Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another Soccer Player in the Family

Drew started soccer a few weeks ago. He's in a program called Grasskickers, which is really just clinics for kids ages 3-5 (or maybe 6). I think most of the kids in Grasskickers are not on regular rec. league teams with this soccer club. I had asked Drew a month or so ago if he wanted to do soccer, and he said yes. Then we got Zach's soccer and football schedules and realized that he would be having soccer practice Tuesday nights, football practice Thursday nights (in the past football practice and games only were on Sundays, so not twice a week) , soccer games on Saturday mornings, and football games on Sunday afternoons. I like to go to kickboxing classes on Monday and Tuesday evenings, so suddenly I realized that if we put Drew in soccer on Friday nights, we'd have something going on literally every day of the week, which I didn't want. I thought maybe Drew would just forget about soccer if I didn't mention it again, but that did not happen, and I didn't feel like I could suddenly tell him he couldn't go, especially since he was excited and interested in it, which is something that hasn't happened in the past. So, I signed him up and started going to kickboxing in the morning at least on Wednesdays, so that our Wednesday nights are free. Plus, Grasskickers is only 5 or 6 weeks long, so it will be over soon.

Just like with preschool, the morning of Drew's first soccer clinic, he woke up and said right away, "It's my big day of soccer, today!!" The day before we had gone out and Drew had picked out his own soccer ball, which was kind of a fun experience for me. He picked the red one and then said, "Oh, no! It's Cyclone colors!" I assured him that just because it was red didn't mean it was Cyclone colors. I was worried his next choice would be the neon yellow one that said Kaka (a Brazilian soccer player) on it, and I was not about to let him pick a ball supporting Brazil, one of my least favorite teams! Thankfully I was able to find Zach's first pair of cleats for Drew to wear, and after purchasing Drew some new shinguards (the ones the salesman suggested so they wouldn't be too big), and realizing they were huge, we decided Drew would wear Zach's shinguards and we'd get Zach a new, bigger pair.

The soccer fields are out amongst a bunch of farms, and it is always cool and windy out there. I was worried the cold would affect Drew's attitude, but it sure didn't. He was so ready to go and have fun. They played a game to warm up where the kids were trying to grab each other's tails (pennies tucked into the back of their pants), and the last person with a tail would be deemed the fastest runner and the winner. Drew immediately said, "I'll be the fastest runner because my cleats have these super grippers on them." The coaches (a couple of high school or college aged girls) learned Drew's name very quickly.

The last thing they did was scrimmage, and the one coach kept trying to get the ball to Drew so he'd have a chance to score. Finally, right before time was up, it worked, and he did get the ball in the back of the net. He didn't make a huge deal of it then, but he talked about it a lot after that. He thought it was pretty cool to score a goal.

Drew had so much fun and was not at all shy. I think some of that is due to being in preschool now and to the fact that Zach is at school all day, and Drew has to figure out how to navigate the social world (small as his is at this age) without the comfort of his big brother to fall back on. I really enjoyed watching him play and thought it was so great to see him just having fun.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Very Brief Update

I have a few things to update you on.

First, Zach sort of remembered the whole sleep-walking/potty incident that I posted about last. When I asked him the next morning if he remembered anything happening the night before, he said, "No, what?" When I said, "You pottied on your floor." He said, "Oh, yeah. I sorta remember. I kept stepping in it." That was weird, because as far as I knew he never stepped in it. So when I asked for clarification, he said he got up a couple of times after that to go to the bathroom and stepped in the spot then, which I had tried to soak up and treat with some carpet cleaner, so it was still damp.

Second, at Jake's 9 month appointment, we found out that he is still skinny. He really doesn't look that skinny, but he's also not a kid who has rolls on his thighs or anything. He weighed 17 lbs. 13 oz., which put him in the 9th percentile, down from the 11th percentile a month ago. But he gained 2 lbs. 3 oz. in the last 3 months, and the pediatrician said average is 2 lbs., so that was good. He also grew 2.5 inches in the last 3 months, putting him at 29.5 inches, the 82nd percentile. So he's long and skinny, I guess. As a reference point, at 9 months Zach was only 28 inches long (42nd percentile) and weighed 18 lbs. 6 oz. (18th percentile), and Drew was 28.5 inches long (56th percentile) and weighed 20 lbs. (40th percentile), so Jake is the longest but skinniest, I guess.

Finally a couple of funny things Zach and Drew have said recently:
-We've been teaching/playing So Big to Jake. Yesterday at lunch we must have recently done it, and then moved on, but I think Zach was still playing it with Jake. Then Mike was getting after Zach to quit messing around and just eat his lunch, and Zach said, "How irritating is Dad? Sooooo irritating!" in the perfect So Big kind of sing-song voice. It was pretty funny.
-At the breakfast table on Friday morning, Drew said, "Zach, will you miss me when I die?" Zach replied, "Well, Drew, I'll probably die before you, because I'm older than you." Drew talks about death a lot lately. He's asked if when Maggie and Foudy (our 11 & 10 year-old dogs) die he can please get a baby pig. And when that baby pig dies, he wants to get another dog. Anyway, after asking Zach that, he said, "I don't want to die, ever!" I told him that everybody dies, talked up heaven, and explained that he probably wouldn't die for a long, long time. A few hours later, he said, "Mom, one time you gave me something that will make me die." Confused, I said, "I did?" He said, "Yep. These," and he pointed at something on his placemat. Still confused, I said, "What?" Drew said, "You gave me these colored Cheerios (here was a picture of Froot Loops on the placemat he was using) one time at church, and they'll make me die because they have so much sugar in them."
-I'm trying to find new finger foods for Jake to eat since he's pretty much done with eating baby food. Today I opened a can of organic great northern beans. Zach and Drew like black beans, so I gave them some of these great northern beans with their dinner. Drew ate one and said, "I like black beans, and now I like vanilla beans!"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dazed and Confused, But Still Funny

So Mike and I were just sitting here, watching the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy, when we heard footsteps coming down the hall. Zach came stumbling out from the hallway, looking a little dazed and confused. Mike and I both kind of started giggling, and one of us asked, "What's up, Bud?" Zach kinda laughed and just leaned into the couch where Mike was sitting. Mike told him he needed to head upstairs and close his eyes and go back to sleep. As he did that, he sort of patted Zach's butt and then said, "Are your shorts wet?" I looked and a little more closely and thought they did look like they could be wet. So we asked Zach if he maybe wet the bed, which is something that I'm not sure has ever happened in Zach's entire life. He sort of said no, but was still pretty out of it. So I went upstairs to his room to feel the bed, and Zach followed. When I got into his room, I could see a couple of random wet spots on the floor and a kleenex that looked like it was maybe slightly used. I was instantly reminded of an incident in college where a guy friend of mine (he shall remain nameless, but he's known to have neon eyebrows and his wife occasionally reads my blog), after a night of too much fun at Joe's, possibly mistook my couch for a toilet. Anyway, I asked Zach if he pottied on the floor and tried to clean it up, and he very casually said, "No," like someone might answer if you asked if they wanted sour cream on their taco or something. So I called Mike up to see what had happened, grabbed a dry pair of shorts for Zach and told him to change since his were wet, and I got a towel to clean up the carpet, which was definitely wet. Zach climbed into bed and seriously was about out already when I realized he never had gone into the bathroom, so I made him get up and go in to try to squeeze out any remaining drops. He went into the bathroom to potty, and as I walked by I noticed he didn't lift the seat. Oh great, I thought, I literally cleaned that toilet today, and now it's gonna have pee all over it! Mike was standing there with Zach, and the conversation I heard went pretty much like this:

