Thursday, December 30, 2010

Interlude (playing with new toys)

Back from our trip, the boys had a chance to play with their new toys....

This is Marcus's new lego game Magikus. It is pretty cool, easy and fast to play. We give it a thumbs up!

I set up the hex bug nano racetrack. The boys had fun watching their little "bugs" vibrate through the track. Andy was right, it was probably just like watching a cockroach fight.

Christmas evening

After lunch on Christmas Day, we packed up the van with a crazy amount of stuff, and went to Decatur to see Andy's family. Even Jeff and his wife were going to be there. I was worried the trip would be rough, since our portable DVD player broke and we never did replace it. But, everyone did fine. Liam and Ewan took naps and Marcus and Cale played their gameboys and played with their new toys. We got to Andy's parents' house ready to open more presents.

The obligatory cousins photo: Marcus, Liam, Cale, Ewan, Savannah, Cassie and Marie. Afterward, the opening of the presents started, and in the craziness, I lost track of who gave who what. Insane! Our thank you notes will just say "thanks for the presents". I was excited for my gifts. Between my mom and Linda, they have resupplied my kitchen with new stoneware, silverware, dishes and knives (actually these were Andy's gift). Now, I have more than 5 dinner plates and 8 forks (really, at one point we had more, but after 11 years of marriage, apparently we had lost some dishes/utensils).

My brother Joe stopped by with my mom to say "hello!" before he had to fly out the next morning. I'm so glad he stopped by-I hadn't seen him since May (and then, only for a couple hours).

Marcus and Joe (the only one of the boys who would stop to take a picture with Joe)

playing a new game-Qbitz-which we left in Decatur (oops!). It looked like fun, I can't wait to get it back to play it.

The boys all got some Hex bugs and nano hex bugs. They were pretty cool.
We slept over at Chris and Kim's house and the boys had a "slumber party" in Cassie and Marie's room. We stayed until a little after 5pm on Sunday and then loaded up the car to drive back home. Unfortunately, Andy had a practice the next morning that he couldn't find a sub for and we had to go back. I wish we could have stayed an extra day. It was nice to see everyone again.

Christmas morning

The boys were very excited Christmas morning! The lights were flipped on in my room with the boys asking if they could go downstairs. Who could let them wait? We got up, came downstairs and oohed over the presents under the tree and the stockings by the fireplace. We let Liam sleep, and let the older boys root through their stockings. Then, we made them eat breakfast-pancakes, before they could open their Santa presents.

Time for presents! Liam was awake by then. We had the boys go and get a present with their name on it and sit down. Then, all of the boys opened their gifts at once.

Ewan was excited about his megablok dragon thing. Santa came through and finally found it! Actually, Santa got each of the boys what they had asked him for when they saw him at the library.

Liam figured out that there were good things inside the presents.

The boys got a couple games. Here, Marcus and Cale are trying to play Cuponk.

What a good Daddy! He was able to put together Ewan's dragon thing. Unfortunately, there were many small pieces to this toy.

Still working on the assembly, ditched by Ewan. No worries, Andy did get the thing put together. They had a good morning playing with their new toys, and then, after lunch, we made a decisio to go to Illinois.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

"...the stockings were hung by the chimney with care..."

" the hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there."


I put off Christmas baking long enough. Finally on Wednesday, I searched for the ingredients for a couple recipes-buckeyes and sugar roll-out cookies. Demanding baking schedule, I know. We started with the buckeyes. I convinced the boys that it would be fun to help roll out the balls of peanut butter mixture. They all bought into it for a while, mostly so they could eat the leftover crumbles. We rolled the balls out before church, and then Andy and I dipped them in the chocolate later that evening.

You can't really tell from the picture below, but even Liam enjoyed walking around with the stirring spoon from the bowl. He's figured out pretty quick that some very yummy things are made on the table.

On Thursday, the boys and I made some sugar cookies. They enjoyed cutting out the cookies into the "Christmas" shapes that we had. Our assortment of cookie cutters included holiday cutters from our favorite kids' haircutting place (aptly named Cookie Cutters) and from a collection of Hannunkah cookie cutters (no lie). I think I even used a bear cut out from our extensive collection of play-doh cutters.

Everyone worked on the cookies at first. Marcus was the first one to stop. I can't blame him. I was done after the first set, too. But, the ball of dough seemed never-ending, and I kept rolling it out so Cale and Ewan could cut more shapes. Finally, I just took the rest and had the boys roll them into balls.

Look, here's everyone helping, including Liam. He really liked trying to eat the dough and play in the flour. What a dusty little boy he was when we were done!

I left Andy the job of having the boys decorate the cookies that night while I was at work. The industrious little elves worked hard to get them all done. We have eaten a fair share already, were able to save a few for Santa, and even took some over to the neighbors and their little girls. I hope that I can remember to continue to include the boys in baking. They really like to help and it is such a nice hands-on activity for them. We didn't get the the sugar cookies made with the cookie gun. Maybe next week. :-)


trying to stay busy during Christmas break

there's always a "new" toy to find at the bottom of the container

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ewan's preschool Christmas program

Last Thursday was Ewan's preschool Christmas program. I got to take all the boys by myself, since Andy had to work and my sitter couldn't watch Liam. I wasn't too worried because the preschool is run out of our church so the boys know their way around, too well sometimes, and they know a good portion of the adults that are there. And, I had a sucker for Liam to entertain him (for about 5 minutes). So, I was prepared.

I think the theme of the program involved the North Pole. The three classes were dressed as eskimos, Christmas trees and penguins. The groups sang Christmas-y songs, although, mostly you could here the teachers sing because the children were just staring out at all the parents in the audience. I brought our video recorder and had our amateur videographers-Marcus and Cale, record portions of the program for Andy.

Liam loves to have his picture taken. He'll sit there and say "cheese" in this really deep voice. And then, he anticipates the flash going off and closes his eyes. I took his picture 4 times and they all looked the same. In this picture you can see he has his precious blankie and is already in his jammies. One of my strategies for times when we will be out past Liam's bedtime is to dress him in his jams before we go. I do this mostly for basketball practices and Wednesday night church. People think it's cute. I just think it's way easier to have Liam pre-dressed and ready for bed when we get home.

My camera-not the most awesome camera. Definitely not great trying to get photos from halfway back in the darkened auditorium. It's the best I could do...

Here's Ewan. He was dressed as an Eskimo. He is on the end of row of children. He did a good job with the movements of the songs and I saw him singing some of the songs too.

After the program, Santa made an appearance. Cale raced out of the auditorium to be one of the first kids in line to see him. Cale likes to race out of the auditorium anyway and likes to be first for most things.

Then we had some cookies and punch. I lost track of Marcus, left Cale at the table, watched Liam wander down the hallway to the nursery classroom (on the hunt for goldfish crackers) and got in line with Ewan to see Santa. Don't worry, Liam came back, being led by one of the ladies from our church.

You may not notice, but Ewan is wearing 2 different shoes. Another parent told me they noticed it while he was up on stage (they must have had closer seats). Sure enough, he had on 2 different shoes-both right foot shoes! You know, I saw him putting on the one pair and then I went to get Liam dressed. When I finished that, I did notice what I thought was Ewan changing his old shoes for his new shoes. I guess he only changed one shoe. He said the shoe he replaced was "wet". Probably, the shoe had gotten some snow on it and was wet. Oh well, at least he had 1 green and 1 red shoe on :-)!

Finally, Ewan got to see Santa. I had to convince him that cutting in line was not cool and we needed to wait our turn. The boys were pretty well behaved. It's never too bad taking them out by myself, it's just always busy making sure that I know where everyone is. Fun times. :-) At least Andy was at home when we got back and was able to help corral everyone to bed. No preschool now until Jan. 3rd!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy birthday to me! Another year older, and hopefully, another year wiser. My birthday was on Friday and I got exactly what I wanted for it: a meal from my favorite Mexican restaurant and a cheesecake. I guess I'm easy to please. We were going to get take-out and feed the boys something different, but Andy got home from practices early, and we decided to brace ourselves for a family meal at the restaurant. Guess what? The boys, even Liam, actually did pretty good. I guess it helps that they had the pre-meal tortilla chips for them to snack on. By the time our food got to the table, Liam was mostly over sitting there and really didn't eat much except for some lettuce and my tomato slice (I should have asked for a slice tomato for him to eat-he would have loved it). Andy and I were able to eat out food and the couple sitting behind the boys in the picture below gave us a very nice complement, saying that the boys were very well behaved and they enjoyed eating by us. How nice!

In a flash of brilliance, I brought some little things of play-doh to keep the boys busy.

Cale was excited to get pink lemonade to drink.

Me and Andy-I could not for the life of me aim the camera to get a shot of Andy's whole head. He was a good sport, I probably took this same pose 6 times-3 in the restaurant and then at home.

After dinner, we went to the grocery store to get needed milk and my much needed cheesecake!

So happy to have some sugar! Everyone loved the cake-it was plain cheesecake topped with chocolate and Reece's pieces.
Me & Liam and me & Cale.

It was a great birthday and I was glad to spend it with all my boys. After the kids went to bed, Andy went out and rented a movie called "The Oxford Murders". It was pretty good. I fell asleep during probably the most pivotal point of movie. No worries, Andy updated me when I woke up. :-)

Liam 19 mos photos

Here are some super-cute pictures of Liam at 19 mos (so just a couple of weeks ago). He did okay for the photographer. He smiled for 2 pictures and then sucked his thumb for all the rest. But, that's his personlity- he's my little thumb-sucker, and our possible little left-hander.

Aw, how could you not love this! :-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

watching a hockey game

One of the perks of Andy's job is that he gets offered tickets for different sporting events. He got offered tickets to an Indianapolis Ice hockey game last Friday and we decided to take all the boys along. The boys had seen hockey on tv, but had never been to a live game. They mostly had a good time. I think we were able to teach Marcus and Cale a little more about the game. Ewan liked looking around for the furry mascot and Liam just liked the constant action on the ice. We made it through the whole game! (or, we forced them to stay the whole game-they were ready to leave) We were thankful for those tickets because it totally saved us about $80. Of course, I brought the camera.

Marcus didn't want his picture taken. And, was a little angry that we wouldn't buy food at the game. I brought snacks for the boys and they had dinner before we went to the game. He also wanted a hockey stick. We pointed out that maybe he needs to learn to ice skate first, and how about he works on his roller blades before that. But, he liked watching the game and figuring out what was going on.

The boys got to see the hockey store dog-Puck and met the furry mascot. Only Cale and Liam were brave enough to go up an actually meet him. Marcus hung back and Ewan smiled at him behind my legs.

I hope we have the chance to go back. It was a fun time.