Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer Week 7 - Jake's Vacation with Mimi & Granddad

So, 2 weeks ago, Jake was on vacation with Mimi & Granddad. They went to North Carolina to visit Granddad Jake & GG Kathy in their summer rental. They also brought along cousin Jackson. To say Jake was excited would be an understatement. It just so happened that I had an audit in Chattanooga that week. Which left just Hollon & Rob at home. Usually we would ship Hollon off to my parents, but considering we are paying an arm and leg for daycare this summer, we hated for her to miss a whole week. My sweet parents offered to come up and help, but Robbie insisted he could do it on his own. I was mostly worried because he had a big meeting Wednesday morning. But he assured me he could handle it.

And he did. And was amazing.

(Note: I was paranoid that he would forget to drop Hollon off because he never takes her to school/daycare. But I knew he would be annoyed if every morning I asked "Did you drop off your daughter or is she melting in your car?". So each morning, I would slyly text "so how did drop off go?". )

Of course he said everything went smoothly, which makes me feel like a big complainer/whiner. In my defense, I'm usually dealing with both kids. But I just work from home and he actually has to shower/get dressed and go into an office and see people face-to-face. So, maybe I am just a big complainer/whiner. 

But ultimately, I'm just thankful for a husband/father that can handle a stressful, time consuming job and be an awesome hands-on dad. Even when it involves 4 days alone with our high maintenance daughter.
Ready for splash pad day at daycare
Hanging out in brother's room, even though he is not there.

Wednesday night, they had a father/daughter dinner date at Chick-fil-a.

Meanwhile, in Chattanooga....

The days are a million times harder than just my 'normal' day. Especially during an audit. There are huge consequences (both for our company stability and financially) on the auditor's report. They are digging through everything. It is time consuming. It is stressful. I have to answer some hard questions. I have to explain some difficult things. I have to make tough decisions. There is nothing fun about it. But.......

In the evening, once I leave the office, I'm not going to lie. It is a nice mini-vacation. To come 'home' to a hotel. I don't have to cook dinner. I don't have to give anyone a bath. I don't have to wash clothes. I can watch whatever I want on TV (although I don't get Bravo). I can lay in a huge king size bed in nice sheets and sleep through the night without a single cry. Would I want to do it every week? Yes. Just kidding, no. But once a quarter, I'll take it. Not the audit. But just the evening stuff! 

Our corporate office and my hotel are on the river in the downtown Chattanooga area. I love going for a run, jog, walk after work. I love so much about where we are now, but I sure do miss this awesome downtown. So many special memories. 

Meanwhile in NC....

Jake was having an awesome time.
Pit stop on the way up
Cousin Jackson & Jake
While visiting, they went to a fun park and rode go-carts. Jake wasn't quite old enough to drive, so he had to just be a passenger in Granddad's car.
Thank you Granddad for being such a good sport!
They also climbed a rock wall

And played putt-putt

They floated down a river
Granddad's tube flipped over, he lost his shoes and both his & Mimi's iPhone were ruined.

Granddad, Jackson, Jake & Mimi

GG Kathy, Jackson, Jake & Granddad

I got home Thursday night and Jake didn't get home until Monday. So Hollon had Rob & me to herself all weekend. Saturday night, we grilled our food at our neighbor's house and ate with them.

Hollon is the worst sharer in the world. The girls were all sharing an almost empty bag of chips. They were each passing the bag around. When it got to Hollon, she took the bag, walked off, and sat by herself eating. She would yell if anyone walked near her. 
Stingy house-guest 

Later that evening, she thankfully made up for some of her selfish ways. Our neighbors have a little girl 3 weeks younger than Hollon. I don't know if it is because she has a 3-year-old sister, but Merrin is much better with kids than Hollon. We turned on the water hose and let the little girls play in the water with a bowl & cup. They actually got along (aka - Hollon was nice). They were so cute. Merrin was in charge of the water hose and Hollon was in charge of distributing it. 

