Toddler Tuesday {Toddler Bowling}

We made plans with some friends to go bowling after church on Sunday. I honestly went along thinking we’d go to lunch with everyone and then maybe hang out at the bowling alley for 10 minutes or so and then scoot, assuming Asher Wade would not be in to, or really understand, the concept of bowling.  I really should just stop having any sort of preconceived notions when it comes to this kid because I always assume the exact opposite.  Needless to say, he loved bowling, and was actually pretty good at it.  Granted there were bumpers and that little ramp thing that the kiddos can use to push their ball down the lane, but still, he totally got the concept and would get very excited when those pins fell down.

 Bowling is one of those things that I always forget how much I enjoy.  I’m not really any good (although I did roll a few strikes!), but it’s fun and active, and it’s always a good time when you are with friends.  We laughed and laughed, at each other and at our gaggle of kids.  And come one, toddlers in bowling shoes?  Cutest thing ever:-)

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Also, we bowled right through nap time, but when we got home and started watching The Good Dinosaur (for 1,247th time), this happened. He rarely falls asleep in my lap anymore, and although I had to pee something fierce, I couldn’t help but stay put for a little bit. My sweet baby…

 

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Gone.


When I finally did slide myself out from under him so I could head out for a walk, Matt went in to check on him 10 minutes later and found this…

 

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 Toddler Tuesday {Asher Wade Update at 3 Years, 3 Months}

Haven’t done a #toddlerAW update in awhile, so figured it was high time. I’m not sure I can call him a “toddler” anymore.  When exactly does that end?  He definitely seems more like a little boy now.  This age has had some challenges, but it’s oh so fun.  I don’t know what people are talking about when they say “Terrible Two’s” because I thought two was a walk in the park.  Three has been more challenging in my opinion.  It’s like Asher Wade has realized he has a voice, and opinions and emotions (oh lawd, the emotions…) and he likes to express all of them on a regular basis.  For the most part it’s pretty manageable, and honestly, if you know Matt and me, we tend to find humor in things and we aren’t afraid to just sit back and laugh about it when little man is in the corner having a come apart.  I find that just staying out of the way, giving him space and letting him have his moment is the quickest way to getting past a tantrum.  Once he calms down, we talk it out, kiss and make-up and move along with our day.  It happens.  We are finding that time-out’s aren’t really effective anymore, and we prefer not to spank, so lately it’s been taking away toys and privileges, which works pretty well.  He does test my patience regularly, but 90% of the time he’s a ball of fun and sweetness, so I can’t complain.

His language skills have just shot off. We have full on conversations now and he can easily express what he wants (or doesn’t want).  After worrying so much about his speech development, it’s clear that all the advice I received about not worrying about it was spot on.  It did eventually happen, like everyone said it would, and it does almost feel like it exploded out of nowhere.  The only problem now is that we have to be SO CAREFUL about what we say.  Not that we go around dropping F-bombs or anything, but I certainly drop a “crap” or a “boob” or a “for the love of…” on a regular basis.  Lately he’s been saying everything is “cray cray” after he heard me call someone that.  Hopefully he doesn’t tell on me.  We get a lot of “Fine!” and “Whatever!”  No doubt he picked that up from me as well.  He can recite 4 bible verses and countless songs and little rhymes, including his ABC’s, and so far I’ve heard him count to 20, but he may be able to go further.  Lately he’s really into gender and likes to point out who’s a girl and who’s a boy.  He does this for people, animals, toys and other random inanimate objects.  If I ask him how he knows whether something is a girl or a boy (other than actual people) he’ll say it’s a girl because it looks pretty or it’s a boy because it looks strong.  My feminist streak tends to come out and I have to explain that girls are strong too.  Pretty sure I went off on some tangent about how girls are not just defined by how pretty they are, after which he promptly looked at me and said, “But you’re so pretty mommy!”  The other night we were driving home at sunset and he mentioned how it was so pretty outside.  After I agreed he looked at me and said, “But you are even more pretty mommy.”

He’s potty trained! We pretty much backed off in May and then in June he suddenly became way more interested and motivated.  We still didn’t push too much and let him take the lead.  By early July he was having very few accidents and now it’s unusual for him to have one.  He uses the big potty and he prefers to stand.  This can be a little messy, but if that’s all I have to worry about I can deal.  If you ever come to our house now you’ll know why we have anti-bacterial wipes next to every toilet.  He does need help when he has to get up there and sit for #2, and he likes to have the door shut for privacy.  As soon as we help him up he promptly tells us to leave and “please close the door.”  About 15 seconds later he calls us back in there to look at it…”Mommy, I have something to show you.”  I’m kind of over looking at his turds…#momlife  (On that note, he’s really in to surprising us with things in general.  He’s constantly coming up to us with something behind his back saying “I have something to show you.”  It’s a crapshoot as to what it’s going to be, but so far, thankfully, he hasn’t taken his turds out of the toilet to “surprise” us).  He’s still in a diaper at night, and it’s pretty heavy in the mornings, so I’m not sure how night-time training will go, but we’re fine with how things are going for now.  I can certainly deal with one diaper per day.

You guys, this kid is so loving. I know I always say that, but it’s so true.  I’ve never seen a 3 year old say “I love you” so much, and unprompted.  He’s always telling us that, and giving us hugs and kisses.  He loves to snuggle and be close.  Sensitive as always and gets his feelings hurt easily.  He can run into a brick wall (just like he did a few weeks ago) and not shed a tear, but if you hurt his feelings or get mad at him, cue the waterworks.  Even with that sensitive streak, he’s incredibly adaptable, brave and fearless and will try just about anything.  He loves the water and is really close to swimming unassisted.  He tends to hold his breath underwater for too long when going from point A to point B, so we’re not entirely comfortable letting him swim without us being within arm’s reach, but I think he’ll have it down pat by the end of the summer.  We went on a friend’s boat this past weekend and he would jump from the boat into the river without a second thought.  He would have stayed in there all day.  After watching me water-ski he was begging to try that.  He literally wants to try everything.  He still loves to ride his bike and scooter.  It’s been so daggone hot, so we don’t spend a ton of time outdoors, unless it’s in the morning or evening, and that seems to suit him just fine.  The few times we’ve gone to the park in the middle of the day he’s played for 10 minutes and then looked at me, soaked with sweat and with bright red cheeks, and said we “needed to go home and cool down now.”  I feel ya buddy.

He starts legit school in a couple of weeks. The school we were planning to send him to for Kindergarten through 12th grade recently implemented a Pre-K program, so we decided to go ahead and enroll him.  It’s crazy to think this is the school where he’ll ultimately graduate high school (hold me…) and it makes me realize just how fast he’s growing and how fast time is going.  This is going to be a huge transition for him.  Pretty sure it isn’t going to be like daycare where they basically play all day.  He’ll have a desk and a schedule and extracurricular activities and assignments and we have a school supply list that we have to shop for, and it all just seems very big boy, which is making mama a big baby.  I’m nervous how the transition will go, but I’m excited for him and I know it will be a really great environment.  Plus, he will be challenged, which is always a good thing in my opinion.  We actually attended a class picnic last night and were able to meet his teacher and classmates and their parents, which was really fun.  I pray that these other kids become his close friends over the coming year and that we are able to build relationships with the parents.

He went to the pediatrician for his required school physical, so I have some recent stats, at least as of a few weeks ago. He’s 3 feet and 4 inches tall (89th percentile) and weighs 40 lbs (96th percentile).  He’s wearing a size 9.5/10 in shoes and size 4t in clothes.  We recently bought a new car seat to better accommodate his ever growing body.  (SN: It’s a Diono Radian RXT and we love it and wish we had been using that all along).  He’s moved up to fluoride toothpaste and does really well spitting it out (albeit in the toilet).  He’s getting better about undressing himself, but still needs assistance getting dressed.  He sleeps pretty well and stays in his bed all night for the most part.  We start his bedtime routine around 8/8:15 (bath, jammies, brush teeth and hair, books, prayers), and he’s usually down around 9, but he would definitely stay up later if we let him.  He gets up around 7 most mornings, although a lot of the time we have to go in and wake him up.  His memory is crazy good and he’ll remember something we said or saw weeks ago.  If we go somewhere even just one time, he’ll remember it and point it out next time we get close.  He’s good at directions and can tell us how to get home (where to turn, etc.) and he knows the way to school, church, Target and Starbucks, lol.  The kid loves Target (thanks to the Dollar Bin, where we let him pick out something) and Starbucks (thanks to cake pops) and asks to go often.  He also loves to look for fire trucks when we are driving around in the car and will keep count of how many he sees.

He loves Paw Patrol, dinosaurs, Lightning McQueen from Cars, Spider Man and Super Man, sharks, planes and helicopters, all those little Matchbox cars, diggers, monster trucks, fire trucks, trains, Blaze and the Monster Machines, PJ Masks, The Lion Guard, any sort of ball or sport, books, and Finding Dory and Finding Nemo.  He loves to get new clothes and especially new shoes and will tell everyone he comes into contact with about his new shoes, even if they are technically a month old.  After Matt gets him dressed in the morning he can’t wait to come show me his outfit.  He loves getting stuff in the mail and knows all about online shopping;)  He loves his playroom and would be perfectly content in there all day.  He’s definitely a homebody, but he always has fun once we get out.  He loves animals and claims that dogs and giraffes are his favorite.  He loves when we pass farms and he sees cows and horses.  Favorite foods are bagels with cream cheese, mac n’ cheese (he asks for it every night), grilled cheese, biscuits, most fruit, peas, broccoli with cheese, string cheese, fruity popsicles, strawberry “milkshakes” (really just strawberries and vanilla yogurt in the blender), fries, turkey dogs and hot dogs, cheeseburgers, those kid sized Clif bars, yogurt, pretzels and tortilla chips, peanut butter sandwiches, quesadillas, and his hands down favorite treat is vanilla ice cream with M&M’s.  He prefers to drink milk, water and iced tea, and still loves his morning “white moo-moo/cha moo-moo” (white milk with a little chocolate syrup mixed in).  His favorite morning ritual is sitting on the counter while I make it so he can watch the white milk magically turn into chocolate milk:-)

He’s a mess of a little boy and we love hanging out with him. Every day is equal parts exhausting and rewarding.  In other words, it’s parenthood.

Motivation Monday

This was another one of those weeks where I was lacking some serious motivation. Granted it was week one of Whole30 (update on how that’s going tomorrow) and my energy levels were pretty low as I adjusted to life without sugar and bread (so this is what it feels like to come down off drugs….) and my body generally just felt a little wonky.  I also I’ve been a little bored with my typical exercise routine, which, as I’ve mentioned in the past, happens every couple of months or so and is usually a sign I need to mix things up a little.  I headed outside a few times this week, threw in another OTF class and only spent a couple days in the gym, and this was enough change of scenery to get me active.

Stats from this past week:

 Monday 7/4: 45 walk around the neighborhood, including some killer hill intervals!

Tuesday 7/5: 60 minute Orangetheory Fitness class

Wednesday 7/6: 20 minutes on the elliptical followed by a 45 minute power yoga class and some core exercises to top it off

Thursday 7/7: Had lunch plans today so I headed down after work and did a 40 minute run on the treadmill (6.0 mph) while watching Fixer Upper:-)

Friday 7/8: Walked outside along the river for an hour

Saturday 7/9: 60 minute Orangetheory Fitness class

Sunday 7/10: Really didn’t feel like doing anything, but I finally got my butt outside and walked around the neighborhood for 45 minutes, throwing in some good hill intervals. I felt so much better after I did…sometimes you just have to make yourself lace up those running shoes.

 In other news, Asher Wade had a run-in with a brick wall on the playground at school Thursday. These are not the kind of pictures you like getting from the preschool director…


However, that night I lathered him up with a mixture of emu oil and lavender essential oil that I get from my hippie soap and oil lady down in Seaside and I couldn’t believe the difference the next morning…

It looked 10x better and is continuing to heal quickly. I also use this concoction when I have burned myself or had a really dry patch of skin, and I used to put it on AW’s hiney when he got diaper rash.  I’m not sure if she has a website, but she does have a Facebook page, so maybe you can order from there if you don’t plan on being down along the 30A stretch anytime soon.  Just search “The Soap Pedaler” (she literally carries around her products on the back of her bicycle).  Good stuff.

Friday Faves

Happy Friday, y’all!  Friday got here quick this week, and I for one am not complaining.  It seems like I have had a lot of short weeks lately because I’ve taken off Friday’s and Monday’s here and there.  I wish I could permanently have a 4-day work week.  amIright??

 We don’t have much going on this weekend other than a church dinner tonight and date night tomorrow night (not sure what we are doing yet), and then the usual stuff…working out, running errands, church, and lots of pool time, hopefully. I need to re-pot some flowers and do some closet organization.  Gosh, that sounds so lame to type out, lol.  I’m old.  Anyone doing anything fun this weekend??

 Some faves as of late, starting with some snack finds…

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This granola is so yummy. Not just this flavor in particular, but all of them (there are probably around 10 different ones, at least in our Target).  It has much less sugar than most granolas, and I like the simpler ingredient list.  It’s very filling too.  Good mixed into yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, or on its own.  Target seems to have the best selection.

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Also found at Target are these YumButter almond butter packs. We’ve also bought the peanut butter one, but I prefer almond butter.  Really tasty and higher in protein than other almond butters, thanks to the addition of chia seeds.  I’ve been spreading this on a plain ricecake and topping with sliced banana for a filling afternoon snack.

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My love for Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookie has been mentioned on here before (including the newer Birthday Cake flavor), but these are the latest 2 oz servings! The cookies are usually packaged as a 4 oz serving and are huge, so I would only eat half.  They obviously got smart and decided to start packaging a more snack appropriate portion.  I found a box of these at our local Vitamin Shop.

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Been jazzing up my lunch time salads with these lately. Such a quick way to add some protein.  I’ve liked most of the flavors, but Ranch is probably my favorite.  No matter what I add to my salad, this flavor always seems to complement.

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I posted a picture of me in this dress a couple weeks ago, but I didn’t point out the actual dress, which I love! Very lightweight and comfy…perfect for hot summer days.  It’s Lily Pulitzer, but I can’t find the exact style on their website anymore!  Did they discontinue it?!  The closest I could find is the “Windsor” but it’s strapless (still very cute though).

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Just because this kid is so dang cute and funny…

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Watching his favorite show, PJ Masks, while dressed as his favorite character from the show, Cat Boy. Just as the show was coming on the other day he exclaimed that he would be right back, and then 30 seconds later he came down the stairs with his costume.

Have a great weekend!  Hope you are doing some more exciting than potting plants and cleaning out closets;)

Toddler Tuesday {Toddler Camping 101}

{Totally forgot to do my Motivation Monday post yesterday. Last week was so crazy, I honestly don’t even remember what I did, other than trying to fit in some short runs when I could. Back at it this week for sure!}

We took AW camping for the first time this past weekend. I thought this would be a fun way to celebrate Father’s Day. Turns out, camping with a 3 year old is somewhat fun, somewhat stressful, and somewhat of a nightmare;) Let’s just say that our weekend of camping ended with us packing up and heading out at 10 o’clock on Saturday night, lol. This was after listening to Asher Wade whine and complain for the whole afternoon about how he wanted to “go home to the blue house NOW.” He started off having a really good time, until he realized that camping involved bugs and sleeping in a tent. The child is TERRIFIED of bugs. Like, it’s borderline ridiculous. Obviously there were creepy crawlers all over the place, so that didn’t go over well. Then we explained that he was going to sleep in a tent that first night, and he started crying for his bed. I mean, I guess I can’t blame him. Our beds are a lot more comfortable than sleeping on the ground. Next time we will definitely splurge on some nice Aero beds or something. Yes, there will be a next time. I’m not one to give up easily. In all seriousness I do think he’ll get more adjusted each time we go. It was just a totally different experience for him. Plus I felt like there was still a lot of stuff he couldn’t do, and we were constantly having to tell him “No” which I know gets frustrating (for all of us).

