My Tate, you're five today. Five years old. Somehow it sounds so very much older and bigger than four. I know in my mind that it's still just one year of time. The same year that turned you from three to four, but my heart feels like five is momentous. No longer a little kid. You're a boy. A tall, handsome, kind, funny, silly little boy. Growing up and becoming more aware of the world around you and going to kindergarten in just a few months. Yikes.
You've been in your second year of preschool this year and while the teachers and structure took some getting used to, you're doing great now. You have a few cute little friends and you always come out talking about your favorite time of preschool, when you got to play outside with your friends. You have an astounding imagination, as you always have, and your play time revolves around whatever story we've read or movie we've seen lately. I love how you take your own spin on characters or situations you're familiar with just to see how they play out. "Mom, I'll be C3PO and you be Wendy from Peter Pan, okay?" or "Mom, you be Anna from Frozen and I'll be Bolt, okay?" Then you proceed to tell me the scenario in which those two characters would come across each other and we have to play it out.
You love to play outside. We are lucky living in this beautiful place where we have parks nearby and can get out to play on them most of the time. Even in the winter there are breaks from the cold when we get to go play outside. You played on a soccer league last spring and then again in the fall with your dad as coach. It didn't appear to be your passion but you seemed to really enjoy being outside and running around with friends. And you loved that your shin guards made you look "just like a storm trooper". So there's that.
You are a little fish. You finished a few more sessions of swimming lessons this summer and while actually staying on top of the water still doesn't come naturally to you, you're getting incredibly brave and LOVE being in the water. You've always liked swimming but this year you spend way more time underneath the surface. It kind of scares your dad and I sometimes when we don't see you surface for a while even when we know you can touch. You have your favorite Buzz Lightyear goggles and you are so excited about swimming around and being able to see underwater. It's like magic to you and so fun for us to watch.
You just started gymnastics a couple of weeks ago. Primarily because some of your friends take gymnastics so you've been to birthday parties there and we thought it would be something fun to do since it's too cold most days to play outside. You've loved it so far. You try hard, listen to your teachers, and leave exhausted. I'm a very proud mama watching you learn something I can't teach you from someone other than me. There's something so wonderful about watching you be a good student.
You love everything Disney. There may have been a teensy bit of brainwashing involved there. You love Disneyland, watching the rides on youtube, talking about our trip, and obviously watching the movies. We've had a couple of "Tate Dates" to plays this year and you've seemed to really enjoy those too. We went to Peter Pan and Mary Poppins. It's fun once in a while to have some time alone with you.
You're still a picky eater. Your favorite stand-by food and the food you will always order at restaurants when we go out is Mac and Cheese. Every time. Thank heavens for our morning smoothies because there is no way we'd get any fruit or veggies in you without them! I usually cater to what you'll eat to some degree at breakfast and lunch because I know that come dinner time, you're probably going to choose to go without.
You're a stinkin' smart boy. But that's nothing new. You have an amazing memory and you pick new things up pretty quickly. You can watch a movie once and have a collection of quotes you thought were funny that you start incorporating into your daily language. Just like your Daddy. We've started having little reading practices every other day while Finn is napping. It's not your favorite time of day but once we get started you don't complain too much. You're getting a pretty good collection of sight words under your belt and are reading some little books fairly comfortably...or maybe you've memorized them all...that's a possibility too.
You're becoming more compassionate and thoughtful this year. You seem to be more aware of what's going on around you and how you fit in. Finny was jumping on the bed last week and fell and split his head open on the headboard. Nana was here while we ran Finn to the hospital. When we got back you were so concerned about him. Even though you'd been in bed for over an hour, you stayed awake and asked if you could go give Finn a hug. When we got back in to bed you were full of questions about the hospital, the doctors, the stitches. Did they hurt? Did Finn cry? And when you had asked all your questions you sat there in silence for a minute. Then you said, "Mom, I changed my mind. I want to be a doctor for kids when I grow up." I thought that was so sweet and indicative of how your mind and heart work right now.
