Thursday, March 29, 2012

Eight is Great! (Unless you have allergies)

I woke up early today to make the treat that Louie was bringing to school for his 8th birthday. I had a vague memory of being woken up overnight by Louie because his eyes hurt and his lungs were burning, but it didn't click that it might be more of a subtle overnight ailment that woke him up from his slumber.

I should have known that of all the kids Louie complains the least and if he was waking me up overnight he must not feel well. But it stinks! Who wants to miss their birthday at school? Charlie and Louie have been hit the worst with allergies this year, with poor Charlie waking up a few times with his eyes swollen and even glued shut. I gave Lou some medicine before we left for school, but he was so upset on the ride there that I couldn't make him go into his classroom.

Oh well...hopefully the treats will still be tasty tomorrow and Louie can relax today and we'll enjoy some family time tonight.

Louie, age 7
When Louie came into this world the day was much different than today. It was wet and chilly without a ray of sunshine. Today is a bit cooler than it has been but the skies are blue and the sun is shining brightly. I really hope he feels better to get outside and enjoy the day, but with me apparently not understanding allergies, going outside later when it's warmer with all the pollen probably isn't a great idea. Just because I've been a mom for eight years doesn't mean I know what I'm doing...

I would imagine that many parents feel like their first-born is their guinea pig. I have not a clue what I "should" be doing and I am just hoping that he is not being scarred because of it. He seems to be doing ok but I know that is in spite of parenting!

Eight-years-old today and feeling not all that great.
Louie is thoughtful and caring; without thinking twice he helps out his friends and siblings; he constantly thinks about and plays baseball; he still loves Star Wars, but now also loves Angry Birds and is a bit obsessed with Harry Potter. He hasn't perfected the use of the bicycle yet (a parental fault), but is a great swimmer as long as he has his goggles and loves to go exploring and is such a great artist.  He'll tell you his favorite subjects are reading and writing (stories), but he has such a curious mind for science.

My first-born is growing into himself and each day he makes me proud to be his mom. Happy Birthday, Louis Victor!

P.S. Here's another birthday memory from when Louie was four. How fast they grow!
P.P.S. Ok, here's Lou at five. I'm enjoying revisiting the past today!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

83 Degrees in March

 Today a record was broken that has been around since 1906; it got all the way up to 83 degrees today. It may be safe to say we won't see a big snow storm in the first part of twenty-twelve. We decided to take this opportunity to visit the zoo with two of our favorite people--Gracie and Maggie! (and Aunt Erin and Grandma!)

April is when the zoo does their Tunes and Blooms concert lineup, but there may not be any blooms left by then! Today was gorgeous with both sun and bursts of color from the flowers.

 They were bummed that the Tiger Canyon was closed, but were thrilled to see the rhino relaxing in the shade.

 The big and little manatees put on quite a show, but I couldn't catch it on my phone's camera.

 I had visions of Dudley's birthday trip to the zoo and these mini-Harrys releasing the snake.

 These folks behind them were not happy. I guided our group into the "wrong" entrance of the Jungle Trail and it impeded their crossing of the bridge. That, and me trying to get these guys all to stand together to take their picture with my camera. On my phone. Yes, I was one of those moms today.

There really is nothing better than a day spent at the zoo with cousins, is there? I loved that Meredith and Gracie held hands almost the whole day. Charlie even joined in the fun. I feel bad that Louie and Benny couldn't come, but I told them that with all this heat the animals smelled terribly! (It was true; sort of.)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Erin Go Bragh

 Saturday was a glorious day to be celebrating our semi-Irish heritage. I'm pretty sure Kevin is 100% German, but from what I understand my dad's family is German and Hungarian and my mom's is German, Irish and a tad of Native American. We just celebrate all the holidays so we don't leave anyone out!

Plenty of playing outside and yard work was done before going to Mass Saturday night where Louie's PSR class was introduced to the parish before their First Communion. We came home to grill out some specialty chicken Daddy whipped up with corn on the cob, shrimp, and asparagus. And that's green apple juice. Not much Irish in that, but it was great for the summer-like day.

 Part of my day was spent making a surprise cake that when you cut it open you see a rainbow inside. I found it here last year after the holiday was over and vowed to make it this year. Could have been a better rainbow, but the kids and Kevin knew what it was supposed to be!

In case you were wondering, this is what happens to your tongue after green icing and green apple juice:

Unfortunately, all the hard work the boys put into their leprechaun traps was for not. That leprechaun made a wreck of our house (some might say that the he must come to visit more than once a year...) and trashed the traps, but did leave some delicious chocolates wrapped in gold foil. The boys are already designing their traps for next year!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hiking with Jedis

 Today Benny has his friend Eric over to spend the day with us, and in all actuality Eric is all the kids' friend, as they get as pumped for his visits as Benny does. We headed to French Park, one of our favorite hiking places. Today, instead of just bringing along boots they also brought their light sabers so that they could be Jedis in the woods. Even Mere, although I ended up carrying hers and Charlie's the majority of the time.

 First stop, the swings. The boys ran ahead of us and our (Mere's) short legs and they were doing "supermans" on the swings as well as rocking side-to-side.

 Meredith is obsessed with playgrounds and will point out everyone she sees. She has the amazing ability to see them off the side of the highway when we're traveling at 65 mph.

 After the swings we decided to take a new way into the woods, which gave us a great new part to explore.
 This is their first Jedi pose. Luckily the water wasn't as high as the last time we were here. Fingers crossed for no slipping into the creek!

 This is their second Jedi pose. Meredith wanted to get in on the action.

 I like that the boys can be problem solvers, trying to figure out together how to get through the creek. But then, I am a mother, and on top of that I am a worrier. I kept trying to channel Kevin as Meredith and I hiked alongside the creek.

 I love surprises! I was so excited to find this beaver carved on the top of a tree that had died. It is so cute--someone left a couple of other animal figurines to keep him company.

 I reckon someone set this here purposely, but it was neat to find a rock shaped like Ohio!

 This is something that I'll have to research more into, but we found this plaque on the ground. My first thought is that it's a marker for the French family's pets, but who knows.

Unfortunately, we only made it as far as the usual starting point for us. That is ok though, as the trail there leads up to the lot where we parked. The kids did end up getting a little wet and I think at this point they were starting to get hungry. Regardless, this sparked in us enthusiasm for exploring other corners of this great park!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Art Fair 2012

 Another mother and I helped the school's art teacher put on the Art Fair again this year, with the theme of "Let Your Art Shine." The second graders made their own vases with flowers and above is Louie's.

 The first graders made butterflies and above is Benny's version. Aren't all the colors great?

 Each class does the same project, but each one is so different, often reflective of the student's personality. It's really neat to see.

Along with the gallery portion, there was a table with ten projects that would be easy to do at home with things you find around the house, and then kids had an opportunity to make an craft. It went along with them theme--they made sun catchers!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Green Eggs & Ham Day

March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's birthday and the boys' school is celebrating "Read Across America Day" by having an illustrator come in to talk to the kids and show them his stuff.

Like the mid-bite shot? Louie is wearing his Horton ears and Benny found a shirt that reminded him of the Cat-in-the-Hat's hat.
 We started out the day by having green eggs, ham, and toast. Luckily, as you can see from past special days, we always have eggs and bread in our house! The boys had a great time with the speaker that came to their school and bought two of his books. The came straight home from school that day and set out to become illustrators!