August 31, 2011

New Things

August 31, 2011
Saturday was the most perfect day.  I went out and ran four miles at 6:30 that morning in wonderful, but very windy weather.  I normally run before sunrise so it was really nice to run in the daylight.  After breakfast we met a friend at the park down from our house.  I made mention before about Colton trying new things since school started… well, here is proof!

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With no encourage from Chris or I Colton jumped on this step/climbing thing at the park… I was surprised… seriously.  I know this probably is not a big deal for most three year olds, but my friend Christine can vouch that this is sort of a big deal for Colton – who will not even climb to the top of the Chick-Filet play equipment.

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But he did it… and he was so proud of himself!  My little man is changing and growing up so fast.  Mmmmm!  I love this kid!

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Wordless Wednesday


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August 30, 2011

His First Full Week

August 30, 2011
Last week was Colton’s first full week of school.  On Monday Chris and I took him together so Chris could see where to park where/how to drop him off.  I suspected that Monday would be a tad difficult because of the weekend off so that is really why I wanted to go.  The first 2 days they were okay with me walking Colton in, but I knew that the preference is for you to drop your child off at the door and someone from the school will be there to help them get to their classroom – this just helps keep the school more secure. 

Colton was so excited that morning and virtually ran to the school door.  Then – bam!… he remembered that he had to go by himself.  He became teary eyed and ask me to go in with him – I explained that mommy had to stay outside, but Mrs. Shannon (his teacher) was right there and he could walk on in with her.  It was so cute because I could see that he really really wanted to go especially once he saw other kids from his class walking inside.  Finally, he slowly made his way in, but not without telling me to “stay right there on the wall mommy” … repeatedly.  The next day, Tuesday, Chris said he walked on his with no problem, but was sure to say, “daddy you stay right there on the wall”.  Chris obliged and everyday since has been a breeze.

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Picking Colton up in the afternoons is the best part of my day.  I am still having a difficult time being away from him everyday, but I know that he is really enjoying himself and that helps.  Not only is he enjoying himself, but he is branching out and becoming less timid!  He is trying new things as far as activities that in the past he seemed too timid or scared to do.  For example, he hoped up in his swing last week and kept saying, “push me higher mommy – higher!” … this was a first.  He normally likes to swing slow when he is in the big swing – he is definitely not a dare devil (yet).  If nothing else I know that preschool is going to help him with his social skills and his fears!  My favorite thing though is that he is memorizing scripture.  Scripture memorization is incredibly important and it will go with him for the rest of his life!

Memory Verse #1
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”

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Looks… Hats … and Little Girls

Yep, she still flashed me those looks… they just crack me up!  I think she was getting irritated with the flash on my camera.

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I have been cleaning out Rubbermaid containers of baby clothes and came across this hat which was Colton’s last winter.  Claire loves hats so she insisted on wearing it.  It did not coordinate very well with her Lily dress, but she did not mind… haha.

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August 29, 2011

Sunday School

August 29, 2011
I love Sunday School.  I feel like going to Sunday School is as important as going to the main church services.  It is in Sunday school where children generally first learn bible stories and bible verses.  We started taking Colton about two months ago and he really loves it.  Chris normally takes Claire with him and I stay with Colton – he has only gone once by himself.  Praying he will soon go on in by himself with no trouble.
This Sunday Claire insisted on going in with brother … I took her on in so Chris could get a little break and enjoy a child free church service (Sunday School).

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I snapped this photo with my blackberry – this reason for poor quality…
Claire did pretty well and she really enjoyed her first taste of Cheetos!

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Mom’s Tips Monday–Garage/Yard Selling & Buying

I recently helped a girlfriend with her first (an my first) garage sale.  I arrived at her house around 7:30am and could not believe my eyes when I saw all that she had.  She worked for weeks preparing for the big sale and then was up at 5:30am pulling everything out of the garage that Saturday morning.  By noon she had made a ton of cash – I was shocked!  I am not one much for yard sales, but I thought wow, I might give this a try!  Because I am such a rookie I ask some fellow bloggers to share their tips!  Check it out and then share your own tips with us!

