Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More September Moments...

September rang in the official start of football season, our last month with our water toys outside, first words, Grandma's birthday and the boys continuing to get older and older. The following are a few memorable pictures that did not make another post during the month.

This picture of Jared perfectly captures his personality. Jared is by far the most introverted of the boys. He is frequently found playing by himself while Andrew and Wes are screaming and running around the house. He likes to build with blocks and has an amazing focus while trying to figure out how things work or fit together. His new obsession is trying to get the end of the strap into the clasp. I can already see him working on 'projects' with his Daddy...
Now, this picture captures Andrew's personality. He is definitely the clown of the bunch. He loves to be loud and funny! His laugh and giggle is infectious. Jared may wake up first in the morning but you would never know it. However, the second Andrew wakes up, there is no mistaking, it is time to start the day. He will sing, chatter and laugh over the monitor. Hearing him in the morning is the best way to start the day. Here he is getting stuck under the table... silly boy...
This picture shows off Murray's personality. He is so laid back and really lets the boys do whatever to him without complaint. The boys love Murray...
Last but not least, Wesley. Wesley is our wild child that has no fear but is also very mischievous. He loves to dance, laugh but don't worry he is not all tough. He loves to drink his milk and cuddle while I am running my fingers through his hair. He is becoming our responsible little boy by helping out. He acts like he is older and he is helping out with the 'babies.' I love his mischievous little face in this picture...
September marked the end of our backyard water times. The bathing suits are getting retired until Spring. I love this pic that Daddy took of the boys during one of their last wet backyard adventures. We sure enjoyed our summer outside with the boys!!! However, the joy of living in Florida, we can still play outside all Fall and Winter but just not with water.
Our creatures of habit! Our lives can best be described with a comparison to the movie "Groundhogs Day." Our routine and schedule is the key to our smooth lives with the boys. The routine and schedule is the same no matter where we are but the events in between may change. Each night, we put the boys into their jammies and then they get their evening sippy of milk. Sometimes if we do not serve the milk fast enough, the boys like to remind us of what comes next. This picture shows the boys gathering at the fridge and trying to get their own milk...
The end tables remain our main nemesis. The only real thing that gets the boys into trouble is climbing on the end tables. It seems the more we tell them no, the more they love the tables. Here is Jared showing exactly how much he loves the glass end tables...
Don't worry, he was swiftly removed after the picture and reminded of how inappropriate this behavior is. After this reminder, he quickly forgot again... and again... and again.... sigh!

Well, this officially brings September to a close on the blog. Bring on October!

Take care,

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Grandma's Birthday Weekend

It's time for Grandma Sally's birthday celebration. The best gift we can really offer is to bring some Darnell toddler fun to Brandon. So, we loaded up the truck and we all headed down to visit Grandma for the weekend! We had a wonderful time visiting with Grandma and other family as well as cheering on our favorite football team, the Bucs! Our pictures really tell the story of our weekend so without further adieu....

We have mentioned before that Jared looks just like his Daddy but what should also be fully expressed is how similar his personality is as well. This little apple did not fall far from the Daddy tree! Here are the "Two peas in a pod" enjoying some Popular Science...
On Saturday, we had a visit from my grandmother, Pooka, and her friend Al. I love watching Pooka (age 90) playing with the boys. Here she is playing on the stairs with Wes...
On football Sunday, we all woke up and got ready for some football!! Grandma has season tickets to the Buccaneer games and she attends them with my Aunt Joan. Aunt Joan was on a cruise in Greece so Grandma had a spare ticket. When we told her we were coming, we initially discussed leaving for home when she was leaving for the game. She countered and offered to give Mike and I the tickets to the game so she could spend more time with the boys on her birthday. So, on her birthday, we got tickets to the Bucs game.... ok.... Happy birthday to me... oops, I mean Grandma!!! Here is Grandma introducing the boys to Mickey Mouse...
Grandma gets a call from her sisters, Aunt Connie and Aunt Sue, to wish her a very Happy Birthday...
Jared sitting in Grandpa's seat. It just doesn't feel the same visiting without Grandpa sitting in his seat...
Wes points and says "HEY YOU!!!" We miss you Grandpa! I wonder what Grandpa would think about the mess the boys are making of the living room. Seriously, look at the toys in the background of this pic....
Andrew being silly...
The boys are getting better at navigating the portion of the stairs we can't block off with a gate. They can climb up with ease but are still working on the backing down. We had a couple tumbles but nothing we could not shake off and try try again...
Daddy + one...
Daddy + two...
Daddy + three...
My turn - Mommy + one...
Oh well, that's all we got... Mommy + one...
However, we were able to get a family shot, Mommy & Daddy + three, all watching Yo Gabba Gabba...
We departed, leaving Grandma alone with all the boys and we headed out to take in some Buccaneer football! Note - we were not planning to leave her alone with the boys but her 'helpers' did not arrive until the boys were napping.... how convenient!

At the stadium...
We were playing the NY Giants on this day. We actually managed to achieve a first down in the THIRD quarter! It was not an enjoyable game to watch but we enjoyed the stadium experience. I think my mother knew that Eli Manning would have his way with the Bucs and decided to fore go this pain by staying home with the boys... hmmmmm.... Don't I look happy...
Why is he smiling????
The good thing about the game was the Giants took mercy on us and ran the ball most of the game making it a very quick game. Also, because the majority of the Bucs fans did not stay until the end of the game, it was very easy to get out of the parking lot and we were back at Grandma's in no time flat!

When we arrived, Uncle Lance and Aunt Kim (the helpers) were there.

Aunt Kim and Jared...
Grandma and Andrew (aka - Mr. Cool)...
Grandma and Jared...
We all had a nice dinner and then we got the boys dressed in their jammies for the ride home. As we undressed Wesley, this is what we found. Can you see what is wrong with this picture???
Take a closer look....
Yep, your eyes are not deceiving you... his diaper is on backwards! It is so hard to find good help these days.. ha, ha!! This is an Aunt Kim special!! I still can't even figure out how she managed to get it on backwards. Wesley is quite the squirmer but this is very special.

Knowing what Aunt Kim did to his brother, Andrew watches Uncle Lance very closely to make sure he is doing the right thing...
Still concerned, he glanced up at me to get some reassurance. Don't worry honey, it's on the right way...
After the boys were dressed for bed, we loaded up in the truck and headed back home to Tally. We had a great weekend and I hope Grandma enjoyed her birthday weekend! I have said it before and I will say it again, I wish we lived closer...

Take care,

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Bucs Game at Beef O' Bradys

The Buccaneers were playing the Buffalo Bills today. Even though we live in Florida and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a Florida team, we do not get regular Bucs coverage on our local channels. They are typically not on TV because the Fox channel chooses to air the Atlanta Falcons but today, Fox chose a Movie.... seriously, a movie? Oh well, we wanted to see the game so we loaded up the boys and headed out to our local Beef O' Bradys. It was an exciting time with the boys but having to keep my eyes on the 6 little hands grabbing at everything left little time to actually watch the game. Also, the main game that they had sound for was not even the Bucs. Sigh.... Oh well, we had fun anyway! Here are some pics....

This is Andrew watching the game...
I think this picture says enough about how the game was going....
Wesley was a trooper and tried everything to help out our Bucs which included keeping his fingers crossed....
When I told him that it did not look like we were going to be able to pull this one out, this was his response.... I love my little die hard fan...
Jared on the other hand found playing with diaper wipes much more exciting than watching the game. He truly is his fathers "mini-me"...
Well, the Bucs lost the game 20-33 and this is Jared already kissing the season good-bye with 0-2 start. It's early in the year kid-o, don't give up hope just yet... .
One positive note of the day was a nice group photo of the boys. It is so hard to get one of them sitting still these days and I was pleased with this pic. I got the 'boys' these shirts when I was at Universal Studios for a work conference. I actually got the biggest Darnell boy a "Thing 4" shirt but I can't seem to get him to put it on....
It appears that it is going to be a long football season for both our NFL team, the Buccaneers, and our favorite college team, the Florida State Seminoles. The silver lining of this is the boys will learn to appreciate a win because it doesn't look like they are going to come easy for us!

Take care,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Additions to the Toy Box

With Summer coming to an end, we are met with rainy days and inclement weather. That creates a new challenge of keeping the boys busy while we are stuck in the house. They like to jump, so we need a trampoline of some sort. While browsing Amazon.com we found the Jump-O-Lene, and the tunnel. The Jump-O-Lene is huge, and pulls double duty as a "bounce house" and ball pit. We tried adding 200 balls, but they barely covered the bottom of the JOL. They suggested using at least 600 balls, but the boys enjoy throwing the balls out of the pit, so we might hold off on that for now. The tunnel is a big spring covered in parachute material, and it collapses flat for storage. There are velcro strips on each end, and can be attached to more tunnels or even a tent.

Jared was the first one to jump in.

Getting back out was more of a challange.

Wesley takes a break from jumping.

Jared crawls through the tunnel.

Pictures can't really illustrate how much fun the boys have with their new toys, so here is a video of Team Darnell in action!

video

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Individual Outings

We are enjoying our new lifestyle with Daddy assuming the job of Stay At Home Dad. He is doing a wonderful job with the boys. Mostly, I really enjoy having our weekends together as a family. An added benefit to being together on the weekends is the ability to spend some one on one time with the boys.

Daddy does the shopping for our family and he has started taking one of the boys with him to the store. So, the boys can now add Publix to the list of their experiences.

This is a picture of Mike and Andrew leaving on their morning adventure to Publix. Look at how thrilled Andrew looks. The boys know that when they put on shoes, something big is about to happen. The hardest part of these individual outings is to redirect the other two that were not taken out.
Here is a picture of the actual outing. Now, this is the face of a child who is having too much fun...
This is so typical Andrew. When he is out in public, he becomes expressionless. It is quite interesting because he is so expressive and humorous at home but once in public... stoic... he doesn't fuss but he does not crack a smile!
Don't worry, everyone gets a turn to go out on an outing. We rotate the boys so everyone gets a fair shake. Life is good!

Take care,