Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Night Happenings

Chick Fil A sandwiches & waffle fries.

Enjoying our fast food dinner all sprawled out on a blanket at the park.

Sitting beneath trees that are just beginning to turn into Autumn loveliness.

Seeing "Luke's Park" {not the official name of the park, but that's our name for it} booming with energy & taking a few moments to remember the beautiful soul that Luke was.

Watching my rough & tumble boy work off some of that all boy energy he has racing through his veins.

If you ask me, it all adds up to one pretty fantastic Friday night.

Happy Weekend, friends! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Konichiwa--Japanese for "good afternoon"

Wonder how I'm so up on my Japanese?

I owe it all to my son.  Japanese seems to be his fluent language these days.  He's teaching me all kinds of words I've never heard before.

Don't believe me?  Have a listen.

And though Japanese is seemingly his primary language here lately, he's excelling quite well in his English, as well.

At the ripe little age of 19 months, these are the words my little bilingual boy can rattle off:
* blue
* Ma {Grandma}
* Cis {Uncle Curtis}
* Jude
* Mom {I'm no longer momma.  Just plain ol' mom. Sniffle.}
* Gigi
* hat
* hot
* Jett
* Jett's
* no {his favorite}
* down
* up
* snack
* more
* uh oh
* go
* that
* banana
* jayhawk {it's kaw kawk, but still...ROCK CHALK, baby!}
* sky
* tv
* lights
* on
* out
* green
* Mama down! {I was standing on a chair dusting our fans & he insisted I get down.}
* Row row boat {when he wants a boat ride in the laundry basket}
* Oh, Dada! {He thinks Daddyboy is so silly & he throws his head back while saying this.}

{No, I don't have all of these words in my memory.  That's what the NOTES app on my iphone is for.  Every time Meatball busts out a new word or tiny sentence, I jot it down in my handy dandy smartphone.  Technology...gotta love it.}

He is adding words & phrases to his vocabulary every single day & Jared & I both stand in awe at how much he hears & repeats.  He's a little sponge, just sopping up all that he can in these precious, tender, toddler years.  These little words he's repeating are slowly beginning to form tiny sentences, & before long I know they will be full blown paragraphs.

Our little guy is sure growing up quick.

And though I can't understand half of what he says & I find myself spending an awful lot of time {especially during tantrums} telling him to "use your words", the truth is, I love that tiny little voice of his.  I love that he's got so much to say & in his mind he knows exactly what all that jibberish means.  I love hearing his vocabulary leap & bound & watching the big grin stretch across his face when he realizes he's speaking our {actual} language.

But right now, I gotta say, I am really lovin' the Japanese.

So on that note...

Konbanwa--Japanese for good night.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Freddie The Firetruck

One of the biggest highlights of our afternoon spent at Oktoberfest was hands down, without a doubt, the fire station.

The great big, shiny yellow firetrucks were awesome, with their levers & switches & meters, all there for exploring little minds.  The station itself was pretty dad gum cool too, complete with the famous fire pole right in the middle. And the firefighters at this particular station were some of the kindest people we've ever met.  

And while Jett man had a ball climbing up & down that larger than life fire engine, while he sat all proud as a peacock-like when we propped him up on the front of it to snap his picture, & while he sported that cute little plastic fireman's hat right on the top of his head...none of these things compared to Freddie. 

Freddie the firetruck.

That's right.  This little guy swooped right in & stole the entire show.

Now, you may be wondering, What in the world is so special about some toy firetruck? 

Well, I'm gonna tell you.

Turns out, Freddie ain't your ordinary toy firetruck.  Let's just get that straight.  

Freddie is an all out animated firetruck robot who talks, moves, flashes his sirens...& get this-- listens & interacts with the kids.

That's right, one of the firefighters {& a funny one, at that} hides out & runs this remote control Freddie & eventually has every kid {& parent} in the fire house glued to his every move. He made the kiddos crack up laughing, he answered their questions, & he even chased after a few for some kisses.

And Meatball, well, he threw his head back with laughter & thought ol' Freddie was pretty rad.  

Until Freddie turned around, scooted up real close, & said hello.  

Then it was all over. 

That fuh-reaked him out, & hidden safely behind Daddy's back is where he planted himself for the duration of our stay at the fire station.

