Happy Easter!

We have been continuing to enjoy unseasonably warm temperatures in central Pennsylvania.  I’m not complaining.  We had the most gorgeous Easter weather in recent history, with temperatures that were over 80 degrees!  I seem to remember snow on one miserable Easter weekend not too long ago, so I am thrilled about the heat.

We went to church and arrived just a little late.  Usually it’s not a good thing to arrive late on Easter Sunday.  We ended up parking miles away from the front door, but we did find somewhere to sit in the sanctuary.  Church was good, Nate and Ben behaved themselves in the nursery, and the big boys had candy in Sunday school.  Then we went home.

I decided to do a small Easter egg hunt in our yard this year, mainly for Nate.  Since he’s not yet two, I just scattered the eggs around and really didn’t hide them.  But we found that the big boys had trouble finding brightly-colored eggs that were in plain view.  Go figure.

I wondered if the big boys would be interested in gathering eggs, and guess what!  They still were!

Ben doesn’t eat candy, so we got him an Easter pinwheel instead.

Later that evening, we all went to the park.  We took Isaac’s bike (which he has outgrown) and tried to get the big boys used to the idea of riding without training wheels.  I hope this is the year we finally get them to learn how!

Ben loves being outside.  We’d like to bring his gait trainer to the park the next time we visit.

Nate was fascinated with these railroad ties for a few minutes…and then he became more interested in the small stream that runs through the park.  Why is he always interested in the one or two areas that are unsafe for babies??

I’m not sure why Jonny’s face looks like that.

Because we spent so long at the park (and because I had a great Easter afternoon nap!) I ended up starting dinner late.  The boys had noodles and chicken nuggets for dinner, and Mark and I didn’t eat our Easter ham for dinner until nearly 10 pm!  Oh well.  Maybe I’ll be more organized next year.

Welcome, Spring!

This weekend was chilly, and today was rainy, but what gorgeous weather we had last weekend!  The temperatures got up into the 70’s and we were able to get out and enjoy the sunshine.  I had the day off last Friday, so while the big boys were at school, Mark and I took the little ones to the park.

Ben and Nate both went on swings and slides for the first time!  They had an awesome time.  We really should go to the park more often.  They both took good naps that day.

Nate’s an old pro with slides now.  His Sunday School class at church has a little slide in the room and he’s so thrilled that he doesn’t mind me leaving him there during services.

On Saturday morning, Isaac had a piano recital.  After the recital the boys were able to run and play outside for a bit.  Saturday evening we were invited to some friends’ house for dinner.  The beautiful weather continued, and the boys were able to play with their friends in their large fenced backyard until after dark.

Nate was given this balloon by someone during Isaac’s recital.  We hoped it would keep him quiet.  It didn’t.

Jonny thought he’d try his friend’s skateboard and found it was harder than it looked.  In any case, his friend told him that he shouldn’t be skateboarding in his “handsome clothes”.

Nate found the chip bowl:

I am SO glad that winter is over!

Spring Soccer

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I love watching the big boys play soccer!

Isaac is on one of our local AYSO Under-10 teams, and Mark is coaching.  They’ve had two games so far.   Jonny still plays on the Under-6 team but hasn’t had a game yet.  So far, the cold, rainy April weather hasn’t been cooperating too well with practice days or Jonny’ s soccer games.

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However, the weather was gorgeous on Saturday, and it was nice to get everyone out for a little fresh air and sunshine.  I loaded Ben and Nate and all their paraphernalia into their double stroller.  Both little boys were fighting colds and Nate wasn’t in the happiest mood.  Ben, however, loves being outside.

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Jonathan was all set with his Gameboy and a snack.

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It was a little difficult watching three kids under 6 without help (since Mark was coaching), but it was still fun.  Nate got fed up sitting in the stroller and wanted to be held.   Jonny also wanted to sit on my lap along with the baby, and predictably had to go to the bathroom during the game, but he eventually found a friend to play with on the sidelines.  Ben, good little guy that he is,  fell asleep shortly after the game started and slept for hours.

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To my surprise, all the kids (except for Ben who was sleeping with the stroller canopy up) got mild sunburns.  I never thought the sun would be strong enough for that!  I’ll be sure to take sunscreen to future soccer games.

I’m really ready for a whole week of warm sunny weather!

Ben’s New Glasses

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We all love how Ben looks in them!  Doesn’t he look cute?  The photo above was taken in our church nursery yesterday morning.  I think he’s finally starting to look more like a little boy than a baby.

As I mentioned on my post about Ben’s last ophthomology appointment; we were told that his eyesight had deteriorated considerably over the previous year.  He had become quite nearsighted and would need glasses.  A little over a week ago, we finally got around to taking him to the optometrist to choose some frames.    This optometrist, a very nice lady, specializes in pediatric and special needs eyewear, and is about 45 minutes from our home.  The big boys were in school, and Nate came along.  Ben wasn’t too happy with having several frames put on and taken off in rapid succession, but he was a trooper.

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It was a tough decision, but we found some that we liked.  Nate was unusually fussy that day, and when we came home we found he was running a fever.  Fortunately, he ran a temperature for only 3 days, and he seems fine now.

