Thursday, December 12, 2013

Too Long Gone

I typically aim to do 10 blog posts a month, but as you can see, that hasn't happened.  Nearly four months later, I thought I'd update you on our recent events.

August came and went.  The triathlon was a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to doing that again in the future.  Since August arrived, Zach and I have both been working full time.  Let's just say that life is in constant motion.  My blogging time was cut and replaced with packing lunches, which reminds me, I'm blogging now and should be making lunches for tomorrow.  Brooks also had his first trip to the emergency room that month.  This was our first experience with once of the kids having to go to the ER.  I guess with a combined total of 9 years and 4 months of parenting, that isn't too bad!  Late one evening Brooks came down with croup.  Within 15 minutes of the incident we had talked to the on-call doctor, and obviously he needed help.  The ER staff was very, very good, and they helped him quickly.  I wish it was me and not Brooks.  His main fear was getting a shot, and I'm glad the staff reassured him that isn't what they were going to do.  Within minutes, the croup was getting better, and an hour or so later we were back at home.

The kids started back to school and the transition did not go as smoothly as I had hoped.  They were used to spending so much time with Zach over the summer and I learned that Adlyn is a Daddy's girl.  I think she had the roughest time of all.  For two months, I struggled with her crying every time I took her to school.  At first it was just a cry of sadness.  I felt horrible for her.  It was also her first time being in her own classroom, apart from Brooks.  Brooks embraced that transition, and thrived.  Adlyn regressed and struggled.  Of course, I wondered if I had made the right choice, if maybe I should just put them in the same classroom.  But, she still cried when I took her to her other school where she is in the same classroom as Brooks.  After a few weeks, the cry changed.  It went from sadness to terror.  She was terrified to go to school, she didn't feel safe, and was freaked out by the intruder drills/lock down drills.  It was a real fear, perhaps her imagination was more wild this year.  I felt like I tried a lot of different solutions to help ease the situation, but it just took time.  One day, I finally sent a note to the school, asking if she could meet with a psychologist.  I was at my wits end.  Then, magically, the next day, she was fine.  (I should have sent the note a month before!)  Now, she is doing well!

The month of September I worked nearly every night to prepare a TEDx Talk for a conference at my work.  The best time to work on it was after 10 PM when everything was quiet.  After many revisions and edits, it finally came together.  It was an amazing process to work through, and I'm glad I did it.  It should be posted on YouTube soon.  Once it is up, I'll post it here.  The event was held in early October, and the theater had a huge crowd!  It was a well attended event, with about 400+ people.  Amazing!  The dress rehearsal went horrible for me, and I'm glad that I was able to pull it off that evening.  Zach and my co-workers were amazing supporters through this process!   

I really wish I could make some more time to blog, but my job started to consume my life and thoughts.  For awhile, I viewed blogging as work, and didn't see it as a stress reliever or a way to spend my free time.  I picked up Angry Birds, a mindless activity to occupy my sporadic moments of free time late at night!  Zach would say I'm an addict, and I think he is far from it.  But, after about two weeks of only working on one level, I finally did get three stars on Angry Birds Rio Beach Volley Level 11, with a score of 119,000+.  (I'm still not sure what I accomplished from achieving that, other than the fact that I can post it here!)  From what I can gather on the internet, it is the most difficult level of Angry Birds Rio.

In November, the kids were sick on and off, and the tree went up before Thanksgiving for the first time in our family.  I figured that if it didn't get done before, it wasn't going to happen.  We spent Thanksgiving in Nebraska and took the kids goose hunting for the first time.  The next weekend we spent three days working art shows, and now this weekend - the kids turn 5.  Ugh, where has time gone?  It was five years ago today that we were life-flighted to Denver before the kids were born.  Seems like yesterday, and the details of that day seem very vivid.  Now, I have two nearly five-year-olds who decorated the cupcakes on their own for the special day at preschool tomorrow.  They play wrestle-mania with their "Love".  We are nearly done with the first book of Harry Potter.  They want me to stay in the truck when I pick them up from school because they insist that they can come out all on their own.  I'm not sure where by 'babies' have gone, but they are certainly full of life, curiosity, and laughter.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Bike Race

video
Adlyn had been looking forward to the bike race in August for weeks!  She had to race in the 5-6 year old division, since they didn't have a race for 4 and under.  She had been determined to win this race!

After watching the video, you'll see that she did.  Her expressions make me laugh - especially when she throws her head back at the end.

She had a mint chocolate Clif Bar that she ate between all of her races to keep up her energy.  She was very serious and focused!  What a goofy kid.  She makes me smile!

School

School has started again, and we are getting back into a routine.

They started preschool, and transitioned fairly well.  Adlyn had a few tears on the first day, but Brooks went right in.  The next morning, Adlyn threw up as we were leaving the house.  Great, but all was ok.  I think she was just nervous.  By day three, they were great!

I'm glad that so far this looks like a good year.

Their next school starts in a few weeks.  They will be in different classrooms.

Costumes

As we were walking down Main Street the other day, Brooks asked me to make him a monster truck costume for Halloween.  Then, he wanted me to make Adlyn a smashed car costume so he could run her over.  Adlyn was not excited about that, she wants to be an owl instead.  Brooks asked me if I could wear a smashed car costume instead!

Fingers

I know, it has been forever since I posted anything.  It has been a busy summer, and I couldn't keep up!  Now, I need to get caught up!

Brooks told me the other day in amazement that his fingers were just the right size to fit in his nose!  I didn't tell him that as he continues to grow, they stay in direct proportion!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Snoopy

I had the following phrase from Charlie Brown and Snoopy stuck in my head, "She is so pretty, she just sort of sparkles."  I said it out loud when I was putting Brooks to bed.  He was being funny, and responded with, "I never will sparkle."  He thought that was a pretty good joke!

Party Poppers

For fireworks this week, Adlyn really wanted fireworks that shot out spaghetti.  After a few more hours, she wanted it to shoot out funghetti.  She really meant confetti, but it was funny to hear her call it something else.

We got her some party poppers, and that is exactly what she was looking for!

S'mores

This week, we made s'mores a few times.  Brooks has been calling them a mudge.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tough Mudder Colorado 2013

Last weekend, we did Tough Mudder Colorado at Beaver Creek Ski Resort.  This was our second Tough Mudder, and I'll be signing up to do two more in 2014. 

Last fall, Zach and I did Tough Mudder Utah.  To read my blog post from the last event, click here.  This year, we expanded from a team of two to a team of five.  I really enjoyed having a bigger team. 

If you don't know what a Tough Mudder is, watch this video.  (If the sound isn't working, visit the www.toughmudder.com website, and view the video on the home page.)

video

The man who starts the race is Sean Corvelle.  The energy you feel in the video is exactly what this man creates in a matter of ten minutes when you are waiting for your wave to start.  I like his quote, "You might have run a marathon, a triathlon, let me tell you all something, this ain't that." 


2013 Tough Mudder Colorado Team: 
Anne & Zach from Wyoming, James & Megan from Nebraska, and Scott from Wyoming

This year, we had a greater purpose.  We carried a Wounded Warrior Project flag in honor of Cpl. David M. Sonka, USMC, from Parker, Colorado.  He was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan in May 2013, along with his K-9, Flex, and a fellow Marine.  David's mother, Donna, took care of our twins, Brooks and Adlyn, while they were in the NICU in Colorado when they were born.  We got to know Donna as she took excellent care of our children on every one of her night shifts.  I will be sending her the flag this week so that she can have it in honor of her son.  We shared David's story with so many people along the course. 


Course:  Above is a photo of the course.  The course was 11 miles long this year, and as you can see, the route snakes through the ski resort.  I felt like we were going up hill about 90% of the time.  I'm still not for sure when we ever really came down the mountain!  The venue was excellent and was great for spectators.  The kids enjoyed riding the ski lifts with all of the relatives during the event. 

Start:  We were a little late getting to the starting corral.  I'm not for sure why, I think they were about ten minutes ahead of schedule.  Either way, they let us squeeze in towards the back.  Sean Corvelle was there to start the event, and he did a great job.  We got to give him a high-five as we ran past him.  Trying to run out of the start corral was difficult.  There were a lot of people, and the pathway was narrow.  We did a lot of walking/running until the people spread out.

Obstacle 1 - Kiss of Mud:  The first obstacle we encountered was Kiss of Mud.  You simply crawl under the barbwire, in the mud.  Zach and I went to a lane towards the middle so we could get some mud.  It was more like sharp rocks, but I guess that is why they call them the Rocky Mountains.  Utah was very, very muddy.  In general, Colorado was dry, and rocky.  Other than snagging my hair in the barbwire towards the beginning, we all completed the task without any issues.  We (I really mean four of our five team members) continued our speed hike to the next obstacle.  The terrain at this TM was intense!  On the uphills, I think James on our team was the only one who was actually running.  James would run up, and back down to check on us, and back up again.  At one point during the event on one of the trail sections, the guy in front of me said some comment about that guy who keeps running up and down.  I told him, yeah, he's on our team.  It would have been great if he could have given us an ounce of his running power!

