Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pool Party!

We took advantage of the long weekend to host an impromptu cookout/potluck on Monday and (despite the pool being a chilly 74 degrees) we also took our first swim of the season.

Why is it that some of the best get-togethers are the ones that happen with a bit of spontaneity and a lot of flying by the seat of your pants? This was the case for this gathering and it was fun to officially kick off summer with great memories.

Grayson & Luke testing out the water

Gray enjoyed trying on every pair of goggles he could find. I'm not sure what's going on with his new all-teeth-baring-grin, but you'll notice it's a trend.

Luke, Grayson & Cora enjoyed al fresco dining at the kids' table. Uncle Jimmy decided to join in the fun as well

The cousins enjoying cookies and some relaxation. This is the life!

Somehow, I managed to not get a single picture of baby Jack. He didn't partake of the swimming since it was a bit chilly, but we had fun passing him around for some cuddle time. 

Friday, May 27, 2011


A few recent conversations with Grayson:
  • On our commute home from school/work one day I asked Gray the usual, "Who did you play with at school today?" The answer surprised me when Gray replied: "I played with Kendall, Rhyann, Jesus, Kolby..." Me: "Did you say, Jesus?" Gray (smiling): "Yeah." 

  • In a rare moment of mutual affection, Gray was cuddling with Roxy on the couch and randomly said, "I love you, Roxy," and then kissed the back of her head. She was soaking up all the attention and quickly leaned in for some wet kisses to which Gray said, "I don't eat tongues, Roxy. No more kisses."   

  • Gray's school has chapel lessons every Thursday. One of their activities is passing a stuffed animal lamb around the circle as each child says what they are thankful for. Most kids say mommy, daddy, etc., but yesterday Gray's teacher told us he got a little creative. His response was, "I'm thankful for my mommy, my daddy, sometimes my brother (meaning his cousin Luke) and COOKIES!" I must say I'm thankful for all of these things too.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Our Baby Elephant

    I'd like to introduce you to Grayson the Elephant...

    As you'll hear in the video below, he is channeling more of a tiger than an elephant when he roars, but he's enthusiastic nonetheless. 

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Duck & Cover

    I am so thankful to report that our family and house are safe after tonight's tornado outbreak. Luckily, Michael and I were able to leave work a bit early to make it home before the storms hit. A short while later, we took cover in an interior hall closet along with my sister Emily and Roxy (of course) as two tornadoes came through.

    Despite living in tornado alley, I have only had to take cover a couple of times in my entire life, so the fact that we had to take shelter was nerve racking. We stayed calm in hopes that Gray would think it was all fun and games. Thank heaven for Sesame Street podcasts and iPod flashcards is all I have to say.

    There was an even more devastating tornado that ripped through Piedmont, OK (on the west side of OKC) where we have some family. Everyone is safe and accounted for which is such a blessing.

    We're all hugging each other a little tighter this evening and I hope everyone is safe and sound at home tonight. 

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Life Happens

    I've been terrible about taking pictures lately as well as capturing the corresponding stories. It just seems like life is so full of funny moments these days, but it's blazing by at 90 mph which makes it difficult to sit down and write a new post.

    This weekend we had a wonderful visit with Michael's parents. Grayson was proud to show off his vegetable garden to Nana and Popper and mentioned it immediately upon their arrival. Nothing is ready to be harvested, but somehow Gray knows it's something to be proud of. When Nana asked what was planted in the garden, Gray replied "vegetables." I guess that's an improvement from his usual response of "dirt."

    On Saturday we decided to take a gamble and see if Gray would sit through a movie at the movie theater. We went to see Rio and I'm pleased to report he sat through the entire thing. It was so much fun to see his face when the curtain lifted and he realized how big the screen was. We also saw a preview for Cars 2 and he flipped out with excitement. I'm sure that will be our next theater visit.

    Last night we decided to try out the waterfront restaurant at Clearbay on Lake Thunderbird. It recently opened for the season and we enjoyed dining on the deck, watching the boats and listening to some live music.

    It was a great evening which could only be upstaged by our al fresco dining this evening when we baked a lasagna and had an impromptu picnic on the porch at the lake house. It was the perfect Sunday afternoon and evening, which I know we'll share more of once Nana and Popper live here full-time.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Saturday Morning Playdate

    This week is nearly over and I am finally getting a minute to upload pictures from last weekend. Where does the time go?

    Last Saturday we went down to the school playground at the end of our street to burn some little boy energy. Uncle Levi, Aunt Emmy and their dog Molly joined in the fun. Roxy also enjoyed climbing the playground equipment so she would be taller than Molly, but soon realized the only way down was to go down the slide. She wasn't so sure about that part.

    It's crazy to think that last weekend we were wearing jackets and next week we're opening our pool for the summer season. Gotta love Oklahoma's crazy springtime weather.

