Monday, November 19, 2012

Halloween 2012

About a week and a half before Halloween, Sandy and Anders came to visit and we took the boys to a pumpkin patch.  This was a new pumpkin patch for us this year, one that advertised themselves as being organic and less circus-y than others, both things that appealed to Sandy and me.  Plus, the place is owned and run by some patients of Mike's, so he also recommended it.  

We got lucky and had a beautiful day for it.  The only bummer was that Jake was kinda crabby, and Drew and Anders had their moments, too, because they went to bed very late and got up early.

Drew had been asking me since late September to get pumpkins, and I kept telling him we would do it in October.  Then since we waited until Oct. 20, I was a little worried we wouldn't have a whole lot of pumpkins to choose from, but again, we were lucky.  This pumpkin patch had lots of regular pumpkins and some really neat white ones and also some very cool princess pumpkins, which are a deeper reddish-orange and have a flatter, wider shape.

True to form, Drew picked his pumpkin in about 3 minutes, and Zach hemmed and hawed and debated about probably 5 of them before finally settling on one.  Of course he wanted the biggest one he could find, but I was trying to steer him a little more toward medium to medium-large pumpkins.

In addition to picking pumpkins, we got to go on a little nature walk, a hayride, and we got to check out some goats and chickens.  We also had some delicious hot (or warm, in the boys' case) apple cider and some incredibly good cider donuts.

The following weekend, we got to carve our pumpkins.  I really enjoy carving pumpkins, and so far the boys do, too.  In this picture you can see the pumpkins and a couple of the little ghosts the boys and I made out of cheesecloth and fabric stiffener.

One of the difficult things about carving pumpkins with the boys is that they grossly overestimate my carving abilities.  They often want really elaborate designs, and I have to talk them out of them because they just seem too hard and too involved.  So Zach decided he wanted a scary face, and Drew decided he wanted a spider to go with Webby, his black plastic spider ring he got at preschool.  I found a picture online for both and just looked at them as I carved.  I took advantage of Jake's ignorance about jack-o-lanterns and just went with something super easy.  It's probably the last year I could get away with that.

Zach's scary face jack-o-lantern.

Drew's spider actually turned out better than I expected, although those skinny legs didn't hold up very well.  At least one was broken by the next day, and by Halloween a couple of days later, I think 2 were broken and he was sagging a little.  Oh, well.  Drew didn't mind at all.

Jake's easy and simple jack-o-lantern.

You might be wondering what kind of weight-lifting regimen we've had Drew on, but don't worry- it's just a Hulk costume he likes to play in.

We had dinner at a friend's house and then went trick-or-treating in our neighborhood (the friend just lives down the street) with our friends Anna, Lucy, Eli, Charlie, and Will.  This picture shows Lucy, Anna, and Zach by the door, Drew as the ghost, and Charlie and Jake  to his left.  Charlie is two and a half and was not interested in putting on a costume.  Eli and Will are too little to really trick-or-treat, so they didn't make it in the picture, I guess.

Here are my three boys- the ghost (easiest costume ever, I think, though it did get a little heavy on Drew), the tiger, and the ninja.

I love this picture of Drew because he really looks like a ghost, although one with red hands.  The sheet was fuller and more flowy, but we discovered that while that looked good, it made the sheet way too heavy, and it hurt Drew's neck.  So we cut a bunch off, and this was the finished product.  And, same thing as with the pumpkins (and everything else in life)- Drew knew 6 weeks before Halloween that he was going to be a ghost, and Zach changed his mind every day and then spent 20 minutes in the aisle at Target trying to figure it out.  And every time (with the pumpkin, too), he leaves the store/pumpkin patch thinking maybe he should have gotten something else.  Poor kid is just like his mom that way.

