Hammond Family

Moving forward, one day at a time.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Beach!

Last weekend for Robby's birthday (which was Monday) we went down to Corpus Christi to go to the beach. We'd done the beach in South Padre, about 5 hours away, but not Corpus and Mustang Island, which is 2 hours. We had such a great time! Friday night we just went to the beach at Corpus Christi. It's a bay so the water was super warm. It was fine because it was 7:30 at night, but I think during the day it would have been too hot to feel like a break from the heat.
We had promised the kids ice cream on the way back to the hotel, so we stopped at Denny's (Robby's idea) and got a breakfast platter to share and milkshakes. It brought back so many memories! In high school after church dances we'd always go to Denny's and a strawberry milkshake is what I would get. Does anyone else remember that? I have to say, Chick-fil-a's strawberry milkshakes are better. Lily, as you can see, very much enjoyed it.
Lance was a bit tired. I laughed very hard after seeing this picture.
She knows what to do at hotels.
The next morning we went to Mustang Island, which I would reccomend to anyone who lives near here. It was so much fun, and you could drive your car right onto the beach and just park it where you wanted to play, which was great!
Lily was quite helpful. At least tried to be.

I was experimenting with photoshop. Here's Lance.
And this picture we put on the back of our cooler in the van and set the timer. You can see that Lance has had it, but it turned out pretty good!
It was about a 2 1/2 hour drive home. Hopefully sometime during football season we can make it down there again, maybe when the BYU game is on a Friday? In case you didn't know, they play next Saturday against Ol Miss and our life will be on hold until December (assuming they make it to a bowl game).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back to school! Oh wait, never mind...

That's been my thought process this week. Back to school time has always been a bit strange for me. I know I've commented on it before, but it's been on my mind a lot this past week, as school starts for most of Texas tomorrow. Emily started school when she was one. Yes, one. She went for a few months in the spring/summer before she turned two (her birthday is in July) and then from when she was two-three she went three days a week for 3 hours a day-7:30-10:30. And the teacher wanted her there all five days! But that was too much for me (and Em, I think) Three days was a lot, especially with how far I had to drive. It's kind of crazy going to back-to-school night when your kid is two. I loved that program though. It was for kids with vision problems. They're the ones who got Emily potty trained, taught her sign language, and just really, really believed in her.

Then, when Emily turned three, it was on to PPCD (preschool for children with disabilities). So once again we had back-to-school night, etc. I was the room mom that year! And we once again were blessed with a wonderful teacher who loved Emily. They also wanted Emily to go five days a week, from 8:00-10:45, and I had her go four. She really loved it, though.

And when Emily turned four, I had just had Lily, and knew Emily wouldn't be getting all the attention she needed, so I let her go five days a week to Pre-K, from 12:00-2:45. She had the same teacher as the year before. That was the year our sweet little pal, Cael, would push her in her wheelchair every day to class and make comments like, "I love your bow, Emily!" And the year she was invited to a friend's house to play. The same friend who explained to her class that Emily just didn't like bright lights, and that's why her eyes were closed most of the time-it's NOT because she was sleeping. (which was actually mostly true)
Emily only went half the year to school that year; she got sick in December and never went back, and then passed away in January.

