Thursday, March 31, 2011

House Guests!

Well, the Aunties (and Burkie, Ty Ty, and Lala) have all been here at various times throughout the past two weeks and we have loved the time we've had to spend with them, however brief it may have been (Lala!).

Jenn and Burke were the first to show up. They were only here four days, but that was plenty of time in Drew's mind to decide that Auntie Jenn Jenn's way of doing just about anything was the only way to do it. He has made a point of telling us since Jenn and Burke left, that we're doing various things wrong. We now put his shoes on wrong, kiss him goodnight wrong, read his books wrong, fix his sandwiches wrong, and brush his teeth wrong (among other things). Never mind the fact that we've been doing these things for almost three years and had yet to be told it was wrong before. It has become Jenn's way or no way. I laughed the night Jenn and Burke left as I listened to Nathan brush Drew's teeth before bed. That was the first time we heard that we were doing things the wrong way. Apparently Auntie Jenn Jenn had sung a song while she brushed Drew's teeth. I listened to Drew try to describe the "brushy brushy" song to Nathan, and laughed as Nathan tried to make up his own song to please Drew. After the millionth time of Drew telling Nathan he still wasn't doing it right, Nathan gave up on the singing, made Drew brush his teeth and called it a night. Out of curiosity, I called Jenn to see what on earth the song was that she had sung. Turns out, it's the "Brusha, brusha, brusha" song that is sung on the commercial during the girls' night on the movie "Grease" (anyone know what I'm talking about, or did I loose you all here?). This totally made me laugh because I knew exactly what song it was (we used to mimic it when we were little), and tried to sing it to Nathan to see if he knew what it was as well. He looked at me like I was nuts (it might have made more sense if he had actually seen "Grease"). Oh well. In any case, Drew has somewhat begrudgingly let us brush his teeth like "normal" ever since.

We'll work on all the other things as they pop up, aaaaand, if we can't figure out what we're doing wrong, we'll call Auntie Jenn Jenn and make her come over! Yep, you read that right. Jenn and Burke will be living by us come the end of April thanks to Burkie's new job (insert appropriate freak out scream here!). I am SO so so excited about this. It's been six years since I last lived near my sisters and I can't wait to have some portion of my family close by again.

Christi and Tyler mostly just used our house as a resting point to break up the long drive down to and back from Orange County where Tyler's parents were throwing them a wedding shower. They hung out with us one night at the beginning of the week while Jenn and Burke were still here, and one night at the very end of the week. The time in between they spent hanging out with Tyler's family and friends in Orange County. Lucky for me, I got to see them not only at my house, but also at the shower, where I met up with my mom who flew in from Oregon, and my Grandma who drove up from San Diego. I brought Collin with me (and half of Christi's bridesmaids), and Nathan and Drew stayed home to hang out together. Tyler's mom Stacy did an amazing job with the shower and it was fun to meet all of Ty Ty's family.

After a quick "four hours" (uh huh, Christi.....) in the car, we were all ready for some lunch at Cheesecake Factory before the shower. My trusty travel companions (and some of Christi's bridesmaids): Sarah, (Christi), Nicole, and Rachel

The littlest trusty travel companion

 Everything for the shower was beautiful, and so welcoming. Stacy put a ton of thought into the decorations, food (there was a favorite salad of both Christi's and of Tyler's), games, atmosphere and the night in general.

Tyler's mom made this. I know it's hard to see, but it says "Wedding Bliss". On the "I" of Bliss, there are two folded newspaper fans that represented Tyler's dad who works for the LA Times.

Just like she had done something to represent Tyler's dad, Stacy had also done a decoration representing Christi's dad. The hydrangeas on the table were set in a vase filled with water and blueberries. The blueberries represented our dad, who works at a nursery that grows blueberries. Stacy had all sorts of cute and thoughtful touches like this around the house.

Tyler's parents Mark and Stacy, with Christi and Tyler

Us with my mom and Nammy (my grandma)

This was the only picture I had of Tyler's sister (she's on the far left), but it's also almost all of Christi's bridesmaids

Ok-this game was hilarious! It was a memory game, so you had to match up two different words. When you did, there was a candy prize that had something to do with the words you just found (For example, "Bride's honeymoon cry" won you an Oh, Henry candy bar). I had played this once at a baby shower, but the bridal shower version was much more creative!!

My mom had flown into LA for the shower, but chose to drive back with Christi and Tyler so that she could make a pit stop at our house with them and see Drew. I'm honestly not sure who was more excited about this, my mom or Drew.

Yes, those are the Christmas jammies. Again. Don't judge. He'd wear them everyday if we let him (which judging by recent pictures, apparently we do).

We always love having the aunties and Lala in town and it always feels like the time was way too short when they leave, but we'll take what we can get!

Aside from all the Auntie fun, this week has been full of Collin shenanagins. That little hooligan has been into everything! Aaaaaand, he has a sidekick who will happily hand him all sorts of things if for some reason his little arms are unable to reach. Like a marker. Yep. I left the room for two seconds to go grab my shoes and a hair tie on our way out the door the other morning, and I came back to this:

Nothing like a brown marker to make you feel like a major failure as a parent for the morning, haha. I just can't get over how quick the two of them were. I didn't even put my shoes on while in my bedroom, I just went to grab them! Could you imagine how much more marker would have been on him if I had actually put them on?

