Thursday, May 30, 2013

Gone.

After last weekend, all traces of having a little baby boy are just utterly and completely gone.  

Nobody misses diapers and bottles.  I had no problem getting rid of the crib.  I got over giving away the stroller pretty easily.  It was exciting when we moved from the carseat to a booster.  It was liberating when the baby gates came down.  And those darned siderails on the bed have been driving me crazy for years.  I'd been meaning to take them off for well over a year now, but it's always the lowest priority on the weekend honey-do list.  But when they finally came off this weekend, it left me feeling a little nostalgic for the infant and toddler years.  Joseph is just so grown up now!  I swear, I'm gonna lose it when decides he doesn't need his Petey anymore.



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Alton Boyz, Together Again!

It's been a long, long time since the junior Alton Boyz were last reunited, so it was such a treat to see that Austin and Cameron were back for a visit over the weekend.  We were all so excited for the boys to play for a while that we even let one little Alton Girl slip into the mix.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Back in the Saddle

May has not been my best month for blogging.  My posts are so few and far between!  The big news is that it's finally been a full 3 months since my broken ankle surgery and I got the clearance from my doctor on Wednesday to get rid of the boot and start bearing weight again.  After 12 weeks of splint, then cast, then boot, and no standing at all, my bones are finally healed, and I literally just walked right out of there.

Not gracefully, of course.  It's definitely quite the Frankenstein gait, without the arms straight out in front.  But I came prepared with a matching set of running shoes, just to be optimistic.  I was even given clearance to start driving, so I mustered the courage to drive the whole 3/4 mile to pick Joseph up at school, with Brent in the passenger seat breathing the deepest sigh of relief ever that he no longer has to chauffeur me everywhere.



It's still easier for me to use my scooter at work until I've had a few weeks of physical therapy under my belt.  The morning of my 1st day back I went to grab some comfortable shoes, and oops! - it just so happened to be the pair they had to cut off me at the park when the ambulance arrived.  Never got around to replacing those shoelaces!  Hmm, I forgot about those brand new jeans they cut the leg off of....




Monday, May 20, 2013

Look up in the sky, it's............

Super Jack!

What a blast we had at Jack's "Man of Steel" themed birthday party over the weekend!  Missy put together an absolutely super party for a super duper boy.  Even though the weather refused to cooperate, there was  no shortage of volunteers when it came time to run the amazing obstacle course that she created.






The heroic family, direct from the planet Krypton.





As always, the attention to detail is incredible!  









So heartwarming that Joseph and Jack have remained such good friends for almost 6 years.  And so hard to believe Joseph is that much bigger than Jack when he's actually 2 months younger!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Super Cuts

"Almost bald."

That it what Joseph told Miss Gina yesterday when she asked how he wanted his hair cut.  Having been a product of the 80's, and raised in Jersey at that, I cannot in good conscience say a word if Joseph wants to do something crazy with his hair.  I have had all kinds of interesting hairstyles in my day, and my parents never said a word.  They knew it was a phase, they knew it would grow out.  So as much as I adore his long goldi-locks, if Joe Joe wants a crew cut, he can have a crew cut.

Having just come from a Superman birthday party, we could have walked out of Blondie's Salon looking like Lex Luthor.  Thankfully Gina left it a bit longer than that.  And he does look so darn cute with short hair!  It surely doesn't hurt that all you see now are those amazing blue eyes.






Wednesday, May 15, 2013

2, 4, 6, 8.....

....WHO DO WE APPRECIATE?!

Last week was all about teacher appreciation at school, and we Alton Boys definitely know how to express our gratitude to deserving people - through baking and crafting!  We had thought there would be a few things that the class would do as a whole for the teachers, but in the end it would up being a free-for-all, so we cooked up a little something special for every day of teacher appreciation week on our own.

On Monday we sent in a basket of homemade muffins (blueberry, and banana coconut) along with some Simply Orange juice, with notes telling our teachers that they are "simply" the best!


On Tuesday we sent in big loaves of pumpkin chocolate chunk bread wrapped in pretty pink cellophane and tied up with bows......and I (shockingly) didn't take a picture of them.

On Wednesday the teachers got Mason jars full of Smarties candies with a note and an original drawing by Joseph on the lid.  I'm not sure what flowers have to do with being a "smartie," but I just let him draw whatever he wanted to draw.



On Thursday Miss Rockwell got this artwork that we printed out (from here), framed, and personalized with a note on the back.  Joseph was so happy about this one for some reason.  I originally planned to tie some balloons to the hanger on the back, but I still can't drive and couldn't get to the store.




(It says "especially my teacher.  I love Miss Rockwell" in case you can't tell.)

And on Friday, we sent in cake pop flower bouquets.



