Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ladies - Did I Mention That He's Single?

This is my baby brother, Adam.



Ummm...he was just two years old yesterday so I'm not really sure what happened.

We have one of those unique sibling relationships that only seem possible when separated by a decade. After all, I changed his diapers and drove him around town in my sweet Dodge Shadow.

Precious memories.

We've always gotten along very well. My siblings and I are all close now that we are adults, however, it's always been that way with Adam. And, now that we are older, we realize that we have very similar personalities and we feel the same way about lots of things. And we understand each other in a way that other people don't always seem to get. We're just wired the same way. It's pretty cool.

Adam is also very generous. He likes to help people and that comes in handy for me because I always need some kind of assistance.

Like I said, peas in a pod.

There are all kinds of little things he's done over the years (Anna and Austin - you guys are FABULOUS too but this one is about Adam) but there is one thing that is sticking out in my cluttered mind right now. Several years ago, hurricanes really nailed Florida. Matt joined everyone else in the state at Home Depot to buy plywood to cover the windows. I remember Adam coming over that day to help Matt drill the plywood over the windows. I was so impressed with his selflessness and his willingness to do some hard work to help out my family.

So let's review: changing person's diapers = said person helping to prepare your house for massive hurricane season.

Check.

I've kind of gotten off track (crazy, I know) because the original intent of this post was to say how well Uncle Adam loves my kids.

Adam has been so sweet with the kids ever since they were first born. It's getting even better recently as the kids get older and are more fun to hang around with. I've needed some babysitting help lately and Adam has been able to pitch in since he's still in college and has a flexible schedule. The kids get so excited when they hear he is coming over because they know it means they get to watch movies!

Uncle Adam is a movie buff. A movie buff in the real way since he's majoring in film and shows an amazing amount of talent in his chosen profession.

Uncle Adam introduced the kids to Superman a few weeks ago and they loved it! Poor Adam just wants to watch the movie and eat some popcorn, but he gets bombarded with "why" questions continuously. I just smile as I walk out the door saying something like, "Welcome to my world, dude."

I came home one day to find that my son had been transformed into Superman...




And my kids had been using their Uncle as a couch...



He takes it all in stride though because it's difficult to deny these two little munchkins that so clearly adore him.



Though, I'm fairly sure he did make it through the early years without changing a single diaper on either one of them.

Nice work, bro.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A "Choice" She Finally Approves Of...

We talk about "making good choices" everysingleday at our house. It's all regarding the usual stuff that you would expect: listening to mommy and daddy, good behavior, respecting others, eating healthy food, etc., etc. and so forth and so on.

However, Abby has begun to apply the concept in a whole new way. More specifically, in showing displeasure with the choices that I make during the course of the day. Yesterday, I told Drew to stop doing something (can't even remember what it was) and she jumped in with, "Mama, that's not Drew's choice. Now stop telling him that." Translation to plain English would be, "Leave Drew alone and let him do whatever he wants."

This is why we have to talk about this stuff allthetime. It just doesn't really seem to sink in.

A few weeks ago was the real gem. She asks to wear make-up all the time and my standard reply is that she's not old enough yet. Having heard enough of this nonsense, she formed her face into an angry pout and said, "Mama, I don't like the choices you make for me."

We've got 15 years to go. It's a marathon, not a sprint, people.

This past Saturday we attended our fanciest birthday party ever. Princess Sherilyn was turning five and she invited a small group of friends to get makeovers at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Downtown Disney.

Abby was understandably thrilled. She would get to wear her princess Giselle (from Enchanted) dress, have her hair done, nails painted, and she would get to wear make-up for this one special day.

Let's all offer the Lord a handclap of praise!


They started by painting her nails...



And, then they applied the make-up...



All the while they were getting her hair just right - it took several attempts to achieve this level of perfection...



She was quite solemn throughout the whole ordeal. She wasn't unhappy, just very serious. Here, she is starting to realize that they are just about done...



When they were finished, the ladies sprinkled glitter in her hair, removed the pink cover from her dress, placed her hands "just so" and turned Abby around for her first glimpse in the mirror. Abby's face broke into a huge, satisfied smile. It was adorable.



They helped her down from the chair and she came over to me. Not even a minute later she said, "I just have to see myself again" and she ran back over to the mirror to check herself out.

She was quite pleased.




The girls had a great time comparing nail polish, lipstick choices, and generally approving of each other's overall appearance.





Abby kept twirling and posing and rushing off to look at herself in the mirror again and again.




It is official. She now wants to be a princess when she grows up. I don't know if this is better or worse than her previous answer to that question.

"Abby, what do you want to be when you grow up?"

Her answer: "Married."

Nice.



Here are the girls as the walked around Downtown Disney. They drew lots of stares and compliments and they loved every single minute of it.



And, of course, here she is with her favorite two princes.




