First lost teeth

When he was about 7 months, old, Andrew’s first two teeth came in…his bottom two.  Here’s a picture of him in January 2006.  There were some sleepless nights associated with the arrival of those teeth (see a January 31, 2006 post here).

Can you see his bottom teeth?

By March 2006, those two bottom teeth were all grown in.  Oh, what a cute baby he was!

Showing off his two bottom teeth And on July 5, 2011, one of those first teeth was ready to come out.  Here’s a picture of the wiggler and of the adult tooth coming in behind.


Last picture of Andrew with all those hard-earned baby teeth.  After this, he and I went to the bathroom, and at his request, I pulled that baby tooth out.  He was so excited.  You can see it in his eyes!


Here’s my newly minted “lost my first tooth” six year old.



And there’s the gap…



Here’s Sylvia demonstrating her teeth as well.  The next morning, when Andrew was about to discover a couple quarters in his lovely granny-made stegosaurus tooth pillow, Sylvia fell off the sofa.  Her top left tooth was knocked a little loose and now it’s turned a shade of grey.  We’ll see if it lightens up again.  I’m just hoping that it doesn’t need to come out!


Alivia recently lost her first top tooth.  So we’ve got two gap-toothed smiles in the yard these days.



What cute kids these guys are!

Since I’m a month late in posting this tooth update, we’ve had a new tooth development.  Andrew’s other bottom tooth loosened.  Here’s his last picture with that bottom right tooth.  You can see that his first adult tooth has really grown in…


Again, he and I headed into the bathroom, and I gave it a tug.  Now, as of August 8, he’s lost two teeth.  What a big boy!


Andrew’s 6th birthday party at the beach

Andrew’s sixth birthday party was held (again) at Tenney Park Beach.  Having a June birthday makes for such easy party planning!  Pick a park, invite some family and friends, get a pinata and a cake, and voila – party:)

After arriving, we set out the food, and of course, the beautiful castle cake.


Andrew is seeing the finished product for the first time.  Granny added two knights at the front and a castle-destroying dragon at the back.


06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_009Here’s the dragon, tearing down a wall of the cake-castle. 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_021

What a great birthday cake.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Sylvia requests her own castle cake come next February. 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_023


Andrew did a nice job of hosting his party this year.  Here he is with his best bud from school – Jayquan.06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_044

Two buddies.  Andrew’s missed his friend this summer! 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_050

Here are some of the girls working on a sand castle.  I told Andrew he could invite six friends.  In addition to Jayquan, he picked Alivia and Rayna and Eli and Celia.  So sweet! 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_058

Here’s a sweet pic of Andrew and his dad. 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_039

Andrew has a loose tooth!  You can see that the grown-up tooth is coming in right behind his front left baby tooth. 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_066

The kids had a lot of fun clambering around on the monkey bars! 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_096

Bryan and his mama. 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_113

Here’s me and Kathy.  Thanks to Bryan’s dad for taking the camera for a bit to get some photos of me at the party! 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_116

There’s me with my dad and Bubs. 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_122

Lighting candles at the beach can be a bit of a trick.  There was a breeze, and the candles wouldn’t stay lit, but we contrived a way to block the wind long enough for a new six year old to blow them out. 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_135

Here’s our crew.  My friend Samara happened to be at the park, so her daughter Anika (who knew Andrew when they were both babes)  joined in for the pinata fun.  Then there’s Alivia, Celia, Eli, Andrew, Jayquan, and Rayna in the front.06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_146

Everyone got a turn whacking the pinata horse, and then Eli (I think) broke it open.  Andrew got the final turn to blast out the candy. 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_165

Here’s the kiddos gathering their candy horde. 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_173

There’s pretty Alivia. 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_178

And Sylvia opens her up as she goes. 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_179

Looks like Alivia was quite successful in her candy gathering:) 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_181

Party decor… 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_188

Uncle Bubba was the chief party entertainer.  He helped Andrew and Eli and Jayquan happily play together.  And he was jungle gym extraordinaire.   06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_201

There’s me and Lisa. 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_204

And one of the few pictures of me and Bryan occupying the same frame… 06-25-11_AndrewsBirthdayParty_225

There’s me with both my dads and my bro.06-25-11_LuAnnsCamera_017To everyone who joined us, thanks for making the party a fun time!    And for those of you farther afield, thanks for the birthday wishes and loving presence you are in Andrew’s life.  He’s one happy and lucky 6-year-old boy:)

Playing with Granny and Grandad

Back in late June, oh, actually a month ago today, Bryan’s parents flew up to Madison to help us celebrate Andrew’s 6th birthday.

