Thursday, April 23, 2009

While Dad Was Away

Mike was out of town last weekend and earlier this week for a 5 day golf trip to the Ozarks.  Lucky guy, huh?  Things at home went pretty well, but by the time Tuesday rolled around, I was really looking forward to Zach going to preschool so I could have just a little more time to get stuff done.  I was lucky (and thankful) to have my 2 mothers-in-law help out a couple of times while Mike was gone so that I could go play in my first soccer game this season and go work out on Monday night.  Thanks, Cynthia and Linda!

Here's some of what we did while Dad was out of town.  Actually, most of these pictures were taken in one day, but whatever.

We excitedly watched the trash truck, like we do on every trash day.

Drew had one of his new favorites- whole wheat flatbread with hummus on it.  Those funny red marks on his nose, right cheek, chin, and all around his mouth are from something in the hummus, but I'm not sure what.  Garlic, maybe?

The new roman shades I ordered for the boys' rooms came, and we had lots of fun playing with the boxes.  Drew loves crawling under things- my legs, Zach's legs, the dogs, etc., so he was excited when we made a tunnel to crawl through.

Then my favorite song, Say Hey, I Love You by Michael Franti and Spearhead came on.  The boys love this song as much as I do, so we cranked up the volume and got to dancing.  Here's Drew showing us how to dance on your knees.  I think I have some college friends who showed him how to put his hands up and show his midriff when he dances.  He loves to dance!

Then Zach tried to dance with Drew.  It's probably a good thing that Drew was already sitting down, because usually when Zach tries to dance with Drew, Drew ends up on his butt anyway.

At dinner Drew played some more peek-a-boo, which he thinks is just so fun. 

While Mike was gone we also had a picnic-playdate at the park with some friends, went for a bunch of walks/bike rides, and just the other normal stuff.  Nothing too exciting, really.  We were all excited for Daddy to get home!  And now I think I need to plan a trip away so Mike knows what it's like to take care of the kids by himself for a few days.  :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fun in the Sun

We've finally had a couple of really nice days in a row here, and it has been much appreciated.  Last night while we were eating dinner, suddenly Zach said, "Look!" and we looked outside and saw a hot air balloon practically in the backyard.  It was pretty cool.  By the time I got the camera and got out there, it was practically hidden behind the house behind ours, so this was the best shot I got.

Today the boys and I walked up to the park after lunch.  This is the first time Drew has been old enough to actually enjoy the park, and he did just that.  

Zach enjoyed the park, too, especially because our friends and former neighbors Susan, Anna, and new baby Lucy were there with Susan's sister and her kids.  Zach loved playing with his old friend Anna again.

Even though Zach is a little big for these swings, I let him sit in one because the park was empty by this point and the big kid swings are on the other side of the park.  This way I could push both boys at once.  

Zach loves to be a helpful big brother and help Drew go down the slide.   I love this next succession of pictures because of Drew's bare midriff!  Look at that cute, fat belly!

One other funny note- tonight at dinner, Drew was getting a little fussy.  He hadn't eaten much, and I tried to show him a bite he could take, and he just got mad at me.  Well, then Zach picks up a piece of asparagus on Drew's tray and says, "Here you go, Drew," and what does Drew do?  He takes it from Zach and puts it right in his mouth.  This happened a few times, where Drew didn't want my help, but he was happy to have Drew's help.  Then Drew wanted to feed Zach, so he'd pick up a piece of his food and hold it out to Zach.  Sometimes he would let Zach take it, and other times Drew would do a little fake-out, and as Zach reached for the food, Drew would stick it in his own mouth.  The fake-out is one of Drew's favorite games.  Tonight, though, he did something new, where after the fake-out, he'd take the food out of his mouth and feed it to Zach.  Zach either didn't notice that the food he was being fed was coming out of Drew's mouth, or he didn't care.  It was all very funny (and a little gross, at times) to watch.  It's so fun to watch the two of them playing and having fun together, though.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Celebrations- Many Pictures Here!

We had a lot of fun celebrating Easter.  Our Easter celebration started a week ago, when we went to Mike's mom and step-dad's house for a little Easter egg hunt.  

Here's Zach with Grandma Linda, checking out one egg.

Zach had a blast looking for eggs.  At one point, he stopped the hunting to go potty.  However, while he was going potty, he saw an egg.  He was so excited about that egg that he didn't even wait to pull up his pants- he HAD to get it!!!

