Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Well, last night Finn learned the meaning of true disappointment.  It all started when we went over to Uncle David’s house to watch WrestleMania.  This is like the Super Bowl of professional wrestling.  Finn has been looking forward to this event for a long, long time because his favorite wrestler was fighting in the main event.

We got to David and Sharon’s house around 7:30.  We had church that evening so we missed a couple of the big events (Intercontinental Ladder Match, the Andre the Giant Match and the match between Randy Orton (another of Finn’s favorites) and Seth Rolllins.

Once we were settled in, Uncle David brought out his WWE Heavy weight belt and the boys went nuts.  Sam and Finn were so pumped.  They wrestled and jumped off of things and cheered for a couple of hours.  Sam was really excited during the John Cena v. Rusev match – he sang John Cena’s entrance music and strutted around.

We didn't get to stay for the main event because Aunt Sharon went into labor and had to go to the hospital!  Once we got home, Michael hooked the computer up to TV and we watched some of the stuff we missed. We caught up on the Ladder Match and Orton/Rollins match and then we watched the Main Event.  It was closing in on 11:00 so Sam went on to bed while Finn and I snuggled on the couch. 

I have to hand it to the WWE – they taught Finn an important lesson last night – and that lesson was “the good guys don’t always win.”  Needless to say Finn’s “guy” didn't win last night, but the way in which he lost killed Finn’s spirit.  Since I was snuggling with him, I could actually feel the hope leave his little body.  He looked so defeated when he said, “mom, I am so frustrated.”  Then his little eyes welled up with tears.  He is so used to seeing the “good guy” win that he didn't know how to handle the idea that sometimes the “bad guy” comes out on top. 

Overall, it was night filled with, drama, excitement, intrigue and heartache!  Who knew the WWE was so awesome!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dental Bliss 2015

On Thursday afternoon we took the boys to the Dentist.  They have dreaded this day for the past two years - approximately the last time they went to the dentist.  Despite my terrible scheduling, neither boy had a cavity.  I guess I do an awesome job brushing their teeth.

Finn was pretty nervous, but for the most part was a pro.  He didn't squirm, cry or fuss.

This is Sam watching Finn get his teeth cleaned.

Next it was Sam's turn.  He was pretty excited at first.

He liked wearing the glasses.

Then he started to get a little nervous.
Going . . .

Going . . .


I didn't get any more pictures because I had to straddle Sam during the entire cleaning.  He cried the entire time.  He didn't want to open his mouth for Dr. Templeton  so I looked at him and say "say ahhh" (just like we do when we brush his teeth).  He opened his mouth as wide as he could and yelled "ahh."  He participated in the process - but it was not willing. 

After we got home Sam told me that he wanted to go back to the denist office.  However, the purpose of this visit was to exact his revenge. He specifically mentioned the following: 

1. Shine in the light in the dentists eyes!
2. Make the dentists lay in the chair!
3. Make the dentist say "ahh"!
4. Use the tooth string (dental floss)!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

More Swimming


I love the weekend!  On the weekdays I get up at 5:00 to go workout in our dark, cold garage. But on the weekends, I get to sleep in until at least 8:00!  You may ask, what do you do with the boys? Well, now that they are older, we let them play in the playroom and watch cartoons.

Over the past few days, Finn has really stepped up and has assumed the role of Sam's caretaker while Michael and I caught up on some sleep.  First he took Sam to the bathroom and then let Sam borrow some of his WWE Smackdown underwear.  Then Finn turned on something for Sam to watch.  More specifically, he ordered 3 movies off of pay per view.  He ordered "Big Hero Six" two times and the "Scooby Doo" movie; a total of $21.00.  Awesome . . .

Then he made Sam a healthy breakfast of Doritos, Oreos and grapes.

Then there was this . . . I guess it was bound to happen. Finn told me that before we "caught" them he had actually dragged Sam over the railing into the top bunk.   Finn's babysitter duties have been suspended.

This is a picture of Sam eating apples with peanut butter.  He loved it.  Every time he took a bite, he would turn around, give me "the business" face and grunt "ummm" (as in yum).

Here are the boys playing "Xbox" together.  Yes, this is how it usually goes.  Finn plays while Sam looks on close by.

Well, we have a new obsession in our house. WWE.  This is big time obsession and one that I have to say is really entertaining. Finn loves Roman Reigns and goes around "superman punching" things.  Finn also loves to dress like his favorite wrestlers.  One day last week he came downstairs wearing a pair of tight blue jeans and a plain white t-shirt so that we could pretend to be Dean Ambrose.  He has also found Michael's old tattoo sleeve.  It is a tube made out of pantyhose material that one can wear to look like you have "sleeves."  Well, since Roman Reigns has a sleeve, Finn has to wear one too.  It is so precious.

Michael lets the boys listen to the wrestlers "entrance" music in the car.  So now Sam struts around singing John Cena's music.  John Cena is Sam's favorite wrestler.

