Monday, July 27, 2009

What I love Most Mondays

I love love love being able to spend time with Elem each and every day! And even more I love being able to take Elem on special field trips that he normally wouldnt be able to go on, but because of my job, he gets to take advantage of the perks even more than I do! Lucky little fella! This past week I took Elem on a field trip with the school age kids. I try to take him with me any time I have to go or am needed with the older kids, just not only for something different and exciting, but a chance for him to interact with kids older than him, and for some much needed mommy and me time...if you know what I mean! Lucky for Elem, one of the field trips last week, was...Dickey Stevens Baseball field! Home of the Arkansas Travelers. There was absolutely NO ONE there, just us and the field and it was sooo amazing! The field was beautiful, it was perfect weather, and kind of sureal-seeing how calm and peaceful the whole stadium was when all the thousands of people werent there yelling and cheering for the baseball starts!

I caught this pic of Elem and Rory (Robert's older sister) taking in the view and calmness of the field. I couldnt better describe or explain the trip any other way than this picture. Simply beautiful! I almost want to stick a caption in that reads something like...."Expanding our horizons" or "Our future is what we make of it", or "Nothing is as big as it seems" Man the list could go on and on. haha. Hey, it could work!

Rory is 9 years old and is of course an Elem Zane fan! I think everyone is partial to Elem because he is "Mrs. Mindy's kid" but he likes all the attention. And when I see him just hanging out and enjoying moments like these, I couldn't imagine any other place I would want to work than at Our House. Thank goodness for my kid, and all my "kids" at the shelter. And for all the people and experiences Elem and I get to be a part of each and every day.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Picture of the Day

I am so busy with the summer drawing to an end, which means the Summer Program at the shelter is also coming to an end! So lots of preparation for the graduation coming up for all the little kiddos that attended all summer long. This past week its been so hard to focus on family and friends because I have felt so overwhelmed with work and school-over 35 school age children M-F all needing some major love and support during their stay at the shelter, as well as 18 littler ones (birth-5) all needing just as much love! Oh and lots and lots of diapers, feeding, and potty-ing to be done. Did I mention diapers?! Some of my staff has been out sick, some of them have been on vacation, others are dealing with family issues, the list just goes on and on....Also my own school was drawing to a close as well, and I am happy to report that Monday was my last lab and I have A and P 1 completed! With and "A" I might add! Wahoo. With all the craziness, I need to refocus! And this morning I did that with finding the picture that is making me forget all about the hectic day I have ahead of me!

This pic is from the Memphis Zoo (which I still need to blog about! I am so behind) and was actually on our way out. Elem Zane is just too funny for words. Here he is standing in front of the HUGE entrance, tons of people walking by him, exhausted from about 4 hours at the zoo, sweaty and tired, but still....he manages to steal the show and steal my heart all at the same time. Thank you Elem for allowing me to refocus! Come on Day-I am now ready to take you on!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Flips and rolls

I am super lucky to be able to spend every single day, all day long with Elem! I couldnt imagine it any other way, and I love being able to give him special hugs and kisses any time I want it. However, that also means a lot of sneaking away when I need to get some work done and he is needing his mommy. Luckily he has some really great friends at school who take his mind off of mommy and keep him happy and busy. The weather has been not so wonderful the last couple of days, raining like crazy, meaning not too much outdoor play for little people. In trying to create some sort of fun and "active" atmosphere at school yesterday, Elem and his "boys" did the thinking for me. So after a long, frustrating day at work, and a very intense hour of gymnastics training on the bean bags in the library section....Elem and his 2 little friends, Robert and Canaan, managed to make the best of the day and had a big surprise for mommy when she came back to check on them. Happily they had worked out a routine where each boy ran at full speed and did a forward "flip" or "roll" onto the bean bags, and then ran back to the end of the line. And this cycle continued over...and over....and over....until Grammy arrived to scoop Elem up around 4:30pm. Now, you are good for the boys, but Elem actually did not know how to roll before yesterday! He always tried to, but never could quite get his legs up and over, and would just fall on the floor. Amazing, what can happen with a few little boys and a little time. This time, the result was a good one! Now, all I have been hearing non stop is, "mommy, wat (watch) me do my flip".