We belong to a HUGE church, and it's a great church, but I'll admit I don't always appreciate the size of it, which is part of the reason why we usually go to the 8 a.m. traditional service as opposed to one of the other 4 services every weekend.  Well, as expected, Easter weekend is a huge weekend for church attendance.  Our church used to do one main Easter service downtown at Wells Fargo arena, but they added on a year or so ago, and decided to get Easter services back in the actual church.  Last year we went to one of the services, and it was packed.  I remember it taking us about a half-hour to get out of the parking lot.  Sitting still in traffic is not something I do well.  I get very impatient, especially when you throw the kids into the mix.  Anyway, of the 5 Easter services our church was putting on (5 & 7 p.m. Saturday, and 7, 9, and 11 a.m. Sunday), really only 1 worked very well for us considering Drew's sleeping schedule, and that was 5 o'clock Saturday night, which was touted as a "kid-friendly" service.  We decided that was the one for us, but then Saturday morning Mike heard that was supposed to be the busiest service of all.  Ugh.  We temporarily considered changing to the 7 a.m. Sunday service, but that would mean waking the kids up and leaving home by about 6:45, and that didn't sound so good, either.  As I drove past our church at about 4:20 p.m. on Saturday (on my way home from DSW, because at about 3:30 I decided I HAD to have new shoes to go with my Easter outfit- I got some cute, red, Steve Madden heels), the parking lot was already practically full.  I could feel my stress level rising.  It didn't help that when Mike called me at 4:30 (as I was about a block from home), he asked me if he should wake Drew up.  I thought Mike wanted to leave home around 4:30, so I expected everyone to be ready, and that I would run in, change clothes, and get back in the car.  Stress level going up a little bit more.  However, it all worked out fine in the end.  We decided to park across the street at the bank, and Mike's mom went early to save us seats, which was really helpful and much appreciated.  The service was good, the boys did GREAT, and we got out of the parking lot at the bank without waiting at all!!!  We went and grabbed a quick dinner at Z'Marik's, and then headed home.

Here are the boys all decked out in their Easter duds on their way to church.

When we got home we decided to throw in a quick load of laundry, including the boys' pants.  Drew was unhappy that Zach wouldn't move over so he could help put the clothes in the washer.

But he was happy once Zach skooched (I'm not sure how that should be spelled) so that both boys could watch the washer once it started.

Since they were just in their white oxford shirts and no pants, they boys decided to do their best Tom Cruise in Risky Business impersonations.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, click here.

Here are the boys' Easter baskets.  Zach had asked me a month or so ago to get him his own watering can, and I told him that maybe the Easter Bunny would bring him one, so he was very excited to see his basket with a watering can in it.

Drew likes playing with the pinwheels that were in the baskets.

Zach was pretty excited to search for Easter eggs when he got up Sunday morning.  I was glad we had gone to church the night before so that we didn't have to rush around Sunday morning.

We had Kevin (Mike's dad), Cynthia (his step-mom), and Katherine (his little sister) come over for Easter morning brunch.  We had a great time and were so happy that Aunt Katherine came home from college for the holiday.

This is the crazy chocolate bunny that Mike's dad picked up. It was hollow inside, and Katherine wanted the head to take back up to college with her.  Mike seemed to enjoy dissecting the poor thing.  I'm not a huge milk chocolate fan, but it sure is good chocolate!  Thanks, Kevin!

Here's our family on Easter morning.

I just could not resist dressing the boys alike.  It seems like something that is ok to do on holidays, especially Easter.  And I thought the ties were too cute.

Here's Zach painting the little plastic sun-catcher fish that the Easter Bunny brought him.  Now the Easter Bunny needs to go get a suction cup or something to use to attach it to the window.
This was a fun little project, though some of it required fine motor skills a little bit beyond that of a 3 year-old, which is probably why it said it was for ages 5+.  

Drew decided not to take an afternoon nap on Easter, so he got to watch a little bit of the Masters with Dad.

These next two pictures were my attempt at catching Drew blowing kisses.  He puts his two fingers in his mouth and goes, "Mmmmmaa!" and pulls the fingers out and away from him.  It's very cute, but these pictures don't really do it justice.

Here are the boys just being kind of silly.

After we got Drew in bed, Zach and I worked on planting the little seed starter kits the Easter Bunny brought.  Zach got 2 kits for strawberries, 1 for red peppers, 1 for basil, and 1 for zinnias.  He was very excited to get the chance to use his watering can, and just to plant something.  I hope these work and we have plants soon!

Finally, just an update on Drew and how it's going with no pacifier.  It was rough for a while.  If you read my post where I first talked about taking it away, I mentioned how we were going to let him keep it for naps.  Well, after a week, that just didn't seem to be working well.  Drew suddenly started crying and throwing a fit just upon entering his room, and he wouldn't even sit for reading books in his chair like we've always done before naps and bedtime.  Finally I decided that maybe having the pacifier at naps but not at bedtime was just confusing him, so on Friday I didn't give it to him for naps.  I was worried, but it went much better than I expected.  The last two days he has been back to being a good little reader, snuggling while we rock before bed and naps, and not usually even crying when I lay him down in his crib.  So, if you're thinking about getting rid of a pacifier for your baby, I would say do it in one foul swoop!