Mike- Zach, why are you wiping your tush?
Zach- Confused, blank stare, while still wiping.
Mike- Did you poop? Did you sit down to potty??
Zach- No... confused look
Mike- Why are you wearing two pairs of shorts???
Zach- Confused look
Mike & me- Snickering

The poor kid sleep walks like this and has no idea what's going on. The funny (or maybe alarming?) thing is that at Jake's 9 month check-up yesterday the pediatrician (a college friend) and I were discussing Zach's sleepwalking, and he suggested putting a gate at the top of the stairs so that Zach doesn't fall down them or walk out the front door or something. I'm wondering if that's something we should consider. It's all fun and games and good blog material until somebody gets hurt, right?

And I'll let you know later if Zach remembers any of this in the morning.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

9 Months

Jake had his 9 month birthday last weekend. I truly cannot believe in just 3 months he'll be one already. I was just looking back at the pictures on my iPhoto account, finally ready to order some (I mean, he's only been with us for 9 months, I guess we could put up some pictures of him), and looking at those early first photos of him left me a little sad. He is so much fun these days, but I do miss those early days of snuggling him nonstop. This first photo shows a tiny glimpse of what he's like these days.

Yep, he's very silly. His personality is definitely starting to come out, and I'm wondering if we will have another Drew on our hands. By that, I mean that Jake is starting to have his own ideas about what he wants and when he wants it. He was trying to crawl into the shower yesterday to get to the drain cover (yuck), and Zach grabbed him and moved him to the carpet. The second Zach put him down, Jake turned and bee-lined it right back to the shower. He also is doing the old arching-his-back trick when I'm holding him and he wants to get down. It's really fun. And it happens often, because he just wants to be down in the action, participating, rather than watching from Mom's arms.

Jake basically does regular crawling 98% of the time, but every now and then he throws in an inch or two of army-crawling for old time's sake. He pulls up on everything he can. He loves to pull up to standing at the piano and plink around on a few keys. Lately he also thinks it's fun to pull up and work on the computer.

Tonight while I was making dinner, emptying the dishwasher, and trying to help Zach with his homework (all before Zach's football practice- sheesh!), Drew and Jake were playing independently. I turned around, and there was Jake, standing on the open dishwasher door, holding onto the top rack and checking things out. I wish I'd taken a picture, but I was in a hurry to get him down, so I just didn't take the time. We were really lucky in that neither Zach nor Drew were big climbers, so I feel a little worried about our odds of going 3 for 3 on that.

Jake continues to get more and more interested in his brothers. He loves to get in on the wrestling that occurs quite frequently, and thankfully, they're pretty careful about how rough they are with him. I have also seen him crawl over to both Zach and Drew in the past week and attempt to pull up on their legs, so he definitely feels a connection with them. I think with Zach being at school so much now, Drew and Jake are forming a closer bond than they had before, and that's nice to see.

At this point Jake is making the transition from baby food to finger foods. He likes bananas quite a bit and really seems to like grilled chicken. He also is a big fan of carbs, so he enjoys little Gerber Puffs, Cheerios, bread, waffles, and mini-Goldfish crackers. I've also given him steamed broccoli & carrots, peas, green beans, black beans, corn, asparagus, peaches, and kiwi. Tonight I pureed some strawberries to mix into some whole milk yogurt for breakfast, and I think he'll like that. He definitely likes to feed himself, but he's also been quite naughty lately about throwing food onto the floor. Little stinker.

Jake definitely has become a sleeper I can't complain about. He goes to bed between 7:00 and 7:15 most nights and is up between 6:30 and 6:45 most mornings, though once in a blue moon he'll sleep until 7:00. He naps around 8:45/9:00 for an hour and a half or so and again around 1:15/1:30 for another hour and a half or so.

