Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cuties in College Station

A few weeks ago (sometimes I'm really far behind over here on Wiggles), Tom and I took the kids to a TAMU acapella group's end-of-the-year concert. We had no idea what to expect, but assumed that interesting music performed in an intimate theater (where the kids could sit up close and really see the performers) would keep them entertained, or at the very least, intrigued.

We enjoyed the show, though I did have to use my tried and true one-jelly-bean-at-the-end-of-each-song system to keep the kiddos sitting in their seats during the second act.

The best part of the evening, however, had nothing to do with the show. We arrived on campus a little early, so we walked around and took a few photos of the kids by fountain new to the MSC. They're so pretty.
The "money" shot.
The "sneeze" shot.
And my favorite, the "authentically silly" shot.
Sometimes I just can't believe they're mine.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Twinsies and Will

Oh, my girls. My matchy-matchy little girls, with their big hearts and spicy personalities and propensity to march to the beat of their own drums and play by their own rules. I love 'em.

Sara and I planned ahead so that when Grandma Brenda and Lily arrived in College Station, Lily and Hallie were already dressed identically.

During their visit, Grandma and Lily joined us for Will's elementary school's Field Day, Hallie's preschool graduation, Will's elementary school's spirit night at McDonald's, Will's last baseball game, Will's end-of-the-baseball-season wrap-up party, Will's end-of-the-year field trip, and a good friend's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. They also went with Hallie and me on three long walks, to four garage sales, to lunch at Chick-fil-a, and two trips to the park. Needless to say, we all slept well when our heads hit the pillows at night.

Everywhere we went, people assumed Hallie and Lily were sisters, which made sense because even though they look nothing alike, 1) there was only one mom and one grandma with them, 2) Lily looks as much like me (or as much NOT like me) as Hallie does, 3) they have similar personalities, and 4) I dressed them identically every day.

I can't help myself. I loved growing up with a sister, and because neither Hallie nor Lily will every have a sister, my sister Sara and I are trying our best to make sure Hallie and Lily grow up close in relationship, if not in proximity.

And here are a few more of my favorite pics from the four days we spent together.
Will walking Lily into his end-of-the-baseball-season party.
Hallie and Lily brushing and styling each other's hair.
Lily and Grandma at Hallie's preschool graduation.
The girls, waiting on Hallie.
Lily wasn't so sure about Chuck E. Cheese at first.
Dancing near Chuck E. Cheese.
After dancing with Chuck for a while, Lily begged to stand on the
 stage with him. Within five seconds she went from excited and
smiling to screaming her head off. We took a picture before we
rescued her because that's what good grandmas and aunts do.
I love this unstaged-but-appears-to-be-staged antique-y
shot of all three kiddos in an actual antique store.
And finally, here's Hallie and Lily - in IL in February -
wearing matching vests that used to belong to Sara and me.

I can't wait to see "The Family E." (I just came up with that familial phrase and plan to use it frequently in the future) in Wisconsin this summer - it's been too long, and Hallie's been itching to dress like twins with someone again.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Field Day 2014

While we're talking Will and sports, I thought I'd recap Will's very first elementary school Field Day. 

Field Day included a variety of athletic (short runs, long runs, Frisbee games) and non-athletic (toilet paper relay races, cups of water on heads relay races) events so that every child could participate in at least one, if not two, activities. Will chose the participate in the 50-yard dash and the cross country run, and he told us ahead of time that he thought he'd win one of the races and had a 50% chance of winning the other. Confidence has never been a problem for my boy…
Warming up with his class.
Having fun...
…lots of it.
Will's heart broke when he didn't advance out of his 50-yard dash heat. He didn't cry or even complain, but I could see on his face the frustration and sadness he felt inside. 
At the 50-yard dash starting line.
And they're off!
Hanging in there.
He didn't win, but he didn't come in last either!
He did considerably better in the cross country run, placing fourth out of close to 40 first grade boys. I was so proud, but Will felt completely defeated. When he crossed the finish line, my smiling face, Grandma's congratulations, and Lily's cheering weren't enough to keep him from tearing up.
At the cross country race starting line.
Coming toward the finish line.
Each kindergarten and first grade class had been assigned two fourth-grade helpers, the job of whom was to meet the kids from their assigned class at the finish lines of the races and escort the kids back to their class' "home base". Moments after Will finished his cross country race, one of his class' helpers walked up to him. The student noticed that Will had been crying, but he didn't acknowledge the tears lest he embarrass Will in front of his grade-mates. Instead, the student put his arm around Will's shoulder and started walking them across the field. I followed a few feet behind, listening to their conversation. 

"Hey buddy, I saw your run - great job out there!"

