Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ah, children and lyrics

I love it when kids misunderstand the lyrics to songs. As I kid, I misinterpreted lots of lyrics. Even as an adult, I have trouble sometimes. And once I get it in my head, it's hard to change. It actually changes the song when I find out what it really is saying. So weird. Anyway, kids have the cutest ways of mixin' it up. The other day, TJ asked my mom what "trulips" were. He said, "is that like a flower?" My mom asked if he meant tulips and he said no...then said the following: "No Bondi, TRUlips. Like this...On the first day of Christmas, my trulip gave to me..." Oh so funny!

Since my sister had Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" as her song growing up, my dad changed the lyrics of "Joanna" to "Oh Hannah" and made it mine. Only I didn't know it was really written as Joanna until one day I heard it on the radio as a teenager and I was completely surprised. Ha! I didn't want my dad to find out that I knew because I didn't want it to hurt his feelings. How kind of him to try and make it mine. It's still mine and I think Kool & The Gang got it wrong. : )

My sister and I will never let my brother forget that he used to think "She's Like the Wind" was "Sheet Like the Wind" and "If She Would've Been Faithful" was "If She Would've Been Paid For". Ahh, memories.

Wow - only a few days left until Christmas! It doesn't feel like it this year. I don't know why...maybe I need some sn--, nevermind. :)


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Angel & The Dream

TJ made me cry again yesterday. Out of nowhere, his little comment made me stop mid-thought and tear up. At times, I forget that he's just 5. Sometimes he acts so deep and thoughtful and mature that I forget. And other times -- not. : )

Here's what happened. We were watching A Dennis the Menace Christmas and an angel (actually, a man in a shiny white suit) fell out of a tree. TJ asked who it was and I told him he was an angel. Then he asked me what an angel was. (Please, stop scoffing at me because my son doesn't know what an angel is. Believe me, I was taken aback myself!) Anyhow, I said that an angel is someone who God uses to take care of and watch over us. He sighed and paused for a minute before he said, "Mom. You're my angel." I, of course, almost lost it and he noticed. He added, "You are!" So sweet.

Let's move on and I will tell you a story that happened just a few hours later...PROVING that I am more like the devil. At about 4am, TJ burst into our room crying. He ran over to our bed and sobbed, "Mom! Mom, do I have a big booboo on my chin?? Am I bleeding?" I woke up but didn't and couldn't open my eyes. I literally felt around for his face and ran my hand over his chin as he was crying. I felt no blood and mumbled, "You're find, Sweets. Get in." THAT is why I am terrible. I seriously couldn't open my eyes, but I did reassure him that he had just had a bad dream...and rubbed his sweaty little hair until he fell back asleep.

TJ is writing so well and picking things up so quickly. It's really fun! So much fun to literally watch him learn. He is sounding everything out. Sometimes he does it when I'm not around and I can hear him whispering the sounds of words. So cool! I went to the library yesterday to pick up some "See Dick Run" kind of books for him. I'm trying to be especially careful about not overdoing it and am letting him choose when he wants to pick out words in a book that he knows...or just sit and listen and enjoy it. : ) He writes "i love u mom" and "i love you dad" on coloring pages and notebook pages and I can't see that enough! He also copies lots of words...


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Jack Frost Festival

Oh my goodness, we had an unbelievable day today! In the morning, we made crafts (snowmen luminaries and a cardboard Christmas tree which I'll post pictures of once they're finished and dried) and then decorated the tree. TJ is in love with decorations for every holiday and each time we drive past a single light on a house during Halloween or Christmastime, he shouts so loudly that I nearly drive off the road. That said, he was pumped up for decorating the tree today.  : )

We spent the afternoon at Coe Lake with Shane, Beth and little Anna. We saw Santa, made crafts, got free cocoa, chocolates, popcorn and reindeer food, watched amazing ice sculptures being made and listened to some fun music. Then after a grocery shopping trip, we were surprised to see CC for a little while!!!!

I broiled cheeseburgers for dinner and then we headed to the Jack Frost Festival downtown Berea. I wish I had gotten pictures of it but didn't even take my camera because I knew they wouldn't do the beauty of it justice. Everthing was lit up, they had cookies and cocoa for everyone (for free!) and also a merry-go-round and ferris wheel for kids. Again, not buying tickets or spending more money made it even that much more special! It was really crowded and busy, but happily so. I love it when it's "good crowded". TJ loves people and always wants to know who is going to be wherever we are going. We met Brian, Liz, Madeline and little Brian there and also ran in to my brother, my sister-in-law and baby Reagan.

