Snow! 12.9.07

We were home for the second snowfall of the season 12.9.07. It lasted merely one afternoon and accumulated to less than an inch, but it was an opportune moment in time! The boys hit the "slope" of our driveway (there wasn't enough snow on the grass for sledding!), and Kevin stood guard at the bottom so they wouldn't scrape on the dry road. Then Kevin had the fun job of pulling the boys back up the "hill"! (I love being the photographer - oh, and pregnant!)

Then we walked through the neighborhood, and the boys were overjoyed to throw snowball after snowball at me!

Collin had been practicing his snow angels for months, so he was excited to make his first of the season!
Then the snowball fight was back on!
I can't wait for the next snowfall! Hopefully we'll have enough for our first snowman!

Special Times 12.9.07

Sawyer joined the Playdoh table and shared his giggling skills, as Collin amused to Sawyer's delight! It's so fun to watch Sawyer growing and wondering how he'll add to the now four-some!
Then the Gingerbread House craft began! The kids thoroughly enjoyed decorating the home, but I learned a big lesson: Build the House and let the "cement"/frosting dry before you attempt the decorations! Our House lost it's roof in the Quake of Excitment, mere moments after construction!


Experience the Magic

Collin: Where will Santa land his sleigh if we don't have any snow?
Me: That's the Magic of Christmas! ...

Saturday afternoon, as the snow flurried around us, we drove into downtown Seattle to meet Santa! The boys were so excited! As we waited in line, Collin asked the elves why they had jingle bells on their costumes. A: "Because they are magical!"

Collin: Do the jingle bells have the magic that lands Santa's sleigh?
Elf: They hold the Magic of Christmas!

Collin smiled, thought for a couple seconds, nodded his head, then asked no further questions of the elf. To me, he said, "The boys have magical jingle bells on the The Boys' Tree!" (He often refers to himself and Owen as "The Boys" - probably because we're always referring to them that way! And "the boys" have their own Christmas tree, plus we have a Family Tree.)

As the other kids continued to ask questions, "the boys" accepted color sheets and crayons and colored pictures for Santa while they waited in line. Elves passed out hot apple cider and warm cookies! (What a special treat for the kids ... and their pregnant Mommy!)

Once his picture was perfect, Collin had me write: "Dear Santa, I've been really good this year. Love, Collin" on the back, and he proudly placed the masterpiece in Santa's mailbox:

Owen colored intently, then marched up the steps, raised on his tip-toes, and added his work of art to Santa's lovingly-filled box:
Then it was time to meet Santa! Owen stopped in his tracks and started pointing, "Santa! Santa!" as Collin timidly approached.

Santa: Hello, Collin and Owen! Merry Christmas!

Collin stared at him in awe - how did Santa know his name??? (The Magic of Christmas!) He climbed up on Santa's lap and laughed as Santa "Ho! Ho! Ho!"-ed and tried to cajole Owen onto his lap as well.

Owen was a bit more curious ...
But both boys sparkled with joy as they experienced the Magic of Christmas and the wonder of meeting Santa!
Santa: What would you like for Christmas, Collin?
Collin: A bulldozer!
Santa: Ho! What else would you like?
Collin: (silence)
Santa: There must be something else ... ?
Collin: (after some more thought) A car!?
Santa: I thought so! Anything else?
Collin: (no hesitation) A horse!

Santa: And what would you like, Owen? A teddy bear?
Daddy: Owen, do you want a ball?
Owen (to Santa): Go Cougars!

As we said our goodbyes so the next family could meet Santa, Owen gathered all of the teddy bears to take home with him. His arms were wrapped pretty tightly, and I became nervous we might have a toddler moment - but the second Mrs. Claus brought him his candy cane, the bears dropped to the floor and were an instant lost memory!

*Parents: I would highly recommend meeting Santa at the Nordstrom in downtown Seattle, rather than at a snowy post inside a mall. At Nordy's, he really has an opportunity to meet with the children in a more private setting and for a longer period of time. He greeted the children by name, shook hands with Kevin and I, allowed us to take as many pictures as we wanted, and paused for several moments to speak with the boys on their level. It was a fantastic experience! (much better than being ushered through a quick photo shoot inside the mall!)

I'm in love!

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in court, and Katelyn kicked me in the ribs. Seconds later, she kicked again near my belly button! Within a moment, she kicked again in the same spot! I placed my hands on my belly and felt her movements as she continued to bat and kick for twenty minutes. It was as if the sun had risen, bright and shining, as I tuned out the rest of the world (lucky for me, my case wasn't called during this time) and simply enjoyed the rhythm of her movements. She started up again after dinner, playfully moving around until well after bedtime. It was the most wonderful day! I felt so connected to her, and so lucky to be able to feel her growing inside me. I am in love with her and so fortunate to have the opportunity to experience the beauties of motherhood. Oh, I can't wait to meet her!

We had our "official" ultrasound this afternoon, and the doctor confirmed her gender and noted that she's growing beautifully and proportionately and looks perfect! We saw her fingers and toes, watched her yawn and stretch, and marveled at the ultrasound capabilities. It was a great visit!

Oh - and for once, I didn't get a lecture on weight gain! Apparently, I was (!) gaining pretty rapidly, having put on 14 pounds by the last visit, when I should only have put on approximately 7. But by this visit, I had actually lost .2 pounds, so I guess I'm leveling out!


Happy Thanksgiving & Go Cougs!

Happy Thanksgiving from our Gang to Yours! 11.22.07

Collin stuffed this scarecrow himself, and every day since, he has gone out front periodically "to check" on his scarecrow. He's like a mother hen! Worried each night that someone might take his scarecrow, that his scarecrow is too cold, etc. He wanted to make sure his scarecrow would be covered, so he armed the scarecrow with a backpack with Cougar Gold cheese, a cell phone in his pocket, and gloves on his hands. : )

Big game Saturday! State rivalry against UW Huskies ~ GO COUGARS!


Scratch that!

If you - like I - had visions of our home filled with football gear, bicycles, and matchbox cars, it's time to add a doll house, a tutu, and pretty little ponies!

I arrived early for Friday's doctor appointment and was ushered into a room, sans Kevin. We finished the usual check-up, and Dr. Tu asked if I wanted to sneak a peak at our baby with the ulrasound in the room. Of course, I said, "Yes." The heartbeat was strong, and the baby was growing! Perfect!
Dr. Tu: "Why do you keep referring to your baby as a 'he'?"

Me: "Because four weeks ago, you already told us he was a boy."

Dr. Tu: "Oh ... Well, this baby is a girl ..."

Enter Kevin.

Kevin: "Hi! Sorry I'm late! Did I miss anything??"
After "confirming" that there's only one baby in there and receiving an explanation involving a swollen clitoris at 13 weeks, we're relatively certain we can proudly (re-)announce that:

Katelyn Victoria will be joining our family in April!


An Innocent Perspective: Princess Jasmine

In my all boy household, we have watched a lot of Elmo, a lot of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, etc. Our introduction to full-length movies included Cars, Finding Nemo, and Over the Hedge. No princes or princesses. Until we watched the beginning of Aladdin last night before bed. Jasmine was the first princess Collin met (oh, except Shrek's Princess Fiona, but she's an ogre!).

"Mommy, come here!" (almost in a whisper as he waves his arm to gesture me towards him)

"MOM (pointing to the tv) -- she's kinda naked!"

And so she is. Dressed in a bikini-style top and classic MC Hammer balloon pants.

Collin's resolution: "Maybe she's going swimming."

Is it time to talk about appropriate dress with my 3 year old boy?! Please say, No! I mean, I understand that Jasmine's "costume" is appropriate for the time/location of Aladdin's story. And I appreciate that Ariel is a mermaid, who lives in the water, when we first meet her and her sea-shell top. But please, Disney, keep the gals clothed -- thank goodness for Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella, who at least appeared chaste and innocent (although Sleeping Beauty refused to move until a man gave in to her utmost desire and Snow White lived with 7 other men before finding her Prince Charming).

*Interestingly, there is a point in the movie, as Aladdin is "soliciting" Jasmine on her bedroom balcony, when Aladdin whispers quickly, masked by music and flurry, "Take off your clothes!" It's one of the creators' hidden quirks. I've heard it myself - it's there. There was lots of media hype over it in 1994. At the end, one fact remained: no matter how it was tweaked by opposing sides of the debate, undeniably, the phrase is in the movie.


Belly Chats

I'm really starting to feel Penguin Feet (a name Collin gave the baby a few weeks ago that has kind of stuck with me!) moving in his cozy home. Just as his brothers were, he's busier at night and seems to roll around, getting his evening workout in. I wonder if he'll take on Belly-Kickboxing like Collin (who faced outward) or Intestine Tangling like Owen (who faced inward). I'm officially at the point in pregnancy where I start to love being pregnant, rather than dread it as I do the first 3-4 months! I love feeling the movements! Plus, much of my energy has returned, and I'm only occasionally sick ~ so I feel so great these days! (I'm 18 weeks and 2 days today ~ in the fifth month.)

As my belly has grown, so has the big brothers' interest in Penguin Feet. Owen pats my breasts and my belly and calls it all "baby." He seems to know "baby" lives in the belly only though because when he really wants to get up close to the baby, he lifts my shirt to expose the belly and gives kisses and hugs all over!

Similarly, Collin seems to have recognized that his own belly isn't growing at the same rate as mine, and I think he's given up on having a baby in his own belly. He seems content with that though as he has fallen in love with the baby in mine. I love it! He's constantly wanting to rub my belly and was the first to feel Penguin Feet move a few days ago (total luck and chance!). It was so cute! Collin often approaches me and asks: "Can I talk to my baby?" (his baby). Then he lifts my shirt, lays his cheek on my belly, and starts chatting away.

Monday's conversation went something like this:
"Hi, Baby! It's your brother Collin. I'm the biggest brother. How are you? Are you good? What are you doing in there? Are you playing? Have fun. Bye for now! Love you!"

Meanwhile, the name game continues. After a strong pull for Penguin Feet, Collin tried to name the baby Gavin, but we quickly discovered that Gavin and Kevin sound too similar. Kevin thought another soccer mom was asking him to touch his forehead to his knees during soccer practice, but (fortunately) quickly realized she was really asking her son Gavin to take the challenge! In that one moment, Gavin and Evan were removed from the list (add a K to Evan and you have Kevan). Luckily, Penguin Feet and Kevin do not rhyme.

We have our next appointment with the doc this Friday.


Soccer Star 11.4.07

Saturday's soccer game was a true delight! Collin chased the ball, kicked the ball, ran with the team, was on the floor the entire 20 minute game, understood that his team "needed him," and raced around with the proudest, happiest grin from ear to ear! Kevin was on his feet cheering the whole game, and I was in near tears as Owen and I clapped with a vengeance, jumping up and down out our seat in excitment!

For those of you have think I'm being over dramatic, Collin spent his first game standing still (not even turning as the ball passed) in the middle of the field for 3 minutes. He then sat with us on the sidelines the remainder of the game. The second game, he never even entered the field, laying in my lap on the sidelines and praying for his bed (naptime!). The third game, he entered the field, played a few minutes, touched the ball at kickoff, but then never chased the ball or showed any desire to be there. I felt awful because it seemed we were forcing him to play, and he hated it. But we know that is not what was going on because he talks soccer all week long and always says he's excited to go play. He always wanted to go, enjoyed the practice, but then once the game started, seemed anxious, tired, frustrated and out of place.

So, Saturday's game was a breakthrough! Credited to a few very specific changes: (1) For the first time all season, the game was after naptime (not smack in the middle of it)! He was fully rested and ready to play! I wish more games were so late in the afternoon! (2) Tuesday's practice had been led by a different coach who seemed to speak Collin's language: "Walk like a penguin and keep the ball between your legs as you travel down the field." "Ok, now Collin chase Gavin (who had the ball). Now switch, Gavin chase Collin." Suddenly, it was like several lights went on, and Collin's eyes grew big and he showed an understanding of how the game of soccer is played.

By Saturday morning, he was asking if Miss Kimberly was going to coach and if he could chase Gavin and try to get the ball! Just a few words to share that Gavin is on his team and he needs to chase the other team, and he was ready to go!

It was truly very exciting! And he has so much fun! Go, Collin!!!

Toilet Training 11.5.07

It is official! Owen is learning to pee in the potty! He's been testing it out for the past few weeks, but very sporadically. In the last two days, however, he has stepped it up a notch and started halting his play, yelling "gotta go pee - potty!" and running (usually running past the bathroom door, screeching to a stop, and sliding back into the bathroom). It is so fun, and everyone is so proud of him! At 21 and a half months! We'll see if he keeps up the streak - and if he decides to battle the Poo! Please, please, what a wonderful Christmas present that would be! A diaper-free household until April??


Pumpkin Carving 2007

The boys loved pulling the "puke" (thanks, Grandpa J!) out of their pumpkins this year! Collin diligently picked out his seeds, one by one, for roasting, while Owen spread the insides out on the table for everyone to see.
Once they were gutted, the boys attempted to draw "faces" on their pumpkins for carving. Notice Collin's pumpkin on the right has two very large eyes!

Then it was time to carve ... the lines became very blurry ... literally, because the pens were washable and much of the ink wiped right off!

Once carved, the boys finger-painted hair and added other design to their pumpkins (this too was washable and more fun than ultimately artistic. : )

Thank you for the balloons, Grandma and Grandpa T!

Collin's "Scary, Angry" Pumpkin

Owen's Pumpkin - With No Teeth, Just like Owen (who for the record, now has 10 teeth! He's popped out six in the last two months.)

Kevin's Pumpkin - The Boo Brothers!