Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Beautiful Fall Day

One last fling, that's how Mommy looked at it. Rain was supposed to be moving in tonight (and it has), and it was a gorgeous day in our part of the world. Sunny, breezy and highs in the 70s. We made the most of it, especially today during Mommy & Me time with Connor, while his brothers were still at school.

We went out for lunch (after all the treats at his Fall Party, even). We stopped by the park to play on the playground and also to have a little fun with the leaves. Connor has been talking about leaves forever. Living in a newer subdivision, we don't have that many big trees, certainly not enough leaves to rake up and jump in.

"Maybe someday we gonna get some leaves and a rake," he sighs wistfully, eyeing our neighbors who back up to a big tree line. "Maybe some day you gonna rake them up, and I jump in them!"

I've heard it for weeks now, ever since the big yellow tree leaves started falling on the ground and he could spot them from our driveway. Well, today we found some at the park. And we had a great time even without the rake (that's what your shoes are for, if you're wondering).

Doesn't he look happy?

And yes, we all had to take baths tonight, especially Connor and Mommy.


Clearly Mommy has passed her photo-taking obsession on to her oldest son. He feels the need to "take pictures!" every chance he gets to use Mommy's camera.

And then kicking them all away (so no one else can enjoy his, well actually "my," hard work). It was time to go pick up brothers, and even though he begged to take them with him (yeah, not sure how that would work even if Mommy had been willing, which she wasn't). So he just kicked them away.

And just so you don't think his brothers totally missed out on the fun, we were outside almost all afternoon. We took Buster on his walk, then we did our long stroller walk to our favorite field. We also played outside in the yard on the swings until dinner time. And we spent some more time outside later so Mommy could help a friend who lives down the street take some pictures of her daughter in her Halloween costume. We've had a busy day!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ahoy, Matey!

So, last night about 5 o'clock, my good son decided he wanted to be a pirate for Halloween. And that's all well and good, but he's been saying for WEEKS that he DID NOT want to dress up for his school party or for Halloween (he's going to be traveling to the mountains with Grandma and Grandpa).

Did I mention last night at 5 p.m.? That he wanted to be a pirate for his school party today, at 9 a.m.? Yeah, that's my son.

So, that means we had to get creative, especially for a Mommy who (a) does not sew, and (b) doesn't even iron, truth be told. Creative, yes. Crafty, not so much. But we found enough random pieces to make an outfit work. Black sweat pants borrowed from little brothers, check. Black vest borrowed from Mommy, check. Plain white t-shirt from Connor's room, check. Red place mat tied around his waist with safety pins, check. And assorted trinkets and trash, including an eye patch, a telescope, a compass, and some Mardi Gras beads, check.

We were going for a Captain Jack Sparrow look, if you're wondering. That's the only pirate Mommy knows.

And last, but not least, we got online and figured out how to make a hat. Some black construction paper, gold glitter glue and pasted on decals later, he was good to go. He was actually quite excited last night and this morning.

Ahoy, Matey! Don't mind the too short sweat pants that were already sagging just to be that length.

And, of course, the unhappy to be taking pictures face. So much for a cute photo op! But, he was happy and all's well that ends well. I won't mention that when I showed up for the Fall Party at school at 11 a.m., he had already tossed the vest, the beads, the hat and the eye patch. He was essentially a boy in black sweats and a white t-shirt with a weird red belt.

The life of an almost five-year old . . .

Photo Flashback

Two for the price of one . . . I just couldn't decide!

Connor sitting pretty with our big and little "punks," as he used to call them.

Connor sharing candy with Grammy after he finally decided to go trick-or-treating as Tow-Mater, you know, the last 15 minutes of official trick-or-treating time in our city. (October 2007)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

School Boys

The difference a year can make.

When I say, "Time for school!" the boys come running. They're excited and ready to go. They come sit on the bench under the stairs to get shoes and jackets put on. They help carry their backpacks out to the truck. They are ready. Xander often even prompts me with "School? School?" starting about 10 o'clock. Sawyer just grabs at his backpack or stands by the door into the garage.

