Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy he was!

Saturday afternoon, we hosted a few of Andrew's friends for a Star Wars birthday party. It was billed as an all boy affair, but Andrew decided that he wanted Claire to attend as well. So it was all boys, and Claire. She was a trooper and hung in there great during Jedi training. Andrew and Coleman both had a ton of fun, and I think their guests did as well. There are a lot of pictures to follow, so consider yourself warned.

While we were setting up, R2D2 made a quick appearance.

Here are Andrew and Coleman with some of our life-size decorations. C3PO and R2, as well as Han Solo.

While I was making pictures of the big boys, R2 crawled into the dining room and said, "Cheeeeeee!" So of course, I snapped his picture too.

For party favors, we gave TIE Fighter cookies, Darth Vader masks, light sabers, and Star Wars coloring books.

I heard about the Bus Fair from a neighbor, and decided this would be the perfect Jedi training camp for our party. Ms. Lora is a former preschool teacher, and she did an awesome job! She has converted an old school bus into a mini gym for little kids. The seats are all removed, and the floor and walls are covered with mats and padding. There are different kinds of gym equipment, a climbing wall, a ball pit, and even a zipline!

There wasn't enough room for the parents to stay on the bus during the activities, so we all went back inside and had a nice visit while the kids played. It was super nice! I don't think birthday parties get any easier than this! The last fifteen minutes, we did get to get on and watch them play. The zipline was a big hit!

After Jedi training was complete, they came inside to a pizza supper.

And TIE Fighter cake for dessert!

Then Andrew opened his gifts, with a little help.

The last thing we did was to bust a Death Star pinata with their light sabers!

It was such a fun party to plan and execute. Andrew said his favorite part was playing with his friends and busting the pinata. I think everyone, including me, slept really well that night!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Actual Birthday

I am having some trouble with the photos today. And I cannot help but wonder if said trouble stems from the hijacking that occurred on my blog last week. Probably unrelated, but still makes me wonder. So anyway, all my narrating will be at the first of the post, and then all the pics.

Andrew requested "special birthday pancakes with blueberries" for his breakfast on the celebration of his fifth year. So that is what we had. And boy, were they yummy if I may say so! I don't know what I did differently, but I hope I can replicate it! He and Coleman and Jonathan all enjoyed them tremendously.

(This is where I would put the photos from breakfast if I could get them here.)

After breakfast he donned his "5" shirt (thanks Gigi!) and we were off to school. I took him a special Subway lunch, and cupcakes for his classmates. Mrs. Stephanie had balloons on his chair and they all sang to him. His cupcakes were chocolate with white icing, red sprinkles, and Star Wars cut outs on top.

(And here is where the school pics should be.)

For supper, he asked for tacos, so we of course obliged. Afterwards, we ate another cupcake and sang to him. It is so sweet to hear Coleman sing the birthday song to his brother. All day long, he kept telling him, "Happy Birthday Andrew!" Over and over, without any prompting, and out of the clear blue sky.

(Insert supper pictures.)

After bathtime, it was finally time to open presents. Jon Jon couldn't make it to the gift part of our celebration, but the rest of us had fun watching him open his first tee ball glove and ball, a new book, a Yoda backpack, and Operation.

(Have you got the pattern down?)

It was a great birthday. He said his favorite part of the day was eating his cupcakes. We did lots more celebrating over the weekend! I'll have those pics tomorrow, and hopefully our "issues" will be resolved.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Getting Back to our roots

***Warning Guest Blogger ***

Growing up I loved watching the Dukes of Hazzard every Friday night. My brother and I never wanted to use the door again to get in Mom's Oldsmobile. If only Mom could have picked up enough speed and hit just the right bump, we too could have been soaring through the air in our late 1970's sedan (without car seats by the way). Rosco P. Coltrane would have never caught us.

Well, much to my nostalgic delight, our boys absolutely love the Dukes of Hazzard. They watch so frequently that they have the theme song memorized. Below is my "candid camera" attempt to capture the boys in an impromtu moment.


Just Like Daddy

Just before Christmas, I noticed something different about Coleman. We were eating supper and he was sitting across from me, when it happened. He was looking right at me, and his left eye just crossed. All by itself. It corrected itself pretty quickly, but it happened again several times during supper. Of course Brent never did see it happen, and thought I had imagined it. Over the next few nights, it happened repeatedly. Finally, Brent saw it and we decided to make an appointment with an opthamologist.

I could tell you that I wasn't the least bit nervous about it, and that I jumped to no conclusions about what could possibly be wrong. Of course, if I did tell you that, I'd be lying. I was very nervous and fearful that there was something terribly wrong with his eyes. Our appointment on January 6 in Dunwoody seemed very far away.

Finally, the day came and Brent and I headed off with Coleman. Gigi and Papack came to spend the day with Jonathan and Andrew so we could give Coleman a special day by himself. We made it to Dunwoody right on time and found the office. Brent and I were kind of expecting to come home with a patch for his eye, but when the first lady came in and examined him, she said she thought he was far-sighted (he can't see well up close) and would need glasses. We were shocked! He had been squinting, but we thought it was because of the crossing. As it turns out, the eye was having such difficulty focusing, and it was working so hard, that it just crossed.

When the doctor came in, she agreed and started determining his prescription. His eyes had been dialated, so he sat in Brent's lap and looked at a tv across the room. She chose different lenses and tried one at a time on his eyes. I was sitting across from him, so I could see how his eyes reacted to the lenses. It was amazing. When she put the correct lens on his right eye, his left eye flew back into place. It uncrossed the instant the right lens was in place.

The results were astounding. Coleman is two to three times more farsighted than most other children his age. She said that between three and six is usually when this starts to show up. She also noticed I was crying (is anyone shocked?) and said not to worry, that his eyes hadn't always been like this. Up until now, they have been able to compensate and he's been able to focus on his own. But now, they can't keep up and need some help. She fully expects the lenses to correct the crossing, and over time, his prescription will lessen. We go back in April for a progress check.

Here are a few pictures from Coleman's big day. Here he is wearing the glasses for dialation when we left.

We let him pick where we ate lunch, and he chose Wendy's. After lunch, we went to LifeWay and chose a new Veggie Tales dvd. Then we headed over to Northpoint Mall. He got to ride the carousel.

And he got to choose a cookie from the Cookie Company. He also brought one to Andrew. While he was eating it, he said, "It sure is chocolatey!"

After he finished his cookie, we saw that there was a little play area like our mall in Winston Salem had. So we let him climb around on the rides for a bit.

The next day, we had him fitted for frames in Gainesville. They called me Monday and said the glasses were ready. We loaded up and picked them up that morning. He was a little hesitant to put them on at first, but with the promise of a Chick-fil-A milkshake, he took his hands off his face and let the girl put them on.

We drove over to Brent's office to show him, and everyone we saw loved them. His glasses have been a huge hit at school too. Yesterday was his first day to wear them to school, and when I picked him up, I asked what everyone thought about his glasses. He said, "They wuved them!" He has two cases, and so one stays in his backpack for school. He can take them off when he's on the playground, in the tub, or sleeping. I thought we might have a time getting him to wear them, but he has really surprised us. He hardly ever takes them off! I think they must make a huge difference in how he sees the world. And if he didn't look enough like Brent to start with, he really now does look just like his daddy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Whole Handful

My goodness. Andrew is five. That sweet little baby we waited so long for, has been here for five years. My heart is so very full today thinking of all the ways God has blessed us through him, and all the blessings yet to come. Lots of Andrew posts are coming over the next week, but for today, here are some pictures of our firstborn on all of his birthdays so far.

January 19, 2006 - a few minutes old

January 19, 2007
2008 - at his party eating a cupcake



January 19, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

The BIG Snow, or How I Became "That Lady"

As I sit here at my computer, I can look out my window and see snow on the rooftops and in the woods of our neighborhood. Snow that is EIGHT DAYS OLD!! With little chance of being fully gone for a few more days. Last weekend, a big snow was predicted for our neck of the woods. Many times, predictions of a big snow don't pan out. We Southerners all get excited and buy our bread and milk while the rest of the country laughs at us. We hunker down, watch the weather and hope we actually get some white stuff. If it comes, we enjoy it for about thirty-six hours, and then it leaves, and we get on with life. However, sometimes, we get a lot more than we are hoping for. Like last week.

There was a very good chance we would get snow on Sunday night, so before the crazy hit, I got up early on Saturday morning, and headed out to do a few errands. My last stop was at Publix, where the bread and milk was still plentiful. I grabbed an extra gallon of whole and a gallon of skim along with another loaf of bread. Smiling to myself at how well prepared I was, I drove home, happy to avoid the chaotic rush that was sure to hit the stores over the next few hours.

The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful. Sunday night we went to bed excited to find out what Monday morning would bring. When we woke up, this was our view out our front door.

It was beautiful! And, as an added bonus, Brent's clinic was closed, so he got to stay home and play with us! As soon as he could get his pants and boots on, he was out on the deck measuring to see how much we actually got. Seven inches and counting! It flurried some more during the day, alternating with freezing rain and sleet.

That afternoon, he took the boys up to Horseshoe Park to do a little sledding. They were pros at it since we had just had snow at Christmas. When they came home, I had the hot chocolate waiting. We had such a great family day being together.

The boys loved having Brent here to play Star Wars, computer games, and just hang out. Brent's regular off day is Tuesday, so we knew we had another whole day with him too. As Monday went on, the ice grew thicker on top of the snow. By evening, there was a really crunchy, thick layer you had to break through and then the snow was packed down underneath. The roads were completely iced over, making travel highly unadvisable. When we went to bed Monday night, we could hear the deer walking in our yard from our bedroom. We didn't lose power, but I had begun to rethink my grocery strategy a bit.

We drink a LOT of milk around here. We usually go through six gallons a week. Sometimes more. What I failed to take into account on Saturday morning was just how long we might be stuck at home. I began to feel woefully unprepared for what was shaping up to be a long week. I normally buy groceries on Tuesday, and in a normal week, my two extra gallons and one extra loaf would have been enough to tide us over. But now, here we were with less than two gallons of milk, one loaf of bread, five people to feed, and no idea when we might be able to restock.

Tuesday the clinic was still closed due to icy roads. The temperature wasn't due to be above freezing until Thursday at the earliest. The sun did peek out for a bit Tuesday afternoon, so Brent headed out in search of supplies. The roads were surprisingly good and he made it safely to the store. But the grocery trucks still had not gotten through. He called me from Kroger and said the bread aisle looked like a ghost town. He grabbed the last two loaves of Pepperidge Farm sourdough. The only lunchmeat left was the Butterball sliced in the deli. And there were only three half-gallons of Smart Balance in the entire milk case. He grabbed everything he could and headed back home.

I felt much easier about the week after his little trip out. It was Thursday before the clinic opened again, and Friday before I ventured out with the boys. I know this was an extremely unusual circumstance that caused the snow and ice to stick around so long. But I will not be caught unprepared again. From now on, when snow is a possiblity, I will be "that lady" at Publix. You know, the one people point to and say, "Look at that lady! She has ten gallons of milk and eighteen loaves of bread in her cart!"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jon Jon - Age 1

I'm a little late with this, but I wanted to post about Jonathan at age one. He is such a happy little fella, and we all love being around him. More and more, he is wanting to do exactly what his brothers are doing. He has learned to climb the stairs, so our baby gate is back up. If anyone goes up to the playroom, Jonathan makes a beeline for the gate and sits there holding on and hollering until someone picks him up. And if we don't take him up to the playroom too, boy do we hear about it!

His preference is to be barefooteed, especially in the car. Both socks and shoes are usually gone by the time we arrive at our destination. He loves his thumb, and a sure sign that it's time for a nap is when that thumb starts finding it's way to his mouth. His favorite toys are his pop-ups, stuffed animals, and anything that makes noise. He will find a toy that plays music and make it turn on, and then he dances until the song ends. As soon as the music stops, he turns it right back on. His dancing is some really cute swaying and swinging his arms to the tune.

He loves any kind of ball, and can roll it back and forth with someone. Mickey Mouse always makes him happy, and he will sit still and watch him on tv. The Anywhere chairs are a favorite, and he will sit in anyone that is available. Cheerios, graham crackers, and teddy grahams are big hits right now, and he loves his milk! He can show you where his head is when you ask, and brush his own hair. He also tries to put on his little hat when it's cold. He points at what he wants when we're carrying him around, making him look a little like the Statue of Liberty.

He babbles non-stop! He is by far our most vocal baby. Always telling us about something very important. He has added "night-night" and "thank you" to his word list, and can use them both without being prompted. He also loves to say, "Wowowowowowow!" when playing with a toy or swinging a lightsaber. He has a little man laugh that is hilarious to listen to. And he is becoming rather sneaky! His favorite no-no is to crawl towards the bathroom, looking over his shoulder to see if we're watching. He'll raise his eyebrows, like he's saying, "Do you see me?" and smile really big. Then he makes a fast break toward the potty, and hopefully the yahoos have shut the lid, or else some big-time splashing is about to happen!

He crawls so fast! I love hearing his little hands slap the wood floors, and sometimes he goes so fast he starts panting. He will walk behind a push-toy and say, "Woah! Woah! Woah!" the whole time. He loves his riding tractor and rocking horse and can almost climb on by himself. And the cutest thing he does is his teepee. He will stop crawling, plant his hands on the floor and straighten his legs so that he's forming a triangle. Then he puts his head on the floor and looks through his legs at whatever is behind him. I have tried and tried to get a photo of this, but everytime he hears the camera turn on, he pops us to see what is going on.

Jonathan, we can't wait to see you grow during your second year. You are our sweet bonus baby, and we are so thankful for you. You help us to better remember your brothers at this age, and we all love reliving their baby days while we watch yours. Your name means 'gift from God,' and it is oh so true. How can we thank God enough for you?