Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tyler Wayne...my little ladies man

Here, my little stud is modeling the new living room. (at least it looks new, no?) I had Matt bring up the rug we had all rolled up and put away in the basement (this used to be in the dining room before we turned it into a playroom.) I tried to get him to bring up the love seat by himself but he claimed he needed some help. Of course he meant me! So I helped him bring the sofa up (he won't admit it but I did most of the work.) This definitely makes the room feel more comfortable for entertaining. For some reason the kids don't see a love seat...they see a Jungle Gym. Although they know proper furniture etiquette, for some reason they just can't help themselves from climbing over, jumping on/off, and hanging all over it. (here are some mild Jungle Gym photos...I can't encourage the other behavior by taking a picture...you understand, right?!)
Last night while I made dinner Matt did some yard work. For extra poker money he mowed and edged Buddy's lawn and while he was at it he edged our lawn too. Not pictured is Tyler chasing Matt around with his toy lawn mower. He was a big helper.
For dinner I made Chicken Noodle Soup from scratch. It was delish! I didn't buy the whole chicken as the recipe requested but I did put myself out there and bought chicken breasts ON THE BONE! I have never bought anything other than boneless, skinless chicken breasts but in my attempt to save money I am going to buy split chicken breasts with ribs. It is so much cheaper! This way I'll be able to make my own chicken stock (not broth...thanks Dana for that important information!) to freeze for later use too.
Today, after I dropped Lauren off at school I set Tyler up in the basement to watch "Elmo's Potty Time" while I worked out like a mad woman. As a mad woman I walked 4 minutes and jogged 6 minutes and repeated that 4 times. (like I said...a Mad Woman)
After my shower Tyler and I headed to Kroger to pick up a few things and I saw THIS in the parking lot. (and NO I'm not referring to the minivan...just the front License Plate!!) See! There's at least a couple of us Oregonians down here!
In Kroger, Tyler absolutely stole the heart of a sweet little Grandma. Since she only had a few things in her "buggy" I let her go ahead of me in line. She was putty in Tyler's hands after that. She asked me if he would enjoy a candy bar. I said of course he would but that's really not necessary. Oh no, she insisted on buying him a Hershey's candy bar since he reminded her of her own (now grown) grandchildren. She was the definition of a sweet little ole' Southern Lady.

This afternoon we had Lea come over to play. She plays just as well with Tyler as she does with Lauren. They are the perfect trio. Very little fighting and a whole lot of playing together.
Just look at the way Tyler looks at her. (all together now..."ahh, how sweet!")

This evening we went to Lauren's Spring Program at her school.
I dropped her off in her classroom before I went to the worship center where the program was taking place. Here is a picture of Kylie and Lauren before the program.
While we were waiting for the pre-schoolers and kindergateners to get situated, Tyler discovered a hymnal from the back of the pew. I have not taught him anything about sheet music but he immediately recognized it as music and started to sing. I am 100% positive he learned this from watching Little Einsteins! He's a genius, I tell ya.

And At Last! The concert begins. Lauren is the one BEAMING! She did great with her hand movements but I didn't really see her singing that much. It was fun, however, to see the whole school show off what they've been practicing for so long now.
And here is Tyler patiently waiting for it to be over.
What a doll! My little ladies man.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tyler's Birthday Party

Before we get to Tyler's birthday party let's backtrack to Friday.

After school, Lauren went home with her school friend Emma. This was the first time that someone other than my Mom has picked her up from school. (or from anywhere for that matter) It took all I had not to go and spy to make sure the pick-up went smoothly. =)

Everything went fine though and when I picked Lauren up from Emma's house I found the girls still enthralled in play. They had done some art projects, had a delicious lunch and played and played as girls can do. I know they played hard because this is Lauren in the car before we got home from the 15 minute car ride.
Out Cold
Today, Saturday, started off R-U-F-F!! Lauren and Tyler were at each other's throats. It seemed like one of them was on the "naughty chair" at all times. It even got to the point that Matt and I designated a Wooden Spoon to be used if necessary. It hasn't been used yet but it is a-waiting on top of the refrigerator.

Finally I had enough and sent both kids to take a nap to "re-group" at 11:30am. I woke them up at 1:30 and they were completely different children. I actually recognized these sweet kiddos as my own. (thank you to the inventor of NAPS!)

