Sunday, July 24, 2011

Quilts from Aunt Brandi

My sister-in-law, Brandi, always makes a quilt for the newest baby of the family.  Here are the quilts she made for each of the boys.


And the most recent quilt she made up, is one for my parents:
It says "Nana and Papa's Grand Dozen" and has all 12 grandkids' names and their birthdates.

Friday, July 22, 2011

What does Aren do at 2 months old?

Yesterday I posted about what keeps the bigger two boys occupied.  I'm sure you're quite curious what Aren does all day.  To be honest, the kid sleeps a lot.  He typically goes to bed around 9pm, wakes sometime between 3:30am and 5am for his first nursing and a diaper change then goes back to bed until 9am or so.  Throughout the day he plays a bit but still does a lot of sleeping.  Between all of his sleeping and nursing he's accomplished quite a bit of growing.  He had his 2 month check up with the pediatrician on Tuesday.  Here are his 2 mo. stats along with his brothers.  
Aren:  10lbs 6.5oz and is 22 in. long
Alex:   11lb 12oz and 22.25 in. long
Ajay:  11lb 14oz. and 22.5 in. long

Note both Ajay and Alex weighed more at this age then Aren did and both of them were 6lb 3oz and 6lb 5oz, respectively, at birth.

And to share pictures of all three boys around the two  month mark:



During the day his brothers talk with him and sing to him.  We find ourselves repeating "Boys, don't crowd him."  "Okay, one more kiss/hug and then you need to scoot back."  "Alex, slow and gentle movements!"
Alex is often heard "He's so cute!"  "He's so cute and pweshus!" and "I think he likes me!"  Ajay often comes up to stroke Aren's soft skin.  I love seeing the love amongst the boys.  Biju and I are afraid the bigger boys will somehow hurt Aren (quite by accident) but Aren just seems to smile when the boys approach.  (Okay, there have been a few times when Aren cries but that's only after Alex loves on him too much.)

So to sum up Aren's day:

He sleeps:

First nap in his crib

He eats:
He's entertained by his brothers:

And he sleeps some more:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Entertainment for the kiddos

So besides the typical PBS shows that keep the kids occupied a couple of hours each day (yes, I'm that parent) I've been trying to give constructive things to the boys to do. 

We really love music around here and the boys can tear up a dance floor (aka: our living room space).  We've recently discovered we like the Kidz Bop type Cd's.  (Wiki) They can be a bit on the cheesy side but I do like that the boys can listen to the current music without a few of the less desirable words.  Also, we dig America's Got Talent and the boys love to emulate the dance moves they see. I can tell they're improving their gross motor skills with all of their dance practice so that's a bonus to their growing bodies, right? 

They do play well with each other when left to their own devices, for the most part, but depending on the day, how one woke up, how one looked at the other, how the stars are aligned, their playtime can sometimes closer resemble, well, fighting.  Then they both end up in time out.

We've had some play dates so they have other kids to play with for a change of pace.  I love play dates.  The kids, obviously, have other faces to look at, but I get some adult interaction, too.  I'm an extrovert.  I need adult interaction to survive.

As a side note, I talk too much.  This is something I've known for awhile and I always try to keep my mouth zipped but words just bubble over and I can't stop myself.  I say too much, I say the wrong thing, I talk too much about myself and forget to ask questions about the person with whom I'm talking.  Every time I drive away from a play date or Bunco I analyze (over analyze?) what the conversations consisted of and I can always find something to kick myself for. 

Back to the matter at hand.  Here are the boys finger painting. 

Annie and her daughter, Lilly, came over for a playdate.  We took some birdseed outside so they could play in it.  They traced letters in the seed and also sorted it into different piles.  Great for their fine motor skills.

Here they are watching a 3-D movie.  (By the way - I don't suggest letting the under 6 set watch Coraline.  Even 6 might be pushing it.  It is a bit creepy.  Alex did fine the first time he watched it so I let them watch it a second time [not the same day, mind you].  He cried and told me he was scared part way through.)

We had gone bowling earlier in the day and they kept their socks on.  You'd think their feet would've been too hot!
Even in the heat Alex wakes up and tells me he's cold.  Here he is eating his cereal with a crocheted blanket that was given to us when Ajay was born. 
(It doesn't really have much to do with entertaining the children but I certainly found it entertaining!)
Ajay has been taking swimming lessons this summer.  Unfortunately, Alex is too young to join the class and there isn't a "parent swim" lesson available at this time.  Next summer, however, Alex should be able to join in.  As for now, when Biju takes Ajay for lessons, Alex and Aren stay home with me.  One evening I got brave and let Alex play with the dry erase board.  (As you know, dry erase markers are perfectly erasable from the board but not from clothing or skin!)

All 5 members of our family are here.  Daddy is the long legged blue, I'm orange, Aren is yellow, Ajay is brown and Alex is the other blue.
One day the boys invited me into their room to see a puppet show.

Practicing their "lines" and getting their puppets set up.

On with the show!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Monday, the 4th - the evening

Once Biju and Ajay got back from dropping Bino off at the airport it was time to start aiming our sights on the evenings events.  We grabbed some watermelon and fireworks and headed out to spend the holiday with some great friends.  We try to get together with these two families on a regular basis.  Our goal is monthly but usually end up with quarterly visits.  Such is the way with three busy families with little ones. 

We let the children loose (8 kiddos, including the littlest ones).  There was some playing upstairs, downstairs and outside.  At one point Ellie came in crying and we were told that she had been stung by a wasp.  Lisa, of course, started treatment for a wasp sting, as any mother would do.  It was later discovered, however, that Ellie had burned her little fingers on the not-yet-cool grill. 

