Friday, April 29, 2016

March Madness {2016}

Although this title would lead you to believe this post was about the notorious month of craziness that is college basketball (particularly popular in the southern US), I actually have nothing of worthiness in this post about basketball or the NCAA tournament.  If a North Carolina team (particularly the UNC Tarheels) didn't win, I really don't care much.  Plus, my husband doesn't really watch basketball so I really have lost interest over the years.  Our madness in the month of March stemmed more from an overloaded calendar starting and ending with two of our kids' birthdays and a crazy Spring Break week of traveling and theme park excitement.  Whew!  Is it any wonder I am only just now writing this post almost a month later?

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Of course, we started the month with a very special birthday.  We woke Mattox in the morning with singing. 

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And Mattox immediately showed us that being a one year old means he can play like a big boy.  He became interested in the train table and other big boy toys. 

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We went to the park and rode the train for his birthday.  I attempted a big family selfie on the train using the selfie stick. 

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These cousins enjoyed playing together on the playground.  Cousin Grady adores his big cousin Brody. 

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Sliding together. 

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And see-sawing too. 

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Mattox enjoyed taking his birthday present for a drive.  He loves to drive!

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Cocoa got a play date one day because Evan found our neighbor's new puppy outside their fence while they were at work.  We didn't want him getting lost or hurt so we put him inside our fence, and Cocoa went nuts for him.  I let them play for a while, but I finally had to put her inside because she would not give him a break.  Crazy dog!

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Brody is a bit of a narcissist and loves taking selfies.  He also loved that I finally ordered him a personalized placemat.  I had this one on my Shutterfly account for a year and finally used a free promotion to get it. Of course, I still had to pay shipping which they jack up to make up for the free item.  Sigh. 

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Evan and I like to read on the trampoline sometimes.  Our backyard gets the most shade in the afternoon, and the trampoline is just the most comfortable spot.  Plus, Mattox can crawl around without getting hurt...until big brother Brody starts jumping. 

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We took an evening walk/bike ride/scooter ride/car ride.

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I only like selfies of myself if one of my cute kids is with me.  Sometimes I just want to remember these special moments holding my babies.  I love snuggling with my Mattox.  He also likes having our big bed to himself. 

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We checked out Toys R Us while Daddy was getting an oil change in the car.   Evan will soon be in the market for a bigger bike.  Sigh.  

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Brody driving a little firetruck and Mattox driving a sports car.  Is this a glimpse at their futures?

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Our busy month meant we didn't get nearly as much reading done as we would like.  I finished The Matchmaker which was slow going in the beginning but picked up in the middle.  I hated the sad ending, but I gave Elin Hilderbrand another chance with another book that I liked better.  We had to read "Little Tree" to see if it was a good "forestry" book.  It was more of a cute "tree hugger" book more like "The Giving Tree."  We like Loren Long's Otis the tractor series.  We also read a book about St. Patrick's Day. 

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The week before we left for vacation, I finally got a much needed haircut.  I hadn't had one in well over a year since before we moved here, and I dreaded finding a new hair salon.  I found out that our local Ulta has a salon and gave them a shot.  I was very pleased at the service and prices.  Oh and Natasha, I found a much better sale rack that you would have liked when we went in there.  I bought some cheap body wash and lotion ($2.99 each) and some essential oil hair treatment that I have really liked.  We also ate at a different Moe's for Tuesday kids' eat free night, and Brody was happy they were doing face (or arm) painting and giving balloons. 

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We were very happy to support presidential candidate Ted Cruz as the only true conservative candidate in the running.  He came quite close to our house (about 20 minutes away) in the neighboring town of Garner on his way to another speaking engagement in Charlotte.  He did a town hall style question and answer with Fox News.  We made reservations, but the church where it was held just wasn't large enough for the large crowd so we didn't make it in.  We went to lunch and came back to see him on his way out.  He stopped to shake hands and greet everyone.  Evan got these pictures of him shaking my hand.  Let's hope I will be able to say one day that I shook a president's hand.  If not, I am really fearful for where our country will be headed under any of the other possibilities.    

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I dressed the boys in red, white and blue for their first political rally. 

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Daddy had to leave and go back to work before we met Mr. Cruz.  

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We celebrated St. Patrick's Day on our first day at Universal Studios. 

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Evan was so happy to get his wand (the Elder wand) from Ollivander's Wand Shoppe.  The boys and I loved Dr. Seuss world.  Mattox was give out after a day at a theme park so he was ready for bed.  Of course, he also started not feeling well. 

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Evan met the Lorax, and we all enjoyed riding Dr. Seuss' train ride. 

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I wish the picture I tried to get of the boys on the Cat in the Hat ride had turned out better.  My selfie of us wasn't too good either, but I was able to lighten it up some.  Mattox fell asleep in the line.  I was pretty disappointed that this and other rides in Dr. Seuss world weren't younger child friendly.  I had thought this part of the park would be better for him.  

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I know this picture is blurry, but it was more for the fun memory.  We were waiting in a line to see the Poseidon's Fury show, and it was pretty dark.  Evan and Brody were just playing rough and rowdy, and Mattox just thought they were hilarious.  He loves them so much. 

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We enjoyed eating at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and saw the shrimp mascot outside.  We loved answering Forrest Gump trivia from the wait staff at our table and did pretty well.  

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I did get a picture of the boys on the Hogwart's Express on my phone.  Mattox is a little wizard in training.  I just love how he looks all wrapped up in a towel with a wet head after his bath. 

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Evan and Brody practiced surfing.  Evan tried to push Brody off the surfboard, and then Evan wanted to get inside the wave. 

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Riding some wild beasts at Universal's Islands of Adventure. 

