Wednesday, December 19, 2012

But Mommy....

Classic J Moment

Miss Cheryl & I have been working on J and his interest in the boy in the mirror.

This morning the conversation went like this:

Me:  J pay attention & focus on getting dressed or I am taking the mirror doors off your closet - then everyone will see your clothes.

J:  But why mommy?

Me:  So you cannot talk to that boy in the mirror.

J:  But Mommy, I love that boy in the mirror.  He's me.

and yes, that would be another reason why I love this boy so much.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My little blossom

I've been quiet, enjoying my spectacular little boy... I am so thankful for every day I get to share with him.

I mourn for those who are waking up to bury and mourn their lost little ones.  My prayers are with those in Connecticut.

With those thoughts, I am sharing a picture of our blooming Christmas Cactus.  J picked this out for me at Meijer and said "I HAD to have it."

There is so much hope in these blooms & I'm pulling that close to me now...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

It's such a small world - seeing friends

It is always expected to run into people you know, when you are say - in their community or at least state.

When you travel 19 hours away, however, you really don't expect it as much.

However, J & I were delighted to learn - friends of Mommy's had also decided to visit Marco for Thanksgiving.

Mommy & Mr. E met when we were just out of college.  My parents had moved to the Detroit area, and I had just returned from college in North Carolina.  I knew no one, and I was working in Downtown Detroit at the RenCen, with people generally older than me.

I was soooo lonely.

Thankfully, my parents had decided to get a boat that summer.  Our dock ended up being right by this super nice couple who had a son my age, and a younger daughter.  The son had a cousin the same age.  As boys do, they were always out having some kind of fun.  Mr. E's dad saw I desperately needed a life line - I'm pretty sure this is how it went anyway... Instructed his son to take pity on me & include me in their outings. 

So started a friendship that would last the test of time & distance.

And now, we know generations.

Mr. E, who I rarely communicate with now - as I have built a relationship with his wonderful wife, saw my Facebook update on having arrived in Marco the night before - texted me to confirm I was in fact in Marco.

They were also on the Island. 

I was delighted to get some in person catchup time with his wife, expecting their third addition, E and watching their adorable daughter.

But what warmed my heart the most was watching how their son, a year older than J, and Jacob instantly bonded.  They connected and played like long lost friends.  By the end of the day, J was asking - can we play together again?  When Mommy, when?

And so begins the second generation of friends. 

I didn't think to grab many pictures, as I was too busy talking, but here are a couple from our visit with them...
 Petting the exotic animals brought to visit the kiddos at the hotel...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Marco - Nov 2012 Pics

J was so fascinated by the beach this trip.  He started asking about his visit to the beach prior to our even leaving.  He knew exactly which bucket set he wanted to take, and there was no talking him out of it.
 Nor was there any fear of the Gulf.  A whopping 68 degrees was warm enough for this little fish...
 Although, he left cleanup for grandpa.  That's what they are for, right?
 I love how you see J's Spartan S so clearly here... He was very certain that would be his hat to have in Florida, because it matches grandpa's.

Spiderman throwing webs.
 The weather was not as warm as I would have liked, but we made the most of it, enjoying the wonderful city park - where J could have played for hours with all they have to do there...

HUGE tree house structures, lots and lots of swings, basketball courts, shuffle and botchy (sp?) board courts.  Grass to run around in...  They had tether ball courts.  Even in doors, they had video games, air hockey and a pool table.

J had a blast burning energy here prior to hanging out with grandpa, so mommy & grandma could go shopping at Patchington & Marco Island Clothing Co.  Two of her favorite island stores. 
With the beach condo for sale, we spent most of our time in the rented two bedroom.  J definitely liked having the room to move.  Mommy like the pool was warmer, but I will admit, I missed waking up to the sound of the Gulf and the view.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 - Marco Style

I met Mr. M in January 2001.  We were engaged by August.  It took us until May 2003 to be married, but we pretty much were acting married by the time we spent our first Thanksgiving as an engaged couple. 

Meaning, with one exception, I believe we have spent every single Thanksgiving and Christmas with Mr. M's family.  My parents have joined a few, but they were joining Mr. Ms family.  The last Christmas before we married, I did spend with my parents, and we realized we really didn't like spending holidays apart... So we haven't.