Also, I think Drew is saying his first word, which is bye.  He suddenly is very consistent when we say something like, "Ok, time to go bye-bye," and he waves his hand and says, "Bye," but it sounds like he says it with a southern accent, kind of a mix between "bah" and "bye".

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's Official...

I'm a soccer mom.  I've always been a mom who played soccer, but now I am a mini-van driving, pep-talk giving, thirty-something soccer mom, and I couldn't be more proud (well, except for the mini-van part).  Zach had his first official soccer "practice" on Friday evening.  It was COLD, but fun!  I hesitated to sign him up for his first organized sport at just 3 and a half years-old, but I'm glad I did.  It's not like regular team soccer, anyway.  There were probably 50 kids there from ages 3-5.  Each kid was assigned to a group and given a penny, and then after some large-group warming up, the smaller groups traveled from station to station together.  The first station for Zach's group was scrimmaging (which was quite a sight!), then they went to a station where they played a dribbling game, and the final place was duck-duck-goose and shooting the ball on goal.  Zach just had a blast.  His favorite part was the scrimmaging, which didn't surprise me, because before we went he kept asking if he was going to get to play a soccer game or not.  The whole thing is put on by Vision Soccer Academy, which is a big soccer club out here in our area.  The main organizer for the Grasskickers Soccer, as it's called, is a friend of mine who plays on my co-ed team, so Zach thought that was pretty cool, too.  Some of the other people helping out were girls from one of the teams that Melody coaches, I think.  They all did a great job with the kids.  Zach can't wait to go back this week, and neither can I.  I just hope it's a little warmer this time.

Here's Zach modeling his new shin guards, cleats, and ball the night we got them.  I think I had more fun than he did going to get these.  They're so little and cute!  So far he has loved putting them on and playing soccer in the basement.

This is the all-group warm-up at the beginning of the session.  This kids are supposed to be putting their left foot on the ball.  I like this picture because every kid in it who is holding up the L for his/her left hand is doing so with his/her right hand!  Apparently we need to work on left and right.

Zach is focusing hard on what he's doing.

These next few pictures are not that interesting because you can only see Zach from the back, but I think they're kind of neat because the show the progression of him dribbling the ball.  In the second to last picture in this series, it looks like Zach is cutting the ball back like he's juking somebody.  The kid's got moves already!

Here Zach is working really hard to get the ball from the kid in yellow.  I think the kid in yellow scored right after this picture was taken, though.  It's no surprise that we need to work on defense- at home when we play, Zach's defense consists of running back and standing in the goal so I can't get the ball past him.

This is the quintessential little kid at soccer practice picture- sitting on the ball.  This time, however, it's just Zach doing what the coach said to do.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


We've had some silliness going on here lately.  First, a couple of funny things Zach has said in the past few days:

-"Stretching makes my bones happy."  I asked him if his dad told him that (since Mike is a physical therapist, it sounded like something he might say, although really it would make more sense for Mike to say stretching makes one's muscles happy), and he said yes, but when I told Mike about it, he said he never told Zach that.

-"Look, Mom!  When I do this, it sort of looks like I have breasts!"  I'm not totally sure what Zach was doing, because I wasn't really paying attention, but it looked like he was pulling his shirt up and pushing his stomach out.  

-Drew had been playing with his sippy cup and was putting it in the cup-holder of his high chair tray and spinning it around.  "Drew's cup got so dizzy it fell right off his tray!"

Now for some silliness captured on film.

First, out here in the midwest it seems to be the norm to try out the tornado siren the first Saturday of the month, at least in the spring and summer.  One day I discovered that the tornado siren makes my dogs (mostly Foudy) howl.  Sometimes Maggie joins in.  It is very hilarious, so I always look forward to noon on the first Saturday of the month.  This past Saturday didn't disappoint.  Here's Foudy singing along to the siren.

The rest of these silly pictures are from bathtime tonight.  Drew loves to splash like crazy in the tub.  It's hard to tell him not to splash so big because he's clearly having so much fun.  Meanwhile, we're getting soaked.

Zach has never loved water in his face, so sometimes Drew's splashing gets a little annoying to him.  Most of the time he's a good sport about it, though.

Drew really loves to open his mouth wide while he splashes, which sometimes results in some mild choking and coughing.  He doesn't seem to get upset by it, though.

Tonight I said something to Mike about how Drew has been playing peek-a-boo with me lately while on his changing table, and Drew must have heard me say this, because he suddenly covered his eyes with his hand.  I said, "Where's Drew?" and he pulled his hand away and had this cute little grin on his face.  Then he did it again and again.  So fun!