The parade was fun to watch and we hopped from place to place. As we waited for the ferris wheel, we heard the countdown and then watched overhead as a line of sparkling fireworks went off from the top of a building and slid down the line to light up the tree. It was amazing in itself...and was followed by a more gorgeous display of fireworks than we saw on the Fourth of July. They were straight overhead which, I admit, did freak me out a bit. But it was really cool too! We were JUST about up to the ferris wheel when the fireworks started and TJ put the brakes on at that point. We were glad to not have him on the ride during the fireworks...but he hopped on afterward. He went up tentatively, smiled as he got buckled in next to Madeline, and then proceeded to shark-mouth cry the rest of the time. We didn't blame him one bit...I don't think you'd catch Tim or me on a ferris wheel in a million years, but he wanted to go so badly that we had to let him try. TJ gutted it out bigtime and clung to Tim like an octopus when he got off. He was proud of himself for finishing the ride (mostly because he didn't have a choice once he was on it) and I loved that little proud look on his face.

We got home and had some snacks before bed, then read Christmas stories and went to sleep. I love this time of year. But I'm also glad it only comes once a year. I'm beat! G'nite y'all!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

We have a (gulp*) ... 5-year old!?!?

We had TJ's 5th birthday party today and I admit, I broke down halfway through in the kitchen. My poor mom, sister and Gram had to watch it all unfold. My mouth started to melt into a frown as I tried to to hold in a cry...unsuccessfully. Then my whole face felt like it started to melt and the tears started rollin'. How did TJ get so old, so fast? Four is four. When I say that age out loud, I still think toddler kid. But five? Five is, well, five. And that is hitting me hard. I have until Wednesday to still call him four...

We had a great lil party and TJ got mad gifts from his family. Thanks, family! We were all smooshed in our house all cozy-like for afternoon pizza and cake. It was really windy but nice and warm. Phineas and Ferb graced our cake and Agent P peeked out from behind the tree - it was really cute...and yummy.

What happy day and fun celebration!!!! I'm washing new jammies right now and Tim and I can't wait to play with his new toys tomorrow. With TJ, of course. Hehehe.

Birthdays have been sort of strange for TJ in the past.

On the day of his actual birth, he got a bit of a rough start and he spent the first four days of his life in this.

On his first birthday, Tim and I were living in Charlotte and it was just the three of us. TJ got his own little cake (thank you, Harris Teeter) and freaked out when the icing stuck to his hands. (Ha - some things haven't changed much since then.)

Our sweet Scooter also went to live with another family and I was so upset about that, that I unknowingly skipped a surprise bday party our small group planned for us. I will never get over that.

Days before birthday number 2, my PawPaw died. And on TJ's birthday, we drove 7 hours back home from Charlotte. We had a little Elmo cake with Mainwarings before heading back to Ohio.

That was a whirlwind of a memory and a very sad one at that.

On birthday number 3, we were living in a home we were renting until our Charlotte house sold. It was a sweet house, but not home to us. I hate to say that I really don't remember that birthday very well.

We had monkey cupcakes - I do remember that!

Last year, number 4 was a blast!

Our family and some great friends came and there was a special appearance made by Spiderman. I remember the weather on that day last year was absolutely gorgeous as well.

Which brings us, once again, to birthday # 5. Oh how quickly these birthdays come. Happy birthday, my baby! You are my little fella - forever!!! You make us so happy and WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

(Pictures of today's birthday celebration to come shortly)


Sunday, October 16, 2011

A few snapshots of our Disney vacation

My sweet boys at the airport in Orlando

I love this picture...just a few of the Mickey hats at Disney


Halloween at Downtown Disney

Look at all these Legos!

Digging for fossils at the T Rex Cafe

These apples for $10 each...but SO cute!

Loved these decorations

Love this one!

TJ got called up on stage to be sworn in as a pirate

Splash Mountain

As cliche as it may be, this is PRICELESS

I snapped this just before we plummeted down the huge waterfall!

Our hotel pool where TJ did the big waterslide by himself

At Wilderness Lodge

T Rex Cafe

Working hard on Lego cars


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Just a few pictures from my phone to start with...

 Waiting at the bus stop.

 Trying on Mickey ears!

 Morning at our hotel.

