Thursday, April 19, 2012

To Da Beach!

Monday was absolutely gorgeous, so the boys and I made it a beach day. It was our favorite homeschool lesson of the week: how to absorb vitamin D! 

This was also (probably) our last visit to a favorite spot for the busy season. I like to avoid the crowds and use the bases around here for beach access. 

Sandy baby toes! 

Deacon enjoyed a few snacks while watching Turner and Eli play like goons in the freezing ocean! 
Digging for sand fleas! Eli did the digging and Turner did the creature capturing.
Putting out a fire.

Fun times digging up things in the sand!
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We had so much fun I can tell this is going to be a good year for us at the beach! Last year Deacon was just crawling around so he was face-first in the sand and eating a lot of it. The big boys respect the water now that they are swimming(ish) and Deacon has enough fear that he doesn't dart right for it. I'm hopeful for many beach days this season! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Coping Mechanisms

Eli has been talking about his Grandpa for about six months now. He used to say things like "My Grandpa lives in New York City and is a police officer who helps people." (Side note, John's dad is deceased and was and New Jersey police officer...weird, but true. We rarely bring him up but Eli is sure of his Grandpa). 

In the last week he's been talking about his Grand"fadder" non-stop. He won't talk about his dad. Not even to say he misses daddy and he's excited to do this or that upon seeing him again. Nothing. It's all about his Grandpa. Every single memory. 

There is a tear in his eye (your right). He was crying before I asked him to smile. 

At first I was keeping it to myself. What man wants to hear his child won't talk about him? I know not my husband: that's a hard pill to swallow! Today, though, I blurted it out in a Face Time session (skype for iPhone). It sucks dealing with that by yourself so I told John. I immediately felt bad because I know I'd just die inside if I knew something like that. 

It's just Eli's way of coping. He just doesn't understand time or space. All he knows is that his dad is gone: for how long doesn't matter. Here or GONE is all he gets and this is how he's dealing. 

Last time he was confused, too. He used to ask any man if the person was his dad. He'd try to rough house with any male figure and didn't seem to realize the depth of John's return. 

In addition to the non-stop talk about his Grandpa, Eli recently started refusing naps. Not only is his world up-side down, but he's transitioning form a toddler to a preschooler. He is just all out of sorts! Poor kid. 

If that wasn't enough, I found Turner whimpering under my blanket tonight. He was crying his eyes out. I tried to console him but all he could squeak out, swimming in an XL "daddy shirt" was that when he closed his eyes all he could see was his dad. He then told me it made him so sad he could hardly stand it. I tried to get him to think of other things -like what we would do as a family when daddy gets home- but all he could do was cry. 

I practically rocked my five year old to sleep. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Strawberry Fields

I started this post from my phone and "drafted" it but found that I had published it before writing or adding pictures! 

This past Saturday, I took the kids Cullipher Farms organic strawberry field to pick berries. Cullipher is the farm I chose for our CSA this year and I was so happy to meet the Cullipher family and the sweetest old farmer, ever! 

The boys had a great time in the field!
First berries of the season!

We picked enough berries to eat until we were happy and then made strawberry salad, ice cream and "soup" the next morning! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter 2012

I was so happy to have "family" close (enough) to spend Easter with because holidays without anyone to share the joy of your kids on a special day is just another day. The boys always enjoy long-time friends Chad and Kate and heading to D.C. is always fun for everyone. 

Last Monday, I made them an Easter lunch. The had different items in an egg carton and I think they had fun with the "eggstra" special lunch. Any time I make a lunch like this, it's a hit! 

Nuts, seeds, dried fruits, pirate booty, and even a picke in the carton! The kicker was a
boiled egg. The boys loved cracking the egg!

Reading "Happy Easter Curious George." 
When I mentioned going to D.C. for Easter, Kate told me about the sun rise service in Arlington National Cemetery. I knew it would be a challenge with kids being up so early in the morning but the kids did really well, considering! It was pretty chilly sitting on the marble benches (on a blanket!), but sitting anywhere for an hour and 40 minutes (we arrived early to ensure a seat) in the cold is difficult for anyone. 

Dawn in Arlington National Cemetery. The other side of the amphitheater is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

It was a beautiful, peaceful, sunrise. 

On the grounds of the cemetery. 
Since we needed to stay on track to make it to the service on time, I told the boys that the Easter bunny probably wouldn't have made it to the house by the time we were awake. Instead, the bunny would probably visit while we were out. As Chad and Kate put the boys in the car I put baskets o'fun stuff. Since I had gone to the trouble to make my dress and the boys' ties, I really wanted a picture after the service. We were so cold, I decided to just try to get a few when we got back to the house. Not a great idea! The kids were too excited so these were just about all I got in terms of "official" pictures! Oh, well...there are memories, at least. 

These ties were super simple and quick to make...not to mention velcroed on! 

Where's Deacon?!? Some how, between the last picture and this one, Eli untucked his shirt! 
My camera is dying a slow death. :( I can never count on it for a good shot any more.
I do love Eli's super-cheese, though! 

Animal House! 
After the service and baskets, we enjoyed brunch and an egg hunt with Kate's mom, dad, sister and family. It was fun for the boys to run around with Ann and Ed for the afternoon! 

Chasing Charlie around the yard.

Deacon was the lucky duck that got to go first (even though he had no clue what was going on!). 

Eli the stealth hunter! I didn't get many pictures of this guy! 

Deacon's first egg hunt -he was too little last year.

Turner was very happy for some "harder to find" eggs. 

Ann, Edward, and the boys. 


Eli peaking in on a mamma bird sitting on her eggs. 

These kids are troopers! 

My sweet bunny boy. 

The only decent picture of my dress! It fits like a glove and I have my grandmother to thank for all the help walking me through parts of the pattern I didn't understand. It was fun to "have" to call her so many times last week.

As I was tucking Eli in tonight he said to me: "You know, I never did find the golden egg!" I don't know why, but he has this idea that every egg hunt has to have a golden egg! I told him next year and I hope I remember...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Gimmie Some of That!

This morning Deacon looks at me like he's said this a hundred times: "I want chocolate milk!" It sounded more like "Ah wan chockey malk" but it was adorable! I obliged because I couldn't believe he just asked like that! The big boys didn't have chocolate milk until years later and, at that, they probably never asked for it. 

The things this kid says are too funny. Today, at karate class he heard "Yes, Ma'am" so he walked around saying that instead of just "yes." 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Museums and Infestations

On Saturday I took the boys to the Virginia Air and Space Museum. The kids really enjoyed this particular museum because of the hands-on exhibits. 

I love their faces. Eli was annoyed we stopped, Deacon was says "air-pane!" and Turner has
his typical cheese face on! 

In the cockpit of a jet.

A flight simulator. 

Baggage claim! The kids put the "luggage" on the belt and it learned how
baggage goes through the beltway at an airport. 

Just buckling up for a flight. 

Inspecting wind! I think he was surprised at the force!

Of course, Eli had to try! 

Building an airplane. 

Baby brother is never far behind! 

More flight simulators!

It was a fun museum and it's easy to get around with the kids. We didn't stay too incredibly long because, apparently, it was a good day to skip naps. They were all a bit tired and ready to go home and play with their new rockets. 

When we returned home and I opened the pantry to decide on dinner, I noticed quiet a few moths. We've been having a problem with a few of them but never anything I thought twice about. For some reason, they finally started to bother me (or they really did multiply in a few hours!). Since we've never had moths before -let alone near our food- I did an internet search for how to get rid of them and learned that you have to go through ALL of your food to find where they are laying eggs. Aside from the moths, themselves, I've never even noticed larva until I went digging. I started at the top of the pantry and worked my way down finally finding the source for the little infestation. A container of arborio rice was housing the little laying ground. I can't imagine how they got in to a screw top jar, but they did! It was gross! 

After finding the source and throwing away almost any open container of grain (flours, rices, etc), I cleaned the pantry from top to bottom with water and white vinegar. I have been hunting moths all day long: a lovely use of time that I don't care to spend on moths!