Friday, November 30, 2012

Movember and other antics

I am not too upset that November is coming to a close. Actually, I didn't mind it when it started. I always think Dan looks handsome with a little scruff. However, he has claimed the excuse of "Movember" to grow a full on beard, and recently cut a mustache.   If Luke and the boys were able to grow a mustache, I'm sure they would, but for now, they have to settle for other antics.


Calvin's fireman's coat....he asked Dan to button it up like they do when they are getting ready to go into the fire. Apparently that means buttoned all the way up with a hood under the hat.  Jack prefers to just take his shirt off to run every chance he gets.

Luke's solid food. We keep trying, but he's just not too interested. The good news is, he has moved past the shudder every time we put a spoonful in his mouth. He swallows a few bites, anyway.

Calvin's new place for his naptime "buddies."  The location has been constant, but it is always something different in Cal's mind. On this day, I think Moose and Clifford were on a suspension bridge. Jack has been waking up early from his nap and helping me wake Cal. He is so happy when he first wakes up, announcing "I awake!" We then have been reading together before waking up Cal. 
Reading with Jack.   Mrs. O'Leary's Cow has been the book of choice this week. This video pretty much sums up what it is like to read with Jack.....dropping/retreiving Bird and Duckie, question after question, and such sweet time.  He even threw in a little "I don't!" at the end.....that is his "no" these days. 

This was my attempt to wake Cal today. Jack and Luke playing right next to his sleepy head. It didn't work....

Jack looking up to Calvin.  Not only has Jack started talking more frequently and intelligibly this month, but he has also shown an increased reliance on his brother for answers. In the mornings, the boys play with the books in their room. Here Cal was reading to Jack. I love the question/answer throughout....until the end, that is. I guess they are 3 and 2.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Uncle Ben, Grandma, and Papaw are all headed back home, and we miss them already. I am so thankful that they celebrate us being us.....including appreciating robot and spiderman going to Kroger, REI, and on walks. Calvin's robot costume is now a serious option for him when I tell him it is time to put on a sweatshirt to go outside. Little goober! Earlier on this walk Jack had his Spiderman hat position so that his left ear was peeking through one of the eye holes. Sweet buddy!

I am so thankful that they get excited about what we are excited about....including these parachute guys that Calvin saved to assemble and play with when Uncle Ben and Papaw arrived.

And that they love our boys so much. These guys had to have some sweet dreams this week with so many people to reading, praying, and giving them kisses and hugs before bedtime.  We had a sweet time with you! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jack and B

Jack has given Uncle Ben a new nickname....B. I think it is going to stick, if frequency of use is any indication.  The name suggests the closeness that I see between the two. 

The two have been horses together....

Fixed the entryway light.....
Jack was very concerned that Ben was not going to be alright. He kept pleading with each of us to "Helf B get Doooooown!"

And raked the yard...

Luke pretty much likes everyone, but especially Grandma and Papaw.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Little tongue

Luke has been sticking his tongue out all day. Love that little tongue!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Pime-Out" Stroller

I used to refer to Jack as a little "wild card." In the most endearing way possible, of course. But lately, I think he has moved past that. I take him into the library on his own two feet instead of in the stroller, and he stays with me and does great. When I give him a direction, I no longer dread the imminent disobedience and discipline. 

I am not sure what exactly to attribute this to....he's getting older, his speech is improving, and/or we've changed our disciplinary approach with him. He used to receive multiple spankings a day (so sad now to think about it!), but it clearly was not speaking his language. He has not had a spanking in about 2 months, and instead he has embraced "my stroller," as Jack now calls it. 

Whenever he disobeys, I strap him into the umbrella stroller in the bathroom or laundry room (depending on the floor we are on). He stays there 5 minutes with the door shut, and then comes out good as new. I think we finally stumbled upon something that matters to him. He can't be an audience to the rest of us (like the old time-out spot), and we don't have to spank the sweet little guy. 
He is getting the sleep he needs, thanks to the stroller, too. When he gets out of bed, I put him in the laundry room. Within minutes, he's asleep...

