Friday, February 26, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snow Day

Mother Nature is conspiring against me. We had yet another snow day today, for all of two inches of snow. I'm beginning to think our local school district is losing it. There was a time when they were known for not closing school, even when they probably should. Looks like they've gone in the total opposite direction this year.

So the boys spent another day at home. We colored and played and tried very hard not to have the television on all day long. It was only on for a few hours.

Xander liked the coloring part the best.

Connor liked it, too. He kept drawing stop lights, over and over again. He's a bit obsessed with cars and driving. Lately in the truck, he keeps asking me about the lines on the road. He's even taken to telling me when I can and cannot pass based on what kind of lines he sees on the road. He's definitely a sponge for information at this age.

And last but not least, Sawyer. He liked to have Mommy spin him on the sit & spin. I kept turning him and he just kept laughing and laughing. He's definitely what you call sensory-seeking, always looking for that physical experience that makes him feel good. Spinning, jumping, bouncing and any other kind of motion you can imagine.

The boys spent a fun afternoon at home. I spent half the day with them, but took a break at lunch to meet up with Grammy and Aunt Kelly for a movie and a meal at the local Movie Tavern. It's an interesting concept, but the theatre quality is definitely not up to our usual favorite - the local Regal Cinemas. And today's wait service was a bit sub-par, with one waiter for all six screens. But it was decent food, good company, and a good girl movie.

Snow day for the boys. Treat day for Mommy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


For two of my boys, language has been hard. One remains largely non-verbal, while the other is making pretty significant progress.

Xander is starting to say more and more things, and those things continue to be clearer and easier to understand. In short, he is making huge strides from where he was just a year ago when I could count his functional words on my two hands. I wouldn't even want to hazard a guess on the number of words that he now uses consistently and appropriately, it seems to grow every single day.

That said, the language is still no where near that of a typical four-year old. He speaks largely in one-word descriptions or requests. He will occasionally say a phrase or two, generally very scripted. We go through the "Hi, how are you, good!" script a lot. There are a few others, things that he says in a specific order and that he will continually prompt you to make a specific response to before moving on. There is a slight OCD side to his language, at least in these early stages.

He's sometimes stringing two or three words together, like "more cereal please" or something similar. He's even getting better about making most of his requests with please and even saying thank-you when something is given to him. He is trying, and he is learning. We couldn't be more excited or proud of him.

Yesterday he did something that completely surprised me. He climbed up on the desk while I was at the computer, and he pointed up to our wall calendar and told me all the days in the week, in order. Whether he was reading or remembering, I simply do not know. I had never heard them before.

But the days of the week were suddenly just there. He's never said them to us at home, certainly never all at once and in the correct order. And he just threw them out there, like it was no big deal.

And I just sat there, staring at him in wide-eyed amazement.

Words. In order, as he pointed to them on the calendar. Real words, spoken clearly and as though he speaks them every single day. Words, for the little boy who has simply not had them these last few years.


I cannot tell you how much that means. Or how thankful I am, that he's been placed in a good school, with good teachers and therapists who are making such a huge difference in his life. A little boy who, with a lot of help, is finding his words.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Gallery

The Gallery, originally uploaded by cheryl.

Looks like it's time to start over with the gallery. We're running out of room for display with all three boys well represented this time around.

Connor did the big painted piece, and it's a waterfall with green shrubs on the side (according to his own words). He also did the American flag at our last book club meeting (winter olympics theme) and the big red lips (apparently this week is dental health week, all the boys have brought something relating to teeth home).

Sawyer did the two yellow pieces of construction paper - mostly doodles, but those are definitely an improvement for the little boy who used to organize rather than actually color or draw. He also did the little booklet (bottom right) and the half-moon paper plate (it's a noise-maker, which he LOVES).

The rest are Xander's pieces. The animal menagerie (still up by popular demand, he throws a fit when I try to take it down), the flower on the popsicle stick, the heart card (for Valentine's day) and the notebook paper doodles.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Break in the Weather

Break in the Weather, originally uploaded by cheryl.

In addition to Kelly and Aaron's wedding reception, yesterday also offered a completely wonderful break in the weather. The last few months have been filled with cold and rain and snow, much more than we are accustomed to in our part of the world in a typical winter.

