Thursday, March 29, 2012

Back at it...

Spring break is officially over and now we are back to running around with practices and therapies.  I have to admit that it was very nice to have an entire week without any obligations. 
Both boys had a baseball game on Tuesday night.
Aiden is finally in the proper uniform. 

Izzy and Papa
We missed Ethan's game since they got finished so quickly.  No worries... there is another one on Friday.
Isabelle is doing great in physical therapy.  She is learning some new things and working on conquering some other tasks as well.  I love to find out new exercises that we can work with her on at home.  Since I miss a lot of her therapies this makes me feel like I am apart of her progress. 
Her speech therapy is going well also.  We are getting positive feedback and I am very proud of Isabelle and her hard work.  She is learning some new signs but hasn't tried any on her own yet.  She actually just looks at me like I am crazy but she will pick it up one day.
We are one busy family but I sure love my kids... who needs a peaceful night at home anyways??

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wolves and more...

Saturday, was Ryan's birthday and to celebrate, we went to a Wolf Preserve.  I have been going to Chipley my entire life and never once had I heard of Seacrest Wolf Preserve
First we had to drop Isabelle off with Nana.
We worked really hard on this pose.  Not really... she likes to sit with her knees pulled in (which is making conquering sitting a little more difficult!)
We didn't want the wolves to mistake her for their afternoon snack so she enjoyed some special bonding time with Nana. 
We arrived at the Preserve and ate some lunch while waiting for our tour to begin.  We learned a lot about the wolves and then got to experience their home environment.  We started off learning about the Grey wolf and got to meet Kiowa (the social butterfly of the bunch).  This wolf was extremely friendly and liked to give lots of kisses.  I have to admit, I wasn't disappointed when he skipped over us to kiss on the next group.  He was beautiful but I had already taken my bath for the day.  We learned that the wolves only have one soul mate for life.  The lady wolves are very aggressive with their men.  One male wolf had lost his ear due to a lady wolf obviously having issues dealing with her hormones. 
Then we met Spirit.  He was our favorite and a true inspiration.  His soul mate and another lady wolf (the ladies seem to always be the problem) got into an argument and he tried to protect his soul mate.  In doing that, he was badly injured and lost his front leg.  After being nursed back to health, he rejoined his family and learned to do everything he was able to do before.  He was even able to keep his Alfa status.
After meeting the wolves, we headed over to the petting zoo and met some cute skunks, fox, and raccoons. 
We had a great day and it was even educational.  We gained a new respect for these beautiful animals.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A special day...

World Down Syndrome Day
Isabelle Claire... today, I celebrate your life and your special designer genes.  We are blessed to have you in our lives and can't imagine life without you now.  Because of you, I love a little stronger, judge less and am thankful for the little things in life.  Thank you for helping me become a better person.  Each day, you teach me new things.  I have learned things I don't quite like about myself and now I strive to change those things but I have also learned things I never knew I could do or handle. 

I am learning not to worry about tomorrow or years from now and just focus on each day.  If/when I worry about tomorrow, I lose my joy for today.

I worried about your birth but we both made it through.  Then I worried about your open heart surgery and again you amazed me and became my little hero.  You are such a strong girl. 

These past 10 months (almost) have been great although sprinkled with a few rough days.  Your Daddy told me something a few days ago that was so simple but exactly what I needed to hear.  He said- it is time for you to forgive yourself. 
When I found out about your diagnosis and your heart defect I went through so many different emotions.  Some are hard to admit - the fear, grief, worry and many more.  I felt guilty for quite some time for these emotions and never could quite grasp how I loved you so much but still couldn't come to grips with your diagnosis.  So today, I choose to begin the process of forgiving myself.  I will no longer allow these emotions to hold me back.   
You are perfect in every way.  I love you unconditionally- always and forever!

I am so very proud to be your Mommy!  Your life is worth celebrating today and everyday!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Too much time?!?

I think my husband has a little too much time on his hands these days!!  What do you think??

He takes his art work very serious!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Feet- Ummm... good!

I never thought I would have to tell one of my kids to stop putting their feet in their mouth during dinner.  Well.. meet Isabelle!  She loves to suck on her toes in between bites of food.  Yummy!

Fun filled weekend...

Friday, March 16th was our 10 year anniversary. 

(I can't believe how little we look in these pictures.)
Ryan and I had great intentions to do something special but we have pushed our special date off until another time.  This weekend was all about the kids... I took the day off on Friday and we spent this weekend cramming in as much family time as we possibly could.  We are all worn out and crispy from being out in the sun for the past 3 days. 
We started Friday off with lunch and then an attempt at a bike ride.  Aiden forgot to take a shot of his inhaler (he is worn out by the time we pass our neighbors house) and then we realized he had a flat tire (unfixable).  So, back to the house we go and we jumped in the car to get a new bike (Ethan got the new bike and Aiden got his old bike).  Poor Aiden... always gets the hand me downs. 
Before we attempted another bike ride, we decided to start our veggie/fruit garden.
 I never realized how much work it takes to get a garden started.  We wanted to use the grass in the front yard so that made things a little more difficult at first. 
Hopefully soon we will have strawberries, carrots, cucumbers and corn to feast on.  I can't wait!
Isabelle got tired so she took her afternoon nap under the shade.  I was a bit jealous!
We also planted an orange tree and a blueberry bush.
After a little resting, we made our second attempt at a family bike ride.  This was Aiden's first official day of bike riding without his training wheels.  He did great until we meet another family on our path and he panicked and fell- skinning his knees.  Isabelle didn't like riding along the bumpy path so she screamed most of the way.  So...we tried, but this bike ride was unsuccessful.

