Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jack getting his hands dirty

We carved a pumpkin tonight, and by "we" I mean Jack and (a little of) me.
 That little guy immediately started digging out pulp and seeds with his bare hands, and he protested whenever I tried to offer help with a spoon. I loved Jack's face when digging in the sliminess, but even when the pumpkin was empty he went to the trash bag for more!

 Calvin played the role of commander and chief, and did a nice job doling out responsibility and playing the encourager so that everyone else did the work he was so excited about. At one point he was giddy talking about showing the pumpkin to Daddy and Hockey. In the next breath he told me I would have to carry it though. Little goober was even getting out of that work!

 I already know what this whole interaction said about #1 (could his costume have been more aptly chosen...Optimus Prime)? In his defense, all he knows it to be is a robot.

I'm not sure what this says about our work horse, Jack, but I do know I love that little guy!

The whole project was complete in under 30 minutes due to our sweet alarm clock...

Both boys were eager to "help Luke" when he started getting fussy before the face was complete. So sweet!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Jack just started speech therapy this past week. He talks all the time, and his articulation is improving, but he is really difficult to understand. The speech pathologist says that he is having trouble physically manipulating his lips, tongue, etc. to make the sounds. So, they have recommended some exercises to try at home to help him develop control of his mouth and facial muscles. One of these exercises is blowing out a candle, bubbles, etc. Though speech therapy was not the goal of this interaction between Dan and the boys a couple days ago, I think Jack earned an A+ for his speech therapy homework!

So naturally, Jack wanted to try, too. The only thing Jack wants to be more than Calvin is Daddy, so here was his attempt.

Dan then started blowing in Luke's face....yes, normally, I would say, "How cruel!" But, Luke loved it! 
I love seeing Luke's little hair standing on end just before his look of elation!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I have no excuses

Jack held still and quiet for the whole hair cut. I'm still learning, but thankfully jack is cute enough to cover over a number of hair cutting mistakes!

Construction site

I hate that they had to tear out a ton of pine trees, but the construction site on the way to the office park is sure going to be fun! This morning we trespassed for the first time...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Seeing Clearly

Yesterday Calvin had a check-up ophthalmologist appointment.  The resident was assessing his vision with the picture test. Basically, they flash pictures of varying sizes on a screen across the room and ask Calvin to either say (ummm, fat chance) or point to the matching picture on a card he is holding.  The doctor started by covering his right (good) eye, and Calvin could not see anything. Actually, I thought he was picking the pictures wrongly on purpose, so I started to getting a little stern with him.  He was not correctly picking the pictures that correstpond to even 20/300 vision.

Until we took the patch off to check his right eye.... He immediately started calling out names of pictures, not even bothering with the pointing, all the way down to the smallest ones that were hard for me to see. If felt so bad for being hard with Calvin!  It was not defiance.   He really could not see anything in his left eye! I had to ask him to forgive me later. 

Turns out, Cal needs a new contact. The one he has is cloudy, and that apparently makes a big difference. Poor guy. I am not sure how long I have been patching him making him this blind. He has not complained a bit. Thank you, Lord, for giving him such patience with the process of patching/contacts/glasses. 

I have realized lately that God has also given me patience with things that would have bothered me before, and it has been such a joy to experience our daily "stuff" without being annoyed or frustrated when things don't go as I planned. 

It has been just beautiful outside these last few days, and Luke has been awake while Cal and Jack are napping. Usually, I do all in my power to make sure all three boys sleep at the same time, but I was able to just enjoy this little guy all by himself for an hour outside. 

And I have been staying away from our neighborhood park since Jack's fall. I've been to other parks, be it much more protective-like, but not back to the "scene of the fall." Staying away from the park for a month after we had been going 3 or 4 times a week....a bit ridiculous.  My new friend Zoe initiated helping me return, so we went together on Wednesday....and she brought me a caramel macchiato from Starbucks to really help make it a pleasant experience for me!  It was great. I did not have the anxiety I thought I would, and we all had a great (and safe) time.  I am thankful to get to see the park as a happy place again!

