Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sneak Peak...

Late this afternoon, we had Anna Lauren's "2" year photo shoot with Jeanelle Caraway, who if you are looking for a photographer, is by far one of the best I've seen with children! Thanks to Jeanelle, we got a "sneak peak" on the lookout as I will send you the link once I get all our pictures. And I must mention, our child was an angel...she agreed to wear 3 different outfits and well as let me put in 3 different bows and put them back in her hair every time they fell out! Did I really just say that...I did...I'm telling you...she really was an angel for once!

I think we got lots of smiles but wow...look at this coloring...isn't she beautiful?

Our "Little" Cyclist...

I went out for a ride yesterday morning, and when Anna Lauren heard the garage door open, she ran out to welcome me back home. She immediately started taking off my bike shoes and wanted to wear my helmet. It dawned on me that she had a helmet of her own, and to our surprise, it fits her now. So...we put her helmet on, and she was off on her bike...she is actually getting the hang of having to make the pedals go round and round, but she is lacking on her steering skills...guess with time, it will all come together for her.

She is very into our bikes...she knows that daddy has two and which ones are his and which one is mommy's bike. She knows about pumping up the tires and has to have hers pumped up every time ours get pumped up. And she loves our races and wants to go to one all the time...however, mommy and daddy do not race everyday...thank goodness!

Here are a few pictures of her riding yesterday...and don't worry...the bike and helmet had to ride in the car with us all day yesterday...she is too funny!

Monthly Grocery Shopping...

Since Matt and I got married, I have always grocery shopped once a month. I thought that I may have to change that once we had Anna Lauren, but thankfully it is still working for us. The complicated part is that it takes several hours to do the project and as Anna Lauren has gotten older, it has gone from a Matt and Mandi project to just a Mandi project. But we got brave and gave it a test yesterday...we had "family" shopping day at Wal-Mart.

And some may say I'm a push over, but I was willing to do just about anything to keep Anna Lauren in the buggy and cooperating so we could do our shopping. When we got home, Matt and I got tickled as to what it took to make it through the store so I thought I would share what had to happen in order to do the monthly grocery shopping:
  • Arrive at Wal-Mart ~ ride the carousel so she will agree to get into the buggy
  • Get a box of Band-Aids so she can stick them all over her bo-bos (she has them all over her body according to her
  • Get individual stick of cheese for a snack
  • Go back and get another individual stick of cheese (still hungry)
  • Get a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and eat 5 to 10
  • Get a box of Teddy Grahams
  • Oh Teddy Grahams...Daddy has a Diet Pepsi
  • Eat some "free" ice cream they are giving away
  • Ride the carousel on the way out
  • Go to Chick-fil-A and play (not eat...she had lunch at Wal-Mart) because she was such a good girl
Oh my...I think I'm better off going to the grocery store after she goes to bed at night...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Just a Little Friday Night Fun...

Tonight we met my cousin, Emily, and her family at Cock of the Walk for dinner...we love going, but we never think to go there so I'm glad it came to mind when we were making plans to do something tonight.

The food is always great and the kids had a blast watching and feeding the ducks and of course, looking at the boats and the water. When we do things such as this, I'm reminded why I'm so glad we live near the water...even if it is yucky water!

Anna Lauren and Parker watching the ducks...

Parker, Mallory, and Anna Lauren...

I think this picture is so sweet, but on the other hand, it is so funny to me. Parker is exactly one year older than Anna Lauren...and look...they are the same size if Anna Lauren is not bigger. Parker is perfectly fine...he is just "on the growth chart" where Anna Lauren is "off the growth chart".

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Fun...

Yesterday we headed to Brookhaven to spend part of our long Memorial Day weekend with my family. We spent yesterday just playing in Brookhaven and then today, we went to Fernwood Country Club where my brother, Joey, and his family are members. The boys played in a golf tournament while the rest of us enjoyed a fun day at the pool.

This was last night...we had dinner at my brother Brad's house. And if you take a look at this picture, you will quickly see why I am not a children's photographer...should it really be this hard to get 5 children to look at the camera and smile...well, for some reason it is with our kiddos! And poor Bently was just like, get me away from these kids...and especially my brother who is squeezing my head!

For Memorial Day, they had a dunking booth and two big slides at the pool. Ashton (in dunking booth), Reid, and Jake stayed at the dunking booth almost the entire day. They loved it! Anna Lauren however loved the huge slide but there are no pictures of her sliding because I had to catch her at the bottom because the water was too deep for her to touch.

