Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June Recap

I wondered how this summer would go. This first summer after kindergarten when Dane would be home all summer instead of going to school, Aidan taking 3 months off of preschool, me having to entertain everyone, Harper underfoot. I wondered if my boys would want to camp out in front of the TV and watch Dinosaur Train and play Wii all summer.

Well, I'm happy to report, with a few exceptions (mostly related to a week-long fever that Dane acquired last week), the boys had less than one hour a day of "screen time" in front of the TV or playing video games. What else have we all been doing instead (that hasn't already been documented on the blog, that is)? I'm glad you asked.

1. Posing for pictures in goggles. And swimming in swim team. And praising God that swim team is mercifully over for the season. I love it, but hours-long Saturday meets in 98 degree temperature does not love me.
2. Playing "hide the baby". And she hated every minute of it.

I was browsing the clearance rack the other day, looking for a new Star Wars shirt for the boys, then I realized that the boys haven't worn a whole lot of "shirts" this summer, and moved on to the swim trunks rack instead.

3. Neglecting waffles in favor of big brothers' cereal.

4. I worked a handful of evenings till 11pm, which resulted in several pictures like this one night:
I didn't even ask. I don't want to know what almost-5-year old Aidan is doing in Harper's high chair eating what appears to be soup in my living room.

5. Playing Battleship. And Memory. And Sorry Sliders. And a few card games: "War" and "Egyptian Ratscrew", which we shortened to "Egyptian" for Dane's benefit. Then he started calling it "Magiptian", which made the game even more fun to play.

Every age that Dane has reached has been my new favorite age. I didn't feel sad when he wasn't a baby anymore, and the sadness I felt when he started kindergarten quickly evaporated when I realized how much fun it is to watch a kid learn to read, and a whole new world opened up to him. Now we're reaching the "Appreciation for Disney Classics" age, and Dane and Aidan have been engrossed in the original "Davy Crockett" series for the last week or so. Swiss Family Robinson is up next. What are some other good Disney classics the boys might like?

7. Meeting Baby Elliana Joy...

...and realizing that there's nothing better than welcoming two people you love into The Club.
Congratulations to my sweet friends Jeremi and Jenni.

And don't worry, Ellie. The boys will wait a few months before they play "hide the baby" with you.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Recent Conversations

Summertime has brought lots of together-time and some interesting conversations from my favorite brothers:

Dane: Aidan, you're such a pervert.

Me: Don't call Aidan a pervert. (Pause...why does my 6 year old know to call his brother a pervert? Where did he even hear that??) Dane, do you know what a pervert is? (Please don't know what a pervert is, please don't know what a pervert is...)

Dane: Yeah, mom. You know, a pervert is a grodo-baggins. Dad calls me and Aidan grodo-baggins all the time.

Me: (Laughing so hard Diet coke with splenda is threatening to squirt out my nose)

(Note: Brandon does say "grodo-baggins" all the time, which according to him, is a morphed version of something from Lord of the Rings. We are so cool.)

Another interesting conversation that happened as Aidan was trying to run out the door at McDonalds:

Me: Aidan, don't run out the door, wait for the rest of us please.

Aidan: Mom, God controls me, sorry.

"God controls me"?? What do you say to that one?

When Harper starts to talk, I am toast.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Perfect Night

Thursday night of last week was one of those perfect nights. Have you ever had one of those? The kind that starts at 6:30 in the evening, everyone is in "stay home clothes", you're contemplating what to eat for dinner that doesn't require actual cooking, and then a spur of the moment plan forms, and the night turns into perfection?

I needed to get a baby gift. And of course I didn't want to do the practical thing, and shop from the gift registry. I wanted to impart a bit of my hard-earned baby knowledge upon a new mommy in the form of a knit blankie from Gymboree. A perfect knit blankie, lightweight and stretchy enough to tightly swaddle a newborn, and slightly bigger than other knit blankies to tightly swaddle an 18 month old who will only nap during the day when swaddled and rocked by his mommy who is watching Law and Order re-runs while 8-months pregnant with his baby brother.

Not that any of my children were like that. Nope. We had each and every one of them sleep trained by the time they were 10 weeks old.

These blankets are also perfect for little boys, who like to sleep with the same blankie every night, blankets that just get softer when they're washed. Blankets that can only be found at Gymboree, which, in my neck of the woods, means a trip to the mall.

So at 6:30 Thursday evening, a plan was formed. We would all go to the mall, and Brandon would let the kids play at the indoor playground while I blankie-shopped, then dinner would be eaten at the food court. After the food court, we would venture over to the new splash pad Brandon and I had stumbled across on our last date night.

The only imperfect part of the evening was that Gymboree was sadly out of perfect blankies, they only had one girly looking one with red cherries all over it, which would not have been fully appreciated by baby Hudson. The children played. The mommy went to Bath and Body Works. Aidan had his perfect Sonic dinner of toast, tator tots, and a cherry limeade. Dane ate a slice of pizza bigger than his head. And Harper scavenged a little bit of everything.

It was a little darker than we had planned when we arrived at the splash pad at about 8:30. I sucked it up and left the neurotic-bedtime Mommy at home, and embraced the beautiful summer night with my favorite people. And they embraced it too.
And this girl loved her some splash pad:
After looking at these pictures, I went out and got Harper a swimsuit that's not quite so "flesh colored".

We found this great little place where music played along with the lights and the water fountains, and Harper was in heaven.

When the kids were done playing, a full hour after their bedtime after a long, busy day, we wrapped up in towels and headed across the street for some watermelon-flavored frozen yogurt.

