Bryson is FIVE! {A Small & Simple Toy Story Birthday}

Bryson 5

Okay, so he’s been five for over a month now.  Even so, I still want to record the memory of his fifth birthday here on the blog.  I remember when he was born how age 5 sounded so old, so far away- and now, here we are.  5 is such a big age- a year of changes.  From a preschooler to a kindergartner.  Definitely no longer a baby.  Always my baby though.

Bryson 5

Thankfully, I had prepared for a small family gathering before Brynlee was born.  I knew that a big birthday bash was out with a newborn and I’m so glad I had the forethought to order some decorations ahead of time.  We had no idea that our newborn would be just a little more complicated than a typical baby or that she would spend 20 days in the NICU. I just assumed she would be home, celebrating her big brother’s 5th birthday with us.  Because I had ordered the decorations, plates, utensils, etc. from Oriental Trading, the only thing we had left to do was order a cake and pick up some chips and ice cream.  Oh, and buy his gift.  He asked for a Toy Story party this year, but I purchased Toy Story party decorations from Oriental Trading, ordered the cake from Walmart, and bought him the Toy Story 1-3 Box Set and a Pull-String Talking Woody.

Toy Story Birthday Gifts Decorations

We started the day off with a trip to the NICU to see Brynlee.  Bryson and Bella saw Brynlee for a few minutes right before her transport but other than that, they had not gotten to know her at all.  Bryson was allowed 15 minutes in the NICU so he went back with me to see Brynlee as a little birthday gift.  I could tell he was a nervous but he acted fantastic and enjoyed seeing his baby sister.  He quickly became bored and was ready to go back out, haha.  After that, he went back into the family lounge with Justin and Bella while I visited with Brynlee.  After my visit, I came out to find the amazing family support woman (who I cannot remember her name) entertaining Bryson and Bella by making crafts with them.  They were decorating foam Christmas tree with stickers and lots of glitter glue.  It was a touching moment for me and just one of the reasons I absolutely love Huntsville Women & Children’s.  Not only do they have an amazing, top notch staff that knows how to care for the most critical of babies, but they take care of the entire family.  When Justin & I visited the next day, family support had pinned those decorated Christmas trees on Brynlee’s board.

Toy Story Birthday Cake Decorations

After our visit to the NICU, we had planned to treat Bryson to Chuck E. Cheese, but he threw an attitude (he didn’t know our plan) so we skipped it.  We had to stop by Highlands to pick up the documents for Brynlee’s birth certificate then we ate lunch at a local mexican restaurant before heading to Walmart to pick up the cake and snacks.

Bryson's 5th Birthday Toy Story blog

After a stop by the house to pump (pump, pump, pump- that’s the life of a “breastfeeding” NICU mama), we opted to celebrate at Nana & Pop’s house.  In other words, I didn’t have the time or energy to clean my house for guests.  I was 3 days postpartum with a child struggling in the NICU.  Gangan and Aunt Brandi came over to help us celebrate Bryson’s 5th birthday.  It was small- just the 8 of us but it was what we needed.  I was afraid Bryson would be disappointed, but he declared it “THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!” and that made me smile. He was over the moon with our small little party, his new toys, and couldn’t wait to watch all three Toy Story movies.

Thanks to Oriental Trading for providing a gift card for party decorations and supplies. I purchase our party supplies from OT every year so I’m happy to partner with a company I use and love. All thoughts and opinions remain my own, as always.

A Little Boy – Bryson

Bryson June 2013 blog

Bryson is closer to 5 now than he is to 4.  I can no longer see any of that chunky baby he once was.  That baby who never, ever slept and made me question every baby expert.  Newborns are supposed to sleep a lot?  Bryson must have missed that memo.  He’s all boy now.  I ask him all the time “Bryson, can you slow down!?  Quit growing so fast!” and he usually replies “But mom, Jesus wants me to get BIG!” or “If I don’t grow, I can never be big like Daddy!” and I can’t argue with either of those so he just keeps growing and I continue trying to find a way to bottle his energy up.  We could be rich, you know.

Bryson June 2013 1 blog

We’ve all noticed some major changes over the past month.  From the moment he was born, I found myself thinking “He’s growing too quickly!”  And now, here he is- four and a half years old, a little boy.  He wants to help in any way possible.  The other night, I was unloading the dishwasher and he asked if he could help me.  He handed me each glass, cup, and dish.  It was a sweet moment, one that I want to always remember.  He’s so eager to help and so proud of himself when completes each task.     He answers “Yes mam” and “No mam” more often than not is learning more self control with each passing day.  Compared to this spring, the change has been drastic as he has grown up.

Bryson June 2013 blog

Bryson and Bella fight often, but each day, he’s becoming kinder and gentler toward her.  Out of no where, he’ll holler across the yard “I love you, Bella!” or he’ll ask her to catch a ride with him in the Barbie jeep.  Until a few weeks ago, he would refuse to ride with her and it was a constant battle.  He loves to help Bella and help take care of her.  If she can’t find something, he’ll offer to look with her or if she needs something, he’ll go get it.

Bryson June 2013 2 blog

He’s really looking forward to Brynlee’s arrival.  He has even offered to share his toys with her and he wants her to sleep in his room.  He talks about Brynlee often and told his Sunday School teacher that his mom has a baby in her belly and that baby is going to drink milk from her boobies.  Yes, you could say I’m doing my part to normalize breastfeeding, huh?  He’s a hoot!  He’s going to be such a great big brother to his two sisters!

