Thursday, November 26, 2009

Flying High for Your Birthday!

Four-year-old boy + Birthday + National Air and Space Museum =

Happiest Little Boy in the World!

The Air and Space Museum is only about 15 minutes from our house. It's free admission, but $15 to park...and it's the best $15 you can spend in Washington D.C. We will be going again very soon.

From the upper level, you can get a great view of the entire hangar.

This is the Enola Gay...yep, that's the one. The plane that dropped the first nuclear bomb is on prominent display in the main hangar. Jamie and I both felt a little conflicted...

If you've watched the second edition of Transformers, you are familiar with the National Air and Space Museum and the SR-71 that comes to life. This was the Gavin's second favorite display...and it's not even a plane and he hasn't seen the movie.

The Air Traffic Control tower is really fun...just look at that face! You have a great view of the runway at Dulles Airport. You can watch the planes land and take off.

Here's a view from one of the giant windows. I bet it was incredible when the foliage was brightly colored.

And here is the best part of the whole museum...they let you "test fly" a Cessna. Gavin did NOT want to get out. You can turn the wheel, changes the position of the rudders, and look at all the flight gauges. He kept saying over and over, "Please, can Laynie come and sit in here with me? Can she be my co-pilot?"

Here is the mini-astronaut suit that NASA gave away as a publicity stunt. Seems like a pretty good idea to me.

The space shuttle is huge! Much larger than I ever anticipated.

Jamie and the kids went in a space shuttle one threw up.

And while they rode, I studied the trench art. These incredible pieces are made out of missile shells from World War I.

The we came home and had dinner and some DELICIOUS cake...and yes, I baked it.

Gavin still blows through his front teeth. Totally hysterical.

Here's Jr. Cake Face with NASA shuttle still clutched in her hand. She didn't put it down for two days.

Gavin got a lot of great presents! Thanks to all of you!

It was a perfect day that Gavin, and the rest of us, will never forget! He was lucky to have his Guggy and Papa Rick to share the Museum and special birthday with.

He also got a dart gun...Jamie liked it so much that he sent me to Target he next day to buy three more so that Joel, MeMe, Jamie and I can have a major war when they come to visit in December. Watch out kids! We'll get you!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Fourth Birthday Gavin!

Dear Gavin,
Every moment of the last four years has been an adventure! You have brought incredible joy to my life and I’m so grateful for the lessons you’ve already taught me—and I had (and still have) a lot to learn!

You quickly taught us the importance of being prepared. Bringing you into this world was not at all what we expected…but should have known if wasn’t going to be easy. On Nov. 22, 2005, Daddy and I went to Guggy and Papa’s so that I could have a blessing. Daddy stumbled and struggled trying to find the right words to give me peace and assure all of us that we all would be safe. And that was not at all how it turned out.

November 23 was almost three full weeks before your due date, and you were not ready to come. After almost six hours of labor the doctors realized (albeit WAY later than they should have) that you were double breach. Your heart rate was low, my heart rate and blood pressure were low. They rushed me straight to the operating room, knocked me out and you were born eight minutes later. Daddy wasn’t even there and I was asleep. You were healthy, but so, so, so bruised! You were black and blue from your elbows to your toes.

It took me a couple of days to realize you were actually my baby…

The next major lesson we learned was selflessness. Newborns are supposed to sleep all the time. You didn’t sleep at all. You were awake all day, you were awake all night. One day you slept a total of two hours. We were so worried.

I held you all day, I held you all night. When I didn’t hold you, Daddy or Grandma or Guggy did.

And when I wasn’t holding or feeding you, I was changing your blow outs. You pooped on everything you owned, every outfit I owned, and three feet across the room and down the blinds. And when we weren’t cleaning up poop, we cleaned up barf.

But it wasn’t that you cried all day, you just didn’t sleep. Every time a light turned on, you woke up and turned toward it. If the blinds were open you stared at the sunlight. We all wondered if you were saying goodbye to loved ones we took you away from too soon.

Then you taught us joy. We loved your goos, giggles, and wiggles. We made up stupid songs, raps and noises. We shook our booties and your booty. We watched Baby Einstein until our eyes exploded and Cars until we could quote it. And most of all, we read stories.

Honest pride came easily. You were—and are—such a beautiful child. People stop us in the stores to comment on your incredible blue eyes. Not only are you handsome, but you are so smart, funny, creative and a little bit sarcastic. You are an undeniable perfectionist. When you put your mind to doing something, you never do it wrong!

And that mind…when it’s set, no one changes it! I hope that Daddy and I can help you make up your mind to ALWAYS do what’s right. Keep looking toward that light, Gavin!

I can’t say that we’ve learned patience yet. It’s still something both Daddy and I work on every day. Hopefully your fourth year of life we’ll be better at patience, and you’ll stop trying it quite so much!

We’ve got the “love” lesson pretty much under control. You are pretty easy to love! You love to cuddle, snuggle and read stories. And you love your baby sister like any big brother should—intensely and overprotective, tempered with a good portion of teasing.

You make our home a happy place and me a better person.
Love always,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen!

Tomorrow Gavin's class is celebrating his birthday. Because it's a private preschool (that doesn't mean it's fancy, that just means it's not state-run) kids are allowed to bring homemade goodies. Gavin decided he wanted chocolate cupcakes with white frosting and Rocket from Little Einsteins on top. I couldn't find Rocket, so we agreed on Spider Man.

Gavin and Laynie were great helpers. Gavin poured the mix, Laynie added the water, they both helped with the eggs (not as big of a disaster as you would think). Then they put the cupcake liners in.

They watched patiently as the cupcakes rose--which lasted all of 30 seconds. Not the rising part, but their attention spans.

Then we made homemade frosting, and I let the kids "help" frost a couple cupcakes. That was a bigger disaster than the eggs.

Gavin did a really good job...except that he had to keep adding frosting because there wasn't enough on his spoon. Mostly because he ate it all before it ever got to the cupcake.

Here is the finished product. They turned out pretty cute if you ask me...I'm not a professional, but I try hard.

Then we got a new place to eat them!

Like that actually happened! I didn't let the kids anywhere near the new table with nasty, sticky frosting hands.
I'm really pleased with how well the table fills the space and complements the floor. I can't wait to have some people over so we can actually use it! Guess, I'll have to take the tags off then. :(

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Under the Weather

So this is what we've been doing for the last ten days.  My kids have been ridiculously sick, especially Laynie.  It's so hard to see your children suffer!  All she wants to do is lay around--on the couch, on the floor, in the laundry basket.  I can't wait for my little sunshine to return.  Our home is much happier when she's happy. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

What's Going on in Wally World

We missed HALLOWEEN! Gavin was so sick that trick-or-treating was not an option. But we tried to have some nontraditional fun.

We made Witch's Brew to drink.

Just kidding. Laynie just shoved her uneaten shell-a-roni in her water bottle. Super nasty.

Luckily, Guggy and Great-Grandma Edie sent us some fun boxes that made missing out on the holiday festivities not so disastrous.

Who would have thought that a Halloween pencil would double as a wand?

The scary eye balls were also entertaining.

Laynie couldn't wait to pull out the treats. She kept saying, "Eat NOW!"

I made some delicious spider web cupcakes that didn't get taken to Gavin's class party.

At least Laynie enjoyed them. Look at her eyes...that is the hopped-up-on-sugar look.

Perhaps the scariest part of all was that I replaced the disposal. Almost completely by MYSELF! Jamie got home just in time to hold it up while I screwed it into place. Sadly, I didn't have the upper body strength to do that part by myself.