Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year.  Yesterday the kids helped me prepare our contributions to our feast.  We are a house divided when it comes to sweet potatoes so we do a half-and-half combo with marshmallows on one half and nuts on the other.

This morning we all cuddled up on the couch to watch the parade and the kids loved seeing all of the balloons, performances, and dancers.

Next we got ready to head to Ryan, Heather and Rylan's house for our family Thanksgiving.  They were so gracious to offer to host our Thanksgiving this year!

The kids had fun doing turkey crafts, running around and playing together. It was such a fun afternoon and we all feasted on too much yummy food.

 After our feast we watched a Christmas movie and then came home, put on our pajamas and watched the Christmas Tree lighting on TV that we usually attend.

I do love Thanksgiving and taking the time out to be able to show appreciation and gratitude for things in our lives, but I'm most excited about the Christmas season we are getting to enter into now.  I am super thankful for my hardworking, loving husband and my sweet as sugar children who bring me so much joy (and headache) every single day! I've always said that celebrating holidays is so much more fun with kids in our lives and I can't wait to make the very most of the Christmas season with them.

***Potty-training note for anyone that cares:  I gave a great attempt yesterday morning for our day 3 of boot camp and Hudson was much more willing and happy to try.  However, all he did was pee on the floor while playing (3-4 times) and it didn't seem to bother him one bit.  So, I made an executive decision that he wasn't quite ready and that I would try again in a few months.  Until then, he's happy in diapers!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day 2 - Not What I Expected

Day two of Hudson's boot camp potty training was not what I expected.  He decided to do a total 180 and totally resist going potty. He knew he didn't want to pee in his pants, but he also knew he didn't want to go on the potty.  The result was a lot of crying and screaming because he was so uncomfortable, him doing the pee-pee dance because he recognized the feeling to need to go, but not actually wanting to go and complete tantrums and meltdowns by both of us.  This went on for several hours until it was finally naptime and I put a diaper on him and put him to bed.  

To throw another unexpected factor into our day, Harper had been complaining about a sore throat yesterday and today she was in tears saying how bad it hurt.  I left Hudson and Handley with Gigi and took Harper to the doctor this afternoon.  They confirmed what I suspected...she has strep throat.  I hated to hear it, but was glad to know that after a few doses of antibiotics she will be feeling better by tomorrow.  

Hudson was happy in his diaper all evening since I was gone with Harper and I am second guessing him being ready. I'm going to reevaluate tomorrow morning and make a decision, but I'm leaning towards just holding off for a another few months until he's a little older and possibly a little less stubborn (doubtful, but I can hope). 

I'll spare y'all the picture of Hudson having a meltdown, but will share this one.  Handley has really been wanting for me to help her with her sewing machine and while Hudson was napping and Harper was resting this afternoon was the perfect time.  Before I know it she'll be slapping monograms on everything (just like me!). :-) 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hudson's Potty-Training Bootcamp - Day 1

Today was day 1 of Hudson's potty training bootcamp and I'm happily surprised with how the day went.  Granted, he had plenty of accidents and we went through at least 8-10 pairs of underwear (if not more - I lost count).  However, he seems to slowly be getting it and had a few great success today.  We ended on the best note though.  We were sitting eating dinner and all of the sudden he exclaimed, "Mommy, pee-pee!" so I grabbed him, we ran to the potty and he went! Each time he's gone he has gotten to pick a prize out of the box that he is loving and that motivation has really been key for him. I filled it with different kinds of candy, matchbox cars, dollar store dinosaurs, and stuff like that.  Today he earned 4 prizes (M&M's, a car, conversation hearts and a lollipop).  He also hand plenty of opportunities to practice since I was offering him every kind of yummy drink I could think of (chocolate milk, juice, tea, and milkshakes).  

I can tell the biggest challenge for him is what I would imagine most little boys have a hard time with...stopping playing long enough to go.  He has no problem sitting, but if something doesn't happen right away he is quick to hop up and say all done.  We'll see what day 2 has in store for us tomorrow! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Harper's Thanksgiving Feast

Today was Harper's Thanksgiving Feast. They dressed as the Indians and Pilgrims and she kept telling me over and over how happy she was that I was there with her today.  I know the one-on-one time with her is far and few between so it was nice to see her in her class with her friends and be able to help out with her celebration.

The kids chowed down on lots of yummy food and then sang their Thanksgiving song while they played their Indian drums.  It was the cutest thing!

Her teacher is so animated and sweet.  They each got to disguise a turkey so that the hunters wouldn't find their turkey for Thanksgiving.  While we were there for the feast Mrs. Mary Jo had the hunter puppet searching for a turkey, but came up empty handed because of all the great disguises the kids got to share.  Then they were all hung in the hallway...Harper's is the Christmas tree! 

