Thursday, April 29, 2010

Luke's turn...

There's one quarter left in what could be the Blazer's last game of the season. I'm watching with that tight stomach that I get during playoff basketball, and if I don't distract myself a little, I find that I take it all too seriously. So, it time for me to give a little update on Luke at almost 2 and a half. Here goes:

- He continues to be our little comedian. He knows it. And he denies it vehemently with a scrunched up face, nasal voice proclaiming, "I not funny. I not funny guys." We can't stop laughing.

- Favorite expressions are "Holy guacamole!", "Mama, I gonna tell you sumpin (something)..." and "It's dark in my eyes"(meaning the light is off in the room he wants to enter).

- He's quite the little brute. Between being in a class of 9 boys and 1 girl at school and having an older brother, he is certain to hold his own in a wrestling match or hanging onto a toy. We're constantly working on "gentle touches". Temper tantrums are happening more often, and are accompanied by swinging arms - we're working on it.

- He loves to be outside, just like Max. He wants desperately to be able to ride a bike, and loves to play ball. Favorite toys are always soccer or footballs.

- He's still a mama's boy in a big way. He asks to cuddle constantly, and wants to be in the same room I am in ALL the time. Dinner is often made with him at my elbow, and he would climb into bed with us every morning, if given the chance.

- Almost every morning he wakes with a smile on his face. He loves the early hours, and NEVER sleeps past about 6:30. This has been a tough thing for the rest of us night owls to adjust to.

- Achievements? Well, he can sing a large number of songs, recite several books from memory (which tends to happen when you hear them a million times), and is potty trained. He's working on dressing himself and buckles his carseat. He has a huge desire to be independant.

- Weird quirks? He insists on sleeping in socks every night. When wearing footie pajamas, the socks go over the footies. He is convinced that he sits in the front seat of the car and that we drive from the back seat. Most of the time he refers to Max not by name, but by calling him "my bruver (brother)".

Really? He's so much fun. And so much work. And so important to our family. I can't imagine there was life without him.

Here's a few shots from the last month:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend of Flowers...

Ok, I'm exhausted. Who knew that a weekend of looking at flowers could wear me out so much? But really - it was great.

On Saturday we went on a wildflower hike at Memaloose Hills. We had purchased this outing at Max's school auction, and lucked out with great weather. The hike was lead by the amazing director of Max's school, and there were a couple of other families and students to make the whole thing even more fun.

Here are a few shots from the day:

Then today we went on one of my favorite spring outings - the Tulip Festival. Honestly, I was going to let us opt out this year. But when Max heard that this morning, he insisted that we just had to go - and I wasn't going to argue. It was another beautiful sunny day, and we got there as soon as they opened (a key to enjoyment on a nice weekend day during prime bloom). The fields were incredible as always, but I adored the hazelnut grove at the end of this year's field. The beautiful rows of trees, the soft light - just magical. The boys loved the little cow train, the duck pumps, and the bounce houses. All around, it was a great time, and I'm glad we didn't skip it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Max at 4.5...

I figured that it is a good time for a little update on each boy - it's been a little while! So without further ado, heeeeeerrrrreeeee's Max!

1. Max is still 100% in love with school. Somehow he has figured out that Montessori is traditionally a 3 year cycle (ages 3-5), and figures he got shortchanged a year. He regularly tries to negotiate staying until he's 6 to make up for starting later.

2. Most of the time he's a little over-protective of Luke. He hates it when Luke gets in trouble (even if it's for hitting him), and regularly tries to work out a lesser "punishment". One morning he woke up with scratches all over his face, and when we asked what happened, he told us that Luke scratched him the night before. He didn't tell us because he didn't want Luke to get in trouble.

3. He still loves books. A couple of months ago we started reading chapter books with him at night, and he amazes us with his understanding of these lengthy stories. He is doing a lot of beginning reading, and it's amazing to watch as he works at sounding out the world around him.

