Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Preschool Princess

Well, it's official now.  Addison is into her second full week of preschool.  It took a bit of transition for her and I but I think we both love it now.  

The first day was a special one since Daddy got to come with us and drop her off.  He couldn't stay long but it was fun to have our little family there to share in her big day.  

We got to help her with her new morning routine.  Come in and hang her book bag on her own little hook.  Wash her hands.  Pick out a toy bin and sit on the carpet to play.  She didn't have a hard time doing any of this as long as I was by her side.  However, I noticed I was the only lingering parent so I decided it was time to detach and make our exit.  She was a little sad at first but I knew she'd be okay after a few minutes.  Luckily Miss Leslie helped distract her with some toys and questions.  

Both teachers kept assuring me that she'd be okay as I was walking away.  That part I wasn't sad about.  I've been used to walking away while she's in tears in a teacher's arms thanks to nursery and gymnastics.  The part I was sad about was walking out of the building realizing that she's not a baby anymore.  She's growing up.  She's in school.  Granted it's only preschool and it's only 4 hours twice a week and she's only 3 but it's still a big girl step and life won't ever be the same.  

Of course it was a matter of minutes that I was able to get over it and enjoy breakfast out with my sister-in-law and her youngest.  She even told me it was okay to peek in the windows on my way back home so I could make sure Addison had calmed down.  I'm glad I got the "it's a normal parent thing to do and it's okay" que from her.  I had already been contemplating it anyway.  And sure enough, once I found Addison she was happily playing with some blocks and didn't have any tears in her eyes.  

The big girl on her first day holding her "pack pack" she decorated herself.

Mommy and her little "big girl"

Jonas and I didn't do much that first day except count down the minutes until it was time to pick her up.  It was so fun to see her come out of class with her "pack-pack" and a smile.  It was also fun to chat with her all about her day on the way home.  She showed me the pictures she drew and was very good at answering all my questions about her day....and I had lots.  Jonas and I had picked up a special lunch for her at Walmart that morning and we were very excited to give it to her.  I hope she realizes how proud I am of her and being brave and going to school.  It was such a special and fun day for all of us.  


Fun On The Farm

A few weeks ago, the kids and I jumped in the car for an impromptu trip to Willard (my hometown).  The reason for the trip was to celebrate my lovely Aunt's surprise birthday.  She's an amazing lady that sacrifices a TON for everyone else so I figured it was only fitting that we sacrifice and drive down to shower her in love.  It also made for a great time to spend with Grandma Bell as well.  

What did we do you ask?  Well first, we started our Saturday with a visit to the Junk Store.  This is my Mom's weekly tradition and yes, that's the actual name of the store.  It's a tiny little building that only opens on Saturdays and they literally sell "junk" but it's nice junk...cute stuff...for way cheap.  So, it's not too hard to convince me to line up with the other grey hairs outside the door to wait for the lady to unlock the building so we can root through her junk.  And I actually scored some sweet decorations this time.  Go me!

Next, we enjoyed the other tradition of breakfast at McD's with some good family friends who also partake of the junk store with us.  It was nice to catch up on each other's lives and reminisce on old times.  I'm very grateful for these friends and how well they treat my Mother and include her on their family things since she lives in a big house all alone and 1 1/2 hours from her closest child/grandkids.  They are just like family and I'm grateful for them and for the fact that I don't have to worry about my Mom being lonely on the days we aren't there (which are few).

Then, we promptly called and talked my little sister into coming down for a visit too.  She only lives an hour and a half away and tried to use the excuse that "she can't travel without her husband and with two kids" which I clearly had no sympathy for.  I've traveled with two kids and with no husband (he was golfing this time) quite often.  She agreed to come but only after she farmed one of her children out to her mother-in-law.  We were thrilled she came and Addison was thrilled to spend time with her best cousin friend Alexa.  They are 6 months apart in age and are hilarious to watch play together.  They interact like an old married couple.

After they arrived, we busied ourselves around town.  Starting with dining on some good old "Springfield Style Cashew Chicken".  Delish.  You have to grow up with it to learn to appreciate it.  John doesn't share my fondness for this meal.  But then again, I'm not overly fond of his childhood meal of Skyline Chili or LaRosa's pizza.  

After dining out for lunch we humored my mother and took the kids to the "Wilson Creek Farm" in Springfield.  I had low expectations going into it but my Mom said it should be fun for the kids and free so we obliged.  Wow, it was such a FUN place to go to!  I was amazed Springfield had something soooo cute and free and cute.  The girls got to interact with the livestock, ride on some tractors, play in a barn jungle gym, and run around the field and hay.  Jonas loved it too.  Except for the part where his slacker Mommy let him fall out of the stroller and head first into the concrete.  Yep, got my 'Mommy of the Year' badge for that one.  Poor guy.  I think he's forgiven me since.  And I've learned to double check for the buckle strap from now on.  He's totally opposite from Addison - he NEVER holds still unless he's strapped down.

Farmer Jonas....before the dive into the concrete.  

Farmer Addison.  She's a lover of all things pink.  I quickly tired of pushing her around the track.  I can't wait until the day she grasps the concept of pedaling.
"Aunt Tassie" teaching the kids how to milk a cow.  It was surprisingly hard to do.
Addison feeding the baby horse his lunch.  It took her a little while to warm up to him but she loved it afterward.
Jonas hanging out with the donkey.  Unlike his sister, this boy needs NO time warming up to the animals.  I have to work to keep him out of their cages instead. 
And of course, after a quick nap at Grandma Bell's, we headed out to surprise my Aunt for her birthday.  Her lovely daughter-in-law put all the festivities together.  It was a great evening to celebrate my Aunt and to visit with old friends.  Oh and it was also fun to visit with my other Aunts/Uncles who drove all the way from their homes to surprise her too.  It was almost like the good old days where we sit around until 1:00 in the morning gabbing away and joking with each other.  

Can I just say I'm sooo grateful that my kids are easily entertained?  This little guy was SO easy to watch at my Aunt's birthday party.  Just sit him under the table and he's a happy camper.  He stayed under there for quite awhile while I relaxed.  All I had to do was keep lifting the tablecloth to check on him.  Love it!  I also loved that Addison could have free reign to run around with all the other little girls and play without me.  It was a nice break!
It was a quick visit but so fun to see everyone and catch up.  I'm grateful I rearranged my plans so we could take the short trip down.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Lest I Forget...

This is a random and short post to include a few things that I'm afraid I'll forget as the years go by.  I love listening to the random stuff my kiddos (well just Addison right now until Jonas learns to talk) say and the cute things they do throughout the day.  It makes up for all the crazy and embarrassing things they do all the other days of the week.

Story #1:  Ahhhh, the innocence of a child.  The other day as we were shopping at Wal-mart, I was pushing the cart past a couple of people carrying on a conversation.  One was a Wal-mart worker who was male and had rather long hair.  I didn't think anything of it until Addison shouted out....  "Mommy!  Dat is a boy and he has girl hair!!  He's silly.  He's not a girl he's a boy!"  I couldn't contain the laughter.  She said it in the most silliest "I can't believe he'd be so stupid and do that" voice imaginable.  I thought for a quick second on whether I should shush my child and be embarrassed that he overheard but then thought nahhh.....she's right and it's true.  Boys should have boy hair and girls should have girl hair.  He apparently didn't get the memo.  ;-)

