Monday, September 22, 2008

And, finally, our littlest man

Matthew is a handful. He is so sweet and adorable. He loves his bunny and big bear and sucks his thumb in a sweet way when he is tired. But, he is very opinionated and determined. He gets into everything that he is not supposed to. At Grandma and Paka's house, he is happy and content because he can be outside wandering around and keeping busy. But, we bring him home, and he is dumping out spices, digging into the peanut butter, throwing things just to see what happens when they hit the tile floor (hey, some break), flushing different things down the toilet, beating up on Zack, Alex or Rachel, etc., etc., etc. It is a non-stop job to follow him around and keep him entertained and out of trouble. And, it does not help that he is smart enough to figure out all the childproof locks and brave enough to climb up chairs and tables to get to what he wants.

He's got great hand/eye coordination, though. He can drop kick a ball, toss himself a baseball to hit with a bat or tennis racquet. He loves to play any sport and will do it for hours. I wish I had the time and energy to do that over and over again for hours because he loves it. It's going to be fun watching him play sports over the years.


While Rachel is very much like me and Alex is like Dave, Zack is his own person. He is a very intense kid. He is very focused on what he is doing and always thinking. He loves numbers and obsesses about them - how much gas do we have left, what time is it, what is 845 + 36, on and on. He is hilarious, though, because if you ask him what 845+36 is, he'll say, with all the confidence in the world, "86". If he doesn't know the answer, he'll guess and almost make you believe that he got it right.

Zack is also super observant. I consider myself observant, but he puts me to shame. We'll get home from somewhere, and he'll ask me about the woman that was wearing blue or the kid with the round nose. I just have to assume he's right. And, when I've had the chance to verify his observations, he is always right. He just notices everything and remembers it.

I'll post a picture of him with his glasses because he is so cute with them. Of course, I have to get them adjusted first because after just a few weeks, they are already crooked. Oh well.

My funny man

Alex is a jokester. He's got some crazy faces and loves to be silly. He is also what we call mini-Dave. He looks like him, is smart like him, is intense about things (like computer games) just like Dave, and just acts like him in almost every way. About the only thing I think he gets from me is his sense of worry. He stresses about things a lot - like being late or running out of gas when we still have 30 miles left, etc. Not the best trait to get from me, but at least I know that he is mine.

Alex is a sharp soccer player. He is relatively short for the league he is in, but he gets right in there and gets control of the ball. He has great ball control and great smarts about the game. It's fun to watch him play.

You can see some of his soccer skills here, including his great centering pass (no one on his team was in position, unfortunately), but you also see their star take it down the field and score - too lazy to cut the video.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Portraits - My sweet Princess

Although Rachel has grown out of "Princess" stuff and even given away most of her dress-up stuff, she still loves to be girly. She gets dressed up in pretty clothes to go everywhere, and always wonders aloud if her cousins or friends (girls or boys) will find her outfit beautiful. She hasn't quite figured out that Brendan (8 years old) or any boy for that matter is likely to comment on her outfit, even if they happen to notice it.

Rachel and I are a lot alike and even butt heads over it, but I love having a daughter like her. She is full of grand ideas that build and build with hours and hours of work, and then, she just moves on to something else with no thought of it. The only problem is she usually wants me to help make costumes or write songs or build sets for some play or movie she's working on that I know will most likely never happen. It's a hard balance to keep her happy and encourage her without wearing myself out for nothing. But, it all reminds me of myself as I kid. I know I made my parents come watch play after play that I thought were masterpieces but were probably almost painful to watch.

She's a lot of fun and very photogenic.

Our portrait session - the 4 kids

We had a great portrait session. The kids were pretty good and cooperated. I had so many different pictures to choose from that I had trouble deciding. Here are a couple of my favorites:

I loved this picture because they are just having fun.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Zack's first soccer game

Zack was SO excited about his first soccer season. He asks everyday how many days until he gets to practice. He gets very upset that Alex gets to practice twice a week when he only gets to practice once. So, it was no surprise when he woke up on Saturday just overjoyed. He almost without fail comes in our bedroom in the morning (because he is almost always the first one up) and asks, "What's on the menu for breakfast? Pancakes?" But, not this Saturday. He asked if I would help him get dressed with his shin guards and shoes - at 7 in the morning! I put him off a little because his game was not until 10:30, but he checked the clock and lamented the time every few minutes for the entire morning. This is not an exaggeration either - every few minutes.

He had to sit out the first part of the game - pure torture! But, finally, he got to go in and sure enough within a minute, Zack had scored his first goal.

He got the ball and headed down the field...

I missed the actual shot, but he just made the goal....

After this display of good soccer, I began videotaping. Of course, he never scored again, but almost. Here's a short video of his soccer skills. The video ended early, but it went just wide right.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The triplets

My brother, Max, and his wife, Karla, had 3 little angels on June 29th. I finally was able to get down to visit them this weekend. They are so adorable, but they have gotten so big. All 3 of them were bigger than all of my kids when they were born. I had been hoping to see these teeny-tiny babies, but I just couldn't get down there earlier.

I don't know how they manage down there, but I'm impressed. I wish I lived closer to give them more support. If you're interested in their progress, you can check out Karla's blog at

Here's Rachel feeding Miss Mia.

She was the first one out, but she is a little peanut. She has very petite features and seems to be easygoing (for now, anyway).

Marcus was next, and he is a lot bigger. He reminded me of Rachel as a baby. He couldn't stop wiggling and trying to see what was going on. He also has a little spit-up problem : )

Then, there's Josie. She likes to be held and would make that known the second you put her down.

I didn't get a picture of them together. I should have done it when we first got there because they were all awake and happy. That was the only time for the entire 9 hours we were there. Like I said, I don't know how they do it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The project we thought would never end

We have finally finished (well, OK not 100%, but it is useable) our long bathroom project. This has been going on and on for 2 months with many delays to wait for the replacement tile to come in or to visit with family in from Texas. But, our kids can now use their almost completely new bathroom. Now on to the kitchen....ha ha

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My musical child... can't believe he's mine

I've got to brag on my kid - Zack has shown a few signs of having musical talent...
  • He played the first few notes of Jingle Bells on the piano without any coaching. Although this is not really difficult, he did this when he was just barely 3. I thought someone had shown him, but I guess not.
  • He wins often at the "Name this Tune" game that we play in the car with Dave's iPod. He can name songs in the first few notes, always beating me and often beating Rachel and Alex.
Well, at the game, he impressed me again. The band was playing, and he asked me "Why are the trumpets playing so loudly?" Sure enough, that was the trumpets. (Honestly, though, I almost had to ask Dave if that was actually the trumpets) Later, the tubas were doing a solo. I, really as a joke, asked Zack what instrument that was. He listened and said, "tuba!" I was floored. Now, I think he got exposure to this from Little Einsteins, but to pick out the sound and identify it at 4 seems amazing to me. Music lessons are definitely in his future.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


We went to the first UVA football game of the season this weekend. It was so exciting to go into the stadium with all the fans in orange. I was wishing that we could get season tickets and keep the kids coming to games year after year. Then, the hot sun began beating down on us causing Dave and I to drip with sweat while each holding one of the boys, the boys got hot and VERY cranky, and UVA just stunk up the field. By the end of the first half, I began to wonder what I ever liked about doing this.

The kids turned around as the temperature cooled a little, and we fed them with ice cream. Unfortunately, it didn't help the football team any. But, by the end of the game, I was actually wishing I got to go the game next week. Go Hoos!