Sunday it was sunny and 60 degrees. That's like heaven.

We came home after the reception and spent a little down time just recovering from the day's festivities. After all, we took three boys age five and under to a wedding brunch with strange people, strange food and the odd requirement of having to be both dressed up and sitting still for long periods of time. This was not exactly their happy place.

Or ours either, for that matter. We traded off parenting duties, so that we could each take a turn either eating or visiting or simply breathing. In my case, I needed a few extra breaks to take some pictures, at the bride's request.

So we came home, stripped off the dressy clothes (well, a step up from our everyday clothes anyway) and made ourselves comfortable for a while. Then we took the boys, Buster included, on a little walk around the neighborhood and through the farm field that separates our neighborhood from the next one.

It was a nice moment.

We'll overlook the fact that Connor pedaled away so far that even we became concerned, that I had to physically chase him down and reprimand him to the point of tears, or that I ended up pushing Xander on Connor's bike because he had suddenly lost the privilege with his actions.

Aside from that, it was nice. Did I mention the weather was wonderful?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Snapshot Sunday

Champagne Anyone?, originally uploaded by cheryl.

Today we celebrated Aunt Kelly's marriage to Aaron (henceforth Uncle Aaron). Lots of family and food and fun. And cupcakes, if you ask the boys. Photos are here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Day with Cujo (aka Louie)

Cujo, originally uploaded by cheryl.

Louie wants you to know that you do not, under any circumstances, come between him and his balloon. It's ALL his.

Josh and I both worked today, so the boys spent the afternoon over at Grammy and Pappy's house. We joined them after work for some take-out and to watch the college basketball game (they have cable, we don't).

The boys had a fun day of playing with Grammy, Pappy and Louie. Grammy knows what they all like - balloons!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Photo Flashback

Same expression, shorter frame. (February 03, 2006)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Customer Service, The Response

Because I was so quick to complain, I will be equally quick to praise the company that angered me yesterday.

Today I have received no less than three different follow-ups to my submitted letter outlining the incredibly bad customer service we received yesterday. The representatives were all friendly, understanding and sincerely apologetic for service that they assured me was not up to their standards and of which they did not approve.

The technicians who were at our home have been identified and are going to meet with supervisors over their behavior. The company has it on record that they should contact us first before anyone is sent to our home for any type of service, especially service that requires access to our fenced yard, the one with the very large dog who is not particularly fond of strangers. They even offered to come out an access the damage that had been done to our property and replace anything that was beyond salvage.

At this point I am satisfied. The company responded in a timely manner, actions are being taken to correct the mistakes that were made, and they apologized for the entire incident. At this point, they have done as much as they can do to restore my good opinion. It is not as high as it was, because the incident cannot be simply erased from my mind. The true test will be any future service calls that occur. I can only hope that their future actions will match the words I heard today. If not, I assure you that mine will be and we will have a different communications provider.

Big Boy School

School was finally back in session today (breathe huge sigh of relief from everyone in our house). The boys were getting restless, and I was slowly losing it after so many days of forced occupation inside our house. Of course, only the twins had school today. Connor will have to wait until tomorrow morning for his to resume (since he's a MWF preschool kid).

And that brings us to today's big event. With school resuming, school registration for next semester officially began this morning. So after we dropped off the twins at their school, Connor and I headed over to his new "big boy" school to register him for kindergarten for next year. We're all set, aside from providing an eye exam and dental exam before January of next year.

Our neighborhood school has shown tremendous improvement in the last few years. It once qualified for the "No Child Left Behind" rule that allowed parents to refuse to send their children there. But test scores have come way up in the last few years, so high that it consistently ranks as one of the highest elementary schools in the district. We also really liked the people we met when we did the twins initial transfer into the county school system (you must go through your neighborhood school during the transition, even though they did not have an Early Start on location and were part of the group of six schools that feed into the Early Start program where the boys are actually enrolled).

