Tuesday, May 31, 2016

She's the best

So I have this daughter........and she's amazing. Lately, I feel like her little personality has just started to come out so much more and I am in love.

Sometimes I feel bad because Tommy has such a fun, dramatic, hyper, crazy personality and honestly, we spend a lot of time (as a family!) listening to him, paying attention to him, disciplining him, etc. It seems like he gets a lot of attention (good and bad)--and not for any reason other than he's kind of a high maintenance child (son, if you're reading this some day, I mean that in the most loving way possible). Long story short, I occasionally get a pang of guilt because I feel like Tessa can be pushed to the back burner sometimes.

But I have to remind myself that she's totally okay with that! I know what I'm going to say is a total shocker, but.......God knows what He's doing. He truly made her the perfect piece to fit in our little family puzzle. Tessa's personality is perfect for her position in our family. For the most part, she's completely laid back, fine with entertaining herself when needed, perfectly okay with not being the center of attention. She's very nurturing and I'm always calling her a little momma because she love, LOVES taking care of people and Tommy LOVES getting her nurturing attention. He always wants to be first at everything and she usually lets him. He always wants to do crazy things and while she sometimes follows his lead, she often times is the voice of reason in his silly schemes. He doesn't like to sit still for more than a minute, so she gives me and Nick all the snuggles we can handle.

This post was inspired by me deleting some of my phone pictures (please tell me you find 100 pictures of your kids toes or the ceiling fan in your phone). I came across several of Tessa Grace that just made me so happy she's mine! She may be quiet and reserved, but at home and when she's 100% relaxed, she's just the best.......

 Loving on our baby chicks.....

She has the BEST bed head!

 Cheesy grin!

She has the cutest mad face!

Showing mom her muscles...

Wearing Daddy's hat!

 So proud of her garage sale find...

This is one of my favorites....she came into the living room with her pants sagging. She had stuffed her pockets and belt loops with toys and kitchen gadgets (note the beater in her hand)! Nerd....

 We taped her nose to get her a piggy snout!

 Rockin' her shades again!

 She gets a little loopy when she's bored...

And my favorite--she looks like an angel when she's sleeping!

Momma loves you so much, Gracie girl!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I had the best day with you today....

Sometimes being a parent is so so so so so so hard. Okay, most of the time. But sometimes........we decide to just say yes to everything. And then being a parent is so so so so SO FUN!

We've had a tough time with Tommy lately. He was having to do albuterol treatments 3 times a day for about 2 weeks because of an asthma/upper respiratory flare up. And albuterol does terrible things to our son. It makes him mean and grumpy and hyper and cuh-razy. He finally got better and we stopped giving it about one week ago. It seems like the side effects are FINALLY starting to wear off (thank you, Lord!) and he's been a little calmer. However.....Sunday night and Monday morning were a little rough on mommy's nerves. I was starting to feel like all I was doing was disciplining him every second that we were together. And while I know he needs it, it's not fun. And it makes me sad.

So Monday night rolled around and I picked them up from Brooke's. We stopped and got Gambino's for dinner (because, why not?). Then we headed home to wait for dad to get home from work. After he was home and we all ate dinner, Tommy was begging to play my "kintar" (guitar). It's a really nice Fender that my in-laws got me that I haven't made near enough use of and every time he asks, I say no. And every time I say no, I can see the light in his eyes dim a little. So last night when I said yes, he stopped in his tracks and said, "Really?!?" Like I'd just given him the best gift ever. He went and got the guitar and we all sat on the couch and took turns pretending like we knew what we were doing.

After we were done with the guitar, it was still light and and the weather was super nice. Nick asked the kids if they wanted to play outside and they screamed, "YEEEESS!!!!" Then they asked to go on four wheeler rides. And he said yes. And they were thrilled. And begged me to join them. And every bone in my body wanted to relax on the couch, but I said yes (are you seeing a theme here? Lots of yeses). So we went outside and I got on the four wheeler, Tommy got on his and Nick and Tessa got in the go-cart. And we went on a little family excursion!

He was riding in front of me the whole time and my heart was seriously bursting with how dang cute he is on that tiny four wheeler.

Nick and Tessa were quite a ways ahead of us because they have to go fast or the go-cart stops going :) So by the time we got back to the house, we found this.......
 They had some fun in the 9 million mud puddles in our yard and on the road! Tessa was LOVING it. She's all about nail polish and perfume most of the time, but that girl loves getting dirty.

Tommy got jealous and wanted to switch out, so he got in the go-cart with Nick and Tessa rode my four wheeler with me. We rode quite awhile that way and on the way back, Nick found every puddle he could and let Tommy in on the fun too.
Who's really the kid here?? I haven't seen Nick smile that big in awhile. They had so much fun! 

Once they were done mudding, mom got to clean most of it up. But it was totally worth it. Right before I made the kids strip to their skivvies outside, I snapped this gem.....
 Be still, my heart.

The kids could not stop talking about how much fun they had. And then Tommy said, "This is the best day EVER!" That's all it took--playing the kintar and driving through mud. 

The kids and Nick showered and got clean and then Nick suggested ice cream and we were all like, "Um....yeah!" Tommy kept saying, "Why do we get ice cream? Is it a special day?" It almost made me cry. My kids are not deprived in any way. They have everything they need and almost everything they want. But saying yes so many times last night made me think about how often I say no. To candy, ice cream, staying up late, watching 5 more minutes of TV, stopping at the park, stopping what I'm doing to watch them do a ridiculous amazing trick.....We say no all the time. 

