I finally cleaned up my hard drive so I could import a few of the photos from ‘the birthday month’. Ryan jokes that I have more of a birthday month then day. For whatever reason the whole month of July is always so much fun for me. We usually do a birthday weekend but the whole month feels like a celebration. So keeping true to that fact, here is a little more from my birthday month. Ryan spent the night before my birthday making this triple layer cake. He did the whole thing by himself, I was worried with all the chaos from the kids that he would have a hard time remembering what ingredients he had already put in so I took the boys into their room and played games and read a lot of books. I was impressed how calm he was about cooking, I always get a little anxious about my creations. By the end I think he was a little ‘anxious’. He was up really late putting the frosting on, he said at one point when he was just about done it almost fell over. Right as he was finishing. Phew. I would have felt so sad for him. After working so hard on it. He modeled it after Susie’s confetti celebratory cake. We love Susies Cakes. I did one for Ryan’s birthday and he made me my own. It was very thoughtful. Not to mention, he was blowing up balloons to decorate our apartment well past midnight. I was very surprised, a cake, breakfast in bed, and balloons! This was a first, quite the fun surprise!
The biggest surprise from my birthday weekend was the upright piano Ryan bought off craigs list. It’s been such a treat for me to play the piano whenever I want. Truth be told I am always playing the piano when I probably should be cleaning and ironically for whatever reason the boys don’t really interrupt my playing much. Royal does occasionally when he is really upset but Finn and Jude never really pull me away. I do a short lesson with Finn and Jude every day, mostly just trying to teach them how to hit the keys and where they should put their hands. They are great finding middle c. The piano stool spins around so I usually incorporate a lot of spinning in between them trying to do something new.
These Irvine Company apartments we are currently in were built in the 80’s and the walls are a lot thicker then they make them now. I’ve walked outside our apartment and I haven’t been able to hear the piano at all. I asked some of our neighbors and thankfully they don’t hear it! How great is that?!
Royal says just a few words: mom, dad, choo choo, boom boom, yeah, no…. car. He signs for ‘more’ ‘all done’ ‘water’ which helps some of our communication. When he’s hungry often times he’ll just sign more. Anyways, Royal though will often sing some ‘doo bee’ ‘doo bee’ sounds. Ryan has always teased me about my ‘doobees’. I can’t sing but especially when I am just content I’ll bust out humming a tune to myself but I’ll basically just say doo bee doo bee doo. He’s nice to not make me feel stupid about it. He’ll just laugh and say, ‘Oh boy, here comes the doo bees!’ Putting it in writing has made me feel like a total nerd. Well I share this because I’ve heard Royal trying to sing to the tones of my songs when I stop playing the piano. The apartment will feel so quiet after I’ve been playing and I don’t really like the silence. I don’t think the boys like the sudden silence either because Royal will try to sing. My heart could have burst with happiness. It’s such a great moment as parent when you know you’ve helped create a positive experience or feeling for your kids to feel. That’s my biggest driver for me and my daily activities I just try to do things with them that will not necessarily make them happy but be a source of positive energy. If I don’t deliberately throw myself into the day often times wailing, lots of jumping… and dora the explorer happen and those days are just sort of feel lame. I love the piano because it’s something I’m doing just for me, but the boys don’t fight much when I play. They usually just sit down, listen and play with some toys.
Royal James has officially turned Ryan into a total softy. I can’t believe it. Seriously! I could always count on Ryan for being the heavy, but no… not anymore! Royal has been climbing out of his crib like crazy, well I sent Ryan in there to give a go at things and Ryan scolds him and I listen and Ryan’s trying but the tone, the tone is gone! Aye, aye, aye! I told him later, “Well, I think Royal just decided to cooperate because he’s really tired but he saw right through you, if we were dealing with a canine there’s no way that would have worked! You’ve turned into a total softy” He came clean, “Its true. Royal… he’s just too precious. I can’t come down hard on him.” And Royal knows it too, when we put him in time outs he laughs at us! He’s definitely the youngest child.
Haha! Well there’s an up close and personal shot with a crawfish. I had to do at least one close up because I am out catching these with the boys nearly every day. After two weeks they have definitely lost some of their appeal, I’ve also learned from letting the boys bring them home that they don’t smell so good. Finn loves going down there with his net. We ordered some great little nets off amazon and the boys are excited to use them for catching minnows down at the beach. There are a few fish in this creek/river/drainage run off area we walk down to but no luck with the fish yet. The other day I saw the biggest crawfish I have ever seen, I didn’t even think it was possible to get this big he looked like a baby lobster. I wish we could have caught him that would have been a fun memory. Next time, next time.
Needless to say Jude wasn’t shy at all with the crawdads. The boys have been watching ‘The Little Mermaid’ and the sea witch eats a crawdad at one point and the boys start screaming every time about her eating it. It cracks me up, now that we live by some crawfish I feel like I’m seeing them everywhere i.e: our ‘I Spy’ books, ‘The Little Mermaid”, restaurants. We went out to eat with some friends for my birthday month and we went to Bear Flag- it was nice of them to invite us out. Finn saw some shrimp/lobster and he said, “I want to eat those! Just like in ‘The Little Mermaid”. Funny, funny, kid. If you are wondering, Yes Jude did get pinched eventually. There were like four of them and Jude was getting very relaxed and bam he got pinched but no he is not put off from wanting to pick them up.
Poor crawdad. We are officially in the catch and release mode. A few weeks of letting them bring home what they caught and things were just getting too out of hand. I was finding potato bugs in Finn’s car seats, two days ago he smuggled a big cup of sand that supposedly had some sand crabs in it – I swear I watched him so closely he just kept putting them in and I kept taking it out.
Royal, that kid with animals. It’s the most precious thing you’ve ever seen. No kidding. He kisses any animal he sees… pictures in books, fish, crawdads, dogs…potato bugs! If it’s alive he wants to kiss it. In the beginning with Jasper I would say, ‘Be soft. Give him kisses.’ Just to try and lead him away from grabbing or hitting him. It’s hard because when we catch a crawdad Royal immediately starts blowing kisses and running over. He wants me to let him put his face on him and these creatures, no, no, no! No crawdads are getting my Royal bear’s kisses. No, no. We need to get a bunny. We need soft and fuzzy for Ro.
Lastly, speaking of loving creatures. Mr Finn, the boys and I met a friend at the pool yesterday. Finn had caught as he said a ‘gorgeous rolly polli’ (potato bug) this thing really was big. Which the comment, ‘gorgeous’ was funny enough. He must have learned that from Steve Irwin. I call some of his catches, ‘beauties.’ but ‘gorgeous’. Ha! Well he put his catch in one of the boys trucks and put that truck in the pool bag. Well you know Jude and cars. We get to the pool and immediately Jude takes that truck out and puts it in the pool and the potato bug sinks to the bottom and remember we had just gotten there… well Finn sees this and he comes over to me and he’s demanding that I rescue the potato bug. I can see it in his face. This was important to him. There was no persuading this kid to get over the rolly polly going to the bottom of the pool. It was all he could do from letting the tears completely spill over and we were in the company of some little ladies. We had been there no more than a minute and I was jumping into the pool- getting the potato bug from the bottom of the pool. Sweet Finn. The whole exchange happened quite fast I was able to snag him not as hard as I originally anticipated I got him on my second attempt and the moment passed but it made an impression on me.