Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hockey and Five Year Olds

Driving home from the gym last Friday...

Mason: "Will daddy be home when we get there?"
Mom: "I don't know, he is going to a hockey game so he may have left already."
Mason: "How do you play hockey?"
Mom: "Players on ice skates hit the hockey puck with sticks and try to score goals."
Mason: "So, its OK to say hockey puck?"
Mom: "Yes, of course." {{??????}}
Mason: "But its not OK just to yell 'PUCK!' Mrs. Shulan told us that."
Mom: {{stunned & trying not to laugh}}

Sunday, November 30, 2008

No favorites here

Should someone look back on this blog in 5 or 10 years, I might be accused of playing favorites. The previous three posts show MJ only. So, in an effort to be fair, here is a picture of my amazing, funny, smart and incredibly handsome boys!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

No pictures, please.

Not so Cooperative

I have been trying for days to get a decent video of the 'Commando Crawl' that MJ has been sporting. She has not been very cooperative. She crawls like crazy, until I get the camera out. So, for the Grandparents, and anyone else interested, here are the badly lit, shaky handed attempts. The first one is the crawl. The second is what she does every time I try to take a video of the crawl.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Six Month Stats

13.2 pounds
26.5 inches
Reddish with one long wispy combover strand in the back.

Sitting on her own
Rolling every which way
Doing the army crawl
Eating solid foods

her brothers
her pacifier
chewing on everything, especially her toothbrush or a remote control

getting dressed
prunes (can't really blame her)
peaches (not sure shes really mine)
being left alone in a room
NOT having her pacifier
We LOVE LOVE LOVE this little girl and are so happy to have her in our family.

Especially when she sleeps through the night.

Our trip to Africa

What? You didn't know we took a trip to Africa? Complete with a tiger ride? Let me show you the pictures...
Oliver: Mason, let's go on a trip.
Mason: OK, hop on.
Oliver: Mom! We're going to Africa. It's over there by the door.
Mason: I am a tiger taking Ollie to Africa.

Mason: That was a long trip. I am going to take a tiger nap.
Oliver: I am going to take a nap with my tiger pal.

Mom: That was the EASIEST trip we have ever taken.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

random bits of this and that

This is just a random post of a couple things that I don't want to forget.

First, the other morning, while I was in the shower, Melissa woke up. Mason, being ever the helper, got her out of bed, picked out some clothes (a VERY cute outfit from cousin Marcy, no less) and grabbed a clean diaper. He was in the process of getting her jammies off when I came out to check on them. He said, "Don't worry mom, I'm just gonna change her and get her dressed so she will be all ready to go." Then, he did! He got her diaper all changed and got her clean pants on. When it came to the shirt, he tried for a few minutes and then said, "Mom, you have to do this. She is just too wiggly for me."
That is my sweet boy!

Here is MJ in her new 'cat hat'. She looks very cute in it and even caused the bus driver to stop, exit the bus and come out to admire her at pick up the other day. Oh, and if you look closely, you can see her two new razor sharp teeth that came through last week!

Thanks Grandma Girl!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

When the Matt's away...

...the rest of us will play!

Matt attended a conference on Cape Cod a few weeks ago. It was 10 days long. You heard me...10 days. I decided that in order for us to make it through that time with my sanity in tact, we had better do some REALLY fun things. Lucky for me, we have some REALLY great friends.
Day 1: Pizza picnic on out patio.
Day 2: Soccer practice at the park and popcorn at Target.
Day 3: We tagged along on a playgroup trip to the Grounds for Sculpture. There is a restaurant there called Rats. It is a fancy, delicious place (despite the name). At first thought, this day sounded great, lunch, tour of the kitchen, and playing on the grounds.

As soon as we arrived I had second thoughts. No plastic cups here. Glass top tables. Lots of people enjoying a wonderful meal. Then we showed up...six moms with 13 children in tow. The oldest was five.

Amazingly, all of the children were very well behaved (only two fell in the pond). The chefs prepared them a special meal of penne, fries, and (the best ever) chicken tenders. After we finished lunch, the chef (who is the father of one of Mason's friends) took us on a tour of the kitchen (fabulous!) and then we walked and played on the grounds.

The kids (and I) were exhausted when we got home so the four of us slept the afternoon away.

Keep scrolling down for the rest of our adventures!

Weekend fun!

Days 4-5: Friday morning was a mad dash to get Ollie to school, come home to pack and clean, pick Ollie up from school and hit the road. We were in store for a great weekend with friends in Virginia.
Did you know...?

Apparently it is also for a single mother of three.

We arrived at Emily and Curtis' house after a rather peaceful and uneventful car ride. We immediately headed out to the most incredible park in the universe. It had a HUGE playground that kept the kids occupied for hours. We had a picnic dinner followed by more playing. We got home after dark and five tired kids fell into bed and slept until morning.

On Saturday morning, we woke to the smell of pancakes and bacon, ate breakfast and headed out to the Air and Space museum located by Dulles Airport.
First thing when we walked in the door was this Blackbird. Truly jaw-dropping.

In the hangar behind the Blackbird was a the Space Shuttle Enterprise. The real one. To look at it you would thing someone mocked it up out of styrofoam and cardboard. Pretty incredible.

It was surround by all sorts of cool 'space thingies'. There were missiles, mission control stations, the NASA quarantine station (looks like a rundown airstream trailer), and a Mars rover.

We looked a zillion more planes including the Concord, bombers, glider planes and the Enola Gay. Then we headed up to the observation deck to watch the planes take off and land from Dulles. Heaven on earth for my two boys.

I took this picture especially for Matt. The boys thought it was pretty funny too. I actually think it is genius.

Keep scrolling down for the rest of our adventures!


Day 6: In some strange twist of fate, my dear friend Sarah (who moved to Utah 2 years ago) happened to be visiting her sister in Virginia at the same time we were there. We met up at the play area at the mall where the kids ran crazy for a good two hours.
Isn't she cute?

We were just sad that Sarah's son Andrew was not there with us. Mason would have LOVED to see him. Next time, for sure.
We stopped at Cake Love for some YUM! (thanks Kate)

After that is was time to get back in the car and head for home. Thanks for a great weekend Coates family and Sarah!

Keep scrolling down for the rest of our adventures!

Slowing things down

Day 7: Monday we all slept in a little and Ollie played hooky from school. We walked Mason to the bus stop and then jumped in the car to meet him at school for his Walk for the Red Cross. He raised $35 to donate to the cause, and then walked 1 mile with his class (and us).

Day 8: We were REALLY missing Matt by now and I was pretty tired. We tried to get back to our regular routine of school, play, rest, play, eat, play, bed.

Day 9: I was wondering how on earth I was going to survive without Matt for two more days. In fact, I was on the phone wondering it out loud to Amy, when the other line beeped. It was Matt. He was in the car, on his way home. A day early. My prayers were answered :)
Matt pulled in around 2:30pm. By 2:35, I was fast asleep in my bed, recovering from a very fun, long week!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Last fun of Summer

Last day at the Princeton fountain for this year!

A lot of fun was had there this summer and we will all look forward to more fun at the fountain when warm weather comes our way again!

Soccer stars

The boys started soccer a few weeks ago. As is standard for our family this fall, they play at the same time on two different fields. So, I sent the camera with Matt and Ollie. I took pictures of Mason with my phone.

Anyone have any idea how to get pictures off of the phone and on to the computer?

A great week

We had a great week of fun with Matt's mom and aunt. Unfortunately I have no photos because my battery was dead on the camera :( I'll get some pics from Matt's mom to post soon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day One-Preschool

Ollie started preschool last week with a bang. He has been so excited to start going everyday because he is 'a big boy who wears underpants'. As a sidenote: anytime I tell Ollie he can't do something (i.e. ride the bus with Mason, cross the street alone, do a fire dance) he says, 'but I'm a big boy who wears underpants!' Apparently, wearing underpants gives you free reign to do whatever you want. Who knew?

Ollie never stops talking long enough to get a good smiling picture

Matt has taken on the job of getting Ollie to school in the morning, as it is (sort of) on his way to work. On the first day, they arrived on time and Ollie ran right in. Matt said, "See you later Ollie" and turned to leave. The teacher quickly grabbed Matt's attention and said, "Aren't you going to stay with him for a few minutes?" She seemed concerned. Matt's response as he looked at Ollie already involved with some fantastic toy, "What for? He'll be fine." Ollie's dad is a pretty smart guy. He was fine. In fact, he was better than fine. That kid jumps in with both feet and never looks back. He had a great first week at school, and we are looking forward to several more great weeks at school for Ollie!

Here is his First Day of Preschool Interview:

Don't be alarmed if you can't understand what he is saying. We can't either half of the time :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Middle Child

In true middle child fashion, Oliver's first day of school pictures are not posted yet. Maybe tomorrow :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kindergarten-Take One!

He (we) did it!
We have forgone the "behind the couch, in front of the messy bookshelf" pose of years past and opted for "outside in front of the wildly growing shrubs".

On the bus!

Mason cheerfully headed off to his first day of kindergarten yesterday. And I made it through the day tear-free. I was super proud of both of us!
I decided to start a new tradition this year. I am going to take a quick video of the kids each year on their first day of school. I am excited to look back in many years and see how much these sweet kiddos grow from year to year!

Stay tuned for Ollie's first day of preschool, coming Monday!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I can't help but smile.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Painters with Attitude (NOT Aptitude)

You can tell summer is coming to an end when we have completely run out of things to do. I have been trying to keep the kids busy doing this and that so that we all don't go crazy before school starts.
This week: arts and crafts.

This is the first time we have gotten the Play Doh out since the 'Great Play Doh debacle of '08'. For those of you who missed that because I did not have the forethought to take a picture, here is the cliff notes version. One tiny (think halloween size) container of blue play doh, a sippy cup with the lid not on quite tight enough, four busy little hands. In their room. Alone. For too long. I am still finding little blue spots on the carpet, walls, closet doors, toys , bedding and ceiling (don't ask me how) three months later.
Both boys were very well behaved, and I am happy to report that there
were no casualties after the festivities.
That is some serious rolling pin action.

Today after four or five days of begging I finally agreed to get the easel and the paints out today.
The rundown:
15 min. -get out the easel, paper, paints & brushes,
smocks on, everything set up.
20 min. -hang pictures to dry, rinse paint cups & brushes, wash hands,
arms faces and one ankle, put everything away.
Actual painting time? About 5 minutes. But they were a happy five minutes.

The masterpieces. Hanging on the outside of our sliding glass door to dry
and as a conversation starter for passers by.
Watch your mailboxes Grandmas and Grandpas...these beauties are coming your way!

Painters with attitude.

Where was little Miss during all this fun?
Right here..in her favorite spot.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Camping New Jersey Style

I pitched a tent in a trailer park this weekend, and paid for it (my wife just informed me that this sentence can be interpreted in two ways). Read it as "I went camping this weekend in an advertised "campground", but it wasn't what I expected. It was a great time though.

Some observations from my NJ camping experience:
1) Trailer parks and campgrounds mean the same thing to a lot of people in NJ.
2) There is an additional cost to your site if you have a full set of teeth.
3) Be skeptical if the minimum number of nights you can camp is 14 (but they'll cut you a deal).
4) People water the lawn in their camping area. Bring the hose and fertilizer!
5) The campground has a water park that you can use for no additional cost. Just chase the ducks off it first.

This was a blast, and made for good blogging material. Here is representative picture of the area. Note the lights in the background of the "tents" next to us. It was Christmas in August.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A funny thing happened on the way to the...

Social Security Office. That's right. I spent this morning trying to get a replacement for Mason's SS card. As I pulled into the parking lot, in an incredibly sketchy part of town, I stopped to let a homeless man cross the street. To thank me, he threw his shoe at my car while yelling expletives at the top of his lungs. After the shoe thudded against the side of the car, he ran to get it and returned it to his foot. Then, he crossed the street in front of me.

I was a little scared to get out of the car so I drove around the block a couple of times. During this time, Melissa had a massive blowout. MASSIVE.

Oh yes, lest I forget to mention...I didn't actually get Mason's new card. Although I checked the website, filled out all the paperwork and brought every official form that we own, I sadly had not thought to bring his shot record. I mentioned to the nice lady behind the bullet proof glass that perhaps it was time to update the website so that people like me don't show up with every possible document except the one totally unofficial document that they actually need. So I get to go back next week. I hope my homeless friend is there again.

The moral of the story is: Sometimes a bum will save you from having to clean up a super poop in the Social Security Office bathroom. Thanks friend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My baby girl...

...laughed today. Happy day at the Lyman home.

Friday, August 1, 2008

My Kiddos

Oh, how I love them!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Body Parts

A photo essay by Mason.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Racing Day!

Yesterday was the New Jersey State Triathlon. Matt and several friends completed the race and we had a great time being spectators.

Matt took about 12 minutes off of his time from last year. Way to go!

Phil, Mark and Matt just past the finish line!

The crew

Great job, we are so proud of you!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bye, Daddy. Have a good day....

...don't kick anybody in the face.
~Mason, age 4 years 364 days

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Exciting Conclusion

Saturday morning we got up and packed up the cars. Julie and I loaded up the kids and headed back to Grandma & Pops house. We made a quick stop at the park in St. George so that Melissa could eat and the boys could run a bit. Then, after a quick drive-by of grandma Lissa and grandpa Sam's house, we drove the rest of the way to Vegas.
We were home barely an hour before it was pool time! Julie's kids are so brave in the water...it was so good for Mason and Ollie to see them swimming with such confidence.
At times it seemed like a contest to see which child could get the most floaties on (I think Ollie won), other times all the kids were jumping off the diving board like they had been doing it for years! We swam twice a day, ate yummy food, watched The Closer late into the night, and had a great time having the family together.

Zach, age 6, Master Swimmer!

Mason, age 4, first time off the diving board. Loved doing 'the octopus' (thanks Sam!)
Ben, age 4, king of the 'push downs' (diving for rings)

Ollie, age 3, Kamikaze! And he loves goggles.

Jakey, age 2, taking the plunge

My brother Sam and Ikey, age 2, not quite brave enough to jump, but still a little cutie!
Melissa smiling poolside in her swimwear debut.

She loved floating in the spa!
Somehow, cousin Noah is missing in action in the pool pictures. He was a super brave swimmer with his cousins, but was not feeling well on the day the camera was out :(

Thanks grandma girl and pops for a great vacation, we love you!!