Friday, July 29, 2011

His First Tat

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Like Father, Like Son

When Ethan requests crab for lunch we decided it was best to grant his wish (Nick doesn't want the boys to grow up anti-seafood like their mom!).  So we tried out Joe's Crab Shack down the street.  Ethan loved the crab, Nick forgot how much work the crab was, and my distaste for all things "sea" was accentuated when I smelled the crab.  Thank goodness for hamburgers.

They wrote "Crabby But Cute" on Ethan's bib. Awwww.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

And we have liftoff!

I'm behind in posting about this, but Alec took his first unassisted steps about 2 weeks ago.  He still much prefers his walker to get around but we were delighted to watch him do it on his own.  I was telling some friends of mine about how excited we were to watch him take his very first steps and one of them said, "Oh, the little things." Taken aback, I responded with "WHAT? Little things? Not in this house! Walking is big-time around here, sister!"


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Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Nana!

Today is Nana's birthday, but we surprised her this past weekend with a birthday dinner at Spin.  Kate and her family came to visit from Maryville, MO this weekend and then told Beth they were going back home Friday afternoon (but they secretly stayed!).  Nick then called Beth and told her I had plans to take the boys on a play date with my mom's group so he'd like to have dinner with her.  We all met at Spin (one of our favorite restaurants) and surprised her when she walked in.  She said she was truly surprised and was blessed to have such a wonderful family.  Well, we're blessed to have such a loving Nana!

Pink Princess hat and balloons for the Birthday Girl!

 Three of the 4 grandkids celebrating.

Happy Birthday Beth!

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bible School

Ethan participated in his first Vacation Bible School this summer, and is still talking about it 2 weeks later.  He went for 4 days, two and a half hours each day.  It was great to get him out of the house and with some people other than Alec and me.  We're looking forward to next year already.

Here is his artwork (Jonah and the whale, Love God, and a fire).  Missing was his backpack, but you can be sure it was cute as well.

The last day of the program all of the kids (125 of them) got up on stage and sang their songs for the parents.  Ethan was right up front and did most of the correct motions to the songs, though I didn't really get it on video that well.  But here's the idea:

All the kids were given a PandaMania CD with all the songs they learned, and you can bet that it's in my car playing whenever we go.  The songs are actually kind of catchy!  But many of the songs have led to questions from Ethan that I simply don't know how to answer because everything is so literal to him.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

How to paint a stripe-For dummies like me

After living here for 4 1/2 months or so, we've worked on nearly every room (other than the basement) with the exception of the boys' rooms.  Ethan's room was boyish enough to please him temporarily and Alec wouldn't care if his room was pink polka dots.  And really, the main way we did any work at all was to do it after the boys went to bed, so finding time to paint their rooms was nearly impossible.

And then a window of opportunity presented itself when I enrolled Ethan in Vacation Bible School for 4 days, from 9-11:30am.  I bought all my supplies beforehand and was ready to rock-n-roll after I dropped him off.  Another plus was that Alec napped at 9 so I had 2 full hours to work on this project, and I needed every second of that time to finish. From beginning to end it took me about 12 hours here and there to complete.

Because I'm terribly talented now and am basically a self-taught expert stripe painter, I thought I'd share my painting journey with you by offering an easy-to-follow step-by-step process just in case you had a hankering to paint a stripe on your wall too.

Quick confession before moving on.  Ethan actually picked out the green color himself, no help from dear ol' me. Now, normally I 'd stand in front of the 3 million color samples and hem and haw for 50 minutes before choosing a color but this particular day I had 2 sassy kids with me and needed to feed them, so I saw this white and blue and thought they made a nice trio. I snatched up the cards and bought my paint without really having a plan because, after all, I am a risk taker you know.

Step 1?  Step 1 is for sissies. Let's jump right to Step 2. 

I wished painting was as quick to do as writing this post was, gahh!  It looks so easy to do (and really, it is easy) but be prepared to spend some quality time with your paint and tape.  However, if you have an extra set of hands you might save yourself about 6 hours...holding a laser light level while marking the walls requires flexibility and finesse.  Both of which I lack.

Give me another 4 1/2 months and I'll write about Alec's new room!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Curious plumber and other tidbits

Alec gets into everything.  When Ethan was his age we never had to completely child-proof the house.  We had a couple gates and some outlet covers, that was it.  Ethan was curious but the worst thing he ever did was toss a few toys in the toilet.  So as Alec becomes more and more adventurous, I'm sure we'll have to visit the Safety First section at Target often. I just bought those cabinet locks this morning because I found Alec licking the Dawn dish soap bottle!  

