Tuesday, June 28, 2011

6-25-11 Car Wash

We decided to have a car and bike wash so we could raise some money to buy gumballs for our newly acquired gumball machine. We've been using M&Ms in it, which was working well. In a moment of weakness, Daddy conceded to putting candy corn in it and well, it doesn't work so well.

Caden missed the photo ops because he was in the backpack making it a complete workout for me washing our SUV. The boys advertised with sidewalk chalk and put out a bucket to collect money.

Conrad and Max are hard workers! They scrubbed Joe's truck with all their might. Their top goal was to impress him with their work. And they did. After he paid his quarter for the car wash, he gave them each a generous tip!

The bubble gum fund is not in an interest bearing account, but it's being saved because Grandma surprised the boys with a giant container of gumballs!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

6-25-11 More Pictures (maybe)

So, in my last post I had planned on including a ton of pics, but my server did not want to cooperate. I am going to attempt to add more pictures today. . . so many great moments that I want to include. Even more that I can't capture on film. . . even a few more that fade into my memory!

There are a few things about today that I don't want to rely on my memory in order to be able to conjure up these moments in my heart. Caden belly laughing when I put his sock on my head and acted like I had no idea where it was, Max laughing so hard he probably peed his pants (i.e., diaper) when I blew a huge bubble and it popped all over my face, and Conrad coming up to me and telling me that I filled his heart with joy.

To be fair, I could devote a future post to things that happen in my day that I am okay with forgetting forever.

Friday, June 24, 2011

6-24-11 If a Picture's Worth a Thousand Words. . .

When I end up having a big gap between posts, I like to catch up with pictures of what we were up to during that time. We've been having all kinds of fun including: Caden's first haircut, a family car wash (all proceeds went to the gumball fund), and attending a local festival (gentle reminder that we are not quite ready for Disneyland).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

6-22-11 Caden's First Haircut!!

Caden is a little blondie and he has the sweetest little curls around his ears. His hair is about two inches long in back and it's starting to hang in his eyes in the front. So, I've know for a while that it's time for his first haircut. I've been dragging my feet on it. I knew that once those scissors snipped, my baby would look much more like a little boy.

That's exactly what happened.

But he's still beyond adorable. Caden has a way of smiling with his mouth and his eyes! Once he starts smiling, laughter is just around the corner. He cracks himself up with hide-and-seek, he's super ticklish, and likes to roll around in his crib like we're playing tag when I go to get him when he wakes up.

Caden takes a couple of steps here and there, but he's not in any hurry to get around by walking. I should mention that Caden attracts mosquitos; hence, the spots on his little face.

Friday, June 10, 2011

6-4-11 Here Comes the Bride

Conrad has his second gig as a ring-bearer today. He was adorable and did a great job. He doesn't remember being a ring-bearer before, but he was in my brother's wedding when he was only 17-months old. This time, Conrad walked down the aisle all by himself. . .

He protested being the ring-bearer right up until it was time to do it. It really goes against his personality type to enjoy walking down an aisle with a church full of people looking at him - let alone snapping pictures! With the promise of Daddy being at the front of the church with licorice, Conrad was ready to make the journey down the aisle. I stood in the back with him completely swept up in the emotions of a wedding. I whispered to Con that someday he was going to have a wedding and get married. He whispered back, "Yea, to you." Just when I thought my love cup was full, a little bit more of love went in.

While most people's attention was on the beautiful (inside and out!)bride, I kept looking at the groom's mom. I'm pretty sure that she didn't take her eyes of off the groom the whole time. And she wasn't teary, she was smiling ear to ear the whole time. I hope that's how I am when I am the mother-of-the-groom: full of joy, love, and pride when my boys vow to be married.

After spending the first part of the day at a wedding, we went to church in the evening and guess what the topic was. Marriage. Joe and I have been married for 10 years this summer. I've had a lot of conversations about marriage, listened to a lot of sermons and speakers on marriage, and read a fair share of books on the mystifying act. Tonight's sermon focused on a theme that I heard a hairdresser tell my friend on the day of her wedding: commit to being committed.

At the end of the sermon, our pastor invited every couple to come forward if they would like to renew their vows. About 100, maybe 200, went up. I figured Joe would think this was cheesy, but we did it. I looked straight into Joe's eyes and reaffirmed the vow that I made to him 10 years ago. This time I knew exactly what those words could mean. There was nothing abstract about what "better" and "worse" and there was nothing more literal than "in sickness" and "in health". I realized how much my heart has grown in the last decade and noticed that it's weathered a bit. I guess that actually helps it work better.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

6-6-11 100 Books

Clap Your Hands is a must add to all toddler and preschool libraries. All four of us have been having fun with this one!! The three boys interact with the book differently and show where they're at developmentally. As the narrator, I have the perfect view of them doing each action in the book. Caden likes to put his fingers on my mouth while I read and he watches his brothers act out what's being said.

