Saturday, August 31, 2013

Soakin' up the Pool

Labor Day Weekend not only ends the Summer Sandwich of long weekends, but it also means that it's the last weekend that our community pool is open.  We love the pool and that all we have to do is walk out of our back yard gate to be there.  We take full advantage of it in the summer and since it has been so hot, we took full advantage of it the last weekend.
To help us enjoy the last weekend of the summer, the Martin boys came over to play.  The pool was practically empty and the boys took full advantage.
Owen was all smiles.
Cole was all smiles too!
Kellan was all... about the snacks.
This boy eats and eats and eats.
He's the first to bust into the snack bag and belly up to the meal table.
There is no shortage of food going into this guy, but he must have his Grandpa Garner and Uncle Shane's metabolism because he is turning into a muscular little string bean.
Kellan enjoyed time to himself behind the scenes with his snacks.  He also found a hair tie that served as a bracelet.  You just never know what fun you will find at the pool.
Kellan and Cole found that there was a great driving track around the kiddie pool. 
Speaking of great finds.  Oliver and Owen found a boat in the lost and found.  This raft was a huge hit!!  We may have to buy some for ourselves next year.

Oliver spends much of his time with his head in the water, like this.  He loves it. I wonder if he sees any fish down there?

Big Kids in the Big Pool
Little Kids in the Little Pool
It's a Party
A Real Kid Party!!
(Grandma... do you recognize this take on Dr Suess?)
That afternoon, we all had some much needed rest and relaxation and when the boys got up from their naps, they were dressed for home in their fruit of the loom.  We also had a visitor in our back yard.  He walked in and right as I went to take this photo, he lifted his tail and pooped.
Yes.  POOPED!!
In our backyard!
What does he think this is, a pit stop?
Oh well, it was fun to have him stroll through to say hello.
We had a great Saturday with the Martin's.  We're sad that the pool is about to close, but it's not closed yet!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Slithering into the Weekend

There is nothing like sailing into a long weekend with great neighbors.
Especially if those neighbors get their training from Doc McStuffin.
Kellan had a scratch on his leg and I found him up to his knees, literally, in band aides.
Thanks to our very own Doc McStuffin, he was good as new.
Kellan pointed out Samantha's handy work.
When I noticed the abundance of band-aides and that in some places they were two or three layers deep, she said simply "they are for protection".  
'nuff said.

As the parents relaxed on the back patio, the kids continued to play.  The next time we saw Kellan, his band-aides had expanded to include an ace bandage with princess sticker decorations.
There is nothing like a good neighbor that's willing to help a brother out.
Once he was bandaged up, Kellan saddled up to Kaitlyn for dinner.
Before we got too far into dinner, the door bell rang.  It was another neighbor who had come to tell us that we had a snake across our driveway.  Of course, this was music to the boys' ears.  They high tailed it out to see this said snake.
Sure enough, there was a snake slithering around and Oliver wasn't shy to hold him.

Kellan even took him for a spin.

The snake was a big hit.
Daddy did take the opportunity to explain that he was a bull snake and that he was safe to hold.  However, if the boys (or girls) ever encountered a snake on their own, they had to get him (or their Daddy) before they touched the snake.  Just in case Mr Snake comes with rattling accessories.
As much as Mommy completely dislikes snakes, I do appreciate that the boys are getting some country living skills in their suburban life style.  That's what happens when you're Daddy is a country boy at heart.
After some show and tell with Mr Snake, the boys let him go and he slithered as quick as he could go into the neighbors bushes.  He didn't dare try to come back our way.  I think he wanted to be as far away from the kids as possible.  He didn't hear a complaint from any of us on his route home.

Post 800

It is true.  This is post number 800.  Since Mile High Hamiltons first hit the world wide web, I have posted 799 other posts and this is number 800.  Mile High Hamiltons started as a place for me to post a video of Oliver rolling over for the first time so that my family (mostly my Mom) could see it for herself.  The file was too large to send over the Internet and this was before Internet clouds and dropbox, which I now love.  This was nearly six years ago.  800 posts later and I'm considering branching out.

