This Moment – June

My calendar tells me that today is Fathers Day, so in the kind of translation that becomes second nature to queer families of any/every stripe, it’s Mama’s Day at my house. Although I’m getting extra love and attention all weekend, our official celebration was last night. The four of us struck out on our bikes (bike trailer for the boys) and made our leisurely turtle-spotting, fish-watching, bunny-finding way to our favorite family restaurant. Much guacamole and green salsa and black beans were consumed before our ice cream nightcap. We rode home with smiles and full bellies. The boys even managed to handle the close confines of the bike trailer peacefully, which may have been the very best part.

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When they see the camera they either make goofy faces or look the other direction. I prefer the latter.

Although it’s been more than a month now, I have yet to fully grasp that somehow….. this happened.

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Our baby is two. He’s forward-facing and sentence making and clearing his own place at the table. It’s lovely and crushing all at once.

Last Friday night was a first that my wife and I have been anticipating since before we were even pregnant. We had our first family movie night!!! A movie and popcorn on the couch night. After a startling (or maybe not) amount of consideration on our part, we finally decided to go out with Toy Story. It seemed like such a sweet movie. During the 91 minutes that I spent holding a trembling (I do not exaggerate) Yogi and assuring him that Woody would find his way back to Andy, I learned that suspense is an acquired taste. I also learned that Monkey will cut you for some popcorn and that Yogi believes that he would rather watch Charlie Brown and have chocolate-covered strawberries for snack next time. We’re learning as we go around here, that’s for sure.

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This picture was taken before the heart-stopping action really ratcheted up.

The boys and I have a new summer obsession. Watermelon smoothies. There is NOTHING better.

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If you’d like to make one, it’s super easy. The most labor intensive part is dealing with the watermelon, but it’s so very worth it. I buy a watermelon every weekend and cut it up in the backyard. Just me, a huge knife and a few freezer bags. If you initially cut your watermelon into fourths, you can do the rest of your cutting any way you like. Big pieces, little pieces, totally messy – the blender cares not at all. Cram all of it into a few freezer bags and pop it in your freezer. Done.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 banana (frozen)
  • Lots of watermelon (frozen)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add the milk, ice and banana to your blender and mix until smooth.
  2. While blending, begin dropping in your watermelon.
  3. Add watermelon until it looks yummy to you. I would guess I use almost 2 cups.

Our other summer favorite is the garden. Thanks to Yogi and my wife we have so many delicious things growing just outside our door. There is tons of basil (pesto!!!!!), mint (smoothies and infused water), cilantro (all sorts of things, we’re loving it on salad), cucumbers (straight up – yum!), carrots, and beets (smoothies and our beloved beet burgers).

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The boys basking in the glow of a very satisfying beet pulling.

We’re making our way into summer and finding it quite sweet, in spite of the bug spray and sunscreen.

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The Love List – May 2014

 

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Strawberries!! Oh how we love strawberries. Mostly we eat them straight up but if you’ve never had a grilled peanut butter and strawberry sandwich, you must. Our Farmers Market opens in early May and strawberries kick off the season. This year we were there bright and early to choose the yummiest pints and the four of us settled down by the bluegrass band and got started. Many, many strawberries were eaten. Just yesterday we decided to take a family trip to a nearby farm and pick our own. What a blast everyone had and look at our haul!

Hug & Fall. If you’re not familiar with this game, I’m not sure where you’ve been. The boys are all about it. It’s very simple and very cute. First you bear hug your brother as big and wide as you possibly can and then you pull him to the floor so that you collapse in a giggling, wrestling heap. As soon as you catch your breath, you jump to your feet and begin again.

Almost 4. Something wonderful is afoot with Yogi and I think we can credit his emerging four-ness. His dramatic edges are smoothing a bit and he’s growing into himself with increasing confidence and independence. It’s lovely really. He’s truly a joy to be around most of the time. This is something that only months ago I never dreamed I’d say. Ever.

Golden Wellness

Golden Wellness Smoothie. This is my smoothie of the moment. You know what makes it golden? Turmeric. I wasn’t so sure about the turmeric at first, but it’s grown on me. It’s so good. Here’s the recipe.

1 large orange, frozen
1 cup almond milk
1 banana, frozen
1/2 tsp maple or agave syrup (optional)
1 tsp turmeric
a few pinches of cinnamon
a pinch of cayenne

Directions: Blend from low to high until smooth and frosty. A high-speed blender is needed to obtain a smooth blend with the fibrous orange. Adjust flavor: Add in more turmeric for a brighter yellow blend. Add in more banana, maple or agave syrup if you want things sweeter. If you do not have a high-speed blender, you can substitute the whole orange with 1/3 cup orange juice and a handful or ice – but the texture will be thinned.

Our Garden. We have a lovely garden and I have one person to thank. My rockstar wife. Well, and Yogi helps too. He can water a garden like nobody’s business. Here’s what’s coming up at our house: spinach, kale, chocolate mint, cilantro (so delicious), cucumbers, beets, and carrots. Yum, yum, yum!

Boy Bonding. After months and months of being fairly certain that the boys were NEVER going to do anything but fight, the tide has turned.They are talking to each other!!! Working things out themselves. It is a miracle to behold. There is still plenty of fighting of course, but now there’s also working together and communal problem solving. It’s pretty awesome actually.

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Homeland. Finally we have a show again. It has been a LONG time. My wife and I just don’t have the same taste in TV shows. We have truly shared the love for only two shows: Six Feet Under and Twin Peaks. So, it’s thrilling that we’re both into this one. It’s a great mix of our interests: the CIA/political intrigue/suspense (her) and mental illness/relationship drama/Claire Danes (me). Nothing better than snuggling together on the couch after boy bedtime.

This Moment

Thanks for your sharing in the excitement of my last post! I really enjoyed the comments. However, there are things going on around here that have nothing to do with the third baby question. Here are a few of those things:

Dinosaurs. As part of Yogi’s ever-growing fascination with power (how it works, who’s got it, how he can get some) he’s got dinosaurs on the brain. Every library book is a dinosaur story (a really great one is Edwina: The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct (Mo Willems)) and most of his imaginary play features growling, crushing houses with his huge feet and telling everyone that he is a dinosaur who eats other dinosaurs. His favorite? T-Rex.

Sesame Street. This winter we started having some family TV time after dinner and the boys fell in love with Sesame Street. Now that we have more daylight and can get outside we’re trying to remind them of how fabulous the post-dinner family walk used to be. It’s a work in progress. Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventure, Super Grover 2.0 and Elmo’s World are hard to resist.

Repetition. Every word that anyone says is guaranteed to be repeated by the Monk. Not only will he repeat your words, but that repetition will echo. His little voice might be the sweetest sound I have ever heard, but there is such a thing as too much sweetness.

Yogi’s New Closet. He’s been choosing between two shirts every day since he was old enough to point, but until recently we called the shots on all the rest of his clothes. A while back it occurred to me that giving him a little more say might smooth out some of our getting-ready friction, so we rearranged his closet. Now everything is within his reach. He can choose shirts, pants, and socks. At night he picks out his pi’s. He looks a little eccentric much of the time, but he takes pride in his selections.

Evolving Values. I’ve been flirting with veganism for years. It’s the cheese that really stands in my way. I would miss fish and ice cream, but I could handle it. But cheese? Man would I miss cheese. And then last week I read this. I’m a long time Zen Habits reader and I’ve certainly read his ideas about living vegan before, but this piece really connected with me. The flirting continues.

Baffling Boys. The sibling dynamic is incomprehensible. I don’t think I will ever understand it. At 4:28 they can be shrieking and using every ounce of their strength to crush one another and then suddenly it’s 4:29 and they are belly laughing. I wasn’t aware that such radical mood shifts were possible outside of psychiatric facilities. Or maybe…… never mind. 😉

Another Big Boy Bed?! Grandpa has made it and brought it to our house, but I am NOT ready to set the Monk free. He, of course, feels differently. He spends much of his time trying to dismantle the crib himself. I guess we should be glad that we don’t have climbers, but climbing out of a crib might be safer than shaking the bars and jumping with such force that the whole thing crumbles beneath you. Ugh. We’ve got to do it soon.

The Potty Story

It started with a letter. As the kind of parent whose good intentions never really translate into a careful reading of the school handbook, it was a body blow of a letter. I feel certain the school administrators imagined it to be a friendly reminder to all of us handbook-conversant parents that 3 year olds don’t wear diapers to school and their classrooms do not have diaper changing areas, but the friendly was lost on me. In the space of maybe a minute on a hot July afternoon I had to accept the fact that the gig was up. My son would not be potty training himself. My efforts (such as they were) were required. It seemed unlikely that in the not-quite three months that stood between us and the start of the school year the boy would singlehandedly don a pair of underwear and ascend the throne. Not a chance.

You may be wondering how I could have made it almost all the way to the third birthday of my first born without giving any real consideration to the matter of the potty. All I can tell you is that I had heard lots of parents say something along the lines of, “You know, the best advice we ever got was just to wait until little Johnny was ready. Once he was ready, it was smooth sailing.” The moment I heard that, I was on board. This wait-and-see approach was appealing to me for all sorts of reasons. For one, it made sense. Toddlers are willful creatures and who wants a war zone in their bathroom? And then there’s the matter of my academic training. As every psychologist can tell you, all roads to therapy are paved with potty trauma. This last isn’t exactly true, but I can’t help but cling to a lingering fear that it might be. But perhaps the best part of the whole (ok-non) strategy was that it took me off the hook. No use getting all crazy about potty training until the little guy is ready. We’ll just take our time. Follow his lead. Of course we would.

And then, I got the letter. By the time I made it back to the house I was furious with all those “just wait until he’s ready” people. Who did they think they were anyway? Going through life handing out advice without even defining their terms. They said “ready” as if that word had any objectively identifiable meaning. What is READY and how had I never though to wonder about this before? How (barring ESP) could I ever have known when his potty-ready switch was thrown? Had I thought it would just come up in conversation one day? “Mom I’m thinking it’s potty time. Let’s do this thing!” Hardly. If he wasn’t going to actually tell me (so painfully obvious in retrospect) what exactly had I been waiting for? 

In the days that followed I interrogated every post-potty training friend I had. With a handful of exceptions I got little more than further fuel for my simmering irritation. Somehow none of these people could really remember how they had done it. What? Your child left the land of the diaper only months before and you don’t really know how it happened? Sure there was repeated mention of things like M&M’s and sticker charts, but I had been counting on something a little more specific. Something that seemed like an actual plan. Nothing of the sort was forthcoming.

So that left me with my wife and my son. The three of us were going to have to figure this thing out. Having no better ideas of our own we bought a bag of gummy worms, tossed the diapers and got to work. After what seemed (to me) to be entirely too much time, observable progress was made. There was actual pee in the actual potty. In spite of how much I had been sure it should be happening right.this.second, I don’t think I believed it actually would. The prospect of an underwear clad child had been entirely theoretical. However, with that small win I just knew it was time for all that smooth sailing the “wait till he’s ready” people had been going on about. Ahh, we had arrived.

We began venturing out into the world diaper-less and (mostly) unafraid. For days on end, everything was going well. And then (of course) it wasn’t. There were accidents and days of potty stand-offs and much collective gnashing of the teeth. We would have a good day or maybe a whole string of them and I would tell myself that we had done it. Go us! Mission accomplished. And then there would be the inevitable accident and I was suddenly sure that we should just give up now. Stop while we were behind. This was obviously never going to happen and all we were generating was conflict. Back and forth it went. Success followed by backslide followed by breakthrough and then the crash of yet another accident.

It was in the accumulation of brief, defeated spaces that followed each accident that I finally came to understand what all of those not-at-all-helpful advice givers had been getting at. As I scoured the internet for how to effectively launder pillows one morning (thanks for that one buddy) all of my irritation and disappointment finally added up to something true. It was a thing that came to me in a flash. Not a one of those parents could tell me how they potty trained their child because they didn’t know. Because there wasn’t one grand moment in which it happened. Because potty training is not a step-by-step/consistent progress kind of a thing. Maybe there is nothing that actually is that kind of thing. There will be poop and pee in all sorts of inappropriate places at every manner of inappropriate time. Not because you and your child just can’t seem to get the hang of it, but because there’s supposed to be poop and pee. Because that’s how we learn.

I had managed (somehow) to make it 35 years without truly learning that lesson and in low moments I wonder how much it has cost me. Luckily, there’s no answer to that particular question. At least not one that I’m likely to ever know. What I do know is that I’m learning. I know that today I have a been more gentle with myself than I was yesterday. I’m making space in my life for more accidents and I’m hoping that space is wide and safe enough for my boys. I hope they will allow themselves the grace to make all kinds of mistakes and I hope that they (eventually) make their way to the lesson. I also hope that they call me when their letter comes. I hope that when I tell them that I have no idea what they should do but that I’m certain they should stock up on stain remover, they will know just what I mean. Maybe they’ll even laugh.

Love List

My voice is gone and I really should be addressing Christmas cards, but .rlg. at .breaking into blossom. had a great idea with her love list. So, yeah…. my this moment loves:

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  • This awesome (and free!!) workbook. If you’re the journaling sort who likes to ponder the year gone by and the year to come you’ve got to give this a look. I downloaded the workbook and am using my own notebook (damn my printer), but this would be perfect for printing, scribbling in and filing away for next year. I love looking back.
  • Yogi’s highly detailed 3rd person narration. He is imagining pretty much all the time and overhearing his (not-at-all-internal) dialogue is hysterical. “The fireman is racing up the ladder. The ladder is very, very, very tall. The other fireman (always the Monk) is holding the ladder steady. Very, very steady. The cat is rescued!! The fireman rescued the cat from the very, very, very, very tall tree.” And no, I have absolutely no idea where he gets his tendency toward hyperbolic language.

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  • Cooperative play. These boys are playing. Together. This is not always peaceful, conflict-free play but I’m finally beginning to grasp that those were never the goals of play in the first place. At least not all the time. What they are doing is cracking each other up and running into one another at top speed and building anything and everything and holding hands and roaring like lions and sharing snacks in the backseat and hugging each other good night. I’ve never been so close to this kind of sweetness.

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  • This book. John Updike isn’t exactly known for his poetry for children, but A Child’s Calendar is just wonderful. The illustrations are lovely and each month of the year has it’s own poem. Our library has created a puppet play based on the poems and just this morning we saw it for the second time.
  • Days when Yogi naps. Dropping a nap is not for the feint of heart. And yes, he is getting older and his sleep needs are not as great, but he does still have them. He gets tired and a tired three-year-old drunk on his own non-napping power is a person you do not want to deal with. Ever. He is loud and uncoordinated and entirely void of logic and wholly incapable of managing himself in the world. He also tends to shout things (on a loop) that make no sense. Unfortunately he hangs out at my house two to three afternoons a week. However, the point of this is that sometimes that guy is nowhere to be found. There are days when Yogi naps and I marvel at what a wonderful child I have. He says interesting things and listens when I speak and can walk across the room without falling down and launching himself into a histrionic fit. It makes me wonder how much of the “crazy behavior” you see in kids can be attributed to lack of sleep. A sad thought.
  • Scholastic book orders!!! Yogi’s class got their first Scholastic Reading Club flyer a few weeks back and I was beside myself. I gave the boy a pencil and told him to circle all the books that looked good to him.  Oh, the memories. I LOVED marking the books I wanted as a kid. When my wife got home we went over it together, made our selections and sent the forms back to school. Well yesterday the books came in and Yogi shot out his class with the news. We immediately sat ourselves down on the floor and opened every one. Who needs to go home when you’ve got new books?!!

This Moment

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  • It’s Thanksgiving and after an early family celebration last weekend, we are happy and home. My wife even has the day off! The boys and I made waffles this morning while the parade streamed in the background and after breakfast we bundled up and took a long, leisurely walk together. Yogi and Mommy are baking chocolate gingerbread cookies while the Monk naps and I send a long overdue smoke signal out to you. Later this afternoon one of our favorite families is coming over for the feast. Our feast will feature pizza, cookies and plenty of wine. Given that we will have five kids aged three and under between us, simple seems the only way to go.
  • I have a new favorite. I cannot overstate my love for this cookbook. It is beautiful, straightforwardly useful and the recipes are delicious. You may know Isa from her blog The Post Punk Kitchen. I’ve followed her blog for awhile and I admit to never being all that excited about it. When her latest cookbook came out I got on the hold list at the library and figured I’d look through, but I wasn’t exactly eager. Then I got the book. After making only one dish I bought myself a copy and now I’m hooked. So far I’ve made and can highly recommend: Bistro Beet Burgers, Pizza Bowls with Sausage and Kale, White Queso Bowls with Crispy Kale Chips, Cucumber Ranch Bowl with Breaded Tofu, Sinfully Wholesome Waffles and Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies. I’ve had the book two weeks. You’ve got to check it out. Yum!

