Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday Colton!

Hey sweet boy!  I can't believe that you are three years old today!  Wow, my baby (literally) is three...what on earth am I going to do not having any actual babies anymore?  You turning three is definitely hitting me a lot harder than the other kids...and I know it's because you're my last baby :(

You are a spitfire of a child, that's for sure!  You are strong-willed to say the very least!  I have never been a fan of James Dobson, but having you made me actually purchase The Strong Willed Child book he wrote...and it fit you to a T!  But as much as you have gumption and fight and will, you have the same amount in love and adorableness and humor.  You have such a personality!  You make me laugh as much as you make me want to pull my hair out :)

You are obsessed with technology.  You have been able to get on my iPad and phone, through the password and to your games for at least the last six months, if not longer.  You come in my room every morning and run right up to me and say "can I play your phone?" as you are unplugging it from the charger.  Your favorite games right now are Temple Run, Subway Surfer and Sonic.  You also LOVE to watch videos on YouTube.  

You make me laugh with the phrases that you are copying from your brothers and sister.  Some of my favorites are: "holy macaroly," "you be kidding me," "how's your deal?" and just tonight while opening your present from Grandma and Pappaw you said "oh I love this, it's what I always wanted, thank you Santa."  We like to tell each other secrets which usually involve a dialog containing the following secrets:  "I love you the mostest," "nugget biscuit nugget in a biscuit," "put the gravy on it now."

You know your numbers and know some of your letters - you have always amazed us at how smart you seem to be.  With Ryan in Kindergarten two or three days a week, there are lots of "mommy/Colton" days.  We love to play together and run errands...one of your favorites is to go to Yutzy's and play on the playground...but only if you're good in the store and ride in the cart!

You potty-trained so easily and night-trained yourself!  We had your paci taken away, but made the mistake of trying to do that, potty train you and move you to a big bed all at once and for a week straight Daddy and I got no sleep and you kept everyone in the house up with your screaming.  Each day you were so hoarse from all you screaming and crying in the night.  So we gave you paci back and we are all sleeping again.  You associate sleep with that thing and have gone back to all your self-soothing techniques that you had taught yourself as a baby.

You are our tallest kid by far!  I can't wait to see how big you get!  So many people couldn't believe that you were only two because of how big you were.  You still have pretty blonde hair and gorgeous big brown eyes.  You are starting to watch tv shows now (your favorites are Team Umizoomi, bubble Guppies, Paw Patrol and Doc McStuffins) and after a disastrous attempt at your first movie in a theater (we went to see Planes in August and you just played with the reclining seats the whole time), we went to see Frozen the other day and you sat and watched the whole movie!

You love to go over to Pappaws and you love helping him in the garden when it's warm outside.  You also love to do anything that the big kids are doing, but you still are good at playing by yourself (which involves playing cars or trains about 98% of the time).  You are also obsessed with bands and love walking around the house playing drums or the cymbals or your trumpet.

Oh my sweet little boy...I love you so very much (actually, I love you the mostest!).  I can't imagine my life without you...you keep me on my toes at all times and I can't wait to see where your strong will takes you in life.  Thank you for being my special little boy!

Love,
Mommy

Friday, September 20, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday Ryan!

Dear Ry-Ry,
Wow, 5 already???  I can't believe that you are so big, and yet, at times (ok, most times), I can't believe you're only this old.  I very often forget that you have only been four, and that you're now only five...you act so much older and when you actually act like your age, I have to catch myself from correcting you.

You are such a sweet little boy...I am told that by everyone that watches you :)  Your blonde hair and big blue eyes just capture anyone that you talk to.

This past year I have watched you grow up so much...you want to do everything that Josh does.  The main thing I have watched you grow in is baseball.  At age four I was able to go out and play catch with you using a hard baseball (not even a t-ball!) - you love baseball, but because your birthday is so late, you can't play t-ball until next summer :(  But that didn't stop you from playing outside with Pappaw or me or Josh all summer long.  We were able to find an indoor t-ball league for you to play for in November :)

When I tuck you in at night it's always a production.  First you have to get a drink, and then I have to re-put all the covers back on you, and then as I'm leaving I hear "oh Mommy, tell Daddy to come up" and then "oh and Mommy, will you come to my football game tomorrow?" and then "oh Mommy, do you know who is playing at my football game tomorrow?" until I finally have to cut you off!  But I love it :)

We knew we were starting you in Kindergarten this year, and you're the only one that I have ever been worried about when making that decision...you were so young!  You were four years-old for five weeks of school!  But since day one I have never regretted our decision.  You are making friends, and you are sounding words out and writing like a champ!  I am so proud of you!  You love having me come to lunch with you and I'm so glad that I can do that since I wasn't able to with Josh and Kylie when they were in Kindergarten.

For fun you like to play baseball and football and hockey, swing on the swing set, jump on the trampoline, ride your bikes, play cars and play legos.  Everyday you like to dress like a certain team from head to toe - so often you will come down in either your Bobcats jersey, Bobcats shorts and Bobcats socks, or your Bears shirt, Bears shorts and Bears socks.  You are following in Josh's footsteps (early unfortunately) by not liking to wear anything except t-shirts and athletic shorts (you especially hate shirts with buttons and khaki shorts!). You have already asked (and I said "no" very quickly) if you could wear shorts all year like Joshie (I told you that you had to be in second grade like he was).

Your friends right now are Zora, Jordan, Zach, Marcus and Cole.  You insist that you are marrying Zora, even though she told you that she had other people that wanted to marry her so she would think about it :)  But the two of you really are the best of friends - she waits for you to walk to school and the two of you always play together at recess.  It's been a hard year for her as you have started to really get into boy things and she wants to do girl things, but I have seen a lot of compromising and you two have learned so much from each other!

Oh Ry-Ry, I could go on and on - you are such a special little boy!  I love you with all of my heart and I hope you continue to be the sweet little boy that you are!

Happy Birthday little man!

Love,
Mommy



Thursday, July 11, 2013

No More Diapers!!!

A couple of Fridays ago, I got up with the kids, had a leisurely breakfast with all of them, and then promptly went outside for the rest of the day armed with a little potty and a whole bunch of extra underwear.  Oh yeah, and a 2 year-old :)  I decided it was time to potty train Colton.  Most of the reason was because he had gotten in the habit of randomly looking at me and telling me he was peeing (in his diaper).  I was hoping he was ready, but after our 9 month long debacle with Ryan, I was not holding my breath.

I start out just like I have with every other kid, diaper off, big boy underwear on and I let him go.  He plays for a little bit and then gets on the trampoline.  I hear something like (from him) "there's pee-pee on the trampoline."  I ask him if he peed on the trampoline and he says "yes" with a snarky smile.  I believe that was the only full-blown accident he had.  The rest of the day I hounded him and hounded him to pee on the potty (total rednecks outside with our little potty in the side yard and a little boy running around in underwear) and he did a great job.  I was worried because he didn't pee very often, but now, weeks into this, I realize the kid really doesn't go very often.  

The rest of the weekend went just like that...I couldn't believe how easy the whole process was, especially after everything we had gone through with Ryan just a few short years ago!  But he was amazing!  The only issue that we had to overcome was pooping.  Just like the other kids, he had some fear of pooping on the potty.  We tried everything.  I remember on Josh's birthday John sitting in the bathroom with Colton for an hour, Colton screaming and crying, and nothing coming of it.  I took a whole plate of oreos, chocolate coverd pretzels and other goodies in to him while on the potty just so he knew as soon as he went, he could have it all, but nothing.  We had a great story about how his poopies want to go down the drain to play baseball with the other poopies (which he loved and we still use to this day) but nothing.  The problem was that he wasn't going in his diaper either, so after a few days he was backed up and in pain.  He went through a bottle of prune juice and a bottle of apple juice and nothing.  Finally I gave in and gave him Miralax and that did the trick!  

A few weeks later and he's still apprehensive about pooping, but at least we are not having any accidents with it.  He stills wears a diaper to bed at night, but he's in underwear for naps.  Even with all this time, I'm still waiting for something to go wrong.  I just can't believe that I was lucky enough to have 3 out of my 4 kids be super easy potty-trainers, especially with how similar Colton is with Ryan in everything, I was sure it was going to be another 8 month battle.  But he's doing great...amazing!  Just another sign that my baby is not a baby anymore.  And I can't believe that after 10 years of having to buy diapers, we are finally done!!!

Now if we could just get rid of his stinkin' pacifier...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy 8th Birthday Joshie!

Dear Joshie,
Seriously???  8 years-old already?  Where on earth did this past year go?  I cannot believe that you are 8...you are still 5 in my mind...

This past year has been awesome for you, no surprise there.  You had a wonderful year in 2nd grade - great teacher, good friends and I think you may have even learned something too :)  And you still don't care if the teacher and the kids call you "Joshie" (which most of them do).  Anytime I had the chance, you still wanted me to walk you to school, walk you into your classroom, have lunch with you and pick you up from school.

You played flag football both fall (where you were named MVP for your team) and spring (where you finally won the championship!), basketball and baseball.  Just yesterday you had assessments for tackle football.  TACKLE!!!  You can't be big enough for all of this yet, can you?  You have had an awesome baseball season...one of the best on the team even though you are one of the littlest (if not the littlest).  And I absolutely love the feeling I get when I watch how surprised people are with how good you are when they weren't expecting it based on your size.  Everyone at baseball knows that if the ball comes anywhere near you, there's no worry, you will get it.  And you and Troy as pitcher-first base combo is unbeatable!!

So far this summer has had you swimming like crazy with all of your friends at the pool, playing baseball (both with us and with Pappaw) and playing on your iPod.

You are still my easy-going kid (for the most part).  You make us laugh every single morning with your "songs" and your overall personality.  You get so many laughs from all of us that Ryan and Colton continuously copy everything that you do.  You still like to give me hugs and so far nothing I do embarrasses you.

The biggest thing for you this year was that you recently got glasses!  I felt so bad because you said that you couldn't see the time on the cable box from the couch and that you couldn't read the scores on the TV without being right up next to it, but you thought that was normal and never said anything to us :( So I took you in and sure enough you needed glasses.  You look so cute in your glasses!  The minute you put them on you said two things:  1.) "I can see!" and 2.) "Everything is in HD!!"  :)

Some funny things from you this year:
1.) "nugget biscuit nugget in a biscuit...."
2.) "farty-farty squawk-squawk"
3.) "butt chicken butt"
4.) "bump up tomatoes, I like the ocean, bring back your love to me"
5.) The butt smacking...so many ways, all super funny.  The best is "golf butt smack"
6.) He went the whole school year without ever wearing pants.  That was his goal this year - good to know I have a kid that accomplishes his goals :)

Having you as my little boy is the most awesome thing in the world!  You are such a sweetie and I love waking up to you each morning! Thank you for being an awesome 8 year-old!!

Love,
Mommy



Saturday, May 18, 2013

Happy Double-Digits!!

