Sunday, January 31, 2016

Favorite Photos of the Week {#4}

{Sometimes, that one mile ride in the car to pick up the boys after school can be so exhausting...especially when she skips her nap.}

{My little girl dreams keep coming true with this one - not because she has strong fashion sense but because she's playing dress up!  She occasionally has very strong opinions on what she wants to wear.  Today, it was Rapunzel.  Because she can.}

{Minute to Win It games at Wednesday night Kids Count.}

{Making little boy dreams come true.  Not my preference.  Certainly could've said no.  But sometimes, especially when you're on winter break, you've gotta let out the aggression by shooting up some goblin-like nasty robots.  I should've done the same.}

Friday, January 29, 2016

My Favorite Words

Because of Reed's speech therapy history (oy!  that was a time ago, wasn't it?!?), I find myself a bit hyper-vigilant with Ruby.  Is she talking enough?  Does she say enough words?  Is what she says what she really means?  What's that?  What did you say?  I remember Drew talking so well so early on, so I would say that, as of now, Ruby is a nice medium ground between him and Reed.  Not so many words, not too little - just about right.

It's been so fun to hear her "talk" - mostly rubbish, or at least what we cannot understand.  She's been babbling and making noises and voices since she was so itty bitty, and, at her own pace, new words are forming and beginning to explode from her mouth.

These are a few of my current favorites.

See ya!
My-nee (Hermoine)
Oh cow (Holy Cow)
Pooky (Goofy)
Michael (as in Strahan.  He's a regular in our living room in the morning.)

Her huge personality shines through with many of these, as well.  They are usually said with much gusto and flair.

She also loves a good selfie.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


Yesterday we celebrated Drew turning NINE years old in what has become our traditional sort of way.  It was a school day, so opening presents before school is always preferred (who wants to wait all day to open gifts?!  Of course, that means that he has leave them all behind when it's time to go to school, but at least the agonizing anticipation of "what'd I get?" doesn't ride with him all day long.)

(I don't even think Reed and Ruby knew what it was!)

So the story goes a little something like this: Drew loves video games.  Although he's only allowed an hour of play a day, he only asks for video game stuff.  All of it.  He's fallen in love with the Skylanders video games - of which there are several - of which, he wishes to own them all.  They're all the same concept - they use a "portal" that you put different figures on that then "warp" into the game to play.  (Why this is necessary versus just selecting a character on the screen, I do not know.  Oh, wait.  Money.  Right.  Get those parents to spend more money!  That's right!)  Anyway, it is pretty fun (at least for Drew) and he's determined to make himself a collector.  His practical mother, on the other hand, sees them as all the same and wishes he'd be satisfied with one.  No need for three!  However, he's a kid.  It's all that he wants.  And it became affordable.  I happened upon a great deal on the newest Skylanders SuperChargers starter pack on Amazon (half price!) and because Drew was convinced he wouldn't get it, he was quite thrilled when he opened his package and found it!

He also received Pokemon cards, a couple Minecraft t-shirts, and some Skylanders books.  

The birthday boy took us out to Culver's for dinner (of course).

After the big birthday meal and dessert last night, we saved the cake for tonight.  Drew requested a three layer chocolate cake.  That's exactly what I did...and then learned yesterday (after it was all done) that he wished for three layers like what I did for the Jake cake or the McQueen cake.  Oops.  I guess I'll have another shot at it whenever it is Drew decides how he wants to celebrate his birthday with his friends (no party planned yet - he can't make up his mind for what he wants to do).

I thought I was making the frosting all Skylander-ish with my color choices and application technique, but it really just ended up looking like the globe.  Still super cool (in my opinion) and Drew was very gracious and humored me. ;P

This kid.  I just don't even know what to say.  The older he gets, the more time that passes, I find myself more and more unable to articulate all that he is - to me, to our family, to this world.  As my firstborn, he challenges me in new and uncommon ways - he is, truly, our guinea pig.  He is, slowly but surely, becoming less boy and becoming more man, and I just can't even.  But also, as my oldest, he has my heart like no one else.

Happy Birthday, Bubba.
You are incredible.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Number 9

Super excited to celebrate this guy's 9th birthday today. He brings with him a strong sense of justice, loyalty, dependability and sensitivity. He is so smart, so brave, and so sweet. So proud to see the young man he is becoming - learning to push beyond his own limits and discovering what he's capable of, being curious and thoughtful, and beginning to put others' needs before his own. Full of gratitude today for the past nine years, and exploding with joy to have a front row seat to the next 99!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Favorite Photos of the Week {#3}

{Reed's #1 gift this Christmas was an Easy Bake Oven.  He finally got it out this week and whipped us up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  At least that's what the package says they are...}


{I had three things on my list for Kohls, but then realized upon arrival that the winter clearance markdowns had begun.  I decided I would look as long as Ruby would let me...and would you just check her out?!?!  Girl, you got it.}

{Game night at church.  Drew is in the middle there.  Uh....awkward.}

{From our aforementioned date night.  Not too shabby.}

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Drew & Me {Our January Date}

Today on the calendar marked Drew's date for the month - he picks what he wants to do and which parent his wants to bring along.  It was also an exciting day for Drew as Mom & Dad have a date for themselves for tonight so good friend Grace is coming over to baby-sit.  Drew is likely way more stoked about getting rid of Mom & Dad than going on a date with one of them. ;P

Nonetheless, he chose the place and the parent.

