Saturday, August 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jack!

Happy Birthday to our nephew! We can't believe you're twelve! That's practically a teenager. Do you remember when you and Sam were this little?!And just look at you now - so handsome, so kind.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Preschool Ice Cream Social

Sam had his preschool ice cream social tonight - or as he calls it, "My Hot Fudge Sundae Special." Ooh! Wouldn't that be something - hot fudge sundaes! I'd be all over that! He officially starts next Wednesday and will go every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He was so excited to go and see his special friend Caed. Due to the flooding at Parkview, the preschool has been temporarily relocated to Hope United Methodist, just down the street from us! It'll be way convenient, for awhile anyway. They're hoping to get back into Parkview over the holidays. Due to many families finding alternate preschooling for their children, their will be smaller class sizes - which will also work out great for us. Sam has a new teacher this year, Mrs. Fink, and we're looking forward to getting to know her. We had to bring a picture of Sam tonight to put on the bulletin board. Doesn't he look old?!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sam's Words

bisgusting = disgusting
bizurt = dessert
belax or berax = relax

So technically you could hear him say, "Mom, sit back and belax and have some bizurt. It's not bisgusting!" (Except the likelihood of all three of those words coming out of his mouth in the same conversation are pretty low since no one ever waits on me and brings me dessert.)

Quote of the Day

Sam (to Max): Be careful with Lucy, Max! She's the only dog we've got!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Brown Bag It!

Will has a project due tomorrow called "Brown Bag It." He has to find an item that fits inside a brown paper lunch bag for each category and tell his classmates about himself. Here's what he came up with:

  • a hobby or free-time activity that you enjoy: Wii (he's bringing a brochure from one of his games that has Super Mario Galaxy on it)
  • one of your favorites (food, color, music, book etc): a Captain Underpants book
  • future plans or goals: engineer (he made a lego car to show he likes to design and build stuff)
  • something you'd like to do better: steer his bike (he's bringing a reflector off of his bike)
  • a place you'd like to visit: Texas (he's bringing his scorpion encased paperweight)
  • something special about your family: there's all boys (a picture of him with his brothers)

  • the best part of summer vacation: finding caterpillars (this picture:)
  • something that reminds you of a memorable event or time in your life: his soccer medal
  • a talent or special ability that you have: a drawing

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Tonight it ended up that I had to get Max ready for bed at the exact same time that the older two were going to bed. He just couldn't be put off any longer. Since I was home by myself, I told Will that he was in charge of getting the toothpaste on both his and Sam's brushes and making sure that teeth got brushed and everyone had gone to the bathroom. I overheard him tell Sam,
"We can do this the hard way, or the easy way."

Where's he heard that before?!


Our nephew Noah learned a new magic trick that Grandpa Don taught him. Can you tell he's pretty pleased with himself?! It was pretty amazing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Birthday Boy at the Birthday Party

Here's the moment at least one of you has been waiting for: a recap of Max's 1st birthday party.

I gave Max this present first to open because you could see right down inside the wrapping, (we ran out) and I thought it might help him get the idea of opening presents. Can you believe we bought this noisy toy and did this to ourselves?!

He started to get a little frustrated with the whole business and at one point was actually screaming and doing a tug of war with his brothers over toys, (being one is bringing out a new side I guess) but overall did pretty well.

Both Will and Sam had Tad dolls when they were little so it was about time Max did too. They loved theirs so much they wore the buttons out and we had to replace the dolls!

He got this zebra from Grandma and Grandpa Brown. It took some putting together so he didn't get to play with it 'til this morning, but he was content to play with it in the box!

Here's what he did this morning:

He LOVES the zebra. I walked into the living room this afternoon and he'd somehow figured out how to swing his leg over and get on all by himself!

Doing some good pointing with McC's gift:The pegs have these cute little faces on them:Here it is in action:

He tries to use it to stand up, but it just rolls away!

Jack was having a good time, I swear!:

From my mom and Don. The shapes are attached so you don't lose them - how cool is that?!:

Contemplating what it means to be the big oh-one:

He didn't know what to make of that cupcake at first. It took him a little while to warm up:

Good eats:

Saving his fork for later:

It was a fun day!! He kept himself (and Sam) entertained all day today with all his new stuff.

Where Does He Come Up with This Stuff?

Me: (to Will) Hang up your backpack before you turn on the TV.
Sam: Mom! Let the boy do his thing!


