Saturday, June 30, 2012

Family Fun Week

So I dubbed this week family fun week in the Bowman house. Why? I really don't know... maybe because I was super pumped Chad was coming back home after his amazing, life changing mission trip. Or maybe it was because we are enjoying extra time with Gabe since it's summer. But for the most part, there is no reason at all, I just said it and made it happen :) Now you may not even be that interested in our family fun week, but I know my mother-in-law and my Mamaw will thoroughly enjoy it, so at least 2 readers will be appreciative :)

On Saturday, we picked Gabe up and headed to the pool for the day. It's the pool in the Prusas neighborhood, complete with a big water slide, so all the people were happy, including myself, because all 3 boys prefer to be in the cool water while we swelter in Texas-like heat here.

On Sunday, we had our normal church morning and then our church had a community picnic afterwards. They grilled and everyone brought side dishes and desserts while we sat out on the lawn. They set up tons of water activities for the kids- baby pools, fishing, bubbles and a huge slip n' slide-- and then some big canopy tents for us to sit under because again, the heat is killing us. The picnic was fun but it was SO hot... I'm going to vote we do it again the fall next time BUT I stuck it out nonetheless and waited with bated breath for Chad and his mission team to arrive home. They had been gone a week, and although our week was great, I had lots of help from my mom, and I wasn't worn out at all in the parenting without my other half department, I was TOTALLY missing my friend-- you know, the person you tell about your whole day and talk through all the nuances of life and such-- it was so weird to have him and me experiencing totally different things in totally different places but not catching up and filling each other in on it detail by detail. Truth be told, we stay in touch ALL the time, and I just love it and him. So seeing his face at the end of the picnic was truly the highlight for me. We capped off the night with a family dinner at our favorite BBQ place and then all hit the sack early after long weeks.

On Monday, after my morning workout at the gym (which is one of the boys favorite thing because they love Kids Club at the gym... the get to play video games and watch movies and run around like crazies!), we loaded up the van with everything we own and headed about 12 miles down the road to Galt's Ferry Beach on Lake Allatoona. My friend Jolynn has been telling me about it so I decided it was high time we check it out-- which was a great decision. I mean there is a lot of set up and tear down that goes into such an outing, but it was so fun-- the sand, the sun, playing and floating in the lake, and a picnic. Like I've mentioned already, it was sweltering, so I just kept myself in the water while the boys played. Gabe snorkeled, without the snorkel, the whole time-- all I saw was the back of his head, his backside, and his kicking legs while he swam with his goggles watching all the fish. He also tried (in vain) to catch them with his bare hands and a bucket. Jack did well in his float and playing on the shore and in the sand. I did make him miss his morning nap, but he was happy anyway, thank you baby! And Max swam some, splashed some, watched Gabe, floated some, played in the sand some, and just enjoyed him time. And he pitched a royal fit when it was time to go, but thankfully it was the 30 second version. Our friends Jenny and Mason, and Anna and her girls also came. Because of all the "work" involved with the tent set up and small kids who can't really help carry things, I can't say that we'll be going every week, but every few weeks, for sure!

On Tuesday, we set out on a true adventure... mainly because we headed off to a destination that I had only read a tiny snippet about in a magazine and had never really heard of, seen, or knew of any real people reviews. Once again, after my morning workout, Anna and I freshened up in the locker room, and then got all the kiddies settled in the van, before we drove over the river and through the woods. We headed up to Cumming (about a 45 minute drive and where I grew up) to Adventure Kids. On the way, we had to make two pit stops:
1) At Target because I hadn't packed any flip-flops to go with my clothes, and my gym shoes just didn't go, in a nerd mom alert sort of way.

2) At Dutch Monkey Donut which I had only heard of but never experienced and I can I just say, OH MY WORD... I know we'll never by hungry in heaven, I hope it's because there is one of these on every corner, AMEN!

Then we finally landed at Adventure Kids. It's an indoor play place with a large playground filled with real, fine, soft, cool beach sand-- the kids loved it. They also have one inflatable for small kids, and another for bigger kids. They have air hockey, a train table, a lego table, and this trampoline with trampolines sides as well. It was a great change up to the normal Catch Air that we go to regularly and love and like I said, the sand was a HIT for all 5 kids, which spans a big age bracket. BUT unfortunately, at the end, I noticed this aquarium at the front desk, that happened to have a S-N-A-K-E in it-- like a big nasty, moving around and crawling up the edge kind. And I almost died right there-- so that means we'll never be able to go back again. I haven't broken the news to the kids yet-- and I'm pretty sure they won't appreciate my dramatics....

