life lately

Thanks to the hurricane, we didn’t get too much of the downpour of rain my parents and friends got in S.C., but we did get blustery winds and delicious cold temps. The kind of thing you feel would be appropriate in early October, but generally don’t get to experience in the Carolinas til November. 

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I took the boys for what turned out to be a 2 hour walk through our neighborhood yesterday to enjoy the weather and the thrill of changing leaves. I did have to argue with Will a good bit during our walk, as previously mentioned, but he was resigned-ish and only fought with Henry (over the dog leash… the books… my phone… the water bottle…) 40% of the time. Maybe 50. But I didn’t even care, it was so windy and fun outside. It felt like a kiss from God since I had just thought about the fact that transition stages are like humid days that need some “winds of change”. 😉

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These boys, I tell you. So funny. They have been driving Jason and I CRAZYYYY each night because, since Henry started talking more, he and Will stay up scandalously late chatting and giggling after we have put them down. And wouldn’t ya know, they are so sweet together we can’t really punish it. It is pretty much the one time of day they play together without fighting. They get the occasional spanking if someone starts jumping on the bed (Henry) or banging on the wall (Henry). When Will gets up to go to the bathroom, you can peek up the stairs and see his sturdy little brother running in behind him. Henry needs to be included in such moments.

I said Henry was talking more, but there’s a caveat. He has his own language. He has the weirdest words for things.”N-oh” for his drink (I think it devolved from “num”); “far-far” for firetruck; “beep-bop” for leapPad; I can’t even recall the others cause they’re weird. They make no sense to me. But because he has an eager interpreter hanging around, I can’t get him to try harder to say it right. If I make him repeat after me, he just continues to use his word for it and then gets angry. He knows that I know what he means, so its pretty hopeless trying to get him to change it. I guess worst case scenario he’ll try harder when he goes to preschool next fall. The one thing you know he is saying clear as a bell is “It died!” #childofthe21stcentury. He shrieks “it died!” for pretty much everything… when the LeapPad won’t turn on, when my phone runs out of battery, when he can’t pull his shoe off, when his sandwich is all eaten…

Will is loving his K4 class. He calls his classmates “The Friends”. He’ll say things like, “I was lunch helper with Gabby. She’s a friend.” Or how he took something to show and tell and “The Friends liked it.” On the second day of class, he informed me that there’s a new friend this year, Landon, who is “so silly.” Will started giggling just thinking about it. He told me that Landon threw all his food on the floor at lunch. I said, “Well I hope you never do that.” And Will said, “Oh yes. We all told him we don’t do that.” The image of a bunch of self-righteous 4 year olds getting all excited that they were in the right and could boss someone else around is awesome to me.

One of his teachers was sick last week, so I suggested we make her a get-well card before his first day of school this week. He dictated for me to write: “I love you, Ms ___. We missed you so much.” (she was his teacher last year too and seems to have a special fondness for him, so I think she wouldn’t have been at all weirded out by his expressions of love). I can’t get over that this is his last year in preschool, but it is a wonderful realization that I have every confidence he is ready for Kindergarten. He is reading short books, he can write his name, he can count a good bit; his social skills are great; he listens to instructions. And best of all, he is eager to get out there and learn. I am so grateful I put him in preschool after all. I have been a little anxious and overwhelmed looking into all our school options, but I trust God will open the right door for our family. My job is to just do the knocking ;).

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This was the year I decided Will needed real shoes. I couldn’t get away anymore with clearance shoes at Children’s Place or Gap. They’re awesome if you have a toddler, but for a small kid who is running around at the playground every day, I felt like he needed better support and durability. I did a little research and decided Vans and Puma kids shoes were our best bet for quality and our active lifestyle. I was eyeing a few pairs at 40% off on a few discount sites, but I decided I didn’t want to risk the hassle of returns so we took a trip to Nordstrom first. My plan was to just get his exact size in those brands and then order a cheaper, older season online.

Naturally, Will fell in love with those blue shoes he is wearing in the pic. They were full price Vans and not cheap, but when your sweet-faced, hazel-eyed son says quietly and discreetly to you, “Man, I wish we could afford them”, you make it work.  I even got him to pose all fancy on the playground after.

Oh also – he is holding the remains of a dead balloon he had received just 15 minutes before from the nice Nordstrom salesgirl. Balloons and I have a love/hate relationship, currently. When you have two little boys who each love balloons, they are easy to please. Until somebody’s balloon pops first [inevitable]. Then you have incessant fighting over the survivor balloon, until an “accident” happens [in a pinch, a car key will do the job quietly].

I bought the boys’ winter clothes in one fell swoop, thanks to an email coupon and sale at The Children’s Place online.

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That whole haul for my children – including three pairs of shoes for Henry and over 30 pieces of clothing – was around $220. I have been really pleased with TCP quality. They don’t have as cute styles as babyGap, but they are definitely as durable (if not more so) and they have much better sales.

So, we are ready for fall and winter! I got Jason to pressure-wash the house and it made such a difference. We got the gutters cleaned out, and we bought and installed our first real grown-up flatscreen TV downstairs (yay for football as a family!), and I got a new sourdough starter going. We also got a bunch of gear to go camping in the mountains as a family but just so happened to have only one free weekend all month – which was last weekend – which ended up being the hurricane downpour weekend. They closed the Blue Ridge Parkway cause so many trees fell. Bums. Instead I baked a homemade apple pie and we watched the Clemson-Notre Dame game. Henry calls it “Feet-ball”. And when he comes down in the morning after a long football weekend, he points forlornly to the TV and says, “Feetball DIED.”

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