Friday, April 11, 2014

Daddy takes a day off to surprise the boys!

A while back I came across a book, The Ducking Gets a Cookie by Mo Willems.  I loved it!  The boys loved it!  Since our entire family had become big Mo Willems fans.  Mo just came out with a new book, The Pigeon Needs a Bath, and it's fantastic just like all his other books!  Anyway, after reading it for the 100th time Jackson asked if Jim would go to his school to read the book to his class- what a awesome idea!  Jim was super excited to fulfill Jackson's wish, especially since he had planned to take a day off soon.

Well, the day arrived!  Daddy took a day off and didn't tell the boys.  After talking to Jackson's teacher, who was excited and eager to have Jim come read a book to the class, Jim surprised Jackson and his class with the new Mo Willems book- they were thoroughly enthralled with The Pigeon Needs a Bath.  Jim's such a amazing dad!  

Reading to the class.



And Daddy came equipped with Dr. Suess pencils and some M&Ms for everyone!  
Jackson helped Daddy pass out the treats.


Everybody say, "CHEESE"!!


Austin and I stayed home because the little girls in Jackson's class adore Austin (they all want to be his mommy- it's adorable!), but I wanted this to be Jackson's day with his Dad.  However, Jim wanted to do something special for Austin while Jackson was at school, so we took Austin to Toys R Us and let him spend his birthday money.  Austin was super excited about his surprise from Daddy!  He found the coolest toy and Jim was pretty excited about it too.  He found a Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood neighborhood WITH the trolley!  Jim almost peed himself he was so excited to find this toy (a toy he wanted as a child, but they didn't have when we were kids), and he was even more excited when Austin wanted to buy the same toy.  It was a match made in the Land of Make Believe heaven!

I didn't get pictures of Austin picking out his toy, but here he is playing at home-




My boys have the best daddy!  
Needless to say, he definitely made both of his boys' day today.
He's their hero!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Big Poppa turns 3!!!

It finally happened- my Little Tiny turned 3!  I'm not very shy about my dislike of 3 year olds in general, so I was a little sad for this day to come, but Austin is actually a pretty mellow 3 year old, thank goodness!  I think it's safe to say, he's my very favorite 3 year old at the moment.  ;)  I swore that I was just going to throw a simple party for the family, but Austin REALLY wanted a Mickey Mouse party and if my baby wants a Mickey Mouse party then he's going to get a Mickey Mouse party.  Besides we threw Jackson a Blues Clues party at 3 so it's only fair to give Austin a themed birthday too.  I did bring down our birthday budget this year AND we came in well under budget including gifts, so I'm pretty proud of the outcome and, most importantly, Austin LOVED LoVeD loved his Mickey Mouse party.  He still talks about it- and that makes it all worth it!  In fact, Jackson keeps telling me that he wants a Mickey Mouse party too.

When I throw a simple party for the boys I make them a cake and let them decorate it.  I also let them loose in the Dollar Tree to pick out their wrapping, party hats and favors, and table ware.  They LOVE this and it never costs more than $10- that's the part that Jim loves.  ;)  Anyway, Jackson really loved decorating his own cake at his "simple party" (his 4th birthday), and all Austin talked about was blowing out candles at his birthday party, so I just had a simple cake made (because I love the frosting at our local market) and I found Mickey Mouse cake decorations on Amazon and let Austin loose.


I tried to show him how to spread the Mickey sprinkles around, but he much preferred to put them in one big crunchy pile right on his name.  Whatever floats my baby boy's boat!
He was quite proud of himself and the finished product-


We put up some simple decorations that Grandma Marlow and I made.  Then it was time to put the cake and snacks out.


The cake and snacks-


I found Mickey Mouse duct tape on Amazon, so I just used that in place of the bottled water label to make the water a little more party fun.


And, of course, every birthday party needs some presents!


Minnie made it to the party!  Austin actually loves Minnie more than Mickey.  He desperately wants to have a pink and purple glittery Minnie Mouse t-shirt, but I just can't do it.


We kept the party small and only invited family, except we just had to invite Maggie.  Not only is her mom a very dear friend of mine and basically like family, but the boys ADORE Maggie.  Sarah (Maggie's mom) and I were informed that day that she and Jackson were getting married.  We're all for it, but lets a few years...  Anyway, the party started with a few games!


As people arrived they filled out an "All About Austin" survey.


We supplied Mickey pencils-


Everyone had fun trying to figure Austin's likes and facts out!
Everyone filled out a facts sheet!  Some of the responses were hilarious!



Maggie guessed that Austin only weighs 10 pounds right now and Jackson guessed that he weighed 500 pounds at birth.  Yikes!!