Story #2:  I'm quickly converting Addison to my most favoritest band ever of all time.  Matchbox 20 and Rob Thomas.  They just came out with a CD which I just bought and we listen to it ALL the time in the van.  On multiple occasions she asks me to turn it louder and louder on her favorite songs so she can rock out to it.  Okay, who am I kidding....we both rock out to it while we drive down the road.  It's a good way to chase the grumpies away after a long day.  Well today, I observed her in the backseat as I was driving around running errands and of course listening to the CD.  She had a stuffed animal swaddled up in a blanket and laying across her shoulder while she patted her back and bee bopped to the music.  It's one of those moments where you realize....maybe I did do something right.  After all, she's got a mother's touch as she lovingly pats and rocks the baby, AND she loves busting a move to Matchbox 20 at the same time.  She's a smart girly and I'm proud to call her mine.  I enjoy watching her when she doesn't know I am doing it.  It makes me slow down and appreciate her and admire her more than when I'm just frustrated and butting heads with her.

Our One Year Old Fire Chief

This is Jonas Beef the Fire Chief:

And he is officially 1 year old now.  So, we decided to spend his day living any little boy's dream.  


 We kept it simple and dined on every kind of hot dog or bratwurst you can imagine (or that Wal-mart sells).  Daddy fired up the BBQ and Mommy prepped the toppings.  It was quick and yummy - what more could anyone want?  Poor Jonas didn't even get to enjoy the hot dogs at his own party.  I was too concerned about him choking to death on his big day so I opted for a nice jar of baby food for the big guy.  But he did get to dine on watermelon and he is a LOVER of watermelon.

Family & Friends:

We were lucky enough to have some family and friends over to support Jonas' and his big day.  And they were SO helpful in chipping in to make sure everything went smoothly.  Jonas may not technically be old enough to have his own "friends" but we were happy to share ours with him.  And I'm sure he'll grow up and love them just as much as we do.  

Special Treatment:

His party was on his actual birthday so it was fun spoiling him rotten from sun-up to sun-down.  We started his day with Addison & Daddy & Mommy coming in to his crib and serenading him with the Birthday song.  I can't remember how many times I just busted out singing him happy birthday throughout the day.  Or just randomly shouting "Jonas, it's your birrrffffdaaayyyy today!  You da big boy!!"


He got to indulge in the smash cake tradition (one of my favorites) and enjoy his own little round decorated cake.  It was adorable but I don't think we got any actual shots of it.  It was a tiny little thing with white frosting and a cute yellow fire chief hat on the top with his name on the side.  He loved it of course...especially once he got a taste of that sugary goodness.  He didn't dive right into it but after he warmed up to the audience and the taste of the cake, he started getting a little more into it and a little messier.  However, he was actually cleaner than his sister was with her smash cake.  And he's the boy!  Maybe this is a sign for our future on who the messier child will be?

The rest of the guests got to indulge on these:

Thanks to Etsy and down to the last wire, I finally found some cupcakes worthy of a fireman celebration party.  There weren't a lot of ideas but I think these turned out super cute.  And best of all, they were E-A-S-Y which is always a welcomed task on such a busy day.  


Lets just say the gaggle of children in the audience (especially his sister) were more interested in the gifts than he seemed to be.  Of course, I don't blame him, with about 10 kids crawling all over him to help or look at every gift or bring him more or play with it, it was a bit overwhelming.  We weren't able to get too many shots of him with presents since he was covered in children and wrapping paper and bows.  We just went to survival mode and sped right through the unwrapping...for both mine and his sakes.  However, he LOVED all of his cute and thoughtful gifts that everyone brought.  I know this because he has happily played with all of the quiet of the living room without the gaggle of excited children.  Thanks to all who gave such special gifts to such a special boy.


Yes, he liked the presents, the cake, the friends, etc etc but I think this boy would have had just as fun if he were in a room with a bunch of balloons and nothing else.  I almost debated on even buying balloons to decorate with.  However, I'm so glad I did since he was thrilled with them.  I think he played with those balloons throughout his whole party and in to the next two days.  My, I could have saved some money on presents and party planning. 

