There was a time when Walker looked as if he just stepped out of a children's catalog every time we left the house. Always matching, hair combed perfectly, shoes free of scuffs. This is no longer the case. The three year old child is a very independent creature. Their aesthetic differs from most, and they usually leave the house looking a little kooky. Walker loves to dress himself these days, and even though I have clothes laid out for him, he always digs in the closet for his own creation. Sometimes I make him change, sometimes its just not worth it and his creativity gets to go on display. We get a lot of looks in Target when he is wearing say, a button down polo, camo shorts and bright orange cowboy boots - with some sort of hat. His hair is also an attention getter. It is curly and golden and beautiful - but it has a mind of its own, and he likes to comb his own hair now. Yesterday, after Trumon got home from work, we went to go vote. We decided we would go out to eat after we left the polls. We informed Walker that we were about to leave and that he needed to get ready. He came downstairs in khaki shorts that were backwards, a red pajama shirt turned inside out and backwards, and a spider hat he had made at school. I convinced him that the pj top and shorts were not the best choice, but that he could wear the hat. The hat stayed on for the remainder of the evening, including dinner. So kooky, so cute!
Here are a few highlights of our weekend. Friday night, we went out to Blue Goose Cantina for mexican food. There was a a thirty minute wait, which was not a problem because we had such an entertaining show. Walker's level of confidence in his dance moves may be a little inflated, but he loves to groove!
We stopped for ice cream before heading home and Walker ordered for himself, chocolate in a cone, yummy!
Saturday we did a few projects before heading to Arlington for Trumon's haircut. We enjoyed visiting with everyone at the salon, and Sugar got to show off her babies to her friends at work. I don't think I held Lauren the entire time we were there. We spent the rest of the afternoon with Papa and Sugar and had a great time. Trumon, Papa and the kids napped while Sugar and I got in a little shopping. We picked up a pizza on our way home that evening and were in bed by around 10pm, we are an exciting crew around here!
Sunday morning, we actually made it to church with a few minutes to spare, a big accomplishment. Our new routine is that we drop Walker off at his class and then Trumon and I go to the sanctuary with Lauren until the end of the music service. I slip off the the nursing mothers room just before the message, and watch the remainder of the service from there. When we picked up Walker from his class, one of the teachers had to tell me how impressed he was with Walker's vocabulary. Apparently, while discussing David and Goliath, one of the children referred to Goliath as "a bad guy" to which Walker responded "actually, I think he is the villian in this story". Walker's ability to communicate well didn't stop there though. We went out to eat after church, and as the waiter was taking everyone's order he looked at Lauren and joked that she probably wanted to order a steak. Walker quickly corrected him saying "Oh no, she can only drink milk from momma's breast right now, she is a baby". You just never know what you are going to get when dining with a three year old, it is certainly never boring!
It was nice to have a relatively uneventful weekend, to just enjoy our family without any other obligations or commitments, what a blessing.
Today is one of those beautiful, golden days that makes fall so special. The kids and I went to the park this afternoon for a couple of hours. Walker is really into monkey bars these days, and he is really good on them. He can swing for about four bars now, and can hang and swing in place forever. He is also not afraid to drop when he needs to let go. At one point, he was trying to swing from one bar to the next and he fell. When he got up he said "mama, that didn't go so well now did it". The child never ceases to amaze me with his little quips, he is really something else.
Lauren seemed to enjoy her time also, she even rolled from her back to tummy while we were there(of course not while I had the camera out!). She'll be on the monkey bars herself before I know it! I did catch her doing some serious "talking" while we were at the park.
I just realized I haven't posted since last Wednesday! I don't know where a week has gone, I knew it had been a few days - but a week I can't believe. Oh well, I'm back to blogging. Last week was a little wild here. Trumon was out of town Thursday through Sunday, Walker had an ear infection, and Lauren has decided she likes to fuss from about 5:00-6:30pm every day. She is also rolling over from her tummy to back, though I can't catch her on camera. She is almost getting from back to tummy, it won't be long.
The most excitement we've had here lately was a trip to see Itty and Bitty. Itty and Bitty are two miniature horses who are the stars of a children's book series. You can check them out at ittyandbitty.com, they are SO precious! Itty and Bitty visited Walker's school, Reading Friends yesterday, and though Tuesday isn't his class day, we were invited to meet the horses and listen to their latest story. Walker dressed in his cowboy attire, and even though he can't seem to keep his hat turned the right direction or his shirt tucked in, he looked pretty cute. Being three and a little egocentric, he was under the impression that the horses were there just to meet him. When we pulled up to the school he shouted "Yeehaw Itty and Bitty, don't worry, Walker the cowboy is here!" Imagine his disappointment when he realized he had to wait his turn to meet the horses because other children were there. Thank goodness the author and owner of the horses Nancy Czerw, took a liking to Walker(and his outfit) and kept asking him to come and pet or take pictures. It sure pays off to be cute and have the right clothes for an occasion!
Now that there is another member to our family, our dinner table arrangement includes a baby swing. We place Lauren at the corner between us, and Walker sits to Trumon's left, across the table from me. This arrangement has worked great, and Lauren usually just swings and watches us happily. However, last night she just wanted to be held. From the time Trumon got home from work yesterday, she only wanted him. Whenever he left her sight, she would immediately start to look for him, then fuss until he came back and picked her up. She has him trained very well already. So, last night Trumon ate dinner with a baby on his lap, and as soon as Walker had finished his dinner, he was on dad also. Lauren had really been vocalizing, making some of the most precious little sounds, and we were going on about her. Walker, sensing that someone may be getting more attention than he was, had to go one better. He acknowledged Lauren's cute sounds, and then started reciting nursery rhymes. It was a sweet sight, seeing both of my babies with their Dad, each trying in their own way to capture his attention. My heart also overflows to see my husband able to give that attention and love to two children, both differently and simultaneously. Here is some video of last night's entertainment.
Sweet little Lauren is getting so big, and so cute. It seems like this three month stage is really when you start to know who your baby is. If I had to describe Lauren with just one word right now, it would be happy. She wakes with a smile, is pleasant most all of the day and then gives you a sweet, sleepy grin when you put her down for the night. She really is a joy. Occasionally, she has some pretty fussy times, but they are very few and far between. Walker has an ear infection, so we are just around the house today, and he has been napping for the last hour or so. I've enjoyed this alone time with Lauren. I don't get to spend much time with her that is free of distractions. For the last hour and a half I've done nothing but play, sing, talk with her. No big brother, no housework, nothing but Lauren - it has been fun. She is napping now also, so I'm off to get some work done, but here is some video of my precious girl just being her happy little self.
This weekend we traveled to my hometown of Grapeland, Texas for the 63rd Annual Grapeland Peanut Festival. Every year on the 2nd weekend of October my little town of 150o people hosts around 20,000 people for a couple of fun filled days. The weekend kicks off on Friday with homecoming festivities, a street dance after the game and old friends getting together at parties, usually around a bonfire. On Saturday morning there is a parade and then everyone heads out to the city park for music, food, carnival rides and craft booths. The weekend concludes with the coronation of the new Peanut Queen. I've been a part of 33 of the 63 Peanut Festivals and look forward to it every year. My friends and I consider this weekend another holiday, in fact, Trumon calls it Christmas in Grapeland. It is so wonderful to see old friends and their families, and catch up on what is going on in their lives. This was Lauren's first "Fest" as we like to call it, Walker tried to fill her in on what would take place since this was his fourth year to experience things. For years, my family has played a big role in the "Fest". My grandfather served as Master of Ceremonies for as long as I can remember and now my little brother Jon-Michael has stepped in to announce the parade. Until the last couple of years we were always part of the entertainment, singing at the park and sometimes the coronation, and yes, I am a part of the elite group of ladies who can say they were once a Peanut Queen. I try to use this royalty status to get to the front of the corn dog/funnel cake line, but it never seems to work. Speaking of which, the weekend is also an eating festival, at least for me it is. I probably consume half of my yearly calories in this one weekend, and enough fat grams for 2 years - but I love fair food! Trumon and I schedule our activities at the park around which food vendors we plan on stopping by. Now that Walker is big enough, he of course, just wants to get on the carnival rides. He and Trumon rode everything Walker was tall enough to ride on. The boy is scared of nothing! There is no way I would get on some of the things he rode, and if I did I would be dizzy and nauseous for days afterwards. We brought Lauren out to the park just long enough to get some pictures, its just too busy and dusty for one so little, but she did go to the parade and met lots of new people. Walker was upset because he wanted to ride a horse in the parade, but Uncle Caleb worked on a float this year so there was no one to ride with. So, after the parade was over, Uncle Caleb borrowed a horse from one of his friends and Walker got to ride, we told him it was his own parade - he was a happy boy again.
The weekend was a success as always. I'm amazed at how Grapeland pulls off such a big event each year, everyone works so hard to make it all happen. We enjoyed visiting with my family, and it was the first time I had been with all of my siblings in probably two years, it was really nice. Thanks to Nana and Mike for all of the cooking, babysitting and the cleanup that it must have been after we all left - you had a full house, but it sure was fun!
Today is our last day with this week's literacy bag. We've enjoyed all the books (Walker has three of the four in his personal library), but it has been the activities that have added some fun to our days. Using salt in the cookie sheet to write was fun, a little messy towards the end, but lots of fun. Discovering equivalents with the measuring spoons and cups was a great project. There was also an activity making playdoh and using cookie cutters and then using tweezers to place, then remove matchsticks from the playdoh. This is an excellent exercise for fine motor skills and grasping strength. After some intial frustration, Walker really got into it. When I told him that playing with the tweezers would help the muscles in his hands and fingers get stronger he responded "no mama, actually this is for fine motor skills - like on fine motor Fridays". Each Friday, his class has special fine motor units, I just didn't know he realized what they were doing. Tomorrow we will return the cooking literacy bag, and start looking forward to what will be in our new bag next week.
Walker is taking his role of big brother very seriously. He is increasingly protective, and always thinks he knows best what Lauren needs. He also tells Lauren how he thinks she should react to things. When she doesn't take his advice he feels the need to jump in and save the day. Oh the burden we firstborns carry, such responsibility, so young. Well, Lauren was having a fussy moment when we got home this afternoon. Walker told me she most likely needed her diaper changed, but she still cried. He then suggested some toys and her play mat. When nothing was working he said "Alright baby Lauren, I'll sing a song - that always helps you". He then began a concert of "lullavies" as he calls them. I was able to grab the camera for the finale. She eventually settled - big brother to the rescue. The role of eldest sibling isn't an easy one, Trumon and I can both appreciate that, and our advice is not always well received, but we mean well. Little Lauren is very fortunate to have a third parent (that's what we are often referred to as) like Walker - he is an awesome little boy and a terrific big brother.
This week Walker's class started rotating literacy bags at school. Every Monday, each child brings home a different bag containing four books and activities associated with the theme of the books. Walker's bag this week is called "What's Cooking" - the books we've read thus far are If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and The Little Red Hen. All of the books have to do with cooking or food in some way, so the activities include supplies like a baking sheet, measuring cups, ect. Today we are going to play with salt on the baking sheet - using our fingers to practice writing letters, shapes ect. in the salt. Then you shake the salt around to erase and start over again. We also take the measuring cups and spoons to the bathtub and experiment with how many tbsps. go into a 1/2 cup, cup and on so on. I write about this because Walker was ecstatic to bring this bag home. You would have thought it was a bag full of candy. He could not wait to get into the bag. We had a really busy day yesterday, so I told him we would read the first book after bath and before bed, with Daddy. You've never seen a child so ready to bathe and get into pjs. Now, we read everyday, and in fact he told me the other day that his dinosaur book was his favorite toy, but the literacy bag was fun on a whole new level. Dad read our first book and we talked about the projects we would do this week. He of course wanted to do them all right then, and read the other three books the first night. After explaining several times that we would have the bag for the entire week, he finally settled down for bed. I am so encouraged by his love of learning, especially reading. Thanks to Mrs. Fullerton for the literacy bags- we are having great fun!
This past Saturday morning we loaded up and headed to the Ft. Worth Zoo. We haven't been in a few months, so Walker was very excited. He was also excited for Lauren, since this marked her inaugural visit to his favorite place. The weather was nice, a little warm, but nice. Apparently, half of the metroplex also thought it would be a great day to go to the zoo - I've never seen so many cars there. We had to park in a field across the street from the parking lot and hike over, but Walker was thrilled to wave at the "cowboy policeman" (traffic officer wearing a cowboy hat). The zoo had several new additions since our last visit - baby giraffes, baby tigers and baby lions, all so cute. There is also a new exhibit where the kids get sticks covered with bird seed and little parakeets will flock to the sticks. Thank goodness I had to sit outside of the "cage" with Lauren. I'm scared of birds on the loose - and I don't think I could have put on a brave enough front for Walker. I am determined not to pass my neurotic fears on to him. Lauren did great, she is such a trooper. She was either happily looking around or sleeping the entire visit, never any fussing. We knew Walker was tired when he decided to ride in the stroller, so we took that opportunity to head back to the car, and home for a nap.
We've had a full day here at the Davis house. After breakfast and some playing around the house, we headed to the park in Coppell to meet daddy for lunch. We had a great time as usual, enjoying the weather outside and dining on one of Walker's favorites, "Chicken -Fil-A" . Lauren enjoyed some swinging, as did Walker, before he moved on to bigger and more dangerous attractions. After Trumon left, a little girl came and sat at our table. She was there with a nanny, as are most the children there, and she just walked over, sat down and stared at us. Walker and I both tried to make conversation with the little girl, but she just looked. This was terribly perplexing to Walker, and he finally said "well, if she is just going to sit there, I'm off to the slide". So he took off and there I was with this peculiar little girl. Again I tried to engage her, only to be met with silence and staring - it was beyond strange. After her nanny finished her phone call, she called for the girl and she took off. Then the nanny instructed her to sit on the bench with her, the poor little thing never played. There was also a little boy, big enough to play, in a stroller who the lady never got out. I don't know why she even took them to the park. I felt so awful for those children. I also felt incredibly blessed that I am afforded the opportunity to stay home with my children. Going to the park with my children is pure joy, but to this nanny, you could tell it was a just another task. Enough about that.
This afternoon, after nap and while Lauren was still down, Walker and I made pizza together. He had fun mixing and kneading the dough, and especially rolling it. We made barbecue chicken pizza, it was delicious! After dinner Trumon and Walker took off for a ride with our new bike stroller. They are still gone, I hope Walker is keeping his helmet on - he was determined not to, so we'll see.
With the reality that life truly moves too fast, it is my hope to capture God's day to day blessings in our family.
I am a stay at home mom to two incredible children - Walker 4 years, Lauren 12 months and wife to a wonderful husband, Trumon.