Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve

Each Christmas Eve the boys get one present from Mommy and Daddy. This year Alexander and Jack got Angry Bird hats and Kai got cowboy boot slippers. Cuties! Merry Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Kai's Big Boy Haircut

This week we decided that Kai was ready for a Big Boy Haircut. His curls refused to come back after the last trim he had, and his hair was usually a static-fest. So I got to work and transformed my baby into a big boy. I think it looks really cute! He is extremely grown up now and loves to color, especially with a big brother to share markers with.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Annual Santa Visit

We had our annual visit to Santa this past weekend. As always, we really enjoyed ourselves. We managed to be first in line to see the Big Guy. Alexander and Jack were so thrilled! We eased Kai onto Mrs. Claus's lap and, while he didn't smile, he didn't freak out, either. Jack was very animated this year, and told Santa that he wanted a DS (hand-held Nintendo game system). Alexander asked for the same, and Mrs. Claus commented that Santa would be making a lot of those this year! After our time with Santa and Mrs. Claus, we did crafts, played games, and won prizes. Justin commented how next year we'll have a kid for each knee of both Santa and Mrs. Claus! I hope they're prepared for that!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Utensils According to Xander

Alexander: "Are sporks what Chinese people use to eat?"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The New Baby is a BOY!

Apparently we won't have much trouble with this rule. The new baby is, according to our ultrasound today, another boy! We are very excited to have FOUR amazing boys to raise.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Another One From Jack

"Porcupine trees are green every day of the week."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Collection of Quotes

These quotes from my kids were all previously posted on Facebook, but I thought I'd post them here too, for posterity and for those who don't have Facebook.
From Alexander:
"Can you find some ways that are non-standard for pulling out teeth?"
"If I were president, I would make a law that spies would have to work every day and I would want everyone to be healthy so the only days they could eat candy would be birthdays and holidays. Also people would not have to get out of the car to get gas; they would just have to press a button and it would come out automatically. I would make someone invent that system. "

"You know, Mom, people only say that Santa will only bring presents to good kids to scare kids into wanting to be good, but that's not true."

"That doesn't make sense. You used a double negative."

Alexander referred to the Ravens as the Voldemort Ravens. (Voldemort is the Bad Guy in the Harry Potter series. Alexander misheard "Baltimore" as "Voldemort.")

Alexander's reaction to his first root beer float: "Mmmm! This tastes like ice cream with root beer on it!"

From Jack:
"Alexander, let's play 'Alexander and Jack,' where we be ourselves."

"Pop Tarts are dangerous."

From Kai: (to be fair, Kai's quotes are not funny. I am just impressed that he is already putting together quite a few three word sentences. He's also developing an expansive vocabulary!)

"Want go night night."

"Want get down."

"Where Allie go?"

"Bear dirty?"

As we passed a McDonald's: "Chicken?"

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gingerbread Train

This year we found a gingerbread train kit to make, which was a fun change over the houses we've done the past few years. Fun as always! Kai and I were there, too, but we mostly kept Kai away from the icing. He did make a few contributions to the design. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

That is What We Get For Cleaning Up After Them

Me: Jack, think carefully about how many toy bins you dump, because you will need to clean all of those up tonight.
Jack: But what about the Clean-Up Fairy?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Halloween 2011

This year for Halloween Kai was a little train conductor. Jack was Mario. Alexander was creative. He'd been talking for weeks about his costume. He planned to be "Captain Clothes-A-Matoj." He had decided that Captain Underpants should have a brother who wore a ton of clothes all the time. I thought it was a passing fancy but when Halloween came along he was still set on being Captain Clothes-A-Matoj. He donned his costume. When Justin arrived home, not knowing of Alexander's planned costume, he asked Alexander if he was a pile of clothes. Apparently Alexander liked that explanation because while trick-or-treating he ended up telling everyone that he was a pile of clothes. He got quite a few laughs. Either way I think it was an interesting costume.

The kids had a great time as usual. We all went together around our little court and then Kai and I went home to hand out candy while Justin continued on with the big boys. Kai was very helpful and even managed to put a leaf in one kid's bucket. Upon his brothers' return we commenced our traditional viewing of It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Friday, November 4, 2011

"Ashes, ashes, CHEESE!"

Kai loves doing Ring Around the Rosie. He sings, "Ashes, ashes, ashes, ashes, all down!" (Ashes sounds like "ah-ee.") I tried to catch this on camera, but perhaps I've trained him too well. He got halfway through and then... "Cheese!"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Usually we go to Larriland Farm for our pumpkin and apple picking every fall. This year, however, our weekends sort of got away from us and we ended up deciding to try somewhere closer to home. It was lacking in tradition, but got the job done. The boys always enjoy picking their pumpkins from a field and probably would have been happy with any "patch," as long as we didn't make them buy their pumpkins at a store! They did wonder why the farm we went to did not have apple picking! To them, picking apples and pumpkins just go hand in hand. Hopefully we'll make it back to Larriland (and tradition) again next year.

Monday, October 31, 2011


I've always wanted a little one with curls! Finally, I have one! Soooo precious! We did decide that they were getting a tad long and I took Kai for a trim soon after this picture was taken, but I still love his locks! :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

First Halloween Party

For our first Halloween party of the season, at which we also said farewell to some friends who are moving out of the country, Alexander and Jack decided at the last minute that they wanted to be cats. A snip-snip here and a brush-brush there, and voila! Cats!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tiger Cub

Alexander has been begging to join Boy Scouts and this year he is old enough to become a Tiger Cub. He is thrilled to have his uniform, to be doing Scouting activities, and to be learning new things. He thoroughly enjoyed his first Den meeting and was a model Scout. Scouting is a bit of a tradition in our family, and I'll be interested to see how far he takes this and if either (any?) of his brothers follow in his footsteps. (By the way, in the video he is not reading a teleprompter for the Scout Oath. He just happens to be looking off in an odd direction. He does have it memorized.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jack's Pumpkin Patch Visit

Last week, while Alexander was at school and Kai was playing with a friend, Jack and I went with his preschool to the pumpkin patch! We went to a really neat nearby farm where we got to ride in a hay wagon to the pumpkin patch, pick out several pumpkins from the field (Jack chose 3 mini white pumpkins), see chickens, peacocks, goats, and a pony, climb on a huge pyramid of hay bales, play on old tractor tires, go down a huge slide, ride the "moo-choo train," play in tunnels, and MORE! This is a really great family-run farm and it's especially nice to go with a school group because it is not open to the public during that time. So, Jack's class of 12 kids had the entire place to themselves. I went with Alexander 2 years ago, also.

Jack had a fabulous time. He really enjoyed every single minute of it and that is not always the case with Jack. Sometimes he takes a while to warm up to a new situation. So, I was really thrilled to be able to spend such a fun morning with him and to see him so happy. His face was lit up the entire time. I also loved seeing him interact with his preschool friends, and the fact that he is starting to open up with them and initiate play and conversation. His teacher did say that he is still pretty quiet at school, but he always, always says that he enjoys himself there and I think he is really starting to feel comfortable there and come out of his shell.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Firehouse Tour

Last week Jack, Kai, and I went on a tour of our local Fire Station with our MOMS Club. We got to see where the firefighters hang out, where they sleep, and where they eat. We got to see all their trucks including the ambulance, the ladder truck, the "canteen" truck which brings the firefighters food when they're out for several hours on a call, and several others. The kids got to climb in the ladder truck. We also got to see a firefighter put on all his gear, and then two firefighters raced to see who could get their gear on faster.

We also did this tour last year and Jack was very sullen, still getting used to doing much of anything without his big brother Alexander. This year he was more cheerful. Kai wanted to be put down and run all over the place which, obviously, was not such a good idea. But, we had a great time. The firefighters at this station all seem extremely friendly and helpful and are great with the kids!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fall Face Paint

Kinda creepy....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Vocabulary Word of the Day: Irony

Alexander: That just doesn't seem necessary.
My cousin: You have a very good vocabulary.
Alexander: What's a "vocabulary?"

Friday, September 23, 2011

Everyone's Good at Something

Scout Store Lady to Alexander: You are a Tiger Cub?
Alexander: Yep!
Scout Store Lady: Wow, you are a big Tiger Cub!
Alexander: Well, I will tell you why. I am six years old!
Scout Store Lady: Well, you are a big six-year-old!
Alexander: Well, I am good at growing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Still Outnumbered!

If all goes as planned, in April 2012 I will be even MORE outnumbered. Perhaps this time we'll get a little estrogen to even out all the testosterone here, but we will be thrilled with either outcome.

Coming April 2012.... someone who looks less blobby than this:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Jack Starts Preschool!

I am now the proud parent of not one but TWO school-goers! Jack started preschool! He is going to the same preschool that Alexander went to, and it is nice to see some familiar faces there.Jack will be going to school two mornings each week. I think he vaguely remembers dropping off and picking up Alexander, which helps to ease his transition.

On his first day of school, they had a shortened day and the parents stayed for the entire time. I think this is a great way to help the kids ease into their new school. Jack was very excited, paid attention to his teachers very well, and had a great time. He played with Play-Doh for his entire "free-play" time on that first day, but he enjoyed himself, so that was all that mattered to me!

He's since gone to two solo days and done absolutely wonderfully. The first day that he would stay alone, I stayed in the classroom for just a couple of minutes while he settled in, then told him that I would stay for one more minute and then go home for a while. He said, "I not scared you leave." I am very proud of my big, confidant boy who knows that Mommy will always come back. He came out of school quite pleased with himself and has had only good things to say. Whenever anyone asks him how preschool is, he answers, "Awesome!"

I can only hope that his good attitude, good behavior, and enjoyment of preschool continue, and I have no reason to believe that they would not. It is still bittersweet for me, and I still miss my little boy when he is at school, but it makes all the difference in the world to know that he is really enjoying himself and thriving there. He's a star.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Jack's Party

Jack had a super hero birthday party this year. Justin and I designed monograms for each of the kids, printed the design out on iron-on transfers, and made them brightly-colored tee shirts. They also got matching wrist bands to complete their outfits. We set up a little "super hero skills test" in the basement (after a week of rain, it was a mud pit outside) and the kids had to go through a tunnel filled with balls, go around or jump over cones and a "tall building," grab the "sword of power," and rescue a baby from a cage, then take the baby back through the course to safety. They seemed to enjoy this and were presented afterwards with Certificates of Awesome for successful completion of the course. Jack had a wonderful time with his friends and family and spent most of today enjoying his new toys. Thanks to everyone who came!

Friday, September 9, 2011

More Brotherly Love

Alexander: Jack, I really hate to admit this, but I actually prefer when you sleep in our room with me all night and not go to Mommy's room.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Alexander's First Day of First Grade

On August 29th, Alexander returned to school to start his first grade year. He was very excited because this year he is in Mrs. Michael's class! As a kindergartner, Alexander would join Mrs. Michael's first grade class for about an hour and a half each day, so he already knows and loves her. She is an excellent teacher and I am thrilled that he is in her class this year. He has about four friends from last year in his class (there are six first grade classes, so there are a lot of kids to shuffle!). He is excited to work on a self-portrait in art and play instruments in music. We're really hopeful for a successful year with fewer bumps along the way than last year, and we know that Alexander will learn a lot.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Jack's Fourth Birthday!

Today is Jack's fourth birthday! It seems unfathomable that my little blondie-bear is already four years old. He's become such a big boy and he is really an incredible sweetheart and an amazing brother to both Alexander and Kai. One of the most touching things for me as a parent of these three beautiful boys is seeing them love each other. Jack has a special place as the middle child and I think because of that, he is able to most easily have close relationships with both brothers. Kai is forever tackle-hugging Jack, and Jack is almost always willing to return the hug. Kai likes to bop Jack on the head and announce, "Jack!" Alexander remains, of course, Jack's best friend. I pretty much melt every time I overhear them spontaneously tell each other that they love one another. Today Alexander sang Jack a special "Merry Birthday" song, the last line of which was, "I love you." This morning, when discussing the possibility of presents being opened, Alexander hoped that Jack would be in the mood to share his presents. Jack immediately said, "I don't want you to be sad; I will share my presents." He would give the shirt off his back to his brother and is forever sharing far more than we would require as fair. He really is just a huge sweetie who loves his brothers (and parents!) intensely.

Jack's favorite color is blue. His favorite food is bagels with strawberry cream cheese. He loves superheroes, Super Mario, and Legos. He hates eating anything "yucky." (Which, to him, is most things.) My favorite Jack-phrase is "That what I were talkin' 'bout." He still sneaks into my room almost every night and crawls into bed with me. He's a fabulous dancer, loves wearing costumes, and misses Alexander fiercely when he's at school.

Happy Birthday, Jack-A-Roo!

Summer Wrap-Up

We did not, in fact, fall off the face of the planet. We've been busy enjoying each other, our friends and family, and our summer vacation. From our list we only completed a few more items: practice football (#8), go to the Bouncy Place at the mall (#26), do sidewalk chalk (#36) and ride bikes (#43). As always, however, we really just enjoyed our time together. Aaaaaaand, that's a wrap!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beach Trip

We have recently returned from a glorious week-long vacation in Ocean City, many thanks to a generous friend who lends us her beach house. The weather was gorgeous for most of the week, although we did have one afternoon of heavy thunderstorms and a day or two of extreme heat. We did all the great beachy stuff. We played in the sand, the waves, and the pool, and at the playground. The kids rode on rides (and upon me mentioning Mr. Rogers when I saw him on TV, Alexander asked if Mr. Rogers was the ruler of the Jolly Rogers amusement park). They played at least three rounds of miniature golf with Justin, got cheesy souvenir tee-shirts, and ate ice cream on the boardwalk. We let them eat donuts for breakfast and watch movies to fall asleep, all cuddled up on the pull-out couch while Kai hogged the bedroom (due to our fear of waking him!). Kai diligently sought out trash in every venue and determinedly deposited it in its rightful place. We got our first five-person family photo taken at Old Time Photos. We even had dinner with an old friend and her daughter who happened to be vacationing (and competing in dance competitions) the same week as us. There were, of course, a few annoying moments as there will be whenever you have a 6-year-old, a 3-year-old, and a 1-year-old anywhere, but we're still pretty sure this was our best vacation ever! YAY, BEACH!