Mar 25, 2012

Pre-Show Boy Time Before Girl Time Arrives

In several hours I will be leaving my boys for a full week.  Something I have never done before since Landon has been born.  Sure, I've had little spurts of time to myself, and I even got some alone time in Gatlinburg, TN with Aaron at a cabin for a weekend when Landon was little.  But, this is going to be a full week...not one, but two boys later.  This is also something that Aaron isn't used to.  Don't get me wrong, he'll love every minute of it, but there's a part of me that is nervous to leave my boys behind.  What if something happens?  How am I going to get to my boys?  Will Aaron stick to schedules and routines?  Will Liam freak out and fall into a deep state of depression when he realizes I am gone?  It's definitely got my stomach in knots, but I have to keep telling myself that a.) I need this time to regroup for my sanity b.) It will be great for Aaron to bond with his boys since he works all the time and hardly ever sees them and c.) Aaron and I can use the separation time ourselves.  I think every couple needs that from time to time.  It will be interesting to see how I will react when I return.  Will I flip out and run in the house flapping my arms while screaming uncontrollably like a crazy person?  Will I casually and calmly walk through the door?  We shall see how good of a time I really have.  I've joked about me possibly not wanting to come back.  There's something about a beach, some sun, and maybe a few alcoholic beverages that'll do that to ya. 

Yesterday, I wanted to get some last-minute photos in.  I think it was a calming therapy for me.  This is a pre-show of what the boys will be doing a majority of the time.  Landon likes playing sports, but loves playing sports with his Dad.  There's nothing better in his eyes.  By the way, this kid has an amazing arm for only being eight.  He can throw a spiral like it's nobody's business.  And that form?  *gasp*  Look out Indianapolis Colts, you won't know what hit ya.

Are you ready for some football?

Landon's first best friend.

I will miss all my fellas dearly, but I can't wait to get the heck out of dodge.  I will be back before you know it.  And, please feel free to leave comments.  I will be sure to return the love when I get back from my momcation.  I'm not good about getting on my phone to check e-mail and such.  In fact, I suck at it...big time.

Peace out, girls!  I hope you have a fantastic week!

Mar 23, 2012

Bugs: Up Close and Personal

I'm pretty sure if I were to invest in an actual macro lens I might get better shots of these little dudes.  But, because the Z clan is on a budget, the extension tubes are the best I can come up with for now.  Plus, I just want to play anyway.  I can only imagine how amazing these would have turned out if I had the real thing, though.  Don't get me wrong, I love, love, love the tubes.  I just wanted to share what I captured today.  I'll be looking out for more critters as time passes, and with the weather warming up around here, I am certain they will be lurking around my house quite often.

Say hello to my little friend, Mr. Gnat.  He actually looks kinda' big here, thanks to me.

Weeks ago I was playing with my new gadget, thinking I was just photographing weeds, when this little guy showed up - my very first insect. 

Little dude was just a bonus.


It's no doubt, blowing, chasing, and popping bubbles are always a popular activity with kids of all ages.  Liam is having issues with blowing, which could be connected to his speech problems, and why we are blowing bubbles a little more lately.  After having a lengthy conversation with his OT, I'm starting to think that he could possibly have something wrong with his mouth that hasn't been identified yet.  It's really hard to say at this stage.  At any rate, at the very least he loves chasing them.  His face takes on a new form when he sees them floating in the air.  Landon was the bubble blower for the day.  He gets just as excited as I do when he witnesses Liam's reaction. 

And then there's nature's swords that my boys love.  Anytime we've gone to a park or on a walk, you can guarantee they will try to pick up a stick (or two) and pretend to lay down the "Thor" law.  They mean business.  The truth about this picture is, one of my branches was loose so I pulled it off.  Liam thought he would help me reattach it.  Nice try, Liam.


Project 365 {2012}: Week Twelve in Review

March 17th

March 17th:  For St. Patty's Day, Landon picked some flowers for me.  He is such a sweet, thoughtful little man.

March 18th

March 18th:  Aaron's cousin came in from Tennessee to visit with family.  This is also the day we changed out our pole on our front porch. 

March 19th

March 19th:  I packed up the boys and headed to the park.  The weather was nice (more like hot and humid) and it was a break we ALL needed.

March 20th

March 20th:  We tried to get Liam to blow bubbles, but Liam was more interested in chasing them.  Landon had fun, though.

March 21st

March 21st:  Liam has been quite the little helper around the house.  Here he is helping me put his diaper in the pail (or more like flipping the top to get the diaper in the garbage bag).

March 22nd

March 22nd:  Yet another macro shot of my plants blooming.

March 23rd

March 23rd:  As I was out and about I saw a lot of dogwood trees.  I just happened to have my camera handy.  I think I want to get one of these for our yard.

