Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sweet Spring

Bring on the 70 degree weather!!  Today was one of those days where it just didn't make sense to spend it inside.  It was quite an adventurous kind of day to say the least!

This morning I took the kids to the YMCA while I attended a silly training class.  They had a nutrition demo going on so the boys got to dress up in hats and aprons and make granola.

Next up, off to "ride the choo choo" near Daddy's work!  The W Line on the Denver light rail system opened up this weekend and today was the grand opening so they offered free rides.  Plus there were "parties" at each stop.  The stop closet to us is at the Federal Center which is right next to St. Anthony's Hospital where John works.  There was a big health and safety fair going on in addition to the crazy rail line stuff.  So like the adventurous mom that I am, I decided to give it a go.  We showed up without a stroller because I didn't want to lug it on the light rail.  The kids spotted the bounce houses first and it was all over after that!  No other booths could be visited until we hit up the bounce house slides.  We did manage to make it over to the fire fighters booth after so the kids could get their fire hats and wear REAL fireman jackets.  Too cool.

They could not handle the suspense of riding the choo choo so we headed over to the depot.  It only took about 5 min to wait for the next ride and load up.  It was PACKED!  We sat next to a gentleman who had the window seat and both kids sat on each of my knees as we rode.  They thought it was pretty neat and we even had time to enjoy a snack while we rode.  Then we hit the end of the line, Golden.  My plan was to stay on the train and ride it back right?  They made us ALL get off the train and then directed us to a line that was 2 hours long to board to go back.  CRAZY!  So, no stroller, no lunch, no drinks, no cash...  hmm....  I ended up following a group of people who were headed to a different depot.  They were going to walk a few miles to get there.  So I stuck Ethan on my shoulders and grabbed Aaron's hand tight.  I was in flats.  Pretty flats that were not meant to walk in very far.  After about 15 minutes I realized this was a mistake.  The sidewalk had ended and now we were all walking on the side of 6th.  Yeah, the HIGHWAY.  Matt to the rescue!!!!!!!!  Uncle Matt came and picked us up and took us back to our car.  Whew!  Despite my small scare, the kids were none the wiser and thought the whole thing was fun.  The timing was perfect and we ended up eating lunch with John at the hospital.  Bonus!

What's up with these thumb suckers?  One of them is just being goofy...

After naps we decided a bike ride was in order.  These boys are getting so big!!!  Like really big - and heavy!  It's getting harder to tow them both.  One sits in the seat behind me and the other in the bike trailer.  Snacks, drink, and blankies packed we were off.  Our destination?  The neighborhood school playground.  This is where the fun REALLY starts!  Aaron found these parallel bars that I, for the life of me, could not figure out.  But Aaron found many purposes for it.  And he showed bubs too.  I got some great pics but just watch the video.  Ethan is determined to learn everything he can from Aaron.  He's not a quitter!  And he has almost zero fear.  SCARY!

Here's the video!

After tiring of climbing, scratch that, after AARON got tired of climbing we switched gears and busted out our kite.  A few weeks ago the kids and I went to a kite making class at the Y.  We built a neat little kite and have not really taken it out much.  Today the wind was perfect.  Both boys flew the kite and not just a little - they let that string out and FLEW THE KITE!  It was awesome.

I would do a do over of this day only if it could be exactly the same.  Such a great day.  The kids played in the backyard when we got home while I made dinner and cleaned up a little.  I love our dirty, adventurous, little boys.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Good Little Teacher

Aaron sure has been helping Ethan learn a ton of things recently.  Good things and bad things alike!  I LOVE that Ethan looks up to Aaron so much.  It is the most adorable thing to witness.  My favorite brotherly helper moments are just before dinner when Aaron helps Ethan learn to pray for our food.  I hope I NEVER lose this audio file.  It is so sweet.  I had to put it over a picture because I wasn't sure how to just add the audio file.  It's not a video - just a simple sweet prayer.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pretend Play

There is almost nothing as cute as watching our boys "pretend" play.  Between "going to work" and "cooking" they keep busy inside the house.  They also like to make dirt pizzas in the back yard.  And then there is the non pretend play stuff... hide and seek, "Get me bubs!" as they chase each other, and doing flips on and off whatever they can climb on.  They are such great little buddies.  It makes me happy that they are so close in age.

You can't see it in this picture but the bench on the left has a little shelf under it.  Ethan uses that as his "oven" making all sorts of stuff like pizza and muffins.  He even created special "peanut butter and jelly" muffins.  Such an imagination.  I love it!
 Oh how they love to climb!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Proud Mommy

Both of our little boys totally blew me away yesterday with their accomplishments and the fact they are learning to be more independent.  

First off, lets talk potty training!  I've been dragging my feet on this one.  Why?  I don't know.  Ethan is ready.  He's been ready for weeks now.  I guess I would rather change a diaper at this point than constantly put my efforts towards teaching him to use the potty.  Enter the "light bulb" moment.  Why should I teach him when I can have his older brother teach him?!

I know what you're thinking.  Aaron is 3.  How can he teach Ethan to be potty trained?  Well I came up with this brilliant plan to make a sticker chart for BOTH the boys.  One for Ethan for every time he does something on the potty - even a little.  He gets a 1 sticker for number 1 and 2 stickers for number 2... hehehe.  Every third square is a prize.  Thanks to the grandparents on both sides and the Easter bunny, we're set on the candy bucket for a while! : )

The other chart is "Aaron's Big Brother Helper Chart."  He gets the same amount of stickers every time he helps Ethan.  This could mean he reminds him, helps him get his pants down, shows him how to pull them up, or even just cheering him on while he does his business.  Ethan loves the cheer-leading/help, and Aaron loves to be the helper.  And they BOTH get prizes.  I love it when I hear Aaron say, "Ok Eason (he can't say "th" yet), when you need to go potty you just tell me and I'll help you, OK?"  or "Ethan, you need to go potty yet?  Remember the next time you go you get a prize."  Today Aaron helped him while I was cooking dinner.  They had it all taken care of and ready for a sticker!  And I did hear him go so I know they were not just plotting for a sticker.

On his first day, Ethan had zero accidents after I put him in his first pull up.  Now this was a few hours after he had woken up so he had already done some business in a diaper but from then on out, he wore the same pull up until bed!!!  He had a little bit of beginners luck I think because today was not as great. He did use the potty but we went through 3 pull ups - all from number 2 accidents.  Still, I'd say he is a champ!  Right on target.  Looking forward to not having diapers around.  Plus, we can start taking him to Kids Night Out at the YMCA once he's potty trained!  It's 5 hours of fun for the kids and a date night for mommy and daddy!

On to Aaron.  The same day I started Ethan on his potty training regime, Aaron came to me after nap time.  He said, "Mommy, come here.  I have a surprise for you.  It's in my room."  Not sure what to expect I followed him down the hall.  He was giddy and seemed VERY proud of himself.  I wondered what it could possibly be.  Marker on the wall?  A design on his bed made out of diaper cream?  Maybe a display of "artwork" created with baby powder and diaper wipes?  None of the above.  I walked in the room and found this:

"I cleaned my room for you mom!"  Speechless.  Unprompted, unasked, he picked up his room and couldn't wait to show me.  What a fantastic surprise!  I'm not sure he really realized the weight of what he had done though.  Now I KNOW he is capable of keeping a clean room!  Or at least picking it up when it gets out of control. : )  Seriously though, I am one proud mommy.  He earned himself a piece of candy.  Actually I probably would have given him anything he wanted at that point!

And on a spiritual note - because God loves to teach me things using my kiddos - What have I done recently to try to make my heavenly father smile?  Aaron knew that I would be happy and proud of him if he cleaned up his room without me asking him.  He did it joyfully and couldn't wait for me to see it.  I bet God's heart would burst with joy, just as mine did, if I did something for Him with as much joy as Aaron did for me.  And just as I wanted to bless Aaron to show him my love, so too does God want to bless us in return for our obedience and adoration.  

Saturday was one of those days that I was happy to simply be a mommy.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Happy Easter!

It was pretty weird being away from "home" this Easter. We sure missed our family and friends back in Kansas City. Luckily we were not alone though. Matt and Jacquelyn came over and we had a very lovely dinner/Easter feast!

It was an early start to our day as church was held in a different location to accommodate all the extra people that came on this special Sunday.  The service was fantastic and John and I were both moved by both the message and the number of people who committed their lives to Christ that morning.

While we were at church the Easter Bunny visited our house!  The kids were so excited to open their baskets when we got home.  It turns out that silly bunny has connections and brought us gifts from Nanny and Papa, Aunt Chelsee and Uncle Jay, and Grandma and Granddad!  Boy we are SPOILED!  Thank you everyone for the wonderful Easter gifts.  I'm sad we could not have opened them in person.   We love you all!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Hunt is On

For eggs!  We did 3 different egg hunts this year.  The first one was at one of the YMCA's that I work at.  The boys know it as "the bounce house Y" because it has a room with a bounce house in it that they get to play in when I teach there.  The hunt was fun and I knew a few people there but John was not able to come since he was working.  The kids still had a good time though Aaron was majorly bummed that all he got was chocolate.  What???!!!  Yeah, my child is a fruit loving, chewy, sugary type.  No worries, daddy and I ate all those M&M's for him!  And Ethan could care less what kind of candy it was.

 He must be enjoying a Starburst.  I think he got 2 of them.  Ethan is showing me his loot!

Next up, Lakewood Rec Center.  Another place I teach at.  This time was a bit overwhelming.  We stood in line FOREVER to get in, then it was super crowded as they waited in line again to play games and finally we went on the hunt.  It was for ages 0-5 and they were instructed to collect 10 eggs and then wait for everyone to get their 10.  Yeah right!  So Ethan did OK, he collected about 7 eggs before they were all gone.  He thought it was fun and I loved watching him waddle along yelling, "I got one!"  Aaron, on the other hand, has inherited a little crowd anxiety from his mother. He collected 2 eggs and then FREAKED out!  There were about 100 kids all running onto the field at the same time.  He sat on the ground with his hands over his head and cried while other kids ran all around him.  He later told us he DID NOT want to ever go to that egg hunt again.  Poor kiddo.


 Feeling bad that poor Aaron didn't get a good egg hunt experience, we enlisted Uncle Matt and Aunt Jacquelyn to help set up our own egg hunt in the back yard.  The kids had a great time hunting them!

The Easter bunny sure was good to the boys this year.  He even brought gifts from Kansas City!  I'll be posting an Easter Day post soon!