Thursday, March 29, 2012

The First Last

As Andrew's elementary school time is coming to a close, there are a lot of "lasts" in the next coming months.

The first last was his final elementary band concert.  As his third year in band wraps up, I'm proud to say he's chosen to continue into junior high next year. Way to go, Andrew!

 I thought this picture was funny as he covered his face when he realized I walked up to the stage for a few minutes and was taking pictures before they began. :)  

6th Grade Advanced Band

He was very excited for us to hear their songs. Their first was "Firework" by Katy Perry. It was really good! And of course, as overplayed as the song is, the message in it is one I really love and it brought tears to my eyes to hear them playing.

 Their second song was the Theme from Batman. {Not the "na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na Bat.Man!" song though}  Their band director came out appropriately dressed to conduct the song. :) Andrew says this was his favorite song they did.

They wrapped up with "Be True to Your School" by the Beach Boys after an ensemble number.

  Lily did great through the 4th grade performance and most of the 5th grade. Fussy set in by the time it was Andrew's turn since it was wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy past her bedtime, but we survived and she clapped, shouted "Yay!" and "Bubba!" quite a few times along with her whining. :)  We were just as proud of his as she was!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sleep and Water...Necessities

Yesterday was long.

As in, I just could not wait until bedtime. 

See, Monday night, my normally sleep-all-night-long-and-have-been-for-all-but-about-2 1/2 months-of-my- life baby, kept waking up. 



The first time, {right after I'd gotten into bed, of course} I went up and thought she just needed her paci. No biggie.  Popped it back in and gave her her blankie and out I went.

Crying crying crying and more crying.  I went back in and she was sitting up, arms outstretched, wailing, "MaaaaMaaaa".

I picked her up, hugged her, grabbed her blankie and brought her down to lay with me for a little bit. She laid on my chest, just like she did when she was a teeny newborn while I watched the news in bed.  I put her back in bed shortly and back to bed I went. 

About a half hour later, I was just about to fall asleep when the hysterical crying began again.  Daddy went up this time and same thing. Couldn't get her to calm down. All things checked--diaper, too hot/too cold, paci etc. He finally got her back to sleep and came back to bed. Only for an hour later for the cycle to repeat. 

I went and got her and brought her back to bed with me right away.  Only she didn't want to lay on my chest this time. She was tired and just wanted to sprawl in the middle of the bed between Daddy and me. She laid her head near me and her legs diagonally towards him.  He didn't move at all. In fact, he didn't even know she was there. I kept telling him to move his elbow because he was almost elbowing her, then me in the head. I dozed off guarding our heads until I knew she was completely back to sleep. Then I stumbled back upstairs and laid her in her crib, made sure she settled in and finally crawled myself back in bed around 4:30am for the hour and a half until the alarm went off.  We think we've begun 2 year molar hell, but something else was going on with her too. :(  She was sad and pathetic. Poor baby.

Up all night led to me sleeping through my second alarm to get Andrew and Reagan up for school. So at 7:49am, when I woke up suddenly, it was a scramble to get them ready and out the door to get to the bus in 20 minutes.

By 8:45am, Lily was heading for the steps with her blankie and saying, "night night" after only being up just about an hour.  She ate breakfast first then finally went to bed around 10 and she fell right asleep and took a 3 and a half hour nap.

When I went to get her lunch ready, I turned on the water to wash strawberries and nothing came out of the faucet. Nada. I called the water company and found out it was off due to an issue in our town, pretty close to us.  Ok.  A little while. later I went outside and found the issue was very close to us. Like just down the street.  There was a break in a line and water was shooting in the air.  

Funny how you realize how much you need water when you can't use it.  Then 5 hours later when it came back, the lines needed to be flushed and cleaned out, so it was a long time without water yesterday afternoon and evening.

We spent the afternoon watching "Go Go-eeeeeee" otherwise known as "Yo Gabba Gabba" and coloring.
She's seriously is so content with some paper and anything to write with.

Yesterday was just l-o-n-g. 

Thankfully, I can say that last night, Lily slept soundly for 12 1/2 hours.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Super Deal on Little People

Here's a great deal on a Fisher Price Little People toy at!

Target has the Fisher Price Little People Happy Homes value pack on their site for $42.99.  I got it for $16.61 shipped!

It's important to enter the codes in this order otherwise, you end up paying more!

