Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Random Menagerie

On Sunday evening, Megan watched the kids and Taylor and I saw Heaven is For Real... great movie!

Another Tuesday at Grammy's school.

When we came home, our neighbors were playing outside, so we went to visit.

Here's the most exciting thing... Last night, before dinner, we went for a little swim in the pool.  Anna Belle has been doing well in swim lessons, despite her occasional tears.  She's floating on her back by herself, though she sort of freaks out when she realizes she's doing it on her own.  I told her I could teacher her to swim without floating on her back, the way Miss Andrea taught Brady how to swim.

She started with pushing across the hot tub, like the video below.

Anna Belle was on a total adrenaline high.  She would not stop going back and forth and back and forth.  She has a hard time reaching the high edge of the pool, so sometimes she lingered a little longer than she would have liked.  Even that didn't stop her.  Her confidence brings her to a really scary stage, in the pool.  I'm going to continue working with her, in addition to swim lessons.  If she can add a little kick in there, she'll be swimming really soon.

Monday, April 28, 2014

More Baseball

How blessed are we to have all this family come to Brady's game?  In addition to all this, Grammy watched the kids the night before AND watched Anna Belle during the game (because she was a little under the weather).  We are so, so very fortunate to have so many people in our kids lives who love and support them.

Please pray for Taylor's mom, Patricia.  She has just finished her first 2 week round of chemo, and it's been really rough.

Happy Easter!

I'm really trying to be more timely with my blog posts, but life happens...  Here's my Easter post.  I felt slightly neurotic for buying all of our Easter bunny goodies right after Valentine's Day, but the Good Lord knew what he was doing when He encouraged me to give into the neurosis... Between Valentine's Day and Easter we celebrated Anna Belle's birthday, went to Rome, bought a house, fixed up the house, rented the house, dealt with having both cars in the shop, Taylor had a business trip...  crazy!?

Easter doesn't get as much hype as Christmas, but it totally should.  It's important to met that our kids realize the meaning of Easter, which I believe they do.  Hobby Lobby had a nice book called The Very First Easter.  It's a charming little $2 book.

 We generally take off Brady's top shirt and put him in sweat pants before bed.  He kept on his polo, so he looked really awesome in the morning.

I love setting tables.  I planned on the kids helping me with the artwork on the wall, though Taylor and I did most of it <sigh>.

Easter egg hunt in the back yard... 

I thought it was too cold, but the kids enjoyed swimming in the pool.

We cleaned the kids up (again) and brought them over to Grandma's for Easter dinner.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Livingston's Egg Hunt

On the Saturday before Easter, Brett and Allison hosted an Easter egg hunt and dinner for their neighbors (and niece and nephew). 

A few kids got in the pool.  Clara and Anna Belle mostly played with the hose and threw the balls back into the pool repeatedly.

Well, that's how Anna Belle played, until one of the 4 labs came running her way (she's dealing with her fears really well, but she's generally afraid of large animals... and most small animals... well, all animals except Daisy).

Brady loved playing fetch with all the dogs.

Allison got lots of new plants in her front yard, right before the party.  

Langley the Licker in action.

...so here's the picture we get with Allison.  Langley saved the picture; look how much more natural everyone looks!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Grammy's School

Every Tuesday, we go visit Grammy's school.  The kids love it, and I felt like I was long overdue on taking a single picture in her classroom.  As if the looming Kindergarten phase doesn't traumatize this mom enough, I have to let go of this Tuesday ritual (because Brady will get out of school later).  Grammy had little Easter baskets for the kids.

When they were babies, I handled the passing of time more gracefully.  I pray that I will handle the years to come with grace, but I desperately want to freeze time.  I love this time where my children's lives revolve solely around their family.  I can easily interpret all the funny or backwards things they say, which remind me of a moment I've spent with them.  I don't compete with friends for play time with my kids.  There are no cuss words, evolution based science or unusual family compositions to explain away.  

Stupid kindergarten is the first step in letting my little ones go... ugh!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Galveston with Pops

Taylor returned from St. Martin late Wednesday night.  His Accord's A/C went out the day before he left, so it's been in the shop.  Honda says a rock hit the A/C condenser, so it's not covered by the warranty (and should be an insurance claim, like a broken windshield).  I hate Honda.

I tell you that to explain that we were sharing a car for the day.  Taylor and Pops joined us for Anna Belle's swim lesson, we took Taylor to work, and (per Brady's request) we went to the beach to feed the birds.  It was kind of cold and windy, but we found a sand free ramp right on the sea wall.  After $1.00 for parking and $1.30 for Saltines, I would say this is the best cheap thrill around.  The sea gulls literally ate the crackers out of my hand.  Brady would throw crumbs into the air, and the birds would catch them in mid air.  

We went to Moody Gardens.  I was hoping to see one of the sea animal movies on the big screen, but Brady wanted the pirates.

We also went to the flight museum, where I failed to take pictures.  I had never been before; it was awesome!  Pops knew quite a bit about the planes, and Brady was just in awe with the real guns / missile launchers on the planes. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Baseball Game #3

We have had a really great baseball season this year; we really like Fairfield Sports Association.  Brady totally lacks focus.  He loves to kick up the dirt endlessly.  When he runs the bases, he shuffles his feet and runs a zig zag path to watch the dust in his wake.  Also, when he played third baseman in the last inning, he ran to home with the other team for pretty much every play.  He would also throw his arms up in the air in celebration every time.  This kid is full of JOY and LOVES "playing" baseball.

While waiting for the other team to take their positions, Luke took up bat twirling.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Parent - Teacher Conference Days

Brady was off of school Thursday and Friday for parent - teacher conferences.  Brady has made some major improvements this year in his writing and drawing.  I'm really, really happy we bridged him

On Thursday, we ran errands and had to get Brady his last chicken pox shot.  I went without vaccinating this kid for 3 years.  We did the normal round of 4 year old shots, and now he only needed the second chicken pox shot for kindergarten.  I think this is the first time I realized that I didn't "delay" the shots, I skipped a lot of the infant / toddler shots.  Anna Belle skipped all of her shots the first 2 years (except the ones at the hospital) and then she'll get her next round at 4 years old.

On Friday, we went to Nordstrom for me to make a return, but they weren't quite open yet.  Fortunately, the kids were in a good mood.

We went to the oncologist with Grandma.  On the way out, I opened the exterior door of the hospital to try to gripe at my kids for fighting, and the bottom of the door ran over Anna Belle's big toe.  It was really bad.  Four nurses came running with their little boo-boo caboodles.  She lost 90% of her nail, but after 7 days, it's already starting to grow back nicely.  Kids have super healing powers... God knew what he was doing.  PS This was one day after Anna Belle's first pedicure.

I had originally promised Brady we could go to the Children's Museum after his shot, but we delayed it a day and went after Grandma's doctor appointment.  Daddy came too!  I'm really glad I bought this stroller for Italy, because it came in handy with Anna Belle's bum toe.

Aunt Megan - this one's for you...