Rainy Day

It’s been raining a lot lately (yay!) but in general we have thunderstorms, not just rain showers. Today brought a multitude of delightful showers and the boys took full advantage of it. I did too, weeding and dealing with the garden. ;) 

The “big grown up kid”.   

The “tiny grown up kid”.   

The tiny one with his mouth filled with air and his brain filled with thoughts.   

The wind just kept blowing in new clouds that let their rain lose on us!  

Of course crocodile play ensued. 

And later the boys turned to playing with the hose, soap on the sidewalk, the little pool, PVC pipes, and making rivers in the mulch of the flowerbed.   

Then it was time to clean up and wash off before the ever-present chiggers devoured us. After baths, C cleaned the floor that he marketed on last night. His eagerness to scrub the rug was very refreshing!  

And he stain sprayed and washed the sheets.   

This was followed by much “playing pretend”. We do this a lot around here since it is E’s deepest passion. C tends to spend half his time building and half his time playing. E spends all his time urging us to pay attention and just focus on playing. He is never quite as happy as when he’s found a companion to join him in his little worlds. Our characters in yesterday’s play were: Person (who E also referred to as Guy), Willet and Zazu, Thomas Bad Guy, Doctor (a very useful character with all the injuries sustained in the playing), and Oobie Zoobie. 

This Week

These kids on Monday. C quite absorbed in lego building. E happily involved in dissecting electronics, something he turns to fairly often now. I’m not sure WHY E’s interest here surprises me. Maybe because he’s highly imaginative and I associate the mechanical pursuits with C’s “grounded in reality” pursuits? Because the pliers don’t end u talking to the wires and parts they are working on? It’s not completely typical for E to enjoy this kind of thing, but I’m quite happy to have the tools and materials out for him. It’s a good example of how I shouldn’t put my kids in a  box (obviously) and exposing them to a wide variety of things will help them be self aware and true to who they are. 

 

I caught C sleeping this way the other night. Moving back into bed must have been too much effort for his tired brain. ;)

 

C claimed a partitioned box I found at a garage sale last weekend. He made it his sewing box and put everything sewing related into its perfect area. Then he stared fondly at it for a while.   

 

While E busily sorted through creatures and helped them express the thoughts in their little plastic heads. 

Later in the morning we found a giant moth outside our back door. E was worried and went back inside to watch, C was cautious but delighted. Later C remarked about its “eyes” and I pulled out this photo so we could marvel at how creatures camouflage themselves or have defense mechanisms to frighten away predators. 

 

Then we went a bunch of places. C happily ate while walking, exploring, and dancing. E happily sipped his very special “root b-beer” then ate a little, sitting the whole time.

 

Last night C had trouble falling asleep again (I think he needs a later bedtime?) and he decided to fall asleep in my bed. During one of his “I need a cuddle, Mama” calls I found he’d drawn on the sheet and carpet. Sigh. He explained it this way: “The sheet was just plain white and boring so I made it beautiful!”.  

Parties and Fun

C and E both really enjoy parties. Setting them up, making things look symmetrical  and appealing, and then serving all the people they can drag to their event. ;)  

C and J after a birthday party.  

E, C, and Uncle J at the museum enjoying another tea party.   

Both boys strike a pose under an arch we built.   

C during an art lesson that involved tracing tangram shapes.   

The Days

It’s been a little chilly around here the last few days so the boys have been tending to stay inside. C set up a store for us and some visiting friends. Our choice of products were “rocks and clams” and when it was time to make a purchase, he’d give us money out of his cash register to pay HIM. ;)

 

E played lots with his little person Guy (seen upside down in his hands) and my toy animal Raquel the Raccoon.   

 

C picked more carrots. We went out this morning and there was a small pile of wilted ones that he admitted he picked yesterday. Also, C is going through a phase of coming to understand lies and truth. He has started to lie every day but when calmly asked “Is that a lie or a truth?” he will smile sheepishly and respond “A lie”. Then I thank him for finally being honest, deal quickly with the action that promoted him to lie, and we all move on. He’s trying to grasp jokes too, assuming they are lies so now I give him 3 choices: Is that a truth, lie, or joke? Sometimes we have to delve into the feeling behind the joke, if it is a fun for everyone joke or a tricky and manipulative joke and how the latter is not acceptable. Nuances with 4 year olds….

 

Our garden is pretty much finally planted.   

 

C and I played Go Fish. Here is C, learning to hold his cards in one hand for The Very First Time. It was fascinating to watch him silently do this, a sweet and small moment that will never quite happen again.   

 

Selfie with the morning cuddle boys. :)  

 

Love this silly face. :)  

 

Swimming at my sister’s. The water was so cold but C and his cousins B and L couldn’t resist! Also, it’s a bit nerve-wracking to have my 2 year old E around a pool….  

Normal Around Here

Sometimes I think what we do here is normal but then I glance at the pictures I’m about to write about. Then I realize it’s not. ;) Because children, what is “normal” for them anyway?!?

We went to a little lake beach nearby on Wednesday and I didn’t manage to take a picture of the fun the boys had. But C happily repeated it for me on dry ground later that afternoon. Here he is pretending to be a crocodile, just as he and his friends did in the water. 

 

And this is his seastar (on land) impression. 

What my family was doing Saturday morning. C swinging (his current favorite), J fixing a broken arm on a chair, and E pedaling his bicycle. 

Later, much to his deep sadness, E’s foot got stuck behind his pedal. It took a slathering of olive oil, some tears, and lots of tugging for it to break free. You can see in this picture (by the chub of his cheeks and flop of his arm) that he’s clearly given up on life. Don’t worry though, after a quick cuddle and the dreaded the oil being wiped off his foot, he regained his normal joy for life and quickly drove away. :)

 

And later the kids fell asleep like this. Always like this. C on his side, sometimes with blankets on and sometimes not. E on his back with the blankets pulled up no matter how much he sweats. 95% of the time THIS is how I find them when I kiss them before I go to bed. Except the cleanliness, I mostly don’t find it this clean. 

 

Then they are up and ready to go the next day, making pancakes and playing hard. :)  

Biking

Last night we had a little time before bed and the kids automatically went back outside to grab their bikes. 

C has been a dedicated biker since he was 1. We gave him a balance bike for Christmas before he turned 1.5 and it became his favorite pastime for me to push him through the house (since his feet couldn’t touch the ground). By 2 he was riding it alone. At 3 we got him a pedal bike which he on and off tried without training wheels but mostly loved for its stability. Then at 3.5 he took off riding it without training wheels and has continued zooming. I would prefer he call this the zenith of his biking career though he has his sights set on a motorcycle…..

E loves this tricycle so much. :) He’s been a happy machine pusher from day one: walkers, strollers, toys. He loved to push them in the house around and around. And if C happened to get to his current favorite toy first, he’ll shriek bloody murder. Still does actually….. The tricycle was claimed as his this spring when his legs were long enough to touch the ground. He pedals and scoots that thing around the driveway, his little feet scampering in a light and practiced fashion so that he never bumps the pedals or wheels anymore. He likes us to push him on the training wheels bike or sometimes the balance bike but always, always naturally makes a beeline for this tricycle. 

Occasionally he crashes. They both do. And they seem to know how to land, stop for a moment, then climb back up to riding. I guess you have to know how to land when a handlebar could impale you. ;)

They ride around and around this corner of the driveway. “Try following me!” C cries and when you do get behind him in line, he laughs and turns “Now I’m going this way, you aren’t following me!”. Because him being on the other half of a circle means the follower is going the opposite direction. ;)

And then they go to the farther reaches of the driveway because the zooming fast factor is better there. 

 

Gotta love these happy little bikers. :) With marker and pen art on their bodies…..

Tuesday Fun

We went to a local historical museum yesterday, third time (I think) we’ve been since we bought a membership  this spring. We like it there a lot. :) Here’s C in the 1850’s hotel room, showing off one of his classic poses and a cool hat.  

