31 January 2012

I Mean, I Like Phil Just As Much As the Next Girl...

...maybe even more. I really do enjoy Phil Collins and will gladly listen to him when I'm at home, when I'm in the store, when I'm in the car. And lately, I've been listening to Phil perhaps a little too much in the car.

You see, when each of my boys were younger, they had specific special songs we could play while we were driving and it would automatically soothe them, and stop them from crying. There's really no rhyme or reason as to why each boy picked which song they did, but the 1st 2 boys picked songs that are fantastic songs. Zeke's favorite was "Be Thou My Vision" by 4Him. Deacon's favorite was "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" as sung by Amy J. Stephens (sadly, there's no youtube video to link to for this specific version of the song). Both beautiful hymns that I gladly listened to over and over and over and over and over again and again and again.

In fact, I remember a time when I was driving up the Parkway when Zeke was 6 months old. I had "Be Thou My Vision" essentially blasting, but it wasn't enough. Zeke, through his hysterics, demanded that I also sing the song as loud as I could. I think we listened to (and sang) that song a good 35 times that trip. Good times.

Anyhoo...so Zeke and Deacon pick good, beautiful, meaningful hymns. And what does Finn decide his song of choice is going to be? "Strangers Like Me" by Phil Collins from Disney's Tarzan. Have a listen:

Not a terrible song, and I really do like Phil Collins, but after you hear this song more than 6 times in a row, it sort of wears on you a little. Thankfully, unlike the other 2 boys, Finn is a "little" bit less specific about his song. He'll settle for Barenaked Ladies' "Snacktime" album, or at least the first 5 songs or so on it (it really is a GREAT kid cd, by the way). He'll also sometimes let us go past "Strangers Like Me" to "Circle of Life". Or he'll sit somewhat quietly for some Phil Wickham. But, when push comes to shove and he's been in his car seat for way too long (in his opinion - which, his is a VERY opinionated little man), nothing else will due but the sultry sounds of one Phil Collins. That's my boy.

27 January 2012

And Then There's Finn

Finn, who LOVES water (especially in puddle form):

Finn, who LOVES tv (especially Mickey Mouse Clubhouse):

Finn, who seems to have a hard time figuring out hats still (hehehe):

Finn, who is so stinking cute and knows it:

Finn who is talking more and doing more and getting so big I almost can't stand it anymore:

24 January 2012

It's So Easy to Love This Kid

I am, of course, referring to Deacon. My sweet Dee Dee. So full of fun and imagination. Always cracking us up, whether it's something he said, or a face he made, this kid just melts my heart every day.

Deacon is in preschool this year. He goes every afternoon from 12-3, and he LOVES it. Today I had a parent teacher conference for him, and his teacher says he's doing really well. She said he's very sweet, and listens well. He is one of the few kids in her class this year that likes to do individual work and coloring. He is NEVER bored, as he finds many uses for many of the toys in the room. He's coming along on his numbers and letters, and is fascinated with writing.

The teacher said Deacon usually plays by himself or with 1 other child, but never really in a group like most of the other kids do. But, that's just Deacon's style. He's always preferred one-on-one time. That's not to say he is completely opposed to group activities, he just likes things a little more low key. The teacher noted that he's really good at going about his business regardless of the chaos going on in the classroom. I commented that that's because our house is almost always chaotic.

Because Deacon says some hilarious things I started writing some of them down (to share here, of course). For example, the other day he and Finn were at the table eating breakfast. Deacon said, "Finn, look at that boat!" (He had made a "boat" out of his waffle or something.) Finn looked at Deacon and appropriately said, "Oooohh!" Deacon then said, in a most matter-of-factly way, "Ooh is right."

Or when we were in the car listening to a new cd I got for Christmas and in one of the songs the lyrics were something like "Heaven fall down". So we're listening to this song when Deacon says, "Kevin's okay." I said, "Kevin? Who is Kevin?" After thinking for a second Deacon said, "Kevin is a boy." And that's when I realized he thought the song was saying "Kevin fell down", and so he was assuring me that even thought this boy named Kevin fell down, he was okay.

And then there's this. I did go back and forth for awhile about whether or not to post this picture as it's kind of "NSFW" as they would say (not safe for work). But it was really funny, and so here it is. A week or so before Christmas we were at the table coloring. Deacon handed me his finished product and said, "Look! I made a man Santa Claus!"

Can you see it? There below the circle that is Santa's...body? Belly? It doesn't matter, below Santa's main body part is a little anatomically male part to distinguish this Santa as a male Santa. Oh how I laughed when he showed this to me. I asked him what that part was and he said, "It's Santa's butt!" Oh Deacon, leave it to you.

