Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Uma!

 This weekend we celebrated Uma's birthday with a little Halloween party at their house.  It was extra special because Cole and family joined us!  We started with some delicious spider web dip....
 Some cutely painted presents for Uma, and lots of hugs and smiles....   Lucas and Cole liked following each other around - Lucas giving orders and Cole babbling a conversation with him.
 Ethan was a little bit upset about sitting at the "kids" table... my oh my what a few months of kindergarten will do!  But I think he was secretly glad that his cousin kept eating his food so he got to get up faster.
 The boys all loved running around outside - Cole's favorite was the John Deere ride-on.
 Apparently my camera needed to be cleaned, but we got a few cute pics out there.  It was cold and wet, but the boys didn't mind a bit.

 The hike through the woods was great for the under 6 set.  The rest of us had to play limbo with the branches.
 The traditional pumpkin carving was cuter than usual - with the three boys shirtsless in their jeans.
 Lucas loved separating out the seeds, but then kept putting them all back in to be sorted again.
 Cole wasn't sure he liked the "gushy."  Though he did shove one seed into his mouth.  Yum, raw pumpkin!  Ethan liked it till I smeared it on his face.  And then his belly.  Mean mom.
 Trick or treat was fast -  good thing Nana and Uma were quick!
 Cole, the dinosaur shoved through the other two - and looked adorable doing it!
 The pumpkins looked fabulous all lined up. The order from the door forward is Brian, Nick, and then Upa.
 We ended with a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday!" and some delicious cupcakes.
We were so happy to spend the evening celebrating you Uma!  We love you!
Cole got to stay for the whole weekend (and his mommy, daddy, and brother in utero) and we couldn't have been luckier.  The boys loved playing together and it was nice just to relax together.  I can't get enough of that tiny little guy!
This week is Halloween (isn't it over yet?!!!) and then conferences...  Eek!  That's a lot for one week to handle!  And so I do believe it is time to call it a night.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

No More Cast and Halloween Festivities!

There are weeks that just fly by and this was one of them!  I knew it would be insane, and prepared, but it still hit pretty hard.  We survived though - and then realized that with conferences next week, it's just going to get worse....  But we do love the holiday season and with the arrival of Halloween - it all starts now....
We ended the weekend (last weekend) by celebrating Upa's birthday - only 4 months late....  If I ever give you an IOU type present, just realize there's no expiration date.....  We dined on fro-yo and had fun catching up on life.
 Afterwards, we headed over to Toys 'R' Us to make a digital picture Christmas Wish List.  This way I don't forget what they want.  And it was really fun.  Brian took advantage as well.....  Funny that most of the things on his wish list can be bought at Toys 'R' Us....
 I explained to Lucas that this was an absolute NO, but he would not walk away.  He just kept piling other things into the car and then getting in and pretending to drive.  Aargh....  He had to be dragged out screaming... that was fun....
 Ethan picked out a cool new "trickster" bike and even pedaled around in it with his cast...  Brian helped him with the tricks.
 I love that in the midst of all these expensive toys, Ethan spent the most time with a book.
 The list worked great - now I know what to look for and what to avoid.  I always seem to end up buying what I want them to have and that doesn't seem to go over as well anymore.  I guess they're growing up....
This week, in the car in the morning, Ethan was feeling very reflective and we had some great conversations. At one point we were talking about the boy we are sponsoring from the Philippines.  I was explaining how we are providing money for him to help with his education, and how education is the key to being able to choose your future, blah blah blah.....  And then my sweet boy said this:
"Mama, when I grow up and I'm a dad, I'm going to send my kid to kindergarten."
My heart.  Tuesday night was the Harvest Festival at Lucas' school.  He was sooooo excited.  The boys dressed up in their zookeeper costumes (Lucas is a monkey that took over the zoo), and grabbed their buckets.  
 They had a blast seeing all the teachers dressed up and all their friends.
 It was awesome.  Such a great place for Lucas.  He absolutely loves it there.
 And only Lucas would be dressed as a monkey and ask to be face painted into an elephant.  Love the creativity, and one of my students also in attendance laughed with me since our big project right now is making a mix of animals into a unique creature....
 Ethan chose the more traditional "Zombie Zookeeper" route...  blech!!!
 He loved seeing some of his friends from school - and competing in the pumpkin rolling races.  Even with one arm, he managed to do well - and thoroughly entertained the crowds....
 And then it was Wednesday and it was THE DAY.  The day to go see Dr. Will - which Ethan claims to want to get to see lots more times.  I explained this was NOT something to wish for.....
He was a trooper getting it sawed off and even made it through x-rays without a tear or fuss.  I was so proud of him.
His skin was so gross and was falling off everywhere.  I made him wear the sling at soccer, so it would catch it, and so he wasn't flinging it around.  He can straighten it partway, rotate it all the way, and there is very little pain - just stiffness.
I forgot to mention that yes, the boys did start soccer classes this week.  They are enjoying it, though Lucas doesn't like being there without me.  I'm hoping that by the end of the 4 weeks, he'll be a champ, but in the meantime, we'll just keep at it.  The program is great - they even get to scrimmage in the racquetball courts.  Ethan gets to be the big kid, and Lucas just kind of walks the perimeter and looks concerned.  I did catch a few smiles though and know he does enjoy it...
We had one night off (where we just played computer games and read) and then it was time for Trick or Treat Street at E's and my school.  The costumes came back out and the smiles were plastered on.
 Lucas was a little less nervous this year, though he would not say Trick or Treat.  He did say "Thank You" each time though, so I was fine.
 Ethan was an old pro and kept running ahead to try to be with his friends.  He was thrilled to spend time with his classmates dancing and running around the gym.
 They checked their loot out and ate as much as they could before I had the chance to set limits.
 Lucas was at a disadvantage because he couldn't open the wrappers, but he still managed to eat some.
 The dancing was great.  It took Lucas a long time to warm up - he spent the first half with his ears covered, but he eventually came around.  I love getting to just dance around and be silly with my students.  It's a great way to build that relationship with them - plus they are just a lot of fun.
 Once Lucas' teacher arrived from daycare he went nuts.  He had an absolute blast dancing with her.
In the car afterward, he was talking about it and said, "I just lover her mom.  I just love her."    I love that he uses the word just to express how deeply he feels.  I love you is the base level for him, but if he "just" loves you, it's a way deeper feeling.  Like his heart may explode.  I totally get how he feels - and I "just" love it.
I can't believe this isn't the end of the Halloween festivities.  I'm starting to twitch from the sugar, but love seeing my boys so excited.  We're looking forward to a weekend of celebrations and then one crazy week....  But then again, when is life not crazy for us?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crunchy Mud

