Friday, January 27, 2012

Finally Friday

Somehow, college came up in our conversation and this was Lucas' response:
"College is for big kids.  They go to college so they can weach for da ky!" (reach for the sky).

In the mornings, I sometimes encourage a little friendly competition to get them ready faster... This morning it backfired, as they were perfectly happy to lose. Ethan's comment:
"I'm in the opposite of first place!  Woo-HOO!"

Going back to work is never easy after a long weekend off...  This week has been especially tough because of all the mess the snow created in my schedule at school.  It all has worked out fine, but we've been really busy this week.  Brian has also had to work late A LOT, which makes evenings tougher for me, but we persevered and we made it through.  And now it's Friday morning and Grammy is on her way here tonight, tomorrow we get to meet little Cooper (at less than a week old!!!), and Ethan's third game is tomorrow.  Can't wait!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Snow? It kept comin'......

The snow kept falling and falling and falling....  my hopes of having school back in session the next day were crushed....  But, we decided to make the best of it and sent the boys out to make a snowman.
 The snowman didn't quite happen - the snow was hard to pack and harder to roll...  but Brian and Ethan persevered and we all brainstormed....
 And thus, the snow became Jabba the Hut.  Which Lucas kept calling Jabba the Beast.
 As Brian's creative outlet was fulfilled, I moved on to find mine....  And so we had snowmen for dinner (biscuits with pepperoni, and grilled cheese snowflakes)....
 Some have asked me what I do with the waste - well, here's what my dinner looked like :)
 By Thursday we were all going a little stir-crazy - even even-keeled Brian....
 The boys entertained us with concerts - and we actually got a lot of cleaning out and sorting done - miraculously!
 I started to lose it in the afternoon, as I realized I was probably missing Friday of work as well....  I tried to relax by making another fun, snow-themed snack... (tortillas folded up and cut into snowflakes - like you do with paper, butter, cinnamon and sugar.)
 It wasn't enough.  I was really starting to lose it and insisted we all dress up for dinner (we were all still in pajamas) and make fondue...   The boys turned the dining/living room into a restaurant and after dinner we had dancing!  I was amazed at how much Brian and I remembered from our Swing Dance lessons - fun!
 Friday (Day 3 of isolation), we were just all cranky and lazy.  We watched movies, read books, and played games.  We were all ready to get out, but by the time we could get out (as it had finally washed away), we were too lazy to go anywhere.  That would have meant getting out of jammies, and that was a big no....
Saturday was game #2.  They were much more basketball-like this time.  I was amazed at how much they improved in a week.  There were a few really great moments - my favorite involving the coach picking one of the players up and carrying him down court when he wouldn't go.  He also helped Ethan so he could get into a good shooting point - building confidence....
 After the game, we headed to Bremerton Bar and Grill to have lunch with my parents...  Lucas enjoyed bossing everyone around.
 Ethan was looking stellar in his uniform, but was so tired he barely made a peep - a nice change to our usual restaurant-ing out.....
 There was plenty of yummy food and tic-tac-toe-ing for us all and then we were home for naps....
 And then this morning?!  At the wee hours?!  I became an Auntie 5 times over....  Cooper Piazzese was born at 5:24 a.m..  6 lbs, 5 oz., 19 inches.  We got the call that Angie was in labor at 3:45 and Brian was in the car by 4.
He didn't make it there by the birth, but he did get to be there for those first few hours of Cooper's life - pretty darn cool!  He then took big brother Cole back to his house to play and get spoiled rotten.  How exciting!!!  I wish we all could have gone, but since we were planning on getting out there next weekend, I'd been scheduled to teach Sunday School and had a lot of school work to accomplish.  Luckily we've gotten lots of cute pictures!
What a crazy week/weekend it's been!  Tomorrow it's back to reality, and all the stresses that missing three days last week bring....  Breathe, breathe, breathe, and look at that cute little monkey.  It'll all work out....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snow Day 2012

 Please can we go out in the snow?!
No, we don't want to wait for the sun to come up.  It will all be melted!
Oh. My. Goodness.
Snow Fight!!!!!!
 Close your eyes Mom!  I have a suPRISE for you!
 I'm going to get you Daddy!  Watch out Eflan!
 Oh!  Slippewy!
 Gotcha!  HAHAHAHA!
 E:  This is a yummy snowball!
L:  Hahaha! Got you Eflan!
 Turn around Mommy.
 Woof Woof Woof!  {happy barking}
 Look Mom!  Tracks in the snow!
 Eflan, come back!
 This is AWESOME!
Insert Happy Sigh......
I didn't want  a snow day.  I have too much "life" going on for a snow day.  But how can I argue with those faces.  The rest of "life" will catch up, move on, and take care of itself.  Right now I'll just enjoy them.....

The First Game... (and the rest of the weekend)

 Oh man was that kid excited!  His very first basketball game.  He woke up bright and early and was dressed in no time - no need to nag him this time....  He was bouncing off the walls, leading to Lucas bouncing as well....
The boys were all excited and nervous...  They get to run in through a tunnel with their name called over the sound system and you could just see the excitement and exhilaration pumping through them.  Coach tried to line them up, but that's not so easy with a bunch of 5/6 year olds.  It reminded me of what I would assume herding cats would be like.
 They practiced some shots before the game.  Ethan was so wired that he did not have a chance.  Those balls were wild!
 Before the game, a prayer was said, and this mama said a prayer that E wouldn't get too frustrated and break down.  Also that there wouldn't be any broken bones or bleeding...  (the kid has a record...)
 The game was hilarious.  They'd never played full court (which is a half court) before, so they really had no clue about running to the different hoops....  Luckily the coaches are right out on the court with them, directing the play and helping to encourage them to figure it out.
 Ethan's favorite phrase was "I'm open!"  which he yelled approximately 1,297 times, usually from the side of the opposite hoop, often when the other team had the ball....  My stomach muscles sure got a workout!
 After the game, the kids get stars from the coach to honor them for something during the game.  Ethan got the sportsmanship star because he was "the littlest guy on the team, with the loudest voice - yelling I'm open!" and also for following the coach's directions to pass to teammates during the game.  At this age, they tend to want to hoard the ball.....  He just knows that there are a few kids on his team that are a bit more likely to get the ball in the hoop, so he's happy to pass.....We were sooooooo proud - and enjoyed it all thoroughly....
The next morning we woke up to snow.... well, kind of... there was a dusting covering everything and we made it out for our first snowball fight of the year.  For whatever reason, the boys are obsessed with "snowfights".  So out we went - scraping it off the cars and bikes to get enough to throw!
 The snow was pretty much melted by the time we came back in, but we had fun regardless...  and I assumed it would be the totality of our snow season....  (of which I was wrong)....
 With no school on Monday, we headed out to our friend Nadia's place and the kids put on a great concert entitled "Never Say Never to the Neverland Pirates".
There were some creative differences, but I do believe they were able to come up with a quality product in the end.    Yesterday they pulled out all their musical gear and turned the mud room into a concert hall as well - though they needed Nadia to come over and direct as they never quite could agree on the musical direction.....
I love that my kids love to pretend and imagine and just play.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sunrise.... Sunset....

The weekend was great.  It was fabulously quiet (except for Lucas cutting open his head while trying to go swimming) (he's fine by the way).  We spent Saturday evening at my parents making sandwiches and doing a puzzle while the boys watched cartoons.  Sunday was church, naps, and then we decided to go somewhere to dinner - and settled on the Boat Shed as then we'd be looking out on the water (we have to keep the boys entertained, right?!).  And they were entertained and it was nice.  Calm, quiet, not like our family outings usually are.....
There was pointing out of boats and ships out on the water....
The discussing of all things important in a little boy's life....

