Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's been FAR too long ... I have to stop doing this!

I have so much to say but not enough time to get it all out. I’m feeling rushed to get another post out here with the July 4th holiday around the corner, which usually just means yet another huge batch of pictures and more updates to make. So I am going to have to stick to the basics and some of the key items that stick out to me.

We’ve been quite busy with play dates, making it to family and friend’s events …and I am still avidly searching for employment. Hopefully I’ll have more to update you on soon as I’m in the works for setting up a follow-up team interview at a local company here in the Brainerd Lakes area. I’m excited at the idea of it, but also terrified. We’re trying to spend as much time as we can outside …. For a while there both the kids and myself were going nuts having to be inside – that long stretch of rain was about to drive us all mad. The boys were at their very worst – even Gma Chris who usually tells me “Calm down Jill… they’re only 3, they’re not perfect. You expect too much….” Which in her defense, she is usually spot on about. Instead, she changed her tune after spending 3 days with them in prime form recently. Little did she know that I was already struggling with them for almost a week like that. Her comment one night was “What is going on with your boys?” HA… finally, some support. But we are all stoked about the fantastic weather we’ve had here lately. They all love the kiddie pool, using their super soakers, playing on their swing set, riding around in their Gator etc. And their newest toy…. New 14” big boy bikes. I got them while down visiting Gma Chris in the cities as a very early birthday present for them in the hopes that they get good at it so we can take walks down the street with them on their bikes and me only having to push Evie in a single jogging stroller, versus pushing all three of them in my triple stroller. They are just too old, and too big, to be in a stroller just to appease my need to get out for some exercise. MacKay was a champ even in the store trying out the different bikes. He could have gotten a 16” bike… he wasn’t quite measuring up for one but he much preferred the ride of the 16” bike he tested out. Oscar didn’t even come close (shorter legs) to measuring up for the 16” so we went with two 14” bikes in the hopes that they will last this year and next for them. MacKay even took a big dump on the 16” bike in the store (didn’t quite get the brake) but that didn’t keep him down. While I was comparing and making decisions on which bike(s) to get I overheard him go to the gentleman helping us out asking “How do I do the brake?” which I thought was just precious. Seeing him initiate wanting to learn and asking this super nice man for help which he is usually too embarrassed to do. By the time we left the store he was a master of the bike. Oscar was more interested in all the motorized vehicles they had displayed and I had to beg and plead for him to even sit on one to get him fitted. Even now that we have them home he hasn’t quite realized that it is almost exactly like his trike where he has to PEDAL it to get it going. Instead he just lets decline planes, gravity and us to get him going and doesn’t even attempt to move his feet around. Seconds later he’ll hop on his trike and just blaze around though. Oh well, give it time and I’ll be crabbing about how they are too fast and reckless on their bikes so I’ll just enjoy this for now.

