Monday, March 30, 2009

My Baby is Five!

In like a lion...

...and out like a lamb?

Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate with celebrating Louie's 5th birthday, but we had a great time, anyway. He chose "Lions" as his theme, with his one request being that all the boys wrestle and the girls stand on the sidelines and cheer. Where does he get this stuff?

Here is the birthday boy, roaring for the camera with his godparents, Uncle Billy and Aunt Jill. I bought special face paint to do them up like lions, but their skin seemed to repel it. Instead, I used a good ol' eye liner. (Today: it isn't coming off so easily.)

Five lion "pupcakes" to sing "Happy Birthday."

Charlie decided he just wanted to eat the gummy toppings.

Benny sat patiently looking on as Lou opened gifts. He even thanked people for the gifts! Good thing about all being boys and so close in age--gifts for one, gifts for all!

Louie and his Great-Grandpa

The Birthday Boy and Grandma & Grandpa

Lion Louie and Grandpa & Grandma

As people were leaving Louie came up quietly to me, with a very sad face. No one had wrestled yet. Fortunately, Uncle Billy and Uncle Joe were overly excited to comply with the Birthday Boy's request. The uncles are 15 months apart, just like Lou and Ben, but have years experience in world of wrestling. Apparently, it was decided that this will become a tradition, ending the party with a physical contest. Can't wait until Lou turns 15 and kicks his uncles' hineys!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Take advantage of the sun

I'm so glad we were able to go to the zoo yesterday with Lexi and Grandma Alice. Today it is chilly and has been alternating between pouring down rain and sprinkling. Ah...but yesterday was nice. Hopefully there's more days like this to come!

Monday, March 23, 2009

East of Eden

After it was decided that Benny would be OK, we headed out to Eden Park to meet up with Owen, Eli and Amanda. We were at the overlook, on the east side of the park (hence the title). There's a great playground that the boys enjoy and soon we were traveling upward on the old stone steps in the woods. I wasn't too confident in myself that I'd make it up, let alone the boys. But everyone made it to the summit in one piece and we were rewarded with a nice view of the river.

The guys hanging out on the being afraid of heights I wasn't all that thrilled! (It wasn't like they'd fall off into the river, though.)

These four guys all wanted to look out the hole at the bottom of the wall--at the same time. I'm not sure exactly what game they were playing, but it was their "lookout." The moms tend to talk too much when we get together!

A picture of the five boys tossing things to make big splashes and to scare the ducks.

The little guys. I find myself stopping the others from doing things that really aren't that big of a deal just because I'm worried about Charlie. Case in point: the boys were tossing things into the pond and I visualized Charlie Bear going head first into the water. One day his day will come...

It was bound to happen

This picture was taken last August. It's not real. As much as it looks like a black eye, it really is just an errant hand stamp put into place when rubbing one's eye...just seconds after getting stamped.

This is real. I've never used a butterfly band-aid before. And if I never have to use another I won't be complaining.

I don't think this picture does it justice. It was really a lot deeper and wider than it shows, obviously. Please forgive me for not taking a shot pre-bandaging. When the incident occurred, I was in the middle of registering at the hospital for Numero (or "numera") Quatro when Ben come running past, trips and goes headlong into the corner of the wall. Yikes! That's going to leave a mark. And it did. In fact, it was such a deep and wide mark that I thought I was going to toss my cookies.

Amazingly enough, Ben didn't cry after the initial 10 minutes and bleeding was a minimum. I couldn't get ahold of Kevin, which happens to be the case when I'm not calling just to chat! After talking to my parents, consulting some websites and friends who have been in similar situations, I decided not to take him to the hospital. Although extremely gross, he wasn't bleeding profusely, his head wasn't swollen beyond belief, and he wasn't crying/complaining of pain. Oh, and he hadn't fallen asleep, which is a fear ingrained in my head when it comes to head injuries.

I handed Ben a piece of candy, slapped that butterfly bandage on there (I took the first off, which Benny loved, and did another that I felt was holding the wound together better), and we were getting ready to go to the park to enjoy this beautiful day!

(Knocking on wood) I'm kind of surprised that it took almost four years for something like this to happen. That kid is a walking disaster zone. Athletic, yes. Energetic, yes. But, boy is he clumsy!

Yep, I'm not winning any mother-of-the-year awards here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The First Dance

Today was Louie first performance for the German dance group. There was a good crowd for the annual dinner the club has each spring. Louie didn't seem the least bit nervous, although we couldn't get much of a smile out of him!

Mr. Dave, the instructor

The parade of little ones before their dance begins

Louie, and his very helpful partner, Naomi

This is the dance for boys, The Fight Dance. It was so funny--when the kick is coming around the circle Louie is almost standing, waiting for it. Because of this, there's a huge gap in the circle and he has to run up to kick the boy in front of him. It was so cute!

With his part over, our little German boy takes a break.

Gloria & Louie: If it isn't obvious, one of these two is really excited about being a German dancer and the other is a very understanding child, giving in to his mom's whims.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Next Day

It must have been a 24-hour thing because Louie woke up this morning feeling pretty good, although he only had a few sips of orange gatorade and a few animal crackers.

As the day went on, the frequency of the vomiting slowed down, with his last time being around 3pm yesterday afternoon. He barely slept the night before, or at all during the day, so from then on into the evening he was wiped out on the couch, with no stirring even though Ben and Char running and yelling around him.

I was about at my wit's end. I had plans to see a premiere of a movie that night before this all came up, and Kevin said I should still go. This was fortunate for me because I came back somewhat rejuvenated, prepared to take on Louie's sickness or all three, if need be. Charlie was already sleeping in bed. Lou was a rock on the couch, and Ben and Kev were watching Bugs Bunny. Things seemed to be under control. Thanks, Kev!

Both Benny and Charlie seem to be feeling fine. Is it possible for an illness to pass quickly through our house, affecting only one kid? (My fingers are crossed and I'm knocking on wood.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Big Step

Today was kindergarten registration day, and my first born is all signed up to enter this next stage of life. There is a lot of paperwork to fill out and of course, I came unprepared. Fortunately, with living down the street from the school, it's not a huge hassle to go home and return with the necessary items.

Louie will be in class with his buddy, Alex, who is also in preschool with him. He has an orientation coming up in May where he'll get a tour of the school, meet his teacher and his classmates. It's so hard to believe that he's old enough to do all this!

On another note, we got a call from Louie's baseball coach this week. Practices will be starting soon! We're all very excited about this. What's even better is that the season is over by the first week in June, perfect timing for our baby's arrival!

A good reason to have hardwood floors

I woke up around 1am to the sound of very loud crying coming from Lou. It isn't uncommon for the boys to wake up crying, especially Lou, and usually it's because of a bad dream. When I opened the bedroom door I realized this was different. In front of the hysterically crying little boy was a pile of red chunks. Appetizing, I'm sure.

The treat after German dance last night coated each bit that was in his tummy, but how fortunate that it wasn't going to stain carpet! It all landed on the hardwood floor in his room. The last time Louie threw up was almost two years ago, so he really has no recollection of getting sick in this manner and was rightfully freaked out by it.

Each hour after this he woke me up with his sounds of getting sick. He wouldn't go back to sleep, so I had him on the couch watching a movie. The frequency of his getting sick was getting to be too much and I couldn't stay awake. Luckily this was just a couple of hours before Kevin had to go to work and he went out on the couch with Louie to rub his belly, which settled him down.

No school for anyone today. The last thing I wanted was to either (a) have Louie or one of the others vomit in the van or (b) have Ben get sick at school. I have very vivid memories of kids who couldn't make it to the toilet puking when I was little. Ugh. We all stayed home and wore our pjs and hoped that this was a short illness, only affecting one of the boys.

Let's hope this is true!

Dance, dance, dance all night long...

Louie had his last practice before his first performance Wednesday night and it went really well. He knows the dance that the kids in his age group do and actually seems excited about the first show. He received his lederhosen, socks and hat, now I just have to find him a shirt and shoes.

Ben recounted his torturous experience of dance for Daddy about 98 times while Lou was having practice. He really doesn't seem to be too traumatized, but I guess he doesn't want the focus to be all on Louie. Kev had Charlie doing the dance, too, and Charlie was really into it! We may have another boy in lederhosen on our hands this coming year :) Although, it's not too surprising, because Charlie definitely has more rhythm than his brothers and this seemed to come fairly easily to him.

It amazes me how Mr. Dave the instructor gets the kids to do the dance. This is only the third time we've gone and if you would have asked, I would have said there's no way the kids were ready to do a show. Somehow, out of the chaos came order and they all looked so cute! My place is definitely on the sidelines!

Again, the kids got their treat of a pop when they were done. Little did we know what a role that red pop would play in the next 24 hours...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Recap: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I've kind of fallen off the ball with this holiday this year. I sent my kids to school without wearing green (we may have been the only family to do so). There weren't any decorations up and just a couple hours before dinnertime I was desperately searching for some sort of Irish meal to make. I'll have to make up for it next year, but here's what happened last night:

We had shepherd's pie along with a loaf of dill bread and green hard boiled eggs. I wasn't aware that green hard boiled eggs were a St. Patrick's Day tradition, but that's what Lou told me and I went with it because they aren't too difficult to make! And then, because it was really easy and seemed to fit the theme, the boys had a scoop of rainbow sherbet. (Why do I pronounce it"sher-bert?")

Here are some of the beautiful pieces of art the boys brought home in honor of the holiday:

Louie's leprechaun

Benny's shamrock

Louie's shamrock windsock

Benny's Cat in the Hat
(not technically "St. Patrick's Day" art, but it reminds
me of my friend Tom's grandpa who always wears a green
and white one like this for SPD)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sun + Warm Weather = Zoo Craziness

When we were walking into the zoo to meet Amanda and the boys an older couple stopped me to ask if kids around here were off school today. It was pretty overwhelming! The kids filling the zoo weren't just preschool age and younger. There were older kids, too, along with moms and dads and even some people who seemed like they were on vacation. I guess it's possible that people are on spring break now, but it seems a bit early.

We met our friends in the Children's Zoo and the boys ran around, chasing other kids while the moms ate lunch. Louie, Benny and Owen have started a game where they are lions (or some other predatory creature) and they chase zebras or gazelles, or some other poor animal. Unfortunately for the prey, they have no idea who these growling little boys are, and at least in one case the little boy looked absolutely terrified.

Ah, I guess this is something I have to get used to with having these boys 'o mine.

Charlie, spreading his love.

Louie and Owen, pretending to have elephant ears.

So happy to be outside!

Leprechaun Maddness

The boys were bursting with excitement when I went to pick them up today. While they were on the playground a leprechaun came in their classrooms and made a mess! As everyone knows, leprechauns can be very mischievous and this particular one showed that by putting chairs on top of tables, turning things in the room upside down, and scattering toys around. However, he did leave each child a chocolate, so they weren't too upset when they had to straighten the room up before going home.

Ben must have thought this was a really neat thing because his teacher made a point to tell me that he actually spoke up in class today!

On the way to the zoo the boys were bouncing in their seats in hopes that a leprechaun would visit them at their house today.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Inching closer...

I had an appointment today, and was pleasantly surprised to hear that my next appointment is only in three weeks. Then, after that I go weekly!

This is a different doctor, as I've said before, so I'm assuming that different doctors have different ways of doing things, but this still seems early. Another bonus is that I'll have another ultrasound within the next month. Can't wait!

I had my glucose test today, but other than that not too much excitement. I was lucky that he could see me because he was running out for a delivery. I think that this must be "birthing season." I know of a lot of people expecting the delivery of their babies in the next few months!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Quiet Night

My Mom and Dad kept the boys overnight on Friday. Boy! was it needed. I am at my breaking point: plain exhausted, patience that's getting thinner and thinner, and...I guess running out of ideas about how to corral the boys.

They haven't been too bad, I just haven't been all that great at interacting with them! I think my parents recognized that and offered to keep them. This is a win-win-win situation. Grandma and Grandpa are in heaven when the boys stay the night, the boys are thrilled right along with them, and then Kevin and I get to hang out and actually have a date!

We had dinner at Carabba's, one of our favorite restaurants. It was Friday, so we had their incredible Calamari Ricardo and then Pasta Weesie, both of which we'd probably have even if it wasn't Friday. It's just that good.

Other items on our "date" was a stop at Lowe's for basement supplies and paint chips, and a stop at Graeter's--yum! When we got home we were able to stay awake for a movie, amazingly enough. We watched "Thank You For Smoking" and then hit the hay--with no middle-of-the-night wake-up calls or early morning risers. It was very, very nice.

