Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Daily Adventures

* Ascha is officially 9 months old. Can't hardly believe how fast it's gone...and is still going!

* The boys had two neighborhood buddies over today for a few hours. They disappeared outside during a break in the rain. I "kept a visual" on them for most of their adventure, but after they disappeared into the trees for a few minutes, I decided I'd go check on them. I found them under the trees just beyond our property, digging into some logs for grubs and roly-polies. Their instrument of choice? A very old, very rusty steak knife they'd discovered stuck in a nearby tree. THANKFULLY Aric hadn't had a turn with the knife yet. :-) He was so disappointed I decommissioned the tool without his having used it, but I figured even the six-year-olds were too young, so my four-year-old definitely didn't "get his turn." I asked the disappointed troop what they thought they should do next time they find something sharp or could see the wheels turning in their dejected heads (as one of the other moms said, we're sure they were thinking "Hide it from Mom at all costs!"). In a great Eeyore impersonation, one six-year-old sighed, "Don't touch it." 

I guess boys will be boys...sometimes it's a lot of work sneaking and spying to make sure they don't poke that proverbial eye out. :-)

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Quick Trip to Seattle

We zipped up to Seattle yesterday to see my little brother, Shane, for a few hours. He is volunteering for a disaster-relief organization and is temporarily stationed in Seattle helping to fix up a donated ship. We got to see the ship (here are the kids at the helm) and then we took Shane for a nice tour of Seattle. (Read in between the lines - we changed our plans because of the weather and drove ALL OVER trying to find a kid-friendly place to eat. Thanks to cell phones and family members with the internet, we finally managed to net a restaurant, and lucky Uncle Shane got to spend a bunch of time in the back of a mini-van with kids. :-) The boys were so happy to see him and talked his ear off the whole time, and Ascha was happy to see a new face from the vantage point of her carseat, so I guess it could have been worse. :-) After lunch we went to a park on Lake Washington for a few minutes (it wasn't exactly a balmy day - it had snowed quite a bit that morning on the drive up), then dropped Shane off at his ship, and zipped back home. It was a long day but it was SO good to see Shane and hang out for a bit.

In other news, Ascha has her third tooth and is crawling VERY quickly these days. She still prefers to say "ba" (or "bra," which we're SURE means "brother" :-)  over any other consonant combination, but every once in a while she'll let a "da" or a "ha" or even a "ma" slip out. With teething has come another round of interrupted sleep at night - she's been up at least four times a night lately. We're really hoping that after her second top tooth comes in, we'll get another reprieve. Thankfully, she doesn't have any sicknesses on top of teething this time, so hopefully a full night of sleep is only a few more days away.

Aric is picking up steam in the reading department. He's getting very good at sounding things out (IF he doesn't guess - he's a VERY talented guesser, which leads to some amusing "interpretations"). His latest funny phrase came the other day when the sun was shining and the boys were enjoying popsicles on the back deck... "Ummm....Did you know??....My teeth are allergic to popsicles."

Taylor is going along with kindergarten and growing up. He's such a dichotomy right now - he seems to be both little boy and big boy at the same time, all rolled into one package. He is changing before our very eyes and although the vestiges of babyhood have been gone for a long time, we're losing some other part of "little-boyhood" right now and I mourn as I see it less and less. However, at the same time, we are so proud of the kind-hearted and helpful big boy he is becoming.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

February Update

For the month of celebrating sweethearts we, of course, have to feature our little love bug! Ascha's seventh month was incredibly eventful. She went from rolling to crawling to pulling up (and practicing taking steps with Daddy, much to Mommy's chagrine) in a matter of weeks. She acquired her first two teeth. She also got her first ear infection. She started trying to do sign language a little bit ("all done" is the sign for just about everything, but she is starting to put her fingers together for "more"). She has learned to clap her hands and has also gotten into enthusiastically waving "hello" and "goodbye." Her favorite waving moment is the first time, on any given morning, that I carry her past a mirror. She loves to start her day by waving "hi" to the mommy and baby in the mirror. Here she is in all her grinning glory:

Hanging with her favorite playmate:

...And my, how the time has flown! Where has our little baby gone? This is one of her newest favorite pasttimes - watching brothers from the top of the stairs.

Showing off her two new pearly whites:

In other "tooth-related news," Taylor has had four loose teeth for a while. We went to the dentist ("Gentle Rental," according to Aric) in February and Taylor was quite pleased and proud to learn that he was looking at losing four teeth rather than just the two he knew were loose. As of this blog posting, Taylor is down one tooth. Today he and Aric were looking out the window when Aric flung his arms in exclamation (from what I can piece together from the varied stories :-). His hand bonked Taylor's tooth, which went flying onto the floor. Taylor immediately started crying when he saw blood and Aric started happily shouting that Taylor had lost a tooth. It was chaos, but in a few minutes, after Taylor realized it didn't hurt, he was pretty pleased with himself. He's so excited about the coming of the tooth fairy that he decided she ought to have a note. He wrote it all by himself and taped his tooth to it before sticking it under his pillow. The note says: "Have a grate day and night thanks for the thing you gav me" - not bad for a kindergartner, I think. :-) (I always get a little giddy when he thinks to use the silent E as he spells things - we haven't worked on spelling at all, and the fact that he already grasps the concept makes this language-loving mama happy.)

Taylor also had an eventful "Open House" at school last week. He and his classmates had created many special projects to show off, and he got to take home his work in a custom-patterned, custom-laced portfolio he made himself. (sorry about yet another disoriented picture!)

Since February is Valentine's Day, each child had decorated a big heart for the wall, but you can guess how they looked. Much more interesting to me were the drawings of Washington and Lincoln that they had created in conjunction with Presidents' Day.

(can you believe those ears?? Tee-hee! I love it!)

Taylor's wrestling program wound down with a big Jamboree last Saturday. Unfortunately, Taylor had a virus and a fever and had to miss out. However, here's one last picture paying homage to this fun chapter in our winter:

We're planning on growing a big garden this year and I've been working on tilling up a plot. The boys and I are taking these down days to plan and plant so we have seedlings to transplant. Taylor and Aric are excited to grow another garden - they were outside digging in the mud a few weeks ago for HOURS. I came out to call them for dinner and they excitedly showed me their handiwork - they'd raked and smoothed the mud and made nice straight lines in it. Then they'd taken a little stick and poked holes to drop the seeds in. Of course, in mid-February, in the mud of one of our half-finished landscaping projects, one cannot find ideal growing conditions, so I congratulated their efforts and promised we'd plant things inside very soon. Now, it's officially March, and we've officially planted 72 pots worth of seedlings (with 72 more planned for tomorrow). Happy almost spring. :-)