Archive for July, 2008

Birthday Day

Ben has wanted to ride a bus for a long time, so on Monday, his birthday, he and Timothy and I took a bus trip into Langley. He was cute. Looking around in wonder, asking what everything was for, and thoroughly enjoying himself.

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We went to the thrift store (he loves playing in the toy area), the library, and then we got ice cream cones. Cones are a newly discovered treat for him, usually we’ve just done bowls. He manages pretty well really, not too messy.

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Timothy, on the other hand, does not quite grasp the purpose of the cone. Yes, there are bites out of the side of it and he’s trying to eat the bottom.

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Then we went for a walk on the beach in town.

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Looks beautiful, huh? Idyllic, even?

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Yeah. What you can’t see is that that sand sinks. When you step on it.

It wasn’t quite so dramatic for the boys, being lighter than me, but when they started getting too far out there towards the water and I had to go after them for peace of mind, I started sinking up to my knees in the sand. My knees.

At that point, I got a little freaked out and we left. Got up into town and sat down to read library books for a few minutes while mama’s heart calmed down, then went to buy new balloons to replace some that flew away at the birthday party.

Then we went home (Daddy picked us up, I wasn’t quite willing to ride the bus home too, what with balloons and library books and other errands, and a once-every-two-hours schedule) and he got his choice of dinner — curry. Because with curry comes raita, and raita is really yogurt, and the boy could eat yogurt for every meal if it was allowed.

I think it was a good birthday.

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Birthday Boy

In Birthday Crown, sunglasses and velvet cape.

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Looks like he’s up to something, doesn’t he?

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But no, not our Ben. Never. Innocent, he is.

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Are you convinced?

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Four

Today, Ben turns four years old. What a wonderful kid he is!

The day he was born:

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One:

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Two:

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Three:

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And today, at four:

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Happy Birthday, kiddo!! We love you.

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Daredevil

We were at the park today with a group of friends. Lots of chatting and catching up. I looked up at one point to see Timothy going down the curly slide all on his own! And then, he repeatedly climbed up some stairs and went down this big slide alone too!

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Over and over and looking so proud of himself.

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When did he get so big?

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And There Was Music…

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Window Washers

I have a couple of child laborers around here. But rather than forcing them to work, sometimes it’s hard to get them to stop!

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But, you know, little boys, summer, basin of soapy water….. it’s a recipe for fun.

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Today Ben mopped my kitchen floor. All by himself. Last time I tried to do it, there were three of us fighting over the mop: me, because I wanted to “do it right”; Ben, because he wanted a turn; and Timothy, because if Ben wanted a turn, it must be good. This time, I gave Ben his turn first while I did something else, and before I knew it, he’d finished the whole thing! The floor might not be perfect, but it’s better than it was when I was avoiding cleaning it so I didn’t have to fight over the mop. And he didn’t flood the place, so that’s a bonus!

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Summer Festival

Yesterday we spent the day at Choochokam, our local town’s summer festival of the arts. It was sunny and hot, busy but not unpleasantly crowded. We bumped into lots of people we know, watched the Island Strings performance (kids on violins, mostly; the same group who ran the camp Ben did last week) and other music, got coffee, got strawberry and chocolate crêpes, had pizza for dinner, and hung out for part of the Saturday night street dance. The first band (a reggae band) was too loud, so we went down to the beach where we could hear it from a distance.

The boys at around 7pm on Saturday:

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The second band was much more fun, the kids loved it, we danced and laughed and ran around. It was after 8pm before the tired’n’crankies hit and we had to go home.

On the way home, Eric said something about the reggae band. Ben wanted to know what the “oregano people” looked like. 🙂

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Water Park Adventures

Ben loved it. Timothy was not so sure.

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Ben loved floating around the Lazy River on a double inner tube with Eric. Looks like quite the regal ride, huh?

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Timothy was… OK about it as long as he was on me and we didn’t get caught in the wave pool (which we did) and we didn’t get dripped on (which we also did). See that cave in the picture above of Eric and Ben? Dripping, all along the cave wall, a good half of the width of the river. A fan of the dripping, he was not.

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These huge green tubes below? Waterslides. Outside the building. Which you go down in those same inner tubes you use in the Lazy River. They start and end inside the waterpark and they’re totally enclosed and comfortable. They’re really swirly and wet, but not too fast. Ben’s reaction to his first go (on a double tube with Dad again): “That was FUN.”


Above photo is from the website of the Radisson Hotel, attached to the Waterpark, since I neglected to take any of the outside myself and trying to describe this without a picture is… not as easy. Oooh! They also have a picture of inside the slide!

And this watery blur is Eric landing back inside in the pool at the bottom of the slide. Despite the fun verdict and numerous pleas from mama-with-a-camera, Ben refused to go one more time for a photo.

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This picture is some totally random dude, not Eric, but Eric did try this. Boogie boarding — surfing on your stomach with a half-length board while the water is pushing you uphill, a bunch of people are standing watching, and you’re trying to retain your balance and dignity. (Dignity which most of them lost as soon as they stood up and had to hitch their shorts back up.)

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It was fun. We basically spent as many hours as we could there, given our one night stay and the opening hours of the park. If we ever have a need to spend a night in or near Minneapolis again, I’m pretty sure I know where we’ll stay….

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Fiddle Sticks

Ben has been fascinated with the violin for a while. Every time we visit some friends who have child-sized violins at their house, he wants to play with them. At home, since we didn’t have a child-sized violin, he made do with some sticks from the yard.

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He would “play” the sticks and sing Twinkle Twinkle. Pretty cute.

These are old photos, from a few months ago. We do now have in our possession a rented violin, and this coming week, Ben will be participating in a Suzuki method violin camp at Greenbank. For his age group, the camp is just one 45 minute lesson each day, which Timothy and I will attend as well, followed by a picnic lunch with various activities and recitals by older students. It should be an interesting experience, at least, and perhaps give us an indication of whether this is something he wants to pursue a little more.

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The Drive to Minneapolis

Some photos from the day we drove from Iowa to Minneapolis. It was about a 4 – 5 hour drive.

We saw a LOT of these windmills at a few spots on the drive. Hundreds. And lots of farms like this — a house, a new barn, an old barn, and a grain silo. Most of them have some shade trees around the house, though.

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The boys looking grumpy. And one looking sleepy.

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The boys holding hands. Awwwww!

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Running around and swinging at the park in Mason City, where we stopped to have lunch and stretch our legs.

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Daddy trying to teach Ben by example how to swing by himself.

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And finally, we ended up at our hotel, and there were these awesome beds that the kids were really excited about!

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