Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Drew's Preschool Program

Catch-up time again. Drew's preschool program was a couple of weeks ago. It was great, and he did such a good job. It was interesting to watch him singing and doing movements compared to Zach, who had his own music program at school earlier in December. Drew seems to be our little performer. He does a much better job at age 3 and a half of staying with everybody and doing the right moves at the right times than Zach does at age 6 and a half. Here are some of my favorite pictures from it.

There's Drew, right in front in the navy and white striped sweater. He was happy to see us in the crowd.

This is Drew really getting into We Wish You a Merry Christmas, where the kids would swoosh one arm across their bodies in a movement that Drew told me is the sign (as in sign language) for "We wish you a merry Christmas."

And here's Drew with his favorite girl, Nessa. Nessa is Drew's teacher's daughter, and she is in one of the 4 year-old preschool classes. Drew rides to school with his preschool teacher, Nessa, and Nessa's little sister Landry. Nessa and Drew play together before the rest of the kids get to school, and they sure do seem to be good buddies. I just love this picture. They are so cute! Drew's teacher made a joke when we took this picture that it will be their engagement picture. Too bad Drew has that silly face going on!

One funny side-note- click here to see a picture from Zach's 3 year-old preschool program back in 2008. By pure coincidence, he was wearing the same exact outfit (ok, not the same shoes) that Drew wore this time. I hope it fits Jake for his 3 year-old preschool program in a few years, too!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Can you believe it's been a whole year since this freaking adorable picture was taken???

That picture was taken right before we left the hospital, and I love it. I really still am trying to accept the fact that my baby is ONE. Where did the last year go? It's been a great year, and I feel well-adjusted to having 3 kids. One of my good friends just had a baby, and I will admit, I do miss that sweet, snuggly, sleeping all the time (but only while being held) stage. However, on the other hand, Jake is learning so much and changing so much, and that makes him so much fun. It's just amazing to see his brain working and to see things click for him. For example, We have the book Oh, David by David Shannon, and on the page that says only, "P.U.," I always put my fingers on Jake's nose like I'm plugging it. So now when I get that book out to read, Jake immediately puts his hand up to his nasal region (he doesn't always get right on his nose). He also is starting to make animal noises. He likes to do a monkey (which involves a lot of leg-kicking, for some reason) and a cow. He's taken a few steps on a few different occasions, but isn't walking unassisted yet. Mike and I have a bet- I think it will happen by Dec. 27th, and Mike doesn't. We'll see who wins.

Jake's birthday was nice and low-key. He woke up in a happy mood.

He enjoyed feeding Mike some breakfast. One of Jake's latest tricks is getting into the pantry and getting out a small container of applesauce. Then he makes his "help me" noise until I put him in his seat, open the applesauce, and give him his own spoon. So far he's not very successful about actually getting any applesauce in his mouth, but he tries hard. He is definitely getting good at communicating what he wants, that's for sure.

Zach and Drew wanted me to make a candy-cane shaped cake for Jake that could also be a J. I wanted to make a snowman cake because it'd be easy, but I went with what the boys wanted. And I regretted it. It was a pain to frost. And then I realized that if we flipped it around, it'd be a backward J. Great. In the end it turned out ok, though it's not my best cake ever.

I made the shape by using a 9 inch round pan and a 9x13 inch pan and then cutting each in half and "pasting" them together, so there was enough to make a candy cane and a J. Whew! There was also enough batter left over for a few cupcakes. Considering we only had Mike's 2 sets of parents over for Jake's party, we had a lot of cake left over. I threw a huge chunk away today, actually.

Jake enjoyed trying to open a couple of presents, and Zach and Drew were incredibly good. They didn't take over or overstep their boundaries at all.

But he had to take a little break to take an important call on my cell phone.

Then it was cake time. He really loved us singing happy birthday to him, but I had the cake and Mike had the camera, so we didn't get the first rendition on video. Somehow he knew to blow out the candle, though he couldn't really do it. I was nervous he was going to try to grab the flame, so I helped him blow it out pretty quickly.

I gave Jake a big slab of cake. In hindsight, I know I should have done a couple of things differently. First, I would have stripped him down to his diaper, though I think he would have been cold. Second, I would not have used red frosting!

So here he is all nice and clean.

Checking things out...

Big brothers getting in on the action.

I cut the cake into some smaller pieces, and that helped to sort of get Jake more interested.

These next two really kind of crack me up.

Now he's got it figured out!

Want some cake?

All done and sooooooo big!

Somehow I managed to get him out of his high chair and into the bathtub without getting red frosting all over me. And I washed his clothes and don't even see stains! What a fun birthday!

I forgot to take his 12 month picture before giving him the cake, so I had to take it the next day in a different outfit (as opposed to the "Birthday Boy" onesie he was borrowing from cousin Myles).

What a great (and fast!) year it has been!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Some of the photos that didn't make the Christmas card this year, even though they're pretty darn cute.

I like this one because it's obvious they are all cracking up. I was making all sorts of crazy noises and faces, really working for those smiles.

First time they all took a bath together. I was giving Jake a bath, and Drew asked if he could get in. Then Zach walked in and said, "Can I get in, too?" It was kind of sweet.

These last 3 might be my favorite, but I guess they just didn't work on the Christmas card I wanted.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Catching Up Again

I'm behind on blogging... again. I know I had better get myself caught up before Jake's big birthday next week and Christmas shortly after that. So this will be brief.

Here's Jake after enjoying some yogurt one morning for breakfast. This may have been the day I give him his own small spoon to try out. He likes to try it and knows what to do with it, but doesn't have the motor control yet to actually scoop food and get it to his mouth.

A couple of weeks ago I took Zach and Drew to the club to make gingerbread houses. It was fun to get some time with just them and me, as I don't often get that. We met up with our friends BJ & Susan, who were their with their girls, Anna and Lucy, and their nieces and nephew and Susan's parents. We all had a great time.

Drew working hard.

Mike grew up with Susan and her family, and we have hung out with Susan's sister's family before (most recently on Halloween), so the kids were all pretty comfortable with each other. Zach and Jon, who is just a year younger than Zach, had fun discussing and comparing their houses.

I made sure to get a picture of Zach and Drew with their houses. I am happy to report that I have finally let go and no longer feel the need to help the boys have pretty, symmetrical houses. It was very relaxing to sit back and just watch them make their masterpieces exactly as they wanted them.

We went straight from the club to the mall so I could run a couple of errands, and Drew had a tough time following directions and ended up not getting to play in the play area with Zach. That was fun, sitting outside the play area with Drew, who was very mad at me, while Zach played in the terribly crowded play area mostly to make a point to Drew about me meaning what I say.

Jake continues to show similarities to both Zach and Drew. He loves balls and throwing them (like Zach), and most recently, he likes to push cars along (like Drew).

Drew and Jake even pushed cars together one day last week. Drew constantly is driving cars, and on this particular day, suddenly Jake grabbed one and crawled off after Drew with it. It was pretty sweet to see them play together.

For Thanksgiving we spent the day at Mike's mom and step-dad's house with his parents, his grandpa, and his brother Colin. We always do our Christmas with Curt & Linda on Thanksgiving. Here's Zach displaying one of his new gifts.

And Drew with a funny look on his face.

Pa and Curt seemed to be getting a kick out of this new remote controlled car one of the boys got.

Jake modeled his new reindeer hat for us.

Over the holiday weekend we got our tree put up. Zach and Drew were very excited to decorate it. They put most of their ornaments all in one area on the tree, so later I had to move some. Now the ornaments seem to be shifting up on the tree, so that Jake can't reach any of them.

After the tree was decorated, it was sit-on-Dad time.

Zach had Fine Arts Night at school last week. Here he is lined up with his classmates at the start of the show.

He had a special job of playing rhythm sticks (I think that's what they're called) for one song. That strikes me as a little funny, because during another song, the kids sang and clapped out a beat to the tune of We Will Rock You, and Zach appeared to have no rhythm whatsoever. He was constantly either behind or ahead of the rest of the class. It was quite funny and cute.

Here are Zach and his best friend Ximen (pronounced Shi-men). Ximen lives just a few houses up the street from us, and they ride the bus together and are in the same class. If Zach doesn't walk in the door after school and ask if he can play at Ximen's house, then I know something is wrong. Actually, I don't think that has ever happened. He and Ximen love to play together.

Speaking of Ximen, Zach brought home a bunch of stuff from his writing folder a couple of weeks ago, and the paper pictured below was one such item.

You may not be able to see the writing very well, but it says, "Frum Skye," at the top and "Ximen in love with Zach," down on the lines. It's hard to read because it's written in purple ink and because the paper is very wrinkled, as Zach took it from me when I asked him about it and crumpled it up. He then was nearly in tears about it, saying that there are 2 girls who are "really mean" and make fun of him and Ximen. Then I asked if he likes Ximen, and he insisted he didn't, thinking I meant like like, when really I just meant like. When I got that point across to him and he answered that yes, he likes Ximen (as in he enjoys her company and playing with her), I told him it doesn't matter then what anybody else says, and that if he and Ximen like playing together, they should. It was one of those sweet and somewhat heart-breaking moments that I know we'll have more of, where Zach gets teased about a girl. My little boy is growing up.

Not sure I like the autocorrect on this new computer. If there are weird words in places that don't seem right, I blame it on autocorrect.