Bryson June 2013 3 blog

He is still into trains and cars/ trucks.  He also likes being a cowboy and toy guns.  He has asked for a Woody & Toy Story birthday party this year and the only things he’s mentioned that he wants for Christmas are LEGO sets.  He loves going to Nana & Pop’s in the evening time to play at their house and he loves Pop’s equipment and the dirt piles.  He asks to go to the playground almost every day and is learning how to swim.  He likes books, play dough, and playing with Bella whether that means having a tea party, playing house, or dressing Barbies.

Bryson June 2013 4_blog

We are so proud of the little boy he’s grown into.  He’s such a joy to be around and he keeps us on our toes because we never know what he’s going to say.  He puts things together and seems to have a lot of common sense.  Justin and I find ourselves looking at one another saying, “Did he really just figure that out!?”  A few weeks ago, we passed a big corn field.  Bryson said, “Mom, they planted a lot of food so they must be really hungry!” and I just had to laugh.

Bryson June 2013 5 blog

Oh, and while I’m bragging on him, I need to remember that he ran over my van in the Barbie Jeep while pulling the John Deere trailer and scratched the passenger door all the way across.  Thankfully, I kept my cool and grabbed onto perspective for once in my life.  His first wreck and he hit his mom’s vehicle.

I woke up feeling extra sentimental this morning, so I wanted to write it all down so I can always remember him at the stage.

A (Not So) Lazy River & Life Lately

Lake Winnie

When exactly did we get a life?

That’s what Justin and I have been asking each other for weeks.  Life has been chaos- fun, exciting, tiring chaos, the best kind but it feels like it came out of nowhere.  It seems like everything picked up at the same time.  We started attending church, then t-ball began, then we found out we were pregnant, and it just hasn’t slowed down.

Tball 2013

T-ball has wrapped up and as much fun as it was, I am glad it’s over!  Bella enjoyed going to the games and socializing more than Bryson enjoyed playing, I think.  He was super excited for his trophy and loved the team ice cream party.

We volunteered to teach the pre-k class at vacation bible school last week.  About 2 seconds after volunteering, I began questioning myself, wondering why in the world I signed up for that!  I knew the kids in our class had been in church longer than we had, so what were we thinking!?  Thankfully, He knows what He’s doing and after I put my nerves aside, it all went well.  The kids learned, we learned, and they all came back night after night so we were doing something right.

Pregnancy, Baby B3, 13 weeks

Baby B3 is growing well and I’m long overdue for a pregnancy update.  I am definitely showing- A LOT, which took me by surprise.  I’ve somehow misplaced all of my maternity clothing and I’m too cheap to go by all new when I know those clothes are packed up and hiding somewhere, so I’m wearing a lot of stretchy skirts and shorts.  I go back next week for my 16 week blood work and we can find out the gender at 18 weeks.  Our 18th week falls on July 4th though, so I’m fairly certain my OB office will be closed so we’ll have to wait until the second week in July.

Mini Farm

Our garden is planted and we added some chickens to our mini farm.  We are averaging about 3 eggs per day and it’s been a fun family adventure.  The kids absolutely love going to check on the chickens with their daddy each evening.  He built a small coop which Bryson and Bella claimed as their playhouse until we brought the chickens home.  Now, they are after Justin to build them a playhouse.

Bryson Bella

Both kids had their well-checks last week.  They were each about 6 months overdue, but I don’t take my kids to the doctor during flu season unless they are seriously ill.  They detected a heart murmur in Bella and referred us to a pediatric cardiologist.  Fortunately, there was a cancellation so we were able to get right in.  She kicked, screamed, and fought through her appointment, so the doctor said the images weren’t great quality, but that he felt her murmur was innocent so nothing to worry about.  Praise God!  Other than that, both kids are healthy as a horse!  (I have no idea where that saying came from.)

Kids Bryson Bella

Justin is back to working crazy hours for the next few weeks.  He put off some side-jobs so we could teach VBS, so now he has several weeks of jobs lined up.  I struggle to find time to work when he’s working from 7AM until 9:30PM, but deadlines don’t change.  Working from home is no joke.  It’s crazy hard, but also such a blessing.  I love blogging, the community, the extra income, the opportunities, but I want to make sure that this blog is always a blessing to my family and not a burden.  That means that when something has to fall to the side, the blog goes first.

Lake Winnie

Friday night, my mom offered us some free Lake Winnie tickets.  We couldn’t turn those down, especially since they’ve opened the new SOAKya! Water Park!  Justin got up and went to work Saturday morning, then took off so we could spend a day at the amusement and water park.  If you are local and have the opportunity to check it out, it’s totally worth it!  I wondered if there would be enough rides for the kids (ages 2 & 4) but there were plenty and we didn’t have enough time (or energy) to ride them all.  What’s great is that you can ride rides at the amusement park, then go cool off at the water park, then go ride some more!  I did learn something new as a parent:

There is NO such thing as a “lazy river” with a 2 year old and a 4 year old.

None.

It’s more like a “wear you out, oops, grab that kid!, I’m glad they are wearing life jackets!” river.  Nothing lazy about it, folks.

So, that’s a small (very small) look at our life lately.  It’s busy and boy, my house is a wreck, but it’s fun and I don’t take being able to go-go-go for granted. And honestly, since I could not do much last summer due to my leg and ankle break then surgery, I’m enjoying this summer even more.  Justin and I have an anniversary coming up this month and I am also taking classes to become certified as a child passenger safety technician (CPST) this month.

I hope you have a blessed and full summer too!