Thursday, September 29, 2016

Xander's 8th birthday!

My Xander turned 8 a few weeks ago.  I know I'm such a cliche mom, but I really can't believe he's 8.  EIGHT.  Such a big kid.

And he's great, y'all.  I know everyone thinks that about their children, but he really is just the best.  He's compassionate and kind and honest and hilarious and just a really good kid.  I'm so proud of him and feel very lucky to be his mom.

Annual shot with his tree.  And his Raja.

But onto less mushy stuff!  He decided to have his party 2 weeks before his birthday because he wanted to have it at a park with a splash pad and wanted to make sure it would still be warm.  (Here we are 2 weeks after his birthday and we're still sweating every day - who knew?!)

We had a really good time though and the weather was great!  We did a Pokemon theme and, per usual, I didn't take nearly enough pictures of the decorations and whatnot. 

I like to make my kids' birthday cakes, but this year I didn't have a kitchen, so we went store-bought.  I'll be honest, it made me sort of feel bad.  But guess what?  Not a single complaint.  ;)

I LOVE to watch Xander open gifts.  He is genuinely appreciative of everything he gets.  He smiles and says "thank you," and also then runs to the person whose gift he just opened and gives them a big hug.  (But to girls his age he just gave a high-five.  Which was hilarious and awesome.) 

We had a great time at the early party.

Most of the party people - we had a very fun crowd!

A few days before his birthday the other 4 of us surprised him with cheese nachos - his favorite - for lunch at school.

On his actual birthday we started the morning by opening a few gifts. 

He loved them all.

Please ignore the streaker in the background

Then he and Lucas went to Carowinds!  Xander wanted to ride roller coasters for his birthday, so that's what they did.  It was his first time and he loved it!  I'm not super great at attaching videos on here, but I tried below.  It's worth the watch to hear him yell "Loop-de-looooop!"  (And props to Lucas for holding onto the phone while riding a roller coaster!)


Happy happy birthday, Alexander James.  My Xander.  You are so very loved.  No matter what.

Monday, August 29, 2016

First Day and House Update

Today was Xander's first day of 2nd grade!

He was so excited and has been ready to go back for a couple weeks now.  We crammed in a lot of fun to the end of our summer.  Trips to the dentist and barber shop, movies, park, ice cream and bowling with friends, and back-to-school shopping and lunch with cousins and Mimi.

It was a good summer.  And I'm ready for school to start, but I'm also sort of sad at the same time.  But anyway - back to today!

Piper was excited for him and posed for me.  Paxton was super grumpy and pitched a fit at the school.  Lucas went into work late so he could walk Xander in and tell him bye and take pictures on his first day.  Instead, we were rushing in 2 minutes before the bell rang, then Pax started screaming his head off.  Lucas took him outside, thus not getting to say goodbye to Xander.  It was a disaster, and I'm sure we left a wonderful impression on his new teacher.  Ugh.

But such is life.  I don't live in Pinterest world.  Sadly.  MAN - how awesome would that be, though??  I'd be 7,000 pounds, but live in a perfect house.

But I digress.

Speaking of houses, I thought I'd also give you a little update on the progress of ours.  It's coming along slowly.  Last weekend we finished up the laundry room so I don't have to haul clothes to other people's houses (then entertain the kids while we wait for them to wash).  Woo hoo!!

And last night we got Xander's room "done."  I still have to move back in some books and toys, but he slept in there last night and got dressed in there this morning.  I'd call that pretty much complete.  And I love the color he picked!

We're still waiting on our countertop to come in so we still don't have a kitchen.  We're working on the kids' bathroom and painting the kitchen cabinets this week they'll be ready when the countertop is (hopefully).

So there you have it!  We have Xander's birthday party this weekend (a couple weeks early so it's still warm), then the twins start preschool next week!  It's a big 2 weeks!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Much A Lot

I've been wanting to get back on here and update for several weeks now, but I always think, "I'll wait until _____ is over."  Then that's over, and another <blank> happens.  As my Granny says, "It's always something."  That has been particularly true for us this July.

I'll paraphrase:  In late April, we contracted a roofer to put a new roof on our house.  After telling us 5 different start dates and no one showing up (as I sat and waited on them each time), work finally began on July 5.  Also on July 5, a stray dog was hanging around our house all day.  Around 2:00, I brought her in when a storm was rolling in and started calling around to see if I could find her owner.  As I'm on the phone with animal control, Pax runs in to tell me it's raining.  I'm like, "Yeah bud, I know."  But then Xander runs in to tell me it's raining.  In our house.

The roofers didn't cover the part of the roof they'd torn off and the 15 minutes of heavy rain did a number on our ceilings and walls.  Long story short, last week we had 5 ceilings, several walls, and basically our entire kitchen ripped out.

Luckily, we have a pretty big bedroom so all of our furniture and appliances either fit in there, the spare room, or the dining room.  Unluckily, this means that for the next several weeks, if all 5 of us are home, we're pretty much stuck in our bedroom together.  I'm also bumming washing machines and meals from family and friends (thanks, guys!).

In the middle of all of that, the twins got Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.  The first day or two I thought, "Oh, this isn't that bad."  Just a fever and them feeling sluggish.  But then the blisters on their hands and feet got really bad.  And it took them a week or so to go away.  Not fun at all.

Paxton understands that hydration is key to recovery.  And rest, obviously.

BUT.  We're looking for silver linings here.  Such as - a fresh coat of paint on bunches of ceilings plus Xander's room and the kitchen.  A new countertop (since ours was broken during demo).  Some new light fixtures (since the water poured into and ruined our others).  A new summer haircut for Paxton.

The much-appreciated aforementioned friends and family that help us out.  And while we're doing laundry sometimes we get out the water hose and have some fun.

Xander got to go to a basketball/martial arts class all last week and he loved it!  (But I got no pictures of that obviously.)  He also ran in a 1-mile Fun Run (with Lucas) for the second year in a row and totally rocked it!

We had a July 4 celebration in our favorite place with lots of fun friends and family.

Our friends' kids loved the fireworks.  Look at Scout!

Friends have been amazing to share their pools and food with us (thanks again, guys!).

Sometimes friends have kitties and Piper is in heaven.

Strong boys!

I've taken the kids to a few movies.  And Lucas and I went to see one of my favorite singers, Ray Lamontagne, in concert.  (And he was magical and amazing.)

This weekend me and Xander went to Linville Caverns with his Boy Scout troop then did a little back-to-school shopping, just me and him.

Brown Mountain Overlook

He may have scored a video game as well.

And we had the annual giant slip-n-slide at our family's house and we got to see our sweet cousin Milah from Florida (and her rad parents and grandma, of course!).

And I still get to hang out with these cool kids and have some fun (in between driving each other crazy in a confined space).

So I think all that good stuff outweighs the bad, right?  It totally does.