Obstacle 2 - Electric Eel:  We came up on this obstacle without any warning, which was probably a good thing.  The more you think about getting zapped, the worse it is to force yourself to get zapped.  These electric wires dangle over a water pit that you have to crawl through.  The water was freezing cold.  I got out of that obstacle, and I'm not even for sure if I got shocked.  I think I was more shocked by the cold water that I didn't even notice that I was getting zapped.  As I went through the course last weekend, I think I've pin-pointed my weakness - cold water.  Ugh.  The thought of it freaks me out.  Last year, a lot of the obstacles had that freezing cold water, and it was so cold, you couldn't take a breath.  I'd rather get zapped, climb Everest, crawl through trench warfare, anything, than go into that cold water.

Obstacle 3 - Glory Blades:  This obstacle was new from last year.  It is essentially like Berlin Walls, but the are tilted towards you.  I have to say I liked it!  Plus, there was Masonite on the back side, so you could just slide down.  Of course, I needed Zach's help to boost me up, but overall, it was easy-cheesy, as my kids would say!

Obstacle 4 - Wounded Warrior Carry:  We also had this obstacle last year.  This year, it was really nice that they had a man there to actually show you how to carry a wounded warrior.  It was a really nice touch, and I hope TM does this at all of their events now.  I'd say you have to carry a person about 20 yards, and then you switch.  Last year, Zach carried me all but about two steps.  This year, I carried Zach and then we switched!  Of course, I couldn't carry him the proper way, but I did it!  I was very excited about that.  I mark this as progress from last fall. 

Obstacle 5 - Funky Monkey:  Everyone on our team made it across, except me.  I was especially impressed by Megan's strength on this obstacle!  This girl rocked the course!  I had been practicing monkey bars at the park, and I had really hoped to get across them this year.  Last year I just jumped in the water.  The bars were all twisty this year, and I really didn't want to fall into the water part-way through.  So, after debating it for awhile, I just jumped in the water and went to the other side.  Way to go team!  I was really excited to seem them all do this, especially Megan.  I haven't seen too many girls accomplish this task.

Obstacle 6 - The Gauntlet:  I don't think we actually had this obstacle.  Instead, during this part, we had these piles of snow that we had to climb up, and get down.  This snow felt more like a sand-snow mix.  You wouldn't think it would be bad, but it was.  This obstacle beat me up in the worse way possible!  It was more like ice, and sometimes you get going down so fast that you fall, and slide on your butt, and there isn't anything to stop you.  The sides of my hips were really scraped up from this, and it looked like they had road rash.  By that evening, it was really swollen, then, it bruised horribly.  A week later, and the scrapes are still healing!  As we approached this snow obstacle, the inserts in my shoes kept wrinkling up.  Luckily, Zach's step-dad was there, so I took of my shoes and handed him the liners.  I didn't have any shoe problems after that!

Obstacle 7 - Arctic Enema:  We came up on this obstacle without much warning.  I wasn't looking forward to it.  Last year, I jumped in, and climbed over the barrier, and back into the ice.  I had intentions of doing the same thing this year.  Everyone else jumped in and dove under.  I didn't, couldn't.  Did I mention how much I dislike cold water?  Zach came back and tried convincing me to jump in.  He actually did it again.  I'll say he did it for me, or maybe he just really liked that obstacle?  I'm not for sure.  Either way, the flag went with him both times.  I went around, I didn't want to waste any more time thinking about it.  Looking back, I should have just jumped in.  I don't know if it is worse, or better, to face that obstacle a second time.  On our way to the next obstacle, we passed two guys were competed in the World's Toughest Mudder.  They were wearing their WTM bibs, and were carrying a tire through the course.  Wow.  Impressive.  Way to go guys!

Obstacle 8 - Hold Your Wood:  I think we actually did the underwater tunnels next, but the map says this was the order.  I'm not really for sure, now that I look back!  Either way, this obstacle was easy.  It was even easier than last year.  The logs were small, and the path to carry the logs was quite short.  In Utah, the path was really far, the logs were larger, and we had to walk past these dead animals that were really stinky.  We all completed this without any issues.

Obstacle 9 - Underwater Tunnels:  These tunnels were placed in a pond.  The water was...you guessed it, freezing!  Megan and I walked up to the tunnels, and then decided to take the Walk of Shame around the obstacle.  I was sick of being in cold water.  The guys on our team all completed this task.  They told us that the pond had a lot of sharp rocks in it, and when you dove under, you had to navigate around the rocks and boulders.  After hearing that, I was glad I didn't do it.  I think a few team members got some cuts from these rocks. 

Obstacle 10 - Lumberjacked:  These logs were fairly high, but Zach simply gave me a boost and I made it over the obstacles without any problems.  The team did very good here as well.

Obstacle 11 - Ladder to Hell:  I liked this obstacle.  It was easy, and I could do it by myself.  Always a plus!  Being tall helped, it made it a lot easier to reach the rungs.  The team did great on this one!  After this obstacle, we continued on a trail run for a good distance that was absolutely beautiful.  The trees were pretty and the river along the trail was flowing swiftly.  We were even running slightly downhill, so all the better!  Then, we got to the end of the trees and the route made a 90 degree turn to the left.  What did we see in front of us?  A huge incline that was steeper than anything we had faced thus far!  Everyone around us seemed to stop, and look at each other.  Seriously?  This route is straight up!  Megan and I did some speed hiking to the top.  It seemed un-runnable to me, except for James.  Scott and Zach were up ahead of us, and they waited for us at the top.  At the top of the hill, we faced our next obstacle.

Obstacle 12 - Boa Constrictor:  We had this obstacle last year, and there was water at the end of the tube.  The water was cold, but overall, this obstacle was pretty simple.  I think everyone had a good time with this one.  When we exited this obstacle, we ran down the huge hillside we just hiked up.  I was glad the uphill hike over! 

Obstacle 13 - Berlin Walls:  At the bottom of the hillside, we faced the Berlin Walls.  We worked together and got it done.  It wasn't too bad.  We had this obstacle last year, and it was just as I had remembered. 

Obstacle 14 - Just the Tip:  We continued to run down the hill and then we came up on this obstacle.  This was in Utah last year, and I just jumped in the cold water.  This year, I did it!  (It helped that the wooden board to grip was much bigger than it was in Utah last year.  Last year, the board got really skinny in the middle, like a 2x1 strip of lumber!)  It was scary, but it felt like a great accomplishment!  The obstacle is simply walls made out of plywood with a wood strip across it that you hang on to with your fingertips, and shimmy along.  If you fall, you plunge into, what I'm guessing is, cold water!  The guys made it across, and then I went next.  Megan gave me some great encouragement!  About half way across, I just started to close my eyes.  I couldn't look.  That water seemed like a long way down.  I really didn't want to fall in.  So, I kept going and eventually Zach could reach out a hand to relieve some weight by holding on to my foot.  That was very, very helpful, and I really appreciated that!  I was so happy to make it across!  Megan went next and she did great.  I offered her some assistance at the end, just as Zach did for me.  Completing that one obstacle was the best part of the event for me.  We continued to run a fairly long distance until we reached out next obstacle.  For the most part, it was downhill.  We ran through a mister (snow maker) during this stretch.  At about this point, I was about ready to be done.  I was getting a little bit light headed, and was in need of some food or energy gel.  Megan and I ran together during this stretch.  She was a great person to have on our team!  I enjoyed having another girl to talk to.  I was pleased to see Zach's step-dad along this part.  Megan and I grabbed something to eat from him, and continued to run.  Next, we came up to base of the ski resort where all of the spectators were.  We went under two bridges that they set up to allow the spectators and the participants to cross paths.  During this part, we saw an amazing feat!  A wounded warrior was being supported by a team of about twenty people.  He was in a wheelchair and several team members were pushing him, and more team members pushing behind that.  It was a spectacular feeling coming up on this team.  All you can think about is how no one should ever complain.  Get out there, and do it.  Anything is possible, and your mind is the only thing that can set limits.  I came across the following photo on Facebook, and it appears that it was taken at about the same time we came up to him along the course. 


Facebook Post by Travis MacCody Strong:  Thank you all for all the comments! It is my goal to inspire people and to so everyone that there are no limits in life. If you have the heart you can accomplish anything! I want to thank all the wounded soldiers that ran the course with me and helped me finish the race. I could not have done it without them!

This moment was truly inspiring.  This is what Tough Mudder is all about.  What was even more amazing was that he would even jump out of his wheel chair, and traverse the route on his fists.  He must be so strong, and I wish I could have seen him complete the obstacles.  This is why we run Tough Mudder.  This is what makes me thankful everyday that I am able, and that I do this because there are others who can't.  We carried the Wounded Warrior flag for David, who couldn't do the event that day.

The route continued uphill, for about the last time.  It was a long stretch before we reached the next obstacle.

Obstacle 15 - Kiss of Mud #2:  Here, we had Kiss of Mud again.  A gal up ahead of us was using a rolling technique.  I gave it a try, and I liked it!  It prevented you from getting scraped by all the rocks in the mud.  I yelled up ahead to Megan and she gave it a try as well.  Zach was right behind me, carrying the flag.  All of our relatives were at this obstacle, so we stopped to take a photo before we continued on.

Megan and Anne roll under the barbwire.

James, Scott, and Megan after Kiss of Mud.

Scott and Zach after Kiss of Mud.

James, Zach, Scott, Anne, and Megan after Kiss of Mud.

















 
Obstacle 16 - Walk the Plank:  If you read my blog post from last time, you'll know that I climbed to the top of this obstacle in Utah and then backed down.  I really wanted to complete this obstacle this year.  But, I got to it, and walked around.  Everyone else went up, and jumped in.  I really need to do some practicing so that I can complete this obstacle at some point in my life.  Perhaps I need to ask the pool workers if I can go off the high dive!  I'm so proud of my team for completing this obstacle!

Scott walks off the plank.

Zach goes in with the flag!

James leaps in.
















































Megan did jump in, but I don't have a picture of her doing it.  Zach is working on editing the video for the event that Ava captured for us.  I'll post that video clip when it is ready.

Obstacle 17 - Hangin Tough:  I was really excited to see that this obstacle was going to be in Colorado.  We didn't have this last year.  I was looking forward to completing this one, as I thought that I could.  Rings one and two were fairly close together, but it was a long reach to get to the third ring.  I tried, and then came back, and just jumped in the water.  Most of the guys made it across.  Next time, I really want to complete the monkey bars and the rings.  It was just a short run over to the next obstacle.

Zach goes across the rings.  Scott waits for his turn.

James makes it across the rings.

Megan makes a good attempt.  I think I'm noticing she is about to fall in!


Anne makes an attempt, before she back tracks and jumps in.































































Obstacle 18 - Glacier:  This obstacle was minor compared to the snow piles we had to climb over earlier in the race.  It was another very short run to the next obstacle.

Obstacle 19 - Everest:  I loved this obstacle last year.  I think it was easier this year, perhaps the pipe was less muddy this year.  I made it up on the first try, and so did everyone else.  Next year, my goal is to make it up all by myself.  Zach and James each grabbed my hand and pulled me up (and dropped me onto the edge on my stomach and slightly knocked the wind out of me).  I didn't care at that point!  I really like this obstacle. 

James makes it up on his own.

Zach makes it up on his own.

Megan makes a run for it, Scott looks on.

Zach grabs Megan.

Scott makes it up on his own.  Zach helps a random girl.

Anne takes a run for it.

Anne gets help from Zach (and James, kind of).

Anne, Zach, and James crawl down the backside of Everest.






























































































































Obstacle 20 - Electroshock Therapy:  I had previewed this obstacle prior to us starting.  I wasn't noticing anyone blacking out, so that was a plus.  Last year, Zach and I both blacked out.  We took a team approach this year.  They had an announcer there to encourage people to run through.  We linked arms and ran through as a team on the count of three.  If the announcer wasn't counting, I'm not for sure we would have all gotten up the nerve at the same time!  The shocks were constant in my arms, but it wasn't horrible.  It was just getting unbearable the last few feet.  The team fell apart towards the end, but I didn't end up in the mud!  I was happy to be done with that.  Like I said, I'd rather get shocked then go into that cold water. 

Our team links arms before we go!

We are getting to the end, and our links are falling apart!

Our links fail, and Scott and James fall into the mud and hay.

This picture makes me laugh.  I feel like we are all going a different direction!  We just got done getting shocked, and I think we are all in shock, trying to re-gather ourselves.  DONE!

































































Finish:  It was a short run to the finish line, and we finished as a team.  What a great feeling!  We were done.  We took some team pictures, talked to the other finishers, and enjoyed our orange headbands!  It took us four hours to complete.  It was a little cold at this point, but we still hosed off in the outdoor showers.  Zach and James did the Under Armor Man of Steel competition, Scott had already completed it.  It was pretty fun to watch, and Zach was less than a second from making it on to the leader board!  I think he would have been on it if he completed the challenge before doing a Tough Mudder.  Then, we went to find our family, who were playing mini-golf.  We hung out for a short while, and then we loaded on to the bus to go back to the parking lot.  What a great day.  Colorado was beautiful.

We are finished!

Just hanging out with the team!

Part 2 of the challenge.


Part 1 of the challenge.




Part 3 of the challenge.

Adlyn plays mini-golf for the first time.




























































































Evening:  After we headed back to the house, we all enjoyed a nice dinner.  We sat in the hot tub, and it was needed!  I think I sat in there for two hours.  Unfortunately, I couldn't sleep that night.  My body was sore and I couldn't get comfortable.  After playing on the iPad for a few hours, I went to bed at 5:30 AM, and woke up at 7 AM.  I wasn't well rested the next day.
Looking Back:  Overall, I'm happy about the event.  I was honored to carry the flag in honor of David.  I had a lot of fun spending time with Zach, Megan, James, and Scott.  I liked working with the team.  I was really happy with two things that I didn't do the previous year - carrying Zach in the Wounded Warrior carry and making it across Just the Tip.  I'm not proud of not attempting Arctic Enema and Walk the Plank.

Goals for 2014:  My goal for TM for 2014 is to complete Everest without assistance.  I also want to make it across the monkey bars and the rings.  Lastly, I want to walk the plank. 
Training for 2013:  To train, I spent several months running about three days a week, and lifting weights about two days a week.  I thought this was sufficient for me.  Although I spent a lot of time running hills, it didn't compare to the hills we encountered in this event. 

I can't wait to experience something like this with our kids one day.  Brooks and Adlyn both say they want to do a mud race.  I like making them proud!  Prior to the event, I asked them what they wanted to see.  Brooks wanted to watch us run up Everest (he remember that from last fall), it is his favorite obstacle.  Adlyn said she wanted to see me get my orange headband. 

Team - thanks for all of the positive support and great memories!  I can't wait to do two more with you guys next year.  Thanks to all of the family that came to watch and took care of the kids while we were doing the event.  Zach - thanks for all of your help an encouragement.  I love tackling these challenges with you.  I couldn't have done it without you!

-Anne

Fun Pics

Adlyn, Ava, Lydia, and Brooks in their PJ's.


Adlyn, Anne, Zach, and Brooks before TM.

Lydia and Adlyn riding the ski lift.

James before the event!

Megan showing off her number tattoo!

James & Megan

Nice mud line, James!

Anne & Megan

Brooks & Ava ride the ski lift.

Megan strikes a pose!

Zach and Anne before the race.  Yes, Anne is flexing, don't be scared.
 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Forget-Me-Not

On our way to Colorado last week, there were a lot of light blue colored flowers everywhere!  Unlike in our area - all of the yellow flowers are in bloom.  Of course, the kids asked me what kind of flowers they were.  By no means am I a gardener, or a horticulturist, so I wasn't for sure.  The only bluish colored flower that I could think of was a Forget-Me-Not.  They thought that was a pretty funny name for a flower.

Brooks said, "If you fall down in those flowers, will it make you forget your name?"  He laughed, and said, "Do you like me joke?"  He thought he was pretty funny, and he was!  I thought that was pretty creative for a kid!

Cabin

Last week, we stayed in a house that resembled a cabin.  It was beautiful inside!  While we were there, Brooks told me, "It is really woody in here!"  And, it was.  Everything was made out of logs and wood!

Match, Match

A&B have done something this week, twice, that they haven't ever done before!  Two days in a row this week, they decided to match their clothes, all by themselves.  One day I came home and they both had orange shorts on, with a blue shirt with stripes.  I was surprised they found something in each of their wardrobes that matched!  The next day, they each wore blue shorts with a blue shirt.  Pretty clever. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Raining Cats and Dogs

Last night, Adlyn and I ventured into the rain to pick up a graduation card.  As I was card shopping at the grocery store, she was looking at all the stuffed animals - primarily these dogs with unusually large eyes that I find not-so-cute.  She loved them.  She put them away when we were done, and I told her that I'm sure she could see them the next time.

Tonight we were back at the store, in the rain, and she wanted to visit the dogs.  Once we got to the gift area, she said, "I told you so!"  She was right, there were only two dogs left, and neither of them were the colors of the ones she was playing with the night before.  I wouldn't have guessed the store could sell one of those, let alone the whole shelf!  Maybe a bunch of graduates received stuffed dogs as presents?  It hadn't even been 24 hours!

Aisles and Alleys

Tonight at the grocery store, Adlyn was calling aisles, alleys.  It made me laugh.  I also enjoyed watching her dance to the good music that was playing in the store when we were in the produce department.  She was a fun shopping partner!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tooth Update

Brooks' tooth is now gone, and tonight he told me he has started eating some soft food with his front teeth.  He survived the dentist very well, and didn't cry.  He didn't even need any laughing gas!  The dentist said he was very brave for a four year old.  We were very proud of him!

He seems to be proud of his missing tooth, and he does look cuter than I thought.  On the way to school today, he told me that the next time he needs a tooth pulled at the dentist, I can come with him instead do Dad.  I hope that doesn't happen again!  But, if he does, I'll know that he can handle it (better than I would!).

Computers

Last week, Adlyn asked me if I did any painting projects with my students at school that day.  I told her no.  She commented that all we do is work on computers!  In her mind, my school is quite boring!

Spanish II

To continue with my Spanish blog entry, I have more to add.

Tonight, Brooks said pear is the Spanish word for kiwi.  Adlyn said that trace is the Spanish word for popcorn and chicken.  I think they are making up their own language!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Kind Kid

After church today, I opened the truck door so the kids could hop in.

