Happy Halloween!

From our little butterfly to you!


KC Pumpkin Patch

One of my favorite things about fall is taking Tylee to the Pumpkin Patch (says everyone with kids). I'm going to be sad when these days are over. We have definitely outgrown the pumpkin patches around here but the KC Pumpkin Patch in Gardner does not disappoint! It was a beautiful fall day spent with family. What is better than that?
 5 little farm animals...waiting on Lowen to arrive!
There they all are!


Ear-piercing, the first time

I have wanted to get Tylee's ears pierced since the day she was born. I would've said "before she was born" but we didnt' know that she was a "she" until she came out. I didn't want to get them pierced because I think babies with pierced are cute (which I do), but more-so because I would've rather gotten it done when she didn't know any better and couldn't chicken out. Less drama. TJ thought otherwise though and wanted her to be able to make that decision on her own. So here we are, 5 years later.
I've asked her a lot about getting them pierced to no avail. Brecca doesn't have hers done either so I've even bribed them to get them pierced together. No such luck. But yesterday, she walked into my office after school and said, "Can I get my ears pierced? Aubrie said it didn't hurt."

I called Wal-mart and asked if there were two people available to pierce them at the same time, but there wasn't. Of course. I needed a few things anyways and figured I'd see how Tylee was holding up when we got there, so off we went.

I had mixed feelings about doing them one at a time. She was ready to do it for the first time in 5 years and I should probably take advantage while she was on board...but what if she only got one done and was scared to do the other one? There are worse things that could happen, right? She saw some earrings she wanted right away (ugly ones, btw) and was 100% ready. She was calm and collected and seemed to have no fear, so I went ahead and told her the truth - It was going to hurt. It wasn't going to feel good. And after they did one, she HAD to, no matter what, do the other. She was still on board so I gave the lady the go ahead and she started getting everything ready. Tylee sat there like a champ.
It was finally time. Tylee squeezed my hand, happy as can be, and the lady fired the gun. "Ouch!" Tylee said. "It is stuck," said the lady. You have got to be kidding me. I looked up (in what felt like slow motion) and saw lady wiggling the gun...with Tylee's lobe still attatched to it. I looked back at Tylee, still no tears. "Ooooouch," Tylee said again. And it was over. The lady pulled the gun AND the earring out. Tylee had successfully gotten her ear pierced, blood and all, yet didn't have an earing in to show for it. Heart broken.
"Her lobe is too thick. The back didn't clasp. I don't know what happened. Maybe she needs a longer stud? Yah, how about this diamond stud? Maybe the back was messed up? I'm sorry. You can try again in 24 hours. It should close right up and shouldn't be a problem. I'm really sorry. Why don't you come back tomorrow when someone else is here? Would you like to keep the earrings or get your money back?" Both, please.
I told Tylee over and over again how brave she was and how sorry I was. She was definitely disapointed but was so grown-up about the whole ordeal. TJ and I both were pretty flustered about it and were discussing it again over dinner. Tylee chimed in mid-conversation and said, "Sometimes accidents happen, Mom." So very true, but that still doesn't help the fact that she doesn't want to go back until she is older and isn't scared anymore. Even a bribe with a trip to the mall didn't work. Guess we'll give it another 5 years...


Tulsa State Fair/Disney on Ice

I'm the worst blogger ever. Taking pictures and blogging used to be a fun hobby for me but it seems like I never know what to say anymore. I am usually just writing posts in order to get my pictures uploaded to blogger (AKA, saved on the internets) so I can delete them off my camera before the next big event. (Spoiler alert: pumpkin patch this weekend.) Maybe one day I'll find my groove again but until then, I'll just keep chugging along posting pictures of the major events in our life.   
Way back at the beginning of October, we took our annual trip to the fair. (Click here to see: 2010, 2011, 2012) The next week, Tylee wrote a story about it...but ran out of room after declaring the title.
"The title is The Girl Went to the Fair."
Anyways, we pulled Tylee out of school on Monday so that we could do our yearly ritual of going when no one else is there; thus parking super close, not fighting any crowds, and not dealing with any lines. The problem is that I also bought us Disney on Ice tickets for Sunday, which just happened to be at the fair grounds. Oops. It never occurred to me that going to Disney on Ice at the fair meant driving around for hours finding a parking spot, fighting the huge crowds, and waiting in long lines. Exxxacttly what we always avoid by going on a Monday. Note to self: Never go to any performance that is in conjunction with the fair again.
Since we were already there and had driven around for an hour looking for a $10 spot to park, we decided we would just squeeze in what we could and not mess with it all again on Monday. First up, the pony rides.  
Not sure why they still have such a big appeal but I think this is Tylee's favorite part about the fair. Maybe one day she will realize that the food is actually the best part, not the horses! After the 30-second-$12-pony-ride, we headed towards the petting zoo...but turned around as soon as we saw the line. We had recently been to Deanna Rose and didn't need to stand in line for 45 minutes to pet some goats. Tylee was so stoked to go see some real-life princess' that she didn't even care.  
The hallways of the coliseum had Tylee mesmorized! It was princess stuff galore! She got to pick out one thing because as all things Disney go, everything was crazy over-priced. After lots of back-and-forth, she picked an Ariel necklace and we headed in to watch the show!  
Eric from The Little Mermaid on the boat
Flounder, Ariel, and Sebastian
The Tangled set

Tylee loved the entire first half of the show but it lasted over 2 hours and she got a little ancy towards the end. TJ and I were ancy within the first 30 minutes but to see her so happy, was worth every second. When it was finally over, we headed back out to the fairway to see what else we could squeeze in before Tylee crashed. We played a few games, rode a couple rides, got some fried pickles, and called it a night.
Thankfully, we squeezed just enough in that she didn't ask about going back the next day. Next year, we will definitely be skipping the Disney show and crowd on Sunday and going back to our simple, quiet, day at the fair on Monday.



It seems that with every challenge in life, you always come out of it only wishing you knew then, what you know now. Leaving Tylee on my first day back to work after maternity leave was horrible. I cried for daaaaays leading up to it. 10 minutes after I got in my car after dropping her off with Grammy, I took a deep breath and realized that for the first time in 3 months, I could go get a fountain drink without having to unload a carseat. The thing is, no one can help you through these moments; it is between you and your baby. Your spouse can tell you it will be okay but it doesn't help. Your sister can tell you about the first time dropping off her oldest at daycare but it doesn't take away the pain. You have to live it first hand and survive on your own before you can really take that deep breath and know that everything is going to be okay. It is such a desperate feeling to face something so painful, yet know you have to go through it in order to get to the other side. I guess this is what you sign up for when you have kids, because these hard moments keep coming and I don't see them stopping any time soon. Example: Kindergarten.
(pictures from waaaay back when we celebrated her summer birthday the first week of school)
Kindergarten has been utterly amazing. Tylee has loved it from Day 1 and we have been throughouly impressed with her teacher and the school thus far. It was a HUGE decision for us as to whether we should keep her in her safe little bubble with Parsons Schools and ultimately make someone else responsible for her daily drop-off and pick-up, or if I should bring her to Altamont with me and make life easier on everyone. We chose the latter and couldn't have made a better decision. We have quickly found a routine and it seems to be a good fit for everyone, most importantly Tylee.
So far, the best thing I have to say about Altamont Grade School is the size. With only 13 kids in her class, of course I am happy about the one-to-one ratio. More importantly though, I'm excited about the size of the entire school. We have some friends that have a daughter with a summer birthday and chose to keep her back a year, and I've been pretty sad that her and Tylee wouldn't be in the same class. Turns out, that will only matter a little. Tylee not only knows all 13 kids in her class, but knows the 13 kids in the other kindergarten class, a bunch of 1st graders, 2nd graders, 5th graders, and beyond. A lot of our friends kids go to her school and she talks daily about playing with Jordan on the playground, eating lunch with Cooper, or talking to Brooklyn in the hall. A 5th grader made Tylee a duck-tape pen the other day and when I asked how she knew her, she simply told me it was her friend. I know when I was in 5th grade I wasn't co-mingling with the Kindergartners, but apparently they do in Altamont.

However, the most shocking thing about school thus far, is that Tylee is bringing home papers like these:

I love poodles. (or I poodles love.)

Brax, Brynna, Braylee, and Brecca

I love my Mom, Dad, and Grandpa.
My cousins live in Chanute. Brynna, Braylee, Brecca.
She couldn't have done any of that before Kindergarten. She went in knowing all of her letters and most of her letter sounds but was a looooong way from sounding out words or putting anything together. Not now. Her favorite thing to do is sit in the living room and write out words. She will ask TJ and I our favorite color or animal and a few minutes later, we have a drawing that says, "My farit anml is liun." It is quite impressive. If she has come this far in 6 weeks? I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year brings.
So of course, this far in and being on the other side, I now know that Kindergarten has been wonderful for Tylee. We had a couple social issues the first few weeks but everything seems to be smooth sailing now. Thinking back to how big of a basket case I was in the weeks leading up to sending her is comical. But hindsight is always 20/20, right? These major life events are going to keep coming and I guess that is what you gain with age - knowing that almost everything in life turns out to be okay one way or another.