Thursday, January 31, 2008

Away games

Louie and Benny love sports. Doesn't matter what it is, they love to watch and play. ( probably tops anything else.) They do pretty well at whatever they take on, but the one thing they don't understand is "home" and "away." If the crowd is into the game, they want to join in the fun. Especially when the home arena is playing JOCK JAMS! I tried to explain that we were rooting for the blue team, but whatever the kids in the stands were doing, they did, too.

Kevin was able to take a day of vacation on Wednesday, so our family activity was to go down to the Cintas Center for a basketball game. The XU women played league rivals, the Billikens of St. Louis. Maggie Hennegan is in her sophomore year, and although they lost she had a great game with 16 points! (I babysat Maggie starting when she was two, then eventually her and younger brother, Andrew.)

Maggie Hennegan, #5
Not the clearest picture, but we were sitting on the other end of the court!

Maggie shooting (and making!) a free throw.

Part of Maggie's fan club.

And then came the end of the first half. This is the look on their faces for the spectacle that was the halftime show.

OK, I've tried a number of times to upload the video of halftime, but it won't work. I'll edit it later to see if it can be put on here, so I'll try to describe it here. You may have seen it before, about 500 kids, ten and under, run out onto the court, whip out plastic jump ropes, pogo sticks, and two things from the '80s that I can't remember their names. One looks like Saturn that you jump on and the other is like a "ball and chain" that old time prisoners use but my sister would skip over hers and it kept track of how many revelations it did. Have you seen this before? Well, the boys hadn't and they didn't know what to think of the chaos of children running rampant all over the court. It did keep their attention, though!

By the end, they definitely knew who they were rooting for: "the blue team" and "number 5, Mommy's friend," but when the fans did the cheer where one side yells "X" and the other "U", Lou just couldn't resist! Hey, the kid's got spirit, oh yes he does, he's got spirit, how 'bout YOU?


Lou & Ben got their hair cut!

Kevin asked what length I wanted and I said to take it all! They wear nice warm hats, so I am not worried about them getting cold. Their hair has been out of control and now...

Ben, post-shearing, watching Lou's hair cut.

Had to pull out the dustbuster to help get rid of the mass amounts of hair!

Now Charlie looks more like his big brothers!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Guten Tag!

Kevin returned home Saturday night and we celebrated by going to Mecklenburg Gardens Bier Dinner. Yes, that is a full beard on his face and no, he's not trying to be the guy from "A Mighty Wind."

Benny & Louie with Grandma & Grandpa and Tom Harten

Charlie's first Warsteiner Dunkel

Saturday, January 26, 2008

January Birthdays

After taking down Christmas decorations it can be somewhat depressing. Your house seems so barren, there are fewer parties to attend, and not as many good things to eat. That is, unless you know a lot of people who have January birthdays!

We have been lucky enough to have three birthdays to celebrate in our family! Grandpa celebrated his on January 9th, Aunt Erin was on January 10th, and Uncle Paul celebrated his on January 23rd. Here are some pictures of the parties that were held for each.

Delicious homemade chocolate cake by Mom (Ben got a finger in before "Happy Birthday" was sung.) Thank you to Jill and Nick for bringing the crowd-favorite Graeter's Black Raspberry Chip.

Earlier in the day we were down at the Arnoff to see "Wicked," then at Benihana's for dinner.

Louie wasn't quite as excited as Uncle Nick that they both were wearing a pirate's favorite sweater (ARRRGyle!).

Sorry, Erin. I wasn't on my game that night. I got a handful of pictures, but most aren't worth revisiting. The culprit may be in the picture...fabulous Orange Dream cake, though!

Grandpa giving Charlie a zerbert. Does anyone else call it that? Not sure if that's how it's spelled, but ever since the days of "The Cosby Show" our family has called it that. I wish you could see Charlie's sweater--it has a furry skunk and says "Lil' Stinker." Too cute!

Benny & Louie helping Uncle Paul blow out the candles on the-best-German-Chocolate-cake -ever, made by Aunt Cassie.

So, if you're looking for a good month to have a baby, try around April! Everyone will appreciate it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

This is fun!

