Sunday, October 30, 2011

Disney on Ice

Sunday, October 30, 2011
Oh, Disney.  It's hard to not be entertained by you.  Luke tried, and failed.  He sat stony-faced for a couple of songs, but by the time Peter Pan flew through the air and did his solo, he turned to me with an enormous grin.  That grin resurfacesed for the Dwarves ("I know this song!" he said).

Dear sweet Ben was first on Dad's lap, but as soon as the music started he tensed up and boo-boo faced and needed a mama.  Back at home base in my arms he calmed down.  He didn't watch much of the show- he preferred to chew on the seat.  By the end of the show he thought everyone was smiling and clapping and cheering for him.  You should have seen him light up thinking it was all about him. 

I brought my sweater in case it was cold.  It wasn't, but Luke loves to take my stuff.  My food, my water bottle, anything.  Isn't that adorable? (Sarcasm intended).  Sometimes I wonder what he'll do for a living when he grows up.  I think he may have a future in something that has to do with negotiations or hostile takovers.  It's a good thing he's got that cute little face (no sarcasm intended).

The next day Luke practiced his ice skating moves.  In his pj's.  At 4:30 pm.  He's going through a pj phase, which is a little funny because there was a point of time not too long ago that he couldn't be convinced to put on a pair because he thought they were uncomfortable.  And that's just how it goes.

He's already asking to go again.  Oh boy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sleeping Babe

Sunday, October 23, 2011
Can anything be wrong with the world when he is asleep in my arms?

As my babies get older and nap less in my arms and more in a bed, I surely cherish holding them more.

Ben Movies

For your viewing pleasure...


 One of these days, I'll get my act together.  It was not today.  I had thought about Halloween costumes.  Unfortunately for me, Halloween costumes are not gifts.  It's not just the thought that counts.  The morning of Trunk-or-Treat came and we went scrambling through the dress-ups box.  I found a Ben-sized cap, a Luke-sized cap, and a Mac-sized cap.  They could be golfers!  I found a visor for me and decided to be their caddy.  Mac found a little golf kit at the dollar store on his lunch.  I dare say these costumes worked out pretty well, considering the time and energy that went into them.  We did not win any contests, however.  People saw Mac and asked "are you a Scottish guy?" or "are you a tourist?".  Wrong.  He was a Scottish golf photographer.

 Yes, I think this club will do quite nicely.

Who needs a golf cart? This caddy carries the clubs and the golfer.

Seriously, Mom.  Stop taking my picture and get me some food!

I'm not sure what it was about this costume, but I thought he looked extra handsome.  I'd marry him all over.

If I may speak candidly...

 This photo was taken at Abby's birthday.  When we got home and looked at the pictures Mac and I had a good laugh at this face.  I asked him several questions:  Do I always look so pained over trivial things like painting pumpkins at a birthday party?  Is my face really that contorted all the time?  Why on earth did you marry me?  Sometimes I do wonder: Do normal (or average) people have candids (Spell check tells me this isn't a word.  What does spell check know?) taken of them that make them look silly?

It made me feel much better when I took this one of Mac at Trunk-or-Treat.  Granted, he is eating, which lends itself to more socially acceptable levels of face contorting.  But still.  To know that someone whose face I loved so much that I married it can make faces like this is comforting.  I'm so glad that I'm not alone.  And glad that Mac didn't bat an eye when I asked if I could blog this.

Luke stories

 "I'm going to jump in the bush, climb the tree, jump up with the birds, put on my batman suit and jump to the rescue"

I love how his speech is getting more 'sophisticated'
"you can cut it up of course"
"all my books are totally good"
Rainboots inside 'inappropriate'

Mom to Dad: What time is it?
Luke: Thirty Forty

Looking at the scroll designs on the couch: I see an alligator! Making up stories with the imaginary figures in the design.

Emily complaining to my Mom: we can't drive AND walk!
Luke: I can

[Luke is struggling to put on his socks]
Mom: Socks can be hard
Luke: I can do it every time... Can you help me with this one?

One night Luke was cracking himself up playing peek a boo with Ben. Problem was, Ben wasn't even aware there was a game going on.

Colored a picture of the family: I love Dad and Mom and Ben and Luke and Luke and Luke and Luke.

We were playing at the park when a Dad came to practice kicking the soccer ball with his son.  Luke really wanted to get in on the game.  I said "Sure, go ask if you can play".  He walked a few feet towards them and then ran back and buried his face in me and said "I'm nervous!"

Luke picked up Winnie the Pooh from the library.  With no pictures to go on, he started 'reading' the story.  I was driving and grocery shopping while he was doing this so I didn't get to hear all of it, but there was something about a pot of honey and Piglet and finding a house for Eeyore.

Mom: I wonder what Ben will be like when he's big like you.
Luke: I think he'll be a superhero.

We were at dinner with the Schofields and Luke turned to me and asked "Mom, are you a drama queen?" Which no one heard but Mac and me.  He then turned to Nana and asked "Nana, are you a drama queen?"  I won't say what happened next, but I'll always remember it.

Luke: Mom, you're getting old.
Mom: Oh yeah? How old? 21, 22 23 ...35?
Luke: Yeah 35.
Luke then guessed that Mac was 25. I need a better night cream.  Or just any night cream, as I don't currently wear one.  Recommendations are welcome.

With the renovations in the kitchen we were eating in the living room.  Luke was eating at the train table and I was sitting on the couch.  He asked if he could come snuggle me and eat, but I just wanted him to stay at the table.  He argued "But I love you so much!".  How do you argue with that?

Oh, Brother

We have just gone through a rough patch of brotherhood.  It's mostly over now, so it's safe to talk about without me getting...anxious, worked up, or emotional.

Luke didn't really seem to resent Ben at all.  Until he started moving, that is.  And going for toys.  And generally being more kid-like.  I think a light went off in Luke's head- I have to protect my territory! 

Things were not pretty.  At first I had to be in between them to protect Ben.  As things got better I could narrate to Luke "OK, Ben is coming after your toy.  What should you do?"  And he could solve the problem by giving Ben a new toy or sharing or just asking me to move him or distract him.  These solutions are in contrast to Luke's default of pushing Ben over or bopping him on the head.  Luckily Ben usually wasn't hurt and didn't even realize he should be offended.  Still, I can't leave them alone together.

At the height of it, I asked Luke "Sometimes do you feel like getting rid of him?".  Very seriously Luke answered "Yes."  He almost went to go get his shoes on, so we could leave and take Ben somewhere.  I just started sobbing.  To know that he felt like that.  It just ripped me in half.  After Luke's nap, the first thing Luke said to me was "Let's keep Ben.  I don't want him to go away."

We're not out of the woods yet.  I don't even mean the sibling-rivalry-for-eternity-woods, just the current phase of it.  But it's much, much better, for which I'm grateful. 

For a bit the only time I could count on Luke not lashing out was when they were reading together or snuggling together.

It made me hang on to moments like this really hard:

At the park Luke was playing with a new kid and started bragging to him "Look, that's my brother!"  I almost cried to see that glimmer of hope that Luke wouldn't always resent Ben.

We were talking about his birthday party:

Mom: Luke, what friends do you want at your party?
Luke: Ben.  And Nana.
Mom: [Heart melts.  Wipes a tear.]

Seriously, anybody have a copy of Siblings Without Rivalry I can borrow?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Party Time! Excellent!

Sunday, October 16, 2011
Happy Birthday to Luke's friend, Abby!

We had a zip-linin'


Simply loungin'
Terrific time.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Harvest Festival

Sunday, October 09, 2011
As Luke is almost three, this is his first potential preschool year.  He won't start kindergarten until he is 5, nearly 6 so there are three of these preschool years.  When Labor Day hit, it threw me into a little frenzy of reading a dozen or so books, scores of articles, and researching several local preschools.  He's still 2, so I told myself to calm down a little bit, that everything doesn't need to be decided all at once.  Still, the task of making sure my children have a rich and varied education and are "prepared for the future" weighs heavy on my mind.  Not to mention the fact that I would like to continue my education and learn things that my schooling left out.

