Monday, August 29, 2011


You are three today big kid! At three you are a whole lot of fun! You are extremely noisy, often covered head to toe in dirt, and so loving of your family and friends (though I must say you've figured out how to drive your brother absolutely insane). You love trains, dinosaurs, music, and art. You've done fabulously well in swim lessons and are learning to let go of Mom and Dad and experience all that independence has to offer.... You learn quickly and love deeply - a great combination. I am so proud of the little boy you are becoming! I treasure all of our snuggles and quiet conversations we whisper in the early morning (because you refuse to sleep past 6:30). I love you kiddo - and I'm excited for the year you have in front of you!
Your party was such fun! You had your friends come to the trains in South Kitsap. We tried to get you to play on the playground and do a project, but you were so excited about the trains you just kept yelling "Beep beep train's coming!!!"

Your brother had a hard time not being the center of it all, but he did step back and let you be the star. He's very proud of you too. You've become his favorite playmate.

I know how you love to customize things, and how you love all different kinds of cereal (you are always throwing random boxes into the cart at the store), so we made individualized cereal boxes, mixing some of your favorite kinds together.

The boxes turned out great - lots of Thomas stickers and markers.

Your friend Nadia was so excited because "My Mommy never lets me eat these!"

Once done, you all enjoyed snacking on your cereal and were very proud of your creations.

You were finally old enough to really understand the whole presents thing and to deal with everyone watching you. You were a pro at unwrapping and your thank yous were precious. You are a very grateful little boy. I love that about you.

You had a bit of help from Ethan and Nadia. They weren't sure you knew what to do - were ready to step up and help, but you did just fine.

You looked straight into my eyes while we sang to you - as if you couldn't believe this was all just for you. The smile was huge and completely melted. me. You even blew out your candle all by yourself.

You got to ride the trains twice. Oh how you love those trains.

You loved sharing your favorite adventure with your friends.

I'm not sure the day could have been any more perfect for you, my big 3 year old!

I love you Lucas Scott Sprague!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Tutorial

When riding bikes, one must set up some serious races. "Ready guys?! Let's race!"

No cheating. Though where the starting line starts is sometimes fuzzy. "Marks... get set.... GO!"

(Don't have someone to ride with? That's okay, make 'em up!) "Ready yellow? Let's go the long way and beat 'em to the finish!" (Much to my suprise, both Ethan and "yellow" won. I was for sure that Ethan would pull ahead in the end.)

Daddy + Dogs make great racing partners too. But only if Daddy takes it very seriously.

It's important to take "pit stops". One doesn't want to run out of gas halfway around the lap.

It is also good to run some shows for your spectators. The "Nighty-night" show is fabulously full of tricks such as riding while standing, putting your feet up in the air, and making sharp turns. The "Singing Show" starring Lucas is more of an audience participation event. Make sure you're ready to dance and sing.

I love gorgeous summer evenings.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Realization....

I don't know when the official age of toddler-hood is over, but I do believe Lucas has morphed into a preschooler over the summer. (I do realize that he is still a toddler in many ways, including those terrible two and three tantrums) He is oh so done with diapers (hooray!) - including at night, but don't give me any kudos - it was all on his own accord. We finished our last Mommy and Me swimming class last night which means he is now ready for the classes just like his big brother (hooray!). I will miss all the cutesy songs and games though.... He just is all grown up all of a sudden. He turns three next Monday, but don't tell the camel that... We headed to the zoo last Friday and I may have led the camel to believe that Lucas was already 3. He was a champ and so proud to be able to ride by himself!

We checked in with our favorite baby clouded leopards that have grown so much since we last saw them!

The budgies were a hit with the boys. Alex and Kenzie were a different story. Alex freaked out when the bird landed on her and chucked the stick. Kenzie kept trying to pick up the bird off the stick. They cracked me up!

We lunched in the sun, enjoyed the big show, and saw just about every animal there.

I had told the boys they could get a little wet. I brought extra pants and underwear. I did not bring an extra shirt, so I insisted they should not get soaked. They so did not listen, especially the big kid. He drenched himself and then could not believe how mean I was that I did not have a shirt for him and wouldn't let him go shirtless. I am SO MEAN.

We hit the carousel too - and again, Lucas' first time riding independently (though I was right there). He was very proud of himself and I was also very proud. My big kid.

