Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday to my baby boy!

Four years ago, at this moment, I was in labor. Dylan was a true blessing, and a miracle baby. He was in perfect health, even though he was a month early. That day seems like a distant memory, but the years have passed in the blink of an eye. It's hard to believe that my baby is turning 4 today!

I am off to start his birthday, by writing him a letter. I have done this every year since his 1st birthday, and I keep them all in a box. I hunch over the paper, in the wee hours of the morning, with tears streaming down my face, as I reflect on the past year, and how blessed I am to have him in my life. Someday, I will pass these letters on to him, and all my love will pour out of them.

Happy Birthday, Dylan. You are a true miracle, a wonderful blessing, and my heart is filled with love for you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

CatholicMart, first dentist visit, and Happy Otter

Dylan has been seriously cracking me up lately. That's a great thing, because certain aspects of my life have been rough lately, so I can always use a good laugh to get my mind off other things.

A huge Catholic Church Facility is being built near us. It is almost complete, and the place is overwhelmingly big. Grant sometimes refers to it as "CatholicMart" because it is surrounded by a ton of stores and restaurants, and seems a bit out of place. We drove by the other day, and my mom and my kids were in the car with me. She commented on how big it was, and I told her we called it CatholicMart. (I mean no harm here-most of my family is Catholic!) We got to the place we were going to, and I let Dylan out of the car. He stopped in the crowded parking lot, looked around, and said, "But Mommy, this isn't CatholicMart!"

Dylan had his very first appointment today with the pediatric dentist. I had a feeling he would do well, but I was a bit nervous. He was awesome! He actually had fun, and I loved the staff. I was very relieved to hear that his teeth were absolutely perfect, and that she didn't see orthodontics in our future. After being such a good boy, he deserved a treat.

So, we took Dylan to Toys R Us for his birthday. He was so excited to get a balloon and crown, and pick out a toy to get with his gift card. While we were there, I told him to tell me what he likes, so we can give Santa some ideas on what to bring him. He was very interested in getting a new train set for his train table.

Later, we were discussing the train sets in the car.

Dylan: I like the Happy Otter set better than the Polar Express set.
Me: I didn't see the Happy Otter set.
Dylan: No! The HAPPY OTTER set.
Me: I don't know what you're talking about. I didn't see it.
Dylan: Not Happy Otter. HAPPY OTTER!
Me: Show it to me next time we're at Toys R Us.
Dylan: Happy Otter! Like the movie Nina has!
Me: What Otter movie?
Dylan: The one about the magic boy who flies on a broom and catches balls with his mouth.
Me: What? (Long pause) OH! You mean Harry Potter!
Dylan: Yes! Harry Potter. That's what I said, mommy!

Hehe. Happy Otter.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

He has so much to learn!

I was bathing my two crazy kids tonight, and the usual bath time wildness of splashing, kicking, and pretend swimming began. Lexie's kicks were getting dangerously close to Dylan's "sensitive" area. After multiple warnings to stop kicking, I said, "Lexie please stop kicking Dylan's balls. You are really going to hurt him!" Dylan looked at me in confusion, and said, "But mommy, I don't have any balls with me!" Grant overheard from the next room, and started cracking up, so I told him he can explain that one. Oh, the boy has so much to learn. (And mommy has to learn to censor what she says!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My baby girl is not really a baby anymore

Experts say that children experience a "language explosion" between 18-24 months. Lexie has had two different times so far where her vocabulary grew. Today, we have moved on to conversations. It all started this morning.

Lexie had just woken up, and I took her out of her crib. She wandered down the hallway, dragging her blanket behind her, and clutching her bunny to her cheek. She walked into the room Dylan was in, and said, "Hi Deal!" Dylan responded with a very excited, "Hi Lexie!" He then proceeded to whack his head off the handle on my treadmill, and said, "OUCH!" Lexie crouched down in front of him, and asked, "You otay, Deal, you otay?" "Yes, I'm okay, Lexie," Dylan replied. "Otay!" Lexie said. "Bye bye!" She left the room, and walked back down the hallway, leaving me standing there slack-jawed over the fact that my baby can now hold a conversation.

Later that morning, I was talking to Dylan while changing Lexie and her boyfriend, Tyler, and I realized that I was, in fact, thinking I was ready to add a third child to the family.

(But not just yet...Dylan starting Pre-K and us getting a bigger car are in order first!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A girl and her horse

As a child, I was crazy about horses. Every Christmas and Birthday, I asked my parents for a horse. On January 8, 1992, I got my wish. Cherokee Song was the best present I have ever received.

Cherokee and I started to develop a special bond at our very first meeting.



I spent almost every day with my beloved horse. We took long, relaxing trail rides. We trained HARD for show jumping and eventing competitions. We learned together. I could often be found on Cherokee's back, reading a book or doing homework, while he munched on some hay. Even a very sprained ankle and broken bones in my foot couldn't stop me from riding.

We created many special memories together, and had an amazing bond. We grew up together.



I grew up and met my husband, and had less time to spend with Cherokee. Dylan arrived, and I had even less time to give him. When Lexie was born, my time with Cherokee dwindled to a visit every few weeks.

The horrible guilt of abandoning my beloved horse consumed me, so I began taking the kids for weekly visits. When having a child became a possibility for me, I hoped that I could share Cherokee with them someday. Now, that dream is coming true, and my children are getting the same wonderful experience with our horse as I had with him. I truly believe spending so much time with my horse made me a better person, and I hope it will be the same for them.

