Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Phone Manners

There's a lot of things you have to teach babies. They don't come out knowing much. You teach them how to sleep, eat, talk, walk, and not throw food.
But then there are just some built-in and per-programmed skills babies need no help in learning.
They are born knowing they should be awake when mom is sleeping, they should turn on the water works if mom should try to take a showers, and my favorite...
...whenever mom is on the phone? It's a free-for-all. That's right, a cell ringtone is like a baby's signal to mess, destroy, eat, dissapear, etc.
If you know me, you know I am so not a phone person. I get some weird phone stage fright thing, but that's a whole other issue. I have to get over that occasionally because there's people like insurance and medical offices I have to call.
And the second I've passed that initial "Hello," the boys are off and I finish up a boring and fruitless call with an insurance agent to discover empty cracker boxes, ink on legs and arms, and an entire pack of gum reduced to wrappers.
Some things are just innate and need no teaching, but I think Jeff may have learned from this phone-capade that an entire pack of gum may not settle too well.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bear Arms

It seems Matt's love of Constitutional Law has rubbed off on Harrison.
Well, at least the Second Amendment.
At 3 years old, he's all about asserting his "rights". Though he tries very hard to use the lawyer genes he got from his Daddy to negotiate with us, his "rights" usually only exist in his mind.
But we were speaking his language when we talked about the rights American's have under our Constitution.
After his pre-k con law class, Harrison was all about his right to bear arms, and even more excited that he didn't have to convince us :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Surf's Up

 We were so blessed to be able to go home to celebrate Jeff's first birthday with our families and friends. Playing off our love of all things coastal and Jeff's love of water and fish we went all out surf party.
 Thanks to my family's creativity we transformed a kitchen into a beach party. Homemade ocean waves table runner, beach milepost signs, surf board ocean cake, lifeguard stand, and the show stopping watermelon shark we nicknamed Bruce.
 
Since we had celebrated Jeff's actual birthday a few weeks ago, he was a pro at unwrapping presents and he wasted no time tearing into them. It wasn't until after he had thoroughly shredded all the tissue and paper that he noticed the gifts themselves.
But the highlight of birthdays to us is the cake and Jefferson did not let us down. After enjoying his birthday song serenade way too much he tore into the blue sweet stuff and covered every inch of his body. We had such a wonderful time celebrating surf style and we couldn't be more blessed than to have this amazing one year old! We love you Jeff!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Big Stick Ideology

I don't think Harrison could really get behind the whole "Speak softly and carry a big stick" proverb.
Let's just start with the obvious. Harrison...speak softly? Ha! Enough said.
Carrying a big stick is no problem at all, but here is what is...
It says "a big stick" as in singular, one, uno. This would never do, as Harrison usually has one in his hands, one through a belt loop, and at least 3 more laying off to the side.
So the proverb rewritten in Harrisonese would be loosely translated as, "Be loud and loaded."

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Virginia Refill

Sorry it's been a little quiet on the blog, but this week we kind of ran away. This week we were with aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins, friends and family. This week we went home. We were back where everything is familiar, comfortable, and comforting.
Grandparents made up for lost time with kisses, hugs, gifts, and memories. We laughed a little longer, stayed up and little later, and held on a little tighter. We made every minute of togetherness count without the 650 miles in between.
The boys soaked up every tickle fight, wrestling match, shopping trip, meal time, hand holding, and hug. To say this visit home was needed would be an understatement. While we have learned contentment and joy here in Tennessee, Virginia is our heart's home and it sure was good to be there this week.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Protector

We pulled into our carport the other day and noticed our gate was swinging open. I assumed the wind had unlatched it, but Harrison was very concerned that it was not closed as it should be.
My little man immediately jumped into protector mode and asked for the house keys. He said he would go inside to check it out. "Mommy, you wait here with Jeff, I'm going to make sure there's no bad guys in there."
My little man proceeded to unlock the door and go inside checking every room downstairs before informing me I could come in, but to stay downstairs while he went upstairs to check that out for bad guys.
After a few minutes he hollered down that there were no bad guys in the house and it was safe for me and Jeff. I have to be honest, in that moment I felt so blessed and blown away by my young brave son who was concerned about our safety and wanted to protect me. I sure do love this little protector who is quickly growing into quite the man.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hide It In Your Heart

You will make known to me the path of life. You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.
Psalm 16:11

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Table Talk

What's normal breakfast conversation in a house of preschoolers and toddlers? I don't know since I certainly don't have the normal three year old. Did we discuss cartoons, race cars, super heroes, or even sports? Nope.
After taking a few bites of bacon and eggs Harrison, who's going on 18, commented about the rising gas prices. "So Daddy, gas prices are going back up, huh?" Matt and I both looked at each other than to our very serious little man.
"Why yes they are Harrison." "Uh-huh, they were going down, but now they are going back up. What changes the price like that?" Now I ask you, do you know any preschool child currently not in an early placement economics course or a Future Oilers of America program who would even care to know why, much less observe, the rise and fall of gas prices?
So Matt did what any parent does who has a budding oil futures predictor for a child and grabbed the chalk board and proceeded to draw the Middle East and Persian Gulf and laid out the conflict taking place with Iran threatening to close the passage of oil through the Straight of Hormuz.
Harrison nodded and retained every word. Afterwards he neatly cleared his plate while stating "Well, they should just go around another way. You should tell them to do that Dad. Then gas prices can go back down." Matt and I just looked at each other as left the room amused at his sincerity and desire to learn. And that's when I realized, with a son just like his father, this probably will be the kind of normal table talk at meals around here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hollywood