And Lucas' infamous "Yooouuuuuuuuuu  see that there?!" when the sunset came into view.  
It was gorgeous, over the water and magical.  Ethan said it looked like "someone painted all over the sky."  I totally agree.  And now, all week long, we've been in the car and seen numerous sunrises and sunsets and for the boys and I, it's magical every single time.
And there's also real life too.  Busy days and busy nights.  Ethan made his first real basket and made four of them!  We are prepping for his first basketball game this week - so excited!  And Lucas has been involved in a week-long Dinosaur Train reenactment around the house.
Life is good.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

First Week of a NEW Year!

New Year's Resolutions and I don't always stick, but this year I'm going to at least attempt.  This year I want to take the time to do the things that are important to me - like this blog.  I tend to get caught up in all the things I "have" to get done and leave behind the things that I "want" to do - the things that keep me sane. And yet, it's been a week since I updated here and I'm already behind.  Attempt does not necessarily mean succeed, but I'm going to give it serious effort.
On our first day of the new year, we headed out with some school friends to the zoo for another look at the zoolights.  I can't get enough of that place, and with our membership it's totally reasonable.
The boys (4 in all) just enjoyed being together and running all over.  I enjoyed chatting with Jenn (the other mom) and Brian and the gorgeous lights.
It was the last day and kind of dead - no music playing even, but it was still fun and overall relaxing.
 One of the playgrounds was open and the boys crawled all over each other...  leading to all sorts of wresting at McD's after.  Boys are boys - and that means crazy!
 The week flew by!  Ethan and Lucas went to Lucas' daycare on Monday so Brian and I could have a bonafide date!  We worked all morning on house/school work and then went to lunch and a movie.  That's another part of my resolution - regular date nights!  The rest of the week was a whirlwind.  My class is preparing for our big musical performance and getting the boys back into their schedules was really tough, but we made it through.
Last night was the ceremony for the PTA Reflections contest for our district.  We surprised Ethan with my parents and Brian coming and he was soooooo excited.  He was so proud of his work and getting to see it displayed.
 The theme was diversity.  I explained to him how diversity is how we are all different - things are all different, even when they are the same.  He responded - "Yeah, like me and my friends!  We are all different sizes!"  And off he went with his picture.  I love it.
 He got called up on stage, with his picture projected behind him, to shake hands with the superintendent - too cool!
 And then they stayed up there and it was funny to watch them - like herding cats!
 He was so proud of that certificate and ribbon - though he really wanted red, apparently.  And I'm proud of him.
This is the first time he's ever done more than one draft on anything and he worked hard on it!  He's already started working on next year's ideas.....  I can't wait to see what he comes up with!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I Heart Christmas Pt. 2

