Sunday, March 28, 2010

Egg Hunt #1 & Small Victories

Lee had his first of 3 egg hunts for the week this afternoon at church. The kids were divided up by age groups and then turned loose to find the eggs.
Lee is waiting in line for the signal to GO!
Then it was time for a craft.
Now for my victory stories...Lee has been shy almost from birth. He is pretty reserved around new people and even has acted shy to the point of embarrassing us around people he knows well. Going to preschool has helped some this year, but it depends on each situation as to how he will react. This morning at church, he spoke to Nam's friend, Mrs. Susan, without hiding behind my legs or under a table! I was so thankful for this small step in the right direction. Then at the egg hunt, Mrs. Ann came and asked him to go with her for a PICTURE, and he gladly abandoned me at the craft table to go with her. Of course, I'm convinced he would follow her to the moon if she asked. He adores her. But the point is, he does not like posing for a picture or leaving Matt and me in a group setting. He did both without batting an eye. Victory #2! Matt and I were visiting with friends when it was time for the snack. Mrs. Rachel came over to Lee and asked if he would like to go with her and choose his snack. He knows her from church but not that well. I couldn't believe my eyes when he grabbed her hand and went skipping off with her. I stood back and watched from a distance to see how long it would take him to look panicked and start looking for us. It never happened. I was able to snap a couple of pictures of him with her without him even noticing me.

He chatted with her and was completely at ease. You can tell by these couple of pictures that he was having a blast. She is a sweetheart and gave him her full attention. Finally, the last victory needs some back story. A couple of years ago, our Children's Director at church, Mrs. Angela, called on Lee during her children's church message to help her with a project. It surprised and embarrassed him, and he came running back to us in our pew. The congregation laughed, which made it even worse. Ever since then, he has been satisfied to listen to Mrs. Angela's message from our pew. We have never forced him to go back down front, but on a few occasions, he has worked up the nerve to go on his own. Mrs. Angela noticed that he quit coming and has worked on getting back in his good graces ever since. She is easily in the top 10 kindest and most patient people on the planet, and she has always made a point of speaking to Lee when she sees him. He quickly hides behind us when he sees her coming. Luckily, she also has a great sense of humor. Anyway, as we were leaving the egg hunt today, she came over and spoke to him, and he talked back to her! We didn't make a big deal out of it, but it was indeed a big deal to us!
What a great day we had beginning to celebrate the most wonderful week in history. Lee is full of questions, and we are having a great time sharing the most beautiful story of love ever told with him. There is a whole post on this coming soon. We are just so thankful for "His gift that is too wonderful for words."

Happy Anniversary to us!

Our anniversary is a month away, but we thought we might be a little busy then, so we decided to celebrate early. Our very favorite restaurant is the Whaler's Catch in Paducah, so we made our annual trek there this weekend. (It's a bit pricey, so that's why we have made it our anniversary tradition.) If you love seafood, you MUST visit this place. It is downtown on the river, and it has such a nice, cozy, romantic atmosphere. There is a 2 story balcony that you can sit on to eat outside. I love to eat outside, but Matt is not really a fan of it. It was such a beautiful spring day that I was going to insist we sit out there this one time. However, when we got there, it was a lot windier on the river than it was when we left home. I didn't think that would make for an enjoyable meal, so we stayed inside. The food and service were impeccable as usual. We strolled down by the river and watched the boats and enjoyed our leisurely afternoon. Instead of individual gifts this year, we decided to invest in a new video camera, which we have been needing for a long time! It was the perfect afternoon spent with my favorite people! And I even wore flip flops for the first time this year, which was just the icing on my cake.

SO spoiled!

Perhaps Lee's favorite part of being the big brother is all the presents attached to his new role. In the past couple of weeks, we have come home numerous times to find a package waiting for us. Most of the time, the gift inside is for Wade, but there have been several times that there was also a gift included for Lee. Lee gets to open Wade's gifts and thoroughly enjoys that, but when there is something with his name on it, he goes bananas!

This was on Friday. I had read the card in advance and knew there was something waiting for Lee too.
I gave him the gift for Wade first, which he promptly opened and threw to the side, and he started tearing into the second gift, which he knew was for him. He might be getting a tad spoiled! Thanks to MeLeah for the wonderful box of goodies you sent to my boys. You could not have sent anything more perfect for them!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Favorite Mistakes

I know we should correct him, but some of the words that Lee says wrong are just too cute and/or funny to correct just yet. Here are some favorites:

Lowerd(2 syllables)=Lord
Cwar-la=Clara (not sure if he still says it this way, but it used to be SO cute!)
eye-ron (the only way I know to spell it the way he says it)=iron
As I was typing this, I was asking him to say a few of these so I could put them down the way he says them, and he said, "Mom, what's wrong with your memory?"

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's Official!

We have a T-ball player in our family! Lee had his first practice this week, and luckily the weather cooperated long enough for the boys to get together.
Lee loved suiting up in all his new gear.
His first rotation was running the bases. He loved that!
His next rotation was fielding the ball and throwing it back to his coach. I thought he'd be afraid of the ball, but he wasn't. He thought it was great. He and a couple of other boys tackled each other on a number of occasions trying to be the first to get the ball. Maybe next week, we'll work on not tackling our teammates.
His last rotation was batting, his favorite! We do not have a tee, so this was his first time to practice hitting the ball off of one. He did pretty well. His coach said they would pitch to them after a few games. I know it's early, but he seems to bat better when the ball is thrown to him.
He had the time of his life and was not shy at all, like I expected.
I can't wait to see what he learns next week.
I promise not to inundate you with a massive amount of pictures from PRACTICE each week, but this was the first. I didn't want to miss a thing.
And he was so darn cute!
I just couldn't help myself.
Let the games begin!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fun Weekend

Our forsythia bush is in full bloom. When it first turns yellow, it is so vibrant that it almost hurts your eyes. I really wanted Lee's picture in front of it Sunday before church, but it was raining. So we had to settle for a picture through the door. I might can persuade him to take more this week if the weather cooperates.
On Saturday, we celebrated Hayes's 9th birthday! Does everyone remember that precious month-old baby at our wedding? Well, he has grown up right before our eyes!
It was a gorgeous day, so we headed outside after the party for some fun in the sun. Paul, Lee and Hayes took turns batting. They are all playing baseball this spring, so we'll be spending LOTS of time at McNeill Park.
While the boys were batting, Hope went off to do her own thing. When we found her moments later, she was sitting patiently in her car waiting for someone to come along and push her. Luckily, she had lots of willing participants.
So, the grown-ups strolled with Hope in the car, while the 4 older kids rode their bikes down the driveway.
The Tusas left on Sunday for vacation, and it was quite an ordeal to separate Lee, Paul and Hope. Lee kept hounding Hope for "one more" hug. Then he and Paul melted into a pool of tears when it was time to go. They were holding hands and begging us not to take them. Paul was crying wanting to take Lee with them, and Lee was crying and wanting Paul to stay. It was quite the funny scene. On Monday at school, their teacher told the kids that Paul was on vacation "somewhere it's always hot." One kid guessed the beach, and Lee chimed in, "No, he's in Costa Rica!"

Donuts with Dad

On Friday, I had the privilege of being a part of a special program at Lee's preschool called Donuts with Dads. Three of the moms were asked to set up and help serve the kids and dads, and it was one of the highlights of the year to me.
These dads and granddads had a FEAST!
When the kids saw their dads come in, they had a "better than Christmas morning" reaction. I guess most of the kids' moms are typically the more involved parent for school functions, so when only the dads got to be a part of their day, it was so exciting to them. I have to admit that I was moved to tears at their reactions. And just watching the dads and how proud they looked to be there was more than I could handle.

Mrs. Angie was her normal, brilliant self and read a Bible story on the importance of Dads, tied in the story of St. Joseph, and offered a very moving prayer for the dads and kids. I was barely holding it together at this point. It was precious. Then the kids sang a song to their dads and asked a blessing for their food. One by one, Mrs. Angie called the kids up to get the goods that they made for their dads, and then each kid went to their dad. They were SO proud of their art, and the dads were pretty proud too. I saw several wiping their eyes.
Lee could barely wait for his turn to run to his daddy.
This melted my heart completely.....
Enough of the mush...bring on the food! These guys knew how to eat!
Thank you, Daddy, for making Lee's entire day with your presence and for making this Mommy's heart nearly burst with love for you!

Wade at 38 Weeks

It is still very surreal to me that we are only 2 weeks away from welcoming our sweet, baby boy. The months have really flown this time. This week, he weighs about 8 pounds and is around 20 1/2 inches long. At my doctor's appointment today, we confirmed the date of April 5th and 7:30 for his time of arrival. Lee went with me, and Dr. Kimberlin told him that he was the first person to ever give him a spanking. Lee looked at me like he didn't believe him. Then, he said he would be giving Wade a swat on the bottom in 2 weeks too, and Lee's eyes got as wide as half dollars. He gave me a look that said, "Are you really going to let this man spank our baby?" Finally, Dr. K. laughed and explained why he swats a new baby's bottom. Lee still didn't look like he bought it or liked it. Everything was the same as last week...he is measuring a little ahead, steady heart rate in the 140's and very active. Lee felt him hiccuping for the first time this week and thought it was hilarous. He is still talking/yelling at him and is getting very excited about the sleepovers we have planned for him while we're at the hospital. I feel great and am enjoying every last second of having him all to myself.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Oh How I Love Lee; Let Me Count the Ways!

Lee has been so funny lately that it has been hard to keep up with the many stories we wanted to share. One of my favorites was the other night when Matt sent him to the recycling can with some trash. He came back and said, "Dad, we just made the Earth happy."

Matt and I have been wondering lately if Wade will look and act like Lee and have some of our favorite traits of Lee's. We love Lee's laugh, and the more tickled he gets, the harder we laugh. I love how his cheeks get pink when he laughs and how the corners of his eyes curl up when he laughs. I hope Wade has fluttery eyelashes that curl just the perfect amount like Lee's and Matt's. I hope he has a dimple like Lee's that is really only visible when he smiles or laughs big. I love Lee's hands that look so small and dainty from a distance, but they feel so big when I'm holding them. I love how loving he is and grateful when we do little things for him. I love that he loves being outside whether it's hot or cold and that he can always find things to do while we're out.

I love that Lee still loves to color as much as he did a couple of years ago. We color or paint something every day. His attention to detail amazes me. The newspaper is sponsoring a coloring contest for Easter, and Lee was eager to participate. The picture that was appropriate for his age had 2 objects to color. He colored it beautifully and then added a sun, grass and more flowers. He wanted to color the other pictures "just for fun" and they were incredible. I really wanted to enter those instead of the one that was for his age category. He might just be an artist when he grows up!

Another new favorite activity is working word searches. It's hard to find ones that are age appropriate though. Even the one above was in a preschool workbook, but it was very challenging for him. I love how he isn't afraid to try new things and the look on his face when he masters something new. Yesterday at school, there was a new poster on the wall about Dinosaurs. It caught his attention immediately, and he started reading it aloud. I was working across the room, but I noticed the room had gotten quiet. I turned around to see his teachers staring at him in disbelief. They didn't know that he could read and were amazed. They kept asking me why I hadn't told them the news, but honestly, Lee can be so shy that even if I had told them weeks ago that he was reading, he might not have wanted to prove it to them. So, I knew eventually they would find out on their own, when he was ready to share it. During the next part of their day, they had Lee come in front of the class and read to them, which he was thrilled to do. My precious boy never ceases to amaze me. He can be SO shy that it's embarrassing sometimes, and then when I think he should be shy, he is an open book.

I heard a commotion in Wade's room yesterday and peeked around the corner to see that Lee had moved the step stool up to Wade's bed and was winding the mobile and playing with all the goodies he got this weekend. I snuck away to get the camera, and when I came back, he was dangling over the rail. Only his feet were visible. I wish I had kept my composure and snapped a picture of that scene before I went to rescue him. It was funny only after his feet were planted back on solid ground. He had a look that was a cross between being scared and thinking he was in trouble.

Note to self: Hide step stool before Wade arrives!

This was right after the rescue. He still looks relieved.

He was very intrigued by the boppy pillow. He put it around his waist and said it made him feel like dancing.

We bought a bat and balls over the weekend to get Lee ready for t-ball, but we couldn't find a helmet. While he was at school yesterday, I finally found one for him. When we came in the door from school, I had the helmet placed where it would be the first thing he saw. I had prepped him that there would be a surprise waiting for him inside. He raced in the door and literally stepped right over it without noticing it. He went into the kitchen and spotted our birthday gifts for Hayes. I was still by the door waiting for him to come back, when I heard him say, "Oh Mommy! This is the best surprise ever!" Then he came running in with Hayes's gift. I told him it was for Hayes and showed him the real surprise. He was still excited, but it would have been a much bigger deal without the competition.
I can not put into words how completely I am enjoying this stage in Lee's life. I can't tell you the last time he truly got into trouble that resulted in a spanking or a timeout. He is so easy going and funny and willing to learn and do anything. He is independent enough that he can play alone for long periods of time while I do other things, but he is not afraid to cuddle with us or love on us in front of others. I say it all the time, but truly, I want to just freeze time and make this stage last forever!

Weekend 'O Baby!

We had such a fun weekend that started with a baby shower for Wade.

Here are the hostesses with me. I am SO lucky to have them in my life. They are each unique, and I love them for different reasons. They each have girls that I'm crazy about and love like my own. They spoiled Wade with a painted canvas for his room, a baby album, and the cutest monogrammed baby shoes ever. I had such a good time hanging out with them, and Wade got SO many cute things. It took Lee and me all afternoon on Monday to put everything away.
Here's the precious baby album I got from the hostesses. I have already started filling it out and plan to take it to the hospital with us.
Aunt Subo got him this adorable gown with his name on it. It is already packed for the hospital.
Nam got him this baseball outfit to wear to Lee's t-ball games. She knows how I like to dress my kids in theme-ha! It is precious, and Matt and I plan to take him to some Diamond Jaxx games too, so it will be worn a lot!
Here are the hostesses' girls with me minus Katie. Counter-clockwise from left are Landry, Pearl, Maura and Mary Raye. They helped to make the day so much fun!
On Sunday, it was time to shower baby Caroline, Wade's future bride. Her mom is one of my oldest friends, MeLeah. I had the best time shopping for her. We got her this white, smocked dress, monogrammed shoes, and a book. Caroline will be here about 6 weeks after Wade, and I can't wait!
This is Samuel, Laura Kay's newest addition. He was the happiest little guy and got passed around the entire shower and never minded. He has eye lashes that are every girls' dream!
This is Michele, an even older friend, and her precious, smiley boy, Brandt. I love Michele's taste in clothes for B. He is always dressed like a little model when I see him.

Here we are with our kiddos, and here are the stories of how I came to know these incredible women. Michele and I sat next to each other in FIRST grade, and I had to rescue her after she got her pencil stuck in her hair. (She was a twirler.) We have been friends ever since. She is married to Robert, who also graduated with us, mother to Brandt, teaches 5th grade, and lives in Union City. She is easily in the top 5 funniest people I know. Just seeing her makes me laugh, because I know it won't be long before she is cracking me up. She is also responsible for getting me hooked on going to the Capitol Theatre for plays. She has been in numerous musicals, and I'm anxiously awaiting her next performance! Next is MeLeah, who came into my life in THIRD grade after her dad was transferred to Goodyear in Union City. We became instant friends and have been ever since. She is married to Wes, who we went to HS with us and is from Hornbeak-MAJOR bonus points! They live in Arlington, and MeLeah teaches HS physics. MeLeah and I had sleepovers with each other nearly every weekend when we were little. She has the absolute sweetest parents and brother, and going to her house stands out as some of my very favorite memories as a little girl. Finally, there is Laura Kay, who I met our freshman year of HS. She is an RN, mother to MariKate and Samuel, and is married to Matt, who I have known since Kindergarten. She is a ray of sunshine, and so are her children. So, there you have it. These gals are a huge part of me, and I love them SO much.
I love how Lee wrapped himself around my leg. So sweet!
Here we are with MeLeah and Caroline. I think it's a wonderful bonus that Caroline's last name is Henson, so she won't have to change her monogram when she marries Wade. Now, if I could just convince her Mommy that UTM is their college of choice and not the University of Memphis, we'd be all set! I had so much fun seeing everyone again and showering Caroline. She is going to have to be changed 3 times a day to wear all of the precious clothes she got there.
Marikate was reading to Brandt. You can tell that she is such a good big sister.

37 Weeks and Right on Schedule

This week Wade weighs about 7 1/2 pounds and 20 inches long. This bucket of toys weighs 7 1/2 pounds, but it's obviously much bigger around than Wade. It was still funny to see Lee try to hold it.
Look who is officially ready to go back to Disney World! We didn't know his name when we were there in December, so we didn't have his ears monogrammed. But now he's ready!

The big news this week is that Wade is considered full term and could be born any time. However, I went to the doctor this morning, and he is right on schedule to be born at 39 weeks. Dr. K said there is virtually no way he will come early. We even scheduled a time today for the 5th. Unless there is an emergency that comes before us, Wade will be born around 7:30 AM. It feels good to have a plan. There isn't a whole lot else to report this week. He is still just as active as ever and is just packing on the pounds waiting to enter the world.