Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lately . . .

It's so hard to keep up with a blog now that Instagram is so much easier!

For posterity, this is what we have been up to lately.

Outdoor Fun: We love spring in TN. Every day, we spend tons of time outside. Both kids are loving scooter and bike rides plus visiting our favorite parks. 









Swimming Lessons: Henry is finishing up his third month of swimming lessons. He is doing great and we have met our goals. I am sure he will continue to improve over the summer and than we will begin in January. 




Birthday parties: I love birthday parties because now they are drop-off parties. Evie had two parties in the last week. One was a horseback riding party and the other was a bouncy house costume party. Both were super fun for her and I love having a few hours to run errands. Blurry pic but still so cute.




Learning to Dive: Evie is working on her diving skills and improves each week. 




Watching the Master's: We spent most of the weekend watching the Master's. I always cry at the end. It is so amazing to see someone reach their goal after lots of handwork and determination.



Wedding at Cana: It was a super fun night at church. We each brought an appetizer and had a contest. It was a fundraiser to bring water to those without.  I got to hold this sweet little nugget! No pictures but it was a night worth remembering.


Sneak a Peek: Evie had a ball being the big kid at Sneak a Peek. Cannot believe my sweet girl is heading to first grade soon. 



Charleston Cousins: Carl's cousin Courtney visited us with her girls last week. Henry and Evie thought this was spectacular! Mary is interested in Vanderbilt and wanted to check out the school. We would love to have Mary here for college. It was a terrific visit!



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter!







We had a wonderful Easter with Carl's parents. I love Easter! It's one of my favorite holidays. Both kids woke up bright and early to check out their baskets. Easter Bunnies are really good at finding cool things! Evie received the game UNO, a craft kit, legos and some other assorted items. Henry received a new game of Spot It, a Rescue Bot and a lego kit!  Both kids were thrilled with their baskets and still playing with their goodies a few days later which is always good.

We ate a super fast breakfast of cinnamon rolls with fruit and got dressed for church. We were just a tad too early this year because the early service was not out yet. It was funny watching everyone trying to get it in at the same time. Carl found us a pew so that everyone could sit together - crowded but together nevertheless. Henry enjoyed his time in the nursery until it was time for communion. He obviously does not take communion but he receives a special blessing. I love to see my kids cross their little arms at the altar.  Our choir did an outstanding job with the music and it was a wonderful service. After church, we stayed for the egg hunt. Evie and Henry were in different age groups this year so that was a bit tricky. I took Henry with me and everyone else went with Evie.

We came home for some quick pictures. I wish we had taken more at the church but at least we got some! Henry was over it by the time we got home and Carl had lost his bow tie as a result of a certain someone playing with it. All of this will be fun to remember. Henry will probably have his own bow tie next Easter. 

I made a quick lunch nothing fancy! Carl and his Dad prepared the ham on Saturday so I just whipped up a few sides. We had potatoes au gratin, green beans, spinach with mandarin oranges, avocado and walnuts  with poppyseed dressing and rolls. Dessert was a chocolate cake from Whole Foods that was reminiscent of a Pepperidge Farm layer cake and so yummy without all the chemicals. 

I took a nap after lunch - all that food plus a busy few days caught up with me. It was a nice Easter and we really enjoyed sharing the holiday with Carl's parents. 

Easter pictures are so fun to look at for me and I was thrilled to see so many happy families enjoying the special day. 


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Break Day's 5, 6, and 7




It's been a busy few days!

Day 5: Henry and Evie sure were excited to see their Uncle Ben and Mary Devon when they woke up on Friday morning. They were so excited they woke up at 6:00. YIKES! Evie went back to sleep but Henry did not so it has been a crazy few days. Ben and Mary Devon took Evie to try on flower girl dresses. Evie thought that was super fun! Henry and I met them so we could all ride together to Downtown Franklin. We had some lunch at Mellow Mushroom. I love that pizza but it sure takes forever to get food in there every.single.time. It was worth the wait. We browsed in It's Vintage Baby after lunch and I grabbed a cute polo shirt for Henry. I have learned that cheap polo shirts do not hold up with little boys. Then, we walked down Main Street to show them our church and then to Sweet CeCe's for some ice-cream. We came home for a viewing of the Lego Movie and then everyone played outside while I cooked dinner. I made Burrito Bowls and they were pretty good just lots of chopping. It was an early night for everyone!

