Tuesday, July 21, 2015


We spent the week before the 4th of July at my parents' house. Uncle Robby and Aunt Andri were visiting from England, and we spent a lot of time eating, drinking and talking. We all piled in the minivan to visit my grandma, who lives north of Milwaukee. I had a happy hour with old friends from work. We also participated in the normal small town 4th of July activities: parade, pool, beer tent, fireworks, cookouts. Ben came in first in the 10K race on the morning of the 4th. It was such a nice week.


I think I mentioned that Clare had her first sleepover a few weeks ago. The best part, though, was when she came home. Christopher ran to the door, screaming Clare's name. He then proceeded to practically knock her over while giving her an enormous hug. Ever since then, he has been giving her a hug every morning.


Just because I like to keep track: at Clare's 4-year well-child appointment on June 8 she was 40 inches tall (67th percentile) and 35 pounds (53rd percentile.)


We went on a camping trip with friends Father's Day weekend. It was fun, except Christopher was a little under the weather, so he was SUPER crabby. It rained Saturday morning, and we all sat around the campfire in our ponchos and raincoats. Christopher walked over, hood over his head, and looked at each one of us in disgust and stalked off.  And Clare ate a cashew and had an allergic reaction. It was pretty scary, actually. She has an appointment with an allergist soon, and until then she is officially Clare No Nuts. Other than that, Clare had fun playing with her friends and I had fun drinking beer and eating delicious chili mac. (We all put homemade chili on top of the kids' leftover mac and cheese. It sounds disgusting, but it was divine.) We are planning to make it an annual tradition, and hope that next year there will be fewer ticks.
This picture sums up the trip.


We've been spending a lot of time picnicking at the park with friends. That is one of my favorite things to do in the summer. Christopher usually ends up stepping in or eating someone else's food, but there is just something so nice about eating outside. (And not having to clean up my house afterward.)


My mom came back with me following the 4th, and stayed for a week. It was nice for me because I had help with the kids, especially Josie. The most adventurous thing we did was walk across the Stone Arch Bridge, but low key was fine with me. My dad joined us at the end of the week. Christopher has gotten very used to having Baba around. He has asked for him every morning since then.


We went to the annual family gathering at Ben's uncle's cabin, north of Hinckley. We just stayed for the day, because we were reluctant to camp in case Crabby Christopher made a reappearance. It was such a nice day. Clare played in the lake for hours. Christopher worked up the nerve to wade in after watching Clare for an hour or two. We went out on the boat, and I floated in the lake, one of my favorite summer activities. There was beer and grilled hamburgers. A perfect summer day.


Of course, I've taken a picture or three.

Fresh, squeaky cheese curds at the Dane County Farmer's Market.

In the Capitol building in Madison.

Smoothie time with Aunt Katie and Josie.

Exploring in the woods at my parents' house.

Reading with Uncle Robby.

They were just slightly excited to see Daddy after a few days away. I wasn't there, but apparently lots of shrieking was involved. 

Carousel selfie at Ella's Deli in Madison.

Hanging out at the Evansville 4th of July.

At the parade.

Clare did much better this year. She was only cowering in my lap for half the parade. Christopher loved it all.

Clare and Meema Jo made a flag cake. It was very festive. And delicious.

Studying the Mississippi River.

Summer fun with dinosaur sprinkler.

Flying high on the bungy jump at Highland Fest.

Clare running the 1K kids race at Highland Fest. There were about 40 kids in the race, and Clare came in somewhere in the middle. She did great job. She ran the whole way. She's already asking when the next race is. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

21 Months

When Christopher wakes up from his nap, he calls for me. I go into his room, where I usually find him snuggling with his favorite blanket. He is only partially awake. He wraps his arms around my neck, and rests his head on my shoulder. We go downstairs and sit on the couch. Christopher presses his cheek against mine, cuddled up against me. We sit that way for, oh, 20 minutes. If not longer. Every day. I just love our post-nap time together.

Christopher has started saying "yeah" and "uh-uh." He has added a few other words to his list as well: diaper, water, flower, cow, moo, Baba (what we call the kids' grandpas), and baby.

He is so sweet with his cousin, who he has started calling Jo-Jo. He touches her very gently, and always rushes to greet her when she arrives. In fact, in the morning he typically asks me two questions when he first wakes up. "Clare?" "Jo-Jo?"

He does an impersonation of Cookie Monster. It is the best thing ever. He says "Cookie-o" and then "nom nom nom" while fluttering his fingers across his lips. Clare always loved Elmo, but Christopher is solidly a Cookie Monster man.

He knows when he has gone to the bathroom. It is helpful that he can tell us, but he can be inconsistent about it.

We were at my parents' house for the 4th of July. He had an absolute blast, but for some reason was terrified of the bathtub there. Luckily, he seems fine now that we are back at home. Also, my mom hired a photographer to take some family pictures, and of course Christopher decided he was not going to cooperate. He will cry the whole time, thank you very much. It is especially frustrating since he is normally so happy. All well. I guess you showed us, Christopher. You are your own person. I am just glad you are normally so cheerful and sweet.