Thursday, March 29, 2012

Earning bath times and enjoying them

Just a couple videos from this past week. The boys really really like playing in the dirt.

I especially enjoy seeing the dirt streaming off of Parker’s head.

I have no idea what they are saying, but they were having a good time either way.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ice cream

We’ve been staying pretty busy playing outside and enjoying the nice weather, the boys also had a new first in the last week: their first ice cream cones. Of course they’ve had ice cream before, but never on a cone. They didn’t quite understand how to lick the ice cream off the cone, but they enjoyed it anyway.


Andrew


Parker


Nicholas

Boys want to share with Daddy?


Not a chance.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sticking with the routine

It’s starting to feel like each day is just about the same activities.

  • Get up
  • Get dressed
  • Have breakfast
  • Play
  • Run errands or play more
  • Have lunch
  • Play
  • Naptime
  • Play
  • I go to work or we all do something as a family

Play includes a lot of trains, reading, shooting hoops, trains, running races from the playroom through the dining room, fighting over trains and asking me for snacks.

I feel bad that we are stuck in the same tasks everyday, but the boys seem to still be having fun. The warmer weather has been a wonderful thing. We have been playing in the backyard which means playing in the dirt under the stairs in an effort to get as dirty as possible.

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Eventually they get bored playing in the dirt and will ask to play in the front yard with their trucks, cars or tricycles. 

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Lately the boys are into crashing their cars into one another while yelling “crash.”

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Nicholas and Parker are quickly becoming pros on their trikes pedaling back and forth and having races on the sidewalk.

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Andrew still hasn’t picked up on how to pedal, I was able to have him ride down the driveway a couple times before he asked me to put the trike away.

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I’ve been hesitant to play in the yard sometimes when the neighborhood kids are outside. I really want the boys to play with other kids in the neighborhood, but a couple are overly aggressive towards the boys so I spend most of my time monitoring the offending child instead of enjoying the boys.

I’ve been fighting a cold since Sunday so we’ve had some lazy days this week. Monday was a pajama day for the boys and since I was not up to chasing them around the yard I got out the crayons and construction paper. The boys have not yet decided on a dominant hand and tend to color with both.  I covered the table with easel paper (thanks Ikea) to minimize the amount of crayon I’d have to remove from the table later. We are no where near mastering keeping the coloring on the individual papers.

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They did have a wonderful time singing the alphabet song while I wrote the alphabet out for them a couple times.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pedal Pedal Pedal and other random photos

All of this nice spring like weather and the extra hour of daylight after Cody gets home means more time to play outside. Lucky for me Cody nearly always has his camera with him. Last night he pulled out the boys tricycles for another attempt at teaching them to pedal.

Parker came up with the ‘petal petal petal’ on his own, Cody just ran with it.

Nicholas took a little bit, but ended up even going up the driveway on his own.

Cody said Andrew still didn’t quite get it, but should take too long with his brothers to show him how.

And some photos from this week.

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Andrew, Parker, Nicholas Apparently sports are very serious.

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With a couple of the neighborhood kids.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Our four legged kids

Before we had the boys we had (and still have 2 cats) my cat Willow and Cody’s cat Leo. I say the one is mine and one is Cody because the cats chose their owners. Willow is a one person cat and doesn’t really like anyone else. He tolerates Cody and keeps his distance from the boys.

Then there is Leo. Willow was adopted from a shelter at 8 weeks, Leo adopted us when his original owners were evicted from their apartment and moved without them. He loves attention from anyone.

Last night Cody was playing in the backyard with the boys and Leo was at the window begging to come out. Cody let him out to play. Andrew has bonded with Leo and has decided that Leo is his kitty.


He keeps repeating ‘follow me Leo’ after seeing this all Cody and I could think was that this kid needs a dog. Normally when we call for or whistle Leo does come running so he’s as dog like as a cat can get, that and he eats anything.

Leo is extremely tolerant of the boys petting, pulling and playing with him.