As usual, at my request (Please, please, please!), Granny made Andrew’s birthday cake.

Here, Sylvia helps Granny lightly apply sprinkles to the cupcakes:)


06-24-11_GrannyNGrandad_004LuAnn found a design for a castle cake in her Betty Crocker kids cookbook.  At first, Andrew had been pretty sure he wanted another Godzilla cake (that would have been year 3), but when he and Granny brainstormed cake ideas, he thought the castle cake was a great idea.
06-24-11_GrannyNGrandad_039Here’s the chef and her #1 decorator…
06-24-11_GrannyNGrandad_032Granny baked and assembled, and then the kids got to help add the crenelations.

06-24-11_GrannyNGrandad_055 Some frosted ice cream cones doused in sprinkles became the towers, and pieces of chocolate bars made the windows and drawbridge.06-24-11_GrannyNGrandad_068Here’s the happy birthday boy with his granny!
06-24-11_GrannyNGrandad_070Friday night, the kids had fun racing around the yard with our new giant croquet balls.

Here’s Gandad with his kiddos…


And Granny gets a snuggle too.


Having fun playing together!06-24-11_GrannyNGrandad_112-2

This is the basswood tree we planted for Andrew just before he was born.  Now at 6 years old, they’ve both grown so big!


Andrew’s birthday

Andrew’s 6th birthday was on June 22nd.  I can’t believe that my little guy is six!!

Remember when he was zero?


Or just one year old…

One year old on a swing.

A new Two

There's the birthday boy!

There he’s Three.

Granny and her (little) boy





And now Six.


For Bryan’s birthday in May, I had picked up some eclairs and croissants from Java Cat for breakfast.  Andrew requested the breakfast “chocolate cake” for his birthday.  And when he woke up he was delighted to see me come home from the gym with his birthday breakfast treats.  Cake for breakfast…a fun way to start the day!




After swimming lessons, we headed over to Jessica, Eli, and Celia’s house for lunch.  Andrew requested a candle, and Jessica happened to have a “6” candle for him.  So she cut open a peach and we all sang.


Sweet hugs between Andrew and Eli…

06-22-11_atJessicas_007 Jessica looks on


So glad that my kids have Jessica in their lives.

06-22-11_atJessicas_010 I think she loves him:)


He had a happy birthday indeed!  After playing with our friends for the afternoon, we went to Andrew’s favorite restaurant – Flavor of India – for “Indian ‘Uhfet”  His favorite food?  Chicken tikka masala along side a mango lassi.  Yummy, yum, yum.  Welcome to Sixdom, Andrew!  I think it’ll be a great year for you.

Swimming lessons

We’ve been doing swimming lessons at the Monona pool since the first day of summer vacation.  Hours spend pool-side are some of my favorite of the year!

Here’s a little show of Andrew jumping off the diving board.  So amazing!

Sylvia’s in the big pool now – Squirts A!  Last year she was too young for swimming lessons, and this year she’s delighted with her swimming lessons status.


Here’s a couple adorable pics that Jessica took post-lessons one day…


A good friend is such a treasure in life!


Here’s CC and Sylvie in the little pool as Paddling Penguins.


Check out Celia putting her head under water!


Heading out in a noodle train.

06-22-11_swimming_038 Here’s another series of Andrew jumping…






We’re doing swimming lessons through this week, and then we are doing a session in August.  I’m already looking forward to it!

Walking alone on the last day of KG

Wow, these posts are behind!  Seems like the days of Andrew being in school were ages ago.  We’re in full-on summer mode around here these days!

On June 9, the day before the last day of school, Andrew requested that he walk himself to school.  Our main point of concern is crossing Davies street, but I’ve been helping him learn how to do that safely for years.  And he was pretty set on the idea.  So we gave him the green light.  Here he is, ready for his first solo walk…


Off he goes.  Farewell, my son!


What a growing up boy!  When I picked him up after school, his face fell – he thought he was walking home too and was a little devastated to see me.  So I let him go home ahead while I picked up his friend Alivia and walked her home.  I wonder if this solo walking thing will come up again in the fall…


Here’s the last day of school.  Andrew decided on his own that he wanted to dress spiffy for the last day of school, and he came out of his room with his white dress shirt and his tie.


Oh, this boy.  He’s so smart, and his beautiful spirit just sparkles from his eyes.  I’m so glad that his first year of school was such a positive experience!  Love you, Andrew!


Andrew’s first “tri” – the Sawyer Crossen Trithalon

On June 4, Andrew and Eli participated in Monona’s Sawyer Crossen Memorial Triathlon.  Andrew had been excited about signing up, but the day before the event, he declared that he was not interested in participating.  After some cajoling and light bribery, I’d about given up on him participating.  But I asked him to pick up his goodie bag at the registration table.  When we got to the registration, Andrew was a little mesmerized by the maps showing the routes for the different age groups.  He traced the biking and running routes with his finger, intrigued.

And then when he gave him name to the registration lady, she gave him the run down on where to pin his bib and where to leave his bike, and when he turned around from that conversation, I could tell from the sparkle in his eyes that he was hooked.

The next morning, we met up with an excited Eli for the event.  Here’s the boys getting pumped before the start.



Probably not a necessity for the 4-6 year olds, but they had ankle bands to record their times.  And their bib numbers were written on their legs and arms just like real triathletes:)


Here’s a view of the Monona Pool, where they started with the swim.  They had kickboards or swim noodles and paddled 40 meters from the shallow end to the orange pyramid and then down a lap.


They staggered the kids’ start and had lifeguards posted every few feet, and it looked like it went really well.  They’re so cute!


There you can see the start on the far left  and then they get out on the far right.


After the kids get out, they supposed to hop on their bikes and go up and down a few blocks (about a half mile).  I ran around from the swimming viewing area to the bike transition area, and both our boys were standing there looking around, sort of watching the clouds pass by.  So I helped them slip on their t-shirts and get their shoes on so they could bike.

I do so love five/six year olds.  They’re so grown up, and yet, they’re really still such little people.

Here’s Andrew heading down the street.  Training wheels and all.


Eli speeds on by.


Andrew ditched his bike and took off running.


Wisely, they had volunteers closely interspersed along the quarter mile run to keep the young ones going the right direction.


There’s my boy, running to greet me.  He is 100% convinced that he won the triathlon.  He was so proud of himself and jazzed about the whole experience.  LOVE that boy.


What joy!


Our athletes post-race.


After the race, we hung out at the park and enjoyed snow cones and some of the treats from the registration bags.  Andrew got to see Bucky Badger and the Madison Mallard and a couple other large creatures.  Sylvia did a great job helping to cheer on the boys.  And she loved playing on the playground.  She’s been petrified of heights recently, but in this instance, she was a comfortable climber.


Wonder what she’s thinking there…06-04-11_triathalon_067

Oh, what light!


This picture now hangs on my living room wall in a 20×30″ float  wrap.  Makes me so happy!

06-04-11_triathalon_065 After we got home from the triathlon, Andrew requested that I find him additional tri’s to participate in.  There’s one in Middleton on August 20.  Maybe we’ll sign up!

Andrew’s Kindergarten graduation

On a nice evening in early June, Andrew graduated from Kindergarten.


I’ve got to say that at first blush, I wasn’t a big fan of the idea of Kindergarten graduation.  Wouldn’t it be more appropriate, I thought, to have an ice cream party and say “Yay!  You’ve made it through your first year!”  But a full-out graduation ceremony??  Even middle school graduation strikes me as a little silly.  I love to celebrate milestones, but doesn’t it somehow make other graduations (like college or graduate school) kinda blase.  These kids are expected and required to pass from KG to first grade.  So we can celebrate that they’ve met their requirements?  I sort of shrugged and smiled and went along.

The morning of the graduaiton, Andrew was really excited, and I thought that was sweet.

Then as we sat in our metal folding chairs in the gym, Andrew’s class started to file in…

…and my heart melted.


Look at how excited they all are!


Oh, did you ever see such a sweet and earnest guy?

06-02-11_NuestroMundoKGgraduation_027 Look at me!  I’m now a fan of Kindergarten graduations!  My heart has been won over by the adorable nature of the students.  I look at them all up there on stage, and I imagine the years going by like the scenery flashing past the windows on a train.  If we stay at this school, Andrew could know many of these kids for the next 12 years.  As I watched them smile and wave to parents and goof off together, I could still see them all for the little people they still are.  They’re just past being preschoolers!  But I can also see shadows of the teens that they will grow to become.  Oh, the emotion!  I shake my head at the wonder of it all.


Bryan, Sylvia, and Tom joined us for the afternoon ceremony.


As the principal called each child’s name, they came up, shook Maestra Laura’s hand,


walked across the stage (some kids nearly leaped across the stage, so great was their excitement!),


and shook hands with the acting principal.


