Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Brought To You By The Letter P

As I started looking through our recent pictures that I wanted to share, I noticed a theme - the letter "P".  I love a good alliteration so here's to the 16th letter of the alphabet.

First up...

PARKER'S PLAYROOM

In our new house, we decided not to make our extra bedroom into a guest room.  We decided that we would get more use out of it as a playroom/office/learning area.  We call it "the playroom" and that's what Parker knows it as.  As with many areas of the house, we aren't finished and still have some tweaking to do, but here's a bit of a look at where it stands now.  It's usually a tad messy so I snapped a few pictures the other day when we had cleaned it up.
I made this fun sign for the door a few weeks ago. 



We are still deciding on decor on the wall behind the TV.  This "TV cabinet" is actually a dresser.  It was in our master bedroom in the old house, but it now hold puzzles, toys and craft supplies.  It works perfect.    


And of course we have to show the playful boy playing in his playroom.  Now you know what the sign on the door is for - lots of memory making!



Next up...
PARKER'S BATHROOM

I saw this shower curtain online earlier this year (before we moved) and I loved it so I ordered it and we've been really happy with it - the circles and the colors.
Last week, I painted the canvas above the towel bar to match the shower curtain.  It's not quite what I had it mind, but it'll work for now.  


I made this little sign especially for Parker.  There's an episode of the Bubble Guppies about Knights and how they are brave and strong. For the past several months, we often refer to a "Brave Brave Knight" when Parker's doing something that he may be concerned about, scared of or a little hesitant about - like going to therapy when he first started, sleeping in a big boy bed, getting a haircut, going to the nursery at church, etc.  He calls himself  a "Brave Knight" as well so I thought it was fitting for this to be in the bathroom. 




Moving on to...
PROMOTION
 
Last Sunday was Promotion Sunday at church.  That is when the children promote to their new Sunday school class, either by age or grade, for the new school year.  Parker moved up from the nursery to an actual 2 year old Sunday school class.  He did really well overall and we hope he loves it this year.  We will sure miss all of the sweet ladies (and gentlemen) that took care of him in the nursery.  We gave them all a little gift so they would know how much they have meant to us.    


 

PALS
Parker is really starting to enjoy stuffed animals more - and he has several of them.  He plays with them, holds them and several keep him company in bed.  One of Parker's current habits is taking a few of his furry pals in the car with him when we go places.  We usually as him, "Who do you want to take with you?" and he will go pick out 2-3 animals to ride with us. 


PUBLIC LIBRARY

Parker LOVES going to the library.  We go every single week to check out new books and movies.  Right now we are going each Thursday after therapy.  He loves to run around, play and pick out new items for the week.  A couple of weeks ago, he started wanting to sit on the bench right outside to read a book and look around.  As soon as we leave he'll say, "go sit on the bench"...so we do for a little bit and then we head home for lunch. He also loves being in charge of our library card which he is holding here in pure delight!  


PARKER IS 2 1/2!

On August 23rd, Parker was officially 2 1/2.  I feel like we were just celebrating his 2nd birthday and now we are halfway to his 3rd - my oh my! 

Here is the halfway point in his first year of life... (one of my favorite pictures EVER of him)
 
And the halfway point of his second year of life this time last summer...
He changes and grows up more each month that passes! 

He is such a fun little boy and a lover of...

Construction equipment
Tractors
Pizza
Donuts
Stuffed animals
Daniel Tiger
Shapes
Music
Jumping on the trampoline and bed
Dora the Explorer
Watermelon
Checking the mail
Lawnmowers
Blue's Clues
Bananas
Bubble Guppies
Playing outside
Bugs - grasshoppers and rolly pollies
Library
Shopping at Target and the "Supermarket"
Team Umizoomi
David & Goliath
Books
Paw Patrol
Sharks and dolphins
Thomas the Train
Play-Dough
PLAYING OUTSIDE

The weather isn't quite cooperating with our desire to be and play outside (just too hot and uncomfortable - bring on Fall), but when the weather isn't too bad, especially in the evenings, we enjoy spending family time playing in the backyard.  Poor Parker is frustrated with the heat too because it means he can't go outside as much.  We don't get many pictures of the three of us, but we took this picture on my phone a couple of weeks ago as we sat and played in the grass. 
These are PRECIOUS days! 
(you know I had to close with one more P)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Life Lately

I have been absent from the blogging world, yet again.  For the past month or so, life has been very busy - more so than usual.  All good things, but our days have been full to the brim. All our time is spent doing something.

I still desire to keep the blog updated every week or two, but life will have to slow down a bit first.  I thought until then, I would do a recap of what we have been up to for the past several weeks.  This may be picture and detail overload, but a good way to see what's been going on with us lately.

The last time I blogged, I shared our decorations for Independence Day so let's pick it up from there.

We had a great 3-day weekend celebrating the 4th!  We didn't travel or have any guests...the three of us just had a fun and long family weekend.  We did lots of playing, eating, work around the house (still working on several projects) and hit the town a little bit.  We did lots of cooking over the three days - John gave the grill a good workout and I kept the oven warm.

One morning I made my Grandpa's coffee cake for breakfast and another morning John grilled pancakes and bacon on the grill.  
We had quite a spread for our "4th of July" feast - so lots of leftovers too.  John smoked a chicken all day as well as some stuffed jalepenos.  I made roasted potatoes, green bean bundles, deviled eggs and rolls for the sides.  It was mighty tasty!  
  Our little firecracker!
This is his 3rd Independence Day ~ see how he's grown!...
Playing outside after dinner  - so thankful for the freedom to do this!

The Wednesday after the holiday weekend, my Mom (also known as Mamaw) came to visit us for almost a week.  We had a great time and really enjoyed having her here.  She of course spoiled Parker completely and helped me with things around the house.  She made us one of our favorite meals that she makes - so yummy!  We had fun shopping, playing, watching tv, eating, working on our coupon books and did lots of talking and catching up.  As usual, we got wrapped up in all of the fun and didn't take as many pictures as I should have. 

While here, she treated Parker to a morning at Build-A-Bear and Toys R Us - he loves his puppy and new toys!
Because of Parker's Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) he can be a bit defensive and overwhelmed at times (not on purpose) with people, places, environments, surroundings, sounds, textures, change, etc. until he gets more comfortable with what's going on.  With Mamaw coming, and Parker not having seen her in a few months, it took him a few days but he finally let her hold him.  It was sweet to see and such a great feeling for Mom and me both.  Here's hoping the next time will be even better as he makes improvements in his therapy. 
 

My Mom left on a Tuesday and on that Thursday, John's parents and our two nephews came for a long weekend visit.  We hadn't seen our nephews, Jacob and Isaac since January 2013 - Parker was only 11 months old.  They live in Missouri now so we don't get to see them as much as we used to...or would like to. 

Like with Mom, Parker wasn't too sure about what all was going on, especially with so much going on in a short period of time and different people being here, but he started to warm up (especially to the boys) as the days went on during their visit.  He's more used to John's parents since we lived with them for six months.  They stayed until Monday and we had a nice time with them all.  There was a good mix of playing, time outside, eating, board game playing, tv watching and visiting.  The weather was so nice all weekend!      

Due to the fact that it had been a year and a half since we had seen the boys, and not sure when we may see them again, we wanted to get a few family pictures before they left.

I cannot believe how much Jacob and Isaac have grown and changed.  Isaac was the ring bearer in our wedding (he turned 2 on our wedding day) and Jacob was the junior groomsman (he was 4).  Now they are 13 and 15 - starting the 8th and 10th grades this year - my oh my!  They are both about or taller than John and I now.   
 
I cherish this picture!  Parker's doesn't always want to cooperate for pictures (bless his heart), but he felt good enough to get this one and I love it!
 The last time these three cousins were together (January 2013)...
They left on a Monday and on Friday morning of that same week, the three of us headed to Galveston for a Family Reunion - whew, what a full July! This is the biggest group we've had in a while so it was nice to see so many people.  Parker went "swimming" in a real swimming pool for the first time and really enjoyed it.  He also saw the beach for the first time.  We didn't spend a whole lot of time there, but maybe when he's a bit older we can plan another beach visit.  We came back home on Sunday evening.  Overall, it was a great trip and fun time with the family - it was good to get out of town for a little while. 



We had to take a family picture of our feet in the sand.  John and I went to Galveston in August 2008 and took a similar picture (see below) so we needed an updated one with Parker's cute little boy feet.

For the first time in a long time (and maybe for a long time to come), my Dad and Kristin (Granny and Grandpa) had all of their grandchildren together - all nine of them (along with Hillary's husband Jake) so we had to get a picture.  Once we got them all corralled up, several people took pictures to try and get the best shot.  The quality of this one isn't the best, but you get the idea.
This little one was worn out from the full weekend - he took a good nap on the ride home. 
On the home front, we are still loving our new house and neighborhood.  We are so blessed to be where we are.  We've been here a little over 4 months and it feels good to be home.  We still have a list of things we are working on regarding the house - inside and out and we have plans for things we want to do as we have the time and money.

As I have time, I have been working on various craft projects (and have many more to do) for the house.  

I made this sign for the playroom.
 My Mom bought this "P" for us while she was here.  It was unfinished wood so I painted it last week and we hope to hang it above Parker's bed this weekend. 
I also took an idea from my pal Pinterest and re-purposed Parker's old baby gate to keep his stuffed animals behind in his closet.  I took it a step further and made a cute sign for it. 
 
I found this quote online and loved it.  I had a plain white canvas in my craft closet, so this was one of my projects one week - I would work on it as I had time. I am doing a teal and black theme in the laundry room.
Parker has been in therapy now for almost 2 months and is doing well.  He's making progress in different areas so that's great to see.  We also do some exercises with him at home.  He will continue therapy into December and then be re-tested.  He goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and every Thursday we go to the library after therapy.  He LOVES the library and gets excited for our weekly visits.  And as you can see, he likes to be in charge of our library card too.  
 
Over the past month or so, we've had a couple of what we call "Fun Family Night Out" where we will go out to eat and then we usually go to a couple of stores (usually Target, Toys R Us and/or Barnes and Noble).  We also might make a dessert or coffee stop too. 
 



Parker's really into pretending he is camping and building tents so we have been doing that from time to time.  The tents vary in size and we have used different blankets in different parts of the house.  We also set up his Thomas the Train tent some too.   
He still adores being outside - if it wasn't just so hot and uncomfortable!  We've had some nice days sprinkled throughout the summer so we've tried to enjoy those or go outside later in the evening.  Come on FALL!  
 
Parker has a new love - DONUTS!  He so enjoys a chocolate donut, especially with sprinkles.  Who could blame him?  He gets one when we go buy groceries and at church on Sunday.  As he says "Mmm, Donut".  Can you tell he enjoyed one coming home from church?
 
Just a couple of my favorite shots of this sweet son of ours.  Our days are surely full, but we are also surely filled with joy because of him. 

Wow what a month!  It was a good one though and we got to see so many of our loved ones.

I also forgot to mention that on July 1st, my best friend from high school, Carianne, and her family came to stay a night with us.  They hadn't seen the house and we hadn't seen each other in over two years.  It was such a quick visit, but it was wonderful to see them all, share a meal and catch up on everything!  They have two boys, Owen is 4 (5 in November - oh my) and baby Collin is about 3 1/2 months old.  They are both so sweet and precious.  Thank you Billett family for coming our way.  Shame on us for not taking pictures!  I guess we were so wrapped up in eating, talking, playing and baby holding.  Fun times!  

August should be a lot calmer for us.  We are glad to be staying put for a little while and doing more work on the house and enjoying our everyday life.

I love doing life with this handsome guy.  


So there you have it - that's our life...lately!

Until we meet again...
Riley