Sunday, March 25, 2012

In full swing...

We decided to let the boys try baseball and t-ball this year.  This sport is new for us.  Alex played a little bit of baseball when he was younger, but I never did.  I'm not extremely excited about baseball.  There's a lot of dead time; I prefer more action packed sports.  T-ball can be particularly boring, but sometimes pretty entertaining too.  One kid on Jared's team was playing "pitcher".  He was supposed to stay in the pitcher's mound area.  There was even a plate to stand on, and he was planted right on that plate.  The ball was hit towards him and rolled just past him.  He turned around and looked at the ball, while everyone was yelling  "Get the ball!"  He just stood firmly planted on that plate, shaking his head "no", as if he thought he couldn't get off the plate.  He was about to cry when people were yelling at him to pick up the ball.  Pretty funny.  In t-ball, all the kids bat each inning.  With the last batter, all the runners on base run to home plate regardless of the play.  It's so funny to see the pile up at home plate and sometimes the chase as the catcher tries to tag the runners.  They don't stay on the base line.  

T-ball is actually a pretty good sport for Jared.  There are times to be focused, when batting or making a play.  But there's also plenty of down time, just standing around in outfield or goofing off in the dug out.  Perfect for Jared.  In one of the pictures below, you see Jared running with the ball.  He was the 1st baseman.  He got the ball and started to run it to home plate to tag the runner out.  Although he could have outrun the runner, coach made him throw it.  The catcher couldn't catch the ball of course.  I guess they have to learn how to throw and catch, but it was fun to see Jared focused on getting that runner out.  He knew what to do!   

Nathan seems to be a natural at whatever he tries.  I've never seen a kid more focused (and competitive).  He didn't play t-ball, so this is his first experience with baseball (this is coach pitch).  He learns quickly.  He's one of the best players on his team.  He doesn't hit the ball very hard, but he almost always connects and gets on base.  He's fast!  And he's really good at first base.  

It's fun to cheer Nathan and Jared on, but sometimes it's hard to sit through a 1.5 to 1 hr. 45 min game.  If only the season and games weren't so long!  The season goes from mid-February to early June (about 3.5 months - seems really long to me).  Between Nathan and Jared, we have practice or games on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  That's a lot of time at the baseball field.  O & W like running around, for the most part, although the bleachers are a little dangerous to be playing on.  We've had some little mishaps already with those.  They're pretty good "fans" though, considering the time they have to just hang around.  I'm kind-of hoping the boys don't love baseball - maybe this will be our first and last season?  Doubt it, but I can hope.    

the burb

This was yesterday's purchase, a 2005 Chevy Suburban.  

It can seat 9 people and has 80,000 miles.  We like it!  The purchase was pretty easy.  We saw found it on Auto Trader and went to look at it.  A couple hours later, it was ours.  We bought it from a Mercedes Benz dealer.  Wow.  What a place!  The boys loved it - fancy cars everywhere and cookies for the taking!  The boys weren't great.  Everyone saw us tromp in and then heard and saw us as we tried to make our purchase. There wasn't much haggling.  We offered about $1500 less than their internet special.  They came back with about $900 less than their asking price.  We took it, conditional upon Alex getting to test drive a Maserati.  These cars, when bought brand new, can be about $150,000.  It's $4000 just to change the oil on these cars.  Anyway, we didn't buy a Maserati.  But we do have a new "burb".  Now we need to sell our 1995 Chevy Van.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

my most useful baby item is...

...the jogging stroller!  

All of the boys, at about 3 months old, have been introduced to their new ride.  It's fun to see the rotation and see them grow out of it.  I could only find one picture of Nathan in the single jogging stroller - this was his 1st ride in it.  I couldn't find any pictures of Jared and Owen together not snoozing.  I probably have one somewhere, but didn't come across any.  

This is a must-have in my book for baby/kid equipment.  It's not the easiest to maneuver, but it still gets the job done.  If you want to consistently exercise, you need one of these.  If you can't get up early to exercise before your spouse leaves for work or your spouse is out of town, this is great.  I guess a treadmill would be okay too, but I think it's too easy to let the treadmill do most of the work.  AND this counts as quality time outside with your kids!  My boys usually love going for a ride.  The "encouragement" is nice too:  "Mama, run!  Run faster!"  Nathan and Owen are my chatter boxes.  

Nap resistant kids?  No problem.  Just take them for a jog.  When you're done, leave them in the stroller on the back porch OR if it's a little chilly out, wheel them right inside the back door. 

They're so cute when they're snoozing.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Date night

We have a pretty successful baby-sitting co-op once a month.  We get to go out once every 3 months (hey, that's pretty good at this point!  Previously we were going out maybe once a year, paying a babysitter $$...)  There are two other families in our co-op - one with 4 kids and one with 3.  So we end up having 11 kids (age 8 and under) to watch, but there's 4 adults.  We rotate between hosting, helping, and dating.  The host family fixes a simple meal for everyone (besides the daters) and we hang out at their home.  The helpers just simply show up and help watch kids.  And the daters obviously go out, usually from about 4:30-7:00, so as not to interfere with kids' bedtimes.  The hardest rotation is hosting, but it's fun getting to hang out with another couple while watching kids.  It's not such a chore that way.

February was our month to go out.  We decided to play tennis, followed by picnic on the beach (unfortunately it wasn't a sunny day) and ice cream.  We had a really good time.  We hadn't played tennis in a while, and I forgot how fun it is.  We played 7 games and I won (of course!) 4 to 3.  We actually just quit while I was ahead.  :)  

We had to take a picture of our black hands - looks like we worked really hard.    

And us.  The perfect tennis companions.  Neither one of us played tennis in high school or anything, so we're not extremely skilled at tennis. But we're at about the same level, so we make a pretty good match (and Alex LETS me win...)   :)   It was a really fun work-out too - much more fun than jogging or riding a bicycle.  We might have to try taking the boys with us so we can play more often, although that might be a try-not-to-peg-Weston event.  It's nice to get out without the boys sometimes!

new arrangement

It's tough being in a small house, but we've been pretty successful at organizing things.  Last month, we came to our senses and made our baby/guest room much more functional.  We had a full size bed in Weston's room, which made the room mostly unfunctional.  We took out the guest bed and shoved the mattress into the closet.  The closets don't have doors or anything anyway.  They're completely open.  The dresser and contents of the closet sit right in front of the mattress.  It doesn't look very pretty, but it's more functional.  We put up a bed for Owen and moved him out of Nathan & Jared's room.  Owen was just on a mattress on the floor in their room.  He loves his new real bed and has done well with Weston.  Weston likes having a buddy and actually doesn't cry when we put him to bed since Owen is in there with him.  I was skeptical about the new arrangement, but they do sleep through the night and nap sometimes in the same room!  

Another advantage of the real bed is the storage underneath.  I can put some of my things along the wall and then have room for their toys.  It's very convenient to have their toys in containers under the bed and easy to clean up too.  Ideally everything is organized into different buckets, but we can throw everything in the big tubs in a hurry.  I also got a shoe organizer for the door in hopes of helping with the problem of missing shoes.  It seems like we're always looking for shoes when we're trying to head out the door.  I think some of the times when I'm the most frustrated or stressed out is trying to get out the door in time.  Organization has really helped with that (as long as we remember to put the shoes and things where they belong right?).  I have already breathed easily several times knowing the shoes are hanging right behind the door.       

Nathan and Jared like the new arrangement too, because they have more room for their stuff.  Besides the train table, we separated all the big kid and little kid toys into their respective rooms.  Nathan & Jared like being able to have their legos everywhere.  We can mostly shut the door to their room while they're at school.  Owen's dresser is still in their closet and O & W play with the trains on the train table, but other than that, they have their own room and their own toys.  Some day we might be able to paint, decorate, and fix things up to look nice, but for now we just have to go with functional.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Beach camping

The boys had a Friday off in February, so we decided to go camping.  We tested out how prepared we were with the things we had organized from our last camping trip.  It took us about 7 hours to get ready for that trip, and we wanted to streamline the process for future trips.  We just loaded up our big plastic containers, hoping we had everything we needed.  The only thing we had to get ready was the food, so it only took us maybe an hour to be ready to go.  The only thing we forgot was the pack 'n play for Weston, but we figured he wouldn't want to sleep in it anyway.  We tried having Owen & Weston sleep with me on the double air mattress, but the O & W combo didn't work.  So Alex and Owen ended up together on a single air mattress, which left Westie and me on the big air mattress.  I think I was the only one that didn't sleep well.  It was pretty cold and I spent the night trying to make sure Weston was warm.  He kept crawling out from under the sleeping bag and scrunching up against the side of the tent.  His head would end up down between the air mattress and the side of the tent with his legs sticking up on the air mattress.  I kept pulling him back on.  He does the same thing in the crib - scrunching up against the bed.  Must be a security thing for him.  I didn't hear a peep out of anyone all night.  Besides me being cold sleeping, we had a really pleasant camping experience.  The campground was right next to the beach, so in the morning we had a nice place to hang out.  It was pretty relaxing.  We didn't feel like this trip was too stressful.  I guess being organized helps a lot.  Nathan loved the basketball goal in the campground.  He would have played that the whole time if we let him.  They were all a mess after playing on the beach, but they had fun.  (In one of the collages, you'll see "flat Jaden".  Cousin Jaden sent that to us, and we were supposed to take a picture of him somewhere near where we lived).

Sunday, March 4, 2012

NEW perSPECtive

Jared recently failed his kindergarten vision screening, so we took him to the eye doctor to get his eyes checked out.  Jared was really excited to pick out these glasses.  His best friend Connor has glasses, so Jared couldn't wait to get a pair of his own.  Poor guy doesn't realize that glasses aren't really that fun to wear.  He is fascinated with how different things look.  New perspective.  

I figured all our boys will need glasses eventually, but didn't think it would be this early.  I got glasses in 5th grade and Alex got glasses his freshman year of college.  I remember being amazed seeing the individual leaves on the trees.  Things looked SO different.  Anyway, besides these being a little big for his face, Jared looks handsome in them.  I think they make him look smart.  He wanted blue glasses.  

I had some blue glasses as well.  Here's me in 6th grade...  enjoy.

Friday, March 2, 2012

For Michelle & Bailey

I finished Owen's scrapbook (61 pages!).  I thought I'd share one of those.  This was back in June of 2009.  Owen was about 6 months old.  We went to meet Bailey, who was about 7 months old and the daughter of one of my good friends from Oklahoma (friends since junior high and college roommates).  Owen and Bailey were just starting to sit up.  It was so cute to see them interacting with each other.  Owen wasn't so sure about Bailey at first, but they really warmed up to each other.  They got a kick out of grabbing at each other and laughing.  

I couldn't resist adding my own little captions to my scrapbook page.  I'm sure you could come up with some of your own.  Sorry about the pictures of pictures.  I can't scan a 12x12 page.  You can click on the pictures to make them bigger.  

You think they'll get together later??  I think Bailey will be way out of Owen's league.  Too cute for Owen!  At least he got a first date!  Ha ha.