Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Showing our Age

Justin and I have had a few reminders lately that we are not as young as we once were.

First, our insurance requires that we have an annual wellness exam (or pay an extra $30 per month), so we decided to schedule our appointments at the same time and go together. In my head, I was thinking it would be like a date...sorta. Drop the kids off at school, spend a few quiet minutes together in the car on the way to the doctor, hang out together. Doesn't that sound nice? But yeah, so we went to the doctor together like an old married couple and learned about each other's cholesterol levels and such. Not gonna brag or anything but mine are perfect. And for some reason, I couldn't help myself from tattling on Justin and his affinity for Wings n More when the doctor started reviewing his cholesterol levels. Yep, we're old.

Next, last night Justin's childhood friend, Kyle, came into town and they went out to grab a beer after we put the kids to bed. They stayed at the bar talking until they noticed they were their college-aged waitress' last table. She came over and started chatting with them and asked how they knew each other, how long they had known each other, etc. So it came out how old they were. To which she replied "Oh, you're about my mom's age". Face palm...finish your beer, it's time to go home. =) Yep, old.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Saying Goodbye to GG

This week, we said goodbye to Justin's great grandmother, affectionately known as GG. She was 101. We will miss having her here on earth, but take comfort in knowing that we will see her again and that now she is reunited with her love. Her husband Emory, Justin's great granddaddy, passed in 1996, after they had been married for more than 60 years. What an example of love we have to follow!

We traveled to Dallas on Saturday to attend the service, and enjoyed visiting with all of the family that had gathered to celebrate GG's life. We left the boys in good hands back in College Station, so we felt like we actually had a chance to sit and enjoy conversation with everyone instead of chasing kids.

While we were in Dallas, the boys were at school and then Grammy and Pop came and picked them up. They had pizza for dinner and then movie night. No, they didn't miss us at all.

Gram and Pop spent the rest of the weekend with us and got to enjoy family game night. Mouse Trap and Candy Land were blessedly brief, but Chutes and Ladders always seems like the game that will not end. Or is it just me?

Andrew was tickled that Pop and Gram enthusiastically joined his marching band.

Thank you Grammy and Pop for helping us out!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pull up a Chair

Sweet Andrew is our little helper in the kitchen. Any time one of us is in the kitchen, he's our shadow. He brings his little chair over and says "I hep (help)" or "I see too"! 

Maybe he likes the one on one time with us, as I do.

Or maybe he just likes sneaking a little nibble here and there before the meal...

Either way, I love having my little helper in the kitchen!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Attempt at Potty Training

With Andrew finally showing some interest in potty training last week at school, we decided to capitalize on the long weekend to do his potty training "boot camp". Basic premise of the boot camp is that you completely switch to underwear (or bare bottom), pump the child full of fluids, and practice running to the potty a dozen times a day. We did this with Jackson and by the end of a long weekend, he was about 90% potty trained. 

Perhaps we should have known when this was his reaction to wearing underwear that it wasn't going to go well... 

Meh, the underwear themselves are optional (for now). What's not optional are the snacks, especially salty snacks that make you thirsty. This was the part Andrew loved. An endless buffet of snacks and juice all day? Sign him up!

So he had milk with his breakfast and two Capri Suns. Surely he would have to pee, right? WRONG. He didn't pee even once all morning long, totally foiling our plan.

So while waiting, we tried to keep him busy with engaging, but not engrossing activities...

He helped daddy fix his bookshelf...

And practiced looking cute while jumping in his bed...

The boys built a lego mansion...

Sensory bins are always a hit (and yes, he finally decided he likes wearing underwear...to the point that he pitched an equally dramatic fit this evening when I put him in a pull-up at bedtime).

But mostly we sat...a lot.

With two days of trying, I'm sad to say that we've have no success. Like, zero. Without fail, we put him on the potty, he sits for 15 or more minutes, insists he doesn't have to go, puts on his underwear and has an accident less than 5 minutes later. And the accidents don't phase him one single bit. He could care less that he's wet and standing in a puddle. He acts like he doesn't even notice. Sigh. I guess he just isn't quite ready and at this point it's not worth the tantrums and power struggle that have been happening over here. Having a happy kid is way more important than having a potty trained kid, and eventually, I know we will have both.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

X-Rays and Dance Moves

Poor Andrew has had a rough week. 

After rallying on Tuesday, he went to school on Wednesday and actually had a really great day. Not sure what clicked in his little brain but after months of just "trying" during potty time, he actually pee peed in the potty for the first time. And the second time. And the third time. AND the fourth time! He stayed completely dry all morning long. Amazing! Way to go Andrew! 

But then once at home that evening, he started fading fast. By bedtime, he was running a 103 degree fever. It was a long, restless night for all of us. At the doctor this morning, she was worried about pneumonia so she ordered a chest x-ray. He also had a mild ear infection. The x-ray thankfully ruled out pneumonia but did show an upper respiratory infection. We were sent home with antibiotics and, since NSCs are over, I got to enjoy snuggles, a nap, and short periods of playtime with this sweet guy all day. I could do without watching one more episode of Caillou though. His whiny little voice will surely haunt my dreams tonight.

While little brother was convalescing for the last week, big brother has had no shortage of energy. =D

Monday, January 12, 2015

Impeccable timing, Andrew!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one sums up our whole day....

Poor Andrew spiked a fever yesterday and spent most of the day today snuggled up with me or Justin watching cartoons. The kid who usually can only sit still for 10 minutes, max, was content to rest all day. He definitely wasn't feeling well. Besides the fever and a nagging week old cough that doesn't really seem to have gotten worse, he doesn't seem to be showing any other symptoms.

My kids do seem to have a knack for getting sick at the most inopportune times. There's really never a good time to be sick, but they are skilled at picking the busiest times for us! I attempted to cram a whole day's worth of work into 5 hours this morning while Justin was home with him and then took the afternoon shift at home. I have 600 new students showing up for their orientation tomorrow so the last minute fires kept popping up all afternoon. Thankfully, my little snuggly helper, PBS, and yoga pants helped me get through it!

Feel better soon sweet Andrew (because taking another day off work this week is going to be fairly impossible)--no pressure buddy!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What we've been up to

Going back to work after 16 days off is hard. Really hard. So outside of work, we've been taking it pretty easy this week as we try to readjust to the real world. But we were super productive during our last few days of the break--there was a lengthy to-do list and I'm proud to say we accomplished almost all of it--so I feel like we've earned a few nights of sitting on the couch and doing nothing. 

One of our to-do list items was to do some power cooking to fill our freezer with weeknight meals ready for the crockpot. During part of one nap time, we managed to prep 10 meals and already enjoyed one of them this week. It's wonderful to get home and just have to make some rice, throw together a salad and sit down to dinner. For those of you who are interested in this sort of thing, here's what we made for our first exclusively crock-pot-ready power cooking session (we doubled each recipe and divided into two bags giving us 10 meals from 5 recipes):

Beef & Broccoli 
White Chicken Chili
Chicken Cacciatore
Maple Dijon Glazed Chicken

Last Saturday when we were soaking up the last precious days of our break, I had the early morning shift with the boys and decided it was a donut day. Smile for donuts!

Also on the to-do list was to get my car inspected and the oil changed. When you are 4 and 2, is there anything more fascinating than a car wash?

Another to-do list item was to make the photo collages and frame the photo mats we took to Disney World and had the characters sign. Thanks Pinterest!

So now we have a Disney wall in the playroom!

And just to show that we keep it real here on the blog, here is what the rest of the playroom looked like when I took these pictures!

Finally, I've put a dent into my New Years reading. I got a few books off my wish list for Christmas and had checked out a few from the library. I've already read The Book Thief, The Last Summer of You and Me and Eleanor and Park. So if I'm not blogging, it's likely because I've moved on to All the Light we Cannot See. =)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Drew the Viking

I think one of the most endearing phases of childhood is when the child picks something they want to wear and never take it off. 

For Justin, it was his superman cape...

For Andrew, it is his viking hat! 

The boys each received one of these precious handmade hats at a friend's birthday party back in September. They found their way to the costume drawer and got pulled out from time to time for the next few months. In the last month though, Andrew and his hat have become inseparable.

He wears it when he's playing, riding in the car and especially insists on wearing it while he's sleeping. The Sleeping Viking is actually my favorite but I'm not crazy enough to risk waking a sleeping toddler with a bright camera flash in a dark room, so Playing With Play Dough Viking will have to do.

Also, I am crazy jealous of his eyelashes and the hat just seems to emphasize them! Not fair!

Drew the Viking, you are too cute!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Three Saturdays

Ok, so we didn't really have three Saturdays, but it has definitely felt like it! We returned home on New Year's Eve, so New Year's Day felt like the first Saturday...the day we typically spend doing laundry, going to the grocery store...you know all the boring stuff that must happen. So with those things out of the way, it has left us with two more [Satur]days to do fun stuff.

Yesterday, with the rain still coming down, we went to check out the newly relocated Children's Museum. We had high hopes for the new location, thinking that there would be new exhibits and such. Not so much, though it is improved over the old place. I try not to be disappointed in our small town Children's Museum because the boys still always have a great time and we can easily spend a few hours there. 

Then today (actual Saturday) the rain finally stopped and the sun began to peek through. The boys received rain boots from Uncle Matt and Aunt MaryAnn for Christmas and had been begging to try them out. While I got ready for the day this morning, Justin took the boys out to find some puddles. Boy, did they find some impressive puddles!

While the goal of rubber boots is to not get wet and we didn't exactly accomplish that, your present is definitely a hit Matt & MaryAnn! 

And finally, I shared this little gem on Facebook already, but want to preserve it here for posterity. Jackson and Andrew were playing in the storage ottoman last night. As Jackson closed Andrew in the storage ottoman he said "pretend you're Jesus and you just died and you're in the cave." I'm not sure whether I should be proud or concerned!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy 2015! This was Justin's and my 15th new year together! Crazy! We tried to remember how we spent each of the previous 14 and could only definitively remember 8 or so.  I guess we are getting old!

This was a low-key one (probably one we will forget about 15 years from now when we are trying to remember again!) We made it back from Nac on the afternoon of New Year's Eve, grabbed dinner out with the boys and then put them to bed at their normal time. We took down the Christmas decorations while we watched TV. Exciting stuff, I tell you!

It's been cold and rainy for days which means the boys have been cooped up inside. New Christmas toys have kept them entertained pretty well, but we found ourselves refereeing more and more scuffles and wrestling matches. It was time to pull out the big guns.

We may regret this later, but we dusted off the Wii. Jackson loves it of course. We bowled before bath time last night and baseball tonight.

Super Andrew got to try too....

...but decided that tickle fights are more his speed for now.

I'm not a huge fan of video games and worry about my boys becoming gaming zombies in a few years, but for now it's fun the whole family can enjoy together.