Thursday, April 28, 2011

thankful thursday

Thankful Thursdays Button

What a week it's been, and oh how much there is to be thankful for. As you may recall from my first thankful thursday post, my sister was scheduled to arrive home from Germany. She arrived pretty sick, but thanks to God's healing and guidance through several great medical professionals, she is on the mend. She's been diagnosed with orbital myositis, which involves swelling of the eye muscles. Her's had progressed so severely that she was suffering neurological issues. High dose steroids have reduced the swelling greatly and she has improved. Her vision hasn't returned completely to normal, which is causing double vision. Thank you to all of you that prayed for her.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

thankful thursday

Thankful Thursdays ButtonA sweet fellow blogger and friend does a weekly post titled Thankful Thursday. She recently invited/challenged others to link up their own weekly posts of gratitude. Well, I rarely find myself blogging on Thursdays, but I made time for it today despite the millions of things I should be doing to get ready for our whirlwind road trip. So, here's some things I'm thankful for this week:

1) Our whirlwind road trip. In just a few short hours, we'll pile in the car and head slightly northwest to Chattanooga. Josh has family that lives in that area, and after deciding to take Good Friday off, we thought it would be a great opportunity to visit. Although it will be a little hectic because of a late Saturday night return for Easter Sunday, I'm thrilled about the opportunity to visit with family we haven't been able to see much of lately. We look forward to introducing Sam to several folks who haven't had the chance to meet him since a Christmas snow storm botched our annual holiday get-together. Josh's uncle is battling cancer, and may not have too much longer. What a special time to spend with him. One of Josh's cousins who lives in Brooklyn, will be visiting with his family. We'll get to meet the newest baby in the family, as another cousin just gave birth a few short weeks ago. Finally, we'll celebrate with a third cousin and his fiance at their wedding shower. It also means 3 straight days with my precious family. Josh doesn't take many 3-day weekends, so I want to relish this extra time together.

2) I get to see my amazing sister on Sunday! I haven't seen her in the flesh since August when she and her hubby left for Germany. We were expecting her home for a visit for a few weeks, but unfortunately the last few weeks she has been ill. She has gotten worse in the last couple of days and none of us feel her condition is being treated urgently enough on base...having to wait weeks for appointments with specialists, etc. So, the decision was made for her to come home and see if medical professionals here can get her fixed up. It's really a shame, because she has had to resign from her job there just so she can come home and get well. I hate the circumstances, but am thrilled to have her home for a few weeks! Now, I pray God will bring healing to her body.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sam Says (well sort of)

In addition to walking all over the place these days, our Sam is really beginning to communicate. He's constantly babbling his growing list of words: mama, dada, baba (brother), dink do (thank you), be boo (peek-a-boo) or put (poot, you can thank the other two boys in the house for that one, thankfully he says it very rarely). In the last couple of weeks, he's also begun to show off his signing skills. I will admit that I wasn't as aggressive with teaching him signs as I was Jack, but he has found a way to catch on despite my lack of consistency. For those that know him, it comes as no surprise that Sam has a good appetite. Somedays it's a healthy one, others it's merely for fruit loops alone. Regardless, his favorite sign is definitely "more."

More oatmeal.
More yogurt.
More pancakes.
More PB & J.
Or in this case, more bubbles!

His other favorite signs are "all done" and "milk." You'd think a kid that loves to eat would rarely sign "all done," but if it's one thing he doesn't like about mealtime, it's being restrained to a highchair. He prefers to graze, I guess. Can you blame him?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Go Team

Saturday was a long, but fun-filled day. I had been watching the weather for a couple of days and it looked like storms might dampen our plans. Thankfully, the clouds cleared and the day was a beauty. We got the crew up and ready, then hit the road to Athens for the spring football game. We took Jack to his first spring game last year (I guess Sam, too), and he was looking forward to the Bulldog football game again. What he didn't know is that we were hoping to squeeze in some additional fun before the game.

We stopped at a Railroad Days event my dad had told us about at the Council on Aging. Thomas was there, model trains, a ride-on train, inflatables and more. Jack had a blast bouncing from activity to activity. We were thrilled some friends could meet us there too, as well as my mom & dad. Before long it was time to grab a bite downtown and then head toward the stadium.

Jack did so well, walking the whole way to the stadium. He had to get a lift part of the way back (uphill), but did a pretty good job doing most of his own walking. It was pretty windy, and kind of cool in the shade, but a ring pop and cotton candy from the train station were enough to keep Jack interested in sitting. Sam, on the otherhand, was a little more active than a year ago when he just hung out in the baby Bjorn. He wanted to walk, climb and go everywhere. My mom got him to sleep for about 10 minutes, but then the Redcoats woke him up. He eventually fell asleep as I carried him on our way back to the car an hour or so later.

We made sure to stop and ring the victory bell on our way back through campus, and even squeezed in a stop for ice cream. We also stopped by my grandparents' house for a quick visit before returning back to the Sham for a Sunday School gathering with friends. The low country boil hit the spot after a long day, but we eventually retreated a little early because of our exhaustion.

