You scrub my back, I'll ignore you

July 26, 2008 on 10:28 pm | In The Boys | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

To back up just a bit, Billy is an imitator.  This is fun and new for us, since Ricky never was one to want to do what we were doing or eat what we are eating.  He has always been his own thinker and still very much is.  Billy won’t play the “repeat what I say game” but he loves to do what we do and eat what we eat.  He tries to help clean himself during diaper changes; he takes the spoon out of your hand if you try to feed him; he wants to eat whatever you are eating (or at least put it in his mouth and then spit it out when he realizes he doesn’t really want it); he tries to put his shoes on, brush his hair and teeth, dress himself.  The list could go on and on.

With that knowledge, tonight the boys were taking a bath together.  Billy almost immediately grabbed a bottle of soap, acted like he got some on his hands, and started rubbing Ricky’s back and head.  He’d rub a few times and then dip his hands in the water, get some more soap, and keep going.  He even attempted Ricky’s face.  Ricky, who was contentedly playing with his boats, just let Billy do whatever he wanted, pretty much ignoring the fact that his baby brother was even in the tub with him.   Even when Billy filled up a bucket and dumped it repeatedly on Ricky’s head, Ricky barely acknowledged him.

Ricky's Family Birthday Party

July 20, 2008 on 7:45 pm | In The Boys | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

Last Sunday we barbequed some very well done chicken and invited the fam over to celebrate Ricky’s birthday. By the way, no one mentioned how fun four can be! Tonight as he was getting tired, Ricky had a minor meltdown because it wasn’t his birthday again this week! I guess that means he liked the celebrating we did for his birthday.

Here is a glimpse of a moment of sharing. This doesn’t happen too often lately. The batcave has been taken away more than once because they couldn’t share.

Ricky had his yearly check-up at the doctor’s office and had to get some shots. He was mostly a big brave dog. I think he was looking for some sympathy here.

And here we have the cake. I admit, I cheat and do the cupcake thing. This time I even just used his own toys to decorate it. I had to get after him a little bit when I noticed him trying to take the stop sign off and replace it with one that said go!

Ricky loved his presents! He has gotten the unwrapping down and usually remembers to say his thank yous.

I’m not sure which he liked better, getting presents or all the attention he was getting from everyone. He adores his uncles. Here he is with Uncle Tony and Billy. Billy wasn’t quite sure about this double hug action.

Uncle Tim, bless his heart, gave Ricky some Incredible Hulk hands. When you hit something with them, they make all sorts of fighting noises. Ricky thinks they are great and immediately knew what to do with them!

Billy caught on pretty fast, too!

And I guess we only video taped it, but Uncle Tim also gave Billy his birthday present (only a little late) which was a toy lawn mower. It was fun watching the boys attempt to share the presents. Billy kept swiping the boxing hands and Ricky kept taking over the lawn mower. Billy, ever patient, would just follow Ricky around the yard waiting for his chance to get his own toy back!

Billy’s favorite part of the day were the miniature cupcakes.  I don’t even know how many he had between what he swiped and those that he whined for and was given by his loved ones.  He wore them well.

ABC Food

July 18, 2008 on 7:05 pm | In The Boys | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

Billy is a much, not necessarily better, but more interested eater than Ricky has ever been.  If he sees you eating it–he wants it.  Especially M&Ms.  He knows where Grandmama keeps her M&Ms and he’ll go to that shelf and point and grunt for us to give him one or two.  He will usually try most foods, but sometimes he doesn’t EAT them right away.  He will give it a chew or two, take it out, give it a look, and often set it down on his highchair tray while he moves on to something else.  The, um, fun part is that Billy usually goes back to that somewhat chewed food later.  It is disgusting, but he eats!  Tonight we had pizza and apples and Billy stuffed an apple slice in his mouth, decided he’s had enough of it, took it out, then had a bite or two of pizza.  When he was done with the pizza, did he pick up the fresh apple slice on his plate?  Nope, he grabbed that already been chewed chunk and finished the job on it.   I don’t understand it.  I couldn’t do it.  But I won’t complain about the fact that he eats, even if it is an odd method he chooses.

Summer Trip 2008, Part 3, The Final Crusade

July 14, 2008 on 7:27 pm | In The Boys | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

We didn’t do much exciting that final Saturday we were there. We did start getting ready to come home! Then we headed out Sunday morning. Our first stop was at one of the Mount St. Helen’s visitors’ centers. I believe it was called the Forest Learning Center. They had a great little museum/hands-on-learning part as well as what we were told was a great view of Mt. St. Helen’s. We wouldn’t know about that part–it was cloudy and wet that morning and we couldn’t see much at all.

They had a model of the whole Mount St. Helens area with a logger train running through it that the boys really liked watching. This was also where they could sit inside a helicopter and pretend to soar above the volcano.

Then Ricky got booted out so some adult man could have a turn. Geez! (Yep, that’s Kevin!)

This place also had a playground. We hung out a while letting the boys play hoping that the sky would clear, but it never did.

This slide came out of a volcano and Ricky thought it was really cool!

This is what we should have seen, if the clouds had cleared.

When we finally gave up on seeing the volcano, we drove on and had to stop at this small street side tourist trap. But who wouldn’t want their picture taken next to a huge statue of Bigfoot?!

Ricky saw that Bigfoot really does have big feet!

Then we went on to Portland where we visited with my cousin Sarah and her husband John at Mt. Tudor Park where they were spending the afternoon skateboarding with friends for John’s birthday. The boys had a lot of fun riding on the long boards. We left our camera in the car–bummer, because they were awfully cute!

After Portland we stopped at Multnomah Falls, due to Sarah’s suggestion. It was a really pretty waterfall right off the freeway. Billy thinks water and especially waterfalls are really exciting and gets very smiley and talkative when we get close by. Then he holds his breath as the spray gets him in the face.

People all around us were eating this yummy looking ice cream cones, so we gave in and got a couple. The boys LOVED that even more than the waterfall! Go figure!

We were tired that night and only made it as far as The Dalles, Oregon before bedding down for the night. Monday we were on our way with a lot of road to cover. We stopped several times and tried to find parks for the boys to get some exercise. In La Grande, Oregon we found a beautiful one to each lunch at. The community had all chipped in and it had a huge playground. Ricky made a little friend and as we were leaving I told him to say b-bye to his friend, so he said, “B-bye, friend.” The little boy said, “My name is Cameron” and Ricky said, “Okay. B-bye, Cameron.” Then he was sad in the car that he had to say good-bye to his friend. He’s so sweet.

Speaking of sweet, I guess if you don’t give your child enough treats while driving, they have to lick the salt and sugar off their treat bowl . . .

And when both boys finally fell asleep, we were very thankful. It just didn’t last long enough!

We finally made it home about 10 or 10:30 that night. As tired as the boys were, they were so excited to see their toys that they had to play for a while before we could even think about putting them to bed. And our cats–they were thankful to have warm bodies to sleep on that night!

It was a wonderful vacation and we saw so many interesting and fun things. But if you asked me today, next time we’ll fly!!

Summer Trip 2008, Part 2

July 13, 2008 on 9:56 pm | In The Boys | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

Tuesday, July 1 we went to the beautiful home that Kevin’s dad rented for the reunion. It was huge! Marble floors, granite counters, an amazing view. We lucked out and got the mother-in-law’s suite. We had a nice bedroom with an adjoining bathroom which we shared only with Aunt Wendi, and there was also a kitchenette and living area that the boys used as a playroom. It was really ideal.

Here’s the house and you can get a feel of the view we had.

Here are all the grandsons eating around the bar.

On Wednesday, we went exploring. We drove around the canal to a town called Hoodsport and then up to a dam that made Lake Cushman. It was beautiful. I’ve taught Ricky a song about 3 little fishies that swim in a dam and he thought it was great to actually see a dam and look for the 3 little fishies.

We were the only ones on this quaint lake. The boys had a great time wading and throwing rocks. We left the swimming suits in the van–sorry for the semi-nudity!

I guess Billy is saving rocks for later . . .

This sign was posted at the lake and we thought it fit Ricky’s shirt perfectly.

Here’s Kevin with the boys and his folks in front of the vacation house.

That night we packed a couple hundred hygiene kits for a humanitarian project. The next day was Thursday and started with an awesome thunderstorm. The house just shook with the thunder and lightning flashed. It really was exciting, but a bit scary for those of us not fond of thunder.

Once the storm cleared, Kevin and I went to the nearby marina and rented a couple of kayaks. I don’t have pictures from that yet (we used a waterproof disposable camera) but it was perhaps my favorite part of the whole trip. We paddled around the canal, floated within 10 feet of bald and golden eagles, enjoyed the serenity of being the only people on the water, and it wasn’t a hard paddle at all (which I was a bit worried about). We would have loved to stay out longer, but it was getting close to dinner time and Billy hadn’t been too thrilled about us leaving him in the care of Aunt Wendi. Kevin’s dad was waiting at the marina when we came in and got a couple of pictures for us.

That night there was a family talent show. Billy was already in bed before it began, so we performed with just Kevin, Aunt Wendi, Ricky, and I. I brought my Boomwhacker tubes (they are each a tube that plays the sound of one note when struck) and we performed a few songs. The easiest place for me to help Ricky strike with his tube was his head, so there were a few jokes about child abuse while we played.

Afterwards music was played and the kids danced around. Ricky was getting tired and silly. For some reason his shirt was a great place to store this ball and this is the way he chose to smile at me.

Friday was the Fourth of July. We went back to that little town of Hoodsport (think one room doctor’s office in a trailer) for their street fair. They were the friendliest people and I’m not sure they see a lot of children. Everyone commented on how cute our boys were (and, well, they are) and most everyone was walking a dog. One woman asked us if the boys were twins! It was fun to stroll around looking and then we got shakes at the local ice cream joint. The boys had to share a shake, but we let them each have their own straw!

With so few kids around, Ricky had the firefighters’ bounce house to himself.

Billy looked cute chilling as we drove back to the vacation house.

Kevin’s grandparents came up that afternoon so we had some family pictures taken. Here they are with their great-grandchildren. Billy and Jackson weren’t so keen on standing alone or letting anyone hold them, so their dads are holding them up in the background.

And to end this lengthy travel log, part 2, here we all are. Don’t we look patriotic?

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