Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hello... Jenny??

All four kids love talking on the phone. For the youngest two, it is the play phone that gives them the most thrills. We have several play phones but their favorite seems to be an old blue Fisher Price phone (that I think Steve found at Once Upon a Child).

But here's the best part about that phone...check out the number - 867-5309.
I wonder if Tommy Tutone gets royalties?! Of course, Steve and I like to break into the song when we see the number - how can you not when you see that number? However, I have informed the boys that not one of them is to ever call "Jenny." They just stare at me blankly... sigh...one day we will have that conversation again I am sure.

Ethan takes even his play phone conversations seriously... here he is on the phone with the Justice League (of which you know he is a part) discussing the most current emergency and what they all will do to resolve it (I am not kidding!). Thus the serious face as he is giving his advice.
Steve and I laugh endlessly over Ethan's many faces. The raised eyebrow is a signature Ethan face... for serious discussions... usually of the super hero nature.
"Ganoculars" (aka binoculars) - a necessary accessory for every super hero!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Collin's creative bucket...

Collin loves to get into the large bucket of mega bloks. As a matter of fact, it's the only place he will actually build with them. We can only assume he gets his creative juices from becoming one with the mega bloks.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Giddy Up Horsie... er... Zebra!

Oliver, our bouncy boy, loves one of their new toys - the bouncing Zebra. He loves to get on it and go crazy... and the funniest is when he throws his head back (and rolls his eyes back) like in this video. Sometimes he also makes this hilarious laugh/funny noise at the same time, but unfortunately didn't in this video. He just cracks us up!

Collin on the other hand is not too sure about this zebra yet, but is slowly warming up. We had put him on it for this video... and he promptly got off. He much prefers to walk up and play with it, not get on it. Ha!

video video

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another Ethanism from the nether region...

Krissy told us that there was yet another story of Ethan's, similar in nature, that was her favorite and that we should include for the laughter of all. Okay, is it sad that so many have favorite stories of Ethan's surrounding this subject??! Ha!

This story is from a year ago. Ethan came downstairs after his nap and at the time Steve and I were busy with the twins. They were still in the more hands-on, high maintenance stage and Oliver still had eating issues then as well. At any rate, since we were tied up with them, we forgot to change Ethan out of his pull-up and into his underwear (this was the just recently potty-trained period). About a half hour had passed and Steve realized this. He said to Ethan, "Did you pee pee in your diaper buddy?" Ethan replied , "Just a little bit, but I can live with it."

Check out the Elvis lip!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ethanisms...

***The following content is for mature audiences only. Reader discretion is advised.***

Okay for all intents and purposes we are now at present day. Being such, we HAVE to share an Ethanism from a week ago...

Erin, the babysitter, called me at work last week to tell me this story. She said Ethan came down stairs after being down for nap only 15 minutes saying his pull-up had "poop" in it. Ms. Erin said, “Ethan why didn’t you go use the potty?” Ethan said, “Ms. Erin, I didn’t do it, MY BUTT did!”

(Ethan has been using the big boy potty since he was three, but at nap time and bed time he wears a pull-up as he isn’t quite trained to wake up to use the bathroom.)

Ethan being Ethan...

Of course as much as Steve and I (and other people I told) thought that was funny, Steve said that is not his favorite. Instead this is…

Ethan is… well, a gassy child. Needless to say, he has been able to say “Excuse me” since he was 18 months old - honestly! We have never really called that action/noise anything but just to say ‘excuse me.’ At any rate, just before he was two years old he said this in response to one rather gassy night: “Excuse me. Boy my butt sure has a lot of burps tonight!” And it’s stuck to this day!

Okay, so maybe it’s a parent thing… but WE think it’s hilarious!

"Dude..."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Still time traveling... December 2008!

I'm going to just give you all a big gimme right from the start...
Go ahead... laugh... we did! Funnier yet if you click on it to enlarge and get the best view. The only people somewhat happy with this photo are Lauren and Santa! It was a rough morning... the boys, as it turned out, didn't feel well. Oliver, our 'I LOVE any and all people' child, freaked out (thus the blanket) and the other two boys look like they... well... you can see for yourselves. To add to it, though we got there very early and were only the sixth family in line, Santa was 20 minutes late and the line was about...oh... 60 families long! Needless to say he walked into a mass of stressed out parents (which included me) who had used every tactic they had to occupy their children. I can only assume that this also stressed him out because he was just about anything but patient with our family... and poor little Ethan who was trying to form his thoughts (not fast enough for Santa) on what gifts he wanted. Jolly old elf he was not! In the end though, it's a funny photo for laughs throughout the years! Ha!