Let's see, what else do I want to remember about Jake at 9 months? Oh, he seems to sort of dance when music with a good beat comes on, and I think he's starting to catch on to So Big! Hopefully one of these days I'll get a video of it, but we're still working on it. He loves to be outside and wants to be in the action whenever possible. I'm pretty sure that once this kid can walk, he'll go straight to running, just so he can keep up with those big brothers.

We go to the doctor in a couple of days, so I'll post his stats then. Now it's time for bed!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Drew's First Day of Preschool

Drew started preschool on Tuesday, and so far, so good. I think I was more nervous than he was, mostly because aside from grandparents' houses, I don't think I've ever dropped Drew off and left him somewhere without me or Mike there as well. When Zach started preschool he had had play dates without me around and had gone to Vacation Bible School without me. Plus, I'll be honest, Zach tends to be a little easier to get along with and has always been more of a go-with-the-flow kind of kid than Drew. But, after our initial tour of the classroom and meeting of the teachers last week, Drew seemed pretty excited about starting preschool.

Zach didn't have school on Tuesday because of a teacher work day, so he was able to go with to drop Drew off on his first day. Drew is going to the same preschool Zach went to, and I love the fact that even though more than a whole year has gone by since Zach has been there or seen the teachers, yet the director greeted Zach by name as we walked up and commented on how tall he had gotten. She also greeted Drew by name, which was also impressive. Going back into those preschool rooms with Zach made him seem so much older, too. Drew showed Zach right away where his cubby is, and then they explored the room a little together, with Drew showing Zach some things and vice versa. The associate teacher in the classroom is the same one Zach had for his 3 year-old year, so that's neat, too. She was happy to see Zach again as well.

Normally I will just drop Drew off in the drop-off line, but for the first day I wanted to walk him in. So after checking out some stuff, I told Zach we needed to head home. I wanted to make a quick exit for Drew's sake and because Jake was definitely ready to get home for his nap. I gave Drew a hug and told him good-bye, and Zach, Jake, and I headed to the back door of the classroom. As we started down the short hallway that leads to the main hallway, which was somewhat crowded with other parents, I heard, "Mom!" and saw Drew coming out of the room, and I thought, "Oh, no. Here we go." But I was pleasantly surprised to have him say, "I love you." I told him I loved him, too, and good-bye again. About 1 minute later I heard, "Mom!" We turned around and there was Drew again. This time he came out and gave Zach a big hug. That got me a little choked up. It was just so sweet. He came out one more time before we got away, and this time he just said good-bye again. So I think he was a little nervous, but thankfully the drop-off went well.

When we picked Drew up, he was happy and said he had a good day. He could tell me they read The Kissing Hand, he went potty and washed his hands in the little sink, they had apple juice and little teddy bear crackers (Teddy Grahams) as a snack, that he got to be the counter that day and counted that there were 6 gingerbread men, and that they didn't get a lot of time to play on the playground, but that he played pirates out by himself at recess. That seems like more information in one day from Drew than I ever got from Zach in two years of preschool! His second day of preschool (on Thursday) he was able to tell me it was Jarrett's birthday so they had cupcakes (he guess his was "caramel flavored, maybe"), he was the line leader to go home, and he sang me the song they learned that day, remembering all the words and getting the melody well enough that I could tell it was to the tune of Frere Jacques/Where is Thumbkin. I wonder if the details will always be so forthcoming from Drew. I hope so!

Here is Drew with his preschool bag. We have to purchase the bag from the preschool, but then we can decorate it with the child's name and whatever else. Drew originally wanted Bolt, the dog from the Disney movie of the same name, but I couldn't find it anywhere, so he "settled" on Lightning McQueen and Mater. Mike played Susie Homemaker last weekend and while I did bunches of other stuff, he ironed on the cars and the letters of Drew's name.

Here are my three boys and me just before leaving to take Drew to school. I can't believe this picture turned out as well as it did.

