Friday, May 17, 2013

Coming home from the library

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Horses, Golf, Underwear, Swimming, and Packing Peanuts

Busy days.  Here's a little of what's been happening.

This is a horse town that Tess created called "Haysville."  The whole town is also a restaurant, so the horses can eat wherever they go.  Horse heaven.

This is a map that Tess put by our front door, in case anyone needs to find their way around our house.

In keeping with Drew's recent golfing obsession, he loves this new golf store that recently opened.  We were lured inside by the enormous golf ball that sits on top of the store, which Drew can identify from anywhere inside a 5-mile radius of the store.  Drew heaven.  But Tess and Ry like it too.

They have little, tiny golf club sets, but he couldn't be convinced to put down his own cheapie "geen" club, which he brought to the store.  He would sleep with that thing if I let him.

Drew making buildings out of blocks. 

Drew using a red pepper strip as a "golf club" to putt a bean off his dinner tray.
The red pepper has a curve at the end that makes it a convenient club.
 Drew really likes golf.
Red peppers and beans--not so much.

We've been introducing Drew to the potty.  He's been doing well and loves his "truck pants" and potty candy.  I'm just not ready to commit to it yet.  He is pretty cute in his big boy pants, though.


Tess started swimming lessons at the indoor rec center.  Drew sits very patiently and watches.

After the lesson, they get to play for a bit in the baby pool.  Tess is in love with the yellow mini pool slide.  She's cries after every lesson because she wants to do swimming again and again and she never wants it to end and she wants me to promise that we can always do swimming  all the time until she's 100 and if we can't do swimming here, we can do it somewhere else with a little yellow slide, which (did I mention?) she loves.  

So I guess it's going well.  They had to combine classes, so she's in a with a group of kids that are a bit more advanced than her.  But she's holding her own.  It's actually good because the peer pressure encourages her to be a little braver and try things in the water she normally wouldn't.

It's been a little surprising, because her swim teacher "Chris" is a bit of a burly guy.  Not exactly the warmest fellow, but she's done OK with him.  "Mom, did you know that boys can be teachers too?"

Ryan took a vacation day off work, so we took him to Chuck E. Cheese early on a Friday morning.  
It was blissfully empty. 

Tess' favorite is the horse ride.

 Drew's favorite, of course, is the baby basketball game.  Ryan's proud accomplishment was setting a new high score on this game.  The machine was also strangely calibrated to give an unusually high number of tickets, so we cashed in on some better-than-usual Chuck E. Cheese swag.

Mother's Day was this weekend.  The kids were very excited to have Nana and Papa over for dinner.  We're lucky to have them close by!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

March/April 2013 Tidbits

Drew: "I catched the marble!"

At family home evening, Tess was asked to lead the opening song. She looked for her leading stick, but she couldn't find it. She said she would just lead with her hands. She said, "I never lose my hand! It's always with me."



Drew: "Coot bumbee."

Tess has been terrified of bees this spring. She's on high-alert whenever we're outside and constantly announces whenever she sees anything remotely resembling a bee. I suggested we get a book about bees at the library, with the idea that learning more about them might help her be less afraid. She read two of the books we picked out and told me the books were greatly lacking. "They don't have it in there anywhere. All they talk is about bees and what they do. They don't tell you anywhere how to PROTECT yourself!"

I love Drew's pronunciation of "Curious George," which comes from its blue-sy theme song: "Curious Dow-age!"

"Mom, when can I use the computer? Will you ever give it me? Never? Ever?! Never ever?!!! Never, ever, ever?!!!!! Not even in 1859?!"

I asked Tess to check the weather outside this morning. It was a cloudy day. "I think the sun is still waking up. It's kind of yawning and it wants to watch 'Arthur.'" ("Arthur" is her favorite show.)

"Iwangobasketballachuckecheese." From Drew, several times each day.

Ryan and I were totally striking out trying to get Drew to eat his peas at dinner. Then Tess asked him if he wanted to eat his "green basketballs" and we were finally able to convince him to "dunk them" his "hoop."

Somehow Drew knew it was Saturday when he woke up. His first words were: "Daddy home! Daddy home!"

Drew was playing with and Elmo toy and I asked him what color Elmo's hands were. At first he joked and said "geen," but then he said "red." Then I asked Drew what color Drew's hands are. His response: "orange."

I pointed out the rain to Drew outside and explained that the flowers and ducks like the rain because it gives them a drink. Drew cracked a sly smile and said, "Orange juice." (Which just happens to be his favorite drink.

New Drew trick: He likes to play "puppy" and have us throw a ball for him to "fetch." Then he decided to play "puppy basketball" and made a slam dunk in his basketball hoop with the ball in his teeth.

I took my stir-crazy kids to the mall play place during our chilly spring break, and it was overrun with kids too big to be playing there. Wild, big boys were running all over the place, playing tag. They knocked into Tess as they ran past. Tess' response to me, while rolling her eyes: "Sometimes I wish they never made boys."

More than once, Tess has told me: "You know sometimes I ask myself this: 'Why am I a person?'" Deep thoughts.

We took Drew to the doctor for an allergy consultation and got a referral to an allergist. The next day at dinner, Tess asked me with tears in her eyes: "What if the allergist tells us that Drew is allergic to me?"

Drew kept pointing down the hall and saying, "Papa, Papa!" I couldn't figure out why until Tess reminded me that I'd hung up our Higginbotham family picture in the hallway. Drew confirmed: "Papa on the wall." I asked Drew if he loved Papa, and Drew wrapped his arms around himself and said, "Hug!"

Drew was showing off his knowledge of animal sounds for Nana and Papa:
"Drew, what sound does a cow make?" "Mooo!"
"Drew, what sound does a pig make?" "Oink, oink."
"Drew what sound does a duck make?" "Quack, quack." "Drew, what sound does a chicken make?" "Chick-fil-a!"

Today in Nursery at church we were talking about Easter and signs of spring. I asked if the kids had seen any daffodils yet. One made a "quacking" motion with his hands and said, "I seen Daffy Duck!"

We had an Easter FHE lesson, using Easter symbols inside of plastic eggs. When Drew woke up the morning of our egg hunt, his eyes were wide as he looked outside and exclaimed: "Jesus eggs!"

At our last library outing, I asked Tess if she would like to pick books from the kids' "true" (i.e., "nonfiction") section. "Yes, because there are lots of things I need to learn. Like how cars work and how to make grass. Not how to make grass grow, but what it's made of inside and why it's so pointy." She picked out "An Inconvenient Truth" by Al Gore and a book called "Murder in the Mountains" from a terrible kids' series called "Cold Case File." Others in the series include "Kidnapping File," "Terrorist File," and "Serial Killer File." Drew picked out "Haunted Houses" and "The Energy Crisis." We may stick to fiction from now on.

Drew spotted a big, full moon last night and exclaimed, "Basketball moon!"

Drew was pretending to drive a play steering wheel at the top of the playground and was saying, "Driving, driving to Papa's house!"

Tess: "Daddy, sometimes I fall asleep when I'm awake" (she demonstrates by sitting on the couch with crossed legs and closing her eyes).

"Tess, what are you doing?" "I'm investigating. And Drew's investigating with me."

We picked up some kid-sized golf clubs and Ry took the kids golfing at the community mini-golf course. Each time Drew would run down to the hole and place his ball right in front of it. He finally gave up using the club and would swat to ball into the hole with his hand. At home, Drew was looking around everywhere trying to find his "green-hit-the-ball" until I finally figured out he was trying to find his green golf club.

Funny Drew phrase: "Right back." As in "I'll be right back."

Tess found a bag of balloons, so we've been blowing them up and bouncing them all over the house. We were surprised when Tess hit one up to the ceiling and it actually stuck there. When I asked her how it was staying there, she said: "It's stuck from static electricity." I told her she was too smart for her own good, and she agreed, "Yeah, I know that too."

We drove past McDonald's, which had large banners advertising its latest offerings. Tess' observation: "I guess they really want people to buy those Fish McBites, huh?"

I met with Tess' therapist on Monday and she kept telling me over and over again just how smart Tess is, "She is just so smart!

I took the kids out for a jog/walk today. Tess jogged nearly the entire two miles, while making grunting noises and wiping her brow for effect.

Drew now likes to shush people if he thinks they're being too loud. He'll go up to a kid on the playground, put his finger to his lips and say, "Shhhh!"

If we say something silly, Drew shakes his head and says, "Noooo!" Which sounds something more like: "Noooooowwww!"

Drew loves babies. He calls every baby he sees, "Lil Cootie" (that's Drew-speak for "little cutie).

Tess asked me if the Easter Bunny was just a person dressed up in a costume. She was pretty stunned when I told her that the Easter Bunny is actually a real rabbit, and she wanted to know if the rabbit walks on two legs.

We had a fun family outing to the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria this weekend. It is a large building filled with countless art studios. Tess was in high heaven, visiting each studio and seeing all the many different types of artwork. Some artists had easels out with their works in progress, and it was fun to see all their brushes and paints. I said to Tess, "All these artists sure have lots of ideas!' Her response: "Yep, just like me!"

Ryan: "Tess, did you have any dreams last night?"

Tess: "No. Sometimes I only see black when I'm asleep. But the other night I saw designs-- green and white designs."

Drew: "Close one" (said after someone misses a basketball shot).

Drew loves to play "night basketball."

As we drive by different churches, Tess often asks what they believe. Today we drove past a Baptist church and she cut me to the chase: "Let me guess. They don't believe the Book of Mormon?"

The kids and I were having a snuggle in bed and Drew kept rolling all over the place. I asked Tess, "Can you imagine what would be different if Drew had been a little girl? What if instead of a little brother, you had a little sister." Tess smiled and replied: "I like him like Drew."

Tess was playing the helpful big sister role and wanted to change Drew's diaper for him--all by herself. Hilarious because she repeats back to Drew all the soothing, reassuring phrases that I use, but never seem to work, on her. At one point she told him, "There, there. It's OK. Just lie back, relax, and think of basketballs."

We went to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese last week. Drew was having the time of his life until the costumed Chuck E. came out to greet the kids. Drew was terrified. Now if you ask him about Chuck E. Cheese, he responds, "Chuck E. Cheese scary."

Favorite words out of Drew's mouth: "Mmmmmmm! Taste good!"

When I asked Drew if he wanted to go to Papa's house this morning he said, "Papa's house! PEEEEE-NG PONG!"