Friday, February 29, 2008

Fevers and Fireworks

It's been a slow week around here. We've played ping-pong with a fever and cough combo that had each of us (except Eamon, thank goodness) down for the count at one point or another. It started with Liam Sunday night when I tucked him into bed, and realized he was burning up. He did, indeed, have a fever of 102 and thoroughly enjoyed taking his Children's Motrin while insisting "I not sick! I feel good!" First off... we are definitely breeding a generation of future drug-addicts because the kids BEG to take medicine. It's better than candy and it's only a matter of time until they thwart the child-proof caps and start swigging the stuff (granted, they've never had full-strength fruit juice either, so the first time someone slips them some of that, they'll be jonesing in the JuicyJuice aisle at the grocery store too.) Secondly, it is highly unfair that 2 year olds can be so chipper while they're sick. On Monday and Tuesday when I was down with the fever, I did not utter the words: "I feel good", not even once. (On a side-note, Liam suddenly switched from using "me" to using "I" this week which is a lovely testament to his growing language skills... only now he says things like: "Give it to me, I mean, give it to I!" and then I have to tell him "No, it's 'me' in that case". Entirely confusing to the little tyke and fortunately I teach biology and not grammar because, hey, I don't get it either.

Not to be outdone, Colin spiked a fever of 103 on Thursday. He missed school so I tried to cheer him up with a cool art project (the only measly photos of the week) which he sat down and did with me for well over an hour before he conked out and slept the rest of the day away. I guess at the advanced age of four, you start to run out of chipper when you're sick. A full day and night of sleep did a body good though and he's full of his usual vim and vigor today.

The boys had fun making their T-shirts though mostly I think they were just enthralled with the idea of touching the forbidden Sharpie markers. Colin made a big production of patiently explaining to Liam (about 40 times) that these are "markers only for mommies and daddies that NEVER come off your skin or the furniture". I really think upon exiting the maternity ward, they need to impart useful knowledge to new parents... "Chart your newborn's wet diapers in the first days to ward off dehydration... and NEVER let them alone with a Sharpie until they're 25." Good geek mom that I am, I tried to use it as a learning experience about chromatography and the movement of pigment in the right solvent, but Liam was all about the markers and Colin was all about choosing new and better color combinations and the "fireworks" that resulted from our "chroma-toga-fee-fee" as he called it. (Liam couldn't resist dipping his finger into the alcohol to taste it and then proclaimed: "Ugh! This water is bleck!!" It's only a matter of time until he finds the good Grey Goose "water" and acquires a taste for that, I'm sure.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Family Portrait 2008

Who needs photography when our own budding artist captures us in all our glory? You can see everyone from Grampy and Grammy on the left (true to life with their glasses on!) all the way down to Clara on the far right. This is Colin's first official "Family Portrait". Up until now, he hasn't really been interested in drawing things that looked at all realistic. I particularly like our starfish hands!

Friday, February 22, 2008

What do you want to do when you grow up?

I was just reading a Geekdad post where the author/father examined gender roles and norms and how he could instill a spirit of geekiness in his daughter. This is great:

"I asked my 3-year-old daughter what would happen when she was a grown-up lady. The first thing she said was, "paint my nails." I asked what else. 'Get a box of tools.'

That's my girl!"

It reminded me of Colin's response when asked about his concept of adulthood. Carrie and I asked him what he wants to do when he's big like us. His replies were (in no particular order): "read books, drink coffee, grow a beard, drink wine."

That's my boy!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Love is in the air...

and in the kitchen and the craft table and the easel....

This past week the kids filled their days with Valentine Preparations in a big way. Colin wrote out all of his Valentines for his classmates and his cousins by himself. He's getting to be quite the little writer. He also is REALLY into reading on his own right now and thanks to Tessy and Tab, he can read 95% of their books all by himself which he is SO proud of (for once, a personality trait comes out that Chris and I BOTH want to take credit for!). He's also been doing puzzles constantly this week and this morning exclaimed (out of the blue), "I'm a genius!" (never wanting for modesty, our boy). Liam has been really into painting this week and he's obsessed with his new harmonica (more to come on that little prize). Eamon... well, Eamon is just all over the place. His main focus is trying to master the stair between the family room and kitchen (so he can get to the most fascinating toy of all... the DISHWASHER.) He is crawling and cruising on everything and is full of bumps and bruises to prove it (he's already chipped a tooth and taken the edge of the coffee table square in the face a few times).

Colin learned the fine art of decoupage while the little ones napped and made a box for his preschool teachers. What could be more fun four a four year old than tissue paper and glue??

The finished product! Colin absolutely adores his preschool teachers and after this gift, we're pretty sure he's on top of their list as well!

The box of course, wasn't just for show, we filled it with truffles handmade by the Little Baker Boy. Colin helped roll them and was the "Official sprinkle topper" after they got a coating of melted chocolate. Mmm... how do I get a job at his preschool???

While Colin was off spreading the love at school Liam got busy making heart-shaped chocolate muffins for Grammy and Grampy. We're not sure how much chocolate made it into the muffins as most of it ended up being worn by Choc-o-master.

One of Liam's weekly masterpieces. This is one of the first times he hasn't gotten so crazed that the painting ended up black or brown. I was particularly impressed with his restraint... though moments after it was proclaimed "perfect" by the artist, he did add the sweeping green hand-print at the bottom.

Cupid hits the floor for some crawling time.

The endless cold rain this week meant the kids had to burn off some steam inside. Here's Liam completing the "through the table" leg of the obstacle course set up around the house.

Our California-lovin' friend Silas sent some sweet toys for the boys. Eamon thought it was almost as much fun to eat his new snake as drag it around the house with him! Colin loved his stamps too, thanks, guys! He had to show them off immediately when his pal Chad came over for a playdate this week.

Liam scored a real treasure from Silas in his "monica" as he calls it. He loves it. He plays it most of the day, demands to take it everywhere with him, including Grammy's (sorry Grampy -- time to take out your new hearing aid!) and even cuddles with it in his bed at night. He's actually pretty great at it and it's not nearly as annoying as the Irish whistles at Grammy's house so that's music to our ears!

Eamon. By Colin.
Colin got a hold of my camera and took this strange-yet-lovely-lit photo of his favorite baby. He did indeed capture the joyful little guy. NO ONE makes Eamon smile the way Colin does!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Food for Thought

Mommy to Liam: "Blow on your chicken before you eat it, it's still pretty hot"

Liam: "No, it not too hot. Me can eat it! Me eat hot things!"

Colin, Mr. 2Cents to Liam: "Liam, you're going to burn your fingers. And your mouth. And your whole body. Hmmm... but probably not your brain. I think your brain is too far away from your mouth. So at least you won't burn your brain."

Sigh... I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

True Love

I hope the boys find true love someday....

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Miscellaneous Tidbits

Nothing big, but lots of little things happening around here this week. Big fun for the kids, but honestly, everything is fun for them. They look forward to grocery shopping at the "balloon store" (Trader Joe's), they love putting laundry in the washer, being "allowed" to unload the dishwasher is a thrill, brushing their teeth is akin to having dessert and Liam begs to feed the dog (and now the new fish too). If only all my "chores" were so pleasurable!

We celebrated Clara's 6th birthday this past week with presents and treats. Want to keep your kids busy and happy for an hour? Give them limitless tissue paper and scotch tape. They were so proud that they wrapped all Clara's present by themselves. And the joy of having a dog is that you get to OPEN her presents for her when you're done!

Poor Clara. The boys insisted it wasn't a real birthday party without hats and spent their craft time making one for her as well. I insisted they at least make it pink since we see so little of that around here! Clara was a good sport about it, probably because she knew she was going to get all the bone-shaped cookies we made. (Hint: there is only so much fat and sugar you can take out of peanut butter cookies before they taste like dog biscuits. The good news is, Clara gave two paws up to our too-healthy recipe.)

While buying new chew toys for Clara at the pet store, we also replenished our fish supply. We let the boys name them all by themselves. True to their ice-cream-loving nature, Liam chose Rainbow and Colin chose Sprinkle. Then they ran out of ideas. Chris suggested Jimmie which I thought was great, but it was vetoed by the munchkins in favor of Gumdrop.

Eamon had his 10 month old well-check at the pediatrician and I used it as Liam's monthly "alone" outing to ClayTime where he could paint some pottery. I know he wasn't really "alone" with me, but Eamon is so perfect all the time that he napped in the stroller through most of it and scarfed down crackers through the rest so he didn't interrupt the flow of Liam's creative juices at all.

This is how I found Eamon after one of his naps this week. Finally pulling himself up to standing in his crib. It begins... He also started crawling like an "average" baby this week. Actually up on his knees rather than the mixture of rolling/scooting/scuttling he's been doing for ages. He's still faster at scooting than crawling though so he's not a fan of the "real" crawl so far! He weighed in at 21 lbs and 29 inches. Perfectly "mediocre" in the 50th percentile. He sure isn't mediocre with his looks though! Could you GET any happier or cuter than that???

I bought the boys their Easter outfits yesterday and after their Tie Tutorial with Daddy a couple weeks back, I just had to do Chris proud and buy them their own ties. And matching hats. And matching socks. And matching linen shirts. The big boys have been wearing them all day so far. I think they look quite stunning with their pajamas... it's only a matter of time until GQ calls them for a photo shoot.