Thursday, June 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Curtis!

Dear Curtis,

Today you are two! You are such a fun little guy - so full of playfulness and laughter. Sometimes I look at you and just try to memorize you - just as you are now. My little boy. I picture you covered in stickers that Daddy brought home for you. I see you with ice cream all over your face and clothes. I think of you looking out the window during a thunderstorm and saying "wow" every time it thundered, or flipping your palms up in the air every time you say "I don't know," and how you refer to Graydon as "Nana".

You love your green and white striped blanket (which you refer to as "dacie"). You have to have that one - no other blanket will do. You love to be outside riding your tricycle or playing with balls and frisbees (which you throw better than me). Some of my favorite times are always snuggling before naps and bedtime. You love to read - the current favorites are "Teddy Bear's Picnic" "Go Dogs, Go!" and "The Bedtime Book" and you often ask for "one more." You go to sleep without a fuss 98% of the time, for which I am very thankful.

It's so much fun to watch your relationships with Bella and Graydon. If they do something, you do it too. If they want something, you want it too. If they laugh at something, you laugh at it too. You look up to them and they adore you (yes, Graydon does too - even if you two do fight a lot!) You are all special friends and I pray that each of you will always be close.

You are growing up - each day I see it more and more. Just the other day you climbed to the top of the play equipment at Chick-Fil-A all by yourself! You're starting to count and sing the ABCs. And you're a pretty good jumper and tower builder too! There will always be a part of me that wants to hold on to your "baby-ness" but growing up is a good thing. I love the person that you are and the person that you are becoming. I'm so happy to celebrate this second year of your life and hope you have a wonderful birthday surrounded by so many who love you.

Happy Birthday Curtis!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Lovin'

Apparently patterned duct tape is all the rage in kids' crafting. I got Bella a couple of rolls and she made this purse! We've got a clever, creative little lady on our hands.

It took me about 20 minutes to fill this bowl full of water balloons. 

And probably less than two for the kids to pop every last one of them. 

When the temps peaked at 99 degrees this last week, we spent a few mornings in this little pool.

And cooled off some more with ice cream cones on the front porch.

I believe that photos never truly do justice to how messy kids really are.  I feel like Curtis looked SO much messier in real life. 
I came downstairs one morning, opened the living room curtains and the whole room was filled with a beautiful orange glow.  Our view out the front window isn't necessarily the prettiest, but a beautiful sunrise sure does help it. 

We're about 18 hours away from loading the van and heading west for a couple of weeks. The kids are beyond excited. Vacation and family time - here we come!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hello Summer!

We watched some home videos a few weeks back and when they were over, Bella felt a little sad.  As she cried, she told me how she missed Curtis being so little and being able to hold him in her lap.

Last Sunday morning, Curtis was having a rougher time.  Lots of crying and tantrums.  Not a very happy guy.  Bella offered to console him in the best way she could think of - snuggle him all up and hold him in her lap.  And on this particular morning, Curtis was willing to be comforted.
  Bella soaked it up - her baby brother in her arms again. 

Even if he doesn't fit as well as he used to. 
She's such a natural, little mommy.

And Graydon was content to sit with them - on the other side of the couch. 

Little kids at work - mealtime prep seems to go much more peaceful for me when they have a job to do. 

If I leave my coffee cup laying around somewhere, I can be almost certain that it will be gone when I come looking for it again. 

Curtis seems to have a taste for coffee.

It's that time of year again!  The carnival came to town this week!

The tickets go fast now that all of the kids are going on rides (though Curtis just went on the carousel).

Bella got to try out the mechanical swings for the first time.  When the ride was over, she ran up to me and shouted, "That was AWESOME!!!"  A new favorite. 

Curtis was a happy spectator.

And then Friday came - Bella's last day of school.  Here she is with a final goodbye to her bus driver. 

Taking her last steps off the bus as a kindergartener. 

Care-free and skipping up the driveway.  Such a wonderful, happy feeling to know that the entire summer is ahead. 

Our kindergarten grad!

We went out for lunch at Bobby's Burger Palace.   The burgers are a little pricey, but super delicious.  Later that night, we got some frozen yogurt at Sweet Frog that just opened up nearby, watched a movie, "12 Dancing Princesses" (Bella's choice), and camped out in the living room.  The next day was filled with park playing  and swimming.  Bella is becoming a strong, confident swimmer, and she loves being in the water.  The summer is off to a great start!

Yesterday we celebrated Andy.  Happy Father's Day!

He's got his hands a bit full!

Bella made this fun card at school filled with little jobs she will do for Daddy.

Graydon lended his hands, Curtis his feet, and Bella her heart painting skills to create this artwork for Daddy's office.  It's based off of the Bible verse Micah 6:8.  Can't take full credit for this one - I found the idea on Pinterest. 

We continued our celebration at Cracker Barrel for dinner. Lots of eating out for us this weekend!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ties, Tantrums, Toys, & More!

Last Sunday morning, just before church, Graydon saw Daddy all dressed up in his suit and then said to me, "I want to wear my work shirt!"  Usually work shirt means a polo style shirt since that's how Daddy usually dresses during the week.  But on this day, he wanted his dressy button shirts that he usually wears on Easter and Christmas.  I made a compromise with him (since he was already dressed and I was feeling lazy) that he could wear a tie.

That appeased him just fine.  And of course when Curtis saw Graydon with a tie, he wanted one too.  (That red mark on Curtis's head was a mosquito bite.  The morning after he was bitten, it looked like he had gotten in a fight - that red bump was huge.  Even now, 1.5 weeks later, there is still a little trace of a mark left).   

They were quite the adorable pair at church that morning.

Not-so-adorable came during the week when Curtis decided to throw a fit.  This is nothing new here.  I apologize in advance to any family that we will be seeing in a few weeks.  It can get pretty loud - thankfully there is no sound attached to pictures.  He has absolutely entered the "terrible two" phase and pretty much has tantrums over everything.  I can easily lose count in a day.  And he has some staying power.  I can't even remember what this one was over - though it's usually something that he wants and can't have. 

But eventually, he does calm down.  (And is becoming a master at that heartbreaking face).  

And realizes that life really isn't all that bad after all. 

Andy surprised me with a Kindle Fire a few weeks ago.  I recently found some fun interactive books for kids that we have all been enjoying.  Sometimes technology can be pretty cool. 

Last Wednesday, all of the kindergarten classes had their program:  Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  It was super cute - loved the music!

Bella got to randomly stand next to her best friend - who happened to be Goldilocks!

Sometimes I will find the boys in their room watching the cd player as if it was a TV.  They sit there, content as can be, listening to the music.  The favorite cd right now came with their Lullabible Storybook.  Graydon is starting to memorize a lot of these songs and it's fun to hear him singing along. 

I found this little craft for birds in one of Bella's library books, of all places. 

Cut shapes with a cookie cutter. 

And hang them up for the birds.

Graydon hung these in the same way that he hangs Christmas decorations!

This is Bella's last week of school.  Summer is almost here!!!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Memorial Day, Donuts, and Pajamas Outside

Memorial day was enjoyed at our home with some friends.  They brought over their bounce house/water slide and the kids went wild. 

Hours of fun!

Later in the week, the boys and I made some donuts.  We used a package of Pillsbury biscuits and then cut the hole out with the lid to our salt shaker.  (Don't worry, the holes did not get wasted - they were fried up too!) 

Each of the boys took turns shaking the donuts in the bag of sugar.

And then we finally got to eat our creations.


Sidenote: Curtis now smiles on command.  He started this on Memorial Day.  This is his posed smile.  He totally shows off his bottom row of teeth and I find it hilarious.  This is completely unlike his natural smile - but still so cute. 

On Thursday afternoon, the kids all wanted to get their pajamas on early -- like at 3:30 pm.  Though they were dressed for bed, I didn't want to miss a beautiful evening outside.  So we went out to play on the porch.  I didn't think they could get that dirty.

But between bubbles in the hair (Graydon eventually lathered Curtis up pretty good), chalk on the feet, mess on the face, and dirt in the fingernails, the kids' next stop was the bath tub.

And a second pair of pajamas for each of them.