Monday, May 31, 2010

Turkey dinner?

The other day, while Ethan and his friend Christopher were swinging they had a discussion about a field trip Ethan went on. It went something like this:

Ethan: Guess what Christopher?! On our field trip we saw a REAL Pilgrim house!

Christopher: I've seen one of those too. Were the Pilgrims home?

Ethan: No, they died a long time ago.

Christopher: What was in the house then?

Ethan: Nothing, it was just a house. It was made of wood logs, can you believe that?!

Christopher: Pilgrims ate turkeys for dinner, did you know that?

Ethan: Yes, they hunted them I think.

Christopher: Hey, let's go hunt a turkey for dinner!

Ethan: OKAY!! Mom, we're going to hunt a turkey for dinner!!!

And off they went, with the twins in tow, hunting wild turkeys... in our backyard... armed with a few plastic golf clubs and the bottom of a tee ball stand (it was arched... like a bow, of course). Needless to say, we didn't have turkey for dinner, but they did find an "empty turkey nest" to show Ms. Judy (Christopher's mom) and me. So close, but yet...

Homing in on the wild turkeys in the "woods."

Discovery of the empty turkey nest. You can't see it well here, but Collin has turned around to yell the discovery back to me. "MOM umpty urkee nes!"

Running back to take us to their find...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ethan's last day of preschool...

FOREVER. *sniff, sniff*

I honestly cannot believe my little baby boy will be heading to kindergarten next year. Time goes so quickly.

Here are a couple photos with his room teachers and his music teacher. His gym, art and Spanish teachers weren't there unfortunately.
Ethan with his classroom teachers

Ethan with his music teacher. He really liked her. He liked all his teachers actually, but he loves music and she did so many fun things with them everyday... and you can tell by his perfect (and REAL) smile in every photo with her... not his norm cheese ball smile.

I took time off so that I could pick him up on this momentous occasion, as his request was that I take him to lunch (so I also picked him up early because normally they eat lunch right before pick up). We went to an Italian restaurant in uptown that he had just been on a field trip to that week (they got to make pizzas), so he was excited to show me. Then he said, "What would really make my day perfect would be if we could get some ice cream." And so we did, as there is a Graeters conveniently located across the street from where we were... obviously he planned all this.

He got strawberry chocolate chip and proclaimed it was the best ever, most wonderful ice cream he had ever had. Of course that is standard talk when he has ice cream in hand.

See... the face... in all the ice cream photos. Sigh... Maybe if his music teacher was sitting there...

(and yes, in case you are wondering, we have ice cream issues going on... we hadn't been for ice cream more than once or twice a year for years and then the last few months... well... I blame Jeni's... It's just a really good thing there aren't any close to us... not that I haven't emailed asking them to consider opening a store around here or anything...)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Collin's addiction

We are currently in search of a 12 step program for Collin and his addiction... to raisins. You laugh, but it's serious. He can sniff them out and find them anywhere. He can eat them all day long. He has a huge fit if you try to stop him. His will is strong, but his willpower is weak. And by his will is strong, I mean he's a very strong little dude and if he wants it he'll find a way to get it through both will and shear strength.

We've known of this problem for a while, as Easter gave us some tell-tale signs when he slyly took all the raisin boxes from his brothers, gathered them up in a pile and kissed them refusing to let any out of his sight or possession.

He had an episode recently during one of Ethan's soccer games. There were some small raisin boxes packed in the diaper bag, along with other snacks, which he found. Once he finished his container of snack we brought for him, he went to the diaper bag and I heard a loud (signature) gasp. He had found a box of raisins. He ran around with it, got up in the chair and promptly started shoving them in, enjoying them immensely. Then he was off to the diaper bag again and before I knew it he had another box... and another... At that, I closed the diaper bag tight. However, when we were talking to Ethan during a break, Collin quietly went to the bag, figured out how to open it and got more raisins. Once we realized it and went to get them from him, he darted... dropping raisins. But that doesn't stop him. No, he'll eat them off the ground if you aren't quick enough. Other than the obvious dirt, the other issue with that is: the soccer field is a park, where people bring their dogs... for walks... and other small animals... like rabbits... live... need I say more?