Monday, April 11, 2011

This & That

So, here's a sort of thrown together post. I have dozens of things floating around in my head, but none of them seem to be ready for a post all their own. Not to mention, it would take forever, and I'm already wishing I were in bed.

Biggest development of the last two weeks is definitely Sam's confidence in his walking abilities. He really has no fear anymore. He is trotting all over the house and never looks back, much less down. And, he's got the bumps and bruises to prove it.

I finished a great book on Saturday afternoon while the boys were napping and Josh was busy working. Unless you've been in some sort of hole, I'm sure you've heard of The Help. And you've probably heard some glowing recommendations. You can add mine to the list. It's incredibly well written. Although I haven't read a whole lot of novels lately, I can't remember the last time I was so involved and interested in the lives of the characters in a book. And like all great books, it's doubtful the big screen will do it justice. But, I'll probably see it anyway.

Josh and I had the opportunity to return to the Masters this past week. It was a chilly morning and quite windy, but nothing like our visit two years ago (when we wore wool coats and the temps were in the 40s!) We had a great time, despite the lack of pimento cheese & egg salad sandwiches. Gasp! I know, right? Something about the power outages caused by the previous evening's bad storm. It was pretty disappointing, but I managed to find some other decent (and cheap) snacks to enjoy! With the windy conditions, several golfers elected to remain on the range and didn't get out on the course. We did catch Tom Watson, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood play a few holes, among a few others.

Last week was spring break for the schools here, so there was no preschool for the boys. Thankfully, we had very pleasant weather and enjoyed some time outside on most days. We also enjoyed a detour down to Monkey Joe's inflatable play place with some good friends. And, on Thursday, Jack joined me at the dentist for his first trip. He did quite well, allowing the hygenist to do most things. He was pretty brave, and really smitten with his new Diego toothbrush.

I captured many of these 'this & that' moments with some photos, but they will have to wait. I still need to throw together lunches for tomorrow...since it's back to (pre)school!

Monday, April 4, 2011

His Perspective

Each Tuesday and Thursday when I pick the boys up from preschool, I ask Jack how his day was. I usally ask if he ate his lunch, what kind of things they did at school, until I can find a subject to get him talking. A couple of weeks ago, I overheard the teacher tell one of his classmates who was having a bit of separation trouble during drop-off that they would be making popcorn that day. I made a mental note.

Later when we were riding home, I asked Jack about school and asked if he made popcorn. He excitedly said, "Yes, and I made a tree dog, but it's not a dog." You can imagine my confusion after this statement. So, I asked for clarification. He simply repeated the statement. I decided we'd move on and returned to the popcorn. I asked if he had eaten any popcorn. He said disgustedly, "Noooo! It had glue on it!" Then, the lightbulb came on and I realized just what he meant. Finally, last week, I walked in to find this on the wall by his classroom:

So, the "tree dog" was a dogwood tree made with popcorn. I was glad my thoughts had aligned with reality. In other silly sayings of a three-year-old. Jack wore a whole in the knee of one of pairs of jeans.* When we got in the car after school he told me sadly, "mom, my pants got broked."

*on a side note, I know I have two boys, but I guess I didn't realize we would reach the age of clothes destruction so soon! So much for hand-me-downs for little brother.

Etsy + Groupon = Heartsy

I know many of you enjoy the beautiful handmade items featured and sold on Etsy. I know I've taken advantage of the adorable finds there. I love that I'm able to snag unique items that were handmade and that I'm supporting a small business.

Some of you also know you can indulge in some great deals at restaurants, amusement parks, hotels, etc. without breaking the bank by using Groupon. Well, these two ideas have merged and the result is a super cool new website called Heartsy!

Anyway, you can sign up to receive an email every day and they have a different handmade item or discounted gift certificate for a certain Etsy shop. Check it out!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What A Catch

After seeing them at Wal-Mart recently, Jack started asked for a fishing pole. We told him that you have to be a big boy to get a fishing pole and he had to give up having a paci in his bed at night. After a few nights of almost agreeing, but then deciding, "I'm not bigger yet," he finally did it. So, the next day he got a fishing pole. He picked out Spider-man. He marched around the house with it for days, while I reminded him not to put it in Sam's face and to watch where he was swinging that thing.

Thankfully just a few days later on Saturday afternoon the weather and our schedules cooperated and we headed out to try out that Spider-man rod. Josh did most of the casting, and Jack was the official "reeler." I didn't have any hopes of catching anything and was already prepared to have to explain to Jack that you don't always catch something. I was sure this would be our last trip to the pond for a while. Well, on their third cast, Jack reeled in his first catch. He was surprised and excited.

Two casts later, he landed an even bigger fish. He even touched them, but seemed the most excited about watching them swim away. We didn't get too many more bites, which thoroughly confused Jack who was obviously thinking this fishing stuff is easy! Overall, it was a great success, and we're already looking forward to a return trip.