Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Finally on the mend....

It's been a while since my last post...we have been very busy. Busy enough for me to not even be able to cover it all in a post so I am not going to even try. I'll try hit the big highlights just for documentation's sake ... but I cannot promise more than that.

Mostly, we've spent the last week or so getting the kiddos over some sort of bug. It started with MacKay the weekend before spring break (3/14 - 3/18) and lasted pretty much through that entire week. Initially he just had sporadic fevers and a runny nose so I took him into the doctor (not our normal one, had to settle for the practitioner on short notice) before heading down to the cities on Tuesday (3/15) for the remainder of the spring break week. The doc appt found nothing wrong with him, so we assumed just a bug. .... which eventually was passed on to both Oscar and Evie while we were down in the cities visiting Gma Chris. So the entire time Gma was looking forward to spending with her grandchildren, she basically helped me wipe noses, listen to whining and give doses of Motrin, Tylenol and Benadryl. Evie had us really worried for a while there as she sounded croupy a couple of the nights. We tried bringing her out in the cold night air and steam but it didn't seem to help much... so neither of us got much sleep, taking turns with her and up most the night worrying etc. But luckily both the boys started feeling a little better toward the end of the week ..... as we had planned to take them to MN Sea Life (the new name for Underwater World) as reward for being big boys in big boy undies and doing so well at potty training. Chris took Friday off and came down Thursday night, so we woke Friday morning and took off right after breakfast. Broke our hearts to have Evie trailing out the door with us with her shoes in hand wanting to come with.... unnngh. But Gma helped out and had her wave at us as we backed out and I could see her smiling. We had a blast at MN Sea Life and they enjoyed pointing out all (numerous) the animals they knew in the tanks. MacKay said his favorite was the octopus... and Oscar said his favorites were the jelly fishes and the sharks. We ran around MOA for a while, checking out legoland and some stores, then had some lunch and headed back home. Woke Saturday morning and was packing up to head back home.... MacKay was unusually irritable and whiny. Finally got him calmed down enough to eat some breakfast and then BAM... we realized why he was so out of sorts. He was screaming in pain and grabbing his left ear. So I ran him up to the nearest "Minute Clinic" to get him checked. Sure enough had a raging ear infection, so we got him some antibiotics (both internal and external - drops). During that week I had made a followup appt for the kids (specifically MacKay, as he seems to be going in a pattern of getting sick every 3 weeks or so) for that next Tuesday. And low and behold.... Tuesday afternoon, just about 30 minutes before we were leaving for the appt, Oscar starts crying and telling me over and over again how HIS ear hurts. Get to the appt and guess what.... YUP. ANOTHER ear infection for our other little boy. Again... more antibiotics. By that time MacKay's ear had cleared up and the doc told us to rush him in next time he gets sick (fevers) and he can do some blood work to find out why he is sick so often... as I was thinking maybe it is something with his immune system - extra sensitive, overactive, under active etc... whatever. Just when I thought that was enough to do me in... the next morning Evie starts crying and is all out of sorts and covering HER ear. Unnghhh. I called the doc and left a message asking what to do as I had JUST had all of them in that night before. But by later that day (and with the help of some Motrin) she was back to 100% again. So we watched her for the next 24 hours, but she seemed fine. Unnnghh. But the good news is that we are all back to 100%, or close to it, .... and I am not wiping noses every 2 minutes and dosing my kids round the clock with fever reducers.

