Sunday, March 28, 2010

2 funnies from today...

I just have to blog these two "funnies" from Reilly today so I don't ever forget them :)

1. we were getting ready to run to the store and I was making a list of things I needed to get. Reilly went and found her pad and pencil and began making her own "list" as well. she then grabbed her purse and put the list inside and then quickly looked at me and said, "now, where is my debit card?"!!! (she meant her "gift card" that she got from her party yesterday!).

2. as we were driving to the store, she said, "look mommy, there's some trash up there! we have to stop and go get it mommy!". I didn't pay much attention and just launched into some story about how there's "people" who come clean up the trash so we don't need to stop the car and get out on the road. as we pulled into the parking lot she said, "mommy, there's the trash again, we have to go get it!". I looked up and saw off in the distance what looked like a big piece of "trash" flying through the air but really it was one of those huge banner advertisements being pulled by an airplane over near the speedway!!! that must have looked so weird to her little 3yr. old eyes!! so cute.

celebrating our girl!!

My eyes just filled with tears as I put together the video of pictures from Reilly's 3rd birthday party yesterday. I just can't believe that my precious little girl is already 3 years old. I can't believe that it has already been 3 years that Shawn and I became first time parents....after a long 3 year wait. I can't believe how grown up she seems to me sometimes. And I can't believe how much I love her....even though I feel like I may go crazy some days!! Even though we have had a few rough patches over the past year, Reilly brings so much life, joy, laughter, and spirit to our family. She says the funniest things and Shawn and I continually find ourselves looking at eachother wondering, "where did she come up with that one?"! She is a fabulous big-sister (most of the time!) and she loves her baby brother more than words can say. We are so blessed by this little girl and we had an awesome time celebrating HER yesterday!!

Her birthday celebrations started out prematurely at On The Boarder on Friday night. We were eating dinner and I just had a spur of the moment idea hit me....ask the wait staff to come sing to her!! No, I didn't have a camera since this was totally a last minute thought, but it was kinda fun! She kept watching the waiters singing to other birthday-celebrating-patrons, so when they started clapping and walking over to our table, she was quite surprised! She was a bit shy while they were singing, but it didn't take her long to get over the "quietness" when they put a gigantic bowl of brownie a la mode in front of her!! After we put the kids in bed, Shawn and I stayed up and got the house all decorated and ready for her birthday party. I had been gathering all kinds of MickeyMouse Clubhouse items to use for the party and I was all giddy Friday night, filled with excitement to surprise Reilly with everything on Saturday morning!!

We started the day with the surprise and made her walk downstairs with her eyes closed until she was right in the middle of the "party room" (some days I hate that we don't have a dining room set yet, but then other days I LOVE that we have a fabulously, empty room!!). I bought a 3.5' tall Mickey Mouse cardboard cutout and that's what I stood her in front of before letting her open her eyes!! She was SO excited!! Then we had some breakfast, made by daddy, in the form of the traditional pancakes. He made her a #3 along with a couple stars and a heart. She LOVED them. We let her open presents from us during breakfast and that was super exciting for her. All she has kept asking for was an umbrella and rain that's what she got! After breakfast, Reilly and daddy headed out to Party City to get LOTS of balloons for the festivities while I stayed home to work on the CAKE. Two hours later, plus two tylenol, I completed my first ever (and possibly LAST ever) character birthday cake in the shape of...MICKEY MOUSE! It was pretty cute, but boy was it a lot of work.

