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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Family Circus

I cut a bunch of holes in some boxes for a bean bag toss for part of our playgroup program at a nursing home (everyone had so much fun, and the residents were talking about it days later too...a fabulous thing for an Alzheimer's ward!). Afterwards, Alden and Rhianwen found a new use for the boxes. They've had a BLAST with them. So, any of you moms who want something fun and cheap for your kids on a rainy day, just draw some circles on a big box using large dinner plates, use a box cutter to cut it out, draw some pics with crayons if you wish, and let the fun begin.

These are the first pair of shoes he couldn't walk in. Very confusing, but he didn't get frustrated at all!

We were gone for a while to Nanny Kim's and Grandpa's while Daddy was away on business. I knew it would be a challenge with Alden the Ninja climber especially since Nanny Kim has SO much furniture and nooks and crannies to explore. It was unreal the number of things Alden could get into in a space of 10 minutes. Keeping him out of trouble exhausted Nanny Kim, Uncle Skipper, and me! Rhianwen was too far above us all to worry about such things. She quietly played with toys, read books, and colored.

Playing with Grandpa, one of the few times he stayed out of trouble (Alden, not Grandpa).

Among Alden's exploits: eating cat food, drinking algae-ridden water from a rain gauge, getting into the trash, attempting to discover the mechanism by which the child-safety lock would open on the sink cabinet, pushing Rhianwen around in the stroller at the nursing home, almost pulling the "call" string at Great Grandma's, getting his foot stuck under Great Grandpa's foot, pulling his foot out, and then stomping on Great Grandpa's foot to make sure he taught it a lesson.

Alden was Mr. Personality with Great Grandma. I LOVE it when we have a good visit! She had so much fun too!

Rhianwen also did a fabulous job interacting with Great Grandma and Grandpa. She sang some fall songs and showed them the sign-language she learned for fall from our playgroup nursing home visit. She even carried on a conversation with Great Grandpa with no prompting from me! (***Disclaimer: Rhianwen strapped herself into the stroller, it wasn't an evil plot by mommy to force her to be in one spot the whole time.***).

I got to see my 2 best pals from highschool, Ekta and Heather, and my kids got to play with Katelyn (Heather's daughter). We were so sad that we couldn't play with Ekta's 2 cuties, but they decided to come down with sickness for reasons only known to themselves...maybe they're like their mama and love to keep things interesting!

Upon Katelyn's arrival, we discovered that Rhianwen and she had many things in common, including matching sandals and swimmies. Heather and I commented on how they had begun anew that old tradition that we had started of being "twins".

2 peeps are better than one when it comes to getting a bouncy car moving.

Enjoying the beach. Rhianwen wanted to stay in the waves the entire time and Katelyn wanted to stay out! But they did get to enjoy the sand together. Alden spent nearly the entire time chasing sea-gulls.

During our stay at Nanny Kim's, Alden upped his conversationality (if that's a word). When Daddy got home, he was surprised to be hearing Alden saying "Ah-sahd" for outside (his favorite place), consistently saying "Ba" for bye, and even saying short sentences like "Get a bath", "Get down", very emphatic "Nuh"s (no's), and very clear "Yes"s (he's even got the s on the end of Yes down!) in context. In the following video he only would say "Sahd" for ouside (oh well).

Alden's little personality keeps shining through in so many ways (including what makes him throw tantrums). One really funny thing that he's started doing is if I'm not paying attention to him and he wants me to, he'll push his way between me and whatever I'm doing. If I'm standing he simply shimmies his way between me and what I'm working on. Even better, if I'm kneeling and looking down at something (like putting together a puzzle while cleaning up for the night), he quietly holds my head with his two little hands and pulls firmly up so that my eyes are looking at him. It's so endearing to me! I just have to hug him after that.

Sibling rampages have also begun in our house.

Now for some Rhianwen uncensored moments:
While talking to mommy, "Sweetie, I want you to lie down right here." I had to respond by saying, "Did you just call me sweetie?" "Yes." she said very matter of factly.

When daddy said it was time to get dressed, she said, "I want to get dressed on Saturday."

While talking about creation "God made our heads, and our toes, and our nipples, and our hands so we can reach out and eat grapes."

All dolled up with her first pair of dress-up shoes.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

One Misty Moisty Morning

Rhianwen stream of conciousness: "One day we can go to heaven, and we won't come home. It's getting very late, let's play a game and take a bath."

Phone conversation with Grandaddy-
Grandaddy: We're excited about your coming to the beach with us
Rhianwen: Oh, you guys don't have a beach!
(we refer to Myrtle Beach as the beach at Nanny Kim's, and Rhianwen's never been to any other beach! We find it hard to explain it all upcoming events chronologically to her. She ends up saying things like..."oh, after naps we will go to Nanny Kim's?" or "Tomorrow Grandmama will come?" etc and we'll have to go through the entire calendar all over again. We've discussed giving her a calendar that she can cross the days off until the next big event.)

Daddy: This spaghetti's going to be a little different than you're used to.
Rhianwen: I like different!

And that's just it. I feel like Rhianwen is unique bordering on very strange. I guess she gets it from her 2 weirdo parents.

It runs in the family. The people who took this picture were random hikers; we returned the favor. I overheard them talking about a park in Pittsburgh but said nothing. The next day we ran into them again, but this time at church. It makes me think of that verse about redeeming the time or making the most of every opportunity. Chance encounters are never really by chance.

A nice spot for reflection...(Yeah, you can roll your eyes.)

Alden has proven his knack for adventure. In the past 2 days, he's managed to nearly escape undetected from that strangely quiet place called a library, he's rolled down a bank and dropped 6 feet into our creek without a scratch, and he's dropped to the floor via the back of our ladderback chair. All this after multiple people have told me they are praying for my kids' safety. I'm not sure if I should be comforted or worried. Does this mean the prayers are or are not working?

Alden is determined to do everything Rhianwen does. When he's successfully resisted the temptation of crayon chewing or throwing, he's already coloring with them. (Notice the necklace).

Painting the aquadoodle.

He's even started playing on his own. The IKEA truck from Grandmama and Grandaddy is a big hit. He's even started playing in his room alone. However, now that he is such a ninja, I don't think I trust leaving him in a room by himself for more than 0.00001 seconds. Left unattended, he'd probably manage to scale his bookcase, unscrew the vent covers and explore our ventilation system, or hack into the DOD. As grandmama said about Averett, I will now say about Alden: It will be a miracle if he reaches his 2nd birthday. In all actuality, it might be even more of a miracle if I survive to see his 2nd birthday. I didn't know my job description as mommy included stunts, daring rescues, and constant sleep deprivation.

I also naively thought that it was in my job description to choose my own title. Somehow, I've gained the title of Mama without any consultation. I'm not sure if it's b/c of all the books we read with Mama in them, if it's a result of having a GRITS, or if it's plain hereditary. I've decided not to fight it. It's actually growing on me.

My babstas.

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