Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ladies' Beach Trip

Last weekend I took off to the beach with some of my friends, and MJ was home with the three musketeers. And, I'm happy to say, everyone had a great time.

I did a lot of relaxing on the beach, girl talk, and browsing around cute beach-town shops.

MJ took the kids to an animal park we'd never been to, the kind you ride through and the animals come up to the trailer for food. As expected, Little Man loved it, and even stuck his hand into a water buffalo's mouth (alas, no picture). 

But the girls were terrified. MJ reports that they clung to him and wouldn't even throw food over the side for most of the ride. Fortunately, they were happy with the rest of the park's amenities.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Drivin' On

Now that the twins are four and CC is five, don't you think it's time that they were facing forward in their car seats?

They do, too. We've talked about it off and on over the last year or so, and I've always said that I'd turn them around when Little Man and Sweet Pea were four. So the morning after their birthday, I got up early and switched the seats around. And I didn't tell them. When it was time for us to run some errands, I casually told them all to get in the car. 

And then I followed them into the garage with my camera recording a video of their reaction.

Which I will not bother posting here. Because it just consisted of them saying, "Oh, you turned our seats around."

I was so underwhelmed! And, apparently, so were they.

But once we got in the car and started driving, they were amazed. "MOMMY! WE CAN SEE WHERE WE'RE GOING! MOMMY! WE JUST WENT THROUGH A GREEN LIGHT!"

I can't wait for them to start criticizing my driving.

For the record, CC is now behind the passenger seat, where it will be easiest for her to get in and out for kindergarten carpool. And since preschool carpool is on the driver's side, it works perfectly.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Birthday Recap

Sweet Pea and Little Man woke up on their birthday by yelling "I'M FOUR!" and running downstairs for breakfast. Daddy came home early from work so we could open presents, and they were ecstatic with the garbage truck (Little Man), gold sparkly light-up shoes (Sweet Pea), and a bubble machine with lots of bubble toys (both).

MJ and I gave them a giant fire/police station, some new trains, and a kids' microphone that can connect to an MP3 player (which CC has basically stolen to fuel her rock star dreams).

We went to their favorite restaurant for dinner, although Sweet Pea and Little Man were very firm with the server that they wanted him to "bring the cake quietly" and not sing or bang the birthday gong. 

Then we measured them on our Morrison Family Growth Chart:

Little Man was almost 40 inches, which makes him just a hair shorter than what CC measured on her 5th birthday -- four months ago. And Sweet Pea was 38 inches, a half inch taller than CC was at the same age!

All in all, another successful birthday. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Happy 4th Birthday, Sweet Pea and Little Man!

Whoa -- the twins are 4! About to start preschool, bursting with energy (and opinions), full of love and loudness and sticky faces.

Sweet Pea is my little firecracker. She's a free spirit, the most likely to be off doing her own thing, and not at all swayed by other people. It may sound silly to be thinking of middle and high school now, but I am not one bit worried about her susceptibility to peer pressure! Sweet Pea does what she wants to, when she wants to, and it doesn't matter one bit to her who else is doing what. 

Little Man, on the other hand, is very much the life of the party. He lives to make other people laugh, and if he elicts one, he will repeat his joke or behavior over and over again to get more. His trademark brilliant smile still lights up a room. He is happiest when someone else (big sister CC, most likely!) is directing his play, coming up with an imaginative world that he can take part in.

He is growing fast, closer to CC's size than his twin's. They've even been wearing the same shoe size for the last year, although lately he's been complaining that his size 9.5's are too tight -- so that means he has larger feet than CC! Sweet Pea is growing too, but at her own slower rate. She's wearing mostly 2s and 3s, and size 8 shoes. I'm looking forward to her annual checkup in a few weeks, to see where she stands on height and weight.

Speaking of shoes, Little Man is very particular about how things fit his feet. His socks have to be just so: the seam lined up along his toes perfectly, and not pulled too tight. So it would be helpful if he could put on his own socks, but alas, we still have to do it, and he bellows when they're not on perfectly. His shoes have to be ridiculously loose -- to the point that they fall off sometimes -- because he hates anything tight. But at least he can put those on himself!

Sweet Pea, little miss independent, has been able to fully dress herself now for over a year, down to the buttons on her shirt and the buckles on her sandals. And she is not a fan of me telling her what to wear. I suppose that's reasonable -- she's four, after all! But since I still like the twins to wear coordinating colors every day, I'm glad Little Man doesn't care too much about what clothes he wears (as long as it's not a dreaded "button shirt"). Sweet Pea gets dressed first, then I pick out something for Little Man that matches.