The other event we had recently would be Gma Hoglund's (Bernice) Birthday - 93 years old, and doesn't act a day over 60. She's something else I tell ya... probably more active than I am! The family got together this last Sunday at her apartment complex and had pizza and cake and played a ton of games. It was a good time. Leading up to it I was worried about how Evie was going to be at this; 1.) How leery she is of males and 2.) How she is a little high maintenence lately... just needing to be entertained all the time and not one for sitting around letting adults converse too much. But she was a trooper and did quite well. MacKay was our challenge.... the minute he walked in and saw one of his cousins (Evan) with a big red dinosaur (Fisher Price Imaginext) toy that he had brought to play with - which just happened to be his version of MacKay's Diesel 10 - a gift he had gotten for Xmas that was a favorite of his. MacKay had tunnel vision though - he wanted to play with that toy and NOTHING was going to distract him. Not the million other toys there, not all the other people who wanted to see him..... he tried to hold it together and not have a melt down but he had the puppy dog eyes and quivering lip cooking. Every 30 seconds he would pull at my pants and tell me how much he needed it. It was like a broken record over and over and over again ..... he knew he needed to wait until Evan was done with it and spouted that verbage out every time... but wasn't too patient about waiting for that time to come. Evan was a trooper and eventually let MacKay have a turn with it ..... and then for the remainder of the time that Evan (and his dinosaur) was there it was about it getting passed back and forth between the two of them. MacKay could barely stay focused on eating his pizza as he was worried that Evan was going to "take it away" - whatever that meant. I kept telling him that it was Evan's toy... that he COULD take it, that he was being nice and sharing and that MacKay needed to be patient. When the cake came MacKay finally ceased to talk about the red dinosaur long enough to polish off two pieces. After the meal the two boys played SO nicely with the dinosaur, sharing etc. MacKay would come over to me boasting about how he was sharing and had given it back... and that when he [Evan] was done that he could play with it again. Then it came time for Evan (and dino) to leave..... oh boy. Commence Melt Down.... I thought MacKay was going to have a heart attack. Just losing it about the fact that Evan was taking it away. This kept up well after they had left. Gma Bonnie and I promised MacKay that we would look for one next time we went shopping (though we had to tell him this about 100 times) and eventually he stopped and joined in on the BINGO and quarters games that the adults were all playing. So I've now found that THAT particular FP Imaginext Dinosaur was from 2005 (not available in stores anymore) but have found a few for sale on ebay that I have bids on. THEN.... come to find that one of my very good friends from high school has a whole bin full of those dinosaurs (they made a ton of them... Spinosaurus, Kentrosaurus, Velociraptor, Wooly Mammoth, Allosaurus, Stegosaurus...etc) and is sending them up our way as her son no longer plays with them and would rather send them off to some boys that would really love them. WOW... MacKay and Oscar are going to be getting QUITE the Easter present this year. :)

Gosh so much else has happened ... but this could go on forever if I covered it all.... so instead I am going to just cover some updates on the kids and what they are up to.

The boys have now completed 4 sessions of swim lessons. MacKay was big talk after the first session, saying he was going to wear goggles the next time... and he delivered. He actually wore them. And since then he has been a FISH. He LOVES lessons, LOVES being dunked.... and on his third lesson decided he was ready to do "Chop Chop Timber". Chop Chop Timber is done at the end where they stand on the side of the pool and jump in (and go under) and the teacher helps them back up and to the side. Those who aren't ready for, or don't want to do, Chop Chop Timber do Humpty Dumpty... which is what both MacKay and Oscar had been doing up to this point. Humpty is where they SIT on the side and the instructor holds their hands and pulls them into (and under) the water. One of the other kids in class (who is much more advanced and older) always does Chop Chop Timber... and I think MacKay just didn't want to be outdone and wanted to try it as well. So from that point on, he always does Chop Chop Timber. Oscar still is a bit more hesitant to be going under the water.... sometimes yelling out for help from those of us on the sidelines (parents) like the instructor is torturing him. I don't think either of them really get the holding breath concept... but they still give it a good try. I took both the boys swimming at the Days Inn pool this past week for practice... and Oscar seemed MUCH more willing to go under with me. I gave him a lot of lead up time to it by counting it off and making sure he was doing his "monkey cheeks" when I would dunk him... but I think both of them take in a breath once they actually go under as well cuz they are always spitting out water and looking freakishly shocked upon emerging from the water. I suppose it will just take more practice and time. They do well at kicking and floating on their backs though ... once you can get them to relax enough to sit still and just float peacefully. Next week is safety week where they are supposed to come fully dressed. COME ON.. seriously? I don't think these kids are going to get whatever is taught to them about this whole safety thing (falling in fully clothed) as they cannot even swim/float on their own yet. But whatever. :)

