Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Break 2014

Since I am not a teacher and my kids are not in school yet, we don't really do much breaking on Spring Break. I let the kids sleep in an extra hour each day as a treat - for both me and them. I did a little spring cleaning - here are a few before and afters, nothing big, but made a big difference in the space.

Before

After - amazing what a shoe rack can do to the entry way
Before
(I am embarrassed to even post this, but this is what the corner of our laundry room had come to!
Ridiculous! Lots of "I will just put that here and deal with it later" all came together.)

After! It is amazing how much better you feel to get things back to being organized!
We have made a trip to the zoo every Spring Break for years now. We usually stay in a hotel and do a few other fun things too, but we just made a quick trip this time. We were missing some of the family this year due to joint custody, so it was just me and my family, my mom and 2 of my nephews. When we first got out of the car, it was SO windy and I was worried about the weather. Then we got up to the gate and the line was the longest I have ever seen it, but it was misleading because they only had 3 windows open to take tickets and each family was about 5 of those people so when one person bought a ticket, the whole line would move up at least 5 people. So, Nathan waited in line for about 20 minutes while I took the kids for a walk around.
Waiting on Daddy to buy zoo tickets :)
Ready to see the animals!
First things first - we had to ride the carousel! This was Noahs first time to ride without me standing beside him - Daddy insisted he was big enough - I was still nervous though.





Ryan is very mobile now and likes to walk more than ride in her stroller, and Noah gets tired of walking/running after a while so I invested in the seated wagon for the kids to use at the zoo and other outings we have. They loved it! Ryan would cry sometimes when I would put her in it, but as soon as we took off, she was fine again. She looked like a queen being catered around - it was hilarious!

Queen Ryan :)


This is the look Ryan always gives Christian - she apparently wants him dead ;)

Cousins :)


Love this :)

Big girl was walking everywhere!

Daddy and his babies :)
We had a good time - and I am happy to go so the kids can experience it, but once a year is enough for sure :) (Oh, and I promise I was there even if there is no picture proof - I am always the photographer)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Noah's 1st T-ball Practice!

The day we have been looking forward to finally came - Noah's first t-ball practice! I really think I was just as excited as Noah was! I couldn't wait for the day to be over so I could pick him up and put his cute little cleats on him and take him to the field :)

All ready for practice!

Noah walked right out on the field and told the coach "I am Noah Atlee Stillwell and I am playing t-ball"! He went out in the outfield to practice catching and throwing first. He is descent at catching - they were all grounders of course and he was good at stopping them, but pretty much decided diving or falling on the ball every time was the best method to stop the ball :) Then half of the time he would try to throw it back while still down on the ground! He was throwing it good overhanded for a while when he wasn't laying on the ground, but the kid beside him was throwing it underhanded so Noah was copying that after a while. He came running in after they were done and yelled "momma, I did weally good, but I fell down a little"  - ha! I would say so!



Cheering Noah on - she kept saying "Woah, Woah" :)

 Then it was time for him to hit and run bases. Once they all lined up to hit, Noah was missing. Where was my child at with his batting helmet and bat you ask? Oh, just in the outfield where the other kids were now playing catch. He thought he was supposed to go back to his spot out there :) Hilarious! After Noah hit the ball he chased after it (just like most of the other kids on the team did - so he didn't stand out there), but by his third time to bat he ran to first base but you could tell he really wanted to chase after the ball :) I was taking pictures of him playing and running the bases and if he saw me he would stop what he is doing and say "cheese!" - we will have to work on that too :)
Daddy giving him wise words before he bats

His first official time to  bat :)

Like I said, he cheeses if he sees my camera :)

At the end of practice they all put there hands in the huddle and yelled "Go Team!" - it was the cutest thing ever! Noah loved practice and did way better than I was expecting. Next year he will be in boys club and his last year of t-ball so this year will give him just enough experience and knowledge so he can really learn more about the game next year.

The teams can only practice once a week so my dad (who has coached for over 30 years) has been coming over and practicing with Noah at our house. It is so cute to see him coaching my kid - so full circle and something I really hoped would happen some day. When practicing with my dad he started the bad habit of throwing his bat - he even swung and missed one time, threw the bat and it hit my dad in the stomach and Noah ran over and hit the ball with his hand and took off for first - I did not think we would ever stop laughing! Dad had him catching the ball in the air and properly stopping grounders and even hitting it really well before he was done - but he may not remember it by practice again tomorrow - but the more we go over it with him, the more it will stick.






