Thursday, May 24, 2012


Owen recently received one his first 'real' puzzle.  I helped him once or twice and then, suddenly, it clicked (the pieces fells into place, if you will) and he started doing it himself.

He spent nearly an hour one evening - putting it together, taking it apart and starting over.

I was amazed that it kept his attention for so long and happy to see him focusing each time to get it back together on his own.  I can see us putting puzzles together in the future - chatting about our favorite part of the day, of couse.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Phone Photos

Unedited.  After a rainy walk.  I am still amazed.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Field trip: Air and Space

Last week I took the kids down to the Air and Space Museum for a few hours.  I'm trying to take greater advantage of having access to the amazing museums and parks in DC and Baltimore.

We braved DC morning traffic - I gave myself a pep talk beforehand and went in with the mindset that it was going to take some time and patience.  Thank goodness that O&E are good passengers.

We found a spot near the museum, paid our handful of quarters and were off!  

First: A pit-stop to pump up the leaky stroller tire beneath this spire.

Most museums will be much more interesting and engaging once the kids are a tad older.  Right now they are beneficial more as a change of scenery, for interactions with crowds, and for the occasional small teaching moments (even just learning to obey in a busy place).

Owen flying the Cessna.  Not the most comfortable chair for a cross country flight.

Ever takes a turn at the controls.  She did a few barrel rolls.

I tried to let Everly walk on her own, but it was almost as if she gained energy from the crowd.  Her speed increased in direct correlation to the number of people around.  At one point she was literally sprinting in circles through a packed exhibit while Owen (who was glued to my hand the whole time - God bless him) and I abandoned the stroller in a last ditch effort to keep up.  All three of us breathed a sigh of relief as I snapped her back in her seat and she was content to ride, point and squeal at the rockets the rest of the trip.

We walked up and down the main corridors, Owen asked the purpose of each and every plane, we rode the elevator twice and were done.  Two hours flew by.

Finally, a nice picnic lunch by the Mall.  We had a front row show to a giant excavator working on the Mall renovations.

It was maybe as awesome as the rocketships.

Everly didn't make it out of the city before she was snoozing.   All that sprinting really takes it out of a toddler.  

Hopefully we will build up a small amount of momentum and take at least one trip every week.  Stay tuned!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dinner date with Ever

Everly and I had an evening at home alone last week.  I was grateful for the one-on-one time with my littlest.  She is hitting the super busy 18 month stage and is constantly buzzing around.  Usually around my legs - especially since she's teething again.   

For one evening it was nice to drop everything and just focus on helping the little bee buzz from one activity to the next.  No dinner worries - just leftover soup and popcorn.

Speaking of dinner - I can't believe that I make dinner every night.  It's only now sinking in that I do that.  It's not been one of my regular features for very long...and I'm not claiming proficiency...but it feels so very grown up.

As if the grown up part didn't hit me when I, oh you know, had kids.  It's hitting me because I make dinner and schedule meals for the week.   At least it's sinking in.  (At least I'm feeding my family.)

Even if it's occasionally soup and popcorn.

She didn't mind.

A kiss.  Or maybe she was still hungry?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Strawberry Picking

Warning...lots of pictures ahead

This last week was one of those perfect weeks where the weather was wonderful and the kids were well behaved.  We took advantage of this stellar combination with a couple fun outings.  After a few days of feeling like we maximized LIFE I'm refreshed and enthusiastic about this next week...excited about continuing to press into this job of mine.   (Feeling like you did something well, maybe not perfectly but to the best of your ability, is the best reward.)

On Saturday we went strawberry picking at Butler's Orchard.   Strawberry picking doesn't actually take very long - the berries are so big that we filled up our baskets in less than half an hour.  But we took advantage of the playground and the slides and managed to spend a good chunk of the day there. They had to kick us out at closing time!  

Owen and (a rare picture of) mama on the way out to the fields.  He was so excited and had his little basket ready.

With one of his first picks.  Love the scrunchy face.  (Gina - go Michigan!) :)

Ever instinctually knew what to do.  She was putting berries in the basket right away!  This was before she figured out that they were edible.  Not too many made it in the basket afterwards...

Owen was a focused pro.  We had to tell him that it was ok to eat a few.  He was so proud of picking the big berries and would show them to me - perfectly excited about each one.

Ever.  On the hunt.

The berries were super sweet.  Almost as sweet as this small face.

Pudgy, dimpled hands pat pudgy, dimpled berries.

The aftermath.

Kinda looked like a crime scene once Ever was done.  When you take a baby who loves to eat into a giant field of food the berries don't stand a chance.

Happy girl and her dad...on the way back from the field.  (and a picture of a picture of a picture of a....)

Blueberries are in July...come with us!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Ever is enamored with holding hands.  At dinner, in the car, on walks.  She asks for 'han, han, han'.

A few days ago on a family walk it was Owen that she insisted hold her hand.  

And then my heart melted and I am still getting misty eyed.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Spring Snapshots

Bouquets on the regular.

Zoe appears and tolerates some loving.

Our daily walks are perfumed!  There are so many honeysuckle blossoms that most bushes look stripped - white/yellow and green alternating rows.  The aroma is so strong that it reminds me of passing a heavily perfumed woman on the street (in a nice way).

More tracking.  We've added goose tracks to our list (which also includes: dogs, 'adult' shoe, bike, deer, and squirrel).

Yay for the goslings!  We've been check out the ponds twice a day waiting for these little guys.  Owen was so excited about our first sighting...he came home exclaiming that we saw a 'wriggly yellow pile of babies!'  The geese have been especially protective this year.  One father swam about 50 feet towards us (and we were still another 100 feet away, up a hill) to warn us to back away from the mother's nest.  It's provided a great context to talk about how fathers stand guard and protect their families.  Those geese aren't joking around!

And the climbing continues.

Friday, May 11, 2012

On learning to climb

I heard the chair scrape along the floor in the kitchen - a telltale sign that Everly is cooking up trouble.

I walked in to see this.  Ever sitting on the table, eating the apple she just grabbed out of the fruit bowl.

Apparently she is smart, fast, and hungry.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Almost enough for pigtails?  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May

Another phone photo

Hard to believe that May is here.  Did I miss the time warp announcement?

The year is almost half over.  We're definitely enjoying the outside time, the walks by the lake, looking for baby ducks and geese, all the flowers, warm breezes and dirt (of course).  

My thoughts are on spring cleaning and light cooking.  But that's just the superficial external stuff.  

Internally things have been simple - intentionally so.   A sort of inner deep clean - purifying, maturing, correcting, evaluating and throwing away the wrong and practicing the right.  Sounds complex but it's simple in that it's all part of that singular push for maturity.  It's definitely been a time for pushing all my resource and energy into this one thing.  

All consuming yet hard to describe outside of several days worth of conversations.  

But spring has been beautiful here, we spend many lazy hours playing out back and love visitors.  So stop by and we can chat.  

On learning to sit.

For awhile now Ever has been backing up to things that she wants to sit on.  

Typically she starts three feet away and turns around, slowly shuffling backwards until she bumps into her target.

The neighbors back stairs are a big favorite for this pastime.  Once she's found her spot she typically will just sit there, basking in the joy of her accomplishment (I sat down!  By myself!  HA!) for a few minutes.  Just sitting there.  

And that is why I love her.