Monday, November 30, 2009

A Day with Friends



Yesterday, Connor and I traveled to visit an old college friend and her little boy. The boys had a big time playing together, and the girls had a chance to visit and catch up.

After all of our traveling this weekend, Connor was even tired enough to fall asleep for more than half of the hour-and-a-half drive there. We arrived to find Zach still napping, so we headed downstairs where Connor played with some of his toys and Lavin and I got a chance to talk.

When Zach woke up, there was lots of playing with toys, inside and out, a little snacking, and even dinner out. We went to a little place called Jason's Deli, which was great. Then we came back for a little more playing and chatting before it was time for us to head back home.

Lots of traveling this weekend, but lots of good fun and lots of catching up with people we don't get to see as often as we'd like. What a good way to spend Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cousins at the Lake

A few days with cousins . . .



Connor and Austin trying to decide who's faster (I'll give you a hint, it's the one with the longer legs).



Connor and Kyndal having a big time in the old red wagon.



And the twins having fun alternately rocking on and running around the porch.

It's a hard life.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Photo Flashback



Sawyer, fascinated by the camera. (November 27, 2007)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Travel Time



Two tired little boys, napping on our way from Thanksgiving number one to Thanksgiving number two.



One tired little boy pretending to sleep, but not actually giving it up until about 9:30 on our way home from Thanksgiving number two.

Twelve hours away. Five hours of driving. Lots of food and family and fun. And five people really ready for bed once we finally made it back home! Buster, on the other hand, was ready to play!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Have Cookies, Will Travel



Who's ready for Thanksgiving? Sawyer says he is!

We do double duty, traveling to the western part of the state for lunch with Grandma's (my mother's) extended family and then back to the halfway point to do dinner with Grammy's (Josh's mother's) extended family. Five hours of driving. Two giant meals. Lots of relatives. One very long day.

With that in mind, we have to bring something ready-to-serve (no heating or refrigeration required), that travels well, and that will serve a lot of people. We opt for cookies, lots and lots of cookies!

It took four hours of baking and cooling, 4 pans for each batch (peanut butter with chocolate candies, chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin), and lots of butter, sugar and flour! I had helpers. And tasters, if you can imagine!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Table Time Out



Today was one of those days . . . where the boys were bouncing off the walls and one another, where my patience and sanity were hanging in the balance.

The day started about 6 a.m., when our early riser woke up his twin brother, and the two of them proceeded to wake up their big brother. They were all downstairs and bouncing off the walls before 7 a.m. It was an earplug kind of morning just to stay in bed until 8 a.m.

The little guys had one last day of school before the holiday, and I had made some tentative plans with some friends (a classmate of Connor's and his mother) to come over to the house while the little guys were at school. I didn't tell Connor, because I didn't want him to be disappointed (and mopey) if plans changed. But it all worked out. The boys spent a few hours playing, and I spent a few hours enjoying some adult conversation for a change. It was a nice break for everyone, I think.

And then the afternoon came. The one after waking up at 6 a.m. Tired, cranky and unpleaseable little boys were still bouncing off the walls and testing limits. Let's just say that I haven't screamed that much in a long, long time.

Sawyer, poor thing, cannot stand to have mismatched toys in the toy box. His solution is to simply chuck the unmatched toys over his shoulder until our living room looks like a natural disaster area. I can't tell you how many times I picked up all those toys and put them back in the general area of the toy box before finally giving up and putting them all in the pantry. No toys left. I literally could not stand one more thing bouncing across the floor. And "No!" doesn't exactly cut it with him, not when it comes to his need for order. Especially not when I needed to be doing things like laundry and the dishes, and I couldn't stand over him every second of the day.

That was one.

Then comes my mischievous partners in crime. Connor and Xander are quite the little pair lately, with one leading and the other following, usually in a bad direction. Today's adventure was first jumping from the chair and ottoman to the couch, until it inevitably ends in a child missing said couch and screaming. After being reprimanded for that, it quickly turned into a game of let's see from how high up on the steps we can jump down to the floor. Six steps up was the breaking point. More screaming ensues.

