Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hockey Time

I recently won tickets to a local hockey game from my office and we took Grayson with us on Sunday to watch the Oklahoma City Barons take on the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Barons are an AHL feeder team to the Edmonton Oilers.

There had been several home games in a row, plus an NBA Thunder game that evening so the crowd was a bit sparse. Grayson took it upon himself to make up for the small crowd and ensure the players felt encouraged.

He yelled things like:

"Go Oklahoma City!"
"We're #1"
 (and my favorite) "Let's go guys, get a home run!"

Michael and I didn't yell any of those things, so I have no idea where he came up with his inspiring words. In addition to enjoying yelling indoors, he also got a kick out of the players having to go in "time out" (aka the penalty box). Of course, I took the opportunity to explain that when you hit someone with your stick, even grown men get in trouble and have to go to time out. Gotta make every opportunity count, right?

Gray and Derrick (one of the team mascots) 

Encouraging the players 

Here's the view from our awesome seats. I worried a little about one of us getting smashed in the face with a flying puck, but once that fear subsided I enjoyed myself. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

I can't make this stuff up

Today when I picked Grayson up from school, the teacher asked me to sign an injury report. She couched it by saying, "I have a note for you to sign, and it's kinda entertaining." Here's what it said:

Date: 3/26/12
Time: 3:45 p.m.
Nature of Accident: Grayson was explaining how a friend was hit in the head with a ball and accidentally hit himself in the head with a toy hammer. 
Action taken: TLC & note home

Luckily, it was a small toy hammer and there's not even a bruise. I don't know why they wrote up a report for it, but I appreciated the laugh at any rate.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


A few recent quotes/conversations with Grayson:
  • Lately, Gray is obsessed with last names. He figuring out when people have the same last name (like mommy, daddy and Grayson), but he also believes everything has a last name. For example, coming home one night he asked, "Are Nana and Popper in Houston?" I told him yes and he replied, "What is Houston's last name?" Texas, of course! He thinks everything from our street to Roxy to cars all need to have last names. 
  • I was making a grocery list for the week and asked Michael if he needed anything. Grayson chimed in, "I need you to add something to the list...Liam needs to come over to play." Smiling, I replied, "Oh, really?" Then he got very serious and said, "That needs to go on the list."
  • One evening at dinner, out of nowhere Gray said, "Daddy, you're the funny. Mommy, you're the boss."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The only Banana I don't like

Grayson's school had some exotic animals come in earlier this week and he can't stop talking about the "kangaroo drinking milk" and "Banana the snake" that he got to pet.

His teachers told us that he was the only kid brave enough to pet the snake and volunteer to let it slink across his legs. I envisioned the snake crawling over his shoes or something (which would still totally freak me out), but then they gave me these pictures today when I picked him up:

Are you kidding me?! I can't believe he was brave enough to do this, and that he enjoyed it! It creeps me out just to look at the pictures.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day at the Zoo

We spent a great weekend with Nana and Popper, and introduced them to the Oklahoma City Zoo. The weather was wonderful and Grayson was fascinated by all of the animals.

We went to check out the new Asian elephant exhibit and baby elephant Malee, but somehow we didn't get a picture of any of that. Here are a few of the highlights from the day:

Watching the otters play and swim 

 I love this picture and how wide Gray's eyes are, taking it all in

Sitting on a baby rhino while watching the adult rhino 

Mommy and Gray 

Plotting our course 

Our family with the lion family

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Science saves the day

As you know, we've been having issues with Grayson not listening to his teachers at school. Each day has been getting better, and this morning we had a redeeming moment.

Gray's class is studying the earth this week and yesterday the teacher asked each child what you find on earth. She drew a picture of earth and wrote each of their names inside, along with their individual responses. Most kids said things like, "trees" or "green."

Next to Grayson's name it says, "hot magma." That's right, magma. After her initial surprise, Ms. Joan asked him a little more about where you find magma on earth. He told her all about volcanoes and lava and hot magma.

When Michael dropped off Gray this morning, Ms. Joan told him about the conversation and said, "Someone has been working at home. That makes me happy." If only she could see the stack of science books this kid insists we read at bedtime.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Occasionally, money can buy happiness

Not to sound like a snob, but there are some things in life totally worth paying someone else to take care of for you. Picking up 30+ bags of leaves is one of them. Now we can spend our time planting flowers and our vegetable garden!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Stick to the Plan

Last night, Michael and I worked out a plan for him to drop off Grayson's pre-k packet at the elementary down the street on his way to work, but we decided it would be best if he took Gray to preschool first. For some reason, daddy didn't stick to the plan this morning and instead took Gray into the elementary with him to turn in the paperwork. 

It wouldn't be an issue except that Gray is convinced he's going to pre-k NOW. As in, he thought daddy was dropping him off at the new school this morning. 

When Michael dropped him off at his preschool instead, Gray began crying and kept going on about wanting to go to pre-k. Daddy tried reasoning with him, explaining that he can't go to the big kid school until he's four, but you can imagine how well logic worked during a meltdown. 

I'm glad Gray is excited about the new school (and hopefully we'll get a spot for the fall), but I must say I wish we'd never talked about it in front of him. Now every time we pass by the school (which happens to be right next to Aunt Emily and Uncle Levi's house), we get hammered with 20 questions about pre-k. 

So now I have a new plan: Avoid the entire situation. Stop taking the shortcut home through the neighborhood to avoid passing the elementary school. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Weekend Reset

Let me just start by putting it all out there...this hasn't been a great week. Grayson had several days of not listening to his teachers at school and when that isn't the problem, incessant whining is. It didn't help that I had to work late one night and he's been a bit off-schedule other nights when Michael has class. For a kid who asks regularly, "What's the plan?" (and then really listens to the answer)... being out of our routine rarely ends well.

The last few days have been better and we've planned a low-key weekend where we hope to catch-up on exciting things such as laundry, oil changes and chores. We're also cracking down on the whining and it seems to be helping.

As parents who pretty much skated through the terrible twos, we're now making up for it. I've heard from a lot of other mothers of boys that three is often more of a challenge than two.

In other news, I've completed the application for Gray to be entered in the pre-K lottery next month. He wouldn't start until next August, but they draw names and assign students the first week of April. I really hope he gets into the elementary school in our neighborhood because it's one of the top schools in the state.

Although he is extremely excited about going to "big kid school," I can't believe we're even at this point already. When I was filling out the application, Michael saw the 2012-13 school calendar on the table and asked why we had it. I reminded him that we'd have to follow it in August when Gray starts pre-K, so no more long weekend trips or vacations where he'd miss school.

It was one of those moments where you realize you're actually a grown up, oh yeah, and a parent too.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Weekend Refuge

Michael has been itching for a road trip (an off-road trip to be exact) to take his new 4Runner and get the heck out of town. We did just that on Saturday, driving a couple of hours away to the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge.

This is one of my favorite places in Oklahoma, not only for it's understated beauty, but also because it's near Medicine Park, a tiny little town with tons of charm where someday I will own a hand-built cobblestone cabin.

But this trip wasn't for daydreaming about vacation homes, it was about eating a famous Meers hamburger, getting up-close-and-personal with a herd of buffalo, and taking Gray on his first hike. Here are some of the highlights:

Locked and loaded...ready for adventure! 

We drove the backroads instead of the interstate and had a great view of an awesome windfarm that went on as far as you could see. Grayson couldn't get over the "big fans making batteries." 

Michael so desperately wanted to go off-roading, but since the national refuge doesn't really allow that, he had to settle for this nicely manicured gravel road somewhere outside of Meers, OK. It wasn't much, but it made him happy.

Getting ready to eat one of the best burgers of my life. If you're ever in Meers, OK, this former gold mine turned burger joint doesn't look like much, but is a must-eat, I mean see.  

Next, we stopped at the Parallel Forest (aka a Cedar Plantation on the edge of the refuge). These trees were originally planted to provide wood for fence posts, but were never harvested and have grown to create a cedar forest in perfect rows with six-foot spaces in-between.  

Doing a little rock hoppin' 

Grayson learned about Prairie Dogs at the refuge nature center. He thought they looked like bunny rabbits, perhaps mixed with some squirrel.  

Daddy and Gray outside the nature center 

We hiked about a mile to an area called 40-foot hole. Gray did really well considering the terrain. He eventually had to ditch the apple so he could navigate some rocks. 

Takin' a break at the 40-foot hole. 

This was part of the trail we hiked. Michael had to carry Gray up and down this section since it was pretty difficult for him to climb. I couldn't bear to watch (since I worried Gray would fall or Michael would break an ankle), so I just stayed in front of them and ignored the whole situation.

The trail ran next to a river for most of the way and Grayson asked if we could stop and "watch the water." That's my boy. It was a nice place to relax and enjoy the beautiful day. Gray also got to use the collapsible drinking cup that daddy packed, which was a highlight of the hike for him.  

Some of many buffalo we encountered. And no, there isn't a fence between the herd and the road where we're standing (about 30 feet away). 

Finally, we drove to the top of Mount Scott. Here's the view from one side.  

King of the Mountain! This is the tallest point on Mount Scott, elevation 2464 ft.)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

PB&J Al Fresco

Today, the weather is perfect for a backyard lunch picnic! We had some hilarious conversations while dining al fresco, and I have to capture them here before I forget.

  • As I was bringing our food outside, Grayson said, "This is a fun picnic, mommy. Uncle Levi knows a lot about picnics." I'm not sure where that came from, but it's probably true. 
  • Somehow the conversation got around to mommy getting a parking ticket last week. Daddy was playing it up that I broke the law and a policeman wrote me a ticket, to which Gray replied (very seriously), "Mommy, did you break the law? Will you go to jail? That really hurts my feelings." I owe you one, Daddy. 
  • Then, Gray caught Daddy biting his nails and asked what he was doing. Gray bites his nails too at night, so I asked him why his nails were always short and we never have to trim them. He explained that "sometimes" he bites his nails while he's sleeping and he also takes off his socks. I asked why he does that and if his feet get cold. He replied, "Sometimes I wear no socks and sometimes I wear yes socks."