Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Visit to the Dentist

Perhaps his last? Louie was a bit freaked out by the big bad dentist today. The woman who was supposed to be checking his teeth was off so Dr. P was the one who did all the cleaning and "explaining." I put that in quotations because I don't think he did all that great of a job. He comes in with a cap covering his head and a mask on his face and then he puts on this device that helps to see Lou's tiny teeth. Scary stuff for a little guy.

Louie did all right up until he starts cleaning his teeth and then that's when the tears and crying out began. Not much sympathy from the doc. Which is strange because although he looks like he belongs in a cube doing mindless paperwork, far away from human contact, he is a nice guy and (when I go in) seems interested in the patient's life, and always remembers the details. Besides, he has grandkids. Ben was having fun playing with Charlie and checking out all the dental equipment, then he was really concerned when his brother was getting upset. The nurse/receptionist (I have no idea, I'm pretty clueless about dentist offices) was absolutely great with Lou afterward and even managed to get him to smile. Both Lou and Ben were rewarded with Daffy Duck stickers (of their own choosing) afterward and a 6-month appointment set up for December. We'll see, we'll see.

Our Train Trip

Sunday was a beautiful day, especially when you have plans to ride a train! The LM&M is a 1930s model that hasn't been modified much. So there's no bathrooms, heat, or AC but with the mild weather and sunny skies it was just about perfect. We sat in the third car, right in front of the open-air gondola and after the conductor punched our tickets at our seats we were free to go back there.

I love this picture. We were some of the first people on the train and Lou had George waving out the window to all the other kids while wearing his conductor hat.

Out in the gondola

Lou, annoyed that I'm so picture-happy today

The car was packed and it was so cute to see all the little kids minutes away from bursting with excitement over being on a train and the chance to meet George. We had a half hour ride out to the Junction where there was going to be coloring of Curious George pictures, games, and a jumping air castle (please let me know if this is not the technical name), and, of course, pictures with George.

No one told Ben that he had to wait his turn.

We get off the train and he is sprinting to the 5' George, holding onto the arm of his 12" George and I'm not exactly sure what the exchange was because I was trying to leap out of the train car to go after him. Benny had locked in on his target, not even acknowledging the fact that the people who were in cars 1 & 2 were waiting patiently for their turn to take a picture with the extra-large monkey. All I saw was Ben holding up his stuffed animal, pointing to it and then pointing back to the larger-than-life monkey, then back again. The big George was shaking his head and shaking his hands, then I guess he somehow figured out what Benny was trying to say because then he was excitedly nodding with whatever it was Ben was saying. I caught up with Ben and was able to take him over to the jumping castle without incident.

A shot of our train at the Junction

Louie and Benny loved the jumping castle, even when it started to collapse and the parents stood there idly watching it deflate on top of our kids. I was kind of freaking out (in my head) and had images in my head of having to cut through the netting with Kevin's mini-Leatherman to help the boys escape. None of the parents were doing anything and there wasn't anyone "attending" to the play structure, so I went to help grab kids through the flap that was slowly getting sucked into itself. At that time our friendly conductor was passing by and I'm not sure if one of the parents was standing on the hose or what, but suddenly the castle was pumped up and all was fine. Whew!

Our friendly conductor

We decided to walk over to find out what else was going on and luckily the rush to get pictures with Curious George was over and we only had to wait behind two kids before it was our turn. Charlie wasn't too excited about it (although he's a huge fan of the soundtrack, he has not yet become addicted to the TV show and movie). And I think George was a bit nervous to have Char-Bear on his lap.

Next stop was coloring and Lou and Ben enjoyed picking out the right sheet to color and we had to figure out how to use the Twistable (?) crayons. (What's that all about??) Then we found the "Monkey Lady" who asked the boys if they wanted to (a) answer a question or (b) be curious. One of Lou's personalities is that he acts like George and makes noises and motions with his hands rather than speak. I've gotten pretty good at figuring it out and told Monkey Lady that he wants to be curious. His mission was to pick up as many rocks as he can by the time she counts to five. I saw other kids doing this earlier and they had probably 89 pieces of the gravel rock in their hands and my kids are picking out their favorite rocks and in five seconds Lou has five rocks and Ben has four. The each get a piece of Laffy Taffy for their efforts.

The conductor yells "All Aboard!" and we are making our way over to our train car.

