Saturday, April 26, 2008

Great Wolf, Here We Come!

Tomorrow we leave for the Great Wolf Lodge in the Wisconsin Dells! We'll be gone Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The kids are unbelievably super-excited and have been counting down for over a month! This year we are staying in one of these condos with McC's and my mom and Don. The condo is a new experience for us, although we went to the Great Wolf for the first time last year. The thing that that the kids seem to be most looking forward to (surprisingly enough) is this corniness:

You don't suppose that they update the show every year, do you?! Yeah, probably not.

I'm sure we'll have some good stories and pictures for you when we return!

Yikes!

Yesterday morning I knew that the older boys were up before Damon had left for work and that Will was already dressed and having breakfast so I decided to doze back off for awhile. When I got up Damon had left, and ALL the boys were in the living room, Max happily watching his brothers and bouncing in his bouncy seat. Strange. Damon would never leave for work and not tell me that Max was up. I called him, and he said no, Max had been still sleeping when he left. So I asked the boys, "Who put Max in his bouncer seat?"
"I did!" said Will.
"Where was he before that?"
Will pointed to the couch. (!)
"Well, where was he before that?!"
"We were practicing his walking." (!!) (I'm afraid to know exactly what that means.)
"And where was he before that?!"
"In his crib."
"How did you get him out of his crib?"
"I know how to do the bar and lower the side. I'm not in trouble am I?!"
"Well...no...."(he hadn't made a peep or I would have heard him crying, so he must have been careful, although it probably didn't look pretty!) "But don't do that again. You need to ask permission to hold Max, and we need to be right there."

YIKES!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Look Where Crawling Gets You....


.....into trouble!

Turn Off the WHAT?!

It's National Turn-Off the TV week in our house. If Will doesn't watch any TV, computer games or video games Monday-Friday, he gets an extra recess at school. He decided on his own that he wanted to participate and so far it's been going surprisingly well. He's taking the whole thing very seriously. He got out of bed to ask Damon something the other night and shielded his eyes from the TV screen where Damon was watching TV in the living room!

By the way, in case you were wondering, Turn-Off the TV week does NOT apply to parents (who have to watch Dancing With the Stars) or younger siblings who are home alone all day long. It DOES however apply to younger siblings the minute the older sibling gets home from school. It's very confusing to Sam, but he's going with it. (Am I hypocrite?!)

Every day so far Will has come up with ideas for things to do all on his own. Monday he played outside. Tuesday he announced he was making an art project, and we called his school friend to come down for awhile to help. We went on a family walk and he's done lots of reading, legos, and pretending. It seems that we've had lots more conversation too. I found out that one time when Will was at a local indoor play place, there was a boy with one hand who said to Will and his friend, "Stop staring at my hand, or I'm going to beat you with it!" Will told me he had been staring, because he'd only seen one other boy with one hand in his life, but that boy had been nice and they'd become friends on the playground, whereas this boy had been mean. We talked a bit about why the boy had said that, and if Will could have done anything differently. We've also had more conversations about school and the goings on of the class bully. (It's so hard to know what to tell Will about how to handle that!) We also had an interesting conversation that Will initiated with, "Mom, what do you think the future is going to be like?" and he proceeded to tell me all about what he thought schools of the future would be like. In case you're wondering, you'll be able to send your homework to your teacher by a tube, the teacher will be a robot, and your shoes will have rockets in them.

So far there has been no whining, no complaining, and no begging (about the TV, anyway!) Who knows what Will will have in store for us today when he gets home from school!

Thanks, Lily!

Max wants to thank Lily for sharing her car with him. He REALLY, REALLY likes it.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Look What Max Is Doing!

Tonight, for the first time, Max really started to get the hang of crawling! He's been able to rotate around using his hands, but up until now hasn't been able to get his legs going, or get himself moving forward at all. But something must have clicked, because he started making his way across the room to get at things he wanted tonight. So look out, world! video

video

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hammer Time

I think he's got the hang of it, just like his father. Except I don't think Damon licks his hammer. video

Although.....

What goes on in the garage, stays in the garage.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Trouble...

video

Max is always up to something these days. He absolutely LOVES the lazy susan and the dishwasher and heads straight for them anytime they're open. He actually lately has started to fuss if I close it on him. Well, not ON him, but you know what I mean. Today he got ahold of a bag of raisins from the lazy susan and started shaking them and boxes went flying. He was so excited! Everything he could reach got taken out from the shelf. As you can see, he's just too busy to be bother with talking to me. I know this is only just the beginning...of the messes...and of the not talking to me...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Max's New Swing

video

We got a baby swing for the play structure and Max tried it out tonight since it was so warm. He really seems to like it and especially likes holding on to the ropes. And what's not to like about swinging in your pajamas?! Not sure what's up with the whole body shiver at the end there - it was still quite warm outside. Maybe it was the breeze through his hair!

Checking out how this thing works:Do you see how white the tips of his fingers are? Even though he's shooting for a casual 'breezy' expression, don't be fooled. He's holding on for dear life:He wasn't bored, I swear:He likes it! He really, really likes it!

