Monday, January 28, 2013

Completely Random

As I was downloading pictures from the boys' recent birthday, I realized there were still just a few more left from the last day of our winter beach vacation. It was cool and rainy, and we spent a big part of our day alternating between screens and the indoor swimming pools.

These pictures made me smile, because clearly the boys have come a long, long way at making themselves at home in unfamiliar places. Sawyer, in particular, has no trouble making himself at home anywhere.

The iPads definitely help, he says.

And the headphones, well those help everyone else. Because I'm pretty sure no one else wants to hear Cars or Wall-E pause-play-pause-play for hours at a time.

Trust me.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Thinking Spring ...

Here You Go by here we wander
Here You Go, a photo by here we wander on Flickr.
Heaven help us, we are officially a two-sport family. Three boys, two sports, one season. Our life is going to be even more chaotic than usual.

Last week I signed the boys up for Spring. Connor, of course, is excited to be back for his second season in Rookie League baseball. You might remember that his team did pretty well last year, coming in second place in their division and even winning the division tournament. Don't expect the same thing this season, as more than half of the team aged out of the league and moved up. Connor is one of the oldest, and most experienced, players. He's going to have some pretty big cleats to fill, and his coaches are going to be expecting quite a bit from him this season.

And the twins, for the first time ever, are signed up for soccer. It's an adaptive league, with buddies assigned to each player to help them learn the game and also stay on task. It's only one day a week (Sundays), and is more about learning and being part of a team than competing. I think Xander will really enjoy playing a sport. I'm not so sure about Sawyer. But we thought both of them should try it, at least once.

Slowly but surely, the boys are getting out into the world a little bit more. We may be sorry come Spring, when there are multiple practices or games at the same time on the same day, or when we spend all day running back and forth between athletic fields.

Time will tell ...

New Crocs

Some things in this life are just hard. We try not to dwell on the hard around here. Our boys are relatively healthy and happy. There are many more good moments than there are bad ones. But sometimes the bad ones happen.

On our way to the beach over winter vacation, we passed a huge outlet mall. One of the stores caught my eye, because it was something the boys really needed. Crocs. We don't have a Croc store in our part of the world, and I've mostly ordered them online for the boys.

The boys are like their Mommy, they don't really likes wearing socks and shoes. If it's even remotely warm outside, or sometimes just if the sun is shining, we like to pretend it's summer. I wear flip flops. They wear Crocs. And their Crocs are going on three years old this year. The straps are falling apart, the soles are nearly non-existent, and they are just plain worn out. They have been worn A LOT. And they're also getting small.

When Josh and I were on our weekend getaway last fall in the mountains, we looked in a Croc store. But there were so many sizes and different styles, that we weren't sure which ones to buy. So we left that store empty-handed. But this time would be different. The boys would be with us. They could pick their own color and we could try them on to make sure they actually fit.

It seemed like a win-win situation. We would simply make a stop on our way back home. We could go to the Croc store, then get some gas and lunch on long drive back home. It would be a few hours into our drive and a perfect place to stop.

But it wasn't perfect.

All three boys balked at getting out of the truck to go into a store. Perhaps they were already preparing themselves for the fourteen hour drive and this stop was happening too early. Or perhaps they just didn't want to shop. Maybe they expected lunch. Who knows. They went into the store, but it was not willingly.

Once inside, Connor and Xander started roaming around and checking out all the different colors. Xander immediately latched onto a pair of red and navy blue Crocs. Connor, of course, wanted the exact same pair. And that would just be a nightmare trying to keep them separate since they wear nearly the same size and we keep all their shoes in the same bench.

That was our first battle. So we spent some time trying to find the right size for Xander, and also to suggest some other colors for Connor who was less than thrilled that he couldn't have his first choice. He wanted red.

Typical problems, right. Two boys wanting the same thing. One mad that he doesn't get his way. And we could have handled that problem. Connor eventually settled on the orange and white ones, which we easily found in his size (though he has sadly moved into the adult sizes).

The problem was Sawyer. He just was not having it. From the moment he got out of the truck, pulling at our hold on his hand as we walked toward the store, and screaming (and I do mean screaming) bloody murder the entire time we were in the store. He sat down on a round seating area (meant for trying on shoes) and just cried the whole time.

There was no logic, no rhyme or reason. He wasn't tired. He wasn't hurt. It wasn't terribly loud or remotely crowded. The lights weren't that bright. It was just a store. And we go into stores, albeit briefly, all the time. He doesn't like it, but he doesn't melt down. Not like this.

We picked out green ones for him (also in the adult sizes). We picked the size just bigger than the ones he was wearing. And all the while, he screamed. Long and loud and hard. He screamed. Even after we left and headed back to the truck. Even after we got back into the truck.

It was not the trip I had envisioned. Something so simple, like going into a store and picking out a pair of shoes, was not simple at all. It was hard. Really, really hard.

And those are the moments that just suck. Because it should have been simple. It should have been fun. But it was neither.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Winter Vacation

You may have noticed the new photo at the top of the blog. The other one was just three or four years old. Finally, we have a group photo of all three boys that is not staged or pieced together in PhotoShop. A magical moment in the middle of our winter beach vacation, where all three boys were loving our trip to the ocean.

It was a great trip. Special thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for inviting us, and for helping us take care of three little boys (especially the two who liked to get up much too early). The rest of the photos from the trip start here.

Beach. Pool. MyPad. Lunch. Bed.

That's how Xander would sum up our trip.

And it's a pretty good summary. The weather was nice, with several days in the upper 70s and even one day in the 80s. There were a few cooler days in the 60s, and even a few days with clouds and rain. But we still had a good time. We made several trips to the beach, even though the water was on the chilly side (mid-60s at best). We made several trips to the pools (both indoor and outdoor, complete with water slide and lazy river). We had our screens (iPads for the twins, iPod Touch for Connor, television and wi-fi computers for the rest of us). And we had lots of good food. Not quite enough bed, especially with the sleeping arrangements and Sawyer's unpredictable sleeping patterns.

And now we're back home. Slowly finding our way back into our routine.

School. Work. Therapy. Homework. MyPad. Lunch. Bath. Bed.

I'm pretty sure we all like last week's routine a little bit better. But so it goes.

The Christmas Card

(Better late than never, right?)

It's been cleaned up a little for the blog (our family name has been removed). But otherwise, this is our Christmas card. It was the first time in several years that it did not involve PhotoShop magic to make everyone smile. Of course, it was also one of many, many, MANY attempts for a photo.

This is the one that I wanted to use. It was a more accurate representation, trust me.

It was the closing photo on the back of the card. Nothing says happy holidays like screaming children, right? Sawyer was not having the photo session this year. Xander was fine until Sawyer started screaming, then he joined in to support his brother. Connor was just over it, as you can tell from his half-smile.

Good times.

Despite the Christmas card photo, we had a good holiday. Several celebrations with several different branches of the family. Early Christmas at the lake with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Brian, and Cousins Austin and Kyndal. Holiday celebrations at school. Christmas Eve brunch with an extended side of Josh's family. Christmas Eve with Grammy's side of the family. And Christmas Day at home with our little family (after Daddy got off his half-shift at work). And then we left for our winter beach vacation.

Busy times. But good ones. Well, for the most part. Sawyer doesn't want to talk about the Christmas card photo session.