Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Outings and Spring

The boys'playgroup took a field trip to a local catering place.  We saw all of the big pots, ovens, freezers, and my favorite, how they make spaghetti!  After the tour was complete, the kids enjoyed a pasta snack.  (And I made some purchases for an upcoming dinner in our house!).
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Fall clean-up?  It sure looks that way.  Either we didn't do the greatest yard clean-up last fall or our tree dropped a lot of leaves after our clean-up day.  Either way, we had a lot of leaves and brush to tend to.  Andy and I realized a little progression that has been happening in our family.  Just a couple of years ago, one of us would be doing yard work while the other was watching kids.  The next year, we could both be working while the kids played on their own.  This year, they're helping!  And things are getting done much quicker! 
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Well, maybe they're not always working. 
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Bella's Brownie troop had a roller skating event that siblings could tag along to; so I brought Graydon.  He didn't want any help from me and was determined to skate along just as fast as he could on his own.  The mommy in me just wanted to be next to him and hold his hand and keep him from falling.  But he wanted to do it himself.  There were many falls, but he just kept on getting back up.  Later on, he invited me to come alongside, but it was short-lived because he soon discovered a friend from his preschool class.  He immediately dropped my hand and skated off. . . while looking back to see if she noticed.  Already trying to impress the ladies. 
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Bella was in her element.  She's pretty speedy and got in quite a workout - as that red face can attest.  
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Andy took these photos of Graydon outside of his preschool. 
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Those are Ninja Turtle tattoos all over his legs - something that he got into during quiet time.
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I love that everything is finally in bloom!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Hello April!

"Cooking Day" at the boys' playgroup.  And by cooking, I mean blending.  Green smoothies and yogurt parfaits for everyone!
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This has happened more than once in the past couple of weeks.  I go up to check on the boys and find that they've changed into their swimsuits.  "Can we go swimming today?"  They are good wishful-thinkers.
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Last Monday, we were finishing up an evening of having some friends for dinner when Curtis came up along beside me and proceeded to violently throw up a good three times all over himself, the table, the chair, and the floor.  That brought a pretty prompt end to our evening!  Curtis was upset about getting sick and he began to cry.  Bella felt bad that Curtis got sick and she started to cry.  I scooped up Curtis into my arms, said some quick goodbyes to our guests, and brought him straight up to the bath (meanwhile wondering to myself how I will clean that chunky vomit out of the carpet).  Bella's maternal side took over and she completely doted on Curtis, never leaving his side.  Caring for him seemed to make her feel a little better.  Such a sweet big sis.     
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And thankfully, Curtis was feeling better by the end of the bath and by the next day, you wouldn't have even known that he was sick.  

Graydon's listening to his favorite song:  "Hey, Hey Mr. Policeman" by Brad Paisley. 
IMG_2008Date morning with Curtis while Bella and Graydon were at school.  It had been a while and was long overdue.  
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I brought this out of the attic for the kids to enjoy: my 50th anniversary edition Snoopy and Woodstock piano.  It plays 'Linus and Lucy' while Snoopy and Woodstock dance around on top of the piano.  The kids got a kick out of it. 
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Getting the garden prepped for a new growing season.  We currently have planted peas, broccoli, carrots, and spinach. 
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Three kids doing homework (well, Curtis is just coloring) at the kitchen table.  I feel like I am looking into my future a little bit. 
IMG_2012Handwriting practice at playgroup.  It was "C" and "G" day.  Perfect letters for my two boys!
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Carrying Graydon after a quick game of soccer (me and Graydon against Bella). 
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Bella is studying geometry in math class and is learning about the surfaces, edges, and vertices of various objects.  She's pretty good at keeping track of them all; but was having difficulty with remembering how many edges and vertices a pyramid had.  It's kind of hard to see that a pyramid has a square bottom when you're looking at a two dimensional pyramid.  So I took the boys' building toy to  give her a little mom-math-lesson.  The balls are the vertices, the sticks are the edges, and the open spaces are the surfaces.  I think it helped a little.
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Bella and I attended a ladies breakfast at church on Saturday. 
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And after that I headed to New York City with some girlfriends!

