Saturday, November 8, 2014

Just a couple of pumpkins enjoying the sun.
So things have gotten busy. The holidays generally do that, but I try hard to stay ahead of the game. This is more of a convergence of the time of year we have all of our annual and bi-annual doctor and dentist appointment, parent-teacher conferences, I took on some extra freelancing work, daylight savings happened, etc. But we have certainly still made some time for fun this fall season, even if it's just visiting a new park or hanging out with friends.

Levi's been somehow more trying and more sweet as time goes on. He is so proud to help with chores and to show that he's a good listener. But we've had some regression in potty training over the past two weeks without any reason we can figure out, and he's still very hit or miss with being disrespectful.

Theo, however, is (finally?) blossoming into his own little person, without having to be connected to mommy's hip. He chats to himself (he's having a conversation with his Thomas the Tank Engine sippy cup right now), he's had an explosion of using sign language and starting to say several words, of which his favorites are "bubbles" and "touchdown." He can tell you what a few different animals say - horses, sheep, goats, dogs, and pigs.

And now for the photo extravaganza!

Supervisor and Laborer engineering an effective dam

Cheers! (one of Theo's favorite games)

Whoa... Science.
My little mermaid and mer-baby

Unintentional choreography!

As cute as he is, Theo is surprisingly un-photogenic. So we settle for silly faces instead.

Two of a kind.

A rare Theo smile-at-the-camera moment is obviously accompanied by Levi blinking.

The boys and Daddy spending the last summer-like day at the park, feeding acorns to the fish (no, seriously, that's what's happening here.)

Levi and Mommy's Friday Lunch Date

Monday, October 6, 2014

Oh Fall

I spent the weekend going through the boys' clothes to change over both their sizes and their summer clothes for fall and winter. A big shout-out to the aunties who share my taste in little-boy clothes: plenty of polos, chunky sweaters, and cute jeans/khakis to go around :) I even put a hat on Theo this morning because there was definitely a snap in the air.

Tim actually worked his first day at his new job today, following a blessedly short interim. He'll be
working to improve operations and financial processes at a small wood working company, very local and a very good fit for both Tim and our family. I've learned time and time again that God can, in fact, do math better than me, and as usual plans things to work out better than even my detailed, down-to-the-minute guidelines :)

So the boys are back in daycare, none the worse for wear for being thrust from it without notice and into a much less structured environment, a.k.a. our house. Or, I should probably say, Tim is none the worse for wear. they are both VERY hands-on right now. Whether its because one is playing a little too roughly with the other, one gets stuck (literally), someone needs food or potty time or a gets intense. And loud. And disorderly. Somehow, two children at this age is both terrifying and endearing.

Levi is starting to loose a little bit of his "threenager" approach to life, although now that I've written it down that trend will immediately reverse. He's more emotional than a pregnant woman. In her third trimester. A week overdue. And also...malicious, although not with the full intent of that word. Perhaps I just mean operates as if he has blinders on. He'll go and snatch a toy from Theo with no thought at all as to why that might not be appropriate, and then look confused when, (for the 14th time) we explain why he cannot simply take toys away from his brother and he has to go sit in time out. Yet at the same time, he's also so freaking adorable. He likes to practice cutting and gluing and will play hide and seek and eye spy with you. He'll do his chores (silverware on the table at dinner, collecting the trash, etc.), help mommy and daddy cook and clean up, and chat with you about his day during bed
time. He'll ask all kinds of interesting questions, learn new words every day, make up stories to tell you, sound out his letters, spell his name, practice running and then jumping, and of course, his favorite: reading. So many pockets of fun within the I-want-to-pull-my-hair-out moments were he just can't seem to listen or be polite or nice.

