Pretty Baby turned 26 this week and G's sister turned 50.  So we had some parties to host/attend.  This first set of pictures is of Pretty Baby, Little Baby, our new daughter in-law, JC, and the four little boys.
This next set is from my sister in-law's surprise party.
And here are some random shots of Aidan.  He has been begging for corn on the cob, and he loves to think of himself as a cowboy.  G and I are old-fashioned about guns.  We think that kids who grow up knowing about them and have used them/seen the damage that they cause are not the kids who pull the trigger on strangers or loved ones, but that the kids who play violent video games are-they become dissociative.  So, yeah, Aidan has a capgun six shooter strapped onto his waist.
Picture
Picture
 
Today is GB's big day.
Picture
Just look at how excited BB is by his parents' vow taking:
Picture
There was no best man-Pretty Baby was the honor attendant for her brother.
Picture
Little Baby actually got dolled up for the occasion:
Picture
My third brother officiated at the ceremony:
Picture
The bride's father was pretty emotional-she is not only his baby girl, but also his first child.
Picture
And then there was the dancing.  We learned that Aidan loves to dance....
Picture
...that there is still no way for me to reach my son's height....(we danced to the only Backstreet Boys song he can tolerate-"Mom, you always were the perfect fan")
Picture
...and that the newlyweds dance together beautifully:
Picture
Notice the unharried look on my face?  That's because my child is the groom and not the bride!  Her mother is probably passed out by now.

Four Plus Feet

9/6/2009 17:39:50

0 Comments

 
Aidan has been bugging me to measure him, so I finally hung up his tractor/big truck/digger measurement chart and he is now 48-1/2" tall.  That means he's 10" shorter than I am and 12" taller than RB.  Definitely a good sized boy.  When we received his medical information in his referral, using growth charts, I estimated his eventual height at being between 6'1" and 6'2"-right where his big brother and his brother in-law stand.  So far he's staying on that track.
Picture
Unfortunately for him, that also means that he could only ride some of the rides at the fair-he was actually too tall for some of the rides that other five year olds were riding on!
Picture

Back to School

9/5/2009 10:53:46

0 Comments

 
Aidan and I both had a four day school week to start with a four day weekend to follow.  The first day I went in late so that I could drop him off at kindergarten; we did the same thing the second day.  He has spent a lot of time with the guidance counselor/assistant principal but that is declining.  By Thursday he even managed to ride the bus home with her accompanying him.  I don't see him when he gets home, so he has already told someone else all about his day and forgotten half of it or wonders why I want to know about it when he has already told the story once before, but from what G and LB tell me, he comes home excited about parts of his day.  He does want me to drop him off and pick him up.  That just can't happen.  The best I can do is wait for the bus when it goes up the road and see him board it in the morning.  If he waits to board until it comes back down the road, I'll already be gone.  So we'll work on that.

My first days went smoothly, though the result by the end of the week was as usual; I'm now spending my weekend sick with a double ear infection.  I catch everything that any student has, even after 14 years on the job.
Picture
First Day of School

Picture
Playing guitar (left handed)

Big Days

8/30/2009 05:42:12

0 Comments

 
Picture
Yesterday was RB's third birthday party.  Today is my great nephews's second birthday party.  And tomorrow is Aidan's first day of kindergarten. 

The first two are very exciting, but the third one is very scary for my son.  I will be going in to work late so that I can take him to school, and G will be leaving work early to pick him up (he is terrified that we will put him on a bus-a bus took him away from his foster home, remember) and just plain scared of the change.  This week I sent him to his old daycare, which he loved after the first few days, and still he cried the first morning.  His best friend was out on vacation, so that added to his upset, and of course he was not used to getting up and leaving the house early in the morning, either-part of why I sent him.  So this week will definitely be tough.

Birthday Party #1

Picture
RB's best friend (center) and Aidan's beloved daycare teacher, both guests at the party.
Picture
Picture
The birthday boy with LB

Kindergarten Open House

Birthday Party #2

Picture
The two year old birthday boy

His Sisters
His Parents-My Nephew and His Wife
Picture
 
We got the pool filled enough for the kids to cool off.  PB and I went toy store shopping with the three boys-what fun-and Aidan got a baseball bat, plus I picked up birthday gifts for BB and RB.  And today we went to BB's first birthday party.  Then on the way home I stopped in the meadow where my brothers were haying and took these shots of my nephew's kids on the hay and my brother on the tractor.
Picture
LB's hair is almost as blue as the pool lining, though you can't really tell in this picture of she and MB

Picture
Picture
Some people think one year olds need motorized cars.  Here is BB with a remote controlled car run by his uncle, behind him.  And then, like most kids, he wanted to play with the packaging more than the toys.

Picture

Dog Days, at Last

8/10/2009 14:21:12

0 Comments

 
Picture
We finally have long, hot, sticky days.  My fifth brother went haying for the only time this year-it was finally dry enough to cut-and Aidan got to drive the tractor.  He loved that, of course.

