Tuesday, May 12, 2015

People, we have a 7-year-old!

So this little, sweet baby just turned seven last month.  SEVEN.  No longer is he this tiny little thing (who was never actually a tiny baby at all, as he was born at a whopping 9 lbs!), he is this tall, thoughtful, sweet, silly, smart seven year old, capable of holding interesting conversations, telling funny jokes, giving awesome hugs, thinking through complex problems and so much more!

Since his birthday fell on Easter this year, we got to celebrate it 3 times!  Once the day before with just the immediate family, once on Easter with the extended family, and once the following week with his friends.  Lucky kid!  And lucky us, getting to celebrate with him! 
Celebrating the day before his birthday with a birthday donut!

The day before his big day, Rick, Aurelia and I gathered around the birthday donuts, sang "Happy Birthday" to Dashiell, and gave him our gift - a new aquarium for his room!  He and Rick set it up, then we all headed over to the pet store to pick out his new fish friends!  We went with Tetra since they are small "community" fish and we could comfortably fit 4 fish in D's tank without fear of overcrowding.  Dashiell picked out four different colors of tetra and immediately gave them names.  The red fish is Fred (it rhymes), green is Bib (your guess is as good as mine!), yellow is Goldie (natch), and the purple is She-sha (because it sounds girly and the purple fish is very pretty and feminine).

 The family hams it up with the fish
 Dashiell, CLEARLY excited about his new fish friends!
Aurelia needs to get in on the action, too
To say that Dashiell is thrilled with his fish is an understatement!  All weekend long he kept telling me it was the "best gift ever" and giving me the biggest hugs!  He reads books to his fish, tells them stories, films them whenever he gets the chance...It's pretty awesome.  And it tells me that we need more pets, but that probably won't happen for a while so we'll settle for fish!
The Easter eggs the kids colored with Grandpa
The next day - Dashiell's actual birthday - was Easter!  So the kids got us up early, hunted for Easter eggs, and ate tons of candy.  Or at least Aurelia ate tons of candy.  She's like me, and has no control over sugary foods.  Dashiell, on the other hand, asks permission for each piece of candy.  Such a rules follower!  We ate a good breakfast, then made Dashiell's birthday cake.  He requested a "number" cake like Aurelia had for her birthday.  I think his turned out even better!

Of course the kids helped with the sprinkles, which means I'm still cleaning up sprinkles over a month later.  Of course.

That afternoon we headed over the the grandparents' house for an Easter/Dashiell's Birthday celebration.  I'm totally a fan of the combined celebration, especially when it's not at my house! 
Waiting to blow out the candles!
So all in all it was a fabulous weekend!  But wait, the celebration was not over yet!

The next weekend we had a small party at our house for Dashiell and his friends.  He wanted to have an "art" party, which was pretty fun to plan!  We had a painting station for any kids who wanted to create their own artwork (about half of them did, the rest were too busy running around the yard - yes it was nice enough to have most of the party outside!).  We also had a bean bag toss and a paper airplane making/throwing contest.  Inside we had various snacks and a decorate-your-own-cupcake station. 
Everyone getting into the paper airplane contest!
 Paint chip banner
 Happy Birthday banner!
 Snacks, including rainbow fruit kabobs and pretzel "paintbrushes"
The Decorate-your-own-Cupcake station

Everyone had fun with all the sprinkles!

We attempted to do a "photo booth", but I think Aurelia was the only one who tried it out!

We think everyone had a pretty good time!  We were blessed with lovely weather, and counted ourselves lucky that most everyone who was invited was able to come over!  And most importantly, Dashiell loved it all! 

Happy 7th Birthday to my sweet little boy!  I hope the next year is even better than the last!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Lookin' sharp!

So...last month there was a vision screening at Dashiell's school, and - not surprisingly - Dashiell did not pass it.  Given that Rick has had glasses since he was 9, and I also wear glasses (though I didn't get mine until I was about 30), we kind of knew this day was coming.  So after a quick visit to the pediatrician's office for another screening, which he also did not pass, we made an appointment for the ophthalmologist!

Prior to the appointment, I asked Dashiell how many kids in his class already had glasses.  He didn't know, so we checked out the class photo.  At the beginning of the year, there were already 4 bespectacled kids in his class!  He did tell me that one of his friends was writing a book on glasses (the 1st graders are all writing non-fiction books this year*) and said his favorite part about what his friend wrote was about the nose pads.  Of course it is.

At the appointment, Dashiell did great!  He really loved looking through the refractor (fancy name for that machine you look through when they're trying to determine your prescription), and answered all the questions clearly and definitively. They didn't even need to dilate his eyes.

Checking out the Refractor

The verdict was that yes, he does need glasses, but only to see long distances.  His Rx is about as strong as mine (which is to say, not very strong).  When he's at school he needs them to see the white board, and at home he needs them to watch TV, but he doesn't need them to read or do homework. 

Right after the appointment we went to pick out glasses!  He narrowed it down to the two pairs available that had red on the sides and had nose guards (natch).
Pair #1 - black wire frames

Pair #2 - pewter wire frames

He chose the first pair - black wire frames with nose guards and red temples.  Very good choice!

So then we waited for a WHOLE WEEK before they came in.  In the meantime, this happened:
That front tooth that looked like it was going to come out since before Christmas FINALLY came out!  Yes!

And now, as of Wednesday, Dashiell Hanson is the proud (and handsome!) owner of some awesome glasses!

He was so excited to get them!  And sure, I might be a bit biased but I have to say that glasses make him look even cuter than he already was!  I mean, look at him!  Glasses and a missing tooth?!  Get out!

