Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Getting to know K&A 4 Years Old

Time for some fun details on Kaleb and Aiden as brothers AND individuals, which I don't do nearly enough!
Last week we visited the pediatrician for a health and wellness check-up.  Walked in healthy and came home with germs.  It's really unfair!  We were good about washing hands there, not touching the chairs in the waiting room, reading books instead of playing with toys, and STILL that night Kaleb started coughing.  I should really send the office a bill!
Moving on....
Kaleb and Aiden were adorable and sweet and showed off their bravery and king crowns.  All was fun and games until Kaleb watched AJ take two immunization shots to the leg.  AJ, as strong as they come, was so proud to announce he was first, got ready and then BAM.  UGH.  My poor sweet boy.  Noone knows how strong AJ is more than his brother, and when he saw tears pouring down his cheeks, rubbing his legs and yelling "it hurts, it hurts" no way in hell was he gonna let those needles near him!
He threw his little body in the far corner and SCREAMED if they reached out to touch him.  It was a terrible thing.  After a long 20 minutes we "convinced" Kaleb to get his shots and I saw more anger than I knew was inside him.  He screamed at me for tricking him and that the nurses weren't supposed to do what they did.  He even growled at them like a starving lion.  All was put behind him when he was presented with an officer hopps sticker and mama took him out for ice cream with extra sprinkles.
Moving on again...lets break down some individual stats.

Getting to know Kaleb Jesse:
Four years old, delicate heart, artist, hummer and known as "prince many tears".  At 3 feet 4 inches and weighing 34 pounds he's had quite a growth spurt in the last year.  Kaleb's favorite breakfast is oatmeal with extra raisins, loves apples without the skin, could eat watermelon every minute of every day and always requests either pizza or macaroni and cheese for dinner.  He's a great little eater, loves to tell me how great something tastes "mmm this is so good mama, I love my dinner" and moves his chair every meal to touch mine (so our elbows touch and he can rest his head on my arm).  Truly he is still as sweet as sugar.  Currently still not liking mashed potatoes, but loves when I roast russets or sweet potatoes into fries.  Kman hums constantly.  I never ask him to stop unless it's nap time.  He'd really prefer to lay in bed for three hours humming a new tune, and I'd really prefer he just sleep for an hour or two.
When given the choice of play Kaleb loves arts and crafts more than anything.  His talent is growing by leaps and bounds, and although I may just be a proud mom, he really is AMAZING.  His ability to draw objects or characters from memory is outstanding, stays inside the lines and has a firm grasp on how to use negative space-without instruction.  Last week I ran up the road to get my teeth cleaned.  After my appointment I had to rush to get the kids to their library preschool program, so Keith met me with the boys at the office.  Kman greeted me with green hands and explained how he drew a green dragon, breathing fire, carrying a christmas tree with ornaments.  When we made it home and I saw EXACTLY that I was amazed....as I am with everything he makes!  He still loves officer judy hopps from the movie Zootopia, building lego machines, has a dance party at the end of every movie, wants to be a pilot when he grows up, will still follow his brother to the ends of the earth and is FINALLY coming to an understanding that life is not just about toys.

Getting to know Aiden Jake:

   Four years old, strong as an ox, master builder and known as "driver of trailers".  Aiden will forever be a goofy, fun-loving, wild spirited little boy.  He stands almost 3 1/2 feet tall and weighs 38 pounds.  His independence is outstanding and a breath of fresh air.  Not only will he do everything for himself, but he'll drop whatever he's doing to help his brother, myself or Keith.  If Kaleb need a little push on his bike he's the first one to hang onto the seat for added balance and watch his brother ride away happy.  Watching him create happiness drives his loving personality and I know he'll grow to be an outstanding man one day.  Nothing makes AJ happier than hearing we are proud of him!
Eating as always been a long process for AJ, even as an infant...unless it's a snack.  Dry cereal, crackers and pretzels are his jam and loves to dip anything!  He prefers his apples with skin, cereal without fruit (although I do not accept that request), bbq anything and candy.  Gymnastics day is definitely his favorite and is really excelling!  I'm not surprised knowing his strength.  Building with legos all day, every day is Aiden's most favorite activity, unless Keith is around working on a project.  That's when you'll really see those guys in their element.  Aiden puts on his work pants, boots and tool belt, loads every nook with every tool and WORKS.  A lazy child he is NOT!  He loves to help in the kitchen, whether it's opening cans, adding spice, washing dishes or grabbing supplies-if theres a job to do he's on it.  Unless his job is sleeping.  Often we find AJ sitting in the hallway, just as silent and still as can be, sometimes for an entire hour, as long as he's not laying in bed with his eyes closed.  When he gets caught doing things "against the rules" he gets the most hilarious expression and yells "MAMA", then come the excuses.  The child is never without something to say!  A speech evaluation is in his near future, and I look forward to everyone fulling understand the intricate details of every story he comes up with.

And now, I'm going to leave you with two more photos from a pretty sunset in our "back yard" last October.  One day these kissing pictures will be a thing of the past, so I'll take em as long as I can get em!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Year-End Recap

Before I fully dive into 2017, I wanted to say a final farewell to 2016.  December was a wild, fun and exhausting month.  The boys birthday, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years Eve makes for a full celebration schedule.  We are usually back and forth between entertaining company, celebrating holidays at our home, grandparents on both sides as well as Pittsburgh, and I wouldn't want it any other way.  The season of love and generosity is not something we take for granted, and know our family is so thankful for the many blessings in our lives.

The weekend after the boys kingdom celebration big cousins Chloe and Sophie got to come have a sleepover!  Camp Rickel was almost in full swing: Mr. Rickel himself was away.  The kids worked together and made the yummiest sprinkle cookies we've EVER had!    In fact the cookies were so awesome I made another entire batch so our yearly cookie jars could include them!

The boys and I spent an icy afternoon out delivering those cookies to neighbors, our favorite firehouse crew and found our way to Panera for lunch.  The boys frequently visit our township firehouse, and we were so lucky to ring the bell and have fireman Caleb there to say hello.  Lucky K&A got to drive the truck in the midst of cookie delivery (an unexpected surprise) AND they even got to hear an emergency call come in!

Christmas eve was spent with Keith's family at Great Grandma's home, where they made the cutest little graham cracker houses.  They later put them out for Santa to see, and spent the next week sneaking piece after piece after piece behind my back.  Christmas morning was so sweet as the boys ran into our bedroom pulling on my arm to come see the giant power wheel they received.  What lucky boys they are, to have "father" christmas so excited to gift something like that  They spent the entire morning chatting about taking turns at the wheel, and AJ didn't miss the opportunity to climb under the hood, screwdriver in hand, to repair the battery Keith disconnected.  When I walked around the corner and saw that site I was so happy to have my camera in hand to capture a priceless moment!  Earlier that week K&A got a fun sled ride at a tree farm with Keith, and ventured to Cleveland's Tower City to see Kaity (dressed up as Cali Kittycat, in Mr. Kringle's Inventionasium.

Next celebration was Hanukkah dinner at Dad's.  Watching these kids surround Grandpa Eddie as he recites our blessings makes my heart so happy.  The festival of light was bright, cheerful and so full of love!  10 pounds of potato latkes wasn't too bad either!  We shared many nights of candle lighting at our home, with friends and family.  The last night was especially fun with a house full of guests to celebrate New Years Eve!

Piano practice at Nanny's!

Sooo, again, happy new year.  Hope things are proving to be a bright, happy and healthy one.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Hello 2017 & Family Photos

Happy New Year friends and family!!  Blink your eyes and we're one week into January!!  
Our week has been filled with low-key adventures around the house wearing our jammies sun-up to sun-down.  A great way to bring in the year after a packed full month of December.  The last I shared was the boys birthday, so I'll post a year end recap soon.

For now, hope this new year will bring much happiness, good health, fortune and love to you all.  We have welcomed 2017 mixing calm and chaos.  I plan to continue my journey to minimalism and dedicate this year to further education on oils and kombucha.  My journey as a home brewer has been really wonderful, and although I haven't shared any details, I have such big plans for Greenbrier Booch.

Beginning tomorrow we are looking at a busy beginning.  Back to library school I'm most excited about.  I love those mornings of peace and quiet, sitting in silence and enjoying a cup of HOT tea.  And, before it's officially unacceptable to share last year's family pictures...here are a bunch!

The pond behind our home.  Currently filled to the top and looks like the perfect hockey arena.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Party in the Kingdom

The weekend following the boys birthday we invited family over to celebrate and eat cake!  The boys were so excited knowing their big cousins were coming to play, as well as the Thomas gang.  The boys are obsessed with Ella and wish she could live here with us.  AJ even offered her his bed and he'd sleep on the floor.  What a kid.

Back to the kings birthday....we needed a kid kingdom!  Keith brought home a GINORMOUS cardboard box from work, and sacrificed his rearview mirror to do so.  About 3 feet stuck out of the jeep in the massive snow storm, so it had to be cut down big time, which was perfect anyways so we could peek over the top.  Coloring the kingdom was a kid jackpot, and although I planned other crafts with the kids (origami crowns for the boys and flower crowns for the girls) we never did get around to it.  I have a massive sticker collection from college scrapbooking days, and I'm so happy they got put to good use!

The boys and their Ella.  Wearing the one flower crown I fashioned before the party.
I desperately tried to find a cake topper fit for a king, but finally settled on zootopia figurines.  Little Judy Hopps has spent only a few daily minutes apart from Kaleb, he loves her so dearly!  Kman stared and stared at his little cake, wanting to eat it and have Hopps so badly.  It's tough being four-years-old and having mama tell you "please be patient, we need to wait."  So many thank you's to all who helped make this party so special for the boys.  We appreciate you all and send lots of love!