Since we napped right through lunch, they both hit up the snack table ASAP. For the party, I set up a grown up snack table on the kitchen table and also a munchkin snack table on the "little table."

Munchkin snacks = fish crackers, marshmallows & pretzels

Pretty soon Tyler's friends started to arrive. Three of his friends were able to come (along with their parents.) First on the agenda: FREE PLAY!

and some SNACKS!

then a little DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE!

Three Year Olds can only wait so long until it's presents and cake time. And I'm not one to disappoint. So on to PRESENTS.
Tyler received some Great and Unique presents: A Fisher Price Water Weed Wacker (so on Summer days he can help Daddy on the lawn,) a Lightening McQueen KITE and puzzle, huge Thomas the Train coloring pages, crayons, Cars note pad, and a moldable soap bath toy. Tyler loves all of his toys...as do I. I can't wait to get outside with the Kite on a windy day and I'm really looking forward to bath tomorrow night. Even Lauren was given a surprise gift of a princess puzzle!
After presents, it was time for Birthday Cake!

Tyler chose a Thomas the Train cake.
I was a little embarrassed to pull this cake out of the box since I invited a friend who makes the Fanciest Home-Made Cakes you've ever seen. (She assured me she'd still be my friend though.)
Tyler took about 30 tries to blow out his candles. And after Soaking his cake, I helped him out with the extinguishing blow.
and then it was Cake and Ice-Cream time...Whoo-ee!

the grown-ups ate cake too!
Mr. Penn State is running a Half Marathon tomorrow!! good luck!
After all the friends went home Lauren and Tyler got started on some coloring projects.
Tyler received the coolest Thomas coloring pages.
For dinner tonight I made a baked rice dish which had 3 different types of meat in it. (if you listen carefully you'll be able to hear Matt Jumping For Joy!)
the recipe can be found here...in English measurements so Good Luck.
left to right:
cubed chicken, cubed pork chop, ground pork meatballs
Dinner turned out pretty good. However, since I prepared meat in 3 different ways I expected more of a taste bud Bang. Oh well. The recipe made enough for 6 so we invited the neighbors over for dinner. Tyler and Shep had a blast together....or maybe I should say Tyler had a blast with Shep.
Lauren and Emma also had a good time together. Here they are raiding the pantry for some chocolaty snacks

Everyone had a lot of fun today. The party was perfect and the Severe Weather we were supposed to have didn't pass through our area. One storm avoided and another on the way later next week.
Have a great weekend y'all.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Baby Turned Three

My Baby Tyler turned Three! Can you believe it?!
Me neither.

(you also won't believe how LONG this post will be!)
Before my baby Tyler turned three on TUESDAY, we took Lauren to dance class on MONDAY. Here is a partial of the two of us in the hallway waiting for Lauren's dance class to end. I really like her dance instructors and the price, but I really don't like the location (30 min. away from the house) and the parent's waiting room (which is non-existent execpt for a 3 foot wide hallway outside of the dance room.)

While Matt played poker Monday night I wrapped all of Tyler's birthday presents.
The next morning the kids ooh'd and aah'd over them before we took Lauren to school.

While Lauren was at school, Tyler and I met some friends at Jumping Jelly Beans. We enjoyed some good company and some good Jumps. Tyler had a blast. (not pictured are his friends, Annabelle, Daniel and Beth...all met through Crossroads Church) ...come visit us!
climbing up the slide

ready and set...

and GO!

Jumping Jelly Beans has 2 huge rooms to play in. In each room they have 4 different inflatable toys. This equals a TON of fun and for sure makes up for the $5 it costs to jump.

Back at home I decided it was time to get ready for the big guy's birthday party. I filled out his party invites.

This Saturday (barring any tornados...which are, unfortunately, on the forecast...) we will celebrate his 3rd birthday party at our house with some free play, a Thomas the Train cake and lots of fun.

Tuesday night, March 24, 2009, our family celebrated Tyler's 3rd birthday party. I just cannot believe that it has been a whole three years since I gave birth to my son. The time has flown by way too fast. On the other hand, I've made so many connections and good friends here that I cannot believe I've Only Been Here for 3 and a half years. (We moved to Atlanta when I was 20 weeks pregnant with Tyler.) Funny the way Time works, isn't it?

One of our good friends we've made --> since gracing the South with our presence <-- are our next door neighbor's, The Hancocks. The majority of them joined us for our family celebration of Tyler's birthday.

