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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Break 2012

We are in the middle of a Spring Break staycation around here. I was not sure what to expect - part of me wanted to be at the beach. But then I remembered that I have a 3 year old, 2 year old (next month) and a two month old (today!) and I would not be enjoying much of the sun! Especially if Heath couldn't be down there to help me. So we have been hanging around here, and I have really enjoyed it. Now, I won't cry when school is back in next week, but it has been great to have laid back time with the kids!
We started out our Break (a guy from our church reminded me that as a stay-at-home mom with preschoolers it is always Spring Break and he was right in a way) with an impromptu cookout with my family. Derek and Stacy couldn't come, but Lindsey and Brandon and the kids and Mom and Dad came over.
Of course our neighbor York was there too

You see, Heath has a new toy in the backyard. He asked our friend Trey to build him an outdoor fireplace for our backyard. It was pretty dull before, so Heath added some life to it! And in our new house, our den is almost all windows on the back wall, so we needed something to look at!
Before picture of our backyard
True story - our neighbor down the street saw all the construction and asked Heath about the backyard. He asked him, while holding Collins "Do you want to see my pride and joy?" The neighbor asked if he meant the fireplace or the new baby. Wow, because he meant the fireplace. He is excited to say the least - who knew grilling was so fun?
Trey and his crew were awesome! They designed it, cleared the land and built it all within 2 weeks. Very organized! We were so impressed. Anyway, Heath loves a good fire and our house now doesn't have a fireplace on the inside. So, he and Trey came up with an idea for a fireplace and charcoal grill. While the brick guy was measuring it out, he asked Heath if he was interested in adding a pizza oven to it. Sure! Evidently the guy had just been commissioned to build one for someone else, and wanted to see if he could do it again from scratch. We were glad to be his guinea pigs!!

We have really enjoyed it. It has been functional since the beginning of March, and we look forward to having more friends and family over to cookout in this great weather!! And, bless you to those of you who have been hanging with us while we try to get the right recipes/temperatures, etc. for the pizza oven. I think Heath is getting the hang of it now!
We have been to the park every day this week and it has been so fun! I LOVE spring and summer, and I think this week has been so fun because I have been able to let my boys run wild outside!!
They were looking at the storks - my nickname from junior high. People signed and drew pictures of storks on my cast when I broke my arm in 7th grade...not sure why I am typing about that.
Tuesday we went to the zoo with Lindsey and the kids and had such a great time. Now, it was half-price day (won't do that again) and Spring Break, and the parking lot was PACKED. But, we are super cool and have zoo memberships so we strolled right on through. The kids played and ran and looked at a few animals in the meantime on a gorgeous day. But the big highlight was the splash pad. It was open!! My little crackheads could not get enough, and neither could their cousins. I didn't have any swim diapers, and didn't feel like looking everywhere for their bathing suits, so I called Lindsey beforehand and asked her to bring some swim diapers. Well, when we got there she told me all she had was Little Mermaid. So funny - I could not stop laughing every time I would watch them run through the splash pad. And of course they did not notice or care!
Turner has been trying to ride his bike this week. His older friend Brooks is a pro on it, so he has been attempting it. I think he believes wearing his helmet makes him a better biker because he has not taken it off for 3 days straight. I am not kidding. Today I told him that he couldn't go in Chick-fil-A with it, so he left it in the car. But, Monday through Wednesday he kept that thing warm! Also, walking through the zoo he let Lindsey and me know that his "pistons were popping" (thank you, Thomas the Train.) Lindsey asked him where his pistons were and he pointed to his feet. No words.
John Burke is really giving me a run for my money these days. He is hilarious but the most destructive person I know. Honestly. I can't keep my eyes off of him, but inevitably I do and we have a disaster. Yesterday he broke 2 picture frames and a vase while I was feeding Baby Sister (which Heath HATES that I call her, but I talk to a 2 and 3 year old all day, so he is rolling with it).
I have mentioned on here how much he loves holding, kissing, talking and singing to Collins. He looks at her all the time and says "Baby...MINE!" And he laughs, but he is serious! Every morning right when he wakes up he goes to her bed and whines until I let him hold her and kiss on her (hopefully building her immunities?!) The other day when I got out of the shower, her face was wet. I asked him if he was giving her kisses and he nodded yes. No, he was squirting contact solution all over her face. UGH! Poor little thing, she doesn't have a chance.
I am always trying to figure out a good way to get all the children and bags out of church and into the car after school. The other day I left her in the lobby and went with the boys to the car. We were pulling around to pick her back up, and John Burke started screaming. He was convinced I was leaving her and he was not going to have it! I of course pretended I forgot her (which I am not above, but I really didn't this time!) and he wouldn't stop crying until she was buckled in the car.
Those are Crocs over footed pajamas - he is fashion forward
He loves to dance to rap music and to wave at people. He was walking around with my phone this morning and was playing a Third Day song followed by a DMX song (I am very versatile), and he much preferred the heavy rap of "Ruff Riders." Trouble.
2 Saturdays ago we were at Target getting a birthday present for a party we were on our way to. That is how we roll. Anyway, I was going to run in with Turner but Burkita Jones lost his mind and wanted to come with us. Heath (wisely) stayed in the car with the baby, and the boys and I made a run for it. We made it through the store pretty well and they even picked up something each at the dollar area. As we got to the line, there were a couple of people ahead of us. The boys were jumping out of the basket, so I just grabbed the present out and put it up. Then the boys took turns running off. Turner will sometimes listen, John Burke never does. So I wrangled them in a couple of times and then I was paying. Burke Burke walked off and looked back like he was bragging while I was trying to buy the stuff. He started to go behind a door near the bathrooms, and I yelled NO! He thought this was hilarious and kept going, shutting the big metal door behind him.
Well, I went to go get him and it was locked. Of course. The lady checking me out says loudly "I don't have a key." I was not panicking, but I asked her if she could call a manager because honestly I didn't know what the room was and I was hoping he could not do much damage in there. I was hoping it was not heavy machinery or anything, and they weren't jumping to do anything about it. When they asked how old he was I told them he was almost 2 and this drew a little crowd around. Awesome. Then Turner starts screaming "Mommy! Burke Burke is gone!! He is not coming back!!!" The window in to the room was mirrored, so I couldn't see in, but he could see us. He started saying "Mommy" and then laughed when I was calling his name. A manager was heading our way, got the door and proclaimed he did not have a key. Then, he says, "Wait. There is a 2 year old in there?" I still wasn't panicking, but I told him I did need to get him out. The whole ordeal lasted about 7 minutes. He walked up with a key, and informed me that it was an office, so I felt better. A pretty small and enclosed space.
He opened the door and we found John Burke sitting in the manager's chair, pulled up to the computer on her desk. He had a box of Cheezits in one hand and her Diet Dr. Pepper in the other. He had even spilled some on her desk for good measure. He looked up at us like we were disturbing him, smiled and said "I eat, Mommy!! I EAT!" The manager was so apologetic, and the lady behind me suggested I get a picture. But really we just needed to get out!!! So we ran!
Then the other day, he was waving and clapping at a man at the bar at Big Blue Bagel. The man kept doing things (winking, etc.) and Burke Burke would do it back. Then they would laugh. Finally the man said "I bet you can't do this!" and he waved his hand, which actually turned out to be a nub with just a thumb on it. I wish you could have seen the look on John Burke's confused but he laughed. And I didn't know what to do, so I died out laughing too, and again - we ran out of the sticky situation. So awkward, but the man was hilarious.
That brings me to this little nugget. She is two months old today, and I saw her intentionally smile for the first time last week. It was so cute! Yesterday I had my camera out, and accidentally got this one of her smiling, even though it is hard to see. I can't get her to do it long enough to capture it on purpose.
She loves, loves, loves to be held. A friend mentioned she slept best when she could hear someone's heartbeat and she was right! I am enjoying her so much, and love having time during the day (like beautiful naptime) to hold her and love on her. She is just about 9 pounds right now, but she is looking longer and bigger for sure!!
All 3 kids are napping right now. I love this little girl because she loves to nap when they do, and who am I to stop her? :) Someone told me the other day I looked rested, and I realized I am more rested and getting more sleep now than I have in about a year with being pregnant. Collins has been sleeping from roughly 9-5 and then back til 7 or 8 for the last few weeks. Life changing - maybe I can update the blog more frequently!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I am so far behind on blogging - skipped all of February! It is my own fault (and I have been in quite a fog). We are surviving and even enjoying this phase of life, but I do try to rest when I can get at least 2 or the glorious all 3 down for a nap. Therefore, the blog has fallen behind. I will go on record saying that 5 weeks in, I think going from 2 kids to 3 has been the easiest transition yet. I don't want to jinx things, and there is a moment every single day where I could stop what I am doing and cry with at least one of my children! But overall, I am not saying it is easy but it has been smooth and God has been merciful! Or maybe we are just so used to chaos anyway, what is one more baby?

I want to write in streams of consciousness because that is about all I can muster...
Quite a task getting a picture of all 3 - Aunt Evan got us these cute shirts! She spoils us!

