Wednesday, June 2, 2010

3 year old boy

Liam turned three on Monday! I can't believe that I have a three year old! He has changed my life and I love that precious precious boy. We had a little party - a bicycle party. I told Liam he could invite 3 friends and he picked Parker (friend from church), Fletcher (buddy since we've moved) and Luke (Bible study friend). Liam's big present was a new bicycle of course. The bike was a surprise, but Liam had been asking for it and I'm pretty sure he had a sneaky suspicion that we were getting him one. So all of his friends brought their bikes over to ride. Will grilled hot dogs for lunch and then we opened presents and had cake.
love the smile on his face
Luke, Parker, Liam, Hayden and Aunt Pam (Will's aunt from LR happened to be working in Minneapolis this week and got to come to the party. so cool!)
Luke's mom Brooke and little bro Samuel
Fletcher and his mom Alexandra
Buzz Lightyear from Nini and Pa
M&M cake made by yours truly (and Betty Crocker)
can't have cake without ice cream
loves his daddy
Aunt Pam was Hayden's best bud at the party. Pam knew the way into her heart with cake and ice cream
garage party - the weather was perfect
We gave these little Buzz Lightyear water guns as party favors and they were a hit. Worth every dollar from the Dollar Tree.
Fletcher's bro Ferguson getting Liam good
Liam and Will got surrounded!

Hayden was cleaning the plates while everyone else played
family pic

It was a fun little party. Thank you friends for coming to celebrate Liam! He got some great gifts. A Duplo leggo truck, Memory game, a Slip-n-slide, stick horse and cowboy hat, art kit, new clothes, and I think the gift that takes the cake is Buzz Lightyear. Liam loves him some Buzz Lightyear.
Will and I have found ourselves saying more and more "Liam's such a good kid". And he is! A few months ago I was not saying that very much! But I think we've turned a corner. We've finally moved away from the phase of constant discipline, and it's no longer this endless battle for control. There are definitely still days that he tests me - like his birthday for example. He decided to throw all of his learned skills out the window - he was U-G-L-Y to his sister, talked back to his momma and peed his pants all day. BUT for the most part we're out of the trenches of the terrible twos.

The phase I'm finding that we're in now is me playing referee between the two kids. Liam picks and picks and picks at Hayden and she's beginning to fight back. Yeesh. I was a picker...or a pest as my mom called it. I know the thrill of pushing someones buttons and getting a rise out of them. As a matter of fact I still do that from time to time.

I'd like to quote Justin Timberlake at this time, "What goes around comes around goes around comes all the way back aroouuu-ou-ou-ound." My theme song for year 3.

the Copeland peas

The Copeland family garden is producing a dozen gorgeous pea plants. I am so proud of those little green plants. No produce yet, but we look forward to the day. The lettuce and strawberries are barely hanging on. But at least we have our peas!

the peas

The weather in Rochester has made a major turn since we got back from Little Rock. It's in the 80s pretty much every day now - sometimes barely 90! My kind of temps! Had our first swim in the backyard pool last week. Just glad I didn't have to haul that sucker from Wal-Mart on top of my van this year!
notice Liam's studly summer hair do
I'll say this about our new little town - we may have wretched winters but summer is amazing. Not near the humidity that there is in Arkansas and just enough heat to put on a swimsuit and get a litte sun.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

to the Rock and back

Holy cow a lot has happened lately. We went to Little Rock the second week in May and it was a much needed and wonderful trip "home". If you read my last blog, I was at a breaking point and just needed to get away! The kids and I flew by ourselves for the first time. On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being enjoyable and 10 being totally wretched) I would say it was a 7. Not horrible but no where near fun. No one pooped their pants or vomitted so that in itself was a victory.

My parents picked us up from the airport. Dad's hair was falling out by the handful so literally the first thing we did was go home and shave his head. My sister and her fam were in town at the same time for HU graduation. And my brother drove down from Nashville. So we all got to be together. Doesn't happen very often these days!
Pa bought new hats for everyone!

We spent the week just hanging out and getting in some much needed family time. Dad had his second round of chemo in the middle of the week. I got to sit with him for a bit during his treatment. He had a rough day the following day and I was glad to be around to help however I could. I ache when I'm in Minnesota and he's in LR having a hard time. I know my parents have lots of friends to help them out, but I want to be the one to help take care of Dad when he's sick. He only had one rough day when we were there so that was good. One of the best parts of going home was being able to see him and see that he's ok. Chemo is the pits but he's going to be ok. I love him so much.

Dad suggested we go to Chic-fil-A for lunch the second day we were in town. And I said yes please.
my kids with Pa, Aunt Jenni and cousins Sam and Ruby
oh mom, could anything be better than this delicious chicken?
sister pic - Jenni preggo with #3 - Will and I better get movin'. I'm falling behind!

Ruby, Sam and Liam at the zoo - we've missed the LR zoo!

swimming with pops
love the look on Liam's face - pure joy
Hayden and Sandy getting some sun
This is pretty much how Hayden rolls - she's an observer, not a participater. I'm not used to that - Liam is the king could even say initiator.
pretty darn cute observer though
snuggling with Will's grandmother, MiMi

One day, Will's dad had a boys day with Liam. They went fishing in the morning and then went to an Arkansas Traveler's baseball game that night. Both firsts for Liam. He's still talking about it.
Liam, Pops and Uncle Ellis
They caught seven fish that day! You'd think that Liam would've man handled those fish, but he didn't want to even touch them. He was telling Will about the fishing trip over the phone, and Will asked Liam if he ate the fish. Liam got this completely disgusted look on his face and said "NO!" like he was totally appalled. I think he was imagining taking the flopping fish right off the hook and taking a bite. He couldn't believe that Will suggested that! Ha ha!

popping popcorn with Pa - it was so hilarious. liam had never seen popcorn popped on the stove top like this. the oil spit at him and he about jumped out of his skin.

Nini and Hayden playing at Pinnacle park

The last couple of days that we were in town I left the kiddos with my parents and took off to Camp Tahkodah to be a bridesmaid in my friend Rachel's wedding. What a fun weekend! It was SO fun to see some good college friends. Sometimes I need to not be a mommy and just revert back to my previous life. One of the bridesmaids was a new mom with a little 8 week old baby. She asked me, "is it so hard to leave your kids for the whole weekend?" Hmmmmm.....nope absolutely not. Sorry kids! I didn't have to worry about them one bit. They were living it up with Pa and Nini - Chuckie Cheese and the zoo! The wedding was beautiful and Rachel was stunning. I wish I had more pics to show.

some of the bridal party
Amanda Moore - oh my goodness i've missed this girl! - me and Kristen - got to spend some good time with Kristen. we had a little girls night just the two of us one night in LR. love love love her - life long friend
Kristen poofed my hair for the wedding. I looked like a Texan news anchor.
my dear friend Abby Smith and me - so many great memories with this sweet friend. She sang at the wedding and it was lovely. I just wish NYC was a little closer to the Roch.
Hayden getting crazy at Chuckie Cheese
At the zoo

I thought I would want to stay longer, but a week was really long enough. The last couple of days Liam was asking for his own bed, his toys, and his daddy. I think kids his age like to do fun and different things, but really rely on routine. Liam was great through the week though. He was just enjoyable to be around and I had to do very little disciplining. Lovin that! Don't think I'll be back in LR until the holidays. But my parents are planning to come visit in July and Will's family is planning to come in August. Love the summer!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

so long April

WARNING!! If you're looking for smiles and skipping through tulips - do not read this!