Today Lou couldn't stop talking about his "cantaloupe" horns. There's this really cute website made by the New York Zoos and Aquarium where kids (and adults) can come up with creatures from all these really neat options. The boys got a kick out of it...and learned a lot about animals in the process. I'm such a nerd!

Here is Ben's creature, and if you'd like to make your own click on New York Zoos & Aquarium.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Doctor's Office

Today we headed over to Dr. Joseph's for Charlie's six-month appointment. Unbeknownst to Charlie (or to me, for that matter), he was in for three shots today. He (as opposed to his brothers) was so good the entire time we were there and then the nurse went and stuck him three times. Fortunately, he fell immediately asleep when I put him in the car seat and continues to sleep as I type this.

His big brothers started out OK, but keeping toddlers waiting in a tiny examining room is never a good idea. They were in their orangutan mood, galloping around the room making ape noises. Dr. Joseph was amused...for a minute.

Charlie is growing well. He weighs 19 lbs. 1 oz. and is 26 inches long. Apparently, he isn't as long as the other two were, but he'll catch up soon enough.

World's Best Dad!

When we came back from Charlie's doctor appointment we had a surprise waiting on the front porch!

Louie & Benny were so happy to get this cookie basket from their Daddy that said "I'll be home soon!" It's made by Cookies by Design in Kenwood, and the first time I heard of them was when Charlie was born and we got two "baby boy" baskets. The boys immediately wanted one, had half, and I'm trying to talk them into waiting for the second half until later. Charlie slept through it all, hopefully recovering from the shots.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

In need of haircuts!

I took pictures today of the boys' current state of hairs. It's long. It's getting ridiculous. Lou's looks substantially worse than Ben's, but that is only because even when short his hair tends to stand on end in nine different directions.

Haircuts are not an easy event for these kids. Lou just recently decided not to convulse while his Daddy has the clippers against his head. Ben...needs to be put into a straight-jacket. With that being said, we have another five days until Daddy's home to do anything about it and there's no way I'm attempting to do this with a stranger at a barber!

I'd love to give them close cropped hair-dos, but with it being below freezing it's not exactly fair. They just look like such little gentlemen with a fresh cut!

Will this look ever be in style?

Working on his best 'do--a mullet

Needs some hair...and doesn't like to do profile shots

On their resume: Television Host

I'm not exactly sure where they picked it up, but Lou & Ben's new game is acting like hosts on a children's wildlife program. "O.K. boys and girls..."

I am guessing that it comes from the boys hanging out with my dad a lot as of late. When I pick them up they could be acting like orangutans, hyenas, cheetahs, or tigers, among other animals. They know the friends and the enemies of their chosen animal and will continue to be in character for the next three days.

Louie: My cousin Ben is going to tell you all about the crocodile.
Benny: O.K. boys and girls...

Personally, I think it's a cry for their aunts and uncles to have some babies when they can't tell the difference between a brother and a cousin ;)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Happy 1/2 Birthday, Charlie!

Oftentimes, to get Lou and Ben to take a nap with little argument, I tell them what exciting things await them when they wake up. As much fun as our casa is, there really aren't parties every night, but I try to make some of our mundane activities sound really exciting.

Last night, although far from commonplace, it was not a party as I led them to believe it was going to be. Jamie, Abbe, and Joanie were coming over and Jamie was going to make sushi rolls for our dinner. When the boys awoke from their nap they asked where the party hats were. So I obliged and went down to the basement to get the "Bob the Builder" party hats from Lou's 3rd birthday party.

Alas, we get to the point of today's post:

Today Charlie turned six months old! With the party hats still out from the night before we took Charlie's 1/2 year picture. He wasn't sure what to think of it, but seemed to be OK with wearing the hat.
We've had a great six months, with much to look forward to. Last week Charlie's two bottom teeth popped through; as you saw, he's starting to sit up more; and he's developing his own little personality (very easy-going with a touch of mischievousness).

He's not liking teething, or that his best bud, Daddy, isn't coming home until January 23rd.

