Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tornado 2011 - Memorial Weekend

The lake where my parents reside in the summer was hit with a tornado Memorial Day weekend.  Luckily they only had some minor fascia damage on their home, but neighbors two houses down, lost their roof & their pontoon.

J was not phased at all as grandpa drove us around showing us the damage that was simply amazing, and all the more by the fact that they had so little damage.
J was just interested in making the boat go fast... :)
The simple priorities of a 3-year-old & the simple joys of being with grandparents... 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ionia Free Fair 2011

In my home growing up, I was taught money was to be spent on every day things (clothes & savings mainly), not entertainment.  If you exclude our MSU football tickets, that is... Dad deserved to have some extravagance, even if it equaled torture for his youngest.

That's not to say we didn't do stuff, because we did.  We visited Grandma & Grandpa B at their winter home in Harlingen, TX.  We visited family friends in Washington D.C., though to be honest, I was so young I only know this through pictures.  I do recall doing the drive to St. Petersburg, FL when I was around 5 or 6, to see Grandma & Grandpa P & head over to Disney, Sea World & Busch Gardens.

All these great trips, but with the exception of seeing South Padre & heading over the border for Cabrito once a year, big trips were rare.  Even when we splurged on Cedar Point, mom did the drive there & back in a day to limit the expenses.

So we all looked forward to the Ionia Free Fair every.single.year.

This would be where I saw my first music concert (NKOTB thankyouverymuch).  This is where I learned to begborrow&plead ask kindly for fresh squeezed lemonade & fresh from the fryer Elephant Ears.

So of course, when Grandma P suggested we take J last week, I jumped for joy.  I wasn't sure J would like it, but I was so in.

And it is so inexpensive.  Parking was $6.  An unlimited ride band was $15 for J & we picked up an additional $6 in tickets for 1 adult to ride 2 rides with him. 
 As you can see by the pictures, he had an absolute BLAST! 
I cherish the blown up version of this picture... You can just see the shear joy in his face...

Mommy did join him in a first... Go Karts.  It was an additional $5 for the two of us, and J so wanted to go.  My gut told me to send my Dad, but my mom pushed me into it.  Let's just say, J's constant was "Go faster Mommy" and I didn't know how to respond, seeing as I was lapped 3 times by all other drivers.  And yes, that means the over 40 something dad's, as well as, their ohthisissoflippinghilarious grinning (while looking back at us) early teenagers.


I did redeem myself, however, as I took J out on the Jet Ski & we went fast, fast, fast... Never mind the lake was calm due to the weather scaring everyone away... Nope... I was just brave & went fast, fast, fast.  My nose is so growing like Pinocchio too.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ready, Set, Go!

J & I recently joined Aunt Liz at work... She knew all the fun places to visit to distract a certain little boy who was rather sad he was not on the field during the game...

The full video of his run is on Facebook... Please check it out.

We followed this up with a trip to the park across from the stadium... We had a great day!  Thank you Aunt Liz!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Block by Block

I've started having J sit by me at the kitchen counter while cooking dinner.  It does two things; includes him in dinner preparations, and gives us good one on one time. 

He picks an activity each day to do while sitting at the counter, if he doesn't want to, or there isn't really anything he can do to help.

Thursday night, he wanted to make a "BIG, GIGANTIC Tower!!! for Daddy"

And block by block, he built it... Over.and.over.and.over again.

Each time, knocking it down & restarting with such utter concentration.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Must Share: "I Knew You Could"

I LOVE books!  I LOVE to read.  Seriously, my biggest issue with being so busy right now, no time to read.  I'm looking forward to my schedule change come fall, simply because I'm looking at keeping my wake-up time to get up & work out before work just so I can have time to read. 

So obviously, passing this on to J is one of my biggest priorities.  In May I found this book, and I just love it.

"I Knew You Could" is one of those life lessons that *seems* too old for him, but you realize - not at all.  Especially as I read through it tonight putting him to bed, he has such big changes coming, I'm glad I found it...

And best of all - it's timeless. 

So maybe one day I will be able to snuggle a "but I don't want to sleep" grandchild enjoying the same book his or her daddy loved so as a child...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Watching Nature - a teaching moment

While I don't have any pictures, I wanted to document here these moments of beauty we've had this spring.

When Grandpa P was here in May, we trimmed the bush in front of J's window.  It grows out of control every spring. 

Last year, we cut it in the summer, when I was worried about fire escape hazard (what ever possessed our builder to put this kind of bush in front of a *kids* window can only be made sane by his thoughts of preventing window escape in the teen years).  While hacking snipping away at it, Grandpa uncovered a Robin's nest with blue eggs still in it.  We stopped our trimming, but it was too late.  The mother never came back & the eggs were eaten by bigger birds.

This year, we checked first.  There was a nest, but no eggs.  So we went about trimming the bush to tame/prime it for the Spring growth.  Grandpa used the electric trimmer this time & wow did we shrink it.  Especially in the area closest to J's window. 

