Tuesday, October 14, 2014

GJ, Speech, Illness, Dentist, Climbing, Fences

Pictures with titles don't really keep a good record of the Mason home.  Let me take a few minutes to give a real update on the last few weeks.  

Last weekend I schlepped the boys off to Grand Junction for a short visit.  No reason really.  Just wanted to say hi.  Jack had been asking about visiting and the weather couldn't get any better for traveling.  We played, ate lots of pizza, and endured a blackout.  It was "special rules" galore, to use Jack's phrase. 

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Below is how you track a toddler in a black out.
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Saturday I had the pleasure of being a speech judge for Amanda's home meet.  This was my second time and it's still a little nerve wracking.  There's a lot to keep track of: the times, the codes, the comments, and rules you only learned 10 minutes prior to starting.  But I have a really fun time at it.  I like to leave thorough and precise compliments and critiques, leaving my hand quite cramped at the end of each round from all the lightening speed writing.  My nurse-note-taking skills have faded.  Days go by without me hand-writing anything as a stay at home mom.  Kind of strange to realize that. Anyway, Mavi kindly joined me as a judge, so I had pleasant company on the drive.  My folks also came up to help Amanda, and we all shared an early birthday cake when the meet was over. 

Sunday I had a relatively mild case of food poisoning (I think the source was from something at home).  We had to abandon our Primary class so Ben could take care of the boys while I convalesced.  Bathroom trips aside, it was a relaxing day for me.  I spent a lot of time lying down and reading.  I've been re-reading The Name of the Wind and got through nearly half of it in one day.  Such a good book.  Another positive note, this illness marks a week without anyone being sick.  Woohoo!

By Monday I felt completely better and took Jack to the dentist.  Sadly, his teeth two front teeth have decided they are done with this world and are slowly dying.  Dr. Strange (yes, his dentist is named Dr. Strange) said this is common, that after trauma to a tooth it will seem fine for years, then suddenly the nerve decides to die.   There's inflammation now and a little bit of abscess forming.  We get to watch and take him back in for removal when it gets worse.  The dentist said they would "just wiggle it out."  I thought maybe that was a special thing they can do with baby teeth, but internet searching only results in that phrase as a euphemism for yanking the sucker out the good old-fashioned way.  It's actually both front teeth that are bad on x-ray, though the chipped one is worse.  However, last night Jack fell out of bed while trying to get down to go to the bathroom.  Big crash, lots of tears, no major injuries.  Then this morning at breakfast he complained his tooth (the non-chipped one) hurt from falling.  Uh oh.

Sam continues to climb whatever he can.  I'm extra worried about chipping teeth with him now.  It's inevitable and unavoidable, right?  I mean, I spend about a third of his waking hours feeding/changing/dressing him, a third playing, and a third chasing him down from high places.  HA! I just took this photo while typing that sentence:

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Here's a sample of other times he was caught in the act.
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The gym has become a regular part of our life.  I exercise there 3-4 times a week.  The kids love playing there, in fact Jack often asks if we can go!  Since buying the membership I've lost 12 pounds, bringing me below my pre-Sam pregnancy weight.  I love having strength and energy again.  My back aches are less frequent too.  My goal is to get to my pre-Jack pregnancy weight, but honestly, if I can keep steady through the holiday indulgences that would be good enough. 

Today our backyard is beginning it's transformation.  After installing a stair railing, then painting the house, we decided our next big improvement would be the backyard.  We have a wonderful side yard with lush grass under an ash tree - perfect for climbing.  But it's all outside of the fence.  After getting several estimates we settled on Highlands Landscaping to do the job.  Not only are we going to amend the fence, we will remove all the useless rock and replace it with mulch.  That way we can plant it on our own time/budget down the road. Here's some hastily taken "before" pictures. 

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I didn't realize Marko, the owner, was Russian.  I think that's what he was speaking to his team.  He also introduced me to the team leader for fencing, named Dragon.  Ben was very happy with that :-)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Pumpkin time!

October is the best!!!

Jack's school finished updating the public playground next to it, and every day after school we have played for at least ten minutes.  He's thrilled to see his classmates a little longer.



Yesterday we put up our Halloween decorations and the kids were ecstatic.

Not so in this picture, but trust me.


Today during preschool I used up my extra pumpkin in a lightened up bar recipe.  The kids devoured it at lunch.

Jack showed off the pumpkin he made for school.  He pointed out the vampire teeth he added (clever!)

We had four straight days of health.  I'm afraid my residual stuffy nose has gotten worse the last two days.  Seems like I'm coming down with something new.  Better me than the boys- I can blow my own nose!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

How to make cookies with Jack

Today Jack and I made those delicious, delicious cookies.  Jack has become such a helper in the kitchen.  He did almost every step himself!

First, melt the butter
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Measure sugars
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Blend together
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Stir in vanilla and pumpkin
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Carefully measure and level off flour
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Add spices and leavening
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Whisk!
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Enjoy whisking!
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Combine wet and dry and chocolate chips and ghost sprinkles, and finally finally lick the spoon.
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Chill and have mom bake while you nap.  Wake up to cookies!
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Yay Fall!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Advent complete

I've been working on this project off and on for two years now.  This year I was determined to finish well before December.  

When I finished the kit, on the right, I realized there was nothing to do with the objects once you pulled them out of the day pocket.  Oh no!  So I created the tree on the left to hang them on.  There were many times I didn't think it would work out.  And it could use more sequins to match the pockets.  And I'm not happy with the quick hanging apparatus (not used in the pic).  But I'm going to cross this off my list and move on to the eleventy kajillion other projects I have swirling in my brain.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Playing apart and together

Sam and Jack are getting good at playing together.  Some games work better than others.  Here are some pics and clips from the past week.  I took a lot of pictures of them in their matching Eric Carle outfits because HOW CUTE ARE THEY???

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Inevitably, I would start the camera and they would crumple into arguments and fussing.  These are the better results of filming.  They were usually playing much more enthusiastically before I could get the camera out. 




Below, Sam is sitting on Jack's picture of Betty and Richard on a beach.  Sam moved from chewing the chalk to scribbling!  And Jack colored on the back porch by himself later.
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I didn't realize my new craft cart doubled as a metal drum set and a baby walker!

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Sam is such a good walker now.  He's always on the move too.  I have to be so vigilante with him.  


This is (one reason) why he's not allowed in the bathroom.
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Waiting for school to let out.
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I don't know what he was doing on the patio.  But he was doing this for a long time before I took out the camera.  First he put the balls in the wagon, then pushed the wagon down a level, then took the balls out . . .

When I need to contain Sam for a little bit, this is a good activity.  I wish it would cool off more though.

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