Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Party One

It's not so easy to try and take a picture of 10 kids, all but one under the age of 3...
and yes, only 7 are pictured here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Love Hate Fall

Oh Autumn, How I love thee.  I love the crisp days, the crunch of the leaves, the relief of the heat of the summer.
Oh, How I hate thee.  I hate the fact that Autumn is far too short.  Sure, I know that each season supposedly is about the same amount of time on the calendar, but we all know the "good" seasons (spring and fall) are gone before we even get to enjoy it enough.
I love the excitement in the air...the upcoming holidays, the football, the good foods.
I hate the nagging in the back of my mind that winter is coming and snow, and cold, and ice...and that the lovely fall colors, the deep orange, brilliant yellow, crisp red...will be gone.  Replaced by grey, slug, and the occasional beautiful crisp clean white with blue skies...those days are nice.  But then the slug comes along and ruins a beautiful scene.
I also love to crunch leaves.  We walk to school more so we can crunch, crunch, crunch as we go.
So, while I will enjoy these gorgeous fall days, I will also enjoy each day with trepidation...will tomorrow be the last day warm enough to play outside?  Will the first snow come earlier this year?  All these questions are in the back of my mind...
And that is why I love/hate Autumn.

Oh, and what gives, why two names?  I hate that,'s fickle.  Just pick one name and stick with it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Finding Joy

I am sitting here on my couch, lazily browsing through others superhero parties for ideas for Ethan's birthday.
What makes this better then the average awesome at checking out crafty mom's parties, is the fact that Jackson is sitting by my side, arm around my shoulders, and snuggling.
The occasional "I love you Mom" is thrown in for good measure.

We talked about his "awesomeness" golden King Cape I will be making for Halloween and I listened as he got so excited describing the candies and treats he thought he might get for Halloween.

A nice moment.

Wait...I spoke too soon.  Now he is resting his elbow on my shoulder and tap, tap, tapping my head with the golf ball in his hand.

Moments come and go.  Taking time to remember the good ones.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kitchen Fun

Ethan has been participating in speech therapy here in Omaha since August.  He has really started to catch up with (some) other kids his age and is doing great, though it is still frustrating when he does not use his words to ask for what he wants.  A huge temper tantrum is thrown and Mommy and Ethan butt heads.
Other times he does great, bringing me the GALLON of milk and a sippy cup, saying over and over, "Milk, PLEASE?" or pointing to a ball, pumpkin, Elmo, or book and saying that word on repeat (We'll save Elmo for another day...) 
Today Ms. Kathleen came over, along with a student speech therapist.  After a few minutes of play to get Ethan comfortable, my kitchen floor turned into Operation PlayDoh.  Kathleen did a great job of letting Jackson and Mia (I now babysit full time) help out, which actually allowed Ethan to practice words like my turn, 1, 2, 3, no, and next.  :)
The kids had fun making kool aid play doh.  It was really easy, too.  I think I will make another batch for Thursday when I go babysit Mia's siblings.  Or wait and let them help make it. 

Here is the recipe:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 cups HOT water (BUT...start with 1 cup and add more if needed, ours was a bit runny so we wound up adding about another cup of flour...but if yours is too sticky, just add more flour)
2 packs kool aid, any flavor, but not the clear ones as this is the color.

Stir these together with a wooden spoon in a big bowl until you can't stir any more.  Then use your hands to finish working the dough.  When you are done playing, simply store as you would any Play Doh, in an air tight container or some sort.
Not sure the shelf life...we will find out.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Almost Two

Do you know what I love about almost being two years old?

Not picture taking time, that is for sure.  Gone are the days (for a bit) of just sitting Ethan somewhere and taking as many pictures as I'd like of him.

And not meal time...Ethan is suddenly trying to become a picky eater.

Not bath time is over time...he screams so much because he loves to take a "BAT BAT BAT"!!!

But, I sure do love the BIG OPEN MOUTHED sloppy kisses he runs up and gives me.
And I love the way he is FINALLY learning to use words and says "BYE BYE DADDY!" as we are driving on the road to Bart's work.  When he doesn't have a word (still most of the time) and really wants something, I actually think it is quite adorable to have him find me and gently tug my hand until I follow him, holding hands, so he can show me what he wants.  (Usually that tug leads to the kitchen where he points to the pantry and babbles and fusses...but I don't give in and give him snacks whenever he wants, though...)
I love how he is learning to love his brothers.  If they are outside, he is outside.  If they are playing video games, you better believe Ethan will have a controller in his hand, too.  I love the complete adoration and devotion he has for them right now.

Finally, I love the way he smiles when I come into his room after naptime to "rescue" him from his bed.  His smile says he's all mine, and I will take it.

So, the next time I am having a really bad day with this little dude, I have documentation of a few things I love.  I'll remember those things and the fits, tantrums, no listening, pooping in his diapers won't seem quite as bad, right?  (FYI:  of course he poops in his diaper, we aren't potty training, but man, those still seem as if he does them on purpose to punish me for some unknown crime.  I mean, if he'd wait just 1/2 an hour, DADDY could change them once in a while.  lol)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vala's Pumpkin Patch,in pictures with captions

Riding the Train.  The boys ran to the caboose and I just let them.  Thank you to my friends who kept them safe.  :)
on the hayrack ride to get a pumpkin.  Jack and Bella are sitting by their old Sunbeam teacher, whom they adore.
TRUE STORY:  Bella got BIT by that camel.  It actually drew blood.  The Vala's worker selling pet food did not seem to even care though...I guess a lot of people don't read the sign that says don't feed them by hand (my kids did the same thing, it's just poor Bella had a bit of bad luck!)
Brennan is in a phase where he makes the silliest faces...all the time.  I took maybe twenty pictures of him and this is the only one that was nice.
That night we participated in a campfire with some friends from church.  Even though there was a bit of confusion for a moment, it was a really great time and I am so glad we got to be part of it.
The mess from the campfire supper.  Sigh.
We love Vala's Pumpkin Patch and we love going with MOM!  This year I organized our "field trip" and it was well attended, though not as big as last years event.  With the help of a spreadsheet made by Bart and some Nazi like posts on MOM (Do not come late.  Bring exact change.  Etc, etc.), and some last minute helping hands, the entry went flawlessly...last year it was a bit bewildering.  :)
Totally worth every penny...the boys and I made some great memories and we were so glad it worked out so Bart could join us for the firepit!
So, if you visit Omaha during the month of October, take a FULL DAY and go enjoy Vala's Pumpkin is SO much more then just pumpkins!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chuck E Cheese Shames Me

Today I had a message in my inbox.

It was from Mr. CECheese.


I didn't even know that today Jackson turned FOUR and ONE HALF years old.

I guess it gets less exciting once they have a few birthdays under their belts.

But all the same, HAPPY HALF BIRTHDAY JACKSON!  We love you so much and hope you have a great day watching Mama decorate a cake not for your birthday, but for an order so you don't even get to eat one bite.