A HUGE thank you to Jen who kept Hudson for me this morning and took him to his gymnastics class with Parker.  I felt awful even asking her, but she is like super mom taking care of a 1 month old newborn and two busy two-year-old boys.  She said they did great at their class and had lots of fun together.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hudson sleeping

Looking at the pictures I took today, you'd think Hudson slept the day away. In fact, he went to school today and had a wonderful day. He's back to not crying and being happy about going.

While he and Harper were at school, Handley helped me run a few errands and get some things marked off the to-do list.  She came home sick from school yesterday.  Thankfully the bug was very short lived and she woke up feeling 100 times better this morning, but she stayed home today just to be sure.

After school we all had lunch, went to get Hudson a haircut, and then were off to the girls dance classes.  Hudson fell asleep on the way there and miraculously I was able to keep him sleeping until we left there about an hour and 1/2 later.  He usually transfers really well and I just put him in the stroller to let him keep sleeping.  However, I'm in a rental car because mine is getting new tires and my stroller is still in my car which is still in the shop.  I carried him in, helped the girls get dressed, layed him on one of the beanbag chairs in the corner and he napped right through all of the craziness of that dance studio in the afternoons.

Back at home he discovered his hat and didn't want it off all evening.  He insisted on wearing it to bed and he didn't like my idea of just taking it in the bed with him...he needed it on.  I cracked up when I went to check on him a few hours later.  :-) He also likes to sleep with random things each night (last week it was a calculator one night, a pair of Lightening McQueen socks the next, and you can see the notepad right beside him in the picture below from tonight.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Handley's 2nd Lost Tooth!

So apparently weekly blogging updates are becoming my new norm.  I would much rather post regularly like I used to, but I know I will get back to that again after we are in our new house.

Anyway, this week was another great one and we got to celebrate the middle of the week by meeting Jen, Parker and Mackenzie for a last minute lunch date on Wednesday.  The boys had so much fun playing "crash the race cars" together so Jen and I got to catch up and plan our Christmas card pictures.

As soon as I dropped off the little ones for pre-school on Thursday morning I went to Handley's school to help set-up for their school-wide Thanksgiving Feast.  I was amazed by how decked out their tables were and how festive everything looked when we were done.  I knew the kids would just love it and Handley came home telling me how pretty everything looked.

Later that day the kids put together boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  Harper and Hudson had helped me pick out items to fill the boxes earlier in the week and the girls really got into packing and preparing the boxes that will be sent to underprivileged children for Christmas.  I love teaching them about giving and service and loved seeing how excited they were to be giving these toys and items to children who have very little.

The biggest news of the week came this afternoon when I picked Handley up from school and she entered the car beaming.  She exclaimed, "I lost a tooth at school!"  WHAT?!?!?  I didn't even know her tooth was loose and neither did she.  How in the world did that happen??  She said she was eating her strawberries at lunch and just felt it fall out.  She was so excited and really happy about the tooth fairy coming.  We checked her other bottom tooth and it is slightly loose too so I guess it won't be too long and the tooth fairy will be back again for another visit.  Her teacher gave her a baggie to put the tooth in and although you can't see it in the picture it said "Handley's Tooth!" with a big smiley on it. :-)

We ended our day making a special memory that you can read about HERE on our house blog.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Weekend Review

We had a wonderful weekend!  It got off to a great start on Friday. Hudson and I got to read to Handley's class, Hudson had his gymnastics class after that and then he and Parker were SO sweet together at lunch.  They are such good friends (most of the time) and were bonding over crashing their race cars on this particular day.  That afternoon Handley came home with a perfect score on a her spelling test and then Friday night Robby and I attended a work dinner.  It was really fun to get dressed up and go out.  Gigi and Papa kept the kids, along with the help of Great-Grandma and Sharon (Robby's grandmother and aunt were visiting for the weekend).

Saturday morning we hit the ground running.  The girls and I went to brunch with some of my friends to celebrate Sarah turning 30 and her being in town for the weekend!  It was great to catch up with Sarah since she no longer lives just around the corner from us.  Next up Handley was cheering for their football team's first play-off game.  She looked so good cheering and the team did great so we are on to the second week of play-offs next weekend.  Grandma and Sharon even stopped by to see Handley cheer for a little bit.

We stopped for frozen yogurt at RT on the way home and then it was a quick change and time to head to Ryan and Heather's house for dinner and to celebrate Gigi's birthday.  The kids had so much fun together and I just love how well they all get along. Hudson adores Rylan and tried to copy everything he did.  The girls were introduced to the world of video games and nerf guns, both of which they loved.

