Thursday, July 24, 2014

Birthday Madness

 Both boys have July birthdays, so it's been a month of celebratory madness.  We are high on frosting and love around here.

Party 1:  Spork's birthfamily visited, and we partied at a local park.

Party 2:  Spork had his first ever friends' party at the kiddy waterpark in town. It was a bit chilly, but the kids toughed it out and had a blast.

Party 3:  The Nugget celebrated when the G family (his birthmom, her husband, and the Nugget's sister Cupcake) came to town with blueberry picking, a restaurant dinner of his choice, and roller skating!

Party 4:  The Nugget enjoyed a spectacular time with his friends at the gymnastics center. One of his birthday cards included a marriage proposal, but the girl's dad swapped it out for a different one, haha!  This was our easiest party to date, I could focus on just the cute fun details that I love, but the center took care of everything else, even helping to serve food and tear down.  That gorgeous cake was by my friend K. Tiny paper suitcases from Beaucoup (filled with Hershey mini bars, a tiny airplane toy, and a laminated homemade luggage tag printed from One Charming Party.  Yes, any excuse for lamination, my friend.  Baggage claim by the Nugget (duct tape and paint on an Amazon shipping box, his own design).

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Portland 2014

Summer is slipping through my fingers likes grains of sand.  Here's a catch-up photo post from our trip to visit Hubby's side of the family in June.  We went to Portland, which was a true haven for families with little ones.  So much to do, we had to narrow it down a bit.  Of course, reconnecting the kids with our loved ones was the best part.

 Parks, glorious parks!

 Silliness in our pjs.

 Cousins and cards

Introducing Aunt Misti to "Frozen"

Museums galore.

The infamous Voodoo Doughnut

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sassins and Caterpillars

The Nugget has a holy fear of static electricity, so sometimes he would forgo a favorite slide for fear of getting shocked. At some point, I must have casually mentioned that certain clothes were more or less likely to cause the static buildup, and now he religiously hollers before the first slide of the day, "Am I wearing Polarfleece?!"
Tater and Spork are obsessed with sunglasses. Spork calls them sassins, and while Tater can clearly say sunglasses, she is fluent in Sporkish and will call them sassins when he's around.  But when they are both requesting a pair of sunglasses, they will shout with fervor, "A sassins! A sassins!" Bet the neighbors wonder what sort of games we play with the 2 year olds.

Spork's latest Little People conversation, overheard
Zookeeper: Where's the butt clip?
Trash collector:  I dunno. Oh no! The butt clip!
Z: Gotta find the butt clip. let's look.
T: I don't see it. Butt clip not anywhere!
Z: (singing) Butt clip, butt clip, find the butt clip!
He probably went on for a good five minutes before I had to interrupt him and clarify, "Are you saying butt clip? What's a butt clip?"
Spork affirmed his guys were indeed on the hunt for a butt clip but declined to elaborate on what said butt clip was.

Overheard at PDX:
Nugget: Spork, do you see that tiny white speck?
Spork: Yah!
N: That, my friend, is an airplane.
S: Oooo!

Sporkish to English
Barching band.....marching band
Whazzatiz.....What is that?

The Nugget exclaimed over a "Pure Michigan" radio commercial, "Beaver Island?!  Beavs, we have to go there!"  Spork answered solemnly, "I haul logs."

The Nugget bonded with a bright green caterpillar he rescued from certain doom by Tater's maryjanes. After cooing over it and letting it crawl up his arm, he deposited it gently on a leaf and bid it this fond farewell, "Goodbye, caterpillar! I hope you turn into a butterfly before a bird eats you!"

The Nugget's birthmom, her husband, and their daughter Cupcake (now age 4) visited this week, and the Nugget turned to Cupcake at one point and said, "You're my blue ribbon sibling, because you were my very first sister."

On the same note, the Nugget explained to Tater and Spork who was coming to visit and why, "Your Aunt Lynnsi is coming to visit us!  I grew in her tummy, and the doctors had to cut me out, but don't worry, she's still alive. The doctors gave her a special medicine so she didn't feel the cutting at all, and then she healed."

Thursday, June 19, 2014

It's final

The blog would like to recognize Tater Tot's adoption finalization.  Party time!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

"Mommy, hold this!"

 If you are a parent yourself, you know there is an element of
danger in the seemingly innocent words, "Mommy, hold this!"

Things that have been handed to me against my will:
1.  Boogers/used Kleenex
2.  Ear wax
3.  Chunks of dirt
4.  Dog poop
5.  Globs of wet sand
6.  Food removed that a child has attempted to consume but decided would be better off in my hand than his/her mouth
7.  Dead bugs
8.  A post-game athletic cup
Spork and Tater are perched on the cusp of what I consider, "the funniest years".  3-4 year olds have a better vocabulary and a very interesting world view, so most of the things they blurt out of their lil' mouths are terrifically hilarious.  Got a little sneak peek today as they were weeding the yard, then moved onto a strawberry hunt (we don't currently grow them but they remember picking them at the farm last year).  Upon finding no strawberries, they started gabbing about chips, and after a few minutes, I realized they were looking for chips growing under the leaves, like fruit.
S:  "Chips?  Chips?  You see chips?"
T:  "No chips!  You see chips over dere?"
S:  "Nah.  No chips.  Chips?!  Chips?  Where da chips?!"
While Tater loves to put on her swim suit and go in a warm pool, she is pretty ambiguous about the sprinkler.  She keeps asking me to, "Warm up water, peas!"  Both boys adore the adrenaline rush of the icy water hitting their skin (as long as the Nugget has his trusty goggles on, of course).  But after awhile, that garden hose water gets a bit too chilly but they are not yet ready to call it quits, so the Nugget came up with a new sprinkler game to extend the play.  He turns off the water and ushers Spork into the plastic playhouse, then sets the sprinkler next to the house, cranks the water back up, and dashes to beat the water into the house with little bro.  Then they both peek out the window and comment on the rain and speculate aloud as to when it will stop.  A bit more water "wasted" than I would like, but a mama takes brotherly bonding whenever/wherever it presents itself. 