This is Sam doing Daniel Bryan's "Yes!"

Last night Uncle David, Uncle James and Aunt Chelsea came by to watch the NCAA tournament. We watched some of the tournament, but ended up watching wrestling too.  The boys love it when their Uncles stop by.  They asked a hundred times yesterday when David and James would be here.  I didn't see the reaction when Uncle David got here (I was out getting pizza), but when Uncle James and Aunt Chelsea walked in the boys ran up to them and threw their arms around them.

Friday, March 20, 2015


For the last several months Finn has had several conversations with us about Salvation. He has many questions about Heaven, Hell, Jesus and being a Christian.  On many occasions Finn has told us that he has prayed to ask Jesus into his heart and to forgive him of his sins.  We have been very cautious because we want to make sure that he truly understands.  After several nights of questions, Michael told me we should probably have him speak with a children's minister at church.  Michael mentioned it to Finn and he was "on board."  He also wanted Michael to ask about being baptized.  As an aside, Finn has started to practice being baptized in the bathtub.

We did end up talking to a children's minister last week and he told us that Long Hollow Baptist believes that in most children, age 6 is an age where children can start to really grasp the concept that their sin makes them an enemy of God.  He encouraged us to keep working with Finn and bring him in after he turns 6.  We agreed to do so.

Most of the time Finn has these conversations with Michael.  Well, last night he brought it up with me.  He said, "mom, are you going to Heaven?" I told him that I am.  He then asked, "do you anyone else that is going to Heaven?"  I told him that Papa Bruce would be going to Heaven.  His face dropped a little and he whispered, "will he be going soon?"  I said, "yes, Finn, he will be going soon."  Then Finn asked, "Mom, do they have cell phones in Heaven."  I shrugged my shoulders and said, "why do you ask?"  Finn, in his most sincere voice, said, "well, if there are phones, Papa Bruce can call us and tell us all about heaven."  He said it with such great hope and expectations.  I was too overcome with emotion to do anything other than give him a kiss on the forehead and tuck him in to bed. I wish it could be so.  We have much to look forward to! In the meantime, we will continue to fight the good fight.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Finn's Horrible Life

Yesterday, after picking the boys up from school, I decided to run a few errands.  It was really nice outside so making both boys walking into Kroger Marketplace did not seem so daunting.  Once inside Finn spotted a "Baymax" book that he really wanted to look at.  I didn't want to look at the Baymax book because I really didn't want to have the argument about my refusal to purchase the Baymax book.  Finn, bless his heart, is a tad . . .  how do I say this nicely . . . materialistic, self absorbed and greedy.  Yes, that sums it up about right.

Once Finn realized that I was not going to acquiesce to his request (yes, I stole this line from Pirates of the Caribbean) he resorts to making statements that are designed to hurt me.  He would say things like:

1. "Mom, you are so mean."
2. "Mom, I am so mad at you."
3. "Mom, I can't believe you would so this to me."

Sam, the sweetest child to grace the planet, raced to my defense.  After every mean/hurtful statement that Finn made, Sam would stare him down and say very sternly, "THAT IS MY MAMA."  Then he would face me and give me (what I interpreted as) a protective hug.

In a last ditch effort to convince me to give him what he wanted Finn said, "Mom, I was wrong to have ever loved you."  Sounds like a terrible country music song.

When we got home Finn got to spend some quality time in "timeout" for a few disrespectful statements.  After he simmered down a bit we all four went outside to play. Sam is ferocious with a wiffle bat.

Later that evening we went to Dairy Queen to cash in on "Free Ice Cream Cone" night.

I warned Michael that I would put this picture on the blog.

It was a fun night.  The weather was great and both of my children loved me at the same time.  One could argue that it is quite difficult to strongly dislike your parent when she is shoving ice cream down your throat. Parenthood at its finest. 

Oh, and Sam finally went potty at school - fully clothed.  He has been doing great at home - but has had a hard time at school.  He almost refuses to go potty as school unless he can take off his shoes, socks, pants, and pull-up. Ms. Sonya reported that Sam finally "went" without mandating au naturel from the waist down. Big day in the Begley home!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Climb Nashville

On Saturday we went with our friends Dustin and Elena to Climb Nashville.  Michael and I have never been indoor climbing so I was a little nervous that I wouldn't be strong enough to do it.  We got there about 5:00.  Before we were allowed to climb, we had put on our harness, our climbing shoes and had to take a belay course.  After the course we were free to climb.  This is a picture of the main climbing wall.  It was pretty daunting to look up at from the floor.

I loved indoor climbing.  It was REALLY hard.  It killed my forearms and my hands.  By the end of each attempt up the wall, my forearms and hands would literally shake uncontrollably.  I was able to climb to the top of a 5.8. By the time I got to the top I was so out of breath that I could barely ask my belayer to let me down. Coming down is so much fun - it is almost just like repelling.  You just lean back, kick off the wall and go down.  It was awesome.