But sometimes it's SO great to just say yes. We got our ice cream and snuggled up to watch TV the rest of the night. 

We had the best day.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Mother's Day Tea 2016

Every year at preschool, the kids do a Mother's Day Tea. It's the cutest thing every and I get teary eyed every time.

When I first walked in, Tommy was waiting at the classroom door to escort me to our table. Then he pulled out my chair and waited until I sat down and then went and got me some fruit salad and water.  The pictures are a hot, blurry mess, but I'll remember it forever in my mind!

We took a selfie before eating our fruit salad... I had the best time just sitting and talking to him. It was so sweet! He's turning into such a genuinely funny little man.
 After we were done eating, the teacher's read these little forms that the kids provided the answers for. Some of them were HILARIOUS. I love the ones that would say something like, "When my family is all together, my mom likes to.................." and the kid would say, "Sleep on the couch!" Oh man, isn't that the truth. Luckily, Tommy's was fairly normal! It cracks me up that he says (correctly) that I'm obsessed with clothes. He knows me well--except for the whole getting me a dog thing (NEVER!).


Then they got up and sang a song for all of the mom's.....
 Clearly.....Tommy was thrilled.


The next day, I went again for Tessa's Mother's Day Tea.

She greeted me at the door to escort me and then sat me down. Then she went up to get our fruit salad. This is where Tessa Grace shines....she truly LOVES serving people. She likes to help any way she can and sometimes I have to catch myself from telling her to stop because there are some days where her "help" is not super helpful. But then I try to remind myself that it's a great quality for her to have and I don't want to discourage her from it. So she was loving serving me some fruit salad and water!
 And then she tried cantaloupe for the first time.......not a fan.
 Then the teacher read their papers to all the moms! Once again, nothing too wacky. She knows I love tacos and garage sales, so at least I know she's paying attention sometimes! Hilarious that she said I like to take care of Essie (her cousin) with my friends! Where on Earth did that come from??

After that, it was time for the song and as you can see, Tessa gets as excited about singing as her brother!

Then they brought us these cute little flowers they made with their hand prints. I LOVE that little face!
 Me and my sweet girl!

I had a great time with both of them!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Benton Days 2016

Every year, our little town has a celebration and we LOVE it. We were a little less involved this year because it was SO cold and my mom had kept the kids the night before, so we skipped all the races and tractor pull stuff. Nick and I got to sleep in a little and then somehow by the grace of God, that man volunteered to garage saleing with me.

 Bless his heart. He hated it the whole time, but was very patient with me. I totally scored on boy clothes and bought Tommy's wardrobe for the next year or so for around $40. Can't beat that! After we got done with our garage sales, we went and had lunch and then met my mom to get the kids for the parade.

I just have to say, I love living in a town where everyone still stands up and puts their hands over their hearts when the national anthem comes on.
 There were quite a few BIG trucks and Tommy was super impressed with all of them. He kept saying, "Take my picture with this one!" This is one of a hundred pictures he insisted on that day.
 Tessa had fun but was a little leery of all the noises. Some of those trucks and horns are SO loud. And then there was a train type car that looked like a jail and had a few "convicts" walking beside it. They kept squirting water on people.........and it was SO cold. SO SO cold. She wasn't super impressed with that and they both tried to hide from it!
It was a fun day.......I love small town living!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Kindergarten Round up

I can't even handle the fact that my son is now registered for kindergarten. Like.....HOW?!? But he is. And I'm learning to be okay with that.

One Thursday morning in April, they had kindergarten round up. Tommy was SO so so so so excited! I was so so so so so sad. And excited. We went to his school and checked in. He got to make a name tag and play a little with his friends that were there. The principal introduced himself and then told us he was going to take us on a tour. It was cracking me up because he kept telling us that we were going to walk as a group with our kids to the kindergarten hall and then the parents would take a HARD left while the kids went into the classroom with the teachers. He emphasized multiple times that we needed to move quickly and swiftly so there was no drama with separating from the kids. I feel as if he'd seen a few meltdowns in his day :)

So while Tommy was in the classroom reading a book and doing a craft with his teachers, we got to walk around and see the building. On the one hand, nothing had changed since I went to school there and on the other hand.....EVERYTHING was different because it was going to be my KID'S school. The whole time I was there, I had to restrain myself from asking what the safety plan was in case of a school shooting, tornado or missing child. #helicopterparent #noshame

After our tour, we got to meet back up with the kids and oh MAN, they were cute! Tommy just seemed so grown up and confident (when did this happen??). He LOVED both of the teacher (although he wants Mrs. Ryan because her classroom is bigger, he says).

I was super impressed with the school and staff and while my heart is breaking thinking about sending him to KINDERGARTEN, my mind feels a little better knowing he's in safe hands.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Great Plains Field Trip 2016


This March, I got to go on a field trip with Tommy's class and Tessa's class to the Great Plains Nature Center. It gets kind of hectic because their classes go on the same field trip but on different days, so I usually end up taking off two half days. But it's worth it to get to spend one-on-one time with each kiddo.

Both days that we went were pretty chilly. But it was nice to go and not be sweaty or hot the whole time! First, we looked around the museum. Then each class got to meet Sally the salamander (which Tommy LOVED...Tessa, not so much). Then we went on a nature walk around one of the paths.

Here's my time with Tommy's class....





And here's my time with Tessa's class....






I loved my day with each kid and really enjoyed watching them interact with their classmates. It's fun since that's not something I get to see on a regular basis. They were both still a little shier than most of the kids, but they still had fun and were able to laugh and play with everyone. I'm excited to see these groups of kids grow up together!