I transfer him to his bed, and he has a great nap. This whole process has become less necessary lately, but I am so thankful to have found something to gives him what he needs.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Naked tummy time

Luke has figured out how to rest himself in his position to roll over. However, I think he likes it so much that he doesn't want to attempt a roll. Doesn't he know that I want to go ahead and chalk this one up as a victory! I'm sure the velvety blanket against his soft bare tummy is pretty nice...can't really blame Luke here!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Construction Fans

This was our morning....just like the last 4 days....  I think the workers are starting to get a soft spot in their hearts for us. They have started bringing their trucks right up to us.  One guy stretched out the excavator scoop over our heads, another brought a bulldozer right up to the fence and stopped, waving to the guys. And more than once they have told me that the cost is $5. It would totally be worth it.

So naturally, this was the scene when we got home...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Vivid Imaginations

The boys have been playing so creatively lately! But I have to admit, this is not at all up my alley. I much prefer an activity like going on a walk or reading books. I know it is so good for them to use their imaginations, so I am so glad both Calvin and Jack enjoy using theirs despite my own lack of one. 

The fire truck
The fire truck is a permanent fixture these days,  upgraded recently with the addition of the vacuum attachment hose and a yellow "fireman's coat."  The fire hats have also undergone some needed repair, but the bucket that Dan and Luke are sitting in has to be the most exciting addition.  I love the buy-in that Cal and Jack have....Jack is so excited to be on the road to a fire that he has to yell and can't sit still. Calvin intently makes his "VRRRR" fire truck noises perched in the driver seat....I mean, where else would Calvin be?
 I kind of feel like Luke and I have similar roles in this scenario...

It's Broken!
Jack in particular has been fixing things since he "helped" Daddy fix the garage door and the sink.  Here was tonight's scenario. "The door is broken, mommy!!" (Me: Do you need to fix it?) "Uhh-huh." followed by a scampering to the door with Cal in his wake. 
At one point Jack came over to me to say that he was scared of the door because he thought it would fall down. I love that little guy's imagination!

Calvin really did have something to fix later when he drew all over the kitchen wall with a (thankfully washable) orange crayon.  He worked like a dog to scrub it off with the sponge, and it worked. At the beginning he kept saying, "This won't take long." But after a while he changed his tune to, "This is going to take a long time." 

Cal and Jack have always loved stories, and lately it has escalated to storytelling. They often ask me to tell them stories during the day. Jack takes them so seriously that he'll now randomly stop while eating to exclaim, "Look! A monster,"  pointing into the backyard. I guess I need to be careful about my story material (I thought orange and purple monster were benign enough!). Maybe they are getting it from books, though.  Cookie monster is certainly a favorite of both.

The flip side of all of this is that I think Jack has been having a few nightmares that are just as vivid. He was hysterical in the middle of the night the other day, and I didn't figure out what the problem was until the morning when he kept asking about Daddy being stuck in a truck in the ditch. When Dan came home that morning, he clung to Dan for a while and kept asking if he got out of the ditch. Sweet buddy. I am not sure if this is related, but he has been wanting to sleep on the floor. Here he is with his gear as I found him after nap.

Luke (mostly) enjoyed his first story time with the big guys tonight. Franklin Goes to the Hospital, One Bear at Bedtime, and Bible Story: The Healing at the Beautiful Gate.  So fun for me to have all three boys on my lap!
Calvin and Jack enjoyed having Luke there, too. They are such good brothers! I think they love Luke as much as I do. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mountain Biking and Ice Cream

Today Dan and I took the boys to a local park and happened upon this amazing mountain biking course for little kids! Calvin was in heaven! I think he has found a new favorite thing to do.
  I think Jack will be there soon enough, but he definitely enjoyed the experience, even if the extent was watching Calvin and the other bigger kids and standing on his balance bike. 

These two videos of Cal biking each have a nugget of gold at the end...

"I'm in the woods!"

"Now back to balancing"

Earlier this week, Ace and I took the boys to Jason's Deli's (as Cal calls it) and got some ice cream at the end. This was pretty entertaining...

"MOM! I ate my ice cream cone all gone. (With a smug eye brow raise and smile) Just like Daddy."

2 mintues later.... Jack: "Mom! I ate (uh) my ic ceam co (uh) gaw!" With an equally precious (but not smug) pride in his accomplishment!