Later we went up in a smei-hot air balloon. E has been talking about this for weeks, very excited and he could hardly wait for the ride to start. When we were reaching our altitude of 377 ft, C was grinning and enjoying every second and I was slightly nervous, I heard E quietly say “I don’t like this.” And then he decided that the balloon ride was AWFUL and he howled twice and generally held on to me very tightly, occasionally uttering “I don’t like this, lets go down.” It was a bit windy and they closed the ride after our trip. So…. We survived! 

Later we made ice cream cones and ate them outside, they boys disintegrating into a drippy sticky mess. Here they are with their uncle who is visiting.   

And then reading before bed. Always. One hour of reading, cuddling, carrots, and bottles. 

Creek Fun

A couple weeks ago we went down to the creek. We do this 3-4 times a week now that the weather is nice and the boys love it down there.  

Lots of wading! It took E a few trips to feel comfortable in the water but now he warms up pretty quickly when we go down.   

Wading along a little stream beside the creek.  

Beside the big bank where our trail from the house lets us down.  

E wandering around while C plays in the water.   

C on the island alone. It’s such a joy watching him become aware and safely independent and he loves the freedom.   

C’s pose. What a goofball!  

We found a crawdad (crayfish) leg.  

That night E was exhausted and fell asleep while I read to C on the floor.   

Swinging Duper Duper High

  

They’ve been sitting together, “curled up like babies in an egg” for almost half an hour now. C spotted an airplane high in the sky and was certain it was a comet based on its tail so now he’s ensuring E it is heading away from us and they are safe. I’ve been pushing them, just sitting on the floor and reading lovely blogs on my phone.

Before the sweet cuddling started, C had a turn at the swing while E whined for his fair share of time. Then E was swinging and C kept pushing him too crazy and there was bickering, something this morning has revolved around. 

But now they are curled around each other tightly, content and together. It’s nice when the emerge from conflict to find a balance with each other and then stay there for a while. 

Weekend Fun

While J worked on Saturday, the kids and I went to a local art museum for their spring equinox celebration. It centered around flying kites which the boys love.

C struggles to get this little kite of ours up in the air but E seems to be able to grab it and it just springs to the sky. E happily takes off running and, every time, C claps and laughs with delight for him. I really love this! Kinda figure I’d be yelling about the unfairness and why the dang thing wouldn’t fly for me so I’m pretty delighted that’s C’s reaction. I am deeply grateful that his first thought is one of joy for his brother’s accomplishment. My kids may not like to share my affection but they always seem to rejoice in the other’s triumphs, even if it is something they have struggled to do. I really hope this sticks!

Then we went walking around the trails and exploring.

 

Played on the art sculptures that have a sign stating “Stay Off”. 

Got some milkshakes on our way home and went down to our creek with my sister and her dogs. C fell in the mud and was angry when I snapped his picture. He stormed back up to the house and later very calmly started a conversation with me about how he was embarrassed that he fell and he didn’t want anyone to see him or take his picture. I was surprised he initiated this discussion and empathized with him. He doesn’t like to be highlighted when he’s  done something he views as a mistake. 

My sister’s dog brushed against E and he started sobbing because it broke his “sunflower” (which is actually a crocus). So we had to go up to the house to pick a new one, feebly crying all the way. 

By this point C had dashed back down to the creek again (in his boxers) and E and I ambled after him with E’s huge stick he insisted on carrying. 

Exploring a tree that fell over exposing its giant root sytem. 

Sunday was cleaning day. E chose to work on the electronic parts very contentedly for a while. C finished a bath and joined in.

Then he needed to use his little fan motor to blow flour. We took it outside and he was covered in it by the time he was done. Also, he found his orange rainboots we’ve been searching for: in the flooded sandbox, filled with water and sand. My kids’ shoes (and clothes!) are always strewn around our property when the weather gets warm. 

E was eager to help me make coffee after lunch though he continued to refuse to take off his coat or shoes. 

My kids are so weird and cool. ;)

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