Still though, we had fun spending time together and Fall Creek Falls State Park was awesome. One of the nicer places I have camped. Beautiful scenery, lots of wildlife (deer would come right up into our campsite), the falls were stunning, nice swimming pool, horseback riding, hiking, golf, fishing, playgrounds and a huge lake with tons of water sports. For those that prefer to “glamp” there are cabins and a lodge and even a decent restaurant. We cooked our meals at the campsite, but I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to cheating a little and visiting the restaurant. There are just a lot of amenities that make the whole camping experience a little more comfortable. If you are more adventurous, there are also options for primitive camping. Options are always nice. I definitely recommend Fall Creek Falls if you are looking for a nice outdoorsy trip. We will absolutely go back.

As for the “101” aspect of this post, here are some of my toddler camping tips for amateurs a/k/a things we will know better next time: (1) Bring cots or Aero beds, stuffed animals, their own pillow, whatever you can do to make the sleeping situation more like home, (2) Bring plenty of toys, bikes, scooters, balls, coloring books, etc., so they have stuff to do while you’re trying to enjoy the campfire and drink a beer, (3) Bring a portable potty to avoid multiple trips to the bathhouse especially if you are in the midst of potty training, (4) Pick a quieter, less trafficked campsite, preferably close to the bathhouse and a grassy area, (5) Find a campground/state park that has other, toddler-friendly stuff to do (like a pool, playground, water falls, easy hikes), (6) Bring special/safer “tools” so they can participate (AW was fascinated with the lanterns, roasting pokers, lighters, matches, sledge hammer, basically anything we’d rather him NOT play with, (7) Bring lots of wipes and anti-bacterial gel, (8) Lots of non-toxic bug spray and sunscreen (we use the Alba and Honest Company brands) and a first-aid kit, (9) Practice sleeping in the tent BEFORE you go, (10) Lots of snack options and easy to make meals that they can participate in, (11) Start small and don’t bite off more than you can chew (a whole weekend was probably a little too ambitious), and my last and final tip that I always include when it comes to any sort of toddler event, (12) GO IN WITH LOW EXPECTATIONS:-)

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Since I had already planned to be off on Monday, I enjoyed spending the first official day of summer at home with AW. We also saw “Finding Dory” with Matt. This was the first time we have taken AW to the movie theater and he did great. It was such a cute movie!

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Toddler Tuesday

We’ve started summer early around here, although I tend to think of Memorial Day has the official kick-off of the summer season anyways. Our neighborhood pool is officially open for business and we have been spending a lot of evenings there. We are so lucky because we just walk out our back door, through our yard and out the back gate, and we’re at the pool. This was a huge selling point of our lot and home. Basically we have a pool in our backyard, without the responsibility of having a pool in our back yard, ha!

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This little boy would stay outside all day if he could


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They see me rollin’…


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Love these sweet, fleeting moments

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Pizza at the pool!


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Some serious bed head


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Three generations of McWilliams guys:)


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So, we are in the midst of potty training. I use this term very loosely because like most aspects of our parenting style, we go with the flow and aren’t exactly hard nosed rule followers. We’re just kind of following his lead, which often means he’s peeing in the front yard;)


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I was going through pics from this past weekend and couldn’t believe how old he looks in this one. I swear he’s just growing and changing right before my eyes…


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Checking out the boats on the river


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Love these boys:-)

Toddler Tuesday and Weekend Shenanigans

Well, I often brag about how we seem to have bypassed the so called “terrible two’s” and I just assumed we got lucky with a little boy that doesn’t throw tantrums and is generally pretty even keel.  Now I am here to tell you the very hard and often undisclosed truth…it’s really the “terrible three’s” you should be wary of.  Case in point…

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This was at Panera the other day. Matt was attending a parent seminar at AW’s new school and I walked AW to Panera while we waited for Matt to join us. I literally had to text Matt with SOS and ask him to come rescue me ASAP. Asher Wade turned three and apparently this is when toddlers start to experience what I can only assume is some sort of bipolar, PMS, Tourette’s combination. Basically you cry for no reason, are extremely sensitive, act a fool and have random outbursts at very inopportune times, in the presence of the general public, and usually at times when I’m already on the verge of losing it as it is. This has happened almost daily for the last week.  It’s like a switch just flips and BAM, mind lost.

Then you have sweet moments like these..

