Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Nice Hair, Bro.

The other night Ty was playing on the trampoline and his hair went a little wild.
spikey hair
Kind of like him. ;)
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He has the funniest, most energetic personality. Definitely proved me wrong when I thought that perhaps I'd get a laid back third born kid. Not this one. He's all energy, all the time.
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And he isn't lacking in personality either.
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In other news, Tyler went from not really caring about walking or even being assisted with walking, to dropping his toys and attempting to stand on his own. He literally just quit playing, and stood up. I don't know if you can hear it, but my hips are beginning to sing the hallelujah chorus. Walking can't be far off now, and my lower back and joints are so happy about it!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

This Week.

We have had a FULL week with friends, which is always fun.
I know it's probably because I'm biased, but I think watching little boys play super heroes is the cutest thing ever. These guys were all saving the world from villains and inevitable catastrophe when I interrupted for a picture.
lots of chalk drawing these days. the boys are obsessed, and since it hasn't rained, they have started fighting over who gets to draw where. Friday they had a legit argument over who could draw the line between their drawings so that neither of them would cross over into the other brothers territory. Legit.
Tyler has started drawing with chalk too. Although, drawing is a loose term, as he gets about two swipes to the cement before he starts eating it. Good thing it's non-toxic ;)
chalky, chubby baby toes. :)
Most of the time we've been at the pool since it's been a bit on the HOT side these days. No one here is complaining though... give us some friends and a pool and we're all happy (and of course, if it's my boys, food must be involved too-ha!)!

Brayden has really hit a turning point with his swimming this week. He's been able to swim independently for quite a while, but was still clinging to his life jacket for most deep end circumstances. After some nudging and help from dad, he really let go and gained the confidence he needed to swim independently at any part of the pool. We're so proud of him! (if you're reading this post in a reader, you may need to go to the video directly by clicking HERE)

This weekend has been rather laid back, thanks to a little sickness that Connor came down with. Our Saturday plans were detoured due to the sickies, so Brayden and I snuck away for a little back to school date. We went and picked out school supplies and then went to dinner. That boy is easy to please too-- I offered to go get Mexican food, and he picked Sams Club pizza and a hot dog instead (I was a little sad that he picked Sams though... no chips and salsa :( ) 
I think I embarassed him in the school aisle when I told him we needed to take a selfie. Not sure if it's because I asked for a selfie, or the fact that I looked a little like the hot mess express and he wanted nothing to do with me ;) The gum sticking out was his retribution.
he wanted pizza AND a hot dog. The boy has low expectations as to where he goes to eat, which is a good thing since he can eat an entire planet.

Connor was feeling much better today, so we spent our afternoon playing in the pool and enjoying some good barbecue with our neighbors. I know I've said it a thousand times before, but I feel so blessed to have such awesome neighbors who love our kids and don't mind all of the craziness that having three kids at a pool brings. 
he is a mess.

I've ended the weekend taking on a small DIY project, recycling an old frame for a much overdo gallery wall for our entryway. Can't wait to finish it and show it off!

Hope you've had a good week too!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Littlest Brother (14 Months).

14 months (actually 14 months and two days, but who's counting, right?). 14 months of being the youngest little brother. He embraces his role well, smashing down creations, ruining (read: eating) prized artwork that is left within reach, and throwing things at unsuspecting big brothers.
Yep. He's the littlest. And proud of it!
Brayden is so good with him... teaching him things, playing with him, and including him in the fun. I love that they share such a sweet bond even though they are 4 years apart.
Brayden's also good at making him laugh.
he's not walking yet. Honestly, I am PRAYING he learns to walk soon, as my back and joints are letting me know rather well that I carry around a 25+ pound toddler on my hip most of the day. He does practice walking with Brayden and Connor. Here's to hoping it's soon!
you may wonder why I don't have many pictures of Connor with Tyler. And this is why. Connor and Tyler like to nag and pick on each other. There are moments of sweetness, but a lot of the time, one or the other is annoyed by what the other brother is doing. They do love each other, and I am confident that they'll be close once Tyler gets over this young toddler phase.
Ty still LOVES to swing. The higher the better. He's quite the little dare devil.
Speaking of dare devil: a few weeks ago both of my older two were yelling at me to come and look at Tyler. I looked across the yard, and there was Ty, climbing up the ladder to the tree house like he'd done it his whole life. I watched him as he conquered the ladder, danced a bit at the top, and then turned around and went down the slide like he knew exactly what he was doing. Since that time he has continued to enjoy the tree house, and now is trying to figure out how to go up the climbing wall. He's also mastered the ride-on four wheelers, lacking only in strength and dexterity to turn. AND HE'S ONLY FOURTEEN MONTHS OLD!!!! I just laugh, because when Brayden was a young toddler, he had a similar conquering personality, but it wasn't this intense. I guess that's what having two older brothers will do to you.

A lot of people ask me who he looks like in terms of his brothers. I see a little of each of them in him, but I really see a lot more of Brayden. Thought it'd be fun to compare the three at 14 months.
Here's Brayden.
And Connor

I think genetics is so neat to watch how it all plays out in how each boy looks similar, yet distictly unique. I'm so grateful to serve a God who is creative enough to create each of us in our own unique way.

Tyler Paul-- you may resemble one or both of your brothers, but you are definitely your own unique little person. I have loved watching you learn and grow since turning one. You are not worried about letting us know your opinions on things, you love to dance and you love to be with your people. We love you so much and are so grateful for all that you add to our family!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summertime Smalltalk.

Not sure how I week got past me on the blog (AGAIN), but it did. We've been completely crazy busy this week. We've eaten in the car more than I'd like to admit, had a playdate every day (and some days even twice in one day!) and we've been enjoying the Polar Vortex that has graced the South with unseasonably cooler temperatures. Of course, the drawback to said Polar Vortex is that the pool/lake water is also unseasonably cool, so I haven't found myself in the water too much :)

A few summertime happenings that I wanted to note and am behind on documenting:

I was able to meet up with a lifelong friend last weekend for a short lunch date. I'm so grateful for all of my friends, but especially the ones who have been with me through all of my rough, dark patches too.
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We've spent many days at the pool and lake. All three of my boys love the water!
this is a ski tube: it has skis sitting inside of it, with a ski rope that's actually attached to the tube. It's perfect for letting the kiddos get the feel of getting pulled behind the boat. My boys are a bit brave with it too :)
this pic is so fuzzy, but I LOVE it.

We had our semi-annual dentist appointment. No cavities, and everyone did so well (even Tyler, who is a moving maniac and hard to contain/entertain these days!).
when we pulled into the parking lot, Brayden said "We HAVE to get a picture with the monkey! We do it every time!" Perfect evidence they're mom is a blogger, no?

Because we're on the go a lot this summer, I leave some of the baby snack feeding to Connor, who sits next to Tyler. Earlier this week I asked Connor to feed Tyler a few baby puffs. A few moments later I hear Connor say "Ty, you're not supposed to pour them all out!!!" My plan of having a 3 year old feed the baby backfired. Thankful for handheld dustbusters to clean up the puff mess ;)

We've had lots of birthday parties to attend. Whenever I go to a summertime birthday party, I'm always slightly jealous. Summertime birthdays are so easy because you can incorporate a pool and have instant entertainment.
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Brayden is really looking forward to flag football this fall. There are actually a few smaller leagues in the area that start tackle football this young, but Drew and I wanted him to be a little older before he starts the actual tackling. That doesn't mean he can't try on the pads at the store though ;)

And lastly... during a recent trip to Academy, Brayden discovered the Under Armor/Nike section of clothing. To say he fell in love would be an understatement. That boy wanted ALL THE THINGS. Problem is, paying $40-50 for a shirt seems absolutely insane to me, especially considering it's play clothes that have a high probability of either being stained, ripped or torn. So I told him he would need to wait. A few days later we ran into TJ Maxx for a few things on my shopping list. We went right when they opened, and Brayden was beyond ecstatic when he realized they had just stocked a new shipment of Under Armor shirts for less than $10 a piece. He ended up picking out his shirt and paying for it with his own money. He learned a valuable lesson in patience and being a good steward. Unfortunately, now he has to learn a lesson in not getting to wear the same outfit every day for a week straight ;)

That's basically our life lately. I thought about saying how hard life is when it's full, and while it does have it's challenges, I've really been so full to the brim with the feeling of being blessed. Not many people have enough friends to fill a calendar for an entire week, much less have friends that they consider family. I'm so grateful the boys have such rich, full friendships at such a young age.

In other news, Tyler turned 14 months old today. I really can't believe he's been with us that long. He is such a joy and has quite the boisterous, life of the party personality (he gets that from his daddy!).

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer... have a great week!

Friday, July 11, 2014

VBS Week (aka Very Busy Schedule Week)

Well, we've survived VBS this week. Which really means that I survived the parking lot twice a day with 3 kids in tow all by myself. It is no simple feat trying to maneuver through a parking lot of vans and large SUVs that are backing up into parking spaces while hundreds of kids are running to and fro. The fact that we're all still alive after doing that twice a week deserves a small medal ;)

Brayden thoroughly enjoyed himself again this year. VBS really is the highlight of his summer, and I'm so grateful we live close to a church that has a great program.
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I'm also grateful for friends who will send me pictures of my kiddo having fun. Wonder if his Kindergarten teacher can do this this fall for me? ;)

Connor was still not old enough to go to VBS this year, but he took it all in stride. This was a bit of a surprise to me, as last year was met with mild hysteria when I had to inform him that he wasn't staying. Thankfully one day this week a local church brought VBS to the neighborhood for a day, so Connor was able to have "his very own BBS... that Brayden couldn't come to". Don't worry... we're working on humility ;) 
listening to the Bible lesson.
Ty had fun playing cornhole. He kept putting his face right in the hole and saying "OHHHH!" ha!

Thursday night we had a family night for Brayden's VBS. I was so thankful the rain stalled and cleared out before the event. The boys would have been devastated if it had been canceled. I will tell you though, that standing in line for VBS activities made me realize just how far we need to go before I'll be ready for a theme park. I just can't adequately explain lines and waiting to preschoolers very well, and when both boys wanted to do two different things I realized I was just in a little deeper than I had bargained for ;)

On a completely unrelated note, I was looking through childhood pictures yesterday afternoon for some awkward photos of myself (there are many to chose from, which would be a great explanation as to why I didn't date until college). I also found a few pictures of me at 14 months, which is exactly the age Tyler is at right now. The resemblance is uncanny. So uncanny in fact, that Drew thought one of the pictures WAS Tyler, and didn't believe me at first when I showed him.
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Speaking of Ty, his schedule has been so whacked out due to being carted all over to big brothers activities. It's giving me a small taste of this fall, when I'll be carting the boys to soccer and football practice and games all over NWA. It's all a little overwhelming thinking of trying to keep a toddler entertained outside of the house for so many days. You can all pray for my sanity at the soccer/football fields this fall. ;)

We have a hot, HOT weekend ahead of us, that is full to the brim with food, fun and friends. And even though the stifling heat does not rank high in my books, I'm still remembering how awfully cold and snowy it was this past winter, and how I said I would not be negative when it was sweltering this summer. So I'm going to soak it up... hope you are able to do the same!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fourth Fun.

We had a laid back sort of holiday weekend this year for Fourth of July, which is rather unusual for us this time of year. I'm not complaining really, as I tend to be the one in the family who doesn't like to fill the agenda too full.

Thursday wasn't really the weekend, but it should be noted that it was the first time that we dealt with a question regarding a figure of speech. These conversations tend to me some of my favorite with little kids, because they take things so very literal. This is especially true of Brayden, who is not only taking things literally these days, but is also very black and white. Things spoken are true as gold, and are taken as such. So when we pulled into the Walmart parking lot and I exclaimed "man, everyone and their dog is here today!", Brayden indeed thought that we would be greeted by everyone and their dog. In his five year old mind, Walmart was about to get a lot more fun. Unfortunately for him, not even a service dog was seen, which led to the inevitable "Mom, where are everyone's dogs?" question. To which, I had to stifle my laughter and explain what figures of speech were, and how adults use them to describe things, places and events. I just have to say again, how greatly I love this age/stage. Don't get me wrong, we do have our moments (OH SWEET MERCY THE ATTITUDES!), but, the conversations alone are worth the small battles.
Connor kills me. I caught him driving the four wheeler around with his left foot up like this. Sometimes he's just too much!
The Fourth was spent with neighbors, who graciously offer up the use of the pools and like to hang out with our whole family. We really have been blessed with great neighbors. We were fed like kings, and then given a fireworks show that wowed the boys. Both boys got to actually light fireworks themselves too. I fear we have two pyrotechnics in the making. Brayden kept trying to light the loose grass on fire with his sparklers, and Connor carelessly flung hot ash off of his sparkler after getting a bit too dramatic (imagine that!) with his sparkler swirling.
run run run as fast as you can. Away from the fireworks, they're super hot, man!
this was Connors candid reaction when the sparkler finished burning. Every time I look at this picture I laugh!

Saturday we went to a little birthday party for our friend, Paige. My friend Katie and I are secretly arranging Brayden and Paige's wedding.
Little dude is sly in his attempts to swim solo in the deep end. Also, this was my favorite find at @rhealanasofnwa this past spring. $5 for Ralph Lauren baby swim trunks that make the ladies swoon  ;-) can't wait for the fall sale! #rhealanasofnwa
And Tyler keeps me on my toes. He has not even one ounce of fear when it comes to the pool, and thought that swimming in the deep end seemed like so much more fun than playing in the zero entry part of the pool.

After the party, Drew took the older boys camping. This was Connor's first time to camp, and aside from a rough 2 hour drive (Drew regretted not heeding my advice on taking the DVD player ;) ), the boys did well. Tyler and I enjoyed some one on one time. It's funny, the third child kind of just goes with the flow and although he's not overlooked, sometimes he just gets bunched in with the rest of us. When he's alone, his personality really shines. He is HILARIOUS (and tries to be!) and is super vocal. He talked the baby jibber jabber the entire day Saturday and most of the day Sunday. I love seeing how he is becoming his own little person.
This is what Tyler likes to do when brothers are gone (well, honestly, he does it all the time). Problem with it when the brothers are gone is there's no one to scream across the house to let me know he's trying to sneak rocks out of the fireplace. Caught him red handed.

We're in for a fun-filled month of July, as pretty much every weekend is booked with fun summer activities with friends. I'm excited and soaking up every minute we have together, as fall looks to be more crazy than ever with two kids in extra-curricular activities this year. And even though I'm dreading the amount of time we'll be in the van driving to practices and games, Drew was pretty much dead on when he said "well, it'll be crazy, but this is what we wanted." And he's right. It'll be crazy, but it will be my crazy. My perfect crazy. So here's to the remainder of summer... and the crazies to follow!

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