Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Water Park FINALLY!

Our town got a new water park recently - it opened July 3rd. I have been attempting to go since July 4th and had 6 (yes 6) failed attempts! A few times were due to illness, then rain, then scheduling conflicts - poor Noah just kept saying "why momma?". I felt horrible. I finally got to take him Sunday and when I told him where we were going he said "no, they are closed, lets go to Chuck E. Cheese" - he had gotten tired of hearing me tell him we were going and not getting to. As we were walking in to the park he kept screaming "they are open momma, see, see, they are open" and when we got our tickets he had to tell the lady at the window "I am so happy, it's going to be so fun". To say he was excited was an understatement.

Noah and I went alone while Ryan took a nap and Nathan brought her over after she woke up. Noah was a little hesitant at first - he just didn't know what he wanted to do first! It didn't take long thought and he was going from thing to thing smiling ear to ear! He was too small for the big slides - but he loved the small slides (after Dada went with him on them a few times) and he even got comfortable with the bucket dumping water on him! He went down the slides probably 30 times in a row - no exaggeration - and gave me a thumbs up every time! SO CUTE!

Ryan screamed when I first sat her in the water - it was a little cooler than the bath water she is used to. But, in less than a minute she was squealing and splashing - it was the funniest thing! She would splash, scoot, want me to pick her up, then put her down and she would do it all over again!

Ryan and my niece Eliza Nell
The water park is only open for 3 more weeks and we missed out the first 4 - so I am hoping to make it back at least 2 more times before they close. I am SO happy to have a place like this for my kids so close to home (less than 5 minute drive). I have a feeling lots of memories will be made here :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Our Peachy Weekend

I am not sure I could have crammed much more into this weekend! So thankful for good kids who like to fill our weekends full of fun stuff! I have always loved the Johnson County Peach Festival, and getting to experience it as a parent is even better - especially with the addition of all the new events for kids!

The festivities started Thursday night with Cinema on the Square where they showed Finding Nemo, but it started too late for my kids. They go to sleep at the start time I knew better than to try to fight them, but I am hoping that next year at least Noah will get to enjoy it! We started our Peach Festival with Ryan's diaper derby Friday morning! I woke up at 4:30 that morning so sick - but thankfully started feeling better after the diaper derby - I was not missing it! Ryan never learned to crawl, she just scoots every where she needs to go. Don't underestimate her - she is very fast! She won her heat, but decided to just be a spectator after that - she just sat there smiling and laughing at all the other kids crawling. At least she looked cute! Noah decided he wanted to compete too - he told me to put his sippy cup on the finish line and he would crawl to it. He cracks me up - not a shy bone in his body :) After the race we all walked around the square and checked out the vendors and got the kids a few things. Then came a downpour! I put my raincoat over Ryan's stroller so I got completely soaked - plus trying to get two kids in carseats and put a stroller and everything up in the rain is hard to do - I finally quit hurrying and just finished in the pouring rain.

Ryan scooting to victory!

Walking around the Peach Festival
We went home for naps and my nieces and nephews came over to play while we waited for the kids area to open up. We had plans to go to the water park but it was rained out (this was my 6th attempt at going to the water park and not being able to go!). The kids are was 4 water bounce slides. Noah was loving it, until tragedy struck. Ok, not tragedy, but tragedy to a 3 year old. Noah slides on his belly, feet first. As he was going down one of them, he twisted to turn over so he would land face up in the water at the bottom of the slide. When he twisted, his foot went under the velcro top and was stuck from the knee down - he was face down in the water, with his leg twisted around screaming. I heard him screaming and I knew it was a real cry. There was a kid yelling "he is stuck" so I jumped in this water (in my clothes and all) to help him and the Emergency Management guy jumped across from the other side to help me get him out. I got him calmed down and he wanted to try them again - but every time he would get to the top of the slides, he would start crying and just go back down the ladders. He was too scared. I can't blame him, but I didn't tell him that. I downplayed it all - it was just an accident, one of those things that rarely happens and may never happen again.

Saturday morning was the terrapin derby! Noah and Ryan each had one in the race this year. We were #221 and #222! They had a record setting number of turtles this year - over 250! Our turtles didn't win, but they were close and at least came out of their shells which is better than last year! Noah said his turtle won and I didn't tell him any different :) We went home for Ryan to nap and Noah and I had lunch and cleaned house. Then we went to my nephew Greyson's 2nd birthday party! It was at a bounce house and I wasn't sure how Noah was going to do. I never mentioned the problems from the day before and he didn't either - he went down every slide there fearlessly thankfully! I am hoping he has forgotten all about getting stuck! He even has bad scratches down the back of his leg from the velcro and he says he doesn't know what they are from - I didn't remind him :) We left Greyson's party a little early to make it back to town for the Peach Festival parade! This was the first year they did it in the evening and I liked it! This is Noah's first time to actually understand the parade and he loved getting all of the candy - even though he won't eat any of it! In his words "candy is yuckty and dross" - I am not pushing it, he can think that as long as he wants - less dentist appointments!

We had a great time at the Peach Festival and I am looking forward to next year! I cannot wait until Noah and Ryan can do the greased pig chase, pie eating contest, water balloon toss, egg toss, bicycle obstacle course, frozen t-shirt contest and whatever else fun things are added. Good job Johnson County - The Stillwells had a great time!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dear Girl...

Dear Girl shopping alone at the store:

     You have no idea how lucky you are. How peaceful your shopping trip is. You don't have to remember what you came to the store for or keep a baby from touching any icky parts of the cart. You don't have to keep a toddler from throwing things in the cart or talking to strangers, figure out what to do with a cart full of stuff when your toddler "has to go BAD Momma" and fights you because you took him in the girls bathroom and not the boys (he is a big boy you know - just ask him, he will tell you). You don't get begged for things that your kids DO NOT need in any way and the voice in the back of your head makes you feels guilty for not getting it for them, they are only little once. You have no idea how lucky you are.

Dear Girl sleeping in late (we are talking past 8:00):

      You are missing out. You don't get to hear your kids door open and crack one eye open to see 6:03 a.m. on the clock and remember it is Saturday, cry for a second, then get up. You don't dread staying up late for a little peace and quiet the night before - what was I thinking? You don't understand that when the kids go to bed on time, early, or late - they will still get up at the same time. This is a fact. You don't know what it is like to pray for 5 more minutes sleep and wonder how long the baby will lay in her bed and sleep before she gets ticked at you have to get her, then remember she probably has a full diaper and just get up. You are missing out.

Dear Girl out to eat:

     You better enjoy it. You don't get to fight a kid to sit in the highchair. You don't get to drag a kid out from under the table eating food we did not order. You don't get to ignore stares when your kid forgets his "inside voice" or announces he needs to poop to the table. You don't know what it is like to just get your food to go and eat it while driving home or eat it cold later when everyone is asleep because it is just easier that way. You don't realize how you can tell what time it is without even looking at a clock because your kid instantly went from angel to devil with no warning. You don't realize how impossible it is to pick up everything your kid or kids dropped under the table and the surrounding area (extra tip and graceful exit time). There is no dinner and something else - there is dinner then home. Home to scrub kids and put them in bed.You better enjoy it.

Dear Girl shopping alone at the store:

     You have no idea how lucky I am. I have two little pieces of myself - one in the cart babbling and smiling at strangers and one riding on the front of the cart saying "weeeeee" when I "go faster momma". I get to see the sweetest little faces light up when I get them a $1 toy or even just some bananas. I am instantly the "best mom ever" when it goes in the cart. I get to buy food to take home to my loud house with my loud kids and enjoy it with them - we may not all eat at the same time or the same thing - but we all eat, that's good enough for now. I get to have a little celebration in the public bathroom because my toddler made it to the potty - no matter who else is in the bathroom - I celebrate, this is important. I get to watch peoples faces light up when they see my kids - kids just do that to people. They are amazing. You have no idea how lucky I am.