Mile High Hamiltons will still exist, but I have a pulling (or maybe nagging) feeling that I have more to say.  I have more to write about than just what our family is up to and report out on what has been captured on my camera.  I have been staring a list of things that I want to write about.  I would have never claimed myself to be a writer, but I do have a mind full of thoughts.  I have been told that my blog posts are entertaining or funny.  I'm considering wrapping all of this together and branching out on a new blog to divulge these inner thoughts and stories on the world wide web. 

It's scary and exciting to think about.  I read a few other blogs from people whom I've never met and I love them. I don't always agree with what they say, but I always agree that it's good to listen to (or read) other people stories and opinions.  It helps me look at this wide open world with a broader mind.  I have come to the frame of mind that as long as people are good hearted, it's great to surround ourselves with people who have different thoughts and opinions.  It makes us more well rounded.  I also see these good hearted blog writers receive criticism about what they write, but it is usually followed up with supportive comments from other readers.

So, here it is, blog post #800 in search of opinions.  Do I branch out or do I not?  I'm already up against my first challenge, what would I call that blog?  I would love to hear what you think either in a comment or personal message.  Most of my readers know me personally, so sending that message shouldn't be hard.  Plus, I'm up for blog naming suggestions.

Don't fret, Mile High Hamiltons isn't going anywhere.  It will probably still be a week or a month behind on reporting.  It will still be filled with fun adventures of the Ham Fam.  I'll just have another outlet for deeper thoughts.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Birthday Keep On Coming

Three years ago, I went to my Doctor Appointment and our unborn Kellan was measuring big.  He wasn't due until August 29 but the doctor gave me the choice of being induced on August 23 or 25.  The 23rd was a Monday so that worked great for so many reasons: Flying Mom in on the weekend, not working past Friday and not putting Kellan's birthday on the same day as mine.  Surely, he would want his own day, right?  I know that I did.  What I didn't know that was since our birthdays were so close, his birthday would over shadow my birthday for the rest of eternity.  It has taken three years, but I think that I'm finally finding my happy place for my birthday, two days after Kellan's.  Taking full advantage to just relax!

After the party on Saturday, I perched on the couch and caught up on several of my favorite shows that had been on the DVR since last May.  Sunday, the boys treated me to an amazing breakfast on our back patio.  We had cinnamon rolls that I have been dreaming about since Christmas, the last time we had them.  They were SO yummy!  Oliver and I gorged ourselves on them.  (he was a big fan too)
After breakfast, we went to the pool to rest and relax.
There was hardly anybody there, so it was easy to keep an eye on the boys.  Kellan usually goes between the kiddie pool and the edge of the big pool.  He did get in to swim around with us quite a bit this day, which was a huge improvement on his confidence in the water.  Oliver is quite the fish and was all about having fun in the big pool.  He even swam from the stairs to the ladder on the other side.  We are so proud of how far his swimming skills have come.
Daddy was awesome about being the #1 parent on kid duty so that I could fully enjoy relaxing.
Daddy and Kellan splished and splashed in the big pool.
I said this before, but Kellan is really having a confidence break through in the pool.  He used to cling to us for dear life and that was on the rare occurrence that he would get in.  On this day, he was kicking his legs out and saying "look Mommy, I'm kicking" so I put him on my back so that he could float and kick as he wished.  He loved it!!  
Keith gave the boys a show of jumping in the pool.  I just happened to have my camera handy and in action mode.

Kellan is all about the snacks and he's always the first to dive into them.
Mommy: Kellan show me the Cheetos again so that I can take your picture.
Kellan: I've showed you the Cheetos TWO Times!
Then, the fight was on.

Before too long, Mommy was back in her lounge chair with a book that she was anxious to finish.  Keith took this photo (obviously) because he thinks that Kellan is just my style while he relaxes pool side.  He even has his arms up, which is also how he rest on the couch and sleeps.  Apparently, his Mommy is the same way.  Two peas in a relaxing pod.
The sunglasses are from Kellan's party.  There were sunglasses for every kid.  Sadly, they were a tad small for all of the kids.  It's a shame, because they were rockin' sunglasses.  Kellan still gave them a chance at the pool.
That afternoon, the kids had a much needed lunch and nap.  While the kids were happily putting down their PB&J, Keith said to me, "why don't you go to the pool and just relax by yourself for a few hours".  I looked at how happy the kids were, I looked at how serious Keith was and I left.  I headed back to the pool for two more hours of sun and relaxation.  Well...  this Mama hasn't had as much sun as she thought this summer as it snuck right on past my sunscreen and burned my face and chest a bit.  There were no complaints from me though.  It was a sign of my birthday bliss, pure fun in the sun with and without the boys.  Pure Perfection!
We took a few birthday photos before heading out to Cole's Third Birthday Party but the boys had a hard time because it was "too bright".  We still got some handsome photos.

I sure do love these boys to pieces.  Even if one of them tried to steal my birthday, I wouldn't change it for the world.  I tell them often, "I love you so much that I could eat you" as I nibble little kisses on their cheeks or belly and they giggle endlessly.  Really, sometimes I feel like I might explode with love for them.
Since it was too bright for the boys, we asked Oliver to take a birthday photo of Mommy and Daddy.  Quickly, it wasn't too bright for that.  Crazy nut.  He did a pretty good job.  We may have a photographer in the making.  Plus, this was with my big and heavy camera. I noticed that it was a little awkward for him, but I think we'll keep working with him so that we can have photos with Mommy in them too :)
Then, it was time for the third birthday of the weekend.  Cole turned Three on Monday, so his party was on Sunday. He had a Monsters theme, complete with a jumpy castle and Monster cake.  You can see who is front and center of that cake, our boys.
Make a wish and blow out the candles.
Happy Third Birthday Cole!

You can see who was second and third in line for cake.
Not a shy bone here while at Cole's house.
Look at those eyes!
Look at that big piece of cake!

Happy Birthday Cole!
Happy Birthday Mommy
Happy Birthday Kellan!

What an absolutely perfect birthday.  Thanks to Keith for the gift of R&R.  It was perfect and just what this Mommy wanted.

PS Kellan was born on August 23, 2010 weighing in at 9 lbs 8.5 oz and 22" long.  When he was being born, both Keith and I heard the nurse say "he's like a school bus and he just keeps coming".  The doctors parting words were "could you imagine if we waited a week?"  Uh... no... no I couldn't.  He was a hunka hunka burning love and a chunky monkey all wrapped in one.  We was definitely ready to meet the world six days early.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kellan's Third Birthday

Can you believe that Kellan is THREE? 
We can't.
It's crazy to think that when Oliver turned three, Kellan was only six weeks old.  Now, he's turning three himself.
His birthday was on a Friday so Mommy quickly ran home after work, picked up some balloons and placed all of the evening festivities in the living room.
That night, we went to our traditional Red Robin birthday dinner. 
To tell you how far we have come in one year, we didn't go to Red Robin for Kellan's second birthday because he was a force to be reckoned with in a public restaurant a year ago so we completely opted out.  This year, we opted in full speed ahead.

He was SO excited for his #1 birthday dinner wish, Mac and Cheese!
This Mac and Cheese was worth TWO THUMBS UP!
or one REALY BIG thumbs up!
After dinner, they brought Kellan's birthday sundae (plus a second one that I requested for Oliver).
The waiter showed up with two sundaes and a singing crew only to find Kellan's seat empty.
You know, when you've got to go, you've got to go.
Yes, he was in the bathroom
When we came back, we stayed put until the waiter came back, even though Kellan thought that he needed to go potty again.  For the record, he went three times during dessert and didn't actually "go" until we got home.
He was thrilled to have a birthday sundae all to himself.
His new thing is to cover his face in embarrassment.
Clearly, his older brother doesn't have an embarrassed bone in his body for the birthday singers wishing Kellan a happy birthday.
His birthday dinner dessert wish was to have a sundae wish a cherry on top.
His wish was Red Robin's command and they delivered.

Next up, the whole sundae.

We didn't think that Oliver could eat his whole dessert and before we knew it, it was gone.  
Good thing Kellan is still light on eating his dessert so that we could swipe a few bites from him.
Next year, Mommy and Daddy may be sharing one for themselves while the boys eat their whole sundae.
When we came home, it didn't take long for Kellan to discover his birthday loot from Mommy and Daddy and family who had shipped gifts in.

First up, the one that Mommy attached his balloons to.
Nana hit the jackpot with mini oreos.  How can he say no-thank-you to Oreos.  How can we deny him of Oreos on his birthday?
There were tons of great gifts for him to open.

Who ya lookin' at Willis?

Hooray for new books from Cousin Rio.
Kellan kept the line going to Daddy to open the packaging.
Kellan has a great birthday complete with a cupcake party at school, a Red Robin party for dinner, gifts that night and a Face Time date with his birthday cousin, William.  Happy Third Birthday to William as well!!

The next day was Saturday and birthday party day.
For the second year in a row, Kellan wanted a Thomas the Train cake.
Mommy made brownies for adults who may want a sweet treat as well.
Once Kellan discovered the cake, he was not far from it until we ate it.

Oliver kept a close eye as well.
The birthday cake stare down, just in case Thomas tried to ride away.
For Kellan's party, we had back yard splash fun.  We kept it low key and kept it to kids who are Kellan's friends and about his age.  He even had two of his Primrose buddies in attendance, which he loved and wasn't sure about all at the same time.  It seemed to be a tad confusing to him as to why they were in our house.
From the beginning of his time at Primrose, he has been buddies with Brenden.  Brenden had his Daddy opening bubbles within moments of their arrival.
Stephen and Kellan have been in class together since last summer and they have become good pals too.
Brenden loved the water.  I'm surprised that he's not still out in it now.
Brendan and Steven splashing around.
Kellan was a bit shy during his party and kept to himself for quite a while.  Oliver was similar at his third birthday party.  I'm sure at his four year old birthday it will be a much different story.
Or... maybe he was just plotting his attack?
Not so friendly at your own birthday party but who doesn't love a squire gun that is as big as you are?
Luckily, his friends didn't even notice the squirting gun amongst all of the slipping and sliding they were doing.
Miss Samantha was there and as always, pretty in pink.  
It was finally time for pizza and all of the kids were saddled up at the table.
Mr Cool Dude himself held down the head of the table.
The birthday gang.
From left: Oliver, Stephen, Kaitlyn, Samantha, Owen, Cole, Brenden, Kellan.
Next up, it was FINALLY time for cake.
Kellan had been waiting hours for this big moment.
Once again, the Happy Birthday song brought out his shy side.
He was all smiles and giggles under those hands.
In one quick sweep, the wish was made and the candles were out.
Kellan dove right into his chocolate cupcake.
Oliver was loving his as well.
Cole taught us all how to eat a cupcake without getting our hands dirty.

Stephen was loving his first school friend birthday party.  It was a first for all three of the Primrose buddies.
It's always a pleasure to have Miss Samantha at the parties.
As well as Samantha's little sister Kaitlyn.
Kaitlyn just turned four last month.
Mr Owen was loving his cupcake too.
Finally, Oliver headed out to play with his cake decoration Thomas and his friends in the water. 
Maybe he just didn't want to get too far from the cake. 
Really, we should have had cake first.
When the party was winding down, I found the Martin and Hamilton boys bellied up to the bar.
After everyone left and before Kellan took a much needed nap, he got to dig into his gifts.

Kellan got some awesome stuff from his friends and we quickly took it all inside before the rain came in.
Inside, Kellan was playing Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
Argh Matey!
After a first week of school for both boys and a busy birthday celebration for Kellan, the boys took a much needed nap and even Mommy relaxed on the couch for a few hours.  Once Kellan got up and discovered Mommy on the couch with a blanket, he was quick to jump in for a snuggle.

When Oliver got up a short time later, he was anxious to jump in for a snuggle as well.
Happy Birthday, Kellan!
Wow!  THREE!!
This year is going to be great and we can't wait to see what fun adventures are in store for you.
We love you to pieces!
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