Saturday, December 29, 2007
While I was gone, Alex and Daddy decided today was the day that he would learn. I followed them outside and could not believe my eyes. Red got on his bike and took off pedaling down the street. Using his brakes appropriately. Steering around obstacles, even going off the curb! So confident. Wow. I was in shock. (Still am.) Wasn't it just yesterday I was feeding him strained peas?! He's not old enough to be riding a bike!
I immediately brought out my camera to capture this miraculous event on film. I cracked up when Red rode by me, pedaling at top speed, looks my way, smiles a big cheesy grin and says,"Mom! Take my picture!" Thank goodness there wasn't anything in front of him. It could've been a disaster. Instead it became a picture that shows a happy little red head relishing in the moment of an awesome accomplishment.
Red is already making plans to show off his new skill. He says that next time we go camping, he will show all his friends how he rides all by himself without training wheels.
Does that mean I get to ride in the bicycle trailer (pulled by Franky) now? ( hee hee )
So proud of you, Buddy!!! You amaze me.
Friday, December 28, 2007
After the bath, on go the pj's and then to his room to pick a book. Red Head loves books and loves to read. He has quite an impressive library of which we have read every book. Tonight he chooses "Pirates Don't Change Diapers". This is the sequel to "How I became a Pirate". These are two of his favorites.
They are about a boy named Jeremy Jacob who befriends a comical crew of pirates led by a captain by the name of Braid Beard. Very cute books. Franky, Alex, Sophie (our Rat Terrier) and I all climb into Red's twin bed and bury ourselves in the nights selection.
Good night, Red.
Good night Mom and Daddy.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
The first animal he formed the bond with was Zebra aka "Z". Z went everywhere Red did, including on our first ever trip out of state to Minnesota. He got us through nightmares, sick days and was a constant companion to Alex. That is until this summer when we found "Brucey".
Alex spotted Brucey on one of our camping trips to Morro Bay. It was love at first site. Alex begged to get him and sat him right next to him in the seat of his bicycle trailer next to "Z" after we bought him. By the time we got home from our camping trip, Z had been replaced.
Brucey was the new best friend. Since Bruce was a scary shark, whenever Alex had a bad dream, he would say Brucey "chased away" the bad guys. Because he is as big as Alex, he often doubled as a pillow. Brucey was it. But then we went to the Chaffee Zoo. That is where Alex got Nile.
Nile the Crocodile. Nile had sharp teeth and very scarey eyes. Alex loved him. Nile went with us to Minnesota. Another "well traveled" bed time friend. When we returned from Minnesota in October, Alex decided he needed a second bed time buddy and added Coco the little brown puppy to his night time ritual.
Now each night before Alex goes to sleep, Nile has to be on the right hand side, Coco on the left. Brucey and Z are still in the bed but now in the less desired spot toward the end. Franky and I both feel sorry for poor Z. He gets attention every now and then. Usually from Franky! : ) Not only does Alex become attached to these furry friends, so do we.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
The first thing Alex did was make sure that Santa ate the cookies we had left. He did. The milk was gone too. Surprisingly, the carrots left for the reindeer had only a few nibbles! Next, he scanned the presents under the tree. "Did Santa bring me a Geo Trax?", Red looked worried.
A few flat boxes, some square, hmmm. I think he might have been contemplating that "Naughty, Nice" list! He sat in the center of the floor and began opening. Red flannel sheets (the cozy ones like on Mom and Dad's bed), not bad. A Candy Land shape game, ok. The Wonder Pets- Save the Reindeer, very cool. Dinosaur floor puzzle, pretty good. Clothes...hmmm. A few more, then the moment of truth. He opens the gift from the man in the red suit. (Why does Santa always bring the BEST gifts?!) It's the Geo Trax!!!
An hour and a half later, Daddy finishes putting the track together (Santa got off easy!!!) and he and Red are playing "train". A look of pure joy spread across the faces of my two boys as their trains cruise around the newly laid track. What an awesome Christmas!
