Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer Fun

The hot weather has brought lots of fun times outside lately.  Last week we set up our pool for the first time, and they boys couldn't be happier.  Drew loves pouring water on himself and having it poured on him by someone else.

We put the pool right at the bottom of the slide, and with a little water squirted on the slide, it makes a sweet, fast water slide.  

The first time Zach went down it, I thought he might cry, but he laughed and said it was fun.  I asked him to go again so I could videotape it, and he wasn't into it.  Our neighbor come over and asked him to do it for her, and he did.  Later when Mike got home, Zach was happy to go down again, too, so it seems he's all for it if he has an audience of 2 or more adults.  A couple of days ago it was my turn to host playgroup, and the kids absolutely loved the slide into the pool.  It was quite a hit.  

I'm still new at this whole posting videos thing, so instead of posting 2 separate videos like I wanted to, I somehow made these into 1 video.  Oops.  Anyway, here's Zach going down the slide and Maggie enjoying the pool while looking for her frisbee.
Drew is getting better and better at feeding himself with a fork and spoon, but he still gets a little messy.  This is probably the 3rd or 4th picture of Drew with pudding all over his face that I've posted, but it's just too cute not to.

This is how Drew eats olives.  We think it's very cute as well, especially because it's something he started totally on his own.  

Later this week I'll get some t-ball stuff up.  I've sort of let myself fall behind on blogging- I've just been lazy, I guess.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Just A Few Pictures from Last Week

When I posted before and talked about my parents being here, I hadn't yet uploaded pictures from their visit.  I didn't take a whole lot of pictures, but here are a few from the day the left, right before they left.

First, we got Zach and Drew on the steps for a super cute picture, and they were both all smiles.

Then we got all four of us on the steps, and for some reason I'm the only one who looks like she's looking directly at the sun.  I feel like if I could just crop me out of this picture, it'd be a great picture of my 3 boys.

Then we tried to get a picture of the boys with Grandma and Grandpa, and Drew was just not having any part of that.  He's definitely into Mommy lately, and if somebody comes along who is going to take him away from me, he gets pretty unhappy.

But then we let him smell the daylilies, and that made him happy.

Then he decided he couldn't really smell the flower that well, so he should taste it.

And then Grandma, Grandpa, and Sadie drove off into the sunset (or somewhat rising sun, as it was still before noon), and Drew said, "Baaaah!!!" and waved happily, as Zach said again, "Can we PLEASE go to Colorado with them?"

Video Update

I just uploaded some videos, and I realized that I had this video of Zach's birthday party.  I described this event in my post about his party- the blowing out of the candles on Zach's cake, and his friend Sam's help.  It's kind of a cute video.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

June 18, 1966

Today marks my parents' 43rd wedding anniversary.  Wow- 43 years.  That sure makes the 8 years Mike and I have been married sound like small peanuts!  Unfortunately I don't have a picture to scan and put on the blog.  Mom and Dad, if you can scan one and email it to me, I'd love to post it here.  Anyway, congratulations on 43 years together as husband and wife.  Thanks for the great example you've set for all of your daughters and our husbands (except when you were flipping Dad off in the back of the car this weekend, Mom- that wasn't very nice).  Here's to another 20+ years!  Love you guys!  : )

Speaking of marriage, last night after dinner, Zach went and just laid on the couch, which is pretty unusual for him and probably any other 4 year-old.  I asked him if he was ok, and he said, "Yeah, just kinda sad," in a really sad voice.  I asked him what he was sad about, and he said, with tears in his eyes, "Mom, I just really want you to marry me!"  Melt my heart.  I tried to tell him how moms can't marry their sons, and that he'd probably want to marry someone else when he's old enough to get married anyway, because I'd be an old lady then.  He was surprised by that idea.  He wasn't buying any of it, though, and said again how he just really wants to marry me, and this whole time he was on the brink of tears.  I finally just said, "Ok, we'll talk about it when you're older."  He took that as an agreement, and said, "Really?  But what about Dad?"  So funny.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 16, 2001

Mike and I have been married for 8 years today.  I say it on every milestone, but man, time flies.  Here we are (Mike especially, I think), looking like we're about 15 years-old.  We got married in a church in Colorado, not far from my parents' house.  I went to a wedding at this church when I was about 14 and knew I wanted to get married there someday.  Directly behind the altar there are floor to ceiling windows with an amazing view of the mountains.  When you're driving west of Denver on I-70, you go past Golden and get near Genesee, you go under several overpasses.  You go under this one by a buffalo overlook, and it's like heaven is laid out before you, because suddenly the Rocky Mountains are in full view in front if you.  Before that exit you really can't see the mountains because the road just isn't at the right angle or something.  This is the same view you see out of the windows behind the altar, but you can't really tell in this picture.

