Saturday, April 26, 2008


One fun thing about living in the city is that my boys get to see exciting things like police cars, firetrucks, and helicopters on pretty much a daily basis. They love it. But today, especially, they got quite a show! All afternoon helicopters were flying right over our home fighting a brush fire in the foothills behind our city - we could see them up close from Toby's upstairs bedroom window.

The fire started this afternoon. Debbie was the first to call me, which helped me connect why I was hearing sirens and helicopters. When I looked out from the patio I could see a big cloud of smoke, but it wasn't until the sun went down that I could see the flames through the trees that block part of the view. We had temperatures in the 90s today with some wind - perfect conditions for fires.

Supposedly the fire will be contained within the next 20-24 hours, and there are no homes in immediate danger, so I'm not too worried about being evacuated. I am a little worried about the air quality and my kids' little lungs as they sleep. Obviously we've kept the windows closed and have stayed indoors all afternoon.

I thought these photos I recently took of the kids in their fireman hats would go perfectly with this blog post. They have a firetruck pop-up tent, and their hoses are vacuum attachments. :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Proud of our Preschooler!

This evening Tobiah's preschool had their Open House. Toby was proud to show me all the things he is learning and doing at school! I loved having him lead me around his classroom and point out which projects and papers were his. They are learning about caterpillars turning in to butterflies and on one bulletin board Toby pointed out that his butterfly was the highest - just a little window in to my son's oh-so-competitive spirit! But hey, we're happy that he is aiming high!

His teacher, Miss Val, is SO wonderful. She really nurtures the children and teaches them to care for each other. Toby's teachers are very important to him. As soon as we arrive in the classroom in the morning he does what I call a "teacher check". He makes sure Miss Val and Mrs. Shryock, her assistant, are both there before he feels comfortable enough to say goodbye to me. When I ask Toby about his day at preschool a lot of times the highlight of the day is if he got the "big shovel" or not. He loves to play in the sand! He has many great friends in his class and they all seem to get along so well. We are thankful that preschool has been such a positive thing for Toby. Because of his late fall birthday, we are planning on keeping him in preschool one more year - he will start kindergarten in the fall of 2009.
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Thursday, April 17, 2008


A friend just lent me the book, "The Hair-Raising Joys of Raising Boys" by Dave Meurer, which it supposed to be quite funny. I haven't started it yet, but will need to soon in order to help myself see the humor in the hair-raising stunt Toby pulled today:

I have already mentioned on this blog that he loves to climb...

We were just leaving his gymnastics class at the community center this afternoon. Toby ran ahead of me when Teacher Brian, his instructor, began talking to me about the possibility of moving Toby up to the next level. I was hoping Toby would realize that I had not followed him out of the building and come running back. I continued the conversation, but really should of excused myself to call Toby back. Sure enough, a few moments later a man came in the door and asked if I was the mother of a boy with a green shirt on (I'm surprised he didn't say the boy with the red hair!). Outside of the building there is a brick wall with ledges every few feet all the way up to the top, and apparently Toby had climbed it. I went out to see and passed one mother, who said excitedly, "He is all the way to the top!" Yes, he was as far up as you can go. A nanny with a little girl in a stroller said to me, "He really likes to climb doesn't he?" I responded, "Yes, he does," through clenched teeth. I was not happy.

It was easy to help Toby get down. Hands first, then feet, now hands, now feet. He was down in seconds and was probably never in real danger since he is pretty agile, but it was still disconcerting that he would attempt a climb like that without a parent in sight! The same man that had alerted me of my son's actions came back out and said something about Spiderman, which I told him was Toby's middle name.

When I asked him later why that was a "sad choice" - our term for misbehavior - he knew exactly: because I climbed too high and could of fallen and because my mommy and daddy weren't there. Sigh. Why do I have the feeling there are many more hair-raising days to come?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Papa!

Our area is having some warm weather, so it inspired us to wash the car and truck this afternoon, with the boys "helping". Tobiah loves spraying with the hose and it made us smile when he got talking, and listed his Papa as one of the people that he is allowed to get wet with the hose during car washing. He was remembering when his Papa and Nana (Tim's parents) helped us wash the car and truck when they visited last year. Daddy is also on that list of people who Toby can get wet, but Mommy definitely is not! :)

We wanted to wish Papa a very Happy Birthday today!! WE LOVE YOU!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Eye Drops

Asher usually eats a good breakfast, but if Tim is home, he shares a second breakfast with him. It cracks us up! He will stand beside Tim and wait for every other bite. Tim can't resist giving in to the little beggar and teases me that I must never feed the kid. Then as soon as Asher sees me getting my bag ready for whatever the day's activities are he will start asking for "ack" (snack), since he knows I always pack snacks in the bag. The boy could eat all day!

