Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Sam loves to draw pictures of his mother.  They all look exactly like this.  I either have a disproportionately large belly button that spans the entirety of my torso and chest, or a uniboob. Like any true artist, he leaves it up to viewer interpretation.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

100 Days of School

This week HCA celebrated 100 days of School.  On Tuesday, Sam was to make and wear a T-shirt that had 100 things on it.  Sam opted for a WWE themed shirt. He chose his own phrase on the shirt.  I was impressed with the relevance.

Finn's class dressed like a One Hundred year old man/woman.  We opted for the "old man tourist" look complete with black socks and big hat. 

Friday was pajama day for Sam.  He hated these Night Ninja pajamas.  He fussed, and pulled and tugged at them from the time I put them on that morning until the time I took them off that afternoon. He could not fathom wearing pajamas that did not have long sleeves and pants. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Burn Pile

Saturday was week two of Upward.  Week two was way less satisfying that week one.  Sam, while he did score several times, was sluggish and didn't seem to have any idea what was going on.  Finn, having gained some confidence from the prior week, became a black hole and didn't pass the ball.  He took some terrible shots too.  He also couldn't resist the urge to "help" Michael coach the team. When he was supposed to be sitting on the bench, Finn would wander over to where Michael was standing and try to yell out plays. I really wouldn't expect anything different from Finn.   Will was pretty good during both games - sitting in my lap the entire time.  In between games we had breakfast with the Browns.

We got home around 12:00 and we all took naps.

After their naps, the boys went outside and helped Michael with the burn pile.  It was still a bit too wet for pile to catch fire - but he did have a good amount of smoke. 

Since it was really warm Finn decided to go wading (then running) in the creek. He later told me it was one of the best days of his life. 

Later than evening the boys went with Gran to see Paw Patrol Live on State at TPAC. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sam is Five

Well,  my sweet Sam has turned five.  I can't believe it has already happened.   I am so thankful for Sam.  He has his own set of issues, i.e.,  it takes him way too long to get in and out of the car, but that can be overlooked given his sweet spirit. He will share anything with anyone, he is inclusive, and he get excited about everything. He is a good student, he loves his teacher, and he loves his friends.

Right now his favorite shows are "The Wall", "Paw Patrol", "PJ Masks", and "AFV."  Even though he has never seen the movie, he likes to play "Star Wars."  He loves the PS4, and his bunny is still is most favorite toy.  His favorite food is hamburgers. His favorite basketball player is LeBron James. He still loves to cuddle and regularly asks me to sit on the couch and cuddle with him.  He has a bad habit of going to mailbox without our permission and he likes to sleep in nothing but his underwear. He asks me every morning if I am going to "come back for me." (For some reason Sam is afraid that I won't pick him up from school.) We still do our "special handshake" every night at bedtime, and he is obsessed with making sure his socks are on correctly and the tongue of his shoe is pulled tight.

In addition to all of his special quirks, Sam is also growing funnier every day. 

1.  Last week while trying to get the boys ready for school, I couldn't find Sam.  I finally located him in by bathroom going through my makeup.  I asked him what he was doing.  He said, "mom, I'm coming, I just have to shape my cheeks first." 

2.  Sam loves hard rock sounding songs.  Recently he has been obsessed with "Don't Bring that Trouble with You" by NeedToBreathe.  During the guitar solo he said, "Mom . . . listen to that remote control guitar!"

3. Sam is still completely enamored with his bunny.  Last night after finishing up his nightly Bible study with Michael, Sam said, "Dad, I'm going to miss my bunny when I grow up and die on the cross." 

The day we got a dusting of snow.  Sam was ready to "dig us out." 

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Inauguration.

Today Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.  I decided that today was an appropriate day to blog about Finn's first "voting" experience.

We watch a lot of news programs in our house.  So much so that Sam believes my favorite TV show is "the News." Because it is always on, the boys are always hearing both the good and the bad. Because this election cycle was particularly ugly, we didn't really talk to the boys about who we were going to vote for.  Of course we discussed our beliefs and the foundation of our belief (Jesus), but we weren't avid supporters of either major candidate. Try, as he might, Finn couldn't really pry it out of us, so when he went in to "vote" at school, a great deal of his knowledge came from what he had heard on TV.   Spoiler alert: Finn was the only student in his class to vote for Hillary. 

When he got into the car that afternoon, I asked about his day.  He told that it was a terrible day.  I asked why and he explained his class election process.  Apparently, they all wrote down their choice for President and signed their name to the paper ballot.  Finn's teacher then read the votes aloud.   Finn then told me that she also reported who voted for whom.  This was bad news for Finn.  He told me that when his ballot was read his entire class booed him.   I couldn't help but laugh.  The picture in my mind was just too funny.  Finn looked at me in disbelief. I apologized and told him how funny I thought the whole scenario was.  Finn said, "MOM! It wasn't funny - I almost cried!"  Which, of course, made me laugh harder. 

