Friday, June 19, 2015

Holy Bike Riders, Batman!

I just need to take a minute to brag on my kids. Over the past few months, they have all upgraded a size on their bikes and really gotten good at handling them.

Back in the fall, when we knew Boy Twin was ready, I found a used 12" bike at the Goodwill store for $5.00. This was his first move to a real bike with pedals and he mastered it in no time at just over age 4. That little red bike was the best five bucks I've spent ever. Girl Twin was still using her balance bike but didn't like it at all that brother had one-upped her. It didn't take her long to catch up, when he would give her a chance to practice on his bike.

Also in the fall, Big Sis decided she wanted to move up a size. I found a used 20" bike for $15 at the Rhea Lana sale and she was all set! By spring time, Boy Twin was ready to move up to Big Sister's old 16" princess bike and Girl Twin was riding the Goodwill bike.

I'm so proud of the little ones riding big bikes before age 5; it took Big Sis until almost age seven to ride without her training wheels. With the little ones, we skipped training wheels altogether. And I'm so glad we did!

At Lee's insistence, we bought both little kids a Strider balance bike when they turned two. He did a lot of research that led us to the purchase. The bikes have no pedals--kids just push with their feet. The concept is that they learn to balance quicker and not rely on training wheels. Thus, we were able to skip training wheels and just go to a big kid bike. Now, I'm not getting anything from Strider for this post. I just want my friends to know that the price tag of a balance bike is WELL WORTH IT! I was hesitant mostly because of the cost (of course, we were buying two), but we found a great closeout sale on them and saved a few bucks. The bikes are durable and they rode them for over two years. Overall, it was a great investment for our family and a great learning tool for the kids. I never dreamed they would be riding bikes in preschool with such ease!
Now we are at another crossroads. We are shopping for Boy Twin his own 16" bike so Girl Twin can have the princess bike. We have to get something "for boys" he says. 

I got my first bike for Mother's Day and I'm ready to hit the trails with my family this summer!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Birthday Happiness!

Today is the day--these kids are FIVE!

I love these kids with all my heart. They challenge me, frustrate me and make me yell. They run, giggle, fight and make the biggest messes.

They love each other and they love me. Our house would be lonely without them.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What's Old Is New Again...or something like that

A couple of weeks ago my sister and I took a trip to Oklahoma City to spend the evening with the New Kids on the Block. We took a night off from kid duty and enjoyed our view from the lower level seats. We had a great time, saw a great show and did a lot of reminiscing and a little booty shaking.

Let's just get one thing out of the way, because I know what you are thinking. YES---the median age at the show was likely 37 and it was very obvious. It was a middle-aged, cool mom party. And I'm not (very) embarrassed.

Let me share some thoughts with you about the experience.  You see, this isn't the first time we've seen The Kids.

1. The first time I saw NKOTB, I was 14. My mom drove us and some friends to the show in her minivan. This time, I'm (almost) 40 and I took two days off work and drove myself. However, I did leave my own minivan behind. But from the looks of the parking lot, the minivan club is thriving.

2. This will make you think--when my mom took us to see NKOTB, she was THIRTY-FOUR. Yes, she was younger than the age I am now. She and my dad also took a group of about 6 of us and slept with us on a cold, hard sidewalk overnight in a less than cool part of Memphis to score those tickets.  You know, back before you could just get them online.
3. We drank some beer at the show. Because we could.
4. The New Kids guys are roughly my age. They don't look as old as I feel, let's just say that. I'd take off my shirt, too, if I looked that good. Wowza.

5.  I can't help it, I'll be loving them forever.
6.  Nelly was supposed to open the show, but he couldn't make it. Seems 'ol Nelly is doing most of his rapping in jail these days. We were pretty bummed.
7. However, TLC did a fantastic job opening the show. As you know, it was only T and C but they both looked and sounded great, though a bit tired at times. Hip hop is hard work when you're 40, y'all! I loved hearing so many of their songs from my teen years that I'd already forgotten about.

8. Glad to have shared the fun with my best sister! I'm sure my mom would have gone with us but she was home taking care of all the grandkids....haha.

Friday, May 29, 2015

#ad Big Birthday Fun {sponsored post}

This is a sponsored post. I am currently serving as a blog ambassador for The Jones Center, who has compensated me for such. The photos and opinions are real, and are my own. This is a reflection of my family's personal experience as members of the facility.

