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We are the 80%

Thursday, January 29, 2015
It has been a week around here. Last weekend didn't go anything like it was supposed to when preschool called last Thursday morning to say Perry wasn't acting like himself and had a low grade fever. By the time Andrew got there to get him it was more than a low grade fever, and by the time they got home it was 101 point something. He gave him some motrin and put him down for a nap. Poor buddy wasn't any better when he woke up and went to bed with a 101.9 fever.

It is pitiful when your toddler is trying to take his own temperature.

I took him to the pediatrician Friday morning when he still had a fever, albeit lower than the night before, and he got diagnosed with the flu. Bless his heart. Yes, he had his flu shot. Which only worked something like 20% of the time this year. So he is in the 80% that it didn't work to keep the influenza at bay. So he got a script for some tamiflu and Andrew and I called our doctors to get tamiflu scripts ourselves. Maybe it was the tamiflu or maybe it was the fact that he had the flu shot to help temper the infection, but Perry was much better by Friday night and had no more fever. So the illness actually only lasted less than 48 hours. In fact we might have gotten by without ever even knowing it was the flu if it had not been Friday and I wanted to get him seen before the weekend hit.

Friday night he was still feeling a little puny, so we ate pizza on the sofa together and watched his favorite...Frozen. 

So thankful it was short lived and our little boy was back to normal quickly. P and I hung at home all weekend though to have some rest and recooperation time. We played a lot, watched movies and got a little crazy and did some arts and crafts on Saturday. Because I had too much time on my hands. And idle hands get on pinterest and find cute things to do and make.

With Valentines around the corner I found this cute idea of making a heart painting by putting masking tape on paper in the shape of a heart and letting him paint over the top. Then when you pull the tape back off it leaves an unpainted heart in the middle. Perry had so much fun covering the paper in paint. It turned out super cute. Once the paint was good and dry I scanned it into the computer and used it to make some Valentines cards for Perry to mail out.

We stayed out of church on Sunday to keep any residual germs to ourselves and watched online. So thankful for live streaming of church services. Perry slept like crazy all weekend. He always sleeps good and long, but I think we hit a new record on Saturday when I had to wake him up at 11 am. Crazy!


Perry was definitely all better by Monday and we all went back to our normal routines. Kinda. Monday was preschool re-enrollment at Mayfair so I was up at the crack of dawn making sure he has a place in his class for next year. Which he does. But let me just say that I was the 18th parent there at 5:45 in the morning. Testament to how great that place is.

Tuesday morning Perry got checked out of school to go back to the pediatrician, this time for his 2 year old well visit. Dr. Ellis was super impressed with Perry's development and said he is more sociable and verbal than most 2 year olds he sees. Perry named colors and counted to 10 and talked in good sentences for him. Growth wise Perry is good. Kinda tall and definitely lean. 60%ile for height and 25%ile for weight. He got one little shot (hepA) and he did great. Got the all clear to "see you in a year."

The rest of the week has been pretty ordinary at home. I have been busy at work with a early Wednesday morning trip down to UAB to give a talk and a full day in clinic today. Perry has discovered where all of his toys the closet under the stairs. So he has had fun rediscovering his toys. And doing well with the instruction of "one toy out at a time." He sings the clean up song every time he puts one away. Precious.

Tonight we played together for several hours when we got home and put together this train set that he got over a year ago but hasn't been pulled out in a really long time. It has a train that moves on it's own and we had so much fun building the track and watching the train go around. Trains are his first love.

Monday Fun Day

Saturday, January 24, 2015
Monday was the MLK holiday which meant Mayfair and HudsonAlpha were closed. Unfortunately, people still need their medicine on holidays so Andrew had to work.

It was a spectacularly beautiful day and I haven't had a day off in quite a while so Perry and I took advantage of getting out of the house for a fun play day together.

First stop was the Matrix Gym for their preschool "Whiz Kids" play hour. It is $5 for an hour of open gym time. Perry had blast running around and playing with all the equipment.

He spent the most time playing with these cones and discs. He was totally mesmerized with stacking and counting them. He kept calling the cones, castles. Maybe he has spent too long at Disney. lol

He is definitely not a dare devil, and approached heights and pits of foam blocks with some serious caution. Even after watching other kids (and younger kids) jump off into the foam, he wouldn't do it. He crawled up to the platform once and acted like he wanted to, but decided against it once he got to the edge.

I finally did get him into the foam pit to play, but only after getting in with him. I didn't mind. It was an excuse to play myself. And I can imagine the whole thing feels like quick sand to a little person. Once he got in it, he decided it was pretty fun and played there until it was time to go.

From there we went downtown because it was such a pretty day and visited with the ducks for a few minutes. We didn't have any food with us, so the ducks lost interest in us pretty quickly. Perry had fun chasing them around though.

We grabbed a quick bite to eat on the square downtown and headed home for naptime. I must have worn him out pretty well. Because the kid napped from 1-6. Thats a long nap, even by Perry standards.

The day ended with a bath time to get all the sweat and germs off of him from the day of fun. It was such a fun little holiday off with my favorite kid.

January Randomness

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
I love the calm of January after the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Calm is all relative and even calm months are busy and full of activity around here. But it is the more impromptu fun random activity rather than full fledged parties and events.

In no particular order here are some of the things we have been up to the last couple of weeks. Complete with lots of cute P pictures.

Kali celebrated a birthday and we had to take the opportunity to have cake at lifegroup. Ok, we take the opportunity to have cake at lifegroup all the time. But this time it had candles in it.

We have done lots of playing with new Christmas and birthday toys. They all just stayed out loose in the living room for a long time. But we finally wrangled them into a toy center under the stairs this last weekend and got our living room back (sans a train table).