With Mr. M's work schedule, that has left us pretty much stuck at home.  Since my family is all in Michigan, and now Florida for my Snow Birds, they lost out on seeing us and we them.

Since having Jacob, this dynamic has bothered me a lot.  I know my in laws adore Jacob & love having him at their holidays, but that prevents J from learning my traditions.  Having a sausage stuffed turkey at Thanksgiving, or ham at Christmas.  Matt's mom is a great cook, but that doesn't mean my side isn't.  Sometimes that is a hard concept for Mr. M, who thinks the only right meal on Christmas is Italian, and to me - that is an every day meal & takes away from the specialness of the Holiday.  Then again, I grew up eating spectacular appetizers all day, so the ham was an after thought to be enjoyed for days after Christmas.  Bacon wrapped water chestnuts, cheese balls, home-made toffee and fudge, poppers and potato skins for the shell fish allergic member of the house, lobster tail & crab dip for the not allergic... We would have smoked fish - smoked in our smoker in the garage.  We would have a fire roaring and laughter would fill the air.

Due to how spread out my family is, the possibility of J ever experiencing what I did in my family is pretty slim, which is why I have been pretty lax about it not pushing the envelope.

Plus, let's be honest - if Mr. M said 'Sorry about your luck, but I have a week off - so I'm taking J & heading to the beach for a week over a major holiday' I would probably lose my mind.

This all said, when I was talking my mother-in-law this summer about future holidays with her future in-laws, it allowed me to express some of the discontent I was feeling.  She understood, and in a sense gave me her blessing.

Then this past summer, my mom had some health scares - and it really crystallized things for me.

Thankfully Matt understood.  He gave me his blessing for driving to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with my parents. 

It was funny, my parents and his parents had a huge issue with the fact I wanted to drive - but everyone was very supportive of WHY I wanted to be in Marco.

In fact, I do believe this will become our bi-annual trip.  I might look at having Dec 26th be our off year trip, but we are not there yet.  :)

This year J and I spent Thanksgiving enjoying turkey (an entire turkey leg for the growing boy), sausage stuffing (not J), pineapple from the farmer's market, and squash transported from a neighbor's farm in Michigan.  It was just the 4 of us, as my brother spends every holiday with his own in-laws. 

These were not the traditions of my past, but mixing pieces of my past with setting new traditions for our future was exactly what I wanted and needed this holiday season.

Tomorrow - I'll post pictures...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Soccer 2012

We are loving this soccer season.  It is so amazing to me how much J has matured with team sports over the past year.  He still isn't the best sport about not getting the ball, but he is starting to realize that getting in there & hustling give him a better opportunity & more fun than pouting on the side.

I do think his random after school care days have helped though, as the older kids play with him.  Either Mr. M or I will pick him up, and he will just go on and on and on about the Big Tyler and Colton (5th graders).   He knows them from the reading buddy activities, but when they give him the time of day in the gym after school - J things he has just scored the brass ring.

Another huge help, I planned the YMCA team with two fellow FRA mom's.  While the rest of the team is random draw, at least J has two friends he knows - so he can focus on playing rather than trying to connect with them, especially since one of the FRA kid's dad is coach.  HUGE THANK YOU to Mr. Vasquez for taking this on, as it has been a great season.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Our weekend with Beary!

Jacob has been anxious awaiting Mr. Beary Bear's visit to our home.  He had all kinds of plans.

Unfortunately, mommy had no forewarning of Beary's visit - so instead of J's fun filled weekend trip to the City - we spent the weekend running errands.

We started Saturday off by visiting the Dr. for our annual flu shot.  J decided at this point, his goal was to teach Beary to be brave and thankful.  I ended up adding later, Jacob also did a great job teaching Beary patience

Mommy, J and Beary all received our flu shots.  Some shed more tears than others.  

Then we all went and voted early.  2.5 hours later.  Sigh.

Then we attended J's first soccer game of the year.  It went very well.

This was all followed by dinner with daddy and off to bed.  During our prayers, J made sure to tell Beary how we have to stop and thank God for all the gifts he gives us each day - like the sun and the moon and Mommy & Jacob days and family Sunday's.  I loved listening to J teach Beary about being thankful.