We seriously considered sending Connor there, but two of his good friends from preschool attend the magnet school just down the road from that neighborhood school. It's a small school with only two kindergarten classes, with a focus on individual education plans. We've heard great things about it, and something about the mission and the program made me think it would be a good place for the twins when they age out of Early Start. So we applied (it's a lottery process, so there's no guarantee), and Connor was accepted. They also give siblings first priority, so there's a good chance his brothers will be able follow the year after he starts if all goes well.

My big boy, enrolled in kindergarten. Sometimes it's hard to believe he's that old (and he's actually pretty old for kindergarten, since he will turn six just a few months after school begins). Other times I look at him and see the little boy he used to be.

But he's going to be just fine. He was shy of the office staff at first, but quickly morphed into his chatty, entertaining self while I was filling out some of the paperwork. He was excited and said he couldn't wait to go to the big kid school. He asked how long it would be. When I told him about 6 months, he thought I meant days. We had to work through that that it was more like 180 days, but he caught on. We signed him up for his assessment (in early August) to give the teachers an idea of what level the kids are prior to the first day.

"I like my new big boy school," he told me as we were driving away. "I gonna go to school all the time, and I not going to get tired of it going all the time!" he added. We've been trying to prepare him for the fact that the big boy school is longer, it happens every single day, and it's probably going to be more work and less play than he's used to in preschool. He seems undaunted. He seems ready.

Time will tell, of course. But I do tend to worry less about him. He's my adaptable child. The have suitcase, will travel child. The "Bye-bye, see you later!" child. He always seems to be ready for the next adventure.

We also ended today's momentous occasion by stopping for lunch out for the first time in several weeks. We were close to Connor's new favorite, a place he simply calls "Chicken Fingers!" every time he sees one. It's called Raising Cane's, and we'd both highly recommend it if you haven't experienced it yet. The chicken and dipping sauce are great, the fries are okay, there's cole slaw if you like it (which we don't), the bread is to-die-for, and they have the all-important Coca-Cola on fountain with small ice (think Sonic). Mmm.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another Snow Day

Another Snow Day, originally uploaded by cheryl.

When all else fails, bring out the big bouncy slide and the ball pit balls! Another snow day at home for Mommy and the boys. Lots more photos here.

Customer Service

Back when I worked outside the home, my career was in marketing and public relations. Even now, my part-time job is in customer service. I know a thing or two about the importance of keeping customers happy. No customers, no business.

I just finished a rather harsh letter to our communications provider, a company that had been wonderful in every single previous service issue we'd had in the last four years. Today changed all of that, in one single instant.

First, service technicians showed up unannounced at my house. They parked in my snow and ice-covered driveway, and then proceeded to let themselves into my gated and fenced back yard. Where my very large and very protective dog usually stays. Without bothering to either call first or, at the very least, knock on my front door. They just let themselves in.

Let's just say I was not pleased to look up from my lunch at 2 o'clock and see strange people walking in my fenced backyard. I was thankful that my puppy was laying at my feet, begging for table scraps, and not outside growling at or chewing on some strangers (or escaping from the yard in the snow and ice mess that is on the ground). They should be thankful for that, too.

And that was strike one. Showing up unannounced and then not bothering to knock or let anyone know that they wanted access to our property.

Now we come back to the snow and ice-covered driveway that they parked in. Our house is on a hill, so the driveway is sloped and also comes around in a semi-circle in front of the house. Common sense would have told you that if you were crazy enough to park on an icy, sloped driveway, you would simply back down the way you came when it was time to leave. No, not these people. They tried to pull through the semi-circle. And slid on the snow and ice into our landscaping. They broke one shrub in half and ran into another one, breaking off a few branches on that one, too.

Strike two. Parking in our drive (which technicians have never done in the past) and then damaging our property with a total lack of common sense.

And then they drove away. Strike three.

Nasty letter to customer service followed.

While I generally don't try to get people fired or even in trouble, the idiots who came to my house today truly have it coming. Though I like my communications provider and will not cancel because of this one instance, I did warn them in my letter that next time I probably would. Though it would be an inconvenience to me to switch, if that's the type of service they're going to provide and the type of people they're going to employ, then I'd rather take my business elsewhere.

Common courtesy. Respect for other people's property. Communication. None of those things should be hard. That last one, especially for a COMMUNICATIONS PROVIDER, should be a given.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spell Boy

It's no secret that one of our little boys is a little bit obsessed with his letters. He's known them for quite some time, and he actually wanders around the house spelling things pretty much all day long. His favorite shows on PBS, Word World and Super Why, are where he picks up most of the words he knows how to spell.

Sometimes I think most of it is scripting. Because when he gets in one of his spelling moods, he often spells a series of words that go together (or are used together on a particular episode of the above shows). Things like "truck," "car," "boat," and "train" all in rapid succession. The words don't necessarily relate to anything you're doing or watching. They just come at random.

Today was different. Today my spell boy took one look at a real item, in this particular case a guitar sitting out in a house we were visiting, and he spelled the word "guitar" simply from memory. It was there. And so were the words "tuba" and "drum," which are from that same group on a particular episode.

But still. He spelled the word of the item that he wanted to play with at that exact moment. He was communicating, in his very own unique way. That's my boy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

It Comes Naturally

One of the first concerns we ever had about Sawyer was what we humorously referred to as his OCD tendencies - lining things up, organizing things by patterns or colors, or his desire to have things done a certain way. Let's just say he has always liked things his way. And while he can be convinced these days to venture outside those rigid lines and patterns, his need for order is still very much there.

Clearly the kid gets it naturally. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am ridiculously organized. Back in the days when I actually worked outside the home, my office was spotless and everything was in its place. There, my co-workers would humorously refer to my OCD tendencies. So it turns out that Sawyer gets some of those things from his mother, not just his autism.

Case in point, the recent move from my previous web address to this one. It moved only a couple of days ago, and yet every single post has been edited to remove any reference to our last name, to the previous address or to the previous photo site address. With over 1,000 posts, that's a lot of editing. And I can't tell you how many times I wrote the phrase "see more photos here" and linked back to the photo site.

And in looking at the new photo site, with a mere 350 odd photos compared to the 6,000 plus that inhabited the old one, my OCD tendencies moved to another level. I did not want to move all 6,000 photos manually to the new site, where I would have to re-label and re-categorize and essentially re-do everything. I really, really did not want to. It was going to take forever. I would never be able to remember every moment enough to put a cute and witty caption underneath. It was too much.

But it bothered me that the history was gone. Because I think it's something the boys might enjoy being able to look back on someday. Instead of starting from the beginning, the photos were starting in the middle.

So what is an OCD girl to do. She starts systematically reloading all of those photos. Not the exact ones from the old site, but simply starting at the beginning of our digital collection and working my way forward (a few months or years at a time), pulling the best and most memorable moments.

Sound fun? It actually wasn't too bad. It's kind of fun to go back and look through those old photos that I haven't had occasion to visit in a while. Baby Connor. Newborn twins in their constantly matching outfits. Buster as a tiny puppy, even. So it's been a fun trip down memory lane, even if it is a little bit of work along the way.

But then a problem immediately occurs to me. The photos are out of order in the photostream. Because I'm constantly uploading current photos in between batches of the old ones. And the lack of order is driving me crazy! This OCD girl has not only been uploading batches of pictures (about a 100 or so at a time), but I have been going into each individual photo and changing the posting date and time. So that the photos WILL be in chronological order.

Sigh, it's going to be a long process. And until it's done, I'd recommend bookmarking this page. It will show you each set (which I break down by months in the year) instead of the photostream. Because there are going to be times when the photostream is out of order, at least until I take the time to edit each individual photo into its rightful place.

Yes, my son comes by the OCD stuff quite naturally. He gets that from me.

First Time for Everything

Every day small miracles happen. Xander, my pickiest eater by far, surprised me today at lunch.

It was one of those days where I seriously contemplated bundling the boys up and taking them out to McDonald's for a picnic lunch in the truck. We've been in the house for three whole days now, and have at least one more to go. We also have about six inches of snow on the ground with the white stuff still falling (and that's a lot in our part of the world, if you're wondering). So that one more day may turn into three or four if the local schools stay closed.