Day 6: We headed to the Franklin Farmer's Market! It was a nice morning although not many vendors were open yet. Our favorite doughnuts were there though! YUMMY! Cinnamon sugar doughnuts are delicious! We walked around a bit in the factory before heading to Nolensville for lunch at Martin's. It was a good lunch! After lunch, we stopped back by the house so Carl and Ben could move Henry's dresser into his room. It looks so much better than I expected and Henry's room is almost finished. He just needs a throw pillow for each bed. Ben and Carl moved the dresser like it was no big deal. After the furniture moving, we headed to Edwin Warner park for some dirt pile fun. Henry and Evie LOVE getting dirty so it was a nice stop. Ben and Mary Devon hiked a bit and then took Evie for another hike. We enjoyed the Nature Center too! I just love all the parks we have here in Nashville. Mary Devon and Ben babysat the kiddos while we went to a hockey game. They watched a movie and ate ice cream. Evie thought it was so funny that Uncle Ben was a babysitter! We loved having a night off from being on duty! Thanks Uncle Ben and Mary Devon! We met Maura and Tim for the hockey game and it was fun to hang out as always. Maura and I just chatted the whole game.

Day 7: We woke up and had a nice breakfast. Then, we played outside for a bit, Our favorite boys came over to play too. Uncle Ben and Mary Devon left this morning. We were sad to see them go! It's so nice they come to visit us!  I headed out to the grocery store to grab a few things for lunches this week. It's back to school this week for everyone. I am ready! Not sure my kids are ready to go back but I do better on a routine. When I came back from my errands, I took the kids to jump with the boys on their bouncy house. It's always a treat to play with the boys!Evie and I are about to wrap up our spring break with a movie. Of course, we are going to Cinderella like the rest of the little girls across America! I love my little princess and know she will love the movie. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring Break: Day 3 and 4

Spring break is still going strong. Here is our Day 3 and 4.






Day 3: On Wednesday, we met some neighbors at the zoo. Evie and Ryla are in kindergarten together. Henry and Raina will go to kindergarten together in a few years. It was a super fun morning at the zoo but lots chillier than we expected. Some days those meteorologists just get the weather completely wrong. It was supposed to be a high of 60 but it never got over 49. BRRR! That's cold when it is cloudy and damp outside. We basically had the zoo to ourselves which is always nice. Everyone wanted to start with a carousel ride and we had our own personal ride with just the four kiddos. Henry always rides the dolphin and Evie always rides the ostrich. We visited the elephants and were amazed at how close they got to us. Elephants are such beautiful animals! It is amazing to see the intricate details up close and realize the depth of beauty God created for us. I could watch the elephants all day! We toured around a bit more and then ate a picnic lunch. All the kids were so cold at this point that we hit the road after a cotton candy detour. Thank goodness for zoo memberships because we were only there two hours. On the way home, we stopped at Target to get a few things for Henry's room. He is doing so well in his new bed! We are so proud of him. Henry is quite proud of himself too and is telling everyone he comes across that he floats like a log and sleeps in a big boy bed! We came home and did a few things around the house. Then, we watched Matilda together. It was nice to sit and rest a bit after a busy morning. Sometimes I forget Henry is just three years old but he sure can hang with his sister. After a little rest, we headed outside to play a bit since the sun had come out. Carl had a dinner meeting so we were on our own for dinner and bedtime.







