Tuesday, November 27, 2007

For Posterity

We finally got Liam to be in a picture and smiling to boot! Colin had to take a family photo for show and share at school today and we didn't have a recent one so this got taken this morning on our way out the door. There's nothing like the last minute.

p.s. Well... to respond to some of the comments, it APPEARS calm but it was also 8:00am so everyone was half asleep and I'm PRETTY sure that I heard Chris bribe Liam with marshmallows as he was getting him dressed. Not bad with a self-timer and no time... now if only the Christmas card pictures would get done half as easily... oh and we couldn't get Clara to sit still in it... I guess we should have offered her marshmallows as well!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Still Life with Chunk

Eamon had his 6 months photos done today. Yes, yes, he'll be 8 months in a week or so, but hey, we get behind sometimes around here. He celebrated Thanksgiving this week by being thankful for all of the new foods in his world. This week alone he tried (and LOVED) butternut squash ravioli, turkey and veggies, mashed potato, potato and leek soup, a blueberry cereal bar, whipped cream, and meatballs with sauce (the tomato did give him a rash around his mouth, but considering what his older brothers endured with their food allergies, we think he got away scot free.) He will literally eat ANYTHING put in front of him and since this is our third time around, we're much less strict about things than we were with Colin and Liam. And lucky for us (and him), nothing has really bothered him so far. He can't keep up his nickname "Chunk" by being a picky eater!

Eamon also got his first photo taken with Santa today which he nearly slept through (after a long day of shopping and giggling at all the festivities around him, the jolly ol' guy didn't need to do much to get him to drop off. He fell asleep literally moments after being handed back to me). Colin was happy to be in a few photos with Eamon but balked at being photographed with Old Saint Nick. He did, however, ask him for a Frog Game for Christmas. For the life of me, I haven't a clue what that is so if you run across a frog game with "red and blue and green tree frogs", PLEASE let me know because Santa is desperate to find it before December 25th. Liam was happy to sit and play with Eamon during the photo shoot but got up and ran off as soon as the photographer started to rearrange his limbs. His acting career may be over before it starts--he doesn't take stage direction well (er... at all...) He was gungho to talk to Santa (he wants a "bat from a box with a black thing that goes round and round"-- we're PRETTY sure this is the bat that Colin just got for his birthday from Uncle Mark and Auntie Megan but we wish he'd ask for something we don't already have. He is adamant that that is all he wants though. Of course "Little" refused to get his photo taken with Santa--big shocker. I feel like I should photoshop Liam into the new photos... he really is part of the family... albeit, not stationary enough to have a permanent image of him made...

p.s. Check out Eamon sticking his tongue out at the paparazzi... he's really into giving "raspberries" right now and he spit so much the photographer had to change the background because there was a drool pool under him at one point. So attractive.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Eamon's First Sled Ride

First snow of the season

Another fun-filled week here. Colin had yet ANOTHER birthday party (the last!), this time his family party and collected a bunch more great gifts. He really enjoyed his birthday immensely this year (a big step up from age two when he screamed "Mine!!" the whole time and age three when he screamed "No!!" the whole time.) Age four is already treating us better than age three did. So, we should have 6 more joyous months until Liam gets there!

The big cousins enjoyed the party and showed off their Lincoln Log building prowess. Eamon likes Lincoln Logs too--they're great to soothe those top teeth which will be coming in any day now!

Colin showed that small hands can build big things... and roll marbles down them too (the bane of my existence now that Eamon is rolling around. We're currently short one marble... we're hoping it's under one of the couches. This is by far one of the favorite new things--neither of the big boys have asked to turn on the TV even ONCE since acquiring the marble race!).

Today we had the first snowfall which the boys were VERY excited about. Liam happily made snowballs and entertained himself in the soft white stuff while Colin was at school.

Eamon got to use his new snowsuit... and had his first trip down the hill on his sled! He loved it! Colin had a ball sledding as well (he's big enough this year to drag his own sled up the hill, hallelujah!) and tried to make a snow angel but there wasn't quite enough of the white stuff... it's more of a snow and leaf angel. Surprisingly, considering his penchant for danger, Liam didn't like sledding and spent most of his time filling his wheelbarrow with snow and making snow castles. The kid is definitely going to be an architect-- or a wrecking ball operator.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Potty Training

And I thought potty training was difficult in English. It seems way more complicated for Dutch-speaking South Africans, living in New Zealand.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Party Like A Preschooler

Colin is FOUR!! He had his preschool-age friends over for a celebration on Monday. What fun! We went full throttle with the dinosaur theme serving things like "Jurassic Juice", "Triceratops Teeth with Swamp Sludge" (Apples with caramel dip) and "Fossilized Footprints with Molten Magma" (Tortilla chips and salsa) and of course the requisite Dino-shaped chicken nuggets. He had a ball and everyone seemed to enjoy the games and treats.

This year he was completely thrilled with people singing happy birthday to him and has been singing to himself ever since! We brought him out to lunch on Sunday for his birthday and he said afterwards: "Mommy, I REALLY liked when they sang to me at the restaurant, that was REALLY nice of them". Surprising to me, because, as the oldest, he generally takes it for granted that the world revolves around him.

Although he liked the IDEA of his new "big boy" red bike, he was really nervous riding it for the first time (it's pretty high off the ground and training wheels are "tippy" according to Liam). He announced after his first ride on the street (where he actually did fairly well) that "I think I'll ride my new bike when I turn FIVE". I'm sure he'll being going down the street like a bat out of hell soon enough (though it did seem AWFULLY high off the ground as if a fall would really HURT... this growing up thing is much harder on the parents than the kids...)
p.s. Isn't that attached water bottle the cutest thing you've ever seen? He must have taken it out a dozen times during our ride TO THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR. He even offered it to Liam which is PROOF of how happy it makes him!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What a week!

On Monday, the boys had their pediatrician checkups and we're happy to say they're all healthy as can be (too bad the same can't be said for us...we've taught them to share so well that they joyfully passed on their colds when they were done with them. The worst part is that I've lost my voice--which my students may enjoy, but it wreaks havoc on me trying to corral the kids. Now they tune me out even more than usual and I have to use words like "chocolate"; "movie" and "birthday presents" before they'll even look my way).

At any rate, at 7 months, Eamon is a whopping 19 lbs 4 oz and 27 inches long. 50% in height and 60ish% in weight. No surprises there... he didn't get the nickname "Chunk" from being a waif. Colin once again showed his penchant for perfection measuring in at 41 lbs and 41 inches. (Last year at his 3 year check up he was 37 lbs and 37 inches... somehow he's managed to utilize biofeedback techniques so his numbers always "match"... matching is big with Colin, you'll find). Liam's numbers weren't up for renewal, we'll have to wait for May for that, though he did give our pediatrician his two cents when he decided to go into an endless chant of "You dumb, you dumb, you dumb" after I told him he couldn't ride on her twirly stool. He then proceeded to take the binky from poor Eamon who'd just had 4 shots and drop it into the nasty depths behind the exam table. Even our ped, who is generally very low key and relaxed, recommended we sterilize the hell out of that thing before giving it back to the baby-- no worries, I had a spare in my pocket and thwarted Liam's evil plan without batting a lash.