{This photo is the closest thing I have to his wigging out.  He's puttin' on the brakes, scanning the place, lookin for a getaway exit. And this was precisely the moment right before he bolted as far & as fast as he could to get the heck away from that crazy Freddie!  He wanted nothing, & I do mean nothing, more to do with Freddie after that.}

I nearly hyperventilated, I laughed so hard.  Here our big & bad, rough & tough, fearless, rambunctious boy had finally met his match--in a plastic robot.

Oh boy, did we laugh.

I wish more than anything that I would've gotten photos of that priceless face of his when he realized Freddie was up in his business.  But I unfortunately couldn't see a thing due to the tears streaming from my eyes & I certainly couldn't hold a camera still through my hysterical laughter.  

Oh well, I'm pretty sure it's a memory that will be etched into my mind forever, one I won't soon forget.  

I'm probably not the only one, either.  Poor Meatball.  

The day he came face to face with Freddie, the walking, talking, {terrifying} firetruck.  

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Festivals, pumpkin patches, bonfires, hayrides--tis the sweet, sweet season!

And let me tell you, we aren't about to skimp on a single detail.  Our calendar is booked solid for the next month or so, with every kind of Fall activity we can squish into these beautiful days.  We've got a full agenda & we like it that way.  As far as I'm concerned, these are the some of the most beautiful days of the entire year, & we've got to get out & soak them up before they are replaced with snow, ice, & cold.  So if there's some Fall fun out there to be had, you'd better believe we're havin' it!

Today, my little family & thousands of other locals gathered in the historic downtown streets of our neighboring city to have a celebration.  A celebration of the gentle changing of seasons. A celebration to usher in the official first weekend of Autumn. A celebration called Oktoberfest.

We followed our noses to the tempting aromas of kettle corn, funnel cakes, & brats--you know, all of that terrible, greasy, fattening, oh so yummy food that you can only get at a good old fashioned festival.  We weaved our stroller in & out of crowds & around children who stopped to beg their parents for every knick knack they laid eyes on. And we listened as karaoke singers {many tone deaf, but a couple who managed to make me stop dead in my tracks & raised the hair on my arms} belted their voices through loudspeakers.

I've gotta hand it to the folks that put on this shindig--they know what they're doing.  There were craft booths, food booths, carnival rides, three different music stages, arts & crafts for kids, pony rides--you name it, it was covered.  Jared & I agreed that it was most definitely one of the best festivals we've been to. We agreed on one other thing, too--that we'll be back.  Like every single year.  It really was that much fun.

And to prove it, here's our day in photos:

Yes that it my child sticking his finger in that cute little dog's mouth.  Seriously, can you believe that little dog?  I think it has more accessories than me!

Want to know a way to a little boys heart?  Firetrucks!  This fire department was absolutely amazing {& deserves a whole separate post--I'm working on that}.  I'm calling first thing Monday morning to arrange a play date to the fire station so Jett can take all of his buddies to check out the fun.  

Want to know another way to a little boys heart?  Stickers!  We had to stop at every single arts & crafts booth so our little budding artist could whip up some sort of cute craft. See, I told ya--boy's got mad artist skills. At this particular craft station, there were little tables & chairs set up {he is OBSESSED with kid size tables & chairs right now--in fact, Santa already has a Pottery Barn set stored downstairs in our storage area} along with markers & stickers & little visors to decorate.  Once Meatball's visor was all finished, he nearly had a conniption when we tried to pull him away from his craft table.  The other thing I'm doing first thing Monday morning--stocking up on stickers! 

Jett Jett's very first pony ride!  As you can see, he's a regular little cowboy!  Jett's pediatrician has always joked that our little Jett Jett deserves a pony since he slept through the night at two months old & has ever since.  But since our backyard isn't big enough, we're just gonna have to settle for Oktoberfest.

Oh my goodness, was he ever so proud of this pumpkin!  He picked out this little orange pumpkin & decorated it by, you guessed it-- sticking stickers all over it.  He held this thing between his chubby little hands the entire rest of the day like it was his very own trophy prize. So incredibly adorable.

What an amazing day.

I think we've started Fall off on the right foot.

Happy Fall Y'all!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Budding Artist

My little Jett Jett is proving to be quite the little artist.

When he's not snapping the crayons in two, chomping off the tops of them, or digging his fingernails into the bottoms of them, I must say, his artwork is pretty amazing.

