Blog Archives for category Jacksonville

I’m going to miss these ladies.

Tonight was a Pampered Chef birthday party for Jacqueline…and the last time I’d see her or Katherine (until they hopefully come visit this fall for a girls weekend). They were part of the mommy group I got involved with here and they grew to be great friends. I’m REALLY going to miss them.

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Almost four hours on a waterslide.

Friends of ours are moving (one of my mommy group friends; her husband retired from the USMC) and had a retirement/going away party…with a waterslide for the kids! Owen started sliding shortly after we got there at 4 and only stopped for about 10 minutes total to eat a granola bar and a few bites for dinner before we left at 7:45. This kid loves waterslides. :)

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Click for a bigger version.
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The peeing details.

So, it turns out it was his friend, Braxton, that peed on him. (I actually got the scoop from the classroom assistant.) She told me it hadn’t really been that big of a deal—that the girl who called made it seem like an INCIDENT. She thinks it was more on purpose but apparently Braxton said they were peeing in the same toilet (which, she wasn’t watching, but had walked by and they were at separate toilets).

His mom actually showed up at the same time I was there and we had a laugh. She said she was hoping it was Owen because she knows me and knew I wouldn’t care. :)

Owen didn’t seem to be phased by it at all and didn’t even talk about it until I asked. And he said Braxton just wasn’t paying attention. He didn’t seem to think it was any big deal.

So, no one can tell what REALLY happened, though Owen is a pretty honest kid (and does like to tattle) so if Braxton did it on purpose I’m sure we would have heard it.

Gardening girl + ride along + kittens

We went to a friends house for a play date and Katie grabbed the gardening gloves and shovel. :)

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And enjoyed being driven around…

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She also managed to get up into and out of the trampoline (using the stepstool) which nearly gave me heart failure.

Then she got to pet a kitten (they have a few strays that they feed) and she loved it—“Kitty cat! Kitty cat!”

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Then she got up on the swing herself but needed me to push her. :)

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You can’t beat a great morning spent with friends.

Katie’s first popsicle

A mommy group friend invited us over after school to play on their waterslide (that Owen LOVES). Katie enjoyed it, too, along with the swingset and the trampoline.

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Owen also ate a Popsicle—almost. He ate about half of it then wanted to save it. He was a bit upset when I said it wasn’t possible (it was about 85°)!

A friend making Katie laugh with funny faces!

Throwback Thursday—My first mommy group!

From a group play date at our house in June 2009…

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Easter break park play date!

I told Owen we were going to the park and he was really excited. Then I told him who would be there (the core group of moms and kids from my mommy group) and he got EVEN MORE excited and said “My friends!!!!”

The other kids were super excited to see him, too—we really haven’t all been together (on a playdate) since before school started!

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Running around with another group of boys who were playing shooting games. :)

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Then everyone ate snacks/lunch at the pavilion and then it was time to head home for Katie’s nap.

This was the best I could get as we were leaving the park!

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Play group glasses

Unfortunately our mommy group doesn’t get together on a weekly basis anymore because the younger kids are in school, nap times conflict, and people are just busier…but today three of us met! It was great. Katie also had a fun time playing with new toys…and didn’t really play too much with the older boys (about age 3.5).

But she came up to me once tugging on me and saying “Mama! Mama!” And I looked down to see this. This is why I love having my phone immediately available in my pocket. :)

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Post-party pictures with Gramma

One of my mommy group friends invited a bunch of people over for Christmas dinner, so we all went! I made mashed potatoes and peas and peanuts. I forgot my phone (EEK!) so didn’t get to snap any pictures. I grabbed my friend’s phone to take a cute picture of Katie eating a candy cane, but long story short I didn’t end up with it. The kids had a blast running around playing with other kids—and Katie tested my nerves by wanting to go up and down the slippery wood stairs by herself! The dinner was delicious and there was about as much dessert as dinner!

When we got home, I managed to snap a few pics of the kids with Gramma—but we didn’t get any with me and the kids. (We had planned to before the party, but it was chaos trying to get out of the house on time.)

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Pre-Christmas Chili Dinner & Parade

We were invited to a friend’s house for a pre-Christmas chili dinner today. This is before we headed out. Yes, it was unseasonably warm.

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Owen accidentally found his old Buzz Lightyear that I was going to surprise him with on Christmas…so I made him “help me around the house” to earn it—and he never set it down except to get dressed! (We just watched Toy Story for the first time a few weeks ago and he loves it!

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Katie wanted to go outside.

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Owen had fun playing with all the kids there—running around outside (with Buzz, of course!). And Katie had fun wandering in a new house. There were enough other parents there that you didn’t actually have to keep a dedicated eye on your kids so it was more enjoyable than I thought it would be.

We originally weren’t going to stay for the parade because it started at 7 (Katie’s bedtime) but they changed it to 5:30 so we were able to go! Our first parade! And a small-town parade at that! It’s been A LONG TIME since I’ve seen any parade—let alone a small-town one—and I was reminded just how interesting they were…about five police cars (county and city from surrounding areas), six fire trucks, ambulances, people who were running for mayor/commissioner/whatever, girl/boy scout troops, etc. Blah. Let’s just say I’d never have gone except I wanted Owen to see it since he’s in love with everything Christmas. And it was warm (it was 65).

But I have to say a parade in the dark is kinda crap. There’s lights on the trucks/floats/etc. but you can’t see any of the signs. But Owen had fun so that’s what matters!

Waiting for the parade to start:

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The posse we were with (not everyone):

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Yes, Buzz came with him. Owen never set him down all night.

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Clapping!

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Waving!

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They were throwing candy and Owen got a raspberry lemonade sucker that he didn’t like—but Katie did!

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The fire trucks were loud!

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Happy boy!

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Santa ending the parade!

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Then it was a quick walk back to the host’s house, goodbyes, and we were home by 6:40!

Morning at the playground

I told Owen we could go to the playground this morning, thinking he would pick the one we’ve gone to a few times (the one we stopped at on the way back from seeing Tom off) that’s closest to us…but no…he requested the “baseball playground” (obviously, the one next to the ball fields we went to after playing baseball).

He also requested “socks like grannie’s at the hotel” so he could slide down the slides better. So I gave him some of mine (no pics, unfortunately)…and they stayed on pretty long, until he saw a girl in bare feet and then he wanted bare feet, too!

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It was a nice, cool, fall-ish morning so we were all in long pants and long sleeves (which felt like heaven!)…but Katie just couldn’t quite understand the long sleeves and kept trying to pull them off.

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This is how she sometimes goes down stairs.

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Unlike Owen, she doesn’t mind sand at all.

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Owen with Connor, one of the kids from my mommy group.

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Katie had her first skinned-lip/chin fall on the sidewalk moments before this (she just stumbled). She cried for about 15 seconds while I brushed the sand off her face…and then she was fine.

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Playground Morning

After we had to leave the park yesterday since it was SO F’ING HOT, I promised Owen we could go back when it was cooler. It was cooler this morning, so I told him we could go as soon as he pooped. Instantly: “Mama! I have to go poop!” And he did! After a quick breakfast, it was off to the park. Some of the mommy group met us there.

Katie has no fear of the steps and climbs right up!

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The slides were still wet and had some standing water. Katie thought that was great fun!

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These are the same bars he couldn’t reach a few weeks ago! (This is the same park we stopped at one the way home from seeing Tom off.)

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Katie getting ready to go down the slide.

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This is how she went down the whole way…which was just fine because it was more of a sticking/scooching/slow-motion trip (and easier on my nerves).

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The other way she goes down the slide.

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Reaching to play with Emily’s shoes.

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Owen (4), Emily (4), and Olivia (6)

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Owen’s going to preschool!

Well, Owen is officially signed up for morning preschool three days a week! I wanted two, but she said better to start with more and cut a day (if necessary) than start with two and want to add a day and have there not be room.

Best part? One of his friends is in the same class! :)
Worst parts? Class starts at 8 and ends right in the middle of Katie’s nap. :(

So this means we’re all getting up by alarm (YUCK). This was a VERY rude surprise since we thought it was 8:30 (that’s what the paperwork I have said) and that was VERY doable with our regular schedule (Owen is up at 7, I’m usually up and showered by 7:30, but Katie can sleep until 8 or 8:30 sometimes—though it’s usually 7:30). But 8? Good god, that’s a BIG change in our schedule to be up and out the door by 7:35.

