Saturday, September 29, 2012


Last week, Grayson's elementary school hosted their annual Jog-a-thon fundraiser. The kids raise money for each lap they run/walk over a span of 20 minutes. Luckily, the pre-K class only runs for 10 minutes and even that proved to be a challenge for holding some of the kids' attention spans.

It was interesting to see Gray interact with the rest of the kids in his class, especially since he's the youngest by far. As they lined up for the start, Gray wanted to be at the front of the line. I noticed that afterward when they lined up to go back to class, he always maneuvered himself to be right next to the teacher in front.

The race started out well, with all of the kids sprinting from the start. Of course, most petered out quickly but there was one girl and one boy who looked like early prospects for the track team.

Lap one...everybody is excited and going strong!

Lap two...reality set in. This is tiring! Luckily there was a drink station close by.  

By the time he came around for lap three it was apparent that daddy was going to have to join in and show Gray how it's done.  

They ran a few more laps together and finished strong. When it was over, we asked Gray if it was fun and he replied, "I'm really hungry!" Luckily, it was snack time next. 

While we definitely don't have the fastest athlete in the bunch, he was so excited to see us cheering him on and he stayed on the course through the finish. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Guest post: The Mommyhood

My former client-turned-friend Heather just launched her first book called Secrets of The Mommyhood. I am beyond excited for her and can't read excerpts from her book or blog without laughing uncontrollably. She's such a wonderful storyteller.

She asked me to write a guest post for her blog, The Mommyhood, as part of a series called "What I wish I'd known." My post went up today and I hope you take a minute to not only read it, but check out the rest of Heather's hilarious blog.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it's having a group of inspiring mom friends like Heather that help raise me as a mother.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

All About Grayson

Grayson recently brought home the first book that he has ever written (and by written I mean he drew the pictures and his teacher recorded what he told her on each page). It's called All About Me! I thought I'd give you a recap of the facts listed inside:
  • Watermelon is my favorite food
  • I like giraffes
  • My favorite friend is Holten
  • Green is my favorite color
  • I am four years old
  • I like to stay at home
I'd say this sums him up nicely. Except for his favorite food (which I would have said is strawberries or spaghetti), this first book accurately captures some of our son's favorite things. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Take a hike

Last Saturday, we started getting cabin fever after a few rainy days and decided to head over to Sutton Wilderness, which has a small lake and hiking trails near where we live.

Michael and Gray have ridden on the trails before by bike, but we hadn't hiked them since Grayson was small enough to fit in a baby carrier on daddy's back.

We walked over a mile, but if Gray was wearing a pedometer it would probably be twice that with the amount of running back and forth he did the entire time. That boy has some energy to burn!

We saw a lot of pretty flowers along the trail. Not sure what's up with Gray's smile lately in pictures. He's discovered how to move his bite around and I can't get him to smile normally to save my life.  

 We had an impromptu lesson in sunflower seeds

Gray decided that this would be Nana's favorite flower since it's purple 

We also saw some really cool, creepy trees like this one. 

Not sure what exactly is happening here, but it's all part of discovering nature, right? I think shortly after this picture Gray discovered he had stickers all down his pant leg. That was fun. 

We also skipped some rocks in the small lake that's there and then decided to head home and order a pizza. Isn't that what you're supposed to do after hiking?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Charlie video

Here's the video Michael captured of Charlie shedding his skin and unveiling the chrysalis. Fair warning: it's about seven minutes long, but really cool.

Charlie & Scooter from Michael Vidrine on Vimeo.

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Our time with Charlie and Scooter has come to an end. Yesterday evening we released them in our backyard so they could begin their adventure as monarch butterflies. 

All three of us really enjoyed watching this whole process and Grayson was so excited to get home from school so he could immediately run over to see Charlie out of his chrysalis. 

Once they emerged as butterflies, we learned that Scooter was a girl and Charlie was a boy. Michael's research uncovered some wing patterns that helped us tell them apart. I think they are siblings, but Grayson is convinced they are mommy and son. 

