Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ninjas and Dinos and Dogs, Oh My!

We had a great time for Halloween last night. Logan came over to trick-or-treat (or "trickle treat," according to Cole) with Chase and Cole and the rest of the kids in the neighborhood. Chase rode his scooter, Cole walked, and Logan rode in his wagon. They collected quite a bit of loot.
Here they are getting ready to go:

Our ninja, who was very difficult to keep track of in the dark:
The Dinosaur, rear view:

And Cole practicing his dinosaur roar:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Halloweens Past

Since Halloween is coming up and I'll be posting pictures of their new costumes, I thought I'd post a few of Chase & Cole's costumes over the years.

Here's Chase in 2002. He was about 9 months old and loved his cowboy costume.

Since he was a cowboy in 2002, we decided he should be an indian in 2003. He refused to wear the feather on his head, but he did get the hang of saying "Trick or Treat" and collecting candy. He had a fever on Halloween night, but was a good sport anyway.

In 2004, Chase was a clown. We didn't think he'd wear the nose, but he did. The shoes slowed us down considerably, and since I was pregnant with Cole, I couldn't carry him all through the neighborhood, so we didn't make it to too many houses before Trick or Treating was over.

In 2005, Chase wanted to be spiderman, and I chose Mickey Mouse for Cole, who was only about 7 months old. Cole slept through Trick or Treating, but I carried him from house to house and collected candy for him.

In 2006, Chase was Captain Jack Sparrow. He LOVED this costume (and the sword). He actually lost the sword while trick or treating and was devastated, but someone found it in their front yard and returned it the next day.

Cole was a pirate too in 2006, but once again, he slept through the whole thing. We pushed him around in a car Chase won in a contest a few weeks before, so at least we didn't have to carry him that year. As you can see from the bags tied to the back of the car, he still managed to rack up on the candy.

In 2007, Chase was a ninja. The day before Halloween, he put his sword on the back of Charles' truck and it was lost somewhere between home and Charles' office, but he made do with a spare we had around the house and had a great time. He slept in this costume for most of the next year (and regularly scared Cole to death).

This was the first year Cole really got into Halloween. Cole had (and still has) a bit of a dinosaur obsession, and absolutely ADORED his dinosaur costume, despite the fact that it was a size too small and VERY warm for the weather we had. But Mr. Personality made the most of it and collected massive quantities of candy.

So that's it so far. We'll have a ninja and a dinosaur again this year (different costumes, though), and I'll be posting pictures of them soon. They try them on almost every night and are counting down the days until Halloween.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Coming Home

So after the Burger King left, and the power finally came back on, this is what we found (Charles had done considerable clean-up before we got home):
Here's the front of the house (the shutters are closed because the window was broken in the storm). Charles had been pulling the kids' wagon around the house picking up the trash that was all over our yard. The house next door is under construction, and lots of construction debris was scattered in our yard (shingles, vinyl siding, general trash, etc.). Their chimney even flew off during the storm and hit Charles' truck. Doesn't look too bad for a week after the storm.
A close-up of the damage to our roof. Relatively few shingles compared to most other houses around here.

Broken window. I'm getting pretty tired of cleaning up pieces of glass -- they seem to just keep showing up. I noticed the mulch in our flower beds is full of glass too, so I guess I'll have to wear gloves when I work out there for a while. The kids' swingset, with the slide flipped up. It is actually just barely poking through our neighbors' fence. Thank goodness it wasn't any closer to their fence. The fort part of it appears to be ok, but Charles will probably have to rebuild the swing part.
Most of our damage is small, like the doorbell. We have some broken outdoor outlets (the covers broke off), all of our trees are leaning, all the annuals and most of the perennials are dead or uprooted, but all of the shrubs are looking good, so at least that's something. Damage at our rent house was slightly more severe, but still not as bad as it could have been.

It really wasn't bad, considering what it could have been, but I've decided I don't like Burger Kings anymore and will stick with McDonalds from now on.

Our Flame-Broiled Vacation

Two Fridays ago, on August 29, I packed up the kids and we evacuated to Nana & Papa's house for, as Cole calls it, "the Burger King" (specifically, Burger King Gustav). We stayed for a week and a half until we got power back at home.

The kids had a great time playing outside, driving Papa's tractor, building fires, and swinging on Blackie. Here are a few pictures of our "vacation":

Our Almost Vacation

Charles has a friend with a condo in Gulf Shores who has been offering to let us use it for quite a while now. A few weeks ago, we tried to take him up on it. We picked the kids up from school early on a Friday, turned on their dvd player, and headed to Alabama. Stopped along the way for beach toys, and made it to the condo way before dark, ready to hit the beach. The condo was great, and the kids had a great time playing on the beach (Chase has only been to a beach once, and Cole has never been before). Chase played in the waves and found seashells. Cole, who is scared of the water, made sand castles and sand angels (like snow angels, but in the sand -- he did this all by himself, it cracked me up). Wish I'd had my camera on the beach, but I left it in the room. We brought the kids to Lambert's for dinner, and of course nothing makes boys happier than a restaurant where they throw food at you.

The next morning, we woke up and turned on the TV and found out that the tropical storm which we hadn't really been worried about getting to Alabama for a few days was now expected to hit later Saturday. We brought the kids to the beach for a few hours before packing up. They had a great time on the beach that morning, burying each other in the sand and collecting shells. Cole got brave and actually went into the water (clinging to me). I really liked it better when there was at least one thing on Earth Cole was afraid of. But anyway, they had a great time. They could see fish swimming around their feet and got a huge kick out of trying to catch them. A lady walking down the beach gave the kids a hermit crab she had found. They insisted that he was their new pet, and since we were cutting the trip short and had an empty aquarium at home, we let them bring him. Chase wanted to name him Sandy, Cole wanted to name him Rocketshippy, so they decided to name him Sandy Rocketshippy.

Saturday around 10am we put the kids (and Sandy Rocketshippy) in the car, pressed play on the dvd player, and discovered it's broken. VERY long car ride home. Once we got home, we dug around in the cabinets, discovered we actually own hermit crab food (purchased for a captive lizard a long time ago), and set Sandy Rocketshippy up in the aquarium. Unfortunately, Sandy Rocketshippy left us a few days later for that big sandcastle in the sky, and the kids are back to trying to domesticate frogs and lizards.

Here are a few pictures from our trip:
Notice how Cole's feet aren't touching the ground. Cole's feet never touch the ground. He is ALWAYS in motion.
And here's Chase chilling out on the balcony. He loved it out there (as long as he wasn't too close to the railing).

Hopefully we can go back sometime and stay a little longer than 18 hours.

Visits from the Tooth Fairy

Back in January, when we went to the dentist, he told us Chase's two bottom front teeth were starting to get loose. By the time we went back to the Dentist in July, one of them was pretty loose. The Dentist showed me where the permanent tooth had started coming out behind the baby tooth, and suggested that Chase go ahead and pull that loose tooth out. Chase balked, and the dentist let it go. By August, Chase could lay one tooth completely down, but still wouldn't pull it out. Finally, on the way home from school one day, he was fiddling with it and it just came out.
Despite knowing this was coming since January, we were woefully unprepared. No tooth fairy pillow or tooth box. We went with a small box we had around the house, and Chase buried it under the pile of about 5 pillows he sleeps with. Cole slept in Chase's bottom trundle so he could be part of the experience. I imagine the tooth fairy had to do some pretty fancy maneuvering (think Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible) to make the exchange with all those obstacles. She managed, though, and Chase woke us up at about a quarter to 5 the next morning to show us the crisp new dollar bill the tooth fairy had left.
Here's a "Before" picture of Chase with a mouth full of teeth:
And here's an "After" picture (he kept sticking his tongue in the spot where the tooth used to be):

After his first tooth fairy experience, Chase decided this tooth business was a pretty good racket, and pulled out his other tooth 4 days later. Same box was used, and same result. By the time we evacuated to Nana & Papa's for Hurricane Gustav, the $2 was burning a hole in Chase's pocket, so he got Papa to bring him to Kaffe's and somehow managed to purchase about $20 worth of stuff with his $2. Must be magic tooth fairy money.

Here's a final toothless "After" picture with 2 missing teeth:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cole's First Day of School

Cole started school on Tuesday. He was not even a little apprehensive, and happily posed for pictures for me before leaving the house. And since Chase was now over his first day jitters, he posed for a few pictures with Cole too.
Their school allows the older siblings to walk the younger ones to their classes, so Chase brought Cole to his building before going to his own. The teacher who got them out of the car grabbed my camera and took a few pictures of them walking into school for me.
Cole seems to have had a great first day, and was excited to go back again this morning. Here are a few pictures of them:

Secure in his Manliness

We were very fortunate that Cole's teacher this summer at summer camp was his Aunt Celeste. We never missed any important events or milestones, because Aunt Celeste always has her cell phone camera with her. Important events like this one:

Charles attempted to get her to destroy the pictures, but she sent them to me anyway. I'm pretty sure I can use them when Cole's a teenager.
I like this next one. Looks like he's checking out the other outfit and thinking "Mine is so much classier."

I was a little worried what he'd say when I asked him yesterday what he'd like to be for Halloween, thinking his dad would have a stroke if he said "Cinderella," but he has decided to be a dinosaur. That sounds more like my Cole. It was nice to have a daughter, if only for a little while...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chase's First Day of 1st Grade

Yesterday was Chase's first day of first grade and first day at his new school. He was excited, but nervous too. I bought him an alarm clock, and he was pretty pumped about that. He hopped out of bed as soon as the alarm went off and couldn't wait to put on his uniform. This uniform excitement was a big deal considering how upset he was the day we bought the uniforms. He had been excited about going to get his uniforms, then when we got to the store, he saw the uniforms for another private school and liked theirs better, and became absolutely convinced that his life would be ruined if he had to wear the other uniform. He was just beside himself the whole time in the store, and swore that he'd never wear that uniform, until they put the school logo on his uniform shirt and he realized the patch was kind of fuzzy, then he was in love. He was disappointed again when we went to the shoe store and he found out that he could only wear certain shoes with his uniform. It was a VERY long shopping day. Anyway, I'm thrilled beyond measure that he now is anxious to put on his uniform.
So on the first day of school I, of course, insisted on a little photo session. I got lots of foggy pictures (too humid outside) of him scowling at me for making him pose for pictures. I did snap one of him and Cole (Cole's still in his pj's because he doesn't start until next week). Cole wasn't too interested in the fact that Chase was leaving (he just wanted us gone so he'd have Nana's undivided attention) until Chase was almost out the door, then he went running after him for a hug.