We generally have a short wait, five to 10 minutes, in the car line. We play silly games, like "Boo!" or sing songs (usually Xander is requesting his favorite, "ABCD!"). We also "talk" about things that are happening. Both boys love the school buses, so I tell them when one is approaching and Xander repeats it back for me. Sometimes it's "wellow bus" (for "yellow bus") and sometimes "school bus" and sometimes just plain "bus," but it's there. He knows the word and what it means, and he willingly identifies each and every one that pulls around the building behind us.

And then the teachers come out and it's time to go. Both boys come willingly out of the truck, know that they have to wait to have their backpacks put on, and then that they have to hold a teacher's hand in the road. They walk up to the gate without a single complaint. And then they wait for me to pull out and leave before they start walking in, all on their own. The teachers no longer have to lead or direct them in. They just go.

I cannot believe how far they've come in such a short time. Their first day was only this past February. My big boys, finding their way in this world.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Have Backpack, Will Travel

My oldest son, he always has one foot out the door. Sometimes I think he just passes through our house to rest from his travels. This week is no exception.

Today we packed his overnight bag so that he can join Grammy as she visits her mother and extended family about an hour away. I simply asked if he would like to go on a trip, and without knowing who or when or where or anything else, he was ready to go. So off he goes this afternoon, to visit with family and have another fun adventure.

Sometime tomorrow evening he will return. Then he will have school Friday morning, and very likely be off again. Grandma and Grandpa are heading to the mountains for their annual fall vacation, and Connor has an open invitation. He always accepts. Race cars, hand spun taffy, indoor swimming pool, popcorn and Pepsi are just a few of the enticements. Oh, and a week of being the overly indulged only child present. Yeah, he's already trying to pack his bags for that trip, too!

Have backpack, will travel. I hope he appreciates how lucky he is one of these days. Because he leads a pretty charmed life.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Identical Twins

When Connor and I went back to pick up brothers this afternoon, the preschool director was outside assisting with car pool. We were running behind, so we were one of the last cars in line.

As I walked up to the gate, one of my children was waiting impatiently behind it. As soon as the director opened the gate, he came flying at me and jumped up in my arms (his usual). My other child was still walking, in his usual slow pace, taking time to stop here and there, so he could look around and see what all was going on in the world.

After saying "Hi!" to Xander, I called to Sawyer that it was time to go. He looked up, which is impressive from where we were a year ago, and started moving again.

The director wanted to know how I could tell them apart so easily and so quickly. I guess part of me forgets that the rest of the world really does see two little boys who look entirely too much alike to be distinguished in one quick glance. They are identical twins, after all.

And there were definitely times, especially very early on, when they looked alike to us as well. But as they've gotten older, those confused moments are largely gone. Unless someone is facing away from you or unless one of us has put a "wrong" shirt on the wrong twin, you generally know who they are by their face. Sawyer has always had at least a pound or two on his brother, and that makes his face rounder. And if you couldn't tell by that, their behavior gives them away. Xander is constantly spelling things for you. Sawyer jabbers in a language we don't understand. You can tell the difference easily.

My response to her was pretty much that. Xander is impatient and is always waiting for me at the gate, ready to bust through the minute it opens. He wants to get there first and be the one who gets picked. He also usually wants to spell something for me. Sawyer, not so much. He is much more careful and deliberate, and is in no real hurry unless he thinks Mommy is about to leave without him. He likes to come in his own time and his own way.

Though genetically they are considered identical, for me, they haven't been since those first few weeks home. Personalities and behaviors emerge, and they become their own person. And besides, they wear different colored jackets, too!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A New Game

Of all our boys, Sawyer is the least likely to initiate, whether for play or just interaction. He very much prefers to do his own thing in his own way. Some of his current favorites are to organize magnetic letters in random patterns on the art easel or to arrange the linking rings (not linked, of course) in yet another pattern of his choosing. He also likes to play with puzzles and look through books.

But lately, we're seeing more and more attempted interaction from him. He still likes to do his own thing, of course, but he also wants to play. One of his favorite things to do since the baby gates came down is to take a plush football and either bounce it up the stairs (and dance while it bounces back down) or toss it down the stairs (while dancing on the landing from which he throws it). For some reason, he likes this. A lot.

In the last few weeks, he's taken this favorite toy and started to interact with us. He actually wants to toss the football with you. One night while I was at work, Josh told me he played for over 30 minutes just tossing it back and forth. And he constantly walks up to me during the day holding it out with his cute little grin. Play with me, it seems to say. He'll toss it (usually at your knees), and then he'll hold out his arms for you to toss it back. Sometimes he catches it, sometimes not. But he picks it up and goes through the same thing again and again. He smiles when he throws it at you, and he smiles again when you throw it back. He even dances while he waits for it to come.

It's adorable.

And amazing. The little boy who used to push people away and hide in one particular corner of the house for most of his day is now following people around wanting them to play with him. And though tossing a plush football for hours on end is not necessarily the highlight of my day, watching him engage with the world makes it all incredibly worth while.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Snapshot(s) Sunday

Today was an amazing fall day in our part of the world, and the boys and I were lucky enough to spend the biggest part of it outside. We had already made plans to spend the afternoon with Grammy and Pappy, and we were treated to a beautiful day and amazing photos (she says oh-so modestly)!

Grammy and Pappy live in a small, private subdivision behind this beautiful horse farm for retired race horses. It's very appropriately called "Dream Chase" estates.

We spent part of our afternoon at a local pumpkin farm, which just happens to sit beside the Elkhorn. A beautiful day at the river's edge.

And amazing skies pretty much all day long.

The view from Grammy and Pappy's house.

Another view from Grammy and Pappy's house.

Snapshot Sunday

As soon as I took the photo, I knew it was going to be one that I loved.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jekyl & Hyde

One minute he is the picture of innocence . . .

And the next he is a (very nearly) five-year old terror with a lot of attitude . . .

Two of my favorite photos this week (and both contenders for Snapshot Sunday), but I decided to use them today. I like the one I'm saving for tomorrow even better!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Photo Flashback

Daddy's friend, learning to love milk shakes early! (October 2005)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Beautiful Day

Finally, a real fall day in our part of the world. Temperatures near 70, even under a cloudy blue sky, and a good fall breeze (to make the leaves blow down)! Connor and I took advantage of the day while his brothers were in school.

First, we ran an errand. My truck has been needing an oil change for a while, and they just opened a new service station near our house that is just a few blocks away from one of our favorite little parks. We stopped there to drop off the truck, and then we walked back up the hill to the park. Even though someone complained a little bit about the walk, he had plenty of energy left after we got there to play!

It turned into hours of fun. First, there is the digger, where kids can work a hand crane and move mulch around. It's a big hit with Connor (and pretty much all of the other kids we saw there today). There was some reluctance at sharing and turn-taking, but after a little conversation about sharing or going home, he decided to share. Next there were slides and swings and see-saws to conquer. We also had to pretend we were on a "good" pirate ship and that we were fighting off the "bad" pirate ship. There was lots of shooting and dropping and raising the (pretend) anchor and firing the cannons and raising and dropping the sails. Mr. Imagination had a big time, and drug me into it.

On our way back, we noticed the street that one of his friends happens to live on. We'd never been there before, but his friends mom and another friend had talked about how it was just around the corner from the park. And then Connor spied his friends minivan in the driveway. We just had to go see his house. I told him we could go look, but we probably shouldn't try to stop by. Though I don't mind drop-by guests at our house, some people don't really like that kind of thing.