Either way, we had all agreed that we needed to wait until Charlie was out to release both butterflies at the same time so they wouldn't be separated. Here are a few shots from their last few days with us:

Right before the butterfly emerges, the chrysalis turns translucent and you can see the black and orange wings inside. This is Scooter just minutes before she came out. As you can see, Charlie's chrysalis was still green and he came out a day later.  

 This is Scooter the moment she emerged and started spreading and drying her wings. It takes several hours for the butterfly wings to fully open and dry out. It's simply breathtaking how striking their wing patterns are and how much beauty is in nature. 

This is Charlie right before we released him in the backyard.  

Here's the final picture of Scooter. She flew out first (classic female, always one step ahead). 

As we were eating dinner, I asked Gray what he thought the butterflies might be doing. He said he thought they were eating dinner too, on our roof. Wherever they are, I hope they are enjoying the open air and their beautiful new wings. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy birthday Grandma!

Today marks 92 years young for my amazing Grandma. I am so lucky to have all four of my grandmothers not only be a part of my adult life, but Grayson's life as well. We celebrated Grandma's birthday yesterday at her favorite Chinese restaurant, where my Aunt Karen snapped this photo which is now one of my favorites. Aren't they a happy, good-looking bunch?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rainy day at the zoo

On Thursday, I surprised Grayson by picking him up from pre-K and instead of going to daycare we met up with my cousin Suzanne and her son Jack at the zoo.

It was a cool, cloudy day and we seemed to have the place all to ourselves. We did have to dodge a couple of heavy rain showers, but they came right as we were under pavilions so it wasn't that bad.

We thought the boys would last maybe an hour or two, but they managed to hang in there for three hours before melting down from no nap. Here are a few pics from our fun day together:

Out of about 30 pictures, this is the only one where Jack is either looking at me and/or smiling. As his mama says, he isn't one to give away smiles. But I managed to catch him sneaking one with his big cousin. They are both getting so big!  


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Boomer Sooner!

Last Saturday we had the good fortune of coming into some football tickets for the OU vs. Florida A&M game. Michael and I had never been to a game together in the 12 years that we've dated/been married. Craziness!

We met up with our friends Michelle and Rob (also the amazing people that scored the tickets for us) and checked out the Varsity O Club, a tailgate party for former OU varsity athletes. Michelle (who was a gymnast) had taken me a few years back and we were thrilled to discover that Michael's name was also on the list from his track/cross country days.

This was the first time for Michael to experience the Varsity O Club and it's a great way to meet other former lettermen and get in the gameday spirit, plus there's lots of free food and drinks.

After filling our bellies it was off to the stadium to catch the marching band's pre-game show. I get goosebumps every time I see them come out and watch the drummajor strut down the field. We had amazing seats on the 40-yard line and the weather was perfect for enjoying a dominating Sooner victory.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fun at the 2012 County Fair

Each year we enjoy checking out the Cleveland County fair to kick-off the fall season. It's always full of tractors, farm animals to pet and other unexpected agricultural fun.

This was one of Gray's favorite antique tractors. It has gray on it, of course! 

They added a car show this year and we were pumped to find a DeLorean, just like in the movie Back to the Future. It had California plates which had us wondering if it was an actual one used in the movie. If not, they had modified it to an exact replica.

It even had a flux capacitor...I checked.

Next up, it was Gray's turn to drive a tractor. 

Then it was on to his annual favorite, riding in a barrel train pulled behind a large riding lawn mower. 

We also went through the petting zoo, but there were so many kids I didn't have a chance to get my camera out. After that, we watched the antique tractor parade and then headed home.

It's free community events like this that make us so thankful for where we live. Everywhere we turned there were volunteers offering us free bottles of water and lots of fun activities for kids. It was also great to see so many families out enjoying the festivities and beautiful weather.

Caterpillar update

Charlie and Scooter have been in their chrysalises for almost a week now. Scooter went in first and then Charlie was the next day. You can see Charlie in the picture above getting ready for the big transition.

We missed Scooter shedding his/her skin to go into the chrysalis, but Michael caught Charlie's on video. It's took about 8 minutes which is much faster than I thought it would be. I can figure out how to post a video that large if anyone wants to see it.

It typically takes 7-14 days for the caterpillars to turn into monarch butterflies. Their chrysalis will turn from green into a translucent color right before they come out.

So far, they are both still green but we'll be sure to take pictures of the next phase. I'm excited to see the butterflies emerge for the beauty of it, but also so I can get the aquarium off my kitchen counter. It's set up right next to my mixer and the stove, and I'm too afraid to relocated it for fear of hurting them.

Ah, the things we do for science.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


I have a few new Grayson quotes that I thought might give you a chuckle:
  • Hold my cow! (aka holy cow) 
  • "Holy moly guacamole" is his other new favorite phrase
  • The other day when someone asked Gray what he'd been up to lately he replied, "Some humans came and cleaned our carpet." It was true that Stanley Steamer came one day while he was at school, but still an interesting way to put it. 
  • Tonight while we were out in the backyard playing, Grayson was getting geared up to ride his scooter when he brought his helmet to Daddy and said, "Here daddy, can you put this on for me? I don't want mommy to do it. I love her, but I don't want her to do it."

Friday, September 7, 2012

Family portrait

It's been fun watching Grayson's artistic skills develop and pre-k seems to be full of assignments that are quite entertaining.

This was the first school drawing he brought home earlier this week. He was asked to draw our family and then the teacher wrote down the names of the people that Gray said were in the picture. 

See anything missing? Where's daddy? Apparently he didn't make the cut this time around. Ouch. It probably has something to do with Pappa staying with us for the Labor Day weekend and picking Gray up from school the day this picture was drawn. 

When I asked about it later that night, Gray said it wasn't a picture of Mommy or was in fact Nana, Gray and Popper. And they had a smiley faces. 

So there, mom. Not only did daddy get bumped out of the family picture but apparently both of Gray's parents did. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The very hungry caterpillars

I'd like to introduce you to Charlie and Scooter, our newest addition to the family. Michael found them in our backyard a few days ago and has been researching everything about their habitat, diet and upcoming metamorphosis.

While he enjoys the daily science lessons from daddy, Gray also loves simply staring into the aquarium and watching the caterpillars eat and crawl around.

I'm just hoping this story has a happy ending with both caterpillars turning into monarchs and being released in our backyard. I'll keep you posted on how it all turns out. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Four-year-old stats

We had Grayson's four-year check-up and despite the awful moment when we had to hold him down to get three shots, the rest went very well.

The doctor was impressed with Gray's conversational skills and he's growing right on schedule. He weighed in at 35 lbs. (50th percentile) and 41 3/4 inches tall (75th percentile).

They always give us a handout with different physical, emotional, social and mental developments. Some of my favorites from this visit are:

  • has a penchant for silliness
  • uses "naughty" words to observe reactions 
  • talks "with" another child, but does not listen to what other child says
  • often asks "why" questions

I can't make this up. These are actual characteristics of "normal" development. I'll try to remind myself that our boy is normal when I'm answering his 400th "why" question.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I'm a few weeks behind, but we've been busy celebrating Gray's birthday (for a couple of weeks). It started with a Buzz Lightyear birthday party and some early presents from Nana and Popper.

Can you tell that Toy Story and the color green are a few of his favorite things? 

The day started like any other normal birthday party day...with Gray test driving his new scooter in his pajamas. 

Then the birthday boy got down to serious business...applying sprinkles to the cupcakes. 

The rain held off so we were able to spend most of the party outside. I set up a table for the kids and they also enjoyed running around the yard with their "rocket packs" that Michael made as party favors. I didn't manage to get a picture of that, but you can see them in some of the pics below. 

Gray sneaking some candy...busted! 

Next up was the piƱata! Instead of pummeling it with a stick, this one released candy by pulling on the ribbons underneath. The kids took turns pulling a ribbon until they found the one connected to the hatch (which somehow managed to be the last one...score!). 

 Here's our attempt to photograph all the kids together (or at least the big kids). So much for that idea.

Gray was too into his new Woody doll to care about the group picture or much else.  

Our neighbors brought over Miss Cooper for her first birthday party experience. She lasted until the present opening and then decided to take a nap. 

I tried to keep things low-key and it was nice to be surrounded by so many people who love our boy. I don't think he stopped smiling the entire day.