Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer Fun!

We returned home last week from a wonderful Fourth-of-July visit with my grandma in Arkansas. It was a long drive and a short stay, but we were very glad we made the trip -- not only did we have a great time swimming, visiting the Marina, and reading on the back porch, but it meant a lot to my grandma, who lost my grandpa last April. Ever since we returned home, Madeline has been busy stuffing all her toys into Ziploc bags, muttering under her breath that she's "packing Elmo to go to grandma's." I learned that my grandma (Madeline's namesake, though she goes by Lynn) was actually named after her cousin, who was a Hollywood movie star in the 1940's! Glamorous, huh?

We've been staying very busy this summer, enjoying short visits to our neighborhood pool. Charlie is taking three naps a day, and because the times vary wildly from day to day, it's easier to plan activities and host playdates at home than to run around town. So Madeline's been climbing trees, running in the sprinkler and having fun with backyard art projects -- painting a bird house, finger painting and making Play-doh. She also loves to help around the house, especially with laundry! She helps sort clothes into colors, loads the washer one sock, shirt and dress at a time, then pours in the soap and -- her favorite part -- pushes the start button. One load of laundry takes us 30 minutes, but she makes chores fun. In fact, the other day she went up to her room, emptied her bottom dresser drawer of all her pajamas, and loaded them into the washing machine (dragging her stool into the laundry room so she could reach). We didn't even notice until we were putting her to bed that night and couldn't find any PJs. (Folding that load the next day was pretty funny too.) She even helps cook. This weekend, while she was stirring the waffle batter, she said, "Put an egg in it, Mommy!" and insisted that we add Goldfish crackers, ice cubes and bananas to the recipe (we passed on the first two).

Charlie's busy too! He wakes up happy, goes to sleep happy, and is happy in-between. He spends most of his waking hours with an open-mouth, gummy grin that lights up his entire face. But he's also serious -- quietly studying and imitating facial expressions. His strength is growing, and he's now able to bear all his weight on his legs, prop himself up on his elbows with ease, and turn his head smoothly towards sounds. We call him our Little Guy, but there's nothing little about him. He's 93rd and 94th percentile for height and weight. Just this morning, my girlfriend said she thinks he'll play football for the Illini! (I said linebacker but she thought quarterback).

Madeline and Charlie are pals. Most of the time, she dotes on "her Charlie," reading him stories, helping me change his diapers and bouncing him in his chair. Now that Charles is interested in toys, Madeline's trying so hard to share, but that's really hard for a two-year-old and some days are better than others. Whatever Charlie is playing with at the moment is usually the only toy that interests her. Naturally, as soon as we give Charlie something different to play with, that's the only toy she wants. Sharing is a sophisticated concept, like trying to teach a toddler algebra, so we try to be as patient with her as we can.

Hope you're all enjoying your July!


Mollie said...

They're growing so fast!!!!! I can't wait to see Charlies smile in a couple short weeks! Love, Mollie

The Brown Family said...

I LOVE hearing about what you guys are up to! Madeline and Cassie would have so much fun together - wish we could do weekly playdates. But Sept will be here soon!

Johanna said...

They are SO precious!!! Love the pics!

Chelsea said...

Sounds like you're having a wonderful summer. How nice to have a visit with your grandma. I'm sure it meant so much to her to spend that time with you and your family.