Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I got back into town late this afternoon and am so happy to be home. Grayson is on the mend and was excited to tell me all about what he's been up to while I've been "on an airplane" (which is where he thinks I've been since Sunday).

As I went to (finally) download the pictures from my camera I came across this picture from a week or so ago. Grayson's over-the-top, cheesy grin cracks me up and captures exactly why I'm so happy to be home.

It was also nice to get some love from Miss Roxy. Here are her "after" pictures from her spa day last week. The bandanna and ear bows lasted about 30 seconds.

While looking through the pictures, I realized I forgot to tell you about Grayson and Luke's drum lesson with my cousin Billy last Saturday. Billy has been a drummer since high school and has amassed quite the drum set. The boys were thrilled to check it out and Uncle Billy was equally excited to teach them how to work the pedals and reach all the various drums and symbols.

After a valiant attempt to teach the boys paradiddles, Billy finally gave up and let them just bang around a bit. They were in heaven.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bring on the Mommy Guilt

As you know, I'm currently on a work trip and was already feeling guilty about missing my husband's birthday on Tuesday. To top it off, Grayson came home from school with a low-grade fever today and this evening developed a stomach bug to go with it. Great.

Luckily, Michael is one of the most caring, hands-on daddy's out there and I know our baby is in good hands. That said, I hate that I can't be there to comfort Grayson, help relieve Michael and try to bring at least a little fun to his birthday.

So tonight the mommy guilt has set in and I'm throwing a pity party since that's all I'm capable of doing one time zone away.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Let me catch you up

I have so many updates from the last few days and finally sat down to get them all out and realized I don't have my camera with me. Normally, that wouldn't be a problem but you see I'm in Salt Lake City, Utah so I can't just pop home and retrieve it.

Here's a rundown of our recent activities (the plain text version):
  • Roxy enjoyed a "spa day" on Friday. She was over due for a haircut and Michael took her to a new place near his office. They gave her a blueberry facial (yes, you read that correctly...can I get one of those please?!), a massage and of course a bath, "pawdicure" (their words not mine) and a haircut. She came home feeling sassy and looking cute.   
  • Grayson finished off the week on a good note. He was "line leader" at school which I've deciphered is an honor bestowed by the teacher and has something to do with getting to open doors. He was pretty pumped and seems to be doing better overall . 
  • We enjoyed a whirlwind Saturday yesterday, celebrating the wedding of my cousin Billy and his wife Tina, catching up with my mom and step-dad -- who also kept Gray overnight so we could enjoy a date night with one of Michael's cousins and his wife. The day was a blur but it was so much fun. Before I knew it, the alarm was ringing at 6 a.m. this morning to catch my flight to Salt Lake City.
Next up for this week is Michael's birthday on Tuesday (which I'm missing due to this work trip) and Gray's birthday on Thursday. Luckily, I'll be home in time to celebrate my baby turning three.

Our dear friends Rob and Courtney are also expecting the arrival of baby Claire any day, so there's lots going on. I hope I make it home in time to see her on her birthday. Perhaps she'll share a special day with one of my fellas.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


We've had some mixed behavior reports from Gray's afternoon teacher lately so I took a little time to chat with his main teacher this morning when I dropped him off.

When I asked her if he was fitting in, making friends and minding her, Ms. Joan responded, "Well, he is a precocious child." Hmm, not exactly what I was hoping to hear.

I definitely think Grayson is entering into a new behavior phase. We've been lucky to skim past the terrible twos pretty much unscathed, but we may make up for it in year three. In addition to being more physical with his friends at school, he's also flexing his independence at home (aka talking back or not minding well in general).

Michael and I feel like lately we're constantly correcting his behavior, so I try to catch him doing something well and then compliment him for a little positive reinforcement. I know it's going to be a long, long process (like 18 years, right?) but I refuse to have a child that doesn't mind his teachers (or parents for that matter).

Say a little prayer that this phase quickly passes and we get our good little boy back!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Milk Paint

Grayson's fever came and went in about 24 hours which gave us enough time to enjoy the weekend. Nana and Popper were in town from Houston and got to witness a new art experiment called Milk Painting.

Michael stumbled across this on a blog recently and it looked simple and fun so we gave it a try. All you need is whole milk, food coloring, a dish with sides and some liquid dish soap.

Then Gray donned his paint smock and we were in business...

First, you fill the dish with enough milk to cover the bottom and then you drip in various colors of the food coloring.

After that, you add one single drop of dish soap to the middle of the plate and watch the colors react. It's science and art all rolled into one.

I took a video of the first attempt and it's fun to watch the colors all swirl together. Then we dumped out the milk and did it all over again.


Popper was positioned up on a stepstool and captured some of the tye-dyed colors with his nice camera. We're hoping to turn some of the close-up photos into abstract prints on canvas. I'll keep you posted on how that turns out once Michael has a chance to work his design magic on the images. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Petri Dish

Grayson came home today with a fever of 102+. After being sick twice in the first three weeks of starting a new school, I'm ready for him to build immunity to this new set of classroom germs.

In addition to his fever, he acts achy and doesn't have much of an appetite. I can't get a straight answer out of him if anything hurts so this evening we're just trying to take it easy and see how this all progresses.

Michael and I love the extra cuddle time with our boy, but it's mixed emotions knowing he doesn't feel good and there's not a whole lot we can do about it. Fingers crossed whatever this is will be short-lived.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Party Time!

We've had a lot to celebrate lately and it's keeping our weekends full of friends and family. From new babies to college graduations to birthdays, there never seems to be a shortage of fun (and cake!) this summer.

A couple of weekends ago we hosted a baby shower for our friends Katie and Tyler. Their sweet bundle of joy, baby Beatrice, will join our circle in October and I can't wait to meet her.

Here are a couple of pics from the special day:

 A handful of hostesses pulled off some amazing food and decorations

Three of my book club buddies, all expecting babies between late-August and January. Katie is in the middle and was the mama of the day. 

Next up was a quick trip to Texas for Andrew's graduation from Sam Houston State University. He has already landed a great job and we are so proud of Michael's "baby" cousin.

Gray immediately attached himself to Andrew and pretty much appeared in all the graduation pictures.

Two generations of cousins

This weekend we've enjoyed a little down time and a little swim time. Last night my cousin Suzanne and her family came over to hang out and catch up. Grayson and Luke are old enough to play really well together and baby Jack watches their every move. Soon enough he'll be their little shadow.  

This was the first time Jack swam in our pool. It was a little cold at first (thanks to some much-needed rain the night before), but he quickly warmed up to the fun and was all smiles.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Eggos & Egypt

We're well into week two of Gray's new school and overall it's going smoothly. He LOVES going there (which is the most important thing) and one day last week told me bye in the parking lot as I got him out of the car. I think he was a little disappointed when I insisted on walking him inside (not to mention he can't even reach the door handle).

There are a few things I don't like about the school, but they are minor in the grand scheme of things and I try to remind myself that no place will be perfect. Luckily, the list of things I like is much longer.

He's now officially in "preschool" which means his day is more structured like a school day. Each week the teacher focuses on a different subject. Last week was camping/nature and they did activities like pretending to roast marshmallows on a campfire (hence the fire reference I was trying to decipher on his first day).

This week they are studying ancient Egypt. I know, right? Sounds a bit ambitious for an almost three-year-old. Surprisingly, he's retaining more than I would have thought. Last night at dinner he told us all about camels and building triangles (pyramids). Then tonight he brought home a coloring page with hieroglyphics.

I still don't think he's taking great naps in this new environment because he tends to whine more in the evenings and goes to bed 30-45 minutes earlier than he used to without so much as a peep. He's also probably playing harder since he's trying to keep up with the big kids.

Another perk is that we arrive at the school in time for breakfast each morning, so he gets to enjoy another meal besides his oatmeal at home. Once we hug goodbye he immediately goes over to the classroom sink and washes his hands (a requirement of the teacher before sitting at the table) and then he dishes out food on his plate all by himself (their meals are all served family-style).

His independence and new life skills amaze me everyday. I love seeing him thrive in this new place, but part of me wants to stop the clock so it all doesn't go by so fast.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Rise and Shine

I'm at home with Grayson today after a bit of a rough night. He woke me up at 4 a.m. on the dot by standing next to my side of the bed screaming Mommy!

I came to just in time to catch some puke before it hit the floor. Apologies for the blunt visual, but I'm a bit sleep deprived and need you to share in the shock that I enjoyed in the middle of the night. It's moments like these I wish I slept on the side of the bed furthest from the door.

Anyway, after getting sick several times he finally went back to sleep around 6 a.m. I was too awake by that point to fall back to sleep and decided to get a little work done for some looming deadlines.

By my count, it should now be lunchtime and daddy should be home in a few hours, but I see it's really only 10 a.m. Ouch. It's gonna be a looooong day.

Update: It's now after 3 p.m. and Gray is doing much better. He's keeping food and water down and took a really good nap, so fingers crossed we're on the mend. When we laid down to go to sleep I had him in bed with me at first and he looked over at me from his pillow and said, "You're my best friend" with the cutest puppy dog eyes. Somehow he must know that mama needed some words of encouragement from the long day. It's these sweet moments that make all the gross stuff worth it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

First Day=Done

I must admit, I'm glad today is over and Gray's first day at his new school is behind us. Michael went with me to drop him off this morning and it all went smoothly. (I also managed to hold it together on my commute as long as I didn't look at the empty car seat in my rear view mirror.)

When we got to school Grayson showed daddy all the toys and areas of his new classroom and then he quickly focused on playing with a dump truck. As we were hugging him bye a little girl came over right as I was telling Gray to have fun playing with the new toys.

She quickly chimed in, "These toys are not new." (said in a very matter-of-fact way)

Quickly trying to salvage the peaceful morning, I turned to her and said, "Well, they are new to him. This is Grayson. Why don't you show him the toys you like to play with and which ones are the best."

Luckily, she took the bait and quickly warmed to both of us. Whew! Michael and I took the opportunity to quickly exit and leave Grayson content to play in the new room.

When I picked him up this afternoon, it was a different story. He was sobbing and had a scrape on his knee that was slightly bleeding. They had just come in from the playground and he tripped and fell on his way in.

The teacher had cleaned it, but he was adamant about not wanting a bandaid so she didn't force the issue. Instead, he was saying (between his sobs), "Close it. Close it." (meaning make the skin stop looking red, I guess)

We came home and I was able to get him to calm down enough to put some medicine and a bandaid on his knee. I haven't been able to get much more information out of him other than he ate "fruits and vegetables" for lunch, didn't take a nap (probably the reason he freaked out so much about his knee), sat on the "oval carpet and tried to make a fire like a firefighter," and he used the potty without the teacher having to help him.

Overall, I guess it was a good day. This school doesn't do daily reports for the parents in the preschool room, so it's hard not knowing how his day really went. The afternoon teacher that's there when I pick him up had only been there a short while, so she really didn't know what kind of day he had.

Guess I'll get the full scoop when I drop him off tomorrow morning and speak to his two main teachers. For now, I have to focus on getting him to walk again on his own. He's convinced that having a bandaid on his knee means I have to carry him everywhere. Aye yie yie!