Today Robby had to fly out early for work and I spent the day getting caught up on laundry (I think I counted at least 7 loads) and also made turkey shirts for the kids. Everyone came back over for dinner tonight and one last get-together before Grandma and Sharon head back to Florida in the morning.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ice Cream Truck

My kids love when the ice cream truck comes and it is usually a rarity.  So, when we were outside playing this afternoon and Handley's ears perked up at that tinkly music she came running up to me and said she thought she heard the ice cream truck.  It was close to dinner time, but they were all so excited about the idea of the ice cream truck so I couldn't say no.  I told the kids to freeze where they were I ran in to grab some cash and in those 15 seconds the truck passed right by Gigi and Papa's house.  We all stood at the end of the driveway listening intently hoping that it would come back by and a few minutes later the music was getting louder and louder.  The kids were jumping up and down with excitement and were perfectly happy picking the cheapest thing on the ice cream truck's menu since I only had $3 in my wallet.  Thankfully their popsicles didn't ruin their dinner.

The rest of the day was great.  The girls had wonderful days at school and Hudson and I ran errands with him in a great mood and I even squeezed in some exercise, too. Unfortunately the day did not end on a good note. Living in a temporary places isn't easy and not being able to go home during the day is rough.  It means Hudson only gets a nap in the car.  Most days he does sleep, but today he didn't and he was out of sorts this evening.  I felt so bad when he was hysterical, but so stressed at the same time because I was trying to get the girls fed, get everyone ready for bed and my patients were worn then.  Praying for a smoother evening (and a nap) for a sweet boy tomorrow.

Monday, November 4, 2013

My Birthday and Hudson's First Potty

Today I celebrated my 33rd birthday and the thing I will remember most about this day is that Hudson used the potty for the very first time today.

He's been showing all the readiness signs (except actually wanting to go) so today while we were out I let him help pick out some undies and a little potty.  He carried the undies with him everywhere today and tonight when I opened up the packages he begged to put them on. I told him he could wear them if he used the potty, so he marched right in there and tried so hard that he did!  He was SO excited and proud of himself.  He paraded around in his new McQueen underwear and showed them off to everyone.  The girls were jumping up and down and high-fiving him when they heard the news.  He didn't want to take them off when it was time for bed so I let him wear them under his diaper to sleep (since he usually wakes up dry in the mornings anyway) and he also wanted to sleep holding onto another pair.  Haha!  I'm just glad he's so excited and hope that I've caught him at just the right time. My plan is to keep encouraging him to go these next few weeks and then when we are home over Thanksgiving break I can do a 3 day bootcamp like I did with the girls.  If it works -- great! If not, I will just table it until after we move and are settled in our house (which was my original plan anyway).

The rest of the day was spent driving everyone to and from school and I got to squeeze in lunch with my BFF, Jen, too!  It was the perfect day.

Yesterday, Gigi planned a dinner at their house to celebrate and invited Ryan, Heather and Rylan over.  The kids had a blast playing outside together and it was fun to catch up with everyone.  I got my favorite ice cream cake and also opened some fun gifts.  The sweetest was from the girls...they had gone with Gigi to the store to pick out a few things including some nail polish, lip gloss and several flavors of gum.  They also included some of their Halloween candy and Harper stuck one of her bracelets in the gift bag, too.  They were so proud and so excited to give it to me along with the pictures they had made.
The kids were ready for ice-cream cake! 

All day today Harper kept asking if I got my new phone in the mail yet (which is my real gift) and this morning on the way to school she told me that if I went a store today and saw something I liked that I should buy it "even if it isn't on sale" since it's my birthday.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

Our Halloween started bright and early yesterday morning.  We were all up, kids dressed in costumes, and out the door by 6:30 AM so that we could make it to Handley's school to watch the first graders in the "I Love a Book" parade.

They got to dress as a favorite book character so Handley chose to dress up as Ladybug girl from the Ladybug Girl series and she looked super cute!

After the parade we made our way to drop Harper and Hudson at school for their parties.  Harper was thrilled...Hudson was not. He's back to crying at drop-off, but his teachers say he literally stops the second I'm out of sight so I'm not too worried about it.

I got to come back early to help with Hudson's party.  They had the cutest themed snacks, played some games and did a craft. It was fun to watch him in his class with his friends and he seemed very happy that I was there.

Harper had lots of fun at her party, too.  Her school BFF's mom was one of the party moms so she took these cute pictures of Harper.

After picking up Handley that afternoon we went by Robby's office for a health screening they had and the kids wanted to see his desk where he worked.  That turned in to a tour of his floor and a little pre-trick-or-treating.  They were getting all kind of goodies from everyone there!

When it was time for real trick-or-treating we went to our soon-to-be new house.  Some of the neighbors were having a party and it was so fun for us to meet some of the neighbors and for the kids to get to know some of their new friends.  I think it made us all excited about moving in because it's a great group of people!

Next year we'll have a house with a big porch to put our pumpkin and candy on instead of a Styrofoam cooler!