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After we returned home, Mattox's very high fevers with little to no relief from Motrin or Tylenol necessitated a pediatric appointment which led to an ER visit which led to no real answers at all.  Sigh.  He just looked so pitiful and miserable in his little hospital gown.  I hated I couldn't make him feel better, but being home and resting really did wonders for him.  

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For one of Evan's last Spring Break adventures, we met Daddy for lunch at Backyard Bistro in Raleigh and then went to the movies to see Kung Fu Panda 3.  My boys love the Kung Fu Panda movies. 

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Daddy's marketing lady who supplies all of his association's marketing products and materials brought him some yummy Duck Donuts one Friday.  He was the only person in the office so we didn't have to share.  The maple bacon donuts were pretty yummy although I really liked the coconut ones.  Mattox also demonstrated how he can sleep ANYWHERE.  He had gotten himself into his position to climb through the end table to escape the living room, but I guess he was just too tired and fell asleep on the pillow I tried to put there to stop him.  Yes, he is standing up. 

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He figured out how to play and drive his little cars around, and he has started loving watching television more.  He is so much like Evan was at this age.  

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The boys loved their Easter treats from Grandma and Aunt Naomi. 

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I decorated minimally for Easter in between the birthday decorations.  I had some window clings for the front door sidelight windows and put up my old Spring and bunny banners. 

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Evan's birthday decorations were even more minimal.  Sigh.  I changed my chalkboard sign for him, left up some of Mattox's birthday party decorations all month because I loved them, and got Evan a How to Train Your Dragon balloon he picked out.  And a month later and all balloons are still up.  I am very impressed with Mattox's birthday balloons.  

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And we ended the month with about a mile walk to our playground.

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Evan and Brody enjoyed running around with some other kids.  Brody doesn't like to ride the merry-go-round, but he loves pushing it for other kids.  How convenient for them!

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Mattox is a little climber and will try to climb anything. 

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He liked swinging with his brothers. 

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Daddy met us at the playground on his way home.  

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Mattox crawled all the way across the playground to the playground equipment and climbed as high as he could go to the top.  He would have gone farther if it was possible.  He just doesn't always want to come down.  

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Evan is 9!

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Since you are now a very independent 9 year old and an aspiring blogger, I am going to let you tell us a little about yourself.

Evan's 9th Birthday Interview:

1.  Who is your favorite person in the whole world?

My brothers Brody  and Mattox

2.  What is your favorite color?

Green

3.  What's your favorite television show?

The Walking Dead

4.  What's your favorite outfit?

Panther colored polo

5.  What sport do you like best?

Soccer

6.  What song do you love?

Am I Wrong - Nico & Vinz

7.  What's your favorite cereal?

Mom's Best Crispy Cocoa Rice (so much better than the name brand cereals without the preservatives, artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup and other yucky stuff)

8.  Who is your best friend?

Nael

9.  What do you want to be when you grow up?

Mechanical or Nuclear engineer.  I want to work at a nuclear power plant or for the U.S. Navy.

10.  What is your favorite book?

Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone

11.  What are you really good at?

math

12.  Where do you wish you could go on vacation?

Egypt

13.  What is your best memory?

going to Universal Studios

14.  What would you buy if you had $1000?

I would buy a spaceship so I could go to Mars.

15.  What vegetable do you hate the most?

lettuce (which I have never tried)

16.  What food do you like best?

Hot chicken wings

17.  What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

cookies and cream

18.  What do you love most about yourself?

I am funny and smart and can make people laugh.

19.  What do you like to do with your best friends?

play soccer, baseball, or basketball

20.  What do you hope you'll get to do before your next birthday?

To see Mattox learn to walk and talk.

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You picked out a How to Train Your Dragon balloon for your birthday. 

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And some yummy cupcakes.

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I can't believe my baby is 9 years old!  *sniff*

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Grandma, Great-Grandpa, and Aunt Naomi got you the Smash Bros. video game for your Wii U. 

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At Universal Studios, you got to pick out special desserts from our resort for your birthday.  You wanted to surprise Brody with them because you are so thoughtful and wanted to share.

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Brody thought it was his birthday. 

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Celebrating our big birthday boy. 

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You were very excited that the chocolate cake had four raspberries for each of us (minus Mattox). 

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You went back to school on the Monday after your birthday so I took some Krispy Kreme doughnuts for your class.  It was also another boy's birthday and he brought cupcakes so your class got double treats.  They were all very happy and loved the doughnuts. 

Dear Evan,

I can't believe you are almost a decade old.  Sometimes, I can't believe we have been parents for 9 whole years and other times I can't believe it has only been 9 years.  We have packed so much adventure into the 9 short years of your life, and I hope you always cherish your memories of the special times of your childhood.   You have fulfilled our deepest wishes for what fun and joy parenting can be.  You have grown from a funny, smiling, and happy toddler to an independent and intelligent student and athlete.  You love school and any sport known to man.  You love playing soccer, basketball, and baseball and want to try football next in the Fall.  Mommy is going to be a nervous wreck!  You are still a great student in school and always very well behaved and get lots of good behavior awards.  You love saving up your "Hawk bucks" at school to buy special prizes or privileges.  This year, you have most improved in your reading and writing abilities, and you always get high marks in those areas and are still a great math student.  Your busy schedule keeps you from reading as much as you would like, but you still love it.  We are just so proud of you and can't wait to see what your future holds academically, athletically, socially, and spiritually.  We want you to continue to grow in all areas of your life but always keep your kind-hearted and caring personality.  I hope you enjoyed your birthday and Spring Break and that you added even more wonderful memories to your childhood!  

Love,

Mommy

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