Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Keith’s birthday was yesterday.  We spent the day at Keith’s parents house for Memorial Day.  Keith’s mom and Jessica made a fun cake for him – a drum set!May2011 107

For his birthday, he got an edger for the lawn and…finally…did something FUN for himself – he ordered an iPod Touch!  I’m so happy he finally spoiled himself – it’s been years since he bought himself something fun! 

May2011 115As for the day at Grandma & Papa’s house, we played cards, chatted, and the kids..and dads, and even Leanne for a while…played in the water in the backyard.  Leanne brought a really fun wiggly sprinkler hose.  I think it’s the cutest sprinkler I’ve ever seen!  Unfortunately Max wouldn’t go in it, and Alex said he was afraid to get his eyes wet.  They had lots of fun with water balloons, hose, water guns, and even a homemade water sprayer.  (Leanne took an empty water bottle, poked a few holes in it, and gave it to Max to squeeze because he couldn’t figure out the water guns.)

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Some random pictures…

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I Do Love You, Mom…

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One day last week, I asked this sweet boy for a kiss.  He shook his head no, so I asked him for a hug.  He said no again.

I put a teasing pout on my face, looked at my little guy, and said, “You don’t love me?”

Alex very seriously replied, “I do love you, Mom, but I don’t want to give you hugs or kisses anymore.  I’ll still snuggle with you, though.”

He’s getting bigger.  Maybe he’ll change his mind, but I’m a little sad that he’s not too interested in kisses or hugs anymore.  It’s good to know he’ll still snuggle – even request a snuggle – but it’s sad to think he’s getting so big.

I guess that means we need to enjoy what’s left of the snuggly days and make the most of it!  Kids grow way too fast, don’t they?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jensyn Smiles

Jensyn started smiling recently.  Don’t you just love the way a baby’s whole face lights up when she (he…) smiles?  It’s such a joy to see!

In church on Sunday, Jensyn was sitting on my lap giving big smiles to her daddy.  It was so sweet to watch!

It’s still hard to catch her smile on camera, but my mom caught this one while Jensyn was on the changing table yesterday.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Babies Don’t Keep

On Sunday afternoon, we were getting ourselves and three kiddos ready to head out the door for a graduation open house.  The baby was wailing in her carseat, Alex was grumpy and complaining that he didn’t want to go, and Max was crying about something that I don’t even recall.

As we listened to all the screaming and got on our own shoes, Keith joked, “We did this to ourselves, you know.” 

Oh yes, we did – we chose to have three kids close in age, and this life definitely comes complete with many crazy moments.

It is such a joy having these three little ones in our home, though!  I can’t complain even for a moment.  In some ways, it is much easier than I thought it would be.  In other ways, it is challenging, but so very worthwhile.

We have a vague routine in place now, so I can somewhat predict how our days will go.  (Not that ANYTHING is truly predictable with three kids, three and under!) 

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The biggest challenge right now is that babies are time-consuming.  Jensyn is an amazing night-time sleeper (hallelujah!), but she is becoming rather demanding during the day.  I know this phase will pass, but it makes the days a balancing act right now.

Keith and I were talking about that before bed the other night.  Jensyn refused to nap anywhere other than our arms, the boys were acting out because they desperately wanted attention, and both Keith and I had chores we wanted to accomplish. 

We talked about how challenging it is to find that balance between taking care of the house and yard, sitting down and playing with the boys, caring for the baby’s needs, and making time for others.  It seems that every time we start a project –whether it’s cleaning the bathroom or folding laundry or working in the yard – it’s going to be interrupted, and often the job will go unfinished for days.  It’s impossible to do it all at this point in life. 

Alex is so good at entertaining himself, and he’s a helpful little boy too.  He doesn’t complain one bit when the baby gets all the attention.  He loves that baby SO dearly!  Poor boy gets an attitude, though, when he’s been left to fend for himself for too long.  I have to remember to just set everything else aside and play trains or read his High Five magazines with him from time to time.April2011 259

Max loves the baby, too, but you can tell he craves attention.  He screams more than ever, and he gets very whiny.  I’m learning that it takes a good 10 minute snuggle to help him feel loved…then the whiny behavior disappears for a bit.  He just craves that cuddle time.

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So, if you stop by our house, you’re probably going to see a messy kitchen, a basket of unfolded laundry, and hair that hasn’t been combed.  You’ll probably hear at least one child crying as I spend a little time with another child.  Likely, you’ll trip over about 16 toys while walking between rooms. 

But these baby days, the ones that are so precious, will be gone before long.  We’ll just live with the craziness and the messes for now.  We’ll miss stepping on toys someday, and we’ll long for a little noise.  We can’t overlook that these kiddos are getting big way too fast, so I’m going to do my best to ENJOY the craziness and the cuddles while I can!

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Easter Sunday

We’d read the Easter story and talked about it on Saturday night before bed, so we were able to remind Alex on Easter morning that we were celebrating because Jesus is Alive!

I have no pictures from home or church.  After church, we headed north to Grandma & Grandpa S and the rest of the family.  We had lunch, my sister Diane’s family and a few other family members got to meet Jensyn, and we enjoyed the annual “candy scramble”.

My parents buy candy, it gets spread out all over the backyard, and the cousins go crazy trying to grab as much as they can.  It’s even more fun now that many of the kids are old enough to entertain while they grab candy.April2011 360

Our boys are the littlest, so they get a head start before the rest of the gang heads out.

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I didn’t take many pictures this year, but it was a fun day!

Easter Eggstravaganza

As I’m flipping through photos, I realized that we never posted about Easter.  Oops!

We decided to do our family Easter Egg hunt on Saturday morning.  For one thing, Sunday mornings are busy enough.  For another thing, I’d really rather keep the Easter Morning focus on the true meaning of Easter – the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

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(Umm, yeah…that’s my nativity…in April.  It’s been there for over 2 years now…)

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Daddy & I The Easter Bunny hid the eggs after the boys went to bed on Friday night.  We also hid their baskets with a Hide & Find egg.

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The Hide & Find egg’s batteries died before the boys found their baskets.  I guess that’s what I get for buying the things on clearance after Easter and leaving them sit for a year, right?

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They definitely enjoyed their Easter goodies!  Grandma & Papa brought over Easter baskets for the kids shortly after this, so they were well-spoiled that day!

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Grandma P had suggested visiting the Christian camp for their Easter Eggstravanga – not just a giant egg hunt, but also inflatables, games, and a petting zoo.  The boys had a great time!  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:

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Alex loved this little pony until it BIT him.  Oops!  After that, the petting zoo held no thrill.  (Don’t worry – he’s fine!) April2011 343

After 3 attempts, I gave up on getting a good picture with the Easter Bunny…

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Both boys were happy to go home with their balloons.  They looked so cute walking back to the car that I had to snap a picture.  Good thing – because that’s the last time we saw the balloons.  One got snagged on a bush, and the other got popped as we were getting into the car!   April2011 350

Jensyn & I were there, too.  She was in the sling and I was holding the camera, so there are no pictures of Mommy & baby.  Oh well – maybe next year! :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sick Kids and Cheap Entertainment

See this picture?  It’s kind of what our life was like last week.  Kids falling asleep mid-meal, kids crying in the middle of the night because of fevers, a trip to urgent care, and kids laying around with no energy to play.  It was fun, let me tell ya ;)

I have to admit, though, that Max does look awfully cute when he’s flush-faced and sleeping on the kitchen table.

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Mr. Mope-On-The-Couch (AKA Alex) wanted me to sit and read to him from one of his High Five magazines.  Even though we’d read this particular magazine about 50 million times (and I do believe that I have this issue memorized…), Alex suddenly noticed this curly crown page.

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I’m probably breaking copyright laws by posting that.  Oops!  Just pretend it’s an advertisement for High Five, which is really a great magazine for three year olds.  I’d highly recommend it…and thank you, Grandma P, for the wonderful birthday gift subscription!

From his spot on the couch, he more or less barked out orders to me to go find some paper and scissors and stickers.  I couldn’t move fast enough for him!May2011 070

We made that hat together.  Then Alex chose race car stickers that were in a bag from Aunt Deb, and he had a blast narrating what the cars were doing as he placed them on his hat.

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He’s very proud of his hat.  It goes on car rides with us, he wears it around the house, and he loves to show it off.May2011 082

These pictures crack me up because he’s string lacing beads on a rubber snake.  I never have been able to get him to string the beads on a STRING.  Actually, I’ve never been able to convince the child to string beads.  Leave it to the goofy boy to find a humorous way to work on his fine motor skills. ;)

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Max & Jensyn

It occurred to me one day not long ago that Max had never held Jensyn.  When Alex was small, he *loved* to hold baby Max.  It made me wonder why Max had never pestered me to hold his baby sister.

Then I realized that he probably had no clue that he was allowed to do such a thing.  So I turned to Max right then, and I asked him, “Would you like to hold the baby?”

My sweet little guy RAN to the couch, grabbed a pillow for his lap, and held out his hands for his baby sister.  May2011 058

And I felt like a rotten mother for not even asking Max until Jensyn was 5 weeks old.  Then I grabbed for the camera to capture this special time!

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May2011 059He just adored this time with his baby sister, and since then, Max has asked to hold his sister many times!May2011 061Of course, Alex has to supervise.  Nobody is allowed to harm “Alex’s baby”.

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Max is good at giving Jensyn lots of kisses. May2011 067He also excitedly ran over to help with Jensyn’s bath on Saturday.

May2011 075Max may be our little tornado, but he’s got a big heart when it comes to his baby sister!