This Saturday we made the trek to pick up his new glasses.  This time we had all 4 boys with us.  It turns out that the optometrist is very busy on Saturdays, so we had to wait a bit.  The boys occupied themselves with the toys…

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…and Nate and I just hung out on the couch.  Ben’s glasses needed some final adjustments (the earpieces had to be molded to ensure a snug fit), we fit his hearing aids over them, and finally we were done.

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Afterwards, we went out for lunch, went to the mall for a bit:

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Ben was VERY interested in looking around at EVERYTHING.  (Yes, Nate was missing a sock so we bought him some new ones!)  When we were sure we had tired everyone out, we came home.  All four boys fell asleep in the car.

So far, Ben’s response to his glasses has been overwhelmingly positive.  He has left them on, and he has been so much more interested in looking at more distant objects.  He even seems to make better eye contact.  I guess his poor vision was more of an impairment than we realized, and it makes us feel a little guilty for not acting on this before.

I really hope he tolerates his glasses for the long haul.

December

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Thanksgiving weekend was REALLY busy, but fun.   Mark’s sister, brother-in-law and their two sons visited all the way from Pittsburgh.  We really enjoyed having them over.  Our boys were very excited to have their cousins here, and all the kids played well together.  It was nice to spend some time with family getting caught up.  We had our turkey with the usual fixings, and there are LOTS of turkey leftovers to enjoy this week.

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On Friday, I did a (very) little Black Friday shopping, and went to work for a few hours.  Nate had his four month well baby check that afternoon.  He is growing well (17 lbs 9 oz) and is developmentally on target.  His eczema was TERRIBLE, though, and the pediatrician prescribed him some triamcinolone cream to use along with the moisturizers we’re already slathering all over him.  He only got 2 shots (Prevnar and Pentacel) as well as an oral vaccine (Rotarix).

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On Saturday we made our annual trek out to the Christmas tree farm.  This proved to be a little challenging this year because we now have two babes in arms.  Initially we planned to just pick a pre-cut tree from the barn.  However, once we arrived at the farm, the big boys saw the tractor and really wanted to go on the hay ride.  In the end, we all rode on the tractor, and I waited with the babies at the drop-off point while Mark took Isaac and Jonny to get us a tree.

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This worked out well since the weather was fairly warm (around 50 degrees).  Ben loves being outside when it’s not too cold and he was in a great mood, and he smiled and giggled, and even stood up nicely for awhile, leaning back on my legs for support.  And surprisingly, Nate was quiet.

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The big boys came back with our tree, and we rode the tractor back.  They wrapped up our tree and we went home.  I’m glad we got the tree on Saturday because the weather has been colder and wetter since then.

Can you believe it’s only 23 days until Christmas???

Winter Already?

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Yes, we had our first snowfall of the season on Friday.  Thankfully it was short, and most of the snow melted that same day.  But we live in Pennsylvania, after all, and I know more snow is sure to come.

We had an interesting weekend.  Yesterday we had family photos taken.  Everyone behaved well for the most part, but Jonny was a difficult subject.  He kept doing the opposite of what the photographer wanted him to do!  She kept saying, “Everyone had good smiles but Jonathan!”  We should have an interesting set of proofs to look at tomorrow.

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Today after church we decided to take a road trip.  We needed some wine for the holidays, so we visited the Nissley Vineyards in Bainbridge, PA.  We used to go there fairly often years ago when we lived near Harrisburg, but now we average one trip every other year.  It’s a neat place with a self-guided tour of the winery, and in the summertime they’ve got music festivals on their large front lawn.

The big boys had their video games as usual, and Ben and Nate just sort of hung out.

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The owners’ dog was very interested in the boys:

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It’s so beautiful there, even if it was freezing today.

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We didn’t stay long.  We tasted a couple of new wines we’d never seen there before, paid, got our precious bounty into the van, and left.  We really need to come back here when it’s warmer so the boys can run outside.

We made a couple of brief stops for photos on the way home.  The Nissley Winery is only a very short drive from Three Mile Island…

tmi

…and we even stopped so I could get a photo of the Star Barn before it is moved to its new location in Lebanon County.

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We got home in time to make a quick dinner and get everyone off to bed.  Overall, the kids did well on the trip.  (Unfortunately, Jonny drank an entire container of one of those dreadful Nesquik milkshakes.  It didn’t agree with him and we had to make two emergency pit stops at area bathrooms, but he seems OK now).

I hope that as the kids get older we can take more adventurous day trips with them.

Pumpkins!

We made our annual trip to the pumpkin patch last weekend.  The weather was a little cool, but it was sunny and overall not too bad.  Actually, it was what Mark would call “A Perfect Fall Day”.   We put Ben in the stroller and I strapped Nate into his carrier where he promptly fell asleep.  For some reason Ben was very intent on putting his nose on the side of his stroller.

The big boys chose their pumpkins…

The pumpkin patch is run by a local farm.  They have great produce at this time of year, and we made sure to stock up on butternut squash, cauliflower, apples and cider before we went home.  Jonny was excited to learn that there is an apple variety named after him!

If it wasn’t for the 40 degree rain, I could really learn to love fall!