Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cherry Blossoms


Last summer, I had the good fortune of being unemployed, with plenty of spare time to go walking at the nearby lake. As the beautiful cherry blossoms bloomed throughout the park, I kept thinking that I needed to bring my camera and get some pictures of the kids. Well, I put it off so long that I didn't get even one picture. Today, I remedied that. Fillip told me early in the day he was picking up some extra work and wouldn't be home for dinner. I decided the kids and I would ride/skate to the park for a picnic. On the way to pick them up I stopped at the grocery store to grab some corned beef, peppered turkey, various cheese, some grapes and bottled water. We got home, got our gear and headed out- the boys on bikes and me with a balance-altering backpack.
It was a little tricky keeping my balance on skates (yes, quads..anyone who knows me knows it is Old School all the way when it comes to my skates) with a backpack filled with a sheet to sit on, dinner, and water all pulling this way and that every time I turned around to check on the mini cyclists behind me. Not to mention, trying to get all three of us quickly across a major street without anyone falling, stopping, and trying to convey that staying between the lines of the crosswalk is a much better idea than going diagonal across the intersection.

It was so peaceful and beautiful at the lake tonight. It really couldn't have been more perfect. The sunset was stunning, going from a soft amber and powder blue to brilliant fushia and orange. It seemed as if the sky wanted to make the sunset so spectacular that we would want today to never end for all its beauty. It was a relaxing dinner with the boys picking at the items I had brought, no pressure to finish a "meal" and me watching them eat more than anyone would ever expect. Hayden made an interesting comment at one point about a man we saw coming into the park in a wheelchair with his dog. The dog was in a bright yellow crossing guard vest, and the man was in a red velvet gown. Hayden passed him by and said "Sometimes as people get older, they really seem younger." He has no idea how true that can be. Such an old soul, that one.
As I tucked Logan in for bed, I got a quiet "tank you fowah taytind me on a pitnit, Mommy." (Read: Thank you for taking me on a picnic, Mommy.) Oh, we will definitely be doing this again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hayden's Pirate Party in Pictures

Hayden had quite a birthday party. He wanted a pirate theme, and we went all out. The kids got to do a treasure hunt, bust open a pinata, have some cake, and have more candy than any parent will ever forgive us for. They walked away with bags full of booty that included swords, eye patches, compasses, tattoos, stickers, jewelry, coins, and a bunch of other really cheap stuff from my favorite party supply website. Although our timing was off, Hayden and the other kids seemed to have a fantastic time. Momma and Papa pirate were absolutely beat by the end.

Argghhh Matey! Captain Hayden keeps the guests in line.
Who doesn't have a friend paint an awesome mural in the backyard the night before a party?And builds a ship.... I just like this picture.
Walking the plank.

The birthday boy on a treasure hunt.
Pillaging and plundering after the treasure hunt.
This is a picture of the kids with the pinatas a couple days before the party, but it gives you an idea of how freakin' huge they were.

The cake

I think they got enough candy.......even if they had to scuffle over it.

Finally, present time! It's fun when your big brother gets a new guitar!
Tired Mom and Dad.
Tired and ready for bed- nothing like beginning a new story when you get Charlotte's Web for your birthday. Oh, and those glasses have got to go. I look like I turned twice my age.

Happy birthday, Captain Hayden.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Hayden's 5th Birthday

What I can I say about my sweet Hayden? He is such a precious kid. He has a sensitive soul, and truly wants to make others feel good. He is generous with compliments, and most of the time willing to consider other opinions. He has an amazing intelligence that even his teacher seems a bit surprised by. He is now reading and constantly sounding out words wherever we are. He makes "good" mistakes, in that he is thinking about the phonic rules he knows, and applies them. It's not his fault English is quirky. He also does arithmetic, applying simple addition and subtraction to more abstract situations than his school worksheets. He seems to enjoy academic work more than anything, and talks about that much more than playtime at school. He absolutely adores his teacher, and I am wondering how he will do transitioning to the next class this month.

Yesterday was his very first T-ball game. It was so cute! He seemed to really enjoy himself, and like soccer, is eager to listen to the coaches and take their suggestions. He does tend to lose focus frequently, but we are hoping team sports will help him with that. One thing Fillip noticed during the game, is that Hayden was constantly watching for where Logan was. Those two are so connected and they need to know what the other one is doing at all times. It is sweet, although we need to let him know we've got Logan covered. Keep your eye on the ball, kid.

At home Hayden waffles between petulant child, and old soul. He is certainly charming, and very affectionate. Typically, he will be very helpful even without being asked. However, when he is tired or just not in the mood, he acts like a resentful teenager, put out at having to contribute in any way. Fortunately, it isn't the majority of the time. Often, Hayden's helpfulness is hampered by Logan's "little brother-ness." It's hard to make your bed when your little brother has his butt in your face. (Yes, we are working on that.)

Hayden retains his analytical and mechanical tendencies, which are offset by Logan's creativity. They want to be together all the time, even when they are driving each other crazy. Hayden wants to be in charge of Logan at all times, correcting his pronunciation, enforcing rules, and being "the leader." Unfortunately for Hayden, Logan doesn't always appreciate these efforts, and they tend to scuffle when Logan exerts his independence. Over the last couple months, they have been getting along well, and rarely do more than a little squabbling.He love to be silly, making up words and changing lyrics to songs. He has come up with some intensely irritating noices, and takes great joy in doing them over and over again.

Hayden tends to be quite emotionally sensitive with his own emotions, and in reading ours. He gets his feelings easily hurt, or gets very angry when he feels things are unfair. However, he also tells us he loves us, laughs easily, and is pretty good about clarifying when he isn't sure if we are mad. It often looks like he is absorbing his emotions, not bringing them to our attention when he is worried about something. However, he is able to express himself quite well when we talk together, and realizes he can express whatever is bothering him. He remembers every little detail, often amazing people with the trivial facts he will come up with months after seeing someone. Getting in trouble is a big deal to him, and he is generally really good. When he does get time out, he is truly outraged, but it is very easy to get a point across with him. He learns rules well, and generally doesn't try to break them. Sometimes, though, he does forget what they are.

He loves to snuggle when he goes to bed, and have a quiet chat before falling asleep. I love to snuggle him back, and remind him of how very much he is loved. He is a true joy every day.