"Hey Ethan, I came and spied on you today in class and I saw you hanging on some girl.  What was that about?"
"Yes you were.  I saw you."
"No Mom.  You were not focusing.  You were looking in the wrong class."
Lucas' Lesson of the Day:
"You have to call the police and the police come and they bonk you and then they take you. And that's why the dogs going to eat your food."
There's a kind of funny thing about this week... I kind of forgot it existed!  In my head it was already next week and I was kind of excited to see we didn't have any night time commitments to go to.  The last couple of weeks had been busy and I knew the weeks before and after Halloween would be nuts, so this was a welcome reprieve.  I need to forget about weeks more often!
Sunday we headed out to the Kingston Corn Maze with our bud Nadia and family.  What a difference a year makes!!  There was no fighting over which way to go and only a little bit of whining from Lucas when he decided "I wanna get out of here!!!"  And by that time we all did.
 I could not believe how diplomatic they were.  And they had a great time teaming up with the dads to ditch Sonia and I.  We had to cut through the corn (shh! don't tell!) to get back to them.
 I like this pumpkin patch because they have a lot for the kids to do - the Hay Maze....
 bikes to ride...
 And again - no fighting over the bikes!
 Ethan managed it one handed.  He was especially excited when one of the recess teachers showed up there and he went and stood next to her for awhile.  He likes to pretend he's in charge too, I think.
 Brian and I were most looking forward to our very favorite Corn Maze snack - Crunchy Mud.  A Fritos bag with a scoop of chili thrown in.  Yum.  Seriously the best thing ever.  Well...  the best thing ever that doesn't have cheese in it.  But crunchy mud with cheese?  I'm drooling...
 The pumpkin slinger is always fun...
 And the dads didn't even take over this year - impressive!
 Nadia was all about jumping in the hay!  She had tricks galore...
 And I pleaded with Ethan to stay on his feet....
 These three are a hoot!
 Pictures of them are always hard, but this day brought a new record of shots taken without one really good one....  But they are funny....

 Then it was one final stop at Hay Mountain where my favorite superhero (Lucas) climbed to the very top.
And thus was our very fun Sunday afternoon.  Monday came and school was back in the swing of things.  But somehow this week feels more relaxed, more in control.  I don't know why, maybe it's just my attitude.  Somehow though, the schoolwork is getting done, dinner is getting made, clothes are getting washed, and we even got a bath in this week!  We have one more week of the cast and I cannot wait.  My little man has been a trooper but it is definitely time to move on!
I'm gong to go and suck up the calm and try and forget that next week will most certainly be insane.  We have a school event for each boy and then we also start soccer classes for the 2 of them at the Y.  Add to that lots of sugar and craziness and I think my good calm will be incinerated.  Oh well... It was nice while it lasted :)