, she chatters and plays for a good 30 minutes after I put her in her room. When I go to check on her after she falls asleep, I often find her like this:
Who doesn't sleep with a carton of milk and a microwave?! For the record, when she woke up, I also found pretend broccoli, waffles, and cookies under her.

  • Macey had her two year check-up a few days ago. It was smooth sailing with the exception of (surprise, surprise!) her weight. She is in the 61st percentile for height and only the 2nd percentile for weight. Camden has always been a skinny kid too, but he has never fallen below the 5th percentile for weight, and usually hovers around the 10th percentile. The pediatrician wasn't overly concerned (he is aware that Matt is 6'2" and 155 pounds soaking wet), but he does want me to keep her on a high fat diet indefinitely. Right now, she weighs just under 22 pounds; the goal is to have her at 23 pounds in 6 months. I know one day she will be thankful for her lightning fast metabolism!
 Admiring fish at the doctor's office. There's nothing like a happy child at the pediatrician to make you feel guilty about the upcoming shots.
My skinny little trooper.

  • I was looking at classes to register for next semester and realized that, after I complete my class next semester, I only have 3 classes left before student teaching! This doesn't change my timeline (meaning, I will still go back to work when Macey starts kindergarten), but it does give me a light at the end of a tunnel that I've been slowly trudging through for the past decade! And I'm very thankful that there's another degree and a licensure waiting for me at the end of this tunnel.
  • I haven't forgotten about my home preschool series. I kind of debated whether or not I was going to continue working with the boys while they were in "real" school. It seemed a bit redundant, as my main focus was the alphabet and I knew they would be covering that in preschool this year. Plus, with baseball starting, the boys are busy, and I didn't want to pile too much on their plates. So, I have been working here and there with Camden, but I'm not doing any formal lessons again until (most likely) next summer, which will be right before they start kindergarten. I am still doing a little bit of alphabet work with Camden, but I'm also focusing on some kindergarten readiness stuff, which I will be sharing here and there. I'll likely continue my home preschool series next summer.
Some of the activities we've been focusing on lately: math (understanding the values that numbers represent), sorting (by shape, color, size, animal type, etc.), and patterns. We've also started to work on some sequencing.