Deacon is also slightly obsessed with ghosts and aliens, pumpkins and Angry Birds. I'm not sure what his deal with ghosts and aliens is, but they pop up here and there in his stories and imaginary play. Pumpkins and Angry Birds are his favorite thing to draw right now. Maybe I'll post some of his more recent pictures for you to see. They're actually quite good.

And finally, I'm not sure I ever wrote this here, but Deacon is finally, fully potty trained. Towards the end of October he finally got the hang of pooping on the toilet and we've been diaper free ever since. Now if we could just get the little one...hahahaha!

So, that's pretty much Deacon in a nutshell. Smart, funny, sweet, not as eager to help as Zeke but still happy to do what he can, imaginative and wonderful. I love you Deacon, and I am having SO much fun watching you grow up.

20 January 2012

To the Doctor's Part 1

This past Saturday morning I took Zeke to the doctor's for his 6 year check up. He weighed in at 47 pounds (Deacon weighed in at 45 1/2 pounds on Monday, by the way) and is 4 foot tall even (so, 48 inches). The doctor said that places him in the 50% range for weight and the 90% range for height. Go figure. His vision is 20/20 and his hearing is fine.

The doctor pronounced Zeke to be in perfect health. She also threw out there that he has a functional heart murmur. It's no big deal, pending he doesn't suddenly start tiring out easily and get sick more often. One website I read said, a functional heart murmur is basically your heart whistling while it works. So, nobody panic, he is fine.

Now a little bit about my sweet boy's personality.

I sometimes think we should have named him Barnabas (son of encouragement). He is almost always overflowing with excitement and is ready to praise a person for just about anything. Last night, for example, I showed him a different way to do something he was having a hard time getting done and he said, "Yeah! Good thinking, Mom! High five!" Then he high fived me and went about his business.

Zeke is also a big help around the house. He helps me clean up, he's started helping me make his lunch on school days, he gets himself ready and helps his brothers once he's all set. He carries things for me (if they aren't too heavy for him), and he takes really good care of Finn. In the mornings he lets Finn follow him around while he gets dressed and ready for school. The other morning I listened as Zeke dried off Finn's hands after Finn got his hands wet while Zeke was brushing his teeth. He also lets me put Finn in the shower with him, and he helps me by making sure all of the shampoo gets washed out of Finn's hair. He really is just so sweet.

Zeke is also a lover. He's very affectionate and will hug just about anyone. If I had to guess, I'd say that physical touch and words of affirmation would be his main "love languages" (for anyone who's read that book). He still likes to sit on my lap on occasion, or right next to me. I'm not going to lie, I like that. It'll be a sad day for me when my boy doesn't want to cuddle anymore.

Anyhoo, Zeke also LOVES school still. He's very excited about going every day. He's doing really well too. He seems to really like math, as it's one of the few things he'll actually tell me about when he comes home at the end of the school day. Zeke still likes reading, especially now that he's learning sight words and how to sound out what he sees on the pages. He's also learning how to figure out what might happen in the story by looking at the pictures, so he's become quite good at "reading" to his brothers.

Yes, he still gets WAY to wound up sometimes for his own good. Yes, he sometimes throws fits when he doesn't get his way, and yes, he tries to turn everything in life into a competition now (especially meals). But Zeke is my favorite 6 year old boy, in the world, and I wouldn't want him any other way.

I love you my sweet, sweet boy.

19 January 2012

There It Is!

For those who don't know, Josh is currently on a trip to the UAE (United Arab Emirates). He left last Wednesday (my birthday) and will be back on Saturday. Before he left, he kept joking about all the things he was going to do and places he was going to go on (by?) camelback. He's been sending back pictures of different things on his trip, some of them of camels, but none of him actually on a camel. Until, today. I am so pumped I got this picture (and some video) that I just had to share it with you all. So, here's the hubs, in Abu Dahbi, on a camel. Oh, that biggest Walter boy!

18 January 2012

To the Doctor's Part 2

I know, I know, usually we start with Part 1, then go on to Part 2. And I had intended to do that, but darn it all if it isn't just too hard to get around to blogging while Josh is gone. (Lame excuse, I know.) And now that I'm actually sitting down to blog, I see that I only have 15 minutes to write before I have to get Finn up to get Deacon from school. And since Part 1 is going to be a bit wordier than Part 2, I figured I'd just do Part 2 first so that I would actually blog something this week.

So, Sunday afternoon Deacon woke up from his nap twice crying, complaining that his ear hurt. Since I was trying to take a nap too, I put him in bed with me after the 2nd time and saw that he really couldn't sleep on his right ear without wincing in pain and rolling over. I figured he probably had an ear infection, but since it was a Sunday there wasn't much I could do. Monday morning he woke up in a SIGNIFICANTLY better mood, and an ear that looked like this:

Yep, ruptured eardrum ahoy. I called the doctor's and got an appointment for later Monday morning. I took Zeke to his play date and then off (back) to the doctor's we went. "Yep" she said, "He has a full blown ear infection." That's why we're here doc! Anyhoo, now he's on antibotics and ear drops twice a day. And we have to go back in 10 days to make sure it's all working and the ear is healing properly.

Don't worry about Deacon though. He's perfectly fine otherwise.

12 January 2012

Happy Birthday to MEEEEE!!

So, yesterday was my birthday. It was a good day. Not a great day since Josh left in the afternoon for the UAE (United Arab Emirates) for 10 day, but a good day. For the 2nd year in a row I got to go to PWOC on my actual birthday, and have the ladies there sing to me, so that was fun. The boys were pretty good throughout the day, and watching sitcoms after they went to bed was a pretty good way to end the day.

Since Josh had to leave yesterday afternoon, he surprised me by arranging to have Kirsten come up to babysit the boys for us so we could go out to dinner. Due to my insistance on having my birthday brownies with my boys before we left (figuring they'd be in bed after we got home - which they were), we left later than Josh had anticipated, so we went to the local Olive Garden and had a lovely time. Afterwards we did some shopping (cat food and a slurpee - do we know how to have a good time or what?), then went home and watched Biggest Loser. This is the 1st season of this show I've ever seen, and I have yet to fully make up my mind about it.

Anyhoo...back to me. *smirk* My birthday was a pretty low-key affair this year, but that's kind of how I like it. I got a Kindle Fire as my gift, and I pretty much LOVE it. We had fun eating brownies (even if they were so hot when I served them that the 1st plastic knife I used melted a bit, as did the candles)

and I was showered with love and birthday wishes from all over the world from my family and friends via phone calls, text messages, and facebook wall posts. I think I'm going to enjoy being 32.

10 January 2012

Book Nerds

In case you didn't know this, Josh and I are book nerds. We both love books, and we love to read. Which is why it makes me so very happy that my boys love books as well - all 3 of them.

Books keep Finn happy on longer car rides.

Books give Deacon great ideas for when he's using his imagination, while lost deep in Deaconland.

Books were Zeke's favorite present from his birthday.

As you can see by the picture, books also make it okay to be all up in each other's personal spaces. Now that Zeke is learning to look at the pictures in books to determine what might be going on in stories, he's been doing a really good job "reading" books to his brothers lately. It's fun to hear the stories they make up as they go through the pages together.

I hope this love for books stays with them their entire lives.

07 January 2012

Just Another Saturday...

...here in Legoland - I mean, Walterland.

06 January 2012

Speaking of the Snow in October`

As I was looking for the picture I posted last night, I realized that I never got around to blogging about the crazy snow storm we barely survived in October. Well, we survived just fine, having come from Alaska, but our little corner of New Jersey took quite a few days to get back on track. I'm getting ahead of myself though.

Friday the 28th, Josh's mom came up to visit and spent the night so she could spend her birthday (the 29th) with her son with whom she shares a birthday (Josh and his mom have the same birthday), and the rest of us. Our visit was going well until it started snowing on Saturday. Not paying it much mind at first we did all the birthday things we wanted - Josh, the kids and his mom made ice cream, we all played and had fun, we sang and had cake (I didn't have any actual birthday candles so we had to go with this:)

Meanwhile, outside, it just kept snowing and snowing and snowing. Eventually it was decided that it was too bad out there for Josh's mom to leave and she wound up spending a second night with us. A cold, dark night as at 7pm-ish our power went out. And out it stayed until 7am when it came on for about a 1/2hour so we could warm up the place a little (and make some tea!), then it went out again until it came back on for good around 11:20. (We were some of the lucky few - other homes on base lost power for a full 24 hours or so.) This was when Josh's mom decided to head home. Apparently the further south you went, the less severe the storm was. By my parents it had only dropped an inch or so, and by Josh's parents it only rained.

This is his mom's car on Saturday night - notice the darkness behind it as well as all the snow on top of it.

Anyhoo, Sunday was a pretty glorious day, so most of the snow from the roads melted and by evening it seemed like all was well. Except that all wasn't well as I got a call that school had been closed for Monday. Then it was closed on Tuesday. It was closed again on Wednesday. Thursday they finally went back to school, but it was a delayed opening and only for 1st grade on up. Kindergarteners in the state of New Jersey do not have to go to school a certain number of days the rest of the grades do, so they decided to let the little ones stay home. Which, was probably a good thing because what happened was they brought all the kids to Zeke's school, took attendance, then bused them to other schools in the district because Zeke's school still didn't have power! Crazy, right? Friday things were back to normal though and the kids were able to have their Halloween costume parade a few days late and all that jazz.

