Friday, May 14, 2010

A Birthday, Mother's Day, Butterflies & Builders

This post will be a hodgepodge of days from the 7th through the 9th of May. My mother-in-law is over now, playing with the kids, so I'm going to try to get up all the posts through today. I might actually, in over a year that I've been blogging regularly, actually be up-to-date with my posts.

So, last Saturday on the 8th we went to my sister's house to celebrate her birthday. Her actual birthday is the 1st, but that was the day we celebrated the kid's birthday with the family. It was a really busy day that day with cleaning up the house in the morning after a bacon and pancake breakfast.  We did grocery shopping for the next two weeks, stopped at Khols' to pick up a gift card, at the theater for another gift card, and hurried home for lunch and to put the groceries away before driving the 40 minutes to my sister's house.

It was pretty relaxing for me there. The kids spent quite some time playing with my brother. First, playing some indoor badminton, and then they had loads of fun jumping all over their uncle.

My brother-in-law made a fantastic meal of BBQ and teriyaki chicken, pork and beef, and corn on the cob. After some more play and talking, Amy opened her presents, and Alexa read aloud her cards.

We had a fabulous ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. The kids fell asleep in the car, and actually laid down right away when we got home. Ahhh. Both kids sound asleep at 8:30. Now that's something that doesn't happen every day.

The next day, Mother's Day, was much more sane, but still felt busy. We went to church in the morning, and all mother's received a plant on the way out the door. Alexa was very proud to present my bougainvillea to me.

Then, Steve asked if I'd like a little brunch, since we'd be eating lunch later, so we stopped at Connies. It was CROWDED! Thankfully, we were able to get a booth, but after being there an hour, the kid's patience had long been used up. They liked their waffles with cream, pancakes and bacon, and I really enjoyed my strawberry crepes and Steve his omelette, but we were ready to go. After cleaning up three spilt drinks and listening to crying children, I think it's fair to say the wait staff was as equally glad to see us go, too.

At home, we rushed to get mother's day presents wrapped, cards filled out, and online tickets printed (my parents are going to see the Million Dollar Quartet). Then the twins gave me their gift, a Topsy Turvy hanging strawberry plant (YEAH!) and Steve gave me his, a book I really looked forward to reading, John Taylor Gatto's Weapons of Mass Instruction. I'm just halfway through, but I HIGHLY recommend it.

We drove to Steve's sister's house in Chicago, about 40 minutes away. She had worked hard to prepare a awesome lunch of baked BBQ chicken and veggies, focaccia bread, and had bought an incredible chocolate cake. In fact, I'm going to try making it for dinner in the next month.

Shortly after dinner, we gave the mothers their presents. I bought my grandmother two African violets. I always remember my grandmother having African violets in her home. My mom and dad were pleased with their tickets, and I think Steve's mom really loved the movie tickets, too. (I have to say sometimes I'm a little jealous that our parents have all this time to do lots of fun things with each other whenever they want too, but I am so in love with being with my children every day, and Steve and I are creative in finding pockets of time for each other. We really do need to make more time for ourselves, though. I think my recent trip to the ER proved that.)

Jared absolutely loved the laundry shoot in their home. He'd pretend he was Batman and throw down something that would trap the person on the bottom. Or I'd pretend to be Commissioner Gordon, and he'd peek his head down at me and I'd give him his next mission.

I thought for sure they'd both go to sleep when we got home, because it was later, but Jared was wide awake. He stayed up for another hour or so building things with his magnet set. He wanted me to take picture after picture whenever he'd add a new element to his creation. I'll just post three of those pictures here.

He really loves building things, and lately he's putting much more thought into his creations, instead of just seeing how high or wide something can be made. Although it drives me crazy, he'd been on a kick now where he drags all the tupperware out and builds with it. Here his is at the beginning of one of his projects.

He still loves lining up his figures. Although sometimes he does so in places I'd rather he didn't, like the toilet lid.

The other big thing that happened in the past few days is our butterflies started to hatch. The kids seemed interested, but I was by far the most excited to see it happen. We saw one struggling to hatch from his chrysalis, but unfortunately he didn't make it. The kids really questioned that, so it was a chance to talk about how many times things just randomly die in nature. I don't have a great picture of the butterflies, but I'll get a good one before we release them, although it's been so cold that I'm afraid they will spend their whole life in the pavilion unless it warms up.

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