Thursday, February 9, 2012


February is the cruelest month. In these endlessly dreary, chilly days, I love to have the photographic evidence that we actually *do* manage to have quite a bit of fun.....

For Christmas, Aidan, Leo, and Pax gave my parents the "adventure experience" gift of treating them to an afternoon of ice skating and drinks (cold beer for the grown-ups; hot cocoa for the kiddos). My parents both grew up in Michigan where ice skating was a regular winter activity; my father played ice hockey and still has some fierce moves on the ice. In November, we'd taken the kids skating, and they loved it - and in January, Leo started taking skate lessons once a week. So we knew it would be a fine time for everyone - and it was.
Aidan was so confident and cheerful, despite several falls!

Love this kid and his can-do spirit!!!!
....but THIS boy is the one who amazed us all. The first time we skated, Pax didn't much like the ice and was content to hang out on my hip while I skated us around the rink. (I've got some fierce moves of my own.) This time... no way. Pax was only happy if his feet were on the ice, no buckets, just him and the open rink. We skated this way as long as my back was willing to endure it when I finally passed him off to Jeff. Minutes later, nestled against Jeff's shoulder while Jeff slowly skated around the rink, Pax fell completely asleep. On the ice. While ice skating. Asleep!!!!! Only this boy would go from skate to sleep in sixty seconds. ...Grandma happily obliged Small Boy with a brief nap off the ice.
What a fun adventure we had - a very Merry Christmas for all.

I saw this genius idea in some magazine (Family Fun, perhaps?) and I couldn't believe how content these boys were to play with cornmeal and Matchbox cars... all afternoon. Literally, this resulted in hours' worth of play. Admittedly, the cornmeal made more of a mess than I thought it would - it is pretty dusty and made the floor a bit slippery - but the enjoyment factor far outweighed the mess factor. We'll do this again, soon, maybe trying rice instead. I love afternoons like these, when Aidan arrives home from school and seeks the company of his brothers, a bucket of markers, and a bowl of popcorn. I love how Leo is consulting Aidan on what to do next, and I love how Pax is showing off his finished product.

And speaking of Pax and product.... this is what happens when I step out for a bit and leave Jeff in charge. (High marks, Jeff, for snapping all the pictures. You knew I would want to see it all, didn't you?)

Pax finds my "off season" purse (right after making the huge and terrible mess in the background) and wonders what this marvelous crayon might do....

You've gotta hand it to him - he's got the technique down pat.....
Pucker up, baby!!
America's Next CoverBoy:

...and finally, the latest bit of Pax Mischief: today, inexplicably, Pax refused to nap. Really, really refused. He was squirmy and fidgety and really funny; he kept making his "naah naah naah" face (fingers splayed out, thumbs in cheeks, sticking tongue out while saying naah naah naah) at me and trying to make me laugh. But I wasn't in a laughing mood, and I needed some space away from this boy. Frustrated, I gave up and left him in his bed, knowing that there was no chance he'd a) sleep or b) stay there, but I had to escape. Thankfully, he c) gave me three minutes in which to take some deep breaths and get it together again. He came downstairs and played quietly with Leo while I hid in the corner and stealthily ate some Butterfinger heart candy. Half an hour later, I decided to try again. I took Pax back to his room, and discovered this in his bed:

He had carefully and lovingly found a surrogate napper; Agent P (from the infamous Phineas and Ferb television show) was dutifully napping, snuggled under the carefully-arranged blankets and nestled in with Pax's Flippo lovey (the flat, blue hippo - Flippo). This time, I did laugh. Because Pax is so endearing in his tender care of his loveys and dolls, and downright astute in his surrogate choice - anyone who's seen the show will recognize what a perfect substitute Perry the Platypus (aka Agent P) is for a boy who is supposed to be napping.

(I've contacted Dr. Doofinshmirtz, who is presently working on a nap-i-nator for tomorrow afternoon....)

"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children
teach us what life is all about."
-Angela Schwindt

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