Brooks:  Adlyn, you can get in first because you're the best.
Adlyn:  Why?
Brooks:  Because, I love you.

Well that was cute, and kind!

Brooks as a Teacher

This morning, Adlyn was trying to snap on a suspender dress on her stuffed kitty.  She was having a hard time getting it to work.  It was fun to observe the following situation!

Brooks:  I know how to do it, I can help you!
Adlyn:  Ok.
Brooks:  See, you just put one finger on top of the snap, and the other finger on the bottom of the snap, and press them together.  If you hear the snap, then you know you got it.
Adlyn:  Ok.
(Adlyn tries to snap the other strap, and is still having a hard time.)
Adlyn:  Ugh, I can't do this.
Brooks:  Its ok, just keep trying.
(Adlyn keeps trying.)
Adlyn:  I got it!
Brooks:  Great work!

He was such a great helper, and it was neat to see them interact in this way.  Adlyn really appreciated his help.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spanish

The kids make up their own Spanish words.  Brooks will say, "Kinder is how you say Kindergarten in Spanish."  Or, they make up some non-sense word and come up with a Spanish translation.

Dentist Day

Tomorrow, Mr. B. will get his tooth pulled.  It makes me sad.

Tonight, I was reading the kids "Pete the Cat, Rocking in my School Shoes".  I made up a part at the end about Pete going to the dentist to get his tooth taken out.  I said, "Does Pete worry?"  Brooks said, "Goodness, yes!"  We all laughed!  The books always responds with a, "Goodness, no!"

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Request from Brooks

Last night, when Brooks should have been sleeping, he found some books that he hasn't read in a long time.  He asked me if I would read him the stories.  I told him that I would in the morning.  He said, "Read the book as soon as you wake up.  Don't wash any dishes or talk to anyone on the phone, just read the book."  Ok, sir!  It wasn't fun for me to hear him summarize what I do!  I really don't talk on the phone very much, so I'm not for sure why he said that.  And, there is nothing I dread more than washing dishes.  I'd pick reading him a book over doing the dishes any day of the week.

Talking to a Grown Up

Zach and the kids were outside one evening this week.  Zach went to help Brooks with his tricycle that he had placed on top of skis in the last remaining snow patch in the yard.  In the meantime, Adlyn walked up to Neighbor Jerry by the fence and said, "How have your two dogs been doing?"  Jerry thought it was very funny of her to be having such a grown up conversation, and told Zach all about it.

Last night when we were out riding bikes, Adlyn saw the pizza delivery man taking a pizza up to a house.  As she was riding, she said, "Hi Pizza Guy."  Luckily, he didn't hear her!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Snow

We've had snow every week this month.  April always seems to be a snowy month for us!

The kids have enjoyed the snow, and we even got a snow day this month!  The kids have been great at helping shovel.  We have also been lucky that our neighbor has come over to help us dig out.  On the snow day, we shoveled for about 2 1/2 hours, and didn't get a start to the back driveway. 

Every day, the kids are very eager to ride their bikes.  It doesn't matter if it is snowing or raining, they want to ride their bikes.  Zach has been doing great at taking them for a long ride, nearly every day. 

Race

The kids joined me during a 5K run this past weekend in town.  The run was a fundraiser for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and also served as a Boston remembrance run.  There was an excellent turnout for the event.  I pushed A&B in the stroller, and several times they hopped out to run along with me.  We finished in 32 minutes.  I'm pretty confident that Brooks ran the last half mile.  Adlyn conserved her energy by riding in the stroller, but, hopped out at the very end to sprint and beat Brooks and I.  As soon as we finished, she said, "Did we win?"  Well, we didn't, but we had a lot of fun and it was a perfect morning and a great course.  I look forward to running with them again in the future.

Party

The kids went to their first birthday party this month at the children's museum.  They had a great time and had a lot of fun making birthday cards for the birthday girl before the party.  I think the party made Mr. B tired.  By 6 PM, he went to bed and didn't wake up until the next morning.  Adlyn was excited to wear her tutu to the party.  I was glad the girl's mom allowed me to stay and help out.  I don't think A&B would have stayed without me there. 

Fishing off the Loft

A few weeks ago, Brooks requested their fishing poles from their boat to be used on the loft.  Zach made them a paperclip hook so they could catch their toys with their poles.  It was fun to watch Brooks and Adlyn work together to climb down and hook up a toy, and reel it in.  If it was a heavy item, they would both place their hooks on the item and reel it up with teamwork.

It is fun to watch them interact and play together.

Chip Off the Ol' Tooth

Brooks took a chip off his front tooth today while riding his trike to the park.  Ugh.