You are a wonderful big brother. Little Finn adores you and copies absolutely everything you say and do. I love the look in his eyes when you do something silly and he laughs at you. He looks at you like you hung the moon in the sky just for him. You quote movies, so he quotes movies. You love Star Wars so he loves Star Wars. He adores you, Tate, and you adore him right back. Right now you're the best of buddies. Occasionally he gets in an ornery mood and decides to terrorize you. Since he's Finn, he resorts to physical intimidation. He's just a physical little guy. And you, you sweet little kid, you run away crying because it would never occur to you to take him down or hit him back. But for the most part, you two play so well together. One of my most precious joys as your mother is watching the two of you play together and seeing how much you love each other. You are lucky to have each other and I hope you never forget that.
You know who else you're lucky to have? Your Daddy. You two boys love your Dad. Every day when he gets home from work we hide...pretty much every time it's under the dining room table. And Dad pretends to find us there...again. Then we all get out and give him hugs. He's the best Dad in the world. He works hard all day and then comes home excited to see you boys and ready to wrestle, read, go swimming, or walk to a park with us. Sometimes on Fridays when Dad has half days he surprises you by picking you up from school and taking you to a movie with him. You love that. Lately, because of my new crazy calling, your dad takes over at night while I go do YW stuff. It's really telling that not having me around so much of the time hasn't thrown you and Finn at all because your Dad has totally got it. He tries hard to be the best Daddy for you and your brother. I know you'll keep getting closer and closer as you get older. He wouldn't have it any other way.
You're a very affectionate boy, as you've always been. You still let me snuggle you when we watch a movie and at bed time after I sing and turn out the light you ask, almost every night, "Mom, would you snuggle me for a couple of minutes?" How can I say, "no" to that? You are quick to hug me when I ask for a hug and quick to hug your baby brother when he is upset or hurt too. You are a very loving kid and will make some lucky girl a very attentive, sweet husband some day...if I ever let you date.
Oh my Tate, this motherhood thing is so bittersweet. Every new thing you learn and accomplish makes me almost laughably proud of you. I wish I could record my heartbeat or the way my face absolutely beams when you kick the soccer ball in your game or befriend a lonely boy in class or say your scripture in primary or do a somersault in gymnastics. And at the same time, every new thing you learn and accomplish is one more tiny step you take in becoming your own brilliant little independent person and that comes with needing your momma a little bit less...or at least a little bit differently than you did before.
I've said it before and maybe it merits saying this once a year on your birthday, you and me, we have a special thing going on on this day of yours. Your birthday isn't just the day you arrived on this earth, it's the day you made me a mama. My most favorite job, favorite role, favorite most wonderful thing I've ever done. Unfortunately for you, being the first means you get the most uptight, anxious version of mama me. You're my first baby, first preschooler, soon you'll be my first kindergartener and my first everything else for the rest of your life. You get to pave the way for the rest of the Makechnie kiddos and your Dad and I get to figure out this parenting game as you go. We're doing our best to be everything you need. We pray every night for help from Heavenly Father. Help taking care of you, raising you, guiding you to be the boy He needs you to be. And you, little kiddo, are the most perfect first boy we could ask for. You are a genuinely kind, caring boy. You feel badly when you disappoint us and you try your best not to. You want to please your teachers at school and in church and you feel badly if you every get in a little bit of trouble. You love your friends and love being around other kids. You love going to the park or zoo with Finn and I, but you're both happiest when you have a play date with other kids.
Tate, you're a good soul. I'm so glad I get to be your Mom. I love you so much my first little boy.
The world is yours.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Good gracious, how did another year already pass us by? I was thinking all day today about the day you were born. Seeing your sweet round cheeks. Your smooth, tiny baby head. The way you smelled, the sound of your cry (it was much softer those first few days). Snuggling you and looking at you in the hospital bed even though I knew I should probably put you down and get some sleep. It feels impossible that two years have passed since that day. They were absolutely two of the fastest years I've experienced and I'm afraid that will be the trend from here on out. The years we have with your and your brother are going to speed by and all your Daddy and I can do is try to enjoy and soak up every minute we have with you as they go speeding by.
Finny you are a darling little boy. You look just like your dad. Everyone says so. Just like your handsome Daddy but with very light blond hair. It's surprisingly blond in the summertime when your little body and face get tan and your hair stays blond as can be. I love that I can see your Daddy when I look in your eyes. And I love that your eyes light up when you smile, just like his do. You have a very handsome little face with round cheeks and a thick little body. You're not chubby, just solid and strong. You love to wrestle with Tate and I don't think it will be long before you'll pin him down and he won't be able to push you off. You are a tough, strong, athletic little boy.
