Sunday, May 31, 2009

Open for Business!

This weekend the pool became "COMPLETELY" ready for human enjoyment! It wasn't easy ridding the bottom of more than 2 lbs of dead worms! YUCK!

I would like to thank my trusty pool boy for all of his hard work! I just wish he could work some magic and make the water a little warmer.

As mentioned earlier the water is now up to a toasty 68 degrees. Hence, the reason why Atley is trying to coax Nash into the water by whispering sweet nothings into his ear, instead of jumping in himself.

We did manage to get them into the pool momentarily!

After which, they both rushed to the hot tub where they could play freely without the fear of hypothermia.

By the way, my garden is growing too! What a miracle! Why am I so amazed that squash can grow from such tiny seeds planted haphazardly by a two year old. I have heard about this phenomenon all my life but I am still so impressed to watch my little garden grow!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dinner Anyone?

They were supposed to be eating their lunch. Instead I come down and discover Nash naked and sprawled out on top of the kitchen table. Appetizing isn't it?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I learned in 9th grade seminary that discouragement comes from Satan. But I am not really sure that this is true. I am convinced that discouragement actually comes from having friends who are overachievers. I have been feeling a little discouragement, feeling a little underwhelmed with my talents and accomplishments. And the reality of this depressed feeling is all your fault. Actually, it is all my fault. I should have befriended some strung-out, ugly, smelly, illiterate, low life's and then maybe I would feel good about myself in comparison. Instead, I have you guys.

Let me explain. I seem to barely manage my life with two little boys. I am mediocre at lots of stuff but not great at anything. I am the typical jack of all trades, master of none. My friends on the other hand are writing books and quilting master pieces all while being pregnant with their fourth child. The possibility of me having a third baby scares me so bad I think I might vomit. I have friends who have their own photography and/or scrapbooking businesses. I have a friend who is an amazing artist/real estate agent/perfect mother and wife. I have friends who are financial gurus while I am still writing short checks. I have friends who are nutrition experts with a four year food supply hidden under their beds, while my children eat at McDonald's twice a week and have pop tarts for breakfast every morning and when those pop tarts run out so will our food supply. I have friends who sew their daughter's dresses and give crochet tutorials on their blogs, while I write about being a loser on mine. I have friends who are classically trained pianists, singers, dancers, and just generally entertaining. Today I was singing to Nash and he stuffed a super ball in my mouth exclaiming, "Shut your mouth, now!" I have friends who run marathons and are triathletes, while I am so impressed with myself after running my typical 2.5 miles that I reward myself with a brownie and a half a box of OREOS. I have friends who have enough self-control to stick to the most excruciating of diets and I still have a really hard time with the monthly fast. These are also the women who are cellulite free. Thanks a lot girls! I have friends who are career women and somehow make it look easy with their well-adjusted children. I have a BS in B.S.-you know Political Science, which I have never used while my friends are going to school and taking online classes. My continued education consists of re-reading Pride and Prejudice once a year. I have friends who teach their babies sign language, while the only sign language my kids know is how to flip someone off on the Beltway. I have friends who are hair stylists, while my inability to tame my own mop forced me to chop it off years ago. I have friends who are PTA presidents and chair political action committees all while cooking a gourmet meal for their husband and six children. I have friends so full of faith and virtue I am convinced that I am not Celestial Kingdom material if that is what I need to make it.

