Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Highlights and Lowlights, Park Pictures

This morning was a little rough. Both kids were tired from staying up late the last few nights, so Sacrament Meeting at church didn’t go so well. Grace is off at Georgetown now, so her wonderful help is gone and I am back to sitting solo on the bench with the boys (which really should be just fine usually, but today wasn’t so great). Our ward has had a zillion move-ins over the last month, many of them families here for graduate school, but others who are more permanent, so it’s a nice mix of people. Ben was conducting today and read about 40 new names of people whose records had transferred to our ward. I felt for him as he tried to keep all of the names straight and fumbled over a few of them :)

But my feeling sorry for Ben was short-lived as it became clear that my kids were not in the behaving kind of mood. Charlie was especially hard and was crying over any silly thing. During the Sacrament, he started throwing a fit (flopping down on the ground, the whole bit) and I was trying to wait until after I took the water, but that was to no avail because he was just too loud. I scooped him up, grabbed Eli’s hand and booked it down the aisle to leave the chapel. If there is anything I don’t like, it is drawing unwanted attention to myself.

Eli informed me as we were walking out that the person behind us told him that “Charlie was being too loud.” I thought the comment was extra ridiculous when half of our congregation is under age 12. There are so many kids!! It’s just not the most quiet place when we’re all in there together.

So that was the lowlight. The highlight was toward the end when we were back in our seats, singing the closing hymn, “God Be With You ‘til We Meet Again.” I was holding Charlie in my lap (he was facing backwards,) and he started singing along in a very loud voice. Most of his words were “Mama mama mamaaaaaaaa” but it was so cute to hear him singing and trying to join in with the congregation. My frustration melted away (for the most part) and I felt lucky to have this snuggly, sweet, crazy little toddler in our family. Later I subbed for the 5-year-old primary class and the seven kids in that class were cracking me up. They all talk a LOT and have lots of stories to share. I’ll be in with them for a month while their teacher is out of town. I think I’ll enjoy it, but I was definitely worn out by the time we got home from church.

Moving on - sometimes I feel like my pictures are very predictable… we’re not too exciting! If you haven’t noticed, our activities usually range from going to the park, playing in the back yard, or going to the beach. But here are some pictures from Friday night when we went to the park near the beach after dinner. Eli and I made oatmeal choc. chip cookies earlier that day, so you’ll see Charlie gripping his yummy cookie there at the park.


We didn’t have our beach passes with us since we weren’t planning on swimming, but I snuck down to the water to the non-lifeguarded area to get some quick shots.


This isn’t that great of a photo, but it shows how far I was from the lifeguards. Amazingly, they didn’t blow their whistle at me (or if they did, I couldn’t hear them! :)


I had gone down to the water by myself and left Ben up at the park w/ the boys, but when Eli caught on that I was down there, he was determined to come find me and Ben and Charlie followed along.


Charlie is now wearing size 4 shoes and has moved on to shoes that Eli wore just briefly (Charlie wore his Pediped blue/white shoes since last Christmas!!) and it’s hilarious watching him learn to walk in regular shoes, rather than the Pedipeds with the thin soles.  It made me nervous to have Charlie crawling/climbing around on the rocks, but we got out of there without any new bumps/scrapes.


Throwing rocks and drawing in the sand -


I feel like Charlie is growing and changing so much right now. He says new words all the time and definitely understands what we’re talking about or asking him to do. I think this age is so so cute. He has favorite books and will request them, “Baby Happy?” for Baby Happy, Baby Sad. “Monkeys?” for Ten Little Sock Monkeys. “Oops?” for Blue Hat, Green Hat. He loves to snuggle in your lap, holding his blankie, sucking his thumb, and reading along, flipping the pages. I need to get a video of his talking because it’s hilarious.


Eli is The Boss. He loves telling Charlie what to do, and they are slowly becoming friends. Slowly. There are lots of moments when things just don’t go smoothly, but we are finally to the point where they can peacefully play together in the basement for 15 minutes or so without needing me to interject every five seconds. My favorite Eli story from the week was when we were putting him to bed and were about to say the prayer. I asked Eli who we should pray for, and he replied: “We should pray for people who don’t know how to talk!”  I loved his literal, sincere response.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Backyard Fun

It’s been such a hot summer this year. We have tried to make the most of it by doing lots of activities with water, including the lovely slip and slide :) Eli likes running onto the slip and slide, but he LOVES when Ben flings him onto the slip and slide, like he’s Superman:


Charlie, however, is still more excited to play with balls than run on the slip and slide. And drink the water spouting up too.


We live in an area with lots of old, huge trees. Summertime in Chicago wouldn’t be complete without the NOISY hum of the cicadas, especially at night. Here’s a cicada shell that Ben picked up and plopped on our patio table. So appetizing!


Charlie wasn’t fazed by the cicada shell – he was excited to devour slice after slice of watermelon, which then dripped down his chin and tummy -


I love that my lightweight, almost-too-skinny little toddler still has the baby chub in his hands/wrists and cheeks, despite that he doesn’t weigh very much and should gain more. This kid gets so many smooches throughout the day. He’s irresistible :)


I know this is a lot of pictures of my child eating watermelon. But this is to give you the idea of how many slices he ate – it was a TON. Charlie is similar to Eli in that he loves fruit and could eat it constantly if I let him. The problem with only eating fruit all day long… he has many dirty diapers… (he averages about 3 poopy diapers/day).


It’s a little harder to get pictures of Eli these days… he’s not quite as willing to have me stick the camera in his face.



I’m going to resist the urge to comment on Ben’s socks, except to say he had to dress up earlier that day and he gets lazy about changing to white socks :)


After some bubble blowing/popping, Charlie was climbing on the table to sneak more watermelon. He is a very persistent child.


The pieces he grabbed were bigger this time.


Harder to hold…


This one is my favorite :)


I don’t remember why he was crying here – maybe because we told him this was his last piece of watermelon?


And as if this post wasn’t long enough already, here are a few shots from our trip to the zoo a few weeks ago. I initially took the kids to the Shedd Aquarium intending to use my friend’s pass… but I was BUSTED – no photo ID and I couldn’t remember her address. Not an experience I’d like to repeat! I wasn’t willing to shell out $50 for us to spend a few hours at the Shedd that day, so we schlepped back out to the car and drove to the zoo – Eli was really, really sad about not getting to see the sharks, so this polar bear was almost as exciting. However, the day that we went was extremely hot and humid (the heat index was close to 100) and I have never felt so hot in my entire life. Not joking. I thought I was going to keel over pushing the stroller around the zoo. We didn’t last very long!


To finish up this random post – here’s messy Charlie eating his yogurt. He is a mess mess maker.