Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Trip to the Zoo

I've been very fortunate to have met some pretty amazing women {and their children} through twitter and/or blogs who are local. We have a varying degree of women ~ some have 3 kids, some have an older and a baby girl, some have their first babies, you get the idea. One thing for certain I appreciate these women in my life and the baby girls that ultimately connected us.

Towards the end of the school year, we'd talked about getting together for playdates on Thursdays throughout the summer.  With Andrew gone most of the summer and Reagan gone half the summer, I was definitely excited about having a lot of Lily time.

Our first was the going to the Pittsburgh Zoo!

Of course when we arrived, I pulled out my camera and realized I had left my SD card in my computer at home. I have a back up card in my purse only I left my purse at home that day too and just put my wallet in the diaper bag.  Yeah, mistake not to be made again...back up SD card now lives in the camera bag.  Did you know they sell SD cards at the zoo? Yeah, lucky. Only it was $25 for a 2GB card and I cringed, but the thought of no real camera pics made me sicker.  So, Lily's souvenir for her 1st trip to the zoo was the photos on a super expensive memory card. womp womp womp

10 kids, 5 moms and everyone else in Pittsburgh. ;)

Forget the animals, Lily wanted to check out her friend Lily "seepin".

   We stopped at the tiger exhibit and I got Lily out of her stroller to look at them. She kept saying "kitty! eye-ow" I'm not quite sure why she says, "eye-ow" instead of "meow", but that is definitely what a kitty says in her world.                                                         I didn't keep her out of the stroller for long because Lily's favorite thing to do is "run! run!" and trying to navigate a busy zoo, a running toddler and a stroller wasn't super easy. So, she made it out for a few exhibits so I could hold her and the rest she viewed from the comfort of her ride.

Keeping her satisfied with yummy snacks was helpful.

The babes, plus a helpful big brother.

We moved along to see more animals while Lily blew spit bubbles at them.

Babes checking things out in their own ways.

Lily loved Dylan and he was so good with her playing with her and making her laugh! So much so that she wanted to give him kisses. He must have been ok with it because he invited her over to see his room and play with his baby sister's toys. haha

We stopped and had some lunch and rested a bit before moving into the aquarium.  Lily loves fish, so she was pretty excited about them!

{you can see her reflection in the glass}

I was excited to see the polar bears, but was surprised one was right up against the glass!

After 4 hours, the hot sun and no nap, Lily was worn out...

Time to go home, Mama!

Free Thank You Cards from Shutterfly!

Get 3x5 folded thank you cards today only for FREE!

Y'all know how much I like free!

Use code: AFF12CARDS and all you pay is shipping!
{quantity of 12}

Birthday Bubbles Pink Thank You Card
Create modern thank you cards at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Little Recap

I've clearly not been blogging as regularly the last few weeks, but I'm working on getting it caught up as well as planning a second {OMG!} birthday party!

Andrew's been enjoying time with his dad and that side of his family since the day school got out. I'm ready for him to be home for a few days later this week before he heads out for Scout Camp and then to Arizona immediately following camp.

Reagan's on her second week with her mom on our summer schedule this week. We finished up our first week. That's been a slight change for all of us. Things are peaceful so we're adjusting to going from busy school time to all down time when she's here and the adjustment at her mom's is going from 2 full days to 7 full days.

Lily's been loving her time with just us, but does miss "bubba" and "sissy" too. She's been busy with her own friends though, hitting up the zoo and the North Shore water steps in the last two weeks. {some of the posts I'm working on}

Of course, there's been a lot of Lily asking for "Bub bub bubble guppies!" which has become her favorite new show. And when I say favorite, I actually mean obsessed. She tells us which episode she wants to watch and names all the characters each time it starts, dances to the theme song, squeals with laughter as it begins and chatters about the episodes and characters all day long. Did I mention obsessed?

Potty training is soon to hit full force in our house. She hides when she's pooping, she asks to get on the potty when we're in the bathroom and the other day wanted to wear her Minnie undies. So, we picked up the seat to fit on the regular seat and after our trip to pick up Andrew, we're on it!

We had an unbearably hot week last week and this week the weather is heavenly~ in the 70s and 80s with low humidity again! One night is even supposed to be 48!

We've been trying to make the most of our time just enjoying hanging out at home, going to the park, getting ice cream, playing outside and just enjoying summer.

 George has started playing with a band this summer which has been great too! Reag went with him to practice last week and was so excited! It's been a really good thing for him. He loves playing guitar and after the last too many few years of drama, he needed something just for him. The time committment is the right fit, he's happy with group of guys and it makes him happy. Which makes me happy.

Happy summer!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Then and Now

As I was looking through my pictures for Andrew's 6th grade graduation post, I decided upon seeing his 1st day of kinder picture that I had a perfect comparison picture post to do between Andrew's start of elementary school and the end!


6th grade


I had sent these to my mom last night and she called to ask, "Missing Andrew, are you?"


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My 6th Grader Graduates

This last day of school was very bittersweet for me. My first baby graduating from 6th grade. Honestly, I just can't imagine how this is possible. Time goes way too quickly. 

He just started kindergarten it seems and here he is now...a young man getting ready to go to junior high. If I'm being honest, the pushing away from "needing" me the same as he has has been a little hard from me. Finding the right balance between holding on and responsible freedom is tough.

1st day of kindergarten~Aug, 2005

During a conversation recently, my mom said to me, "You have high expectations for Andrew."  I replied, "I always have." 

Now, the key is finding a way to allow him the freedom with accountability.  I jokingly say to him sometimes, "With great power comes great responsibility."  with his power being freedom.  See, this was a kid who loved Spiderman so much he'd just wear his costume, mask and all, to sit to watch tv or chase the ice cream man down the street.

This year he learned the value of homework and balancing school and friends. He learned how to stand up for himself with a bully and appropriately handle himself with difficult situations with peers.

6th grade was a big growing year.

For both of us.

Since he was in preschool, we have always signed "I love you" right before he leaves.
I can honestly only think of a couple times in all those years, he's forgotten. He actually asked me to take a picture of it this day. ♥  I love that he's never embarrassed to give me a kiss before he gets out of the car or sign "I love you" before he heads in the building.

In our elementary school, they hold a 6th grade graduation ceremony for families to attend. Reagan was able to be there during the school day as well which we were happy about.

They presented awards and certificates to the students as well as a video of the students set to music. Of all the kids in 6th grade, Andrew's was the only Halloween picture in there! I, of course, cried a lot. Tears started as soon as the 5th grade band began playing Pomp and Circumstance...

Andrew getting his promotion to jr high certificate

I really like that in this school, the 5th and 6th grade teams split the kids into groups and the kids see all 3 teachers for different subjects. They have one main teacher i.e. their homeroom teacher, but see the others as well.  It's a great way to introduce the junior high changing of classes.

Andrew and Mrs. G, his main teacher

Mrs. R

 Mrs. P

Andrew's dad and stepmom drove up from Nashville to be here for him too.  We headed to lunch after the graduation ceremony. All of us~George, Andrew, Lily, Reagan, Andrew's dad, stepmom and myself. Reag was allowed an excused early release from school to go and her mom agreed to pick her up at our house instead of after school.

Lily was in the most foul mood that she's probably ever been that day. {of course}

After lunch, he was heading back to Tennessee with his dad for some time together, so we snapped a few more pictures, said goodbye and just like that, 6th grade was over and Andrew was off for his summer adventures.

We are so proud of you, Andrew!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Last Day of School

My kids just know there will be pictures involved.  I make sure to remind them before they go to bed on days like today that they'll be getting up a little early to take pictures. Occasionally, I get a groan these days from Andrew, but it's brief and he knows it's pointless.

I love comparing pictures with the kids too. Although, they're not looking so drastically different from the first and last days any longer. Most of the "baby" has long since been lost from their faces.

They headed off that morning both wanting to ride the bus the last day instead of me driving them. They had their teachers' gifts in hand and off they went for their last school bus ride together.

That's a wrap on 6th and 2nd grades!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Free Father's Day Card

Shutterfly put this cute Father's Day video together! I love Father's Day! Although I miss my dad every single day, I love that there's a day that is dedicated to celebrating great dads like him and my husband! 

Shutterfly is offering a free a Father's Day card too!  Be sure to check it out! One of my favorite companies!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What Summer Looks Like

In just three short days Lily, George and I will be by ourselves. Thus begins the summer schedule of our blended family.

Andrew leaves to begin his summer of travel literally the last day of school for the majority of June and July.   Reagan starts a week on/week off with each of her parents.  We've been really busy these last few weeks with get togethers, graduations and parties, and end of school year events, we are looking forward to some down time, but it actually comes very abruptly. We send them to school the last day and off they go somewhere else.  No time for celebrating Andrew's 6th grade graduation or the last day of school.  I'm feeling a lot of mixed emotions about it all.

George and I are so in love with this joyful, funny little person we've created and we're going to embrace the party of three time we have together with her... as we know how quickly she'll grow and be in a completely new stage all too soon.  So Lily will have a lot of moments this summer with her parents as a family of 3.  We'll all be back together in time for her 2nd birthday at the end of July! Lucky me, I have a lot of pre-planning done and will have a lot of down time to get it done. ;)

Plus, George and I have already scheduled one date night we're both looking forward to! That's our end of school year celebration! :)

What I'm dreading today is the 232952094520 loads of laundry I need to get done for Andrew's trips. Plus he needs new shoes, some new clothes and a haircut.  The haircut is a must before he goes and his dad may end up having to take care of some of the other. 

He'll literally be home for 4 days between the last day of school and near the end of July. He'll be traveling to Tennessee, Scout camp, and Arizona this summer. He's looking forward to all of it! I'm super excited for him and the good thing about leaving right after school is out, he'll get to see his grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins on his dad's side too spending a week in Gatlinburg, TN. The last time Andrew was there he was 2!  He's not been back to Arizona since we moved nearly 5 years ago, so getting two weeks there will be awesome too! Wish I were going!

Reagan is looking forward to being more with her mom and having non-school time here with us! There's nothing specific on the schedule, but we're working on planning some special things for the girls with us and some one-on-one stuff with George too while she's here too! School starts earlier next school year than the last few, so end of August will be here before we know it too. Can't believe she'll be in 3rd grade already.

After we're all back together we will have a lot of celebrating to do! Andrew's 6th grade graduation~delayed celebrating of course~, our anniversary and both George and Lily's birthdays!

I have a ton to catch up on here on the blog. Thank God for pictures to keep me reminded. :) 

Life is good.  Just busy right now!

That's what summer is looking like for us....what about y'all?