I guess I’m just calling this a phase and moving along.

We also did some serious flower planting over the weekend.

I’m pretty proud of our pretty flowers.  I’m keeping watch over them as though they were newborn puppies and so paranoid something is going to happen and they will die.  I mean, I don’t exactly have a green thumb – I’ve never planted anything in my life – but I’m hopeful they will last.  Our front porch looks so pretty!

20 Birthday Questions at 3 Years Old

We are back from our most amazing trip, and while there will be several upcoming posts about our adventure, I wanted to get this up before I forgot, considering Asher Wade’s 3rd birthday was a week and a half ago.  I thought it would be fun to start asking him the same 20 questions each year on his birthday to see how the answers change.  I thought this would be the first year where he would actually answer them intelligibly, and although all of his answers didn’t exactly make sense, he did pretty well and answered pretty quickly!  We asked him these questions on his actual birthday last week (while on board the Disney Dream, laying in bed, watching The Lion King, with our sliding door open, listening to the waves outside….take me back NOW).

  1. What is your favorite color? Blue
  2. What is your favorite toy? Chase
  3. What is your favorite fruit? Banana
  4. What is your favorite TV show? PJ Masks 
  5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Cheese
  6. What is your favorite outfit? Good Dinosaur shirt and blue shorts (Lord help us when he wants to start dressing himself because this would not match at all…)
  7. What is your favorite game? Soccer
  8. What is your favorite snack? Raisins
  9. What is your favorite animal? Giraffe
  10. What is your favorite song? Paw Patrol theme song 
  11. What is your favorite book? Paw Patrol book (although he calls a “book” a “biz” which is hilarious to me…”Mommy, read my Paw Patrol biz please.”)
  12. Who is your best friend? Daddy  (we’ll just forget the fact that I carried you for 9 months, got really fat, birthed you, nursed you for 2.5 freaking years….whatevs)
  13. What is your favorite cereal? Cinnamon squares 
  14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Pool
  15. What is your favorite drink? Chocolate moo moo (a/k/a milk) 
  16. What is your favorite holiday? Birthday (umm yeah, this is a pretty good one) 
  17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Little Chase 
  18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Bagel with cream cheese 
  19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Mac n’ cheese 
  20. What would you wish for if you were granted any 3 wishes? Chase backpack, go to Target (LOL!), go to Mickey’s house

Bonus Question: What do you want to be when you grow up? Police man like Chase


And then you were 3….

My precious baby boy,

Here you are, turning three, and becoming a little boy.  All it takes is one look at you to see that you are not a baby.  Right before my eyes, especially over the last few months, you have become a little boy.  A fiery, caring, wild, inquisitive, rowdy, determined, happy, messy, empathetic, headstrong, loving, spirited, little boy.  I had no idea what it would be like to raise a boy, but if I’ve learned anything, it’s that it takes a whole lotta energy and patience!  Nanny says you are just like your daddy when he was little and you remind me of your uncle too.  You play so hard and never.stop.moving.  Like, ever.  I’m not one to sit still either, but I think you have me beat.  You go 90 mph from the second your feet hit the floor in the morning.  You always have scrapes, bumps and bruises on you.  Definitely a daredevil and you will attempt just about anything.  You can pretty much do everything at the playground now, except for the monkey bars, although you try every single time.  It won’t be long.  You are incredibly strong and coordinated and you pick up new skills and sports easily.

As much as you are “all boy” you are also incredibly affectionate and still a “mama’s boy”.  You love to give hugs and kisses and you always want to be with us.  If you can’t see us for more than 5 minutes, you are definitely screaming our names.  If I received a quarter for every time I hear “Mama?!” in a day, I’d be a very rich woman;)  You do play independently now, which is nice when we are trying to get things done around the house.  It was a Godsend when you started being able to go in the playroom on Saturday mornings and entertain yourself so we could get even just 15 more minutes of sleep.  And boy do you love that playroom.  You always want to be in there when we are home.  We live a busy life and are always on the go, and for the most part you are pretty go with the flow, but you definitely let us know when you’ve had enough.  You like being out and about, but when it comes down to it, I think you are somewhat of a homebody.  You will often say you want to go home to the “blue house.” We have a lot more family time since moving to Chattanooga and we are together more in general.  You do love your babysitters (Miss Kaylee is your favorite) and pretty much shoo us out of the house when they get there.  You love your daddy too and think he’s so funny.