My mom and dad came down to help out with the party and boy was I glad to have them here! I drew big yellow shoeprints on the sidewalk outside with a note that said "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" and a giant arrow pointing Reilly's friends to the frontdoor. While her friends were arriving, we had a MickeyMouse Clubhouse show on the tv for them to watch. They were hardly interested in it! I was so surprised! Instead they wanted to play in the "party room". We started with a game that I didn't know if they would like or not....they ALL LOVED IT! I made them each "mousekespotters" using paper towel rolls and crepe paper. They had to use their mousekespotters to find hidden shapes all over the house. Then they all had to work to find a hidden #3! After that, we played "dont' wake the giant". Willie the Giant is on the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show and the object of this game was for them to try to grab a toy that was lying beside the sleeping giant without waking him up!!! Poppi (my dad) was the giant...and he did a great job:) There were some kids that were scared to get near him, but then others were all about it and LOVED the "challenge" of trying to take a toy without him knowing! So cute. Then we played a game where they had to crawl around like doggies and try to help Pluto find his lost bones. Again, they loved this game too!! After the games, we sang Happy Birthday and let Reilly blow the candles out on her cake. While mom was cutting the cake, Shawn and I helped the kids make their own Rainbow Punch by choosing 4 differently colored ice cubes (made with koolaid) and then pouring Sprite over top. They thought this was so fun! After the cake and punch Reilly got to open her presents. She's never had an experience where so many friends came over and all brought gifts, so this was REALLY cool for her! She later told me that this was her favorite part of the whole day :) And then we finished the party with a Mickey Mouse pinata. It was the pull-string kind that is a much safer option for young children :) The party was SO fun and I think all the kids (and parents) enjoyed it too.

After they all left, Reilly actually went down for a 1.5 hour nap! As soon as she woke up, she was ready to get out her first new toy....a neat paint set. Then she wanted to get out a princess dress up set...which she decided to wear for the ENTIRE evening...giant clip-on earrings and all :) She did look pretty darn cute! She had to wear her new Minnie Mouse jammies for bed and sleep wiht her new princess blanket. She also insisted that we pack her new Princess suitcase (that my parents bought her for our Disney trip THREE weeks from now), even though we're not leaving for 20 days! She LOVES that thing!

This morning we started the new tradition that the birthday girl/boy gets to have a piece of their birthday cake for breakfast! Since we don't do too many treats in this house, Reilly was floored by this idea!!!

Here a few pictures from the day, and then a short slideshow of the rest. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

celebrating our boy.

I have tried to remember what my life was like before I had my sweet boy to snuggle all day long, kiss all over, and laugh with until I cry....I just can't do it! I never imagined that our lives would be filled with so much joy and so much love by such a small little guy! Braxton has been the most laid-back, easy-going, HAPPY baby ever. He is our skinny little peanut whose pants never fit! He loves being tickled, wrestling with his big sister on the floor, being held by his mommy, CHEESE, peanut butter toast, crawling all over the place, pulling to stand and crusing around the furniture until he is within arms reach of any remote control, wearing hats, being outside, giving and getting kisses, and laughing. Braxton is 100% a mommy's boy...and I LOVE IT :) He barely weighs 20 pounds and is about 28" tall. He's just starting to walk with one hand held, signs for "more", and other than that just makes lots of random sounds! We love you to pieces little boy!!

I did a "photo shoot" with Reilly on her first birthday with a gigantic lollipop and of course I just HAD to try for a repeat with Braxton on his birthday. Well, the outcome was MUCH different than with Reilly...

Apparently, his first taste of sugar was not a good one!!

On Sunday, we had a small party to celebrate Braxton's birthday. DeeDee and Poppi (my parents), Grandpa and Nanny (Shawn's dad and step-mom), Mama Ree (Shawn's grandmother) and Memama (my grandmother) all came over for a lunch. It was SUPER special for two of Braxton's great-grandmother's to be able to celebrate his birthday with us! We had some yummy chicken-grape-salad-croissants from good ole Lowes Foods and their delicious broccoli salad for lunch! Opening presents was interesting....Reilly was determined that they were all for her and that she definitely needed to open ALL of them for him. We kept telling her that in a few shorts years, he would be demolishing her birthday presents too and she would know what it was like :) After the presents, I was very excited to "dig" into the birthday cake. After Reilly completely destroyed her cake, I just knew that Braxton was going to have his from ear to ear and all over the place too! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong! We sang Happy Birthday to him and then presented his "mini cake" and he just stared at it. I put a piece in his mouth and then tried to put his fingers in the cake to get him going....this was the reaction I got:

After cake was put away, he actually started playing and being his silly self some...

