Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chuck and Cheese

Where better to go after church on a snowy/rainy Sunday morning than "Chuck and Cheese's". And so we did. We'd spent the majority of the weekend cleaning and chore-ing, so we decided we needed to be out of the house for the remainder of the day. The pizza was terrible, but the games were fun. And the boys are still little enough that 35 tokens goes a very long way past their attention spans.
Lucas loved all the little rides. He wasn't too sure about Barney singing to him, but he really liked the rocket that took him up and down.
We played a little Dance Dance Revolution, but it really didn't go well. So we just hopped around for our turn. I really couldn't figure it out; Brian just shook his head and stood idly by.

Lucas was kind of posessive of the game after we were finished - felt he had dominated!
Afterwards we ran a few errands, spent some time at the Boise Library so I could get ready for my reading groups, and then ended our fun weekend at Goodies in Hyde Park. We went there a lot in college- was kind of fun to take the boys though we left such a mess I don't know if they'll invite us back....
It was hard (of course) to say good-bye to daddy, but the tears were gone by the time we hit the highway. And now we are ready for the next 12 days. I have lots of goodies baked, the dishes are done and put away, every bit of laundry is done (even the boys' sheets and coats), and I have a brand new chore chart for Ethan. He told me he'd like a car (hotwheels type thing) and so now he's going to earn it. My favorite way to earn a sticker is the "no tantrums all day" column. That should help us all.
Off to bed - still feeling somewhat healthier and coming along. Praying for continued getting-better-ness. I just tried to eat some garden salsa chips and I'd say my throat is not yet at 100%. Here's looking to a great week!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

This is how boys bond....

So glad to have Daddy home... We're all feeling much healthier (I think, though my antibiotics are now gone and I live in fear of regrowing whatever that infection was)... We've made more nutrigrain-ish bars, granola bars, and muffins. Brian and the boys cleaned the house while I ran errands, and we all watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Brian also took the car in for an estimate and turns out I cracked the radiator. Great. Can't put off repairing that. And then he took the flat on the Subaru in and all 4 tires need to be replaced. Ugh. So, good thing he got this job!
Chores done and now we're just relaxing - out to dinner tonight - and who knows tomorrow. We're just thankful to be with Daddy!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


So what a week.... We started off great - Ethan started Karate and really liked it. He played "karate teacher" that night and gave us all a lesson. I think it'll be a good fit for him, but am hoping they really emphasize that it's not okay to hit people outside of class, because the next day he got in trouble for punching a boy in his class in the face. We think it was just because he wasn't feeling well. He came down with a nasty cough and who knows what. I've been really sick the last two days with some sort of throat thing. It has not been a happy week in the Sprague Family. I think I'm improving - the swelling is way down and I can open my mouth again, so that's good. I still can't eat more than a few bites of anything - ugh. But, hey, Brian comes home late tomorrow night and we are sooooo excited! I can't wait!
And this is how Lucas ended dinner. I feel the same way!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

He'd make a good sheriff...

Cutting it short, because I am EXHAUSTED. 26 fifth graders is nothing compared to two toddlers all weekend! The pic is from our playdate yesterday- hilarious!
Today we spent cleaning! I think we (and by "we" I am sure you realize I mean me and the two anti-cleaners proudly taking everything out behind me) probably cleaned a total of 4 hours. Maybe more. And we bathed, crockpotted a meal, graded a bunch of papers, 4 loads of laundry, and got to go wish Miss Ella Grace a Happy First Birthday! Ethan loved playing with her, though Lucas was really only interested in her toys and was not happy if she touched the ones he wanted. It was fun to catch up with the Simmonds family and to see Ella crawlin' around everywhere!
I have a few more sets of papers, but I seriously don't think I can take it - so off to bed I go. At 6:41, yes. Sad, but I'm sure I'll watch TV for a bit and drink the LAST (hint hint Brian) of my Market Spice tea.
So yes, weekend by ourselves #2 was not nearly as rough, though I'm throwing in the towel pretty early!
5 more sleeps!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Adventures in Baking

The last half of this week flew by. Insane to be sure. I'm not sure what we even did on Thursday... I had soe great days at school - such a fun class - and then Friday, the boys and I worked on making homemade granola bars. Not sure they're a ton healthier than the store bought ones, but a lot less ingredients - more natural, I suppose.
The ones with peanut butter didn't really stick together- more like granola clumps.... but they're sticky. The ones with brown sugar stuck fine, almost too sticky....
The nutrigrain bars turned out great - though I didn't follow the recipe exactly and should have - a little too bready... But Lucas loves them and they actually turned out less calories and sugar than the real thing. I used sugar-free preserves in the filling. So now I can feed these to Lucas and not worry about him having too much sugar and us going broke over them!