3rd Grade Report

I'm pleased to report that so far, 3rd grade seems to be going pretty well for Will. Here's some of the information I've gathered:

  • his teacher, Mrs. Galbreth, is nice
  • he sits between two 4th graders who he doesn't remember their names
  • some of those 4th graders - especially some of the girls - are ta-all!
  • he has to do 15 push-ups and 15 sit-ups this year in gym class instead of 10 like he had to do last year
  • there are only 2 recesses this year instead of 3 like he had last year
  • he likes having 4th graders and 3rd graders mixed together (his first year of combined grades)
  • they play a game everyday to learn everyone's name where someone's the guesser and they turn their back to the class and count down from 10. Everyone else scrambles to a new seat and the guesser turns around and has to guess everyone's name. Will has tried to fool the guesser by taking off his glasses and messing up his hair (remember, he has a butch) but so far no one has been fooled by his tricks. He has yet to be the guesser.
  • the infamous 'bully' who has been the bain of Will's existence since kindergarten moved to a new school and Will was so relieved because according to the class list, they were going to be in the same class again!
  • the physical fitness testing they're doing in gym class is not as hard as Will thought it was going to be. Today they did the hurdler's stretch and Will scored a 7. Evidently 9 is considered healthy? He was ok with that. 7 is not that far from 9.
  • he likes his new male art teacher, who had a funny picture on the wall of the Mona Lisa with a moustache!....a moustache!!! Evidently whoever came up with the parody made a bunch of money just by adding a moustache. Will has plans to draw the Statue of Liberty in her underwear and see where that gets him. That's my boy.
  • today was his first day of homework - it was math and it was "way too easy" - there will be much more homework this year
  • if you don't finish your homework at home, you have to finish it in the "homework room" during recess.
  • today was the first day that they got to go to a different classroom for math. He liked getting to know Mrs. Johnson, his math teacher. This is another new thing about this year - they'll get to move around a bit for different subjects.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Unique Bedtime Excuses

Me: Why aren't you in bed?
Will: I have a question.
Me: What do you want?
Will: It's a question for only Dad.
Me: Go find him. (He can deal with him!)
Me: What did Will want?
Damon: He wanted to know if I'd be the narrator of his play (we both laugh) - the one he and Sam and Noah and Jack are putting on. I asked him if they knew they were in his play and he said no, he hadn't asked them yet. I think it was just an excuse to get out of bed.
Me: Ya think?!

Frustration with 1 Year Old Brother:

Max has just pushed the 'off' button on the TV for the zillionth time.

Sam: Ma-ax! Just because it's your birthday doesn't mean you can do whatever you want!

Happy Birthday, Max!

Max turns one year old today! I really am finding it hard to believe. My baby is almost out of the baby stage, which makes me sad. In other ways, I'm excited for him to grow more independant. In honor of his upcoming birthday, Max received a 'big boy' haircut. Tonight we're celebrating with family. I'll be posting pics soon of the festivities. Some of the many things I love about you, Max (I could never pick just one):

  1. your toothy smile
  2. the way you wrinkle up your nose - sometimes you're being silly, sometimes it's when I'm trying to get you to eat something you don't want
  3. your walking skills (with various toys and household items)
  4. your snuggliness, which your tolerance for is quickly diminishing
  5. your growliness
  6. listening to you wake up on the monitor, jabbering to yourself
  7. when I sing itsy bitsy spider, you do your own version of the motions
  8. clapping
  9. you can be entertained for long periods of time by opening and shutting just about anything that'll open and shut
  10. your reddish hair
  11. you've finally outgrown the infamous 'spit-up' stage
  12. your enjoyment of the 'get daddy' game
  13. fake laughs
  14. the way you look up to your brothers, already
  15. your happy-go-lucky, go-with-the-flow attitude
  16. your excitement to see mommy and daddy
  17. you don't mind when people call you Sam Jr.

We love you sweet boy! Happy 1st!

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of School

Mothers all over the Iowa City area are rejoicing!

So are little brothers.

Will is officially a 3rd grader!

Happy Birthday Madison!

I remember when you were this little:

Look at you now!We love you and miss you. If it were possible, I'd send you a 'fun in a box' package with 'love' inside. Instead, keep an eye out for an envelope with something special. Happy Birthday! Hope your day is special!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fun In a Box

Why are boxes so much fun?!

Slip Slidin' Away

Did you see those steps he took?! It helps to have a little motivation! We've had this slide ever since Will was little, but until today it had been outside. We thought it would be the perfect way to entertain Max and we were right! As you've already noticed, he loves to push furniture and toys around and walk with them. The slide is no exception. He hasn't gotten the steps figured out yet, but I'm sure it won't take long. There may be some tumbles in his near future.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who Knew?!

Who knew that light switches could be so funny??