But in the end, I decided it wasn't worth the risk. While I feel completely comfortable driving my four-wheel drive SUV on the dry snow (not wet snow and ice like earlier in the week), I don't have so much faith in everyone else. Usually it only has to rain for traffic accidents to spike in our city, so snow is a whole other level of bad things just waiting to happen.

So we stayed in. And I made the next best thing - chicken nuggets and french fries in the deep fryer (healthy, I know). I also made some homemade macaroni and cheese, because we hadn't had any in a while and it sounded good on this cold, snowy day.

And that's where the surprise came in. Connor and Sawyer usually eat just about any kind of macaroni and cheese, be it homemade or the kind from a box. Xander, however, never touches any of it. But I put some on his plate anyway, giving each of the boys the exact same thing. I'm nothing if not persistent, even after hundreds of refusals.

But then something amazing happened. He actually ate it.

To say I was surprised is an understatement. He's very particular about what he will allow in his mouth. I sometimes even have to force an unfamiliar piece of chocolate into his mouth just to get him to realize he does, in fact, like chocolate, even if he doesn't recognize the shape. He ate the macaroni like it was one of his usual staples - applesauce or yogurt. It just disappeared.

And then he looked up, said "More, please!" with the sign for "please" added on for good measure.

Wonders never cease.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Quoted & Noted

"Hey, Mom!" my five-year old shouts.


"Who's birthday is next?" he asks. We've just celebrated Daddy's birthday this weekend, complete with take-out from BW3's and homemade (out of a box) lemon cupcakes with whipped cream cheese icing.

Buster's birthday is next, I tell him after a moment or two of thought. It's in March.

"Awww," he whines. "There won't be any cake!"

And there you have it. The sole purpose of other people's birthdays, at least to him, is cake.

"Who's after that?" he persists.

Uncle Brian. Mommy. Aunt Kelly. We name off several. He still isn't hearing what he wants. Can you guess where this is going? He's trying to determine how long until his own birthday. Because for that, there will be cake and presents. All for him.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saint Valentine's Day

Yesterday was the day for all three boys to have their school valentine parties. The list for the third class did come home the night before, so I spent my evening addressing and preparing the third set of valentines.

Unfortunately for Connor, he missed school again on Friday. He was absent Monday because we were worried about a low-grade fever he had Sunday afternoon and didn't want to risk making him worse or getting his classmates sick. Everyone was snowed home on Tuesday and Wednesday. And he missed again yesterday. He started complaining Thursday afternoon of a stomach ache, decided to go to bed early, and woke up enough about midnight to make it to the bathroom where he got sick several times. He was in there several times Thursday night, so he stayed home. His valentines will have to wait until next week.

The twins were fine and went to school as planned. They both had valentines (which I, of course, addressed and assembled) in their bags. And they came home with big bags full of valentines and candy from their classmates. The day went well, according to Mrs. D (their speech therapist) who told me about their adventures when I picked them up from the car line yesterday afternoon.

The first thing I should explain is that the boys all had rather simple valentines this year. We picked up some Hot Wheels cards for Connor and the Disney-Pixar cards for the twins. But none of them came with treats, either candy or pencils or trinkets, as they have in years past. So I decided to make treats of our own. We buy DumDum suckers in bulk at Sam's, and we have a LOT of them in the pantry. They seemed simple enough to affix to the cards, just using a simple handheld hole punch in two separate places. Simple card, simple treat, since we're talking about 40 or so cards to address and assemble.

Can you guess what Sawyer did at school when it was time to pass out his valentines? I'm sure you can, if you just think about it. He LOVES DumDum suckers. Some would even say he is obsessed with them. Yes, that's right, my son started tearing off each sucker to keep for himself as he was passing out his valentines. He was not giving up a single one, thank you. The teachers finally figured out that if they let him have one of the suckers, then he was perfectly willing to pass the others out. But until he had one, no one was getting one. He was hoarding them all. And that was Sawyer's story of the day. He was the entertainment committee.

