Saturday, July 31, 2010

Remainder of July

So, since I am a month behind on my blog, I am going to make this short and to the point. Instead of blogging, I have been spending my time scrap booking and making decorations for Lucas' SECOND birthday. I know all parents say this, but I cannot believe how fast he is growing up! We can still remember packing for the hospital and waiting (for an extra 3 days) for our gender-unknown baby to make his or her appearance! Enough of that, you will get a full account of his birthday soon enough!

Anyway, here is the remainder of the month of July...

Lucas has spent a lot of the summer at the library falling in love with a room full of children's books. I was really hesitant about taking him there because he hasn't quite got the concept of using an "inside voice" and I was afraid we would be asked to leave. Fortunately, our library has an entire wing devoted to children and I was put at ease immediately. I usually put some books on hold online and then I allow Lucas to explore and pick out a few more. I know him so well and he immediately found books all about trucks (like the ones I usually have on hold already.) He is such a big boy and helps me carry his new books to the check out counter and give the librarians there our library card. All the way home he looks through several books and just screams in excitement! It is such an awesome thing to see how much he loves books. I also usually check out a few videos of construction vehicles, which of course, he wants to watch all the time. He is so smart and can now name the following work trucks AND tell me their job: tractor and plow, excavator, bulldozer, steam roller, front-end loader, backhoe, backhoe loader, dump truck, cherry-picker truck, street sweeper, auger driller, mobile crane, tower crane, road paver, forklift and grader. I'm not kidding when I say he knows these, I do have witnesses!

This month we had Olivia's grandma, Ms. Linda, join us for mom's group at the pool while Mrs. Sam and Mr. Steve were on their anniversary cruise. Lucas and Olivia are becoming so independent and wanted to show off their swimming skills, so we mainly stayed on the pool steps. Ms. Linda was not sure about taking Olivia down the big slide, so I took her down a few times while she watched Lucas. Later, Lucas had enough of watching me with Olivia and he begged to go down too. So, I took both kids up the stairs to the slide and sent Lucas down first where Mrs. Linda caught him; and then, Olivia and I went down together. Lucas loved going down alone and Olivia loved the "vroom vroom" noises that I made on the way down.

Later that afternoon, Ms. Linda and Olivia joined some of us neighborhood moms and walked on Greenway. Olivia and Lucas really enjoyed riding next to each other and I really enjoyed catching up with Ms. Linda.

Lucas has become quite the bargain shopper with me and loves to go around to all of the stores. I think it's probably because at some places he gets a lollipop and others he gets to walk next to me. However, he also really likes to help me pick out the products now. He is not only choosing the fruits and vegetables for the week, but also picking out his breakfast and lunches. It is so much fun having a little buddy with me at all times. He even helps me pack the groceries when we leave Aldi and returns the cart with me so we can get our quarter back.

While Mrs. Linda was here, Lucas got to experience his very first Tea Party. When we arrived, Lucas and Olivia posed for the cameras before heading upstairs to the party. Ms. Linda and Olivia had prepared some tea (apple juice) in tea cups and made cut-out PBJ sandwiches along with chocolate Teddy Grahams. They sat at the table maybe 5 minutes before deciding that playing with the toys seemed like a better idea. Lucas was shockingly mean to Olivia when it came to taking turns and consequently ended with a few time outs. Olivia didn't mind much and even felt like she needed to be mean back to him so that she could have her turn in time out! After a few fights and a little playing together, Ms. Linda brought everyone an ice cream cone that the kids enjoyed at the table. When they had both eaten the entire cone, they made their way over to the window to watch the bulldozers and dump trucks before heading home for a nap. We had such a great time at the tea party Ms. Linda and really appreciate the invite. Mrs. Sam and Mr. Steve came home that day and I'm sure they were so ready to see their little "Liv Lee" as Lucas calls her.