Also, as everyone arrived, they all guessed how many of Mickey's Magic Beans were in the jar.  Mike came closest so he won all 747 magic beans!  Jackson came in second!


We also played Pin The Ears on Mickey!  Maggie won!
And a bean bag toss game (no good pictures of this one.  Boo.).  Jackson won!


Here are some random shots of the birthday boy-



The birthday boy felt Grandma needed some Mickey ear


Then, it was finally time for Austin's favorite part- time to sing Happy Birthday and blow out candles!!  He'd been talking about this for weeks!


And then we ate CAKE!!



Austin opened presents next.  I didn't get any pictures of this because grandma took video, but his favorite gifts were a Thomas the Train train set (thank you, Maggie!), a Mickey's Clubhouse playset (thank you, grandpa Tyler and grandma Viv), and the Mo Willems books daddy and I gave him.

Another favorite gift was a high chair feeding station for his baby.  Best part about this gift was how long it took Jim and Mike (2 very grown men) to put the thing together.  Daddy can put together a Batman cave in minutes, but hand him a baby doll toy and he's clueless.  Awesome!


Sarah also had to help daddy put together a baby stroller for Austin's baby.  Poor guy, he's not up on his baby doll toy installation.

And last, but not least, I made found little Mickey Mouse treats and put them into a cute Mickey Mouse cup that grandma made for the littles to take as a little memory of the party.



Afterward, Austin requested going to Chick Fil A for lunch so he could play in the play area, so that's what we did!  
It was a really great day!  Thank you everyone who helped celebrate Austin's arrival into the world!

Happy Birthday, Austin!



Friday night drive-in

During Vomit Fest 2014 we were hauled up in our home, obviously.  Well, to make the weekend more fun, and since we couldn't go to the real drive-in, Jim had the genius idea to bring the drive-in to our house.  He came home with a couple boxes and prepared them for transformation.  Then we all decorated their cars.  THE BOYS LOVED THIS!!  They loved decorating and creating their own cars, they love sitting in their cars, the love watching movies in their cars, and they love pushing one another in their cars.  It's been almost a month since we made their cars and they're still in great condition AND the boys still love them!  Seriously, this was a genius idea.  GOOD JOB, DADDY!!

After Jim made the boxes into cars the decorating commenced!  Look at this cutie-pie!  He was so sick, but having a fun night at the Nuffer Family Drive-In totally cheered him up!


Jackson was very serious about pimping his ride.


Then they decided to make their cars very unique- Jackson turned his into the Bat-Mobile and Austin turned his into a Luxury Lorax Mobile.


That first night we watched Ghost Busters at the Nuffer Drive-In.  We've since seen Wreck It Ralph, Tangled, and most recently, Frozen.  Here they are the the house premier of Frozen-


It's Friday once again...  I wonder what's playing at the Nuffer Drive-In tonight??

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Super grandma strikes again!

Oy vay, I have quite a list of issues with Jackson's school, but this week the school menu tops the list.  They send home (and post online) the school lunch menu for parents to see.  Jackson is a super picky eater, so I usually send him to school with a lunch.  A couple of times I have sent him to school without a packed lunch because what the school is preparing is something he would enjoy.  Both times the menu was NOT what was listed and Jackson went hungry.  Today, that same situation happened, but I took it up with the cafeteria before leaving him without a packed lunch.  Sure enough, what was being served had nothing to do with the menu, but a very nice lady gave me the "real" menu for the rest of the six weeks and told me to see her every six weeks for the rest of the year so I could be "in the know" from now on.  Nice lady!

Loooonnnngggg story short, Jackson was without a lunch today so my mom brought Jackson his favorite lunch- McDonald's Happy Meal.  I know, ew. But he loves it.  AND surprised him with grandma as his lunch date.  HE LOVED IT!  Jackson and my mom have a very close bond.  I'm so grateful for my mom to help love and care for my boys.  I don't think anyone could love our boys as much as Jim and I do, but my mom comes really really close.  She's amazing!

Here's grandma and Jackson on their lunch date-



This boy LOVES his grandma!



Man of the House

Yesterday, I became a HANGRY (very hungry, very angry) pregnant lady because I was ravenously hungry all day, but didn't get a chance to really eat, so by yesterday afternoon, I got a little cranky.  And by 5 o'clock I was insane!  Poor Jim took the brunt of my crazy, but he shined through- after several pregnancies, and our third baby he's pretty used to my crazy and handles it very well.  Anyway, on his way out to grab some food that I was craving he had the genius idea to pull Jackson aside and give him "the keys" to being Man of the House while he was gone.  Jim explained to Jackson, as he handed him "the keys" (an extra set of work keys), that being the Man of the House means taking care of Austin and me, making responsible choices, and not fighting, but helping where he needed to help.  He then asked Jackson if he was ready to take on such a big responsibility, to which Jackson very seriously said, "yes, daddy" as he took the special keys from Jim.  It was such an important step for Jackson.  It's like I could see him mature just a bit more in that moment.  After Jim left Jackson took the keys out to explain to Austin what the keys meant.  He was super helpful and kept asking if there was anything I needed.  You could tell that he took his role very seriously and he was proud that daddy chose him to be Man of the House while he was away.

