May 27, 2008

Is it Summer Yet

I feel as though the season played a cruel joke on me. We had been blessed with some pretty outstanding weather for the last month and I got spoiled. Summer is usually not my favorite season, but I was actually excited this year. The boys had been playing for hours in the backyard and this would not only keep them happy and busy, but would wear them out. We could eat all of our meals in the backyard which meant less clean up for me; a quick hose off of the little picnic area and the boys splashing in their mini pool and clean up was complete. Yes, for once, I was happy that summer was here. (Mind you, I am a person who will stay out of the sun at all costs --my immune system has been slowly eating my pigment over the last 20 years and so summer sun has never been my favorite thing.) I usually love a moderate cold spell.......

But, the last couple of days have been the worst. One week, it is 100 degrees and then these last couple of days we are barely at 50. This meant less time outside. This meant no water fun for hours. This meant, when the rain came in, that the boys had to eat at the table and mommy stressed about not letting the floor and the table get too dirty with flying food. The boys did pretty well, all and all. They got to stay up a little later since they hadn't burnt as much energy. And, not too much food made it to the floor: Ben somehow managed to throw spaghetti on Sebastian's hair and face without splattering it anywhere else. That, my friends, is an art form!
So, never again will I moan and groan about the heat and the sun and being stuck outside for hours on end. Gone are the days when I could ignore the season and be happy to plop in front of the TV or play video games all day long. It is a new era in my life where maximizing outside play is the key both for happiness and sanity.
We are lucky to have the whole summer season ahead of us and as a former teacher, I know how quickly the months of June, July and August seem to fly by. As yesterday the weather seemed to pick up and the boys were able to play outside once again. Viva El Verano! There is so much to look forward to doing whether it be playing as a family in the backyard or visiting and celebrating with family and friends.

One of the things that kept us busy this long holiday weekend was getting the boys' picture taken again. As most of you know, professional studio pictures have been a disaster. There isn't one picture without tears and screaming. Goofy cheesin' and silly faces at home. But, step in a studio with a stranger taking a picture and forget about it. So, we felt brave and were rather stir crazy from this week. We had an appointment with Sears at 12:30 and hoped it would all go well. We had wanted to slick them out in the cutest of summer apparel, but it was cold and I think we did okay with the wintry alternatives. The boys had a late snack, an early nap and we made it to our appointment just on time with fingers crossed. Of course, Sears was running late. They were an hour behind and moving at a snail's pace.
But, we waited and the boys did a lot better than their Daddy with the wait. Of course they were bored and a little whiny, but so were we all. Michael was so mad that while we waited he said that we better order the minimum so as not to reward their bad service. However, then we saw the pictures and fell in love. We ordered a huge package because we couldn't help ourselves. Our boys took their first no tear pictures and I think that the pictures captured every aspect of their little personalities.
So, we got over it. I tell you though.....I can stare at those pictures for hours. We had one loaded as our screen saver the night they were taken and I was just staring and thinking and reflecting on our journey to becoming a family. (yes, again) I will never know how I got to be so lucky. We are truly blessed. Michael and I sat that night and talked and talked and just reveled in the boys and reminisced about all of their feats. Not only do we have wonderfully smart, talented and loving children.....they are lookers!
So, I finish up this update as quickly as I can.....the boys are ready for some outside fun. Mommy needs to set up the pool and make lunch. Meal time has been a little tricky as of late. Ben has become a picky eater. I haven't found the answer for it yet. He will not eat something that he does not want to eat. It either finds its way to the dog or he will sit forever and stare and play and not eat it. If you try to feed it to him, the lips pucker, the tip of the tongue pokes out for a little taste test and the head turns away. Sending him to bed without an alternative does not faze him one bit. Luckily Sebastian eats everything. He is easy going. He will trade his fruit for Ben's meat. It is interesting to watch their bartering system. 1 chunk of banana for two chunks of chicken. They hand each other the trade as Ben learned that his brother wasn't to be trusted. The other day Seb helped himself to Ben's piece of mini moonpie which he was saving for after his meal and which Seb had eaten his own as an appetizer from the get go.
I try to hide foods among foods Ben likes. He eats around it. If the texture is different.....he knows it is a won't be eaten. He loves fried rice and chow mein, but will pick every strand of cabbage, every pea and carrot out and place it to the side of his plate. Sebastian doesn't waste anytime in eating his. He even insisted on an extra coconut shrimp at lunch yesterday which Ben wasn't the least bit interested in. Sebastian will try anything. At least one bite and if he doesn't like it, he will shake his head and say, "Nah, Nah, Nah!" Ben won't even try it. Even if it is something he usually likes....if it looks different....forget it. So, I continue trying to introduce new things and give him the same meal we all are having. I also have stocked up on things he likes. The boys love Salsa. They are dippers. I have never seen babies take so much care dipping their McNuggets in Hot Mustard or Sweet and Sour sauce. They do it so neatly. The same as the chips and salsa. They love it. So, I have stocked up on fresh salsa (not the processed jar stuff) hoping that the little nutritional value upgrade from ketchup will do some good. I love both of my boys and love that they are unique. I do wish in this instance though, that Ben was a little less picky with his food. Not even to the extent of Sebastian who very often is just like his Daddy - a human garbage disposal.

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