We had a great night for trick-or-treating.  Good weather with only mid-weight jackets needed.  Jake LOVED it!  We started at our friend's neighbors' house, which is at the bottom of our block but across the street, and then we turned up our street.  Jake immediately said, "No home, Mom. No home."  He did want to eat the candy immediately at first, but after the second house, I let him have one small thing, and then he was content to not eat after each house.  Jake walked the entire time until the very last house we went to.  He had just fallen down and was surely tired, so he wanted me to carry him.  It was a really fun Halloween!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dancing? You bet!

Here's a little (or long, actually) video montage mostly of Jake dancing.  These videos are all from the summer.  The first part, in the car, was taken at about hour 8.5 of our 9.5 hour drive back from Colorado.  We were desperate to get through the drive!  And I think all of it is set to Zach and Drew's latest Vacation Bible School music.  I do love Jake's dancing and hope he never quits doing it!  Oh, and you even get treated to a little bit of singing by both Jake, Mike, and me.  Jake's singing is only slightly cuter than mine and Mike's.

Make a video - it's fun, easy and free!

And, please note, this is the 2nd blog post in one week! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Another Catch-Up

It's been almost 2 months, and, once again, I've fallen way behind on blogging.  So here are a ton of pictures from the past 2 months not necessarily in order, because if I try to get them in order, it could be another month before this post actually gets published.

First, a random picture of Jake and our buddy Eli.  Until just recently, Jake always called Eli "baby".  Lately, though, he calls him "Ili" (think eye-lie).  So one night when Eli and his family were over, Jake wanted to hold him.  Jake definitely likes babies.  They are not quite a year apart, so in no time Eli will be running around playing with Jake.  

Here are the boys on the opening day of the Hawkeye football season.  So far it's been a very disappointing season, to say the least.  At least we have cute blondies to admire in their jerseys since the real players rarely seem to look good.

Here are the boys attempting to do what many fitness experts consider "the perfect exercise"- the burpee.  Personally, I hate burpees.  To do a burpee, you start in a standing position, squat, then do a push-up, then stand up and do a vertical jump, and that's one.  So here are the boys (even Jake, who is closest to the table) doing their best burpees.  They need a little work. :-)

I think this picture is of the boys all watching a Star Wars version of the song Call Me Maybe.  It's a pretty funny compilation.  Looks like all the boys were interested in it.

Wow, this shows how badly I've done with blogging lately.  Here's Drew on his first day of pre-k preschool.  It is really hard to imagine him going to kindergarten next year.  I know he'll be ready, but will I??  

Drew is really getting more and more interested in writing and reading, and is sounding out simple words and trying to sound out harder words to write them.  He can easily count to 100 by 1's and 10's, which are both things Zach didn't do until kindergarten, so we wonder if Drew will be our math kid.  

Drew definitely loves preschool.  He goes 4 days a week for 2.5 hours each.  His best friend Clay is not in his class, which is a bummer, but Clay's grandma is Drew's teacher, so that is fun.  And, Drew has a girlfriend that is also his new best friend.  Carly and Drew seemed to become friends pretty quickly, and it wasn't long before Drew started sharing all sorts of gems as he got into the car after school, such as:
     -"Carly is my girlfriend, you know, because she's a girl and she's my friend,"
     -"I kissed Carly today."  (I tried not to make a big deal of this, but did find out that another kid suggested they kiss, and I also encouraged sticking with just hugs so that no germs are shared.)
     -"Mom, Carly and I decided we're going to get married, so can we borrow the car?"  When I asked why they'd need the car, Drew said, "Well, because, you know, we don't have the money to buy a car. And we'll also need to borrow the baby carrier and the bassinet for the baby that God gives Carly."
On Friday Drew, Jake, and I were at the mall and decided to play at the play area, and suddenly, we realized that Carly was there, too.  It was really fun to watch the two of them playing together.  Then this morning, before school, Drew told me he wanted to write Carly a note.  This is what he wrote:

In case you can't tell, it says, "I (heart) U Carly" and is signed by him.  Again, I didn't make a big deal of it.  He said he wanted to write it and asked me to draw the heart for him, but instead I showed him how to do it himself, and then I helped him with how to spell Carly's name.  He said Carly thanked him when he gave it to her this morning.  I don't have the heart to tell Drew that after this school year, he and Carly could very well never see each other again. :-(

This next series of pictures was taken a while ago.  Probably sometime after Drew started preschool.  I can't remember exactly how we found this praying mantis, but he was on our driveway, I guess, so Drew wanted to get a good, close look.