Sunday, we spent the day chilling out.  Chaucer - J's normal sleep buddy had to learn sharing, as Beary got prime snuggles for the night.  And Beary was the one J read stories to...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy Halloween - 2012

Happy Halloween!

I scheduled the day off this year & volunteered at J's school for the holiday party.  What a blast!  Must repeat every year, I do believe.
 Striking the pose to throw his web...
 You've been webbed!
Sigh!  Finally a nice one... :)

It had been so warm, and with Jon & Kim's wedding the weekend before, we ended up carving our pumpkins very last minute.  I was so proud at how he dove in this year with complete disregard to the ick factor.

And the annual picture of J with Miss Skye!  We didn't t-o-t with her beyond the first few houses, as J figured out the score of moving quickly.  Thankfully, most of said loot is still in the bag on the counter... My office will be receiving a donation shortly for our candy stash. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Uncle Jon & Aunt Kim's Wedding - Ring Bearer

Jacob was delighted & honored to be one of two ring bearers at his Uncle Jon's wedding.  The fellow ring bearer & the flower girl were Kim's niece & nephew.

While I have no pictures of the stunning bride & groom, I do have several of Monkey...

Last minute size check before cutting off the tags..
 In our hotel room before heading over...
 Posing before the ceremony.

and last but not least... His new emergency jacket...
Daddy did pickup the day before Fall break.  It was warm, much like today.  Daddy saw J leave with his jacket on, because it had been 40'ish in the early morning.  When he picked him up, Mr. M inquired on J wearing his jacket, to which J responded "no Daddy, it's hot."

Let's not think ahead to the 30 & snow we encountered up in Wisconsin... Sigh...  Thankfully, Mommy made a quick trip to the Lighthouse Mall & lucked into a warm inexpensive down jacket one size up for the growing boy. 

He's delighted... :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Yep... Vacation is over...

Thankfully, however, I am still relaxed.  I think it is because I know I have only 3 more working weeks until a full 2 week vacation.  I AM SO EXCITED.

As is Monkey boy.

For now though, we are busy shopping, most done at this point... So I'm left with Christmas Cards, artistic gifts and Mr. M's.

Life is good.

The other thing though, as we were working on J's spelling words this week (be, car, can & call), I was shocked at how quickly they clicked this week.  How grown up he is becoming.  How different his life is from the one I had growing up.

Please be clear - I'm not saying different as good or bad, but simply different.

The world has changed, and our childhood differences reflects that to a large extent.

I certainly was not doing spelling tests in age 4 preschool.  The first I recall was 2nd grade & my mom bribed me with a big pack of Big Red gum.  With J, working on them is just what we do...  A cookie here or a walk down to his room instead of dropping him off at the gym & having him be responsible for taking his stuff to class... Small stuff, but encourages him to practice on the words every day.

Then when we read together, watching the words come alive for him as they click.  As they settle into his little brain & form sentences he knows is amazing.

I love him....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

2012 - Mom & Son Night Out

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE J's school not only has the "Father/Daughter Dance", but they also do a "Mother / Son Night Out". 

I understand it used to be a dance as well, but since a majority of the attendance is mom's with younger sons or moms of multiple sons, they changed it to a night out event all ages can enjoy.

I so look forward to this night & mark off my calendar as soon as the school calendar is published each year.  :-)

This year we had a science extravaganza.  It was so much fun!

Our host was absolutely awesome with kiddos.
They were entranced by his chemicals...
And the reactions the chemicals would create.

J and I came home elated & exhausted.  What wonderfully happy memories we created for another year.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Prior to vacation, I was burned.out.  Totally.

J & I were doing all the things we normally do - play soccer, do laundry, see family, grocery shop, etc, etc, etc...

But me.  Here.  Mentally was a total fail. 

Work was too consuming, then with all the growing/learning J is doing, it was even more consuming.  I just did not have the energy or capacity to give any more than I absolutely had too...

So here we are...

Me playing catchup again... Sigh. 

A happy, stress relieved me though.

A rejuvenated me.

J and I spent the Holiday break in Marco Island with my parents.  It was a little cold, but otherwise exactly what I needed.  Exactly what little man needed. 

And if there was any question:  
taken at 1:14am on our way home... Totally answers it, doesn't it?