This is a photo from Ethan's Christmas play at preschool. They are singing a song in this photo. It was pretty cute. Ethan was so excited about it that he asked me every morning (for three weeks!) if it was the day of his play.

Collin and Oliver just chilling and reading some books a couple days before Christmas...

Christmas Day!!!!! You'll find out quickly, if you haven't already, that we have not been able to get all our children looking at the camera (or the vicinity) AND smiling at the same time. Each group shot is one of 50 (at least) in attempts to get the perfect shot... and well, it ain't gonna happen here folks! This was after all presents were unwrapped. I guess two smiling and somewhat looking is good... right? Check out that cheeser smile on Collin!!
Another attempt later in the day with Grandma Dee... and two VERY tired twins!

It's a bird... it's a plane...it's Super E...defender of justice...and here to save the world! Or as he tells us - "Just doing my job!" Ethan in his new Super E costume from Grammy Dee (which he was sporting in the first blog post of him singing - though it was a different day).

Collin and Ethan just relaxing Christmas day on one of the twins' new bean bag chairs.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The big FOUR!!!!

Ethan Alexander's fourth birthday… seriously, how is he four already?!

We had two parties this year, one small family party on his birthday (Nov. 29) and then a neighborhood party the following week. The theme was Rescue Heroes (for both), which are a line of action figures that Fisher Price used to make but discontinued (though daddy knows where to find all this stuff). They are just every day heroes – firefighters, police, construction workers, astronauts, life guards, etc. Ethan’s favorite is Billy Blazes (yes, they all have fun names like that) the fireman. I was able to get a local cake shop to do a likeness of a few characters and it turned out very cute. Here is the one from his family party:
Billy Blazes is the guy in the middle, which Ethan insisted on having for his piece.

Ethan with his best buddy Isaac (his cousin).
Here are some photos from the neighborhood party. Since the theme was Rescue Heroes I called the local fire station and police station to come to his party (I found tips on-line that said they do this sort of thing all the time – and what do you know, they do and enjoy it as well). Of course, it ended up being the first snow of the year and it was quite a snow fall at that! The following day it warmed up by 20 degrees, all the snow melted and it was beautiful… but we plan for outside activities and we get a blizzard?! They all had fun…even though they were freezing!

The firemen were super nice (and super cute, um... not that I noticed ... Krissy pointed it out, yes, it was Krissy!) They let the kids crawl all over the firetruck and gave them fire helmets. Here are some of the kids in front of the firetruck:
The policeman was late due to all the calls regarding accidents (because of the freak snow!), but he was so nice to still come. He let Ethan sit in his seat, pretend to drive, turn on ALL his sirens (there are a few and they are very loud!), turn on his lights and all sorts of other things. It was very neat! He put Ethan up on his car for the photos - which Ethan thought that was great!

Here are some photos of what turned into snow play after the fire truck:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Still time traveling... November 2008...

We're almost through the year to present time! I hope you are enjoying the journey...

Look what the stork dropped on our front porch!! They came clothed, out of the formula years and sleeping at least six hours (okay, more like four but whose counting) at night! Woo hoo! Actually, they dumped out their toys from this basket and crawled in it. Too cute not to take photos of...

Ethan made this in preschool. Erin, the babysitter, tried to get them all to put it on so she could take photos but only Oliver would. And what a ham he was!

Thanksgiving! Amazingly enough, I remembered my camera but not so surprising I forgot to take photos of the twins eating their first Thanksgiving meal (since last year they were too young) or much of anything else that day! But I did catch this... which was priceless. Amy (Steve's sister) had set up this small table for Ethan, Isaac, Victoria and Nicholas. They had a couple bowls of chex mix on the table, which remained once dinner was cleared. Collin found it immediately and next thing you know we look over and he is shoveling it in... and knowing that it isn't going to last (his sneaking food)... This is him caught red handed! "Whathf? I don't have anythingfh in my mouthff!" (look at the chipmunk cheeks!)
Gobble, gobble! Ethan and I made a "fruit gobbler" for Thanksgiving! He put the cheese cubes and grapes on the scewers and then we put them into the turkey (er melon) together.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Still time traveling... Halloween 2008

Now we're up to Halloween 2008!