It still makes me sick to my stomach.  Zach handled the ordeal and took Brooks to the dentist.  Poor kid, I feel so bad for him.  The dentist is recommending we get it pulled, but wants to wait a week for the swelling to go down to make a decision.  His lips are quite swollen, and he has a lot of scrapes on his face.  I haven't been able to get a close look at his tooth, but it doesn't look great.  Zach said it is loose and wiggly.  I really hope we don't have to get it pulled.  I don't want to put him through it.

The little guy looks so sad.  I know he doesn't want anything to happen to his tooth, and Zach said he started to cry when the dentist recommended that they pull it.  Adlyn also feels bad for Brooks. 

We'll see how the next few days go.

Switcheroo

Last week, Brooks must have been looking for a change.

In the tub, Adlyn always sits on the right, Brooks sits on the left.  Then, one evening, Brooks decided to switch it up.  Adlyn agreed, hesitantly. 

Then, that night, Brooks swapped sides of the bed with Adlyn.  They haven't switched back yet!  Now, Brooks is on the right and Adlyn is on the left.

I'm not for sure what inspired him to make the change, but it didn't seem to cause too much disruption in their life.

Early April Fishing

This post is written by Zach.  He took the kids out fishing in early April.

So much for my nice clean boat that was just waxed and all the carpet shampooed... Kids never once complained, and before we knew it nine hours on the lake had past. If I got so much as a bite the kids would have the net in the water, ready to go. Brooks reeled one all the way up from 70' all by himself. Took a couple beach stops so the kids could play, get good and muddy, and throw crackers to the "eagles" (seagulls). They both fell asleep on the ride back to the ramp, and Brooks never woke up until 7:00 this morning. No monsters, just monster fun.





Friday, April 19, 2013

Questions

The kids have asked me a few questions this week.  I didn't have a good answer for some of them.

Adlyn:
Who drives the shooting stars?
What is the moon made out of?
What is the earth made out of?

Brooks:
Are there any animals that don't have eyes?

Poodle

Zach and the kids were out riding bikes today.  They were approaching a man who was walking his large standard poodle.  Judging by the mannerisms of the man and the poodle, he was obviously very proud of his purebred.

Adlyn:  Dad, do you see that ugly dog?
(Zach ignored her, on purpose.)
Adlyn:  (louder) Dad, do you see that ugly dog?
(By now, they are next to the man and his dog.  By the expression on his face, the man obviously didn't see the humor in the situation.  Now, they are just past the man.)
Adlyn:  DAD, do you see that ugly dog?

Obviously, she was speaking her mind, and there was no filter.  Poor poodle.  Poor man.  Adlyn couldn't understand why Zach was laughing.

I think this is the first poodle she has ever observed.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sophisticated

The server at our restaurant tonight asked the kids what they wanted to eat.  The answer from our four year olds was clear, steak!
The kids devoured their lime marinated flank steak with grilled asparagus after they dipped their bread in olive oil and vinegar.  They wrapped it up with a chocolate sundae.  
Adlyn critiqued the art on the wall, and claimed she isn't going to be an artist when she grows up, she is going to be a football player.  
It makes me laugh that they have sophisticated tastes when it comes to food - no chicken nuggets for these guys!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Deal

Adlyn was grumpy when she woke up this morning.

After about 15 minutes of grumpiness, I asked her, "Adlyn, what's your deal today?"

Adlyn responded, "I'm not a deal!"

Monday, March 18, 2013

Evening Report

Dad:  Goodnight Brooks and Adlyn.
Adlyn:  Goodnight dad, dream about the little chicks we saw at the hardware store today.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Going to School

Here are just some random pictures from this month when the kids were going to school.  I just thought they both looked so grown up!  I think Adlyn looks like she is about 12!

There really isn't anything little about four years old.  The best part is they are enjoying buckling themselves into their car seats.  It can't get much better than that.  What a time saver!

Not to mention, the responsibility that comes with being four has been wonderful.  The other day, their toy room was a disaster when I came home from work.  I told them we needed to clean it up.  Brooks said he would clean up all of the cars because he was the one who dumped them up so he should clean that part, with no help.  I won't argue with that.  Adlyn followed by saying she would clean all of the Little People animals since she played with them.  Bus load by bus load, she filled it up with animals and drove them to the proper container.  Age four has been a lot of fun thus far.


Ice Fishing

For two weekends in a row, we took the kids out ice fishing.  We didn't catch anything either time, but we had fun trying.  Obviously on week two, the fishing was really slow, and the snow was deep.  We had fun making ice fishing snowmen!

Zach goes ice fishing a lot in the winter, and the kids just didn't understand what it was all about.  It was fun to show the process to them on two beautiful and warm weekends.