Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving day 5...

We're at my in-laws now.
Chris and the little guys.

Maggie reading to Maggie

Marshmallow guns

Hide and seek

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving day 4...

Hanging out on the patio

Aunt Judy playing with Rand

Bryan taught Lauren how to play Angry Birds

John taught Josie how to ride a bike

A disappointing Aggie game

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving day 3...

The guys talking

Uncle David and Bryan

Gran's sleepover

Josie helping the boys build

Chris with our ring bearer who is definitely not five anymore :(

The cowboys, part 1

The cowboys, part 2

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving day 2...

Family bike ride

John hooked the trail-a-bike, trailer and wagon to his bike.

Mom cooking

Karen studying with the little guys

J.T. devouring The Hunger Games



Rough housing

Rand going to work

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving day 1

Bryan to Papa as he left for work: You look like a robber.

Papa playing chopsticks with David.

Jacob playing in the garage that Nana and Papa converted to a playroom. This room may save the lives of several of the grandchildren.

Nana snuggling Rand after his nap.

We're in love.

Gran scandalized Bryan by eating a mushroom. I don't like mushrooms, so I never cook them. In the original Babar book, the king of the elephants dies after eating poisonous mushrooms. So, my boys are a little shocked and concerned when people eat them.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Boys and dads...

Because I am still at that high demand stage of motherhood where solitude is a rare delicacy, I love watching the boys grow more and more attached to their dad.  I'm sure that some day it'll cause me more angst.

I made cupcakes for Bryan's class for his birthday.  There was only one left.  He insisted on saving it for his dad (not, incidentally, his parent who woke up at 5:00 a.m. to make the cupcakes).

Jacob gets concerned about fathers in books and movies.  We read a book about three brothers on a quest to find a cure for their grievously ill father.  They meet all kinds of horrible obstacles on the way.  At one point, I asked the boys what they thought would happen next.  David and Bryan came up with some gruesome possibilities, but the worst thing Jacob could think of was that their dad might DIE (spoken in a grave and earnest voice).  We watched The Lion King the other day, and Jacob cried when Mufasa died.

Chris has been spending time with the boys individually.  He told Jacob he would take him to the batting cages.
Jacob:  (running inside, wildly excited)  Mommy, Daddy's going to take me to the batting cages (Jacob uses a lot of italics when he speaks).

Me:  That's awesome buddy.

Jacob:  What are batting cages?
Someday, too soon, I'm sure they're going to distance themselves from me in ways that are much more substantial, and I'll be crushed, but now, I see these boys, who were babies yesterday, idolizing this man who was a nineteen-year-old capturing my heart just the day before that, and it makes me smile.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I took the  boys to Miller Outdoor Theater to see a production of various nursery tales with audience participation.  (The brothers h were the ones yelling, "GRENADES!  GRENADES!" when the wolf asked for suggestions on how to blow down the pig's house.)  I was organized (lunches and water bottles packed).  I was early.  I pulled into my parking spot 30 minutes before the show feeling smug.  Then,
David:  (worried)  Mommy, I forgot my shoes.
Further evidence that God likes David:  the first thought that came to my mind after I heaved a melodramatic sigh but before I spoke was this sentence from a book I'm reading on raising boys:*
What boys need most at this age is mercy.
This is a dangerous place to be as a parent - when your child does something...childish - personally annoying but not bad in terms of their character or intentions and understandable given their age.  I worry sometimes that based on my reactions to them, my kids get the idea that this kind of childish behavior (pretend fighting in line at the grocery store, dropping a full bowl of soup on the floor, out of control splashing in the bathtub...)  is a bigger deal than the character issues that are not as LOUD AND IN MY FACE DEMANDING A RESPONSE!

At about the same time I remembered that I forgot my shoes for a softball game when I was nine and that since the tender age of three and a half, when we brought Bryan home from the hospital, David has been dressing himself, putting on his shoes and coat, and buckling himself in the car, and this was the first time I remembered him forgetting something essential.

So Janet saved the day and picked up a pair of shoes for David on her way to meet us at the show, and I managed about 95% mercy, 5% irritation.  While we waited for Janet, he apologized profusely and offered to pay me back for the shoes every few minutes in a way that made me glad I remembered mercy until...
David:  (swatting)  These mosquitoes are really annoying.
Me:  I know.  I meant to bring bug spray, and I forgot.
David:  (shocked and annoyed)  I can't believe you forgot the bug spray.  I wish you didn't forget it.
Me:   Seriously???  Do you want to continue this conversation?
 * Wild Things, the Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween, the rest of the story...

My costume procrastination turned out to be a mistake.  The costume bin is in the attic.  The attic is locked.  I have a vague memory of setting the key somewhere and thinking, "I should put this up.  I'm not going to remember where I set this."  I didn't.  I was right.  I have no idea where the key is.  So, this ended with me frantically searching the dress up bin for something that would fit Rand.  I finally settled on Bryan's Superman pajamas.  
Halloween was a little conflicting for Rand.  While a huge fan of candy, he was not so excited about having to approach strange grownups.  At the first house he spent some time sucking his thumb halfway up the sidewalk.  Finally he decided the candy was worth the risk but didn't want to leave the candy bowl once he got there.  He got his Halloween groove eventually, though.  He dragged his blankie to a few of the houses.  
Household h has an extra boy this week.  Our friend, Nicholas, is staying with us this week while his parents are picking up his new baby sister in Africa.  I'm trying a new rule this year.  Today is a candy free-for-all.  They can have as much candy as they want today (with some required fruit and cheese thrown in here and there).  Then after bed time tonight, I'm trashing everything.  Nicholas has taken it as a personal challenge.  He is determined to eat ALL of his candy today.  I asked that he please try to make it to a toilet if he throws up.  
I wish I could say that this rule is inspired by my dental health concerns.  Really it's based on the reality that I'll steal an absurd amount of their good candy.  I just can't live in the same house with chocolate.  I'm not that person who can set out a candy dish and take one piece a day.

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