So, after having a kid in school for 3 years, it's very strange for me to not be getting ready for school. I love that Lily and Lance are home; I never got to have that "at home" time with Emily. But, I feel like most of my friends have kids in school, and I'm a bit behind! Which is fine, but I went backwards, and not by choice. I don't know if that makes any sense. I'm ready to get into a routine-piano lessons, preschool with Lily here at home, etc. I was the busiest mom I knew with Emily. And I know I will be busy like that again, and like I said, I love the fact that I've got these two cute little kids at home. I don't miss not being crazy busy all the time. And I don't miss the overwhelming, indescribable anxiety I know I'd have about Emily going to school. And I know that Emily is perfectly happy to be where she is, and does not care at all that she's not starting 2nd grade! But my heart aches. It just does.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Friday was Lily's 3rd birthday. I know she was more excited than me, for the last month she's woken up saying, "My birthday's in August!" and we had to make a paper chain so that she wouldn't drive me crazy. But I was also super excited. She understood last year a bit about birthdays, but this year she really got it, and it was so much fun. She wanted a Dora party, so Dora we did. Here she is playing Swiper with the mask I made the day before her birthday.
Friday morning we had snowman and heart shaped pancakes. I think I need more cookie cutters. Lance loved eating at the table with Lily!
Lance didn't so much love the Kiddie Park. It's this park near downtown San Antonio with rides, and Friday they were only 50 cents! I tried having Lance go on one; they had to stop the ride to let him get off! This was about the happiest he got. I will say, to his credit, it was very hot and humid!
Lily loved it though. The rides all went around and around, but it was perfect for her.
Afterwards we went downtown and had a picnic with Daddy in his office. Which we were glad we did, because he didn't make it home for her party! He felt awful about it. But to Lily, she will remember going to Daddy's office, not that he missed her party.
The cake turned out! I bought the cake topping at cakesforcures.com, for $7! It was so much better and easier than decorating a cake, which I am TERRIBLE at (see Lance's birthday entry for proof). When Lily saw it she gasped and said, "Mommy, I love it!" It was so worth it for that!
We had yummy Mexican food-cheese quesadillas, toquitoes from Costco, chips, etc. And a mango juice with sprite in it. The kids all actually ate. It's so much easier just feeding 2 and 3 year olds than it is adults! The simpler the better!
We played Pin the Tail on Swiper.
The kids danced and then had to freeze when the music stopped, and whoever froze the fastest got a sticker. They LOVED this game and would have played it all night I think. It was highly entertaining to watch them all dance. We had 5 kids over, and then my two.
The highlight of the evening, a Dora treasure hunt, complete with Map. Robby made a great map. Lily was Dora. She's wearing a dress my neighbor got her. Never mind it's black velvet and 100 degrees outside. The had just gone down the slide and now needed to go to the bedroom. The highlight for Lily was "walking up the mountain" (my treadmill).
The kids did the Chicken Dance while I played the piano, which was hilarious, and then found their goodie bags in the piano bench. Two parents were there by then, which was perfect, because I needed a Swiper! So here's Swiper trying to get their treats on the way in to cake and ice cream. The kids had just got done yelling, "Swiper, No swiping!" For Lily this was the highlight. She's watched it over and over on video since then.
Blowing out the candles on the cupcake-we saved the cake for when Robby got home.
After everyone left we did our family presents. Her two big presents were a Dora backpack and a leapfrog laptop. She did not want to go to bed that night, but she had to, because her mommy was one tired lady! My hat goes out to all you single mom's out there-I don't think I would have done it if I'd known Robby wasn't going to be there! But it was great fun, and when she turns five I'll think about doing it again!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I'm How Old?

I'm old enough to finally be somewhat grateful that being short makes me look younger! I'm still not at the point that everyone would tell me when I was in high school, when I was 16 being mistaken for a 12 year old-"You'll be so glad when you're older." Now that I'm "older" I still wish I was taller! But I can at least appreciate it a little bit.
Now that the trauma of turning 30 is past, I will embrace it.
I've tried to think of the things I'd like to do in my 30's-my 20's I have to say, were a rather tough decade. Almost half were dedicated to Emily, and 2 1/2 years were spent pregnant. I have pretty easy pregnancies, but I don't love being pregnant!
I think the most significant things that happened to me in my 20's were: getting married, graduating from college and getting my first and only "real job" as a 1st grade teacher, having 3 children, burying my first child, and running a marathon.
So this decade I have a few goals, and I figure if I write them down here I'll have some sort of accountability to myself.
1. I want to try to practice the piano at least 15 minutes. Not just play through my books, but actually work on songs.

2. I would really love to learn to sew. Just enough so that I don't have to have someone show me any time I want to try something easy, like make a blanket, curtains, or a simple skirt.

3. I want to try to bake something new every week, and to make one new thing for dinner each week. I know people who have done that every day, and my hat's off to them! If I can do it once a week I think I'll be doing good!

4. I would really love to do a triathlon. Swimming in open water scares me. Not just to do anytime, but to do as a race. I'm slowly getting better, but I still like to be able to touch the bottom when I'm swimming laps! I would love to do at least a sprint triathlon. First I also need to get a bike! I keep waiting until we move back to the Northwest to pursue this one, but maybe I need to just bite the bullet and do it. It's hard to find triathlons in Texas that aren't on Sunday, though.

So I know these are all more selfish things for me, but I don't feel up to writing all the ways I need to be a better person!
The 20's were tough, but I will say that I was happy through it, for the most part, and I hope that that can also be the case for my 30's! Joy in the journey and all that. I love being a mom and I'm grateful for that.