Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This post starts and ends with video and has two weeks' worth of photos in between. Someone has fallen behind in the family chronicle. I could try to come up with an excuse, but let's just chalk it all up to life, and whatnot. ("Life is not 'whatnot'." name that John Hughes movie!)

We actually had two of the most beautiful weather weeks ever in a Midwest July. Warm(ish) days followed by nice cool nights. Many around here were complaining about the lost summer, but not me. I could skip the whole heat/humidity scene without a second thought. It did get a little warmer this weekend, and yesterday I decided to blow up the kids wading pool during their nap time for a surprise afternoon activity. Amazingly, there was only one small hole in the pool, which had been wadded up in a ball for two years. Nothing a little duct tape couldn't handle. We never took it out last summer because with the house on the market, we didn't have a place to stash it out of potential buyers' view. They had a good time splashing around and flinging water with shovels and squirting implements. The part of the video with Daniel extricating himself from the pool cracks me up.

We've also had some summer fun with popsicles recently. Of these four shots, the first three are from the same sitting, with homemade frozen fruit punch popsicles. The last one is the aftermath of Daniel's "bomb pop"--my favorite red/white/blue popsicles that are a 4th of July staple. (Though this was just taken Sunday, well after the 4th!) In any event, they clearly enjoy the cool treat. Daniel was shirtless after soaking himself playing with watering cans in the back yard. Actually, he was pantsless too, and ended up with popsicle juice dribbled all the way down his belly and pooled in his belly button. Needless to say, next stop was the bathtub.

In the car recently, Edward spotted a jogger without a shirt and asked why. I explained that sometimes when guys get hot they take their shirts off. A few days later, on a nice temperate afternoon in the back yard, he began tugging at his own shirt, and when I realized he was trying to get it off, I questioned, "What are you doing?" "I'm hot," he said firmly. "Guys take their shirts off when they're hot." Of course Daniel had to get in on the action (he MUST do everything his big brother does and say everything he says) so they pranced around shirtless for a while. It was late in the afternoon and the yard is mostly shade at the time of day, so I wasn't worried about sunburn. Just look at those pasty white bellies!
The water is not turned on in this photo of Daniel, but you can see how he could get soaked in no time. The other factor is that he doesn't really understand pouring in a direction away from one's own belly. This also complicates tooth brushing as he is inclined to take a drink and then dump the rest of the cup down his shirt in an attempt to imitate Ed pouring back into the sink. Many a morning has ended in a shirt change immediately before dashing out the door to daycare/work!

Two Saturdays ago, there was a car show to benefit University of Iowa Children's Hospital so we took the boys and met Grandma and Grandpa to check out the vehicles and enjoy some kids games/activities. The owners of this vehicle were kind enough to let the boys sit on it. We were terrified that they would somehow break or scratch it, but owners were calm as could be. Ed thought it was the best thing ever and we had to stop by again later for more admiration.
Iowa mascot Herky was part of the festivities, which was a major hit with our kids. There weren't a lot of other kids around when he first came out so they kind of had him as their personal playmate for a few minutes. They each had their hat "stolen" and traded lots of "fives" but they had to draw the line at giving Herky a stroller ride.

As if this weren't already great enough, Grandpa played a beanbag toss game and won this amazing firetruck. We try to remind Edward that Grandpa won it for BOTH boys, but sharing is not high on the priority list when this truck comes out to play. Luckily, Daniel is easily distracted with other trucks. This one has buttons to push for siren and other firetruck noises and a ladder that goes up and down. In this photo, you'll see Ed has hiked his shorts way up. He told John, "someone at church wears his pants like this." Ha! I have no idea who he's talking about--many potential contenders for this award, no surprise. It didn't take long for him to decide this was uncomfortable. And once again, shirtless, despite, as noted above, our recent mild weather.Another funny Ed story, may get lost in blog translation, but here's at least an attempt. Last Sunday we took a trip to Chariton to visit John's grandparents. We stopped in Knoxville (the next town north of Chariton) to pick up KFC for lunch--Grandpa's favorite. Ed noticed that there was also a Taco Bell sign on the store and asked if we were getting tacos. (Note: I'm not sure how he knows what Taco Bell is--I think maybe he's asked about it as we've driven by in Iowa City.) He's also recently been interested in "open/closed" signs on store windows. So apparently this fast food convergence was percolating all week because on Saturday morning he was playing with John and offered him some food. He got out a bookmark he made at our town's recent literary festival, held it up and announced, "Ed's Chicken Bell is open!!" He then proceeded to bring various toys and offer them for consumption. Then he turned the bookmark around and said, "Ed's Chicken Bell is closed!" This game has been repeated frequently and never ceases to amuse any of us.

Finally, I've been trying for weeks to capture Daniel's "jumping" and the second part of this video is about as close as I can get. He never actually leaves the floor, but he does it with such gusto! The first part of the video was cracking me up. He's played with this car a lot, but this was the first time he seemed not to understand that he was in control of its motion.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Here's a funny story to get us going and then we'll see how much of this I can complete before naptime ends. Last night we went out for dinner--a rare treat at our favorite local restaurant. It's a bar by night, but at 6 p.m on a summer Sunday, perfectly suitable for families. So we're sitting there enjoying some pre-meal popcorn and coloring on the kids' menu/placemats when I look up and notice that someone sitting at the bar directly across from me has some extremely low-riding shorts. I alert John's attention to this display, subtly I think, and it's kind of a loud place with music and TVs and such. Yet, immediately, Ed turns around to see what I've just pointed out and says, loudly, "Who's tighty whitey?"

When, oh when will I learn to keep my mouth shut? Luckily, the person in question either did not hear or chose to ignore the observation. Once again, I note that it is a fairly loud atmosphere, but that does not stop our young parrot. Hear it, see it, say it.

Our dinner was sort of a celebration of the return to good health (which of course we chose to toast with french fries, but who's counting.) Daniel was sick ALL of last week and it was both sad and frustrating. Actually, he'd sort of been sick for the last three weeks, with two weeks of diarrhea leading up to spiking a fever on Monday that did not break until Wednesday night. (The two ended up being unconnected, except for the possibility that the two-week GI bug weakened him, allowing another virus to settle in.) We spent Thursday waiting out the daycare's 24-hour rule (fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school) and thought he was fine to go back Friday. When we got there, I noticed his arms were a little red. I lifted his shirt and he had a rash all over his torso. So of course we had to leave. In the medical mindset, the rash (roseola) was actually a good thing, because it helped explain the fever from earlier in the week. In the mom mindset, how do I cope with an 18-month old who feels like crap for a whole week and doesn't understand why I'm not doing something to make him feel better?

(continued from Monday...)

I think he'll forgive me, but he's still a little dubious as I have been returning to the bedtime-only rule for pacifiers. They were a Godsend last week when comfort at all costs was key. He'll still throw them back in bed when he gets up, but he's learned to say "paci?" with a pleading pitifulness that is hard to resist.

Edward's latest trick is the recitation of the fable, "Three Billy Goats Gruff." This is our latest book on CD from the library, and it's quite a dramatic reading, which he imitates with gusto, shouting, "Who's that tramping across my bridge?!" I wonder what they think at school when this bursts out of nowhere. I hope the teachers are at least familiar with the tale. I'm actually a little annoyed with his teacher, who is leaving the position in two weeks to move to another part of the state and seems already to have checked out. I get that mindset. I've been there. But I think when you're responsible for the daily nurturing of 12 three-year-olds, you owe it to them to be fully present until the very end. Of course, I can't say anything. I just keep watching her countdown in Facebook status updates and think I'll probably be as glad as she is when it reaches zero. It's too bad, because I thought well of her before and have not had a negative experience with any other teacher in three-plus years at this daycare.

So by now you're thinking, "Enough with the writing and make with the pictures already!" We actually don't have many right now as the camera took a back seat to the thermometer and ibuprofen. But here are a few at our afternoon park excursion before the aforementioned celebration dinner. (Note: I just spent 20 minutes trying to get this photo to display right and Blogger keeps rotating it back to vertical. Sorry--you'll have to turn your head or open and rotate in your own photo program.)

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The last weekend in June, my family gathered in Chicago--all of us together for the first time in two years. All but John, who was in Minneapolis attending the annual conference for his newspaper association. If you think the word "Minneapolis" was ever used without air-quotes during our weekend together, you don't know the Geraghtys. John says he was sorry to miss it, but the conference was well worth the trip, as his paper won two national awards for coverage of last year's floods and the ongoing effects on area businesses. Woo hoo!

Since I was single parenting for the weekend, my pictures don't really chronicle the whole experience. (Though I must add that I was extremely fortunate to have so many helping hands available!) I think it's best to just leave it at "you had to be there" and let these pictures speak for themselves.

PopPop came to our room the first night to read goodnight stories for Ed, but Ed demanded Gram because he knows she never travels without books. She brought a new library selection about the beach and Ed made himself comfortable using PopPop as an armrest. She had barely finished the last page when PopPop's phone rang and it was Ann saying her girls were also in need of stories and kisses. Gram and PopPop's work is never done!Abby started the party with a bang and Joe was caught in the crossfire. Much hilarity (and a load of laundry) ensued.
We spent Saturday morning at a park carefully scouted by Aunt Nora. Plenty of equipment in all sizes, a sandpit, LOTS of shade (!) and several nearby food options for lunch. Props to Aunt Nora!Daniel is used to following Edward around and attempting to replicate all his physical feats, but this time he had yet another role model in cousin Sean, age 4. He saw Sean execute this swinging over the slide move and you could just watch his little mind immediately working out how to accomplish it. He did not end with a butt plop on the slide like Sean, but was quite pleased with himself and the swinging.Brothers holding up their end of the teeter-totter with cousins on the other end (and in the middle, I think.) This game later evolved into "mechanic," which was very fun until just after this video ends. The next time they got down to "fix" the truck, another kid immediately jumped on and started bouncing and Sean's finger was pinched. Ouch!

Now we skip ahead to the end of the weekend, when we retired to Gram and PopPop's with the Arizona contingent to play and have lunch while waiting for their airport departure. Daniel immediately found this helmet on the front porch and insisted on wearing it.

We stayed over until Monday, which was the plan all along, but also a necessity due to major sleep deprivation on my part. I could hardly stay awake until the 3 p.m. airport departure so there's no way I could have made the four-hour drive alone. We all took naps and then had an evening together. Monday morning Gram and I took the boys to the beach. It was a little chilly and Edward was not too pleased when he ended up on his butt while trying to fill a bucket. But he got over it and mostly spent the time digging. Daniel LOVED splashing along the shoreline and would venture out as far as I let him, undeterred by the chilly waters and breeze. Needless to say, it was tricky to get pictures of this as I was sure the camera would end up in the lake while I was lunging for Daniel.