Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Business Special: Our Family Day

Kevin got some really great seats for the Reds game and a parking pass from work last Thursday. We were only about 15 rows up from the first base dugout and even though the ticket-taker said that Ben didn't need a ticket, we were glad to have the four seats for the boys to have space move around.

It was a beautiful day, reaching 81 degrees and the boys were lathered up with sun screen, even though it became obvious that Benny & Charlie's Native American roots are coming out. Louie's ears and face became red even through the spf 50 and ball cap he was wearing. When he warms up it shows all over! Charlie, on the other hand, had a tanned belly and he wasn't even showing it to the sun. Amazing how brothers can be so different from one another.

We couldn't be any more excited to see Johnny Cueto pitch. Lou is finally starting to come around on him, but Ben isn't sold yet. (This is probably due to the fact that Freel has gotten little to no playing time and Lou wants someone else to cheer for.) Unfortunately, it wasn't Cueto's best outing and they ended up losing, 5-3.

Highlights of the game:
  • Mr. Redlegs coming in our area: Ben kept putting the seat down next to him as an invitation for the favored mascot to come hang out with us.
  • Big hit of the day: Scott Hatteberg crushed a double into right-center that scored a couple of runs.
  • Great views of ballplayers: being that close the boys were able to match faces with the names they know.
  • Kevin on the Jumbotron: Charlie was getting antsy so in between innings Kevin stood up with him and was featured on the big screen. Then later, when he had Ben on his lap the camera swung his way again!
  • Picked off: twice we had perfect seats for two Reds players (Patterson, Hairston) being thrown out when they were daydreaming on first base. Coach Hatcher was none too happy.
*Check out the slide show of our day at the bottom of the page!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My sick little boy

This is not a common image of Benny. He is the kid who will run and run and run, recharge with a drink and a snack, then start back up again.

He woke up around 1:30am, upset, crying and burning up. We spent the rest of the night on the couch trying to get some sleep after taking some Tylenol.

Obviously, not all that happy that I'm taking pictures of him while he's not feeling well. Cross your fingers that this is a 24-hour thing. Kevin got tickets for the Reds game from work and we are going to have a nice family outing. Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Nine Month Visit

The newest stats on Charlie:
  • He is in the 90% for his...head.
  • He is in the 75% for his weight. (21 lbs. 7 oz.)
  • He is in the 25% for his length! (27 1/2 inches) Dr. J. says that he's due for a growth spurt.
  • He has the most popular baby boy name from last year at this particular doctor's office. We call him "Charlie-bear," so I'm thinking about just calling him "Bear." Feel free to help in my effort to give him some distinction.
  • Dr. J. is very happy with this refined palate. He's been doing great, eating pretty much everything we eat (sometimes even better than the other two!) Last night he had sweet potato, turkey, and cottage cheese. (P.S. Josh, he had pears and cottage cheese and really enjoyed it. Next, we're going to try crushed pineapple!)
  • I got some tips on how to get him to sleep through the night...let's see how it works!

Ring "Bear" for hire

Lou's gift was a wooden bat that said "Lou Hess, for being our All Star Ring Bearer"

In case you were wondering, Louie did a great job at Sarah's wedding this past weekend. All week long every time talked about what he was doing at the wedding he would growl, so I assumed that he thought he was going to be the ring "bear" at the wedding. My suspicions were confirmed when he asked if he was going to wear his Halloween costume (a furry black bear). It didn't help that I was calling the tux a "monkey suit." He was really confused.

Such a cool guy!

I wasn't there for the rehearsal, but I guess Lou and the flower girl had a tough time making it down the aisle. The day of the wedding he was such a big boy and held the little girl's hand and helped her down to the front of church. They both even went back up the aisle when it was all over! There wasn't a lot of smiling going on, but these are two shy kids who have a bunch of strangers staring at them and taking pictures. I think they did great!

The ring bearer and flower girl

A picture of the happy couple

When mass was over we were waiting around to take pictures and Louie slipped off the pew and hit the back of his head on a kneeler :( An egg appeared on the back of his head and he was inconsolable. It didn't help that the boy needed a nap desperately and there was no hope of that anytime soon. But he sucked it up, stood up there with Greg and the groomsmen and (sometimes) looked at the camera. Still no smiles.

All three boys wore themselves ragged at the reception and too soon it was time to go. We had to get a good night's sleep for the next day, anyway. We were celebrating Daddy's birthday! Because we were with Kevin's family we decided to celebrate it then with Jim and Grandma & Grandpa A. as well. Although cool and misty, we had a great weekend!

So today is Kevin's birthday. If have a minute you can call or email the "old man" to tell him to have a great day :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A great day that just can't be spoiled

I keep looking at these pictures and wondering if in the future the boys will ask me what I was thinking. Do they look goofy? I have no idea how to do a good group picture. Same exact clothes; similar in color clothes; or whatever everyone feels comfortable in? Obviously I went with option 1. I wasn't going to, but I just love these T-shirts so much...and I didn't have time to come up with multiple equations of clothes.

Let's just say this may be a once every five years event. I'm hoping that in 2013 I'm not going to remember how difficult it was to get all of them smiling and looking at the camera at the same time.

After a long, long visit at the picture place we got shoes for Lou (he's a ring bearer in Sarah's wedding this weekend!) and then headed to Montgomery Park for lunch with Grandma, Grandpa, Grandma Alice, Lexi and Grandma Fischer.

The weather was perfect and the kids had a blast playing in the sand box, rocking on the teeter-totter, and flying kites. Then it was time to go. Lou didn't want to and it suddenly became obvious that he needed a nap. He stomped off to the van. Once inside and buckled, he began his tirade in which he turned the tables on me: "I don't want the park. I don't want the swings. No grass. No slides..." and he goes on and on, basically including whatever he sees in the list of things he suddenly doesn't want. He talks like this for a few minutes and then Ben says, "Louie, what's wrong?" with his sad voice that actually says "Wooie."
"I'm still mad! And I don't like butterflies!!"
I had to laugh (really hard, but inside). He has been a pain all day, and in the middle of his anger I am laughing at him. It was a really nice day (and not just because he makes me laugh).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


(Is that the spelling of the sound of a fire truck?)

Today was a fun day for Louie because we went on a very special field trip with his preschool class. We went to the fire station! We had the van loaded up with Lou and four other students along with Miss Sue and we headed down the road to Sycamore's fire house (with all those car seats, we would have gotten there quicker by walking).

Each mom and teacher had the hands of two students--just in case there was a call while we were there. And you know what? Five minutes into the field trip the alarms went off and I think I was more startled than the kids! We ran over to stand behind a line we were instructed to go in just such a situation, and watched as the guys suited up and drove away.

Luckily, there were a couple of guys left to show us their ladder truck. They let the kids try on their gear and hold the equipment (all except for the chain saws, axes, sledge hammers, and jaws of life). It must have been a minor emergency because soon the guys were back and they took us to the next part of the tour--their living quarters! (Can you tell this was all very fascinating to me?) The kids had a hard time comprehending that the fire fighters slept there, and thought it was really cool that they had a kitchen and watched SpongeBob on a big screen tv.

He really is having a good time--it's his tough guy fireman look.

The gear is incredibly heavy--and big!

Soon the trip was over and on the way out the firemen gave the kids coloring books about fire safety and their very own Sycamore fire fighter's badge. After dropping the rest of the kids off at school, Louie and I went to have lunch with Benny, Charlie, Gloria, Drew, and Maria. It was a good day.

This is Ben the fireman. They made a big deal out of showing how he is a normal guy in protective gear. It didn't occur to me that kids will hide from firefighters because they are scared of them. These guys did a great job!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fun with boxes

General musings

  • Today was the first day that Louie noticed that there was a fake person standing in the department store in fancy underwear.
  • While they're upstairs "napping," Lou and Ben are screaming each time the thunder cracks.
  • A smile from Charlie can turn a bad day into a very good one.
  • Ben and Lou's definition of clean hands are different than mine.
  • Lou and Ben like to use the words "spooky," "googly," and "poo-wee!"
  • Charlie's car seat is turned around and he is very happy about it.
  • Rain drops must feel like needle pricks to the boys because they cry out in pain when it hits their skin.
  • Ben & Lou's favorite thing to do is be the first to run in to Charlie's room when he wakes up to talk to him and make him laugh.
  • Ben understands that "new shoes" are great even when they are just "new" to him.
  • Charlie loves cottage cheese.
  • The boys haven't figured out how awesome Johnny Cueto is. Their current way to get on each other's nerves is to say, "You're Johnny Cue-to, you're Johnny Cue-to!" and the other retorts with "Nuh-uh! I'm (insert Junior for Ben, Freel for Lou)!"
  • Ben will eat an entire box of Altoids if you let him.
  • Lou cannot even get past the smell of Altoids.
  • Charlie hates shoes.
  • Not surprisingly, Lou is pretty quiet at school. He is very attentive and does what he is told, and likes to play with the Bob the Builder magnet toys the best.
  • The boys would rather "listen to the guy talk about the Reds" on the radio than listen to their kids' music CDs.

Monday, April 7, 2008

: : Let's go fly a kite! : :

Seventy degree weather today and we headed down to Lunken to try out our new kites (thank you Aunt Jill & Uncle Nick!). We had lunch before running out onto the field. Good thing the weather didn't change on us. I told Louie & Benny that we would go fly kites with Katie and Grandma and they could not stop talking about it. Ben didn't want to go to sleep because he couldn't wait to do it.

It was a perfect day with how windy it was! Here is a shot of Lou...

...and what Lou was looking at...

...and Ben...

...and what he was looking at...

...and here's Charlie (the cone-head) with Katie.

After all the excitement of the kites we relaxed a bit at the playground.

And Charlie thought he was a little stinker by crawling off as fast as he could go.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Getting out of the rain

Each week the boys and I spend a day and have lunch with my Grandpa and Mom. Because the weather was so nasty today we decided to head down Krohn's Conservatory. It was nice to get inside where it was warm, bright, and filled with wonderful plants and flowers.

Louie & Benny, pumped to be there, out front with the blooming flowers

Charlie, not sure what to think of it all, hanging out

The view looking upward

The boys have gotten very dramatic in saying "cheese"

Ben only lasted so long inside so I took him outside and to his pleasant surprise, there was a hill of rocks just for him to climb! He had a great time going up and down and up and down, acting like a rabbit and then a frog.

Soon we were headed back home for chicken salad sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly. It was a good day.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Second child syndrome?

I have always marveled at how my brother seemed to get (and still gets! :) whatever he wanted from my mom. I am the oldest, and this brother is second. I am afraid that Ben is following in his uncle's footsteps. What is it with the second born? Is it because Lou doesn't ask for things like Ben does (incessantly!!)? I know there have been multiple times that I was just tired of Benny pleading with me over something that I finally gave in to him. Maybe now that I've identified the problem I can figure out how to do something about it. But I doubt his pleading will end! I will get ear plugs.

My life with boys

Steph, Missy, & JT were on their way over last night to make dinner for me and the boys and so we decided to play some basketball outside while we waited. Ben was using a tennis ball; Lou, a mini basketball; me, a playground ball. It was bound to happen, but the ball Lou was using ricocheted off the hoop, off the wall, and down the drive. I didn't think it was that big of a deal, so I set off after it with Charlie in my arm and told the boys to stay in the yard.

That little ball kept rolling and rolling and rolling. It went about halfway down our street and fortunately Louie and Benny stayed in the front yard. I was trying to go as fast as I could holding on the Charlie and looking over my shoulder to make sure the boys weren't running out into the street. (If I had known it was going to go so far I would have left it for later!) Thank heavens for a parked car's tire that stopped it in its tracks.

I pick it up and turn, speed walking up the hill to our house. Missy and JT are pulling up, parking. Missy isn't getting out of the car yet and I wasn't sure why. I look where she is looking (our front yard) and see why. She is watching my oldest boy pull his pants down and pee in our front yard! AHHH! I should clarify this. I only saw Lou pulling up his pants. I don't know if I would have yelled for him to stop if I actually saw it happening, but I did tell him that next time if he's going to pee outside he's got to find a tree or bush to stand behind. One day I'll explain to him that you can get a ticket for peeing in public.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Out and about

Today we went to the zoo with Lexi and "Grandma" Alice. So so so so so very nice to be out of doors. Forgot the camera, but know that there were blue skies, sunshine, and the temperature rose 20 degrees while we were there! We started out with winter coats, hats, and gloves, and by the end we were down to the coats, although we probably could have done without them.

I'm hoping that the weather forecasters are wrong and we're not looking at 10 days of rain following today. It's such a tease, being able to go outside and breath the fresh air and let them run around like the little boys they are.

If nothing else, I'm enjoying this little taste of what's to come. This spring and summer will be a lot of fun with the boys!