Because one day of being trapped in a tiny square room with three miscreants wasn't enough, Clara had HER yearly vet checkup on the following day. They really need to make exam rooms bigger, install TVs and laughing gas dispensers, and in this case, NOT leave a very fetching specimen cup containing all the ticks they've EVER removed from an animal on the counter. That provided LOTS of fun for the kiddies, let me tell you. This time, the boys weren't SO BAD except they insisted on sitting UNDER the exam table the whole time and freaked the poor vet tech out because she insisted they must be in contact with some kind of germs. Hey, as long as they're not eating out of the biohazard trash, I consider it a good day. And to be fair to Clara, SHE at least was good and only got skittish once when the decibel level of the kids got so high during her vaccinations that her eardrums must have cracked. Also to be fair, I'm posting a photo of the poor girl who was neglected in the "Meet the Players" blog... she WAS our first baby. Albeit one who never requires a diaper change, sleeps 20 hours a day, and can be left home alone for 12 hours. Why people get dogs to "practice" is beyond me. Newsflash: they're a lot easier than kids (even if they do take up just as much of the bed).

The week ended well (for me at least ... I work Wednesday and Friday so Chris had to deal with the boys' antics while my parents are basking in the Italian sun). Colin had a birthday party at his school, even got a special hat and book as a gift from his teachers and was delighted with the cookies that magically appeared for his class at snacktime (someone actually had to stay up half the night making them, ahem...). Colin and I made some lovely leaf rubbings with the last of the leaves that haven't covered our yard, and Liam did his part to pick up some of the detritus (even if he did stomp his pile into smithereens after he raked it). Preparations for Colin's "kiddie" party go into full swing this weekend as Monday morning we're expecting 15 preschoolers (and their parents) to descend on us and eat cake, play games and generally destroy our home.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

When the cat's away....

I always thought that I'd love to be a flyspeck on the wall seeing what the kids do when I'm not around. Christopher uses the camera once or twice a year usually, but he did take some photos last week of the big kids frolicking one night while I was at work. To set up the scenario, you have to understand that the days when I work, the kids are well looked after at Grammy and Grampy's house (aka Utopia). Often, the transition is a tough one for the kids. Not that they don't love their Daddy, but who among us would want to leave pure paradise (endless rivers of chocolate milk, the occasional cookie, a Land Before Time (dinosaur) movie, and the patience of saints) to return to a place where you are expected to eat your vegetables, endure time outs, brush and floss your teeth and be asleep by 7pm? (Wait a minute, THAT might actually be Chris' and MY definition of utopia!) At any rate, Daddy has smartened up and started offering bribes (I mean, incentives) to get the kids moving off towards home without the usual tears, kicking and screaming. And what did he offer last week? Puddle jumping in the mud on a dark, stormy night! What more could two boys shy of 4 years old ask for? You can see they had a ball climbing to the top of the cord wood mountain and jumping in knee-high mud while out taking a "rain bath" as Colin likes to say. It's the simple pleasures for our boys and honestly, the fun was worth the filth-encrusted play clothes that will never ever be the same again (OxiClean be damned for their false advertising). You can imagine the state of the clothes that will be passed on to poor Eamon. But, the great thing about having boys is, they've never once complained about my choice of outfits for them and they seem to enjoy the dirt they've accumulated. If one can measure the pure joy of one's life from the number of clothes that were destroyed during it, our boys are well on their way to being blessed with VERY happy lives.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Welcome to our blogolicious blog

We finally succumbed to the blog phenomenon. After four years of being a parent and taking innumerable photos of the kids, I do start to wonder: does anyone actually look forward to seeing more photos in their inbox of our kids? So, rather than inundate you with possibly unwanted spam, we decided to make a family blog where you can choose (or not) to follow the exploits of our three holy terrors as they grow. I'm not the type to write in baby books (I kept up with Colin's for about 4 months. I did buy one for Liam but didn't start it, and Eamon, well.... you know what they say about the third...) I can't seem to scrapbook and I don't do photo albums, so if I want to remember any of the incredible things they do and say, I'd better get started here.

Check in as often as you like, we're both online a lot so we're apt to give updates regularly.

Hopefully you'll enjoy seeing the kids as much as we enjoy having them--probably more so since they're surprisingly photogenic and you don't have to deal with the nose goblins (snot to the uninitiated), whining, vomit, misbehavior, wrestling, and money vacuum that comes with them!