Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Anniversary to me




Today marked the 5th year that Brian and I have been married.

Coincidently, earlier this week on the 27th, marked the 8th anniversary of our first meeting. Brian, Thad, and Thomas came into Buffalo's Southwest Cafe late one Friday night during a huge after-movie rush. We only had one bartender, one manager, one non-smoking server (that was me!), and one cook in the kitchen. And a completely full restaurant at 10:30 PM. It definitely was a night I'd never forget, especially after a certain clean freak decided to stay after close and help me sweep up. I fondly remember him stacking all the dining room chairs the wrong way on the tables, so I just had to re-do it all over again :)

I had no idea that night that I would marry Brian. But I am certainly glad I did :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Painting

Its no secret that my kids LOVE arts and crafts. We do our fair share of them on a daily basis. Yet, I always hesitate when my kids ask me to paint. Cause then you have to worry about their clothes, the table, get the cups filled with water, find the brushes, open the paint, etc. And the clean up involved is just not my favorite. But, its their favorite thing to do, so we did it the other day.


Jaina painted a bird feeder:



And Jayce painted a pick up truck :)




Monday, July 27, 2009

So much for having time to blog...

I thought summer was supposed to be relaxing? Fun in the sun, sleeping in, staying up late, lazy days. Our summer has been anything but. Now, don't get me wrong, we have had a TON of fun this summer. But we've been too over-scheduled trying to fit in play dates and park days and therapy sessions and outings. I remember just a few weeks ago counting down the days until I didn't have to get myself and 2 kids dressed, fed, and out of the house by 7 AM. In just a few short weeks, I'll be doing just that again. Where has my summer gone?



Here are two activities that have been keeping us busy:

A few weeks ago we met our former neighbors at the Barnet Fountain to cool off :)













Every summer our local MOMS Club has a big end-of-the year cookout with the entire family of our members. This year we had it at a park instead. I had wanted to get at least one picture of each family that attended (I just love looking back at old MOMS Club photos!), but the park was too spread out, which meant that all the people were all spread out. We spent the majority of the time playing with our sort of neighbors, the Flegals :)









Anyway... after this week, we'll be headed to the beach where I promise I will sleep late, finish novels, play on Facebook, and watch too much TV. Now, that's summer :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Don't be jealous, Daddy!

I took Jayce with me to Old Navy the other day on the hunt for a $15 "Item of the Week" sundress that I could take to the beach. Unfortunately, it was no longer the item of the week. And they had completely sold out :(

However, I did score some classic T-shirts for Jayce! They had Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Wonderwoman, Wolverine (am I spelling that right?), Star Wars, and a whole bunch more. I wanted to buy them all, but at $10.50 a pop, I could only choose two.

Oh, and by the way, Jayce could care less if he had these shirts or not. This purchase was for his proud Daddy who loves super hero T-shirts. I did look for some in Brian's size, but they didn't have any Superman or Batman that he would have wanted.

When we got home from picking Jaina up, the kids played outside in the sprinkler. Jaina was pretending to be a dog. Jayce was riding his trike through the sprinkler.







When Brian got home, I whispered to Jayce, "Go show daddy your shirt! Tell him not to be jealous, okay?"

He ran upstairs to Brian's computer and pointed his finger at his daddy and said, "Daddy! Don't be jealous!!"

And of course, Brian was anyway :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Carowinds



Its become a yearly family tradition to visit the local amusement park on the boarder of North and South Carolina during the summer.

The first year, Jayce was 1 and Jaina was 4. Jaina absolutely loved Carowinds at that age and wanted to go back all the time. Jayce pretty much rode around in his stroller all day, happy and content as can be. I do remember worrying that he didn't nurse as much as he should. I think he was too distracted.



The next year, however, was a disaster. Jayce was 2 and Jaina was 5. Jayce did not like Carowinds at all. This was smack dab in the middle of Jayce's onset of autism characteristics. It was just too much for him. Too many sights, sounds, smells, sensations. And with his speech delay, he couldn't tell us what was bothering him at all. He was miserable the entire day. We tried to make the best of it for Jaina, but it wasn't very fun for any of us.




With lots of guilt, we decided to leave Jayce home the next year. Although he was already in therapy for speech and sensory issues, we were worried about a repeat of the year before. We left Jayce with either my mom or Monica (I can't remember which one now) and off we went. The saddest thing, I think, was that Jayce didn't even understand where we were going, nor cared that we weren't even there with him all day.



Fast forward to this year:

Jayce really enjoyed the amusement rides at Jaina's school festival this past year, so we knew he would like the rides at Carowinds. We brought the stroller, though, because we knew he felt comfortable strapped inside if things got to be too much for him. Jayce totally blew our expectations out of the water. He waited in line patiently. He wasn't scared on any of the rides. Jaina, was, however! She refused to go on the Scooby Doo haunted Mansion ride even though Jayce rode it twice. He kept insisting that it wasn't scary, but she wasn't buying it!

Jaina was a bit disappointed, however, at her size. See, you have to be 48 inches tall to ride the majority of the roller coasters. Last year, when she was 6, she was 46 inches tall. This year, she was 47.5 inches. Just barely under the line! But Carowinds officials can't budge on safety, so she was limited on what she could ride on. I told her next year would be her year of fun :)

We had a blast and can't wait to go again! We always go on a Tuesday to avoid the crowds. When I was putting Jayce to bed tonight I said, "Tomorrow is Tuesday, what do we do on Tuesdays?" I expected him to say, "Go to hospital to therapy to see miss candy and miss melissa" but instead he said, "Go to Carowinds!"

Sunday, July 19, 2009

You're a Pepper, I'm a Pepper, he's a pepper, too






We discovered the little convenience store down the street sells mini 8 oz soda bottles, just perfect for Jayce's little mouth to wrap around. Now every time Brian runs down there to get gas for the mower, Jayce expects a soda bottle, too. Its funny how something so simple can be such a treat to kids.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Catch Up

Its time, once again, for one of my insanely long posts filled with tons of pictures you may or may not have wanted to see. If I could describe our summer in one word, it would be BUSY!

Our typical day consists of:
-wake up
-feed and dress the kids
-check the calendar on the fridge and realize we need to be somewhere at 10 for something
-pack a quick lunch (in case we don't come home)
-head to park/moms club/friend's house/free movie/whatever our AM activity is
-realize I only packed lunch for the kids
-drive Jayce 25 minutes to speech camp and/or therapy at the hospital by 12:30/1:00
-entertain Jaina for 2 hours in the lobby at said therapy place
-meet up with friends at their house/fountain/park/whatever
-have kids beg me for snacks I forgot to pack in the car
-finally get home at 5 or 6 to unload our car, straighten the house, and cook dinner all at the same time.

But, we're having fun!

Waterpark

Brittany, April, and I took Ashlan, Kyler, Macie, Jaina, Jayce, and Virginia to the water park in Simpsonville a few weeks ago. The kids had fun!











Science Camp Field Trip

Jaina enjoyed one week of Physics and Chemistry Science Camp this summer and was able to go on the end of the week field trip. They took a vote and decided to hike to an abandoned old cotton mill that has a damn near by. We saw lots of poison ivy!

















Mowing the Lawn with Daddy

Yes, yes, I know that it is not 100% safe for kids to be on a riding lawn mower with the blades working. But its one of those things that I allow anyway and hope for the best.




Jayce and his Zaxby cup

So often I bribe Jaina to come pose for me so I can try out some new lens or light or technique I've discovered. This time Jayce came outside with me to take pictures of my flowers in the sunset. I asked Jayce, "Can mommy take your picture, too?" and he said, "YES!" but wouldn't give up his Zaxby cup full of soda. Guess you gotta take what you can get!









Baby Cassie

My good friend Becca came over the first day her husband had to go back to work. Big brother Louis (eek, not pictured! How did I miss that?) played with Jayce while Jaina and I held 6 day old Cassie. I think Jaina has baby sister fever just as much as *I* have baby fever! There was definite talk about babies in our house later. Don't worry, I'm still working on Brian. We'll have our third, just you wait and see :)








Bruster's Ice cream with the Brittons
One of our favorite summer activities is to go get ice cream with some friends. Luckily, Brittany's husband Matt was home for the weekend to come with us!


That girl always asks for extra "eyes" on her cone. I love how literal they take her word!


Do you want to know what my favorite part of eating Bruster's Ice cream is? The fact that we don't get around to going there until 7:30 PM during the summer and there is TONS of gorgeous backlit sunlight to play around with. Oh, right... I mean, my favorite part is the chocolate oreo ice cream.


Jayce ate his ice cream, then had to eat Brittany's, too


Here are our guys, looking manly. Okay, well, Matt looks manly.


Miss Brittany gets some lovin' from my boy. Or maybe he's her boy today? That's okay, I don't mind sharing :)

Kyler does NOT like me to take his picture.