Wednesday, July 29, 2009

B-L-U-E Blue!!

La, la, la la, la la, la la la la la (think Smurf's theme song!). Today was BLUE day!!! No big shocker following Red day last week. I hadn't intended to do a day each week, but these have been some of our most laid back weeks of the summer (which I am loving) so it was a great time to mix things up with another fun color day. Plus I just love having something to plot and plan for.
Did you know there are no blue foods, seriously other than blueberries try to think of one?? Apparently blue is an appetite suppressant, and God knew that. And after creating some interesting blue foods today I can see why! Yikes. So, we had to rely heavily on our pal Mr. food coloring but blue did not deter my guys one bit from cleaning their plates :).

We started off with a Blue breakfast including a blueberry Nutrigrain bar, blueberry frosted Mini-wheats (you can't tell but the icing has a hint of blue) with a glass of blue milk!!
Although I originally had Wyatt in mind for these color days, Stacey has LOVED it and was VERY excited to wake up and find it was Blue Day. He couldn't wait to get his paint on (apparently we don't do enough painting) so after breakfast we went straight to the easel. Stacey traced the word blue all by himself.
And Wyatt, well he painted himself.
Then we took baths, Blue baths of course with Blue bath markers and only Blue toys. It was probably about 9:00 in the morning, but when you paint right after breakfast you do what you gotta do.

Then we played an impromptu game of "Bring Me Something Blue" I know the creativity is really at an all time high. But, the boys loved it and were very proud of their pile. III thought he was hi-larious adding his underwear to the mix, and Wyatt was just lucky to have something in the right color family.
Then the boys colored their "Blue Things" booklets.

I think he was going for an acid wash on those jeans.
Then we made blue pallets (I have boys so that was pretty simple) and watched:
How perfect is that for Blue Day! We just happen to have this one Blue's Clues video all about colors and we haven't watched it in forever so it was like new.
Then the boys painted bread with blue milk. I had read about this crafty snack on Make & Takes a long time ago and actually thought it sounded kind-of gross, but they LOVED it and it was just what we needed for our Blue lunch. You toast the bread so it isn't soggy like I and you might be imagining.
Lunch consisted of a Blue PB & honey, Blue yogurt (thanks Yo-plait Kids for your bright unnatural color selections), blueberries, blue corn tortilla chips and a Blue box drink.

Before naps Stacey spelled out B-L-U-E with all the blue cars and trains.
After naps the boys were cranks, but we managed to enjoy a snack of blue jello that we made earlier in the day, glue blue foam pieces on the letters B L U E, and play a few games with the mini-parachute. I'd sing a song and then call out a color for them to jump on. Wyatt showed the most promise in this activity by correctly sitting on each color, so we're making a little progress (emphasis on little).
Finally, we sat down to our Blue dinner (see what I mean about unappetizing) - WOW!!!
This part was yummy :)
The boys had Blue mac & cheese and Blue applesauce with a Blue cream soda. We used the paintings for placements and the leftover foam for confetti. As you can see it was gorgeous! well at least VERY Blue.
And we couldn't have Blue day without some BLUEbell - tee hee :). I had Dad pick it up on the way home and it was the perfect ending to our blue day...topped with Blue M&M's of course.
Just as a little dose of reality I think I should include that most of these activities last about one to five minutes with a 2 & 4 year old, which is why we were able to do so many!! OK OK we might have had a piece of very non blue cheese with the jello snack - are you happy now! Blue is supposed to be a calming color but I'm exhausted. :) Stacey ended the night entertaining the boys with hide and seek so I could put my feet up...well, actually I was blogging this.

Everybody now...
B-L-U-E spells blue
B-L-U-E spells blue
Hi-ho did you know, B-L-U-E spells blue
The big sky is blue, the ocean is too
Hi-ho did you know, B-L-U-E spells blue.
(to the tune of the Farmer & The Dell)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

To Serve or Be Served

When I first started staying home with the boys after Wyatt was born, I was so grateful to be a stay at home Mom that the mundane dailiness of my life stage rarely bothered me. I LOVED getting to be home with my boys and having spent almost two years trying to balance working and taking care of Stacey III (I got to have him with me at work, but it was still challenging) I knew full well the privilege and gift it was to GET to be at home and could easily shake off thoughts of, "what about me?" and "it's not fairs" that would try to creep in.