Saying goodbye to George

It was just enough for our little guys. They had a blast, and you can be sure that Mommy & Daddy had fun, too.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lou's checkup

On the 19th Lou had a visit with the doc. I wasn't sure how it was going to go because he hasn't been there for himself in over a year. At his 2-year-old appointment Dr. J told me that he needed to get some sort of doctor toy so that he didn't get so scared. We did and when he went in for his 3-year-old he was still freaked out. Doctors don't always have all the answers.

What probably helped this time is that Charlie had to get his iron levels checked by having a pin-prick on his finger. Lou and Ben associated that with a shot and Lou wasn't going to be shown up by his baby brother! Turns out Lou had to get TWO shots that day and I wasn't aware of it, so I had told him "no shots." He was a brave, brave boy, however, and for his bravery he received not one, but TWO stickers. Who knew the power that construction stickers held?

If you're interested, here are his stats:
  • 56.5 lbs.
  • 45"
  • BP 98/68
  • Vision:
      • 20/40 right
      • 20/30 left
Not sure if you needed all that, but the doc was very happy with his check up and so I thought I'd share. On a side note, we saw Austin at Jimmy & Abbe's wedding last night and he was commiserating with our lil' Lou. Although he had no words of wisdom to share for shopping for clothes (he said to talk to Douger and MB), he said he saw a lot of himself in Louie (a possible college scholarship, perhaps??).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Did you know?

  • When it rains, Lou goes in the basement, throws a ball against a wall and swings to hit it, as though the wall is pitching to him
  • Ben has a dog that he got as an Easter gift that he takes with us on all our errands and when he goes to bed. You've never seen a boy so sweet with a stuffed animal. He calls it "Puppy."
  • Charlie imitations have gotten so good that he now puts anything from a remote to just his hand up to the side of his head and pretends that he's on the phone, yelling out indiscriminate syllables.
  • Lou picks dandelions for me whenever he sees them. Sometimes it's one, other times it's a handful. He loves the color yellow and thinks the flowers look like the sun. I had forgotten how pretty dandelions are. (P.S. Ben usually follows suit, but when he hands them to me they're usually just the heads.)
  • Ben is Lou's shadow. This kid definitely has his own agenda, but the majority of the day you'll see him following Louie around the house and yard, mimicking his big brother (a la Yeah-Yeah from Sandlot).
  • Charlie has got rhythm! Whenever a song comes on the radio he starts bobbing along with the beat--his hips don't lie. (One of these days I'll record it so you can see--it's hilarious.)

Friday, May 16, 2008

One year under his belt...

If school years fly by like this one did, I don't even want to think about how quickly Louie's graduation from high school will be here. Yes, it is only his first year in preschool, but it went so quickly! It has been a fantastic year for him. He's learned so much and grown up into a little man. (I was about to type that he has even started reading, but I'm pretty sure I dreamed that last night. Such is life for the mother of a baby that doesn't sleep through the night--confusing dreams with real life--but Charlie really is walking!)

Thursday we had Lou's end-of-the-school-year picnic. Everyone brought their lunches and the school had cake for everyone. The kids had a blast running around on the playground--the perfect size for their sizes. Louie's good friend Jonah was looking for him when we got there and they ran around most of the time, with Benny trying to keep up behind him. Ben will have a good time when he is in the 3-year-old class next year.

My cousin Katie is graduating from the nursing program at XU this weekend. The boys were asking what this party is all about that we're going to for her. I tried to explain that "graduation" is when you're finished with school and then you look for a job. Lou was quiet for a few moments then said, "Mom, I'm finished with school."
Me: "Yeah, what are you going to do now?"
Lou: "I should look for a job."
Me: "Really?"
Lou: "Well...I think I'll wait until I'm five."
Me: "What are you going to do until then?"
Lou: "...hangout at home, I guess."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

How have I not written about this yet??

Yes, last Thursday (5-8-08) the lil' guy began taking four steps at a time and has steadily had that number rise in the days since. It's definitely not his preferred method of mobility, but he has walked the length of our kitchen, which is a pretty big feat! Perhaps that is why I haven't had a chance to update the blog: so much more to do with a little walking machine.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Getting all caught up

Time has been flying by and I have a ton of pictures that I want to share with you from the last week or so. Spring is here and there's so much to do! I'm going to do my best to keep you up to date with anecdotes about Louie, Benny & Charlie!

Ryan Freel--live and in person!

I get a call from Uncle Hog in the middle of a rain storm yesterday reminding me that the one, the only, Ryan Freel was at the new bank opening in Norwood today. I had completely forgot. He asked if he could come pick Louie up and then take him out to dinner afterward. Sure!

