Thursday, April 30, 2009

Five-Year-Old Appointment

Louie had to have his check-up on a Thursday because apparently that's when hearing tests are done and when you are five you need to have your eyes and ears checked out, in addition to the normal check-up.

He didn't do too badly on his hearing test. I was concerned because during the test I saw the nurse press a button that he should have heard (although a quiet tone), but didn't. Turns out that when the doc checked him he had a bit of fluid behind his ear drum that was consistent in the tones he wasn't hearing. Fortunately, it is not infected!

Louie got a 20-20 report on his eye exam! The nurse was very impressed, saying that normally five-year-olds are still developing their eye sight and the best is normally 20-30. It's all Greek to me, but I was happy to hear it!

Other than that, things are going pretty well. Louie would probably beg to differ because he was injected with two shots. Five-year-olds usually get four, but luckily the doctor is splitting them up so he doesn't have to get them all at once. I made the mistake of informing him that when the nurse came back in the room that he'd get two shot. If you have a soon-to-be five-year-old, DO NOT say ANYTHING. Just let the nurse come in and do her job. I had a heck of a time getting Louie out from under the table, and then calmed down to get injected. He did get two stickers for the pain.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Field Trip Day

We headed to Glenwood Gardens for Louie's class field trip. It is a favorite park of ours so I, too, was excited about the trip! It used to be a cow pasture and the family who owned it donated to the county parks system. It has been a preservation area, with no picnic tables or "playgrounds," per se, but some good ol' fashioned playing is had here. Last March this is the park where we tried out our new rain boots and had a blast!

We went to a part of the park we haven't been to before, Highlands Discovery Park. It's a learning park and you need special admission. Before playing, the people at Highlands put on an amphibian presentation, where the kids learned about metamorphosis.

Louie's class, enjoying a snack before the program began.

A giant frog came out to talk to the kids. They were all inducted into the "Frog and Toad Society." She was great! I learned a lot :) Afterward, Louie said, "That frog wasn't fooling me. I knew there was a woman in there." I had to bite my tongue. She did a good job of making everyone think she thought she was a frog--I swear, she even ate a mealworm!

One of our favorite storybooks--the Frog and Toad series.

The kids had so much fun running through this giant tree.

Drew and Louie in the giant catapillar

The park was filled with little trains and elf towns. This is a fairy village.

Louie's teacher trusted me with four kids! Here are Louie, Drew, Marianne and Catherine. I got a taste of what it would be like to have a little girl. Louie said afterward, "Mom, girls talk A LOT."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In rain or shine

The "crosstown" rivalry doesn't get as heated in baseball as it does in basketball, but we decided to take in the XU-UC baseball game this afternoon, even if it meant getting soggy. The benches were a bit wet, but we were prepared with a blanket to put down and umbrellas in hand (even though I am not a supporter of bringing umbrellas to sporting events--good thing the stands weren't packed!).

As we were walking to the bleachers a foul ball was hit right toward us and Louie snagged it. No one made a move to ask for it back so I didn't say anything to him right then. After we got to our seats I thought we should probably go down and give it to someone. I imagine colleges don't work souvenir balls into their budgets, especially when I saw someone navigating through the woods to find a foul ball. Louie and I walked down to a tent that was set up behind the backstop that housed the announcer and scorekeeper. I prompted Louie to hand them the ball, which he did, reluctantly. I thought we'd then head back to our seats, but he just stood there, waiting for some sort of reward, I suppose. It's hard for that kid to give up a ball.



Benny, Charlie, Grandma, Louie and Uncle Paul

The boys had a great time, although that wasn't too surprising! But their favorite part might have been the songs played before each player got up to bat. They were rocking out in the bleachers!

In Preparation

It's somewhat tough to not know what gender of baby is living in your tummy while you're pregnant. If it's a boy, I'd like to get something new and possibly blue for the baby to wear coming home from the hospital, whereas if it's a girl I'll need lots and lots of stuff! On second thought, it's probably a really good idea I don't know what gender it is!

With the fourth there isn't a whole lot of stuff needed...maybe some diapers and wipes, but the majority of things will be hand-me-downs and stuff that's easily reusable. So when my friend Amanda pointed out this onesie to me when we were at a museum the other day I just had to have it.

Perfect! It can work with either a boy or girl baby and fits our family well. (P.S. Kevin thought it was hilarious.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Glorious Friday


This picture is a bit out of order, time-wise, but it started off our heavenly weekend! It was to be 83 and Grandma and Grandpa's pool was opened the day before. Although the big pool was a mite bit chilly (yes, the boys had to test the waters to ensure that in fact it was freezing/60-degrees), we had a great time with the kiddie pool.