I remember our wedding day as being a great day in general.  My mom made my wedding dress, and the night before the wedding she had to do a bunch of alterations to a couple of bridesmaid dresses because the seamstress seemed to mess a couple of them up.  About the biggest problem I can remember is that the stupid wedding planner (who came with the church, because it's a very popular wedding place) sent the bridesmaids down the aisle without the groomsmen, or maybe vice versa.  Either way, they were supposed to go down as couples, but she messed that up, and that annoyed me.  But other than that and the fact that I didn't love my hair but was too chicken to tell the hair lady that, I'd say the day went off without a hitch, so to speak.  It was a fun day.

Thanks for 8 wonderful years, Mike!  Love you!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Zach's Birthday Party

I feel like I'm finally recovered from last week.  My parents came from Colorado on Friday the 5th and then left on the 6th to head up to my sister's place in the Twin Cities.  Mike also left on Saturday to go to Baltimore for 5 days for a conference of sorts.  They all planned to return on Wednesday sometime.  During the time that everybody was gone, Zach started t-ball, the boys and I had our first music class, I planted a bunch of flowers, and I got everything ready for Zach's birthday party, including stopping at about 4 different places to find enough PEZ dispensers for all the kids.  Thankfully, I am lucky enough to have 2 sets of great in-laws, and they all helped out by watching the boys at different times so that I could run a bunch of errands, work out, etc.  

When my parents returned on Wednesday afternoon, I put them to work.  My mom worked on some more planting for me, and they watched the boys so I could work out again.  After we got both boys in bed Wednesday night, my mom did most of the work getting the party favors wrapped up, and my dad got to work on putting together the Playmobil pirate ship Mike and I got for Zach's birthday.  Here's a warning for anybody thinking about getting any large Playmobil toy- the estimated time for completion stated on the box is probably a gross underestimation!  The pirate ship box said it would take about an hour and a half to put together, which is why we decided to put it together rather than wrapping it in the box.  My dad started at about 8:15 p.m., and he and my mom finished it a little after 12:15 a.m., a mere 4 hours later.  My dad is more meticulous than most, but I don't think that was really the issue here.  This pirate ship has about a million parts, and they were all scattered about in different bags with no rhyme or reason to it all.

This picture was taken around 11:30, I'd say.

While my mom worked on party favors and my dad worked on the ship, I was busy baking Zach's birthday cake and 48 cupcakes.  Personally, I like cake from a cake mix and frosting from a jar (or plastic container, I guess) better than cake from a grocery store or from a professional baker.  Zach told me a while back that he really wanted a cake shaped like a fire engine.  Not a flat cake with a picture of a fire engine- but really the shape of a fire engine.  So a few weeks ago I did a practice cake using loaf pans, and I thought it really looked like crap.  I'm glad I did that, though because it helped me decide to use small loaf pans to make a smaller fire engine, and then make cupcakes for everyone else.  Anyway, here are the cupcakes as I lined them up at the party the next day.

And here is the cake.  I used a book we have with a picture of a fire engine in it to help me see what it should look like.  I just could not put enough detail on it to make it look really real, but I thought this would work out ok.  I figured it'd be good enough for Zach, which would have to be good enough for me.  The problem with me is that I have a very strong desire to make the cake look perfect and like a professional did it, but I definitely do not have the skills to match.  But, I ended up being pretty happy with the end result.  Again, I am so glad I did the practice run.

Mike got home a little after midnight, expecting us all to be fast asleep, but was surprised by a very awake household.  Thankfully we all got to bed soon afterwards.  Thanks, Mom and Dad, for all your help!

Thursday morning the boys both had their well baby/child visits, and the rest of the day was spent getting ready for the party and playing.  They both did great at their doctor's appointments, but it was clear they were both pretty nervous.  Zach gained just under 5 lbs. in the last year, putting him at 36 lbs. even, which is the 52%ile.  He also grew 2.5 inches, which puts him right at 40 inches tall, just the 44%ile.  Drew gained almost a pound and a half in the last 3 months, putting him at 23 lbs. 6 oz., which puts him in the 33%ile, and just 12 oz. more than Zach was at the same age.  He also is about a half-inch taller than Zach was at 15 months.  So, in short, our boys continue to be very small to average in size.  Drew only had to get one shot, which was good, but boy was he upset.  He was so cute, though- as he got his cookie on our way out the door, he took a breath in his sobs to say, "Baaah!" and wave good-bye.  

Thursday evening was Zach's birthday party at the Rainbow Play Systems Showroom, which was fun.  Rainbow makes backyard wooden playsets, and their showroom has lots of different models, a bunch of basketball hoops, and a trampoline.  We ordered pizza for everyone and just let the kids go wild.  It was perfect, especially because I didn't have to clean the house for it!

