Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Love, Cubby and Jake

(More soon...I'm exhausted!  Trick-or-treating really takes it out of a Mama!)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Grandma's Pumpkin Patch

With unexpected circumstances occurring a couple weeks ago, coupled with general busyness and the speed with which these days seem to be passing, I was doubtful that our annual trip to the pumpkin patch would happen this year.  But put together a last minute "yes!" to a formal invitation from a friend to enjoy the fall festivities at a local farm, and my distaste for missing out on any kind of self-initiated family tradition ---waa-lah! --- we got our great pumpkin on once again!

Our friend and realtor invited us to a fall client appreciation event hosted by her realty company this last Wednesday.  We didn't think we'd have the opportunity to go simply because of the timing, but being as we like to live on the edge (insert throat gruntle here) we decided that morning that this would probably be our only opportunity to make a visit to the patch.  But here were the catches...we would have to head out there directly from picking up Drew at school, and we could only stay about 45 minutes as we needed to come back into town for our regular Wednesday night church activities.  So being as impromptu as it was, there was no coordinating of cute fall outfits, and any attempt at cute pumpkin photos was rushed and totally forced.  Although, the "forced" part is pretty standard these days. 





"Can you guys just sit still for two seconds and then we'll go down the slide?!?"

Good enough.

There were a couple large inflatables that were the highlight for the boys....

...but we really kind of rushed them through so we could see everything before we had to go.

They did the obligatory stick-your-head-in-a-funny-picture pose

climbed some hay

rode a tractor train

and spotted a goat.

Then spotted a runaway goat

found Tom (and whoa was he big and ugly)

and had just enough time to spare to pick out a few pumpkins to bring home.

So, although rushed and uncoordinated, we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful October day to visit Grandma's Pumpkin Patch.  It was a wonderful 75 degrees outside, which provided the perfect backdrop for another fun family trip to the patch.

Unfortunately, some really stupid and mean people decided to trash our stoop on Sunday morning while we were at church...

and our carefully picked pumpkins were either smashed or snatched.

But alas, Kroger is right up the street and they have pumpkins buy one get one free this week.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lost Teeth & the Tooth Fairy

{The first of a few catch-up posts...}

Backing up several months, to the weekend before we moved... when Drew lost his first tooth.

You know, it seems so unfair.  The poor kid works so, so hard for these teeth to work their way in. 

{Drew at 8 months. His first two teeth are peeking through his smile.  Squint, and you'll see them. :)  
Can we just pause and take a moment to soak up this sweet adorableness?!?!  Seriously.  Simply delicious.}

He, and we, endure slobber and discomfort and tears just for those babies to come in...only to have them fall out?!?!  Then - then - to be replaced with oversized, ragged, unattractive grown-up teeth in such a small mouth.  So unfair.

Anyway, Drew's first loose tooth took a bit to come out, like all first teeth do, I suppose.  It wasn't like he was going to reach in there and yank it out (hello, we're talking about Drew here) nor was he going to let us do it.  And I didn't think I'd be that kind of mom; that I'd have the stomach to do such a thing, but let me tell ya, when that tooth was just dangling there, I would've liked nothing more than to reach in and snatch that baby.  Kinda like picking at a scab.  Disturbingly irresistible.  And gross.  I know.

So there it hung, and we waited.  The Sunday before we moved (July 22), his tooth was finally loose enough that I just knew that it would fall out with the next meal he ate.  So at lunch I warned him to be careful as he ate and as soon as he felt the tooth come out to let me know so he wouldn't swallow it.

Yeah, sure mom. 

Well, wouldn't you know it.  When I sat down beside him with my plate, he turned to say something, and there was a big, gaping hole staring at me.

I said, "Bubba!  Your tooth!  It's gone!"

And on his face came this mixed expression of surprise and disbelief.

Because he didn't have it.  Where did it go?

Down his throat with that peanut butter and jelly sandwich he was eating.

Thankfully, he wasn't at all disappointed about it.  Phew!  Cuz there's no way to get that baby back.

