Friday, June 28, 2013

Sleepy Baby

Mr. JCrew always talks about how he would fall asleep in the middle of the hall playing with his cars. He just napped when he felt like it.

We’ve always said Mr. Brigglesworth is just like his dad, but looks like his mom. It couldn’t be any more true… in more ways than one! But recently, Mr. Brigglesworth is proving it.
Both the boys are on schedules. They like the routine, but when something happens to their routine, the whole day is off. I don’t remember exactly what threw Mr. Brigglesworth’s schedule off over the weekend, but his naps were earlier than normal. While I was working on a project, he fussed, but I didn’t think he was tired.

I gave him a puff and he started eating it. No more fussing. (Again, like his dad, food makes him happy!)

Then I look at him, and his head is down!

He must have been REALLY tired if he couldn’t hold his head up to eat! (his favorite thing to do).

I watched him eat some more, and put his head down again.

The poor kid was begging to go to sleep. I put him in his bed and he was right out.

Mr. Briggleworth is starting to grow too fast. He’s lost his “smiley” nature but is still happy. He is still a momma’s boy and I can do no wrong in his eyes. He is not crawling yet, but he’s close! He wants everything Little JCrew has, so I encourage him to go get it if he wants it. 

I hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Attitude Changer: Quote #8

In these related posts, I am sharing quotes from a wonderful book called, “Lead the Field’ by Earl Nightingale.

In summary, the book talks about your attitude. It determines your actions, as well as the actions of others. Mr. Nightingale takes our lame excuses for NOT being successful and refutes them all.

Today’s Quote: “Your rewards in life will always match the level of your service.”

Input determines output. Seek to serve. You must not only work hard but smart. Many people are ignorant of principal law of cause and effect. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Our rewards in life will always match our service. “As you sow, so shall you also reap.” If anyone is dissatisfied with his rewards he needs to examine his service.

Each of us serves a portion of humanity, all those with whom you come in contact. We serve others. Others serve us. We need each other. Every-time we use a product or service, someone is serving us. Rewards are of the tangible type but also intangible such as happiness and peace of mind. Whatever it is you seek in the form of rewards, you must first earn in the form of service. The wood must be put in before you can get warmth. You cannot get maximum heat with too small a supply of wood. Think not about future rewards but about present service.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Flowering Trees

I’m really having a fun time playing in my yard this year. It’s taken a lot of love and waiting, but this year seems to be really rewarding.

I’m so glad Little JCrew loves to be outside. Mr. Briggleworth does too, but he’s attached to my hip, while I’m barefoot in the yard (Alabama has rubbed off on me!) That’s another story for another day. Moving on to my favorite part of the yard… the trees that bloom in Spring!

I have two types of trees that bloom in April/May. The Chinese Fringetree is so pretty! 

There is an American Fringetree out there, but I chose the Chinese variety because I thought it was slightly prettier. The Chinese variation has tinier flower clusters, but the petals are prettier. The Chinese variety also blooms after the leaves have emerged, while the American version blooms as the leaves come.

They say to plant them in pairs (female and male) to get the most out of them. Female fringetrees bear attractive fruit if male plants are nearby. The fruit are blue-black, 1/2 to 2/3 inch long and shaped like olives, to which fringetrees are related.  

I have two female and one male. The male tree has really taken off. I bought the three of them for a discount. One was marked with a really cheap price and all the others weren’t marked at all; except one, and it’s price was higher! When I asked the nursery attendant about them, he gave them to me for the mis-marked price! Partly because it was their fault it was mis-marked, but also because they would take work! I actually think they weren’t ready to sell them. They were young trees that needed to be guided on how to become a tree.

I had to tie them to stakes to encourage them to grow straight and up. The females don’t grow very wide, but the male grows out very well. The last three years, there’s been a lot of sculpting going on. I have cut off the lower branches and shorten the wide branches. They are a very slow grower (6-10 inches a year). It feels like they haven’t grown at all, until I look at pictures.

These trees get their leaves first and then sprout out fringe-like white flowers.

They are just beautiful. The flowers last for about two weeks.

The other flowering tree I have is my favorite. It is an Ivory Silk Lilac.

It’s one that I asked my local nursery to find for me. I asked for two, and he found me two, but I only bought one. I had changed where I was going to put them and only needed one.

This tree is the first to sprout leaves in the yard. It’s how I know Spring is coming.

Just like the Fringetree, it gets it’s leaves first and then the flowers come. The buds start coming in May, and at the end of May through June, the ivory colored flowers open up.

They are in clusters on the tree.

In person, this tree is amazing!

I love the bark.

I love the leaf color.

I love the shape. I just love it all. Best part is that I don’t have to shape it! It knows how to be a tree, and does it very well!

I remember the day it came home with us.

And now look at it!

When you stand 6-foot tall Mr. JCrew next to it, you realize how big it is.

I will say Lilacs are not a Southern thing. I looked up Lilacs, and Ivory Silk was the only variety that would do well in our area. We’re on the border of Tennessee and this is as far South as they go. I’m sure glad I don’t live any further.

I do have other flowering trees in the yard, such as my crepe myrtles, but everyone knows about them. They're very common. 

I'm glad they flower in the summer. That way there's always something blooming.

I can't enjoy my trees enough. They're awesome, awesome trees!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Swimming Lessons 2013

Little JCrew took swimming lessons this summer at the local YMCA. 

Thank you, Erica, for the great picture!

We just wrapped up the last lesson this past Saturday.

I signed up for the once a week on Saturday’s class for thirty minutes. It ended up being eight weeks of classes.

The first week did not go so well. He was all excited about the water. He walked into the kiddie pool just fine. 

But I made the mistake of taking off his water shoes and he fell. He bumped his head and I think it got him upset. This all happened BEFORE the class started!

So, the first class was a mess. He was getting over strep throat and we were forcing the potty training, that he was just not happy about being told to do things in the water. There were a lot of upset children, but mine was the one screaming!

It was a battle of wills. I whispered to him that he was not going to win, so he needed to stop screaming. During his screams, I noticed he had three new teeth coming in! Score. Add that to the list of reasons to be unhappy.

I dreaded going to the lessons the next week. Yet, I was hopeful at the same time. Maybe he would remember how much he loved the pool last year. When swim lessons started, our neighborhood pool was not yet open. I knew if I could get him in our pool I could remind him how fun the pool is.

Sure enough, my mom and I took him to the pool the week it opened and Little JCrew loved it! 

He let me help him practice all the swim tricks we learned. I was smiling so big, and so was he!

The pool didn’t open until we were four weeks into lessons, but the next four weeks were great!!

He performed all the tricks and didn’t scream!

The week that they put on life vests and got in a boat was my favorite. While everyone else hated the boat, he loved it!

It was a proud moment.

He looked so cute in the vest.

Mr. Brigglesworth came every day to watch his brother.

He was always on his best behavior.

On the tough days that Little JCrew screamed, I thought of switching which kid was taking the lessons! Mr. Brigglesworth would have loved it.

On the very last day, they got to go down the slide.

This slide peaked Little JCrew’s interest since Day One. I always had to tell him it was closed. He was the first one to go down the slide.

He immediately turned onto his stomach.

Mr. JCrew didn’t realize he could go down the slide after Little JCrew. Instead, he walked back down the stairs. Darn! Fun opportunity missed.

I think Little JCrew liked the slide, but didn’t, all at the same time. 

After the slide, it went downhill.

For Graduation Day, they turned on the water features in the kiddie area.

It was slightly scary. Waves and falling water from buckets… he was not a fan.

We liked the class and are glad we attended. Yes, we have a pool, but that doesn’t mean we know how to rescue a child correctly. I know how to swim and can teach my kids, but now I know how to carry a child in deep water without drowning myself in the process.

And Little JCrew has an appropriate level of fear for water. I’m surprised he doesn’t just jump right in. It’s kind of funny to watch pool goers get nervous when Little JCrew walks around the pool. They think he’s a wild and curious fellow. While he may be both, I have yet to see him run into the pool. 

And speaking of running. When he DOES start to run at the pool, all I have to say is, “March, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.” He immediately starts marching! It works every time!

I hope you have a great weekend!
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