Thursday, June 12, 2014

That's just how it is this year...

Let me start by saying that I realize this isn't a big deal to anyone but me, but...

It's time I take off my supermom cape and put on my pregnancy muumuu and flip flops because this summer is all about survival.  I had grand plans for the second year of The Nuffer Family Summer Camp (TNFSC), but...  yeah...

I have to take a couple summer school classes just to graduate in the fall and I have to graduate in the fall or I will lose my mind.

And since our new house became available suddenly and unexpectedly, and since we don't want to be put on a wait list we need to move now, a few days before I deliver this baby.

And since baby #3 refuses to put off his due date until the end of the year then I need to have this baby.

Sooooo, yeah, something has to give and the only thing left is to cancel TNFSC.  Seriously, this was a very difficult decision to make because I am a perfectionist and I feel like I can do it all.  And I certainly don't want to disappoint the boys.  Plus, they did so well with TNFSC last year and we all had a lot of fun.  I just keep telling myself that there's always next year, and the boys will understand... right...?  Sigh.  So with a heavy heart I announce that there will be no TNFSC this year.  BUT we have had fun already- we've been to story time at the library, a magic show, swimming, the park, and they've blown bubbles in the backyard, so it's not a total loss.  I'm just not doing a themed activity daily.  Instead, I'm packing, napping, preparing food, napping, refereeing their fights taking care of the boys, napping, working on school, napping... you get the idea.

The summer isn't at all as magical as I planned, but next summer will be!  And next summer #3 will here to join us!  And I won't have school!!!  YIPPEE!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Congratulations, Jackson!

I'm a firm believer that kindergarten "graduation" is a little bit of a joke, BUT Jackson was so proud and excited to graduate that I couldn't help but be excited for him and his big day.  Jackson is such a little smarty pants!  He was reading before kindergarten started, computing basic math, and basically ready for 1st grade when kindergarten started.  Socially, though, he had some room to grow, and grow he did!  He's such a different boy than he was last fall, so much maturity for his short 5 years.  He's patient and helpful; and he has such a big empathetic heart.  Often he will cry if Austin or one of his friends is upset or hurt.  I couldn't be more grateful for and proud of my oldest little handsome.

The ceremony was held outside.  I wasn't too sure about this since we just had almost 6" of rain just a few days earlier and there were still standing water everywhere.  But to my surprise, the school's courtyard was pretty dry and it was a BEAUTIFUL day in west Texas!  
Here's he is patiently waiting for his big moment.
Look at that face!  I couldn't love that face more if I tried!

His big moment arrived!
My biggest little growing up so fast.

We headed inside to hear some last words from his wonderful teacher, Mrs Coronado.  I didn't cry at all during the ceremony (which is quite a feat for this hormonal mommy), but when his teacher started to speak inside, I shed a few tears.  Then, saying good-bye really made me cry.  Thank goodness, Jackson didn't notice a thing!
Here he is with Mrs. Coronado.  We will miss her dearly.
PS She hugged and kissed every child which is just about unheard of in public schools these days.  Just another reason why I love her so much!

Jackson wanted a few pictures with his friends.
Here he is with Cyrus, one of his friends from church that was in his class as well.
Jackson and Cyrus were the only blonde boys in the class, and for quite awhile the classroom aide thought I was Cyrus' mom. ;)

And here is Jackson's best friend, Emily.
Last year, in preschool, his best friend was also Emily, but it was a different little girl.  
He gravitates toward Emilys!

A quick family picture-

During the ceremony Austin would randomly scream and yell for kids when their name was called.  This entertained the people around us.  He also hugged and congratulated Jackson over and over and over again.  He was proud of his big brother.

And one more of these.
I can't get enough of these two holding hands.
They do it all the time, you'd think I'd be used to it by now.
Brothers and best friends.

Afterward, we had a big family lunch with grandma and great grandpa.
Then it was time for naps, my favorite part of the day these days.  Jackson actually slept, so he must have been worn out from excitement.
It was such a beautiful day, we had a picnic in the park and played!  Well, daddy played with the boys while I read for school.  Fun...

It was the perfect ending to a really nice day.

And one more picture for the road...
The boys hugging and serenading people at Walmart the next day.  
People from other aisles were "ooo-ing" and "aw-ing" at their singing skills.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Nuffer Family Summer Camp: year 2

This summer should be interesting with a new baby on the way, summer school that extends before during and after the delivery of baby boy #3 (and a Spanish class that starts the week AFTER the baby gets here), and 2 little boys that need some structure, learning, and physical activity.  I'm nervous to take on such an adventure, but excited too!  I plan to really get in some fun before the baby gets here and then I will do what I can to keep up the weekly themes with help from daddy and grandma.

