Thank you all for sharing in the lives of our three amazing children- Mairead, Jack, and Ben. We hope you visit often!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Some of my favorite things the kids say are things that I overhear.  Either on the monitor or when I am in the next room and they don't know I can hear them; they say the funniest and sweetest things.  When they are up in bed at night, we can hear them laughing and talking.  Sometimes, Mairead will tell them jokes.  Usually, the jokes make no sense, but all three laugh hysterically when she gets to the 'punchline.'  Or, she might tell them, "Hey, guys, I have some news for you," and then tell them about something that happened that day.

The kids have been sick recently and over the monitor, I heard Ben tell Mairead, "If you start coughing, I will tell Mom to help you."

They say so many cute things- I wish I could remember them all.  For example, Ben didn't want to go to school one day, so Jack told him not to worry, he would 'be-tect' (protect) him at school. 

The boys still play Batman and Robin all the time and they REALLY get into character.  Jack, in particular, imagines these elaborate scenarios and plays them out with gusto.  Since they watch the old Batman TV series with Adam West, they have picked up a bit of the vocabulary, too.  It makes me smile every time Jack says, "Let's go, old chum."  Recently, he was saying he was going to put handcuffs on the bad guys, but he says 'handcuffs' as 'hiccup.' 

Apparently, their Batman obsession has given us quite a reputation. We were at the 99 for a school fundraiser and the boys were, of course, wearing their capes. Our waitress told another family that Batman and Robin were at a one of the tables, and the mom knew it had to be us.

Jack is very sweet to his little brother and takes good care of him.  Jack is still clearly the boss... just ask him.  He recently knocked on the bathroom door until I came out and he told me, "Mom, I'm having a problem with Ben.  I need your help."  Turns out, the problem was that Ben did not want to put the Robin cape on.  Most of the time, though, they get along very well and it is so obvious how much they love each other.  They put their arms around one another, follow each other everywhere, and want to be together all the time. 

Christmas pictures are still to come, but Jack was so appreciative of gifts.  Mairead gave him a Bat-boat and he said, "I just love it Mairead!  I like it!  And I like you!"

Ben is a sensitive guy and says very sweet things.  He will comment on Christmas lights and say how pretty they are.  He tells me that he misses Mairead when she is at school.  We were talking about college, for some reason, and he asked if he would go to college one day.  I told him that he might go, and we talked about he could live there.  He then asked if he could bring his pillows and his blankets, to which I replied that he could.  He then asked, "Will you miss me when I go?  I will write you letters."  Talk about pulling at my heartstrings.  My mind flashed forward 15 years to when he and Jack leave for college, and I hoped that Ben does write me letters when he goes.  He told me last week that I am "the best mom in the whole neighborhood."  I'll take it.

Mairead is so fun lately.  She notices everything and takes everything in.  She is playing 'pretend' so much more.  Last week, she used my phone to take a video of toy cats and had a little conversation with them.  She is starting to take on a 'big sister' role, helping her brothers and trying to teach them things.  She also has been known to tell them, "I am going to count to three and you will stop that." She throws herself into projects and crafts, and comes home from school every day with stories of her day.

Her IEP meeting just before break went really well-- we were able to increase the number of hours per week that she has extra support, and we brainstormed some ideas to try to help with the issues that are most pressing right now. I feel like she has a great team of teachers working with her, and that they are genuinely invested in her. She is still a mystery in many ways, but we are in SUCH a better place than we were when she started school 18 months ago. 

We had an amazing Christmas and I will post those pictures soon.  Thanks for reading!

Christmas Cookies

This year, we seemed to be making and decorating more cookies than we ever have before.  Cookie decorating was a HUGE hit with Mairead who loves anything crafty, and with the boys who like anything with frosting.  Some of our decorating sessions were at home with just us.

We also attended the Gingerbread Decorating Party put on by my Mothers of Multiples club.  This is a really fun annual event at which each child gets a little cookie house and sets up at a table full of every possible kind of decorating item.  Marshmallows, gumdrops, M&Ms, frosting, sprinkles, anything you can imagine.  Our kids had fun seeing their friends, Jack, Aidan, Jake, Ben, and Abby, as well as many other members of the club.  There was also a really fun safety presentation put on by the group Lil' Iguana, and the kids loved that.

Finally, we had several of Mairead's friends from school over for a Kindergarten cookie decorating party.  I guess when you have three kids 19 months apart, having ten Kindergarteners loose in your house with sprinkles, frosting, and a sugar high seems like no big deal.  It was fun for all of us- Mairead and her friends had a great time running around together, and the moms had a chance to talk, too!  One of the nice things about living in Lowell is that we are connected to so many people.  One boy in Mairead's class is the son of a woman who played basketball with Jen, and a guy who played baseball when I did the books.  A little girl in the class is the daughter of a woman whose cousin we knew growing up, and who is related to a very good friend of my sister-in-law.  I like that our kids are growing up in a community where so many people have ties to one another. 

There are some incredibly sweet kids in Mairead's class and they all have great moms, too.  These kids are so kind to Mairead and that is so wonderful to see.  Her school is Pre-K to Grade 8, so she will be with these kids for a long time, so we hope that these friendships keep growing!

Festival of Trees

One of our many pre-Christmas activities was to visit the Festival of Trees in Methuen.  This event showcases more than a hundred trees that are decorated with different themes.  People can buy raffle tickets and enter to win any of the trees on display.  The kids love to go; there are so many creative decorations.  This year, we were able to coordinate things so that we went with my parents, Katie and her kids, and Jen and Mike.  The kids were thrilled to see Jen and Mike, of course. 

Unfortunately, I had only my phone and not my camera, and it was dark in there.  I would have loved to have this picture come out a little better since four of the five grand-kids are in it.  They are staring at a lighted display in which the lights blinked and turned on and off.  At one point, the lights went out and Lily yelled, "Maghan!  Turn the lights on!!!"

Uncle Mike is always good when you need someone to carry you.

Mike is also good for corraling kids and leading in-depth discussion about important kid business.

Jen bascially had to wrestle this Doritos bag away from Kellan.  This kid wants to eat real food more than any baby I've ever seen.  He even has a few teeth already to prepare for the job.

As it turns out, my mom won a tree!  It was quite, um, unique.  It was a tree that Lily loved called 'Children of the World' and it came with a collection of dolls dressed in different cultural attire.  My mom gave the tree to Lily and she was thrilled!  Unfortunately, we didn't win the $2000 raffle, but we still had a fun night!