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Spin baby spin

Seems like every single day Elem is showing more and more signs of being just like his daddy. I am still not quite clear on how I carried Elem Zane for 9 long, but very happy months, created his perfectly unique name, worked full time until the day of his birth, endured 18 hours of labor, pushed through the pain of an agonizing c-section, (well slept through most of it), breast fed for 10 sleepless months, not to mention shared my bed for almost one whole year with the little dude, only to have this perfect little beautiful spitting image of his father. :) Seems like I could at least get a little something in him that resembles me. But like I said, the more I watch him grow, the more I see similarities of he and Seth and the more I see things they are going to be sharing, with me on the side lines. It is really hard for me to say that, because I he is MY little man! And as much I love teaching him new things and seeing him be smart and come into his own, the boyish side is coming out now more than ever! Although let me add, he is a mommas boy for now.....still needs me to get him to sleep every single night, and wake him up every single morning, and to be the one to help him in the potty. So I am not complaining so much as I am trying to embrace the moments I have before the boys move on to bigger and better things that mommy wont be able to do!

All that being said, I still think the bond we each have with Elem is unique and one small thing that Elem and Seth, and I all share is our love for music. We all love to crank up the ipod to hear great music, move around to the beat, and it seems to bring a smile to each of our faces when we hear some happy dancin'- do whatever you feel- kind of music! Lately, Elem has really been enjoying watching Seth spin his records, and he seems to get all hyped up while daddy spins away. We have Seth's turn tables kind of crammed into the back bedroom, on top of a dresser, so while daddy spins, Elem and I hang out on the guest bed, and Elem goes crazy! He jumps and does all kinds of flips and dances just lovin every second of it. The other night Elem wanted to be a little more like daddy, and wanted some hands on experience, so he tried out the turn tables himself. I see a DJ mastermind in our future:

Monday, July 20, 2009

A snapshot of a moment

Just look at those two:

I have been getting major props for this picture and I cant believe it! It is the first picture I have actually tinkered with to make it look a little more "my style" to capture the actual memory. In all honesty this picture was taken at Lake Sylivia at a family reunion about a month ago. We were there for the Shelby family reunion on Poppas side of the family. There were lots and lots of people there, lots and lots of crazy huge flies, and lots and lots of muddy water. Which is actually why I decided to take a second to tweak the pic to make it more "artistic" and bring out some parts to keep it "refreshing" if you will. I love this picture of the kids, because it shows them just being themselves. And to be honest to those of you who have asked....I didnt have to do much to make it cool and to bring out the color in those random spots. We here at the Shelby household are some major MAC lovers, So we do not have a PC and I am guessing from my husbands line of work, we will never have one again. Although I was a little hectic at first, MACs are made for editing, and picture making, etc. They are what production companies and people in the media scene are using. So I simply pulled up this picture, clicked on edit, and then "antique" and then adjusted to my color pleasure. I was pretty proud of it and thought it was adorable but didnt think I would get any feedback on it. So there you have it, for all of those who have been asking me about it. MACs to the rescue. And of course my keen eye for photo beauty! haha!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"I luss-u"

Seth has been out of town for a few days so I decided to take Elem on a Friday night date anywhere he wanted to go! WHen I asked him what he wanted to do, his reply was, "I wan go Pizza Game"....translation: Razorback Pizza. He refers to it several different ways, sometimes Pizza Game sometime Pizza Back, but he DOES know what he means and he means he wants to go there to get pizza and play the basketball arcade game! So off we went on our date and it was so fun! We played basketball, ordered a cheese pizza just the way we picky eaters like it, and had plenty of ranch as well. We headed home and after a few minutes of cuddling on the couch, or mommies bed I guess you could say, he quickly fell asleep and I caught myself just looking at him. And how perfect his little eye lashes are and how perfect his little lips are. Just how sweet he looks when he sleeps its almost tear jerking! I know it is annoying to hear, but I am sure every parent has moments like those! So I said good nite to this little dude:

And walked in this morning to get him out of bed.....and much to my surprise he greeted me with..."I luss-u"....meaning I love you. Aw I was beaming smiling and just said I love you too Elem Zane! Then he proceeded to hand me the diaper he had already taken off and told me, "I took it off for you, you can throw it away". And the moment was over. But still it was one sweet moment. :) And I wouldnt want to forget it for the world!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer lovin'

"Ohhh ohhhh uh oh the suu-huuumer nights..."

Summer lovin' is the only way I can describe these pics. Just about every night we head over to Ali and Dustin's (since they live one street over, why not!?) It is a great chance for the kids to wind down and have someone to play with other than mommy and daddy. I snapped these pics one night and just cant get enough of them.

Somebody sure loves their Uncle Dustin. And talks about him all the time. And thinks every golf ball or golf club is Uncle Dustin related. And thinks every tool has something to do with him. And every 4 wheeler. And everything "fix it" related. He does like golf and is a paint contractor so maybe that has something to do with it! Anyways. Still, this steals my heart.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 4th fun!

Uhm since it is technically still July, can I still post on July 4th festivities??? Well I cant let a holiday pass by without doing an update. We had such a great 4th of July this year and it turned into more like a 4th of July weekend rather than just one day of celebration. Since the 4th landed on a Sunday, I got the Friday before off to make for a nice long weekend. We had planned on going to see my parents that weekend, but they headed to Rossville, GA to see my sis and her family so we decided nothing better than to just hang around the pool and soak up some sun.

Ahhh...Seth and I loving the sun. (this must have been during nap time because we are both in the pool at the same time and Elem is not near us) :)

And their off! We bring em to the pool, and what do they want to play? BAGGO. Hmmm...wonder where they get that from?

Good food courtesy of grammy and poppa. And daddy of course, he IS the grill master by the way.

Me and E. This was take 4 of the mini photo shoot in an attempt to get a cute pic of us. This was pretty good. Sweet little boy.

Ali and Cecilia having their swimming lessons in the deep end with the floaties. Sissy is like a little fishy in the water. A petite and super girly one, but still a little fishy!

Oh and did I mention there was jumping? Lots and lots of jumping.

And more jumping.

And even more jumping.

Other than playing in the pool, listening to some music, and relaxing with our family we didn't do much head to a neighbors house a little later that night, and then back home to take in some fabulous fireworks! Lucky for us, Saline County is a "pro fireworks" county. And when I say that I mean they sell them at every corner of every where you turn! And EVERYBODY buys them and EVERYBODY shoots them. So we just spent a couple of bucks on some sparklers for Elem to enjoy and a few for Seth's enjoyment (every man has to say that shot off a few fireworks right?) and then just took advantage of all the money everyone else spent on their major firework displays! It was so much fun. And Elem loved them. He did think they were a bit loud, but he thought they were pretty and cool all at the same time!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Birthday time and What I Love Most...

Happy Birthday Aunt Ali !!!

We wanted to give a shout out to Aunt Ali on her big day. We love you Aunt Ali and are so lucky to live one street away! Elem wanted to say thank you for always letting him play in your "black lard" (back yard)! And he is super excited about your birthday party-but mostly the birthday cake. :) Hope you had a super great birthday.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I love ranch...

Isn't it like a must that your toddler or small child love ranch these days? I personally was always a big fan of ketchup myself, and never even remember tasting ranch until I was older, like to eat it on my salad! But Elem is already a huge fan of ranch at just 2 years old. haha. And its not even the fact that he enjoys it to add flavor to his food of choice, he more so dips his food (usually carrots) into the ranch and just licks it off. Over and over again. Which is fine by me, but also hilarious to watch.

If you ask him what he wants to eat, or what he would like us to buy at Walmart for him, he always has the same reply, "cawwots and wanch". Now if we could just get him to actually bite down on the carrot and swallow. Baby steps though baby steps.

The video is from an early evening dinner, that we decided to eat outside to enjoy some nice thick Arkansas humidity. Hence the sweat and red face. This video is super cute just catching Elem doing his thing, but also he had developed this new way of slurping the ranch off the carrot for just one week. So I am glad I caught it on tape. Enjoy!

Notice anything funny in this picture? Or gross that is? Actually 2 gross things...take a close look!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I'm a Big Kid Now!

Yes this is our little man in his "big boy un-er-wears" as he likes to call them! And I couldn't be more proud!

We are giving this attempt at potty training everything we have got, and I am so happy to say that the weekend was a HUGE success. We headed to Memphis for a trip to see my parents, (more pics and posts on that to come), but we staid in total potty training mode the whole time. Elem did not have a single accident on Friday at all! I was so excited. He made the whole ride down there, play time at Memaws, and even being in the hotel didnt stop him. He peed and pooped in the potty every time! Saturday was a big test too. We headed off to the zoo and he was accident free all day! However, he did have one small accident when we went out to eat, but he stopped himself and finished in the potty. So that worked for me. He has been seeping in underwear during naps and that is working out great, but sleeping in a diaper at night. We are not quite ready to tackle that one just yet. Yesterday at school he made it just about the whole day, he actually never even messed up any of his underwear, but his teacher picked him up to take him to the potty right after his nap, and he was still asleep, no undies on, and peed right on her! :) Ooops, sorry Ms. Cim. Then he once again finished up in the potty. So again, a success at school. The only accident he had was last night at Cecilia's house and he pooped in his big boy underwear. I was so sad, but he knew it was wrong, so hopefully no more of those accidents to come! He basically does great as long as I am right there reminding him to go, but sometimes I feel like it is just me that understands the importance of making him go every 20 minutes. I know it is a lot, but I just want to remind him he doesnt have a diaper on and he cant forget and pee in his underwear. So today starts another new day and we will see how it goes! I have high hopes and am hoping for an accident free morning. I have a meeting early so we will see how he does when mommy isnt around. Good job so far Elem keep it up little man!

