Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Luke's First Soccer Game!

Saturday September 22 was Luke's first soccer game with Hampton Roads Homeschool Sports.

It was pretty much a flop.  Luke was scared of the kids and the whole atmosphere, I had to hold his hand and drag him around the soccer field. :(

Praying before the game

Being brave and going after the ball

Getting in there!

Chasing the ball

Small pep talk from Mama

Helping him keep his balance

Eyes closed during prayer

Vinnie hanging out with Pap

Running off the field for a water break

Mama keeping him on the field, during a wait

Getting the ball

The other teams' kids were all that much bigger than our team!

Big blue eyes!

Honking the horn on Pap's ride

The Puppies

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Let's Just Get Along, Okay Matey?

Argh, did you know today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day?  I did & I've been celebrating all day....

There's been a bit of a hoopla on the inter-webs today about a picture that made its way onto Facebook.

I liked the picture when it came across my news-feed and then I didn't think any more of it.  Until it popped up on Diaperswappers (and let the drama begin) and then on my Google reader on a blog that I happen to adore.  It seems that the mama behind, Live with Levi, re-posted the picture on Facebook and got a huge debate started on her wall. Now, there has been an official "update" from the creators of the picture at Granolababies.com.

I am VERY passionate about several parenting issues.

Circumcision is one of them.  I was ignorant (to a point) about circumcision when Luke was born and let Tim "win" that argument.  After what Luke went through we both swore we would NOT circumcise any more boys.  Then I got pregnant with Vinnie and had SO much angst because Tim was wanting to go back on his promise.  I finally poured it out to him that I could NOT LIVE WITH MYSELF if I went and circumcised Vinnie and he agreed that if meant that much to me, we wouldn't do it.  So, I am on one of those moms with one boy who is and one who isn't....I can see both sides of the fence.  What I cannot see, is KNOWING that it is wrong and not in any way customary anymore, and still doing it.  I will attempt to educate and change your mind as best as I can until the deed is done...but if you still choose to circumcise your baby boy, guess what, most likely it won't be a deal breaker and we'll still be friends.  Ultimately, past actions can't be changed, especially this one, and if I otherwise like you as a person, I'll still like you after this.  So, while I do have some "judgement" of those that circumcise their children, I am still very tolerant and not obnoxious or rude.

I am also passionate about breastfeeding, co-sleeping, extended rear-facing, and all of the facets of attachment parenting.  These things make up who I am as a mom.  They are all things that I believe directly impact who my children will grow up to become.  Nursing your babies is such an awesome thing and I think EVERYBODY should at least try.  I do know that it isn't for everybody though, heck, lots of the time I don't like it! (GASP!)  Yes, there are times, almost 3 years into it, that I wish even for just one day, that my boobs were mine!  Co-sleeping (not using CIO ever) is also important to me, I don't think babies or toddlers should be made to fall asleep alone or cry themselves to sleep.  The things it does to their hormones and trust in their parents can only be negative.  There are days where I wish I could just tell Luke to go to bed and then relax myself.  Its on those days that I remind myself, before too long, he'll be a big boy and snuggling with his Mommy (or Daddy) won't be cool and I'll miss his sticky little hands getting tangled in my hair as they are wrapped around my neck.  Extended rear-facing just makes sense to me and I want others to realize that it is a financial possibility that could save their children's lives.  I am disappointed and saddened when friends choose to forward face their kids, especially if the seat they already own could rear-face, but it isn't a deal breaker for me.  As an attachment parent, I pretty much prescribe to all methods of gentle parenting and I wish that every baby and child could be parented with respect and dignity   However, these are the choices I have made for MY kids, for my family, the choices that others make regarding these issues DO NOT EFFECT me or my kids at all.  So, who am I to judge?  I'm not perfect and I don't claim to be.

Luke has gotten "spankings"--swats on the butt when he doesn't behave.  Its an extreme, last resort measure, but sometimes he just won't listen.  This goes against EVERYTHING AP/Gentle discipline, but, I'm not perfect.  I'd love to say I've raised my kids without every disciplining them physically, but I just can't. I was raised to get a "good butt whooping" every now & then when needed and I turned out okay.

Luke is the world's PICKIEST eater. And we cater to it.  I am a picky eater.  I hate being made to eat things I don't like.  So, I don't force my kids to eat things they don't like either.

Luke is circumcised, Vinnie is not.  If it ever becomes an issue, we'll have to explain to Luke that we knew some of the facts but didn't realize all that it involved and we are sorry we made that decision for him.  Hopefully, it doesn't cause any kind of rift between the boys.

I have let both boys cry, a few times. I hate it, but there have been times in both boys' lives, that their crying or fit throwing, or refusal to sleep was just too much for me to bear and I would leave them in a safe place and walk away for a few minutes.  (normally the crib)  To go pee, get a drink, calm down for just a minute so I could be the mom I wanted to be.  Their tears break my heart, but I know they forgive me when they are so happy to see me when I get back.

I spend time on my computer in the morning, and when I get a few minutes of quiet time throughout the day.  The boys aren't ignored and are safe.  Facebook is my doorway to my friends....without the support groups  I have on Facebook and Diaperswappers, I'd be a lonely, stressed out mess.  Reconnecting with women who love me for who I am, no matter what, helps me be a good Mommy.

I sneak the things the boys are allergic to, even though I know it effects them through my milk.  I can't make myself commit to a 100% corn, dairy, & soy free life.

But, like I'm sure most moms out there do, I try my best.

I spend time with them each day, loving them, snuggling them, tickling them.  I kiss their boo-boos and play pretend games that make no sense whatsoever.

I pour myself into making their lives happy and whole.  They know they are loved.

I try.  I don't always succeed, but I'm human, and nobody should expect me to be perfect.  I certainly can't expect anybody else to be either.

So, I hope, we can all just GET ALONG.  Its okay to disagree. Really, it is.  But, be respectful.  Don't bash someone else just to make yourself feel better.  I like the gist of what the GranolaBabies folks quotes---you'll get a lot further with honey than with vinegar.  So, lets all play nice.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Measuring Up

I took the boys measurements today!

Lucas Wayne 35 months
Vincent James 13 months

Heel to toe
Foot Width
Around Foot
Shoulder to crotch
Arm Width
Arm Inseam
Head Circ.

They are getting so big!

Big Boy Undies!

Luke is officially day-time potty trained!  We are officially no longer using diapers to leave the house, only training under pants.

He goes to the bathroom at home, with help (he still can't pull his undies up/down by himself!) all day long and is able to nap in undies!

Congratulations Luke! One month and a day before his 3rd birthday!

We aren't going to worry about night training until he either stops nursing at night or starts waking up dry.  Right now, he nurses to sleep, once during the night some nights & drinks an entire sippy cup during the night too.

I'm so proud of my big boy & I'm also glad that we have taken a completely stress free approach to potty training!

Baby steps...

One year, one month, and 9 days old and Vinnie is finally walking! Woohoo!!

Around Labor Day (September 3) Vinnie was able to take 1 step on his own and then he'd sit down. At James & Missy's house he did take a couple of tentative steps in a row, but didn't repeat it again any time.

Last night at Tom & Peggy's he took a couple steps in a row again!

Today, Monday the 17th, he finally realized that he CAN walk!  His first "journey" was several feet across the living room in a daze of sorts!  I've been trying to get him to repeat it, but he's tired so I haven't had much luck...just a couple steps and then he falls face first on the floor. :(

Anyway, I'm counting today as Vinnie OFFICIALLY learning to walk. I'm sure he'll get more steady on his feet over the next week or so!

Congrats baby boy!

Summer Blog Challenge Days 31-37

Day 31: Something Eco-Friendly that I do.

Something that I don't blog about or even really talk about much is the use of reusable menstrual products.  I started using "mama cloth" before Luke was born and haven't gone back.  I do still have the 'sposie stash that I had accumulated and sometimes I need to use them, but I much prefer my minky topped cloth pads.

The initial start-up cost of "mama cloth" can be a set-back for many women because the pads cost anywhere from $4-16 a piece.  Mine are all work-at-home-mom (WAHM) made and I got discounts for buying "lots".  I have about a dozen pads and since I wash cloth diapers every couple of days, I just wash them with the diapers and I have enough to get through a normal cycle for myself.

If my cycle ever goes regular I might invest in a larger "stash" of pads, but since I only have my cycle a couple times a year (thanks Polycystic Ovary Syndrome/PCOS), I don't need a ton of pads.

"Stash Picture" I took when I got the majority of my stash.  

Close up of the "bulk" of my stash...gotta love have minky topped pads!

Day 32: Share a Poem that you've written, or one you like.

I'm no poet, but this one hits home for me every time I read it!

I hope that my child looking back on today 
remembers a mother who had time to play 
for children grow up while you are not looking 
there will be years ahead for cleaning and cooking 

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth 
empty the dustpan, poison the moth, 
hang out the washing and butter the bread, 
sew on a button and make up a bed. 
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking? 
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking. 

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue 
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo). 
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due 
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo). 
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew 
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo 
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo. 
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue? 
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo). 

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow, 
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow. 
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep. 
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep 
-Author Unknown

Day 33: Travel and plans you have for the summer?

NONE! We didn't have any plans, but we did make a crazy quick trip to Pennsylvania!   We don't have any travel plans for the winter either, but if the opportunity arises to go to Colorado and Oklahoma, you better believe we'd go! :

Day 34: Free day!

That's what we're planning today.... I didn't get much sleep last night & so I'm taking the day off!

Day 35: Talk about a fear that you have.

I am afraid of drowning.  As an experienced swimmer and lifeguard of 9 years, I'm terrified of drowning.  Specifically after driving off of a bridge.  I'm afraid of driving off of a bridge because I'd be faced with the impossible task of unbuckling both of my babies and somehow swimming with the two of them in my arms, long enough to be rescued or get out of the water without freezing to death (because these things always happen in frigid water, right?)

I know its not a rational fear, but with the number of bridges we have around here, it isn't impossible!

Day 36: What's a holiday tradition that you have in your family?

We have an Easter Egg Hunt...every year for Easter, if there is even one child under 18, then we are egg hunting!  We try to get as many members of the family together as possible.  Last year we had over 400 eggs! 

Day 37: Something you would attempt if you KNEW you wouldn't fail.

A lot more sewing projects!  If I knew everything I tried to sew would be functional, I'd make all kinds of things!  A lot of my projects flop and I have to take them apart & try a new technique and that is often more work/time than I have, so I get discouraged.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Days 22-30

Well, I failed again. I don't know why I bother trying to do blog challenges, I never manage to complete them!!

I figure I've got a few more days of summer left, lets see how many more of these posts I can bang out!

Day 22: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a teacher.  My 5th grade teacher "lied" to me, by not telling me when it was time for orchestra, causing me to miss a practice.  I was very upset that she basically punished me for using the restroom and didn't just tell me I missed the call to practice.  I vowed to be an honest teacher and to never lie to my students.  I did become a teacher, an honest one, but I didn't love working in the public school system, so I'm now just a stay-at-home-mom.

Day 23: Favorite blog post, written BEFORE this challenge?

This post about Luke as a newborn!

Day 24: Favorite eco-friendly thing to do?

Cloth diaper!!  I love my diapers, they are so cute & fun & functional.  I also love that we never "run out" of diapers...I just wash some more up! :)  I started cloth diapering when Carolynn was a baby, 5 years ago, because she always leaked out of disposables.  I've never looked back!

Day 25: Ideal day of me time?