The water toys were brought out from hibernation and the boys had a great time running and flopping into the pool. Amazingly, no one was hurt during this very dangerous game. I keep wondering what it would be like if I had three girls. They'd probably bring their Barbies out, all sit calmly in the water, combing their dolls' hair. What a different world it would be...

Picture Day


Louie had team pictures last week and here is a preview of it.

A Perfect Day

We bought tickets a while back for Sunday's game, when they were giving out "gold gloves" in honor of the award Brandon Phillips received for last season. Little did we know how great the day would be! The weather was perfect and the Reds were close to it, with an 8-2 win over the Braves!


Missy, J.T., Louie, Charlie, Benny, Alice & Emma

The boys in front of our beloved '90 Reds

All lined up in front of Jay Bruce--he had two home runs!

It was Miami Alumni day and the "Red Hawk" came out to visit with Mr. Redlegs

Charlie, Ben & J.T. weren't sure what to think of him

Mr. Redlegs made some friends by spraying them down with a watergun

While Ben was sleeping on my lap I got this shot of the guys

REDS WIN! We're such good luck charms for the Reds. They should give us season tickets so they can be assured a good season :)

Always the last ones to leave...it was a good day.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Homebodies

This morning was absolutely heaven on earth in our backyard. After a delicious breakfast by Daddy we went out on the patio to have coffee while the boys played (mainly) baseball in the yard. It's a warm, breezy morning, I want to say the first we've had this year and it was perfect!

The birds were chirping, the flowers were blooming, and the boys were getting along...what more could you ask for? I remarked to Kevin that if it was like this all the time here we'd never have to go on vacation. I guess the changes in weather and seasons just makes us appreciate this type of day even more.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

An Elephant Does a Jig

video

A Trip to the Fire House

Benny's class visited the fire station today and he actually had a great time, although these pictures beg to differ.

The firemen do a great job of showing the kids that their job is to help them. One put on his whole suit to show them that it may seem scary at first--especially with the oxygen tank changing the sound of his voice--but that he's still their friend.

Ben didn't want to let go of my hand, but I convinced him that he could hold Miss Becky's hand, and then he didn't even want to look in my direction for a picture!

Got a different angle and tried to make it appear as though he was getting his picture taken with the fireman.

Another fireman showed the kids the inside of an ambulance. They were even allowed to go through it, but Ben stood by my side. I was somewhat surprised because you can tell from this picture how interested he was in it.

I was able to get him to let go of my hand for a brief second to take his picture in front of the truck. But he wouldn't climb in the driver's seat to have his picture taken. Or put on the coat and jacket like Lou did last year. I was glad we could get this shot...and the one below.

The whole gang climbed up on the truck's bumper for this class picture. Benny wasn't the only shy guy in the group! There were a few other that had to be coaxed into the picture. Check out the little boy, Joey, in the front. Too cute! His grandpa is an assistant fire chief and his uncle is a fireman. He has his very own gear and it's very impressive!

Benny got a hat, badge, crayons and a coloring book as souvenirs of his first field trip! When we got back to the classroom he was jumping up and down to tell Miss Sue all about the trip, completely disregarding the fact that she was there for it. I guess it just says that he's gotten very comfortable with his teachers and in his classroom, but wasn't all that comfortable at the fire house. I'm glad I could go with him--thanks, Mom!

Daddy's Birthday, Part III

Never can celebrate a birthday too much! Here Ben and Lou help Daddy blow out his candles on the yummy German chocolate cake. We had a special dinner with Mommy's family. The night was filled with wiffle ball playing in the backyard, "hoggie-que," and watching a little of the Reds game!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why balloons are the worst toys for kids (and not for choking reasons)

We blew up a balloon for Kevin's birthday shindig yesterday and the boys have used it for a toy ever since. Unfortunately, this toy has become a hazard for their health, and not because they're trying to shove it down their throats.

The game they play is to toss it up and follow the balloon through the air, hitting it up as it gets low again. Not that original of a game, but they absolutely love it. What they don't love it running smack into things, like walls. And tables. And corners. And...I could go on and on.

My guess is that their peripheral vision is not all that developed at this age.