Monday, March 17, 2014

Fun Family Weekend

We just had one of those really good slow, family time, fun weekends. We went to a birthday party Saturday and ended up spending 3 hours playing outside starting at nap time - this should have been a disaster but instead worked out great. The sky was overcast and there was a breeze so it wasn't hot or too sunny and both kids got to run and play with all the other kids there. Well, Noah did, Ryan of course wanted to stay with momma the whole time but did get in the bounce house for a little bit and ride some power wheels. We were supposed to bring our power wheels to the party but Nathan was working and I didn't want to try to load and unload it and all our stuff alone, so we didn't bring ours. Noah has had his power wheels jeep for a few years but doesn't get to drive it much because of our yard - it is too steep. So, it was no surprise to me when he got in the other kids power wheels he would just drive them and run over anything and everything in his path - he was clueless! I finally had to ban him from them so he didn't hurt anyone.

(Of course she has a chicken nugget with her too)




Noah was in heaven in the bounce house - he did come out crying a few times and said the other kids were being mean but then he would dry it up and say he was tough. Finally after the 3rd time of the kids being mean and him coming out crying I told him to play somewhere else - he then said "No, I will go back in there and be brave"  - broke my heart to hear, I insisted the sandbox was more fun and he agreed so he didn't have to go and be brave :) He has not been around real rough boys a lot yet, so he was getting his feelings hurt, but it was good for him too - kindergarten is right around the corner and he needs to know not all kids are nice, unfortunately and I cannot keep him protected forever. He kept telling me how much fun he had at the party though so I don't think it phased him at all!

We had a rainy day Sunday but Ryan got to wear her new raincoat to church and she was so excited :)



After church we took Noah on a date to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman - cute movie! I like it and Noah sat still and watched the whole thing and laughed a lot so it was a win for him too! I cannot wait until Ryan is old enough to tolerate a movie so we can all go together. After the movie we had to head to my mom's house for my stepdad's birthday party. Lots of good food and cousins playing and then home to watch cartoons, play dinosaurs, practice walking, and trade back massages - the perfect end to a perfect weekend!

Update on Ryan's walking: she is walking more than scooting for us at home - she walks everywhere pretty much. But, she refuses to walk anywhere for the therapists. She cried the entire time at her last session. Her therapist put kinesio tape on her leg to help guide her muscles to help her walk better and break the bad habit of always scooting. The tape on the front of her leg didn't last long before she ripped it off during a diaper change, but the back is still on there. I am really hoping she will start showing her therapists how much she is really capable of so we can test out of therapy and I don't have to torture her (at least that is how she acts) anymore :)


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

4 Days Straight

Thanks to the kids daycare being closed Friday and an ice storm Monday, I was with my kids for 4 days straight with the exception of when they were in church nursery, we were together non-stop. It was some much needed togetherness. Nathan was with us most of that time, but he did have to work some. We went to the grocery store together, watched movies, cooked, played play-doh, built towers, and the kids favorite - played in the extra car seats in the living room! Why they like this so much is beyond me but it kept them busy for hours and I was able to do some laundry, dishes, and even go to the bathroom alone (once).


Playing hide and seek - she thinks if she looks at the corner we won't see her :)

Car seats in the living room (both yelling "cheese")

My little heartbeats :)
Sunday after church we surprised Noah and took him to watch the Lego movie - he was very excited! He does really good in the movies except for remembering to whisper, but I have to say the stuff he says loudly is pretty funny. He is just so smart and funny and we never know what is going to come out of his cute little mouth. I thought the movie was cute and had lots of funny parts for adults too.

My movie dates
Monday the roads were solid ice so we were forced to stay home :) We had power this time so it was a lot more enjoyable. Sunday night I asked Ryan before bed if she would walk for me tomorrow and she smiled really big and shook her head yes. So, after she woke up from her nap I decided to get a snack out and see if she will walk for it. Both of my kids love baby cheetos so I stood her up in the middle of the floor and stepped back with a cheeto and she walked right to me like she has been doing it all her life! I could not believe it. I knew she could and would walk - she has been so close for so long, but to see her do it so effortlessly was awesome. We got to watch God answer our prayers right there in front of us! "I may be weak, but your spirits strong in me. My flesh may fail, my God you never will". I always think of Ryan when I hear this song - it was never more true then when we saw her take those first steps!


Even though it was nice spending those 4 days off with the kids, I do love our normal routine and was happy to get back to it. I will admit though, I sometimes think I want to be a stay at home mom on those nice long stretches off with my kids - but I love getting out and working (love my work family) - the break is always nice though.