  • Alicia author of Her name is RIo - We always combine our yard sale with neighbors and friends - more stuff + more people = more fun.  My family members like to get in on the action as well. those who don't feel like doing it themselves (like grandparents) will give me stuff to sell and then give me a portion of the profit. it's a sweet deal for both of us!
  • Nikki author of Updates on the Fisher Family - We have one every year with some of our neighbors and usually make between $800-$1200 just on our stuff.  I agree with pricing to sell but since I do that, I have no problem staying firm on my price when I'm not willing to go lower (9 times out of 10, the person buys it for what I've asked).  I've found that baby/kid toys, gear and clothing are the hot ticket items for most people, electronics, not so much.  I hate "stuff" and clutter, as does my hubby so we sell anything and everything and encourage our kids to do the same.  Our daughter set up her lemonade stand at our sale in May with lemonade, cookies and cake pops for "donation only" ~ that cute 4 year old made $56 in 3 hours!  She was thrilled and it was a great chance to teach her about money :-)
  • Linds author of A Dollop of My Life - We usually have one about every other year. Just to clean out all of our junk that we don't want. It's true when they say that another man's trash is another man's treasure-- I am always astonished at what people will buy! One thing that we do to make a little extra money too is to sell drinks and hotdogs. We purchase the 'dogs from Aldi's, so the profit margin is pretty high. We would have whole van loads of families coming to buy hot dogs from us (we have an annual neighborhood garage sale, so the traffic may be a bit higher than a normal sale).
  • Ainsley author of Inside My Heaven - We had a huge yard sale last September. Here are a few tips that we picked up.  1. Be willing to negotiate prices. Many people will want to bargain with you. We sold several things for lower than the price we originally had, but it was better than losing the sale all together.  2. Two words: Free Box. We filled a large box with random things from extension cords to kids meal toys. Put it where it can be seen from the road. It will attract people, and hopefully when they stop to look at it, they'll find stuff to buy as well.  3. People really seem to like the whole "fill a bag" thing. If you have tons of similar small items (like Legos or hair accessories), you can let people fill a brown paper lunch sack for a set price, like $2.  4. Sometimes, how you display things really makes a difference. At our sale, one of my aunts had tons of jewelry to sell. She put each item in a small baggie and then used push pins to attach the baggies to a large bulletin board that was leaned up against a table. She put a mirror there, too, so people could try things on. All of her jewelry sold so well and I think her great organization had something to do with it!

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August 26, 2011

Favorite Find Friday–Tervis Tumblers

August 26, 2011
Tervis 16ozWe have been a fan of Tervis tumblers for years.  Were such big fans that the tumblers are our primary drinking cup at home and away from home.  Three years ago we vacationed in Sarasota and while there we visited the corporate store and stock piled on our favorite Tervis cups – the power T of course!


The best part about the mugs, besides the fact that you can get them in your favorite collegiate teams is that they have a life time guarantee.  Tervis promises that the cups with not shatter, crack, chip or melt and if they do you can simply fill out a replacement form and get your new cups in the mail.  However, if you are ever in the Sarasota area you can go to the corporate store and they will replace it for you for free.

Another great feature is that the cups reduce condensation so no more worrying about rings when someone forgets to use a coaster.  They are great for hot and cold drinks.  We use them for our shakes and coffee – if Chris had the need for caffeine.  You can also purchase lids and draws which is great while were out boating.


Tervis MugThere are several places online to find the tumblers, but you can also now find them in stores.  Most Bed, Bath and Beyond stores as well as Bass Pro Shops now carry the tumblers.  If you order from the Tervis website you can get the tumblers personalized with your name, design, and even picture!

The next time you are raking your brain for a gift idea check out Tervis Tumblers they are one of our favorite gifts to give!… and while you’re at it purchase one for yourself!

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August 24, 2011

Family Binder

August 24, 2011

When Colton was first born we had the most wonderful pediatrician.  She was such a delight.  When he was just a few months old the pediatrician and her husband, newly empty nesters, decided to move away to be closer to their aging parents.  3 pediatricians later and we finally found one that we I liked. 

When the original physician left all of her medical records went to another pediatricians office to be stored.  A few weeks ago (long story – will not get into it all now) I found out that our current pediatrician never received Colton’s medical records despite many requests.  I call to try to get the records only to find out that they had been destroyed in a recent flood that hit our area.  I will spare you all the ugly details of my phone conversation, but needless to say this momma has been very upset by the neglect of others.  Believe it or not, not all physicians offices have gone to electronic filing – is this not 2011!?  So now I am in the process of creating a long overdue health journal and family binder for my family of four.  It is here that I will keep track of all medical information and that includes keeping current copies of my children’s medical records.

My original thought was just to do a health journal and a home binder separately, but I have decided to combine it all into one binder.  I am currently working on the Well Child Visit pages now and wanted to share those with you!

 

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If you would like these for yourself please just click on the image and it will open up in a new window, then right click and click “save as” and save it to your computer to print!  I will have additional pages up on my blog promptly!


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August 22, 2011

mom’s Tips Monday–Photographing Children

August 22, 2011
Now that I have children my camera has become is as much of an accessory as my Blackberry.  However, capturing your children in a great photograph is sometimes a daunting task.  At three years old Colton has become extremely hard to photograph.  It is almost like he knows I am dying for him to look at the camera so for that reason alone he always looks away.  A few mommy bloggers shared their tips for photographing children:
  • Jamie author of Mommy’s Camera - 1) Get down at their level!  Too often we take photos looking down at our kids.  2) Let them play and snap away.  Kids don't always do well posed.  You'll get better photos if you let them be themselves.  3) Use props if they don't sit still.  Let them play with a flower or let them have their favorite stuffed animal to keep them occupied.  4) Catch them off guard.  Some of the best photos of my girls were caught when they weren't expecting it.  Let them play then say their name and be ready to shoot as soon as they look up at you!
  • Tina author of ShopAholic Mommy - When every possible try to have natural light - I think the photos look so much better than when a flash is involved. I love to photograph the kids outside and they seem to like it. We especially like to go to a large garden setting or park and try to capture them as they discover their surroundings.
  • Barb author of Barb’s Photo Journal - Use a fast shutter speed and CW focus.  These guys tend to never sit still.
I do make more of an effort to get down on their level and have found that that indeed makes for better photos.  Now, if I can just learn to properly shoot in manual!

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August 20, 2011

Summer Portrait Session

August 20, 2011
We had a casual summer portrait session a few weeks ago with a wonderful photographer friend.  I thought for sure that both of my children were to the age that they would cooperate well and we could get a ton of great photos.  Well… Colton did great, but Claire was a busy body wanted to check out all that was happening.  Through the chaos she still did manage to snap some great photos!
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Love

Colton is a book worm and I LOVE it.  Little miss Claire is now starting to love books too!  She like to crawl up in her chair in her room and pretend she is reading, she even babbles.  On this day Colton wanted to be up there with her.
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These two really love each other…
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Sometimes Colton loves her a little too much!
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Tell me they do not look just alike!!?
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Yummy!

Claire has discovered Chex Mix and she loves it!  I put some in a container for her and she went straight to the step, sat down and snacked away!  Chris and I get so cracked up at her because she likes to sit on the bottom step.
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Chris says it is because they are just her height.  She backs up to the step and plops down.  Now if I can just keep her from crawling up them without needing a gate up!

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August 19, 2011

Park Day

August 19, 2011
Were working on a new nap schedule for Claire – it’s a necessity because of Colton’s school schedule.  With Claire waking a little earlier and the milder weather this week we decided to take one afternoon and venture out to the park.

Colton is so timid even at the park.  It takes him a minute to warm up to most new places and people.  Claire is the complete opposite.  The moment I put her down she takes off and tries to climb on everything.  Colton did make a little friend at the park and they played together for a while.  The little boy was so sweet!  He said to Colton, "do you want to be my friend and play with me?"  Colton said, "sure" and then the little guy said, "oh your my best friend!".  It was so cute!  


Some of the slides are really high and big, but Colton (with the encouragement of his little friend) went down all on his own.  He was so proud of himself.  Claire on the other hand, I had to constantly run after her because she wanted to climb to the top of the play structure and slide down the big slides by herself! Running after her is why I only managed to snap two photos that day!  I'm ready for fall so we can enjoy more of these milder days.

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15 Months

Colton was around 15 months old when I was first pregnant with Claire.  It is so hard to believe that he was this small and it is even harder for me to believe that she is already this big!  She weighed in at 21 pounds 10 ounces at her 15 month check up and was 30 1/2 inches long.

