Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2 Little Monkeys Jumping on the…

Last week we had two days with nothing to do, and because it’s still a million degrees out,  indoor activities are the way to go.  Nathan was off and suggested going to Leaping Lizards, which is a warehouse full of bounce houses that we visited when Tyler and Caroline were way too small to enjoy.  Needless to say, they were fully capable of enjoying it this time.  The red faces and sweaty hair tell it all!

They went from needing a helping hand from daddy at first…8-29-11 040

To running around like wild banshees.  More like it!8-29-11 085

And of course, it didn’t take long for them to realize that they were way too cool to just slide down the slide like normal kids.  They must GET AIR!8-29-11 107

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We eventually lured them off the slide to a bigger bounce house, which had a tunnel.  This is where I was reminded that I often have three kids…8-29-11 187

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Because what fun-loving dad can resist an old fashioned game of popcorn with his toddlers?8-29-11 196

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This one cracks me up… Tyler is like “See ya sissy.  Hope it works out.”8-29-11 170

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Time to play some house and take a breather-8-29-11 199

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But not for long.  Back to the slide!8-29-11 228

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As much fun as we had, though, I can’t recap this event without telling you about the “mama bear” rage that slipped out during one of our slide stints.  I’m probably going to get some hate mail for this, because I know that it’s kind of taboo to discipline someone else’s child in public… but y’all, I simply could not help myself. 

It all started when this buxom five or six year old girl decided to be all up in my personal space.  I was ok with it at first, since she was basically just sitting on top of me and trying to play with whatever Tyler and Caroline were playing with.  No harm, no foul there.  I figured she was a bit attention-deprived (with her grandfather hanging out in the eating area the whole time) and wanted someone to play with.  But then it happened…  Sweet little Caroline went to climb up the slide, and lo and behold, this big child more than twice her size runs over and pushes her off.  ::BOILING RAGE!!::  By the time three seconds had lapsed and the girl reached the bottom of the slide, I ever-so-loudly told her “that is a baby!  WE DO NOT PUSH OTHERS!!!  I think you need to find somewhere else to play!”

I could tell you that I’m ashamed of it, but I’m not.  Nathan found the whole thing hilarious and has not let me live it down, and began calling me “pit bull” the minute that kid went running out of that slide area faster than the speed of light.  I guess I’ll own it… I mean, don’t mess with my babies, even if they’re not exactly babies anymore.  :)

Monday, August 29, 2011


After working on a post for over an hour and a half, Windows Live Writer just closed the screen randomly and NO DRAFT WAS SAVED.  If the kids weren't napping, I would scream.  Maybe writing in blogger wasn't so bad after all, at least it saves a draft for you every few minutes. 

I'm. So. Ticked.

So, this blog may or may not suffer for the actions of WLW.  I don't think I can handle working on the same post, AGAIN, just yet. 

Vent over.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pity Party of One

I'm sick, y'all.

I know I promised posts of "fun" and all, but honestly, it's been all I can do to throw dinner in the crockpot this week. Naturally, Nathan has had to work pretty much the entire time, so life has been a tad hard to say the least. I'm on the upswing, though, so as soon as I get a free moment this weekend I'm going to get on this blogging job! Swear!

Bear with me please... :)
And thanks for sticking around!

Monday, August 22, 2011

“Last Fling Before the Ring!”

I am so behind with blogging right now!  My camera is loaded with fun pictures from the past week, so hopefully over the next few days I’ll have some time to post them.  In the mean time (as I’m watching the hot mess otherwise known as Bachelor Pad), here are a few pictures from my weekend.  For the first time EVER, I braved a night away from my kiddos!  Until now, the longest I’ve left them has been a few hours… so an entire 24-hour period just made me crazy.  I knew they were in good hands with Grammie & Paw, but it didn’t keep me from shedding a few tears as I left right along with Tyler.  Even my sweet mother-in-law got emotional just watching me tell them bye – maybe I’m the one whose hot mess?  Haha!

