Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Big accomplishments

No pictures just yet for these big accomplishments...stay tuned for future blogs for those. What are the big accomplishments?

Peyton graduated swimming levels and is now a "batray". After months of lessons and months of trying to get the little guy to focus, he finally did it. He finally reached all the skills he needed to be considered a batray. All the swim teachers sang to him...zippidee doo dah, zippidee day, Peyton has plenty of swimming heading his way, zippidee doo dah, he's a Batray! He was so, so proud! And we are too!

Logan graduated down to 2 wheels on his bike...as in NO MORE TRAINING WHEELS!!! It started out really as a firm statement, (he thinks he is hot sh** on his bike) so we said, off with the wheels. Well, the gentle (and not so gentle) prodding worked! He is off and running on just two wheels on his bike. He is pretty good, especially for having a go at it for the first time. He can manage to ride about one house length before gravity takes over and wins...the bike goes down and so does Logan. Once again, we are so proud of him!

That's us...just two proud parents of two very proud and accomplished boys!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Thinking outside the box

Today started out as any typical Monday, with the hurrying and the scurrying to get out the door on time to get to school in enough time to make it to line up. After dropping off the boys, the rest of the day seemed to flow just like any other Monday, with grocery shopping as a top priority.

After two trips to two different stores to stock our cabinets for the week, it was time to pick up the boys. At pick up they are both so excited and ready to cram three hours of their day into about 8 minutes of drive time...at the same time. This is a usual ritual for us as we head home, we talk about school, where we sat, friends we played with, things we learned, games we played and crafts we made.

On the way home, things panned out a little bit differently. The weather was really nice, so I suggested to Logan that we have a picnic lunch in the backyard at their little picnic table. And the conversation then turns to this...

Logan: Mommy, I have a great idea. How about we have a picnic outside?!?!
Me: That's a great idea. I will make some sandwiches and we can eat outside.
Peyton: Yeah, that's a great idea.
Logan:Oh mommy...I have an even better idea!
Me: You do?
Logan: What about if we have a picnic in our front yard? You could set out the blanket and we can eat outside in the front yard.
Peyton: Yeah! Then we can eat in the front yard too!

So after I made sandwiches, laid out the blanket and set up the umbrella, we headed out front for our picnic lunch. Surely our neighbors think we are looneys...one neighbor did in fact come over and ask what we were doing. I stated the obvious and she said it looked like fun...wonder if she meant that in a nice way or if she was just being facetious...

Our front yard picnic

Close up of the front yard picnic


Despite all the warnings and threats, the Easter bunny did end up making it to our house this year. Some of you may remember that last year the Easter bunny didn't arrive until after church in an effort to follow through with all the warnings. This year, he loaded the boys up with all kinds of goodies and left them with a vast assortment of eggs for egg hunting.

The day started off with much excitement, with Logan getting up first, peeking out the window and waiting and waiting for Peyton to get up. Once Peyton was up, Logan tells him that the Easter bunny DID come. They both scoped it out from the bedroom window and made mental maps of where to go first. So after much prodding to get dressed and hair combed (which is a novel idea around here for these boys!), we head downstairs and check out the goods. The boys were so excited and couldn't wait to dive into it all...after we got back from church and brunch and playing at the park...then we'll egg hunt.

We met up with the Lavallee family and tried to keep four boys 2-5 years old entertained and content at a very busy Easter service. We managed to keep them contained (for the most part) and to my knowledge, the boys didn't offend any church goers this time around. Off to brunch and again, another big accomplishment keeping these boys entertained. After getting our bellies filled we headed to the park and let them run loose.

Finally we returned home and the egg hunting could begin! The boys had a blast and this year Peyton opened every egg as he retrieved, which made it a little bit longer in the egg hunting process. Logan was quite thoughtful and generous and made sure that Peyton didn't miss getting any of the "special" eggs, like Spiderman, Superman, or "army" eggs.
The Easter bunny sure was generous this year!