You love all things sports. Tate played a couple of little soccer seasons this year and it was torture for you to go to his games and not be able to play with him. We would get you up on Saturday mornings, tell you we were going to Tate's soccer game and all morning and all the way to the game you would say, "I ready a kick a goal, Mom! I ready!" Your turn will come little kiddo. You love playing with a lacrosse stick and it doesn't seem to frustrate you at all that it's so hard for you to maneuver. You put the stick on the ground, walk over to the net, put the ball in, then walk back to the stick end and pick it up and swing it around until the ball comes out. Then you get the ball and do it again. Your patience has no end where sports are concerned. You'll even sit and watch games on TV with Daddy and get frustrated when the commercials come on and interrupt the game.
You do seem to have a favorite sport. Basketball. It was one of your first words and definitely one of your favorite things to do. We finally brought the little tike's basketball hoop down to the family room so you could play with it more often. You have the most darling little jump shot. It's more of a hop than a jump. But you hop up in the air (sometimes with a grunt) and throw the ball at the hoop. Most of the time you make it in too. You practice a lot. More than once we've seen you shoot the ball for 20 minutes at a time with a focus and patience way beyond your years. You notice basketball hoops everywhere we go. If we pass one as we're driving you shout, "A Badiball Hoop!" from the back seat, just to let us know that you saw one! In Sacrament meeting at church you are hard to contain as you spend most of the meeting pointing out the basketball hoops in the cultural hall and asking to go see them.
It's funny how different you and Tate are. A confirmation to me that you little guys were your own spirit people before you came to us and you have your own interests and needs. And yet, it's amazing and wonderful how much you and Tate adore each other. Tate is so proud of you Finn. He tells everyone wherever we go, the park, the zoo, the museum, preschool, the grocery store, that YOU are his baby brother named Finn. He loves you so much. One of the most wonderful things I have seen thus far as a mother, is the tender way that you two play together. You love to wrestle and play pillow fights. Right now Tate wallops you pretty good and you take the hits and laugh until you can hardly breathe. You can be a tease sometimes and push your brother's buttons too. But most of the time you two are best buddies. You are into whatever Tate is into. Right now that means Star Wars. Your favorite character by far is Darth Vader who you call, "Dun Dah Dun", and you sing his theme song and ask to listen to Star Wars music while we're driving in the car. You also love Wild Kratts, Word World, and Lightning McQueen. I'm aching for you not to grow up too fast, but I guess that's just what little brothers do. They're dying to keep up with their big brothers so they seem to grow up much faster than I approve of.
I love the way you love your big brother. The way you look at him and admire him so much. He's a great big brother to you and you are lucky to have each other. You guys adore your Daddy and rightly so, he's a magnificent Daddy. He plays with you and plans fun outings with you. He can't wait to get home from work every day so he can play with you guys and you two give him a hero's welcome. Usually you and Tate hide when you hear the garage door and Dad has to find you. I hope you always admire your Daddy the way you do now. I couldn't ask for a better Daddy for you two crazy boys.
You are a pretty good eater. You love fruit. Grapes, bananas, apples, any kind of berry and sometimes oranges. You've just started to get picky about some foods and I wonder if that's coming from watching your brother too. You can pack it away when you're hungry, in a way that is absolutely mystifying. But if you're not interested in the food we're having, there is no talking you into it.
You had tough phases this year but the last few months have been wonderful. I think you just needed to figure out how to get around by yourself and express yourself better and once you had that new independence you suddenly became a much warmer, sweeter boy. You still don't give snuggles or hugs away too freely. Most of the time I end up just having to grab you and squeeze you when I need it, but you do give hugs and kisses sometimes and you like our songs and snuggles at the end of the day which is a HUGE change. You are a great balance of toughness and sweetness. You are strong, independent, and don't get hurt emotionally or physically very easily. But you have a tender conscience and don't often knowingly disobey. Your Dad and I were discussing today how you don't get into the Christmas presents, play with the Christmas train, or even get into the movie cupboards. We told you not to, and so you don't.
