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July 09, 2017

July 2017

In between summer vacations, I'm reminded that I enjoy keeping this record of what's going on. Also, several family members who don't see us often reminded me that they enjoy reading my blog. So here's another catch up post to help start getting back on track.

This year Elmer turned 5. He has graduated from Kinder Readiness and will be starting kindergarten in...my goodness...4 weeks! He loves to read and and getting so good at reading on his own. Some of his current favorite books are the My Father's Dragon trilogy (the 2nd book of which is called "Elmer and the Dragon" which was a serendipitous find!), The Little House books, and any book about space. This boy loves learning about space! When he graduated pre-school, he said he wanted to be a space scientist when he grows up.
He loves reading books about the solar system and about planets, and much of his imaginary play centers around his own planet of Luminar, where he has his own spaceships, his dragons and panthers live there, and where they can do whatever they want and not have to follow the rules he does at home.

He still loves listening to audio books as well - we listened to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on the drive up to Utah this summer, and he was very interested. He and Arthur have been talking about the characters and waving their wands and casting spells at each other.






Arthur turned 3 and is very independent and imaginative. He likes to arrange his toys and come up with all sorts of interesting characters and scenarios. I hear him making different voices and having his toys talk to one another. This week, he cracked me up because he was playing eye doctor after they had gone for Elmer's exam. He had arranged some of his toys into his "office" and he insisted on giving me a check up and prescribing eye drops. His seriousness and sound effects were just priceless.

He also loves reading, coloring, and music. He's much more interested in playing and listening to music than Elmer is, and he will stay focused on a craft long after Elmer has lost interest.

He's full of drama though - today on our way to get ready for bath, he said "It's been a hard day for me." He's often "Too tired", especially when there's something he doesn't want to do, such as eat his vegetables. He hates having his picture taken. But he's still our cuddle bug and is usually a sweet little boy.

We've been camping a few times this year already, often with friends or family. We had a great trip up to UT to see my family, and we're so thankful that our boys are such good travelers. Next week we're heading up to stay in a cabin in Greer with the Perrys, and we'll stay at our usual cabin at Earll Park Lake during our last week of freedom before Elmer starts school.

I expect this'll be the start of a new chapter in our lives, with Elmer in school all day. We're also planning to start Arthur in the same preschool Elmer attended (if we get potty trained by September). I'm sure this year will fly by before we know it!

September 04, 2016

Catching up

Well, I haven't posted for so long that I've been avoiding posting because I'm so far behind. So - here's a post to catch everyone up so I can just move forward.

Elmer finished his first semester of pre-school in May. He really enjoyed his small class, and now he's in a Kinder Readiness class for this last year before kindergarten. He goes to school on Tuesdays and Thursday for a couple of hours in the morning.
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Here's his first school picture:
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And now he's got his glasses!
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Arthur's getting big, very independent, and he rarely stops talking. He's a busy guy who's good at pushing Elmer to be more adventurous.
Camping at Alamo Lake- April 2016

Utah Trip 2016: Cedar Breaks

Misc June/July

Cabin 2016

We've had a great summer with several camping trips, our usual trip up to Utah to visit family, and a full week up at our cabin. Click on the links for pictures!

Camping at Kehl Springs-May 2016

We're going camping this next week back to Patagonia Lake, where Chris and I camped back in 2007,  long before we had kids. And we'll camp again one more time this year in October before we get too busy.

So now everyone's caught up. Hopefully, now I'll continue to post on a more regular schedule.
Cabin 2016

February 20, 2016

Elmer's 4 years old!

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Well, here he is - 4 years old already! For Elmer's birthday, we went to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park and met Grammie and Grampa there. We had so much fun riding the train, playing on the playground, and riding the carousel.
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Then Grammie and Grampa unveiled the boys' birthday presents - new tricycles! Both of the boys got to try them out at the park where there was lots of room to roam.
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After the park, we went home for our normal nap/quiet time, but after dinner, we had a brownie cake to celebrate. It was a really fun birthday!
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Here are the usual stats from his annual exam:

  • Height: 42 inches
  • Weight: 38 lbs
But the big news was that Elmer needs glasses. We weren't surprised - I always knew that my children would be doomed and it was only a matter of time. Elmer does like to have his books up close, and wants to be close to the television when he's watching Mighty Machines (thanks for the recommendation, Rachel!), so the signs were there. We'll get him into an optometrist pretty soon and after that - glasses! I think he'll be pretty cute.
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The other exciting news is that Elmer is officially a preschooler now! He started at a part time preschool the day before his birthday. He goes Mondays and Wednesdays for a couple of hours in the afternoon, and it's so fun to see him make friends and come home with a homework assignment for the weekend.
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We're getting used to a new schedule, and I think preschool is just as good for us as it is for him. It's breaking us in gently: remembering to do the homework, getting reports from the teacher, and making valentines for his classmates for their Valentine's Day party! We'll be pros in no time, right?

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It's so fun to see Elmer learning so much. He knows all his letters, and corrects us if we say the wrong words when reading familiar books. He loves to read and listen to audiobooks and music. For his quiet time, he's been listening to Lloyd Alexander's The Book of Three lately, but he also loves some Classical Kids episodes: Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery, Beethoven Lives Upstairs, and Hallelujah Handel. He's also getting to be much better at actually helping - he'll bring his plate and cup to the sink after meals, he'll help make his bed and put away his books, and he will help get himself dressed and undressed! I love discovering the things he can do, and it's a good challenge for me to give him more opportunities to be more independent and help.
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Of course, this path isn't always smooth and easy - sometimes he needs more encouragement than others, and sometimes our expectations don't match his capabilities. And sometimes he's just a fussy four year old. But sometimes I really can't believe he's so big and grown. He was such a tiny little guy, not all that long ago!
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And at 1:
15Jan13

at 2:
Hot daaaaahhhhgs! 14Feb14

and at 3:
Taking pictures 17Jan15

And now:
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We love him so much!


February 16, 2016

Arthur, talking

Arthur’s learning syntax from Yoda:

"Sit lap, want to.” 
“Eat it big, want to.”
“Play deetar, want to.”

The boy knows what he wants.

January 14, 2016

Arthur's 2 years old!

Last Friday, we celebrated Arthur's birthday! My little boy is already 2 years old!
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Since I took the day off, we had all day to relax and play. First, my assistants helped me make a brownie cake:
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Then we went to Riverview Park to run and climb and play:
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This kid just loves to climb - everything!

And later, after lunch, we had our brownie cake with peppermint frosting:
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Arthur loved it when we sang "Happy Birthday" to him, and was able to blow out his candles. The brownie cake was a big hit - it was a lot easier for the boys to manage than regular cake. They even ate the brownie after they licked off the frosting!

Today both boys had their annual check up at the pediatrician, so here are Arthur's latest stats:
Height: 34.8 inches
Weight: 28 lbs 4 oz
So he's not so much bigger than he was at 18 months.

His vocabulary has really grown, though, in the past 4 months. He uses phrases and even some sentences, and is getting really good at communicating what he wants or is thinking. Sometimes he'll say something completely incomprehensible, but his pronunciation is getting a lot better.

Elmer likes to encourage Arthur, often saying things like "Arthur, say loobdaloom" (living room), and Arthur will happily oblige. It's one of their favorite games, and sometimes Arthur will just repeat whatever Elmer says, with both boys dissolving into giggles.

Some of my favorite phrases are:
"Want it big" (when I ask if he wants some food cut for him)
"Elmer first" (usually when it's time to get dressed)
"Go work"
"Hold you" (when he wants me to hold him)
"Carry me"

Arthur loves to do whatever Elmer's doing, but he's also pretty independent. He often will pull out toys or instruments and play and sing to himself. He loves singing "Silent Night", and sang "Happy Birthday" to himself all weekend. He especially likes playing his little guitar, but also enjoys the tamborines we gave them for Christmas.

Playing "deetar"

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Fortunately, he likes to read just as much as Elmer does, just not always the same books, which means that story time can get complicated as we negotiate what will be read. Arthur's tantrums far exceed anything Elmer produced at two years old.

But he's still our little cuddlebug - we can rely on lots of snuggles throughout the day if we are sitting on the couch. And most of the time he's a pretty happy little guy. I can't believe how much he's grown this past year!

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