Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The 5 year old Nugget

The 5yo Nugget is often camera shy.  Other times, he grabs your hand and demands an impromptu photo shoot!  (see below)

On Creative Pronounciations

On Space Exploration
When he plays Rocketship, he often visits the Planet Uterus or the Planet Coconut.

On Dairy Products
"This yogurt is very wild.  I like it because it's wild like me."
(Translation:  Dannon Pure yogurt is a little bit runny.)
"Foofa and I are making Superman yogurt.  First we add a donut.  Then we squeeze some chicken into it, and it's ready."

On Teamwork
"Thanks for taking me to the pool/beach/library.  I couldn't have done it without you!"

On Personal Hygiene and Felines
"When Toodee sees the Hello Kitty soap in the bathroom, she just freaks out, she likes it so much."
"I like when you rinse my hair with the washcloth, because it's like a mommy cat's tongue."

Favorite Things
Colors - pink and purple
Food - pancakes, berries
Animal - cat
Activities - swimming, bowling, riding your bike and scooter, making your babies laugh
Videos - Yo Gabba Gabba, Popular Mechanics for Kids
Books - Hot Rod Hamster, the Olivia series

Top 5 Challenges of 5
5.  Quiet is not something you've mastered yet.  You do your best to be quiet when babies are sleeping, but your feet are naturally stompy.  Your laugh is naturally effusive.  Thank goodness for white noise machines and humidifiers, and when that fails, a second pot of coffee.
4.  You have a mechanic's curiosity, which is wonderful but also troublesome for a mama who is trying to keep all our appliances and your toys in working order.  I would estimate that I am asked to fix about 5 things you've broken each day, usually while I'm changing a diaper.
3.  Simple tasks befuddle you.  You find a dozen things to do on the way to put on your second shoe.  I find you 30 minutes later, still with a lone shoe on and 13 toys scattered about as you mix up another batch of Superman yogurt.  Shoe?  What shoe?  Combined with babies tandem pooping anytime we are scheduled for anything, and it's a wonder we ever leave the house.
2.  You have a really hard time saying goodbye.  I don't blame you, many adults can't do it either.  Often you will flat out ignore the loved one trying to say goodbye, as if you could make it not happen if you simply don't acknowledge it.
1.  All of a sudden, the tantrums are back.  Wait, tantrum is not quite the right word for it.  Meltdown?  Waterworks?  Whatever it is, it seems to be a loss of the ability to speak about a minute problem and blowing it up into Alexander's terriblehorriblenogoodverybadday.

Top 5 Things I Love about 5
5.  You are so inquisitive and smart.  You are reading, spelling, learning more and spouting more, not just facts, but wisdom every day.
4.  You know what you like, and you're bold about it.  You are quick and decisive, yet you are willing to be flexible and compromise.  You're a man of decision and action, and I dig that about you.
3.  You find the humor in everything.  "Look how Doggie is scratching her ear!  That's so funny!"  "Tater Tot jumps when I jump!  That's so funny!"
2.  You talk to your lovies and imaginary friends, and it's like a window into your world.  To them, you often take on a teacher or parent role.  I suppose that's probably natural for a big brother, but I love hearing you take them under your wing and comfort them from the things they (or sometimes, really you) are scared of.
1.  You are so loving and verbal about it.  "I just love you, Mommy.  I love Spork and I love Tater.  I love Doggie Shamrock.  I love Foofa and I'm going to adopt her so she can be in our family.  Mommy, can we have some more babies, please?  Because I just love babies, and they love me, and I am the bestest big brother."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Birthday Roundup

We lovingly refer to our family's extended birthday party-ing as, "the birthday extravaganza."  The downer is that our family is so spread out that we don't get to celebrate all together.  The bonus (for the kids!) is that they get a rolling month or two of cards, gifts, packages, and cakes as family members are able to gather.  Neither party took place on the actual birthday, so to make the "real days" special, we gave our big present to each boy (my family tradition) and went out to dinner (Hubby's family tradition).
 Chomping gators!

"The airplane I've wanted my whole entire life!"

Party #1 this year was mostly for Spork's birthfamily plus Uncle T and Aunt A.  I poached the cowboy/western theme and many of the ideas from my favorite blogger.  Bought a straw bale from a local farm, hats and bandannas from Oriental Trading Co for photo ops (my favorite picture of the boys will also be included in the thank you notes).  I used red gingham and shiny gold cupcake liners for the desserts, kraft napkins and gold Solo cups to keep the western theme without going over the top.  Made mini sandwiches with Honeybaked ham and turkey with cheese on Hawaiian rolls, condiments on the side so I could prep them the night before.  Brought veggies and dip, cornbread salad, fresh fruit, chips, and popcorn.  Mimi and Bobby brought pasta salad.  Printed up these invites from Shutterfly.  Used a fun font to print signs for the coolers marked "Vittles" and "Waterin' Hole".  Back at home, we had the desserts - cupcakes, ice cream, and mini cheesecakes.  The Nugget's favorite feature was something we've done with our moms' group before; I created a make your own trail mix bar.  We set out mini pretzels, Corn Chex, Craisins, Reese's Pieces, honey roasted peanuts, chocolate covered peanuts, m&ms, and granola.  I decorated paper lunch sacks with markers to read "Happy Trails" and drew a little horseshoe on each.

This here bale ain't big enough for the two of us.

 Nugget:  Party on!  Spork:  Where's my cake?

 A serious cowboy samples his trail mix.

Too much birthday.