Here's a funny picture of Zach and Katherine playing together.

Here's Zach, his preschool friend Sam, and our friend Jack from playgroup.

Here's Aunt Katherine, her boyfriend Sam, Grandpa Kevin, and Drew enjoying some pizza.

Zach was excited to have his birthday cake in front of him.  He was at the wrong angle, I guess, for blowing out the candles, though, because he blew once, blew twice, blew three times

and finally Sam had had enough and decided to help out.  Zach didn't mind, though.

I thought it would be easier to make red frosting if I used pink frosting as my base, and this really worked out to my advantage, because I absolutely love chocolate cake with cherry frosting.  Mmmmmm, cherry frosting.  The thing about richly colored frosting, though, is that it turns your teeth that color!

After the party ended, we had family members come back to our house to open presents.  Here Zach was happy to model his new pirate hat.

And here he is after he got his new pirate ship, which has been, in Zach's words, "a big hit."

I was so ready for bed after all the present opening, especially considering I'd gotten about 4.5 hours of sleep the night before.  It was a good party, and Zach had so much fun.  There's nothing better than seeing the joy in your child's face; it makes all the work totally worth it.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Some Random Stuff I've Been Meaning to Post

Lately there's been a lot of "Oh, I should put that on the blog" thoughts in my head, but little actual blogging.  Now I'm at the point where I'm not sure what all I was going to put on here, or if it's even worth writing about, but I'll do it anyway.  Pictures will help.

Last week we celebrated Grandpa Kevin's birthday.  While Mike and I were working out, Kevin, Cynthia, and Katherine were here with the boys.  Zach got to help decorate the carrot cake Aunt Katherine made for Grandpa.

Grandpa and his grandsons.

Here they are trying to blow out the candles.

After I got the boys down for naps one day last week, I looked out on my deck and saw this baby robin all snuggled up about 2 feet from the back door.  There was also a baby robin on the front porch all day on Saturday, so I figured maybe this was the same one.

After at least an hour, Maggie finally noticed the little bird on the deck.  

And a little later Foudy noticed it, too.  They both really wanted me to open the door to let them out, but of course I didn't do it.  They've both caught birds before right out of midair, so I wasn't going to take any chances.

When Zach got up from his nap and came downstairs, I had been watching not one baby robin, but 2 or 3 of them.  They really love to hang out on our playset in the backyard.  It was this afternoon that I realized there are at least 2, and I think there's even a third one, but I'm not totally sure.

Here is what Zach was looking at.

We're still seeing these robins on a daily basis, and there's something kind of neat about it.  I look for them all the time, and we always get excited when we see them out there.  I will be sad when they get bigger and fly away.  I have no idea where their nest is, but it must be close.  Last week Zach and I found a tiny piece of blue eggshell in with our daisies, but there's not really any place right there for a nest, so I'm not sure how it got there.  It was definitely from a robin's egg, though.

It finally seems to be consistently warm enough (except for the last 2 days) for the boys to play with the water table Drew got for his birthday.  They both think it's a lot of fun.  Drew of course gets soaking wet when he plays with it, but that's ok. 

One morning last week, when I went upstairs to put Drew down for his morning nap, Zach was in his pajamas still, just playing on the floor with Legos or something.  When I came down a few minutes later, this is how I found Zach.  I love to see the combinations a kid makes when he's letting his imagination lead him.

Here are the boys playing with the car ramp that Grandpa Dick made for us.  It's fun to launch our cars towards it and see them fly off the other side.  My dad made it so we can have two heights, which is fun.  It's also fun to slide cars down it and see how far they will go.  Thanks, Dad!

My best attempt at getting a shot of the car in midair.   It's kind of hard to tell.

Finally, after 15 months of watching Zach, Mike, and me play soccer in the basement, Drew has finally decided it's his turn to play.  Usually he loves to just play with the Thomas the Tank Engine train table (he loves that thing!), but the other night, he showed us all that he's actually been paying attention while we play.  There's even a little premature celebrating.  See for yourself.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Quick Four Years

