Sunday, May 18, 2008

Big-Boy Bed and Lego Therapy

Last night, Owen slept all night long in his big-boy bed (otherwise known as the bottom bunk)!!! This was Owen's first night ever not in the crib. We got the bed-rail back from a friend we'd loaned it to, and after putting it on, Owen was very interested in the bed. We hung out in there and talked to him a lot about sleeping in the bottom bunk. We thought we'd give it a try & see how he's do, so when it was bedtime, we sis our normal routine, but put Owen to bed in the bottom bunk rather than the crib. Owen is usually very easy to get to bed- we just tell him it's "nigh-night time" and he gets his blanket and runs back to his bed and goes to sleep, no problem. Given this, we still weren't sure how he'd do or if he'd be disrupted by having James in there with him. We were shocked when he went right in, was alseep in no time, and slept all night long in his new bed!! It's nap-time right now and he's snuggled down right beneath his brother's bed and both boys are sleeping soundly! We can't believe Owen's such a big-boy all of a sudden!
Yesterday was so hectic and a bit overwhelming for the boys and I, so we decided to stay home with nothing on the agenda all day today. We got out all of James birthday presents and played with everything. Diane bought James this very complex Lego Police set and James immediatly took all of the seperate and labeled bags and dumped them together. Today we sorted all of the tiny pieces out and spend over 3-hours putting together this very cool police station, quad and semi-truch with trailer! My life has been so busy and crazy lately, there are a million other things I probably "should have" been doing during that 3+ hours, but let me tell you, there's something to be said for just hanging out on the floor with my boys and getting some serious Lego therapy!

James' 4th Birthday Party- one word... HOT!!!

Yesterday we had James 4th birthday party. It was a joint-birthday party with his Grandma Sally's 50th birthday, so lots of family and friends showed up at Bille Park to celebrate. It would have been a wonderful day, but it was so HOT! With sweat dripping down our necks, we tried to enjoy the day. The kids seemed to have fun and found creative ways to stay cool together.

Kelly made two beautiful cakes- a Bumblebee Transformer cake for James and a very cute cake for Sally that matched the invitation I designed for her party perfectly! Jamse & Renton could hardl wait for a taste. As I heard Renton saying, "Mommy, I'm really ready for some cake now!"
"Happy birthday to you..." Time to blow out the candles! Brian, Renton, James, Keegan & Owen, all lined up & ready for lunch!All of the kids decided to lose their shirts for present-time! Great idea in the hot sun!Brian, Taylor & Elizabeth, trying to stay cool.Kelly & Todd brough these awesome mister-packs. James & Renton ran around misting everyone- they looked just like the Ghostbusters! It was hilarious!

Keegan, Owen & Charli found some ice to throw! Now that's cool thinking!
Poor Owen.... both of my kids practically had heat-stroke by the time we got home (the air conditioning is broken in my car right now...). I put Owen on the floor while I went back to the car to get James out. When I came back in, this is how he was laying on the livingroom floor! I stripped both boys, and despite their screaming, doused them both in lukewarm water, put them in clean underwear / diaper and put them in their beds. They were so wiped out- and so was I!

James + Charli = BFF

These two silly kids have been pals since birth. They have gone through phases in the past when they would have to beat each other up for a good hour before they could play nicely, but their parents are VERY happy that they have gotten to the point where they LOVE to play together! James & Charli played for hours together, happily laughing and chattering away while Kristin & I got stuff ready for the birthday party. A good hour was spend picking up tiny seeds that had come out of a stuffed animal on James' bunk bed and gotten everywhere. They made up lots of good explainations about how the seeds had gotten everywhere while they picked up the seeds... "Maybe a mysterious bird flew in here and put them everywhere... Maybe it was a dragon who blew fire out and then these seeds came out of his mouth... Maybe..."
Who knows what's next for these two, but we do know one thing, whatever it is, they'll be doing it together!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I love this picture!

Sweet Owen at 22 months old
I took this picture of Owen at the Downieville School playground this weekend. He has started really becoming his own person in the past few months. Owen is sucha funny, snuggly, loving, silly little guy! He has so much personality, and I think that really shows in this picture!

Stacey's Walk for Breast Cancer

My sister-in-law, Stacey, is a senior at Downieville High School and for her senior project, she chose to host a walk to benefit the Western Sierra Medical Clinic's breast cancer detection program. Stacey worked hard for months and many members of the community turned out to support Stacey & help with donations to make the walk happen. Over 75 people showed up on May 10 and walked from the school to the falls and back. The walk was very well organized, fun, and a huge success! Not only did this awesome event bring the community together in support of a good cause, but Stacey raised over $2,000 for the clinic! Downieville's CSF club will take over the walk next year to make this an annual event held in Stacey's name. What a way to make a difference!
Walking down Main Street, Stacey & several other people carried the prayer flags created by all the people who were walking.
James & Jordan held hands on the walk, best buds!
Isis & Suzi leading the pack over the bridge!
Brooke & my mom leading the group down Pearl Street.
James & Jordan, still holding hands!

Once they got tired walking, James & Jordan got into the stroller... together! With Owen in there too, the stroller was VERY heavy! Travis offered to push the stroller up the hills for us on the way back, but during a little off-road excusion, the stroller ended up breaking! The wheel bent off. He ended up fixing it enough to get back to the school, but it's pretty much busted now... Oh well, at least I didn't have to push it up that big hill!

Walking back from the falls with the prayer flags.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Learning About Composting at the Durham Worm Farm

At my school, Greg, one of my partner-teachers, has really been great about teaching our students about living a more eco-friendly life. He's led us to apply for several grants, which we've won, making our program the most green program in the district. As part of one of our grants, we were able to take our students on an awesome field trip to the R.A.R.E. (Recycling Exhibit) in Chico as well as the Worm Farm in Durham. We compost both with worms and without at our school, so the kids had a lot of fun seeing where our worms came from, learning all about them, and actually getting their hands in the dirt and digging up as many worms as they could find!

Kristin is composting at her house now and does it with our kids so they are learning the importance of reducing what we throw away as well. They love it, James and Charli are really into it, Owen's not sure yet, but he seems to enjoy it! Kristin met us at the Worm Farm so our kids could get their hands in the dirt too- they loved it! James was a little shy at first (not like him at all!), but Owen was so amazed by the worms! It was so cute seeing Owen check out the worms. My students really enjoyed having the kids there too, 6th graders are at an age that really enjoys being around little kids. They are so sweet with our little guys!

Here's Owen showing off a few of his wormy-finds:
Charli, Owen & James digging for worms while two of my students, Angie & William, help them out: