Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fun at Monkey Joe's

If you've talked to Jack on the phone any time in the last couple of months, you've probably heard him mention Monkey Joe's. It's a bounce house, or indoor, inflatable playground. He loves to go, and I love to take him, but it's difficult to plan a trip to MJ's by ourselves. Hard as I try, I can't be in two places at once (jumping with Jack and taking care of Sam).

My friend Melissa and her son Colin invited us to go earlier this week. We eagerly said yes, and even got Nanee to watch Sam for us at the last minute. It was Jack's and my first outing together without Sam since March 28th (Sam's birth). We had a lot of fun, and we even gave Monkey Joe himself a few high fives!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Messy Sam Cash

Sam got his first taste of rice cereal this week--it's a little early to start solids, but this kid is hungry! His momma is having a hard time keeping up with him. He really enjoyed eating the cereal; of course I'm not sure how much actually reached his belly:)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Clean Sam Cash

I realize Sam doesn't get as much coverage as Jack on this blog, so here is a video of my clean (!), fat Sammy. He was very animated after his bath!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Riverbanks Zoo

Waking up this morning, Rick looked at me and said, "you wanna go to the zoo?" I, the planner, responded by listing all the things we'd have to get ready in order to leave, and then would that give us enough time once we got there? And how would Sam do? And we'd miss church. But, I'm working on not always having to have a plan, so I quickly rescinded with, "sure, if you want to."

We stopped at Bruegger's on the way out of town for a breakfast of champions (bagels). After a pit stop for Jack, a quick meal for Sam, and a consult from OnStar, we made it to Columbia by 11 a.m.

The best part of the whole trip was the first exhibit--the Grizzly bears. We saw one bear at the back corner of the exhibit, and we excitedly hiked Jack up so he could see it. Within a minute another bear emerged, and then they both walked toward us and jumped (!) into their pool. It had to be at least three or four feet down, so you can imagine the splash these huge bears made. We watched them swim around for a while, and then one climbed out and shook his coat of wet fur to the excitement of the whole crowd.

Some other highlights: In early June, four lion cubs were born at this zoo, and they were on display--playing with one another like frisky kittens. We bought some lettuce to feed to the giraffes. The elephants were a rusty-red color from splashing around in the (SC clay) mudhole. We saw a few monkeys swinging on their ropes. Jack bought a stuffed alligator, whom we'll call 'Al', that has now joined the zoo in his crib.
I tried to get some video; Jack was more interested in holding the camera once he realized I was filming him.

We got home in time for a late nap. What a fun day! Jack and Sam both did great--and I realized all this happened despite not having everything planned out perfectly.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Poop Prize

Potty training has commenced--whew! Jackson rarely has an accident anymore...well, at least of the liquid variety. Now if we could just get him to poo (regularly) in the potty. The little turd was resisting, ummm, literally.

After a week-and-a-half of potty training, we realized we had a lingering issue of the solid variety. We cajoled, we begged, we pleaded, we played stern, disappointed, and exasperated. I think we finally realized that we were up against a smart little stinker when our first-born began poo-ing in his undies and then exclaiming, "Aww, Jack!" with utter disappointment in his voice. He was mocking us.

We (the little turd's parents) are not backing down. We will see this through. As I write this, I am fortifying my resolve, can you tell? So, we came up with the idea of the Poop Prize. Rick and I took Jack (and Sam--who is a wonderful little pooper:)) to Toys 'R Us. We let Jack choose a prize that he would earn by pooping on the potty. It was a Matchbox cars garage--very cool. We brought it home and placed it (still in the box) on the back of the commode. He could see it, but he couldn't play with it until he successfully poo-ed in the potty. Well, it took him two whole days to win that darned prize, and--with much fanfare--we pulled it off the commode, and we quickly assembled the toy and played. We were all proud...until his next BM arrived...in his pants.

So, the Poop Prize afforded us a small success--hopefully, a stepping stone toward clean-as-a-whistle undies. Okay, I'll even settle for skidmarks; I have to be realistic--I am raising boys!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Big Red Couch

It's a parking lot; it's a trampoline; it's the Big Red Couch. Rick and I bought it before we had kids. It sat in our dining room (!) for years--ignored, collecting dust. When we moved to our new home in 2007, the Big Red Couch became the epicenter of activity on the main level. The kids know it as the "fun" couch--our neighbors tell their kids "we don't jump on our couch, we jump on the red couch." All the cushions and pillows come off, and the kids jump and giggle and jump and giggle. Rick and I are relieved that we had the foresight to buy microsuede (the most easy-to-clean fabric ever) and a warranty.

I have to say that the sweetest moments are watching Jack and his friend Noah play cars on the Big Red Couch for minutes on end (I'd say hours, but we're talking about toddlers, and minutes--plural--of focused activity is an eternity). They play side by side, occasionally offering each other cars they're bored of in exchange for different ones. Their exchanges are polite and efficient, "Here you go, Jack." "Thanks, Noah." as we moms stand nearby with our hands to our hearts...aren't our boys sweet?

Needless to say, the Big Red Couch has seen a lot of action in the last eight months, and I'm so glad. In part, just so I can tell Rick, "See? It was a great investment, but like any investment it takes time to get a good return."

Independence Day

Happy 4th to our friends and family in the North! For the first time in years, we stayed in NC for Independence Day. In the morning, we joined our neighborhood's 4th of July parade following a local fire truck through the 'hood waving our flags. Then, we headed to the pool for a quick dip and picnic lunch. After a very sleepy afternoon (for all of us!), we enjoyed a quiet afternoon at home. Our neighbors came over for a cookout and--once the kids were down for the night--a game of Battle of the Sexes, which I'm obligated to say that the guys won:(

Here is a picture of the kids (neighbor Noah holding sister Ava, Jack holding Sam) in the wagon. I think I took over 25 pictures trying to get all of them looking at the camera--never happened!