Friday, January 30, 2009

I told ya the boy loves his wheels jams...

As seen in a previous posting from the week. 4 pairs of beloved wheels jams on the couch NOT including the pair the little man is modeling.
Different day, same week. Second pair of wheels jams that day. He changed from white wheels to blue wheels after his nap. Wore them all day long.
Little man and all the wheels jams. They go where he goes....everywhere he goes.

Inspecting one of his wheels (aka race car) with his special sequined inspector mirror. Note the wheels jam pants. This outfit was worn around the house on Friday around 3:30 pm. There is another pair of wheels jams under the blue pair that you see.....yes, two pairs of wheels jam pants.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Little Boy Blue All Bundled Up!

Today was our first official day of snow here in Washington, D.C. Even though we only got a few inches, schools were closed which allowed William the day off from Mother's Day Out. We partied hard by introducing William to snow. This wasn't exactly his first encounter with snow since he was born on a snow day 2 years ago and I took him out last year for a picture in the snow when he was 10 months.

But, I like to think of today as his first official day meeting snow because at 2 years old, he finally "gets it." He watched outside the windows as the snow kept falling and said, "mama, white snow WOW WEEE!" and "snow blue sky." I explained that we were going outside to touch the snow and although he was slightly confused, he got real excited when I told him he could wear his wheels jammies. Sealed the deal.

I bundled William up in his wheels pj pants, a wheels pj shirt, a turtleneck, and his footed wheels sleeper. Then he put on his fleece warm up and tennis shoes.......see how prepared we were for this? We did our best without a snowsuit to easily zip into. I did try to encourage the snow boots that I bought last month just in anticipation of today, but William would have NOTHING to do with them. I quickly caved because I wanted to keep the entire experience positive.

For the first 5 minutes, William shouted, "WOW SNOW WEE!" and then he'd pretty much had enough. Of course, I kept him outside just so I could get a few more pictures - such the mom. Ava, our bestest buddy, came outside to join the fun and the two little people ended up having a good time.

I think next year he'll be even more excited to see the snow and really play with it. I can't wait for the day when we really get pelted and school is canceled and my boy builds me a snowman and a snow fort in the front yard!

William with his most prized possessions

Today is a snow day and so William and I have been hanging around the house. This morning, we went outside to introduce him to snow (see next posting for details) and then once we got home, I let him keep on his "wheels jams" that he wore as his long underwear.

I took this picture after he woke up from his nap and climbed onto the couch to watch Curious George. It dawned on me that every important possession in William's universe is on the couch with him. I didn't put any of it there. He did. I think he gathered up the school buses and ALL his "wheels jams" and hunkered down on the couch all by himself. You might be thinking, "hmm, how convenient that all his jammies be in the living room for him to grab....." Well, yes. The wheels jams are ALWAYS in the living room. William doesn't travel anywhere inside our house without them in his sight. Therefore, the beloved jammies were an obvious choice for couch decor.

You can see 1. Graham crackers 2. blue sippy cup 3. two school buses 4. 4 pairs of wheels jams

These are ALL THINGS WILLIAM. These are the same exact 4 things that I would list if asked what HE LOVES. These are what make MY WILLIAM such a funny little guy and these are all the things I plan on saving in William's ever growing keepsake box. And yes, wheels jams can decorate my living room floor forever.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another reason why the mail is my favorite part of the day!

I came home on Friday afternoon to find this special piece of mail on my porch. I first thought it might be our photo with the President and Mrs. Bush from the staff reception we attended a few weeks ago. When I opened it up, I was surprised to find a signed letter of gratitude from the President. This is just one more example that our 43rd President is a very kind, and decent man. I will treasure it always.

Music Man

Here is William in a serious pose as he shows me how to shake his musical "rain maker" that he made at school on Friday. He proudly marched around the classroom shaking his instrument when I came to pick him up. I think I will have to keep this art project since it's the first official "concept" artwork he's made for us.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Extreme camping at 6 degrees fahrenheit

The cutest campers I know

We've had some seriously chilly weather lately in Virginia. The last few days we've awaken to 4 degree mornings with a high of 20. Needless to say, William and I have had to get creative on spending most our days inside. After a week, I was somewhat tapped out of ideas.

Enter Dada.

November 07, William's first hike

He's our hiker, camper, fisher, archer, biker, kayaker, hunter, outdoor loving man. He's taken William on numerous outdoor excursions which the little guy has enjoyed to no end.

November 07

You say, "William, do you want to go on a hike?" and he'll gleefully answer, "a-huh, bubbles?" This of course means "yes, and let's throw some rocks in the river to make bubbles while we're at it." That said, Dada's bag of tricks is never empty. He's the best. Dada came up with the greatest Friday night activity William has experienced in awhile.

Pitching the tent in our "rugged and disasterous" living room


Listening for wild animals

My two boys pitched their very own tent in the living room on Friday night. They each had a sleeping bag, canteen (aka sippy cup for W, water for Dada), a flashlight, and warm clothes. Once they were hunkered down and the living room lights were off, it was as if my boys were deep in the wild woods of Virginia. I went on upstairs, but I heard Dada going over animal noises with William.

Day after camping. How many wheels fit inside this tent?

William's list of camping supplies:
Footed Wheels Jams - his choice of camping attire Canteen - a sippy cup of water Sleeping bag - from Santa 3 warm blankets - one must be the digger/construction truck blanket 60 plus wheels - trucks, race cars, diggers, tractor, school buses, you get the idea Head lamp - for making doggie hand puppets on the ceiling

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Preschool Pancake and Pajamas Party!

Tuesday was the annual pancake breakfast at William's preschool. All the kids (1 yr - 4 yrs) went to school in their jammies and feasted on pancakes for lunch. Knowing that my child won't even pick up a pancake much less TRY one (weird, right?), I packed some back up snacks for the tike and sent him on his way.

I didn't want to send him in his jams from the night before, so I changed his clothes from the pjs he slept in to a fresh, clean pair. When I pulled them out of the drawer, William grinned from ear to ear. "WOW, MAMA! BLUE WHEELS! YEAH!" and then he grabbed them up and hollered, "ON ON!" Bless his heart, William LOVES anything with wheels. I mean, LOVES them to the point of obsession. He'll cry in desperation every morning when I tell him it's time to get dressed because he wants to keep on his "wheels jams" for as long as possible. During the day, he'll see his jams on the floor of his room or in the hamper and he'll carry them around the house talking about all the different modes of transport he sees on the pattern. He also loves to play the matching game. So, he'll look at his jams and find 2 helicopters or 2 dump trucks and squeal with delight, "A MASH!!!" (a match). Every night when he gets out of the tub, he goes to his drawer and "wheels mama, wheels." This is the cue to me to find a pair of his beloved jammies for the night.

So, as you can tell, the "wear your pjs to school" concept was a hit in our house. Thank goodness the favorite pair of wheels jams were clean and ready to roll!

Monday, January 12, 2009

You never know where life will take you...

The following pictures are of me with the Jackie picture, my old Social Office team with Max, the leader of the Military Aides, Dan and I in front of the Blue Room with the Presidential Seal above us, the military band in the Grand Foyer, my old Social Office team, President Bush talking with us, Dan and I in the Red Room, Us in the Green Room, President Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush, Dan hitting the buffet in the State Dining Room and Dan and I in the Blue Room again.

On Thursday night, January 9th, Dan and I had the priveledge of attending our last White House reception for quite some time. We were asked to come to a reception for former White House staff. It was a very special reunion for me and I was able to visit with old coworkers and White House staff that so kindly helped me do my job for 4 years.

We went through the receiving line to say hello to the President and Mrs. Laura Bush. The military aide announced our names and indicated that I had served the administration for 4 years as a part of Mrs. Bush's staff. Mrs. Bush recognized me and the President shook my hand and said, "thank you so much for everything." I said, "You bet!" The photographer took our photo (Me, Dan, 41 and Mrs. B) and then the President hit me on the back and said, "You betcha friend!" We then headed to the buffet and stuffed ourselves full of delicious treats! Of course, our visit wasn't over until I was satisfied with enough pictures. We hopped around the house snapping up the last few memories we'd have on the State Floor for awhile. All in all, it was fabulous and one last hurrah that I will savor forever.

The staff inside the White House is small, perhaps around 125 people. There were 30 of us on Mrs. Bush's staff and 5 of us in the Social Office. I remember entering the White House on the very first day of the Bush administration. I was part of Legislative Affairs and my office was in the West Wing. About 3 days into my job, I was busy rushing to the copy machine for the thousandth time when I turned the corner and ran smack into a blue suit. I didn't even look up (I was in a such a rush), but quickly said, "oh, I am sorry!" The blue suit said, "that's ok, you are just doing your job!" That blue suit was The President. I continued to work in the West Wing for about 3 months and then I moved over the East Wing where I stayed for 4 years as a part of the Social Office and Mrs. Bush's staff. Our office had the pleasure of inviting guests to the White House for any social event that included the President and/or Mrs. Bush (State Dinners, arrival ceremonies, bill signings, movie parties, Christmas receptions, etc. You name it, we did it.) I kept records of every single person who came and went, mailed invitations, and cleared guests with the secret service. I maintained accurate guests lists for the President and Mrs. Bush and supported the Social Secretary in every way needed. Saying I loved my job would be an understatement. I REALLLLLLLLLLLLY LOVED my job and even more so, I loved the people I worked with. We were a team, a family really. My two bosses, The Social Secretary and her deputy, were amazingly talented and very much my mother hens away from home. They made my job special amdist the intense stress that came with answering to the President and Mrs. Bush (such as phone calls, accurate guest lists, logistical nightmares, etc.).

I LOVED MY JOB. I loved having lunch in the private residence each year with Mrs. Bush, I loved spending endless hours collecting birthdays and social security information from guests, I am proud to have built the data system that they still use today for recording event activity, I loved the secret service team, I loved seeing Barney in the hallway, I loved watching a movie in the theater, I loved the wind on my face when the helicopter landed on the south lawn, I loved dressing up in gowns for State Dinners, I loved meeting celebrities, I loved watching the calligraphers, I loved eating on the buffet almost every night, I loved Christmas parties, I loved walking through the house to the florist, the kitchen, and in and out of all the rooms, I loved eating in the White House Mess, I loved wearing my badge, I loved the pride I felt when I walked through the iron gates, I LOVED IT ALL. But mostly, I never took for granted a single second I was in that House. It was never a job I set out to find. I never in a million years would have dreamed that God's plan would give me such a wonderful gift. I feel incredibly blessed to witness history and I am so thankful for the 4 years that I spent inside the White House. I count my blessings for having the job of a lifetime and the friends I made along the way.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Christmas at First Baptist Preschool, Dec. 18th

First Baptist Preschool Christmas show.

Cute William 23 months.

Preschool buddies: Madeline Price and Campbell Spence.

Ringing my bells at the Christmas show!

Beaming with pride at his Christmas gift for Mom and Dad. A book about William.

William and Ava at the preschool Christmas program.

Professional jingle beller.

William had a Christmas program the morning before we left for OKC. His class paraded on stage and rang jingle bells to two different songs. He didn't have any stage fright and smiled at Dan and I when he saw us in the crowd. There was a reception afterwards and William gave us his presents from preschool. His teachers made a book entitled, "ALL ABOUT ME" and each page contained information such as William's handprint, footprint, weight, height and favorite activities at school. The books were laminated and bound together. William was SO proud when he gave it to us. You could tell he knew exactly what it was and that HE had made it for us. We also got a painted star ornament with his picture inside. It was very, very cute and quite touching to know that his teachers care so much for him and his classmates.

We are back!

Hi friends! We are back from a long vacation in Oklahoma with family and friends. It was a GREAT time and long enough to soak up Christmas and enjoy quality time with loved ones. Christmas was fantastic and magical in the eyes of an almost 2 year old. The festivities included a train ride with Santa, plenty of presents, several holiday hikes with Dadda and Pops, visits with friends, William's first "WOW WOW WOW!" at the sight of Christmas lights and too many memories to write about! I will be adding some new posts this week now that I am back on my own computer with access to my pictures. Please check back often! Health and Happiness for 2009!

LOVING my time with Bebe and Pops!

Looking at Santa on the Train ride

William and his school gifts for mom and dad.
It was a book about himself and a photo ornament.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Stay Tuned - I am still around but on a blogging vacation

Greetings 2009! Happy New Year everyone. I am still blogging, but taking a break until I return to D.C. next week. I don't have all the computer gear in OKC that helps me upload pictures. So, you will just have to be patient and wait a little while longer. I didn't leave the blogging world, so I hope you will check back often for our family updates. MERRY MERRY!
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