Monday, September 24, 2007

Andy's Third Birthday

Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again, time flies when you aren't looking. It doesn't seem possible that we've celebrated Andy's 3rd birthday. Really, it doesn't. It seems I was just lamenting over the loss of his baby days on his second birthday, and here I am embarking on the realm of the preschool years.

Andy has gone from a baby whom we couldn't quite understand, to a preschooler who makes his wishes know clearly. A little too clearly, sometimes. He is now completely "daytime" potty trained. Today is the first day he is taking a nap with no diaper....ummm, scary. We'll see in a couple hours how that turns out. He's learned to pedal a bike and pull himself up onto the swing. He's given up his pacifier and traded in his toddler bed for a big boy bed in full dinosaur mode. Much to Kevin's chagrin, his color of choice is pink. To make up for that lapse in judgment, he's also taken to rough housing with his sisters, whether or not they like it. Needless to say, sometimes there is a lot of crying in this house.

Andy's interests these days include cars, trucks, boats, trains, planes (do you see a commonality, here?), dinosaurs, tools. Pretty much the typical boy things. He also loves books and the Littlest Pet Shop. However, his greatest love is dogs. The kid can't get enough of dogs. I can only thank Renee that we don't have one yet. She is terrified of real dogs. If not for that, I know I would have caved to Andy's love of dogs. How could I possible resist him? Kevin says he would not allow such a mistake, but let's face it, he's allowed it twice before. (This reminds me of a quote I once saw on a sugar packet, "Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again." - Franklin P. Jones)( One of my favorites).

Which leads us to the theme of Andy's 3rd birthday. A friend of mine starts planning her daughters birthdays 6 months in advance and after this undertaking, I will follow suit. It was a dog themed party in which the feature attraction was a cake that looked like Tony's brother. Tony, for the uninitiated, is Andy's favorite dog. He was a gift to Renee when she was a baby, but Andy's love for him was greater, so Tony became Andy's dog. This cake was probably the most awesome cake I've ever made. I'm serious. I LOVE this dog! Guess what he's made of. Wrong! Not cake. He is a pound cake body, Twinkie legs, Ding Dong haunches, chocolate stick tail, muffin head, marshmallow ears and nose covered with butter cream icing and decorated with m&ms, and sour belts. I couldn't bear to eat him, so I made cupcakes too.

At his party, we did more than just stare at the dog cake. The kids played on the playground in the back yard. I painted the kids faces to look like dogs and each kid got a pair of dog ears made of felt and custom sown elastic band. I made a dog house out of cardboard boxes and spray paint, which we then used to play Don't get caught in the doghouse- like reverse musical chairs. Then we played "Puppy, Puppy, Dog" That was a big hit. The parents all got a kick out of it, too.

After that we played Red Rover. The kids got to eat their cake and ice cream out of real dog bowls with their names painted on. When they were done, I filled up the bowls with puppy chow mix and dog stickers and tatoos. It was so much fun. This was our first party at home. We had 16 kids from 6 families. I may have to break my arm patting myself on the back, because it was totally awesome!

So, welcome to the preschool years, Andy. I can't wait to see what you do next!

End of Summer

Alice and Kate came to Ohio for Kate's softball tourny. Luckily for us, her team lost so we were able to spend a couple days with them both.

In an attempt to start a new family tradition, the kids and I celebrated the Feast of the Assumption by having a "tea" party. We served chocolate chip cookies and strawberry milk. The Blessed Mother was our special guest. After tea, we travelled the garden blessing the herbs and flowers with holy water. You should see the basil now!

The Third Annual Guffey Drive Block Party included live music this year. One of our neighbors is in a Christian rock band. They performed to a packed audience of preschoolers. The show was almost cancelled due to tornado warning sirens that sounded for a full half hour.

In the backyard, the kids enjoyed the setting sun. Renee seems to have caught on that setting sun means bedtime.

Andy has become a rough housing boy. Here he tackles an unsuspecting Emma.