Wednesday, May 28, 2014

birthday questions. [owen at 4.]



  What is your favorite color? Blue
  What is your favorite toy? My basketball goal.
  What is your favorite tv show? Paw Patrol.
  What is your favorite movie? Planes.
  What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch or dinner? Peanut Butter and Jelly for lunch and steak for dinner. (The steak part is not the truth...)
  What is your favorite outfit? My Eric Berry shirt/jersey. (This can also be interpreted as "I don't care, but I can see it from where I'm sitting, so that's what I"m picking.")
  What is your favorite game? Basketball.
  Who is your best friend? Xander.
  What is your favorite animal? Cheetah.
  What is your favorite song? Blow Away from Dusty. (I'm not really sure this song exists, but he says it's from Planes. He's in the business of making up songs on a daily basis.)
  What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Big O Cereal. (Oh's) 
  What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play baseball.
  What is your favorite drink? Best Lemonade Ever.
  What is your favorite holiday? Halloween.
  What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Little Mickey.
  What do you want to be when you grow up? Firefighter.
  What is your favorite book? Cyrus the Sea Serpent.
  What is your favorite treat/dessert? Chocolate chip cookies.
  What do you love about yourself? I love my peach skin and my eyes so I can see things. (We've recently had conversations about skin colors, and loving those differences about ourselves and others.)
  What do you pray about? Grandma to feel better.
  What’s your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Play 'Tag You're It Ball." (a version of tag that involves throwing a ball at one another rather than tagging with your hands)
  What’s your favorite thing to do with Mommy? Play baseball and my marble race. (I'm pretty sure the last time I played baseball with him was when I bit it, leaving scar that still exists a year later.)

It was interesting to see what has changed from last year's answers, and a few that have remained the same (favorite drink, favorite thing to do outside). Even another couple that didn't have meaning to him last year that he understood a bit more (what he wanted to be when he grew up, what he loves about himself).

Owen's 4th birthday began with donuts and ended with gelato at our family's favorite pizza place.  I took the day off, and Daddy met us at the pool over a long lunch break for our first trip of the summer. After dinner out, we headed to t-ball practice, where we ended a fun day celebrating our four year old!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

my [memorial day] weekend in photos.

I love Memorial Day weekend: Summer's kickoff spread across a 3-day weekend.

The end of May is usually jam packed. Between end of year parties, and teacher appreciation gifts, and the baking that ensues for said parties and gifts.. Childcare transitions that have us bouncing about the city with calendar maintenance OCD in overdrive.. The start of baseball for nieces, a nephew, and now my own kid.. Wrapping up the school year for my teacher husband, while also beginning his summer at the pool.. A couple of stacked birthdays, usually warranting out of state family visitors, and a party to plan.. it keeps my head spinning with excitement, but also anticipating coming up for air after these few weeks have passed.

Memorial Day marked 10 months for my second baby. 10 month olds are busy. And destructive.

In a cute and "helpful" sort of way.

But mostly destructive.  (And cute.)

Memorial Day weekend is for grilling. 

And for playing in the water.

And for "camp-outs" on bedroom floors.

 ...and for "homework?" In Owen's world, it is.

For family far away, it's for getting new puppies. 

And in our family, it's often for celebrating a birthday. Memorial Day at the K!

"Roam the globe be home by nap time." Word.

 But after nap time, let's roll.

These two brothers sure made it sweet.

Oh, and so did these.

I like spending Memorial Day weekend with them.

I hope your long weekend was enjoyable! We've got another busy week ahead - catch ya on the flip side!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

school's out for the summer.


School came to a close last Wednesday. (Well, for one member of our family, anyway.) But it hardly felt like the start to summer when I had to dress my little guy in pants and long sleeves due to the cold front that has moved through here.

We sent Owen to his first day of preschool last August, and not only did he survive this school year, but he thrived. My sweet little guy has grown so much over the past nine months. And I don't mean just because he's about to turn 4 and his legs and arms stick out and inch or two from most of his size 3 clothing. (Thank the Lord summer came back this week. Buh-bye long sleeves and pants!) He's had the influence of 4-6 older boy classmates throughout the year -- all of which are going on to kindergarten next year -- that have aged his personality so much. He began the year able to draw the letter "O," and most days the "W" and "E" from his name and able to recognize over half of the letters from the alphabet, and has ended the year able to write all but just a few letters of the alphabet from memory and can recognize all letters - both lower and uppercase. (Though, I expect a summer break might make room for forgetting, and that's okay.) And our conversations and his ability to reason just make him seem so grown. My first baby.


I'm just thankful his little girlfriend, "Wou" (Lou), will be sticking around with him for one more year. She and Owen are a month apart in age and great buds. (Though he seldom admits that he plays with/likes her because she's a GIRL, and he only likes the BOYS.. but his teachers tell me differently.) It will be nice to have a familiar face in a class full of new ones come August. Already looking forward to another year in Mrs. Starrett's class!

Proud of that boy. I'm so very fond of him. Happy summer vacation!



Sunday, May 18, 2014

my weekend in photos.

Friday Family Date Night again! We hit up an old favorite, and graced their floors with plenty of cheerios and finger foods. (With a year of waiting tables in my past, I'm well aware we were the table no waiter wanted.) You're welcome.

Macy doesn't really listen to anyone, but Kirkwood is great about taking commands from Owen now, too. "Sit, boy."

Finally, the warm weather has returned! This little one has been working hard at growing a top tooth. It hasn't popped through yet, but white and swollen gums tell us it's close!

Post t-ball time on the playground. No teeter totters or merry-go-rounds to be seen, but some interesting spin-offs!

Brooks and I sat at circle time while our teacher read the Bible to us. I think someone is going to miss school this summer!

We had company over on Saturday night, and they brought this bottle. I immediately was reminded of our Napa vacation in 2012, and visiting this [very beautiful] winery. I sure do love how the number of Hoosiers we know in KC is growing!

Sunday morning brunch to me, from me. Just because. Nom.

We spend a lot of time "timing" Owen's races. This kid loves to run. And be timed. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

my weekend in photos.

Whoever planned the NFL draft weekend to land on Mother's Day weekend this year did not consult with me first. Each year my husband and his buddy head to the Ozarks for a guys' weekend at the lake for the draft - and this year it happened to be Mother's Day Weekend.

So it was me and these two knuckleheads for a 4-day weekend. :)

We did things like have PB&J for dinner, homemade milkshakes for an after lunch snack, and cuddle in momma's bed with a bowl of popcorn. 

Spent our Saturday afternoon at some ball fields - both watching my niece's game and watching O's practice. (But let's be real, a mobile little peanut allows me to do anything but sit and watch.)

But he sure is cute.

 This might be the first in 4 years that I didn't have my favorite mother's day breakfast made by my husband, but I did enjoy a lovely little brunch with my in-laws. 

We spent a little time monkeying around. He's growing too quickly. 

I got my bake on in the spirit of summer and a teacher we appreciate a whole lot. (Yep, a week late, but I just couldn't get my act together before now.) It's not perfect, but I happen to know that it tastes amazing.

And don't you worry, we doubled the batch to enjoy some at home. With a big ol' glob of homemade ice cream and a warm evening on the porch.. yep, summer is here. 

To these silly boys who fill my heart with so much joy: being your momma rocks my world. Happy Mother's Day!

happy momma's day.


I call my mom every single morning on my drive to work. Usually Owen is in the car with me and will share in part of our morning conversations. If there's a benefit to her sickness, it's that I can count on her being home each morning when I call, rather than at work. I usually babble on about life's little details - mostly about the boys - while she listens enthusiastically and laughs at Brooks' recent shenanigans and Owen's preschool tales.

I'll be calling her this morning. The conversation likely won't differ much from the day before aside from an exchange of "Happy Mother's Days." But this woman is my angel, my heart, and my momma.   So thankful for her example. So thankful for her. Happy Mother's Day to mine, and all of the other amazing mommas out there!

Friday, May 9, 2014

halfway point.



On January 16, my mom found herself in the ER after a dizzy spell at work. Some tests were run, and a mass was spotted in her colon and other spots on her liver and spleen. The next day she was seeing an oncologist. The following week she was in for a biopsy and colonoscopy. And the week after that - on Tuesday, January 28 - she was diagnosed with cancer. A nasty and aggressive and advanced stage of cancer of the colon and other nearby organs and her lymphatic system.

2014's rocky start had just hit rock bottom. My sweet mommy was handed a terrible and quite unexpected diagnosis that completely knocked the wind from the sails of all who were a part of the previous couple of weeks' rocky road.

This week she's just over 3 months in and has just past her halfway point of chemo treatment.

The reality of cancer is that it blows. But I have been overwhelmed by support in all forms from so many people who have loved me and/or my mom and family over the years. I'm always thankful, and especially grateful these last few months to these people who have extended love and prayers our direction.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

my weekend in photos.

Ahhhhh, the nice weather has returned. Just when I thought it might be here to stay, mother nature threw us a curve ball at the start of the week. It sleeted. And we had to turn our heat back on! Oy.

I love Owen's school. It's a preschool and mother's day out program that is connected with a small Lutheran K-6 school. Because there's a full school attached, we are often given opportunities that other preschool programs may not otherwise offer. Friday night they hosted a Mommy-Son Ooey Gooey Science night. We made slime, silly putty, flubber, moon sand, and a couple of other gooey concoctions that we took home for the fun to continue. It was nice to have a little evening out - just the two of us. 

This past week was also Owen's first t-ball practice for our first go at an organized team sport. The first night he came home to have hot chocolate (remember the weather?), and on Saturday he came home a schweaty mess. More to come on t-ball in the weeks ahead!


Hot days are my personal favorite for porch nights once the sun begins to set. The weather is perfect.

A 9-month doctor's visit for this little guy. No shots!

We attended my niece's softball game on Saturday morning. Brooks yelled "Baaaa baaa baaaa" quite loudly - obviously he was cheering for his big cousin. 

We took a trip to the park to shoot some hoops to pass some time on our Sunday afternoon.

And to finish off our weekend, we had some friends/family over for some homemade pizza and fondue. Since we usually get together for a girls night out without children, it was a nice change of pace to include little people and spouses.

And that's what you get for asking a 6 year old to take a photo. ;-) 

We had a full, but really fun weekend over here. I think I'll be in bed early tonight!


Saturday, May 3, 2014

easter in indiana.

This year I spent Easter in Indiana with the two little boys, while Colby stayed back for work.


Some time ago, I took my first flight with both boys. I made a mental note that it could never run as smoothly as it did again, and for that very reason I'd avoid that kind of adventure for future travel plans. Six months later, however, I found myself in a familiar place.

The Thursday morning before Easter, I arrived to my gate 20 minutes before my already-boarding flight was scheduled to depart. I was flying solo with both boys, and it was also in that moment that I discovered I had left our baby formula behind. After a minor panic attack, a quick call to momma, and a bottle-less and miraculously seamless flight, we arrived in Indianapolis where Grandma was waiting to squeeze her boys.. with baby formula in tow.



Easter morning church was spent at St. Francis - my Catholic beginnings were more than rusty, and while I didn't know my lines, I found myself mostly concentrating on my fidgety and newly momma's boy baby that somehow settled down, and fell asleep in Grandma's arms, though his days of cuddling when sleepy were otherwise a distant memory. Also had to take a moment to answer an inquiry from my oldest who wondered why there was no blood pictured on a piece of art with Jesus hanging from the cross. Boys.



A small gathering for an Easter and 4th birthday celebration was held at my aunt & uncle's house, which felt unusually empty and relatively quiet with only 2 of the cousin-kiddos around. An easter egg hunt was held outdoors, and a fancy birthday tea party held indoors.



We capped off our Easter Sunday with races, grass stains, picking up sticks, and roasting marshmallows over a campfire. We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather - for our entire visit, really.







Owen lead Grandma and Uncle Derek on a nature walk one day, complete with "fishing" in our pond. He found a toad which he refused to touch with his bare hands (not my kid!), but found great joy in carrying it around on a piece of bark. He fed the baby lambs, declared Gertrude his favorite (though he insisted it was a boy because of its black markings), and warmed right up to having them follow him around. He raced everyone who would oblige, and beat all of us in his new "fast shoes." He followed and actually helped as Derek cleaned up sticks and tree limbs from the yard. He also followed his every move as he tended to his fruit and vegetable plants. He created masterful centerpieces with picked dandelions, grass, sticks, and dirt. He rode his scooter, and shot hoops on my childhood tattered outdoor goal.







Meanwhile, Brooks decided that this trip would be a good time to find security in being with momma all the time. He could be distracted, but I couldn't be within his vantage point without him deciding he'd rather be with me. This worked in Owen's favor as it guaranteed Grandma's free hands and focus. Brooks also decided that this trip would be the turning point for the acceptance of eating baby food - he did great with all 3 varieties we picked up at the store!


We capped off our visit with our traditional visit to Pizza King - Owen's favorite spot - and headed for the airport. This time, I was sure to have formula in tow. And new teethers and snacks left by the Easter Bunny a couple of days before. But bottles and teething toys and puffs and yogurt melts and toys that make noise and mommies that make funnier ones don't do squat for a baby's ears suffering from descending plane with bad cabin pressure. Unfortunately for the people who rolled their eyes as baby after baby boarded their flight (it was a plane FULL o' babes), every last one of them lost their minds for that 15 minute descent while mine did, too. Let's try to not forget that great idea I had to avoid traveling with both boys alone next time.

Nevertheless, our visit was really special. They always are.