Sunday, May 29, 2011

Project 365, Week 22

What a great week!  After days upon days of cold and rain, the sun came out!  Everyone was quite excited, which was evident as I was looking over the pictures from this week.  Lots of outside, just being kids photos...doesn't make for exciting blog posts, but its how we like doing life.

May 22
Princess Jasmine for the evening.  

There was also a friendly game of baseball in the kitchen...

May 23
We were getting Trot some exercise and it was a little wet and muddy.  As any boy should, Aiden heads straight for the biggest puddles.
 May 24
Trouble is not too far around the corner when these two get alone without Avery's supervision.  (Aiden insisted on wearing his knit hat.)
 May 25
Avery made a hopscotch game.

 I was on my stomach trying to capture some of the jumping and Aiden thought he'd come join me.  I'm too embarrassed to show you the full picture of him...his pants are too short, he had yogurt on his shirt and Doritoes on his face and his hair was scruffy.

 Later, the kids went across to the neighbor's to "help" with yard work.

 May 26
Shaun and Nathan took down a big tree and Aiden was in his glory as we unloaded Daddy's truck of wood.
 Then cousin Alayna stopped by for a bit.
 She liked the water a little bit.
May 27
I was asked to second shoot a wedding this weekend.  This is Newport, RI, a short walk from the rehearsal dinner location.  Beautiful town!  When I got in my car at 11:30 pm to make the two-hour trip back home, alone, I realized how spoiled I am that Shaun always does the driving.
May 28
As we loaded up to go to the grocery store, I just had to save the moment in time.  Such a mundane task, but these guys are always happy for the outing.  This day the girls got their babies dressed, packed purses and put their dogs on a leash.  And Aiden just thinks his sisters are this bunch.

Oh, and you can see our freshly refurbished car in the back....good as new.

After church we went to some friends' house for some backyard fun.  The seven kids played great together and the adults enjoyed some laughs around the fire.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Aiden is Twenty-Two Months

I'm approxiamately thirteen days late with this but I didn't want to entirely skip it.  As I was looking back over the last month, I can't believe how different he looks.  I feel like he went from baby to toddler.  Part of that was the three (?) new teeth he got.  Part of it was the vocabulary explosion and the fact that he now parrots everything we say.  But I really think he face changed, too and I can't believe its only been a month since these were taken.

He's talking up a storm!  He repeats everything and much of it is clear, even to an untrained ear.  He delights us with his attempts and the things he comes up with on his own.

He is completely into all things boy, or more specifically, all things daddy.  He regularly comes over to me holding a ball and says Mom, catch!  I suddenly wish I wasn't so athletically impaired.  With the girls, its been fine that every time I throw a ball there are 360 degrees of possible directions it might go but somehow now with Aiden, I wish I was more skilled and able and...accurate.  I fear I will be embarrassing, or at least frustrating to him, in oh...about six months.

For all the boy he is though, he is very tender and sweet, always generous with hugs.  He is quick to run to his sisters when they are hurt or upset and he initiates hugs with me often.  He's busy, but not in a looking-for-trouble way.  He learns rules quickly and so far, doesn't really challenge them.  He can identify all the major sports and gets especially excited when he sees anything NOT in his future.

He survives on milk, Frosted Flakes and ice-cream.  Not really, but kind of.  

We love this little guy who is often called Roo.  Which can turn into Rooster, Roofus, Roof or Little Roo.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

There's A Doctor in the House!

We just had a nice weekend in Philly, sharing in the celebration of my cousin Melody receiving her doctorate.  I chose to just bring the girls because they are almost no work and I thought it'd be nice to get some time with them.  My sister brought her three oldest, for similar reasons.  The seven of us loaded in her van and set off.  Unlike me, Amy is very good with directions so Shaun has no worries when I'm with her. :)

After we located Melody and her parents, we got food.  
 Then it was time to head to the ceremony.  There was a larger, ticketed one earlier in the day, so this afternoon one was on a much smaller scale.

Levi was very energetic with the hugs he was giving Amanda as we waited...
Since it was smaller, they read the title of all the PhD's dissertations.  Several of the titles had words I had never heard. Others has shocking topics, as in really??  you just spent the last _ years of your life researching and writing about that??   Melody's was in Sociology:
"Navigating Neighborhoods: How Social Networks and Space Shape the Decisions and Experiences of Families in Housing Mobility Programs."
There was a snafu with the traditional "hooding" and it took Melody's advisor a full minute and a half to get it around her neck.  It went from soft nervous laughter to a full out roar from the crowd....of course, her loving family laughing loudest of all.  It was hilarious and will undoubtly come up at family gathering for the next, oh....ten years, give or take.  We love you, Mel!
 It was a beautiful evening to take pictures and walk around the city.  This is all of my family that made it from Connecticut.
 My aunt and uncle, cousins.
Just us girls.
 The graduate...we were so proud!

 After a little walk around the city, we went to an Italian restaurant.  It was good food, good company.  Melody had been there before, but hadn't remembered all the nude photos and paintings and...sculptures.    You can count on it everytime...experiencing things with kids will make you see things like you haven't before. :)

 See what I mean? :)
The next morning as we turned the corner from our hotel, we came across the "Rocky steps" at the Philly Museum.
 We hopped out to take a couple kids had no idea why they were posing like this. :)
 This is right before Nathanael tripped down about six steps and his poor mom had to watch it happen from the van....he was ok, just a little scraped up.

 After hanging out in Melody's apartment for a bit we hit the town, via the trolley and subway....very exciting for the kids, a little nerve-wracking for the adults.
 Amy snuck one of me and Amanda.

 We spent some time in the visitor center...
 ...then walked over to see the Liberty Bell.

 We grabbed lunch at one of the carts.  I was skeptical, but Melody assured us Philadelphia is known for their really good (and safe!) lunch carts.  It was very good (and so reasonable) with lots of healthy choices, though I ended up ordering a Philly Cheese have to, right?

 It was completely awe-inspiring to be in this city which holds so much of our country's history.  To hear and read about those men (and women) who had the guts, the character, the passion to write and sign our Declaration of Independence...amazing.  It struck me anew that as they signed they were fairly certain they were signing their death sentence.  They just don't make 'em like the used to.
The boys faired well back at home.  Shaun sent me these two pictures over the weekend.  Aiden is all about doing man stuff and they did plenty of it.