Our softball game was canceled, but we were going to try to meet some people down at the Mound anyway (always easier to go out without all three). He picked up both Lou and Ben, who had a hardball and Freel baseball card in hand and away they went!

Not too surprisingly, the boys were awfully quiet when it was their turn to meet Mr. Freel. Uncle Hog informed him that Lou was his biggest fan and instantly he jumped up from behind the table to shake Louie's hand. Ben came out from behind his big brother and did the same. The bank was giving away photographs of the Reds player, so the boys left with ball and card autographed, the bank's photo, and this picture below:

Then it was off to "Old MacDonald's" for a special dinner--chicken nuggets and french fries. Thanks to Uncle Hog for taking these great pics!

P.S. Louie informed me that he told Ryan Freel that he (Lou) was not Ryan Freel anymore, but that he played right field so he is Ken Griffey, Jr. now. Hope his feelings weren't too hurt :)

Story Tree!

We went down to Queengate with Grandma R and met Grandma Alice and Lexi. Every Wednesday is Story Tree time at the Children's Museum with Miss Charolette, Miss Elizabeth, and Dr. Mike. Miss Charolette is the most perfect grandmotherly-type lady you'd ever meet. She has a great personality, has an incredible rapport with the kids, and seems like she is having the time of her life while she sings songs, tells stories, and get the kids to dance all in one half hour.

The boys weren't sure what to think:

...Ben especially...

...finally, when they started talking about spiders, they all got involved...

...and Charlie was running the place.

We stayed for a bit after the Story Tree, then headed upstairs for lunch. The place was packed with all kinds of field trips. Here is Charlie enjoying the other baby there...

...and Louie and Benny taking Miss Lexi for a ride.

First Plantings

Grandpa M gave us some cherry tomato plants and Lou received herb seeds from Aunt Erin and Uncle Joe for his birthday. The boys were dying to plant something (part of our list that didn't get accomplished the weekend before), so Monday we were ready to do some growing!

The instructions on the herb seed box say that it was created for kids and that there's a guarantee that it will grow. Great news! They each had their pot and sprinkled the mixture on top of the soil. Then took a mini rake and gradually worked the seeds into the soil. No surprise to anybody--this lasted all of 23 seconds for Ben.

We did this right before nap time and now I realize I probably should have done it earlier. Proof: Ben wasn't so happy to be done with our planting and explained that with loud crying.

Muscle Man!

Charlie, like his brothers were, loves to be sans clothing. Here he is showing off his muscles. (I apologize for the fuzziness of the pics. I wanted to get him playing around, without him realizing I was taking a picture so, I was too far away.)

Future Firemen?

This past weekend was supposed to be our Spring Cleaning weekend. The Thursday before Kevin and I came up with a long, long list of things to be done and, naturally, only about 1/10 of them were accomplished.

Ben is the king of multitasking. He still refuses to have anything to do with #2 and the potty, so here he is pooping while standing (sort of) and taking his nap.

Later, the boys joined Kevin outside as Daddy was putting the gutters on the garage. They were too short to help so they pretended the garage was on fire and wanted to put it out. These are taking from the kitchen where I did fun stuff like clean the blades on the ceiling fans.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Zoo Blooms

Every April the zoo has their "Zoo Blooms" where there are over 80,000 tulips exploding in the landscape. It only lasted until the 27th, but we were able to see a few that hadn't lost their petals and took full advantage of the photo op.

Unfortunately, Louie was acting...weird. He was doing this strange Frankenstein-like pose the entire time Carrie was trying to take our picture.

Could this be the reason? Katie is Louie's friend from school. We met up with her, her mom, brother and sister today. It was really cute to see the two of them interact. They ran around, showing each other the neat things they found, and had a great time picking flowers--yikes!

Here's the gang: Claire is the little sister; Katie in the shades; and Bryce in the back with the Reds hat. They all had a lot of fun together.

To end our day we took a ride on the train. Katie, Benny, and Louie rode on a bench all by themselves, which was somewhat nerve-racking, especially when we were on the bridge going over the zebras. Charlie was all sorts of excited. He doesn't remember his first train ride at the zoo when he was less than a month old, as seen below.

This looks a little bizarre because I think he was mid-blink, but I thought it was funny. He was so curious during our ride and he's at a rough age. He's not exactly walking and not at all stable, but loves to be mobile. He wants so badly to be running around with his brothers.