Your speech came a little later than Tate's and we wondered when you would feel the need to chat with us. All of a sudden about 4 months ago your vocabulary exploded. You started using words and phrases that we hadn't "taught" you, you were just listening all along, storing it away until you decided to form the words yourself. Now you quote movies with Tate, sing songs in your bed, and help your toys talk to each other. Your little voice is so stinkin' cute. You have a lisp like Tate and you say several other letters funny too. Your "ch" and "j" sounds are pretty darling. You have great manners and say "please" and "thank you" without being prompted. It's so sweet to hear you and Tate in the back seat as we drive around. "Please I have a cracker Tate?" "Sure, Finny, here you go." "Oh Thank you Tate!" "You're welcome, Finny." So darling.
Finn, honey, I love you. I love your tough, independent side and I love your sweet, polite, tender side that needs short hugs and kisses from me to make it all better before you head right back out to play. Being your momma is the very best job in the world. I wouldn't trade my time with you two for anything. It's incredible and it's heartbreaking watching you grow bigger, older, and more independent every day. I'm immensely proud of you every time you learn something new, and at the same time I want to keep you just like you are just a little bit longer because I LOVE two year old you. I want to scoop you up from your crib and hold you all night just so I don't miss a second of your cute little two year old bear cub body. Your Dad and I will be your biggest fans all your life. We are in awe of you and so grateful to be your parents.
Happy Birthday my sweet little boy.
The world is yours.
Posted by kimmalee at 9:35 PM
Saturday, December 14, 2013
What a whirlwind couple of months it has been. The first week of November I got a new, much more time-consuming calling, then we spent the next few weeks adjusting to that and getting ready for my family to come visit for Thanksgiving. All the Hansen crew and Glenn's brother Ian spent just less than 4 days together here at my house, then we all spread out across the country again. And now suddenly we have a week and a half left before Christmas. I'm not sure where this Fall went. I wish we could do it over just one more time. I feel like I missed it.
Thanksgiving with my family and dear Uncle Ian was wonderful. We looked forward to it for months and, as expected, it flew by much too quickly. We had 17 people including all the kiddos staying in my house and it was a blast. We are so spread out across the country now that we don't get together more than once a year. The last time we were all together was for a few days last Christmas time. We have a really good time when we get together and it's always a bummer when we separate not knowing when we'll all be together again.
The Thanksgiving meal was quite an event. Glenn was determined to make a Turducken. That would be a chicken, in a duck, in a turkey, with layers of Glenn's corn bread stuffing in between each one. Cody and Glenn spent the evening before boning three birds and putting the masterpiece together.
Thanksgiving morning some of us took off for a Gobble Wobble 5K run in Littleton. It was a great little race around a pond and park. I'm definitely in for next year. Some wore funny hats, Adam wore his red long johns.
It was a good time all around and a nice way to start off a day of marathon eating.
Cody and Tate got some snuggle time in as Cody explained hunting shows to him. Tate was surprisingly intrigued.
We had a very full house for the meal as Garvins were able to join us as well. The food spread was incredible. I don't even know if I have a favorite dish. There were too many delicious ones to choose from.
After dinner we played some card games with the Garvins. Always a delight.
Friday was a pretty chill day. In the morning we got a couple of babysitters to watch all the kids while we went to the new Hunger Games movie together. It was great to get some adult time and we all really enjoyed the new movie. Our kids played so well together all weekend. It was just fun to be around them while they enjoyed each other. Finn was especially enamored with his girly cousins and he loved our two babies as well. He often got in the babies faces saying, "Hi baby Abby!" "Hi baby Hayze." The babies were so sweet all weekend as well. Happy and so stinkin' cute. I can hardly stand that I don't get to watch them get bigger! The next time I see them they'll be completely different people. It's a total bust.
We spent Friday afternoon chilling at the house while babies slept, then headed to a fun park for an hour or so before it got dark. The kids had a great time at the park and we grown ups joined in a fair bit as well. Mal, Kenz and I took turns in a spinning chair of doom. I'm surprised none of us threw up. Kenz and Cody had a competition of sorts on a tight rope. It's difficult to say if either of them really "won". We had a good laugh watching them either way.
