Sunday, November 23, 2014

Birthday Boys are 3 and 5!

Cute birthday shirts made by Aunt Jackie!

Time really does zoom by... I am still wrapping my head around the fact that my boys just turned 3 and 5. No longer babies, no longer toddlers, no longer "little" ones... These handsome young gentlemen are fun-loving, creative, inquisitive, and energetic. They love each other so much and the bond they share amazes me. They still seem to love sharing a birthday so that makes my life easy--one party per year! 

Carter Francis...this kid touches our hearts daily. All of the obstacles he overcame early in life seem such a thing of the past. He loves being in T-K, has made so many friends, and while he doesn't seem to be shy or timid at all anymore, he has managed to retain his sensitive and sweet spirit that charms Dave and I to the point of tears. He is thoughtful and generous and despite turning 5, still loves a good cuddle with his parents. He loves playing video games (Super Mario World being his favorite) and is now so good that he doesn't even like playing with me... "Sigh... Mama! You keep dying too much! Ugh!" He loves roller coasters and is finally tall enough to ride most of them. The faster, the better! He is adventurous and creative and is definitely a "think outside the box" kind of kid. I volunteer in his classroom once a week and the class was playing "Simon Says." Each kid would get up and say things like, "Simon says stand on one foot. Jump up and down. Put your hands in the air, etc." Carter gets up to be Simon and says, "Simon says catch a butterfly!" And then demonstrates what "catching a butterfly" should look like. His next command: "Simon says drink chocolate milk!" And proceeds to pretend to slurp chocolate milk up a straw. His teacher and I could not help but laugh at how cute he is! And lastly, one of the most important traits Carter shows is the role of big brother. He sets a great example for Archie to follow and is protective, kind, and loving to his little brother.

Archer Anderson...this fiery, power-packed little stinker keeps me on my toes. He is so mature for a 3 year old. He is sweet and kind like his big brother but pairs it with endless excitement and energy. This boy is always on the go and has developed an obsession with Star Wars that surpasses his big brother. Archie knows EVERYTHING about Star Wars... from detailed plot points to the names of every character and every planet and every ship. He memorizes everything! I am blown away by his vocabulary and the things he comes up with at age 3. He is incredibly bright and I am so excited to see where his capacity for knowledge will take him. At dinner tonight we were watching "Cosmos" and Archie exclaimed, "What is this guy talkin' about!?" We laughed so hard because that show is beyond my comprehension at times and I didn't even know how to explain it but he was totally intrigued. Maybe he will grow up to be an astrophysicist! He loves to pretend to be different people. He will run into the room and say, "Mama, can I be Luke Skywalker?" All I have to do is say "Yes!" and he is transformed instantaneously into Luke and is pretending to be training with Yoda on Dagobah. Unlike Carter, who could play for hours alone, Archie needs a partner in crime. He begs for Dave and I to play legos with him or to have light saber battles or to play Star Wars guys. His imagination is always working overtime. Despite being 3, we still can't get enough of his chubby baby cheeks and try to kiss him all the time!

Carter went to school on his birthday and Dave took the day off work. We picked him up and all went out to lunch and spent some time visiting Grayson at the cemetery. Being at the cemetery is never sad... it honestly brings me a sense of completeness and peace but this year, the kids understood more about Grayson and what had happened and sigh... those were some hard conversations to have. The next day when we went to pick Carter up from school, Archie said, "I want to pick up Grayson from school today." That was definitely a hard moment for me. I am working really hard at coming to terms with Grayson's death but I never really thought much about how it will affect my children as the years go on. That being said, our trip to the cemetery was beautiful and seeing my boys talk lovingly about their brother or having Carter practice reading the words on the gravestone... was all very touching.

Chocolate donuts for birthday breakfast!

Birthday lunch at Wahoos, of course!

I made a Captain America cake
This weekend the boys had a big birthday bash at Scooter's Jungle. It was a huge success and despite my very frantic morning baking cupcakes and making sandwiches and racing against the clock, we arrived and got everything set up and it was so much fun! We bounced and played air hockey and slid down the huge slide as many times as we could. It was the perfect day and everyone (adults included!) enjoyed it!
Crafty Aunt Jackie made these superhero masks!

The zip line was a big hit!

Superhero Cupcakes!

Great minds think alike!

Captain America and Iron Man!


I had to try out the zip line!

Even Archie tried it!

Opening presents with the cousins

My favorite picture from the day... this was captured during the Happy Birthday song.

This is what bedtime looked like after the birthday party and the boys got new light sabers!

Camping Trip

We did a one night camping trip with the Wright family at O'Neill park. The weather was absolutely perfect... it felt like fall and we had such a wonderful time. We made s'mores, roasted hot dogs, snuggled around the fire and hiked around the canyon and riverbed. The best part about it? We only did it for one night. I am totally not the extended camping adventure type and even after one night we were amazed at how dirty the kids were! But it was such a blast that I am sure we will plan some more camping one-night adventures to come...

Hot chocolate and pumpkin muffins by the fire for breakfast.

Gathering acorns for my fireplace mantel

Halloween 2014

The boys were so excited about Halloween this year. It was the first time that they managed to make it all the way around the neighborhood (and collected quite a bit of candy!). I was a little nervous about Archie and his peanut allergy but we quickly sorted through the candy when we got home and he was very happy with his stash of skittles, nerds, and lollipops! Archie dressed up as his beloved Captain America and his costume has endured many hours of wear and tear. Carter chose to be Luigi and equally loved dressing up and jumping and bouncing off all the walls! The boys really got into the Halloween spirit this year and helped decorate the house, carve pumpkins, and watched A LOT of Nightmare Before Christmas!

Trunk or Treating with cousins

Captain America devouring his cheeseburger

Trick or treating at the mall