Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Smarty pants

There have been a few moments recently where Grayson has surprised us by knowing things I didn't realize he knew. It always catches me off-guard and then causes a barrage of questions to identify where he picked it up. Here are a few examples:

  • Pledge of Allegiance: When we went to the OKC Philharmonic concert they handed out mini American flags for us to wave during the music. Michael asked Gray if he knew what the flag was and Gray started reciting the pledge. To our surprise, he knew all of the words and in the correct order! Yay pre-K!
  • Letters & spelling: Gray can write his first name well, but can now spell his middle name and most of his last name. He has also become a whiz at spelling short, three-letter words and identifying letters and numbers. I have a feeling that we're not far off from reading. He's already picking up on a few sight words. 
  • Worksheets: I was cleaning out Gray's backpack and found a couple of worksheets from pre-K. One had photos of items in rows that you had to count and then identify the number that corresponds. Another worksheet had rows of things that all had similarities except for one and he had to pick out the item that didn't belong. He had gotten everything on all the worksheets correct except for two questions that were blank. I'm curious to see how much assistance he had received (if any) to complete them.
  • Rotation of the Earth around the Sun: Last week while I was on a work trip, Michael was getting Gray ready for bed and used a flashlight and a globe to demonstrate how the earth spins and why we have day and night. I didn't know this little lesson had taken place and a few days later when I was tucking him in, Gray told me all about how we move around the sun, using great detail. He loves studying the globe and asks about what the people are like on all of the various continents. What a little sponge. 
  • And finally, Gray told me over the weekend that his fish are all dead. The way he said it was so cavalier and like he had known for weeks. I asked him a few more questions to see if it would lead to him wanting to get more fish and instead he went back to asking for a kitty cat. Dang it. As much trouble as the fish were, at least they didn't require a litter box.

Monday, January 28, 2013

OKC Philharmonic round two

On Sunday, we went to our second OKC Philharmonic discovery series concert which had a patriotic theme. We decided to forgo nap time so we could get there early and take advantage of some of the pre-concert activities they offer.

Gray learned how to do some rope tricks with a cowboy trick roper who is a descendant of Will Rogers, then he got a temporary tattoo on his hand of fingers holding up a peace sign decked out in stars and stripes. After that, we headed over to the art table to make a patriotic hat.

There were two styles to choose from, one that was like a sailor's hat and one that was a stovepipe hat like Abraham Lincoln wore. Gray opted for the sailor hat and daddy helped him design it.

You can't really tell from this picture, but there are blue stars on the top point of the hat and then red stripes along the bottom. Pretty cute. 

Snuggling with Grandmama before the show

I forgot my digital camera and our cell phones were having some issues with the dark lighting in the concert hall, but here's a blurry shot of the family. You can barely see a huge flag behind us which was the backdrop for the musicians and seemed to impress Grayson.

The orchestra played several marches (which I loved), had a couple of songs with a men's singing quartet (which my mom loved) and even played a swing/jazz song and a fiddle/semi-bluegrass song. Gray has developed a love of bluegrass music thanks to his Grandaddy and said the fiddle song was his favorite part of the concert. 

Later that night after dinner, Gray went and got his drumsticks and put on a concert in our living room. He would announce and tell about each song (just like the conductor did at the concert) and even took a bow afterward. We then had to each take turns performing a drum concert while the other two people served as an audience on the couch and gave boisterous applause afterward. 

I love that Gray is interested in music and hope it continues in some capacity for the rest of his life. These concerts are just under an hour long and he sits so still taking everything in. Maybe some day we'll be coming to his concert at the music hall. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Springtime Teaser

Today we enjoyed a rare 60+ degree January day, so of course we had to spend some time outside. Gray played in the sandbox and practiced writing letters in sidewalk chalk, while daddy grilled some steaks. 

Meanwhile, I slaved away in the kitchen trying out a few new Pinterest recipes. We had balsamic glazed brussels sprouts and roasted potatoes to go along with our steaks, and both turned out pretty well. I've never made brussels sprouts before, but have enjoyed them other places. Hope my parents are sitting down when they read this because there's no way I would have eaten them growing up. 

Anyway, it was a great way to end a relaxing weekend and left me optimistic that spring is right around the corner. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Ragamuffin Gang

We celebrated cousin Jack's 2nd birthday on Saturday and snapped these pics of the four cousins. They were all wielding various weaponry and we couldn't quite get them coordinated enough to smile and look at the camera simultaneously. Despite that (and the fact that these are slightly blurry cell phone pictures), you'll get the idea of what happens when this foursome gets together.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Date night

Friday night I had a date night with my mom to see the musical Jekyll & Hyde while Grayson had date night with Daddy. They went to a local arcade where they ate pizza, spent 100 tokens playing nearly ever game in sight and collected hundreds of tickets. They were in little (and big) boy heaven.

One of the dozens of games they played

Hitting the ticket jackpot!

Part of the pile of tickets they racked up

After all that time (and money), 500+ tickets added up to a toy airplane and bouncy ball. They both make Gray so happy that it doesn't even matter that he got ripped off. 

He keeps talking about the "special" place that he and daddy went, so I think their time together made an impression. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Didn't expect that...