Day 4: Thursday is a swim day so we headed to the pool for lessons. Henry has made remarkable improvements in just one week! He is floating on his back, diving off the side of the pool and streamlining short distances in the pool. We are so proud of our little swimmer! Ms. Dawn is a miracle worker! During Henry's lesson, I was noticing Evie getting redder and redder. My friend noticed it too so I called the pediatrician. They told me to bring her in since the rash was spreading so fast and she had a tiny fever. It was a reaction to her antibiotic which was amoxicillin. Poor Evie was covered with the itchy rash but she is doing a bit better now! Then, we headed to the airport to pick up our favorite neighbors! Evie and Henry were thrilled to see Campbell and Christian. It was super fun to pick them up and catch up on the way home. We came home starving for lunch. Evie has become such an adventurous eater lately. She devoured a chicken enchilada at lunch and ate caesar salad at dinner. Henry's new bedding arrived so we spent the afternoon getting his bed ready and then made some chocolate chip cookies. Carl came home and took the kids outside while I made dinner. We straightened up a bit after dinner because we have some special guests on the way: Uncle Ben and Mary Devon. My kids are so excited to see them. Evie has been counting down for days. "Is Uncle Ben coming today?" So, Day 5 is surely going to be a fun day with our special visitors.  Stay tuned for our last day of spring break. I will miss the kids next week when they are back in school but I must say this week has been exhausting.  It's been fun having lots of time together though and I feel so fortunate to have spent spring break with Evie and Henry!





PS: Evie is sleeping in Henry's room tonight and she put him to bed all by herself! I loved hearing them whisper as they went to sleep. They have a strong bond that even strangers comment on and I sure hope that bond continues to grow. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring Break Day 1 and 2

It's Spring Break week in Nashville! WOO HOO! It's been beautiful weather so far and most of our daylight hours have been spent enjoying the outdoors. Carl is home this week after traveling the last three weeks. It's nice to have him back for the next three weeks! Anyway, since he has been gone so much we decided to stay home this week and it has been wonderful.








Day 1 - On Monday, we slept in until 8:30 and then had a leisurely morning at home. Evie does some schoolwork every day and enjoys doing it. She writes in a journal, reads a few books, works on her computer program and does a few rounds of flashcards. After her school time, we played outside and had a picnic. Then headed to Green Hills to return Henry's bedding at West Elm.  Evie and Henry love an outdoor shopping center and this is a spectacular one. We walked around and window shopped a bit before indulging in a yummy treat at Sweet CeCe's. Henry did not want any toppings but Evie talked him into M&M's. She was baffled that I ate mine plain but after talking Henry into toppings she let me slide. Evie covers her ice-cream with toppings galore and eats every.single.bite! Both kids thought the parking meters were super cool and Evie was concerned we were going to get a ticket if we did not hurry back to our meter. My kids are such suburbanites but they sure loved the city life yesterday. After our adventure at the Hill Center, we headed to one of our favorite parks in the West End.  As usual, we were the only ones there which is always a treat! Evie and Henry had a ball playing and soaking up the sunshine. Our last stop was Phillip's Toy Mart in Belle Meade. It's our Easter tradition to see the bunnies. We lucked out yesterday and got to learn about the bunnies, pet the bunnies and watch them eat their lunch. The bunnies were the main attraction but we had fun playing with all the cool toys too. Henry picked out a few things he wants for his birthday in July. We came home and played outside a bit. I made some chicken enchiladas for dinner and we dined alfresco. It was a terrific first day of spring break!




Day 2- Everyone woke up a little earlier this morning. We met some friends from church at Liberty Park for playtime and a picnic. It was such a fun morning! Church friends are some of the best friends because they generally have the same beliefs and ideals on life and parenting.  We LOVE our small group from church and it was such a treat to see everyone this morning. We missed Libby and Emilee but trips to the Cayman's and new babies are excused absences. Henry loved the new baby, Bennett that joined our group with his mama, Taylor. The kids entertained themselves beautifully and the moms enjoyed lots of chit chat. Everyone enjoyed a picnic lunch together and then some more playtime. Both kids were soaking wet from playing in the fountain and sweating. What a glorious day - sunshine makes everyone happy. We stopped by Target on the way home to get Henry a few play clothes because he was down to one pair of spring pants. Then, it was time for some quiet time then they played together in the den. They play so well together but it involves a HUGE mess that Evie usually cleans up. Henry keeps his room clean but does not really like to straighten up the messes he makes with Evie probably because Evie is the ringleader with getting everything but the kitchen sink out to play with. Henry will clean up the messes that he makes by himself. We went outside to play some more and then went on a bike ride. Carl got home in time to enjoy some of the beautiful day and then grilled some dinner. We ate outside again which was so nice - there is no clean up and everyone enjoys eating in the great outdoors!

We are looking forward to another fabulous day tomorrow! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Henry's Big Boy Bed!



Friday night was a momentous night in our house - it was Henry's last night in his crib. 

Henry moved into his big boy bed this weekend! It happened similar to Evie that we did not really expect to do it quite this soon. We had been pricing mattresses and found some for a great deal because it was the end of season. Trust me this was just not any old mattress sale. If you need mattresses - head to Macy's towards the end of February! We got the last two twins in the store. 

Henry's mattresses have been siting in the guest bedroom for a week while I tried to find bedding for him. Now, that I looked back to read the post on Evie transitioning to a Big Girl bed -  I feel  a little better because his bedding is not here yet. Our first set arrived from West Elm and the color did not work with his curtain which I LOVE so back it will go this week to our local store. Next, I ordered the bedding from Land of Nod that coordinates with his curtain which makes me happy but it is not here yet. I am still waiting on pillows, bedskirts and more sheets. Changing beds is certainly a process! 



Henry helped Carl take down the crib yesterday and he was over the moon excited about his new beds. Henry climbed right into bed after his stories and was ready for bed. We tucked him into bed at 7:30 last night and he did not come out once or call us for at all. It was shocking! He fell out of the bed around 5:15 but went back to sleep right away and then woke up at 8:30. I'd call that a terrific first night in the bed!


Evie and Henry have had a ball playing in the beds. Two beds do not leave much room for play but I figure Henry will probably move to a double at some point. We wanted to use these twin beds because they were my grandmothers. None of the furniture sold today would last over sixty years!  It looks terrific in his room. We are waiting for Uncle Ben to get here to help Carl move the dresser upstairs. It is a beast! 

We are thrilled Henry is so happy and thrilled that another transition is complete. I shed some tears over this because my baby boy is growing up. Tonight, he asked me to rock him and sing him a song just like every other night of his life with the exception of last night. That made me feel better that Henry is still my little boy!



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Trading the Snow Pants for Swimming Trunks



It has been a cold, snowy winter in Nashville! We are all ready for spring and all that it brings: flip-flops, ice cream, longer days and of course lazy days at the pool. 

All of this spring fever made me think it was time for Henry to learn to swim. He started lessons last week and has had two lessons so far because one was missed for snow.

Henry really likes the idea of being a swimmer. He wants to be like his sister and thinks he is on the swim team. Henry loves the process of putting on the suit and strapping on the googles. He is not a huge fan of being wet which is an impediment when it comes to learning to swim or even take a bath.

Henry has told everyone he has come in contact with throughout the last week that he is taking lessons. Sometimes he calls it swim team but at least he is excited!

Henry takes lessons at a pool used for training and it is COLD. That is definitely part of the problem but also something he is going to have to work through. He is the youngest person in his class at age 3. There is also a 4 year old girl and a 5 year old boy. Henry is doing just as well as the older kids. I know he can do it!

Both lessons have involved a few tears but that is to be expected. Learning to swim is scary and exhilarating. Henry loves the actual swimming but does not like standing in the cold water on the platform. Evie went with us today since she was out with strep. Henry loved having his sister at his lessons. She is his biggest cheerleader and definitely encouraged him. Evie loved being a part of it!

I am hopeful this process will be shorter than it was the last time we did this. It's less stressful to be this time because 1. I know it can be a long process. 2. Crying does not phase me anymore. 3. It is much easier to take Henry to lessons than to take Evie plus keep up with Henry. 4. Everyone has to learn to swim so we will keeping working on it for as long as it takes. 

 I think it will be a shorter duration because Henry has spent a lot more time in the pool than Evie had before she started lessons. Sometimes being the littler brother has some advantages. Evie is an excellent swimmer so all the hours at the pool have paid off for our little fish. 

People ask me all the time how Evie learned to swim so well. Practice and more practice plus being in the pool at least three times a week all summer. That's all it takes - swimming lessons and swim team help with technique but the real learning happens in the pool just like with anything else. Plus, she LOVES swimming. She told Henry he needed to learn to swim "because all the fun happens in the water."

Henry is excited to learn and wants to pass the swim test like his sister! Big Sis makes it look easy and fun. Fingers crossed this goes well!