In all of our preparation in packing to move, I didn't get a chance to make these tooth fairy bags I had been wanting to make.  So because we didn't have the tooth, or a cute bag to put it in, we wrote the Tooth Fairy a note, placed it in a sealed plastic bag, and put it under Drew's pillow.

Thankfully, our fairy doesn't require actual physical proof of said lost tooth.  She'll take a kid's word for it.  In the morning, the note was gone and replaced with a one dollar bill.

Much to Drew's chagrin.

Uh huh.  You heard that right.

Kid's got high standards.  He had heard a rumor that the fairy brings two dollars for lost teeth.  So when he found his measly little one dollar bill, he very begrudgingly stated, "It's just a dollar."

Just a dollar??  Just a dollar?!?!?!  Next time it'll be 25 cents, kiddo!  Welcome to my childhood!

His second tooth came out the first part of September.  I was prepared this time, and had gotten the tooth fairy bags made.

And that's two bags, because Reed needed one too for his "loose tooth."  A molar, no less. :)

And the fairy delivered another one dollar bill.  Drew was less disappointed this time, perhaps because he was told that by the time he lost all of his teeth, he'd have 20 bucks.  Not too shabby.

Although, maybe I should be a bit less surprised with his disappointment over lack of monetary reimbursement and more concerned with his casualness towards a supposed fairy that sneaks into his room at night.  Hmmm.....

I guess this new smile is pretty charming, as well.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

School Notes

School is going really, really well for Drew.  Who would've thunk after that first week, huh?

But it's all good.

No more arguments in the morning about "do I have to go to school?  I don't want to!"

No more tears at drop off.  Or at lunch.

No more heart-ache for Mama as I've adjusted to facing my days without my big guy here with me.

Nope, none of that.

Just a whole lotta fun, learning, friends, and excitement happening there!

Drew has made oodles of friends, and talks about them a lot.  What so-and-so said or what so-and-so did or didn't do.  Who he got to sit by at lunch and play with on the playground.  His very "best friend" is Cole...and to be honest, I was a little leery if he would be a good friend for Drew.  When I asked if Cole was a good friend to him, Drew said, "Yes, but..." and Drew has repeated a few choice phrases of Cole's that we don't care for.  However, I have heard nothing negative lately.  And I'm trying to shake it off as these boys are five.  I can't shelter Drew forever.  We'll get over any kind of not-so-nice stuff.

On the other hand, we did have an incident of Drew falling prey to someone else's pushing hands.  Apparently for quite a few days in a row, Drew was being pushed down while at recess.  He explained to me what had been happening (it came up rather casually in conversation) - a boy in his class was pushing him down, hard, on the playground and then running away.  This same boy was also telling Drew that he couldn't be friends with Cole.  In truth, that probably hurt Drew's feelings more than being pushed hurt him physically.  After gathering all the details, and finding that Drew hadn't asked for help from any of his teachers, I asked him if he wanted me to talk with his teacher about it.  After thinking about it for a few seconds, he said, "Yeah."  {But OOOHHHHHH let me tell ya...Mama Bear came out for a while there and boy oh boy did I want to tell Drew he needed to just give that boy a hearty push back.  Rest assured, I spoke nothing of that to Drew or his teacher!} I did talk with his teacher, though, and she assured me that Drew could and should speak to her if and when he is pushed again.  I am happy to report, however, that all pushing has ceased.

The social aspect of school?  Not a big fan right now.  :)

Every day we ask Drew what was the best part of his day, and the worst.  The best usually revolves around something he got to do with Cole :P ... the worst?  "Nothing!"

I have signed up to be a volunteer parent in Drew's classroom and am there for just over an hour on Tuesday afternoons to help with either Centers or Workstations.  It really is a blast for me to interact with Drew's teachers and his classmates.  But I tell ya, my eyes have been opened to an even greater appreciation for teachers!  My hat is off to each and every one of you!  YEOWZA!  And Drew loves, loves, loves that I come.  Every Tuesday, I am the best thing about his day.  And tonight he whispered to me, "Mama, thanks for coming to school.  I like it when you're there."