The baskets

Logan and Peyton in their Easter outfits. My new favorite picture!

Peyton checking out the contents of every single egg...

Logan with the golden egg!

We hope you all had a great Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!!!

Two little bunnies hopped on over to say HAPPY EASTER!
Bunny created courtesy of their preschool.

Easter Egg coloring

So we were BIG slackers this year with egg dying. We didn't get around to egg dying until the day before Easter, although this year's timing couldn't have been better, since well, lots of broken eggs, oh they smell so good.

It started out with a dozen eggs each and finished with each of us making a few eggs. They were really fascinated with the whole process and by the end of egg dying, all the eggs were the same shade of gray. And the only thing differentiating them were the stickers and the stands that they are on. After a long day, the eggs are all done and the boys are ready for Easter bunny!

Ta-daa! The finished eggs
Dying eggs
Peyton egg decorating
Logan so proud of his creations

It's a Good Friday...

So it's Good Friday and the boys have no school, football practice has been cancelled and Adam is off of work early. Adam and I go back and forth, what should we do, should we hang out at home, go to the park, go somewhere, after much input from many, many sources, we are still at a loss. The boys and I decided to go and visit daddy at work, which by the way is almost as good as going to Disneyland for these two boys. From daddy's work, we'll figure out where we're going and what we are going to do. At least that is what we thought we would happen.

We get in the car, drive around aimlessly for a whopping 2 minutes, because with gas at almost $4 a gallon, every mile MUST have a purpose. We decide to take the boys to Griffith Park to ride the ponies and ride the train. I have lived here all my life, for the most part, and have been to Griffith Park a handful of times and this was the very first time (that I can recall) visiting the ponies and riding the train.

The boys thought that this was the absolute COOLEST thing ever and can't wait to come back again soon. So needless to say, we had a great time and thank you to Danielle (and Laura) for the recommendation. The pony ride is by far the best $6 spent yet!

To top it all off, after a full day of fasting for me, our dinner was spent in such good company with my aunt at one of our favorite little dives. Yes it was indeed a Good Friday!

Logan galloping

Peyton's pony going slowly

Waiting for the train to go...WHEEE!!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Growing up

I am not so sure what it is in kids, but there is something in them where they always want to do what the grown-ups are doing. Getting married, playing house, washing the car, going grocery shopping, cooking dinner, etc. And these boys are no exception.

The general rule of thumb is when mommy is on the computer, it means that she is working. For Easter, the boys received workbooks, Kindergarten and preschool. The workbooks also have interactive CDs for use on the computers. Now, out of sheer fear, our boys are really rarely on the computer. For starters, there is the whole coordination thing, using the mouse, not pushing the buttons when you aren't supposed to etc. So to their delight, their workbooks have CDs, which means that they can now work on the computer! Each day they ask, can I do my work on the computer yet? I do have to let them use the computer more, now the trick is to monitor them while using their program, since each advance button also allows for a print page button. Logan was so proud when he printed up 4 pages of ink-sucking pictures...we're hoping the Easter bunny will bring us some ink cartridges!

The boys are so observant and realized that my "job" doesn't only exist in the form of computer work, but also in my domestic duties. Now lately whenever I am in the kitchen, I have not one but two look-ee loos trying to figure out how they too can contribute to dinner. So tonight, they did. They were thrilled! Probably should have capitalized on the photo-ops here, but I was WAY too stressed out with having to do double the work with my limited resources in our dinner making. Peyton prepared our steamed broccoli and Logan made the mashed potatoes. During dinner, they boast proudly to daddy that they made dinner, each claiming their delicious concoctions. And without missing a beat, Peyton looks at me and says, "Mommy, what did you make?"...ummm, how about the rest of dinner????

My guys are definitely growing up too fast...if only I could freeze these days!