 Pirate TJ!

 View from our table at T-Rex Cafe.


the finale

Our last day came too quickly but at the same time, we were all ready to get back to routine. I did shed a few tears just thinking about going home. Not because I don't absolutely love my life, but because it means reality. I loved living outside of reality for 5 days and realize I was lucky to do it.

We packed up while TJ played Lego's again and then headed down to the beach to say good-bye. Here is a picture of TJ saying his farewell to the sand. We did bring home Sand Friend in a little container. Good thing we didn't have to go through customs. : )

I will never forget the sight of TJ sitting there in the window seat, headphones on, tray table down munching slowly on pretzels and animal crackers listening to Kids Place Live. Quietly. That boy was listening so intently trying to pour his can of apple juice into a little cup of ice. Every few moments, he'd tell us what song was playing and since he could hardly hear, he'd say it so loudly. It was hilarious. On our way up and our way down, he was fascinated by the size of things down on the ground. As we expected. "Look at that tiny car! Look at that little toy bus! Are we gonna go upside down?" What a sweet little ham.

We had a great trip home and now that I'm sitting on my couch in my own, cozy home I can say I am happy to be here. We had an absolute blast, but I'm glad to get back to our life together as a little family.


In my last post, I wrote that TJ slept well Wednesday night. I should have written that he "went to sleep well" because he did, but was actually up coughing all night. He was very tired and sick on Thursday. Tim had his conference all day so T and I just went exploring. We took boats to the Wilderness Lodge and then the campground where we saw a show and got a popsicle. I had to carry the poor boy (and his dinosaur) because he was so exhausted. We loved the quiet time though, and spent time looking at all the cool stuff in the stores. Disney has really cool things! And Old Faithful at the Wilderness Lodge was awesome too.

We went back to the hotel to see Tim during one of his breaks and then split again for dinner. (Daddy's company won an award, by the way. Go Dad!) I was sad that we didn't go back to Magic Kingdom but it would have been foolish to do so - especially since he was sicky. So we headed back to Downtown Disney for more shopping and fun. There is so much to do there and so much to see. I just love the whole feeling and the lights twinkling all over at night.

We learned that at Disney, you have to make reservations for EVERYthing. That's something that we'll definitely do next time. Everything is booked way in advance. So when I asked TJ if he wanted to see the T Rex Cafe again just to look and play, he jumped at the chance. When we got there, I went up to the front and asked if they have any tables for walk-ups and the girl said we came at the magic time...and seated us a few minutes later! I was SO excited and TJ was ecstatic. We sat right next to some of the moving dinosaurs and this place was phenomenal. What a loud and exciting experience! My pictures don't do it justice, but it was truly amazing.

After dinner, we dug for more fossils, went back to the Lego store, played with the toys in the stores and people watched. Daddy's bus and our bus got back to the Polynesian about the same time and we headed back for some good sleep. We worked for it!


laying low

TJ slept in til 7:30 (woohoo!) the next morning. We had a day at the pool planned because Tim was at a conference. We floated and swam for hours, then built sand castles and stretched out in the hammocks. TJ went up the staircase to do the volcano water slide with a few other boys. I couldn't believe it when I saw him coming down the slide by himself. I grabbed him up out of the frothy water at the bottom and he kept asking me if he did it all by himself. Ha! He liked hearing that he did - and that I was so happy for him. He did a ton of things that surprised me this week. He is growing UP!

During our swim time, TJ made up a new dance called "the jellyfish". I laughed so hard when he showed me the dance and I practiced it too. Then he asked me to tell him about life when I was a kid. He thinks it's so funny when I tell him we had to crank down our own car windows.

TJ started coughing and sneezing a lot by this time so we decided to lay low for the rest of the day. The three of us had an awesome dinner at the hotel. Tim got the coolest dessert (which I'll post a picture of soon). Afterwards, we went out to the beach for another movie and more fireworks. TJ had recharged by this time and raced on the beach with some kids for an hour. He slept well again that night too.


the magic kingdom and a sweet end of day

As I began writing this post Tuesday night, both boys were snoring and asleep in their beds. They were almost in unison on opposite sides of the room. Wish I'd gotten a picture of it. They were's why: 

The Magic Kingdom brought tears to my eyes as we entered the gates together that morning. I heard the famous music playing, felt the warm morning sun baking my skin and saw Mickey and Minnie waving as we skipped in slow motion into the famous gates. (Well, maybe not the skipping part, but it felt like a dream.) Insert reality - I also had a bit of a headache, TJ didn't want his picture taken because the sun was in his eyes, I sat in my own gum on the monorail en route and I had to pee like crazy but the bathrooms were on the inside - and we had to wait in line for tickets, etc. 

All in all however, the day was incredible. The park was decorated for Fall and Halloween and it was absolutely gorgeous. We spent time in Fantasy Land, Adventure Land, Frontier Land and did just about all of the rides. We didn't see as many characters as I thought we would and we had to wait in line to get pictures with them. TJ hugged Woody and kissed Jessie, high-fived Donald and waited in line to see Pluto but he left to take a potty break before we got to him. Mickey and Minnie must have been hiding out because we never actually saw them. That was a little sad for me, but TJ didn't know the difference so it was just fine.

The Snow White ride was fun and TJ thought the Mirror, Mirror was scary but cool. His favorite was Peter Pan's Flight and I might have to agree with that too. I was really surprised at how well done it was. T also loved It's a Small World and I loved that he thougth it was awesome. As we sat in our little boat together, he kept saying, "Look at that! Look at this! Look, Daddy! Look, Mommy!" at every bend and every turn. Thunder Mountain Railroad was a rough roller coaster for T but he was proud for doing it and being tall enough. Splash Mountain was a huge hit - and I knew it would be. It's a Purdy family favorite and I was excited to go on it with Tim and TJ as their first time. We went back to it at the end and rode it again. It's an event - not just a ride. I took lots of pictures of TJ and Tim on that ride, just looking at each other having a great old time. I loved watching them!

The Haunted Mansion was one we were looking forward to too, especially TJ. And he loved the spooky graveyard before the doors opened for the mansion. But once they scooted us into the second dark, scary room it was over for TJ. He literally went from saying, "This isn't scary!" to doing his sharkmouth cry and sobbing. We were escorted out the emergency exit. : ) We had him shake it off and then got a treat and went along without saying another word about it. He brought it up to me 3 days later when we were looking at our trip pics, and asked if I took any pictures of him crying about it. Ha!

Space Mountain was a ride I originally said I wouldn't do - but then changed my mind for fear of missing out on fun with my boys. I'm giggling as I write that because it was rough. TJ just met the height requirement so he was pumped to do it. Since the roller coaster cars only sat one and not two side by side, TJ had to ride alone with Tim ahead and me behind. He was so excited - and we took off in a flash. I had forgotten how pitch black the whole thing was though! You could not anticipate the next turn or drop or curve so your neck and your brain went every which way. I kept worrying about TJ but couldn't yell up to him because it was so loud. I grabbed his shoulders whenever I could but my hands got thrown off with each new turn. It was a long minute or two. At the end, TJ turned around and I was pleased to see no tears. But he was white as a ghost. He said he'd like to not do that one again. What a trooper! Tim and I are laughing about it as I write this...

Buzz Lightyear's ride was sweet. You actually shot at aliens with lasers on your moving car and earned a score. The aliens all glowed and TJ asked if they used highlighters to color them that way. Dumbo was fun and so was the carousel. The pirates ride was neat too, but even better than the ride was the show. Captain Jack Sparrow and his side kick were dead on as characters. The actors who played them did a great job and gave Johnny Depp a run for his money. TJ got called up on stage thanks to Tim's quick actions and was sworn in as a true pirate. So cute. That boy loves his pirate stuff.

We did so much at the park but missed a lot too. It closed at 7pm so it wasn't dark enough for the castle to light up or to see fireworks there. We didn't get TJ's hair cut at the Harmony Barber Shop or get pixie dust and colored hair gel either. There was no parade either. But we had such an adventure that I didn't really miss it. We were so tired at one point that TJ asked to go back to the hotel and "play Lego's". Ha! So, we did. We left almost an hour before the park closed for the day and I was truly ready too. There's too much to do for just one day.

We met a friend at the Polynesian (where we were staying) who we hadn't seen in quite awhile. Pat came over for pizza and TJ and I scoped out a place to sit at the pool. We decided to go further and venture out to the beach and I'm glad we did! They were playing a movie on a screen on the beach and it was a beautiful, hot night. TJ had recovered from the day and just rolled around doing head stands in the sand. (He STILL has sand in his hair.) As we were finishing up, a light parade began on the water, then fireworks of the castle set to music. Disney does fireworks incredibly well. Best I've ever seen! TJ had a bath and some cocoa and was out light a light. Snoring...


