Monday, July 9, 2012

Snakes and the Rain

After the storm, we put Matthew to work helping Papa clean up the yard:
 Catherine pretty much sat around being a goober:
 It wasn't all work and no play however as Matthew has been asking to play ball and Amma and Papa's house and this is definitely what he remembered.  Once the temps started getting into the high 90s, it became clothing optional for the under 3 crowd.  Who says they're never anything fun to do in rural VA:
 Speaking of fun, Amma and Papa got Matthew some new rain boots so he can stop wearing his snow boots for splashing.

Because I felt the puddles along the highway weren't our safest of choices we headed out on a favorite trail of mine in search of puddles.  Last time I was on the trail there were big, semi-permanent puddles where frogs even laid their eggs so I thought it was a sure bet.  Unfortunately, since much of the county was still without power, clearing the trails of limbs was a pretty low priority and we only made it a few hundred feet in before turning around.  We took to the bridges "downtown" and met up with this guy and 3 of his friends (I can't get it on camera but Matthew does an adorable impression of the snake opening his mouth):
 Matthew's language abilities and imagination continue to explode and he's been killing me recently with what comes out of his mouth.  While we were looking at the snakes and fish I kept reminding him to hold onto his golf ball so we didn't drop it in the water (we found 2 golf balls on our hike to nowhere).  As we were leaving he comments "yeah. hold onto my golf ball.  no drop it in the water. no snake can eat it and open its mouth and go 'oommmphhh'".  I was more worried about him whining about losing it but I can see the worry about a snake eating it too :-)

Mom and Dad pulled down our toys from the attic.  I can't even fathom why we have these glasses but the kids enjoyed them:

 And as always, enjoyed storytime with Amma, Papa and Uncle Matt:
While we were in Warm Springs it stayed hot and humid and a little miserable.  Because we live a stone's throw away from the county courthouse we lucked out and our power was restored 3 days before the state of emergency ended but the grid was definitely still fragile and we lost it a few more times after some summer thunderstorms.  Luckily someone didn't mind as this meant puddles:

Which meant mud birthday cakes (you know, instead of mud pies).  As Matt and Dad tell the story Matthew was up splashing in puddles and decided to make a cake with one large, flatish rock and then added smaller rocks as candles.  He handed it to Matt to blow out the candles, Uncle Matt pretended and then gave the cake back to Matthew.  
Matthew then added a bit more mud, errr, I mean frosting, and candles and gave it to Papa.  Papa pretended to blow out the candles and handed it back.  That wasn't good enough and Matthew grabbed the "cake" and said "no Papa, like this" and proceeded to blow/knock the candles/frosting off the "cake" with his face:
 We continued to explore the foliage above the driveway:
 And Matthew took his first taste of honeysuckle:
 And I took the opportunity to snag some family shots:

 Later Matthew got to run a very important errand in Papa's car.  I don't think he particularly cared for the short drive but he thought pushing the button to close the top was awesome and asked to ride in the car and push the button every day afterward:
Much like our previous trips
the kids had a lot of fun with Amma's elephant collection:
The only trying moment we had was when we first arrived.  After all the pulling over and stopping excitement of our drive through the storm Matthew finally passed out sometime around 11pm in the car.  Not wanting to ruin a good thing I carried him into the house and took him straight to bed.  As is his M.O. he partially woke and started asking questions.  I've found if I just answer them and then tell him what I'm doing he goes back to sleep without a problem.  As I was telling him about his new bed at Amma's house etc. I asked if he wanted to sleep with a new Ellie.  I grabbed the closest one, he snuggled it and went to sleep.  I went downstairs with Catherine who was wide eyed and bushy-tailed, relieved that I only had one more to get to sleep.  Ha!  About 20 minutes later Matthew is screaming bloody murder and as I go up there's a squirmy, loud lump in his bed singing "Hey Baby".  Matthew then demanded all the scary stuffed elephants be removed from the room and he passed out again.  Catherine wasn't as intimidated and did quite a bit of dancing with the elephant over the week:
 And Matthew met our talking Big Bird, though he was a little leery:

Meanwhile Matthew got schooled in the Pozun cribbage tradition while I just kept getting schooled:
 We spent a lot of time just hanging out outside:
 And both kids had lots of hugs, kisses and cuddles to go around (note the raised golf ball track in the background.  We eventually switched it so the golf balls would go in the pool.  Catherine was a master at digging them out.  So much so I think Papa should take her on his next golf outing :-)
 My parents house may not recover from the onslaught of toys, games and dirt tracked around but we sure did appreciate it and had a great time, with even more pictures of our adventure to come.     I'm sure they won't know what to do without the background noise of an idling truck, singing elephant and two shrieking children anymore!  

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