The chocolate M&M's

So yesterday truly was a HUGE survival feat for me...definitely pat myself on the back several times. I survived (and enjoyed) my first drop off playdate! We had one of Logan's classmates, Ryan, over and one of Peyton's classmates, Lauren, over. Lucky for me they happen to be siblings.

The playdate was interesting, with the two older boys playing together. Mostly the things that boys do...cars, super heroes, etc. Peyton and Lauren on the other hand...well, that was a little different. She kept suggesting that everything get married. Peyton sweetly hunted out any girly toys that we may have, such as Minnie Mouse, Tinkerbell, etc. (Girl figures in some playsets we have.) But Lauren would say Tinkerbell should marry Minnie Mouse. Well, I had to correct her several times, telling her that they can't get married. And instead of just leaving it at that, she'd ask why. After several attempts of going around the issue, I finally gave up and moved onto a different game.

Two hours into the playdate, it's time to move into snack mode. So we select our snacks and devour them within minutes. Little Lauren is asking for more cookies, while I am trying to divert her attention. I know that her mom is taking their older sister out for a treat, (and I previously cleared it with her) so I bring out the how about some candy diversion. I offer each of the kids 2 M&M's...wouldn't want to spoil them! Lauren picks her 2, Ryan selects his 2, brown M&M's because he likes chocolate M&M's...so what does Logan want? Chocolate M&M's just like Ryan! He takes his chocolate M&M's. Which now leaves us with Peyton picking...he looks in the bowl, sees the bowl (pictured below) and what does he do? FLIPS OUT! There's no more chocolate M&M's!!! I try to explain to him that they are ALL chocolate M&M's, but to no avail, that didn't make a difference. After I was able to calm him down...the diversion was jelly beans. Thank goodness there were no chocolate jelly beans!

And oh yeah...not only did I have 4 kids for 2 and a half hours, shortly after Ryan and Lauren left, I had another 2 kids join us. So for most of the afternoon, I had 4 kids! I think that I did pretty good considering.

Swimming in clothes?

So today marked the completion of safety week at swimming. I had to prep the boys that they would be jumping into the pool with their clothes on, shoes and all. Peyton was quite resistant and didn't want his clothes to get wet. Logan on the other hand couldn't wait. He thought it was the coolest thing to be able to go swimming in clothes. Most of their lesson was done fully clothed, with the last portion done in just bottoms. They had a blast!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Week 2...Another TD

It is starting to become a habit. I am about to have the conversation with Logan that will go something like this "Logan, when you score a touchdown, just toss the ball to the ref and go about your business. No need for endzone celebrations, dances, cell phones, sharpies...etc. That is for the showboaters. When you score, score with class and act like you have been there before."

Logan was able to score another touchdown this past Saturday against the Jets. Nice run, which he was about to be tackled but he was able to cut back and run to the endzone for the teams 1st score of the game. More impressively was his 8 tackles, 6 for a loss of yardage...not that we keep stats or score, but seriously which dad doesn't keep track of his kids stats?

Peyton is still learning the game, he was a decoy again this week. I am thinking that next week we unleash the secret weapon and let "Thunder" get a carry or two. When I ask him if he wants to carry the ball he used to say "No, I just want to be a decoy." Just now I asked him and he said "Uh Huh!" We will try and get a run on video, and post next week!

Happy St. Patty's day! Joie cooked a mean corned beef and cabbage! Thanks babe!!! I love you!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thumbs Out, Thumbs Up!

It was time for us to visit the dentist. Unlike most kids, our kids LOVE the dentist. Click on the link http://www.adventuredental.com/office_tour.htm and you'll get a full tour of the office and you'll see why its so exciting.

Logan couldn't wait to see Dr. Todd to tell him his big, big news since his last dental check up. He gets all excited, runs up to Dr. Todd and says, Can I be up on the board now? Dr. Todd says did you stop sucking your thumbs? Logan says, Of course! So $2, a picture of recognition and a trip to the treasure box make the day all worthwhile.
Cleaning wise, Peyton improved greatly and is now carrying a mouthful of shiny polished pearly whites. Logan on the other hand needs to spend a little more time brushing his teeth a little better, probably letting us brush his teeth a little bit more and he too will be full of shiny pearly whites. Thanks Nancy for the pictures!
It maybe a board of recognition, but it looks more like a board of offenders!

