Saturday, June 12, 2010

And So It Begins....

A conversation between Maddox and me this evening…

Maddox: Mommy, who is your favorite? Me or Cooper.

Mommy: You are both my favorite. You’re my favorite guys!

Maddox: That wasn’t a choice. And besides, you know Cooper is the naughty one.

Me: Well, I love you both very much. If I was to ask you who is your favorite, Mommy or
Daddy, wouldn’t it be hard.

Maddox: Well, it’s Daddy.

Mommy: WHAT??

Maddox: Well Mommy, you know how much I love that he got me that gun (a foam dart gun at Walgreens a year or more ago).

Mommy: Wow. I just got you ice cream tonight.

Maddox: Oh yeah, that’s right. OK, you are my favorite. I was just joking. ACTUALLY, you are BOTH my favorite.

Mommy: See! That’s how I feel about you and Cooper. I love you both so much I could never say who my favorite is!!!

Maddox: Ooooohhhh, OK.

I didn’t realize it would happen so soon! I didn’t know that I would be faced with these questions at the tender age of 4.5! I’m not exactly sure where this came from. There was not any sibling rivalry going on. Both guys were happy and getting what they wanted. It really threw me off!!! I remember having these thoughts when I was a kid. Maybe it was my middle child status. Maybe it was just my personality. Who knows! I could change from day to day on KNOWING who the favorite was of my parents’!!! It was only as I grew up that I really KNEW that I was the favorite for sure! Hahahaha! Just kidding, Ben and Emily :) . Now, as a parent I understand. You love your kids the same, but differently! Of course, right now in my life, I have a witty 4 year old and an on-the-verge-of-a-tantrum almost 2 year old. But I love them just the same! Maddox is quick to tell a joke (or his version of one) or to go into a long drawn out story from his extremely active imagination. Cooper is my man of few words (which is often a treat to have a little silence) but he is so quick to flash a big ol’ grin, give a tight squeeze or a big smoochie kiss. They both have their strengths and I love them for who they are! They are so much fun, they are exhausting, they keep me thinking, they keep me on my toes. I am just head over heels in love with them both. Thanks Jim for making me the mommy of these two amazing little men!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Streaker

We went to the pool late this morning since i thought it might rain this afternoon after nap time. Maddox did AWESOME swimming without his swim vest and is a jumping maniac off the side! He does these crazy running starts and then a wild pose mid-air before splash down. He's 1000 times braver today than he was 2 weeks ago. I look forward to see what progress he makes between now and the end of the summer. Cooper loves the water, too. He's "jumping" off the side as well but I'm trying very hard to make sure his head doesn't go under. He loves splashing around and paddles and kicks best he can with the swim vest AND swimmies on his arms! We had been there about an hour when Cooper started to get grouchy. It was lunchtime and awfully close to nap time...these two events are not to be messed with so I knew it was time to start packing up. Maddox did well with his "one last jump" warning and came out of the pool happy and with a good attitude (makes life so much easier that way). We rode him in wet swimsuits since we were just at the neighborhood pool. Maddox would prefer I bring "dry clothes" to change into, but he got over the fact that he would ride home in his bathing suit and was happy to sit in the back seat with his towel. We pulled into the driveway and I didn't see any flags up on the mailboxes on our street so I decided to run and check the mail. I got out of the van and opened the sliding doors with the remote as I was walking by to the mailbox. I was back the van a few seconds later to get Cooper out and saw out of the corner of my eye Maddox's bare bottom run into the garage! I called him back out of the garage and asked him where his swimsuit was. He said in the backseat with his red one from yesterday!!!!! Somehow, in the two minute ride from the pool to our house, he was able to get out of his bathing suit!! I must say I was impressed. He brought both of his suits in and suggested he just have lunch in the buff, but I vetoed that idea and he is now dressed in proper dining attire. What a goose!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Adventure of Gassy Buddy

I hope this is not offensive to you...but, in my family, we get a chuckle out of "bathroom talk". I don't know why it's so funny, but my sister and I can really get hysterical when it comes to bodily functions. So, you can imagine I enjoyed Maddox's latest observation.

Maddox: I smell something stinky. Who did that toot?
Me: Not me. Maybe Buddy?
Maddox: Oh yeah, you're right. Well, I guess it's another adventure for Gassy Buddy today.

Where does he come up with this stuff????

Saturday, May 29, 2010

He must take after his father...

My sweet little Cooper is closing in on his two year birthday. He's such a sweet little guy with a BIG personality, but every once in a while his emotions take over and he has a hard time reigning them back in (I mean, he's an Alford/McArthur, isn't he?). The other day he was just having one of those moments where he was frustrated because he wasn't getting what he wanted with his loud, high-pitched screeches. So, what does any almost 2 year old do? He pitched a tantrum that could have won an award (if there was such a thing)! In the middle of it, Maddox walked over to me and we watched together as Cooper kicked and screamed and rolled around in the floor. Maddox very calmly stated, "ughhh, I think he takes after his fodder." Then he calmly walked away. He just made his observation and left me to deal with the remainder of the tantrum! Thankfully, Cooper recovered quickly and was back to his happy self in no time at all!

Are you tired, Mommy?

Leave it to my 4 year old to be the perceptive one in the house....after a long day of fun at the Y and the pool, Maddox says to me: "Mommy, are you tired? It looks like you could use a rest. I'll tell you what I'll do for you. I'll go to the basment and kick out my bad attitude. But don't worry, I won't kick out my good attitude. Does that sound good to you?"

What a guy! I was tired, but I really felt like I was handling myself well. Wasn't being snappy or impatient with him. Gotta love a (little) man who is in touch with his best girl's feelings! What a sweetheart.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Just Like Daddy

Maddox likes to do things "just like Daddy". After sliding down the pole of the trampoline last week he announced to me that "now that I can slide down a pole, I'm ready to be a fireman". Which was especially funny to me seeing as though there are no fire poles or two story fire stations in Gwinnett County (which are the only stations he's ever been to). Last weekend, Jim was working on the Mustang (another one of Maddox's favorite Daddy things) so he jumped right in, or under, to help out! He thought he was big stuff! Cooper and I just observed and played outside while the big boys got greasy!

Happy to be outside!

Taking it all in...


Oh well, it didn't turn out as planned....



Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Hey, Mom! Look what Daddy taught me to do!"




Thanks, Jim...Maddox is thrilled to have SPIDER CLIMBING to put on his list of party tricks!

Fun in the Sun

Buddy & Cooper hanging out in the playhouse!!
CHEESE!

Maddox & Dylan are serious about their sandbox fun!


The "CRAZY" picture...Maddox is being crazy by asking you to smell his armpit...what a boy! I really love Cooper in the background!!! He's so crazy, too!


I am loving this warmer weather! It's great to let the kids get out and play in the backyard (now that it has dried out for the most part) and play! The boys love playing with their buddy, Dylan. I think the big boys would prefer Cooper play somewhere else...he tends to "get in their way". However, Cooper doesn't accept the fact that he's the pesky little brother in their eyes!! He's very persistent and I love him for it!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Crazy Cooper
















Cooper doesn't get as much air time on this blog as Maddox does....so, this one's for you little buddy! Cooper had a blast today dressing up and wearing a pair of sunglasses he'd gotten from a birthday party. He actually walked around with the glasses on for quite a long time!!! HE LOVED THEM!!! He only took them off when he ran into the wall...not sure if he couldn't see well enough with them on or if he misjudged the distance between Maddox and the wall as he ran by...either way, it was the end of the glasses for the morning. He's a pretty fun guy!!!

Bogan Park!

We finally did it! We went to Bogan Park!!! The trip to Bogan Park was Maddox's prize for finishing swim lessons. He was pumped! The "guys" had gone one day during Spring Break and he'd been hearing all about it. He couldn't wait to see it with his own eyes!! We went on a Thursday afternoon after the guys got home from school. We had a crowd...Bebe, Jim, myself, Maddox, Cooper, Maxwell, Holden and Lucas. They all had a blast and swam themselves silly. Maddox and Cooper both were exhausted after 2 hours in the pool. It really makes me look forward to the summer when we can go to the pool every day (if we choose) and really wear them out!! I was proud of Maddox for working on his swimming. After he warmed up to the idea he didn't stop!!! He was "swimming" all over the place! Cooper did his best to keep up with the big guys, too! He's fearless and would walk on his tippy toes into the deeper water until he could no longer touch and his life jacket would flip him to his back....he'd just lay there and float and wait for someone to come get him (which would be half a second since someone was always right with him). After swimming in the fun pool, Maddox and the Teillon boys went to the larger pool and jumped off the diving board! This was no joke...it was probably a 4 rung ladder that they climbed to get to the board. After watching the guys jump first Maddox was ready to do it! Jim jumped in first and waited for him in the water....Maddox started from the end of the board and took off RUNNING!!!! Jim told him to stop at the end and then he did a bounce and JUMPED IN! Jim let him go under and get himself back above water and then helped him to the side....Jim reported that as soon as his head broke the surface of the water he was already asking to do it again!!! Unfortunately, the pool was closing for swim lessons so he wasn't able to do it agian. Of course, Cooper was broken hearted that he wasn't allowed to jump off the diving board and was really ticked that we packed our stuff to leave. A fun time was had by all!!! Looking forward to going again!! Thanks Bebe!!!!



Maddox SWIMMING!!!!


The kid-sized slide!!

My sweet water baby!

Daddy and Maddox float around the lazy river!

Bebe and some of her guys!




Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day




Happy Mother's Day to my very own mom, mother in law, sister, sister in law, aunts, cousins, and friends! This is a day we honor our mothers. Motherhood is a wonderful opportunity that we as women have. It's also the toughest, most demanding, and sometimes, most unappreciated job in the world!! I told Maddox I that I was thankful this morning to him because he made me a mother! I guess I should thank Jim, too, because he's responsible also. Maddox made me a mother, but I do believe that Cooper has made me a better one (though I still have LOTS of room for improvement). Cooper has taught me to relax and to enjoy all the stages of their lives.
The boys have taught me A LOT over the past 4.5 years. They have been an incredible blessing and I love them both more than words could ever express. They have taught me a great deal about perspective. I read several other mom's blogs and caring bridge sites on a regular basis. As I read the entries of how women are fighting for their children's' lives whether with major pregnancy complications, a husband overseas, a child with cancer, or other chronic illness I realize how good I have it! I have two HEALTHY children! Yes, they have the occasional ear infection or cold, the stomach flu that seems to last forever, but I KNOW that they will recover and be back to normal is a few days. Even though Jim works a lot and long hours, I know that he will eventually come home. Sometimes after 36+ hours of being a pseudo-single parent I get real crabby (I'm sure none of you can believe this)...but, I know that he will come home....and I'm NOT a single parent. I have a loving husband and a good father that will be home as soon as he can! We are blessed that he has a job (or 3) and that he is able to do something that he really and truly looks forward to every day AND I'm able to stay home and raise our children.
I've learned from my guys to trust my instincts and go with me gut! I have found that with my kids, I've found a voice! Not that I didn't have one before, I have opinions, and would really prefer people do as I say...we'd all be happier that way ;)! I have found myself able to stand up for my kids and be their advocate when it comes to medical care especially. If my gut tells me, something is not right, I have spoken up and gotten the ball rolling to get to the heart of the situation.
I've learned to cut myself some slack and not take my role as mother so seriously! It's ok not to be perfect. I've learned from some great girlfriends that everyone has their breaking point. Everyone has had to use their "scary mom voice" to get their kids attention. If you have a bad moment or a bad day, it's not the end of the world. You remind yourself what's important and move forward! This parenting stuff is hard work!
I hope that one day my boys look back on their childhood fondly. I hope that they know that they are loved. I hope that they understand what it took to get them into the world and how much we wanted them! I hope they understand how they have changed my life in such a positive way. I love you, Maddox and Cooper. Thanks for making me a mom. God knew what he was doing when he gave you two to me. Smoochies!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Maddox's Fishing Trip

video

Jim took Maddox and Maxwell fishing at Rainbow Ranch (where you're guaranteed to catch as many fish as you want). Maddox was pumped to go, but I believe he may have changed his tune soon after seeing what is was really all about!!! This video makes me laugh until I cry EVERY TIME I watch it!! The great (or not so great) thing is, HE'S EXACTLY LIKE ME!!!! I love to cast and reel the line in, but Lord please help me if I ever actually catch a fish! They creep me out!!!! Apparently, Maddox is a bit creeped out as well!!! Hope you enjoy the video as much as I do!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Suprise?

So, I'm very pleased that the boys will play together in the basement. It's wonderful to be able to let them go down there with all of their toys and have fun TOGETHER! Maddox often requests that I let him be in charge and "watch Cooper". He told me once that "anything happens to Cooper, I'll handle it!" He's dying to be in charge and to be the BOSS!

This morning as I'm putting dishes away, checking bank balances, etc (aka "my work" according to Maddox) I hear some loud noises coming from the basement. I recognize the sounds as the tools on the play tool bench. That's the only place they are supposed to hammer and they also enjoy using the pretend electric drill, circular saw and drill press. The noise doesn't bother me...it's when it gets quiet that I get a little nervous. I feel like I have a tuned ear when it comes to the noises they make...I know what squeals and screaches are happy, sad, or just trying to annoy the other. I know how to read the tone of Maddox's voice when he says Cooper, C-O-O-P-E-R, or COOOOOPER! I'm usually spot on and can usually tell what they are playing or doing just by listening to them. So today, after the quiet AFTER the storm of tool sounds, I thought it would be interesting to take the camera down and take a picture of the first thing I saw....and here it is! After I took the picture, Maddox gave me a sideways smile and shrugged his shoulders and said...."Surprise?"


Don't you always practice your swimming in the basement?

Cooper's Collection ended up on the train table...

Maddox had his stuff spread all around him!





Saturday, May 1, 2010

My Graduate--from swim lessons...

Crank up the Pomp and Circumstance (that's that graduation song, right?)!! Maddox graduated from the PS2 level swim class! IF we were to go another session, he has been promoted to the PS3 class! However, it would take a lot of bribing to get him to go another session right away. He has enjoyed the last few classes, but has also been counting down the classes until the completion of the program! Yesterday, Jim and I were able to see him jump in from the side of the pool and SWIM the length of the little square pool!!!! We were so proud!!!! I sent him a text later in the afternoon that I was BEAMING!! I cannot believe how well he did!!! It has been an amazing transformation! So, still a very proud Mama!

In other news, Cooper is loving life!! He does let his almost 2 year old attitude out a bit more these days, but that's all part of the fun! He has a HUGE personality, much like his big brother! He's trying hard to say more words (in a way that the rest of the family can understand) and is amazing with his physical ability. He loves to RUN, climb, swing, jump, dance, and play! He loves spending time in the backyard with Maddox playing in the sandbox and jumping on the trampoline. He's a REALLY good trampoliner (nice word, huh?). He can jump pretty high for a kid who is not quite 2! It's so fun to watch the two of them together...every day they can do more and more TOGETHER! Maddox likes to take Cooper to the basement to play and insists that he can watch out for him. They do surprisingly well together in the basement. I assume that there is enough to do that they don't have to share if they don't want to. I look forward to the day where they are actually playing together. For now, being happy in the same room is fantastic!!! I'll take it!! They are good kids and I'm so proud to be their Mommy.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spring Fling & the Beginning of Birthday Party Season

Today we attended the preschool's Spring Fling at Sugarloaf UMC. We, the entire McArthur family, had a great time! Maddox and Cooper both enjoyed the bounce house, the cake walk, and games. We even had a milestone moment as Cooper ate PIZZA for the first time! I think the poor little guy was starving so I believe he would have eaten most anything!!! After the fling, we headed down to PLAY in Roswell for our buddies Dylan and Nora-Grace's birthday party. Maddox has been once before and hasn't stopped talking about it since. What sets PLAY apart from other kid's play places is the gigantic FOAM PIT!! Maddox loves it!! Cooper had a blast as well!! He really enjoyed the parachute games...he really thought he was a big kid!! So funny! This is just the beginning of our birthday party season. As adults we have wedding season...my kids, it seems, have party season. Lots of birthday parties on the calendar for the next few weekends! Makes it easy to plan the weekends!!


