Saturday, November 28, 2009

Children's Museum

It's not news anymore (since I'm posting this in January 2010 and we went way back in November 2009), but I thought you might like a little taste of our time at the Children's Museum of NJ. 

It was the day after Thanksgiving...usually reserved for leaf raking, soup making and Christmas decorations.  For some reason, maybe the new, ultra-powerful leaf-blower that Shane "had to have", the yard was leaf-free before the sun went down.  As a matter of fact, it was cleared by lunch...before my mom and I got to the Christmas stuff.  Rather than relax, read the paper, or nap, we decided to pack up the whole gang and head out to the museum.

We got there with only an hour and a half to enjoy it (they were closing early for some reason), but a good time was had by all:

Shane had a good time admiring the exhibits too:

But by far, the biggest hit for Ava was the sand...

...she found it everywhere and played in it FOREVER...

I'm not sure we'll be going back, $10/kid is a bit much for the experience.  But it wore the gang out, that's what's important.  Also note: all the children were bathed and "disinfected" upon the return home.  Shane even went as far as washing down the kids' hands and faces before we drove out of the parking lot!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Knights

I love Thanksgiving.  Good food.  Good family.  Good football.  Great traditions!

We've hosted Thanksgiving for over 10 years, now.  It started way back in the townhouse when Mom and Dad lived in Illinois and would come east for the weekend.  Then we had our house, and "kids", and the guest list grew...and grew.  This year, we had 10 adults, 8 kids, and a dog.  Not bad considering 5 of those kids were mine!

Along the lines of tradition, Mom and Dad (Christgau) came down on Wednesday to help "prepare" for the day.  Zoe and I hung the "Thanksgiving Poster" for guests to write what their thankful for.  And Granddad took Zoe and Ty into Manhattan to visit his brother and sister and their families on Thanksgiving morning.  (That's always a huge hit with the kids.  They love the city and think they're so cool when they get to walk around and see the big buildings.)

(I love that the posters are getting less and less "doodley".  Sure, there are still 5 and 7 year olds that draw a few Spidermans and "Crazy Guys", but still...)

Nana and PopPop Higby had a special surprise for the big grand-boys this year.  PopPop had been working on swords for the boys for QUITE some time.  The boys were very excited.  But he and Nana added to the gift when they presented the swords to the boys on Thanksgiving.

First, Sam, Ty and Noah had to line up and stand still while they were given some helmets.

Then, PopPop began to read...

Be it known that on this day, Thanksgiving Day, November 26th in the year of our LORD Two Thousand and Nine that Sirs Samuel Michael Higby, Noah David Higby and Ty Douglas Higby are Knighted as Defenders of the Faith in the Kingdom of God under the Lordship of our LORD Jesus Christ, given great power through the life of the Holy Spirit within them.

Take these helmets, which represent the salvation which our LORD God has provided for us through His one and only Son, and these shields of faith by with which you are able to extinguish every sort of trick the enemy of our souls will hurl at you...

...and these swords, which represent the living Word of God.  Use them wisely, to protect yourselves and the ones you love.

Be strong in your LORD, and in His mighty power.  Stand your ground.  Stand firm with the armor and weapon the LORD gave.  Be strong and very courages.  Be careful to obey all the law the LORD your God has given you; do not turn from it to the right or the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  Do not let the Word of God depart from your mouth: think abou it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything it tells you.  Then you wil be prosperous and successful.  Be strong and courageous. Don not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.  He will never leave you or turn is back on you.

Sammy, Noah and Ty - you are hereby entrusted as defenders of our faith on this most happy day of Two Thousand and Nine.

The boys LOVED their Knighthood.  I wish I had video'ed the knight-hood.  Ty gasped and "ooooh'ed" and "aaaaaaaaaah'ed".  His smile was bigger than I'd seen in quite some time (if ever).  He thought this was the best thing...ever!  We didn't see the boys most of the day.  The treehouse became Zoe's castle and they spent the afternoon defending her from innumerable dragons and "bad guys".

