Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Feels important....

Somehow birthday #29 feels important - like it means something. It's bye-bye to anything considered the "mid-twenties" and hello to "almost 30". I feel like I need some sort of 30 bucket list for the next year. Though really? I love who I am, where I am, what I've done and am doing. So it's a great birthday - and the best presents (besides those amazing chocolate covered strawberries from Brian, of course) are these two little men.
Ethan has been working on his letters and sounds most every waking minute. And he loves it. We worked on putting those sounds together - it's a struggle, but he's got the "at" word family pretty much down. So proud of him. And when I tell him? "I'm proud of myself too mom, for my letters."
Tonight he helped make my "clean out the fridge and freezer" trifle dessert. He kept running in to tell me that he had a secret, but shhh don't tell! And when my mom asked him to repeat what she told him about the first trifle she served to Brian and I (according to her, that's when we fell in love), he said, "They were born in love!"
Melt my heart.

And this guy - has decided he'd like to dress himself from now on and tries so hard every morning. Of course, his shirt is on his leg and his pants always have one pant leg on (because the shirt's on the other leg) and he screams like a banshee if I try to help him - but it's so fun to see him trying so hard to grow up. He started talking in sentences this week - Mostly "I SEE BOAT! I SEE KITTY! I SEE IT MOMMEEEE! A BITE MOMMEEE!" But I love it. He eats his own food and then proceeds to walk around to everyone else's plates for a bite. "bite PEASE!"

I'm blessed. I'm happy. The end. Well, no, the middle.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Weekends are meant for fun.

The boys really don't get to see Daddy much during the week - so the weekend is the time to really soak up that quality time! Saturday morning, we woke up and headed to the waterfront for a shared donut from the bakery, some coffee, and then a picnic lunch - amidst the Nordic Midsummer Fest - very exciting. I thought Ethan'd be excited, as these guys were far closer to pirates than the pilgrims were - but alas, none too impressed.
We hit the Marine Science Center just in time to see the Octopus eat - that was so cool! He normally just sleeps in the corner, so seeing him fly (swim) across the tank after the crab was awesome. And then the crab was no more. Except a few pieces of shell.
Then it was off to Toy Story 3 - so funny! Especially the parts with the toddler room - reminded us of our toddler (who took a nap instead of seeing the movie).
The next day we did church (so much fun to see old friends!) and then drove over to the KidiMu. The boys loved showing it all to Daddy, but mostly just the electric car.
Ethan had fun spying on people too - with his "spotting scope".
A fabulous dinner - kabobs- with the 'rents and then off to bed to get ready for a sooo exciting Monday. We spent the morning with my high school friend, Ruth, and her adorable family at a park in town. So funny to see the similarities and differences of our kids! And the baby (7 wks) was just adorable!
Then - it was finally time!
Swimming lessons! Ethan was a great listener. And he even serenaded his class waiting for his turn with the teacher. The goggles were my favorite part. He looks good in goggles.
He had so much fun and was just enthralled that his teacher was "a boy!" Then Upa and Uma snatched him up and took the boys to a BBQ while I went to salsa lessons. The boys - were fabulously behaved and shined beautifully. Apparently they are only naughty when I'm there! And my dance lessons - a lot of fun and a great workout -I loved it!
So yeah, we're keeping busy.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Where Have We Been?

Catching up on sleep.... Hanging out with Nana...... Celebrating Fathers... (Happy Father's Day Babe - we are so thankful for you! And to be with you again!!)