- Turner loves to run around and say "I am Buzz Lightyear the ASTRONAUT. To infinity and BEWOND! Also, he has been refusing to go on the potty because he insists he is "just a boy." But the other night he announced he was going, and then he did. So I straight up drove him to Toys R Us and bought him a toy. Judge me - I heart bribery. Just ask my old second graders! But, he has done it a couple of times since. I am not pushing it yet, but I am encouraging him when I can for now! (With mostly Skittles - can't afford that many toys)
The little monkey hanging out in Sister's changing table/pack n' play. I am shocked it has not cracked in half yet!
- John Burke is at such a fun age. Especially since I am not pregnant anymore and can wrestle his big, tough self!! I turned around today in the car and he was trying to eat his big toe. He is almost talking in sentences now. His teachers at school have announced to me that they have known he has been able to talk, but he was holding out because of the baby coming. They might be right?! Whatever - I am just glad he is saying words. He loves to say no, even when he means yes. He says please about 2 octaves higher than anything else, he says "donkey" for thank you. He says "I wan' those!" and Momma (Mawma) but DADDY! is his favorite.
He is also a little Houdini. Twice on our ride to school the other day (10 minutes), he climbed out of his five-point harness. I am not sure exactly what he does, but he pulls one arm out at a time, twists and jumps upward out of his seat. It looks like a ghost when I look back and see a fully buckled carseat, that little turkey. He first did it this weekend in Andalusia. I was feeding the baby, looked back and he and Turner were wrestling and Turner emerged with a bloody lip and Burke Burke was proud. We have tried everything - spankings, tightening the carseat - hopefully we have tied him down enough now.

Collins meeting her namesake, Nanny
- Collins could eat all day long!! You wouldn't know it, because she was 7 pounds, 15 ounces this week, but the girl loves to eat! Too bad my mom is accusing me of starving her because I make her wait 3 hours between feeds. Well, sometimes I cave at 2 and a half! If I put her down around 10, she wakes up once at night so we are doing all right on sleep. Last night she gave me a 5 hour stretch, and I would like that to continue!
Bedhead anyone? He begs to hold her first thing when he wakes up
- John Burke is obsessed with being a big brother! He loves her more than life, and tries to hold her as often as possible. He will point at her, roll his sleeves up and try to grab her from me like he is another adult. He loves when I put her in his lap, and he brings her paci to her at the first noise she makes. I mean he barrels into a room! And if he doesn't have a paci, he will put his fingers in her mouth. Which totally grosses me out, but he is convinced that it soothes her. I am trying to pray the germs away!
Ouch - not a great picture of either, but he got to "hold" her
- Turner has been pretty indifferent overall about having another sibling. He likes to know where Baby Sister is at all times, and this weekend he even started baby talking to her. But, he cares WAY more about toys and watching movies. He cracks me up because he says "I would like..." a lot. I wonder where he learned to be so formal?! And bless his heart, he can't remember a time when he didn't share attention with someone. Maybe it is character building?!
My little valentines on Valentine's Day
- John Burke is notorious for dancing in the car. Our friend Kina went with us to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's the other day (because Lord knows I couldn't do it alone!!). On the way there, I was showing her how he bumps his head, or throws his arm in the air to the beat - but I told her his favorites were the heavier rap songs. She said she knew that, because she had been letting him listen to those songs on her phone since he was just months old. Duh - of course he likes heavy rap. He thinks he looks like Kina, if you know what I mean!
- We went to Andalusia this weekend on a whirlwind trip. We visited Cookies with Characters, a fundraiser for Meredith's Miracles - which is a foundation his aunt started in memory of her granddaughter who died of cancer at the age of 5. We went last year, and it was Heath's mom's favorite event of the year. She was on the Board for Meredith's Miracles, and she had fun watching the grandkids enjoy it last year. Basically all sorts of characters - any Disney princess you could imagine, Buzz and Woody from Toy Story, Curious George, Mickey Mouse and company, etc. all come and put on a show for a thousand plus people in Andalusia. Afterwards, they stand around the arena and you can stand in line for their pictures or autographs. The boys thought it was very cool and they dedicated this year to Melissa's memory. Very sweet, and it stung that our sweet MeMe wasn't there enjoying it with us. I had to keep remembering that I had no idea how much more fun she was having in Heaven with Jesus!!

- On the way to Cookies with Characters, we ran by Heath's Granny's house because I had left my camera there. Her sweet neighbor - a little old lady named Miss Mabel who makes the best bread you have ever put in your mouth - wandered over to the car while I was breastfeeding. (Which, you can imagine, I am not very graceful with in the first place.) Anyway, I lowered the window and said hello to her. Before I knew it, this tiny old woman had opened my car door, lifted my nursing cover and yanked Collins from my chest - literally unlatched her. Wow. She must have seen the look on my face because she even said "This can't be comfortable for you, but I just have to hold that baby right now." I think I laughed out loud, but I thought "What the heck?" - she wasn't stopping. Needless to say, Collins was very loved this weekend!
Collins meeting Granny Eloise
Okay - now I am going to crawl back into my laundry hole. Wow - I can definitely tell a difference with laundry for a family of 5. Yikes!