Saturday morning we took some family pictures. It was absolutely necessary considering how seldom we are all together and how many new family members we've added since our last ones. A dear friend from our ward took them and did a fabulous job.
Right after pictures we decided to hit up our Science Museum for a few hours. We were tired and it wasn't an ideal time of day for the kiddos but we managed to have a great time. Dinosaurs, kids discovery zone, Sadie wanted to see the mummies, Tate wanted to see the African Animals, then we ended with the Health exhibit which was our favorite. There were a lot of hands-on experiments and a little kids area too. The kids stayed in there with Glenn and Uncle Ian who were just about done museuming while the rest of us had way too much fun being goofy together. It's fun when you get all your siblings together and you are able to let loose and remember how much fun you have together. We're not just moms and dads and employees and nurses, we're siblings. We were kids together and sometimes when we're together we're kids again and that's kinda fun.
My favorite experiment is a brain wave game. It's a competition where you and your opponent put sensors on your forehead and try to clear your mind. There's a ball on the table that starts in the middle and moves toward the person with the most brain activity. So the more you relax the faster you move the ball toward your opponent's side of the table. When it enters your opponent's goal, you win. On the wall there's a screen that shows the rise and fall of each person's brain waves. It was a fun thing to do with siblings. Kenzie took on Cody.
It was a really good time. We ended up in the kids area with our kids and made impressions of our faces. What a good lookin' bunch we are.
After the museum we headed to Cafe Rio for lunch, because it was down the street, and there are several of us who don't live near a Cafe Rio anymore so it was an obvious choice.
That night we had a belated first birthday party for Baby Abby. What a sweet little girl she is. I don't know if I ever heard her really cry. She would kind of whimper when she was sad, but it more sounded like her heart was breaking than that she was really upset. Such a dear little miracle baby. It was fun to be able to celebrate her all together.
She wanted nothing to do with her cupcake.
We have a lot to be grateful this year, as always. This year we put a little grateful tree on our wall and wrote things we were grateful for on leaves throughout the month. I liked this little tradition and I think we'll keep it up for next year. Here are a few of our favorite gratefuls:
It was a spectacular Thanksgiving. I hope we can get together like this at least every year. It's only going to get harder now that our kids are starting school. Little Mya is in Kindergarten already and Tate will start next year. But it is worth every inconvenience and sacrifice it takes to get this crazy family of ours together. We have a great time when we do and I am thankful to have a family that I absolutely adore.
Thanks for coming everyone. Can't wait til next time!
Posted by kimmalee at 8:16 PM
Monday, November 11, 2013
We made the most of Halloween this year but only got a few pictures! I've been terrible at taking pictures lately. I feel like I never have enough hands to be holding a camera. But at least we got a few. We got a lot of wear out of our costumes this year. First, Tate had a costume party at his preschool. He was SO excited to wear his costume to school and show all of his friends. He was especially excited to tell everyone his mask (he is very into masks lately) and tell them that his costume glows in the dark.
The Saturday before Halloween we went up to Erie and Janelle and I ran a 5k. It was a really fun race. Maybe I'm just made for shorter distances. While I'm still not fast by any means, I find it so much more enjoyable than a long race. Of course, I'm sure everyone probably feels that way. I got a PR and beat my goal time which was so exciting. It was one of those runs that made me remember why I like running. Usually I don't like the actual running, but I love the feeling when I'm done. But I really enjoyed that race. So glad I was able to run with Janelle who also killed it, by the way. I'm glad we have another hobby we can do together. I hope we can sign up for more races together soon.
That night we went to the ward trunk-or-treat. It was a huge event and was coordinated by one of the young women in our ward. Super impressive for a 16 year old. The boys had fun. We played "thriller" in the car and Finn "danced", Tate was a little nervous about a few people in costumes and some of the decorated trunks were a bit too scary for him but both boys got too much candy and were very ready for bed by the end of the night. It was great.
On Halloween we dressed the boys up and went to visit Glenn at work. It's become a bit of a tradition for us to visit Glenn on Halloween. It was fun for the boys to show off their costumes and to have lunch with Glenn.
Halloween was really cold. We did a quick trick-or-treating spin around our neighborhood and then headed home. Finn figured out what to say by the end. It came out more like, "kick a keet". I'm going to be so sad when he looses his little boy voice. Everything he says right now is so stinkin' cute. Poor Finny was a little confused as to why he couldn't just eat each piece of candy as he was given it. Why must we put them in the bucket, Dad? The man just gave me a lollipop! He even started throwing in a "happy happy haweeeen!" at each house. Tate kept looking down at his bones as it got darker to see when his costume would start to glow. I'm glad he wanted a simple costume this year. We found one he loved at the store, he didn't change his mind, and was very happy. I'm also glad that Finny fit into Tate's old costume. We'll see if that happens again next year. It's pretty awesome having two boys so all the sweet clothes Tate wore get another go around, and it's especially nice for Halloween costumes. I realize some day he'll have an opinion and want to choose something that his brother did not wear last year. But for now, it's pretty sweet.
So here are our little sillies. Happy Halloween!
Posted by kimmalee at 5:44 AM
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
It's been a busy month and a half since New Hampshire. Here are the highlights:
- My mom and Kenzie moved in with us. Dad is selling the house in AF and finishing some work and hopefully coming out sometime soon. They have been an enormous help with the kiddos. Watching them while I volunteer at Tate's school, do my Visiting Teaching by my lonesome, doctor's visits, date nights, grocery shopping... everything is easier with these two around. AND as a HUGE bonus, my house has never been cleaner. And as another huge bonus, we really like them both! It's a win-win.
- Tate just finished his Fall YMCA soccer season. It was a bit better than the first. He just doesn't have the competitive drive that some kiddos have, but he did much better at running after the ball and occasionally even kicking it! And he had a lot of fun, which is key at the age of 4.
Favorite moments: Tate running down the field "blasting" his opponents with his star wars blaster (his fingers), humming the Star Wars theme while chasing down the ball, and my very favorite, watching him run past us toward the ball while saying to himself "Stay on target! Stay on target!"
Glenn coached his little team this season. It certainly wasn't as fun as coaching his youth lacrosse team, but I think it was really fun for Tate.
Listening intently to Coach Dad.
Finn was in heaven watching Tate play soccer. He is going to be an animal when it's finally his turn to play. Every Saturday when we would get him out of bed and tell him we were going to Tate's soccer game his response would be, "I wanna kick a goal! I wanna kick a goal mama!"
All in due time, little one.
- We woke up to our first snow fall on October 4th. It was beautiful and the boys were so excited.
It's been pretty pleasant ever since...except when it hailed on Monday while Finn and I were out jogging. We were about a mile from home when it started and we were soaked and freezing by the time we got to our corner where my sweet momma picked us up in the car. Have I mentioned that it's so nice having them around?
- We've hit up the zoo a couple of times recently. Finn is getting to be more excited about the animals and is especially fond of the elephants. Maybe it's just because it's one of the animals he knows how to say pretty well...but it's cute for whatever reason. He loves everything big brother does and that includes looking at the animals through our toy binoculars. It's pretty cute too.
- We went to a farm on a field trip with Tate's school. Glenn took the morning off of work since he was flying out that afternoon (next bullet) and came with us! It was a fun and busy morning. Feeding the animals and chasing the chickens were the obvious highlights of the trip.
The barrel train ride was pretty fun too.
- Glenn ran a marathon. Yep. I was pretty surprised too. Not that he was physically able to do it, my man is a pretty tough guy, but that he had the desire to run that far in the first place. He ran the Hartford, CT marathon last Saturday (the 12th) and did really well. He wasn't even very sore afterward which is bizarre and just wrong. Amy Makechnie ran with him and did great as well and his best buddy Dan spent the weekend with them cheering them on and shuttling Glenn to and from the airport. Thanks Dan! I'm glad he had great people to be there with him. Wish I could have been there too.
I'm afraid he caught a bug. A marathon running bug. This is so strange for me to type. I never pictured my man running A marathon let alone marathonS. He's thinking about running one next month. But even if he doesn't I'm sure there will be another next year...or possibly even sooner because he really enjoyed it. Craziness.
That's about it. We've been working on a few projects around the house which I will need to post about soon.
Posted by kimmalee at 12:53 PM
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
The end of August we spent a week and a half in New Hampshire visiting family and soaking up the very last bit of the official summertime. Tate had just 2 days of preschool before we left and then we missed a few days while we were gone. Totally worth it, of course. The timing of our trip this year was based on a big reunion at the camp where Glenn spent his summers growing up. Glenn really didn't want to miss it so we made the trip a few weeks later than usual this year.
We had a wonderful time. Gregor and Amy's family were incredibly gracious, as always, letting us crash at their house for such a long time and put up with the crying kids in the night and extra mess of four more people in the house. They fed us AMAZING meals, as they always do, and the great conversations, morning runs, and evenings around the piano were priceless. It was a busy week for the Makechnies getting their kids ready to go back to school and preparing for the big pig roast party as well. I think our family cooking carcasses in the dirt may now be an annual tradition.
Tate and Finn were smitten with Tennyson. Almost makes me feel like these sweet little boys need a sweet little dog. Almost. Finny would wander around chasing after him calling, "Teeeeena. Tenna wait! Tenna wait!" But sometimes they would catch him lying down or looking out the front screen door and they'd just lie down next to him and snuggle for a bit. He is a very nice dog.
Finny found lots of balls to play with so he was in heaven. They even had a big basketball hoop (Ba de ba hoop) out front which he would stare at through the screen door and beg someone to help him "boom duh ba-duh-bah" which meant "would someone please go out and lift me up so I can dunk the ball??"
Uncle Ian was darling with our little darlings. He's a very sweet and attentive uncle.
Our kiddos have such great cousins. They're all wonderful and played so sweetly with the boys on this trip. I think Nelson may still be the favorite. But it's hard for the girls to compete with this sweet cousin who has a room full of action figures and nerf guns and will play sword fights with them.
Finners with Brynne and Paige.
Nelson, Tate, Brynne, Finn, and Paige enjoying a bit of movie.
Tate got a stomach bug a few days in to our trip. Of course he did. He always does. It's the pits. Thankfully it only lasted a couple of days and he was able to get better without a trip to instacare for zofran, which was unusual but a huge blessing! Poor kid spent two days on the couch throwing up or crying because he felt like he was about to throw up.
Which meant that Finn spent a couple of rainy days with us inside, longing to go play.
Here he's telling me he wants to go to the hoop. Please mom, take me to boom the basketball!
We always have incredible food at the Makechnies. They pull out all the stops and every meal is delish. I always come home with a few pages full of ideas and recipes...well, "recipes" as much as Gregor can come up with a recipe for what he just created. He mostly makes stuff up. It's always amazing. Their morning shakes are more adventurous than mine. Basically TONS of vegetables blended together. Finn cannot get enough of them. He would down a few small glasses if they had some left over every morning.
The Needham Makechnies and Seth and Vince came up briefly for the weekend. They couldn't miss the big pig roast. We spent the morning of the Annual Makechnie Pig Roast Extravaganza at a farm playing and picking peaches. Tate was in heaven with so many cousins to play with.
Tate and Gracie looking at the apple trees.
Seth, Chloe, Hailey, Cope, Tate, Grace and Arthur.
They had a little kids area with tons of toys and cars. It was Tate and Finn's favorite part and grandma was very sweet to play with them and push them around.
Aaaand here he is shooting me with a laser.
Tate and Finn in the peach orchard.
Finn would have eaten peaches all day if we had let him. We found him some soft ones and he would eat them down to the pit with juice running down his chest and down his arm off his elbow. He LOVED those peaches and would get VERY upset when he dropped one in the dirt and we had to throw it away.
They had a rope swing in a big tree by the road and all the cousins took turns giving it a go. Tate had a little help from cousin Hailey. It made my heart smile to see him so happy with all his cousins and see them loving and playing with my kids so sweetly.
Sadly I only got one picture of the Pig Roast Extravaganza. I was too busy corralling the boys in the huge crowd. So here is my one picture of the evening:
Tate and I went to visit the chickens and found this teensy frog on the ground. It was super cool for Mr. Tate.
