Thursday, February 28, 2013

Action Jackson


Mr. Graham gets a little update post each month, but poor Jackson has been pushed back to yearly!  But, I wanted to make a point to write down some things about him these days :)  He is almost 4 1/2!!!  Pre-school is going SO well--he LOVES it!  He always asks if he has school as soon as he gets up.  He loves his teacher and his friends.  He seems to get along with all of the kids in his class, but he has made two friends who are true pals :)  That fact makes my heart SO happy!  I was so nervous he wouldn't have anyone to play with and would be left out.  His favorite thing is playing Monster Trucks with several other little boys in his class.  

I cannot believe that he has started to choose drawing/writing pictures during some of his free time!  This boy is obsessed with letters (he has been for a while) and numbers!  His fine motor skills have progressed by leaps and bounds since school started.  He is forming all of his letters on his own, and he can usually make them small enough to fit into a small space.  He is starting to draw pictures of things he thinks up on his own, and I LOVE watching where his imagination takes him!  On February 7th, Jackson read most of his first book: Hop on Pop!  We are stoked!  Josh and I love to read, and I hope he continues to love it too!

They did a unit on space recently in school, and Jackson remembered SO many facts!  He just poured them out as soon as he got in the car.  He even sat down to draw pictures of the sun, Earth, the other planets, stars, and the moon!  

He is enjoying singing songs, sharing rhymes, and taking on more responsibility (clearing his place at the table and setting the table).  Of course, Jackson still LOVES being a big brother!  He likes to help feed Graham and to play with him.  His favorite color(s) changes daily!  LOL  He does remember that my favorite color is blue and Josh's is orange :)  It is really neat watching his little personality take shape, but also watching as he becomes more aware of likes and dislikes of his friends and family. 

We are SOOO proud of our sweet boy!  He has grown so much this year!  We are planning to enjoy the last few months of school and then have fun with some adventures this summer before launching into FIVE mornings of school next year! 

***The story of the video is that one morning we were talking about numbers on the way to school, and Jackson was getting tripped up as he counted between sets of tens.  He couldn't quite remember what set came next.  So, I just counted by tens to explain that those are the special names you need to remember and then you add one, two, three, etc. to the end of each one.  He repeated the whole thing back to me!  I asked him if they had been practicing at school, or how he learned that.  He said, "You just told me, Mommy!"  What a fabulous memory!  Scary, but fabulous!  LOL  The treasures in the video are our incentive program right now.  He earns a treasure when we catch him making a good choice, being on his best behavior, or going above and beyond our usual expectations.  Once he gets 100, he gets this cool train set I have had sitting in our guest room for a while.  I bought it on clearance at Target, but wasn't sure what I was going to do with it.  He found it, and was excited, so I thought if he can earn 100 treasures, he can have the train set.  Plus, some new habits will hopefully be set in place :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Welcome Baby Mary!

 We got to meet Miss Mary Eloise Bascom when she was just NINE days old!!!

Unfortunately, she was born during the yucky cold and flu season, so visitors were restricted at the hospital :(  But, that just meant we all got to go for one of our favorite Bascom/Smith Family Playdates!!!
 The boys and I drove out and hung out for a bit before David went to pick up Josh who took the bus out from the city.  The guys picked up pizza to go with the salad and fruit I brought for dinner.  Dinner was YUMMY!  Sarah and I escaped after dinner to run a couple of "errands" to Carters and Osh Kosh while the guys held down the fort. 
I made this DELICIOUS Salted Caramel Cheesecake for dessert, but I scarfed down my piece, so I could get in a few snuggles with this sweet little girl!  I can't wait to get back there to her :)

Three babies down, at least four to go! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Go Mason!

 Josh scored some free tickets to the George Mason game this weekend!  We had SUCH a good time!  The energy in the stadium is wonderful!  The students all looked like they were having SOOO much fun!  They were really fun to watch, as was the band!  Jackson's and my favorite part was the tuba that was decorated with green lights and what looked like antlers.  How fun?  The band director put on quite a show himself.  Our seats were really great--only a few rows from the floor!  Jackson was pretty into everything, and he was content with what has become his standard snack: popcorn!
 Nom, nom, nom!
Josh and his boys
 Check out that pudgy little fist!  
 Oh, yes, this happened!  I could not love this baby any more--he is so sweet and snuggly!  He hung out for a bit, ate, and then pretty much just layed his head down on my chest and went to sleep!  LOVE IT!
 SOOO cute!  Jackson really had a great time!  He was excited that there was a blimp at this game, just like at the UVa game we went to earlier in the season.
 The Smiths cheering on Mason!
 After the game we headed to Susie and Joe's for dinner and hanging out.  This little stinker woke up just before we were going to leave anyways.  He hung out with the big boys while I got everything ready to go.  He's just so cute when he wakes up when he's supposed to be sleeping... ;)
 The fun with basketball continued as Graham joined in Jackson and Daddy's game. 
 His idea of fun is to eat the ball.  Luckily, he has a good-natured brother and daddy!
 Can the whole thing fit in my mouth???
 Trying again!
Sweetness :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day!!!

Valentine's Day was even more fun than last year since Jackson was looking forward to it!  Pre school is definitely good for getting prepared for fun things like this!
 I am part of a monthly craft group (each month a different member hosts and chooses a craft to lead), and this past month's was paper crafts using the Cricut machine.  There are SO many projects you can make, but I fell in love with these little boxes!  I made one for Jackson's teacher and the pre school director, and then we filled them with extra treats like the ones we brought to school for his party. 
 LOVE the keyhole detail on the side!
 This was mostly a Pinterest craft fail :(  You were supposed to mix shaving cream and food coloring in a pan until it marbelized.  Then you press a piece of paper on top and make a print.  Then, wipe off the excess shaving cream, and let it dry.  Well, the wiping off process took off way more than I thought it should.  Then, the shaving cream never dried!  So, I cut out hearts and then laminated them!  Not messy then!
 Jackson wrote ALL of this Valentine's!  I was SO proud of him!  He got very good at writing "To," and he filled in all of his friends' names and then he drew a heart before writing his name.  SOOO cute!
 This was a box I cut for Josh using fun map scrapbook paper.  His got filled with the same treats.
"I love you Daddy."
 "(Heart) Jackson and Graham"
 This was the valentine I made to give to a couple of our friends that are younger.  The back of the tag said, "You are my main squeeze!  Happy Valentine's Day!"
 Jackson's valentines he gave to his friends!  Each plastic bag had a strawberry milk straw, a milk bottle cut out card, and two cookies. 
 The tag read, "We go together like milk and cookies!  Happy Valentine's Day!"
Jackson's party was Wednesday since he doesn't have school on Thursdays.  On Tuesday he helped me make the treats to bring for his party.  We lined a baking sheet with small pretzel twists.  Then we placed an unwrapped Hershey's kiss on top.  We melted them for just a few minutes and then pressed an M&M on top.
 Graham's Valentine mailbox and card!  His mailbox had puffs and yogurt melts in it :)
 Jackson made this at school, and I thought it was a good decoration for breakfast!
 Jackson's Valentine's Day treats!
 Pink milk for breakfast!
 Close-up of my sloppy kisser ;)
 We took a walk to Redbox before lunch to rent the newest "Ice Age" movie.  Graham enjoyed his stroller ride and got to wear this super cute jean jacket Mimi bought for Jackson when he was little!
 Valentine's Day lunch: Heart cut-out sandwich.  The cut-out was filled with grapes.  And, a side of M&Ms in a heart shape!
 Snuggled up with his Valentine's puppy watching his movie :)
I didn't get a picture, but in the evening we continued our tradition of burritos for dinner!  Qdoba offers a deal where you get Buy One Get One Free if you kiss someone--excellent!
 We babysat for the Bashores tonight while they had a date, and I made a special dessert.  Have you seen that quote/graphic about how the picture on Pinterest looks so pretty, but then when you make it, it SO doesn't?  That's totally how I felt!  The kids didn't care!
This was a box of strawberry cake mix divided into three parts with varying amounts of red food coloring added.  Then, you are supposed to layer the colors with some frosting in between.  Mine didn't quite layer evenly...

Our three-day Valentine's celebration was a lot of fun, and Jackson is already asking how long until it happens again!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Yancey Baby Bee!

 I threw Susie a baby shower!!!  I had such a good time planning it, and I think she really enjoyed having lots of friends to hang out and relaxing while getting ready for her baby BOY!!!
Mommy to "BEE"  Michael's carries this fabulous honeycomb scrapbook paper, and I used that for everything!  It could not have been more perfect!
 I have never attempted a diaper cake, but I knew I wanted to make a diaper wreath once I saw this on Pinterest.  I used this tutorial to guide me.  It really was not hard at all!
 My friend, Kevin, gave me this beautiful beverage dispenser as a house-warming gift!  When he gave it to me it contained beer margaritas.  Just lemonade this morning ;)
 I have been seeing decorated water bottles all over Pinterest, and I thought this was a perfect reason to try them.  They looked so nice all lined up!
 Yancey Baby Bee!
 A shot of the table.  I served:
Mixed Fruit--pineapple, honeydew and cantaloupe
Honeycomb Cereal--I used  clear glass vase to display the cereal, and it looked SO cute!  There were paper cones to spoon it into as serving vessels--just a little different.
Yancey Baby Bee napkin rings
I had a lot of fun making all of the paper products for the shower.  They pretty much required lots of cutting and putting together.  I bought scrap booking adhesive squares and that's what I used to attach most everything.
To make a simple centerpiece for this table, I just stuck three of the paper cones full of Honeycomb cereal in a mason jar. 
Gifts to shower Susie and Baby Yancey with love!
I just love watching people open presents, particularly at baby showers :)  Joe's sister, Erin, took these pictures of present opening--she did a great job capturing everything!
I believe this was present #1: Bath Bombs for the mommy!
Joe's mom and sister gave Susie the bedding set she registered for--it is SOOO cute!
Susie's mom gave her a bag full of onesies with special messages on them: there was this Little Brother one, one about mommy, one about daddy, one about grandma, one about grandpa, and maybe one about auntie?  SUCH a cute idea!  He is SO loved already :)
Bumble bee plate and bowl!  This was part of my present.  There was another bumble bee bowl and plate.  It was all in a personalized LL Bean tote bag.
Opening a super fun basket full of goodies!
Susie posing with the cupcakes and the diaper wreath--her dining room paint color went with the shower theme SO WELL!
Time for cupcakes!
Bumble Bee Cupcakes
Chocolate Chip Pound Cake cupcake
Modeling Chocolate decorations
Pipe cleaners for antennae
Wilton edible googly eyes
3/4 of the soon-to-be-expanded Yancey family!
Susie and Joe and their moms :)
Susie and the grandmas and aunts :)
Favors--Thanks for celebrating Mommy to Bee and Baby to Bee!
I made these honeycomb pockets using my friend, Aimee's, Silhouette machine---it does ALL that cutting out!
Each pocket included two honey straws and a tea bag
I LOVED this shower theme--there were SO many good ideas out there!  Most of my ideas came from Pinterest.  I made a special board for this shower: Bumble Bee Baby Shower

Now we just sit tight until Baby Boy makes his arrival!!!