Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back again...

Well, I think that's it. For the most part, I believe our summer travels are over. After wonderful trips to all parts of the state and a couple thousand of miles on the car, we are home again. And as much as I love traveling, I love being at home just as much. I love the time to get things done that need to be done, visit with local friends, and watch the boys in their own element.

All that said, we had a wonderful vacation this last week. We went to visit Dan's grandma, and had a great time hanging out with his whole family. While visits with his parents are pretty common (they live in town), it is rare for us to spend much time with his grandma, aunt, uncle, sister and her boyfriend. Max and Luke ate up all the attention, and it was great to have extra hands to help out. I actually read a whole book, and am starting to learn to knit (thanks to my amazingly patient sister and mother in law). We took our first family bike ride - and boy did Dan get a workout hauling 70 lbs. of boys and trailer! We also played in the pool (Luke really enjoyed splashing and kicking around, Max likes to stick close), on the playground, and threw the Frisbee around. But I think Max's favorite part was riding the golf cart (or as Grandma Joyce calls it, the easy-go) around the Maxwell Ranch and carefully examining the tractors.

I know I say it a lot, but I really just can't believe how fortunate we are. We have such wonderful families who love us and our boys unconditionally. We enjoy spending time with them, and are lucky enough to have the time to do it. Our boys will grow up with a strong sense of where they come from, and we have the support we need to be better parents. You can't ask for much more than that!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Catching up...

It happens every year, and still I find myself surprised. How is summer so incredibly busy? The school year always feels hectic during the week, and I desperately need my weekends to be relaxing just to survive. But during the summer we (I) work so hard to get every bit of "enjoying the season/time off work" out of it that some of the daily tasks get pushed aside.

That said, we've been having a wonderful time. This last week was full of wonderful birthday parties (all of our playgroup friends are turning three right now), car shopping, and hanging out at the cabin with my parents. Max has been in heaven!

So today is picture overload. I'll tell you right up front that none of them are great technically, but I love what they are - little bits of time that I get to keep.

Luke hanging out on the deck at the cabin:
Max and Mema hard at work (playdough time):

The boys' first bath together:

Probably one of our most enjoyed summer purchases - a variety of dress-up clothes from goodwill. The construction vest and hat are worn every day, and other pieces get tossed in at random:

Sprinklers have been a big hit for Max this summer - he really just goes for it any chance he gets. These are a couple from just hanging out in the yard:

And last but not least, the shot that shows just how different our summer morning pace is:

Have a great day - we're headed out again for a few days to spend time with Dan's family. Then maybe we'll be home for a while and things will slow down.

Yeah, right.....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

First Movie...

Dan and I are undeniable movie addicts. Going to the movie theater is one of the few things we miss from our pre-kids life (well, that and not spending major parts of the day wiping faces, noses, and bottoms). We have been eagerly waiting for the time when we can go to movies as a family.

But to be honest, we are movie snobs. Not terrible, but enough that we turn our nose up at the mention of most children's movies (and my mom would add anything that is happy or popular, too). So now that Max has reached the age that seems "old enough", we have been keeping our eyes out for the movie worthy of being his first movie theater movie.

[Side bar - Actually, Max and I went to two mommy & me matinee movies when he was a couple of months old. But who really wants their kid's first movie to be "Wedding Crashers" or "40 Year Old Virgin"?! So we are pretending those don't count. Just so you know.]

To this point, we have enjoyed all things Pixar. So when we learned about Wall-E coming out, it became clear that we had our "first movie" . And fortunately, we were at the beach when it came out - meaning built-in babysitters for Luke. Max wasn't sure why Daddy and Mommy were so excited, but when he heard that it was like a really big TV, he couldn't have been out the door any faster.

I know, I'm rambling on and on. So here's the short version: we loved it, he loved it. He didn't understand it, but that didn't seem to interfere with his complete captivation the entire time. And his favorite part? Getting to eat popcorn and watch a movie at the same time. He is his mama's boy.

I hear "Kung Fu Panda" is great. But I'm not sure I'm ready for my whirling dervish to come home trying to "kung fu" everything. Any suggestions? I'm ready to do it again!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Luke's Turn...

My mom always said that there is just nothing cuter than a two year old, and that trying to compete with one was useless. And boy can I attest to that. Most of the time, Max just steals the show these days. But as Luke is getting older, he sure is trying to give Max a run for his money.

