More Days

Yesterday the boys turned some blankets drying on the dining room tabel into a tent fort. Last night J helped them make it more awesome. Today C added the couch cushions, and upstairs (on the seats of chairs), and an escape pod for when the “monsers” (E’s word) attack.

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E happily took a bath (yay!) so I could wash his hair. He used to hate baths but he’s been taking one or two a week in the last 6 months. Nothing close to C though, who prefers to take a bath several times a day when he gets: cold, drips water on his clothes, gets sticky hands, accidentally wets his pants, etc.

E smiled and told me: “Mo many bubbos, Mama!” (So many bubbles). IMG_3240.JPG

 

We went for a walk late afternoon. We happily saw a culvert along the way, a term used in Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon, a book we’re reading to C. He’s really digging it and it’s so fun to read chapter books to him. Just 2 months ago he refused to read books without pictures and now he’s totally absorbed in books with few or no illustrations. He’s still very interested in graphic novels, a few of his favorites being the Hilda series, Giants Beware, and Zita the Spacegirl.

 

The boys explored the edges of a soybean field and C and I discussed property rights and how we don’t enter old barns even if they look super interesting and are not near a house. E wandered to the road during this and immediately stopped when I called out about vehicles on the road. It’s so nice that my kids are (occasionally) aware of the importance of safety.  IMG_3248.JPG

 

Taking a break halfway home. Riding a balance bike a couple miles is still a bit tough for C. At one point he was a couple hundred feet ahead of me when a vehicle came by and he quickly darted to the side of the road, hopped off his bike, stood motionless in the grass while giving me thumbs up. Oh wow, I really love watching this kid grow as an aware and responsible person! Also, C normally rides his pedal bike but one day of riding the balance bike at top speed down several hills and the toes of his shoes are almost worn through from braking. IMG_3260.JPG

 

90% of the people who drove past us waved and I always waved back, C mostly waved back, and E sized up the car and, based on the level of engine noise, occasionally waved back. C told me “I love some of people. The ones who wave. But not all of them.”

Today we also made chia pudding (it was weird) and ate dinner while watching a movie. I killed 2 wasps and took a dead mouse to the trash can. That brings me up to 4 wasps and 2 mice this week. And I had to kill the first mouse.

 

Catching Up

My computer ran out of hard drive space so I couldn’t even get on the Internet. After I cleared some space the backlog of days and pictures seemed a bit daunting but here I am again. With a huge amount of pictures. If I don’t post them now then I’ll forget what happened so, here goes.

Oh, first: today E went to the doctor for a vaccination and this inspired much talk among us about white blood cells and weak microbes and resistance to future illness. It was pretty delightful to watch C assure his brother things would be okay and it would only hurt a little and now he’ll grow new skin over his hurt (you know, that tiny prick in E’s leg is a gargantuan wound of course). E told us he was worried and didn’t want to be at the doctor’s office but he stayed calm and happily asked for donuts when everything was over.

First of all, C loves to take pictures with our camera when the flash on (and when it’s off too I suppose). Here’s his handiwork. Also, both boys turn on the flashlight feature on my phone all. the. freaking. time. But the other night we found the light on it is perfect for making shadow hand shows! We spent a fun evening in the boys’ room making shadows and learning how the closer objects are to the light, the bigger their shadow. Well, the kids learned it, I assume J and I already knew it.

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More pond and damn creation in the mulch. Also bridges were added this time. 
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Fun day with our homeschool group. The other kids decorated paper pumpkins while my kids stomped in puddles and played on the playground equipment. I was grateful for the extra clothes I always keep in the car since both boys were soaked after a couple of hours. IMG_3005

 

 

Photographically captured E losing control on a slide but not him landing butt first in the mud. I was trying to catch him at that point. Blog10

 

 

Baby swings: always a good time. Also, playing in the sand deteriorated into throwing sand and yelling at one another. I’m not sure what about since I’d kinda wandered away from them at this point….Blog12

 

 

E loves to saw, sand, and build things. Bike and running ramps are still popular pastimes. Blog11

 

The hair of my eldest after he used the shop vac on it. Gotta love that sweet, chubby face. :)IMG_3084

 

E likes to draw now. He wanted me to draw “ang’y faces” and “one two” and “abcd”. I remember when C liked experimenting with different facial emotions o this chalkboard just a couple years ago!

Also- don’t look but E has poop coming up his little buttcrack.

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E loves making his little animals talk and play together. He had a whole situation being acted out here that involved lots of drama due to string tangles. C was working very intently on building a marble maze in a lego house next to this. DSC03871

 

 

More animal play. IMG_3107

 

E turned 23 months. Sometimes I read these chalkboard lists and can’t understand what I wrote. Handwriting could be improved as well as my rush in writing them (perhaps if two little boys would PROMISE not to smear the wall until I was done with it, I wouldn’t be so worried). DSC03889

 

C of course always wants to join in the photo fun. DSC03895

 

 

C independently toasted naan, selected and poured olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and proudly asked me to take his picture. Yummy snack!

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I made a campfire with the boys one evening. We roasted hot dogs and C’s pants had something in them that made his legs break out so he was pantless the majority of the evening. DSC03959

 

 

E was ravenously hungry and snatched a cold hotdog while ours were roasting. Next time I looked at him, he had finished the first and was holding one in each hand, stuffing them into his mouth. Bottom right is him after he shrieked and ran from me and then at a THIRD HOTDOG. I couldn’t pry them from his hands. Barf. 104

 

J came home and C sang at the sky. With no pants on. DSC03966


The poor dining room in its transition state while outside the leaves change from green to yellow. They are now completely yellow or gone, no green leaves remain. :(
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E eats an iced cream cone from the middle. Brilliant. IMG_3079

Hey, that’s all! Lets see if I can get back to my daily posts soon. All I need to do is get my kids to let me have 6:00-7:00 AM alone downstairs while they slumber upstairs. One hour alone, that’s all I ask! Well, that’s not all really, but hey, that will keep me happy for now! Well, somewhat happy at least. Or a little more sane. Hey, I’ll still complain about everything no matter what, just tell me to shut up and things will be good. :)

Weekend and Good Ol’ Monday

Friday night J’s work rented a local farm for an autumn outing. Here’s our family picture of the event. Notice the phases our kids are in: C dislikes his picture being taken and E refuses to wear coats. Thus our eldest is in the background where he was “hiding” and E’s green jacket is discarded on the hay bales. IMG_2995.JPG

 

 

We also picked pumpkins. E was especially amused by the teeny tiny pumpkin. DSC03755

 

The boys played here much of the time: a play house set up as a grocery store. C delivered the groceries to the customers at the window and E took the money. 
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This morning C took a sink bath (ever so popular around here) and showed off his Dubious Eyes. He’s been giving me this look since he was 3 months old.DSC03779

 

The boys also showed each other a little love.DSC03783

 

When I was making lunch downstairs, it became eerily quiet upstairs where the boys were. I thought “Screw it, I’ll deal with their disaster when I’m done.” So after all the food was ready and packed (we were leaving the house) I grabbed the camera to document the certain mess and headed up. To my utter surprise, C and E were cuddled in bed and C was “reading” E a story about “the eldest son and the man and his wife who lived in a house that was not their house”. It was really a lovely change for me to find everyone happy and orderly! ;)
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C and E did art over the weekend and here are their dry pictures. 
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C worked on building towers. On a rickety table which caused him no end of frustration. Blog9

 

 

 

 

E played pretend with his little animals then pulled out the toy skeleton/plastic body and picked up organs with tweezers. Such fun. Blog8

 

E fell asleep tonight A THOUSAND HOURS later than his bedtime. Okay, one hour BUT STILL. I did very much enjoy his extra cuddles and sweetness. IMG_2999.JPG

 

 

 

 

Books and My Serious Kid

Creepy E stares at you from the frightful depths of his soul. IMG_2930.JPG

 

 

And this is what he looks like if you block the light blinding him. :) Much more like himself. IMG_2933.JPG

 

C with his new favorite book, Zita the Spacegirl. It’s a graphic novel, one of his favorite genres. He’s a big fiction lover! We’ve read this book and a couple others similar to it several times in the past week and each book is 200+ pages long. Yikes! We read a lot around here! When C is stressed or over-hungry, his first solution is usually “a quick show” followed by me saying “we need to help ourselves feel better without a show”. He responds “how about a book and a cuddle?” and WHO could say no to that?!?!?IMG_2929.JPG

 

 

How E looks at library. I PROMISE you he was not crying or sad. He was just being his serious and contemplative self because he was around people who are not his family and not in his home. He’s a homebody, this sweet kid. IMG_2924.JPG

 

C’s typical I’m Concentrating Very Hard face. Library time either means playing computer games or grabbing a book and listening to me read it while the three of us sit in a small chair. IMG_2927.JPG

 

A Day at Home

Today our new furnace was installed so we stayed home all day. Normally this isn’t especially pleasant since we all start getting in each others hair until there is no personal space left. Mostly for me? The kids like to stay home and work all day on projects around the house but I get bored without any interaction from other people. I suppose being able to chat with the furnace installers helped! ;)

This is how our coffee table in the family started the day. E seems to really love playing with these little figurines though C pretty much ignores them. But we spent the previous evening making an Animal Parade and everyone loved it.

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For a couple of hours this is what we did: E worked exploring, microwaving, watching the rain, pretending to eat pretend grapes, putting things in small bags, and hauling things around in his stroller.

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C worked measuring, mixing, asking me for assistance, learning how tot knead (Thanks King Arthur Flour on Youtube), scraping and tasting. This time C wanted his creation to taste good so he worked thoughtfully and asked me what proportions would be best. Not yet to recipe requesting but getting closer!

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C was very impressed that he was able to smell the yeast in his bread dough and wanted E to smell it also. They both happily sniffed then E trotted back to his work.

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The dough rose.

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E wheeled around fruit and then attempted to nap. The furnace installation noise, mail carrier ringing the doorbell, and Sadie barking woke him up too many times so we gave up on sleep.

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This is what C did during E’s nap: drew, created, and then silently snuck in to show me his picture while I was cuddling E.

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Our afternoon snack was C’s bread, sprinkled with sprinkles. E loved it but C was upset it had a bit too much baking soda in it (provided by E in a moment when the dough was unguarded).

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C made wings and flew.

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He also unloaded the silverware, sat on a WORKING furnace vent, made a letter O in more floor flour, and painted his wings.

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E wanted to play at the sink and asked for the water toys. He worked here for a awhile.

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Then both boys decided a sink bath would be a good end to the day.

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We had a yummy dinner with singing, story telling, and lots of laughing. Since we’re not religious, we sometimes hold hands and talk about what we’re grateful for or what we love. At C’s request, we did this tonight along with a happy chant and joined raising hand waving. It was pretty funny. :)

Field Trip and Dinner

Today we went to our favorite orchard for a field trip. C was excited and then quite, attentive, and calm during the visit. I love having a 4 year old, mine is awesome. The 1 year old was pretty easy too: he slept on my back in the Ergo for half the trip, then observed from his perch with his usual solemnity. IMG_2824.JPG

 

C picked apples and pumpkins and learned about bees and how to make apple cider. Also, he is working on his “standing bored in front of cornstalks” pose.

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Instead of donning my boots of his feet, as he usually does to his great amusement, E pretended they were gloves today. IMG_2834

C worked on jumping to create more blurred photos. He bounced from the middle of the kitchen and immediately was absorbed in a fire truck toy that was at the end of his journey. 
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Nutcracker on the head, always funny.DSC03703

E attempts to evangelize with “my book”, his little new testament that he’s had for over a year. This kid really gets attached to his items. What he ends up doing is hypnotizing us with all his stripes. He refused to take off his hat. DSC03698

 

 

C made quinoa for dinner, set the table, and served everyone’s plate. Then he decorated with little umbrellas, candles, and “fancy” cups. The candles were to provide light and we couldn’t blow them out until they were close to burning our quinoa.

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E carefully inserts “so many!” candles into his food. He cried very sadly when I blew them out after they burned too low. 101

First Weekend of October

Jeremy was out of town Friday and Saturday so the boys and I enjoyed some extra time together. And yes, we all actually did enjoy it!

Saturday morning I slept late (until the boys woke me at 7:00) and we started out morning. We headed to a local festival to watch a parade on the coldest day yet of autumn. First time for the heavy coats, hats, gloves, and boots! I also brought lots of blankets and hot cocoa for us all (mine was spiked with espresso).  C fairly danced with excitement and E cried for 10 minutes because I made him wear his coat. He didn’t want to be in our selfie. IMG_2787

The boys love parades, mostly for the candy. We’ve been out of town for all our local parade all summer and the last one we went to was St. Patrick’s Day downtown. I was pretty happy that the boys did NOT freak out about the loud sirens from all the police cars and firetrucks. C smiled a lot and E solemnly waved pretty much the entire time. IMG_2796

 

 

Then they proceeded to eat candy (and C drank lemonade) the rest of the day. Sugar overdose! We went to my mom’s with food from a local root beer place that just opened and had a nice afternoon visiting.

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Our new furnace will be installed in a few days so to keep warm the boys took a hot bath. E happily announced he needed to “Swim! Wi’ gohh-go!” (swim with googles). IMG_2815

 

Also to stay warm we made a fire. And ate more sugar in the form of marshmallows. And read books. And ate only a tiny bit of dinner since the marshmallows had filled us up.

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C actually let me take his picture. You know, with his LOOKING at the camera. Without shouting for me to stop. DSC03641
Today we made ANOTHER fire. Here’s our routine: C and I practically sit in the fireplace while I teach him to make fires. E works on putting things in his stroller and moving it around. We also drew with charcoal from yesterday’s fire. 

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C and J found a cool way to play. DSC03657

And C decided he needed “some decoration”.
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And also needed to see how he turns into a blur when he moves during pictures. DSC03666

E charmed us all with his sweetness. And he drew a picture (behind him) of “Nakee! Towel!” probably inspired by his C running around naked after a bath (and still green since he needed to keep his decoration).

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Baking, Artwork, and Butterflies

 

 

Our morning started with working at the dining room table. DSC03598

 

E mixed up chocolate bread and tasted it a few times to make sure it was edible. It baked flat and hard and he decided that next time, in addition to using yeast, he wanted to follow a recipe. That’s tough for a kid who doesn’t read numbers or letters so he often skips that step when it comes down to it. I’m glad he’s at least tasting things now to see what he needs to add to make it more palatable!IMG_2774.JPG

 

 

On the other side of the table E wanted paper, pencils, and markers. He carefully unscrewed all the dot marker lids, used them and the colored pencils a bit, then wandered off.IMG_2775.JPG

 

 

For our morning snack I got out shortcake C and I had made and strawberries. E immediately wanted to poke holes in the plastic wrap over the shortcake pan so I quickly covered a bowl with it for him to play with. C heard and dashed over and this became a fun activity where they poked lots of holes, E covering his ears since the pops were sometimes loud. :) All I wanted was to actually eat the strawberries and shortcake….IMG_2776.JPG

 

Later C found a butterfly in our screened in porch. Poor thing was cold and close to death (it ended up dying in a jar in our house about an hour after this….). C was determined to save it and carefully let it crawl onto his fingers to help it outside. It couldn’t fly very far but we did have fun examining it. 
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During E’s nap, C and I researched butterflies on the Internet and looked more into making C a butterfly costume for Halloween. 
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E is a work of art brought to you by the letter C. :)IMG_2782.JPG

 

 

Books I’m reading/just finished. Slowly. And in a very scattered manner. :)
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C worked making a pathway of legos for balls to roll and people to walk. Super concentrated alternating with frustration about the whole thing tipping over several times. IMG_2783.JPG

 

 

Sunday and Monday Outdoors

The boys both worked hard on making dams and perfecting the pipe, water, and sump pump system. IMG_2667.JPG

 

 

 

J and I worked hard cleaning out our mudroom to prepare for a garage sale in 2 weeks. Saw a mouse who wasn’t too happy about being disturbed! The boys were thrilled with all the new toys! ;)IMG_2671.JPG

 

C rediscovers a toy his aunt got him almost 3 years ago. It sings Happy Birthday, C’s favorite song as a one year old. IMG_2674.JPG

 

I asked E what happened to the bell peppers I found in the garden. He gleefully pointed to his mouth and announced “Me! Eat!” Silly boy! IMG_2680.JPG

Today’s Happenings

Last night I soaked beans and today I cooked them. I froze the beans and yesterday’s leftover chili. IMG_2761.JPG

 

E delights in his cat Cortina. Poor kitty. I freed her after this picture. IMG_2752.JPG

 

C strung up a clothesline then hung some wet laundry. IMG_2759.JPG

 

My boys fake sleeping. It’s oh so convincing. They love to do this and I enjoy the sweet few seconds of quiet. :)IMG_2763.JPG

 

C blew leaves and I cleaned my van. IMG_2764.JPG

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