Our fall centerpiece.
I can't believe the leaves have almost all fallen off of the trees! Thanksgiving is next week, and I don't feel like I've had a proper fall post. I see all of my friends taking their tikes to pumpkin patches, playing in leaves, and going on hay rides. We have enjoyed the leaves and lots of sunsets. On Sunday in our backyard, the sun was setting and the trunks of the trees were in twilight but the tops were still lit with an orange light. The contrast between the brilliant tops of the trees and the darkness below was enough to even make Rhianwen quiet :)
Rhianwen's had fun piling up leaves at the bottom of her slide and then crunching down into them.
Of course, the swing is still the favorite item in the backyard for both Alden and Rhianwen. Daddy does a "crazy swing" with Rhianwen that is pretty close to terrifying for mommy not only because she goes really really high (about 15 ft into the air) but also because she gets really close to the tree trunks.
No crazy swinging for Alden yet, but he sure enjoys swinging in this oversized swing. It's funny to me that it would be so different from his baby swing inside. He likes the one outside a lot more and will stay in it looking around, smiling, or relaxing. I guess it's time to get another swing, one that doesn't have holes big enough for him to fall through.
Alden's been quite busy recently. He's a pro at rolling around (I think our putting him on his tummy for naps has helped...yes, we are rebels...but I've found out that many people are in this regard and must keep it hush hush for fear the doctors will come and take their children to social services.) Anyway, he can roll both ways now and even has this way of inch-worming across the floor. Most of the time this is very uncomfortable for him because he ends up rubbing his forehead across the floor as he goes. If he could coordinate his arms with his legs, he'd be crawling!!! If we sit him on the floor, he can stay sitting for a few seconds on occasion. He's pretty amazing. Before I forget, I want to praise a rattle that we have. Yes, a rattle. It's an indispensable part of our sanity, especially in the car. For some reason if our children are really fussy and need to go to sleep, when we turn this rattle (called a rainbomaker) over and under, it is literally like a switch. The minute they hear it, they stop crying and go to sleep. This worked for Rhianwen when she was an infant and works for Alden too! So, it's not just unique to one individual.
Suddenly, too, Alden has really enjoyed his baby swing for going to sleep. We just put on something soothing like Josh Groban or Diana Krall and he sits back, relaxes, puts one foot up under the tray, and goes to sleep. Of course, if mommy misreads boredom for tiredness this doesn't work at all. This happens pretty often these days. It's a difficult age when they can't really sit or move much. Excersaucing and playmatting gets a little boring. I'm thinking about a bouncer. Of course, one on one time with daddy or Rhianwen is pretty entertaining.
"I taut I taw a putty cat."
Rhianwen manages to stay busy too although sometimes it's really hard to keep her from boredom as well. Thankfully, we have playgroup, church, Bible study, and visits from Grandmama to help get the pressure off of me. I have started "teaching" her the alphabet. So far we're on A :) A says AAAA! We've drawn A, cut out paper ants, played a sidewalk game where she throws the ball on the letter A and screams AAAA when she hits it. I think she knows that A says Aaaa. I've also tried to get her to identify the letter A on a page in a book with other letters. This is a little harder. Of course, I need to teach her all the other sounds the letter A can make.
After Aunt Clara and Uncle Brooks' wedding, Rhianwen had the bright idea that her long hooded towel is a "wedding dress" and she's going to get married. When asked who she's going to marry, she says "Aunt Clara and Uncle Brooks!" Hm.
I took her shopping for toys to put in the Operation Christmas Child shoe box and was a little afraid that she would not understand or not want to give all those fun toys to someone else. But she did fabulously. She picked out toys (she was especially proud of a stuffed monkey), toothbrush, soap etc. all for "the little girl", put them in the shoe box, and enjoyed a dum-dum while at it. I thought it a minor miracle that she didn't once say, "I want!". She even left the box at church herself!
Oh, well, I did get a princess sticker book for her. I just couldn't resist getting something small for her when she was being so good! Hence the princess stickers on her, on our floor, on the furniture...
Rhianwen has way outpaced us in reading material that she likes. She keeps choosing what I consider epics! Especially before nap or bed time! Goodnight Moon does not suffice. Here you can see she wanted daddy to read "mommy and daddy's book" aka The Wind in the Willows. She actually listened to a good bit of it although she was tempted to keep daddy turning the pages so she could see Michael Hague's beautiful illustrations.
Playing the rain. For some reason she mostly just stands dumbfounded as it pours on her head.
"Man who eat cookies in bed have crumby night." Well, ok, her Chinese fortune cookie didn't quite give such words of wisdom.
Book of the week: Commander Toad in Space