"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Our Weekend Highlights

As I type, Cody has fallen asleep in his chair with Brandon in his lap (holding his blankie and chipmunk close), Jaden is on the floor eating crackers, three Lincoln Log houses are scattered around our living room and a movie is playing on the TV. We're all a little sleepy around here. 6 a.m. wake-ups both mornings and no naps today will do that to you, I guess. Throw in a full afternoon of painting, a soccer game in the hot sun and a night of staying up way past our bedtime... and I guess I can't blame my husband for snoring before 8:00.

We had ourselves a good weekend. And I will go to sleep happy tonight knowing that tomorrow morning is the official start of football season. It's football week, baby, and I feel like I'm home again. (I actually squeeled in delight when I opened up a new box of Ritz crackers and discovered they had football shapes on them). Yes... it really is the little things.

Our weekend highlights...

...we attended 'Movies Under the Moon.' The last one of the summer but the first one we've ever gone to. It's the coolest little thing that our wonderful town does in the summer. We no longer have a drive-in movie theater... but we do have a park, a band shelter, and a giant movie screen that they put up on the stage on Friday nights. Add in some food vendors, some live music before sunset, and ice cream treats from Papa Bob... and you have the perfect way to enjoy a beautiful summer night before flipping the calendar to Fall.

We ate supper, gave the boys an early bath, dressed them in their pj's and loaded up the car with chairs and blankets.

{Brandon thought the moon was "broken" and was quite concerned}

Brandon's face when he saw Papa Bob and Nana Nancy's car drive up the street...

My dad brought the boys the largest chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches I'd ever seen... and they inhaled them.

As it grew dark and the movie started, Brandon got sleepy enough to snuggle up with my dad and stare at the night sky trying to spot every airplane that flew overhead. Jaden, however, wasn't so content to watch the movie and had a hard time staying quiet while the rest of the crowd grew silent. After about 20 minutes into the show, we packed up and headed home. Though we didn't get to see what happened to that sweet little dolphin on the big screen, I'm looking forward to many more movies under the moon as our kids get a little older.


I thought for sure that a 10:30 bedtime would bring me a morning of sleeping in. Jaden had other plans. He woke up at 6 a.m. So... we played.

It's been amazing lately watching Brandon grow and watching his interests grow with him. While Jaden loves music, video games and banging on anything that resembles a drum, Brandon could sit for hours building and constructing things. And... lining up blocks. These blocks never get used for building towers. He likes to line them up in rows and point out the pictures on each block while telling me what their names are. And he will only line them up on top of the Candy Land game box. He likes to stare at the ice cream cone and chocolate pictures.

Halfway through our day, we decided to finally finish painting our basement. Cody's mom came to town to help me, and one trip to Lowe's and three hours later... job completed. This basement of ours is a work in progress. The carpet is definitely "basement carpet" as we had a couple of water issues when we first moved in. It's the boys' toy area so it is filled with train tables, marker boards, a play kitchen and every other kind of toy you could imagine. Since the plan is to not be in this house much longer, I won't be going out of my way to finish it off. I have some plans to add some nice decor to the walls to get it "show worthy" in the next year... but... baby steps. The paint was definitely a step in the right direction.

...to cap off our Saturday night, we made some of our favorite Roasted Garlic Potato Soup.

Still as good as the last time... and next time we're doubling the recipe so that we have even more leftovers. It's a lot of work, but the boys love it and Jaden's been asking for it since we last made it in May.

And the biggest thrill of the day...

Brandon has been loving his Lincoln Logs lately. He's been playing with the same small set for a couple of weeks now and is getting better and better at being able to construct things that somewhat resemble houses all by himself. Once he builds something he's proud of, we don't dare take it down. (Hence the reason I have three Lincoln Log houses scattered around my living room). He pleads with us - "Don't take my house down." And he's so honest and sincere in his plea that we've obliged him so far.

The problem with that one small set is that it has been hard for he and Jaden to both build at the same time without fights breaking out. I finally remembered Saturday afternoon that we had a huge box of them stored away - a box that was gifted to us when they were too little to play with them. After supper, we took the boys to the store to buy a large storage bin for the Lincoln Logs and told the boys that we'd be putting a surprise in the storage bin...

I wish I could have captured the looks on their faces when we unveiled the huge box of Lincoln Logs. Jaden started screaming and jumping up and down, and Brandon was so stunned and happy that his face turned red from embarassment, and he didn't even know what to do with himself.

And so on a rainy Saturday night we skipped bath time and had ourselves a Lincoln Log house party instead.

Even Cody's getting excited at this new hobby.

{if you ever wonder why there's sometimes fewer pictures of Jaden - here's why. he gets tired of my camera rather quickly.}
Once again, Jaden woke up at 6 a.m. So... we built more houses. And sizzled enough bacon to make our upstairs smoke detector go off.
...and then we attended our church's 50th Anniversary Celebration service. It was a very powerful service with charter members of the church in attendance. Items were put in a time capsule box to be opened in 25 years, and I couldn't help but wonder if our kids would still be members of this church at that time and what our lives will look like when that capsule is opened. That church  means a lot to me - it's the first church I've called home, the church that baptized me, the church that we got married in, the church where our boys were both baptized and the church that has brought me further and further along in my faith. I couldn't imagine walking through this life without it.
...and after church? A soccer game. It was hot.

The boys' day was made when T.C. showed up at the game. They love him and always have. We have a special relationship with this cool cat. He surprised us by showing up at our wedding reception and came to Jaden's 2nd birthday party. It's always amazed me that they have never been afraid or hesitant to approach him.
Jaden even started calling out to T.C and asking him to play catch with him.

While all of us adults sat and complained about how hot it was in the sun, the kids never stopped running around. By the end of the game, their cheeks were red, their heads were full of sweat and they had finished off juice, puppy chow, grapes, and snack mix.
Off to bed, I go. I've got plans this week. Plans that include Fall decorating and a special grocery list made up with food for football watching. Plans that include cheering on a football team and driving around town with our purple car flags flying. Plans that include white lights, harvest garland and maybe some jeans shopping.
Happy football season. Happy almost-Fall. And as always... Go Panthers. :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Preschool Year Two!

This morning, I dropped Jaden off for his second year of preschool. Another year older... another year taller... and just one year away from a full-time school boy.

Has it really been five years since I was battling morning sickness and asking my mom to bring me saltine crackers to work??

Last year, Jaden had a wonderful year at Blessed Beginnings Preschool. He attended two mornings a week... just enough to get his feet wet and learn how this whole "school thing" works.

This year, he will be attending three mornings a week... and enjoying a class size of 20 kids rather than just the 15-16 kids that were allowed to attend the younger class. A bigger class size, more time spent learning... and leaving his sad little brother behind. It was a rough morning. While Jaden was a pro at the whole preschool thing... hardly missing a beat in his three months off... Brandon was distraught beyond any ability of mine to console him. When Jaden grabbed his school bag, Brandon asked me where his school bag was. When we got in the car, Brandon was clinging to me and wimpering that he wanted to go to school, too. When I walked Brandon up to the door at Karen's house, Brandon asked me where "Nanen" was. And when I had to leave Brandon there without his brother with him, he brought out a bottom lip pout and crocodile tears so big that I wanted to scoop him up and keep him with me all day long. He was just so sad. And then I called Cody to describe the scene... and began crying myself. Geez, this mothering thing is a roller coaster ride, huh?! After Cody's repeatedly assuring words of "Brandon will be okay" and a text message from Karen saying that he had calmed down within just a few minutes... it was onward and upward.

Last year I took Jaden out for a special mommy-Jaden breakfast date the morning of his first day. I've since decided that this is a tradition I'd like to keep up with every year for both kids on their first morning of school. I wonder if they'll still want to eat breakfast with their mom when they are able to drive themselves to school??

While I ordered a light breakfast for myself of coffee, eggs and bacon... Jaden went all-out and made all of his choices off the menu like a big kid should. Eggs instead of pancakes. Bacon rather than sausage. Fruit bowl instead of applesauce. Chocolate milk instead of juice.

He ate every last bite. (No surprise there).

When it was time to drop him off at school, he didn't even hesitate and remembered the routine perfectly. Coat and school bag on the hooks. Bathroom stop. Line up at the wall. Wave bye-bye to Mommy.

{tired of "cheesing" at this point. it makes me laugh just looking at it!}

Nothing special to report when I picked him up. He told me they had pretzels for snack, and that they made "roads" in the sand box outside with their trucks.

...and this little guy?? He welcomed me to daycare at 5:00 by throwing up on me in the middle of Karen's living room. Two hours later we were outside, and he was being his happy goofy self.

NEVER a dull moment around here. :)