Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Finn, our blue eyed boy


When I first met Finn, he weighed less than 10 pounds, was puffy, all curled up...and the cutest thing I had ever seen. He was the first-born of our best friends, and as I held him and rested his newborn body on my big belly, I thought, "Soon, little Kieran will meet you, too." We didn't know whether Kieran would be a boy or girl, so we weren't sure if they would play "pirates" or "house," but we were excited that we would raise them together. We discovered that even their names were connected: Finn "fair-haired" and Kieran "little dark one."

Since then they've played t-ball together, found treasure at the beach, watched movies, fought over toys, ridden in the wagon, chased each other at outdoor concerts, ridden horses, played guitar, jumped on the sofa, and taken baths which will embarrass them when they're older. We noticed early on that they get along like brothers--not always sweetly--but with the recognition that they've been together from the start.

Yesterday was Finn's birthday, and we were honored to spend it with the big guy at Red Robin (his favorite) and the movies watching Madagascar 2. The funny guy sang his own rendition of "I like to move it, move it" at lunch, and it will forever be "his song" in my mind. (That, and "3 Little Birds"...And when Kieran asked for a bite of his birthday ice cream, Finn dipped right in and gave him one.

Finn, we love you more each day, each year. As Kieran explained to me this morning: "I like to go play baseball with Finn, cause he's on my team. He's my pirate friend, because he loves me." Happy Birthday to our Pirate Friend Finn.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ho Ho Holy Moly!

This Christmas season is speeding by! The boys are full of energy and love the decorations throughout the neighborhood. Today, we finally put up our tree, which was...well, an adventure, we'll say. They helped put a couple of ornaments and garland on the tree, but they preferred to play with the wrapping paper rolls like "lipe savers."

Kieran's Christmas program was Friday, and he got to play Santa! I had a hard time finding a Santa costume in his size, so I made one out of a woman's thermal shirt and the cuffs off some $1 stockings. I was proud of how it turned out, and both boys have gotten use out of it, since Connery wore it Saturday night, too. Here's a video from the Christmas program. Prepare yourself for cuteness.





Friday night, we went to Sandy's company dinner, which was nice. He works with some guys we've known since they were in grad school together, but we never get to catch up with them. Now that we're married and have kids, it's a treat to dress up and have dinner together.

Saturday night was exciting, as we bundled up to ride on the Rotary Club float at the Christmas parade. Connery dressed as Santa, and Kieran dressed as a pirate, which is unusually appropriate since the theme of the float was "Parrots of the Caribbean," Rotary Club's annual fundraiser. We froze but really had fun waving at everyone while another little boy on the float did the hula dance. ;)


Lucky for us, the parade ended downtown, right next to Bandito Burrito, one of our favorite haunts. Always yummy, and more impor-tantly WARM! And apparent- ly, St. Nick loves Bandito, too, because he and Mrs. Claus showed up!! Sandy and I were excited that the boys got to see him...and we didn't have to wait in line at the mall ;) It was a little surreal watching Santa order nachos, though--like running into your elementary school teacher wearing blue jeans at the grocery store. Connery was in awe and neither one of the boys recognized that Mrs. Claus was our dear, dear friend Sabrina, the one who gave Connery his first haircut nearly a year ago!

Then Sandy and I celebrated the season at a very irreverent (but HySTeriCAL!) play "The 8: Reindeer Monologues" which featured three of my former students. At one point in the play, as we watched one of my "babies," Sandy said, "You did that." I can't describe how proud I was to see Robert, Adam and Jeremy on that stage. I'm humbled to take the blame ;) Then we danced to great reggae music at a local Kush gig. My friend Nichelle sings in the band, and we are never disappointed when we hear them play. I laughed when they played "I Shot the Sheriff"...the boys sing that song, too ;)

We've got several Christmas parties and LOTS of wrapping still ahead before the threat of "Are you being good? Or is Santa going to put you on the Naughty list?" is no longer in effect. In the meantime, we'll enjoy the Christmas lights, watch White Christmas a few more times, and try not to let the holiday rush take us over.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Lone Ranger's on speed dial!

Connery walked into the bathroom this morning as I put on my makeup and told me that he needed to use the potty. I got a little excited but didn't want to scare him. He sat on the little plastic seat, and I helped him take off his diaper. Then his pants. Then his socks. Then his shirt. (Who knows why he wanted to be naked?) He got up a minute later, said he was finished, and I thought it must have been a false alarm. Then he sat BACK down...and drum roll please...he peed!

Kieran ran in, we all gave high fives and proceeded to call Daddy, and of course, THE LONE RANGER!!



Now I know this process could take a LONG time, but it's the beginning of the end of diapers, and that is always a wonderful thing!

Here are a couple more "boy moments" from the past couple of weeks.
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We drive into the sun each morning, and again each evening on the way home. So we hear plenty of complaining about the sun being in the boys' eyes. They both yell for us to "make the sun go away." And of course, their sunglasses are never handy on the sunniest days.

But Sandy's come up with the perfect trick for getting the boys just to live with it.

He explained to the boys that the sun gives them "power." So now they just close their eyes and get their power from the sun! Brilliant!!

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Kieran's class made a list of the things they are thankful for and hung them outside the classroom door. It warmed my heart to see Kieran's entry:
I am thankful for my Mommy and my Daddy and Gryphon and my lipe saver. I am not thankful that Connery keeps trying to bite me.

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Kieran told me that he found a parking spot while we drove through the parking lot at the mall. I figured that it was across the parking lot, so I said, Good job, and parked in a nearby spot. Kieran was SO upset! He started crying so hard that I figured something else had happened. He explained through LOTS of tears, "I found a spot for you, and you didn't park in it." I apologized and told him that he would definitely pick the spot the next time. That satisfied him, and when we got out of the car, he walked me to the spot he had chosen...just two spots away. When we walked into the mall, Momma made a comment that it broke his heart, and he said, "You broke my heart, Mommy" and started crying again. It was so innocent that I started crying, too. Now before I pull into a space, I ask, "Is this spot okay?" He always says, "That's a good one, Mommy."

Another day at the mall, he got really upset when I didn't buy him anything at the toy store. In the car, I explained, "Kieran, you don't always get what you want." And--his words of wisdom--"But I want to get what I want." Don't we all, honey, don't we all?
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Connery LOVES to aggravate Kieran, and his latest tactic is saying "Onee ME" when Kieran wants something.
Kieran asks where we're going. I say, "The Mall." He says, "Yay, the Mall!" and Connery says, "Onee ME, Thih-thih."
Kieran asks for juice. I say, "Sure." He says, "Thank you, Mommy." Connery says, "Onee ME juice."
You get the idea. And it KILLS Kieran every time. He starts crying, "Mommy, Connery says I don't get to go to the mall!" Or "Mommy, Connery says you're not my mommy, you're only his mommy." And the entire time I'm telling him not to let it bother him, that Connery only says it to aggravate him, Connery's saying "Onee ME! Onee ME!"
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He has learned all the great nursery rhyme songs.
Ba ba black sheep
Humpty dumpty
But we've noticed that a lot of the tunes are the same, so sometimes he gets the songs mixed up like this:
Patty-cake patty-cake baker's man, no more monkeys jumping on the bed!

Some new "speak"
Connery says a lot of things with an F sound. So cracker becomes facker, breakfast bar becomes veffeh far, treasure becomes fezzer, and fire truck...well, that's a tricky one.

