Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Walker's Wild Side

So our timid little two year old has been growing up a lot lately.  Walker's vocabulary continues to explode.  He has become quite the little parrot, repeating things that each of us say.  It started off cute, with him singing several verses correctly from popular songs on the radio, or saying fun things that the big kids say like "burn" correctly. But then he started getting carried away, and has been saying things like "stupid, shut up, butthead."  We initially ignored him because he thought it was funny and would say it more often, but then it became obvious he wasn't going to stop unless we punished him for it. Telling him not to say those words hasn't been working, spanking doesn't work, time-out doesn't work, thumping him doesn't work, so we decided to try something different....sassy juice.

Friends told us that their children didn't like the taste of vinegar, so we told Walker that the next time he said a "bad word" we were going to give him "sassy juice."  It didn't take long for the opportunity to present itself, so Steve got out the white vinegar and stuck his finger in it and then in Walker's mouth.  He said "mmm, that was yummy."  Oh Lawd!!!  We gave each other a look, and then Steve dipped his finger in the apple cider vinegar and rubbed it on his tongue.  Again, "mmm that's yummy."  So, that didn't go as expected, and we needed to pull out the big guns!  Steve poured a teaspoon of the white vinegar and poured it down his mouth.  He immediately began coughing, his eyes were watering, and then he asked for water.  Needless to say, he didn't like it.  Sadly, his behavior didn't immediately correct, but we have threatened the "sassy juice" several times since then and it is just a matter of time before he receives another dose of the now disgusting juice.  At least now he recognizes when he says a "bad word," and talks about getting sassy juice if he says it.

I guess if the juice doesn't work, the next thing to go will be his coveted outside time riding his scooter, bike or jeep.  The boy LOVES keeping up with the big kids and all of their friends.  Though he is only 2.5 yrs old, he can ride his scooter pretty darn well.  He is fast, is learning to brake and doesn't tire easily while riding it.  He races the big kids on their scooters, and can hit a turn like a champ!  However a couple of weeks ago, Walker couldn't keep up with Preston while Pres was on his bike, so I asked Steve to pull out the old Spider-Man bike.  He had to put air in the tires and reattach the training wheels, but it didn't take long for Walker to begin riding a big boy bike!  Bennett was patient with him one afternoon too, and he finally started getting the hang of the pedal brakes.  It is the cutest thing to see his tiny body pedaling that big boy bike on the sidewalks of Homewood.  He still needs a little help going up hills, but he gets it and is improving everyday.  Though he still likes his battery operated jeep, he is starting to prefer his other modes of transportation.  But when he chooses to drive his jeep, he does it well....maneuvering through our gate easily, around cars without hitting them, and all around our backyard.  He even likes to pretend like he is running over things like his Uncle Brian does in his jeep.

Walker is growing up quickly, and I hate that I haven't been documenting all of his little antics over the last several months.  He is a funny kid, and is starting to act more and more like Preston with all of his facial expressions, his temper, yet his love for his family.  Love watching him grow up and develop his personality.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Preston is 8!

Jackson, P, Jonas, Fletch, Luke, Bennett, Reid, B and Walker
Hard to believe that 8 years have gone by since the morning Preston was born on Sept 16th! He is thriving in school, enjoying every sport he plays, making friends everywhere he goes and just loving life!  As Preston has done before, he had lots of opinions about what he wanted for his birthday this year.  He knew he wanted a sleepover, but it was up to me to limit the numbers (he never wants to leave anyone out).  Fortunately for him, everyone made it except for Christian, so he had a blast! 

They boys had nerf gun wars, played sports, ate lots of pizza and cookie cake, watched a movie and laughed A LOT!!  Listening to those boys crack each other up was so nice.  There was no fighting, just lots of goofing off.  Steve and I were exhausted, and thought that all of their activity from earlier in the evening would tucker them out....but that did NOT happen.  It took us many trips up the stairs, trying to convince them to go to sleep.  Finally around 11:30 it became quiet.  Unfortunately, 6:00AM came quickly, and they were all up and raring to go again!  So we loaded them up with sugary donuts, and sent them outside to play until they went home at 9am.

It was a long party for the old parents, but Preston had so much fun.  We are lucky he has chosen such sweet boys to be his friends.

birthday loot from us and Nene and Poppy

special treatment at school when it is your birthday!
Since his party was a week before his true birthday, it allowed us to stretch out the celebration and go out to eat for his favorite - Mexican.  Steve and I were also mystery readers for his class, and had lunch with him at school on his actual birthday.  Then that night we wrapped up the partying with dinner at Paramount with Uncle Goo and Aunt Shell!  Paramount is a great hamburger place with a ton of arcades, skiball, pinball, and several shooting and driving games.  It is a bar downtown for the young ones at night, but kids can enjoy the venue before 9pm.  The food was great, and the kids had a blast!

So all and all, I think Preston had a great week and is looking forward to another wonderful year!  We love you buddy and love watching you grow up!

Pres had so much fun with Goo!
I love this boy!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

1st Day of School!!

Luke, Pres and Harris were excited to learn they were together
The summer flew by, and it is hard to believe the kids are back in school!  We love Shades Cahaba more than anything, but I would be lying if I wasn't a little worried about Preston's second grade teacher.  Sadly, it is our only grade where there are a couple of "non-perfect" teachers, so I scheduled a conference with our principal and vice-principal back in June.  They were so kind to give me 30 minutes of their time while I described each of our big kids, their strengths and weaknesses.  They asked questions about friends, and I trusted that they would make the perfect choice for my children. 