That was two.

And then came the whining. The "Juice?" every five seconds from Xander, the opening of the refrigerator every 10 seconds by Sawyer (his equivalent of the same request) and the "I'm hungry!" from Connor, who choose not to eat his lunch and go back to playing with his little friend. They had recently had juice and snacks. It wasn't even four o'clock yet, several hours from our usual dinner time.

So we had a little table time. Strapped down and a novel toy (meaning one we don't get out of the pantry very often). It lasted about 30 minutes before it all broke down again. Playdough is apparently not that novel. So then I fed them dinner. And watched as they once again started jumping off the front steps.

And that was it.

Time outs ensued, followed pretty quickly by marches upstairs to brush their teeth and go to bed.

At 6:30 p.m.

Josh and I had dinner, in complete peace, for the first time in I don't know how long. Xander was asleep within minutes, Sawyer not so much. He was just bouncing off the walls in his room instead of the ones downstairs. Connor had reading privileges as long as he stayed in his room and was quiet.

And then I did something I rarely do. I took a time out, just for me. I decided to catch a late movie, all by myself. New Moon was calling. I put on my "nice" clothes, meaning my favorite jeans and sweater and boots, and took myself to the movies. Two blissful hours of quiet. Time to escape and recharge. To get ready for the next couple of days that include no school, holidays that are not always easy or fun with our three boys, and a lot of traveling.

Now, let's hope I can make it through one more day at home with three restless boys and no school!

Monday, November 23, 2009

What Bed?



Beds are overrated, apparently. Unless I lay down with Sawyer until he falls asleep (which I didn't, because I worked tonight), this is inevitably where we find him. He laughs and dances across his room until he eventually falls asleep. Usually in a corner on the floor.

At first, I thought it was just where the bed was located in his room. This is the room that's directly over our garage, and it used to get really cold this time of year despite the extra insulation we put in during construction. Right after we moved in, we had our good cousin, who just happens to be our electrician, wire in a wall heater to help keep this room warm. It cycles on and off, blowing warm air out just a few feet from where Sawyer's bed is located. Given his sensory issues, I thought that might be the problem.

This week, I moved the bed back to this corner on the opposite wall away from the heater (where Connor's bed used to be when this was his room). Not the problem, clearly. He just likes the floor. And tight spaces, too. Silly boy.

No Alarm Clock Needed

Every morning at our house we are awakened by three little boys. The two little guys are still trapped in their rooms, because one of them likes to get up at an ungodly hour (usually around 6 a.m.) and the other one is notorious for playing with our computer downstairs (as in turning the printer on and off repeatedly, for hours at a time if given the chance). They're not trustworthy just yet.

Connor, on the other hand, has earned the right to get himself up. He can go to the bathroom on his own, can get his own milk (if we fill it up and leave it in the refrigerator the night before), and can amuse himself pretty quietly until we're ready to wake up. He even knows to lock his bedroom door behind him to keep his brothers from destroying (okay, just seriously messing up) his room. He also has "big boy" items that brothers are not allowed to play with unsupervised, like pencils and crayons and safety scissors. So he knows to lock the door.

The bad news is that lately he's felt the need to "free" his younger brothers when he gets up. So they come noisily down the hall, often play with our locked bedroom door knob trying to come in and bounce on our bed, and are, in general, needy. They still need help going potty, getting out of their overnight pull-ups and into big boy underwear, and getting milk. They also require the television to be on if we're going to try to sleep any longer, and none of the boys have remote privileges just yet.

Yesterday, Connor let his brothers up. And for some reason he forgot to lock his door, or at the very least, pull it closed. He then proceeded to let his little brothers pull a fast one on him. He found himself on the outside of his locked bedroom door, with both brothers inside, happily bouncing on his bed and making a mess out of his room - without him! Books were all out of the bookcase and all over the floor. His desk had drawers pulled out and things everywhere, and he was miserably outside the door.

