Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jack's first love!

My boy Jack has a small obsession you know.  Trains, trains, trains!  Or as Don and I fondly remember traiaiaiains (Jack pronunciation for the first few years).  Well today involved a trip to the dollar store for some party supplies and each boy got to spend a whopping three bucks!  Woohoo!  Jack of course went right for the trains.  So we have purchased yet another train.  Add this to the collection of wooden trains and the big bad boy-the electric train.  More of this will be seen in the coming months because this is really a winter project in this house.  Mommy and Daddy decided that an electric train table would be a fun project.  Then Daddy decided it was really a good Mommy project and so the boys and I work away at it.  I suppose it is like the Lego project or the hermit crabs...

Lazy crazy days of summer...

Oh boy!  I have two little boys who haven't been to bed on time in a whole month.  However the upside is that every morning we end up in bed snuggling until 9 or 10.  I must laugh at myself because when I first had you boys I was very regimental when it came to schedules.  Bath, snack, book, bed-every night without fail.  But in the past couple years my attitudes have changed and I find that I really don't mind if the summers are a bit nutty, I know you guys are having a blast (like staying in the pool until 9 o'clock with Chad tonight!).  There is also a selfish silver lining for me...late mornings with many snuggles!

The last two days have been a whirlwind.  Yesterday was a terrific summer day that started with some play in the cul de sac, followed by a play with your friends Peyton and Ethan, then finished with some more play in the cul de sac.  Jackie had a very special date in the morning.  You see Jack has a terrible crush on the little girl across the street.  Her name is Emma and she is a senior (kidergardner that is) and Jack is a junior.  I believe Jack loves her more than she loves him (he is always delivering special notes to her mailbox).  My heart breaks each time he crafts a little note for her or when I hear him yelling at her from Ben's bedroom window.  I hope in time she might reciprocate the feelings but I have a feeling this could be Jack's first and very painful lost love.  However there was hope yesterday morning as is evidenced in the pictures above.  The two of them set up shop in her driveway and were eating freezies and listening to Robert Munch on tape together.  A typical boy though-he ran off as soon as all the guys showed up!

Letters to Ben

Dear Ben,

Last night you read to me before you went to bed. Your voice sounded like a little angel to me. It is amazing to me how well you are reading now. Only last summer we were doing our best to get you to learn to read some simple stories and this summer you are writing your own stories and reading with an amazing flow.

It made me remember the other times your voice has made my heart boil up. Remember the Ontario commercial? "Good things grow in Ontario" Of course there is also the waving flags song "When I get older I will be stronger" That almost had Daddy in tears when you came out with that.

I will miss this little boy voice. Each day it is moving a little further from us. Funny how some days you might wish for a quiet moment (or moments) but in the end you will be chasing those little voices even when they are long gone just for one more listen. Making it all the more important to suck it all up as much as possible while it is right here with us.

I love you,

P.S. do you have to keep growing up so fast???

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lego Update: let the building commence

Well it took us (mostly Momma) two days to sort all the Lego. That stage is officially done (thank goodness-I actually dreamed about Lego for two nights in a row). Today we started to build the two camper van kits. Poor Ben didn't realize how difficult the build would be. I think he expected it to go really smoothly like when you bring a kit home. His disappointment and my frustration quickly became evident! "I need a blue 4 piecer with a thingy on the side, are you looking for it Ben?" "I'm looking but it is hard to find" "Are you watching t.v. or looking for the blue piece Ben? Because if you aren't helping then I am not going to keep building..." So we stopped. Best to save this project for the ultra patient days.

Daddy just laughs at the whole idea. You know the stuff you say is for the kids when really they end up having no interest and the parents are stuck taking care of it. He thinks it is MY summer project. Like the time I got hermit crabs or the time Daddy had fish for a whole year until he finally got sick of taking care of them and gave them away to a friend of ours. This may be true. However I have a vision of all the Lego put together and the boys looking at me and beaming with happiness. And so, I Lego on.

My strategy is to do the simple kits first and work my way up to the larger kits. Let me know if you have a better strategy, I need the help...

A dangerous delivery?

The boys and I were having one of those lazy summer days today. Don was at work and so it was just me and the guys. We lazed, we walked the dog to the park, there was some t.v. watching, some block playing and some snack eating. Around 3:00pm adventure called in the form of a knock at the door. A neighbor with a few deliveries (we love deliveries!). Number one was a bicycle ramp, number two was a huge remote control motorcycle, and number 3 was an authentic Port Angeles Twilight t-shirt for Momma (niiice!).

Our neighbors have a teenage son and so we often inherit the toys he is done with or in the case of todays deliveries the toys he never played with. The motorcycle is charging in the foyer (I will post some photos of the launch which is scheduled for tomorrow morning) but tonight's draw was the bicycle ramp. We are fortunate enough to live on a double cul de sac and there are about 15 other children on our street so some major road play goes on in this hood and tonight was no exception.

The ramp was positioned and like a scene from "Maximum Overdrive" the boys began circling the ramp. Some with training wheels and some without. There were a few crashes, one skinned knee, and a couple bruises but I am pretty sure all boys would agree that it was totally worth it!

Note the last photo which documents the second before Jack's big CRASH!!!

The conference room

My boys have recently discovered the program "Wipeout". Not sure if you have seen it but it is basically a giant size obstacle course for adults. They love love love watching the mishaps that happen as people try their best to make it through with the fastest time. It has in fact become so popular here that cheers erupt when they hear the program is coming on. I am okay with this because truth be told if I have to sit through one more episode of Kid vs. Kat or Sponge Bob...well you can imagine.

So, this morning the boys jump out of bed as only children can (right from sleeping to running down the stairs-wish I could that!) and Ben runs into the downstairs bathroom, Jack is a few steps behind yelling "Where are you Ben" to which Ben responds "I'm in here come on in." So Jack rushes into the bathroom and closes the door and I sneak sneak sneaked over to hear what I could hear. Had to contain my giggles. They were in there for about five minutes planning how they were going to build their own version of "Wipeout" obstacles out of their wooden block sets. This was serious business that was being conducted in the downstairs conference room. How much better does it get then that??? And that is just what they did for a good hour. Watched "Wipeout" and built their own course.

Things I know for sure

When I was young there were a lot of things I thought I knew.  Having had children and grown up myself I realize that most of the stuff I thought I knew I really didn't.  I am sure that in another ten years I will have even fewer things I know for sure.  So the uncertainty of the things I know having been stated the following are things I am pretty confident I know for sure.

1. Boys who are 1 month into summer vacation with 30 nights of getting to bed well beyond their bedtime can become unmanageable.

2. Even when said boys are unmanageable I still love them no matter what.  Sometimes I just have to wait until they are asleep to fully appreciate just how much I love them.

3.  Swimming in a chlorinated pool replaces bath time.

4.  Even if I chop up really small, puree, or otherwise attempt to disguise vegetables Jack will somehow sense their presence and reject the food.

5.  Ben is highly energetic with his Dad's heart, kind and open to all.

6.  Jack thrives on rules and regulations like his mom.

7.  Sleepy summer mornings cuddled up watching cartoons are opportunities I will never turn down because I know someday soon the boys will think I am a nut if I try to cuddle up with them.

8.  I know I will try cuddle up with them to watch cartoons on summer mornings even if they do think I am a nut!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lego Update: The sorting saga continues...

So we are in day 2 of the Lego sort. The boys are excited and have begun to dream of having all of their beloved Lego kits put together once again. I have warned that this venture could take a bit of time but they choose not to hear those words instead they ask to have a look at the collection of instruction booklets. Ben bravely tried to assemble a camping van but soon realized that until the sorting was complete it would be a fruitless effort.

So the sorting continues. At this point the boys are not really helping anymore so I have three bowls left to sort and then let the building begin!!!!

Daddy Adventures

These boys have one of the best Dads around. To give you an idea, when I had Ben I was quite ill afterwards and Don was the one who did all the night feedings. When I went back to work he became a member of the 'Mommy group' formed by some girlfriends of mine. He never sent the boys to daycare even when he worked nights the night before and he plays Hotwheels, Lego, and trains until the boys are done. He is as hands on as they come.

Last night after Daddy got home from work he decided to take the boys to the school yard to see if there were any puddles that needed bicycles driven through them. Ben and Jack were more than happy to oblige!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Crazy ideas best left alone

It is a rainy day here today. Rain all day. A good day to be inside watching movies and doing some heavy duty play. Wish us luck. Mommy decided we should sort all the Lego so we can rebuild the kits...silly Mommy.

What the Hecka is Going on Here?

It is haircut night of course!!!! Daddy has a phobia. It is bad. He gets totally freaked out when we cut the boys hair on the house because some of the hair EEK might not get cleaned up and then it would be in the kitchen, coexisting with us and bugging Don to no end. Sooo on nice days we do it in the backyard. The boys are really pretty good about it but on this particular night a little bribing with a swim after haircuts was needed. Ben got the stool set up while Jack picked up the stools...from the dog. Nothing like watching a little naked boy quite seriously go about his work!

My boys know how to treat themselves right...

So, it has been about 7 years since I have given myself a pedicure. I decided this was the year that I would start doing it again. So, I dig out all the right supplies...foot soak (going away gift when I left work 3 years ago to stay home)...foot file...nail polish...cuticle remover...nail buffer.

I start soaking and who should show up but Benny, he would like a soak too. Moments later little Jack shows up and he would also like a soak. So we sat. And soaked. And ate popcorn because that is what little boys do when they get a pedicure.

Gingerbread isn't only for Christmas

On days when Daddy is at work we seem to hit the crafts and baking hard so this was super fun because it involved some crafting and some baking. The added bonus was that we got to eat up our creations when we were done. Jackie was in charge of mixing the dry ingredients and Benny in charge of running the mixer. This was a bit of a thrill because it was the first time Ben got to do it all by himself! Much patience was needed here because the dough had to be chilled overnight and there was also a trip to the bulk store to pick our decorating candies. Of course there were a few bumps in this road. We didn't have our usual plastic baggies for the frosting. Tried to substitute wax paper but this didn't really work (exploded every time!). Also had a bit of trouble fitting the pieces together necessitating a complete rebuild after the first build but the good thing about gingerbread houses and little boys is all they see is the candy not the mistakes!