To wrap up our trip to California we spent a day exploring Bel Air, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood.
I may or may not have tried to gawk openly casually spot famous people. But I'm not the best one to try to do that since I don't think I'd actually recognize anyone unless they were in a tux or ball gown talking and to Ryan Seacrest.
But Harrison struck gold in the star spotting category as he was in awe to meet his heroes in real life.
"Wow! I actually talked to Buzz and Woody!" "Oh my goodness! It's transformer Bumblebee!" "It's Spidermaaaaaaaaaan!!!"
He was beyond star studded and had his eyes wide and mouth hanging open in awe for most of the Hollywood walk of fame.
Jeff humored us as we rode along not really caring about why we were all excited. He was way more into finishing the dredges of Matt's frappaccino than seeing Gene Kelly's hand prints.
We had a blast walking into Kodak Theater (named something else now) where the Oscar's are held. We were the tacky tourists and took our pictures on the staircase the stars climb to go into the award's ceremony.
Afterwards we drove up into the hills to get a glimpse of the Hollywood sign. Seeing all snacks had been devoured and nap time was way past the boys weren't quite as excited to be pulled out to view metal letters on the side of a mountain.
But I'm glad we did it. It was an amazing family trip and I am grateful for my hard working husband to provide us the opportunity to explore the West Coast. I love the adventure that is our life and I can't wait to see what's next!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Red, White, and Boom

One thing Matt really loves about Tennessee is their laid back laws pertaining to lighting explosives off during certain times of the year.
Matt frequents the firework tents when they are set up and comes home like a kid from a candy shop pulling out his Chinese snakes and bottle rockets and other tubes and round shells I can never hope to learn all the names of. 
Sadly, this year with record breaking heat and borderline drought conditions, even the state of Tennessee pulled back on it's lasodasical approach to all things exploding.
But if you could obtain a permit and a fire truck then you were good to go so we headed to a local church's Independence Day celebration.
The boys got out all their energy in bounce houses and then we refueled them with a nutritious dinner of blue raspberry snow cones, popcorn, orange sherbert, and cotton candy. Parents of the year.
After an amazing Jeremy Camp concert the parking lot lights were shut off and I waited to see how the boys would respond to the rockets red glare.
They did not move, not one inch. Did not blink, didn't even breathe. These guys were frozen and I knew right then we needed to work on a law allowing mom's to shoot off a sort of smaller scale firework in order to obtain domestic tranquility occasionally.
But that's when we realized the State had a good idea about the firework ban this year. Because about 5 minutes later a huge explosion tore through the sky and everything went black...until flames started leaping up from the ground and firetrucks raced in. Exciting to say the least. We headed home and finished off the night with "baby fireworks" (aka sparklers) as Matt explained to the boys about how America came to be. Later, as were tucking Harrison in he said, "I really like celebrating America's birthday...it's the funnest party!"

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Party Like You're One!

As much as we wanted the house full of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to celebrate Jefferson's birthday, we knew it was just going to be the four of us and that we would have a special time of happy birthday partying.
Matt reasoned that a first birthday is really the only one a parent gets to decide the theme. After that kids start having some input. So he decided to go red, white, and blue for Jeff's first party.
Knowing most of this cake was going to be obliterated in a matter of minutes we kept it simple but enticing enough that we kept seeing missing M&M's and finger swipes. Big brother claimed he was just testing it.
Jeff was more mesmerized by the candle than the singing or the cake, but once he had a slice in front of him nothing else mattered. You would have thought he hadn't eaten in days the way he attacked it!
Harrison filled his big brother duty of teaching Jefferson the proper cake smashing technique and tips for maximizing icing coverage on one's face.
Jefferson's seriously went to work to diligently remove all traces of sprinkles, M&M's, and icing. I'm not sure if he had reached sugar overload at this point or just didn't like cake, but he declared his sticky self all done.
Afterwards we realized more benefits to summertime birthdays...we hosed the birthday boy down outside before presents. Clean-up with boys is so much easier with a hose, plus they just think it's play time. Win! Overall, I think our icing covered one-year-old had a blast and we look forward to continue to get to know this little man God has blessed us with!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Jefferson!

Today you are 12 months old! It seems overnight you have grown into our big boy. Last year this time I was snuggling your tiny little body and now I'm chasing you around. You are such a little character! You have so much personality in your one-year-old self.
You are about 22lbs, in size 12-18mos clothes, and size 2-3 shoe. You crawl faster than most people walk and can climb the stairs faster than I know you are doing it. You say dad, hot dog, hi, bye, one, two, three, ball, no sir, and uh-huh all the time. You love playing catch, blocks, and cars. You love being outside more than any other place and your new hangout is the pool.Though you aren't yet walking, you cruise around everywhere and are starting to stand pretty well all on your own.
You are brokenhearted if we have to be stern with you and you hide your face if we tell you "no". You smile and hug a lot and love to be cuddled close. You love reading books and singing and clapping. You eat anything edible and a lot of it! You've recently discovered chocolate. Lately you are really into blueberries, cherries, watermelon, oatmeal, smoothies, cheddar bunnies, graham crackers, hot dogs, and corn on the cob. You have also become quite the Chipotle fan...spicy does not stop you!
You have made each of the past 366(leap year) days so rich, full, precious, and adventurous. I'm glad you won't remember some days, like the first time I went grocery shopping with 2 kiddos, or when I forgot diapers and wipes on a day out. But you've learned with me and our family is perfect with you. We are so blessed to be given the gift of you. Happy Birthday to you, Jefferson Lee!