Life Randomness

 

Twitter & Time Flying

I knew I would be terrible at Twitter….I was so right. The irony is when I glance over at my last “tweet” and it says how many days ago I think; “Wow, time really flies”. And it does. Apparently the older you get the faster time goes by. I am really feeling that these days. I do not know how I could have “just had a baby” who is pushing three. Three years old. And that teenager…sheesh, he’s 16 and in just two short years he’ll be graduating high school. I might add this is also the exact same time his little brother will be entering school. Now if that’s not ridiculous……..

Weight Loss & Pants

So, this weight loss thing really sucks. As does the clear fact that the older you get the more your body wants to retain extra weight. I recently went through a huge dilemma as to whether or not to buy a cheap pair of Capri pants (on sale at Old Navy for $15!) if it means buying them in the next size up while I am still attempting to lose. So far, I have not convinced myself to buy them. I keep thinking; “Just a few more pounds and I could at least fit into many of the pants I already own!” Ugh. It’s very frustrating. But I could gripe about this topic for days so I’ll leave it at that for now.

Smart Phone

Yesterday I was saved by my smart phone—I’m so glad I have this thing. After years of going the paper planner route I finally decided that I needed a PDA and phone in one. I determined this after missing an appointment entirely in which I had to pay a “no show” fee. So, yesterday afternoon while the little guy was playing with Daddy outside and Teenager was working on his homework my phone went off with a reminder; Teenager had an orthodontist appointment! Crap! I had completely forgotten about this! I had it set with the default reminder which is 15 minutes…this was just enough time to yell out the back door that I was leaving, grab the teenager and head out the door. Sadly, this was not enough time to change out of my yoga pants. I need to set the reminder just a tad earlier to avoid such calamities in the future but at least I made the appointment! Thank you Smart Phone. My apologies to all the folks in the orthodontist’s lobby who had to see me in my at-home-only “mom attire”.

Check the Linen Closet

Around here there is a not-just-occasional-occurrence in which Teenager forgets to get a towel before heading into the shower. Last night was one of those occurrences and since I'd just done a huge load of towels and didn't replace his towel in the bathroom he was caught unaware. Poor kid just assumed his towel was there. So when he hopped out of the shower dripping wet and discovered its absence we heard him calling pathetically from the other room. Dad went and rescued him by handing him a towel through the door but not without a few words about making sure he had a towel first. Later, we were all treated to one of Hubby's stories from back in the day. It seems he once worked with a guy (we'll call him Ted) who also forgot to get a towel before his shower. Ted remembered his roommate Bob had done laundry earlier and all the towels were likely in the dryer. Ted, wet and naked, headed out to the garage where the washer and dryer were. As he approached the dryer, the door to the house closed and locked. It was at this moment Ted discovered an empty dryer because apparently Bob had taken the clean towels in the house but they hadn't yet made it to the bathroom. So, Ted was locked out the house, wet, naked and with no towel. And it was winter. At this point in the story the hubby described Ted's efforts to keep warm by rigging the dryer to run with the door open while he stood in front of it waiting for Bob to come home. I can only imagine the horror Bob must have felt upon his arrival and watching as that garage door opened up.

I am also very grateful we do not have our laundry room in the garage.

Fractured Fairytales

Awhile back I wrote about the hubby reading bedtime stories to the little guy. Lately I've been paying closer attention to the stories over the baby monitor and have been cracking up listening to him. Apparently, he's been doing some serious paraphrasing and ad-libbing with the classics.

From Cinderella:

"Cinderella had two ugly stepsisters...and boy were they ugly."

"Cinderella had a great time dancing with the Prince at the Ball, but she heard the clock strike midnight and had to hurry home because her dress was a rental."

 

From Winnie the Pooh:

"Pooh got himself stuck in Rabbit's hole so Rabbit painted a face on Pooh's bum, but it didn't seem to help any."

I can't wait 'till the little guy learns to read. Daddy's going to have a lot of explaining to do!

No one ever had this much fun recycling

Recycling

So it's just another Friday night in our household. Before we whipped out the camera I had built my own creation similar to this, yet not quite as spectacular. Then Hubby comes by and bets me he can yank out the pizza box without knocking the whole thing down. Hilarity ensued. A mess followed. Then he builds this and naturally I have to have it photographed because, well, it's a blog post just waiting to happen. And there you have it folks.

Also, we really need to bring back date night.

Something to get excited about

It just doesn’t take much to make me happy sometimes. Getting through a day without a tantrum for example; that’s a good day! And on days when the little guy doesn’t have one either it’s even better. But yesterday something special happened. After over a year of bemoaning the loss and months of begging various people to please bring it back, it finally happened. I’ve been reunited with my special salad dressing! Readers may recall a previous post: Discontinued Favorites, in which I mentioned this little gem; Litehouse Tangy Citrus Orange Salad dressing.

TangyOCitrus The store that was able to accomplish this fabulous feat is the special grocery store I wrote about in: Wherein I liken a Grocery store to Disneyland. For those still with me (I probably lost a few of you when I started discussing condiments) here’s why it’s so awesome; it’s got a lot of flavor and tangy zip, but it's fat free and only 45 calories! It’s great on any salad but I particularly love to make a special spinach or baby greens salad with it. I haven’t been able to make this for so long now because there was just nothing to replace this dressing. I’ve searched every market and brand, both shelf and refrigerated, and no one else makes a citrus-based tangy flavored dressing anything like this one. I've seen raspberry, pomegranate, cranberry, pear, and other “fruity type” dressings, but they are nothing like this and many have a lot of added fat. This dressing can also be used as a marinade and the hubby and I are already planning trying it on some skewered shrimp on the BBQ this summer. And once again, alas, I am not being compensated for blogging about this. I actually even went so far a while back as to plead with the folks at Litehouse to please send me some of this stuff or make it possible to purchase through them but never had any luck. So my point is they are fortunate I love this stuff so much to be giving them the free plug.

So, to celebrate this event (because you know I’ll use any excuse to celebrate) I’ve made my special salad and included the recipe for my readers. I think this is only the second recipe I’ve ever offered here. (Last summer I shared my guacamole and accompanying margaritas.) This salad is great as a lunch all by itself, or a side dish for summer BBQ’s. For example: served alongside some grilled salmon, jasmine rice and a nice glass of Chenin Blanc. I’m ready for summer!

SAHM Salad

Salad

(The amounts below are calculated for a single serving of this salad and amount to 6 WW points for the serving. To make this as a big family size salad you can multiply the portions or simply throw in whatever amounts you like of each item.)

· Baby spinach or baby spring mix (pictured)

· Candied pecans ½ ounce

· Mandarin Oranges 2 ounces

· Dried cranberries 1/8 c

· Purple Onion (to taste)

· Blue Cheese crumbles 1.5 ounces or 1/8 c

· Litehouse Tangy Citrus Orange Dressing 2 T (hopefully you’ll have good luck finding this in your area! FYI: it’s in the refrigerated section as it has no preservatives.)

Toss and Enjoy!

Easter Weekend

The weekend started out with the big Easter Egg hunt at our local park. This was only the little guy’s second year of official egg hunting but his big brother recalls numerous Easters at this Egg Hunt as we went every year when he was younger. Of course it’s been a few years since he’s been young enough to participate, but he really enjoys now getting to help his little brother. Daddy was armed with the camcorder and I snapped pictures wildly as hoards of parents and little ones rushed onto the field to gather eggs.

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I guess you can’t really call it “hunting” when they are all out in the open. The little guy had a blast and did great at getting eggs into his basket!

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According to the males in this family (i.e. the majority of our family!) this was like a true sport to them as evidenced by the cheering on of the little guy to get the eggs and the "practice session" at home with Daddy when he hid eggs around the living room and explained to our toddler what he’d be doing at the Egg hunt the next day. (No, I’m not kidding. )

This morning the boys got their Easter baskets and were quite pleased with what they got.