Xander's story is different. It's one of accomplishment. He actually enjoys helping out. At home, he loves to help me put the dishes away every single morning. He's careful and precise and knows where just about everything goes. He's actually a big help. He also helps set the tables at school during lunch time, giving everyone their milk (though it absolutely must go in the slot marked with an "M" and he will move anything else that someone dares to put in that spot instead). He's a big help there, too. So it was only natural that he would enjoy walking around handing out his valentines to his classmates. What's amazing and incredible is that, with his teacher Ms. E's prompting, he also said each and every classmate's name out loud. Appropriate speech. Out loud. On request. That's a huge moment for him. I almost fell over the other day when he repeated me saying "Bye, Kelly!" to his Aunt Kelly. He rarely uses people's names, though he's does often say "Connor" (sounds more like "Con-yer") and we're staring to hear a few more "Mommy" and "Daddy" around the house, too.

Early Start has definitely been good for both of our boys. With Sawyer there is improved interaction and tolerance. With Xander, there is much more speech and interaction. The boys are generally happy to go to school. They are especially fond of party days, like yesterday, when they both brought home bags full of candy and treats!

Photo Flashback

Big grin from Sawyer. (February 23, 2007)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Back to Reality

And none too happy about it, as you can see. The boys were a little less excited to be going back to school today than Mommy was to take them. Two whole days of not leaving the house can make us all a little crazy.

Given their expression this morning, I'm going to venture that they preferred crazy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Days

Another snow day means another day trapped inside our house. And while that shouldn't be such a bad thing, it's getting old. I am not a winter person. I am so over snow and rain and cold. If we can't get outside to walk or play or even to drive, then the walls start to close in and the boys and I all go a little crazy.

The original plan for today was to drop the twins off at school, and then Connor and I would run some errands and do our weekly lunch out. None of that happened. We stayed home. And therefore watched a little more television than I'd like and spent a little too much time screaming at each other.

We tried to address valentines, which are due by Friday in two of the three classes, but that didn't work out too well either. Connor was too busy watching television to pay attention and kept spelling his own name wrong. And the twins kept trying to steal the suckers that I was attaching to each valentine. I also feel like I should be doing valentines for the third class, but I don't have a name list and I don't know everyone in that class. Hopefully I haven't missed it somewhere along the way, because I don't know that I could take getting a list the night before they're due.

The end of the day brought a little break, for two of us anyway. This month's Book Club was scheduled for tonight, and after a few phone calls and e-mails to discuss driving conditions and logistics, we decided to go ahead. The boys had a blast. Connor was a bit keyed up, having been trapped in the house a lot recently, but they did pretty well for the planned activities of the evening and really enjoyed the free play time afterward. The moms (and host dad) did, too.

A good way to end a very long snow day.Of course, the bad news is that school has already been canceled for tomorrow, too. So here we go again ...

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Letter Obsession

There was a time when I thought Xander's fascination with letters and spelling was cute. Who wouldn't? I mean how many three-year olds do you know that walk around saying the alphabet and spelling random words (perfectly, mind you)?

And it's still cute. And amazing, really. The kid knows his alphabet backward and forward. If you stop singing the alphabet song, he will cue you with the next letter or phrase. He can tell you what sound each and every letter makes. And he can spell probably a hundred or more simple words (think three to seven letters) and even say that word to you after he spells it.

But there comes a point in every day when the cuteness wears off. And you get really, really tired of saying letters and spelling words. Because it's all he wants to do. All day. Every day. From the minute he wakes up (after the "Hi! How are you? Good!" script) to the minute he goes to bed.

Oh, and his favorite bed time book right now? That would be The ABCs of Cookies - a little Sesame Street early reader he got from Grammy for his birthday. And yes, it has a big letter on every page that somehow relates to the process of making cookies. We go through it at least twice every night before bed time.

Did I mention obsessed?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Play Days

Tuesdays and Thursdays are Connor's days off from preschool. Because this is his last year of preschool, we usually try to make the most of those days. One day is typically spent running errands (think grocery store), and the other day is usually reserved for something a little less like work and a little more like play.

Today was the fun day. We dropped little brothers off at school, ran one quick errand (15 minutes tops) and then went over to the house of one of Connor's preschool friends. We even got a bonus, as there was another friend and his mom there, too. If you were to ask Connor who he plays with at school, both of these boys would be at the top of his list. Not a day goes by that I don't hear about how fast one of them is during play time at school or how he'd love to go over to one of their houses to play, maybe some day.