MacKay has been hilarious with the things he says lately. He repeats almost anything we say. Lately he's been so concerned with Evie and what she is doing... sort of a little tattle tale. I have told him over and over again not to worry about it and that I am the Mommy and will handle it. Now whenever Evie is doing something he will just come tell me "You're the Mommy... and you will hanno (handle) it?" He likes showing me that he understands this kind of stuff. He can read almost the entire book for "Are You My Mother?" and "Green Eggs and Ham." I love that they now know Green Eggs and Ham, because we use that as an example when they are refusing to eat something we've prepared for them..... how he said he didn't like it, but once he tried it he "did so like Green Eggs and Ham." For a while there MacKay was telling me (when he was mad at me for scolding him or disciplining him) "I don't like you." I tried to stay calm each time and just would tell him the same thing "That's not a nice thing to say, and it makes me feel sad." So now MacKay is always telling me (when he's in a good mood) "I like you Mommy. ....Say I don't like you is not berry )very) nice to say ..... it makes you real sad." YAY - I think I won that battle. Oscar loves telling me over and over again (probably related to MacKay telling me he didn't like me) how much he likes me and loves giving hugs. He also likes giving me back rubs for some reason... and loves when I tell him how good it feels. If I don't respond he will whisper in my ear "Say it feels so good Mommy." which now that I type that sounds utterly creepy..... but he's just such a tactile person and loves to please. He's been very affectionate with Evie lately and concerned for her well being when she is doing something she shouldn't. And lately I hear him making up songs and singing around the house which cracks me up. If he catches me watching him he stops and gets all embarrassed. Both MacKay and Oscar can do so many things for themselves now too which is nice. They attempt to make their beds in the morning, they can get totally undressed (they struggled with pants and socks sometimes) and put their clothes in the hamper, can put on most of their clothes with little help, go to the bathroom entirely by themselves (other than poops), can put on their coats and shoes by themselves with no help etc. We talked about how much they could do today and talked about chores and how we might switch from potty sticker charts to chore sticker charts soon. We'll keep it simple with things like: making bed, dressing self, cleaning up after meals, cleaning up toys etc. Then hopefully we can add more on later .....

Evie has learned SO many new words in the past couple weeks. She now talks about the potty a lot and points to the toilet as if wanting to be like her big brothers. She knows and says: ball, baby, cow (moo), car (vroom), horse, dog or doggie goes woof woof, monkey (ooh oooh aah aah), pig (snorts), spoon, book, Otto (Oscar), Mah-tee (MacKay), jump (and jumps.... this is hilarious to watch). She also can do a perfect somersault and loves doing them. The other night I thought my cheek muscles were going to go out on me as I was laughing so hard at her..... for about 10 minutes she was jumping around (she doesn't really get off the ground much and kind of pivots around in a circle on one foot with her arms circling around and around just trying to get some air) and doing somersaults all over the place and didn't stop for a minute. She's an entertainer. And I know I've said how affectionate and lovey she is lately... but she's up'd her game on that one. She is CONSTANTLY hugging and kissing me now. I am trying to just soak it all in as this is probably a phase that will soon end... I hope not though cuz it feels so good to get these big tight hugs from her... she just throws herself at you and puts everything she's got into it.

Well... that's about it for now. I'll move onto the photos now as I can't recall much else to share. I really need to keep up with blogging weekly otherwise I forget so many of the things I would normally share. So hopefully I can get around to that again soon. Until then, here are some fun shots I snapped of the kiddos:

More swimming lesson photos.... MacKay finally wearing his goggles and Oscar enjoying the hot tub.

Getting warmed up in the pool splashing around.... and laughing at instructor, Megan, who would fall back into (under) the water after smelling their feet.

The boys having a story (a favorite, Commotion in the Ocean) read to them by Uncle Dennis

Oscar stole Uncle Dennis' hat ....

The boys with Gma Chris's vacuum... they are obsessed with trying out other people's vacuums lately.

Poor Oscar who couldn't stay awake at dinner the other night due to him enduring ear pain from his ear infection ... it really hit him hard.

Great Gma Bernice Hoglund's 93rd Birthday Party

Oscar proudly showing off his blue mustache and tongue from drinking blue Gatorade, Evie just hanging out with the grown ups at the table... and MacKay with his "precious" (Evan's dinosaur)

Playing some BINGO.... shockingly Evie actually sat with a MALE for a while (Great Uncle Ron), MacKay got to spin the BINGO cage and Oscar played a card with Gpa Dean

Playing Quarters (4 = pot, 5 = ahead, 6 = back) with the adults.

MacKay brought Great Auntie Connie some luck rolling the dice for her.... love the one picture where it looks like he's eyeing up that Coors Light.

....and Oscar tried to bring some luck to Gma Bonnie - kissing the quarters for luck, but eventually having to patiently wait for some quarters to come back his way.


Evie trying to nab herself some more jelly beans and watching to see if Daddy was seeing her (unaware I was catching her in the act) .... and her rather coy look when she realized she was caught in the act.

That's it for now.... come on back soon.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Old Tyme Photos ....Spider Ball....

We've had a very interesting week ... with quite a few updates to share. Gma Chris was up for an extended weekend. Mainly she came up to help me double date with my boys for the Spider Ball ... but she's always looking for an excuse to come up here... or is it I that is always looking for an excuse to get her up here? Hmmm. Even Chris is trying to get her up here more... hinting to her all week/weekend that there were two houses for sale with open houses this weekend on our block, and how easy it would be for him to simply drive his John Deere over to take care of her lawn each summer and driveway each winter. I don't think she's buyin' it, but we'll keep trying to get her to relocate up here. I had my Sushi class this last Thursday evening .... and learned a lot. I even made two inside out rolls to bring home. So now that I know what all I need, and how to do it... .now I just need to figure out what I want to put in them, what goes well together .... and voila, I'll be a sushi makin' machine. Lately we've (Chris and I) been perusing outdoor dining furniture and swing set deals.... and I think we've found a couple of each that we like. I think we'll wait a bit longer for the dining stuff ... but we found a pretty good deal on swing sets at ToysRUs that I think we're gonna jump on. We had it narrowed down to 4 of them.... then asked the kids to help us choose (big mistake) ... but what we did get out of them was that they preferred an open slide to a tube slide, which helped us narrow it down to 2 sets now. I think we're going to go with the Willowdale, but that Stoneybrook one still haunts me too. Can't wait to FINALLY have a swing set for the kiddos here. Up until now I've always had to drive to parks or walk to the one at the end of our road ... but now we can just hang out in the comfort of our own lawn and spend hours upon hours running around outside in the fresh air .... can't wait for spring/summer.
Well, like I said, Gma Chris came up to be another of the boys' dates for SpiderBall... but she also helped with a couple other things. On Friday morning we took the kids to a local church in town to have their pictures taken. It is a company called Antiquities that takes "old tyme" pictures of kids - they have all the costumes and props etc. It was being put on by the Brainerd Lakes Area Women of Today, and the deal was $10 for a 15 minute portrait session and a free 10x13 photograph. You make an appt to come back 2 weeks later to review the pictures and order up anything else... and MAN those packages are SPENDY. But the kiddos did SO well. They got the boys all dudded up in overalls and then threw on overcoats, ties and fedoras for a bit.... then shed back down to the overalls and put on paperboy hats and took pictures with a baseball bat and mit - those look like they turned out super cute. Evie even did well although she refused to wear any of the cute hats they had. She had fun in her lacy dress though and loved the pearl necklaces she got to wear... that is, until she learned how to repeatedly choke herself with them by pulling on them. I think we'll probably have some cute pictures out of the shoot which will make it hard for me to fight the urge to buy one of the ridiculously priced packages .... but we'll see. I was just so proud of them .... how well they did. So we treated them to a very early lunch at McDonald's complete with Shamrock and Chocolate shakes.
Friday night we got all snazzied up and took the boys to the Spider Ball. The boys had been talking about it all day, excited to go to the "party" (as we had to explain there wouldn't be any "balls" there... that it was a party) and dance and see their friends. They were especially wired and lovey as we were trying to get them changed into their dress outfits. Oscar particularly was excited to finally be wearing his "dancing pant." Months earlier when I bought these outfits, Oscar asked about the new pants I had gotten and I told him we were saving them for the dance we were going to later. So whenever he would see them in his dresser he would point them out as his "dancing pants." MacKay wouldn't stop hugging me while I was getting him ready, telling me that he loved me and he wanted to go to the Spider Ball with me. Awwww. And Oscar about made my heart melt when I came out of the bedroom in my dress etc and he said "Mommy... you look CUUUTE! You're wearing a pretty dress and a pretty necklace. It's CUTE!" After we got the boys in their dress clothes it was near impossible to wrangle them up - it's like they were on a high from wearing new snazzy clothes or something. We got to the Spider Ball just as it was starting .... picked out a table ... and rushed over to the photographing area to get that out of the way. After that we got the boys some cupcakes and punch... which they quickly consumed..... It was right after that that the music started and from that moment on, the boys were out on the dance floor. I found it amazing that they both just ran out there and joined in... they didn't need me, didn't hesitate... just ran out there and started throwing out their moves for everyone to see. Oscar's moves crack me up cuz he moves his legs and feet in ways that it looks like there is no ankle holding them together... and his classic move is to get a very wide stance and then start grinding and gyrating his hips - a few women actually stopped dead in their tracks to watch him and fall over laughing. He was such a stitch. And MacKay ..... his little feet move faster than I ever thought they could... he's a little male version of the Flashdance lady doing "Maniac." And the break dancing .... initially it started out with MacKay... but then Oscar quickly moved in on that too. They would do these strange moves .... put their heads down to the ground as if to do a somersault but then kick one leg/foot up in the air and then hold it for a pose. Or swing their legs around (not even sure how) and eventually get into a sitting position out in the middle of the floor. The only thing that was missing from that move was the gradual move into the backspin... otherwise that is exactly what it looked like - the transition from standing down to the floor for a backspin ... just minus the backspin. They really had a good time, and were excited to see all their friends from class: Ethan, Kellen, Cole and Landon... and I was excited to see all the Moms, many even from past classes with their older sons. It really was a well planned event and we all had a blast. The boys were wired when they got home and couldn't be talked into getting ready for bed so we tried to read some stories to calm them down a bit. They kept showing Daddy the moves they pulled at the dance... and he enjoyed watching the 2 videos I shot on my CoolPix camera of them dancing. What a fun night.... I can't wait to do it up again next year..... and I especially can't wait until Evie can go to the Dads and Dolls dance with Chris in a couple years. How precious.
Not much else new with the boys. MacKay has been getting better at not pee'ing all over the back of the toilet. He finally "got" that he needs to hold it down ... and more importantly WHERE he needs to hold it down. For a while there he was pushing down too high up which was actually working against what he was trying to do and making it go up even more ... but now he has it down pat. And he's constantly telling Chris and Oscar that THEY need to "HOLD IT DOWN" when they go to the bathroom too. He comes running out of the bathroom every time now.... "I hold it down Mommy.. I hold it down.... I not make a mess!" So we're making strides with that .... we're finally back to that point where I can trust them to go to the bathroom by themselves again. AND... we've backed off on the stickers. Now they only get stickers for being dry in the AM, being dry all day, and pooping (since that is still a big deal). So hopefully these charts last a little longer than the others... which has been only about 2-3 weeks tops for the others. And the boys seem to be pretty excited for swimming lessons again on Monday night. MacKay still proclaims he will wear the goggles this time .... and Oscar says he will hold his breath when he goes underwater. We'll see....
Evie is still full of it.... such attitude with that little one. We now have her sitting with the boys at the table using a booster chair. She likes being with them, but has learned yet another new bad habit..... pushing away from the table and putting her feet on the table. She knows it is a no no and watches our reaction every time... just testing us. Unnnghh. And such sass lately too - WOW. She's learning SOOO much every day though that it makes it hard for me to be too hard on her. She's got down many animals and their sounds... she knows that a monkey or a gorilla makes the oooh ooh aahh ahh sound and pounds on her chest too. She says a "guck" (duck) says gwuck gwuck. She calls Angus "Dog" now and imitates him with buff buff buff (which is his muffled barking he does). And there are too many others to mention but I just think it is so cute how much she wants to learn new things. It's probably at about 5+ new learned words, objects or sounds a day now. Way to go Evie. She also has taken a liking to what the boys are doing in the bathroom. Not only does she want to help put stickers up on their sticker charts ... but she imitates them at the toilet as well. I cannot count how many times I have found her in the bathroom just standing in front of the toilet with the lids up ... and her yanking her shirt up to her chest (like the boys do)... just standing there imitating her brothers, and so proud. Or.. she's constantly climbing up on the step stool by the sink and demanding "wash wash wash WASH!" as she has developed a new fixation on washing her hands about 20x a day. Just months ago I was complaining about feeling like I was spending my entire day(s) in the bathroom (potty training) .... and now that I finally can trust my boys to take care of business without any of my intervention, ... now Evie can't stay out of the room. I can't catch a break. But then again... it's just so cute.
Some pictures of the two swing sets we're thinking about for the kiddos .... gotta make our decision fast though. The first one is more my favorite... the 2nd is more Chris's.

