Ticka (tickle) is Alden's new word for the week. This is accompanied by making tickling motions on his tummy or on Rhianwen's. It's so cute!
The week flew by and I realized I had barely taken any pictures! So, you will notice that the ones on this post are only from 2 days. Ever since our visit to the nursing home where we had a whole little program about "Fall", Rhianwen keeps asking if it's fall yet. She sees the leaves beginning to turn and fall and feels the cooler weather. We just keep saying, it's not here yet but it feels like it's getting ready for it! Having the windows open in my house lifts my spirit. If I'm ever an invalid or old and decrepit and you are caring for me, make sure you open the windows and let in the fresh air as much as possible. You just might see a grump transformed into sunshine.
We went to Duke Gardens on Sunday for a picnic dinner. Of course we fed Mr. and Mrs. Mallard(s). I believe those birds get all they can handle on Sunday and fast the rest of the week.
Notice, Rhianwen is devotedly feeding the ducks, and Aldi-man is eating the bread.
A couple of days later, I noticed I had a voicemail on my cell phone (yes, for those of you who try calling me, sometimes it does take me that long to actually check my cell). At first I couldn't figure out what it was. It was so noisy, and in some kind of different language. Maybe Urdu. No wait, I could hear Wally...and Rhianwen. Oh, it wasn't a different language after all. It was a bunch of quacking! Somehow, Wally had called my cell phone from his phone and left a voicemail of him telling Rhianwen to go ahead and throw the bread so the ducks could eat.
We then enjoyed smelling the roses even though many of them were past their prime.
Alden was determined that he would get enough petals for his future wedding.
We've enjoyed the museum this week too. Now that the weather's cooler and school has just started, no one is there! We finally got to see the new dinosaur trail where mommy was struck with the irony that no one really knows anything about these animals yet we tell our kids all about them setting them up for extreme disillusionment in their teen years. I ended up telling Rhianwen that they don't really know much about them.
With each dino we saw, Rhi would ask, "This one won't bite me will it?" When I said no they weren't real, they were just statues. Just pretend. That as far as we knew, all the dinosaurs were dead and what scientists called "extinct". She then said, "Oh, but they won't pretend to bite me, will they?" You've got to admit, she's thorough!
There was even a place to dig for fossils (mostly shells and coral). I said I preferred to sift, and Rhianwen said she'd rather dig, so we made quite a team. Alden mostly preferred climbing over rocks and on benches and falling into holes dug by Rhianwen.
On the way back through the barnyard, we saw a new pot-bellied pig named Miss Piggy. She was quite piggy, making lots of snorting sounds and drinking deeply from her pool of water. Rhianwen was so taken by her that she said, "I wish I was a girl pig so I could drink that water." I very wisely offered her a sippy cup which was refused as second-rate.
Recently, we've noticed that Rhianwen's enjoying closing herself in her room to play without Alden. At first I was pretty opposed to her spending great lengths of time in there (she seriously can spend up to 1h reading, playing, doing whatever alone) since I felt she needed to be learning to share her time and toys and building a relationship with Alden. Wally and I talked a bunch about it and decided that she does need alone time just like anyone else does (discussions like this always make me realize how sometimes I don't even view my kids as PEOPLE but only as kids...somehow, it's wildly different). We decided that she could spend time alone in her room but only if she had a good attitude about it (for example no running down the hall to get away from Alden and slamming the door etc).
We've also had a hard time trying to figure out how to encourage sharing. Alden constantly wants to play with whatever Rhianwen is playing with. He doesn't necessarily want to take it away but just wants to play with her. Rhianwen often doesn't want to do this (I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Alden doesn't always know how to play with the things that she's playing with thus ensues long explanations by Rhianwen, crazy shenanigans by Alden, and frustration for both). Still, it's not just Alden who is being selfish about taking, but Rhianwen is being selfish about keeping too. I don't know what the right answer to any of it is, but I have noticed that if I let Rhianwen keep what she is playing with and don't let Alden take it, she's way more likely to come back in a few minutes and say, "I'm going to share this with Alden now." than if I order her to share with Alden. (I could go on analyzing it all for paragraphs, but I'll stop now b/c I'm sure it's boring to the general population).
Watching the world go by in his favorite chair.