Category Archives: Parker James

Parker’s 3rd Birthday

Parker’s 3rd Birthday


Its hard to believe we have a 3 year old! This year, we celebrated our sweet little boy and his love for dinosaurs. It was a fun party to plan because he’s at the age where he can really tell us his preferences and could help pick things out.

Because his birthday fell over Thanksgiving break from school, we celebrated with his class before break.  He was SO excited to have cupcakes with his friends.  It was seriously adorable.  He kept thanking us for bringing cupcakes and celebrating his birthday.





For his actual birthday party, we kept things really low-key this year and really just wanted to give Parker a chance to play with all of his cousins and friends. I ordered a few dinosaur themed pieces of decor and had my cousin make an adorable dinosaur to hang on the front door, but other than that, it was very simple. We didn’t do a whole ton of food either, just some of Parker’s favorites (Chick-fil-A nuggets, chips, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, & ice cream) and it was nice not having quite as much to do in the days leading up to the party.




We pulled out the bounce house and corn-hole boards and everybody just enjoyed each other’s company and the beautiful weather for the afternoon. The kids enjoyed swinging, jumping, “playing” corn-hole, soccer, and even throwing the football. We’ve been incredibly blessed the last 3 years to have had awesome weather on party day and we are so, so thankful!





So thankful to all of our friends and family who helped us celebrate our little boy!

Parker – 3 Years Old

Parker – 3 Years Old

I know all parents feel this way, but its so hard to believe that our baby boy is already 3 years old!  There are so many times that I look at him or listen to a conversation he’s having and wonder how we got to this point.  In so many ways, it really seems like yesterday that we were nervously walking out of the hospital with him feeling completely unprepared and clueless.  While time has marched on, those feelings haven’t really changed much.  We’re obviously not so concerned with survival or meeting basic needs at this point, but now just feeling completely unprepared and clueless as to how to handle some of the behavior issues that have begun creeping up.  I definitely spend a lot of time in quiet thought, reflection, and prayer as we move through this age of teaching obedience and appropriate behaviors.

So, a little bit about Parker at 3 years old…

He’s growing like a weed!  He weighs 35 lbs and is about 37 inches tall.  He wears a 4t in shirts, 3t in pants, and a 9 in shoes.  He still loves to eat and is still pretty much stuck on the same foods.  He does not like trying new foods, but every now & then, he does and finds that he actually some of it!  He really enjoyed his daddy’s fried turkey at Thanksgiving with our small group, but then wouldn’t eat on Thanksgiving Day…who knows…kids can be strange.  The latest addition to his diet is cornbread.  He asks me every evening if we can make cornbread to go with our dinner!  We attempted to switch him from soy milk to regular milk right before Christmas and he did great on it, but he didn’t really care for the taste.  So, we are back to soymilk, based solely on taste preference.  At least we now that he’s outgrown the milk allergy!


He’s super into legos these days and loves to build stuff…and then destroy it!  He still loves to cook in his play kitchen and spend time outside.  He got soccer goals and golf clubs for his birthday and would be out there all day & night if we would let him.  He also likes to play catch, “play music” on his guitar, read books, do puzzles, and art work.  He also loves to help his daddy work on projects in the garage.


he loves to help me clean!

We work on manners alot at home, mostly in how we speak to each other/other people and how we treat the things around us (not standing/jumping on the furniture, throwing things, hitting things/people, etc…).  We also are really working on appropriate reactions when things don’t go his way.  They work on it at school alot and even though there are days that I don’t feel like he listens to anything we tell him, we consistently hear from his teachers at school and Bible class how sweet and polite he is, so maybe some of it is actually sinking in.  Unfortunately time-out has become a common thing at our house and usually if he’s left alone for a few minutes to finish throwing his fit, he decides he’s finished, and comes to apologize to us.  We’re trying to be really consistent in how we handle things so that hopefully he eventually realizes the outcome will be the same every.single.time.  I’ve never felt more inadequate, than dealing with a child who’s throwing a fit and I have no idea how to stop it.  Its a very frustrating, yet humbling thing.


Chick-fil-A date with my favorite little boy!

He’s officially potty trained, though, due to his stubbornness, does still have accidents.  This usually happens when he’s doing something that he doesn’t want to stop, so we’re still asking him regularly and making him take potty breaks to try and prevent the accidents.  I know he has the ability to not have accidents because he stays completely dry all night long (but still sleeps in a diaper for my own sanity if there were to be an accident).  He does still get treats if he stays dry all day long and its amazing what one little piece of starburst candy does for this kid!

