Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Small Town Saturday Night

We have a new special routine on Saturday nights this summer. Elias takes his bath, gets on his jammies, and then we all sit down and watch the Lawrence Welk Show on PBS. Justin and I have always enjoyed watching it, but we have been surprised that Elias really likes it too. He loves the music and the brightly colored outfits, and he really likes the dancing! There's always at least one song in the show when audience members get up and dance. So last week during that part, I asked Elias if he wanted to dance with Mommy. Then I picked him up and we danced together, and it was so cute! I thought we'd be done when that song was over, but when the next song came on, he came over to me and said "Dance with Mommy!" So here's a video of me and Elias dancing together to the Lawrence Welk Show.

I think it is so sweet when he walks over to me with his arms up and says "Dance with Mommy!" (A brief note in my defense, I did NOT know that Justin was filming me dancing too! I figured he was zoomed in on Elias the whole time! Not that I ever dance any better than that, but I wouldn't have happily submitted to having it captured for posterity.)

So then this week when we turned Lawrence Welk on, he remembered and right away ran to me and asked to dance. My sweetie boy! And for the record, this is exactly what we'd be doing on Saturday nights even if we didn't live in a small town. :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Vacation, Part 6: Enjoying the Lake House

Besides going out on the boat, there were other fun things to do at Nana & Granddad's house too. I think Elias' favorite of them all was riding on the golf cart that they use to haul things up and down the hill to the dock! Check out this grin!He also really enjoyed the little inflatable swimming pool that Nana had for him.
He liked it so much that we were inspired to pull ours out and inflate it when we got home!

We had thought that Elias would enjoy doing some fishing, since he really got into it the first time we went. But he just wasn't interested this time. I guess there were just too many other cool things to look at! This is the closest thing we got to Elias fishing - standing next to Daddy while he was fishing. :)So that's finally the end of all the vacation pictures. We had a great time, and we are so thankful for all of our precious family! We love and miss you all already!!!

Vacation, Part 5: Boating with the Family

Our visit in Kentucky was nice and restful, with our days spent enjoying the family and the beautiful scenery at the lake. We went out for a family boat ride, and that was fun!

The three of us enjoying the water and sunCousin Joshua driving the boat with GranddadElias was still a little shy with Granddad at this point, so he didn't want to ride on his lap to drive. He was more than willing to drive with Daddy, though!And he remembered where the button for the horn was from when we were there last summer! What a stinker!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Vacation, Part 4: Cutie Cousins

I was really pleased with how much Elias enjoyed playing with his cousins, both in Ohio and Kentucky. They're all older than he is, but they did such a good job sharing their toys with him and joining him in the things he was interested in!

Elias sometimes watched some videos of things like Wiggles and Thomas before bed. So one night when we were watching them, Patriot and Azlan joined in. How cute are these three boys all watching The Wiggles together???And here are Elias and Azlan swinging together on the double swing in Patriot & Azlan's backyard. Elias had never swung on anything like this before, but he enjoyed it and Azlan was good to not go to high!

Then in Kentucky, Cousin Joshua is really into Bob the Builder, and Elias enjoyed watching some of that with him and learning about his diggers and dump trucks. Joshua also enjoyed playing Thomas with Elias, too. One morning, we were sitting together reading one of Elias' Thomas books, and both boys just loved it! I read it over and over to them!
I'm so thankful that Elias has such great cousins that he can grow up with on both sides of the family!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Vacation, Part 3: Aquarium

The Newport Aquarium is only a short drive from where my family lives, and that was the special event we chose to do on the day when Dad was off work, so even he could come! It was fun and special to be able to share it with the whole family! When you first go in, they take a group picture that you can then purchase, and ours were so good that Mom couldn't resist buying them! (Click to enlarge.)AAAAAAAUGH! SHARK!!!!!!! :)Elias liked the tunnels where you were walking underneath the aquariums and you could watch the fish swim over and around you. Those were COOL!He got a little fussy after a while because he wanted to be able to run amok, and I wanted him to stay with us! So then we got him settled in his stroller with Cheerios and Thomas, and all was well again.
Watching a shark swim byIn the jellyfish roomThey also had a children's activity room with hands-on activities and a playground. Here are Patriot, Azlan, and Elias all playing Frogger together!They also had a room where you could actually pet some small sharks! Elias was more interested in splashing the water that was on the ledge than trying to put his arm in and feel a shark. The water was too deep for the kids to be able to reach them anyway, but I was able to pet one! I thought they'd feel smooth and rubbery like a dolphin, so I was surprised when they were slimy and velvety feeling. Cool!

