1: Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories. CathyAllen
2: May 18, 2009 Graciously and with kindness, you became Abigail's primary care giver when she was just 3 months old. At 2.5 years old, Abi is now an intelligent, loving and articulate Toddler about to enter Pre-School. Her confidence and competencies are a result of your influence, devotion and attention. Although our friendship began earlier, since May 2009, it has grown in importance for our entire family. Over the past 2 years, you've become care giver and dear friend to all of us. You are an integral member of our family. We love you. We will miss you. We wish for you success and grand adventures in all your endeavors. Your Family, The Wints Bob, Sandra Kyle, Nathan and Abigail
6: All things grow better with love.
9: June 2009 We took the Boys for their 3 year well check on the same day as Abi's 4 month well check. Kyle weighed 34lbs, Nathan was 32lbs. Abigail was 16lbs!
10: Easter 2009
13: Disney 2009
20: Boys are learning to dress themselves.... There are always interesting results. Note: they're each wearing one of the other's socks
22: very story has it's root in a series of events that innocently unfold; each apparently unrelated incident coalescing into a single event where you just sit and shake your head wondering --"and how did I get here?" So it is with this preamble that I explain, there IS a perfectly logical explanation to the shiny, slippery blotches and the overwhelming smell of garlic that permeates from our backyard deck. Where do I start? Should I start with the actual event? No, that wouldn't make for a good entertaining story. Should I start with the precipitating incidents today? No. Too easy. Should I start with Friday's decisions? Or maybe last Summer? Yes, this story has it's roots in decisions made last summer. You see, last summer, we were having ice cream -- my favourite craving and one we readily indulged. So imagine this idillic scene: two little boys crawling up and down their picnic chairs while periodically enjoying a spoonful of ice cream. Two doting parents enjoying a quiet Sunday at the local dairy on a beautiful HOT afternoon. It's important to this story that this scene is taking place next to a kid's toy store and that the toy on the sidewalk display is a "water table". The boys run back and forth between spoonfuls to the water table and are enthralled with the activity play. The parents engage in an altuirist action and purchase said activity table which is wildly enjoyed all summer long and sadly put away in the fall. | Two weeks ago, I returned to work and Jane has been watching Abigail during the days at our home. Jane is a godsend. In addition to caring for Abi and playing with her, Jane does our laundry, cleans up after us, sweeps and washes floors and cooks! More than once we've come home to brownies, muffins and Rice Krispie squares in a kitchen with freshly washed floors and supper in the oven. YES! When Jane called on Friday to ask what she should prepare for dinner, I felt that I really should "give her the afternoon off" so to speak and told her that I'd planned to pick up dinner from Olive Garden. This was true; I had thought about it - Bob loves OG's seafood Alfredo and apart from the fact that noodles of any kind are the boys' favourite, they are crazy about the OG's chocolate mints! It's a win/win dinner selection and keeps Bob and I stocked with "bribery" materials (It's easy to get the boys to do what you want if you bribe them with a chocolate mint). I picked up the boys from daycare on Friday afternoon. I advised them that we were headed to OG but that we were not going to eat supper in the restaurant. Rather, I explained, we would pick up our food and take it home. Now, while I was off, we ordered "take out" from OG at least twice that I can recall. The first time, I called and asked if OG had "curbside" pickup. No. I explained that Bob would be arriving with two toddlers in tow and that it would be very helpful if they could accommodate the curbside option. Brian graciously explained that while this was not a service OG provided, he would help me out and that Bob should call when he was outside and ask for Brian. When Bob arrived home, I learned that while he'd followed my directions, it took too long for Brian to bring out our order and in the end, Bob went inside with both boys in tow to get our food. Brian, it seems, was overwhelmed and couldn't accommodate the request afterall. So, although that was MONTHS ago, when I explained to the boys on Friday that we were off to pickup our dinner at OG, Nathan immediately asked if we were going to see Brian! I had to think about why he was asking about a Brian. This time it was Nathalie was behind the counter and she filled a brown paper bag with those precious chocolate mints! Nathan wanted to carry | Yes, There is a perfectly logical explanation | E