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 1 at Disney

We successfully landed (whew!) in Orlando yesterday at noon and couldn't wait to begin our adventure in Florida. I felt so fancy hopping onto the train/tram to the luggage terminal where we skipped picking up our baggage and got right in line for the Disney bus. (With the tickets we got, baggage was taken for us and put in our rooms a few hours later. Splendid!) We sat on the bus and TJ gleamed with excitement. It took a bit for us to get going but then once we started driving, we saw a movie of Disney highlights and short films.

Jumping off the bus to the Polynesian was incredible. The plants and vegetation were beautiful and I got a flower necklace (what the heck is it called again?) when we checked in. Again, I felt fancy! Our room was nice and spacious and we had fun checking out the pool with a volcano and the beach details. We decided to head straight for some food because it was 2pm by that time and we hadn't really eaten much of anything all day.

We decided to get on a monorail and go for food. Well, it was a learning experience to say the least. For an hour, we went from monorail to monorail looking for a bus to take to these restaurants we'd heard about. Then the transportation we'd heard about truly didn't exist ... so we ended up going back to the hotel even hotter and more starving than the hour before. I get a little cranky when I'm hungry so my inner beast was about to jump out at any minute. We ventured in the hotel eatery and finally figured out the system of ordering and paying since there are Disney meal plans and rules we didn't know much about.

We got it though, we got it. And after a very long, long wait and much silence as we stared at the pager on the table willing it to buzz so that we could eat....we ate! Then hit the deck with our swim suits. The pool here is incredible and there are little lizards all over the place. We took a family walk on the beach, swung in the hammocks and built some scary sand creatures. By then it was time to shower and head to downtown Disney.

Already spent for the day, we waited for the bus and climbed aboard. Seeing TJ's eyes light up 80,000 times in one day has been reward enough, and our evening was magical in itself. Twinkling lights, bright colors, beautiful shops with huge pictures took our breath away. I can't wait to post pictures for you to see! I didn't even factor in the Halloween holiday, but there are Mickey pumpkins everywhere and Disney truly spared no expense in "doin' it up" right. (They can afford it since we are paying these crazy food prices!)

We went into the giant Disney stores and felt like we were on a different planet. This place is truly amazing and T's eyes were as big as saucers - and so were ours. He was so good and patient about the million pictures we took around every corner too. The Stitch statue on top of a store was a big hit for TJ because it spit water from a few stories above. He also loved the Pirates, Star Wars, Toy Story and Lego toys. The Lego store was laughable it was so big. And TJ picked out a Pirates Lego set with his money from Grandma and Grandpa.

One of my favorite places was the T Rex restaurant. This place was remarkable. Kind of along the same lines as Rainforest Cafe only with giant, lifelike dinosaurs and everything else to go with it. Dinner there would have been an event - not just a meal. We didn't eat there, but played in the pit where T discovered dino bones and then shopped in the store there. Again, amazing. They even had a Build-A-Bear workshop completely for dinosaurs. Another purchase made with TJ's prize money. In true TJ form, he named his dinosaur, Dino-y. God bless that hilarious kid.

We went back and played with more Lego cars before heading back home. T fell asleep on the bus back to the hotel - just in time to miss the fireworks overhead. It was fun to watch them out the window. Romantic too. Tim and I had been to Downtown Disney quite a few times in college on our Spring Break trips for track. It was pretty cool to be back there 10+ years later, married with our 4-year old. Really cool, actually. I think it made it that much more special.

Tomorrow, I'll write about the day at Magic Kingdom (Tuesday). For now, I need to put my swollen feet up and get some rest as we've just returned and I am beat!

Here's a look back on our vehicle rides: car to airport parking, shuttle from parking to terminal, plane to destination, tram to baggage, bus to hotel, monorail to 3rd stop where we got on another monorail then took it back to hotel, bus to downtown Disney, bus back to hotel...and that was enough wheels for one day.


Monday, October 10, 2011

en route to magic kingdom!

We are en route to Disney World, my friends! I can hardly believe it. Tim has a conference in Orlando this week and TJ and I got to tag along with him for the whole week! We managed to keep it a secret for the past few months and I'm still not sure how one of us didn't just blurt it out. (Mainly me, since I get a little overly excited about these things.)