He was an awesome road trip buddy.  With the exception of one true meltdown on the way down to Marco, Jacob rocked as my car buddy.  I do think it did help that on the way home Grandpa drove most of it so I could cater to J & keep him happy. 

After several days of struggling with meltdowns, he was back to his normal self.  Back to listening & following directions and generally being a great kid.

He needed downtime.

He needed mommy & me time.

He needed fun in the sun.

He enjoyed time with Grandma & Grandpa.

He needed Marco as badly as Mommy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pumpkin Patch & Olga's

Rounding out our last trip to Michigan this year, J & I visited a pumpkin patch & Olga's with Grandma & Grandpa.

Mommy LOVES Olga's, and thankful they have food J will eat as well.  And J liking it, has even grandpa joining us.  Double win.
And we were all hungry after our busy day at Home Depot, followed by a trip to the pumpkin patch for pumpkins and squash.  We have been loving the various squash roasted in chunks in olive oil and sea salt.
It has been a wonderful fall to date.  Heading into Thanksgiving, we are focusing on being *thankful* as we have so much to celebrate.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Home Depot Project - Fire Safety

In honor of Fire Safety month, Home Depot had the local fire station join them for the monthly children's project in October. 

J had a blast climbing all over the police car and fire truck.  Talking to both the Policemen and Firemen there offering coloring books and crayons to the kids visiting.  My mom pointed out the "In Memory" on the side of the truck, and J promptly asked the fireman how did those guys die.  More importantly, are they in heaven? 
I felt bad for the fireman, who was rather stumped, but he handled it well agreeing with my responses. 
J had a blast doing his activity with mommy & grandpa. 
 Although, he is very much in a "I can do it myself" phase.

There were smiles all around. We will definitely do this again!

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012's Christmas List

I'd like to pause & forget the fact I've been totally disconnected the past week and a half - really most of October, if we are honest.  I've just been in a writer's funk.  I think life has just been so full, when I needed to make room - this was the casuality... 

But I will come back... I have Halloween pictures to add.  Home Depot projects to write about.  Awesome J stories.

That said, with Halloween passed on our calendar, J & I decided to tackle the first ever List for Santa.  We had so much fun doing this together with Daddy.  J was so proud to work on writing it on his own. 

Spelling tests are doing wonders for him actively wanting to learn how to write all the words in the world now.  :)

It was a combination effort, but boy was he one proud boy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sleepy Week

Last Friday, J & I participated in the annual Mother & Son event at FRA.  It was a BLAST!  We started with the kids conducting their own science experiments of candy (& Moms trying not to cringe as our children loaded up on sugar before dinner), then we looked at items under a microscope to guess what the 6 items were.  We got a couple correct.  We then had dinner, followed by a professional scientist conducting experiments for the audience of Moms with their most handsome dates.

I loved it.  J loved it.  The fact he came home with most of his candy was just an added bonus & a sign that my concept of moderation is sinking in with him.  He was so sweet about offering me candy, but then said "Oh yeah, sugar makes you sick & we don't want that!"  I'm so lucky he gets my lifestyle conversion and supports it because he wants me to feel good.  And I truly believe, he will choose to live on natural sugars as he gets older.  He already is not a huge fan of cookies & cakes (unless you are talking Oreos - then all bets are off).

On Saturday we met with a second roofing contractor & we do in fact need a new roof.  Sigh... One of the benefits of buying a new home was to not having to deal with this for several years.  Thankfully, our contractor knows both our claims adjuster and insurance agent, and is willing to fight on our behalf to get our new roof, metal wraps for the garage, and possible new egg crating for our air conditioner.  I, for one, and happy to see fall here - ending the season of golf ball to baseball size hail storms we had last summer.

Even Sunday was not an overly ambitious day...  These are nice days.

This week, has been crazy... From having relaxed all weekend, I was left doing a Target run Monday night on my way home for stuff I need for the wedding this weekend.  Then last night was laundry and packing.

Tonight we had our YMCA Soccer meeting for his fall season. 

And tomorrow we start our weekend after work.  J & I will be picking up Daddy & heading north to Lake Geneva.  Uncle Jon & Aunt Kim will be married on Saturday with the love & support of family, particularly a ring bearer & flower girl from Kim's side, and a ring bearer from Jon's.  We are all so happy to be welcoming Aunt Kim into the family name. 