Yet another moment captured where Chris is a kid magnet ... I love how Evie always treats him like lounge furniture

MacKay and Oscar wearing Daddy's aviator sunglasses

Evie wanting in on the new bathroom rituals .... love the leg warmers in the first picture - and NO, she was NOT going potty on the toilet. We're a long way off from even starting that - I need a break from potty training. She just wanted so badly to do as her brothers had just done minutes before ... so we humored her.

The boys (and Mommy) all jazzed up for Spider Ball. We tried taking a picture of all 4 of us (Gma Chris included) but the boys weren't cooperating ... but I was able to at least get a picture of her cutting a rug with the boys on the dance floor

Like I said.. Gma getting down with her boys on the dance floor

MacKay doing his breakdancing moves - - Oscar doing his white boy dance (not much rhythm in that one yet... just some really good moves) - - .. and lastly, a picture of Oscar with one of the many spiders/spider webs that the boys were magnetized to.

Evie in a new outfit from Gma Chris .... accesorized with one of the boys' engineer hats that surprisingly matched.

Evie's attempts to snuggle with, and wake up, her precious Daddy who was trying to nap on the couch ..... I like her "Sit on the Head" tactic she's trying out here.

Just a couple cute pictures of my little boys all bundled up in towels after a shower earlier today ... I love how Oscar curls his toes up like that.

Thanks for visiting... come back again soon!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

