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. ;)

Last Week Review

Last week I decided to sleep late and not write. You know, sleep until 7:00 or 7:30 each morning which is LATE for this house! E was waking a lot for some reason and several nights I ended up with both kids (and a dog) in my bed. Sigh.

We made ice cream on a warm day last week! The boys sampled it a great deal while it was mixing. 

Our version of soccer. 

The next day was pretty chilly and we went to a St. Patrick’s Day parade downtown.    

Played some Mario and E got excited about our progress. 

Had some tree stumps taken out and the boys watched. 

Cousin came over and there was baking! They made a chocolate cake in the slow cooker. At least that’s what they said it was. ;)

The boys played with sand and C made some victims of the Mt. Vesuvius eruption in Pompeii. 

Also, he independently drew the number 4 randomly on top of the letter C. :)

Daily Life and Guests

Wednesday morning we worked around the house played with sand again (always), drilled holes in old tables, played with tangrams, and enjoyed the company of my sister and niece. It was another warm day so C, E, and L spent much of their time outside, making tents, setting up chairs and tables for snacks, and exploring. 

Also, they got pretty muddy. Had to have a quick bath before dinner. 

Dinner was shakshuka (yum!) and books for bedtime. 

Next morning C wanted to cuddle and take silly pictures to send to J. No idea what motivates most of his poses….

Then it was time to bake. C said this was pudding. E dumped a lot of sugar in it so they both enjoyed licking the bowl. 
C watched his creation in the slow cooker. And unloaded the silverware, giving each a nonsense name knife as he put it away. 

E had meltdown (again) when he didn’t eat breakfast in time (why wouldn’t we just let him go to work with J and eat french fries? It’s not that tough a request!). Finally recovered mostly and he was furious that I wanted to change his pants are his aim in the toilet wasn’t quite accurate. And then he was sad he couldn’t play with his aunt L. Finally he calmed and settled into a peaceful day, and played in the train track drawer, making the trains talk to eat other. 

We had friends over for a few hours then the boys made dinner (fish sticks and spinach ravioli). C was intrigued to see his face get bigger and smaller while he moved over the boiling water pot lid.

More outside time. We found an ant nest and some roly polies. And since we planted lettuce seeds with our friends, the kids sat to watch their seedlings grow. It’s always entertaining when they set up their chairs and then seriously occupy them with a purpose. ;)

Finally our gourmet dinner was done cooking and C set a fancy dinner table. This boy likes fancy stuff!

Tuesday

Is it only Tuesday? This week seems like it’s lasted longer than it really is.

C wrapped a box yesterday. He was a delivery person for a while, using the tricycle and stroller to pick up and drop off packages. Then he needed to wrap this box and it really tried his patience. He finally covered every square cm with paper and tied a bow on top. Later we made a video of him ripping it open. 

Our school group came over and we played with and made musical instruments. Later the kids played outside even though it was sprinkling and chilly. They stood here, on the edge of our side yard, discussing something very important (and unknown to me) for a while.  

E came in very wet from the rain and struggled to get off his coat. 

Hot cocoa for everyone! 

E brought in a little shovel just before dinner and used it as a broomstick. Another child of mine reliving The Wizard of Oz. He cackled and laughed and flew around on his “broom”. Unfortunately he wasn’t very careful with the shovel and the walls and also wielded it as a weapon. So into the garage the shovel went and E was broken hearted and very hungry so he cried for a long time (in the kitchen, in the dining room, under the dining room table). Finally managed to calm him down long enough to get a few bites into his tummy and he started smiling and laughing again.

Keeping kids in a state of equilibrium can be a tricky thing. You need to remember a lot of things for them since they could generally care less about stopping for food, rest, relaxation/cuddles, or even bathroom breaks. I’m still getting used to the fact that my brain must not only care for and plan out my own path, but always be tending to the two little people I guide through life. There are a lot of reminders popping up all day in my brain and a lot of checklists to go over. A reliably unending conversation of “Okay, you are acting a little crazy. Have you eaten/need to go the bathroom/need to rest with a book/need a cuddle/need to sit in a quiet room? Or are you just acting like a normal kid?”

Heh.

A Warm Monday

We all slept late due to our late night and then awoke to a warm(ish) day! C decided to clean the windows, something he often did when he was 2-3 years old. 

 

Later we made a tent fort (campout according to C) in the upstairs hallway. Snacks and lunch were later brought up.

 

Found these trivets on sale and today I set them out for the boys to use. C’s was very orderly and soon declared done. 

 

E sat and worked for a while, slowly and carefully pushing in each pin. He was quite happy and content doing this and then carried his creation around the house, even holding it for cuddles and reading time. 

 

My view from the kitchen as the boys worked. :) C got out the jewelry box and awarded himself a medal then I had to award him with it. It seemed very formal and I think he was inspired by The Wizard of Oz, which we watched last week. 

 

Then C tore off his shirt and raced around the house, claiming we should all do the same since it would help us go really fast.

 

E played upstairs with little toys animals and C needed his baby, Ezra Cotton, tied ot him in a baby carrier. 

Finally Mario and a late lunch. 

Followed by a very unsuccessful quiet time. I eventually yelled upstairs for the kids to just come down and put on coats to go outside. Their faces immediately brightened and they proceeded to spend 2 happy hours wandering the yard and woods. C found wood for a slingshot, E was wet and muddy, and now the yard is a bit messier and goopy. Also, when leaving to meet family at a restaurant for dinner, we got locked out of our house. No car keys, no extra house key, no garage door opener. I’d locked all the doors and the windows were of course secured. So we waited in the van and outside for 1.5 hours for a garage door opener delivery. Glad it was 50 degrees out and not 30! Also, we had no coats since the boys told me they didn’t want their’s while we were leaving….

 

Another Weekend Away

Friday the trees were covered in frost and sparkling in the sunlight. It was lovely shining through the windows of the project room. :) It’s nice when life is pretty AND calm. 

We went to the downtown library last that morning for a quartet performance by the local symphony. C and E briefly played the tiny violins but violins aren’t new to them since they spent about 6 months playing with and destroying my cheap one. Some people have orderly children who sit quietly and don’t break things. Not me. 

 

Elevators: always the most exciting part of a downtown library visit. 

I don’t know what we did the rest of the day. Mario? I finished a book. I assume we ate and finally went to bed.

Saturday C woke up at 6:00 and after some cuddles he and E went right to work. I rushed around and packed things for a weekend away (wedding! swimming! hotel!) and cleaned the van. 

It was nearing time to get changed when C decided to work with the Easter egg stuffing stuff. He calmly vacuumed up the (horrific) mess after and proudly hug up his art. The house needed swept anyway so this morning I go the last bits of the damned stuffing. It was nearly as bad as the styrofoam mess of 2014 but not quite. Then we dropped off Sadie at my mom’s, killed some time at the library (always following the rules you know), and picked up my SIL for the drive to the wedding. 

Wedding pics! Of us, not the happy couple. ;) C is copying his 5 yo cousin’s pose in the shot with me and his dada’s pose in the shot with J. E is putting on his awesome sweetness and then his Fierce Face.

After a night spent losing an hour of sleep (DST, sigh) we went to Arcade Expo for 6 hours of playing pinball machines and old video games. 

C hauled his little white stool from game to game, thrilled and jumping from one sparkling electronic delight to the next. His favorites were a 3 different Mario games and he spent a lot of time there, practicing his moves! E just said “whatever” to the whole experience and stuck contentedly with us. It was very easy to wait with him in line at a popular game. He just wanted to be held and to talk to the parent who was with him. 

The boys fell asleep on the way home at 6:00 and woke this morning at 7:30. Over 13 hours of rest! The weekend wore them out and today I am drinking a lot of coffee today because I certainly did not get 13 hours of sleep.

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