Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Keeping Occupied

 Krista was visiting for a day and took Callum, Max and Lorelei on a ride in her new Mini convertible to buy popsicles.

 Our neighbours got a new pool and Callum and Max had fun with Annika and Mattias. 

We blew up our pool too and had Leo and Henry over to play. 


 Several Saturdays ago, Jeff took Callum, Max and their friend Teddy fishing.  They didn't catch a thing.  But yesterday my neighbour Cindy took them out and they came home with a couple decent trout!  Jeff had the pleasure of cleaning and gutting them. 

Before I forget...

One morning a while ago, I was feeding Simon breakfast when Callum walked into the kitchen with a big smile on his face.  "I had the best dream last night, Mom", he said.  He then went on to tell me about how he was riding a motorcycle and he was still a kid and that the buttons on the handle bars would actually shoot out icing at other cars.  He was very excited about this dream.

I would definitely say that Callum is on the higher-maturity scale for kids his age.  He can be reasoned with, he senses when I am frustrated and does things that will help me, he understands rationing his computer time (he's allowed 5 hours of electronic games per week), he can read most 4-5 letter words (he reads 'Level 1' books, like his Cars 2 book, with very little help) and can add or subtract simple numbers, and he is generally an easy-going kid which allows him to have fun playing with any of his friends and younger kids too.  He is starting, however, to take advantage of his intellect over Max, by manipulating Max to give him his treats or not letting Max watch any of the TV shows he wants.  I also, unfortunately, see a bit of myself in him, as I watch him trying to control the way his friends play and trying to get them to do things his way.  Callum's tastes have moved onto shows like Power Rangers and those cartoons like "Grossology" or I'm not even sure what they are.  The new bike he bought with all his birthday and Christmas money lets him go fast enough that he now rides beside me all the way to Safeway or to his new school (with me biking with Max in the bike seat and Simon in the trailer behind). 

"Mom, did you know that trees are magic?", or "Mom, did you know that cars are faster than bikes?".  These are some of the random comments that Max will blurt out at various times of the day, some based on reality but sometimes not.  He really likes to get a word in here and there, trying to have a conversation with me in between Callum's constant chatting.  When he feels like he's not getting enough talk-time, Max will grunt, put his hands in fists and say "Grrr!  Callum keeps interrupting me!".  He is still in that oh-so adorable age, where you just want to hug and kiss and snuggle him, and he likes to cuddle with me, so I take advantage of it as much as I can!  I just love listening to him talk and watching him play, which he does by himself very well when he feels like it.  He is also in a phase where he likes to tell me "Mom, Callum is being mean to me" or "Callum isn't sharing" if he doesn't get whatever he wants.  He has quite a temper on him and I'm trying to be patient with his outburts for reasons we can't do anything about (like when we can't invite his friends over because they are out of town).

I have a feeling that Simon is going to be a clever boy, as he shows plenty of comprehension with which container I am feeding him from (he opens his mouth for the plastic jar that has fruit in it but not for the glass one with meat in it) and understands the danger of the edge of the stairs or edge of mommy's bed.  He still has no teeth (!) but is still putting effort into eating big-people food, thank goodness.  His skin is very, very unhappy right now, though.  He has rather significant areas of eczema (under his neck, elbows, knees, feet) and I have tried all sorts of ointments and lotions, but the one that only sort of shows signs of improvement is diaper cream.  I tried taking him off dairy, but after a week, there was still still no change.  This might take a while to figure out.  His crawling is super speedy now but I often catch him standing on his own for several seconds, so I think walking is a few weeks away.

We had a pretty good 2 weeks with Jeff off work.  We started to get used to having him around and we really liked it!  Oh, well, now he's back at work.  

I don't know if I ever mentioned that I have a teen from down the street, Emily, come and babysit the 3 boys for me for a few hours each Wednesday afternoon - well, she's great but she can't make it today.  It's my birthday today, so I might take the boys out for lunch after Simon wakes up from his nap. It's gonna be another gorgeous day. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mini Donuts! Oh, and some other fun stuff.

  Yeeay!  Summer, summer summer! Other than hanging out at home, some of our other activities in July included going to the "exciting" Surrey Museum with my sister Kami and her boys, where there was a Lego display...

Max admiring one of the displays:
We met up with my friend Julianne and her kids for a day in North Van to go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Lonsdale Quay.  Despite the fact that Callum and Banyan get together far too rarely, when they do get together, it's like they were never apart. 

I can see them sitting in rocking chairs playing checkers years and years from now.

And there was mini donuts at the Quay!!!!
We got a visit from some old friends from Vancouver, Declan and Claudine, which warranted a tour of White Rock's white rock and the dock.

  Our major activity was a 2-night camping trip to Cultus Lake.  None of us had ever been and, despite being told how crazy busy it was, we decided to check it out with Callum and Max, but left Simon with my Mom.  We had a great time hanging out at the lake, going hiking, swimming, Callum making friends with the kids at the campsite next to us, eating S'mores and hotdogs over the fire and sleeping in tents!

Of course, the first thing Callum and Max had to accomplish was finding the perfect stick.

 Jumping off the dock!

 Cooking "spider dogs", but I think they look more like octopi.

 My sister, Krista, inspired me to use a Caramilk bar instead of just any chocolate for our S'mores - I highly recommend it.

 Our first hike was up Teapot Hill, which included various teapots along the trail.  I think it was about 5km to the top and Callum booted up without any convincing while Max finally gave up complaining about being tired after the first 2km.  On the way down, however, I learned that it doesn't matter how many times you tell a 5-year old and a 3-year old to slow down and be careful while running down the trail, they will still fall and get scrapes and cry and expect you to sympathize with them.  After applying plenty of Hot-wheels band-aids, they managed to heal up enough to do a slightly shorter hike the next day.

 We found am uprooted tree that provided a fun climbing opportunity.