Thursday, April 30, 2009


Since we've had our Wii, Jack has been very interested in baseball (there's a baseball game on the wii). So much so in fact that we signed Jack up for a kinder-baseball league for the summer. He's so excited! Today after Rob got home from work the boys all went outside to play for awhile as I made dinner. Jack, of course, wanted to play baseball. Because our baseball bat is missing at the moment (we think it ended up in one of the boys' neighbor friends' garages) Jack had to settle for a good old fashioned came of catch with his Daddy. :-)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Over the weekend, the boys rediscovered their Halloween costumes, and have been using them to play dress-up. So Jack has spent a lot of time as Tony Stewart (the Home Depot race car man) this week, and Brayden has been a frog (much better than Brayden playing dress-up in his girl cousins' princess dresses!). When Jack got up from his quiet time today, a NASCAR driver was on Ellen. He was inspired, and for a good part of the afternoon, I was Ellen, interviewing Tony Stewart. This is Jack telling Ellen a very animated story about a race car crash!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wobble gobbles

One of the boys' favorite things to do is pretend. They are almost always in character of some sort, and usually assigning roles to everyone else around them, too. One of their chosen character sets is the "Imagination Movers" - show they like to watch on Playhouse Disney. Brayden often chooses the character Scott from this show - he plays piano and wears special glasses called "wobble goggles" to help him find things. Or as Brayden calls them, "wobble gobbles," which is just super cute. Here "Scott" is peering at something through his wobble gobbles... not sure what it is, but those upside down sunglasses are just too cute to resist. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

MORE snow!?

We woke up this morning to several inches of unexpected snow. I knew it was supposed to rain overnight, but didn't know it was going to snow, and certainly not this much! We had tentative plans to have a playdate at the pool (indoor!) but between the soggy outdoor conditions and my achy joints (affected by the cold maybe?)... we cancelled those plans. Jack was terribly disappointed, so to help dull the ache, I let the boys play outside in the messy wet stuff right after school. Jack mostly just wanted to throw the snow in the air... but we also made a snowman (which Brayden then stomped to the ground - it was small!), snow castles, and snowballs. Came inside for the traditional "warm chocolate," and all the snow was melted by midday!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Week 17 layout and Composition

Last summer, I signed up for and took a fantastic online photography class called "Snapshots of a Good Life" by Karen Russell. It was a 10 week course during which I learned a TON. However, photography is a constant work in progress, and since I have the materials for life, I figured I'd go through and take the class again (although this time without the instructor for constructive criticism). My current assignment is on "composition." (I feel composition is one of my weakest areas as a photographer).

This morning we to an impromptu family trip to the park. Jack brought his scooter and Brayden brought his bike. The boys enjoyed riding around the play area, and they also spent a lot of time on the swings. I spent a lot of time running around like a crazy lady with a camera, practicing my composition. I got a lot of shots I didn't like, some that were okay, and a couple of really good ones. This is one of my favorites - an experiment in "creative cropping." It's Jack practicing pumping his legs on the swings, from behind.

I also (miracle!) already finished my week 17 layout! I went with an Earth Day theme... I think Jack will love it. :)

Credits: Kit is Happy Earth Day To You by Plum Dumpling Designs; Template is by Andrea Gold; Font is Joyful Juliana.

Click to see a little bigger. :) And have a great Sunday evening! I will now be spending my evening catching up on some PAPER scrapbooking - ack!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Well as I expected, I don't really have anything all that special or significant to say or do as part of my 100th post. I don't design digital scrap stuff so I don't have some cool giveaway... and I don't have anything cool to raffle off using a random number generator to my wonderful commentors.... it's just me... here... doing what I do (nearly) every night... for the 100th time. So mostly I just want to say, to those of you who have been hanging with me for these 100 posts, thanks for reading. :)

Yesterday we had another playdate with the Gumm family. Pictured above from left to right are Ashlee, Dylan, Brayden, Jack and Jaxon. The five of them are getting on pretty well these days, as we've been hanging out A LOT. Which I think has been quite nice for all of us. Yesterday we just went to their house to play, and the kids all seemed to have a good time! I expected no less. The highlight of the visit though was when Mrs. Gumm (my new friend, Alyssa, who it turns out I went to elementary school and junior high with for two years in Evergreen - SMALL WORLD!) snagged a yard guy who was going around doing lawn aerating to come aerate their lawn. The kids all stood fixated and completely entertained by the man walking back and forth with his aerator (I'm sure I'm spelling this wrong!). They pretty much thought it was the coolest and funniest thing ever - or at least yesterday.

Today, despite having a super late night (for the boys) last night, we skipped naps and headed up north for Cori and Joey (our nieces)'s 4th birthday party. This event, too, was a fun time for the kiddos. Brayden especially loved decorating his box (for collecting bugs and animals) with stickers. I swear he could have gone at it all day. He loved his stickered box so much that he refused to give it up on the car ride home, even when he passed out with exhaustion. Sadly, I had hoped to share a picture of the birthday girls blowing out their candles, but none of the pictures came out in focus. I had switched a setting on my camera at the park a few days ago to help me get some better swing shots. I forgot to change it back, and I think it's to blame for my inability to FOCUS on the girls. Bummer! They were still so cute though, and I can't believe they are 4! Hope you had a great bday party, Cori and Joey! :)

Also wanted to share real quick about our crazy night last night... we spent the evening at mass and a reception for my high school youth choir directors, in honor of their 25th wedding anniversary. It was a virtual youth choir reunion, and it was so nice to see so many faces we hadn't seen in a long time, catch up, show off the kiddos, and more. It was a lot of fun, and a total blast from the past. Even though the boys were tired, it was still nearly 10pm before we left... I couldn't pull myself away. Makes me miss the good 'ol days......

Happy Anniversary again, Ed and Kelley, and thank you for the amazing impact you have made on so many lives, my own included!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


This is Tower. No, we did not get a dog. Tower is Jaxon (Jack's school BFF)'s dog. Well, his family's dog. We went to the park today with Jaxon (and fam) and another school friend (and fam), and Tower and Angel (their other dog - she's sniffing the water behind Tower) came with us to the park today after school. It was the year's first 80 degree day, so when given the chance to take a dip in the pond at the park, Tower was all over that action. He just laid nicely in the water, and got up to walk around every once in awhile. Angel tested out the water too - she's only four months old and this was her first "swim." She didn't like it. Oh but Tower would have lounged in that yucky water all day! I love golden retrievers, and I just love his classic golden happy face! We had fun playing, but I'm glad I didn't have to take the wet dog home. :)

Did you know... this is my 99th post? Holy moley, I can't believe it! I'd like to think of something special or fun to post tomorrow, but I'm afraid I'm just boring and won't come up with anything worthy of being my "100th blog entry." WE SHALL SEE! :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! Jack has been picking up lots of "green" tips from various shows on Playhouse Disney and Noggin... and maybe from school too, but he said they didn't talk about Earth Day at school today. Not sure I believe that. Anyway. He's all concerned with turning off lights, tvs, water, etc... when not being used! Which is great. :) He also has a thing for counting down to every holiday and major event in his life, so today - Earth Day - was much anticipated! We played on the playground for a little while after school, during which time Jack ran around and picked up some of the trash he saw laying around (there is frequently quite a bit of trash - some of the older kids have snack time during their recess, and let's just say, they aren't great about making sure it's picked up). There were no trash cans out so we ended up taking a bunch of trash to our car to throw away at home. We also found a plethora of water bottles and even liquor bottles (Seriously!? At an elementary school!?) which we could bring home and recycle. When we got home, we took a short walk around our parking area in search of more trash. Then after quiet time we took a walk around the neighborhood to clean up for Earth Day - Jack's idea. The boys each got a trash bag, and Jack collected trash we found that could be recycled, and Brayden collected just plain trash. We ended up in a field behind our townhome complex where it seems a lot of people choose to "throw out" some of their trash. We had a nice talk about littering - Jack just doesn't understand why people can't just throw their garbage away in the can! Honestly... neither can I! Anyway, just a nice little proud Mommy moment. I hope his environmental awareness continues! :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Recycle truck day!