The Pig Roast was quite the event. There were way more people in attendance than last year. Matt Nathanson showed up with his family, which was pretty cool. The brothers spent days preparing the pit, building the fire, keeping the fire going all night, then burying the meat early in the morning so it would be just right for the evening's festivities. Glenn added another tradition this year, he made a turducken. After a good deal of internet research he and his brothers figured it out and we had a chicken stuffed in a duck stuffed in a turkey all stuffed with stuffing. Wow. The Makechnies sure know how to throw a party. It was spectacular.
The next morning Glenn woke up really early and drove to Boston to pick up Mallory. She took a bus all night to come spend the weekend with us. It was SO fun to have her around, as always, and the Makechnies were so kind to let her stay with us as well.
The boys and I drove with Gregor and Art to William Lawrence Camp. We met up with Glenn and Mal and had a great day exploring the camp where all the Makechnie boys spent their childhood summers. It was truly a boy's paradise. We tried our hand at archery.
Tate was so excited to shoot a bow and arrow. He'd been talking about it all week.
And the experience did not disappoint.
Finn was dying to give it a try too. Anything big brother is doing MUST be so fun!
And then Glenn showed us the skills he honed during all those childhood summers.
We went to the beach. It was the most beautiful little beach on a big pond with docks, boats, and a little sandy beach. Tate didn't mind the cold water one bit. We went out on a canoe for a while then met up with Ian on the beach. Ian showed Glenn his target from the riflery range. Glenn said, "Hey, let's head to the riflery range before they close." Yep, grown men and still can't resist the urge to wallop each other at target practice. It was pretty funny.
We got ourselves outfitted with some nice ear gear.
I would definitely say Finn wore it best.
Glenn beat Ian's score. There may have been a bit of bragging.
We left camp around dinner time and went to Wolfeboro for dinner. We had a yummy dinner on the lake and then got ice cream for the ride home. What a fun day.
Sunday was fast Sunday. It was pretty amazing to be there all together and see Arthur on the stand conducting the meeting and bearing his testimony. He is an amazing man. I'm always impressed by my father-in-law, but this trip in particular he was so involved and so kind to my little guys. Every time Tate would walk around asking people to go inside and play action figures with him, he would get to Arthur after we'd told him, "not now" and Art would stand right up and walk inside with him to play. More than once I walked into the house to find Art playing trains or nerf guns or action figures with the boys. It was very sweet.
Sunday afternoon we played a game of Can Jam. I would like to make an official apology to Ian, my partner, for my devastating frisby skills. I am truly dismal. But we still had a good time. At one point I got hit, lightly, by a frisby and within a couple of minutes I had this enormous bruise on my calf.
Gregor told me that if I were Native American my name would be "Bruises-with-Frisby." Probably so.
Monday was Labor Day so the kiddos had school off and we spent the morning at the Montshire Museum. It was a really amazing hands-on children's science museum. Finn's favorite was probably rolling pennies down the chute and watching them swirl around the bowl.
Mallory held the ramp for him for a very long time.
Tate's favorite was probably making paper helicopters with Glenn.
Then throwing them off the balcony.
He also had a good time with his Grandpa.
We had a great time at the museum all together, then had lunch in Hanover before we split up for the rest of the day. Amy and Gregor were incredibly sweet and took the boys home with them while Glenn, Ian, Mallo and I drove 3 hours to Boston. We had just one hour to wander around the North End before we had to drop her off at the airport for her flight back to D.C.
We didn't need much time. Mal and I just LOVE being in big cities together. For any amount of time.
We hit the Boston Massacre site,
Mike's Pastry's, of course, where we shared a delicious dinner of eclair and cannoli. Little Italy was a good time with Mallory.
Then it was off to the airport. It was a whirlwind weekend but I'm so glad she came up for a few days. We had a great time together, as we always do. I love being around her and I love the way she loves my little boys.
The next day we packed up and headed home. The boys were really good on the flights there and home which made it so much more easier.
Spending time with the Makechnie clan always leaves me feeling so proud to be a part of their family. We have an incredible family with truly impressive, intelligent, and accomplished people who are making a positive impact on the world. We are a very diverse group but we all get along and have so much fun together. Thanks Makechnies for putting up with us for such a long time and at such an inconvenient time. We had such a wonderful trip and cannot wait until next year!
Posted by kimmalee at 6:25 PM