Merry Christmas to you all! I hope yours was as wonderful as ours. Now to work on the "New Years Resolutions" post!!
**P.S. If you get a food processor for Christmas, does that mean you have to start cooking? Please post your opinion. The first person to post wins a prize. Maybe a food processor. JK : )
***P.P.S. Honey, I really do LOVE the food processor. Do you want to go out to eat tonight and talk about all the dinners I can prepare once I learn to use it? : )
I could tell immediately that this was going to be a favorite book because of the colors I chose and the pictures I was using. But then my Mom started helping me with it. Page by page, the book started to become more than just a book about the ice cream social, it became a bonding experience...
All of a sudden, I began to turn green. Yep, no joke. I was turning into the Grinch. I wanted to keep the album to myself. It would be MINE-ALL-MINE. I couldn't bear to part with it!!!
We worked on it until midnight on Sunday and continued Monday morning. All I could think about was how beautiful the album was looking and how much I wanted it. As we were punching holes in the pages to get them ready to be placed in the album, my Dad stepped in to help. Now, it was a "whole family" project. Franky had cut out the pictures, Mom and I had designed and completed the pages, and Dad punched. How could I give it away?
When all the pages were finished, I put the album together. Franky helped choose the order in which the pages would go. All the while "Grinchy" thoughts raced through my head. I sat the completed album on my work table to take pictures of it (as I do every album I make). As I held the pages to capture them on film, I began to think..."My Mother-In-Law is going to LOVE this. It is absolutely beautiful and all of the family is in it! I can't wait to give it to her!!!Let me give it to her now!!!"
My color returned to normal. No longer a Grinch, but very grateful for the day that my whole family worked together to bring so much joy to Grandma Mary. Who by the way LOVES, LOVES the album! : )
I have a copy of all of the pictures I used making the album. Maybe I'll make another one. Maybe I should recruit more family to help with this one. The end product is awesome, but so is the process. : )
So goes the tale of the Grinch.
So, last Thursday when I picked Alex up from school, I could've done cartwheels out the door when he told me that he was chosen to be the Student of the Day.He had a great sticker to prove it! I was excited and so was he. We came home and showed it off to Dad, Mow and Papa (who were here over Christmas), and called Grandma Mary to tell her all about it. I just had to take a picture and create a post to celebrate. : )
Way to go, Dude!!
We are so proud of you!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The Railroad is recruiting them young! Not really. : ) We had to take Franky to work yesterday. Alex loves to drive into the train yard where the BNSF shop is located. There is always something very exciting going on there. From a train of cars going through the yard to a crane lifting equipment onto a rail car. This thrills Alex. He begs to "just sit and watch".
The yard was especially busy yesterday. There were loaders working in the yard, freight cars being loaded onto the train by two giant cranes, complete trains moving through the yard and lots of large equipment used to repair the track parked near the shop. Red Head was in heaven. He begged to stay with Dad so that he could watch all the action just a little while longer.
Since we had to get back home, he settled on having his picture taken with Dad in his very own (borrowed) hard hat. It's awesome to see how much Alex already admires his Daddy. He told me on the way home that when he grows up, he's going to work with trains just like Dad. Too cute.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
The story of the train is Binker (Franky's Dad), just knew his second child would be a boy. So certain of this, he bought this Lionel train set to be used and enjoyed with the whole family. Especially a BOY! Well, Leah was born. : )
The train became a tradition. One the whole family looked forward to each Christmas. When Franky (a surprise!) came along, he also enjoyed the tradition of the train. He tells stories of he and his Dad playing with it, of him running two engines simultaneously so that they would crash into one another, of loading up the coal and cattle cars.
After Franky and I were married, the train was passed to him to continue the tradition. We have set it up every year since. Now Franky is teaching Alex to run the train. It is amazing how quickly he has caught on.
I love watching the two of them. A glimpse of the past, a connection between Father and Son. One that will take place year after year until one day Franky will pass it on to Alex and his family. Until then, we will all look forward to the day the train is up.
I hope this season, you too enjoy traditions and all of the wonderful memories that accompany them.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
You know how I bragged about Alex on the flight to Minnesota? Well the trip home was a little different! Our flight from MN to AZ was long but ok. The flight from Phoenix to Fresno was terrible. I really wanted a parachute.
I was exhausted. Alex was beyond tired. Those descriptions sound similar but look very different. Mine looks like bags under the eyes, frayed nerves, crazy airplane hair, "don't mess with that chick - she's gonna blow!!!" Red Head's looks more like ants in the pants, what can I do next, I need to be louder cuz' not everyone can hear me, I- AM- NOT -TIRED.
Needless to say, this is not a great combination. Another one of those "God giving me opportunities to practice patience" experiences. Well, this time, it wasn't just God rolling on the floor with laughter, but all of the passengers on our plane, the flight attendant. Basically everyone but me. : )
I can laugh about it now.
This is what happened... As soon as we got on the plane, Alex asked, "Are we there yet?" That alone isn't so bad but he proceeded to sing it. Over and over, "are we there yet?" I told him to please stop. He did but then started singing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer in a voice only to be used outside. I asked him to stop and encouraged him to take a rest. He stopped singing but then started wiggling in his seat saying, "Look Mom, I'm -not- T-I-R-E-D" to the tune of the nee-neer, nee- neer song.
I gave him the look. He gave it back to me. Then started singing "chic a mou, chic a mou mou" from the song "She's a Brick House". He got a few chuckles which stoked the little red-headed fire.
Do they have a "time-out" room in airplanes? NO. I told him he was going to be in "big trouble" (what's that?) if he didn't stop being so noisy and didn't sit still.To this he sat straight up in his seat. I thought, "he's giving in, he's going to settle down." He thought, "I've got her now!" He poked my arm and says "Mom" then he starts mouthing the words "chic a mou, chic a mou mou". AAAGGHHH! This went on for the entire flight.
When we landed, I wanted to kiss the ground. We got our luggage and got in the car. Remarkably, Red Head decided to mellow out. Maybe he tired himself out, too. He can drive me nutty but I wouldn't have it any other way. He's our wonderful, smart, spunky, loving life, little red head and I love that. : )
It was so pretty there. It's kind of funny, you go out, pick your tree, cut it down with the saws provided (or if you're smart, your chain saw you brought along), load it up, then leave a check in a drop box as you leave. Never making contact with the farm owners. Do you think that would happen in California?!
Mom and Dad picked a beautiful tree that had few limbs on the back so that it would fit in a certain spot. Tracey and his family picked a ginormous (Red Head's word for "HUGE") tree to fit in their living room that has vaulted ceilings.
I love to decorate Christmas trees and so Ellena and I put the lights on their tree (which ended up being around 14 feet tall). With a ladder, a extending light bulb changing pole, a broom, garden gloves (Minnesota Christmas trees are VERY poky), 2500 lights, and two very determined women ( Ellena and I) the lights were on and absolutely amazing. (We Rock!) It was fun. Probably very funny to watch. Lucky no bones were broken. : )
I will always remember that night.
I also helped Mom with the lights on her tree. It was hilarious. Because of the lack of branches on the back, it fit perfectly into the space chosen for it, but as we were putting the lights on, it kept falling on us! It took a little while but we finally got the lights on and managed to get the stand fixed so that it would stay up. It (too) looks absolutely beautiful. Franky has decided that I will be the one putting the lights on our tree from now on. (He's the one who taught me how to do them and always does ours.) But, a tradition is a tradition and he's not getting out of this one!
The pictures from the slide show titled "O, Christmas Tree" were taken on this day.