Tyler opened only a couple of presents before deciding he was DONE. (He's going through a very defiant stage right now. It's an indiscriminately defiant stage. He will rudely refuse a chocolate chip cookie just as he would a smack in the pants.)

When Tyler tired of opening presents we broke out the cake and ice-cream.
Tyler chose a "smiley face cake" for himself.

Shep and Tyler pose for a picture. Great job Shep...Tyler, hmm not so much.

Emma and Lauren enjoy their cake too.

Eventually we opened all of his presents. (Thank you Lauren for all your help un-wrapping the wrapping paper.)

Turns out Tyler's favorite toys were those I bought from last year's consignment sale.

The Little People School Bus and the Wooden Tool Box. (a grand total of about four dollars.)

This week hasn't been all about Tyler though. Lauren has had plenty of action herself. Tuesday after school she went over to Lea's house to play and on Wednesday we had Lea over to play at our house. Ms. Maria and I try to get the girls together a couple of times a week. This gives the girls some time to play but also gives us Mom's some time to Get Things Done Without Our Girls In Our Hair. Well, the Tuesday playdate started out just fine...but Lauren pretty much deteriorated an hour after Lea's arrival. She started to get snappy and grumpy so I sent her to her bedroom for a 15 min. time-out. After 15 min. I went to check on her and she was Out Cold. Poor girl just needed to nap. She ended up napping for an hour and a half but Tyler was More Than Happy to pick up where Lauren left off. He and Lea played and played. Afterall, now that Tyler just turned 3, him and Lea are the same age for a couple of months.

Here's a picture of the sweet and beautiful Lea.

Today, Thursday, Tyler had his First Ever Dentist Appointment. Since he is going through his indiscriminately defiant stage I was convinced it would not go well. Boy was I mistaken! I wish I had gotten her name but the dental assistant was WoNdErFuL! She was so kind and gentle that Tyler 100% latched on to her. He was talking to her, answering her questions and asking her questions right back.

She showed him all of her fancy dental tools. She squirted water in his hand and used "Mr. Thirsty" to suck the water back out of his hand.He even let her floss his teeth.

There was a slight aversion to sitting in the fancy dentist chair all by himself but he ageed to sit there if he was on my lap. So I accompanied him on the reclining chair and after that he was able to let her clean his teeth. He spent most of his time engrossed in the movie on the ceiling: Buzz Light Year.

After the cleaning was done I asked Tyler if he wanted to sit on the chair by himself. He said "yes." So with the speed of light I hopped out of the chair and plopped Tyler right back on it.

And here he is!

He cried a little when the (male) Dentist swooped in and performed his swift evaluation. (afterall Tyler had already put all his trust in the kind and sweet dental assistant. He even tried to tell the Dentist that he only wanted the "girl" to look at his teeth.) ...But all in all Tyler was just fine and I played up all of his bravery and good deeds all day long so hopefully that is all he will remember when we go back in 6 months.

Since he did so well on his check-up. They took his picture so we could hang it up on our fridge. And here it is.
My handsome (and forced smiley) little guy.

After Tyler's dentist appointment we picked up both Lauren and Kylie from school. Kylie is one of Lauren's good friends from her class and she has been begging me to invite Kylie on over.
The girls had a blast!

Kylie is a huge fan of Star Wars (thanks to her older brother.) Lauren and her play Star Wars quite often on the playground at school. Today I got to evesdrop on their Star Wars play and I got a kick out of it.

Kylie and Lauren playing Star Wars:
Kylie: Do you want to use the FORCE?
Lauren: the what? ...okay.
Kylie: Then stand like this and raise your arms up.
Lauren: I don't want to use the FORKS anymore.
"ha ha ha," I silently chuckled from the kitchen. I just may "Use the Forks" someday myself.
I should probably go and rent Star Wars so she knows what her and Kylie are actually playing. =)
After Kylie's Mom came to pick her up and Lauren's Daddy came home from work it was "Daddy Play Time." I made dinner while Matt played with the kiddos. His tummy has been upset for a couple of days so he really sacrificed some comfort to play "airplane" and also lead them in some artwork projects.
The dinner I made didn't really help him much. Although he said it tasted delicious he was just too uncomfortable to enjoy/finish it. I'd love to make this again when he's feeling better. I'm sure he'd DEVOUR IT. Tomorrow, however, I'll be making him the cure-all "chicken soup" while I go out to dinner with Dana.