The boys spent most of the morning upstairs playing. The moms got to sit downstairs enjoying the company and a little break of not being expected to entertain our children every single second of the day.

Fun for Connor. Fun for Mommy.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hey, I Need You!

Hey, You!, originally uploaded by cheryl.

I started to just do a blog entry of photos, but there were too many for a single blog upload. So I put the progression up on the Flickr site. It's hilarious.

Sawyer and I go through this dance three or four times every single day, sometimes more. This is his way of requesting cereal. It starts with a hug, then he tries to pull you along by the hand. If that doesn't work, he takes matters into his own hands. And, just a few more inches, and he won't have to request anymore. He's almost there all on his own.

Let's just say the boy is going through a cereal phase at the moment. Lucky Charms are apparently the best thing ever. Really. As in he could eat at least a box a day if you'd let him. The marshmallows first, of course. Except for the green ones. He saves those for last. And then he eventually eats them, too. And, if he has too (meaning you won't just get him more cereal with more marshmallows), he will even eat the other pieces so that he can actually get more marshmallows.

Looks like I know what I need to add to the grocery list this week.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Gallery ... Details

I love this photo of Sawyer. His teacher, Mrs. R., sent it home in his folder along with the string necklace he "made" in class. I'm sure he had help, but that's okay. What I love about the photo is that he's happy, he's engaged and he's actually looking at the camera. All wonderful and amazing things.

Glitter is something all children love. It's also something all mother's could live without. Several of Connor's recent art projects end up like this - in plastic zipper bags - hung up on the refrigerator gallery. Otherwise there is glitter all over my house.

It's a cute cotton ball and q-tip snowflake, if you're wondering.

And that would be my son's very large size two (youth, not toddler) footprint adorned with cotton and real buttons. They definitely do cute crafts at his preschool.

Xander made the animal menagerie. He likes to work with these little foam sticky things, at least from my limited experience. He also repeatedly walks up to finger them on display.

And I've finally discovered how to properly display crafts that are mounted on a rounded paper plate. You take a piece of card stock (I took mine from one of my many online photo shipments) and cut a small strip about six inches long. Then glue it to the back of the plate and you have a flat area to affix with the magnetic clips we use on our refrigerator gallery. Otherwise, just trying to clip the rounded edge means it sticks out all kinds of weird ways and usually gets pulled down by a pair of little hands.

And here we have yet another "special" piece of art, meaning it contains glitter and therefor is enclosed in plastic. This one was fun to bring home from school too - it's essentially a big glob of glue on a paper plate with glitter and other items attached. It was extremely wet and had to dry for two nights before we could even attempt to display it.

Cute though, right?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Snow & Sniffles

Two days in the cold and the snow might not have been the best idea, in retrospect. But, we had three little boys who kept looking out the windows and who kept bringing us their shoes and coats. The two youngest ones may not talk much yet, but that spoke volumes.

Daddy took them all out to play Saturday in the backyard (photos are here). Mommy braved the snow covered roads and went to work. Yesterday, Daddy and Connor went out after lunch to shovel the front drive. And that's when two little boys watched big brother get dressed and decided that was not fair. They kept alternating, one would bring me a hat or a pair of shoes, and then the other would bring me something else. Clearly, they were trying to tell me something.

So out we went again (more photos are here). It wasn't really that cold, and the boys were in layers upon layers of clothes. We start with those tight little kid pajamas (think long underwear without the expense of buying it), two pairs of socks, a pair of cotton lined wind pants, a t-shirt (over the tight pajama shirt), a hooded sweatshirt, and a big winter coat. We also had mittens and hats, the latter of which went on first, followed by the hood from the sweatshirt and then the hood from the jacket. They were bundled, to say the least.

But, as you can see from the photo above, the sniffles have followed our two days of snow play. And so has a little cough. No fever, not even feeling bad, really. Still dancing and playing and just being little boys. Just also sniffling and coughing quite a bit.

So it goes. At least they got a change to get outside and enjoy some sunshine and fresh air for a change. Now, about those 80s I requested a few days back ... we're ready for those now.