Thursday, May 31, 2012

Backyard Camping

We decided to celebrate our new flat, grassy backyard by going the backyard!

The boys were so excited about the idea, and Noah worked very hard to assemble all the "treasures" he would need to survive in the wilderness

When I heard of the camping plan, I was all on-board.  I thought it would be fun to eat a picnic dinner in the backyard, roast some marshmallows, snuggle in the tent, and then all come inside when it got dark.  Don't get me wrong, I love camping.  It's just that we have a 2-person tent and a 4-person family.

Noah insisted that he was going to sleep the whole night outside.  And he insisted that part of the plan is that we're supposed to sleep together as a family.  I played along and had fun, but I was still sure that we would be inside before 10pm.

We roasted marshmallows and made s'mores.  (Aunt Cindi, this picture is for you - Isaac is watching the fire and saying "Fire! Fire! Fire!)


The boys watch Daddy get all the sleeping bags ready.

He managed to figure out how to fit 4 sleeping bags and pillows into a 2-person tent.

And did we actually all spend the night in the tent?  Yes we did!  Matt and Noah fell instantly asleep, and Isaac and I fell asleep at least an hour later.  Sleeping with the boys was like sleeping with a litter of puppies.  They spent the night rolling all over the tent!  Matt and I were both sore and tired in the morning, but it wasn't anything some advil and extra coffee couldn't cure.

We have plans to camp in our backyard again this summer, but we'll buy a larger tent first!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Playset of Love

The boys now have their very own playset in the backyard.  It is still amazing to me that the pool is gone and we can play in our own backyard.  

I call it the "Playset of Love" because Daddy worked so very very hard to build it for the boys:
Noah helped pound in one of the first screws

Isaac helped pound too

Then the boys decided it was time for a snack break.  

The playset starts to take shape

the ladder provides endless fun

The floor of the playset is ready and the boys test it out

the bridge is constructed

The boys eat pizza and watch Daddy work

Whee!  The slide is ready!  Isaac tests it out

Noah tests it out

The bridge is looking good

The swing bar goes up

The boys test out the swings

Noah tests out the monkey bar

Daddy tests out the monkey bar

There it is - our playset of love.  It was quite the construction project and quite an achievement for Matt!
The boys love it - what's not to love about having a playground in your own backyard?

Friday, May 25, 2012


It has become Lego World at our house since Noah's birthday!  
Noah has been having a great time with his rocket and mission control set.  This picture was taken on the day we finished building it.  Since then, it has been taken apart and he has been rebuilding it so that it can carry cargo to the International Space Station.  He's also been testing different rocket designs and having fun watching them "explode legos" if the design doesn't work.

All these Legos have been hard on Isaac, though.  Look at his face in this picture!  Noah told Isaac, "You can watch me play but you can't touch anything."  Isaac is watching so intently and so badly wanting to touch the legos.  

I usually emphasize that the boys need to share their toys, but these legos were birthday presents and are clearly for older kids.  So, now Noah plays with his birthday legos during Isaac's nap time and then they get put away in a secret place.  

The regular legos come out when the both boys are awake, and Isaac has been enjoying having little lego cars and trucks of his own that he can play with and destroy at will.  

The birthday legos have given me a glimpse into how hard it can sometimes be to be the little brother.


Time for a photo puzzle!

If you look very closely at this picture of two very happy boys, you might find something that's mixed-up. ;-)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mommy's Boys

I am so blessed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Preschool Wave

Noah has a certain way of waving to me that has developed over the last year.  I call it his "preschool wave."  It cracks me up.  When he would see me at preschool in the beginning of the school year, he would give me a huge smile and a big wave.  Now when he sees me, he looks and smiles but then goes back to what he was doing, and waves to me while he's being busy.  It's the preschool wave - he's very busy and waves to me while he's working:
Here's the preschool wave in action while Noah looks for sticks in the backyard

I'll wave, but I'm too busy to look!

I love you, Noah!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dick and Jane

Isaac absolutely loves it when Noah reads to him!

It's the best kind of bedtime story!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Screwdrivers and Electronics

Anytime Matt's toolbox comes out, the boys come running!

Here are two projects that the boys recently helped with:
Matt was putting together a back-up server for a client, and the boys were fascinated with the process

Noah slid the hard drive into the box

then used Daddy's special screwdriver to screw it in

Then, the boys helped remove some old telephone equipment from under Daddy's desk in the office

which meant unscrewing lots of screws

Isaac is great with tools too!  He's left-handed and figures out a way to do everything that Noah is doing.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Washer Helpers

We recently needed to buy a new washing machine, and we bit the bullet and bought the matching dryer too.

We didn't anticipate that it would bring so much excitement to the house, though!
The boys pull up chairs and watch the washer go around and around.

Noah is the "washer helper" and Isaac is the "dryer helper."  They each load and unload their respective machines and push the buttons to get their machine running.

When the machines are done, they play music.  We love it!  We run into the laundry room and dance.

For Mother's Day at preschool, Noah was asked a few questions about me for a project.  When he was asked, "What does your Mommy like to do?"  He answered, "She likes to do the laundry."

I would have never said that's true in the past, but at least for now, it is fun to do laundry with these new machines.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Playing Together

Friday, May 18, 2012

Daddy Time

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Travelling with Kids

We felt like our trip to New York and Washington, DC was a great success.  The boys' ages of 2.5 and almost 5 were good for travelling.  Many of our pictures were to document them being in front of famous landmarks because we know they won't remember in the future.

One thing that made our travelling easy was the single jogging stroller with the glider board behind.  Here, Noah is standing on the glider board.  It was a great way to navigate city streets and trains.

We packed lots of little "treasures" that we could pull out when needed, but there was always so much going on that we rarely used them

Of course, Baby traveled with us!

One thing we quickly found was that naps can and should be encouraged any time and anywhere.  Here is Isaac snoozing on the Lanigan's couch as the other boys watched a movie.

Look at those cheeks!

Noah adamantly insists that he is NOT tired and DOES NOT need to take a nap...

Noah snoozing in the car on the way to New York City

Trevor pushes the stroller with the glider board

Isaac snoozes in the car...

Isaac insists he is NOT tired...

Noah snoozes on the train...

Our arrival in Washington, DC

One of my favorite pictures of the whole trip...Isaac fell asleep so hard that we changed him into his pajamas and brushed his teeth without waking him up.  That never happened before, even when he was an infant!  Here he is with his face covered in chocolate ice cream...

Isaac, how old are you?

Noah, how old are you?

At one point, both boys insisted that they could no longer walk, so Matt carried Noah while Isaac rode on his shoulders.  They were all so tired!  Noah could not take one further step until he spotted Grammy in the distance.  Then, he got down and ran and skipped the whole way, shouting "Grammy!  Grammy!"

I wanted to get a picture of the boys at the WWII Memorial, but Noah is saying, "I can't sit next to Isaac!  He has a poopy diaper!"

"Oh Mommy!  I can't sit next to him!"

We had a suite at the Hyatt in Bethesda, and that gave us plenty of room to spread out and relax in the evenings

Whew!  A great tip!  We're looking forward to many more fun trips in our future.  Travelling with kids is fun, as long as you keep a sense of humor about it!