Thursday, March 27, 2014

Picture of the Week - 3/27/2014

Man...  the little boys have been cracking us up lately! 
They have, seriously, been SO MUCH FUN!  I love the stages they are in right now and try my best to soak in as much as possible.  We talk a lot about Bucky, because he demands a TON of attention.  He's somehow gone from 2 to 8 overnight.  He can get himself dressed up in costumes.  He can shoot Nerf guns.  He can get his own water from the fridge.  He regularly insists on getting his own snacks.  He's famous for creating a line trying to get into (or out of) daycare as he MUST ALWAYS open all the doors himself.  He's a challenge for sure.  But in all the VERY best ways!
And (realizing that I'm terribly biased) he is SOOOOOOOO cute!  Seriously...  I just smile looking at him!
Zane's mini transformation recently has been more subtle.  If you aren't around him all the time,  you would probably never even notice.  For lack of a better way to explain him, I would say that he's maturing.  Yes, of course, he still freaks out from time to time, but the tantrums have become more spaced out.  His thought processes and interests are growing nearly as quickly as his height is changing.  Go figure - he's TALL!  Zane is one of the youngest kids in his current class and also one of the tallest.  Genes are odd! 
One of the most fun things about Zane right now is how excited he gets about things that interest him.  We watched a special a few weeks ago about a Disney Cruise and he hasn't been able to stop talking about the "Kid Cruise" since.  He vibrates when describing, in vivid detail, all the things he's going to do on the kid cruise.  His mind nearly exploded when he realized that he would be able to SWIM and SLEEP on a boat!  He literally jumped up and down when he saw the "Real Captain America" on the show talking to the cruisers.  In fact, Zane's enthusiasm about the Kid Cruise has been SOOOOOO consistent and infectious that we are getting ready to book our 2015 vacation - a Disney Cruise, of course.  (Any suggestions on how to get him to realize that it's 14 months away would be greatly appreciated!)
The other topic of Zane Delight right now is Easter.  I admit that I've never been one to go "all out" for Easter.  We will do baskets and a few decorations, but I honestly kind of dread egg dying.  Just not my favorite thing.  But Zane brings home pictures every day that he has colored for us.  These pictures are of fancy Easter eggs and bunny-like creatures.  He found a magazine laying around that was Easter-themed and RAN it upstairs to beg me to help him make ALL of the Easter treats on the cover.  There were chocolate nests with real (jelly bean) eggs, and bunny-shaped ice cream cones and some kind of bright yellow peep thing.  He was so darn excited and SO DARN cute about it, that of COURSE we will be making Easter-themed treats over the next couple of weekends.  He forces me to have fun I didn't even realize I was missing!
It's kind of impossible to say "no" to Zane when he gets like that because his enthusiasm is SO PURE and INNOCENT.  I have said it many times before, but these little guys bring more happiness and light and fun and awesomeness to our lives than I could ever adequately describe.  I will forever be grateful that God gave us this opportunity to re-live first time Disney Cruisers and ridiculously complicated holiday food crafts.  Yes, it's hard and way more work...  but the benefits are simply priceless.
Here's a picture of Zane and Beck sitting on the back porch with popsicles.  Now that Bucky can open the freezer by himself, they have many more frozen treats than they used to! 
For everyone heading off on Spring Break - have a BLAST.  Quinn leaves on Sunday for his 10 year old trip with my parents.  He's heading on a Caribbean cruise on the Allure of the Seas.  I'm totally jealous!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Picture of the Week - 3/20/2014

Hmmm...  no good pictures this week.  Some weeks I take more pictures than others.  This was a slow week for the camera.  Which makes for a somewhat stressful picture of the week planning!
Thankfully POTW happens to also fall on Throwback Thursday.  (Anyone else notice TBT gaining popularity nearly every week???)  So this week I'm pulling out a picture from 2007 in celebration of the Atchisons coming to visit this weekend.  Wow!  7 years ago (in March even), they were 4, 4, 3, and 2.  And they had no issues taking a bath together.  And there was no sign of Zane or Beck.  Wow! 
Have a Happy Spring everyone!  We are busy with yo-yo temperatures down here for, probably, the next couple of weeks while the pollen count continues its steady climb.  Luckily for our northern visitors, this weekend looks AWESOME!  I have no issues with sunny and 70.  :)
Hopefully I'll be a little better with the camera this week and maybe we can grab a picture of all SIX boys this year.  But it probably won't be in the bathtub...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Picture of the Week - 3/13/2014

Lately, when I think of my boys, I get that warm and squishy feeling.  You know the one...  it only happens when you really love someone and you are really proud of them.  It's a pretty darn special thing!
There are a million reasons that I am proud of each of the boys.  They vary from ridiculously shallow (like goodness, I am proud that Zane is so good looking) to more meaningful, by far.  Right now, I am beyond thrilled at the way the gang is treating each other.  I love love love to watch the relationships between them. 
While the boys have always been pretty good to each other, this latest phase started (as best I can pinpoint) back during the last snow event.  Our "normal" up until that week back in February was that the big boys would disappear to the basement to watch TV and play video games and do tween boy stuff.  I try not to ask too many questions.  Plausible deniability is a good thing.  While the BBs were in the basement, the little boys would be in the toyroom playing and watching shows.  They are considerably more needy, what with their inability to reach the chocolate milk themselves.  During the latest week stuck at home all together, something totally reasonable happened.  They got bored. 
The boredom lead them to branch out a bit.  The LBs ventured downstairs.  They played air hockey and wrestled and watched in utter fascination as their idols played video games.  The BBs emerged from the basement and hung out in the toy room.  Sometimes the pairs actually SPILT UP and Zane stayed in the basement with Spencer while Quinn and Beck hung out.  And then a half an hour later they would mix things up again and Spencer would sit at the computer with Beck on his lap while Quinn let Zane win at some silly game.  It was a beautiful thing!  Built in playmates - and OPTIONS.  Rock on!  Snowstorms are a great validation of the decision to have a big family.  Just saying...
These different relationships have continued in other ways now that we are no longer stuck in the house.  Sometimes Beckett won't go to bed until Quinn reads books to him.  Sometimes Spencer comes upstairs specifically to see if the LBs want to wrestle.  Sometimes Quinn will actually pull an extra chair over to the computer so some little fellow can watch him.  Spence carries Beck downstairs in the morning.  Quinn pours milk for Zane.  They look out for each other.  It fills me with a kind of pride I just can't explain.
Last weekend was exceptionally nice down here.  It was sunny and nearly 70 and we opened windows and played outside.  A lot.  They played with balls of all varieties.  They played in the fort.  They pulled out nerf guns and baseball bats.  And they spent a LONG time all playing lacrosse.  The big guys were giving pointers and the little guys were soaking up the attention and lessons along with the sunshine.  Ozzie was in heaven. 
I can only hope that this current phase, and all the fun the boys have been having with each other, sticks around a bit.  I'm loving every minute of it!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Picture of the Week - 3/6/2014

Pictures...  oh how I love pictures!
We recently had some updated portraits done of the boys.  I really needed to do this because the pictures that hang in my kitchen (which we see every single day) were really out of date.  Quinn didn't have glasses.  Zane looked like a toddler.  Beckett was hairless.  It was time!
I love the results.  All of them.  Except maybe the fact that Spencer looks like he's a teenager.  And maybe also that doing this is a pretty in-your-face reminder of how much they have all changed in the last 18 months.  I am so proud of these boys, I could just burst!
Have a great week everyone.  If you need me, I'll be spending my downtime this week sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee staring at our updated portrait wall.
PS - (forgive the graininess of these pictures...  they are scans.  They are really much better in person - come see them for yourself!  I'll even make you a cup of coffee!)