In the end, no harm, no foul.  But it certainly shows the effect that TV has on young and impressionable minds. Finn likes to be on the winning side and all reports pointed to Hillary. 

Finn on Selecting a Mate

On the way home from school last week Finn told me a story about a boy in his class that has a girlfriend.  Finn told me that his friend was way too young to have a girlfriend. He also assured me that he does not want a girlfriend.  Out of curiosity I asked if he HAD to have a girlfriend who he would choose.  He thought for a while and said "Ella - because she is obedient and runs fast."  Good criteria Finn.

Oh, and who wouldn't want to marry this guy????

Monday, January 16, 2017

Will's Baby Dedication

On Sunday January 15, 2017, we dedicated Will at church. It started with a really early morning and ended with Sam throwing up all night.

We got up at 5:30.  We have to be at church at 8:00 and all of us had to look at least somewhat presentable. This is actually harder than it sounds.

During the 9:30 time slot the church invited the families to the chapel for breakfast and a little speech by the children's pastor. 

Finn and Sam LOVED the breakfast.  They split one of the biggest cinnamon rolls I have ever seen and tried to swipe my scone.  

After breakfast we got lined up to go on stage.  Finn and Sam were both really excited get to go up on the stage.  Finn was excited to get to speak to the congregation.  He asked me what daddy would say about our family and then he said, "mom, what would you like for me to say up there?"  I kindly reminded Finn that he was not allowed to make a peep while on stage. Looks like Finn will be our public speaker. 

This is about the time that Michael realized that Will peed on him. 

After the service we took Sam back to class and let Finn and Will attend service.  Will sat with Nana and was good as gold.  He was mesmerized by the singing and the lights. 

Then we all went to Penn Station for lunch.  When I say "all" I mean Nana, Papa, Gran and the five of us. David was not able to come, but he did come to baby dedication.  

We had a great lunch.  We had a nice time talking and hanging out. 

Then Nana gave Will his dedication gift.  It is a Case "Gentleman's Knife" with his name engraved on it. 

Later than evening Will demonstrated some of his major milestones.  He can sit, assisted, and play with his toys. He can also hold a bottle (as long as it is a narrow bottle).  He fed himself 2 oz.  

While he was doing that, Finn and I were running around the house at full-speed playing Sam's new laser tag game.  No joke, it is so much fun. Sam and Daddy looked at bugs under a microscope. 

Then the puking started.  Right around the time Michael put Sam and Finn to bed, Sam started throwing up.  Earlier that day Sam drank the last of some chocolate milk that was left in the car overnight from breakfast the day before. We told him to stop because he would get sick - but the damages had been done.  Now, we don't really think that the milk made him sick, but instead that he had a terrible stomach bug.  He threw up at least eight (8) times. 

We put a bucket next to his bed so that he didn't have to run to the bathroom.  

Finn lost his mind when Sam threw up and went sprinting out of the room.  The next time we saw him, he was dressed as "germ man."  Leave to Finn to make it all about him. There is truly no one like him. 

Finn fussed the rest of the night.  He did not want to sleep in the same room as Sam.  Look how pitiful Sam looks.

After round six (6) we got Sam up and sat with him on the couch.  I sat with him for a while and then Michael sat with him until around 3:00 a.m.  Poor boy threw up from 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. and all the while, he never complained at all.  In fact, we didn't know he was sick until he threw up the first time. 

Sam's Real Birthday Lunch

After the game, we took Sam out for a birthday lunch.  We like to do something with the boys on their actual birthday.  Sam decided that he wanted to go to Dairy Queen.  We invited Gran, Nana, Papa, Grandad, Gigi and the Swinehearts to come with us. 

Nana, Papa, Grandad and Gigi gave Sam his gifts.  We also gave Sam one of his gifts from us.  It was a Ninja Turtle PS4 game.  He was so excited.  I got the whole thing on video. 

Nana and Papa gave him the boxing gloves that he asked for. 

Nana also made his an "According to Sam" book.  She made a similar book for Finn several years ago.  It is a compilation of my funniest blog posts about Sam.  She categorizes them, titles them and adds pictures.  It is a true labor of love and the boys love them. Sam really enjoys when I read Finn's book, but asks regularly when he will get his own "funny book."  Finn's reaction to Sam's book was so sweet.  He turned to Nana and very quietly said, "Thank you Nana."  Finn knew how important it was to Sam to have his own book. 

Sam also got a great Laser Tag game from Grandad and Gigi.  I played it with the boys the next evening and we had a great time. 

Will sat with Grandad during the party.  He was awfully partial to Grandad and Gigi - probably because Grandad give him ice cream.  You can imagine my shock when Will didn't want to eat his sweet potatoes.  That is sarcasm. 

After the party, Jack and John Matthew came back to the house to play. 

Thanksgiving 2017

 The Begley crew arrived at Nana and Papa's house on Wednesday night around supper time.  We unpacked and set the boys up in their new ...