December 26th is always the hardest - the big festivities are over, the anticipation is all gone, everyone is tired...  So we get out all the gifts and start trying them out!  Ethan got to finally try out his bike!
 He was pretty discouraged.  It wasn't "easy" and he didn't have a big place to ride...  But, we promised to try again out at the house where we usually ride, and he was appeased....
That night we threw the big family reunion at the U's - bring an appetizer and a smile!  I made pizza dip - and had fun being crafty with the ingredients.....
 I haven't made pizza dip in a very long time and boy is it good! - Just cream cheese, pizza sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella baked together and served with tortilla chips.  Yum.  The kids played on the Wii downstairs. It was like a jr. high dance - a couple of kids dancing and the others standing around staring at each other.
 It was fun to see everyone meeting Connor for the first time - and he definitely entertained.  He officially became a crawler this week and showed off for everyone!
 These two put themselves in charge of the food table.  And ate and ate and ate.  Just chips though.....
 Upa gave out rides on the Christmas tractor.  The kids waited with their tickets in the folly and then he drove them all over the yard.
 The Christmas lights made it especially festive - and the kids laughed together over the bumps.
 Claire and Connor got along very well - reminding us all of when we were the ones taking care of Claire!
 Lexie and "Uncle Danny" had fun plunking on the piano and playing duets together.
 Lucas took charge of the crowd - handing out instruments and instructing us on when we could clap and not.  He also threatened notes home to our moms if we didn't listen.  After putting most of us on the naughty list.
 We love getting to see everyone!  The next day it was back to the Y - this time bringing Uncle Kevin, Auntie Katie, and Maddie along.  The basketball game was a bit rougher....
 And lots more fun with more people.  Ethan idolizes his Uncle Kevin and loved getting to play with him.
 We hit up Round Table for way too much pizza and then back to our house to play for a bit.  Maddie got a turn with the mic and she was hooked!
 Kev and the big kids played an Angry Birds game for a bit - catapulting things across the room!
 That night we headed out to a local pizza joint to celebrate each other and Brian's upcoming birthday.  We had a great time - they put us in a room by ourselves so the kids could run around as much as they wanted.  Brian dumped a Mr. Pibb all over his lap, but other than that it was uneventful.  I got to hold Connor almost the entire time.  Love that.  Ethan had fun playing with him too.  He loves babies.
 We headed back to the house and put the kids in their Angry Birds t-shirts for a quick picture.  The shirts are cute (we bought them) and unfortunately they have a horrible smell.  So they wore them for the pic and then we stripped them off quickly before anyone got dizzy.  We have washed them 5 times, left them outside, baking soda'd them, and they still stink!
The next day was a sad one...  We knew it was the last day and had a hard time coming to grips with that!  Brian was back to work - making us sad too.  Uma, Katie, and I went out to a yummy lunch in Poulsbo and then it was back to just hang out and have fun together.  Ethan and Morgan spent the afternoon making up songs, which were really just passive aggressive competition songs:  "I am 14, you are 13.  No, you are 14 I am 15" and so on....  All in melody - too funny!
We ended the evening with a delicious spaghetti dinner - yum.  The kids got it EVERYWHERE, but it was fun.  
 After dinner and then a bit more playing around, we headed out.  I cried the whole way home, and the boys were quietly sad, but we made it.  I hate saying good-bye!  I know it is so hard for them to be here, but it means oh so much to get to see them!
The next day was Brian's actual birthday - #31!  It was cold and rainy, but we decided to ferry over and meet Brian for dinner after work.  The boys were tired and slightly grumpy, but excited to see their dad.
 The boys were excited to celebrate Daddy - though we didn't do the singing thing since we were kind of in a hurry.
 The ferry ride home was rough.  Ethan was a bit of a mess - culminating with him kicking off his shoes on our way off the ferry and me dragging him, walking in the rain, in his socks.  Mama was a bit irritated....
The next day was New Year's Eve and we started our day by taking out the bikes!  Ethan looked like such a big kid!
 Lucas was looking good too - and was straight back to putting on "shows" for all the imaginary people.
 Brian and Kenya raced Ethan - and Ethan made sure to always win.  If he didn't he was not happy.  Kenya really enjoyed the jogging!
 Duke came along too - and loved being out in the fresh air.  We're working on basic obedience training and working the dogs out more - good luck......
 After lunch we headed out to Pt. Townsend to meet Angie, Nick and Cole (after a quick stopover at the U's).  We started out with hot chocolate and french fries at a cool 50's diner - yum!  The boys were obsessed with the jukebox - not that we had any money for it...
 After that we went outside to a little park and Cole and Ethan went nuts running around screeching.  They were crazy, but had fun.  Lucas too, though he was a bit more reserved....
 We had a delicious pizza at a cool local restaurant overlooking the street - so pretty with all the lights! Then we headed over for the "First Night" activities in town.  The kids played carnival-ish games in the old jail cells, and had a cupcake walk - which Cole loved!
 There was a cool Native American art activity, and even live music and face painting - the boys were fire boys.  They were insistent that they threw fire at people....
And then it was time to say goodnight and start the drive home.  It's not so hard saying bye to those guys, as we know we'll see them soon.  Especially since our newest nephew will be born in just a few weeks!  We can't wait to meet Cooper!
The new year is going to be great!  We have lists galore of all the things we are going to do to get organized and we've made a good start.  We still have a lot to do in the little time we have left before we go back to work, but press on we will!
And speaking of....  I better go attack the bathroom (cleaning it, I mean!)!