In doing this research and talking to people we discovered a local resource.  It's a charter school that is Waldorf-based.   I can't be sure how committed I am to that philosophy until I do some more research, but let me tell you, I am smitten with their home school kindergarten.  There's no doubt in my mind that Luke will have plenty of academics from his hyper mother (that's me!), but for the 'rich and varied' part of his education I might need some support.  Their home school program basically consists of home support and supplies and two days a week they do an outdoor kindergarten that is basically a nature walk, free play, and snack time.  I think that's exactly the kind of thing my kids need.  Of course that's still a ways off, but to visit the school and get a feel for the community went to the fall festival.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect- how waldorf-y would it be?  Would I even be able to tell a difference between this and a regular public school?  It wasn't your typical crowd- lots of women in long, flowy skirts, and lots of men with beards.  The kids seemed fairly typical, though.  We made our way around to the various activities.  It's funny how many people we ran into- our midwife, the LLL leader, another mom I know from an AP group.  I guess we're all just drawn towards similar things. Luke and I strung an acorn necklace and then played at the park.  We walked through the booths of wooden toys and handmade necklaces and clothes on our way to the balance beam and to watch the archers.

Then we did the cupcake walk- Mac and Ben won the first time.  Mac and Luke couldn't reach an agreement as to how to split the cupcake so we did it again.

Ben and I won the second time, but Ben was generous enough to let Luke have the cupcake.  Ben must be our lucky charm!  Then we visited the petting zoo.  The first rabbit was too scratchy, the second was a biter, but the third was just right.  When I asked Luke later what his favorite part was, this was it.

 Ben liked the sheep best of all.

We still had 4 tickets left to spend before we left.  I thought the face painting looked fun and devised several different ways to split the tickets so Luke and I could both get our cheeks done.  In the end I had a heart on one side and a ladybug on the other because Luke was terrified of the sweet twelve year old who was doing it.  Indecisive as ever, Luke told me on the way home that he really wanted his face painted and he really wanted me to wash mine off.   Then later when I did wash my face to go grocery shopping, he wished I had it back on. 

We told Luke he could do one more fun thing before heading home.  He chose to twirl around in the grass and do the balance beam.

I'm glad we went- it was a fun event, and I was glad to look at the school and get a feel for the community.  We will definitely be keeping this school in mind for the future.

(Thank you for excusing the quality of the photos.  We forgot all but our camera phones!)

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Ben- 7 Months

Thursday, October 06, 2011

 Here's what Ben has been up to this past month:

I kept trying to help you sit still.  You were too busy trying to get somewhere!
  • A few times you've said "Ma" when distressed.  Probably not a real word- but it's pretty endearing that when you're sad you know who to call.
  • Just going in the backyard makes you squeal and kick your feet.  You crawl over to the sliding glass door when you're ready to head out.

  •  I never know what to expect from you when meeting strangers.  Sometimes you are so friendly and other times you just bury your head in my shoulder.

  • Milestones this month: You pulled up to stand at six months and ten days.  You promptly fell over.  You've gotten much better at falling so that you land on your bum instead of your head.  Still, you seem to manage to whack your head on lots of things.  You're so sturdy now- letting go with one hand and cruising a tiny bit.
Hey, Ma!  I got Luke's water!
  • You tolerate your brother extremely well.  I'm glad you don't take offense, even when it's intended.  
This toy can keep you busy for half an hour.

  • So far your favorite toys are: the door stop, slinky, any spiral bound notebook, the "needle thing", and whatever is in Luke's hands (or mine). 

  • You love singing with me and doing hand plays.  Yesterday Luke and I were kicking around the soccer ball and I started using you as a foosball player to kick it back to Luke.  You thought that was hilarious.

  •  Mealtimes are sometimes frustrating for both of us.  I have no clue what you want other than table food, which you're not getting yet, sorry.  You eat some baby food and some "practice food" (soft pieces you won't choke on) but this clearly doesn't cut it.  You tear the bumbo tray off (for which dad calls you "hulk baby") and try to escape.  Where to, I'm not sure because you're equally ticked in the saucer and on the floor.  I sure hope we figure this out soon!

Green beans?  Not my favorite.