4. The only thing he loves more than books are Legos. He's downright passionate about building with the little bricks, and has very little difficulty with following complicated instructional diagrams. It's so fun to watch him build lots of little "ships" and use the little figures to play out all sorts of adventures. Now if only we could convince him that it is ok to take the things he builds apart...

5. "Space Pirates" is a favorite pretend game. We're never sure exactly what it consists of, but couch cushions and laundry baskets are usually necessary equipment.

6. He's beyond diligent when given a job. The other day I asked him to help me cut out a few cookies. Without any prompting he worked for 1 hour - rolling out batch after batch and cutting out cookies. He refused to stop before the job was done. It's how he approaches most jobs. I hope it's a trait that sticks with him.

7. He has his own vacuum. Our previous handheld vacuum died, and he insisted we needed a new one so he could clean up under his dinner chair. When at the store, he picked out the one he liked best after trying all the different models. Now he uses it nearly every day, always looking for a little chore he can do with his vacuum. I'm trying to talk him into picking out his own toilet brush next...

8. He's not perfect. I know that I've been going on about the great things about him, but there are rough edges on the little guy, too. He will often tease and taunt Luke just to see what will happen. He throws fits if he doesn't get dressed before Luke in the morning. And a quick shove will move a little brother quicker than asking. But the truth? All of these things are happening less and less - just enough to remind us to appreciate the times they don't.

9. He's still in love with all things fireman, but also is showing interest in space and superheroes.
10. He's growing up too fast. He's getting taller, has an incredible vocabulary, and is showing great compassion. He speaks comfortably with adults and is willing to try new opportunities. The fact that he is staying in his current school is allowing me to avoid the fact that he is a few months from starting kindergarten. I'm not ready.

So, that's our big kiddo these days. Our spirited, passionate, fascinating ball of energy and love. And while I don't love the growing up thing, I love the person he's becoming.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Our Easter Roundup...

There's lots of little things to catch up on around here, and I hope to get a chance for several posts this week. Now that Lent is over, I hope to be back here more often. Lent was a great opportunity to be really mindful of the way I spend my time in the evenings, and I plan to keep the computer off while the boys are awake. But I am going to lighten up a bit with my "down time" computer usage - and that includes blogging a little more regularly.

We had a really great Easter. Maybe one of my favorites as an adult. Laid back, but special. One of those "just right" kind of days.

On Saturday the boys and I colored eggs. I had wanted to try using natural dyes, so Friday night I boiled beets (red), purple cabbage (blue), and turmeric (yellow), adding each to a pint of water and a half cup of white vinegar. Then, when the boys were ready, we laid an old plastic party tablecloth on the floor and set up a makeshift table (plastic storage bin). Using one dye at a time, and wire whisks to hold the eggs, the boys stirred their eggs. I hadn't counted on the fact that the dyes (the blue, especially) would take longer to set. Max was ok with it - Luke, not so much. He was done after about 3 eggs. After we used the red, yellow, and blue, we mixed colors to get our orange, green, and purple. The green was most amazing - the turmeric and cabbage looked brown in the bowl, but after about 15 minutes, the eggs were a nice leaf green. It was a fun process, and I thought the colors turned out great.

Sunday morning was a nice blend of egg hunt, cinnamon rolls, Easter baskets and getting ready for Mass. My parents came up late Saturday night, so they got to join in the festivities. As always they were a great help in getting everything done when it needed to be done, and nothing felt too rushed. The boys enjoyed having them with us at Mass, also.

After Mass we came home for a late lunch. Dan's parents joined us for a fabulous ham (Dan's an amazing cook), potatoes, cornbread with marionberry honey butter, and salad. Dessert was a light sugar cookie (rolled and cut out by Max) with lemon buttercream frosting. Surrounded by people we love enjoying the time together - I couldn't have asked for a better day.

And heck - look at how adorable these two are: