Thursday, February 27, 2014

Camo Date Night

Last Sunday night we were invited to join some friends on a triple date.  The Vestavia Country Club was hosting a date night for mothers and their sons.  It was a themed "camo party."  When I told Pres about it, he was so excited.  Though we didn't have the proper gear, we were able to scrap together our outfits. 

When we checked in, we all received dog tags, and then proceeded through a "mess hall" into the main room where they had several obstacles set up, as well as tables for our dinner.  The boys did a beeline for the obstacle course.  Pres loved them all, and ran the course several times.  He also jumped in the giant camo colored jumpy, and danced away to the music the DJ was playing.  It was such a fun night! 

Alisha, me and Lauren
jumping through the tires
balance beam
refueling with green jello
Reid, William and Preston
climbing the wall
Pres crawling quickly under this obstacle

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Snowmaggeon II

Who knew that living in Alabama would bring snow days, and 6 of them this year already!!  With the craziness that developed from our last snowfall a couple of weeks ago, I believe the weathermen and school officials are way too cautious.  You see all of our children were out of school for another three days this past week, and all we had was a cold rain for Tuesday and Wednesday.  In fact, the snow didn't even arrive until about 6:30-7:00 on Wednesday night!  I understand it is hard to predict these things, and that their models can change, but that is why I feel they should wait until the morning to cancel school like they did back in my day.  Instead they cancel it the day before, which gets the kids excited, and drives the parents nuts.

Since we all had been a bit stir crazy after hanging close to home for two days in anticipation of the snow, we were all excited to get out and enjoy it.  Fortunately, we had just purchased some used ski gear from someone a couple of hours before it arrived, so the kids geared up and frolicked in it without complaints!  Since we were with friends, we took turns caring for Walker so I could enjoy the snow this time too.

It came down in huge flakes, and was absolutely beautiful.  It was a nice wet snow, perfect for snowmen and snowballs!  The kids tried to sled some, but it was already dark and we thought a little dangerous to venture out.  So instead we all enjoyed throwing snowballs at Beckham who LOVES the snow and tries to jump up and eat every snowball that came his way.  Everyone was outside walking in it, taking photos or just playing in it like us, so it was a fun time.

The next morning, the kids woke up early and hit the backyard with Steve.  Though the temperatures were already starting to warm, the snow was still there due to the shade.  So the kids pulled out the snowman kit they got from their elf and got busy.  Since it wasn't as wet as the night before, it proved to be more difficult to build, but where there is a will...there is way.

Thankfully the snow didn't last long, in fact it was mostly melted by mid afternoon on Thursday.  In my eyes, it is the perfect kind of falls and melts.  You don't have to shovel it, salt sidewalks, or watch it get dirty and gross.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy Family of Five

Walker is 6 weeks old today!  It is hard to imagine life without him, and we all are enjoying him so much.  He is fitting in so well, and is still such a good baby.  He is growing nicely...50% for weight due to his 2 lb gain since birth and 90% for height as he is now 2.5 inches longer!  He is eating about every three hours, but now 4 ounces at each feeding.  He is smiling occasionally and tracking objects some.  He still has his blue eyes, and is as cute as ever.  (can you tell how much we love him?)

Bennett and Preston are still great big siblings, and everyone is adapting quite nicely.  Sadly, on his 6 week birthday, Bennett received her first tardy.  However, it wasn't because the kids weren't ready for school, or me for that matter, but because I still have this urge to have the house clean before I leave.  Had I not taken the time to make my bed, or wash the dishes before I left, she would have been just fine.  Someday soon I will learn to prioritize things differently, but it hasn't happened yet.

So over the past couple of weeks, we have been busy running errands, taking walks, going to lunch with Bennett at her school, hanging out with friends, having playdates and just bonding as a family.  Here are a few pics:
Walker's first smile that I captured on camera!
I love this little half smile
I think he looks like Brian in this photo
snuggle time with bis sis, Bennett
Love from Lucy at her birthday party
W snuggled up for a walk as a sock monkey
Beck on a playdate with Andy

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Snowpocalypse 2014

They said it wouldn't happen, only "a dusting, with no accumulation."  However, all four local meteorologists missed the forecast.  The blast of cold air and precipitation was supposed to only be south of us (which is shocking in and of itself), but it actually came through Birmingham around 10:00AM on Tuesday, and immediately stuck to the ground.  Steve was at work, the older kids at school, and Walker and I had just gotten home when it started.  I took this photo to show the kids (thinking it may not be there when they got home from school).  Little did I know that I would be getting "the call" from their schools 15 minutes later asking me to pick them up immediately because schools were closing.