He absolutely loves school!  Most mornings, he practically runs to his classroom and most afternoons, he tells me that he just wants to stay & keep playing.  We are so thankful for his school and teachers.  It is truly a wonderful place and was definitely an answer to many desperate prayers.  He (finally) loves Bible class and asks multiple times each week when we get to go back to church.  This was something that I prayed about for so long and I’m so glad he finally feels safe and comfortable there!


 modeling his new jacket!

 He talks to and talks about his baby sister alot and keeps coming up with different things that we need to buy for her.  We discovered though that we think some of his behavior issues the last few weeks may be stemming from all the attention on the baby and the conversations about her, so we’ve kinda backed off a little bit.  We still talk about her and definitely encourage it when he brings it up, but Matt and I have tried to make an effort to save alot of our planning talks for after he’s asleep.  We’re also planning some projects for his room at the same time we’re working on her room so he doesn’t feel left out.



loves to climb all over daddy!

Watching this little boy grow up is such a privilege.  Each day I look at him and count the ways he’s gotten bigger and yet, so often, I’m still reminded of how little he really is.  We love you Parker James!

Parker’s 3rd Birthday Photo Shoot

Parker’s 3rd Birthday Photo Shoot




We headed to the park one afternoon to get some pictures for Parker’s 3rd birthday (I’m sorry…what?  THIRD birthday?) and after a minor (MAJOR) meltdown because of the shoes I wanted him to wear, we finally headed out and got some super cute pictures!  We can’t wait to celebrate this sweet boy next weekend!



Teaching him the fine art of rolling down the hill!




And…the last two are from Halloween night after we finished trick-or-treating.  We love this little boy so much!




More Fall Fun

More Fall Fun



Fun at the pumpkin patch!  He could have spent HOURS searching for the perfect pumpkin. And yes, we came home with a pumpkin for every member of our family, including baby sister :).


Teaching Parker the fine art of making hamburgers.  He was so excited to help me “pat, pat” them and then help daddy grill them!  Love this sweet boy and how much he loves to help cook.


3rd birthday photo shoot at the park, teaching him how to roll down the hill!  He had a blast and we got some adorable pics for his invitations!

ACU Homecoming 2014

ACU Homecoming 2014

A couple of weeks ago, Parker and I made the trip to Abilene for Homecoming weekend.  It was the first time I’ve ever  made the drive by myself with Parker and he was a champ.  Seriously…taking him on his first road trip at 8 weeks old helped turn this kid into a true Ellison Road Warrior!


It was a great weekend, full of lots of fun activities and seeing lots of good friends.


Watching the parade Saturday morning


Helping Chief direct traffic after the parade!


These two…I can’t get enough.  He loves his Chief so much!  He was so excited to wear a “Police” vest & help the officers move barricades.


He went to the Homecoming game with Christopher & Chief (while the girls shopped!) and he had a blast!  Made it through the whole game, too!


He loves his uncle Christopher!

We had such a fun weekend and have definitely decided that this will be an annual event!  Can’t wait for next year!

Fishing & Race Cars

Fishing & Race Cars

Parker basically woke up yesterday asking to go fishing.  There’s a pond near our house that we walk to sometimes to feed the turtles and recently, Matt started talking about going there to take Parker fishing.  I finally convinced him yesterday that we had to wait for daddy to get home because I know very little about fishing and almost as soon as he got home, Parker brought it up.


We loaded up the wagon and headed to the pond and Parker was SO excited! .






Parker needed to “say Hi to the fish”!


Daddy & son fishing trip…suburb style!

Since our impromptu fishing trip totally derailed my dinner plans last night, we came home just as the mosquitoes were coming out, stashed the wagon in the garage & loaded up to grab some Chick Fil A.  Much to our surprise the “Tuesday night Family Night” attraction at Chick Fil A last night was a real race car on display.  Parker was absolutely beside himself!


He was not super thrilled with all of the people standing around watching him as he sat in the race car, but I promise, he was in little boy heaven!  They had hot wheels cars for the kids to decorate and tracks for them to race on and then as we were leaving, he got to see them loading the car into the trailer.  He was just certain that it was “Mack” the 18-wheeler that hauls Lightning McQueen on Cars.

Such sweet memories!

This Fall

This Fall

To say I’m behind on this blog would be a huge understatement.  I’m much better about posting stuff to Facebook.  Oh well.  It’s just for us anyways.

We’ve had a busy fall.  We’re all rocking and rolling at school and work and just living life.

Here’s some of our highlights from the last few months.

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August – 1st day of school…sweet angel was so sleepy!

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September – we took a Labor Day trip to the beach to check out my aunt & uncle’s new beach house!

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October – we took a trip to the pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins.

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The damage when we finally got him out of the pumpkin patch!  He loved his “pum-punks”!