Today we had a play date with one of Ethan's friends from daycare. She has the nicest mommy ever - invited us all over and we played and played! Then we went to Wendy's for lunch. Ethan and his friend were just giggly and had a great time. Lucas tried to destroy the restaurant, but what's new. My favorite trick of his was when he chucked his sprite over his head.
When we were leaving, the two big kids were holding hands. Ethan was wiggling all around, so she shouted, "Ethan - FOCUS!" I loved it. She's very assertive. He needs that :)
All I want to do is go lay down under my heated blanket and catch up on TV. And so, I'm putting off the chores until morning and doing just that!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


First of all - this picture is AWESOME! Thanks Mom!
And now.... so, I thought I would do a nice thing and take Brian's car to workout tonight... He wanted it driven every now and then and I hadn't yet, so I bucked up and went for it... The alignment was awful - kept running me off the road - so I called him and he said, "Oh yeah, the right front tire is low. You'll have to put some air in it." ARE YOU KIDDING ME? So I had to go, in freezing, windy, temperatures, to the gas station and try and figure out how to do it. Of course Brian was helping me over the phone, but I couldn't really hear him over the CRAZY WINDSTORM and he kept talking about some number thingy, which I could absolutely not find, as it was PITCH BLACK out. I got it back on (I THINK) and headed off, only to be bombarded by some sagebrush flying across my windshield.
Oh the things I took for granted... Next step - figure out how to change the airfilters.... But that actually requires tools...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Fabulous Weekend

It started with a crazy airplane ride with two very silly (and not so nice to their mother) boys. We survived and made it easily to the light rail. That was really cool - Ethan was fascinated by the workings of it. Lucas did NOT want to sit still, but finally gave me some peace while he ate Apple Jacks. Meeting Daddy at the end of the light rail was SO great! The boys lit up and were so so so excited to see him. We trekked in the cold wet air down to the ferry where we had a delicious (and whoops, high calorie) dinner at World Wraps. It was Aloha Friday - and there were people there giving out leis. I loved it!
The ferry boat was fun. Lucas went through two diapers and Ethan had to go potty. And I just sat and smiled. It was a nice "welcome back to reality" for Brian! Mostly the boys were just thrilled to be snuggling with their Daddy.

Trying to pose nice never goes well anymore... never both at the same time.
More excitement as Upa met us at the ferry and Uma at the house a short car ride later. We were all exhausted and went to sleep - sleeping better than any of us had in quite a while!
The next day we got to have Happy Hour with Nana - that was great fun! We love our Nana so much! Lucas was excited to tell her all of his new "words". Ethan showed off his puzzle skills.
They both ate a TON of cheese and crackers - just like their Daddy. That worked out well because it left lots of smoked salmon for me!
We played games and laughed a lot as Brian tried ever-so-hard to actually play this game with sticks- it was a race before the boys destroyed it!
Then it was date night! We went to Whiskey Creek and had a blast. Live music, delicious food, and lots and lots of laughs. Brian refused to dance (and no, no one else was dancing, but we could have started it!)

Sunday we went for a "hike" around my parents' backyard. The boys loved getting lost in the wods, and searching for animals. We didn't really find any, but they liked looking. We spent the day just hanging out as a family - fabulous! Monday morning was a sad good-bye to Daddy - but we softened the blow a bit by heading to the Boeing Museum of Flight.

The boys got to climb in real airplanes (yes, I realize they have climbed in many real airplanes, but not like this!) and do flight simulations and all sorts of stuff. It was fascinating to look around, though there was way too much for their (or my) little brains to handle. We had a lot of fun - neat place!
Pretty soon it was time to say good-bye to Uma and Upa too. Ethan kept begging to stay "forever"! He didn't understand why we couldn't just stay with Daddy. Broke my heart.
The airport was an adventure. They were rowdy little boys - and not so happy to sit in the stroller! We shared a mini cheese pizza and they rolled around on the floor much to the delight of the other passengers. The airplane went fine except they were LOUD. And at night flights are usually nice and quiet. Not this one. Sorry folks! They did enjoy when Ethan announced that "Only BOYS can go to Boise! Not GIRLS!" And then he told them "My mom SAID!" No, I did not....
And now we're home - and 22 hours later we're missing Daddy, but counting down until he comes here (11 sleeps till the boys see him!). What fun!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gotta Love Tuesdays!

So, Tuesdays are 1/2 price Happy Meal night around here. Beth brought her boys over and was so great to pick up the food on the way. We had a blast! It was great just to laugh and enjoy the boys with another adult! I miss that!
I can't believe how well-behaved they all were and how nicely they played with each other. The big boys played some guitars, made some playdough masterpieces, and sorted the cars.

