Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Bonus Year

Since Nicholas turned 3 I've been stressing and worrying over making the decision for kindergarten.  He is a smart child, loves school, and has always adapted well, but with a July 1st birthday, it just bothered me to think of sending him at 5 and even more so to think of sending him to college a few weeks after his 18th birthday.  This past year he has struggled a little bit because he was one of the youngest in his class and that caused him to be a follower when he has always been a leader as an older child in his previous classes. I didn't want him to go through school as immature or the youngest. I've cried and missed sleep over this decision, but I know in my heart I've made the right choice.

In our state we have a lottery funded PreK program that is equal opportunity, but limited spots. We entered the drawing and got a spot at the school he is zoned to attend kindergarten!!!  At that point I knew God was telling me I did the right thing.  On Tuesday we went for a meet and greet at his new school and saw his classroom. He was a bit overwhelmed, but loved it!  He was very shy and wasn't sure about them taking his picture, but he was super excited on the inside!  It's been all he has talked about!
(Here we are wearing our socks and sperrys again! Haha! Bless him and his fashion preferences!)

I was worried about how he was adapt to the news that he was repeating PreK, but he understands that he has a late birthday and some kids go to preK when they are 5. He calls it his 5 class.  I wanted him to know he wasn't going to kindergarten from the beginning and he has been ok with it the entire time. I'm so thankful for that. 

He will start his new school on August 17 and I know on August 14th, when we leave the only "school" he has ever known we will both cry.  It's a big step and I know he will do great!  I'm so proud of him and can't wait to see what his future holds! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Summertime Favorite Meals

I love to spotlight a fun, tasty summertime food on here, but last year got out of the routine. I had several requests for the recipe of a homemade ice cream I posted over the weekend. This is one of my mom's classic recipes that I grew up with and it is pretty amazing! Enjoy!

Milky Way Ice Cream

25-30 fun sized Milky Way bars
1 can Pet milk
1 small package of chocolate instant pudding
1 small carton of half and half
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2cup sugar

Chop candy bars in food processor and melt over medium heat combined with Pet milk. Allow mixture to cool. Combine pudding, half and half, eggs, sugar, and vanilla and mix well. Once chocolate mixture has cooled, mix with pudding mixture. Pour into ice cream mixer and finish filling mixer with milk. Freeze according to mixer instructions. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Summer Kickoff Weekend Wrapup

We have had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend!  We've enjoyed spending time with friends and family!  I didn't get a lot of pictures because I was just enjoying being in the moment. 

Saturday morning we split up and the boys worked around the backyard getting it ready for Summed and I went to order Aliza's bedding (!!!) and to Babies R Us to begin figuring out what we need.  I've realized that baby gear is a lot different than it was 5 years ago!  Saturday night we had the Millers over for a shrimp boil.  
It isn't Summer around here until we've boiled some shrimp! Haha! 

Yesterday we spent the entire day at the pool. Michael's dad and sister joined us in the afternoon and for dinner. Nicholas is doing so well in the pool this year!  I am so proud of him!

We also got a new grill because we had a charcoal grill that had rusted out and took way too long to use on weeknights. With my pelvis issue and being on my feet all afternoon at work I'm struggling at night, so we needed a way to cook dinner but not take an hour. We've grilled last night and tonight and are in love with the new grill! Look for some yummy summertime grilling recipes soon! 

Today we spent a couple of hours at the pool before it got too cloudy and Nicholas wanted to go home. We have been lazy and it was just what we needed! 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Summer Bucket List

Every year I try to make a Summer Bucket List for our family. I consider this to be the kickoff weekend for Summer so I made a list of summertime goals for our little family! 

1.  Lots of Pool Time
2.  Homemade Ice Cream (definitely Nana's peach ice cream and Gigi's Milky Way ice cream!)
3.  Go to a Baseball Game
4.  Host a BBQ
5.  Friends over for Shrimp Boils, our favorite!
6.  Watch Fireworks
7.  Catch Fireflies
8.  Enjoy a Watermelon Together
9.  Play Outside More and Enjoy longer days 
10. Go To The Lake
11. Make a Waterslide in the Backyard
12. Play in the Sprinkler
13. Make a Keylime Pie
14. Plant Flowers around the Patio
15. Bubbles in the Backyard 

......Just enjoy being together and soaking up the last few months of being a family of 3!  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

My Little Graduate

Today was an exciting day at our house!  Nicholas graduated from PreK!  He has been at his daycare/preschool since he was 12 weeks old and today was his last day of "school" there! Now he gets to go to summer camp and be a big kid!!!
(Ignore his socks and Sperrys! It's the only way he will wear them! Ha!)

It's hard for me to believe this sweet little 12 week old baby is now a PreK graduate and will be leaving his current school for the PreK-5 at his elementary school next year.

He is so excited to move on to the "premary" (primary) school all of his friends in the neighborhood go to.  I'm sad that he will no longer be right across the street from my office and I won't have that time in the car with him twice a day. I love the thought of my babies being so close by during the day! (Aliza will be attending the same daycare when I return to work after Thanksgiving)

His little graduation was so sweet and he looked so grown up! The cap and gown kill me! 

Receiving his diploma from his teacher

This little boy and Nicholas have been together in every class since they were 3 months old. We are going to miss him and his family next year. 

Tomorrow they have a day of fun planned to celebrate before moving on to kids camp...which is all we've heard about for months!  Apparently once you go to kids camp you're grown! Haha! 

Nicholas we are so proud of you and how much you have learned! I hope you always have the desire to read and to learn!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Baby Sister Update

We got a good look at baby sister a couple of weeks ago and today I saw my OB for my regular check up. He is very happy how things are going! Michael and Nicholas went with me to my big anatomy ultrasound and it was so fun to watch Nicholas see his sister for the first time. He had to take her pictures in to show his class when he went back to school!