Carmen, just one of the sweet girls in B's class
The worry crept up again right before class lists were posted, but I was very relieved to learn who they each received!  Bennett got Mrs. Harden, a 10 year veteran who loves Math and is a mother to two young children.  Preston got Miss Anderson, a brand new enthusiastic, God loving teacher!  To top it off, they both have awesome kids in their classes....some old friends and some new faces.

We are a little over a week into it now, and I am still excited about their upcoming years!  Bennett has already made two new friends, something that warms my heart.

Nene and Poppy were here for their first day!

4th and 2nd grade

B and Mrs. Harden

Miss Anderson with P

1st day of Two's!
For one week, Walker remained at home....bored and anxious to return to school too.  But his day came on Wednesday, and he was ready!  He was excited to explore his new room at All Saints, and seems to be very pleased with his new teachers (as I am).  So here's to a TERRIFIC new year with 4th grade, 2nd grade and Two's!!

the infamous red door

Ms. Malisa and Ms. Kristie

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Walker's Date with Say Say!

dressed and ready for Say Say
We are blessed to live in the same city with all of our siblings, nieces and nephews.  Our children have good relationships with all of them, and get to see them all somewhat frequently.  However, Sara has a special place in our heart because she has traveled with our family and babysits the kids often, which has allowed her to forge a special bond with them.  They love her, and can feel her love back.  This past week Sara asked if she could spend some time with Walker before he returned to school, and she went back to work.  Sara decided to take him to the zoo, and he was so excited!  He spoke about it for several days beforehand, and was dressed and ready to go the morning of their date.

I caught him standing at the front door at 8am, looking out the window awaiting her arrival.  When she finally pulled into the driveway, he ran out to greet her.  I thought that they would just hang at the zoo for a couple of hours, but she went above and beyond!  They saw all of the animals, and did everything....from riding the train, the carousel, feeding the giraffes, eating lunch there AND playing in the splash pad!  To say that Walker had a blast is an understatement.  He is still talking about it, and I know he loved having her all to himself.
he was brave until he got up close

"the snake is this big"

pure joy!
What a wonderful way to spend his last day of summer break!  We all love you Sara, but Walker's face in the last picture sums up his feelings for you!  Thank you for spending so much time with him...he was worn out!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Summer Swim Concludes

swimming breast
This summer marked another successful swim season with Homewood.  Though each of the children moved up into new age groups (Bennett to the 9-10 year old girls and Preston to the 7-8 year old boys), and they had two different practice times, it was still a fun summer.  The children participated in whatever duel meets they were in town for and practiced daily.  They love swimming with their friends during the summer, and rarely complain...which is nice for us.

Though they took a couple of months off in the spring (April and May), they picked up almost where they left off, and improved their times during the summer.  Bennett's competition is much more stiff, so she wasn't able to qualify for Senior County, but getting personal best times is all we ask for from both kids, and she had some this summer.

breast stroke is her favorite stroke 
Preston did great in his age group, and had a successful conclusion to his summer, qualifying in all four strokes for Senior County.  Though he only placed in two events (a relay and individual 25 yard butterfly), we are extremely proud of him.  He had personal best times, and pushed himself really hard.  Thankfully Nene, Poppy, Uncle Brian, Christian and Lucy were there to witness Preston getting personal best times for 25 yard butterfly, 50 yard free and 25 yard back.  He got his 25 yard breast best time and his relay second place award the day before.

What a great season!  We are taking a few weeks off, and starting again in September.

Ready to kick some booty!

Relay team - 2nd place!

Daddy is his biggest fan!

Selfie on the pool deck (I was volunteering down there)

Ready to get best time!

Loving to show off for his cousin!

His reward for a good meet!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

One Last Hurrah Before School

the beach gang
August in Alabama is awful!  Horrific heat, afternoon showers followed by balmy air with nothing going on for the kids.  So as the sun continued to heat up Alabama, we continued to hide inside with the air conditioning blasting.  We were fortunate to be invited to go along with friends to the beach, so we jumped at the opportunity for one last hurrah before school started back.  Packing for the beach has become our forte this summer, so we loaded up again and drove to 30A.

Parents Night Out

Fortunately, the weather and water were just perfect at the beach.  Yes it was hot, but not unbearable when one is hiding under a tent and getting a breeze off the ocean.  The kids did a lot of swimming, some fishing, played kickball, hunted for ocean wildlife, and invented a new game..."net ball' (think lacrosse, but with nets and a soft ball).  They had a ball together, and got along fabulously....as did us parents!

One day we even had a bunch of other friends over for the day.  The kids played hard all day, we ordered pizza to the beach and stayed out late enough to watch the sun set.  It was great to sneak away one last time before school starts!  Thank you Fletcher and Leah Smith for the invitation!

navy seal push-ups

Brooke, me, Leah, Kathryn and Lee

crazy boys

beach sunset with friends
lazy mornings

A.Mazing Sunset!

W finally held the fish after it died

lunch crew at Stinky's Fish Camp
baby black tip shark (little thing was strong)!