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
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
SPIDER BALL 2011:
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!