Jim and Cooper cheering on Maddox while he played games at the Spring Fling
Not looking so sure about Spiderman!
A little fishing!!


Friday, April 23, 2010

A few pictures

Cooper LOVES riding with Big Bro!
We love playing outside!!!









I have a SWIMMER!

I'm one proud mama!! Today, at Maddox's swim lesson, he swam all by himself with his face in the water!!! WOO HOO!!!! This was his fourth lesson (he has 2 more to go) and he did great! I was so proud of him. This has not been the easiest 4 classes ever. He was a bit disappointed in the beginning when he didn't "get it" immediately. He likes to be great at whatever he does (who doesn't?) and was getting frustrated that it wasn't coming naturally to him. He has 4 cousins that are excellent swimmers and he wants to be just like them. Well buddy, today proved that you are well on your way!!!! He's been practicing putting his face in the water and blowing bubbles every night in the bath. All his practice, hard work, and bravery paid off today. You could tell how excited he was after he did his first "solo swim" (although the coach was ready to grab him as soon as he needed her). He was grinning ear to ear...which makes it a little difficult to keep your mouth closed to hold your breath!! His confidence just got a major boost. He walked out of Swim Atlanta with his head held high! To make it even more special, Bebe had come to watch his lesson today! So, she too, was able to see him do well. He's a proud pumpkin and I'm so happy for him! Way to go, Maddox! I LOVE YOU!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Funny

A quick funny from Maddox:

Daddy, if you are going to take me to the lake today, then you need to act like you are going to take me to the lake!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Donuts with Dad

Jim and Maddox had "Donuts with Dad" this morning at the preschool. Maddox filled out a questionaire about Jim...here are his answers....

My Dad, by Maddox 4-14-10

My dad's name is JIM
His hair is BROWN and his eyes are BLUE
His favorite food is DEER and he likes to drink MILK
My dad's job is A FIREFIGHTER
My dad's favorite show on TV is TO WATCH DEER
My favorite thing to do with my dad is TO GO TO THE GYM
I love my dad because HE IS SO SWEET.

Pretty accurate, I'd say!

Maddox said Daddy ate all the donuts, but he didn't eat any (surprise, surprise!). Jim said it was a sweet morning with his little guy. He also received a framed poem with Maddox's footprint. Here's the poem (get your tissue ready)...

Footprints

"Walk a little slower, Daddy," said a child so small.
"I'm following in your footsteps and I don't want to fall.

Sometimes your steps are very fast,
Sometimes they're hard to see.
So walk a little slower, Daddy,
For you are leading me.

Someday when I'm all grown up,
You're what I want to be;
Then I will have a little child
Who'll want to follow me.

And I would want to lead just right,
And know that I was true;
So, walk a little slower, Daddy,
For I must follow you."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Now That is Dedication!

The boys and I went to Macon for a little Cherry Blossom Festival fun. We went to Central City Park where the boys rode some of the rides and then listened to ECHOSPEED (Ben's band) play on the Coca-Cola stage. I think of all the festival go-ers, Cooper had the most fun! He was thrilled that he, too, got to ride a couple of rides. He was so proud to go around and round!! He was not so thrilled about having to get off! He pointed and cried each time he was pried out of the seat. He quickly forgot how upset he was about the end of the rides when the band began to play! That baby DANCED!!!! He danced full out to EVERY SONG that they played! The last two he began to slow it down a little...he leaned against my leg to relax, but still shook his booty! Maddox, Alex, and Anna Kate put on a good dancing show, also! They had quite an audience to perform for...and as you know, the Alford children/grandchildren do like an audience!

When we went back to Mom and Dad's after the show we had dinner. We thought we had the boys all taken care of and could then sit and eat ourselves. Well, as always, a mother's/grandmother's work is never done! Alex had started eating his pizza but decided that he would do better to have it cut up like Maddox's....

Alex: Gram, please cut my pizza.
Gram: Ok (stops eating her own dinner, gets up to get fork/knife, back to the table to cut pizza)
Maddox: Wow! Now that's what I call dedication!!

The boys had a wonderful time together. Maddox and Alex had a great time playing together, running, and being loud!!! When Emily and Naomi arrived on Sunday to join in the fun I told her we had to figure out a way to make them get quiet so that Mom and Dad would be more willing to consider our proposal for CAMP ADAHI TRAIL (or A Doggie Trail as Maddox calls it) for the summer! The idea would be for Maddox and Alex to go spend a few nights with Gram and Grandad during the Summer and have a little special time with their grandparents!! Heeheehee!! I'm not so sure the grandparents are up for it!

It was a fun time. The boys really enjoyed themselves. They were both asleep (and slept the entire way home) before we even got to I-75. NICE!!!

My Funny Maddox

Baby Brother for Sale!

Maddox: Hey, I have a great idea! If we put Cooper for sale, we could sell him to Aunt Emily.
Me: Why would we do that?
Maddox: Well, then she could sell Nomi and we could buy her.
Me: So, you want to switch your brother for Alex's sister?
Maddox: OK!!!

Keeping it Clean...

Maddox: You know what's healthy? Cleaning out your nose!
Me: Yes, but you should use a tissue to do it, not your hands.
Maddox: Well, yes, but you know, a napkin hurts my nose. And I don't really like to use the paper that you wipe the poo poo of your bottom. Oops, sorry Mommy. Poop is a bathroom word. Is it ok if I say it in the car?

Crabs...

Maddox: Oooooouuuuch!
Daddy: What’s wrong buddy?
Maddox: My bottom is scratchy!
Daddy: Why is it scratchy?
Maddox: Cause a crab is biting my bottom!
Daddy: What!? How did you get a crab on your bottom?
Maddox: Well…Crawford went to the ocean real fast, got a crab & put it in my bottom!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I have to tell you something...

"Mommy, I have to tell you something" is often how conversations with Maddox start out. Last night, while hanging out with Jim and I, Maddox dropped this one on us....he said:

Maddox: Mommy, I have to tell you something.
Me: OK, what is it?
Maddox: Well, I got some bad news at school today. The frog saw his shadow!
Me: Oh no! What does that mean?
Jim: Laughing hysterically!!!!
Maddox: I don't know.
Me: Will there be 6 more weeks of winter?
Maddox: OK.

Happy Groundhog's Day everyone!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cooper's New 'Do

It’s amazing to me how different Cooper and Maddox are, yet they are alike in so many ways. Today I took Cooper to get his hair cut. Now, as you know, Maddox had a terrible time with haircuts…he would go ballistic screaming, crying, kicking, drooling…I would have to hold him down and act like a straight jacket (which only made it worse). By the end of the haircut, everyone involved would be sweating and exhausted! Cooper, on the other hand, sat in the chair all by himself and chomped on a lollipop and watched a Little Einsteins DVD. He never made a peep! I think he really likes the vibration of the clippers…it chills him out! He was a hoot!!! He had a blue beard from lollipop drool and then hair stuck in the drool! So funny! Maddox went with us and asked the stylist to be “real careful not to hurt him” and then he went back and forth from the play area and back to check on Cooper. He, too, was very impressed that Cooper was being “so brave”. I told Maddox that Cooper has been able to see Maddox act brave during his haircuts so now he knows that he doesn’t have to be afraid. Maddox was real proud of that!!
I’m so proud of both of my boys. They really do light up my life! Maddox and Cooper, I love you both so much! Thanks for making me the luckiest Mommy ever!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Climbing

Life gets more exciting around here every day...the boys are growing by leaps and bounds. Maddox continues to keep us entertained with what comes out of his mouth and Cooper is growing and developing faster than we'd like! Cooper's newest trick is climbing!! We went to Ocee Park last week and he was very capable of climbing up all of the playground equipment and going down the slides all by himself! I have wondered...is Cooper more independent than Maddox was at 17 months or have I just allowed him to be! His new trick (as of yesterday) is climbing into the kitchen chair unassisted. Take a look for yourself!!


video