Anyway, I guess I have two choices. First, I could let you all know that we cannot be friends anymore because it is hurting my self esteem. Second, I could let you know how much I love and admire you for all of your hard work. I guess I will choose the latter. Thanks all you friends and relatives both near and far. What shining examples I have been given in my life! You help me become better and I feel truly blessed to know you all!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Friday preschool ended and Atley's teacher gave us a compilation of Atley's artwork. When I looked at the first page which was a self-portrait Atley created the first week of school and I skipped to the last page which was a self portrait drawn the last week of school I couldn't help but smile. When Atley started school we could not get him to draw. He refused to color or paint or even use utensils. His pediatrician was as concerned as we were so she requested that he be tested for a developmental delay. After a summer of tests, or interviews as Atley called them, the results determined that Atley's Fine Motor Skills were significantly delayed and quoting from the report, "because of this individual's advanced intellectual development this delay in fine motor skills creates a significant educational disruption, causing extreme frustration and anger in the child when attempting to preform tasks with his hands and/or fingers." It was suggested that Atley undergo extensive occupational therapy in addition to creating an IEP or individualized education plan, which would follow him in a file throughout his educational career dubbing him as a special education student. Scott and I were hesitant to put this label on him at such a young age. What to do! I prayed a lot and finally, we decided to wait, forgo the occupational therapy and send him to a preschool that we felt good about. In April the doctor told me that he was no longer developmentally delayed but had in fact surpassed what was the "norm" for children his age. By the end of the school year he was voted the most artistic by his teachers. This is a child who wouldn't draw a circle in August. We are so proud of his improvements. We have made a shrine to his artwork and achievements in our basement. Good Job Buddy keep up the hard work!

Atley's Self-Portrait September 2008!

Atley's Self-Portrait May 2009!

Atley's Art Wall in Our Basement!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Atley's 5

Last week while making our daily trek to preschool Atley says the following, "So, mom let's finalize my birthday plans." He really wanted a pool party but our pool temperature is still 65 degrees and I am not ready to take responsibility for ten 5 year olds in a pool that reaches depths of 10 feet. So, that option was out. Not to worry Atley came up with another plan without too much difficulty. Here are some pictures of Atley's 3 day birthday extravaganza!

It all began on Thursday the 21st, the day before Atley's actual birthday. First, shark inspired cupcakes had to be brought to all of his classmates and teachers at preschool!

After preschool he decided that I should take him to his favorite toy store in Alexandria and that we should then eat some ice cream by the river while we watched the boats.

That night he chose to go to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner! What can I say the kid has great taste! Although we are a little nervous about what he is going to ask for when he is sixteen, he is already breaking the bank! Do I need to mention that Nash also enjoyed Atley's Cheesecake Factory choice.

On Friday, the real birthday, Atley enjoyed a breakfast of left over cheesecake then headed to his last day of preschool where he enjoyed an ice cream party. Needless to say he was a little hyper when we put him in the car to head to Williamsburg and the Great Wolf Lodge. When we arrived at the hotel Atley knew just which room was ours, because of the birthday banner on the door.

The hotel room was great, complete with a kiddie kamp for the boys! We were happy that Nash only fell off the top bunk once and sustained only minor injuries. Atley and Nash would have been content just playing in their fort but the fun was just beginning!

Brithday Cake & Presents! Atley got a new bike from Granny and Nash enjoyed the birthday hat most of all!

Great Wolf Lodge has an incredible indoor water park. The boys had a blast Friday and Saturday playing in the wave pool, sliding on the slides, and just being wet.

Friday night there was a show in the lobby followed by story time for the kiddos. Saturday the boys designed their own CROCS (shoes) at the hotel and then we headed to Wal-Mart so that Atley could spend the birthday money that was burning a hole in his pocket. Thank you to everyone who helped make Atley's birthday so special and so memorable. We can't believe our baby is five year's old. This birthday was harder for me to handle than when I turned thirty. He is growing so fast. We love him so much and we pray that we can keep up with him!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

3 Posts for the Price of 1

Warning: This post is not terribly exciting, just a recap, mostly in pictures, of the events of the past week.

1.In an attempt to cure Nash of his obsessive compulsive tendencies I bought a truck load of finger paint this week. He has issues with being sticky and/or wet. I thought finger paints might be a fun way to get him sticky and wet in a good way. He actually had a great time. Atley painted the birdhouse he made in preschool, notice the adorable Home Depot Smock that his teacher gave him for being so artistic. You will also notice in the pictures that I painted my walls, orange or marmalade as Atley likes to call it.

