Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Part 2

We returned to Cox Farms this year for massive slides, delicious apple cider, animals and a fun hayride. We went last year, too, and it was fun to see how much we've changed in the past year. Last year, Elliot couldn't walk. This year, he was climbing hills, going down slides independently, and telling me all about it. The biggest slide was both of their favorites. I loved snuggling them on the hayride.
 My dad came into town for business again, and I neglected to take any decent pictures again. But we had fun going on walks, reading books, and riding the mall carousel (a fine tradition).

I took the kids to the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, which we've done three of the past four years. Um, this was the worst go of it. It was crazy foggy until noon (but it did clear up for spectacular views later in the day), and the kids spent most of our time outdoors crying hysterically about the gnats. Ugh. At least they liked the visitor center, and when I finally stopped forcing them to picnic and hike, the views from the car were lovely when we drove around. You win some, you lose some.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall, part 1

DC life is expensive. Sometimes I find myself surfing Zillow and realizing how much lower my mortgage would be in, say, Tulsa, Oklahoma. But then fall comes, and I feel like I can never leave. Let me tell you, the east coast knows how to do fall. The trees are gorgeous and the fun is plentiful.

I'm going to break our fall activities over a few posts so I don't bore you too badly in one shot. 

The season kicked off with my favorite DC event, the National Book Festival. This year, I saw John Green, Walter Dean Myers, Lois Lowry, Tayari Jones, Geraldine Brooks, and Sandra Cisneros. I always leave the festival with dozens of ideas floating around my head, and feeling reaffirmed of the power of reading. And maybe a little bit depressed that there are so many wonderful books in the world that I will never have time to read (why yes, I am aware I'm weird). This time around, I'm thinking about the author/reader relationship, and the role of parenthood in writing. I can pretend that someday my thoughts will become a fully formed blog post.

 I took the kids apple picking. My shots of the actual apple picking sucked, but here is Emily ready to dig into the delicious apple pie I made with some of my apples. We're going back tomorrow.
 I tried the General Conference activity bag idea that is ubiquitous on pinterest (stick treats or activities in bags with different prophet/apostle/auxiliaries on it, and the kids get it when it is their turn to speak), and let me tell you: Best. General. Conference. Ever. I usually end the weekend pissed off that I spent eight hours in front of the TV without actually hearing anything the speakers said because my crazy children insist on singing loudly to themselves right in front of the TV. This time around, I heard TONS. The kids LOVED their bags and did their activities as quietly as you can expect a 1 and 3 year old to do them. For several days in a row after conference ended, Emily requested watching general conference again so she could do more activities

And, of course, raking leaves is always fun.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Elliot now

Wow, it is a lot harder to blog now that Emily's nap has disappeared. Sorry about the month-long wait. I'll hopefully cover some of our fall fun, but I wanted to do an update on Elliot's activities as well.

Elliot's most notable accomplishment is his talking. Holy cow, he is a good talker. He's doing most of the 3 year old milestones, and he isn't even two yet. Emily hit all her verbal milestones late, so it is a big difference, and I'm loving it. I know so much more about what is going on in his head than I did last go around, and it helps me know him and his needs better. I love when he just walks up to me and spontaneously declares, "mean spiderman take pizza away!" or that he can tell me why he's crying. He can play imaginative games, and it is fun to see what he comes up with. 

Elliot loves all things domestic. He loves to help me cook, unload the dishwasher, change the laundry, and especially wipe things down. I can entertain him for a long time at the doctor's office by handing him a kleenex and telling him to wipe down the chairs. But he gets his manly side in, too. He adores spiderman and dinosaurs, and he seems to prefer playing with little boys. 

As always, he loves being included. When it's my week for teaching or co-teaching preschool, he is in paradise getting to do what the big kids do. When Emily or other big kids come up with quirky games, he's very serious about trying to do what they are doing. He does love to color on his own, but I think any other crafty thing he does is just so he can do what the big kids are doing.