He talked to him and observed him for quite some time, and we did a little google research to figure out what our friend might eat.  It was interesting to watch him.

Mike took Zach and Drew to a Hawkeye game earlier in the season.  Unfortunately, the game was one of those "sure win" games that we lost.  At least it didn't rain on the boys like it has the past 2 years, though.

It seems the boys had fun despite the loss.  Drew even did the wave.

It was strange getting used to having just Jake while Zach and Drew were at school.  But now Jake and I have our routines.  We go to the grocery store on Mondays (something I think I need to change because Jake can be a total pain at the grocery store, much more than his brothers were at this age), story time at the library on Tuesdays, Wednesdays are open for whatever, and we go to a music class on Thursdays.  Probably our favorite thing is music class.  I did a music class always with Zach from the time he was 1 until he was about 4, which means I also did it with Drew for a while, but once Drew was old enough to voice his opinion, he let it be known that music class wasn't really his thing.  Actually I think Drew would have loved if we could have continued the small music class we did originally, but that teacher quit and the big class we started attending just wasn't that great.  The class Jake and I go to is somewhere in the middle- not as small as the private one Zach and I did, but not humongous, either.  And Jake is totally into it.  

Here is Jake playing at the library one day.  I've gotten to where I try to get online on Monday nights to search for at least some of our books (I have a slight problem with checking out library books- I usually check out at least 10-15 picture books for Drew, probably 4-5 chapter books for Zach, and 2-3 board books for Jake) so that I can request them and have the librarians pull them and have them waiting when we get to the library, because Jake doesn't like for Mommy to be ignoring him to look for books for a long time.  I can't blame him, but sometimes you just can't pick books without looking at them.  If you have any good book recommendations for either Zach (age 7) or Drew (age 4.5), I'd gladly take them!  Anyway, lately Jake and I pretend to be firefighters for quite a while while at the library.  Jake always gives me the fireman hat and he takes this other red hat, and we go and pretend to sleep on the beanbags.  Then I sound the alarm and we get up and wander around, sometimes with Jake doing the fire engine siren, and we put out fires.  This is a game Jake learned from Drew, who likes to play it at home.  It's fun, but doing it 50 times in a row gets a little repetitive for my taste.  Oh well.  It makes Jake happy, so I'll happily play along.

In September, Drew and I were able to go up to Minnesota for a weekend to help celebrate my nephew Anders' 4th birthday.  My brother-in-law was out of town, so I told Sandy I'd come help her with the birthday party, and Drew was super excited to get a weekend with Anders.  Zach had soccer and football that weekend, so Mike and Jake stayed home with him, which was a first for us.  It worked out well, though.  Drew and Anders played and bickered while Sandy and I got things ready for the party on Saturday afternoon.  The them was the Olympics, so I made this easy cake.

I also was able to get a long run in on Sunday before we left town, and Sandy bravely took Anders, Drew, and Kelso on a bike ride.  The ride almost didn't happen, because the two 4 year-olds (or, as Drew would be sure to say, the one 4 year-old and the one 4 and A HALF year-old (which is Drew)) were having some alpha male issues about who was fastest and should be in front.  

I got some good pictures and even a video of Sandy and Will's crazy dog Kelso, who is still not a year old, though he is probably 50+ pounds.  Kelso is a good dog, but he's a puppy, so he still has a lot of energy.  And holy cow, can that dog jump.  He likes to jump up to get this ball that is tied to the tree in their backyard.  Occasionally he grabs ahold of it and kind of gets himself stuck, because he is afraid to let go (I guess?) or doesn't want to let go, maybe.  If he does that a few times, Sandy tells him he can't play that way anymore, and he gets his toy put up.  

