Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Day at the Zoo

Last Saturday I took the boys to the zoo. Brian was away on a Men's Retreat, and it was supposed to be a beautiful day, so I didn't want to just sit around the house. So we got ready quickly and headed out. On the way I remember thinking that I was either incredibly stupid or incredibly brave for venturing out on my own with them, but I quickly learned that I was neither one. They were so very good all day, everyone stayed with me, and we had the very best day. I don't know why I underestimated them~ they are such great was probably more that I was underestimating my ability to keep up or be patient. But regardless, it was such a good day, and I can't wait to do it again.

Highlights of the day:
1) Watching Hudson experience the zoo for the first time since he was 16 months old~ he LOVED every second of it.
2)Seeing how much fun the three of them had together.
3) The flamingos~ they like people and actually interacted with us, squawking and trying to get close, which freaked Harrison out but fascinated Hudson...Hunter had no real reaction. :)
4) The Reptile House (a highlight for the boys, not for me, but I'm learning to love the little green things)~ they were all completely entranced with all of those little creepy crawly things, and both of the big boys cited this as the best part of the day.
5) The Train~ we got an all day pass to ride it, and were able to just lift the stroller right up there, which was great. It was good to be able to sit and see the sights.
6) Hudson face to face with an orangutan...they became fast friends.
7) Giant swirly lollipops~ a great treat for the boys that made for a great photo opp. for me!
Be sure to check out the slide show to share in all the fun!

Where's Hunter?

There he is! That is a new game that the Hunter Man loves to play again and again. And again. This first pic is him covering his eyes. :) So stinkin' cute. Then the second one is him showing where he is. Yummy baby boy.

Party Day

I am the Room Mom for Harrison's class this year, and it is so fun! The control-freak in me especially loves it~ I like knowing that the plates and everything will be cute, that all the food will get there, etc. I know, I know, things that aren't that important. I'm not proud of it. :) But it is fun getting to share that with Harrison~ I really like getting to sit back and watch him interact with his friends, and it's fun putting faces with all the names I hear about.

The Valentine's party was great~ a special thanks goes out to Brandon L. for bringing a balloon for everyone. I've made a mental note that one balloon per child equals one fabulously fun party! Things got so very crazy, but the kids had a total blast.

Harrison sits by a little girl named Brynna who is so stinkin' cute, and even sweeter than she is cute, if that is possible. When she opened Harrison's valentine, she read it, then looked at him and said, "Oh Harrison, thank you so much for my valentine. I love it." He turned about three shades of red, beamed, and said, "I'm glad you liked it." This is why I like to go to the parties. It's not very often that Harrison Hatcher gets embarrassed or shy about anything. :) On the way home that afternoon, I told Harrison that I thought Brynna was a nice little girl, and he said, "Yeah Mom, she is real nice, and pretty cute too. But I don't tell her that." Wow, here we go. :) Girls are starting to be not quite so yuck, and that scares this mom of three boys just a little. Or a lot.

Happy Valentine's Day!

I know this is super late, but better late than never. I actually got a halfway decent shot of the boys for Valentine's day, all wearing their V-day shirts, and included the dog, so I had to post it. Hope all of you had a great Love Day!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Big 'Un

I went up to Oklahoma with some guys and caught this catfish. We guessed it went around 15 lbs. I had thrown out a hook with a chunk of hotdog on it and let it sit for a while. I was gonna let it go until it bit my thumb and wouldn't let go. He sure tasted good for a catfish.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Best Friend

Something happened tonight in the car that, as a mom, I have always hoped for. We were on our way to drop Harrison off at a birthday slumber party for his friend Aidan. He and Aidan have been friends practically since birth~ they are just a few weeks apart and have always been in Sunday school together. I have a picture of them at about 9 months old, side by side in exersaucers~ pretty stinkin' cute. But anyway, I'm getting distracted...

Harrison was telling me that he didn't want to miss our family Sunday School party we were having tonight, but that Aidan was one of his best friends, and he just couldn't miss his party. I told him that I thought he had made the right decision, and then asked, "One of your best friends? Who are your other ones?" He was looking out the window, and said, "You know Mom, Hudson is my number one best friend. Then Aidan, and then Brandon L." You see, Hudson absolutely adores his big brother, so it was so great to hear that the feeling is mutual. :)

I love the fact that I have three boys, because it was so much fun being one of three girls growing up. And we are so close now. And even though there have been times over the years that I thought I would have to strangle my sisters, they are so very important to me. I consider them by closest friends, and can't imagine my life without them. There's nothing like the bond we have from getting to grow up together, knowing all of (I think) each other's secrets, sharing the same parents, knowing we will always be there for each other. And now, getting to be a mom and watch my kids develop those same bonds~ it's pretty amazing.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lego Wizard

One of Hud's favorite things to do is to watch his big brother put together Legos (which is Harrison's very favorite thing to do). He amazes me in how he will just sit there and patiently watch Harrison put them togther, in complete fascination. Right now the two of them are really into the Star Wars Legos, and Hudson loves the little Lego men that come with them. He will pick one and carry it around with him all day, take a nap with it, a bath, eat dinner, etc. I've had to quickly educate myself on what Storm Troopers, Clones, Droids, and all these other Stars Wars characters are so that I can keep up with them.

So anyway, Hudson had some money from an early birthday gift from Momo, and wanted to buy his own Lego set. He picked out a Star Wars set of course, and I helped him put it together when we got home. Then I became the one who was fascinated watching him at work. Those little fingers meticulously putting each piece together, concentrating hard on the instructions to see exactly where they went. I helped guide him, but he did the work, and before too long he had completed his first Lego set, complete with four Rebel troops (I think...I'm still learning) that he had put together all by himself. It was a very proud moment for both of us. I am amazed at his patience and determination...he does not give up. And one of those Rebel guys have played with us all day long. ;)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sleepy Boy

I went in to check on Hudson tonight (he had been in his bed watching Scooby Doo) and found him asleep with his little hands tucked under his cheek, sleeping like a little angel baby. That little boy is so full of love...he's such a sweetie, always coming up to give me a kiss or tell me he loves me, asking me to hold him (which at 42 pounds isn't easy, but always worth it)...he's a teddy bear.


I have hestitated to tell any of my friends about our new addition, because I knew I would have to deal with all kinds of ridicule over this because of the Lucy and Mia experiences...but yes, we have gotten a dog. It's something we have been talking about for about a year, taking our time to get the "right" one that the boys could grow up with, that I could take walking with me, etc. After several conversations between Brian and me about commitment to this no matter what, we agreed that it was a good idea, that the timing was right. Seriously, I'm a changed woman in the pet department...I understand if anyone of you needs time for me to prove myself. :)

We rescued Addy. Some friends of ours, the Cameron's, found her alone wandering in a field, and took her home. They hung signs all over the neighborhood, and several days went by with no one claiming her. I overheard Inger talking about her to someone in Sunday School a couple weeks ago, saying they had found a puppy and were trying to find a good home for her. Her husband Bruce is allergic, or they would have kept her themselves. We talked for awhile, and decided to set up a meeting. The next night they brought her over, and we all fell in love with her~ Brian, Harrison, and me pretty much right away, and Hudson and Hunter have now caught up and are loving her as well. She is all black, and looks like she is mostly lab, but might have some border collie in her. We're not sure...we just know she's smart, super cute, and very sweet.

Thankfully the Cameron's were willing to keep her through the week for us since Brian and I were going out of town, and I didn't have the heart to dump a new dog on my poor mom (or Nana for that matter, even though she's used to taking care of a pet or two). We went to pick Addy up on Friday, and have to say that she is settling in quickly. Potty training is going well, she sleeps all night in her crate, and really only gets wound up when we first let her out in the morning. She likes to lay around, which is greatness, and is a big fan of laying down in her bed, at our feet, wherever. Today she and I went on our first walk, and she did pretty good. She's not proving to be much of a guard dog yet (tucked her tail between her legs and ran whenever she saw another dog) but she did well on her leash, so that's okay. She's a sweet-natured, gentle puppy, and we are glad she's part of our family.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Ten Years


Brian and I celebrated our 10th anniversary on January 24th. We joke because we can't believe it's been ten years already, and at the same time it feels like it's been forever. That sounds bad, but I honestly can't remember my life without him. And I can't imagine my life without him now.

I was able to go with him to Jacksonville, Florida this week to celebrate. He had to go to attend a Recreation Ministries conference, and the church was willing to let me go along (which I am SO thankful for). This was the first time we had left the boys for more than one night since Harrison was 15 months old. It was great to get away and just focus on us for awhile, but hard to leave our little men. We arrived on Saturday, and got home yesterday afternoon. It was a week full of relaxation, fun, shopping, good eating, and oh yeah, some great seminars. :) Seriously, we both learned a lot, especially from Steve Petitt, the main speaker who talked a lot about marriage, which we didn't expect given that it was a Rec Lab. That was a nice perk.

It was really weird sleeping completely through the night, waking up when I wanted to (it's been years since I've done that) and just getting to go and do what we wanted to do. The first day was rough, almost like we had to reacclimate to just being "us" again. I hate to admit that, but that's how it was. Honestly, I spent the first two days feeling like I had forgotten something...turned out I kept thinking I was forgetting three little people. :) But once we got through the first couple days, it got easier, and we found that we still had LOTS to talk about, laugh about, etc. It was wonderful.

On Sunday we went on a seven hour fishing tour with Capt. Dave Sipler. That was my anniversary gift to Brian, and he was so excited that he barely slept the night before. I have to admit that it was definitely a sacrifice of love for me, because I really don't have the patience to fish, but I ended up having fun. It was SO COLD on that water, and we were not dressed warm enough, but we survived. Unfortunately, Brian didn't catch as many as we had hoped, but he did catch a few, and one was a big flounder. That was fun. I got brave and held some live shrimp (and even baited a few hooks with them) because I wanted to prove to the boys that their mom is no wimp. :)

My 31st birthday was Monday, and Brian surprised (and I do mean surprised) me by having the leader of the conference call me up on stage for the Happy Birthday song. He also gave me these beautiful red roses that morning. I honestly wanted to run, or crawl under a chair or something, but I toughed it out. It was very sweet, incredibly thoughtful, and totally surprised me. I will definitely not ever forget my 31st. He also took me for what had to be the best massage I've ever had (and that's my guilty pleasure, so I think I really am the authority on that) and pedicure. It was amazing, so amazing that it almost made me wish we lived in Jacksonville. Almost, but no.

I know I've been going on and on now, so I'll stop. It was a wonderful week, and it was equally as wonderful to come home to our boys. And we cannot thank our moms enough for stepping in to take care of the boys for us while we were gone. It was so great to be able to go, and not to have to worry~ we knew they were in excellent hands. Thank you both so much!!
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