Just look at the color of his hands. They're like Oompa Loompa orange!

Needless to say, our plans to head out the door were put on hold in lieu of a bath. Look at the marks in the water where his hands touched on either side. The only thing I can say about all of this is thank goodness it was washable marker!! It all came off easily with a little soap and water.

So although Drew just got his markers back after being taken away a while ago for drawing on his toys, they have once again returned to the craft boxes in the office closet. This household is sticking with crayons for a while; a good looooong while.

His other shenanagin this week?

Pulling himself up on furniture to stand. I keep telling him, I'm not ready for him to be playing these sorts of games, but as you can see my requests are returning null and void.

So if you made it this far, congrats you little loyal blog follower you! Hopefully next week's post won't be quite so long and rambling. :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A glimpse of our week

Since I am currently watching two very adorable toddlers for a friend of mine, and since the time that both my kids and hers will all be sleeping at once may be brief, I will give you just a preview of our week this week and then finish it up next week. Let's just say the Aunties (and Uncle Burkie of course!) have been in town and we have been loving it!!

Puzzle time! (Yep, those would be Christmas jammies Drew is wearing. They're his "faaaaavorite!".)

Bedtime stories with Auntie Jenn Jenn

Look who's playing on his knees these days...

More on all of this next week, I promise! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fun in the Sun

I know, I know Christi...this post is late. I got it. ;)

We have been having some fabulous weather around here! The days have been clear enough that you can see those beautiful snowy mountains surrounding us, the trees are blooming, and the weather has been in the low seventies. Plus, the days are getting longer. Perfect! It's the kind of weather that actually makes Fresno a pretty enjoyable place to live. Since spring is always a blip on the radar around here though, we try to take advantage of it as much as possible during its short stay!

Last weekend we took Collin along with us for his first bike ride. We finally traded our single tow-behind trailer for a double (anyone out there looking for a single??), so we loaded up both boys and headed out. We have a great biking/running path about a mile or so from our house that connects most of Fresno and Clovis. We left our house, rode a few minutes, and then met up with and followed this path before we cut off to head towards a favorite ice cream place in North Fresno (anyone else seeing a pattern here with us and ice cream?). I would love to say that Collin was thrilled by this little adventure, but the reality is that he fell asleep about 5 minutes into our trip. While Drew spent the ride looking out his window and talking with us about what he saw, Collin was sleeping away on Drew's arm. Oh well, it made for a happy baby once we stopped.

Doesn't that just make your neck hurt? He's really leaning on Drew's arm, but this picture makes him look so uncomfortable!

Nathan's favorite circus trick with Collin (makes me SO nervous!) 

The boys have also spent quite a bit of time in the backyard this week. Drew's been really into anything ball related lately (baseball, golfing, soccer, just throwing or kicking, etc.), so while Nathan was home for the weekend, the two of them spent some time hitting golf balls on our (shamefully overgrown) back lawn. 

Thanks to many-a-day out in the dirt and grime, the boys have also spent quite a bit of time in the bathtub this week. Drew's one request through all of this? Bubbles! Since the faucet on their tub needs to be replaced, they've been enjoying plenty (plenty!) of bubbles in the big bathtub instead.

Drew thought it was hilarious to blow the bubbles at Collin. He then switched to blowing them on Nathan....

Daddy's bubble blowing retaliation :)

Finally, the reason I never got a chance to blog last night (there's always a reason!), the baseball game! The Fresno State Bulldogs happened to have a game on Saint Patricks day this year, so we met up with Nathan's mom and took the boys to go watch them play. Drew loved every second of it, and Collin (surprise!) slept through most of it! 

We couldn't get him to eat a hot dog, but he ate most of this monstrous hamburger!

When the Wild Child wasn't cheering on the players or looking for "Timeout", the Bulldog's mascot, he was busy transforming the handrail into a jungle gym. Thank goodness the row in front of us was empty.

Sleep seems to be Collin's M.O. on our little adventures.

This is the only picture I managed to snag of Drew smiling with Grandma. Grandma was updating Grandpa on how the game was going, so technically it's like Grandpa's in the picture too. ;)

Since it was St. Patrick's Day, the Bulldogs had traded their usual red hats for green ones. So festive, those Bulldogs are!

And finally, three things about those growing-way-too-fast boys of mine:

1. Is talking up a storm. I know I mentioned this last month, but the changes in his sentences from month to month have been insane! He's full-on talking like a big kid. No more two or three word sentences in this house! He's also formulating more and more of his own opinions on things, which has been interesting to say the least. These changes have been so much fun (and also so weird) for me!
2. Also like last month, he still has words that are completely off too. The latest? His "knockers" (a..k.a., his binoculars). Try as we might, we cannot get him to call them anything else, so instead we giggle while we listen to him explain about his "knockers" to others, and then rush to explain what exactly it is that he means.
3. He wants to dress himself, both picking out the clothes and actually putting them on (Lord help me and my type A, please-let-me-just-dress-you-myself tendencies!). You'd think I would learn and just clean out his dresser and closet of the clothes I'd rather not have him wearing, but that has yet to happen. In any case, it's sort of fun to see what he comes up with to wear!

