Saturday, May 31, 2014

potty training and pool time

Like that title? Nothing says "welcome summer!" like pool time…and potty training.

We went around the corner to a neighbor's pool a couple times this week. Joseph really had no interest. The water was cold, but really he just would rather play with the sprinkler system than get in the pool. {He does not like the bright sun. We couldn't find his sunglasses, but have since bought new ones… And yes, I have something a little less pink-and-green for him to wear next time.}

Sister, on the other hand, loved the pool - cold water or not - and had a blast.

She's a hoot, that one. See Joseph over there by the sprinkler? 

Now, about the potty training…  

I'm talking about Joseph. Hannah just wanted some candy, too. I started with Smarties because Joseph has such a sweet tooth, but I realized he is far more excited about stickers. Go figure. Whatever works! 

But potty training this time around is exhausting. Hannah was a breeze in comparison. For one, he's a boy and boys usually require much more effort and take longer, or so I've heard. But mainly, it's his GI problems that make this experience hard. He's got the #1 thing down. Tells me when he needs to go, and even just goes to the bathroom by himself. It's the #2 thing… 

I didn't have any unrealistic goals for this week, truly. I just wanted to start and see where we got. He's been going some on the toilet for a while now - at preschool and before bath at night, but that's about it. This week my plan was simply to keep him bare-bottomed. Ideally he would understand what I was trying to do and start telling me when he needed to go. There was hope - and fervent prayers - that potty training might alleviate his tummy troubles. That somehow putting him on the potty multiple times a day would make something click and he would stop withholding. Somehow. But that's not the case so far, and I guess I shouldn't be surprised considering the specialists have told me this again and again! He is not going to potty train like a normal child. Prayers continue.

Still, we have made good progress. I called his GI doc to let them know and, following their advice, have been doing "toilet time" and giving lots of positive reinforcement. Hannah has been a supportive big sister and a great encourager. 

She and I decided the playroom needed rearranging yesterday and we took down the last three remaining tissue poms from the ceiling (from her birthday party in September). She enjoyed stomping on them.

Joseph and I have spent about 1/4 of each day in the bathroom. We have washed our hands a hundred times. We have read lots of books. But we are getting somewhere. Hooray!

No…I'm not joking. This is reason to celebrate. {And I've had the bottle of champagne sitting in the wine rack for at least three years. I'm not a champagne connoisseur, but it tasted delicious to me.}

Thursday, May 29, 2014

memorial day weekend and joe's first ride

Joe went on his first bike ride since July 17 of last year.

We escorted him to the town square where he met the other cyclists.

We were glad when he got back home, safe and sound and feeling great! How about that spiffy new bike? It features flashing lights, reflectors and sirens. Ok, maybe not, but there are certainly some safety measures we are taking this go-round. He is now carrying his phone - something he's never done before. He has a tracking device where I can follow him on my phone or iPad. No solo riding. {For this first ride he rode with 4 other guys.} And, well yes, flashing lights. That's how he now rolls.

Later on we hit the Dairy Lane (a favorite local establishment) for lunch.

Granddaddy and Mrs. Renee sent the graduate some money to take the family out for ice cream to celebrate. She was excited and even handed the lady the money herself. Such a sweetie.

We picked up some plants at the nursery next door and spent the rest of the long weekend doing quite a bit of work in the yard. On Sunday, we wore red, white and blue to church in honor of Memorial Day.

Meme bought that adorable dress for Hannah. Joseph's outfit is 30 years old and was worn by my brothers. But how perfectly do they go together?! I love it!

There was no one to take a family picture, so this is how we did it.

And then Hannah wanted to take a picture of Momma and Daddy:

It was a nice holiday weekend, spent almost entirely at home. We talked a lot about the meaning of Memorial Day, and answered questions from a perceptive little girl. She is now talking about war and playing "let's kill the bad guys" with her brother. Well, perhaps she's beginning to understand what freedom means.

As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

preschool graduation

The preschool end-of-year program was Thursday and our sweet girl graduated!

To say that Joseph enjoyed being onstage is a bit of an understatement. A friend of ours sent us this picture, and something along the lines of "You can tell who the preacher's kid is!"

Hannah liked being next to her friend, Wilson. She was a little bossy in telling him what to do and what not to do, but he held her hand and seemed to be ok with it. "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "The Wheels on the Bus" were two favorites they performed, as well as "God is So Good."

Meme came to watch and celebrate with us. She crafted this sign for the graduate:

 {Hannah and Mrs. Patti}

 {We like the back of the sign, too!}

Joseph's smile has gone from cheesy to creepy…

 {Joseph and Mrs. Rachel}

After snacking on sugary refreshments, Meme and I took them to the playground to run some of it off. We met Daddy for lunch at Fox's pizza. What a happy day! We put the graduate among the artwork on the fridge:

Dear Monkey, 

I cannot believe that, in just a short couple of months, you will be in full-day school. I'm wondering where my baby went, but at the same time so excited for you. The church preschool has been wonderful for you these past three years. It was impossible to imagine who you'd be today when you were this little almost-two-year-old on your first day of school… 

 {September 2011}

You just kept getting bigger and smarter each year…

 {September 2012}

And when your brother was old enough for his first day of school, you were right there - protecting him and telling everyone he was your baby brother.

 {September 2013}

Joseph loved going to school, too, and playing with his big sister on the playground. Y'all have grown so close and had so much fun these last two years at preschool. I am not going to know what to do at first with you being gone all day, but I will have your little brother at home to take care of so I guess I'll be ok. I know you are a little sad to be leaving Josey, but you are going to love telling him all about big school. And, one day all too soon, you'll both be in big school and I'll wonder where the time has gone.

You were a little overwhelmed when we took you to see your new school, but you were so excited when you saw the huge playground, and, though there were a lot of kids out there (none of which you knew), you ran out to play. 

You are going to love pre-K, I just know it! You are a good helper and have a big heart. You are very outgoing and social and we know you will make friends fast. I can't wait to see all that you learn and hear all of your stories from school. Don't be afraid, little acorn. Just be the person God made you to be… 

Remember that Jesus is with you always, living right inside of your heart. Share His love with others and be kind. Daddy and I are so proud of the little girl you have become. We are so blessed to have you and love you so much.

To the moon and back,


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

i need to practice my dancing…

On Sunday, Hannah sang with the cherub choir one of my favorite children's songs:

Arky Arky…love it. After church, I surprised her with a momma/daughter date to see the "Sleeping Beauty" ballet.

Afterwards, she was practicing her own twirling. She's excited about taking ballet.

That is one of my favorite dresses. She loves it, too…because it twirls so good.

By the way, we said goodbye to the baby swing last weekend. A little sentimental for me…

…but they love the rings! So when the girls got back home from the ballet, the boys headed outside to swing.

We ended our day at the children's musical at the church. Our typical Sundays are very quiet, staying at home while Joe works, so this was out of the ordinary. But we had a fun day. I treasure moments like these, while H+J are still little, making memories.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

strawberry fields forever

Last Wednesday storms threatened and Hannah had cherub choir practice that evening, but I've been wanting to take the kids to pick strawberries and I knew we were running out of time. On a whim, I decided to drive the kids over to Wrens (small town up the road from here, about 30-40 min away) to a 2.5-acre field of beautiful, ripe strawberries.

Hannah was the bucket holder and helped with quality control (i.e. throwing out the bad ones her brother put in there.). And Joseph was more interested in eating them as he picked. With a little encouragement/prodding, we filled a bucket and came home. Just as the sky opened up.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

a funeral and a wedding

Last week was a busy one.

Troup, a cousin of Joe's, much like an uncle, passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. We went to Alabama for the funeral, which Joe officiated. It was a sad occasion, but it gave us the opportunity to introduce our children to that side of the family (and for me to meet some relatives). Troup loved horses and we spent some time with his beloved animals while at his beautiful home in Auburn. Hannah loved playing with her "new" cousins, too.

She fed and rode one bareback!

Joseph liked watching, playing with the hose and petting a tiny puppy.

{Joe with Uncle Jerry and Uncle Earl}

{Riding on the "tractor" lawn-mower with cousin Terrill}

I couldn't help but take this picture:

We shared suitcases and when I opened the boys' to add some stuff and saw that, I just couldn't help but capture the cuteness with my phone. I love his little dress shoes in his daddy's.

The next morning we took the kids to see the Auburn campus. We thought it would've been football season when we were next there, and the kids' first time in Auburn. We were planning on going to stay with Troup and his wife, Ginny and see a football game. Sad we never got that chance…

The stadium was open so we got to go in. Hannah and Joseph were amazed.

{Jordan-Hare Stadium/Pat Dye Field}

I have to admit, Joe and I thought it was pretty cool, too.

{Samford Hall}

Obviously, the indoctrination process has begun. On Instagram I called it "campus orientation". 

At the end of the week we headed to Savannah for my cousin's wedding. We helped host the rehearsal dinner at my mom's house and had a lot of fun playing with family. I'm kicking myself for not getting a family picture, but I did take a few pictures:

Congratulations to Jessica and Uriah (and Jasper)!

Look at that sweet little smiling face in the background between the happy couple. Hannah loves a "marry girl".

We had both happy and sad times all in a week. Hannah and Joseph did ok despite the many hours spent in the car. In between the traveling for family things, Joe had to travel twice for work. Needless to say, we were excited when Sunday got here.

And that brings me to Mother's Day. I cannot believe this happened, and seeing all the pictures on Facebook was salt in my wounds, but for the first time I did not get a picture with my children. This may seem unimportant; Joe didn't think it was too awful ("You have lots of pictures…"), but I did. Granted last year's picture was a pain with Hannah pouting and Joseph not staying put, but still… Oh well.

Preschool creations:

I know it's been a week, but I still want to say happy (belated) Mother's Day to all you moms and to those who mean the most to me - you know who you are. I love you.