Sunday, September 30, 2012

Children in the Corn, or Why My Children Had Corn in their Diapers

On Saturday, I took my boys to Heap's Giant Pumpkin Farm in Minooka. The last few years, we've visited my friend out in Iowa and gone to a farm with a real corn pool.  This year, I've decided to visit as many local fall festivals and farms as we can find (and afford). Greg works on Saturdays, so it was just Nick and Henry and me. There wasn't a corn pool, per se, but this system of tunnels and corn bins was pretty awesome, just the same.

Nick found a friend to play with in the corn, and he kept photobombing all of my pictures. He's quite a cutie. Henry kept diving into the corn and laughing uproariously.

Both of my children were covered in dust and hay by the time we left. I still found corn in Henry's diaper this morning. I have no idea where it keeps coming from.

Tomorrow I'll write more about Heap's Giant Pumpkin Farm, which we really liked. For today, here are some more moments of corn joyousness. These videos make me smile.

Nick wanted to know when he could go back to the corn. If I had a bin of corn in my backyard, I could entertain my children for hours.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Photo Shoot by Nicholas

Lately, Nick's been begging me everyday to borrow the camera. Since it's a free way to entertain him, I have been using the camera as a reward. Nick has an interesting perspective.

Henry is a frequent subject, since he follows Nick around all day. I told Nick that the above picture was an excellent one of his brother. The next one, not so much. (Though I didn't tell Nick that. I called it "interesting," I believe.)

Henry was pushing his lawn mower across the kitchen, and Nick kicked it. Photographic evidence, indeed.

Speaking of photographic evidence, here's some of Greg doing laundry. Yup. My husband does laundry, too. I don't believe Nick told him he was going to take his picture, judging by the look on Greg's face.

Nick figured out how to take a picture of himself. He has a rather pensive look on his face, I think.

This is a pile of toys. Obviously. This is Henry, and our front door.

Lest you think that Nick runs around randomly snapping pictures, I should tell you that he put a lot of thought into each shot. He loved looking at the pictures later and telling me about each one, from the perspective of a three-year-old.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Smoothies, Steak, and Streamers

A few weeks ago, we had a special, albeit belated, birthday dinner for Nick and Henry's Grandma Patty.

Auntie Mandy decorated with balloons and streamers, which Henry loved.

She let Nick borrow her fancy DSLR camera, and he discovered a new hobby.

Greg made homemade Italian bread and fancy steaks. He even made homemade potatoes au gratin. Grandma Patty and Grandpa Mike's friend Sandy came, and the boys entertained her with their toys and antics.

Auntie Mandy made smoothies. Nick played with her hair.

I think Grandma Patty had a pretty good birthday dinner.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Toy Vehicular Crashes and Uncontrollable Giggling

Chasing, giggling, yelling, pushing, tickling: those are just a few of the verbs that can describe my sons when they are playing together. Henry wants to do everything that Nick does, and Nick is often bored enough to be okay with that.

Henry is wearing a little fabric basket that came with the IKEA food the bunny brought Nick for Easter. He keeps putting it on his head. I'm not sure why, but it's pretty cute. 

Nick has taught Henry how to play with cars "appropriately." That is, if you think playing "appropriately" means rolling cars on the floor until they smash together, then laughing uproariously. Nick's definition of road safety does not meet those defined by IDOT or any other official organization.

Entertaining they may be, but I fear the day when they start learning to drive something bigger than these little toy cars.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Henry's 15-month Dr. visit. . . as photographed by Nick

On Tuesday, we took Henry in for his 15-month checkup and shots. Nick is notoriously difficult when we have to wait, so I gave him the camera and let him take pictures. Clicking away on our little Nikon, Nick has given us a photographic record of Henry's appointment. Here's Henry, walking around in his skivvies per doctor's orders.

Nick's view of his daddy is below. This picture was taken right before Nick dropped the camera. It was fine. Greg wasn't thrilled about Nick taking eighty-seven pictures in fifteen minutes. Our pediatrician thought it was an excellent distraction technique, though, and gave me a thumbs-up for using it.

She even posed for a picture. Our doctor is a good sport.

Henry now weighs 22 pounds, 3 ounces. That means he's in the 17th percentile. I'm surprised at that, because he can pack it away at mealtime.

Henry is 30.7 inches long, which sets him at the 35th percentile. He demonstrated his running, climbing, babbling, and throwing abilities to the doctor. Henry does not, however, speak at all, so I'm going to have to call for a language assessment. The rule is that you should assess if a child does not have five words by fifteen months. Henry has, at various points, babbled mama, dada, and uh-oh, though not always in the correct context. Uh-oh is usually spot-on, however. He usually says it right before (or right after) he has chucked something on the floor.

Henry examining his belly button. It is a pretty cute belly button, I have to say.

Below you can see Greg cleaning up the milk that spilled when Henry flung his cup onto the floor. Uh-oh, indeed. Incidentally, the doctor didn't seem very concerned by Henry's lack of verbosity, especially considering that Nick was a late talker, too. I will call regardless for the speech/language screening.

I found this picture quite interesting. The doctor had me put my leg over Henry's leg, so that he wouldn't squirm while he got all those shots in his thighs. Poor baby thighs. Nick did a great job taking the picture, though. He got the nurse's hand, needle ready to strike, and the contrast between my big feet and Henry's teeny ones.

This picture was taken right after a shot. It is out of focus, but you can see the devastated look on Henry's face.  I can tell you that I would never take a photo of my child right as they get a shot. Nick, though, snapped pictures throughout this doctor's visit.

He calmed down pretty quickly, though. Henry was a very good boy, and he doesn't go back to the doctor until he is 18 months old.

Here's the only photo I took: one of our photographer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Henry's Cooking Up Something Inedible!

Henry is seriously "into" pots lately. The lidded variety are his preference, though he'll take any pot he can steal. (I sincerely hope that the latter part of the previous sentence is never said about my son in any other context.)

The other day he played quietly for a full half-hour with just one pot. I let him. What's one more pot to clean when compared with a happy, relatively silent child? Ahh, but what, do you ask, did Henry put in his pot?

Blocks. Wooden blocks.

Will Henry like cooking as much as Nick does? That remains to be seen. But for now, Henry's great at cooking up a nice pot of blocks.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Stroll in the Woods

I took the boys out to the forest preserve today for a little walk. We sat and had a snack outside the dog park and watched the dogs run around. Then we went back to the car for the stroller and I realized something. Greg had the stroller in the minivan. So Henry walked.

The thing about walking with little kids is that they don't necessarily like to walk in the same direction. Nick was pretty good about following the trail, but he moves at a run. He stops just before he loses sight of me, then turns around and gives me an impatient look.

Henry, on the other hand, likes to dawdle. To be fair, his baby legs make him move rather slowly. Henry does not move in a straight line, though, and he stops every three feet or so to pick something up or point at something. Today, he would point in a different direction than our chosen path, then baby-run in that direction. I got plenty of exercise chasing him.

Over a little more than an hour, we walked probably a mile or so. I had to carry Henry some of the time, though, because of his tired little baby legs. Henry has started this annoying habit lately: he reaches around my arm and pinches the flab under my arm while I'm carrying him. It hurts dreadfully, but he thinks it is funny.  he was grinning when I started to take this picture, but by the time I snapped it, he had this cross look on his Henry face.

Nick adores being outside, and I let him chose which path we would take. The only problem was that I kept getting distracted by Henry leaving, and pretty soon I lost track of where we were. We stopped at this big tree so I could download a compass app on my phone.

I figured out where north was, but that didn't really help me once I realized that I didn't know which direction I wanted to point. I was guessing either northwest or west. Thankfully I didn't have to rely on my phone, because right about then a nice couple walked by and I was able to ask for help. I'm trying to teach Nick that it's okay to ask for directions. Hopefully he'll be an enlightened male when he grows up. They told me which direction to go, and we returned safely to the car.

Nick says he wants to go to the forest again soon, and take a different path. I'm going to get a map first.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fun with Boxes

A few weeks ago, we had to buy Henry new car seats. He outgrew the infant car seat that fits into the bases in our cars, and although he was well within the weight limit, he was kind of squished. This meant purchasing three new convertible car seats: one for me, one for Greg, and one for Grandma Toni.

Henry seemed to like his new car seats, but what he really liked were the boxes. He spent hours climbing on, under, and inside them. Nick played with him, and they created much chaos with the boxes.

Nick has a fear of heights, but Henry has no such fears, at least as far as we can tell. I snapped this picture as I was rushing to spot him. He never did fall, though.

Nick kept encouraging him to climb in and on the boxes. 

I love how my kids are more entertained by packaging material than they ever are by real toys.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Septemberfest 2012

One of the things we love about Labor Day weekend (besides the extra day off, of course) is going up to Schaumburg for Septemberfest.

We went last year, though Henry was too little to do anything but watch. We also went in 2009, when Nick was a baby. This time was exciting for all involved, especially those under age 4. Henry got to ride on Grandpa Ray's shoulders.

Nick? Well, he got to drive a truck. He would have stayed on the truck all day, if we had let him.

There are two really awesome things about carnivals. Funnel cakes and cotton candy. Yum.

Henry appreciated the sugary goodness. You would be surprised at the mess one baby can make with a funnel cake and some blue cotton candy. Or maybe you wouldn't.

Nick also wanted to go on the giant tiger slide. He climbed up and looked down at us from the top. Grandma Toni and I had our cameras ready, and then. . . he wouldn't move. The attendant had to go up and rescue him. "I'm afraid of heights," said Nick. Yup. We already knew that, but he had been determined to go on that slide. Oh, well. At least he tried. I don't like heights, either, and I think it's a pretty good instinctive fear to have.

Lest you think Henry was left out of the fun, check out this picture of him with his Aunt Sarah on the carousel.

We were quite the crowd at Septemberfest: Grandma Toni, Aunt Sarah, Grandma Linda and Grandpa Ray, G.G., Nick, Henry, Greg, and me, of course.

The boys also went on the Ferris wheel with Grandma Linda and Grandpa Ray.

The Ferris Wheel wasn't scary enough for Nick, so he wanted to ride the kiddie roller coaster. He liked it a lot, though his expression after the first big dip was priceless. Then, he just started grinning.

After a day like this, Nick asks me, "So what are we going to do tomorrow, Mommy?" My answer is never as cool as going to the carnival. . . or going to G.G.'s house afterward for cake.

Come to think of it, we all had quite an unhealthy diet that day. I suppose it all balances out, though. This evening, Nick decided he wanted to eat frozen peas directly from the freezer, and he and his little brother sat on the kitchen floor begging me for more and more frozen peas. I believe they ate half a package before they were through. Much healthier than cotton candy, but for the boys, just as much fun. Frozen peas: a taste sensation?