Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Random Catch-Ups

Well, now that it is November, I have some summer catch-up to do here in blog world...mostly for my own sake since I use this blog as a somewhat scrambled form of scrapbooking....but also on point of the matter. I will be caught up by the time I need to post the Thanksgiving pictures (ha!).

So let's see....catch up since summer....

The boys did indeed take swim lessons this year. Drew did great and can now confidently swim most strokes on his own. He graduated to the back pool (where there is more room for actual swimming to occur) and was super proud of himself for it. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't proud of him too. He worked hard and loves to swim. I can't for the life of me however, find the pictures of Drewski swimming that I took this year, so you're just going to have to trust me on the fact that he did great! Collin also did great and loved his time in the water. This year was Tan Tan's first year of lessons and until the very last lesson cried each and every time he got into the water. On the very last lesson though (go figure!), he loved it and was all smiles the entire time! Just a few highlights...

Tanner and his sweet teacher Marin.

Collin and Tanner

Coll-monkey learning to dive

Medal time for Tanner! They let all the boys stand up with him in hopes of avoiding tears for Tanner.

It worked! He didn't burst out in tears (as the older boys have done in years past), but he wasn't altogether thrilled with the medal ceremony either.

Collin's last lesson for the summer landed on his birthday, so during the end part of the lesson when they put all the kids on a raft and sing, they had Coll stand up and instead of their regular song, they sang Collin happy birthday, which he loved.

A hard earned medal!

This summer also brought lots of time with cousins:

Tanner and Emmie

All the boys' cousins on Nathan's side with Grandpa

Tanny "helping" Emmie eat

Coll and Elsie

Tanny and Elsie

and the cutest quilting helper on the planet, Miss Maddy.

I promise, the boys got to play with her too, but I made sure to get my share of snuggles while she was in town too! Love her!

We also got a bit of time with "The Big Cousins" (aka, my cousins on my Mom's side):
My cousin Garrett, Drew, and my cousin Trevor

My sweet cousins Hannah and Cassidy with Tanny

While The Big Cousins were here, my Auntie Pam and Nammy were here too so we were able to celebrate Nammy's birthday with her, which was a treat.

At the end of summer, Drew started kindergarten (!!). ...I'm telling you, they don't lie when they say time flies! He has loved school so far and his favorites aside from anything art related, are science and math.

We also had that little rolly poley puppy we brought home...

...and grow...

...and grow!

And last but not least, this summer also brought a new one in terms of medical care in our house: Lego Arm removal! 
Poor Collin was pretty nervous about what to expect with this one.

Collin quietly and somewhat sheepishly told me one Sunday evening that he had shoved a Lego arm up his nose and couldn't get it out. Ummm, what?! At first I wasn't sure I believed him. Maybe he had shoved it up there and didn't notice when it came back out....Lego pieces can be tiny, you know. In any case, I needed to ease my mind and decided to have him lay down so I could look. I couldn't see the Lego though, even with a flashlight. Curious, I asked him what color the arm was (usually they are the traditional Lego yellow but they do come in black, navy, red, etc too). He told me it was black (Of coooooourse it was black. The hardest to see in a dark nose!). I tried looking a few more times and then roped Nathan into looking too, but neither one of us could see anything. Collin kept sneezing though, so I figured something was most likely up there and made an appointment with our pediatrician for the following morning. Sure enough, first thing in the morning, we saw through that lovely doctor's Otoscope, a tiny black Lego hand....exactly as Collin had said. His pediatrician made multiple attempts to get it out, but Coll had stuck it so far up his nose that she couldn't get to it, so we were referred to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Fast forward a few hours and there we sat, in a new doctor's office, looking at the same stuck Lego piece with a new doctor. He numbed up Collin's nose and sprayed something to help his swollen membranes relax and then attempted to get a better look....and wouldn't you know it...Collin had stuck that Lego arm so far up his nose that the doctor grimly turned around to tell me that he had only a 50/50 chance at being able to grab the Lego without knocking Collin out in order to get it (only Collin....). Fortunately, after multiple nostril sprays, a surgical table and a huge magnifier that had awesome little grippy claws tiny enough to go up Collin's little nose, that talented doctor was able to grab the Lego arm. (Phew!!).

Gross, I know! And of course they ask if you want to keep it, to which Collin and Drew both shouted, "YES!!" (Oh, the horror of even just one Lego being thrown away!!).

And thus, we ended our summer...learning (over and over again through the voice of every doctor and nurse we ran into) that nothing smaller than your elbow belongs in your nose or ears!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Three Things

1. Lost another tooth. This one was actually loose first, so we were expecting it to fall out (unlike the first one). Drew let Daddy pull it (ew!) and it was so loose that when he did, Drew was still sitting with his eyes squeezed shut asking, "Are you going to pull it?". He never felt anything and now has his two bottom teeth missing!

2. Loves Science and wants to be an engineer (or a baseball player) when he grows up.

3. Is King of the cheese ball face right now.

4. Is all about telling knock, knock jokes these days. We're still working on the whole punchline thing.

5. Loves to write or color you notes. I often find these little love notes next to my bed when I go to sleep at night. Melt.

A horse :)

I loved that he had made this note stand!

1. Loves cutting with scissors! This almost always results in a piece of paper being cut into hundreds of itty bitty pieces. I keep trying to explain to him that I will hand him another piece of paper when he's done making a few cuts on the first one, (instead of him continually cutting the same piece until it's in minuscule pieces), but I think he just enjoys being a confetti maker.