I don’t think we’ll ever get video or photos of the boys with Willow unless it’s Willow running from them.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Friday at The Little Gym

Friday afternoon was our second attempt at The Little Gym and I’m happy to say it went so much better. Nicholas was still slow to warm up and had a bit of a melt down when he needed a diaper change. He wasn’t crying because he had to leave the gym, but because he was worried about his brothers. He spent the entire walk and diaper change yelling “Andrew Parker okay?” At least I know they worry/care about each other.
This week they started out sitting on the mat before an inflatable was brought out. All of the kids (only 8 in this class counting my boys) were instructed to sit or lay down on the inflatable before it was turned on. You could here the giggling from outside the room. Once fully inflated everyone ran across the ‘river’ a few times then they had to jump over the snakes (pool noodles) and then over the branches (pool noodles held over their heads). I apologize for the glare, but I had to take pictures through the window, but I was excited that the boys didn’t need me in the room with them.

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The flying kid didn’t land on Parker it just looks like he would.

The gym instructors have asked me to color code the boys at least until they are comfortable with telling them apart, so Andrew is blue, Parker red and Nicholas green. After the river which everyone was able to sit on while it deflated the kids were split into two groups. Andrew who so far has been the most willing to participate was in one group with Nicholas and Parker in the other. I was happy they split them up because they do need time apart.
In the various stations they worked on the rings, balance beam, bar, vault jump thing, and just general balance and coordination activities.
I spent the entire hour with my camera at the window taking pictures (yup I was that mom) and was so excited to see the boys having fun and following directions.

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So proud of the boys in this one, listening carefully and sitting still.

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This thing terrified me, it’s a good 4.5 feet off the ground and the kids were instructed to step over and not on the ‘butterflies’ Andrew did awesome on it. The instructors told me that the boys were all very patient and happily waited their turn especially considering their age. Of course I know that they’ve been taking turns and waiting in lines for most of their lives, but it’s nice that they remember even when I’m not there to remind them.
Even with moving to the later class the boys didn’t fuss on the ride home and still went down for nap time. I think the Friday class is going to work so much better for us going forward.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Little Gym and aquarium

Monday morning was the boys first day at The Little Gym. I was probably more excited than they were since it would be a good chance for the boys to start learning basics they will need for preschool like circle time, active listening and following directions from someone other than Cody and myself.
Since the class they are in is not a mom and me class the plan was for me to sit with the other parents while the boys went in. I was planning on taking pictures through the windows.  It started out okay, all of the kids gathered on the mat to play with some small maracas. The boys were a little unsure at first but after a few minutes they joined in. Everything was fine until they turned on the music, I wasn’t prepared for loud music so I didn’t know to prepare the boys for it. As soon as the music went on Andrew ran to the other side of the room, Parker stood frozen about 15 feet away and Nicholas (poor Nick) was about 5 feet behind Parker crying. The crying continued until the music turned off.
The music stopped the boys came back to the group and started to participate, then the music was turned back on. More crying and running away from the speakers. At this point I went in to try and calm Nicholas down or decide if it was time to leave. Once I was in the room the music had stopped and they started rotating through different activities. Andrew was the first to join in and easily crossed the balance beam by himself. Parker eventually joined Andrew and started to have fun, Nicholas wasn’t letting me out of arms reach.
When it was time to change to the other activities (rings, balance beam, bar, and forward rolls) Nicholas finally decided it was okay to play. They loved the rings and the balance beam! I was excited to see them waiting their turns and smiling/laughing when they finished a task. I was able to back out to a corner of the room and just watch. With each area music was turned on to mark the passing of time and when to move. It broke my heart to hear the boys say “no music Mommy, too loud” every time. At least the crying stopped and I’ll be playing more music at home and a little louder to try and acclimate them.
In the end they were having a blast and didn’t want to leave. We go back on Friday, I asked for the smallest class (Monday’s class had 14 with my kids) and the 3 teachers seemed a little overwhelmed with some of the ‘higher energy boys’ as they put it to manage. The Friday class only has 7 kids and they offered to turn the music down a little with the next class. So fingers crossed they won’t need a long time to jump into participating.
Tuesday was an exciting day of staying home and doing laundry, lots and lots of laundry. I still can’t believe how much clothing three little boys produce. We just spent the day in the house playing with trains watching the weather get more and more unwelcoming.
This morning the plan was to go grocery shopping and run errands, but after a day in the house I decided the aquarium would be fun for everyone. Plus we haven’t visited the aquarium since the new otter exhibit opened.


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We only saw one otter and it was sleeping the entire time. We’ll have to try again and hope they are more active. We did a quick lap through through all of the exhibits with the boys pointing out their favorite fish.

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The boys have started talking and talking a lot, I get a huge kick out of some of the things they say. While walking through the Utah fish the boys were chanting “fish are friends not food” repeatedly. When we made it to some of the larger fish one of the tanks also has a couple of dwarf caiman. Andrew immediately spoke up to say “It’s okay Mommy, It’s just a dinosaur.”

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After our third lap through (it’s not a very big aquarium) the boys asked to go see Crunch, which is what they call sea turtles based on Crush from Finding Nemo. We watched the sea turtle swim around with the sharks, where the boys assured me the sharks couldn’t come out of the water. We spent about an hour and a half wandering through the different exhibits before the boys started asking to go home for lunch. Hopefully our next visit we’ll get to see the otters do more than sleep.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Model Railroad Festival

Just like last year we took the boys to the annual model train festival at the Union Station on Saturday. Just approaching the station the boys were getting excited seeing all of the engines and cars parked outside the building. Like last year there was a small ride on train set up outside, but it was too cold when we arrived to ride.
I’m glad we arrived early as it got crowded quickly and hard to navigate with the strollers. The boys of course loved seeing all of the trains and would have been happy to just watch the same train going around on the same track for hours. I like seeing the elaborate setups and all of the miniatures. As an added bonus an old friend from high school saw us and came to say hi. It was great to see her and meet her kids (I haven’t seen her since we graduated).
After a few laps we headed for the Lego room. I think Cody and I enjoy this display more than the boys, but they did enjoy pointing out the Disney characters. Jessie was riding Bullseye under the train track and all of the Cars characters were somewhere mixed in. The boys didn’t get it, but they had a full Tangled display complete with ‘floating’ lanterns, a tower and the Snuggly Duckling.

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After the Lego room we went to the large ball room where kids had a chance to control a few trains. There was a pretty long line to drive, luckily the boys were happy to just watch.

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We knew the boys would be most excited by the G scale trains upstairs where we would find Thomas. We pulled right up to the table where Thomas was doing laps with two trouble trucks as the boys call them.

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I’m not sure how long we stayed at this table, but the boys did not want to leave. It was past noon by this time and the crowds had really picked up. We made our way back to the first room to see a few displays one more time before heading home. It had warmed up a little by the time we made it outside and decided to let the boys ride the train. On the first ride Cody rode with them because we weren’t sure if the boys would stay seated on their own. Turns out they would have sat in the train car for as long as they could get away with.

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Next year we plan on going without strollers, hopefully the boys will still like trains.

Friday, March 2, 2012

It looks like it’s winter again

After a week of nice spring like weather it’s winter again. The boys love seeing the snow fall, but getting to stomp around and play in it is even better.

We had the toys all ready for spring to play, I guess they work in the snow too. We were hoping to take the boys sledding this winter, but with the snow being so hit and miss and a few boys still in diapers it will probably be better next year. Speaking of diapers, we are now using 1/3 less diapers! I’m not going to say their won’t be accidents, but I’m so proud of the progress so far. Andrew has also started asking to use the potty in the last couple of days, so he will probably be next to start training.
We’ve been pretty boring this week just running errands and hanging out at home, but I met another mom at Kangaroo Zoo Wednesday for a play date. With the lighting so low and the boys  moving constantly I didn’t even bother taking my camera, but I did snap one camera phone shot to send to Cody that the boys no longer have trouble climbing one of the bounce houses.

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The boys had a good time, but I think it is definitely a two parent activity. The boys wanted to all run in different directions which isn’t a problem, but some older (and unsupervised) kids were running wild and pushing smaller kids out of their way. I wanted to keep them together to try to prevent injuries. They spent about 2.5 hours before asking to go home for lunch. 
Next week the boys have their first class at The Little Gym, it’s a good chance for the boys to socialize and learn some basic classroom skills like circle time and following directions from a teacher. If it goes well we’ll enroll for a weekly class, the boys will get to meet some new kids, play, learn some basic gymnastic skills and burn off energy before naptime. Since they don’t understand what gym class means yet, I’m more excited than they are for the class right now.