Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas in Chaosville

I think this is the first time in the history of this blog that a full month has gone by without a new post. Suffice to say, we weren't doing nothing! Between the ice storm and six days without power, finals and final grades that needed my cold and unshowered attention and a computer that decided to crap out, things just haven't been going our way. But the power is back, the grades are done,I've got a cute new laptop and we're back in business! I still have to figure out a way to get the last month's photos off our now-dead computer but I'll save that little project for Christopher who has next week off. And hopefully we can soon update you on all the festivities of the past month!

I would love to show you a gorgeous photo of our tree all lit up, but alas, our power was out AGAIN on Christmas morning. Fortunately, this time only for a few hours. The jolly man left quite a haul under the tree for the boy-os. Who knew they'd been that good this year?
Clara deserves some extra gifts just for putting up with Eamon. Once Eamon discovered the chocolate snowman in his stocking, he really had no use for any of his gifts. Which actually turned out well because his big brothers got to open a few more and Demon was occupied with his hands full for long enough that we could all enjoy the peace and goodwill for a few minutes.Big points out something interesting to Medium. Notice in Liam's hand is the letter Santa left for the boys which he has become very attached to. He keeps saying: "Please don't recycle my letter!! It's from Santa and says I am a good boy!" I think he is just keeping it as an insurance policy for later in the year -- if we try to send him to Time Out, he has written proof he is really just a good boy--from the expert himself!Three little cookie cutter men; just in different sizes.
We made our own gingerbread house from scratch this year. Oodles of fun.

Bushels of candy.
Almost done!"Arggh, the roof smashed on the ground, mom! Well, I guess we'll have to eat it!" said Colin who probably elbowed the darn thing on purpose. I can't say I was too upset: the best thing about homemade gingerbread is that it tastes way better than the pre-fab stuff!

Demon LOVES his new mess-free paint. It means he gets to do art way more often with the big kids and Mommy has a chance of keeping the gray hair at bay just a little bit longer...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're thankful for all of our boys and the chaos they bring! You'll have to forgive me for not letting Eamon do this craft with us last night. First he ate all the ends of the crayons, then he wrinkled up all the paper, then he tried to steal the glue and run away with it. We assume he is thankful for: brothers that don't beat him when he destroys their stuff, parents that love him even when he is a demon, a dog who is gentle and lovely to him even when he torments her, and food of every variety. Here's what the two big boys are thankful for:

Liam is thankful for: Mommy, Erin, Colin, Daddy and Eamon, Clara, Super Flying Racecars (???), Blocky and Robot (his imaginary friends) and Horses and Cows.

Colin is thankful for: David and Liam, Mommy, Daddy and Eamon, Bunk beds (which he doesn't have, but wishes he did), Santa (brown-noser!), Games, his Superhero Birthday Party, and his new Remote Control Racecar.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Crazy as a Three Ring Circus

Okay, to be truthful, it was really only a One Ring Circus. I am not quite sure if I am not remembering properly because I was so little and everything must have seemed so BIG to me, or if the Ringling Bros. have hit the skids with the economy such as it is like everyone else... but the circus wasn't quite as glamorous as I recall it to be. I used to go every year on my birthday and this year Colin won us free tickets from a drawing contest so we were thrilled to go for his birthday. The boys had a great deal of fun and enjoyed it. I'm not sure if the circus was as big a hit with them as the $10-bucks-a-pop light up toys we got them (and we didn't even spring for the $20 ones inside... we got sucked in by the guys hawking them "half price" outside. I'm just thankful that our knock-off toys (a laser gun and a sword) died in the first 48 hours... they were driving us insane anyway.) Fun was had, treats were digested and it was an enjoyable outing. I'm not sure I would go if I had to pay for it, but for a mostly free day out with the boy-os , it was worth it!

These two guys were probably the most impressive. They jumped ass over teakettle around their hoops as they revolved... I admit it, I gasped a number of times.

What happened to good old-fashioned clowns? I am rather afraid of them, myself, but our kids REALLY would have enjoyed the humor of 20 clowns in a clown car or the more slap-stick pouring of water over heads, etc. The main clown here was a French monsieur who was amusing, but not at their level. He did have a funny bicycle act, though, topped out by riding his mouse-sized bike through a ring of fire. Colin capped most of the performances by saying, "I have GOT to try that at home!"

They constructed a cage in the ring during intermission to keep us all safe from the big cats. They were magnificent and it just gets me everytime that they APPEAR to be cute, overgrown house cats... but I hope the woman with the whip gets combat pay because there is NOTHING you could do to convince me to snap my whip at those big fellas!

Liam had as much fun stuffing his face with popcorn as anything else, I think.

That lip! That lip is both the bane of my existence and the cherry on top of my gleeful Liam Sundae.

The elephants were always my favorite and they were still pretty great. Though I am slightly biased as I had JUST finished reading "Water for Elephants" before we went.

This girl got double pay as the Rope Mistress and the poor maiden who had look demure while some sharp-shooter shot a rose out of her hand with a semi automatic cross bow.

A true testament to Colin's overall enjoyment. The cotton candy sits forgotten in his hand while he ogles whatever act has mesmerized him. For that alone, it was a good day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Colin's Super 5th Birthday!

Although turning five was unbelievably exciting for Colin, and somewhat sobering for the rest of us (Five. Five???? I can no longer live in denial. Four still somehow seems like a "preschooler", a "little kid", "my baby". But five??? Five is real, solid, genuine, hardcore KID material. Colin goes to kindergarten next year. It might as well be college. But I digress...) Anyway, it may have been exciting, but it sure didn't produce any nice photos. Here are the paltry few that I eeked out during his two birthday parties. Yes, two. I will say, though, that when we made our "Thankful Turkeys" tonight, one of the things Colin said he was thankful for was his "Superhero Birthday Party". So it might not have been photographically preserved for posterity, but it was memorable for him!

Colin showing us his lung capacity at his Preschool Friend party.

The gaggle of admirers from his class at school who came, ate, trampled and made merry.

Colin's Family Party. Yes, I know, for the first time, I did not go hog wild making his cake. I bought it from a grocery store. The horror! But I did buy all THREE superhero kits to go on top, not just ONE. :)

And I did make a tower of Superman confections. Though truth be told, I bought most of the decorations. Maybe I have finally exorcised my Martha Steward demon... or most likely, I was just overtaxed this month and ran out of time!

The birthday boy hoisting his favorite gift: Rhino Rampage. It's also my favorite gift: no batteries required!!

Scholastic Tradition

We got the boys school pictures back today and despite the fact I'm two weeks behind in blogging about everything ELSE around here (namely, Colin's birthday), I just HAD to put these photos up. They both did splendidly (we can't blame their hair for refusing to behave) which earned them an outing with Daddy. I think Colin chose bowling and Liam chose Chuck E Cheese... so we're ALL thrilled with the results.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat

My Three Heroes

Daddy took the trio trick or treating. Colin didn't mind that I had to work as he was enamored with the human bones I had in my car all week in preparation for an anatomy exam. He is probably the only kid in the world who asks to take real human bones for Show and Share at preschool. (I said no. Only because they were painstakingly labeled by me for the exam and I didn't want little fingers messing them up. Otherwise, honestly, I would have let him. I swear he knows more bone names than half my nursing students)

You couldn't possible imagine the fun that was had with glue and some old baby food jars I found WAY BACK in the cupboard.

The end result. Spooky. Perfect.

Creepy crawly critters for the boys' preschool party.

Spiders were VERY high on the fun list this year, as you can see.Who would have guessed that HOURS of fun could be had with a couple strings of licorice? I wonder if the cavities will be worth it? Probably.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

They say the darndest things...

Overheard this week:

1) Colin: "Eamon looks like a vanilla ice cream cone!" (picture to come...when I remember to upload it)

2) Liam: "Mommy, do woodpeckers like rain?" Me: "Um, I'm not sure, I don't think so." Liam: "Well, will they come out in the rain or will they hide?" Me: "I guess they'll hide" Liam: "Are you SURE woodpeckers won't come out in the rain? Mommy! Mommy!" Me, exasperated: "I don't know, Liam, why????" Liam, clutching his balloon from Trader Joe's and frowning: "I'm afraid a woodpecker will come and peck my balloon until it pops!!!"

3) Colin, asking about musical instruments: "What's that one, you know, the Rock Star Violin?" Me: "A guitar????" Colin: "Yes, that's it!" Can you tell we're a little more Vivaldi than Guns N' Roses around here?

4) Liam: "There are no real ghosts. There are no real ghosts. There are no real ghosts. Mommy, are there real ghosts in the WOODS????" .... On second thought, perhaps he was a little young for the Haunted House he went to this week... and maybe that pitch black walk to the neighbors' house last night in the blustery storm past the blowing white ghost wasn't the BEST idea before bed...

4) Eamon: "Clara!" "Woof!" "Sit!!!" (screamed in Clara's ear, hoping to instill in her that he shall take his rightful place as Alpha to her. Someday. When she stops licking his face until he falls over in glee.) "Night-night!" "Mama" "Dada" "Bappa" (Grandpa) "Up" (yelled while vaulting into my lap) "Bock-bock" (eating chicken for dinner) "Ckkkrrrru!" (Truck) Yup... that's about it. At least that I can think of. He is a man of few words, but his sign language repertoire is quite good... and he ALWAYS makes it clear what he wants... generally by lowering his head, furrowing his brow and giving you the Death Look when you do not comply, followed by the Angry Stomp, the Throwing of Toys and the Impish Shriek. Thank God he is so cute.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Autumn Odds and Ends

I've been sort of lame about blogging the last few weeks so a bunch of events and pictures have piled up unblogged! Here are a few hints as to what the Clan has been doing.

A big thanks to Uncle Eddie for the kids' pumpkins. Carving is frustrating for them still so they used Mr. Pumpkin Head pieces to flesh them out. Here's Liam's interpretation of Grammy as a nightclub singer. Notice the golden curls and TWO pocketbooks. She must be a real moneybags!

Our yummy baked rendition of the perfect pumpkin. Colin was introduced to fruit rollups for the first time in making the leaves... love at first sticky bite.

Christopher Columbus setting his sights on the New World with his nifty hat and telescope!

A typical morning in Casa Chaos.

We went to pick pumpkins at an Oktoberfest a local farm. Here's Eamon playing in the outdoor kitchen. Of course, we never got to actually pick pumpkins and Little Bugger melted down at the end of the day.

The big boys and their cousins take a very fast spin around the farm on the Apple Train

Liam feeds the Llamas.

Colin and David are two peas in a pod. They even got photographed for the local paper.

The cousins settle down for some warm fall treats. It was cold and dank that day, but some pulled pork and apple pie did the trick.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall fun

Colin uses Daddy's noise-canceling headphones to shield himself from Eamon's shrieking.

Liam was so proud of the "Fairy House" we built out in the woods to ensure that the fairies are warm and cozy all through the winter. He made a path so the fairy could find the house and filled it with all manner of comforts.

Here's a rock bed with pine cone pillow and leaf blanket. We also outfitted the house with a tiny little fireplace with miniature logs, acorn cap bowls, mushroom end tables, a couch made of pinecones, a tree bark roof and wild berries for food. The boys very much enjoyed it and I've been remiss in not bringing them back to check on their houses lately. Colin is concerned the recent rain storm wreaked havoc on them so we'll have to go repair the damage!

A true woodsman.

Eamon didn't build a fairy house but had fun exploring nonetheless.

Liam just loves golf so we had the chance to go indoor mini-golfing on a rainy Saturday and he was thrilled about it.

Eamon spent more time chucking his ball into the many water traps and wielding his club like a weapon, but managed to have fun regardless.

Little Bugger is CONSTANTLY up on the kitchen table. And oh so proud that he stole a bag of crackers to boot.

We went to a local fair and the kids got introduced to face-painting which they loved.

Although the big bouncy house and slide was more exciting!

The boys are OBSESSED with superheroes and I finally had to hide their costumes because they were started to get worn out and it's weeks until Halloween!
Robin makes the perfect side-kick. Though he's already lost his mask somewhere...