But Connor was really pitiful about wanting to say "hi" to his friend, and I gave in. We knocked, but didn't ring the doorbell, because his friend has a younger brother who naps. We didn't want to wake anyone. And just as we were about to give up and keep walking, they appeared. Connor's friend had a big smile to see Connor, and he smiled (from behind my back where he was hiding). We stayed for just a little while, intruding on their day and letting the boys play for a little bit. And then it was time to go.

We stopped by Mommy's favorite, Steak-n-Shake, on the way back to pick up brothers. Nothing like a chocolate milkshake to end our Mommy & me day out!

As much as I'd love to post more pictures, right now, I have a very chatty and annoying little boy who wants to "play a game, please!"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Itsy Bitsy Spider . . .

Before I had kids, I never understood why people wanted to send their kids to preschool. You're going to have a lot of years of school, anyway, right? Isn't it a glorified form of day care? And now that I have kids, well, I can't wait to send them off to their respective schools.

There are lots of reasons. Social interaction for them. Preparation for all day school when it comes. Learning to listen and follow directions. Participating with a group. Learning to share and take turns. A little break for me. Speech and occupational therapy for the twins. Like I said, lots of very good, logical reasons.

And, the boys are actually learning something every day that, let's face it, I would probably be too tired or too busy to do at home on a daily basis. That said, I absolutely love the projects the kids bring home. The kids have amazing teachers who keep them engaged and create fun projects for them to work on with their friends. Today, Connor's class did a lesson on the Itsy Bitsy Spider. How cute is he, playing with his pretend spider and rain spout while we wait for brothers in the car pool line?

Yeah, preschool rocks.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just Here

Enjoying the warm fall weather while it lasts, despite the sniffles . . .

Brothers playing. You have no idea how nice this is to see. We hope someday Sawyer will want to join in and play, too.

Buster trying to draw Sawyer into a fun game of tug-o-war with his favorite rings. Sawyer is having none of it, of course.

And so the puppy inevitably comes to me. Mommy will play, he knows.

And earlier in the day, while brothers were at school, a big boy dreaming of summer fun. Do you see it? It's a swimming pool (the big splotch) with a multi-colored beach ball, some umbrellas and beach chairs, and even a lifeguard chair (under his foot) and a slide (top). Big boy, big imagination.

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's Hard to Be Me

It's hard, coming back home after being spoiled since last Wednesday. Here is Mr. Pitiful at the end of our day, playing outside just before time for bed (early, if you're wondering). Trust me, after the day we've had, we both needed that early bed time.

Here's just a sample of the attitude I heard from him today.

"I still tired. It's too early." You know, at 8:30 this morning when I was trying to get him up and dressed so we could get him to school at 9.

"We never do anything. I haven't done anything ALL WEEK!" Upon being told he would not be playing video games today.

"I'm just gonna quit! I not gonna walk anymore!" As he attempts to stomp and fuss while simultaneously riding his Big Wheel around the block. He was tired, you know, five seconds in to the walk and wanted to "rest for a little while."

"I not gonna do it!" He says defiantly, to his mother who's already making him stand in the corner for being mean to his little brother. Rest assured, he did do it. He turned and faced back to the wall and screamed bloody murder while doing it. When he stopped, I let him sit down and have dinner with his brothers after a few tearful "Yes, ma'ms."

"It was Xander." A little white lie, when I asked him how the Lightning McQueen trucks made it all the way downstairs from their storage (okay, hiding) spot on the third floor. You can probably guess his second and third lies (Sawyer and Daddy, respectively). We faced the corner for lying too, if you're wondering.

There was also fighting with his brothers over the swings (meaning he tried to physically push them off so he could swing). There was hoarding of toys, in which he wouldn't let his brothers have ANYTHING to play with. There was whining for candy every five minutes (note to self, buy Halloween candy much later next year). There was complaining about the DVD selection of the afternoon. There was constant begging for computer game playing. There was constant disobedience and smart mouth responses.

Sigh. It's been one of those days.

Hopefully a good night's sleep does us both some good.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Welcome to the Lake

Because I'm sure some of you thought I was joking when I talk about popcorn and Pepsi every night. I'm not.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Why Say It If You Can Spell It?

Sometimes I wonder how our twins see the world. Without words, it's hard to know.

Most of us think that Sawyer sees the world through pictures, that images will probably always mean more to him than words or language. Show him two items, and he will choose by pulling one toward him and pushing the other one away. Ask him about two items, and he will hear you, but he will not necessarily answer. You cannot select a word or push it away. Sometimes the words mean something, like "Mommy's truck" or "school," but more often than not you don't get the response you're looking for. Not yet anyway.

With Xander, I am beginning to think that he sees the world in a little of both. He sees the images, but he also sees the language. More to the point, he usually sees the letters. It amazes me the things he remembers about certain things or places. Put on one of his favorite Word World DVDs, and he will start spelling the words just moments before they appear. He not only knows what is coming, but he remembers exactly how it is spelled.

And this afternoon, we were sitting on the couch enjoying a cold and dreary day under some fleece blankets and singing his favorite song (the ABC song, of course). After quite a few times, he wanted to move on to other things. He started to spell some of his favorite words. Shoe. Chair. Canoe. Truck. Mostly things he has seen and learned on his two favorite shows, Word World and Super Why.

And then a new one appeared.

Thank you. That's not on either of the shows, not spelled out for him to see or to remember. It took me a minute, but I finally remembered where it came from.

The McDonald's play land on Wednesday. Xander took a break from climbing up and down the slides and the cubes to come out and get some attention from the adults. Grandma, Grandpa and I were sitting at a little table, watching the boys as they spent hours wearing themselves out and just playing on that rainy day. And while he was sitting there with us, the trash cans in the corner caught his attention. They had big capital letters on each of the swinging doors. Thank you. He spelled it several times at the end of the day.

So either my little spell boy was just adding a new word to the ones he spells daily, or he was trying to tell me something. Perhaps the walls were closing in on him, too, and a trip to the play land was on his mind.

Maybe some day he'll tell us himself.

Photo Flashback

Twin fight. Two boys, one book. You do the math. Sawyer is clutching on tight from the bottom, and Xander is trying to grab it away from the top. And they still fight over that very same book. (October 3, 2006)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

School Days

Since school is out for a few days, I'll share some recent school photos of Xander, courtesy of one of his teachers (the one who's holding him and his best buddy below). Thanks to Mr. K for sharing.

Group photo during fire safety week at school. Xander apparently wanted no part of actually sitting in the fire truck. He was close enough, thanks. His buddy Mr. K is holding both him (red sweatshirt) and his favorite play buddy.

Some hoops during recess. Love to see him playing games if not with, at least near, other little boys in his class. Here he is making a basket (again in the red sweatshirt). I bet he's good on defense, too. He certainly knows how to push his brothers out of his way at home, anyway!

And last but not least, a shot of him participating with the group during class. He's across the classroom at the end of the line (in red, yet again).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall Break

For the preschool set, fall break isn't much more than a long weekend.

Connor's private school is closed on Friday this week, and as a Monday-Wednesday-Friday kid, he was officially finished at noon today. The little guys attend the local public schools in the form of Early Start (which also offers speech and occupational therapy as part of their day), and the local schools have fall break tomorrow and Friday (though the twins were also home today for an Early Start teacher work day). They were done yesterday afternoon at 1:35.

The twins are at home with us. Connor, lucky devil, is at the lake with Grandma and Grandpa, and cousins Austin and Kyndal (also on fall break).

Grandma and Grandpa drove up earlier in the day to finish up a little Christmas shopping (yes, hate them now, they are done). We met them for a late lunch after Connor's school day ended, driving across town to the only McDonald's (out of like 25) in town with an indoor playland. It worked well, because we spent hours there letting the kids work off some rainy day energy. The adults (and Connor) might have preferred Chick-fil-a, but the twins are not fans.

After lunch and play, Connor left to help Grandma and Grandpa with a little more shopping while they waited for Austin and Kyndal to finish their school days (middle and elementary school, respectively). By now they're probably all sipping on Pepsi's and having some popcorn. That's the nightly ritual. Although our big boy might already be fast asleep. He's had a busy couple of days.

Now, what to do with the little guys for the next few days. Four whole days with no school. Mommy might just go a little crazy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Book Club for Boys!

Tonight was our night to host the Book Club for Boys! One of our boys was out sick, and that wasn't fun for him (or his family) or for us, but we forged ahead with just three.

Josh was nice enough to take the twins out for a few hours (they did dinner at Steak & Shake, which was impressive in my book) and then quickly fell asleep in the truck while Daddy went to check on one of his houses under construction.

Our Book Club night involved a Curious George book, some crafts, a little scissors and glue, some cookies and drinks, and lots and lots of stickers! We learned about the seasons, including which months make up which season. We also made calendar pages for the last three months of the year, mostly with stickers. And we ate chocolate chip cookies shaped like leaves and snowmen!

And, of course, we also played. Well, the moms talked, but the boys played.

And played and played. I think we managed to wear all three of them out. Hopefully they'll still be willing to get up for school in the morning!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Picking Pumpkins at the Orchard

Picking pumpkins is funny, apparently. Or maybe he's just so cold he's biting his hands to keep warm. One of the two.

Every year, Connor's preschool does a fall field trip to the orchard. This year's trip was to a different local orchard, one we hadn't been to before. With the twins in school this year, Josh had to stay home to drop them off so that Connor and I could leave early and meet up with his teachers and his class at 9 a.m. Grammy and Pappy once again met us out there for a morning of fun.

Because the orchard is about 45 minutes from our house, we were almost late. Connor was so excited last night that he didn't go to sleep until after 11. He was not at all ready to get up this morning. And Mommy can't blame him, she slept through her first alarm, too. Luckily, I had packed everything except our small cooler the night before, so we were ready to leave within minutes.

We arrived a few minutes after nine, but were still one of the first ones to arrive. After the others started to show up, the tour started with a little information from the orchard owners. Thankfully, this part was inside because it turned out colder than a lot of us had expected (or dressed for). Next we got into the line for the wagon ride behind the tractor. While we were waiting, they served fresh apple sugar doughnuts and hot apple cider. I passed on the cider, but we all enjoyed the doughnuts. And then we went around the very large orchard on the wagon ride (behind a big orange tractor, which Connor feels was the most important part).

Once we returned to the main building, it was time to walk back and pick our pumpkins. We got some garden wagons and headed out en mass so all the kids (and some of the parents) could pick their own pumpkins out of the patch. Connor also tried to sneak in an apple or two, but we caught him just in time (not part of our tour today, you see).

And last, but certainly not least, was the return to the main area. Our tour guide smartly led the group into the petting zoo first, because the big tall slides of the play area were beckoning. But we spent a little bit of time visiting the animals, mostly feeding the goats and a donkey named "Shrek," but also taking a class photo at one point. And then the true madness began.

There was hay to climb on. There were big, tall slides to conquer. And there were rope-like obstacle courses to master. It was a busy time. We eventually made our way to the very back where the wooden play sets formed a little park at the edge of the orchard. One in particular, a pirate ship, held Connor's attention for hours.

We took a break for lunch from the little deli counter inside. Connor and I had hamburgers, while Grammy opted for some chili (to help warm up on this cool day) and Pappy went with the pork barbecue. We won't mention Connor's request for ketchup and mustard and his subsequent refusal to eat the bun after realized he didn't like either of those on his hamburger (which I tried to point out before, but he chose not to listen to Mommy).

With a little bit of time left, we headed back to the pirate play set to finish out the day. We also may have picked up some apple sugar doughnuts to share with Daddy. Hopefully there's some left by the time he makes it home!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Snapshot Sunday

One of the outtakes from our trip to our favorite field earlier in the week. This is what I get when I tell the kid to "smile" for me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Growing Up . . .

It wasn't that long ago when my kids used to clutch onto my legs and scream bloody murder if I even thought about leaving the house without them. Those were not fun days for anyone.

The good news is that they're definitely over that stage.

This is my weekend to work both Saturday and Sunday, so Grammy and Pappy came over today to watch the boys today while Josh was at class. Buster is always the first to notice when they arrive, because his whole body starts wagging in anticipation of his favorite person ever (which would be Pappy). He wasn't so excited about Cousin Louie, who also comes, but it's a package deal so he settles.

Connor sees Buster get excited, and then he knows what's going on. So he's running around screaming "Pappy's here! Pappy's here!" and hiding under the pool table. And odd combination, I know, but hiding is guaranteed to get a response that he likes, the undivided kind of attention of someone chasing after just him.

The twins just kind of go with it these days. They're neither excited nor unhappy when other people come over. They look, see who's here and often try to get the visitors to do something they want. For Sawyer, he usually pulls you the pantry in hopes of a sucker. Today I think he was too busy playing on the couch and watching The Bee Movie to notice at all. Xander often wants to climb on something and have you "jump" him down. Today he immediately came running over and climbed on top of the pool table.

As I'm starting to get my things ready to go and going over any last minute notes for Pappy about what the boys might need or want for the day, Connor is actually tugging on my hand and dragging me to the door. This is a little bit of a first.

"You need to go now, Mommy," he says to me. "It's time for you to go!"

He's right, of course, in that I do need to leave so I can make it to work on time. But still. Does he have to push me out the door? He usually wants me to stay, or to hurry back. Not today.

And to add insult to injury, Xander joins in. He doesn't push or tug, but he pauses in his quest of climbing the stairs and having Pappy "jump" him down long enough to wave and say, "Bye-bye, see you later!"

So it was time to go.

Connor did walk me to the door and offer a hug and a kiss. And then he did try to make it a little better. "Come back soon, okay?" he prompted. "You go to work until 8:32, okay? Then you come home." (He's been fascinated with time lately, so he often throws out very precise and very random numbers. His favorite is usually 1:42, but for some reason I got 8:32 this afternoon).

And then he shut the door, ready for his adventures with Pappy and Grammy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Photo Flashback

Our big boy is getting mobile (and wants the remote already)! (October 07, 2005).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cute Moment, Cheap Camera

Let's just say my cell phone camera really, really sucks. Clearly. But, we were only running into the store the other day for one item, so I didn't break out the big bag that I usually tote around (you know, where I keep my good camera). I had keys and a cell phone. So this is what you get.

Every time we go to the store, especially if we have time to stop and look at toys, we have to stop and look at the "big boy" bikes. And we have to ride them, of course. For hours (or we would if Mommy would let us). As it was, I'm pretty sure he made about twenty loops around the two aisles with the bikes.

The good news is he's going to love this year's birthday present. The bad news is that his birthday is in November and he's likely going to be riding either in the house or the garage for a few months! So it goes . . .

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Time for School

This post is for Pappy, who wanted to see the little guys all dressed and ready for school with their backpacks on. They were eager to leave this morning, so we were about 10 minutes earlier than usual to car pool!

As usual, Xander wants to be first.

The flash was too bright for Sawyer, so he's squinting at me.

And there they go, getting ready to climb into Mommy's truck in the garage.

I'd love to get a shot of them going into or coming out of school, but with about 15 other parents in car pool, you just don't want to hold up the line for something like that. And it's a hard shot to get, with all of the other cars and things blocking the view. So this will have to do for now.

Our happy school boys. Always ready to go. And always ready to come home, too!

Just For Fun

This is why you shouldn't leave tasty treats (in this case, cherry turnovers for breakfast) out on the counter unsupervised. Sawyer tends to just help himself, usually by moving a dining room table chair over to get up on top of the cabinet. I found him after he'd eaten nearly two.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Small World

Today turned out rainy and cold, which meant Connor and I were looking at a long afternoon inside while brothers were at school and an even longer evening inside after we picked them up. Neither one of us thought much of that idea, so we decided to make today one of our Mommy & Connor days out.

Our first stop was Wal-Mart (isn't it always?). The double-jogging stroller tires have been low for a while, but Daddy's air compressor has been on a job site for weeks and that didn't help us at all. With Connor looking to get a big-boy bike for his birthday next month, and us already having several inflatable balls and toys in need of some air, it seemed like a good time to invest in a universal hand pump. If nothing else, Connor's already had a good time helping me "pump up" the tires on the stroller! He also enjoyed a little more "practice" riding the bikes at the store!

On our way out the door this morning, I grabbed the parent list from Connor's preschool. One of the other mothers and I had been talking about getting the boys together for a playdate or maybe meeting up for lunch one day at the boys favorite restaurant - Chick-fil-a - also home of the indoor playland. With the rain, I thought I'd give her a call and see if they had any plans for the afternoon.

Connor was excited as he heard me talking, but unfortunately, I was only leaving a message. They weren't at home. We tried them on their cell phone and found out they were out running errands too, but didn't think they could make lunch. Connor was very disappointed, and even went so far as to suggest maybe we should just stop by their house on the way home to play instead! I explained drop-in visits usually aren't very nice, as people sometimes have other plans or don't like to be interrupted at home. He didn't think much of that response, but nodded.

On our way to the restaurant, his friend's mom called back. They finished their errands early and his friend had requested Chick-fil-a. They were all headed our way if we were still there. So we enjoyed lunch with his friend, his friend's mom, little brother and grandmother. The boys ate and played together, and I had a chance to visit with his mother and grandmother.

Turns out she grew up in the same area that I did, and that she and her husband both went to school with and actually graduated with my older brother. I knew (of) her husband, and even remembered where they lived because my brother had been there on several occasions.

What a small world it is sometimes. This makes the second year that Connor and his friend have been in the same class, and we're just now figuring this out. We've always been friendly in the hallways during drop off and pick up, but we've never had much of a chance to talk before.

Despite the rain, it turned out to be a really nice day. Connor got to play with one of his favorite classmates, and I got a chance to get to know another mom friend.

Monday, October 5, 2009

All About Boats

Poor kid, he's already going into summer withdrawal.

Connor and I had some time after his school ended at noon before we had to pick his brothers up at their school. We made two stops, one at the local library to exchange a few books he'd already read for some new ones and also to pick up a hold item that had come in for me.

We still had some time, and Connor thought the park by the lake (which we drove past on our way to the library) sounded like a good idea. It was on our way back to his brothers' school, and we still had about forty minutes, so I said why not.

He immediately went for the pirate ship, his favorite part of the park.

Periscope down.

And then it was time to go see the ducks (which really means let's go walk the foot bridge over the water). And maybe complain about how the paddle boats are all locked up for the season. And then decide we have to potty, right now! Good thing there are restrooms behind the paddle boat area, and that they were unlocked today (they're not always).

But then what does he see? A few paddle boats have been left out on the grass, where he could climb on them. We did go potty first, much to his displeasure. But then we climbed over and under and inside the boats.

He wanted to see how the pedals worked, what it did to the propeller underneath and how the steering well worked. He was very curious, and I'm seeing a trip out on the lake next summer in his future, I suppose.

Happy driver. For all of five minutes, until I told him it was time to go pick up brothers from school.

There are no boats there, so how much fun could that be?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Picture Perfect Day

A beautiful fall day, a long stroller walk to our favorite field to play, and a few photos that may just end up as the new "portraits" on our wall.