March 24, 2015

Allergy Update

I can't believe it, but our journey with the kids' allergies started back in 2013 - exactly two years ago. A simple walk around the neighborhood resulted in a severe allergic reaction from both Jake and Brooklyn at the same time. Their eyes got red, itchy and puffy and immediately started swelling shut...it was scary!

The kids had skin-prick tests done at the allergist that week, where we found out they both have severe outdoor allergies - especially during the spring and fall. The first year was full of trying out different allergy meds + allergy shots (one in each arm) every Monday and Wednesday those first 9 months or so. After that, it went down to once a week for the last year. And now, I'm happy to say they're finally transitioning to getting shots every other week very soon!

They're still taking allergy meds every day on top of that, but with seeing little blossoms and blades of grass starting to sprout everywhere this spring - I'm so thankful to have their allergies under control and not having to worry whenever they go play outside.

So, today (and every day this spring) I'm thanking the Lord for allergists and all that they do.

March 18, 2015

Weekend Getaway

Last weekend was a fun little break from our normal routine. It was Scot's company's annual employee-of-the-year event at the Opryland Hotel, and like always, it was a big success. A lot of work goes into the entire weekend, but everyone had a great time!

This year, Scot went to the hotel on Thursday morning to help greet guests and set up, and I came to the hotel on Friday afternoon to attend the banquet dinner that night. Grammy stayed home with Connor and picked up the big kids from school before taking them all to her house, so we had one kid-free night away - for some reason, I thought this was the first, but it was the third night I've been away from Connor since he's been born, and I still felt naked. :)

The corporate HR team at Community Health Systems:

The cocktail party is always fun for us to meet and talk with employees at different hospitals all over the country. Scot was forced to carry my drink around while I chatted and took pics (plus, he was still recovering from his "man" surgery), so I couldn't help but laugh.

Selfies before dinner:

The banquet dinner was delicious and the awards were passed out after that...

And then, we came back to this great view from our room:

We woke up and had a delicious, leisurely, quiet breakfast in the Cascades.

I left to pick up the kids at Grammy and Papa's, and then we all came back to spend the afternoon at the hotel.

The kids probably liked jumping on the hotel beds the most. Love these wild ones:

We walked and explored the hotel.

The family boat ride was the kids' favorite.

What a ham! (Notice Kipper the dog came too.)

Had to give bribes to get this one:

After the boat ride, everyone got some frozen yogurt with candy - Connor and I got milkshakes. :)

Enjoying another beautiful view of the fountains.

The boys couldn't resist a little hide-and-seek...

A couple new toys were bought at the toy store.

The big kids went with Scot on an excursion to the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville and then back to the hotel for pizza and a movie in bed.

And I came home to spend a night with this cute guy:

A great weekend getaway that we all enjoyed and were so grateful to be part of!

March 11, 2015

Connor // 3 Years

It's been a long time since I've done an update on Connor, so I thought it was high time to document what he's been up to at age 3. (You know, since he's 3.5 and all.)

Connor is a thumb-sucker. A snuggler. A total joy.

He is super active and always moving. He doesn't sit still for more than a couple minutes, so eating out at restaurants is a rare thing for our family right now.

Not to mention, this kid is l-o-u-d. He talks loud, he plays loud, he repeats everything 5 billion times. He even sleeps loud, God love him.

He's very verbal for a boy. Talks in complete sentences and carries on conversations like an adult. I've had so many people stop me at church and Bible study thinking Connor's older than he really is just from the things that he says.

Connor keeps busy by playing with cars + trucks, blocks, puzzles, the marble run, building forts, painting with watercolors, playing ball, reading books and cuddling with mama. The thing that keeps him the busiest is lining up every car + truck he owns in every room around the house and making sure it's just right. Definitely all boy!

Connor laughs a lot. He makes us laugh too. He says the cutest little things like, "Did you have a good day at work, daddy?" or "It's my turn to talk!" or "Let me show you something." He is loving and kind and bossy all at the same time. Loves his bubby and sissy like crazy - trying to keep up with everything that they do, repeating everything Scot and I say, making sure he isn't left out...typical third-kid stuff.

Connor will eat just about anything, but his favorites are chicken nuggets, hotdogs, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, soup, spaghettios, peanut butter and jelly, apples, grapes, vanilla pudding, yogurt, yogurt drinks, cheese squares (sliced cheese torn in quarters), go-go squeeze, fruit snacks, lemon cake and chocolate milk.

Potty training is going great! Since Connor's our third, I waited until he was good and ready. I didn't worry that he wasn't interested in the potty by his 3rd birthday. I let him tell me when he was ready. About a month after his birthday (when all of the holiday craziness was over), Scott's dad Papa was over sparkling + sanding our family room walls and all of a sudden, Connor decided he wanted to sit on the potty. It was a success! We went to Target later that day to pick out new Cars, Olaf and Bubble Guppies underwear, and that was it. He wore Pull-ups for a couple months just for outings, but now he's in underwear all day and does great - as long as he goes to the bathroom every hour. (We have a little potty in the back of the van too, which has been a total lifesaver. Ever been to a one-stall bathroom at a nasty gas station with poop everywhere, no toilet paper and a 3-year-old who touches everything? Yeah...that little potty is worth every penny.) Now, on to nighttime training, and we'll be good. :)

Connor gives the best "big" hugs and kisses throughout the day. He tells me "I need some lovins" several times a day, and I just love that.

Connor loves holding my hand and running as fast as we can through the parking lot when going in and out of stores. His little grin and laugh are the best.

Dum-dums and fruit snacks are his favorite special treats when we're out.

Connor's favorite shows are Bubble Guppies and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and his favorite movie is Frozen, hands down.

He prefers to be barefoot - and naked - most of the time. Any guy's dream. Ha!

Connor doesn't officially take naps in his bed, but his favorite place to lay during the day is on the gray rug in our kitchen hallway. He covers up and sometimes falls asleep there. Or, blows bubbles and makes funny faces.

He falls asleep on the way to and from school every day.

Connor loves the 6:00 hour when he hears the garage door open and sees daddy come home from work. He yells and screams "Daddy's home!" and greets Scot with a smile and a hug every day.

His favorite place to lay at night is on the couch. He watches the Goodnight Show on Sprout almost every night, and "Nonny" (Nina) puts him to sleep almost instantly.

Connor loves a good routine. He says goodnight and gives hugs to bubby and sissy. We say prayers every night before bed. He says goodnight and loves his "fuzzy kisses" from dad. He gets "monster kisses" and "mouse kisses" from mom, then a couple verses of The Wheels on the Bus. A quick reminder for us to leave the door open a crack, then kisses are blown and "Sweet dreams" from mom. And he's awake bright and early every morning at 6:30 a.m.

Connor, you may be wild and free at three, but you're loving and huggable too. We are totally smitten by you, and our family wouldn't be complete without you here. We are so thankful for you, our little sunshine.

Love you to the moon and back!

March 6, 2015

Snow Days #8 and #9

Nashville got hit with another 3-5 inches of snow early yesterday morning, so school's been cancelled on Thursday and Friday - snow days #8 and #9. I can't believe it, but our county only has 2 snow days left.

We've been sledding, throwing snowballs, making snow angels, enjoying the snowy view...you know, a lot of this:

Plus, plenty of puzzles, board games, movies and baking too!

The kids have Monday off for a teacher inservice day on top of it all, so we've got one long 5-day weekend ahead...super fun, but I have to say, sunny skies and flip-flop weather can't come soon enough.
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