Dear Girl sleeping in late:

     I am not missing out anymore. Do you realize what all you can get done before noon? If I had back all those mornings I slept until noon I would cram them so full of life! I get to re-enjoy Saturday morning cartoons for the second time in my life. I get sleepy eye kisses, cereal requests, and pajama hugs. I get to watch the sunrise - this is more beautiful than a sunset in my opinion. It is awesome that when someone woke up the first thing they wanted was their momma - they needed their momma - so glad I am momma. You can have all the laundry, dishes, and cleaning done BY noon! I am not missing out anymore.

Dear Girl out to eat:

     You know what I enjoy? Getting to enjoy a meal out with my family. It was always a momma dream. ( I am no cook) I take back every stare or thing I ever said about a loud kid in a restaurant. Mine are not that bad 90% of the time - but they have had their moments. I enjoy helping my toddler pick out something to eat and color his menu. I enjoy watching my baby girl flirt with the waiters and listen to the waitresses tell me how beautiful she is. I enjoy taking a walk around the restaurant when we get antsy and Daddy isn't done eating yet. I enjoy watching my kids try new foods and develop favorites. I love hearing my toddler say "that is yummy in my tummy" or "there is a party in my tummy, see?" (as he opens his mouth wide!). That is what I enjoy.

Dear Girl that longs for a child:

     I was you. I was there once too. You can be married to your best friend and still long for something else - and that is ok and does not reflect bad on your husband. You WILL get your kids. It may not be the way you dreamed or even want, but it is possible. God sure threw my plans out the window and created me two amazing kids (and he may not even be done yet). You will get snuggles, artwork, sloppy kisses, tickles, and most importantly someone saying "momma momma momma" over and over. I know that feeling. I was you.

Some of you are the Girl, some are Momma, some Mommas long to be the girl, some Girls long to be the Momma. Just be a good Girl and enjoy this Girl time in your life so when Momma time comes around you can be a good Momma and find good in the most bad.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ryan Maelynn is 10 Months!

Ryan has hit double digits - 10 months old! Here are this months highlights:

* She weighs around 24 pounds and is 29 inches long (these are my measurements - the best I can get with a squirmy squishy kid)

*She is pretty much done nursing - I am just pumping all her bottles.  The place where she bit me still hasn't healed and is VERY (let me say that again - VERY) painful when nursing or pumping but I can control the pain a little more when pumping.  I have given up on it healing (since it has been over 3 months now) until I quit nursing and pumping altogether. She drinks around 10 ounces a day and 1 4 oz jar of baby food and one 2.5 oz jar of meat at the sitters during the day, then I feed her 10.5 ounces of baby food and a 6 ounce cereal/breastmilk bottle before bed at night. She still loves baby food and even had her first non-baby food this weekend - she ate a little banana. She kept getting the shivers while she was eating it, but wanted more. I think she will be a banana fanatic like her brother who eats at least two bananas a day!

* Ryan is sleeping from 8:30 - 7:00 (give or take an hour). She goes to sleep all on her own without crying like a big girl and wakes up and will lay there and babble for at least 30 minutes.

* She is still in size 3 diapers, and size 4 night diapers. She sleeps too long for a normal diaper to hold up.

* She is in 12-18 month clothes and most of her size 2 shoes still fit, but is into size 3s for the most part.

* Ryan will sit in the floor and play with toys for hours - she has certain toys she prefers more than others - right now it is one of Noah's old sippy cups, Noah's Old McDonald Farmer tractor and animals, and a new gears toy I got her from a friend.

* She still hasn't shown much interest in crawling, but she can hold herself up in crawling position for a long time, so she has the strength, just not the "want-to". She scoots herself all over the place though. I guess she will just be a scooter. She has callouses on her heels from scooting with them. The diaper derby is in 10 days so I guess she will try to scoot across the finish line :)

* She now has 8 teeth - 4 on top and 4 on bottom!

* Her  new "tricks" this month are if I fake laugh she will do it too :) She also says "DADADADA" about everything, but we are not counting it just yet as her first word since she calls everything that. So, I still have time to make Momma come out first, but I think I am fighting a losing battle.