Well, Big Sis has now officially been an 8-year-old for a whole week. It's hard for me to believe that my first tiny baby is now such a big kid.
As her birthday approached, we started discussing ideas for a birthday party. We looked at options and cost for several different locations. Finally, she settled on just inviting the girls from her class and a few other family friends. Girls Only! (I guess we are at that age now).  Poor brother and dad...
One of our favorite places in town is The Jones Center, so I got online to check out their birthday party options. Immediately, I thought she would choose an ice skating party since she'd just finished a session of ice skating lessons there this winter.  I thought it was a very fun, affordable choice--you can have a party room, a skate lesson with a teacher and skate passes for 15 kids included in the package. But, Big Sis said she wanted something different.

The Jones Center also has a huge indoor pool and pool party packages--either during public swim time or private rental--that are also easy on the budget. Since we've had our membership at The Jones Center, we've spent A LOT of time in this pool. The kids absolutely love the giant slide and I love that we can keep them entertained and busy all year long in the pool. As for a party, Big Sis decided that she swims there so much that she wanted to try the other choice we looked at.

She chose a birthday party in the Gymnastics Studio, and it was perfect for us. We were able to rent the room for 1.5 hours and have access to tumbling mats, balls, ramps and other tumbling "tools." We had about 12 kids at the party and they had a blast! It was non-stomp romping, with only a small break for the Frozen-themed cupcakes that left everyone with bright blue tongues. Instead of birthday gifts, our friends helped us collect more than 10 pair of children's pajamas to donate to the local women's shelter.
Here are some photos of the kids enjoying the Gymnastics Studio party. I totally recommend this for a party space for my local friends.

To see all of the birthday party options offered by The Jones Center, click the link here. Make sure you tell them I sent you!

Monday, May 25, 2015

One-Eyed Fergie

It's been two months since Fergie's surgery to remove her right eye. It was such a hard decision for us to make, but still the right one, we believe. After her injury in January, we waited and treated the eye with drops in hopes of a different outcome. Once the eye pressure went back up, the vet thought that she may be in pain--much like a human would have a headache. Rather than keeping her on pain pills and eye drops forever, we decided to have the eye removed.
Fergie handled the whole thing like a champ, once she got over being mad at us. I'm not joking; she gave us the cold shoulder for a solid week before she caved. Of course, she hated wearing the cone for two weeks and bumped into everything in the house. Once the cone came off, she quickly got back to her old self. We still run and play ball like before. The only difference I've noticed is that she will take longer to judge distance now than before, but she's otherwise adjusted well.
Here's our pretty girl post-surgery and now.

PS: Girl Twin thinks we should adopt a one-eyed boy Boston to be her friend. LOL!

Friday, May 22, 2015

It's Great to be 8!

Today is a special day for Big Sis...she's 8!
Happy Birthday to our funny, smart and pretty big girl. Every day I notice something about her that I didn't notice the day before. She never sits still, she's all legs and she has blossomed this year socially. Sometimes I look at her and can't believe she's the same little girl I left crying in kindergarten just a few years ago.
She loves to read, rides her bike like a pro and will climb on anything that's nailed down. She's a great combination of Disney princess sweetness, Wonder Woman toughness and American Girl coolness.
I'm so proud of this kid.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fun With Big Sis

Big Sis came home last week with a couple of Mother's Day goodies for me. I love it when the teachers let them do creative things that also make great keepsakes.
This year, the kids filled out a questionnaire titled, "All About Mom." I was completely surprised by how much Big Sis really does know about me, and how much she pays attention around the house. I also got a kick out of some of the totally random things that she answered.
Here are some of her questions/answers--
Mom and I like to:  Read together
Mom likes to say: "Clean my room!"
My mom really loves:  My family
She likes to eat:  Fish (what?)
The best thing she cooks is:  Fish (again, what?)
If I could go anywhere with my mom, it would be:  Disney World
If she had time, she would like to:  Relax
Mom is really good at:  Working
Her favorite thing to do to relax is:  Lay down
I love my mom because:  She loves me back. (AWWWW!)
Here's our photo of Lunch with Moms today at her school. I love this kid. I just cannot believe she's going to be EIGHT next week!
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