Saturday, March 30, 2013

Kid's Photoshoot

Daniel starts his new job on Monday. We are so excited for this new adventure even though it means change.... which I'm slow to embrace but I think it will be a great situation for us. Currently, Daniel works for a company that contracts him out to other companies to work on their computer and phone networks. That means he's at different businesses each day, working odd hours or doing documentation from our home office. While we love having daddy home, sometimes it's hard to keep the kids quiet during conference calls and we always seem to get out of whack with our daily routine. I may also be notorious for the line "I just need 5 minutes!" AKA... please make sure they don't kill themselves for 5 minutes so I can (fill in the blank) alone! His new job is more of a 8-5 M-F type job where he'll manage his own network. While we'll miss him being home during the day, it will be nice to have a more consistent schedule. This will be the first time that he's ever had an actual desk and I knew exactly what it needed! A precious framed picture of the kids, of course! Who wouldn't want to show off these cuties?
On super short notice, I called my friend, Karabeth from Holden Memories Photography, found some coordinating outfits in the kid's closets (thank you Kelly's Kids!) and we were off to Andrew Jackson State Park. Thankfully, I had the foresight to coordinate "just in case" because this is my new favorite photo of the 3 of us!
My "vision" for the photo shoot was a stellar picture of the 2 kiddos but let's be honest... Avery missed nap time, Parker hates photos, it was dinner time and we were FREEZING so I ended up hopping in the photos since they didn't want to sit on the cold grass, Avery needed hidden tickles for smiles and Parker needed constant reminders of squinkie bribes..... you do what you've gotta do... or the photos end up like this...

....which is still adorable. Clearly Parker did something to Avery, she's pissed and he thinks it's hilarious. This photo should be titled "Siblings." I love it.

Karabeth captured a lot of great photos! I think I'll frame the shot of the 3 of us above but these are great too! I can't decide!

Oh Miss Avery makes me giggle in this photo!
Parker still doesn't seem 4 to me but this photo makes him look so grown up and reflective.
Miss. Avery is a ham. She was quite pleased with herself to take pictures like big brother did.
With fruit snacks as bribes, for a brief moment, they were sweet to one another.
Mama took one for the team and sat on the cold bricks since Parkerman would not. I can't blame him.... holy frozen hiney.
Unless you're my mother, you're probably like, "ok, enough with the pictures already." So, for everyone else, thank you for humoring me.... for my mother.... here are more :)
I think their faces look a lot alike here.
Handsome boy
Not an ounce of fat on this peanut but check that double chin! Adorable!

This is the "heaven help me!" shot.... which means.... WE'RE DONE! Confession: Avery fell asleep in the car on the way home, I transferred her to bed and she slept in this dress last night. Whoops.

Overall, I was proud of the kids. We got a few great pictures that I'm proud to frame for Daniel and surprise him with Monday morning. If you're in the Waxhaw/Ballantyne area, make sure to check our Holden Memories Photography on facebook!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday, Parker!