Check out this video.  I hope it actually works- it's the first time I've uploaded directly to blogger without going through OneTrueMedia first.  I can't get it centered for some reason, though.

Random park pictures of my little tree-huggers.

These pictures were taken some night after Drew, Jake, and I had taken a bike ride while Mike and Zach were at football practice.  There was a blanket in the Burley (the little bike trailer Jake rides in) from last year, so Jake cuddled with it and didn't want to let it go once we got home.

It's fun to have Jake getting older and being more interested and able to do things his brothers want to do.  He just might (fingers crossed!) be my arts-and-crafts kid.  So far neither Zach nor Drew are all that into artsy stuff, something I always have just attributed to them being boys.  But Jake loves to color, and even at the young age of 22 months, he holds writing utensils correctly, something that, like Drew counting to 100 and counting by 10's, I think is a direct result of having older siblings to watch and learn from.

Here the boys are enjoying some easel painting time.  The only trick with this is getting Jake to stay on the splat mat and not get paint all over the kitchen or living room.

It's fun to see how Drew's creativity is evolving.  He no longer slathers all the paint on in one spot.  It's nice to have pictures with a variety of color, as opposed to just a big brownish blob that takes days to dry.

I got this next idea from Pinterest.  I need to take some time to go over all the stuff I've pinned there and get the necessary materials to do some more activities with the boys.  This is just a little fine-motor exercise the boys did that involved threading Cheerios onto an uncooked spaghetti noodle that was stuck in a blob of Play-Doh.

Jake and Drew are starting to play together more and more, which is so nice.  Jake really watches Drew when it's just the two of them, and definitely emulates Drew's play, whether it's with racing cars, being the Incredible Hulk, or playing with trains.  Drew sometimes still does incredibly annoying big-brother things, but I don't expect that to change anytime soon, though I wish it would.  Jake holds his own pretty well, though.  Just yesterday Drew did something annoying for about the 3rd time in a row, and I looked up right as Jake shoved Drew hard enough to knock him down.  A part of me, as the youngest kid in my own family, definitely thought, "Yeah, Jake! You show him!"

Speaking of the youngest, I like to think this is how our family would look were we to have one more kid (which is definitely not going to happen).  Notice the pink pants on that little cutie??

That's little Lucy, our friend BJ and Carey's newest little one.  Somehow Charlie, their almost 3 year-old son, managed to stay out of the picture.  Aside from being almost 2 years younger than Drew yet being only an inch shorter, Charlie looks like he fits right in with our family- blonde hair and fair skin.  Lucy, on the other hand, has a head full of dark hair.  

All the boys wanted to hold Lucy, and BJ and Carey were kind enough to let them.  Even Jake felt he needed a turn, so I helped him out.

And one last picture of Jake before I call it a night and decide to publish this not-quite-caught-up post.   Man, I can't believe this little guy will be 2 in about 6 weeks.  He is so fun and so opinionated and can be such a challenge, too.  Though we aren't necessarily "working on" potty training, we do encourage Jake to potty on the potty and we do have him sit on the toilet at a few regular times each day, like when he wakes up in the morning, before/after naps, before baths, and before bed.  And Jake is really quite good about pooping on the potty.  Unless he is alone in his room (like right after waking up), he always tells me when he needs to poop, and we head to the bathroom and take care of business.  Honestly, I don't remember the last time I actually changed a poopy diaper- it's quite nice!  I should probably work harder at actual potty training, but I'm not sure he gets the feeling of needing to pee yet, so I don't know if it's worth all the hassle right now.  I guess I'm being lazy about it.  Maybe this winter on a snow day or something, I'll just crank the heat up and strip him down to his birthday suit and we'll see if we can get it worked out.

