Saturday, December 31, 2016

Young, Wild and Three!

His last night of being 2 years old!
It is really hard to believe that Walker is 3 years old!  Time continues to fly by with him in tow.  I feel badly that I don't document his milestones as well as I did with Bennett and Preston, but I want to try and summarize him in a blog post today because he has changed so much in the past year, particularly the past 6 months.

Walker is FULL of personality!  He makes a ton of faces (much like his older brother).  He is very expressive with his face, mannerisms and voice.  He stomps around, yells back at us and his siblings, puts on dance shows spontaneously, sings along to all of his favorite pop songs on the radio, and is by far our most defiant child.  He has a very strong personality, and when he is adamant about something, he tries his hardest to attain it.  Of course he has learned a lot from Bennett and Preston (and us), but he doesn't let much get in his way.  He will push furniture around to reach something he can't quite get on his own, sneak something and then run and hide, climb inside of the fridge, dig in the cupboards, or do whatever else he needs to do.

Happy 3rd Birthday Walker!
Walker spends hours in his "office."  Every morning he pulls out bags and bags of crayons, markers, gel pens and paint along with coloring books and paper and "works."  Since school has been out, he has spent countless hours at our kitchen island.  He can draw a few letters (W, E, P, B and O), several shapes (square, triangle and circle), and knows all of his colors.  He is OBSESSED with sharpie markers!  Sadly, his daddy got frustrated with his lack of potty training, and took them all away until he is potty trained.  But his Mimi has bought him every single color of sharpie, and he loves to go there and play with them for hours.

Like most toddlers his age, Walker repeats a lot of what we say.  However, he has said a lot of clever things on his own that we get the biggest kick out of:

1. while watching the DVR, if the cable flickers, he gets frustrated and yells that it is "scratched," like many of the DVD movies he watches
2. whenever something doesn't work, he says "it must need batteries"
3. instead of saying "I'm mad at you," he used to say "I have mean eyes"
4. another obsession of his is "lipstack" otherwise known as chapstick
5.  he hates talking and not having the attention solely on him, so he says "look at my eyes" when he thinks we are distracted



Due to all of the surgeries of his family members, it ended up being just Walker and I for the majority of his birthday celebration, but he didn't seem to mind.  He awoke to orange juice and donuts, got to choose where we spent a couple of hours (he chose "Let's Play" inside gym), and he colored and snuggled with me a lot.  That night everyone was up for ice cream, so we ventured out for one last rendezvous.  Though he didn't open any presents from us (we plan to celebrate him at 3.5 years old), he truly was okay with the way the day went.  Walker knows that he is loved.  And he is correct, we all love him and he truly completes our wild and crazy family.  We love you buddy!!
Walker's smile says it all!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Call Me Crazy

At the beginning of December, the writing was on the wall that Steve was going to need hernia surgery.  We definitely wanted to cash in on getting it done in 2016, since we knew Preston was having his tonsils taken out and our deductible would be hit.  But what we didn't know was Steve needed a bilateral hernia repair, and Bennett also needed her tonsils and adenoids taken out!  Rather than try and stagger all of the surgeries and their recovery times, we decided to schedule them all the last week of the year. 

So like the crazy person that I am, we scheduled Steve's surgery for Dec 27th.  Sadly, we needed to wake up at 4am, so we could be at the hospital by 5am.  Thankfully, Myra and Big Lou kept the kids for us.  His surgery went well, but we didn't make it home until lunch time.  As expected, he was sore and tired so he went straight to bed.  Meanwhile, Sara, JM and Shell were wearing our kiddos out that afternoon at Urban Air (right before Bennett and Preston had to be sedentary for 2 weeks).  They had a blast, and came home exhausted!

The following morning, I awoke early again to get Bennett and Pres to Children's Hospital for their surgeries.  Walker stayed with Myra, and Steve stayed home recovering from his own procedure.  We were slightly worried for what was to come since we had heard the older the person, the worse the pain.  However, they both did GREAT!

Preston did awake in a lot of pain, and immediately started crying.  However, Bennett controlled it all much better.  We were home by mid morning, and I put them to bed with their Daddy where they all napped the afternoon away.

The next couple of days ended up being my nightmare since I was pretty homebound, having to wake up every 4 hours to give medicine (which prevented me from self-medicating with wine), and having to listen to whining and crying from my kids because of their pain and not being able to help them....but Beckham ate it all up.  If the dog can't be outside walking, then he wants to be in bed snuggling someone, so it was a dream come true for him.

Sadly Walker's 3rd birthday fell right after everyone's surgeries.  Though he is too young to truly realize what was going on, and what he may be missing out on, I felt a little guilty so I tried to celebrate him.  Fortunately, as the days continued, the kids continued to improve, and were itching to return to school as soon as they were medically released.  All in all, they did so well and rebounded very quickly from what I thought would be so much worse.  Praise be to God!


pitiful
all of my patients with my "helper"

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas!

This year we celebrated Christmas three different times.

The Banta celebration was Dec 23rd at Brian and Shannon's house.  We all gathered for appetizers, and finally succumbed to the insistent asking from the children to open the gifts.  It was a crazy large pile of presents, and each child chose the biggest one they could find for themselves first.

The kids all got what they wanted, and had a blast together (as always).  But let's not forget about the adults ...who ate, drank, and were merry too! 









The following day, Christmas Eve, started earlier than normal at the Mizerany's due to Maria's work schedule, but that didn't stop our fun.  Myra prepared her typical dishes of meat and spinach pies, and we snacked on them while listening to the kids beg for "Christmas to begin".....again!

We held them off for as long as we could, but in typical fashion, they tore into all of their items quickly.  Then they sat and watched everyone else open their gifts...bored sick.  Of course they all had to open something.  Walker was most excited about his gift from Shell and Goo....new sharpie markers!!

After staying WAY too late, we brought the kids home, only to stay up later so the kids to feed the reindeer.
W so happy in his construction outfit holding his new sharpies!



Walker received the reindeer food from his teachers, and was excited to spread it out.


Annual pic by the xmas tree before Santa arrives


Christmas morning started off much like last year with Walker sleeping the morning away, while the big kids were ready to get to it.  With the late night, we didn't think it would be tough to get the kids to sleep in past 7am.  However, they awoke slightly beforehand, and were ready to come down immediately.  So when we held them off for an additional hour....
we saw crocodile tears and lots of anger
When we finally woke Walker up, and allowed them all to come see what Santa brought them, the excitement didn't last long (especially with Pres).  He quickly realized that Santa didn't bring him what he requested, and he was not happy about that.  In fact, he had such a sour mood, we sent him to his room "to think about his behavior" Christmas morning.  I realize that kids will be disappointed about things in life, but I guess I wasn't prepared to see it on Christmas morning (what should be a happy, blessed day and isn't all about what one receives).  I was pretty bummed about his attitude.

W was as happy as a clam with his new paints

Thankfully Bennett and Walker were excited and happy with their gifts so Christmas morning wasn't a complete bust.  After a tough couple of hours, we had to have sit down with the kids explaining how lucky they truly are, and how they need to be more thankful for all of their gifts. 


The rest of the day was MUCH better.  We had a late breakfast, broke out presents, and then met my parents at the movie theater to see a family friendly movie, Sing.  We all chowed on popcorn, napped a little and then headed home with Nene and Poppy.  We opened some wine, and had a delicious dinner of fillet, scalloped potatoes and asparagus.  It was a long day, so my parents went home, but our kids weren't ready to call it yet, so the Jarmons came over for a bit.  The kids all played and we toasted to a good 2016, and to blessings in the coming year.  Hooray for family, friends, health and happiness!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

4th Grade Musical


So every other year at Shades Cahaba Elementary, the students work on a play or musical to perform in front of the student body and then their families.  This year, with Bennett in the 4th grade, and Preston in the 2nd grade - we will get to see them both perform!  Bennett performed in her musical just before they broke for winter break.

The name of her musical was "The Lights of Jingle Bell Hill," and Bennett was a snowman.  She must have inherited her acting genes from his great-grandmother, as she truly embraced her role and did great!  Sadly I had a conflict, and couldn't make it.  However, I was able to watch her in multiple videos.  Steve, the boys and Louis and Myra were there to support her though and said she did awesome!






waiting for one of her lines

video

This girl loves her Daddy!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving Family Reunion

Sisters....the reason we were all together
Several months ago all of my side of the family agreed to come to Birmingham to visit over Thanksgiving and attend another Iron Bowl.  I immediately started planning, as there is nothing better than entertaining all of our family right here!  In addition, it was the first time for many of them to meet Walker and Lucy in person.  Though Facebook (and this blog) have been a great way to keep tabs on all of us, it is always nice to spend face to face time with family.

By Wednesday, my parents, Lisa and the kids and Aunt Sue and Uncle Jim arrived.  Since everyone wanted to catch up, and they had all been traveling that day....we opted to have food catered at our house.  We chowed on Taco Mama, drank margaritas and stayed up late visiting.


Thanksgiving day started with a walk, some mimosas, and then cooking.  Everyone began arriving by lunch, and we were well into enjoying our day by the time the Forrey's arrived.  We visited with everyone late into the night, and had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner!  Steve smoked a turkey and chicken, and fried another turkey and chicken.  The rest of us contributed the other traditional sides.  We ate, drank, told stories and laughed a lot!



One of my faves, except it is missing Walker

All 12 great-grandchildren from Docky and Papa (both only children)!
Who doesn't like a selfie?

Steve showing us how it is done
We were a little slower on Friday morning, but ultimately got a group together to go clay shooting at Selwood Farms, a locally owned place about an hour south of Birmingham).  Those that didn't join us watched football, shopped or babysat the little ones.  Being a newbie to Selwood, and having not shot a gun in over a decade, I didn't do well, but it was a lot of fun.  We broke into two groups, one led by Steve and the other by Brian.  The only true competition was between Alex and Jim, and they tied at the end.

Dad did well
the whole gang before we left Selwood
After we returned, we all quickly showered so we could all meet up at Gian Marcos for a yummy Italian dinner where we had more fun, did more eating, and consumed a lot more wine!





For our final day together, we caravanned to Tuscaloosa for our 2nd Iron Bowl together.  The Mizeranys hosted all of us at their tailgate, and we all had a great time.  Unlike four years ago, it was a beautiful sunny day!  Since Jenna is beginning her college search, Steve walked us all around campus for a tour.  We swung by the bookstore to load up on Alabama gear, and then returned to the tailgate for game preparation.  Thankfully Alabama crushed Auburn this time around, so it was a win for everyone (but Brian)!  Unfortunately, the traffic following the game was horrendous, so it took us several hours to get home.  Sadly everyone flew out early the next morning.






So until we all meet again for Alex and Avery's wedding....