So Daddy and I woke up to his saying, quite loudly and firmly, "Xander! Xander! Xander, please unlock my door! Please, Xander!"

Yeah, that wasn't happening. So he just kept shouting at them, even if he was trying to be polite about it, until finally I got up to get them all downstairs and started on their day, safely locking Connor's door behind us as we left.

No alarm clocks needed at our house these days, let me tell you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Snapshot Sunday



Don't ask me what he's doing. All I know is that he needed help to get himself out of the position he suddenly found himself in. He was "resting" (aka, waiting for Mommy to catch up with the twins in the stroller) and it somehow turned into this. Breaking in the new helmet, perhaps?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Two Good Things

Connor had a major dilemma today. Two good things were happening, but at the exact same time. It's Saturday, which usually means that Mommy is working at her part-time job and Daddy is in class. Grammy and Pappy were scheduled to come over to watch the boys, which Connor always loves.

But last night, Aunt Kelly called to check out Connor's schedule for the day. She wanted to take him out for an afternoon of fun. He liked that, too.

So last night, as he's going to bed, we were going over the things he had done that day and what he was going to get to do today. He told me he was going to get to see Grammy and Pappy, and that Aunt Kelly was coming over to pick him up in her new Hummer (he's all about cars these days, and Aunt Kelly does have a fun new ride)!

And then his face kind of fell. I asked what was wrong. And this is what he told me . . .

"But if Aunt Kelly come get me, how are Grammy and Pappy gonna play with me?"

Two good things, and he didn't want to miss either one of them. And then he suddenly smiled and added, "They stay for a long time, play with Connor after I get back home."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Photo Flashback



Just happy to be standing. Sawyer in red, Xander in stripes. (November 22, 2006)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Look Who Wanted to Ham for the Camera



Not sure what all the silly faces were about . . .



I do know that look. I have been known to give it right back a time or two . . .



My favorite of the group, I think . . .



Although this one is definitely silly, too . . .



Completely silly.

And as soon as I take the shot, he looks at me with a perfectly straight and composed face and says "I wanna see now!"

Mmm ... Cookies



When it comes to cooking, my skill level is pretty average. I have a few recipes that are really, really good and a lot that are just good enough. My grandmother was a wonderful cook. She used to bake, a lot. So much, in fact, that one of her kitchen cabinets was lined with paper and filled with flour. But that particular part of the cooking skills didn't get passed down. My mom was big on mixes and buying from the store deli when it came to desserts. Quicker and easier, when you're a working mother. She also tends to be a bit of a perfectionist, so I'm sure that uneven baking and mismatched cookies would not have made her happy.

But I like to experiment. I'm also less of a perfectionist (though I too have my moments). More importantly, I love a good cookie. So when I came across a homemade chocolate chip recipe last year, I tried it. And LOVED it. So now most of the cookies we have at our house are the kind you have to make yourself, usually with lots of sugar, flour and butter!

The clear favorite at our house are those first chocolate chip ones I discovered on another blog. Daddy also likes a modified version of the oatmeal raisin recipe under the lid of Quaker Oats. But I kept searching for something else. I've been wanting another cookie to add to our rotation, especially with the holidays and parties coming up.

And I kept coming across this recipe over and over in magazines. Peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses in the middle. Mmm.

Mommy likes. Daddy and Connor both approve. Xander and Sawyer, so far, are not fans, though Xander did condescend enough to eat the chocolate kiss off of one. We will take some in for the boys teachers tomorrow, and see what they think. We like to surprise them every now and then with a "Happy Friday" or a "Happy Monday" treat! We certainly don't need to eat them all ourselves!

Why



For the longest time, I always wondered and worried about why Xander turned his head this way so much. He also tends to squint one eye sometimes, so the two things seemed related. Especially when I was taking pictures.

Anyone want to guess? Come on, it's actually pretty easy. Can you think of anything that might be on the front of the camera that he would like?

You see, he only does this on vertical pictures. Because you can't read and spell "N-I-K-O-N" unless you turn your head the same way that Mommy is turning the camera.

