Monday, June 28, 2010

Safety Town (aka Safety doesn't happen by accident)

Andrew graduated from Safety Town on Friday. All week, he had attended Safety Town from 9:30-11:30. He came home with homework every day. It was a little preview of what it's going to be like for us in the fall. And for the next 12 years.

I remember Safety Town from my day. It used to be held at the city park (it is now held inside one of the elementary schools). There was a huge replica of a town, with streets and signs, while we drove toys cars or rode bikes or walked. I remember fighting to drive the cars. No one wanted to be the pedestrian. But it was fun.

I also remember my younger brother's graduation day. We watched as the kids showed us the safety lessons they learned. Or didn't learn, in this case. Peter's car hit another car and his wheel fell off. I'm pretty sure that wasn't intentional. Funny? Yes. But not intentional.

Andrew's graduation was a little different. They didn't demonstrate the safety lessons they learned. Instead, the children filed into the school's cafeteria to "Pomp and Circumstance." I'll admit, that song made me choke up. I pictured Andrew walking into an assembly hall on his high school graduation day. Gaah! Not yet!

After the police officer gave a speech and read a poem about loving your children (again, making me choke up), the children recited 3 poems they learned over the week. Adorable. Then they each came down to accept their diploma from the officer. And they pronounced our name correctly!

Anyway, I was very proud of him and look forward to all the other things he and Niko will do in the coming years. I know people say that it all happens so fast, but I didn't believe it. It's true, though. It all happens so fast.

I don't like it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Take me out to the ball game

Tuesday, I witnessed the most exciting event in sporting history. Andrew's first baseball... game? Practice? Yeah, it was more like practice. For 5-year-olds. Who don't really understand the roles of coaches. Or how to play a uniformed game... and speaking of uniforms, he has a uniform!

When we got there, it was mass chaos. The first group of teams was just finishing up their practice, while the second group was arriving. Picture 100 5-year-olds running amok. I didn't even know we had that many kids the same age as Andrew in our entire city, so imagine my surprise (and excitement).

We made our way over to the registration table to pick up our uniform (which, of course, consisted of a shirt). We ran into someone we knew, who has a son starting kindergarten with Andrew in the fall, so he'll know someone when he starts school, which is fun.

After the first round of teams left, our practice started. There were 5 coaches to rope in 50 children. They should've had 10. The kids were divided into 4 teams: green (Andrew), blue, gray and maroon. Now, I'm not telling these people how to do their jobs, but I would've picked primary colors that kids can identify with. The coaches kept yelling, "Maroon team! Maroon team!" and the kids were all, "What the eff is maroon?"

After some light calisthenics (5-year-old jumping jacks = hilarious) and a lot of trying to get the kids excited, the teams were divided to practice a different baseball skill. This week, the kids were taught how to hold a bat correctly and swing and how to throw. I'm thinking this might be a little too basic for Andrew. He already has one helluva throw and can swing pretty well, too, and not just off a tee. While he was waiting in line to throw a ball at the net, he was tossing his ball up in the air and catching it with the same hand. Now that's talent.

Once the kids practiced their drills for an hour, they learned how to run the bases. This was probably the most educational. Every time we play baseball out in our yard, Andrew runs to 3rd base first. So, at least we learned something.

Next week, team pictures. That should be entertaining.

And, for your amusement, here are 5-year-olds doing jumping jacks. Andrew is #8.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

He loves his brother. Both of them.

I witnessed the most adorable, most frightening thing last night.

Last night, Nicholas didn't want me to put him to bed. Or, more like he didn't want to go to bed. But, once Andrew offered to take him, he was all for it.

Andrew is 5, guys. How can he put the 2-year-old to bed?

So, I sat on the step and watched. I watched as Andrew brushed Nicholas's teeth (which is always a struggle for us). I watched as Andrew helped Niko climb into his crib (which, of course, we're trying to dissuade him from doing). And I watched as Andrew played peek-a-boo with Niko in bed like I do.

It couldn't have been any cuter. Or scarier.

For one, Nicholas would rather someone else put him to bed than Mommy. That's always been my job. We have a routine. We go upstairs, he reads me a book, I sing him a song. I put him into bed, play peek-a-boo with his blankets and he goes down. It's one of two most special times of my day (the other, of course, is putting Andrew to bed - we have a thing, too). I don't like the idea of someone taking my thing away from me. Even if it is my son.