This was also mine and Chad's anniversary and we celebrated by.... Chad working late and me having corn dogs, apple sauce, and movie night with the boys... oh the life of parents :) The boys watched Cars 2- Max loved the first Cars and Gabe loves any movie so I thought it would the perfect fit for them. They ate their dinner in front of the tv, and then I made popcorn to cap off the experience. They were thrilled. Don't you just love that about kids??

On Wednesday, we started off the day with our gym visit and instead of heading straight to an activity, decided to let the baby have his morning nap for the first time all week. It was a good idea because he was starting to go from low tolerance to no tolerance... poor guy! While Jack slept, Gabe and Max played in their new sprinkler that they got from Grandma and Grandpa at Christmas. I guess it wasn't technically new, but this was the first time it made it out of the package. This activity was a HIT! I got all sorts of things done, the baby got to sleep and I got cute pictures... win/ win/ win!

Once Jack woke up, we drove through Chickfila for some lunch and headed back to Anna's pool. I think this was our best day at the pool, this summer. Everyone was happy, everyone wanted to be in the water, and Jack stayed strong until the bitter end. He is really getting good and relaxed in his float and will stay in for 30-45 minutes, which is crazy! That gives Max that many minutes to swim to me, which wears him out, and naturally Gabe dominated on the slide. By the time we made it home, our SPF 70 had worn off, and we were all ready for sleep. It always amazes me how fun in the sun is so fun and then once you're back inside, you realize how much it wears you (and small people!) out!

That night, we all headed over to West Cobb to hang out with our youth group who was skipping bible study for a night of kick ball. There was a great turn out, some people mistook Gabe for a 6th grader, which made him proud, and he played hard wit the kids. Jack terrorized all the adults but zeroing in on their drinks and anything that could be used as weapons and also tried to take  swipe at Miss Molly Bette, while Max played golf and baseball and chase and any other game they came up with, with his buddy Reed. Everyone stayed strong until 9pm, I couldn't believe it, and Daddy met us at the door when we got home to get everyone into bed in record time.

This is sweet Molly Bette Morgan- I just LOVE her ... especially in her shades! Now you can see why Jack was all over her!
On Thursday, when I woke up, I decided that I was exhausted.... and tried to talk everyone into skipping the day and staying in bed until Friday. No such luck. Instead, Chad took the day off work, Annie came up to our house to keep Max and Jack all day, and we took Gabe to a "surprise" location for the day--- White Water, complete with Flash passes for the day. It was SO much fun!! We don't do stuff like that very often and Gabe NEVER gets our full attention so I think it was a hit for all of us. Gabe couldn't stop thanking us and telling us how it was such a great day :) I guess I'm glad they didn't let me stay in bed!

By Friday, I was cranky, seriously! All this running was a lot for even me, with all these boys, and record topping heat in Georgia, it just made for a sour attitude. But it was family fun week, and there is no grumpy or sour in fun. So we started off with the trip to the gym (thanks Anna for the accountability here) and then headed for the Sprayground. It was SO hot, in the 100's, literally, so if we weren't in the water, we were melting. So the boys played for about an hour, and then, even the water didn't bring enough cool and I was worried the SPF just wasn't enough. So we headed to a shade tree where we all enjoyed popsicles before heading home for naps. Friday night was girls night for my small group, which meant boys night for all my men back at the homestead. This thrilled my boys to death, and myself. I even stayed out until 1 in the morning-- I haven't done that in years.

Family Fun week came to a wrap, but not without a lot of fun, a lot of cute pictures, and a multitude of giggles and smiles and gracious hugs from my three boys. Just in case you were wondering, being a mom his really awesome-- I highly recommend it!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Our Jack-man

It's that time of the month again... baby Jack is celebrating yet another month-day...he's 13 months old! I think I'm still cleaning up from his birthday party and still he's growing up on me. Can't a mother have some recovery time?