So this was a special and fun day together. Thanks, family!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Vacation, Part 2: King's Island

King's Island is an amusement park in the Cincinnati area that we went to often when I was growing up. I've only been there once since I graduated college, and it was weird this time to be going back and taking my kid to ride on the rides I can remember riding with my parents when I was small! We did go to King's Island last summer when we visited, but Elias was too small to ride much, and he spent most of the day in his stroller. This year, though, he had fun and we were able to ride more.

The biggest hit, of course, was the big park train. It was a blue "steam" engine just like Thomas! We rode this first, and of course Elias loved it!

Then we went to the kiddie land and rode a helicopter ride, which he also loved. We couldn't BELIEVE how long the wait was for this ride - 30 minutes! That was rough trying to explain to a 2-year-old that the bajillion other kids in line in front of us have to ride before it's our turn. He enjoyed it, though, and I'm glad we did it. Once.

Then we met up with my sister's family, and they rode the kiddie train together. Elias loved this one so much we rode it twice! Speaking of trauma with waiting in line, though, the line wasn't long for this one - only about 5 minutes. But Elias SCREAMED in line for this one because you had to walk through a little "station" that blocked his view of the trains. He was ok as long as he could watch the train, although he was still pretty impatient to ride it, but if the trains left his line of sight, it was major trauma. What a silly boy!!!

Then it was almost time for lunch, so we went to my sister's house to eat, and Elias laid down for his nap. Justin was kind enough to volunteer to stay with Elias, and I went back to the park and met up with my mom, and we spent the afternoon together riding grown-up rides! That was fun, too! Special times with family!

Vacation, Part 1: Blueberry Picking

There is a blueberry farm (grove? patch? field? What's the right word for a place where they grow blueberries??) just down the street from my parents' house, so on Saturday morning we all went out and picked some! It was a beautiful day, and picking was fun! (It was really inexpensive, too... I would do this all the time if I lived near one!) I was blown away at how MANY blueberry bushes they had. This is only one small section where we were picking - there were at least 4 more sections of the same size.

Here is Elias watching Daddy pick.And then trying his hand with Cousin Azlan. These two were great at picking berries, but only about 1/4 of Azlan's made it into the bucket, and absolutely NONE of Elias' made it into the bucket... They all went straight into his mouth!
So as fun and tasty as that was, we weren't paying for those blueberries, so I decided it would be better for Elias to just run around while the others enjoyed picking.So we came home with lots of DELICIOUS blueberries, and we enjoyed them thoroughly! We actually only ate the last of them yesterday. YUM! What we didn't eat in Ohio we took with us when we went to Kentucky. My father-in-law used some of them to make homemade blueberry ice cream. Oh. My. Stars. It was SOOOO GOOOOOOOOOD!!!!! We sprinkled chocolate chips on top, and it was amazing. Definitely going to get that recipe!

*Side note: Instead of pointing out to you ALL the pictures where Elias is holding a Thomas toy in this vacation series, I'm going to challenge you to see if you can find any where he's NOT holding Thomas. I don't think there are going to be any, but pay attention and you might find one...*

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Vacation Teaser

We just got back from a great vacation, and I'm working on getting all the pictures ready to post. In the meantime, though, I thought I'd post a little teaser. We did a family tour where we drove to Ohio and spent a week with my family, and then drove to Kentucky where we spent a few days with Justin's family. The drive from our house to my parents' house was 11 hours and Elias didn't nap at all. However, he was GREAT in the car - no meltdowns at all! He just played with his toys and read his books - I'm so thankful for such a happy child and good traveler! Here's a picture of him wearing Daddy's hat:My sweetie boy! Stay tuned for more pics of our trip...