Before I turned the camera on Max was laughing much harder - that deep belly kind of laugh. He got a little distracted by the camera to keep giving it his full attention. He was thoroughly pleased with himself that he had mastered the light switch. Just the "off" of course - the "on" is much harder.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This Toy Was Made For Walking...

I fear this child may never learn to walk upright. This is the kind of walking he does - pushing anything and everything around that will move - toys, chairs, laundry baskets...

So most of time he's somewhat bent over. If you try to get him to stand up straight and walk by standing behind him and holding onto his hands he gets instant spaghetti legs. He doesn't realize how fun that could be, even though it's killer on mom's back! I wonder if pushing all these toys around is counter productive to his walking skills. The center of gravity is different. It's not like I can prevent him from doing it though, he finds something to push around wherever he goes!!! I'm sure it will come eventually. He won't go crawling off to college.

Monday, August 11, 2008

For My Texas Peeps:

Friday, August 08, 2008

Better Picture

Here's a little bit better picture of the silk home that one of the caterpillars made in the night last night. I don't know if this is Reddy or Bluey. Reddy is the one with the red marker stripe down his back. And Bluey is...well, you get the picture.

Holy Molty!

Imagine our surprise to wake up this morning to find this: I know it's hard to see, but the caterpillars spun silk around themselves while they're molting! The boys were so excited, they raced around to put their clothes on to go show the neighbor kids. I thought they'd made cocoons, but Will informed me otherwise. So evidently they're not done growing yet! One is on the top and one is one the bottom. They basically look like two hairy gray fur balls. What's disturbing is that you can still see movement inside! ugh. Gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it! We were surprised yesterday too when we looked in their house and they'd vanished! They'd been left out on the picnic table all afternoon and forgotten about. After some careful searching, they were discovered on the deck railing and the lattice. Will was near tears and was so relieved to find them again. I'll have to show you all some excerpts from the research journal that the boys are making. I set them up with some pages I'd printed off the internet - facts about the caterpillar and moth - and they cutted, glued, and took notes all afternoon. The project for today involves some scrub brushes, soapy water and a graffitied picnic table.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

This is The Kind of Stuff I'm Talkin' About

These two peas in a pod decided to conduct some research and experiments "to prove to everyone that we're really smart." No need to convince me. No one asked me if it was ok to involve my picnic table. But who am I to stand in the way of scientific minds? They could be discovering the cure for something...someday.

I mean seriously, what am I supposed to do with this child?! He knows no fear (as far as caterpillars go, anyway) and his mind is a mystery. What will I do when he trades in his love for caterpillars and video games for girls and cars?!

(How's this for scale, Emmy?!)


I tell ya, it's a summer for caterpillars! Today the excitement was all about these guys which will turn into a silkworm moth:Coming out of the middle of each one of those yellow and blue spines, are black bristles. They are Ug-lay...and huge...and they stick to everything like suction cups, not that I would know because I certainly didn't hold one...and you can't tell which end is the front and which end is the rear! What's an unsuspecting mom supposed to do when she's going about her artwork and her proud son shoves one of these suckers in her face and says "Mom1 Look what I found!" Well, after she gets over her heebie-jeebies, she gets her camera out, that's what she does.
This morning the excitement was all about this guy found at grandma's house. What's the deal?! Is it just that time of year, or what?! (Mom, you desperately need to learn how to use your 'close-up' setting on your camera.)

Cookie Time!

We've got the McC's dog for a few days while they're in Chicago. I don't know why, but Sam LOVES Cookie. I suppose it's because she's just his size. He overlooks the fact that she growls and snaps at all the kids. I don't know why she doesn't like the kids in our neighborhood. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I caught the neighbor girl dangling Cookie by her leash - I mean all 4 paws were flailing in the air - trying to get her to go up the slide. And I don't know why Cookie is nervous around Max. So what if I caught him sucking on her water bottle - you know the kind that usually only pet RODENTS drink from?! And so what if he likes to snack on her dog food?! I mean it is just the right size for babies. And I don't know why Cookie doesn't just love our dog Lucy. Despite the fact that Lucy is more than 10 times her size and weight, she goes all submissive everytime Cookie growls at her. I mean what's not to love about being the top dog in a house despite the fact that you look and act like a scrawny spaz.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Crop Circles

Some friends of ours recently had a party to celebrate their upcoming adoption. Part of the fun involved a silent auction that I had the privelage of participating in as a donating artist and as a buyer. I came away with this lovely piece, called "Crop Circles" by Shadley Grimes:
I think it looks great in my living room, with my purple couch and my green walls. I'm very pleased that one of her "children" found a home with us!