Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 2010

March started with a fun night at Chuck E. Cheese. The PTA at Jonathan’s preschool had a fundraiser night. There were a ton of Jonathan’s friends there and he had so much fun running around playing with everyone and playing all the games. He has not quite realized that all the tickets equal a prize, but that’s ok, he just enjoys playing the games. We actually ate the pizza this time since the PTA got a percentage of all sales. Let’s just say that the pizza is not much better than it was twenty years ago. But it was edible. His teacher, Mrs. Ellen, was there as well.

The first weekend in March, I went to another scrapbooking weekend at Petit Jean. This time, though, was extra special. My cousin, Athena, flew up from Houston to go play with me! I don’t get to see her as much as I would like, so it was super fun to have time to be with her. One of the girls I work with, Carrie, decided to come try it out too. We all had a great time visiting, scrapbooking, and just having some good girl time. Of course, everyone has a different scrapbooking style, and we had fun ribbing each other. These weekends are also fun in that we get to share information and ideas and help each other out when we get stuck on a page.

Gracie’s marker finally came in as well. It has been three months and we are still dealing daily with the loss of our sweet baby girl. The feelings come in waves it seems. Sometimes the tide is out and things are going well. Then, deep in the night, or at the most random times, the tide comes in. The waves swell, and the feelings can be crushing. It was a good and yet a sad thing to see her marker finally placed. I think that it is beautiful and perfectly remembers her, yet it is so very, very final to have a piece of granite and bronze there for always. Plus, just seeing her name written out was very hard for me. I have longed to have a little girl and name her Gracie for so very long. Practiced writing it, thought of how I would have it monogrammed, etc. I just never thought that I would see it written this way. Anyway, just wanted everyone to be able to see it and how nice it really is. We decided to get a vertical marker. It just seemed less depressing and we liked the way that it was laid out better. The words at the top say, “Our Most Precious Gift from God.” This is the phrase that we have always said about both of our children, regardless of anything else that may/did happen. We did not get to keep the gift of our Gracie for very long, but she was still a gift, one that we will treasure for always. We know that her life was important, had significance and she was a part of God’s plan. Our hope and prayer, is that we can follow God’s will for our lives and allow her life to be a part in furthering God’s kingdom. The second picture shows the Valentine wreath and the Christmas doll that we have gotten for her. Mark decided to put th doll in the vase, and it actually looked pretty cute. Eventually, I will get some flowers to put in the vase, but for now, the doll will do.

The day before my birthday, I decided that we needed to do something fun for me and my little man. We decided to go to a little park not too far from my work. We invited Katie and Megan (and their Mommy Karen) to come join us for a little fun. The kids had a great time swinging, sliding, and going ‘round and ‘round on the Merry-go-Round. All in all, it was a great way to start my birthday!

To continue with our birthday hat necessity (per Jonathan), Mark got me a Cinderella princess hat and he and Jonathan Mickey Mouse ears. They were super cute and we had a good time wearing them. We had planned to go out to eat, but everyone was just too tired to get dressed and go. So instead, Mark picked up Outback to go. Rather silly, but it was nice to just sit around the house in our pajamas and have dinner. We got our usual, a blooming onion, salads, and their yummy bread. Totally enough food without making you feel yucky. The highlight, though, was my birthday cake. Mark and Jonathan had driven all the way to Conway to get me a Dairy Queen Birthday cake. There are NO DQ’s in Little Rock. Ridiculous, I know. Anyway, he got the Blizzard cake and trust me it was delicious!! I love ice cream cakes, but none live up to the DQ cake. I’ve had Baskin Robbins and Cold Stone, but no, DQ is the best! Jonathan had picked up some rocks and mini-pinecones that weekend at the park that were the ‘candles’ for my cake. He really wanted to put them on the cake, but we convinced him that beside it was ok too. I did have to blow out those candles too, though!

The girls from work took me out to eat for my birthday on Friday. We ate at Copelands and had some wonderful cheesecake for dessert. The girls were very sweet and got me a DSW (shoes) gift card for my birthday. So, of course, after lunch, we made a trip over to the shoe store. Funny thing was, I didn’t buy any shoes! Crazy for me, but I just didn’t see any that I really wanted. Oh well, try again later. I am very fortunate to have a great bunch of girls that I work with. It really makes the day a little easier and I am blessed that God has placed these people in my life.

The weekend after my birthday, we went to the bowling alley for another fun-filled day. The place we go to in Maumelle is just perfect for kids. They have bumpers that pop up when it is Jonathan’s turn, and then go back down for Mark and I’s turn. Jonathan is getting better every time we go. He just has to work on pushing hard on the ball to make it go a little faster. His aim is not bad, just needs a little more force behind the push! And in case, just bowling in and of itself wasn't fun, I won both games! Cracked me up as I never win! I'm really not very good at all. But my back had been hurting, and I think I was being very cautious of that, so I guess I was holding my body frame a little tighter. Or at least that's the story I'm going with!

That afternoon, I went to ANOTHER children’s consignment sale, Rhea Lana of Greater LR. I had already been to Rhea Lana of WLR and Duck Duck Goose. Finally, at this one, I found some decent clothes for Jonathan. He is just getting to that age where little boys have worn their clothes out. Oh well, I have fun going and looking for the good deals. Always find some fun toys or books too. We went Saturday night to Boudreaux’s in Maumelle for boiled crawfish. I wish I had a picture of Jonathan trying the crawfish. It was hilarious. Mostly, he just ate his chicken strips! Mark and I enjoyed it, though we are still in withdrawal from a true Cajun cooking it for us. Plus, they were sorely lacking in corn, potatoes, onions, and all the other things that Mark thinks should be cooked with the crawfish.

My Mom has been here the last week for Spring Break. She and Jonathan spent the entire week together and had a blast. I think she had at least one toy and one book for him every day of the week! It was hilarious, but he just ate it up! They finger painted (not a big fan) and water color painted (loves it) and who knows what else! She took him to Wonder Place one day and to the Big Dam Bridge park another day. Momma also bought him his very first board game, Candy Land! He absolutely loves it, and we have played it 100 times already. He is actually a very gracious player and is excited for you if you win. Such a sweet spirit he has. The only thing that he didn’t do so well was SLEEP for MaMa Deb! He just refused to take a nap for her. It was too funny as he went straight to sleep for me when I got home from work. Oh well, Grandmas are not supposed to be enforcers anyway.

Momma also brought my birthday presents, so we had another birthday party Thursday night. She made a yummy banana pudding and Jonathan had everyone singing “Happy Birthday” again. She got me a couple of scrapbooking books, some new jewelry, a t-shirt, makeup head scarf, Cinderella Christmas ornament, and cold hard cash! So, that was a lot of fun. Jonathan is very into “helping” to open presents, so he had fun as well. Now I just have to decide what to spend my money on! I’m thinking some additions to my digital scrapbooking software, but we’ll see. Oh, and I forgot to say what Mark and Jonathan had gotten me for my birthday. I’m getting a new laptop. Mine is not very old, but it just has not held up very well. It has Vista on it, and obviously that is a problem. Plus my mouse button is broken, Internet explorer randomly dies, Quicken randomly dies, one of my USB ports doesn’t work, the battery will no longer hold a charge, need I go on?? So, my sweet, loving husband has bought me a new and improved (and much bigger) laptop. So I am excited to get that and hopefully get some more scrapbooking done. I need to get caught up, that’s for sure!! I’m presently scrapbooking March 2008, so I’m a good two years behind!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

February 2010

As promised, here are the recaps for January and February 2010. Scroll down for January's post. I've gone picture crazyand there is no way to post them all here. So, check out his picture website for more pictures!

February is always a busy month at our house. Lots of fun stuff. Mark turned 32 this year on Feb. 7th. I cannot believe he is 32. Wow, time has definitely flown by since that day I first met Mark (he was 17)!! Jonathan and I went to Kroger to pick out a cake for Mark. Jonathan picked out this Batman cake. He was very insistent and it was quite funny. Especially since he has never seen a Batman show and because his Daddy is really more of a Superman fan. But, nonetheless, we went with it and bought matching plates, cups, and party hats/masks. Party hats are a MUST in Jonathan’s mind anyway. Grandma and Paw Paw were here to celebrate Mark’s birthday with us. They brought him a couple of fun presents. Jonathan and I’s present to Mark is a trip to Cape Canaveral in April for a Space Shuttle Launch. This is the last year that the shuttle will launch and Mark has always wanted to go. Unfortunately, I have NO leave from work, so I will not be able to go. But his Dad is going with him so they will have a good time. (Blog post about that to follow I’m sure!)

Mark’s birthday was also the day of this year’s Superbowl. We invited some friends over to watch the game with us and cheer on the Saints to victory! Not everyone was for the Saints, but we compromised with special seating for those fans (in the bathroom).  We had a King Cake Fed-Ex’ed in from New Orleans and I even tried out a few new recipes that were a ton of fun. Jonathan had a great time playing with baby Kate, Megan, and Katie. They are all such good friends and we are so lucky to have them around our little man.

February was also the time of SNOW! We had a couple of big snowfalls. Jonathan had so much fun playing in the snow, building snowmen, and most of all eating icicles! We had a lot of fun building our snowman. He stuck around for almost a week! It was crazy to have that much snow here in Arkansas. Of course, we missed a couple of days of work as well. Would have loved that, except for the fact that I have NO leave! It seems like as soon as I can gain a day, it is spent again. Oh well, that’s life I guess.

Valentine’s Day was an absolute blast. Jonathan had a Valentine Day party at school. Any excuse for a party, food, and candy is always a good thing right?!?! Check out the loot he came home from preschool with. It is absolutely crazy! Mark and Jonathan got me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and some great cards. I got Jonathan this super cute shirt at Old Navy. The Ladies Love Me, how cute is that!

We drove to OKC on V-day for a doctor’s appointment Monday morning. What would a holiday be without a drive to Oklahoma? Seriously, we have driven there on Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. Jonathan had a great check-up with the doctor and we do not have to go back to Oklahoma for an entire year! That is just crazy to even type. I cannot believe it! But I know that God has heard our prayers and is healing my sweet baby. I am so very, very thankful for this blessing. Jonathan had fun at the hospital as they had PA students doing art projects with the kids in the waiting rooms. Jonathan got a weed eater from Toys ‘R Us as a special prize for doing so well at his appointments.

The end of February was also the end of an era for us. Our Gymboree Play and Music closed its doors. Jonathan has been taking a class there since September 2008. We were so sad to have to stop. Jonathan has had so much fun learning, playing, and making friends. I have loved having a set time that we get to play every week. No distractions, no excuses. Now we are trying to decide what we want to do next. There are a couple of different options, but the timing just hasn’t seemed to work out yet.

Fortunately, Mrs. Valerie, who owned Gymboree, is going to continue doing a movement class at Jonathan’s preschool. He loves going to this with his friends as well.

January 2010

We’ve had a bitterly cold winter, but we’ve tried to give Jonathan a few opportunities to get outside a play. He loves to ride his bike all around the neighborhood. His favorite place is near the front of our neighborhood. There is an acorn tree there. He loves to pick up the acorns and rocks and sticks and put them in the little cart on the back of his bike. When he gets home, he wants to plant all of the acorns. So, it is possible that we might have a few trees sprouting up this spring!

A wonderful Mom of a child I treat made these special treats for Jonathan. A car garage to put all of his Lightning McQueen cars in, and a super cute “tie” t-shirt. She also made a most special gift for me. A memory box for all of our Gracie’s special things. It is beautiful and just the most perfect size for all of our mementos.

I went scrapbooking at Petit Jean January 15-17th. As always, I had a blast and actually finished an entire book! I decided to do a whole book for Christmas 2007. It was Jonathan’s first real Christmas and we had a TON of pictures. Still waiting to get it back from the printers, but it was good to get it done. My friend Edie that I always ride with was staying til Monday for MLK day, but I had to be back to work. So Mark and Jonathan drove up the mountain to come get me. We had a great time driving to the various waterfalls and overlooks in the State Park. I got some absolutely gorgeous shots of Jonathan playing. We will definitely have to go back and explore more of that park.

Jonathan had his very first dentist appointment this month. It was absolutely hilarious, trust me. At first, he wanted absolutely nothing to do with any of it. All he kept saying was, “I no get a shot.” We kept telling him, over and over, that dentists don’t give shots. (At least not to three year olds anyway). He finally warmed up when the dental hygienist let him squirt water into his mouth and ride up and down in the dentist chair. He never did let her clean his teeth, but he did let her and the dentist ‘count’ his teeth. Dr. Jones said that from what he could see they looked fine. We go back in four months for another go at it.

A couple of pics from our Gymboree Play and Music class.

MaMa Deb and Grandad came up for a visit near the end of the month. We had a fun birthday planned for Grandad’s birthday. We decided to go bowling. Jonathan absolutely loves bowling and we all had a great time. That night we had birthday cake and ice cream for Grandad’s big 60th! Jonathan also insisted that we have birthday hats. He was VERY concerned that we didn’t have any. Mark stopped on the way home from work to get some, but all he could find were Transformer hats. It was hilarious, but no one really cared, as long as we had hats! We continued Grandad’s airplane theme from Christmas with a couple more Blue Angels gifts from our vacation in Pensacola this summer.

Mark and I also broke down this month and got new cell phones. We have crossed over into iPhone land. I feel rather pretentious paying so much money for such a stupid phone, but oh well, everyone needs a few toys in life right? I have become addicted to the silly thing. It is just way too convenient to be able to check your email, have your address book linked to your computer, have both Mark and I’s calendars linked, and a perfect toy to keep Jonathan entertained at doctor’s appointments, restaurants, etc. He is so smart, he figured out how to unlock the phone and scroll through the apps faster than I did! He knows how to get onto the iPod, youtube, and several other apps that I’ve downloaded. There are a couple of fun games that I downloaded for him as well. Of course, my favorite game is Words With Friends. Scrabble against other friends. It is so addictive, and so fun! I have quite a few games going with different friends. The chat feature is nice to send a quick message to people too.

We had our first snowfall this month. We bundled Jonathan up and took him out to play. It was not much snow, but he had fun. We made snow angels and a mini-snowman, but it was not really good snow to make snowmen out of. Of course, we had no idea that more snow was to come in February!