Friday, September 16, 2016

First Day of School

Not only was this a big year because Gaines was starting school, but I decided to put them in a new school that is closer to our house. We have loved having Woody at Peachtree, but it is far from our house. I just didn't want to fight the traffic five days a week. Not only is their new school closer, but Woody was able to get in the four day a week program (as opposed to five.) I like having one day where we can stay in our PJs a little longer!

Fuuny Story:: Gaines was so mad about his "shorts." I love bubble shorts, but he wanted big boy shorts like Woody. He kept trying to pull them down to his knees. Sorry buddy!

Look how Woody has grown!

After a summer of endless snacks, they were so hungry when they got home! They both cleared their plates and asked for more!

The school wants you to use carpool, so I wasn't able to speak with their teachers. Gaines's teacher called me and said he did really well on his first day. He played well with others and didn't hit or bite anyone! However, she said by the end of the day, he was over it. He wanted her to hold him and he kept trying to go to sleep. He took a long nap on the first day.

Woody's teachers posted these pictures on his class website.

So sweaty after playground!
Also, the face you get now if you ask him to smile. What a natural!

He talks about the Science Station a lot. He says it is his favorite.

I feel like he has been doing really well with the new routine. He is always happy to go to school and happy when I pick him up. I am proud of him for dealing with the change. Last Tuesday was his first "tough" day. One of his teachers brought him to my car during carpool and said there were some tears thoughout the day. He hadn't slept well the night before, so on the way home I asked him if he wanted to talk about it now or later, and he said, "Later." That afternoon, he told me his friends picked up his puzzle before he was ready and some "big kids" (I guess the 5/6 year olds?) came to the playground and made him feel scared and he fell of the swing. He is so innocent and part of me wanted to laugh about what made him cry. It is a constant balance between wanting him to mature and not cry over the small stuff and wanting him to stay so sweet and tender hearted. 

He told me Wednesday that he cried at school again. His teachers are so sweet, and emailed me about what happened. Again, very minor things, so I don't know why he is getting upset. Brooks and I are meeting with them next week about how we can best support Woody. Thankfully, yesterday he happily told me that he didn't cry.

I hope they both have great years. I have prayed so much about this change and their teachers. I just want them to be happy, but I know in the end, it is my job to help them grown into kind, well-rounded children. That means there are some times where they won't be happy. I try to tell them everyday that when they are scared, upset, or mad, they can always talk to Jesus and He understands. They probably have no clue what I am talking about, but maybe it will set in and they won't be like their momma and have to wait way too many years before they figure that out (even though my parents did a fabulous job teaching me!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Gaines- 30 Months

Little Peepers "turned" 30 months on the 7th. It makes me laugh to say 30 months, because if anything is going to describe him, it is the word two! Here are 30 things that make Gaines Alton the wonderful creature he is! (Here is Woody's 30 month facts.)

1. He is all boy. He loves balls, trucks, and breaking things.
2. He sleeps with two lovies. They were both given by my friend, Alli, when the boys were born. His favorite is teachnically Woody's, but Woody lets him have it. He calls them his NaNas. (This is only somewhat confusing because he also loves his Nana (my mom) and ba"nanas."

3. He likes to sing...but what is he singing!?!? If music is playing, he hums along happily.
4. Thinks he is the authority on everything. Mr. Bossy Pants. His favorite person to boss around? Woody.
5. Yet, he adores Woody. Their friendship is the sweetest thing. Don't get me wrong, there are A LOT of fights, but they really look out for each other.

6. Gaines is going to school two days a week. He is only in his second week, but seems to really like it.
7. We lucked out this one, he is a great eater! Unlike his brother, he will try almost anything. Which leads me to my next one...
8. He is almost as big as Woody! He is a little shorter, but wears a 3T in pants and a 4T in tops. 
9. If he could spend all day outside, he would. He sometimes sits at the door trying to put his shoes on in hopes that someone will take him outside.
10. His favorite outdoor activities are the pool, bubbles, throwing the ball, and playing on his bike.

11. His favorite indoor activities are trains, legos, and the marble maze. He loves building things so he is constantly building new train tracks.
12. Like his brother, his vocabulary isn't extensive. He "talks" non-stop, but it is hard to sometimes understand him. He calls Brooks DaDa, I am Momma (in the sweetest, southern voice), and Woody is Ew-ie. He can say all of his grandparents names just fine, except now he calls my dad "Troll" since when we were at the beach, my dad would hide under the boardwalks so Gaines and Woody could retell The Three Billy Goats Gruff.
13. His biggest fears are also his biggest fascinations. Spiders and fire. He love to sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider and talk about big spiders, but any bug totally freaks him out. He loves fire trucks , but Labor Day weekend, when Brooks fired up the grill, Gaines screamed and wouldn't stay outside. 

14. I know I am about to jinx myself saying this, but he is a wonderful napper at home. He goes down easily, even though Woody doesn't nap. He usually chooses to sleep in Woody's bed and sleeps at least 2 hours. (Some days he would sleep 4 hours if I would let him.)
15. He goes to bed easily too. He likes to climb in bed with Woody, and they will "read" for a while, and once Woody falls asleep, he usually gets in his bed. However, he is an EARLY riser...ugh. This of course wakes Woody up. Suggestions on how to keep him asleep past 5:30?
16. Now, he doesn't sleep great away from home. I usually have to lie down with him for a while. If I am not around, good luck! I think I have scarred Aunt Savanna and the grandparents. He screams for them and sticks his chubby arms under the door (thankfully, he can't open his door knob!)

17. We are working on teaching colors, numbers, and letters. He isn't too intrested in them though.
18. He is 15% potty trained. Ha! He can always force out a little pee for a skittle. And if he is really in a candy mood, he will go number 2 (because he gets two skittles!) However, he mostly does his business in his diaper. I am in no hurry right now. A lot of people warned me that he might regress when Squeak is born, so I am letting him go on his own time.
19. I am like my sister and was in no hurry to do it this summer because I love JonJons and bubbles. However, Gaines hates them. He usually tells me, "No Momma! I big boy!" It makes me sad, and I usually force him into them anyways. I told him he can dress like a big boy when Squeak gets here.

20. He likes to wear his "Alligator shoes." They are these Croc type shoes that were his cousin, Jake's. They are way too big, but I choose my battles with him!
21. Discipline is a something we struggle with. His hot temper and strong personality put him in time-out a good part of the day. It breaks my heart, becuase he cries so hard when he has to go to time-out. I usually keep him in there for two minutes, then we say a prayer asking God for forgivness and help making the right decisions, then he has to apologize to who he wronged (usually Woody.) He will go up to Woody and hug him and say, "Sorry Ew-ie," in the sweetest voice....and then we usually repeat five minutes later. What can I say, except he has taught me a lot about the God's grace to our sinful ways!

22. As much as I find myself praying to God to give me wisdom in how to parent him, I find myself laughing at Gaines even more! He is the funniest child; our family's little clown! He loves to put on a show.
23. Rocks a bowl cut. I gave up trying to part it.
24. He loves to take a shower. Since we don't have a bathtub, I found it easier to stick the boys in the shower with the handheld hose. 
25. As far as strangers, he is either super friendly or super rude. He sometimes goes up to strangers and yells "Hi! Hi! Hi!" in their face until they respond or he yells, "STOP! SHOO!" 
(Captain America and Darth Vadar. He can't decide if he is good or evil.)

26. In the morning, he loves and only wants his momma. At night, he is so over me, and cries at the window for his Dada.
27. This summer, he adored waiting for the garbage men on Thursdays. They are awesome and would always honk a bunch for him. Now he is school on Thursdays, so he misses seeing his friends.
28. I have to keep crayons hidden from him. He loves to color the floors and walls. We keep Magic Erasers in business. 

29. I can't wait to see him with Squeak. I love watching him practice being a big brother. 
30. Everyday, I am amazed and so thankful for this sweet boy. He was our little "surprise," and I am so glad God gave him to us.  

Monday, September 5, 2016

Beach Weekend 2016

Things I am terrible at:

1. Cooking
2. Keeping up with this blog

I may have accepted number 1, but I refuse to accept number 2. Two weekends ago we met my parents at their beach place. We drove down Thursday night. We got a late start because the weather was awful. Like down trees/road flooding awful. And and the fact that Atlanta rush hour is a nightmare in general. Luckily, the boys were pretty chill on the ride down (with the exception of one blow out diaper before we were out of the city.) They slept the entire way, and we were so proud of ourselves...that was until we were about 20 minutes out and they both woke up! It was around 12:20am local time (1:20 am our time) when we arrived. The facts that we were at a new place + Nana and Gran were at this new place was too much excitement. The boys never went back to sleep! Thank goodness my husband and parents are saints and took turns with me staying with the boys. 

