Monday, November 20, 2017

Late fall

Since Halloween we have been watching a lot of David S. Pumpkins the animated special from Saturday Night Live. The kids love it and ask to watch it almost every day.

Reed has been refusing to nap at daycare a lot lately, and then he comes home a wreck. Last week he came home from daycare, went upstairs to get his blankie and paci, and we found him asleep in the boys' bedroom behind their train table.

Partly as a result of David S. Pumpkins and its villain Raincoat Man, Theo has been having a lot of bad dreams recently. I installed some lights on the bottom bunk to make sleeping a little less scary.

We took the boys to their first Cornell hockey game Saturday. With high hopes after a 6-0 start to the season, we watched them get crushed 4-0. The boys still enjoyed their pretzel, sour patch kids, Doritos and chips. And kicking the people in the seats in front of us.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Buffalo trip

Election Day the kids had off of school because parent-teacher conferences were scheduled the same day. So in addition to finding time to vote, I also had to find childcare for the day. For a number of reasons I decided to take a day off work and head to Buffalo Monday night to visit Auntie Alexis, Max and baby Mary Kate, even though we just saw MK and Alexis Saturday for a visit in Syracuse. We had an awesome time staying up way too late Monday night playing with MK's toys and eating lots of awesome food. Tuesday we spent more than five hours at the Buffalo Zoo, which has EVERYTHING--polar bears, giraffes, rhinoceroses, zebras, gorillas, bison (obviously), river otters, and sea lions among many others. Reed's favorite was watching the baby gorilla (really more like a toddler) climb all over and nurse and cuddle with his mama. Theo's favorite was racing a rhino. Beckett's favorite was the playful sea lions, who have a beautiful naturalistic habitat.

Not visible in these "riding the rhino" photos: the very small sign posted near the ceiling of the enclosure which reads "do not climb on the rhino." We saw it after the photos were all taken. Oh, well.

After riding the rhino, we got to see the rhino. We were the only people near the enclosure, and the rhino turned to look at us when we stopped to look at him. Theo started running along the fence, and the rhino started running alongside him. When Theo got to the end of the enclosure, he turned around and ran back the other direction. The rhino turned and ran back alongside Theo. This continued several times, only stopping when Theo stopped. Then Beckett joined in, and he raced the rhino for several runs. It was absolutely breathtaking to watch this 4,000 pound creature, looking like an armored tank with a heartbeat, racing my tiny 40 pound children. It truly looked like the rhino was playing. He would turn around and look over at the kids, as if to say, "ready when you are!"

Alexis flagged down a zookeeper to ask about the rhino-chasing behavior. He said that the running was a show of aggression, not playing, and that if given the chance, the rhino would like to chase them down and kill them. The rhino is known for this behavior and even once injured his foot turning around during a chase sequence in the past. They try to discourage it but have decided not to put up signage to let zoogoers know. It did dampen our excitement a little bit but it was simply astonishing and joyous to watch the kids racing the rhino.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Art Show

The boys had their art show last weekend, which was the culmination of their Saturday morning art classes they have been going to since September. The teachers, who are grad students in the education school at SU who want to be art teachers, did a beautiful job of mounting and displaying their work. It was really fun to see the neat things they have created over the last few months.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Reed update

A couple of Thursdays ago Reed woke up and climbed out of his bed, falling in the process. He wasn't hurt but it made us realize it was time to move him to a toddler bed. Theo and Beckett had been in their toddler beds for months by Reed's age (though they were also potty trained and much less enamored by going to sleep than he is). So Thursday morning I took the side off his crib and added the half-wall so he could climb in and out. He went to daycare Thursday but Thursday night when we went to put him down he was not having it. I think he was scared of falling out, so he kept trying to sleep on the floor (which I didn't really mind) and in the rocking chair (which I thought maybe wasn't the best idea, because, falling). So the next day we left Kathy and Greg to try to administer the first toddler bed nap. Which was a failure, despite Kathy's very best efforts. Then Reed was so very tired, after sleeping poorly Thursday night and then skipping nap Friday, that he fell asleep while I was briefly rocking him at bedtime, and I just set him down in the bed. He slept fine that night but Saturday morning when he came into our room in the morning ("the green light is on! Daddy, the green light is on!") and cuddled with us, he told us he didn't like his new bed because it wasn't cozy. I asked him if he wanted to have his old bed back, and he said multiple times that he did. I think he got it that he can't climb out, he has to call to us to get him out, and it's been working so far. So Jeff changed the bed back to his crib. When I went to put him down for nap Saturday he was so excited to load all his stuffed animals back in. He got right in and looked so happy and relieved. It wasn't quite right until I put the crib bumper back in. So now we're right back to the beginning but he's happy and we're happy and everyone's sleeping so we'll stay this way.

Saturday I took a look at this bedhead and decided I had to cut it.

And post-haircut, here we are at the Latin school for gallery walks with Theo and Beckett. Everyone made posters of their families and got to compare and contrast different families. I initially hated the new haircut but it's grown on me.

A couple of weeks ago Reed's daycare went to a nearby pumpkin farm as a field trip. It was on a day when Reed was with Grandma Joanie and Grandpa Stu but they decided to take him there anyway because it was a beautiful day. Both Grandma Joanie and Grandpa Stu grumbled about how hard it was to play or interact with Reed because the daycare teachers were "all over him." I dare say they were a bit jealous. So the other day when I was picking Reed up from daycare he was showing me the other classrooms, including the preschool classroom. The director of the daycare, Michelle, happened by as Reed was talking and said, "Oh, they're going to fight over who gets to have you, Reed!" And I related that my parents had thought that the teachers seemed especially interested in Reed during the field trip. Michelle responded by saying that the teachers love Reed ("and of course they love ALL the children!") but that Reed is very special. I think it's kind of neat that Reed is a favorite at daycare too, since we sure think he's a special guy here at home.

Reed is also doing awesome learning how to use the potty. (He also likes wearing a watch like his brothers.) When we're home all day and I remind him to use the potty regularly, he can have no accidents all day. He can even pee when we go out, if I remind him and take him. His brothers were more iffy about public bathrooms and using a toilet without the insert to make it smaller, but he he will almost always use the toilet in a big bathroom. He doesn't even care about getting his chocolate piece after peeing or pooping any more, it's just no big deal.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Over the weekend we visited Grandma Joanie and Grandpa Stu and took a trip to the ballroom, AKA Eastlake Recreation Center. It sure would be fun to have the kids' birthday there at some point. They have such a blast. Theo and Beckett were so great helping Reed do everything. They were patient and kind and so encouraging. It was very fun to see.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween 2017

A church near the boys' school has been very generous in supporting the school  One of its events for students was a Trunk or Treat last weekend. Outside parishioners parked their cars in the parking lot, opened their trunks and gave out candy to the kids, and in the rec hall in the basement there was pizza, cake and apples. It was a fun night out with other kids from school and from the neighborhood around the church.

On Saturday we went to Abbotts Farms for more fall festival fun before winter set in Sunday. The boys' dentist hosted a gathering there so they ate a TON of cider and donuts before hitting the bounce house, the tractor ride, the tube slides, the apple cannon, and the corn maze. Beckett hit the donuts hard--he ate three!

Beckett, after completing the corn maze by himself.

Tube slides.

Halloween Night at the Lovebos!