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!

One Sunday Afternoon…

We actually had sunshine!  We’ve had so much rain this June that I’ve been wondering if it’s really summer!

We got home from church, had lunch, and decided to have the big boys turn off the video games (after all, they can do that if it rains), and play outside.

First, we got out the bubbles.  We got Jonny a Zome Tool Crazy Bubbles set for his birthday (because I am a chemistry geek at heart), and it really is very cool!  It’s neat to see how the bubbles form within the structures you build, but then the wind takes over and it acts just like a large traditional bubble blower.

Tetrahedron bubbles

Both big boys loved it.  Nate giggled every time  there was a long stream of bubbles.

Jonny with pentagon bubbles

We got out the Slip ‘n Slide for a bit.  The big boys enjoyed it but the water was frigid!

Jonny slip&slide

Isaac slip&slide

The babies watched intently.  I know from past experience that Ben doesn’t much care for the cold water.  I tried Nate and got an almost identical reaction.  Can’t say that I blame them.

The spectators 2

The big boys practiced their gymnastics.  Mark and Isaac tried to teach Jonny how to do a cartwheel.  I think he almost got it.

Isaac handstand

Jonny cartwheel

Mark and the big boys even washed both vans!  By the end of it all, Ben fell fast asleep in the grass.  He really does like being outside.

Ben asleep in grass

I am really hoping that this summer we can spend more time outdoors.  We are actually going house-hunting over the next few days.  We are hoping to find a home with a bigger, safer yard for all our boys to play outside more.  Wish us luck!

Spring Soccer

isaac-soccer

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.

double-stroller

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.

natey-soccer-game

Jonathan was all set with his Gameboy and a snack.

jonny-soccer-game

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.

soccer-sleeping-ben

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!

When it rains…

nateyneb

What an eventful week!    My husband Mark also blogged most of this, so my apologies for being repetitive.

Nate has been sick for the entire week.  Initially he had just a fever and a nasty cough, but by Monday night he started wheezing.  We took him to see the pediatrician on Tuesday.  The pediatrician diagnosed a viral syndrome, and started Nate on albuterol nebulizer treatments.  We did those faithfully, but on Thursday Nate was definitely worse.   The pediatrician started him on some oral steroids, and thankfully they seem to be helping.  But Nate hasn’t been sleeping well, poor thing, and neither have we.  During the day, he wants to be held and carried everywhere, so we also haven’t been getting much done around the house.

Tuesday was Ben’s preschool evaluation, but that will merit its own separate post.  Hopefully I’ll get to it later this week!

olds

Meanwhile, for the last week and a half, my car (my previously trusty 1995 Oldsmobile) has been overheating.  On Wednesday we took it in to our mechanic to have it looked at.  Unfortunately, the problem was more expensive to fix than we anticipated.  We decided that night not to repair it, but to replace it.  After all, the car is 14 years old, and has been becoming less and less reliable with each passing year.  I just hated the thought that it might leave me  stranded somewhere on the Interstate.

montana

The very next day, 0n Thursday I drove our van (1999 Pontiac Montana) to work.  About a block from my office it made a noise and it seemed to me that the accelerator wasn’t as responsive as it had been a just few minutes before.  I convinced myself it was just my imagination.  However that afternoon when I went to leave, I discovered I had a major problem.  It wouldn’t go into reverse AT ALL.  The transmission was fried.  So I was stranded at work, and Mark was stranded at home.

A kind co-worker dropped me off at the mechanic so that I could pick up my overheating (but at that time still driveable) Oldsmobile from the mechanic, and I made it home OK.  Unfortunately, I made the mistake of driving it to work on Friday.  It became dangerously hot on the way home that night, and I ended up returning to my office and getting a ride home from a dear friend of ours, who left her Lenten fish dinner to rescue me.   How embarassing!

So in a few days we had gone from two vehicles to zero.

The van was towed to our bemused mechanic, where it will undergo extremely costly repairs.   After all, we can’t afford to replace two vehicles in the same year, let alone in the same week!  On Saturday, Mark bummed a ride from our next door neighbor to the local car rental place so that he actually had a vehicle to use to go car shopping.  (We really like the rental car, BTW!  Isaac and Jonathan were extremely impressed; they’d never been inside a brand-new car before!  I’ve certainly never driven a car this nice.)

nice-rental-car

Anyway, on Saturday Mark bought us a used van to replace my car, while I stayed home with the boys.  We thought it made more sense to buy a van because there are now 6 of us in this family, and I can tell the Montana probably won’t hold up too much longer.  I hear the new van is very nice, and I’ve seen photos, but I won’t see it in person until it is delivered to our house tomorrow.  I hope it knows it has to last us for YEARS AND YEARS!!!

I hope this week is less eventful.

Ben’s New Glasses

church

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.

number-1

number-2

number-3

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…

toys

jonny-sphere

…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.

much-better

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

double-stroller

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

me-and-my-boys

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.

cousins-1

cousins2

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).

in-hayride

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.

this-one-might-be-a-little-too-tall

scotch-pine

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.

waiting-for-the-tree

isaac-and-natey

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???