Little Man loves to roughhouse. His worst mood can be changed by a good tickle fight, tackle session, or if I start throwing him up in the air or on the bed. His need for physical activity challenges my parenting abilities, but frequently when he misbehaves, I realize (afterwards, unfortunately) that he probably would have been much better off if we'd set up an obstacle course inside, or played out on the swingset for a while, or if I'd taken a few minutes to roll around on the floor with him. I've resolved to keep that in mind more often -- I think it will help with his tantrums and inability to sit still!

Sweet Pea, meanwhile, has been throwing tantrums of her own, which is annoying but also amusing. Ha! Compared to her big sister and her twin brother, her tantrums are laughable. But it turns out our littlest one has a flair for the dramatic, flinging herself on the floor and collapsing into a puddle of outrage.

But she is still the most affectionate of our three. And she seems to be the most tuned in to other people's feelings, too. If CC is upset, Sweet Pea will try to give her a hug (and get pushed away for her efforts). If Little Man is having a fit about wanting the yellow bowl for breakfast, Sweet Pea will often give hers to him. And I will even catch her hugging and kissing Rory -- something Little Man and CC never do.

She loves matchbox cars, and she's not into pink or princesses. Her favorite foods are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and mac n cheese. She treasures anything yellow, and loves to help me fold laundry.

Little Man's favorite toys are MJ's old wooden fire truck, and his "special guys": Humu the stuffed dinosaur, Lee the stuffed horse, and Bumby the stuffed bear. Like CC, his favorite lunch is a cheese-and-mayonnaise sandwich. His favorite colors are green and yellow.

This year will bring many new experiences. Most notably, in a few weeks they will start preschool! I think I'm as excited as they are. But as with CC, I'd give anything to be a fly on the wall of their classroom: seeing what they're doing, how they're getting along with other kids, what their favorite activities are. I even wonder if preschool will help Little Man's ability to focus. (One can hope, right?)

Here's to a wonderful fifth year, Little Man and Sweet Pea! I love being your mommy; I love watching your special twin relationship grow; and I'm so excited to see what's in store next year!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Neighborhood Camp

Last week was Camp Fun in the Sun, the annual camp put on by several teenagers here in the neighborhood. It was so nice for the kids to spend the week with friends -- some of whom we don't get to see very often -- and for me to have mornings to myself!

This picture is from Tuesday, which was Olympics Day. Each camper was assigned to a team. CC was on the red team, and Sweet Pea and Little Man were on the green team. They did team events all morning, decorated gold medals for their art project, and the snack was popcorn balls shaped into Olympic torches.

At the end of the week, there was a little presentation for the parents, which was adorable. The highlight was an award for each camper. Little Man won "Most Athletic," Sweet Pea won "Sweetest Camper," and CC -- to her delight -- won "Camper of the Week." She was on cloud nine!

Then there was a video of the week, featuring many pictures of the Morrison trio!

Direct link to the video: https://youtu.be/VyoMP_VNmuk

Monday, August 15, 2016

Circus Circus!

Sweet Pea and Little Man celebrated their 4th birthday with a fun circus bash on Saturday. We all had a great time! (And with the exception of the painted decorations, it was the easiest party yet for me to plan and prepare for.)

I've been wanting to do a circus party for a while now, but I waited until this year because several months ago, we took the kids to the circus for the first time. Now that they've actually experienced a circus, we were full speed ahead for the circus party!

The cake, made by my mom, was the centerpiece. I love it! The animals were adorable, and the miniature Sweet Pea and Little Man peeking out were perfect right down to their hairstyles (note that Sweet Pea was actually wearing a red bow on top of her head during the party -- a complete coincidence!).

All the decorations were yellow and red. A huge thank-you to Grandma, who shipped us the awesome circus train that used to be MJ's. The kids have been playing with it non-stop!

The clown noses were a particular hit.

The "prizes" (favors) were plastic popcorn tubs filled with circus peanuts, clown noses, and animal crackers. Simple and inexpensive, but I love how they turned out!

I tried to make a cute veggie tray that looked like a clown ...

... but I think it ended up looking more like Beaker!

I painted three large boards for outdoor decorations. Little Man's favorite was the clown face bean bag toss. 

Sweet Pea made the perfect strong man!

And CC -- naturally -- loved the lion tamer in her pink leotard.

I also had a duck pond, but the fishing poles kept getting tangled. It was a mess, but the kids had fun.

Fortunately, the bounce house is always a big hit!

Aunt Karen wins the award for best gift wrapping. I wonder what this is?!

My parents win the award for most shrieking elicited by a gift:

Grandpa wins the award for traveling the greatest distance to come to the party. We're so glad he was there!

And the final big thank-you goes to my dad, who helped me get up on a ladder and hang the horse swing. And who also fixed the strong man and the lion tamer when they kept falling down. 

Another great party down! Now, the countdown to the big day ...