The kids were as follows:

*Ethan was Captain America (complete with shield)

*Collin was Pooh Bear (fitting since he is a big pooh bear)

*Oliver was Tigger (fitting since he came out bouncy and in constant movement... and remains that way even to this day)

*Lauren went in pjs with curlers in her hair (though she and her friend Claire helped us pass out candy, then went to the movies) - Claire was a goth person - which she normally is not

Here are some photos of the kids in costume:
We went with the neighborhood kids (less one family who had other plans). Here is a photo of most of them:
This photo (above) cracks me up because it depicts the twins perfectly. Oliver has a big smile and is like "oh boy, this is going to be fun!" and Collin has a concerned look like "what are you doing to me?!" Ha!

The twins visited just our court and then I took them home to Steve for baths. : )

Also, so you know that I am not a complete child abuser - Ethan did dump out all his candy and sort through it lovingly. I told him that he could pick out two pieces for the next day, one for after lunch and one for after dinner. He picked twizzlers and smartees (I know, no chocolate??!). The next day after lunch he ate the twizzlers, and thoroughly enjoyed them - for those of you who haven't been around Ethan eating a cherished sweet, he is quiet, focused and in pure Nirvana (as Grammy Kathy says). But by dinner, he forgot about the other piece. As a matter of fact, he forgot about it altogether for like a week (and I wasn't going to remind him - would you?!)! By then, dad and sissy had eaten most of it (of course Ethan doesn't know that... shhhhh!). Now, again, I have loosened up... check out this donut he got on Halloween night (which is why I really didn't want him to have a piece of candy that night... and he was fine with it)! Krispy Kreme! Oh yes, a pumpkin raised donut. No creme in the middle, just the frosting on top. Look at his face... says it all. : )

By the way, I FINALLY figured out how to load the photos so that you can click on them (within the postings) to see an enlarged image (a better view) of the photos. So, you should be able to click on any of these images to do that.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back to time traveling... Homecoming 2008...

Back to time traveling... now to October 2008, specifically Oct. 11th.

Here are some photos of Lauren and her friend Brooke at their first homecoming! Yes, only 14 year old. Yes, we know they look beautiful. Yes, we're wondering where the years went and how we got here too. Yes, we are worried! : )



They got ready here and I was lucky enough to be selected to do their hair. Now, you all know I like to do that kind of thing but I have to tell you when it came down to it, I was a little nervous. I mean they were high school girls now and this was a big day and I didn't want to screw it up! They told me they wanted spiral curls. No problem, any of us who were teenagers (or early 20's even) in the late 80's know what spiral curls are and how to make them (or pay lots of money for perms for them - but that's a different story!). But then she says, "you know - beach wavy." "Um, beach wavy???" I say. At this point Brooke is laughing (presumably at me) and Lauren is launching into specific details. At the same time, sweat is gathering on my brow - more pressure! So, we did a test area on Brooke's hair, they liked it and wala all was great (1 1/2 hours later - they have a lot of hair)!

Most importantly, they had a great time!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Present day concerns...

"Back and with a vengeance..."

My intent for this site is to chronicle the kid's lives and help extend out to family and friends we don't see often... okay, and to hopefully make you laugh in the process as well!

However, today I am having a hard time posting what I intended (and that I prepared last week in my free time so that I could keep up with this blogging thing!) because I received some very bad news from a friend. Today, I think I want to deviate and reach out to all of you in a different way. I want to ask all of you to pray, send good thoughts, and hold my friend (Jennifer), her husband (Jeremie), her almost two year old son (Darren) and most importantly her three and a half year old son (Matthew) - whose cancer just found its way back into his little body - in your hearts and thoughts.

I shared this story with many of you last year. His chemo treatments ended in August 2008 with his Stem Cell Rescue (transplant) in July - right after his third birthday. He has progressively been recovering, seemingly doing well and looking great. In an MRI today they discovered that there was a new tumor - cancer - and that it had also spread to his spinal fluid this time - "back and with a vengeance." Tomorrow morning they leave for Disney, thanks to the Make a Wish Foundation (I am so glad they decided to still go. I hope their visit to the Magic Kingdom is truly magical!). Next Wednesday he has another MRI, but of his spine this time to determine the extent. After that, it looks like radiation at the James (Children's is not equipped for that).

Matthew the survivor at the Relay for Life in June 2008

Matthew this last Christmas 2008 - looking fabulous!

I am, we all are, devastated by this news. How can I help? What can I do? I guess that brings me to this post and maybe a way I can help... maybe a way you all can help too... never underestimate the power of prayer and good thoughts. Embracing people we may not even know, yet who need us so badly, in our hearts and thoughts. Here is Matthew's website.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Still time traveling... September 2008

Moving on to September... not as much... but still good stuff...

Apple picking! That is something that has now become a yearly tradition for us. This photo is from our first time this season, which was Labor day. Fortunately this year the apples were bursting off the tree (unlike last year) and we found an awesome orchard that is fairly close. Though it was drizzling rain that day, we still had fun. They had a new apple called Sweet Sixteen which was very sweet and VERY good.
Ethan's fist day of preschool. I was really nervous about how this would go since during orientation the week before he spent almost the entire time with his head under my sweater. Yes, he was basically attached to my body, with his head under my sweater and his hands holding it tightly around his neck. Sigh... However as you see, when the first day came, he was very excited! As I was getting everyone up, dressed, fed and ready (which was interesting), Ethan kept telling me to hurry. Then he reminded me of everything we needed - paperwork, lunch, backpack and monkey. He was a big helper.

They were to bring a favorite toy to share and he chose daddy's monkey from when he was a little boy - Mumpket Jr. You'll also notice his lunch box, which he picked out himself - Superman - no surprise there! : )

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Time traveling... August 2008

There are just too many moments from the last six months not to share...

**bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop** (=> time travel sound of course!)
Come with me to August 2008...

Ethan learned how to ride his bike! Forever the pedal motion just stumped him and he is a "quick to move on" kind of kid. So, we got braces that fit on the pedals and basically Velcro your feet so they stay in place (we got the idea from a friend)... and wala it worked! He only needed the braces for a week! He was SO proud of himself! He said to me "I KNEW I could do it mom!" (yes, I shed a tear of pride and joy!) Of course he went from 0 to 100... in that we had to then run after him as he liked to pedal as fast as he could from that point on.
Naked playing... (come on... I had to!) :)


The big ONE! The twins first birthday. On their birthday I treated them to carrot muffins after dinner (what?! they are only one - they thought they were good!) - Collin liked his more than Oliver. Does anyone see the difference in how the hats fit?? Hee, hee.

The twins first haircuts! Mind you Ethan was 15 months when he got his first one and at that hair cutter said "seriously, if I cut his hair he will be bald!" Granted, he didn't have much hair but there was definitely some mullet action happening in the back at that point. Anyhow, the twins did pretty well. Oliver had much more than Collin to remove, which completely changed his look! Aren't they cute?


Ethan's first stitches - seven!! Dancing with Lauren in the living room to some music and fell into the coffee table (the living room is not as child proof as the family room I guess... and Ethan takes after mommy... a bit of a klutz!). I learned an important piece of information that day... the capillaries in your head tend to... well... there's no other way to say this... they shoot out blood and LOTS of it. So, maybe next time this happens (I have three boys... it's gonna happen again!), I won't freak out quite as much. At any rate, the photo below is hilarious and shows what a ham he is... that and it was 10 pm by the time we got back home, the Children's urgent care gave him a Popsicle (which as you know he never gets) and I think he was just delirious from the entire event overall. :)
Twins... er... thing one and thing two that is... birthday party... yes, it's REAL cake! (because of copyright laws, thing one and thing two could only resemble them but not be exact) Again, Collin liked it better than Oliver... check out the difference in the aftermath.

Lauren's first day of high school... can you believe it?! She seems to like it and is enjoying life as a teenager...er... shopping at the mall and going to the movies with her friends, but without parents following them! : )

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Collin's new trick...

Last week Collin started a new trick... flipping over the rail into Oliver's crib! OH YES, we are so happy about that! : ) As some of you know, due to the size and layout of the room (door, window, closet), the only way to put their cribs is side by side. So, Collin has discovered this new ability (the cribs have been side by side from birth), which leads to tens of visits (from us) to their room at nap and bedtime to retrieve him. Fun! He, of course, thinks it's hilarious. Oliver thinks it's fun too, most of the time, but sometimes he wants to just sleep and gets very irritated with Collin. Last night when I was at the store, and I wish Steve got this on video, Steve walked in on them "dancing" together. Oliver was behind Collin with his hands on Collin's shoulders and both were just bee bopping. Steve said he swears if they could talk they would have said "Hey Dad, what's up?" Ha!

Here's a documented flip from today's nap...
video

Mind you, this is the kid that can't walk unassisted (though he has been walking along furniture since late summer). He CAN get up on the sofas, he CAN get on the end tables, he CAN get into their GIANT tote of mega blocks (which is the place he likes to build with them - sitting in them), and he has been a few weeks gross motor behind Oliver the entire time (and Oliver can't do this), BUT he can NOT yet walk on his own. I'm telling you, this is foreshadowing for that is to come once he CAN walk!

Now, I am sure some of you are thinking "well, at least it wasn't to the floor" and certainly that has been on our minds all week. Graciously Collin brought that thought (er... fear) to reality yesterday. Erin, our babysitter, said she walked in just as Collin was heading over the side HEAD first and FORTUNATELY flipped on the way down and landed on his rear on the floor. She said he cried until she picked him up, which was momentarily, then he laughed. Sigh... Needless to say, we are investigating crib nets. If anyone has any advice, please share. They are too young for toddler beds yet, so... netting him in is all we can think to do.

Friday, January 9, 2009

These feet were made for walking...er... running!

Oliver just started walking a couple weeks ago. Well, maybe four weeks ago now, but it was a few steps, then he would fall, then crawl (at lightening speed... seriously if I took a photo it would just be a little blur of a body!). But right before Christmas he really got good at walking and it became his preferred method of traveling! And now, well, he can practically run! He also squats, turns, and all kinds of fun tricks.

Below is a video of him when he is just getting started walking (the Sunday before Christmas) - I didn't notice until after I was done that his pants were falling off (he's so tiny everything falls right off his hips! so it's some pretty good walking considering!). One cute note about Oliver, when he is playing or walking or whatever, he will come up to you at random moments (frequently) and lay his head on you and gently pat you with his hand... then off he goes. So, at the end of this video, he comes up to my legs, lays his head against them and pats me (you can't really see it but that is what he is doing). Cute huh?

video

Now, Collin is still not walking though at least showing some interest now. The physical therapist said that she thinks he will be walking by the end of the month (he tends to run a few weeks behind Oliver in gross motor so far).

In some ways it's easier to have them walking (at least thinking back to when Ethan was a baby) but in some ways I am SCARED... VERY SCARED! Three very mobile young ones? Um... um... hmmmmmm. : )

OH... and this is an overall disclaimer (for all posts now and future!)... we have three young kids and our family room looks like romper room... so please forgive any messes you might see in photos and video!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Life in the blog lane...

Wow, I think I have just jumped head first into the 20th century... I'm blogging!! What, we're in the 21st century?! Sigh...

I guess I need to start in present day, though I have six months of photos to share with you! I may add them here (and let you travel back in time with me), or I might just load them to Shutterfly albums and email them to you. There are some good photos over the last six months!

So, I'll just start with some recent funny video from Sunday. This is Ethan in his new Super E outfit from Grammy Dee (less the mask and gloves which he had removed moments before) singing on his new keyboard (I had to record it, it was too funny). I am not sure where the lyrics came from or the fact that he is now Super Grumpy Bear (he loves Care Bears, among many other things)... we just let Ethan be Ethan. Of course, I do know where the dance moves came from... and it starts with a D and ends with a D and has a A in the middle (or is it an "AHHHHH" - when you see the moves... or maybe it's a HAAAAA!?!). :)

video
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