Sunday, September 28, 2008

Soccer, seafood and scrapbooking

Saturday was full of fun in a variety of ways. Will had soccer team pictures and a game in the morning. I finally got to see him score a goal. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera ready, yet, since I had just gotten to the field, so no picture of it - sorry! But it got hot fast and the kids were looking a little wilted by the last quarter of the game. I guess the coach had them practicing quite a bit before the game since this week's practice was cancelled. Hopefully he won't do that again next week before the game. To combat the lethargy, Will scooped some ice out of the team ice chest and but it on the back of his head. Xan was busy on the sidelines playing with his hat and beads. That is one kid who can stay busy with the cheapest of toys.

The lovebugs, as they call them here, are thick right now. They were all over the place at the game. The good thing is that they don't bite.

After nap time, we headed to the annual Pensacola Seafood Festival. I think nearly all of Pensacola showed up. It was crowded, but the food smelled great, the vendors were fun to shop and the live music was good. There was even a kid section where Will and Xan got to slide, throw and fish to the hearts' content.

We, of course ate seafood from the vendors there. Well, at least Rodney and I did . The boys preferred corndogs. Rodney had the fried calamari basket. I went with something a little more healthy: beef and shrimp kabobs. Very tasty.

After supper, the boys found bow and arrow sets they just had to have. They will take them when they go with Daddy practice their bow hunting skills in a nearby empty lot.

Once we got home and the boys were bathed, Will "scrapbooked" on his desk for awhile. Xan made room alongside him, using Will's computer's CPU as the table.

This morning, Will learned how to tie his shoes, thanks to Dad's "10 minutes and a Tear" method of instruction. (Rodney called it this himself.) Apparently it took only 10 minutes to teach Will how to do the bunny ears and he only cried in frustration once. Will, not Rodney...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We're on a roll!

I drove by the local skating rink Tuesday and was reminded of how much I loved to skate in elementary school. We had Skate Nights to raise money for PTA at least once a month and I always went. I was so bummed when our local skating rink closed.

When I saw that Pensacola had a skating rink, I thought it would be a fun thing for all four of us to do. I called and it turned out that they have open skate nights on Wednesdays, as well as throughout the weekend. With Xan just starting to skate, I thought a Wednesday night might be quieter for him to get used to the idea. It cost us each $3.50 to skate for up to four hours, way cheaper than the movies! What a deal! We got there and noticed there weren't any cars in the parking lot, but the sign said OPEN, so in we went. Not only did we get to skate, we had the WHOLE rink to ourselves! Apparently this is their slow season, since the weather is so beautiful right now and school is in session.

We had a great time, even Xan, who, as usual with new experiences, cried for the first 15 minutes. He got little skates where only the front wheels rolled, so he stepped more than skated. By the end of the session, he was having fun and requested "roll 'kates." So, we'll work on getting some rolling skates next time. Despite the earlier crying, Xan had fun playing "tag" with us and "yiked" skating.

After getting his skating legs, Will took off and was tough to catch for a photo. He did fall a couple of times, once bad enough he said he "sprained his body." But, he skated it off and did just fine. Actually, we both fell at the same exact time (my wheel locked up, see below for details), so we both rubbed our knees and skated it off. He LOVED the disco ball in the center of the rink and thinks he prefers in-line skates to the traditional ones.

Will took this photo of us. Rodney and I are old enough to appreciate decent skates. We're thinking that he and I might invest in some of our own skates if we end up skating a lot. My wheels wouldn't turn smoothly and kept slipping because the rubber was worn down to much. Rodney's racing skates had a part of them that bowed for sharp turns and they bowed a little too much due to loose washers. The kids' skates seemed just fine, though. Rodney said he had fun, so I might actually get to revisit my youth a couple times a month, family in tow!

Oh, and Will said he wants to do this "when the Grandmas are in town." That should be fun...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Solving the world's energy crisis one blade at a time...

Will and Xan were outside riding a tractor and tricycle while I planted some flowers in the front yard this evening. Xan apparently noticed that his tractor's gas tank looked a bit empty, so he walked over and yanked out some grass and started stuffing it in the gas tank, slamming the lid shut when he was done. He was very proud of himself. "Gas (or was it grass? - can't tell from his speech), Mommy. Filled it with gas." And then he got on and drove off. Poor kid... I was laughing too hard to explain the difference between "gas" and "grass." Hopefully we won't be finding blades of grass in our vehicles' tanks anytime soon, but wouldn't it be wonderful if we could? Sod farms: The fuel of the future.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A busy Saturday and restful Sunday

We picked up the boys from school Friday afternoon and headed off to see the Star Wars cartoon. Will was riveted to the screen and Xan did pretty well until the last 15 minutes. Then he started squirming around. But the movie was a success overall and Will just saw commercials for more of these Star Wars cartoon episodes coming out. How soon can you start leaving a kid alone at the theater? Ha!

Friday night the Binki Fairy came and took all of Xan's binkis... He screamed for his binki for about a half hour. Strangely enough, Will was able t fall asleep through the ruckus. I finally went in to Xan's room (Rodney said I was the one who took them away, so I had to deal with the aftermath) and told him that I knew losing his binkis was tough, but that the Binki Fairy decided he was a big boy like Will and that his whole family, Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts and Uncles included, were very proud of him for being such a big boy and loved him very much. I really didn't think the pep talk would work, but it did. Xan fell asleep without another peep.

Saturday was Will's first day of soccer. There were the opening ceremonies in the morning, with a Navy color guard and everything. Will's team is the gray Sharks.

Their game was at 12:30, the last one of the day, and since only two people on the other team showed up, they gathered up a group of kids willing to stay longer from other games so they could play. Rodney was at a high school ROTC event, so he wasn't there, so Xan and I headed over to the field with Will to watch him play. He seemed to have a good time. His team is one of the most organized, which I think has a lot to do with the coach. He is very good at directing the kids and keeping them focused.

Will didn't score a goal, but he was intent on chasing after the ball. It's just when he did get to to it he tended to back off and let the other kids have it. Hopefully he'll get the confidence to be more assertive in his play soon. But, like I said, he seemed to have a good time, although he was quite overheated by the time the game was over. It was hot, about 88 degrees, and sticky, about 45 percent humidity, and I got a fabulous sunburn on one shoulder. I remembered to put sunscreen on the boys, just not myself. I think we will need to invest in an umbrella.

Sunday we all slept in, Rodney made breakfast and the boys played in their pajamas for most of the day. Here is a photo of them dressed up like hunters.

Later, they were firemen. And Xan started wearing a plastic Power Rangers mask, so maybe Halloween won't be such a scare-fest for him after all.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Trying on the Halloween garb...

Two nights ago, we tried the Halloween costumes on the boys. Will wanted to be a Star Wars Star Trooper and Xan is a Lion. And more of a Cowardly Lion, at this point. He was not a big fan for Will's costume or his own, after seeing Will's "scary" mask.

"Will no scare me, Will no scare me!" he kept shouting at his brother. Something tells me Halloween is going to be interesting this year.

Tonight was Will's school Open House. We attended, although there was standing room outside only by the time we got there. According to Mrs. Perry, there was nothing too ezxciting said by the Superintendent, just to want to see if there was any flooding or high-wind advsories that might have school cancelled for tomorrow. While Ike will miss us, we are scheduled to have some kind of downpour late this evening and the winds are around 20 mph right now, with stronger gusts.

We also toured Will's classroom where his teacher said he is a model student with one exception - he likes to run into the classroom and JUMP in front of people (especially girls) in the middle of the classroom. They have a penny system, where each child has 10 pennies at the beginning of the week and gets them taken or earned back as their behavior dictates. He currently has 8 pennies for this week, the lowest he has had since the start of school, but Ms. Perry does not seem concerned - she said the kids are getting more confortable with her and her surroundings. We do have teacher-parent conferences on Oct. 6. Tonight she also gave the kids a cute package with the following items and this note:

Toothpick: Pick the good in ALL, including yourself
LifeSaver: You can come to any adult if you need help
Band-Aid: To heal hurt feelings, either yours or a friend
Smarties: Everyone in our class will learn and is getting smarter every day
Eraser: We all make mistakes. That's OK; we learn by our mistakes
Hugs (from Hearshey's): Everyone needs a hiug from time to time
Gum: Stick together and work as a team

Cute idea ...

After the Open House, we went to the neighborhood ice cream parlor, Hershey's, and had ice cream. The boys were in bed by 7:30 - no protests, poor guys! The 6:45 a.m. bus stop really makes its mark by the end of the week!

Anyhow, as for Rodney, he is appalled that I put his medical info here, on the blog, and has asked me not to print anymore, that he will call home and let them know what is going on. Suffice it to say that he has nothing major wrong with him at this time, and is still going in for more previously planned tests next week.

As for me, I think I have finally caught up on my sleep. The hazy feeling has gone away and I am getting a lot done. I have been spending some time with the dogs, especially Slade, who has good days and bad ones. Today was a good one and he was excited to get his piece of meat stuffed with his three pills (heart, dieretic and hypothyroid) and ready to play with Rodney afterwards. The poor thing needs to eat more, he's skin and bones, but as long as he's got his joie de virve (or however you spell that French phrase) we'll keep him around.

Rodney tolerates me allowing Slade in to sleep on the floor of my scrap room while I work, although Slade makes sure Rodney is OK with it (follows him around until Rodney pats him) before he can settle down. Rodney can be such a tyrant, LOL...

Tomorrow night we have plans to go see the Star Wars cartoon (Will has been begging ot see it and hopefully it is still out) and have popcorn for supper. Again, Rodney is appalled with this idea, but I guess I am a more liberal parent and figure that junk food for supper once in a awhile won't hurt... everything in moderation, right? And Will's first soccer game is Saturday, so I am sure I will have some pictures of that.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Finally home and the cousins

Whew! After being away from home for 2 weeks, I am finally home and well-rested! The past two weeks flew by in a whirl and I am pleased to say that both events went very well. If you care to see more about the San Diego Expo and Creative Escape, please click this link to my scrap blog.

The boys have grown at least an inch since I left. Will showed me the hole where his second tooth is no longer there. Xan's vocabulary has expanded and he can now speak in nearly full sentences, adding in some slang phrases as necessary. Very funny. No more baby boy!

Rodney held down the fort quite well while I was gone. He is having some CT Scans, etc., done in the next couple of weeks to find out the root of his stomach ailments that have affected him for the past two years or so. Hopefully they will find out what's wrong and fix it.

I desperately needed to catch up on my sleep during my whirlwind two weeks on the Wesat Coast and slept for more than 12 hours last night (and this morning!). I am feeling much better, although my ears are still all plugged up from the flight.

I have also gotten some great photos of our Illinois cousins. Well, actually, Drew, who will be 1 this month, is in Tucson, AZ, but Lauren is still in Pike County, and these are photos of her first day of dance class, compliments of Aunt Vicky. Lauren looks thrilled!

Drew's Mom, Rodney's cousin Katie, took these and said Drew is getting into EVERYTHING... good for him! I think he looks an awful lot like Uncle Jim...