Dear Ky-bear,

Wow, a decade old today.  Where have the past 10 years gone?  When I think about how long 10 years is, and yet how fast it has flown by…it just doesn’t work.  Regardless, I couldn’t be more proud of what you have become over the last 10 years…

You are finishing up the fourth grade.  I got a call the other day from the gifted teacher that you will definitely be in SOAR next year for reading and math.  Thank goodness!  We can go back to hours and hours of tears each night over math homework.  To any normal person that would sound horrible, but we all know that’s what you need (and want).  I won’t hear “I’m so bored in math…I already know how to do all this stuff” again!  You are getting ready to head into the fifth grade, which means you will rule the school!  I swear you just started Kindergarten!  And next year you will have two brothers in school with you because Ryan will be starting Kindergarten.  You had a pretty big project due a few weeks ago, and because of how responsible and self-disciplined you are, I had no idea where it stood or really how important it was until I went to the Investigation Fair.  And of course, your report and display were amazing!  You wanted your teacher and class to call you “Kylene” this year, and it really threw me!  Every time your teacher would say “Kylene,” it sounded so weird!  I think you’re going back to “Kylie” next year :)

You finished up level 5 in gymnastics this year.  You’ve been at Gym X-treme almost one full year now and I can’t believe how much you have improved!  You have gone to practice for 12 hours each week all school year, and you’ll go for 18 hours per week in the summer.  You got better at each meet and ended the season scoring your highest all-around at State’s.  Next year you will be level 5, which is like the old level 6, but they are changing the system so your actual level will stay the same, but the skills will be harder.  You have been working your new skills and have perfected your back walkover on the high beam and have been working your back handspring on the high beam!!  You also have your back handspring back tuck.

You have been a really good big sister to your brothers.  You and Josh get along really well and are into as much of the same things as I could expect from a boy and a girl.  And you help me out so much with Ryan and Colton!  In the mornings, you will get Colton out of his crib and turn the television on for him.  You are such a sweet girl!

You are such a wonderful daughter.  You really mean the world to me and I can’t imagine what my life would be like if you were not my daughter.  Thank you so much for putting a smile on my face each and every day!

I love you princess!!

Love,
Mommy

Friday, April 26, 2013

(Semi) Retirement Recognition...


Late yesterday afternoon, we loaded up the kids (minus Ryan because he was already down there) and headed down to Athens.  My parents didn’t know it yet, but at the banquet that they were attending, the accounting department at OU was going to honor them as my mom retired last year and my dad is kind of planning to retire this summer.  Although in academia-land, that doesn’t mean they’ll actually stop working…my mom still teaches one semester a year, and my dad is planning on doing that as well…when he actually goes through with retirement.

We dropped the kids off with John’s dad and met my sisters before heading in to the “cocktail” hour.  I say that loosely because there were no freaking cocktails – silly school-sponsored event :)  My dad was very confused.  He said he saw our nametags sitting there and just figured whoever made the name tags had just printed all accounting alumni or something.  I could tell, even as he was trying hard to socialize and introduce us to people we didn’t know, that he was worried/stressed/baffled about what was in store.  When my mom walked in she too was quite confused.

We moved into the banquet room, the president of Beta Alpha Psi said a few words, and we were up to get our food.  We ate dinner, and about an hour later the presentation began.  There were a couple of awards, including one for my dad for “faculty innovation.”  Then they brought up a former student who gushed and talked about how my mom had convinced her to change her major to accounting and how influential she and my dad both were.  She then invited my mom to come up and say a few words.  Then another student came up and talked about his first encounter with my dad, and how he changed his life forever, and then my dad went up and said a few words.

The rest of the banquet was pretty boring…I browsed Pinterest most of the time :)  But afterwards, there were rounds of congratulations, talking to professors that I hadn’t seen in years, and then a family picture.  Then John and I left to go pick up the kids and make the hour and forty minute drive back to Columbus.

I was lucky enough to have my dad as my professor for two sets of accounting classes (my mom had not yet begun teaching when I was in school).  He was everything everybody said he was.  He taught with passion and gave so many real-life examples that really brought the books to life.  His most recent achievement is writing the textbook for each year of Accounting 101.  He updates it with current students’ names (and also with kids’ and grandkids’ names) and the students seem to love it.  I can’t see my dad ever being done with teaching…his heart and soul belong in a classroom.  It’s amazing to think that the courage it took to change career paths so many years into a career would pay out in so many ways.  My dad went back to school to get his doctorate when I was 5, which would have put him in his late 30’s.  I don’t remember my parents making that decision, but I do remember when they were trying to decide between moving from State College, PA to either Peoria, IL or Kent, OH.  I was playing outside and they kept telling us they would take us for ice cream once they had decided.  I don’t believe we ever got ice cream because they talked late into the night.  My mom and I had even gone and visited Bradley University (in Peoria, IL).  In the end, they decided on Ohio, where my dad taught for years before moving down to Ohio University in Athens.  I was always pretty upset about that move…I was a Junior in high school after all.  But I did meet John my senior year and it was very apparent that Athens, OH was where God wanted my mom and dad to be.




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

An April Weekend...


Another weekend came and went (and another week is coming and going as we speak…why does it have to go so quickly??).  Friday night was the school’s skate night at the nearby ice rink.  So after racing home from a late night at work, I sent Colton over to my parents, and John and I took Ryan and Josh over to the ice rink (Ky was at gymnastics).  We only ended up getting to skate for about ½ hour, but it really was the perfect amount of time :)  Josh kept falling (but he insisted on skating by himself), and Ryan was killing our arms and backs after a while :)  After that we went and picked up Kylie from gymnastics and then went home and ate and relaxed.

Saturday was a crazy day, as usual.  We decided instead of making our usual big breakfast, we would go out to visit the “new” ihop.  So we picked up the girl that we were taking to gymnastics and headed over there.  We only had about an hour and a half until the girls had to be at practice, and unfortunately, there was a long line at ihop :(  So we headed over to Bob Evans – specifically the one closer to the gym.  We got seated right away (surprising with a party of 7) and put our order in right away.  About 35 minutes later a manager comes over and explains to us that there was a back-up in the kitchen and a ticket was lost and they were trying to hurry to get us our food.  I explained to him that we needed to leave in five minutes in order to get the girls to practice on time.  Our food came out about five minutes later and the kids all scarfed it down.  Outside of being stressed about the time, the breakfast was extremely enjoyable!  The manager then came over and told us that when we were done, we could just leave; he was taking care of the check.  We were shocked!  John and I explained that he didn’t need to do that, but he insisted that it was their fault that we were so late and he needed to take care of it.  Let me tell you, that left a huge impression on me about that particular Bob Evans!  And the girls only ended up being about 5 minutes late to practice (although if you asked Kylie, that’s the same as being an hour late, ugh!).

After we dropped the girls off, we headed home so that John could take the boys to football practice and I headed out with Colton to do the grocery shopping.  We had a great time!  At least until I ran into another gym mom and spent what Colton thought was too much time talking.  I finally ran out of things to distract him, so we wrapped our conversation up and finished the shopping.  After that we headed over to pick Ryan up from football practice so that he wouldn’t have to stay there the whole next 1 ½ hours for Josh’s practice.  Then it was home for lunch and naps.

I spent the rest of the day doing miscellaneous stuff around the house like laundry, and then I ran to the store to get the ingredients for the family-voted chimichangas.  We had a great dinner and then everyone relaxed and then went to bed.

Sunday was the usual church and football :)  It was chilly out, that’s for sure, but it was sunny and did get progressively warmer as the games went on.  After the games (Ryan had an awesome flag pull and a great catch and Josh had a bunch of flag pulls and scored), we went home and the two little boys napped while John and I went out and sat with the neighbors, which we haven’t gotten to do in a while.  It was so nice that all of a sudden it was 5:30 and we had to go in and get ready for some friends that were coming over.

I went in and whipped up the cookies I had started baking before we went outside and we ordered the pizza.  Our friends, who is also the children’s pastor at church, arrived and scarfed down their dinner and headed out to play.  Us adults started talking about and planning our VBS for this summer.  It was really exciting starting to think about all of this already :)  We talked for a while, and then it was time for them to leave and us to get the kiddos into bed.  And then John and I collapsed into bed…again :)