Saturday, April 26, 2014

what do you get when you mix an elephant with a cement mixer?

we usually just hang out and play or read books after the boys wake up from their nap.  sometimes i'll put a show on for them if i'm working on dinner or painting.  i like that time of day because it's usually calm and pretty chill, unless pace has woken up on the dramatically crabby side of the bed (ha ha).  

max has recently found a new love for his elephant halloween costume.  he often asks to wear it around the house, refuses to take it off if we have to run errands, and on this particular day, wanted to wear it during his nap.  max loves squeezing the trunk, and making an elephant noise.  oh, another cute thing max does:  if he's trying to find something, he'll walk around saying "blanket, where are you?"  although in maxwell-ese it comes out, "et, weeoo?"

pace always asks me to "play cars and trucks" with him.  we decided to get the cement mixer and the crane truck and do a big job of pouring fuzzy ball cement on the tent floor.  i think the master scheme was to build a parking garage.  pace loves it when we talk about the building plans in our deep, gravelly truck voices.  

i LOVE this angle.  i die laughing every time i see this little puffy elephant bottom.  and then checking everything out...good thing that trunk stays out of the way!

i also threw in some educational play and asked maxwell to find certain color fuzzes to throw into the mixer.  he did not disappoint!

another new favorite game:  ghost fighters.  a few weeks ago, pace starting building "fighters".  we have never played with guns, we don't watch shows with guns...and here is pace, building and using guns (although he doesn't know that's what they are called, just that they are used for fighting, and he calls them "fighters").  he loves fighting ghosts...also not sure how this one popped up, but we run from room to room, making shooting noises and clearing out all the bad ghosts, and gathering the good ones in our pockets.  after we have cleared a room, pace wipes his forehead and says, "phew!  that was close!"  max has picked up on the shooting thing very quickly, "pew, pew!", pointing his fighter, too!  ha ha ha.  

pace ingeniously installed binoculars on the end of his fighter so he could spy the bad ghosts.  i bet the ghostbusters didn't have those!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

easter cuteness

girly dresses, bows on shoes, ruffles, cutesy hair...that's all slightly overwhelming to me.  bow ties, cute boy church shirts, and fun boy hair?--no problem!  for whatever reason, pace held this pose the entire 3-5 minutes we took easter shots...possibly being a grapple truck?...max thought it was kind of funny, too.

easter visit with cousins!

we were so excited when my cousin jen emailed a couple weeks ago saying they'd be driving through while seeing jeff's family over easter weekend, and they were hoping to see us!  we had no plans, and we were really excited to have all the kids play together--we hadn't yet met their youngest, aaron, and we had two boys since the last time we saw them--a lot happens in just a few years!  we arranged to spend the afternoon together and have dinner and an egg hunt for the kids.  and then things heated up...i got an invitation to a friend's baby shower, and then another funeral thrown into the mix!  this makes 9 funerals in the last 2 years, 4 of which have been in the last 5 weeks.  i don't know about every other ward, or even every other ward in utah, but in this ward, the relief society caters the meal--set up, food prep (full meal--salad, ham, green beans, potatoes, cake), serving, and clean up.  so...that saturday ended up being slightly more busy than we originally thought...

once they arrived, we had the kids do a cute easter craft, and then we decided to just hang out and play in the backyard instead of heading to the duck park.  boy did those kids have fun!  they found a piece of wood cut in a triangle, and decided it looked like a piece of cake, so a game called "save the cake" ensued...something about the cake, the playhouse, and a dragon.  and of course, lots of running and lots of dirt...and some growling.  and then in the middle of our picnic, some of the neighborhood kids walked up with a tire, playing "bigger or better".  the minute i saw that tire, i immediately thought "a tire swing for the boys!  they'd love that!"  so i traded an extra-large exercise ball (which is now at my friends house, a couple doors down, ironically!), and the kids then loved having a tire to play with!  now all we need for that tire swing is a tree...ha ha.  
it was so fun to catch up with cousins!

early morning run

Monday, April 21, 2014

back to routine

a side note of hilarity before i forget.  pace still likes to watch industrial shredders/car crushers/combine harvesters on you tube.  one day i was getting dinner ready and he had somehow clicked from shredders to some korean car cartoon (don't worry, we have filters on so he can't find some sort of...pornographic shredder...or something).  i think it's korean.  maybe it's japanese?  anyway, he asks all the time now to "watch korea" (which he pronounces exaggeratedly koh-ree-uh)! pace has really gotten into singing the theme shows of his favorite shows, and this one is no exception!--he totally sings along with the theme song to the cartoon--in korean (or japanese)!  is there a korean/japanese immersion school in utah county?...

another funny story--one night last week it was time to get ready for bed, and pace started throwing a fit, saying he wanted to watch a show.  well, our mantra before having kids was "we don't negotiate with terrorists", so when david started bargaining with pace and said, "ok, pace, if you are good for bath and good for getting ready for bed, we can watch one show."  well, i just gave david the eye and said, "you bargain, you stick with the deal!  you go ahead and give both the boys their bath and get them both in pj's, and i'll join you later."  normally i'm the one doing bath and pj's by myself, and david moseys on up for reading/scriptures.  i reminded david to also wash the boy's hair.  i settled down with a book for 20 minutes, heard lots of squawks, pace crying for me (mama's do things a little differently from daddy's, don't they?!), and when i eventually made it upstairs, pace, on the point of tears, said, "mama, i had a hard bath.  i just want to go straight to bed."  i started laughing and david said he apparently had a hard time washing hair, and some water boarding may or may not have been involved.  ha ha!  needless to say, we had a quick prayer, and the boys happily climbed into bed!

after taking essentially all of march off, we are back to our routine of theme days, project boxes, abc's, and fun in the dirt.  we spend between 10-20 minutes on an activity box or learning activity, depending on pace's interest.  i was particularly pleased on this day last week when pace matched all the rhyming words perfectly from one of our workbooks.  he couldn't/wouldn't do this a few months ago, and i was beginning to wonder if he just wasn't an auditory learner, which was starting to worry me with learning to read and phonics teaching.  but on this day, he not only listened intently and matched all the rhyming words, he also drew lines to the matching rhyming pictures, and was very excited to discover he had drawn all "x's", connecting the pictures.  

when we read i pick out a 3-letter word that we call his special word, we sound out, and every time we see it, it's his job to "read" it.  examples: pop, moo, cat, dog, etc.  i'm very impressed with his attention span and attempts at reading.  there's a book we read about popcorn, and he really gets into it, reading every single "pop".  other books he sounds out one word one time with me, and that's it.  and other times he just makes the sound of the letter, and then hides.  but he gets the concept of reading, and gets that letters make sounds, and sounds make words--he is on his way!    

pace randomly whips out holding his pen with his left hand, but i'd say 99.8% of the time he's right-handed.  

i love how pace embellishes his name.  the "e" cracks me up every time.

this name he turned into yet another diagram of the digestive system.  it blows me away that he has all the organs in the correct order, and pretty much the correct location!  i have no idea why he focuses on just the digestive system--we have also examined the heart and cardiovascular system, the lungs and respiratory system, bones, etc.  we must have a budding gastroenterologist on our hands.  so we were writing his name, and he at first drew a backwards "c" and when i pointed that out, he drew a "c" the correct way, but touching the backwards one, so to him it looked like a mouth.  so naturally he drew (and vocally labeled everything as he drew) the teeth, the uvula, then the esophagus, the stomach, intestines, the bladder, and the p____ (ha ha).    then i asked him about the rest of the body--"what about the trachea, where does that go?"  he gave me a look like, "what's the trachea?"  so i reminded him it was the tube that brought oxygen to the lungs, and then he drew the trachea, the lungs, and the heart.  smart little cookie.  (the intestines, bladder, and organ are all on the left side of the drawing, and the lungs are one on each side of the trachea, and the heart os on the right side, by the "a")

and how does little max attack keep himself occupied?  max likes to color--he first names all the colors of the pens, then picks his preferred color of the day and colors on the page opposite pace's letter practicing.  i remember spending time with pace going through colors, shapes, quizzing him, doing flash cards and lots of games with shape blocks.  max adores pace, does everything pace does, and follows pace around everywhere.  so, naturally, max picks up on everything pace knows without any "study sessions" with mama!  

i don't know how many times my jaw has dropped when out of the blue max has rattled off all his colors (when did he learn those?!), or grabbed the right shape when i asked for it (wow!  did david teach him the difference between a triangle and a square?), or shouts out the letter that pace is working on, before i say what it is!  i love it!  max knows all his colors, consistently shouts out numbers 1-5, 8, and sometimes 10 whenever he sees them anywhere, anytime (i think #8 is his lucky number--he loves it and sees it everywhere!), and independently knows a, b, e, m, o, and s (o seems to be his favorite letter--he shouts it out not only when he sees the actual letter, but also when he sees a wheel, a toy with a screw, a light, etc.).  he also "sings along" the last syllables of most songs--abc's, twinkle, twinkle, etc.   

Sunday, April 13, 2014

bunny hop 5k

we had a busy morning yesterday!  david tried to catch that rascally rabbit on a 5k

i pushed the boys for our 5k (and after running all winter without them in the jogger, boy did i feel it!)

the boys got their picture taken with the security

pace discovered cotton candy 

the boys played lots of games, honing their fishing, t.p. tossing, and bottle-knocking-over skills

when it was the 400m kid race, max hung out looking cute

and pace revved his engines and got pumped up

and they're off!

...and done!  phew!

then it was egg hunting and chocolate eating time!