Friday, October 10, 2014

A Mouse, a Wedding, and a Lollipop

If you live in an older home like we do, you enjoy the nice thick plaster walls that keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter, the charm of built-in cabinets, the character of a unique floor plan, and the perk of rodent visitors when the weather turns colder. We are prepared for rodentia this season with our most tempting food in plastic bins and an assortment of traps, but of course they always find something to nibble. Last week, they got into The Nugget's party favor box and gnawed up a couple mini chocolate bars he had been saving. He wailed in dismay, "Couldn't they see it had my name on it?" When I reminded him that mice probably can't read, he brightened and added hopefully, "Or maybe the mouse's name is Nugget too!"

We had a family wedding this month, and the Nugget kept checking to make sure that he was not in the wedding party. He was the most adorable ring bearer at my brother's wedding last year, a role that be elated and terrified him. I reassured him multiple times that we were just going to the reception. He squealed, "Do you mean that wonderful dance party?! Oooo, I can't wait!" He wanted to wear his tap shoes on the dance floor, but Grammy dissuaded him.  Still, the DJ played his tap routine song, "Rockin' Robin," and he performed the whole thing sans taps with a shy smile on his face.  Here's the Nugget hamming it up with Cousin Cabbage.  Oh, and did I mention the time that the Nugget got himself locked in handcuffs (photo booth props) that were missing the key?!  Thank goodness that Uncle T's skills with a butter knife liberated the child for more dancing. 

The todders behaved about as well as you could expect when kept in a car for 4 hours, then kept up past their bedtime.  Spork crashed into people in a flurry of excitement and tantrumed over not getting to poke people with the photo booth props, but he sure looked cute (bowtie by Grammy).

 Tater was extra snuggly and clingy and a little upset about the volume of the music, so she spent a lot of time caught up in cuddles.

Earlier this month, Cabbage, Bean, and family came to visit us for the first time in our current locale! We had a blast and were so happy to share the delights of Fall Fest with them.  K remarked how much fun they had but how absolutely exhausted she was.  Clearly, she's younger and in better shape than I am, because I feel that way all the time!

Tater surprised me when I took her for her flu shot. She abhors the sight of anyone in scrubs and has harbored a deep mistrust of medial offices since her infancy. Shots have always ended in frantic screaming, sometimes lasting all the way home.  I hopefully sang her the Doc McStuffins theme song and tucked lollipops in my purse, promising up front that she could have one after her shot. When she saw the needle, she screwed up her face to cry but remembered the lollipop and confirmed with me, "Ouch then lollipop?" and steeled herself. Not a tear, not a whimper, and even better than the sugar was the bandaid! Tater even said thank you to the nurse, who couldn't even believe it.

Tater has two big brothers who like to take on her, which is a good thing because a busy mama needs an alert that a box of baking soda has been dumped on the kitchen floor and is about to be topped with a bottle of honey in the 10 minutes it took to rock Spork and read Goodnight, Moon. I digress. Anyhoo, she now parrots back their exclamations while playing and it is kind of funny. "Hippo! That is NOT assepti-bowl. It is not! You put that down. I'm telling."

Friday, September 19, 2014

Belated first day pictures!

The More We Get Together

Nuggets of Wisdom:

"Ugh!  I have had enough of these motorcycle guys riding without any helmets.  There's another one!"

(at the splash pad, which automatically shuts off to save water, at which point little sibs beg big bro to turn it back on)
"This is getting out of hand!"

While apple picking, he was being his typical bossy self displaying leadership skills but had a moment of syrupy sweetness on the tractor. "Oh, I just love tractor rides, especially with my little brother and sister. Let's all sing, 'The More We Get Together'." As you can see, little bro takes full advantage of sweet big bro moments while little sister remains pretty skeptical.

The Nugget's elementary school has a dress code meant to keep the students' clothing from becoming a distraction, but the Nugget's sense of fashion is going to push the envelope. So far, he has worn knee high orange argyle socks (originally worn for Uncle T's wedding under slacks) with orange shorts, and yesterday, he combined a green polo with his purple pants, exclaiming, "Look, I am an eggplant!"

Tater likes to try on the "bracelets" (spare hair ties) on my wrist. She pulls them on her teeny wrists and grins. Then she replaces them on my own and remarks,"Bootful!"

While wearing a toy stethoscope, Tater got it stuck around her hairdo and called out, "Tangled!" A moment later, she said, "Never mind, I got it. Untangled!" During the same role play, she gave Daddy a checkup by insisting that he close his eyes, then listened intently to his knee with the stethoscope before declaring, "All done!" When I suggested that Daddy was so brave, could he have a lollipop, she stated, "Um, no. They all gone, I ate them all. But I get you a sammich!"

Her favorite thing to do is host pretend picnics for stuffed animals and dolls. If you attend her picnic, you may be served a crocheted donut, a wooden piece of toast (which she will insist on buttering for you), or a hammer.  It's kind of a crapshoot.

Spork recently had his first face paint, a frog. I didn't think to wipe it off before his nap, and it transferred to the crib sheet. Spork wasn't sad, but enthusiastically claimed, "Fwoggie jumped!"

Speech therapy and soccer have been added to Spork's weekly schedule, and he is really jazzed about both activities.  I'm pretty jazzed that I have a few more adults in my personal arsenal to help wear out this busy boy.  It takes a village to make a 3yo tired enough to nap nowadays.