Anyway, this was such a special night for Jackson and brilliant parenting on Jim's part that I had to try to capture it for Jackson's memories later.  Here's a picture of Jackson holding the keys to being Man of the House.  To all my member friends and family- I'm totally going to use this moment to explain the keys to the priesthood to Jackson when the time comes- seriously, genius parenting on Jim's part!


Austin's sick ...again.

Last year the boys were sick from January through March.  They had Fifths Disease, the flu, and several infections (ears, respiratory, sinus, etc.).  They just seemed to spread each illness back and forth.  It was rough.  This year has been sooo much better!  But we have the never-ending stomach bug.  First, Jackson got it and then almost a week later Austin caught it.  Jackson was a little easier because he knows how to use the "throw-up bucket" (for lack of a better, more polite term), but Austin's still a little scared of vomiting so he pushes the bucket (or bag or whatever) away so the "sick" just goes everywhere.  Lovely, I know.  I'm just trying to paint the picture of what we deal with when our toddler is sick.  And why do children always seem to get sick in the middle of the night when we're peacefully sleeping.  Thankfully, both boys woke up screaming after being sick in bed in the middle of the night, but the well child just slept through the crying, screaming, cleaning, and changing the bedding- HUGE blessing!

Anyway, poor Austin, it hit him hard.  He hurt his back somehow the night he started vomiting and wouldn't let Jim or me touch his back, he kept crying his back hurt, and he couldn't get comfortable, all the while being very sick- vomiting every 5 minutes, literally, begging us to make the vomiting stop (totally heartbreaking as a parent to watch).  I called the on-call nurse at 12:30am Sunday morning because I was worried about his back pain, and she said the back pain could be serious to take him to the ER.  Jim took him because, to put it nicely, I was sick too and couldn't go- this was very very difficult to do as a mom.  Watching her very sick baby go to the ER and not be the one to take him.  Needless to say, I cried, a lot, but Jim kept me updated frequently and sent me pictures.  Turns out, he pulled a back muscle with all the violent heaving, so no big deal really, but it's a good thing we took him in because his vomiting/heaving got very bad and they gave him a miracle drug that completely calmed him his body down.  It's Zofran for all you pregnant ladies (current and past) that are familiar- it never worked for my morning sickness, but it's almost instant relief for Austin.  I'm so so grateful for liquid Zofran for my little guy.  Anyway, he's beginning to get over this bout of an awful virus- I think today things are turning around.  Phew!  Let's hope I'm right and things go quietly and smoothly tonight.

Here's some sad pictures of my Little Tiny in the ER.  He looks so sad.



And the total 180, after they gave him a little Zofran.  He was chipper and loving his green popsicle (which he kept down).  He and daddy even took a little time to calm mommy's nerves with a little facetime chat.  I can't believe the difference Zofran made in just 15 minutes.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

He made it back for picture day! Phew!

Kindergarten has been a little rough for Jackson's immune system.  He has been more sick in the last few months since school started than he has in all 5 years leading up to kindergarten.  Poor guy.  In fact, he was sick the entire week of picture day last semester and they did NOT have a picture make-up day.  WHAT!?!?  Who doesn't have a school picture make-up day??  My child's school, that's who!  I was so disappointed that my little man wasn't going to have kindergarten pictures.  Until, that is, I got a letter in his weekly folder (last week) that informed me that class pictures were today, AND they would be taking individual pictures as well with packages that could be ordered when the proofs come in.  This news almost made me cry, I was that upset that he didn't get kindergarten pictures.  But then, my little man got a stomach virus that wouldn't go away the week of picture day- AAUUGGHH!  Seriously!?  But, thankfully, he stopped vomiting just in time to make it back to school for PICTURE DAY!!!  I'm so relieved and excited for his kindergarten picture day today!  And so was he!  He stopped anyone who would listen to him to ask them, "Do you want to see my smile for picture day!?!", to which every one (including strangers) sweetly replied, "Of course, I do!".  Thank goodness for patient staff and parents that indulged my 5 year old's request to share his handsome picture day smile.  He's so cute and sweet he makes his mama so proud.

Here is a sneak peak at my little man before school this morning-


And, of course, Austin needed to show off his "'cool picture day mile"-