Thursday, August 8, 2013

Front Yard Fun




We love when the weather cools off a tad and we can enjoy playing outside. That's one of the perks of living in Virginia; there's actually a chance of it cooling off now and again during the summer.  So far this summer we have been enjoying: mud pies, sidewalk chalk, swimming at Loriella, weekly trips to the library, McDonald's and Chikfila playgrounds, the mall, park trips and the occasional trip to King's Dominion.  We hope to get to the beach soon!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Boston

My friends Diana and Kathryn (Diesel as she is know to us) are quite the travelers. This year they took a trip to Boston. When I heard of their trip, I jumped at the idea of spending a weekend with them and invited myself along. They, of course, were so so welcoming. Then the Boston Marathon bombings happened, and things almost didn't work out for me to come. Thankfully it worked out thanks to my two generous friends. I arrived in Boston the night they captured the second suspect of the bombing. The next day we went to a Red Sox game and the atmosphere was wonderful. It was a great feeling of unity and patriotism. They had a memorial at the beginning with a montage of the race, the bombings, and all the aftermath. The national anthem was sung by the crowd rather than a professional, and it was the most memorable anthem I have ever sung. Many people were brought out onto the field before the game began: volunteers at the marathon, runners, bystanders caught in the blast, policemen, FBI agents; it was very moving. Then there was another surprise: Neil Diamond came out during the 7th inning stretch and serenaded us with Sweet Caroline! It was definitely a game to remember! We footed around Boston, drove to Providence Rhode Island to see the capital, footed around Providence, and I spent my last day with them seeing more of Boston. It was such a wonderful trip. I can't thank my friends enough for letting me come along. Unfortunately it ended with an 11 hour train ride back home. I think it's safe to say it was the worst night's sleep, but it was definitely worth it!







Tuesday, April 2, 2013

18 month old William




Poor William, the second child.  He doesn't get nearly as much attention (blog wise) as Maddie did. Here are a few fun facts about Bubbs.
He loves bugs (especially ladybugs and spiders)
He loves dinosaurs and does a great little roar.
He loves doing bubbles and sidewalk chalk and being outdoors. There's a constant puddle on a dirt road behind our house, and it's a favorite spot of his.
He's obsessed with coloring, and is constantly wanting us to draw pictures for him. His requests are usually ladybug, snake, shark and eeeewwww (a spider).
He's finally starting to talk. At first it was just gug (ladybug), maaaa (mom), daaaa (dad) and ggguuuyeahhh! (yes)   Now it seems he adds words everyday. Words we sometimes understand.
He's such a sweet little boy and is good at giving kisses. He's still nursing and loving every minute of it; me...not as much.  He does an awesome "crazy pants dance".
Favorite foods:  cheese, waffles,bananas, chocolate anything, fruit rollups, and noodles.
He likes to watch whatever Maddie is watching, he dances to any theme music of our shows, and gets uber excited when Mickey Mouse comes on.

Just a few memories to have recorded for however long this site lasts.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Pictureless but Wordful Post

These past few weeks have been pretty eventful in the Lewis home.

WILLIAM'S BIRTHDAY
William celebrated his first birthday, cyber style. We had both our phones and the computer with family Skyping for the birthday song and cake eating. It was a hectic 20 minutes trying to communicate with everyone at once whilst ensuring I capture the event with pictures and video, but we're so glad most everyone got to take part even though they are thousands of miles apart.

NEW DOG
We decided to find a pal for Raheem (our chubby beagle), and found another male beagle on Craigslist. I called the girl and she and I texted back and forth all day. She had a million questions, wanted to come check out our home and yard and then make her choice. Casey and I were a little baffled by her extreme worry, but we went along. She came by Friday night and I guess we passed the test because she left him with us. But asked if it was okay if she kept in contact to see how he was. Sure? Rusty was super sweet, but very timid and shakey. The next morning, I strapped on his harness and tied him to a pole outside while I cleaned the car out. Minutes later Casey ran over frantic telling me Rusty had slipped out of his harness. Thankfully William was napping and Maddie was busy on the computer. We ran after him. Here's the thing about Fredericksburg, it's full of forest and wide open yards. We chased and looked and chased and looked for a good two hours. We fretted and worried all day and night. We drove around looking and left trails of food for days. We posted signs all over the neighborhood and got lots of calls of people who've seen him, but can't catch him. We set up an animal trap from Animal Control but are on our last two days of renting it. I've seen the dog 3 times since his escape and cannot catch him. So, somewhere, out there, we have another dog named Rusty.

NEW JOB
We've been tight and our budget lately, so I decided to start babysitting again. I watch a 4 year old boy and will start watching a 3 month old girl in November. The boy has autism and ADHD, which freaked me out a little at first, but things have been going great so far. I haven't had much interaction with autistic children, but he doesn't act how I thought he would. He's social and talkative. He has a hard time sharing, but lots of kids do. The main thing I notice is how behind he is in areas. He's not potty trained, but will go when I take him and have him try. He doesn't know any of his colors, shapes, letters or numbers. He knows maybe 2 animals, but can't tell me what sounds they make. I work with him everyday on colors, shapes and animals, but he just can't remember any of it. Luckily he starts speech therapy school tomorrow, and perhaps he'll get better. I'm hoping things continue well with him, and that once Baby Girl comes we can keep a structured schedule or I may get too overwhelmed. I am very grateful that I found a way to bring in extra income while still being able to stay home with my kids. Hopefully now we can start saving again ,and have a little more breathing room with groceries and gas, and maybe even see a movie now and again.

NEW CAR
With the extra income I'm bringing in with babysitting, we decided it was time for a second car. We got a 96 Honda Accord, and besides the large dents on one side, it runs great. I'm so grateful that I no longer have to spend 2 hours a day in the car taking Casey to and from work. It helps so much with my schedule when William can nap in his crib rather than the car.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Maddie's First Day of Preschool

This morning we woke up early to get Casey to work then hurried home (but stopping for a sprinkle donut of course) to get ready for Maddie's big day. When Nana was out visiting she got Maddie this outfit and backpack for her first day of school.  She's been very excited to wear it. She was so cooperative all morning. "Mads we need to do your hair."  "Ok Mom!"  "Mads we need to brush your teeth too."  "Ok Mom!"  Wow, I hope this is how each school day goes.  We packed up her backpack with her school supplies then headed outside for a few pictures. She didn't even offer up a fuss over this. Then we loaded in the car and drove to school.  She even asked for another picture outside of the school. Who is this kid? We walked in and all around us were sad kids and consoling parents. Secretly I wished I had some consoling to do. I said good bye and off she went into the play room. What happened! She didn't even cry? I was so proud/sad that my little shy girl is growing up and understanding that there's no need to be scared. I'm excited for this new journey for her but am so glad that I will still be her main surroundings for her each day. I know I need to soak up these years and am so grateful for her in my life.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Growing Children


I had the very discouraging realization that my kids are growing up. Seriously; look at them. Maddie is always spewing out random facts from library books that we read together and saying things like, "That's peculiar."  She starts preschool next week and is actually excited about it. Where did my shy, nervous, little baby go? She's learning to write words on her own. So far she knows: Maddie, Mom, Dad, Yes, No and AFV (America's Funniest Videos). I'm not sure why that last one stuck with her. She's almost mastered the word "Geico" from us dropping Casey off at work in the mornings. She's FINALLY wanting to run around and play sports which makes her dad very happy. Every day she wants to go in the backyard and play soccer; which I would normally encourage, except the fact that she wants me to join her! I'm sorry but running around outside at 1 pm is not enjoyable.
Then there's William; our little Bubz. He finally starting crawling sometime between 9 and 10 months. He loves to get into everything. We realize now how easy Maddie was as a baby; so cautious and calm. William is not. His favorite is pointing and grunting when he's excited. We turned him forward facing in the car and now he can see the tv and is grunting all the time at it. He randomly points at strangers as they walk by which usually results in a smile from them; that's nice. He likes to push the computer chair around and walk with it. Sometimes he'll clap, but it's not as entertaining as pointing for him. Casey and I have the habit of enjoying ice cream most every night, and William has learned that that tub we carry to the couch means delicious goodness and he comes crawling full speed.  Next month he turns one; I can't believe it. Our kids are growing and there's nothing I can do but enjoy them each day. I'll quote this book I just finished reading, "The days are long, but the years are short." So very true.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Life in Virginia

We've been here nearly 2 months now, and our house is finally unpacked and put together. We have settled into a routine, so that makes life much less stressful.  We only have one car at the moment, so we usually take Casey to work 2-3 times a week so we can venture out of the house. On those days we usually: swim, go to the library, go to the mall, McDonalds, or Chikfila. Not much different than life in AZ. We have gone to the beach once and played at the river once, which is a fun change from AZ. Our weekends are spent doing yard work, grocery shopping and being pretty lazy. We're learning the area and the lingo and trying to adjust to the humidity. I'm still not sure which is worse in the summer; AZ or VA? It's the difference between standing in an oven or standing in a sauna.

I will make a few complaints about life in VA:
1. There are NO sidewalks or crosswalks. And the shoulder of the road is about 2 inches wide, so there will be no bike rides or stroller walks for us.
2. We have to transport our trash to the dump in the back of our Pilot. I made the mistake of sticking our trash can outside once it got full and ended up tossing the entire thing in the dump due to maggot overload.
3. Bugs are far more bountiful here.
4. It stays light until 9, so Maddie thinks she can party late into the night.

And now a few of the high lights:
1. The farmer's market is huge and not overly priced.
2. Lighting bugs (one of the few bugs I do enjoy)
3. We have flowers to tend to.
4. I've seen a cardinal, a blue bird, tons of mockingbirds and robins.
5. On less humid days we can sit outside in the evenings and enjoy the good life.