2. Atley's preschool has a club called PRO. This acronym stands for Preschoolers Reaching Out. They meet once a month and do some type of service. This week the children got together and learned some songs to preform at the nursing home near the school. Atley and Nash are the only boys involved in PRO and the only kids who actually sang at the nursing home. Everyone else was a little weirded out by the old people. My boys are fortunate enough to have so many great-grandparents still alive-old people don't freak them out too much. I have to say, I think they stole the show, especially when Nash flashed the crowd in the middle of one number happily exclaiming, "Hey, look at my tummy!"

3. Saturday we went to the Department of Defense Airshow at Andrews Airforce Base. It was exciting and exhausting. We were able to look at and walk through tons of cool Airforce and Navy jets and helicopters, including the Memphis Belle, some of the Presidential Aircraft and Atley's favorite plane the L-1011. The Thunderbirds performed and the noise was deafening especially to Nash who told us how much his eyes hurt when the planes flew over. He seems to get his eyes and ears mixed up on occassion. It was a fun day, for my two little aviation fanatics.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Since he rarely reads our blog I feel pretty safe taking this opportunity to brag on my husband and publicly congratulate him for a huge accomplishment. For the past year he has been studying for a big certification test for his job. He took the test on Mother's Day (LAME) and he passed. I would give more detail but I really have no clue what this test is all about and when he tries to explain it to me I hear that "wa, wa, wa, wa, wa" voice from Charlie Brown. What I do know is that first, he had to pass this test to keep his current contract with the Smithsonian-therefore he had to pass to keep a job and keep his employees working as well. Secondly, he is the only person in the company with this certification. Finally there are only 70 people in the USA who have passed this test and obtained this coveted certification. I am very proud of him and we are both relieved that it is over! So, congratulations Scott-smarty pants! Oh, and now he has these cool initials behind his name on his business card: Scott Butler, RCDD. It is kinda like an MD but NOT!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day Tea!

Atley's preschool class hosted a Mother's Day Tea this morning and it was really quite special. The children made muffins and served them to their mothers. Wow, that's a switch. Atley took his job very seriously and refused to let me get out of my seat to help in any way. Then we were presented with our very lovely Mother's Day gifts which included a homemade card and a painted flower pot with marigold seeds. Next the children preformed a musical number in which Atley played the rhythm sticks with much skill and finesse. I was quite impressed. Then they preformed an interpretive dance where I must say Atley was the best butterfly in the bunch. Thanks for making my mother's day so special. I love you buddy!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Frogs, Flowers, and Foliage

Isn't Springtime great? Today I was mowing the lawn and feeling so grateful for the beautiful flowers and trees when suddenly a frog jumped up from in front of the lawnmower and landed right on the handle next to my hand. I quickly grabbed it with my opposite hand and yelled to the boys, "Come see what I captured?" They materialized in front of me like only little boys can when they think they might get to see something slimy or disgusting. When I opened my hand to show them the fat little frog, Nash clapped and Atley snatched it and ran. To my chagrin he was heading straight for the house to find a container for the frog and Nash was nipping at his heels. But, Atley fell face first on the patio with frog in hand. Not only was I sure that he must have busted out his two front teeth but I was also sure that the frog was mincemeat. Atley hopped up and exclaimed, "Yes, it's still alive!" Nash clapped again. They went into the house and it only took a moment or two until I heard them yelling-"It's loose. Get it!" The frog was loose in the house for only about 30 minutes until Nash finally cornered it with his chubby little hands. At that point the frog was safely put in a container and the next hour was spent capturing bugs to feed to our new pet Fred! I continued mowing the lawn wondering how I could convince the boys to release the frog before they killed it. Well, I didn't have to worry long. While Nash was trying to feed it some unidentifiable creature he had found in the dirt the frog escaped. Farewell Freddy, it was fun while it lasted. Here are some pictures of Fred the Frog, and some of the flowers, and foliage blooming in our yard this week!