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Trying on his monkey costume when my cousin, Amanda finished it

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November – lots of fun with cousins!

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Mr. Cool :)

 Birthday party and pictures to follow!

16 & 17 Months Old!

16 & 17 Months Old!

So…since I missed his post at 16 months…we’ll just combine 16 & 17…

How is it even possible that 17 months have already gone by since this sweet boy joined our family?  It seems like I just blinked one day and he had gone from an itty, bitty bundle in a blanket to a full fledged little boy.  He’s running all over the place, talks constantly, has very strong opinions :), and turns our house into a whirlwind of toys, books, balls, and puzzles in a matter of minutes.

Here are some specifics on our Parker-man over the last couple of months:

  • officially DONE with bottles!  They have all been washed, sanitized, and packed up to be used with baby #2 at some point in the future.
  • We’re assuming he’s still allergic to milk/dairy, though he can eat things that have milk as an ingredient.  We have though completely and seamlessly transitioned to soy milk and he LOVES it!  He asks for and drinks “nilk” throughout the day, but goes without it at bedtime now.   It’s been so nice that he decided he was done with it and we didn’t have to go through a transition phase.
  • Unless he’s in pain or has a bad dream, he sleeps a solid 11-13 hours at night.  He usually goes to sleep between 7:30-8:00 and wakes up about 6:30 (but will sleep until almost 8:00 on Saturdays!
  • He is completely obsessed with all things sports.  He loves to watch “ball-ball” on tv and doesn’t care which sport it is.  His frustration is very noticeable when it goes to a commercial or halftime.
  • He loves music (“susic”) and wants it on at all times – in the house or the car.
  • He is obsessed with pushing buttons.  He helps me push the buttons to start the washer & dryer, dishwasher, turn on/off the ipod or tv, light switches, etc…
  • His last 4 teeth (the pointy ones)  are coming in and it has been rough.  I think these teeth have been the worst so far.
  • Still a pretty good eater – loves almost all fruits, most veggies, meat, crackers, yogurt, applesauce, cereal bars, raisins & dried cranberries, cookies & donuts (treats), bagels, almost all types of cereal, goldfish, bread, pasta, pizza, waffles, pancakes, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and ice cream.  I’m sure there’s more, though…
  • Generally takes a 2-3 hour nap after lunch.
  • Wears size 24 month/2T clothes and size 6 shoes.
  • Weighs about 28 lbs and is 33-ish inches tall.
  • He loves to be outside watching the birds, drawing with chalk, or blowing bubbles.  He thinks its great fun to dig in the dirt in the flower pots, pull the petals off the flowers in the back yard, and help us water the plants ;).
  • Point out the airplanes, trucks, & trains when we see them outside and knows the sounds each of them make.
  • Still loves to go to school and enjoys playing with his teachers and friends every day.  He’s even starting to refer to his friends at church & school by name.
  • Now knows that nu-nu’s (pacifiers) & night-nights (blankets) are for bedtime or the car – which has been nice.  The only other time he wants them is if he gets hurt or doesn’t feel well.
  • Loves to read books and can point to, name, & make animal sounds for tons of animals
  • Talks up a storm – I think I’m done trying to write down all the words he knows – considering he has a new word  His latest words though are “peas” (please), thank you, “buc” (cup), and Pak (Kaps – my mom).

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playing with his new mower from Mimi & Poppy for Easter – he loves to “mow-mow”


Our Easter & bluebonnet pictures will have to double as 16 month pictures :)

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I just love this smile :)

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He loves to wear my sunglasses & always tries to put them on his head like I tend to wear mine :)

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silly boy!

Picture Catch-Up

Picture Catch-Up


One of my cousins got married outside at Nana’s house a few weeks ago – Parker & Adley decided to enjoy the ceremony from the swing :)


adorable :)


Amelia, Adley Ann, me, & Parker – so thankful for family


blowing bubbles :)


We have a tradition of eating breakfast for supper on Friday nights and Parker was SO excited to help me mix up the pancake batter!  He LOVED pouring the water in and helping me stir it all up!


sweet boy was so tired one day after school that he just climbed up in the chair with me and took a little snooze – I miss those afternoon naps with him!


watching Jeopardy and eating snacks from the car is a favorite after school activity :)


We finally broke down & bought a new mattress last weekend – ours had gotten really uncomfortable & neither of us realized how badly we were sleeping until our first night on the new one – so awesome!


I just love to turn around & see this sweet smile in the back seat of the car.


chowing down on an apple while we shopped at Whole Foods one evening :)


2013 Stroll for Epilepsy at the Houston Zoo – we had so much fun!


Annual crawfish boil – so delicious!


being silly at supper :) – never a dull moment with little boy!