23: the bag to the car -- You'd think I was born yesterday or something; "No, Mommy needs to hold them," was my response. Nathalie, advised me that she felt the kitchen had been stingy with the sauce so she'd put in some extra Alfredo sauce in my bag. That was how, I came to have two containers of OG Alfredo sauce in the fridge and how today, while I was thinking about preparing lunch, I thought to cook up a pot of noodles and toss them in the extra Alfredo sauce from OG. Its a beautiful day here in Cleveland. While it's a bit on the cool side (only 60 today), the sun is shining brightly and the air is fresh. Yesterday, we were at Costco and bought some birthday surprises for the boys. We are now the proud owners of a "helicopter teeter-totter" that the boys have been wild about for weeks. Bob decided that he would assemble the device this morning and take the boys outside. I was inside feeding Abi and when I finished, it was almost lunch time. The boys were a mess -- they'd been playing in the neighbour's sand box. I was thinking that I would have NO success getting them inside to wash hands before lunch. We all know that old adage -- "if you can't beat'em, join 'em". Since it's just the start of summer and since the water activity table was boxed up in the garage, I thought, "Hey, I know! I'll get the water table out, the boys can play in it and that'll get their hands washed without ANY complaints". Worked like a charm! I broke out the shaving cream and the boys happily and quietly entertained themselves for over an hour all the while, getting washed up without realizing it. Meanwhile, I whipped up the noodles with alfredo sauce and brought the boys' picnic table (little plastic picnic table) to the backyard deck. Out come two steaming plates of pasta, over run two very hungry and enthusiastic children. QUIET ensues while they happily | eat their noodles. Mommy departs to prepare dessert. In retrospect, THIS single action was my mistake. Not the water table. Not the shaving cream. NOT, the Alfredo sauce on the noodles. No...it was my departure to get dessert ready. The temptation of the water table and the pasta was too much. "Mommy!" "What's up?" "Mommy, I'm done I want to go play" "Finish your lunch and you can play" "I want more water on myside of the table" "Finish your noodles first and then Mommy will fill the water table again" "But I'm done" "Nathan, you need to eat your noodles first, then I'll..." My voice trails away. I've walked around the counter and I'm making my way to the deck from the kitchen. I see, now, that neither boy is sitting at the picnic table anymore. Both boys are at the activity table, which has water thick with shaving cream dissolving in it after more than an hour of "play"; they are using it as a sink and are washing their lunch plates! There's about a 1/2lb of linguini noodles at the bottom of the "sink" and multiple clumps of noodles all on the deck leading up to the water table. It was a mess! Noodles every where, and, since I hadn't come out right away, it was GROUND into the deck by little shoes running back and forth between picnic table and "sink". So you see, there IS a very logical explanation for why I was on my hands and knees with mounds of paper towels doing my best to clean up smashed noodles from our deck and WHY, there's big shiny slippery blotches on the deck that permeate garlic. Tomorrow, when Jane asks why the backyard smells like the Olive Garden, I'll say, "Well, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation.... May 31, 2009
24: Summer 2009
25: The Boys discover worms and how to find them. There are so many hours of fun on our slide! Abi learns to roll over, sit up on her own and how to crawl. She's laughing and giggling. | FABI
29: The ghosts and ghouls were out in full force. Trick or Treating started at 6pmbut the boys were so excited that we actually had to get them outside at 5:30pm; there was no containing all the excitement. At 5:58pm I let them knock on the Lohrey's door; they just couldn't wait.! All night they raced from door to door to get their treats. Kyle who doesn't like scary things, would evaluate the house and determine whether it was acceptable. He would look at me and say, "lets do this one Mommy, it doesn't look scary". Having decided that a house was acceptable, he'd start screaming up the driveway with Nathan in tow.
33: Christmas 2009 | The Boys enjoyed putting the Gingerbread train together. The candy was the big hit. Kyle kept having to be reminded to place the candy on the train without licking it first... | Happy Boxing Day! This morning, Bob left to take the car for an oil change so I was home with all three until about 1pm. The boys were enjoying their Christmas presents from Santa (Train table & Kitchen Set) and playing very well together. At this point in the day, I can't remember exactly what happened and what sequence of events occurred. I don't think it's relevant to the story either. Something happened and one of the boys misbehaved. So I said something like, "careful we need to make good choices". Kyle out of nowhere, says, "because Santa's watching right?" Now you know that for the past month, that's been the threat at our house whenever inappropriate behaviour was observed. "Careful, Santa's watching"... So, picking up on Kyle's logic this morning, I respond, "Yes, Kyle, that's right, Santa's watching so we need to make good choices". Without missing a beat, Kyle looks at me and responds, "but Santa came yesterday. It will be a long time before he's back"...He's 3! How do they figure this stuff out? December 26, 2009
35: January 2010 Boys: Kalahari Abigail: Jane's Not sure who had more fun
36: February 12, 2010 Happy 1st Birthday Abigail
40: Patience This morning the dilemma was...Zoo or Science Center. I was out-voted and we ended up at the Zoo. It was a mighty COLD day for the Zoo. Abi had fun pushing her stroller around. The boys enjoyed running around. I was COLD! Santa gave each of the boys a small carton of chocolate balls in their stockings. We took one of those cartons with us to the Zoo today. After lunch, Nathan wanted the chocolate balls. (Nathan is a chocolate fiend.) He was given the carton to hold on the condition that he shared the chocolates with Kyle. After 15 min, Kyle had had one chocolate ball and it looked like half the carton was missing. I sent Kyle running back to Nathan to get more chocolate. Nathan gave ONE ball to Kyle and told him that's all he got until he finished it. Kyle ran off happily. Observing this, and wanting to prevent the melt down I saw coming when Nathan finished the carton by himself, I asked Nathan to give me some chocolate balls. Kyle ran over to observe. Nathan was debating with me whether I should get one or the two I was requesting. "Two Nathan, Mommy wants two chocolate balls, please". Out of nowhere, Kyle sticks up his hand and says, "PATIENCE, Nathan will give it to you, PATIENCE!" December 27, 2009
42: Easter 2010
46: Abigail's Surgery Yesterday, Abi had surgery to insert tubes in her ears. After months of ear infections and antibiotics, it was time! During the last week of April, we were at the Dr's office every day for daily injections of antibiotics, followed by 10 days of oral antibiotics. Jane stayed overnight so that we could leave early with Abi who had to be at the surgery center for 6:30am. The boys were supposed to be fast asleep, while we snuck out of the house with a sleepy Abigail. Unfortunately, Nathan woke up at 5:45am while we were getting ready. He had to be convinced to go back to sleep, which he did for about 10 minutes until he realized that Mommy had snuck out of his room. Back into his room, this time with Daddy. Nathan woke up at 6:10am screaming because Daddy had left. By this time Jane was awake, Kyle was awake, Mom and Dad were awake -- the only one still sleeping was Abi. Nathan and Jane snuggled into the guest room, Kyle willingly went back into his bed and we woke up Abigail, put her in the van and drove off for surgery. Everything went without a hitch. We were back home by 8:45am, just in time to catch Jane leaving with the boys for Preschool. Abi went to sleep right away and slept most of the morning and again for part of the afternoon. By the time I got home from work, you'd never know that she'd had surgery in the morning. May 19, 2010
47: May 17, 2010 Happy "Birthday" Ms. Jane. We love you.
48: June 11, 2010 Waldameer Park, PA Happy 4th Birthday Kyle & Nathan
50: 4 Year Old Conversations Here's an example of a typical conversation at our house these days. This one occurred today as we were driving home from dinner at Chick-fil-A. Nathan, whining in the back seat because he doesn't have a cup with pop, "MOOOOOMMMMMM, Kyle won't share." Kyle,to Nathan, "you had a cup like this one. What happened to it?" Nathan, indigantly, "Mom made me give it to Abigail." Kyle, "Well, you can't have this one. It has apple juice and coffee. You don't like coffee." "MOOOOMMMMMMMM, Kyle won't share" July 24, 2010
62: February 12, 2011
66: Pre-School Graduation & Year End Picnic June 2011
68: Simple Days There are days that never make history, That are never remembered for tantalizing love On exotic beaches or abandoned farms, But they’re simple days of prayer-like breaths That cherish every moment And send something beautiful and healing Into the immense universe of God-like kindness. Uriah Hamilton
70: Pymatuning May 2011
75: June 11. 2011 Morton Community Park Happy 5th Birthday Kyle & Nathan
81: Nothing Beats a Doughnut!
84: Progressive Party Cleveland Zoo In the end, the 75 minute wait was worth it! GRRRRRR
86: Big One Over the past 18 months, the practice on Saturday and Sunday mornings if the boys awoke early, was to bring them into bed with us, turn on the TV and if we were really lucky, they'd fall asleep for an hour or more. Early for the boys on a weekend is anywhere between 6am and 7am. So our hope was just that we could all sleep in until 8am. This practice worked alot better before Abigail joined our party only because we really could fall asleep until 8am. These days, sleeping in on a weekend is 6am for me vs 4:45am like most weekdays (5:30am if I play "whack the snooze button" with the alarm clock). Anyway, last weekend was no exception. Saturday was the Boys' birthday party. We went to bed very late on Friday evening (1:15am). Our hope was that the boys would sleep in until 8am and allow us plenty of time to get "stuff" done for the party. I was downstairs at 5am dealing with stuff. Just about 6:15am I hear the page, "Daddy" "DAAAAADDDDYYYY" "DDDDDAAAAADDDDDDDYYYYY!!!" Nathan very emphatically calling out for assistance. I hear Bob stumble out of bed, along the top of the stairs and off down the hallway to the boys' bedroom door. Mumble mumble that I can hear from downstairs. Then the sound of running feet to the bathroom, scrape scrape of the stool, quiet, and the flush of a toilet. A pause, more talking from Nathan, the toilet flushes a second time and I hear Bob and Nathan walking into the bedroom. The TV turns on and there's quiet after that. About 7am, Bob appears downstairs, dressed and ready to get going with the party preparations. Nathan is still in our bed watching Sesame Street. Bob tells me that after the potty, Nathan jumped into bed along side Daddy, spread out his comforter over his legs, arranged the pillows and his "blankie" then pensively looked at Bob and said, "You have a Big one!" "Pardon!?" Comes the shocked response from Bob. "You have a Big one, Daddy," says Nathan with an affirmative nod still looking at Sesame Street on the TV. "A big one what, Nathan?" "A big Bed!" June 13, 2009