Monday, May 30, 2011

Daddy's Questions

Matt wanted in on the blog action, so here we go. Our kids (and I know this is the case with all kids) say the funniest things. Matt decided to ask them questions and see if we could get some good answers out of them. It's also a good way for us to capture them on video for future laughs (and embarrassment). So here it is, The PALS first edition of "Question of the Week!"

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Picture of the Week - May 29

He may not be able to pedal with all this gear on, but at least we know he won't be getting injured.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bathing Suits and Butterflies

The triplets had their last day of school this week. It was really a hard day for me them as they said goodbye to their teachers and friends. We will see lots of them again this summer at camp and playdates, but not on as consistent a basis as we did during the year. It's amazing to see how much they can grow and change in a school year. Here they are the first day of school this year ....

And here they are the last day of school this week ...

They really do look a lot older. After I wiped away the tears after saying goodbye, we headed home and summer officially began. I think we've consumed an entire box of popsicles and worn our bathing suits at least five times since school let out. You definitely know it's summer when you wear your bathing suit for the majority of the day.

We've broken out the water table/sink and buckets.

And have saturated the lawn with hour-long sprinkler sessions.

We've also been "raising" butterflies for the past few weeks. I use the term "raising" very loosely because it mainly consisted of trying to keep the kids from killing the caterpillars, cocoons, and butterflies while they did their thing on their own. Let's just say that 2 and 3 year olds don't really understand the word "gentle" yet. They also don't seem to understand the phrase, "Stop shaking/poking/yelling at the butterflies!". But all five butterflies made it out alive and we released them into the wild, so to speak. I'm sure what they are experiencing now is pure paradise compared to the "wild" of our house.

(Pardon my use of quotations in the previous paragraph. Sometimes I can tend to get a little "quote happy" - See?)

Releasing the butterflies ...

Adah waving goodbye to Jim (coincidentally, they named another one of the butterflies Pam - I swear we don't let our kids watch The Office).

The butterflies were pretty small. Here's one next to Luke's finger to give you an idea.

Trying not to let the kids step on the butterfly. Pam just didn't want to leave. I think she missed Jim. He ditched her as soon as the top of the net was opened. Men ...

Finally, Pam decided to be a real woman, not let a man define her, and ventured out into the peaceful calm of the world. We didn't tell the kids that she only has about 2-4 weeks to enjoy her new world (according to the instructions on the butterfly farm). Some things are just better left unsaid. So when they proclaim to see Jim and Pam all summer long, I'll just smile and nod and hope that they at least enjoyed a few weeks of calm before heading to that big butterfly farm in the sky.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What A Difference

I know I've posted something like this before, but it's something I love to do and it really helps me put the quick growth of my kids into perspective. Here's a picture of Luke exactly one year ago ...

A bald, tubby, barely one-year-old who still isn't walking.

And here's that same little guy today, just a year later.

Running around, shoving strawberries in his mouth, while continually telling me, "Mommy, I do it!"

What a difference a year really does make.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Strawberries and Swings

The beautiful summer weather has finally started to creep into the great state of North Carolina.

(Actually it really hasn't. But I'm hoping if summer hears me talk about her in the same sentence with words like "wonderful" and "78 degrees", then she may just decide to forgo the whole 90 degree days thing and give us a July and August full of mid-70 degree days. Oh please summer ... please!)

We're trying to take as much advantage of the weather as we can before it gets too hot. The kiddos have probably spent several hours a day outside over the past few weeks. In looking for outside activities, we jumped at the chance to go strawberry picking once all the patches in the area opened. In Florida, we were pretty limited to picking oranges and grapefruit (not that other produce wasn't around, it was just harder to find). I'm ok with oranges, but I'm really more of a strawberry/blueberry kind of girl. Luckily we have strawberry and blueberry farms in abundance in NC, so I was ready to get picking once the season started a couple weeks ago.

We headed out early in the morning to avoid a lot of the sun. My kids have my coloring (think Casper the ghost), so I lubed them up with SPF Infinity and hoped that their little limbs wouldn't look like reflective shields in the glaring sun. Once we got there, we all got a bucket and started picking!

Naturally, I was worried about the kids eating all the strawberries instead of just picking them. I mean, we were in a wide open field so it would be pretty hard to hide the fact that your child was eating instead of picking. I warned Luke repeatedly to NOT EAT THE STRAWBABIES (See? I even used his lingo to make things crystal clear).

At first he was good, but he always had this little smirk on his face when I turned to look at him.

"What Mom? I'm cute, remember? And the baby. And I just had a birthday. You can't tell the cute baby birthday boy not to try something as delicious as a strawbaby, right?"

"Yeah, that's what I though. Baby always wins."

So I did what all good moms do. I turned around to help the other kids and cursed myself for not putting a red shirt on the boy to hide the evidence. At least the triplets were more interested in picking than in eating.

Meanwhile ...

He's totally laughing to himself in the picture above. Thinking about how he really pulled one over on the ole parentals.

Showing off the "fruits" (hardy har) of their labor!

When we had to take the buckets up to pay, I was a little concerned over what they would say about Luke's obvious indulgence. So we walked up, I held my breath, and he flashed Mr. Strawberry Cashier one of these ...

Man, when do we lose the ability to do that? You know, flash a cute little red-stained mouth smile and get away with anything? I'll just have to conduct a little social experiment and see how long it works for Luke. At age two it still works.

After the picking was over, we decided to indulge some more in our yet-to-shower, patch picking grubbiness and get a little more dirty at the park. This new park has recently become one of the kids favorites. As always, we had to hit the swings first.

I must admit that I'm not a huge fan of the swings because a) it is a workout pushing so many kids simultaneously and b) I hate that we inevitably take over the entire allotment of swings when we swing at the park. As any mom knows, the swings are a hot ticket item at the park. Well, when we commandeer ALL of the swings at one time, I get my fair share of "Are you done yet?" glares. Not fun for me. So I'm always happy once they tire of the swings, even though it means more work for me when chasing them around the playground equipment.

Sam and his new friend.

Adah getting ready to climb. Sidenote: Does anyone with a curly haired child know what I should do about this hair? It's slowly starting to get out of control! My hair is as straight as it gets, so I have no idea what to do ...

We finished the morning off at a downtown bakery for snack (read: Matt and I really wanted a scone so we talked the kids into going to the bakery instead of home for goldfish or pretzels). We also spent the majority of our afternoon outside, so the kiddos definitely got their weekly dose of vitamin D in just one day.

I hope everyone had a great spring weekend as well. Anyone make some good memories or get something finally checked off that to-do list? My list is about a foot long and growing!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Picture of the Week - May 22

Just a  little slice of our weekend ...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nearing The End

It's May, which means preschool is ending for the year. Sad. And believe me I am not the only one sad about this. Peyton, Adah, and Sam have loved their time in Ms. Shannon and Ms. Lisa's class this year. We can't wait to start again in September with Luke starting school as well! He's so excited.

I thought I'd post some pictures of the triplets' end of the year program we attended the other day. It was so cute and the music director at their school does such a great job. I'm already looking forward to next year's program!

My favorite part was that the teachers were nice enough to position all the kiddos right beside each other so I would easily be able to take pictures. They know me too well!

We'll spend this week enjoying the last days of preschool and looking forward to a summer that's sure to be a lot of fun (if not terrifying with some of the travel plans we have). Can't wait for bathing suit weather!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


We often let the kids play for a little bit in the mornings as we pick things up and get breakfast ready. I wish I could wake up with as much get up and go as they do in the mornings (though I'm really not going to be too disappointed once they think getting up before 10am is inconceivable). Anyway, because they wake up ready to play, my mornings usually begin with all the wonderful sounds of very loud toys that sing, clap, speak Spanish, you name it.

The boys are really into tools lately. We have an entourage of hammers, saws, screwdrivers, and drills floating around our house. The talking toolbox is a coveted toy and I often wake to it's chatter every morning. This thing has it all ... screwdriver, saw, hammer and wrench. And they all make noise, stupendous. One day, early on, I heard more than I bargained for when Sam and Luke were heading for the toolbox immediately upon waking ...

Sam: "Hey Luke, let's get the toolbox!"

Luke: "Yeah, toolbox!"

Sam: "Yeah! Let's screw!"

Although grammatically correct, we're going to have to work with Sam on NOT using certain words in certain ways. I fear this is only the beginning ...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Party People

Yeah, I like a little Nelly as much as the next guy. But what I really like is cake. And cookies. And blue icing. So good thing Luke wanted a Cookie Monster birthday party because that means lots of cookies and lots of blue icing.

We started things off on Thursday, Luke's actual birthday. Of course that meant presents and a little cake.

Sprinkles make everyone happy.

Over the weekend, we had a Cookie Monster birthday party. Since we already had done the cake, we went with cookies for this occasion. These babies were a labor of love, but I really liked how they turned out.

 And as high noon approached, the guest of honor donned his party shirt with pride.

Of course there were more presents ...

And yet another round of "Happy Birthday" ...

After all the festivities, we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon outside. The best part of celebrating birthdays is the time we get to spend with family and friends as a result.

Future photographer??

We can't believe out littlest guy is two years old! Where did the time go? We are so blessed that he is such a happy and bright little boy. Happy Birthday Luke!