Funny story - Merrin calls Hollon "Hiney". She will stand by the fence yelling "Hiney! Hiney!" if we are outside and Hollon is not. Corrie said one night, when they put Merrin to bed, she kept saying "play Hiney, play Hiney". Ha-ha! I am so thankful that we have such sweet neighbors and our girls love to play together! And I'm thankful the girls put up with Hollon (aka - Hiney), even though she is a horrible sharer!

The little girls love playing on the corn-hole

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Jake - camper of the week

So I'm wayyyyyyyyyyy behind on blog posts, but I hope to get caught up this week. Before I start updating what we've been up to for the last few weeks, I wanted to do a little post about Jake. So far, he is having a great summer. The last week he was at camp, he was even named "Camper of the Week". They select a few kids from each age group who were outstanding campers. Jake was one of the ones selected from his age group. He got a medal (and evidently a certificate which was lost somewhere between camp & the bus) and was super excited. And we were really proud of him!
Jake is on the far right end
 Jake has split his time between camps, grandparents and staying home with me. I've enjoyed the weeks he has been home with me. He is old enough now, to entertain himself while I'm working. And when I'm not working, I've enjoyed some one-on-one time with him. We've also had several hilarious discussions. One of my favorites lately, has been about him starting a church.

This all started back a few weeks ago after he attended my parent's church's VBS. Evidently, the missionary stories really spoke to his heart. One in particular about a family that started a church in Atlanta.
An exert from the discussion went like this...
Jake: Mom, when I grow up, before I move to Africa to be a snake hunter, I need to start a church. In Atlanta.
Me: That's awesome Jake. Why Atlanta?
Jake: Because no one that lives there knows about God.
Me: Aunt Lindsey lives there. And she believes in God.
Jake: Well, most people that live there don't. And they need more churches.
Me: You know that there are people that live in Birmingham that don't know about God. Even kids at your school. You can talk to them about God.
Jake: I'm just going to wait until I'm an adult and just start a church.
Since I knew he was not going to get off the subject of actually starting a church in Atlanta, I asked questions about this church.
Me: So what are you going to do at this church?
Jake: Well, I'm going to build it. Dad will be the preacher at it. You will cook the food for the church. Hollon doesn't get a job, because she can't do anything. She'll probably just be in the way.

I admire his determination for wanting to build a church. I'm not sure his intentions are completely unselfish. But I'm thankful for the seeds being planted.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer Weeks 5 & 6 - 4th of July & Sickness

Playing with Bruiser & Tiger

Monday night, I was watching some gymnastics I had recorded from the weekend. Hollon stopped to watch.

And then started doing this:

On Wednesdays, Hollon's daycare has a "dress up" day to coordinate with the learning theme of the week. This week, the theme was animals, so on Wednesday they were supposed to wear animal print. Hollon doesn't have anything animal print for summer, so we just had to settle for an leopard print bow.
Too busy checking her emails to look up for the picture

The only animal print we have
 Bring it Thursday

Excuse the mouth full of fig newton
 Jake was home with me all week. Each day, at the end of my workday, but before we went to pick up Hollon, I tried to coordinate a fun activity. On Friday, we went to get ice cream.

Dad had been in Arizona for business earlier in the week (Jake is wearing his souvenir shirt), so Friday we were ready to just hang out as a family. Hollon's pink bouncy ball is currently the favorite backyard outdoor toy.

You know supper is good when it is all over your shirt

Bless that hair!

Jake has been practicing on running faster

What happens when you have a blowout right before bedtime? Wash it off outside.

Saturday morning, I took the kids to run errands. We stopped and had lunch at Which Which.

Saturday afternoon, I dropped the kids off at the Bush's and Robbie & I attend a friend's 40th birthday party. 

On Sunday, once we got the kids back, we came home and played outback with the neighbors. We combined their huge ball water sprinkler with the bounce house. Jake & Collins loved it. The little girls did not. They refused to get in.

That night, we went to Chelsea's fireworks display. We met up with my friend Amanda from Hattiesburg who was in town visiting her in-laws. It was fun to celebrate and hang out Saturday night with them. Because it was so dark, I didn't get any pictures. Jake loved the fireworks. Hollon was super tired and I was scared she would freak out (she is not crazy about loud noises), but she sat in Robbie's lap and was okay. I wouldn't say she loved it, but at least she didn't cry. 

I am sad that I didn't get any pictures of Hollon in her 4th of July outfit. It was a cute little red bubble with navy sandals and her hair in pig tails with a navy bow. Because she had not had a nap, she was in a mood that afternoon. Then by the evening, it was too dark to take pictures. She was in no mood to take pictures anyway. She looked precious on the outside, but that attitude was not having it.

Then Sunday night, it all went way downhill. Hollon woke up around 1:30 screaming. She screamed for a good 15 minutes, so I figured something must be up. I went in and she was burning up with a fever. I gave her some medicine and milk and put her in bed with us. The rest of the night consisted of her sticking her feet in our faces, picking our noses, tossing and turning. Then about 4:30, I hear Jake up and see the hall bathroom light on. I get up to check on him and he is throwing up. One kid with a fever, the other throwing up. It is the stuff dreams are made of.

By mid morning, both kids had completely recovered and were fine. But we still just took it easy. We hung out at our house, played with friends, cooked out with the neighbors and died laughing watching the people on our neighborhood facebook page all accuse other people for shooting off illegal fireworks. 

It wasn't the most exciting 4th of July, but it certainly was a fun one (minus throwing up & fevers).

 Jake was back at camp last week. When I picked Hollon up on Tuesday, she had a slight fever, cough, runny nose and just didn't feel good. 

So Wednesday I kept her home with me. She slept a lot, stayed in her pajamas all day and just rested up. We did go outside for a little while that afternoon and played with some sidewalk paint.

Thursday, the fever was gone, the cough was confirmed by the nurse to be related to the runny nose drainage, plus Hollon was feeling better. So we decided to head back to school on Thursday. All was fine, until she didn't get her way.

Since we missed dress up day Wednesday (the theme was America), we wore our patriotic dress on Thursday. I made the mistake of putting Hollon's red sandals on her. She did not want to wear those. Which shoes did she want to wear? Her dressy white Willits buckle shoes. They are the dressiest shoes she owns and would be the worst shoes for daycare. (And didn't match her outfit.) Hollon let me know that she was not happy with the decision. Who cries to wear church shoes anyway?

These are said shoes causing the meltdown

Better once she finds a book she likes

Dress shoes forgotten and the smile is back

Hollon loves water, so I had purchased a cheap little water table from Big Lots. I brought it out Friday and just knew she would play with it for hours. 

For starters, she filled the cup up with water and poured it on her shirt. So we changed into a swimsuit and she insisted on the boots. 

 Minute One:

 Minute Two:

And then she was done. What I thought would be hours of fun was 2 minutes of fun. Then she just wanted to play in my car.

 In this picture, she is throwing a fit because I won't shut the back of the car. I try explaining to her that in 100 degree weather, you can't have a child in the car with all doors shut. There are people in jail for doing that. 

She doesn't care. Life with an almost 2-year-old.

Jake is such a sweet brother and lets her watch Curious George in his room. She loves his room and now that she is past eating the Legos, we let her play in there as long as Jake is okay with it. He likes it, because he gets to be the boss of her while we are not in there.

 Saturday, the boys got haircuts, so Hollon & I rode with them and then we all ate lunch afterwards. Hollon is getting to that sad age where eating out is dicey. She may be good, but chances are, she will not be. We ate at Mellow Mushroom. All she wanted to do was run around the restaurant. And prance in front of tables. And refuse to eat her food once it came. Basically Robbie & I had to take turns wrangling her, while the other one ate. See you in about 2 years restaurants!

Back home, free to run wild.

Her hair is getting so long! Still thin, stringy & straight, but long.

Happy when she gets the ball

Mad when she doesn't

She feel asleep reading her book in her crib

Sunday Funday
Outfit smocked and made by Mimi

Trying to get a good picture of these two....

 Right now, this is her favorite book. Dress Up Minnie Mouse.

We met the Bush's after church for lunch. We all held her breath on how Hollon would do. Thankfully she managed through most of lunch without acting like a crazy woman.