Once we got outside, he rolled, jumped, laid, ate, and threw the snow. He rode the snow plow with Papa and laughed/squealed with delight when Papa went after me with the blower! His favorite thing was shoveling snow. He was pretty good at it but tended to shovel the snow right into the places that had already been cleared.
It was about 5 degrees outside on that day. We had a blast shoveling until Alex got stuck (face down) in the snow. (Then we went inside to warm up!) I think I lost 5lbs. shoveling Mom and Dad's deck. Unfortunately, I ate the rest of the time and gained that (probably more) back. Oh, well. January 1st is coming...
Monday, December 3, 2007
So, I've taken up a new little hobby. I have learned to knit. A gracious fellow county employee (who just so happens to be a man) showed me how and I am proud to say I have already finished one scarf.
Tonight I was working on a scarf for Alex. He took a lot of interest in the knitting process when I was making my first scarf so I told him I would make him one next. I had all of my yarn, knitting needles and scissors on the couch where I was sitting. Alex was in the hallway floor playing with his cars (crashing them into my baseboards) when I had to go upstairs.
I was gone for what seemed only a short time but it was long enough for Red Head to cut about a thousand 2" pieces of red yarn and spread them all over the couch....AAARGGHH!!! I didn't know whether to Laugh, CRY, or SCREAM. What a weird mix of emotions.
I ended up putting Red Head in a time out for using the scissors without permission. I've resolved to be more responsible with sharp objects. And I said a little prayer thanking God that it was just yarn.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
It was too cute, on the day Franky got the decorations down, Alex was taking a nap. By the time he woke up, decorations were strewn all over the loft. Alex's eyes were bright and bigger than ever. He says, "MOM, it- looks -so- FESTIVE in here." (Where does a three year old get the word "festive"?!)
Red Head is definitely excited about Christmas this year and can't wait until Franky gets back from Minnesota and puts the train around the tree.
Many pictures to come...
We had such a amazing time over the Thanksgiving holiday. Franky had been in Texas for two and a half weeks and didn't get home until the day before Thanksgiving. It was so aWeSoMe to have him home. We spent the holiday eating, visiting with family and camping. I'm thankful for so many things but those three are at the very top of my list. (Family should probably come before eating...)
I hope you all have many things to be thankful for and have an amazing time celebrating them on Thanksgiving and every day.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Since before he could walk, Red Head has loved Thomas the Train. When he began talking, it wasn't long before he could name every train, even ones that were the same color but had a different number on it side or more wheels than another. He would correct us if we called the train the wrong name!!! It was amazing. To this day, he still loves Thomas. He watches the movies, plays with his wooden railway, reads the books and works on his Thomas "laptop".This morning, he spread out his track and trains all over the hallway. He's acting out different scenarios from the various movies or books he's read. He's making train horn noises, pretending to be Sir Topham Hatt and of course derailing and crashing the trains into one another. I love that he still has so much fun with these trains. It's only a matter of time before something like Transformers or the Power Rangers take over...
Until then I will enjoy watching him create adventures with Thomas. I will continue to laugh as he looks at the Thomas catalog (like I look at my scrapbooking magazines) with a look of concentration that is trance-like! This boy loves Thomas....and so do I.
*We miss you, Daddy. We're thinking about you while we work on Red Head's trains and can't wait until you come home on Wednesday. We LOVE you.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Last year at the Christmas parade, Alex's friend had one shaped like a trumpet. Red Head LOVES instruments. He begged Jon to let him blow it. Being a great sport, Jon relinquished his trumpet to Alex only to have it returned with drool dripping from it's mouth piece!
So, needless to say, Red Head got his very own trumpet today. It is shiny, blue with a metallic look and Alex has not put it down or stopped blowing it since he got it!!! When the bands would pass, he would blow even louder moving it from side to side just like the band members. It was too cute. (Notice it is in EVERY picture in the slide show!)
I didn't think it was possible for Alex to be more into a parade this year from last. I have to say, I had more fun watching him play his trumpet, wave his flag, jump, dance and yell than I did watching the parade.
What a wonderful way to remember those who fight for our freedom. How truly blessed we are to live in the United States. Happy Veteran's Day.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
On Monday is Porterville's Veteran's Day Parade. I LOVE this parade. I get the goose bumps listening to the bands play the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful. Last year Red Head could hardly contain his excitement. He loved the bands, fire trucks, color guard (he yelled right along with them) and the Shriner's zipping around in their funny little cars. I can't wait to see what he thinks this year.
Today we went to Exeter's Chili Cook-Off. (Franky and I had been to this before. We got there too early. Salivated over the smells of the cooking chili. Got too hungry to wait for the sampling and ended up eating something else and then going home.)
Me, Alex, Grandma Mary, my best friend, her future daughter-in-law and her adorable grand baby went to check it out. We got there too early. Salivated over the smells of the cooking chili. Got too hungry to wait for the sampling and ended up eating something else. (Sound familiar?) Instead of going home though, we walked around the shops and visited. It was a fun day.
I hope you all have a terrific weekend. Enjoy Veteran's Day.
P.S. Happy Veteran's Day, Dad. We love you.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I have a theory. The person who came up with the phrase "ants in your pants" had a three year old who just so happened to be getting ready for Halloween night.
Most of you know that our little red head has enough energy to power the state of California for at least 10 summer's without the concern of brown-outs. Well, tonight I could include all 50 states and Puerto Rico!
We got home and put on his costume. This year he elected to be a pirate. He fell in love with the costume during a trip to Morro Bay. We decided at that time, we should have him try it on (it looked a little small) and when he did, he refused to take it off. He was a pirate the rest of the day. That was about 3 months ago.
Have you ever noticed how Pooh Bear's red shirt fits him? OK on top but as you move your eyes down toward his toes, the shirt flares out due to the girth of his belly? Well, that's just how Alex's pirate shirt fit him. It seems Alex's tummy has had a bit of a growth spurt! To remedy this, I tied the blue sash around his middle. That helped a little.
Our plan was to pass out some candy and then go trick or treating with our neighbors. Because of the "ants in the pants", we switched the order! Alex was a pro. He figured out very quickly which homes to bypass (no lights) and which houses had the booty! He stopped only to check out an interesting costume, ask someone their name, pick up dry leaves off the sidewalk, show off the candy he'd collected or talk to someone to be sure they knew it was Halloween and he was a pirate. It was an adventure...
Halloween is over now. We have a plastic pumpkin filled to the brim with candy that we will probably end up tossing so that Franky and I will not find our shirts fitting like Pooh's. Franky and Alex are sound asleep. I am going to finish up my blog then do some research online on "how to remove black marker moustaches" in hopes that Alex won't return to school with a curly moustache outline on his face....Oops!
Hope you all had a terrific Halloween.
Today was Pajama Day at Red Head's preschool. I got him up, brushed his teeth, combed his hair and got him dressed...back into pajamas (clean ones of course!).
As I was dressing him, he looks at me and says,"Mom, we don't wear pajamas to school. That's so silly!" After a little coercing, he decided pj's were OK.
When he got to school, he was delighted to see his teachers and friends all in their bedtime attire.
This got me to thinking. There are things to envy about being 3.
The first for me is the endless supply of energy.(What is that about? How am I supposed to keep up?)
Their work is to play. (I could really get used to that.)
They have a love for life that amazes and thrills me.
And... they get to wear their pj's on days like today. It can't get any better than that.
Wonder if the county would ever adopt a PJ Day?
Naaaahhh!!! : )
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
This year was especially exciting as they have added a little train ride. It is too cute. It goes around and around in circles (pretty fast...kinda scary for moms!). The kids all smile from ear to ear as it bumps along the track. Alex did not want to get off so he rode it three times in a row! He's asked about fifty times if we could go back to the patch and ride the train. I wonder if they sell season passes?