Boys will be boys

Boys will be boys

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Happy 4th birthday Yurchik!

I cannot believe he is already 4! Where has the time gone?! To think of all the things that have happened in those 4 short years it's amazing! While I feel he is growing up too fast. I treasure every new thing he discovers along the way. He is truly a blessing.

So, he requested a candy land party. Who doesn't love the game candy land?! Well, this mama went for it! We turned the downstairs into an interactive candy land. I made most of the decorations from random things such as paper plates wrapped in tissue paper or cellophane to imitate wrapped candies, bowls wrapped in foil to look like Hershey kisses, etc... It was a lot of prep but totally worth it. Everyone loved it and gave a lot of compliments.

The kids started at the front door and walked along the path and at each land there was something to get or do. I tried to make it more fun and games than candy. The kids played an ice cream bean bag toss, got peppermint yo-yos, ice cream popper toys, buckets (gumdrops) and shovels, and sidewalk chalk that was wrapped in cellophane to resemble candy. There was actual candy in the candy castle but the kids were more excited for the toys than the candy! I'm okay with that LOL except now I have candy to last until next Halloween!

Most of all Yurchik was happy. He actually got mad at me for taking some decorations down! Apparently, he's still waiting for Dido to come to his party!!

Sr thought I was going a bit over the top but I didn't think so. Last year for his birthday we went to Chuck E Cheese...the 5 of us with Auntie Glo and Babcha. Gloria didn't want to miss his birthday and it was during her Thanksgiving break and Nina was in town because Jackson was just born! But, we hadn't made friends yet. We had a few playdates and were getting to know people but not nearly enough to have a party with. Plus, we had just moved and that was costly in itself! This year, we have a lot of new friends and I couldn't even invite them all! 20 of his friends came to celebrate with their moms and dads on his big day! What a blast!!

Here's a few pictures of our candy fun filled day; sorry that some pictures are turned around! Thank you to everyone out of state that sent him presents, cards, money, etc.. We truly appreciate the love you have for our family!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

This week we went with our preschool co-op friends. We were there ALL day (10-5 without napping and only having kettle corn and other snacks from home plus a million water bottles). It was the perfect day to go. The clouds were hiding the sun and it even rained for a few minutes while we were there! My wonderful photo friend showed up camera in tow just as we were heading to the pumpkin patch so of course she grabbed her trusty camera and documented the adventure. If the boys look a bit tired in some of the pictures it's because it's about 4pm by the time we made it that way after riding the different trains, seeing the farm animals, jumping on the giant pillows and sliding the slides plus all the walking it took to do everything! I was exhausted! LOL We had attempted to leave many times but each time as we approached the exit a new friend came along and the boys wanted to play with them! Unfortunately, I only have the pictures from Sarah to share as my phone was dropped in juice last week and I had yet to receive the replacement delivery and I couldn't find the charger for the regular camera. I was so glad they decided to come so that we could get a few pictures; plus her pictures are going to be far superior to mine!

Hope you're all enjoying the fall season as well!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Talking Luca, Why-ing Yuri and Licking Anze... just another day in the life!

It's been a little while since I wrote a blog and I find that the days I do I'm a much happier person. There's something soothing about taking a few minutes and writing out your thoughts. We've been super busy doing all sorts of fun things that I'm having trouble finding the time and energy to clean let alone take a few minutes for myself (and if I do, I'm napping!!). Sr is taking a 2 week vacation at the end of the month and our bff Jayne is coming with her mom and dad for a short visit during that vacation so we have a lot of fun planned (but I have a lot of organizing in the guest room before they get here, too!). So, that's what I've been focusing on! It's not easy figuring out the best way to organize things you want easy access to without your children having too much access. It's definitely a balancing act! LOL

Anyway, enough about me... Here's what we've been up to lately! Yurchik is doing great in preschool. He finally got past the shy wall and is now making friends and chatting like crazy with his teachers. His two friends so far area Brayden and Zoey (he holds hands and blows kisses with her!). He wants to go to Brayden's house and doesn't understand why I don't know where he lives! He is very inquisitive right now and needs an answer for everything and anything. We have officially entered the "why" zone. It doesn't matter if I fully explain something he still asks why! I'm sure every parent has been here before. It's cute at first and then it's just frustrating! I've yet to say "because I said so" so that's good! LOL (Although, Sr may say the "Because we are your parents and we made the decision to not...." is an elongated version ;) ). He's getting better at letting us know he has to go to the bathroom although if we ask him when he doesn't have to go he will still through a bit of a fit about it. It's all part of the learning and growing of life I guess.

Luca has become a chatter box. He's a great repeater and says all sorts of adorable things like On gee (Anze) and bwoc wee (broccoli). He is also able to communicate when something happens, "On gee push", "that one huwt", "ouchie guys", etc... Yurchik is NOT appreciative of Luca's newest skill as he can no longer get away with things or pass blame! It cracks us up to watch them! We've also become lovers. The twins will run over to each other and yell HUG and then hug each other. Or they will run to Jr and squish him with their double hugs. At the same time, they are starting that boy behavior of tackling, wrestling, chasing, etc... Their current favorite is when Jr will yell out an animal or other figure (ie dinosaur, snake, monster, ghost) and then he takes off running while the twins transform themselves and chase him complete with noises. Sometimes, only one is the snake and has to catch 2 of them! It's hilarious, loud, and a bit chaotic but they are having so much fun and using their imaginations so the more the merrier!

Anze, oh Anze... He LOVES to stick his tongue out. He will yell momma a million times until I look at him and then he will stick his tongue out and wait for me to copy him. Then he laughs and laughs and runs away. He would probably do this all day if he could! He also wants to lick everything. When they are playing chase he will always catch someone and lick them. His brothers will in turn laugh and yell yuck and run away again. This would probably continue until someone got upset that they're covered in slobber but we stop him and talk to him about his tongue staying in his mouth (the things you never thought you'd have conversations about until you became a parent). A few times, Luca has been the victim of teeth though. So, this is something we are working hard on. Anze is having a hard time with the pretend part of play. Yurchik yells out, "he's going to eat me" and Anze takes it literally. Again, something we are actively working on!

When not at home playing we are doing our new favorite things: tyke hikes and story time. We have joined the Houston Arboretum and go there weekly to learn about a new animal, hike through the nature walks to find the animal, play at the playground (it's sand and a rope bridge- boy heaven!) and then play in their education room. It's a great experience and our membership will be paid in 2 more visits so definitely worth it. We also get those traditional private events such as the ArBOOretum event at the end of the month with trick or treating, face painting and other things. They boys love it and I'm glad I learned about it. There's actually several programs like this around and I don't remember having anything in Cali for toddlers that was so much fun while completely educational.

Story time is another new favorite. We have tried out multiple libraries and have enjoyed most of them (one was in Spanish so that was a bit more difficult to enjoy!). The twins have done more of these than Jr since he is at school. It's a great way for the twins to do things outside of the house while he is gone and they love it. We sing songs, do crafts and of course hear new stories. We don't have library cards yet but we just learned that one of the libraries has a backpack that has stories and activities to go with them and if you complete them and return the backpack you get passes to the Children's museum so we will definitely be getting our cards to participate in that!

The weather is cooling off it seems so we are ready for some more outdoor playdates instead of living in the AC. We are also prepping for Yurchik's 4th birthday! He has requested a candyland party so we are doing our best to accommodate that wish :D. Overall, just staying busy! Hope everyone is well! Know you're loved!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Baking Play Date

Last weekend, the boys invited their friend Emma and her mom, Sarah, over for a playdate. The kids were having a great time when someone suggested baking cookies. The boys and I bake ALL the time so Yurchik instantly started to grab the ingredients out of their respective areas. We made a space on my island for all the kids to sit with the mixer and everyone took turns putting items into the mixer for our cookies. Once everything was mixed together Yurchik asked if he could be an excavator. Now, Yurchik's idea of being an excavator is using his hand like the scoop bucket of the construction truck to pick the flour up. This usually ends up with too much flour in the cookies or cake or whatever we may be baking but I had a feeling we were in for a bigger mess yet I agreed and the following pictures are evidence of the fun kids can have when mom says they can play in the flour! It's been a week and I'm still finding flour every night when I sweep the flour. It was definitely worth it as the kids had a blast and Sarah had her camera and photographer eye ready to go! I'm pretty sure we spent over an hour with the kids and the swiffers trying to get the downstairs clean and then they all took a bath together in my garden tub. It was a fun playdate! I'm sure we will have many many more (after all Emma and Jr are married).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

3 year old preschool

      I have always gone back and forth regarding homeschooling my kids. Honestly, I still do. There's so much violence in the world it makes me want to keep them close at all times. A different part of me knows this isn't real life. They need to find themselves in this world. I know there's good out there and I pray that it always finds us. Last year, for Christmas, I purchased a homeschool curriculum for 2 and 3 yr olds. We started working on it in January and then Yurchik started protesting. "I want real school mom. Not mommy school." So, Sr and I discussed it and we went out shopping around for a house and a preschool; not sure which would make the budget! We found the house first but knowing that preschools fill up quickly we kept looking around. I knew it wouldn't be cheap but I think Sr was shocked how much it could be. We searched and visited a few schools and none of them spoke to me. Then one day, I stumbled upon a school 10 minutes from the new house. We checked it out and I loved it. Yurchik liked it, too. The next week was registration so we signed him up and crossed our fingers we would find the money to send him and if not we knew he would be okay.
    Since February, we continued to work on letters, numbers, etc. We also joined a group of parents that started a preschool co-op. I thought this would be a great addition to our week; meet new people and make new friends, get some academics and socializing in and we can go whether Jr goes to "real school" or not at least all 3 would be exposed more. I thought this was also a great way for them to get some experience taking direction from other adults to adjust to that idea as well. We love the parents and kids in this group and I have recently agreed to co-organize with the mom that started the group. I'm in charge of the Wednesday meetings and had my first  week of  "in chargeness" this week meeting new members and leading group today. I think it's great for the boys and it's really helping me to focus my attention on things I'm passionate about. I've always wanted to be a teacher and am comfortable in that setting. While the house is currently an "arts and crafts explosion" from all the prepping and general crafting I know it will be better once I've got everything sorted out and organized.
      Admist the craziness of this new role for me, Jr officially started preschool. Last week we met his teachers Ms Frankie and Ms Alice and Tuesday was his first official day of preschool. I got a few good pictures and then a real quick one that I sent out to practically every contact in my phone! I thought I'd put the good ones on here so you could see more of his cuteness.
   He had a great first day. He ate most of his lunch (he's picky so it's been fun trying to figure out what to send), didn't have any potty accidents and was well behaved. His only fault for the day was he didn't want to do the craft. I'm not sure what it was but they didn't want to push him and I'm okay with that. I plan on telling them to send home projects if they can and I can work with him at home on them. I also talked to him about listening and doing things the teachers ask so we shall. He loves to do art but he has his days where he doesn't want to and that's alright with me but at school it's a little different sometimes.
  Luca had the hardest time letting Jr go to preschool. Yuri happily went into class without even a goodbye or I love you. Luca tried to follow and the teacher told him no (politely) and Luca fell straight to the ground sobbing uncontrollably. I picked him up and tried to walk out as quickly as I could. Once in the foyer, I reminded Luca we were going to the Splashpad and the tears were instantly gone! Parenting is often about redirection :D.
   While Yuri is at preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the twins and I will probably visit the library for story time, play at the park and miss big brother. All 3 were happy to be reunited at the end of the school day and even happier mom took them for ice cream to celebrate a great first day!
   In the end, we all made it through the first day (Sr may think I held back my tears as I watched my big boy go to class and I may say I had to be tough for Luca's sake...) and I'm sure we will continue to make it through many more!
   Hope everyone is having a great start to the school year (for those that have one). Our love to all!