***When you watch the slideshow below from, you need to click on the small "x" to close the 'Super Pokes' ad***

Since Lucas and I had such a busy week, we spent most of the day on Friday cleaning house and doing laundry. Later that night, while Lucas and I headed down to Gigi's for dinner, Ben went and hung out with Mr. Shawn. While at GiGi's house, Uncle Taylor surprised Lucas with a new remote control bulldozer that now goes wherever he goes in the house. Saturday night, I had a girls night out over at a friend's house for dinner and a movie, so Lucas spent the night up at MiMi and Poppie's house. The next day we met MiMi, Poppie and Lucas at O'Charley's for brunch. When we got home, Lucas was so tired from the sleepover yet somehow so hyper all at the same time. He just couldn't fall asleep in his room, so we brought him downstairs where he finally crashed right on the floor.

For a surprise variation to our weekly schedule, we went for a boat ride with Grandmama and Pop-Pop. They moved their boat from Lake Lanier to a dock on Lake Allatoona this past weekend; so, they both took off work on Monday so they could explore their new lake. Lucas LOVES going out on the boat and watching the water behind the boat as we are cruising around. This trip was not without excitement though...while we were attached to the dock getting ready to leave and Lucas was "pretend driving," he almost pushed down the gas and zoomed us off still attached to the dock! He recovered pretty well when we all yelled, but it was definitely a lesson learned. Lucas also got to wear his new Spider Man life jacket in the water, which he definitely did NOT like. He was trying to swim like he had on swimmies, and the life jacket kept flipping him over. After an exciting day on the lake, we headed back to Grandmama and Pop Pop's house for a nap and then some relaxing time on their front porch.

We braved the heat one Saturday this July and went down to Stone Mountain. In preparation for riding on the train around the mountain, Lucas and I went to the library and found several books and videos on trains. He talked about this unknown train event for a week before we actually got there! We missed the first train so we headed over to the sky lift that goes up and down the mountain. We were afraid that Lucas might freak out with the height, but even though it was 100 degrees and we were all stuffed into the skylift bucket, Lucas had a great time and would just squeal in excitement. Next, we headed over to wait again for the train in the horrible heat. Lucas really didn't seem to mind the heat at all, especially when there were so many people in line to charm. Once we were on the train, I don't think that Lucas said one word because he was so absorbed in the moment. He just sat there with his mouth open and occasionally would smile at us. After the train, we met our friends Mrs. Lindsi, Mr. Val and Jackson for a picnic dinner, some dancing, and the laser show. Lucas especially loved the fireworks before the laser show; and of course, the glowsticks all around him! The picture below with Lucas and Mrs. Lindsi dancing is not very clear, but you can see how much fun he is having dancing with Mrs. Lindsi!

This month, I have started watching a little boy Boris from the neighborhood. His mommy, Mrs. Olga is pregnant with TWIN boys and her husband had to move out of town during the week for work. Little Boris comes over to play with Lucas while his mommy goes to her doctor appointments and runs errands. Lucas and Boris are close in age so they have a great time doing art projects and playing with all of Lucas' trucks and tools.

To end the month, we had the Tyson Family (Poppie's side of the family) Reunion up at Unicoi State Park near Helen. We picked up Poppie in our car, which of course, made Lucas' day when he got to sit next to him all the way up there. Lucas had a great time looking out at the mountains and lake from the big deck and playing with Ben's cousin Shelby. After we finished eating the absolutely delicious food, we took Lucas for a walk next to the lake and up a walking trail where he could run and play. He was still so excited from the day that he almost wouldn't allow himself to fall asleep in the car; however, he finally gave up but only slept for less than an hour. We had a great time catching up with family we haven't seen in awhile!

Now on to the month of August.....see you there!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Fourth of July

July has arrived and it began with a bunch of fun and parties!

One of our new favorite weekly activities has been hanging out with GiGi during the day. We recently had to go there and deliver a cake that I baked for her bridge club. Our usual activities with GiGi involve arriving at her house and Lucas eating all of her strawberries. She usually lets him know that she knew he was coming and got them just for him. Next, we head out and visit Burger's Farmers Market and GiGi and Lucas pick out some fresh produce. Then, we drop off the produce at GiGi's house and go back out to eat Mexican. We must tip pretty well because they are always so kind to us and always give Lucas a lollipop. When Lucas' tummy is full and he has his lollipop, we go next door to Aldi for some more grocery shopping. We have also been introduced to the wonderful world of the Dollar store where Lucas gets even more spoiled with things; it is so hard to say no when everything in the store is just a dollar!

We have slacked off a little with the potty training because Lucas would really fight sitting on the potty. Now, I know it is definitely time to get with it again; because, he lets us know when he has to go and tells us which potty he wants to use. Lucas and Daddy have also started a new guy thing and asks to get undressed to go outside. Once outside, he finds a nice place in the yard to demonstrate the art and skill of tee-teeing. Look at that cute tan butt!Mrs. Sam and Mr. Steve are leaving this weekend to go on an anniversary cruise, so we invited Olivia over to play for a few hours while Sam ran some errands. It is so much fun to watch the two of them play and run around together. Before she got there, I planned out all of our activities; including, baking a cookie cake. I got most of the ingredients pre-measured so it would be easier for the kids to put them into the mixer. To set the stage...mixer on counter, ingredients pre-measured in cups, eggs on counter, two toddlers standing in chairs ready to help. I turn on the mixer and was going to let them see the butter and sugar combine BEFORE dropping the eggs in. Olivia, on the other hand did not think it was important to wait on the butter and sugar to blend so she threw an egg over the bowl and it landed in the mixture just in time for it to be crushed. I was laughing so hard I could barely turn off the machine and we all had a time trying to get the crushed eggshell out of the batter. I was laughing at Olivia, Olivia was laughing at me, frantically getting the eggshell out, and Lucas was laughing at Olivia! Needless to say, that the cookie cake instantly became a kids-only cake.

After they helped me spread the batter onto the pan, we put it in the oven to bake and headed over to the table to play with play dough. It was almost comical to watch how different boys and girls play with things. Olivia was being so delicate with her play dough, while Lucas was smashing his down and throwing it across the room. Both kids could barely concentrate on the play dough once the cookie cake finished baking and I took it out to cool.

When they had enough of making animal cut outs on the play dough, we started painting. I had to take their shirts off so they wouldn't destroy their clothes with paint (so don't freak out Mr. Steve!) I taped their paper down to the table so it wouldn't slide everywhere and then we had a small lesson on colors as I poured each onto a paint tray. Olivia was so excited to be painting and I just sat there watching her smile and laugh the entire time. Lucas demonstrated that he was a boy once again by slinging paint around the room while Olivia very gently painted her paper.

When paint time was over, I cleaned up and started cooking their lunch; while they played on the couches, by climbing up on one side and then sliding down from the top. They both loved having a stool in the bathroom and being able to independently wash their own hands (which they demonstrated every 5 minutes while I was cooking.) The kids knew that after lunch we could eat our cookie cake; so by the time the fish sticks and mac-n-cheese were ready, they were more than anxious to eat everything on their plate. For an added treat, I cut a fresh pineapple up and let them drink the juice at the bottom with a straw (and of course threw in how we can all take turns and share.)

When lunch was over, I brought out the cookie cutters and put the cookie cake on the table. They had such a great time pushing the cookie cutters down and pulling up a cookie that they could eat. This was the only time I saw Lucas being calm and Olivia frantically using her finger to scrape up the chocolate chips.

The next activity on the agenda was gluing shapes to a paper hat. We had a slight delay before this activity so we could change diapers (and them change them again 5 minutes later...yep, they had to do it at the same time and then tell on one another!) Both kids thought that having their own glue stick to use was such an honor that they didn't even try to eat it or glue something they weren't supposed to.

Since Mrs. Sam would be coming back soon, we headed upstairs to play a little, clean up, chill out, drink some milk, and read some stories. Lucas was so exhausted that he almost fell asleep on Olivia's shoulder while they were sitting side-by-side listening to a story. I put Lucas down for his nap while Olivia and I went downstairs to wait for Mrs. Sam. Sam was so happy to see that Olivia had such a great time and said she felt like she picked her up from camp with all of her artwork. We really loved having Olivia here and we all hope you have a fun time on your cruise.

You should be able to figure out what the kids are doing in the pictures. Be sure to see the look on Olivia's face after she threw the egg into the mixer...

Video of Olivia and Lucas Painting:

Olivia and her Grandma stopped by on Saturday to invite Lucas and I to a tea party at their house. Olivia was more than excited and willing to take Grandma Linda on a tour of the house and especially the playroom. She was running around and crawling on the furniture so much that she lost her hat in between the couch and an end table. Lucas is so excited to be going to a tea party and has talked about it everyday until we went on Thursday. What is even funnier is that he has no clue what a tea party is, but is excited anyway.

Saturday night, we went to a neighbor's house for a pre-4th of July party. Lucas especially likes this neighbor for several reasons...he is a police officer and brings his car home and allows Lucas to explore the car, he has small helicopters that he flies around the neighborhood, and his wife Tiffany drives a convertible Mustang and promised Lucas a ride in it to the pool. Lucas talks about them every night and has not allowed us to take the invitation off of the refrigerator. When we arrived at the party, almost everyone was hanging out outside and Lucas immediately spotted the children playing soccer and the the girls running around. I went back home across the street to grab Lucas his four-wheeler so he could join in on the action. Mr. Rick has concrete stairs in his backyard which caused Lucas his first boo-boo of the night. Even though he was practically dripping blood on his shin, he barely cried and just wanted back down to play. Lucas also met a young girl, Esa, who lives across the street and she entertained him for a while playing cars and trucks. Mr. Rick even let Lucas play with one of his toy police cars which really bumped him up on the favorite persons list. Mrs. Tiffany also made cupcakes for the kids and set up a table for them to decorate them with icing and sprinkles...Lucas was in heaven! During a quick diaper change outside, Lucas demonstrated to everyone at the party how he was a big boy and tee-teed in the yard to a bunch of oohs and aahs and how cutes. All in all, we had a great time at the party and really appreciate the invite. We are so happy with our new neighbors and feel so lucky to be living around them.

On Sunday, the 4th of July, we headed over to Old Navy to pick out matching festive shirts for all of us. During a quick stop at TJ Maxx to look for a new swim suit, Lucas found a helmet which he wore around the store. Unfortunately, I cannot get the photo off of Ben's phone, but will post it later.

While Lucas napped, Ben and I got ready and packed for a fun-filled picnic-style dinner with some of our friends from the neighborhood. When Lucas woke up, we had some time before everyone arrived and gathered at our house so Lucas played in the yard on his slip and slide. He absolutely loves that thing and loves watching Dippy run around to avoid the water he sprays everywhere.

When everyone arrived at our house, we followed each other over to the Polo Fields to eat dinner and watch the fireworks on the golf course. Many of the dads (and Lindsi) played football and frisbee while the children ran around and the moms sat and talked. Lucas and Boris kept busy sweeping and raking the sand dunes while Selina and Jackson ran after the dads and played on the four wheeler. It was such a relaxed and entertaining evening and we are so lucky to have such great friends living around us.

Everyone brought a dish or two and we all thoroughly enjoyed all of the food. We only had one mishap the entire evening, which I think is pretty good, when the paper towels caught on fire! Fortunately, being pregnant with twins didn't slow Mrs. Olga down and was quick enough and put it out before most of us realized what even happened.

Right before the fireworks started, our family friends Shawn and Dylan came out and joined us on the golf course. Thanks for allowing us to park at your house!

Ben and I bought glow necklaces for all of the children which they found almost as entertaining as the fireworks. The fireworks were absolutely beautiful this year and almost all of the children really enjoyed them. Poor Jackson was a little startled at first, but after a quick walk with his Daddy, he came back ready to enjoy the show. I think we all look forward to many more 4th of Julys together!

To continue with the holiday weekend, Ben was off on Monday and we spent a lot of time at the pool. Our friends Jennifer and Nathan and their two kids were up at the pool too and we all had a fun time going down the slide. When Ben heard that little Montgomery (2 months younger) was going down the slide by himself, he was immediately determined to teach Lucas too. I, on the other hand, was terrified and not ready for it, especially when I looked up and saw that Ben had already sent him down. I was so scared for him and thought he would be terrified....but no, here came Lucas with the biggest grin on his face! Ever since that day, Lucas became a big boy and no longer wants to go down with Mommy.

My little boy is growing up so fast right before my eyes. Every day I am so thankful that I do not have to put Lucas in daycare and I can watch him all the time.

Until next week when you hear all about Lucas and Olivia's tea party!