Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sam's First Competition

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Sunday night, Sam and I attended the fall carnival at the church of a dear friend. Thank you Linda, Billy and Sarah for inviting us. We had a wonderful time!

Sam was a little hesitant when we arrived at the church because there were so many people and almost everyone was in costume! Very soon after we got there, I made him stand with about 8 other toddlers for the costume contest. Soon after that, he warmed up and suddenly he was very into playing all the games. Sam was definitely more interested in the activities than he was in the goodies. He got a tattoo, rescued ducks from a pond, hit a hole in one, slam dunked a basketball, and decorated a pumpkin. Sam stayed very focused as he went from classroom to classroom with his friend Bradley.

After the activities, it was time for Trunk-or-Treat. This was our first one and Sam and I were both impressed by how fancy the decorations were. My favorite costume of the evening was Santa and the elf. It just seemed so random and unexpected. But the costumes were nothing compared to their decorations outside. While everyone else had spiders and witches and pumpkins and everything else scary, the elf had huge inflatable snowmen flanking her car. She also had Christmas music playing and lots of Christmas decorations. It was fabulous! That, of course, is the only way I want to see Christmas before Thanksgiving. I won't be bullied around by all the retail stores that have been decorated for weeks. But I'm birdwalking...back to Halloween. Sam REALLY got into the trunk-or-treating once he figured out what it was all about.

Sam and I had an amazing evening that bookended a wonderful weekend. We're very sorry that Daddy missed all the fun. Here are a few pictures from the fall carnival and Sam's train engineer/conductor costume. Enjoy! By the way, we found out at the end of the evening that Sam won the toddler costume contest!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sneak Peek

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Here's a sneak peak from our fun evening. More information tomorrow. I love how focused he is in this picture. He looks just like a little student!

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

To the Pumpkin Patch

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We had a great day today on Saturday with Carson and family at Harmon's Farm. We played on the playground for a little while. Then we took a hayride through the Haunted Forest. Oooh! Scaaaaary! Finally, we got to search for the perfect pumpkin. It was a wonderful day and we can't wait to take Daddy there!

Here's my favorite picture of the day followed by a large collection of shots:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Where's Spot?

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This entry is dedicated to my Reading Recovery Friends!

I was working on getting a video the other night of Sam reading Where's Spot so that you could see Sam's 1:1 and how he reads with expression. He was being a little stubborn, but I did capture this pretty impressive video. Sam already reads his name and the word book. (He'll spell book for you, too!) But if I'm not mistaken, I think he noticed the word no in the book. He had just finished reading Dear Zoo and went on to pick up Where's Spot. You can almost see the smoke pouring out (or lightbulb coming on) as he compares the two books. I thought he was thinking about the alligator. Boy was I surprised! I know I lost a powerful teaching moment, but I was holding the camera and wasn't prepared for what he was giving me. Enjoy the short video and please feel free to let me know if I'm just imagining the brilliance. By the way, Sam turned 2.5 two days after this video.

UPDATE: The day after I wrote this entry, I got a video of Sam reading Where's Spot and The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear. If ever a child read with expression...

Oh, yeah. Here's Sam's latest LID:

Well, Hello Dr. McHottie!

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A very, very special thank you to Missy for dragging her tired self to my house after a long day of work, meeting both of her own children there, and then staying until 9:00 to take care of Sam so that I could go to Scott's faculty recital last night. I know she knows what a night out means and I appreciate her help more than she knows.

Yes! I got to sit through an entire concert without sneaking Sam out to play in the hallway. We've taken him to several concerts and the younger he was, the more interested he was in the music. But then he hit an age where all he wants to do is be on stage with Daddy. For obvious reasons, that's not always practical. The Palmetto Pans concerts are different, of course. Daddy gets to sit with us in the audience AND everyone else is up dancing and being loud. So Sam enjoys those much more. Anyway, all that to say that I didn't want to miss Scott's faculty recital last night and I certainly couldn't take Sam.

So, about last night. I am so thankful I got to attend the recital. The music was great. All the students and faculty that accompanied Scott were awesome. I got to see a lot of friends I don't see often enough. And most importantly, my husband was HOT! Perhaps I was just under the influence of the adrenaline rush that comes from getting out of the house to do grown-up things, perhaps not. Whatever the reason, I SO enjoyed watching him on stage last night. I felt almost giddy like I used to feel in college when he performed. I watch him and listen to him play and my heart almost bursts with pride.

And did I mention how HOT he looked on stage last night?

Every once in a while, I need a reminder that it is ok to spend time away from Sam and just enjoy being with his daddy.

I took a few pictures, but the light was so low that they really didn't come out very well. Maybe I'll have my new camera before the next concert! Here's the best of the worst:

May I Have This Dance?

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I want to capture a moment but I'm afraid that words won't remind me years from now how sweet it was. But I'll try.

Tuesday evening, I was sitting on the floor talking to Sam while he was very busy putting all his 8,462 pieces of train track together. He didn't have much to say being that he was so focused so I turned the TV to Dancing with the Stars. He glanced up occasionally to see the couples dancing, but didn't say anything about it. About 10 minutes later, Sam stopped in the middle of working, walked over to me, and without saying a word, held out his had to me in the sweetest little gesture. I took his hand, not sure of what he wanted, and stood up. As he took my other hand, I understood that he wanted to dance. So we held hands and danced around a little, still with no words between us. Then he let go of my hands and went back to working on his railroad. I sat back down and tried to savor the tenderness of the moment and the look of love on his face as he held his hand out to me. I realized that for whatever reason, at that moment, he just wanted to dance with his mommy. Even though he didn't have the formal words for the moment, his eyes said it all.

I savor these moments, for I'm quite sure that he won't be asking his mommy to prom in a few years.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stupid Dragon!

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Pardon the quality of the following pictures. My camera is holding on dearly to its last heartbeat and the pix are screenshots from the video of Sam riding the dragon roller coaster--NOT his favorite thing at the fair. Notice the difference between the hesitant look on his face the first time around the track and the positively pitiful "ready-to-get-off" look on his face when he comes back around. We met Sam as soon as he got off the death ride. Scott picked him up and we walked through the crowd with Sam crying very tragically. (Both of us were trying to be sympathetic and not laugh too hard.) As we walked, Scott proclaims to Sam (and the three sweet moms beside us) "I know, buddy. I don't know why that Mama put you on that scary ride." (Laughter all around.)

Thank God I love him. I might have thrown him under the dragon. Scott, not Sam.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Don't Worry Be Happy Now

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Just a cute little video to start your day with a smile. These little ducks were about 4 inches tall a week before this video. Now they've grown up and gotten all smart.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Until Next Year (updated)

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Sam insisted on driving us to the fair this morning to meet Samuel and Bradley. We had tons of fun riding lots of rides (except for the helicopters and the dragon roller coaster--not so fun!). I finally got to try deep fried cookie dough! It was actually really yummy! I specifically asked for the kind with no fat and no calories, considering I'm still dieting. I'll have to wait until next year to try the deep fried Pepsi. Sam was getting hungry and tired and when he's ready to eat...he's ready to eat. He actually got off the train before it started and was ready go home. Daddy wasn't doing so good, either. Bed allergy day. So we said goodbye to our friends and headed home for lunch. You would think that Sam would have fallen asleep before his head hit the pillow, but as I write this, I can still hear him playing on his bed. I put him down over an hour ago!

I have to say, I've never been a huge fan of going to the fair, but taking Sam and watching him have a good time is totally worth it. Enjoy a few pictures from our last morning at the fair until next year.

UPDATE: I just put Sam down for the night at 9:15. It only took him about 4 minutes to fall asleep. Just as I expected, considering he never did take a nap! Scott and I aren't sure where all his energy came from today.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monkey Business

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What great fun we had at Emma Cate's 4th birthday party on Sunday. (Yes, THE Emma Cate!) Her party (and Sam's next party) was at Monkey Business in Lexington. It took Sam a few minutes to warm up to all the rides and excitement, but when he did...he was a jumping madman! He fell in love with the huge inflatable slide and the bouncer. That is, until he heard there was cake! As he sat at the table with all the kids, he forced down a corndog but told any adult that walked by "I need some cake." Look how hot and sweaty he was from all the bouncing:

After the cake, I had to chase him down--literally--to get him into the car. All he wanted to do was bounce! The only way I got him into the car was the promise of the M&Ms that came in his goody bag. In this picture, notice the open bag of M&Ms and the fact that we haven't even left the parking lot:

Eight minutes down the road, I turned around to find this:

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Bless his heart! There wasn't enough sugar in the world to keep him awake! I drove around for a while so that he got to sleep for about 1/2 hour, but he fell right back to sleep anyway when we got home and slept for almost 2 more hours! I kept trying to wake him up hoping for a reasonable bedtime, but it was 6:15 before he was lucid. He didn't go to bed until 10:00!

When Scott asked Sam about the party, all he could talk about was bouncing and eating cake! Go figure!

By the way, those precious little glasses were also from the goody bag. Amazingly enough, Scott hasn't commented on them yet!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pickin' Up Chicks at the State Fair

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We had a blast this afternoon at the state fair. Sam's first fair, actually. We met Dave, Tina and Nathan there, and then ran into Kim and her family. We really didn't expect Sam to want to ride anything, but he LOVES Emma Cate and would follow her to the moon! She is so good with him.

Notice how she lets him drive...

...but keeps him on a short leash! That's my girl!

I wouldn't be opposed to an arranged marriage. I'm just sayin'.

We really had a lot of fun and were so glad to spend time with friends! We couldn't believe how much Sam enjoyed the rides.

In this picture, Sam is trying to help us decide between deep fried Snickers, deep fried cookie dough, or deep fried Pepsi. We ended up sharing the old reliable deep fried elephant ear but shook things up a little by ordering it smothered in butter and cinnamon. Yummy! (By the way, does anyone know how many WW points that's worth?)

We still have tickets so we'll HAVE to go back. Perhaps then I'll get to try the cookie dough or Pepsi! You've gotta love fair food or in the very least appreciate the ingenuity!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Whas' Up?

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Very rare the night has been in Sam's 2.5 years that he has slept straight through 'til morning. He usually wakes up around 4. Now, when he was in his crib, this was not a problem at all. He would read books, sing, talk or whatever for about an hour and then go back to sleep. When he moved into his bed, he brought his early morning party to my room. I would take him back to bed and climb in with him to keep him there. After doing this for a few months, I finally have him trained to stay in bed and he just sits in there and calls for me.

Sam went to bed last night clutching his new toy school bus that lights up and plays music. He LOVES the bus and has not been without it since Scott and I gave it to him when we got back from Savannah. Anyway, at 4:15 this morning, this is what I hear:

"Mama, I can't find your bus." (repeated several times)

Upon being summoned this morning, I decided to try something new. I went to Sam's room, found his bus, and explained that I was going back to bed to sleep. He actually handled it amazingly well. For about 15 minutes I listened to him play with his bus and talk a little. Then, he got quiet. As I lay in bed celebrating perhaps the start of a new routine, the silence was broken with the following:

"Mama, where are you?"
"Mama, I can't find your bus."
"Mama, where are you?"

(repeat about 10 times.)

At this point, Scott and I were both listening to him and enjoying his sweet voice. He was so sweet sounding and patient but persistent.

He got quiet again. I celebrated again. And then we heard:

"Daddy. Whas' up?......Daddy. Whas' up?"

I could take it no longer. I was laughing so hard I almost wet the bed. I just had to go to my sweet angel just in case he felt like I had abandoned him. It is not very often that he calls out for Daddy in the middle of the night. He had obviously given up on me.

So I got into bed with him and he fell fast asleep!

God, thank you for sending such a special angel to start my days with love and joy. I think I will be smiling all day!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Back Home

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Scott and I spent a perfect weekend in Savannah. He played a concert in the park with the Savannah Symphony. There were about 50,000 people scattered around this really cool park in the historic district. They had an annual "Best Picnic" contest and there were some fancy spreads! We saw everything from sofa's to silver candelabras and chandeliers. I, not being prepared for such an event, hunkered down beside the stage where I enjoyed several magazines and sudoku puzzles by the glow of the stage lights. It was a wonderful evening! We left Savannah at 10:00 and came rolling in around 12:30. I expect to be really tired later today!

We must have walked 200 miles this weekend! But the pain in my knees today is certainly worth the amazing weekend we had. Plus, I'm quite sure I burned all the bad calories I consumed! and, I know you will be sad, but I forgot to take my camera, so no pictures!

I crawled into Sam's bed at 6:00 this morning to wake him up because I just couldn't stand it another minute. He opened his eyes a little, then shut them. Then he opened them again, took a good look, closed them and smiled! As we snuggled, he threw his little arm around my neck and lay there patting my back. In that sweet moment I knew I was back home again!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


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