While Drew was at preschool that first day, Jake napped, and Zach and I enjoyed some one-on-one time (a rarity now that he's in school all day) by reading a chapter book (it's fun to have Zach old enough to enjoy longer books), having a snack, and just hanging out. I had promised the boys that after preschool we'd feed some geese and have a picnic, so we headed up to the little lake/pond at the mall, where we know there are always geese and often ducks. It was a perfect, sunny day, and as we got to the water's edge. there was just one duck. The first bit of bread went in and suddenly we were bombarded by geese, ducks, and fish.

There was one bold little duck who knew that the best way to get bread was to get out of the water and get close. You can see him in the above picture, just at the right-hand side. He had just climbed out of the water.

Zach tried holding bread in his open hand and see if the duck would come get it, but he kept moving and spooking the duck, so it didn't work out. I was ok with that.

Drew thought about trying to hand-feed it also, but ended up just putting his bread down. This duck just kept getting braver and braver!

Jake was pretty interested in watching the ducks and geese from his stroller.

After feeding the birds, we found a bench and sat to have lunch. I was a little annoyed because another mom and her 1.5-2 year-old son came over by us and started throwing bread to the birds, so of course they got out and came up by us while we were eating our lunch, expecting us to toss them food as well. It wasn't a big deal, but she had the whole lake to choose from, so why pick right where we were eating? It just seemed weird. I would have tried to have chosen a spot away from where people were eating if I could, and we were about the only other people there, so it's not like the place was crowded. But, whatever. The birds pestered us some but not too much, so no harm was done.

Oh, while it's on my mind- two quick cute things Drew has said lately:

1. Instead of accident, he says asskident, i.e. "I spilled my water on asskident." It's pretty cute.
2. He also told me the other day that he saw a volcano on Dinosaur Train, and that volcanoes "interrupt" when smoke comes out of them.
3. He also has told me that he can't play with girls at preschool, and that I'm the only girl who's fun to play with. Then he quickly added to that list the two neighbor girls who are friends of Zach's and our friends Anna and Lucy. "They're my best girlfriends," he said about Anna and Lucy.
4. Finally, my nephew Anders turned 3 this past week, the day before Drew turned 3 and a half. I called to talk to Anders when the boys weren't with me, and when I told Drew that night that Anders had ridden on a train on his birthday, Drew got really upset, saying, "That really hurts my feelings that Anders went on that train without me! I wanted to go!" I tried to explain that Anders didn't do it to hurt Drew's feelings and that we were too far away to go on the train anyway, but he just kept saying, "That hurts my feelings! Anders hurt my feelings!" Then I said it wasn't Anders' idea, it was his mom and dad's idea, as something special for Anders' birthday, and Drew said, "Then Aunt Sandy and Uncle Will hurt my feelings. Was there a station for that train? I want to go to that station and on that train. That wasn't fair!" all while big tears were rolling down his cheeks. The next morning he found his play cellphone, and he pretended he got a call from Anders, who was calling to apologize for asskidentally hurting Drew's feelings by going on the train without him. It was all really cute and pretty funny.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Weekend 2011

It has been a fun and busy Labor Day weekend. Activities included the first Hawkeye game of the season, dog-sitting, a birthday party, a sleep-over at Grandma & Grandpa's, an almost 9 mile run, playing outside, getting ready for the first day of preschool, and hanging with friends.
Jake was able to take some time to relax and play the piano, though. He makes lovely music and is so proud to be able to reach and play all on his own.

On Friday evening Mike, Zach, and Drew hopped into the car and headed over to Pa's house. At 88 years-old, Pa is still doing very well. I'm sure he loved having his only grandson and two of his three great-grandsons over for a visit. The boys enjoyed playing with Pa's toys, both old (toy tractors for Drew) and new (Wii for Zach), and they enjoyed snuggling with their great-grandpa, too.

