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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Birthday Week {Wednesday}

Wednesday was Eli's scheduled eye exam as required for school entry.  Kevin was working so I brought Hannah and Carter too.  It was a sort of long wait. And a sort of long wait again in the exam room. But the kids did fairly well.  Eli didn't cooperate 100% with all the little tests but he did okay and was in good spirits.  The doctor was soooo great with him and very kid-friendly! And then there was the end-of-exam report... "Well, Eli's a little bit far-sighted and needs glasses..." I was confused, I hadn't seen it coming, Kevin wasn't with me for such "big" news like that!  I asked if maybe his tests could have been affected since he was tired {from having the sleepover the night before} and he said no. So, getting glasses was for real then. The doctor further explained that while he doesn't necessarily need them NOW because he's still young and doesn't do a whole lot of close-work, come 1st grade he will be, and his eyes {and brain} need to be adjusted to wearing glasses already.  Fine. We then proceeded from the exam room to the front room again to look at frames.  Here it's almost 5pm and the office is waiting to close and we have to stand there picking frames.  The wall is covered with lots of different selections for girls. But boys, not so much. The assistant chose about three to pick from in his size, so we went with a wire-framed, rectangular-shape, greenish-color frame.  They'll come in August 3, and then we go back for the real-deal.  Until then, we're enjoying the last days of glasses-free...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Birthday Week {Tuesday}

Mom and Birthday Boy
 With Kevin working Tuesday and several new toys from the previous party, the kids and I just stayed home playing and having fun all day.  During nap Eli and I played his new game, Tumblin Monkeys, and built with his K'Nex set.  And after work we met Kevin in town for Chinese buffet since that's Eli's favorite.  But what the kids were REALLY looking forward to all day long was their sleepover.  Ever since Eli got his new bunk bed, Hannah keeps trying to sleep in with him. I'd been thinking it would be fun to let them have a sleepover sometime and then I realized his birthday night would be a great time! 

We set them up with a movie {Cars.} on the laptop up in Eli's room (no popcorn though since they weren't being watched, didn't want anyone to choke).  The idea was that for one night there would be no bedtime rules, except no jumping on (or from) the beds, but I did end up checking on them several times throughout the movie and fetching drinks and so forth.  And they were so tired when the movie was over at 11pm they got tucked in, both on the top bunk with heads at each other's feet, that they fell asleep almost instantly. I was nervous having them on the top bunk for the first time and BOTH of them being up there, I hardly slept a wink and ended up going back and forth all night between my bed and the bottom bunk.

The kids had great fun though! And now IF they can stay in their beds on regular nights, they can earn themselves another fun sleepover!

Birthday Week {Monday}

I'm tellin' ya, we literally have something on the calendar for {almost} every day of these last days of summer!  After Sunday night's birthday week kickoff, we had plans to go up to one of Omaha's splashparks with friends, but with temps reaching almost 100, we postponed that idea and decided to meet at Lincoln's Chuck E Cheese instead.  Fun times, but I forgot to bring my camera inside. Oh well...

Hannah climbed all over the tunnels and slide. Eli walked around considering carefully how to spend his coins. And Carter was happy to just sit on all the "quarter machine" rides.  Fun day!

Birthday Week {Sunday}

The rest of us have winter birthdays--December, January, February, and March-- so with Eli's birthday in the summer, we try to make it FUN! And he's the one that gets two parties, one for his friends and one with the family. Well, to be fair, I WAS going to let Hannah have some friends over for a tea party or something and let them all come in their dress-up clothes, but good friends of ours had just moved and I really couldn't think of many GIRL friends for her to have over for a morning!  Anyway... Eli gets two parties. We don't go crazy really.  I try to keep it simple and don't especially get into much with decorations and games. Living in the country, we like to set out a couple baby pools, the slip n slide, and some water guns.  What more do you need??  We tell the kids ahead of time to bring swimsuits, and from what I can tell, everyone has so much fun!  We throw in some cake and ice cream and birthday presents in there, and we have a birthday party!  

This year the party list kept growing and growing, and I was getting overwhelmed trying to figure out how to feed everyone a meal, and with it being county fair weekend in our town, instead I changed it from being a Saturday afternoon (or late morning) thing to a Sunday evening cake-n-ice cream only thing to "kick off Eli's birthday week". It ended up being great timing because his party was in the middle of our heat wave and earlier in the day would've been TOO HOT.  But by 6:30pm, the weather was PERFECT!  

Spiderman theme, per Eli's request. I can't ever get red OR black frosting color quite right and in trying to keep things simple, I decided to spend a little more on plates and cupcake decorations to make it easier...

The kids were either splashing in the pools, going wild on the slip n slide, or fighting over Eli's power wheels truck.  =)  A good time was had...

Several times when we'd be at the store, Eli would mention something about wanting a pinata. After enough times I made a mental note to look for one for his birthday this year.  Not that they're terribly expensive but we did tell him that this was his pinata year, we're not doing this EVERY year.  So here it is...
 It turned out that it's not a bat-at-it type of pinata. Rather, you have to pull the correct string to open the door for the candy to fall out. Never heard of that before but whatever.  Birthday Boy got to go first....
... and I don't know if he actually pulled the right string or the pinata just didn't work right, but the candy fell on the first try!!  I was pretty disappointed, very anti-climactic but the kids didn't care, they all raced to get the candy and fill their treat bags!

