Saturday, February 28, 2009

Air and Space Museum

On Friday Justin took a day off from work for a special family fun day. Playing into Alexander's love of all things "space," we ventured to DC to visit the Air and Space Museum. I'm embarrassed to admit, given our proximity to DC, that this was our first trip to any of the museums with him (although we have frequented the zoo), and the boys' first ride on the Metro. Everything went much smoother than even we expected. The boys both seemed to enjoy the Metro ride, Alexander pretending to drive the train, exclaiming that we were in "Geotown," and practically squealing with excitement every time we went into a tunnel. Jack was content to sit in his stroller and check out our seat neighbors. The museum was great, too, with lots of hands-on things for the kids to explore, Alexander's favorite food (McDonald's), and a treat of astronaut ice cream for the ride home. Alexander even got to touch a real moonrock (not quite like the ones Mommy made for his birthday party!). We will definitely be returning in the future to explore the exhibits more in depth.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Especially for Mema

I hear you like cake-face pictures, so here are a few more!

Friday, February 20, 2009

What, what, what?!

Alexander has actually been pretty well behaved lately, despite the evidence here and in the previous post of a serious attitude developing!

So, my first question is this: do you think Alexander truly wanted the light off during dinner while Jack truly wanted it on, or were they just choosing opposing sides on something ridiculous to irk each other and their mother? In any case, I agreed with Jack that the light should be on, and this is the response I got from Xander, "Mommy, if you don't turn off the light then... YOU... ARE... FIRED!" (said with gusto!)

Honestly, I didn't realize that
a. he was the boss or
b. that I *could* be fired.

Where's my darn Union handbook? Oh, wait... if there was a Union I would definitely have sick days. Damn.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

4 Going on 14

Today I took Alexander to a Dr. Suess party, an event put on through the county's recreation department. I thought it was a "parent participation" class, but when we got there I realized that I had been wrong. It was in a familiar building with a familiar teacher, so I figured Alexander wouldn't have much of a problem with me leaving, but I was slightly concerned since I hadn't been able to give him any pre-warning. So...

Me: Alexander, it seems like this is the type of class where the kids stay here while the parents leave for a while. So I'll stay for a few more minutes and then Jack and I are going to leave and you'll stay here. Does that sound okay?

Alexander: Oh, yeah, it's okay if you leave.

Me: Okay, I'll stay for a couple minutes and then I'll leave, and I'll be back in just an hour.

Alexander: Oh, Mommy, just leave.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Alexander's 4 year well visit

Alexander is healthy and, so they tell me, "normal." Perhaps I should double check their credentials! ;) In all seriousness, the doctor said he was "perfect" and when the days are over and he's sweetly sleeping in his own bed, I happen to agree.

He continues to fall into the 97th percentile for height (43 1/4 inches) and the 80th percentile for weight (41.2 pounds). He told the doctor all about his outer space birthday party, that he loves watermelon, and that his favorite colors are pink, green, red, and "a lot of other colors, too." The boy also learned to spell his name just in time to show off for the doctor. He's finally been doing it since about a week or two ago. The doctor reassured me that, although annoying to his caretakers, his habit of nibbling throughout the day is actually quite a healthy way to eat as long as he eats a variety of "real" food and not just snack food, which he does.

His hearing and vision tests were, unfortunately, inconclusive. Even when the nurse turned the hearing machine up to the loudest beep, Alexander said, "I can't hear anything yet!" We're pretty sure he was either fooling around or, more likely given his other behavior, he just didn't understand that the beep was what he was supposed to hear. It's just slightly concerning, because he did repeatedly fail his hearing test as a newborn, but they chalked that up to very small ear canals which shouldn't actually affect his hearing, but affected the test they use for newborns. He seems to hear normally, but of course they'll check again next year. His vision test was also inconclusive for similar reasons. They use a chart with pictures for children his age, but some of the pictures are things that Alexander doesn't have names for or doesn't recognize, like a cross and a flag, so he would say that he didn't know what those pictures were. I probably should have suggested they pull out the letter chart, but again it was unclear if he was uncooperative because he really couldn't see the figures or because he was being a bit silly or didn't understand. It's highly likely that he'll need glasses at some point, so we'll be sure to check his vision again next year.

His two shots went as one would expect two shots to go for a four-year-old! ;)

All in all, he's a healthy, normal little boy. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The many faces of Xander

Here is sweet, happy Xander enjoying an ice cream cone at The Painted Cone on his birthday. This makes Mommy smile.

Creative (and strange) Xander story:
When your pretend space ship's battery runs low, and the pretend store doesn't sell batteries, one can (in The World According to Xander) create a new battery using hammers, tape, and lots of weasels. Simply pound the tape and weasels together using the hammers. This makes Mommy wonder.

Thoughtful Xander story:
Today we dropped off a lasagna to a friend who has just had a baby. As we were leaving, Alexander said, "Mommy, we should also make a lasagna for Jasper because his mommy is having a baby, too." This makes Mommy proud.

And then there's Naughty Xander. Yesterday I came downstairs from putting Jack down for his nap and found Xander under the kitchen table with a bowlful of sprinkles. He looked guiltily up and asked in his most polite voice, "Mommy, please may I eat these?" This forces Mommy to leave the room to laugh where he can't see her.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Astronaut pictures!

Thanks very much, Petra, for sharing the photos you took of the kids dressed as astronauts and on their moon rock hunt!
Getting ready:


Monday, February 2, 2009

We had a blast at Alexander's birthday party!

We definately had a blast at Alexander's 4th birthday party over the weekend! That's the short version of this blog. But, if you want short versions of things you should really find a different blog to read. ;)

The long version:
This year we decided that we should really get out of the habit of having two birthday parties for each kid every year (one for family and one for friends). So we let Alexander choose a theme, and we geared his one party more towards the kids and invited just his cousins, family friends, and two of his best pals. So as not to exclude the grown-ups that love him, we had a nice dinner afterwards with the grandparents, Aunt Eileen, and Uncle Tim.

Alexander chose an outer space theme, so we had a hanging solar system model, plenty of stars and balloons for decoration.
The cupcakes were rockets, stars, and astronauts.
Each child got an astronaut helmet and I made each child a personalized rocket booster to wear on their back.
While our little astronauts decorated their collection bags, Justin and Mike quickly transformed the living room into the moon with blue lights, space music, and moon rocks!
Prepared with their astronaut gear, the kids blasted off to the "moon" for our moon rock hunt. They were to collect "samples" of moon rocks to take home to their "home labs" to inspect! (The moon rocks were really silver painted Easter eggs with Milky Way bars, Starbursts, and space-themed trinkets inside.) I wasn't able to get any pictures of the kids in their gear or the "moon," unfortunately, but if someone else did, please share them with me!

I really think Alexander had an awesome time and that this was his most fun birthday party so far. Thanks so much to everyone who came and helped make it such a fun time. :)