Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday Jake!

I can't believe our Jake is 4 years old today! 4 years ago, we were going about our Christmas Eve, thinking we still had another 4 weeks to get ready before we met our little boy. We went to Christmas Eve service in Chattanooga, out to eat & then to a movie with Robbie's family. We had gotten home & I was making a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and heating up some left over pizza (geeze, I wonder why I gained so much weight pregnant!). Suddenly I felt water. I thought my water broke until I went to the restroom & realized it was blood. We go to the hospital & I expect them to put me on bed rest. We were shocked when they said they would have to do an immediate emergency c-section. Yikes! Less than 30 minutes later, at 11:24 PM, our little 5 pound Jake came into the world. He certainly made that a Christmas Eve to remember. And our lives would never be the same. He was our very best Christmas present ever.

So what's going on with this 4-year-old?...
  • He gets up around 5 or 6 AM. That's around the time Robbie is getting up to go to work, so he comes to our bed for some cuddle time & extra sleep. We get up & get our day started around 7 AM.
  • He loves having a nutri-grain bar & milk for breakfast. Sometimes he'll have cereal. If he had his choice, he would have pancakes everyday for breakfast. This child loves pancakes & waffles with syrup.
  • He goes to school 3 days a week in the mornings. He loves his school. He has 2 girls & 5 boys in his class & his teacher is Mrs. Christy. 5 of the kids were in his class last year, so he has gotten very close with his school friends. His favorite part of school is music and his music teacher Mrs. Sarah.
  • Jake still takes a nap, but truth be told, we should probably drop it. He goes to sleep so much better (& earlier) at night when he doesn't take a nap. But I still need him to take that nap or at least rest, so I can finish up work. So for now, we keep it. Some days he actually sleeps, and other days he just rests & reads books.
  • After he gets up from his nap & I've finished up work, we usually spend some time outside. We'll either walk to the park or ride his bike. He has a Batman Cave that we keep in the garage, so he plays with it a lot outside.
  • Once Robbie gets home, we start supper. We are trying to get Jake better on eating what we are eating. (Usually he just wants a Gerber meal or mac & cheese.) He is slowly getting there.
  • To get ready for bed he watches a little PBS Sprout, takes a bath and we read some books. I'd love to say he is in bed at 7 PM, but that would be a lie. We are not the best at early bedtime.
  • Food - Jake loves pancakes, waffles & muffins. He loves chicken fingers, fries, mac & cheese & pizza. He recognizes Chick-fil-a and loves it. His favorite snacks are applesauce, yogurt, goldfish, cheese or fruit gummies. He loves milk, apple juice & lemonade. We try to give him water as much a possible. As long as we put some crushed ice in it, he is actually pretty good at wanting it. His favorite reward treat is Cheetos. He likes some candy, but is not a big candy eater.
  • Inside Play - He is starting to play with his trains & cars a little less. Right now he is going through a big superhero phase. He loves Batman & Power Rangers. He loves to read books and color. He loves looking at toy catalogs. He calls them his magazines. He likes playing with his Woody & Buzz characters.
  • Outside Play - He loves riding his bike and playing soccer. He also loves the park.
  • Things he loves but I wish he didn't - He loves electronics. He has a little kid type iPad that he loves. But his favorite is to watch You Tube videos on our computer. His favorite things to watch are Toy Story videos, Thomas the Train videos and Power Rangers videos.
  • Favorite movies & shows - He goes through phases on which stations he loves, not really just one particular show. It rotates between Disney Jr., Nick Jr. & PBS Kids. This month, it is PBS kids. His favorite movie is still the Toy Story movies. He can almost quote them now. He loves to reenact the movie with his Woody & Buzz.
  • Loves - Jake loves to sing, but he sounds like the reject kids from American Idol. It's so bad, it's funny. It's hilarious to hear him sing. He loves going to the RV. He LOVES his grandparents. He cries when we have to leave. His favorite though is going to their houses, but Robbie & I not being there. (So he can get away with more stuff!) If we are there, he'll tell us we need to leave.
  • Does not love - Bugs & dogs that he doesn't know. He is actually scared of a lot of things, but he can go overboard with that sometimes.