Claire is a great communicator and follows direction very well.  If I ask her if she needs a diaper change she will pull at her diaper and walk up to her room to her changing table - and speaking of diaper changes, she urinated in the potty last Saturday and again on Sunday.  I could not believe it!  For a while she has been really interested in Colton's potty.  She normally accompanies us to the bathroom and lately she has been pulling and tugging at her diaper and wanting to sit on the potty.  So Saturday when I was getting ready to put her in the bath she wanted to sit on the potty so I obliged and voila!  She is very vocal already using lots of words, just his week she mastered "Papaw" and he (Papaw) could not be more delighted!!  I am still very curious what she is going to call Colton - we refer to him as brother or by name.  Sometimes it sounds like she says "bo bo" when he is around so who knows.  Claire has also picked up on sign language quickly, her "please" is super cute.  "Thank you" she says vocally and often, so no need to use that sign anymore.  Colton likes to show her the sign language and how to use her manners.  When he sees that she is finished with her food he always says, "may she be excused please?".

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Claire is so full of spunk and personality.  She loves Colton and REALLY loves her daddy.  Lately she has been constantly yelling, “daddy… daddy!” as soon as I get her out of her crib.  If I say, “Daddy is working Claire”, she will shake her head no.  She has developed a really playful personality too.  Flopping around in her bed when I go to get her up and if Chris or I are laying in the floor she wants to jump and “wrestle”.

Claire is all girl though.  If there is a hat within sight she wants it on her head and if shoes are lying around well, those have to be on her feet!  I often find her in her room pulling all of her shoes out in the floor.  Oh yeah, and she loves bags!  We recently went to a local boutique store (I took her because Chris and Colton was napping and she would not quit yelling for Chris) to buy a larger day bag for her stuff when were out and she found a Vera Bradley just her size.  She snatched it off the shelf and threw it up over her shoulder like she had been carrying bags for years.  I was so tickled that I could not leave the store without it.  She now carries it all the time.

She is our spunky little girl and we love her “this much!”

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August 18, 2011

First Day of K3

August 18, 2011

We did it, we made it through the Colton’s first day of K3!  I say “we” because I think it was harder for me than for Colton.

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He was not a hundred percent this morning and still is not up to par this afternoon (please pray for the Lord to restore his health), but I felt that he was well enough to go to school.

We purchased him a new backpack and lunch box which he has been super excited about!  Here he was showing it off for the camera.

I know I’m partial, but isn’t he just the cutest thing ever in his little uniform!

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On the way to school he watched Happy Feet and I prayed!  I prayed for the Lord to ease his anxiety and to help him “trust in the Lord” (something Colton re-iterates to himself regularly).  Other than a few times (I can count them on one hand) I have never entrusted the care of my child to anyone else, for that reason I was also asking the Lord to help give me peace about this decision to send him on to preschool.

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When we arrived to the school Colton jumped out of the car, he put on his backpack, grabbed his lunch box and took off!  Were fortunate because the school is affiliated directly with our church – Colton loves his church and is very familiar with it so being on the school campus was not so new to him.

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Almost everyone had already made it inside the building, but on our way in Colton spotted Preach (what he calls our pastor) which was a blessing because a familiar face always helps in a new situation.  I firmly believe that children are much more sensitive to the spirit of a person than even adults thus explaining his love for his pastor.

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It is rare that I end up in a picture because as most of my fellow moms will testify to, as the mom you are usually the one behind the camera. However my pastors wife snapped a few photos of Colton and I before we walked in.

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Colton was excited up until the point he saw two kids screaming inside his classroom.  I did my best to try to distract him from the crying screaming, but he was captivated by it and it freaked him out a little.  It was at this point that he started to tear up and saying, “mommy stay with you… mommy stay with you”.  I told him I was only staying for a minute and I wanted to take his picture… I snapped this photo of him and his friend Alex… I noticed he was a little distracted and made my way out the door.

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Colton’s teacher said that Alex really helped Colton today – I think they are going to be best buddies!

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When I picked Colton up he ran out to greet me and said “hey momma!  I went to school all by myself!”  I really think that he was proud of himself.  Once we got in the car we called Daddy to tell him all about his first day of school!  I’m so happy to have it over with.  Now… on to day two!  Wish us luck!


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