I'm not sure if it is that I am a little more removed from that place of gratitude or if it is just the current challenges of my boys or perhaps Satan just trying that much harder to discourage me (probably a combo of all three and other things I haven't even thought of) but those little thoughts and attitudes have taken up residence and rear their ugly heads WAY to often.

A few weeks ago after a rough day with the boys and at the very end of my (often very short) rope I stumbled upon a blog post about service. I don't know the blogger and I don't know exactly how I ended up on her blog, but her words were a huge encouragement and challenge to me.

The bottom line was this, I don't want to serve I want to be served. I don't want to discipline, explain, repeat myself, pick up Lighting McQueen and his 100 man posse, clean yogurt off the floor, change diapers etc. I would however like to check my email, put my feet up and watch my DVRed SYTYCD, work out, run errands with ease and play without having to referee. I don't want to serve I want to be served. Pretty simple but a serious battle that I find myself fighting these days.

Don't get me wrong I LOVE being a Mother and consider it my life's greatest gift, I know my boys will be men in a blink and try to cherish every precious minute I have with them I also would NEVER want to trade my life with them for a life of leisure, but some days those facts get buried under my selfishness.

I've been doing Beth Moore's Esther study this summer and enjoyed the powerful story of Christ's transformation of the Jew's mourning, fasting weeping and wailing to happiness, joy, gladness and honor. Likewise, I am praying that He will continue to turn my selfishness into service as I daily submit myself to His service!!

Christ was the ultimate example of a servant and I know that by serving my little monkeys, even in the most mundane of activities, I am serving Him. So tomorrow when I am picking up Lightning McQueen and his fraternity of friends (as I inevitably will be doing) I'm going to be happily serving my Savior instead of cursing Cars and daydreaming of the next minute I get for me. :)

Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done; He came to serve, not to be served-and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage."
Matthew 10:44-45 The Message

Sleep Study

My boys are alike in so many ways but they are as different as night and day in others.

Speaking of night (see how I made that smooth transition ;), Stacey's entourage of sleep aids is at an all time high. He has the original blankie and Douglas (a silky white blanket and puppy lovie from his baby days), Goofy (added a few months ago, probably around the time we started hyping Disney for our upcoming trip), and most recently his new Cars sleeping bag and little pillow that Kacey and Josh gave him for his birthday. The gang has gotten a little out of control, especially when he gets the urge to lug them all out of his bed and somewhere else around the house.
Wyatt on the other hand needs nada. He has a blanket that he will occasionally ask for as a stall tactic or just to copy the group if everyone else has one but usually he is all by his sweet self when it is time for bed.

Perhaps that is why he seems to be conducting an experiment to see how much of the bed he can actually utilize each night and sleeps in crazy positions. Or, maybe that is why he likes to come sneak into our room at night seeking his favorite lovie - ME!! Except he has a strange way of showing his affection, typically involving uncannily strong flying fists and feet that could easily make it in the MMA. While Stacey and his band-o-brothers stay mummified in the exact same spot all night.
I love these boys - quirky, crazy, calm or violent sleep habits and all.

Yes, my son has a Dora cup in this picture, don't worry it was smuggled from Brylie's house...that said I can't deny his affection for the sassy Spanish explorer.

Sweet Dreams!

Friday, July 24, 2009


A black dress Ann? A Blue Dress Ann? No, Ann Likes Red. "Ann Likes Red" was one of my favorite books when I was little about a girl who went shopping for a dress, belt, shoes, purse etc. (this may have been why I loved it) and no matter what options they gave her she always chose red. Yesterday we declared it RED DAY at the Smith casa and I couldn't help but think fondly of Miss Ann.

As a disclaimer I must say that this idea is in NO way original, rather copied from several more creative mommies who have blazed the color day trail. But I've been thinking it would be something fun to do this summer to try and help Wyatt learn his colors and yesterday was the day.
We started with a Red breakfast on a Red plate with yogurt, bacon and strawberry jam on toast. III informed me that the yogurt was really more pinkish and the bacon was really more brownish, but he was willing to let is slide in order to help Wyatt learn his colors. We focused more on how to spell and write R-E-D with smarty pants.
Then I let the boys pick out whatever Red clothing they wanted, and we took our Red on the road to the park.

I was a little concerned that some might question my choice of Red on clashing Red now that we were out in public, but was relieved when we spotted a mow-hawked 10 year old with an unfortunate sock and sandal combo and another child with a confusing side rat tail that I decided trumped our clashing clothing.

Brylie and Nannie joined us at the park too!!!
Nannie brought a perfectly appropriate snack for Red day, strawberries!! And what better way to cool off on Red day than with a giant Red Gatorade. :)
We forwent our previously planned Red lunch for a lunch out celebrating Kimberleigh's 13th b-day!!! But after naps went back into the Red zone with some Red painting activities.

Red spray paint on a sheet,
Red temper paint on paper,
And a finale of Red pudding paint on themselves...well, a little painting and a little snacking.
All that artistry (and previously accumulated sand from the park) called for a serious bath, with Red toys and brand new Red bath markers.
For dinner it was R-E-D pizza and Red applesauce.
Yummy :)
After dinner we got a ding-dong at the door and a package from UPS. What could it be?? Stacey's very own spiderman costume!!!! The Brown's ordered it for Stacey's birthday and had it delivered directly to our house, so he had been anticipating its arrival. Just FYI if you've ever worried about ordering a birthday gift and not having it there on time - no worries!! It was really fun for him to look forward to it and then get it a few days later! Thanks Landon, Reagan & Payton.

Stacey said, "Mom this is my very own costume at my very own house and I can wear it every day!" And I am sure he will. He has also asked me to please address him as spiderman when he is in costume, but said just Stacey is OK when he isn't. Thanks Dude.
Thankfully Spidy is Red so this is how we wrapped up the day. Mentor and Mentee reading a color book. I'm not sure if Wyatt could pick out Red in a line up any better than he could have two days ago, but it was a fun day nonetheless.
R-E-D Red, R-E-D- Red, I know how to spell Red, I know how to spell Red, Firetrucks are Red, Stop Signs are Red Too, R-E-D, R-E-D. :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!!

On Sunday we celebrated Stacey's 4th birthday with a Cars party at the Little Gym.

Sadly, my days of picking the theme for his parties are behind me. :( He insisted that a Lightning McQueen party was the ONLY way to go so after dragging my feet a little I embraced the theme and ran with it.

We don't really have anywhere in the house to stash stuff, so for the past couple of months there has been a box by my night stand slowly accumulating party supplies, decorations, favors etc. Stacey knew everything in it was for his party and would walk into our room and inspect it regularly and and comment, "yep, those are the favors for my party" or "Wyatt, that's for my Cars party - OK, we're not going to play with it now," or "we're going to use that at my bertday party, right Mom?!" Then he started seeing Cars stuff when we were out and about and would say, "Mom, that would be perfect for my party!" The apple doesn't fall too far from the party planning tree. :)

I think all that anticipation just made the party that much more fun! We had one happy camper on our hands.

The Little Gym puts on a GREAT party and kept all the kids from 2-5 years old thoroughly entertained!! My action shot pictures don't really do it justice, but they parachuted (Stacey got to sit in the middle while everyone sang Happy Birthday),
ran, balanced (thanks for the hand Honey!),
inflated, jumped
shot, scored,
chased bubbles and so much more.
And even better than all the fun activities were all the fun friends we got to celebrate with!! Check out these precious partiers (you can double click to enlarge the collages)!
And would you believe even Lightning himself (or at least the closest thing Mommy could come up with), made a pit stop at the party!!
What a crew!! As you can imagine we took about 20 of these all that are some variation of this :)
After so much nonstop activity it was time to refuel with Fillmore's Organic Fuel (water), Antifreeze Frosties and birthday cake!

Not sure why, but I feel the need to clarify that the cake wasn't exactly what I thought I ordered. I went with a generic Kroger b-day cake this year - a first for me. But, I figured anything I tried to create with such specific characters would end up resembling Lighting McQueen's slower, red neck sibling than the character himself. However, the generic Kroger cupcake cake that I picked out was a totally different scene and SO much cuter than this one...? Of course III just loved that his besties McQueen and Mater were on it so there was no love lost.
Wonder what that little four year old wished for?
It was a great day and we LOVE it when all (well a lot) of our friends and families are all in one place! We just wish it wasn't over so soon.
After the par-tay we went home and opened presents with Mr. McQueen. WOW, Thanks for all the great gifts!
Stacey I have had a blast planning your party with you and can't wait until we get to do it again next year!!
How old do you think he'll be before he refuses this signature birthday picture?