Zach is four today, and I can hardly believe how quickly four years have passed.  I so clearly remember my positive pregnancy test, finding out we were having a boy, deciding on his name, going to the hospital to be induced, and Zach finally (only about 24 hours after we started the induction!) getting here.  I also remember that even though it seemed to take forever, labor and delivery didn't seem so bad.  Once I got the epidural (a lot earlier than I had planned, but I had to have a catheter so I couldn't get up and try anything I learned in my labor & delivery class), I took naps, Mike and I played cards, I wowed the nurse with my Jeopardy skills, and I watched my first ever Dancing with the Stars, even though I'd said how dumb that show was when I first heard about it (now I love it).  I remember how I didn't really want a sleeping pill that night we went to the hospital, but the nurse talked me into it, and then I remember her and Mike laughing at me because that thing threw me for such a loop- I felt like I was completely drunk.  It was weird.  When the doctor broke my water the next morning, there was meconium, which is not good because then the baby could ingest that meconium once he comes out and breathes for the first time, so the doctor and nurses were prepared for some quick action once he came out.  Then I think as labor dragged on and on I developed a fever, and so Dr. Olesen and the nurse were watching that closely.  I'd have to ask Mike for sure, but I think that I was starting to get pretty close to needing a c-section because things just weren't progressing.  I was due on June 3, 2005, and we started the induction on Tuesday night, June 7.  After 45 minutes of pushing and the help of a lovely vacuum, Zach was born at 10:03 p.m. on June 8, 2005.  I never watched the video of that night until about 15 months ago, when Zach and I watched it together right before Drew was born. (Don't worry, there's nothing graphic in it.)  It was then that I realized how it wasn't just a normal delivery.  As soon as Zach was born, a special team of doctors (maybe from the NICU?) came in and checked him out.  Everyone was very quiet and serious, and watching this all on video made me very grateful that I was oblivious to the seriousness of it all at the time it was happening.  They barely let me hold him before they whisked him away to the nursery for some tests, which I think were all a result of my fever- I think they were worried he had an infection.  They also had both Zach and me on oxygen, which didn't seem so weird to me at the time, but there was no extra oxygen involved when Drew was born, so I now realize that's not quite normal.  Everything seemed to be fine, though, so after what seemed like a long time, Zach came back up to the room and Mike finally got to hold him.  

Here we are as a new family of three.

This is after he came back from the nursery, where Mike ran into one of my good friend's husbands.  They had had their son that same day!  

And here's the sweet boy the next day, sleeping peacefully.

Here's Zach on his first birthday.  It's interesting to look at this and compare it to Drew.  Zach definitely had more hair, and I think a more square face.

Here's Zach at his second birthday party, eyeing the Cookie Monster cake I made, which turned everyone's teeth blue.

This is one of Zach's 2-year pictures.  I remember that the lady at Great Clips cut his hair super short, and I couldn' t believe how old it made him look.  Now I look at it, and he doesn't look old at all!

This is Zach and me from his third birthday party last year.

Today has been a busy day.  Zach started t-ball today, and we started up music with our friend Moira again.  We did music with Moira for 2 years, from Zach's first birthday through last summer, and then Moira took another job and couldn't teach the private class anymore.  But, she's teaching a class for a few weeks this summer, and we couldn't be more excited.  So getting to go to music today was a great birthday treat for Zach.

Tonight I went to work out and Grandma Linda and Grandpa Curt came over to watch the boys for me.  They picked up some dinner from Z'Mariks and it was waiting for me when I got home.  Then my friend Melody came over.  I've mentioned Melody before- she's on my soccer team and works out at the same place I do.  She also runs the Grasskicker's soccer program that Zach goes to, and Zach thinks Melody is the cat's meow.  When we first started talking about his birthday, he had 2 main people he wanted to invite- Paige, my friend's daughter who is one of 2 girls in our playgroup amongst a bunch of boys, and Melody.  Melody can't make it to his actual party, though so she was kind enough to come over tonight and have some leftover birthday cake with us.  It's leftover cake because I made it last night for when we got together with our church friends.  I let Zach pick out the kind of cake he wanted, and he picked strawberry because it's pink.

Here's Zach and Melody as we were singing to Zach.

Drew thinks singing the Happy Birthday song is pretty fun, too.

And an action shot of Zach blowing out his candles.

As he does with most people he loves, Zach had to take Melody down to the basement for a little soccer playing.  I think Zach ended up winning 10-7 or something.

I found the easiest way to get Zach out of the basement quickly is to tell him there's a birthday present waiting upstairs for him.  So we went up and he opened his present from Mike's grandpa.  It's a little pirate island, which will go great with the big pirate ship Zach will be getting from Mike and me the night of his birthday party.

Zach's been asking for a dollhouse for his birthday, but we thought a castle might serve the same purpose but get a little more use in the long run, so that's what Grandma Linda and Grandpa Curt got for him.  Here's a little video clip.

For some reason I can't fix the blue font, but that's ok because I'm pretty much done.  Seems as though the format's weird now, too.  It's been a great fourth birthday with Zach, and I'm so lucky to have such a sweet son.  This morning I had a birthday card waiting for him when he got up, and he loved it.  Then he very quickly sat down and made me a card.  What a sweetie.  It's been a great four years.