Punching Bag Fun

This was one of the best $3.96 purchases (at Wal-Mart) I've made lately. Except when I opened the box Sam asked, "Where are the boxing gloves at? You know, the ones like Noah has?" But other than that, it's kept the boys - and I mean ALL the boys (even Max LOVES it - just wait til he enters the video) - quite busy - coming up with new "moves." video

The only down side is all of the chaos and noise that I must tolerate, otherwise it's actually been a great way for the boys to get rid of some of their excess energy! As you can see, Sam does not stop until his opponent has been defeated. He gets out of breath, he's working at it so hard. It's been through so much rough and tumble that the weighted sand bottom is starting to leak into the air part, but so far not leaked out to the outside (yet!) I've had to warn the boys that if they see sand coming out onto the floor to stop immediately! So not sure how much longer it's going to hold up, but we've gotten our money's worth out of this cheap entertainment.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Will and Max

*No babies were harmed in the making of this video. video

Does my eldest son make you a bit nervous? Try living with him every day! Oh... actually I almost completely trust him, except for when he cuts holes in my furniture or picks on my middle child.

Don't you just love Max's expressions? He's obviously questioning me, "Are you sure he should be doing this to me?" and trying to signal me to get him the heck out of there.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Best Duets of All Time?

Here's a trip down memory lane. Why does this song still make me get goosebumps after all these years?! It's so sappy! I think I got the goosebumps because it takes me back to how I felt when I was a kid and heard this song, although I'm sure I didn't understand all the lyrics! I still remember trying to play (very poorly) this song on the piano.

And who doesn't love Kenny Rogers?! (Pre plastic surgery of course.) The fact that he can hit those high harmony notes, and the facial expressions he makes when he turns his head away from the microphone. Takes me back.

And of course then there's Kenny's duet with Dolly. I love Dolly - the pre-plastic version that is.

What are your favorite all-time duets?

Circus Day

Tuesday was Circus Day at Sam's preschool. My mom (who teaches art at his school) recruited me to help her paint kids' faces. She made a nice little lion face on Sam's cheek. Here he is playing play-doh with one of his good friends: Here's what Max did. (He didn't get his face painted):
He was content to sit and watch the kids for long periods of time. In between groups he got to get out.

Sam was a leopard:

He got to jump through the Ring of Fire, for his part of the circus: video

Here's the whole class:

At the end of the morning they got to have popcorn and a candy circus peanut (blech!). Although Sam looks about to dig in, he actually ended up saving his bag of popcorn and his one circus peanut until Will got home from school so that he could share it with him. Isn't he a sweet brother? Here he's sitting with another of his good friends, who has a not-very-well-painted seal with a ball on his nose, sitting on a platform, courtesy of me.While the kids were sitting with their popcorn, Mrs. Potter asked kids what their favorite part of the day was and Sam could be heard saying, "I wish I could go back and start this day over!" It was a fun day!

Monday, April 07, 2008

You're Not Going to Believe My New Dishes!

So I know that the grandparents out there may think I'm crazy, but take a look at my new Anchor Hocking ironstone plates in Honey Gold - very retro:
They would have matched the 70's and 80's gold and avacodo appliances that they once had. Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . what goes around comes around. There's nothing new under the sun, and all that. I don't want to hear about how you had the exact same set 20 years ago. These little brown mugs might be a bit much though: The mugs remind me of all the trips to Country Kitchen that we made growing up or the little crocks that they serve baked beans in at Steak n' Shake. I might have to get something different for mugs - still mulling that one over. The incredible part of all of this (besides the cool design) is that I got 8 place settings (dinner plate, salad plate, soup bowl, mug and saucer -what will I ever do with 8 saucers?!) all for $7.50, in the original boxes. I don't think they've ever been used, although they did smell smokey. One good run through the dishwasher took care of that. They are dishwasher and microwave safe. I thought I was getting a good deal when I saw that each box of 4 was $15. $30 for a set of 8? Still way cheaper than new. Then I realized that they were tagged with the day's half-priced color! $15? Even better! I get up to the counter and the lady charged me $7.50. Thinking she didn't see the other box, I pointed out I had another one. She told me that the stickers read 2 boxes for $15! Then at half-price, it only came to $7.50! All that to say that I got a darn good deal. And I love a good deal. All of you that know me know how I LO-OVE a good deal. Everytime I eat off my new plates I think about what a bargain I got. And it pleases me. It pleases me greatly. I think to myself that I've accomplished something great - feeding my family off of $7.50 worth of dinnerware. And then I sigh and ask myself, what does it say about my life that cheap dishes have me all in a frenzy? And then I put my new dishes in the dishwasher. Then I go about my day.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Handsome Will

These are most of the smiles I get these days - not real natural: There! Now we're loosened up! :
Look at that gappy grin!

Serious, and contemplative...


But not for long! Does anyone want to play "Guess What I'm Picking?!"

Sweet Sam






This next picture makes Sam look way older, don't you think?:
Awesome Sam made an appearance:(He sometimes goes by the alias Cool Sam.)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Max

It has become my tradition to sit the kids in the windowsill every once in awhile to take a bunch of pictures of them. Now that Max can sit up, I thought it was time he join the club. (Don't worry, I kept one hand on him!)



He's very proud of that toofer.

Whoa, nelly! Guess he's done.