Pulling into B's school, where they had to walk students out

Almost home, cars sliding down this small hill
So I packed up Walker and headed towards SCE to get Bennett.  In route I passed a friend who was getting her son (also in Preston's class), but in the opposite direction as SCE, so I asked her to grab him too.  I am glad I did too because it took me 1.5 hours to get Bennett - and her school is a only half mile from our home.  You see the roads were slippery right away because the initial snow melted and turned to ice.  And since Birmingham only gets snow once or twice a year (and the meteorologists usually predict it correctly and schools are cancelled in advance), the traffic was awful and we didn't have sand trucks out (we don't use salt down here).  Offices started letting out early too, so it was complete chaos!  Steve didn't leave right away, as he was hoping it would stop snowing and traffic might start moving again.  However, it didn't do either, so he got in his car against my wishes.  Sadly, he only made it one mile in the 4.5 hours he was driving, so he finally decided to pull over at a hotel. 

Since there were thousands of stranded motorists everywhere, all hotels in the city were booked!  However, an angel was watching over us when Steve got in touch with Reed Nitto who was stranded at the same hotel, but had arrived early enough to get a room.  Fortunately, he let Steve and a co-worker bunk up with him so they didn't have to sleep on the lobby floor.  The next morning, the three of them awoke early and hit the road.  Steve said it was like armageddon, with people walking down major interstates, people sleeping in their cars, and cars abandoned everywhere, as in the middle of an 8 lane highway!  Since the temps were dropping the night before and people were afraid they might run out of gas, they would turn off their cars, lock the doors and start walking.  In fact, Steve had to drive down the east bound lane (while heading west) because he couldn't get around all of the cars.

Steve finally made it home around 9:30 AM on Wednesday, and boy were we happy to see him!  The kids were anxious to get him outside to play with them, since I couldn't leave Walker alone inside.  In fact, they had already been out earlier in their pjs, coats and rain boots to collect icicles.  Steve wanted to rest a little and catch up on the news, but they were relentless, so he gave in and joined them.  When they were cold, they all came in to warm up.  In the meantime, a few friends walked over so we started drinking mimosas and the kids had hot chocolate.  It was the perfect way to enjoy the day off work and school!
Walker snug as a bug
Kids sledding for their first time

Unfortunately, not everyone was having fun.  In fact, according to the news, there were 11,375 students that spent the night in Alabama schools Tuesday night.  Some of those were babies and toddlers at daycares.  I would be so upset if all of my babies weren't with me, so I can't imagine what the parents were going through.  Of course, the teachers and administrators that stayed with them are amazing too.  They made it fun for them, and tried to keep them all distracted while they were away from their own families.

Wednesday afternoon, we received word that school was also cancelled for Thursday, so we got together with some friends after sledding for dinner.  The kids were thrilled with snow days, and we were all enjoying our time together, and away from work.

Walker at his first "snowed in party"
Thursday morning, Steve took the kids sledding at a different location in our neighborhood and then Walker and I met up with them at the Fry's house since the snow and ice was quickly melting.  We hung out there for the afternoon, and then a group of us went out to dinner to escape the cabin fever we were all feeling.
Since the weather continued to warm, we were shocked when school was cancelled yet again for Friday.   The roads had been cleared, snow had melted...yet no school.  Steve went to work on Friday, and when he got home - we were all so tired, we just hung out at the house and got some things accomplished.  That night we all went to bed early.
Saturday was absolutely gorgeous, and we were in shorts.  How can it be that we were bundled up in snow gear two days before, and in shorts two days later?  There was no more evidence of our snowpocalypse, and things were back to normal.  What a surreal few days, but what fun memories for our children.