Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ganging up on daddy

Last weekend, Michael took the running boards off his 4Runner and I've been complaining ever since. He thinks it "looks cleaner" without them, but I really didn't care since I'm not as tall and used them to step into the truck.

Despite my complaining, Michael didn't think twice about putting them back on. That was, until Grayson joined my campaign and we out voted daddy.

I've been driving the 4Runner the past few days while the air conditioner is getting fixed in my car. Yesterday when I picked Gray up from school, he wanted to get in the 4Runner by himself and couldn't because the running board was off and he didn't have a step to help him get up into the truck. He asked where the step went and I told him daddy took it off.

Then, when we got home he saw the running boards lying by the garage and asked again if daddy could put the steps back on his truck. I told him he needed to ask daddy about it and then went on about our business. I figured Gray would forget the whole thing since Michael had class last night and they didn't see each other until this morning.

Immediately upon waking, Grayson asked daddy about putting the steps back on the truck, and he even got teary about how he wanted to get into the truck himself and he couldn't.

Michael sent me a loving text message thanking me for turning his son against him. To be honest, I really don't feel bad about it. The running boards are now going back on the 4Runner and Gray and I will be happy to see their return.

Poor daddy.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

First swim of the season

After a bit of a rough start, our pool is open for the season! We gathered the cousins on my dad's side of the family for the inaugural swim of 2012. The water temperature was a chilly 76 degrees, but the boys didn't seem to notice.

Luke has graduated from a life jacket to floaties (or muscles as we like to call them). I think he'll be swimming all by himself before long.  

Baby Jack wasn't as enthusiastic, but managed to have fun once we put him in a boat where he didn't have to have his legs in the water. It was shockingly cold compared to his usual bathwater.  

Then the boys discovered the water launchers.  

Holten swam for a little bit, but preferred to hang out outside of the water or in the sandbox. 

By the end of our swim, the boys were starving and Gray's lips were turning a light shade of blue. We grilled some hot dogs and tried to make the boys wait as long as possible before letting them get back in the pool to swim some more. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Wild Outdoors

Well, we survived our first camping trip with Grayson. I wish I was joking by saying "survived" but it really is appropriate.

The day started out great! We got our tent and everything set up before kicking off Holten's birthday party. The kids had a blast eating suckers, playing tag and soccer, burning through the juice boxes and, of course, devouring the cookie cake.

I'd say somebody liked his blue ring pop. 

Gray, Holt and Luke playing "Go Diego Go!" 

Gray insisted on putting on his party hat himself. 

A few of the kids getting a sugar fix. 

Luke and Gray getting down to business. 

After the party, we fired up the campfire and grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. Then, we made s'mores

This is Addison. Isn't she the cutest? She was a girl after my own heart. She couldn't get enough BBQ chips or s'mores.

Once it was dark, we tucked Gray and Holt into their sleeping bags and hung out around the campfire with my sisters and brother-in-law Ben. We knew there was a chance of rain sometime in the night, but we had our tents staked down and rain guards on just in case the 35 percent chance of storms came our way. We also packed up a lot of our stuff into our cars thinking we were being overly cautious. 

About 1:30 a.m. the fun ended. All of a sudden we woke up to 60 mph winds and crazy thunder and lightening. It wasn't even raining very badly, but the wind was incredible. Gray is already freaked out by thunder after the recent tornado grazed his school, and he woke up hysterical. I grabbed him and anything else I could carry and ran to the car. 

We all scrambled to load our gear and get to safety. Our tent ended up rolling about 100 feet away as we drove off to take shelter at Michael's parent's lake house which is luckily located very close to where we were camping. 

We settled in at the house only to realize there was an infestation of spiders to contend with...and not just any spiders, brown recluses. We hadn't been out to the lake house in several months so the spiders have been enjoying some uninterrupted nesting. 

We killed all that we could see and then finally got back to sleep, only to be woken back up around 3:30 a.m. when Holten started puking. After getting him cleaned up and situated, we tried once again to sleep even though the sun was about to start rising. 

A bit later, Gray woke up to go potty and also ended up puking. We think it was because they had so much sugar and food they don't normally have throughout the day. Either way, we were all ready for the trip to be over. 

Around 8 a.m., my sisters and I went back over to the state park and salvaged what was left of our campsite and gear. Everything was a wet, muddy mess, but we managed to find everything that had gotten scattered in the night. 

On the drive back home, I asked Gray if he liked camping and he said yes, his favorite part was (ironically enough) sleeping in the tent. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Holten is 3!

On Monday, Holt turned three! His official birthday party isn't until this weekend, but we had a pre-celebration at McDonald's with happy meals and cupcakes. Pappa was in town from Mississippi and his side of the family came down to join us.

