Thursday, March 31, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Birthday Countdown... ONE!

I'm sort of in denial about the boys' upcoming 5th birthday. How can 5 years have gone by already?!?
Well since it cannot be stopped I have decided to reminisce a little with a Throwback Thursday post each week until the big day. Here are the boys diving into their their very first birthday cakes at their 1st birthday party... 




And since the boys want to invite the whole town birthday party planning & prepping is in full swing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spring Break 2016

We started the boys first ever Spring Break with a quick trip to Orlando to see some of the parents.

Donna's mom's birthday was back on the 10th, we didn't make it down that weekend though because it was opening weekend for t-ball. So we headed down to see Grandma Marie (my bonus mom) and Donna's parents in one trip.

We left Friday night for a fun filled weekend of cooking out & strawberry picking! We got in a little bit late Friday night. Traffic was rough since it was friday AND Spring Break is in full effect in FL. The boys had plenty of time to love on Grandma Marie though when we arrived & drag out a slew of toys before heading to bed.

Saturday morning Donna & I had a long overdue date with the car wash. My van stays in a constant state of disrepair between the dogs, cats, kids & travel but Donna was convinced to get it cleaned up! I cleared out all the trash, toys, random clothes & clutter. Donna attempted to vacuum the dog hair. It was obvious rather quickly that our vacuum did not have the power needed to suck the hair out so we headed to the car wash... It took quite some time but the van was returned to us with much less dog hair than we turned it in with. I apologized in advance & left a hefty tip for all their work.

When we returned from our date, Marie was prepping for the cookout/birthday celebration that she invited Donna's parents for. So we jumped in & started helping out. She went all out as usual, we had chicken wings, burgers, & a slew of side dishes! I'm pretty picky when it comes to eating chicken. My dad was the only one that made BBQ chicken that I would eat but Marie made some pretty amazing wings! They were the perfect amount of crispy & not greasy at all. I will have to try making them her way myself now.

The boys singing Happy Birthday to Grandma (kgc)

We had a great visit but as usual, Donna's mom & dad didn't stay too long. It rained most of the late morning/early afternoon so as soon as I saw a break in the rain, I rushed everyone into the van to head to the strawberry farm. They're use to my craziness so I'm sure it came as no surprise, lol...
I had mentioned strawberry picking to the boys earlier in the week & they were super excited to go! So much so that Caden deemed it a 'special day.' He said we were "going strawberry picking because it was a special day." Who doesn't love a 'special day?!' It went rather quickly & met the boys expectation of greatness. Kellan now wants to be a 'real strawberry picker.' I love the things our children say!

G, K & C

Sunday we cleaned up Grandma Marie's spare bedrooms before heading out. We took a detour out of the way to Donna's parents before heading home to visit for a couple more hours. We picked up a fancy lunch from Micky D's for everyone & did a little front porch sitting while the boys & the dogs ran around the yard. We didn't stay too long before embarking on our long drive home.

Normally the boys & the dogs wear themselves out enough that they sleep a good way of the drive home but that didn't happen this time, at least not for the boys. They didn't fall asleep on the drive down either so I've been making mental notes of their car napping... It's been pretty non existent recently & that makes me kind of sad, sad that we may never know another quiet car ride...

Monday Donna headed to work & the boys & I laid low catching up on laundry & just relaxing for the day. Late monday afternoon I learned that an old friend from Orlando was in town & going to be at the zoo Tuesday.

O, H, G, C, g, & C

H, g, G, O, C & K

G & H

C, K, G, g, O, & H

The boys love the zoo & we thought it would be fun for all our kids to hang out together, so we met up with them Tuesday. The boys had so much fun with Jenny's son & 2 daughters. They said it was the best zoo day ever! It's rare that we actually walk the whole zoo or even spend more than a couple hours since we live so close & go so frequently but we walked the entire zoo, seeing every animal there. The boys were very worn out by the time we left but did not want to leave their new friends. Garren wanted to go home with them & Caden wanted to go back to the campground to camp with them. I'm pretty sure the feelings were mutual between all the kids.

G, C, & K

Wednesday I attempted Easter grocery shopping with the boys which I do not miss doing at all! Donna came home early, I sat up the boys kiddie pool in the backyard for a little freezing swimming & the boys played outside most of the afternoon.

V, K, C, & G

W, G, K, V, & C

G, V, K, & C

Thursday we had another zoo date with a friend. The boys were more than thrilled to head back to the zoo but this trip was more about the splash park & playground than seeing the animals. It's a good thing because the zoo was PACKED! There were lines for everything. We had a good time with our friends though & just stayed a few hours this time.

Donna was able to take Friday off. We were going to do something fun with the boys but a nasty storm was moving across the state & the forecast was 100% chance of thunderstorms ALL DAY. So we ran a couple errands early & decided to do some painting & cleaning at home instead.

The rest of the weekend consisted of Easter doings which I'll save for the next post. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Kellan's Follow-Up Appt

Kellan had a follow-up appointment last week to see how the reflux medication was working. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to help after all. He had about a week maybe of relief & then went back to complaining about his stomach hurting. The good news is, he hasn't had any vomiting since starting the medication so we are going to continue using it while having some tests run & eliminating the little bit of dairy he still eats, yogurt mostly & cheese occasionally.