Michael was able to scale a 5.9.  Dustin did a 5.10

Next we met our friends Roger and Anna for supper at Burger Republic.

While we were climbing, the boys hung with Gran.  They went to Barnes and Noble and bought book.  Finn got a "Big Hero 6" book and Sam a "Disney Character" book.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

And I Will Pop Back Up

Today the boys started swimming lessons at Sea Star Swim School.  In preparation for the task at hand, we have been talking about taking lessons for months.  Finn has not been happy about the prospect of swimming lessons, because as he puts it, "I will surely die.".  Every time we talk about it Finn will say something along the lines of, "I don't want to do to swimming lessons because I will drown."  I have assured him  that he will be very well taken care of by his teacher. As always, Finn had a come back:  "Well, what if a bad guy comes in and hurts my teacher and then drowns me." Sheesh - this child has a lot of worry about.

Sam's response has been a little different.  For the last few days Sam will walk up to me randomly and say, "and I will pop back up!?  It is somewhat of a statement/somewhat of a question. Then he waits for the reassurance that yes, in fact, he will pop back up out of the water unscathed.

I must admit that  I have been nefariously excited about this lesson for weeks.  I couldn't wait to see what my children would be forced to endure at swim class.

I arrived at the school around 3:15 and bought googles for the boys.  Then Gran and I waited on Grandad and the boys to arrive.  Once inside, I took the boys to the locker room and put them in their swimming trunks.  I gave them one last word of encouragement and put them in the water.

They put all the kids on a platform that had a horizontal pole attached.  This way all the kids can safely be in the water at the same time.  Next they started with the exercises.  First they grabbed the boys under their arms and made them take one pass (from the platform to the end of the pool and back) just leaning forward and kicking their feet.

The second pass was very similar except they made the boys dunk their heads under the water every few steps.  The third pass involved the boys floating on their backs. Next the boys got on the kick board and kicked all the way down to the end of the pool and back. After the kick board they did a few more passes then started working on pulling themselves out of the pool.  Once they were out they were instructed to sit on the side and dangle their feet in the water.  Then they were instructed to scoot into the water and let their heads go under, pop up and reach for the side.  Finn went first.  The second Sam saw Finn's head go in the water he stood up and stormed off to the back wall and vehemently refused to come back.  Luckily Finn was able to encourage Sam to walk back over to the pool and to sit back out on his bottom. Last they made the kids go hand-over-hand down the side of the pool to the steps.

We watched the whole thing from behind a plexi-glass window.  While we could see the boys, we couldn't hear them.  Finn's facial expressions were ones of pure excitement and determination.  He was a little apprehensive at first, but he caught on real quick.  After every pass he looked over to where we were watching and gave us a thumbs up.

As for Sam, we initially thought that he was having a great time.  It was later that we realized that the muffled scream that we kept hearing was actually coming from Sam.  Finn later confirmed that Sam cried through most of the lesson.  Finn was so good to Sam.  He was encouraging and put his arm around Sam when they were standing together.  Every time Sam would get finished with his turn he would immediately find Finn and go stand right next to him.  I thought that Sam might actually push one poor child into the water - nothing was going to stand in Sam's way of getting back to Finn.

Finn's "after" photo. After the lesson was over Finn ran over to us - he was so proud of himself.  He said, "AND I DIDN'T EVEN DROWN!" He told us that he was excited to come back next week and that we wasn't scared anymore.  This was a huge success for Finn. 

This is Sam's "after" photo.  Sam did about as well as expected given that he is barely three years old.  I would characterize Sam's experience as follows:  "they can make me go, but they can't make me enjoy it."

After a few minutes, Sam came around and said that he liked it too.  Back in the locker room, Finn was still reeling from his lesson.  He talked 100 miles per hour about how fun it was and how proud he was of himself.  Gran, Grandad and I reinforced how proud we were too. 

Once back in their dry clothes the boys watched the older kids swim.  They were mesmerized with kids jumping off of the diving boards.

As a treat, Gran and I took the boys to Culvers for some frozen custard.  Finn continued to tell us over and over how much he loved his class. 

Once we got home, I gave the boys a bath.  Finn practiced laying his head back in the water.  When he sat up he said, "mom, a day that starts with Lucky Charms and ends with Ice Cream is a pretty good day." This statement tickled me because it sounded so grown up.  I take it that the boys had Lucky Charms for breakfast at Grandad and Gigi's house. 

Earlier in the the day I went to visit Papa at the ICU in Vanderbilt.  Laura had been with him all night so I was able hang out with her and drink coffee for much of the morning.  Even though it was an emotional visit, I was so happy to get to sit and talk with Aunt Laura for so long. I was also able to see Granny and Uncle David too. 

Thanksgiving 2017

 The Begley crew arrived at Nana and Papa's house on Wednesday night around supper time.  We unpacked and set the boys up in their new ...