Spork really loves to color, and one of his favorite morning activities is creating works of art.  When given a coloring sheet, he likes to add a little dot inside each compartment.

As for myself, transitioning back to work this fall has been interesting.  The Nugget moaned over running out of his preferred type milk (mind you this darling family of mine demands 3 different types of milk) this morning, and I had to just shrug and say, "Sorry dude, I'm doing my best." I have to wake Tater to take her to the aftercare job, which always pains me to wake a dozing tot!  The crockpot is getting a workout, and Hubby is really chipping in to prep fruit and plate up dinners on my workdays, when he and Spork are the first to arrive home.  We have a sitter who can shuttle Spork home on my workdays when Hubby is out of town, though I have yet to face that hurdle since I've started working.  Overall, I have much more appreciation for my "stay at home" days now, and very grateful that I've had the option to be home for so long.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to School 2014

The children fought tooth and claw over a used Brita filter last week. This mama is counting down the days until school starts.

I am going back to work PT this fall. I have been looking forward to and dreading the change, so I have a little more compassion for the children's feelings this year as they too, embark on new challenges. In a way, it will only be an extension of parenting; I will be working at the Nugget's school's aftercare and at Tater's home-based preschool. I have 2/3 of my brood with me each time I go to work, like my own little (demanding) security blanket.  It will be an adjustment for sure, but I am very happy and proud that the work will help contribute to the children's tuition, and I feel confident that I can make a positive contribution to both schools.  No clue what it means for this blog, but I intend to at least still log the funny/cute things the kids say here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Celebrating with Cabbage

So dear cousin Cabbage (the Nugget's birthday buddy) turned 4, and since they moved back to the Midwest, we were able to road trip it out to celebrate with her! Bonus that she had a Frozen themed party, which is the trend du jour in our house too. We also took the kids to the zoo and got to spend time with Uncle T, Aunt A, Grammy, and Grandpa, so it was a a very fun trip.

 Cabbage did not want to have the birthday song sung to her, but she faced down her fears.

These two together always melt my heart.

Spork to Cabbage's Uncle K: I'm going to play inside....with you! (Tapping a befuddled K on the chest for emphasis.)
K: Me?!
Spork: Yeah! C'mon.
 The Nugget feels he is outgrowing these things, but Cabbage talked him into it.  Anything for Cabbage!

 Spork and Uncle T.

Shortly after this picture was taken, I had to tell my darling daughter, "We don't lick the tram."  She still chirps occasionally, "We don't lick tram!  No lick the tram!"

Grammy and Grandpa with all the grandkids!

Sunday, August 10, 2014


The Nugget continues to speak like he's a storybook character, and it makes me positively gleeful.

Out of the blue, several months after the experience,
"We sure had a fun-filled day when Daddy gave us a tour of the library!"

While perusing a grocery store circular,
"Mommy, this Kroger ad says something impertinent.  'Gimme some sugar!' Hahaha!" I wonder if I left an SAT prep book on his bookshelf by accident sometimes.

Upon harvesting our first cucumber from the garden, he squealed and asked, "Can you take a picture and send it to Farmer C?" Farmer c ran the farm camp he attended back in June, and I did indeed email her the picture. She was tickled pink and wrote back telling Brady he grew himself one respectable cuke! (Please note the realistic kitchen mess in the background. Mamas, you too can grow respectable cucumbers if your countertops are far from respectable, ha!)

Spork loved swim lessons. He learned how to do a solo "blast off" (launching himself from the side of the pool to an adult) and perfected his jump into the pool from the side, going all the way underwater, landing on the pool floor, and pushing himself back up to the surface. He also did the last two lessons sans parent, so the instructor is moving him on up. Golden Guppy 2, here he comes!

While getting his hair cut, Spork's hairdresser was chatting with her co-worker.  When she asked him, "Where did Abby go?", Spork (who did not meet Abby) chimed in, "I dunno!  I saw her..." 

Spork also got to participate in dance camp for the first time this summer.  He was beyond pleased about being a big kid going to camp and would whine each morning because the Nugget's camp started an hour prior to his own.  At pickup, I would always ask him what he did/liked at camp that day, and he would beam and say proudly, "I danced!"  So much cuter if you know him personally and can picture him saying it in his sweet voice.  His teacher reported that he was "very enthusiastic".

In other Spork news, we were excited to get an opportunity to visit with his Poppy (birthdad).  We hadn't seen him since planning the adoption, so we were a bit nervous!  The visit went better than we could have expected; Spork warmed up without skipping a beat, and we had a fun afternoon at the Chicago Kids' Museum.  We are hoping that it is just the first visit of many more to come.

Squee!  Beavs made a beeline for some lumber!

Spork and Tater both say, "Whee-hoo!" when they are excited about something.

Instead of saying, "the other crayon/dog/sandwich", she says, "other one crayon/dog/sandwich." One adorable example of this is that she refers to all blankets except the one blanket to rule them all as, "other one bonky". On a similar note, Spork often asks, "What dat is?" Maybe they are just speaking Yoda.

Tater's favorite game is called, "Eggie, baby Eggie." It involves her snuggling into a beanbag chair with her trinity, then popping up to yell, "Eggie hatching!"

These days, Tater tells us that Hippo is often feeling sad or angry. When we inquire with concern, she simply states, "Eyes hurting."

This picture perfectly encapsulates the essence of Tater.  Love that bold girl!

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).