Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thankgiving Getaway

This year we decided to try something new, and travel to the beach for the week of Thanksgiving.  The kids were out of school for the week, so they didn't have to miss anything.  We rented a house in Seacrest that was dog friendly, so we even took Beckham with us for his first beach trip.  We tried to convince my parents to join us, but it didn't work out so the Frys joined us instead.  We had other friends there too, so the kids had plenty of friends to play with all week long. 

It rained a couple of days, but that didn't stop us from having fun.  We enjoyed many good meals at some of our favorite restaurants and cooked some delicious food at our house.  We took lots of bike rides, played on the beach, hunted seashells, played texas hold'em with the kids, worked on a 1000 piece puzzle and practiced was perfect!

Beck was in heaven at the beach....running in the sand, scaring seagulls off the beach, playing in the surf and with other dogs, running alongside of us on our bike rides and hanging out on furniture (which he isn't allowed to do at home).  He has never had so much exercise, and literally LOVED his first trip with us.  Though he didn't have free reign in a yard like here, I think he would trade in his life here for beach life any day of the week.  Can't you just see the happiness in his face?

Our other baby enjoyed the beach too!  Though this is his 4th trip to the beach, this is the first one where he was mobile.  In fact, he learned to walk about a week before we left for our trip.  He was still shaky on his feet, especially in the sand, but he loved his new independence!  He played well in the sand with various toys, walked/crawled toward the water every opportunity he got, and just loved all of the attention he received from friends.

Fun at Dusty's
The other kids are pros at the beach!  They know what they like to do, and do the same things.  The one change this trip was the making of new friends in our neighborhood.  There was such a large group of kids, they had fun playing kickball and hide and seek.  As always, we hated to leave.
Walker and his bevy of girls
our pretty girl holding the sun
Pres and Lily
Caroline and Bennett
tuckered out and snuggling

Look who visited the beach!

Best of many, just happy no tears from Walker
decorating cookies
Wine Tasting at Wild Olives in Rosemary
Always fun at the beach, but more so with friends and family!  Hopefully we will make it down again real soon!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Preston is Jumping Small Hurdles

As everyone knows, we have the pickiest eater in town with Preston.  Since getting off baby food, he has sustained himself with peanut butter on crackers, milk, yogurt, dry cereal, orange juice, bacon, processed chicken nuggets and the occasional piece of margarita pizza.  Due to the protein in the peanut butter and milk, he has maintained an average weight and height for his age so our pediatrician has never been concerned. 

However, his brain and gag reflex have caused the problem.  Pres has no issue eating any junk food that is chewy, crunchy or any other random texture....but when it comes to healthy food, he locks up.  Preston hasn't eaten any fruits or vegetables in years, which is what concerns us the most.  So at his six year check-up, I asked for a referral to the feeding clinic at Children's Hospital in Birmingham.  Little did I know it would take 6 months to get an appointment!

The feeding clinic has a gastro doctor, occupational therapist, psychologist and dietitian.  Since he was scoped a couple of years ago, we know that he doesn't have any structural issues internally (which is good), so it is all in his head.  Over the summer Steve put him in "daddy bootcamp" and converted him from peanut butter on crackers to peanut butter sandwiches.  And this Fall, he made him eat a grilled cheese, cheese pizza, a hamburger, waffles and a few fruits.  Pres still hasn't warmed up to eating burgers and fruit, but he regularly eats grilled cheeses and waffles now.

We are continuing to reward him when he tries something new (and keeps it down), but we are hoping the feeding clinic can get us over the last couple of hurdles.  His appetite is growing due to all of the exercise he is getting from his sports, and I imagine a growth spurt that he is about to go through, but he always asks for the same items.  Amazing that he hasn't grown tired of peanut butter after eating it daily for the past four years, but he hasn't.  We are happy that he has tried some new things, but he is also so proud of himself....which makes it even better.  Stay tuned for new foods that he continues to sample thanks to a VERY patient Daddy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

SMU 20th Reunion

KKG pledge sisters
It is SUPER hard to believe that it has been 20 years since I graduated from college.  When I think about all that has happened over the past two seems like a lifetime.  However, when I flew back into Dallas, and met up with my sweet sorority pledge sisters, it was as if only a couple of years had passed. 

The four years that I spent at SMU changed me....and for the better.  I was a shy girl when I left Peoria in 1990, but when I graduated...I was a much more confident social woman.  What a wonderful gift...a paid college education in one of the largest cities in the US, and friends for a lifetime.  Steve and I can only hope to provide our children with the same opportunity.

Kris, Kay and Cyndi
Though things seemed to be "the same" when I got back with my friends....a lot had changed.  Everyone has gotten married, we have children now, some still work, and we are all busy with life after college.  However, with all of that...we still manage to keep up with each other thanks to social media.  Thankfully, Merry and Chad Vose hosted a cocktail party for all of us Friday night, which provided us the opportunity to catch up in a quieter environment.  Though only half of our pledge class made it back, it was still so much fun! 