Theo is also learning and growing, albeit not always in ways I'm excited about. He can get up and down the stairs by himself (safely), yet he still can't walk, so we have to carry his bulky little self around everywhere. He likes to sing, but that often translates as shouting random syllables. He likes to find things to dump out or squash, which occasionally is something we didn't realize was in his reach. He very seriously considers launching himself off of beds. He'll stand up in
his high chair and crow, looking right at me, and then hurriedly sit down as soon as he sees me lurch toward him. Theo can whistle (I think I was in the double-digits before I could whistle...), and turn pages in books while you read, and listen to basic instructions. I'm teaching him to repeat some sounds into words (night night, mama!), and we practice pointing and saying the sounds of lots of other words - car, ball, bike, Levi, chair, box, anemone. sometimes he just laughs, but sometimes he'll repeat the sound if he knows how. And he is, of course, the cutest little man ever. he laughs in glee when he stands by himself, plays with a push toy to practice walking, goes down slides, and many other things. He cries like he's just been left on the side of the road at many, many things, but I'm hoping daycare teaches him some self-soothing techniques soon. My methods (ignore? distract? kisses?) don't seem to do much.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Good and the Not So Good

So mid-August has been delightful temperatures in the mid-70s with wonderful breezes. Great for my daily workout schedule outdoors, great for family walks, great for finding sticks with which to hit grass with and discover large rocks you just HAVE to have, ha. Great for picnics, and bike rides (Thanks, Auntie Krista and Uncle Jesse!!), and porch-sitting, and playing in the park.

Of course, as I mentioned before, our summer has been chock full of many other things as well! Wonderful evenings with our life group from church (11 kids under the age of 9? Thank goodness for babysitters!!) several times are always full of food and good conversation. We took a Saturday to go visit the Maryland Science Center on the Baltimore Harbor (thanks, mom!), and Levi really enjoyed everything from learning how pulleys work to Legos to a water play table to a dramatic movie about penguin life to playing with bubbles outside. Theo mostly enjoyed some squishy blocks and watching everyone, and also napping during the movie :) Levi and Tim have been to the local children's amusement park several times - Dutch Wonderland, and had a blast each time on "the trains, mommy!" among other rides designed for the tiny ones.We spent a weekend in D.C. visiting an epic friend and hitting up the National Building Museum, the zoo, riding the metro, and walking around a local market and the capital. We also trekked up to New Hampshire and spent some time with Tim's family -- peach picking, sitting out on their lovely deck, roasting marshmallows, picking tasty vegetables, and playing in the sprinkler.

That's the good news. The bad news is that our lives have encountered an unexpected twist. Tim was laid off on Friday. It came without any warning, and of course, after things we can't take back, like the significant money we've spent on home improvements this summer. Please keep us in your prayers, since he'll be home wrangling the kids while also trying to put in the time/phone calls/meetings to network and find a new job. And if you're local, feel free to contact us with any connections or ideas you might have! (Tim mainly focuses on finance and operations improvement)

Get ready for the pictures, because there are MANY :)

This lasted for less than 3 minutes...

Marshmallow roasting with Papa

The Capitol building in D.C. The
palm trees are an odd addition.

Levi, hat designer. 

Make-your-own doughnut in NH with cousin

Baking monster cookies with the monsters!

Superman ice cream?? Yes, please!

Theo enjoys one of his birthday gifts. Levi...sulks. 

Scooooore! (I mean...strike?)

Mostly eating the frosting off his alligator cupcake. Yum :)

Levi "teaching" his older and wiser neighbor buddy, Kai,
the many fascinating things about Lightning McQueen

Levi insisted on holding his own umbrella in D.C.
I didn't mind a bit ;)

First ride on the metro, or as Levi calls it "the monorail."
After overcoming his initial hesitation, he and Tim spent
an evening riding back and forth on the trains.

Family selfie! ...Minus Theo

Pickin' up pretty ladies on the street in D.C.

Theo flying an airplane!

Above the elephant's area at the National
Zoo. Someone was trying to crawl away. 

Boy shot near the sea lions. 

On our way to pick some delicious peaches. Matt and I
did, in fact, call each other to coordinate in advance. 

Mommy loves getting kisses almost as much as
 she loves giving them :)

Theo also had fun?

All four monsters riding down the hill!

Theo and his most favorite thing.

Tractor riding! Levi steered all the way back up the hill
and parked it by himself. 

Tomato picking with Nannan.