Friday, June 9, 2017

Last Day of School: First and Third Grades!

I honestly can't believe that today is the last day of school.  The last day of school for the year?!  As in, I will have a second grader and a FOURTH grader next school year?!  Unreal.

When selecting her "last day of school" outfit, Mollie hemmed and hawed over it for a while, ever-so-slightly upset with me for not having her favorite dress clean for the day.  I finally suggested that she could possibly wear the outfit she wore for the first day of school, and she LOVED that idea.



Baylor, on the other hand, knew exactly what he wanted to wear: comfy shorts and his current favorite t-shirt.


It's amazing how much they have grown this year, both in height and in character.  I am so proud of how they did this year, so thankful for the wonderful teachers and school staff that supported and fostered that growth, and so glad for the friendships they made along the way.


Mollie is slowly but surely gaining on her brother in terms of physical height, and she was excited to demonstrate that this morning with a tip-toes picture.


When asked to "pose" for a picture, this is what they think that means.  These two are ready for action!



The thing is, I don't think they are ready for the school year to be over.  Mollie accurately pointed out that they might cry after school lets out this year (I believe Baylor did last year as he got into the car on the last day of school, as well); they love their teachers and their school so much and are going to miss it during the summer.  I am grateful for their school and all the staff within who have made it such a wonderful place that my kids would miss it on summer break and look forward to going back in the fall.

Now, I need to go load a little Alice Cooper into the CD player of my minivan.  School's out for summer!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

Today was Mother's Day, and we had grand plans.  We were going to spend the morning at home then head to my parents' house to celebrate around 2:00.  But that didn't happen.  One of the kiddos had some gastrointestinal distress, so we stayed home and had a low-key day.

Mollie wrote this on the door a day or two ago, and it was so beautiful I just couldn't erase it.  



Baylor's initial thought was to make a spa day for me, but since the first part of it was a bath and I had just gotten out of the shower, I had to pass on it.  Both kids actually agreed to play a game with us, though, so we enjoyed Forbidden Island a couple times.



Bryson ran to my parents' house to help move a couch and pick up a couple things, so the kids and I snuggled in for a movie.  I don't think I have the hang of selfies yet.


Finding Dory was awesome, but I got a little choked up at a couple spots and worried the kids silly.  Baylor coached me to "take a deeeep breath", and they both hugged me until I was smiling again.

Bryson made us dinner, then it was time to get the kids up to bed.  In keeping with the day, that took way longer than usual, but once the kids were snuggled up in their beds, the adults got to indulge in a sweet treat, courtesy of my dear sister.

The kids gave me some adorable gifts today, too.  Baylor made me a card at school.



It is tough to tell from this picture, but it is actually a pop-up card!


Mollie was rather prolific this year.  The first gift she gave me was a sheet about me.



It reads (with a few spelling corrections for clarity): "My name is Mollie.  I am 7 years old.  My mom's name is Nicole.  She is 35 years old.  For work, she helps me and my brother.  She loves to snuggle, but she hates to yelling!  She is always saying, "Set the table!"  My favorite meal my mom cooks is pizza.  She is best at consequences.  She is not very good at (she put some symbols here to show that I am apparently good at everything).  Her favorite color is green.  My mom and I like to snuggle.  She loves me because I behave, and I love her because she loves me!"  Adorable!

She also made me a cut-out of some sort.  It has fringe, which I know she just learned how to make at school, and when opened up it looks a little like a bird.  




She also made me a beautiful flower in art class.


And another one in her first grade classroom.


While I mowed the lawn yesterday, she apparently set up a couple folders around her so no one could see what she was doing and drew me a picture with Sharpies.  So sweet!


My sister spoiled me, too; she found a canvas zip-top bag with the Doose's Market logo on it!(Gilmore Girls fans will know what I'm talking about)


And my parents gave me a gift card all loaded up so I could enjoy some pretzels from my favorite pretzel shop!