*Ryan had her first fever and virus this month also. Noah got Roseola (high fever and rash virus) on July 4th and he was over the fever in 2 days and the rash after a day. Noah was nice and gave it to Ryan - it is only contagious in children - rarely adults - and it would have been basically impossible for Ryan to not get it. At least now she is immune to it. However, it has been rougher on Ryan. Both of my kids are very tough and resilient and as long as they had fever medicine, they were fine - you wouldn't know anything was wrong with them, but Ryan's fever last 3 days and her rash started before the fever and is going on day 6 now! She has been fever free for 2 days now and her rash is finally fading some so I think we are over it finally. If you look closely at her pictures, you will see her rash - it looks bad, but has not bothered her in the least.

Noah wanted a picture with her too (look at her hand on him - so sweet)

Monday, July 8, 2013

5:58 at 125 mph

That was the final time Nathan's race car went at the drag races this weekend. Everyone was excited about this - excited was not the exact emotion I have. I want him to be happy and enjoy his hobby - but life it a little different than it was the last time we went to the races. We have 2 kids to raise and a lot riding on his work - neither of which he can do if he is injured from a wreck or dead. So, each time he raced he got a little faster and I got a little more scared. Of course, I didn't show it - I am cool like that. He asked me what I thought and I just smiled and said "that was fast" or "I saw your front tires come off the ground". I don't want to ruin his night. He has had this car for years and finally got it together.

His first race I literally wanted to puke. The unknown of this car scared me. It was a lot faster than his truck he used to race. He had never got to race it before, so I (and he) didn't know what to expect. It didn't help that there was a wreck right before he raced once and a car he was racing got loose and almost hit the wall! He almost made it the whole night without breaking anything (which is rare for him), until the last run. His hood flew off while he was going 140 mph! Luckily it didn't hit the car or anything else it could damage. I was used to him being in a bad mood because something wasn't running right or the track didn't feel right or something. Through everything that happened (flat on the trailer in construction on the way there and even losing his NEW hood) he was fine. Someone went and grew up on me! ;)

Lots of friends came out to watch him race - he had his own cheering section. He came home alive and happy so it was a good night. When we got home he said "Thanks for being supportive and letting me race" to which I replied "did I have a choice?" He said "no, but thanks for knowing you didn't have a choice" :) Brat. If he is happy, I am happy - but his happiness usually comes at death defying speeds or something else risky. He said he doesn't plan to go back much  - so I can breathe easy for awhile :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Our 4th of July

Well, the plan was to meet up with my dad and brothers at the new water park, go to a cookout, then then the fireworks show. But, that is not how our holiday turned out. Noah woke up and told me his stomach hurt and then he got sick (from drainage). I hoped that was it. I took his temperature, no fever, so we were all just hanging out watching TV. Noah wasn't hungry, which was strange for him. He was very emotional and kept saying he was tired - neither of which are like him either. Nathan hugged him and said he was really hot and asked if I had taken his temperature. Well, in the hour since I had taken it, it spiked to 103 degrees! This is my first experience ever with a temperature that high and Noah's second time to run a fever ever! I started alternating tylenol and ibuprofen and gave him a bath to help cool him off. In a few hours he was back to his old self - running around, playing dinosaurs, wrestling with Dada - but still never got his appetite back. I managed to get him to eat a few pieces of chicken, some doritos, and some fruit/vegetable pouches - so it was better than nothing.

My little firecrackers - Mr. Sick still in his pj's :(

Ryan's 1st Independence Day!

Since we couldn't make the water park, my Dad and brother sent over some fireworks for Noah. We did some sparklers at home and then went over to watch the big show. It seemed to take a long time for the firework show to start (which can be difficult with a baby that goes to bed at 8:00 and a sick toddler that didn't nap that day) but the show was worth the wait.

We got home and gave the kids a quick bath and everyone went to bed. I was hoping for a miraculous healing for Noah, but he got up today with a fever again. So, we are having another day at home alternating medicines and resting. I don't know how long these viruses typically last (I have heard 3 days) but I am hoping it is over soon. It is sad to see a child that is usually so full of life just laying around sick.