We definitely had some good times in the snow though. It's nice having snow in New Jersey because it's warmer here and you can let the kids (and their dad) play in the snow longer than 20 minutes, without worrying about frost bite and them freezing to death. Oh Alaska. How I miss you sometimes. Heh.

One day, Finn and I even ventured outside as well. Since Finn was still working on perfecting his walking, he didn't enjoy it too much as he did a bit of falling. But he did have some fun and it was good practice for when (if) we get more snow this winter.

Ever the creative one, Josh built a little snow fort, and a pretty "cool" castle thing (not pictured):

So, there you have it. Crazy October snow storm. No power all night. Josh's mom stranded here. No school for almost a full week. But lots of snow to have lots of fun in. The end.

05 January 2012

When I Was Younger

I used to think that freshly fallen snow was one of the most beautiful things ever. I would get so upset when someone would walk across it, ruining it forever (or until the next time it snowed).

Now I still like the look of freshly fallen snow, but I also enjoy heavily trampled snow because it usually means someone (or 3 little someones in this case) had a seriously good time, thoroughly enjoying themselves in the snow.

04 January 2012


Yesterday, January 3rd, my oldest boy turned 6. It was also their first day back to school, so it was a HUGE day for Zeke. As it was a huge day, he was one excited boy all. day. long. The morning went off without a hitch though, and once he was off to school, I started baking cupcakes.

At 2 in the afternoon, I went to Zeke's school, where his teacher threw a little celebration for him. I brought in and read Where the Wild Things Are to his class (per Zeke's request). After the story was over, the class played Zeke specific BINGO, where his teacher (who is the sweetest thing, by the way) had made BINGO boards using pictures of characters from kids shows and used words that relate to Zeke. Words like "January", "brother", "winter", etc. Zeke won the first round (by design), another kid won the 2nd round and then Zeke won the 3rd round again (by coincidence)! So his teacher said, "Don't clear your boards, we'll go for a 2nd winner this round." Ha! After BINGO the kids had their snacks and Zeke handed out the little goodie bags we had made for them.

I think it really meant a lot to Zeke that I went to his school for his birthday because the whole ride home he kept talking about how he and I are friends and how he loves me "all this day". He's such a sweet boy.

After school, I took Zeke home with me, and picked up Deacon from school and Finn from child care. We got home, and then Zeke's friend, Thomas, came over and the boys played while I finished up the cupcakes.

It's not the greatest picture, but the ones on the left are dinosaurs (I'll try to get around to getting pics up on Flickr soon). Then there are your regular cupcakes, or "real" cupcakes as Zeke called them all day yesterday. I let the birthday boy decide what flavor cake and frosting he wanted and he went for the chocolate/chocolate combo. That's my boy!

Being back in New Jersey, this was the first birthday for any of the boys that we were able to have some family celebrate with us. As you'll see a picture or 2 down, my mother, father, step dad and twin sisters came up and had some dinner (hot dogs and macaroni and cheese, per the birthday boy's request) and cake with us.

After we ate some hot dogs and some cupcakes it was, of course, present time. After all, what better wayis there to wear off a sugar rush than by ripping up some paper?

Shortly after all the presents were opened, it was time to say good night and good bye as family left and the boys went to bed. All in all, a very good day. And now I have a 6 year old. Crazy, but wonderful.

03 January 2012

Oh Zeke.

Happy Birthday Sweet Prince.

You are so loved.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

02 January 2012


I took the older 2 boys to see the 3rd chipmunk movie in the theaters today. It was an exciting time for all of us. Until maybe 5 minutes before the movie started, we were the only 3 people in the theater (ours was 1 of maybe 7 cars in the entire parking lot - which was packed when we left).

A father and his son sat in the row in front of us, and that kind man got quite the kick out of Zeke. You see, being 5 (6 tomorrow!), Zeke doesn't really have the where-with-all to know which comments "need" to be said, and which don't have to be shared at all. Also, being 5, he gets SUPER excited about things and when he's excited, he also has no voice control and sets his volume to LOUD. Thus, through most of the previews and a better part of the actual movie, Zeke would make random comments with his "outside voice", which kept the man sitting in front of us cracking up the entire time. When the movie was over, the man turned to Zeke and asked him if he liked the movie. "YEAH!" Zeke enthusiastically replied, and oh how we all did laugh.

01 January 2012

It's a New Year!

It's a new year and I am ready for school (and work - Josh) to start again.

In fact, I think we might *all* be ready to get back to "normal".

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone