Wednesday, April 30, 2014

No, I'm Batman


Sometimes I cave when things are asked of my by my kids, and sometimes I fight.  Motherhood is a battle in Choosing Your Battles.  It was chilly outside today, but that didn't stop me from saying yes when Sam felt like Jacob should wear his new batman shirt he received from Mike and Kathleen on his birthday last weekend.  So I put him in it.  He was actually stinky adorable.  Turns out this child fits better in 18 month clothes than I thought he would.

This kid is off and running.  He makes me treasure being a mother of 3.  
I took all 3 yahoos to the dentist today.  

I was amazed at how well they the dentist's office.  Even Jacob.  I pumped him full of puffs.  And even with Chris's sensory issues, I didn't have to be in the room while they did his x-rays, I love our dentist, his whole staff is wonderful. Dr. Brad Stutler in case you were wondering.  But before we arrived, and as we left, they all lost their minds.  It was like they were on best behavior for the staff, which I suppose is as it should be, then for me, they lost it completely.  By the time we got home, I was Fried.  
Not relaxing at all

However, we all have clean teeth, and no one (not even me, and I hadn't been in 2 years!) had any cavities, which is amazing considering how much sugary crap I'd been eating lately.  And Sam's problem with fruit snacks, I was amazed his teeth were intact too.  Pretty impressive.  Still, whether you're a supermom or an active kid, getting out in public can be exhausted.  Jake and I plopped ourselves on the couch and just vegged out for a while.  

Even Batman gets exhausted.  

A Do Nothing Day


It had been a long time since I had an all pajama day.  But yesterday was one.  At least, it was a pajama day for Jacob and I.
This is the face of a sweetboy eating yogurt melts for lunch.  

Sam had an incident with water at breakfast time.  So he had to get out of his jammies. 
But Jake and I stayed in ours all day. 
And it was refreshing.  We just chilled out, eating leftovers, I talked to my sister a couple times, because it was her birthday, Sam and I called to sing to her, and she said it made her day.  Maybe Sam is finding his singing voice now too.  

Sam had some energy pent up from just hanging out at home all morning.  
There for a moment I was a bit worried, he was literally standing on his head. 
Thank you gymnastics class!  

Now the boy has no fear.  

I did get him outside for a smidge.  It was supposed to rain, but around lunchtime, the sun was shining, and it was beautiful outside, perfect weather for a garden walk.  

I love this tulip plant.  It was given to me by Aunt Teri while I was in the hospital after having Sam.  

These little guys I planted the fall after we moved in, and they seem to change a little bit every year.   The first year, they had a lot more pink.  Then last year, it was about the last thing I could to go out and snap a couple pictures of flowers before Jacob was to arrive.  The tulips change a little bit each year, but whatever form they are in, I find them lovely.  

I keep leaning more and more towards the feeling that tulips are my favorite spring flower. 

This one had just a smidge of the pink showing with the yellow of the double tulip.

But this one almost looks like a gardenia, you can't see any of the pink.  Ahh...flower genetics.  So Cool! 
And very relaxing.  I find taking pictures of flowers very relaxing.  Though I have been trying some relaxing exercises this week like yoga and tai chi, to help me get my groove back.  Sitting on the ground taking flower pictures is exercise too, right?!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Field Trip


Yesterday was Sam's first Field Trip for his Science Class. 

We went to Eagle Creek Park. 
I hadn't been to Eagle Creek Park - actually going inside of it, in a couple years.  
I'd never been inside of the Earth Discovery Center. 
His science teacher gave them a great list of items to find on a nature walk.  
And we were supposed to have a picnic lunch, but instead we decided to have a floor picnic at the school due to rain.  

As soon as we arrive, Sam checked off finding flower, as he picked me a dandelion. 
I love when he picks me flowers.  
I put in in my hair, and started singing "If you're going to San Francisco..."  which made him laugh.  

Then the group went on a hike.

I had 20 pounds of Jacob on my back, and Sam by my side, and it felt so calming and nice to be out in the woods.  I had my little point and shoot camera, which as it turns out is pretty good in spite of being unable to bend over because of backpack full of sweetboy. 

On our small hike I spotted this moss.   It made me very excited that I recognized its sporophytes right away.  That's the reproductive parts of moss, kind of like a flower, it was neat to see it naturally occurring.   

This was my favorite:  Virginia Bluebells.  

I think I may need to plant some of these: a. they love the woods, so they'd be ok in my shadey backyard 2. the flowers start out pink and turn blue, and d. they are just so darn pretty!  

Even Sam thought so, though he couldn't get much smell off them, and I couldn't get down that far to smell them either.  ;) 

It was a rainy musty day, and still things are starting to get a little green. 
The woods looked amazing. 

My last bonus picture, as we were driving out of the park I saw a pair of bluebirds.  
Can you see the male?  He is the brightest, about 2 o'clock from my watermark. And the Mrs. is right up the branch from him.  They were flying around, even Sam saw them zip by our car.  So Cool.  
I love Spring, and I may need to get back to Eagle Creek when I get in better shape to enjoy it more.  

Welcome to the Family of Christ, Baby Cole!


Sunday was a wonderful day for the Willman Clan.  We welcomed Cole Alan Willman into the Family of Christ through his Baptism.   Cole is Eric's youngest brother, Karl, his wife Erica's sweetboy.  He's almost 4 months old, and a simply beautiful blend of his parents.

He was so adorable when we arrived at the church on Sunday morning.  
It turns out he was able to wear the same outfit that Karl wore when he was baptized! 

When the Baptism began, the Pastor called up all the kids in the congregation so that they could watch, see, and get a great view of this newest member of the family of Christ.  The 2 little yahoos in front wearing turquoise are Chris and Sam.


Cole loves a good bath, and he was rather upset that they kept starting and stopping. 

Erica's brother Mark, and sister in law Courtney got to be the Godparents.  

It was a Beautiful Ceremony.  

Erica said his snips were the loudest he's ever been at church. Ha!  In comparison to my kids, Cole has a lot deeper to dig to find his big boy voice. Although actually, my children were pretty well behaved during the service. Jacob was content sitting with Grandpa until the very end.  And we separated Chris and Sam, so Chris was focused on singing the hymns, and he did a wonderful job.  Until the end, when we were getting ready to leave, and the boys decided to use their umm...outdoor voices while we were still inside the sanctuary.  Of course, they were louder than little Cole, they were louder than the congregation milling about.  We took a break, a time out in the car, and drove up to Karl and Erica's for a luncheon.  They had Yats catering.  I had never tried their stuff, but I was hugely impressed.  If I was pregnant I'd be craving that chili cheese etouffe with crawfish, and chicken maque chou forever.  It could have been a serious problem.  Because that stuff was Good. The chicken was my favorite, it had some sweet corn and cheesy goodness, and it was so good.    Lucky for us, they sent us home with leftovers. :) Yum-o! 

Girl Time


My Seestor's birthday is today. 
Happy Birthday Lisa! 

This weekend, she came over with the girls for Jacob's birthday party and spent the night.  
The kids LOVE to be around each other, but they can get really crazy.  
So, she decided to cash in the gift we got her for Christmas, a few hours of dropping the kids off at Kidz Depot and we decided to take eachother out for birthday dinner.  Her birthday is today, the 29th of April, and mine is in 2 days, May 1st. 
The kids were crazy, so it ended up being Annie and Jake staying here with Eric, and Chris, Sam, and Charlie went to Kidz Depot, aka Adventureland if you ask the girls, while we went to lunch.  
We got in the car after dropping them off and I hadn't realize how noisy the last 24 hours had been.  
 We just sat there for a moment or two, enjoying the quiet.  We decided to hit up Tegry Bistro, a really good sushi place Right around the corner, but when we got there, we were a smidge early, (who doesn't open until 12 on a Saturday?) so we killed a bit of time at goodwill.  Shopping without kids = quality girl time.  I found some more saucers in my Gold Butterfly pattern. It's not exactly vintage pyrex, but corning/corelle, and for $1.25, it looks close enough.
Anyway, after our spending spree, we went back and took care of all of our sushi problems.  I learned I love mackeral, that salty goodness makes me smile, and that we've been watching too much Top Chef, we judge and critique everything.  And I promised not to try uni (sea urchin) without her.  We tried, but they were out.

Nothing says beauty like fresh sushi. We may have gone overboard, but Eric was thrilled with the leftovers.  They didn't last at all.  

Happy Birthday Jacob!


1 year ago, I was miserable, I couldn't breath, I couldn't walk. I felt horrible.  
It really was the best of times and the worst of times. 

 Because at 3:25 all that changed.  Jacob Ezekiel James Willman came into the world, and the whole dynamic of our family changed.  And he brought strength and joy, for he was a miracle.  I spent more than half of his pregnancy terrified and sick, and praying that he would be born healthy.  And he was.  And this first anniversary celebration of his birth was extra special for me as he is our last baby.

He has been making me smile by just looking at me for the last year. 

My sweetboy had a wonderful day.  
I dressed him up in the last one of his special month onesies from my friend Juli, saying 12 months, and we did a bitty photo session.  But of course, he didn't really want to sit still during that.  But that was ok. 
He also had a shirt in his closet that used to belong to Sam that said I'm the Birthday Boy!  So he sported that over the onesie.  Fridays are one of our busy days, we had Kindermusik class, during which everyone sang to him.  Then we kidnapped Daddy for lunch and ate at Panera, because clearly bread is not only Jacob's favorite but one of mine.  Then we went home and prepared for the party.  

One of Jacob's presents we decided to get him was a pool. I thought the boys would love to have one for this summer, but it turns out it's hard to find them in April.  And it's way too early in the season for a sweetboy to actually swim. I found one at Kmart.  So I got the idea to fill it with balloons, but they didn't hold the sides up very well.  Didn't matter, the kids thought it was wonderful. 

We opened presents, but Jake didn't care about that as much as his brothers did.  
The part we were all excited about was the cake.  
Walmart gave Jake a free smash cake, and he was pretty excited about being allowed to actually touch it. 

But it turns out he doesn't like being messy very much at all. 

He didn't eat much cake, but we could tell Exactly when the sugar that he did eat kicked in.
I tried feeding him bites with a fork, and he took the fork from me, and went all Braveheart with it, trying to show us how he wanted his "FREEDOM!"   His Godmother used blue icing to paint warpaint on his face. 

He was not amused.  
But it was very amusing to all of us.

It went as a First Birthday should. 
A boy covered in icing, exhausted and mad, plopped in a bathtub.  

Really, this party is a party for the grownups, a congratulations for surviving the last year.  
In my case, it has been a good year and a half.  
And I couldn't be happier about it.  
Now we are on to the next phase...

Monday, April 28, 2014

Heart attacks


Thursday was a quiet day for us.  The only thing we had going in the morning was Sam's Kindermusik class, which went well.  So well, in fact, that when we got home, Sam wanted to eat lunch in front of the tv.  So we turned on The Emperor's New Groove and had some lunch.  Jake was padding around the living room, scooting into the hall.  He really adores playing in the music room.  So I don't chase him down if I hear him having a good time.  I just need to worry if it gets silent.  He was playing with the drumsticks in the front hall last I saw, as Sam and I were eating.  Can you see where this is going?   Yes, I'm a horrible parent.

The next thing I know I hear the basement gate open, and thump thump thump cry, as Jake goes flying down the stairs.  I have a heart attack, send my lunch flying, and go racing down the stairs after him.  I arrive and he's crying, mad.  I pick him up and hug him, he immediately calms down, I test him, squeezing to see if anything is broken, but he starts to smile at me.  Oh yeah, he's fine.  So I bring him back upstairs, just as Princess cleans up the remainder of my lunch.  I plop him on the floor, and put one of the boxes of computer parts from the front hall in front of the gate, so that he won't push it down again.  And commence to watching the rest of the show with Sam.  When suddenly, I hear the telltale scrape of a box being pushed, I'm up and halfway across the the hall when I once again hear the telltale bump bump bump Cry of a boy going down the stairs.   This second time, he cried a little longer.  My heart hadn't stopped racing from the first fall, let alone handling the overdose of adrenaline from a second fall.  We just sat the bottom of the stairs, both crying.  Once again, I pinched at him, checking to see if anything was broken.  Then I brought him back upstairs and put him in the high chair - the equivalent of locking him down, while I moved the heaviest box I could think of, the Game Box out of the game closet and in front of the stairs. 

I am happy to say that when I finally put him down, he was Mad that he couldn't move this box.  Yeah, man, you have to be stronger than me to move this thing, it took me some work.  But I wasn't about to let him tumble down the stairs again.  When my heart finally calmed down, I decided it was naptime for us.  However, when we woke up, Jake was disinclined to stand up and cruise on his own. I got very worried and ran him over to our doctor's office as soon as Chris got home, and after much waiting, to sum up, he was fine.  Just strong willed and giving me another heart attack.  Kids today.   Eric is ordering a new gate.   Having heart attacks is exhausting.  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Trying to find Tulips


Going to the Zoo on Tuesday with Erica, I was happily surprised that the tulips were blooming.  And you may know that I love to take pictures of the boys every year in front of the tulips, so I had a terrible itch to get them down to the tulip gardens to take their picture.   So as soon as school was out, I threw them into their green shirts, and we drove down to the zoo.  Of course, since Chris went to the Prissy School of getting dressed, even though he's home early (3:30) we didn't get down there until 4:30.  I guess I should have checked first, I thought they were open until 5, but not yet, they are only open until 4 apparently.  For when we got there, all the doors were locked.  Jake fell asleep on the way, I'd had to wake him to get him into the stroller.  He was Mad when I threw him right back in the car.  So, since I was already downtown, and the kids were awake, and dressed cute, I opted to drive to Garfield Park to see if their tulips were blooming.  They Were!

So the boys took off to run around a bit in the Sunken Gardens.  
I had Jake in the backpack because of the stairs, so we were a little more slow going.  
But the tulips were blooming, and they were beautiful.  

The kids were not quite as inclined to do a photo session as I had hoped.  
Especially Jacob. 

This was my best picture of them.   

They have a beautiful archway, that no doubt they perform weddings underneath, so I tried to get all three boys to pose for me.  But the sun was so bright, which is great for light, but not so great for getting the kids to look at me.  And Jake was a hot mess.  He kept staring at his feet.  Or crying at me.  

I couldn't figure out why he was disinclined to walk.  But even face down, they still look pretty sweet. 

I laid down on the grass to get this picture and suddenly it occurred to me.  
Jacob had never played in the grass. 
Now, maybe a smidge last summer and fall, he might have laid down on it for a moment, but most of the time he was in my arms last year, and he certainly had never walked in the grass in shoes.  

So I sat down with him, and he climbed me, cruised on my back, and padded a bit more in the grass.  
That got him smiling a well, as his goofy brothers running around us too. 

He was a little more tolerant of the grass after that. 

One last try at getting a good picture of them.  

Jacob was clapping, and I clapped right along with him, at least he's happy.  

But pretty flowers make me happy.  

And seeing these gorgeous red tulips in bloom made me smile.  
I think this fall, I'm going to plant a bazillion red tulips, like the costco bag of red tulips.  
I think tulips may be becoming my favorite flower.  

All this beauty, how can you not just love spring?!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

To the Zoo with Baby Cole


Yesterday, I went out and played with my sister-in-law, and my newest nephew, Baby Cole.  Sam, Jake, and I all met her at the Zoo. It had been way too long since we played.  And it was fun to take the littlest ones to the Zoo.

Each one of us picked something that we wanted to see.  Since I just saw my favorites: the butterflies and flowers, last week, I didn't need to choose. Sam chose the dolphins.  Aunt Erica chose Bears and Elephants.  I thought Cole should choose Tigers since his room is in a jungle theme. So we hit the jungle section first.  And the tiger was awake and pacing, right up next to the window.

Jake freaked out. 
I mean, freaked the hell out.  
He was so upset at that tiger.  I realize, unlike his brothers, Jacob doesn't have a cat.  So he gets upset seeing one that is bigger than he is, and one that thinks that a sweetboy would make a mighty great snack. 
And I don't think Erica and I felt bad at all for laughing hysterically at him.  

So we took him to the dolphins. 

Jake appreciated being underneath the dolphin exhibit much more.  I took him out of his seat, something new for him, and over to the glass. That worried him, I helped him touch it, and sat with him.  As long as he could hold on to my bra strap for dear life, he was ok.  He loved the light, and the water, but the actual dolphins swimming by weirded him out a little, ok, a lot. 

Cole was a very mellow fellow, for 3 1/2 months, he thought the water and light under the dolphins were quite impressive, rather entertaining. 

I'm not used to a little blue eyed boy, and Cole's blue eyes were sparkling under the dome.  It was hard to capture on film, but he was very interested and alert.

All our sweetboys.  

After being underneath the dolphins, we went topside for the dolphin show.  It was the Best show we'd seen in a while.  The last few times I'd seen them, the boy dolphins were making trouble and had to go into timeout.  This time they only had 2 dolphins performing, and they did well.  There was a bit of trouble initially, but the trainers gave them a moment, and a do-over, and they recovered nicely.  They jumped all over the place, soaked the kids in the splash zone, which made Sam and Jake laugh, and everyone had a great time.  Dolphins went over much better than tigers. 

Then we traveled around back to the Back 9, the plains area.  The giraffes were out, and were being fed, they'd been inside but it's finally warm enough for them to come out and play. We saw the rhinos, and lions.  As we were walking past the lions, Mrs. Lion began to clear her throat.  

The boys eyes got wide, but just as quickly as she started, she stopped. 

On to the elephants! 

Aunt Erica and Sam sporting their shades.  
Too cool for school. 

The most recent edition to our elephant family was annoying his mama, it was kind of cute.  

Jacob wanted some sunglasses too! 

We stopped for lunch, and Jacob tried something new - squeezey applesauce.  He ate half the package! 
That's entirely new.  I had been working under the suspicion that Jake hated the consistency of all baby food, that's why he wouldn't eat it.  But he did pretty well with this, as long as I squirted it into his mouth.  Maybe he'll eat someday after all.  

After our lunch break, we went into the Butterfly exhibit.   Erica put Cole into her Moby to babywear him.  And he fell right to sleep.  He was so sweet.

With one baby down, and another mildly tolerant, we were able to chase a few of the butterflies around.  
Sam was much better this time than last week when he freaked out like Kurt in Glee when he got touched by a butterfly.   This time, he was just wary, and not getting too close.  So he entertained Jacob and I chased the butterflies. ;) 

A Julia on an Egyptian Star Cluster.

I chased this one Julia butterfly around for a while...or maybe she was chasing me. 

And back outside to the Gardens.  
This is probably one of my favorite places in this town, especially in the spring. 
The hyacinths were still nice and stinky. 

But the tulips had started blooming too. 
They don't stink as good as the hyacinths though.  They just glow with beauty. 

I love this daffodil.  I don't know the name of it, but it's pretty and I want some. 

I got a picture of the boys in the gardens.  At least, I got a picture of the 2 big boys. 

Sam did a good job holding Jake.  Except that Jake wanted to get up, move around, and in general, be crazy. 

Beautiful blooming tulips.  Practically fake they are so pretty. 

Sam tiptoes through the tulips. 
I'm pretty sure I have the same sort of picture of Chris around here somewhere, doing pretty much the same thing. 

The Bleeding Heart.  
One of my favorites.  Turns out it's one of Erica's too. 

Ah, so this is what the gardens look like when No One is there. 

A double tulip.  I love the red and yellow. May need to get me some of these too. 

Lastly, Erica and Cole by the tulips just before the little cued us that we had to go.  

My balancing sweetboy, walking along the pretty tulips.  

Jacob stops to check out the tulip gardens while we wait for Sam to er...powder his nose.  
He loved the bright colors.  

Me too.