The little guys just kinda followed each other around, playing with everything. They definitely were interacting in their own way. Raleigh really liked anything he could swing and Lucas just liked dumping everything out. Cracked me up!
So great to have a friend like Beth! I so needed that!
Wednesday flew by crazy fast! Ethan picked up a few new phrases... "Actually... I don't want to go there..." and "You think so? I don't think so."
Today - got crazy beautiful flowers delivered from Brian! Yellow and white roses- gorgeously wrapped with chocolates and a sweet note! What an awesome surprise! I was totally ridiculous and carried them around everywhere I went today- but they were just beautiful and so happy.
Only one more sleep till we see Daddy! So exciting!

Monday, January 11, 2010


"Ethan, what do you want for dinner?"
"Um.... Let's go to the store and get some samples. Okay Mommy?"

"2 days till Christmas.... um... how do I get to a year?"

"I am a slapper-wrapper! My slapper-wrapper bones are found deep in the ground" (velociraptor)

"Wow, I like this grass! Thanks you for cleaning the grass mommy!" (the snow is all melted?)

And he picked out his own jammies and put them on all by himself! Picked out Lucas' jammies too!

"Joosh!" (for juice)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oxygen is Good

"He's so handsome and so... smart"
"No mom. You doing it wrong. I'm so handsome and so SWEET."
"Well, you are smart too... and strong... and caring..."
"Yep, I like carrying big stuff. I good at that."
Yesterday... Our one big outing was to Costco for lunch. That was a total success - as always. Nothing is better for toddlers than a new food around every corner. Their favorite - surprisingly - was a multigrain cracker with cream cheese and smoked salmon. They loved it! Not fair to me since that meant I didn't get very much. I don't like to share the good stuff! Another highlight - the popchips - fascinating! And delicious. However, too expensive to be logical...
The rest of the day we went stir crazy. By evening time, we'd all lost it. So, early to bed and prayers for a good night's sleep for all of us! (Most of all me)
Today, I decided we needed more planned. So (after the world's most ridiculously stupid and long tantrum over putting a shirt on) I packed up the boys early and we drove out to church. We were super early since I was hoping they'd sleep, so I pulled into Tulley's and treated myself. The boys were fabulous at church and then, because it was SO sunny (!) we headed off for the zoo. We're members, so it's a good place to hang out, as long as it's not too cold that is.
We had such an awesome afternoon. Lucas is finally old enough to really interact with the animals and boy did he. He mimicked their sounds and shouted "HIII-EEE" to all of them.
Ethan loved the lions - as always.... They were pretty sleepy, but they did start "Roar"-ing and Ethan and Lucas gave it right back.
It was cold, but with the sun shining and no wind to speak of, we weren't uncomfortable at all. I got a bit of a workout pushing the stroller around. We just enjoyed each other- something important after yesterday!
In the rainforest, the monkeys were very active! They kept coming right up to the glass. Lucas was kind of freaked out by it at first, but by the end, the boys were both giving hugs through the glass.
They even posed nicely for a picture - who woulda thunk it? Maybe we all just needed a bit of fresh air.
Ethan tried really hard to make friends with a little girl on the slide. She wanted nothing to do with him though. Luckily, he just kept bossing her around and didn't even realize she wasn't paying attention.
The boys spent some time digging for fossils and probably would have stayed all day if I hadn't gotten bored. Note to self: Bring book to read next time.
They were so good - but we were pretty hungry because the food stands weren't open (I did get the lady to get me a soft pretzel), so I promised the boys if they took a nap in the car, we'd go someplace special. They did, so off we went to Buffalo Wild Wings. We had a totally healthful (yes, sarcasm) meal of french fries and mini corndogs. The boys were yet again wonderful - which continued (mostly) until bedtime. Yep, I think a bit of fresh air did us all good. Let that be a lesson to me - GIVE THE KIDS RECESS THIS WEEK!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hatchin' Dinos

Santa brought Ethan a dinosaur egg for Christmas. So last week, we took it out and got ready to hatch it.
We had to soak it for a long time. "When's it gonna crack Mom? It bigger yet? I gonna watch it. Gonna crack crack crack. Dino gonna crack crack crack." At first I really liked the song, 4 days later, not so much...

But it did start to crack and finally, last night (with a little help from the dino fairy) the shell let him loose. "He's bigger! He CRACKED!"

We had to take him out and put him in his new home, so he can grow. "How big's he gonna be mom? He's gonna be big like you? Big like me, or small like Lucas?" Oh goodness, I hope none of the above....
There's a little issue with his new home. The curved glass creates quite the illusion. That dino DID grow. I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep. Oh, but then I look from the top and we're good to go. I suppose we'll have to name him. If only I could get him to float upright so it didn't look like a dead dinosaur all the time...
I told my class about him today and one student replied, "So, is it real?" I swear he was serious. We may need to revisit the meaning of extinct...
One week down and we survived! We're all pretty tired. Ethan asked me if he could go to bed at 5:45. I held them off until 6:30, but it was difficult.
And now I'm eating my dinner of goldfish crackers and salad - delicious, waiting for an acceptable time to go to bed myself.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Ever-Changing Eye...

"You crazy?" (Ethan's new favorite phrase)
I forgot to mention Lucas' eye in my last post. Yep, it's a shiner. Another boy in his class was getting a toy down and whacked Lucas in the eye. He is always in the wrong spot at the wrong time, I swear! It hasn't seemed to bother him though - just looks really pretty - kind of like purple eyeshadow. The boys love brushing their teeth. It might be the highlight of their evening and morning (how boring are we!) But, we know and are ever reminded, routines are key, and so it has become quite the event. We've figured out a schedule to Skype with Brian (first thing in the morning) and that seems to help. We also made a paper chain for the days until we see him (by "made a paper chain" I mean we found the paper chain they made at daycare for Christmas and adapted it to the right # of days).
Brian got two job offers here in Boise today - kind of funny. They would have been "settling" jobs, so it's really better he didn't get the offers earlier. I keep telling myself that :)
I'm excited to go to school tomorrow - Micron is coming to do a "States of Matter" demonstration for the kids. I know there'll be dry ice and I figure some sort of fun explosions, so that should be a good stress release.

Oh - and if you want a giggle - here's what we ate this week:
Monday - Grilled Cheese with Spaghetti Sauce
Tuesday - Happy Meals from McDonald's (Thanks Santa Nana!)
Wednesday - Cereal with Raisins
Thursday - Bagel Bites and Apple Sauce

Will I ever cook again? I keep flashing back to when my mom went back to school and my dad was home with us - we ate hot dogs and corn or pancakes just about every night. I loved it!

And another thing? There was a dead, frozen mouse in our driveway. I freaked out about it and was so happy the next morning when it was gone. Then, I came back after school and WAS BACK. So, I cleaned it up. I sucked it up and just did it. I'm kind of proud of myself. Now I'm just praying there will be no spiders over the next 5 months.

And now that you have my random thoughts (you'll be getting many more of these posts I fear as I don't have much adult interaction in the evenings) I should probably stop talking. I'm even driving myself crazy :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Down with Stomache Bugs!

So I guess the ER doc I formerly referred to as crazy was right... It was just a tummy virus that Lucas had. How do I know? The last night Brian was here, Ethan got so so so so sick, all night long and into the next morning. Then Brian got it that night, though not so violently... And then last night was my turn. So now that we've all had it, I'm hoping we can move on. I was home tody and hoped to do some cleaning, but that didn't happen. Oh well, tomorrow's another day.
As far as Brian goes - he's doing great and excited about what he's working on. We don't get to talk to him much, as our schedules are kind of opposite, but we're hoping to have a daily Skype chat in the mornings. We miss him terribly, though I think the boys are still having a hard time conceptualizing that Brian's not here.
As for being a faux-single parent? I'm getting a bit better - more organized, more forgiving of myself... We've changed a few things routine wise to help - eating really simple dinners - like the "fondue" in the pictures - grilled cheese cut into strips, with matchstick carrots, all to dip into spaghetti sauce.

Ethan was a pro. Lucas not so much. He just wanted to lick the sauce off the bowls. Don't know where he learned that habit...
I'm really praying for a good night's sleep tonight - that's my goal. And a nice big cup of coffee in the morning! I couldn't drink any today and that probably made me feel as bad as the bug did... Onward we go...

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Smashing End to the Year

I was all set up to do a fabulously nostalgic post about the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2009, but life got in the way. I picked up the boys from daycare yesterday. It was snowing and when I slowed down to turn into the neighborhood, we slid up onto a median and into a rock fountain. It wasn't horrible - not bad enough for airbags - and luckilyour neighbor (who happens to do a lot of mechanic-ing) was driving by and checked it out and helped tow us off the ledge. We made it home and everyone seemed fine. Then an hour later Lucas started throwing up. So, Brian came home and took us all to the ER to get checked. The doctor saw nothing of concern -thinks the vomiting was just coincidental (I so did not agree) and discharged us. Lucas took some anti-naseau meds and has been fine since, albeit sleepy. I'm sore, but feeling better the more I move around. What a fun way to end the year? Blech!
Brian moves to WA Sunday morning - it's all still somewhat surreal... I am so so so excited for him. It's going to be wild ride around here, but the boys showed me tonight that we are fully capable of getting through this together. They both are becoming so independent (to their own levels) and helpful (ok, just Ethan on that one..)
2009? It was a great year in that my boys became so big and started really being brothers. For me, my transition into my new school really became complete and I feel like I gained a lot as a teacher. For Brian? He gained a lot of patience and perseverance. He never gave up and now we look forward to 2010! A year of transition, a year of strength, a year of Skype and phones, and a year of hope. Bring it on 2010 - we expect big things of you!