As I cruised down I-26 toward Charleston, though, the wind picked up in my sails and I got my game face on.  It was time to party with my girls and celebrate Allison’s “last fling before the ring,” and that we certainly did!  Maybe not quite as hard as we did ten years ago, but still… :)

Kicking the day off at the pool, Allison’s bachelorette pimp cup in-hand.298067_185576098177804_100001762468561_438613_1770813_n

Next up, “Picnic Under the Palms” southern style!292045_2026384187923_1493580691_32188009_4721543_n

Let the record show that my hat ruled.297218_2026562152372_1493580691_32188358_559583_n

“Da cabs ahhh heeeeah!”316474_2026568072520_1493580691_32188380_6636053_n

Off to Shem Creek for dinner & good times316474_2026568112521_1493580691_32188381_424609_n

Pose, ladies!AK08-20-111571-M

Now, don’t pose?…AK08-20-111579-M

All in all, I think we sent our lovely bachelorette off in good taste.  I survived my first overnight trip as a mommy, and now we have the wedding to look forward to in a few weeks. 

Congratulations Allison & Michael!  Marriage is awesome.  :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

There are often times when one realizes they are truly "a mom."  By that I mean the times in which you are doing something so foul, you can hardly imagine you'll escape it alive, and it's the love for your precious little one that gives you the strength to go on. 

Times like cleaning up chunky puke.

(Did you all just throw up in your mouth a little bit?  I know I did.)

I have cleaned many-a-tushies, wiped countless booger-filled noses, and even fished plenty of "floaters" from bath water.  What I haven't had to do, though, is clean up the nastiest vomit I've ever witnessed while also wearing it.  Let me explain.

After a fun little outing yesterday afternoon, we came home and were lounging around the living room.  Nathan took off for the night shift, and soon enough, the kids were asking for a snack.  Before I could even ask what they wanted, Tyler climbed onto the dining table and retrieved a clementine from the fruit bowl.  Ok, easy enough.  He and Caroline were eating their slices while I was watching the news, and all of the sudden, I heard him gag a little bit.  He quickly spit the offending piece of clementine into my hand, so off I went to throw it away.  As I approached the kitchen, though, I heard him gagging again, which made me rush back into the living room and kneel before him.  I cupped my hands under his mouth and told him to "spit," thinking he was just coughing up another little piece. 

Oh. My. God.

What happened next was one for the books.  Poor little fella expelled everything he'd eaten ALL DAY into my hands, onto my arms, down his entire body, and all over the carpet-covered floor.  He started crying immediately, and as I'm trying to comfort him, my own gag-reflexes kicked in and I almost lost my own daily intake.  I even had chunks of food twirling amongst my wedding rings, if that tells you anything.  (Still reading? :)

I tried to keep it together, but if I'm being perfectly honest, there's something about vomit that just makes me nauseaus.  I would almost rather clean poop from the walls than clean vomit, but I'm the mommy and I had to put my big girl panties on and deal with it.  So while I rushed a sobbing Tyler to the kitchen to get him stripped down and cleaned up, I begged Caroline and Connor to come with us and step away from the puke... since clearly Connor is a dog, and found it all extremely delicious.  *Barf*

Once Tyler and I were scrubbed down with Dawn, I headed back to the crime scene and tried to clean it to the best of my abilities.  This is where the comedy occurred... I could barely wipe at it without tears streaming down my face and dry-heaving, and as I'm doing my best Molly Maid impersonation through the madness, sweet Caroline is standing there horror-stricken at the sight of it all, gagging and trying not to puke herself.  Tyler, at this point, thought it was hilarious.  The more I gagged and heaved, the more she gagged, then the more he laughed, and then the more Connor tried to get an early supper.  The four of us were a sight to behold.

Eventually the vile vomit was wiped away and sanity was restored, and lucky for Granna, she was the first phone call on my list.  I had to tell someone about it, you know?  After a quick "hey!  let me tell you about the time I dry-heaved more than any time in my 20's!" and synopsis of the afternoon's events, she laughed and told me how much she appreciated me updating her on these happenings while she enjoyed her dinner salad.  So very appetizing!  Obviously that being "a mom" business comes full-circle, even when we're grandmothers.

Monday, August 15, 2011

22 Months

Caroline and Tyler,

It's hard to believe that you've been in our lives for more than two years now, and you'll officially be the big "2" in sixty short days.  This week is one of many reminders for me... three years ago, I was finalizing details for my wedding and making sure my hair and nails were just right.  Two years ago, I was between the hospital and the couch, being fitted for a terbuteline pump and praying every second of every day that the two of you would stay put for as long as possible.  One year ago you were just starting to walk!  It's unfathomable that you've now been in this world for twenty-two months, and every one of them has passed us by so quickly. 