I counted a 9 word sentence the other day--"I want Daddy get me 'racaroni' and cheese, ThihThih."

Oh, and he's sitting beside me now and just lifted his finger to announce, "I got bugger on it! Put back in my nose?" Yuck! And, yes, that's bugger, not booger. Blech.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Random Momma

It's the random things about a person that tell you all about them, so I thought it was fun when my sweet friend BookMamma tagged me to play a little "blog game."

Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading).
3. Write 6 random things about yourself (see below).
4. Tag 3 people at the end of your post and link to them. (why not…)
5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog. (I’ll try)
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

SIX RANDOM THINGS ABOUT "MOI"-

1. I am fascinated by middle names. Names in general, actually. I love to hear how they were chosen and what they mean. And my students freak a little when I "three-name" call them.
2. I love little known bands. My new favorites are the Airborne Toxic Event and The Gaslight Anthem. I found them on accident online.
3. Underwater scenes in movies or tv (heck, even on cartoons) freak me out. I have a completely involuntary response. Makes me jump and turn my head before I even realize it.
4. When I was little, I LOVED the feel of my grandpa's whiskers. He would let me rub his cheek right before he shaved in the morning.
5. My favorite board game is Parcheesi.
6. If you put all my favorite foods together, I'd have chili, a rare steak, steamed broccoli (with just a little crunch left), pasta, smoked salmon, dried mango, and my Granny's biscuits, with a spoonful of peanut butter on the side and creme brulee for dessert.

TAG - you're it! (So, yeah, I know I'm only supposed to tag 3 people, but I'm tagging 5. What are you gonna do about it? Huh? Huh? Yeah, that's what I thought.)
Shep
JennBeth
Amy W
Olivia
Angela

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ticker Feet!

That's Connery's newest phrase, Trick or Treat! Fortunately, the "Dark Vader" and Yoda got lots of treats this year, and Kieran's only "trick" is that he wouldn't wear his mask. I even added a longer piece of elastic so it could hang around his neck and lie on his chest, but he wouldn't do that either. Oh, well, right? They still looked cute.

We started the week by visiting Tate Farms, which was a blast, as usual. This year, Ba went with us, and Baby Ellie and her fan club joined us later (Auntie JennBeth, Joan and John, aka Mimi and Oppa). Kieran loved all the animals, but again we saw that Connery's tough talk stops when it comes to mingling with critters. I didn't think we'd ever pull the boys out of the corn "pool," and I can't blame them--it really does feel good. We all loved the hayride out to the pumpkin patch, and Kieran kept pointing to the pumpkins he was going to pick...and was the FIRST person off the truck! He passed right by people once the truck stopped--I think he would have climbed over them if they weren't already standing up. Connery tried to pick up the biggest pumpkins, of course, and we got some cute pics of the kids sitting among them. It was a lot of excitement and knocked both boys out once we started driving home. Connery took a FOUR hour nap!

The next night, we went Trunk or Treating at Nana and Papa's church, which was so much fun! The boys got a kick out of seeing Papa and Nana dressed up, and I've never seen the boys laugh so hard jumping on the inflatables. It was a little bizarre watching "Yoda" inside them. Meagan was a great host (she's always in charge ;), and Kieran won a cake in the cake walk. By landing on the number 3, of course.

On Halloween day, the boys' school had a Fall Fest, so they got to celebrate with their friends, work on their skills at the ring toss, and load up with spider rings and press-on tattoos. That night, they put on their Star Wars garb and "ticker feet"-ed at Ba's house first...only to discover a pregnant hillbilly bride at the door! Connery didn't know what to think and stared at her for a long time. She looked hysterical! Then we drove home so the big Darth Vader (Daddy-o) could greet the boys at the door. We hit up 5 houses in the neighborhood before the bags got so heavy the boys passed them off on us, so we came home and dumped the candy in a pile on the floor of course. All good candy this year. I think it was the first year ever that we didn't get any old Tootsie Rolls... ;)

The next night, Sandy and I planned to drive to Chattanooga for my friend Jay's wedding. Looking forward to a weekend away, we dropped the boys off at Ba's, started driving... and realized the wedding was at 3 EASTERN time. Somehow it just never occured to us. ugh! We were going to be late, so we decided to stay in town, had a nice lunch at Connor's steakhouse, and went to see a local school's production of Urinetown (one of our favorite shows--and it was absolutely adorable!!) and Jeff and Christine's Halloween party. We brainstormed costume ideas, and Sandy suggested the Graduate and Mrs. Robinson. My gut response was, "Are you saying I'm old??" He quickly recovered and said, "No, I thought you could do some theatre makeup to give yourself some lines." Close one, buddy. Congrats to Steph and Caleb for their Most Original Juno costumes. Steph got to be pregnant on Halloween again ;)

Hard to believe it's November, because the weather's been so pretty. Now we're gearing up for my heavy week of rehearsals before our one-act In the Blood, which is going to be amazing, I think. Then Thanksgiving and Christmas will be right here! Halloween opens the floodgate of holidays. Maybe that's why load up on candy. To get a sugar high to get us through! (See some October pics at http://picasaweb.google.com/amysandy/October08#...but give me a couple of weeks to put the entire month up.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Working out 24/7

Like I've been working out 24/7...that's how I feel most days. I rarely get a moment just to SIT at school (no Solitaire, funny YouTube videos or fun-reading for me, unfortunately), because I've always got students asking me questions, or meetings to go to, or parents to call, or handouts to copy, or emails to answer...I could go on. And if that's not enough, there's always that HUGE pile of files that I need to sort through on my desk. (And it gets larger every day.)

I've often thought that it would be interesting to keep a log of what I am doing at 5 minute intervals throughout a single day. IF I had the time to stop and write it down every 5 minutes. But I don't.

Time flies when you're having fun, and it runs right over you when you're rushing. Rush out to pick up the boys. Rush home to feed their bellies. Rush through my dinner so I can rush to the sink to wash dishes while they eat. Rush upstairs to give them baths. Rush to get Connery's diaper on before he pees in the floor. Rush to hang their clothes up while they play and pick out a bedtime book to read. ...Slow down a little to read a book and sing a song. Okay, maybe two songs. ... Then, rush downstairs so I can get some school stuff done before I crash around midnight. Rush through 6 and a half hours of sleep, so I can rush through a shower, get the boys ready, rush to get them to school, then rush to get myself to school. And we're back to that pile on my desk and students asking me something every minute.

Thank GOD Sandy takes care of the rushing some nights. We usually trade off getting the boys to and from school, as well as laundry, dishes and regular housework, just depending on who's home and how high the piles are. And MommaBa is a Godsend...she keeps the boys at least one night a week when Sandy and I both have something going on. Because we always have something to do, whether we like it or not.

So when the 24/7 gym opened a couple of streets over, do you think I wanted to add THAT to my list of Things To Do? .... Well. Actually. YES. I was AMAZED at myself. I REALLY wanted to join! I haven't worked out in years. I took a Jazzercise class right before Sandy and I got married 8 years ago, and that's it. I might have tried to walk around the neighborhood a few times since then, but never got on a regular schedule. And I've never believed people when they said they feel better after a workout. That just never made sense to me. In my mind, you'll feel better after getting a massage once a week, not getting sweaty on a treadmill.

Yet, somehow, I was truly excited about joining this gym and working out three times a week. Not because I'd get that massage for an hour (which of course does sound pretty nice), but because once I actually made it through the doors of the gym, I simply wouldn't have to RUSH. I could plug in my iPod, hop on the treadmill and just zone out. Nobody asking questions. Nothing to clean. Nothing to write down. No one to call. Just me.

So now that stack of sports bras and spandex shorts that have been waiting in the corner of my closet for 8 years is getting to see daylight again. And I was so excited when Sandy sent me a link for a sports bra. (I'm a simple girl.) This one has a pocket for a key or iPod. (Genius!) So I don't even have to worry about where to put those. And that's what I think the gym does for me. I have to rush around to get there, but once I'm there...no rush, and ah, no worries.

I entered the Gracie Gear Giveaway!

Check out Roni’s Weight Loss Blog for more information.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Paying Attention Tuesday

"And when you realize that anything and everything could be gone by Wednesday, all you can do, I've decided, is to really try to pay attention Tuesday."--Paul Reiser

It's such an important lesson, and I've been trying to slow down lately and do just that. I spend time with the boys, but so often it's while I'm doing dishes, or working on the computer, or watching tv, or doing laundry... I hate to think that at the end of the day I've only spent a half hour playing or talking with them. So here's to turning the tv OFF and noticing the little things like this...

The little boy...
Connery had a doctor's check-up yesterday, and I'm on Fall Break, so we spent the day together. Before his appt. we hung out at Kenny Mango's. While I ordered, he handed me wet coins...and I realized he had taken them from the fountain! As we lounged on the sofa, he talked non-stop about the monkeys hanging from the ceiling and I held his hand. Once he asked, "Doing, Mommy?" "Just sitting here, holding my baby's hand." "K." He then pretended to fall off the sofa repeatedly, telling me "bagguy pooth me off adang" (Bad guys pushed me off again.) A few minutes later, he said, "Hold Baby hand?" and reached for mine. That's when a mother's heart melts...
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For a while, Connery had a series of questions he asked:
Ba? (My answer) At work.
PaGaga? (My answer)Playing golf.
Daddy? (My answer) At work.
Bob? (And the only Bob I know is Bob the Builder...) Bob's building.
Doctor? (Where does he get this stuff??) At the doctor's office.
For a few weeks, he would ask us these questions--always in this order--AT LEAST every fifteen minutes. And by the end of the sequence, I would always laugh, so he reached the point that he would laugh afterwards too. He knows he's funny.
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One day as we pulled up at his school, he didn't want to put his shoes on. I said, "You have to wear your shoes, baby." And he said, "No Tew, Baby." Of course, I laughed, so he said it over and over again, laughing each time. He doesn't know why it's funny, but he knows it is!
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Quiet afternoons are a thing of the past now that both boys can say just about anything they want! Connery repeats everything Kieran says, and when we can't understand him, Kieran can usually translate.
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Connery-speak:
hamango--flamingo
dince--dance
Uh-no--I don't know
Yayo--yellow
reem--Green
focks--Crocs, his favorite shoes
oo--you or your, as in "I wear oo shoes, Mommy!"
Yaya Booboo, no det me!--Nanny nanny boo boo, you can't get me!

And the best!!!
Dah-do-dee--Connery
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The big boy...
Kieran has been so good at school lately. One day only three "friends" in his class got a ribbon in Spanish class because they were listening. And Kieran was one of them. Another day, I walked in and saw that he had about 6 stickers AND a car from the treasure box! His teacher said that he was an example to everyone that day, because he was the ONLY "friend" who put his finger over his mouth and sat on the circle for reading time!
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He notices skin color now, which scares me just a little. Of course, I want the boys to have a respectful appreciation of diversity...but how do I explain that to them?? (Heck, it's hard to explain to some ADULTS!) Well, he's noticed that a couple of classmates, his cousins and his Ba are brown--not sure if he's noticed that Daddy is, too. He's crazy about his cousin Meagan, but I don't think he quite catches on that she's his cousin. He thinks she's his girlfriend half the time. In fact, one day when I said, "your cousin Meagan," he explained, "Meagan is not my cousin. She's not brown. I already have some cousins, and they're brown."
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Did Connery behave? "He was being a little have"
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Mommy, do you know who I'm going to marry today? Meagan.
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Gryphon and Sweets are boyfriend and girlfriend. When one of them is not at home, the other is sad.
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Kieran: Mommy, I have a broken leg. See this red stuff? (Points to scab on his knee) That's where my leg is broken.
Connery: Gryphon broke The-The's leg, Mommy.
Kieran: No, Gryphon didn't break it. I broke 'my-thaylves' leg.
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Kieran-speak
primming--pretending
ablieve--As in "Can you ablieve that??"

And "out of the mouths of babes..."

If only it were that easy.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A month of Sundays...

I haven't posted in "a month of Sundays!" as the Southern saying goes. (For those of you from across the Mason-Dixon, that means that it's been 30 Sundays, or 30 weeks, since my last post.) We've been crazy busy and one or all of us has been out of town almost every weekend. I went to an Indigo Girls concert in Atlanta with some of my best friends and Masi mid-September, and at the end of the month, I flew to Chicago for a theatre conference. (Man, I had really missed that city. It was hard to leave it again at the end of the weekend.)

We all drove up to Tennessee for our Carr family reunion, which is always a major event. Many people dread their reunions, but we look forward to ours every year! It's a three day event with golfing on Friday, lunch, the horseshoe tournament and late-night karaoke at Aunt Bonnie's on Saturday, then breakfast, the big family photo and long goodbyes at Granny's on Sunday. Click here to see the photos and other pics from September. And here for August photos.

And here's a video from K's recent BIG BOY trip with Papa, Nana and M to Lake Winnie up in Chattanooga. It was the first time that Papa and Nana had taken the two oldest grandkids on a special trip just for them, and they had a blast, as you can see. K is not very descriptive about things, so we didn't hear much of the details out of him, but he did volunteer that "Every just kept trying to dump me out. Papa and Nana had to buckle me in so everything couldn't dump me out."

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Ba is back in town!

IndiraBa visited for a week and did what every good Ba is supposed to do. Spoil the boys, sing Indian songs...and teach them to make puri.

She stayed home with the boys for three days, and from what they tell, played outside, took a few walks, watched cartoons and ate m&ms. She claims that both boys are angels until Mommy and Daddy come home. She actually prefers to sleep on the floor, which is right up the boys' alley! The three of them slept together on the floor all week!

Originally, we had planned to drive down to FL to see Kirti, Scott and the kids, but with the threat of Gustav, we decided not to make the trip. We worried that we would only be able to stay for 24 hours before driving back. And we didn't want to get stuck in the evacuation traffic we had always heard horror stories about. It turns out that Gustav took a turn to the west instead, which was good for them, but frustrated us knowing that we could have visited after all. You just never know... We missed them terribly, and I know Indira thought about it a lot. It would have been the first time in over a year that she had all the grandkids together.