Enter code H8JNX78V to take $5 Off a Little People Purchase of $25 or more; then, enter TGTRQCJU to take $5 Off an Infant Toy Purchase of $20 or +, then … finally – enter TGTHSJMK to take 50% off a Fisher Price Laugh & Learn or Little People Toy.

If you have a Target REDcard {I do} you get an additional 5% off and free shipping. Without the REDcard, it's still a great deal on a classic toy! I love Little People stuff and this one comes with extras~the grandparents, the car among others, hence the valuepack. 

I love a GREAT deal like this!  Happy Shopping!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Remembering a Family

When I lived in Tennessee I was so blessed to have really good people in my life. Genuine, giving, compassionate. 

After Andrew was born, I didn't stay with my event planning job long, but started working for the woman who provided care for Andrew in her home and opened a childcare. I worked with infants ages 6 weeks-15 months. After some time and many babies, I decided to take the plunge and open a childcare business in my home where I would have babies from 6 weeks-2years.  This afforded me the opportunity to be home with Andrew as well.  He was 2 when we made this transition. 

One of the babies I was so blessed to care for, came with me from the childcare, so I did have him from infancy on. I adored him and his family. 

When I first met his parents, Lori and Duke, I had no idea how important their whole family would become in my life.  I was so honored to be their baby's caretaker.  See, this baby boy was their second child. Their first, their daughter, was stillborn. Fullterm.  I cried as this strong amazing woman shared her story about their daughter when we first met. She opened her heart to express how difficult it was for her to leave this miracle baby with me to return to work. I empathized and knew I had a special baby in my care. And ohhh was I ever blessed to have him in my care, love him and spend my days with him.

{Of course, I loved my other babies too, but this is about one family in particular.}

In addition to providing child care for their son, we became friends. We attended each other's family's birthday parties, went to dinner, hung out at our houses, talked way too long every morning and evening when they'd pick up and drop off.  I loved them and they us.

One day mid-day, I was getting ready to take the toddlers (all boys) out back to play and there was a big black snake coiled up by my back door. Yikes!  I called Duke to come help me.  He hated snakes. But, he came over with his mower and took care of it for me. ;)  I still laugh thinking about him describing his disdain for snakes and how he handled it. I never saw that snake or any of its parts again.  That's just the person he was. Caring. Caretaking. I took care of his boy and he took care of my snake. haha

When I had decided that Andrew and I were moving back to Arizona following my divorce, I grieved leaving this baby boy, who I'd been part of his daily care nearly his whole life. He was 22 months when we moved. I cried leaving my friend, Lori and her husband, Duke.  They had supported me in every way possible in a difficult time in my life as well.

After Andrew and I moved to AZ, we'd visit them when we'd make it back to TN.  I went and met their son's new caretaker and saw him in her environment and it was amazing! The perfect transition from me to her.  They'd soon had another baby...a girl.  Lori and I inevitably cry and laugh everytime we've been together.

All this time was pre-digital camera, so I have a bazillion pictures of these babies, but none on my computer. They remain in scrapbooks, in storage.

As life got more hectic as our children grew and living in different states, we'd only connect occasionally with Christmas cards and the like the last several years until we reconnected and caught up on Facebook about a year and half ago.  I was again in tears {big surprise} at how happy I was to reconnect!  We tried to get together last summer when I was in TN, but it didn't work out.  I was really disappointed. Especially now.

This past Friday night, I got on Facebook and the top "story" was a picture of Duke and underneath it said, "Rest brother. I love you. I'm going to miss you." 

My heart leapt into my throat.

I went to his page and just saw many posts of "I'm so sorry", "I'm shocked." etc. but no further information. I went to Lori's page and although I know she's rarely on facebook, I hoped to see something to indicate what was going on.  I sent a message to a friend in TN to see if there was anything on the news there about an accident or something.  After hours of scouring the internet, because I did not want to call Lori intrusively, I learned that this just turned 40 year old man, my friend, had died of a heart attack...

She and I spoke Saturday morning and I'm so glad we did...just not for the reason why.  Oh I wish I could take away her pain...

I'm so, so heartbroken for his children and his wife.  She's an amazingly strong woman and I know she's going to survive this, but my heart just aches for her own grief as well as her watching her own children grieve.

That baby boy I cared for everyday in his early life is now a 10 year old young man whose best friend is his daddy.  He just misses his daddy.  I know that feeling all too well.

Much love to all of Duke's family and friends....

Obituary for Mr. Andrew Duke Warren
WARREN, Mr. Andrew Duke, age 40, of Columbia, TN passed away March 23, 2012. He attended Thompson Station Baptist Church, and was a great husband, father, son, brother and friend. He would have received his nursing degree from Aquanis College on May 12, 2012. Preceded in death by daughter, Lauren Abigail Warren. Survived by wife, Lori Corder Warren; son, Harrison Duke Warren; daughter, Sophia Claire Warren all of Columbia, TN; father, Willis Warren, Jr. of Coxville, TN; mother, Patsy Francis Warren of Smyrna, TN; sister, Jennifer (Thomas) Warren Bowers of Franklin, TN; and a host of other loving family members and friends. Funeral service will be conducted 11am Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at Spring Hill Memorial Funeral Home, Jonathan Hopson officiating. Interment Kelso Cemetery, Kelso, TN. Pallbearers, Reid and Alex Bowers, Jason Anderson, Tyler Barden, Jay Vivrette, John Murphy, Manuel Simmons and Willis Warren, Jr. Honorary pallbearers, Clayton Warren, John and Stephen Warren, and Heritage Hurricanes 10-U. Memorials may be made to the Harrison and Sophia Warren College Fund & the Heritage Hurricanes @ 5016 Spedale Ct., PMB 270, Spring Hill, TN 37174 or Diabetes Association. Visitation will be 4-9pm Monday at SPRING HILL MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME, 5239 Main St., Spring Hill, TN 37174. 931 486-0059.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

1st Day of Spring

Mr. Rogers' birthday also happens to fall on the 1st day of Spring, so in addition to our free admission to the Children's Museum, a local Italian ice place offers free Italian ice every year to celebrate the 1st day of Spring. 

This year it was HOT. {again, hot is relative}  80 degrees in March in Pittsburgh is about 20 degrees above normal. Getting a cool treat was so welcome!

We waited until George got home from work and Andrew and Reagan got home from school and off we went.
Lily was ready!
{Yes, my old man is wearing old man socks and sandals}

The line was long, but moved quickly.

Lily just kept wanting to run.  Yep, she's at that age where if she's not being held or in a stroller she is on. the. go. Running.  Finally, we got our turn!

Hmmmm which flavor to choose?

We picked green apple for Lily, Andrew got the same, Daddy got Bubblicious and Reagan and I got pink lemonade.

We headed over to my mother-in-law's cauldron house to eat our Italian ice and let her see the kids.

There was a lot of running back and forth from Andrew to Daddy.

Andrew enjoyed the outside thoroughly.

Lily enjoyed her 1st Rita's Italian ice experience all the way down to the cup. 

Happy 1st day of Spring!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 21, 1973

...the gateway to 40 and I am totally embracing it!

Thankful I'm exiting my 30s with the love I have!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mr.Rogers!

One of Pittsburgh's treasures is Mr. Rogers.  Yeah, that Mr. Rogers.  Each year on his birthday, there are often free or discounted events around the city in his honor.  This year, Lily and I took advantage of the Children's Museum offering free admission. We went with my friend, Dina and her 2 year old daughter. It was a nice treat to spend a few hours with our baby girls out of the normal routine.

First, we did some painting.  This was Lily's first time painting, so I was excited to see what she'd do. :)

I loved seeing her in that cutie smock that went all the way to her feet, hoarding paint brushes, grabbing the brushes by the paint end, and occasionally splashing some color on the paper on the easel.

She was thrilled to be able to be free...and explore!

She was unsure about coming back down the ramp after playing with the magnetic cars, so she improvised  to ease her way back down.

 Lily was excited to play with the giant litebrite, fascinated by the pegs and then a little frustrated when she couldn't get them out. I love the look on her face when they got stuck.

She loved running from place to place, sitting on the toddler teeter-totter and saying "wheeeeee" as she went up and down. Instead of playing with birdseed through funnels, she tried eating it and didn't like it. ;)

As is typical, my early reader finds herself a book and is happy as a clam. She loveloveloves Sandra Boynton books and she found Blue Hat, Green Hat. She kept reading "oops" and my heart exploded.
{These books are GREAT gifts! you know, for those who ask about ideas for her. There are tons we don't have.}

We finished up with a snack and headed home for a nap.  It was a really fun day!