Farm League baseball is a whole new experience for the Nugget.  Practices run 1.5 hours, which seems ludicrous for the 6yo set, but I am admittedly not an athlete.  The Nugget works hard and is eager to please, yet the gravelly sand of the diamond has an irresistible allure.  At left, I can shout proudly, "That's my boy!" while the true hard-core baseball mamas shake their heads in dismay.   Below, see a much more talented and poised athlete, "lookin' ready" as Coach would say.

The day I thought might never come is now just a couple weeks away!  Tater's adoption finalization is set for June 19, woot!  So we're celebrating a few lasts this month - last Bloodborne Pathogens online training (yes, I spend 10 good minutes per year being taught how to wash my hands), last home study from our licenser, last home visit from our caseworker, and I won't have to get court-ordered permission for our trip to Oregon this summer!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sandal Season

The kids wake up and beg to put on sandals.  I can smell the heat rising in the air, the sunscreen on my arms, and feel the grit of sand tracked in the house underfoot.  Little shins are decorated with chalk dust and band aids.  The first juice pops were pulled from the freezer yesterday and the sticky hands left in their wake were cleaned off via garden hose.  Summer is knocking at the door.

Recent Tater Quotes:

(While putting stickers on paper) "A kitty cat!  Poofect!  A fwower!  Poofect!"

For reasons beyond my understanding, Grammy told Tater Tot that a toothbrush was a stick with bristles.  Umm, ok.  But it resulted in a pretty entertaining evening, because Tater chirped back, "Bwoostles!" until she went to bed.

When Daddy and I were mulling over putting Tater on her balance bike, I brought up my concern that since Spork isn't very fast on his yet, and I anticipate that Tater will be lightning quick; how's a mama to split safety patrol for 2 differently-speeded biker babies?  Daddy thought it over for a second and chuckled, "Yeah, she'll probably tell Spork to eat her dust."  Tater quipped back, "Eat dust!  Eat dust!  Want some dust?"
After a really crappy month or so of the Nugget and Tater throwing parties til 10pm instead of sleeping, followed by really crabby mornings (and the kids weren't any better), we took a gamble and mixed it up a bit.  Now the boys are roomies, and Tater, who in the midst of the midnight melees learned how to nimbly clamber out of her crib, has a toddler bed (and a duct-taped diaper) in the smaller room.  We were initially worried about how the Nugget would feel to be ousted from the room he's known since he was a toddler, but turns out that he is attached to his bed but not the room itself.  Our other worry was that Spork's 5am soliloquy (he goes back to sleep after exercising his lungs cheerfully for an hour) would wake a roomie, but the Nugget miraculously sleeps through it.  I'm sure once we enjoy a few weeks of uninterrupted sleep for all, Spork will decide it's time to bid for freedom and we'll be back to the starting blocks.  But for now, bedtime is once again a blissful parental celebration!  Bring on the Netflix, the ice cream, and whatever wine was on sale!

After a winter's worth of growth, we now have 3 fleet-footed children at the playground.  The biggest no longer calls for assistance with a darn thing.  He can even manage the zip lines by himself.  Spork is so confident and happy and Tater actually has interest in the location of a parental unit, so my sunny mornings are back to the bliss of packing the cooler and hitting a park 'til naptime.  It's incredibly satisfying tucking 2 little sleepyheads into bed and nuzzling sweaty curls into cool sheets.

The Nugget started farm league baseball season last week and got the pleasure of riding in a cattle transport truck for an opening day parade!  I have to find my groove of "sports mom" again, it's not my forte at all, but I'm trying.  Tonight I have his cleats, post-practice juice and snack packed, his water bottle's cooling in the fridge, but I still need to locate the mitt and I'm not at all sure I want to buy him an aluminum weapon bat, so I keep conveniently forgetting to ask coach what size he needs.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014

Phase 1:  We enjoyed our annual egg hunt with friends.  The Nugget was lightning quick this year, so I couldn't capture any photos of him until he sat down to "crack" his eggs!  Spork was in his element, out in nature, pretending to be a big kid, and hunting oh-so-seriously.  Tater was keeping up as best she could and after the wave of older children passed on, she delighted in gathering her "eggies" and wondered aloud if they were going to hatch soon.  And proof that the children are growing up:  I told them they could each eat 2 pieces of candy and save the rest, and not a single tantrum from the bunch!

Phase 2:  Grandma and Papa came out to visit!  We so appreciate them making the trip.  We took advantage of the sunny spring weather and went to parks, the zoo, and to campus.  Daddy took time off work so he could join us.

Phase 3:  Grammy and Grandpa joined in for the holiday weekend, and we all enjoyed Easter Sunday brunch on campus.  It feels so good to see the kids enjoying my university home-away-from-home-turned-home-for-realsies.  Whether they come to college here or not, they're making a lot of childhood memories in this special place.  

There's something really special about celebrating a holiday in your own home with the kiddos, and that's something we've rarely been able to do, so it makes it all the sweeter!