Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Neglected Ethan

I realize I've barely posted anything about Ethan in awhile and I thought I'd make up for it a little. He turns three in about a week (!) and I think I may be in denial. That is until he starts acting like a three year old and then I remember how the so-called Terrible Twos have nothing on the Terrifically Awful Threes. Tantrums, hitting, calling me Poopy Mommy, and all around grumpiness has turned my sweet baby boy into an alien. I think I want my baby back!

Of course he's also developing some positive skills and traits so all is not lost. He's halfway potty trained, having the peeing in the potty part down but still skeptical that pooping in the potty is the way to go. I can't wait for him to decide that pooping in his underwear isn't all that fun. He loves to help me and thinks helping to fold the laundry is the most fun thing to do. He can be very loving and tells me "I like you Mommy" about 100 times a day. Makes all the less pleasant parts of the day kind of melt away doesn't it?

By the way I took these photos yesterday to try out my new photography prop I scored for fifty cents at the church rummage sale. It's an old wooden chair from the nursery and I wanted to try it out with a model. Ethan is still my easiest to photograph subject so naturally his photos turned out great. I did photograph Grace but those turned out a little different. Let's just say she has developed a "look" for "why are you taking my picture AGAIN?" and it's not quite as pleasant as Ethan's willing grin.

And yes I know he needs a haircut. David told him he looked like a hippy and Ethan thought that was hilarious.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Soccer Diva

I brought my long range zoom to Grace's soccer practice on Tuesday and I'm glad I did because I have a feeling we're going to have a lot of gloomy rainy practices from here on out. The clouds and rain have arrived. I took a zillion photos and I'm in the process of uploading 60 to Snapfish as I write this, but for the majority of you that don't want to see all 60 photos I thought I'd do a slightly condensed version. I had a hard time picking favorites so bear with me!

We knew when we signed Grace up for soccer that this was going to be a bit of a stretch for her. For one thing, you can't wear a dress to play. You have to wear scary "too tight" shin guards. You have to run. For a girly girl like Grace these things are terrible. She's been doing a decent job chugging along and seems to enjoy it for the most part. She told the coach she'd rather play with her pink ball but he told her to get used to playing with a white and black one because that's what she'll have to use for games. Tough cookies.

That last image above just cracks me up. I have like 20 more with similar expressions. I kind of doubt Ethan will have that day dreaming look to his soccer photos in a few years. No, I'm pretty sure I'll get way more action shots with him. But with Grace I'll take what I can get.

Like this one where she is actually running.

However most of her running shots look like this one. Yes she runs like a girl. She also walked on her tiptoes 90% of the time until she was 4. I'm pretty sure she still thinks she's a ballerina.

Here's some more semi-action shots. The coach had her practice throwing the ball in one time and I think it may have been one of two times she actually touched the ball the entire time they scrimmaged.

Here's the second. This is an uber-rare shot of Grace attempting to kick the ball.

I'm not sure what she's doing right here. Probably practicing her dance moves.

This is what Grace usually does during the game. She turns her body away from the action in a purely defensive position. Even when her team is playing offense. In fact I don't think she knows the difference between offense and defense.

But look how adorable she is! And paying attention! She may or may not grow up to become a soccer star (highly unlikely but you never know) but at least she's giving it a try. I'm proud of her for that. My hope is that by the end of the season she will think soccer is fun.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Adding to our family brood?

No I am not pregnant. Just in case you were wondering from the title. Nor are we planning on having any more babies.

Now that we've cleared that up I thought I'd mention the furry four legged creature we brought home from church with us and are contemplating keeping. He's a friendly orange tabby cat who is great with people (even the kids!), seems to be at peace with our dog, but doesn't get along at all with our resident cat Boo. Boo always takes additions to our family the hardest, after all she was here first! She rolled her cat eyes at us when we brought home Zoe as a puppy back in fall of 2003 and eventually forgave us after we left her home for a weekend trip and took the dog with us. Don't ever believe that a cat doesn't care when you leave because Boo most definitely does.

In summer of 2005 we brought home Grace from the hospital and she once again thought we were nuts and refused to sleep in the bedroom with us for a month or two before again forgiving us and moving on. Adding Ethan to the mix in 2007 was a breeze, she barely flinched.

Other cats are a whole other story. We tried to adopt another cat from an animal shelter back in 2003 and that plan failed big time. The cat had to go back in order to keep Boo from eating it alive. In 2004 we temporarily housed a lost cat for a few hours while waiting to hear back from the owners (she had a tag). We gave up when Boo started reaching her claws under the door to the room we had the poor cat sequestered. We let the humane society deal with it.

Now that Boo is middle aged she's not quite the spitfire towards other cats that she once was. She still puffs up and hisses at the outdoor cats that like to wave their tails under her nose from the other side of the glass but doesn't go quite as ballistic as she once did. I'm actually surprised with how well the transition seems to be going. Not that everything is peachy keen in cat world, but at least neither one is intent on killing the other. I'll take that. Surprisingly I think Boo may be losing the battle of Alpha Animal (Zoe just follows along...she's far from the alpha in this house!) because she's actually scared of the new cat. She does her fair share of puffy fur growling and hissing and is most definitely annoyed with me but mostly she seems nervous. I'm wondering if the fact that the new kitty is a non-neutered male might have something to do with it. He hasn't been very aggressive but definitely curious about everything including Boo. I don't think sharing comes naturally to cats so we'll see how this goes. If it's just not going to work I'll be hitting you all up to find him a new home, but I hope it doesn't come to that because I kind of like him!

We've had the cat since Sunday afternoon and still have no name for him so the poor thing goes by the moniker "new cat". It's really kind of sad. Ethan wants to name him Spikey and hasn't changed his vote since the beginning. Grace has suggested Prince and Alladin, though she thought my suggestions of George and Walter were okay. David liked Hobbes, Fritz, and Dutch and I'm a fan of Oliver. Our other two animals both have three letter names (not intentional) and I was thinking of other three letter names to continue the theme like Ryu or Pax.

As friendly as the new cat is I don't think he's ever lived in a house. He's fascinated by rolls of toilet paper and can shred it like nobody's business. He was super interested in the printer when I printed coupons out tonight. He jumps on counters and tables all the time and is learning that is NOT okay in our house. He uses the litter box but throws litter all over the place with his enthusiastic digging.

Any good name suggestions or tips to help our cats learn to coexist?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Grace's First Day of Kingergarten

It seems like it wasn't that long ago when we were sending Grace off to her first day of preschool last September and today we reached the huge milestone of sending her off to her first day of kindergarten! We've been preparing for today for the last week or two, trying to move our wake up time from 8:30am to before 7am in order to make it to school by 8am. This is going to be a huge adjustment for me since it's been over five years since I've had to be anywhere at a set time on a daily basis!

I made sure to take five minutes this morning for a quick photo session outside in the cold with Grace and her spiffy first day of school outfit and new backpack. It was a little chilly today but we stuck with our planned on outfit anyways and she looked pretty cute if I do say so myself! She hates the denim skirt because it's blue but likes the "silly socks" and the argyle. She chose her hairstyle and princess fairy hair barrette. I also told her she can pick her outfits for the rest of the week, I just really wanted her to wear this one today!

All four of us walked Grace to school this morning and we made it just on time. Daddy helped Grace put her school supplies in the correct bins and then we helped her find a cubby for her coat and backpack and we said goodbye and left. Not surprisingly it was Ethan who cried and had the hardest time leaving. Grace was more then okay for us to leave and David and I are excited for her. Ethan wanted to stay and go to kindergarten too, the poor thing has a long three year wait. I hope those three years last forever because when he starts school I AM going to cry!

Ethan and I picked her up this morning at 10:30 and she told us all about the dinosaur dance and a song she learned. She brought home a picture she colored of me and a ton of paperwork for me to fill out. She seems to have had a good time and is excited to go back tomorrow and meet all of her classmates (only the second half of the alphabet were there today). I hope this is the start of a great 13+ years of school!