Thursday, May 31, 2012

Andrew's first buzz cut

It's a tradition. Every late spring/early summer, we get tired of either paying to get the boys' hair trimmed or trying to trim it ourselves. So we buzz them!

By we I mean JB.

Andrew was up for his first buzz this week.

Whoa.  Feels weird.

Hold still!

It tickles. 

The only thing a little sad is that Andrew has always liked to hold hair. He would hold my hair while nursing, and since then would reach up and hold his own hair while drinking or while trying to go to sleep. Now he just kind of reaches up and touches the top of his head. But I think he is getting used to the soft, fuzzy feel of it now.  And he's so darn cute.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Benny's Spring Sing

Benny smiles at JB on the front row.  What a ham!

Benny's preschool class had the end of year Spring Sing last week.  He has loved Miss Colleen, and being with his buddy Timmy (sitting on his left).  He'll be at the same school next year, which is housed within our local high school.

Benny sang every song very seriously, and loudly and clearly. I love a performer! 

After, they had treats outside. My boys grabbed lots of chips before we could stop them.  Here Andrew is pointing to Max's plate and saying "Eh? Eh?" which is his way of begging for more.

Max complied.  He does anything for that boy.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A different view

In the last month or so I cut my hair, and I got Lasik!

Here's me after coming home from the 3 hour consultation. Long hair in a ponytail, shades tucked behind my glasses to protect the pupils.

Here's me with short hair and glasses at the last soccer game of the season.

And here's me with short hair and no glasses (and no need of glasses or contacts ever again!) at work a few days after the Lasik procedure.

The surgery itself seems more scary than it really is.  I held on to a stuffed bunny while looking at the lasers, but it was over in a matter of seconds.  Dr Hoopes was really nice and pretty funny.

The cons:  A day of blurriness, a couple weeks of dry eyes and eyedrops on the hour, no makeup for 5 days, and some halos around lights at night. Oh, and no water sports for 2 months.  Yes, I'm sure that will be a big problem for me.

The pros:  NO GLASSES OR CONTACTS! I can see at night!  I can see in the shower! I can see my darling boys' faces so much better all the time. 

I was 20/400 before.  The next day, I was about 20/20.  I go back for a checkup at the one month, 3 month and one year mark and they say it should only get better.  I feel so so blessed.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Don't mind me

Dear ladies of my neighborhood:

Please don't mind me lurking in your backyard. Let me explain.

I'm a helicopter parent. 

Scratch that, let me start over.

We eat dinner early because we go to bed early because I work EARRRLY.

We like to get our exercise every day.

Um, another try:

My boys love your children.


I'll just say it. I wish your children would come play in my backyard. Then I could just read a book on the chair out there while everyone plays and has fun.

Here it goes:

JB works a lot from home, so when I'm home from work in the afternoon I want to keep us all out of his way in our "charming Sugarhouse brick home" (translation, not a big house).

All this means around 4 PM, the three boys and I are well-fed with dinner, and we go on a walk around the neighborhood to get exercise and give him some quiet time.  Now that it's warmer, my boys are also on a sharp lookout for other children to play with. 

I work in the news. I'm a paranoid parent after doing stories about kidnappings, backyard accidents, cars hitting children, etc.  So I won't let my 6 and 4-year-old ride bikes or scooters around the neighborhood alone.  I just won't.  I also don't let them go over to a neighbor's house to play without me unless I have talked to the parent.  Others have children who are gone for hours.  That's fine. I'm sure nothing bad will ever happen to them.  I'm just paranoid.

So, if we are going by a house and Max and Ben see their friends, the freinds yell, "COME PLAY!" and my boys drop their bikes/scooters and run into the other children's backyards. 

I'm then left awkwardly standing there wondering what to do. I can't leave them there. Andrew is now trying to squirm out of the stroller and play as well.  So, I let him out, and follow everyone to the backyard, where I watch to make sure my climbing 17-month-old doesn't get hurt.  Next thing you know, the mom comes out and says, "Um, hi Mary."

Hehehe, nervous laugh.

This is why I would love your children to come to my house, too.  It would only feel fair after we've spent so much time at your places (especially on one particular street).  Send them over.  I am out there watching.  My boys get their exercise, JB gets a quiet hour or two, other parents get a quiet hour or two, and everyone plays with their friends. It's a win-win!


PS You moms should come to.  You know I love to talk.  That maaayyy be a little reason why we take a walk everyday, too.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Build a Bear

A month ago cousin Emily turned 6, and she invited Max and Ben to her party at Build a Bear. My boys were enthralled by the whole process.

Cousin Jane is sure a cutie, showing off her creation.

Don't know what face Benny is making but they loved it!

For about a week they talked about having a birthday party there. But now Max wants Chuck E Cheese or Lagoon (we don't have a big party every year, it's more like every few years for each child), and Benny's wishes change by the hour. Which is about how often he asks "How long til my birthday?" It's in December. I'd make a countdown chain for him but that's just too far away. Time is just too nebulous for him right now. "What's a week? What's a month? What's a year?"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A glorious season

The 2012 soccer season has wrapped up for my boys. With it, came perhaps an all-time Richards scoring record for one game. Here, let Benny show you:

He scored 7 goals in one game. I'm so proud. After each goal, he ran up the line with his fingers up showing the new number.  What a ham!  But some disclaimers: this is his second year on the preschool team, and the other team that day was much younger. He just doesn't hesitate. The coaches line up all those little bodies, then the whistle blows, and Benny just bursts out of the gate like Seabiscuit toward the ball while the others stand there.

Max did so great on his first grade team.  He improved in confidence and skill every Saturday.  Most games his team only had the minimum number of players there, so they had to run up and down the long field the whole time without any subs.  He was very good at fullback, and at forward (are these the terms? First grade in this league is when they start to use the official language of soccer for kids)  he had a couple shots on goal and quickly looked over to see if we had seen him. 

Andrew also practiced dribbling, if you will, kicking whatever ball he could find up and down the sidelines.  That 17-month-old may get a soccer contract yet!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


When I was around 10 or 11, I remember playing catch with my younger brothers in the backyard.  Peter must have been around four years old and he loved to throw a ball. 

I would try my best to catch whatever the boys threw my way, often running and scrambling, diving, or jumping high up.  After I managed to catch a few in a row, Peter said excitedly, "You are getting better!"

I think all of that was to prepare me for my boys.  I find myself coaching them in all sorts of sports, even though I'm not sure I know exactly what I'm talking about.  In the backyard I help 6 1/2 year-old Max with shooting a basketball, I try to teach the boys how to kick a soccer ball with more control, and I play baseball with a begging 4-year-old Benny over and over.  I giggle to myself as I talk to him about "closing his stance" and "following through." 

Good thing I watched all those sports with my dad and brothers growing up!  Otherwise I'd constantly have to say, "Ask your father.  He's much better at all this anyway."

By the way we play in the backyard facing a certain way so as to avoid another incident.

Then there was the time they were curious about tennis, so I got out my old racket (barely used) and promptly smacked a ball over several backyard fences.  That was the end of that.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Playing around, in different ways

Andrew still loves to put things in his mouth.

And try to do things like his big brothers.

Max loves trying new tricks.

But wait, what about this guy?!

He likes to hang around our playground set to make sure everything is safe.

You know, because he may be needed at any time!