The doctor ordered some blood tests (this ought to be fun) to rule out crohn's & colitis & to test for celiacs & some autoimmune diseases. She said crohn's & colitis are unlikely since he doesn't have diarrhea but she wanted to go ahead & rule it out while we were doing blood work.

So while we wait for our blood work results we're doing a trial of dairy free eating & hoping for an answer to Kellan's tummy troubles.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

St Patrick's Day 2016

This is pretty much how any request for a photo goes these days...
Garren, Kellan, & Caden

The boys' school had their Easter party on St Patricks Day since the kids would be on Spring Break the week of Easter. The boys loved it! They told me they had an easter egg hunt & that Christopher found the golden egg. They weren't allowed to open their eggs though, the plastic eggs were sealed shut with a sticker which I thought was pretty genius since the boys are usually distracted by what is in the first egg they find instead of continuing their hunt for more eggs. We may try this at home!

The day before they decorated buckets with cotton balls & made them into bunnies. 

A couple days before the party their teacher told me they forgot to hang a sign up sheet for Easter Basket fillers in addition to the party food sign up they did hang. I told her I had some stuff stocked up for such occasions, so I donated plastic eggs, candy, trinkets, peeps, & a small dollar spot gift for the Easter Baskets. The boys and I also made 'peep rice crispy treats' & a fruit salad for the party.

Monday, March 21, 2016

T-Ball Opening Day/Ceremony

Opening Day was March 12th complete with opening ceremonies & a super early start to the day! The teams had to be on the field for photographing by 8:30 am. I was super excited for the season to start, the boys & their team have been practicing since the beginning of February. My bonus-mom came up for the weekend for the event & my sister & her family came to see the boys play their first game.

Garren picked #1, Kellan #2 & Caden #14, it just didn't seem right to have one way out of sequence so with some encouraging, Caden went with #3, lol

"RED SOX!!!"

Kellan, Garren & Caden

Every team from T-Ball to Seniors on the field together for a photo op. The kids stood on the field for over an hour listening to speeches, the National Anthem, thanking of sponsors & long & nearly painful photos. The photographer insisted on getting all 500 kids looking at the camera. kudos to him if he actually managed it because I can't get 3 kids to look at the same time, lol...

Our little team, minus 2 sick players. I think I forgot to mention that Donna was coaching the boys team. Their assistant teacher's husband is the team's manager & a couple other parents are helping out as assistant coaches.

A treat after standing still & quiet for so long... 
& right before our first game which was scheduled to start at 10:30 am.

Kellan up to bat...

and running to first!

Caden up to bat...

and running to first!

Caden running home.

I somehow missed Garren batting, my sister arrived late & I may have been moving our van to make room for her to park.

The boys played a team made up of all 6 year olds who have been playing for a year or 2 already. Our team is all first year players. They all did well despite feeling pressured to hit pitched balls like the older more experienced team. We did bring out the T for our team.
It's a learning process for all of us as first time managers/coaches/team moms but I'm certain we will have the hang of it all by the end of the season!

It ended up being an emotional morning for me. My dad was on my mind big time, he played & coached softball & also coached peewee football. He loved watching the kids play, even long after my sister & I were grown, he & my bonus-mom would go to high school football games & county baseball/softball games. I know he was there in spirit but I wish he could have been there in person to watch the boys play.

We all headed back to our house & cooked out after the game. My mom & bonus-dad came later in the day. They attended a memorial for my bonus-dad's brother, Jack, earlier that day.

Friday, March 4, 2016

You Should Be Here

I was driving alone this morning & heard this song for the first time.

The end of this verse did me in & I was sobbing.

It is so my dad, taking 100's of pictures & showing them off to everyone, even people he didn't know. The man knew no strangers!

It was 2 years ago today that I called my dad to see how his PET scan went. He didn't answer the phone so I called my bonus-mom. He was tired after his scan & wanted to go home & take a nap. She said the scan went fine, we knew it would be several days before we got the results.

I would never get to hear the comfort of his voice again, as he suffered a heart attack the next day & never regained consciousness.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Family Visit

A couple weeks ago, Donna's cousin & her family came to Florida from upstate NY for a Disney vacation. Initially we thought we'd meet up with them for a day at Disney but it turned out they were in town Valentine's Day week & that is yet another busy week at work for Donna so we made other arrangements to see them.

We met up with them at Donna's parents on the last day of their vacation. It was a bit of a short visit but packed with good memories. We plan/hope to make it back to NY for a visit this summer.

Pat, Donna's mom & dad & her cousin Janet 

The boys were absolutely smitten with this sweet lady & she obliged them by playing in the yard, riding scooters & collecting acorns with. They also have snowflakes hanging in their room that she made with them.

Towards the end of our visit, everyone snapped a few photos. 
Caden wanted in on the action & Aunt Janet let him use her camera.

Garren wanted in on the action too & also got a turn taking photos of Aunt Janet with her camera.


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