If you are more interested in what the boys did, you'll have to ask them. I'm still enjoying having a "night off." Thanks Mom and Dad!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Practice makes perfect?

Spending as much time as I do with the boys, I feel like I know them pretty well. So when we get into a new situation where I see reactions and bits of their personality that I haven't seen before, it's kind of a shock. Who is this person? Where did this come from?

Last night we had the second practice for German Dance. I thought it was going to go smoother this time. They have been talking about it since last week, they were eager to see their new friends, and, of course, pop was involved. When we were having dinner Ben informed me he wasn't going to dance. He said this last week, so I didn't think much of it.

When we arrived, the boys' good friend Gloria was there for her first practice and I thought she'd be enough to get them motivated. However, all her cousins were there and she was thrilled be joining them in the dance group and ran around with them.

Dave the director called the kids together and we walked over, Charlie on my arm, Ben gripping my jeans, and Lou holding my hand. Dave called Louie over first and partnered him up with this very sweet girl who did a great job of showing him the ropes. What I'm noticing with Lou is that he has these things he does when he gets nervous. He bites the inside of his mouth and then sticks his neck out, like a giraffe reaching for leaves, or maybe a turtle trying desperately to get out of his shell. Regardless, although it's kind of weird, he did hold his partner's hand and go through with the dance without reluctance.

Dave then called Benny and he was hesitant, but I said to go on over behind Louie. Dave wanted him in front of Lou and, looking back, I wonder if this is where it went wrong. Would he have done better if Louie was ahead of him and he could see him doing all the moves?

They went through the first dance and I could tell that Benny's partner wasn't into having him by her side. She is almost twice his age and has been doing this for a while, so maybe she'd rather be with someone she didn't have to instruct. I don't know. Ben wasn't doing any of the spins, but the good news is that Louie was, which is a huge improvement from last week! What I do know is that by the end of the first dance Ben was ready to stop. I gently suggested that he try again.

After one revolution of the next dance Dave took over as Benny's partner and that's when the tears began to fall. He wasn't sobbing, no noises, and he kept up with it, but you could tell he was miserable. Ben kept wanting to spin inward and Dave was having him spin out. Tears, tears, tears. My heart was breaking. He reminded me of me when I was a kid. I detested (still do!) being the center of attention. I really didn't like when I didn't "get things" right away. I would cry a silent cry and wish that I was in bed under my covers.

I'm not sure if this is the way Benny was feeling, but it sure seemed like it. He was not happy to be on that dance floor and that was the end of his dancing career, at least until next year. I think he'll be better off going on 5-years-old, rather than going on 4. They recommend being 5, but I thought Lou wouldn't do it without Ben.

Lou has been surprising me with his (quiet) outgoing-ness and his being OK with doing something new and not that easy. I'm hoping that Ben sees this and decides that it's all right if you're not great at something you try, and wants to practice with him. If not, that's OK, too.

Of course, Charlie wants to join right in and I have a feeling next year it will be he, not Ben, who takes up the dance. Ben is just content sitting on the sidelines, playing with his cars in a world of his own. But he still wanted his pop. I guess it wasn't enough of a motivating factor. Half dance practice or whole dance practice = whole pop.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Craft Time!

At the library today Lou picked up a book on Easter crafts, which was a great idea because mommies could always use some help! Little did I know that it wasn't going to be all that easy. Apparently our house is not stocked with all the necessities that are needed for craft time. I have yet to start hoarding pipe cleaners. I do not have fiber fill laying around, and I don't have any hole-reinforcement rings (does anyone even use those anymore?). Oh, and apparently I need to search out some wallpaper remnants because more than half of the projects required that!

I finally figured out how to adapt a project to what we do have in stock. The boys were pretty excited and once we put Charlie down for a nap we got to work! We made chick Easter baskets out of paper plates, staples, twine, flowered paper, and glue. And if I break down, I'll put in some Easter grass like it calls for. Does anyone else have a problem with the Easter grass getting everywhere? They don't look anything like the illustration in the book, but they're cute (in my mommy's eyes, ha-ha).

And one last thing to add to the shopping list if you, too, aren't as well-stocked as you need to be. One project called for pull tabs. I thought for sure that this book was printed in 1971 because when was the last time you saw a pull tab? I'm assuming that they are talking about the tabs you pulled off of pop cans way back in the day. Turns out this book was printed in 1995. Hmm...

