Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What do peaches, beards, and Calvin & Hobbes have in common?

February? Really Miriam? I don't know why I'm surprised that that is the last time I wrote a blog post, it's not like I have anyone hounding me to write it. But I could do with some retrospection, and you could do with some pictures.

I'm feeling a little guilty about this outfit. It's just a TINY bit too zany. Swap those Vans out for some regular shoes, and we're good. James is growing like a weed, so his Sunday shoes have joined the box of things for Rupert to wear when he gets bigger and I have yet to find him a new pair because I'm cheap and I only buy my kids' clothes at Goodwill.
We have never cut James' hair. Our babies are cue balls when they're born so what hair they grow I'm extremely proud of, and I can't bring myself to cut it! He is growing a tiny mullet, which thankfully is in style these days, so I can put it off the dastardly deed until a bit later.

A few months ago we had a cold day! It was actually chilly! Hence the hats and long sleeves. It was also extremely windy so we bought a $2 kite (wow, we are super cheap) and flew the heck out of it. The boys had a lovely time and I remembered how much dang fun it is to fly a kite.

Spring time in Phoenix is the ideal time to hit the park, and we did so on a daily basis.

Here's James attempting to ride his tiny finger skateboard down a ramp that we had made for his cars. And this is why women live longer. We had a little talk about physics and he decided to wait until he's bigger and he has a much bigger skateboard. And a helmet. And a full body suit constructed out of bubble wrap.

We went to an event called Transportation Days at a local church where policemen, mailmen, firefighters and construction workers get to show off their vehicles and the kiddies get to climb all over them. Holy cats James had an incredible time. But you wouldn't know it by looking at his face. Man, this kid has the stone cold look down pat.

James waited for his turn to get in the helicopter and then promptly dove into the cockpit. Whoops! Here you can see him contemplating his angle of trajectory.

Here is James pretending to be a ... wait for it ... fireman. Yes, my shirt apparently looks like a fireman's getup, and he just went with it. He pretends almost every minute of the day. When he wakes up he's Babar, when he's at the park he's Lightning McQueen, when he's eating lunch he's King Peter (from Narnia), when he's at the grocery store he's a puppy, when he's at church he's a cat (mewling all through the services), and when he goes to bed he's Aslan. In fact, he's rarely ever James.

Starting to get hotter now. Thankfully the oppressive heat didn't come until a bit later, so we had lots of outdoors time up until about three weeks ago. Here we are birding at Gilbert Water Ranch. Lots of GBHs, verdins, Anna's hummingbirds, and red tails circling overhead. 

When it gets too hot, we play inside, inside the bus. I love's James' face, it's full of joy and mischief, and if that isn't what little boys are made of, I don't know what is.

A little brotherly love.

A dear friend of ours took us to see the Chihuly glass exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens and it was beyond amazing! That man is an incredible and prolific artist, and his installations were remarkable. They perfectly reflected the austerity and beauty of the desert which we live in.

This is the face of a child interrupted in the middle of deep concentration; in this case, putting his shoe back together.

And when he gets home from church, he pretends to be a pilot.

Since we live in one of the hottest places on earth, the growing season is backwards, so peaches are ready in May, not August. We took a trip out to Queen Creek and picked 22 pounds of them. I put some frozen ones in my smoothie this morning, and they are still super delicious.

This picture does not adequately represent the amount of excitement James felt about riding this little train around the farm. He still talks about it.

This kid is obsessed with school. He cannot WAIT until he's 5 so he can finally go. We started a little joy school (pre-pre-school) with some friends who have kids around similar ages, and when I told him we were going to school that morning, his face lit up and he said, "I'M FIVE?!" Sorry kid. But we're over halfway there!
We do school time in the mornings where we learn letters and numbers, and so far James knows all this letters and can write all the easy ones like I, L, E, O etc. The curvy ones are still pretty far out, but sometimes he writes them on accident while he's doodling away, and then shows me them proudly. He can identify sounds of letters pretty well, but has yet to comprehend that letters strung together make words, and that is how you read. In fact, he vehemently requests that I do not "read" his books, but that I just happen to make up the story associated with the pictures exactly the same way every time we look at them. Hmmm. This may prove to be a little problematic in the future.

James' smile is almost as awesome as Rupert's Klingon thing he has going on with his forehead. Also, please welcome the newest addition to our family, Josh's beard. I think he looks great with it, and it complements his Canadian heritage quite well.

Oh I just love this picture.

We go to the pool on a bi-weekly, sometimes daily basis. James can swim around by himself with a pool noodle, Rupert cruises around in his floatie, and I try to keep an eye on them both. Children are such water rats, and it makes me happy that they can indulge that part of their personality.

I made this sampler. Making things is extraordinarily cathartic, so I've been learning lots of new skills like, uh, cooking. I feel like I'm finally coming into my own when it comes to the domestic side of myself, which is great because I've been married for seven and a half years, and we have two kids. It's about time.

There is something so poetic about James reading Calvin and Hobbes naked with his favorite stuffed kitty.

This little chubber is nine months old, and is just about the happiest baby on the block. He is patient, silly, and laughs about everything, especially his brother. No one can make Rupert laugh like James can, and he is a brother's boy. I sometimes wish I would have hired another child to hang around when James was a baby, so that he would be a little more mellow. 
He's in full teething mode (he has seven now!), and even when his face hurts and he's grumpy, you can sing him a silly song and he snaps right out of it and dances his little bum off. We just had his nine month appointment and he's just like his brother; tall (74th percentile), skinny (35th percentile), with a ginormous head (>97th percentile). No crawling yet, but to be honest, I'm doing nothing to encourage it. He can scooch his bum around to get places, and can pull himself up on things just fine, but his brain has not yet discovered that crawling is a much more effective way to get around.

We have finally figured out how to get this guy to eat solid food. If he had it his way, he would nurse until he's 7, but we're making progress. No matter what I pureed, it just came right back out when I tried to feed it to him, so we moved on to table food. I ground up our baked ziti last night, and he gulped that sucker down. Smoothies are also a huge hit with him, and I put all sorts of veggies in there that he doesn't know about. I'm sure we'll have to change our methods in a few weeks, but for right now, I am in solid food eating bliss, and so is he.

And here we go into summer, sweaty babies and all. Mornings at the splash pad, afternoons at Ikea and the library and evenings at home, trying to stay sane.

James is really blossoming socially. He is no longer terrified of adults that he knows, just strangers, which is how I would have it anyway. I do feel a bit sorry for the cute little old ladies at the grocery store who try to engage him in conversation, but thankfully Rupert is there to win them over with his little toothy grin. Play dates are becoming more and more of a success, and he has stayed by himself in nursery during church for the past two months. He's gaining more confidence in social settings and that makes my heart happy in a new way. 
During this season of life I spend so much of my time hoping that these little vulnerable humans that we've made are safe and happy, and it is the most devastatingly exhausting and mind-bogglingly thrilling thing I've done. Here's to another summer of thrills, spills, and raising viable humans.