Friday, June 28, 2013

Now and Then: 33 Weeks at the Zoo

July 2012 with Theo (and Eli at 33 weeks)
June 2013 with Eli at nine months

Just love these.

A Taste of Our New Town: Dale City Farmers' Market

We are finally settled into Virgina, or NOVA (Northern Virginia) as everyone refers to it.  I have been here two weeks though, and still haven't quite figured out where we are.  Having one car is finally starting to become a problem, because we want to go explore!  There are some car pool options for Brian, and some train options for us, and we may have to start taking advantage of them now that the moving-in process is fairly complete.

One place we did get to on foot though, was the Dale City Farmers' Market.  We woke up on Sunday excited to forget about unpacking boxes for a while and head out for a market.  Theo wanted to find apples (he doesn't quite understand seasons yet), and I just wanted to get a feel for the area.  So even though it was drizzling rain most of the morning, we waited for a pause in the rain and headed out.  It turned out to be a little farther than we thought, and ended up being hot, humid, and sunny by the time we walked back, but it was still a memorable little trip.

The back aisle, there was another aisle this long on the other side.

The market is probably one of the bigger outdoor ones I've been to, and had basically any kind of spring fruit or vegetable you could possibly want.  I was pretty amazed at all the variety.  Throw in some cheese, bakery, kettle corn, and wood fired pizza options, and you could leave with most of your taste buds satisfied.

Theo chose yellow green beans.  And ate them.

I was very intrigued by the purple bell peppers... maybe next time.

Theo picked out and paid for most of the produce.  It's great to see him work with cash (though several did accept credit card).

I just drizzled some olive oil, salt, and black pepper on these to make a little salad.

Posing by the peach crates.  They had some samples Theo tried.

Nibbling on bread to hold us over on the walk back.
We enjoyed many meals out of our purchases, including: some great chicken sandwiches Brian made on the focaccia bread, tomato salad, leak and potato soup from my Julia Child's cookbook that I've always wanted to make (needed a quick youtube video on how to work with leaks), Theo's favorite strawberry shortcake, my favorite corn-on-the-cob, and even Eli got some fresh pureed peas out of it (he had the soup too).  We will definitely have to add the market into our Sunday morning routine for the next few months.

Cowboy in Training

Theo loved being on the farm all spring.  Everything was about being a cowboy.  Every hat with a brim was a cowboy hat, and cowboy boots were very important to life.  When I asked if he wanted to ride a pony at the zoo, he was concerned he could not because he did have his cowboy hat.  Now every outchy gets a piece of tape since his uncle taught him that is a "cowboy band-aid".  By the time we left he finally perfected his "Yee-haw" which originally had a Japanese accent when he said it, but now sounds more Midwestern. 

Theo really liked seeing his brother pretend to be a cowboy at the museum.  I think these two pictures show the big difference in Elijah from when we first got to Indiana and when we left.  He is growing so fast!

Early March

Early June

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Three and a quarter years old phrases

Despite a later start in talking, Theo is quite the chatterbox now.  I  crack up at all the phrases he uses nowadays (and have to be careful with the ones I use).  These are some of the more common ones:

Affectionate Phrases:
"Mama you are my mama!  I love you so much."
"Oh, I will never ever see Eli again!"  (when separated for a few hours)
"I'm never going to get rid of Eli/you/whatever-he-loves-at-the-moment"
"I love grandma's big green van/b.s.v."
 "He/She is so sweet!"
"You're my best friend ever!"

"Good morning, the sun is up!"
"Oh, I don't want to take a rest."
"Dada is getting our new house ready."
"Did you say...?"
"Never, ever, ever, ever..."
"Don't worry..."
"... by my own."
"Hot air do go inside."

And the frustrating phrase:
"I'm always careful/[Insert direct object of request here]!"

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Elijah: 9 months

Three-quarters of a year is a big one, and it's hitting me hard.  I know soon you'll be tottering around and getting into everything.  And have a mouth full of teeth to eat all sorts of food.  But right now I'm basking in your late-to-get-teeth stage, and almost-crawling-but-just-not-getting-it stage.  You may have entered the attachment-to-mama stage in just the last few days, but this month has been full of big smiles, playing with lots of toys, and getting passed around to lots of people  

Weight:  ??? Scale is still in storage, no doc apt until next week.
Size:  same
Feeding:  Thankful I was able to finish pumping this month.  It's not my favorite thing to do during my lunch break, but you needed a bottle once a day while I worked.  We finally started you on puffs, bits of bread, and fresh sweet potato and diced potatoes.  You love using your pinchers to eat.
Sleeping:  Starting to nap a little longer on warm days.
Likes:  dumping toys from his blue basket
Dislikes:  being a little constipated

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hoosier Driver

Recently, Theo's grandparents got him a little radio flyer to ride around at their house.  While driving, Theo keeps yelling at the "stupid deer"that (in his imagination) run across their patio.  He really hates the stupid deer.  So do I.  We passed at least three different sets of them along/on the road coming back from Chicago a couple weeks ago.  This was never a problem in Delaware...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

100 Days in Indiana

Give or take.  Technically, we spent some days in Illinois and some in Ohio, but this is now the 100th day since we left our Delaware apartment.  Buying a house has not worked out, so we are set up (almost) to start renting a townhouse next week.  It will be fine, but it's frustrating to have to pay so much in rent rather than putting equity into a house.

Back when I was having Eli in September, I never would have guessed that it would take 9 months to get him into his own room.  This whole transition from grad school to real world has not gone at all like I thought it would, but it has been nice being in my hometown for the spring.

Since I found a maternity leave opening in my old school here, I spent about half of the days working which was good to help my sanity.  Other events in the 100 days included:
  • 2 visits to the Fort Wayne Zoo
  • 1 visit to the Indianapolis Zoo
  • 1 visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo
  • 1 visit to Navy Pier
  • 1 visit to the Muncie Children's Museum (hoping to get one more next week)
  • 5 birthdays celebrations (late one for Theo, Mariah, my sister, Liam,and my mom)
  • 1 funeral
  • 2 viewings
  • 1 wedding
  • Easter (+ several egg hunts)
  • 1 visit to Aunt Sue's Tearoom
  • 1 time sledding down the hill at the Knight-Bergman Center
  • 1 time swimming at the YMCA pool in Wabash
  • 1 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale
  • Several trips to Memorial Park in Huntington
  • 1 visit to Grissom Air Force Base (just Theo)
  • Several meals at East of Chicago
  • 1 baseball game and several trips to Tower Park in Warren
And lots, and lots of time for the kids with our friends, cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

Small town living really isn't bad.  It took some time getting used to driving around here where most everyone nods and waves when you drive past, you run into lots of people you know at Dollar General, and you can name most of the people at your new job before you even start.  I will definitely miss the intimacy of living here when we move out to Woodbridge, Virginia next week.  But, it will be good for the boys to be back with their dad and me to be back in my own kitchen. 

Though I will keep the name 2304miles, we will now be (driving distance):
  • 128 miles from our church family and work colleagues and friends in Delaware
  • 624 miles from my hometown and most of our immediate family
  • 2270 miles from our first apartment and college stomping grounds of Tempe
  • 4174 miles from my oldest sister in Alaska
Look for new posts about my children and I exploring our new town.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Ring Bearer, 2nd Time Around (3 1/4 years old)

Despite a rehearsal that looked like this...

A very long car ride leads to a grumpy boy in the evening.

Theo did a great job being a ring bearer for his second time in the last 11 months.  As long as he has a pretty girl to lead him around and tell him what to do he does fine.  And this time it only took two suckers to keep him quiet throughout the wedding ceremony.

He kind of loves the spotlight.  I'm not sure where he gets it from.

This time his job included carrying a very important box...
and wearing a sign.  The front said "Here comes the bride", and we switched it around to send him back down the aisle.

 As you can see, he enjoyed the evening.

Where did the girls go?
Found her.

All he talked about before the wedding was dancing with Chloe.

He even caught the garter... but he better not leave his mama for another woman for a long, long time.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ring Bearer, 1st Time Around, (2 1/2 years old)

When I was writing the post for Theo's latest ring-bearer experience, I decided I should first post about his first one.

Last year, when I was 7 months pregnant, Theo was a ring bearer for his Aunt Emily at her outside wedding in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

He practiced pretty well...

but was surprised when the flower girl actually started throwing the petals during the wedding.

He made it to the front with no tears, yelling, or help.

It took a bag full of suckers and stickers to keep him quiet and occupied throughout the wedding service (my main worry for the day). 

Going back down the aisle after the ceremony.

 But it all went well and he had a great time spending the day on the farm.  And I especially enjoyed the rain that came and cooled us all down (having an end of summer baby made for a very hot season).

Baby Bears

Baby Bear 1 at 5.5 months
 Since my little guys are about 2.5 years apart, the seasons have been completely opposite for them as far as wardrobe choices go.  Eli hasn't actually wore too much of big brother's old clothes (even though I kept them, in neatly labeled zip-lock bags, organized by size).  But, I did make sure to get a picture of E in this same zip-up sweater.  It is too cute.  I'm going to have to make more of an effort to get pics in the same outfits at the same ages.

Baby Bear 2 at 7 months