These boys were so. tired.
And please ignore my little girl's hairline. We're still waiting on some of her hair to grow.
Anyone else have any "perfect night" activity ideas?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Father's Day at Our House

Happy Father's Day to both of the dads that read this blog! Three days late! Welcome to my world, where minor holidays are often celebrated several days late, if at all. Please join us on July 7 for some fireworks.

For Father's Day this year, I took Dane and Aidan to WalMart with a $10 budget for each, and let them pick out gifts to give Brandon themselves. It was an interesting, fun experiment, to say the least. I loved watching them debate and consider items with the price in mind, and they were so proud of the gifts they picked out.

Here are Dane's selections:
A pocketknife, peppermints, ranch style beans, four scented candles, weird gummy candy shaped like food, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

And Aidan's:
A water bottle, butterscotch candies, two scented candles ("blue because that's Daddy's favorite color!"), ranch style beans, Sour Patch Kids, and peanut M&Ms.

Interestingly enough, both the boys immediately thought of their daddy when they saw these on the shelf:
Nothing reminds them of their Daddy like ranch style beans and scented candles.
Hope your Father's Day was filled with fiber, scented candles, and gummy candies a-plenty.

Monday, June 21, 2010


It's summertime and the living is easy

Fish are jumping and the cotton is high

Your daddy's rich and your mama's good-looking

Hush, little baby don't you cry

One of these mornings you're gonna rise up singing

you spread your wings and take to the sky

But until that morning there is nothing that can harm you

With your daddy and mommy standing by

Happy summer, everyone!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Garden Update

Backyard Garden and Topless Children, early May 2010:

Backyard Garden and Topless Children, 5 weeks later:

The corn is officially taller than I am, and we have one of these:

How does your garden grow?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Just a Few More Months...

...until Emerson will be wearing this:
There are few things I love more than checking the mail and finding completely unexpected goodies! Well, I love having friends who are creative and talented and thoughtful and know their way around a sewing machine. Thanks so much, Lindsey!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Oy, Vey.

These past couple of weeks have been doozies. I have been working lots of shifts, consecutive days in a row, which never bodes well for my laundry or my sanity. And most of these shifts have ended at 11pm. Oy vey.

Lack of sleep=very random blog post.

I miss the days when I only worked 2 days a week and got to stay home with the kiddos the rest of the time. Summer has started off with a bang, that's for sure. Some fun things our family has been doing otherwise:

Aidan, Harper and I met up with Aunt Val, Joel, and baby Uriah for a little blackberry picking a couple of weeks ago. We instantly went home and baked up Pioneer Woman's blackberry cobbler while Val got caught up on her Glee watching and became a bonafied Gleek in the process. If you've never made this blackberry cobbler, please make it. Now. And if you've never seen Glee, please start watching it from the beginning of the season. Now. I'm mourning the ending of the TV season, and I need something else to watch over the summer other than The Little Couple on TLC. Any suggestions? And for those of you who are worried about me, I am fine, thank you. I'll admit it took me a couple of weeks to come to terms with Law and Order (the original) ending its' run, but I have mourned and accepted the reality of a lifetime of watching sub-par crime dramas.

Swim meets are winding down for the season, and unfortunately, Aidan won't be getting a trophy this year. To get a trophy at the end-of-season banquet, the kids have to swim in at least one race in one meet. Which means that Aidan would have to make it across the pool without a coach, and he's just no where close yet. One more year for A-man's swim trophy. Dane has mastered the backstroke this year, and has come in first place several times. His version of the backstroke involves floating on his back and kicking his legs with his arms by his side until his head hits the other end of the pool. He's surprisingly fast, and is convinced that using his arms to swim will only slow him down.

Brandon preached over Memorial Day weekend, and knocked it out of the park. Check out our church's website to listen. And yes, I am still blogging about things that happened 2 weeks ago. Oy vey.

Brandon and I figured a 10 year anniversary was enough of a reason to warrant a Date Night, and went to Cheesecake Factory and was reminded when the check came why we never go to Cheesecake Factory. We each got a drink, an appetizer, and a dessert, and the bill was $66. Having a $50 gift card made it a little easier to swallow, but that much money for an un-spectacular meal is more than a little ridiculous. In honor of our pre-marriage dating years, we then loitered in Barnes and Noble for an hour or so, leaving with several books in hand. Back in the day this was one of our favorite "cheap date" activities to enjoy together. Some people take romantic vacations to exotic places to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. Brandon and I go out for a gift card dinner and wander around the bookstore. And go to China.

I must admit, I am halfway looking forward to Brandon going out of town later this month simply because it will mean that I can't work as much as I have been. This mommy needs a little more sleep!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Then and Now

As I think I may have mentioned before, this is one of my favorite pictures ever.


My babies were so precious, listening intently to their daddy read the Bible to them. Aidan's hair was out of control because his mommy wasn't ready to cut it.

After I put Harper to bed the other night, I witnessed a familiar sight:

Two little boys listening intently to their Daddy reading them the Bible.

One little boy has always seemed to know when his Mommy is taking pictures...

In about another year, two little girls will join the little bed for bedtime reading. We've tried with Harper a few times, and she just turns around and sits on the books because she thinks that everyone should pay attention to HER.

Dane and Aidan are not the only ones in these pictures who have aged. Two years ago, Brandon could read to the boys by the light from the lamp, and these days the main light has to be on for story time. Tune in for 2012, when Brandon will be reading to four children wearing a head lamp.