And on the other end, I either keep Katie up and deal with her being a hot mess and she falls asleep on the way to pick him up OR I let her nap but have to wake her up after 30-45m. Neither are appealing. Poor second kid gets the shaft nap-wise. The only thing I’m hoping is that maybe by getting her up earlier she will be tired earlier and will nap earlier… FINGERS CROSSED!

That said, one bonus to having a friend in the same class? I already know his mom well (she’s part of our mom’s group) and he’s an only child so she doesn’t have to deal with other kids napping…so she has GRACIOUSLY offered to pick up Owen on occasion and bring him home! So they’ll just come out for lunch and a play date! I swear, this mom’s group just keeps on giving and giving!

The only other thing I was planning on but didn’t pan out is dropping Katie off at the same place for once a week morning preschool…but they only do full-time care for one-year-olds (you have to be potty trained for pre-school classes). They do have drop-off first-come-first-serve daycare, though, so I may still be able to have a morning to myself now and again!

We got to meet his teacher, Miss Jennifer, and see his classroom. He had been SUPER excited about going to school and wanted to GO (not just visit) today but he didn’t seem too thrilled once we got in the classroom. I think (am hoping) it was because they just cleaned it (while the kids were outside) and it smelled like disinfectant. He also could see the playground and wanted to go play but that wasn’t an option.

After a few minutes he seemed a bit more at home and was walking around exploring. He had to go potty when he was there, so he got to check out the bathroom and wash his hands in the kid-sized sink (and learn how to use a different soap bottle and towel dispenser).

The teacher and I talked about his issues (mainly pooping and autism diagnoses) and she said she had another kid with GI issues and that she hadn’t noticed anything autism-related with him. She said they eat breakfast there, there’s no rest/nap time, water is available all day (they just have to ask for it), they have outdoor play time, and there’s no real regimented activity time (like “Okay, you HAVE TO sit here and practice writing for 15 minutes.”).

I still can’t believe this is happening. My baby is leaving the nest… I just wish he was taking a school bus so I didn’t have to spend an hour of my day trekking back and forth. :)

Mmm. Watermelon.

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Play Group Morning

Today we just had to drive a few streets over!

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He loved the pirate boat, even if it didn’t have water in it!

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Testing out a cool chair! She liked it because it was bouncy!

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The host said Katie was great to have there since his baby is only 4mo—so the house wasn’t really baby proofed at all—and she certainly showed him everything that could be gotten into from hot wax to dog food bowls to toilets to cupboards to candles to decorative shells to lamps… :)

The girls before my girls’ night

Me and Katie before I headed out for a mom’s night out with my mommy group friends.

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The kid crew

It wasn’t until just now when I went to post this picture that I realized that Owen isn’t even in the picture (you can just see the top of his head)! But this is the main group of kids that Owen plays with—I didn’t even try to ask for a posed shot!

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Waiting for his friends to get here!

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Pool Day

We had an invite for the beach today, but I just am not ready to take Katie and Owen to the beach. Owen would be fine, but I have no idea if Katie will be a content to sit and play in the sand baby or if she’d be a run up and down the beach baby—and didn’t really have the energy to find out today…so I passed…but invited others over for the pool. One mom came over (the same one who went out to dinner with me on my anniversary) and it was great.

Getting ready for the sun:

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This is what happened when I asked the kids to pose. She did and Owen looks like he’s attacking her! :)

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Unfortunately, Katie was a total crankypants—the first time since she’s started this recent teething episode. But she liked the watermelon (and wanted to share, as you will see in the video).

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I finally got out the baby pool we had when Owen was little (Tom just found it before he left):

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And it was HOT. And with the running around with the kids and getting the air compressor out of the shed, yada yada yada, I really wanted to go in the pool. Ruth said “Sure, go ahead!” So I did! I spent about 15 minutes in with the kids—and Ruth even got Katie into a swim diaper and then brought her to the pool with us! Then Ruth even got in up to her knees to cool off. It was really, really great and I appreciated it immensely!

A bouncy good time!

We decided to give the bounce place another try since some of the moms were going. Owen HATED it before but that was two years ago so I was willing to try it. I explained it would be like the big water slides but without water. He seemed interested so I kept my fingers crossed.

We walked in and once he saw everything, he was almost vibrating with excitement! YAY!

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There was a toddler (under 4) area and Katie spent some time there…

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But she really wanted to go with the big kids!

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Playing with Owen and some other guests:

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Taking a break on Katherine’s lap:

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He’s a blur!

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