Sunday, December 18, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Ballards

As you can see, Fisher is a big fan of sitting on Santa Claus this year.

He wasn't too happy sitting on Santa with Trace at the LSU Staff Senate party:

Maybe he'll do better by himself at Bass Pro ... Nope. Everything was fine once he got his candy cane after though:

Hmmm, where have I seen that reaction before? That's right, Trace three years ago:

We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

"May the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;

the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Go Panthers!

This fall, we signed up Trace for his first organized sports league, flag football at Istrouma. Not only was this his first sport to play, I signed up to help coach his team, The 4-5 year old Panthers.

While there were lots of frustrating moments (getting eight 4-5 year olds to snap the ball, hand off and run straight doesn't seem like it would be too difficult), there were so many awesome moments during the season. The best of which was getting to spend some extra, quality time with Trace.

Trace got to make some new friends and really enjoyed playing flag football. I'm not sure he has all the concept down pat, but he really enjoyed snapping the ball and handing off. Every now and then, we were even able to convince him to run with the ball (most of the time, he ran straight ahead too).

Ask him about playing flag football, and he's sure to tell you about the touchdowns he scored and here's the video of him scoring in his last game:

Growing up and playing sports, I always wondered about how it will be when I have kids and get to coach or play sports with them. Looking back now that the season is over, it was such an amazing time, and it will be memories I'll never forget. I can't wait for the next sport he plays, and I can't wait until Fisher gets to play too ... until then, he has fun watching his big brother play.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

School Days!

"So, it's for real." "This is really happening." "There's no turning back now." These are all things that I keep thinking and telling myself throughout my day as it begins to sink in that Trace is now in Preschool! I feel like we prepared him the very best that we could. We made several visits to his school, checked out his classroom, met his teacher, and even played on his playground. I'm thinking, "This kid is ready!" But little did I know, the real question I should have been asking was "Am I?" The first day went great!...better than either of us even expected. He got all dressed in his uniform and was excited as could be.
We brought him to his classroom and then walked with him to breakfast in the cafeteria. We watched him as he was served his first tray of food and carried it across the cafeteria so independently.
Once he was busy eating, we asked if it was okay that we go and come back to get him later. He was fine with that and didn't seem to care that we were leaving.
And so we left, both a little surprised that neither of us had lost it or had even shed a single tear. Well, Ernie claims he didn't, but he did get a little choked up at one point. ;) I kept waiting to feel sad, but I never did. I was just so excited for him. How could I be sad?
The rest of the week went great. We received good comments on behavior and he seemed to be having lots of fun each day. That was until Friday of the first week, he tried testing his boundaries a little with some spitting, but we nipped that in the bud really quick and it's been smooth sailing since then, especially since his teacher implemented the rewards program for good behavior. Stars and smiley faces = treasure chest prizes!
Then week 2 began and reality began to sink in. Trace isn't coming back. He's gone for good. Or at least that's what it feels like. I think the first week was wrapped in so much excitement, it was hard to be sad or even realize that he'd be gone for the most part of every day. But when week 2 rolled around and Fisher and I cleaned the house from top to bottom and ran all of the errands we could possibly run, something happened. It got quiet...really quiet. Sadness crept in, tears made up for lost time, and I began to question everything. I began thinking, maybe he's still too young for this. Maybe this school isn't right for him. Maybe we should have waited another year...and so on. But never once did he show any sign of resistance. He came home happy as could be everyday. He talked about each new friend that he made as he began learning thier names. He did have trouble remembering his day to tell me about it, though. I think after naptime his memory was erased. So, it was a struggle getting things out of him and because I wanted him back so badly, I assumed the worst.
It wasn't until Open House that I began to see what all he was really doing throughout his day. In just a couple of weeks they had accomplished so much and I could see that he was already learning a lot.
After talking with his teachers and learning more about his routine, I realized that this is where Trace needs to be and that it is good for him. His memory has gotten better, or he just got so used to me asking about everything little thing he did each day that he started trying harder to remember. ;)
We've also had some fun things going on at school that have kept us busy and involved. The PreK class threw the first teacher's appreciation lunch of the year. It turned out great and it was nice to spend the day at school meeting the faculty and staff. They were all so upbeat and positive. It was nice to see how much they enjoyed their job and how much they appreciated the lunch. Trace and I made these cute little candy pencils for his teachers that day.
On top of that, it was also Grandparents Day, so MawMaw & Pap came to eat lunch with Trace at school, which he loved!
Overall, school has been a positive experience for Trace and for me. It just took me a lot longer than I expected to be able to let go of my baby boy. Meanwhile, Trace is still doing really well at school. He loves learning new things and showing off all that he has learned once he comes home. I'm so proud of him, but sometimes I just can't stand how grown up he really is!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday Trace!

It's hard to believe, but Trace is now 4 years old. Seems like just yesterday, we were going to the doctor for our routine ultrasounds and waiting for Trace to make his appearance. Now he's 4 and getting ready to start preschool in August. How time flies!


Trace, we hope you have a great birthday! You are a great big brother, you are so smart and so funny, and mommy and daddy love every minute we get to spend with you. We love you so much!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Happy 1st Bithday, Fisher!

Happy 1st Birthday to my Fisher-man! You LOVE wagon rides, so we thought we'd celebrated with a Little Red Wagon-themed party. But there wasn't lots of "wagon-themed" stuff available, so Mommy had to get creative. Also, you were a little sick with bronchitis on the day of your party, so we had to downsize it a bit; but you still seemed to have lots of fun!

Birthday Banner
Cake Table

Your cake!
*For more on the cake, click here.

Wagon Wheel Cupcakes

More Cupcakes!

Candy Apple Party Favors

Another Birthday Banner!
(Thanks for the idea, Lucy!)

Red Wagon Pinata
*made from 100% recycled materials (cereal boxes, paper towel roll, and a corn muffin mix box) Your big brother helped me paint it! :)

We had a Wagon Parade! Here you are eating a flower, my little goat! :)

Pop & Pap!

Throw Me Something, Fisher!

Parading with Friends!

More Parading!

The Spectators! :)

Trace is ready for cake!

What's All This?

This is the BEST DAY EVER!!!

Cupcakes are for babies...I want the real cake! :)

That's better!

Oooh, and some ice cream to wash it all down! :)

Uncle Josh & Trace take first @ the pinata!

Candy For Everyone!

Our only family pic of the day. Your brother is upset that I took his candy bag for the picture. :(

After a 4+ hour nap, you woke up to open presents! :)

Supper time! Here you are playing peek-a-boo...except you cover your ears instead of your eyes! :)

We love you so much Little Bug. You are such a happy baby and bring so much joy to our family. At one year you can say "Da Da", "Ma Ma", "Eat", "Bye Bye", "Dat" (as in "What's that?" or "Who Dat?") hehe and you've attempted to say "Trace" a few times. You love to play peek-a-boo, patty cake (you love to roll 'em up!), give hugs when we say "Love, Love", and you make sure everyone knows how old you are; when we say "One" you point you finger way up high! You also love to dance, you crawl super-fast, especially when you're trying to get into something like Phoebe's bowl or Trace's lunch, and you put things in your mouth faster than lightning. You love to laugh, especially at your brother's silly antics. Oh, and you're still famous for your hair, although you've had 4 hair cuts in the past 6 months and you always stick your tounge out, but you've gotten much better about this since your 2 teeth have come in. You are perfect in every way and we can't imagine or remember much of life without you. Happy Birthday, Fisher. Looking forward to MANY more (but try to slow it down a bit, please?) ;)

We love you. -Momma, Daddy, & Trace