Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Making the News

Braden and I had the rare experience of "experiencing" this inflatable sculpture. The "reminder" of the night was "this is not a bounce around!" Although that's exactly what it reminded the kids of.

You actually walked "into" the sculpture and felt your way through. I had to go in with Braden the first 3 times, but thankfully Corin showed up and there was no stopping them!

The art students had activities set up for the kids to explore art. Here Braden is having his silhouette traced and then he got to color it in. His pose was a "jumping jack" He also got to sew a booklet together and decorate the front with yarn, colors and pieces of deflated latex balloons.

Article in the Morning Sun today: The real story is that I thought I was going to have to threaten Braden's life to get him out the door. He was having a blast and a few of his "girl" friends were there. He just didn't want to leave! Blake was at home with Mason and needed a few things from the store to finish dinner. Thankfully the article just made it sound like Braden LOVED art so much he didn't want to leave, which is partly true!

Monday, February 22, 2010

MC and the Little Hammer

This was Braden's "extra" air bag on the ride home!

Blake had to MC a Baseball banquet/fundraiser last night and he took Braden with him. Braden didn't know what he was in for, but was happy to tag along! Braden was on his best behavior (yay! He'll get to go again) and Blake got some great silent auction items. . .Cardinal tickets!

Braden apparently enjoyed his dinner, dessert and most of Blake's dessert, and combination of lemonade, ice tea, and then just tea with sugar!

This is what he brought home! About 20 balloons.

You can imagine Mason's joy when Braden showed him these balloons this morning!

Is that my Mom?

Have you ever seen my hair straight? I already know the answer. . .No! My fabulous stylist talked me into this for the Gala! I have to say, it made Blake's jaw drop (a good thing) and Mason hesitate. I got a ton of compliments. I could never do it myself, but I've enjoyed it while it has lasted! This was Sunday morning before church!

Thanks, Tom!!!!

Under the Tuscan Sun, Mount Carmel Foundation Gala

We were not able to con our babysitter into taking a photo this year, we were too busy trying to sneak out the door before Mason figured it all out.

Joanna Rhodes

Suzie Butorac

Suzie & Carol Wimmer

A few of our Transplant Book Club ladies...Jill, Suzie, Carol, Sue, Karen, Leah, Joanna (Their places of origin or just the last place they lived range from Denver, Los Angeles, Australia, Detroit, New Jersey, and KC)

You don't have to be tall to drive!

Blake took these with his phone. . . .after Mason's check-up last week (pneumonia was gone). His hood does wonders for his hair!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Have a drink on Pop!

Braden was pleasantly surprised to have a package waiting on him after school, Monday. It was this set of cups that Pop had picked up in Forrest City and thought Braden and Mason could put them to good use. As you can see, they did so immediately!

Three Amigos

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hey Ya'll... Check this out!

I'm certainly not a "pro" but I've taken a shot at customizing blogs, as you can see from our "new look." Below is a before and after shot of our good friends, the Harris family.



I've also had the pleasure of working on a business card design for Casie Hermansson and adapting it to her website and blog.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mason gets his groove on

Happy Valentine's Day!

See the "behind the scenes" photos here.

Opening my beautiful heart charm for the bracelet I got on Mother's Day.

Braden wanted this so badly in the store earlier this week. We saw it at the movies and he couldn't wait to watch it again. He also won a "free movie rental" at Blockbuster for doing so good on his Reading folder at school, so Blake took him yesterday. He wanted to "rent" this movie and just couldn't understand why Blake encouraged him to choose something else. All Blake could say is "trust me."

This is a canister of "chips" that when you open it, this snake pops out. Our friends Mattie and Gracie have one of these and this was actually supposed to be a stocking stuffer, but I just found it in my closest.

Mason got his very own "shake-n-go" car. He loves Braden's and racing them on the track. We played with it this morning and he got very angry when he set it down and it took off away from him. It made me laugh!

Saturday Night

Mason dipping into his goodie bag from school.

Mason's loot from his Valentine's Day party.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mason's Posse

Mason has a nice little group of friends (outside of school). This is Dylan. Like Mason, he has an older brother. They invited us over to watch the Super Bowl, along with another fun guy their age, Weston. It's funny to watch them play at this age. They like being around each other, but there's not a lot of interaction.

Dear Boys....

For documentation purposes only. . .so that someday when these boys ask why I was completely gray at 35 they will have an idea.

Dear Mason and Braden, I want to share with you our day, the Saturday before Valentine's day when you were 5 and 20 months:

9:00 am
Mom got to sleep in (thanks Blake) and awake to two squirmy boys pouncing all over me saying "good morning Momma, and gig up!"

Blake has cooked a delicious breakfast, coffee is made and I get to glance at the paper!

Mason stands at my chair pleading "Re, re, re, re" which translates, "READ ME THIS BOOK"
I gladly balance him on one knee and read while I eat.

Blake is going for a run. He sneaks out the back door, but Mason watches him drive away, and not understanding this is not a "school day" he collapses in tears on the floor pleading "bye bye bye bye bye bye"

So I think, ok, we need to run to the mall and get a birthday present for the party Braden is going to tomorrow, we have one for the party today (both girls) and we could take the recycling, but it might not fit in the back of my car with the stroller.

As we are walking out the door, Blake pulls up, the track was too icy to run. I offer to take the recycling and bring Mason back so I can take Braden to the mall for the birthday gift. I forgot he has to judge the Polar Plunge from 11 to 1. He offers to take the recycling later in the week, so I take the boys to the mall. En route I call and cancel Braden's 1:00 hair cut, because Mason will still be napping (I pray) and Blake might not be home yet. Mr. Tom can reschedule us for 10:30, so we do a U turn in the mall parking lot and head across town for the appointment. This of course is a major disappointment for Braden. Blake said he would take him after the Polar Plunge.

I have to hold Mason and it finishes with him screaming and squirming so that his fine blond hair is stuck to the snot pouring out of his nose and of course the lip gloss I thought I needed to wear!

Braden did much better, but he still hates that his neck gets itchy.

Tom was so quick, we headed back to the mall hoping to get the birthday present BEFORE Mason melted down for his nap. I'm also trying to please Braden because he's "itchy" wanted to get the birthday present. Plus, thanks to all the Valentine's Day cards, he has cash to burn and is anxious to do so.

Mason is happy to be in his stroller until we get inside the mall. This is where we've been taking him to run around and burn off some energy during all of the cold weather, so of course he wants OUT. I assure him we can "walk" as soon as we get inside.

Wrong. There are 200 people standing around 5 different Boy Scout stations. I make Mason stay in his stroller which results in a convulsing, screaming fit.

We hit Claire's, Braden picks up 10 different things, I'm going for the gift card. Mason is still screaming and convulsing, I've said "No" to Braden 10 times, and I look up to see one of my students behind the counter. Fabulous. "Looks like you're having a good day"

As we are maneuvering through the 200 people Mason calms down. The "wishing fountain" is right by the exit, so I stop, release Mason, and start digging through my purse to come up empty handed, NOT ONE PENNY.

Braden is holding his wallet, with his $10 over the fountain "pretending" to toss it. "Don't do that Braden"

I turn to put Mason's coat on so we can head outside and hear "Moooooooommmmmmm" Braden has dropped his wallet in the fountain and his arm isn't long enough to reach it through the fence. I reach through to get it, turn around and Mason is GONE. I toss Braden his dripping wallet, leave him with the stroller and my purse right by the exit doors and dash to find Mason. He was only a few steps away, but in a crowd so he was hard to see. Braden is still crying, Mason is thrashing and bucking about getting back in his stroller.

I cannot begin to "type" the conversation or volume of the conversation in the car, but we addressed the fact I had just told him "don't do that Braden" and as a result of not listening he dropped it in the water. As we pulled up I instructed Braden to go to his room and not come out until I come get him. Mind you, he already got the "be on your best behavior today" talk since he has two fun party invites this weekend.

Mason refuses to eat lunch, nothing. I finally give in to nap, Braden is whining about itching, so I make him get in the bath tub.

We have 7 more hours to survive before bed time.

This, my darling boys is why all of my hair is turning gray by the second.

Act II
Mason is already stirring from his nap that should last until closer to 2. Blake walks in the door.

Braden and I read Thomas the Train and the Big Big Bridge, Mason joins us for part of the story, while Blake inhales his lunch and fixes grilled cheese and apple slices for both boys.

After much negotiating and finally ultimatums, Braden agrees to join Blake for some last minute shopping. He wants to stay home and watch TV.

I take Mason to QuickCare. He has a slight temp, cough and runny nose are getting worse. RSV is being seen a lot at his school. There is not a long wait, the waiting room is almost empty so we're seen fairly quickly. I give his symptoms to the nurse and mention a new "red bump" on his inner thigh.