As I've said many times, Luke is a VERY easy baby. Mr. Laid Back. Has spent a lot of his first 7 months just content to hang out and flash a smile. But recently, he is working more and more to make himself known. He has discovered his voice in a major way, and enjoys shrieking at the top of his lungs. Babbling is also becoming more common, and we are all enjoying the dadadadada and mamamama he will give us. He is still very easy, but is getting to the age where he demands more attention.

Mr. Content is also working on becoming more mobile. He sits up unassisted for short periods of time, and is now enjoying jumping in the jumperoo. He is a prolific roller and can pivot with the best of them - and combining these skills, he can really travel across a floor. It amazes me just how far he can get without actually being able to crawl. But I don't think crawling is that far away. While we were at the beach, he started to get up on all fours, and now spends a lot of his floor time rocking back and forth on hands and knees.

Almost all of this development is exciting, but at this point, we are all hoping for a little break from teething. Poor guy is now up to 5, and number 6 is right at the surface. I'm sad to lose the gummy grin, and he hasn't yet learned to nurse without tooth pressure. I know that as he gets closer to being able to handle more than purees, the teeth will come in handy. But right now? Really, they are just a pain.

So there you have it - updates on both boys, and a greater effort at blogging. Maybe today I'll try something really crazy - like cleaning my bathroom...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Latest Maxisms...

Ah, my oldest child.... These days he is the source of my greatest everything - greatest frustration, greatest laughter, greatest curiosity, greatest inspiration. Those who know him best understand what I mean when I describe him as passionate. This kid feels everything deeply, and has come to be known as "spirited". No one else can make me pull my hair out and melt my heart at the same time.

To put it mildly, he is very verbal for an almost three year old. Often, this leads me to forgetting just how young he still is. And the things he says never fail to make me pause. Here's a few recent examples:

- In a discussion about how Mema (my mom) is going to be left in charge while Mommy goes out for a little while, he looks up from playing and very seriously asks, "When do I get to be the boss, Mommy?"

- "You know how much I love you? Up to the moon."

- "When Luke gets big I will share all of his toys with him."

- Describing his play, "Well, the bus just ran over the cutie-pie pig. That happens to all of us sometime."

- "I like beer, but I can't have it 'til I'm taller."

- "I'm just not a good sleeper" (Gee, have I said that a time or two about him?!)

- He's very into playing pretend, and we almost always have family alter-egos. These change often, and he issued this proclamation the other day - "We used to all be super chimpanzees. Now we are tigers. Next we will be gypsies and hang from the chimney

- He likes to repair misunderstandings with "Well, actually...."

So, if any of you are in need of a little toddler humor, questioning, and bold assertions, do I have the kid for you. I'll rent him out - CHEAP!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Savannah Jane....

One of the major highlights of the last few weeks was getting to spend a week with my niece. She is almost three months old, and it is the first time we have gotten to really hang out together. First off, she is absolutely adorable. Where my boys have rolls upon rolls, she is a petite ballerina with long, slender limbs. And she looks like such a little person - not the generic "baby" that we always picture. But even besides that, she is amazing - the sweetest little voice that she saves for talking with her mama when things finally quiet down. She loves to stand up, and sucks voraciously on her hands for comfort. She also has the cutest little grins, and the most heartbreaking pout there ever was.

I feel so lucky to have gotten this time with her, and am trying desperately (though rather unsuccessfully) to forget that she lives so very far away. I can't wait to watch this little girl grow up.

What can I say? I'm an aunt in love!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

So much fun...........

What a fun couple of weeks here in the Young House! SO much to update on, pics to share, and Maxisms that I am not even sure where to start. This may become a series of small posts because I am way to intimidated to try and share everything all at once.

Where to start?

Well, we had a nice visit with Dan's dad, Robert. Robert is currently on retreat up in the Yukon, so visits with him are rare. Max enjoyed getting to play dinosaurs, and it was Luke's first time meeting Grandpa Robert. It was all pretty low-key, but a good opportunity to catch up.

Then, the same day that Robert flew out, my sister and
niece flew in. I have been looking forward to this FOR-EV-ER. We spent a week at the beach with my parents, sister and beautiful niece enjoying perfect weather and even bettercompany. (Unfortunately, my BIL was unable
to join us - and we really missed his energy and
humor) There will be more about the details
of the week to come!

We returned from the beach just in time for our ninth anniversary, and a wonderful date night sponsored by my in-laws. Then were yesterday's festivities, with all of the bbq and fireworks that come with celebrating our country.

It's been wonderful - relaxing, full of laughter, and memory filled.

Now back to our regularly scheduled lives....