 Other things you love right now – soccer, bath time and especially when we let you take a shower, riding your scooter and bike, walking on the bridge along the river, animals, playing at any playground, being outside any chance you get, coloring, going to children’s church, the pool or basically anything water related, fire trucks, airplanes, diggers, listening to us read to you and sing songs (Jesus Loves Me, Wheels on the Bus and the Paw Patrol theme song are your favorites.  You also love to climb in my lap, curl up and have me sing Rock-a-bye-baby).  Your favorite books are The Monster at the End of the Book (oh my gosh I have GOT to record daddy reading this to you because it is hilarious!), any Paw Patrol book, but especially the “look and find” one, Where’s Spot?, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (regardless of the fact that it’s nowhere near Christmas) and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.  Favorite toys are Mission Chase, Arlow (from the Good Dinosaur), your foam sword, “big jet” (your Little People airplane), big red fire truck, Paw Patrol “pup pad,” Chase car, Spy Chase (notice a theme here?), really anything Paw Patrol related, and Spiderman.  Your favorite television shows are Paw Patrol, Lion Guard, PJ Masks, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Captain Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Little Einsteins.  The Good Dinosaur is your favorite movie and you ask to watch it over and over.

You are still the pickiest eater on the planet.  It is so frustrating for your mama because we cook some yummy things and you refuse to try anything.  Your favorite foods are string cheese, yogurt, cereal (thankfully we never have sweet ones in the house so you’re used to things like wheat squares and raisin bran), waffles, bagels with cream cheese, peanut butter and jelly, most fruit, peanut butter crackers, chips, pretzels, pizza, Mac n’ cheese, French fries and turkey dogs.  You don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but you do love vanilla ice cream with M&M’s, Oreo type cookies, doughnuts and popsicles.  You usually drink water or milk, and you love chocolate milk and lemonade as a treat.  Your favorite color is blue.  You are into clothes and like to help pick out what you are going to wear, except you don’t quite understand seasons.  Right now you can’t understand why you can’t wear your favorite Spiderman sweater.  Picking out your pajamas at night is always an ordeal, and again, you always pick out the super warm, fleece ones, even if it’s 80 degrees outside. You love stuffed animals and sleep with no less than 5 every night, along with your Jake and the Neverland Pirates blanket that Miss Judy made for you before we left Birmingham.  You also always have to have a burp cloth when you go to sleep.  You call this your “cloth” and it is basically your security blanket.

 Some other stats – you weigh 39 pounds, are 3 feet and 3 inches tall, wear a size 3t or 4t depending on the brand, are in size 6 diapers (Lord willing, not for much longer because you NEED to be potty trained like, yesterday), size 9 in shoes.  Your baby rolls are gone (sniff, sniff) and your tummy isn’t quite as round anymore.  You now appear to be growing up rather than out;)  You go to bed around 8:30, but you would stay up later if we let you.  Right now as type this you are still awake and it is almost 9:30, but granted, we are on vacation.  You wake up by 7 in the morning.  You have an “OK to Wake Clock” that lights up green at 7 each morning, and that’s supposed to be your sign that you can get up and come in our room.  50/50 on whether this works, but you are very proud of yourself when you wait and always want us to come see your green clock.  Some nights you come in our room at some point, but almost always go right back to sleep after daddy walks you back to your room.  You don’t seem to get scared of the dark, but you sometimes wake up crying for us claiming that your foot/toe/finger/etc. hurts.  Pretty sure this is a ploy;)  Naps are somewhat hard to come by.  Sometimes you will crash for 2+ hours, but there are a lot of days where you just skip nap all together.  I feel like we are on the verge of saying sayonara to naps.  You just don’t like to miss out on things.  You are talking really well and we love communicating with you.  You repeat everything we say, so we have to be very careful now.  Some funny things you often say that always make us laugh are:

“That’s so cool!”