Daddy's Birthday, Part II

The boys decided that Daddy was going to have a baseball themed birthday. This worked out great because what's easier than putting together a dinner of sausages and peanuts?! I did make a special shrimp and bleu cheese dip (for baguettes and veggies), which are two of Daddy's favorite things.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures to show, but we made a big sign decorated with baseball pictures and things like "#1 Daddy" and "World's Best Dad." For whatever reason, the boys haven't gotten the idea that the person with the birthday gets to decide what we do for their special day. Daddy played baseball and wrestling with them. It seems like he had a good time!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

kiddie jokes

Louie and Benny are really into telling jokes. They usually go something along the lines of this:

Lou: What does a flower in a rain pour say?
Ben: I don't know.
Lou (whispering): Say, "I don't know, what does a flower in a rain pour say?"
Ben: I don't know. What?
Lou: Gotcha last!
Both: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-Ha-Ha-Ha!

Ben: What does a pole eat?
Lou: I don't know. What?
Ben: A flower!!!!
Both: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-Ha-Ha-Ha!
Ben: Gotcha last!

I look at Charlie. Charlie looks at me. Neither of us are laughing, but it must be waaay over our heads because the other two are about to fall out of their car seats.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Daddy's Birthday, Part I

We had Daddy's family all over our house yesterday to celebrate the old man's thirty-third birthday! Here he is blowing out his candles (with Charlie's help) on his favorite pie--strawberry rhubarb.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

One day...


We went to see Grandpa's friend's baseball team play last night and they won! Most of the evening was spent playing baseball on the neighboring field with Daddy, but they did see a few innings while munching on some peanuts.

After the game the team, who is expected to do very well this year, was very excited. Lou and Ben watched in awe as the captain led his teammates in a cheer, then they did their wind sprints to end the evening.

You can tell that they can't wait to grow up and "big" baseball players.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Why are birds scared of people?

Lou asked me this question today and seeing how I keep forgetting all these great conversations we have in the van, I wanted to type this one before it escaped my head.

I told him that we're a lot bigger and different than birds, and sometimes people and animals are afraid of what they're not familiar with. He seemed to think this was a good answer, so I kept going with it. "But the more they get used to things that look different, they'll realize that they're nice and that they actually have a lot in common."

Lou responds with, "Is it like when I first met Gloria and Lexi and I was afraid of them?"

Yes, Lou, girls are another species, one to be afraid of because they are so different. Maybe we do need to have a sister so they don't think that girls are aliens.
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The above conversation happened on the way to the park and this is what we talked about on the way home:

I was telling Lou that we were going to watch a baseball game tonight. Grandpa's friend is a coach for a local high school team called the Blue Devils and what better way is there to spend a Friday evening?

For whatever reason, Lou was unsure if he wanted to go. "I don't want to watch them if they're brown people," he said.

What?! Where did I go wrong? I thought Kevin and I were doing a pretty good job of making sure the boys accept people for who they are, that differences in the way people act and look are not wrong, just different. I couldn't believe he just said that!

I tried to get him to repeat what he said (his seat is on the bench in the back of the van), and I heard the same thing. Goodness. But then he says something else, I can't remember exactly, but I realized he wasn't saying "brown" but "round" and he was referring to mascots like "Mr. Redlegs," "Rosie Red," and "Gapper." He didn't want to go to a game where there were characters playing. Boy! was I wrong. I have no idea where he got that that was even a possibility, except that maybe he thought a "blue devil" was a mascot. Who knows!

But I'm also not sure what problem he has with watching a bunch of mascots play baseball, either.

Gone with the wind

Katie had the day off so we wanted to do something we've planned to do all spring: fly kites. Last year we went down to Lunken for our excursion, but we decided to head over to Ault Park this year. It wasn't so much the change in location as I think it was the timing. If we went earlier in the spring (I really thought we went in March last year, but I guess it was early April) there would be more wind. Today was just too beautiful and sunny of a day to fly kites. It was more of a day to sit on a bench in a park and take in the warm sunrays. Or, at least that's what I wanted to do!

At the beginning I was determined to get the kites off the ground. Then I realized that running made the baby jump up and down on my bladder. Not good. I'm just glad that I was in control of the camera. It would not have been a pretty site to see me running across the grass!

Don't leave this guy out of anything!

Happy to be hanging out with cousin Katie.

Louie decided he had enough of me embarrassing myself and took the reins.

Katie and Alice working so hard to make this work!

Benny following Louie's lead.

Finally, we decided to give up and play baseball. Thank you Katie for volunteering to be the pitcher!

Time for naps! We took one more picture with Great-Aunt Mary

So, our chances for having a successful kite outing were nil with no wind, but all in all it was still such a nice day. Definitely what we needed after a long, chilly and wet week!