Party #2 was our second year with just a few of the Nugget's friends at the kids' waterpark.  I love celebrating this way!  The venue is the activity, and aside from packing everything in and out, it's very low stress.  We recycled the theme, which made everything run smoothly and easily the second time around.  Outsourced a little baking to my talented friend this time around.  Look at the adorable cookies she made for the favors!  Also stuffed into each 'danna is a squeezable applesauce, a pack of chocolate milk straws, and a party blower.  The faux barbed wire is also from OTC.  Forgot it for the first party, so I was really glad I remembered to pull it out for party #2.  Since we splurged on ham and turkey for the first party, we kept the second party budget low by making our own PB&J for the kids and pasta salad for the adults.  Rounded it out with lots of fresh fruit, yogurt, cheese, crackers, cupcakes, cash for popsicles, and the trail mix station.

 Beautiful tasty cookies by talented K!

The favors and gifts.  

 Happy birthday, Nugget!

Dawa tests out her party blower.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Spork 1 year

Dear Spork,

You are our darling chunk-a-dunk, our lil' beaver, our frat boy.  It seems like you only arrived yesterday, a wobbly babe with delectable thigh rolls.  You still have those rolls, but you have gone from observer to participant, from sitter/toppler to wobbly walker.  You may be a middle child right now, but you will make your voice heard, dammit.  You are highly demanding, highly entertaining, smart as a whip, and cute to boot.  You are equal parts crochety old man and silly boy.  You have turned our lives inside out and upside down, and we are ever so happy you did!

The stats:
31 inches
27 pounds, 15 ounces

Top 10 Challenges at 1 year old
10.  You already know how to throw a mean tantrum.  The back-arching, slamming-your-head backwards-onto-the-hardwood-floor, red-faced, vein-popping-out-of-your-forehead, give-the-boy-an-Oscar variety.
9.  You are starting to bite.  Your teeth are sharp.  That is all.
8.  In one 12 hour stretch, you whacked Daddy in the eye with a wooden frying pan, then you body-slammed my ankle in a very funky position.  Loving you is dangerous, child.
7.  You've decided that diaper changes are a Code Red situation to be met with full force resistance.  Did I mention that you are 28 pounds?  I work around that by changing you standing up, which is challenging with poop.  Also, you like to squat and sit while I'm trying to attach the fresh diaper.  I keep trying to explain to you that, "There is no sitting during diaper changes," like, "There's no crying in baseball," but you haven't quite grasped the concept that it would be done faster if you would only cooperate.
6.  You are hungry, constantly.
5.  You lack caution/survival skills.  When being held, instead of hanging on, you twist outward, wiggle and buck.  When on a couch, you go for the arm and try to flip head-first off the side.  When climbing the steps, you try to turn backwards and head down face-first.  I see many trips to the ER in our future.
4.  You are doggedly determined and stubborn.  It is hard to get you to let go of what you really want, even at a young age.
3.  You are doing that ear-piercing happy screaming thing as of late.  Glad that you're happy of course, slightly less glad that you are rupturing our ear drums.  I might need to borrow the Nugget's headphones.
2.  You are incredibly sensitive.  This is going to be an asset as you get older, but I can already see that we will need to develop an entirely different discipline system for you.  A furrowed brow, or a slightly raised voice sends you into a panic.  It also contributes to a great deal of daily drama when your big brother is always furrowing his brow and raising his voice at you for touching "his stuff".  I have also already caught you "faking it" when the Nugget was playing nicely with you, payback perhaps for all the toys that have been grabbed from your hands just as you were starting to enjoy them.
1.  You still pull your hair when you're frustrated or tired.  Then you scream and glare at us, as in, "How could you hurt my head like that?"  When we hold your hands to prevent you from self-harm, you get angrier and pull your hair even harder when you do get the chance.  You also smack away the spoon then hair-pull when the food is not to your liking, often getting fistfuls of puree smeared in your curls.

Top 10 Things I Love at 1 year old
10.  When you play "wash the window".  You sit in your highchair and frantically wash a pretend window with your right hand.  When the Nugget and I egg you on, you increase your speed until you're in danger of taking off into flight.
9.  When you wake from your afternoon nap, you know a bottle is imminent.  The second I pick you up, you close your eyes, squirm and twist your body until you've reached bottle-receiving position, and open your mouth like a baby bird waiting for sustenance.
8.  You are a nature boy.  When you're having a bad day of it, I know I can cure any foul mood with a simple walk in the stroller or even a step outside for some fresh air.  At the end of the day, if there is sand between your toes and your curls are sweaty, you've had a good day.
7.  You are the only calm-in-the-car child we've ever parented.  You doze, you kick your feet, you play with toys, you squawk and squeal, you laugh with the Nugget.
6.  You love to sneak up behind me when I sit on the floor.  I feel your strong paws pinching and grasping my shirt and shoulders, your fingers working into my hair, feel your breath on my neck and hear your giggles.  Sometimes you want me to turn around and get you.  Sometimes you don't, you just want to see the world over my shoulder.
5.  Your belly laugh is to die for.  Rare though, you are slightly, I don't know what else to call it but, "jaded."  You'll laugh uproariously for a new trick but after 2-3 times, you stare at me blankly like a bored teenager.  "It's just not funny anymore, Mama.  Been there, done that."
4.  You make funny, over-the-top expressions with crazy sounds to match.
3.  You love to create.  You put crayon to paper daily.  When you see a block tower, your instinct is to inspect it and disassemble it one block at a time.
2.  You adore the Nugget and Tater.  You want to be doing whatever the Nugget is doing.  You think he is amazing, and you're determined to wear him down even when he is frustrated with you.
1.  You give hugs.  Sometimes with 2 hands around our throats but always with affection.