*Keep in mind, I will get books for each theme at our weekly visits to story time at the library

Lets do this!

Week 1 (June 2 - June 6):  DINOSAURS
Monday:  Paper plate dinosaurs
Tuesday:  Make dirt and dinos pudding cups (oreos, pudding, dinos, and M&M eggs) and watch Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Wednesday: TTU museum and Planetarium Dino show at 2pm
Thursday:  Make dinosaur fossil craft (found at the Dollar Tree)
Friday:  Make a dinosaur skeleton
Extras: dino dot to dots, dino games and math, or maybe make a dino diagram with dirt, rocks, paint etc.

Week 2 (June 9 - June 13):  FIRE AND WATER 

Week 3 (June 16 - June 20):  SPACE

Week 4 (June 23 - June 27):  PLANTS AND NATURE

Week 5 (June 30 - July 4):  HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA AND BB#3

Week 6 (July 7 - July 11):  THE OCEAN

Week 7 (July 14 - July 18):  ANIMALS AND WILDLIFE

Week 8 (July 21 - July 25):  SEASONS AND WEATHER

Week 9 (July 28 - August 1):  RECYCLING AND OUR EARTH

Week 10 (August 4 - August 8):  CASTLES AND DRAGONS

Week 11 (August 11 - August 15):  HODGE-PODGE WEEK

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My last pregnancy

This is my last pregnancy.  I'm thrilled to say those words!  I do not like pregnancy.  At all.  Don't get me wrong, I'm soooo grateful I have been able to experience pregnancy and I'm even more grateful for my beautiful boys (baby #3 included).  I don't have words for how grateful I am for our family, especially since there was a time that we thought Jackson would be our only child.  But that doesn't change my feelings about pregnancy.  I. don't. like. it.  And this pregnancy has been difficult in it's own special ways.  The first trimester is always pretty stressful because of our previous losses and morning sickness is just awful, but otherwise, I have pretty boring pregnancies.  Thank goodness.  This time, however, it's been a little different...

Outside of the first trimester ick, I have had high blood pressure that meds don't seem to control and then in the second trimester I had elevated protein levels- both markers for pre-eclampsia.  I've never had to deal with these issues before so they were/are a little scary.  TMI ALERT!  Then mid 2nd trimester I started to have some bloody urine- even this was a mystery to my doctor.  No one is 100% sure why it's happening, but all my doctors agree it's pregnancy related and should resolve itself after delivery.  Then, a week or two ago I was sent to Labor and Delivery because my doctor thought I was leaking amniotic fluid- again scary, because the baby was far too little to come that early- all while I had never ending strep and bronchitis.  I spent the morning being monitored (I even got to hear his hiccups through his heart monitor), but all was well.  Phew!  And last week I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  What??  I don't even eat many sweets when I'm pregnant, how could I have GD??  I've learned it's a placenta issue, but luckily, it looks like I can manage it with diet alone.  Another, phew!  I'm still not out of the woods with my blood pressure or the elevated protein levels, but things are stable right now.  And believe it our not, I feel fantastic!  The 3rd trimester has been good to me. I swear my body switched the 2nd and 3rd trimester on me because I feel 100 times better now than I did last trimester.  Yes, I'm uncomfortable and crazy tired, but I feel really good overall!

If Jim and I weren't already sure that this was our last baby (and we were sure even before this baby was on it's way), the universe seems to be telling me to quit while I'm ahead.  So, yeah... this is definitely my last pregnancy, our last baby.  With all of the challenges and scary moments that this pregnancy has given me, I am so so grateful I've made it this far (7 weeks to go- WOOHOO), and I am so beyond excited to meet this little guy.  I imagine holding him and staring at him just like I did my first two babies.  I'm so excited to learn his personality and to see how he fits into our family.  I'm so excited to see his brothers with him, especially Austin since he's never been a big brother before.  I just can't wait to see his precious face, count his tiny fingers and toes, and to kiss his sweet little cheeks.

If you've made it this far in the post, then you deserve some baby #3 cuteness.  
Here's BB#3 at the ultrasound-

Like Austin, he's ultrasound shy and doesn't like to show his face, but you can sort of see his face here.  He looks a lot like Jackson with Austin's chubby cheeks.