*my heart sings*

Two weeks ago, Drew started bringing home beginner reader books.  He is to read them to us three times before it is returned to school and he brings home a different one.  How fun to hear him read!  Coolest thing ever!

I love school!  And I'm pretty sure Drew does too.  :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Around Here

Well, hello there.

How ya been?

After an unanticipated, unintentional hiatus from the blog...HELLO!  I'm not sure what happened there, but it did.  Oofta.  So sad to have been away.  Gonna try really hard to not do that again.

Things are kinda weird around here.  Adjusting back to "normal" life has been a bit more difficult than I would've anticipated.  Maybe "difficult" isn't the right word.  Things just aren't quite flowing as much as I'd like them to be.  Nothing crazy happening, really, just still getting adjusted to our new home and new town and new responsibilities and schedules and things.

So here's a quick look into things around here, before I get back into telling some of our stories.

I had a birthday a couple weeks ago.  33.

It's pretty uneventful, growing older.  Well, I anticipate I'll have stronger feelings around 35 and as I inch closer to 40 (we can slow that party horse down right now!), but 33 was no big deal.  My birthday fell on a Tuesday, so Drew insisted we not start the party until he was home from school (of course!).  So, because it was my day and it's darn near the only one when I can successfully manipulate all the men in my life to do what I want :) -- we ventured over to Saginaw for dinner at Culvers (duh) but not before I forced the boys to go to Hobby Lobby with me.  Mwahahahaha!!!!  It was spectacular. :)

My days with Reed are fun but busy.  We are gone two mornings of the week, participating in a couple Bible studies, and we usually spent another morning running errands.  Our afternoons vary depending on whether or not Reed thinks he needs a nap.  I fear he is growing out of them (grrrrrr....) and our "quiet times" can be anything but quiet.  And then before I know it, 3:30 has rolled around and it's time to pick up Drew.  I have yet to really develop a real routine for our days.  I hope it comes together soon because it would help me a lot in actually getting some things accomplished around here!

School is going really, really well.  More on that soon. :)

We are s.l.o.w.l.y getting things done around the house.  It is taking quite a bit of time as our to-do list seems to get longer and longer as we start working on different things.  This house is far from a fixer-upper but it wasn't move-in ready to our liking either.  For example, I'm all ready to paint the living room but hit a snag as there is what I thought was vinyl lettering on the wall that I need to remove.  Come to find out, it's not vinyl and does not come off as nicely as vinyl would.  So, after trying four different remedies to solve that problem (Mr. Clean's magic eraser didn't even do the trick!) I have to wait to make another trip to the store to pick up potential remedy #5.  So what I intended on painting two days ago, still sits untouched.  And so it seems with many of our projects; one thing leads to another leads to another.  We are working on everything from growing grass to caulking trim to installing new light switches and plug-ins.  It all takes time and is slow in completing.  I hope we can get some new built-ins constructed and installed before Christmas and that the boxes I have left to unpack will be empty before spring. :)

Brad was officially installed as the Associate Pastor at Midland Reformed Church this last Sunday afternoon.  It was a beautiful service.

The boys are currently trying to decide what they want to be for Halloween.  Without easy access to my mother, I'm on my own in pulling together this year's costumes.  Perhaps another year of Mover Rich and Mover Dave will be ok?

I'm looking forward to Christmas.  Random thought I'm having right now and thought I'd share. :)

If you were to walk into my house right now, you'd find the living room floor covered in legos and cars, my bed covered in clean clothes that need to be folded and put away (at least they're clean!), the curtain rod in the boys' room needing to be replaced because Reed pulled on the curtains and pulled the nails out of the wall, several random stacks of paper that need to be sorted through and put away, and the noise level would be through the roof as the boys chase each other throughout the entire main level.  BUT you'd also find the super cute pumpkin garland I have hanging in the kitchen.

It really is the small things, people.

Alrighty then.  Enough of that for now.  I have an ongoing list of approximately 20 stories I'd like to share here on the ol' blog.  I can feel the juices starting to flow again.... so here's to more posts in the near future!