DSC01379 Easter 09

DSC01388 Easter 2009

We headed out to church this morning and dropped the little guy off at nursery. He did his usual “super sad crying face” which is always so hard to leave. Fortunately he calms down a few minutes later. (I always sneak back and check through the little window.) And while we’re talking about church, here’s an interesting little side story: You know how you meet someone and just know you’ve seen them somewhere before but cannot place them? Well, this week when we had our gas leak issue, the guy who came out to re-light the pilot lights looked so familiar to me. I chatted with him a little while he was doing his job and learned he lived right here in town and had been here for many years. I started to think that I knew him from the "other church" I attended back in the day, many years ago. I didn’t say anything because if that is where I knew him from I figured it was advisable to not bring it up. When you leave a more extreme type of religious organization you are pretty much looked at as a defector of sorts and I really didn’t want to open that particular can o’ worms. Well, imagine my surprise when this morning before the Easter service started we headed out to the coffee cart and there he was doing the brewing! Here I was thinking I knew him from a completely different church years ago then realizing he actually goes to my church today. One of life's little ironies.

After church we enjoyed a lovely Easter Brunch at one of our favorite breakfast places in the area. This is a special treat and family tradition for us to enjoy a holiday brunch and we had a great time. We were seated right next to the dessert table of all places. This meant little guy spotted the cake and proceeded to asked for it by saying “Happy!” since to him all cake is “Happy Birthday” cake. So, we had to let him have a piece.

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Happy Easter!

Observations on the Weekend Breakfast Out

One of our family’s favorite treats is enjoying a breakfast out on the weekend. Over the years when going out for breakfast on a Saturday or Sunday morning I’ve observed many interesting characters and they seem to break down into the following basic categories:

Just trying to feed the crowd: Extended family is in town and they all go out to breakfast. Usually followed by fights over the bill at the completion of the meal (except in our family, in which case this doesn’t seem to occur for some reason.)

Just hooked up the night before: These are the folks who have that awkward “just met” aura about them who look like they… well, just hooked up the night before.

Just roared in: Those dressed in leather who came on their motorcycles.

Just rolled in: The sporty folks who came by bicycle. I have to admit, this is something I don’t get. If you’re wearing full-on biking attire and have been out working up a sweat on a miles long bike ride is showing up a restaurant really something you want to do? I acknowledge that a weekend breakfast is a casual meal, but I think we’ve taken casual a tad too far when we think it’s ok to “workout” and go dine with other folks, who..well, showered and aren’t wearing tight bike shorts. But maybe that's just me.

Just give us some peace and quiet: The empty nesters who are trying to enjoy a quiet, leisurely breakfast out and are hoping they don’t sit next to families with kids.

Just a weekend family breakfast aka Families with Kids: That’s us. The whole family troops in complete with an inordinate amount of gear for baby. Highchair cover, cold carrier with food/milk/juice, diaper bag, toys, etc. Teenager acts as helpful pack mule despite damage to his cool factor with a Petunia Picklebottom diaper bag slung over his shoulder. The table immediately gets completely rearranged to keep everything out of baby’s reach. We each get about a four inch square within which we must contain our plates, cups, utensils, etc. We attempt to keep the little guy occupied and quiet and enjoy breakfast. Generally speaking we have pretty good luck, though I will admit to the occasional sippy cup being hurled. He usually manages to miss the other diners.

It’s also interesting how when it comes to the choice of restaurant it breaks down into genders. The men seem to go for the food alone, no atmosphere, basic selection of food and big portions-- basically no nonsense. The women like the “foofy” places: cute atmosphere and more gourmet type selections. There’s a running joke in our family about my all time favorite breakfast place; it was in an old Victorian house, of course very nicely furnished and decorated and they offered quite innovative breakfast selections [my favorite was a poached egg in puff pastry with melted gruyere.] They served the best homemade scones, including a white chocolate rose petal scone (trust me, it was delicious). The joke is that the hubby didn’t like this place because they “didn’t serve toast”. I should clarify that; they served the previously aforementioned delicious scones (a choice between whatever two they had that day) instead of boring toast. Apparently, if you wanted an order of toast you could certainly have it, but it was $1.50 extra. Yeah, the hubby was not happy with that. Sadly, my all time favorite breakfast place closed down. Now every time we drive past the building the hubby says they wouldn’t have gone out of business if they’d just included toast.

Quote for the Day

This just in from the Teenager who was inspired by his little brother:

"Say; Wheeeeeeee! It makes everything more fun."

Gas Leak

So the Gas Company showed up today to fix a gas leak we didn't even know we had. Apparently it wasn't serious and they were able to repair it right away. The gas had to be turned off though and they told me it would be a awhile before they could send the guy out to turn it back on and re-light all the pilot lights. While some might have been put off by the inconvenience I'm thinking to myself; This is great; an excuse to not have to make dinner just landed in my lap! What a terrific Monday!" So naturally, the gas re-starting guy shows up right away foiling my plan. Crap.

Sunday Drive with a Twist

With more reasonable gas prices these days we decided to take a family Sunday drive this past weekend . After a quick bite to eat at In-N-Out Burger and a stop at Starbuck’s for a coffee for the drive we headed down a cute country road. After driving through some really pretty areas we ended up taking a turn down another cute country road that we were not quite sure where it went. It was kind of one of those “Hey, I’ve never been out this way before –let’s see where it goes” kind of moments. The road went on and on and it became apparent we had no idea where we were, but it was a fun drive and we just kept going. The baby had fallen fast asleep and was happily taking his little nap in the car so all was well. When we reached a stopping point and figured out approximately where we were we took a turn and decided to go a different way home. What we didn’t know was that it was a very windy road. I am pretty prone to car sickness and our happy Sunday drive quickly turned into not so much fun. Things took a significant turn for the worse when little guy woke up out of his nap and effectively lost his lunch. It was one of those baby throw up situations where you can’t imagine how that much could come out of someone so small. Daddy quickly pulled over and we started the clean-up process. Thankfully we’re always prepared and travel with pretty much everything we could possibly need; trash bags, lots of baby wipes, plenty of extra clothes, etc. I went to work in the back of the car stripping down the little guy and changing him. Meanwhile Teenager is helping run interference between me and Daddy who’s busy cleaning up the car seat the best he can. Now my husband knows me very well. And he knows better than what he did next. But somehow in the moment he didn’t happen to consider that it was exactly the wrong time in which to describe the mess he was dealing with in both a disgusting and hilarious manner to his wife who was queasy, cleaning up a barf covered toddler and really needed to find a potty after having a triple cappuccino. But of course those circumstances only made the whole scenario even more amusing. To him.

In the eyes of my child

Several months ago while at the bookstore we were strolling by the children’s books when the little guy pointed towards a book and said “Mommy!” and then “Daddy!” Upon closer inspection we discovered he was pointing to Cinderella and actually seeing the characters Cinderella and Prince Charming as Mommy and Daddy, something we thought was highly amusing and darn cute. So flash forward to recently: the bedtime routine around here is for the little guy to be read a story or two by Daddy when going to bed. He’s been pretty good about communicating which book he’d like. Lately it’s been “Go Dog Go” but the other day I heard him request the “Mommy book”. As it turns out the Mommy book is actually a book with various stories of all the Disney Princesses. This cracks me up and of course makes me feel good…you know, not being a Princess and all. Of course I was delighted to see that my birthday gift this year from the little guy was this:

princess mug

Now you'll have to excuse me while I return to my "princess duties". Of course those would be the Cinderella pre-Fairy Godmother variety which includes laundry, scrubbing floors and talking to mice about my new dress.

Because how can you resist the Snuggle Bear?

Just passing along to my readers a $2.00 off coupon for Snuggle's new "Snuggle Creme" Fabric softener.

Old Navy, WTH?

I understand times are tough and hiring models may not be in the budget but the new ad campaign featuring mannequins is kinda creepy. Not your best idea, Old Navy. Word on the Internet is I'm not alone on this one.
ON mannequins
But more importantly, what is up with the return to the seventies fashions? Frankly, that's a decade of clothes I'd rather not see resurface.
Because what this says to me is the woman who would typically wear it is clearly a bored, middle-age housewife circa 1978 lounging around on a hot June day with a glass cold duck in one hand a cigarette in the other while waiting for the pool boy. If you know what I mean.


Another post: Little Guy Meets the Old Navy Mannequins

The Binkie Breakup

Although little guy should technically have already had this momentous event occur in his little life we’ve delayed it due to his sensory issues. At this point we are shooting for eliminating the binkie all together by age three. He has only used it for sleep since age one when we took it away during the daytime which he did not object to. But the kid loves his binkie for nighttime and naps. Because of this, I try to always keep “travel binkies” in the diaper bag complete with a binkie clip so that if he needs to nap in the car we can hook him up. This morning when I picked him up after my WW meeting it was such a nice day I thought we’d head over to the shopping center and take a stroll. Generally, I get lucky and after he has lunch I can often count on him napping in the stroller with it reclined. This allows me to actually shop for quite some time. For the first few minutes he was happily looking around while we strolled along and after a while it became apparent that he was getting sleepy and ready for a nap. Frankly, since I don’t get out much I could hardly contain my excitement as I thought about all the possibilities. “I’ll check the clearance racks at Old Navy!” “I’ll see what’s new at World Market.” “I’ll take a peek at Ross and Marshall's and see if they have that seat cushion I need for that chair.” “By gosh, if this lasts I might even pop into the book store, look at the books and get a latte!” “Could it get any more exciting than this?” Little guy proceeds to sleepily ask for a binkie. I open the diaper bag and cannot find one. I rummage around through all the pockets and down into the depths of the bag and no binkie. At this point I’m starting a mild panic as the complaints start getting more insistent but I reassure the little guy that I’ll get him one. We head out to the car parked close by and I search though the various baby accessory bags in there…no binkie. I’m certain there has to be at least one in there somewhere ...even if it’s under the seat and I have to go wash it off. Nothing. By this point little guy is in tears, wailing for binkie. And he’s doing it so cutely it breaks my heart. I tell him Mommy can’t find a binkie but we’ll go home and get one. So much for the shopping trip that I foolishly dared hope for. (Yeah, I know. How silly of me!) We head home and of course little guys is asleep in his car seat by the time we pull into the garage. I carried him into his crib (where binkies await) and he went right back to sleep.

Oh how I dread the upcoming process of Operation Bye Bye Binkie. Feel free to share your binkie breakup stories here. I can see we’re going to need all the help we can get!

"Belf"

Apparently this is the word that comes out when the little guy tries to say "milk".  For a long time, he would only sign milk and never attempt to say the word. Now that more and more words have been coming out of him we've worked hard to try to get him to say milk. I guess this is a close as he could come to the word at this time. We're cracking up over here because of how unappetizing this word sounds (but of course enjoying the accompanying cuteness with him saying it).  All I've got to say is Starbuck's should feel fortunate that this isn't milk's name as I'm certain their milk containing coffee drink sales would plummet.  Can you imagine ordering a Cappuccino with low fat belf?

Speech Delay & Sensory Processing Disorder

As many of you will recall, the little guy has Speech Delay as well as Sensory Processing Disorder, the latter of which loosely translates into “can’t take him anywhere”. (This is the kid who got us thrown out of Weight Watcher’s “mommy & me” meetings!) Well, we are finally beginning to see some real progress in regard to the little guy’s speech and sensory issues. He is now in three therapies per week; Speech Therapy, Occupational/Physical therapy and more recently Music Therapy because he is very receptive to music and it’s been shown to help with both speech and focus. As you can imagine I’m quite busy getting him to his various therapies along with playgroups, my own WW meeting [which I now attend solo] and the whole errand/grocery shopping/household running thing I’ve got going. All I can say is it’s a good thing I’m a stay-at home-mom! Although, this means I rarely actually stay at home. In fact, I’ve got so many things going on each day of the week that my days out far exceed the number of pants I have that actually fit. You know, since I’m STILL working on that whole Operation Fit [back into my pants] project. But back to the story.

We’ve been hearing more and more words out of the little guy lately and this is really reassuring. He will say (& recognize) most letters of the alphabet, along with making an attempt at the names for colors. We have to admit, hearing “wellwo” is awfully cute! He is finally beginning to put a few words together and he signs many words along with speech. (We counted the signs he currently knows and it’s upwards of 42.) His occupational therapist is seeing progress in his being able to focus more and be able to complete activities without constantly jumping from thing to thing. He is also receptive to the physical movement exercises and seems to enjoy the swinging now, which he previously did not.

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What has been most remarkable though is Music Therapy. It appears that he might be somewhat musically inclined (something he did NOT get from his mother!) Recently during Music Therapy he played the Triangle in time to the music of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. When his therapist started playing the guitar he was mesmerized. He really enjoyed the music and actually sat down in his little chair to hear her play and sing. He then decided he wanted to play so his therapist had him sit down in her lap and he immediately placed both his hands in the correct position and started strumming. We were rather surprised by this.

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You may recall that both the little guy and his big brother got guitars for Christmas—of course little guy’s was a toy and Teenager’s was the real thing. At this point we are anxiously waiting for Teenager to learn how to play his guitar since it seems to have such a calming effect on his brother! Then I told Teenager that if his little brother learns to play one day that he’ll have to let him in his garage band. Because you know, there’s nothing like having a little brother tag along to completely destroy any chance of being “cool”.

DMV

Apparently I am due for renewing my Driver’s License. I am not happy about this for several reasons.

1.) I’ve been informed I cannot renew through the mail, I have to show up in person this time.

2.) In case you haven’t heard, the State of CA has a wee bit of a financial issue—DMV employees have taken pay cuts—as if they weren’t cranky enough.

3.) Obviously care arrangements for the little guy will have to made, further creating a huge inconvenience.

4.) I have to have a new photograph taken. I always worry I won’t get a good, decent, not hideous photograph. This worry is now compounded by #2.

5.) I have to once again make that painful judgment call about what weight to put down. There are a couple of schools of thought on this one; be accurate and just live with it or put down my “ideal weight” and have something to aspire to. Decisions, decisions.

6.) I’m rather sentimental about my Driver’s License because I got this particular one when I changed my name after getting married. It was on the very same day (just 3 hours before) I found out I was pregnant. So I can look at that photo and reminisce about my 37 year old self who had no idea what was about to hit.

Upon further reflection, a new photo is not such a bad idea. I just looked at my hair in my current license and it’s truly one of those “What was I thinking?” moments. Speaking of hair, here’s a positive; the state of CA actually recognizes “auburn” as hair color. I vividly recall when I had to relinquish my CA license for a Utah license and was told that my hair cannot be auburn…apparently it’s not on the “approved list” of possible hair colors. I’m serious. I can’t make this stuff up.

Classic Mommy Photo Op

When out driving around in the car, as a mommy of a toddler here's something I expect to see:





However, as a mom of a toddler and a teenager here's something I do not expect to see:



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We’re having technical difficulties...please stand by

So, I’m frustrated because the last two blog posts I had written up I was unable to post due to various technicalities I was (and still am) unable to figure out. (In case anyone's curious they had to do with being unable to embed an audio file in the blog post and Flickr's inability to allow text to show in a photo slide show.) This blogging/Internet thing is interesting because I have been forced to learn many things I previously had no knowledge of so that part is good. However, there are some things which I end up spending inordinate amounts of time trying to figure out that I end up never learning. Ugh! Well, to toot my own horn for just a moment, I did finally figure out one techie thing that I had researched for quite some time; the “favicon!” You know, that cute little picture thingy that shows up right before the web address in the address bar of your Internet browser? I had no idea it even had a name! I didn’t get very far attempting to Google “cute little picture thingy right next the web address” so it took some time. I also had a hard time coming up with the right icon to make as the favicon for SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem as it has to be very small. Obviously my family graphic wouldn’t work and none of the symbols in the banner seemed right so I eventually settled on the cute “swirl” from my background. I’m reasonably happy with it but probably most happy that I actually got it to work. The hubby was highly amused with how happy it made me to figure that out. He made some sort of comment like; "if only it were that easy all the time."

Bloglet Post/Postlet Blog: “Do you get a workout with that?”

Every now and then I have something I really want to share but it really isn't a full-fledged Blog post hence the title above.

On a recent trip through the Starbuck’s drive-thru the hubby asked me what I wanted and I replied; "A Chai Tea". He then ordered me a “Tai Chi”.

That guy can always make me laugh.

The Brother Bench

We have this long wooden bench in our dining room area which used to sit against a back wall. At Christmastime when little guy got his big kitchen it took over that spot and we weren’t quite sure what to do with the bench. We ended up placing it parallel to one side of the kitchen thinking we could sit there while the little guy “cooked” food and served it to us.  One morning Teenager was sitting on the bench drinking a juice box just before darting out the back door for school. When little guy got up he wanted to sit on the bench next to his big brother and drink a juice box. Another time they ended up having fishie crackers together. A trend was started and cuteness ensued.

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The photo below was taken early in the morning; clearly before either of them really woke up as the looks on their faces will show.DSC01020