Jake's tennis shoes - last year verses this year

This picture is from this summer.
My first time to dress him as a big boy for church.
(I did so kicking & screaming:)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Belated Birthday Weekend in Atlanta

Last weekend we were in Atlanta for my belated birthday weekend. (We used the weekend of my birthday to actually decorate our house for Christmas.) It was just Robbie & I (thank you Mimi & Granddad for watching Jake!), so we got some much needed alone time together. We had a wonderful time shopping, eating and just talking.

Unfortunately, the weekend started off with the horrible event that happened at Sandy Hook. We first started hearing about it late Friday morning. It wasn't until we got to the hotel late that afternoon that we found out the ages, the horrible way these children were killed and how many. I just sat there & cried. My heart breaks for them.

I wish I had something profound or biblical to write. But my mind just has such a hard time fathoming what happened. So I just pray. I pray for these parents, the students, first responders and community.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Elf on the Shelf Failure

If you are on Facebook, you've probably heard all about the Elf on the Shelf. I swore I would not cave (famous last words). I think the elf is creepy looking, expensive & the last thing I need is a toy making a mess in my house which is already a big enough mess for me to clean up. Anyway, I tend to go overboard on things & I'd much rather be thinking up expensive, supposedly cheap, DIY Christmas projects than ways to stick a stuff toy in sugar like its making a snow angel. So Elf on the Shelf-less family we were.

And then I felt bad.

Jake so far has been funny about Christmas. He is excited. He only thinks Santa brings candy canes & he said "no thanks". While proud that my child was not focus on Santa during Christmas, I was sad I was missing out on that very important bargaining chip. Jake got extremely excited when we went to get a Christmas tree (which is a long funny boring story in itself). So I thought, well, maybe he would think Elf the creep on the Shelf was neat.

Since money is low since I'm doing my fabulous "cheap" DIY Christmas decor, we borrowed my mom's copy.

I've never read the book or heard the story. So I read the book to Jake while he plays with the elf. Then I get to the part in the book where it says that you can never touch the elf because it will loose its magic.


At the end of the book, it tells you to name the elf. I asked Jake what he would like to name it. He says "Elf on the Shelf". I try telling him that is not a name. It needs to be a name like Murry, Gary , Larry, Moe, etc... Jake looks at me again & says "his name is Elf on a Shelf". He will not budge.

So our elf's name is Elf on a Shelf.

I try telling Jake Elf on a Shelf (EOTS) will watch him to see if he has been good or bad & will report it back to Santa. Which I'm pretty sure Jake doesn't care because he thinks Santa only brings candy canes. And Jake doesn't like candy canes. So basically, Jake just looks at me like I'm an idiot. I keep trying to talk about the stuffed elf & it's magical powers & how he will move around & we will never know where he will be in the morning.

And I feel like an idiot for telling this ridiculous story.

We lay EOTS on the coffee table & go about our business. The next morning, Jake wakes up & comes to our room. He asks if we can find where the EOTS is hiding.


EOTS is still laying on the coffee table.

I tell Jake that I have to check something & I'll be right back. I run to the living room & throw EOTS in our undecorated Christmas tree. I then have to convince Jake to stop pouting & he can now "help" mommy. We go to find EOTS.

He finds him in the tree, knocks him down with his sword, and then goes about his way.

I guess when you play with them, that "magical powers" is for the birds.

Since then, because I refuse to let our elf make a mess (which I have no idea why people do that, in the book there is no mention of a messy elf) I basically just stick him in places.

I stuck him in our breakfast nook chandelier which was turned on & he almost overheated. I also hung him from a kitchen cabinet knob which was a little too close to the gas burner on our stove.

No underwear in the Christmas tree. No rolling the room with toilet paper. No powdered sugar everywhere.

If EOTS doesn't burn our house down this Christmas season, it will be a success.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Visit to Fairhope

We headed down to Fairhope to visit one of my best friends, Stephanie & her family. We got down late Friday, but we had a full fun day on Saturday!

We started off with lunch at a pizza restaurant that had an arcade in the back. The boys LOVED it.
Playing basketball

We have been visiting each other ever since we graduated from college. We've never lived in the same city since college:( But it is always fun to visit, because fun things are lined up. It has been even more fun now that we have kids! Jake & Grant were due 2 days apart, but Jake came early, so Jake is about 3 weeks older than Grant. The first time we got the boys together, they were babies, so they barely acknowledged each other. Now that they are both almost 4, the actually play together. It is so fun to watch.
While they took naps, Stephanie & I went out and shopped in downtown Fairhope. Once the boys got up, we took them to a bounce house.
November 2012
(Almost 4 years old)

Their first car ride together - May 2009
Grant (4 months) & Jake (5 months)

November 2009
Grant (10 months) & Jake (11 months)

At Kangarooz! They had so much fun!

After dinner, they had an ice cream snack

Eating Together - November 2012

November 2009

February 2011
3 years old
November 2012
November 2009
 Jake & Grant slept together in Grant's big boy bed.  
November 2012

Hanging out in Grant's crib - May 2009
After the kids went to bed, Stephanie's brother & sister-in-law came over to watch the kids so we could go out to a dinner without kids.
November 2012
Phi Mu Bid Day 1998
Stephanie & I were sophomores and had pledged together the previous year

Watching a little TV before we left on Sunday
November 2012

Watching TV
May 2009
Elizabeth & Jake
I promise I'm trying to give E a little friend so she doesn't get left out of the boy's pictures!
Jake telling Elizabeth all about it
I love looking through all of the old pictures, remembering all of the good times & special memories over the last 15 years of Steph & I. I am so thankful that they continue and I can't wait for 15 & 30 more!  

Friendship isn't about whom you have known the longest... It's about who came, and never left your side... 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Giving Thanks

This year has had some disappoints for us, but when I come away from a week like this past week, it makes me realize how much I have to be grateful for. I have been blessed so much more than what I deserve. A wonderful family, great friends and special times. And for that, I give so many thanks.

We kicked off the Thanksgiving festivities with Jake's school program. Last year, he completely rocked out his school program. That made me so excited for his spring program. Which he completely just stood there like a knot on a log. So I wasn't sure what to expect with this program. He walked out looking like this was the most boring thing in the world. But he smiled & sang all the songs. Then when it was over, he went back to his bored look. I think he just felt weird because his hair was falling over his Indian headband.
"I look like an idiot"
School Thanksgiving Program
Getting into the singing
Cousin Marrell came to see Jake perform
 On Thursday, we hosted an informal Thanksgiving at our house. Nothing fancy. Just a Honey Baked Ham, some mac & cheese, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes & rolls. My parents & grandmother came up to eat with us.
Jake doing one of his most favorite things -
fighting with Gran

Batman verses the Viking
On Friday, I got to hang out with this snugly turkey 

Cousin Woody brought his parents for a visit to Birmingham. Brooks & Robbie went for a bike ride at Oak Mt. & Lindsey & I just got to hang out. Jake loved having baby Woody at the house. 
Jake reading to Woody

Cousins! Jake (almost 4) & Woody (4 months)
Friday night, the Bush's (Mimi & Granddad) got back into town, so we went over to their house for a fajita Thanksgiving dinner. Sadly, no pictures. 

Saturday, Jake stayed with Mimi & Granddad while Robbie & I went over to Tuscaloosa for the Alabama/Auburn game. We initially said that we would not go, but some friends of ours were having a joint tailgate and their company was paying for a limo to take them from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa & back. How do you turn that down? So to T-town we went.
On the ride up

me & Molly

Brad & Robbie
Poor Robbie was 1 of 20 Auburn fans in Tuscaloosa for the game
 Sunday, we headed over to my parent's for their Thanksgiving get-together.
Taking the picture for my parent's Christmas card
Cousins - Jake, Maddox, Woody & Marrell
I also attempted to get our Christmas card photo. Lots of out takes. Lots.
What's going on here?

"Anything up my nose?"

"I'm getting tired of this"

"I'm ready for this to be over with, so I'll just smile ridiculously"
Sweet cousins running far far away from the pictures
 Happy Thanksgiving 2012