The kids made it all the way to 2:30 before we hit meltdown - awesome! And meltdown was not even very bad. I think I may have been more tired than them! I think I may still be.

Saturday was a super great day for me! My friend Sonia and I headed to Seattle for a whole day of fun! We ate great food, did a couple of tours - including Fremont where we saw the below art pieces - which were really cool!

And we ate more great food. It was just great to spend the day together chatting and having fun without being responsible for anyone else. Just fabulous!

The boys spent the day swimming with Daddy and then going out for ice cream.... When the cat's away.....
Sunday was a family reunion of my mom's side of the family. It was so odd this year having all the kids be old enough to pretty much play independently. We could literally sit and chat and not worry about it. The spray bottles were a huge hit. I think everyone was soaked at some point.

Lucas attached himself to his cousin Claire who helped him get revenge on Ethan and Eddie.

The tractor rides were a big hit, as always. And now they are all old enough to understand "last time" and "stay in your seat", which makes it far easier....

Ethan likes to make it clear that he's used to this....

It was great to see everybody - though it never seems long enough - and awesome to see all the kids playing together. We were missing the Boston crew, but happily made plans for a Christmas break open house mini reunion....

That night we ventured another first... though this time for the big guy. Every time we drive by the middle school I make a comment that we should go there and take the training wheels off of his bike. I decided that this night would be perfect and so we headed over.....

I told Ethan there were going to be some bumps and bruises and maybe a little blood here and there.... "I'm not going to cry mom. I can do this."

The anticipation was built, the camera(s) were ready.... the wheels were off....

The hardest part at first was keeping his arms straight instead of turning all around.

"Lightning McQueen straight, Lightning McQueen strong!"

Pretty soon it went from a couple feet at a time to a few yards to the whole length of the parking lot....

This one enjoyed being spectator once he found the bucket of animal crackers in the back of the car.....

I could not believe how in the course of an hour he had it all figured out.

So proud. But I know one person that's even prouder.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