So anyway, here is Alec crawling under the bathroom sink in our basement. He had every single drawer and cabinet opened and luckily for me, they are all empty.

In other Alec news, he's continuing to blossom into a young boy each day.  I always seem to be blind to the baby-turned-toddler phase, or it just happens so quickly I don't catch it. Anyway, he's become so interactive and is trying to talk and while he hasn't started walking yet (Nick and I produce late walkers), he has been giving it some serious thought. For now he's focusing his efforts on standing unassisted. He can push the walker around like a crazy drunk driver though, our walls show the proof.

His vocabulary isn't terribly big yet but if he follows in his big brother's steps, I'm sure he'll be a jabber box in no time.  So far he makes certain sounds for a few words:
grunt noise=Woof!
He is getting the hang of signing the word "more", can point to his hair and nose and will lift his shirt to show you his big belly button. He definitely has the head shake down pat and can nod yes as well. 

 I told Nick the other day that one of the many things I love most about the boys is how different they are from one another. Ethan was (and still is most of the time) quite mellow, loving, laid back, gentle, cautious and happy.  Alec is also a very happy and loving, but boy, he has attitude! He's quick to turn on the tears when it doesn't go his way, but is also quick to shut them off, thankfully.  He'll fall on his belly, kick and scream when I won't let him do something he shouldn't, or when I want to change his diaper or clothes.  He'll arch his back and kick his stout legs in protest, and this boy is heavy, so not dropping him is something I actually have to think about.  One last difference in the two is the amount of snuggling they did at this age.  Alec is my snuggler, and I love every single second.  He gives the best bear hugs ever.  Ethan hugs often too, but they're more like mini-hugs, with Alec I can just hold on for a long time. I sure love these kids of mine. 

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stinky britches

Nick thought he'd figured out how to solve poopy diaper duty without actually having to change the diaper. He has slacked in the diaper changing department for a year now (that's actually an understatement....he has stopped changing diapers altogether), ever since Ethan became potty trained. Now he somehow manages to be MIA whenever Alec's turns dark shades of red leaving me with a mess to clean up.

So his novel idea??

Upon closer inspection:

He's going to need an entire box strapped to his butt to even make a dent in the smell.

Better luck next time, Nick.

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Ethan got to experience his first fireworks show this year.  He wasn't sure what to expect and kept asking me what a firework was (I swear he isn't sheltered!) so I pulled some up on youtube for him before we went.  Anyway, we didn't park in that great of a spot but he didn't know any better and was just happy to see the show and stay up past his bedtime.

Happy 4th!

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Monday, July 4, 2011

The Birthday Celebration

This was the first year Ethan *sort of* had an opinion about this birthday theme.  He and Nick spotted a Cars Movie pinata at Target a couple months ago and Nick told him he could have one for his birthday.  Ethan didn't forget about it as his birthday approached so there was no turning back.  

Ethan's Grandma, Papa, Nana, Aunt Kate, Uncle Matt, and cousins Dakota, Gavin and Mallory all came over to celebrate on Saturday.  It was absolutely wonderful having all this family in our home, we're very thankful they all took the time to travel to our house for Ethan's big day...thanks guys!

My first go at a cake, turned out pretty cute I think.

Ready to blow out his candles.
The Cars pinata
The cousins chowing down on cake and ice cream.
 Ethan opening some great gifts. See the "My First Skeleton"? We've since named him Mr. Bones and are in the process of learning the names of each bone. Great gift, Grandma!
The aftermath of the pinata. Candy galore! Alec grabbed 2 suckers and bolted before anyone could take them away!
 Nana playing balloon volleyball.
Mallory and Ethan.
Then the fun really started.
 Nick launched each kid down the Cars slip-n-slide, we have the perfect hill in our yard for it.  They had an absolute BLAST cooling off!
Even Alec joined in and crawled/slid up and down the slide.
Water balloons!
All five cousins.
Alec proved to be a daredevil on the slip-n-slide, he swallowed a lot of water but that didn't stop him.
We have one teeny tree in backyard to provide shade so it was hot! I think the adults entertained the idea of jumping in the water.

The party was a big hit, I'm so happy everyone had fun (it's the simple things that kids cream, water toys and cousins).  I don't think there was one second of whining, crying or pouting....until it was dinner time.  Ethan skipped his nap which we never allow, so he hit a brick wall while we were at Oklahoma Joe's for dinner. Big meltdown, one in which we knew there was going to be no recovery from.  Poor guy was just tired, so home he went to bed.  I'm sure he wouldn't have had it any other way though, he had an event-packed fun day!

Alec and Papa right before they headed back home the day after the party.


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