Birthday Success

So i hope to do a rundown on the pirate party planning I did for those that might be interested. I found lots of resources for getting started on the web and made some variations that people might like to see. In the meantime i thought i'd just give an update on the actual party- a smashing success i think.

From April 2009

The guests started arriving right before 4 and Henry was already decked out in his full-pirate costume. Silas wouldn't let me get closer than a 2 foot plank so even though he had previously enjoyed dressing up with the necklaces he did not sport any for the party. As the guests arrived they got decked out in their pirate duds and made their way to the spyglass decorating table. Oma helped them decorate with gems and stickers and they seemed to enjoy this. As more kids arrived people congregated outside since it was 70 and sunny that day.

From April 2009

JT had the food ready to go so after people filled up on chicago hot dogs, small hot dogs wrapped in pastry, potato salad and cole slaw we rounded up the kids for games. First we did a treasure hunt which i think was probably one of the high points of the party. I wrote a few clues that were stashed around the yard and after the last clue they found the treasure chest. The chest was filled with individual little coin purses i sealed with wax for each child with gold coins inside. After that we did a little walk the plank game.

From April 2009

Then, cake time and presents. People loved the cake and cupcakes (which we made when the cake didn't seem big enough). Guests were very generous with the gifts and the boys have been having tons of fun since then. It's a little crazy with a whole bunch of 3-4 year olds attempting to "help" each other open the gifts. For those that stuck around we all moved outside and Cullen organized races for the kids. Next year i'm just going to have Cullen run a "field day" for the birthday party-- he doesn't know that yet though.

From April 2009


Meltdowns and Easter, thankfully not conjoined

From April 2009

So a mix of good and bad to write about. Let's get the bad out of the way. Friday was just about the worst number of hours our family has gone through (although these are certainly in the running, here, here and here.)

I picked the boys up from school per usual and things immediately went downhill. Silas was crying when i got there because two parents had come just before i arrived and he was upset that each one wasn't his mommy. Henry started misbehaving right away, running away from me, not heading up to the car etc. His interplay with Silas seems key to this afternoon going awry. I was irritated and trying to be authoritative which backfired-- on me of course.

I finally *wrestled* them both into their car seats and Silas proceeded to cry strongly the entire way home. Henry was upset too and kept telling Silas to be quiet. No attempts on my part to distract with music or sightings of trains worked at this point.

From April 2009

When we got home i attempted to "reset" the mood-- at least with Henry by apologizing for getting upset and saying that i was hoping we could start over now that we were home. Silas stopped crying and i thought things were looking up. Then we got out of the car and Henry purposely started stomping on the crocuses. I told him to go inside for a time out and he lost it. He stayed lost for approximately 1.5 hours.

Soon thereafter Silas also fell apart. He wanted crackers, he didn't want crackers, he wanted crackers, NO, NO, NO. At this point he also began sobbing and screaming hysterically.

From April 2009

For the next hour and a half JT and i each had one child on a different level of the house alternately disciplining, distracting, or comforting them. Nothing seemed to work and then as suddenly as the storm came it left. By about 7 both boys were happily playing after finally eating some semblance of dinner. JT and i just looked at each other shell-shocked.

In the midst of everything i called Brenda to find out if something happened at school. All she could come up with was that Silas did get upset waiting for me to pick them up and Henry didn't nap. She said there were only 5 of them there that day so they got plenty of attention and she didn't think anything escaped her notice. She even called back to check about an hour later after she had talked to her sister. Thankfully we were doing better by then.

From April 2009

Now that some time has past i think Silas was reaching a peak of his start (gulp) of the terrible twos. He wants what he wants when he wants it and he just lost the ability to calm himself down. I also think that Henry is sensitive to Silas and feeds off the negative or positive energy he exudes. Henry also seems more... threatened, challenged (?) by Silas now that he's becoming a "big boy" himself. We're trying to set aside more special time for Henry and have been emphasizing the good parts of their relationship to one another.

The upside was that every upset since this nuclear attack has seemed mild in comparison.

And now i'm about out of time. Easter was very nice. The boys woke me up Sunday morning and did a little egg hunt to find their easter baskets. They happily explored the contents (which i'll admit was a little practical this year) and then we headed over to Tiffany and Mike's for Easter brunch and an egg hunt. All the kids had fun finding the eggs but we were nice enough to give the littlest ones a head start.

From April 2009

Henry in particular had a great time and told me that he wanted Mario Race Cart for his birthday and a real fish tank. We talked about how he could have a fish tank when he was a little older and he said "yes, when i'm 8." He also told me that Tiffany could buy it for him when he's 8 so if you're reading this you're on notice :)

We're knee-deep in preparations for the boys "ill-timed" pirate party and a visit from Oma and Opa. I hope to have lots more to report and pictures up next week.


Concerns of a 2 and (almost) 4 year old

From March 2009

So i've been traveling again, and another trip at the end of the weekend (just a one nighter) so i have a lot of random things i've been wanting to update folks on but no unifying theme. Thought i'd go ahead and put this together now while i'm watching Silas take a bath and before Henry gets down from playing his nightly allotment of computer games on pbskids.org.

Let's see while Silas still says a very cute "yes" if say you call and talk to him on the phone (the key is a series of yes/no questions), he also seems to prefer "no?" when you ask him most anything in his actual presence. "Silas do you want pasta or soup for dinner?" No? It's cute and maddening. That pretty much sums up very small children.

From March 2009

Henry is either very helpful and respectful or obstinate and stubborn. Sometimes it depends on the day-- he can have a good or bad run for hours at a time. But more likely it varies by the half hour or minute. He's been loving art projects of all kinds for awhile but has had renewed interest in collages with random objects. He also has gotten back on a real book binge and loves watching movies or videos-- especially if they are about nature. Shows on volcanoes and "Blue Planet" are in high rotation lately.

Silas has figured out how to open doors (although honestly he did that awhile back) and just this week can now open the gate at the top of the stairs. He does fine on the stairs by himself, as long as he remembers to go down backwards. At least they are carpeted. Silas is also very, very into his babies.

The binky fairy came last Sunday (thanks to Tabitha and Cullen for reminding me) and was hugely successful. We put Silas to bed without his binky and when he woke up he had a new baby doll. The baby has a binky and a bottle and we talked about how now that he's a big boy he didn't need the binkies (pai in his pronunciation) anymore and that he takes care of his baby now. He's asked a few times for his "pai" since then, but always repeats our sentiments in his own words: "big boy, bye-bye binky, daddy, baby." So now we're pai free.

I'll have plenty of pictures to post soon but for now here's the text post.