Monday, December 02, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

The past several months have been a sort of blur...honestly, it's been a challenging time.  Adam got laid off from his job of seven years the beginning of October.  It was not done in a respectful way and it took some time for us (maybe just me, really) to accept it.  He's been trying so hard to find another job, but can't seem to get anywhere.  Even part-time, retail jobs aren't working out.  It's extremely discouraging (and scary) to see the days and weeks and months go by with nothing to show for it.  And now, with Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, we've accepted that nothing will probably happen until the new year, though he continues to apply to everything and anything.  We have seen God's love and provision throughout, and have been so grateful for that.  And I consider it nothing less than God's grace that we're holding together so well (me, especially, since minor breakdowns aren't a foreign thing for me!)  Prayers are definitely needed, please.

But despite the lack of income thing, it has been nice having him around.  I've been picking up extra work, so it's been helpful to have him play with the kids.  The kids are loving it--Lennon is never apart from Adam's side, his favorite place to be. 
 One of Lennon's silly faces and poses, a new pastime of his, that his sister is picking up on as well!
 Tesla is a I'm sure I've stated before, but she is all over the map.  Happy and giggling one second, and then giving you this "death glare," as we affectionately call it, the very next second.
....And then there's this sweet, melt-your-heart face.  She's a smart one and definitely knows how to play her cards right...
Tesla loves the camera--and because Tesla loves the camera, now Lennon loves the camera  But they seem to feed off of each others' silliness and these are usually their default smiles for the camera.  We have to sneak the camera away because Tesla will cry every time we put the camera down. 
We convinced my parents to come out the beginning of October, and it just so happened that it was going to be my mom's 60th birthday while they were here, so on the morning of their arrival, we brought out the paper and paints and made a giant birthday card:
...followed by a bath....
The banner was a hit, and Tesla's birthday cuddles didn't hurt either:
Lennon helping opening presents, while Tesla tried to eat some of the presents!
We stayed put for her birthday, but we did have a small party that night, with Adam's parents coming over.  And it just so happened that Patti was also in town visiting another friend, so we got to spend a couple days with her!
Lennon loved having Aunt Patti visit.  She brought him a Buzz Lightyear movie that he has to watch  He talks about watching it like it's his duty, "I haven't watched Buzz Lightyear yet today, I better go down and watch it," he'll say!
As always, Grandma and Grandpa's visit passed by too fast, but we had a great time with them.
On their last day in town, my mom and I took the kids on the Hammond's Candy tour--so much fun!
Lennon is looking as he should, like a kid in a candy store!!
It was nice saying goodbye to them knowing that we'd would be back in Wisconsin for Christmas in just two months.
After they left, we had one more birthday to celebrate...Dad's!
We took advantage of a warm fall day and used a groupon for mini golf that Lennon had been talking about for months.  He took his game very seriously.  On the way home, he asked when we could go play real golf.  We said when he got older (which to him, older means when he starts kindergarten).  I said maybe he could play it as a sport in school, if he still wanted to, and he immediately cut in and said, "I will!"  Somehow, golf seems to fit his introverted personality well.
Tesla also got into mini-golf.  But she mostly liked to go around pick up the golf balls...that, unfortunately, were still in play!
Lennon stated months ago that he wanted to be an astronaut for Halloween and that he wanted his sister to be an alien--I think their costumes turned out great (though Tesla got mistaken for a monster and a bug several times, but oh well, she was cute nonetheless).
Aunt Patti brought them some pumpkin stickers, so they painted their pumpkins, while I only had to carve one pumpkin, which I appreciated.
Trick-or-Treating with the Dow's--it was really cold this year, the coldest it's been since the kids have been trick-or-treating.  We don't know if it was because we were in a new neighborhood or if it was because of the cold, but people were giving them huge handfuls of good candy!
I feel like Tesla understood the candy thing much more than Lennon did at her age (probably because Tesla has consumed much more candy than Lennon ever did at her age).
Lennon has a hard time when he gets really cold.  We were a couple blocks away from the house when the weather was starting to get to him, so to speed things up, Adam carried him.
Combining two of Tesla's favorite things:  books and animals:

Saturday, September 07, 2013

End of Summer

Adam went back to school on August 8th (though the students didn't start until the 19th) and it seemed like we crammed everything into the last week of his summer vacation.  We went to the Nature & Science Museum--there we went to the Planetarium and the to an I-MAX movie on sharks.  Both kids had a great time.  We saw a Sesame Street movie at the planetarium, so it wasn't as much motion within the show, which is what Lennon struggled with the last time we went.  The shark movie was really interesting, though it started out ominous with the Jaws music, so I was worried that it was going to be too suspenseful for the kids, but it wasn't at all (and both of them fell asleep the last 5-10 minutes).
Heritage Square
The next day we went to Heritage Square because Lennon got some ride tickets for doing the summer reading program at the library.  We thought we would stay for an hour or so, not knowing how Lennon would like all the amusement rides, but we ended up getting wristbands and staying for 6 hours!!

The ride he rode the most was the Tilt-a-Whirl.  He alternated between riding with me or with Adam (though he did say he liked going with me better, because I made it spin faster!) He loved going fast--which surprised both Adam and I, but he kept saying, "I want it to go really, really, really fast!" The banana ride wasn't as fast or exciting, but he loved that he could control going up or down.
Tesla fell asleep amidst all the excitement..mid-graham cracker bite!
 Teacups & riding the Ferris Wheel with Dad--he waved and yelled, "Hi Mama!" every time he went around.
 The dragon ride was his other favorite--we probably rode it 6 or 7 times in a row.  It was a mini roller-coaster and he loved it!  Most of the time he had his arms raised in the air! 
Lennon has some strange connection with the people that were running the rides.  Other kids would wave to their parents....not Lennon, he would wave to the employees.  When he was riding the swings, he was doing this hilarious head nod and would sometimes tip his hat to the lady who was running it!  Unfortunately, the attendants weren't really paying much attention to him, so he never got his gestures reciprocated.
Mom & Lennon Date...Rockies Game!
Two ladies in one of my water aerobics classes had 2 spare tickets for a Rockies game one afternoon.  Adam was already back in school so that eliminated the option of a date.  I asked Lennon if he wanted to go to the baseball game with me and that we would ride the train (light-rail) downtown--he was all on board with the game, but the second I mentioned riding the train, it was done deal--we had a date!

He was so very excited about riding the train--the West Line opened the end of April and we haven't ever had a reason to take the train downtown (since we usually park in my office parking garage downtown).  Here he is, waiting for the train to come and then on the train, which he still talks about every time we pass the tracks:
Lennon always does really well at baseball games and he pays attention to what's going on.  We lasted the entire game, which was thankfully a shorter game:  2.5 hrs.  I made sure to have a full arsenal of snacks with me, which made all the difference...we won, by the way!
Our Graceful Little Girl
Tesla hasn't been the most graceful of babies lately.  Two weeks in a row she got pretty banged up--a black eye and a check gash.  Now, I know this may not seem like a big deal, but let me remind you that Lennon has never gotten this banged up in all of his 4 years.  I'm pretty sure that she was going through a growth spurt during that month surrounding the accidents because she seems to be in a little more control of her least I hope it was just a phase!   The black eye happened when she slipped on a book or toy on the floor (you'd think she would be used to having things covering the floor) and she fell, eye first, into one of our green, upholstered arm chairs.  Her eye swelled up immediately.  These pictures don't really do it justice...
About a week later (just when her black eye went away) she was playfully running to and from the living room and kitchen.  The final time, instead of turning the corner to go into the living room, she ran, full speed, into either the corner of the wall or the corner of the bookcase.  Again, it swelled up immediately.

 I realized how much Tesla loves the camera when I went to document her gash, which looked so much better after an hour or so.  I felt like I was at a photo shoot--she would run to one place, making sure I was following her, and then would stop and strike a pose.  I tried to put the camera away many times and she would begin to cry.  She then would go immediately from her cry to her playful giggle, continuing to play for the camera!
Brother and Sister...Love?
Lennon and Tesla are playing together more and more, which may be because Tesla can keep up and Lennon is having a hard time dodging her!  They are hot and cold together, one moment they're both giggling and then next moment I hear Tesla's high-pitch, god-awful screech or Lennon yelling, 'No!'
Here's a video that shows how Tesla plays to the camera...
THIS is what happens when Tesla doesn't get her way...annoying. She learned to scream from her cousin, Jordon, who really doesn't screech all the often, but it only took one bad day, well over a month ago, for him to do it and Tesla claimed it as her own.  One of the things Tesla hates sharing the most is me.  Lennon has picked up on this hot button of hers and I swear he cuddles more with me, just to get a rise out of her.  Tesla is usually fine until Lennon crawls into my lap and then she loses it.  The other day, I was cuddling with Lennon and Tesla came up immediately, so I picked her up, thinking she would be content if I was holding both of them....wrong. She started pushing Lennon off my lap and even resorted to head butting him--needless to say, she lost her lap-cuddling privileges.
I usually put Tesla's carseat upstairs so it's out of the way, but it becomes a toy when I leave it downstairs--for both Lennon and Tesla.  This time, Lennon crawled in the carseat while he was watching Magic School Bus (his new favorite show).  Tesla will climb in and play with the handle toys (toys she never actually plays with while she's in the carseat for real).
 The other night Tesla was a little too quite, so Adam went to check on her and found her hanging out in her shoe bin!
Lennon has a strider, peddle-less bike that he cruises on.  It's one of the few times his adventurous spirit comes out.  When we go to the playground across the street, there is a sidewalk that goes down a big hill, which he flies down because it's paved.  However, we realized when he started going down that hill that he's ready for a regular with brakes.  Here he is going down the hills by the pond near our house.  Those strider bikes are great because he has amazing balance now--they take the place of training wheels on bikes.
One more little (but awesome) story to show how clever Lennon is--and a prime example of how he has surpassed us...Lennon can get his own water.  His cups are in a drawer at his level and he's tall enough to get the water from the fridge.  However, it's the one thing he hates to do, which we don't understand at all.  So when he asks us to get him water, we say if he wants it right now, he'll have to get it himself, otherwise he'll have to wait until we go into the kitchen next, whenever that will be.  This one particular time, Lennon called to Adam (from the kitchen!) and asked Adam to get him some water.  Adam pointed out that Lennon was in the kitchen and for him to get it himself.  Lennon, predictably, refused, so Adam said he would have to wait.  A few minutes went by, Adam continued to read his book, and Lennon calls out, smoothly, "Hey Dad, come here for a second." Adam, not thinking anything of it, walked into the kitchen.  Lennon, again, oh so smoothly, said, "well now that you're in here, can you get me some water." We couldn't help but bust out laughing, and Adam responded, "Well played, Lennon; well played."