Tuesday, September 8, 2015

100 Days of Summer

.....and we're back!

Even though summer is my least favorite season, with two warm-weather babies, I do pack it full of beach days, family picnics, baseball games, and the like. And sunscreen. Lots and lots of sunscreen.

Levi is rapidly approaching four and a half, and four months after his fourth birthday (which is in the
fourth month of the year ;)), he still greets people he's meeting for the first time with "I'm four." Because that is the quintessential fact about his personhood right now: he's four. 

And four means so! many! things! It means potty training regression, because he's just too busy. He thinks his toys/food/story he's telling might not be there when he get's back to it (in truth, with Theo around...it might not...) Because when one is playing outside, the steps to take to get INside to the restroom are...just too many steps when there's mud to make and trucks to park. And because 4. Less helpless than three, less stubborn intense than three, but still no picnic :) The consequences of his actions are at least starting to sink in, after a solid year of some pretty lonely hours in his bedroom or privileges taken away/entire evenings of big boy chores added to his generally open free time. We had some intense behavioral issues starting shortly after he turned 4 at school and occasionally at home, when his frustrations would boil over into throwing chairs, biting teachers, hitting or kicking friends...and this from a child who is most known for his smile, rather
than his temper. We tried every last thing - no more toys and books in his room, race car-track sticker progression charts at school; prizes for good days and time-outs on bad, etc. The solution? More designated attention one-on-one from us. Turns out that even though he'd always been very chill with having a little brother, always wanting to play and touch Theo, two years of mommy and daddy's split attention later took a toll. We now have Mommy + Levi time and Daddy + Levi time most days, giving him just 5- 15 minutes, with an activity of his choice, to play and interact without Theo getting in the way/needing attention/climbing on everything/wrecking everything. We also try to have some separate play time some days, where one of them plays by themselves in their room, giving the other a break from the loud/touchy/messy/in the way presence of the other. One day, they'll be able to play together without ONLY wanting what he other one has, right? Right??

Levi is a delightful little boy, really. He loves to tell long-winded stories, weaving in storylines he recognizes (from a movie, book or Bible story) with moments from his day or made-up scenarios. He loves to learn how things work, and then re-explain it to you later - the kid's got an intense memory for that. He can't count to 20 without skipping half
the teen letters, but he can tell you that thing you told him about why the sky is blue two weeks ago. He loves elaborate pretend scenarios, and narrates the tales of his race cars, sometimes singing songs as he plays ("no, mommy, I not talking to you..."). He likes to give us presents or surprises - often a toy wrapped in a blanket. He knows how to clean up his toys, collect the trash on Sundays, put away the dishes, fold his tiny clothes, and mow the lawn (OK, the last one we help with steering a bit. But he's strong enough). 

Theo, on the other hand. Oh, Theo. He's officially two. If you tell him not to, he'll immediately do the
opposite indefinitely. If you ask him to do something, or stop doing something, his immediate response is "no!" He loves to bug
his older brother in a Homestar-esque voice "Hey Leviiiiiiii." (To which Levi says "Leave me alone." Theo pauses for a beat, then continues with a renewed "Hey Leviiiiii.")

He love love loves cars and trucks of all shapes and sizes. He loves to give kisses and hugs and dance and climb on everything - you, a railing, furniture, the fridge, etc. His most favorite love, however, is books. He will sit and read books for, well, minutes at a time. Which is a lot in his tiny world :) He also has reached the "I do it myself" stage, which we try to accommodate as much as possible. Because in my house, yeah you do. Put your shoes on by yourself? yes please. Put away dishes by yourself? You betcha. Turn the dishwasher on? sure. Put away your clothes? OK. 

Theo is also still so adorable. And pretty easygoing, two-year-old-ness aside. He'll go pretty much wherever any of us are, likes to look at so many things outside, and just kind of chills wherever he is. 

Now, get yo'self ready, because 100 days of summer is an avalanche of photos!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Birthday and More

Auntie Sammie while watching a mud and monster truck
show at The Buck in Southern Lancaster County. The first
of many birthday celebrations :)

Birthday balloons for the birthday boy!

Picnic in the park with the ducks and some turtles. 

Nascar cake!

Nascar cake four seconds after Theo managed to grab some
frosting and stuff it in his mouth...

He's 4, btdubbs. He tells every single person he meets that.
As a greeting. 

Distraction present for non-birthday boy!

Corduroy. Awwwwww. 

Red sox shiiiiiiiirt!!

Mommy did a mud run!

Levi managed to run most of the mud run as well, and minus
the obstacles, came out a lot cleaner. 

Mother's Day photo op. Or...attempt. 

Riding the bus for Touch a Truck day!

Just driving this 'ol excavator

Pretending to drive!

Dump Truck

Mommy, Dandelions are the prettiest flowers

Theo driving hard. 

Levi operating his own excavator! Took the soccer ball
off of the cone, and then dumped it into the tire!