Connery learned that chai was not "gocca muck" but only after much convincing and finally a taste...which he didn't care for. And both boys sat with Ba in the kitchen floor and rolled out dough to make puri. It reminded me of being in India when Kieran was just 16 months old, and I was 7 months pregnant with Connery. We sat on the kitchen floor and dipped our puri in chai every morning. After that trip, Indira said that Kieran was 51% Indian. I hope we can make a trip again with Connery, because right now he's 50/50 ;)



Kieran is proud to tell you that "Ba is India, I'm India, Connery's India, Daddy's India, but Mommy's not India." I wish they got to spend more time with IndiraBa so they really could appreciate how special being "India" truly is.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A little quiz for you

called "Which boy is which?" This game was inspired by the many people who ask "Are they twins?" everywhere we go.
And by the moment last week when Sandy looked at a picture on our entertainment center and asked, "Which boy is that?"
And by the mistake I made when a student sent me a picture of a bunch of students and Kieran. But it turned out that it was Connery. And they made fun of me for not knowing the difference. We can't help it we had twins 19 months apart!!

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.6. 7.
8. 9. 10.
Answers are at the bottom of the post...but don't cheat!

1. Kieran 2. Connery 3. Kieran 4. Connery 5. Connery
6. Kieran 7. Connery 8. Kieran 9. Kieran 10. Connery

Friday, September 5, 2008

Celebrating Siblings

In America, we celebrate Father's Day, Mother's Day, Grandparents Day, Boss's Day... but no Brother/Sister Day. That may be why one of my favorite Indian holidays is Raksha Bandan., which is a celebration of brothers and sisters. The tradition is that sisters tie a bracelet--"rakhi"--on their brother's wrist as a blessing, and the brothers give the sisters a gift, usually money. (The sisters win out here ;) Since Kieran and Connery don't have any sisters, and Eleana and Serena are six hours away :( we were excited that sweet Carsyn was willing to step in to tie the rakhi on the boys' wrists. She and her little brother Frankie are in Kieran and Connery's classes, and we've become good friends with their parents. (Olivia and I have decided that we should have been friends long ago.)

The kiddos were all so sweet about it. We met up for dinner at Rosie's, and Carsyn even knew that she was giving the boys a bracelet "like your sister," as she said. And to tie it on, she wrapped the string around and around, I'm sure wondering why it wasn't staying! The boys gave her a hug and gift afterwards, and then they all played in the fountain. That was more fun than anything, I'm sure.

Thank you, Miss Carsyn, for being a good friend and sister for the boys. Of course, you might decide that THREE little brothers is too much of a good thing ;)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

And now the paparazzi won't leave us alone!

A few weeks ago, we got the chance to film a commercial for Huntsville's Mayor Loretta Spencer, who is the mother-in-law of Uncle Mike (our personal voice of the Lone Ranger, for those of you who remember way back when Kieran was potty training). Mike needed some really good looking people for the commercial. And since they weren't available, he said we'd do. Haha. Just kidding. He really just needed a family with young children, and THAT we've got.

So we told the boys we were going shopping at Bridge Street, which is a wonderful outdoor shopping area. Mike said they wanted Connery in a stroller...which he hasn't ridden in for several months, I'm sure. We didn't know how easy that would be to pull off, but we asked him if he wanted to ride in "the spaceship" and he hopped right in. In fact, Kieran kept asking to ride in the spaceship, too!

The camera crew was very friendly and patient with the boys. They explained that we were supposed to stand at "Position 1" and walk past the cameras when the director yelled "Action." Easy enough, right? Well, the only problem was that we had to do it over. And over. And over. And over. And over. At one point, Kieran said sweetly, "Mommy, I'm getting tired of doing this."

The highlight of the day, according to Kieran, was when we took a break, and Loretta bought the boys ice cream. Fortunately, we weren't as close to the cameras in the next shoot, because Connery was COVERED in ice cream!

Our small-screen debut lasts all of 3 seconds, so I can't imagine shooting for a movie. But I guess we should get ready for that, because once the world gets to see our performance, they'll be knocking down our doors ;) Especially when they find out that we work for ice cream.

Here's the final product...
Kieran is walking wildly in it, so I think it must have been one of the later takes when he started losing his mind ;)

Thanks for the opportunity, Mike and Loretta! I mean, Mayor Spencer! We'll remember you in our Oscar speeches.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

SuperKieran (and July photos posted)

(Yep, I finally posted photos from July! Seems like I'm always about a month behind... )

Kieran's theme lately has been superheroes. He's "all superhero, all the time." One day, he was coming downstairs and suddenly I heard Connery falling. I rushed to the stairs to find that he was upright and crying just a little. Kieran told me that as Connery was falling, "I saw him falling and I tried to hold his hand before he was falling. I was trying to be a superhero."

He's either a Jedi with a "lipe-saver" or Batman or Spiderman and once he said he was "fast like the Flash." He's already planning Halloween and wants to be IronMan one minute ("Conn can be The Crebble Hulk") and Jedi or a Storm Trooper the next (Connery says he'll be Obi-Wan). His present on Connery's birthday was a Transformer mask he asked about every day for two weeks at least. And he tells us a lot, "Tell me if you see a bad guy, and I will get him."
But he's still our little boy. One afternoon, Connery was sleeping in his room, and Kieran lay in ours. As I started to walk downstairs, he said, "Mommy, don't leave me here by my-thaylf." I assured him that he wasn't alone, that Connery was in the next room. "But I won't have anyone to talk to. Don't you see the drips coming out of my eyes?"

Needless to say, I brought him downstairs with me.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

V is for Very Smart...

Every Thursday, Kieran brings something to school for Show and Tell, and each week it has to start with a different letter of the alphabet. This week's letter? V.

All week, I wondered what we'd find. I thought of violin, vampire--neither of which we had--which meant we had to search his closet for a vest. Thursday morning, I woke him and reminded him that we had to find something that started with a V.

"Vitamin starts with a V, Mommy."

I was amazed. I'm sure they discussed words at school on Wednesday, but even so, he remembered! And bringing vitamins to Show-and-Tell is perfect for the kid who asks EVERY day, "You know what we never got in a long time? A vitamin..."

But it occurred to me that he couldn't take vitamins to school, just like he wouldn't be able to take medicine. I told Sandy we'd dump the vitamins into a ziploc bag and let him take the empty jar. Problem solved.

"Kieran, you can't take vitamins to school, but we can let you take the empty jar."

"Noooooooooooo!" And he starts crying! I'm really surprised and start to explain to him why he can't take the vitamins themselves, and--Get ready, folks...--he says,

"Empty doesn't start with a V!!!!"

Can you believe that?? He was absolutely right! My 3 year old knew that empty does not start with a V!! And when I explained that he was right, but that he would take the VITAMIN jar, he immediately understood. "OHHHH! Alright, Mommy." Could a mother be more proud?

Well, it turns out, I was about to witness even more evidence that my son is brilliant ;) When we arrived in his class, I saw him write his name for the very first time! Apparently, they practice every day, so when we got there, his teacher--Ms. Johnson, who is WONDERFUL!--asked, "Kieran, come write your name, buddy." And he DID! She had to help him through a couple of letters, and it actually says
Kiera
N


but it's beautiful! Of course, I held my breath while he wrote it, and then I cried. One of his other teachers, Mrs. Kyliavas, who is ALSO amazing, let me have the sheet at the end of the day, so now I can frame it and embarrass him with it when he's older.

To top it off, when Ms. Johnson and I asked him who made him so smart, he revealed the big secret.

Philip.

So thanks, Philip, for being the single reason my son is smart. ;)

You must take vitamins, too.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday, Connery! The big TWO! And he had a party fit for a... cowboy! We invited some of our friends for some hot dogs, chili, cake and horse rides! Yep, soon after the party started, we gathered on the front porch to watch Comanche arrive. The looks on their little faces were priceless, and they kept saying, "A real horse! And a real cowboy!" (MANY, many thanks to the "cowboy" Col. Mike Parsons, one of our ROTC instructors at Butler!)

Then came the moment of truth...the birthday boy's turn to ride Comanche first. And. He. Wouldn't. Nope, wouldn't even touch him. He kept saying, "No wide, Mommy, no wide." Oh, well. Almost all the other kiddos rode him and loved it. (Frankie agreed with Connery and wouldn't get close.) Kieran couldn't wait to get on him, and when I asked what he thought about riding the horse, he said, "I think about being a real cowboy like the cowboy who had the horse, and I want a rope like him, but I want a green rope this time." When I asked Connery about the horse, he said, "Big." Pretty much sums it up, huh?

All the kiddos (except Philip, who got upset right before...)
I've also posted photos to our picasa site and videos to our YouTube account amysandy2000. Here's a video of Kieran riding.


And here's a treat for Aunt Jeannine. Connery's lucky to share his birthday with his "kaki." Wonder if she had a cowboy party, too ;)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Masi and Me


KellyMasi and Kieran share the same initials--KMP--and Masi and Connery share the same birth month. And they're both #2s! I'm sure they would both say that their big brother and sister are the best ever ;)

Masi turns 29 for the fist time today, and we wish we could be with her!! You're my favorite sister, Kelly, and the boys' favorite Masi!

(A little Gujarati lesson for you! In the Indian language, Aunt and Uncle are not enough...
Masi means Mother's sister (Masa is her husband)
-- The boys have KellyMasi
Mama means Mother's brother (Mami is his wife)
-- The boys don't have one.
Foi means Father's sister (Fua is her husband)
-- The boys have KirtiFoi and ScottFua
Kaka means Father's brother (Kaki is his wife)
-- The boys have NiteshKaka and JeannineKaki
However, when you want to show respect to an older person, you call them Uncle or Auntie.)

Again, Happy Birthday to the coolest Masi ever! Kieran says we'll come to your house. He'll help me find it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Funny boys again...and June pictures

We've posted the June pictures to Picasa finally! And I promise July's not far behind. Enjoy them and the newest Boy Stories...

Connery Speak and Story Time:
Diya—dinosaur
Reem--green
Donda--downstairs
Duddy—dirty
Bug bike—bug bite
Wuwwy—Woody
thut—shirt
Ock, Mommy—okay, Mommy
Cabeb—Caleb
Pite-thup—pirate (I think he’s calling a pirate a pirate ship)
Yap—lap
Munnuh--Vitamin
Munnuh--Spiderman (Yes, pronounced EXACTLY like vitamin ;)
MUH-hum-nuh--Superman

Doing, Mommy, doing? That, Mommy, that? Why, Mommy, why? (A lot of questions sound like this.)

He’s asked “Why?” more in the last month than Kieran has probably asked in his entire life.

He likes to shakes his head no when I ask for a kiss. Then he waits for me to pretend to cry. If I don’t, he rubs his eyes and says “Wah-wah” like in The Wheels on the Bus song. When I pretend to cry, he laughs and he and Kieran (even if Kieran has been doing something else entirely) lean in and kiss me. It’s so much fun, he does it over and over. And I get lots of my boy kisses.

He has started singing “Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your bootie.” It's syrupy cute. But the downside is that now he randomly calls Kieran "bootie" which infuriates Kieran...which in turn entertains Connery.

Recently in the car, Connery asked for juice and asked, “Why, Mommy, why?” when I told him we didn’t have any. This repeated several times, and Kieran suddenly asked, “Juice, Mommy?” When I told him the same thing, he said sweetly, “Okay, Mommy.” Then he asked again! I felt like I was in a hamster wheel until Connery asked again and then said, “Ock, Mommy.” ….Kieran was teaching him to accept whatever answer I gave!! Brilliant!

Kieran-Speak and Story Time...
I teached it from you.—I learned it from you.
Kinnical Goddens—Botanical Gardens
Strahl—Straw

"My hands are playing a game. I don’t want it. I don’t either. Don’t give it a-me."

Once, Kieran called a spider a “Short leg baby”… We had no idea why, but he explained. "Yesterday I saw a Long Leg Daddy, and this is a Short Leg Baby.” Get it? Daddy Long Legs? The way kids' minds work is amazing!

"Mommy, am I your best friend?"
"Always."
"But not all the time. Sometimes I get in trouble."
"But you’re still my best friend, even when you’re in trouble, Kieran."
"Okay."

We've recently realized how much he tattles. I really don’t think it’s because he wants the other person to get in trouble, but he doesn’t know how to handle the conflict that’s going on, or he just feels like somebody needs to know the crime that’s being committed. Like it’s just for the record. I always thought he was being helpful, you know, looking out for his little brother and all. But I’m trying to get him to stop and just try to “work it out.”

We’ve had some workers fixing rotted wood on our chimney, and Kieran asked what they were doing. When I told him they were working on our chimney, he asked, “We have a chimney?” and got really quiet for a minute. Then he softly asked, “For the big bad wolf?” I could tell that idea scared him, so I explained that that’s why they were fixing the chimney, so that the Big Bad Wolf couldn’t come down it. He said, “He will say, ‘Little pig, little pig, let me come in.’ and I will say, ‘Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin.” We walked outside to make sure Larry remembered to put the “lock” on the chimney, and he said he’d make sure we could unlock it for Santa Claus. Whew. I’m glad he thought of that!

And the daily question: "You know what we never got in a long time? A vitamin." He always asks the SAME way. Every time. And now Connery answers the question for him. "Munnuh."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sink or swim...

And they swim! Well, they know the basics anyway: hold your breath, paddle and kick. The biggest victory is that they're not afraid of the water. Not that they were afraid before the lessons, but knowing that they really like the water now is something to celebrate!

Connery jumping into the pool


Connery "swimming"


Kieran holding his breath under the water


And the grand finale...
Diving off the diving board COMPLETELY by himself!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bye-Bye "Bye-uh"

Connery has slept without his pacifier for about a week now! Woo-hoo! The first night was a struggle but it had to be done, because Sandy couldn't find a pacifier anywhere. The next few nights were almost by accident, as we just noticed that he fell asleep before he remembered to ask for it. Now when he asks, we tell him he doesn't need it, and he moves on. Our baby is growing up...and I can't help but be a little sad about it.

He's also trying to go potty. Well, he sits on it. And he tells us he needs to go, but always after the fact. It's the beginning of the end of diapers! That, I'm not as sad about.

Here's some new Connery-speak:
Thahwwy.--Sorry. But it's sometimes just Thah, Mommy, Thahwwy.
Muhnnuh--Vitamin
Dout--Scout
Bote it, no!--Let me think about it, no! (A silly thing we all do.)

and my new favorite...
Dang--Again, as in when we scare him and he laughs and says, "Dang, Mommy, Dang!"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fimming!

The boys love "fimming" in their "fim twunks" and RitaBa signed them up for swimming lessons that they started today! Kieran's lesson was at 9:15 this morning...and he woke up in a clingy, whiny mood. ugh. Sure enough, he wanted me and Connery to sit beside him; he wanted me to do the stretches instead of him; he wanted us to get in the pool with him. But when the lifeguard Krista reached out for his hand, and said, "Come on, I'll get in with you," he was all in! He got out one time, but he went back when he realized that another boy was "trying to sit on my 3 spot"--that's when I realized he sat in front of the "3ft." on purpose. He IS 3, after all!

I was impressed by everything the teachers had him do:
hold onto the side and kick
kick while a lifeguard walked through the water with him
arm strokes while a lifeguard held him
"swimming" from one guard to the other (The video is below.)
jumping off the side of the pool into the lifeguard's arms! (Kieran was the first one to do this, and then he stood in line and did it again!)
and the grand finale...jumping off the diving board down to a lifeguard! (Or being lowered down...)

He really enjoyed it and is eager to go back tomorrow.

Connery's lesson was tonight and is set up as an IPAP (Infant something or other) class where a parent is in the water with them. I think it's set up to get the kids comfortable in the water, so we pretty much played like we usually do in the pool. But he wasn't wearing swimmies at all, and he put his face in a little more than he usually does. He tried to blow bubbles, but I don't think he understood what to do. He made the raspberry sound with his lips, but when he got close to the water, he opened his mouth like he was trying to get the water in his mouth. ?? Don't know what he was thinking. But it was cute, of course.

The biggest accomplishment was that he ALMOST floated on his back (while still resting in my arms). It's a real trust exercise, and he wasn't too sure about it. But he didn't cry. After about 30 or 45 seconds, he just said, "Ah Dohn, Mommy, Ah Dohn."

We've got 5 more lessons, and I hope they all go this smoothly. I'll report back.

Here is a video of Kieran's and a picture from Connery's.




More videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51LSY5Rlj2E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrMRZjTJe2g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz9S_dIFO0Y

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I do...

Happy Anniversary, Mr.!
8 years ago today, we promised to stay together forever, come rain or come shine! Or as Johnny so eloquently said in his vows on Two Guys and a Girl..."until one of us is dead." Ah, romance. ;) Thanks for 8 years of devoted work as comedian, chef, accountant, lawn boy, travel agent, computer geek, mechanic, massage therapist, music reviewer, political analyst, counselor, and best of all, my baby daddy. "I'm picking out a thermos for you," Sandy!

Beach Boy Videos

Connery meets the beach


Sword fighting on the pirate cruise


Digging up Pirate Treasure!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

These funny boys, v 3

Another random post with the little things they're doing these days...
When the boys stand in the corner, we have them count to 10 or 20 before they can get out. Connery counts by himself now! Uh, Do, Uh, Bibe, Debn, Ake, Nigh, Deh!" (yeah, lots of numbers missing, but 7, 8, 9 and 10 are always there...because that means he gets out of the corner now!) He even says his ABC's...A, B, C, D, 7, 8, 9, 10!

He pronounces his ending t sounds like "k" so "bite" becomes "bike," "eight" becomes "ake," "light" becomes "like" and "eat" becomes "eak"

We make him apologize to Kieran after he hits him. (Yeah, it happens a lot. *sigh*) And early on, we tried to teach him the sign for "sorry." To make the sign, you make a fist and move it left to right in a circle in front of your chest. It's almost like you're moving it in a circle over your heart, so it's a nice gesture. Well, somehow he got mixed up and he doesn't make the sign over his own chest. Instead, he makes a fist and tries to move it around in front of YOUR chest. Sweet, but it looks like he's trying to hit you again! I had a hard time explaining that to a father after I told Connery to tell his little girl sorry.

Some friends of ours have a Golden Retriever named Scout who visits when his "parents" are out of town. Gryphon LOVES it! He's been over several times since Connery has been born, but somehow when he showed up after Memorial Day, Connery decided he was afraid of him. He didn't like to be in the same room with him and told us "otTAH" when he wants Scout to go outside. We tried explaining that Scout is Gryphon's friend. We tried getting Connery to pet him to see that he won't hurt him. Nothing worked. So, we just kept them on opposite floors of the house and checked every now and then to see if Connery had changed his mind. We'd ask him a bunch of random questions and throw in "Do you like Scout?"... his answer was always no. Poor Scout. But Gryphon and Kieran love him enough to make up for it. He came back around July 4, and Connery was much more used to him. Scout even got a couple of kisses from him this time! I guess he got more lucky on the second date ;) Oh, and right before Scout left, Kieran said that Gryphon would have "sad eyes" when Scout was gone.

We went on a picnic in the front yard--which was maybe the best picnic ever--and Kieran had an ant on his leg. I flicked it off, and he said, "Momma, you're just great."

Kieran's really into Star Wars right now, or "tah huss" as Connery calls it. Before, any long stick was a sword, but now it's a "lipe saver." He wants to watch the movie every day, and unfortunately the only one we have on dvd is #2 Attack of the Clones...not our favorite. Kieran says that he's a Jedi, and I'm Obi Wan Kenobi. He lets Sandy be Yoda, and I'll have to see who he thinks Connery is. R2D2 maybe?

He also loves Super Why from PBS. Four little characters become super heros to help solve problems, and they always look "in a book!" to find "super letters" to fill in missing letters of the answer. Almost like Hangman or Wheel of Fortune. Super Why uses a "super duper computer" which looks a lot like a Blackberry or one of those phones that has a full keyboard, and now Kieran picks up rocks and wallets and calls them his super duper computer. He wants one whenever we go to the store, but I have only found toy cell phones with number pads. Let me know if you run across a toy blackberry! ;)

Connery-speak:
gobba--garbage
He really hits the letter "p" hard, so "Stop, Kieran, stop!" sounds like "Doppa, Thi-Thi, Doppa."
wij-wudduh--refrigerator
banka--blanket
bike-uh-cuh--bicycle (which is what he calls motorcycles, too)
Home, Home Rain!--Home, Home on the Range
Like, Luh, Muh--I like it, I love it, I want some more of it! (You know, the old Tim McGraw song?)
Muh-Bumbee--More "Bumblebee" (a song we sing)
Mow (rhymes with cow)--Meow. That's what he calls the cat. And it's funny that every now and then I'll call it that, too, when I'm talking to him. Today, out of the blue, he said, "Sorry, Mow." And I asked, "What did you do to Mow? I mean, Sweets."

Kieran-speak:
dissa--different
pimmin--pretending
Look at what I can do--It's just funny because it always makes me think of Stuart on Mad TV
max--mask
floop loops--Froot Loops

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Beach Boys

That would be the Walker and Patel boys! We had a blast at Panama City Beach last week. We kept joking with Caleb and Stephenie that it was a lot different than when we went to the beach with them WITHOUT the boys a few years ago! We weren't digging for pirate treasure and constantly counting to make sure we had all four boys back then!

For the second Walker-Patel beach trip, we stayed at a great house just a couple of blocks from the shore and walked to the beach almost every morning. We worked out quite a system: Pile all 4 boys into the bike trailer driven by Caleb. Sandy rode his bike, too. Steph and I brought a beach bag or two and rolled the cooler. I think once, we pulled a couple of boys in the red wagon.

The boys loved the beach and spent most of their time playing in the sand. We had the beach to ourselves most days, because we were on the private part of the beach and went in the morning. We were really surprised when Finn started burying himself and then wanted us to help. We buried him all the way up to his neck!! Then he broke out like a monster ;) Connery sat inside the hole and let us cover him almost completely, too, but Kieran didn’t like the idea for himself. (I wish I had bet on that...I could have made some money.) They also made “chocolate milk” with the sand and water, buried sticks they found around and dug lots of holes.

One day, we noticed a seaweed X on the sand! And you know what that means…treasure! (Great idea, Steph!) The boys didn’t quite catch on immediately; they wanted to bury the X. But we reminded them that pirates mark their treasure with X’s and they started yelling, “Let’s dig up the treasure!” Who knew that pirates used Gladware and liked lollipops, peanuts and Mardi Gras beads?! The boys were convinced that a far off crane was the mast of a pirate ship, so those pirates must have buried the treasure!

The first day at the beach was perfect. The water was clear, and the sky was just overcast enough so the sun wasn’t blaring. It seemed that the second day would be the same, but as Steph and I were swimming around, we noticed JELLYFISH! A couple of kids nearby started catching them and putting them into big buckets, so we got to see them up close! What a great biology lesson, huh? The boys were fascinated, even if we were a little scared about getting stung accidentally.

The next day, the water was full of light green seaweed, if that’s even what you call it. It was pretty disgusting, so we didn’t spend any time in the water that day either.

Thursday was the best beach day of all! The beach was empty again, and the water was so clear that we could see the fish perfectly!! (Kieran told me the fish were “at school” in the water, learning to “jump in the water by them-thay-lves.”) The highlight was when the sea turtle swam along the shoreline! No joke!! A real sea turtle! None of us had ever seen one for real before, so we followed it down the beach for about 50 feet. It was really pretty. Kieran tells everybody it was "Crush" from Finding Nemo.

Every day, we stayed at the beach for a couple of hours, then piled back onto the bikes to ride back home. At the beach house we stripped the boys down and showered them on the back patio, toweled them off and put them on the stools on the kitchen island for “naked lunch.” It became a daily occurrence and was always cute to see the boys sit completely naked, with no shame. Then upstairs for baths and naps.

At home, the boys spent a lot of time chasing each other, playing with toys, fighting over the toys, watching cartoons, saying “potty words” and going to time out for saying them. (Kieran's words of choice were "cootie" and "pootie" and Finn preferred "poopie butt." Ah, three year olds.) Laura Beth and her boyfriend Tyler were great at wrestling around with them to wear them out before bedtime and draw on the MagnaDoodles.

Laura Beth and Tyler were "on duty" most evenings, when we parents got some date nights! Monday night, we double dated at Reggae J's, but we must be getting older, because we drove around he neighborhood just to give LB and T time to get the boys in bed. The next night, Sandy and I took a walk along the beach and went to listen to some live music at Calypso. Caleb and Steph ate at the Bier Garden and stayed out late...11 o'clock, I think!

We met some pirates at the Treasure Ship restaurant on Wednesday, where the food was just okay. Well, actually, Amy’s shrimp wasn’t even done. But the pirate was funny and made the boys some balloon parrots, dogs and, of course, Kieran wanted a horse. Then we walked around on the dock, and I didn’t think we could get Eli to leave!

The next day's pirate adventure was the best ever!! We booked a pirate cruise, captained by Fearless Phil, with pirates Summer and Billy Bones! [The boys wore their airbrushed Pirate Pal shirts, so they fit right in.] During our "two hour tour" the kids had a water battle with another boat, swabbed the deck, got their faces painted, got into sword fights, got tattooed (Connery did anyway, and the other boys got theirs the next day), and watched everyone else do the limbo and chicken dance (I guess our boys are too cool for that), watched dolphins (!) and helped pull a treasure chest up out of the water! I want the ship's soundtrack now--Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley ("Three Little Birds"--Finn's song!), even "Three is the Magic Number" when the kids got to pick three things from the treasure chest. And nobody got sea sick! Yay! (Steph and I were a little worried about that. But I only had to watch the horizon once or twice.) That night we had dinner at HammerHead Fred's under the pirate flag, of course.

Friday was our last day, sadly. We walked to the beach one last time and played in the water--clear of seaweed and jellyfish this time. Sandy and Amy took turns floating in a raft. Sandy capsized at least once, and Amy came close! Eli fell asleep on a walk with Caleb, which was so sweet...and VERY Eli. He's such a cuddler. Then we found a crab! A dead one, but that may have been better anyway, because the boys got to see it up close and touch it. Kieran says it felt like a "tree." Finn wanted to bury it, so we had a very unceremonial funeral. Cover it in sand and run away to play in a huge hole that Laura Beth and Tyler dug! All four boys fit inside it! And while the boys played inside, LB and T dug another hole that was so deep, Connery and Eli stood in it, and only their heads were above ground! The pirates left us one last treasure chest with more lollipops and some skull and crossbone bracelets. We heard thunder and saw some far off lightning, so we packed up to go back to the beach house for our outside shower, naked lunch, bath, naptime routine.

After naps, we went to see Wall-E! It was very cute...at least the first 30-45 minutes of it was. I didn't get to see the rest, because Connery got too restless. So he and I wandered the hallway, looked at all the movie posters several times and signed the animals we saw on them. When the rest of the gang came out after the movie, we played in the arcade for a while, then walked along the strip, playing in the grass and trying to find something to eat. We tried for Red Brick Pizza, but the line was WAY too long, so we sat outside at the Bier Garden, a great German restaurant which had a polka band--Polka-Haunt-Us! The band was inside, which worked well for us, because they were LOUD! Finn and Connery and I polka'd around, and the adults got a kick out of the German version of the Devil Went Down to Georgia--he Devil battles it out with on the accordion ;) The boys were WILD that night. Throughout the week, we enjoyed moments where they all behaved, but much of the time, it was more like three behaving and one getting in trouble. For our "Last Supper" those odds were reversed! We laughed about it (to keep from screaming, I guess) and said that if all nights had been like that, we wouldn't have survived. Steph and I had to take three of the boys out to the front for some bratwurst samples, ring-around-the-rosie and flower picking (thankfully, security never saw). We survived dinner, and Laura Beth and Tyler came by to get take the Walker boys on a walk (hehe). We met up with them and the boys played in the sand until the moment we had avoided all week...sand in the eye. It didn't take long to get it out, and we headed back to the beach house to get all our stuff packed up and the boys in bed.

The next morning, we cleaned the house and squeezed in a few minutes of one-on-one time with each boy. Long goodbyes, high fives, hugs and kisses and we were gone. We weren't even out of the neighborhood before Kieran said he wanted to go back to the beach house.

Instead of heading home, we drove a couple of hours to see "the cousins"! We hadn't seen Ryan, Eleana, Serena or Kirti and Scott in over a year!! Far too long! And the kids have grown fast in that time. Ryan is taller than all of us, and Serena is taller than Eleana now! We ate at their favorite pizza place (yummy!), played Guitar Hero, picked blueberries (Connery's new favorite) and of course, kicked the soccer ball around. Eleana shared some soccer skills with Kieran while Connery tried to keep away from their dog Moody. Then we made homemade salsa and grilled out while the kids played with lots of blocks and little toys. Ryan's girlfriend Kaitlyn came over (such a sweet girl) and the "kids" picnicked in the living room. After a trip for ice cream (more got on Connery's clothes than in his mouth) and a visit to the video game store, we were ready to get in our pajamas. The next morning, Scott made lots of different kinds of pancakes--plain, chocolate chip, banana and blueberry! I had to fight back tears saying goodbye to everyone, but we plan to go back for Labor Day to have a birthday party for Kirti, and go to Ryan's football game and Eleana and Serena's soccer games. We have never seen the kids play, so I'm excited about it.

On the way home, it rained off and on, and Sandy taught Kieran "Rain, rain, go away, come and play another day"...which worked!! I wish I had video taped it, because right after Kieran sang it a few times, it almost miraculously stopped raining. A little bizarre...but now Kieran thinks he has the power to stop it from raining. During one rainstorm, though, a nearby car splashed a huge flood of water on us, and pulled our front bumper OFF!! (It had been damaged in an earlier "incident" this year, but we thought we had fixed it.) We noticed that the engine seemed loud, but when Sandy pulled over, he saw that the bumper was dragging the ground. So--in the rain, bless his heart--he pulled it off and put it on top of all our stuff in the back of the van. We had to stop a few more times to tie up various things that dragged without the bumper in place, and we drove slower just in case. Finally we made it home to unpack...

and try to get the sand out of everything!

Still working on that ;)

I've posted pictures to the Picasa site, but they don't have captions yet. If you check it in a couple of days, it should be complete. http://picasaweb.google.com/amysandy/Panamacitybeach08

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

May photos posted to our Picasa site



A little late, of course. It's July already! But I've been so busy...
Oops, the boys are calling. Gotta go sit and rock on the front porch. ;) Go to http://picasaweb.google.com/amysandy/May08 to see the newest pictures. (Fair warning--we have a lot! The month was pretty busy with Mother's Day, the canoeing/camping trip, Kieran's first t-ball game, a visit to Early Works...plus all the candids around the house.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Father's Day!!

to Daddy, Papa, PaGaga, and PaPaw! We had a busy day hopping around to see all our "Pa's," but we're thankful that they all live in town. Sandy and I got to sleep in on Father's Day, because the boys stayed the night over at Ba and PaGaga's. We picked up the boys and spent a little time with PaGaga before he went golfing, his favorite thing to do on Father's Day or any day! Then we ran around Dick's Sporting Goods helping Daddy pick out a new golf bag. Then off to Papa's for hamburgers and some "Slip n Slidin'" with the cousins. Connery played in the baby pool most of the time, but Kieran, Meagan and Briana went back and forth to the Slip n Slide a lot. Logan and Jeffrey played badminton with Chris and Jack, while the rest of us rested on the porch and called out to Kieran to pull his shorts up. Poor guy, he has no curves. At one point, Nana chased the kids through the yard with the hose, and Kieran's butt was just a shining! ;) (Some good country talking for you there.)

The boys gave Daddy and Papa a toy tent with a man and boy figurine. Kieran gave Sandy his the day before Father's Day, because he couldn't wait. And as Papa opened his, Kieran couldn't wait to tell him it was "for camping." We had so much fun camping over Memorial Day, and I can't wait for the boys to go with Papa, the King of Campers! Sandy's going to buy a pair of sandals with his Father's Day money, and we'll see what Papa gets.

The next night, as Sandy put the boys to bed, he told them, "Let me know if you ever need anything. And I'll help you. But sometimes I won't, because sometimes you need to do it by yourself."
Kieran said, "Yeah, because you're my Daddy."
Sandy said, "That's right, and that's what my dad did for me. Sometimes he helped me and sometimes he didn't. But I always told him when I needed something."
Kieran said, "When I grow up, I'm going to be a Daddy. When I'm THIS big."

Those days will be here sooner than we know. In the meantime, Sandy's doing an amazing job teaching him how to be a Daddy. Thank you.

An Untitled Play

A short play by Mommy, inspired by Kieran
A very true story

Kieran: (walking into Mommy's bathroom) Connery keeps knocking down my tower. So I just throwed it to him.
Mommy: You threw it AT him?
Kieran: Yeah. Because he won't not keep knocking down my tower.
Mommy: Kieran, that's not how we treat our brother. (Hears a muffled cry.)
Connery: (crying offstage, muffled) Mommy!! Mommy!!
Mommy: Wait. Is that Connery crying? Is your bedroom door closed?
Kieran: Yeah. But I didn't close it on his fingers.
Mommy:(Hurrying to the bedroom) But you don't close your brother in your room. He can't get out.(Opens the door to Connery, covered in tears)
Connery: (loudly now) Mommy! Mommy!
Kieran: Gryphon, can you kiss Connery on his boo-boo?
Mommy: Where is his boo-boo? (Connery points to his head)
Kieran: On his head, where I hit him with the blocks.

Fade to black


So leave a comment with your suggestion for a title and ending. This is a sort of Choose Your Own Adventure Play. What do you do? Stand him in the corner? Explain what he did wrong, make him apologize and let it go? Let Connery hit HIM in the head with the block? (Just kidding about that last one, though we may reach that point one day...)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Need a laugh?

Clearly, K & C have plenty to go around!!



Enjoy!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Siskel & Ebert meet Jurassic Park

No, we didn't take the boys to see Jurassic Park... (Geez, that movie even scares ME!) But we do have a new tradition as of last week! One of the local movie theatres plays free kid movies a couple of times a week during the summer, and this week it was Everyone's Hero...one of Kieran's favorites. (Thanks for loaning it, Finn!) I've been excited about taking him to see it, because he's never been to the movies before! I couldn't wait to see his reaction to the big screen, the surround sound, the popcorn! haha.

They loved all those things. Well, at first, Kieran put his hands over his ears and said it was too loud (which it was) but they turned the volume down soon afterwards. Connery loved just sitting in the folding seat by himself. He got folded up in it a couple of times until I figured out a way to put my foot on it and hold it open.

There was just one problem. You see, it turns out that this free movie gets filled up FAST by day cares, so they had NO seats left for us. And I had already made the mistake of telling Kieran that we were going to see Everyone's Hero. They opened another theatre and showed An Arctic Tale, which was cute, but Kieran kept reminding me that it wasn't Everyone's Hero. Even after the movie was over and we were getting into the van. He said, "But I thought we were going to watch Everyone's Hero." Somehow he wasn't buying my explanation. Maybe Surf's Up next week will make up for it. [Funny story: The boys got a little restless during the movie and I had struggled to get them to stay in their seats. Kieran needed to use the potty, so on our way back, we had a little meeting in the hallway. I said, "Boys, do you want to go back in to watch the movie?" They both said, "Yes!" "Then you have to be good and listen to Mommy, okay?" "Yes, ma'am." "And you have to SIT. DOWN." Connery sat down right there in the hallway!]

After the movie, we went for a picnic lunch at the Botanical Gardens. I always make sure to bring along sunscreen, extra juice boxes and their swim trunks, because the BG has wonderful wading pools and fountains the kids can play in. And once a week, they have a make-and-take craft for the kids. So this week, the boys planted their own begonias and picked out miniature dinosaurs to live in them! (It's all part of the fabulous Dinosaur Uproar at the BG.) The boys were so cute pouring potting soil into the pots, digging a hole, "massaging" the squared off roots...and not at all letting the dinosaurs live in their new "habitats." Are you kidding?? They wanted to play with those things! Let's see, the dinosaurs swam with them, jumped off rocks, hid in trees, jumped on the brother's heads, and even fell asleep with them in the van.

A walk through the butterfly house cooled us off. Kieran remembered the turtles from last year. Surprisingly, Connery didn't want to touch one. He's usually the daring kid, but everybody's got limits, right? And a caterpillar somehow made its way onto my toe, which made the boys giggle. (And me, too. Caterpillars are a little ticklish.)