Friday, June 28, 2013

Sick Day

I was starting to worry that I really had jinxed myself. After writing the post about the BEST SUMMER EVER, we had a tough day. Now listen, it wasn't horrible. It just gave me pause after all of my gloating the day before. Things were just a little bit off all the way around.

One thing you should know is that I have been very blessed that when my kids get sick (as older kids) they typically get things in a mild fashion. I recognize what a HUGE blessing this is. And I also recognize that any moment one of my kids is going to get some raging sickness just because I put that in writing. I only tell you that to say that sometimes it is hard for me to know what's happening. Yesterday, Drew was just a wreck. Short tempered and fragile. He said at least 100 times, "You guys are just IRRITATING me." I kept a close eye out, because this is not typical. Especially during the summer when his stress level is relatively low. Finally, last night at bedtime, he requested a Tums and told me his stomach hurt. A-ha. I snuggled him a little and put him to bed.

During the night it became clear that he has some sort of bug. There was no puke. There rarely is. I would like to think that I paid my dues in puke early on, and am now being given a reprieve from it!! It was obvious that he was not feeling good this morning, so we called a home day. Well, after we went to the grocery, because it could not be put off any longer.

I tried to put my agenda aside and tune in to what would really help my little buddy. He was needing some serious Mom time. So, after lunch we all piled in my bed and had a little movie/nap time. Emily got busy "darking up the room" and it was all just what the doctor ordered.

I'm really hoping he's feeling much better tomorrow. It's hard for a growing boy to deal with a diet of crackers and jell-o!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summa Time

We are well into summer and I just have to tell you, it's pretty much the best summer I've had in a really long time. There are just so many reasons for this, but regardless of the reasons, I'm in love with summer.

First, the weather has been just downright delightful. It's the last week of June and it's just now making me sweat. I mean, last year, before school was even out I couldn't stand to be outside because of all the hot. This year, it's been less humid and breezy. I don't know what's up with all the breeze in Nashville right now, but I'm totally digging it. My son would live his entire life outside. His blonde highlights and brown skin are a testament to what he's been doing this summer.

Second, the pace? Slow. We made the decision not to put Drew in any camps this summer, which goes against the collective mentality here in Nashville. Some people put their kids in camp every week. When it came down to it, though, I just didn't want to have to be on the clock. The thing I hated most about the school year was the scramble to get out the door on time in the mornings. And listen, I did all the tricks-prepping the night before, routines, etc., and it still just felt stressful everyday. I wanted to take a break from the rat race. And we have done just that. I am getting up early (which, I know is not like me at all!) to work, then we go do some sort of activity, I work some more during rest time and then we usually head to the pool. It's just a dream to be able to work and fit in tons of summer fun at the same time. I hope you will get tired of me talking about how thankful I am for my job. Because I should say it everyday. Blessed.

Third, my kids are best friends. This summer has marked the turning of the corner in many ways, and this way is my favorite. Emily is now big enough to really play with her brother. They have been so good to play great together while I am working. I love listening to what they are doing. And, yes, sometimes at the end of the day when I go upstairs the place looks like a frat party has just happened. But it's just so darn hard to care when they have had a total blast with each other all day. Don't get me wrong-they are siblings. There is fighting and grumpy days and attitude. But, I've been working to be very intentional about teaching them to work out their conflicts on their own, without tattling. This has been a hard lesson. But, because I'm starting to get some of my brain back, I've been able to be a little more consistent. When I listen to them solve a problem on their own, apologize without prompting, and move on, I want to stand up and clap. Sort of like how I feel when they eat salad.

Drew starts back to school at the very beginning of August and I already dread it. I know that I will always look back on this summer and wish we could go back. It's a little pocket of time that is pretty dang close to perfect.

Here's a little peak at some of what we've been doing:
*Free doughnut day! We ate our free doughnuts and then took in a movie. (Sorry about the poor quality of this picture. Insert some kind smart photo talk here.)

*We are getting in plenty of pool time! This picture shows our favorite "drying off" activity-a rousing game of "would you rather?'

*At Bicentennial Park splash ground. SO many fun (free) things to do around Nashville! 

*And then there's this. For which I have no words. Girlfriend has rocked her winter boots all summer long. Whatevs, baby sis, whatevs.

I hope you are having the best summer ever. Because I think we might be. And now I'm hoping I haven't just jinxed us!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Kids-Part 2

I swear. Every time I think I'm back on the regular blogging bandwagon, well, I'm not. We are having a FABULOUS summer and I really want to tell you all about it. First, I gotta finish what I started.

Here is Emily on her last day of school!!! There are so many words I could say about this child! She has rounded the corner to 3 and a half, and if you've never lived with a 3 and a half year old child, well, let's just say it is an adventure!

She is 100% all girl. She changes her clothes approximately 400 times a day and would wear my high heels in public if I would let her. (Yes, I have some high heels. Like two pair...) She is my child who does all the things you hear parents talk about. Changing her clothes, saying loud, embarrassing things, hurting herself-a lot. She is spunky, and sassy, but oh so sweet.

She ADORES her big brother and she is so lucky that he adores her right back. And while she may keep him on his toes, she is also the first one to comfort him if he is hurt or sad.