Ahh, me time, I do miss it.  I'd sleep in, as long as I could.  Take a nice long bath, preferably with a glass of ice cold water and a good book.  Get dressed, tidy the house up, eat something sweet for breakfast.  Then I'd just want to relax and sew, read, or do some other craft.  I love the accomplishment of making things.  I never feel like I have the time to do the things I really enjoy doing.  I'd maybe get  massage or have my nails done.  If I was going all out, I'd get crab dip from a restaurant and snack on that while watching a girly chick-flick movie, before bed.

Day 26: What does your significant other do that makes your heart melt?

He's a pretty amazing dad.  Even when I'm upset with him for whatever reason, when he gets into "dad mode" and interacts with the boys, it makes me weak in the knees.  

Day 27: What's the best gift you've ever received? 

My kids.  I know, cheesy right? They truly are gifts though.  It took 13 months of trying for Lucas and then Vinnie was our little miracle baby.  I can't imagine my life without them in it.

Day 28: How do you do your laundry? Give us your laundry tips.

I SUCK at getting the laundry put away.  So, I could USE tips on that! I wash something every day.  Diapers get washed every other to every 3rd day.  I have a loooong routine for them.  Otherwise I sort the laundry into: towels, colors (dark/light if there are a lot), whites, wool.  Wool all gets hand washed.  I also have  a long routine for that.  

Day 29: Write a How-To Post--I'm going to have to come back to this one! 

Day 30: Post a photo of an outfit that is either your style, or you wish was your style.

Nursing Vinnie

This is pretty much how I dress--big flow-y loose shirt, A-line undershirt, jeans or jean shorts.

House Party: Fisher Price Joy of Learning Playdate

I am a member on an awesome website called "HouseParty".

I recently got selected to host the Fisher Price Joy of Learning Play-date.  Its not really a contest, but all of the lucky hosts, certainly feel like we won something!!

Fisher Price and House Party team up and send a giant box of toys out to 5,000 lucky families, in exchange for hosting a party with the toys to show them off to your friends.

I was selected for the six to twelve month age group, even though I don't technically have a child in that range.  The toys we were sent were multi-age toys though, so I guess that was their rationale.

The toys that we were sent are the Apptivity Monkey (Luke's holding it in one of the pictures) and then the Ballcano, Ballapalooza, and the Puppy.  The other toys in these pictures are just to show some of Luke & Vinnie's favorite Fisher-Price goodies.  We are DEFINITELY fans of Fisher Price in this house!

The Cruise & Groove Ballapalooza™ retails for $70.00 on the Fisher Price webpage.  It is a LARGE toy rated for ages 6-36 months.  

Here is what Fisher-Price has to say about it.

"Move and groove to the music and 6 dancing lights! Baby can drop colorful balls onto lower ramps or crawl through the gate for a different perspective. When they can pull up and stand, it’s fun to drop balls into the chute for surprise, bounce-back action.Then play all over again.

Develop & Learn

All-around action
• Babies can sit, crawl, pull up & stand, developing gross motor skills

8 colorful balls
• Grasping & dropping balls gives eye-hand coordination a great workout

Making things happen
• Teaches about cause & effect as baby activates lights, music & more

Dancing lights & musical beats
• Stimulate baby’s senses"

We determined that this toy was too large and too babyish for our house.  Luke is going to be three in one month and Vinnie is very happy to play "big boy toys" with his brother.  Although he is technically in the age range, we aren't interested in baby stuff too much, anymore.  

If I knew we were having another or if Luke wasn't so much older than the target audience of this toy (learning to walk babies) we would definitely keep it and they would both enjoy playing with the many different aspects of the toy.

The Stand-Up Ballcano™ retails for $40.00 on Fisher-Price.com.  This is a medium sized toy, that interacts with the balls and baby as your child creeps around it.  It is about the same footprint at the Spinning Speedway toy, but taller.  It is rated for ages 6-36 months.

Here is what Fisher-Price has to say about it:

"Watch the fun erupt with lights, music, sounds and motion to keep baby busy and active! The six colorful balls spew out of the Ballcano™ over and over to keep baby’s attention and encourage standing. Baby will enjoy placing them back in and watching them roll down the ramps for fun surprises. Bat the roller for eruption action!

Develop & Learn

Erupting action!
• Encourages baby to pull up, stand, cruise & crawl, helping develop gross motor skills

Making it happen
• Rewarding sounds, lights & action help baby understand cause & effect

Put & take play
• Enhances eye-hand coordination as baby grasps & drops balls on top

Music & movement
• Full of lively music, bright colors & action to stimulate baby’s senses"

The balls for this toy and the ballapalooza do not interchange!  If you decide to get both, do not mix them up! 

This is another toy we decided not to keep after checking it out.  It is a baby toy in that it is meant to teach walking/creeping skills and doesn't do a lot of educational stuff.  If I am going to keep a baby toy in the house, I'd like it to at least be educational!  

For the price, this isn't a toy I'd recommend, unless your child is just starting to sit up, then they would get a good 6-8 months of use out of it before it gets outgrown.  

The Laugh & Learn™ Stride-to-Ride™ Puppy retails for $50.00 on Fisher-Price.com  It is a very large, interactive, learn-to-walk and ride toy.  This toy is rated for ages 9-36 months.

Here is what Fisher Price has to say about it:

"Sitting, walking, riding, playing, learning … this friendly puppy is full of fun ways to encourage and reward baby! Requires 3 AA batteries.

Develop & Learn

Wide wheel base
• Provides sturdy support as baby learns to walk, developing gross motor skills

Easy-grasp handles
• Boost balance & coordination

Feed me!
• Sorting blocks &”feeding” them to puppy encourages eye-hand coordination

Music, sounds & motion
• Help baby understand cause & effect

• Letters, A - Z
• Numbers
• Colors & shapes
• Greetings
• Manners
• Opposites
• Parts of the body and more!"

This toy is very large when assembled and does not interact with the balls from the other two big toys.  It has its own shape sorting pieces and talks.  The mouth can be opened by hand and is large enough for other toys to be shoved inside (like Thomas trains).  
We decided not to keep this toy, either, because we already have several learn-to-walk toys and because Vinnie is very close to walking independently already.  If he were 6 months younger and we didn't already have all the hand-me-down learn to walk toys, then this would have been okay.  

The final toy we received and the only one to pass the test of time in our home, is the  Laugh & Learn™ Apptivity™ Monkey, which retails at $30.00 on Fisher Price's webpage.  This toy is a plush version of their previously released Apptivity iPod, iPhone, and iPad cases.  It is compatible with the iPod Touch, iPhone 4 & 4s.  It doesn't interact with Tim's Touch, but I plan on getting a 4s phone soon and it will interact with that.  This toy is rated for ages 6-36 months, but I'm sure it will continue getting used past 3 years old, since Luke loves it just as much as Vinnie.

Here's what Fisher Price has to say about it:

"It’s the best of both worlds for baby—a soft, cuddly friend to hold and hug, plus fun interactive learning with (or without) your iPhone or iPod Touch! Requires 3 AA batteries.
Develop & Learn

Songs, sounds & fun phrases
• Enhance sensory development

Easy to use
• Encourages eye-hand coordination & fine motor skills

Interactive fun, without a device too!
• Responds to baby’s touch, teaching about cause & effect

Compatible with:
• iPhone 3GS
• iPhone 4 / 4S
• iPod touch® 4th generation
(device not included)

Apple, iPhone and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc."

As soon as I unpacked the House Party box, this toy was the clear favorite.  Both boys were fighting over getting to play with it, still in the packaging!  The push-buttons on each paw are easy enough for Vinnie to operate at 13 months old and keeps our iPod Touch safe for the boys to use in the car!  

As part of the House Party event, we also received a sing-along CD for each of our guests, a coloring book for each guest, a $5 of a $10 purchase coupon for each guest, and a coupon code for $10 off a $50 purchase from Fisher-Price.com.  Each guest will also receive an information card with play tips for each of the big toys.  Fisher-Price and House Party even thought to send the gift bags, tissue paper, and batteries for the toys! 

With the toys that we are trading, we are able to get Lucas the entire Eagle Talon castle line and a couple small things for Vinnie!  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

September Sunday Update Part 1

September 1
We got up and had breakfast and then drove home from Emporia.  Tim and Luke stayed behind to finish helping Dad with the truck wiring.  

September 2
Tim ran sound at church.  We went to James and Missy's house at 4:30 for dinner and to hang out.  Vinnie woke up at 11 pm with a fever.

September 3
Vinnie and I went grocery shopping at Wal-Mart, while Tim and Luke went to Greenbrier Mall to get the tire repaired on the car. 
I ran home to drop off the cold groceries and then met up with the Johnson's at the Mall.  Tim and Luke met us a few minutes later, having just gotten out of Brave at Cinema Cafe.  
We had lunch with the Johnson's and then headed home.  

September 4
Mom and Dad came in from Emporia.

September 5
I took Vinnie to the doctor for his fever, even though it was on the way out.  That afternoon Luke got the fever.  

September 6
Luke's fever broke, but he broke out in a rash.

September 7
We went to soccer to meet Luke's coach and pay his membership fee, but didn't stay to let him play because of the rash.  Tim came home from work sick.

September 8
We missed soccer in the morning because Luke still had the rash (that we now suspect was a heat rash).  We went to Melanie's "Free for All" pot luck at Portsmouth City Park from 4:30-7:30.  Then we had a quick dinner and went to bed.

September 9
Tim ran sound at church.  Then he went to a 4 o'clock meeting in Virginia Beach.  Mom and Dad came in and we had everybody over for dinner.

September 10
The boys and I went and picked up a Superman/Batman cake pan, a Spiderman cake pan, and a Thomas cake pan.  Then we went to the Post Office to mail some yarn and our swap goodies.  We had dinner at Subway and then drove out to Heather's house to pick up my new snap pliers.  Then we played at Logan and Gherig's house until about 7:30.
Tim had school, so bedtime was difficult.

September 11
Always Remember 9-11-01
I had a doctor's appointment at 11:30 in Virginia Beach, so I picked up Beth to go with me.  She kept Vinnie in the lobby while I took Luke back with me.  The doctor thinks the pain in my breast is hormonal and  that the pain in my gall bladder will go away with diet modification.  
After that we had CiCi's for lunch and then went to Wal-Mart to exchange some toys.

In exchange for 3 big toys, Luke got his Fisher Price Castle circa 1994.  He has been enjoying it all week!

This is the face I get most often from Vinnie when I try to take his picture.

Giving Tim "Five" he can say "five" now! 
September 12
Spencer arrived at 10:10 am.  We got ready to go get Grayson, but were, as usual, late. :(  He was okay though.
After picking him up, we drove to Chesapeake and went to the Post Office and Party City.  We got some of the "special" Spiderman things for Luke's birthday party and some wrapping paper and headed home.
The three youngest boys took naps and Grayson "read" at the kitchen table.  We mostly just hung out during the day waiting on Amanda to get there.
When Mandy got home, we all went to Outback Steakhouse for a super yummy dinner, courtesy of Lindsay. :)
After dinner, Mandy waited on her to-go order and I took the boys out to a grassy part of the parking lot to run off some steam before heading home to bed.  They had a blast getting to run and play for a bit outside & the weather was perfect.
I realized fall is here and it is weird.  Its like summer just faded away...and now its cool evenings and tolerable days.  I'm a bit sad that we might only get one or two more Busch Gardens trips in.
It took me a while to get the boys ready for bed and they were both still up when Tim got home from school.

September 13
I woke up in severe pain.  What I thought was my gall bladder hurting had gotten MUCH worse and only got more severe throughout the day.  I managed to get a bit of housework done, but didn't even get the boys to take a nap and Luke had a bowl of pistachios for lunch.
When Tim got home I had called my general surgeon and she said to go to the Emergency Room....so I got a shower and drove myself in, leaving Tim home with the boys. (When this mama leaves her kids, you know something is bad.)
I left for the ER around 5:15 and didn't get home until almost midnight.  They got me triaged and into a room fairly quickly and within the first hour I got blood drawn and an IV inserted (one step) and then started on some morphine.
The morphine didn't get rid of the pain and I was still in agony every time I moved, so after an ultrasound of all my middle organs, they had me drink some lidocaine and maalox.  It was gross and it didn't do anything for the pain. (But it ruled out heartburn.)  So, then the doctor decided to try an anti-inflammatory medicine called toradal and it FINALLY helped.  So, the doctor decided that it must be a muscle related issue and that I probably strained the muscles there in my side/chest/back and there wasn't much more they could do.
I did get sent home with a prescription for Vicodin and extra strong Motrin.

September 14
Happy 1st Birthday Colton!
I was still hurting pretty badly, so my sweet and dear friend Karen came over with her son Thomas, to help me out.  We hung out at home for about 30 minutes while I finished tidying up a bit & got the boys ready.  Karen did all the lifting and helped me get the kids in the car.  Then we went to Toys R Us to get Colton's birthday gift and some pouch baby foods for Vinnie.  We discovered he likes the ones you can suck out like a straw and so I've been stocking up on the super-organic ones that he can actually eat.
After we went home, I gave the boys lunch and then put them down for naps.

In the afternoon, we had Luke's first soccer practice.  He did SO well! I was so proud of him!  His coach's name is Coach Cross and she has a daughter about a month older than Luke.  There are more girls on the team than boys.  They chose the team name "The Puppies" and will end up with either pink or blue jerseys, they don't know yet.
When we got there, we had to wait quite a while for all of his team to straggle in.  While we were waiting the kids played around kicking their balls into the net.

They warmed up by running around their tiny rectangle field.  Luke did well following the coach.
They practiced passing the ball to each other.  Luke's partner just randomly kicked the ball (hard) all over the field and Luke kept running right to it & kicking it directly back to her.  The coach kept "correcting" him, telling him to use small kicks, but he had complete control even over his big kicks (and they were practicing from 6 feet apart, so he had to kick it pretty hard.)

Then they practiced "dribbling" using "little kicks" up and down the field.  Luke did really well with that as long as Tim or I stayed with him.

Next, they played Red Light, Green Light. The coach showed them that green light meant to kick their ball down the field and at red light to stop their ball with their foot on top.

 Luke did excellent at balancing his ball with his foot & was the 2nd "winner" each time.  There is one other kid on the team with some skills and he is about 9 inches taller than Luke and clearly already 4 years old.
This is the "big kid" on the team....Luke kept up with him pretty well!
The next game they played was "Kick the Coach" where in they attempt to kick their balls at their coach.  Each time they'd kicked her 5 times (as a team) they all sat down and she made a funny animal noise, then they did it again.
Listeing to his coach (in the red shirt) during one of the sit-downs. 
That took up the first 45 minutes of the practice.  (Also mixed in were several water breaks and one break for the coach to take her older child to the restroom.)

By this point Luke's attention span was maxed out but he was still hanging in there, many of the other kids faded away at this point.  (Literally, they just wandered away!)
I moved away to nurse Vinnie, but Tim said she tried to get them to play two-on-two, but only Luke was paying attention!  He did practice kicking the ball into the net with someone acting as goalie, and did NOT like it when the kid stopped his ball from going in!

All in all he was an excellent soccer star!
We had left-overs for dinner and I gave Frankie a hair cut.

September 15
Happy Birthday Mom!!
Today we got up and did housework.  Then we went to Colton's First Birthday party.

After the birthday party, we dropped Tim off at home and drove to Virginia Beach.  The boys got short, but much needed naps in during the ride.  We got Luke's hair cut at Pigtails and Crewcuts and then got groceries at Wal-Mart.
When we got home, we gave the boys some quick dinner (Luke ate in the car) and Tim went to a different Wal-Mart to get dog food and laundry detergent.
I grilled some chicken and ate dinner with Vinnie while Tim and Luke were at the store.  Then it was bedtime!