Firemen & Firetrucks:

And thanks to Pinterest, I was able to learn that community firemen are eager to not only show their trucks and gear to young kids they go even further and bring the actual truck to your house!  I had no idea but I was so glad to find this out.  I was a bit nervous to call the Fire Chief and take his time with non-emergency things like a little boy's birthday party but they were so kind and generous and went above and beyond in coordinating it all with me to make sure it went perfectly.  I don't know who was more excited to see the fire or the kids?!  I made sure not to hype it up too much just in case they had to spend their time fighting an actual fire instead of entertaining at our party but luckily the stars aligned and we got our visitors.

So at 5:00 on the nose, they drove their big old truck up to our house and honked the horn and let the kids crawl ALL over everything and explore.  They even brought little plastic fire hats for all the kiddos.  It was wonderful.  They even suited up in their HOT gear on an already HOT day and taught the kids about fire safety.  Namely, not to run AWAY from the "scary fireman" if they were in a burning building.  It was such a fun thing to do and was by far the BEST and CHEAPEST party entertainment I have found to date.  

Look at that grin!  He loved driving that big truck!

It's true what they say.  Firemen ARE cute....especially with juicy lips like those!
Teaching the kiddos some fire safety in the hot sun.

A nice group shot.  Thank you Centerton FD!
 Overall, it was a great party and was a great time celebrating the little man and his first year of life.  I have LOTS more to share about our special guy but I will save it for his picture post once I get those back from our photographer friend.  Just let it be known he is SUCH a joy to have in our family.  And there is definitely a bond that a Momma has with her boy and I'm so glad that he's mine......oh and Daddy and Addison's too.  We are just a lucky family to have him be a part of it.

Happy Birthday Jonas Beef The Fire Chief!!

Sneezing Like The Bears

I may be a little late in my discovery, but I'm learning that kids can actually learn things from books!  I know, right?!!  Whodathunk.  And so far it seems to be retained a LOT more than if I give her a good lecture on a particular topic.  Let me explain about the book that forever changed our lives....or at least the hand-washing, cleanliness, parts of our lives.


We got this little beauty of a book from none other than Chick-fil-a and their kids meal.  (Are you surprised? ;-)  Best $3.29 I've ever spent.  By bedtime that night we had busted it open and were reading all about the Bears and their cleanliness.  (Sidenote: I grew up loving to read about the Berenstain Bears so it didn't take much convincing for me to crack this baby open for bedtime story time.)  Apparently the apple doesn't fall far from the tree - Addison seemed to enjoy it just as much.  It was a simple and straight forward book teaching all about washing hands, not sharing germs, and proper ways to sneeze.  Addison was riveted with every page.  

Now, all I need to do to remind her to wash her hands after the bathroom (something she always "forgot" to do before the book) is to say....."Remember the bears?  Wash your hands like the bears!"  And she's off and running and doing everything properly just like they did.  Most of all, she tries her hardest to sneeze just like the bears.  Did you know the proper sneeze (according to the Bears) is to cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow?  I knew this already, but I wasn't very good at remembering it.  Thankfully, Addison has decided to instruct us on the ways of the bears and their sneezes.  

I kid you not folks, it has been over a month since we've read this book and she STILL reminds me about how the bears sneeze.  Here is our interchange when I don't do it properly:

A:  Mommy!  You didn't sneeze like da bears!  
M: Oh, you are right Addison.  Thank you for reminding me.
A:  Mommy, can you try to do it next time?  It's like dis...(actions included, elbow over mouth and fake sneeze).
M: Yes, thank you Addison.  I will try harder next time.

(And yes, Daddy has been scolded a few times about this as well)

It's not fun being scolded by your three year old child but if it means she will practice good hygiene (and help me do it as well) then by goodness, I'll swallow the pride and follow the way of the bears and the three year old.  

Thank you Berenstain Bears for teaching my child what apparently I could not.  I'm thinking next time we head to the library I'll be hitting up that good ole Dewey Decimal System to find a few good books on whatever Addison needs to practice at the moment.