Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter and the Aquarium

The kids waiting for the instructions about the egg hunt downstairs. They were very, VERY excited.

Gwen was super overwhelmed/excited.

Lucy found a lot of eggs!

Reid seemed to think his baby doll needed to be in the bucket too. I tried to get a picture of the boys hunting for eggs but they were two whirlwinds of competition and were very difficult to frame up. So just know that they hunted too!

After the egg hunt we finished getting ready for the day and headed off to church. After a quick pancake brunch we made our way to the Aquarium to use another day of membership. It was a gorgeous day in Seattle so even though we were on the water the weather was quite lovely.

The kids really love the tide pools. They think touching all the starfish and sea anemones is one of the best parts.

Lucy in particular could have stayed there touching things forever. Every time I turned around she had her hands in a tank. She even made friends with a worker and got lots of information about the different creatures.

Gwen was a bit tentative about touching stuff but eventually dove right in. She made me nervous that she was going to go straight into the water but she managed to stay dry. Reid didn't have any desire to touch any of the creatures but he sure did like splashing the freezing cold water.

The boys had fun too. And we finished the trip after watching the octopus be fed. They had grown a LOT in the 9 months since we had been there last. All in all it was a very nice Easter. So thankful for time with the whole family!

Saturday, March 30, 2013


So tonight after all the busyness and activity we were getting the kids into bed and Lucy told Eric that she had a funny taste in her mouth.

Eric: What is in your mouth?
Lucy: A light
Eric: WHAT? (He looked at the string of lights in her room and noticed one missing) Did you eat this bulb?
Lucy: Yes

So then he made her spit it out in the sink and rinse her mouth out. She is now eating some bread and crying that she is going to die. (She has a flair for the dramatic) We found most of the pieces though and it seems like she is going to be fine. SIGH. Only Lucy.


We are running a bit behind this year with the Easter egg dyeing. It just didn't seem to make it on the calendar so tonight after a VERY busy day we finally got to it.

I found neon food coloring at the store this year so we gave that a try. It was really good and the colors on the eggs turned out nice and bright.

Reid proceeded to knock over a cup of the food coloring though and made a huge stain on the counter top. SIGH These things do happen with a two year old in the house I suppose.

Could you REALLY be too upset at a sweet little face like this though???

The big kids had a great time with the eggs though and I see many multicolored egg salad sandwiches in our future this week.

A Party for Reid Isaiah

We celebrate Reid today with lunch party with some friends! He wanted a Mickey Mouse party and we chose to BBQ some hot dogs (which he LOVES) to eat. The weather today was GORGEOUS for the end of March and the kids got to play outside a lot. It is so nice when the weather cooperates on a birthday party weekend.

Reid got some super fun new toys and a couple of gift cards to spend. He also had a lot of fun trying to blow out his candle. He kept trying the entire time we were singing happy birthday but didn't actually manage it until after we were done singing. Happy 2nd Birthday Reid! We love you so much!

An Easter Egg Hunt

Eric saw the sign for a big community egg hunt that a local church was putting on this morning and he really wanted to take the kids to it. I stayed home to work on the final parts of Reid's birthday party.

The kids had a lot of fun hunting for eggs and their were fun prizes as well.  Lucy won a gift card to Target.

Reid won a copy of the movie "The Incredibles".

The boys each won a squishy ball that they played with most of the day.

It was a fun daddy adventure that ended with cookies and maybe Reid getting separated from the group and lost for a few minutes on the way back to the van. All is good though. He made it back safe and sound.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Conferences

The boys had half days at school all week due to parent-teacher conferences.Eric and I are always excited to hear how the kids are doing at school. Report cards and watching grades on papers that are sent home are always a part of staying on top of it but the teacher's perspective is always important to me.

Andrew's conference was yesterday. It seems that in 4th grade they start doing student led conferences. I asked him right before the conference if we were going to get bad news about how he was doing. He frowned and looked sheepish and said yes. I looked at him skeptically and asked why. He then tells me that he is going to have to tell us that he is practically perfect. (OH BROTHER) I just laughed at him. He is so funny about telling people how he is doing. Overall his conference was great. His scores are stellar and he is doing well in all subjects. Earlier in the year we had a lot of conversations with his teacher about how often he melted down and cried during class. After a good conversation with Andrew though we discovered that he wasn't eating a snack and it was a long time until lunch. His teacher was happy to report that he has stopped shutting down, is getting better at taking a deep breath and a moment to get control of himself and then trying again. Especially if he doesn't understand something right away. It was a wonderful affirmation that he is doing well in school in all areas. I am excited for him to continue to grow and advance in the next year.