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Smell of Spring

My favorite thing to do is open the windows to let the breeze flow through the house. This happens two times of year: spring and fall. This past week I've loved opening up the windows to let the clean air in, with a scent that a candle or air freshener company cannot replicate. Ahhh...

Needless to say, we've been taking advantage of the weather. What's the secret to happiness as a toddler boy: Three dump trucks and a mom who doesn't get (too) upset over dirt encrusted pants. It was amazing. Each of the boys had their truck and played (quietly & peacefully) in the soon-to-be vegetable bed. It was heaven. I was able to start organizing our wreck of a garage. I could do this every day of the week!

And before I forget to add my "sign that my kids are of a completely different generation": we're driving to my parents' on Sunday and Lou yells to me from the back of the van, "Mom! I found this bracelet with a clock on it. Will you put it on me?"

In denial

For a while now, Ben has believed that he is left handed. I'm not sure where this came from, but he received two left-hander's gloves for his birthday because he was wearing a right-hander's glove on the right hand. His new gloves have not done much for his baseball game.

Benny throws terribly with his left hand, and doesn't catch anything with a glove on his right hand. I had him take off his glove and throw with his right and although not perfect, it definitely wasn't Ricky Vaughn-esque like his left-handed throws tend to be. My only guess is that the glove feels more comfortable on his right hand, so that's where he likes it, regardless of what's it's doing to his abilities.

When I was a youngster, I remember preferring not to use a glove at all. The softball or hardball didn't hurt my hands too badly. What hurt (and what ultimately got me to start wearing a glove) was when the ball popped out of my hands and into my eye-socket where it gave me a first class shiner. I guess we all have our own ways of learning.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sticks and Stones

I bite my tongue. I bite my tongue because I am not a perfect mother by any stretch of the imagination, but also because I believe the boys are better off being parented by two people of differing thoughts than by one.

Being a nice day, the boys are outside with their daddy while he cleans the vehicles and I am inside cleaning up the house and Charlie is taking a nap. We have a pile of branches and sticks in the back. Louie and Benny are "playing" with them. This makes me nervous. I am not going to say anything because...they're boys. And boys play with dangerous items like sticks. Big, poky ones that could go into someone's eye.

I don't want the boys to grow up to be afraid of the world around them, so I bite my tongue. I know that their daddy has the situation under control and I do not need to butt in.

Ohhh, boy. That's a big branch...please put it down!...and Kevin jumps in to stop the insanity. Thank you.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's a Dance Party!

Louie and Benny had their first practice for German dancing last night. Kevin had a baseball meeting so we left Charlie behind and headed out to the park where the practices and most of the performances would take place.

The way out was pretty entertaining. They had already asked if we were going to a wedding, because other than the silly dances we do around the house, weddings are usually where the serious dancing takes place. Louie asked if this would be a game. I said not really, but they would be on a kind of "team." They seemed OK with this.

When we arrive there aren't many people there yet and I could tell that the boys were a bit apprehensive about the whole situation. Probably because one was suction-cupped (is that a word?) to my lap and the other's chair was pretty much glued to me. This little girl was ogling them and Lou says loudly, "Who does she belong to?" She responds with, "I asked you the same thing." Oh, boy.

Soon the family I know walks in and the boys are introduced to their cute family. The one son, Gus, is so sweet and although he is older, he gives the boys all the attention in the world, asking them questions as if they were peers. Louie and Benny totally latch on to him, and slowly begin to warm up. To an extent.

The older kids begin to practice a dance (which Gus is a part of) and both of my boys are assuring me that they are not going to be doing that. Ben tries to explain to me that he is scared and I explain to him that it's fine to be scared when you're doing something for the first time, but that the more you do it, the less scary it becomes. He looks at me with a blank stare and I know he's thinking that I just don't get it. There won't be a next time!

The guy organizing the "team" has the young ones come together and the whole time we're standing there Lou is close beside me and Ben is gripping my hand, saying, "I am NOT going to do this" over and over, each time a bit louder.

Dave, the organizer/director/whatever, has one group out on the floor to do a dance they already know. Lou sees a few boys his age using their time to toss around a Super Ball and he asks if he can join in. I wasn't going to stop him. Louie is so quiet and can be very shy so there was no way I was going to say no to him making friends on his own accord. He ran over and, the way boys are, they accepted him into the game, no questions asked.

Benny was the complete opposite. At first he wanted to join the other boys, but after a few seconds, ran over and claimed that they weren't letting him play. Ben apparently needs to be coddled, his hand held and his turn given. I wasn't going to be the one to do this. If he wanted to play, he'd just have to join in like Lou or watch the dance.

Anyway, the time came for them to dance and these two girls were their partners who were head and shoulders over them (two heads for Ben). It was cute because the girls really wanted to help them, but didn't make a big deal out of it.

The dance wasn't too difficult, but the part they couldn't get used to was the when they were twirled by their partner. They'd just stop halfway, facing their partner in an awkward step. I laughed, envisioning their father in the same way. With all the refusal they were giving me beforehand, I was impressed at how they joined in the group dance. I could just see them on stage in their little lederhosen! For whatever reason, those two really like order and structure, and listen well (for the most part) to adults--adults other than their parents!

Then, the girls take the sidelines and the boys do a dance just for them. My boys sat out to watch. This dance is called the "Fight Dance" and yes, my boys got a "kick" out of it. They do a bunch of different things, but the part they thought was hilarious was when in somewhat of a domino effect, one by one the guy would kick the one in front of them's hiney. Lou and Ben couldn't stop giggling. Then Lou realizes that something is just not right and decides to call out loudly, "Mom! There's a GIRL out there!" Well, it wasn't a girl it was a boy whose hair is longer than most (or all) the boys Lou knows. And I guess it wasn't just that he called out, but he pointed to make a big deal out of it. We really need to work on pointing. I quietly told him that just because a person's hair is long doesn't mean that that person is a girl. (I guess we should start pulling out pictures of his father from back in the day, but I don't want him to start getting any ideas...) He seems satisfied with the answer (Louie takes everything to heart) and the moment passes. Kristine, my friend's sister who got us involved, is quietly giggling because kids really do say the darndest things.

Afterward the kids are rewarded with a pop. How fortunate that they find this to be a big deal. In fact, that is how I got them in the van to begin with. They each had a red pop. I was informed by some of the other kids that they used to only get root beer, but hit the big time when they started getting red pop. Good to know!

Again, as the boys were sitting at the bar drinking their special drinks, Gus had them engaged in a discussion and already had them talking about practice next week. They loved the attention from a "big kid" and seemed to be having a lot of fun. My worries that I was pressuring them into something they didn't need to do were diminished.

As we were driving home Ben calls out excitedly, "Mom! When's our next dance party?!" And all I could think about was that cheesy '80s show Dance Party USA. So, all in all, I think they actually enjoyed it!

P.S. On a different note, Kristine was asking me about the pregnancy and I was telling her about all the "tests" that I've done and how they almost all say girl. She is the mother of seven kids so I asked if any worked for her. She said that she didn't do any of the ones except for the Chinese Calendar, and it had been right for her. My Chinese calendar said boy for each of the pregnancies...just gotta keep you guessing :) And for those of you sick of me talking about this, there's only 90-something days left!

Show & Tell

I may have mentioned it before, but Louie's class does a cute segment each week: Alphabet Show & Tell. It's great because each week we talk about and search the house for something he'd like to bring in for the particular letter.

This week was "T" week and it was pretty much assumed he'd bring in his Tiger, his favorite of the animals he plays/sleeps with. When I picked him up Louie seemed pretty down. He wished he would have brought in his T-Rex. Apparently almost ALL the boys brought in a T-Rex (or Two) and he wanted to do the same. For someone who oftentimes does the complete opposite of what others are doing just for the sake of not doing the expected, I sometimes forget that at this age you want to be like your friends.

Just as quickly, his sadness turned to silliness when he asked if I wanted to know what Marianne brought in. My answers of "tow truck," "turtle" and "tennis ball" weren't right.

"TOILET PAPER--HA!" Apparently he thought that was the funniest and best idea ever. Probably because it was also a girl who brought it in!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I've been told many things:
  • Louie doesn't need to take naps anymore.
  • Split up the nap times.
  • Have Charlie sleep in his old crib until he gets used to it.
  • It'll get better.
I appreciate all the advice I'm getting, but from where I'm sitting, it won't work right now. Louie hasn't technically taken a nap in two days and what happens when this little boy doesn't get a nap is that he has a whiny, angry meltdown at dinnertime. In addition, specifically yesterday, Benny was the culprit in making sure Charlie didn't get a wink of sleep during nap time.

It makes sense to split the naps up, but 3pm has been when they all are at their breaking point. Charlie has quit his morning nap and for whatever reason has been able to keep up with his brothers until 3pm.

I'm trying to use putting Charlie in his old crib as a last resort. He needs to get used to sleeping upstairs and by giving in to him I'm not helping the transition at all. We'll see. It may come down to more necessity than struggle of wills.

I do know it'll get better, but yesterday I was about to lose it. The older two would not listen to a thing I said and the baby was pleading with me for some sleep. What's funny is that in a year I won't even have a recollection that this happened. Thank goodness for a terrible memory!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Nightmare, then not so bad

Naps after the conservatory were a disaster. Louie and Benny were all sorts of wound up and poor Charlie was beyond exhausted.

The older two were bouncing off the walls and Charlie stood in his crib and wailed.

No one got any sleep. The good thing was that they put up no fight at bedtime. In fact, they were thrilled to be going to bed. Everyone woke up in a good mood.

Let's see how this works out.

Monday, March 2, 2009


This post doesn't deal directly with the boys.

There are many of us who are going through some tough times and often we feel as though we are drowning in the situation. For me, I can often look to my boys' silliness and sweetness to make me feel better, to get my mind off of pressing issues.

Sometimes the littlest things can help. They bring to mind that all of us have the ability to bring a smile to those around us. And although it is just a smile, sometimes that's all we need to get through it.

If you have a minute...or fifteen, please watch this.

Good for the soul

The Krohn Conservatory, one of our favorite places to visit, is having their spring flower show. This year is themed: The Enchanted Oasis. Amanda and her boys were recently there and said how nice it was, especially with blue-colored glass chips and large vessels filled with sand for the boys to play with.

I cannot begin to tell you how nice it is to go some place where it's actually humid, take off your coat and enjoy the warm, beautiful surroundings. The flowers are gorgeous, but I feel like the staff put together an incredible setting for those flowers. I think the must be preparing for the Butterfly Show, which this year will have butterflies from India. There were little details among the flowers that fit perfectly and are similar with what I know of Indian design.

The boys, as usual, rushed through each exhibit, but once they rushed through they went back and took a longer look at things. Three of the parts they spent the most time looking at were: the water fountain (where they tossed coins and made wishes); the blue glass chips they had fun playing with; and the cool, smooth sand they enjoyed filtering through their fingers.

Charlie did whatever his brothers did. He was so funny, running in his toddler way. Lou and Ben would call to me with something they'd found and he'd yell something to me, too, and I assume he found something good.

For these blue-eyed beauties the sun got to be too much and they wished they had caps like Grandpa's. Thank goodness that there are places that we can escape to on days that don't reach more than 20 degrees!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The winds of change are a-comin'

We took advantage of not having a whole lot going on today to make a big change: move Charlie up to the big boys' room. We have an extra crib that Laura and Walt graciously let us borrow the last time we went through the "big move" and thankfully haven't had to request it back because it's playing a big role in our family's transition from a five-member to a six-member family.

I knew it would take a while, but wasn't sure how long it would take for Charlie to adjust. I mean, it's completely different from when Louie had to move upstairs all by himself to make room for Benny. Although, Louie was quite a bit younger than Charlie. Well, I guess not too much. I think Lou was 16 months when we finally moved him upstairs and Charlie is now 19 going on 20 months. Anyway, Charlie has it way better than Lou did.

The nap went OK. Charlie fell asleep on Kevin and only cried for a minute when put in the crib. However, he only slept for about an hour, which is about as long as Benny slept right next to him. I'm guessing this is going to take some getting used to. Charlie is a fairly light sleeper, but I think Lou and Ben were too, when they were on the ground floor.

They all went to bed a little earlier than usual and talked for a while, which is what I expected. It was so sweet to hear Louie and Benny comforting Charlie in his new room. They were saying things like, "It's OK, Charlie. You'll be OK" and "We're right here, Charlie." But it didn't take too long for us to hear nothing but sleep noises coming from their room.

I know that last night we were probably just lucky, but I'm glad we've started this soon so that the boys have time to adjust before Baby 4 arrives!