Then each student received his or her certificate of graduation,06-02-11_NuestroMundoKGgraduation_110

and held it up for a quick photo moment.


Andrew held his up for an extra moment just to make sure I captured it.  I do so love that little guy!


Nuestro Mundo Community School has three Kindergarten classes, and after they’d all received their certificates and sang their songs, we adjourned to eat cookies and drink juice.  A potent sugar combination at 2:30pm.


Here’s Andrew and Sylvia with Maestra Laura.  Boy did we get lucky this year to have such a great teacher for our guy.


Party, party, party!


Sylvia (a.k.a. Angelina Ballerina) is pointing out an “s”.  That’s “s” for Sylvia.  The wonderful thing?  She finds them everywhere!


So there you have our Kindergarten graduation experience.  My little guy is now on his way to being a first grader.  There’s no stopping him now.  Reminds me of a post I wrote on July 8, 2005:

“Bryan and I have been having a wonderful time getting to know our precious little baby.  A couple days ago, we took him for his first visit to Olbrich Botanical Gardens (see photos in the gallery). I think he liked hearing the birds and feeling the sunshine.  His umbilical cord fell off too, so he’s pretty much an old man now.”

Go get ’em, Andrew!


Andrew and Sylvia are two years apart in age between February and June.  And it just so happened, that Monona had a soccer skills class for 3-5 year olds this spring.  Then it shockingly aligned so that both kids wanted to participate.  Crazy.

Eli and Celia joined us, and we enjoyed five nice evenings (Thursdays in May and early June) watching the kiddos play about.


Eli’s sixth birthday was on a soccer day.  Here’s his newly-hatched Sixness:


And there’s CC.  Water breaks were a major component of the soccer skills class.


Hi me:)


Soccer buddies



Here are the kids running around on another evening…




It’s chaos out there!  Then, I caught Andrew on camera doing cartwheels:)


There aren’t any soccer classes that work with our schedule this summer, and the kids aren’t interested in tennis or t-ball etc.  Andrew said he might be interested in karate, so perhaps we’ll add that in at some point.  In the meantime, this was a great, low-key initiation to the world of kids sports:)

Paint disaster

How is it that it’s been almost a month since I last posted?  My focus turned to other things.  I haven’t even written about our trip to visit grandparents in Wichita.  Maybe soon…

However, I’ve been jolted out of my non-blogging status by an incident this afternoon.  I had some work to do in the basement, so I asked the kids to amuse themselves for a while.  “No eating,” I said, remembering the bag-o-marshmallows eating incident from last week.  “Or leaving the yard.  Or doing things that your conscious tells you are maybe not a good idea.”  I asked them to get along and be good because after I was done working I’d be tired and my “bucket” might be a little low.

I didn’t specify that they shouldn’t take out the paints.  That’ll be on the list next time.

So after doing some heavy, dirty not-really-fun work in the basement for a half hour, I come upstairs to see this:

06-17-11_paint_002 And I almost sat down on the floor and wept.

I know why they did it, you see, I’d just rearranged all the art supplies.  The painting supplies had been previously stashed in several different places, but now they are all together in organized glory in the old general art supply drawer.  There’s paint they’ve never seen before.  There’s new fingerpainting paper.  There are brushes galore.


I did some heavy breathing.  With my eyebrows lifted high, I firmly extolled upon Andrew and Sylvia the importance of getting permission from an adult before initiating a painting project.  I questioned the wisdom of dumping out the entire contents of large bottles of paint.

The two of them kept catching each others’ eyes and smiling; then repressing the smile and trying to look apologetic.  It wasn’t working.  The giggles that wafted from the bathroom as they washed the brushes ticked me off.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of big, messy painting experiences.  I just like to do them outdoors.

In this case, there was all sorts of paint tucked into the seams in our hardwood floors.  Colorful:)  Very hard to remove.


I did consider crying, but it’s really not my style.  So although I wasn’t really in the mood, I took out my camera to capture the disaster pre-cleanup.  I sent the kids to their rooms for 15 minutes while I did the bulk of the cleanup.  There was so much paint on the floor that it seemed that having them wipe it up would have brought things from a localized disaster to a full-room/house paint bomb.  Their main consequence is that there’s no painting until July.

06-17-11_paint_007Oh those kids, those kids.  You should have seen the mischievous twinkle in their eyes.  I love them so much, and I’m so proud of them.  Being their mom can sometimes lead me to long for Happy Hour.