We also had a visit from my aunt (Sandy), uncle (Denny), cousin (Shannon) and her son (Cameron). Shannon and Cameron live in AZ and my aunt and uncle live in Duluth. Shannon was my maid of honor in my wedding (a deal we made with each other years ago as we were both sister-less and considered each other to be the equivalent of a sister) and her son is just 5 weeks younger than Evie so they make for good playmates and comparisons for milestones. Other than in pictures I hadn’t seen him in a year so it was good to see how much he’s changed – he’s quite the little man now. I’m sure Evie looked quite different to her as well.
Let’s start in with some updates on the kids. The boys have some new favorite movies now – namely Tangled and Despicable Me. I love watching them laugh at Despicable Me – they really get all the jokes. And they love to talk about and rationalize the whole story line of Tangled. I can just hear MacKay’s stuttering voice …”Her hair got cut and turned brown…and it wasn’t magic anymore…. And the old lady took her and disappeared (a little out of order there) …. But she cries magic now.” Of course with his stuttering that he does that whole thing takes about 5 minutes to say and there is a lot of repeated words and phrases over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. He gets so excited about the things he has to say he just can’t organize it fast enough for his mouth. WOW – the stuff he can recall and remember though. He can spout out lines from shows, music, movies and books. He has about 5 books he can read entirely from first to last page… not missing one word. He amazes me. Oscar just giggles the entire time at everything. The little minions (which he will get into drop down fights with MacKay about cuz he says they are aliens) on Despicable Me get to him EVERY time. He thinks they are the funniest things ever. I do have a particularly amusing story about the boys though. Just the other night we were trying to get the kids to try salads for the first time (simple salads with lettuce, green olives [which they love], shredded cheese, croutons and ranch dressing) and were failing at getting them to try them. MacKay adamantly proclaimed he didn’t like it without even trying it and threw his milk on the floor which landed him in his room for 5 minutes. For those 5 minutes I tried so hard to talk Oscar into trying it… explaining that there were green olives, and croutons … I told him croutons are fun crunchy things, like toast. That got his attention and he tried one bite just to make me happy but wouldn’t go much further. When MacKay returned (in a much better mood I must say) I told him Oscar tried it and again went into selling it with the croutons. He tried his first bite and Daddy pointed out to him “Hey, you’re just like a Brachiosaurus.” WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT? That peaked his attention… so we talked about herbivores, as he knows that herbivores eat plants and leaves – from his Dinosaur books and Leapster game. So we explained that lettuce is a special kind of leaf we can eat and that he was being just like some of the dinosaurs. We got him talking about which dinosaurs were herbivores… he threw out Pachycephalosaurus, Triceratops, Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Parasaurolophus, Ankylosaurus, Dimetrodon … among others. And each time he named one we got him to do a bite like that dinosaur. Before long he was shoveling it in, and Oscar was taking his cue from his brother and eating his as well. MacKay cleaned his salad bowl completely and Oscar ate more than half. SUCCESS! Thank you Dinosaurs … you are a powerful negotiating tool with our kids, especially MacKay. I wish I could remember more about them to tell you as they have been saying some of the funniest things lately. We’re still working on making them more independent and doing more for themselves….. mainly working on getting themselves ready for the day at this point. We’re making small strides as they like to complain that they don’t know how to do it, and I OFTEN find them off in some sort of day dream sitting in their closet buck naked just sitting there doing nothing. I’ll leave to get Evie ready or do something and come back 5 minutes later to find them no more further in the process of dressing themselves. It’s infuriating some days as I know they can do this – they just have no focus or desire. I have to remind myself of how I said the same thing about potty training … and look at them now. Patience Jill. Speaking of potty training…. MacKay seems to think he’s a big enough boy to be wiping himself after #2s….. HA. What a mess. The other day I was checking my email quickly while they were watching a movie…. I heard him come down the stairs and from behind me I heard “Mommy, I need help with this.” I turned around to find him naked from the waist down and holding a sopping wet pair of undies in his hand. I quickly jumped up and marched him back into the bathroom and I could feel wetness on my feet for the entire walk back from the dripping from the sopping wet undies he had carried en route to me downstairs. NICE. He had seen a skid mark in his undies (due to his over confidence in his ability to wipe) when he was in the bathroom and decided to do as Mommy does…. Wash them in the sink. Oh boy! I commended him over and over again for trying to be a big boy and help out…. But asked him to let me do this for a bit longer and explained the concept of how dirty poop is and the germs involved.

Evie is a little jabber mouth. Just a couple months ago I remember telling Chris and my mom “You know, Evie is right now at the same age that the boys were at when we had Evie…. And I could have sworn the boys were speaking in understandable sentences at that time because I remember talking about the baby with them and they seemed to get the concept...... and Evie doesn’t seem to be doing what they were at this age.” Not that I was super concerned or anything as my recollection of things like that isn’t the greatest anyway, more just an observation either way. And it wasn’t 1 week later and Evie started into her 3 word sentences and hasn’t stopped since. She is a little chatter box and there isn’t much she can’t get through to us… nor much that we can’t understand. She knows the names of SO many things (animals, body parts, items in the house etc). A lot of her gabbing is through song though. She’s constantly walking around or lying in her crib just singing random songs that she makes up with both real and made up words. And I am happy to report that she has a new word: YES! YES, my little girl who refused to say the word is now saying “YES!” Funny enough, during one of Gma Chris’s stays I was trying to talk her into taking 1 or 2 of the kids home with her as she needed to leave to go home just for a night or two and was coming right back up to stay and watch the kids while we went to a wedding. I first tried to get her to take the boys, but I knew that would work with her tiny little car and instead moved onto getting her to take Evie with her. I asked Evie “Do you want to go to Gma’s with her?” really trying to drive the idea home with both her and Gma. She nodded with excitement and did her traditional “Uh huh!” So I told her “OK Evie, if you can say “Yes” then you can go with Gma to her house…. Can you say “Yes”?” and immediately she just blurted out “YES!” Gma Chris and I about died ….and then we threw a mini party about it all, which I’m sure thoroughly confused Evie. At that point Gma Chris said why don’t we all just go down there? So that’s what we did. Gave Daddy a couple of quiet and relaxing nights alone at home and I took the kiddos down to Gma’s for a few days. And now if we ask her to say “Yes” she doesn’t fight us or make a game out of it and defiantly say “No” anymore……. YEAH! Touchdown! The other cute thing she said recently was actually completing Gma Chris’s thought. She was wiping her face off after a meal and said “Evie, you are just so…..” and paused trying to figure out what word she wanted to say and Evie quickly finished her sentence with “PWETTY!” We all broke out in laughter …. We must say that a lot to her – shocking! She’s particularly obsessed with books, puzzles and her little Baby Libby doll lately too. She holds and rocks her, puts her down for naps, pushes her in her stroller, waves Libby’s hand to say Hi to us … and most recently has become interested in feeding her. She wanted to give her some of her sippy cup today and was making quite a mess. So I gave her an empty old sippy and told her that was Libby’s and that she could only drink out of that one. So I guess that helps with ideas for what to get for her for her birthday…. Doll stuff. Hard to believe that in just one more month she is going to be a two year old. Yikes… time sure flew with this one.