So you know how Gray has yet to discover his fish are all gone? We're going on nearly three weeks of him looking in the tank and thinking all the fish are hiding.

Well, you can imagine my surprise tonight when we were eating dinner and he somehow put two-and-two together that he has four grandparents on my side. This kid doesn't connect the dots that his fish all died, but he can figure out that I have "two mommies and daddies" as he puts it.

He was completely confused by this discovery and I tried explaining it to him and probably made him even more confused. Finally I just said, it basically boils down to having more people who love both of us. I should have just started there because his face changed immediately from confusion to happiness and he was totally content with the situation.

Whew! Just wait until he realizes that Aunt Emily and I have different daddies. That will really blow his mind! Hopefully we won't have to deal with that question until he's five.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Channeling our inner pack leader

As many of you know, Roxy has always been quirky (aka aggressive and territorial) and becoming even more so with age. Gray knows not to go near her when she starts growling under her breath, but we know there's got to be more that can be done to help the situation. 

Michael and I have been researching various solutions and found everything from anxiety wraps/shirts to medication and, of course, endless YouTube videos of dog trainers dealing with the real-life issues that Roxy exhibits.

Hoping to avoid the medication route, we've opted to try a few techniques we found on some Caesar Milan videos. Roxy's issues mostly flare up around her food bowl and protecting things like blankets, pillows or stuffed animals that end up on the floor. We've started with those trouble areas first to tackle issues head on.

We know it has taken years of bad habits (on both her part and ours) to get us to this point, but in only a few hours we've already seen positive signs of progress. This gives us hope to keep trying. 

Wish us all luck! I know we'll have ups and downs throughout this process, but we believe it will be worth it in the long-run. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Same ol', Same ol'

There's not much to report here this week, we've just been working and going to school. Gray did come down with an unexplained fever on Tuesday night so he had to stay home on Wednesday, but bounced back after that. Still not sure what caused the fever, we're just happy he's fine now.

All our Nemos have died. They kicked the bucket about a week ago. We've cleaned out the tank and are waiting for Gray to realize they're gone but he still hasn't. Guess he wasn't as in to the fish as I thought he would be. We had planned to replace the fish, but now I'm just curious how long it will take for him to realize they're not in the tank.

Gray brought home the snack bag from pre-K which means we're in charge of taking a snack for the class on Monday. He immediately went into the cabinet and started looking for something to take, but I told him we don't have 20 of anything and need to pick something up at the store. He then proceeded to tell me other important things we need from the grocery store: Moo bars (ice cream bars), squishy things (gummy fruit treats), apples and milk -- you know, the basics.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Just another weeknight

Today has been full of funny moments and unexpected surprises. It all started this morning when Gray was brushing his teeth and took a long gulp from the sink after he was done. He then told Michael, "I love to eat drinky things!"

He was so proud of himself and Michael couldn't stop laughing. Then, this evening came the surprises. We had our first Nemo fish fatality which daddy got to address along with cleaning out the tank water. Gray wasn't traumatized and he helped Michael clean the tank, so hopefully that's the end of it.

We were also tasked with our first homework assignment from Gray's pre-K. He brought home the show-n-tell bag where you put something inside and then write clues and draw a picture in a notebook. Tomorrow Gray's class will try to guess what's inside based on his clues.

He decided to take his toy space shuttle (Roger) from the Cars movie and the Tow Mater astronaut that fits inside. His clues are:

  • It's white and black
  • It travels to the moon
  • Flames make it go fast
I tried to explain that he can't tell his friends what is inside until the teacher reveals it, but I have no confidence that will actually happen. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at his school tomorrow. He's the first kid to be assigned the show-n-tell bag so it's all very new and he's learning how it works. 

Another random thing that happened tonight is I remembered we forgot to give Gray one of the gifts we bought him for Christmas. Apparently we hid it so well that it was completely out of sight, out of mind. Whoops! Guess we'll just save it for something else. 

And so completes another evening at our house... 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

May 2013 be filled with laughter, silliness and lifelong friendship!

Liam (3), Cora (3), Grayson (4), Bea (14 months), Claire (15 months) and Julianna (19 months)

(Right after this photo, Bea realized that Gray had his arm around Cora too and she was not happy!)

Take your nephews to work day

Yesterday we took Gray and Holt to visit Uncle Levi at the fire station. Of course, they had to go dressed in their fireman coats and hats to show their street cred with the real firemen.

The guys were very accommodating to two energetic boys running around checking the place out. We got a tour of the station and spent time exploring every vehicle in their garage. They even called in a test alarm so we could see what happens when they get a call.

Here's the crew plus a few junior recruits. 

Checking out the inside of the ladder truck.

Here's the huge wall map that helps them find where their going before a call. 

To our surprise, we even got to ride around the block in one of the firetrucks. I think Michael and I were just as excited as the little boys. 

This is a vintage fire truck that Uncle Levi has been restoring between fighting fires. The boys loved "driving" it as much as checking out the modern-day trucks.

Holten taking a turn behind the wheel.

Holten trying on Uncle Levi's gear.

Gray in Uncle Levi's gear. That coat alone probably weighs more than Grayson.