This month, Jack as changed a lot- he's starting talking more, saying things like "thank you" and "bye" and reacting to words a lot more. He knows "no" and "sit down" and will say "ball" when reaching for a ball. He even "woofed" for my mom when she was telling him what a dog says. His brain is always working, and he will do his tricks sometimes, but NOT all the time-- only if he wants to :)

We've known Jack is a wild man, but this month he has fallen down the stairs into the garage, climbed up/ on/ in things that Max NEVER even thought about, made messes of anything he could get his hands on, and scared the poo out of me at least 17 times. He loves to dive head first off to things, he loves to climb, and a number of times, I have literally only caught him by a strap on his clothes. He bumps things and get boo boos more in one week than Max did his whole second year. We continue to see the difference between the cautious first born and our little rebel. Chad has taken to calling him a "turkey" and really, we should just stick with that and not any of the others words that are typically used to describe people who constantly hurt themselves and cause major blood pressure spikes in those that love them :)

Jack's schedule is still the same, and this month, we've really jumped head first into table food, meaning I rarely feed him baby food-- usually only if we're on the go because it's easier. I've even been ordering a kids meal for him and Max to share when we're at restaurants and that works really well. Jack is still in 12-18 meh clothes with no change coming anytime soon, and has really thinned out from his shoulders to his hips. Lucky for me, his legs are still chunky and he's still go plenty of cheek for kissing! He's also been completely fine about the change from bottles to milk in a cup- and I'm breaking all the rules and doing 2% milk instead of whole milk, because I don't want to buy 2 gallons of organic milk all the time, especially when I never drink milk and Chad rarely drinks milk, and Gabe will take it or leave it-- plus the calories aren't really that different, and Jack is quite the cheese and yogurt eater, so I know his little body is getting everything it needs and more.

Our J-man still isn't walking on his own, but he'll push things like stollers and walk behind them, and he cruses around furniture, doorways, chairs, etc... like it's no thang! He'll also pull up on my legs and then stand free, reaching up for me, when he wants to be held. He has pretty good balance when I hold his fingers so he can walk too, but that only lasts for just a minute before he's trying to break free of my hold because I'm too slow or holding him back-- because, like I said before, he is into everything and always on the go. It's amazing to me that just 8-10 weeks ago, he was my cuddly boy who just loved to be held! He still loves his mama like crazy and stops in for love and hugs often, but then he's off again to explore... and give me heart attacks. He also is 100% at peace if I'm holding him while I'm going about my business-- it's the sitting still while holding him that causes him to leap from my arms and scramble away.

Max and Jack are starting to play together more and I'll gate them in upstairs and then hear giggling from both of them while their making messes and pulling out every toy just for the sake of giving me something to pick up and do. Jack lights up when Daddy comes home and when Gabe comes over- and he's quite fond of my mom now too. He is such a beautiful little boy, in the most manly way of course, and I could just eat him up. He for sure has me wrapped around his finger... and his Daddy too-- but Chad and I are both 3 for 3 in this department-- Lord help us and give us wisdom!

Oh sweet Jack- I just love you to pieces and am so enjoying being your mama that I've never been more grateful to be a stay at home mom than I am right now. You are such a blessing and I am so so thankful that God trusted me and your Daddy with you-- it is a blessing and an honor to be your parents. Your smile still gets me every time and I just canNOT wait until your heart belongs to the Lord-- you're our precious baby boy and we love you so much!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day 2012

This year, we did Father's Day in two parts... and to be honest, I think Chad liked being celebrated twice, although the day of was a little more laid back that normal! The Friday before Father's Day, due to some unexpected extra time, and a really busy weekend with an upcoming out of town trip for me and the boys and a mission trip for Chad, we decided to celebrate early. A couple weeks ago, Chad mentioned wanting this certain kind of golf club, I burned it in my brain, and decided that we would take him to the golf store to let him pick it out. Of course, the PGA Superstore is also Max's favorite thing, and it is his and Chad's "thing" so even just going to the store is a big treat and fun for all.

Both Chad and Max tried out clubs and hit balls for over an hour. They both loved it and me and Jack really enjoyed watching them. Chad thought he had picked "the one" only to then decide that the club he wanted wouldn't really replace any of the clubs in his bag, but more just give him another option, and maybe that wasn't necessary-- so he picked out a new golf outfit and hat, and plans to get his clubs re-gripped. I just love what he picked out and I wish he had a reason to wear it like everyday. He's so cute!

Anyway, Max also putted and chipped balls out of the sand, and then we concluded with a trip to Del Taco (YUM!) before heading home for naps. It was seriously just a fun outing, even though little Jack was squealing like only Jack does, just to make sure we gave him ample attention as well.