Hope you all had a happy 4th! We are thankful and blessed to live in the United States of America!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Swim Lessons + Movies = Momma Dreams

Swimming lessons and taking my kids to the movies are a few things my momma dreams are made of! When I would sit there for years during our struggle with infertility, these were things I would dream of. So blessed to be able to experience them now.

(Yes, he has dinosaurs with him - we can't make it many places without them)
We took Noah to the movies when he was one and he made it about 45 minutes - once the snacks were gone, he was done. He was climbing all the seats and even tried to get in a strangers lap! So, we made a graceful exit. Over the last 2 years since then, Noah's attention span has gotten a lot better and he loves "watching moodies" :) So, when I saw Monsters University was coming on I thought it was time to try it again. I saw Monsters Inc. in the theater and thought it was kind of "full-circle" to take Noah to see the prequel. I didn't dare try to take Ryan - not only was it past her bedtime, but it would have taken away for the experience for Noah. So, this was a special day for him with Momma and Dada. When we walked in the theater, the line was longer than I have ever seen it! Nathan went to get tickets while Noah and I got in the concession stand line - which was equally as long. I was afraid I was going to get popcorn and drinks and he would get to the front of the ticket line and they would be sold out! Luckily, he got tickets and took Noah in to find one of the last few open seats while I got our food.

Noah was an angel for the first hour. Sat quietly and ate his snacks. The last 45 minutes he did good - but we had to go potty twice (one time he announced loudly "gotta poop" twice before I could get him out the door) and he wanted to sit in my lap, the Nathans, then his seat, then mine, etc. But, he made it without throwing a fit. I was very proud of him. It is not something we will be doing with him a lot right now, but I do plan on taking him a lot when he is older. Both mine and Nathan's parents took us to the movies a lot as kids - something we both have fond memories of and plan to do with our children as well.

As I have mentioned before, Nathan cannot swim. I won't name names, but he isn't the only one who cannot swim in his family. So, I have been adamant to get Noah as comfortable as possible in the water hoping he will be a good swimmer when he gets older. This was his third year for swim lessons. We had to go to a new place this year. The first two years we did them through the Red Cross in our town, but the pool they usually do them in has been closed and the new pool will not open in time for lessons here this year. I was told last year about the London School of Aquatics - an indoor pool that holds lessons about 20 minutes away. It was more expensive than Red Cross but it was a 2 kids to one teacher ratio and indoor - meaning air conditioning, no sun screen, and we can't get rained out.

I read the handout and it said if the child cannot touch or is not willing to work with the instructor the parent will have to get in too. So, since Noah had always had me in the water with him, and he couldn't touch, I assumed I would have to get in with him. So, we waited in the waiting room and when class was starting they called Noah out there. My sweet little 3 year old goes running out by the pool, so of course - I went chasing after him. I got him down to the end he was supposed to be at and he said "don't want to swim" so I was trying to talk him into it and he was not having it. The teacher told me "I bet if you go back to the waiting room, he will be fine". I look around and of course I am the only mom out there (but in my defense, Noah was the youngest kid getting lessons - the other kids were all 5-7). I told the teacher "I am that mom right now huh?" She smiled. I told her that I would be more than happy to get in with me and to let me know. So, I went back to the waiting room (with no way to see what is going on) to wait until the last 15 minutes of class when parents can watch. I could hear him screaming, so I just knew they were going to want me to come out any minute - then it got quiet and I looked out and he was doing fine. I wasn't a big fan of not being able to see the first 30 minutes of his lessons - but the last day was family day and we could watch the whole lesson and I saw why I did not need to be out there - he could not focus with me out there. He was not doing anything he was supposed to. His teacher said he was fine all week and he was just doing that because I was watching. Kids just like to do that when their parents are around for some reason.

Graduation :)
I feel like he did learn a lot. His teacher said he was a little scared the first two days but by the third day he was acting like there were sharks in the water and telling everyone to hurry up and swim! He didn't pass Level 1 swimming, which I didn't figure he would - but he got a participation certificate. The teacher said he couldn't do a few things that he was doing last year - like going under and floating with my help - but I am sure each instructor does things differently. I plan to get him in the water as much as possible and work on his swimming. Who knows - we may have a future Clarksville Sea Dragon :)