Monday, July 6, 2009

What I love most Mondays

I kind of cheated this Monday and started the post, but never finished it until later on in the week. Oh well. I am super excited because this past week marked the beginning of some serious potty training for us in the Shelby family! And what I loved most about Monday, was that HOPEFULLY, keep your fingers crossed, it marked the last day of diapers for Elem Zane. :) On Tuesday we jumped right in full force with big boy underwear, and Elem was super excited about it. He has been using the big boy potty for some time now, but still hasnt been telling me when he needed to peepee potty, unless he was running around naked. And if I took him to the potty, he would always go, but if I didnt encourage it, he would always pee in his diaper. So I thought it couldnt hurt to just try cold turkey. Day one and 2 we had an even amount of accidents with 3 accidents each day from 8am-8pm. So to me that was a huge success. Day 3 and 4 have been even better and he only had one accident yesterday and so far, no accidents all day today! I am not including night time just yet, although he is waking up with just a tiny bit of peepee in the diaper. So I am currently in full excitement and praising for every single trip to the potty! Rock on Elem, you are a big boy now! His favorite phrase to say about pottying when I ask is, "I too big to wear diapies, I wear un-er-wears". :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A bridesmaid, a best man, and a ringbearer

On July 6th, Seth, Elem and I had the privilege to all be a part of some of our very best friend's wedding. Tommy and Mandi actually got engaged during the week of Seth and I's wedding last year at the beach, and have been planning the wedding for some time. We were honored and lucky enough to make it a family affair if you will. Although I knew it would be a blast, I had no idea how much work was needed to get not just one, bot just 2, but 3 people ready for a wedding weekend! I must warn you in advance, this post contains major picture overload!

Like I said, the planning was crazy....renting tuxedos, buying a dress, getting the dress altered, getting everyone a haircut, getting everyone's hair fixed the morning of the wedding, getting shoes, working with the pillow, oh and did I mention that Cecilia was the flower girl and my sis in law was a bridesmaid!? I mean it was seriously going to be a jam packed weekend and I was already feeling the effects of the stress before we even GOT to the wedding weekend. However, I must admit that I did have high hopes for all of our participation and I knew the wedding was going to be beautiful. On the other hand, naptime delays, keeping clothes clean, staying up a little later than usual, and keeping everyone in a good mood with lots of strangers around, were some fears I was trying not to focus on too much, but be prepared for all at the same time! One thing I dont think I was prepared for was the rehersal dinner though. :( I work until 6pm or later M-F and since I am in charge, that also means I am in charge of locking up the building, which means no heading out early unless it is an emergency, so I missed out on the actual rehersal, but Seth did pick up Elem from school, and I had him all dressed up nice to hopefully make his debut as the cutest little ring bearer ever! Happily, he embraced the evening like this:

Just a few minutes later I received a text from Seth saying: Elem is crying and wont walk with the pillow. He wants his mommy. Of course I was immediately stressed and knew if I only could have been there I could have persuaded him to walk down the aisle cause I would have been at the other end waiting for him! And of course I would have had lots of good treats waiting for him. But I could imagine him scared with all kinds of strangers looking at him and trying to get him to come to them, Seth starting to sweat, and be all annoying because he was the best man, and already had enough on his plate. So I just told myself to get it together and hurry up and close up at work. The quicker I could get there, the quicker I could assure everyone that tomorrow would be different and he would be just fine at the wedding. What bride wants to add the stress of the ringbearer not walking down the aisle to her big day? I did not want to do that to Mandi. So I quickly got to the restaurant just a few minutes after the wedding party arrived, and came with lots of goodies to hopefully keep the kiddies busy. I was super excited to see that there was a balcony, with a huge green area below, that seemed to be fully stocked with bunny rabbits, and all kinds of wildlife! It was crazy, but a great way to keep the kids happy and busy till our dinner came out. Cecilia and Elem both did great until about 9pm or so which is actually their bedtime, so I will give them credit for staying up late fr us! However, before we knew it, the happy little boy that entered the evening affairs, had hit a downward spiral and we are lucky enough to have this family picture:

Onto the wedding day. First on the agenda, mommy to get her hair done, and daddy to pick up the tuxes. While I am getting my hair all dolled up, I receive another text from Seth, that says, something is wrong with the tuxes and to call him ASAP. So I quickly call to find out the tuxedo people have given Elem the correct size jacket, vest, and tie, but they gave him a shirt to fit an 8 year old boy, a pair of shoes size 7 in mens, not toddlers, and the pants looked like a 7 or 8 year old's shorts. Oh my oh my. So Seth brings home what he could and I began to see what I could do with Elem's closet options. We had a white long sleeved shirt so we were good to go there, and we had planed on putting him in his black and white nikes anyways, so we were good to go there. We made it work, only to find out that Seth's shoes were falling apart at the seams! We hate the tuxedo place, they suck. But on a positive note, we made it to the church on time, fully dressed, haired situated, tons of candy and snacks packed ready for treats, and the outcome.....2 beautiful mini wedding participants. Introducing the ring bearer and the flower girl: (this is al we got folks!)

I am so happy to announce that even though the wedding took place at 2pm, with no nap and lots of pictures that had to be taken before the actual event occurred, our little ones totally lived up to high expectations. Elem and Cecilia watched as daddy, mommy, and Ali all walked down the aisle all dressed up, and with a little encouraging from Uncle Dustin, they walked hand in hand down the aisle...all the way to the very front! I could not have been prouder. It was so FAST but so sweet. elem held onto his little pillow, which did not hold the real rings by the way :) and Cecilia held onto her flower bushel. Once they got to the end the were a little confused and Elem kept looking at Daddy saying, "huh", "whatcha doing", but Poppa was on the side line and he went right to him! Sissy was quick to follow as well! So all in all, a complete success. It is amazing when you are more concerned with your child doing good that worrying about what you actually look like or what is going on with your own hair! ha!

Happily, daddy and I actually got a good pic together at the reception. :)

On the 30 something floor of the Regions building....Elem LOVEd the view. I could hardly keep him away from the floor to ceiling windows. My sweet little ring bearer in his mini tuxedo.

Uncle Spoon, daddy, Brett, John, and Uncle Chad-just a few of the good lookin' men at the event!

And of course, Ali and I enjoying the chance to get all "dolled" up and take a pic with a great view! Can you blame us??? I have to admit, I have a beautiful sister in law!

Little man. Just excited about the view. So innocent, and so sincere. I love him.

It didnt take long for Elem to make his way to the dance floor. I wouldnt have expected anything less seeing as we are one music loving family! After only a couple of dances all by himself plus one adult chaperone on the floor, the cooks quickly noticed that this little boy was the life of the party. So they designated him "mini chef" of the day :) Here he is with his own chef hat he got!

Daddy was a little jealous.

And here we have the happy couple! Congrats Mandi and Tommy. We are so happy for you, we love you.

Dance machine I tell you. He must get it from me!

Finally, a break on the side with poppa. He loves him some Poppa!

It was so fun to actually spend a little time with some of my good girl friends. Me, Karla, and Ali. We all had such a great time, and I love getting to see my friends all dressed up. They are all so beautiful anyways, they dont even need all the fancy stuff, but we do look good for being in yellow! :)

The groom and his ring bearer. Elem saying, "Tank ew Tommy". Sweet little boy.

Ali, Seth, and Poppa. Do you see where my hubby gets his good looks? And Elem as well?

Overall, I could not have been happier with the outcome of the entire wedding! I really felt like a huge need for everything to go smoothly and it wasn't even MY wedding! The stress I felt during this weeding in regards to clothes, people, and overall happy attitudes is the exact reason why big weddings just aren't my thing! BUT I must admit, it was super fun! Just happy it was someone else's big wedding instead of mine. Everything was beautiful, the weather was perfect, the kids did awesome, and everyone had a blast! I am so happy that we all got to be a part of some of our dearest friend's special day. Tommy and Mandi we love you and know we will be spending many a day with you! Thank you for letting us share in your special moment.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rock with it

One thing I just cant ever get enough of, is catching Elem doing the cutest things when he doesn't even know it! Isn't that like one of the best parts about being a parent?? Your child playing all by themselves, while you are messing around on the computer, you turn around, and all you see is a little shaking going on to some good ole keyboard music! It doesn't get much better than that. I gladly take a lot of heat for letting Elem run around the house, minus shoes and socks, minus pants, minus shirts, and even minus the diaper if that is what he wants at the time. I feel like it is his home so he should be comfortable. :) I know I like to be comfortable in my own home, and if I was always running around like crazy trying to potty train all at the same time, I would most likely choose the less is more when in comes to the dressing department. So again, please forgive the "no pants" attire. But I gotta admit, the cute little diaper booty is what makes this video cute!