And since that would have been incredibly cruel to let all the kids see them but not get to eat them, I sent in about an extra 5 dozen cake pops - some red velvet, some chocolate - for the whole class to enjoy.  Joseph's classmate Gwen said to her mom, "Joseph's dad is baking himself crazy this week."  Not "making" himself crazy, "baking" himself crazy.  Ha!  There were a lot of happy 5 and 6 year olds thanking me on Friday afternoon.  Not a single child saved one for their parents.  


Lastly, for those of you who really can't get enough of all this stuff, here's a video of Joseph's class doing a "circle of thanks" that Edison's mom organized.  Luckily Joe Joe is the 2nd kid in so you don't have to watch the whole thing!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

About Mothers

I will probably never cease to be amused by the way most people tiptoe around the topic of Mother's Day when it comes to a family with 2 fathers.  They just try so hard not to say or do the wrong thing, when in reality we couldn't be more laid back about the subject.  We celebrate Joseph's birthmother as much as we celebrate our own mothers today!  People who really know us know that, and so at school this year and in many after school activities, most of Joseph's teachers and care providers knew to just let him choose what he wanted to do when it came around to Mother's Day crafting.

One time he chose to celebrate Grammy, who is my mom.  The answers he filled in about her are hysterical!  She'll be glad to know he thinks she is only 66, that the best thing she cooks is gravy and meatballs, and that she loves to hug and play with him.  She may be less than thrilled to hear that her favorite thing to do is "sit," and that she is really good at "sleep."  I'm quite honored that he says her favorite food is "my daddy's food."


Another time Joseph chose to draw a picture of his birthmother.  He's never met her, but he knew that she probably looks like him so he gave her the same (gorgeous) blue eyes and blonde hair (which is orange because they didn't have a yellow crayon) that he has.  It's fascinating to see how he slowly processes this kind of information over time!  Whatever she may look like, we know that she is a beautiful person inside and out.  Especially today, we hope that she is happy and someday knows the joy of not only being a mother to Joseph but a parent herself as well.


While on the subject of mothers, I just so happened upon this photo of Brent and his brother Glenn with their mom, Joseph's "Mimi."  As if my mom weren't awesome enough, I'm doubly blessed to have Olga in my life too, and I consider myself lucky to be part of such a stylish family.


Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers we know!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

What's the news?


One of the most adorable things I have seen at school is when they do "What's the news?" at morning circle.  The 1st kid turns to the kid next to them and says "Good morning, (name), what's the news?"  That kid then reports something they think is big news, and it goes all the way around the class.  Some of the kids think it's a riot to just yell out "No news today!" and pass it on.  Joseph reported that he went to a wedding last weekend.  That paled in comparison to the boy who informed everyone that he won a burping contest.  My news is that I didn't take a single picture at that wedding, and I have been woefully lame at updating the blog for the past week.  Sometimes you just need a break, but please stay tuned!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Family Life


As we again celebrate "adoption day" today - the anniversary of the day we officially became a family in the eyes of the law - it seems quite appropriate to share this recent journal entry of our son's.

Joseph just started journaling daily as an assignment from his teacher to work on his reading and writing skills.  It's supposed to be fun for him, so he can write about whatever he wants, he can add drawings if he likes, and we're not supposed to correct his spelling or letter formation.  He first spends 2 minutes "brainstorming" on the topic he will write about.  For his very first entry, he was trying to thing about the most exciting thing in his life, and he decided (without any prompting, I swear!) that the best day of his life is when we adopted him.  We had a lovely conversation about some of the details involved there, but when he went to finally write something, he wrote "My favorite part is when I was born!  I was happy!"

He then decided to draw a picture of himself and label it "me," and I thought that was that.  But then he drew and labeled an umbilical cord.  Umm, ?????  He remembered that babies have umbilical cords from a hospital ABC book from years ago.  Really, I have no idea when the last time he saw that book was.  And then when he thought he was done he remembered at the last minute to draw a big circle around it all, because babies come from mommies' tummies. (Hard to see in the center fold of the page that he also labeled the tummy)

It's amazing how this simple lesson plan from school opened up a wonderful dialogue about how our family came to be.  Luckily we stopped short of an entire "birds and the bees" discussion, and the next few journal entries were about more mundane topics like birthday parties and ninjas.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Fore!

I have been living in DC for coming up on 19 years now but it amazes me that there are still so many things that I've never done or never even knew existed.  Case in point, the mini golf course at East Potomac Park (not to mention the regular golf course and the public swimming pool in the same location).  And I've been right there at Haines Point and still not noticed people golfing.  Thankfully Joseph's classmate Brendan clued me in by having his 6th birthday party there.


Let's just say Joseph was not a natural at the sport, but he got a few pointers from Zara's dad, and no one lost an eye or got a concussion.




We probably only played about 4 or 5 holes, each one took so long!  Most of the kids had a blast just running all over the course and climbing on the structures anyway until there was cake.




I made the most of my time on crutches.



Interestingly enough, Joseph's favorite thing may very well have been the Angry Birds themed goody bag he got on the way home.