Another difference in gender

Having been a girl all my life, it's not hard for me to imagine creating "families" amongst your toys, because I'm sure I did it with my dolls and stuffed animals when I was a kid.

The other day I had a meeting where Ben and Charlie were playing while the meeting took place and there were little girls there setting up families with the baby dolls, so the practice is not outdated. What I didn't expect was that boys like to do the same thing, but not with the same "players," so to speak.

We've been talking a lot about families because ours will be expanding soon and so it's natural for the boys to want to talk about it, and I guess act it out. Are you wondering what they are using since obviously they're not using dollies? Cars. On the coffee table currently there are all these "families" set up with a mommy, a daddy, and kids. Some families have five kids, others have three. There really isn't a rhyme or reason to why the cars get to be in a family (i.e. all red cars, for instance), but they know who belongs to which family. It's a very scientific process, apparently.
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Lou and Ben have been coming up with names for the baby because we can't decide on them ourselves. Currently, Ben likes "Spot," but we haven't figured out what to do because the stuffed dog he sleeps with is named Spot and that could get very confusing. Louie has come up with "Thumpy." I'm not sure where he got that.

Louie must be into rhyming words these days because he said that when he is a daddy he will have five kids and they will be called "Lumpy," "Bumpy," "Dumpy," "Umpy," and "Ubby." Will they be dwarfs?

Ben claims that he will not be a daddy. Not an uncle. Not a brother. (Don't try to tell him he already is a brother.) He just wants to be grown up.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Surfin' USA





I was at my sister-in-law's baby shower and this is what happens when I leave. And yes, they are always able to be in close quarters without fighting ;)

Talky-Talky

When I went to pick up the boys from school today Ben's teacher looks at me and uses her hand to pretend like it's talking. Meaning: Benny was a talker today! The year is so close to being over and he's finally showing his teacher and friends that he has vocal chords.

Luckily, he's not acting out, just letting his teachers know what's on his mind, like the fact that he has a Lightning McQueen tattoo on his forearm that he got from the Easter Bunny at Grandma's. It's amazing what a little conk on the head will do. She falls down a well, her eyes go cross. She gets kicked by a mule. They go back. I don't know.

Monday, April 13, 2009

False Labor

Driving home last night from Kevin's family's Easter was a painful trip. I was so incredibly uncomfortable and cramping--both in my lower back and front--that I thought for sure that I was going into labor! It was a scary thought--I didn't even have the baby's clothes washed yet! and the baby's room is currently cultivating our vegetable seedlings--but I didn't take it too seriously because changing positions helped some and that's a sign of false labor.

My friend, Jamie, is currently being induced, so all I could think was that I was having sympathy pains. We just are not ready for Baby4 to be here yet!

But I could be doing this to myself. I spent the whole day telling people that I was only 7 weeks away from delivering, but I'm actually 8 weeks away (today I'm at 32). I'm all confused because I thought last week would have been 8 weeks (= 2 months) because it was April 8th and I'm due June 8th. I haven't figured out the calendar system yet.

Happy Easter Day

When the boys wake up their first duty is to find their baskets that the Easter bunny hid for them. There is no rhyme or reason as to where their baskets are hidden, but there are tags on the baskets so you know if it's yours or not. It was somewhat difficult this year, but I imagine that was good because it meant they weren't gobbling candy from the second they woke up.

Unless your name is Charlie. The Easter Bunny must not have thought Charlie was a good finder because it took less than 3 seconds for him to find his basket, and then there was tin foil flying. He loves chocolate.

Finally all the boys found their baskets and I was able to take this shot of them with their special gift of frog umbrellas. Although Lou tells me they're really toads.

After getting all hopped up on sugar we headed to church and I still don't believe it, but they were incredibly good at Mass. It was packed, as usual on special days, so we had to sit near the front in one of those churches with a long aisles. There's pretty much only one way in and out--no easy way to escape when little boys are acting up. Good thing we didn't need to worry about it!

Charlie, showing his willpower in not touching the sugar cookies. It really was pretty impressive. This kid has a mouth full of sweet teeth!

The boys had a blast playing ball with the older boys at Kevin's grandparents' house, where we were for lunch. They're all about 12-years-old and they had no problem keeping up with them!

Four generations: Our next stop was to Great-Grandpa's assisted living home for dinner. It's a brand-new facility and had a great meeting room for us to gather in. The boys had fun coloring the special magic coloring books that Aunt Jill and Uncle Nick gave them.