My second brother was exhibiting at the annual League of NH Craftsmen Fair this week and sold a table and chairs, so he's psyched.
http://www.nhcrafts.org/index.html
http://www.myrlphelps.com/
Picture
My third brother called and asked if my grandsons needed a swingset.  When I said they do not, but we do, we got a swingset.  MB hasn't used it yet, but the other three had a great time on it today.

Picture
Picture
And last, my first brother was here for a day and a half with his wife.  He'll be back again later this month for his birthday (let's see-he'll be 62 this time!) for longer.  Then he'll be able to see his daughter-she lives in NH, he lives in WA, and she was out West while he was back East.

Picture
MB could not get enough of my sister in-law!

Picture

Vacation Week

8/2/2009 11:12:54

1 Comment

 
Today ends vacation week for both PB and myself.  I actually ended up watching the grandsons on and off, but it was still a good week.  PB and I took all four boys (BB was with me that day) to the beach for one afternoon.  We played in the dirt a lot.  And on Friday, despite the constant pouring rain, Aidan and I went to Santa's Village, which he loved.  On Saturday we went to an Asian families gathering (adoptive families) hosted by the biology teacher at my school, who has two Korean children.  Their son, also named Aidan, is eight, and their daughter is four.  The other family that came has a 15 year old Chinese daughter.  The fourth family had to cancel last minute.  Then today we spent the early afternoon at Mom's house where I had MB and GB was there with his son, BB.  Here are shots from the whole week:
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
You can see that I was thrilled to take this plunge but that Aidan was not so much so.  He asked, as we ascended, if he could get off.  He also insisted that I keep my arms around his waist the whole time, even when the ride was gentle.

Guide to these shots:
1st row left-BB (grandson #2); right-Brandy (dog), Aidan, BB, & RB (grandson #1)
2nd row left-PB & boys after beach; Aidan after beach, w/black cherry ice cream
3rd row left-Aidan; right-PB (our first daughter)
4th row left-Brother #2 with Aidan and my niece (from sister #4) in the workshop (my brother makes furniture); right-BB & MB (grandsons #2 and #3)
5th row left and right-the boys again, with cabbage
(other rows identified below)
6th row left-the boys and me; right-GB (our 1st son) and his son, BB
7th row left-sister #4 with MB; GB and BB again
8th row left-my sister's girls and MB; right-brother #5 and BB
9th row left-Mom and kids; right-my 2nd brother's girlfriend, doing a crossword puzzle in the shop
10th row left-Aidan; right-my 5th brother's wife and BB
 

When it is not raining, the days are perfect.  Like the summers of my youth, the temps are in the 70s and the humidity is relatively low.  I can breathe, we can actually spend time in the south-facing part of the house, and it just couldn't be more beautiful.

Aidan and RB are becoming fast friends.  They both think that they are excavators in the making and love to dig dirt.  They nap together-on the top bunk-and I just love listening to the two of them playing make-believe.

Here they are on their hot rods with Mangus, our youngest dog:

Aidan also has a great love of cooking.  It really doesn't matter what; he loves to measure, pour, stir, everything.  He even loves to wash dishes.  Here he is actually cooking with a wok that my sister gave us years ago.

Family Style

This weekend was G's family reunion.  Here are some shots of Aidan playing ball, BB trying to get in on the game, BB and GB enjoying the sun, and Aidan hanging out with his father.

Hangin' out with Dad

Picture
All tuckered out from that batting practice.

My Little Dirt Diggers

The trip to the elementary school playground was so that Aidan could get used to his new school and play on the equipment, but the boys spent most of their time in the dirt.

Today we went to my mother's gravel pit.  Aidan was awed by the place.  I'll have to tell him that both of his grandmothers own gravel pits!
 
Picture
The boys catching rain with their shovels.  What else was there to do this week?

After our week of rain, the sun came out enough for us to watch the parade in the next town.  Then, just as we were heading to our car, the pellets started falling, and just after we started the car, the skies opened up with a vengeance.  By the time we got home it was tapering off.  A couple of hours later we went to G's parents' house for the annual cook-out and the rain held off long enough for us all to eat and play for a couple of hours, then the thunder came again.  Most of the week we just had rain without thunder or lightning, but it sure would be nice to see a break. 

Normally my brother is haying at this time of year.  Normally I've gone to the beach just once.  Normally I have not had to put a hat and coat on the kids.  This just isn't normal.  We had one summer like this in the mid-1990s and prior to that we had two like this in the 1970s.  The difference between now and the 1970s, though, is that back then we didn't have the extreme heat and humidity (90% humidity and 100º + temps) that usually follows.  So I'm hoping for a gradual transition over to summer weather when the rain finally breaks.

Picture


Aidan, enjoying some of G's onion rings, just before the parade got started, and wearing the Sponge Bob hat that G bought him at the vendor tables.