We played a little more and then said farewell to our friends!  What a fun evening and GREAT way to kick off Eli's birthday week!  Thank you all!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


The boys' blonde hair... comes from Kevin. He was blonde until he was 6 or so, then turned brown.
Eli's and Hannah's brown eyes... come from Kevin. Hannah's are dark brown and Eli's are a bright brown, more like Kevin's.
Carter's are more greenish, like mine.
Eli's personality, being a rule-follower and perfectionist... from his mama.
Hannah's more laid-back personality... from her dad.
The boys' fair skin... from their dad.
The boys' eczema... from their mama.
Hannah's golden tan... from her mama.
One of the children who possibly grinds teeth at night... from their dad.

And now Eli who has to get glasses... from his mama.

Thanks, genetics.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

4th of July

It's becoming a fast tradition to host a 4th of July party at our house.  Last year it was rainy during the day but cleared enough toward the end to still do some fireworks.  This year it was PERFECT weather!  Sunny, not too hot, and a slight breeze!  We set up lots of outdoor games--croquet, badmitten, horseshoes, and the baby pool for the kids.

We started with food of course though... The menu? Sloppy joes, veggie salad, fruit salad, watermelon, and chips.

 Then play time!

grandma with her two granddaughters
a pie for my mom's "birthday cake". My new FAVORITE cheesecake!  Sooo easy to make and THE creamiest!
Ward, Linda, and Kara were so sweet to bring Eli an early b-day gift...

He loved this and carried it around all night!
once the sun finally started to go down we played a few "games" of badmitten

 Hot and sweaty we all went inside to cool off a little while we waited for it to get dark outside to do fireworks which I did not photograph.  We had such a fun day!!!  Thanks, family, for coming!  Looking forward to next year!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday, Eli!!!

I feel bad not get anything posted yesterday on Eli's actual birthday but we were so busy having fun and playing together here at home (and working on a Shutterfly album before the coupon expires today), I just didn't have the time.

Eli at 5...
* Has a very sweet heart.  He just asked me to cut an M&M in half so he could share it with Hannah.
* I made him a get-well sign when he was sick a few months ago and he just laid in bed staring at it.  It was several weeks later til he finally took it down.  He said he'd make me one whenever I get sick.
* One day when I was sad and crying on my bed he came to me and gave me his bear telling me it would make me feel better.
* He still sleeps with his blankies and stuffed animals.
* He is timid in large groups and usually stands back just observing.
* He loves the water.  LOVES water slides and will go again and again.  However we did skip this summer of swim lessons.
* He loves building, usually airplanes and rockets.
* Is big into superheros, especially Spiderman and Superman.
* Is good with his numbers but is slow with reading though we are making progress.
* Will draw elaborate pictures of just about anything.
* Loves bunk beds. (he told me to write that on this list)
* We've started reading "adventure books" together in the Magic Tree House series.
* Is very active and aggressive, usually too much so, with Hannah and Carter.
* Is best friends with Hannah and they do everything together. They spend very little time in their rooms. (although as I read this to him, he said Asher is his best friend, not Hannah)
* He has first-born syndrome and often tries to be me by reprimanding Hannah or Carter for something. He's pretty responsible and usually plays the big-brother role quite well.
* He finished his first year at preschool and was considered a delight to his teachers and became friends with several of his classmates. He is proud to be heading to Kindergarten this fall with all-new kids.
* He also completed his first year of the AWANA program at our church AND his participated in his first year of VBS, along with Hannah, which they both LOVED!
* Just the past couple of weeks I finally stopped napping him in the afternoon.  He'll do a little bit of quiet time but mostly we spend that time playing games together, practicing his reading, doing computer games, working on a project, or reading in his adventure books.

We love you, Eli, and are so proud of the young boy you are becoming!!

Here's a little interview I did with him yesterday on his birthday. It's in 2 parts because the camera shut off on me during the first one...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bunk bed

  For Eli's birthday and turning 5 and heading into school I thought it was time to move him to a big-boy bed and revamp his room a little bit.  We've been looking at different types of bunk beds for awhile now and not really finding the simple version we wanted, we decided to build one ourselves! We found a plan online, adapted it just a little, and we started at it! 

What started as this and just boards being cut and layed in place in the grass...
gradually turned into...
bed frames are together and posts are clamped on and getting pre-drilled in the basement
guard rails are boxed together
IN the room now for assembly.  Posts getting bolted on.
second set of posts getting bolted on
all posts are on and bed is upright and in place

under-bed storage bins are in place (cuz I was excited)

ladder is constructed

plywood pieces are cut and in place for under the mattresses.  A blanket is covering them so the kids could play on it without getting splinters. The rest is all sanded smooth though.

a preview of the guard rails. Instead of using two sets of rails for the top, I think we're going to use one set for the top bunk and one for the bottom instead of the partial toddler rail we had in mind. Might as well, since the second rail is already made.
for now though, until we do move Carter, we'll keep the bottom bunk open.
 A bed!!!
the mattresses arrived the same day we got all this assembled so we picked them up and got the final placement of the guardrails, and it's all ready to use!

And this is where we're at now.  Eli's been sleeping in his new bed this week, and we love it so much!  Although the size of his room seems to have suddenly shrunk with the installation of this bigger bed! But with under-bed storage and some toy organization in his closet, it will look tidy.  The bed still needs stained but we're doing some color samples first.  Kevin did a FANTASTIC job, and I'm loving Eli's new room!  There's still some finishing touches, so stay tuned!