I'm going to try to take more pictures next week on Cole's first day. Maybe I'll leave my camera outside overnight so the lens won't be fogged up by morning.

When I picked Chase up in the afternoon, he was exhausted. He's never spent a full day sitting at a table before, and he looked a little disgruntled about that, the fact that it rained and they couldn't go out for recess, and the fact that he had homework. His second day went a little better. He's still exhausted at the end of the day, but at least he got to play outside, go to PE, and the snack shop was open. Hey, he's got priorities...

Sunday, June 29, 2008


It seems Tootsie has a little fight left in her after all. Tuesday afternoon when the kids and I went to Chase's t-ball game, we locked Tootsie in the courtyard like we always do when we leave the house. Lately, though, she has started squeezing out through the gate to play while we're gone. When we got to Chase's game, they told us it was cancelled, so we turned around and came back home, and Tootsie met me by my car. When we started walking back into the house, I noticed she was limping and bleeding. Once we got her in the house, it was pretty obvious her leg was broken, and she had some pretty large puncture wounds on her belly and leg.

The vet met us at the clinic after hours, took some x-rays, and confirmed that her back leg was broken. Something with big teeth apparently thought she looked tasty. She came home after 24 hours at the vet with a cast on her leg and on antibiotics. Her belly is pretty bruised and a little puffy looking.

She can't get her leg wet, so it has to be tied up in a bag before she can potty. She can't stand up on her own to potty, so we (I) have to take her outside and hold her up while she potties. She won't eat or drink unless we hold the water bowl for her or hand her the food one morsel at a time (at first I thought she was too weak to do it I think she's playing me). We have her inside the house in a little dog fence, and she basically just sleeps all day. It's been 4 days now, and she did lift her head and bark at me a few times today, so I guess that's a sign she's feeling better. I tried to put a bowl with a little food in her bed rather than handing her bite after bite, but I guess that was an insult to her because she overturned the bowl on the floor as soon as I walked off. I think I smell a malingerer.

Here she is (the black mark on her belly to the right of the cast is one of the puncture wounds):

Chase's Last T-Ball Game

T-ball season went by really quickly this year. Chase's last few games were rained out, but I happened to have my camera at his final game. He really enjoyed it, and I wish we'd had just a few more games for him to really get to practice what he's learned.
Here he is playing "pitcher." Ok, I know in t-ball there is no pitcher, but all the kids wanted to play that position because most of the balls come to the person playing that position and he gets to throw them to first base. At the last game, Chase finally got to "pitch."

Chase slid into every single base. He saw someone slide at the first game and after that, he slid into every base. By the end of the season, all the kids were doing it. Half the time they never even touched the base with their foot -- it was all just about getting dirty.

Cole's Days at the Ball Park

While Chase is playing t-ball, Cole has a ball playing with the other boys his age who have brothers on the team. They run up and down the bleachers (I've learned that Cole can tuck and roll when falling down bleachers and escape virtually unharmed) and drive whatever cars/trucks/trains they've brought with them that day on the benches.

When I looked up and saw him crawling along like this, he was talking out loud to himself about something and it reminded me of that scene in the Breakfast Club when Judd Nelson/Bender is crawling on top of the ceiling telling a joke. I just had to take a picture...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Another Fishing Trip

Chase didn't get to go with his dad on this fishing trip, but he still wanted his picture taken with the fish:

Easter in June

Chase & Cole stopped by to bring something to dad at work last week. They LOVE going to see dad at work. Both dad and Uncle Brian have a drawer in their desk FULL of really cool candy samples, and Chase & Cole both learned at an early age where those drawers are and make a mad dash for them as soon as we get there. So on this particular trip, they found their treasure outside of PawPaw's office: a stash of leftover chocolate rabbits from Easter. They asked PawPaw if they could have some, and despite the fact that I was shaking my head no and waving my arms wildly (or maybe because of it...), Paw Paw sent them home with one large chocolate rabbit each. They thoroughly enjoyed their Easter in June:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Celebrating the King of the Lawn Mower

Sunday, for Father's Day, Chase and Cole got up VERY early and were ready to start celebrating. We ran to pick up doughnuts and chocolate milk (that's what the boys insisted their dad would want) before he woke up, and they made cards for him. They also made him a crown out of grass-patterned paper (because he's the king of the lawn mower) and they made little crowns to put on his doughnuts.
Then, being boys, they took him to Hooter's for lunch (when Chase was little, I went out of town for work and Charles brought him to Hooter's for dinner. Chase thinks it's THE best restaurant ever because they gave him a balloon). I thought he should wear his crown to Hooter's, but the boys didn't want it to get damaged and he conveniently "forgot" it at home. Some pics: