Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Middle Summer Wrap Up

As August draws to a close it has still yet to produce any weather that I would call summer-like. And that's just fantastic! Some days have felt like days in late October while others have been only hot enough to wear shorts if you really force it. I have yet to break a sweat mowing the lawn. I doubt I will see another summer this cool for a long, long time.

Martin "Like a Bird"

We haven't spent much time in the water but we have spent a lot of time at the park. Martin has taken to climbing all the way to the top of the latter and proclaiming, "Martin like bird!"

Martin Meets Fred

Elliott Meets Fred

Grandma got a new dog, Fred, which the boys have met but who scares them slightly with his exuberance. Now they know how many people feel about them.

Elliott with Babies

Elliott is the proud daddy of twin babies which he often carries around with him and sometimes takes to school.

New Baby on FaceTime with Mummy

Martin wasn't interested in either baby and, instead, picked out this baby with Mummy which they ordered and arrived while she was away at work. Mummy did, however, get to witness the unboxing on FaceTime.

Watermelon Wagon Ride

The daily walk home from school involves lot of slices of watermelon and sometimes even an additional wagon ride to the park.

The Owl on the Way Home From School

On the way back we pass our neighbors' yard where the boys are always excited to view the black owl sitting on the yellow slide. We also pass a part of the street where a firetruck once drove by and they are still convinced, every day, that that firetruck will make a triumphant return. I try to convince them that it's probably good new that a firetruck is not going by.

They remain unmoved by my argument.

Wombats and Evelyn at the Beach

We haven't had many beach days this summer but we did get a chance to dip in the cold water with cousin Evelyn a couple of weeks ago.

Elliott Eating Oberweiss Ice Cream

Martin Eating Oberweiss Ice Cream

This ended up with a failed attempt at a nap where we tried to get their hair cut, failed, and eventually ended up just taking them out for ice cream. This is, of course, the best way to enjoy good napping habits with your children. They don't nap? Take them out for ice cream as punishment.

Tonka Races

We also got time to race Daddy's childhood Tonka trucks outside.

Martin Hanging By Himself

Then we even wore them out at the park across the street from Grandma and Grandad's before dinner.

Insane Bubses After No Nap

This lead to complete insanity by the end of dinner.

Playing with Toys at Doctor

The next morning we took the boys for a much-appreciated well visit for their two year checkup! There's something refreshing about going to the doctor when both children are well. It doesn't happen all that often.


On our later trips to the park Elliott met a girl older than him that could jump. This inspired him to tirelessly practice his own jumping.

Elliott Climbing Ladder on His Own

He also can quite easily climb the ladders on his own. All this jumping practice and ladder climbing makes for a great night's sleep.

Helping Make Muffins

Helping Do the Dishes

The boys helped Mummy make muffins and even helped do the dishes afterward.

Elliott Picking Tomatoes

Martin Stealing Tomatoes

Last week when we picked up the farm share we were allowed to pick our own cherry tomatoes and I took the boys with me. They probably ate twice as many as we were allowed to take but no one seemed to mind. At least they didn't yell at us so I consider that a win.


Elliott is usually pretty grumpy in the mornings. However, when allowed to sleep in, he is a completely different guy who enjoys nothing more than reading the works of A. A. Milne during breakfast.

Floor Wrasslin'

Before bed the normal routine as of late has been a lot of wrestling. Strangely it has been Martin who has been the instigator.


Elliott generally lets him be the aggressor for a while until he gets bored or annoyed then he simply tosses Martin aside and goes about his merry way.

Nature Time with Uncle Nate

This past week I got to babysit Evelyn and I took her to the same park and gave her a little nature lesson which mostly involved telling her about acorns.

Evelyn Zonked After Morning at the Park

All that talk about acorns made her sleep for about 50% of the time I was baby sitting.

Miss Angie and Martin

Miss Lubna at Luau

The next day was the end of year luau at daycare where we had to say goodbye to our toddler teachers as the boys got ready to transition to their next level. It's not really goodbye in that we'll still see them every day but still a goodbye of sorts.

Martin Feeds Evelyn Pudding

They also, for some reason, found feeding Evelyn pudding to be the most enjoyable thing at the entire party.

Martin Down Bouncy Slide

And, again breaking with tradition, Martin was the more adventurous of the two and the only one who dared to try the bouncy slide a few times. He was a bit slow getting up the slide but some of the nice big kids kept the other youngsters at bay and even helped him slide down.

Pentagram Cherry Pie

After the luau we went out for dinner with Lauren and Doug and then came back to celebrate Doug's birthday with this custom made heavey metal cherry pie.

Martin Before Haircut

Martin Getting Hair Cut

Martin After Haircut

Martin got a haircut.

Elliott Before Haircut

Elliott Getting Hair Cut

Elliott After Haircut

Elliott got a haircut.

Evelyn Standing on Her Own

Evelyn began standing on her own. As we prepare to leave for vacation I'm pretty sure she'll be walking around by the time we return.

Elliott's Unorthodox Cake-Eating Technique

We had more cake on Sunday night and Elliott was not shy about displaying his new unorthodox technique for eating it.


He was also not shy to do a victory dance after downing an entire slice.

First Day of Beginners at Day Care

On Monday was their first day of Beginners level at day care. It was a bit of a rock dropoff but not so much because of the new classroom as much as the lack of sleep the night before.



They may have left Toddlers behind but they will always have their post-school playground romp on slides that are probably too big for kids their size. They are fearless when it comes to items on the playground. They seem to think of it as some sort of injury-free zone where they have invulnerability to any sort of bodily harm.

Given their current level of rambunctiousness I give it about six months before we're making our first non-sickness trip to the ER.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

In Summer!

After the birthday celebration gala Nana and Grandpa stuck around a little longer than planned for a number of reasons. Not the least of which was to get some work done!

Granpda Installing New Door

My father was instrumental in installing a new door to our deck which has vastly improved the indoor bug situation.

Grandpa Working on Firepit

We also rebuilt the firepit and I permanently damaged our sprinkler system by inadvertently finding exactly where it was buried in the back yard.

Nana with Wombats in Sandbox

There was a lot of time spent in the new sandbox while all this home improvement was going on.

Narragansett Del's Shandy

Narragansett Del's Shandy

Autocrat Coffee Syrup

Many gifts were deliverd to us by my parents from the old country of Rhode Island, all in beverage form. While the boys won't yet get to taste Narragansett beer, they may enjoy some coffee milk in the future. We just need to make sure we give it to them early enough in the day so that any potential caffeine intake will not destroy our lives.

Cousins Photo Shoot

In the morning on Saturday we took all the cousins to the mall for their most recent photo shoot.

Nate at the Naperville Ale Fest

The day before my parents left we attended the Naperville Ale Fest where many tasty beers were consumed. Reports are that they ditched the full pint glasses they handed out last year in favor of new three ounce glasses. I can't imagine why handing out full pint glasses would have been a problem at all at an event where they have over one hundred beers on tap.

Visit with Jocelyn and Matt

Later that evening we were paid a visit by our friends Jocelyn and Matt who were passing through on their way to moving to sunny Davis, California. So far this first year has been extremely rich with house guests, something we sincerely wanted but did not thing we'd actually get. Apparently people traveling from New York to Chicago with a frequency we had not previously been aware of.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth: Round 2

Immediately after all our guests left, the following Monday morning, Martin woke up with a fever. It got quite high and he talked of his mouth hurting. After a trip to the doctor it was confirmed that he had hand, foot, and mouth disease once again.

Sick Martin Taking Nap

On Wednesday morning Elliott woke up with a fever as well so he accompanied Martin to the doctor even though we could safely assume that they had the same thing. While this time was horrendous Martin was almost back to normal by Thursday even though Elliott was feeling pretty miserable.

Sick Elliott at Pond

We went for a walk to pick up Martin at day care and decided to extend it for a bit. We ended up at a pond where Elliott glared upon the algae in disgust.

Recovery Dinner with Mummy and Grandma

After more walking and a trip to Grandma's we decided to chance it by walking to the nearby Italian restaurant where Elliott appeared to make a full recovery. It must have been the medicinal properties from the linguine and chicken tenders.

Mummy and Wombats

After a brief nightmare the hand, foot, and mouth was gone and they were back to normal. It was four days, one bad, two horrible, and one bad. Then we were done! It could be our minds buidling the previous bout into legendary status but this second run, while awful, seemed much more mild in comparison. Even after some pretty bad nights we felt like we'd dodged a bullet.

Sunday Trip to the Arboretum with Splashing Cousins

On Sunday we went to the Morton Arboretum before I left for work where the cousins got to splash and play in a lot of water and Elliott had a significant meltdown when we broke him free of play to go eat lunch.

We will see what August brings. Temperatures have only been in the 90s once or twice and it has been the mildest summer I have ever witnessed. Let's hope August does not bring the heat because this has been one of the most enjoyably temperate summers of my life and, of course, my first ever with central air conditioning.


And with all that the boys have discovered a love for the movie "Frozen" along with every other child in America. Hopefully this is more of a humorous homage to the shockingly mild summer we're having and not an omen for another horrendous winter.

In summer!