Daddy and Drew thought Abby looked beautiful. They weren't there during the whole make-over because Drew and Sherilyn's brother, John, were given gift cards to the Lego store. They shopped for toys while the girls got all fancy schmancy and stuff. Drew racked up some serious Star Wars Lego loot. He loved it!

He's always a good sport though, and loves being Abby's prince.







It was an unbelievably fun day! Abby was totally in her element - she LOVES this princess stuff. Drew had a great time with Daddy and then they spent the afternoon together building his new Lego toys.

Like I said...fanciest birthday party ever!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

In A Tribute To Father's Everywhere, Golf Is On For Six Hours Today.



We had a nice, relaxing Father's Day at our house. We started by going to church -Matt got to sleep in while I got the kids ready. My dad was coming over for lunch along with assorted aunts and uncles and uncles-to-be. I was getting things ready (read: quickly cleaning the guest bathroom) when I heard Matt say to the kids that he was going to draw something. Curious, I popped my head in a few minutes later to find this on the kid's easel -




I think Drew's love of Star Wars has been well-documented. However, he's only seen Episodes 4-6. It is with much anticipation that he is expecting the first three movies from Grams for his birthday.

Grams, do not fail him now.

He got a new toy yesterday from one of the first movies (Anakin's ship, I think) so I guess Matt wanted to make sure that Drew FULLY understood how the storyline goes. I think Drew's got it now...



Don't judge us for the margarita on the table with the Star Wars toys - it's Father's Day! Celebration! Woohoo!

Even Grandaddy (my dad) joined in on the fun. I'm lovin' him in this Darth Vader mask.




And, Abby is scared of Vader and has refused to put this mask on until today. After seeing Grandaddy and Kyle wear it though, she just couldn't resist!



Ok, back to Father's Day. We celebrated with Matt's dad last night by going out to dinner. I got a little choked up at dinner as I spoke some very nice words about a very generous man.

Then we came back to our house and I kicked his butt in poker.

I like to really personalize my gifts.

My dad came over for lunch today. There was lots of food, enough cards to ensure Hallmark makes a sweet profit this year, and plenty of books on tape to keep him busy as he commutes to work this summer.

Oh, and some sweet grandkids who just love their Grandaddy.





The kids were so excited about today. They couldn't wait to go in and wake Matt this morning to tell him "Happy Father's Day" and smother him with hugs and kisses.

And, rightly so.

They have a good daddy.

The best daddy.

One who plays with them, provides for them, teaches them, comforts them, prays for them, and most of all - loves them more than they will ever know.




I think it's clear that the feelings are mutual.

Happy Father's Day, honey!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Episode VII - The Quest To Survive Star Wars Mania

I'll just let Drew handle the introduction today...




So, that's about it. We were headed to MGM Studios (or Hollywood Studios if you want to be all corporate about it) for Star Wars Day. We got the advertisement for it in the mail a little over a month ago. It was right about the time that Drew had really decided he was going to make Star Wars his new "thing." And like any good mama, I make sure he's got plenty going on with his current interests.

We started with Blue's Clues, then Thomas the Train, next was Buzz Lightyear, then Pirates, and now it's Star Wars time all the time. There were other little interests in there over the years, but I think those have been the main ones. We have all the toys for each, have been to a Blue's Clues live show, spent a Day Out with Thomas (twice), have a macked out train table, and more Buzz Lightyear and pirate toys than should be allowed in one home.

And, Abby has not been excluded. She just usually goes along with Drew.

She's cool like that.

But, don't be fooled. The Disney princesses could come live at our house and have enough wardrobe changes and accessories for a lifetime.

Matt would tell you I have a consumerism problem.

I just love watching my kids get super-excited about things they love.

Anyway, back to Star Wars. I was thrilled when I heard about the Star Wars weekends that MGM was hosting throughout the month of June. We had to show up on the first day because it also happened to be the last day before our passes get blacked out for the summer. Matt took the day off from work, Drew missed his last day of school, and we headed off to meet all of our favorite characters.




Abby was a little afraid of Darth Vader so Daddy helped her out.



Abby just loves that Daddy of hers-



Here are my Luke and Leia with the "real" Luke and Leia...





Oh, Abby so loved the attention she got from these two. She really wanted her hair to look like Princess Leia and they both told her how much they loved it. There is no doubt in my mind that she thinks these are the very same people that she sees in the movies. So sweet!





Drew was all about showing everyone his Jedi light saber. The force was with him and he wanted everyone to know it.





And, the day would not have been complete without meeting all the Disney characters dressed up as the Star Wars people. Abby twirled with Minnie and was brave enough to give Goofy a big hug even though he was dressed like Darth Vader.



Drew told them he had to protect Princess Leia Minnie from Stormtrooper Donald and Darth Goofy and they all got into it and played along with him - it was awesome!



Now, we have a 2 month break from Disney.

Whatever will we do?!