2 Big Events - and the in between....

I hate getting behind on the blog because I know I forget so many little details of what we do... The biggest problem lately has been losing our camera. Though I had one to borrow, it just wasn't the same (or very good). I'm happy to say we now have a new camera and I am excited to actually use it. And yes. We once again got the kind that can be dropped, submerged, coated in dirt, etc. No other camera can stand up to our family.
And now to recap.... Last Wednesday was our big trip with the Burns family to Seattle for the Wiggles concert. It was an evening concert, so we headed over after naps to dink around by Pike Place and Westlake. The ferry ride was fairly uneventful except for the 12 trips to the bathroom and the giant mess we made from juice and granola bars.
These kids (except Kenzie who got to ride in the stroller) walked all the way to Paramount Theatre (with stops on the way) with very minimal whining. That's a long way. And a lot of hills. Thoroughly impressed with our kiddos.
We made stops at a mini donut food truck (chocolate sauce and sprinkles!!!), Starbucks to clean up and for my caffeine fix, and Westlake food court for some dinner. The only panicky moment was when Ethan insisted on going into the SB bathroom by himself and could not get the door unlocked to get out. The line was getting longer by the minutes - increasingly impatient people waiting to get in, and he's yellling "I can't do it!" When I realized he was just turning it the wrong direction, we did get him out, but we certainly made a spectacle in the meantime.
Remembering that I was still using a cruddy camera that could not take inside pictures well at all, I have none that truly capture the excitement of the concert.... It was really well done and even fun for those of us not in the toddler age group...There was lots of clapping and singing along - and the kids were truly transfixed.Lucas, of course, spent the first 20 minutes just watching and then decided to join in the fun. Though I could not figure out how this dance move was connected to what the song was saying to do. But in his mind it did, cause he just kept doing it.However, Lucas' favorite part of the whole entire adventure was taking the "City Bus!!!!!" All throughout the day he was obsessed and when the time finally came, he was thrilled. We bussed all the way back to the ferry. It was easy except when the bus driver insisted that we get off one stop before where we thought because it would be "better for us". It was not. It was just one block away - the next stop was right there.... Not sure if we were just driving him nuts or what.
The kids were all really tired on the ferry ride home. Luckily we met up with Brian and utilized his computer to watch a movie. We were all tired.The next day we just had T-Ball, which I figured we could handle, though Ethan was still pretty tired. I dropped him off, headed to Zumba, and then came back at the end. He was hiding in a corner, refusing to come or to talk to any of the teachers. I asked if he had been in trouble and the teacher's quote was, "It was a rough day for everybody." I finally went in and he still wouldn't talk. I brought him out and found a quiet place to talk and all I could get out of him was that the teachers thought he did something that he didn't do. He was ticked. So I had him go through what happened (just too much rough-housing I think) and he talked about how these other kids (it's always the other kids.....) were poking and pushing and THEN.... "THEY TOLD ME TO SEPARATE!!!" After explaining that this was just to keep him from getting in trouble I realized he really didn't understand what that meant. His synonym of choice to split had a lot of other connotations that were making him feel like big trouble....
So me being the genius that I am (not)... I promise him that we can go school supply shopping after dinner. Brian happened to be home early, so it would work out. Funny thing was, he did fine. Lucas was a terror. He kept throwing random things into the cart and screamed the entire way through self-checkout. We were that family.
And then there was Saturday.... After a morning of cleaning out the boys' rooms/clothes and organizing what we could, we headed out to the Poulsbo Street Dance to meet up with Nadia and fam. The afternoon was filled with family fun - the hit for these kids being the balloon animals. All three interacted with a clown in order to get them - that's big!Of course the boys have never been more thrilled. Swords and belts!Which of course led to to sword fights.Next stop was eating some pizza on the waterfront. Hard to do when you're decked out for battle, it's true.The kids were all invited up in the gazebo for some dancin' fun with a live band (and cheerleaders!). Ethan and Nadia jumped right in. Lucas took his time, but by the end was dancin' right along. I loved the progression - he just couldn't help himself. He stood completely stilll, but after awhile the music overtook his body - feet, hands, head, hips.... cracked me up.This led to a conga line through the center of town to the other stage that was set up for the later bands. Too cool! While we waited for the next performance, we headed for ice cream at Mora. This is where Nadia instructed us that to get rid of an ice cream headache, you pinch your lip. This is also where she informed us that "Daddies don't know anything."
And then? More dancing. This time Ethan took the spotlight - he was totally grooving to the music. I have never seen him let loose quite like this and so wish I had some pictures right now. I kept meaning to steal some from my mom, but it didn't happen and I've put off posting for too long. There is a youtube video that includes his dancing. Cracked me up. He was a star. I think the crazy thing was he really does have rhythm and a sense of dynamic and tempo that he was showing in his moves. He also has a sense of humor and has probably watched too much zumba! I'm not sure I have laughed that hard in a very long time.
This week was back to work (just for meetings for a committee I'm a part of) for me while the boys went to VBS with their babysitter. Who they liked more than me. As evidenced by Lucas' disappointment in my homecoming each day.
Tuesday night was a pool party for church at my old neighborhood pool! It was surreal being back at the place I spent most of my summers. The boys loved the pool but were freezing cold before too long. I could not get them to stop shivering. There's just no meat on those bones. Lucas thouroughly enjoyed the beatmalls (meatballs) and Ethan ate an entire fried chicken breast. As for all our regular weekly happenings... Ethan's done great in swimming (though Upa was the one to take him this week, so I'm just going on his reports) and t-ball was much better. Ice skating was awesome last night - he was really trying to glide and turn as opposed to the march step that he has held vehemently to. Lucas has done awesome in his swim class - even though there is a new teacher. I think he likes her more... He even let her take him under water to swim across the bottom with her. He loved it. Apparently cutesy songs are not as important to Lucas as they are to me.
If you've made it this long through this post, you deserve some type of award - so here is Ethan's story from the car yesterday. He was pretending to type it on his little computer....
Hello girl.
I like you.
Will you go with me?
We could get married.
I hope you don't die.
I love you.
The end.

And now I catch up on the rest of life. Or try to anyway. I'm past the point of thinking that it is actually possible, but I'm all for trying.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day Camping! And the rest of the weekend...