Here we are in Central Park. 
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And I don't have a bucket list per se; but if I did, playing 'Heart and Soul' on the FAO Schwartz piano would definitely be on it.  We were actually there with Bella a few years back and she danced on the paino, but I don't think I did back then.  Now I can definitely put a check next to that one! 
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I wore my boots to our ladies breakfast and never changed them.  Big mistake.  My feet were in so much pain by the end of the day!
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This couple got engaged right in front of us.  We cheered for them along with hundreds of other people!
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Bella has accumulated a couple of Build-a-Bear gift cards from birthday parties and a Girl Scout event that she missed.  We finally cashed them in the other day.  Here she is making wishes for the heart that will soon go inside her bear.
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Putting the heart inside. 
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And giving her panda a bath. 
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She named her 'Giggles' because we put a little giggle chip inside of her.  Bella is smitten with this little bear. 
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We concluded our girl afternoon by eating a big pretzel from Aunt Annie's and drinking lemonade in front of a fountain that we later threw wished-upon pennies into.  And we counted babies.  There were LOTS of babies at the mall that day!  Love my girl time with Bella!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Gaga and Papa visit and Andy turns 34!

We were playing a game of "Memory" on the living room floor on a Saturday night, passing time while we waited for Gaga and Papa to arrive, when suddenly we heard a loud honk coming from outside.  While honks are not unusual given the busy street we live on, Andy was certain that honk meant that his parents had arrived.  And certain enough, we looked out the window to see them coming around the circle and making their way to the driveway.  We'll just say that the honk was the other driver's way of welcoming Gaga and Papa to New Jersey. 

Their friend Caroline also drove out with them and then spent the week visiting her sister in Delaware.
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Andy's birthday was on Monday.  34!
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Bella put a lot of time into this birthday bag for Dad.
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We let the kids miss school that day and decided to catch a movie instead - Muppets Most Wanted.
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Later in the day, Andy did his favorite thing:  take a nap!
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Fortunately, the nap gave him a little more energy for some birthday celebrations!
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The rest of the photos are from my phone.

One the first day of spring, Rita's Water Ice always gives away free water ice.  Although it was a little chilly, we weren't going to miss it!
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I checked on Bella one night to found that she had fallen asleep while reading.  She takes after her momma!
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McDonalds play area.  The kids love to run around there and it gave us a chance for some adult conversation. 
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One of Graydon's favorite activities for the week was playing checkers and chess on Papa's computer. 
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Youth Hang-out Night at church.  We made birds' nests, had egg races, and watched the movie 'Hop'. 
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Good times!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A new phase. . .

I tried to be more intentional with taking photos this week.  My poor Canon camera hasn't seen the light of day in quite some time.  But my cell phone camera is getting some exercise.

I remember when Bella was around three-years-old, the amount of photos I took started to slow.  It wasn't something conscious that I was doing, just a natural occurrence.  But then Graydon was born, birthing many new photo opportunities.  And before long, Curtis came along presenting even more.

Now I am at that three year mark with Curtis (have been for a while).  The milestones are spreading out, the growth is slowing, and changes are becoming more gradual.  And with that, my drive for taking photos has slowed down.  I guess it's just not as instinctual as it once was.  A lack of photos, however, makes this blog pretty uninteresting.  So, for the sake of having something to blog about this week, I kept reminding myself to take some pictures.  I'm mainly doing this to keep all of our far away family updated on the kids. . . but I know that, down the road, I'm going to be thankful that I have so many of our family memories documented.

Here's some snapshots from our week:

The weather warmed up and it felt like spring.  We were outside as much as we could be.  The gardener in Graydon greeted us again as he was digged all over the yard.  It's hard to tell, but he planted a stick in this photo.   
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Bella had a book fair at school.  She bought a 'My Little Pony' book for herself and 'Pirates Love Underpants' for the boys.  They are at the stage when 'underpants' is still a really funny word.  They love the book.   
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We learned a little about police officers at the boys' playgroup. 
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While listening to the radio on the way to the grocery store last Friday (March 14), I learned that it was Pi Day.  You know - the day when the whole world celebrates the mathematical concept, Pi.  I had never heard of this day before, but decided that it was a good excuse to try a new pie recipe.  So I added a few ingredients to my shopping list.  
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And we made this!  S'mores pie!
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It was soooooo good!
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Bella and I had a girls' day on Sunday afternoon.  We walked around Target for an hour.  She picked out a new shirt and some hair accessories.  On Monday morning, she was so excited to wake up and put on her new outfit.  She was ready for school 45 minutes early!  And then I broke the news to her that her school was on a snow delay - which meant that she was ready over two hours early.  She missed out on sleeping in, but she was home to make GAK with us.  And because it was St. Paddy's day, we made it green. 
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And we added green to dessert that night - Bella's request after seeing this dessert in pictures from St. Patrick's days past.  
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Counting down the days until spring!