Playing in the backyard on the totally cool playset Uma and Upa built....
Going on bear hunts in our backyard woods...
Getting haircuts (that totally make Lucas the spitting image of Daddy!)... Hanging out at Starbucks...
And doing everything "BY MYS SELF!" Like making the "perfet cheese bread." (And he did it totally by himself - besides cutting the bread. He just announced in the car that he could make cheesebread to go with our spaghetti and I went with it. He did want to add an egg and I vetoed that, but otherwise- impressive!)
Life is starting to return to a sense of... well normalcy isn't the right word, but the concept is... My parents were gone all week, so the boys and I settled in and tried to figure out this new adventure of ours. Ethan is now signed up for a couple of daycamps throughout July and most excitingly - swim lessons that start Monday! I also start Salsa dancing lessons on Monday! For that I am a mixture of nervous and excited. Mostly excited.
The best part of it all - hanging out with my family and Nana - so good for us!
Oh and super exciting? Ethan has discovered letters and has decided he'd like to learn to read so he can read "mommy and daddy's books". He really only knew his uppercase letters a couple days ago, but his interest in spelling everything in sight has led to him learning pretty much all the lowercase letters in just a day or two! His favorite activity right now is saying "I can spell __________" and then reading you the letters. He also knows most of the sounds - I don't know where this interest came from, all of a sudden, but I'm certainly capitalizing on it! All my primary teacher friends - tricks for learning the letter U - we can't seem to get that one... Obviously, I'm having a lot of fun working with him on this!
Today starts our weekend - and with Brian's job, this is really the only time the boys have with him, so we're super excited for lots of quality time. Plans include Toy Story 3 - the Poulsbo waterfront and Marine Science Center, and who knows from there - but lots of hugs/cuddles/snuggles for sure.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Final Installment

The next day was a "rest" day. So we went to an indoor playground to burn off some energy. Lucas loved the carousel - around and around and around and around.
Maddie loved climbing on the mats - such a big girl to go up and down by herself.
The big kids focused on all the different bikes and cars. At one point, Ethan was loading all the small cars into the tractor to move them around.
Maddie and Lucas worked on sharing. Well, Lucas worked on taking and Maddie worked on not getting mad. She never gets mad. That girl is so laid back. Jealousy becomes me!
Morgan is an amazing climber - both here and the climbing wall at the museum. I love it!
The next morning we threw a birthday party for all four of them - since they never spend their birthdays together. We decorated, baked cupcakes, and surprised them. Their faces in the morning were priceless. So excited.
We sang to each one of them - and they got that shy/excited look when it was their turn.
Maddie was the only one to fully reject the cupcake- though the rest of them pretty much just ate the frosting.
They would only wear the hats for a minute, but the blowers were a hit.
After that, we headed to the Edaville Railroad. It took us forever, because of a traffic accident. Problem was, when we finally got there, it was totally closed. Not a soul in sight. Very National Lampoon's Vacation. You couldn't help but laugh, as we were in the middle of nowhere.
Luckily, the middle of nowhere was kind of close to the town of Plymouth, so we headed there.
We enjoyed the rock.
But much more the Mayflower. The kids really liked the boat. Ethan was fascinated that we were tied up and couldn't float away. Lucas just kept shouting "BOAT!" everytime we saw one. Keep in mind we were on the ocean, so there were a few.
It was hot outside, but we decided to tough it out and head to the Plimouth Plantation. We loved seeing all the houses. Lucas loved seeing where the babies slept. The best part of it, however, was that all the kids thought we were seeing where Pirates lived. They kept asking where the pirates were. I found them a fisherman that was pretty close. Not sure he liked being called a pirate, but oh well.
The kids were pretty good at the bowling game - though Lucas made up his own rules and walked right up to the pins, ball in hand, and knocked them down. Hilarious.
When we got inside, we found a (airconditioned thankfully) kid's play area. The kids could dress up (yeah!!) and pretend they were pilgrims (or pirates if you asked them).
Maddie made me some delicious stew.
The big kids hoisted the sails and fished for dinner.
And Lucas even tried a hand at cooking.
Exhaustion? Yes. Fabulous memories? Definitely. With just the next morning left, we went and tore up the local IHOP. I love going out to breakfast!
The goodbyes were sad, the airplane ride back horrible, getting used to the time zone change- dreadful, but was it all worth it? Of course! Will we do it again? Absolutely!
The funniest part - when I ask what their favorite part was - Ethan says - "bakset ball with Kevin". Lucas just laughs. So much fun!
Thanks again to Angie and Cole, and Katie, Kevin, Morgan, and Maddie for taking us in! We had SO MUCH FUN!

Step by Step....

We're finally catching up on sleep around here (or trying to anyway), so here goes another day of our trip... The Boston Children's Museum!
We started off with lunch in the eating space... Lucas would not stay put, so I put him in time out in the stroller. He slid himself down as far as he could go and pushed himself across the floor. That boy!
The construction zone was our first stop. Lucas loves dressing up - and that makes me happy - I mean look at this picture!! How can that not make your day?
Of course, trying to arrange them in a photo proved to be a problem. Lucas was not a fan.
There was a really cool Blue Man Group exhibit where they got to play some neat instruments.
I know everyone there enjoyed the rendition of "Wonder Pets" thoroughly. Well, I know for sure they heard it anyway - it was loud! These guys are definitely performers.
Johnny's Workbench was pretty awesome too. Again, the dressing up ones make me so happy!
The kids worked forever at the various tool stations - felt pretty big I think.
And this may be my favorite picture of Morgan, ever.
We headed over to Arthur's world and Lucas recognized him right away - gave him a big hug.
Maddie liked riding on Arthur's airplane - though with Ethan and Morgan in the cockpit, I'm not sure how!
Lucas loved the big chess set - all of a sudden I heard "NEIGH" and he was trying to climb on the horses - hilarious.
Exhaustion abounded, as well as tempers, but we had a ball. We came home and the kids helped me make calzones for dinner - though with no rolling pin or Kitchen Aid, it was a bit of a different experience. Luckily there was a good bottle of wine to help with the rolling.
The rest of the day was pretty quiet. Or so we thought. We heard Morgan calling from the bathroom. Lucas had unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper.
I rolled it back up and we all enjoyed the extra fluffy roll for the next few days. A whirlwind, I tell you~ !

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The First Two...

The first two days in Boston, that is... There are too many fun memories and pictures, so for my own sanity's sake, I'm going to do two days at a time....
We started out by flying in on Monday afternoon. The boys were so excited to go to Boston. Ethan was telling anyone that would listen about his cousins and how he was going to their house. We were greeted by Auntie Katie, Morgan, and Maddie at the airport with big smiles! Ethan and Morgan were shy at first, but that lasted all of 10 minutes and then the noise, I mean fun, never stopped.
The kids played arounjd the house and then we had a fabulous dinner, cooked by Uncle Kevin and Auntie Katie. After dinner we headed out to a golf course near by to get some ice cream.

Lucas was a little nervous about the mode of transportation... But Auntie Katie stepped in and helped.
Ethan was so excited to watch the Golf players game - kept yelling "Yes!" Lucas loved his ice cream cone, especially after he bit a hole in the side and chomped out the bottom. Drip. drip. drip.
The next morning was spent with a lot of singing and guitar playing. We got free headphones on the flight and Morgan wore them all the time, while Ethan played us song after song on the guitar.
While Maddie took her morning nap, we headed outside to enjoy the pleasant weather. The kiddos all loved the sandbox, at least until the boys discovered there were a few ants in there - note Ethan's feet. Morgan was the tough one!
We piled up into the car and headed off to the zoo. Maddie was ready to see some animals. The big kids liked making her say "Up!", which she did very well. They sang lots of songs in the back of the car, but that caused a little conflict. Morgan likes songs sung correctly, while Ethan likes to make up his own verses. In the end I think they actually compromised a bit. They were good for each other.
The zoo had lots of great animals and attractions. My favorite was the gorilla - though once it made eye contact with Lucas, he was terrified. Ethan was just fascinated by the way he kept showing "his bottom side". Lucas finally loved the carousel - such a big boy!
Poor Maddie was pretty much stroller-bound for the day. But she seemed to love it anyway. We decided to end our visit with a ride on the train. I know they look miserable in the picture, but they were thrilled! I promise!
We went all the way up to the top of the zoo and back down again yelling "Chugga Chugga Choo-Choo!!!" to anyone that would listen. I think the train lady got annoyed, but we had a blast.
Big naps all around and then Uncle Kevin came home and took us all bowling. It was a kiddie lane with half size lanes and small bowling balls. So much fun! Lucas was too scared - only sent down one ball that only made it halfway, but Ethan could not stop hopping he was having so much fun.
Maddie cheered everyone on, and Morgan did some fabulous dancing while we were waiting.
After that (because we are truly vacation overachievers) we headed over to the candy store and each kiddo got to choose two things. Their eyes were so big as they saw it all there. They ended up picking everything from the gummy section, while Katie and I shopped the chocolate wall.
A great way to start our trip.