Payton, as she moans I'm still up, would like to add her thankfulness to Miss Cheryl & Mr. Bryan for agreeing to house / dog sit for us this weekend.  She is so very grateful for the company.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

1st Homework Project

For J's first homework project, we were asked to have the kids attach pictures (self & from magazines), stickers, artwork, etc - that reflect the child's personality.

The teacher's sent home an outline of each child as the backdrop.

Wow was this fun!  I gathered a bunch of pictures, artwork J had completed, and stickers into a pile.  I had ideas for a couple of gaps, so Miss Cheryl worked with J on filling those gaps - particularly the Jack-O-Laturn on the bottom... J did one last fall and was so proud of it... I'm not sure where it has disappeared to at this point, but I knew it was a must for this project.

J totally agreed.

Then with J driving, we selected, we placed, we cut, we glued, and finally we wrote captions.
I only edited a few captions.  Like those proclaiming his love of tattoos.  I rephrased it, but did not write it down until he was in agreement with what I was writing.

He did crack me up, as he was great about listening to ideas or tips for how to more easily get the project completed, but was very possessive about doing it himself. 
He very clearly stated "This is MY homework Mommy".
Alrighty then... I think he did a pretty great job!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1st Spelling Test


These are the words of flashcards and intense memorization happening in our home this week.

On Friday, J has his first ever spelling test.

Mrs. Kaiser tested out each of the kids, and will be quizzing them - and by extension, their parents - every Friday to enhance their learning at the individual child's speed. 

Her letter home said each child has his or her own individual list.  Some children are still working letter recognition & sounds, some are working on two letter words, and some are working on sight words.  I'm guessing by J's list, he is on sight words, at least for this week. 

The fun is in getting him to focus long enough to memorize these words.  I've finally gotten *the* mastered, but only when he is willing to look & focus as opposed to *shouting out an answer, any answer just to get mommy to stop & let me do what I want to do*... Sigh...

Any tips would be much appreciated...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

J: (implied) "YUCK!!!"

Mommy:  (sad silently screaming) "No, NOT YET!!!!!"

I get a kiss from J every day before school as I drop him off for school.  He stands at the door and watches me leave until I've driven back past the school, only then will he join his friends in the gym playing.  This is not a sad scene, but it is totally his thing to watch me leave for work.  He even has his friends sitting with him to watch me leave, knowing the minute I'm out of sight - the fun begins...

...A time will come, when I don't rejoice in that fact...

A typical Tuesday morning, with Mommy having atypically put on lipstick before leaving the house.  I only wear shear colors, as I've gone the way of shine with motherhood...  Anyway, I was kissing him good-bye & telling him to have a great day, after a pretty stern lecture in the car about wearing his gym shoes home, as we are required to keep a special pair of gym shoes at school for gym class.  Giving him a big hug & kiss before I left was important as I wanted to reassure him that I still love him, and I did want him to have a great day.

J promptly wiped his mouth.

Mommy, late for work, did a complete double take.

EXCUSE ME!?!?!?!

However, I did not react as I felt, but I did ask "um, what is up with you wiping your mouth?" complete with a smirky smile & a teasing tone...  

J: (serious as can be)  "I don't have any sparkles on do I?  Boys don't wear sparkles."

And just like that he had grown up another notch.  No longer is he asking why boys don't wear lipstick, and has moved right into making sure he is not wearing any smearing of mommy's.

Sigh... Growing up may be hard on him, but it is harder on mommy's heart.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Montly Close, Quarter Close, and Business Plan

Yikes have things been crazy busy in my neck of the woods...

Work has been crazy with September's month end financial close, which is also a quarter close.  We top that off with a first pass round of business plan, and wow have I been working a lot.

Bonus = I have earned back my Dec 26th vacation day.  YAY!

Prior to all this madness, J & I stole away to Grandma & Grandpa P's for a quiet weekend of relaxation.  We ended up chucking it FULL of fun activities.  When we got home on Sunday, I seriously felt like I'd been gone a week, instead of just two nights.  We participated in Home Depot's first Saturday of the month activity - building a fire truck.  We went to a pumpkin patch.  We fed fish.  We went to Olga's (mommy's favorite).  We even did some "Elf" shopping for his upcoming arrival after Thanksgiving.  So excited about that.

