Friday, June 21, 2013

Hudson's Interview

I decided to interview Hudson today.  Love the randomness of being 3. He answered everything in complete sentences. I didn't include that.

What is your favorite song? "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"

What is your favorite color? orange

Who is your best friend? Paw Paw

What is your favorite toy? Blocks and the gingerbread house with mommy. (Random that was at Christmas).

What is your favorite food? the gingerbread house

What is your favorite snack? chocolate granola bars

Favorite thing to watch on TV? Mrs. Tiffany's show (Not really sure about this.  Something to do with his Mother's Day Out class). He really doesn't watch much....his choice not mine.

What is your favorite thing to do?  The gingerbread house with mommy and the water at the Mcwane Center and the doors at the McWane Center.

Favorite book?  Goodnight Moon

Favorite animal? bugs

What do you sleep with at night? Snuggie and mommy's blankets

What do you want to do for your next birthday? Have a party and eat cake.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Mommy.

Obviously, the gingerbread house at Christmas really had a huge impact on his life.  Guess I will include that in this year's festivities as well.  Good to know.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


We are continuing our tradition of a bucket list of fun summer activities.

Side note:
Since Will is a teacher/coach, our summers are really flexible.  We have tons of time.  Make no mistake, we will pay back that time during the spring.

Will is mowing several lawns this summer.  This usually occupies a couple mornings each week.  He is also working for our church.  He has a steady job as the Quality Control Manager.  He stays late after church and is in charge of putting the sign out on Saturday mornings.  In addition, he is in charge of our church's version of VBS- Family Fun Night.  Not only does he set up the events, but he facilities the games and activities.  He is also doing some wood work for our neighbor.  He has also started soccer...which includes 10 summer practices, meetings, and planning time.  So, my husband is wearing several hats.  When I say our summer is flexible, this is not without lots of time management.

Back to the bucket list:

We treat this list not as a must do them all type deal, but more as a fun pile of suggestions to choose.

Here are a few we have done so far:

Trips to the Y:

Hudson loves this place. The one in Pelham has a huge baby pool along with a wading area attached to the big pool.  He loves to go to the deep end and jump to Daddy.  I am so grateful for the invention of puddle jumpers.  The only downside is I think he thinks he can swim.

The McWane Science Center:

Hudson loves the hurricane simulator:

Baron's Game sans kids:

Frozen yogurt night:

Note: Never get the strawberry pink lemonade.  Hudson wouldn't even eat it.  He will drink apple cider vinegar, so this must mean it is inedible.

A night out celebrating Will's new job:

Saw's Soul Kitchen

Looking forward the the summer weeks ahead!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Crawling and Before Five in a Row


Clara is crawling.  We aren't entirely sure she even realizes she knows how to do it, but she can!  She drags one is too cute!

She is currently cutting her two upper teeth.  It. Has. Been. Rough.

Before Five in a Row

I have been doing a MDO with Hudson and two of his friends.  We meet one morning a week and are going through books from Before Five In A Row.  We usually read the book, watch the book on YouTube, and do a craft and activity based on what we read.  In addition, the boys play together outside and in Hudson's room.

The first book we studied was "The Carrot Seed." This is one of Hudson's all time favorites.  We read the book and as an activity, we pretended like we planted a carrot in a paper bag.  I already had placed a construction paper carrot in the bag, and so after we watered our pretend plant a couple of times, the boys were able to reach in and pull their carrot out.

We made carrot impressions for our craft. We also made fruit and vegetable collages.  These boys love to use glue.

For lunch, we made carrot soup, and I sent the boys home with a bag of it to freeze.  It tasted yummy to me, but I think the boys were not too into it.

Finally, we sat the top of a carrot in a little cup of water and placed in the windowsill.  Over the next few weeks, we are going to see if a plant grows from it.

It only took the first week to realize I have the class clown of the group.

Last week, we read "Blueberries for Sal."  This is another one Hudson's favorites.

After reading the book, we took like tin pails outside and went blueberry picking.  We also texture painted with pretend blueberries (purple puff balls).

We did lots of counting activities with blueberries and even made blueberry jam for the boys to take home. I hope to take Hudson blueberry picking this week.

This week we read "Katy No Pocket."  We talked about Kangaroos, Australia, and tools.  I had the boys bring their tool belts, and we put Hudson's toy animals in our pockets....just like Katy.  We hopped around like kangaroos and went outside with a real boomerang.  We attempted our very own Aboriginal dot painting.  In an unrelated project, we made craft dough from flour, sugar, oil, salt, and warm water.  That was at noon.  Hudson has yet to put it down.  Literally.  Just to bathe and eat, and that took convincing.

These boys have a great time together.  Although, this is a tough age.  I feel like most of the day I am playing referee to their fights.  I am trying to talk through kindness and treating others the way you want to be treated.  You would think I was teaching them the pythagorean theorem.  It is a slow process.

I am grateful to watch Hudson interact with his friends.  It is a treat to relate to him in the role of teacher.  He even referred to me as Mrs. Heather the other day.  Funny kid.  Love him.  Love this.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Family Pictures

We recently had the pleasure of having the talented Kathryn Cline take pictures for us. I love them! She is very talented.  You can find her website here. Below are some of my favorites.

This was my grandad's suitcase.  It reminds me that these children aren't really mine.  I want to keep the fact that they will one day leave my nest ever before me.  A bittersweet reminder of the sweet gift of now.

I was so happy to get pictures of us with this old quilt.  A sweet lady I spent time with in my grandmother's retirement home made it for me right before she died. It was actually gifted to me by her family after her death...she hadn't had time to give it to me yet. I think I was in 5th grade.  It took me a long time to realize that beauty wrapped up in that loving gift.  I will treasure it my entire life.

He has my heart.

I never want to forget the faces she makes.

They read this book every night. It was a gift from Uncle Ryan and Aunt Hayley.

These pictures tripled as Clara's 6-8 month pictures, Hudson's 3 year pictures, and our 5th anniversary pictures.  Our kiddos were not in great moods.  Neither of them were offering up smiles.  Hopefully, we can get some sweet Clara smiles for her 1 year pictures.

Posting these pictures reminds me that in the haze of a newborn, I never posted Clara's newborn pictures.  Those too were wonderful and were taken by my sweet friend Alison Bell.  You can find her website here.  I hope to post some of those pictures in the next day or so.

Thanks Kathryn!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hodge Podge

Instagram has officially eaten by blog. I want to remember all the little stories that go along with the pictures, but goodness I have become lazy. It is so much easier to snap a picture and write a caption...blogging takes much more effort.

Below is a hodge podge of our recent happenings:

We are officially on summer break around here.  This means Will is home much more!  We are planning on doing a staycation this summer.  We just figured it was more trouble than it is worth to haul our kiddos to the beach....gasp! I feel like I am depriving them, since in these parts everyone heads to the beach during the summer.

Here is some of our staycation/ bucket list ideas:

McWane, Zoo, lots of Y trips, Airwalk,  Strawberry picking, library storytime, lake, backyard camping, frozen yogurt, etc....

Will and I are taking a short trip to Chicago to celebrate our five year anniversary.  The official date was May 17th.  We celebrated that night with Surin and Star Trek.

I am also doing Before Five In a Row with Hudson and two of his friends.  We are meeting one day a week during the month of June.  Today was our first day, and we read the Carrot Seed.  More on that later.

Hudson and Clara have officially become friends.  It took forever for Hudson to warm up to her, but I have witnessed some true bonding moments over the past several weeks.  He loves to bath with her, and always begs me to let her splish splash with him.  He has even started playing little games with her.  One of my favorites is when he hides behind her high chair and then creeps to one side and then the other.  She loves it! I  love when he tells her to watch when he does something.  He screams, "Watch Sissy!"

Will has a routine prayer he prays with Hudson each night, and every couple of weeks, he adds more to it.  He has recently added that Hudson and Clara would become best friends.  We desire that they would value each other and through their relationship, they would better understand the opposite sex.  My prayer for them is that their relationship even helps better equip them for their future marriages.  

Hudson finished Mother's Day Out in May.  I think sending him twice a week was good for him.  I had debated it for awhile, but Hudson really needed consistent interaction with other children.  We have decided to put him back in the same program next year, instead of staring preschool.  We just don't feel like he is quite ready.  I am really not too concerned about what he "learns" in school.  I just want him to learn to play well with other children. 

I had fun crafting his end of the year teacher gifts.  I need a washi tape intervention.

He has also been pooping in the potty without us even telling him to go!  Officially a mom of a preschooler...who else would blog about that?  He is even watching a bit more TV.  We now can add an episode of Barney to his limited list.  Clara, on the other hand, could easily become a TV junkie.

Clara has finally started sleeping through the night more consistently.  I think I used to secretly judge moms who fed big babies during the night.  Clara has really taught me that all babies don't fit neatly into boxes, no matter what you do.  

She is eating more table foods.  She never really liked baby food.  Most days I wheel her on the porch for lunch.  Less cleaning.

She is slowly making her way to crawling.  She is close, and if i held her less, she would be there!

She loves her swing.  It took Huds awhile to not complain about her taking "his" swing.  Now, he loves her in it.

She screams at church nursery. She loves her mommy and daddy.  

Last week, we went to visit some of our friends on a farm.

We have also been trying to swim as much as we can.

Will recently took the job as head coach of the Hoover Girls Soccer team.  We are so excited. It is a huge responsibility, and we will miss him in the spring.  He will have more responsibilities all year and will more than likely sell his lawn care business.  He is such natural coach, and we think this is a wise decision all around.

I am most looking forward to slow days this summer.  Limited agendas.  I love the break from all the hurry.