Yesterday was his actual birthday, so we had to start off the day with the classic pancake in the shape of a #1! And, I even put a tad bit of syrup on it for the first time for him! He loved it :)

For dinner, we were having chicken spaghetti and I decided to put some in the food processor for Braxton to have (his first real "meal" of ours). He ate TWO bowls full!! I was determined to try the birthday cake again, so after dinner, we got all set up and put a big hunk on his plate for him. Much better results this time....although, he still did the classic "gag face" a few times! I guess he needs to acquire his taste for sugar??!

Friday, March 19, 2010

flash forward.

This morning, I found myself starting at my almost 3-yr. old daughter as if she were already a teenager. Let me explain. I was on the phone while she was trying to get my attention, and I quietly and sternly said to her, "Reilly, i'm on the phone, please wait a minute". Move ahead 15 minutes.....we were baking a cake for Braxton's birthday and she was pretending with a play phone. She was having numerous conversations to everyone in her life on her pretend cell phone. I turned to her and asked her to go and put her crayons away if she was done coloring. She quickly looked at me, pulled the phone out from her mouth and said, "mommy, I'm on the phone...just ONE minute." And then, promptly turned herself around, held the phone with her shoulder to her ear and said, "what's up dude?!" into the phone. EXCUSE ME?!!! What has my life come to?! I fear that I have just seen a breif moment of my life in about 10 years from now when I have a 13-yr. old on my hands with a cell phone growing out of her ear!!! :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

more and more proud of him.

I promise not to write a blog post about each of Shawn's school sessions, BUT, I just have to say how incredibly proud of him I am. He just finished his first session, two classes, at Liberty University and now has a week break before the next session and two more classes will begin. Let it be known...the first couple of weeks were pretty rough! It took a little time to get back in the mindset of college thinking and studying. It also took a while to develop a routine, figure out when and where was best to study, and get in a groove. After seeing how stressed Shawn was at the beginning, with life/work/school all fighting for his attention, I tried to help minimize the stress by convincing him that he didn't need to worry too much about school. "Just do as much as you need to do to get a 'C'. That's all that really matters and that way you won't completely burn yourself out." Well, I don't know if this bit of "advice" motivated him or if it was simply his OCD that kept him going, but Shawn was determined to do his best, just like he does in EVERY aspect of his life. And as he fought like heck to figure out (stupid) accounting, he finished the class with perfect grades. I have no idea how he manages all that is on his plate, but all I can say is that I am so so so proud of him. And, with this being his "week off" before two more classes start, he decided he needed to stay in the routine of reading ALL THE TIME, so he went and bought a 3" thick book to read "for pleasure". "ummm...excuse me, what have you done with my husband"!! I love it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring is coming!

Oh, you have NO idea how excited I am that the cold, dark days of winter are almost OVER! This past weekend was absolutely gorgeous....mid-60's and sunny as can be. To celebrate the "beginning of Spring", we got together with the Dreschers and the Wilders and had some good ole HT subs, chips and fruit....classic spring/summer get-together dinner! Since the Dreschers have claimed all the common land that is behind their house, including a sweet creek with a bridge and a "jumping tree" (to be explained), we started with a hike and some play time in the woods. The jumping tree is quite a thrill ride for the little ones. Ellie demonstrated by holding tightly to a bent over tree and James held onto it and then at once, he let go and the tree flung Ellie into the air! Ava, Jack and Reilly had to take turns on this adventure ride as well. Ahhh...can't wait for 100+ more get-togethers as the season gets underway!!!

It's been fun for me to watch the signs of Spring come about and get to explain this season change to Reilly. Yesterday, we were outside playing and were looking at both of our Cherry trees that are covered in buds. I was teaching Reilly about how trees and plants will start to have teeny-tiny buds all over them that will one day open into leaves and flowers. As I was talking, and giving this very wise sounding explanation about new life, she just kept saying, "oh!". I finished up the details and then said, "isn't that so neat that there are BUDS all over the trees already?" She looked at me and said, "yeah mommy, kinda like we have a little BUD too, right...Braxton-Bud!" (a common nickname used in our house: buddy, which frequently gets shortened to "bud") Well, kinda?!!??! :)