This is Jack with Jake, Zoe's little guy who is 12 days older than Jack.
And finally, dinner.  These last couple years have effectively simplified my food preparation. I have always liked and taken pride in making good food. However, I have been embracing more "allowances" since Luke was born and I started tutoring again. Starting to embrace the Kraft Mac and Cheese instead insisting on my home-made version, I was really proud of this meal that only took 15 minutes to make! Grilled Chicken, Swiss Chard, and Kraft Mac and Cheese. And because it was finished quickly, I didn't cook during naptime, we were able to eat outside during daylight, and we had time to meet some friends for frozen yogurt afterward. A win-win situation.  What took me so long to see it this way?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pump Station Hike

There is an old Pump Station that supplied Durham with water from the mid-1800's through 1926...or something like that. The ruins of it are inside the Eno River state park along a beautiful trail loop. Though we are super-habitual in our adventures, we deviated from the "shake shake bridge"/ log cabin trail to check it out.  We still brought the established burritos and apples, though, so we weren't too far out of our comfort zone!

Man, North Carolina is so beautiful this time of year. Leaves were fallen to provide a nice blanket, but we could still see roots and enjoy the majority of the changing leaves on the trees. Calvin walked the whole way...stopping every now and again to perform some trick, always asking two things: "Is this a good trick?" and "Take a picture of me doing that trick." Goober.  Yes, I like your trick, buddy. That is good balancing. Here is your picture...

The stone and brick ruins were pretty gorgeous against the fall colors.

The old pools are down below where Dan and the boys were standing....
Dan climbed down into the old "pools" and the boys were mesmerized!  
Fearless Jack was standing on this wall (with me close), and Cal started crying because he was scared for Jack. So sweet!
And the best feature of the old pump station....this tunnel!

Calvin walked the whole way, but Jack hitched a ride with Dan for the whole thing. He started pretty bright-eyed.

Eventually he started fading...

And fading...

And fading.

All in all, a little slice of heaven for me!

We headed to Duke to watch a club soccer game and have our burritos since there wasn't a good place on the trail. Cal enjoyed the game on Daddy's lap.

Jack wandered around eating his apple.
And Luke hung out on Daddy's shirt.

I am so thankful for a day with Dan home, beautiful weather, and happy boys! A little gift!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hooker Waders

I love living with boys.... I love how quirky, funny, and sweet they are. These are some things that brought a smile to my face this week.

1.  Calvin's Hooker Waders:  His face lit up when he discovered these on the stairs after church.  Dan, as usual enjoying the shock factor, immediately took to calling them "hooker waders."

2.  Jack imitating EVERYTHING Calvin does these days. The honeymoon period of Jack believing that certain privileges are unique to his older brother has passed. He is now popping his head out of his room at bedtime, though he certainly does not need to go to the potty. And he has taken to getting out of his highchair to try to get himself some more milk from the fridge since he sees Calvin getting himself water.  I find it so sweet, BUT...a new realm of management on our end. I feel kind of bad for him since he doesn't get that he just isn't big enough to do certain things.

Because Calvin was doing it, Jack wanted to try rollerskateing.  He's not nearly coordinated enough yet, so he just stood there (refusing a helping hand) and looking sweet before asking me to pick him up. 

3.  Daddy Love: The boys just can't get enough.  The other day Jack was standing at the bedroom window over-looking the driveway calling for Dan to come home at 8:00 in the morning. He has such a soft little heart.  Calvin treasures his time with Dan talking to him in bed before he goes to sleep. He always asks, "How many sick people were there today?" and what were each of their ailments. He'll sometimes ask, "Does he have cancer?" or "Did he get hurt by falling down off of a dresser?"  I love his little mind.
The feeling is mutual! While Dan was in New York last weekend, he sent the boys this picture of him sitting on a fire truck. They still ask to look at my phone to see Daddy on the, as Jack says, "Fie-re truck.

4.  Vacuuming with Jack: Vacuuming has always been pretty entertaining with the boys. They usually take the attachments and pretend they are vacuuming the stairs and carpet with me. I had a smile on my face the whole time I was vacuuming a couple days ago because of Jack. He had the little "Luke stool" and would carry it around and plop down to watch me wherever I was.  However, he would settle in exactly in the place I needed to go every time. If his face wasn't so darn sweet,  I might have told him to go do something else. Instead, I just watched him and laughed while moving him about 20 times. 

5.  An excuse for donuts! We stopped by Dunkin Donuts after a non doctor's appointment. I thought we had an appointment until we got there, anyway. The boys loved the treat, and of course, so did I. We might have to schedule non-doctor's appointments more often!
6.  Luke's little forehead creases.

7.  Luke gaining strength! I think he's about to roll over. I actually think he might have already done it...he was off the blanket and on his back the other day, and I'm pretty sure I left him on the blanket having tummy time. However, I have not seen a repeat performance to confirm. 

8.  I just love this little guy and the other little big guys, too!