Monday, April 23, 2012

Easter Fun and a Moment of Silence

Sorry for the two week delay. It's been very busy and we spent most nights last week looking for a new car rather than writing this post. Ang and the kids were in a car accident on the 13th (not her fault) and our little lunch box Scion XB was totaled. Luckily, the car was the only thing injured in the wreck. The kids were shaken up but their questions far outnumbered their bumps and bruises. Ang was/is sore from getting hit in the face with an air bag but no major injuries there either. And, we're now the proud owners of a minivan :) So, we got that going for us.

We'll just briefly take a moment of silence for our beloved Scion. Angie bought it a few months before we got married and I still remember getting the phone call on her way back from the dealership where she said "I just bought the ugliest car I've ever seen! I love it!"

Goodbye old friend...

Patrick plays soccer. We have a minivan. I think our transformation is complete.

But a post about Easter shouldn't be about a car accident so let's jump in to the 4 day long celebration!

It all started with an Easter Egg hunt at the kids' school on Thursday. They had animals for the kids to pet and play with and a TON of eggs. In fact, you'll see in the video that Patrick's class had so many eggs that the teachers couldn't even hide them all. They just put them all over the ground and the kids ended up running right by most of them confused by the lack of egg stealth...

Since Ang and I both had Friday off work and knew that Saturday and Sunday would be packed, we decided to celebrate Easter on Friday morning at our house. The kids are young enough that they don't know the difference and it meant that we didn't have to rush our Easter morning. It was really nice getting to wake up and just take our time looking for eggs, opening the Easter baskets and hanging out as a family.

On Saturday, we went to the Suskays' for an Easter egg hunt and a great lunch. The weather was perfect and we spent all afternoon out in the back yard. We all had a great time and the kids made out like bandits with even more Easter goodies.

Sunday morning we got up bright and early to make it to 8:45 mass. Aunt Anna sang and we got to sit together as a family since I had played drums the night before. And look! We even got a picture where the whole family is both looking and smiling! An Easter miracle, indeed.

We went right from church to the Beans' house where they hosted an Easter egg hunt in their back yard. It's been great to have our kids and Carson spend so much time together lately because as soon as they see each other they just start playing and having fun. They quickly formed Team Easter (at Patrick's request - he's big into teams) and hunted eggs all over the yard.

Team Easter!
Such a fun 4 days! Thanks to everybody who hosted Easter and egg hunts and made great food! Go team Easter!

Here are a few more pictures from the weekend. Slideshow below; gallery here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dinosaur Land and Puppy-Park-Turned-Fairy-Garden

Awhile back I saw a cute idea on Jana's blog for an outside project. Grandma had seen a similar idea on Pinterest and for the next week or so we emailed and text messaged about ideas we had and what supplies we needed to make our own versions. Patrick's was a no brainer. Dinosaur Land was an immediate hit. Patrick knew exactly what he wanted his sign to say and what each dinosaur should be doing in Dinosaur Land -the herbivores eating plants, the water dinosaurs (is that a thing?) should be swimming, etc. Then I had the brilliant idea of burning the edges to his sign so it would look old - who in their right mind combines fire and paper and a 3 1/2 year old? Sometimes my parenting decisions are suspect. But, he loved it. (And now he wants to burn the edges of every piece of paper in the house.) In the morning, Toby took the kids to Pike's and let them pick out two plants each for their habitats. Patrick's were pretty spot on, I think.

Goofy girl started out with the idea that we were going to make a Puppy Park. I asked her several times if she wanted to use puppies or fairies and puppies won out every time, until Grandma showed up with a bag full of tiny fairy figurines. Then she was in love, especially with the smallest fairy, whom Maddy assumed was the baby. So the Puppy Park turned into a Fairy Garden and Maddy couldn't have been happier about it.

She's constantly rearranging the fairies and houses. Sometimes she sticks her arms in the dirt to see how far down they'll go. What a nut!

The most exciting part for Toby Patrick and Maddy was the erupting volcano. Baking soda + vinegar + red food coloring = minds blown. They were pretty amazed with it. And of course Madelyn then wanted one in her fairy garden.

I'm not gonna lie - this project was just as much for me as it was for them.

Thank you, Grandma, for coming over and playing with us! We had so much fun and hope you did too.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Four Cousins and Four Million Pictures

A couple weekends ago, Katie and Brandon had a wedding to attend in Florida and asked us to take care of Carson while they were away. We've been trading spend the nights since around Christmas and each time has been very fun. Our kids stayed with the Beans in March and we couldn't wait to return the favor. As an added bonus, Mandie and Creighton were in town so all 4 cousins got to hang out together for some of the weekend. Here's how it went down (hope you're ready for a ton of pictures)...

Katie dropped Carson off in the morning and the fun started right away. The kids played at the house for a bit then headed to the playground where they met up with Aunt Mandie and Creighton.

The weather had a different idea though and temporarily rained out the playground fun

Luckily the rain was brief and racing down the back yard hill quickly became the game of the afternoon.

After nap time (which went surprisingly well considering Carson and Patrick slept in the same room) it was time for a rescue mission to find stuffed animals around the house...

followed by dinner, lots of dancing, balloon races and a bath.

...was jam packed with fun. We started with Patrick's soccer game in the morning. Patrick had a ton of fun playing and the three cousins hung out off-field (for the most part) watching all the 3-4 year-olds run around trying to play soccer. Angie said that when she told Madelyn she was going to put pigtails in her hair, Carson asked to have them too. It reminded Angie of Rhiannon, Mandie and her dressing alike when they were little so she put the little girls in matching jeans and pink shirts too.

3 cool kids getting ready for the game.
Probably talking about pigtails.
Seriously though Brandon, good luck. C is already eyeing the older soccer players.

I LOVE Creighton's hat. Such a cool kid.
We'll have a whole separate post about Patrick playing soccer in the near future but just look at this guy go...

Once soccer was over we went home and put the kids down for about a twenty minute nap after lunch then woke them right back up to head to our next big event: Jordan Barker's birthday party at Monkey Joe's. (Side-note: Carson must think all we ever do is go to bouncy houses. We took her two times around Christmas then had Madelyn's birthday party at one and now Monkey Joe's for a party. She's going to grow up thinking we're some kind of circus family that spends every weekend practicing our jumps and bouncing tricks.)

After a couple hours of running, jumping and bouncing, we went to Taco Mac with the Barker family followed by Bruster's...

Carson, Patrick, Jordan, Madelyn and Andrew, post-dessert.
And as if that wasn't enough excitement for one day we still had some fort building and movie watching to do. The kids snuggled up in their sleeping bags in our living room fort and watched Winnie the Pooh.

This is what Madelyn does when she's afraid she may fall asleep. She pops up every couple minutes to keep herself awake.
We thought we'd take it easy Sunday because of our crazy Saturday but the kids started asking "where are we going today?" so we packed them in the car and headed out almost immediately after breakfast. We stopped to get Patrick a (MUCH NEEDED) haircut then grabbed some lunch from Hot Dog Heaven to eat at the park.

The Little Girls playing store.
Admiring a kite.
And that was pretty much it. When we got back home, all three kids literally stumbled their way up the stairs and barely made it through the door before falling asleep. It wasn't long after they woke up that Katie and Brandon came to get Carson.

Angie and I had such a fun time with Carson staying over. She's so sweet and handled going from her normal routine to our crazy, busy, loud weekend pretty darn well. She loves Patrick (or "Pats" as she calls him ("ch" comes out more like an "s" and it's really cute)) and was happy to follow him around most of the time. She kept tabs on each member of our family too. Any time one of us left the room she'd ask "Where's Aunt Angie going Toby?" or "What's Maddy doing Aunt Angie?"

We really weren't sure how Carson sleeping in a pack n play in Patrick's room was going to work but they both did great. On Friday when they were going down for nap, Patrick felt he needed to help Carson acclimate to the new arrangement and Angie heard him over the monitor explain everything in his room to her. Then he told her "If you hear a scratching kind of noise or something, don't worry, that's just me probably rolling around while I'm asleep, OK? OK. Goodnight sweet pea." HE CALLED HER SWEET PEA! So cute.

We were also surprised at how easy it was to have all three kids. We expected to be constantly chasing them around, trying to resolve sharing issues or helping someone eat or go to the bathroom but it was amazingly pretty smooth. Now, we don't harbor any delusions that having three kids is easy; but when one of the kids isn't yours it means that none of the kids ever got tired of the other one.When it's just Patrick and Madelyn, by the end of the day they each want their own space for a bit. But when there's three, they never spent enough time with just one other kid to get tired of them. And Patrick and Maddy were so excited to show Carson everything that they never got bored of toys they've played with a million times. They all played great together and Angie and I just kind of got to sit back and watch. It also helped that they were completely exhausted from all the activities and probably couldn't muster enough energy to get upset with each other anyway :)

Thank you Katie and Brandon for trusting us with Carson for a full 3 days. She was awesome for every minute of it and we can't wait to do it again soon!