2. Loves animals (which I know I've said before), but its still relevant. The first thing he asks when he wakes up is, "Where's Brucey?". Not "Hi mom" or "Good morning",  or "What's for breakfast?"....."Where's Brucey?". Each and every day. Same thing for when we come home from being out of the house.

3. Often sings to himself, which I love overhearing.

4. Like Drew, he is also big on the knock knock jokes....and also like Drew, the concept of a punchline is, for the most, part lacking. Since the jokes get so scrambled though, they end up being funny with or without a logical punchline!

Tan Tan the Man Man
1. Moved into a big kid bed at the beginning of September.

2. Wants to use the potty, but I'm not ready to potty train yet. He'll ask to hop on the potty, but doesn't do much beyond that. Usually I will appease him and let him just sit.

3. Loves to be silly. He will do almost anything if it means getting a laugh out of his brothers. Sometimes this is fun, sometimes it brings trouble!

4.  Still loves a good tantrum. Hoping that all my killer parenting skills will be making this phase a short one, HA!

5. Turned two yesterday! (How did that happen??).

5. Is a time out sympathizer. Although he's had his own fair share of being in trouble, almost any time one of the other boys is in time out, Tanner will go and sit with them. Makes me laugh.

Monday, September 29, 2014

MacFest 2014

At the end of August we had a family reunion in Lodi with my Dad's side of the family. My Dad is the last of eight kids, so when we all get together, we're quite a group! This year was especially fun because most of my cousins now have kids of their own, so it was neat to see our kids all running around together the way that we used to when we were little!

While we were in Lodi, my Dad rented our immediate family a great little house with a pool where we could all hang out together since we were staying a few days. The reunion was hosted by some of my Dad's family who actually live in Lodi and they did a fabulous job with everything! Among so many other things, we were welcomed with a bag filled with goodies for the weekend: towels, a movie for the kids, snackies, home-canned pickles (that were amazing), etc. They had thought of so many tiny details to make our stay comfortable and fun...and really, who doesn't love a great welcome bag? Icing on the cake!

My parents hosted a BBQ at "their" house on Friday night for any family that was already in town. Because Nathan needed to finish off the work week, he and I left for the reunion early on Saturday morning with Tanner. The big boys, however, managed to convince Auntie Jenn and Uncle Burkie to let them hitch a ride with them a day early to go see Lala and Poppi and to be a part of the BBQ.  From what I heard, there was plenty of fun, cousins, lizard catching, glow sticks, and running around that happened on Friday night! Thanks to Jenn and Burkie for trekking along two extras for all the shenanigans!

On Saturday, we had the family reunion out at the lake on my cousin, Julie's, family ranch. She was married at this lake years ago and it is just beautiful, with a beach, dock for fishing, and a huge lawn area for the kids to run around on. For the reunion, they had also set up a bounce house/water slide/kiddie pool for the littlest cousins to play in....big hit!

All of my boys (Nathan included) spent most of the day fishing (surprise, surprise).

Collin caught a fish early in the day and Nathan caught a few throughout the afternoon... 

...but Drewski spent his entire day on the hunt for those darn fish and boy, were they elusive!

It wasn't until the very end of the day that he finally caught a fish when Daddy took him out to fish from the paddle boat. That fish was hard earned!

Showing off his fish to my cousin's little girl, Giada 

Aside from fishing and just hanging out, the lake had a paddle board, lounge float, paddle boat, and canoe, so we were never in short supply of things to do! The little guys played with the toys in the sand on the beach, ran around out on the lawn, and even got to play with a parachute someone had thought to bring, which was pretty fun!

Drew and Collin fishing with my Uncle Jamie and their Uncle Burkie

My cousin Julie's son, Gino. 

Collin and Gino together were cracking me up!

My cousin Julie, her hubby Mike, and my Dad

More cousins' kids! Stella and Giada

Collin, Gino, Tanner and Stella

My niece Elsie

My cousins Julie and Steph

And just in case you were thinking he had been left out, Tanner had a turn fishing for a bit too.

More lake fun!

My cousin's family produces ahhh-mazing olive oil (Calivirgin. Go look them up. Seriously.). We would like to think that we were super special and therefore given our own personal olive oil tasting unlike any they do for anyone else, but the reality is, their family is extremely nice and probably do tastings like these, often. (Its what makes them great!). The personal tour of the olive oil plant where they make everything, though? I'd like to think that one was just for us! ;) 

My Aunts: Mickey, Katie, and Ran

Tan Tan

And what get together would be complete without Cornhole? I mean, really...

My cousin Wes and his son James

Elsie and Ty Ty

After the official family reunion on Saturday, we had a few encore family reunions on Sunday! First, a BBQ at my Aunt Ran and Uncle Bud's house in the afternoon and then a dinner BBQ in the evening at the house my uncle Jamie and his family had rented. (We'd go home to change or nap kiddos, but really, most of our free time was spent just hanging out together at one house or another).

Little Cousins

My Cousins

My Dad and six of his seven siblings (and their spouses).

The crazy part is, we were still missing people in these photos! I think someone along the way said there were 56 (!) of us total and 37 had made it to the reunion.

My dad and Uncle Jamie playing guitar and singing together after dinner Sunday night.

The littlest boys discovered the floor vents for the AC in the house Uncle Jamie had rented and just thought it was hilarious to watch their shirts...

...and shorts, puff up when they stood next to them!

If the pictures aren't doing the reunion justice (and they probably aren't since I majorly slacked on taking them for most of the trip!), it was so, so much fun and great to see everyone we hadn't seen in a while! A huge thank you again to all my Lodi family for pulling everything together and for all of your hospitality! Love you guys!