But the best part of today was all the love I got from my kiddos.  Neither of them was feeling particularly stellar, but they both showered me with hugs and snuggles and a few kisses on my cheeks.  I am so grateful for those two; they made me a mom and are the best kiddos a mom could ask for.

To all you moms out there (including my own wonderful mom), I hope you had an awesome Mother's Day full of joy - and maybe a little relaxation.

And to all of you out there whose hearts are hurting today - be it from the loss of a mother, the loss of a child, childlessness in general, or any other reason - I hope you were able to find solace and a bit of hope for Mother's Days to come.

Happy Mother's Day to you and yours!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Flashback Friday: Hump Day Birthday at the Zoo

Back in October, our local zoo spent a month celebrating the "birthdays" of each group of animals at the zoo.  We decided to take advantage of the unusually nice autumn weather and visit the zoo on the camels' birthday.

We started off our visit at the wallaby exhibit, and the kids actually stepped outside of their comfort zone and pet one!




The weather was beautiful and the smiles were out.


Then Baylor proved to be the best brother ever and held his sister's purse while she rode a camel.


One camel's name was Molly which of course thrilled our Mollie girl to no end.




The lions were actually down by the viewing window, napping and lounging in the warmth, and we were able to watch them for a while.


Mollie really wanted to see the flamingos, like the ones on her shirt, but they were stinky ... so she held her breath.



The lions weren't the only ones lounging in the warmth that day; the tapir got in on the action as well, getting some midday rest.


We happened upon a zookeeper who was doing a little mini introduction between any kiddo nearby and a snake.  When it came time for the kids to touch it, they both did!



We moved on from the random snake to the bear enclosure.  One of them was pretty lethargic.


But the other one was up and moving around.  Even though the glass was smudged with hand prints on one side and what I guessed was bear slobber on the other, the kids stayed far away from the window as if the bear could somehow get them.


We then made our must-have trip to the tropical house to visit the nocturnal animals, including this caiman who wanted to say, "Hi."


It is now apparently a tradition for us to take a picture of the kids showing off their wingspans.  Honestly, I couldn't have picked a better zoo tradition myself.



It was such a gorgeous day.


And I was one lucky lady to have these two to spend it with.


Flashback Friday: This Year's Father-Daughter Dance

The lead-up to the dance was a bit more awkward than it was last year ...

(While we were working on their Pinewood Derby cars ...)
Bryson:  Amalia, I was wondering if you would like to go on a date with me?  (holds up the invite to the Valentine's Day father-daughter dance Mollie was dying to go to last year)  It's the father-daughter dance!  It's on February 6th.  Would you like to go with me?
Amalia:  (without looking up from her Derby car and without any excitement)  What day is it on?
Bryson:  (laughing and a bit taken-aback)  It's on Saturday, February 6th.
Me:  (laughing)  Why, Mols?  You busy?  (trying to help)  And hey, you'd get to get all dressed up!
Amalia:  (without looking up again)  What time?
Bryson:  It's from 6:30 to 8:30, so you'd get to stay up a little later.
Amalia:  (finally looks up excitedly)  Okay!  I want to go!
Bryson:  Okay then.

Excitement for the dance eventually built and practice was called for.




The day of the dance we tried to put some nail stickers on Mollie's nails ...



... and cute though they were, they came off very easily.

No matter, though, there was still excitement to be had!  This year, Bryson bought Mollie a corsage!




Needless to say, she loved it!



They made quite an adorable pair.



Baylor and I went on a little date ourselves.  We picked up some dinner from McDonald's and enjoyed it at home.  And, of course, we indulged in some shamrock shakes.



It was fun getting to be a "yes mommy" for an evening!  "Can we play the McPlay video games, Mom?"  "Why, yes we can!



"Mommy, can we play Bloxels?"  "Why, yes we can!"


In spite of her initial excitement at getting to stay up late, Mollie and Bryson ended up coming back early.  She even got to check out some of the fun Baylor and I had been having.


It turned out to be a fun night for all of us!  Can't wait to do it again next year!