Secondly, I'm sad Andrew is old enough to do something like this. He's a great big brother to Nicholas, which I love and appreciate. I'm slightly troubled at the idea of my boys getting older. Obviously, I knew this would happen someday, I just thought it would be 10-15... 20 years from now.

But, I suppose they can't be young forever. We just registered Andrew for Kindergarten a few weeks ago, so I knew getting older was inevitable. It's time to embrace it.

And squeeze the life out of them every chance I get.

Before they won't let me touch them ever again.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

He's exasperated with me??!

Our movie of the month is Twilight (now that I think about it, maybe I should change our background). Who knew the boys would become as obsessed as I am with this series?

The boys really like the baseball scene and the music played during that scene. Whenever we're not watching the movie, I'm being asked to play the baseball song.

Anyway, my favorite part of the movie is when Edward takes Bella flying. I really like "Bella's Lullaby" so Andrew and I sing along with the music (okay, it's an instumental, but "da da da da da da" sounds exactly like a piano).

Nicholas doesn't like when Andrew and I sing along, so he's always yelling at us to stop. I try to stop, but I can't help it, the music takes over. So, today, he looked directly at me, yelled "STOP!" and then looked away, shaking his head.

I'm exasperating him? He's 2, fercrankinaford, not 12. Isn't this supposed to happen when they're older and I'm embarrassing them by driving them to a party or licking my hand to tame their unruly colics (in front of girls they like, no less)?

Sigh. I don't like this at all.

Monday, March 15, 2010

He doesn't need an inheritance

Today, I threatened Andrew, saying I'd nibble his ear off if he didn't help me with something.

Him: "I'll bet you $20,000 that you can't do that."

Me: "You don't have $20,000."

Him (matter-of-factly): "I have a lot of pennies, dimes and quarters."

That's it. He doesn't need his inheritance.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bowling 2010

Over the last 3 weeks, I have gone bowling 3 times. I went once with some friends (bowled a one-twenty-something - go me!), then the next 2 weekends, we took the boys.

Last year, we took the kids bowling, but Nicholas wasn't old enough to bowl. It nearly killed him to not be able to play with the bigger kids, so he was ecstatic that he could finally bowl this year. They even have bowling shoes for his wee little feet. So. Cute.

Andrew is a great bowler. He can go up there on his own and throw the ball down the lane with all his might. He is even able to get a couple strikes and spares. For a while, Josh, Andrew and I all had the same score. (I never said we were good bowlers)

Niko is a hilarious bowler. Obviously, he can't throw the ball like his brother. So, either Josh or I would take him down... and basically throw the ball down the lane for him. But his technique was priceless. Skipping down the lane, hands on hips while he watched his ball go down the lane... well, you'll just have to watch for yourself.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I have a chipmunk in the house

My Nicholas is a very picky eater. From the time he was able to eat solid foods, he's been this way. Didn't like pureed carrots, but liked sweet potatoes. Wouldn't touch peaches, but liked pears. Once he was introduced to sweets? Forget about it. No other foods existed. (I have NO idea where he got this from)

And this is what we've been dealing with for the last year or so. The pediatrician had given us some tips to trick him into eating healthy foods, but he's smarter than your average 2-year-old. We have to threaten him with no dessert in order to get him to eat his dinner. Unfortunately, this doesn't always work. We have caught him on more than one occasion sneaking candy from the drawer. Josh once caught him eating the tin foil wrapping (my guess is to dispose of all evidence).

Last night was no exception. I had made a nice dinner. Andrew, being the awesome eater that he is (God bless him), cleaned his plate. Nicholas, on the other hand, did not. I had to force feed him a piece of broccoli. And then a piece of chicken. No dessert, but he did try (and failed) to sneak a piece of candy.

Fast forward an hour. We were in the family room, watching Star Wars (for the billionth time). Andrew and Niko like to jump off the couch for fun (a boy thing, I'm told). So, they were jumping while killing bad guys with their light sabers. As Niko jumped off the couch, 2 things came flying out of his mouth. Guess what they were? A piece of broccoli and a piece of chicken.

Seriously. I knew the kid was sneaky, but how did he keep food in there for so long without swallowing? What else does he store in there??

Later, Josh had ice cream for dessert. Andrew and Nicholas both swooped in like vultures. Niko, in his cute little (shitpot) voice, said, "What eating?" while giving a (shitpot) smile and cocking his head to one side. If it were me, I would've given in.

To quote my mother, "If he wasn't so cute, he'd be dead." And, boy, he's going to be trouble when he's older.