1. Is three days shy of 8 months old already (where on earth did those eight months go??!)
2. Has been putting his two little chompers to good use eating all sorts of solid foods. I'm finding that I'm so much more lenient about giving him new things to try than I ever was with Drew. I feel like I followed all the rules of introducing each new food separately with Drew, but Collin tends to get bites of most of the things we eat. His favorites right now include sweet potato, chicken, eggs and toast.
3. Thanks to all that eating and those two lovely teeth, his nursing days are now numbered. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

All Aboard!

I've been meaning to post this for a while now, but look what showed up in my mailbox a few weeks ago:

Is that not just the cutest thing?? This is what my creative little sister Christi (with some help from my other very talented sister Jennie) sent out to ask her bridesmaids to be a part of her big day. I don't even want to know how much time they took to put together! She made each of the dolls look like the girl she was sending it to. Mine was the slight exception to this because Christi ran out of blonde haired girls. Since she happened to have a brown haired girl leftover, and since we're sisters and she was tired of putting dolls together (can you blame her??), she gave me a brownie. The girl is even wearing a replica of what the bridesmaids dresses will look like. So fun! I love getting mail, and mail like this made me smile!!

Anyway, mail wasn't really what I was sitting down to write about, it was just a fun thing I had to share!

This week my friend Sarah called to see if we wanted to join her and her kids (plus a few) on a train ride. The destination? Ice cream in Hanford, a little farming town about a half an hour train ride south of us. It has a well known mom and pop ice cream shop that is within walking distance of the train station once you arrive. How could I say no??

I decided not to tell Drew where we were going until the day of since he still has a hard time understanding the concept of time. I was also hoping that if I didn't tell him that I might be able to have him squeeze in an early nap before we left. Unfortunately while I was feeding him lunch, I let it slip that we would be going on a surprise when he woke up. Well, that killed any idea of him actually taking a nap. I tucked him in and listened to him talk to himself about the surprise he would be going on for almost an hour. He eventually popped out his bedroom door and came running down the hallway yelling, "I'm awake Momma!! Is it time for my surprise??". I had to laugh.

Once he was up, he was up, so I gave in and told him what the plan was. I wish I had video taped his reaction. Drew loves all things train right now, so when he heard he would be getting to ride a real, live, actual train he was giddy. He literally ran around the room screaming about the train and ice cream and his friends Bradley and Hope.

We met up at the train station with Sarah and her kids, along with three other friends' kids (did I forget to tell you how brave Sarah is?? She's much more brave than I am and will gladly take five kids out for a day....I barely survive with just my two some days! The girl is Superwoman!). Anyway, we got our tickets and then headed out to the platform to wait for our train. The platforms were the worst part for me! They're completely open to the tracks, no fences, no guardrail, just open! There's a little yellow line painted about three feet from the edge of the platform that they ask you to stand behind. It definitely doesn't feel like much when those huge trains come rushing in. Just to be on the safe side, we had all the kids sit. A cargo train went by just before our train came in and most of the kids ended up covering their ears. I don't think I realized just how much noise trains make; this thing was loud and fast!

Yep, count 'em! That would be six kids, and Collin made seven. Don't worry, I think we're crazy too. 

Drew was in awe of the train and loved the ride. This is the only picture I got of him actually looking at me. The rest of the time looked more like this:

Glued to that window! I forgot that the train station is close to so many of the industrial businesses in Fresno. Translate this to "boy heaven". There were plenty of tractors, trucks, fire engines, etc. to look at as we pulled out of Fresno. No wonder I couldn't get him to turn around for a picture!

Collin did great! He was happy to be hanging out with the big kids, and was such a trooper for the day!

We were separated from Sarah and the rest of the kids by just a few seats at the beginning of the ride. Hope kept leaning out of her seat and would yell "Dreeeeew?" until he popped out of his seat to say "hi".

Sarah's daughter Hope. Don't you just want to squeeze her? She has the best little personality!!

Hope's brother Bradley with Collin. He was great at making Collin laugh. Those Doman kids looooooove babies. Wonder where they got that?? Hmmmm.....

We finally moved up to be by Sarah when we realized that all the kids prefer to sit (and actually fit) in just a few seats. This is how they rode the rest of the 15 minutes or so that we had left.

When we arrived in Hanford, we loaded up our joggers and headed towards Superior Dairy. The ice cream shop is a quick little half mile trip that took us just a *wee* bit longer thanks to our little detour. maybe we were a bit lost, but it was only for a little while and we made it eventually. That's all that really matters, right? The weather was unusually warm for this time of year, so the cold ice cream was a welcome treat!

That serving was a kid's serving. Where were those type of kid's servings when I was little??

All in all we had a really fun day! We came home talking about friends, trains, and ice cream and crashed into bed shortly after! We were all exhausted! Thanks Sarah for inviting us!!