Will must have said something about not winning the race, because then the student added, "but you had fun, right? That's what Field Day is about - trying your best and having a great time with your friends. I'm proud of you".

I walked straight to Will's teacher and asked her - with tears rolling down my cheeks - to please thank that student for his kind words and for setting such a positive example for Will to follow. 

A second positive arose out of Field Day… On that hot, humid, summer-like day, Will's lungs sounded a bit wheezy when he crossed the cross country race finish line. I had his inhaler with me, but was pleasantly surprised when his lungs "righted" themselves and his breathing returned to normal within a minute of finishing the race. Shortly after Will's asthma diagnosis I read that the best sports for kids with asthma were swimming and running, both because they strengthen the lungs and because they force kids to learn how to control and regulate their own breathing. Running has worked marvelously for Will. 

And lastly, a third positive… Field Day took place while Grandma Brenda and Lily were visiting, so both attended the festivities with Tom and me. When he wasn't with his class or participating in an event, he looked out for Lily and made sure she could see (he brought her to his class' spectator spot and then asked his classmates to move back so Lily could move to the front) what was going on.
Smiling cousins.
Gently ushering Lily through and to
the front of the crowd of first graders.
Oh, my heart is melting.
We're all already looking forward to Field Day 2015!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


A few weeks ago Will went to his friend Aiden's birthday party. The boys started out playing a few rounds of laser tag (which Will loved) and arcade games, and on the way back to Aiden's house for pizza and cake the crew stopped at a local park for a game of flag football.

Will met Aiden through Little League, and this past season Aiden's dad - John - was Will's (fantastic, fabulous, stellar - I can't say enough good things about him) baseball coach. At the birthday party, John was Will's flag football coach as well. 

When I picked Will up from the party I asked John and his wife, my friend Brittany, if Will had behaved himself. John replied that, more often than not, his parenting voice and his coaching voice are one in the same…Will knew that voice well, and therefore had no trouble keeping himself in line for his coach.  

Brittany captured these pics for me - I love seeing my boy in action.
Talking plays.
(Look at the muscles in his shoulder/arm.)
The boy loves all sports, the boy loves his friends, and he LOVES when the two combine.
The party boys.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Aggie Baseball

Our lovely neighbors have stellar season tickets to - and a parking pass for - Aggie baseball games. Once each spring since we moved into our house three years ago, they've given us their tickets and we've enjoyed a game sitting just a few rows behind home plate. (They never let us pay them for the tickets, so I always bake for them after the games.) 

The game we attended this year fell on the most beautiful night for baseball, and as always, the four of us had a wonderful time.
Getting ready to head out.
Waiting for the game to start.
The boys.
Me and my kiddos.
The four Ferri, in a rare family picture.

Hallie fell asleep on Tom's shoulder midway through the game, which you can see in the picture below. Funny thing is, she's actually face-up under her jacket…she was wearing the jacket backwards to begin with, and when she started looking sleepy we pulled the hood up over her face and she immediately conked out.

After she fell asleep, I decided to take Hallie home to her bed. I carried her - a 33-pound COMPLETELY limp sack of potatoes - out of the stadium and the equivalent of six blocks to our car (our neighbors' parking pass is for a slightly farther away lot this year because the building next to the stadium is under construction and has taken over the better/closer parking lot) and by the time I made it I was sweating bullets and had lost all feeling in my arms. When I finally settled Hallie into her seat I had to sit in the car for 10 minutes before my arms recovered enough to handle the steering wheel. Next time I'll send Tom home with sleeping Hallie...

Tom and Will stayed until the end of the game, rocking the rally caps in hopes that the Aggies would come from behind for the win. They didn't, but my boys still had fun!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Our Last Preschool Graduation

Last spring I made Class of 2025 and Class of 2027 shirts for Will and Hallie so that we could begin the tradition of trying on and taking pictures in the shirts on the last day of school. (The idea is that yearly pictures will show the kids growing into their adult-sized shirts.) Will wore his for the first time on the last day of kindergarten, but I decided to start the tradition a year earlier for Hallie and let her wear her shirt for the first time this year.

Tom, Grandma Brenda, Lily, and I attended Hallie's short (but not quite short enough for Lily, who watched the first half intently but spent the second half rolling on the ground and showing off her underwear) end-of-the-year program and graduation ceremony.

As I could have predicted, Hallie rocked the performance part of the program - the girl is always prepared for performances - and seemed to enjoy walking across the stage to hug Ms. Candice and Ms. Fran (who was also one of Will's preschool teachers two years ago) and receive her (blank piece of paper) diploma.

Hallie is SO ready for kindergarten, both academically and socially, and I can't wait for her to take on big kid school next year!