Sunday, June 28, 2015

What We've Been Up To...

I'm not sure where our summer has gone- I am finally done with work for the summer, and just like that it's almost July, and we are only two short days away from having official 2 and 1/2 year olds living in our house (1/2 birthday post to come soon).

I haven't posted since we got back from Thrall, so I have quite a few pictures to document our summer thus far. We haven't done anything monumental, but we have had lots of fun...

Uncle Tanner stopped by to see us before he headed back to his new apartment and new job in the "real world". I was so glad Tanner came by, and I know the kids were excited to see him too. They're already talking about getting on a big plane to go visit their uncle soon.

Last weekend the kids and I were feeling a little under the weather with a summer cold (I was so sick last Saturday that I could hardly move off of the couch and slept for 2 hours in the middle of the day). Tony was the only who was feeling more or less 100%, so he took on the lion's share of caring for the kids (even giving them a bath after swim lessons). The kids had Tony doing all sorts of things to entertain them, but I know they were happy to spend time with their daddy...and to spend time with each other.

I am beyond thankful for Tony, and I am so thankful that after 24 hours of rest, I felt like a new person on Sunday. While I was sick, we decided to let the kids watch their first movie- Toy Story (the original). Harper watched about 30 minutes of the movie and then spent the rest of the time playing, but Jack sat glued to the tv pretty much the whole time. Jack announced today that he's going to ask Santa to bring him a Woody doll and a Buzz doll for Christmas (where does he come up with this stuff, and does he know Christmas is a long way off!?)

Harper has busied herself doing a variety of things. She helped me style my hair (a ponytail, of course), helped me make some homemade granola, and threw a tea party for Abby.

Jack has been into sports lately and spent his time golfing and playing baseball- I'm not sure how much longer these will be indoor activities because he's starting to really whack the ball.  Jack also helped me make some cookies for the neighbors who were nice enough to give the kids some hand-me-down toys and a sandbox, and Jack got some new Spider-Man pjs (he's been singing "radio active Spider-Man" and running through the house all night).

The other thing that has kept us busy has been our trips to the park. Durinda was taking the kids to the park most days, and since I was officially done with work on Friday, we went to the park to celebrate. These kids played hard for an hour and had a blast. They are climbing all over the platforms and going down all the slides now. The park is close to a golf course and Jack would yell "hit that ball, golfers, please!" when he saw them driving by in the golf carts. I can't wait to spend some more time at the park this summer.

We took a little trip on Friday after naps to check out a new store in town- a little shop that offers farm fresh goods. Harper was excited to shop, and she even brought her purse for the occasion. We didn't buy anything, but we did have a snack at their snack counter and the kids got their first taste of snickerdoodle cookies (they were a hit).

Saturday morning Harper and Jack finished up their swim lessons. We just did a three class session, so they're not actually swimming yet, but I think they do feel a little more comfortable in the water. Harper, who loves the bathtub and getting her face wet, didn't really like the swim lessons. She was okay the first class, more scared the second class, and spent a good majority of the third class screaming. Harper does like to blow bubbles, "monkey crawl" on the side of the pool, and climb out and "jump" back in. Jack, on the other hand, does not like getting his face wet (cries when washing hair in the tub) and he did not like the first swim lesson, if you'll recall. But, by the last swim lesson on Saturday, Jack was really enjoying himself. He went underwater twice (during "ring around the rosy") and came up saying "that's blastastic!" (a tag line from one of his favorite cartoons), and then Jack asked Tony to dunk him underwater one more time. Jack got great at kicking and floating, and was starting to work on pulling with his arms. Tonight at dinner, Jack asked if we could go swimming "right now, please!" I think that he's going to be a water boy, and I'm sure Harper will come around to like the water too. Here's a shot of them right after the swim lesson- they were both chattering their teeth and talking about how cold it was.
This afternoon Tony and I decided that needs to venture out to the mall. So, we loaded up the kids and the stroller and walked around trying to make decisions. We were at the mall long enough to need a pit spot for lunch; once we got the kids out of the stroller, they were not excited about going back in. We hit up one more store after lunch- with the kids in tow- and then headed out. The good news is, Harper and Jack did just fine walking through the mall...the bad news- poor Tony had to push the empty double stroller while the kids and I walked.

On the way out, Harper decided she needed to look at some shoes...

Our weekend was capped off with some outside playtime outside in the backyard. Harper walked around picking grass and requesting Abby to come to her by yelling, "Abby- woot woot- Abby!" and patting her leg.  Meanwhile, Jack played in the new sandbox (minus the sand for the moment) with Tony. I love our little family and I love all the time we get to spend together in the summer.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Our Trip to the Farm

Last weekend the Frisco Colletts took a trek out to Thrall to see the newest abode of Uncle Bubba, Aunt Erica and cousin Emmy. We were excited not only to see the new place, a sprawling farm, but to also help Emmy celebrate her 2nd birthday.

If you recall, we had a very busy week which ended with a trip to Becky and Rex's with my side of the family to swim. We left their house after dinner, the kids slept on the hour drive home, and we loaded them up into bed knowing that when the alarm went off Saturday morning, we were going to be busy.

Saturday was Harper and Jack's very first swim lesson. They're taking lessons through the city at an indoor pool and Tony and I are both in the water with them the whole time. The first lesson went okay. Neither Harper nor Jack seemed excited to be swimming, but they did try to kick a little bit, do the "monkey crawl" on the edge of the pool, and they practiced climbing out of the pool on their own. The big shock of the swim lesson was when the instructor called us all into a circle and we sang "Ring Around the Rosy" at the "all fall down" section, she instructed us to dunk the kids under water. Neither Harper nor Jack saw this coming, and they both came up sputtering a little, but they didn't cry. Jack did, however, start saying "I want to go home" shortly after this. When I told him we had two more swim lessons, he cried. 

After swim lessons, we ran home to eat a quick lunch, take a baths, and pack up the car to make our trip to Emmy's house. The kids were great in the car. They read books and played until Tony and I decided it was time for their naps; I reached into the backseat and took their books from them, gave them some blankets, and they were out. Harper slept almost three hours!

The kids were so excited to see Aunt Erica, Uncle Bubba, Emmy and Papa (who had come up for the weekend too)- they took off into the house ready to explore. Emmy was excited to show Harper and Jack her playroom, and the kiddos were so happy to play that they would barely sit down to eat supper. Emmy and Harper were fast friends, and surprised all of us holding hands running through the house. We are so blessed to have cousins close to be able to grow up with.

Harper and Jack were excited to see the farm (they had been talking about cows all week), but it rained almost the whole time we were there, and we didn't get to see much.

Sunday morning Jack woke up early and was a little scared being in a different place. I grabbed him from the room he was in and put him in bed with me (Tony had bailed off the blow up mattress because it wasn't holding air very well). I loved snuggling with this little one, and we even got a little more sleep. 

When we ere all up and ready, we went out to brunch for Emmy's birthday- our table has expanded quite a bit in the last three years, and we're getting ready to expand again (I guess I should say Uncle Bubba and Aunt Erica are getting ready to expand again). I can't imagine what our crowd is going to look like when Aunt J, Uncle Steve and their crew are all around the table too. On a side note, Harper was very excited to eat these pancakes- they're as big as her head!

After breakfast we went back to the house to open presents and play and have cake and ice cream. Jack spent the entire time Emmy was opening her presents telling Emmy what we had gotten her; he kept saying "there's a soccer ball and a book in there!" and pointing to the gift bag we brought. When Emmy finally opened our gift, Jack said "See, I told you!"  He is too funny.

Emmy did a great job opening gifts and she cracked me up with her enthusiasm for her gifts. As soon as the last present was unwrapped, the kids were back up and playing again. The Thrall Collett's have a finished porch off their farm house and it's the perfect place for the kids to run, especially since it was raining Sunday afternoon. Harper, Emmy, and I ran races, and Jack spent most of time playing with Emmy's giant bouncy ball. 

Thankfully, the kids were worn out when we got back in the car to head home. They once again took naps, and were bright-eyed and bushy tailed when we pulled into Nana and Pop's house to pick up Abby who was staying with them. We played at Nana and Pop's for about an hour, and then we made our final trek home. 

It was good to be back and sleep in our own beds.

The weekend was exhausting, but fun and totally worth all the driving. We can't wait to go back to the farm and actually get to see all the cool stuff Uncle Bubba has to show us. Happy birthday, Emmy! We love you!
P.S. Sunday when we asked Jack to tell Papa about his swim lesson, he started singing "Ring around the rosy..." then abruptly stopped and said "I don't want to talk about it!" HA! I guess swim lessons were a little more traumatic than we thought! 

Monday, June 15, 2015

The First Week of Summer

Last week was my first official week of summer. I worked Monday and Tuesday (without students) to make up snow days and then had the remainder of the week to spend with Harper and Jack. We also had a very adventurous weekend, but I'm going to focus this post on the week and the next post will about our weekend adventure.

Monday morning when I left to go to work, I had two little shadows that came to work with me. Durinda had been out of town and didn't get back to Dallas until Monday morning, so Harper and Jack spent about an hour at work with me before Durinda picked them up.

Harper and Jack were a hit at school and even though they were a little shy at first, they both quickly warmed up and said "hello" to all the teachers we passed in the hallways. They were excited to sit at my desk and play with everything they could get their hands on. Jack picked up my stapler and put it to his ear and said "hello, hello"- ha!

They also discovered that the English office has a computer in it and Harper told me that she would stay in the office when I requested we go visit someone down the hall. Overall, I was very happy that the kids got to see my classroom and my colleagues got to see the kids.

These are the cutest students I've ever had in these desks!

Tuesday was my last day of work for the school year, so we celebrated by playing outside after dinner. Jack and Harper really like riding their jeeps and have figured out how to coast down part of the sidewalk with their feet suspended above the ground. I love the smiles on their faces. This is what makes summer so special for me- being with my family.

This sweet girl also took a little time to give her daddy a hug and a kiss- love.

Wednesday was my first day to sleep in (until 6 am) and spend the day with H and J. I love waking up to these little faces because they're usually both so happy in the mornings. Wednesday morning, before the kids got dressed, Harper insisted that she take off her pjs to pick out her clothes. She managed to get her head out of her shirt, but then she got stuck. She started bellowing "Jack help me!" Jack took one look at Harper and started laughing so hard that he didn't know what to do. He tried to push her head back through, but that didn't work and just left him in stitches. These silly kids know how to make my day.

When everyone was fed and dressed,  we decided to go to the park down the street, and we had the whole place to ourselves.

Both Harper and Jack slid down all three slides, and they climbed all over the place. Harper climbed up the ladder to the twisty slide without my help at all- this was impressive because she kept her balance and moved her hands up the railing as needed without any prompting from me.

Jack preferred to "muscle up" his body weight on a platform and then climb to the slides- this was impressive because he was moving his body weight and he did this multiple times before getting tired and finally walking around to use the steps.

Thursday afternoon the kids and I went to my parent's house for two reasons: 1. to see Uncle Tanner before he left to go start his first adult job and 2. to help Nana and Pop celebrate their 38th anniversary.  We to Nana and Pop's with plenty of time to play with toys, read books, help Nana water plants, and help Abby watch for squirrels out the window.

After dinner we went out for ice cream to celebrate Nana and Pop. Harper insisted on eating her ice cream all by herself with her own spoon while Jack let Uncle Tanner help him. Jack, however, was not happy at the rate at which Tanner fed him and insisted on yelling "More! More!" the majority of the time we were eating.

Happy Anniversary Nana and Pop!

We ended our week with a trip to Aunt Becky and Uncle Rex's for some time with family, some good food, and some swimming. This was the first time the kids had been in a pool since last summer, and they both did really well. Tony and I got in with the kids and put them in life jackets and the kids acted a little timid, but they were excited to watch Tony swim under water. Then Uncle Tanner got in and started playing with the kids and Nana got Harper to blow bubbles in the water and jump off the steps to her. While they were playing, I got Jack to float on his back by himself and he would float between me and Tony- smiling and laughing.

After swimming, we all gathered around for dinner. Harper chowed down on the hamburgers and Jack opted for watermelon, cucumbers, and two foods he discovered this weekend: pickles and cantaloupe (that kid loves cantaloupe). He must have gotten enough to eat because as soon as we were finished clearing the table, he was out back playing baseball with Pop and Tony while Harper and Nana colored with sidewalk chalk. We finally loaded up and drove home about 8:30- the kids slept good that night.

Overall, our first week of summer was wonderful capped off with a great trip to Aunt Becky and Uncle Rex's house that the kids are still talking about this week. We can't wait to see what other adventures this summer brings!