{Okay, okay.  Maybe it is just scribbling.  But if you ask this momma, it's the most beautiful masterpiece of scribbles I'VE ever seen.}

When I pull out the crayons & gigantic note pad of paper, you'd think I was offering the kid a pony & a lollipop.  The simple mention of coloring, & he turns into an excited little frenzy.  Laughing, squealing, & jumping up & down {well, his version of jumping up & down, which means stamping his feet in place.  Makes me laugh!}.

It's become a nice little way to keep him occupied during my least favorite part of the day-- meal time preparation.  Don't get me wrong, I love to cook, but trying desperately to get some sort of dinner whipped up all while having a screaming toddler attached to my leg--let's just say, it's not our finest hour of the day around here.  There are tears {sometimes both of ours}, there is chaos, & there aren't any Supermom awards being handed out to me during that one hour. 

But toss onto the kitchen floor that gigantic white canvas & a rainbow of color, & wah-lah!  Problem solved.

I love watching him sit down, with such determination on his face, sending bursts of color all over that crisp paper.  I love how he watches intently as I draw cars & trains & roads & stop signs, & how he adds his own little touches to those drawings of mine. And the proud little look on his face once he's all finished--I melt.

And I know this sounds totally crazy, but I think I'm actually seeing improvement in those little scribbles of his!

He's getting the hang of this artist gig.

Now that I've seen him tap into his little artistic side, I'm anxious to get cracking on some more arts & crafts fun for him to explore with.  Activities that will stimulate his creativity, boost his confidence, & of course buy Momma a few minutes to get dinner on the table. 

As for these little scribbles--well, I've got a feeling they're gonna be worth millions one day.  *wink*

"Every child is an artist."
--Pablo Picasso

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day Trip

Jett Jett & I were needing a shift in pace, a change in scenery.  Coloring with chalk on the driveway was becoming dull & boring & our local park was losing it's luster.  We needed something that was out of our normal, ordinary routine.

What we needed was a day trip.  

So Friday morning, we strapped into our seat belts, & we watched the city, with it's big buildings & four lane interstates, fade away into our rearview mirror as we cruised closer & closer to the tiny little town that I grew up in. 

A day trip "home" was in order!

The moment we stepped out of our car, we were instantly greeted by two of our biggest fans, who cheerfully cleared their schedules to hang out with us & make our little day trip truly fabulous.

And what a truly fabulous day trip it was.  We dined at our local Pizza Hut, where we bumped into a high school friend & her little boy {so great to see you, Shelly!}, some old high school teachers of mine, & some members from the church I went to my whole life {that's what I absolutely love about a small town--you can't go anywhere without seeing someone who whisks you off to memory lane}.  

Getting to show off my little Jett Jett was a great big bonus!

We had adventures in the park, only this time it was a park we weren't completely sick of seeing. This park had speed lightning slides that would flip you backwards & send your hair whipping in the wind--which just so happened to be little "Evel Knievel's" cup of tea!

We found tunnels to scoot through & we discovered acorns of all different shapes & sizes.

Meatball & his best buddy for the day, strolled all around the park, hand in hand, only stopping to watch the big yellow trucks moving & loading dirt in the distance.

After our park adventures, we headed downtown to do some shopping in the quaint little stores that line up Main Street {& to sneak in & take a peak at the new ENVY baby boutique that just opened up-you girls rock!}  Grandma spoiled the little Jett man up {like she ALWAYS does} with all sorts of stylish new accessories for the Fall.

And then we called it a day.

Well, almost.

We needed a cherry to add to the top of our super awesome day trip.  And let me tell you, Dairy Queen did not disappoint.  Just ask Meatball...he chowed down on his first very own Oreo Blizzard!  Kid's got a sweet tooth like his Daddyboy's.

We really did have the best day.  No plans, no agendas, no schedules--we tossed all those out the window as we buzzed into town.  

Just pure fun, just flying by the seat of our pants, just something we're gonna have to do A LOT more often.  

We hadn't even made it out of town when I looked in the rearview to see a konked out little boy & a small town getting smaller with each passing mile.

As we hopped on the interstate & were surrounded once again by big, towering buildings, I smiled.  Thankful to be home again, thankful to have a "home" to go & visit, thankful for such an amazing day trip.