Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Matthew Days

We Traylors are an average family and we celebrate most of the major holidays exactly as you would expect: We have turkey for Thanksgiving, we decorate a tree for Christmas, we waste hundreds of dollars on explosives for the Fourth of July, but this year we decided to do something a little different for Memorial Day.  In fact, as far as Lilly was concerned we didn't even have a Memorial Day, she chose to call the entire weekend "Matthew Days".  So, that is the holiday that we celebrated this past weekend. 
Bryan's 17 year old nephew came up for the race.  For those of us who live in Indiana there is only one race, but for you non-Hoosiers that is the Indy 500.  Bryan has been dreaming and talking for years about taking Matthew to the race.  For a long time Matthew wasn't old enough to enjoy it, and when he was...he lived in Germany and that seemed like a long and expensive trip just for the weekend.  So, this year, with Matthew in the US and and old enough to travel alone, Bryan was finally able to extend his invitation.
What Bryan hadn't counted on, of course, was that now he would have to share his buddy with two other people.  One of which was beside herself with excitement about Matthew's arrival.  She woke up on Thursday morning and wished Bryan, Jack and I a "Happy Matthew Day".  Then, told all of her friends at school about Matthew's impending visit, and of course, wished them all a happy holiday.  Later that evening while Jack and Bryan went to the airport to collect our guest I took Lilly to her T-ball game.  During the game she came over to ask me if Matthew was here yet.  When I told her that, yes, Daddy had picked him up, she wanted to abandon her team completely and walk off the field.  I said 'no'.  When we finally got home from the game Lilly insisted on waiting outside to greet Matthew and wish him "Happy Matthew Days".
Thursday night we hung out at home, had pizza and played outside.  Friday Bryan and Matthew went to the track for Carb Day, and into the garages thanks to some passes from a friend, while the kids and I swam.
 Even though he has his license they wouldn't let him have the keys to this car.
 Or, even sit in this one.  I believe this is Tony Kanaan's actual race car.
 Later that night we all met up for dinner and playing...and more celebrating of Matthew Days.  Lilly took advantage by having Matthew read to her every night.  Every time she asked for one more book the answer was the same..."yes". 
 Saturday was the true "Matthew Day" as the kids got to spend the entire day with him.  We packed a lunch and headed to the water park where Matthew acted as playmate...
 and, security detail for Lilly.
Jack obviously didn't remember Matthew from the last time he saw him, but it didn't take him long to start celebrating Matthew Days by following Matthew around and saying, "Matt Matt Matt".
 After the water park we spent a lazy day in the pool, where everyone, including Bryan, who was starting to get a little jealous at this point, got to swim and play with Matthew.
 Needless to say, by the time we got home everyone was tired.  Jack took a nap, and Lilly watched a movie while Matthew slept.  I'm sure Matthew won't be too happy that I posted this picture on my blog, but it was too cute not to share.
 Then, of course there was the race.  I sent my camera with Bryan hoping that he and Matthew would forever capture all of the memories that they made at Matthew's very first race.  They did, but this was the only picture of the two of them...the rest are of cars going by and the crowd.  I didn't even save most of them on my computer.
We had a great "Matthew Days" and can't wait to celebrate next year, although hopefully we'll have a "Morgan Days" before the end of the year.  But, don't worry Morgan, you won't have to go to the Brickyard.  "Morgan Days" will be less about racing and more about shopping and theater.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

All the Fairies in My Garden

Early this year Lilly and I started seeing fairy gardens in some of the catalogs that come to the house.  Of course we were interested.  I did a little research, asked my dad to construct a container, and encouraged Lilly to collect items for her fairy garden.  Then, I found out that Jones Greenhouse was offering a Fairy Garden Class.  We signed up, because the greenhouse would have all of the supplies that we needed, but we still decided to make our own house.
I let Lilly pick out a small bird house and some sparkle 'fairy' paint to decorate it.  She also picked out some stick on jewels.  When Papaw asked her how the fairy would get inside with the door up so high, Lilly acted annoyed at his ignorance and said, "Papaw, fairies can fly."
 Lilly's favorite part of the Fairy Garden Class was picking out the fairy, furniture and plants...and eating the M&M's that Mrs. Jones had provided.
 I did most of the planting, but Lilly picked everything out and laid out all of the landscaping gravel, aka aquarium stone.
 After Lilly had made all of the hard decisions she left the work up to me while she played video games with her friend Caitlin.

 After her bath Lilly was so excited to show her garden to Bryan.
 The finished product.  We're not sure, and we've never seen her move, but we think the fairy does all of her gardening at night because she is always in a different place the next day.

Monday, May 21, 2012

18 Months

Lilly has had so many things to blog about lately that I wanted to devote an entire blog to Jack.  His 18 month birthday presented a perfect opportunity.  Unfortunately, we didn't do anything blog worthy on May 10.  But...on May12 Lilly was invited to spend the night with Grandma and Papaw and we took that opportunity to do something fun with Jack.
In an effort to gear up for the Indy 500 Zionsville had a few different types of race cars parked downtown and it just so happened to be a beautiful Saturday.
 So, we loaded Jack in his stroller and walked the streets of Zionsville looking at the cars.  Bryan was way more excited about them than Jack.  He was, however, excited about the truck that drove behind me as I took the picture.
 We stopped in at the Cobblestone for an early dinner on their patio and Jack showed off some of his tricks.  Here he is showing us his 'mean eyes'.   
 Mean eyes.
 After dinner we walked down to the park and played where Jack wanted to play.
 Then, we went on a walk.  Lion's Club Park in Zionsville is where all of the baseball fields are.  Jack loves baseball and actually, "baseball" is his first two syllable word, if you don't count "mama".  As we walked around the park you could occasionally hear someone hit, catch, or throw the ball and the crowd would clap.  Jack would immediately stop in his tracks and clap enthusiastically.
 After the park we headed home and put Jack in the tub.  He loved having all of the bath toys to himself...and all of the attention.  After his bath we all played in the living room for a little bit. 
 Again, Jack had a great time just playing alone and quietly without the fear of attack or of having toys stolen from him.
 He mostly just sat and drove his cars around the floor...
 and on himself.
He's getting to be a big boy and it still amazes me that he learns something new almost every day.  He's talking more, answering questions by nodding his head, and asking for things with specific words.  And, a whole lot more.  Jack loves the water, a ball, and anything with wheels.  His favorite snack is trail mix and he 'chimpmunks' peanuts in his cheeks for hours before eating them.  His favorite words are 'out', 'dog', 'Papaw', and 'water'.  He can tell you about his shoes, his nose and his tummy.  Jack is a sweet boy, but he has his moments.  He likes to be wrapped in his blankie and cuddled for a few minutes when he wakes up, but he can throw a fit with the best of them and has a hell of an arm when he loses his temper and he will throw toys.  There is so much I could say about Jack and I can't wait to see what he does next!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dancing Through the Seasons

"Dancing Through the Seasons" was the theme for Lilly's dance recital.  I'm not quite sure, but I think Lilly's class represented summer...maybe.  Well, whatever season they were, it was really really cute. 
Here are Lilly and Avery modeling their costumes backstage.  Neither Tania (Avery's mom) or I were thrilled about the instruction to put blush and lipstick on our four year olds, but with a little color in their cheeks and a teeny bit of gloss they actually looked pretty on stage.
 Pretty girl ready to dance.
 On stage doing the tap routine to The Jackson 5's, "ABC".
 The ballet routine was to "You Are my Sunshine".  Unfortunately, I didn't get any good pictures of he little pointed toes.  However, we did get some pictures of the girls receiving their trophies in their ballet tutus. 
After months of practicing the routines and not being allowed to play in the costume Lilly's favorite part of dance class was receiving a trophy.  The moment that she realized that there would be a trophy she couldn't think about anything else.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Born Free

Well, these guys maybe weren't born free, but they're free now.
For Lilly's birthday my best friend, Courtney, and her family sent a butterfly kit.  It came with a mesh net habitat, instructions, everything to feed and care for the butterflies and six teeny tiny little caterpillars in a plastic cup. 
Lilly was so excited about the butterflies, then a little disappointed when I explained that we would not be attaching them to leashes to take them for a walk.  But, she was back on board when the caterpillars started growing....and grow they did.
Here are our six little friends in their cup.  The tan stuff on the bottom is their food.
 Every day the caterpillars got bigger and more creepy.
 After everyone was safely inside their chrysalis we removed our little 'pets' from their cup and put them in the habitat.  The bright blue mesh habitat almost perfectly mimics a butterfly's natural environment.
 The only thing left to do was wait...and take pictures.  Lilly was so excited every morning to get up and see if there were any butterflies yet.
 Then, one day after her nap she woke up to find that the first one was here!
 Later that day I actually saw one of the chrysalis shaking.  I yelled for Lilly and she got there just in time to see the butterfly fall out onto the bottom of the enclosure.
 We fed the butterflies sugar water and it was lots of fun for Lilly to see them eating.
 To Bryan's and my surprise all six caterpillars survived to form chrysalis and emerged as healthy butterflies.  We kept the butterflies for over a week and watched them fly, eat and 'sleep'.  Lilly loved the butterflies and thought of them as pets.  She never did name them, which shocked me a little...  maybe it's because we made it clear from the beginning that we would set them free.
 The instructions clearly said that the butterflies were unlikely to breed until they were released, but when I saw this going on I couldn't imagine what else they might be doing.  It was definitely time to turn them lose.
 Friday night after dinner seemed like a good time.  Lilly was actually pretty happy to set the butterflies free.  I was worried that she would be sad once they were gone.  But, in reality she seemed a little bummed that they all didn't fly away at once.  She opened the habitat and gently coaxed the butterflies out.
 I can't imagine why the butterflies didn't immediately race for freedom with this waiting for them on the outside...
 One of the butterflies flew out, landing on Lilly's cheek and quickly flew away.  We are convinced that it kissed Lilly goodbye.
 One of the other, more unfortunate, butterflies landed in Jack's hand and flew away, but not after Jack's hand snapped shut like a trap.  Bryan was able to get the butterfly free and he flew away, hopefully uninjured.
 Now, these little guys really were born free...and right in our neighbor's backyard.  Five little fox cubs are living under a storage shed.  We've seen, what must be, the mother roaming the neighborhood the last couple of weeks, but had no idea that she was keeping such a secret.  They let me get pretty close with the camera, but only three let me get close enough for a decent picture.  I just hope Lilly and Jack get a chance to see them.