All in all he's doing really well and having a good time with his two brothers.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Boys & the facination with #2

We've been working a lot on potty issues with the boys and "poop" has come up quite a bit in discussion. To add to the fun, today when the boys were playing with the Play-doh kit that Santa brought they figured out how to create their very own excrement!

Here is a picture of their creation.

Is this the tip of the iceberg with them, and is it just something that only boys are into?

Charlie sits! (sort of)

With having three kids under four you'd think I'd remember stuff from the first two times around, but I don't. At some point they must have starting sitting up, but I'm not exactly sure when that was. I've got it written down somewhere...

So, with Charlie inching up on six months, he's getting really good at being at the seated position. He can't get there on his own, and he doesn't last too long, but here is evidence that the third Hess boy can sit on his bottom with relatively little help.
And here is part of the reason why it doesn't last long--he grabs for everything and then topples on his face!

I like being a big brother

Two brothers woke up early so I had them in bed with me so I could hang on to a few minutes of rest. Charlie is recovering from a cold and was having a coughing spell when Ben says, "No, Char. Like this. Cough in your melbow." And then proceeds to cough into angle of his arm.

Benny is relishing in being a big brother. He is still a disciple of Louie (at times), but he finally gets to tell someone else what to do! Even if that someone doesn't understand a word he is saying. It's pretty funny to watch.

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Zeeum Day!

Today we went to the "new zeeum" as Lou insists that it is called. We got a pass to the Cincinnati Museum Center last year and it was the best thing we ever did. Rain or shine, the kids have a blast at the Children's Museum, the sandbox and dinosaurs at the History Museum, and the trains at the Cincinnati Museum.

We were lucky enough to spend today with my friend Amanda and her boys. Owen was born just a few months after Lou, and Eli was born a few months before Charlie. As you'll see below, the boys have a great time whenever we get together!

Eli & Charlie getting to know each other.

After reading "Curious George at the Fire Station" last night, the boys were all revved up to be firefighters and recruited Owen to join the team. Amanda and I thought it was pretty funny.

Ben the Tortoise (Does anyone know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise? Is there one?)

Lou, a big ol' pearl in a clam shell.

Owen, Ben & Lou pet the snake. I'm not going to lie. I had to restrain myself from saying that they couldn't do it. I am not a fan of snakes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Where do they come up with this stuff?

Kevin left yesterday to finish a job in Albany, NY, and will be gone until January 20th. Ben has gotten in the habit of sitting in Kevin's seat at the kitchen table while Kevin's out of town and fulfills his Daddy's role at meals: "So Mom, how your day?" It's all I can do not to laugh every time he says it. He tries to act so grown up but is in that teeny body and funny voice. But the kicker is that he asks it sporadically throughout the meal and gives me this look like he's sincerely interested...even though he's already asked nine times.

The boys got "The Jungle Book" movie for Christmas and they take turns being different characters from it. Of course Lou started out as the leader of the monkeys, the ape "King Louie." But now he insists that he is Bageera, the black panther that takes care of Mowgli the mancub, and that we are a black panther family. He acts like "Baggy" all the time, whether we're at home or in public...slinking around, growling, and all the other things panthers do. I have to suppress a laugh when he tells someone he is a black panther and the first thing that pops into my head is the 1960s civil rights group.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Kids say the darndest things

Earlier today I got into a long explanation of why we can't open up the train boxes and take out the tons of track to add to the ridiculously messy basement when Lou in turn gives me a long explanation that really didn't have a thread to weave through the words to give it any meaning, but at the end of it he says, "Do you understand what I'm saying?" And then gives me this look.


He's repeated things I've said before, but I have a feeling that this is going to be the beginning of some serious repeating parrot syndrome. I will hear how ridiculous I sound when correcting the boys or explaining things or just the little nuances I have in speech. Goodness.

I remember babysitting this family when I was in high school. It was the first time I watched these three girls who were about 7, 5, and 3. The three-year-old rushes up to me when I get there and proceeds to tell me this story, and though I don't remember a thing about it, I do know that when she finished she exclaimed, "Isn't that a riot??" Turns out that was her mom's go-to phrase.