First Ever Swimming Lessons for MacKay & Oscar

This last Monday the boys had their first ever swim lessons. It is through Safe Swim Minnesota and is done at local hotel pools in the Brainerd Lakes Area. I dropped Evie off with the Williams family just so we could both be there for their first lesson …. Mainly so I could take pictures and video. I got there just moments after Chris and the boys got there and they were excitedly watching the kids in the class before them…. Saying “I gonna do THAT?” every time the kids would swim around or jump off the sides etc. I had to explain that it would take a while before they were that good, that those kids were older and have been taking lessons for a LONG time …. But they generally seemed excited about doing all this. Then it came time for them to get in the pool….
The instructor, Megan, got them all seated on the steps into the pool – there were 4 kids total. She tried to see if she could get MacKay and Oscar to wear the goggles she had there. She actually got the goggles (surprisingly) on MacKay … but they quickly came off. Oscar was a trooper though and wore his the entire time. If anyone SHOULD have worn them it should have been MacKay, as every time we’re in the shower he’s constantly freaking out about water in his eyes, yelling to me “Wipe my eyes, Mommy…. Wipe my eyes!” In the weeks leading up to this I’ve been telling him I won’t wipe his eyes anymore, that he needs to learn to wipe them himself… which he does most of the time now, though it doesn’t stop him from demanding that I still do it and whining about it. So anyway….. they started out just playing with the water … pouring it over themselves with cups etc. Then the instructor told them about blowing on/in the water to make bubbles…. … instead, my kids just kept sucking it up and choking on it – NICE. I was just amazed that they were willing to put their faces close enough to the water to do that, so I wasn’t complaining. Then she told them about “Monkey Face” which is basically all about holding their breath. She tells them to puff out their cheeks (now this is where I would have referred to a puffer fish instead… but maybe it’s only my nerdy kids that know what those are) and hold their breath when they go under the water. And it was shortly after that that both the boys got their first round of dunking. She didn’t even give them much time to prepare or think about it. Just grabbed their hands, asked them what color frog they wanted to be (cuz that is apparently what they were pretending to be, jumping into the water) ….. told them to do Monkey Face and BAM…. Under the water they both went. In total, they did it 3 times during the 30 minute swim lesson… and EVERY time they came up with the most shocked look on their face, gasping for air and hacking and spitting up water everywhere.
Then they got to put on their “backpacks” which were just flotation things…. And got some foamy barbell things to hold onto and gave floating, paddling with their hands and kicking a try. MacKay went first and was having a ball until teacher let go of his upper body to put her attention to his legs, trying to show him the proper way to kick (keeping legs straight and long vs bent like he was doing) …. I think he didn’t feel secure floating like that. Oscar did pretty much the same thing and freaked when she put more attention to the lower half of his body …. So they weren’t too trusting this first go ‘round. In fact Oscar belted out a good ole’ ..”Somebody Help Me” like he was being tortured out there. Seconds later after returning to the comfort of the stairs he pulled his classic move that he does when he doesn’t want to do something anymore…. “Teacher, I gotta pee.” Which MacKay quickly learned was a way to get out of doing something he didn’t want to do and opted to do the same. Once back from the bathroom safety zone, they did some scaling of the walls. I think she called it the Monkey Walk or something… basically to get them over to another area of the pool to do some jumping. The two other kids in class have been through this program before so they got to jump in … but Megan (intelligently) decided to instead have MacKay and Oscar sit and do a rendition of “Humpty Dumpty” where they would get pulled into the water and dunked when Humpty Dumpty had his great fall. MacKay went first …. So when it came to Oscar’s turn he was quite adamant.. “Teacher, I don’t want to go under the water” but he obviously lost that battle as that is exactly where she put him.
I talked with Megan after the class to see what her impression was of how well it went …. And she did mention that she thinks they might do better starting out (since they have never had ANY lessons before) in a class where we are in the water with them. I told her I would think it over as that option is a little more challenging for us considering we have Evie to take care of in all of this too. I know the Williams Family would normally love to help out in this situation as we always do favors for each other like this … but considering Shawna is 35+ weeks pregnant and about to pop any day/week now… probably not gonna happen. So after a lot of mental deliberation, on my part, I think we’re going to forge ahead with the class they are in… and if we have to, we will start doing some practicing/lessons of our own to practice and supplement each week at the pool with the kiddos… or may even opt to do some 1:1 lessons if these don’t prove to be very effective after a couple more weeks. I wasn’t really expecting much… and thought they did MUCH better than I thought they would do. I really don’t know how having us in the water would help …. This is just something completely new to them that is going to take a while to sink in.
After we got home the boys were chatting it up about their lessons and what they did. Oscar was his usually chatty self, and MacKay kept ascertaining that he was going to wear those “Glasses” next time…. He doesn’t like them being called goggles and won’t wear goggles, but he is talking some big talk saying he will give the “Glasses” a try next time. And just recently as I was organizing the pictures I was going to put on this blog post, both the boys were watching and commenting on the photos and begging me to take them back there. So it must not have been a traumatic experience for them that they are begging me to go back… so I take that as a good sign.
On a side note… I have to share. Oscar and MacKay say the funniest things lately. For one, MacKay now agrees that his poop does NOT smell like strawberries like he was claiming for the past few weeks. He’s quite clear on that one… “Mommy, my poop does NOT smell like strawberries… does it?” And I always find MacKay and Oscar having some really funny conversations with each other. The other day, while I was fixing lunch, Oscar was playing with this little Cars flashlight that we have (it has little covers you can put over it to shine different Cars images on the wall etc)… and MacKay wanted it but was willing to wait patiently until Oscar was done: [MacKay]: “Oscar, I get it when you’re done?” [Oscar]: “Yup, when I done.” Well, moments later, Oscar put it down to play with something else and MacKay quickly snatched it up which threw Oscar into a complete tizzy. He came screaming to me about how MacKay took his flashlight and demanding I get it back for him. I simply told him that he put it down, so now MacKay get’s to play with it and that he could wait until MacKay was done. He wasn’t satisfied and kept demanding and crying.. so I told him I was busy making lunch and didn’t want to hear it, that he needed to go work it out with MacKay. Which I guess he really heard me on, cuz he walked over to the recliner where MacKay was sitting with the flashlight and just sat on the floor in front of it giving MacKay the ole sad face look. Eventually I heard this conversation:

Oscar: MacKay, can I please have my flashlight back? You’re not using it (which he wasn’t, just clutching onto it for dear life)
MacKay: You have it when I’m done
Oscar: I sad MacKay. Look at my face, MacKay. I REALLY sad.
MacKay: You sad, Oscar?
Oscar: Yes. Look at my face…. I really sad. Please… …
MacKay: You want to be happy?
Oscar: Yes, I want to be happy … with the flashlight
MacKay: Here Oscar (giving him the flashlight)… be you happy now?
Oscar: Yes. I happy. Thank you, MacKay
MacKay: …… Now I sad. Look at my face, Oscar

OMG, I WISH I would have gotten that on video… it was so sweet and completely hilarious. Another funny moment…. As I was getting the boys strapped into their car seats on our way into preschool Tuesday, the boys mentioned something about getting to see Miss Mary and Miss Michelle. I told them they might not see Miss Mary because she was hurt … that she broke her collar bone (which I showed them where it was on them). About 5 minutes later as we were driving down the road I heard MacKay frantically trying to get my attention. When I asked him what he wanted he replied, “We needa fix Mary’s bone, Mommy.” I love when they say stuff like that … means they actually listened and understood. MacKay still creeps up on me and whispers his favorite How to Kill Your Dragon line …. “Dragons ALWAYS go for the KILL!” which I find completely creepy… but he’s so proud of himself for remembering things like that.
Little Evie is just learning more and more words and mimicking everything we say lately. I’m always amazed how she can say some of the more difficult 2 syllable words, but still stumbles on some of the easier 1 syllable ones …. But she is enjoying learning new things, constantly pointing out things asking “Whas dat? Whas dis?” and then repeating whatever I answer with. She loves her little board books that deal with images of things in different colors, numbers etc… as she knows many of the objects and proudly points them out and names them for us. Our once good little eater has gone bye bye though…. She is SO picky now and would rather play (squish, pulverize, crumble, smear etc) with her food or just simply drop it over the edge of her high chair tray and feed Angus. Gma Chris will be coming up tomorrow and is bringing up one of her booster chairs she keeps at her house for when we visit … I’m hoping her eating habits will get better if I seat her with the brothers at the table. Will get back to on that one and how that works out.
And I should mention as well, the newest edition of the Lake Country Journal includes the article that was written about all the home renovations we’ve done on our house. It ended up being a very nice article … my only regret: giving them just a random sampling of old pictures of our house. I made sure to give them a few really good shots for the “before” pictures, and also included in some “not so nice” shots just to give them a good idea of where we started with the house. One of those pictures just happened to have a very sloppily dressed version of me in it looking through some paper work. I cannot believe they ACTUALLY used that picture. The only saving grace…. The picture was taken a long time ago when I still had a decent figure. HA. But if you can, check it out online: Note: you need to create an account to view contents of the online issues.
But anyway – the real reason for this post… sharing some fun pictures of the boys during their first swimming lesson. (will have to save the video for next time as I only got about 60 seconds of footage before my battery died on me).
Getting mentally ready for their first ever swimming lessons.

In the pool with goggles on ... though MacKay's came off about 5 seconds after I snapped this picture.

The boys laughing at silly Megan who would fall back into the water when they would give her High 5s

Some fun splashing around and dumping water over their heads

Getting ready for some underwater fun.... teaching them "Monkey Cheeks/Face" (holding breath) and blowing air out and making bubbles

Two VERY happy looking boys.... who have NO idea what is in store for them - some pictures of them about to be dragged under water.....

.... and both of them after being pulled back out - gasping for air and hacking up water

Some floating and kicking fun.... note the look on MacKay's face in the 2nd picture of him - not too happy with teacher showing him how to properly kick

Scaling the wall ....

Was able to catch a good picture of Oscar 1.) JUST going underwater (after saying that is exactly what he did NOT want to do just seconds before) and 2.) immediately after being pulled back up. Love the expression on his face - sheer shock.

Hope you enjoyed... come back again soon.