Totally cheesey mug shot!

Dottie "Granny" Heitz

So this post may seem random and well frankly it was. During lunch one day last week, Logan asked me why his Granny had to go to heaven. I was actually quite confused and extremely surprised...I kept thinking, wow...he thinks one of his three grandma's went off to heaven. Clearly this all came out of left field...so I asked him which Granny. And he went on to say the Granny that gave him coins (she gave Logan a silver dollar that will be 100 years old when he turns 18) and had that really great party with the sno-cones and all that food and all of daddy's friends were there. WOW! I quickly figured which Granny he was talking about...so clearly this was a message and reminder for me to keep Granny's memories burning strong. The amazing woman that Granny was, she did not want any of us to remember her in sadness, so she threw herself a HUGE bash visiting with hundreds of friends and families who's lives she has touched to say good-bye. Shortly after this, she did pass on. So Granny...you may not be in the real world, but you're in a better world, and you are still making the headlines!

That's our granny!

You scream, I scream, we all scream for...

ICE CREAM!!! So the weather has been beautiful and its time to start savoring those moments...I took the boys to Rite Aid for the ever so famous Thrifty's ice cream. I know that I am getting old, and more than ever do I feel it, but it is really bad when I start doing the...I remember when I was a kid stories...and Thrifty's ice cream just really takes me that route. I do remember Thrifty's ice cream being only $0.15 a scoop...now it's a whopping $1.19 a scoop! It still tastes just as good and it is still the best value for ice cream around here, especially compared to the Ben and Jerry's $3 a scoop, Baskin Robbins $2.29 a scoop and Cold Stone Creamery's $3.50 a creation. The best part about ice cream in our family is just how good the boys make it look. Yummy! And in case you are wondering...there are no pictures of me eating ice cream, because I didn't get one...

Mmmm! Mmmm! Good stuff!

Peyton debating on his plan of attack...how should I conquer my ice cream?

Safety Week

A long overdue post, but still worth posting and hopefully reading...last week at swimming, the boys had safety week instead of their regular swimming lessons. This is a really valuable lesson as it teaches the kids what to do when helping someone out of the pool, what to do when you fall into the pool until help comes, etc. Unfortunately for me, I didn't read the signs that said, no showers, keep your clothes on. This is unfortunate, because that means we will now get 2 weeks of safety week instead of one. I say unfortunate instead of fortunate, because that means I have to have a bag of sopping wet clothes and shoes instead of just a bag full of wet towels. The blessing in this is that they will get to see what it is like to be in the pool fully clothed and see how hard it is to swim that way.

Some of the things that they learned to was pulling someone in, using the pool ring to save someone, how to put on a life vest, floating in a life vest and how to position yourself when rescuing someone. Here are some pictures of the boys saving each other.
Logan rescuing Peyton

Peyton pulling in Logan

The boys learning to save their swim teacher, Alex.

Peyton helping Logan out with the noodle

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Zoo

Taking advantage of such beautiful weather, we headed to the zoo. The boys had a blast being chauffeured around in their strollers as they were fed snacks, given drinks, kept shaded and made sure that they were able to have optimum animal viewing. That is definitely the life...why do we have to get older? Why does independence get the better of us?

Anyways, the animals were definitely engaged and moving. We got to the zoo just at feeding time. So the bears were up and playing, the jaguar on the prowl, even the komodo dragon was climbing around in his cage. The boys had lots of fun and really enjoyed spending the day with Kara and Grant.

Glenda the baby gorilla and her mommy Rapunzel. It was here that the daddy gorilla, Kelly, got angry with being an animal on exhibit and started throwing his food very angrily at the lookers (which included us!).

This is the baby giraffe in the nursery that is only 28 days old in this picture. She was born at just FIVE feet tall and 150 pounds! Try giving birth to that sucker!

The entrance to Spider City. I can't stand this dang exhibit, but the boys love it. So this is one of the MANY sacrifices that I do for them...besides chauffeuring them around the zoo!

100th Reader

YEAH!!! We finally reached 100 readers...how exciting for our family. Now we aren't Yahoo or Google where you'd get to 100 logger-inners in a milli-second, so 100 readers is a BIG deal for us!! WOO HOO!!!

West Coast Living

So nothing really exciting going on these days...except outstanding weather!!! WOOHOO! All you snow birds, eat your hearts out. Check out my little outdoor weather lady (a gift)...no photo shopping here.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Giants vs. Steelers - Week 1

It was a beautiful day for football. Sunny 75 degrees with a slight breeze over the field at Cheseborough Park in Valencia, CA. Although it was only week 1, the excitement and energy felt like it was a Super Bowl. You could cut the electricity with a knife. From the moment those little 3, 4 and 5 year olds took the field the cameras were going crazy. Every mom needed a picture of her little star in the making as the players warmed up with Coach Adam before taking the field for this epic showdown.

Me, however, I was as nervous as a sixth grader asking that cute girl to dance at little Matthew's Bar Mitzvah. "Are these guys going to line up? Will they run in the right direction? Will there be a meltdown on the field? Will a parent yell at me because their child didn't get to play running back?" and most importantly "Will Logan and Peyton have fun?" So many questions to be answered. Luckily last night after our final tune up practice before the big game, Joie and I strategized about who should play where (behind every good coach is a very supportive wife). I sent my depth chart to Coach Dan and Coach Kirk and while they responded with "Nice job Coach." It was evident they did not review my plan prior to game time.

Right now you are reading this going "enough hype and build-up, lets hear about the game." I am getting to the game but the hype is half the fun. Things did not start off so good. We lost the coin toss and the Steelers started with the ball and on the first play, Willie Parker...I mean, #3 took it to the house for a touchdown (while we don't keep score in this league, it doesn't take much to figure out we were losing 7 - 0). Now we have the ball and we gained a few yards here and there on 1st, 2nd and 3rd down. Faced with a 4th down and a long way to go, I made a decision that will go down as the best coaching move of the game. I know my kids, I know Logan can run like the wind, I told Logan he was going to be Running Back and I made sure he knew which way to run, I told Tanner McKelvey (BTW, Tanner is a true gamer for playing the game despite being heavily Tylenol'd up to keep his fever down) to hand the ball to Logan. As Tanner received the ball from center, he handed to Logan, Logan bounced it to the left side outside of the tackle, turned the corner and saw nothing but daylight, wide open field and no one was going to catch "FLASH". I am not trying to brag or anything but Logan is one fast little dude! I wish I could have seen my smile as Logan pulled a Forrest Gump and kept running way past the End Zone for his first ever Touchdown! I don't think he stopped running till I gave him a big hug to congratulate him for his awesome run.

Now I am sure some of you are wondering about Peyton. I was so concerned about Peyton, he is the youngest on the team and the feeling was the young guys will lose attention early on and not want to play. Let me tell you about Peyton, he played just about every play of the game. While 4 and 5 year olds were sitting out, Peyton was right there, in the trenches, playing with the big kids. Mostly Peyton played lineman (Offense and Defense), and he did have a couple plays at Running Back, although he was just a "Decoy" (he laughs so hard when I call him a decoy, I think he likes the way the word sounds). My thinking is, we already used one secret weapon this game, you think I want the parents getting pissed because the coach's kids are the only ones that can score? Actually a couple other kids scored but nothing as good as Logan's 30 yard dash. Logan had another awesome run the second time he touched the ball, although he ran out of bounds a couple yards before the end zone.
The kids did awesome. They listened, they lined up, they ran around, they snapped the ball and most importantly, they had FUN! No upset parents, no meltdowns on the field. I am looking forward to our week 2 matchup. I hope we can unleash secret weapon #2. The Jets may get a little taste of "Thunder 'n Lightning"!!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Original works of Art

Trying to keep a sick child entertained after the fourth day of indoor confinement is pretty tough. So we are pulling out all the reserves, all the rainy day things and all the things that they never really get to see.