Saturday morning the boys and Mike met our friend BJ and his daughter Anna and headed to the first Hawkeye game of the season. First they were tailgating for a couple of hours, though. It seemed to be bring-your-kid-to-the-game day for many folks, perhaps because Iowa was playing Tennessee Tech and was expected to blow them away, which they did. Drew and I put together some little snack cups for him, Zach, and Anna to have while tailgating. They were very proud in their new McNutt jerseys, too.

Zach made sure I bought black jerseys since that was what he knew Anna had. Here are all three kids being goofy. I think they might have had just a bit of sugar while tailgating.

They had a great time tailgating, and then the rain started. And apparently it rained, and rained, and rained, and rained. Mike said about a half-hour before the game started, they were huddled under someone's tent, and Drew said, "Let's just go home now." They did go to the game... for a quarter. It rained the whole time they were there, and though they had rain ponchos, they still were soaked by the time they left. I think they left at the right time, though, because shortly after halftime they had to delay the game because of the rain. That would not have been fun to sit through with a couple of young kids.

While the big boys were away, Jake and I were home, dog-sitting Mike's step-brother's great dane, Teegan. I've met Teegan before at Mike's parents' house, and I knew she was a gentle giant, but having her in my own house really showed me how GIANT she is! Maggie is a pretty big dog with long legs, but next to Teegan, she looks like a little lap dog! I feel like all the pictures I took don't really even show how massive she is, but I tried.

Teegan lives in Texas and had never been to my house previously, and she and I have only met on a couple of occasions, so she was pretty sad when Mike's step-brother Colin dropped her off and left for his cousin's wedding. She spent the first few hours going back and forth from the front door to the back door, looking for her owner. I was afraid to let her out to potty because I wasn't sure she'd come back, and it was raining, and I had these visions of me, carrying Jake, chasing a dog that weighs more than I do around the neighborhood. Thankfully she always came back when I let her out. This first picture shows a little bit of how much bigger Teegan is than Maggie.

Teegan can easily rest her chin on my kitchen counters, so I had to make sure I never left any food out. I like this picture because of the way Jake is looking up at Teegan.

Once Mike and the boys got home from the game, I enlisted their help in getting a picture of Teegan, Maggie, and Foudy next to each other to also show the difference in their sizes. This is a good one because you can also see how she compares to Zach in size.

Later that evening, Mike, Zach, and Drew took Teegan back to Curt & Linda's house. Mike said it was a bit of a challenge to get Teegan situated in the van.

All the dogs got along just fine. Maggie seemed to avoid Teegan, and otherwise they really just ignored each other. Oh, Foudy did growl at Teegan a little when Teegan walked by Foudy as she was chewing on her bone. Foudy apparently didn't realize that her 43 pounds probably wouldn't stand a chance against all 150 of Teegan's pounds.

On Sunday I talked my friend Melody into going on a long run with me. I'm still on the fence about running the Des Moines Half-Marathon in another 5 weeks or so, but I'm training as though I'm going to do it. It was a beautiful day for the run, and since Mel did a little too much tailgating the day before, I did a little extra running to allow her a little rest time, and I ended up running about 9 miles. It was the longest I've run in a long time (since before being pregnant with Jake), and it felt awesome. It was also the first time I've done a long run with anybody other than my sister Sandy. I sort of felt like I was cheating on her or something. Usually I just run by myself, and it was definitely fun to have somebody to talk to and the miles went by very quickly.

Sunday afternoon we headed over to Curt and Linda's house for Mike's step-brother's daughter's birthday. Alice will be 2 in 10 days, but since Colin doesn't live here, we won't see her on her birthday, so we celebrated early. I think Alice wasn't sure what to think of all those boys being around, but she sure did enjoy her ice cream, cupcake, and her presents. We were happy to celebrate with her.

That evening Zach and Drew got to have a cook-out and sleepover at Grandma Cynthia and Grandpa Kevin's house. Today was just a day to catch up on errands and to see our church friends, and tomorrow Zach has the day off and Drew starts preschool!! Hopefully there are nothing but good stories to share about that!