My first "baby" is now an old man. I know that it's only a matter of years before he leaves us, but I will treasure every minute we get to spend with him, just as I treasure all the memories I have of growing up with him.

My kids love their visits with our horse. Cherokee is always so happy to see us. More than anything, I wish he could live at our house, because he belongs with us. Lexie calls him her "baby" just as I did many years ago. As soon as Dylan and Lexie see their horse, smiles light up their faces. Cherokee stops whatever he is doing, perks up his ears, and comes strolling over to see us. He no longer races toward me, skidding to a stop in front of me, as he once used to. Time has slowed him down. Instead of running to greet me first, he greets Lexie, and then Dylan. Lexie is always first in line with a wave, and a "Hi Baby!"




Dylan loves to brush him and feed him treats, and Lexie loves to pat his nose and talk to him. As soon as I sit her on his back, her face lights up and she giggles. Dylan loves Cherokee, and Cherokee loves him right back. Cherokee ADORES Lexie. I think she reminds him of the little girl he once knew. Lexie is smitten with that horse, and it melts my heart.

Now, I am the one to stand back, and watch in amazement, as the special bond develops between MY girl and her horse.



Monday, November 3, 2008

Not Me Monday...okay, so it's almost Tuesday, but it still counts!



Click the button above, and head on over to MckMama's blog and check out her new arrival, and read some more Not Me Mondays!

It isn't me who is sitting here at 11:19 PM "watching" the Steelers game, and trying to draw my Not Me's from the depths of my tired mind.

It wasn't me who bought a box of peanut butter/fudge cookies and hid them so my husband wouldn't find them and eat them all. Of course, it wasn't my husband who found them. (How does he DO that?)

It wasn't me who got all teary eyed, while watching the kids parade around for the residents of the nursing home, and their faces light up at seeing the kids, at the annual trick or treating event.

It wasn't Dylan who went deep sea fishing in my sister's aquarium. It wasn't me who was horribly embarrassed, considering he's never done anything so blatantly naughty before.

I did not drag the kids into Target the moment the store opened to pick up a few things. I did not give in, and let Dylan get a toy even though my husband previously said no. Nor did I pick up something for Lexie, because I felt guilty for not getting her anything. I did not try to convince Dylan to not tell his Dad. It wasn't Dylan who told his Dad. Must have been another very vocal, nearly 4 year old.

It wasn't me who took the kid's to the barn on the coldest morning we've had so far this fall. I didn't feel somewhat relieved that Cherokee was just going outside to eat some hay, which meant that our visit would be short. I did not get stuck talking to the barn owner for a half hour, while Dylan and Lexie shivered in my arms.

I didn't wonder how on Earth I was going to handle 3 kids on my own, since I could barely handle my own two kids, and a chihuahua, as I took him to the vet. I wasn't on the verge of a nervous breakdown, as I stood in the office, hoping that he didn't have kidney failure like my last Great Dane. (Luckily it was just a UTI.)

It did NOT snow here in Pennsylvania, in October. No freaking way.

I have not been contemplating the idea of adding a third child to our family, since my husband brought it up Saturday night. After all, two is more than enough for me. It's not me who can't get the thought of that sweet, future baby out of my head. Nor will it be me who will fight furiously for the name Lily (Liliana) if it's a girl!

It's not MY kitchen that is almost finished. We didn't work our butts off on Saturday to get work done. I am not absolutely amazed that it just may be finished in time for Dylan's birthday party in less than 3 weeks.

Speaking of said birthday party, it's not my boy that is turning 4. It has to be another kid!

Pumpkins and more!

It was my original plan to break up all these Halloween events into mini posts, but as usual, that idea gets thrown aside. I'll just sum up the month in one big blog!

We are big fans of Halloween in this household. The kids love it, and my husband lives for it!

We started out by putting up all of our decorations. Dylan had to take a break from all the decorating. Life as a 3 1/2 year old is tough!




We then visited our favorite pumpkin patch. We perused the patch for the perfect pumpkins, took a hayride, played with some farm animals, and Dylan got his face painted and crawled through a hay maze. Dylan had a blast, but Lexie was cutting her 2nd year molars, and would not crack a single smile.



Excuse my husband's mustache...he grew it in for a costume (Freddie Mercury) and I was thrilled to shave it off that night!



We visited this pumpkin farm last year, and here are comparison pics to show how much they've grown and changed!

Last year:

This year: (Yes, those are the same tights!)




What's Halloween without at least one party?



The kiddos marched in a Halloween parade through my parent's small town.




Here is what our pumpkins ended up looking like:




Every year we go Trick or Treating at the local nursing home. We will keep that as a tradition, because the residents love it!


Finally Halloween was here! The day was unseasonably warm and beautifully sunny, and Dylan was very excited to trick or treat.


Dylan loved our new decoration:
Lexie did not.



It was finally time to trick or treat.


Dylan had a great time! He lasted for about 40 minutes before he decided he wanted to go back to Grandma's house to play and hand out candy. Lexie was a trooper, and could have gone all night!





Dylan forgot all about his candy, and never even asked for it. The next day, I gave him his bag, and he looked through and picked out a juice box. Leave it to my son to choose something healthy over all that yummy candy!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!