“Mommy, you’re so pretty!” (melt my heart)

“Shoo mercy!” (when you have a stinky diaper)

“Hey Maddie Lou” (Maddux) and “Eennie Bug” (Annie) every time we walk in the house

“I want white moo-moo and cha moo-moo” (white milk mixed with chocolate milk)

“I go see my fraands” (on our way to church or small group)

“Let’s go to Target!” (you love Target as much as your mama)

“Change my da-da” (diaper)

When we pick you up from school and ask you what you did that day, no matter what, and without fail, you always say, “I played with the big bus.”

You clap and cheer whenever mommy or daddy go pee-pee on the potty…”Yay mommy!” or “Yay daddy!”  You also cheer when Maddux goes potty outside and every single day when we get home, you run in to see if Maddux had an accident in the house…”Yay! Maddie didn’t go poo-poo in the house!”

You can recite a few bible verses, count to 15’ish, sing your ABC’s and most of the Paw Patrol theme song.  You sing a lot, although we don’t always know what it is.  You’ll be watching a show and I’llhear you singing along with the songs.

You are learning to use “ma’am” and “sir”

You blame Annie for a lot of things…like if you come in our room at night, you’ll tell us that Annie was in your bed and woke you up, even though Annie has been in our bed the whole night. LOL! You’ll also make up stories about daddy “pinching you” when you get in trouble even though I was sitting right there and saw the whole thing.

It sounds silly, but my favorite thing is the way you say “yes.” It sounds like “yaas” and you say it with so much enthusiasm every time.

You tell us you love us multiple times a day and without being prompted. You are seriously the sweetest.

You definitely have a little southern twang:-)

 We’ve been asking you if you want a sibling, mainly because a common topic of conversation around our house (and amongst friends and family) is when we are going to have another, and you always answer with a resounding “NO!”  You are equal parts skeptical and curious when you’re around a baby, and you watch me very closely when I’m holding one.  I can honestly say I don’t know how you would do, lol.  You’ve had us all to yourself for three years now and we are definitely a very close family.  The three musketeers for sure.  We do so much fun stuff together.  I mean, hello, look where we are right at this very moment?!  This morning we will be boarding the Disney Dream!  On your birthday! I often wonder how the dynamics would change if we added another kid to the mix.  Would we still be able to do all these fun things and go to all these exciting places?  I don’t want you to miss out on anything and I don’t want to have to pass on things because it’s just harder with two (and more expensive…).  Your daddy and I still haven’t decided if the time is right to add to our family, but one thing I do know is that a new kid will have some very big shoes to fill.  Although you certainly have your toddler moments, you are pretty awesome and one-of-a-kind for sure.

Asher Wade, you are so loved.  If you know just one thing in your life, I want it to be that.  Never doubt how much your daddy and I love you.  Never doubt how much God loves you.  You are special and “fearfully and wonderfully made” and you will use all your wonderful traits to do amazing things one day.  I have to remind myself daily that your tenacity and fiery spirit just means you will be a great leader someday.  Until then, we will just keep trying to reign it in without putting it out.

Happy Birthday, sweet boy!  May “3” be your best year yet!

Love, Mommy

Toddler Tuesday (and a little about Matt)

Since Matt was in Birmingham attending a men’s conference at our old church, #toddlerAW and I had lots of mommy and son time over the weekend.  This usually involves visits to our favorite ice cream shop, long walks along the river, and trips to Target, which is exactly what we did.  AW also got a much needed (as evidenced by the shaggy pics below) haircut.  I always enjoy getting some one-on-one time with my little man, but I’m always really happy when Matt comes home.  Just a few pictures from the past weekend, which was incredibly beautiful by the way…

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And hopefully Matt doesn’t care that I posted these on here, but I just think it’s an awesome thing that he did and I want to brag on him a bit…

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Matt and I were both raised in church and have been Christians for a long time, but Matt has mentioned on several occasions over the last few years that he felt the urge to get baptized again, now that he was mature enough in his faith to really understand what it means.  While attending the conference this past weekend he had the opportunity, along with hundreds of other men, to get baptized.  Like, full fledged, under the water, old school baptized!  Two of his closest friends were there to witness it and cheer him on, which I think was so cool.  I was so glad they got these pictures so I could see:-)