Sunday, Monday

I’d like to preface this with the fact that we all meltdowns today. Ahem. As in ALL OF US. Mine was “I’m going to lock myself in this room for a minute to calm myself down because my kid won’t listen to me and I need my coffee and I don’t know what to do about this because my brain is SO DAMN TIRED”. C’s was “I’m going to sob hysterically with giant tears streaming down my cheeks while I curl miserably on my mother’s lap because I can’t watch a Curious George today”. E had a meltdown later in the day that went like this: “I will NOT wear these underwear you’ve put on my bottom and will SOB on the floor, pulling at them until you take them off”. J came home and had his “work is SO busy and behind and hard and I have a million things to do and now I need to watch something funny to cheer myself up” meltdown.

Okay, to be honest, J didn’t meltdown. In order of severity, with C being the most emotional (of course) we’ll start with C, E, S, J. There you have it.

 

Moving on.

Yesterday for breakfast we made: crepes, blueberry pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, plain pancakes and baby pancakes. The baby pancakes are just tiny one that the boys immediately snatch up.

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The boys got a treat of lollipops that we happened to find. These things were 2 years old so we just needed to get rid of them and what better place to put old candy but in small children! Here you see the lollipop holders (the deck). And the boys sharing lollipops while holding them in their mouths. Blog14

 

Today/Monday: C made a Word Whammer on the light table (I wrote the names). And then he asked me to take a picture while he put on his proud face. Blog13

 

Then we moved on to playing with animals and building marble mazes. Nothing new here. And eating and reading.

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C and I have been working on his costume together and finally finished it today! It was hard for me to let him help since there was the chance the costume wouldn’t end up PERFECT but yeah, I practiced sharing my kid’s costume with him and it worked out fine. 
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E played with this gears thingie my mom got the boys for Christmas last year. This toy really gets used, E will sit for 10-20 minutes working attentively with it. Then he pretends the bigger gears are phones and walks around talking to people on them. Also, he “helped” me sweep. Basically anytime I get out my broom, he MUST HAVE HIS and he always sweeps the opposite direction of me. Here you see him sweeping the pile of crap BACK to the area that was freshly cleaned. Blog19

 

 

 

C worked on this puzzle. Still hasn’t conquered it yet but he tries. Today he got to 8. DSC04092

It was a marvelously warm day so the boys built a fortress, I saw C threw a paintbrush onto the roof (not the trashcan as previously mentioned), we scrubbed dirty containers, and C gave Sadie a bath so she had to frantically dry herself on a towel. And not just one bath but “29 baths! And she barked!”. Later he changed it to fivety five baths. Poor dog, I shouldn’t let her out of my sight….Blog16
E chopped potatoes naked. This was after he discovered underwear is THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD and I discovered I’m fine with a naked butt kid sitting on our stools. Also, I was listening to a podcast during the chopping  and E was chatting happily about something when the host said “And our next caller is from Indiana-” and E chirps up happily “Inee-ana, Mama! Inee-ana!”. Sigh. So much for being able to listen to palliative care podcasts around my 1 year old. He listens even when he is talking. :/

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Me Me Me

I’m posting while my kids play outside so lets see how long this moment lasts. And this post is not about my kids (which is what this blog has become, a journal of sorts to record the growth and education of my boys).

On Friday I was awarded an unexpected free half hour. (quiet tapping on the door from a little boy delivering a bell pepper and 2 cherry tomatoes)

Anyway, the kids were happily playing Friday and the house was reasonably in order, dinner was figured out, and DAMN. What do I do with this precious time?!?! NO ONE NEEDS ME!!!! I sent an email. I read a little. I looked at my agenda. I stared at my house and again agreed (with myself) that it was clean enough and I was tired of cleaning it. So. Um. Yeah? Read some more? It just seemed so indulgent. Shouldn’t I do something WORTHWHILE?

So I’m a teacher. I love teaching and find it very fulfilling, challenging, rewarding, and all that good stuff. For the next ? years I’ll be homeschooling my kids and that takes planning, research, and time. But it’s (4 yo knocking on garage door to tell me his paintbrush is high up on the trash can).

Um. Yeah, it’s something? Oh yeah, we’re doing child led homeschooling which basically means my kids (at this point) decide what they want to learn and I (the mentor/guide on the side) help them deepen that and provide them with resources and such. Of course some days I need to drink a lot of coffee to fulfill this education goal and some days I’d rather not have anything to do with the mentoring/guiding part of homeschooling. Like today. I’m tired. And obviously rambling.

Anyway- What is it that I want to do? Or be? I know right now exactly what my kids want to pursue and learn more about. I have the information written over the last few months, recorded, and filed. They are the easy peasy ones, these kids who LOVE everything about life (except sitting still). I know what subjects interest me: women’s rights, race, gender, and class issues, literature, education, child development, Coffee. All of that but MOSTLY Coffee.

And HOW do I take all of that and, with the help of Coffee, turn it into something personally fulfilling? And WHAT do I want to turn it into? (4 yo needs to tell me his cousin knows how to kill wasps, 1 yo somberly tells me a bee stung him. He’s actually perfectly fine).

I guess I’ll just keep reading for now. Maybe that will be my current goal. Reading, voting on November 4, drinking Coffee, waking an hour before the boys wake, and journaling. But reading, yes, reading. Which reminds me I have a couple of books on hold at the library that I need to go pick up today. Or tomorrow?

So yes, my goal in life is to read. Maybe I’ll start writing very brief summaries of the books I read/attempt to read and post them here. That would be a start, a place for me to remember and somehow gather the fragments of my mind. (1 yo wants me to “come too!” and rake a pile of leaves.)

Thanks Blog, for helping me start a path, one that I’ve actually already been on but HEY! Now I’ve written it down. And that means something to me!

And Thanks Coffee, for being my best drinkable buddy. (1 yo wants me to “fick dis”, fix this broken hat of his). 

It’s the Day of SCIENCE!

Today we went to a physics/ astronomy/ science open house thing at a nearby college. Last time we went C was 2 years old and this year E is almost 2 and C is 4. We took lots of sub-optimal pictures since we were pretty busy enjoying all the activities and demonstrations. But here’s what we did manage to record.

 

J at the observatory. We’d like to go back again at night to check it out but that may be a “J Only” event for now. I’m constantly very excited about the future, when I will take my kids to observatories, art museums, canoeing, biking, etc. As for now we go to parks, children’s museums, slow walks, and other things appropriate for little people.

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C waiting for something. Maybe this was before the tour. Maybe I need to rearrange these pictures. Eh. So I think C enjoyed himself today, I know he did actually. But he is (right now) fairly hesitant to take the lead when we are in public with people. He prefers to hold back and quietly or independently explore, not interacting much with people he’s not very intimate with. He needed to stay close to us today but was very interested in all the cool demos and experiments. And if we stayed too long at a demo, he let us know we needed to move on at HIS pace. We had to stop a couple times and talk about being respectful and how to let us know (kindly) that he was waiting for us to finish. DSC03984E was happy to be in his “baby cawwy-er”. Occasionally he demanded to be let out if we forgot to let him see something we were watching. He liked looking at and touching things. DSC03989

 

 

The physics department put on a show with cool experiments. E leaked through his diaper 10 minutes before it began and I had to take him back to the van since he needed new clothes. C needed to use the restroom 5 minutes before the show began so yeah, we didn’t get to actually watch the show in these seats. But we all managed to meet back together in the dark room and only missed a couple of minutes! As it is every year, the performance was goofy, gathered lots of “wow!!!”s from the audience, and was lots of fun. DSC03990

 

 

Finally convinced C it was safe to take the plunge and make a comet (dry ice, water, syrup, and soil). DSC03998

 

Waiting for the pumpkins to be dropped from the 5th floor. DSC04009

 

 

Back to the van! J leads all the children. DSC04019

 

Later in the town square, we found a familiar child enthusiastically riding a cannon. DSC04027

 

I took some tabloid photos. Yep, E is wearing gloves…. J is wearing the solar system shirt C made for him for Father’s Day. DSC04029

 

 

After a yummy lunch/dinner (3:00 pm) at a place called Max’s, we stopped at the tiny mall and found free goodies and entertainment put on by the local game store, then walked back outside, and ended up here. DSC04035

 

I read the paper, C built a leaf nest, E played and threw leaves on me. J took some pictures and was tired.DSC04039

 

C requested this photo. Love that cheesy grin. :)IMG_3264.JPG

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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