Isabelle was worn out after this bike ride.  Next... come up with a better way for her to ride!
Saturday morning, we started at the ball fields bright and early.  The boys did great and we can see some improvement with each game.  After the game, we headed to a park on the Island to meet up with some other DS families from our area.  We had a great picnic and the kids played until it was time to head back home.  Then, we tried another bike ride and things went a little smoother this time.  We decided to strap Isabelle's car seat into her carriage and she enjoyed this ride much better.  Other than Aiden running into Ethan and dumping him into an ant bed, this ride was successful.
That evening, the boys did some work on our dishwasher.  Thankfully, it was a quick and easy fix.
On Sunday, we spent the day at the beach.  This was our first official beach day in 2012 and it was nice and relaxing.

This weekend was a great start to Spring Break.  Mommy has to work so our nights will probably be filled with more bike rides and whatever else we can think of to make this time enjoyable for the kids.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Miss Priss

Look who is sitting nice and tall waiting for church to start.  She likes to take a seat and have everyone come and greet her.  Demanding Diva!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bike rides

Saturday evening, we all went for a bike ride around the neighborhood.  It worked out great because Isabelle now fits in her little princess carriage! 

Aiden is working with Papa to conquer his bike minus the training wheels.  He hasn't mastered it quite yet but he is on his way.  Papa is the official bike trainer in our family.  He has way more patience then I do!

We had a great time and next time, we might even ride during the daytime.  I am sure it is much safer!

Opening day

We started our Saturday bright and early.  We were at the ball fields before 8am for the annual baseball parade/ceremony.  We get there only to find out that Aiden was given the wrong jersey.  Oops!  I raced to the uniform store Friday after work to make he had a uniform to wear for his first game but failed to look everything over before leaving.  So, his jersey is from another team and his name is spelled wrong on his hat.  Mom is batting zero. 
After the ceremony, the boys enjoyed some time in the bouncy houses/slides while Mommy, Daddy and Izzy laid on a blanket wishing we were back in our beds. 
Isabelle relaxing in the sun

Brotherly love!  I plan on framing this picture and showing them when they can't seem to stop fighting.

I couldn't even read his shirt until someone pointed out that it said Storm and not MudCats (the team he actually is on).
We enjoyed some barbecue while waiting for every ones games to start.  It was a family affair since Ian and Mikayla had games as well.

Ethan and Ryan came back from pictures with a little something extra... a turtle.  The turtle did not come home with us.   

The boys did great in their games especially for it being the first game of the season.  Isabelle was a trooper and was a cute little cheerleader in between her naps and feedings.  She also tried her first pickle and loved it.  She didn't even want to share with me. 

Ethan and Isabelle
If you can't tell, I was a little out of it on Saturday.  Obviously, I didn't even look at Aiden's uniform at any point during the morning and then I just realized, looking at these pictures, Isabelle's bow is on upside down.  Oh well, even Mommys have their off days!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pick your battles and more...

Lately, I am learning to pick my battles. 

This is how Aiden chose to wear his hair last night.  In a normal situation, I would have tried to talk him out of it but not last night.  Whatever makes the kid happy.  He actually got embarrassed when it was time to show his friends so he decided to take it out and I was the one encouraging him to keep it in.  Who is this person?!?  A slightly less stressed Tonya, that's who!  
I am a born worrier and trust me... there are things in my life that deserve a little bit of worry right now but I am at peace with my life.  
So instead of stressing about what my kids are wearing, if their clothes match completely or if their hair is fixed to my liking... I am trying to go with the flow.  Life with 3 kids can run a person ragged and pull you in so many different directions so, don't sweat the small things.  My house looks like people actually live there, there might be toys on the floor in my living room, dishes in the sink (our sink is never empty!) and laundry that is beginning to overflow but my kids know they are loved and I know that I am loved. 
So... stop and do the silly dance with your kids, sing at the top of your lungs - even if it is off key- or just add a few extra minutes of snuggle time before bed.  I know my kids love it when we stop in the middle of our crazy, busy life and dance, sing or snuggle.

Last night, we had some chocolate pudding with whip cream (from the can...the best kind).  Each kid got a squirt of whip cream straight into their mouth.  Look who didn't get left out...
(Yes, I realize she is wearing a boy bib but again...pick your battles!)

Life is hard out in the real world so I am learning to relax and take each day as it comes.  This is a slow and continuous process but I am learning to pick my battles.  So far so good!