Yeah, should have caught that one a whole lot sooner. My spell boy.

Out of Order

You don't know how much you use the computer, until it stops doing what it's supposed to do. Our internet went down yesterday morning. And was off until just a few minutes ago.

Now Connor and I are fighting over who gets to use it first. It seems we are both technology addicted. He wants to play games (what he was trying to do yesterday when we realized the service was out). I want to see what's going on in the world. And I'm bigger, so I win.

The bad news is we missed Xander's story time today (we had gone for Sawyer's yesterday), because the repair tech called just as I was leaving to drop the twins off at school. Connor and I had planned to drop them off and stay for the 11 a.m. story time, but it was not to be. The tech was willing to wait for us to return rather than continue on his route, where he may or may not have been able to come back to our area today.

As it turns out, the last repair techs who worked on our service didn't do such a great job (about a year ago when the house behind us was built and our service crashed). They ran a new wire, but then they put the wire in the direct path of the utility box cover, so every time there was any pressure on the cover, it was essentially pushing down on and damaging the wire. As today's tech told me, it was kind of like having the wire in a door and repeatedly slamming the door on it. Not so great for the wire. Or our internet service.

It had been much slower lately, but I assumed it was just our computer processor getting old or even the new anti-virus software that had updated itself recently. Turns out it was neither, because it's much faster and reliable now.

It's so nice when things work the way they're supposed to.

And now, Connor is ready for his games. He says you can wait until later for more updates.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Things Connor is Thankful For . . .



In order of importance, apparently . . .

My Brothers.

My Doggie.

Strollers.

My House.

My Mommy & Daddy.

I guess it's nice to know we made the list, even if we do rank pretty low. Below strollers, even. And we're not quite sure what that's about anyway. Connor hasn't had a seat in the stroller since these days.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Screaming, Crying & Milkshakes

Nearly two hours at the doctor's office today. In a strange place, with strange people. And in small spaces and strange strollers (the single kind, since we weren't sure if the double would fit). This is how I spent my afternoon with three little boys.

Sound fun?

And did I mention the screaming? The kind that started the minute we pulled into the parking lot and only marginally stopped so they could breath and inhale the snacks I had packed to try to entertain them. Let's just say there was never really a questions about which room we were in at any given time.

Today was the twins' hearing screening and ENT exam. The good news is that they both got clean bills of health. No ear infections or any physical signs of chronic ear problems. They both also passed their screenings in the sound booth (because that's the only test they will allow or perform at this stage of the game). Both boys seem to have slow reactions to the lowest sound level (I was, of course, in the booth holding them down the whole time so the audiologist could observe their reactions). And Sawyer seemed to be a lot slower to respond to his left ear, but they were given results in normal range with fair reliability.

The big problem, of course, is that the boys are largely non-verbal. Fair reliability is the best you're going to get at this point.

Xander does have words and he is beginning to communicate much more lately, but it's still exceptionally limited. And it's rarely on command. You can ask him if he's hungry and he will say "hungry" or "eat" or something to that effect. But when a stranger asks him to point to a specific picture out of several on a page, well he's more likely to scream or cry than to truly respond. Which is exactly what he did. That's just where we are right now.

And Sawyer is another case all together. He doesn't have any functional words. We sometimes hear sounds that are similar to words we're saying to him, sometimes even groups of sounds that mimic phrases (the funny one is one that sounds very much like "get away, get away"). He clearly is not going to respond to traditional tests.

So, today was an adventure, to say the least. Three boys, one adult. Connor was helpful to a point, pushing Sawyer in his stroller (and not running him into too many things). Of course, he was also equally needy. Wanting each snack the twins were getting, wanting to have a book and be a part of any distraction I was trying to do for his brothers. We also had to make two potty trips, one on the way in and one on the way out. There was lots of waiting and lots of screaming.

And perhaps the most pitiful of all was Xander. I think his last doctor visit, where the dermatologist "treated" (aka essentially froze) his skin tags a few weeks back is still pretty fresh in his mind. Lately, he has screamed any time someone unfamiliar comes near him. See Connor's well visit.

