Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pre-Birthday Festivities with Amma and Papa

Little Man turned 3 this weekend.  It's pretty bittersweet because he's growing by leaps and bounds.  However, before we share all that excitement, we first had the excitement of Amma and Papa's arrival.  Papa helped Catherine surprise Amma:

 And as the previous picture would indicate, we spent a good portion of the week just hanging out at the house.  Between travel and illnesses I haven't been to my job a whole lot this summer so Amma and Papa jumped in to help out and watch the kids.  Papa also helped me with a lot of house projects that we'd neglected for the same aforementioned reasons.  The weather was nice and cool in the mornings/evenings so we spent a lot of time on the porch and deck.  Catherine's recently become obsessed with all things that she can climb on and sit on.  Especially this trike:
 And Matthew's painted house turned into a tunnel for trike traffic:
 Another favorite game of Catherine's is to play fetch with Sky.  She'll sit on the edge of the deck and drop the ball off:
 But she's no dummy.  She really wants to learn to use the thrower and get some distance:
 Both kids hanging out with Amma in the morning:
 Mas and Pas stopped in on their way back for a second visit on their way home from a canoe trip on the Missouri.  While I tried to play catch up at work, all four grandparents took the kids to the museum and the park.  I'm sure they got pictures which I forgot to steal but mostly everyone had a good time.  Unfortunately Mas and Pas were only here for a short stop so all too soon we had to say our goodbyes again:

 We took the kids to the Children's Museum and while I have some great pictures of piano playing:
 Checking out the fish:
 Giant Kerplunk:
 And our good friend Bernoulli:

I didn't get a picture of what Matthew really did most of our visit, which was play trains.  You know, the exact same trains we'd been stepping over all week as he worked with Papa to build a "really really really long track" with every single train piece he has.  Thank goodness we drove across town and paid to play with the same toys we have at home.
 Catherine loved all the extra attention and snuggles that having grandparents around provides.  She's such a ham!
 Playing peek a boo around Amma:
 We had to do S'mores one night.  Matthew's very serious about them!
 Meanwhile Catherine was just chillin'
 To prepare for Matthew's birthday present, we ended up doing a lot of yard work, mostly revolving around these:
As we found out they are actually lightweight expanded clay aggregate and were not ever, ever, ever intended for landscaping the way they were used out back (as many, many people on craigslist pointed out to me).  They are actually used in Hydroponic or aquaponic gardening or can be tilled into the soil for root growth/support.  Regardless, we have a crap-ton of them, probably because at some time in our house's history there was some hydroponic gardening going on in the crawlspace.  3 people came to take "all of them" but left with all their containers filled, and a ton still in our way.  We cleared just enough for the installation of Matthew's present but still have a giant sand pile, a ton of the hydroton under the raspberries and a mess of landscaping fabric to deal with.  We're slowly but surely making progress though our landscaping plans but I can't say we'll miss the work terribly as we head out on our big vacation soon!

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