Of course, now that all of her family members have glasses, Miss Aurelia is chomping at the bit to get a pair, too.  She saw a purple pair at the optical shop that she thinks she should own.  Not sure about that, but maybe if we can find a cheap pair of fake glasses, we'll humor her.

*If you were wondering what non-fiction book Dashiell is writing for school, it's a non-fiction book about writing a non-fiction book:  Writing for Money.  Follow his rules, don't make mistakes, and people will buy your book and you can make money.  Truth!

Friday, March 13, 2015

"You take a picture of my scome?"

Okay, I saw this comic the other day and it just made me crack up.  I can totally hear Aurelia's voice when I read this, because she is always mispronouncing things, and I cannot bring myself to correct her because it's SO DARN CUTE!!  Of course Dashiell, being the smart big brother that he is, has no problem correcting her!  So at least someone in the family is doing their job.  Otherwise she'll end up like this.

A couple of weeks ago she and I were at Starbucks, enjoying a couple petite vanilla bean scones, and like all smartphone carrying moms I decided it was a perfect time for a few pictures.  I got a cute one of her smiling, then she held up her treat and said, "You take a picture of my scome?"
Aurelia and her "scome"

Back in October when my mom and aunt Diane were visiting, for the life of her Aurelia could not say "Auntie Diane".  So from that point forward, Diane has been known as "Dauntie I-ane" (pronounced "eye-an").  Aunt D now signs all of her correspondence to us as Dauntie Iane.

Dashiell, Aurelia and Dauntie Iane

Aurelia also likes to play with the "magans" (magnets) on the refrigerator.  I often thinks she's saying she wants to play with our friend Meghan, but no, it's magnets.

A couple other phrases:
"I can't want to do that" (she can't do it, or doesn't want to do it, depending on the situation)
"I hope I miss you!" (said as we part, really meaning "I'll miss you", but it's cuter the way she says it!)


On a completely different subject, Aurelia had a total drawing breakthrough on Wednesday!  Up until now, her drawings have been mostly just scribbles, with a few (probably accidental) circles and amorphous blobs thrown in for good measure:
Drawing completed earlier in the day on Wednesday

But then, that afternoon, she started drawing "things".  Things that look like things. It started with this collection of things, which included but was not limited to 2 yellow whales, a banana and a black and brown egg (hey, her drawing, her color choices!):
Her things look like actual things, right?

Side note:  Dashiell decided to "grade" her pictures, and put gold check marks on all of the drawings except one, which he marked "okay".  Helpful!

Then she decided to draw a picture of Rick (well, first she said it was a picture of a doctor "for daddy", but then decided it was daddy):
Daddy!  With a plane flying into his mouth!

Since then she's been drawing all sorts of things!  It's really exciting to see her figure all this out!

Friday, March 6, 2015


Guys.  GUYS.  It's been such a long time!  I don't even know where to begin.  In the time since I last posted, so much has happened! 

We've had the Topsfield Fair:
 Dashiell shows Aurelia how to feed the chickens!

 Dashiell gets to hold a baby chick! Cute!
A visit from my mom and aunt:
 "Train" ride with Auntie Diane (or as Aurelia calls her "Dantie I-ane")

 Mom and Diane enjoying a tasty lunch!

 Mom (grandma) reads to Ms. A


 My little purple pumpkin!

 Ready to trick or treat!

 Vampire boy!

Carving the smallest pumpkin ever!


 My turkey

 Dashiell's Thanksgiving decorations

Aurelia's Thanksgiving decorations
 First snowman of the year!

 A ride on the Holly Jolly Trolley in downtown Lowell

 Official visit to Santa

 Bonus visit to Santa (he showed up at the Spaghetti dinner at Dashiell's school)!

 Dashiell's letter to Santa

Rudolph - the Musical!
 Aurelia's Christmas "princess" dress

 Dashiell looking all dapper!
 Aurelia's 3rd birthday:

 Celebrating with a "family" birthday cake the day before her birthday

 The official birthday party cake!

 Blow out the candles!

My silly 3 year old!
Many, many snow days (D missed 8 days of school due to the weather, and at last check Lowell had received about 115" of snow in just over a month):

 Baking cupcakes on snow day #1

 So much snow - and this was just from the first snow storm!

 More snow day fun - building rocket ships and space helmets!

 Making Valentine's cookies

I can't even remember which snow day this was...after a while they all blurred together!
 Valentine's day:

Dashiell made me two awesome valentines this year!  A 3D flower made of hearts, and a "pop-up" picture of the two of us.  Love!

Our Valentine's day cake!  It was pretty yummy...
A visit from Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Danny:

And a lot of other memorable, often silly, moments:

 Punk rock girl, sporting some blue "eyeshadow" (chalk)

 Everyone pile on Daddy!

 My dollhouse arrived from Minnesota! Joy!!

 Practicing escaping from a smoke-filled building

Dashiell loved the butter curl on his pancake plate
 Mommy-Dashiell "date" night.  I wanted to go to a real restaurant, he wanted to go to McDonalds.  Guess who won?

 Dashiell reading his response at church during the special mass for 1st graders.  He did great and read strong and clear!

 Not strange at all to read while sitting in a basket of clean clothes.  Not strange at all...

 "I'm a princess!" (???)

 Dr. Cool is in the house!

 Skating lessons!

 They both improved so much in the few classes they had!

 Watching movies on the inflatable bed that barely fits in the living room

 Sick day tea party!

Wonder Woman!

Soon it will be Dashiell's 7th birthday, and I'll have even more to catch up on!  Woo-hoo!