I thought April would NEVER end. The LONGEST most awful month since we have been here! For multiple reasons - for one, we had no visitors and took no trips. I was thinking back over the almost year that we've been in the Roch. We've either had visitors or gone to visit someone every month except September and April. I didn't blog in September, but I don't remember it feeling as eternal as April.
The recap:
June - Will's family
July - my parents
August - trip to Amarillo
September - nuttin
October - Will's parents
November - Kristen and Jonnathan
December - my family
January - Will's family
February - trip to Little Rock
March - the Shotts and Lexia and Gus
April - absolutely nothing

Secondly, Hayden and I had a virus for about a week mid-April - fever, sore throat, achiness. We were strugglin'. I think Liam might have had a little of the same bug with us, but he didn't slow down much. Shocker.
Hayden and I at our worst

Third, Hayden learned the word no. It's more like "neh!". Oh and it is U-G-L-Y. She usually accompanies "neh!" with a big fat swat at whomever's closest.
caught her in the act

This girl is warping into something I don't recognize. She turned 15 months old this past week and the only word to describe her right now is SASSY! Is there something magic about 15 months? I can't remember it being major for Liam.
15 months - bad lighting but funny girl
I took her to the dr. for her 15 month check up and she's doing great. 75th percentile for height and 10th percentile for weight - just barely 20 lb. She sits forward facing in her carseat now and thinks it's pretty awesome.
big girl in the car

her handsome brother

Hayden calls Liam "bubba". And I have to admit I kind of encouraged her. I call him that sometimes and she picked up on it because it's easy to say I guess. It's redneck, but I don't care. The kids are at each other most of the time, between Hayden's hitting and Liam's annihilation of everything in his path. They both love bathtime though.

Fourth reason April was the pits - and I hate to sound like a broken record but - Will has worked so much in April. And we went out with a bang yesterday on the last day of April. Last night I fed the kids, bathed them, put them to bed, ignored the mountain of laundry downstairs, drug myself upstairs, ignored the mountain of dishes upstairs and gorged on ice cream and popcorn while i watched a movie. For some reason I feel entitled to my husband on a Friday night, so when he's not there I start to feel REAL sorry for myself. Will rolled in at 10:30, got paged at 11:30 and went back in to work for the night. Oh my did I feel sorry for myself. Repeat story throughout April.

Fifth, we are broke as a joke. Overdrew 4 times in April. I'll take the blame for that. Dadgum.

Number 6 goes along with 5. We dropped our cable service this month. Heartbreaking. I'm serious. It's changed my world. I miss sitting down in front of the tv after the kids go to bed and turning my brain totally off. We get zero channels. And don't tell me to watch shows online. It's not the same.

Number 7, I got a speeding ticket. 61 in a 45. I didn't even know cops existed in Rochester! Apparently they do on county highways.

And the eighth reason takes the cake. My dad has cancer. He was diagnosed with lymphoma on Tuesday the 20th and had his first round of chemo two days later on Thursday. Talk about a punch in the gut - for him and us. It's stage 2 non-hodgkins lymphoma. Dad said it's aggressive but very treatable. So that's good news and Dad seems to be positive and in good spirits. I was a basket case the week he was diagnosed but this week has been better. I will be in Little Rock a week from today. I cannot wait!! So ready to be with my parents and see how they are really doing.

I have to say that I have great friends here who have really been there for me the past few weeks - helped me with the kids, called to check on me, came over to visit. God did not plant me here alone and for that I am so grateful.

We are trying to do fun and different things to keep ourselves sane. I took the kids to the public library for the first time last week. I don't know why we haven't gone earlier. Liam thougth it was so awesome. Books and movies! We went by the movie section and the first movie he laid eyes on was the Snowman movie. I mean, that sealed the deal. The library is officially the best place on earth.

Liam at the library

Last week the kids and I had a hankerin' for a treat (ok just me) so we swung through McDonalds down the street. Culver's is left for the rich folk these days. For $2.02 I can get two ice cream cones. I scraped most of the ice cream off of both into a cup for myself and gave the kids the cones. Perfect system. We sat in the parking lot while it rained and the kids were lovin it.
So hurray, it's May! Tonight Will got home at 5:45!!! We ate scrambled eggs and toast. We put Hayden to bed and then Will, Liam and I had a movie night. We went with a classic - the Jungle Book. We ate popcorn and M&Ms and seriously enjoyed being together.