Thursday, June 23, 2011

Swing Set, Fort, and Horsey Rides

We just inherited a swing set from some friends down the street who are moving! We told Cal about it by opening his blinds the next morning and saying, "Calvin, Look what is in our backyard!" He's been replaying this scene by going to the window, pointing, and saying, "Look at what in our backyard!"

I love that it is the old-school kind like I had growing up! Not big and colorful and complicated.
Calvin has been loving his "hwing." I'm sure the pretty grass under his feet will be gone soon. I'm still trying to come to terms with what this means for our yard. I know it is worth it. =)
Jack is content in his little swing. He loves it when we tickle his feet and legs as he swings toward us, but I'd say he tolerates or just likes the swinging motion in general.

Calvin likes the rickety slide, too. One of the two ladder posts rests on the ground, so the ladder swings a bit. Just adds to the charm of the set.
Ace introduced Calvin to the notion of making forts while she was here last week. From the outside it looks neat and tidy with pillows creating a little house inside. On the inside, there is every big and little toy and book Calvin can stuff inside. My personal nightmare. He loves it though, and I love that!

Jack has been walking while pushing the push-n-ride racer (under the table above). So sweet to see him walking around. He is really persistent. He gets stuck and works at it all by himself without getting frustrated for a while. I think he'll be walking independently pretty soon now.

Jack has also been taking horse rides on Dan. He can't get enough! I love the way he tries to bounce himself!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Swimming Hole

It's been "pitty haut" here lately, as Cal would say. Mid to upper 90's most days. So, we are really thankful that the guys love the pool!
Jack spends a lot of his time splashing frantically. He tries to do this in the bathtub as well. I'm not so happy about it there.

He loves it when we pull him around in the water so he can chase toys. In the same instant that he catches his toy, he throws it again. Kind of funny that he never wants to actually hold it!
Ace was here this week, so Jack got a lot of one-on-one time in the pool. Now he is not so satisfied with his inflated boat. Hmmm.

Calvin has gotten a lot braver lately. He generally take a good 30 minutes to move past sitting on the steps. But then he has been willing to hold onto us with "one figger." Ace brought these water wings for Cal. He decided they were for his birthday. What a character!

Cal has been riding on Dan's back in the deep end. I know Calvin loves it, but I think Dan might even enjoy it more. =)
But the all-time favorite for both is this! I think Jack will be in on this action soon, too!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Five Little Monkeys

It is only appropriate that Calvin and Jack have been loving the book Five Little Monkeys lately. For better and for worse, our home has felt like a zoo these last couple weeks.

The "Better"

Two sweet little buddies who are constantly making me laugh!

Calvin has been building trains with cars, pillows, and everything else. His new favorite toy is an empty Kleenex box that he likes to fill the box with socks, wipes, and other small cloths. He's covered his truck train here with socks from his sock box.

Jack has been so playful! He laughs really hard when we say "A-bugga-bugga-bugga!" I love it when he laughs at his brother saying this! Here he was loving the laundry basket!
These wipes are perpetually in his hands. I think it is sweet, but they are all over the house and car now!

The Worse:

We've been having nap time battles with Calvin. Now that he has starting being destructive while out of bed, we'd had to enforce that he needs to stay in bed during nap time. I think we are finally on the right track, but after many days of no napping, lots of crying, some spanking, and missed trips to the pool, Calvin is staying in bed more.

It is so hard to be the enforcer when this sweet face greets me behind the door, but the battle now is because I didn't do it earlier. I've learned the hard way.

And, I guess this does not have to do with a zoo, but our friends Amanda and Ellis and their kids Mac and Corrie just moved to Virginia. Cal has been asking for them, and we all miss them! What a blessing to have them so close for 2 years!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Content Uncle Ben and Jack

Dan's brother Ben came to visit us for a few days last month. While he was here, he put a name on what I've been thinking about Jack. Elusive. Though I might just say content.

He is one of the two sweetest little guys I know, that's for sure. But he is so content that it is hard to get a grasp on his little personality. He just rolls with everything! Lately Jack has started communicating with us by giving kisses, hugs, and babble. He's been crawling, cruising, and talking like crazy, so he's definitely making himself known more! Here he is chatting up Mac's little sister Corrie.

Though Ben pruned our trees, painted our shutters, mowed and weed wacked our lawn, played with our boys like crazy, and took some sweet pictures, I managed to not get a single picture of him! Sorry Ben! These two pictures are some of his handiwork.

Inspired by Uncle Ben's work, Calvin has been talking about his own"work pants" ever since. Dan and I were also inspired and finally got around to planting our vegetable garden while he was here. Calvin has been loving to help us water it!

This pepper plant is his little pet, I think. He talks about it and usually chooses to water it over the cucumber, tomato, or string bean plants.

Friday, May 20, 2011

May in a Nutshell

Jack is 10 months now....making huge messes while feeding himself, crawling around and pulling himself up on everything, and babbling....mostly "dadadadada."

Here Jack is talking to Dan.

Our friends Kate and Neil (and Nate) introduced us to the chocolate chip pancake last weekend while we were visiting them in VA. This might have changed our lives. Jack loved them, though that is not saying a whole lot since he devours everything we set before him.

Jack loves to touch things, so he's often squirming out of my arms to get something. Here he is at the pool grabbing Hockey's face. He loves doing this, and it is so sweet until his little pinchers with fingernails (that I am always behind at cutting) grab hold.

He looks like this for about 70% of his wake time. He is so happy! Lately Calvin has been making him belly laugh like no one else can. So sweet to hear! It is a good thing that Jack loves receiving kisses because he makes it so hard to resist!

Calvin fell out of bed for the first time a couple weeks ago. We thought we heard a thud earlier in the night, but we disregarded it when there was no crying. When we checked on him a couple hours later, he was no worse for the ware.
I wish I could have seen how hearrived in this position.

We got him squared away. I'm not sure he ever woke up.

Cal's is revealing his tummy here...which he is fascinated with having us "tiss." He also tries to kiss his own. He's wearing a sweatshirt around his waist like I tie my long sleeve t-shirts. He's into imitating everything we do. My favorite is his using a kid's golf bag as a purse and walking down the sidewalk proclaiming, "A-bye! I go get ice cream" or "A-bye! I go out a eat!"

I hope Cal was not trying to impersonate me while we were at the beach a couple weeks ago with Hockey. We spent a marginal time on the beach because Calvin did not like the sand beneath his feet, but he paraded this backpack and visor around for all of the two days we were there.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A week in Indiana

Hall of Fame
Last week was a very special one for Dan and all of us. Dan was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Taylor, and we got to celebrate with him. There were meals, speeches, and lots of pictures, but I'm pretty sure Dan enjoyed this part the best. He got to throw out the first pitch of the baseball game. His best friend and former catcher, Kyle, is the coach, so he caught the pitch for him.
I often wish I could have watched Dan play baseball and tennis. I've heard about how he played, and I am really proud of him! After Dan threw out the first pitch, the current baseball team flocked to shake his hand and welcome him. Their reaction to meeting him tells me that what he accomplished was pretty special.
Dan jokes that someday Calvin will have 25 different medium-speed pitches catalogued and be able to execute them flawlessly. Jack will have 2 outstanding pitches: fast and faster.
Jack started crawling last week while we were in Indiana! I love it when he crawls over to my lap now that he has a choice! Here he is at the very beginning! He is much more proficient now.
I am so thankful for Jack's easy-going personality! He missed many naps, normal feeding times, and my attention, but he still was a happy little guy!

First Zoo Trip
Jack and Calvin took their first trip to the Fort Wayne Zoo...what an amazing zoo! Jack hung out on Grandma for most of it. I think he enjoyed himself =). Maybe next time he'll appreciate the sights a little more.

I think we enjoyed the animals more than Calvin, but he sure liked the drums in the safari section of the park...not sure why there were drums, but I'm glad for them!

And this picture during our lunch time at the zoo captures how complicated our whole week of travel was. It worked out just fine, though, thanks to a favorable adult/kid ratio!

A Playmate
Calvin's play is usually very independent. He does what he likes, and if others want to follow, he's okay with it. While we were in Indianapolis, Calvin played with his cousin Addie like I've never seen him play before. They played together more than I'd seen before! Addie and Cal slept in bunk beds in the same room, and when I opened the door in the morning, they were hiding on the bottom bunk behind blankets hung as a tent with a night-light inside. They followed each other around the house pushing strollers and played with chalk outside together.
Calvin loves being along for the ride when there is big stuff going on, and Addie definitely is always planning something big =).

Calvin loves hiking around behind Grandma and Papaw's house. He's pretty serious about it as this face shows.

A Road Bike!
He's also pretty serious about riding his bike up and down Ace and Jeff's long driveway. He speeds to the street and stops at the last second with his front wheel barely inside the boundary of the driveway. He stays in that position until someone tells him to come back. Little goober. At which point, he whirls his bike around in one motion before barreling up the driveway. Cal actually rode his bike on the street while we were walking since it is pretty quiet street, and he loved it!
Bocci Ball!
We visited with my family in Indianapolis, and we had a lot of fun! We had a poor-man's bocci ball game, and my sister Kim definitely beat Hall-of-famer Dan in more than one round. Granted, he was usual an inflated rubber ball and Kim was using a softball. But still...
Calvin loved getting to see Nana more than the bocci balls that he kept running off with.

Last week was just what Dan and I needed! We took a bike ride to get a soda in a neighboring town one day, and we went out to eat thai food for lunch without the boys another. Dan got to play golf one day with his Dad and Sam. I got to go shopping with Ace, hang out with my mom and sister, and I can count the diapers I changed last week on one hand! What a great week!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Car Transporter!

Goldmist Lane is all of 10 feet wide and 200m long. Today we were outside in the stroller ready to try a walk to help my two sick, cranky boys make it through the morning. Cal and I had just been talking in circles about what ten toys he could or couldn't hold. He was just generally dissatisfied and unhappy. Jack was a sleepless zombie in the other seat. Then what should appear turning onto our street??? A CAR TRANSPORTER!!
Calvin has seen a few of these while driving and loves them! I was thinking a drive-by would be just what the doctor ordered to give these guys a little lift. I needed the diversion as much as them....just tired of pulling tricks out of my sleeve to help entertain boys going from happy to devastated like a see-saw:

I think the "cause" of this change was me standing up to go get a cloth to wipe his face. Sigh. Poor guys just don't feel well.
Instead of passing by, it stopped in front of our house! For like 20 minutes! The boys sat happily in the stroller, just feet away from the rumbling truck. Calvin even got to touch it (with one finger, his choice). Thank you, Lord. I know it seems so minor, but it was major for the three of us.
The boys are upstairs napping now. For that I am also thankful!

PS. Calvin has been walking around this morning (2 days later) carrying a "car porder" in his hands. Here is what it looks like! Since Papa gave him the cars, he is calling it "Papa car porder."

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Glasses!

Yesterday I took Calvin to pick out glasses. The optician seemed to think he needed frames that are the equivalent of orthopedic shoes....rubber, thick, and huge on his face. As he was wearing them, I just kept thinking they would hide our little Cal.

He's a pretty cautious kid, and he has learned to be obedient from our experience with patching for all this time, so I asked for plan B. Here is what we came up with. The stickers are still on the lenses here, but you can get an idea. I guess time will tell if plan B was a good decision or not.
Calvin was such a trooper for this whole process. He held a matchbox car in each hand as the optician and I fit glasses to his face.

When patched, Cal sees things that are in a range from about 3-10 or so feet from his face pretty well. Unfortunately, that means that when he is reading (while patched) he has to put his left eye practically on top of a picture to see it. It always kind of makes me sad for him. The new bifocal should help with that!

After the glasses fitting, we headed to TCBY for a little date while Jack slept. Yum!
I think Jack enjoyed his nap while we were gone, though we both missed the little guy. Calvin kept saying, "want Jack come too" in the car. I was thankful that Hockey kept him for me, but I was really happy to see his flailing limbs and big smile when we got back, too.