Time for a deluge of photos.  I think I got a shot of everyone there. 

Feeding the children dinner.

Daddios with Aren.

Ellie cooling her little burned fingers.

Working on some daylight fireworks.

The kids (and dads) loved setting everything off.  (That's a smoke bomb that Biju helped Alex with.)
Ellie did NOT want to be a part of the lighting of the works so she hung out with her ice water and her mama in the back of our van.

Ronnie and Russell supervising.

Me w/ Aren, Angie w/ Jonah.

It was a long, hot day - can you tell?

My favorite photo of the evening!!

After we wrapped up the daytime stuff we went inside for a sweet treat.  Angie had made a delicious dessert - a little bit of sin topped with fresh berries to make you feel a little better about eating it.  (You can see a picture of it here.)  Nighttime fireworks followed and, as always, it was fun to see so many pretty colors exploding across the sky. 

It was great the way the timing worked out this year.  We were able to celebrate the Fourth on two separate evenings - I wish it could be like that every year!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, the 4th - the morning

Happy Independence Day!!  (Just a little late on the wishing, but we enjoy our freedom everyday, so it still counts, right?)

Monday morning the boys and I slept in til around 8am or so and let Biju and Bino sleep until 9am.  We had a lazy morning, which was nice. 

Bino tried his hand at holding Aren again.

There we go!!  Able to show off that awesome outfit he bought for Aren (it says My Uncle ROCKS - and has a guitar.  Do you remember he's in a band?)
The boys wanted to introduce Bino to the Wii.  He played some archery for awhile and got some tips from everyone. 
Then the boys wanted to show off their wicked cool dance moves. 

This one...

...likes to dance like this.  (Yes, his pajama pants are inside out.  Don't ask me - he's the one who put them on!)

This one.....

...likes to dance like this, too.
(My friend, Kyle, came by shortly after Aren's birth to bring us a meal.  She was treated to a full on  performance by the boys.  It included a lot of wild dancing and standing on heads/hands like in the above photos.)

After everyone got dressed for the day, Biju took Bino out to lunch for some vietnamese soup.  Then it was back home very quickly to get ready for the airport.  Before they left, though, Uncle got in a bit more playtime.

We really loved having Bino come for a visit.  We certainly wished it could've been for a longer  period of time.  Perhaps next time we'll be able to enjoy a visit from him and Annie Auntie (have I mentioned he's getting married in September??) and Amachee and Echachan!  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunday, the 3rd

Hello again.  I apologize for the delay in posts.  I have a lot to share with you, I really do, I just haven't taken the time to get it all written up.  So, here I am posting events from Bino's visit and the 4th of July a week and a half two weeks late.
We've done some computer juggeling lately which means the pictures I want aren't always where they're supposed to be.  Now, however, I've got all of our latest photos loaded onto our latest computer and I've even got all the photos I want to share loaded onto Blogger.  We can now continue. I know you're all just on the edge of your seats waiting to find out what happened the rest of the weekend, right??  (humor me)
We woke up on Sunday morning with the intention of getting onto the road to my parents by 9am.  Per our usual fashion we got out the door later than we would've liked.  It was closer to 10:30am.  Oops. 

Ready for a road trip.  Headphones ready, too, to watch a movie on the way.
We made a detour on the way to my parents and showed Bino a casino.  Biju had 3 free buffet tickets and the kids ate free so lunch only cost us tip money.  Nice.

We ended up at my parents a few hours later than planned so we just stopped by real quick to show Bino their farm.  He snapped a few pictures then we hopped back in the van and drove to the next hill to my brother's place.  I do believe the head count was around 50 throughout the whole afternoon/evening! 

We introduced Bino to family and friends and just sorta hung out for awhile.

Alex chillin' in the shade w/ Bino Uncle.  They were quickly warned that there may be chiggars lurking in that grass!  (We all came home with bites - even those who didn't sit on the ground!)

There was some more shooting of the clay, like last year, and the kiddos enjoyed learning how to shoot a BB gun.  Alex even got in on the action this year! (With close adult supervision, of course.)

Uncle Matt, Greg, James, Uncle Jeff participating in a shoot-off.
Bino Uncle got to shoot a few times!!

Ajay saw Bino Uncle and Daddy together, so he joined them.  Biju moved so he would be shading his son. 

Family friend and neighbor, Greg, helping the kids with the BB gun.

Alex was thrilled that he got to try - thanks, Greg!!

We had a pot-luck dinner and there was lots of tasty food.  Some of the family worked pretty hard in the kitchen getting stuff ready to go out to the picnic tables while Dad and Matt took the hot job of working the grill.  (I don't know who that other guy is on the right - maybe someone Matt works with?)

After all of the shooting was done the kids got to run out into the field to pick up the un-broken clay rounds.  And, of course, they took part in the typical random running around up to no good type fun.

There was holding of babies (Janel with Aren, Jeff with Tessa), some shooting off of daytime fireworks, and more chillin' out in the heat.

Once it finally got dark we got to see some great night time fireworks.  We saw not only our own goods but we could watch all the other works going on around the countryside.  (I tried to load a couple of quick videos that Bino took of some awesome aerials but they wouldn't load.  Phooey.)

After they were done we loaded up the van and headed home.  We got back around 2:45am.  Biju was the only one who stayed awake the whole drive (considering he was driving).  Even Aren slept the whole drive and then transitioned to bed wonderfully! 

More on the 4th activities later!  (but hopefully not too much later)