Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Road Trip

I just sent Travis and Grandpa on their first road trip together. No mom and dad allowed!  They are headed up to California where Grandpa also lives.  I think they are going to have an awesome time!  I told Travis he was going to remember this trip for the rest of his life.  He was feeling some anxiety this morning. Mostly he was upset that Daryle had already left for work (he left at 5:15 this morning) and he couldn't say goodbye. However I know that they did say their good byes last night plus they went to the baseball game together.  Here he is with his bags packed, ready to get in the car!
Here are Grandpa and Travis all packed up and ready to go!
Connor wanted to say good bye too.  (I don't think Connor has realized that he won't see Travis for a week yet! I wonder how long until he starts asking for him!)
Good bye!!!!!!! 
For those of you wondering... no, I did not shed any tears! Probably because I know that Connor and I will head up there on a plane next Tuesday. I will miss him terribly but I know Connor will keep me just as busy! I had to laugh when I came inside.  Travis wanted some milk with his breakfast this morning. He scoffed when I only filled his up half way. I reminded him that he never finishes his milk (and that he leaves it on the counter to spoil) and that if he wanted more I can always give him more.  I had to laugh when I saw this cup of milk in the fridge just a few minutes ago! I can't believe he didn't just leave it on the counter, he is turning into such a great boy!!!  (Seeing this cup did bring a small tear to my eye!)
I wonder how many more things I will find around the house over the next week??  He may not be here physically but something tells me we will not stop thinking about him!!
Oh man.. I wondered why it was so quiet... just found Connor covering his legs with markers!! Ahh!! I can tell there will be no rest for me!! LOL!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lazy Summer Days

This week Travis has been going to baseball camp in the mornings.  Since it is so hot out right now we have been taking it easy in the afternoons.  This leaves us time for LOTS of photo opportunities!  Here are my boys before they went to the Dbacks game on Sunday. They had so much fun!
I have been letting the boys play with the hose in the evenings since we don't have a pool.  My intentions were to get some water on our dying grass.  Last night I went to check on them and they decided to make "a bathtub" in the dirt.  Do these two look "innocent" or what??!!
"Mom, what is the problem??  We're just hanging out in the mud. We ARE boys you know!"
"Hmmm, can I get that bird from here??"
I recently cleaned out the bedroom closets.  Evidently now Travis can reach the old Halloween costumes. I am glad to see them get some use!  The boys wanted to "sword fight" with these plastic bats.  As you can see from the helmet and gloves Travis was preparing to ease the pain from his little brother!  I was cracking up. I had to run for the camera. How could be be afraid of this little guy??  lol  (Even though he is little he packs quite a punch!)
Connor is "the police"! Watch out, he likes to give out tickets!
Here he is in his police car.
This was so ridiculous I had to get a picture.  I figure I can use it at some point in the future for bribery, payback or whatever!!
After the sword fight they needed an ice cream break. You can always use one of those, especially when it is 114 degrees outside!
Later on Travis decided to put his old police costume on. As you can see he has grown. (Somebody needs to tell Travis!  LOL) Kinda reminds me of the Incredible Hulk when he breaks through his clothes....
Yes, we were getting silly by this point.  Travis wanted to see how high he could jump so he wanted me to take pictures of him doing this.  He actually can jump pretty high!
 Connor wanted in on the action... oops!  You jumped too high sweetheart!
This is the perfect picture to show you just how my days raising two boys feels sometimes! Crazy, blurry, but lots of fun!
I just love these two guys so very, very much. We have our moments... time outs, screaming, yelling, arguing, hitting (boys do this!), while I do lots of redirecting... but then we have the sweet, loving, kind, sharing, caring, hugging moments and then it all seems so "normal". Whatever normal is anyway!     
I have to say I am really enjoying my summer this year.  It has been a few years since we have had a summer just to kick back and relax. Three summers ago I was starting the mountains of paperwork for the adoption. Two summers ago we went to Russia and brought Connor home. That summer and last summer I also was taking summer classes for my Master's degree.  Lots of adjusting was going on the last two years. I think it took us a year and a half to finally feel settled and adjusted as a family.  (Most of this was Travis adjusting... Connor had no issues whatsoever.)  Last summer was ok, but we were dealing with a lot of behavior issues with Travis. After getting some counseling we were all able to get through it and move along.  Finally, this summer I feel like a  mom of two very active, very energetic little boys. Connor is potty trained which means no more diaper bags.  I feel happy and sad about this all at the same time.  Connor is napping a little less and we aren't on as strict of a schedule this year.  We can go where we want and do what we want.  A whole new world is opening up to Connor and he is having a blast!  He has realized he has been missing things... and now he is old enough to participate.  Life is good.
Not sure if you notice or not, but Connor's birthmark is getting much lighter.  He is looking different to me around his eyes.  Gosh are his eyes beautiful! Actually, I know I am biased, but both of my boys are just so HANDSOME!!  They already have girls chasing after them ... I am still considering locking them up during those teenage years... lol! If anything it would be to keep the girls safe!!! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

I'm not so sure how I got so lucky yesterday.  Our original plan was for our whole family to go to the Diamondback's game for Father's Day since Daryle already had some tickets for the game.  The night before we started talking about what time we were going to leave the house.  I started to panic when Daryle told me we needed to leave at 10 ... for a game at 1:40.  What?!  I was informed that he needed to be in the first 5,000 to get his free BBQ set from the dbacks... really??  Suddenly I started thinking about the laundry and house cleaning that didn't get done on Saturday due to attending a funeral all the way across town and then celebrating Father's Day with my dad.  I was pleasantly surprised when Daryle offered to take the boys to the game and I could stay home.  Wow. I didn't know if it was Father's Day or Mother's Day!  I love spending time with my boys, but with the way my husband attends baseball games (batting practice is a must in his book.. and you can just forget leaving early!!) I just didn't think I had the stamina in me.  I was ok with him taking the boys. I knew he could do it and he did a great job.  Everybody came home with smiles on their faces... even dad was smiling!  (And he got his BBQ set too!) They had an awesome time and I got my cleaning done AND was able to go see a movie with my mom.  Everybody was happy!
The boys got to attend the No Chew Crew Meeting before hand.  I love how Travis is being the "protective big brother" here.  Nice to see once in awhile!
Connor is finally old enough to go into the playground... called the Sandlot.  He can run around and get out his energy and we know he is safe. 
Travis and Connor also got to bat in the whiffle  ball area.  Some guys pitch balls to the kids and then they run the little bases.  Once again this was a first for Mr. Connor.  He is a good batter so he did a super job hitting the ball, and he didn't even use a tee!
Visiting with Baxter was a huge hit!  Daryle said Connor kissed his nose at least 5 times. 

They had so much fun!  I think Daryle was thankful that they both fell asleep in the car on the way home.  I am glad to know that all three of them can go to the games together and they can come home all in one piece!  LOL  Daryle said he had a wonderful Father's Day.  After all, we did cook him breakfast in bed and we went to dinner at a restaurant of his choosing. The boys made him some gifts at the Home Depot Kids Club this month and we got him a gift card.  He is a wonderful father, I am glad my boys have him! Happy Father's Day Daryle!!  We love you!!  XOXOXO

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My baby just turned 3!

Wait a minute here! Where have the last two years gone???  In some ways it seems like eons ago and in other ways it seems like yesterday.  On June 15, 2009 Connor turned one year old. It also just happened to be the day we got to pick him up from the baby home to join his forever family. What an incredible day that was! I don't think we will ever celebrate Connor's birthday without reliving some of those precious moments.  Here are some of those memories! Then we will move on to birthday #3! 
This is Connor once we arrived at our hotel and he began to settle in a bit.  He is starting to smile now!  Happy First Birthday little man!
Here we are on our car ride leaving the baby home.  Travis was on cloud nine while Connor was trying to figure out just what exactly was going on here!
And of course how can I leave out our very first family photo ever??  I know it isn't the best picture in the world, but it is our first and I think it speaks 1,000 words!  Finally, we were a family of 4!
Here is Connor celebrating birthday #2.  Happy, well adjusted and still incredibly loved by all.  Just look at that smile plastered across his face! Does this say happy or what??
Which now leads us up to birthday #3!  Since daddy had to leave for work very early in the morning I let Travis go ahead and give him one present to start out his morning. Travis had picked out a large bouncy ball and a small gift from the dollar store.  I decided those would be a perfect start to the day. As you can see from this hug, Connor LOVED his present!  It is nice to see them having more and more of these types of moments vs. the "other" moments, if you know what I mean!  (We still have plenty of those however! They just seem to be more balanced these days.)  Now that Connor is 3 they are able to play together more, which nice. (It also means the arguing can be more difficult... Connor is not always the victim anymore! He is a quick learner from his older brother!)
For months Connor has been telling me that he wants "party hats" at his birthday. I found this cute one for him, I think he liked it!  (It turned out dark, trust me, it was cute!)  Gosh he looks like such a big kid here!
Connor likes to dig, dig, dig! He got this cool wheelbarrow from his grandma in California and this shovel set from Grammy. He would have been content with this all night long!  We kept trying to get him to open a few more gifts but he kept coming back to this!
Mommy and Daddy got him his very own workshop. This has had quite a workout already this week.  (The power drill had to take a time out....  he was trying to "fix" Rock.... umm, no honey!) He has had fun hammering away and organizing all of his tools daily.
Next came the big gift of the night, his very own "jeep"!  Red Truck Grandpa had his mind made up and there was going to be no changing it! Both boys are in heaven with it and it has already been charged up more than once.  When the weather cools down (in like 4 months!) I am sure it will be getting a daily workout. It is too big for inside so outside it will stay!  I can see loads of fun in their future. =)
Connor picked out this birthday cake. I was going to make one but Travis insisted that we let him get one from the bakery. I must say it was pretty delicious!
Here I am with my boys!  Boy have we come a long way since this....
Of course we had a good moment to snap a nice picture with Grammy.  Connor was too busy playing with his toys to pose with anybody else!
Why is he looking so grown up? What happened to my baby???  Oh well, now he keeps us in stitches every day with the funny things he does and says.  He will break out into song at any given moment. He has a wide variety of musical interests.  I think the funniest things are what he says to his big brother ("Get OUTTA here Trav!"  "I need my privacy!"  "Grrr, I am Robosaurus, I breath fire and I eat junk cars!" This list goes on and on and on...  It is so hard to keep from laughing, I find myself constantly turning my head around!  Oh Connor, we sure love you! Happy Birthday Sweetie Pie!!
PS-The best part of being three is that we are now potty trained!!  Hip, hip horray!!  If you have ever potty trained a boy... well... there are extra challenges involved! So far he has only hit his face once while peeing... and I have to clean the toilet daily.... but it beats buying diapers and pull ups for sure!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Staying Busy

Where is the time going??  With two very active boys I have to keep things busy around here.  We don't have every minute of the day planned, however, the past two weeks have been jammed packed.  Every year we do swimming lessons at the same place and Travis has been doing basketball camp at our local high school. This year they fell in the exact same two weeks.  That means we have been going non-stop.  Today was our last day for both swim lessons and basketball.  Next week Travis will just have baseball camp and then the rest of our summer we can just go where the wind blows us.  I am looking forward to that!  Here are some of the highlights of our past week.
Connor loves playing with his playdough. I let him mix some of the colors, he seems to like it that way. Of course this makes Travis upset. He doesn't like his colors mixed.  He can be on the OCD side sometimes.. I have NO idea where he gets it from.  (haha! Probably me...!)  Also, Connor has decided he likes to hang out around the house without his shirt on.  Funny kid!
Travis has been having fun playing some video games between basketball camp and then swimming lessons. It has been some good down time for him.
We can't forget my "oldest son", Rock. He is hanging in there.  He loves these boys even though sometimes I think they tire him out!
Here is Travis doing one of the skills at camp.  Just look at that concentration!
Getting ready to shoot...
My iTouch has come in REALLY handy lately.  I found some applications that are easy for Connor to use and are very entertaining.  This is what he has been doing in between running away from me to use the bathroom in the gym and/or just running away from me in general. LOL All kidding aside, he actually did pretty well. It is encouraging to think I may be able to enjoy Travis' basketball games this year since the iTouch seems to be good entertainment!
Here is Travis at swimming lessons.  He keeps improving each year. Travis has come a LONG way.  When he was three and four he wouldn't even put his face in the water without having a fit. Now he has learned tons of strokes, kicks and can tread water.  
I am so proud that he finally will lay on his back and relax. I think this is the best he has done yet.  Connor is a little fishy in the water, but he hates being on his back. From what I hear this is quite typical for some kids.  Hopefully next year he will learn to relax.  Otherwise Connor is amazing with how well he can swim for his age. 
This summer it has worked out so well that grandpa has been here these past two weeks.  (Thank you, thank you grandpa!  I couldn't have done it without you!!)  After basektball camp he has taken Connor to his house for a nap. I take Travis to swim lessons and then grandpa has brought Connor to swim lessons at his time. This way I didn't have to watch him for an hour and a half before his swim lesson started. Each day he starts out here in the hot tub and of course he has to say hello to Shadow, the dog!  This child has NO FEAR. And I mean NO FEAR!!  He leaps into the air, arms sprawled out and lands face first into the water. Usually this is done into the hot tub area as I come running up just a few seconds too late.  Needless to say Connor has had  few timeouts this year during swim lessons.  I need to look into signing him up for Fear Factor. He would win for sure!
Here is Connor blowing bubbles, notice his entire head is under there. It is amazing to see how long he can hold his breath for.  He is part fish I think.
Connor even got to jump off of the diving board... into a ten foot deep pool.  Can you see the no fear in him?  Part of me is glad to be the parent who doesn't have the screaming child that is afraid of the water and the other part of me is!