Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Only Constant is Change

I don't know much about numerology or the energy of the universe, but I've recently been feeling off kilter on many fronts and find myself seeking change.

I've never been one to fear change, yet thinking about the unknown can be downright fretful if I let it consume my thoughts. So instead, I try to focus on change as an opportunity to grow.

One big change coming to our family is that tomorrow is Grayson's last day at his school. As difficult as it is to enter into an unknown situation (especially when it comes to your child), I know that this move will be better for him in the long run.

A spot opened up at a school close to our house which has a top-notch preschool and feeds into the local public school's pre-K program as well. The down side is that I have to give up spending my commute with him in the car with me.

While I'm the first to admit there are times when his endless talking and questions during the 45-minute commute borders on mild torture after a long day, I know I'll miss my chatty backseat companion when I'm sitting bumper-to-bumper and surrounded by silence.

Then there's the incessant worry about if this school will live up to our expectations, what happens if I'm 20 miles away and can't get to him quickly, and so on until I make myself crazy.

But for now I'm trying to focus on the positives and keep myself open to change. What good is life if you don't take a few leaps of faith now and then, right?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Red Dirt Rendezvous

Why do little boys love digging in the dirt? Just give Grayson and Luke a couple of shovels and a dump truck and they are entertained for the evening. Once it got dark we moved this party to the bathtub for a little cleaner fun.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One lucky (semi-old) lady

So today is my birthday...the big 3-0. I can't say that I've been dreading this one, but I haven't been looking forward to it either. 

When your birthday falls on a workday it always dampens the celebratory spirit a bit, but my wonderful co-workers showered me with love and thoughtfulness all day. 

I skipped out a little early (it is my birthday after all) and was treated to more fun surprises at home. 

As if these two boxes weren't enough to make my heart go pitter-patter, Michael brought me flowers. That may not seem like a big deal, but my husband has a very specific viewpoint when it comes to flowers. 

He's only given me flowers twice in our nearly 11 years together and both times were while we were dating. I was surprised enough to see a little blue Tiffany's box, but I must admit the flowers were what took my breath away. 

It also means I have to eat crow because I actually just had a co-worker ask me if Michael gave me flowers earlier in the day. I explained that he "would never" do that since he would rather splurge on more long-lasting gifts. Yet again he never ceases to amaze me. 

If 30 means being over-the-top spoiled by the people you love, then I think I can learn to live with no longer being in my twenties. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Next stop, NRA

Today when I picked Grayson up from school we were hugging hello when another little boy came over to us. He was carrying a Lego creation, and judging from his sound effects he was pretending it was a gun.

Curious to see if Grayson picked up on this, I asked him what the boy was holding. He nonchalantly replied, "a gun." Meanwhile the boy started jamming it into my leg like he was shooting me. Nice.

I asked Gray where he learned about guns and he just smiled like he knew he'd been busted knowing something he shouldn't. I dropped the subject and brought it up again later, asking what he thinks of guns.

All I could get out of him was they are used by bad guys for shooting. I know this is a part of growing up, especially for boys, but I must admit I've been dreading the moment that he discovered guns. The logical side of me knows it's inevitable, but the uber-protective mom inside of me wants to shield him from anything related to "bad guys" (especially since he's not even three yet).

I also didn't grow up around guns or hunting like Michael did, so I've pretty much avoided the subject altogether. I had even purchased water squirter tube thingys instead of water guns for the pool in a deliberate attempt to delay this moment a bit longer. So much for that idea.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Placebo Effect

Grayson was diagnosed with swimmers ear on Friday and it has allowed us to make an amazing discovery. We have to put drops in his ear twice a day and when we do so he lays down (hardly moving) until you tell him to get up. 

So of course I started giving him his second dose of the day right before bedtime. Cold turkey, he quit getting out of bed 10 times a night for various reasons and stays right where we put him (which is nothing short of a miracle).

The doctor told us to give him the drops for seven days and then mix up an alcohol/vinegar solution to drop in his ear after swimming. I'm tempted to make this part of our bedtime routine (regardless of swimming) if it means we won't have to go through 45-60 minutes of delay tactics and catching him creep down the hallway each night.

On a scale of 1-10, how bad is that?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Tonight I was cruising the internet with Grayson by my side doing something else, when I headed over to this blog. He was paying attention more than I thought because he immediately recognized his picture and asked what I was looking at.

I tried to explain to him that this is his blog, but I don't think I did a very good job. Then I asked him what he wanted people to know about him. He replied, "my mama." Well, I'm pretty sure we've got that one covered.

After thinking up a few questions, I jotted down a quick "interview" of what Grayson likes at the moment:

What's your favorite word? Spiderman and Grave Diggers

Favorite food: peanut jelly (peanut butter & jelly sandwich)

Favorite color: blue

Favorite toy: lightening! (meaning Lightening McQueen from Cars)

Favorite shape: square

My birthday is coming.
He's also obsessed with the idea that his birthday is coming soon. We've been attending lots of birthday parties lately and he is highly anticipating his own. I've tried explaining how far off his birthday is, but everyday he tells me that his birthday is coming.

When I ask him what kind of birthday party he wants he says either Spiderman, cars or choo choo train. Perhaps I could figure out a way to merge them? That would be interesting. I'm hoping he'll change his mind or pick one before now and September.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cautiously Optimistic

We're officially diaper-free in our household! 

Grayson has been doing great on his potty training, but was still wearing a diaper for naps and nighttime. We were nearing the end of our stash so I decided it was time to just go for it and get rid of the diapers all together.

So far he's stayed dry two out of the last three nights and has done great for naps. Fingers crossed he will keep it up! I'm not sure at what point you go from potty training to potty trained, but I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Love of the Land

Last time we were in Mississippi Grayson was six months old so he didn't get to take in country life. This time he was all about it. From riding the four wheeler to getting up close and personal with a bunch of cows to running in the wide open space, Gray loved playing farmer.

Of course, his mama wasn't a fan of him being on the four wheeler so he mainly just sat on it while it was parked and rode a short distance on the driveway. That didn't seem to dampen his enthusiasm.

Friday, July 8, 2011

This is the Life

My parents have a great swimming pool, complete with every insurance man's nightmare... a water slide. Grayson was only brave enough to go down it a couple of times, but that was okay with us.

Instead, he enjoyed swimming with my parent's adorable neighbor Carter, who had the cutest southern accent you've ever heard. Pappa helped the boys navigate the slide, Susu pushed them around on floats pretending they were on motor boats, and they ate more Popsicles that I can even recount. I'd say a good time was had by all.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gone Fishin'

One of Michael's favorite things to do when we visit Mississippi is to fish in the mornings or evenings. Even when he doesn't get a bite, he keeps his patience and seems to enjoy himself.

Grayson had the patience of a two-year-old and was done after about five minutes. Then he entertained himself running back and forth between the lake where Michael was and my grandparent's house where we were making dinner. He'd grab a cracker and drink of water then head on back outside.

He also enjoyed picking up pine cones from nearby trees and chunking them in the water. I'm sure that was helping his daddy's fishing chances.

Michael showing off his trophy blue gill. What you don't see it? It's right above Gray's head. And yes, that's a snoopy fishing pole.

My camera decided to shoot blurry images for some reason so none of my shots of the sunset turned out. Michael captured this one with his phone, but it doesn't do the setting justice. 

Michael got up early one morning to meet up with my Uncle Mike for more fishing. There are several stocked ponds around my grandparent's land and Uncle Mike played tour guide for the day. They ended up getting several good bites including the two bass shown above and below.

Here's a short video of Michael hooking a fish just at the moment I happened to walk down to the lake with my camera.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Southern Hospitality

So our adventure began last Thursday evening when we drove to Conway, AR to spend the night. Along the way, we stopped for some dinner and realized we were just a few miles from Grayson, OK.

We decided to take a short detour to check out the town but it got dark before we could find any actual town. We did drive by a lot of residences which I'm thinking may have been all there is.

After doing some quick cell phone research, it turns out Grayson, OK is an historic all-black town with an interesting history and only about 130 people live there today. We did manage to find a street sign to prove its existence.

We arrived at our hotel in Conway, AR about 1 a.m. and Gray (who had been asleep since about 10:20 p.m.) decided he was ready to get up and play. We finally managed to get him back to sleep around 3:30 a.m. which gave us roughly three hours of sleep. Ouch.

Luckily, relief was on the way. Once we arrived at Pappa and Susu's house, Gray was their little shadow which gave Mike and I some time to relax. We ate, fished, swam and lounged our way through five days of fun. We only had to adhere to one house rule...happy hour.

I'll post more about Mike's fishing adventures and Gray's introduction to farm life later, but for now I'll share some of my favorite parts...making memories with our family.

 Gray helped Susu make homemade salsa and a lemon pudding dessert.

Susan and her father Pappa John

Family pic hanging out by the lake

 Susu surprised Gray with a Sesame Street matching card game which was a big hit!

Gray with Mary Lou (aka Mama Lou)

Gray introducing Pappa to his favorite Tow Mater video

Gray and Pappa John

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

We're Baaack

This evening we returned from a fun-filled five-day trip to visit family in Mississippi. While our time there was very relaxing, we're now back to a reality of laundry piles, an empty fridge and an email inbox I don't even want to think about.

I'll fill you in on all of our adventures over the next few days, but for now I'll leave you with this photo that pretty much sums it all up...