Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Parker's First (Real) Play Date

Parker has been to lots of play dates with cousins and family friends, but today he had his first real play date at our house with Trip, his best friend from preschool.   He has already been to Trip's house to play three times and he has been begging me to let Trip come over and play at our house. 

I picked them up from preschool, we ate lunch, and then the fun started!  They played nonstop for 4 1/2 hours until Trip's mom came to pick him up.  They spent almost two hours building an elaborate fort for their army men and then went outside to swing and play in the sandbox. 

I was a little worried about how Eden was going to react today.  She has been just as excited about Trip coming over to play as Parker and I was worried that they would want a "boys only" play date.  Luckily, they were very sweet to her and included her in most of their activities. 

Trip has been such a wonderful friend for Parker this year.  He is a sweet little boy and has been a good influence for Parker.  I am sad that they won't be going to the same school next year.  I know Parker is really going to miss him.  I guess that just means we will have to have lots of play dates on the weekend once they start kindergarten.
(On a side note- Trip's dad is an architect and it was amazing to see how Trip already has a natural gift for design.  Parker has never made a tower this elaborate or symmetrical.  What a wonderful talent- it will be neat to see how it unfolds as Trip gets older.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday Jewell!

It is hard to believe that another year has come and gone and Jewell and Parker are now turning five years old.  When they were born, the thought of having a five year old was unimaginable.  It has flown by quicker than I could have ever dreamed, and we are now staring kindergarten registration right in the face.  All I can think about is if the first five years have gone this fast, how fast are the next five years going to go?  And the next five?  And the next five?  And then they will be headed to college and...oh, I just have to stop myself or I'll turn into a complete blubbering idiot.

We were so excited to get to celebrate Jewell's 5th birthday with her this weekend.  Her party was at a local gym that had several trampolines built into the floor.  I was a little worried about how quickly the kids would warm up, but within minutes they were running, jumping, falling, laughing and then getting right back up to jump some more.  By the end of the party, even the parents were out jumping on the trampolines with the kids.  I used muscles I didn't even know I had and I woke up quite sore the next morning. 
 As always, cake and ice cream were one of the kids favorite parts of the entire evening. 
Happy Birthday Jewell!  We hope you have a wonderful birthday and feel very special today!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


These two Parkerisms are not about things that Parker has said recently, but things that he has done.

Parker LOVES to color and draw.  His favorite thing to draw right now is a treasure map but a few nights ago he decided to change things up a bit and drew his first family portrait.  I was so proud of him- he wrote all of our names with very little help.  Apparently, our legs grow out of our heads and we walk on chicken feet, but I still thought it was pretty good for a four year old.
Last night, we were building and Parker decided that he wanted to spell his name with the blocks.  I think he might have done this at preschool but I still thought it was a fun idea.  It has been fun to see his creative abilities develop as he has gotten bigger.

Fun with Daddy

It never ceases to amaze me how Cory can effortlessly come up with fun games to play with the kids.  Games as simple as putting a blanket over their heads and then lifting it so quickly that it makes all of their hair stand on end.  Nonstop laughter and giggling from three kids who love playing with their daddy! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

This and That

Parker and Eden discovered FunDip this Valentine's Day.  They also discovered that it must be eaten outside.
Lily is learning how to eat with a spoon.  She still needs a little practice, don't you think?  Practice makes perfect, right?!?!?
I've never had a child fall asleep while eating.  Ever.  Until last week.  I was finishing getting lunch ready for the kids when I realized Lily was being very quiet.  I looked over and saw that she had fallen asleep mid-bite.  She wasn't just dozing either- she was snoring.  Loudly.  Sweet sleepy girl!  I picked her up, put her in her crib and she didn't even stir once. 
Eden has learned how to write her name!!!  I am so proud of her.  She has to be in the right mood to try it but can do it when she wants.  My favorite part is the "N"!  (Note to self: I might need to reteach the "N"!!)
Lily also tested out her penmanship this week.  Unfortunately, it was on my dining room wall and floors.  Let's just say that "painting" has now been added to Cory's to-do list for this weekend.
If there is one thing I've learned from having three kids, it's that there is never a dull moment around our house! It is exhausting, physically and mentally, but I'm loving (almost) every minute of it and definitely wouldn't have it any other way. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines 2012

