Monday, June 25, 2012


Meet Tolo.

The boys found Tolo (who later underwent the great name transformation to become ToTo--say this with great emphasis on the T's, otherwise you have absolutely, most definitely said it wrong. Just ask Drew who corrected me on this nearly every time I said it).

Tolo recently spent an entire afternoon being well loved (harassed?) by two very enthusiastic boys who happened to come upon his hiding spot while playing baseball in the yard. You see, the boys had taken a break from playing in the kiddie pool to play when a "foul" ball landed in the midst of the mint plant under the lemon tree in the backyard. Well, when they went to retrieve their ball, they stumbled upon Tolo (poor Tolo). You should have heard them squeal. "Mom, MOM! We found a TOAD! Can we play with it?? Can it swim in the kiddie pool with us??" Clearly, their baseball game had just been forfeited. 

This poor toad provided hours of entertainment for the boys. So much so, that I finally had to ask Drew to put Tolo in one of the planter pots on the patio to give him a break for a bit (I was starting to feel sorry for dear, sweet Tolo). Fortunately, he was more than willing to do this so long as the planter was within eyesight of where he was swimming so he could maintain contact with his amphibious friend at all times. Logical.

Although Tolo did get a few breaks, throughout the day there was plenty of showing off and sharing of Tolo (I never thought I would be asking a 4 year old to stop sharing....but these were exactly the words I found myself uttering as Drew set that slimy thing down on my leg so that I could have a turn).

There were swimming excursions in the kiddie pool....

There was the "island" that we eventually gave Tolo. Again, I was afraid if the boys didn't give their new friend a break from all the swimming that we might end up with a much less lively (read: dead) froggy friend.

There was the game of watch Tolo jump into the water, that the island slowly became (eh, my island intentions were good)...

There was sharing with Collin....
 who was a much more willing participant in the great game of sharing dear Tolo than I was.

...although I did have to laugh because at first, any time Tolo moved, this was Collin's reaction.

There was mimicking Tolo...

...fascination with Tolo...

...scolding Tolo for trying to hop away (how dare you Tolo, I mean, really??!)

...and of course there was "cuddling" (??!) Tolo....for that is indeed exactly what they told me they were doing...

But most of all, there was bliss...

...Pure, found something gross-squishy-and-best-of-all-alive little boy bliss!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's Day

Our weather forecast for Father's Day was 108 hundred and eight! I read this earlier in the week and promptly decided then and there that we would be kidnapping Daddy and escaping to cooler parts for the duration of Father's Day this year. Once decided, I called Nathan, asked him to block out his day, and left the rest as a surprise. The boys and I then put together a survival basket of sorts and let Nathan open it the day before our trip. We were in need of some help loading kayaks on Saturday night...pregnant bellies aren't really friends with loading kayaks onto huge hubby-driven trucks. Besides which, he was going to wonder why I was making him get up at the crack of dawn on "his day" anyway. Best to just explain it all on Saturday. Anyway, we let him open up the basket we had filled with sunscreen, a hat, chapsticks, snackies, etc and let him guess where we were headed. His guess actually wasn't a bad guess. He thought we were headed for a day in Yosemite and although that would have been fun, the cooler weather in Morro Bay just sounded so much nicer all around. Once said, Nathan was quick to agree. :)

I realize that I am completely biased, but my boys have the best Daddy!

Collin, of course, wouldn't look at me for a picture. Instead, he would poke at Nathan and then giggle at his reaction. I think I caught this one just after a poke.

Remember? We like self portraits, and every so often, our kids work with us and smile too! This was the first time we had kayaked with both the boys. We had Collin sit up front in the kayak with me and Drew sat the same way with Auntie Jenn in her and Burke's kayak.

 It was surprisingly easy to paddle with Collin in my lap...that is, if I was able to paddle. Collin started out very cautious and so mellow but as our trip went on, his confidence grew and suddenly I found myself with a little boy who wanted to "help" paddle. Needless to say, this pretty much stopped all paddling on my end. Nathan ended up paddling us around solo and Collin would leisurely dip his paddle in to "help" every so often. Heaven forbid I try to take that paddle and actually get back to work though! It was off limits for Momma, Collin didn't need any help. Eventually though, Coll did lose interest in the paddle, but only because the water all around us had finally caught his attention (it was inevitable, really). Unfortunately, this still didn't translate into me being able to paddle again. Rather, I spent my time reminding Collin to sit on his bottom and to try and keep at least half of his body in the kayak at all times. Seriously, it made me wonder if we each had two different goals- my goal to keep Collin dry, and his to dive into the water! I eventually just broke down my paddle and handed it back to Nathan to stow for me. Holding on to the rugrat in front of me became priority numero uno. Oh, how our kayaking days have changed!

And it wasn't just Collin who eventually thought it was more fun to play in the water than it was to stay dry. Surprise, surprise. 

Smoking hot and a great Daddy to boot! I scored with this one.

After kayaking, we went to lunch at one of our favorite little places for some clam chowder. Not only were we having soup (and enjoying it!) mid summer, it was even cold enough on the patio that the heaters were on....such a welcome break from the valley heat!

The boys in my life

Drew's only request when he found out we'd be heading towards the beach was to build some sand castles and dig in the sand. So, after kayaking for a few hours and lunch, we headed down to a freezing cold and breezy beach for some sand castle fun. Jenn and I stayed completely bundled up, but the boys didn't seem to mind the cold at all....

Collin was a nut at the beach. He didn't spend a whole lot of time digging, but he did make plenty of sand angels. He also got a kick out of just laying in or squirming through the sand on his belly. 

And where was Daddy for the first portion of this? Cat napping! We apparently wore him out!

The nap was short lived though...the boys wanted to play!

...and not only in the sand, in the water (!!) as well! Fortunately, Nathan was willing to take them down to the water to play. There was no way this Momma was headed down to get wet...that water was frigid!

...not that you'd be able to tell how cold it was by looking at these smiling faces. Seriously, they didn't mind the water one iota. 

Such a fun day! To my boys' daddy as well as my own Dad and Nathan's...Happy Father's Day again! You Daddies are well loved!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Can you say GOOber?? 
(Thanks Auntie Kell for always taking cute pictures of my babies!)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Little Gym

A few weeks ago was the boys' last week at Little Gym before summer break. This year was the first year that Drew was old enough to be in a parent-free class (only kids and their teacher in the gym). From my side of things, it was nice to see him listen and follow the instructions of someone other than me or Nathan, and he did great! Collin, of course, is still too young for this sort of class, so he always had Kathleen (or me, if she was out of town) in class with him. Although he did love Little Gym overall, Coll usually spent the first ten minutes not sure that he really wanted to be there. On one of the days I had taken him to class, I had another parent ask me if his attitude would change if he came early and got to "warm up" to the idea of Little Gym by watching the class before his for a bit. Um, no. I had to laugh because throughout the year we had tried just that. We also tried coming late by 10 minutes in order to skip the warm up time on the mat and neither made much of a difference. He just seemed to need five or ten minutes all to himself to just check things out before he'd be ready to jump in and play. By the end of each class though, he was always running around like the more typical wild munchkin we see at home. Silly baby (...Not so baby anymore?).

The very last class of the semester is always "Showtime", where the kids get a chance to show off all of their skills they've been working on throughout the year. Little Gym is usually Grandma's date day with the boys, but she wasn't able to make this class, so I took them. Both boys were excited to show off that day, and much of it came off as silliness. ...And of course, on the very last day of class (go figure!), Collin was happy and raring to go from the start, which made for some cute pictures.

Parents usually sit on the outside of the classroom, but for Showtime week, they put the chairs on the inside so parents and grandparents can watch and also take pictures. Drew and Collin's classes were back-to-back this year, which meant that while Drew was waiting for his Showtime class to start, he got to wait in on Collin's. I think this probably played a part into why Collin was so amped up from the get-go that week. Little brothers always like to show off when their big brother is watching! :)

So much dancing/showing off/general goofiness that day! Silly boy! 

"Heeeeeeeeese!" (We've got to work on the smiling part now, but the "cheese!" part we've got! I'm actually not sure he realizes that when you say "cheese", you're supposed to smile while saying it!)

At the end of class...bubbles! ...stomping them is always a hit!

And finally, they tried to get all of the kids together for a group photo. As you can see by the crying child running back at me, we weren't having anything to do with this.  I laughed because there were probably five or six other kids all doing this very same thing back at their parents. And I love that the little boy behind Collin thought it was just more worthwhile to curl up in a ball on the spot rather than run back to Mom. Such a funny age for things like group pictures. (In fact, if I recall correctly, I think I have a few pictures of Drew looking very similar in earlier years!)

After Collin's class finished up, it was his turn to sit and Drew's turn to play. Because Drew's class was a parent-free class, their Showtime was much more of an actual show. They had been working on three routines throughout the year depending on which station they were at and so for Showtime, each child ran through the routine all on their own. No parent, no teacher (other than supervising). Before beginning their rotations though, they all did a warm up dance/run with these noodles. I was astounded that they weren't bapping each other with them instead of doing all the motions that they were supposed to, but they all did great!!

Routine 1: hop from vault, somersault, donkey kick and cartwheel (as best they could)

Routine 2: Walk sideways across the beam, dip each foot off the side, somersault backwards, stand and dismount

Routine 3: Bars! Swing up onto the low bar, stand on the low bar and hold onto the high bar, walk a few paces sideways, swing onto the high bar, turn around and dismount. 

At the end of class, just like in Collin's, they did an awards ceremony. Drew was so mellow while he was on the podium itself, but the second he jumped down he was hopping all over the place singing about and showing off that medal with his little buddies. 

And of course, as they get older, those group pictures do eventually get better!