Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers Day 2013

Happy Mothers Day! I had such a fantastic one this year. Thanks to a relaxing afternoon playing outside with the two little people that made me a Mommy. 
The kids made such sweet things at school this year. And their Daddy was extra good at hiding the gifts from me. So good at it that I was actually mad at the preschool because I thought that they had forgotten to send home Henry's since he was only there on Monday and Wednesday. 
Anyways. Tonight I was getting ready for yucky Monday and packing book bags and i found this book still hidden in her book bag.  And it is the funniest thing I have ever read. My little girl knows me pretty well!

Notice Leroy in the picture!
See, she really knows me!  Notice all the shopping bags.
True statement.
Another truth. Again lots of bags.
Leroy made the shot again. Of course his room is the laundry room.

Oh dear. That appears to be a drink in my hand.
***Update from Monday morning. Rhiannon said that was a BOOK in my hand.  Not a drink.  :)
I do really like my boots.
She makes some pretty darn good scrambled eggs.
And the tear jerker. My favorite.
 I shed a lot of tears today over their gifts. They were all so special. And such a reminder of how big they are getting. 
I am so thankful for them. And this man who helped to provide them.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Our New "Baby"

We may have lost our minds.  Somewhere in between the planning and building and packing and everyday life, we decided that we needed to add another member to our family.  And since Russ is against that being a human we decided that the addition would be a canine.
And then the discussion was what kind.  Russ was leaning towards a small dog and I wanted another chocolate lab.  If I could have cloned my last chocolate lab Kramer, I truly would have.  He was taken from us way before we were ready to say Goodbye and he would have been great with the kids.
We decided a lab would be best.
Then the discussion was do we get a puppy or an adult lab from a rescue group?
A puppy would require training and years of puppy antics.  However, a puppy could grow up with our kids and be accustomed to their noises and crazy behavior.
An adult dog could have already been around and be good with kids.  And would possibly already be house trained with exceptional manners.
(As I'm typing this I'm trying to figure out why we got a puppy. . . )
I had been following a breeder that raises lab puppies in her home on their farm with her family of 4 children. The puppies are loved and handled and treated like family.  One litter was born on January 29 and when I learned that there was a chocolate male available my heart strings were pulled.
I had been the one wanting an adult dog because I just wasn't sure I could handle the puppy years.  Kramer I swear trained himself because I don't remember it being that difficult.
But Jan 29 is an important date for us.  That last week in January anyway.  It was the week Russ asked me on our first date, it was the day we moved in together 2 years later, it was the day he proposed the next year, and it was when we discovered we were pregnant with Rhiannon.  And I'm funny and I guess superstitious about signs.  And I felt like this was our baby.
So we reserved him.  A puppy.  A crazy chocolate lab puppy with two young kids and a brand new house.  See?  We have lost our minds.
On March 23 we picked him in Lincolnton GA.  We decided not to tell the kids and let it be a surprise.  We told them as we were pulling in the driveway.
We had the last pick of males so I thought it would most likely be the smallest.  Kramer was the runt and that was perfectly fine with us because he will be primarily an inside dog.  And that was what originally happened but when the first family arrived to pick up the largest male, the small one tugged on their sons pant leg and he stole his heart and earned a trip home instead of the "big guy".  When we arrived, we met the largest puppy of the litter.  Woah.  But oh so sweet and gentle and calm.  His Daddy is a 95 pound gentle giant and the breeder says our baby reminds her the most of Ruger (his Daddy).
We decided to name him Prince Leroy.  Leroy is a funny name I call the kids when they are acting crazy.  And Rhiannon thinks that everyone should be royalty.  So that is how we came to his name.  His full registered name is Highlands Royal Prince Crain.  Where we live is known as the Highlands in our county.  The subdivision that we live in that used to be our family farm is named Lawson Highlands.
So now we have a 10 week old newborn that requires all our attention but we love him so much.  I call him my Chocolate Baby.  I have called him "My Baby" a few times and Henry has expressed his dissatisfaction with that as he tells me that HE is my baby.  Leroy can be my chocolate baby.

Monday, February 11, 2013

My babies are getting big!

My babies aren't babies anymore.  We no longer have diapers.  When I leave the house, I don't have to bring sippy cups or bibs.
And then a few weeks ago, my little girl tells me that her tooth is loose.  I don't believe her at first because she is way to young to be losing teeth.  It took her 10 months to even get one.  And I wasn't quite ready.  Even though she has been ready for over a year now since her big cousin started losing teeth and she found this cute little tooth fairy pillow.  So for these reasons I thought there is no way.  But I confirmed that not only was one loose.  But two.  And I cried.
A few weeks later while brushing her teeth I realized that it was barely hanging on.  After a whole let of drama, she allowed her daddy to help her pull it.  And she was so excited.  So excited that she had her Daddy pull the second one.  At the dinner table.  Only 3 days later.
I mentioned that I was in denial of this losing teeth business.  And that I wasn't quite ready.  Literally.  The tooth fairy had to leave a ten dollar bill because that was the smallest denomination that 4 adults had in the house.  We told Rhiannon that the tooth fairy brings more money for the first tooth.  We were more prepared for the second.

After tooth #2, Jan 27, 2013

First picture of those sweet little teeth.

That night as Russ and I examined that tiny little tooth, we remember when she first got it.  It seemed like yesterday.  And while we we talking about how time goes by too fast, we realize that her younger brother got out of bed, used the potty, washed his hands, and then ran and jumped in bed with his sister so that SHE could finish reading him a story.

February 2010, Rhiannon meets Henry for the first time
I don't know where my babies have gone.  Because I still think they are this big.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Crains on the Move

I mentioned how infrequent I have been in my blogging.  It's been a very busy few months.  To catch you up on our "project."

We have always had intentions on building a house.  My parents live in a subdivision that my stepfather developed about 25 years ago.  Before it was a subdivision it was our family farm.  My parents picked out their lot, the only lake lot in the subdivision, and built there house about 20 years ago.  They sold the other lots over the years except for 4 that they saved for each of us kids.  I have always known which one I wanted.  The lot right beside my parents that has these beautiful old stately oaks in the front yard and a gorgeous view of the creek below surrounded by mountain laurels like you were deep in the North GA mountains.

Last March we started working towards this goal by meeting with builders.  A year later, we finalized a house plan and a builder and were ready to get going.  We had tried to sell our current home but decided that we didn't want to pay someone to buy it.  So, in the end we decided to rent it.  My parents were nice enough to allow us to live in the top floor of their house so that we could save some $ while we were building and be next to the construction.  We are packed in pretty tight.  My mother, well, she likes clothes.  So after all her kids moved out, she took over every, single, walk-in closet in the entire house.  So this is a picture of the other side of my and Russ' bedroom.

I should explain the living arrangements.  Russ and I have a bedroom and our own bath.  The kids are sharing a room.  Which has worked out quite nicely.  We packed up Henry's crib and he is sleeping on a daybed and Rhiannon has her own big bed.  Henry is loud but Rhiannon sleeps like a rock.  I think they may miss sharing a bedroom once we get in our new place.  They have their own bath.  The other bedroom we turned into a living room/playroom.  It's a nice set up.  We help pay utilities and we buy groceries and cook dinner.  Oh, when I say "we" cook dinner.  "We" = Russ.  :)  This summer we had the pool in our backyard and the kids have loved living with their grandparents.  But by February, we will hopefully be out of here.  And that will be nice too.  Although, I think maybe my parents have gotten used to Russ' cooking so we may be setting two extra plates at dinner.

Some construction pics:

We were really excited about the sign!
Rhi was excited about her boots.  


Henry doing a drive by.

We have a roof!

Rhi says we have it all "wrapped up".  

One of our trails.  
Down at the creek.  Taken during a picnic!

And some pictures of our "backyard".  My favorite.

As of today, the roof is now finished.  The windows and exterior doors are in place.  The electric and plumbing are almost complete.  Hardy plank is being put on now and brick will be next.

I will keep you updated with pictures.

I'm out.  I still have no idea where my winter coats are. . .

Monday, October 8, 2012

Funny Things from My Mama's Boy

I'm going to ease back into this blogging thing.  I have thought of many things that I wanted to remember.  And that was the main reason for this blog:  to document the lives of our family.  Things in our family got a little crazy over the last few months.  And when I picked up Henry's journal, I realized that it's been a for real long time.  So I'm going blog a little a time.  Even if it's small.  So that I don't forget.

More on why our life is crazy later.  Today I want to blog about the funny things that come out of my two year old's mouth.

Henry is a Mama's Boy.  No joking.  No exaggerating.  I call him my tick because if possible, he would be attached to me at all times.  I'm not complaining.  I love it.  But there comes some funny moments.

That kid is a talker.  Rhiannon is having a bit of trouble (understatement of the year here) adjusting to Kindergarten because she talks too much.  At the last parent teacher conference we were happy to learn that she is improving.  And we took that opportunity to warn the staff:   if you think she talks too much, wait to you meet her little brother.  Let's just say that on our 8 hour trip to the beach, our Henry chatterbox NEVER stopped talking.  Rhiannon will sleep or watch a movie and will rest her mouth for a minute.  Not Henry.  Geez.

He's full time in underwear now.  Potty training him was so easy.  Shockingly easy.  But I think God thought he would let one thing about my dear Henry be easy because He knew he has not been the easiest child.  But Henry wants me to watch him potty.  Like sit there with him.  And talk to him.  While he is doing all his business.  I tried to send him with his Daddy a few nights ago.  Henry screamed:  "No!  I want Mommy to watch me pee pee!!"  Russ replied with "Ok Buddy.  That's a little weird but I'll go get her."  Thanks Daddy.

We were at lunch with the Crains this weekend at TGI Friday's.  The server came up and before he could introduce himself, Henry told him "I'm Henry.  I'm a big boy.  I want pizza to eat.  This is my Mommy.  She wants a hamburger."  My ladies man.  Already taking charge and ordering for his lady.  Thanks sweet boy but there are 4 other people at the table.  The waiter then laughed and asked him what he wanted to drink.  Henry replied.  "I'll take a beer."  I tried to divert the situation by moving on to Rhiannon.  Unfortunately, she told the server she wanted a beer too.  I covered my face with my hands and accepted my Mother of the Year award.

Henry thinks that I belong to him and that Russ belongs to Rhiannon.  Which can sound strange when he tells everyone at dinner "No Rhi Rhi!  Russ is YOUR daddy."  Henry honey, he is your Daddy too.

But there are sweet moments.  Like when I asked him if he remembered Disney World from last fall.  And I asked him what was his favorite thing about Disney, and he responded "You Mommy."  Or when he woke up from his nap and came to find me and told me that I was his "best, best, friend."

And I'm not the only lady in life that kisses and babies him all the time.  There are the grandmothers.  And his teacher.  Henry goes to preschool 2 days a week.  This morning, his teacher, Mrs. Suzanne came and got him out of the car.  He flashed her this really big grin as she greeted him.  Then she carried him all the way in the building, kissing all over him the whole time.  Now when Rhiannon started school at 2 1/2, she walked in the building like she owned the place.  Apparently Henry is carried.  He's irresistible I guess.

You are one sweet kid Henry Russell.  And you may be a Mommy's Boy but this Mommy will take it.  And you can live me until you are 85.  For real.

Your Mommy

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A trip to the zoo

We took the kids to the zoo.
I wonder if we should have left them there. . .
We went in November.
Yes. I know it's March.
Baby steps ok?

Anyways. . . the zoo.
Our local library offered this great deal that my buddy Michele told me about. You go and watch a 30 minute video about the history of Zoo Atlanta at the library and then you get 4 free tickets. Yes! I dig free. And I dig the zoo. Rhiannon digs maps.

I especially dig the pandas!

And the parakeet exhibit.

And this baby monkey.

And this monkey. They
tried to keep him.

Henry loved "Dum Bum".

We learned that this DumBum is full of _____.
I love this guy. Hello Handsome. How you doin?

The kids loved statues?

We had a blast. A nice little educational trip. With our two little crazy animals.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Helton Creek Falls

MLK weekend. A 3 day, LONG weekend. We have been
crazy busy the last few, well months! With holidays and Russ' brothers wedding on NYE, we were ready for some down time. Russ and I went out with friends on Saturday night and Henry and Rhiannon spent the night with the Crains. Russ' mother has been sick since August and this was the first time that the kids have spent the night with them in months. After breakfast with the Crains we whisked the kids away for a day trip to the mountains. We like to call it "Crains on Tour."

We headed north to Helton Creek Falls. This is a waterfall that is a favorite of mine and Russ'. We also took the kids almost 2 years ago when Henry was a little over a month old.

I got home and downloaded pictures and just couldn't resist posting comparisons. How did 2 years go by so fast? Last trip I had a infant strapped to my chest and a 2 year old that had some trouble hiking the trail. This trip we had a 4 year old hiker and another 2 year old to help along the trail.

So here is the game:
Me and HRC this year:

Me and Henry 2 years ago!

Rhiannon James in 2012

Rhiannon James in 2010

Daddy and his little hiker this year

Daddy and RJ on her first hike

Family of 4 this year

Family of 4 last trip

We had so much fun. The kids loved seeing the falls and talking about the trees and picking up rocks and driving through the mountains.
And of course ended the day with lunch at our favorite Creekside deli in Cleveland and then home for naps.

Henry didn't stop talking the entire trip. He jabbered from the minute we pulled out of the Crains driveway until he fell asleep that afternoon. I thought Rhiannon talked a lot. Henry is giving her some serious competition. "Mommy look!" Mommy! What's that?" "School bus!" "Tractor!" "Woah! Mountains!" He kept me and Russ giggling.
Our cute little chatter box.