Thursday, December 30, 2010

Little gobblers

I forgot to take the camera to Kelly's for Thanksgiving, but we did get some shots of the turkey cookies the boys made with the cookie cutter Grampy got us. Of course, Liam's is on the top left, because Liam always has to go against the grain!

Little Miss Turns One!

A little, okay a lot, belated on Sadie's actual birthday. You know what they say about the fourth... I'm pretty sure I'm the only kid who never got a photo album at all so I think she's doing pretty well for herself.

Still no steps by her birthday, but she was becoming ever more sturdy standing up on her own. And managing to clap for herself at the same time! She dug into her birthday cake with zeal: gingerbread with cinnamon whipped cream. She gobbled it all up and made a happy mess. She got a few more presents, but none so exciting as the remote control she commandeered at home and was THRILLED about!

The rest of Sadie's birthday, we spent at a Thanksgiving Festival at Red Apple Farm (not that she cared, it was freezing out and her main job was to sit in the stroller and look cute all bundled up.) The boys had a fun time though, particularly Liam whose main goal in life is to be a hillbilly. He spent a long time ogling the old guns and tools (and handcuffs) and tents some reenactors had set up. He also bought a Moose tooth which is still his most treasured possession. Colin, of course, climbed the first tree he could find and tried his hand at making apple cider. We took a very chilly and bumpy hayride and ended the day with some yummy homemade goodies and beer. As usual, Sadie was at the whim of her brothers, but she enjoyed her big day nonetheless!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Warmth is a good thing

Christmas preparations plus some computer problems have brought about the yearly lag in the blog. Hopefully I can catch up before we have any more major excitement!

Luckily before the real cold and storms hit, Chris replaced our old broken woodstove chimney. He first started by cutting a newer, bigger hole in our wall. Which provided some lovely scenery of the outdoors...

Looks like a nicely framed vista of fall leaves. Only it's a hole in my house.

As usual, the boys took any opportunity to help use tools or climb on a ladder very seriously. And of course, if one sees a hole and one's name is Liam, one must stick one's head through the hole.

Colin had to jump in and be part of the fun as well. And of course, every father allows his kid to climb up on the shed roof in the dark and then proceed to climb up a ladder (also in said dark) and finish the last of the external chimney repair. For the record, obviously this took place on a night I was at work. However, in the end, all's well that ends well and I am happy that once the cold and snow did come through we were all nice and toasty warm!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Seven Years!

Colin really really wanted a Star Wars Sleepover Party this year and we thought it would make for a nice relaxing party if he only invited a couple of his very close buddies over. We figured that two extra boys could not really make much of a difference to the chaos in the house anyway. Boy, were we wrong! Here are some of the highlights of the boys' night. We started off by having some Ewok Food as a snack until everyone arrived. Then the boys played Star Wars on the Wii for endless excruciatingly loud hours until dinnertime. Luckily I had found a website where I copied most of the Theme Food that I made which was a huge hit with everyone and they ate every last bite off their plates! The biggest thrill came from the character cookies (Colin thinks we should make them for Christmas too, apparently they celebrate Christmas in Degobah? Maybe Yoda delivers the gifts using the Force.) The Hans Solo in Carbonite Jello was fun, but in the end, they refused to eat the jello and just wanted to get to the action figure inside it! Everyone actually went to bed at a decent hour and slept great which was my biggest fear and we opened up the next morning with pancakes and more Wii Football which ended, of course, in real-life tackles occurring all over the family room. The party (finally, thankfully) came to an end after we took everyone to play LaserTag which was by far the most fun of the entire 24 hour extravaganza (especially for the adults!)! However, five little boys trying to figure out what to get at the Prize Counter after acquiring reams of tickets from the arcade was nearly enough to bring me to tears. We were so wiped out after it ended, we sent the big boys happily off to school the next day while we proceeded to do NOTHING all day but breathe big, quiet sighs of relief that the potty jokes, fart contests, insane giggling and dousing of my entire car with sugar dust was finally over. But Colin had a great time. Next year... it's back to having 24 kids over for TWO hours rather than 2 kids over for 24 hours!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Entering party season

The holidays are coming and the Fall Birthdays are a nice way to enter party season! I know that Sadie is slightly over-represented in the photos from the party, but it IS her first birthday and Colin got to have another party on his actual birthday, I swear! Little Miss got all dressed up in her cupcake party dress and had a blast! She started the day by getting to open her big, huge, gargantuan, "where the hell is this going to fit" pretend kitchen from Auntie Kelly and Grammy and Grampy and has proceeded to play with it every day since! (As do her brothers). She wasn't particularly enthused about blowing out the candle on her gigantic cupcake cake, but luckily Liam was happy to help her out with it! Colin was maniacally happy about all of the Bakugan that he got (we still have no idea how to play with them, but it makes him happy and that's all that matters, right?) Our other birthday girls, Grammy and MaryKate, got to celebrate too, although they didn't seem as excited about smushing cake and frosting into their hair like Sadie was! She quickly got changed into her cupcake jammies and ended the night playing, not with any of the treasure trove of gifts she got, but with some gourds and was just as happy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

These are the kids jack-o-lanterns for the year. Carved JUST IN TIME, for Halloween night! Colin's owl on the left needed a tiny bit of toothpick surgery, but it came out great! Liam cried and cried and cried when his skeleton pumpkin didn't work out, but Chris saved the day by letting him use his power drill to redo a face on the other side ! Eamon gave me orders and drew a face that I cut out for him complete with "round cheeks". And while Sadie, napped, I took the liberty of fashioning her pumpkin message myself!

Protecting the front stairs from spirits!

The 70-degree weather from last week was replaced by temps in the thirties so Tinkerbell had many a layer on under her costume. I guess it doesn't get this cold in NeverNeverland.

J. M. Barrie would be proud of the Peter Pan clan!

Leading up to Halloween, Colin became obsessed with his vampire teeth and you could find him baring them at you at every turn!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Little Ones Play Dress-Up.

One day while the big guys were at school, I took the Littles, as they are known, to get their photos done. Although you'll have to wait for Colin and Liam to complete the full effect of the Halloween theme (it's not much of a theme without Peter Pan and Captain Hook!), the Littles did enjoy hamming it up for the camera!

Name that cat.

We got a new kitty this week and we're hoping he sticks around longer than our last cat! We haven't come up with a name for him yet, but Eamon did come up with a way to trap him so that he can't get down into the cellar while I'm doing laundry. (That's how Poppy escaped and met her demise at the hands (paws?) of a coyote or fisher cat or at least that's what we figure happened). Hopefully Nameless Cat has a long happy life here in Casa Chaos.

Walk This Way

Another year, another walk! Thank you to everyone who donated and walked with us to raise money for JDRF! Team Eamon raised almost $3000 and despite the cold, we had a lot of fun!

The big guys enjoyed some Sharks hockey practice after the walk and Eamon accessorized his team shirt with a monster truck tie, a pirate kerchief and a knight's helmet but mellowed out to end the night with some one-on-one Daddy time learning to strum his guitar. Good day, good cause, good times!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Better late than never...

A month late and some words short, but we do have some photos to show for a weekend jaunt to Mystic. The boys enjoyed the aquarium, but really LOVED the Seaport and were in all their glory pretending to be sailor boys and whaling captains. Though they also loved jumping on the beds in the crappy motel room we rented, the outdoor pool there and the prepackaged, somewhat stale continental breakfast the next morning... so their sense of fun is not all that highbrow after all!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Impromptu picnic

The crisp fall air has been motivating us to get outside more. We actually ENJOYED some yard work this weekend (and three extra sets of small hands are pretty helpful when it comes to piling up brush... granted, they did UNPILE a bunch of it trying to make a fort later on... but it was better than nothing!) We set out for a picnic last week and hoped to do some kite-flying with the fall breeze... but we were thwarted by a big frisbee golf tournament and the crush of players and spectators that took over all of the best kite-flying fields in town. We settled for a roadside picnic by a (most likely very polluted) river, but the boys were none the wiser and as happy as beavers. (They've been very into beavers for some reason, all those sticks in the yard are being used to build their very own beaver dam... I've thought it best to just not bother telling them they need water to have a dam, why ruin the fun, right?).

Always in motion

Strong man

Always happy to pose

Eating leaves and grass is a good source of fiber, right?

Daddy taught them how to skip stones. They need more practice!

Our very own Huck Finn.

First day of school, round two.

Eamon started a week after the big boys this year. The most exciting news was that he switched schools and will be going to preschool in New Braintree now. At first he was not excited at all and kept telling me that "I don't like to talk to PEOPLE, Mom". But, after going in a few weeks early to take a tour and meet the new school nurse, he seemed a tiny bit happier. And after a day of orientation where he was reminded of all the fun toys at preschool ("a big firetruck! paints! fake food!"), he was feeling EVEN better, although he was uncharacteristically nervous and yanked on my arm for the entire hour we were there. His first week back, from all accounts, he spoke very little, but he did enjoy running into the school nurse at church on Sunday where he proceeded to whoop it up and wave his best rockstar hands at her in the parking lot. Progress! Yesterday, his day 3, he actually joked with the nurse and talked to OTHER KIDS. It's only a matter of time until he actually PLAYS with someone! Here he is, big backpack and all on his first day!

Not to be outdone by her big brothers, Little Miss has been pulling herself up on every item she can get her hands on these days. The boys particularly like it when she towers precariously over her dollhouse and they dance around her yelling "Godzilla baby" until she laughs so hard she falls down! Here she is tiptoeing around the couch. She is so fast and so curious that for the first time EVER, we had to break out a playpen to jail her in just so we can safely use the bathroom, start a load of laundry, or do any dishes. We never had to rope off the boys much, but then again, they were closer in age and we didn't own an entire toy store worth of tiny Legos and game pieces when they were babies! Sadie is CONSTANTLY underfoot and her favorite spots (as with her brothers, it must be genetic) are IN the dishwasher or splashing away in Clara's food and water bowls. She has an uncanny ability to sense when the dishwasher door MIGHT be unlocked so she can crawl in and do some damage. She's got a whopping 8 teeth now which is good because she is a staunch meat eater, although she'll also chow down any veggie or really ANY sustenance that finds its way into her pudgy fist! And yes, she really IS that happy ALL THE TIME. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's That Fair Time of Year Again

Summer is winding down once again, but making way for fun, fairs and fall! First off was the Hardwick Fair, a perennial favorite with the boys. Eamon decided he was old enough to ride a horse and go through the hay bale obstacle course this year which was new for him and ogled the tractors of course, which is nothing new! Liam really seemed to love the cows and spent a long while thoughtfully perusing the selection of 4H offerings. Colin was thrilled to find some cowboy hats for sale since he'd been asking for one for a while. Sadie fell asleep but was the cutest little advertisement for Local Farms that anyone could hope for.

We tried out the Spencer Fair too since the boys have been loving carnival rides this year. I went on the Zero Gravity ride with them to start us off and realized I must be officially old because I had to keep my eyes tightly shut to keep the inner rumblings of bile at bay. I kept yelling to Liam and Colin to close their eyes but they kept screaming "Why? This is awesome! This is crazy! I'm losing my mind!" I skipped out on their second and third rounds on that ride and stuck to taking Eamon on the tamer things. He LOVED the big truck ride and spent most of his tickets on it repeatedly! They all won blow-up hammers at the Strength Game and proceeded to beat each other with them constantly the rest of the day. Liam won at Whack a Mole (I think it was actually Whack a Mouse which I'm glad about... he can use his newfound skills to tackle the vermin that will try to get in the house come winter). At any rate, he let Eamon choose what prize he wanted and of course he chose the rockstar guitar which has sparked many jam sessions in his room with his big brothers using bins and toys and books and pan lids as drum sets. The big guys went all the way up the ferris wheel by themselves which only made me nervous once they were at the top and Liam kept peeking over the edge! And "poor little" Sadie spent yet another happy day sitting in her stroller laughing watching the boys careen around her. I dread the day she realizes she wants to be out and about causing trouble too!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to School 2010

Colin and Liam started off First Grade and Kindergarten yesterday with a bang! They were very excited and stayed up far too late talking and laughing and fooling around so that we had to wake them for school, but once they got going, they were practically vibrating with excitement. Liam ran to the bus stop, ran around the bus stop, ran back and forth across the street nonstop at the bus stop and ran right up the steps onto the bus when it came. Not one backwards look, no quivering of the lip like Colin had when he started Kindergarten, just jumped in head first! Colin, an old pro now, was busy giving advice about which seats Liam could sit in, how to behave in the hallways, what part of the playground he could and couldn't use and was in all his glory being bossy and "helpful".

They both seemed to enjoy their first day! Colin thought his teacher, Mrs. Ellis was "really nice" and his favorite part was "having my own desk that opens on top!". Liam, of course, thought the best part was recess which is not really surprising to me. When I asked him what the worst part was, he said: "All of the parts that were inside!" Liam met a new friend at lunch named Johnny and Colin was thrilled to see his best friend, Matthew, in the same class. Let's just hope the enthusiasm continues all year.

I made the boys some monkey bread for breakfast before the big day. Notice I made Liam eat it BEFORE he put his shirt on! They'd never had it before and LOVED it. Eamon also loved it... and scarfed down half the remains while I was on the phone later in the day. When I asked him how many pieces he ate so I could dose his insulin, he said: "Two... um.... maybe three... okay, maybe LOT."

Colin looking FAR TOO OLD to be a First Grader what with that big argyle backpack and all.

Liam, cute as can be with his crazy hair tamed into a buzz cut. Might as well start the year off looking groomed before his true self comes out! Poor guy had quite a rash going into school. He was diagnosed with Henoch-Schonlein Purpura a couple weeks back and it has been flaring up this week. We were a little concerned, not only because the night before his joints were so inflamed he couldn't walk again, but because we didn't want kids to tease him about his "spots". Apparently only one kid noticed and, as I suspected, Liam just doesn't care enough to get upset when people say things to him. That's our boy!