With J sleeping in our room since Spring, his shades are rarely open, so when we recently moved him back to his room - and I opened them - it was a surprise to have Moma Bird sitting there staring at me.  When she flew away there were 3 beautiful blue eggs staring at us.  Way better than a Tiffany egg for a 3-year-old.  J was entranced by this happening of nature. 

It has been a lesson or 10 in patience & and understanding nature.  He was really good about leaving the Moma bird alone to cook her eggs. 

And it was rewarded.  This week we have seen the cutest yellow squalling beaks peek out from the nest.  J even got to witness Moma Bird feeding the little ones.  Prompting causing him to want to go to the grocery store to buy worms to feed them.

Mr. M & I've been very adamant we don't feed the birds, or they won't know how to look for food themselves.

However, I do think a bird feeder is in our very near future. 

It is so awesome for me to listen to J share this with Mr. M repeating all the things I say to him about having to be quiet & keep the curtain closed so the bird family can have their quiet time to go into big birds that can fly... I really hope we catch those first flights.  I think J would be entranced by those first wing spreading moments.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wall - Tantrum

I wish I had some great story for this... I don't.

This is the result of a temper tantrum.  I assumed J to be launching himself at his gate in an effort to dislodge it from the door frame.

I was wrong.


I have to thank Grandpa P for repairing the damage over the 4th & doing it with J's help so J would *learn* that it is not as simple as saying "Fix-it Mommy.  Please.  Please.  Please.  I said please."  It looks like I will be painting this room over my winter break, but we are not rushing as Grandpa P has to come back & finish smoothing it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cars2 at Borders event

J & I were soooo excited for the news Cars2 movie to come out that we talked Grandma & Grandpa P into driving to Ann Arbor (about an hour) to the closest Borders for a Cars event. 

It was not as much fun as I imagined it would be, but it was still a lot of fun.  Plus J walked out with a puzzle & several books between me & the grand-parental's.  :) 

J LOVES the puzzle.  I've stumbled upon J & Mr. M sitting at the kitchen table working on it together.  It is so sweet, that I've hidden to just watch out of sight of J, or he'd want me to join & I love these seemingly stolen moments of daddy & son time. 

In a proud Mommy moment, Grandma P complimented J for how well behaved he was in comparison to the other kids at the event.  This was HUGE to me, as we've had to address his behavior recently.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!!!!  Hope everyone has a safe & wonderful holiday.

And exciting news on our front...

J has become a swimmer.  About a week ago he swam on his own, but then he wouldn't do it again, preferring the safety of his life jacket & water wings.  However, in an effort to con him into doing it... I negotiated I would set my book down for his swimming on his own.

He then proceeded to swim for more than a half hour all over the pool.  And he did it again today.  It was awesome!

I'm so proud of him.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Caleb James P - born 6/4/11

Caleb James P was born on June 4th
(a day before his Aunt & 2nd cousin Molly's birthday)

J & I recently got to meet this adorable little boy.  It amazed me how much he looked like J did at this age.  I got loads & loads of baby snuggles, while J had a blast running wild with his cousins.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mommy turned 35...

And woke up to this:
...for her birthday morning.

For the first time in my life, I took an independent vacation.  During college, when most people travel & such, I spent every holiday or vacation break with my family.  I drove home for Fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas & summer breaks.  Grandma & Grandpa always came to pick me up for Spring Break, generally spent at the Marriott on Marco Island.

So it wasn't really all that out of my comfort zone to spend my first adult independent vacation at the condo...

And I missed you so much. 

Miss Anna, my maid of honor, joined me, as we planned this to celebrate *our* 35th birthdays.  To regroup & nurture our friendship that has survived our weddings, our children's births and the many miles that exist between Chicago & Charleston.

Upon returning to work, Miss Kathy welcomed me back in a true beach way.
And you could not have been happier to get the sand to play with or the castle building tools. 

Mommy was pleasantly shocked to find the Amazon gift card artfully wrapped in the sand castle... :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Mommy Centered - Jen Lancaster

Mommy has gotten to do a couple of mommy centered events this spring.  First was in early May (May 8th to be exact), Aunt Liz & Grandma & Grandpa M watched you... You went to the Museum of Science & Industry coming home with a plastic tractor you made yourself & are so very proud of it. 

You even pulled it out to show off to Grandma & Grandpa P when they visited in early June. 

Mommy on the other hand, spent a blissful day with Miss Kari downtown.  We watched a movie, did lunch, and best of all - got front row seats to meet Jen Lancaster.

Well, possibly passing soon-to-be Aunt Kim's ring back to Uncle Jon (as we'd been holding it for safe keeping) might have been the biggest highlight.

Seriously.  Mommy sat right.beside.Fletch.
Speaking of Fletch, we got a group picture after Jen (& Fletch) signed our books.

Then we grabbed a bite to eat & headed home. 

On the way home, I was ready to come & kidnap you back to share with you the joy I had & hear all about your day... Instead, I resisted giving you time to enjoy your grandparents & aunt for the exciting overnight.