Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Video Wednesday: Do You Want to….. {Rory}

In an attempt to get him to say “no” so I could capture it for posterity, I asked Rory if he wanted to do a few different activities one morning a couple of weeks ago. I got my “no” but was surprised when he answered positively to one of my questions.

So we colored! I discovered that Rory is ambidextrous right now and that he also likes to grab fistfuls of crayons and pile them on top of his paper. But we had fun.






I can’t believe I didn’t ask him if he wanted to build a snowman.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

School Days: Frog of the Week {Riley}

I know, I know. I need to do the first big update on Riley’s kindergarten year. I’m trying to figure out how to do it procrastinating. So instead let’s talk specifically about last week and how special it was for the wonk potatoes at school.

Last week Riley was “Frog of the Week.” All week long his class got to learn more about him and what he likes. And he got to help Mrs. Allison and Mrs. Ceci with various tasks in the classroom.


He brought home a poster that he had to fill out over the weekend and present to his class on Monday. He did not want to get started at first, but I persevered and cajoled and coaxed, and he eventually got into it. With the exception of the purple star at the top, the poster is entirely his work, from writing to coloring to cutting and gluing. He even came up with the idea to make the letters and stars multi-colored. I was so proud him.

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On Tuesday Riley got to bring his favorite book to school to share with his class. He chose to bring a book he checked out of the school library the week before, called The Voyage of Turtle Rex.

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On Wednesday Riley brought his favorite snack to share with his class. Not surprisingly, he chose to bring Star Wars gummies.


On Thursday Riley was supposed to bring in his favorite toy for show-and-tell. This was a much debated activity. First he wanted to bring some Lego minifigures. Then he wanted to bring a Lego Mixel. But he ultimately decided on his bestest friend. Giraffey finally got to go to school with him this year!


Friday was Riley’s last day as Frog of the Week. I sent in a special treat (tootsie roll pops) for him and his friends to enjoy that afternoon. He also got to have a loved one come to lunch with him in the cafeteria, so I dropped Rory off at Nola’s and headed to school to dine with my boy. We had a great time eating and being silly. I saw Claire and also chatted with some of the other kids at Riley's table. It was fun!



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Congratulations on doing such a great job as Frog of the Week, my Riley-bean. Daddy and I are so proud of you. We love you so very much!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Video Monday: I Love You {Rory}

Rory is trying to form words these days, but he’s just not succeeding all that much. However, his favorite phrase right now seems to be “I want Dada.” That one comes through clear as day.

His “no” is also very well-defined. But that’s another video for another day.

I’ve been attempting to teach him how to say “I love you” for a while now, but it comes across more as “I want that” when he says it. But he’s still awfully cute.

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Important Lesson for the Wonk Potatoes

At the end of July, Riley spent a few nights across the lake with Grandma and Grandpa. One of their planned outings was to Barnes and Noble so Riley could pick out a new book. However, they didn’t even get in the front door before Riley spotted something else he wanted on display in one of the windows. Surprise, surprise: it was a Lego set.

Only he didn’t want it for himself. He wanted it for Claire.

The Lego set in question was Elsa’s Sparkling Ice Castle. Grandma tried to redirect him, but Riley was bound and determined to bring that set home. After listening to a few well thought out and logical arguments from Riley about why she should buy it, Grandma gently pushed him into the store so she could at least see how much it was.

When she discovered the set was $45, she had to tell Riley that was too expensive. Although she agreed it was a very nice intention, it wasn’t even Claire’s birthday and to spend that much “just because” wasn’t her place. (Kenny and I totally agreed.)

Upon hearing that Riley lost it. Completely melted down. Grandma and Grandpa ended up leaving Barnes and Noble with a very upset wonk potatoes and nothing else. He didn’t even get to pick out a new book for himself because he was so consumed with getting the Lego set.

The rest of the weekend Grandma tried to get Riley to forget about it, but he was committed. So she told him that perhaps he could earn the money he needed to buy the set by doing chores. When she asked him what he thought he could do he said, “Walk the dog.” Hilarious, considering we don’t have a dog.

I thought there was a decent chance he would forget about all of this over the next few weeks, but no such luck. He asked every few days if there were any chores he could do to earn money. He watered plants for us, took out the trash for Nopsi, and helped Grandma with lots of organizing and cleaning out at her dad’s house.

Slowly but surely, over 6 weeks or so, he earned enough to buy the Frozen Lego set. However, he did admit that while he wants it for Claire, he intends to keep it at his house for her to play with when she comes over. He is certainly a man with a plan.

Grandma took Riley to Target to buy the set on Saturday and by Sunday afternoon he had the whole thing built. It’s actually really cute; the little Elsa, Anna, and Olaf minifigures are my favorites.


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He even had me set up a whole “North Mountain” scene in his room.


Dana and I planned for Claire and Colin to come over to play on Wednesday afternoon, and Riley was beside himself with excitement. At first he wanted the Frozen Legos to be a surprise, but then he decided he wanted to tell Claire about them at school on Monday. When he did, he said she “jumped up and down with excitement.” He was so proud of himself for making her happy.




I’m telling you, once he sets his mind to something, there’s no turning back. I am so proud of him for doing all of that work to earn enough money to buy this set himself. I hope he realizes the important lesson he learned in all of this: hard work can mean great reward, especially if the reward is for someone other than yourself.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

By the way, a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Nopsi today! We love you!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Vacation Snuggles

On our second night at the beach I found myself on the couch in the living room with my boys. Riley climbed up first and Rory couldn’t be left out, so they both wiggled their way into comfy spots on my lap.


It’s not often they will sit with me for very long, so I cherished this.

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Then I started tickling them.


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And Kenny snapped my new favorite picture with my sweet and silly boys.


Thanks so much for that, Ken. I LOVE it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Annual Friends Beach Trip 2015

The Friday before last, Kenny only worked a half day and came with Rory and me to pick Riley up from school. From there we got straight on the road for our annual fall trip to the beach with friends.


We got to the Phoenix West complex in Orange Beach right around dinnertime. This year there were only three families, so we switched up where we stayed. The kids LOVED the Phoenix since it has a lazy river and a waterslide. It was really fun to have those options.


Michelle and her family were there when we arrived, and they had David’s niece Bella with them too. Karen and Molly showed up a couple of hours later. Nathan was unfortunately sick and missed the trip.

Before we got the kids to bed, we opened up a pack of glowsticks (Riley walked around with four calling himself General Grievous), and then most of us decided to go hunt for crabs on the beach. It was a gorgeous night and we found lots of crabs. Girl power: Molly and Bella found the most. By far!





The next day dawned pretty cloudy. We spotted a few dolphins from our balcony after breakfast and Riley and Jackson got deep into Legos, but we all managed to head down to the lazy river and slide before 10. Kenny and I ventured to the beach with the boys for a little while before lunch, but we spent most of our time in the river. The water was pretty chilly though; the ocean was actually warmer!



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Everyone came in for lunch, after which Kenny led an impromptu stretching session in the living room. Then Karen and I took the older kids back out around 2. We opted for the beach instead of the pool; the kids had a great time playing on the sand and in the water. Miche brought Everett out a bit later, and he ended up taking an hour-long nap on a towel in the sand. He’s so cute.


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Everett is 6 months old and currently teething. Miche said it’s been pretty hard on him, although Karen and I agreed that he is such a good baby. He barely cried at all the whole time we were there. I asked Miche if she had tried letting Everett gnaw on a beer bottle (empty, of course), which she hadn’t. I offered him mine that night and he went to town. So funny.


This was also the night that Alden piled all of the trucks we brought onto Rory’s lap. Too funny.

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From the moment I stepped out onto the balcony the next morning, I knew it was going to be a beautiful day. And it was. We spent a lot of time down on the beach. Riley and Jackson had a blast together; they picked up right where they left off last year. They especially loved throwing sand “force lightning.” (Like Riley, Jackson also loves Star Wars.) And Rory just ran, ran, and ran some more.






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We also made sure to get some last slides in before calling it a day and heading upstairs to shower, have dinner, and start packing. I’m not sure who had more fun on the waterslide: the adults or the kids!

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Kenny made octopus hot dogs for the kids for dinner, which they ate out on the balcony during a gorgeous sunset. So pretty.







After dinner, the older boys had some Lego time, Molly snuggled with Everett before learning about who Princess Leia is (Karen even did her hair in Leia’s trademark buns!), Alden gave Riley’s Darth Vader mask a go, and we opened the last pack of glowsticks for some colorful fun before bed. Jackson got a little over-excited with his out on the balcony; we all watched as one of his glowsticks floated all the way down to the pool. Oops. But the kids had such a great last night together, running around, playing, and laughing.

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The sunrise on Monday morning was so pretty; we were all so bummed we had to leave. Riley especially: he really wanted to play more with Jackson. But it was time to go home.



We ended up taking a slight detour on our way home, to the USS Alabama. We always see the floating museum from the interstate but we had never stopped before. However, Rory fell asleep shortly before we got there, so we didn’t tour the actual boat. But Riley liked walking around all of the tanks and gun turrets on display on the lawn in front of it.


This was the first year we had to come home and not only unpack and start laundry but also do homework. Riley was none to pleased and said he’d much rather be back at the beach, but he got everything done with little complaint.


I know I probably say it every year, but I am SO glad we started this annual trip. And I am so grateful that we have been able to attend every single trip that has happened. Our first one was in 2007, and we’ve only missed two years (2010 and 2012) since then. Huge thanks to my better half for allowing me to reunite with some of my best friends in his less-than-ideal location.



Until next year, Orange Beach!

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