Saturday, September 26, 2009

Our Eagle Took Flight!

The Eagle is the mascot of Kirsten's school... and they take their mascot very seriously. The children are constantly challenged to "soar". Well, our little eagle took that very literally today! Kirsten participated in the Young Eagles program at Albert Whitted Airport today.

My friend Terry is a pretty amazing person who runs the historical society, and pretty much everything else, at the airport organizes the event. It is an incredible opportunity for children, or future pilots, ages 8-18 to take a FREE flight in a small plane or helicopter along the coast of Tampa Bay. The children learn about the aircraft, receive their own flight log book, and some even get to take the controls during the flight! (Terry was SO nice to send Kirsten up in one of the first planes so she didn't have to wait in the 90+ degree heat for her turn. She was in the back of an airplane with another little girl, whose brother got the honors of sitting up front since he was the oldest. Which was perfect... we have to save SOME of the thrill for next time ;)

"Mommy did you know you can stand on the wing of the plane??"

...And this next one is the money shot (great photography Brian!)

Needless to say Kirsten was thrilled and it was an experience of a lifetime. I, however, was very disappointed that I missed the entire thing. I've been sick for well over a week, and was finally feeling better today. Unfortunately Matt and Danny picked up where I left off. It's great that the Eagles program was free since we were at the pediatrician's office blowing big bucks on MORE ear infections. 4 infected ears, 2 infected sinus passages, 2 infected throats, and a wheezing chest. POOR boys. (But how great did Brian do with the pictures? Thanks babe :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Best Friend

As I've mentioned in a couple of other posts, our mornings are a little crazy... and by "a little" I mean A LOT... like more than you can imagine...

Our preschool drop-off is going a bit better. Ms. Dorothy figured out that Matt loves to play with trucks first thing in the morning. She has the "special trucks" set up before we arrive and shows them to Matt right away... she has won that boy over like you wouldn't believe! This week he went into class without a single tear, and today he actually ran to Ms. Dorothy with a smile and a hug :) So, Danny has taken over clinging to me and crying in the mornings.

This morning as he snuggled into my arms he kept saying "Mama, I want you,". I'd say "I want you too buddy... that's why I'll be back as soon as school is over. I always come back!" to which he would say, "Mama, I WANT you". After a few rounds I said "I'll be back you have fun with your friends,". He won this round when he answered, "You me friend Mama. You me friend. I play with Mamma. I want you... you me friend."

Need I say more? Precious and heartbreaking. I think those are two of the words I use the most when I describe motherhood. Sweet boy, I always "want you" more than you can imagine. I love you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Why Didn't Someone Tell Me This A Year Ago?

Haircuts have been traumatic for Team Taylor. Seriously. Trauma is the only word I can use to describe it. You say "snip" around my boys and they instantly scream, cover their heads, and yell "OUCH!" (yes... my children are all dramatic... I'm expecting to be thanked in an Emmy acceptance speech in about 20 years...)

So, for anyone who has not yet figured out the steps to a successful hair cut with a toddler (or muliple toddlers!) I'll spell it out for you.

Step 1: Take your shaggy haired child(ren) to a very sweet, animated hair-stylist. There is a reason people pay professionals to do this. Learn from my mistakes, do not attempt to cut your child's hair yourself. It's not worth it. Really, it's not. (AND when she is on vacation... don't think you can go to someone else just because they work in the same establishment. If you ask if they are comfortable with toddlers and they pause LEAVE. Take it from me. Smile and LEAVE.)

Step 2: Let them put stickers anywhere they want too... Seriously ANYWHERE. Their legs? How creative! Daddy's face? What a great idea!

Step 3: Pack your purse with M&M's... a lot of M&M's! I'm not a mom who gives my kids a lot of candy (that's what grandparents are for!)... but this is a situation that calls for it. Pack an arsenal and don't be afraid to use it!

Step 4: Take the family out to celebrate and enjoy looking at your little boys (that now look like little boys again!)

(Note: No tears were shed and no toddlers were hurt during these haircuts... That's what I call success!)

My Squishy One...

Okay... technically he's not my squishy one... but I could not love my little nephew anymore if he was mine! ... I've said it before and I'll say it again I LOVE a chubby baby!

Just LOOK at those rolls! ... He even has baby cankles! LOVE it!

Even his ARMS have rolls!

My babies never had rolls... you can count the ribs on all 3 of my children... but, oh, my Lukie... he totally fulfills my "squishy" needs.
Pure delight.

Labor Day Weekend

Well, I'm a bit behind on my blogging... working full-time sure cuts into my blogging time (actually my "get absolutely anything accomplished time"... but I digress).