Both your Daddy and I try to make mental notes of every moment, and although we're not the best at recording your every move, we've gotten better at capturing them lately.  Just yesterday we actually got you to sit side by side and point to all the parts of your body, then make all the animal sounds in your repertoire.  The side by side part doesn't happen much anymore... you're just too busy for that.  And if you're not too busy, you've got your own ideas about where you'd prefer to sit and you make it known quite vividly!  The most notable thing about your present age is the independence that you both assert now.  Your favorite word, by far, is "nooooooooo." 

Here is a typical conversation:
Me:  "Do you want a snack?"
You:  "Nooooooooooo."
Me;  "How about going outside to play?  Does that sound fun?"
You:  "Nooooooooooo."
Me:  "Should you eat only fruit snacks for dinner?"
You:  "Nooooooooooo."

In a nutshell, no matter how much you may actually want to do something, your definitive answer is NO.  I can ask you everything from "are you ready for a nap?" (which is an obvious "no") to "are you having fun?" and the answer will always be the same.  Perhaps it's because Daddy & I laugh almost every time you say it, and you each have your own special "no" dialect.  Caroline's is this long, drawn out "naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwww," and Tyler's is more to the point with a slightly Boston-sounding flare.  We know we're making bad habits from laughing, but truthfully, it's hilarious. 

Along the same lines, you're generally very clear about the way things are going to occur these days.  You let me know what kind of drink you prefer (milk, juice, or smoothie) at every meal/snack, where you're going to sit, and how you're going to get in the seat.  Heaven forbid I attempt to put you in the chair, because you so obviously can do that yourself.  You must put your own peanut butter on your crackers, pick out your pajamas, wash your own hair and rinse it, brush your own teeth, put lotion on yourself, pick out your shoes... the list could go on and on.  Basically, you want (and insist) to do everything that I used to do for you.  My babies have officially moved on, and I have got to get used to it like it or not.

Physically, things have definitely changed this month.  I decided that I would not force potty-training on you, and that it would be rather difficult to do by myself anyway.  In the meantime, you both decided that you were ready and it was time to take care of business (literally).  Each morning after we come downstairs and turn on Mickey Mouse, you promptly remove your pajamas and diaper and use the potty.  I brought down your potty chair from your bedroom and we keep it in an open area in the living room, so whenever the urge hits, you'll prance over and do your thing.  I think this is why "training" went sour before, because I was relying on you to tell me you had to use the bathroom and I'd take you to the big potty.  As I've come to realize, you don't like "needing" mommy for anything, so having a free-reign-potty has done the trick!  That, and the fact you get an M&M after each deposit.  :)  Our super fun potty chair sings a song when you perform, so that's also very exciting.  The looks on your faces are priceless when you hear it... it's like you've accomplished the most wonderful thing in the world and you are so proud of yourselves.  Don't worry, though, mommy and daddy are super proud of you too!  I couldn't have asked for a better 22 month birthday gift than for you two to outgrow your diapers! (At least daily diapers.  We still aren't taking chances at night.)

As for specifics...

Miss Caroline, you are the ring-leader of independence these days and I can honestly say you get it from your mama!  You can be the sweetest little girl in the world, and you can also be the most strong-willed one we've ever seen.  Tyler seemed to have no idea about the word "no" until he learned it from his big sister!  You have really grown this month, and your legs are actually longer than Tyler's (even though he's still an inch or so taller).  Those long legs come in handy when you're riding your pink & purple tricycle all over the house, because your feet are the only ones that comfortably reach the pedals.  You've also become really interested in your baby dolls, and every night, we dress baby Susie (my doll from childhood) in her nightgown and put her in her pack n' play beside your crib.  You rock her, lay her down, cover her up, then give her a goodnight kiss.  Once she's safely tucked in, the rest of your dolls get in bed with her and you kiss all of them goodnight as well.  It's one of the most precious things I've ever seen, for sure.  :)  You also love to sing, and you'll pick up anything with the written word and pretend it's lyrics.  This began after we started reading the book "I am a Child of God" that Daddy bought you, since it has a hymn on the last page.  You also love to dance, turn perfect somersaults, and run laps around the dining room (still :).

