Monday, June 29, 2009

Arrrrgh, Matey!

I took the big boys to their friends Josh's birthday party on Sunday. It was on a Pirate Cruise out of Plymouth harbor. The boys had an absolute blast on board! They shot pressurized water out of cannons at the enemy pirate ship, cackled at the evil pirate's seaweed "snot", secured the pirate treasure and dragged it on board, enjoyed some Pirate's Brew and cupcakes, caught a lobster and a bunch of crabs and generally had a ball yelling "Arrgh, matey!" and "You smell like a dead fish!"

The best part was when the Pirate Captain asked for a volunteer to go over to the bad pirate ship in exchange for the treasure. Colin bravely stuck his hand up high and got chosen as the hostage. Everyone clapped and cheered for him, but as his captain proceeded to explain that he would not be able to come back, and that he was making a sacrifice for his mateys... Colin's smile started to fade. He tried to keep a stiff upper lip, but eventually his eyes filled with tears and his lip started to tremble... he really thought he was going to be sent over to the enemy ship by himself! Once he was sufficiently consoled, he was able to laugh at the whole thing, but for a moment he had a look of sheer terror on his face. This made the crowd roar even louder with glee! Almost as much as when Liam started dancing and shaking his backside under the limbo stick! We also enjoyed a very civilized lunch out replete with pirate swords, compasses, hooks and a bevy of "real gold and jewels" treasure. What a fun birthday party and what a great way to tire them out--they slept all the way home!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Very Hungry Caterpillars

We spent one (of the many) rainy days last week at the Eric Carle Museum. The boys had fun, but it's pretty small and they mostly enjoyed eating lunch out of a vending machine (so much for the "Cafe" they advertize on their website!), the one dollar coins that the change machine doled out for my lone 20-dollar bill and the art studio where they spent an hour (literally) immersed in glue and odd recycled parts. I thought the art gallery was pretty neat as it had not only Eric Carle's original works but a few other artists as well. My sentimental favorites were the drawings by Virginia Lee Burton who wrote Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel which was a VERY oldie but goodie even when I was young. On the top right you can see a painting showing a butterfly mommy reading The Very Hungry Kid to her little pupa baby. The kids got a kick out of that and we had long discussions about caterpillar maturation... something Colin weighed in on as the resident expert since his classroom butterflies had just undergone metamorphosis the week before. Eamon mostly enjoyed the fact that I let him loose with endless bottles of glue and scissors that were actually sharp! Liam really impressed me with his multi-towered creation and he very much enjoys building with ANY medium available, including ribbon, milk bottle tabs and miscellaneous scraps of fabric.

Memorial Day

We had our traditional memorial day weekend at Uncle Paul's place on the lake which the kids were THRILLED about. Food, water, cousins, what's not to like?? Baby Jake really enjoyed getting doused in the lake and Eamon jumped right in like it was bathwater. Erin and MaryKate went out on the canoe (which made our boys a bit jealous as we wouldn't let them go too!) Colin came up with many an adventure for Aquaman in the water and both boys convinced David to have an epic light saber battle. Liam also showed off in wiffle ball which we think he must just have natural talent because we don't really play that much at home. And nothing tires three boys out like some full-body water play so the date ended on a pleasantly exhausted note!

Half-cooked turkey

We're expecting this little turkey to pop up as an appetizer to Thanksgiving. The boys came to both ultrasounds we've had so far but at the first one they were oblivious to what the "blob" was. Now they are happily waiting to meet their new brother or sister! Of COURSE the most popular question is "Is it a girl??" but we didn't find out (though Colin was quite livid with us for that!) We'll be 100% thrilled if the baby has all of its parts and organs in good working order, though we do assume another boy will make an appearance! Liam told me yesterday that we're only allowed to have "girl pets" so he seems satisfied with the furry girls in our family! Eamon is convinced there is also a baby in his belly which is cute for now because I doubt he'll be any too happy to give up his role as the baby in the family! The picture below was the boys' very favorite of the "photo shoot" as it looked like "half alien and half skeleton and both are cool!"

You can see the little alien eyes staring straight at you, and the big round belly below it means s/he will definitely fit in as a member of our family!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ten Little Monkeys

jumping all over the gym! Liam has been taking gymnastics this year and decided he wanted to have his birthday party there. How I wish I had a trampoline that extended from one end of the family room to the other with a huge pit of foam blocks at the end. No wonder he considers gymnastics his own personal Utopia! We had rainbow cupcakes, lots of exercise, friends and presents galore. What more can a four year old ask for?

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Birthday Bash

April is home to many birthdays in the family so we decided to have one big birthday exztravaganza for Grampy, Liam, Eamon, Ryan, David and Erin. Liam chose to have a robot theme this year. He is very into designing and building and putting things together. And spending hour after hour out in the yard digging up mud and fashioning it into a myriad of complicated creations. He is definitely going to be an architect one day! Eamon wouldn't spend a moment of the party INSIDE without crying and screaming so his pictures are a little fewer and further bewtween! He lives a life of jealousy and rage because he doesn't like his tricycle anymore and desperately wants a big bike like his brothers.... if only his legs were long enough to reach the pedals... next year! Erin was nice enough to push him around on Liam's bike which he commandeered in his usual tyrannical manner. All-in-all, the party was a great success though we are determined NOT to do pinatas anymore because the darn things NEVER work! Liam didn't QUITE understand musical chairs and spent a fair amount of time laying under a table crying afterwards, but it was HIS party and he COULD cry if he wanted to....

Recycled Robots

In an attempt to continue getting caught up here, I found these photos of the robots the kids made to decorate for the big combined April birthday party this year. In the spirit of Green Living that's so popular these days, I started out using a bunch of recycled boxes and cans. However, I soon realized we needed to pad our supplies with a quick trip to Home Depot where we picked up "a couple odds and ends". Eighty dollars and many electrical parts later, the kids were in heaven and spent the day with some of their cousins designing outlet mouths and valve dials. So much for teaching the kids about "free recylable projects".