Zane's conference was today and he is doing amazing as well. Zane is an amazing reader and has even moved to a group of readers that is done much more independently. His teacher was thrilled and wowed by the amount of words per minute he could read with 99% accuracy. She said that he often rushes through his morning work so he can move on to the independent reading the students are allowed to do while waiting for all the other kids to finish. Math concepts continue to click for Zane as well. He is almost completely done passing all the addition/subtraction tests that they evaluate kids on in 1st grade. Once he has completed those levels he will move on to multiplication. His teacher fully anticipates that he will be there before the end of the school year. It is always so nice to hear that Zane is doing well in social situations at school too. We heard how he is a kind and considerate boy in class. A natural leader among his peers in a fully positive way. When his teacher asked the class "Who are the leaders in their class?" She said Zane's name was the first one mentioned. He roots for the underdog, wants everyone to be included and is a great listener/direction follower within the classroom. We heard the words patient, on task, focused all referring to how he is in school. We shared with his teacher how nice that was to hear because it isn't the words we would always use about him at home. She was actually shocked to hear it but we are happy to deal with the negative behavior at home and let the school day get the best of Zane. In all it was a great conference and I can't wait to see how he grows!

RIP Betsy Paula

Andrew's fish Betsy has died. She didn't look well for the past few days and this morning when we checked on her it was official. She had died at some point during the night. Andrew was very, very sad and has cried on and off all afternoon. We gave him the option on what to do with her remains and he chose to bury her in the backyard. It was a quiet and private event with just Andrew in attendance. Eric was actually a bit disappointed. I think he had a speech that he wanted to give about her but Andrew was pretty insistent that he be the only one.

After dinner tonight we went and got a new Beta for Andrew. This fish has stripes and somewhat reddish fins. Because of it's resemblance to a tom-cat Andrew has named the fish Tommy Tom W. We are excited and hopeful about the lifespan of Tommy. He seems to be a much more active fish and we are all crossing our fingers that he will have a much longer life. I don't know if Andrew's heart could take it if he lost another fish so soon.

Happy 2nd Birthday Reid Isaiah!

It has been two years of joy with Reid Isaiah in our family. Eric even had the day off to help us celebrate Reid.

His party is tomorrow but we did go celebrate at Red Robin for dinner tonight. Reid is such a fun little guy and I am so excited to see what this year brings with him!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


While I proceeded to act like a lunatic and clean the house this morning (nesting at it's finest), the kiddos played family. Reid has been very interested in playing with a baby doll the past few days. He carries it with him, takes it to bed with him, puts it in his old crib and tells it 'nigh-nigh'. It is very cute. The girls are loving this family playtime too. Today they were all sitting on my bed pretending to be a family. Lucy was the mom, Gwen was the grandma and Reid was the big brother. I really hope this stage lasts awhile. It is unbelievably cute!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Half Days and Fun at the Park

The boys have half days at school this week and I couldn't be more thrilled that the weather was sunny and warm for at least the first day!

We live close to a little park/play structure, so since it was a nice day, and Reid was already awake from his nap, we opted to go and play.

The kids mostly played on the swings. Of course trying to get a good shot of kids playing on the swings while they are busy swinging is easier said than done. Andrew spent a good amount of time swinging high and then jumping off. If it weren't for the fact that he isn't normally a risk taker I might have flipped out. I just have to trust his instincts at this point!

Reid and Gwen got pushed on the baby swings for a long time by the big boys. This belly of mine is not so fond of being up and about these days so I just sat and watched. And took pictures of course.

Add in some climbing and some sliding and it was a great time out in the sunshine! I have hope that maybe it is going to be spring after all.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Toenails by Lucy and Gwen

The girls have been after me to let them paint their nails. Notice they didn't want ME to paint their nails, they wanted to do it themselves. Or at least Lucy did. So today I let them. They went out to the front porch and got to work. Of course there is paint all over their fingers and it isn't going to win any awards for neatness but Lucy and Gwen came in looking as proud as could be over the independent activity. Apparently they painted each others toes. Now to just convince them not to do it without my permission!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Big Boy Bed for Reid

Almost two months ago we bought this sweet little toddler bed for Reid and we have been putting off transitioning him into it until the boys were on spring break or Reid showed interest in sleeping in the bed on his own. We have been talking about the bed and Friday night we asked him if he wanted to sleep in there with the big brothers and he very excitedly said yes! Of course we forgot to tell Zane how to deal with Reid in his room so Friday night was a bust due to Zane's over concern about covers staying on. Reid ended up back in his crib Friday night.

Saturday night we had a better talk with Zane about what he should ignore (everything) and Reid ended up sleeping in his big boy bed all night. He woke up at 5:45 with a nightmare and ended up waking the entire house up but in all I call Reid's first night out of the crib a roaring success. I can barely believe that he is big enough to be in a toddler bed!

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Reid is really starting to talk these days. His language development has been slower than some of my crew but not delayed. He spent a lot of time and energy on gross motor skills when he was little so it makes sense that his language was put on the back burner. Who needs to talk when there is running and jumping to be done??!! Just in the past few weeks he has really started saying names for all his siblings. He doesn't say them perfectly but it is very cute to hear him talking to them.

Here is the sibling cheat sheet:

Andrew = Nee Nee
Zane = Zee
Lucy = Lucy (shockingly he can say her name quite well)
Gwen = Sissy (He doesn't even give her name a shot. Of course I call her Sissy a lot so maybe he really thinks that is her name)
Reid = Baby
Calvin = Doggie

He says Mama and Daddy really well though. We are making progress with lots of other words though and it is fun to hear him add to his vocabulary daily.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reading Machine

So Zane is a reading machine. He is currently plowing through Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers at a speed that is astonishing. I question how many words he is skipping in the process of reading the book but he is so motivated to read it that I almost don't care. I have learned from experience with Zane that if he is motivated to read it and comprehends most of it a few words here and there being skipped don't phase him at all. He is trying to keep up with Andrew I think. Somehow he has learned that the bigger books are much more entertaining. He is still very fond of books with lots of pictures in them but long paragraphs don't seem to phase him the way they used to. We are a quick jump from the really big fun books that Andrew is reading but it is so much fun to see him engrossed in a book.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Crafty Boy

Andrew has been working on a book report for "The Call of the Wild" this week. This book report is a 'bag' book report which requires information about all the characters, info about the book and illustrations on the outside. The inside of the bag is supposed to contain at least 4 artifacts about the book that would be conversation starters.

This is where we usually run into issues. Not because he can't think of ideas but rather that his ideas are very elaborate and complex. And crafty. Always crafty. I asked him what he wanted to do for the artifacts for this report and his first answer was that he wanted to sculpt a caribou and a wolf out of clay. So since we had some inexpensive clay laying around I let him do it. And you know what? Those animals looked just about perfect. He really is quite the little sculpter. The only problem was that they fell apart due to the cheap clay. So we had to improvise and think more about what he wanted to make. Next up was a dog sled out of craft sticks. Except that I couldn't find craft sticks laying around so we had to make do with broken down clothespins and some hot glue.

Turned out pretty good for broken down clothespins! He ended up thinking of 3 other things to include as artifacts but the fact that he is so crafty is amazing to me. He has big ideas. Elaborate ideas that are way beyond him. But he is never happier than when he is crafting. We shall see where this love leads him in the future!


Mr. Reid has learned a new word this week. He has started to say Yes. Which is a nice relief and change from the constant barrage of No, No, No. However he lisps his 'S' so it comes out 'Yeth' instead. Now I know that it is a baby way to say it and I also know that it is something we are going to work on with him (2 kids out of speech therapy for issues with the 's' sound later) but for right now it is just so stinking cute to hear him say. He is so proud of himself too. He just beams these days when he is talking. Making himself understood has never been much of an issue for Reid but it is nice that we are finally getting some actual words these days.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Science Center with Daddy Take 2!

After a fun 3D movie and quick lunch we checked out the dinosaurs. Reid has been very into dinos lately and was excited (and overwhelmed) by how big they were!

Look Gwen!

What's that roaring noise???!

Checking out a Gemini space capsule...

An asteroid is coming! EEEEEKKKKK!!!!!

Zane worked a moon puzzle all by himself.

A quick game of checkers!

Zane held a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach! None of the other kids were brave enough to do it. (and neither was I!) He was very proud of himself.

This was as close as Reid would get. He was curious but freaked out when Eric tried to get him to touch it.

We checked out the butterfly house. Andrew, Lucy and I really enjoyed it. Zane apparently 'forgot' that he wasn't supposed to be touching the butterflies, Reid kept trying to catch, stomp, smash every butterfly he saw and Gwen was just flat out terrified of them flying. They left the exhibit with Eric quite quickly.

Lucy was fascinated by the butterflies and desperately wanted one to land on her hand. She loved watching them fly and could have spent a lot longer in the exhibit.

After touring the butterfly exhibit there was a lady who had specimens and was available to answer questions. My boys kept her quite occupied for about 15 minutes.

I should also mention that we 'got' to watch a boa constrictor eat a rat while we were there. I don't know who was most thrilled by that, Eric or the boys. Once again they peppered the demonstrator lady with questions until she had to leave to do the rest of her job. Oh they have inherited their dad's love of science and nature.

We took a quick walk to Dick's Drive in where we had a yummy snack of hamburgers and the kids got some balloon creations from a very nice gentleman outside the Science Center. Then we set off to find the Freemont Troll. I had never seen the troll before and I have lived here all my life! It was very neat. Although a little freaky if I am completely honest.

The big boys were the only ones to get to see the troll though because Reid and the girls all fell asleep within a few minutes of being in the car. It was a fun family day. Can't wait for our next one!