And Tyler, my little man.  Although we have always called you "little man," you are really starting to look like one these days.  Not only are you a head taller than most kids your age, but you seem to have a maturity about you that's well beyond 22 months.  You're much more quiet than Caroline, but when you have an opinion, you let us know what it is.  One thing that hasn't changed, though, is the fact that you still have the happiest eyes in the world and you know how to use them.  You flirt with everyone, especially your mama, and I can already see the future hearts you're going to break with that sweet, shy smile.  Some of your favorite activities are playing cars, playing with stickers (and placing them all over your body, particularly your nose!), pushing your lawn mower around the house, writing, dancing, running, jumping from couch to couch, and turning somersaults.  You actually learned to do them first and helped Caroline figure them out, and every now and then you'll get behind her and give her a push if she needs it.  You also love to sing, and you like to read every book in your room before bed at night.  Currently, your most favorite book is your "Papa" book, and you cry to get it down from the closet every night.  It is Papa and Mimi Kaye reading "Frosty the Snowman," and no matter how many times we hear it, you still get upset when it's returned to the shelf.  I've already put in a request for them to record another book just for you!

Lastly, you both are so sweet when it's time to say your prayers.  Whether it's time to eat or time for bed, you fold your hands and close your eyes and know we're talking to "Jeeeesus."  Just the other night at dinner, in one of those moments I thought I should write down, Tyler yelled "sissy!" when the rest of us bowed our heads.  He clapped his hands together loudly to make quite the statement, and in true fashion, he was making sure she was on the straight and narrow.  There are plenty of times when that's the other way around, though, and I'm so thankful that you two have each other to count on. 

I'm sure there are tons of things I'm forgetting, as usual, but the reality is you're another month older and I'm another level deeper in love with you.  If  I had known three years ago as I was getting ready to walk down the aisle what I had to look forward to, I would have RUN down it instead.  Daddy and I can't imagine our lives without you, and we are so blessed to watch you grow more and more every day.  Happy two-until-two, sweet babies. 

We love you!

Partners in Crime, exhibit A...
Before:  "She's not looking!  Let's get in!"

After:  "Who, us?  We certainly weren't near that water...  Nope, not us."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Big Steps

We’re alive, friends!  I realize it’s been more than a week since my last post, but sometimes I just get overwhelmed by things like going to the beach... again.  :)

I couldn’t turn down an amazing weekend with girlfriends and their little ones, so last Thursday, I did my best at getting everything together before we hit the road bright & early Friday morning.  Since we’ve been back, I’ve been playing catch-up (but apparently not well, since there have been clothes in my dryer for almost four days – oh well).  As most of you know, though, the blog does suffers when I have too much on my plate.  Such is life!

Back to the beach, though, I was lucky enough to be hosted by the awesome Natalie at Johnny in a Dress.  I don’t have any pictures of our weekend to show you yet, but I’ll do another post when I get them from Natalie.  She has been using her fancy camera a good bit longer than I’ve been using mine, so she so graciously became resident-photographer for the weekend.  Like all of us, she’s incredibly busy (especially because she makes and sells tons of awesome goodies here), so when she finds a moment to send me the pictures I’ll be happy to share them with you!  For now, though, I’d like to talk about what happened when we left the beach on Sunday…

As everyone knows, taking two toddlers out and about is not always the easiest thing in the world.  They’re at an age where the stroller just isn’t a great solution all the time, and honestly, I’m kind of a nervous-nelly when it comes to being in public situations without it.  However, I decided to take a chance on the beach park after pulling out of Natalie’s house, and I can honestly say I’ve never been more proud of my sweet little folks.  They were perfect- they held my hands when I asked them to, listened when I told them not to do something, and obliged when I told them it was time to go (read:  no tantrums). 

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They were so great, in fact, that I decided to tackle fear #2:  going to a restaurant alone.  What would a trip to Myrtle Beach be without Hamburger Joe’s, right?  We pulled up and I dusted off their sandy feet, then lo and behold, they grabbed hands and walked into the restaurant like the tiniest little old couple you’ve ever seen.  It was THE MOST PRECIOUS THING EVER.  Ever.  So precious that the wait-staff came over to our table to fawn over them, then one even asked if she could take their picture for her side-photography business when we were ready to leave.  They behaved the entire time, nibbling on their grilled cheese and fries and feeling grand that they were given their own “big cups” like mama instead of their trusty sippies.

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I’m telling you, a newfound sense of confidence has overtaken me after this experience.  No longer will I shy away from things that sound fun because I’m afraid of having a panic attack if my kids go in separate directions!  They’re capable of being trusted now (a bittersweet realization), and slowly but surely sliding into full-on-kid-territory.