At the very end, when the physician was back in the small exam room going over the sound booth results and making the recommendations (screenings every six months, and obviously continuing with as much speech therapy as possible), Xander was in tears again. I kept trying to reassure him that it was almost over, telling and signing "all done" over and over again. Through his tears, he started saying and signing it back to me. Poor guy was miserable.

So we treated ourselves to milkshakes on the way home. Chocolate for them, white chocolate for me. I think all of us had more than earned it at that point. At any rate, the tears finally stopped.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Snapshot Sunday



Saved all week for today . . . a big grin from Sawyer, who was just happy to be!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Night Live



The boys had a fun day today. They spent all afternoon with Pappy and Louie while Mommy was at work and Daddy was at class. Then, Uncle Brian and cousins Austin and Kyndal came over to have dinner and play for a while. There was lots of running, riding, chasing, screaming and good fun to be had. All three boys stayed up way past their normal bed times, with Connor not even making it there until almost 11. A busy day, but a good one!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Photo Flashback



Points if you know which twin I am. (November 16, 2006)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mr. Grabby Hands

The twins are picky eaters. They have been from day one. But if you happen to find something that they do like, watch out. Because they will literally eat you out of house and home.

Yogurt and applesauce, they consume by the gallon. Chips or crackers, by the pound. Bread, especially the homemade roll variety, just disappears.

And that's the story one of Sawyer's teachers shared with me one day this week. He apparently likes the school rolls, likes them so much that once his is gone he immediately gets up and begins searching for more. And he's not particular about where they come from, be it the serving tray or other people's trays. Doesn't matter to him, he just reaches right down to take it from wherever he happens to find it.

You'd think his classmates would be on to him by now, that they would guard those favorite foods from his grabby little hands. Because he doesn't ask, you know, he just takes and it goes immediately from hand to mouth.

But his classmates are not only on to him, they actually encourage him. Sawyer's teacher explained that each of the kids who sit at Sawyer's table for lunch will actually not eat their rolls on purpose those days, even though they, too, like them, because they get so excited to see him walk up and take it from their tray. They actually want him to have it, even though they like it, too.

How sweet is that? Though I'm sure he doesn't actually need four rolls (that's how many people sit at a table), I love the selflessness behind it. I am grateful that his classmates not only accept his differences, but also embrace them. They cheer him on and make allowances for the things he doesn't yet understand or know how to do, like perhaps ask for a roll instead of stealing one.

And I love that. I love that school is turning out to be such a positive experience for him, that he has teachers and therapists who love and work with him on his level, that his classmates overlook some of his quirky and cool behavior and go out of their way to make him happy.

It's also nice to know that I'm not the only one who gives in to that adorable little grin. I'm sure he flashes it every time he goes in for someone's roll!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Vacation Revisited

Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa first of all for taking the big man, and also for keeping us updated with all of the pictures!

Fun Times

Yesterday was Connor's annual well-visit. With no morning appointments available for the foreseeable future, we scheduled one for immediately after school. The little guys had to tag along, much to their displeasure.

The visit was fine. Connor is healthy, and he always does well with these visits. There were no shots, so that was a plus. He is currently 45 inches tall and weighs 50 pounds, which puts him in the 90th and 95th percentiles, respectively. His pediatrician, who's used to seeing me at these visits, said that by looking at our kids, you would think their father was over six feet. I chuckled, because that's not the case. At five foot nine, I am the taller parent. Josh chuckled later too, when I shared it with him, insisting that I give up the name of the boys real father.

Now, to the real fun part of the visit. As I mentioned, there were no morning appointments. The twins had to come along, and they did so in the double stroller because they are not exactly fans of doctors offices (or any offices, for that matter). They cried when we turned the wrong way out of their school parking lot. They cried when we parked in the parking structure. They cried as we were going down the sidewalk to the office building. They cried in the elevators. They cried harder when we got to the actual doctor's office.

Are we seeing the pattern yet?

Mommy thought she had come prepared. I brought Xander's most recent obsession, a comic book of Connor's that he loves to flip through. I picked a second book for Sawyer, who usually just likes to flip pages and isn't as concerned about content. I had fruit snacks and the holy grail of bribes, ring pops. Those came out the second we entered the waiting room.

Unfortunately, the crying was just muffled around the ring pops.

The continued to cry at every little thing. They cried when the nurse and the doctor came to the waiting room to bring us back. They cried each and every time a nurse or doctor came within five feet of the stroller. If they happened to speak to the twins, they cried even harder. They cried while Connor was being weighed and measured, while he ears were being checked and definitely during his finger prick (iron test). They cried and cried and cried.

It was annoying, and slightly embarrassing.

At the end of Connor's visit (and he, I must add, was being perfectly well-behaved, attentive and even polite), the doctor assured me she took no offense. She asked if they would take a sucker from her, as she was going to get Connor one for his successful visit. I explained that they already had one, but that I was pretty sure they wouldn't turn down another one.

She returned with the suckers and the crying stopped. We all looked at them in amazement, even Connor. Holding their mostly gone ring pops in one hand, they were simultaneously holding out their still packaged new suckers to me, wanting those opened.

And that's how we left the office, with Connor happily sucking on his hard-earned sucker. And the twins were double-fisting theirs, the ring pop in one hand and the new one in the other. Of course, they also pulled both out to cry again as people smiled and attempted to talk to them on our way out. Heaven forbid someone look or speak to them, much less lean over and try to touch them!

And that was our cry-filled visit.

Which means I am not at all looking forward to their doctor's visit next week. They're scheduled to see an audiologist and an ENT physician to do a hearing screening and exam to check for any ear problems. Both boys failed their screenings at school. Xander, largely because he screams bloody murder and thrashes so much you cannot even dream of getting near his ears. Sawyer, who is generally more cooperative, had low tone in both ears, making the audiologist think either onset of a double-ear infection or a chronic problem. We made appointments for both of them, just to see.

That's going to be a fun appointment, don't you think?

Tall Tales



Of all the things Connor did while he was on vacation last week, his favorite seems to be riding the race cars. They did so many, many times. And the last time, he got to ride all by himself.

Grandma said he really liked that, though he did have a little trouble with the brakes when it was time to stop (nearly taking out the attendant as he made his way back into the pits). The Power Wheels don't have breaks, you see. You just let off the gas and it stops. Not so with race cars, apparently.

But to hear him tell it, he had quite an adventure.

"I got to ride race cars by myself. I went round and round, really fast. But then I crashed. The boy hit me, then I hit the wall and flipped upside down and landed on my head. And then it was a fire, and then a big boom! But then I drove back and the man held out his hand like this (making a fist) for me to stop. So I did. It was fun!"

Now, as I'm sure you've guessed, there was no crash or flipping upside down or landing on his head. And there certainly wasn't any fire or big boom. But Connor always includes these facts when he recites his story (which is often).

Regardless of what really happened, that's how he remembers it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Beautiful Sunset



The sun wasn't out all day, but it made a spectacular appearance right at sunset.

And please ignore the power lines, we do, and as I was at home with the boys, I couldn't exactly go to a better location to take the shot (and I'm too lazy to edit them out right now because it would take a lot of effort)!

The Official Portrait



Preschool cuteness.

With the twins at a different preschool, their photos will come later. The whole process is different. At Connor's private school, you pretty much pay the professional photographer they contract with for whatever pictures you think you want, sight unseen, though the photographer will do reshoots if you're unhappy with the first prints. The little guys are at public school early start, so they have traditional school photography. The twins have taken portraits, which I didn't think any sane person would want to attempt, but we haven't even gotten the proofs back yet, much less ordered. When they arrive, I'll post those, too.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fall Day

Though we could have used a bit more sunshine, we still got outside to enjoy one of the last good fall days of the year. Connor, of course, had to try out his new bike.



Twice. And he wanted to go again.



And the twins just wanted to play.



To swing all day long.

