Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Baby Boy Turned 4

The unthinkable happened, and my baby is now four years old. It's hard to believe, and I'm actually still in denial. Nonetheless, we celebrated with a "boys" only birthday party - transformers-style, at Pump-it-Up. And his actual birthday was spent driving to Auburn and watching his sister swim in a meet...he was a complete trooper. He is still continuing to promise me that he will always be my baby boy; in fact, he told me he just wished he was still three. I'm just cherishing these moments as they fly right on by...

Another Swimming Feat

It seems like all I do is write about Caroline's swimming accomplishments, but I have to mention the latest few...

She recently swam for her school's swim team and placed 3rd overall in the 25 yard backstroke and 5th overall in the 25 yard freestyle...both events were among 1st-3rd grades and had anywhere between 45 to 55 swimmers.
Caroline was marked up before swimming for her school in the State swim meet - against other private schools...."EAT MY BUBBLES!"

Then we went to swim at Auburn with her Sunkist swim team, and she qualified for State times in both the 50 yard and 100 yard backstrokes. The Auburn pool was an awesome facility! To qualify as a seven year old for a ten and under state time is a BIG deal! We are super proud.

Just before taking off for the 100 yard backstroke...

100 yard backstroke final results - state time!

Our New Furry Child

I should mention that we adopted a third furry baby - doxie, of course - who needed a better home. Her name is Char - which stood for "charbroiled weenie," but I've since nicknamed her Char-Char, Char-Baby, Fatty Patty, etc. She is a sweet pup, although not quite house broken. We're not sure exactly how old she is, but we can't put her over one year. We'll have to make her birthday September 12, since that's the day we got her. Now we're up to four pets, two children and two tired and CRAZY parents! (By the way, our other older pups aren't quite sold on her yet. She likes to bite their legs and take their spot on our bed at night! The NERVE!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Second Furry Child Turns 10

Sweet Mabel turns ten years old today...August 17th. Yes, I know it's a little crazy that I know when my dogs' birthdays are, but they were my first children, long before my human babies were born. We broke out the Party Pooch handkerchief first thing this morning, and she's been wearing it all day...this is a tradition for the pups in our household. It's so funny how they know it's their birthday when we get this little yellow cloth out of their toy/doggie box. She also had a special canned food meal of chicken and vegetables, which is yet another tradition when a furry child celebrates a birthday. So Happy Birthday, Mewzers! May you have many more!

By the way, just as I made up a song for Murphy, my little Mabel has a song of her own as well. It goes like this...

"She's so pretty and sweet, pretty and sweet, pretty and sweet Mabel!" (I also ad-lib lots of different things about her, but that was the chorus. Silly, I know.)

Moments of Silliness

JM loves this attention from his Sissy

The look of relaxation...

This is just a glimpse of the fun we have in the Oliphant household. I always know the kids are up to something "interesting" when the house is quiet, i.e. no arguing.

One time this summer, Caroline decided to set up a spa in our home, and John Michael was her client. She soaked his feet in warm, soapy water; she massaged his back as he laid face down on the ottoman; then she had him lay down on the floor with a pillow under his head, a blanket wrapped around his hair, and two teacup saucers over his eyes...those were meant to be cucumbers. She also slathered some sort of "mask" on his face...don't ask, because I have no idea. Plus, she sprayed him with her perfume and glossed up his lips. AHHH! Relaxing! (After her relentless begging, I finally agreed to be her client as well, but refusing the mask and perfume. The lip gloss, I could handle. The spa experience actually wasn't that bad...other than the fact my big feet didn't fit in the soapy water bucket.)

Another time that the kids were quiet in the back of the house, I discovered that Caroline had used magic markers to color on both of their faces. She made herself into a pirate and John Michael into a tiger. Who knows? We might have a potential tattoo or makeup artist on our hands.

Here she is, face full of magic marker artistry

The Pirate and Tiger - Magic Marker Style

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Here We Go Again...

August 10, 2011...a first occurred. Both of my children got dressed for school. Caroline started second grade at Pinelake Christian School, and John Michael started K-3 preschool at Pinelake as well. I must say that I was ready for Caroline to get back to the classroom, just as much as she was. That girl thrives on social interaction, and I was out of all options and energy to give that to her on my own. John Michael, on the other hand, would have been completely fine staying home with me. Although, he was initially thrilled to be going to school like a "big kid," as soon as we pulled into the parking lot and exited the car, he said: "Mommy, I'm tired of school." BUT YOU HAVEN'T EVEN STARTED!