I hate getting behind on my blogging, but thus is life. This won't get me quite caught up, but close. Last Friday ( a week ago), we headed out to Sequim to "go camping" with some friends from church. Ethan insisted, "This is NOT camping. We are not sleeping in a tent." I convinced him that it was okay, since our friends were and we were just "Day Camping". It satisfied him (for now) and we headed out on the drive. I only had to make one big u-turn (a trip record! - I have absolutely no internal GPS). We arrived in one piece and were treated to some fun playground running at the campsite and delicious biscuits and gravy made over the campfire - too cool! (See Ethan, camping with mommy would be boring old cereal and granola bars just like home - this is way cooler!) Next we headed down to "the spit". It was a long hike down - though the boys' highlight was the portapotty we had to use before going down. Lucas kept looking for a flush button - pushed everything he could find in there - GROSS!
As one could probably guess - Lucas was freaked out by the unpredictability of the waves, and Ethan loved them. All three boys were definitely fascinated though.
Everyone loved the really cool seaweed - especially this one that had ponytails! It kept turning back up. I'm assuming it wasn't crawling itself, but I could be wrong...The boys did lots of digging and flinging sand around.But Lucas kept a close eye on those waves the whole time. My little anxiety case ;)Pretty soon they decided to build a "pool" and see if it could hold water. Bob had to go get the water and Lucas "helped" him by telling him how to do it... All from a safe distance. We went through many a bucket of water before we actually had some success - though to the frustration of one 5 year old, the pool never actually kept water from draining, just slowed it down.I just loved seeing the "scientific method" in progress!We made the (difficult) hike back pretty well. Lucas started crying near the end - turning on and off the tears quickly as needed. Back to the campsite we went for a true camping lunch - roasted hot dogs! The boys enjoyed the roasting, but not so much how long it took. Patience does not run in our family. I helped hold the hot dogs for a bit and that made it better for them. I love the look Greyson is giving them in this picture. He is the camping expert! By this time, Lucas was getting pretty fussy and rolling around in the dirt getting filthy. He decided that a good way to throw a fit was to kick the dirt up around himself. We had such a great time and were sad to have to leave. This time I only made one uturn as well, but it was when I was about 20 minutes off course that I realized and turned around. At least they got a decent nap...
I didn't realize how filthy the boys were until we were in target picking up some bandaids for my burn (oh yeah, I stupidly burned my thumb brushing ash off Ethan's hot dog). They were covered head to toe in dirt. We headed off the bug museum and I changed their clothes in the parking lot, just in time for our friend Nadia and family to show up. We admired all the bugs and Ethan told Nadia all about writing to the tarantula, Chaco, on facebook. Lucas announced he needed to potty. There is no bathroom at the store, but luckily I had one of his little potties in the back of the car for just such emergencies. He followed me out, watched me place the potty next to the car, shook his head and said, "Go potty here? I no need to go potty." And walked away rolling his eyes.
We also enjoyed an exciting dinner at the Airport Diner. Not because there were lots of planes, but because we visited the restroom at least 5 times during the meal and said "Use your inside voice" about 1,000 times. It was packed. There was a couple right next to us on a romatic date. I think they may never have children now.
Saturday was spent living it up at the Y - swimming, playground-ing, and zumba-ing, and then off to Poulsbo to meet Uma and Upa for a hike. We had a great trail guide....
Lucas was nervous about the dark parts... On our way out, we spied this from afar - Big Brother taking care of him. My heart melts.If only they were always so sweet.... I also love that Lucas' pants are ALWAYS like that (one leg up) if they have elastic on the bottom. I don't get it....
We dinnered at "The Market"- boys had pizza and I got a VERY expensive salad bar (who knew beets weighed so darn much!). Off to the park we went. I was in the middle of a good book, so for most of the time I sat in the middle of this merry go round reading while the boys pushed me. It was fun... for me.
Brian was the good parent and followed the boys all over, even "adopting" another boy that wanted an adult to play with. By the time we left we were all pretty exhausted and hot. Boy does 70 degrees feel different than in Idaho!
Sunday was a BBQ at our friends' house - Alex and Kenzie. The kids (there were a bunch) had a blast- especially with the giant inflatable ball. I so wish I had taken a picture, but I was enjoying being lazy and socializing. The best two moments were when they pushed one little girl (inside the ball) up the slide, and when Ethan poised himself to jump from on top of the play set onto the ball (yes mother, I stopped him). It was awesome!
That brings us to Monday and now you'll have to wait... Ethan is begging for a waffle and I've got my first meeting of the year to go to....