I feel like we have been celebrating Valentine's Day forever this year!  Because the kids only go to Thursday school once a week and Valentine's Day fell on a Tuesday, they had their parties almost a week ago.  They both had fun parties with cupcakes, cookies, and lots of candy! 
Even Lily got to enjoy a few treats at the parties.  (This shirt is a funny reminder to me about just how much bigger Lily is than Eden at the same age.  Eden wore this as a dress two years ago!)
On Sunday, I let the girls wear their cute matching Valentine outfits to church.  I got these from a friend of mine who has twin girls- aren't they adorable!  I let Eden wear hers as a shirt and Lily wore hers as a dress.  Cory asked me why I like to dress them in matching clothes so much.  I told him that in a few years they are going to roll their eyes at the mere suggestion of matching outfits, so I need to take advantage of it while I still can!
I LOVE the way Lily is looking at Eden in this picture- she adores her big sister SO much!
The kids woke up this morning to a little Valentine surprise from me and Cory and we used their new Valentine plates to have a fun lunch, complete with a heart shaped sandwich, heart Jello, red strawberries, and red salsa to dip our chips in!
Cory's mom was so sweet to watch the kids tonight so we could go out to eat for Valentine's Day.  We had an early dinner at a hibachi/sushi restaurant and it was so good!  We were so glad that we went early because one of the hibachi chefs didn't show up for work tonight and some tables were going to have to wait up to 2 hours before the lone hibachi chef got to their table to cook their food. 

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you who hold a special place in my heart!  I hope you felt loved today!

Happy Valentine's Day!

The Brown Family
Cory & Amy
 Parker (4)
 Eden (3)
 & Lily (1)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Beaver Creek 2012

This past weekend we headed off to Beaver Creek, Colorado for our annual ski trip with Dr. Ranelle and his wife Lynn.  They have a beautiful ski-in/ski-out home on the mountain and invite us every year to come and spend the weekend with them.  Cory's best friend, Heath, also joined us and we had a great time being wined and dined for four days.  The Ranelles are such gracious hosts and we could never tell them thank you enough for including us in their trip.
These two guys kept us laughing all weekend!  They have such a unique friendship and have been friends since they were in the 6th grade.  There is never a dull moment when they get together.  Heath has been going through some tough times recently so it was great to hang out and spend some quality time with him.
Cory was very nervous wondering if he was going to be able to ski this year.  MS constantly challenges his balance and leg strength (two things that you must have when skiing).  I think we were all quite surprised at how well he did this year.  He skied half a day on Thursday and the entire day on Saturday!  As usual, his MS symptoms were lessened in the cold weather and he left our trip with so much hope that he would one day be able to ski with Parker, Eden and Lily.
Cory did a great job skiing, but I was a different story! (Some things never change!)  After a very frustrating first day of skiing, I almost gave up and did not even try it again on Saturday.  Thankfully, Cory and Heath both encouraged me to try again and Heath even stayed with me and gave me lots of tips.  He was so patient and didn't give up on me.  I ended the last day skiing a few blues successfully and am actually looking forward to trying it again next year.
Some highlights from the trip included hanging out with Cory without three munchkins competing for my attention, a wonderfully relaxing massage at the spa, and LOTS and LOTS of good food.  One of my favorite things the entire trip was trying my first sushi.  Oh my goodness... I've never tasted anything so delicious and I can't wait to have it again!
Overall it was a perfect trip!  We are so grateful to our parents for watching the kids so that we could get away for a few days and the Ranelles for their wonderful hospitality.  We are already looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Long Day

Anyone who knows Parker knows what a handful he can be.  He is so strong willed, stubborn, and ALL boy.  He literally doesn't stop moving from the time he wakes up until the time his head hits the pillow at night.  Most days, God gives me the energy to keep up with him, but there are some days that my energy and patience run out by lunchtime.  Today was definitely one of those days. 

Tonight at bath time, I completely lost it with him when he got so wound up that he stood up and unknowingly poured a cup of water all over me.  This was after he had lied to Cory, taken Eden/Lily's dolls away from them so many times that I stopped counting, and thrown a screaming fit all the way to the gym this afternoon.  I felt like the WORST mother in the world for the rest of the evening and apologized to him as I was putting him to bed. 

Because the truth is, no matter how angry or upset I get with him, I still love him like crazy.  He is mine and I wouldn't trade him for anything.  In fact, if you lined up every 4 year old boy on the planet and asked me to pick one to be my son, I'd pick him without even thinking about it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

I'm not sure what God has in store for Parker but I'm sure it is going to be great.  I've heard so many stories from other seasoned parents about how successful their own strong willed children have turned out, and that definitely gives this I'm-at-the-end-of-my-rope, worn out mommy so much hope.  I just have to keep telling myself that God would not have entrusted Parker to me if he didn't think I could handle him... right?!?!?

I know that this difficult stage of motherhood won't last forever (thank goodness!!) and that I'm going to blink my eyes and he will be grown.  I hope that I can look back on these tough days and be proud that all of my parenting/discipline paid off.  But most of all, I hope that I can look back and know that no matter how tough our days were, Parker never questioned how much I love him.