Last weekend Kirsten was in Illinois with Brian's family. I'm not quite sure why I ever agreed too it (okay, okay, it was an informed decision... I wanted her to have the chance to see her great-grandfather, visit with her great aunts and spend time with Tyler... but I didn't like it!). I just hate when Kirsten is away. I hate it. Everything is too quiet. It's sad how I always think I want things quiet... until they are... then it just feels empty. But she had a wonderful time, as everyone knew she would, and we found ways to fill the hours while she was gone.

Luckily, Maureen, Ryan, and Luke came into town to help liven things up for us! We spent Sunday at the beach... and while it was hotter than the surface of the sun, it was a beautiful day, and we had a great time!

I love this picture of Maureen and Luke!

Mimi and Matt had an awesome time in the water together. They were laughing so hard and squealing so loud that Danny (who is much more hesitant in the water) decided to join them. They were sitting in the exact place where the waves were breaking to maximize their excitement :) Grandpa had to jump in to help stabilize them for a photo...

...There we go!

I think it's funny to see the laughing faces of Mimi and Matt in this picture... Danny... not so much. About one second after this was taken, he decided they were crazy and demanded that I pick him up and go build sandcastles with him :)

Maureen and Luke in another picture I love. I always think that pictures of mom's feeding and rocking babies on the beach are very sweet... they look so relaxed... so much the OPPOSITE of how I felt when my babies were that age :)

We all spend Monday grilling out and swimming in Mimi and Grandpa's pool. It was an awesome spread! Kirsten would be very sad to know that she missed steak and shrimp... two of her favorite foods that her mother NEVER serves her!

I love, love, love this picture of Matt loving Luke. Love it.

We had a great weekend and when it was over my sweet girl came back home to me where she belongs :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Choo Choo Love

My friend Tiffany and her little ones Dylan and Isaac gave the boys an amazing set of trains for their second birthday. They've enjoyed them from day 1... but recently the love of trains has reached monumental proportions. Both boys enjoy playing with their "choo choos" but my man Matt loves those trains! And I love the way he comes and takes me by the hand to lead me to the basket of train toys saying "choo choos Mama". There is nothing like being "asked" to play by your child... you might not feel like it, you might be exhausted and cranky, building yet another train track might be the last thing in the world you want to do... but when you see the dimples of your child as he takes you by the hand to play... you feel awesome.

I love those trains even more then Matt does. I love watching him grow and play, I love that he is becoming interested in something specific, and I love that he loves playing with me.

(Notice Matt, all full of dimples in the photo, and Danny... planning his destruction... some things never change.)

Grammy's Birthday... And Kirsten's New Grill

Grammy's birthday fell on an exciting date this year... 09-09-09... pretty awesome right? Too bad she was way to sick to celebrate. Friday night she decided she was up for a dinner with Team Taylor (crazy woman). We met up at our favorite family-style pizza restaurant. The kiddos had each made Grammy (aka Mimi) a card, and brought her some roses. Kirsten chose a dozen multi-colored roses and the boys each had a single rose to give her... sweet right? It should have been a precious presentation as we entered the restaurant... and it was... but not quite in the way I'd imagined.

Kirsten gave Grammy her flowers, Danny followed and (with some encouragement) gave Grammy his flower. Matt was in a bit of a mood (very unlike him... he's usually the "easy" child) and needed a lot of guidance. When he finally reached the table he cheered up, I told him, "Give Mimi her flower", and he ripped the blossom off the top of the rose and handed it to Mimi with proud dimples. It was so innocent and so sweet... such an adorable way to ruin her flower :)

This was the only picture I got of Grammy... I had a great picture of Grammy and all 3 little ones staged. Unfortunately I hit the wrong button on the camera and took a video instead. I should figure out how to upload the stupid thing... It starts as an adorable staged photo... then my mom screams and gasps, and the camera shoots up to the ceiling. That was the instant that Matt took a ball point pen to the eye.

...Actually it was just under his eye... but it was JUST under his eye. There was some blood... we couldn't tell where he was hit (by Danny who was "writing"). I grabbed him, ran for the bathroom, and yelled back for Brian. The 3 of us spent some time in the Ladies room and emerged with a bloody, black-eyed little Matt, but (thank God!) his eyeball was fine. It's always an adventure with Team Taylor!

We also enjoyed lots of smiles from Kirsten's new "grill" that night. Kirsten has had 5 teeth pulled in the past 3 weeks and had spacers installed in her mouth. As she's been losing teeth, over the past few years, the new teeth have been fighting for space. Recently, Brian said she had "shark teeth" because she was getting 2 rows... there was not enough room for the new teeth coming in, so her "grill" was becoming quite interesting.

People always tell us how beautiful Kirsten is (I hope that doesn't sound obnoxious in print... but it's true)... my joking answer is always that nature didn't prepare me for such a beautiful daughter... my genes were supposed to create a simple, average, pretty child... not a true beauty (it's a bit of a self-deprecating joke that again may not "read right" but it makes people laugh) ANYWAY... when Kirsten was 3 she had a very sweet ENT doctor that I used to make this joke with. His answer was always that I should "pray for braces and non-scarring acne". He said that would be the only way for us to make it though the teenage years. It was really funny. The way these teeth are coming in, I'm thinking the orthodontia may be enough to do the trick... I may not even need to pray for other adolescent awkwardnesses :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

"Nanny, Nanny, Boo, Boo", Superman, and "Mommy Guilt"... because I feel like venting

The past few weeks have been busy, and hard, and stressful, and sweet. To sum things up "working sucks". I guess that's not really fair... I like teaching kindergarten. I have a nice (although very, very, very, loud and busy) group this year. They keep me on my toes and my day goes very fast. BUT there are no words to describe how much I hate not being home with my children.

It will be fine. We'll get into a groove. We'll adjust. We'll still have 16 weeks of vacation to soak each other up each year. It will be fine. But right now it's hard.

I feel very "out of the loop" with Kirsten's school this year. I can't figure out if it's just the difference between being a "little kid" in first and second grade and a "big kid" in third grade or if it has to do with my work. I was very sad that I couldn't take her on the first day... but I was at open house... I do homework with her each night, (a lot of homework... a lot) and I've already conferenced with her great teacher... so it's probably just in my head. I miss dropping her off and picking her up. I miss the stupid car line. (Whoever would think you could miss that obnoxious carline?)

I hate dropping the boys off in the mornings. It's much harder on me than it is on them (or at least that's what I choose to believe) but I hate it so much. The "Grandpa Days" are easy. Those feel familiar... I'm okay with that. (God bless that man.) But Matt cries very, very hard when we pull up to school, and that makes Danny cry, and that makes me cry, and that's a crappy way to start the day. I leave my screaming, crying children to go take care of other children... it just doesn't feel right... However, I thank God for their school. The teachers are so loving and patient (with me AND the boys). I call when I get to school each morning and they always assure me that the boys are happy and stopped crying very quickly, and they never act like they mind that I am 1 of 200 parents they have each day, and they never make me feel like I shouldn't be calling all the time.

I know we will all adjust and be fine. I'm sure in October (my favorite month of the year... that magical time when the weather is beautiful, teaching becomes "fun", and everything is easy) we will be in a happy, comfortable routine. But I can't help but point out, for the record (because this blog is my "record"), that it feels very unnatural. It feels like a mother is not supposed to leave her children for eight hours a day. It feels like they are supposed to be with me.

I am rational. I have the best "gig" for a working mom. I work on Kirsten's schedule. I'm off at 3:15 each day and get tons of vacation time... but it's still unnatural. Although, we haven't had the easiest of initiations. Since I've been back at work both boys have been very sick (at different times) and Kirsten had to have "oral surgery" (just some teeth pulled to make room for spacers... but still something I should have been there for). Lots to have "mommy guilt" for...

...But in the hard stuff, we are also blessed with so much laughter. The boys' worlds are getting so much bigger. They have teachers, and schedules, and friends. They are starting to come up with things that I don't know anything about (which I both love and hate.) Last week Danny climbed on a piece of furniture (shocking) and cried, "Mama, look at me! I Superman! I Superman! Superman FLY!!!!". I thought this was so funny. "Superman?" I said, "Where did you learn about Superman? At school?". He laughed a deep belly laugh and said "School. Me friends. Superman FLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" It was the definition of adorable.

Then tonight he climbed on my lap and made a silly face saying, "Mama... Nanny, Nanny, Boo, Boo!" I laughed and he repeated. I laughed again and asked him "where did you learn 'nanny, nanny, boo, boo'?" and he said, "Me". "Do your friends say that?" I asked. "No. Me. ME 'nanny, nanny, boo, boo,". He's so original. :)

Kirsten is doing GREAT at school. GREAT. I am so thrilled. So proud, and happy, and thrilled.

...And when the boys climb into my lap and say, "Mamma, I want you," and I say, "Mamma's here... you have me," and they say, "Mamma I WANT you," my heart smiles and breaks at the same time.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

We're Famous! (Well, Not Really... BUT...)

Matt and Danny's gorgeous picture is featured on the Multiples and More blog header. It's very exciting. I don't know why... it just is. I think that means they are the most beautiful babies ever (but I already knew that!)

I also think it means that a certain someone's photography skills are as amazing as I've always thought... (and this was taken BEFORE she got the fancy camera!)

See if you can guess which ones they are! I'll update over the weekend with the answer :)