So check these out...they are one of a kind and original works of art from Logan and Peyton. Maybe one day they'll be worth the big bucks...until then, they'll be hanging out with the rest of the art work collection. My opinion may be biased, but they are pretty cool!

Hopefully Logan will be back on track, the doctor didn't seem too concerned, although I am since he's almost finished a WHOLE bottle of Motrin. And perhaps tomorrow we'll be able to make it to the dentist, swimming and football practice. Speaking of football, that should be pretty interesting...8 little boys against 8 little boys, all 3-5 years old, chasing flags, following plays AND passing the football. Um, can you say CHAOS???

Logan's are the two on the left and Peyton's are the two on the right

Another trip, another gift

Well, daddy is gone again...and the boys miss him like crazy and decided that they would make some cookies for him. The neat thing about Adam being in NYC is that they both remember what they saw there last summer and are already asking about going back. Logan is wondering if Adam will see Spiderman in Times Square and if he's going to the giant Toys R Us and has he eaten any hot dogs yet? He asked if Adam is staying in the same hotel room as the one we stayed in. Peyton is wondering if Adam will be riding the giant ferris wheel and which car he'll get to ride, hopefully its not the fire truck, since we wouldn't want him to cry on that one like he did and he wonders if daddy will see the Statue of Lidder-ty.

Logan also asked about Adam's flight, to which Adam replied it was bumpy. And Logan's response, maybe the clouds had some bumps on them or the airplane was running out of gas. Either way, YIKES!

So delicious! Hopefully there will still be some when he gets back...we miss you!

A new favorite TV show

Well, as you all know, our family is a TV family and we like to support daddy's cause by watching programs on any of the Disney networks, including the Disney Channel. They recently started airing a new TV show called Phineas and Ferb, which is about 2 brothers and their wild imagination as their older sister watches them and tries to catch them in any mischevious acts to report back to Mom. Somehow the two boys always end up looking like angels in the end. Here's Logan and Peyton's take on what the show is called.

Listen closely to Peyton's description...

So here's where we've been...

So it's been a long while since we've been able to sit down and blog. No worries, there will be plenty of blogs to make up for lost time.

Well, in honor of Grandma's BIG birthday, we headed to our family favorite for birthday celebrations...Disneyland! We went with our friends Hailey (who lost her 1st tooth that day!), Courtney and Garrett (And their moms Nancy and Laura too!). It was a perfect, perfect day to go. The park wasn't crowded and the weather was outstanding. We left school a little early and headed to California adventure first. Not our normal routine, but we were just going to go with the flow and it turned out to work really well. Our first stop...Brother Bear Challenge Trail. This was totally a new and untapped mecca for us. Our kids had a blast! After running (literally) through a very long and windy rope bridge, they went to find out what spirit they were. At first take, Peyton was a salmon (instinctive and strong-willed) and Logan was an eagle (intelligent and brave). Not too far off from their personalities, but then they went back until they were each of the animal spirits. Finally we are off to ride some rides. Although the video is not really of us, more of the door, and you can see the BIGGEST smiles on Peyton and Logan, you can hear the sheer joy in their laughter...I just loved it!

After many, many treats and rides, including the Gadget Go Coaster, Haunted House, Buzz Lightyear and Star Tours, we decided to call it a night. We all had a great time and well, HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!!!

Just too cute not to share...

Logan, Hailey, Courtney, Garrett and Peyton with Koda

Just listen to that laughter!