Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Almost the End of a Season

I will admit it. We are almost out of the "baby" season in our house and I am feeling pretty melancholy about it. We are down to just 2 things that "scream" baby...the crib and diapers. That means, Brody is done with everything else...including pacifiers! Two nights ago the "passy fairy" came to our house. She came to get the last of the pacifiers because there was a new baby at the hospital named Matthew who needed a passy (I take full credit for making that story up and lying to Brody). In return though, Baby Matthew gave Brody a Disney Cars TV for his room via the fairy. I think that is way fair! Anyways, the first night was a little rough for this mama as Brody screamed in his crib for about 10 minutes non-stop and all he screamed was "Mommy...Passy!!!!!" It broke my heart, but I stuck with the decision and did not give it to him. After about 10 minutes, he fell asleep and did great. The next night he did the same thing but for just about 5 minutes and then slept 12 hours. He has mentioned the passy about 3-4 times since Monday night and has said he does not like passy fairy and baby Matthew. However, he does love his new TV!
As for the crib, well, we are going to convert it to a toddler bed this week (sniff sniff). He LOVES being in his crib and will say "I wuv my bed mommy." However, he is just outgrowing it. I think with the one side off and just a 1/2 rail on, he will have a lot more space to move around and get comfy. I'm still debating this whole thing as he does NOT try to get out of bed and it does obviously keep him contained so he can't come out of his room, but his personality is such that he would probably just lay in a crib until he was 10. I don't know what to do.
And then there are diapers. Brody will tell me "mommy, I peepee. change me please." He also wakes up 60% of the time totally dry, but he will refuse to use the potty, tell me to keep his big boy underwear in the drawer, and to put a diaper on him. He has NO interest in potty training right now. Again, he may be the kid who is content in diapers until he is 10 (ok...praying that's not the case), but I am not going to push the issue. When Chloe was ready, it took her only 2 days and she was barely over 3 when this happened. Maybe Brody will be ready by the fall. He turns 3 in August.
Which brings me to my next issue. I always imagined that we would start trying for another baby when Brody turned 3. We had even planned that out. However, cancer put a STOP to that plan for a few reasons...a) I am on a medicine for 5 years (3 more to go) that you absolutely canNOT get preggo on as it causes severe birth defects...b) I was thrown into chemo induced menopause and while I have come out of it, I am barely out of it as I have had only 1 cycle in 3 years, and c) I would be considered advanced maternal age (I'd be 37) if we did decide to try when I got finished with the medicine. I sort of hate the term advanced maternal age as when did being 37 years old qualify you for advanced age of any kind?!? So, part of me feels like the baby stage is being finalized here, and most of the time I say how glad I am and how it will be awesome, but deep down I do not feel that way. Plus I keep feeling God saying "never say never dear child."
So, for the next 3 years we avoid pregnancy like the plague, get used to being out of baby stage for the first time in nearly 5 years, enjoy the precious gifts of Chloe and Brody that we have been immensely blessed with, and pray about the future of our family.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Am I Crazy?

So, am I? Am I totally crazy? I have signed up for another 1/2 marathon for September 24th. It's the Women's Half Marathon in Nashville and I am so excited about it...but also a little leary as I still have the memories of the first one I ran in Clarksville and how painfully long and hard things got around mile 10 and especially at mile 12. I'm telling you that the final mile is THE LONGEST one ever. However, crossing that finish line, getting that medal, and feeling a huge sense of accomplishment is worth every bit of training and time that this will entail.
A few advantages that I have this time are: I'm not training during chemo or running during radiation treatments so I should have more energy and endurance this time around. I have a running coach and have joined a training group so I will have several gals to do my long runs with this time. And, the medal is so amazingly awesome...hot pink with a music note as the medal and in the middle of the music note is a round piece that pops out and can be worn on a necklace chain as a charm. I will be honest. Seeing the medal is about 60% of my decision to run another 13.1 mile race. The other 40% of my desire is the fact that last time I missed my goal by exactly 1 minute. I knew then deep down that I would eventually HAVE to try again.
So, here is to running for the next 12 weeks...if you see me out and about, don't honk because I am so uncoordinated that I may trip, fall, and get run over trying to see who you are. HA! Remember, I am the one who has fallen off a treadmill once, almost fallen off another time, and have fallen off an eliptical machine trying to talk to my neighbor at the gym.

Friday, June 24, 2011

BEST VIDEO EVER FOR MOMS.

My sister-in-law posted this on her blog and I HAD to steal it for mine too. I think this family is playing the roles of Team Blevins 4.0
Seriously, you need to watch this if you are a mom who thinks mini-vans are UNcool because the swagger wagon is anything but uncool...and the video is just hysterical.
ENJOY!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Surprise!

Yesterday morning, Chloe decided to get a little more artistic than usual. I don't know if you remember her last episode with artwork...let's just say it involved paper, crayons, glue, and her wall... but as she reminded me, it was her mural and she wanted to be a famous artist when she grew up. That one though, is nothing compared with the art she did yesterday....ON MY TV SCREEN!!!! Yes, that's right. She colored the entire tv screen in our bedroom green (crayon) while David was in the shower and I was in the living room with Brody. Let's just say that it wasn't pretty around here for a while and the punishment was no TV, iPad, iPod or computer games for the entire day. For her, that's torture because she LOVES playing those little educational games on my iPod and the iPad. Plus, added torture is that Brody was allowed to.
Here is a picture of the TV. Look close and you can see the "art."



And the mischief carried over into the evening hours also. I had the kids get in the bath to just kind of rinse off from being outside earlier. They didn't need their hair washed or anything...it was supposed to just be a quick thing. I put Chloe's hair up so it wouldn't get wet, and I told Brody no "swimming" in the tub. They both acknowledged me. I went to grab pajamas and when I came back, this is what I found...

Bubble Fight...Brody lost

So much for keeping the hair dry.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I've Got A Reader... Sort Of

Chloe has been asking me for about a month now to teach her to read. She has known all her letters, upper and lowercase for a few years and the sounds that they make. She can write all of her letters and can spell about 6-8 words by memory. So, since she has been asking and really showing interest in learning to read, I went and got the BOB set of beginner reader books (I think they are by Scholastic). It's a really great set to start out with. She has completed the first 2 books out of 8. We are taking it slow as I want her to retain, but she asks me every night if we can do "homework" together.
I also have some workbooks that she enjoys doing. They are by BrainQuest and they cover all of the subjects taught in school from math and reading to science and shapes/colors. I LOVE this company!
And finally, as part of "homework" she gets to play on the computer. She has learned how to maneuver the mouse on my laptop and how to work David's iPad so we let her on and usually go to either www.ezschool.com, www.starfall.com, or www.abcmouse.com. Those are fun learning websites and then of course she loves www.nickjr.com.
I think Chloe has inherited my love for learning and I couldn't be more thrilled that she has displayed such an interest in this. I'm trying to find the balance though between letting her do as she wants in regards to "homework" and making her just be a kid because once she starts school she won't have a choice. Geesh, glad her birthday is a late one and we have an extra year before school.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bible School and Working for a Livin'

I will start out with the Bible School portion of the post. Chloe was old enough this year to attend most church Bible School programs. She is signed up for 2 and has just completed her first one. Last Thursday night she had her graduation ceremony where her class got up in front of the other kids (700 others) and the parents and sang the 2 main songs that they learned...and the sign language to go with the song. Super cute!
Chloe has definitly sealed the deal that she was born to be center of attention. You see, all the kids were seated prior to the show starting while other families filed in. About 5 minutes before start time, Chloe had to go potty so I ran her there and ran her back, but by the time we got back, another little girl in her class had shown up and taken Chloe's place on the stage. Eeeeek! NOT GOOD. Chloe kinda lightly pushed her over (which the poor child couldn't move because it was sooooo crowded), but when the girl wouldn't move over, Chloe just sat on her lap. Eeeeeek again! After that, the sweet little girl found room to slide over and all was well. Chloe had her place on the stage and was ready to perform her little heart out. And that she did. And you know what she asked when she was done? "Mommy, I will probably never get to go be on stage again. I loooove being on stage mommy." I reassured the sweet drama queen that she would probably be on stage again at her next bible school in 2 weeks. Whew.

Strike a pose

Waiting for the program to start.


During the program she was peering over to make sure we were watching only her.


Now, on the working for a liven'. We have been saying for a year now that we were going to put Chloe to work in David's store this summer passing out mints and purell hand wipes. We want her to learn the Chick-fil-A culture because it is quite an amazing one, and honestly, she will work there probably until she leaves for college so the sooner she gets used to the environment, the better. So, Thursday was her first day to report for work. Brody got wind of it and decided he wanted to start working also. So I got him all dressed up in his little Chick-fil-A attire and gave him his "Brody" bucket stuffed with purell wipes. We headed to pick up Chloe from Bible School, changed her into her work attire and gave her the "Chloe" bucket stuffed with mints. And then their 1 hour shift began...from 12:30-1:30. Now, this is a super busy time in our store so next time I may choose a slower time, but the kids had fun, the customers loved it, and they saw how long they have to work to get even a little bit of earnings (they were paid with pez candy). Chloe and Brody both told me they were tired after working. Hahaha! I may send them to work every morning with their daddy and go pick them up around nap time.
Anyways, I got a pic of Brody before his shift started and then I forgot my camera and couldn't get one of Chloe. Enjoy the Brody-man though! He just makes me smile and laugh so much.

"Ex-coo me... here is a hand wipe. 
It's my pweasure"

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dance Recital Done.

So the year has officially come to an end. This was Chloe's second year of dancing at Natalie's Dance Network. We end the year feeling bittersweet. I am glad that we have a break for the summer (sort of), but sad that next year Chloe will not have her favorite (and only teacher ever), Taryn. Chloe and the other little girls absolutely LOVED Taryn. She was fabulous and fun, but she is so busy with college and her other job that she is having to move down to a  substitute teacher position. She has actually danced at Natalie's since the doors opened...15 years ago!
Anyways, the recital was great! The girls worked so hard to learn their routines and they did them well. None of them were scared of the stage, lights, or loud music. All of them wanted to be on stage a lot more than they were, and all of them were so good in between routines. You see, our routines were about 2 hours apart so the girls had to keep entertained in between their dances. They were not allowed out of the dressing room so keeping them contained and happy would have been hard, but the girls were just really on their best behavior. They colored, watched movies, played with Pet Shoppe toys, did crafts, etc... I worked the dressing room Friday night and admit it was fun...except that the air was out in our dressing room and the temp was well over 85 degrees in that room with at least 50 people in it. UGH!!!
Anyways, on to pictures. This will be it for dance until July when it's time for dance camp...and she is already ready for that :)


Chloe is the 3rd one down.  Tapping to "Everyday Princess"

Katie, Kendall, Chloe, Olivia

Check out my sweet ballerina on the end doing her twirl. Dancing to "Rainbow Connection"


I love ballet!!! Chloe is the second one from the right

In the dressing room 

Olivia, Abigail and Chloe striking poses

Katie, Chloe, and Abigail. They are the 3 musketeers of the class. 
Good friends (check out Chloe and Abigail holding hands while they eat
 snack in the dressing room)

The whole class - front row: Brooklyn, Killian, Kendall, Jayda
Back row: Olivia, Abigail, Chloe and Katie

Ooooh, sweet Jesus I love this ballerina.


We're Goin To The Zoo Zoo Zoo

A few weekends ago, on the spur of the moment took the kids to Nashville on a Friday night to stay in a hotel, swim and go to the zoo the next day. It was random. It was totally unplanned. And it was perfect. After getting to the hotel, we quickly got on bathing suits and hit the pool. The kids are like little fish. They both LOVE to swim and be in water. So they swam, jumped in and out, splashed, and played for about 2 hours before we made them get out.
After that, we made our way back to our room, settled in for bed and prepared for the next day. It wasn't quite that easy though. We had to get both kids to fall asleep with all of us in the same room, but eventually everyone slept and all was good.
Saturday morning, we enjoyed a quick breakfast at the hotel and then packed up and headed to the zoo. The weather was perfect, the crowds were few, and the kids were so tired that they whined most of the time we were there. So, after seeing everything except the elephants and giraffes (yes, those are my favorite things), we decided to just get out of there knowing that I would take them back again soon anyways.
Don't get me wrong. We had a good time, we were just tired and ready to get back home. Upon arriving back in Clarksville, the whole family took a much needed nap in our own beds and woke up refreshed and ready to play outside.

Getting ready to go

Brody has started walking with at least one hand in his pockets. So funny.


David and kids in the tunnel to get an up-close of the meercats. Brody LOVED these!






I cannot believe that prissy pants who is scared of a fly would pet a goat!


And Brody had to chase the goat down to get a "pet" in.

Spring Soccer - Over...Now What?

For the past 9 Saturdays, we have been on the soccer field watching Chloe play her new found "favorite" sport. I put the word favorite in quotes because everything the child does is her "favorite thing ever!!!" I do have to admit though she has a natural talent and can dribble a soccer ball like no other 4 year old I know. She is a great defender and gets right on in the action when needed.
It was a fantastic season! All of the little girls did great as did the Coach...David! There was one little girl, Alyssa, who would always run up to David when she first got to practice or the game and yell "Coach, Coach!!!" Adorable. Anyways, if you have never seen 4 year olds play soccer, it's a must-do in life. It's funny, tense, cute, etc... Chloe ended up scoring 2 real goals this season, and 2 non-counted goals. The 2 non-counted goals were when she was so into the action that she continued to dribble the ball into the goal after the whistle was blown and all the other girls had stopped running. We never told her they didn't count because we could NOT break her little spirit. I cheered just like I did when her real goals were scored :)
And as for being a sideline parent. I was definitly a sideline parent. I got irritated when the "big" girl on the other team would stiff arm our little girls or push them and it not get called by the ref. I yelled "Go Little Ponies" and "Great job (insert name here)" more than you could imagine. I guess I really am a soccer mom.

However, it's over now. Our Saturdays are back to normal. Now what?!? I guess we wait until Fall Soccer and then go with the craziness all over again. I can't wait!