I hope everyone has had a great week so far.  If for whatever reason I don't respond by e-mail or by replying to comments after Sunday evening, it's because I will be on momcation from March 25th - March 31st.  I can't wait.  And, don't worry, there will be plenty of pictures to share.  Happy birthday to me!

Mar 21, 2012

A Whole Lotta' Spring

There's a lot to share from these past several days of sunshine we've had here.  Sorry for the overload.  I love the Spring.  Correction.  I love the beginning of Spring.  The flowers are starting to show off their beautiful, crisp colors and the weather is just right.  The boys couldn't wait to put on their best, scruffy play clothes (and sometimes PJs) to run amok in the yard.  Also, when the weather is consistently warm, you better believe that yard sports will be a daily thing.

This is what I like to call an eight-year-old boy on a mission to find a target for his Nerf gun.  I see two helpless targets waiting cautiously in the distance.  Landon and Liam were both armed with guns - Landon with his manly fighting machine and Liam with his bubble gun.  Nobody stood a chance of escape, especially the two hairy, four-legged creatures tied up in the back yard.  

Disclaimer:  No dog or human was harmed in the line of fire.

How does this thing work again?


Since Liam has been in therapies, more specifically PT, we have been trying to get him to go back to doing normal things -- climbing, going up and down steps without assistance, etc.  We don't have stairs in our home, but we try to use the front step as a tool to help build his confidence, skill, and strength.  He's still a little cautious as he reaches out for my hand (or a finger), but he's getting there little by little.  The couch is a great tool to use as well.  It takes a little more strength to pull himself up.  However, the guest bed doesn't seem to be a problem for him at all.  Oh joy.

And then, he found a line of ants.  Definitely an ant bully.

A weed picker.

A friendly neighbor.

A tree lover.

One day the dark clouds rolled in, hovering over our house like they were preparing for an attack.  Liam found them to be entertaining as he just stood to watch their mysterious movement across the sky.  Sounds silly, but Liam has never witnessed such a thing in his 2.5 years of life.  He was in awe.  Didn't stop him, though.  He trucked along as usual.

Something wicked this way comes.  Liam watching the rolling clouds and lightning.

It got a little lighter outside (as you can see from the picture above) and then Mother Nature decided to have one major fit.  I thought for sure there was a F4 tornado brewing.  I grabbed Liam and went inside.  Come to find out we just had thunderstorms heading our way.  Wowza!

Something wicked this way came and went.

 Landon had PJ Day at school - his favorite day.  It was kind of funny how it worked out because anymore my kids either don't wear clothes around the house (mainly Landon) or they like to play outside in their jammies.  Well, here we were outside playing with chalk.  In what?  Yep.  Landon said he was the most popular kid in school because everyone loved his pajamas.  They said he looked like a candy cane or a lollipop.  Dude loved being the center of attention.

Landon's PJ Day at school.  I miss those days.

Liam is watching closely and learning everything he can.

On St. Patrick's Day, yet another nice day, we went outside so Landon could pick me some flowers.  Of course, this was before we mowed our lawn so there was plenty to go around. 


Then we ventured off for a nice walk around the neighborhood.  I hadn't used Landon's old umbrella stroller for quite some time and thought it might come in handy for these sort of jaunts for Mr. Liam.  He was so happy sitting there like a big boy.

Hellllllloooooo sunshine!  We hope you don't leave us anytime soon.  It's actually been a little hot, especially with the humidity we have here.  And to think, in just a few short days, I will be heading south to even warmer weather for my momcation.  I don't think I am fully prepared, to be honest.  I'll be sure to post some of those pictures, if I haven't died from heat exhaustion.

Because of the new blooms I was able to capture a couple of macro shots of my hostas and new flowers coming in.  I even built up the nerve to photograph a spider, but since I'm not a big fan of the creepy crawly insects, I got nervous about getting too close.  So, the spider shot could have been a ton better, but I chickened out.

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I love the catchlights in his eyes.  I never thought in a million years I would ever see those on a tiny spider.

I was a little nervous about getting too close.  Creepy.  Pretty cool catchlights, though.

And, last but not least, we did another home improvement project.  We changed out our porch pole because of all the water damage over the years.  Who wants to look at a dry-rotting pole on someone's porch?  I think the outside of someone's home is a good idea of how they are as people or how they live - slobs, poor, lazy, rich, gaudy, neat, etc.  I think we fell into the lazy category because of how long it took us to fix it.  ;)  I'm hoping to conquer one more project this year.  I'm not going to say what it is just yet in case it doesn't happen, or I may just jinx it.

I hope everyone has a great week, or at least what's left of it.