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  • I cannot wait for December 1. I finally have a kid that’s old enough for an advent calendar and I can’t wait!! I’ve spent much of November getting everything together and even the preparation has been fun. We’ve got a special activity for each day and I only hope the boys are half as enthusiastic as I am. I am a bit tradition obsessed. Lots of winter adventures ahead.
  • The Great Room Sharing Experiment has been a total win. I never imagined the transition would be so smooth. Not only has it not been challenging in really any way, I think both boys are sleeping better. Can you believe it? They love sharing a room. We’ve shifted into a new bedtime routine and I like it much better than our old divide and conquer approach. We’re still not able to do story time with two boys (way too much book grabbing and lap hogging), but we are in the same room. My wife and the Monk read and do Mommy milk in the chair while Yogi and I snuggle under the covers in his bog boy bed. Bedtime is (for the moment) a sweet, sweet time at our house.

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  • Monkey is coming into his own. It struck me yesterday that he is only three months younger than Yogi was when he was born. How did THAT happen? This guy is talking and laughing and running faster than I can chase. He’s got more than a little naughty in him, but he’s so sweet that you just immediately forgive him. I think I’m in for it with this one.  I mean…look at that expression.
  • My Memoir book club is off to a great start.  We had our first meeting at a neighborhood coffee shop and I’m happy to say that we closed the place down. The conversation was interesting and insightful and everyone actually read the book. Now I’m looking to get a list of titles together for the coming months. Anyone have recommendations?

 

The Great Room Sharing Experiment

This is either a stroke of genius or the worst idea my wife and I have ever had. We are four nights in and what this will ultimately look like is impossible to imagine. In this moment it looks like chaos. Some of that chaos is likely attributable to a few factors that we really should have considered.

1. Yogi is no longer among the napping. We had initially counted this among the pros as there would be no opportunity for mutual napping shenanigans with only one napper. This is true, but it introduces another wrinkle. Yogi is dropping his nap. Present tense. He hasn’t dropped it, he’s just in the process. This means that he’s mostly ok without those extra hours, but sometimes he’s not. Every minute after 5 o clock on those exceptional days life is miserable. For everyone. Which makes our new two-boy bedroom routine even dicier.

2. We’re creating a new bedtime routine. This involves getting things started a little earlier for Yogi and a little later for the Monk. It also involves reading stories as a family (previously we had paired off) and that isn’t so easy. Everyone wants to sit in the lap of the storyteller and no one wants to share their seat. Additionally Monkey doesn’t want to take the book at a standard pace and he’d really rather not move in a linear fashion at all. Yogi finds this deeply offensive. It’s not exactly the relaxing send off that we were going for.

3. We decided to take the plunge during the time change. This was just nuts and further evidence of my lack of attention to detail. I’m trying to convince myself that we’re saving ourselves future headache by shaking everything up all at once, but so far the argument lacks conviction. Mostly because everyone in this house was out of bed and going about their business by 5 this morning.

I should also mention that my chaos threshold is extremely low, so in reality all of this is going fine. So far the two things that we were the most concerned about are not happening. They aren’t keeping each other awake for hours after bedtime and when one of them wakes in the night it doesn’t seem to disturb the other. So clearly we had a rough night and an early morning and I’m catastrophizing. It’s what I do best actually. I think I need a nap….

The Farmer & The Barnyard Dog

Life with children just amplifies everything, doesn’t it? Whatever there was before, now there’s more of it. More joy, more worry, more chaos, more, more, more. Well, except sleep and sex. There is not more of that, but I digress. I’m trying to talk about Halloween. I thought Halloween was pretty fabulous before kids, but now I’m hooked. Perhaps it’s the social psychologist in me, but a culturally sanctioned opportunity to play with a new identity is brilliant. Looking for a little more power? Be a superhero for the evening. Eager for competence? Be a doctor. There’s no harm in it. It’s just good clean fun. Plus there’s candy.

This year Halloween lasted an entire week at our house. We kicked off the week with a Monday morning party with our playgroup that was both fun and almost painfully cute. The party was attended by two pumpkins, a pirate, Curious George, a fairy princess and one small Superman. In addition to friends there were the kind of Pinterest-y snacks that in spite of their cuteness I will never actually get around to making. Again with the village. Thanks to other Moms my children get to experience craftiness. Go team!

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On Wednesday our central library hosts a party with a Halloween themed story time and trick or treating with the librarians. The boys loved wearing their costumes and seeing their favorite puppets dressed up alongside them. Yogi is still laughing about it. It’s pretty packed, but it’s been a good introduction to trick or treating. Familiar, lighted surroundings and not a candy in sight. Just erasers and whistles and book-related tattoos. This was our second year and we’ll definitely be back next time.

IMG_1465Halloween was a stormy, howly-wind kind of night for us. Perfect for the holiday, not so perfect for the holiday activity. Our neighborhood decided to postpone until Friday. After the vomit-fest that was Halloween last year, I was a little leery about striking out in the dark with two kids. We live only blocks from one of the trick-or-treating mecca’s in our town which means crowds of people and entirely too many cars. My wife suggested a to-go cup and I was immediately glad she did. Alcohol does help.

Both boys were in rare form. The Monk was focused like a laser on the candy. He knew exactly what it was and what to do with it. While his older brother when handed a pack of Nerds gleefully shouted “Shaker!”, Monkey gnawed through the box before anyone could stop him and downed the whole thing. There is no way of explaining how he understands exactly what to do in novel situations except to imagine that he just feels it in his bones. The Monk knows things, particularly things about food.

Yogi had another focus.

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I know! Can you believe it?! And that expression?! What possessed him to do that with his mouth? Admittedly, this little pumpkin is one of his favorite people, but this was a little much. He grabbed her hand as soon as we spotted her family in the crowd and they took the houses as a team. Yogi appeared considerably more enthusiastic about the hand-holding then she did, but she didn’t resist. They helped each other navigate tricky steps and agreed entirely on which houses to pursue and which ones to skip. It’s wonderful to be surprised by your children, but it’s also unsettling. Who are these people? Hoping I’ve got a long time to work on figuring that one out.

The Boys Want to Read You a Story

My boys are reading!!!! Well, they’re not actually reading but they’re making their way and it’s a wonderful thing. If you need a little cute today, check these boys out.

The Monk using his very favorite word

Yogi reading in his “story time” chair at Nana and Pop’s house. This is the book that inspired Halloween costumes this year. Yogi is a Farmer and the Monk is his Barnyard Dog. There is lots and lots of twirling going on.

Yogi is Three

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The big day came last week. I put Yogi in charge of activity planning and I have to say, the boy is fun!  We enjoyed a breakfast of “sandwich with egg on it, no cheese, no vegetables” out at one of our favorite spots. We followed that up with grocery shopping (his choice!) in which Yogi pushed a kiddie cart and Monkey “drove” the car cart. We arrived home in time to set up the play tent upstairs and play loudly until nap time. We spent the afternoon outside and Mommy left work early in order to meet us. Yogi ordered “pizza in a box with mushrooms” for dinner. He was very clear about the fact that he wanted the whole pizza for himself, so we ordered a medium and put the whole box on his place mat. He ate two slices and as soon as he was sure that every slice really was just for him, he started sharing. It was a great day and I loved that we did just what he wanted on his special day.

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On Saturday afternoon, we had the birthday party. The HUGE pile of dirt was the main attraction. We had shovels and buckets and plenty of happy diggers. Although rain was very much in the forecast, we were able to keep the party in the backyard and I love, love, loved it. I never knew birthday parties could be so fun.

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In addition to the huge dirt mound, we had some rice for digging and pouring and thanks to my wife, a hammering station! How cool is that? She (under Yogi’s supervision) made the hammers herself.  If you stick a handful of golf tees in some styrofoam you can keep a toddler busy for quite some time. Also, have you ever seen a more serious construction worker?

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Owen's 3rd Birthday -  122If this picture* is any indication, I think the boy had a fantastic time.

IMG_1098Our final birthday event came on Sunday afternoon when we all went to the library for THE BIG MOMENT. Yogi got his very own library card!!! This was his birthday present from us. A stroke of brilliance, no? I’m really not sure who of the four of us was most excited. He immediately checked out an armful of books and he just looked so adorably proud of himself.

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* The shirt went when he smashed himself into the cake in an effort to blow out his candles. He got the candles AND a thick layer of frosting covering his middle. I’m not really sure when he lost the shorts. One moment he was topless, the next he was standing on a pile of dirt wielding a shovel dressed only in tennis shoes and a diaper.