A Day in the Life…

A Day in the Life…

Kelly, over at Kelly’s Korner does a series every Friday called “Show Us Your Life” where readers can link to her blog and show off whatever the topic for that week happens to be.  Some weeks they show off their kitchens, playrooms, holiday decor, etc…but today, the topic is “A Day in the Life”.  I obviously don’t have time (or really care to) follow every link and read how we all spend our days, but it was fun to read a few and I thought I would participate.  I know one day I will look back on my life as a working mom of a young toddler and wonder how we survived, so for memory’s sake – here goes!

As a teacher, the school year often feels like I’m running a marathon, but at the pace of a sprinter.  (I just used a running analogy – who am I?)  Mid-August through the end of May (minus a few holidays and breaks, here and there) this is what a typical day looks like for me/us.

4:45 AM – my alarm goes off.  Every night when I go to bed, I tell myself that I won’t push snooze 35 times the next morning…it never works.

5:10-5:15 AM – I finally decide to get out of bed.

5:15-6:00 AM – In this 45 minute span of time, I do the following in some semblance of the same order every day – brush my teeth, take a shower, pick out clothes, throw clothes in dryer to fluff & dewrinkle (because who has time to iron?), start the coffee, dry & straighten my hair, and get dressed.

6:00-6:20 AM – I throw my lunch together (usually leftovers from the night before), get Parker’s lunch, snacks, & drinks for the day packed, lay out Parker’s clothes & shoes, and get his bag packed with diapers & an extra outfit for school.  By this time, Matt is usually up and dressed and getting Parker up – who is beyond starving and very ready for breakfast.  Parker’s breakfast usually consists of some fruit and either a waffle, bagel, biscuit, dry cereal, yogurt, or a cereal bar.  Some mornings, if I really have it all together, I can get a can of biscuits or cinnamon rolls in the oven and he and Matt can have a hot breakfast.  If I eat breakfast, I eat dry cereal or a toasted bagel, waffle, or english muffin in the car.

6:20-6:30 AM – I gather my stuff and head out the door while my boys eat breakfast and finish getting ready to leave the house.  I should really be out of the house by about 6:15, but that rarely happens.

6:30-7:30 AM – I drive to work and put on makeup in traffic or at the stop lights.  The school is only about 20 miles from our house, but because of traffic, it take about an hour.  Matt and Parker finish breakfast and finish getting dressed and then leave the house about 6:45 and it also takes them close to an hour to get to Parker’s school.

7:15-7:30 AM – I walk into the building usually as the last bell is ringing to start 1st period and dodge students who are sprinting through the halls to get to class on time.

7:30-8:15 AM – I start the day with a 45 minute Team Leader Conference Period.  Ideally, this time would be used to take care of my team leader responsibilities  but most of the time, I end up checking email, running copies for the day/wrap my head around the plan for the day, and (let’s just be honest) checking Facebook and Google Reader.

My first class starts at 8:20 AM and I pretty much fly through the rest of the school day, enjoying another 45 minute conference period and a 25 minute lunch break, interspersed between the 5 classes I teach.  School ends at 2:30 and on Mon/Wed/Fri I leave by 2:45 or 2:50 to pick up Parker by 3:00; on Tues/Thurs, Parker stays at school until about 3:45 or 4:00 so I can stay at school and grade, write lessons, or hold tutorials.

3:30-5:30 PM – Parker and I arrive at home, sometimes stopping to run a quick errand if need be, between 3:30 & 4:30.  Once we get home, we have  snacks, play, watch Jeopardy, unpack bags & lunches, clean up from the whirlwind of a morning, do some laundry, etc…  I start dinner around 5:15 or 5:30 and Matt is usually home by 5:45.  We talk, play outside, finishing cooking and eat supper by about 6:15.

7:00-8:00 PM – Parker is entering whiny phase and we switch into bedtime mode.  We play upstairs in the game room, take a bath, get pajamas on, and read books before having a bottle and rocking him to sleep.

For the rest of the evening, we pick up the house, (ideally) make lunches, pack bags, & pick out clothes for the next day, and use this time to actually talk to each other :).  We’ll watch some recorded show or sometimes work on a project in the garage.  Alot of the time, I fall asleep watching TV and we both stumble off to bed between 10:30-11:30 PM.

Aaaand, there you have it – a day in the exciting life of the Mango’s!  Our life isn’t perfect, but through all of the craziness of our days, I am most thankful for a couple of things – picking up a happy, smiling baby from school everyday where he has been loved on all day long and a wonderful husband who works so hard to support our family, but comes home ready to play and help with anything and everything for the rest of the evening!