During close, I needed to kill time one night after work, as J was getting to sleep late.  Daddy doesn't agree with bed times, but then again, he thinks mommy gets up to early.  I didn't want to disrupt him as he was finally getting to sleep.  As it was, Miss Cheryl still had to put him to sleep by 6:15 (at J's request) the next day for him to be in good spirits on Friday of last week.  Mr. M was shocked & amazed at how early he wanted to go to sleep.  But we figured out, losing an hour to hour & half on Wednesday night, then another hour on Thursday morning (as daddy left the shower to me in the AM), is a good chunk of time for such a little boy.

Anyway... I grabbed J's costume for Halloween.  He was so excited.  He just loves Halloween.

That's another thing we've done - decorate the house.  :)

I love to see the delight in his eyes as he explores and checks out all the decorations.

I love him so much. 

We rounded out last week, with mommy working the weekend.  J was delighted with the overnight trip to Grandma & Grandpa M's.  He was so funny, he was leery of going on his own, and made sure he had my permission to call me if he decided against staying there.  Of course I granted it, but I was certain this was all unnecessary.  I was right...  When I called around 7:15 from work to say goodnight, he was having so much fun he really couldn't be bothered with talking me long...

They spent the day at the zoo (in the rain no less), then by a house decorated for Halloween, rounding out their evening with a movie (Hop) and a pumpkin craft.

Yesterday afternoon, a tired monkey & I joined his classmates to celebrate a 5th birthday.  It was fun, but I admit to being happy we survived on excitement.  Then I bribed him with Panda for dinner to get through grocery shopping. 

For another post, but I have to admit - I realized on Sunday during the party - I've become Mrs. M.  For so long I was me... Then I became Me +... Yesterday, as J introduced me by "Allison", I had to correct him that I was "Mrs. M"  EEK!!  I've become my mother-in-law... This is so weird... I was Ali P for so long, then I was Ali M.  I never related in terms of Miss, Ms, or Mrs anything.  To be Mrs. M seems so foreign to me.

We finished, ate dinner - did our shower & crashed out within seconds at 7:30.  He was so bushed...

Oh - and we started reading "The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt"... We giggled through the first chapter... Perfect for a little boy who loves those stinky bodily functions & pirates... Sigh.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

FRA - Fun Run

Since FRA's announcement they would be expanding to add a high school last year, we have participated in a number of fund raisers to support this initiative.  This one, however, was the most fun. 

As part of the Hawaii 5-K for adults, they held a half mile Fun Run for the kids 10 and under.  In a last minute decision, I signed J up for it. 

I cannot tell you enough how thrilled I am with my decision to sign him up.  He had a blast.  He did wonderful.  In relation to kids his age, he came in way ahead of them.  Mostly because I chose not to run with him, so he paced himself with a teacher who runs regularly.  She allowed J to set the pace, much slower than the 2nd graders, but much faster than those in his class.

I am so proud of him.  When he got done, it was all I could do not to shed tears, to which confused him to no end.  Love him! 


He was smiles and happy to pose for pictures prior to the run, but afterwards, man his smile out shined the sun.
I love finding activities he enjoys and can succeed at in his own time.  It is such a self confidence builder - and to see that confidence explode all over his face was such an honor.
The funny part - I took this while he was still trying to catch his breath...  Love it!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bonfire Wrap-up

I got there just in time for you to...

Go on the annual hayride...

 You were so excited to be going...
 Afterwards, we scarfed our hot dogs, as you were so excited for dessert.  You had been pining away for it since we bought (your classes responsible items) the graham crackers and chocolate in preparation for the big night.
 Grandma pitched in to help you roast the marshmallow while ensuring you did not roast yourself.
 Grandpa had been so excited to do roasting with you as well, since it was all you talk about.  The marshmallows were kind of big, so roasting them took FOREVER.  You were over it by the time we all got a marshmallow.
 After the bonfire, you were soooo tired you could not keep your eyes open for the 10 minute ride home.  Since it was only grandpa visiting, and daddy was caught downtown for work, I put you in my bed, so grandpa could have yours.  You were sooo tired you slept totally insane all night. 

I'm not sure I got much sleep, in fear of you rolling off.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bonfire - Letter to J

Monkey -

Last night, I had such a blast at the bonfire with you.  I'll get the pictures up next week, but right now I need to share moments from my heart.

We were blessed with Grandpa P unexpectedly being able to join us.  Grandma & Grandpa M changed their vacation plans to join us.  Sadly, Daddy had to work, so it was just the five of us.  And mommy was about 45 minutes late.

By the time I joined you, Grandpa P had made sure you were signed up for the hay ride.  Nadia, little Miss first grader herself, your morning buddy... The girl you consistently tell me how much you love her morning hugs, and her mom shared that you are her own personal fan club.  She asked you to wait for ride 3, so you could ride with her. 

Then she changed her mind, she didn't want to ride.  But you, went your own way - so excited for the ride.  You wanted to be right up front so you wouldn't miss a thing.  But your heart is so good and so loving, that when a buddy from Young Scholar's was sad to be going on the ride without his mom, you quickly gave up your seat and made your way over to him.  You let him know with your loving hug that it was okay and the ride would be fun because you two were together.

You ended up sitting in the middle of everyone towards the back, and really didn't have the see everything experience you had initially desired, but you were happy.  You made a friend smile & when you two both got off, he was as delighted as you were for having gone on the ride.

Thank you for your sweet, loving heart.

I have more to share on the night, and will as I publish the pictures, but that moment was my key point to the night.

You were so tired when we left, you were not able to keep your eyes open until we arrived home - a whole 10 minutes later.  Grandpa & I got you changed, then tucked into mommy's bed.  I love the stolen nights of putting you to sleep in our room.  They are becoming more rare, and I know they will all but disappear before I know it. 

You were very adamant about saying your prayers.  Listening to you thank the Lord for his daily gifts, is definitely a highlight of my night.  You were so insecure when we first started doing these daily prayers, but lately I've noticed you are getting more and more confident.  It's like praying before we eat.  You just do it - naturally.  Simply.  Joyfully.  You are setting the example I wanted for you.  Thank you for that.

As I tucked into bed, I snuggled you close.  The woodsmoke in your hair.  The little boy bad breath.  The simple joy of having you safe & beside me.  I am so blessed that you are my little boy.  You are perfect for me.  You are my buddy. 

I love you so much monkey.  Thank you for being you.

Even when you are cranky and tired.  I love you. 


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fun Extended Family Day

After the football game Saturday, we drove to the Detroit area to see some close friends I haven't seen in far to long (a stop that was far to short, due to time) and then onto our hotel for the night.  Thankfully J fell asleep on the trip to our hotel, and stayed asleep for the night.

In the morning, Jeff & the girls came to join Grandma & Grandpa, J & me for a morning swim.  The pool was a bit chilly, but it made for such a fun start to spending time with my family.

And swim, oh man - J is a swimmer.  While the girls when to the hot tub, J went right for the big pool.  It was approximately 30 feet long and 5 feet deep in the *deep* end.  J promptly jumped in, causing fear in the hearts of the boys swimming in there.  To their surprise and delight, they had a new playmate. 

J was the youngest to join the crew of 3 (unchaperoned, which made me nutty) already in the pool.  The oldest was probably around 12, then 8, and the youngest was 5.  The oldest was a strong swimmer, but J beat the 8 year old in a swim contest from one end to the other. 

Yes, he was tickled with delight over this fact.
They had a no diving rule, so J made use of his cannon ball skills. 
And when we were done, man was he tired.

But not to tired to play.  After swimming, Aunt Kristi had made lunch.  The kiddos sat together enjoying this much to short time together, leaving the adults to relax and catchup as well. 

When we departed around 2:15 ET, J surprised no one with his promptly falling asleep.  Thankfully it was only an hour nap, so he still went down for the night fairly easy.  On Monday, Miss Cheryl & I had a game plan for getting him in position to fall asleep early.  There was no strong request or encouragement, but should he fall asleep - he'd be fed & bathed for the night. 

Miss Cheryl texted me at 5:30 - J was knocked out.  He slept pretty much until the morning wake-up, putting us in great shape for a great week.