As I mentioned last week - Tuesday is garbage truck and recycle truck day. The garbage truck comes every week as we are getting ready for school, then the recycle truck comes every other week, and an hour or so later in the morning... during the time we are often at the grocery store. Again for the past week, we have been counting down to garbage truck and recycle truck day. Again this morning... we were out in the driveway WAITING for the garbage truck, but it never showed up before we had to leave for school. I was afraid that would happen, so I put off my regularly scheduled grocery store trip so we could see the recycle truck. And oh, was Brayden soooo happy that we did! The highlight being that the recycle truck man said hi and waved to Brayden before he left. Phew!

And now... time to start the countdown to the next visits from the garbage and recycle trucks!

A final shout out for tonight to Chris and Sarah, who found out today the little peanut due in September is a boy! Yay for another little nephew! :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

10 years

So before I get into my photo of the day business, I want to take a moment to remember the shoot shooting at Columbine 10 years ago today. The 13 victims and their families remain in my thoughts and prayers to this day. I honestly can't believe it's been 10 years. As with most people, especially those in Colorado, I remember that day so well. I remember where I was when the news of the school shootings started to break. I remember sitting in my house at 805 Hartford in Boulder with my radio on and not paying much attention to it. It was a Tuesday, so I didn't have class, and I was studying in my room. As the reports continued, it started to hit me, and I eventually turned on the tv - where I sat transfixed. Then I realized - my good friend Lara's little sister was a senior at Columbine. I called her to find that her sister had not yet been located, so of course she was pretty distraught. It was terrifying, especially as I continued to watch the news until it was time for my friend Raeann and I to go check out the apartment we were planning on renting for the next year. She and I went to look at the apartment and then were in the office getting ready to sign the lease where the tv was on and of course it was dominated by coverage of the shooting. We put off signing our lease to go see our friend Lara in her dorm. Thankfully by the time we arrived her sister had contacted the family to let them know she was okay. After visiting with Lara for a bit, I headed home, again transfixed in front of the television for the night.

The event rocked the world of so many people, myself included. I went to the memorial service at Clement Park, on a cold rainy day, and shared the tears, sorrows, and prayers of so many people impacted by this tragedy. When I think about that day I still get chilled and choked up. I don't think that April 20, 1999 will ever feel like a distant memory... it's one of those days that is just frozen in time and truly will never be forgotten.


Okay so on with the regularly scheduled program. Today the boys finally got to play in the snow. Funny since two days after the storm, it's pretty much all melted off. Mostly there are just big piles scattered here and there from the snow plowing. And we hit nearly 70 degrees today, and will get up to 80 by the end of the week. Crazy Colorado weather! (Have I mentioned that lately?) So after their quiet time the boys found the closest pile of snow and got to work. First they threw snowballs, then stomped the snow, and ultimately busted out their hot wheel snow plows. (There truly is a hot wheel for every occasion). They are very intently snow plowing this pile of snow in today's photo! After awhile some of our neighbors joined in the fun, complete with buckets and shovels! It'll be interesting to see how much smaller our token snow pile - the remains of a foot of snow two short days ago - is tomorrow!

Week 16 Layout

I'm all caught up - yay!

Here's week 16 - click to see a little bigger. Seriously, I really am going to figure out how to post larger images... soon-ish.

Credits: Kit is Citrus Brights by designs by Vicki; Template by Shabby Miss Jenn; Font is Pea Kathy

Can't decide if I love or hate this one. ;-)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Another crazy Sunday...

We started the day off at home for the morning... then hit the road to go to Madeline's 3rd birthday party. The boys had a great time playing outside... basketball, bikes, and bubbles! And yes - OUTSIDE! Much of the past three days' snow has all melted off already. Gotta love Colorado spring storms. Actually Mollie's house got considerably less snow than ours, but our house is pretty well melted, too! It was a GORGEOUS day! And I think Madeline had a fun birthday and birthday party! We had fun too!

From the birthday party we headed over to Kelly and Marcia's - they were having an open house to celebrate their new guy PK, who was being baptized at mass later in the afternoon. The boys had fun with their cousins and I got in some good snuggle time with PK - always one of my priorities! He's already a little smiler - so cute!

And finally, it was off to mass for the baptism! Jack sat with Grandpa and they were so cute together all through mass! Brayden was just tuckered out from the busy day with no nap and actually fell asleep on Rob's lap during mass. Eventually he got passed to me and that kiddo is HEAVY! Not like holding a little sleeping baby... he was like a ton of bricks! But it was still nice to cuddle him since he doesn't do that too much anymore!

Now it's late... the boys are crashed and it's back to the grind (school for Jack, work and school for Rob) tomorrow. I'm not ready for another week already! Hopefully will have that week 16 layout done tomorrow, too! :) Night night!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blog #3 for the day

Sick of me yet?The idea for today's photo came from Rob. I took a few photos earlier in the day (some not so interesting ones of our nearly foot of snow outside, for instance) but nothing I wanted to use. Rob suggested I attempt some bathtime photos... then he came up with the creative idea. The boys' cars lined up on the ledge of the tub. Yes, the boys' obsession with cars even carries over into the bathtub. These are their bathtub cars, which are usually lined up on the ledge here... often driven around underwater, drawn on with bath crayons, and generally loved and abused. Bathtime really is one of their favorite times of day, and they have so many different creative games they play and have made up while in the tub together. :)

On another note, Brayden's eye is much better today... it still looks awful, but the swelling has gone down a ton. Now it's mostly just red all around. And thankfully it still doesn't seem to be bothering him much.

Now I was thinking earlier that I'd probably have my layout for this week tomorrow done to post tomorrow night, but realistically, it may be a day or two. Tomorrow is an extremely busy day with a birthday party, an open house, and a baptism to attend. All the while skipping naps and quiet time for the boys, so they should be completely overtired and cranky by the end of the day! So we'll see if the LO gets finished or not!

Two down, one to go!

I do believe that come weekend's end, I will be all caught up with Project 365! Woo hoo!

Here's Week 15 - click to see a little bit bigger....
Credits: Kit - Party Pants by Miss Mint of Peppermint Creative; Template by M Originals; Font is Consolas

One down, two to go!

Finished the first of my three catch-up Project 365 layouts... here's week 14!

Credits: Kit is "Traffic Jam" by Julie Billingsley; Template by Simply Yin; Font is Will&Grace

Again, click to see it bigger... although then you still won't be able to read it without a magnifying glass! Added to the list of things to do: figure out how to post larger photos on blogger.

Thanks for looking! :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Catching up

Since finishing Carter's cross stitch a few days ago, I've been spending this week catching up on various things. First I had to catch up on editing photos to post on my facebook page - it'd been a month and a half since I'd put photos up there. (I post ALL the photos there... not just the one a day from here... so if you're my facebook friend - go look at my pictures there!) Now I'm catching up on the blog. Next I plan to catch up on my project 365 layouts (three weeks now!). I have other various things to get done too... before I start my next major project... my scrapbooks. I'm only about six years behind. I'm avoiding this one... Rob says by the time I catch up on everything else, I'll find a new project to work on to put off the scrapbooking again. :)

Anyway. Yesterday's moment of the day is one that happened when I did not have my camera with me. The picture in my head is of Jack and his BFF Jaxon walking up the staircase at their school to the street where we park. It was raining, and Jaxon brought his umbrella. They were walking together, holding the umbrella together. Total sweetness.

So since I missed that moment on film, I was disappointed and didn't feel like taking pictures later in the day. Consequently, Rob decided to pick up the camera and attempt to get creative. Granted I had to delete a lot of the photos that were blurry and out of focus - but he did get some really good shots! Particularly this one of Brayden... very well composed, good use of the rule of thirds, awesome focus on the close eye, good catchlights, and an emotionally great moment with Brayden! As always, I love those big brown eyes!

And then, the difference a day makes.It's never a good sign when the little guy wakes up with an eye looking like THIS. His eyelid was all puffy and swollen. I debated for a good part of the morning about whether or not this was something that warranted a trip to the doctor. I took this picture to send to Rob at work who immediately replied - that's not right, you should get him in. Part of the reason for my debate is the 2 feet of snow we are theoretically getting between today and tomorrow. Anyway ultimately I got him in for an appointment just to get it checked out. It wasn't red inside his eye at all, didn't seem to be bothering him, but it just LOOKED wrong. Turns out, he has a sty under his eyelid. Bummer. Nothing to do to treat it... just warm compresses (which he won't sit for) and eyedrops in case there is bacteria in there (which he hates). Good times! It got redder and more swollen outside as the day went on. Still didn't bother him one bit though - it just LOOKS miserable!

And as for the snow... we've got a solid six slushy inches out there. It rained, then snowed, then rained, then snowed... and snowed... I know there's more snow in other parts of the state, but it ain't over yet... it's supposed to keep coming through tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Early blogger

Look at me, blogging before 8pm! What's the special occasion you may ask? Well I took the picture I knew I wanted to use early in the day today for one. And tonight I'll have an extra monkey in my house so I expect my hands will be full and I won't get the chance to blog later.

A couple of weeks ago I shared the cross stitch I made for my then newest nephew, Patrick (or PK). Since then we've had another new baby join the family, little Carter Ryan. Last night I *finally* finished the cross stitch for him! It didn't help that he was born a week early. ;-) But in all seriousness, this cross stitch took me MUCH longer than they usually do... there has just been too much going on the past few weeks! It was well worth the wait though, I'm so thrilled with how it turned out! I hope it's a nice addition to his cute little jungle-themed nursery!

Today I also decorated a 2nd round of cupcakes for Jack's class - he's snack helper again tomorrow, and I don't *think* school will be snowed out this time! This also marks probably the 5th time in a month that I've decorated some kind of cake or pastry! Yeah, I'm never that domestic. This is like a new era in my life or something. In any case, in case there's no opportunity to photograph the cupcake goodness for my 365 album tomorrow, here's a peek. I used a simpler frosting method for this round of cupcakes! Cute just the same though. :-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Garbage truck day

In our neighborhood, Tuesday is garbage truck day. It's also the notoriously windiest day of the week. But that's not the point. Brayden was very eagerly anticipating garbage truck day this week. It's a big event for the boys every week, but for whatever reason, Brayden was REALLY looking forward to it this week. He also really wanted to see the "cee-rycle" (recycle) truck come, even though I told him at least 100 times that the recycle truck doesn't come until NEXT WEEK. As the boys were getting ready for school they heard the garbage truck in the neighborhood, as they always do. We went outside a good 15 minutes before it was time to leave to take Jack to preschool, WAITING for the garbage truck. Alas, they saw the truck coming. Much to our dismay, the garbage truck then turned before our part of the complex (we live in a townhome) to pick up OTHER PEOPLES' GARBAGE. Utter devastation. Actually they handled it okay, until we could wait no longer for the truck to come back around to our house and pick up our garbage, because we were already going to be late for school from waiting. Brayden cried the whole way to school. That is, after I literally DRAGGED him to the car and pinned him in his seat to buckle him in. Not only did he cry, but he screeched and sobbed and made the most pathetic noises almost until we parked the car. He just didn't understand that we HAD to go and we'd MISS the garbage truck picking up our garbage, and that the recycle truck WASN'T coming this week. I felt bad for him, but what could I do? At this point, mostly just hoping we DON'T miss the garbage truck next week! (And hoping we don't have to build up to it every day between now and then!)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter and back to school

Happy Easter! The boys were very excited for the Easter bunny to come, and consequently were awake before 6:00am on Sunday morning. Thankfully they stayed in their room and gave us a LITTLE bit of a break. We had to get up early anyway for church, so we headed them off as they left their room around 6:30, so we could all check together if the Easter bunny had come. Sure enough he did, and left lots of little goodies for all of us! We are now way overstocked on chocolate and candy! The boys of course were so excited to check out their loot and spent the day pretty much sugared up! It was a good day though, from start to finish!

Today signaled the end of spring break... back to school for Jack. Back to school is a good thing and a bad thing... good thing because the boys were at each others' throats and needed a break from each other! A bad thing because it means getting up and moving early and running around and all that not-so-fun stuff. While Jack was at school Brayden was more pleasant than he'd been in days! Jack was tired heading off to school from the late night before, but I think he was happy to get back to his teachers and school friends! Then when they were reunited, they got along great! I'm not sure WHAT they were doing, but the boys kept sitting on each others' chests and trying to "squish their lungs" or something like that. In any case, it was funny and cute!

So on a digital scrapbooking note... I'm still behind! Never finished last week's layout, and now this week's layout is set up but needs all the finishing touches as well! I knew I would get behind like this eventually... last week was one of the crazy busiest weeks we've had in awhile... I'm hoping things start settling down and can finish these layouts up ASAP!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bad blogger

I've been a blog slacker this week. I'm surprise I'm actually getting this done right now, to be honest. But here I am, attempting to catch up! I'm also getting behind on my 365 scrapbook but since I'm nearly done with my other big "project" of the moment... I hope to catch up before I get further behind!

Anyway! We finally got go to see Carter again this week - he was already 8 days old when we went to Ryan and Pam's house on Friday! He's a cutie patootie no doubt, and Auntie Danielle got lots of cuddle time! Much to my surprise, after awhile, Jack asked if HE could hold baby Carter. Considering he doesn't usually even want to go NEAR babies, this was quite surprising! With Ryan and Pam's permission, I set Jack up on the couch with Carter. He did so good! He didn't want to put him down, actually! Brayden joined in on the action eventually, and they kind of held him together. Brayden was so cute checking Carter out... his nose, mouth, hands, hair, etc. After awhile Jack had had enough, and then Brayden wanted to hold on his own for awhile. They were all so cute. It was a nice picture for me of what life might be like should we have another baby... the boys will both be great big brothers! :)

Tonight we did our annual dyeing of the Easter eggs - always messy and fun! We invited Chris, Sarah and Kate over to join us - this was Kate's first Easter egg dyeing experience. The kids all had a great time. Jack was sad when we ran out of eggs! The particular brand of dye we used this year dyed Jack's hand a crazy shade of green - it looked like he had an Incredible Hulk hand. Thankfully most of it washed off.

Time to go fill the Easter baskets for the kiddos and then head to bed! Happy (almost!) Easter!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Arts and crafts time

We got to hang out with Kate today! Jack thought it would be fun to practice writing words, so all the kids got some paper and crayons and colored pencils and had some arts and crafts time. There's not much more to tell about it than that. I'm going through another phase of being photographically uninspired! I'm also completely exhausted and not thinking clearly and it's taken my far too long to write even this much! So maybe I just better leave it at that for now. Get some sleep. Try again tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

We're goin' to the zoo... zoo... zoo...

(I've had that tune stuck in my head since last night!)

We made our first trip of the year to the zoo today. It was seriously the perfect zoo day. It wasn't too hot or too cold... and it wasn't super crowded. The animals were out and about doing their thing. And most importantly, the kids did great! We met Castara, Kadin and Ashton there, and all four of the boys had a great time. Jack, Brayden and Kadin mostly just walked while Castara and I pushed the (mostly) empty strollers.

In this photo the boys are watching the seals... who were swimming laps around their pool and then kind of jumping out and doing belly flops. They watched and cracked up for quite awhile, and probably would have stayed to watch longer!

Other highlights from the day include the usual train ride, the baby giraffe, the elephants throwing dirt on themselves, an appearance from the lions, and a leopard who (according to Jack) REALLY likes kids!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A new era of toys....

For Jack's birthday yesterday, he got a small set of legos from Grandma. We've had lots of blocks before but never a lego set that can be assembled into something cool like a firetruck. They both played with the legos quite a bit today, so when Jack asked to go to Toys R Us this afternoon to spend some of his birthday money (or his birthday "dollars" as he calls them!) I steered them toward the lego sets. Of course all they REALLY wanted to look at was cars, but when we did look at the cars, even they started to realize they have almost everything cars! When we checked out the lego stuff they both found plenty of stuff they like... it's a little above their heads yet... but it's new and different and I welcome it! So when we got home tonight, after dinner, Rob put together the new lego cars for the boys. Not all of them were done before the boys' bedtime, so he put together the rest after they went to bed and set them up on the table for them, ready to play with in the morning!

Of course tomorrow they won't have TOO much time to play with them because we are going to take advantage of the nice weather tomorrow and go to the zoo with my BF and her kiddies. This week has been CRAZY busy already and shows no signs of slowing down! Lots of stories to share already but it's late so I'll have to save some of those for another day! :)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Happy birthday Jack!!!

It's official... we have a five-year-old in the house! (Okay if you want to get technical it's not till 9:33pm tonight!) Jack was so excited for his birthday! Yesterday he woke up saying, "This is my last day to be 4!" And today of course was "It's my birthday! I'm 5 now!" Big boy. We had a very simple day, but I think he enjoyed it. Rob took the day off from work so he could spend some time with the birthday boy because he had class this evening. Early in the day we opened presents... Jack got his much desired police car, some more tracks for his hot wheels, and he and Brayden got tracing books to practice their letters and numbers and stuff. Brayden had a MASSIVE meltdown as Jack opened his gifts... and I clearly remember Jack doing the exact same thing on Brayden's 1st birthday when he was this age (3). Brayden just wanted Jack's gifts... not just what was in the package, but to do the unwrapping, etc. Jack was not really deterred and enjoyed anyway. Thankfully, Brayden got over it pretty quickly. Jack chose Wendy's pickup for lunch, and after lunch we had cake. Jack wanted cupcakes so that's what he got! Grandma also came over for cake and brought presents too... a lego set and the game Candyland! Also big hits! After quiet time the boys played some Wii with Daddy before he had to go to class. We ordered pizza for dinner and even though I offered the boys ice cream sundaes for dessert, they opted for a piece of candy instead. Nothing very eventful to report from the rest of the night... Jack was just thrilled to have a day that was all about him!

And just for fun... I put together a little retrospective of pictures of our big boy!
Jack Thomas Roe
April 6, 2004
8lbs 3oz, 20 inches

First day home from the hospital!

Age 1
Age 2

Age 3

Age 4

Happy Happy birthday buddy! We love you so much!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Special Agent Oso

This weekend a new show premiered on Playhouse Disney. This is always a big deal in our house, as the boys love new shows, and they love Playhouse Disney. Several times during the weekend they wanted to watch another episode of “Special Agent Oso” and all other activity stopped while they watched. Here they are totally wrapped up in an episode, with their blankies of course. (Jack is an index finger sucker, and Brayden a thumb sucker).

Gonna be late again on this week's layout... spent my free time today doing other things... first birthday present shopping for Jack this afternoon, then this evening baking and decorating cupcakes (again!), decorating the living room, and wrapping presents for Jack's big day tomorrow! Rob is taking the day off tomorrow so he can spend some time with the birthday boy since he has class tomorrow night. We're all excited for the extended weekend, and for Jack's big day! All day today Jack was reminding us that today was his last day to be 4! (Where has my baby gone!?!?!)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Boys boys boys!

Not only do I have my own two boys, but so many of our friends and family have all boys or some boys, too! We spent the past two days hanging out with a bunch of those boys!

Yesterday morning my BF Castara called us up hoping we could meet up for a last minute playdate. Of course! We decided just to meet at one of our regular spots during the cooler months... Cherry Creek mall. They have a fantastic play area which is great for littler and bigger kids alike! The boys all seemed to have a good time, and we mommies managed to get in some conversation around their craziness! The highlight of this trip though seemed to be the fountain... we used to go throw pennies in the fountain all of the time, till the boys started getting out of control playing in the water and ended up soaked and needing changes of clothes... hence trips to Children's place to buy dry clothes because we hadn't brought any... etc etc. So we kind of started just passing the fountain without stopping to avoid the wet mess! This trip we stopped though, thinking maybe the kids were older enough now to stay dry. That lasted about five minutes. :) They had a great time splashing around the water... and Jack and Kadin stayed MOSTLY dry. Brayden, however, was soaked! Thankfully I pack a dry set of clothes in the car just in case now. :)
Another group of boys we spend a ton of time with is the neighborhood boys! In our little corner of the neighborhood there is a group of six boys all close in age (Brayden the youngest at 3, Linus our neighbor the oldest at almost 6). Not only are they close in age, but they all have birthdays in March and April. Three in March, three in April! We thought this was just such a crazy cool coincidence, considering the boys were all buddies anyway. So we moms decided it would be fun to have a group birthday party for the six of them to celebrate together. We had that party today, and five of the six boys made it (below: Jack, almost 5; Linus, almost 6; Oliver, 4; Marcelo, almost 5; Brayden, 3). The boys all had a great time playing games, opening presents, breaking open a pinata, and of course, eating cake!

Here the boys are preparing to blow out the candles on their cake (which features a collage of the five of them). NO CLUE what Brayden is doing, squeezing his eyes shut! I think he thought maybe it was supposed to be a surprise or something? Anyway it was super cute, and we all had a lot of fun. :)

Thursday, April 02, 2009


... Carter Ryan MartinOur newest nephew, born to my baby brother Ryan and his wife Pam at 4:31am this morning (4.02.09). 7lbs 12oz of sweetness!

We went to visit the new family at the hospital after Rob got off work this afternoon. We'd seen a picture earlier in the day but my oh my, he's even cuter in person! (Of course!) I could have just snuggled him all day. I have baby fever. Bad.

So what, pray tell, is under that hat?

Look at all that hair! It's even thicker and longer in the back. And so DARK! I was not expecting that. They had a baby photo comparison up on their laptop in the hospital... Mr. Carter definitely has his mommy's baby hair!

The new family. Congrats again Ryan and Pam! Welcome to the world Carter! Love you tons already!

Being an aunt is one of the coolest things in the world.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Creative thinking

To the casual observer, this may not look like a very interesting picture. To me though, it signifies the difference a year can make. A year ago, we were struggling with what felt like all bad news coming from Jack's preschool teachers. Basically they felt like he was not age-appropriate in a lot of areas (sociallly, creatively, fine motor skills, etc). Which brought up the internal battle in us... is Jack normal? Is he just quirky, or is it something more? Is there something developmentally WRONG with him? It was an awful time. One thing his teachers pointed out was how literal he was... for instance, if he made a tower of blocks, and you asked him, "Jack, what you are you building?" His answer was, "a big tower of blocks." He didn't think outside the box... the uses of different objects were all very literal (it wasn't a skyscraper, it was a tower of blocks). Now we knew he was more creative than that, but this was the only side his teachers saw. Their concerns left me awake at night with worry. They ultimately prompted us to schedule a developmental evaluation for him at Children's Hospital.

A year later it feels like we've turned a 180. First, he did show improvement in his preschool class last year and his teachers' concerns subsided, but never went away, and I was always plagued with the "what if" feelings. What if something really IS wrong? We went forward with the eval at Children's... and the doctor we met with basically told us that yes, while a little quirky at times, Jack seemed perfectly normal and age appropriate by all standards she was measuring against. Sigh of relief. Then there's his preschool class this year. He is like the star of the class. His teachers love him. He has friends. He's thriving. He raises is hand to answer and ask questions, tell stories, share, etc. He loves school. He gets raving reviews from his teachers and I'm told he's more than ready for kindergarten (last year his teachers weren't sure he would be).

It's hard to say the true cause for the 180 from last year to this year. Was it just a set of teachers biased against him? I did always feel like they just wanted to find something wrong with him, and never really connected with him... whereas this year his classroom environment is so much more positive and he's connected with his teachers and classmates and they definitely bring out the best in him. Is the change a result of simply a year's worth of growth and development? I'm sure there is that... a year more mature... physically, emotionally, socially, developmentally.

In any case... a year ago a stack of blocks was a stack of blocks. Today the blocks came out for the first time in months. Jack's creative juices were flowing in a way I rarely witness. He was building and creating and narrarating everything he was doing. I was blown away. The picture above is the last thing he built before moving on to other things. On the left his a ferry boat carrying a car across some water. The right is the road that leads up to the dock where the cars drive onto the boat. It's a small boat that can only carry one car at a time. He was so proud of this creation. I had to document it. The feelings from a year ago are as real to me today as they were then, and I definitely still have spots that are raw from that experience. But I can't help but feel blessed with how far we have come, for whatever reason we've come to this place.

Tomorrow is Jack's 5-year check up, and for once I am going into the appointment with zero concerns. :)

And on a COMPLETELY unrelated note... my brother and his wife are in the hospital right now, on their way to welcoming their first born into the world! It seems Pam's water may have broken (slow leak) earlier in the week, but they didn't realize that was what happened. They had a doctor appointment today (she's 39 weeks) and were directed from there to the hospital... where they are supposed to be starting her on pitocin to get things rolling since it hasn't happened on its own yet (with the broken water). Hopefully I will have a new nephew by morning! I am giddy with excitement! Bet you can't guess what tomorrow's picture will be!!! :)