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    One Track Mind

    Last night I was getting dinner ready and Gray was going back and forth between helping me and watching Word Girl on PBS Kids. This is a super-hero based show where the girl solves crimes which conveniently revolve around defining new vocabulary words.

    The end of the show talked about kids' favorite words and I asked Gray what his favorite word was. He took a moment to think about it and then got a big grin on his face and said, "hot rod." Of course.

    He was so proud and happy that I didn't have the heart to tell him that's actually two words. Either way, it made his daddy's day.

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    A Boy & His Boots

    One of my wonderful co-workers recently gave me some hand-me-down rain boots from her kids and Grayson has been living in them every waking moment since I brought them home. He calls them his cowboy boots and tromps around the house, most times with them on the wrong feet.

    This morning after doing our normal potty routine (and not having to take off his pjs because he secretly takes them off sometime in the night, EVERY night), I laid out some clothes to see if he could dress himself. I went back into my room to give him some time and when I peeked in a few minutes later he was walking around buck naked in nothing but his yellow boots.

    I couldn't help but laugh out loud at the adorable sight.

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    Party at the Park

    We've had a great weekend celebrating mothers, grandmothers, aunts and even our seventh wedding anniversary. Saturday we met up with my family to have a casual and impromptu picnic at the park.

    Despite the unusually hot weather, we had fun eating under the shade trees, playing on the playgrounds, feeding the ducks and even taking in a car show that was going on in one area of the park. Leave it to car enthusiasts to somehow worm their way into Mother's Day weekend!

    This is Gray trying to feed bread to a couple of turtles and me trying to keep him from leaning over and falling in.

    Grayson decided to channel his inner Uncle Levi and climbed up some rock wall mounts that are on a water tank near the duck pond. Levi may have a future climbing partner on his hands.

    Of course the boys couldn't resist taking a closer look at all the cars. This white convertible was one of my favorites. I loved the pristine red interior.

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

    Over the last few weeks Grayson has developed a new goodbye routine. Whenever I drop him off at school or tuck him in at night he wants a hug, a kiss and a fist bump (in that order). 

    If I ever forget and walk away after just a hug he runs after me yelling, "I need a kiss!" Then we kiss and he says, "I need a bump."

    Of course, this is a goodbye routine that I hope becomes a lifelong tradition, but realistically I realize this is probably not going to be cool when he gets older. So for now I'm enjoying every sweet goodbye. 

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Bye Bye Pull-Ups

    For those of you keeping up with Grayson's potty training progress, last week we switched over to "big kid" underwear full-time. I decided that the pull-ups were delaying the inevitable at this point and we had to just go for it.

    Though each day has gotten better, I was tempted to put a pull-up on him for our go-kart outing on Saturday. I stayed the course and kept him in real underwear and he did great. No accidents the whole time we were out!

    In fact, the last several days he's only had one accident the entire day and usually it occurs while attempting to make it to the potty. Today I picked him up from school in the clothes that I dressed him in this morning. That means a full day with no accidents...quite a nice surprise!

    That said, Gray loves visiting every public restroom we pass even if he doesn't really need to go. I guess it's better for him to like it versus being afraid to go in public. I've come to accept this and have our hand sanitizer at the ready.

    We still have a while before I'll be confident enough to stop carrying a bag full of back-up clothes, but he's at least on the right track. 

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Race Day

    Yesterday morning we spent the day fulfilling Michael's dream of driving a Formula 1 car by racing the next best thing...ridiculously fast go karts.

    Michael belongs to a BMW club and they had an annual meet up yesterday at the Oklahoma Motorsports Complex (aka every mom's worst nightmare). About 25 guys gathered to race three different "heats" at the kart track. Michael was in the first heat and finished in the top two which meant he moved on to the final round.

    Unfortunately, a guy hit his kart in the finals and spun him around causing a high-center crash that delayed him enough to move from third to sixth with no time left to recover his position. Despite that, I'd say it was still a very good day.

     We arrived a little early and the guys were able to take in some action on the dirt track next door. Gray insisted on wearing his ear protection even though it wasn't even loud.

     This is hard to see, but my Mazda is on the right and Mike's car is next to it. A stranger is walking around his car drooling and Mike is loving every second of it. By the end of the morning there were twenty more BMWs, Mini Coopers and a NSX all lined up in the parking lot. I forgot to take a picture of all the cars at the end because I was too busy running Gray back and forth to the potty (a story for another post).

    Here are some of the guys gathering around before the start of the first heat. They were like kids in a candy store...all so excited, but trying to play it cool.

     The karts go so fast you have to wear a motocross helmet. Gray loved trying the helmets on and I enjoyed him looking like a bobblehead.

    After it was all over, daddy let him "drive" one of the karts. You can hear his car sounds in the video below. 

    Later on in the day, the guys set up a club photo shoot in an empty parking lot. The final pics haven't been posted yet, but this shows you the range of cars that are part of the group. It's nice to see so many different types of people share a common interest and have some fun together.