Saturday, October 21, 2017

2017 Walk for Life: Success!

We wrapped up the Walk for Life this afternoon and ended in celebration for raising $14,000 for Alpha Pregnancy Center! There were around 100 walkers and a lot of volunteers who made the event a huge success. This was my sixth year walking and I surpassed my fundraising goal and raised $675! Not my "highest score" yet but very close!

My team was made up of my good friends Kate, Nettie and Daniel and their son L, and Brittany a woman we met for the first time today. Brittany also has a 4 year old son and an almost two year old who passed away not too long ago. Hearing her story was so sad and hard but I'm so glad she came today and was open to sharing her loss with us. Life is precious . . . at every age.

It it is a little ironic that I had intended to form a group of moms from my MOPS group to do this walk together but regretfully no one was able to join me (I haven't forgotten my friend Beth who was totally up for coming until she broke her foot two days before the event!) And then my friend Kate and Nettie are both moms and Brittany is actually part of another MOPS group! How fun is that! We had such a great time together.

I was very grateful for Nettie and Daniel coming along as they both speak Spanish and were able to converse with the two families we visited along our walk. The stroller was packed with presents to deliver to these families (Nettie carried baby L). With their language skills we were able to find out so much more about the families and pray more specifically for their needs -- and in their language!! 

At our last stop we realized that baby L had a poop-explosion and didn't have a spare diaper so we walked three blocks over to a grocery store where we found diapers. We had walked almost 2.5 miles and couldn't imagine walking another mile and a half to the park where we were to meet the rest of the walkers . . . so we called for a ride from an Alpha volunteer who graciously picked us up! I'm not going to feel guilty about it one bit . . . and I made up for it by walking the 1.2 miles home after the picnic.

The Walk for Life is always an adventure and the day turned out great! We had fun walking together, got to meet two incredible families who have been blessed by Alpha's services. We prayed for them and delivered fun packages and raised awareness and funds for a really great organization!

To everyone who prayed, walked and gave -- Thank you so much! I'm thrilled with how much money we raised and glad I got to be a part of the event again!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Dinosaur Birthday Party

Last weekend we celebrated William turning four by inviting a few friends over to someone else's backyard for cake. Originally it was going to be a play-date in the park but our good friends Shawna and Scott called us up a few days before and suggested we just do it in their backyard. We agreed for obvious reasons: a) it's closer to almost everyone we invited b) it's fenced in so the kids can't escape and the parents can relax and c) there could be beer.

The party was a lot of fun and went off without a hitch, except that we were the ones to arrive late! I had wanted to get special balloons for William this year and had no idea that it would take over 20 minutes to pay for . . . so yeah, we were late. But our friends were gracious to us so I let it roll off my back.

 We offered a few snacks as it was late in the afternoon. I tried to keep everything fairly tied to the dinosaur theme.

The cake was a recipe I had gotten from a friend and I just added crushed Oreos on top and a few dinosaurs. William requested we add dinosaur sprinkles. It looked just like I pictured! And it tasted really good too! Recipe here.

I had a few ideas of how to entertain the kids (again, so the adults could actually sit down). I had a "reading corner" which was just a blanket and a pile of dinosaur books. This was probably the least used space, which was okay. It was better than my worst-case scenario being that the kids demanding to be read to the entire time! haha. I also borrowed a bucket of dinosaurs from a friend so the kids could do imagination play if they wanted. William does this every single morning -- but didn't touch them at the party. Go figure. And the third game was the hit. I had frozen tiny dinosaurs in ice cube trays and provided plastic syringes, hammers and a bucket of warm water. Their job was to free the dinosaurs! That kept 3-4 kids busy for a while!

And we sang happy birthday to my boy and his dad cut the cake into giant pieces for everyone. Dinners were spoiled and everyone had a great time. I love our community and the friends my son has!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Preschooler: Fourth Birthday

Today is the day. My first-born is a four-year-old. How does time go so fast? Why is it that when I look at my son he all-of-a-sudden looks all grown up? Last week he didn't, I swear! He stands taller, even puffing out his chest some too. He is weighing in at 39 pounds and stands 3.5 feet tall! He is still my sweet, little guy who loves cuddling up with a mountain of books but he also loves jamming to loud music and playing his air guitar in our kitchen.

We met Mickey Mouse in Las Vegas in February

Some of his other current passions include: playing garbage truck (and watching every garbage truck that passes by and taking out my garbage), listening to audio books and stories, watching construction (still, this passion hasn't left since it started), imagination play with stuffed animals and toys, dinosaurs and super heroes.

As I mentioned before, he loves to be read to but he is showing signs of wanting to learn to read on his own too. We are working on this very slowly but trying to be more intentional with the books we check out at the library. We are also trying to practice writing a little more but that isn't very interesting to him yet.

Firetrucks: Another very real passion! He got to go in a firetruck and meet real firemen at the library a few weeks ago (but he didn't want to because he said he was already a real fireman!) One of our neighborhood playgrounds has a firetruck to drive too, which he begged to go to again and again!

One of the challenges that we've faced this year (and continue to manage) is anger and defiance. He is quick to yell back at us, scream his frustration and even hit. For us this seems to out of the ordinary as he used to just go with the flow and be pretty easy to please. But I'm pretty sure this is normal for his age. He has a strong personality with very strong likes and dislikes -- he is finally coming out of his shell and learning how to manage all the feelings.

He has been a big brother for over a year now and he loves Stephen very much. He does fairly well playing with him and sharing with him for the most part and just loves hugging him all the time. When the hugs get to be too much Stephen pulls hair or bites which ends the love-fest pretty quickly (and it isn't pretty anymore). It has been so fun to see them play together now -- or at least play with the same type of toys side by side for a few minutes at a time. Stephen likes to do whatever big brother is doing - including taking out the trash! (I know, lucky me!)

I'm really excited for this year -- the last year that he'll be home with me! We do have him in a very part time (6 hours a week) Parks & Rec program which he loves, but he starts full time transitional kindergarten next fall. I'm excited to see all the learning that happens this year and all the play that happens with his brother.

Happy Birthday William! We love you so much!