Emily is downright hilarious. She says and does funny things all the time. Her latest saying is, "Well, hello fuzzy!" I'm not even sure where she heard that!

She had a great year in preschool and staying with my friend, Robin. Thankfully, she is very sweet in a classroom setting. Just last week I got to see this in action. She took a little dance class (pics to come) and I was able to watch her through this little window while she was in class. I felt a little dorky-most of the others moms were laid back and chit-chatting, but I couldn't stop watching her. I feel like it was a chance to see her in a way I haven't before. I almost cried the whole time. Sap alert! She was a good listener and watched her teacher so closely. It was super sweet. She also slept in her "ballet outfit" every night. Bless.

Towards the end of school her behavior was WAY out of whack. At first, I attributed it to her being run ragged by our end of the year schedule. But, the more I watched and talked with friends, I began to realize she had some stomach issues going on. Every single time this happens I feel so dumb. Why, after 6 years of dealing with this garbage, does it take me so long to realize what's happening?? It is usually after talking out loud about it that it dawns on me. The dairy devil strikes again. This was about our fourth attempt at getting Emily on the dairy wagon. She does great for a few months and then one day, all the wheels just fall right off. This is a lot of fun. Like, lay in the floor screaming over everything kind of fun. Like, not wanting to eat anything but hot dogs kind of fun. Like, ohmywordhowmuchlongertilbedtime kind of fun. She was in trouble almost every day. It's those moments as a parent when you finally just have to say, "Look. Something isn't right."

It was a testament to how bad she was feeling that she was totally on board with cutting dairy back out of her diet. That was about three weeks ago, and she is feeling so much better. In fact, it's like someone who needs anti-depressants, then feels better and thinks, "Oh good, I don't need to take these any more because I feel awesome." I keep reminding her the reason she feels better is because she's not eating ice-cream cones. Which, is easy for a three year old to get. Only it's not.

Anyway, all of that to say, life is like a dream now. Seriously. My sweet, smart, loving little girl is taking center stage, in front of the little troll who had been hanging around. She still has those 3 and half year old tendencies, but she is much more able to control her emotions. And, as with any female, this is a good thing.

It is my absolute joy having a daughter. I have no idea whether I'm getting it right, but I pray for grace everyday to be the kind of mom Emily needs. I am so excited to have the next two years with her. I'm excited she has two years before kindergarten. I plan to soak up every single drop of her Emily-ness between now and then.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Kids-Part 1

Wait. Before I update you on my bebes, I need to make an addendum to my last post. I know what you're thinking. How can there possibly be an addendum after so.many.words? But there is.

I forgot to say the very best part of my new job! The very best part is that I am working with my sister, Katy. She is also on the Children's Ministry staff so we are like, for real, working together. And it is about 26 different kinds of fabulous.

Shew. That's been bugging me all week.

I did want to put up a few current pictures and tell a few current stories about my two sweeties. I'll shoot straight-the month of May about did us in. It was a close call. But, we made it to summer and we have already been busy having loads of fun.

Let's start with my favorite boy on the planet. Here he is on his last day of kindergarten. Sniff.

I don't even know where to start with this kid. Talk about brave. Drew has faced SO many first time experiences this year and has handled every one of them like a champ! Not only is he brave, he is kind. His teacher reported that kids in the class like him because he is a good, loyal, kind friend. Man. There are no sweeter words to a mama's ears. I know that as the years go by those attributes may not make him "popular", but I pray every day he finds a way to hold on to that tender heart.

Besides conquering the big, bad world of for real school, Drew also decided he wanted to play baseball this year. I'm not gonna lie. I was skeered. Not about him getting hurt physically, but I was worried about his little spirit. Much like his mom, Drew likes to be awesome at things right out of the shoot. Taking karate has really helped with this-shown him that hard work and practice really do make you better. We managed to get him on a team with three of his best buddies from class. All of whom had played baseball before. Eek! Also, the coach decided to go ahead and move the team up to the "machine pitch" league. Folks, we do not joke around about baseball in Bellevue! At first, this only added to my terror, but it actually worked out for the best. Mostly because zero kids on his team could hit the ball at all. Y'all. It was a looooong season. We won exactly no games. We cheered like maniacs when a kid hit the ball. AT ALL. But Drew loved every minute. He is in full sports obsession mode. This started with football last summer and has now grown to include any and all sports. In case you've missed it, Drew, um, HONES IN, on whatever is interesting to him at the moment. All, and I mean all, of our conversations somehow end up back around to sports. Which, I must say, I'm much more well versed in than the last obsession-Star Wars.

I am absolutely loving the stage he is in. I could spend every waking minute with him and not get tired of it. He is beyond helpful, smart, insightful and so loving. I love playing backyard baseball with him and I love when he still snuggles me up when we're together on the couch. He only gets 2 months off for summer and I'm doing everything I can to soak up every second.

Can I tell you a secret? I started this post LAST WEEK. But it was taking a sweet forever for my pictures to load, so I did what I do when things get a wee bit hard. I bailed. Just shut my computer and walked away. True story. So, I'll be back for part 2 at some point. I can't wait to tell you about Emily. Prepare yourselves. There will be words. Lots of words.