Following their party, Kay, Kris and I headed to Rustic for a party put together by some SAEs and Phi Delts, along with many Kappas.  I had so much fun catching up with the guys, and meeting some of their spouses.  Like myself, many people traveled alone which made for a lot of fun too because we didn't have to bore our spouses with small talk and reminiscing. After that party wrapped up, we headed to a favorite old college bar.

Kay, Eva, Lauren, Cyndi, me and Kris
The Green Elephant was always a crowd pleaser, and it shockingly had not changed a great deal over the past 20 years.  Fortunately for us, the drinks were still cheap so we continued to partake.  It is hard to imagine that we were still standing at 2pm....due to the cocktails and the fact that it was SO LATE!!  All I can say is thank goodness Dallas has Uber. 

Saturday morning started off slow, but we weren't itching to do anything due to the cold weather.  So we headed to Snuffer's for some greasy food and cheese fries!!  Afterward, Kris and I went shopping for a bit and then came back to our room to relax and watch the Bama game while we got ready.

Lauren (KKG) and Trey (Phi Delt) co-host a tailgate, so we bundled up and headed to campus to finish watching the Bama game and watch the SMU Homecoming parade.  When the sun was up, it wasn't too bad....but when the sun set it got SO COLD!!  We were definitely not dressed warm enough (fashion over comfort isn't always the way to go).  All I can say is thank goodness I purchased the down filled coat!

When we couldn't take it anymore, we headed out to dinner before our class party.  Then we Ubered over to our reunion party.  I was shocked I didn't see more people I cared to see that I hadn't already been hanging out with before.  Due to the previous late nights, we called it a night around midnight.

Kay left early Sunday morning, but Kris and I had a late afternoon flight out so we made the most of the day.  We had lunch, visited the George W Bush Museum, and had a photo opp in front of the new Kappa house.  A great ending to a fantastic weekend!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bennett's Smile is Changing

Before (top center tooth)
My seven year old has been a late bloomer for sure, but over the past couple of months, she has FINALLY started losing teeth.  In fact, she just lost her third tooth, again with the help of her Daddy.  It has been loose for sometime, but she wasn't brave enough to wiggle it hard or... Lord forbid, twist it.  So Steve has waited for them to almost fall out before pulling each one out.  Thankfully she trusts him, and he has done a good job extracting them.

Steve tugging and wiggling...

...unfortunately not without some pain
But it finally came out!
She was so excited to lose it, and immediately went upstairs to get her tooth pillow....the same pillow that I used as a child.  She carefully placed her tooth in the little pocket, and put it right next to her pillow on the bed.  Sadly, she awoke very disappointed because the tooth fairy didn't come.  Since this was the second time in a row this happened, she was devastated (can you believe it?!)  Steve and I tried to distract her and told her it would work out.  She was faithful, and said that she would leave her pillow and tooth upstairs, just in case the tooth fairy came while she was at school.

Fortunately she did!  And not only did she come, the fairy left a personal note along with a $2 bill.  Bennett was thrilled!  In fact, she has already written a note back to the tooth fairy asking her name.  So now we are waiting for the next tooth to fall out, so we can find out her name.  So happy that it all ended well for our little girl.

Bennett was impressed by her handwriting :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

May the Force Be with You!

Halloween this year was a lot of fun with the three kiddos.  The big kids agreed to a theme, so we went with Star Wars.  Preston went as Darth Vader, Bennett as Princess Leia and Walker as Yoda.  They all got into it, and they looked adorable!

My parents came in last minute, and were able to be a mystery reader for Bennett's class that week, and go trick or treating with us.  Though the weather was MUCH colder than we expected it to be, we all powered through it and had fun.

Mom reading to B's class
B helped read the book too
My mom agreed to read, but not without a lot of worrying.  I chose an age appropriate book for her to read, and she practiced reading it probably 20 times (no joke).  I reminded her that she was reading to 2nd graders and to not panic.  Fortunately, it all worked fact Bennett even helped her read the book, which helped her relax.  Thanks Dad for the photos!  Afterward, they dined on some glamorous cafeteria food with Bennett.  She was thrilled to have new guests, and all of the kids in her class flocked to their table.  They all love to eat with the adults.

Ms. Morrison's 2nd grade class
The rest of the week was made up of a lot of relaxing, some shopping, and the ever present connect four games!  Since I had a babysitter for Walker during the day, I was even able to carve pumpkins with Bennett's class.  It turned out to be a lot tougher than we thought, so many just drew faces on them.  Regardless of what they chose, it was a pretty day and the kids had fun just being outside.

Thursday night, I participated in the Homewood Witches Ride, which rode right in front of our house.  The kids, my parents and Steve were all out watching the witches and gathering candy.  They got so much candy that night, that our abbreviated night on Halloween didn't even matter. 

By the end of the two days, they each had huge bags of loot (that I happily ate off of until all of the good stuff was gone).  The kids are still enjoying all of the sugar, but it will soon be gone!  So until next year....