We started a 100 jar on the first of the month. Every time we read a book, we put a penny in the jar. Conrad and I each put a mark on the jar showing how full we think it will be when it has 100 pennies in it. We plan to use the proceeds toward ice cream! I was thinking we would work to get to 100 by the end of August, but it's only Day 6 of summer and I think we'll have the jar full by the end of the month.

We've been pulling some of our neglected books off the shelf and enjoying some new ones from the library. I love reading with the boys. They know my favorite place to read is in my big chair, we all fit and snuggle up under a blanket. Caden loses interest first, but he can't stand to not be where the action is, so he still stays on the chair. We laughed in parts of Skippyjonjones and Flat Stanley always gets some laughs, but I'm looking for more funny reads. . . please send suggestions!

6-2-11 Fire Up The Grill!

Last summer our oven broke and we had to order a part. This part (I don't even remember which part it was!) took THREE WEEKS to come in. The time of year gave us an easy alternative for cooking -- the grill. My family all loved the food and I particularly liked the easy clean up!

When the weather started to get warm this year, I pulled out my summer grill menu and went looking for some new recipes too. The first new one I spotted was for BBQ shrimp. I picked up the shrimp at Aldi which turned this into an economical feast. However, I must have been distracted while creating my grocery list because I neglected to include four of the ingredients needed for the "relish". So, I marinated 1 lb. of shrimp in the following marinade and served it with grilled pineapple (Yum!). Soak the skewers for about a half an hour before putting the shrimp on them.

24 Large Shrimp
2 Tbs. melted butter
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
2 cloves garlic

Mix the marinade and stir in shrimp. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, stir occasionally. Discard marinade. Put shrimp on the skewers. Grill over medium coals until shrimp are opaque. My husband grilled these for about 12 minutes.

I served this with couscous and steamed broccoli. All three little guys cleaned their plates! Next time I may even try the complete recipe.

6-1-11 Wordless Wednesday V

5-30-11 Memorial Day

Today I planted flowers and then we went to a cookout with Joe's side of the family. The flowers are beautiful and the cookout was fun. But that's not what Memorial Day is about. It's different for our generation. Even though our country is currently at war, we don't feel it like American's felt Vietnam and WWII. We don't visibly mourn for our fallen soldiers like our grandparents do.

Five or six years ago, Joe and I went to visit my grandparents over Memorial Day weekend. My paternal grandmother and my maternal grandfather are living and their homes are about 20 minutes apart. Each of them wanted us to go to the cemetery with them. We decorated about 30 graves between the two grandparents and heard many stories of people who had been gone longer than I've been alive. I still remember my grandpa telling me about the grave of a woman and her infant son. They both died during the baby's birth while the husband was away in WWII. Grandpa said that the husband never recovered from the loss and never married again. My grandpa was decorating with crepe paper roses that my mom and aunts had made. This was a tradition from their childhood.

Late today, I scrambled to find an activity for the boys to do in celebration of Memorial Day, but the stars and stripes crafts just didn't seem right. There's an important conversation that needs to go along with them.

5-28-11 A Princess is Born!

I think I mentioned that my niece was born on Wednesday. She is grandchild #5 on my side of the family and granddaughter #1. Our family has a trend of only one girl per generation. If it holds true, Lilliana will reign over this generation.

It filled my heart with joy to hold her for the first time. When Conrad held her, he commented how squishy she was and said, "I just love her, Mommy." He fell in love almost as quickly as I did. He likes her name too; even though, he suggested she be named Caitlyn.

Caden and Max haven't met her yet. They're a little bit too young, energetic and curious to go into a hospital room. Hamilton is filling the role of big brother quite wellhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif. His job was to keep FOUR grandparents busy while Mommy and Daddy kept Lilliana company in the hospital. We were lucky to get to go to the Children's Museum with Hamilton and then we all shared a boatload of nuggets, fries, apples, grapes, cheesesticks. . . Four little boys packed away A LOT of food! Cousin times are good times!

Before we left town, I made my third visit to the hospital to hold Lilliana again. I didn't want to give her back. I felt a forgotten feeling deep inside of not wanting to leave. It was an old feeling, a stange cross between a knot in your throat and a stomachache, I used to get when I was a kid when it was time to leave my grandparents house.

We'll be back again soon. Until then, I have an envelope ready to send out -- more hair accessories. I found a new dealer. . .