At 20 months, Asher weighs 26 lbs. 12 oz. I know this because we were at the doctor's office today! Asher had a red, somewhat swollen and crusty eye, so I called this morning and was able to get a 3:30 pm appointment for him. Tobiah tagged along. Eye drops were prescribed and I was able to administer them to Asher a lot better once I started bribing him with jelly beans. :)

By this time I'm noticing that Toby is rubbing his eyes and he finally admits to me that they are itchy. I was able to get a drop in to one of his eyes but he completely lost it after that and wouldn't let me get anything in the other eye. Jelly beans didn't work as well on him...not that he didn't want them, but he really disliked the feeling of the drop going in to his eye - it feels cold and stings a bit. (I know, because after all this my eyes began to feel uncomfortable and I decided I might as well give myself a dose as well!) I finally was able to get Toby to let me put the drops in his eyes right before he went to bed. I told him that I was going to put drops in my eyes as well and he very sweetly told me to "be brave".

I think part of the reason Toby was so sensitive about the drops is that he was just exhausted from his fun day. Tim was home this morning, so Asher stayed home with him and Tobiah and I met a friend and her two boys (ages 4 and 8) at the arboretum. It was SO FUN to do something with just Toby, stroller free! I could really keep up with him instead of constantly having to call him back! My friend and I just followed the boys' lead. It was wonderful! Today was a day that I could fully enjoy Toby's energy - what a gift!

Outside the doctor's office there is a wall that has square holes through it, perfect size for little boys feet. (Architects must not build with a mother's sanity in mind.) Toby, of course, didn't hesitate to scale it. Walls with any kind of a foothold bring out my son's inner Spiderman and I find myself quickly having to run over and spot him. He will climb anything!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Latest and Greatest

Sometimes when on the phone with my dad he will ask us, "So what's the latest and greatest?", by which he basically means, "So, what's new?" So here is a blog updating you on the boys' latest and greatest:

Months ago I picked up a "marble run" (that's what we call it anyway) at a store that sells used items for children. It consists of a track that you can build in different ways to send marbles shooting and spiraling down to the bottom. We brought it out on a recent rainy day, now that Asher can be trusted not to put the marbles in his mouth. (He hasn't put one in his mouth yet, after more than a week of playing with the marbles, but I still keep a close eye on him when he is playing with or around them and the marbles are safely put away when not in use.) Toby has really enjoyed this new activity and can now build the tracks by himself with just a little help. The picture is of the first track he built almost entirely on his own!

Asher has had to sit through many, many of Toby's gymnastics classes, so we finally signed him up for a class for his own age group! He was SO excited this morning to finally get to really tear around on those mats and do all the climbing, jumping, and rolling he has been longing to do. The class is more of a mommy-and-me type thing than actual gymnastics, which is perfect. At circle time Asher followed along with the motions of the songs like he had been doing it for a long time! I was very happy with his ability to follow directions. He clapped, he marched, he helped clean up the balls...he had a blast and the rest of us loved seeing him have such a good time! In the afternoon when we went back for Toby's class, Asher was perfectly content to sit in his stroller the whole time (okay, he did have snacks for some of it) and watch Toby in action because he had already had his turn. :)

I have continued to sneak lots of veggies in to the boys' food! (Refer to my "Veggie Tales" post in March) I now have frozen cubes of orange, green, and white puree (cauliflower and zucchini) in my freezer that I can take out and quickly add to dishes. Quesadillas, meatloaf, grilled cheese, BBQ chicken sandwiches, mac-n-cheese...all victims of sneaked in vegetables that my kids have eaten without a fuss! I thought about trying to sneak veggies in to Toby's beloved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but then I realized that that's just gross!

It has been wonderful for me to see the boys playing together and I've witnessed Toby displaying an extra measure of kindness and patience with his brother, which makes this mama's heart proud. Yesterday they were playing so well together (firetrucks, at first, then they were using jump ropes to go "fishing") that I was able to completely prep for dinner without much interruption. Yeah!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mama, Dada, Ya...

I think Asher is confused. By now we would expect him to be saying his brother's name, but so far the best we get is, "Ya." He hears us call him Tobiah, Toby, or refer to him as possibly he just can't figure out which name to use? Toby's little friend Katie used to call him "Biah" when she was Asher's age, and we liked it, so we've been trying to encourage that. All this to say,we are excited to hear what he finally decides to call his big brother, who he works so very hard to keep up with and imitate!

Toby, on the other hand, quite often calls Asher, "Ash". He will say, "Look at this, Ash!" and Asher will obligingly reply, "Wow!" They are a fun pair. Soon we will be making the big step to putting them in the same room, so we'll keep you updated on that...

If you watched the video, Toby wasn't too hurt there at the end. :)