My neighbor, Kris, told me the other day that, when the kids were over there with Ms. Erin, she had issues with Collin and raisins. Apparently she served that as one of the snack items for all the kids, but could not get Collin to stop eating them. I believe she said "I had a problem with Collin and raisins..." His addiction is no longer behind closed doors...

Hi, my name is Collin and I am a raisinholic.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"My Mother" by Ethan

For Mother's Day, Ethan's preschool had the kids do several different art projects for us. One of them was entitled "My Mother" and had a few descriptive things about us as well as an illustration by our children. The teachers read these aloud to us during circle time, but waited until all the descriptive sentences had been read until they said who each was.

Here is what Ethan had to say about me:
Do you see that?!! I am 18 years old!!! Woo hoo!!! That means I had him when I was 13, but who cares... I'm 18 to him! Of course, in his mind 18 is old... but he still thinks daddy is older! I laughed when I saw that I "watch football on TV." Since we really try to limit TV, he never really sees what I watch. The only time he sees me watching TV is in the fall when we have football on.
As you can imagine, there were some funny answers by the other kids. Two of the ones that stick in my head were of two separate moms and referred to what they drink. One was "mommy drinks" (decoded = wine) and another was "beer." Those moms turned beet red.

I can't wait to see what the daddy versions look like. They already did them and the teachers said that they almost had some very interesting answers when they were asking for daddy's name - the teacher actually phrased it like this "what does your mommy call your daddy?" and the other teacher promptly said "Uh, maybe we shouldn't ask it in quite that way..." I would have loved to hear those answers though!

Here is the illustration of me that Ethan drew. Though I love it, I kind of look like a man...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Reason 1,035 why you shouldn't label "that mom"...

Before I had kids... especially before I had twins... I always said that I would not be "that mom." "That mom" was labeled many ways in my mind and went along with the statement: "I'll never do/say/act/etc. (fill in with any number of things I thought obnoxious before I was a mom) when I am a mom." As I have noted before, never say never. Never.

Saturday night, I was "that mom." While Steve and Ethan were at a pool party, I took the twins out on a couple short errands. Our first stop was Kohls, I just needed to look at a couple things. Unfortunately, Erin had our stroller and Kohls does not have carts. So, what could go wrong with twin two year old boys who are foot loose and fancy free? I'll tell you: Collin. That little turkey let go of my hand and darted as soon as we walked through the doors. I calmly started the "Collin, please stop. Collin, stop now. Collin... Collin... Collin..." as Oliver and I went after him. Collin merely turned to us with a huge smile and a loud giggle, then as we were within feet of him, he darted again. "Collin, get back here. Collin, I'm serious. Collin... Collin... Collin..." Oliver was practically on the floor laughing at this point as he thought it was hilarious, which only fed Collin's drive. Once I caught him, he had a little time out as I tried to discuss with him the severity of the behavior. I made him repeat "I no run" and agree five different ways not to run "otay mommy." (Oliver continued to giggle - he's a gigglier anyhow - but this did not help)

We started out okay, then it started again. I even tried having them sit on the floor, while I looked at something, which they did... then Collin race crawled off. Fast. Oliver said: "where did Collin go?" Huh?!! "Collin? Collin... Collin... Collin.... Collin...Collin..." Another time out. Another agreement, this one involving "no ice cream if this continues." I thought that would work, Collin is all about food. He seemed rattled by the no ice cream threat. But he's two, it didn't last.

In fact, it continued... five more times. Yes, I ended the trip short. Those five more times happened on the way out of the store. "Collin get back here. Collin... okay no ice cream... Collin... Collin... Collin... I'm serious Collin..." To top it off, Oliver decided (after a laughing fit over Collin's antics dropped him to his knees) to remain on the floor and crawl out... very slowly. If you haven't gotten that picture in your head yet, one is running fast ahead of me and the other is crawling slowly behind me. I swear to you, SWEAR, that I saw them quickly exchange "thumbs up" as if to say "good one! I think she's officially crazy now... messing with mom is so much fun! Mission completion."

When we finally all made it to the door to leave, well all of us but my sanity which was lost somewhere in the store... or years before... who really knows, they had a single stroller cart at the door (which there were none of when we walked in). And though they have always held our hands in parking lots, I grabbed that cart and promptly strapped Collin in, tightly, and held Oliver's hand as we went to the car. They giggled the entire time. No doubt still humored by their antics.

Lessons learned (after all, you always need a take away):

  • Never go to stores that have no shopping carts without the twins pre-strapped down in the stroller.

  • Two year olds live in the moment. They do what makes them happy or what makes their twin brother turn red and fall over giggling.

  • Never say never. Never label "that mom."

  • What worked for your first singleton, at two years of age, definitely won't work for twin two year olds.

  • Never believe a two year old when they say "I no run." and agree by saying: "otay mommy." As cute as it is, it's likely they are just lying to you... okay, it wasn't malicious, refer back to three bullets previous.

  • Who says child leashes are ridiculous? Maybe there is something to be said for them.

  • These situations are clearly the origin of gray hair. I swear eighteen more sprouted in our short 20 minutes inside Kohls, and those are just the ones I could see.

  • This is also why wine was created. I'm convinced.

  • Never threaten "no ice cream"... because after a shopping trip like that... who was I fooling? I wanted it more than them. Mommy needed a special treat... in lieu of the wine that was hours off yet. Yes, mommy has a small addiction to Jeni's ice cream...

  • Jeni's ice cream makes everyone/everything better. However, do not savor such delicacies, instead just inhale it. The twins came at me with their spoons and their mouths open like baby birds once each of their cups were empty.

Which brings me to a new thought: I think in the future I might stop at Jeni's first and then lead them through our errands like the pied piper... I am sure they would have stuck close to me if that was the case. Maybe it would save some gray hair, sanity and less stories being told like: "tonight at Kohls, there was one of those moms that was chasing her kid, Collin, all over the place. I know his name because she said it about 10,001 times... I swear, when I am a mom, I'll never..."

Live and learn... and don't label "that mom"... because it's probably me...

Loving their Wildberry Lavender ice cream.

Collin after Collin cleaned his cup, he was wanting my Mango Lassi and Riesling Poached Pear. Which I gave both of them because they are so darn cute and quite honestly, I didn't want to add a complete meltdown to the night at that point.

Oliver kept taking a bite, then leaning back in his chair, tipping his head back and just thoroughly enjoying his ice cream... as if it was a euphoric experience for him.

Oliver smiling for me... but if you look close you will see an empty cup sitting next to Oliver's, which is also no longer in his possession. That is Collin moving in to fill up his then empty cup from Oliver's. That did NOT go over well with Oliver. At that point, mine became community property.

Worn out after running wild in Kohls, making mom more wacko than she was, and having bellies full of Jeni's ice cream:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Inner geeks?

Saturday was free comic book day, so Steve loaded up all the boys and went. Though I am not a huge fan of these literary works (and the ads in them), there are some battles that... well... And, after all, I did get to power grocery shop with no kids. Woo hoo! (I'm one wild and crazy girl)

Steve took these shots of the boys reading their comics. Oliver and Ethan could sit for hours paging through them, pointing out superheroes and discussing the plots. They are way more into them than Collin.
As a matter of fact, Collin looks like he is giving the toddler version of the Loser sign to his dad. Little does he know that, while in the womb, he gave his daddy the "live long and prosper" hand sign during one of the ultrasounds (much to my dismay). He's a geek like the rest of them... he just hasn't embraced it yet.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Holy cow... that's MY boy!

I think I mentioned before that Ethan is not really huge on sports. He is very timid, except with his younger brothers of course. He isn't very competitive at all, again except with his younger brothers. He is usually very shy, searching for his place in the group. He is a lot like mommy, just likes to blend in and follow the pack. Sometimes he is more so like all of this than others, depending on how tired he is, what time of day it is, if he's hungry or full, his mood and the list goes on. Just like many other five year old really. And that's okay. We just want him to have fun and experience working together as a team.

Tonight, though, at his soccer game we saw pockets of timid, non-competitive, shy Ethan and bursts of Ethan on fire (usually it's vice versa). I was in awe as my little boy ran to defend the goal many times (they don't play with goal keepers usually, so he kept running ahead to defend the goal), kicked the ball away from the other team numerous times, assisted his team members and, oh yea, DROVE THE BALL DOWN THE FIELD FOR A GOAL ON THE LAST PLAY! And let me tell you, I was a cheering loud mommy instincts-in-over-drive soccer mom... okay... with a big mouth (I'll own it). Wow. W.O.W.!

He wasn't always successful at blocking the goal, but he tried really hard and did it by himself (without someone telling him to). He didn't always get the ball away from the other team, but he tried hard and was successful sometimes. He only made it down to the goal once, by himself or assisted, where he was successful in getting it in, but he really tried. He had the spirit. He had drive. He gave it his best effort. I couldn't have been prouder.

His smile consumed his little face. He was glowing proud. He believed in himself.

What an awesome game. What a great night.

Oh, and the twins stayed on the sidelines so Steve and I actually got to see the entire game and all of Ethan's rocking proud moments.

The after the game piece of fresh Strawberry Rhubarb pie from his favorite pie maker, Sue, at Sue's Kitchen (which means, woo hoo, the farmer's market opened for the season today!)... complete with his goofy photo face.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Are you ready for some T-ball?!

Yes, you read that right. Ethan is in t-ball AND soccer. Since I recently posted an article on our mothers of twins blog about "over-parenting" and this sort of over-scheduling was one of the topics... I feel the need to say that this was not planned. Though I am guilty of the "Brain Food for Kids" cookbook they listed, I am definitely not an over-scheduler. Ethan decided the night before registration, after over-hearing two of his neighborhood friends discussing it, that he too wanted to sign up. Steve said we needed to give him the chance to play it too, despite the over-scheduling issue. So here we are. Right now we are in four week over-lap hell. Meaning three hour long t-ball practices a week and two soccer games a week. I keep thinking about how we will live in the van when the twins start sports!

Tonight was a t-ball practice night and I took him. T-ball is a hard sport for this age. Harder than soccer where you are spending most of your time and energy chasing a ball. There is very little downtime. In t-ball, especially when you are just learning and instruction is being given to others, there is A LOT of downtime. Read: time to get bored and loose focus. Read further: sit on the ground, draw in the dirt and throw your glove up in the air and behind you... all during play. Here's the other difference I learned as I sat with the dads of the two neighbor friends, you don't yell encouragements or corrections to your son during t-ball like you do during soccer. One of the dads, Mike, coached his oldest son a while ago and told me, 'you just need to let the coaches handle it.' That is way harder than it sounds... for a second season soccer mom... okay, maybe it has nothing to do with soccer and more to do with my mommy instincts... AND my big mouth. (was that just a collective nod I sensed?)

Ethan definitely struggled, but some of that is he has never had interest in t-ball/baseball before so he doesn't understand what he needs to do. We have two awesome coaches. I'm not kidding, these guys are very serious, focused, driven, knowledgeable and great with these young kids. I was shocked by how different it is than soccer. It's good because there is no doubt Ethan will really learn some fundamentals, but still surprising because they are only five years old (is that the mommy thing again?!).

Camera phone images...

My little dirt drawer

I think he'll get the hang of it soon. He smiled a lot and seemed to enjoy it, and that is really all that matters.
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