All was great with the first day, though. I'm sure I'll be an emotional mess when my baby boy heads to kindergarten, but at least I have another couple of years before I have to worry about that...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Whirlwind Summer

Disney World 2011

I can't believe that the entire summer has practically vanished before my eyes. Here we are, about to embark on a new school year, when it feels as if we barely finished the last one. I've never spent a summer "break" being as busy as I have these last couple of months.

We started our summer adventure with John Michael's first swim lessons, which he ROCKED. I was very skeptical going into these lessons, simply because he has shown absolutely no interest in the water, and he has been adamant about not wanting to learn to swim in the past. However, he amazed us all and took the instruction extremely well. He turned out to be quite the little fish, and it wouldn't surprise me if he gives his Sissy a run for her money in the pool within a few years.

Shawn and I had the rare opportunity to spend a few days alone on the beach while he worked a pharmacy convention. Our "alone-time" vacation was extended as my in-laws kept the kids for another week while I worked my Junior League project.

Junior League Arts Explosion Camp - me and one of my sweet campers

By about the fifth or sixth day of it being just me and Shawn in the house, I started wondering how in the world are we going to re-adjust to hanging around just each other again once the kids leave the nest for good?? Whew!! (Shawn, if you're reading this, you know I'm just teasing. :-))

Our weekend in Destin - pharmacy convention

One of the highlights of the summer was our family going on the Sunkist swim team trip to Florida...

Wakulla Springs, FL - NO FEAR!!

We took a chartered bus to Wakulla Springs, then onto St. Petersburg, where the team competed in a swim meet. We also spent a lot of time at the beach and spent our Fourth of July at Disney World.

Sweet Sunkist Friends - Caroline and AG

On our way home, we stopped at the University of Florida, where the team had swim practice at the same facility where several Olympic swimmers had just been earlier that morning - including Ryan Lochte!

More of Wakulla Springs swimming...very cold water!

By the way, Caroline qualified for the age 10 and Under State time in the 50 yard backstroke at the St. Pete meet...BIG deal for a 7-year old! She also swam personal best times in all events, and we were fortunate that my Uncle Dick and Aunt Karen came over from Tampa to watch.

Shortly after she swam the 50 yard backstroke and qualified for State

Needless to say, everyone was exhausted when we pulled back into the YMCA parking lot at 2:00 a.m. on the day we returned. Poor Shawn even got up later that morning and worked. I didn't get enough time to recover before Caroline and I headed to Camp Bratton Green, just a couple of days later....YIPPEE!!

Sweating it out at Camp Bratton Green

The camp itself was actually very nice, and for people that dig camp life, it would've been top-notch. However, this chick (ME) does not dig camp life. (Plus, I'd just come off a very long bus trip, where the itinerary was packed day to day, and sleep was scant.) I slept in a cabin with no air conditioning after nearly fighting another woman for her cabin that had air. We exchanged strong words. I was entitled to the cabin because I was the first to sign up for it, but I failed to get my stuff there in time to "claim" it. In the end, I chose to walk away without connecting my fist with her face. That would have been very un-Christian- like. And that was just the beginning of the weekend.

Face painted with her cabin's team

Lake tour with the staff counselor paddling Caroline around in the kayak!

Just finished riding the zip line

Caroline, on the other hand, had an absolute blast. As we pulled out of the camp's driveway, she was already talking about next year, and I instantly informed her that her daddy will be accompanying her next time.

Soapy slide was a HIT!

We capped off the summer with our annual trip with Dad and Betsy to Destin for the MAFP convention. We enjoyed our week thoroughly, especially having the opportunity to visit with my Uncle Al from California.
JM assisted with the Pirate Show!

Check out his octopus tattoo

I don't think the plaid shorts were planned for all the "boys" in the family, but they were cute, nonetheless.

Gotta love the dude in the background.

As the summer is coming to an end, my calendar is still full! Back to school shopping, parties, orientations, etc. My grandmother is turning 90 years old next week, and we're having a big celebration for her...not to mention Shawn's 35th birthday will be next week as well. Before I know it, my babies will be turning 8 and 4, and I am simply not ready!

Where is the PAUSE button...or just the SLOW MOTION?

Caroline's first oyster! Just kidding...she didn't go through with it.