Jake is picking up so many words every day.  It's so amazing.  Today he kept saying, "Jinkies!" which is from watching A Pup Named Scooby Doo with his brothers.  He still calls Zach "Aa-aa" (short a sound), and sometimes "Eee-aa" (long e, short a), and Drew is "Dew".  He sounds like an east coast kid whenever he wants my attention (which is a lot), because he says, "MA!" or "Hup MA!" which translates to "Help, Mom!"  It can be quite annoying, because we might be in the car, and Drew is telling me about something that happened at school, and Jake suddenly just starts in with his east coast accent, "Ma! Ma! MAAA!!!"  And Mike is "Da"- like dad without the ending d.  One of the sweetest things is when Mike gets home and Jake so sweetly and happily says, "Hi Da!"  He also cracks me up when he sees me with my hair in a ponytail and says, "Weh-ee?" which means "Sweaty?"

Jake is working on his colors.  His favorite colors seem to be red and blue (ba-loo).  He does pretty well with yellow (lellow), but most other colors he's not real good at identifying yet.  As I said before, he likes to write and color, and if you ask him what he's writing, he'll tell you random letters, most often D or A.  Or he'll say he wrote his name (Dake) or one of his brothers' names.

A few weeks ago, Jake and I were baking, and as I poured in the first of a couple teaspoons of something, I said, "One..." Jake said, "Two, tee, tor, tive!"  It took me a split second to realize he was counting.  I grabbed my phone to video him, but he wouldn't do it again, and as far as I know, he hasn't done it since.  Today, when Drew was counting by 10's in the car, Jake wanted to do his counting, too. So he would say, over and over again, "Tee! Tive! Tee! Tive!"  So he likes 3 and 5, I guess.

Jake still uses his binky and his blanket at bedtime and nap time.  Not sure what our plan/timeline is to get rid of the binky.  Zach and Drew's were long gone at this point, but Jake is the last baby, so I guess we're getting lazy or something.  I don't know.  He loves reading books, singing songs, and playing soccer and basketball.  He also loves playing golf and gets incredibly mad when he is trying to putt on Mike's putting green in the basement and can't get the ball in the hole.  Maybe he'll be our ultra-competitive kid.  He seems to have the hottest temper when it comes to things not going his way, and I'm not sure if that's just because the other two have grown out of it some, or if Jake's just always going to be the hot-head of the 3 boys.

Speaking of the three boys, I guess I haven't said much about Zach.  He's doing well, enjoying second grade.  There are definitely more expectations this year than there were last year.  He has spelling tests and therefore words he has to study weekly.  This is probably the biggest downfall of second grade for Zach.  Spelling just does not come naturally to him, so we have to study a lot.  There are 20 words each week, and the teacher ends up testing them on 10 of them, but they don't know which 10 it will be until they take the test.  They have to spell those 10 correctly and put them in the right category.  So this week his words start with sp, sn, or sw.  Last week's list had quite a few challenging words for Zach, so we ended up spending at least an hour on spelling alone a couple of nights.  It's tough because he'll spell a word correctly one day and we'll think he's got it, and then he will spell it incorrectly the next.  It can be very frustrating for Zach, Mike, and me.

Other than spelling, though, things are going well.  He has really gotten into reading chapter books this year, which is great.  For a while there, I think he thought he just couldn't read chapter books; that they surely were just too hard.  But his goal for October was to read 20 chapters, and so far he's read over 70.  I now set his alarm clock in the morning for 7:15, and he knows that at 6:50 he can start reading, but when the alarm beeps, it's time to get to a good stopping point (end of the page or chapter or whatever), get dressed, and head downstairs for breakfast.  I think he loves that he gets a little bit earlier wake-up time than his brothers (or at least Drew, who can't be up until 7:00), and he really gets into his books.  I still worry about knowing if a book is just right for him or not, but I hope he is able to recognize when it's not making sense and is comfortable enough to tell me that it's too hard.  I try to ask him lots of questions about his books so I can kind of gauge his comprehension.

Ok, it's after 11:00 now and I have to get to bed.  I am making it my goal to do a post a week until Christmas.  You read it here (all 6 of you), so please hold me to it!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

End of Summer

Well, it's Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer for most people.  So I decided to go through my pictures to see what has happened since my last post to wrap up our summer.  Here are the highlights.

A few days after we returned from Colorado, we got hit by a massive hailstorm.  After suffering from a drought all summer long, the rain was welcome, but the hail, not so much.  Drew and Zach had a playdate at Grandma Linda and Grandpa Curt's house that afternoon, so they weren't home.  Jake and I had just returned from getting the mail as the sky was turning black and suddenly the temperature dropped about 10 degrees in a matter of minutes.  The rain started while we were in the garage, and then we moved into the house as the hail started.  There were incredible winds, too.  We stood at the back door and watched for a bit before I decided that between the noise of the wind and the hail I wouldn't be able to hear a tornado siren, so we moved to the basement.  You can see the hail piling up at the base of the back door on the deck.


Later that night we surveyed the damage.  There was lots of it.   Lots of holes in the siding,

the deck and playset were very marked up, too,

the air conditioner had some dents, 

and the hostas took a beating.

This is the amount of hail that was on the deck still about 4 hours after the storm.  And it was over 70 degrees, so it's not like it was so cold out that it wouldn't melt.


After getting 4 different companies to come and look at the siding and roof damage, we have finally settled on one we want to do the repairs.  Thankfully our insurance will be paying for it.

A couple of days after the storm, the boys and I tried to do some special end-of-summer stuff to finish out our bucket list.  Making cookies wasn't on the list, but the Drew asked if we could, and since I love to bake and eat baked goods, I was happy to oblige.  The boys picked peanut butter blossoms.  They were good helpers, and we had fun.  I'm a little particular about my baking, so it's not always fun for me to cook with the boys, but this time I tried to be laid-back and it really was fun.

After Jake's nap we hit up a new park, and then decided to go bowling.  

Mike was out of town at a meeting that night, so after the bowling, I decided we'd watch a movie.  The boys will pick Cars or Cars 2 100% of the time if you give them the chance to pick, so this time I surprised them with my pick, which was The Jungle Book.  They enjoyed it and it wasn't too long, so that was nice.  Jake wasn't interested in the entire movie, of course, so he and I ended up going outside to play some soccer about halfway through the movie.

The last Monday before Zach started school, Mike and I surprised Zach and Drew by taking them to Adventureland.  We dropped Jake off at Grandma Linda's and we had the whole day there.  It was a cool day- only in the 60's when we arrived at the park, and we all needed jackets for quite a while.  Because of the weather and the fact that the state fair was going on, there weren't tons of people at Adventureland, and we hardly had to wait in any lines.  It was great.  Somehow we talked Drew into trying one of the roller coasters, called the Tornado.  Actually, it didn't take much talking into, which is surprising, since Drew won't do the slow slide at the pool.  We weren't sure he'd be tall enough, and technically, I don't think he was.  The height requirement is 42 inches, and I think Drew is closer to 41 or 41.5 inches. But the operator measured him and his hair (which was in need of a cut) just barely touched the bar, so he let Drew go.  Mike and Zach got in the front car and Drew and I were behind them.  Here are the boys just before we got on.

Now, don't take a drink, because if you do, you might choke laughing at this next picture.  This is the official Tornado picture, taken by an automatic camera stationed at the base of the first big decline.  Look at Mike and me- grinning and laughing, and then look at our poor kids.  Zach seems sort of happy, but poor Drew looks scared out of his mind.  I'm such a good mother that I can't help but crack up every time I see this picture.  Even though it was outrageously priced (like $10 for a 4x6 or something), we knew as soon as we saw it that we had to buy it.  As we got to the bottom of the first hill and started our slow ascent up the second hill, Drew said to me, "I don't want to be on this..."  Too late, buddy.  After the ride the boys both agreed that it was very scary, but also fun.  Neither of them wanted to do it again, though.

Unfortunately, because of the cool weather, we really didn't get to utilize the many water slides at the park.  Mike and Zach attempted a few of them, but Drew was too short and wasn't interested in trying them, and I was happy to sit them out with him because I knew I'd be cold in my swim suit.  The high that day was probably only 80 degrees, and if I'm going swimming or on a water slide, I like it to be at least 85.  Mike told me that the water felt like ice water, so I don't think Drew and I missed much.  

A random photo that doesn't really fit with anything- Foudy has been weird about eating lately, so sometimes we have to help her get started.  Jake loves to help with that and would feed her the entire bowl by hand if I let him.  Foudy is always very gentle and sweet about it.

Zach started school a few weeks ago.  Can't believe he's in second grade already!

As soon as Zach got his lunchbox to put in his backpack, Jake knew he needed to get his lunchbox, too.  So then Drew decided he should, also.

Mike and I were able to go out with Katherine and Sam one Friday night when the boys went to visit Pa with Curt and Linda.  We ate dinner downtown, then stopped by the hospital to meet our friends BJ and Carey's new daughter, Lucy, who is adorable.  Then we went and met Katherine and Sam at Hessen Haus, a German bar/restaurant.  We decided to "pass the boot," which is a game (for lack of a better word) where you get this giant boot of beer and you all share it, and there are certain rules you have to follow.  They didn't have Bud Light or Bud Light Lime at the Hessen Haus, so Mike wasn't thrilled about partaking in the passing of the boot, but we ordered a cider that was pretty good, and he was okay with that.

The next day Mike and I drove to Pa's house to have lunch with everybody to celebrate Pa's birthday.  When we got there, I asked Linda how the boys slept.  She said they did well, but that they were up early.  Pa's house is just 2 bedrooms, so they had to get creative with sleeping arrangements.  Drew slept in the other twin bed in Pa's room with him, Curt and Linda slept in the basement, and Jake and Zach shared a room.  Linda said that when she put Zach to bed, she told him that if Jake woke up in the night, Zach could get her and she'd take care of him.  Zach apparently said, "It's okay, Grandma.  I'll just take care of it."  And when she headed upstairs around 6:30 a.m., Zach had Jake in the bathroom sitting on the potty.  I chuckled at that.  Then Zach and I had this conversation:

Me- Zach, did Jake make any noise in the night?
Zach- Yeah, some.
Me- Did you have to do anything about it, or did he just stop and go back to sleep?
Zach- Well, he was standing up and pointing at my bed and saying something.
Me- Oh, so what did you do?
Zach- I just got him out and put him in bed with me.
Me- Oh!  Then did he go back to sleep? (I'm imagining this is the middle of the night.)
Zach- No.  We laid there a little while, and then I asked him if he needed to poop, and he said he did. So we went to the bathroom and that's when Grandma came up.
Me- What made you ask him that?
Zach- Well, he was tooting a lot.
Me- Well, looks like you're ready to babysit!
Zach- I don't think I'm ready for that yet... 

Pretty sweet.  But I wonder how early they were up.  Jake was definitely very, very tired.  We had plans to go to a restaurant for lunch, but Jake was such a wreck that we decided we needed to just get some food to eat at Pa's house, which I think was a good choice.  Jake fell asleep about 2 minutes after we got into the car and slept the entire way home.  

I took just one picture with my phone of Pa with his grandsons.

A couple more random photos.  Jake loves the Jeep and is always happy to be a passenger for his big brothers.  Drew has really improved his driving skills, too, and I think he enjoys stepping into what he has always considered Zach's role (driving) and having Jake be the passenger.  This must have been some morning while we were waiting for Zach's bus to come.

As soon as Zach started school, Drew, Jake, and I got into a good habit of taking the dogs for a walk right after Zach got on the school bus.  Sometimes Drew would want Puppy to ride along, and of course Puppy needed to wear his hat.  Now that Drew has started school (pictures in a later post, as this one has already taken me a week to complete), we can't do that most days, and it's kind of a bummer.  It was a nice way to start our day.