A good day.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Vacation, Day Eight



One last time. And judging by the look on his face, he knows it. Either that, or he's really disappointed with the speed of the little people race cars!

Connor, Grandma and Grandpa did some last minute shopping, took one last race car ride and made their way out of the mountains and back to the lake. They'll spend one night there and then make the drive back to our house for his birthday tomorrow.

He left as a four-year old, but comes home considerably older and wiser. He will officially be five just after midnight tonight!

The Sleepy Twin



All those early mornings finally caught up to our little man. It's apparently hard work trying to keep up with Sawyer. It requires extra rest, and a very rare thing that we haven't seen around our house in a long time . . . a nap!

A five-hour one.

Because he was that tired. He is our resident sleepyhead, after all.

You would be too if you were trying to keep up with your twin brother, the one who's routinely awake before 7 a.m., if not before, and who never, ever naps. At least not on purpose. I am told Sawyer "crashed" one day at school this week, which I kind of expected. He was awake beginning about 3 a.m. that morning. And he never really went back to sleep until about noon, at preschool.

So much for spending this perfect fall day outside. Maybe we'll have better luck tomorrow. That is, if we can actually get either one of them in bed tonight! Sawyer is never ready, and I somehow doubt Xander will be after sleeping most of the day away.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Vacation, Day Seven

The last day was another day mostly in town.

They went to the "upside down" house, called Wonderworks. Twice, even, because Connor thought it was that good.



Standing in front of the upside down entrance.



Walking on the "Big" piano.



Making indentations on the spikes.



And not sure exactly, but he certainly looks into it, whatever it is.

He also rode the race cars one last time and went for one last splash in the pool.

I think we're going to have one tired little boy next week!

Photo Flashback





Points if you can tell which grinning baby is which. And I'm totally cheating this week, because up until a few seconds ago I was thinking it was still October! (October 04, 2006)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Vacation, Day Six

A day in town . . .



First there was shopping, but Grandpa and Connor eventually got Grandma away from the stores and back to the race track for another spin. Connor will like his new clothes, of course, but they just can't compare to race cars!

And the evening belonged to Winterfest. If you've never been to the Smoky Mountains during this time, you really should go. Imagine a ceremonial lighting of the Christmas tree, only they're pretty much lighting up the whole county. Three cities, and every stretch of road in between, covered with decorations and lights that get bigger and bigger every year.

Tonight was the opening ceremony for Winterfest. That means that Grandma and Connor wandered around Patriot Park while Grandpa stood in line for trolley tickets so they could take one of the first tours of the lights.



It also meant a visit with some reindeer . . .



And even with Santa and Mrs. Claus!

And, of course, the day ended with some splashing in the pool! It's definitely a rough life my son leads.

Our Favorite Field

A little walk for some fresh air.



A stop in our favorite field to play.



Another good day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Vacation, Day Five

Or, alternately, "Where the Wild Things Are!"

Connor continues on his adventures in the mountains with Grandma and Grandpa this week. Yesterday they saw elk and a bear.



Today they ventured out into the mountains again and were treated with yet another bear, up close and personal.



Connor resting on their hike to Laurel Falls.



Connor and Grandpa resting on their hike (probably a recurring theme for my son, something along the lines of "Shew, I tired!" every five minutes).



And the bear they saw on their hike.



And finally, making it to the falls!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Vacation, Day Four

So, Grandma tells me that Connor was in charge of today's itinerary. It goes something like this:

Play a little on the playground at the condo. Have lunch. Go ride the race cars.



Walk down to see the train at Dollywood (pose for token photo to send to Mommy) and then go see the horses at the Dixie Stampede. Next stop by McDonald's for a hot fudge sundae to warm up.



Go to the trolley station to begin riding all around town.



Then take another playground break at the condo and rest up for dinner.



Or maybe play a little longer. And then go to dinner at Cracker Barrel.

And then, finally, end your day with some exercise at the indoor swimming pool and cap the night off with some popcorn and Pepsi before bed.

Who else wants to be almost five? Because I do!