Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Adventures of August

August is in a "No, Mine" phase.  He has no problem grabbing something from his brother and yelling, "MINE!"  Everything is his...even John's dirty underwear.  I think sibling rivalry is worse when you have two of the same sex.  Gus takes the rivalry to a new level.  He wants and demands everything John has.  Even if the boys have the exact same toy, Gus still wants the one John has.  Gus spends some days crying a lot because he doesn't get his way.  If you ask Gus, he never gets his way.

It is amazing to me how much faster your second child picks up on things just from watching the first.  August is learning how to do things a lot earlier than John did.  I don't think John started moving chairs around the kitchen to get things off of the counters until he was close to three.  Gus has been doing this for about 5 months now.  Cooking has become a lot harder for me with two little "helpers" that have no listening skills and zero sense of danger.  I actually just sold our kitchen table and chairs and Gus spent the whole first day whining because he couldn't get to anything on the counter.

While Gus is learning some of the not so adorable things an older kid can do, he is also learning some of the sweetest things.  He constantly enters a room, smiles and says "Hi, Mommy."  The other day, out of the blue, he walked up to Hans and said, "Daddy, I love you."  It just melted my heart.  I'll take the chair pushing, sibling rivalry and screaming of "mine" any day to hear my son tell me he loves me.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

John Turns 4

We have now hit the wild and wonderful 4's.  We have the wild part down and are constantly working on the wonderful part.  For the most part, the horrible fits are gone and what remains is a child who knows what he wants and will use any means necessary to get it.  Despite how he goes to bed, he always wakes up in a good mood, even if it only lasts for 5 minutes.  I love that he is easier to console and easier to reason with.  It makes for a better day.  He hasn't been 4 for a week and I already love this more than 3.

John was of course spoiled for his birthday.  I'm pretty sure Hans and I would never have to buy our kids presents again and they wouldn't be the wiser as grandparents, great grandparents, and aunts and uncles make sure our children are adequately supplied with the best toys.  Aside from numerous trains (always a hit) the two biggest hits came this year from the grandparents in the form of the Deluxe Roundhouse and a Radio Flyer Scooter.  He loved all of his presents and is still very careful about letting Gus play with them.

John with all of his gifts.
Thank you everyone for making his birthday so special.

For the past 10 months John has been telling everyone that I was going to make him a dragon cake for his birthday.  Not just any dragon, but the Chinese Dragon from Thomas the Train.  I thought he would forget all about the dragon cake and ask for something else when his birthday arrived, but alas he did not.  So, this left me to have numerous nightmares about how to make this cake and what it would look like.  Hans was a big help this year in helping me carve out the head of the dragon.  This was only my third attempt at working with fondant so while I see every mistake, I am proud of the fact that it actually did look like the dragon.

John enjoyed "helping" me make the cake.

When John saw the dragon the morning of his birthday he got so excited he ran from the room to find the Chinese Dragon train.  He brought the train into the room, held it up next to the cake and said, "Let's compare."  And then, "You did a fabulous job, Mommy."  The late night and all the worry was worth it to hear him say he liked the cake.

 Enjoying the first bite.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


After we got back from vacation we had a few days to recoup and then we met family in Breckenridge, CO.  I was very excited to see my sister in-law, Andrina, and her family.  Her girls, Eva and Machara, are very close in age to my boys so it was great to have them all together.  The kids haven't seen each other since last year so they had lots of catching up to do.

Eva, Machara and John.  I'm not sure where Gus was.

Machara was having a good time outside.  Such a cutie.

Machara and Gus are three days apart.  Everyone thought they were twins.  Look at all that blond hair.

This is my sister in-law, Andrina, her husband, Mike, and their two adorable girls, Eva and Machara.

We had some wonderful scenery behind us so decided to take advantage of it.

Andrina wanted to take a picture of me and my boys...but Eva just had to be in the picture.  Hans says Eva is striking a pose just like Andrina would do.

It's hard enough to get two kids to stay still during a picture...four was just simply impossible.  Out of all the pictures I took this was one of the best since I at least have one kid from each family looking up and smiling.  There is no doubt these kids are related.

John and Eva are a little over 5 months apart and are the best of friends.  And sometimes the worst of enemies.  They had a wonderful time all weekend.

Andrina, John, Machara and I on the gondola ride up Keystone Mountain.

On Sunday we celebrated John's (Grandpa John's) birthday.  I made a cake that looked like a present and let the older kids decorate with special food markers.  John and Eva had a great time decorating.

The cake before decorating began.  It was a dark chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache and strawberries.  Very chocolaty.

John and Eva's creation.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


After going spending all day at the zoo in the hot, hot weather we wanted to do something indoors the next day.  The science museum, COSI, was a great choice.  They had tons of stuff to do for all ages.  John didn't want to leave, as he discovered the nuts and bolts room about 5 minutes before we left.

John loved the air cannon and waited in line several times to have a turn.

In the kids zone they had rats playing basketball.  Gus was intrigued...I was disgusted.

Hans decided to put on a puppet show.  Other kids stopped by to watch as well.  He is such a good dad.

I think you were just supposed to talk into this thing and it did something with the vibrations.  I love how  kids feel they need to put everything in their mouths.

Gus snagged one of these bad boys and was set for the afternoon.

The bigger kids got to ride this unicycle...way, way up in the air.  Jimmy and Ericka were both brave enough to try it out.  I was glad I was pregnant so I didn't have to come up with another excuse.
Jimmy looked down and still managed to make it all the way through.

August wanted in on the action.  I'm sure if he were tall enough he would have jumped on...my little dare devil.

We lucked out and the museum happened to be having a huge John Deere exhibit.  John loved all the big tractors and Gus wanted to get in and ride all of them.  Once he was behind the wheel we had a really hard time getting him out.  This also didn't help John's jonesing for wanting to drive.  He is just convinced he doesn't have to wait 12 more years.

Look at all that equipment.  

Gus would much rather be the driver.

John even got to pretend to milk a cow.  

Just like the zoo there was so much stuff to do we couldn't get it all done in one day.  If you are ever in Columbus don't forget to make plans to visit the zoo and science museum.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Activities in Columbus -Part 2-

The Columbus zoo is huge.  We spent all day there and didn't come close to seeing everything.

Gus loves his grandpa.  While the rest of us were down looking at the polar bears Gus and Grandpa had some bonding time.

Making funny faces at grandpa.

What would the zoo be without a ride on the Carousal.
The adults enjoyed relaxing in the rocking chairs.

The zoo also has a little amusement park and a good sized water park.  I'm not sure you could actually do everything all in one day.  There were some rides suitable for John and he wanted to do everything he could.

I think they rode this log ride twice.

Gus was actually content just to watch the rides.  Next year will be a different story.

John rode this ride once with grandma...

...and once with daddy.  John thought it was hilarious that Hans got so sick on this ride.  This ended the ride session for daddy.

You know you can't go to an amusement park without the 'big boys' doing something fun.

Jimmy and Hans had a lot of fun bumping into each other.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Going to the Zoo -Part 1-

My parents, grandparents, Aunt Diane and her two kids, Jimmy and Ericka, met us in Columbus, OH for a few days of fun.  What is in Columbus you ask?  Well, actually quite a bit.  The zoo was rated the #1 family zoo this year so we had to see what that was all about.

Before we took off for the zoo John wanted to dress like Jimmy.  So, he put on Jimmy's shoes, bracelets and hat and walked around the hotel saying, "Hi, I'm Jimmy."

Off to the zoo.  Gus was excited...can't you tell?

First stop was the petting zoo.  John was a little cautious, but decided to pet the goats after we assured him the goats would not eat him.

Gus wasn't shy and got right at their level.

He kept calling them doggies.  Everything is a dog to Gus.

The Columbus zoo recently opened its new polar bear exhibit.  It was very cool and worth the long walk to the exhibit.
My grandparents with two of their grandchildren, Jimmy and Ericka, and two of their great grandchildren, John and August.

You could see the polar bears from the top...

or from below.

You saw a lot of people doing this.  I don't know who these people are...but they made for a great picture.

We spent a lot of time with the polar bears.  If you are ever near Columbus you should stop in and see the bears.  It was worth the admission price just to see them.