Monday, July 26, 2010


On a very warm Friday, Mimi & Poppop took the cousins to the Washington National Zoo. We had an amazing time together experiencing the wonders of God's creation: the colors, the behaviors, the details, the relationships (lots of babies!)...

Attempting to "chill out" during these unbearably hot summer days. We have spent a good deal of time in the air conditioning the past couple weeks. Really, the kids didn't even WANT to be outside which was A-OK with me!

Here we are less than a week from our Toby-boy’s 2nd birthday. His life is cherished and we love him dearly. His personality has certainly blossomed over the past year, particularly as his vocabulary has expanded. So what is this kid up to?

• Passionately playing with trains and trucks: lining them, connecting them, chugging them around the track, making “tunnels” for them, driving them on various body parts (faces, legs, arms…). He also insists on being read a “train book” in which his favorite parts are the “engine” “brown one” and “cars” (on a car carrier).
So serious...

• Distinguishing and describing. Instead of saying, “oooo, big truck!” It’s now, “It’s a mixer. I see a bulldozer. It’s a scoop. It’s a dump truck. It’s MY backhoe!” And “It’s a blue train. There is an ornange (orange) engine.”

• Developing “pretend” play. The other day I overheard him playing by himself making two trains talk to one another: “Hello Uncle John” “Hello Aunt Leslie” “How are you doing today, Maam?”… He’ll also join his sister in setting a table and filling plates with pretend food. Toby is also game for a good old fashioned dress-up session.

(the redeeming factors in these photos: hard hat and truck-in-hand. ;)

• Becoming a bully. Just last week he started pushing and hitting other children in the church nursery. And his poor cousin, Ally got shoved around on her recent visit too. He’s also throwing toys. Hard. At people. He’s spent quite a bit of time in “time out” – over and over again.
• Counting. “one, two, three, five, six…” Never, ever says “four”. ;)
• Taking his role as “annoying” younger brother. The other night at dinner, as he sat directly across from Lydia, he looked at her and declared in a mocking tone, “My plate is BIGGER.” Of course this started a match of who can say, “no, my plate is bigger!” the loudest.
• Using past tense with surprising accuracy. “I found it.” “I got it.”
• Climbing out of his crib. He has done it a few times, particularly when he's angry (that I put him there for "time out"). I suppose a "big boy bed" is in his future (and ours!)

Lydia has had quite the adventures the past month. Becoming a “big girl” has opened a whole new world of possibilities. She enjoyed two Bible schools. It's awesome to hear her enthusiastically sing the songs that speak God's Word and His Truth.

And a week of evening “Princess Dance Camp.” She enjoyed dressing up, hearing stories, doing crafts, and flitting around. Her little show at the conclusion of the week was so cute. As one of the youngest, she hung right in there.

I’ve also been waking her from her nap around 3pm so we can have some quiet “lesson” time. We read books, do activities or crafts, and practice writing. She has really flourished during these times, taking them quite seriously with unprecedented focus. I’m so thankful she’s finally willing to and excited about learning with me!

Speaking of learning, Mark is trudging through his summer course. We're (I say "we" because it does impact our whole family...) more than 1/2 way there - wooo hoooo!

Here's to keeping cool!