Friday, March 30, 2012


Lots went on that I actually documented on my phone this week.  Sorry if it is picture over load!

Since Carl is working later now (because of school... which he is doing AMAZING in!) and Kelly's husband was out of town, we had a pizza dinner date.  The kids got to play and actually took a bath together.  Hunter seemed to enjoy it and so did Emma.  Hunter also made sure to check on "day-dee" Alyssa in her swing.


He is really into holding onto his golf club in the car.  This day he actually fell asleep with it.

One of Hunter's cousins (Ryleigh) stayed with us Friday night.  He loved having a playmate around the house.  He followed her around all day.  He was very sad when "yi-yi" left the next afternoon.  I was watching videos of them after she had left and he came running over to me, "Yi-yi!! Yi-yi!!"  We might have to give him a little brother or sister soon, haha.

Taking coins out and putting them back into the piggy bank Aunt Ashley gave him for Christmas.  He loves his "pig" and always asks to play with it.

When I come home from work, I like to change into comfy pants if I know we won't be going outside or any other place.  Hunter had pink eye, so I knew we weren't going anywhere (yes, that's right, we have now had strep, parainfluenza, croup, and pink eye all within the last month and a half... my sick days are starting to dwindle away at work, haha).  Whenever I wear my sweat pants, Hunter finds the string and pulls me around the house.  It is too funny.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fun Activities

I've been trying to do some different things with Hunter lately.  We move around his toys between his room and the living room to make things seem "new" without having to buy him things.  He also loves to play on the iPad (we hide it from him because if he sees it that is all he wants to do).

So, to work on some fine motor skills, I bought some of those hard, uncooked beans.  Of course, I didn't have a clear container, so I improvised.  We have tons of empty baby wipe boxes, so I took the top off of one and made it into a container.  Perfect.  Hunter didn't even seem to notice.

By the time I had thought to break out my phone to take pictures, he was offer scooping beans from one bucket to the other.

I got some sensory play in there too.  Putting his feet in and covering them up.  Moving his feet all around the beans.  Putting his hands in and covering them up.

I'm still finding beans in his room!  I need to do a good vacuum to collect any others I may have missed.

Putting "just one" in at a time.  You can make any activity language rich!

Another thing we did was a counting activity.  I drew the number and then the amount of circles.  We then put one fish in each circle.  It took him a while to understand what my expectations, but after he understood, he was able to do it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Sorry... it has been a crazy two weeks here.  Here are pictures from the week before last.

Hunter was bugging me for "daddy das" (Daddy's glasses).  Then he wanted to try to put his sunglasses on top.  Silly boy.

Enjoying a popsicle with Emma.

He loves this tunnel.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend Fun

Once Hunter was feeling better, we decided to get out of the house!  We went to the aquarium and took my oldest niece with us.  Hunter loved having "Key-Key" around even if he wouldn't share his goldfish with her (he eventually did).  I love the new set-up at the aquarium.  It is much more kid friendly, with most things right at eye-level for the smallest kids.

Looking at the crocodiles (or croc-uhs as Hunter calls them).
High-fiving the sea turtle

Looking for shells

We stopped in the crazy cat lady's Mel's house to visit with her million 3 cats.  Hunter had never been up close with a kitty, but loves watching the neighborhood cats outside (and gets pretty angry when they run away from him, back into the woods).  He did not want to let poor Mia go.  He proceeded to chase her around the house.  Luckily, these cats are used to torture, haha.

We also went to the zoo.  It was a gorgeous day on Sunday!  We took Hunter's "bike" with us and he rode around on it for a little while.  It was about 2 hours to closing time when we got there, so the animals were pacing in front of the doors to go in for the night. They must have been thrown off by day-light-savings time.

That sign to the left?  It reads, "For your safety, please do not climb on the bars."  Parents of the year!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sick Week

Our poor little man had parainfluenza and croup this past week.  He started to get the cough Monday and Tuesday he woke up feeling pretty warm.  His cough was that barking cough so I decided to take him to the pediatrician.  Two of his little buddies at Mrs. Cathy's had had parainfluenza the week before and sure enough that is what our pediatrician said he seemed to have (along with the croup cough).  Luckily, he never had the strider breathing issue.  I was very prepared to stick his head in our freezer if that started to happen.  I took off two days and Carl took off two days.  His fever finally broke Friday evening and he was officially fever free for 24 hours Saturday.  Yay!

On the way home from the pediatrician.  This was at about 8:30 in the morning.  He never naps that early.

Wishing he could go outside.  He and Koal just watched the birds.

He was actually acting sick at this point.  He is not a big cuddle-bug, so when he cuddles he is either really tired or not feeling well.  This is how he played on the iPad for about 15 minutes.  Then it was like he regained his energy and was off again.

Playing "Monkey Preschool Lunchbox".  What a great app!  It has some concepts (biggest/smallest/same/different), counting, color identification, puzzles, all while the little monkey is being the reinforcer and every few items you get to pick a sticker.  Hunter loves it!

Like I said, he didn't act sick the whole time.  This was at the end of the night (even running a pretty high fever).

The disaster area... aka... his play room part of the living room.  This all occurs in about 5-10 minutes while we are getting breakfast ready.

I saw this idea on Pinterest, but it was through an OT/PT/SLP company.  I decided that Hunter would enjoy it as much as any other kid, and hey, if he is getting some PT in, it is a win-win.  When Hunter walked out of his room, he said, "Oooooh!"  He did the course twice, then was tired, and told me, "done" "off".  Carl told me I was very mean making our son do an obstacle course when he was sick.

Finger painting fun.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Making silly faces in the mirror with my baby boy.  He loves to look at himself after he gets out of the bath.

Carl sent me this picture of Hunter drinking a slurpee Thursday afternoon (the afternoon of Ralph's funeral).  I love it because it is a tribute to Ralph.

It is a rough life relaxing on Mommy while watching George on the iPad.

It has rained A LOT here the past couple of days.  Hunter has been asking to go "owside" all weekend.  Finally when the sun came through for about 30 minutes, we went out and splashed in the puddles.  He was not happy when we had to come back inside.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Celebration of Life

I had never been to a funeral.  Okay, I had been to one funeral, but it was for Carl's grandmother who I had met one time and Carl and I had just started to date.  I had never been to a funeral for someone who meant a lot to me.

Ralph's funeral was a celebration of life.  It was simple, yet beautiful.  It was very much "Ralph".  Gia, Alana, Brittany, and I all spoke and us along with Cassandra, Lauren, and Stephanie were pall-bearers.  Our speeches were full of funny and loving memories of Ralph.  Most made us laugh, some made us cry, but anyone who didn't know Ralph would certainly realize that he meant a lot to us and was a big jokester.  We were so honored for Ralph's family to ask us to be a part of his service.  It meant a lot to all of us.

One of the hardest parts was seeing everyone cry, especially Ralph's granddaughters.  It broke all of our hearts.  I knew how much pain I felt and I couldn't imagine the pain that his family was feeling.  I know Ralph was there giving all of us one of his big bear hugs.

I find myself randomly thinking about him.  I think about all the memories from my teammates' speeches and they make me laugh.  I could picture each and every one of them.  Some I had forgotten about.

Some memories I don't want to forget (in addition to the ones listed in the previous post):
-His stories about how he met Eileen.  I had totally forgotten he used to tell us these until Gia talked about it.  It was always different how they met, but it was always the same ending.  He stole her from some man (or men) and married her.  I think it was part of his way of telling us how to find a great man.
-How we counted before saying our chant for the game: Ein, Trin, Bita.  He claimed it was German, but only "ein" is German (I looked it up... today).
-How we believed every story he ever told, until we got older and realized that some of his stories might actually be made up (like the counting above).
-How he always tried to grab our nose when we were upset.  It would annoy us so much that we would forget what we were upset about.
-Asking us if we "believed" before he did his magical healing.
-How he answered his phone.  "MMMMMM Hello?"  And then him asking, "Tiffany who?" and you having to argue with him that he does in fact know you.  This usually took about 5 minutes before you could ever start the actual conversation.
-We always got to play on field 13 at the soccer complex.  This is the very first field on the complex from the front entrance.  And Ralph always had a golf cart to ride around in. During "Atlantic/Rush" sponsored tournaments, we always had to clean the complex after the tournament was over.  I remember we would always beg him to let us drive the golf carts.  We were probably 16 before he actually ever let us drive one.
-Gia also reminded us of Ralph's typical attire for soccer games: white shoes, faded blue jeans, a white button up shirt, and his blue Cougar hat.
-During practices, he would make us make a circle and put two of us in the middle with one ball.  We would beat each other up (in a soccer sort of way) trying to keep the ball from the other person.  Soccer is a contact sport and Ralph taught us how to be tough.
-Ralph always pushed us to do more.  He always wanted me to continue on and get my PhD.  That, and to join the military.  He was constantly trying to recruit us.

Last night, I went out with Gia, Stephanie, Brittany, Cassandra, Lauren, and Alana.  It was great catching up.  We toasted to Ralph and relived so many memories.  We caught up on everything going on in our lives.  All of us are doing amazing things and Ralph is a huge part of our success.  I can't wait for another reunion, we have promised each other it won't take another 8 years.

Thanks Ralph for all the wonderful memories and giving your heart and soul to us and our future.  You were an amazing man and we are all very blessed to have had you in our lives.  Thank you Downey family for allowing us to be apart of his service.  We were all very honored to have been a part of his celebration of life.