And our sweet Bently...her swim was short...the water was extremely cold, and she was not a huge fan of the cold water. She had more fun just playing with her toys and watching everyone else swim.

I did snap one quick picture of Anna Lauren while she was playing in the "baby" pool...the rest of the day I was chasing her from one pool to the next...she had a great time!

And here is our Daddy...luckily, we got to see him tee off on their last hole...they got a "thanks for playing / 2nd in the flight", but they did have a great time just playing / being boys!

And the thrill of the day...the golf cart ride! Think we could have gotten one more kid on this golf cart?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

From Tears to Smiles...

And here goes the "swim school" update you have all been waiting for...

Yesterday marked the 3rd week of Anna Lauren's 16 weeks of Maley Swim School. Her sweet teacher gets her all dressed for swim so I can just pick her up and head to swim because we are somewhat pushing it for time. This was our conversation beginning at daycare:

Anna Lauren: Mommy, I want to change clothes. I want my dress back on...

Mommy: Anna Lauren, we will put your dress back on after you swim...don't you want to go swim?

Anna Lauren: NO...I don't like it, which continued all the way there (about a 10 minute ride). She continued screaming "I don't like it" the whole way there.

Mommy: Come on...let's go inside and swim with your friends

Anna Lauren: NO...I don't like it! Change clothes! can see from our conversation, she was not the happiest of campers as we entered Maley's. Therefore, I had a discussion with Ms. Maley. We decided to give her one last chance to go into a class without parents and if she continued to scream we would change her to a different class where Matt or I could get in the pool with her. Needless to say, she didn't give up her screaming that she didn't want to swim so we opted to change her to a different class, which meets on Wednesday.

And so this was our conversation today from daycare to Maley's:

Anna Lauren: I go swim, I go swim with Daddy (I had a hair appointment so Matt agreed to swim today...we will take turns swimming with her)

Mommy: Are you going to get in the water and swim with Daddy?

Anna Lauren: YEAH! I slide, I kick feet, I blow bubbles...Daddy slide?

Mommy: I'm not sure the slide is big enough for Daddy, but I bet he'll try!

Anna Lauren: I go swim with Daddy, I go swim with Daddy, I go swim with Daddy...over and over and over. We got to the pool where Daddy was waiting and she jumped into his arms and off they went...both of them all smiles!

She had a great time...Matt said she loved every minute of it and did everything they wanted her to do. With this being said, maybe she is still a "baby" that still needs her mommy and daddy...sometimes that is a good feeling because my oh my they grow up so fast!

And so we end with smiles instead of tears, which was our whole point of swim school...we just wanted her to enjoy the water and have a good time!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bently's Dedication...

Today we got to be a part of a very special day for my brother, Joey, and his family...they had baby dedication at their church for their daughter, Bently. These are the times that I am so glad we are only an hour away from my family...we can easily make Brookhaven / McComb a day trip and get to see our nieces and nephews at most of their "special" events. We struggle with not being able to be a part of a lot of things that go on with Matt's family...but...Atlanta and back cannot be done in a day so we have to make do with seeing them a couple times a year.

This is of them in front of the church...Barbie, Joey, Ashton, and sweet Bently... at lunch we attempted to get a picture of all 5 of the kids, but of course, our Anna Lauren was having no part of that because that is what everyone wanted her to do. So...we opted to take the picture with mommy and all the kiddos. Ignore my eye...we are passing pink eye around at our house...yuck!

Left to Right: Joey (brother), Reid (my brother Brad's son), Bently and Ashton (Joey's kids), Jake (my brother Brad's son), Anna Lauren, and Mandi

Anna Lauren and Bently in their high chairs at lunch...Anna Lauren did a little of both...sitting in the high chair like Bently and then sitting in a "big" chair like the "big" kids. And...she made sure to embarrass us at lunch. My nephews took her outside to play and she came running back through the restaurant screaming..."I poo pooed, I poo pooed"...I think everyone just ducked their heads as I got up, got her bag, and walked with her to the bathroom.

Ashton and Bently with their mom on left and Barbie's mom on right...

What a beautiful family...I'm telling you, Bently was a trooper...she smiled and laughed the entire day! She is just darling! Unfortunately, I couldn't hold her today due to the pink eye, but I cannot wait to get my hands on her Memorial Day!

And I just love this shot of my mom with Bently...they were just laughing and playing having the best time!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Soak Up the Sun...

Matt and I competed in Soak Up the Sun (250 yard swim, 8 mile bike, and 2 mile run) this morning, and I must say...we were very pleased and considered it to be a good race! We both met the goals we had set for ourselves, which always makes for a good day of racing!

Our cheerleader, Anna Lauren...however, she was not much of a cheerleader once she spotted the playground. Many thanks goes out to Nanna (my mom) who kept up with her while we were missed seeing us race, but Anna Lauren had a great time swinging and of course, playing with my nephews, Reid and Jake!

Waiting in line to start the swim...we actually started behind each other, which is very unusual. Usually the "race" dictates where you start, but we were able to line up ourselves so we got to start together. However, we didn't stay together long...Matt is a much better swimmer and biker than me.

Matt going into the water...I love this picture with his knee shot thanks to my nephew Reid who took all the pictures for us today.

Coming out of the water...not sure what is up with the look on my face...I guess I was focusing on getting out and transitioning to the bike.

Me having a little discussion with the race volunteer...he wanted me to ride my bike all the way to the line, but does he not know I have already unclipped my bike shoes, and I need to get off before I bust my tail? I'm getting better in my shoes, but I am still pretty nervous clipping in and out / starting and stopping.
Matt going out on the run...thanks Mandy for taking a few pictures for us...we were so proud of your Matt...he had a great 1st race!

Matt running to the finish line...good job, Matthew! You always make me proud!

Me finishing the race...can you tell...I just love really is so much fun!

I'm so glad our friend Mandy thought to take this picture...Anna Lauren decided to "cheer" just a second at the end...and then she was right back to the playground!

Enough is enough...getting up at 5 AM, watching Mommy and Daddy race, playing on the playground, and playing in the was a hard morning for our little cheerleader, but she seemed to have a great time! This afternoon she had to work on her bike and then go for a is all she knows...maybe one day she will want to do a triathlon!
And do not worry about Matt...he agreed for Anna Lauren to wear her "mommy" shirt since she wore her "daddy" shirt to his last race.

Madeline Elizabeth Day...

Yesterday, we added another sweet little girl into our family...Miss Madeline Elizabeth Day!

Unfortunately we were not in Atlanta for her arrival, but we are looking forward to getting to spend some time with her in July...we have already planned our trip!

Congratulations to Michael, Kelly, and Spencer...we cannot wait to meet our precious new niece / Anna Lauren's cousin!

Think this daddy is proud of his new little girl or what?

Proud Parents ~ Michael and Kelly (Matt's sister) with Madeline...
MeMe and Pop Pop (Matt's parents) with Madeline...

Monday, May 11, 2009

A New Bike...

Matt took a bike for a "test drive" tonight...he is trying to decide if he wants to purchase another bike to ride for his triathlons rather than his tri-bike he got last year.

We haven't really seen anything like this before, but he decided to give it a try...why not?

Ok...really...have you ever seen anything so funny? One of our neighbors, who obviously has some extra money to spend to be funny, decided to have this bike built for him. It comes fully equiped with a horn, and he has some new tires, mirrors, etc. ordered to add to it to finish out his "dream" bike...and the best part, he plans to only ride it "around the block" from time to time. I'm telling you...we laughed so hard tonight...Matt could hardly drive the thing and then Taco (yes, that really is our neighbor's name) gave it a spin, and we continued is hilarous to say the least!
On the triathlon front, we are gearing up...Matt and I will both be racing at Reunion this weekend...just a baby one (250 yard swim, 8 mile bike, and 2 mile run), but we are excited. I've trained long enough...I'm ready to race!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Best Gifts...

Not that I do not "love" the cards, flowers, manicure and pedicure gift certifcate that Matt and Anna Lauren got me for Mother's Day...but...I have quickly learned the "best" gifts are the ones Anna Lauren makes herself.

On Friday, we had "Muffins with Mom" at school and then Anna Lauren gave me a present. Yes, they made these adorable door mats at school. The flowers are her hands, the butterfly is her feet, the grass is her fingers, and the sun is her fist. Anna Lauren loves to talk about the mat and tell me exactly how she made it, who helped her, etc. She is so proud of herself and wow...what a special gift I will always cherish!

I've had a wonderful Mother's Day with my family, and I hope you have as well. From time to time, I forget it is "my" day too...I just want to celebrate with my mother. I mean, am I really a mother? That is so hard to believe!

And to our mothers...thank you for all you have done for us! Matt and I would not be who we are today if it had not been our mothers who raised us the way kids should be raised today. It seems as if parents don't instill the same morals in their children that our parents did, and I appreciate the example that both of our parents set for us. I can only hope that I am the mother to Anna Lauren that my mom and Matt's mom were to the two of us. Wow...that is going to be hard to follow...makes me nervous!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

New Sleeping Arrangements...

As I've said before, God has for sure blessed us with a stong-willed child, but he also blessed us with a "sleeper" until Easter weekend. Since she was 5 weeks old, Anna Lauren has always slept. So...when she started acting silly about where she slept, we did not know what do do.
Long story short...this is where she has decided to sleep...on the floor in her room...

Friday Night Fun...

Once a year, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra plays at a park on the reservoir and it is followed by fireworks...what a fun thing to go to, right? Well, that is what we all thought until I "spoiled" the fun.

Our dear friends, Billy and Katie, have a boat so they invited us to go with them on their boat to listen to the orchestra and watch fireworks from the water on the boat. Now...I have been on their boat several times and never had any problem, but we have always just ridden around and not stopped to just hang out. Well, once we stopped to listen to the music, the boat was just a rocking, and I was getting sicker by the minute. So...needless to say, we had to go back home.

Everyone was so nice, but I felt bad for spoiling the was something I really wanted to do so I was frustrated at my motion sickness problem, but what can I do, right?

So I guess if Mommy gets back on the boat, we'll have to do what Anna Lauren wanted to do the whole time...GO FAST!

Anna Lauren eating pizza while waiting on Billy to arrive with the boat...

Anna Lauren "loved" the boat and especially helping Mr. Billy drive the boat!

Jack...we just had Anna Lauren and Jack Jack (as Anna Lauren calls him). Adam had gone to his grandparents so Billy and Katie could move into their new house this weekend. We are so ready for them to get settled so we can go visit. Anna Lauren still asks for Ady (Adam) every day. She misses that little boy so much!

Bath Time ~ A Serious Problem...

For the past two weeks, Anna Lauren has "refused" to take a bath. And when I say "refuse", I mean she makes her mind up she is not taking a bath and it does not matter what you do to her...spanking, etc....she is not going to take a bath! As I've said before, God has for sure blessed us with a "strong-willed" child...we can only begin praying now that we will be rewarded when the time comes for us to have a second child...I cannot imagine having two like her. Love her, but I don't want another one as "stong-willed". order to make it through a bath, we had to call in the recruits...

Jane Adair (next door neighbor and will be 3 tomorrow), Anna Lauren, and McCarley (neighbor who is 2 like Anna Lauren...just a few weeks younger).

Don't get me wrong...I love having the girls over to play, but this must be a phase...we cannot have company every night!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Maley Swim School...

For weeks, we have been talking to Anna Lauren about going to "swim school", and she has been so excited! And after much talking and excitment, the day finally came for her to start swim lessons, which she will have once a week for 16 weeks. I sent all her swim stuff to school so Rachel could dress her, and I could just pick her up and head to Maley's. So here goes the conversation in the car:

Mommy: Anna Lauren, you want to go swim?

Anna Lauren: YES!

Mommy: Now you know you are going to swim with new friends. The pool is only for little kids so mommy and daddy cannot swim with you.

Anna Laurn: No swim, mommy! I swim!

All was going well. We arrived at Maley's and she was dying to get out of the car and see the water. She could not wait to swim!

Anna Lauren: Get out of water...Get out of water

Mommy: Anna Lauren, you have to wait your turn to swim. They are going to get out of the water when it is your turn.

Swim Teacher: Anna is your turn to swim! She took looking back, telling mommy bye, nothing...she was gone straight to the pool.

Matt's Text Message: I'm trying to get there...stuck in traffic.

My Response to Matt: No worries...she is being a big girl...she went right in without one wimper.

However, 15 minutes into the lesson, she looses it! Matt and I move where she cannot see us...she is still kicking and screaming for mommy and daddy.

Sweet Teacher: I brought her out just a few minutes early...maybe you should put her in the bathtub in her swimsuit so she can get use to it.

Oh my...the kid loves the water! I really think she was mad that she could not go down the slide and out of boredom, she decided to scream for mommy and daddy. Sitting on the steps and kicking was not that much fun to her. And not to mention that they kids in the group beside her were getting to jump into the water...that too was way more fun that sitting on the steps.

So stay tuned, it will be interesting to see how next Tuesday goes considering our conversation after swim today.

Mommy and Daddy: Anna Lauren, did you have fun swimming?

Anna Lauren: NO!

Mommy and Daddy: Anna Lauren, do you want to go back next week?

Anna Lauren: NO!

Everyone needs a strong-willed child! They are so challenging...I mean fun!