I can't believe Holt is three and he's already nearly as tall as Gray! It's impromptu nights like this that make me thankful they moved back from North Carolina.

Holten, Luke and Gray give their food two thumbs up 

Jack is now walking (and running)! He's already trying to keep up with the big boys.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day fun

I finally got around to downloading photos from my camera so I'm ready to post some updates. We've been busy celebrating over the past week!

In addition to my mom's retirement party, Michael and I also celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary, plus Mother's Day and Holten's third birthday. It's been a great week of family, desserts and lots of memories.

The weather was gorgeous on Mother's Day, so we enjoyed a potluck picnic at the park:

Our picnic set up. Just a guess, but it appears everyone has their eyes on Gray and Holt who are off somewhere playing. They kept us very entertained.

This is what I picture when I think about Mother's Day. Sweetness.

But this is more of the reality. A boy's face is never clean and a mother's job is never done.

Two sweaty, filthy boys having fun 

The sisters with our Grandmom Solomon 

With our Grandmother Dodson 

 The gang with Grandmama

Grandmama with all her boys


Later in the day we also stopped by to see my Grandma on my dad's side. Three out of four grandmothers in one day was a rare and special treat! We are blessed to have so many mothers to celebrate!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Celebrating Grandmama!

Today we celebrated my mom's retirement from 22 years of teaching. Her school hosted a party where we got to meet a lot of her "teacher friends" and she got to show off her grandsons.

I know she's touched so many lives over the years through teaching, but I have a feeling the fun is just beginning when it comes to quality time with Holt and Gray. Here are a few of the highlights:

 Gray and Holt lookin' sharp and ready for cake!

Grandmama and Grandaddy with their boys 

Some of our extended family on my mom's side 

My Grandmother Dodson made the trip up from South Padre to be with us for the party and it makes me so happy for Gray and Holt to bond with their great-grandmother. 

My mom has a tradition of buying a book for her school's library each year on the boys' birthdays. They put a label inside the cover that says Mrs. Solomon donated this book on behalf of her grandson Holten/Grayson and then it lists their birthdays. These are the two books that were dedicated for each boy when they were born. She buys the boys a copy of the book too, so they get to enjoy the stories at home. It's such a neat idea. In honor of my mom's retirement, the librarians donated a book in her honor to the school library. So special! 

 Here are two special sisters: my Great-Aunt Bobbie and my Grandmother Martha Nell

Me with my sisters, mom and grandmother

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Poster child

Grayson's picture was in our local paper yesterday talking about the Touch a Truck event last weekend. They spelled his first name incorrectly in the photo caption (even though the photographer was writing it down as I was spelling it out for him), but it was pretty fun to see him in the paper.

Michael went out to find a couple of hard copies, but it had rained that day so both newspapers he purchased were pretty wrinkled. Luckily, my sister Emily was able to send me an electronic version of the image.
As a side note, this is photographic evidence of Michael's DNA coming out in our child. Grayson loves gauges and gadgets just as much as his daddy. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bowling for Kids' Sake

As if our weekend wasn't busy enough, we also bowled on two teams for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Norman's annual bowling fundraiser on Saturday. One team was made up of some of my co-workers and the other included my sisters and our friend Michelle. It was an afternoon full of bowling and the next day we were sore from it!

This was Gray's first time to bowl (other than with the toy bowling set we have in our living room) and he loved it.

 My co-workers Kim and Lindsay about to get our bowl on!

Our second team: Amy, Michelle, Liam, and Emily. Michael was off playing a race car video game with Holt and Gray, but they bowled too. 

Whoever invented this bowling ramp thingy for kids is a genius! It made the games go a lot faster and the boys had so much fun since they weren't getting gutter balls every time. We didn't even have to use the bumpers over the gutters.

It didn't matter if Gray knocked one pin down or all of them, he was equally enthusiastic and displayed lots of high fives and fist pumping. 

After we bowled our games, we ended the day with a group of friends at Michelle and Rob's house. It was a gorgeous evening for a cookout on their deck and we even attempted an impromptu slumber party for Liam and Gray. Usually, we put the kids to sleep in separate rooms and then we relocate Gray to our house when all the parents are ready to go home.

Michelle and I took turns reading the boys books and they were excited about the new sleeping arrangements until it was time for us to leave the room. We could hear Liam crying and Gray talking to him to get him to calm down. It was actually pretty adorable. After about 25 minutes of trying, we decided they weren't quite ready for this (then Liam got upset again that Gray wasn't going to be there in the morning to have cereal when he woke sweet). I think the fact that neither boy had had a nap that day and both were overly tired may have also set us up for failure.

Oh well, soon enough they'll be begging us to have one another spend the night.