THEN on actual Father's Day, Gabe arrived home from family vacation with his mom later in the afternoon, so we snatched him for dinner and dessert. And again, as we set around the table at a low key burger place and later at a yogurt place, I was just filled once again with gratefulness for this life, those boys, and their awesome Dad.

When it comes to being a Father, Chad is easily in the top 10 of Dads that ever existed. He may be ding-y from time to time, forgetting my awesome lists or order of events. He doesn't always know what's on our schedule for the weekend and he'll let the boys out in public with outfits and hair-do's that literally make my eyes cross BUT you will not find a more loving, more fun, more involved Dad if you tried. He's quick to love, quick to listen, quick to hug and kiss, quick to play, and always has time for them. As God continues to lead him in living the life he's been called to and loving like Jesus, Chad continues to do that same thing for us here at home. I couldn't be more thankful for the man I married and the father that he is if I tried. I'm constantly thanking the Lord for that blessing.

And speaking of blessings, we both have wonderful fathers who continue to love us, our moms, our siblings, and our kids well-- fathers that served us, sacrificed for us, taught us, provided for us, and continue to "father" us as needed, and for that, we are so thankful!

Happy Father's Day Chad, Dad, and Dale-- you all are the creme de la creme! I am so grateful for you!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bedtime Rituals

Let me just recount tonight's bedtime routine as I'm pretty sure that these are the days/ stories that will just tickle me to death when I'm older...

It started around 7pm when I bathed both boys and got them in their pj's. They played for a few more minutes and then I plopped Jack in his bed. After 2 rounds of Jesus Love Me and 1 round of the "uh oh, I dropped my paci" game (when he throws his paci out on the floors and stands at the edge of his crib saying uh oh until I come retrieve it and lay him back down) he was out. It was around this time that I started Max towards the teeth/ potty/ bed part of the evening and he was tucked in by 8pm.

At this point I made cookie dough to eat because I'm on a diet (what?) and got on my computer on the couch while Chad worked on his from the other couch. Around 8:30 Max started crying because he was thirsty... And I found motorcycles in his bed. I got him some water and left it on his dresser on my way back out. Around 9 he started crying so I went back and he was upset that the water was on the dresser and not his bedside table but I had threatened him not to get out of bed again so he laid there upset about it until I came in and moved the water.

A little before 10, Chad and I headed up to our room to head to bed but Max was still jabbering in his room. Of course this meant that Chad had to go in ( he can't resist the kid-- wants to go get him every night about an hour after we lay him down) and upon his arrival, he found Max reading (in the dark!) They chatted for a moment and then Chad came in our room to shower. It wasn't 30 seconds later that we heard Max's door and he was standing in his doorway with his doggy, his buggle, and his aforementioned book. Apparently he needed to tell me about the book.

(I, too, cannot resist said child.) So I caved and brought Max into our bed and turned on the NBA finals game while Chad showered. This consisted of about 10 minutes of toddler cuddling bliss for me. It was grand. Mainly because when Max is allowed to escape his bed, he is Mr. Kissy Pants, full of all kinds of love. (he's rewarding me for my bad behavior.)

While we were snuggled up he assured me that he wasn't tired because he had already closed his eyes and taken a yittle nap. I can assure you that that statement was 100% false and 100% adorable. Around 10:30 I carried him back to his bed, while he giggled and hugged my neck. We said our goodnights (again... I think this was round 7) and I crawled in my bed. For 2 minutes... Then Max's little peanut face peeked out his door to say that he needed to go potty.

At this point, Max took himself potty but I knew he wouldn't be able to get his pj pants untangled by himself so I decided to cut to that chase and get out of my bed before I got anymore comfortable. Which was a good thing, because when I got to the bathroom, I discovered the our little bedtime Houdini really had to go... Which usually means there is so much force behind the #1 that it squirts out of the potty at first... So I walked in and he slyly pointed to his wet stool and the damp rug while pouting slightly. I cleaned up the stool, folded the rug and tossed it towards the laundry and grabbed his pj pants... Only to end up with pee all over my hands... He had overshot the potty so thoroughly that he even hit his pants.

After a change of pj's, a discussion in why his pjs no longer needed to match and that indeed he could sleep with mismatching clothes, one more round of goodnights and I love you's, I crawled into my bed. I looked at Chad and said something about "Ohhh that child, but he's so cute and funny." Do you know what that man said to me? He said, "that's what got you into trouble with me too."

Now that my friends is 100% true. And I'm happy to report that as of 11pm, Max is asleep. Finish line! That only took 3 hours........... :)