Monday, April 13, 2009

Roomies, Playmates, Zoo trip, Easter, and the Garden... Phew!

It's a good thing Harper and Jack love eachother because Jack Jack got a big boy bed in the beginning of March, and he now shares her room! He's proud of his bed, but he's not a master at solo sleeping just yet. He's done great there for naps, but not so great at bedtime. We're working on it.
Sweet Harper has been really great at being patient when he cries out and abruptly wakes her. She's so sensitive and occasionally it makes her cry to hear her brother cry in her room, but she usually calms right down when we get Jack and tell her everything's okay. In a few months, the adjustment will be done and I think they'll enjoy each other's company for a couple years.

Harper and Jack really love playing together, especially outside. They're actually awesome at taking turns with toys. They both love the slide (notice the teeny tiny broccoli plants in the photo, to the left of Harper's head in the moist soil of the garden bed).

Here they are at our neighborhood park. Whatever Harper's doing, Jack's attempting-- and often successfully.

Jack loves the twisty slide.

He looks up to his big sister so much and he really looks forward to her return when she's away at school. They play so well together, largely because Jack's always game for whatever Harper wants to do. Their conversations are hilarious, too.

Wherever Harper is, that's the place to be! Here he is wearing his "scootadoo" shirt. That's what he calls scooters, including Dad's.
And here are he and Harper loaded in the double "strollerler", another case of Jack's adding syllables. I think he does it out of love.

One day, Dad had a great idea to carve the chest freezer box into a house with windows and a door. Harper and Jack had a fun time with it for a while, eating their snacks in there, pretending. We still have it, in the garage for now, ready to be brought back out for a rainy day or when we need something novel again.
Here's a wistful Jack in his cardboard playhouse.
Peeking out.

We just had an awesome weekend that began with a zoo trip Saturday morning. Here are the kids in their car seats, getting pumped for all the animals!

The last time we went to the zoo, Harper was just over 2 (shortly after Jack was born, she and Daddy went there for some special time) and she was still in diapers. She wouldn't get near the giraffes to feed them. We were excited that she'd grown up so much and was brave enough to feed them this time.

We could tell she was proud of herself, too. (She's wiping giraffe spit off!)And, not to be outdone, little Jack was excited to feed the giraffe! Look at him stick his hand out there!
Pretty cool to be that close to such an odd-looking, rad animal! (And to see it from safe-Daddy's arms!)

The birds were particularly friendly this visit. The Australian birds kept swooping over us, back and forth. In the picture below, we were in the Rainforest habitat, and the birds there were awesome. We got up close to a bird who was singing in a very soft, mellow, almost clarinet-sounding monotone. His beak opened subtly each time and I pointed it out to Jack. I looked down to watch Jack's face as he watched this bird, and each time the bird sang, Jack quietly opened his mouth the same way. It was so cute, and so exciting to see that he was quietly taking it all in.

In this picture, these neat birds were swooping by us for a while and then landed soooo close. As you can see, Jack or I could've touched one easily.
Aren't they awesome-looking? The curly moustache was too much! (This photo was taken without a zoom lens!)
We had to do the gorilla photo. Look at those buddies!
It was fun to have them dressed alike for the trip, too. We were in the zoo-going spirit. When we went into the tropical, warm, moist room where they have poison dart frogs and tree frogs, the kids were excited to see the frogs from their shirts.
Both were exhausted by the trip and snoozed on the way home. I still can't get over the sweetness of my kids' faces while they sleep. (Harper named this bunny from Gran "Easter Bluebell Dutton".)

Speaking of Easter, the Easter Bunny visited our house this year and brought the kids Peeps (Harper wanted blue, Jack went with yellow), art supplies, and a bucket full of Easter eggs for Mom and Dad to hide. When the morning warmed up a bit, we hid the eggs for the kids and they hunted in our backyard. Then Harper sat down with Jack and opened them. They each contained a message from the Easter Bunny himself-- all compliments about what great kids they are. Harper liked that, and we parents thought the ego boost was a cool alternative to candy!
We colored our eggs a day late, but better than never! Cat and Jov Jov were here for a playdate. It was nice to have our buddies over on the last day of Spring Break.

Harper really got into painting the eggs with little sponges. I was proud that this year, the mess didn't deter her participation. She went for it!
And the results speak for themselves! Gorgeous!The hands afterward...
Here are the kids painting with their new paper and paints from the Easter bunny. As you can see, Jack sampled the paints, but decided they weren't so tasty.

Jack's work in progress.

Harper's work in progress.

We've got quite a garden going now... it's quite large, but all the plants (besides the lettuce) are babies at this point. So, we're eating a ton of beautiful salads. Here's a bouquet of the various lettuces I stopped to photograph as I put together our salad for dinner last night. The best has been just the variety of lettuces from the garden, along with some chocolate mint leaves, rosemary, sage, oregano, and spearmint leaves, a little feta, some chopped spring onions, and a homemade viniagrette.
The kids love helping in the garden. They each have their own gloves and tools (thanks, Spears!). They really like helping us water the baby plants. I'm actually surprised by how well the kids respect the garden and don't bother the small plants too much. I think they both like to have a role, and feel like they are a part of all of the activity.

In an empty bed, which was waiting for more tomatoes, Harper enjoyed digging one afternoon with Jack's help. Jack loves to be Harper's "little boy assistant", but he doesn't like to get dirt in his sandals so much, so I kept having to pour out his shoes for him ("Mama, yuck!"). Here's Harper making "dirt soup".
Here's Farmer Jack with his rake (see the baby brocolli plants behind him-- they've grown, huh?).And here's one more photo, just because Harper is breath-takingly gorgeous. Wow.


Grandma said...

wow! thank you for the blogging, but most of all for my wonderful, beautiful, smart, loving grandchildren.

Mary Katie said...

Love it all! Crazy---did you see what word I used to describe this last picture of H? Look at my comment on this picture on his Facebook page. Great minds :)

Katia Clark said...

Awesome to have it all in one place.

callie Roadcap-Uleners said...

consolidation is fun! and i love the compliments in the easter basket instead of candy - that's brilliant! I'm going to have to copy that one next year. super duper.

love you guys!

Catalina said...

I love your family so much. we loved our unplanned visit and that you were so gracious to say, "come over!". Thank you for dying Easter eggs with us. (it was Jov's first time) Harper, I am really proud of all the beautiful work you did on your eggs. I bet your hands are already clean!

Dhanasakthi said...

Great to have the updates on kids on a single page! Waiting for more to enjoy about them

Rachel said...

Fantastic update on the kids. I feel like I am getting to know them through your blog! Would love to play "in-person" sometime. We will be up in V-town this weekend. Come by Casa Mantuano for a visit!