The Nurse Practitioner on duty thinks he may have a streptococcal infection but not RSV or an ear infection. I forget to show her the red bump on his leg. She calls in our antibiotic to Walgreen's and we slowly head that way.

2:30 p.m.
Walgreen's drive thru: they just checked the voice mail and have not processed our RX. It will be another 20-30 minutes. We head home.

Blake and Braden make it back from shopping. Blake leaves Braden, delivers me a Carmel Macchiato, and heads back to Walgreen's for the RX.

Tiffany picks Braden up to head to the Birthday party.

Blake makes it back with the RX and all the "fixin's" for a fabulous steak dinner!

I leave (sneak out the door to avoid Mason) to pick up Braden and River from the birthday party. Stop at Cyndee's to get the bracelet she made for next weekend's event; Blake sends me a text "Need Lighter Fluid ASAP" I run to the closest Mini-Mart only to realize I do not have my purse (or Driver's License)

Pick up the kids from the birthday party; ask the Birthday Girl's dad if I might borrow some lighter fluid (Thanks Gil) and after a puzzled look he hands it over with a smile and "The kids get goodie bags and the parents get a bottle of flammable liquid"

I pull up to the house and set the lighter fluid next to the grill and call Blake to let him know it's there. This is all done covertly as not to upset Mason.

Home at last
Mason eats all of his grapes and bread, but wants some more. Will not touch his turkey, until I coax him with his favorite Mickey Mouse doll and talk in Mickey's voice each time and of course make Mickey clap for him after each bite. He also wants me to wipe Mickey's nose with a tissue and tries to get Mickey to eat the turkey, too. This Mickey Mouse doll is about 8 inches tall.

After his dinner, Braden is an awesome helper and wraps Mason's Valentine's gift. We have grand plans of doing a nice little family gift exchange after dinner. (this never happens)

Blake finishes Mason's bath as I dive into my perfect ribeye steak, complete with salad, baked potato and sauteed mushrooms. The bump on Mason's inner thigh is worse and a new one has popped up on his backside. Blake is afraid it could be a bite (possibly spider) and takes him back to QuickCare (second time today) I called ahead to make sure they were open and let them know he would be returning. The best part of this trip is we do not have to pay our co-pay, again!

Blake and Mason make it back home. NOT a spider bite. Could be an insect bite, if so it will improve on it's own. Worse case scenario. . . .Staph infection, of which there are two kinds, of course good and bad. We have two prescriptions to fill tomorrow IN CASE it has not improved and looks worse. These are for antibiotics in addition to the RX we got earlier.

Braden is up for the second time, asking if I can help him fix his covers. Of course I can. The first time was to tell me his comfy PJ pants were too hot under his comfy blanket. My answer, "Take them off"

Blake hits the hay! I'm not far behind.

Domestic Bliss. We get to do it all again tomorrow!!!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lovin' Hallmark

Our mail box overflowed today with Valentine greetings (and $$$) from Arkansas! Thank you!
Here Mason and Braden are trying to peel off the Elmo stickers off Mason's card from Nana and Papa.

This is not a laughing matter. Mason is in a fit of rage over Braden's "music" card from Ann. Never mind his was an adorable fuzzy lion!

Like Braden's "green" mouth from all the candy he consumed on the car ride home? Mason was shouting "mine, mine, mine" over Braden's music card.

This morning before school....Poor Mason can't help but blink at the flash on the camera. It takes about 5 tries to get eyes open.

Captain America/Michael Jackson/Heart Throb

This morning Braden was all dolled up for his Valentine's Day party. Spiked hair, Captain America shirt to match is cards, cologne, sunglasses, and his new Michael Jackson dog tag necklace. This is our dear friend, River. Their teacher, Mrs. Vacca, emailed this photo from this morning to both the "Mom's"

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Move over KISS

Our good friend Ethan stopped by today, just long enough to hit the costume drawer. No super heroes today, it was all about Rock Stars! Braden is wearing sunglasses over a mask he painted at summer camp, and his King Arthur crown & cape. Ethan is sporting the Michael Jackson fedora and a Batman disc shooter on his arm.

Mason is so lucky...and so are we!

Braden is such a great Big Brother. He is so good about letting Mason play along with whatever he is doing, including working on his never-ending set of train tracks. Santa brought Mason his very own train so that he might leave Braden's alone. So he is (usually) content to let Braden build his masterpiece and then put his train on it.