Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kisses Make it Better

We have always had the tradition that when you get hurt your owie gets a kiss.  Bennett has learned this and comes to us often with a kiss face and a hand out to be kissed.  This afternoon he stubbed his toe.  He complained a little and said owie and then sat down.  He took off his sock and pulled his big toe up to his mouth and gave it a kiss.  It was adorable.  He held his sock out for me "Gock, pees" and then made me kiss his toe before we put his sock back on.

Don't Forget...

Please don't let me forget the way that Bennett:
  • laughs almost just like Harrison did when he was that age.
  • takes my finger to lead me to where he wants me to go.
  • and Harrison shout "Daddy, Daddy" and jump up and down at the door when Chris gets home from work.
  • coughs just so he can cover his mouth.  And then when he really has to cough he forgets to cover his mouth.
  • jumps.  He gets serious air.  Someday when he is all of 5 foot 0 inches he will make millions dunking the ball on 7 footers and share with his mama!
  • the sound that Bennett makes when he is excited and running about.  
  • only swings his right arm when he is excited and running about.
  • can't use his 's' sound in words but can talk like a snake perfectly!
  • wants everything to be orderly.  This is Will's water.  This is Miles' toy.  No you can't drink that, it's Harrison's!
  • wants to help Daddy with everything.  And Daddy is never annoyed! :)
  • loves his grandpa's.  Someday it will be your turn too grandma's!
  • wants to be just like his big brother.

Please don't let me forget the way that Harrison:
  • is still so innocent.  "Why is that lady short?  Why is he crying?  Why, why why?"
  • LOVES to play hide-n-seek.
  • loves to be scared by us but hates to be scared  by movies.
  • giggles when he is being tickled and says "Stop, stop" and then when you stop he says "Tickle me again!"
  • makes everything into a race.  So annoying yet so cute!
  • sings and talks to himself when he is on the toilet.  Hehehe! :)
  • can remember everything.  Commercials, songs, conversations you don't want others to hear...
  • gets disappointed when he doesn't get to say good-bye to Will, or Miles, or Ian.  "But I wanted to let them know I care!!!!"
  • is too smart for his own britches.  "I turned the t.v. off.  I've had enough cartoons and, Mom, too much t.v. is not good for you."
  • has always seemed older than he really is, but he is really just a little boy.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Miles - You're ONE!!!

What a year it's been!!!  Isn't he precious!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Naked Pirate

Aaarrrgggg!  Give me me britches or ye walk the plank.

Snow Day

It's still cold here in Iowa.  Having 'childcare' in my home is not really difficult, but not playing outside tends to make it feel that way sometimes.  We are usually outside for at least 2 hours in the morning and then again after nap.  In the spring we even eat outside.  I'm sad all of the sudden...

Anyway, today we brought the outside in.  I went out and got the water table and some water toys.  I got them all cleaned up and then brought in a shovel full of snow.  What fun they had!  Bennett and Will scooped snow and put it in buckets, Harrison made snow molds of crabs and dolphins (warm weather animals!) and Miles, well Miles ate the snow!  

After awhile Miles thought he had enough and he went for some real food.  I guess all that talk of food made Will and Bennett hungry because then they started eating the snow.
Eventually Will got tired of the snow as well and he went to play Cariboo (hidden ball game) so that just left my nature lovers.  They played together like that for over 20 minutes.  What bliss...
Tomorrow we may brave the real outdoors.  It's supposed to be 46!

Chapter Books

When Harrison turned 4 we started reading chapter books.  We read all of the Flat Stanley series and then I floundered a little before I remembered the Magic Treehouse series.  It is a great series of beginner books by Will and Mary Pope Osbourne.  And the great thing about the books is that they have research guides to go with most of them!  So yesterday we read Dinosaurs Before Dark and today we are going to start the research guide that goes with it called Dinosaurs.  Jack and Annie are the two main characters (brother and sister) and in the research guide they tell how much they enjoyed their dinosaur adventure and how they wanted to learn more and then they tell what they learned.  GREAT!  Harrison (like most other preschoolers, I'm sure) is always asking questions.  One of his questions yesterday was about the Cretaceous Period.  Luckily, the research guide dives right into that subject!  I was trying to pull answers from middle school science class, but it wasn't working very well!

Now I just have to make Harrison understand that a chapter book doesn't need to be read all in one sitting.  That's the point of chapters!!!  Maybe today we will make him his own special bookmark!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Snow Much Fun

There is one thing to be said for Iowa weather - sledding!!!  We went sledding today and most of us had a great time.  Harrison thinks that sledding is his new favorite sport.  He goes down the hill with dad, by himself, front-wards, backwards and sideways; sometimes wiping out and laughing the whole way back up the hill.  

Bennett is not sold on this form of entertainment.  Our first trip down the hill was not that successful.  We made it down the hill ok, but his poor little face was just full of snow!  He went down with me and we must have been too far forward on the sled cause we got a snow shower about halfway down.  After that he tried again with Dad, but then that was it.  He just watched.  He has my sense of humor and laughed out loud when a couple of kids wrecked going down the hill.  People falling is funny!

We had a great time and are thrilled that the weather is going to let us be able to go outside and make a snowman this week!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Movie Night

Another Friday, another movie.  Tonight's feature presentation was Dumbo.  What a classic!

T.V. take 2

This really has to stop.  

Today while watching Beverly Hills 90210 (I know, no excuses from me) Harrison asked me where that was (referring to the mall the girls were shopping in).  This is the conversation that followed:

Me - "Beverly Hills."

Harrison - "Where's that?"

Me - "California."

Harrison - "I want to go to California."

Me - "Oh..."

Harrison - "I like milk. (pause)  Cows.  (pause)  Happy cows.  (pause)  Happy cows live in California!"

Me - (Again, laughing uncontrollably)  "Really, I did not know that."

When I worked at Bright Horizons we had conferences every year.  Every year the co-founder of the company, Roger Brown, would give an inspirational speech that usually had us laughing at the beginning, sometimes crying in the middle and then thinking deeply by the end about how we could be better people.   One year he talked about his families decision to give up t.v.  He laid out the points about more time for reading, playing musical instruments, being outside, and general togetherness with his family.

We need to do that.  Harrison is out of control.  He really doesn't watch that much t.v. but he picks up EVERYTHING that he watches.  I just don't know that Chris and I can do it.  We like t.v.  I like the news.  I like really poor reality t.v.  And most of all, NCAA basketball has just started!!!!!  We (I) can't live without college basketball!  But, sacrifices are going to have to be made.  This can not continue.  

We just got a DVR, dammit!!!!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oh My Coldness

It is 17 below zero today in Des Moines and it feels like 37 below with the windchill.  In Clinton, it is the coldest in the state at 25 below zero.  Des Moines Public Schools cancelled classes.  This is the first time they have done this since I have been in Des Moines and the coldest it has been in Des Moines in over 12 years.

Harrison has asked me if he can go back each day since we have shoveled.  I have said no, it is too cold and then he fires back 'But it is sunny out!'  Today was the same thing.  "Can I go outside?"  Mind you, it wasn't even 7:30 am when he asked me this.  He absolutely loves the snow!  I again told him no and then promised to take him sledding on Saturday when the temps were higher.  He hesitated, knowing that sledding was a good offer, but he just couldn't accept it.  "But Mom, it's sunny outside!  I want to go sledding today!"

I realize that parents have been asking this question for hundreds of years, but honestly, why can't children just trust their parents?!!!!!!!!!! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Snow shoveling and naps

Aren't my boys perfect?!!!

Miles wins the photo of the day contest for yesterday.  He was just so cute and I happened to catch it all on film!

First of all he still has nap issues.  No morning naps at my house.  So, by lunch time he is exhausted.  Well, yesterday he didn't make it to bed before the sandman found him.  I have never had a child fall asleep in the high chair.  You always see pictures of it but not my kids.  I had walked into the kitchen to get refills of something and Harrison said "Mom, come look at Miles."  Isn't he cute!!!

So it has been snowing in Iowa.  And snowing.  And snowing.  But yesterday after it was done snowing it was fairly nice.  Harrison and I decided to go outside to do some shoveling and snowball throwing.  The 3 little boys were all sleeping and I could check the monitor as need be.  Well, we were out there for about 10 minutes when I began to shovel a path to the mailbox. I went past my room and there is Miles pulling on the blinds (note to self - move pak-n-play!) telling me it is time to come in!  It was nice enough outside so I bundled him up and out he came too!  I am thinking that his idea of a good vacation is somewhere tropical with beaches versus somewhere mountainous with snow.  What do you think? 

He really did have a good time outside as is evidence by this picture.
I am not sure why he was so unhappy for the first photo but it gave me a good chuckle!

Harrison, Miles and I had a great time outside, but I think Maddie was even more excited.  She loves the snow when it is warmer.  She runs and jumps and bites at the snow.  Her and Harrison played tag and of course, Maddie always wins!
We did have a snow ball fight and when we got inside, Harrison told me he had fun but that the next time we had a snowball fight it would be the biggest, bestest snowball fight ever.  And he would win.  

I have no doubt.  I have no doubt!

It's begun

So Bennett made me a very happy mommy today.  He called me 'Mommy!'  It is way cute.  He has been saying 'Mama' but this is just so much better!  After he said it he could tell I was so proud of him that he kept saying it and saying it and saying it.  Luckily I am not easily annoyed when it comes to these kinds of things.  At least not that often...

Because... he is also saying 'No!'  This just started today as well.  He has been able to say the word but he has chosen not to at all of the appropriate times.  Well, today he began saying no instead of using his hands to ward off the enemies (Miles and Will).  I was so proud and then so annoyed when he told me no.  Oh my.  Never a dull moment!

Dear America, Harrison will save the economy

I am torn.  Most of me knows that this has to stop.  The rest of me is laughing too hard to care.  

Harrison is enthralled by commercials.  He is constantly repeating the commercial or telling me how much I probably want to go there.  

"Mom, you really want that, don't you?  I want that too.  I really love IHOP."

"Mom, you have to see this.  You want that don't you?  Are you going to get those?"

"Mom, I really want Bendaroos.  Aren't they cool?  I could use them for so many things!"

Well, today was the funniest of them all.  I was in the kitchen during nap time.  Everyone was asleep except for Harrison.  He comes into the kitchen and said:

"Mom, do you have gold jewelry gathering dust?  You can send it in for money.  And the gold kit is FREE!"  

I was biting my sweatshirt and it still didn't work.  I answered him by laughing, quite loud, and said that I would check.  I couldn't believe that he had repeated the commercial almost perfectly.  And then, about 10 minutes later he said:

"Mom, if your carpet has something sticky on it, don't clean it.  Resolve it!  We should get that shouldn't we?"

The power of persuasion works well with him.  At least if the t.v. is doing the persuading!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

So don't do it

Did you ever tell your parents "When I do this, it hurts."  And then they respond with the wise advice of "Well, then don't do that."  I knew my life would come to that some day.

It snowed last night.  And snowed and snowed.  We were supposed to get less than 2 inches of snow and ended up getting over 5.  A bit of a difference.  Christopher was very excited about the whole weather issue.  He bought a snow blower (that was made in 1978) off of Craigslist and just couldn't wait to use it.  That thing is a beast.  Anyway, the boys wanted to go out and watch him and play in the snow.  So on goes the layers of clothing and boots and outside they head.

They were out there for awhile when I decided to go investigate and see how things were going.  When I got out there, Bennett had one glove off and was crying.  He said 'col-col.'  His fingers were cold.  I put his glove back on and turned around to see Harrison and Chris.  Bennett started crying again and I turned around to see his glove off (you saw that coming, didn't you?) and his hand covered in snow.  I explained that he needed to keep his glove on.  I replaced the glove and started back to the house.  Again, more crying.  This time I went over, bent down and said, "Keep your glove or you are coming in the house."  He listened for about 5 minutes and then it was inside to make hot chocolate.  Silly boy! 

Compare, compare

I really never knew that it could be so much fun to compare children.  In the childcare world  you are basically taught not to ever compare children.  Especially when talking to parents.  You don't want one parent to think there child is better than the next child or visa-versa.  But come on, what parent doesn't think their child is the brightest, funniest and cutest child they have ever seen?  Until the next one comes along...

Well, I am currently comparing children.  It is the psychologist in me coming out.  As you know, Bennett and Will are only 6 days apart.  And Miles is just 9 months back of them.  And of course Harrison is really not that much older.  He is 28 1/2 months older than Bennett and Will.  Yet I still have a hard time remembering some of the things he used to do...

Currently Bennett and Will are learning to say words and small phrases.  Will is a little ahead in this category.  He started saying things like 'Mama' and 'ball' and 'please' before Bennett.  And now he has moved onto phrases such as 'help please' and 'up please' as well.  Bennett is coming along as well.  He loves to say please.  You still have to prompt him to say it but when you do he usually gets all smiles and puts all his effort into it.  This morning he wanted something and I told him 'help please' and for the next 10 minutes all we heard was 'elp pees.'  So cute!  

We have a magnet toy on the fridge.  It has the entire alphabet and then a place to put the letters to hear what they sound like.  Bennett is content to throw the letters on the floor or work very hard to get them to fit into the player.  Will on the other hand wants them to fit but can't always figure that out.  And the reason he wants them to fit is because he wanted to learn what they are what the sound makes.  He has a deep fascination with letters.  

The same concept happens when we get out the puzzles.  Bennett wants to put the puzzles back together.  And Will wants to know what the puzzle pieces are.  

There is also a difference that I haven't really figured out yet.  Will still loves to put things in his mouth.  I am sure it has to do with teething but he literally puts everything in his mouth!  Bennett on the other hand can be trusted with just about everything.  That is one of my secret joys at the end of the day.  I can hand Bennett a toy not appropriate for someone his age, little Legos, small screw driver set, etc and he will work and play with it for almost 30 minutes.  This is a blissful 30 minutes as I wind down before starting to make dinner, etc.  And this is about the only thing that will keep his attention for longer than 5 minutes (without me being right there).  No toys that he should be playing with!  Bennett LOVES little things.  He likes to touch them, roll them in his hand and see how they feel and he likes to try and put them together.

Cartoons is a funny difference that the boys have.  Harrison didn't watch cartoons until he was almost 3.  We watched a few Baby Einstein videos, but that was it.  Little good that did us, since now it is his favorite thing...  Will LOVES to watch cartoons as well.  And he has favorites.  Blues Clues and Sesame Street are two of his favorites here.  Bennett on the other hand could care less.  He doesn't have any interest in sitting and watching a show.  He likes to watch Baby Einstein, IF I stay and watch it with him, but that is about it.  That is, unless we are in the car.  Then he totally will watch whatever you put in the DVD player and likes it best when you put on Diego.  Strange children!!!

Miles is at the dropping from the high chair stage.  And that is a funny show to watch.  Will pays no attention to this.  Bennett on the other hand is deeply troubled.  Every time Miles drops something, Bennett goes to get it and give it back.  He does this until he can't stand it anymore, at which point he yells at Miles and then comes and gets me (pulls me by my finger) to help and assess the situation.  Often times as I 'talk' the situation over with Miles, Bennett also 'talks' the situation over by pointing his finger at Miles.  Bennett often does this as well when I am talking with Harrison.  He comes over to where we are and gets down on his knees to discuss Harrison's egregious behavior.  We have started to go to a room where we can discuss alone because of Bennett's mother-hen tendencies.  I don't know where he gets that!

Anyway - this post is getting kind of long.  There are so many other things that all of the boys do the same and all do differently.  It is just fun watching them do these things.  It shows their individuality off so well.  So fun...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Three Kings Day

For weeks now (literally) Harrison has been saying he wants to watch Three Kings Day.  They have been advertising it for weeks (literally) on Nickelodeon.  It is an episode of Dora the Explorer where they celebrate Three Kings Day and Dora, Diego and Boots ride into town on animals wearing crowns pretending to be the kings.  Yesterday Harrison walked into the kitchen talking about going to Nick Jr. dot com to get his crown.  "Can we do that, Mom?  Can we go to dot com and get a Three Kings Day crown."  I told him I would take care of it.  Chris brought one home that he printed off from 'dot com!'

So tonight we gathered around the t.v. with our crowns and watched a very boring episode of Dora the Explorer.  Not that I really want cartoons to be educating my child about Jesus and the epiphany but this episode lacked a lot.  It hyped the holiday as just another day for getting presents and toys.  Go figure.  Kids shouldn't be watching t.v. anyway...
At Sunday School this past Sunday we did learn about the real Three Kings Day, which is today.  That is where Harrison made the crown that Bennett is wearing.  Luckily Harrison didn't connect that the two were related to each other.

For those of you who want to know, Three Kings Day is also known as epiphany and/or the twelfth day of Christmas.  It is the day that the three wise men traveled to meet baby Jesus and bring him gifts.  It is the official end of the Christmas season in the Christian faith.  Class dismissed.

Cartwheels and Somersaults

For whatever reason Chris asked me if I could do a cartwheel.  Of course I can't!!!  What is he thinking.  But I tried anyway.  This led to much comic relief for our family in the next 30 minutes.  The first thing that happened was that I practically fell down.  The second thing that happened was that Chris almost got slapped for laughing so hard.  The next thing that happened led us all into a fit of laughter.  Bennett tried to do a cartwheel.  And of course because Chris, Harrison and I laughed at him he tried to do another and another and another each time the laughter getting louder (and me close to tears).  Now, these 'Bennett cartwheels.'  I don't know exactly how to describe them to you.  Imagine standing straight up and then dramatically leaning  your head to the side, holding it there for 2 seconds and then falling down.  It was just hysterical.  
With the gymnastics theme going, Harrison declared that he could do a somersault.  We asked him to show us and what came was no somersault.  It was more of a flop to the side of your body...thing.  So after some coaching, he can now do a semi-decent somersault.  We are a little worried about his neck as he seems to be doing a lot of resting of his entire weight on his neck while he waits to push over to his back.  So a little more practice will have to be done with that!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bloody Wii

So the Neipert family got spoiled over Christmas this year and a Wii was delivered from Santa Claus.  It is so fun and I especially love my Wii Fit.  

But - I don't know what it is with Harrison.  We have Wii Sports (bowling, tennis, baseball, etc) and Wii Play (ping-pong, cow racing, air hockey, etc) and then the Wii Fit.  All he wants to play is the one war game we have.  It is on Wii Play and it involves tanks shooting other tanks.  What is it with him?  All we have ever done is force feed him sports and it's like he is turning on us!  He just wants to shoot things.  And the duck hunt game on Wii Play isn't good enough for him either.  All you do on that are shoot targets and clay pigeons.  He wants WAR!  

We don't need any more games right now as we are still trying to master the ones we have but we might have to make a run to Game Stop to pick up Go Diego Go for Wii.  It's not sports and not the game I want (Mario Cart!) but at least I know Diego doesn't shoot anyone (although I would like my turn at Rescue Pack!).

Friday, January 2, 2009

What day is it?

I am so confused on the days.  We have been doing so much traveling and then I have had no extra kids at the house and then Chris is here and then not here that I am having serious issues!  

Harrison is very concerned when Ian will be coming back and even I have to admit I am ready to back into our routine again.  

New Years was uneventful for us this year.  I tried to explain to Harrison that he would be going to bed this year and waking up next year but it was still to over-his-head.  He saw an advertisement for Noon Year's Eve at the Science Center and I think we will totally do that next year.  They have a big kids party and celebrate at noon by ringing in the noon-year with streamers and noise makers and hats.  It sounds fun and I am a little sad we didn't do it this year!

What we did do is really unblogable.  That is a new one for Merriam-Webster.  Chris worked at Hy-Vee from 7:00 - 11:00 and I stayed home with a bottle of Merlot and season one of Sex and the City.  I was asleep by the time Chris got home but I do remember him saying "it's 11:59 pm.  Now it's 2009!"  But I know that I responded by grunting and rolling over.  A party and a half I am! 

We are looking forward to a happy and healthy year.  So much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to.  Happy 2009!

R.I.P. Elwood

We lost our fish last week.  Poor Elwood had been laying on the bottom of the tank for over a month.  He was breathing, but that was about it.  When he first started laying down there, he would swim away from the net or even try and bite it (which he still could do).  But after awhile, the fight was all gone.  When we left for eastern Iowa on December 19th I told Chris that he had to 'help' Elwood if he wasn't gone by the time Chris left to come back to Davenport.  So, on Tuesday night (Dec 23) Chris got out the net and Elwood didn't fight at all.  He was over 10 years old and I thought that might be pretty old for a fish, but after doing some research, some piranha's live up to 20 years of age.  

I really hope it is not the case, but we got a batch of goldfish about a month before Elwood got sick that had ick.  Ick is a gross, white spot disease that fish can get.  We didn't see any ick on Elwood so we are hoping he just lived his life to the fullest.

When Chris got Elwood, he was about the size of a quarter.  Really small.  He soon got bigger and bigger.    He eventually got to be just a little bit bigger than my hand.  Nice sized fish!  I can't remember how long it was after Chris got him that one of his friends (Scott!) was messing around with Elwood.  He stuck his hand in the tank and was chasing him around.  Eventually Elwood had enough and he turned on Chris' friend and bit a nice sized piece out of his finger.  Very funny and also very bloody! 

As much as I hated the noise that the tank made and the space that it took up, I will miss Elwood.  He was exotic and cool.  Things that Chris and I are obviously not!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Just funny

"That way.  That way for pants that fit!"
"And for nicer parents.  That way for nicer parents!"

The Cake

Last year for Harrison's birthday I asked him what kind of cake he wanted.  He said peanut butter with peanut butter frosting.  I did what I was told and the end result was actually pretty good.  I thought the cake itself ended up a little dry but the frosting more than made up for it.  

This year when I asked Harrison what kind of cake he wanted he said "a dinosaur cake."  Uh-oh.  So on to the internet (god bless the internet) I went looking for dinosaur cakes.  First I had tried the library, but all of the cake books I found had no dinosaurs.  So anyway, Harrison was with me while I was looking and wouldn't you know the first GREEN dinosaur cake that he saw, he wanted!  This was not the easiest one on the site.  I was not thrilled.  And, to top off the challenge, I began to stress about not having a cake plate big enough for this cake.  Then after the 'dumbness' wore off I was able to realize that a sturdy piece of cardboard and tinfoil is what I was in need of.  

So now that we knew what the cake was supposed to look like I asked Harrison what it should taste like.  

"Chocolate.  With Chocolate frosting."  

Ummm, Harrison, I can't make it green with chocolate frosting.  

"Oh, ok... (sad face)"

But it will be green!

"YEAH!!  I love green!"

Luckily the website I found this on came with some instructions and getting the body made was really not that hard.  

The frosting of the dinosaur took forever and I almost ended up with not enough frosting.  If you take a good close look the dinosaur footwear may look a little off to you.  But, you can think it is perfect and not look to close!

I used fruit-by-the-foot for the spikes and chocolate frosting for the eyes.  Those were my ideas!

Harrison was very pleased with the final product and I was glad to have it done with.  I procrastinated until late the night before to finally put the cake together.  

Harrison turns 4

Harrison's birthday was a lot of fun this year.  It seemed like we celebrated for days.  But we kind of did.  His birthday was on a Wednesday so we got up and made him M & M pancakes (a stolen idea from Nathan and Meredith!) for breakfast and then opened presents before Dad went to work.  This turned out to be not such a great idea because one of the presents he got was a giant Lego set and I ended up helping him put it together all day.  Next year we wait until Dad gets home from work to open presents!  I had 3 other children I was supposed to be watching!

During the day Harrison asked me when he got to blow out the candles on his birthday cake: before or after dinner?  Ummmm... I hadn't planned on making a cake for his birthday today and then another for his party!  Scrambling - no cake mix in the house - I made a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  All from scratch.  Not bad.  Not bad, if I do say so myself!!!  We had delicious cupcakes for dessert after a special taco salad birthday dinner.  At least he has good taste in food!!!

On Friday, he brought treats to school, Snowman Peeps (gross!!) and they had a celebration for him there.  He came home with a birthday crown he had gotten to wear and was so excited that his friends loved Peeps (GROSS!!)!

Friday night, Uncle Ryan and Aunt Kaylee came to stay with us.  Gpa Greg and Gma Pam came too, but they stayed at a hotel this time.  Harrison was not so keen on this but then Gma told him she would bring bagels for breakfast and he was excited.  "Plain.  With plain cream cheese!" was his order.

Saturday was the party.  It is our tradition that we always go to Plaza Lanes for Harrison's birthday.  It is sometimes the only time of year we go bowling and we all love to do it.  Although this year they had automated bumpers that only went up when Harrison was bowling.  This made my mother a little sad!

Harrison did great.  He tries to push the ball hard, but it's a heavy ball.  He is much better at making scary faces. 
Bennett LOVED the ball return.  It was like magic, EVERY time.  Kari, Joe and Will came to bowl.  Will was fascinated with the balls and couldn't get it through his head that they were too heavy for him to lift.  Luckily we made it through the morning with no one getting their fingers pinched!  Andy, Claudia and Miles were there as well and Miles. of course, had more than enough smiles for everyone there.

Next it was back to our house for chili and cake.  It seems to be a running theme in our house.  If you come on the weekend and it is cold outside, we are probably serving chili!

We had a great day and Harrison couldn't have been happier.  

My Hawkeye boys

I'm doing what I can but sometimes it is hard.  They are cute...