Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer School Art

J has had so much this summer in Summer Care.  He has become better friends with kids he knew in passing before, and it has been uniform free + Crocs permissible.

Today, however, J was so proud to wear his most recent major art project.
And doesn't he just look adorable?

<3 Him!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Picture says it all...

For the most part, Payton has moved to sleeping on our couch in our sunroom off our bedroom.  J is falling asleep in his own room, only moving to ours in the wee hours of the night. 

But this is what happens when J goes to sleep in our bed first.
I love how Payton was burying her face to avoid the mere chance of being moved.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ionia Free Fair

No, I am not excited... Nope.  Not.At.All.

It's that time of year again... What time?  Ionia Free Fair time.

I grew up going to this fair most years.  When we did not make it, I was pretty salty over it.

My first music concert - NKOTB (that would be New Kids on the Block for those born after the 70's) - was in the stands during the fair with my best friend and next door neighbor.

While we've both moved away and had children of our own, this fair brings those memories back like they were yesterday.  Complete with Wet-n-Wild nail polish and Aqua Net hairspray.  Possibly even some Rave to ensure the ultimate hold.

And we cannot forget the Love's Baby Soft perfume.  Oh those were the days...

Is it wrong I was shocked, amazed & slightly amused they still sell it?!?!?!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! 

I know I will be living it up on funnel cakes and fresh lemonade - because fair food is definitely devoid of calories, allergens or any other nonsense that come Monday will make me regret the enjoyment I am seeking out today.

Couple of pictures from last year's visit to enjoy while we are out gathering new memories!
 How can you not smile looking at him?

Friday, July 27, 2012

a 4 yr old's dinner...

By nature of how I started J off eating, he has challenged me on eating with Matt & I at dinner time.   I assumed that his well balanced meat, veggie, carb prepared blended food was more likely more nutritious than whatever garbage Matt & I were eating. 

As we migrated off those meals, we got sucked into the chicken nugget, pizza, mac-n-cheese, if it is remotely nutritious - it shall never pass through my lips dinner wheel.

However, this past Spring, and really more into Summer - J has really taken off on his food variety.  He has eaten a TON of berries (blue, red, black, and cannot forget strawberries), in addition to his apple & banana staples.  He has added ribs, steak, burgers and even tried fish (not a fan!) to his main course meal options.

As for veggies, we are still working on those.  He loves corn on the cob, but beyond that - not so much anything.  He'll eat apples over fries at McDs even.  It is crazy, being that he is my kid and all, how strongly he dislikes veggies on principle.  He really enjoys hanging with me in the kitchen while I cut up raw veggie after raw veggie.  My hope is repeatedly demonstrating how good they are through my own enjoyment & consumption, eventually - like the main course add ins - he will start to ask for his share.

Until then, he'll proudly announce carrots make him throw-up...

So not awesome thankyouverymuch!

Anyway... J helped me make burgers recently & when asked how he wanted his... He requested no bread (since mommy forgot to buy buns), but pepperoni please.  His own cheeseburger pizza.  Alrighty then. 
I'm just happy to see how quickly he gobbled up his burger & yogurt!  We ended up negotiating on the blueberries vs. bedtime activities.  Ultimately, he decided he did want a shower in my shower over his, so he ate his berries for me.  :-)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What happens after 5...

Mommy worked from home Tuesday afternoon, since there was no power at school due to the crazy storm that went through at 7 in the morning. 

Daddy took the morning till 1:30 shift.

Oh the fun we didn't have. 

Mommy can we...
  • swim?
  • ride my bike?
  • try my skates?
    • this was an effort on his part to show how desperate he was
  • watch TV?
I proudly said no to each & every request.  We cleaned while mommy worked.  I've seriously reduced the number of toys upstairs by half.  It was such a huge relief to no longer be overrun by toys. 

Next up... Working on the downstairs to donate... But that will be a project for another day.

As a reward, I granted J an all access pass outside to play for an hour before dinner.  We did bike riding, and we did bubbles. 

He was so happy to finally get to do something fun after all the work mommy made him do.

On the upside, he proudly shared with Miss Cheryl all the work he did on Tuesday.

And on Wednesday... As we were driving to school, J noticed before I did (I was paying closer attention to the stop sign I was at) that the traffic light was working.  We were both like "SCORE!!! School is back open today!"

J:  Yeah mommy, this is so happy.  You and daddy are no fun when working on your computers.

Well said little man.  Well said.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Visit to the White Sox stadium - all access pass

While Mommy was partying it up at the bridal shower for the future Mrs. M, Mr. M's little brother is getting married in October, Mr. M & J were partying it up at the White Sox stadium sans a game.

Don't worry, the Tiger's v. the Sox was broadcast across many a Jumbo Tran's.

J had a blast.  He has been begging Aunt Liz to allow him on the field.  We keep telling him later, not today, and he was getting the picture it was NEVER going to happen. 

And to be honest, it was kind of killing his enjoyment of the game.  Such is the life of a 4 year old.

However, thank you to his wonderful Aunt Liz for scoring him 2 tickets to this wonderful event.  He got to explore all aspects of the Sox Stadium. 

Mr. M on the other hand had the fun of trying to get J to smile, since he is in that half smile / half grunt "CHEESE" smile stage.  How long does this last?

The dressing room...
with Mickey
with Frank Thomas
and of course... One from the field.  I LOVE this one. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

4 going on 14...

Last weekend, I asked Matt if he thought J's underwear was getting small.  Being 'a girl' and all, I'm not all that expert-y on the proper fit of a boys underwear.

However, when it seemed rather fitted, I thought we might be coming up on the end of its lifespan.  And Matt agreed. 

Hello - free reign on shopping!
by myself... Yes, it was awesome!

When I started looking at the sizes, I realized they were getting small, simply because J was reaching the upper end of the weight range.  Sigh.

But the fun I had shopping. 

J on the other hand, has had a blast sporting his near gear.  That said, he cracked me up the other night when he asked to sleep in this, complete with briefs underneath his shorts.  He could not grasp the concept of true boxers being underwear.  He understands boxer briefs, and briefs because he has worn both, but true boxers.  Mind blowing.

Oh well.  He looked to cute not to take a picture in his *shorts*.

Friday, July 20, 2012

And then there's that....

J: Mommy can I just tell you something?

Me: Sure kiddo.

J: I have a girlfriend at school. I told her I'd kiss her when I'm 30. That's when I can kiss girls, right mommy?

Irrational to hope this sticks till he's 16? Probably, but I won't lie... I love it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The smile that says it all...

Now that I'm filling out back to school paperwork, and ordering uniforms, it is obvious that we are on the downside of summer.  :-(

Rather than dwell on that mess, I'm choosing to focus on this: 
A true reflection of our summer!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Mr. M & I have been working with J on learning how to swing on his own.  We've demonstrated.  Talked about it.  Described it in nth level detail.

Nothing worked.  Nada.  No comprehension.

Last night, however, J & I hit the park after dinner and low and behold.  J jumped on the swing & after getting him going, I was asked to stop pushing.  J would do it all on his own.
Sure enough - he did.

Ethan taught him.

Awesome.  My least favorite (as of yet) fellow student (okay, he's going into K this year) at FRA, FINALLY taught J something I don't hate.  And yes, there has been a lot of hating of his influence this summer.  Starting with tattoos followed by 4 letter adult language.  Sigh.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Moments in time...

We had a spectacular weekend.  Grandma & Grandpa P came to visit.  Mr. M was still on vacation.  J was on a high from getting lots of daddy & son time. 

Mr. M kept J home on Thursday, then picked him up at noon on Friday.  He had pretty much picked J up early all week.  J was in his glory.

The unusualness of having Matt home on Saturday, left Sunday to feel like a found day.  Could also be the result of my coming off a 6 day work week.  Either way, it.was.awesome. 

We did some sorting & reorganizing of J's clothes.  Realized his underwear was nearing its last bit of material to fit comfortably, giving mommy a perfect excuse to hit Target.  I then was able to share the laugh with the family over the amount of money I spent on underwear, none of which was for me.  In reality, not all of it was underwear, but it made for good commentary.  :)

We are starting to transition J over to shorter nap time, in favor of earlier bed time to help him come fall.  I'm still in shock over there not being nap time in Junior Kindergarten.  Excited for all the time it opens up on Saturday for us to do things, instead of planning around nap time.  Sad for the *must have* early bed time to make this work.  I'm starting to move J to be in bed for book by 8pm now, with the goal of 7:30 asleep by fall as it gets dark earlier.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Here's to a great start of the week! 

Friday, July 13, 2012


Since this was J's first tubing excursion, we decided he needed an adult.  Of course, J was not going without his favorite older cousin Cam's.  So the three of us piled into the tube, and off we went with Grandpa having a blast pulling us.

Mallory was quite happy to stay on the boat with Daddy, which gave J the feeling of being a *big* boy.

He even felt bigger when, after we stopped for a swim in the lake, J & Cam's got to ride together in the tube without an adult.  :)

Happy Days... Happy kiddos!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Family Fun!

I'm knee deep in quarter close, but since J cannot stop asking when he gets to see his cousin's again, I thought I'd stop to share these quick with more to come when I get a chance to breathe...

On Friday, Miss Cheryl kindly brought J to my office.  This save me an hour & half on my trip to Michigan Friday night.  Granted, I lost 45 mins of that savings in a traffic jam just West of Battle Creek.  Regardless, J LOVED, LOVED, LOVED coming to my office.  He loved my candy (sugar free of course) dish. 

J was so excited to see his artwork hung on my wall.

And he may have pocketed a piece or two of the Dove SF chocolates.  I love that he will eat these treats as the real thing, and not suffer the sugar crashes.

J was so excited on Friday, because he got to see his cousins!

Love Family Time. 

Love these moments & treasure them during this super busy time at work...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Artwork for My Office

J came home from school one day last week, so sad.  He'd made me a present, but had forgotten it at school.  I explained he should not worry, and it would be totally fine.

When I picked him up the next day, it was safely tucked away in his backpack, but he proudly announced I could open it on my next birthday.

Seeing as I just had my birthday, I explained that was a long time away & couldn't mommy open just this one gift early?

J thought and thought about it, finally relenting. 
I kept the card (heart) from the font, as it made me so proud.  He must have really worked to write all those letters at once. 

He is working so hard on learning words lately, I've actually started letting him text from my phone to family.  He pretty much says the same thing over and over again, but I know the repetition of having me spell those words for him, having him sound them out, over and over again will cause him one day to say "I know Mommy, you don't have to help me anymore".

It will be bittersweet...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful & safe 4th of July.

Enjoy family time.
Enjoy laughter.
Enjoy fun.

And please take a moment to pray for those who are struggling in the aftermath of storms, fires, and most meaningfully - for the men & women who fight daily for our continued freedoms and safety.  Pray for those Soldiers and our local Police and Fire Fighters as they deal with the aftermath of their service.

Hugs & love to all!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Doing the Tourist Thing - NAVY PIER

Between my work schedule, commitments to visit family & friends now that it is summer, and Mr. M's work schedule, we have not seen a lot of each other lately. 

Like most couples, we realized we needed to spend some time on just us - away from the house to ensure quality time... I'm not sure about you, but I find if I am home, I cannot just have quality time because I am always thinking about what needs to be done.

  • at the pool, I'm looking at our deck in need of washing & another coat of stain
  • Payton is in major shedding mode right now.  I think I could sweep 10x's a day and there still be hair wherever she walked.  Sigh
  • Laundry, the never ending gift
  • Packing for next weekend's quick visit to see family
  • Grocery shopping
  • etc...
The list never ends and for the most part, are not one and done type items.  So my brain never just turns them off. 

But this past Sunday, we turned them off and went to Navy Pier.  We all got up early, arriving just before they opened the rides.  Since it was another 80 before 8 day, it was good to not have to wait in the long lines that were forming as we decided to tour the strip and grab lunch at Riva. 

J on the Lighthouse ride.
By 1pm, we were fed and tired.  J was asleep before we even got on the expressway and slept all the way home, then due to the rain storm we had, slept another 2 hours in bed.

We had a wonderful family dinner time and all crashed out early.  What a great way to start the week!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Fun...

Someone is having a blast this summer with his confidence in the pool...

He would seriously live in the pool if we'd let him.  <3

J is now swimming to the bottom on his own.  He spends hours throwing things just so he can go get them.  His smile of pride and joy is priceless.