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Chapel

Despite all the efforts of the flu and strep throat, the 2nd graders at ECES were able to pull off enough practice time to put together a wonderful Thanksgiving Chapel on Tuesday.  For awhile there, we thought it was going to be a "review" chapel to be held AFTER Thanksgiving, since a good chunk of each of the classes were out sick.  But tradition won and the school and parents were entertained with a great presentation of the Thanksgiving story.

Little Miss Zoe did a great job with her line...
"It is November 9, 1620 when the Pilgrims land at Cape Cod, Massachusetts."
Hmmmm...interesting...I always thought they landed at Plymouth Rock...

Thank you, Miss Hulsebos!  You did a great job on your first chapel!  Thanks for helping our kids do their best.

Monday, November 23, 2009

NICU Reunion 2009

Has it really been a month since we went to the NICU reunion?
It was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back on October 25th!
That's not because it wasn't fun!
Once a year, The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, where the triplets were born, has a reunion for any of the babies that had to stay there.  Last year, was our first year attending. It was fun, but our gang was a bit young and couldn't fully enjoy it.  PLUS, our main nurse, Cathy, wasn't there.
This year, the "babies" were so into it!


(Eli wasn't a big fan...)

Snacks (and even their first ever CapriSuns)...

and Pumpkin Coloring...

Halloween Costumes were optional.  And it was so fun to see some of the "sets".  These were my favorites:

In case you can't read their cartoon bubbles, they say: "I'm a Mac..." and "I'm a PC..."  So creative!  We, however, went subtle with the Rock, Paper, Scissors shirts (thanks Pam!)

And of course...before we left...we got to see Nurse Cathy!

She remembered each triplet...and knew their names.  We laughed about how she pegged their personalities from the start!  It was so good to spend some time with her and letting her know how well the babies have done.

A good great time was had by all!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Football Season's Over

I know...technically it's not.  The Superbowl's not until February 7, 2010, but the Ramsey (Flag Football) Cowboys are done. Ty loved playing.  He started off pretty shy and wouldn't let me leave, but by the end of the season, he was jumping out of the car and running up to the field leaving me in the dust.

The highlight of the season was the final Monday Night Game under the lights up at the "big boy's field" (MacFarren Field). The whole family went...even the babies.  And Aunt Roo was in from MD, so she and PopPop came too.  Each player was announced over the PA System and they ran on the field as the Monday Night Football Theme Song played in the background.  To top off a great night, Ty scored his first (and only) touchdown!  I was a bit worried that the Refs would throw a flag on the "excessive celebration".  One of his teammates actually picked him up...then they all took turns spiking the ball!

Trophy Day was supposed to be Halloween, but with all the rain, they postponed a week to November 7th.

Thank you so much, to the coaches.  They were great with the boys: Stern, yet fun.  They made sure each of the boys carried the ball at least once each game.  The made a huge committment and really sacrificed to show up every Saturday at 8:30a (even after a late night at the Bruce concert) and again on Monday nights meant a lot.  So thanks Coach Mike, Coach Kevin and Coach Doug for a great season and a great introduction to "town sports".

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Our Little Violinist

We're a pretty musical that we like to LISTEN to music. Sure, Shane plays the drums, but is that really MUSIC?

When I was little, I played the piano. I can remember practicing...although I don't remember dreading it...and I don't remember when I stopped...or why (I'm sure my mom would say that's "selective memory" and she'd be more than happy to fill in those details, though.)

This year, Zoe's school offers optional violin to her grade level. I was slightly shocked when she said she wanted to participate. Really? Violin? I told her she had to ask her father. His response was, "if you like hearing 'eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee', then sure!" She laughed and laughed...and signed up. Even when the teacher called and said there'd be a chance that Zoe would miss her lunch recess every Wednesday so she could have class, Zoe was still gung-ho. Mrs. Clark's only request is that kids stick with the violin for the whole year.

Confession time: In Junior High and High School, I played the clarinet. And I'll let you in on a little known secret: I was a Bando! Yup...Did Marching Band for 2 years. But seriously, it was a bit too hard core for me (we practiced after school 2-3 times a week, competed on the weekends, went away for a week in the summer and even practiced in the freezing night...for hours on end). And since I liked having a life (and the ability to feel my fingers) I remember quitting. Yes, QUITTING! Don't tell my kids...they aren't allowed to quit anything. Ever. But Zoe assured me that she was "committed".

Thankfully, 2nd grade violin isn't quite as hard-core as Marching Band. Zoe is required to practice a minimum of 4x/week @ 10 min/practice. I can handle that. The first week Zoe had her violin, She practiced everyday. And the only thing she had to do was practice the proper way to take it out of the case, the proper way to hold it, and the parts of the violin. So for 10 minutes every day, Zoe would take the violin out, "feet together, unzip, violin foot back, statue of violin, deep breath in, come in for a landing".

By week 3, they were practicing rhythms and "Mississippi Hot Dog" got very annoying...very quickly.

Now, 8 weeks in, I'm proud to say, She can successfully play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"...sort of.

Last week, while watching the CMA's, I quick ran upstairs and grabbed Zoe to watch The Zac Brown Band play "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". (I'm aware this song isn't the greatest and has some questionable lyrics and even a swear word...I muted it...she was too dumbfounded by the speed at which the boy played to actually listen to the song).

She REALLY likes her violin.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Weekend Away

An entire weekend away...Friday afternoon until early Sunday evening.  By myself.  Well.  Not exactly...there were about 40 other crazy scrapbookers there.

Yes, I went away to scrapbook for the weekend.  I know, I know.  To many of you, that seems bizarre...maybe even boring.  But not to me.  Aside from the fact that I was kid-free for over 48 hours, I got my own bed!

The next question you all are going to ask, I'm sure, is "who had the kids?"  Why, their other parent, of course: Shane!  He managed just fine.  His mom came and helped Saturday during bathtime...which is crazy even with 2 adults...but other than that, it was just him...and Zoe (come on...we all know she thought she was in charge).  Aside from some crayon on the walls and a few unmade beds, the house looked great when I got home.  Shane even made it to church with all 5 kids!  About 15 minutes before service started, I got a text that said, "On my way to church".  No sooner had I written back that I was impressed, than I got another text, "And now we're on our way home to get the diaper bag!"  At least we know that Super Dad isn't perfect! 

I'd post pictures of the weekend, but I didn't bring my camera.  Okay, that's a lie.  I did.  But I didn't wear makeup most of the weekend, so I don't want to post pictures of me! are a few of my favorite pages.  Don't get too hung up on how young Zoe looks in the pictures.  I'm behind.  FAR behind!  As in "2nd-grader-Zoe-just-started-preschool-in-her-book" behind.

I had some fun being creative in how I cut pictures...

I even got creative with an exacto!

Please ignore the 1974 picture of a little girl with a bowl cut and her Dad next her with a matching one.  That's DEFINITELY not me...don't even ask if it is!

Some close-ups of my exacto work...

And my ALL TIME favorite idea of the S'mores title!

See...I told you Zoe made it to pre-school before the weekend ended:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cole's Latest Hobby

Who said, "The bigger they are, the harder they fall?"  Can I change it up a little and say, "The bigger they are, the more challenging they are"?

Cole was the biggest (triplet) from the start at 5.3 lbs. :

(That's him in the middle)

And it's not that shocking that he's STILL the biggest:

He is the worst sleeper and he wakes up loud!  He can be a bully and a steam-roller...throwing his weight around to get the toy he wants.  He spends the most time in "time out" for climbing and touching "no-no's".  He's also the most emotional...such a big baby!  Tell him "no" and the boo-boo lip comes out.

But, by far, the most annoying habit of Cole's is his new hobby at bedtime...

Yup!  He takes off his PJs, removes his diaper, and wets his crib.  Say it with me, "FUUUUUUUN for Mommy!"  I mean, I'm not doing anything all day, I'd love to change crib sheets everyday!

Well...I best-ed him...

Hee hee hee...backwards pajamas!