Yeah, thats a lego cannon from his Jake and the Neverland Pirates lego set. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to show him that he can pick it up and use it on its own. And how he has a weapon and thinks it is hilarious to shoot people with it. We (well I) created a monster. At least he is a cute one.

In organizing our new gift cards we got at Christmas, we realized there were still some hanging around from last year (oops). So we have made it our mission to make sure we do a better job of using gift cards in a timely fashion. So we went out for ice cream in January. Why not. Perry learned about the amazingness that is dipped waffle bowls.

This past Saturday we had a family nerdy game night with the Eckleys. We had pizza and chocolate cobbler and the adults played a round of Settlers of Catan and Pandemic while the kiddos played with trains and watched Frozen. 

Is 2 too young to start teaching to play Settlers? And no, that is not Perry's diet mountain dew. lol. This was about the moment when we said hey Perry, want to go watch Elsa and Anna??

The weather this last weekend was just beautiful. So after church on Sunday we picked up take out and had a picnic lunch on the driveway. It was so nice to be outside after a very dreary couple of weeks. 

Sunday night we went to a Huntsville Havoc hockey game with the Garretts and Towrys. Most of the games have been past P's bedtime, but this time it was at 5 pm so we jumped at the chance to go see them play. Perry loved being around friends and watching all the action (both on the ice and in the stands). Hockey games make for some superb people watching.

Chugga Chugga Two Two Party

Monday, January 19, 2015
All Aboard! The Perry Express (aka Perry's second birthday party) departed Saturday January 3rd from 10-12 at the North Alabama Railroad Museum. 

We got to celebrate with lots of family and friends on a real live train car. Our train loving fellow was in heaven.

Before the party got going we had our photographer take a few family pictures for us around the museum grounds.

Perry stayed with his Granna and Grandaddy the night before the party so we could get up early and get everything all set up. One downside of having a party out of your house is you can't set things up days (or weeks) ahead of time. We got in at 7:30 am and hit the ground running. Travis and Adrienne and Chad met us up there to help set the tables, hang hats and bandanas, put out food and everything else. We could not have done it without our amazing friends.

The party was on the dining car which was perfect with 10 tables of four and a little alcove at one end that was just the perfect size for a train table. I wanted the party to have a vintage feel, since it was on a 1943 train car. So the colors were set at deep blue, red and yellow.

I loved how the pallet signs turned out.

Different colored fabric was cut and torn into strips and tied onto thick ribbon to create a garland for the food and drink tables. I love how this little detail came together. And hey...I'm thinking it will be kept for a new life on the fourth of July. Scrapbook paper makes great "placemats" and centerpieces were mason jars with card stock cutouts of a "Perry Express" train.

Favors were train whistles of course, tied with little "Chugga Chugga Thank You" tags. Kids also got to play with and take home conductor hats and bandanas which were stung across the wall with twine. FYI - oriental trading has all of these things inexpensively in bulk.

Last year at P's Hungry Caterpillar first birthday party, we had everyone sign their name and a birthday wish in a copy of the book to keep a record of who was there. I think it would be really fun and special to keep this tradition up each year, picking a book that goes along with the theme and having everyone sign it. I can just picture P with a whole collection of books from his birthday least until he gets big enough to not think it is "cool."

The venue worked out really well. Despite some issues with them at the last minute making the promised baggage car unavailable. It was definitely crowded with nearly 40 people in the train car, but I'll choose to think of it as cozy. We had hoped for uncharacteristically nice weather for January, and we got warm, but rainy. So there wasn't much opportunity for exploring the outdoors. 

Since it was mid morning we didn't have to serve a huge lunch. The menu was PB&J and chicken salad sandwiches cut into train shapes, cheese and crackers, fruit skewers (colors to look like traffic lights), popcorn, railroad crossing cookies and cupcakes. Cupcakes were half chocolate and half white almond. Everything came together on the food table really well.

Perry had been dying to have a cookie all morning and was so happy when he finally got to eat one.

Drinks included vintage bottled sodas, water with "chugga chugga two two" labels, and juice boxes for the little ones. I saw the idea for custom muslin bags for juice boxes on pinterest and had a lady on etsy make them for me (if you look closely they read "Perry Express" in the railroad crossing sign). FYI - cute paper straws fit perfectly in juice boxes.

We decided to bring Perry's new train table to the party and set it up in the little alcove at the back of the train car. I am so so happy we did. With the weather yucky it was critical that we had something for the little ones to do. They pretty much all stayed back there playing the whole time. It was so sweet to see a bunch of kiddos surrounding the table yelling "choo choo!"

It was so great to have so many family and friends there to celebrate with us.

It stopped raining briefly during the party so we braved taking all the little ones outside to get a group picture in their hats. I think this is my favorite picture from the day. First of all we have 8 children all looking kind of in the same direction which is nothing short of a Christmas miracle. Second, look in the middle at Perry and Ellie Mae. She wanted nothing to do with her hat and was making that fact known. Meanwhile Perry is leaning in and cheesing it up for the camera. Those two are good buddies at school. Kate was apparently going for the model look. hahaha.

The last thing on the party agenda was opening presents. Perry did great with it, though he wanted to open and play with each present as he got it. He got lots of really cool toys and other gifts. Lots of trains and legos and even pirate dress up clothes.

Happy 2nd Birthday Sweet Boy! I know you won't remember your second birthday when you get big. But I hope you can look back at this and see how much fun you had and how loved you are. We can't wait to walk through the next year with you and see what is in store.

Photos by NGN Photography

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