Friday morning we hit the beach pretty early since I knew they would obviously need naps. Both boys liked going out on the stand-up paddle did Brooks! The water was so clear too. In years past, we usually get about an hour on the beach before the meltdowns start. This year, everyone was relatively happy! It was actually, somewhat relaxing!

Trying to teach Woody how to stand

We headed back in to feed the boys lunch, and the plan was to put them down for naps and then Brooks and I would go out for lunch just the two of us (can I tell you how much I love grandparents!?) The boys were so tired, and my parents assured us they could easily get them down for a nap, so we headed to Hurricane Oyster in Grayton Beach.

When we came back, my poor dad was still trying to get the boys to lie down! Thankfully, we got them down to sleep in our bed and everyone took a nice nap.

When they woke up, we headed back to the beach. Woody took a little tumble and began limping. He kept saying that his toe hurt, but when I asked him to point to which toe hurt, he pointed to his ankle. For the rest of the night and next morning he had a hard time putting weight on it. I felt terrible for him, but luckily, it was just a sprain and he was okay by the next afternoon.

For dinner, we all headed out to The Hub. Not only is it super close to my parents', but very child friendly...which helps when you have a 2 and 4 year old that are hungry, one has a sprained ankle, and are up past their bedtime!

Saturday morning, my parents offered to watch the boys and Brooks and I headed over to Eden Gardens State Park to walk around and explore. It was beautiful, but there were mosquitos, and we didn't have any bug spray. We made our visit quick, but I can't wait to go back!

I love an antique brick

When we got back, we headed down to the beach. Gaines was very ready to be back, but Woody wasn't as excited. I think it was because his ankle was still hurting. He did go out with Brooks again and they got so close to some dolphins!

But he was much happier napping in Nana's arms!

That night, Brooks and I headed to one of our favorite's, Edward's in Rosemary Beach. The food was wonderful as always. Poor Brooks only had to deal with me complaing how hot, fat, and swollen I felt. 

On Sunday, we decided to go to the beach for a little bit before heading home. Both of my boys adore both sets of grandparents, and I love seeing them together. 

Nana and Gran's House has an unlimited supply of beach toys. Which is a good thing...I fear many were lost at sea.

As we headed out, we stopped at The Perfect Pig for brunch. My friend, Tippi, introduced me to this place on when we came down last August. Again, super close to my parents' place and really, really good!

I've got to give credit to the boys- they slept almost the entire way back! They do pretty good in the car to not have a working DVD player. They woke up just south of Atlanta, and were obviously hungry again. I was just ready to get out of the car, so we decided to have a sit down meal at Applebee's (our options were a tad limited.) It has been a while since I dined at an Applebee's, but now they have these tablet type things where you can play games or order food or entertain kids until they run up your bill without you noticing! Before we realized that you could buy stuff the ordered a Disney game and an order of onion rings!

See how the light is blue on top? That means you have ordered food....and now you know!
(We obviously didn't at the time)

Thank you so much Mom and Dad for not only having us, but for babysitting so much! We had a wonderful time and can't wait to be back as a family of five! (And a special thank you to my sweet SIL for watching our other children, Lucy and Winnie!)

Squeak (32 weeks in utero), Gaines (2), Woody (4)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Second Half of Summer According to My iPhone

I don't know what to say above the picture above except that he is two and pouts. A lot. But is still so cute!

Woody at his friend, Bradley's, birthday party. He had such a good time and even wore the party hat. Who is this child?!

 All my babies! One of our goals this summer was to expose the boys to "big church." The contemporary service is very relaxed as far as children go, so we decided to attend this service and bring the boys. They did as well as expected, and we decided to leave after the music.

The week after Woody's birthday, the boys were supposed to go to Spanish Camp. I was very nervous about this after the longer than expected recovery from his tonsillectomy. It was going to be held at a church we had never been to, the boys didn't know any other kids there, and on the first day, I realized it was full immersion! However, my kids never cease to amaze me! Woody went all five days and walked right in with no tears. Everyday he told me that he had a good time. Gaines went on Tuesday and Thursday and didn't bite anyone or have a meltdown! So proud of my big boys for trying something new.

Gaines enjoying the first day while Woody was at camp and having Momma all to himself.

Day 2

I don't know if a picture could capture their personalities better

 Peepers was pooped!

Matchy Thursday!
And in need of haircuts.
And, again, their faces.

I know I had to look crazy snapping pictures of them walking in, but it was so sweet that they only wanted to hold each others' hand.

Woody fell asleep on the way home

Gaines made this on Thursday. Notice how two fruit loops are missing? Those were his snack on the way home. His teachers told me that he kept eating all the other kids' fruit loops, whether they were glued down or not. They had to hide the box from him!

Funny story- As much fun as they boys were having, I was unsure how much Spanish they were actually learning. However, on the last day, when I went to pick up Woody, Gaines saw his crafts, including a gold medal, and yelled, "La Medella!"

Did I mention how tired the boys were after camp?

Like, really tired

Gaines has been the sweetest thing with his "Baby Mickey." He is (usually) so gentle with it. I can't wait to see him with the real thing (in six weeks! Ah!)

Woody had his follow-up appointment from his tonsillectomy. His doctor's office is at Northside Hospital, which is super close to our house (convenient for that six week deadline I was speaking of!) However, when we got there, they informed me his appointment was at the Alpharetta location. Despite a 9:00 appointment time and Atlanta morning rush hour, we were only twenty minutes late!

These two were most disappointed when we had to leave the waiting room.

Since we were already so far north, we decided to drive a little further north and visit Brooks at his office and have lunch together.

I'm sure they are hired!

Usually after church, we just go to Zoe's, but one Sunday, Brooks was craving Mexican food so we went to El Azteca since it is just up Roswell Road. To our delight, they were having Sunday buffet! It was so good, and the boys got to eat free since they were under 5. Everyone was full and happy!

We went to visit Maridelle and Aunt Melanie. Gaines was showing off his dog walking skills on a patient Baker.

The first weekend in August, my family came to Atlanta because the older grand kids wanted to go back to Stone Mountain. (Sister blogged about it here.) Brooks, the boys, and I met them Saturday morning.

Our normal lazy days. Gaines was giving Mickey a bottle and although it looks like Woody is throwing up a gang sign, he is just showing off the letters K and S.

Even though they each have their own bed, they often fall asleep in the same one.
I am just a little obsessed with stalking them in their sleep.

This summer, the Good Lord has been working in my heart with being content. I did a great bible study at the beginning of the summer called Breathe by Priscilla Shirer. It made me really think about my priorities and all the blessings I have been given.

When we took the house off the market and then found out I was pregnant, we planned on finishing out our basement. It just seemed impossible to live in a three bedroom <2,000 square ft house. As I type that, I realize how silly I sound when so many others pray and plead for what we have! In reality, we hadn't saved for a big basement renovation, so we decided to put that on hold and turn my "Ladies Lounge" into a playroom.

This was great...until the toys started to spill over from this room to the kitchen and the dining room. Again, I kept thinking, "Ugh, we just need more space," but really, we just needed less stuff! They boys actually helped me clean out the playroom and give a lot of their toys to "widdle boys wid no toys." I know this concept his hard for a 4 and 2 year old to process, but I was so proud of them. And here is our new and improved playroom!

We love the garbage men! They are always so sweet and give fun honks to the boys!

I love letting the boys pick out their clothes and seeing what they come up with!
(Usually Gaines requests "No Clo" and Woody responds with, "I just wear my underwear.")

Best part of the day? When Daddy gets home!

 I found these pajamas on major sale and gave them to Sister to monogram. I was trying to get a picture and this is what I got.
But then they were so sweet!

I am attempting this week to try to potty train Gaines. Today was Day 1. I threw in the towel at lunch. At least Gaines is happy to get to wear "No Clo"

This afternoon, tragedy happened. Woody dropped the iPad. He gets to play in during Gaines's nap, and he was in the process of putting it up. He is so sensitive and burst into tears saying, "Mommy and Daddy are going to be mad at me!" I tried to explain the I am Mommy, and I am not mad. Brooks Facetimed him (as I carefully held onto my iPhone) and told him that he wasn't mad, and we would work together to do chores to fix it. It broke my heart to see him so upset.

The devastated face,

The devastated iPad

And since we started this long post with Gaines pouting...

...I wouldn't let him have Lucky Charms for dinner. 
Mom is a jerk.

(Be back soon with beach pictures!)

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