Again, like Austin he was bent in half through the whole ulstrasound (every time we saw Austin in the womb he was bent in half), so that's indeed a foot and leg across from his face.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy birthday, Monkey!

Monkey is a very important member of our family.  Uncle Josh gave Monkey to Jackson when he was 3 weeks old and Jackson has loved him ever since.  Monkey had loved Jackson through the stomach flu, scary dreams, show and tell at school, and Jackson sleeps with Monkey every night.  Not a night goes by that Jackson doesn't clutch on tightly to Monkey as he sleeps.  No other toy friend is loved more than Monkey in this house.  Even Austin loves and takes care of Monkey while Jackson is at school.

Here's a recent picture of Jackson holding Monkey tight while he fell asleep reading books.
He loves his Monkey!

Last weekend, Saturday to be exact, Jackson informed us that Monkey's birthday was the very next day.
Wait, what?!
AND that we needed to have a birthday party for Monkey.
Um, ok...

So I did what any self-respecting mommy does when confronted with such a dilemma, I planned an impromptu birthday party for Monkey!
Here's Monkey and Jackson, best friends, excited for Monkey's first birthday!

We sang to Monkey first.  I think this was Monkey's favorite part.  
Just look at how happy he is!
(ignore the Easter decor we haven't packed away in the background...)

Monkey had a great birthday party, even if it was last minute.
Happy birthday, Monkey!
Thank you for loving my baby so much!

Funny side story to Monkey's birthday:  Grandma Marlow came over a few days later and Jackson was telling her all about Monkey's birthday party.  He ended his story with, "We didn't invite you, grandma, because it was a family only party, so you couldn't come".
Hahahahahaha!!  Grandma and I are still laughing about this!
We're hoping he'll let her join the family soon.

Free comic book day

I have come to terms with the fact that I will be the sole supplier of estrogen in this house.  I have even come to terms with everyone in this house, outside of me, loves Star Wars, superheroes, and any other nerdy hobby or media out there (minus Star Trek, thank goodness, because that might have been a real deal breaker for me).  So when free comic book day came around my entire household got extremely excited, even me because it meant peace and quiet while the boys chased free comic books around the city.  Jim would often tell me how many days were left until free comic book day.

The bid day finally arrived!
Jim was so excited to dress the boys in their superhero gear- belts and capes included!
You have to admit, they are pretty cute.

It's time to go find free comics!
Yes, Austin wore the mask for the first part of the day- he was committed!

The second place they went to had all kinds of fun stuff.  They were in nerd heaven!
First there was R2D2 (I hope I got that right...?) who even made noises and moved, I believe-

And storm troopers!
I hope Jim is impressed that I know that these guys are storm troopers-

Austin was a little more hesitant of the storm troopers, but after a little bit of coxing he finally gave one a high five-

The boys had a great day with daddy.  (and I got to shower in complete peace and quiet- it was amazing!)
Later, we had to run some errands and Austin fell asleep on the way to Target- it's only a 10 minute drive, but he was worn out from a fun-filled day.

Red Robin, YUMMMM!

We have had Red Robin commercials in Lubbock forever and it made Jim crazy!  He loved Red Robin back in Oregon and he hates seeing commercials for Red Robin because Lubbock doesn't have one.  He called the commercials a big tease.  Well, surprise, surprise, surprise, Lubbock FINALLY got a Red Robin, and Jim couldn't be happier!  Just in time for his free birthday burger next month.

The best part of getting a Red Robin in Lubbock?  My mom scoring us free food before they actually opened!  Jim was ridiculously excited!  Red Robin AND it's free??  Yes, please.  I was sick with Strep and Bronchitis, so I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to go, but the night of our reservations I finally started to feel slightly better- so ignore that I look a little Flushed.

The family at Red Robin:
Mommy and Austin.  We couldn't get him to stop watching basketball on TV-

Daddy and Jackson-

The food was delicious!  Just take Austin's word for it.
...And the fact that he's wearing his pizza all over his face-

Jackson even ate all of his food, which rarely happens.  But he was more excited to color the map of the United States that was on his kid menu-

Then, the icing on the cake (pun intended), our waiter chose our table for a free dessert too!  I was stuffed, so Jim choose a cheese cake, but as soon as it got to our table Austin started to attack it.  Literally.  Jim almost lost a finger when he tried to get a bite.

It was such a fun night!  The food was great, the boys were on their best behavior all night AND they ate all their food (serious rarity), and best of all, it was FREE!