This kiddo just may love Culver's more than I do, so I have no qualms about jumping on his bandwagon.

And as it was a special occasion, he asked for a "big" ice cream "like Dad's" (the boys are always regulated to get their free single scoop in a dish as it comes with their kids meal).  Medium chocolate concrete mixer with double brownie mix-in's, please.  For the record, he couldn't quite finish it all.

I am already appreciating this time, so much, one on one with the boys.  We don't talk deep or do super out of the ordinary things.  I just think we all need the reminder that they are worth the time.  They are worth the special treat.

The Saturday Morning of my Dreams

Today.  Oh, today.

This morning was the Saturday morning I have been waiting for for the past nine+ years.

Somebody must've slipped us all a little somethin' before we went to bed last night.  Or Ruby's new bed is magical.  Because we were breaking records here this morning.

Brad was up at 7:50.  Two broken records: up before 8:00 and the first one up!

Reed up at 8:05.

Lesley up at 8:13.  Broken record: up after 8:00!!  {I was awake before this, but the house was so, so wonderfully quiet, I just laid in the quiet and loved it.}

Ruby up at 8:25.

Drew up at 8:28.  Broken record: the last one up!  {He is, quite usually, the first.}

What Ruby's bed has to do with any of us other than her sleeping well, I have no idea.  But I'm gonna go ahead and give that bed all of the credit.

Please, please, let's do this again.

Monday, January 18, 2016

She's Moving Out

So this is girl is moving out of the crib and into her big girl bed!

And you wanna know what's even more exciting?!?!  I didn't shed a single tear!

Having a daughter now is awesome in so many ways, but let me say that being allowed to do all things girly (someday, she may prefer not girly so I'm doing it now while her opinion isn't a factor) and creating and decorating a big girl room...for now, it just might top the list!

I have been looking forward to this for quite some time.  I've done plenty of Pinterest browsing and pinning, and have decided that THIS would be my dream room for Ruby.  The bright white with the color palate is dreamy, and I'm so excited to incorporate some of those decor elements into her room.

And we're on our way to turning Ruby's nursery into Ruby's room, beginning with a new bed.  Long story short, I was able to find her headboard, footboard and rails on Craigslist for $40.  What?!?!  The downside to that was that the bed was located in Ann Arbor ... but we solved that problem by taking a 30 minute detour on our way home from the Detroit Zoo last summer to pick it up.  Awesomesauce.  We ordered a new mattress set just prior to Christmas and after we picked it up on Friday, we got the bed together on Saturday.

It's a perfect fit!
{To the safety police, the mini blind cord was secured and a side rail was placed just after taking this photo!}

We're going to play this transition by ear and see how things go.  Both boys went from crib to toddler bed, of which we no longer own, and it just made the best sense for Ruby to go straight to the big bed.  She opted to sleep in her crib on Saturday night, but she did take her nap in the bed yesterday,  There's no rush, but with both the twin bed and the crib in her tiny room - things are a bit cramped!

I'm anxious to get going on decorating (of course!) but at the pace things seem to move around here lately, it'll be a while before I'll be able to get started.  My biggest project will be the quilt I'm wanting to make for her bed.  I purchased fabric last spring and started cutting pieces during the summer...but haven't picked it up since.  Then after that, just a lot of cute, girly, crafty, frilly's gonna be great!


Ruby's new bed is the place to be these days!  

By the Tuesday after this original post, Ruby had said sayanara to her crib and never looked back!  She has successfully transitioned to the twin bed and we all love it!  I hope to get her crib taken down sometime next week...that's when the tears will probably start to fall.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Favorite Photos of the Week {#2}

{Reed was home sick on Monday and he totally entertained Ruby as he undressed, dressed, and fixed the hair on all of her dolls.}

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ten on Ten {vol.1}

The ten on ten photo project is another way I hope to document our lives more here on the blog.  I don't remember where I first read about or saw this photo project for the first time; likely, somewhere on social media.  I did a bit of Googling and discovered that the creator of this project is photographer Rebekah Gough.  The premise is to find the beauty in the every day by taking ten photos for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of every month.

{visit Rebekah's Ten on Ten blog archives here}

I really caught on to this idea primarily as a way to take more photos.  Over the last couple years, I've really gotten out of the practice of picking up my camera.  I do carry my phone with me almost everywhere, and take photos with it, but the quality isn't awesome so it isn't preferred.  (Truth is, my knowledge and handling of the "big camera" isn't so great either - would still love to take some classes to learn!)  And this way, I'm capturing more of our everyday and not always just the special occasion stuff.

It's likely I won't hold too tightly to the hard and fast photo-every-hour parameter.  I did have the alarm on my phone set to ring every hour to remind me, but I didn't stress out if there was nothing particularly inspiring to photograph at that exact moment.  Ten photos spread out throughout the day is the goal.  

So on the 10th of every month, you can expect to see a post like this.  Likely no words, just photos, to show that this is us, here and now.