Dear Parker,

Each year, writing you a birthday letter gets harder. It reminds me of how fleeting time is. I flipped through your baby book tonight and giggled that my 3 pound preemie went from "not on the charts" to 50% in 12 months in height and weight. Your full term, 22 month old sister weighs right now what you weighed when you were 8 months old!!!! You may have arrived a bit earlier than expected but you sure did your best to catch up fast! Maybe you didn't love being nicknamed "screamie preemie." Once you were more of a "chunky monkey" the aforementioned nickname didn't seem to fit anymore!
1st Birthday Party
Your dad and I are so proud of how far you've come. I look at pictures of you as a newborn and don't even see the vivacious little boy you are today! You have really come out of your shell lately. You narrate your life and say some of the funniest things! The way you boss your sister around is hilarious and I try not to let you see me laugh! My favorite line is "Avery, no ma'am! Time out!" It's a good reminder to me that you're always listening even when you select to not respond! Lately, when you and Avery are nasty to each other, I make you guys hug it out and it might be the sweetest thing ever. Although you're not keen on sharing your toys with her, you guys can also play so sweetly together. You're always Thomas or Buzz and you make Avery be some obscure character like Rosie and Slinky Dog. I did the same thing to your Aunt Kelly!
2nd Birthday Party
Your pediatrician likes to note that you have a tendency towards dramatic flare which I like to think that you will channel one day into passion for a greater good. Currently, you use it to run across the house and throw yourself on the floor when I tell you we won't be going to Target today for toys. Speaking of toys, I don't think we can fit one more into this house! Your favorite toys are your Thomas the Train sets, anything Toy Story, Cars (especially Mack), the trampoline and these awful microscopic toys called squinkies. I'd get rid of some toys, except you really do play with them all!
3rd Birthday Party
Your imagination has really taken off. You entertain yourself for hours coming up with scenes with your trains or Toy Story characters.  Lately, you've started liking school which makes mornings much easier! Despite some recent behavioral outburst, you are the sweetest, most thoughtful (to everyone except your sister) little boy. You will randomly come up to me and demand hugs and kisses which I'm always happy to oblige. You'll snuggle for hours if you like what we're watching and I soak up every minute, knowing these days will pass but laundry is forever.
Celebrating your 3rd birthday at the zoo.
 This year, we've noticed an improvement in some hurdles that you've faced. You've come pretty far with your tactile issues and will now even eat messy food with your hands as long as they are cleaned off the instant you are done. Holes are your nemesis and you inspect every article of clothing I put on you. You will NOT wear anything with rips, holes or stains. I see this being beneficial when you're a teenager as I HATE seeing kids dress sloppy! Your fine motor skills are improving but we've still got some work to do. Nana and poppi got you a bike for your birthday. Peddling is a challenge but I think watching your friends this spring will really help! You've come a LONG way this year and I think the biggest change came when we changed your diet to mostly gluten, egg, dairy and soy free. You gained so much energy and really came alive! I'm so sorry we didn't know sooner!
4 years old!!!!
Parker, I want you to know how much your father and I adore you. There are days when we have to discipline you that I feel like you don't understand our love for you. It is unexplainable. Nana and Poppi used to tell me they loved me "All the way to God's house and back." I never understood that love until I had you. You and Avery make every day brighter. My day starts with your sweet voice yelling "Mommy, I wake up!" and I can't help but giggle every morning because I know what a blessing it is to have you to wake up to each and every morning. It's a gift that in those first few days of your life, I wasn't sure I'd get to keep and I promise to never forget what a treasure you are. Happy 4th Birthday, my love!

I love you all the way to God's house and back,


Monday, March 18, 2013

Parker's Birthday Week!

Parker turns 4 on Thursday! As every mom says each birthday, "I can't believe how fast time has flown by!" I'll write a more official 4th birthday post on Thursday but today I thought I'd post pictures from Parker's little party with my parents and sister. As I mentioned in the last post, we're not having a party this year. Parker didn't want one so we're keeping it simple!

The weather was PERFECT so we spent most of the day outside! The kids enjoyed taking the dogs on a walk around our neighborhood trails.
She is amazingly awesome at walking Moses! I got so giddy pulling out her summer clothes!
Parker walking Ellie while holding his new Buzz spaceship and wearing a Mario hat.... Multitasking at its best.
Dog walking is hard work! Someone needed a rest. What better place to rest than on top of a table?!
We all had fun playing on the swing set with nana, poppi and Aunt Kelly!
Tire swing fun!
The birthday boy!
Hangin' tough!
Parker's new favorite game is to launch Buzz down the slide to infinity and beyond.
Parker couldn't wait to open his presents! We got him a working kiddie digital camera since he much prefers to be behind the camera than the subject of it! We're a bit disappointed in it but he seems to like it so that's all that matters! My parents got him the most adorable little bike!

He hasn't figured out how to peddle it yet but hopefully with more warm weather, we'll get lots of practice!
Sissy cannot let Parker have his moment so she hopped on a scooter and headed down the sidewalk after him.
After a spin on the new bike, it was time for Parker's BUZZ LIGHTYEAR CAKE! This is literally the only thing he asked for for his birthday. Originally, there was a big Buzz on top but he fell over in transport and took out some icing so I tried to cover it up with this bigger Buzz space ship. I still think it turned out cute!
The cake was pretty good and even better the 2nd day. I find cakes that are made a few days in advance and set out (like this one was) to be dry. I found on Pinterest that if you cut the remaining cake into slices and place them in a Tupperware container and use a water bottle to spritz it one time then cover it, the cake will be more moist. I was leery so I only did one of the 6 containers I put the cake in and it worked! Only spritz the cake part, not the icing. It made the cake taste more fresh. YUMMY!

1 birthday celebration down and 2 to go! We'll take him to the zoo on the next warm day that Daniel is off and of course, celebrate the birthday boy all day Thursday! :) How is he already 4?!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Birthday Dilemma

Parker's birthday is next week and I have done approximately nothing to prepare for it. The truth is, he doesn't want a party.... which throws my desire to throw a Pinterest worthy party out the window but believe me, its for the best. He's requested a Buzz Lightyear cake, a trip to the zoo and squinkies. Easy peasy except I just can't bring myself to do it... especially the squinkies.... I curse the person who came up with those darn things. You see, for the last 2 weeks, my son has spent 90% of the day throwing tantrums, in time out or whining. I. AM. OVER. IT.

The thought of dropping hundreds of dollars on a party, presents and cake while my son rolls on the floor because his Thomas the Train is dirty (because he put it in a flower pot) simply does not appeal to me right now with this current rash of awful behavior. I may or may not have threatened no 4th birthday presents if he keeps acting 2.... well he's continued to act 2 so now I'm kicking myself for "threatening" that. Do I follow through? I was sure that would serve as amazing attitude adjustment but alas I was wrong.

Who has taken my sweet boy and when do you plan on returning him?!

I hate that he's acting this way. It literally hurts me to my core to see him throw these ridiculous tantrums over the weirdest things. It's a season of life... and I know you're not supposed to wish away time but I can't say I'd miss these "moments!'

The birthday plan as it stands is to celebrate with my family this weekend since my sister will be in town. I did score a Buzz cake but I don't have a present for him. He needs NOTHING but I would feel like the worst mom ever if I didn't get  him something, especially since this is the 1st birthday he understands. Help a girl out, what do I get him...despite this current behavioral hiatus he's taken?! He's into Toy Story again (today) but he has so much Thomas and Toy Story that I'd like to get something generic. I'm serious.. I need ideas.

Feel free to also chime in on how to retrieve my sweet boy who has been taken over by a child I do not know or understand. I seem to be at a loss and I sure miss him!

Thursday, March 7, 2013


It's been a while since doing midweek confessions so I thought that might be fun to liven up this windy, cold Thursday. Thursday is still midweek, right?

1. I got "the call" from preschool 30 minutes after drop off to pick Parker up from school. He had been home sick this week and his only symptom remaining was a cough so I sent him.... kid was hacking his lungs up at school.... since being home... maybe once or twice. Can my 3 year old really know how to fake sick already? He's currently jumping on the indoor trampoline yelling "to infinity and beyond!"

2. I ate leftover tacos for lunch.. and by "taco" I mean leftover taco meat in a tortilla wrap. I am HORRIBLE at estimating a week's worth of food. We always seem to have plenty of dinners, bits and pieces of leftovers that don't make a full meal (ie the "meat taco" with no condiments) and no snacks. I swear I look in my fridge and see tons of groceries and can never seem to make a full meal of it all. I'm in desperate need of meal planning 101.

3. You may have seen this on Facebook but Parker has a recent fascination with private parts which I think is a)hilarious b)mortifying c)developmentally normal or d) all of the above.....The answer is D.

He asked the check out lady at CVS "Excuse me, do you have a hooha or a pee pee?" which was mortifying but I may have been wondering the same thing. It was questionable if you know what I mean. This question has now become common conversation with strangers. He told my grandfather's renal doctor the other day: "I has a pee pee and my mommy has a hooha." FABULOUS. Thankfully, the doctor took it in stride and proceeded to tell us the story of a kid with a dead chipmunk head in his mouth... and I'm not sure how it correlated but I was glad to not be talking about my lady parts anymore. All that to say....  if you pass us in Harris Teeter or Target, prepare yourself to discuss your genitals.

4. The potty gods felt bad about how difficult Parker was to potty train and decided to cut me some slack with Avery. She has started stripping and running to the potty and is about 50% successful right now. She's had maybe 2 accidents and does the rest in a diaper if we're not home or she's being lazy. If she's naked, she'll go in the potty... which is a great strategy for at home... not so great at the grocery store. We've had the "we don't pee on our princess panties" chat and she's all like "You may not but I do..." So if you come to my house... there is a good chance my kid is naked... but it's all in the name of being done with diapers, halleluiah amen!

5. Sometimes I host play dates or girl's nights as motivation to clean my house... I'm always excited to see my friends and I want to get together but that added pressure of hosting is what really kicks my butt to clean when I don't want to. Awful, I know.

6. I've already started stressing thinking about what we'll all wear for spring family photos... which I haven't even scheduled. We all know how the "A Very Old Navy Christmas Card" shoot went.... and I only stressed about that for a month. The good news is, I have a vision and maybe even a color scheme picked out so I think I'm on the path to that elusive frame worthy family photo! ...and it does NOT include Old Navy...

I'm hearing the phrase "Avery, that's dangerous" being spoken upstairs so that's my cue to quit! Your turn! Comment here or on FB with your confessions!

Update: She was sitting in my sewing chair which is a no no. Clearly Parker was listening when I told him my sewing machine is dangerous!