Needless to say, I will be very aware of what I am saying to the boys. Most of the time. So if you hear anything really intellectual fall out of Lou's mouth know that it came from me. And if he has any sort of potty mouth, know that it came from his father ;)

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Few Funnies for Friday

We went to Mecklenburg Gardens in University Heights for my cousin Shannon's birthday. Louie and Benny had a fun night with Grandpa while we had a girls' night out, with Charlie. Mecklenburg's has the cutout in their biergarten and we thought it'd be funny to have Charlie play the violin. For those of you who may remember, this is the place Kevin and I had our rehearsal dinner almost five years ago!
When do kids get smart and stop doing the funny things their parents ask them, just for the sake of it being funny? I kept asking Ben to look at his nose, and you can't see it very well but he looked hilarious with his eyes crossed.

This is when he misunderstood me and in pointing to his nose he was inadvertently picking it. It helps the effect with him wearing John Belushi's "COLLEGE" shirt.

And not to leave out Lou, this is Louie the Turtle in the Children's Zoo. It's not too much of a stretch for this poky little puppy of mine.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Baby's First Christmas

Looking at the pictures I posted you'd think that it wasn't Charlie's 1st Christmas. Here are some more, showcasing the baby.

Charlie's snowsuit that lasted...oh, about three weeks. This kid is growing! He got this "Future Bengal" hat from Uncle Hog for his baptism. He get compliments on it everywhere we go!

Charlie & his birthday buddy, Ben. A rare moment where Ben is sitting still enough with his little brother to snap a picture.

A warm day in December allows Charlie to get more use out of the super-cool jean jacket Aunt Erin got for him!

Some Q.T. for Charlie with Daddy after the older brothers have gone to bed.

Start of the Christmas fun on the 22nd at Grandma & Grandpa Hess'.

Santa visits Aunt Robin's on Christmas Eve! No cries out of this guy. He's happy to sit on Santa's lap!

The End of 2007

Trying to explain the significance of one day to a 3 1/2 year old is nearly impossible, and absolutely out of the question for the 2 year old, but we tried. Why do people get so excited about New Year's Eve? Well, it's the end of the year when Louie turned 3 and Ben turned 2 and Charlie joined our family! We went to Norris Lake with Grandma & Grandpa H; we got really good at swimming; Lou was (semi) potty trained, we have started to understand Ben, and Charlie is rolling over! And, we have so much to look forward to 2008!

All the excitement mustered for those words ran smack into blank faces about 11:30pm on December 31st.

After driving through Sharon Woods' Holiday in Lights and having pizza over the Dunlaps' house, we drove home and tucked in two of the three boys before midnight. They were exhausted after a long week of holiday fun (with Daddy home!), and Charlie was just raring to go. Kevin and I sat on the couch and luckily turned to Carson Daly with just three minutes to go. I'm not sure if it's because I'm turning 30 this year or not, but this is one of the best New Year's Eves I've had.

Here are some holiday pictures:

Getting the Christmas Card Picture taken is not the easiest thing,
but in the midst of all the madness we got a few cute candid shots.

The first good snow of the year and the boys were determined to go out. Kevin braved the wet, sloppy snow while Charlie and I stayed in and took video and pictures of the fun.
The boys' silliness early in the morning after a late night of sweets and
opening presents at Grandma & Grandpa's in Columbus.
After church on the 23rd, we went to the BlueJackets' arena for ice skating. Ben loved it, with a little help from the uncles!

And Lou was pretty excited that Tim Horton's supplied
cookies and hot chocolate! Five feet from the entrance to the rink is all the further Louie got. He comes by it honest!

Christmas Eve and the boys are ready for Santa!
(Can you see that it's more difficult to tell the difference between
Ben & Charlie's clothes than Lou and Ben's?)

Festival of Lights at the zoo--very nice night so it was packed

Museum Center--Holiday Junction train display

New Year's Eve at the Dunlaps': Louie (Mar. '04); Gloria (Sept. '04);
Ben (Jul. '05); Drew (Nov. '06);
and Charlie (Jul. '07). Baby Dunlap due June '08!