Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter!

We had a lovely Easter holiday this year full of fun with family!

We headed to Memphis and ended up staying the night because our monthly game night happened to fall the night before.  This way, though,we got Easter morning with my mom!  Naturally, this meant my mom bought a ton of stuff to help enhance the kids' baskets. I like to keep things simple at Easter (I simply do not understand the Facebook posts showing piles of toys and bikes on Easter Sunday.  What the heck?!) and generally stick to a book, a toy, and some candy.

The kiddos got excited to set out their baskets, empty eggs for the bunny to hide (he only used a fraction of those) and a carrot.

And the Bunny came!  Violet has been wanting a Ken doll to use as the multi-function boy/prince/dad for her doll adventures, and Jeremy is happy with all things Star Wars or Iron Man.  And books.  Always books.

They had a great time eating way too much candy. We had our litte egg hunt in the house (the Bunny hides the eggs that were in the kids' baskets the night before), and they had a lot of fun.  The golden eggs were super hard this year and they had to really work to find them.

We went to mass and Violet fell asleep on me for the first time since she was an infant.  She is massively heavier nowadays and my back was about to give out, but it was the best she has ever behaved in church, so I would have happily thrown my back out before waking the beast.

After church, my mom hosted a billion family members at her house for an egg hunt for the kiddos and a rousing game of Dirty Bunny (aka dirty santa) for the adults.  We had so many people, so much food, and so much fun.  Naturally, I got no photos, but my cousin Rachel got some good ones of the kids.

Happy Easter to all!!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Uncle Butt and Aunt Megan!

A few months ago, Joey played a game on Violet's iPad and signed his name as "Uncle Butt".

A legend was born in that moment.

The Oxford Film Festival recently took place, and since my brother is all famous and stuff and helps run Indie Memphis, he and Megan came down to be VIP guests of the fest.  Now, they could have driven the one hour back to Memphis each night and morning, but then they would have missed out on all the fun that comes with an insane niece and nephew.

When they arrived, we went to a quick dinner at Newk's:

Then we headed home without them (they had a film), so the kids and I set up our plan: PRANKS!  Mostly, I was just trying to come up with something to hold off the tantrum that was bubbling up at the restaurant when they realized Joey and Megan were going to be going off on their own.  Plus, it was too delicious an opportunity to teach them some fun tricks.

So, we set up the inflatable beds and got to work.  First, we short-sheeted both beds.  This was a staple of my childhood, but I guess Cheri and I never did it to Joey, since neither he or Megan knew what it was and totally fell for it even after I told them we did it.  Suckers!  Joey's bed was filled with various bugs and weapons (plastic sword in the pillow, giant spider under the covers, etc) by Jeremy.  Violet wanted to do nice pranks, so she filled Megan's bed with every single My Little Pony we have in the house (and we have a lot of My Little Ponies).  They were SO proud.

The final touch:

In the morning, the ponies had all flown to various locations throughout the house and Vi had to find them all.  One was even on the ceiling fan - silly pony!

We hit up the square and spent some time in Square Books (I will be forever grateful that my kids love books and I can spend 45 minutes in a book store while they quietly sit and read to themselves). Uncle Joey, in true Carr patriarch fashion, insisted on buying them the books they had been reading, which was incredibly sweet.  The kids are accustomed to my tired line of not having money (in my defense we take them to the library multiple times a week to get books), so they were fine not buying anything, so the surprise of the books from Joey and Megan was really nice.

Megan also helped me give Violet a makeover.  Her poor hair is so thin and stringy that I have to cut it short at least once a year to help it thicken up.  She loves long hair, so I shamelessly used Aunt Megan and her implied awesomeness to help encourage the super fun makeover.  The fact that really swayed her, though, was that her hero, Taylor Swift, had just debuted a shorter look at the Grammy's.  Megan did so great and Vi loves her short hair!!

The kids really had a blast goofing off with their aunt and uncle.  They can be a bit overwhelming (and Jeremy punctuated their final night with us with a spectacular vomit display all over his bed), so I really really really appreciate their patience and love for our monsters.

We look forward to our next adventure with the beautiful Aunt Megan and the silly Uncle Butt!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My Shining Star

Jeremy does not pose for as many photos or constantly beg for as much attention as his sister, but he is just the most amazing kid.  Let me just remind all three of my dear readers that we moved him in the middle of the school year away from his friends and plopped him in a new school and new state.  He lost his Pop, who he was very close with, shortly after, and he has really not missed a step.  I am so impressed with him.

And so is his teacher!

Jeremy was named Shining Star for the month of January, so he was the Student of the Month in the 2nd grade!  He was chosen by Mrs. Orrell due to his kindness to everyone in class.  He is generous, helpful, and nice to everyone.  So proud!

This week we had a sit-down with Mrs. Orrell (Brian and I have noticed his grades slipping a bit), and we basically listened to an hour of Jeremy praise.  She has no concerns with his grades, though  she did offer some great tips for things we can do at home to help him in some areas.  He is still adjusting to a new environment, and considering the things he has had on his plate, his teacher is very happy with where he is right now both academically and socially.

I think the biggest thing Brian and I learned from our meeting was that we need to adjust our own expectations.  I admit I was a total teacher's pet my whole life and gave myself health issues over the possibility of a B (not an actual B, just the possibility of one).  I don't want him to be like that.  Brian worries about Jeremy's focus and desire to play rather than work, but Mrs. Orrell laughed and just reminded us that he is 8.  Good parenting lesson.  Sometimes we work so hard to push our kids that we forget they just need to be kids.

So, here's to my kid.  My rambunctious, hilarious, smart, and conscientious kid.  He protects his little sister and would move heaven and earth for her.  He is paired up with kids in his class who struggle with English as a second language because his teacher knows he will be patient and kind with them.  She has him read out loud to the class often because he is so animated and a natural storyteller.  He reads with full inflection, suspense, humor, and character voices.  I thank my Dad for that one.

Jeremy is a total goofball who loves video games and Legos and Star Wars, but he is also just a good kid who wants to be a part of the team, wants to learn something new every day, is inspired by science and experiments, loves to dance, and cannot carry a tune to save his life.

I love his imagination, his huge blue eyes, his willingness to still let me hold him tight, and his insane mop of dirty blonde hair that has refused to lie flat since the day he was born.

Also, how cute is his school?  They went all out for Dr. Seuss Week!