We got some really good shots of her hand and foot, but she still is really shy and isn't a fan of showing her face!  She enjoys keeping her hands up by her face and has been in this position the last two times we've looked at her. 

And of course we double checked to make sure she is still a girl, and she is!  

I am so relieved that she is healthy and doing well. My OB doesn't do ultrasounds every time, so that will probably be our last glimpse at baby sister until we see her in the delivery room! It is still hard for me to believe that God has given us two healthy babies when there was a time we never thought we would have one. We have definitely been blessed!  

I go back in another 4 weeks and will take my glucose test. Yay! We all know how much fun that is! I'm a little nervous about that because I feel bad every time I eat something really sweet, but I have to trust that everything will be ok! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Wedding Weekend

We have had a fun, but busy weekend. Michael's best friend of almost 20 years got married yesterday and both of my boys were in the wedding.  
(I didn't get many good pictures because I didn't carry my good camera just my phone. I'll post more when the professional pictures come out) 
This picture is from our wedding 10 years ago. Chad caught the garter and apparently catching the garter doesn't work like catching the bouquet because it took him another 10 years to get married! Haha! They have been friends since high school and have seen each other through major illnesses and a loss of a parent, good jobs, bad jobs, bad life choices, and now each others weddings. I've learned a lot about friendship by watching them over the last 14 years and their friendship been a blessing me.  

The bride, Melanie got Nicholas this cute shirt and he was so excited to wear it to meet up with the big boys to get ready. He couldn't wait to be the ring bearer and dance at the reception. Michael sent me this picture of Nicholas and Chad after they got dressed and I almost cried! N looked so handsome and I was so happy for our good friend! 
I literally held my breath the entire wedding but Nicholas did so well! 
It was a beautiful wedding! The ceremony was held where we got married and it is always fun to go to a wedding there! 
We are so happy and excited to welcome the new Mrs. Akins to our group of friends! She looked amazing and we are so happy that Chad finally found someone who makes him as happy as Michael and I are! 
Today I have spent most of the day in bed just resting with the Hallmark channel! 
I have developed pubic symphysis diastasis over the last week (meaning my pelvis has spread apart too much, too soon) causing a lot of pain. 7 hours on my feet in heels last night was just too much and I'm paying for it today. I'm looking forward to my doctor appointment on Tuesday and hearing what he has to say about it. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

This was my 5th and probably most special Mother's Day. I can't believe the little man who made me a mommy is almost 5 and about to be a big brother. We had a very low key day and I'm so thankful for that. It was nice to just spend the day the 3 of us and not have to hurry from stop to stop this year.

We started the day with Nicholas bringing me a present in bed. He got me the Mother's Day Pandora purse charm! I love it and it is perfect considering I am obsessed with purses! Ha!

We had brunch and just enjoyed being back together after Nicholas and I had spent all of the week before at Disney (more on that later).

Words cannot describe how much I love this little guy!  He is so much more than I ever imagined!  He keeps us laughing and definitely keeps us on our toes. He is all boy all the time, and I wouldn't change a thing! 

My favorite part of the day was just relaxing at the pool for a couple of hours. Nicholas has been riding his bike by the pool almost daily for a couple of months waiting for it to open. He was so excited to get in that cold water for the first time this year!  I love the pure joy on both of those faces in this picture (even if it cuts part of N's head off! Haha!)! 

I ended up with a massive migraine after the pool, but I still had an amazing, fabulous day with my two boys. I'm so blessed and thankful to be their wife and mother. God has been so good to me and I can't wait to add another little person to our family! I was 20 weeks last Friday and here is a fun comparison picture of me at 20 weeks both pregnancies. I've gained more weight this time, but I started out a lot smaller than I did last time, so hopefully it will even out. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Baby Girl Nursery Ideas

I feel like I owe an apology to anyone who follows me on Pinterest for the excessive nursery ideas I've pinned lately!  I'm excited to get started on Aliza's room in the next couple of weeks!!!  My theme is princess with blush, ivory, and champagne accents. I'm keeping her room chocolate brown because I loved how Nicholas' nursery looked with white furniture and the dark walls. This is her room as it is right now. 

I am ordering her bedding soon, but this is a picture of the bumper that goes with it.  It is so classic and girly! I love it! 

I'm hoping to find a bed crown to hang over her bed and drape pale pink sheers behind the crib similar to this idea, but not as heavy of fabric. 

I went on the hunt for a dress form about a month before I ran across one on a resell Facebook page. I still need to do some work on it, but this is the inspiration picture for the dress form idea. 

Like I said, I am sooooo excited to finally go all out and decorate a baby girl's room!  My safari boy nursery was fun, and I loved it, but there is just something about a girly, Princess room that is so exciting! I'm going to use a couple of items from my wedding as decoration too, which I think will be fun! They've been boxed away for 10 years might as well put them on display for a girly decoration! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Name For Baby Sister

Aliza Kate Ledford 

How did we chose this name? 
With a name like Amanda in the 1980s, I was always one of 2 or 3 Amanda's in my class and same with Michael. We both wanted to name our children names that weren't quite so popular. 

When I was in college I was a nanny for a little girl named Aliza. I loved her name from the moment I met her. It was classic, yet unique and this sweet child made a lasting impression on my life. I kept her for three years and when I got married she was the junior maid of honor. 
She is now almost 19 years old, a good student, and a college athlete. If our baby Aliza is half as wonderful as she is, we are lucky parents! 

Kate was just a name we liked for a middle name. We debated about 3 different middle name combinations, but liked Aliza Kate the best. Nicholas also voted for Kate, so that was the deciding vote!  

Now that she has a name, we are beginning to plan her nursery and hopefully will be ordering her bedding soon!