Well, I could go on and on and I’m sorta kicking myself for waiting this long for a post as I know I’ve forgotten SO many things I know I wanted to share out here. If I don’t write them down quickly after they happen they are lost. I know there were some hilarious comments lately from the boys that I wanted to share too…. The things that go through their heads lately just amazed and entertain me. They understand SO much about the world now and will come up with these obscure thoughts and ideas that make me aware of the fact that they know much more than I think they do all the time. Someone told me recently… “Kids are a trip!” And I smile and think of that saying often when my kids amuse me…. And when they are tugging on that very last shred of my sanity and try SO hard to remind myself of that saying. Onto the pictures.

Continued from last post… pictures of the Turtle Race in Nisswa that we went to a while back. These were taken by a friend (Shawna) and I love the picture of MacKay showing no fear holding his little turtle waiting to race him.

Had to share scans of the Father’s Day cards the kids made for Chris. The boys even cut out their own hand prints (you can see bits of the black line they followed). And they did a pretty good job with their names again too.

I just love this picture of Evie… shows her little attitude. I had built this (and pretty proud of it) out of the kids’ Wedgits and she was DYING to knock it over and I pleaded that she not do so until I took a picture…. So she pouted until she could finally do it.

Evie nestled in with Gpa and Gma for a family movie night (and books) …. Even with Baby Libby. MacKay and Oscar got nice and comfy for the movie too…. Despicable Me of course.

MacKay and Oscar getting in some reading time with Gma and Gpa.

The kiddos first dragon flies …. Oscar was pretty proud, Evie wasn’t at all fearful of sticking her face right into the cage to check them out, and MacKay wanted to let them go just seconds after I would catch each of them.

Just a picture of our house… for those of you who haven’t seen what it looks like since the remodel. I had my zoom lens on my camera and couldn’t fit in the detached garage… but this gives you the gist.

The boys being silly on Daddy’s tractor… Oscar couldn’t be coaxed into sucking that HUGE Gene Simmons tongue back into his mouth.


Evie admiring and trying to reach sky high to reach the big bubbles Daddy was making

Making and chasing after bubbles…. MacKay was a bubble popping machine

OUR VISIT WITH THE MACKAYS [Uncle Denny, Aunt Sandy, Shannon and Cameron)
From the minute that they all walked in they (the adults) were barraged with books upon books upon books.

LOVE this picture…. Evie has roped Uncle Denny into helping her make a wardrobe change for Baby Libby.

Gpa “Skitch” MacKay would have LOVED this picture

More Leapster fun …. MacKay is a Leapster playing fool – specifically with Dinosaur Dig which he is fantastic at. He’s already won the game once and has almost finished his 2nd round. Even Evie's trying to play the Leapster (though Oscar wasn't about to let that happen). And Oscar showing off his Lik’en (Lightening) and Mater cars he got from Gma Chris.

Evie and her favorite thing to play lately….. Cootie.

NEW BIG BOY BIKES …. Though they still like their trikes too

Daddy’s little baseball players – showing Oscar the ropes… but it quickly turned into slow pitch

MacKay swinging and admiring some more dragon flies and Oscar mastering the climbing wall on the swing set.

Swinging with Daddy

The Williams boys (Jackson, Wyatt and Tucker) and Shawna came over to play in the pool and have popsicles on a nice hot summer day.

Evie having her first popsicle ever… of course it was OWN-J (orange) her new favorite color.

Well that about does it ... should have some stuff soon from July 4th.  Have a safe one and come back soon.