Before dinner two nights ago, Tim told TJ he had to leave again for a trip for work. TJ looked down at his dinner plate and then back up to Tim with sad but understanding eyes. Then Tim asked if he wanted to come with him...ON and airplane...AND go to Disney World. I'll have to show you the video if I can figure out how to post it. His eyebrows and eyes literally sparkled and he didn't really believe it. It took a bit of convincing that this was "for real" before TJ got it. "Straight to Disney World? We can straight go there?" he said. We had to laugh at that. Usually he asks that question when we're going to the library or a playground because I usually have to do errands on the way. So we don't go "straight" or directly to a destination most of the time. But this time, we got to say that once we're off that plane, we go straight there.

So, we are in flight and starting to descend. I am on cloud 9 ... literally.

Love, TJ's excited mom


Sunday, September 18, 2011

First Day of School blog ... stories coming soon!

My sweet-face boy!

My proud-face boy!

My silly face boy!


Friday, September 2, 2011

I've been having terrible knee pain for the past several weeks (or actually months now)...but it's only now gotten to the point where I can't run a step without it taking my breath away. I just hobble around the house and talk about doing something about it. Well today, I went to see our ART guy who is amazing at what he does. I drove out with TJ to his office near Crocker Park and we had to wait an unusually long time. TJ was amazing and I sometimes forget that he's only 4. As I lay on the table, TJ sat behind me on the floor a asked if he could look through my purse for something. I said 'sure' because 1.) I was trying to concentrate on what the doc was saying and 2.) because I literally thought he would get one thing (like my chapstick) and then give up and move on. Ha - I was wrong. When I stood up and turned around, I was shocked to see the entire contents of my purse and wallet strewn all over the floor. It was like those info-mercials where they show you all the stuff you can fit into the "magic purse" or whatever. I guess I cram more into that little purse than I thought! Nevertheless, I looked at TJ like he was 2 all over again and asked him to help me scoop it up, which he did without question. It was not a big deal at all, but it was weird to me. He must have been really bored.

I'm not above bribing my son once in awhile and I promised him a Happy Meal if he could be patient while I was getting my knee checked out - which he was. He really wanted to eat inside McDonald's and I obliged. But when we drove around the parking lot three times and couldn't find a single open spot, I told him that we'd have to drive-thru and he said, 'aw, okay mommy.' No complaints, just a bit of disappointment. We sat in the lane and talked about which Ben 10 character he was going to get in his box and I hoped for the blue one. He hoped for red - his favorite color, of course. When I handed him his Happy Meal box, he went straight for the plastic package and ripped open...a baby toy. From the back seat, TJ said, "um, mom? it's a baby Ronald McDonald in a wind-up airplane that doesn't work". I was so disappointed for him and I said I was so sorry...and that they must be out of Ben 10 guys. As I sat at the red traffic light, I waited for his reaction. He was quiet for a second and then said, "It's okay, mom. Don't be sad. We'll get another one someday. I'm sure it's a fun toy for some kids." I wanted to cry! He was worried about ME being sad. I know this may not seem like a big deal, but it really was to me. That boy has a good heart.

Last night as I was planning in my head, I made a mental note to bring TJ's swim suit in case the splash pad was still turned on. I'm pleased to tell you that I was successful! So we moved on from our picnic lunch in the car to the splash pad. Here are some pictures to save me 1000 words in this blog.

T made friends quickly and they made me laugh out loud. The biggest boy (and I mean oldest when I say biggest), hugged TJ when they left. It was cute. We ended up staying for two hours because he was having such a blast and it was so darn hot. T helped me pick out a few things at Trader Joe's on the way back to the car and then I took him for a sweet surprise. We went on a date to Max & Erma's where I told him he could make his own sundae at the sundae bar. He was so excited and actually ate two bowls of it. The second bowl was mostly just toppings (and chewy sweet tarts) which is the way I like to eat my sundaes too. Minus the chewy sweet tarts.   : )

We were beat after that, and Mr. Biggles was nearly asleep as we pulled into the driveway at home in the late afternoon. Tim came home an hour or so later as TJ was getting dressed after his bath. We had dinner as a family and then they moved on to wrestling in the living room. (Barf!) Nights have been emotional for TJ lately. We think it's because he has so much fun playing in the daytime that he doesn't want it to end. I can understand that for sure - but oh, I look forward to the day when bedtime isn't such a challenge.

All in all, today was so great and I am appreciative of how easy T made it. I LOVE good-listening-and-very-little-whining days!  


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Look Ma, No Hands!

TJ has been riding his bike without training wheels for 9 days now...and I am amazed! We were playing outside with chalk last weekend when TJ said, 'hey mom, let's take my training wheels off'! The funny part is, we didn't even have his bike out at that point. It must have been weighing on his mind. : ) So, I said we could try it if I could find the right tool. And yes, I found that tool. I spent the next hour holding the back of his shirt and trying, trying, trying. I let him go on a few at the end and he stayed up a few seconds before tipping. That kid did not give up. Tim took over when he got home and much progress was made after another hour. We took a break and then, BAM! He got it! His little wiggle made it so fun to watch from behind. To keep his balance, he would wiggle his little spine and we just laughed in pure awe.

The next day he was riding with less wiggle. By day 3, he was an old pro. Day 4, he wanted to ride from our house to the park. Reluctantly (to myself), I packed up a backpack and we ventured out. It was surreal! We rode down a huge hill into the park and he learned to stay on the right side. He loved the fact that we didn't have to stop at streets and be wary of driveways. It was a new kind of freedom. We rode nearly 4 miles and his strength in getting up the last hill blew my mind. (My quads were burning!)

Yesterday was my favorite day in a long time. Most days I feel like I say that, but yesterday was especially good. I've been really focusing on keeping my stresses quiet and separating work time with normal time. I'm not especially good at it yet but am seeing improvement. Anyhow, we took our time in the morning and then headed to the library on our bikes. We spent the morning reading and playing there and then went to the bakery for cookies. I always ride behind TJ, but he asked me to be the leader for awhile. Since we were about 100 yards from the bakery I figured it couldn't hurt. Ha. I heard a crash about ten seconds later and when I turned around, I saw TJ on the ground with bloody knees. He admitted that he let his hands go - something I've asked him not to do...for that very reason. Lesson learned. He cried and we walked our bikes to the door of the bakery. The ladies there LOVE little T, and gave him a bag of their famous cookies for free. Sweet.

Grabbing our bag of cookies, we walked our bikes across the street to eat on the bench. In the middle of the street, T fell over his bike right onto his freshly bloodied knees. Double ouch. I told him to run up to the curb and I picked up his bike and rolled mine along side. A kiss on the knee and a cookie for each hand, and TJ got better quickly. It must have been a sight for the people at the red light because two men rolled their driver's side windows down and said, "good job, mom!" as they drove by. I felt slightly taller at that moment. And then got back to real life. : )

Our trip wouldn't have been complete without a stop in to the army store. They know him there too - and he picked out 3 army men from the bucket by the counter. I made him pay for those and he was glad to do it. We rode our bikes home and ate a great lunch on our comfy patio. Then T played while I made work calls. More playtime after that and it was time to make dinner. Tim came home and we ate dinner then walked to the new school playground. What a sweet way to wrap up a great day! Together, as a family of 3.


Monday, August 29, 2011


This summer went CRAZY fast! It makes me kind of emotional to think about because it's over. Just like that. But we crammed so much great stuff into it that I'm fairly amazed. One of the coolest things that happened took place one week ago. TJ got to be the "Play Ball Kid" at the Indian's game. We were blown away at how cool this was. We walked through tunnels and hallways (underground maybe?) at Progressive Field and came up onto the field. We stood on the field and TJ practiced saying "play ball" with the camera man. He did a great job and waited until the right moment on most of the practice runs. 

We waited a good 30 minutes on the field for the other pre-game activities to take place. Then his part came up quickly and he was whisked out onto the field while Tim and I hurriedly took pictures and videos while trying not to miss a thing in person either. Slider kept messing with TJ's hair and he was laughing at first - then got serious. Almost as if to say, "Dude, I've got a job to do here. Don't mess with me!" It was so fun to watch and he did a great job!

To see the videos of it on YouTube, go to: (prep on the field and Slider messing with TJ) (TJ's name on screen and announced, also "play ball")

We watched the game afterward and the cotton candy TJ got to eat in our seats may have been his favorite part. My parents were able to make it (after much rushing around to and from coaching) and joined us for some hot dogs. I don't think TJ sat down the whole time, but he was inactively excited. In other words, he had tons of energy and was super happy to be there, but he actually stayed put. It made it nice for us to all kind of relax. As much as we can relax, that is. : )

What an awesome summer memory. Go Tribe!


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